The Shadow Side of Aquarius

Shadows by Heidi Stanfield

Discoveries made in outer space reflect evolutions in inner space and sometimes revolutions in the political and social spheres. On 2 March 1807, the United States adopted its Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves, and on 25 March in the UK, an Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was passed, prohibiting the slave trade in the British Empire. Slavery itself was not abolished until 1833.

In the same month of the same year- March 1807- asteroid Vesta, the second largest and brightest asteroid was discovered in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. At the time of her discovery she was in Virgo and the nodes of the moon – karmic indicators- were on the Gemini/Sagittarius axis- north node 13 Sagittarius 15’ ° and south node 13 Gemini 15’ °.

Today Vesta is in Virgo and on 16 April 2021 the lunar nodes will be at exactly the same degree to the minute on the Gemini/Sagittarius axis as they were in March 1807- only the opposite way round with the south node in Sagittarius and the north node in Gemini. While there have been many nodal returns and nodal oppositions since 1807 and Vesta’s orbit is relatively short- 3.6 years, I cannot help feeling there is something deeply synchronistic at work here that points to awakening consciousness in opposition to patriarchal systems that uphold the tenets of slavery in its myriad forms.

Vesta ruled by Virgo, keeper of the natural law is laying the foundation for the balancing of the scales beyond manmade laws that rarely align with the course of true justice. As humanity breaks free from its limiting shell in its striving toward liberty, the old structures cannot withhold the pressure and must give way to a higher authority.

The Gemini/Sagittarius axis is involved with belief systems, philosophy, communication, intuition, reason, and openness… it resists rigidity and dogma. The possibilities of this axis are in the marrying of left and right brain- masculine and feminine- bringing forth flashes of inspiration in rational ways- ideal for Aquarian values. Gemini defines, Sagittarius expands.

Parallels with the discovery of asteroid Vesta and the emerging feminine voice that was  rising within the socio-political spheres in the early 19th century speak of a shift in collective consciousness that was no longer willing to tolerate oppression on account of race or gender. We are still seeing these same themes rising in the collective sphere today in the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter campaigns.

The ongoing nature of these issues opens the door to enquiry into the underlying powers at the core of slavery consciousness and the often-subtle ways in which this power is wielded. As we begin to realise the mechanics of slavery operating not only in its most obvious demonstrations but also in the subtle strategies of domination and control, there is a sense of uneasiness in the collective field. This is the territory of Deep Mind where manipulations in the astral realm- below the veil of consciousness- manifests in the conscious world (reality) but are not fully understood because not fully seen. They are accepted because they are presented as normal, and in this way are able to exist without question… until, that is, a shift of consciousness in the collective breaks down the prevailing structures and we glimpse behind the veil.

Abolitionist women played an important role in keeping the anti-slavery movement alive in the 1820s and it was newly formed women’s groups who pushed for total abolition in the British Empire. Seeds that took root in the collective consciousness at that time are now flowering as men and women are aligning with higher social ideals that refuse abusive systems of control.

While the Black Lives Matter gained a great deal of media attention last year, some people are sceptical about the motivations behind the movement. In an article entitled ‘The Black Lives Matter Movement is the Enemy of African Americans’, Leslie Taha, says,

Most people think that Black Lives Matter is a grassroots, black created, black run organization dedicated to fighting racism. It most certainly is not. The Black Lives Matter movement is the creation of a group of a few very wealthy individuals, non-profit corporations, and the corporate media (incidentally, 90% of the U.S. media is controlled by only six corporations and in the UK, it is five).

Whenever an issue receives over-blown media coverage that is highly endorsed by social-techno platforms such as Facebook that encourage people to express allegiance to that cause, I am always curious to know what lies beneath. Another example of a highly sanctioned cause recently was the NHS Heroes campaign… the clapping, the rainbows in the windows, the birth of the modern hero… and the shaming of people who did not comply with social expectations or who questioned the authenticity of the movement.

In 1791, in the lead up to the Abolition Act, Tory government headed by William Pitt The Younger rejected Consumer Action (boycotts of sugar and rum). This led to more than 300,000 people joining the boycott against sugar grown on plantations using slave labour. Women were instrumental in raising the voice of dissent and expressed their allegiance to the cause by wearing objects such as Wedgwood’s cameos featuring the image of a kneeling, chained, black slave. To what extent these gestures were gimmickry is not clear however given that the original cameos were made from ivory and precious gemstones such as mother of pearl afforded only to the classes who benefited the most from the slave trade, the potential for hypocrisy cannot be ignored.

While the Abolition of Slavery was finally passed in 1833 what is less well known is the enormous cost of this decision on the taxpayer- the British government spent £20 million, 40% of its budget, to buy freedom for slaves. That is equivalent to £20bn today… one of the biggest ever government bailouts. It was not slaves who received the money but the slave owners, among whom are the ancestors of former Prime Minister David Cameron, George Orwell, and Graham Greene- in today’s currency each family received £83 million. Payments for this bailout were only ended in 2015- the British taxpayer was footing the bill for almost 100 years.

The rabbit holes that are being unearthed at this time run deep…

This is the shadow side of Aquarius- causes that are presented as ‘for the greater good’ are often engineered by technocratic corporations keen to maintain the prevailing power structures. Concerns that surface in the collective are packaged, hyped, and presented in such a way so as to placate the populace into believing that something is being done… but only a fraction of the issue is ever revealed.

Engineered campaigns that appear to tackle issues are designed to create the illusion of solution-based people power. As most people genuinely want to do good and consider themselves part of the solution as opposed to part of the problem, mostly these campaigns are championed for the right reasons but ultimately lack substance or the necessary elements to make real lasting change and the corruption continues behind an ever-shinier facade of Aquarian ideals.

On the surface, while it appeared that salvery was abolished in the British Emire in 1833, the consciousness of corruption continued until a few years ago in the pay-out given to slave owners to compensate for their loss of earnings… at the tax payers expense.

Today, at the cusp of a new epoch, we are being asked not to be so easily seduced by clever marketing campaigns and dig a little deeper into what lies behind our consensual realities.

Daughters of Fire

Image by Tomasz-Alen-Kopera- magical surrealism painter.

The Aquarius new moon on 11 February at 19.06 GMT, saw a stellium of 6 planets, a Centaur (Chariklo), and a major asteroid (Pallas Athene) in Aquarius. Slow moving social planets Jupiter and Saturn will be visiting the new moon point at 23 ° Aquarius 3 times each, over the next year and into early 2023. This longer-term influence indicates that February’s new moon is a real game changer and possibly the most important new moon of the year. Whatever is highlighted or seeded during this time will be expanded, evolved, and grounded to lay the foundation for emerging realities. 

As an air sign, Aquarius is involved with the mind… the open mind. It is community focused, abstract, and humanitarian. Co-ruled by Uranus and Saturn, the futuristic visions of Aquarius may be shared in an instant through its favoured medium, the internet. Esoterically Aquarius conceals secrets relating to the interplay between the astral and physical realms, suggesting collective developments in psychic ability and the transmitting of information through etheric and astral planes. 

Asteroid Vesta, while not part of the Aquarius line-up, is opposing Neptune and squaring the nodes of the moon in a grand cross configuration. Vesta and Neptune were initially in opposition in December 2020, around the time of the winter Solstice. Whenever the nodes of the moon are prominent in an aspect pattern, matters relating to karma and the repeating of cycles are highlighted. Neptune inspires dreams, spiritual inclinations, transcendence, and mystical union. In its shadow aspect, Neptune can be deceptive, illusionary, and ungrounded. In the past year, we have felt the shadow aspect of Neptune in the halls of smoke and mirrors presented by mass media in a version of reality that has at times felt unreal.

Unlike Neptune, Vesta represents single pointed focus and concentration of energy. In her book on the asteroid goddesses, Demetra George says that Vesta is the High Priestesses archetype that kick starts the process of transformation through the compression of energy that gains traction, is released, and springs forward in a burst of psychic energy.

Collectively we have all felt the compression of energy through lockdown and other restrictions of covid-19. As the restrictions lift, the tension accumulated during the past year will need to be released in one form or another. February’s new moon may shed some light on the direction the energy is being pulled to. For personal guidance you can look to see what part of your chart is being highlighted by the new moon degree. 

In astrology, the placement of Vesta by house and sign describes what we are committed to and what area of our lives we are called to devotion and service for a cause greater than ourselves. Vesta pursuits and practices are those which we cannot not do, it is in effect our sacred vocation. A blocked, repressed, or wounded Vesta shows up as distortion in that area of our life.

In mythology, Vesta, Keeper of the Sacred Flame, refused to marry either Neptune god of the sea, or Apollo god of the sun. Instead Vesta pleaded with her brother Jupiter for the right to remain a virgin. Her request was granted and the priestesses who served her thereafter were known as the Vestal Virgins. In the temple of Apollo, the role of the Vestals was to tend the sacred flame upon which the fate of Rome depended. In earlier times, the Vestals were in service to the Moon goddess, channelling and transmitting Her fertilizing powers through the sexual act. The purpose was not solely for physical pleasure but to disseminate the transformative energy of the moon to human men, thereby offering humanity a transcendental experience of the goddess.

Distortion of this archetype continues today through corruption and control of sexuality, the fall out of which is painfully felt in the lives and relationships of modern men and women.

Symbolically, Vesta is not only involved with sexuality and points to any part of our lives where we are in sacred service or devotion to a higher cause.

On February’s new moon we are astrologically just past the point of Imbolc. Celtic goddess Brigid and Roman goddess Vesta are both honoured at this time of year in association with Imbolc and the purification rites of Mensis Februarius in ancient Rome.

Both goddesses are ‘Keepers of the Sacred Flame’ and represent the awakening of the land and rising of shakti or kundalini energy.

It is interesting to note that both Vesta and Brigid are ancient goddesses who were appropriated by their respective patriarchal religions: The original sacred sexual priestesses of Sumer were eventually appropriated by Apollo’s priests and denied their sexual rites, while Brigid was incorporated into the Christian canon as St Brigid of Kildare. Originally both goddesses were solar deities and are involved with the change over from matrilineal to patrilineal power.

For reasons that I hope to at least introduce in this article, I believe that fire, or solar feminine energy much repressed within patriarchal culture -unless it falls under the sway of patriarchal structures- is rekindling in modern women in a way that engages their intellect and feminine sexual power, or Shakti. This is the sacred union of the Sun and the Moon resulting in the birth of the divine child.

In March 1807 when asteroid Vesta was discovered at 29 ° Virgo, the nodes of the moon- karmic indicators were on the Gemini/Sagittarius axis- north node 13 Sagittarius 15’ ° and south node 13 Gemini 15’ °. On 16 April 2021, Vesta will be at 6 ° Virgo, the south node will be 13 Sagittarius 15’ ° and the north node will be 13 Gemini 15’ °. This nodal opposition signifies a meeting of past and present indicating that Vesta in Virgo themes are being redefined and refined in the collective consciousness.

In 1807 women were turning their attention to social and political concerns. For the first time women’s voices began to filter through the creative and cultural channels, and while it would be at least another hundred years until they could vote, their influence was nevertheless felt in the political sphere. Women’s voices were particularly strong in the anti- slavery movement; The Abolition Act, passed in 1807 -the same year as Vesta’s discovery- abolished the Slave Trade but not slavery itself. It was abolitionist women however who played an important role in keeping the anti-slavery movement alive in the 1820s and it was newly formed women’s groups who pushed for total abolition in the British Empire.

This is Vesta’s power in action. As the only Priestesshood in Rome, the Vestals worked as part of a group with 6 tending the sacred flame at all times. Before the patriarchal take-over it was similarly 6 Vestals who lay with the King’s men on the solstices in a sacred cave, the results of which produced the successive heir to the throne if the King’s consort did not conceive that year.

In 1791 as a precursor to this rising Vesta energy, Mary Wollstonecraft wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, the seminal English-language feminist and human rights work. Challenging the notion that women exist only to please men, she proposed that women and men be given equal opportunities in education, work, and politics. She writes:

Is one half of the human species, like the poor African slaves, to be subject to prejudices that brutalise them… only to sweeten the cup of men.

Archetypally Wollstonecraft’s challenge of patriarchal dominion is an echo of Vesta’s mythology in her refusal to devote herself to the sweetening of Neptune or Apollo’s cup and instead determine a life beyond the confinements of traditional feminine roles – wife (Juno) or mother (Ceres).

Vesta- type women are modern virgins who belong to no man choosing instead to offer their devotions to a higher cause… although that’s not to say that Vesta women are celibate or single, simply that they are contained within their own energy.

In ancient times a Vestal could give of herself without self-sacrifice through the practice of periodic rejuvenation, for example by bathing in the sacred springs. The old meaning of virgin is ‘she who is whole unto herself’ and in that way the Vestals kept their virginity intact, undiluted, and undefiled by the usual interpersonal dynamics and contractual agreements of society.

The inner function and meaning of Vesta is self-renewal and regeneration, inner union with self.

Wollstonecraft’s Vesta is in the 11th house of groups and the social collective. Ideas she brought forth in the 19th century still carry weight today in issues relating to feminism and human rights. She also had her north node in the 11th house indicating that her soul’s purpose involved expression in the social field.

In applying Vesta, or shakti- feminine fire- energy to political, social, and collective causes, the power to open and loosen rigid, controlling, self-serving or authoritarian patriarchal structures is realised. Women have been conditioned into believing that solar energy, fire, is a masculine quality and unless women express themselves through the archetype of Pallas Athene, daughter of patriarchy, their fire expression is often denied or rejected. At the heart of this consciousness is a deep-seated fear of the feminine.

An empowered woman who channels her sexual energy for a purpose beyond physical satisfaction of her partner is deemed to be a dangerous figure in patriarchal culture. Archetypally the prostitute is permitted to express sexual energy beyond the role of wife and consort, however her sexual energy is commodified and therefore owned. Modern prostitution is a shadow side of the Vesta archetype, as is compulsive behaviours such as promiscuity and shame based sexual practices that involve degradation, humiliation, or suffering.

The Vesta shadow is seen in the image of the desexualised nun or religious woman who has chosen to cut herself off from the world and her sexuality. Vesta is also seen in the image of the lonely spinster and sometimes lofty academic who has chosen to reside in her head rather than her body.

In eastern teachings, it is Shakti who activates the consciousness and awareness of her consort Lord Shiva… without her he would remain inactive. Shakti brings divine transcendence to immanence… like the Vestals who brought the sacred to the earthly realm by opening their bodies sexuality to receive and transmit the divine.

Feminine energy-in both women and men- has the ability to encompass both human and divine, body and spirit, light and dark, sacred, and profane. When a cause is lit with the spark of Vesta’s flame, as Mary Wollstonecraft demonstrated, the effects in the social and collective spheres are transformative and enduring.

Last year as Pluto and Saturn moved through Capricorn and we entered the threshold of the age of Aquarius we began to see old structures breaking down. Aquarius demands this.

Women may if they choose to set up their own groups, schools, sisterhoods, and Priestesshoods. We no longer need permission… Vesta is returning.

Many women are finding that they do not fit neatly into the socially ordained roles of the past.  A modern virgin in the old sense of the word, ‘whole unto oneself’ means only that she is no longer dependent or rather co-dependent on anything or anyone outside herself for her economic, emotional, mental, spiritual, or physical health.

She is also free to cultivate her solar energy and use it to whatever purpose she chooses.

In 1987 Monica Sjoo and Barbara Mor wrote in their seminal book The Great Cosmic Mother:

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.

We who still commune with the spirits are also opening to new ways of communing with each other. Though physical women’s circles and sisterhoods are wonderful and nourishing, we are also finding that like hives of bees we are sharing information and wisdom through telepathic and astral channels. This extra sensory function and perception is supported by Aquarian energy coming through in accelerated waves at this time.

The sabian symbols are 360 words or phrases that represent the vibration of each of the degrees of the zodiac from Aries 1 to Pisces 30. They were birthed in 1925 by Marc Edmund Jones, spiritualist and Astrologer, and gifted clairvoyant Elsie Wheeler. Often deeply resonant the sabian symbols can unfold layers of meaning for the Astrologer and non-Astrologer alike. 

On the Aquarius new moon on 11th February, the sun/moon point is 23 ° Aquarius. The sabian symbol for that degree is –

Bridging physical and social distinction: Two (wo)men communicate telepathically.

The keynote for this symbol is:

‘the capacity to transcend the limitations of bodily existence where an effort should be made to enter a realm of consciousness in which the communication from mind to mind can take a more direct form, because the minds then operate within the One Mind of humanity’.

This ‘technique’ of transcendence is not without a cautionary warning however, as participating on the astral plane can bring confusion and many failures, as well as illusory claims and self-deceit.

While Neptune opposes Vesta and the karmic past and future rise in the space of this ancient duel, we are wise to be conscious about what we are participating in. Bearing in mind that there can be much deception involved with Neptune, we must be careful about what we are feeding with our precious shakti power. This is why it is vital at this time to get fully into our bodies and connect with the wisdom therein, and in particular with our wombs which have recorded all details of this ancient stand-off between a consciousness that opens to all aspects of life and one that limits this expression through control and domination.

Neptune is very seductive; he can lure us into a state where we feign enlightenment by bypassing the necessary steps to truly reclaiming ourselves. The gap between how the feminine in both men and women has been presented sexually, emotionally, mentally, and physically is often vastly different from our inner realities. If we are to reconnect with our truth and divine energy, we must become aware of the ways in which we may be deceived by ourselves and the cultural conditioning to which we have been indoctrinated.

Aquarius offers the promise of liberation, but it can also take us away from ourselves through information overload and coercion from the collective consensus whether manufactured or genuine. It is to ourselves and the inner function of Vesta that we must turn for self-renewal and regeneration to strengthen and steady ourselves upon the matrix of shifting consciousness and collective awakening.

Chiron in Aries: Reclaiming the Self in a Time of Awakening

Chiron by Allan Lathwell

Chiron in Aries: Reclaiming the Self in a Time of Awakening is a group for the Chiron in Aries generation- born between 2 April 1968 – 29th March 1977

Chiron entered into Aries in April 2018 and will stay there until April 2027. This means that some of the Chiron in Aries group will already have had their Chiron return while many others will be having theirs now or within the next 6 years.

Even if you have just had your Chiron return it would be wonderful if you could share your insights with the group. Being part of the group will also help you integrate and make sense of your personal experience.

Chiron in Aries people can be very spirited and pioneering… often referred to as trailblazers. Chiron teaches us how to work creatively with our Mars energy.

Known as ‘The Wounded Healer’ on account of being shot in the leg by a poisonous arrow, Chiron’s attempts to heal himself led him on a journey where he in fact becomes a master healer, teaching the art of healing to Asclepius, god of medicine.

Chiron’s original wound however happened at birth when upon seeing that he was half human half horse, his mother Philyra rejected him. When Chiron is in Aries the search for identity predominates as we attempt to find and reclaim the parts of ourselves that were, or that we perceived as having been rejected.

When Chiron returns to his natal point in our horoscope at age 49- 51, we receive a powerful opportunity to heal those early wounds and step into our authenticity and wholeness.

Chiron is attuned to the qualities of Mars as Warrior and Initiator and shows us how to cross the bridge between the personal and the transpersonal realms to connect with our higher selves.

Chiron can awaken us to our purpose in the world and help us to express our unique gifts… Chiron’s healing is both for and beyond ourselves.

Collectively we are at a critical juncture and the return of the Sacred Warrior is much needed in these changing times.

The Chironian journey is not an easy one however if we are to become the fullest most integrated version of ourselves and express that in the world it is a crossing we must make.

Working with the support, wisdom, and knowledge of fellow travellers can help greatly during this time.

This 7-week course begins on Monday 12 April on the new moon in Aries and will run until Monday 24 May.

Sessions take place every Monday evening at 6.30 PM – 8.30 GMT.

Additional reading is encouraged though not obligatory.
Notes will be provided.

Natal Charts can be sent to participants.

Cost is £80

Payment may be made to the following PayPal account-

Meeting are via Zoom-

You can join this group through Meetup, or you can contact me through this website on the contact form, or email

Chiron in Aries: Reclaiming the Self in a Time of Awakening

Roslin, GB
4 Members

Chiron in Aries: Reclaiming the Self in a Time of Awakening is a group for the Chiron in Aries generation- born between 2 April 1968 – 29th March 1977Chiron entered into Arie…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Aquarius New Moon: Are You Ready for the Aquarian Edge?

Aquarius by Johfra

February New Moon in Aquarius, 11 February, 7. 05 PM, GMT

This new moon is calling us to take our place in the collective tapestry and stand in our uniqueness. It is an invitation to be proud of who we are realising that what we have to offer reflects our unique vibrational field and is needed at this time.

Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, the radical outer planet that breaks down old, outmoded structures freeing us from the restrictions of Saturn to a new liberated state of being where we get to fully be who we are, or who we are meant to be… and that can be edgy.

Meditations and reflections this coming new moon around what limits, prevents and restricts us from stepping into our full expression will go a long way to revealing our purpose and why we are here.

Aquarius is simultaneously involved and detached- ‘in the world but not of it’, or as Sadhguru says,

Totally involved but unentangled – this is the quality of the Divine. If you maintain this quality, ultimate liberation will be a natural process.

What does this look like in practice?

It is not trying to escape the earthly material world, or the collective processes, nor is it to shut ourselves down due to fear. It is to stay open and present to the world while knowing when to retreat and rejuvenate ourselves and at the same time letting the stuff of the world and other people flow through us without letting it stick to us or drag us down.

This is a fine balance and calls for a lot of self-love and self-respect… and respect for the uniqueness of others too.

As Margaret Mead says,

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everybody else.

In Capricorn we learned about boundaries, in Aquarius it is important to set them otherwise we can become overwhelmed by the sheer influx of information. Discernment is key.

Aquarius is the water bearer, but it is not the water. Aquarius allows the possibility of containing our emotions without letting them spill out onto others and without the emotions and toxicity of others affecting us.

Aquarius calls for us to make our vessels tight while at the same time being open and receptive to the positive and transformative cosmic flows… currently fast and abundant.

Aquarius has not yet fully dissolved into the undifferentiated oneness of Pisces but has moved beyond the limiting structures of Capricorn/Saturn where individuality is tempered to accord with traditional values.

Aquarius sets us free to show up in the world as we truly are.

The invitation is to let the hard-shelled cladding of other people’s judgments and opinions fall away creating space for the authentic self to be realised.

Identify persons, situations, past experiences, and most of all distorted conditioning that has prevented you from truly believing in yourself.

Things we once thought important, that took our time and energy, that we worried about and fretted over are no longer able to eclipse our light, the vibration simply does not hold up. Let those things and people go, with love. Consciously raise your vibration and whatever does not resonate with that vibration let it fall away.

With 6 planets in Aquarius and Jupiter and Saturn each making three exact contacts to the 23 degrees Aquarius point over the next almost two years, the choices we make now will be instrumental in grounding and manifesting a new vibrational reality in our lives.

This is quantum… things can happen very quickly now.

What you once thought- or were told- was not possible is suddenly within reach. With Jupiter going over the 23 degree point three times, expansion and evolution are supported, while Saturn also crosses this point three times grounding and concretizing the changes… and ensuring the new reality can stand in the world.

Aquarian energy is light and electric, it cuts away old stagnation and stickiness in an instant if we allow it. Truly this is a time to break through limiting beliefs- the universe is supporting personal and collective transformation like never before.

Remember to stay grounded… Aquarian energy can be somewhat disembodied and over stimulating on the nervous system. Through this time, ground and embody your new insights and awareness by spending time in nature and taking extra good care of yourself.


February: On the Threshold of Death and Birth

Purification by Daria Pietryka

In recent years I have been inspired toward purging and purification in the month of February; on a physical level as the energy in my body rises, I am called to clean up my act, get physically lighter and cleanse or detox even through February is still in winter… especially in Scotland where we’ve only just emerged from a blanket of thick snow.

But even while spiring is not quite here the first stirrings are felt from deep in the Earth and the long haul of winter is definitely coming to an end. There is a sense of hope and renewal and the first sighting of snowdrops is always a joy.

Emotionally and mentally too I sense the desire to let go of old things that I don’t wish to carry across the threshold. Intuitively I feel Imbolc and the month of February generally is a time to cut cords, adopt new habits and routines, and become more conscious about our beliefs, thoughts, and views. It is an excellent time for emotional clearing… letting go of the past, tying up loose ends, righting wrongs, reaching out to people with whom we have unfinished business, asking for/giving forgiveness, saying sorry, preparing the soil for new seeds, and if we are so inclined, renewing vows with ourselves.

In the Celtic calendar the cross-quarter festival of Imbolc is a time for spiritual purification and dedication, indeed, a possible origin of the word Imbolc is the Old Irish imb-fholc, to wash/cleanse oneself.

The Christian holiday of Candlemas celebrated on February 2nd which can be traced back to 4th century Greece is also a purification holiday and a celebration of the returning light.

The most common etymology of Imbolc comes from the Old Irish i mbolc which means ‘in the belly’ and refers to the pregnancy of ewes. A 10th century glossary derives Imbolc from oimelc, ‘ewe milk’.

Imbolc is also associated with death. Brigid is credited with the very first keening, a traditional wailing for the dead practiced at funerals by Irish and Scottish women.

In researching the Vestal Virgins- also Keepers of the Flame like Brigid- I was interested to learn that in ancient Rome the whole month of February was dedicated to purification and purging and has strong parallels with the Celtic Imbolc.

Beginning on 1st February and ending on 23rd February -which in the old calendar was the last day of that month- the city participated in various religious rites from honouring the dead to breast-feeding cults. Fertility rites, ancestor worship and propitiation of the dead occurred side-by-side on the threshold of new beginnings and endings. Mensis Februarius, the month of Februa, was the last month in the old calendar. No marriages took place during Februa and no official business was conducted, the temples were closed, and worship of the gods was not permitted.

According to Ovid februare is an Etruscan word for purging while the februum is any ritual object used for purification or consecration. Febris means to burn or purify, while the god Februus is the god of purification.

Lupercalia from 13th– 15th February was a festival dedicated to cleansing the city of evil spirits thus ensuring purification to facilitate health and fertility. Young men between the age of 20 and 40 known as Luperci “Brothers of the Wolf” dressed in goats’ skins of freshly sacrificed animals and ran through the streets striking women who wished to conceive with goat skin thongs.

Lupercales by Andreas Camassei

The Lupercalia rites took place in the Lupercal cave at the foot of Palatine Hill next to the sanctuary of Rumina, the breast-feeding goddess. Ensuring health of lactating livestock and women was a prime motivation for the Lupercalia, a festival closely associated with the genesis of Rome and the myth of Romulus and Remus who were suckled in a cave by a She Wolf.

In the Celtic tradition Imbolc was a time when the animals birthed their young causing their milk to flow… milk was considered sacred and Mother’s milk particularly so as life sustaining nourishment. Milk was sacred to the goddess Brigid who in one verse is referred to as the milkmaid of Jesus-

‘Thig a Bhride mhor na loin, Thig, a bhanachaig Iosda Criosda (‘Come, great Bride, the beauteous, Come thou milkmaid of Jesus Christ.’

‘White Brigid’s Day’ is another name for her feast day… milk was left out for her overnight or poured out on the ground as a libation to her.

In ancient Rome, The Parentalia was a 9-day public mourning festival to honour the ancestors culminating in offerings placed on family tombs followed by The Caristia on 22nd February to celebrate the bond between family and ancestors. A Vestal Virgin performed a rite on behalf of the city’s ancestors (the Manes) at the tomb of Tarpeia.

Caristia- Honouring the ancestors in the house of Iulius Polybius (IX 13,3) in Pompeii.Polybius (IX 13,3) in Pompeii.

On 23rd of February, Terminalia ended the sacred rites in worship to the god Termina, god of boundaries, clearly marking the end of one year and the beginning of another.

To honour this threshold time light a candle, make it a perpetual one if you feel particularly devotional; honour your ancestors; consider what it is you would like to birth this coming year and ensure you are physically and mentally prepared to do that; let go of old attachments and things of the past that are not meant to cross the threshold with you; make new vows and commitments to yourself, and as the month of February draws to a close create strong boundaries before stepping into the spring.

While few of us make physical sacrifices to the gods these days our sacrifices are more symbolic and metaphorical… what are we willing to give up to receive the new?

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”.

Leo Full Moon: I am chaos. I am alive, and I tell you that you are free.

Windswept Eris by Art E Studio

The full moon in Leo on Thursday 28th January is dynamic to say the least and is likely to stir some rumblings in the collective underbelly. With a tight Venus/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, and the Moon making a T-square with Mars and Uranus in Taurus, we may experience flaring hot tempers, emotional outbursts, and the breaking loose of hidden things from deep in the personal and collective unconscious. Information surfacing at this time may expose yet more tales of corruption and manipulation as well as unearthing our innermost desires and longings.

With a Uranus/ Mars/ Moon T-square, our desire could well be to shake off the shackles of control and authority that have bound us for close to a year. The overall compliance we have witnessed so far may now turn to indignation giving way to a louder voice of dissent. Primal urges and instincts stirring below the threshold of the conditioned mind may surface causing psychic unrest and greater disturbance in the collective field.

The full moon call is to be with the uncomfortable feeling allowing it to lead us to the supressed voice at our core, the one that has been silenced by fear and paralysis. As tensions give rise to expression we may be surprised by our own utterances and behaviour and that of others. If we can allow all assertions compassionate space in the midst of uncertainty we have a chance of moving closer to our authentic feelings. From there we are clearer in our chioces. And we do have chioces.

Uranus moon contacts are never comfortable, and especially with Uranus in Taurus, insecurity around material attachment, food and primal needs may dislodge us from any contrived sense of comfort we have grasped at during ‘these troubled times’. If we have allowed ourselves to be lured into a false sense of security now might the time to review those impressions.

Following on the theme of deep stirrings in feminine consciousness triggered by the new moon/ Pluto conjunction, and the grand square between Vesta, Neptune and the South Node on 13th January, the continued rise of feminine power is amplified by a strong Lilith/Eris signature in this full moon chart.

With asteroid Lilith making an exact conjunction to the Sun and Jupiter at 9 ° Aquarius, the dark feminine is casting a shadow on the solar enlightenment project and credibility of Homo scientificus’ plan for ordo ab chao (order out chaos) through bio medical manipulation and increasing social control.

Lilith, as usual, is asking some difficult questions…

She who knows the ineffable name of God is dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s in the book of natural law examining where man-made laws are in contravention. Eris is mixing things up and adding a little chaos to proceedings while boldly calling out any trangressions.

Both these winged apple bearing daimonia are compelling us to wise up.

Mean Black Moon Lilith joins forces with warrior god Mars at 10 ° Taurus, while True Black Moon Lilith and Eris, goddess of Discord, make a powerful alliance at 23 ° Aries… holy moly!

Not one but three manifestations of Lilith have flown in centre stage under the full moon spotlight. She comes in from the wild places, from exile, from beyond the reach of normal consciousness… weaver of inner and outer space. She bears the deep root of humanity, the World Tree, and the animus mundi and she is holding those who threaten it accountable.

Enter Eris…

Upsetter extraordinaire, Eris, formerly known as Xena, has been doggedly squaring Pluto through Capricorn in 2020, forming five squares, the stand-off continues within a 2-degree orb and an exact conjunction reoccurring on 27 August and 9 October 2021. Merged with True Black Moon Lilith this full moon, the pair create a mighty force of dark feminine energy that refuses to be silenced. Their influence is felt behind the scenes and in the subterranean caverns of Hades where deep transformative processes are currently at work.

With Venus also in the underworld this full moon, there may be a strong need to call forth our own exiled parts and rise up against injustice, transgressions, and hidden forces that seek to manipuate and subvert. This dark feminine presence is a call to undergo the necessary initiatory operations to reclaim our lost or stolen power, especially perhaps power that we have given in abundance to outside forces this year as many of us regressed to a state of fear induced confusion and passivity.

This applies to both women and men as a call to reclaim the abandoned parts of ourselves.

Perhaps it is becoming more difficult to ignore our inner knowing and cues guiding us to look deeper and recognizing what does not feel quite right. The reason the dark feminine has been persecuted and exiled is precisely due to her ability to see in the dark and call out all forms of corruption and manipulation.

Who is Eris?

In an article published in the Mountain Astrologer, Exploring the Meaning of the Dwarf Planet, Eris (Or Is It Really Xena?) Heather Ensworth says,

She heralds the return of the Sacred Feminine and the dissolution and transformation of our current patriarchal belief systems.  She encourages us to let go of our personal stories, to dive deep, and to return to right relationship with Source and with all life.”

Making parallels with Xena Warrior Princess, Ensworth continues to say,

She rebelled against authorities or laws that were not in alignment with what she felt was just and fair, which is also Aquarian.  As part of a modern myth, developed out of modern technology, Xena symbolizes many of the patterns characteristic of the Aquarian Age that we are moving into [Xena] followed her own path, guided by intuition and life experience, in attunement with her body and the natural world around her.  Her spirituality was an embodied one, not one of religious beliefs or dogma…. She represents a return to natural law.

Natural law includes chaos. It is unwise to believe that all perceived aberrations can be deleted from life processes. The goddess cannot be sanitised, quarantined, or dismembered into neat, classified packages… the goddess cannot be vaccinated. To attempt to live in a perfect, artificial world humans are also forced to become perfect and artificial… the dark goddess, guardian on the threshold prevents this from happening. It is Her job to preserve and protect a human/ divine multi- dimensional reality brimming with all aspects of human experience, dark and light, toward an authentic expression of the liberated human.

In the film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron, there is a scene where Harrison, newly recruited into a secret elite government is called to his superior’s office to discuss his (erratic) ideology test results. John Klaxon played by Christopher Plummer encourages Harrison to confess any issues he has about his new life and the establishment to which he now belongs. Harrison laments the end of great art, and while he realises that the constitution states all people must be equal, the price to pay saddens him. Klaxon shares the sentiment and while listening to Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto says how much it pains him that he is striving to create a world where another Beethoven will never be born, but that in order to erase humanity’s covetous nature, it has to be.

(Warning: disturbing scenes in this video clip)

Of course, what Klaxon does not include is the beauty and wonder of the human spirit, nor does he offer any deeper insight into forces at work in human genetics to trigger such violence.

Not that I am making parallels with contemporary government and Vonnegut’s secret elite, my point is to consider- through a work of fiction – one of the many potential endgames of a consciousness bent on totalitarianism. The further the pendulum swings in that direction the more archetypal forces such as Eris and Lilith manifest in the collective.

Natural law seeks to balance, and it is often in the chaos that new visions and consciousness expansion occurs.

I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.

So says Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

 And Eris says in The Principia Discordia,

I am chaos. I am the substance from which your artists and scientists build rhythms. I am the spirit with which your children and clowns laugh in happy anarchy. I am chaos. I am alive, and I tell you that you are free.



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 our 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.