Solar Eclipse: Rekindle Your Vital Force.

Leighton,_Frederic_-_Invocation

Invocation by Frederic Leighton

What if I told you that the New Moon solar eclipse happening this Thursday, 10th June is an opportunity for personal and collective soul retrieval? That at the time of a New Moon solar eclipse, when the Sun -our conscious mind- is obscured, we have access to forces of the past that lay buried in the unconscious as psychic complexes and that these forces or powers may be seen, realised, and integrated. This may facilitate a release from past binds or an assimilation of old, previously forgotten gifts, knowledge, skills, and awareness. This concept is articulated by Dane Rudhyar and later Demetra George; Rudhyar goes on to say that whether the Sun is conjunct the north or south node also bears upon the meaning and potential of the eclipse.

In the case of Thursday’s solar eclipse, the Sun is conjunct the north node which symbolizes future possibilities of growth on the basis of what has already been accomplished in the past. The eclipse can awaken new illumination about the future and activate new ways to do things both individually and collectively. When the Sun is conjunct the north node, we are called upon to face the necessity of manifesting new ways to move into our future. Hence eclipses often correspond to stress, crisis and change in our lives. During eclipse season we are involved with the journey of the individual soul and the World Soul.

Eclipses represent major tests that are presented to us in those areas of the chart where the eclipse falls. The position of the Sun and Moon this eclipse is 19 Gemini, 47’. The Sabian symbol which can reveal more about the unfolding energy is-

PHASE 80 (GEMINI 20°): A MODERN CAFETERIA DISPLAYS AN ABUNDANCE OF FOOD, PRODUCTS OF VARIOUS REGIONS.

KEYNOTE: The assimilation of multifarious knowledge through the synthesizing power of the mind.

From the One, the Many arise in due time. The Original Source gives birth to the mountain stream which, gathering to itself the down-flow of rain water, becomes the large river around which cities are built. These in turn pollute the river on its way to the vast ocean. This modern symbol expresses the fact that man, now at the close of a cultural cycle, is able to gather foodstuffs – mental as well as physical – from many regions of the globe. His diet has acquired a planet-wide foundation; history tells us that the search for salt and spices, then for commodities rare in local regions, provided the impetus for global trade and thus eventually for a planetary consciousness. The results may be satiety and indigestion, and mental confusion caused by lack of discrimination.

This is the last symbol of the sixteenth five-fold sequence. As is most often the case such a fifth stage implies a certain kind of synthesis or at least a preparation which leads to a new level. The keynote here is indeed ASSIMILATION; the negative potentiality of the symbol is WASTE.

“Mental confusion caused by lack and discrimination” and a need to either assimilate or eliminate… As we fully enter the information age we are called to exercise our power of discrimination and discernment more keenly… haven’t we become painfully aware of this over the past eighteen months and more?

When we consider our soul’s journey through lifetimes, we may also wonder what extraneous “stuff” we have picked up along the way that has obscured our pure soul essence. Through a process of pollution and contamination our own sacred flame may have diminished and even extinguished. There is also the ancestral field to consider… to what extent is our soul journey bound with ancestral legacies? Vesta inconjunct Chiron on the solar eclipse may reveal information to this end if we are prepared to look.

Keeper of the Sacred Flame, Vesta, represents the flaming torch of illumination that we carry from life time to life time. This light is encoded within our unique vibrational tone, our soul’s essence, and keeps the Home fires burning. No matter how far we stray from our essential self Vesta holds the torch for our return. Like a lighthouse flashing into the dark oceans of the unconscious, She calls to us… and we call back.

On the Full Moon lunar eclipse on 26th May, Vesta was in a square aspect with the Sun and Moon and an exact square with the lunar nodes on the Gemini/Sagittarius axis. As eclipse season continues with the New Moon solar eclipse, Vesta is still squaring the Sun, Moon, and lunar nodes. The Gemini/Sagittarius axis has been prominent this last year as the north node has been retrograding through Gemini and the south node retrograding through Sagittarius. The moon’s nodal axis -or the head and tail of the dragon as it known- is involved with the soul’s journey through lifetimes. Loosely speaking the south node tells of where we have been, lessons learned, experiences gained, and the things we have mastered. The north node pulls us forward into the new for the purpose of our soul’s growth. Closer to the truth is that we continually move on that continuum weaving past and present towards wholeness and integration. Whenever a planet or other celestial body forms an aspect pattern with the lunar nodes, the energy or vibration of that body is highlighted and included in the experience, or Kairos – the uniquely timely, the spontaneous, the radically particular.

Vesta is our commitment and devotion to our sacred calling…  for me personally I have been strongly aware of Vesta’s influence as for the past week or so Jupiter has been conjunct my natal Vesta at 1 Pisces in the 8th house… though her presence is very much a collective event on more levels than I’d initially realised when considering this blog.

As Vesta has been in Virgo for some time, Jupiter’s entry into Pisces highlights Vesta-type concerns as they relate to the Pisces/Virgo axis… surrender to the transcendent flow and the material containers needed to stay rooted in the physical world… or how bring in and anchor spirit in the material realm. Many Astrologers believe that Virgo- 6th house- is under the rulership of Vesta.

Vesta’s hearth kindles a desire for Home, exposes the painful absence and dislocation from it, and inspires joy when we are aligned to it… symbolically at Home with ourselves at the deepest most essential level. Vesta is also involved with the Earth as our collective Home… our Earth Heart. Essentially a spiritualised feminine energy that seeks to take root in the physical world of matter, when inspired by Vesta we are conduits of spirit capable of manifesting and expressing spirit in and through the physical container of our body. It is also where we find and create other containers to express and ground spirit. Each of us are coded to facilitate unique spiritual qualities and anchor them here on Earth. It may be that we have carried our particular Vesta torch or sacred flame through lifetimes igniting the same energetic vibration time and time again. It is what is ours to do and by doing it we are brought more fully into our essential truth. By expressing our unique vibration in this way we  participate in our collective awakening and Homecoming.

For all the above reasons, I feel Vesta features strongly throughout this eclipse season however there’s more…

As the brightest asteroid Vesta is occasionally visible to us with the naked eye… now is one of those rare times!  Between 5th -22nd June, Vesta may be visible in our night sky.

On 19th June Vesta will come within 170.6 million kilometres of Earth which is the closest it has been for two decades and is the closest it will be until 2040.

To find out more about how to spot Vesta go here-

https://skyandtelescope.org/observing/vesta-2018-opposition/

That Vesta is visible to us suggests that we have a direct link to this spiritual dimension and can make it conscious.

And, as these things go, the Vestalia was a Roman religious festival to honour Vesta and the Sacred Flame which took place over several days from June 7th– 15th. During this time women were allowed to enter the inner sanctum of Vesta and make offerings to Her, approaching Her alter barefoot. No official business was conducted in Rome during this week and on the last day the entire city was purified.

According to Ovid, the shrine of Vesta was always a circular building to emulate the earth. Vesta signified the life force of the earth; its ‘vital force’ from which she took her name and which her sacred flame represented.

In Roman mythology, Vesta was the third daughter of the god Saturnus. Unlike her sisters Juno and Ceres, she did not marry but remained a virgin although in this context it is the archaic meaning of the word virgin- whole unto herself.

I have written a lot over the years about Vesta, the Vestal Virgins, and the Vestas as sacred sexual priestesses in my blog www.gnosticwoman.com

To find these blogs simply type “Vesta” into the search bar.

To read more about the Vestalia and the power of Vesta this is an interesting blog-

https://historyandarchaeologyonline.com/the-vestalia-celebrating-vesta-and-purifying-rome/

Somewhere I feel in all of us there is a little flame that burns with the essence of our unique soul code, a distinctive note that only we can add to the collective symphony. Maybe we are fully aware of our flame as a bright phosphorus light illuminating our life and leading us forward toward our sacred calling. Alternatively it may be that the light comes and goes brightening and diminishing depending on how obscured it becomes by life’s events and experiences that take us away from ourselves. It can happen that we forget to tend the flame and for a while and it appears to diminish, even extinguish, but it is always there waiting for us to reignite it and remember who we are and why we are here.

The Full Moon eclipse on Thursday is an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to our sacred commitments. Even if we have strayed far away from home and our sacred flame is faint or has gone out, we can reset our intention and relight our candle by recommitting to what we know in our heart to be our true calling.

There is a mighty asteroid Goddess influence this New Moon with Vesta at 15 Virgo, 33’ in a trine with Uranus (12 Taurus, 54’) and Ceres (12 Taurus, 41’). On an esoteric level, Ceres is involved with the Eleusinian Mysteries, guiding initiates through a death rites of passage, as well as the Blood Mysteries.

At the same time Pallas (24 Pisces, 56’) conjunct Neptune at (23 Pisces, 08’).

But this is for another blog… or two.

If you would like an astro shamanic reading to explore where Vesta sits in your natal chart by sign, house, and aspect and to explore your sacred calling, I am available for online sessions.

To finish this piece I’d like to quote an extract from T.S. Eliot’s “Little Gidding”, as I feel it captures something of this solar eclipse-

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.

—T.S. Eliot, from “Little Gidding,” Four Quartets (Gardners Books; Main edition, April 30, 2001) Originally published 1943.”
― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Lilith & the Mystery of the Dark Moon

Lilith-John-Collier-painting

Lilith by John Collier

Today’s new moon at 21 ° Taurus is closely conjunct both True Black Moon Lilith and Mean Black Moon Lilith. The “Temple” of Lilith between these two points is no more than a silver slither as both are within a few arc minutes at 22 ° Taurus. Fixed star Algol- the blinking eye of Medusa- is also involved in this Dark Goddess union with the Sun and Moon, a few degrees away at 26 Taurus.

When Mean and True Black Moon are conjunct, we may brace ourselves for a potent Lilith visitation arising suddenly and intensely into our awareness- a breaking through of repressed unconscious material: rage; a sovereign declaration; an inconvenient truth; an admission of desires long buried under the polite weight of the superego; that which is taboo; a refusal to participate in the inauthentic; something beyond the bounds… the realm of the divine is not always “good” but it is always pure.

The heavy door dusty and stiff with the passing of time opens, sometimes a creak, sometimes an explosion. Lilith is in the house.

Lilith has been demonised as bitch, witch, ball breaker, succubus, child killer, femme fatale, demoness, and malevolent wind spirit. Echoes of her voice emerge from exile in the moments when our well-honed skills of self-denial and society pleasing can no longer contain a deeper primal urge for raw authentic expression. This can be harsh and destructive, and sometimes there’s no going back after the showdown… the only way is through. If we learn to surrender to Her wisdom, if we learn to quieten the voice of reason, the rational, safe limitations of dualistic thinking, we may enter the Temple of Lilith- Her temple is a sacred container which holds and oversees the mysterious processes of transformation and initiation. Rather than being blown apart by Her awesomeness, we are guided through steps that may not always make sense; perhaps we are even blindfolded… just because we have for a brief moment entered the realm of the gods there is much we must not see. We feel the Dark Goddess and yet She herself remains a mystery.

The things of Lilith which have been banished and imprisoned in the personal and collective repository of the unacceptable and demonised, or what Sigmund Freud calls the ID, cannot stay locked away for ever. If we are to claim the truth of who we are in all of our multi-dimensional flow of human and divine facets, we must also claim that which has been rejected and exiled. This is a process of symbiosis: feeling and freeing the pain of what has been outcast and unblocking the energetic channels gives way to an influx of pulsating living energy to fuel our renewal.

Lilith is concerned first and foremost with our personal liberation and releasing our unique code or vibration into the collective strata; She is the space where we interact with the anima mundi, the world soul; She facilitates our coming into alignment with our unique vibrational field and plugs us into the wider matrix of life, Earth, and Cosmos.

While we each have a different Lilith story there may be similarities when we consider the collective narrative around the maiming of certain aspects of feminine, or soul expression. This is the territory of the Dark Goddess of whom Lilith is but one, however she is a potent and activated one who forbids us total rest or complacency until we form a relationship with Her and open ourselves to receive Her wisdom.

While Lilith is very much an expression of the feminine divine, her impulse and intention to liberate us from the shackles of ridgified and oppressive thought forms and beliefs is felt in both women and men. Lilith and the other Dark Goddess figures are concerned with freedom of the human soul through contact with the divine… the divine here is not white angel wings and holy on high, it is also the deep fertilising blackness of the void full of potential and the transformative power of the moon. It can be terrible and taboo, shaking our conditioned mind and shut down bodies right to the core. Things can look quite different after an encounter with Lilith.

Who are you really? she asks, looking you boldly in the eye with an unwavering gaze that seems to reflect the many facets of your diamond soul. Her lithe body, muscular and tight, shimmering as a pale blueish grey, snake-like pulse of luminous light. She lifts her upper garment in a swift provocative gesture, her eyes are seductive and even perhaps just a little menacing and you expect the revealing of voluptuous breasts, nipples, erotica… but her naked body is tight and coiled with compressed energy and you realise… the lifting and removal of her garment is the shedding of her skin. Her hair falls in thick sandy coloured tresses over her shoulders, down her undulating body, serpentine streams of light cascading toward the earth. This goddess is calling you home to the very centre of your being, in and down, spiralling through the layers yourself, through the armouring that was put in place to protect and guard the shining pearl at the centre of your being where you and the All are aligned in perfect resonance. “It’s time for deep diving”, she says in a breathy whisper.

This new Moon/Lilith/Algol conjunction could be a portal to contact what lies beneath and what is ready to emerge in you on your journey of self-reclaiming and realisation. It is an opportunity to bring more of yourself home.

In my ongoing Chiron exploration, the question that seems to be arising for myself and others is, can you stand in your truth and claim your uniqueness even while it may be unacceptable to others, even while it has caused you pain and loneliness. What will it take to boldly and unwaveringly state “this is me”.

If you would like to explore Lilith and or Chiron in your life and in your natal chart, I am available for online astro-shamanic sessions.

Chiron in Aries: Healing the Fragmented Self.

Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”

Today’s full moon is in Virgo which is under the rulership of Chiron. Chiron himself at 7 ° Aries is involved in a Yod aspect with the Moon and Saturn.

Intuitively I feel that while we may have a longing to break free from restrictive conditions, the restrictions we perceive to be on the outside are also within. Paying attention to our primal emotions (moon) and allowing them to lead us back to the root can illuminate our fears and self-sabotaging tendencies. This process is “chirotic” as it takes us back to preverbal experiences not understood by the mind but expressed in our physical, emotional, and mental bodies.

Relationships are strongly highlighted in this lunar cycle initiated with the Venus Jupiter conjunction at the new moon on 11th February. There is an opportunity to penetrate the mechanics at work in our personal (often unconscious) style of relating and consider if we are getting our moon needs met through dysfunctional, regressive or co-dependent ways.

With moon inconjunct Chiron it can be difficult to identify our habitual ways of acting out as part of our core wounding. With Saturn inconjunct the moon we may feel restricted and judged for expressing our feelings and emotions unconsciously spending a lot of energy trying to repress them while feeling that someone or something is doing this to us.

Chiron is currently moving through Aries where he spends the longest period of time- 8 years. The last time Chiron was in Aries the world, as now, was a shifting reality.

In 1968 Martin Luther King was assassinated (JFK was assassinated five years earlier), students all over the globe were protesting, and Apollo 8 orbited the Moon as the space race reached its crescendo sending the first human to the Moon. On the outer planes rockets explored space while psychonaunts fuelled with psychedelics and visionary ideas opened new frontiers in inner space.

In 1969 Woodstock, billed as an “Aquarian Explosion”, attracted almost half a million people keen to “turn on, tune in, drop out” and find a more authentic root of their “Human-Be-In ness”

Joni Mitchell’s anthem for an increasingly traumatised youth- “Woodstock”- underscored the mood of a world ready to cast off the shackles of Saturn and go beyond the bounds of known reality to a Uranian awakening… some people never came back. This entire movement was itself chirotic as forces from the unconscious rose in protest of ways of being that no longer accommodated the collective need for authenticity, freedom, and a more holistic perspective of the human experience.

For the first time we saw on mainstream media footage of the carnage of war; We witnessed veterans returning from Vietnam in various states of dissociation and fragmentation. As the reverberations of “Shell Shock” were felt far beyond military personnel, collectively we began to acknowledge our own traumas which paved the way to new modalities in depth psychology and alternative spirituality.

Though Chiron remained undiscovered until 1977, in the late 60’s and early 70’s when Chiron was last in Aries, the world is seemed was preparing to cross the “Rainbow Bridge”.

What “Bridge” are we crossing now?

With the discovery of Chiron, the doors of perception while not necessarily cleansed had certainly been thrown wide open and the new age was birthed. Holistic practices, Eastern spirituality, astrology, rebirthing, primal scream therapy, and the anti- psychiatry movement were all instrumental in shaping a new era of soul searching boldly going where no man had gone before (at least not in the modern world). It was a time to rediscover technologies of the soul as the anima mundi- the world soul- Gaia, and countless individual souls were screaming out for healing.

The publication of “The Primal Scream” by clinical psychologist Dr Janov was the voice of the age- a “kairos” moment that demanded attention to human suffering. Janov focused on neurosis caused by repressed trauma from early childhood and one’s upbringing which he called “primal pain,” responsible, he felt, for a cornucopia of ills including mood disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, ulcerative colitis, drug addiction, stuttering, and more.

Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”, depicts the terrifying existential angst of a soul in captivity with seemingly no way out.

Coinciding with Primal Scream therapy, the anti-psychiatry movement pioneered by Thomas Szasz, R.D. Laing, and Michel Foucault, among others was taking hold. The premise was twofold-

  1. Mental illness is a myth.
  2. Reasons for disturbed behaviour were considered beyond the individual and reviewed in the context of oppressive system of power. Psychiatry itself was viewed as repressive and controlling.

The movement was fairly short lived though I wonder what those pioneers would make of our current situation.

As Chiron journeys through Aries once more- before reaching his own Chiron return in Taurus in 2027-what layers of consciousness are being unfolded as we spiral onto the next rung of Chiron’s crossing?

According to Astrologer Melanie Reinhart, the Chiron return is a reset moment which can be equated with rebirth. The period of time leading up to the return then can be viewed as the pre-birth or in utero experience. When Chiron reaches his own return in 2027, it is possible and perhaps likely that we will experience a collective rebirth. We know that the energy surrounding the in-utero experience is profoundly important and while there is much disturbance in the environment each of us can create the conditions to consciously midwife ourselves. Shielding ourselves, not from a virus, but from the prevailing toxic energies is crucial. Now conscious of epigenetics we may also have some power in deciding what old patterns are ready to be healed in us and therefore the collective so they don’t carry forward into the birthing process.

On a personal level I am just about to enter my Chiron return in April. I have also worked/ am working with clients who are also about to enter their Chiron return, or are experiencing it now.

We are the Chiron in Aries generation born between 1968-1977, now in middle age crossing a threshold into a new phase of life in which our youth is waning but something else is rising. While the physical luminescence of youth fades an inner light begins to rise and with that the wisdom of age… of being comfortable in our skin and a richness of being that no longer depends on the world’s approval. There is a certain freedom here… it is a force to be reckoned with.

Astrologer Barbara Hand Clow talks of a spiritual awakening…a kundalini rising at the time of Chiron’s return, a time when most women are either in peri menopause or full menopause. Women conditioned to believe that at middle age they are one step away from the scrap heap often attempt to control the aging process rendering themselves vulnerable to manipulation… think of the billions spent on anti-aging products and pharmaceuticals. The rejection of aging is a mass pathology of our culture… though I have long suspected the reason for this has little to do with the prize of youth and more to do with the fear of power that possesses a person who has awakened to their true nature.

Chiron’s medicine heals our deepest wounds, our core wounds, the primal ones that got etched into us at an early, often preverbal age, and beyond that too weaving back into our ancestral field. These wounds are ours and yet they are also more than ours, they surface from the systemic lesions in our kin, bleeding out in behaviours, attitudes, neurosis, beliefs, and repressions of our family of origin, communities, and cultures.

Transforming Chiron wounds serves not only our own healing but can also have a profound effect on others too… and our ancestral lineage. A well-integrated Chiron can be our call to a life of service- Chiron after all is the ruler of Virgo and is connected with the 6th house- the house of service.

As Pharmakon, Chiron knows that the cure is in the poison; as Alchemist he knows the necessity of the Nigredo stage, “the blackening” an ever-deepening descent into the unconscious to find illumination. As Hierophant, Chiron is the conduit between the material and spirit world, the one who knows the rituals, rites, and tools to invoke the divine.

Carl Jung- who had Chiron in Aries- coined the phrase, “The wounded healer” which has now become synonymous with Chiron. In Jung’s definition it refers to a need of the analyst to heal others because he or she is wounded. This interpretation focuses on the part of Chiron’s myth where a poisonous arrow shot to his thigh causes a wound that can never heal but facilitates his mastery of the healing arts. Chiron  passes on these skills and technologies to many young heroes and demigods including Achilles and Hercules.

The sometimes-overlooked part of Chiron’s mythology is his initial core wound of rejection at birth by his mother, Philyra, who horrified to discover that she has given birth to a horse/human hybrid wants nothing to do with him. The Chiron wound points to the places we may actually have been, or where we felt rejected. This is particularly strong with Chiron in Aries as rejection can be felt as a fundamental denial of the self and one’s very identity.

In healing our Chiron wounds- which I believe is possible- we get to choose consciously to be a healer rather than being driven by compulsion to try and heal our wounds through others… sometimes becoming the scapegoat or the sacrifice in the process. While our wounds remain unconscious, we are vulnerable to a host of abuses and manipulation.

As part of the Chiron in Aries generation I have been reflecting on my own wounds and also on the collective wounds. I’ve been wondering about the implications of experiencing the Chiron return in these “critical times”. Initially as I talked with others, I was stuck by phrases such as, “a raging fire that I don’t know what to do with”, or “ I just feel so angry”, or “I cannot handle the authority and being told what to do”. My initial thought was that experiencing the Chiron return during this time was above all a call to the Sacred Warrior archetype … even more so in Mars ruled Aries.

As I near my own Chiron Return, I realise without a doubt that whether the call is to the “Sacred Warrior”, “The “Shaman, “The Healer”, or any other archetype involved with Chiron, there is first the task of integrating ourselves before taking our place in the world as a beneficent influence.

Chiron’s blessing if we are able to accept it restores the fragmented parts of ourselves back to wholeness.

The Chiron return is a soul retrieval, it is the crossing between what we consciously acknowledge (our ego) and the parts of us that lay in the outer reaches of consciousness, both dark and light. The journey to integration can be painful and there is a danger of refusing the call by checking out into addictions and other self-denying behaviours. But… if we can open to the opportunity we are guided in a rare and sacred opportunity to become who we were always meant to be.

Rumi says,

Sorrow… it pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.

Are you part of the Chiron in Aries group?

I am offering a seven-week Chiron in Aries support group beginning on the Aries new moon on  12th April and running until 24th May. The sessions are via Zoom and includes group participation, exploring particular charts, handouts, notes, and recommended reading. Please contact me if you would like to join.

 

 

Hygeia: Reclaim Your Body

Hygeia by Peter Paul Rubens

Yesterday as the moon reached her peak, asteroid Hygeia merged with Luna in a tight conjunction at 9 ° Leo.

Hygeia, goddess of health is involved with maintaining good health through right living and connection to nature. Daughter of Asclepius, god of medicine, whose father and mother are Apollo and Coronis, Hygeia comes from a long line of healers associated with the serpent mysteries of renewal.

Robert Graves suggests that Coronis’ mythology represents the suppression of medical practice by women and its transference into the hands of the patriarchy which I feel is worthy of consideration in light of ongoing medical dispute.

Where, we might ask, is the voice of the wise woman in this wrangle?

Yesterday I had a conversation with my father who shared with me his experience of visiting his doctor who suggested that he start taking vitamin B12 supplement. My father informed her that he was already taking B12 and had been for some time. This apparently surprised her, and she wanted to know what had caused my father to do that.

My father’s exchange remined me of my own experience last year- I don’t often visit doctors but after a self-examination, I noticed something potentially concerning and decided to get it checked out. The female doctor asked me how I had come to know about the issue, and I told her I’d discovered it through self-examination. She was surprised… and almost cross; she demanded to know why I had carried out a self-examination as if I had no right to intimate access of my own body.

In that moment I collided with the shadow of entitlement at the core of allopathic medicine. The belief that we are ignorant to the workings, needs and spirit of our bodies is conditioned into us from early childhood, and before that in the womb where for the most part our mothers succumbed to often detrimental birthing practices.

It is this shadow of entitled authority that expects people to comply without question with procedures such as mass vaccination. These expectations are reinforced by government and other authorities who strongly advise consent. Whether the strong advice turns into enforced obligation is a very real question of our time.

In the myth of Coronis, when Coronis is pregnant she falls in love with a mortal man which enrages Apollo who ends up killing both her and her lover. As she lay burning on her funeral pyre, Apollo performs the first caesarean section by cutting baby Asclepius from her womb thus saving him from certain death. For Graves, the death of Coronis heralds a point when wisdom originally carried by the wise woman now passed only from father to son.

In the hands of the wise woman health is a holistic, multi-dimensional state of being, an interplay between body, mind, and spirit, with cause and effect reaching far beyond the temporal world. The wise woman knows that it is our vital spirit and care of it that nurtures health and wellbeing. Health is fostered by inter relational wellness and harmony with our family/community and environment, and of course ourselves. There is much that can be done to keep spirit alive and embodied which does not involve allopathic medicine. In the wise ways we know that we are connected to the web of life and understand the transformative processes of renewal. Ritual and observing the natural thresholds of life aid us in healthy development and the ability to integrate evolving consciousness. In preparing for death we are freed into life.

Recent events have highlighted more than ever how we have given too much power to the medical establishments in matters of health… we have been indoctrinated to believe that our bodies are the property and responsibility of medical experts. It appeared as if we had no choice in the matter and for the most part, we didn’t think to question it. We accepted as part of normal life, the routine check-ups, the inoculations, the prescription medicines, and the surgical procedures. We accepted the diagnoses of our doctor gods as incontrovertible. We were intimidated by remote science clad language and the superior detachment of many health professionals (please note, I am not implying that all health professions are remote and detached, and neither am I implying that all medical procedures and allopathic medicine are bad).

At school we were, after a very crude fashion, taught sex education. Wooden phalluses and copulating primates explained nothing of the exquisite sensitivity and confusion in our budding sexuality and changing bodies. There was no initiation or rites of passage except for the often-destructive self-initiation we put ourselves and each other through. We died of humiliation and shame. And maybe it is that shame of our bodies and our lack of connection to them that led to the slow but sure dissociation which primed the way for the professionals to take over.

So out of touch did we become from our bodies that we did not know what foods to eat to keep us healthy, what herbs to use to heal, or what practices to adopt to promote physical and spiritual integration… none of this was taught at school and rarely by our poor indoctrinated parents.

We forgot that dancing and singing and star gazing and belly laughing and river swimming and campfires and praying and dying and being reborn and truth and integrity and emotional release and forgiveness and nights without light and the wild, wild spirit and the contractions that gives way to the birthing of great art and touching the void and stepping out of time and space and holy pain and the heartbreak that leads to God and the spirit messengers of illness and discovering our true name and the changing of the seasons and ceremony and the swirling of the cosmos and our part in it are some of the wisdom keys to unlocking good health.

As Hygeia and Luna conspire to shed light onto the processes of renewal, an invitation this lunar cycle through Aquarius is to reflect on how in or out of touch we are with our spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health. It is also an invitation to review how and where we have given ourselves away at the most fundamental level of being.

In claiming sovereignty of our physical bodies we also claim sovereignty for our lives and our Selves on the most profound level.

As mystic and liberated soul William Blake reminds us,

“Enlightenment means taking full responsibility for your life”.

Spica & the Witches Well

Image by John Duncan

Friday 16 October, New Moon at 23 degrees Libra

New Moon Insights: What will it take for you to own your witch?

Today in the ancient part of the city of Edinburgh, my mother and I visited ‘Witches Well’ on Castlehill in the precincts of Edinburgh castle.

A cast iron plaque made by Celtic revivalist John Duncan in 1894 depicts the faces of evil and healing turned against each other while a serpent -a creature embodying both wisdom and poison-slithers between the two. Above the heads is foxglove, a potent medicinal plant capable of curing or killing.

The site of the well marks the place where 300 people- mainly women- were burned at the stake for suspected witchcraft. King James VI, the ruling monarch of the time harshly punished any activities thought to be connected with the dark arts. In reality many of women were tortured for being a bit different, eccentric, or knowledgeable in herb lore and other natural magic.

Five times more witches were burned in Scotland than any other country in Europe and 32% of Scottish witches came from the Lothians.

To be there with my mother whom I have not seen in a few years on this balsamic moon felt significant. Our own relationship has been painfully challenged…  we carry in our female line that which has the power to destroy or to heal. Both of us have at times been crushed under the weight of our shared trauma… and yet today we are choosing to heal.

I think of all those women, of all women, in various states of embodiment, of owning and disowning themselves, remembering and forgetting themselves, rising and falling. I think of the power they hold to transmute poison into medicine.

A few days ago, the question came to me… What will it take for you to own your witch?

Tomorrow the new moon is conjunct Spica, the brightest star in the Virgo constellation, revered by the ancient Egyptians who aligned temples to her. Spica is thought to be one of the most fortunate stars, associated with religious and spiritual qualities. According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Venus and Mars- a rare blending of masculine and feminine. The warrior. The power of the actualising masculine principle channelled through the feminine principle. The power to create from spirit- the witch.

Spica is placed in the wheat sheaf in the left hand of the Virgo constellation, physically representing harvest and symbolically representing the alchemical act of transforming spirit into matter.

I see this new moon as potent time to channel and transmute poison into medicine. The ability to do so lies within ourselves when we make a conscious choice to heal and reclaim ourselves as autonomous and powerful beings, aware of what we are creating or destroying in our lives.

 Hurt and pain then become the Prima Materia, the raw material, from which we birth a new vision.