Today we're entering the dark Moon phase, which will last until early Saturday morning...
* In these final hours of the lunar cycle, the reflective light is lost
* The world exhales, softens, quiets
* And death settles upon winter one last time
* We are also nearing the end of the dark half of the solar year. In the next week, we will cross into zodiacal Spring.
* Transitions are difficult. We are naturally creatures of habit because we are each eternal spirit/souls, unborn and undying. As we pass through this world of flux and change we are constantly looking for shelter from the storms of life in the material world. Our entire human world is in fact designed to help give us shelter from the difficulties of nature's changes and impermanence. The problem is that we don't feel happy with simple shelter from the elements. Generally speaking, once our basic material needs are met we still feel unsatisfied. And so we go on constructing things that we hope will give us shelter and happiness. The problem is that whatever we construct will eventually break down or fall apart, and when it does we tend to lose our sense of whatever happiness or comfort we've been deriving from whatever temporary shelter we've built for ourselves. Transitions are inevitable, and transitions are difficult.
* During times of transition, if we remain ignorant about the basic impermanence of things, then it becomes tempting to try to assign blame or to rage against the changes taking place around us. If we stay aware of the impermanent nature of things, then when the inevitable changes of the material world take place, transitions become easier.
* One great transition we all face is material death.
* But if we observe this coming and going carefully, we start to notice that despite whatever comes and goes there is something simple and untouchable that remains. The realization of ourselves as eternally conscious, spirit/souls emerges, dawning on us like the first rays of Spring.
* This is not the Spring that leads to Fall. This is the unending fountain of spiritual spring, beyond the literal light and literal dark but also within both the literal spring and literal fall.
* One great thing we all share in is eternal, spiritual life.
* So how do we live in this world of shifting sand without getting lost in each new transition? How do we not end up feeling utterly defeated, constantly? For example, often people post in response to daily or monthly astrology forecasts, saying, "I feel like I've already been through so much, and you're telling me there is more to come?!" Yes. Because this is how things are here. The waves keep coming in. Thank God they are at least somewhat predictable!
* The reason we do astrology is to help us understand the nature of these shifting sands, these constant transitions and changes, specifically so that we can avoid getting lost in them and specifically so that we can start to identify the kinds of spiritual shelters in this material world that last longer specifically because they reflect our true, spiritual nature.
* It's a good astrological moment to remember all of this because whereas seasonal transition periods may remind us of the reality of impermanence, seasonal beginnings regularly tempt us into forgetting it.
* So in these last few days of winter lets be sure to take time out from the hustle and flow of this liminal space in order to recognize the eternal in our midst.
Prayer: May we feel the blessing and find the light within each season. May every change utter your name, as it reveals to us our souls, whose lips are always singing in your ever-loving service.
The balsamic Moon is in Sagittarius this morning, conjunct Saturn. Meanwhile Mars is opposing Uranus and will perfect this evening, and Venus is almost exactly trine to Neptune. New Moon tomorrow!
Here's a list of what themes watch for:
* The end of a cycle (Dark Moon)
* A sudden accident, confrontation, or unexpected/shocking encounter (Mars/Uranus)
* A surge of fast moving energy, aggression, competition (Mars/Uranus)
* Innovation, excitement, unexpected outcomes (Mars/Uranus)
* Philosophical or religious debates or disagreements, new commitments (Moon, Saturn, Sun in Sagittarius)
* The beginning of a new cycle (New Moon tomorrow)
* The serious, achievement oriented mindset (Mercury in Capricorn)
* The subtle, sensual, dark, erotic, and secret (Venus/Neptune)
* The dark yearning, longing, romanticizing, imaginative, dreamy (Venus/Neptune in Scorpio)
* Witch hunts, supernatural forces, spiritual warfare (Saturn/Neptune)
* Good luck and positive outcomes (Jupiter overcoming the Sun by Superior square as the Sun's ruler)
Over the next few days as our new moon cycle beings, Jupiter (who rules Sagittarius) will be overcoming the Sun in Sagittarius in a close, degree based aspect. While I'm curious to watch the symbolism of this transit over the next few days, one thing it may provide us with is some good luck or some unexpectedly positive outcomes. Given the presence of the Mars/Uranus opposition this could be the kind of transit that buffers against or mitigates some of that intensity. Though Mars/Uranus can be electrifying, dynamic, competitive and innovative, it's also one of those transits where I generally avoid arguments because they escalate too quickly, and I tend to stay away from Whole Foods, or other centers of mass chaos and "good will." So knowing we have a pretty positive aspect from Jupiter coming through right now is maybe somewhat relieving.
Prayer: Direct our thoughts and our minds to the heavenly realms, direct our hearts and our hands to the richness of the earth, and guide us peacefully into the last Moon cycle of the year.
Today the dark Moon is in Gemini, not making any aspects until tomorrow afternoon, though currently Mercury and the Moon are in mutual reception (in each other's home signs). This might indicate a certain ease or flow in communication, mental or emotional states mirroring each other closely, or people working on behalf of one another's interests. We might also be feeling social or communicative while simultaneously preferring the comfort of our own home or family. Or we might be attracted to ideas or places that somehow remind us of the past or our home or heritage in some way.
Meanwhile, Venus is squaring Saturn while Saturn is retrograde and Venus is nearing her station before her own retrograde. This transit may symbolize the word "no" right now. How do we deal with the word "no?" How do we cope with not getting what we want, or how do we learn to see the sickness or disease within some of our strongest desires or cravings? How do we learn to see things as they are and not only as we wish them to be? At the same time, how do our fears, hesitations, and doubts take away our confidence or co-creative capacities? How does too much respect for authority, fate, or "the higher power," actually strip us of our divine creative potential or gifts? Sometimes the word "no" doesn't mean "no," it means "try harder," and other times the word "no" really means "no." Sometimes its all about "where there's a will there's a way," and other times its about, "where there's too much willfulness there's a problem."
By the time Jupiter reaches its square to Saturn all of these dynamics will be much more potent. Added into the mix there will be a theme of generational conflict, turnover, or exchange, as well as the general challenge between the new and the old, the faithful and the stern, the real and the ideal, etc.
It's an interesting Summer season, and much of the astrology is still in front of us!
Prayer: Proportion, timing, and temperance
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:
The waning Moon is exalted in Taurus today, applying to square Jupiter in Leo by this evening. We're moving through a comfortable time of closure and transition. There is perhaps a peace with what's happened, as well as a patience with what's to come. A slow and easy movement helping to mitigate a number of planetary factors that could otherwise be felt as stressful and chaotic. Are we able to tap into the Moon's benefic rays today? Sometimes it takes a little effort....sometimes relaxing and letting go of the stress paradoxically takes a particular kind of striving or a particular way of using our time or doing something that otherwise would be considered active and busy. Just like dogs seem to sleep deeper and they appear happier when they've spent a good portion of their day running around and exhausting themselves in an open field. Think about this as a metaphor for what's possible today...
Meanwhile, today we also have the unique cazimi of Mars. The exact alignment of Mars and the Sun, to within 17 minutes, puts Mars at the "heart of the sun." Further evidence that today might be a good day to successful begin or accomplish something. We might say that the ego and the personal will are aligning in such a way that our will can be helpfully guided along by what's in the best interest of our ego and its developmental story. Like the star of a movie who suddenly knows what he or she must do and is actually doing it, in order to further their best interests or their heart's true desire (imagine an audience getting excited by the actions of the protagonist).
We also might find our mind's unusually open to something new or different as Mercury has just moved direct and Mars is under the exact "heart" rays of the Sun.
How do the words "change of heart/change of mind" come into your world today?
We might also look at the Moon's approaching square to Jupiter in Leo and imagine that by this evening we'll be introducing or introduced to a potentially more theatrical or grandiose energy, which may feel at odds with the underlying pace, comfort, quiet, and conservatism of the Moon's late moments in easy going Taurus. Jupiter is trine to Uranus in Aries, and both are sextile to Mars and the Sun in Gemini, so it's possible that though some element of the environment tonight might feel disruptive, unpredictable, or over the top, the conflict will probably involve enough charm and excitement that we aren't knocked out of our rhythm. In fact a quick turn of plot may add something special to the overall transition taking place right now. The secret message might be to remember that you can't be taken out of your flow if you simply stay fluid with whatever arises. Remember the art of fascination and trust whatever disruptions arise.
Last but not least, as the Sun and Mars separate we're going to pass through a time of slowly learning to implement something. Patience, mindfulness, kindness, waiting, seeing, adapting, and opening ourselves to the direction of others will be on the menu for the next month or so as the Sun gains distance from Mars and Mars also travels through the watery sign of Cancer (the sign of its fall). If we're real foot on the gas pedal kind of people this will feel frustrating. If we can surrender our will to the energy of the moment then we're looking at a long, peaceful transition that will likely grant us a deeper emotional serenity.
Prayer: The darkening moon, the peaceful breeze, the trusting mind...a temple of serenity protecting our thoughts
image courtesy of creative commons: Trevor Hunter
The Moon is in Pisces today, about to sextile the Sun in Taurus before going void of course for the rest of the day. Meanwhile, Mars is opposing Saturn, Mercury is slowing down to station, and Venus is moving into a trine with Neptune while it simultaneously squares the nodes of the Moon.
Most of the current aspects will really heat up after the new moon, once the moon starts waxing again. In the meantime, here's a list of what to watch for:
* Ideological, religious, or philosophical conflicts, competition, aggression, and negotiation (Mars in Gemini opp Saturn in Sagittarius)
* Dejavu and synchroncities increasing (Venus square the nodes)
* Psi and the paranormal, dreams, altered states, trouble sleeping (Venus trine Neptune while mars squares Neptune)
* Eruptions of family karma, family secrets, spying on family members, distrust, secrecy, conflicts in relationships, feeling embarrassed by our family or history (Venus in Cancer square the nodes of the moon and opposite Pluto)
* Foggy communication, hazy minded, tech problems, troubles getting organized or staying on task, complaints, whines, excuses, victims, psychosomatic tendencies, (Moon in Pisces and Mercury square Neptune)
* Rapid success, progress, luck, innovation, independence, grandiosity, and inflation (Jupiter trine Uranus)
* Discipline, law, twisting or bending the law, militarism, infighting, overcompensation for perceived weaknesses, (Mars in Gemini opp Saturn in Sagittarius)
* Revising beliefs, ideas, and philosophical commitments, walking the talk (Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius)
* Women's health, women's wisdom (Venus in Cancer)
* Mom's unconscious issues (Venus in Cancer opp Pluto in Capricorn)
* Going inward, releasing, losing energy, laying low, letting go (last phase of the moon before new again)
Prayer: Gentle and easy, support is all around us
The dark moon is in Pisces today. Meanwhile, Mars is almost exactly square to Jupiter, while Venus continues its t-square transit with Saturn and Neptune.
What to watch for:
* The return of faith hope and optimism (Jupiter moving direct again)
* Hard fought victories and toughing it out (Mars/Jupiter)
* Financial obligations, responsibilities, and control over finances (Mars/Jupiter)
* Planning for the future (Mars/Jupiter)
* War, machismo, masculinity, adrenaline, courage, assertiveness (Mars/Jupiter)
* Ego competitions (Mars/Jupiter)
* Selfish/gluttonous levels of desire/ego (Mars/Jupiter)
* Slowly slogging through to the finish line (Mars/Jupiter)
* Victims, prisoner, martyrs, sinners, saints, sacrifices (Moon in Pisces)
* Emotional turbulence, sensitivity, psychosomatic (Moon in Pisces)
* The big picture, the end of a cycle (dark Moon in Pisces)
* Addiction, escapism, emotional eating, drugs (Moon in Pisces)
* Feeling inbetween worlds (Moon in Pisces)
* Immunity, sickness that's more than just a virus or infection (Moon in Pisces)
* Sexual infidelity versus commitment (Venus opposite Saturn)
* Differences of belief or value in relationships (Venus opposite Saturn)
* The attraction of the young to the old or vice versa (Venus opposite Saturn)
* Curiosity and mutliplicity versus commitment and monogamy (Venus opposite Saturn)
* The sacrifices of love, belief, and faith within relationships (Venus/Saturn/Neptune)
* Divine discontent, confusion, faith and doubt, longing (Venus/Saturn/Neptune)
* Creative vision, belief, and dialogue (Venus/Saturn/Neptune)
* Maturity versus youthfulness and the blurry lines between (Venus/Saturn/Neptune)
* Imaginative formulations..ideas taking shape, inspirations finding form (Venus/Neptune/Saturn)
* Deception, trickery, dishonesty, illusion, delusion, and self-deceit (Venus/Saturn/Neptune)
As we move through the dark moon, a powerful eclipse cycle is coming to its conclusion.
Prayer: May we see now the lessons of this cycle. Help us to receive rest and healing as we prepare to move beyond this gateway and into the next chapter.
image courtesy of creative commons: halfrain
The Moon is in Aquarius this morning and heading into its balsamic, "dark moon" phase. Meanwhile the Venus/Saturn/Neptune t-square is intensifying, as is the Mars/Jupiter square.
More on the Venus/Saturn/Neptune t-square.
The word "epistemology" comes from the Greek "episteme" which means a "knowledge or acquaintance with something." It also means, "skill or experience." Add the "ology" and you get something like, "the study of knowledge, skill, and experience." Unfortunately most people speak of epistemology in purely philosophical terms, as "the study of knowledge," and even worse the "episteme" part of the word gets reduced to its most analytical sounding component, "knowledge."
But even with the science or study of "knowledge," we're generally not ACknowledging the deeper and more mysterious resonance of the word that is the subject/object of study. The word knowledge has a variety of root associations, including "honoring something superior or worship," and even more interesting, "to have sexual intercourse with."
So, using these deeper meanings as our guide for the moment, what can we say about our "theories of knowledge," or put more simply, our "beliefs?" We might say that each set of beliefs, each piece of knowledge we carry, is to some extent the distilled or rarefied expression of our experiences. Stranger: whatever knowledge we carry is also sexual experience. Our knowledge and beliefs reflect the kind of "intercourse" we've been having with the world: environments, people, culture, geography, race, religion, gender, etc.
Our curiosity to learn more about other people, other parts of the world, other beliefs, other ways of seeing, doing, or believing, is also a sexual curiosity. To know anything involves an intimacy that we can't help but experience as sexual, even if only on a psychic level.
Right now, many of our relationships are reflecting back to us the nature of our beliefs or knowledge...the accumulated experiences, their differences or similarities, which in turn are reflecting different sexual orientations, styles, aesthetic values, or curiosities.
We're so hooked on the OLOGY part of epistemology, that we forget that experience, deep sexually intimate experiences with the world around us, are inseparable from the logical or intellectual comparisons between "systems of knowledge or belief." In fact, we're so hooked on the OLOGY piece of it that many people throw it right out the window. "What do you believe?" we ask someone. And they say, "Well, I'm spiritual not religious," which is a way of saying, "My mind and body is sexually intimate with a lot of ideas and experiences, and putting them into one particular system would close the door to more of those experiences, so I'm spiritual, but I'm not religious."
Even when people choose things like "universalism" or "oneness," but then embrace hugely contradictory metaphysical ideas or ways of seeing or thinking, most people sort of nod and smile because we each "acknowledge" that these all inclusive notions are just more ways of honoring the experiential nature of the soul...the love or the making loveness of life.
The problem with all of this (not that it's always a problem) comes when reflecting on the fact that so many of these all inclusive faith or knowledge statements originate from an overly dichotomized view of dichotomies themselves. Because we don't want to shut ourselves down to the ongoing love making of experience (which is how we feel real knowledge is made), we react too strongly to the idea of systems or theories of knowledge all together. Granted that this is usually because so many of the theories or systems of knowledge DENY the ongoing experiential nature of truth, but nonetheless we tend to react to these rigid systems by closing down our imaginations to the value or beauty of such systems across the board.
It's sort of like saying, "Just because monogamy can be a really shitty institutional form of relating, doesn't mean it's useless or bad. Just because systems of knowledge or truth are often repressive, doesn't mean they are ONLY repressive."
Staying "open," therefore is sometimes more like "the dogma of non-commitment," which can be another way of saying "selfishness" or "defensiveness." Staying "all inclusive," is sometimes more like, "the dogma of indifference or apathy."
Isn't it true that Picasso committed to the color "Blue" for a brilliant moment of his painting career? Hemingway the simple sentence? Bowie to Ziggy Stardust? Prince to Jehovah's witnesses? Dickinson to her attic view? Or Madonna to the virgin and the whore?
Isn't it possible to commit very deeply to someone, something, some way of seeing or knowing, without denying the ongoing and radically open nature of experience? Don't we see the paradox all around us, and isn't there something refreshing about epistemological commitment? Don't we also admire statements of belief, commitments to schools of thought or traditions, doctrines, dogmas, lineages, apprenticeships, specialties, styles and subjects?
Don't we eventually clarify our tastes, needs, and abilities in between the sheets of life?
The distaste that people often have for polyamory (not trying to pick on polyamory now) is the same distaste that people have for universalism or oneness. While it works for some people, there is also strange dogma or insistence upon the "radically open and without monogmaous commitment of any kind," that rubs people the wrong way, like the person you sleep with who makes you feel like you're just another person on a long list of lays that are mostly impersonal.
Our intellectual and spiritual commitments are begging to be made from the place of natural selection...from the most organic and soulful places convalescing into shapes and colors and styles...just as much an aesthetic as a "belief." Like Picasso's blue or Madonna's cone stabbing bras in the 80's. Universalism isn't always the answer because Universalism is like an intellectual (rather than aesthetic) rejection of a non-aesthetic way of being.
The truth is that we like laying in bed with some gods more than others. Some ideas penetrate us more than others. Some seduce and take our mental pants off more than others. Some hold and nurture us more than others. We can't avoid this process of differentiation if we want to grow in truth. Because truth is like the development of the thousand wings and colors of a single peacock's tail. Truth grows and changes all the time, and commitments to particular truths, especially the kind that naturally exclude others, are just as important to the soul's individuation as any all inclusive faith statement.
Right now we're looking eye to eye with each other, and any of these questions or concerns might be present:
* Do you know the same things I know and is that make or break?
* Are we capable of creating a compatible reality?
* Are we sexually compatible on the deepest level?
* Is this environment stimulating enough for my soul?
* Do I have enough faith, do I need more, or is my ambivalence just fine?
* Does he/she/this group really see me or experience me as I am?
* Am I desired or desirable exactly as I am?
* In what ways are my beliefs changing based on new experiences I'm having?
* What compromises am I willing to make in my relationships based on what I believe or what my experiences have led me to value?
* What am I missing or longing for in terms of the conversations or relationships happening in my life right now?
Prayer: Commitment isn't something that can stop new experiences. Commitment is a kind of experience itself. Help us to understand this, and lead us toward our soul's deepest commitments in this moment.
image courtesy of creative commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkcotton/
The dark Moon is in Pisces again today, applying to conjoin Chiron in Pisces before the new moon solar eclipse tomorrow morning. It’s also the last day of winter today!
Here’s a few themes to watch for:
* Over emphasizing the difference between the “spiritual” and the “worldly” creates psycho-spiritual drama
* Feeling extra sensitive, the veil is thinned
* Watching what we put into our minds/body what goes out
* Feeling open/suggestible
* Feeling “all over the place,” unable to focus, tired, reaching for a: pillow, bottle of wine, remote control, bag of chips, etc.
* Unable to communicate ourselves clearly
* Feeling sentimental, victim-y, complain-y
* Seeing patterns more easily
* Vivid dreams, feeling helpless
* Spirits, animals, fairies, helpers, daemons…more noticeable at the moment
These mostly Piscean themes are just one angle forming through the planets in the
sky today. Perhaps most obviously we should be feeling that eclipse season is almost under way. First tomorrow’s New Moon Solar Eclipse will be at the zero Aries point…an incredibly strong eclipse. Then we’ll have a Full Moon lunar eclipse in a few weeks that will be equally powerful as it engages the Uranus/Pluto square as well as Jupiter in Leo.
All the labor and gestation of the winter has led us to this moment. Voices are speaking loudly right now…patterns are discernible, dreams are vivid, and we’re being given a glimpse of what’s coming next.
Prayer: Help us to hear the guiding voices before entering this new season of our lives…
Image by courtesy of seri, at creative commons image licensing
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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.