Mars is separating from Pluto but now applying quickly to a conjunction with Uranus and opposition with Jupiter, just as we're approaching a solar eclipse on Sunday and the Jupiter/Uranus opposition is exact again.
Here's a deeper look at some of the powers symbolized by the current planetary configurations and some thoughts on how we might work with what's here:
* With Jupiter retrograde in Libra as a powerful planetary player right now, it's possible that we are being called to task for previous actions or arrogance. If you find that you are facing authority figures, laws, codes, rules, or any kind of disciplinary/performance-based review, it's important to look inward right now. Justice doesn't necessarily require that we suffer penalties...but Justice does require that we adjust our internal attitude. Justice asks us to learn something. Justice asks us to respect due process. Justice asks us to learn to be in harmony with cosmic law, truth, order, and wisdom. And with Jupiter in Libra moving backward, we are in a time of review. Calling on your guides and better angels, calling on the divine forces to evaluate you with grace, dignity, and compassion, and opening your heart to correction, goes a long way right now, and it invites mercy from all figures of judgment.
* With Uranus in Aries, along with Mars, we are also being forced to awaken our senses, mind, and body at a deeper level. These planets together act like strokes of fire, lightning, and electricity rocketing out of the ethereal realms. These planets jolt and drive through us until a clear opening appears. Because these energies are opposite Jupiter in Libra, the process of justice right now is swift, immediate, tense, and pivotal. It's an incredibly important moment to call for protection and to ask for patience and clarity. The outer planetary influences sometimes feel impersonal, especially Uranus in a cardinal sign like Aries. But in some ways that's the exact medicine we need right now. The point is that if we don't recognize the qualities above and we get swept up in them, it's a lot harder to receive their guidance. If we are shocked into a pattern of action and reaction, constantly, we will certainly learn and grow, but the growth will tend to happen in a way that is less conscious. Whatever is less conscious we tend to experience as external to us, happening "to us," rather than in and through us.
* With Pluto also in the mix, the "sense of fate" is an integral part of our experience right now. We tend to mistakenly debate within ourselves, in our heads, about how much free-will we have versus how much fate's hand is controlling everything. Pluto's perspective, the underworld perspective, calls us to consider everything from the vantage point of the soul, which is death. As long as we stay fixed to the image of birth, as long as we associate our lives with birth, we tend to live regressively and therefore the future is constantly something we are trying to take back with us into the womb. We demand that the future be entirely open, indeterminate, and entirely dependent upon our choices or will power, as though we live in a permanent and potential state of gestation.
But death isn't a choice. Death is a necessity. All things die. And when we live toward the soul's meaning, we live toward its inevitability. The question shifts from "what will I create with all these endless possibilities?" to "how will I choose to experience all these inevitabilities?" Pluto teaches us the value of living our lives with a view on the future that is moving toward death and the endless mystery of the soul.
Failure, misery, inevitability, impermanence, and pain, these are not the friends of a radically indeterminate future, rooted in the image of birth. But both perspectives are co-present in our consciousness. It's not a matter of which one is right, it's the basic fact that they both exist in consciousness that matters. I think for example of the recent film, "The Arrival," which plays on the themes of precognition and death. Developing pre-cognitive ability is something rooted in birth. It starts with the open possibilities of the future and our genesis, the divinatory or ritual starting moment we might say....but as we learn to see into the inevitabilities of the future, our consciousness narrows or focuses on it, like a keyhole, which in turn leads us back to the present and puts a question to us: how will you choose to live and experience this inevitability? A circle come round on itself. A keyhole vision of the future that is also the key itself. And this is why the aliens in the film used non-linear scripts...sentences that read from both ends toward the center at once.
That might seem like some far out philosophy, but if you sit long enough with all that's happening you will recognize the one within yourself who has seen this, known this, and sensed these inevitable events all along. The question we are all faced with right now, in the honesty of this inevitable moment is, "how will I walk through this valley?" "What forces and qualities of consciousness will I call upon to walk with me?"
Prayer: Your rod and staff, they protect and comfort us.
The Moon is void of course in Gemini this morning but will soon enter Cancer and then immediately apply to make the first quarter Moon. Our halfway point between eclipses.
Let's meditate for a moment today on the themes of birth and death, and the passage of the soul from one phase to another.
As the Moon enters Cancer to make her first quarter today, we are entering a crossroads moment in our current eclipse cycle. We are somewhere exactly between the past and the future. Something is being born, but its health will depend on the lightness of the soul, the lightness of the heart, being weighed now against the feather on the Libran scales of the north node. A powerful new beginning at the new moon has led us to a moment of truth and now we face a test. We aren't ever tested because there is some grand school master in the sky who wants to punish or judge us in some absolute or eternal sense. Judgment is part of the process of how the evolution of the soul unfolds...these moments of testing are part of how the shape of our destiny molds itself.
In the Egyptian pantheon the dog god, Anubis, led souls into the halls of judgment after death, where the soul (depicted by the heart) would be weighed against a feather. The smooth transition of the soul depended upon its being light as a feather.
But this isn't just a story about literal death. Since there is no such thing as literal death, the myth serves as a reminder that lightness of the heart is crucial for all important transitional phases.
Maybe there is no such thing as a perfectly level balance between the heart and the feather. Feathers are aerodynamic, after all, and they are hardly in their natural habitat resting on any kind of plate. And the heart too...the heart loves uneven ground, and its habitat is wild, unpredictable, uneven, and not meant to be entirely "level" or "even keeled."
Still the lightness of the feather, the winged quality of the heart...these are images calling to us right now. Calling to us to trust deeply that the transitions happening are purposeful even when they are painful or unknown...liberating even when they sometimes seem imprisoning or limiting. The heart is the imagination, and its freedom soars unbounded. The lightness of the heart in this transitional moment is therefore not about moving through this change unscathed or perfect....the heart wouldn't be the heart if that were the case. Instead it's about learning to open our imagination, the wings that bloom from the valley'd ventricles of the open heart.
The destiny of our soul is to learn how to live. This means we have to learn how to die good deaths. Deaths never being literal, and life having no opposite, just as the imagination has no opposite, the importance of dying lightly is unqualified. Any death can be winged...just as the custodians of death circle on high...not predatorial but janitorial...sweeping us along the imaginal path of liberated liberation.
This moment is precious. And even if we fail, even if it's scary, even if we do it wrong or incur the strangest features of fate, the vision of the winged heart is calling for our full faith and confidence.
Saying "yes," can be a deceptive way of putting it. The dog god, Anubis, is a keeper of oaths and loyalty. He's a watch dog as much as a lap dog. The first oath we always take is to keep our hearts as light as a feather, no matter what we commit to contractually, even when we are in the heaviest and most serious places. This is a strange paradox, but it's important. As the underworld itself is the place of planets like Mars and Pluto, and just like Hades had a watch dog, Cerberus, the lightness of the heart is not merely an affair of innocence or blind goodness. The lightness of the heart is also the animal instinct...the fast ruffling of feathers and the sudden flash of wings in the trees. We aren't meant to soar away or above troubles by an Icarus lightness of the heart, but rather to see the winged mountains as integral to the valley...part of the same landscape, inescapably bound together by love, friendship, territory, and strife alike. Our work is to remain loyal to all aspects of the work, because the work is the soul's work, the soul's "good death," and its judgments are always among us, shaping the path of fate and remaining true to us despite any failings of our own loyalty. The dog-god is loyal to us and teaches us loyalty by both her friendly kisses and snarling watchfulness. Both by his affinity for the moon dark night and the gnawing of death's bones, but also his snoring nightmares and pack minded stubbornness.
When we look back on this moment, in ten years, will we say to ourselves, "that was an epic, beautiful, confusing, dark, deep, and amazing time?" Or will we say, "I wish I would have opened up to that moment..." Either way, in ten more years, there will still be a loyal dog sitting next to us...or asleep at our feet, or listening without any of the understanding we call understanding...content unto death...a winged sun dog lying in the shadows of the valley.
Prayer: help us to pass through this critical moment by the lightness of our hearts...may we stay loyal to all elements of the work.
Creative commons image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/liberato/
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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.