unknowable invisible

My last published post, following the Pisces Full Moon, saw me attempting to honour something I didn’t really understand… I have been trying to remain open to the messages that emerge from my recent trip to my own inner swamplands… while too aiming for reverence, knowing that some things are shrouded in mystery for a reason and they will be illuminated for our conscious mind in due course, or not.

The things I share here come from my own experience and I am aware that they may not make sense for everyone, (or anyone!) but I must simply be true to myself and the part of me through which these insights come.

So in line with my own personal journey, I have deepened my understanding of that which was completely unknown to me a few short months ago, except perhaps in an abstract sense…

A day or two ahead of last month’s Aries Full Moon I had allowed myself to become so depleted that I found myself in hospital, first in the emergency department and then in intensive care (ICU), followed by a couple of days on the medical ward. At four months pregnant I had been caring for two young kids and keeping our house functional while my partner worked hard at his job six long days each week. After being hit by numerous bugs over the winter months, my immune system was shot; I had reached my limit and my body signalled as much with a heart rate over 150 and severe shortness of breath.

My few days in hospital I was visited by 13 doctors. Most of them had little to no capacity to hear, but there were some exceptions. I believed that I had simply run myself down to the point of exhaustion, and that my symptoms would subside given adequate time and rest, but the biomedical concern was that I had a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in my lung) and they had to run many tests to exclude this. In the meantime, I was afforded respite from my normal life and so able to recover my breath while my heart rate settled to the upper reaches of normal. Once I had undergone the required diagnostics, with no detectable clots, I was allowed to go home.

By the time of my discharge I knew that I had been provided with an opportunity, and that to force a return to my former way of living was a fast-track to readmission. I was being called to make changes: I needed help. For me, admittance of this is no mean feat; while I appear to be easygoing I am in fact quite determined to “cope” no matter what (I have Capricorn on my IC, Saturn in my 12th and an Aquarian South Node), and relinquishment of my stubborn control-freakery is quite challenging. My family rallied to my aid and took turns running my household while I remained bed-bound for a couple of weeks.

Now that I have recovered significantly, the support of loved ones has become less pressing, but it is still evident that my inadvertent overdoing it (by walking the short distance to a neighbourhood friend’s place on an irresistibly sunny day) results in the proverbial two steps back. So I must remain vigilant, and for at least so long as Mars dwells in my 12th house (until the end of November) my official position is surrender. It is not easy, for me or those who come to help, as I am no longer confined to my bed and so instead I repeatedly interfere with their best efforts at bolstering my convalescence.

I am trying to use this time of diminished capacity to consciously surrender, to rest, and also to bring to light the messages that seem to be emerging from within. I have improved at being able to accept help (though still not as graciously as I would like), and at asking others to do things for me (with less passive aggression), and also letting go of the guilt at being unable to contribute in ways that I would normally, but there is a long (long long) way to go. I pray for mercy. And that my blessedly enhanced awareness will allow me to be alert to opportunities to delegate appropriately forevermore.

Were it not for my consciously seeking ways to trust my unconscious (following the advice offered by a prophetic hobo in a dream I had earlier this year) I might have not been able to see the many gifts of this unfolding situation. As I was becoming increasingly aware of the value of surrender in the weeks and months before my hospital admission, I was very open to continuing on this path once I was really unwell. It is this state of being open that has allowed me to grow from this experience in ways that are so significant to me.

It has also provided me with a first-hand experience of (admittedly brief and relatively mild) illness to draw upon for reflection. Our culture has developed a pathological tendency to dismiss and reject sickness, and in so doing throws out bathwater and baby alike. The understandable desire for a return to wellness has led to the oversimplification and demonisation of the deeply complex and meaningful process implicit in being unwell.

Truly there are many gifts available to us when we are forced against our will (like Persephone) into the underworld of illness, though these are often obscured by pain, suffering, lethargy, depression as well as the conditioned expectation that we ought to recover and return to “normal” as quickly as possible. Unwellness is an experience that we all encounter at various times in our lives to varying degrees of severity and timespans. In stark contrast to the conscious life that we cultivate in the outside material world, sickness beckons us into a deep dark place within to dwell for a time

inert

but alert

to the emergence of truths

we cannot know unless

we are willing to

resign to the requirements

of our own particular ills

I don’t pretend to know what a successful navigation of one’s illness should look like; I think that must be personal and different for us all. But I suspect that, as in myth and fairy tale, the gods don’t expect us to suffer in vain ~ there must be meaning to be found in there somewhere, amid the ghosts ghouls and monsters that haunt us from our own shadowy depths.

Post-Pisces Full Moon 2017

Many things that have been blurring my vision of late became clear the past few weeks and days… like how easy it is to get in our own way, to let our own concepts about how things should be, our hopes about how things will be, our identification with who we think we are and what we want and need, to become the self-imposed limitations that bind us to suffering.

The Buddhists teach it so well, the art of non-attachment ~ to accept things as they are, to wait and see, to find a way to shift our perspective to one of equanimity, wherein we see the value of what is, rather than dwelling upon all the things we don’t have.

Life is so busy and often monotonous in its relentless repetition of routine requirements, the demands of daily life (food, sleep, order, function) can feel stifling, showing no mercy.

So much of the time I find myself caught up in tasks, one to the next, managing small children, wrangling them in and out of the car, diplomatically adjudicating endless disputes, manipulating ways to make things happen with minimum fuss, while struggling to get all The Things done each day.

This experience has drained me lately, it seemed that my faith had abandoned me, I felt forsaken by the Universe for weeks. Now there are glimmers of light and I recognise that my own ego’s ideas about What I Need are meaningless. In the interests of sanity+satisfaction my expectations must be released rather than tenaciously clung to as a part of my very being.

Just because I don’t understand, or can’t see what is really happening, it doesn’t mean that nothing is happening, or that it is wrong, or that I’ve made a mistake, or that I’m being punished…

Like Pythagoras’ own theorem:

“the square of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides”

which is a very prosaic way of saying that it is not what we see but what we do not see that is the interesting bit.

The mystery of life swirls around us. Many (politicians, powers that be, consensus majority et al) choose to perceive things in a way that supports their own (old-paradigm) materialistic views. Their passé perspective that life is a series of transactions measured with ones and zeros, with value estimated in dollars and cents…? I think, despite their self-assured demeanours and loud mouths, they are more lost than any one of us who is able to humbly bow in reverence, recognising the futility in attempts to control, admitting we have no idea what is happening. Those who see the strength and wisdom in surrender, AKA The Meek, may indeed inherit the earth.

For now, the gods must laugh at our antics, lest they cry at what we seem hell-bent upon bringing to bear… despite, nay because of the gifts we’ve had bestowed upon us ~ consciousness & free will

this very breath at this very moment

Our apparent collective ineptitude provides all the fuel for humility we could ever need. The search for the Holy Grail, the meaning of life, eludes us despite all technological advances, CCTV at every junction, 24 news channels…

Religion disappoints us, preaching rubbish rules and regs to which we must subscribe in order that we get a chance to sit atop a sun-drenched cloud by Jesus’ side someday, or brainwashing the beautifully supple young minds with poisonous seeds of hatred and violence. They want us infidels punished, in the hopes they might get to cavort with virgins for eternity on The Other Side.

Truly, we must concede the whole mess is a mystery

Franciscan Friar Richard Rohr writes “mystery isn’t something you cannot understand – it is something that you can understand endlessly!”

We never get it completely. There is an ever deepening spiral of evolution taking place within us (and so without). The more we participate with this, surrendering as required and engaging when called to do so, the more inspired enthralled and awed we become… we recognise that life is magic and we are fools to fall into any other mindset.

We have a part to play in the unfoldment of this grand cosmic plan. We must only have the courage to abide.

The Leo New Moon Eclipse

Eclipses, especially total solar eclipses such as this one on Tuesday 22nd of August (2.30am AWST), have long been feared by us earthlings and understandably; it is not difficult to imagine the communal state of freak-out experienced by our ancestors observing the apparent unexplained disappearance of the Sun as darkness took hold in the middle of the day, the natural world around them descending into chaos. Little wonder that they were viewed ominously.

Something that remains within us, archetypal and ancient, senses the dread still, nervously anticipating disruptive personal and global events. I do not pretend to possess the skills to predict any potential cataclysm but I recognise how challenging eclipse dynamics can be, if only for the fundamental energetic displacement that occurs; that is, the interrupted flow of the Sun’s energy caused by the Moon.

This corresponds with a similar interruption in our own psyches. We temporarily lose touch with our Solar identities, our primitive emotional natures disconnecting from our consciousness. Obsolescent emotions emerge without warning and we can find ourselves susceptible to childish (over)reaction and an urge to vent. Access to this unclaimed baggage of old is not always possible. These next few days we can aim to see more clearly things that are usually obscured, and so gain clarity around their deeper meaning.

It is important to recognise that sometimes conflict is necessary in order that we become aware of deeper issues. We must be courageous and honest in our appraisal of conflicts that arise, not simply right-fighting or blaming, but accepting responsibility for the parts we play in the problems we encounter. And viewing such times of discord as opportunities for real transformation, rather than continued perpetuation of histrionics.

From the (altogether universal) egoic experience of being human, we live from the inside out, perceiving things from our own perspective, inadvertently forgetting about others’ needs and points of view. It is easy to imagine that others don’t care, or don’t understand, or that they are ignoring, dismissing or rejecting us. In reality, others are as distracted with their own struggles as we are with ours.

Leo needs to be seen and appreciated. This deep need exists within us all and is the cause for many misunderstandings. It also manifests as the kind of behaviour we discourage in children, as in, any attention is better than none. At worst, Leo will take what it can get, even if that means being merely looked at for all the wrong reasons.

As the Eclipse approaches we might ward off meltdowns by considering what we really want from those around us. Being mature enough to show up in our relationships and vulnerable enough to ask for what we need rather than expecting others to know, or passive-aggressively manipulating attention at any cost. As well, to contemplate what others might really be needing from us.

 

 

 

To truly see each other in all our beautifully fragile humanness.

 

 

 

Leo corresponds to the heart chakra. As we learn to open our own hearts to one another, connection emerges and love grows. The conditioning to which we have all been subjected has left us wounded. Many of us suffer to the extent that we keep our hearts closed by default, a protective instinct aimed at self-preservation. But truly the only thing that will heal the pain of these old wounds is love, and love is only able to flow heart to heart.

This Eclipse is an opportunity for us all to consciously open our hearts, rather than allowing old wounds and patterns to define us. As we make bold and courageous moves towards really loving each other we are charting new territory and setting our course for a future that transcends old limitations and shines brightly, beckoning us forward, urging us to keep the faith, stay the course, be the change…

Sagittarius Full Moon 2017

Tonight’s (Friday 9th of June) Full Moon is sandwiched between retrograde Saturn and Black Moon Lilith in the sign of Sagittarius ~ its truth time. Amid confusion and doubt we face the reality that truth is relative personal grey so we must simply choose our own version, and devote ourselves to it.

Fingers crossed?

As the light shines upon uneasy aspects of Self we might discover a path forward, renewed optimism and restored faith. The energy calls us all to see that our quest demands commitment to individuation, and resistance to old ways that tempt us to remain stuck in self-sabotage and victim consciousness. But too, to be warned against folly and delusion as we make our choices. To remain true to our task.

Opposite the Full Moon in Sagittarius is the Sun in Gemini, on Wednesday joined by Mercury, so I’ve been thinking on communication ~ how we can be so easily misunderstood, how we misrepresent ourselves, how we judge others based on our own misunderstandings ~ and as well, how good conversation seems to be an ailing art form. This passage by infamous provocateur James Hillman taken from his inspiring and lol-worthy work with Michael Ventura: We’ve had 100 years of therapy and the world’s getting worse (1993), describes the phenomenon of conversation so eloquently.

“Conversation isn’t easy… take a dinner party. Strike up a conversation and keep it flowing – not a monologue, not only opinions and sounding off, not only firing questions, but conversation as an exploration, a little risky adventure, a discovery, an interesting happening. Parties, doing lunch, and 7.30am breakfasts are terribly important in keeping the consciousness [of society] at a certain intensity, moving its mind adventurously toward deeper discoveries.

What doesn’t work, we also pretty well know: personalism – just talking our loud about what we feel. Complaints. Opinions. Information doesn’t work… and lullabies don’t help either – singing charming little stories to prevent anything from entering the heart or mind. And boosterism isn’t conversation either – broadcasting, self-advertising what we are doing, have done, going to do. You can’t converse with a sales pitch of positive preaching. All these kinds of talk… interfere with conversation…

Good conversation has an edge. It opens your eyes to something, quickens your ears. And good conversation berates: it keeps on talking in your mind later… That reverberation afterwards is the very raising of consciousness; your mind’s been moved… A conversation turns things around… And to keep turning means that it’s no use having fixed stands, definite positions. That stops conversation dead in its tracks.”

Beyond the cringeworthy zealotry and unsolicited sermons of low-road Sagittarius, past low-road Gemini’s repetitious parroting of previously heard ideas opinions rhetoric and too-oft-told anecdotes there is potential for words spoken and shared to lift us out of old thought forms, to shift us in meaningful ways, to alter our previously held perceptions of how things are

for transformation to occur

Our Moon-shadows will be visible this weekend. The inherent opposition offers perspective; we are challenged to consider our long-held views ~ where do we refuse to budge, and why? Can we allow enough room to really talk to those around us, converse connect conflict ~ make like The Mutables and change our minds?

Finally, lunation ruler Jupiter turns direct on Saturday, preparing for his final months in Libra during which time opportunities arise for us to harmonise relate cooperate with others, and to discover in ourselves what aids our capacity for balance and equilibrium. Evolutionary astrologer Maurice Fernandez spoke about this transit of Jupiter through Libra as a time that may see us doing things we’d have not thought we would ever do. This has been true for me, and I hope for more of it, for you all too 🙂

Leo Full Moon Eclipse

All my life I’ve been surrounded by Leos. I feel I’ve grown up, a crab among a regal pride of lions (like a weird fable from Aesop), and that this has some divine purpose ~ I am learning the language and culture of Leo.

So far I have gathered that high-road Leo energy at its best is sunny and toasty warm, effortlessly confident and truly generous, encouraging and inclusive, fun and theatrical ~ a fine dose of the royal treatment. Less joyful times I’ve been left shell-shocked and retreating, pincers at the ready, trying to escape the neediness, drama, bombast, entitlement, imposition of low-road Leo vibrations.

The energy along this Leonine spectrum is bound to be plentiful and surging this weekend with Saturday’s Full Moon at 22° Leo.

Eclipses can bring challenging times. The energetic flow between the Sun and the Moon is interrupted leaving us Earth-dwellers feeling disoriented and often fragile. The lines between the conscious ego and unconscious emotional body blur, and we are especially vulnerable to our hidden fears and anxieties.

As the fiery energy builds and we feel (perhaps subconsciously) anxious to act, something’s gotta give. We experience difficulties in our relationships as complicated dynamics stir within and, literally before we know it, something from beneath the surface has emerged like a screaming banshee from our unconscious and flown out of our big gobs, leaving us (perpetrators and victims alike) shattered in its wake.

WTF just happened?!

There can be no doubt that this is damaging and upsetting BUT, we should not be too quick to judge such interactions as negative nasty unnecessary. These moments in life, so uncomfortable unexpected unpleasant unsolicited, offer transformational lessons and facilitate healing like nothing else.

Like, we don’t even consciously realise we have a problem, and all of a sudden, we let loose on our poor unsuspecting loved one, with an epic emotional diatribe… Spraying bullets of blame, hurling hand grenades of hatred, unleashing an arsenal of abuse, thrusting bayonets of umbrage, deploying an infantry of infantile angst, launching rockets of resentment… ok, enough with my self-indulgent wartime/weaponry references. Talk about Leo!

The 180° aspect known as the opposition, inherent in each monthly Full Moon, is a meaningful dynamic for most of 2017, as buoyant Jupiter and liberator Uranus oppose each other for months. The tension of the opposites implies balance, from each end of a spectrum, polarities push and pull, enabling growth and evolution. In her 1978 book Relating, inspiring astrologer Liz Greene writes:

“…the psyche always works towards a balance. One grows towards one’s opposite. This is at the same time one of the greatest struggles, one of the greatest joys and one of the most meaningful aspects of living experience” (p. 61).

The point is not to scapegoat our spouse (or other Other), or project our emotional wreckage upon the nearest (and dearest) target, but to recognise that if and when such inter-relationship intensity does occur, we can (maybe??) become conscious amid the mayhem and

from this point of humility vulnerability realness

we find our way out

together

hand-in-hand

stronger than before

and wiser too

because we find truth in the chaos, but we aren’t tethered to it ~ eternally seeking energy in perpetual histrionics.

Instead we see that yes, each has their perspective, and yes it is valid, and yes we have been hurt, but yes we too have hurt others, and yes we seek forgiveness and yes we can forgive. And release the past.

Where we take opportunities to see things from the other perspective, to see life in ways foreign to us, our consciousness expands and we grow. This naturally occurring shift is only possible through awareness of conflicting points of view. So, while it might be the vibe du jour to be all  (#hashtag) “love and light”, it is surrender to first-hand experience of and immersion in the opposite of this state = fear and darkness ~ that fosters evolution and a real life capacity for giving genuine love and light.

 

High-road Leo is love and light.

Like a big cosmic cuddle.

I hope you feel that vibe this weekend.

Libra New Moon

The Libra New Moon occurs on Saturday 1st of October 2016 (8.11am AWST). The Sun and Moon are at 8° Libra and nearby at 4° we find benevolent Jupiter. Such an auspicious New Moon this is! And it has depth too.

Venus is the ruler of the lunation, and she is conjunct Lilith in Scorpio. Another reminder of our inner feminine ~ soft receptive yin processes coupled with the self-assuredness of inner knowing. There is an awakening of this powerful force occurring and this New Moon presses for the increased awareness of the neglected (and thus often angry) unconscious feminine. As we integrate feminine power, we come to know her mercy.

Scorpio represents the dark in all its complexity. Nothing is as it appears. Light allows us clarity of vision, but sometimes robs us of the subtlety of feeling. In the dark it is the only way forward, to feel our way.

The Sun~Moon~Jupiter square Mars and Pluto in Capricorn. There is strength and power here. It is important for us to know what we truly want as these two planets conjoin later this month, for such misdirected energy has the power to harm. Mars’ exaltation in Capricorn adds fervour to our mission: we now begin to implement our long-considered plans and Mars spurs us on supportively.

Neptune and the Lunar South Node remain in conjunction in Pisces ~ our efforts at releasing that which no longer serves us are supported now. The Dark Moon in Virgo helps us to discern what these things might be… habits, relationships, attachments, the past, limiting “stories of me”

2011_0103end20100378

Libra seeks balance. Implicit in balance is a midpoint, a midline, a middle road. And as we journey towards establishing our own balance~ homeostasis ~ equilibrium we must first experience imbalance. We experiment and evaluate, investigate and appraise in an ongoing (potentially exhausting) human trial and error display that takes us to extreme and polar ends of the spectrum of life.

During an Equinox meditation with Sol W. Jonassen I was struck by the concept of the midline (third eye~heart~solar plexus). Throughout this mediation she reminded us to return to our midline. I found this simple act of going within and knowing my own centre point to be very supportive.

I have been using it since then in my daily life, trying to remember to come back to my midline during the day. When things become frustrating or boring or crazy or challenging in any way it becomes particularly helpful. I have used other methods to ground myself in this way in the past (usually breathing deeply) but these often require time and space that is not always realistic (what with The Cherubs underfoot). This little idea has been so beneficial to me…

here’s what I do: I shut my eyes and put my attention on my inner third eye or my heart chakra, or maybe both if I have time, and something happens… there is space… inner space… and at the same time there is comfort… I feel better.

A tiny reminder of the middle way…

not cowardly or reckless but courageous

not loose or rigid but flowing

not resistant or resigned but accepting

not aloof or possessive but engaged

not narcissistic or martyred but authentic

not right or wrong but learning

not attachment or aversion but love

For so long as we are genuinely doing our work we are on the right track, so let us journey on friends ♥

Jupiter departing Virgo ~ to arrive Libra

Jupiter’s passage through the sign of Virgo comes to an end tonight as the jovial King of the Gods moves into Libra until the 10th of October 2017. This past 13 months has offered many meaningful lessons from the Virgo archetype including discernment + discrimination, service + contribution, humility + perfectionism, crisis + choice, health + healing, method + practice, attention to detail + conscientiousness, analysis + appraisal of self.

The transitional archetype of Virgo allows us to dismantle and examine our fundamental creative urge, tempering our Leonine self-expressive impulse with an attitude of giving ~ noblesse oblige.  Armed now with such understandings we embark upon an expansive new phase of engagement with others. The coming year will bring bountiful Libran harvest to the extent that we can yield to Jupiter’s optimistic influence and buoyant enthusiasm.

Jupiter warrants a warning: overconfidence can be awkward, regrettable, even dangerous. Many errors in judgement occur under the benevolent guidance of Jupiter. However, it is also the boldness of Jupiter that motivates us to pursue and achieve dreams others might dismiss as impossible ~ ridiculous ~ foolhardy ~ those of us too afraid to follow Jupiter’s road less travelled are then required to reflect upon a life half lived, and that torturous too-late question

what if…?

Libra is the sign of balance ~ the act of harmonising, a dynamic and ongoing process of adjustment. This phase invites us to expand our balancing abilities, learning about our dual natures as we relate to others, seeking commonality with our fellows rather than concentrating our energy upon the ways in which we differ. We engage open-mindedly with alternate perspectives that broaden our own views, while remaining true to our own crystallising personal beliefs, allowing for the adaptation that evolves a species.

We don’t necessarily have to agree, or limit our connection-cultivation to those like-minded few. We seek instead to be open, nurturing our loving hearts, and building bridges of compassion and empathy. By its nature, to truly connect with others is to expand the self, and so Jupiter in Libra nourishes this growth via cooperation.

Libra’s low-road is recognisable by excessive people-pleasing tendencies, and a compulsive yearning for approval. To be constantly distracted by concern for what others are thinking is to be out of alignment with one’s own rhythms and inner balance. We lose sight of our own authentic path. This year will be a time of enriching our own inner equilibrium too ~ we learn what we require to maintain personal homeostasis.

The true Libran aim is justice ~ fairness and equality, and compromise can be key to this outcome, but to sell oneself short as a peacekeeping measure is a delusion (“peace at any price is no peace at all” Eve Curie). Too, Libra can err and demur endlessly in ambivalence that renders it inert and impotent. Jupiter’s benevolent attention can easily be dissipated by over-indulgence in effortless good times.

Jupiter’s trip through Libra will see it aspect slow moving change gods Uranus+Pluto. Jupiter effectively enhances all he comes into contact with (think King Midas’ golden touch) and so we can anticipate further intensification of these (personal & global) revolutionary times. Manifestation of the energies always depends upon our consciousness ~ the more aware we become of our karma the more empowered we are.

Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn have been in a 90° square since 2012. This Uranus~Pluto cycle began during the swinging sixties (exact ’65-’66) at the Virgo conjunction, heralding the beginning of the so-called New Age. Since then (as the conjunction separated and then the square formed) the Earthly tumult can be attributed to the dynamism between these two intense archetypal forces, and the ways in which we have channelled them.

We need only switch on the news to find sufficient illustration of the prevalent energies and manifest themes ~ war, poverty, violence, oppression, struggle abounds ~ and the potential for Jupiter to  amplify this negativity exists of course. But to recognise also that this apparently low-road global manifestation of the archetypal vibes is a reflection of the current collective consciousness. Jupiter adds faith and optimism to this mix, and its movement through Libra inspires diplomatic conflict resolution. Jupiter will first square Pluto in late November and then again in March and August 2017; the opposition to Uranus will occur in late December, then again in March and September 2017.

So, we’ve clearly got some work to do! And Jupiter through Libra is perfect for the job! As we become more conscious in our own individual lives we contribute to the collective awakening, and Jupiter’s time in Libra enhances this with the potential for real connections being formed between increasingly conscious people. As we come to recognise the limitations inherent in solitude, and embrace the realities of modern life (making good use of  the world wide web and social media, for example) we can welcome the opportunities to embrace interdependence.

There are over seven billion of us on this planet. We are intrinsically social creatures ~ wired for connection. While we may be able to function satisfactorily solo, Jupiter in Libra urges us to make efforts to build “real-ationships” with others ~

2009_0104christmas08ny090144finding ways to connect

authentically

wholeheartedly

consciously

We recognise each other as an equally meaningful contributor and integrate the truth

1+1 = >2

Virgo New Moon

Thursday the 1st of September (5.05pm AWST) brings us the Virgo New Moon Eclipse. And such a special one this is: farewell to Jupiter as it transitions into Libra and beyond on its 12 year cycle through the zodiac. Let’s make use of the simple and practical inspiration of Virgo, unearthing the numinous potential in the small things.

The North Node~Moon~Sun conjunction in humble Virgo, in opposition to the South Node+Neptune in dreamy Pisces, and anchored into a T-square by the Mars~Saturn conjunction in spirited Sagittarius. Once again the vibes are highly mutable, so we do well to adopt a flexible and adaptable attitude, welcoming the changes that face us now, and prepared to release the past with grace and an effort to forgiveness and compassion.

Forgiveness is tricky. My experience tells me that it is both a process, as well as the positive result of a process. It comes not through the espousal of ideals that have more to do with who we want to be than who we really are. But, once we have grasped that those who’ve wronged us have done so in ignorance (that is, they haven’t come to know their Divine nature) and are embroiled in the egoic material world traps that kid us into believing we must compete and impose and manipulate and betray in order to advance, we sense true compassion. We create space for empathy in place of the burdensome grievance that keeps us bound in knots of anger, resentment and victim-thinking. For so long as we remain in the grips of a grudge-bearing mentality, there can be no room for forgiveness.

BUT

in order to come to a place of authentic forgiveness (which may be only partial, and is subject to demur and falter and recoil, often repeatedly, before strengthening and deepening), we need to allow ourselves time (within the dark chrysalis) to feel the betrayal and suffering. Not perpetual wallowing in self-pity but accepting and observing the feelings, emotions and sensations that emerge from the pain. Within this we will uncover golden wisdom and transformative truth that helps us to see that our perspective is not the only one, and that, were it not for the actions of the “perpetrator”, we could not’ve come to this moment of metamorphosis that frees us like a butterfly, and empowers us in its alchemy.

We’ve turned the offering of lead into pure gold

~ wisdom ~ strength ~ healing ~ power ~

We understand that none of us is perfect, and it is in our imperfections that we uncover the most liberating and transformative gifts of our lives, including forgiveness. There is only love when we recognise the universal predicament of our human frailty.

The ruler of the New Moon is the now-retrograde Mercury, conjoined with Jupiter at 28° Virgo. In our honouring of this coincident beginning and ending we now pause to consider the gifts offered by Jupiter’s 13-month (since August 2015) journey through Virgo. How have we expanded our sense of service? How have we learned to discriminate in order to better focus upon our mission? How have we healed? Where do we find potential for further development?

One of Virgo’s lessons is that of humility. We come to recognise our own fallibility. We allow it to be seen by others. We drop the performance and come to our knees as we recognise that it is in service we make our specialness sacred. As we forfeit our ego’s limited perceptions of success (personal gain, fame, fortune) we find something of lasting value…

Beautiful virginal painting spied somewhere in the Louvre

our contribution

our fulfilment

our gift

our legacy

 

~ our commonality is our blessed humanity

Mercury Retrograde in Virgo

Between the 31st of August and the 22nd of September 2016 Mercury will retrograde in Virgo. With an attitude of openness and flexibility we may truly and meaningfully benefit from such periodic reflective phases, though they might appear to bring mere delays and diversion.

Virgo teaches us the numinosity of service, and Mercury (the traditional planetary ruler of Virgo) represents our powers of perception. There are many demands upon us in this modern world ~ family, work and social life. Of course it is important to ensure we allow adequate time for Self ~ nourishment of body, mind and soul. However, we might also find replenishment of spirit by broadening our view of contribution, reframing our perspective to source strength and inspiration from the ways in which we serve others.

My own experience as a stay at home mum has been challenging at times as the relentless demands of housewifery/ Cherub Management are many, monotonous and sometimes seem meaningless. With a shift in perspective, learning the Latin origin of the word sacrifice ~ to make sacred ~ I have found a way to view mundane life as grist for the mill of my personal growth and come to truly value my role as wife* and mother.

Mosaic image in a church in Monte Carlo
Mosaic image in a church in Monte Carlo

My own evolution has occurred as a direct result of this Yin (inward) phase of my life. Had I remained in the Yang (outward) world of career and social orientation I’d have not enjoyed this expansion of my inner life and may never have understood the depth and significance of the sacred feminine. I have come to find joy and satisfaction in embracing and consciously cultivating my feminine~Mother responsibilities of protector, initiator, nurturer, empowerer.

Of course, in considering all the options available we remember that low-road Virgo is hyper-critical, pedantic with myriad OCD-tendencies. This Mercury retrograde holds the potential for these few weeks to degenerate into a period of irritable nit-picking, and frustrated attempts to get things done and court that unattainable mistress Perfection.

We can make excellent use of this time and energy by reconsidering our methods, habits, practices, patterns, paying homage to the devil in the details, crossing T’s and dotting lower case j’s, without becoming excessively harsh in our appraisals of self and others.

Too, Mercury’s retrograde will retrace the steps taken by Jupiter since October 2015. The cosmos now offers messages of Divine import that consolidate the benefits and healing brought about by Jupiter’s journey through Virgo. We can now come to understand the deeper meaning of this phase of the 12-year Jupiterian cycle. The Lunar North Node remains in Virgo (until May 2017), thus continuing to build upon the vision (re)imagined under Jupiter’s optimistic influence.

And when Mercury follows Jupiter into Libra on the 8th of October we will be emboldened by this retrograde phase and its offerings as we go forth ever-expansive, evolving, co-creative custodians of this magical earthly home.

*not technically married, but in a solid relationship for almost 16 years.

Sagittarius Blue Moon

Twenty-sixteen’s second Sagittarius Full Moon (AKA Blue Moon) on Monday the 20th of June is again lorded over by Jupiter ~ jovial King of the Gods ~ merging with the Lunar North Node at 15° Virgo.

Jupiter enhances and expands all it comes into contact with, and has a reputation as a harbinger of glad tidings. The North Node reveals our path towards evolution, both personally and collectively. As Jupiter and the North Node fuse energies we are bestowed with a special kind of Full Moon blessing: if we are open, receptive and awake we glimpse our potentiality and plant a seed of optimism, faith and audacity.

Virgo is often associated with the pursuit of perfection ~ perfectionism. Research professor and self-proclaimed recovering perfectionist Brene Brown describes perfectionism as “a hustle… a never-ending performance… an addictive and self-destructive form of shame” (2012). Virgo also teaches us discernment, in this case between perfectionism and striving for excellence ~ we re-learn the lessons we try to teach our children about aspiration, application, effort until at some point we arrive at good enough ~ not resignation but acceptance that we have done our best, and that is enough.

perfection is in the realm of the divine ~ gods&goddesses

The masculine goal-oriented patriarchy in which we live has us convinced that if only we try harder we can attain elusive perfection, but this belief is deluded and illusory, driving us ever-closer to exhaustion and despair. To re-connect with our feminine receptivity restores the balance (and our sanity) with acceptance and surrender.

The best we human beings can aim for is wholeness

To make efforts to live with integrity and in alignment with simple virtues (kindness compassion forgiveness humility) is noble and wise. Sagittarius urges us to abide by a higher power that guides us with morals and ethics, so we accept our fallibility, aim to improve, learn from our mistakes. But we cannot be perfect. We are fundamentally flawed. We are wounded. We are broken.

“there’s a crack in everything ~ that’s how the light gets in” Leonard Cohen

We aspire to evolve but not to the detriment of our wholeness. We must respect and honour both our light and our darkness, because attempts to deny and ignore do not make them go away. Our fragmented aspects lay in wait in the shadows of our psyche, stewing in rejection, until an opportunity presents for them to manifest. Perhaps as road rage, or drunken debauchery, or acts of violence, or sickness and suffering. Like a misbehaving child, the unconscious seeks our attention and usually demands it at inconvenient times and in embarrassing ways. To actively engage in a process of individuation feels to me to be a liberating and rewarding alternative. Preferable to unleashing one’s demons on a joyfully unsuspecting crowd in a nightclub; preferable to scapegoating others with our own projected shadows.

Inside Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
Inside Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

With the Sun (opposite the Moon) in the critical degree of Gemini, Mercury’s role in the still active Grand Mutable Cross is significant. At home in Gemini, Mercury can be functioning well as a curious data hunter/gatherer, or poorly as one who is overloaded with information and refusing to hear new perspectives. Beyond Gemini’s accumulation of apparently random and unassimilated intelligence, Sagittarius brings all the pertinent information together and says

“I understand”

Instead of perceiving life as impossibly absurd and cruelly capricious there is meaning behind any and all of our human experience ~ a light in the darkness. Rather than allow ourselves to be swept up in enmity against the “enemy”, we need only make space for love and change.

We simply abide ~ in joy, reverence, respect, wonder and awe, trusting that, despite the atrocities, we have reason to hope.

 

Brown, B. (2012) Daring Greatly: how the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead. Penguin, London.