January Full Moon: The Great Mother Within.

Painting by Ayami Kojima

Painting ‘Persephone’ by Ayami Kojima

About a week into a new Venus cycle and the divine feminine signature is gaining momentum.

Today’s Full Moon is at 27º Cancer- the sign of the Mother- is in opposition to Pluto at 26º Capricorn, sign of the Father. Right next to Pluto is Juno at 24º Capricorn; Juno in her higher aspect represent the divine consort, one half of the sacred marriage, while in her lower polarity expresses the shadow side of relationship where issues of power and manipulation may play out.

Particularly in her conjunction with Pluto this full moon, relationship power dynamics may come to the fore in order to be acknowledged and transformed. If you are in relationship, it might be a good time to check that the power structures of your relationship are balanced and that both you and your partner are giving and receiving in equal measure.

It could also be a time to recognize that you are now ready for something new in relationship, particularly a move into sacred union as many of us are being called to. Whether that is possible in your current relationship or not depends on the awareness willingness of your partner, and as with many things on timing.

Venus is still in her retrograde phase emphasizing the theme of relationship separations and returns… this is highlighted with a Pluto Juno conjunction.

With Moon opposite Pluto and Juno there may be some relationship drama or turmoil to contend with. If you are feeling ready for a new level of relationship however this may now feel tiresome and old hat to you. It is up to you how much you wish to participate in emotional drama.

Exactly conjunct the north node at 28º Taurus is Ceres, representing the Great Mother, nurturing, unconditional love, self-worth, attachment issues, rejection, loss and at the occult level, the blood mysteries, death/rebirth, and transformation. Next to the north node she is highlighting our collective needs and attitudes to this regard. How we were personally mothered, and how we mother (including self-care), what we need to feel loved and nurtured and how we can do this for others is under review as the north node, our collective destiny, moves through the fixed earth sign of Taurus under the rulership of harmony focused Venus.

Less than 2 degrees away from the lunar north node and Ceres, is the maiden daughter, turned Queen of the Underworld, Persephone. This Mother Daughter conjunction speaks to the esoteric mysteries of Eleusis where a descent to the underworld in the house of Hades facilitates an initiatory confrontation with death and offers the promise of renewal. In modern psychological speak, facing and integrating our shadow… and maybe freeing ourselves from the shackles of a spiritually ruptured society.

The Mother Daughter merging at the point of the lunar node, for me, highlights a need for collective surrender and willingness to let go of all that we are holding onto through attachment, emotional insecurity, unresolved trauma patterns from being raised in a society where in many cases the mother principle has been weakened. Clutching to old patterns and wounding prevents breakthrough to a higher level of self hood where the invitation is to merge with the Great Mother within as well as without. In the gnostic teachings it is said that the ‘Kingdom of God is within’, and so it is that the (wild) Garden of the Mother is also an inner condition.

Learning to mother ourselves and to trust the universal Mother has been a feature of our time. In the myth of Persephone, the maiden’s descent is an inevitable if painful necessity on the path of individuation- life and death, Eros, and Thanatos, dark and light must finally co-exist as fertile ground for the sacred marriage to take root.

Remarkably these sacred feminine essences, involving the nodal axis of collective karma, are creating what is known as a ‘Mystic Rectangle’ at today’s full moon.

A mystic rectangle is comprised of two oppositions (Moon opposes Pluto and Juno, and north node, Persephone, Ceres, opposes the south node; two sextiles, north node, Persephone, Ceres sextile the Moon, and Pluto, Juno sextile the south node; and two trines, Moon trine south node, and north node, Persephone, Ceres trine Pluto Juno. This Mystic Rectangle is within a tight 2-degree orb.

If this all seems a bit baffling to non-astrologers, we can take comfort in the words of Dane Rudhyar who says that a Mystic Rectangle denotes ‘Practical Mysticism’ where oppositions that would normally be challenging are alleviated and made smoother by the sextiles and trines.

In short, the above-mentioned dynamics – and let’s face it some of us have been struggling with these issues for a long time -are blessed with a divine opportunity to be worked through much easier and quicker than we have previously believed.

These are super accelerated times and just by bringing our awareness to the issues, having faith in our divine nature, our connection with the planets and asteroids (or gods), and a willingness to raise our vibration as we head into a new age, can trigger profound change.

To recap-

This full moon is shining a potent light on a transforming feminine consciousness particularly as it relates to:

~Partnership/ Sacred Partnership

~Nurturing of Self and Others

~Power balance within relationships

~Attachment issues

~Unresolved emotional mother wound issues

~ Relationship with the Mother god within

~Relationship with the Mother god without

~Our willingness or lack of it to surrender to the depths

~Our collective past in terms of the feminine principle

~Where we are collectively headed in relation to the divine feminine principle

Mythically the essence of Demeter (Ceres) and Persephone is a story of death and renewal- what is within us that can now be metabolised and alchemised into new life (consciousness).

Juno brings to the surface our relationship patterns, hope, desires, and dynamics that will elevate us into our highest potential of sacred union. In doing so Juno will first express any unresolved shadow issues particularly of a power-based theme in her conjunction with Pluto. Are we ready to let go of the drama and fully open to love?

And finally, while it is not included in the mystic rectangle, Vesta is conjunct Pholus in the early degrees of Capricorn offering an opportunity to address sexuality, the presence or absence of sacredness within our sexual relating and reflecting on how our sexual attitudes, behaviours, repressions, or neurosis may have been influenced by our ancestral lineage.

It is a potent time to let a lot of ancestral karma fall way, not through bypassing or rejection but with love and compassion (Ceres) and staking claim to our soul’s unique calling. It is a powerful time to rise above all that has previously defined us.

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.

Hades is 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.