A New Moon Rising

Gustav Klimt, ‘Medicine’.

The first new moon of the year happens tomorrow at 05.00 GMT, 23° Capricorn.

With Saturn, Jupiter, and Mercury all in Aquarius, Pluto is still making his presence felt in Saturn ruled Capricorn and at 24° Capricorn is closely conjunct the Sun/Moon. With Pluto conjunct the new moon there is a sense of things that have been stirring below the veil of consciousness for a long time now beginning to surface. My feeling is that one of the primary issues to undergo radical transformation is our relationship to the feminine principle.

Uranus and Mars are in Taurus with Uranus at 6° making and a trine to Venus at 5 ° Capricorn.

There is a grand square between Vesta at 21° Virgo, South Node at 19° Sagittarius, North Node at 19° Gemini, and Neptune at 18° Pisces- with a Vesta Neptune opposition. Vesta is under joint rulership of Virgo and Scorpio and is strong in the new moon chart. Neptune is at home in Pisces.

The lunar nodes have been on the Gemini/Sagittarius axis since 5 May 2020 and will stay there until January 2022. The last two times the Lunar Nodes were in Gemini/Sagittarius were October 13, 2001 to April 14, 2003 and March 17, 1983 to September 12, 1984. If you are inspired to do a bit of diving it is worth looking into what was constellating in your own life at these times… particularly relating to feminine issues and experiences.

With the nodes of the moon involved in a grand square with Vesta and Neptune, there are implications of a karmic unfolding. Vesta is the Keeper of the Sacred Flame in the Temple of Apollo although prior to patriarchal takeover the Vestal virgins were priestesses in service to the moon goddess, honouring Her fertilizing and generative ways through the practice of sacred sexual rites.

In mythology Neptune is also connected with committing a crime against a Priestess in the Temple of Athena- Medusa was violated by Poseidon (Neptune) and having breached the rules of the temple was banished to a cave with her serpent headed gorgon sisters.

With these aspects alone, and particularly with Pluto making a close conjunction to the Moon, I feel this new Moon is highlighting issues related to:

-Female sexuality

-Female sexual wounding

-Sexual abuse and violation

-Exploitation, control, and distortion of female sexual energy

-Distorted images of the feminine in the collective psyche

-Issues related to motherhood and mothering

-The artificial split that has been created between woman as mother and woman as sexual being

Venus trine Uranus is bringing these issue out into the collective for healing, but not only that, during this new Moon, Venus is closely conjunct the centaur Pholus at 4° Capricorn. Pholus’ catch phrase is ‘the lid comes off’ and points to sudden and radical change. With the lunar nodal aspects involved in a grand square with Vesta and Neptune we are dealing with collective karma in relation to both the sacred nature of the feminine and transgressions against it.

Pholus was the second centaur to be discovered after Chiron on 9 January 1992- 29 years ago which interestingly is a progressed moon cycle.

Named after mythological creatures who are half human half horse, centaurs characteristically cross the orbit of the Sun between Jupiter and Neptune- between the asteroid belt and the trans- Neptunian bodies. Pholus’ path crosses the orbit of Saturn and Neptune and is considered a key to Neptune, a higher octave of Venus opening up spiritualized dimensions of Venus.

In mythology Pholus, like Chiron is a civilized and refined breed of centaur- the centaurs are usually depicted as wild and unruly, overcome by the primal, animal aspects of their nature.

One day, Hercules who was on his way to kill the Erymanthian Boar to complete his 4th labour, stopped to visit his friend Pholus in his cave near mount Pelion. Pholus being a gracious host is persuaded by Hercules to open the sacred wine given to the centaurs by the god of ecstasy Dionysus. The wine was kept in a special skin under the earth and upon being being opened incites the other centaurs to revolt wildly. Hercules killed many of the demented centaurs by shooting them with small arrows coated in the blood of the Hydra – a poison collected from Hercules’ second labour.

Pholus who is somewhat bewildered by the scene helps a fellow centaur by removing the arrow from his flesh but in doing so accidentally lets the arrow drop onto his own foot.

Chiron is also accidentally wounded in the skirmish but unlike Pholus, Chiron is a demigod and unable to die, instead he goes on to become the master (wounded) healer. Pholus dies.

Pholus points to sudden change, of things being unearthed and of ancestral secrets being revealed. In a birth chart, a prominent Pholus may describe a person whose role is to unlock ancestral information from at least four generations back for the purpose of healing the ancestral field.

In my own story I have found working with Pholus profoundly rich in connecting with buried issues relating to my mother-line going back four generation. Information is still coming through and is definitely set in motion by transits to Pholus.

Uranus in harmony with Venus may also initiate sudden changes in relation to the feminine and during this lunar cycle, particularly related to female sexuality. With Pholus by Venus’ side it may be that we begin to witness an altogether more authentic version of the feminine. By clearing distortions that have been rendered on the feminine through systems of patriarchal control, a new level of feminine consciousness and healing is emerging- and it is necessary.

Last year, with Pluto journeying through Saturn and making an exact conjunction in January 2020, structures that can no longer withstand the vibrational upgrade in human spiritual development are being scrutinised, challenged, and dismantled.

In astrology, Venus rules over marriage, love, harmony, money, beauty, and value. In our culture we have idolised the Venusian archetype through the glamourous model or alluring sex kitten… the sexually pleasing feminine who titillates and seduces just as she appeases and accommodates. Perhaps the biggest Venus icon of our time was Marilyn Monroe, earning Hollywood a ton of money and paving the way for the sexual permissiveness of the late 60’s. Behind the glamour of the silver screen however Marilyn was a woman beset with profound insecurities due to a sexually abusive childhood. At age 11 her mother was incarcerated in a sanatorium for the mentally unstable, and Marilyn was placed in the care of the State of California. With a close Chiron Venus conjunction on her midheaven- for the world to see- she describes the dark rabbit hole of feminine conditioning and manipulation.

There is something here about the disenfranchisement of the feminine from her natural grounding and her subsequent manipulation. Through the archetypal lens we know that Venus/Aphrodite was without a mother, being born from the castrated genitals of her father Ouranos, the sky god and emerging as a fully formed woman from the foam of the sea. There are parallels here with Marilyn and countless other woman who having not received a strong stabilizing grounding from a mother figure become vulnerable to abuse. Far from being a sexually powerful and integrated feminine archetype, Venus has come to represent the pacifying, accommodating, good wife and partner, and vehicle of pleasure.

Venus Aphrodite originally came from Asia, associated with Ishtar Astarte, as a fertility goddess of all of nature and life forms. In later Greek times Aphrodite became recognised chiefly through her outer attributes of love and erotic desirability. The fertility goddess’s function as “primal mother of all ongoing creation” was repressed and forgotten. Consequently in her patriarchal form, her essence was filtered and distorted into being simply an alluring and beautiful woman whose association with the cyclic fertilizing and transforming principles of nature were denied expressions.

This speaks to the way we have split apart the sexual and the mothering aspects of women. This dichotomy is seen at the core of the teachings of the Christian church in the polarized images of Mary the chaste and untouched Mother, and Magdalene the scorned whore. We see it in the ongoing controversy of women breast feeding in public as breasts have become a sexualised and therefore profane aspect of the feminine.

The essence of the feminine principle is symbolized by the moon, and accordingly the moon serves as the symbolic representation of the undifferentiated force of the divine feminine. The moon, says Demetra George, contains the totality of feminine expression and combined within her are all possible expressions of [the feminine]. She reveals two principles: growth/fertilization and transformation. She is also the matrix from which all feminine expressions arise.

In Venus, the potential of fertilization and transformation becomes activated as the vital reproductive force.

If however distortions exist at the foundational level- the moon- all subsequent manifestations are likewise vulnerable to distortions.

In a previous blog written on the Cancer full Moon, the last full moon of 2020, I wrote-

I feel this full moon is highlighting motherhood generally. As we exit the old paradigm and prepare ourselves for the new, a valid and important question on the table is, how do we view/ treat mothers, motherhood, and the Great Mother?

This is one of the central questions of our time. As we collectively reintegrate an authentic image of the feminine into the collective psyche there will be birthing pains, and this process may well be what we are experiencing now as we are being delivered into a more  balanced version of ourselves.

Questions around the issues of motherhood, feminine grounding and power, and female sexuality are forcing us to confront the distorted image of the feminine that has been imprinted in the modern psyche. It is time for the ‘lid to come off’ the suppressed dimensions of the feminine experience, told through the buried stories of our mothers and grandmothers, stripped from the veils of Neptunian illusion and excavated in the penetrative transforming power of Pluto.

 

Keepers of the Flame Returning at the Dangerous Hour

‘Keeper of the Flame- Anthropas’, by Siloh Sophia

“We are the wise women returning at this dangerous hour because women worldwide are and always were the guardians of the living Earth, as are all the surviving native tribal shamanistic people who still commune with the spirits.”

These words were written by Monica Sjoo and Barbara Mor, in 1987 in their seminal book The Great Cosmic Mother. That was 33 years ago at a time when feminine eco- consciousness was getting into full swing. Today I would not limit the privilege to women- men are also Keepers of the Flame, men who are attuned to the Cosmic Mother, and who commune with the Spirits… the modern shamans, the wise men, the warriors of truth, and the medicine men…  those who know how to walk on the body of the Mother and who are transmitters between Her living Spirit and the Cosmic Spirit.

To all men and women who attune to the in-dwelling Spirit and who open themselves to the waves of cosmic influence… conduits of divine radiance, shaped, and merged with the ever-changing tides and cycles of human and planetary evolution – Rise! You are the Carriers of the Flame and this is the dangerous hour.

At this time of year in particular, a time known as the Holy Days in the Christian Mysteries calendar, when the light is returning and an abundance of of spiritual light is available on Earth, we humans can attune to these waves to anchor light into our bodies and the living Earth… and that can be a bumpy ride!

Last night I couldn’t sleep, for days I have been experiencing an opening of the Heart, my heart has been beating fast, energetically there is a quickening and my sleep is disturbed. I am aware that I am tuning into the human collective and the interacting cosmic consciousness- it is an awakening and awakenings are not always neat, birthing is messy, and for many of us our bodies and minds are not attuned to receive these energies easily… we have been living in a heavy vibrational frequency for a long time, polluted with toxins on all levels of the physical and subtle bodies. Purification involves fire… we burn.

In the still of the night I got up and picked a book from my bookcase- a book that I’ve had for a year but haven’t yet read. The title of the book is Lilith: Keepers of the Flame and comes out of Jeffrey Woolf Green’s school of Evolutionary Astrology. I turn to a random page and find these words-

“During the time of the first full Moon after the winter solstice, the radiance of the physical Sun’s rays might be felt pollinating or making love to Mother Earth’s fertile womb of Creation, inseminating all Her lifeforms in preparation for a new season of life. The sexually derived, symbolic overtones correlate to the active union and separation of the female and the male creating principles within consciousness creating a psychic-sexual-spiritual experience: As our Sun’s warmth and light “makes love” to the Feeling Body of the Creatress Mother (whose Spirit dwells within all Earthly manifestations) his life-giving radiance pollinates and makes Her Creation on earth, regenerating love’s bliss within the crucible of the human heart…. the fusion of these twin cosmic lovers uniting within a consciousness produces a heavenly sensation in the body that is virtually imopssible to resist”.

These words penetrated me as Truth as they have been my embodied experience these past few days.

At this time of peace on Earth and good will to all men we celebrate with our families, cherishing the joy and comfort they bring, forgiving whatever points of tension may have arisen in the previous year, and renew our bonds of closeness. As Christians we may attend more services in church giving thanks for the sacrifice of Christ and the redemption He offered through the mysteries of His birth, death, and resurrection. The cup of human kindness flows more easily over the festive season, but there is something much more profound available to us at this time… the portal through which we may receive these energies into our essence so that we too are transformed in the Holy fire, and that we are re-born, twice born, once as physical beings of matter and then again as beings of spirit in matter- receivers and transmitters of divine light- creators of the physical world in partnership with and communing with Spirit… Keepers of the Flame.

When these energies move through us, so often we project them outside of ourselves, especially in erotically charged unions… the inseminating life giving essence is personalised and idealised in the ‘other’. We select which others we want to open ourselves to and allow these powerful waves to move through us… we try to limit and control the experience which can be overwhelming and even terrifying. We try to control love too, it becomes conditional and the circumstances need to be just right, not too threatening to allow this merging to happen, before we can consider even the smallest surrender. We get hurt and disappointed when we feel betrayed… our experience of love becomes completely dependent on another. We become stuck in the dynamics of this, fixated on the relationship, getting trapped in negative loops and patterns according to our conditioning and this entrapment prevents us from fully receiving cosmic love. Love becomes small and owned, even becoming a battlefield which is anti-flow.

When we realise we are the light we radiate beyond the personal to merge with the transpersonal. As we enter the age of Aquarius the opportunity is to become creator individuals embedded within a shimmering matrix of evolving consciousness expressed through our human experience. Previous limitations dissolve and the invitation is to evolve beyond the constraints of our conditioning- to become Divine.

If all of this sounds far-fetched and scary, consider this- we are in the dangerous hour, one step away from enforced vaccination and control beyond which most of us can comprehend. I do not know how the vaccination will interact with our bio-spiritual-psychic experience and as you may have noticed no ‘experts’ are talking about it either- mRNA vaccinations may or may not alter human DNA. Alcohol, processed food, electromagnetic pollution, fear-based thinking, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals all have the effect of closing us off to the cosmic flow and it therefore definitely worthy of investigation to consider how vaccinations could affect us.

On this New Year’s Day we stand on a threshold as never before. We are being called to make choices and the stakes are high.

I wish you all well as we cross the threshold whichever path you choose.

Purification involves fire… we burn… but we are free.

Cancer Moon Conjunct Hades: Transforming the Moon Mother

Painting by Jeff Brown

On Thursday 30th December, the full moon at 8 ° Cancer makes a conjunction with Hades, Lord of the underworld, shining a lunar light on the banished parts of ourselves individually and collectively, now waiting to return in the wild flowing rivers between life and death. Cancer is a cardinal water sign ruled by the Moon and is connected with the mother; in western astrology it is linked to the 4th house, the place of roots, foundations, and early environment.

The current lunar cycle began with a total solar eclipse at 23 ° Sagittarius, on the moon’s south node, days before the winter solstice and the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. Eclipses occurring on the south node are an opportunity to clear out old, entrenched patterns, psychic scar tissue, and ways of being that chain us to outmoded vibrational realities. The past is also the keeper of memories, a storehouse of information telling the story of our soul’s journey.

Functioning as a kind of filter for planetary frequencies to interact with humans on Earth, the moon is a catalyst for transformation. Astrologically the Moon reflects our inner feeling world, our most primal expressions and what we need to feel safe, secure, and attached to our earthy existence. How we are welcomed into the world and the sense of belonging and safety that bolsters us… or not, is seen in the zodiacal position, aspects, and house placement of our natal moon. In life the influence of the moon is expressed in our most intimate relationships, primal needs for comfort, food, relationship to our mothers, our nervous system, and also describes the conditions of our very early life- up to 2 years old.

At 8 ° of Cancer, tomorrow’s full moon makes a close conjunction with Hades at 9 ° Cancer. Hades is not an asteroid; he falls under the category Uranian planets and may or may not be a hypothetical point. Regardless, astrologers working in the Uranian, or Hamburg School system credit Hades with a lot of importance. While mythologically Hades and Pluto are the same, in astrology they are different describing different phases and processes of the underworld journey. Having recently been through a long series of Pluto transits and only now discovering Hades and the Uranian planets, I have a sense of how these archetypes play out, though that’s for another blog.

Trans-Neptunian and trans-Pluto planets are fascinating, and I expect more information about them will surface as humanity experiences a vibrational shift- a physical sighting could happen any day as human consciousness expands farther into the solar system. Intuitively I feel the farther we go into outer space, the deeper the reaches of inner space… As Above, So Below.

A lunar descent to Hades sounds scary… our most vulnerable self in the underworld with little hope of return… at least not without some powerful allies such as Hecate, goddess of magic. Hades, god of the underworld as well as the place conjures a sense of purgatorial suffering, unfinished business, and mysterious processes designed to purge and purify the human soul. Strict hierarchical structures and laws must be adhered to… a ferry man must be paid… the rules of the underworld must not be questioned. Pluto is essentially the great transformer.

The myths of Inanna and Persephone teaches us that while a journey to the underworld may be treacherous and traumatic, the riches to be had are great- the Greeks named Hades Plouton and the Romans pluralized it to Pluton/Pluto which means giver of wealth.

Bordered by five rivers – the Styx, Lethe, Acheron, Phlegethon and Cocytus, which can also be perceived by the living, these rivers are passages between the living and the dead. The river Lethe is the river of forgetfulness named after the goddess of oblivion and forgetfulness, Lethe. On drinking the water from the river one completely forgets their past life and is prepared for reincarnation.

Invisible gods, amnesia, shadows and shades, things barely hinted at, phantoms, forbidden fruit… what does it all mean?  What happens when we are abducted from our seat of security, even while it may be a rickety dysfunctional seat built on frail foundations- and cast into the depths of the unconscious/hell? Do we still refuse to acknowledge that which will not rest until it is brought to light? In the oldest known versions of the Persephone- Demeter myth, before patriarchal overlays, the maiden Kore goes willingly to the underworld, there is no abduction and rape, and like her Sumerian counterpart, Inanna, she is aware that her descent is also her becoming.

The Orphic mysteries introduce the existence of another river, the Mnemosyne which allows full remembrance of one’s life. Followers of Orphism were buried with gold-leaved tablets providing instructions on how to travel through death and obtain omniscience. Consciousness through the death process is also part of Tibetan, Celtic, and Native American cosmology.

Events and experiences that happened to us when we were babies cannot be cognitively recalled though the effects of those experiences stay with us and shape us throughout our lives. If those experiences were traumatic or shocking, our nervous system is wired in ways that cause us to be overstimulated, fearful and reactionary- flight, fight, or freeze. Our base chakra, our root, is disrupted.

We can piece together the story of our early lives through what we are told from our parents and the people who were closest to us at that time but what if those people themselves were traumatised, suffered from amnesia, stress, or shock?  What of the parts of our ancestral story that have been dismembered and locked in the underworld? The origins of our lives and our family story are then hazy, hidden, or obscure even while we continue to be influenced by it- our moon. Studies in epigenetics show that we are affected by what happened to our great grandparents. The dysfunctions and traumas in our collective experience likewise influence us as a whole, as a society.

Our moon also describes the emotional state of our mother, and the emotional frequency surrounding her when she gave birth to us and during those first years of life. Sun square moon in a chart for example can sometimes point to an environment that was disturbed by difficult relations between the mother and father.

I feel this full moon is highlighting motherhood generally. As we exit the old paradigm and prepare ourselves for the new, a valid and important question on the table is, how do we view/ treat mothers and motherhood? The consequences of traumatised mothers and traumatic mothering has been documented through the work of Bowlby and other psychologist working in the field of trauma and attachment theory. One of the most prevailing subjects of our time is healing the effects of dysfunctional relationships; It is clear that things that happened to us in childhood and particularly in the first few years of life have an immense effect on us determining the adults we become and the relationships we have.

It is often said that mothers feel forced to carry the guilt card when it comes to child rearing especially when things go wrong, but what has less readily been addressed is the overall societal and cultural conditions of motherhood. Many people are realising the limitations and detrimental consequences of current birthing practice. Spiritual doulas, conscious midwives, body-birthing wisdom, and compassionate support for mothers- to- be and mothers is finally filtering through- but we’re not there yet. The relational environment into which many babies are born is often traumatic and disturbing to the field of the new-born. Economic hardship and financial dependency tether mothers to emotionally damaging situations.

This past year beginning with the Pluto/Saturn conjunction in Capricorn initiated a process of dissolving old structures that were clearly unable to contain the new and emerging energies. As the shadows of Hades, the suppressed material of the collective unconscious, surfaced it became apparent that many of our ways of being were not only destructive to the planet but also to our inner world. Split off, exiled and buried parts of ourselves- the legacy of generations suffering in social structures that deny the full spectrum of human needs and expression including emotionally would not be silenced. It also became clear that attitudes, behaviours, and beliefs of the dying model could no longer be upheld and encouraged without weighty consequence- inner and outer devastation.

In placing out trust, faith, and life force in systems that cut us off from the ground of our being…mother/Mother, either deliberately or not, we abandoned ourselves. Individually we may have abandoned ourselves in families that demanded or expected us to be other than we are so as to uphold the family image or story, or to endorse a false matrix to protect the members from facing family ghosts. In intimate relationship we may abandon ourselves for a lukewarm version of love that does not embrace or recognise our soul. Collectively the same thing happens when we betray ourselves and agree to a society based on denial of the self at a core level. These compromises come with a high a penalty. The wailing in the underworld is an outcry against the desolation.

Do we choose to drink from the river Lethe or the river Mnemosyne? In choosing the former we relegate our authentic self to the shadow land of Hades failing to seize the opportunity for transformation. Choosing the latter we agree to a journey into the shadow lands to retrieve the lost parts of ourselves and the collective, including compassionate, loving support for mothers and mothering…. the heart of our humanity. And in reinstating the individual mother we reinstate the Great Mother. As Within, So Without.

Beneath scientific expertise, political rhetoric, and scholarship, beyond the horizons of the Earth and into the space age with its promise of eternal and perfect life, our primal human needs call from the depths of inner space and follows the child back into the arms of the Mother.

 

 

The Great Conjuction: On becoming your own liberation executive

Painting by Dennis Potokar

On Tuesday 14 December, a total solar eclipse in Sagittarius happened just days before Saturn entered Aquarius, followed by Jupiter on December 21, heralding the ‘Great Conjunction’ and the dawn of a new age. In this blog I share a few insights based on my personal experience and intuition around these collective shifts.

On the threshold between old and new we are not merely passive observers in unfolding events, we are, or at least can be, conscious participants and creators. Perhaps the most important issue at stake during this shift concerns the essence of our personal freedom and in this way the Great Conjunction may be viewed as the marriage between our spiritual and material selves and an opportunity to fully incarnate spirit into the material world. Uranus- the ruler of Aquarius- points to what spiritual evolutions may occur while Saturn offers the potential to develop strong structures to contain these higher, yet more intense frequencies, and Jupiter offers expansion.

Insights at the new moon eclipse, for me, were personal in nature and had to do with navigating my way though the trauma of a relationship breakup at the start of the covid pandemic and lockdown. It seemed that I oscillated between two states of consciousness, or even dimensions (old paradigm/new paradigm) in terms of how I processed and understood the trauma. I recognised the experience as being part of an old story spanning back into the timeline of my soul’s journey. The eclipse happened on the south node which has to do with the past, including past lives, and so it was not surprising that old unresolved issues surfaced. As I stayed in the descent I moved between personal pain, outrage, and grief, through to a vastly more expanded awareness in which I was knew that on some level I had chosen all of these experiences with the intention to be broken open, to be transformed and liberated from the mental prisons and outmoded beliefs that restrained me. Eclipses are times of accelerated growth lasting well beyond the moment. The whole of this lunar cycle offers a chance to journey into our past and gain awareness of the dymanics that still influence and control us.

Yesterday’s experience in the lead up to the solstice and the conjunction was again a powerful opening and for many hours I was dissolved in tears as I surrendered to what wanted to moved through me and be brought to light, dissolving old stuctures in its wake.

This morning I had the following insight about the Saturn Jupiter conjunction happening in Aquarius and realised that it was not too dissimilar to my personal revelations as both insights essentially showed the possibility of transformation through trauma.

Aquarius is ruled by Uranus and is known as the ‘great liberator’. It is an outer, transpersonal planet with a vibrational force akin to lightning, electricity, or kundalini- awakening. Being transpersonal, it is less concerned with the daily minutiae of our individual lives and more involved with the spiritual evolution of humanity as a collective. Because of this it can feel shocking and chaotic to our individual personhood. As the modern ruler of Aquarius and the 11th house, Uranus is linked with collective patterns of evolution… some say the age of Aquarius is the death of the individual. But how does the individual fare in this disruptive interpersonal and impersonal energy? As someone who has Uranus conjunct my moon Natally, Venus and north node in Aquarius, and Saturn in the 11th house, I am no stranger to bursts of Uranian energy, particularly on an emotional level-  hence the reason I get blasted every once in a while. The blasting always feels like a cleansing and a reset no matter how severe the disruption may have been. But here’s where Saturn comes in – I realised that with even more exposure to Uranian energy – now in the mental spheres and collective ripples of Aquarius – I saw the need to create stronger containers to allow this force to move through me. The more sensitive among us, and people with strong Uranian or outer planet signatures in their chart are at risk of being fried in these powerful transformative energies and need strong emotional and mental boundaries – they need a strong inner father figure, a strong Saturn.

One way we may become fragmented is by pixilation through over exposure to the virtual and AI worlds. Uranus rules the internet and technology, and who, especially during 2020 has not been increasingly sucked into and perhaps even merged with the machine?  This is after all the age of the machine. Saturn, like a good father, sometimes strict but always loving can impose conditions and restrictions designed to protect us from fragmentation, formlessness, and disintegration. Saturn says, “here are the parameters in which you can operate” and if Saturn is to be trusted and made friends with, one will eventually see that libertaion comes from discipline, form, structure, and being embodied in the world of matter- weaving body and spirit together. The danger is that Saturn may have become too rigid or we may have internalised an outmoded societal image of Saturn.

If we do not take responsibility for ourselves or learn to work with Saturn in our own lives we may too easily outsource it to someone who embodies the masculine principle or else the collective father which is currently a patriarchal model.

The collective father, the authorities of the dominant culture, may claim control on a mass scale by imposing systems and strategies that gain compliance through a mix of fear and uncertainty, as well as care.  The question on the table now however is what is the true cost of surrendering one’s personal will to the dictates of a father/god figure who seems on the one hand to offer refuge while at the same time insists on ever tighter restrictions and control? The new pandemic gods show little mercy for the voice of dissent and while I suspect the light bearer is waiting in the wings to offer humanity a Promethean- like liberation the question we must also ask is what is true liberation and what is only set up to appear as such?

This is the crossroads at which we stand at the dawning of the age of Aquarius: either we claim personal autonomy and responsibility for our choices and actions even while they challenge social sanctions and laws, or we renounce our right to choose from our higher self-will, personal rationale, and intuition… unless of course our personal will is entirely aligned with the values of authority. The decisions we make now will shape and influence the unfolding of the new age. Will it be a time when the positive aspects of Aquarius evolves through increasing social responsibility, collective power, and right use of information and technology, or will social freedom, imagination, and spiritual empowerment be monitored and engineered to create a compliant society ruled by technocratic governments and increasingly machine-like consciousness?

We are not puppets and pawns on this trajectory, and in spite of cultural dogma that presents a picture of obligatory compliance, we do have agency. The best of Uranian energy is expanded consciousness and spiritual evolution, the danger is that we get lost in its vastness. The antidote is developing a strong relationship with our personal Saturn/father and assuming responsibility for ourselves rather than sacrificing our autonomy.

On 14th December, on the solar total eclipse, Saturn was at the last degree of Capricorn before entering Aquarius. The sabian symbol for 30 degrees Capricorn is-

A Secret meeting of men responsible for executive decisions in world affairs.

It is also worth noting that Saturn first went into this degree of Tuesday 8th December which was the official launch of the Pfizer vaccine. The anaretic degree- the last degree- of a zodiacal sign conveys a sense of completion, a point of no return, and that certainly seems to be the case regarding the vaccination- but that is only at the level of society, we must not be duped into thinking that we have lost our rights as autonomous beings or the ability to choose and to take responsibility for our own decisions.

The threshold upon which we stand offers a rare and precious opportunity, and if we acknowledge that we have choice and consciously connect with a spiritual agency however that manifests for us, we get the chance to become creators of the new age instead of pawns.

The Great Conjunction may ultimately be involved with reinstating a spiritualised masculine principle in a world that has largely been despiritualised and emasculated.

Juno: Untangling the Knots of Unholy Matrimony

‘Jupiter and Juno on Mount Ida’ by James Barry 1773

For the past few days asteroid Juno has been courted by the Sun in a close conjunction and while Mars and Venus are in opposition it seems like a good time to spotlight relationships, and in particular marriage (which includes any long term committed partnership).

While Mars and Venus battle it out in a heated passion, the tension between Juno and her consort Jupiter (or Hera and Zeus in the Greek pantheon) has a different tone. For one thing, unlike Venus who frankly couldn’t care less about her wedding vows to Vulcan, Juno is the paragon of matrimonial fidelity, a virtue deeply revered by the culture of the time.

In the mythology different versions of how Juno and Jupiter come into matrimonial union exist but always the outcome is the same – pretty perverse in that both parties consciously strive to cause pain and humiliation to the other- unlike Mars and Venus who are just trying to work out their inherent differences. It would appear that Juno and Jupiter are engaged in what today would be considered a toxic relationship. While Zeus carelessly flaunts his sexual indiscretions in Hera’s face, Hera devises increasingly cruel ploys in her quest for revenge- often taken out on Zeus’ seducees.

Theirs is an unhappy marriage in which no divine child is produced. While Hera engages in parthenogenesis (conception without sperm) to deny Zeus a rightful heir, Zeus impregnates many mortal and immortal women, sometimes consensually, oftentimes not.

As lover/adversaries these two live in a perpetual state of combat separating and getting back together… like that couple… you know the one.

And yet Zeus respects Hera’s opinion and often seeks her counsel. Other signs of Zeus’ need- not necessarily love- of Hera are evident in several accounts such as promising Vulcan the hand of Venus for Hera’s release- which of course may explain Venus’ nonchalant attitude in her marriage… she was a trade off in the Hera/Zeus wars. And don’t we see this with destructive relationships generally- other people unwitingly pilled into the ring?

While Zeus hurls thunderbolts at Hera, Hera binds Zeus to a bed with a leather thong exposing him as a laughingstock and figure of ridicule before all the gods. Once freed Zeus then punishes Hera by suspending her from the heavens with golden bracelets and weights around her ankles. There is just no stopping these two and yet… Hera always, after periods of withdrawal and rejuvenation returns faithfully to her husband.

In the psychology of modern relationships we might wonder why people remain with partners who continue to humiliate and abuse them. Like Hera, no one can ever truly be fulfilled in such a marriage. Friends look on incredulously, unable to comprehend why they would allow themselves to be degraded and mistreated… yet again.

In the relationship parlance of today we would say that Hera and Zeus are trapped in a serious trauma bond tightly woven with co-dependency, narcissism, and maybe a touch of BDSM.

And yet these types of relationships often provide the catalyst to break us open so that we may progress to the next level and a step nearer to true soulful union. Wherever Juno appears in our chart we can be sure of a treasure trove to mine. If we can see beyond our projections and use the pain of relationship to initiate us into our truth, Juno might just set us free.

The myth of Hera and Zeus is also linked to the Golden Apple tree, a wedding gift given to Hera by Gaia as part of a ritual to unite two cultures- this may provide validation for the usurping of the earth goddess traditions by the encroaching Sky gods.

In astrology asteroid Juno can point us to our individual style of ‘doing’ marriage and commitment. It can show us where we are challenged in fulfilling those needs and act as a guide into a deeper understanding of our relationship signature beyond the placement of Venus, Mars, or the Moon. Juno adds another layer, a very important one that has to do with our soul’s need to merge with another and shows us where we are blocked, hijacked or vulnerable to this end.

In psychology of relationships the Juno archetype is a fundamental component in a three-fold process toward full soul union with another. This applies to both men and women.

Lilith the dark maid is the first stage, she simply will not tolerate any form of inequality or abuse, she does not wait around to try and work it out, and she ain’t suggesting marriage counselling. Instead she claims her freedom by pleasing herself. She will not be tamed and is a law unto herself… but eventually that becomes lonely and the soul calls for union.  

Juno as divine consort is where we learn about equality, commitment, sacrifice, and surrender. It is where we get to experience ourselves in the territory of infidelity, betrayal, insecurity, and abandonment- or in secure loving attachement based on trust and respect. Who are we in this? In what ways do we sacrifice ourselves to be loved? We learn just what it takes to become whole in ourselves and still be able to open deeply and surrender to another. Any inequalities, abuses, power struggles, and martyrdom will be highlighted, played out and brought to our attention in order to be balanced… but often very painfully.

The magic of relationships is that until we finally honour Juno we will repeatedly attract partners who will show us the next big lesson we need to learn on our journey toward alchemical union.

“In true occult terms, marriage is a path of transcendence that transforms the ego’s separateness into the larger whole.”

By house placement, sign and aspect Juno describes our fundamental needs in marriage and shows both our potential pathology and potential liberation.

The third element in the triad toward self-realized partnership is Psyche, this is when we achieve full soul union with another through the principle of Eros…

If you would like an astrological relationship portrait exploring Juno and other relationship signifiers in your chart I am available for on-line consultations.

* Credit goes to Demetra George and her book on the Asteroid Goddesses.

Venus conjunct Regulus: Power of the majestic feminine.

La forza (“the force”) by Boris Indrikov

Every 8 years Venus meets with the royal star Regulus- heart of the lion.

If you get up just before sunrise on October 2 & 3, you may be able to see Regulus shining in the morning sky next to Venus (Venus is the brighter of the two).
 
While this event happens every 8 Earth years, during that time Venus has circled the Sun 13 times.
 
The union of Venus and Regulus announces the fierce feminine, the one who will not be tamed, silenced, or subdued beneath false authority. It is an energy that is resonant with the mighty Egyptian goddess Sekhmet whose name means ‘one who is powerful’ and who is also given many epithets such as ‘one before whom evil trembles’.
 
This is an opportunity to remember and reaffirm sacred patterns of feminine wisdom and strength as a force that will not tolerate oppression, corruption, or evil.
 
She is the one who rises again and again to defend the sacredness of life, freedom, sovereignty, and truth.
 
Perhaps you feel called to honour this force in yourself, align with ancient feminine power and shine your light through the murkiness, confusions, and illusions of this time… if you’re feeling particularly inspired or focused you might want to rise before the Sun to meet these celestial beauties within and without.
 
The exact conjunction happens on October 3 at 00:00 UTC.
 
Hymn of Sekhmet
 
Mine is a heart of carnelian, crimson as murder on a holy day.
Mine is a heart of corneal, the gnarled roots of a dogwood and the bursting of flowers.
I am the broken wax seal on my lover’s letters.
I am the phoenix, the fiery sun, consuming and resuming myself.
I pace the halls of the Duat.
I knock on the doors of death.
I wander into the fields to stare at the sun and lie in the grass, ripe as a fig.
The souls of the gods are with me.
They hum like flies in my ears.
I will what I will.
Mine is a heart of carnelian, blood red as the crest of a phoenix.
 

Virgo New Moon: Mars in the Temple of Lilith

Edvard Munch ‘Madonna’

Not only is Mars retrograde and squaring Pluto on this Virgo new moon, he is also in communion with Black Moon Lilith within the precincts of her temple. Mars square Pluto can be explosive, hostile, and quick to react, particularly in response to perceived abuse of power.

Rather than shooting from the hip or being overtaken by primal fight or flight responses, Lilith influences Mars to look beyond the surface, dig deeper and find the true cause of the offense.

Mars can get lost in the fight blindly lashing out at the enemy and in doing so miss the real meaning of the situation. In this sort of combat there are no winners because even when there is a victor there is no real victory when nothing has been learned and no real change has occurred… the boxing ring bell will ring again and again until the real reason for the war is discovered and set right.

Black Moon Lilith can penetrate the nervous system transforming primal aggression to righteous anger and offer strategies beyond military style combat. And even while there may be a code of ethics in war, Lilith leads us beyond the chasms of duality to show that the real split is between our limited selves and our cosmic nature.

Beneath the rage is a sense of powerlessness and injustice. Lilith- as with Pluto- asks us to acknowledge where and how we have given our power away.

This applies to the stories and patterns of our personal lives as well as collectively- when we take our power (energy) back from toxic and abusive situations in our personal lives we effect change in the collective, slowly but surely untangling and dismantling webs of power that appear to trap us in ever tighter systems of control. By believing in and fearing these systems that we imagine arise from the outside we give away our power.

During this lunar cycle we have an opportunity to get real about the abuses, subtle and overt, that we endure, normalise, or justify in our lives. Maybe every once in a while we lash out or run away from situations and people who seem too challenging to confront. Or we may be compulsive pleasers in an attempt to keep the peace at all costs, or simply become numb and frozen, handling the difficulties of our lives on automatic pilot.

This new moon in Virgo is about self-preservation and self-respect, it is an opportunity to find the strength to tap into our essential truth and express it with wisdom, composure, and conviction. It is a time to commit to what we know is right and see the bigger picture free from endless reactivity.

The Rebrith of Quetzalcoatl & the Rise of Venus

Kukulkan/Quetzalcoatl

The heliacal rising of Venus occurs on June 10th where after a period of darkness she transforms into the Morning Star, rising just before the sun. For the Maya and Aztecs of Mesoamerica the journey of Venus was observed and noted with great interest and precision. Her journey was well documented and richly mythologised.

According to observations made by the Maya, episodes of upheaval linked to the cyclical motion of Venus play out as life-changing events.

What life changing events are taking place today? On the surface what we see is a world under the shadow of a global pandemic… and yet, many sense more is occurring behind the scenes and below the veil of consciousness. We might ask, what aspects of Venus- our value system- are we ready to transform? For the Maya -and contemporary astrologers- Venus’s rise as the Morning Star heralds a new beginning.

What part do we play in this cosmic unfolding? Does the consciousness we bring to bear upon the dawning of a new world influence and create that world? Is this the time when we individually and collectively realise we are far more powerful than we have been led to believe?

This is the first Venus retrograde in Gemini that has happened since the Venus transit of 2012- a year that coincided with the end of a 5125-year solar cycle in the Mayan calendar. It is also taking place between a lunar and solar eclipse. These are powerful times!

Questions to ask: why were the ancient Mesoamericans so fascinated by the movement of Venus on her journey around the sun, and what can that consciousness teach us now?

Long before Copernicus was tracking the movement of the planets in the high renaissance period, the Maya followed Venus with amazing accuracy. In a text known as the Dresden codex (thought to have been produced in the first half of the tenth century) the rise and fall of Venus from Morning Star to Evening Star is carefully illustrated. Curiously, the text made its way from the Yucatan Peninsula to the Royal Library in Dresden, Germany where in the 1800s a German mathematician named Ernst Förstemann- without any prior knowledge of Mayan glyphs- deciphered the text as an illustration of the celestial journey of the planet Venus.

In working with their solar Haab and Tzolkin calendar, the Maya viewed the heliacal rising of Venus (the rising of the planet before the sun after the inferior conjunction) as both potentially auspicious- a sign of new beginnings and the resurrection of Light after a period of Darkness, and potentially inauspicious, an evil portent invoking wars and conflict.  Ritual and warfare were planned accordingly.

Professor Anthony Aveni tells us, “Rituals celebrating the appearance of the Morning Star may have been held on the large plaza in front of the House of the Governor, providing the rulers of Uxmal with a way to commemorate their ties to the sky god.”

In another pre-colonial codex know as the ‘Borgia’, the narrative of the planet Venus suggest that the feathered god Quetzalcoatl represents Venus through the synodic cycle. Also revealed in this codex is the belief of the Maya that Venus is seen as the cause of a total solar eclipse. The story of Quetzalcoatl is also symbolised in the Annals of Cuauhtitlan which associates the 8-day period between the Evening Star and Morning Star- when Venus makes an inferior conjunction to the sun- with the death and resurrection of the feathered serpent deity.

Aveni says, “Before emerging as the Morning Star, Quetzalcoatl descended into the underworld for 8 days, evoking a link with the number of days Venus is invisible in inferior conjunction.”

In Mayan mythology, the planet/goddess Venus was inextricably linked with the sun- never being more than 47 ° away from the sun- and the serpent god Kukulkan- closely related to the Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl- whose name means ‘one who emerges from the serpent-spirit’ or cosmic kundalini force.

In ‘The Secrets of Mayan Science/Religion’, Mayan daykeeper Hunbatz Men says,

 “To be Quetzalcoatl or Kukulcan is to know the seven forces (chakras) that govern our body – not only know them but also use them and understand their intimate relationship with natural and cosmic laws. We must comprehend the long and short cycles and the solar laws that sustain our lives. We must know how to die, and how to be born.”

This initiatory process of death and rebirth is also symbolised in the Sumerian myth of Inanna in her descent to the underworld as a parallel to the cosmic movement of Venus.

In ‘The Hidden Maya’ by Martin Brennan, the Maya equivalent of “chi” is referred to as coyopa or “lightning in the blood,” which enables one to perceive within the body messages from the external worlds – both natural and supernatural. There is no one word for this in English, but it means something like, “vital force spirit.”

For the Maya, when Venus follows the sun, appearing as the Evening Star, she is Lamat when she reappears before the sun as the Morning Star, she is Ah-Chicum-Ek.

Morning Star Venus is associated with war, this is also the case in ancient Mesopotamia where She is Istar d’ Akat, a male deity of war. This warrior aspect of Venus is not to easily grasped or recognised in our modern patriarchal world where political and military power is firmly held by men. Feminine power- ahead of the sun and in her warrior aspect- was  largely rejected in patrilineal cultures such as Hellenistic, pharaonic Egypt, Latin Rome, and Judaism- and still today.

Knowledge of the 7 power centres- the serpent rising- vital energy- kundalini… these are the gifts of Venus. She shows us how to clear our vessels, to burn the old by descending into the darkness to illuminate what lies there, so we can see what is ready to be transformed, and like the Phoenix, or the feathered serpent, we rise.

Venus as the Scorpion Goddess

Image credit: CHN. From the Jiroft culture- Bronze Age (late 3rd millennium BCE) located in present day Iran.

Right now Venus is out of sight, obscured by the light of the Sun in what is known as her inferior conjunction. The ancient Sumerian myth of Inanna- our oldest written myth- tells the story of the descent and rebirth of the goddess as a symbolic representation of the movement of the planet Venus as she moves between the Earth and the sun- and then the other side of the sun.

For Inanna, the underworld journey is a process of healing the split between herself and her dark sister, the lost or unconscious parts of herself that have experienced loss, betrayal, rejection, and trauma. It is a profound experience of awakening, reclamation, reintegration, and sovereignty.

For the ancient world -and still many today- it is believed that Venus is guiding and showing us how to move through the process of death and rebirth as an initiatory journey into the sacred nature of our being. She is showing us how to integrate the shadow and the light parts of ourselves.

This feels more important than ever as the dark unacknowledged aspects of the collective unconscious are becoming painfully visible and destructive.

In Mesopotamia, Venus in her underworld phase was represented by the deity known as Ishhara or Ishkhara- who was symbolised by the Scorpion. She takes her place among the other Scorpion goddesses seen in cultures from Hindu, Aztec, and Egyptian.

Ishhara is the goddess of healing, magic, and sexuality. A vow made to Ishhara was taken very seriously… vows made in the underworld are for real, as is eating the food of the underworld as seen in the myth of Persephone.

Perhaps we are realising that many Faustian pacts have unwittingly been made and that it is time to free ourselves from the bondage of corrupt systems which have led to the desacralization of our humanity.

Times of underworld descent are an opportunity to right wrongs and free ourselves from unconscious patterns and behaviours by making them conscious. This works individually and collectively – as we become conscious of the ‘great below’, below the veil of illusion, or behind the curtain of OZ, the impulse is to rise up and refuse further complicity with that which is in misalignment with or offensive to our essence.

As Venus continues her journey in the underworld, the moon is undergoing her own death and rebirth as she is partially eclipsed on Friday 5th June in her full moon phase, positioned at the feet of the constellation Ophiuchus- ‘the Great Healer’ and close to the royal star Antares in the constellation of Scorpio. Antares symbolises death and rebirth, power and profound transformation.

Venus emerges on June 12th just above the fixed star Aldebaran in the constellation of Taurus -the ‘Eye of Illumination’- another royal star which symbolises movement into the new and remembrance of the sacredness of life.

This Venus retrograde cycle closes on June 24 shortly after the solar eclipse/Solstice on 21 June.

Venus then journeys direct in her Morning Star aspect-or Lucifer the Light Bearer- for 9 months before making her superior conjunction on the other side of the sun. She then returns as the evening star- Venus as lover- for 9 months.

What powerful times we are living through as we, part of the cosmic matrix, also undertake these journeys filled with the possibility of renewal, repair, and remembrance of our sacredness.

Credit to Psychologist Heather Ensworth, and to Babylonian Astrologer Rumen Kolev for their research and presentations on this topic.

 

Time for a Little Decompression…

Light on Water, taken by me in Roslin Glen, Scotland.

We don’t all have to agree right now. Our experiences, though fundamental on some level are also unique. We have different families, communities, cultures (conditioning), and inner worlds (souls). In my opinion we also have different soul paths, karma, consciousness, and life purpose. And it’s all OK.

Some of us trust the people in power to lead us to a good place, and some of us don’t. When a certain few have so much power and money so as to affect the entire globe on many essential levels- including biological- one has to admit, that’s a staggering amount of responsibility. It seems only natural that some of us might want to question if the consciousness behind that power is operating honestly and transparently. For example, is the issue of world health being considered beyond the purely material level of biology and economics? Are less tangible influences also factored in, such as spiritual health and wellbeing, soul-based living, and the living planet?

In previous times, Priests, Priestesses, Druids, Seers, Mystics, and Shamans (or equivalent) might have been regularly consulted precisely because they were able to penetrate behind the veil to see how things operate the level of spirit.

Some people are content with a materialist perspective, others are not.

It doesn’t have to be all conspiracy theory and woo-woo though, separating things in this way only adds fuel to the already raging fire generating more fear, suspicion and division. If there is evidence that doesn’t match up, if there is a sense of dishonesty, or of things being hidden or occult, it seems wise to look a bit deeper. Highly emotive and terrorizing posts circulating on social media can obscure and prohibit measured and responsible conversation. Hence the reason why many people are choosing to opt out of the conversation entirely.

There is a middle way between not engaging and jumping on every little thing out there to prove the existence on an evil cabal.

Talking of wisdom, no matter where stand on the spectrum, keeping a strong inner intuitive connection with oneself is crucial.

If it comes to pass (and perhaps it already has), a global government based on technocratic principles will have unprecedented powers never before witnessed in the history of humanity (at least not as far as we know). Is it enough that these new ‘superpowers’ operate beneath the seemingly benevolent umbrella of humanitarian ideals and philanthropy? Can we trust that?

I need to state again- that is a colossal amount of power.

But life (including bacteria and viruses), and the nature of humanity is more than a problem to be mastered, solved, or controlled.

For me there is a bigger picture to consider- the journey of the human soul and the potential of the human spirit… an evolving humanity whose final destiny is yet unknown.

I am open to questioning the fundamental issues of our time and I encourage others to do the same. I am not going to pass up the opportunity to participate in the potentially greatest transformation (awakening) of our time. And as many have said before me, “We are made for these times”.

Above all I recognise that fear is the biggest inhibitor of the human spirit… and the evolution of humanity.

I notice that the more spiritually inclined among us are focusing on raising our vibration- and if possible, the vibrations of others. Staying positive, upping the ante on spiritual practice, and cultivating good health is essential – I absolutely resonate with that. And yet… I also feel it is important to contribute to the world conversation – we each have something to offer, and for those with spiritual aptitude it is so important to add that to the mix.

Of course, the danger comes in losing sight of oneself in the process and this is why it’s important to honour ourselves… it’s fine to switch off and nourish ourselves, it’s good to retreat for a while, tune into ourselves to find our authentic voice again. It’s all too easy to get bent out of shape.

For me it’s also worth remembering that at the level of spirit, in the absolute sense, or in what native people call ‘Great Mystery’ things may look very different to how they appear to us on this plane.

All things are revealed in good time.

Until then stay strong and centred.