PRESSURE/SURRENDER | Working with today's anxiety and fear

This stellium of Saturn/South Node/Pluto/Moon in Capricorn is weighing heavy and seriously on all of us. You might be burdened by responsibilities. Depressed by the relentlessly heavy news. Struggling financially. Frustrated by the rampant corruption of authority. And feeling a deep need for change in your life based on what’s true for you NOW. At the same time, this T-Square of Mars/Neptune/Jupiter is inciting your restlessness, your escapism, and your need for adventure. On top of this (and more), we’re also in a seasonal transition, which inevitably stirs the energetic pot. Are you finding yourself racked with anxiety?? If so, the question becomes, how can you manage it wisely? Calmly? Rationally? Well, if there’s PRESSURE, there must also be some opportunity to SURRENDER. Surrender doesn’t mean collapsing, throwing in the towel, or sticking your head in the sand. It can simply mean seeing the reality of what IS right now as ALL there is, and working to improve upon the situation little by little from there. The practice of surrender is a wonderful tool in working with anxiety and fear: You deliberately set down your anxious patterns of thought that are not helpful, but that are actually creating chaos on some level. You might do this by journaling them out, and/or praying to a Higher Power to take them away. And you redirect your attention to what’s actually in front of you. You’re then able to see it more clearly, meet it calmly and address it head-on. Maybe it’s a conflict with your partner. Maybe it’s a warm breeze and chirping birds. Or maybe it’s both.. it’s just life. Pressure is a natural part of life, and surrender is an antidote. When we can release the pressure valves a bit internally, we can handle the external pressure infinitely better — remember "as within so without.” Sometimes, a little mantra can be the encouragement throughout the day that you need. When you feel yourself getting worked up about anything at all (positive or negative), I suggest repeating “easy does it” to yourself as many times as necessary. It can work miracles.

Daniel Mullen, 90’s-00’s, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 110 x 100 cm.

Daniel Mullen, 90’s-00’s, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 110 x 100 cm.

Self-Love | Planetary action in Aries/Capricorn/Pisces

Last Friday’s New Moon in Aries brought with it a new fiery energy focused on “me". Aries, the first sign and “baby" of the zodiac, represents pure, raw ego energy. It’s primal, pre-rational, and uncomplicated. It’s your drive to do something new and courageous. To individuate. To trailblaze. To assert your personal desires. To not only survive, but to thrive. Yet there’s also another major energy at play… With Saturn, Pluto, and the Moon’s South Node conjunct in Capricorn for the next few weeks, we’re really feeling the weight of responsibilities, grief of the past, and sobering/frustrating limitations of time. If you’ve recently been up against some new depression or acute loneliness, you’re certainly not alone in that. Luckily, Venus, Neptune and Mercury are conjunct in Pisces now, giving each one of us a much bigger capacity for compassion, acceptance and love — acting as a softening agent to the hard energies of Aries and Capricorn. NOW, still in the dark nights of the Moon’s new cycle, make space to listen in and meditate for higher guidance as to where your new energy should be directed. The planetary action in Aries is motivating us toward self-care, but remember that self-love encompasses more than self-care. We grow in love by practicing deep kindness to ourselves, deep compassion for our own shortcomings, and deep forgiveness for our own mistakes. Everyone is human and no one is perfect. The body, mind, and spirit you were given for this lifetime is all you have! After all, you’ll spend much of your time with others, but ALL of your time with you. Without love for that special person, not only can life be a drag, but real love for anyone or anything else can be elusive. I urge you to practice being your own best friend, your own lover, your own confidante. Acts of self-love look different to each of us at different times, so no one else can truly know what it should look like for you at this moment. But all real acts of self-love have kindness at their core. What does that look like for you today? It might mean doing something to take better care of your body. It might mean waking up earlier tomorrow to meditate. It might mean slowing down and expressing gratitude for the goodness in your life today. Hey, maybe you need to take yourself on a date. No one else will ever love you as well as you can love yourself. Sometimes we just need more practice at it.

body in water.jpg

PRESENCE | leo new moon + solar eclipse

The fiery and powerful New Moon / Solar Eclipse in Leo we’ve all be anticipating this season is here… and if you’re reading this so are YOU. New upsurges of creative energy are pulsing through your/our consciousness, blessing us with exciting new modes of expression and ideas for collaboration. This air is crackling with fresh inspiration. And how powerfully you’re able to feel that loving creative force as the wind at your back at this moment has everything to do with how present you feel to your life, right here, right now. THIS moment. It is said that the only place where linear time intersects with God’s time is in the present moment. Therefore this is the only moment in which miracles can occur. The past is an idea in your mind. So is the future. The present, and the love that exists within it, is quite literally all that is real — and this is the essence of Leo. This gorgeous and expressive New Moon and Solar Eclipse in the sign of the Lion is here to viscerally remind us of this Truth… of the infinite power of being present. Being truly present -- in the moment — gives us what feels like superpowers because we’re so conditioned to spend our time living in the past or the future (i.e. our minds). But by being here, now, with whatever and whoever we're with, internally and externally, with an open heart, we align ourselves with the force of creation, with which we can move mountains. By responding to the actual moment’s experience, rather than an idea about the past or future in your mind, you meet with God’s time, which means you meet with the full potential of loving thought, which means you open yourself up to the abundance of the Universe to flow in and through and around you. And nothing feels better than that!! 

Spend time in play this weekend. If you’re a parent, this is an opportunity for incredible bonding with and learning from your children, who are masters of presence. If you’re an artist of any capacity, this is an opportunity for increased production as the creative juices flow and you tap into the ever-abundant waters of inspiration. If you are a human being, this is an opportunity for fuller, more authentic, more expressive communication between you and everyone you encounter. And also for any needed renewal of love between you and yourself. We can only live one moment at a time, and it just happens to be that that’s where our power lies as well. Life is eternally abundant. We access that abundance by being as fully present to our lives as we will allow. Infinite creative miraculous blessings and love!!! 

❤️❤️❤️

Rupprecht Geiger,  Metapher Zahl , 1985-89

Rupprecht Geiger, Metapher Zahl, 1985-89

Be the change.

If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.
— Mahatma Ghandi

The Sun and Mercury have just moved into intense Scorpio. When we dive into Scorpio, we dive into the mystery of ourselves and each other — the personal and collective shadows. Scorpio season is naturally a time of deep feeling, and potentially deep healing. Emotions that may have not surfaced in your psyche for quite a while are likely to do so now, stirring up a potent brew within your heart and mind. Scorpio is associated with loss, abandonment or betrayal, and fear on the one hand.. as well as incredible empowerment through surrendering to forces beyond our control and going with the larger, supremely powerful flow of the universe on the other. Observe which side of that equation you feel more aligned with right now, and know that it’s always in your personal power to align yourself with universal power. 

Thankfully, perhaps, Mars is now pulling away from its conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn, which has been challenging our collective mentality of lack in a big way. The slippery slope as of late has been one of everyone’s obsessive concern with their own sense of physical security and status/importance. Tensions have been running high and the tendency has been toward self-absorption. If you’ve been able to at least maintain an awareness of your own aggression (we all have it!), whether it’s been directed outward, towards others and the world at large, or inward, as repressed anger, deep fatigue and even depression, you’ve responded well to the challenge of this aspect and have likely made some breakthroughs. If on the other hand, you’ve been feeling at the effect of the world and victim to the dramas of your life and of the world stage (the impending U.S. election comes readily to mind), there is still some work that needs to be done around your ideas of power/powerlessness and control. Fear may have you in its grasp.

So look your fear in the face. What is it, actually? If something or someone appears to be chasing you down the road, you had best look to see what it is before just running away terrified. More information is your friend in the face of fear. To know what you’re actually up against is the first step in defeating it. To know that you are not alone may be the second. Jupiter in Libra will keep reminding us that transcendence happens through connection with others. Isolation is a killer. Retreating into a fearful corner is a self-imposed death sentence. We move up and out of our self-preoccupation and unnecessary aggression by keeping our hearts available to others. We don’t deny our fear, but we transcend it through Love. Remember, transcendence is entirely different than denial.

With all planets currently transiting the higher signs (Libra through Pisces), the collective emphasis of the time is on relationship, community, and self-transcendence. To be focused on what you’re doing out there in the world and with others, and how you can do it better, is only natural now. We’re all being called to do better and to be better. To hold each other accountable to the larger values we’re all striving for. To make more of an effort more of the time. It’s energizing our sense of all being in this mess together, and it’s highlighting our undeniable interconnectedness. This is not a time to sit idly by, or to complain and criticize from the sidelines. This is a real time to step up and do the right thing, to be the change. To take more responsibility for our own hearts and minds — our part in the collective. Ultimately, there’s nothing more rewarding.

Clarity is yours.

Vata (air) season is upon us. Last week’s autumnal equinox, giving us an equal balance of day and night, naturally brought into our awareness where we’re both in and out of balance. If we’re paying attention, we have access to a lot of clarity now about how to balance the scales in order to create a greater sense of harmony both within and without. The Sun moved into Libra on the equinox, and Libra, being an intellectual sign of the air element, brings clarity of mind. It’s the sign of initiating communication — it’s not going to sit around and wait to start an important conversation or act on a new idea. So there’s an urgency to this season, which we all feel every autumn: it’s time to get some forward momentum going again. And how does that happen? Through our relationships. Always through relationships. 

Jupiter, planet of expansion, will be in Libra for the next year now, drawing a lot of attention to whatever is and isn’t working in our partnerships. During this time there will be ample opportunities for new alliances to be made, so it’s an exciting time for everyone in this department. And this week we have two powerful accents on the theme: A Sun/Jupiter conjunction in Libra can act to really expand our consciousness through partnership and relationship — the basis of building a new future together. And a new moon in Libra will be basking in the glow of Jupiter, giving this particular new beginning a boost of adventurous energy and positivity. Whatever happens, it’s certainly going to shine a light on your relationships, which will need more of your TLC this year. It may be an issue of needing to open your heart and let new people in, or it may be one of needing to speak up and speak out, but whatever it is for you, it’s the area we’re all being pushed to evolve faster through right now.

Remember that Libra, ruled by Venus, embodies the archetypes of lover, peacemaker, and artist — all always seeking harmony with their surroundings, aware of any need for recalibration. The sign represents our need and capacity for cooperation, negotiation, equality, companionship, and love. We see and learn about ourselves through relationship — the mirrored self of “other.” Libra is the part of ourselves that is exquisitely sensitive to the needs of others and to our environment at large, and that can get rattled when the balance is off. Somewhere, we all have this inner need to harmonize. We all need beauty in our lives.

With Venus moving through Scorpio for the next month, your feelings about your relationships may be particularly deep and intense. Embrace it, as this will certainly help you get to the root of any issues that are coming up. Too much thinking is never a good thing, so let the waters of Scorpio lend their wisdom to your process. Pluto goes direct this week, which might help empower you to make any difficult changes that are needed. Mars moves into Capricorn for the next six weeks, putting us all in the mood to get down to business, so we’ll certainly be getting a lot of practical, concrete things done. And as Mercury finishes its passage through Virgo, these next couple of weeks will still present you with some good final opportunities to take care of any lingering details you weren’t able to wrap up during the retrograde that ended last week — only now everything will move forward more quickly. So take advantage of the moment we’re in — it’s a beautiful elemental mix.

While this air season brings clarity of mind and a new pep in our step, know that it’s important to stay grounded enough to be able to access that clarity. If we get swept away in mental chatter, we can lose touch with the truth of what we see and know. So ground yourself through contemplative practices of body and mind. Spend time in beautiful surroundings. Eat well, and get enough sleep. Take good care of yourself and those around you, and clarity is yours.

The Contribution , handmade collage by Bryan Olson

The Contribution, handmade collage by Bryan Olson

Silence is power.

We’re swimming through the last of three eclipses this week. Today’s full moon and lunar eclipse falls in Pisces, the sign of watery transcendence. Think of Pisces as the oceans, vast and interconnected, with no actual boundaries between them. Just as there is no such thing as a wave separate from the ocean, there is also no such thing as a person separate from all other living beings. Each of us are hopelessly interconnected, and knowing this in our bones we can’t escape it. Our egos, sly and insidious, are forever trying to convince us otherwise. But deep down, we all know where peace and happiness lie — this is the Piscean aspect of ourselves, that which is being illuminated right now. 

This lunar eclipse is functioning as a psychological high tide, here to wash away any debris from our minds. It may feel emotionally chaotic and full, as tides are powerful. Your sensitivity is likely higher now. This is a churning of the waters. But beyond that, this lunar event has the power to be incredibly cleansing to your psyche and healing to your heart — you must only allow the experience to wash over you. Embrace the emotional and psychological catharsis. Because when we don’t resist the tides, we allow everything to shift and thus miracles to occur. It is only our tension, our ego-attachment, that keeps us stuck.

So let go. Surrender. Drop any needless defenses.

The ideal use of this time is to channel your feelings into artistic expression of some kind. We need to dream better dreams, dreams that consider our oneness and our wholeness, and they’re coming to us now. We need to transcend our false sense of separateness in order to feel whole. Sometimes, the answers have no words. They present themselves through our visions. Mercury still being retrograde is a gift to us during this eclipse, because it’s already helping us to slow down.  And the current Saturn/Neptune square is helping to keep us grounded on earth while we give our imaginations more space to expand. 

Allow yourself to be soft and wordless now. Live within your creative impulse. If you’ve felt disconnected lately, now is a natural time to feel reconnected with Source, allowing yourself to open into the mystical dimension available to all of us. Words are so often superfluous. Listen to your intuition, that still small voice within. Be quiet. Don’t underestimate the power of silence. Cultivate deep stillness within, and the world without will start to fall at your feet.

Speak only if it improves upon the silence.
— Mahatma Ghandi

Let yourself be.

We have a busy week astrologically, as Mercury stations direct just before an annular (i.e. partial) solar eclipse and new moon in Virgo. New moons are always times of renewals and initiations, as the lunar cycle begins again. The coinciding solar eclipse intensifies all effects, meaning we’re laying groundwork for major new beginnings now. So this new moon puts us in the mood to think bigger about what we’re capable of, and what we might need to do to get there — although with Mercury/Virgo’s preoccupation with details, you might feel overwhelmingly buried under a pile of to-do’s and “shoulds” this week.. Do not despair, because there’s a bigger picture and a larger plan. Remember that your monkey mind is not who you really are. If you can allow yourself to slow down, you’ll be able to see the forest for the trees.

Mercury retrogrades have a way of dangling any loose ends in front of our faces, asking for some tidying up and/or closure within projects and relationships. These periods tend to be alternately mundane and exciting, as they seem to rub our noses in the small and often boring details of our day to day lives while simultaneously bringing us blasts from the past that can be strangely inspiring. Mercury rules the lower mind, which is never a good neighborhood to get stranded in, so it’s important to make time during this retrograde to just be, allowing the higher mind to lead. Creativity doesn’t come from the lower mind; life management does. And in order to get through any time of tedium as a whole person, we must give our more expansive selves time and space to breathe. This means getting out of your head and into your body. It also means getting out of your house and into nature. So for the next three weeks especially, I recommend slowing down and doing just that.

With Venus having just moved into Libra, and Jupiter following suit on September 9th, we’ll thankfully be transitioning into a collectively lighter state of being soon. Peacemaker Libra wants everyone to get along, and puts the needs of relationships first. This can help us balance out some of the Virgo-driven neuroticism and self-preoccupation we’ve been swimming in, if we work with it. Jupiter will transit Libra for the next year, during which time we’ll all be getting a big dose of adventure in the relationships department! So this Mercury retrograde is actually serving as a time of culmination for whatever you’ve been personally fixated on for the past year, because when you emerge in late September you’ll be in the mode to bring your more perfected self into your most important relationships. It will be high time to move forward by sharing what you’ve learned — no holding back.

So use this retrograde to relax your mind and let yourself be. Reflect, revisit, and renew, in intelligent preparation for everything new on the horizon.  

Strengthen and soften.

With a cluster of planets traveling through Virgo, you could say we’re all going through a bit of a nerve-wracking time emotionally and psychologically. Today, the Sun joins forces with this Virgo stellium, ramping up the collective emphasis on work and the desire to get clearer about what we’re doing with our days (and thus months, years and lives). We’re all feeling increased physical demands, and hitting our limits. This is part of the Virgo-Pisces opposition currently dominating the skies, bringing up our earth-bound, perfectionistic, over-analytical tendencies as well as our spiritual yearning for deep connection and healing. Wherever this axis falls in your chart will tell you more about where the lessons of working hard and letting go are specifically playing out big in your life, both internally and externally.

Meanwhile, Mars is still traveling through Sagittarius, coming into a conjunction with Saturn (exact on August 24). As Mars and Saturn join forces, it’s best to think of this as a time of all-around training — it might be psychologically, and thus physically, exhausting, but we must work on strengthening our attitudinal muscles just as we strengthen our physical ones. With the planet of action coming into conjunction with the planet of sober responsibility, things you try to do might initially feel thwarted right now. But know that there’s tremendous stamina available to you if you want it — it just requires practicing patience and giving sustained effort to your project/cause. The beauty of this planetary fusion is being able to put your desires into action in real time, in the real world. Mars, representing the fiery, initiating drive deep within, does well in the idealistic sign of Sagittarius — it can breathe new life into us, propelling us into inspired, even visionary action. You could ask yourself, where can I/we start to make a difference towards a problem that will quite possibly take years to solve? This is a period in which our desires are being tempered with “realism” and practicality, and that’s not a bad thing. If we want to make real change and progress in this world, contributing to the creation of any new life, we have to actually find ways to put our ideas into form, and the persistence to follow through on them. And of course that requires taking a longer view and getting beyond our addiction to instant gratification. It may feel lonely in a way as you try to sift through your pieces of the puzzle, but know that this is just part of the process for everyone.  

This is bound to be a humbling time for us all. And yet, there’s so much beauty and simplicity and strength in humility — it opens up a whole new world of possibility. With these planetary aspects, it’s easy to be critical of ourselves and others — crisis, criticism, and limitation seemingly abound. And yet, if we can soften around the hard edges in ourselves and in others, it can also be a time of deep healing. Divine inspiration is everywhere if we care to recognize it.

So keep up your attitudinal training, while letting yourself rest in the Universe where you are always safely held and masterfully guided.

Josef Albers,  Homage to the Square: Glow , 1966

Josef Albers, Homage to the Square: Glow, 1966

Be free.

In the words of Jeffrey Wolf Green, Uranus represents freedom from the known. Ruler of Aquarius, the wild planet symbolizes our need and ability to individuate and self-actualize in the world. It is pure liberation from the profoundly limiting constructs of the status quo. Uranus wakes us up.

We have a penumbral lunar eclipse (the first of two within a month!) and full moon in Aquarius tomorrow. Since this eclipse is a barely-eclipsed-eclipse — visually imperceptible in North America — how strongly you’re feeling it will depend on how it specifically aspects your natal chart. But for all of us, it will certainly feel like a very potent full moon at the least, and feelings and experiences will most certainly be intensified for everyone over the next month as we move through three eclipses in that time (two lunar and one solar). Eclipses always give us a little kick in the ass, jump-starting change wherever it’s needed, whether we were aware of that need or not. They fly in the face of stagnation and indifference, and if we accept that and rise to the challenges they bring, our lives take off in a fresh new way, setting our course for the next six month cycle. If we dig in our heels and resist the change we need, we get trampled.

It’s especially important now to be alert to the signs and signals around and within you — this Aquarian full moon/eclipse is here to jolt you out of your slumber. Wherever you’re asleep at the wheel, this is your wake-up call. Aquarius represents our most intellectualized selves, which can either be expansive and enlightened, or ego-attached and entrenched in our own ideas and opinions. So take the enlightened spirit of Aquarian community into your heart, and put it into action in your life. Put your energy into finding how and where you can unite with others, rather than highlight division. Soften around any conflict and tension, and you’ll see the situation/relationship transform. This full moon might bring up some unpleasant truths about yourself — full moons are very illuminating, after all. Try to meet this discomfort with flexibility and compassion. Practice forgiveness. It’s a good time to remember that we’re all human, and we’ve all made mistakes in life. This is liberating.

It’s time now to align our actions around some bigger thinking. We must all be better and do better, again and again, if we want a better experience living on this earth. You can’t take responsibility for anyone other than yourself, and there’s no time like right now to do just that. Where are you being blindly stubborn, or stubbornly blind? Listen to the feedback around and within you. Are you at peace with yourself? That’s always how you’ll know whether or not you’re on the right track. This can be an incredibly creative time, as we think bigger about our selves and about creating a more liberated future together. 

Remember that change can be immediate, if you so desire. It’s often only our false illusions about how long everything needs to take that keep us stuck. So open your eyes and be free wherever you can.

From  Where the Wild Things Are , by Maurice Sendak

From Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak

Love is the only sane response.

Take one look at the news, and it seems as if the majority of the world has gone crazy. The staggering rash of violence this past month is enough to make anyone not want to leave home. The pain and the senselessness of it all can be overwhelming. It can be tempting to check out, to disengage, to numb ourselves. And yet, the presence of human sanity on this planet has never been more important. And since collective sanity can only start with individual sanity, none of us can afford to check out now. We’re all being asked to sober up, grow up, and wake up. Everything is at stake.

Today’s full moon in Capricorn can help nudge us toward an emotionally mature and sober response to the events around us. It’s calling out for the adults on earth to come forward, to do the right thing. It’s calling for restraint where restraint is needed. It’s calling for integrity. This full moon is also squaring Uranus in Aries, which may cause some shocking emotional realizations for you. The Uranus effect is like a bolt of lightning — it startles the senses, and yet fully illuminates the landscape for just an instant. It’s how Truth usually hits — it shocks us, destabilizes us. After all, it’s often the only way to wake up the the larger truth of something. We have to see the big picture to understand why anything is the way it is. And whenever we resist looking at the bigger picture, whenever we become self-absorbed, we are only part of the problem, not the solution.

The tight square between Saturn and Neptune is also intensifying conflict between reality and illusion this week. Saturn, ruler of this full moon, represents Father Time. Neptune represents the dream. We carry both within us, and they often feel at odds, causing stress and confusion. A square between planets is a rough edge between these inner aspects of ourselves, demanding a creative response. So I suggest you really check your projections against reality this week, lest they get the best of you. The only way through this tension is to own your own stuff — your ego, selfishness, sense of grandiosity — only then can you see past it. Is Neptune getting the best of you, and you just want to get high? Time to sober up. Is Saturn getting the best of you, and you’re literally bogged down in the weight of reality? Time to get out and play, find new inspiration, dream a better dream. Either way, this is not a time for numbing, for getting lost in delusions of glamour, or for checking out. Now more than ever, denial is not only a bad idea… it is dangerous.

We must be active bearers of Love. When we don’t promote Love, we succumb to fear; when we don’t fill our houses with Light, darkness sets in. This is universal Law.

The Sun joins Venus and Mercury in Leo this week, bringing a lightness and a sense of play to the hard work of this full moon. Breakthrough is entirely possible as long as you’re determined to look beyond illusion, are honest about where you’ve fallen short, and are willing to see things, yourself and others differently. Beware the Leonic shadows of pride and narcissism, and practice being a generous giver. Take yourself out of the equation whenever you extend yourself to others, keeping it in service of Love, not the ego. The only antidote to fear is Love. And Love is our only sane response to this world.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”
doesn’t make any sense.
— Rumi (translation by Coleman Barks)
Full Moon , digital collage by Marina Molares

Full Moon, digital collage by Marina Molares

Keep finding Center.

This week started off with a Venus-Mars opposition, which is kicking up some conflict — between our masculine and our feminine, our aggression and our grace, our sense of separation and our sense of connection. However, the whole sky is being lit up with major aspects and in order to gain any understanding of the waters we’re all swimming in, we really must pull back our scope and take in the bigger picture. Present conflict may have you zeroed in on your immediate experience, but don’t get stuck there. You are not this moment, this situation, this decision. You must make space within to become still, grounded in your center, and to receive the next piece of guidance you need.

Jupiter, a major player this week, represents our big picture-thinking ability and our faith in the greater intelligence of our lives. After four months traveling Retrograde, the “god of thunderbolts” has been direct for two weeks now — enough to get his forward momentum back, supplying us with fresh bursts of faith and optimism. This is a crucial reminder to practice generosity of spirit in our lives. Where can you express more gratitude, more positivity, more hope? Where can you extend yourself more fully to someone? How can you be of greater service, right now and right where you are? Nothing feels better than being of service, especially in times of such uncertainty.

With Mercury also having gone direct, and the Sun and Venus both having moved into Gemini, the pace of events and communication around us is picking up and this may come as a relief to many of you. The current imperatives are movement and change. Last weekend’s full moon in Sagittarius offered us a clearer glimpse of the path ahead, a view above the trees… Again, here is the influence of Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius, serving to uplift our spirits, encourage our conscious expansion, and strengthen our faith in universal intelligence and divine order.

We’re certainly being challenged as Jupiter in Virgo squares Saturn in Sagittarius this week — this is the third time they’ve squared off since last August. This particular square once again highlights the disconnect between our values and our policies, our ideals and our institutions, our idealism and our cynicism. This one marks the final exact square of this series (the others occurred in August of last year and March of this year), and I’m not sure this American presidential election could be a more shining example of the theme! On a personal level, the ongoing influence of this square really pushes us to engage with the struggle between these two differing aspects of ourselves and our societies. It represents the (seeming) conflict between our expansion and our contraction, our liberalism and conservatism, our generosity and stinginess. In astrology, square aspects require creative responses in order to be successful (i.e. to help us evolve). Sitting at a hard angle to one another, the psychological function each squaring planet represents can’t see the other’s perspective without some help — it’s as if they’re speaking different languages. And if we let one overtake the other and “win”, that’s only a recipe for disaster (no matter how long it takes). Instead, with squaring planets we really have to engage with the complexity of the situation and respond creatively so that neither voice is silenced. If we take the universe up on this challenge, the result is that both voices are strengthened and flourish, because they’ve learned from one another. A new language has been created.

Mars, still retrograde, moves back into Scorpio this week for some more unearthing of hidden forces (read more about that here). The red planet is strong and at home in Scorpio, and we’ll all certainly be revisiting the intense emotional themes of the sign for about 2 months. Furthermore, whatever came up but wasn’t dealt with last time around will be sure to come to the surface again. The only sane response to this challenge is to be honest and forthright about whatever you might be hiding. Let yourself be vulnerable, even if that means letting yourself “fall apart.” That is where miracles and healing reside.

Neptune is here to help, if we so desire. While it squares the Sun and Venus this week, and stays in opposition to Jupiter for the next few weeks, it adds a filter to our vision and our struggle, and it’s up to us to use it wisely… If we’re not in our centers, our view will likely be clouded enough that we disengage and fall into escapism, avoiding growth and spiraling downward. However, if we are in our centers, it’ll be the vision of Love that we need to see the situation clearly, moving us closer to enlightenment. Neptune’s function inside of us is like that — clarity or fog. Either way, it provides a constant reminder that we are not separate from one another, and that the only possible way to survive and thrive is through our acceptance of this Truth.

So seek for clarity this week by finding your center, again and again. In this time of so many conflicting energies, this is essential if you want to live sanely. Find the moments throughout each day where you can pause and be still, reaching in to see/feel/touch the immovable within you. Use visualization techniques. Make time for meditation every day. See the Light that you are, underneath the auspices of this three-dimensional world we live in.

Whenever you find yourself in choppy waters, keep finding Center.

Planet collage by Vicki & Chuck Rogers, 1981

Planet collage by Vicki & Chuck Rogers, 1981

New Moon in Taurus: Nurture, Heal, Give and Receive.

New moons can be powerful new beginnings if we instill that energy into them. They can act as reminders to think about our values, ideals, and wishes for our lives. They can serve as natural times of reflection upon our endeavors. And they can feel like reset buttons. A new moon in Taurus is a very grounded (and potentially grounding) new moon, being in the earth sign of the bull, highly compatible with the moon’s watery force. Earth and water mix well, and are the two feminine elements in astrology.

This new moon’s strength is also being bolstered by its occurrence within the grand trine in earth lighting up the sky. Pluto in Capricorn, Jupiter in Virgo, and Venus/Sun/Mercury in Taurus are in sweet harmony this week, their differing forces being temporarily stabilized by flowing, mutually enhancing aspects between all three earth signs. And though each earth sign is just as different as each planet is, they speak interrelated languages — languages of form. Of physicality. Of the experience of being in a body. So what does this mean in terms of your daily life? Do what grounds you. Do what makes you feel useful and of real service to others. Do what most feels like YOU. This grand trine presents us with a beautiful opportunity for healing as it encourages us to embrace simplicity. It can be a reminder of the peace available to us when we simplify our psyches and our lives. When we live as embodied creatures, we live with less anxiety, and when we live with less anxiety, we make better decisions and are generally happier and more joyful. So shouldn’t we be practicing deeper embodiment all of the time?

Think of this weekend’s new moon as here to collectively nurture and heal. As I wrote about last week, the current activity in Taurus is mandating that we all slow down and connect with our sensuality if we are to enjoy this time and use it to its fullest. Life has felt pretty serious lately with so many planets retrograde. Unless we’re slowing down enough to really connect with one another and taste the many small pleasures of our lives, things could feel downright lonely and depressing. So it’s time to practice patience and really feast on our lives, inwardly and outwardly. Connect with your deep sense of self-sufficiency and abundance. Demonstrate generosity, knowing that you are enough and you have enough. Only by giving it away can you experience its fullness.

Whatever you’re feeling, let it be felt fully, in your body. Find healthy physical releases for any built-up internal energy. Whether it’s by exercising, singing, crying, laughing, dancing… let it move through you and let it heal you. The way forward is always through, and we must continually move through to greater healing so that our lives can be a bigger blessing on others.

Remember, to give and to receive are ultimately one and the same.

Slow down. Taste.

Echoing the retrograde voices of Saturn, Mars, Pluto and Jupiter, Mercury is now joining the group of planets encouraging us to slow down…

The next four weeks are prime time to reevaluate what you’re focused on in relation to whether or not it makes you feel good. While the pace is slow, it’s easier to see where your values and priorities really lie. And when you don’t have the energy for everything, you have to focus on what makes you feel most like yourself. You must prioritize what brings you alive.

All Mercury Retrogrades slow communication down, bring up unfinished business and correspondences that we need to complete, and seemingly cause people from our past to randomly reappear. They can often be nostalgic times. But most of all, they offer us a collective breather from the regular pace of our lives, where we can reflect upon the way things are going and how we might want to change our course going forward. If we push against this slowing down, we get nowhere but frustrated and exhausted. This is not the time to force anyone’s hand, including your own.

With this Mercury Retrograde occurring in Taurus, the slowest of all twelve signs, we really have a chance to slow down enough to reconnect with our inner resources and reflect on our deep sense of personal worth. Our most personal earthly values are up for review — how are we relating to our bodies, our money, our possessions? Have we been using the gifts and resources that we’ve been blessed with wisely? Perhaps it’s time for a thorough financial review. Perhaps it’s time to do a real purge of those belongings you no longer need or want. What can you do now to reorganize your life for maximum flow, enjoyment, and stability? If your home needs some attention, give it. If it’s your body that’s been neglected, love it up. We can only fly freely when we have a solid base to launch from and a nest to land in.

Venus also moves into Taurus this week, joining the Sun and Mercury for some added emphasis. Her voice adds some sweetness to the mix, reminding us to nurture our relationships to others as well as to ourselves. If you’ve been thinking about someone, reach out to them! Make some real time for those you love, time without an agenda. Share your appreciation and gratitude as it comes to you. Send a love letter. Get off the internet and into physical proximity. Taurus is sensual, not cerebral. Venus in Taurus wants to eat delicious food, take a walk in nature, listen to the birds, savor the sunset, sing, give and receive massage, and have great sex…

So it’s the perfect time to reorganize and rejuvenate your being and your relationships so that once Mercury has gone direct in late May, you can move forward into the Summer with clarity and a deeply renewed sense of energy. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take action now where appropriate. It only means that you should take whatever time you need to make your decisions based upon what you really truly value in life.

Love your Self. Love Others. And slow down enough to taste it all.

Henri Matisse,  Le bonheur de vivre , 1906

Henri Matisse, Le bonheur de vivre, 1906

Mars and Pluto Retrograde: Bringing forth what is within you.

As Mars and Pluto station retrograde within a day of each other, and the Sun moves into Taurus, we’re in for a serious shift of collective energy this week. We’ve been flying through Aries season, eyes on the prize (formless though that prize may still seem), and the next few days could seemingly throw a curveball into our trajectory. Major planetary retrogrades are feared by many, but only for ill-informed and superstitious reasons, really. In truth they function within the astrological symbol system as necessary periods of reflection and rest, each retrograde being integral to the evolution of whichever psychological function the planet represents for us.

For Mars, god of War, this retrograde is about diving deeper into our desires, our passions, and our primal fears. It’s about exploring why we react the way we do, why we fight for what we do and don’t fight for what we don’t. We start taking our lives for granted when we lose touch with what’s actually driving us, and a retrograde is the natural opportunity to reevaluate why we do what we do and recognize to what extent we need to wake back up to our true desires. Where are we in need of courage, assertiveness, and the healthy drive to take action? Where is our will lacking? Where is there unnecessary drama in our lives, and if we’re being honest, how much of it is of our own making? Mars represents raw ego, the parts of us that are still rough around the edges and have some growing up to do. Our inner Warrior needs to keep evolving.

As an aside, Mars retrogrades are historically volatile times, though in the words of Bob Dylan, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” You also don’t need an astrologer to tell you sh*t is crazy. Crazy people make crazy things happen, so to avoid mayhem our only actual task is to work at not being crazy ourselves. While we really truly cannot control others’ impulses, we most certainly can control our own.

For Pluto, god of the Underworld, this retrograde is about diving deeper into our shadows, our power issues, and our feelings of ultimate helplessness and/or futility. Pluto represents ultimate perspective, and it pushes us to ask bigger, and harder, questions — the heavy-duty, humbling questions we have about our place in the grand scheme of things. These questions point out our deepest insecurities and human vulnerabilities as they remind us of our own mortality, our own ultimate insignificance. But they also point to our deep, hidden, and seemingly dormant power — that eternal power from which we came and to which we shall return. Pluto is Soul, and getting in touch with the lessons of this far-away planet means getting in touch with our inner sense of destiny and trust. A Pluto retrograde means another chance to do just that.

Add these to the mix of Jupiter and Saturn still being retrograde, and we’re talking about a seriously introspective time on our hands. It could get very intense, especially this week. My advice? Embrace it all.

And what to do with whatever “ugliness” it might stir up? Let’s use anger, that most common manifestation of Mars dysfunction, as an example. Firstly, recognize your anger as anger. Acknowledge it’s presence in your body and mind. Then, once you’re there with it rather than remaining lost in the story about it, let your investigation unfold. Where is this anger coming from? What primary fear of yours has been so triggered that anger was the response? Feel where and how it lives in your body. Observe the story running in your head. What/who are you blaming? What fear of yours is that situation or person representing for you? Can you recognize that they’re only acting as a trigger for your own fear? It’s never about “them.” It’s always about us, about why we’re responding the way we are. And the sooner we can realize this in any given moment, the sooner the energy and thus the situation can transform.

Remember, energy can be neither created or destroyed, but only transformed.

So be in your body amid the intensity. The Sun couldn’t be moving into Taurus at a more perfect time. Taurus, the most physical of all the signs, reminds us to sense and feel and be physical. To slow down. To be still and to observe. The new energy of Taurus will help us to use this time of heavy retrogrades to be more fully aware of the inner reaches of our own minds and hearts. In your own process, don’t even think to be afraid of what you’ll find. Whatever it is can provide you with exactly what you need at this moment to strengthen your inner Warrior and your deeeep inner sense of Truth. So let it.

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.
— Jesus Christ

Rupprecht Geiger, Blue Circle on Red, 1969

Be True.

This week, fueled by the recent new moon in Aries, the time is ripe to take a leap into the unknown, to bring a new creation into being. Courage is obviously required. But more than that, absolute truthfulness to who you are is required if you are to be successful.

More than anything, the world needs the true, honest and unfiltered YOU. A Sun/Uranus conjunction in Aries is currently igniting our evolving individuality and emphasizing our need to really say what we mean and do what we say. The Sun represents our personal creative force, while Uranus is representative of our higher and completely non-rational intelligence, the ego-less mind. And as last week’s new moon was also conjunct Uranus, the larger emphasis here is on being true to yourself in a way that doesn’t necessarily alienate or exclude the communities you belong to. While Aries can’t help but be true to itself and its personal desires, Uranus adds real vision to the mix. It’s not afraid of ruffling feathers, and it holds no regard for the status quo.

Both the Moon and the Sun crossing over Uranus in quick succession is of such significance because these two planets (our luminaries) represent our most primary psychological functioning — the polarities of inner/outer, receiver/giver, subconscious/conscious, yin/yang, feminine/masculine.. And so these most essential elements within each of us are being quite stirred up by their close contact with Uranus. The thing about Uranus is that while it’s not out to wreak havoc on our lives (no planet is, of course), that’s what it’ll appear to do if we’ve gotten too lazy about our growth or fallen asleep at the wheel. Whenever we become too complacent, the universe has a way of jolting us awake. Uranus represents the part of us that must individuate and must do what moves us toward enlightenment. Those of us with strong Uranus placement in our birth charts are the ones who aren’t afraid of saying what we really think, and staying true to ourselves no matter the personal cost (and there certainly always is one). The wild blue planet represents that inherent need we all have to break free of restrictions and limitations that inhibit our freedom and our individuality. It’s our need to question authority and to rebel when necessary. It’s the part of us that must seek the unknown, the beyond, and that just isn’t comfortable being too comfortable. It’s where our capacity for genius lies.

All of this action in Aries is also reilluminating the longstanding Pluto/Uranus square, that hard angle between two outer planetary giants that’s been helping to bring all kinds of high-profile power struggles, deep-seated corruption, and other dark realities to light over the past four years. Pluto is the power part of that equation, while Uranus is the unpredictability factor, making it seem as if the endless scandals and catastrophes entering our news feeds are emerging from out of the blue when in fact we know that’s not the case. Living in an interdependent, cause and effect universe, we all reap what any of us sow. Truth will always come to light, no matter how long it takes. And even though the square is waning — past its peak and now diminishing in power — it’s incredibly slow-moving, and when other major transits light it up the themes are re-activated.

In addition to all of this Uranian influence on our psyches, Mars is also pushing similar buttons. Currently traveling through adventurous Sagittarius, the red hot planet is giving us the energy to act on the Truth, and nothing but the Truth. Mars moving through the sign of the higher mind also teaches us that we elevate our own spirits by acting generously and optimistically. Our forward-motion lies squarely in our willingness to acknowledge universal Law and to acknowledge the truth as we see it. Just remember that Mars, ruler of Aries, often needs to be tempered with some humility and tact. It rules our anger, after all. Especially when traveling through any fire sign, it can accumulate a lot of hot air and self-righteousness if left unchecked. But Sagittarius, being the most evolved fire sign of the zodiac, strives for tolerance and understanding of others, and this can help to balance Mars. So the aim here is to feel into your own sense of truth, and through that to feel into capital-T Truth, or universal Law.

Say what you mean. Do what you say. If it shocks someone, so be it. We’re all here to evolve, and we do that best by being as courageously true to ourselves as we possibly can.

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
— Shakespeare
Different View , hand made collage by Bryan Olson

Different View, hand made collage by Bryan Olson

Seek the Light.

As you may be feeling, we’re in a time of intense reflection, personally and collectively. There are Shadow elements emerging, but that doesn’t mean it has to be depressing. This is a serious moment for regathering our inner strength, resources, and resolve. This week, reflecting, regrouping, and realigning with your deep sense of Truth so that you can begin anew are in universal order…

Saturn stationed retrograde just over a week ago. Whenever a planet stations either retrograde or direct, it's slowing down to seemingly change direction. When it slows, it gains power — whatever psychological function it represents is essentially digging its heels in during these times. Saturn, known as the Great Teacher, the wise elder, and Father Time, functions as our ability to act with maturity and sobriety, to make decisions and enact change in our lives with a sense of integrity and time-based vision. It represents our inherent human limitation and the (sometimes harsh) reality of having to work within the limits of the material world in order to make any of our dreams a reality. But Saturn also carries with it the psychological reward that personal accomplishment brings, that quite singular feeling that no one can ever take from you. So right now, we’re all being drawn more inward than perhaps is usual, spurring a lot of reflection on where we are in our lives versus where we would like to be. How are your efforts moving you forward, or how are they sabotaging you? How strong is your self-discipline when it comes to doing what’s really important to you? Are you in need of some renewed personal dedication, a strengthened resolve?

And with Saturn still being in Sagittarius, the underlying focus here is on aligning your human goals with the flow of universal natural law. Often, when we’re frustrated and things aren’t going “our way,” it’s a signal that we’re being control freaks where we need not be, and therefore missing opportunities where we’re simply not thinking to look. Rather, when we align ourselves with the natural order of the universe (requiring faith, rather than will), our lives flow without so much effort. We realize we’re not alone in anything we do, ever. Even in the face of restriction and limitation, we see growth and change. Saturn in Sagittarius also reminds us that freedom and commitment aren’t mutually exclusive, but rather that through the right commitments for us, there is tremendous freedom to be found. Commitments provide a container within which a dream can grow and take shape. When in service to our larger goals, they’re key to our personal growth and thus to our ultimate sense of freedom.

As we’re learning these Saturnian lessons, the Moon’s south node and Chiron in Pisces are still activating some of the wounds of our past, including dreams that never came to be. This has the potential to trigger a lot of unease, as it can be very painful to feel and to look honestly at some of what is coming up now. There might be bitterness, anger, even rage. But we’re free to choose how we respond. The higher response is to open up to processing the experience rather than reaching for the bottle (or whatever your preferred escape route). After all, the fastest and the only way past any psychological/emotional storm is through it. Softening to whatever feelings arise is the doorway to compassion and forgiveness for both self and others, and compassion and forgiveness are the only sane responses we can ever make in the end. The world is seemingly full of angry, hardened people committing increasingly violent and insane acts against all of humanity, all because they feel they just can’t take the storms inside their own heads anymore. And whatever one human being is capable of, each and every one of us is capable of…a frightening thought, but true. We must actively seek the light, or else darkness sets in.

So what’s the way forward and upward? Well, Venus moves into Aries this week, and we can take this as encouragement to relate more fully with the here and now, to allow the past teach us how we can live better in the present, the only time there is. We are continually creating anew, and the more consciously we do it, the more greatness and expansion we are capable of. Serious reflection and emotional awareness is an essential part of any new growth, so embrace it. Just as there is a potential dark side to every set of circumstances, and every astrological configuration, there is equally a light side. Whichever we choose is up to us.

What you are seeking is also seeking you. Seek the light.

Jackson Pollock,  Convergence , 1952

Jackson Pollock, Convergence, 1952

Find your Self in Others.

The Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere has just passed, the Sun has moved into Aries to start its cycle over again, and new growth is inevitable for all of us. Aries, sign of initiation, symbolizes the bud breaking through hardened ground. It’s the most basic force of desire within us all that's determined to LIVE. Aries is the initiation of Spring, and exists to shake us and wake us from our slumber so that we can create anew. That slumber we’ve been in may have been lovely, and important in its own right — the Piscean dream — but with the planetary party moving on to Aries, we’re all having our eyes opened to see what’s really in front of us, for better or for worse. It’s time for a fresh look at our lives.

Wednesday’s Full Moon and penumbral Lunar Eclipse in Libra are putting that wide-awake focus most specifically on our close friendships and partnerships, with Mercury also uniting with the Sun that day to give us some extra clarity and insight as our awareness is lit. This Lunar Eclipse is the last in the series of Aries/Libra eclipses that began in 2014, so its power lies largely in the fact that it’s drawing our attention to the progress we’ve made during this time in the arena of close relationships — if we’ve been taking our personalized lessons to heart, that is. And whatever is still not working in this area is certainly coming to light now. While emotions are running particularly high this week, it might be hard to see and/or hear some of the information that’s coming your way, but do your best to remain an open and willing to stay with the conversations that need to happen. Communication, not withdrawal, is the only real way forward, and Libra champions this. The sign embodies grace and equanimity, fairness and balance. It’s the part of us that wants and needs to feel in harmony with our environment, and is willing to go out of its way to be a peacemaker. This eclipse may bring up intense, weighted feelings, but if you can ride out the storm without losing contact with others, you’ll be even more in touch with the only thing that’s real — our interconnectedness and interdependence. It can seem impossible at moments, but by working together in partnership we provide mirrors for one another and learn more about ourselves than we ever could alone.

Take what arises this week seriously. As Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus come into a T-square, the emphasis is on working hard, giving our relationships the attention to detail they deserve, and making sober and informed decisions about how to best move forward. The season of fresh new beginnings is here, and we’re all being called on to be new creators of our lives. The strong influence of Libra can remind us to try to maintain a sense of lightness and mutual respect in our dealings, even if things get sticky or heavy. We all know that kindness is the key to longevity in any relationship.

So let the new light of spring shine in, and ride the emotional tide of this Libra moon’s eclipse into new relationship territory.

Georgia O'Keeffe,  Pedernal,  1945

Georgia O'Keeffe, Pedernal, 1945

Make way for miracles.

You may notice tension building in the air this week, with the Sun, Saturn, Mars and Pluto (all masculine forces) making fiery angles across the skies — and the collective tendency might be to start feeling defensive. You may feel on edge for no apparent reason, as though you have to stay on alert to protect yourself from some unforeseen blow. But hold on…When we go into these kinds of states, we tend to become small-minded and act fearfully, withholding love. The ego jumps at any opportunity to slander ourselves and others, picking fights with whoever happens to be in range. It’s goal, always and forever, is to distract us from the truth of who we really are, because if it can manage that we won’t choose differently in our lives. And whenever we don’t choose differently, we don’t evolve. This being the dark side of the masculine within all of us, all four of these planets can act as triggers for it. 

However, like a perfect antidote there’s also a quickly gathering planetary crowd in the sign of Pisces. In contrast to any flying sparks this week, Tuesday’s New Moon and rare total Solar Eclipse occurring in the sign of pure Love offer us all a huge new heart opening — a new moon’s natural power amplified. Eclipses act as portals of change, and are the most astrologically powerful times, with cycles of two eclipses happening twice a year. We can choose to work collaboratively with that energy or not, but resistance is futile and only exhausts us. This eclipse in Pisces is here to remind us that our egos are not who we really are. It’s here to remind us that in order to tap into our infinite potential, we must actively identify with our true Selves, not our small selves. Of course, as long as we’re in bodies and until we become fully enlightened masters, we’ll have to contend with the ego. But our most important work — always — is to stop identifying with it. And Pisces is the element within us all that has the ability to do just that.

The final sign of the zodiac, Pisces transcends ego completely. It goes with the flow, allowing space for the mystical, mysterious reality of life. The fishes symbolize the feminine within all of us that gives way to movement, change, and evolution. Pisces is pure water. Being beyond the ego, it isn’t concerned with what you have planned and what your most sophisticated strategy is. It represents your intuitive function, and Pisces-induced change means ego-less, non-rational change. It means making way for miracles. So as crisis and chaos can be characteristic of Pisces, this eclipse will certainly stir the emotional pot, bringing up feelings you may not even know you harbored. New beginnings often come in the form of crises, jolting us out of our comfort zones. But as long as you’re paying attention to an inner crisis, keeping your heart open to it, the outer manifestation doesn’t necessarily have to be dramatic. It’s only when we’re unaware of what’s needing to be seen inside that we manifest it as drama “outside.” 

Try not to overbook yourself this week (or this month) — leave room for the unexpected. Keep an open heart and mind, because sometimes life seems to have surprising plans for us. It’s important to clear space for the new You to emerge in this moment so ripe for inner and outer transformation. The lesson here is one of total acceptance — acceptance of what you’re feeling and whatever new developments arise. Love is the only way.

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
— Joseph Campbell
Total solar eclipse

Total solar eclipse

Dive into Love.

As the Sun moves through a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces this week, you may find your sensitivity increased, with the veil between your dream/fantasy life and what you experience as reality particularly thin. At worst, this experience can be confusing and disorienting, while at best it connects us more viscerally to our eternal selves, opening the doorway to spiritual awakening and expanded creativity. However, the dreamy glow of Neptune is also what most triggers our escapist tendencies — through binging on substances, electronics, mindless eating, or any other addictive behavior. If we succumb to this pull, we miss out on a particularly powerful opportunity for greater awakening. Neptune represents our spiritual function, that amorphous realm of pure Love from which we receive new visions and fresh inspiration. It’s our deep connection to Source, giver of guidance for the creation of anything new in our lives. Practically speaking, receiving this guidance can sometimes throw us into crisis, as we feel the disconnect between what we envision and what we actually experience. We need a little help to be able to translate our dreams into workable reality.

This is where Venus comes in. This week, she energetically aspects first Saturn, and then Uranus, placing extra emphasis on the inner workings of our intimate relationships. Venus represents our ability, need and desire to love and be loved, and provides a perfect earthly support to the otherworldly visions of Neptune, because it feels the need to initiate relationship with others and with the world at large. In one word, Venus is connection. Our basic psychological need to initiate new relationships in our lives is what bridges the gap between the mystical and human realms, keeping our feet on the ground while retaining the ability to dream. And just as scientific studies have shown that the only true antidote to addiction is human connection, Venus is the antidote to Neptune’s escapist tendencies. Venus’ sextile to Saturn this week will strengthen our capacity for sustained effort and commitment within our relationships, while her sextile to Uranus will open us up to new, innovative ways of doing this.

We must continually re-create our lives. We often don’t know what the right next step is, and we can become confused. The only way to survive is to keep our hearts open to new guidance, allowing ourselves to evolve. Keep this in mind as the moon continues to wane this week, moving through its 3rd quarter square en route to the powerful New Moon and Solar Eclipse of March 8th. Big fresh starts are on the horizon, if we’re open to receiving the mystical visions of Neptune and connecting more deeply with those around us. 

The veil is thin.. Dive into Love.

Ajay Rajpal,  Moonless Night (Amavasya)

Ajay Rajpal, Moonless Night (Amavasya)

Rest in the Universe.

With the Sun having just moved into Pisces and Monday’s full moon in Virgo upon us, everything we perceive as imperfection — in ourselves, others, and the world at large — is coming into crystalline focus. Virgo is the analyst, the perfectionist, the purifier — and any full moon amplifies the qualities of the sign in which it occurs. With Jupiter having been traversing Virgo since August, we’re still dealing with a strong Virgoan theme, but now with so much planetary activity in the sign of Pisces, the focus has shifted toward the necessity of letting go as well. Surrender proves to be equally as important as exerting effort, and the lesson of the Virgo/Pisces axis is to strive for perfection, while simultaneously knowing perfection is not of this realm. This is how we learn to be in the world but not of it. 

Pisces, being the birthplace of creativity, represents pure Source energy. It symbolizes the part of us that has no limits, no boundaries, and is indestructible. Pisces is Soul matter — consciousness itself. The archetype represents our only true Self, the spirit essence around which a body and personality temporarily form for a fleeting lifetime. Our capacity for inner peace is based upon our evolving abilities to simultaneously take wise action and to let go of the results. “Let go and let God,” as they say. In order to let go in life, we have to lean into our trust on a greater intelligence than our own. We see this intelligence at work everywhere, and yet when it comes to our own lives we often live in a total delusion, believing (at least in our minds) that we’re at the wheel, and everything is up to us "making it happen." Our egos get the better of us, and, believing that the weight of the world rests on our shoulders, we can’t help but become weary, depressed and exhausted over time.

Astrologically speaking, this week holds some calm before the storm. March will be a full month, with two eclipses, so take this time to rest — rest in the Universe, that is. Rest in knowing that you are inseparable from a cosmos that is held in balance by a mysterious intelligence. Reflect back upon the divine order of your life thus far. Allow yourself time and space to drift in your boundless, creative consciousness. Practice self-love and self-forgiveness, tapping into your compassion for all beings everywhere. Use this full moon to let go of some baggage.

Rest in the Universe, where you are already held.