Tonight’s (26th February 11pm (AWST)) Pisces New Moon eclipse is both
a time to honour from whence we have come
and to look forward, to that which we are now becoming
Pisces ~ symbolised by two fishes swimming in opposite directions ~ shows how we each may contribute to the whole, each of us a point of consciousness that, in order to make our meaningful contribution, must discover and express our unique individuality…
To be or not to be?
Once we are immersed in the modern-day collective conundrum, are we destined to become lost? Or, is it possible to contribute to the whole but too remain true to our selves?
These questions have plagued me this past fortnight, as I’ve made my return to nursing, now my entire life is accounted for… work, family, children, partner, puppy, domestic duties… and there’s nought left for “me”. Its not as if this was unexpected: I knew that my return to paid employment would demand much and that my less-productive pursuits (astrology, meditation, yoga, sleep) would suffer, and too that this is The Norm ~ status quo for the vast majority of us.
No time to nourish that seed of creative individuality, no time to go within, no time to practice music, no time to rest, no time to daydream, no time to read, no time to blog. Such a sad state of affairs this is.
Or is it?
Sacrifice is to make sacred. In attempting to shift my perspective from one of mourning and self-pity to one of learning and service I “ask not what my employer can do for me, but what I can do for my employer patients colleagues children partner puppy insert various other beneficiaries”… and to embrace this lot as an opportunity to evolve. To find the positives in what could otherwise be experienced as a depleting defeating depressing interminable situation.
“When ego comes, wisdom leaves” Prem Rawat
Rather than wallowing in misery, we might recognise the value freedom release in surrendering to how things really are.
In the acceptance of what is, we do our best with each moment, and we benefit as we shift our perspective from dogged pursuit of what I want, to the flow of what I can do to help others, and life feels better. And within such good-vibe generosity there are seeds sown for a beautiful future.
As the New Moon eclipse promises a fresh beginning, it is flavoured by endings, so we give consideration to the cyclic nature of it all, and how this particular new start looks back as well as forward, in as well as out, and recognises how we can give and receive…
Perhaps the gifts offered are not what we expect, but all the more valuable for the effort required to discover the hidden rewards. As we learn to find the goodness inherent in everything (transformation of lead to gold), we ensure that our suffering is not meaningless, and I think perhaps this is the most wonderful gift of all.
Tuesday evening’s (8.20pm AWST) New Moon heralds another monthly renewal ~ this time in Sagittarius. As always, we have a choice as to where we aim our arrows of intention
Sagittarius seeks truth and meaning, and both can be found within each of us, and as well in the living cosmos that swirls around us. As we tread our unique paths, leaping or inching forward, or being hurled apparently backwards by powers beyond our control, the universe of which we are an integral part showers us with gifts of beauty and grace amid the chaos. Reminders of the magical and loving presence that exists within you ~ without you
“And to see you’re really only very small and
life goes~flows on
within you and without you”
Sources of inspiration and comfort abound in the natural world ~ sunsets landscapes minute details upon snail shells and in countless new Spring blossoms the quiet of underwater the roar of the waves as they crash on the beach ever-changing skyscapes busyness of bees and birds restfulness of midday kangaroos the companionship of animals the aloofness of animals unimaginable autumn colours hazy summer mirages on the horizons beyond our reach a surprise crescent Moon at dusk, or dawn
Divine attempts to encourage us as we encounter the devil’s own distraction discouragement despondency derailment in myriad forms on journeys in pursuit of our own truth
truth that is both universal and individual
We can find truth by looking at the natural world around us, the cycles and movements, the processes we each endure as living beings, and the inevitable endings that will come to us all at some unknowable time. So much wisdom can be gleaned from observation of the rhythms of life. And so much perspective can be found when we recall our innate time limit and remember to value our lives NOW
There is also truth to be found in stories ~ myths and legends ~ metaphors ~ traditional teachings of olde… we can find parallels between our own experiences and those of our ancient ancestors, and may also find the answers we seek.
And of course there is the quiet truth that dwells within each of us, and resonates with the truth of lore and nature. The tiny something inside that just knows…
The Greek concept of parrhesia ~ the fearless sharing of truth with others, in spite of the potential fallout = lost friends, damaged relationships, criticism, derision, punishment, exile. The parrhesiastes makes their own opinion known, shunning rhetoric and politick, speaking freely as a matter of duty.
The truth can hurt, as we all know. And sometimes we really don’t want to know. If we are to tell truth, we must also be prepared to hear truth, and it may not always align with the image we have of ourselves. But if we hear and carefully reflect upon others’ perspectives we can learn things we never knew before, even things about ourselves! Our own perceptions are broadened deepened diversified and we grow expand develop evolve
As we release the personas opinions concepts ideologies doctrines to which we cling so nervously tenaciously, we find another Sagittarian gift
If we can release our attachment to being right, and to being viewed as right, and offer our truth lovingly kindly mindfully, irrespective of the ways in which it is received ~ being true to ourselves without being affected by the opinions of others ~ we are aligning with high road Sagittarius.
When we accept the temporary nature of this human form, and find the heartbreak and hilarity in the mountains molehills mundanities, knowing that in the end we all succumb to the same modest finale, returning to our source ~ we are all made of stars (I wince typing that Moby line but he was telling the truth)
During closing comments of the 1994 documentary Tibetan Book of the Dead narrator Leonard Cohen insightfully says, “seeking the truth and practicing compassion – that is the way that life becomes meaningful”. These words capture the essence of the Sagittarius New Moon square Neptune in Pisces. Life becomes profoundly meaningful and rewarding as we become conscious participants in it ~ co-creators. And as we recognise our own and others’ shared frailty, love pours forth, it grows and grows, we understand that to release blame pride righteousness is to find peace and an abundant supply of compassion forgiveness humility tenderness
During the wee hours of Monday morning (31st of October, 1.39am AWST) the Lunar cycle concludes, and momentarily commences in the sign of Scorpio… most of us will be sound asleep in this part of the world, but perhaps that’s the best place to be…
asleep and dreaming ~
receiving messages of divine import direct from our unconscious
Scorpio symbolises our unconscious and the shadow (things of which we are ashamed, because we believe they are bad, and so suppress) as well as darkness~occult~taboos~sexuality~death… all the things we’re discouraged from discussing in polite conversation, even discouraged from thinking about in our formative years! So, we stuff all our fears, worries, shadow behaviours deep within our unconscious psyche… where they can’t hurt anyone…?
Lol. I suppose that’s the idea! If we don’t think or talk about the scary stuff, it can’t hurt us… right? Lol. Again.
The unconscious doesn’t evaporate for lack of attention. It remains within us, driving our meat-covered-skeletons through this world of form~time~space, offering reminders via our physical and mental health (depression, anxiety, rage, resentment, guilt, shame…)
It also lives in the outside world, beyond us, manifest in myriad forms ~
projected upon others > terrorists politicians celebrities cons crooks baddies in-laws our children
televised on the nightly 24 hour news as endless war struggle strife pain anguish suffering
Generally, we can assume that if we feel strongly about something, and we tend to judge others for it, somewhere within us we will find that same energy. It might be hidden in the darkest corners of our psyche… the skeleton in our closet… but it will be there, and it will be responsible for many of the events AKA lessons we require, to face our own shadows, and to evolve towards wholeness.
For example, perhaps we judge others for being lazy (unemployed idle couch potato zombie overweight et al). Inside us exists the very same urge, perhaps a secret desire for slothful hours with nought to do but eat chocolate, drink wine and watch The Bachelor! We will also find anxiety about being judged as lazy ourselves, and fear of loss of control ~ a compulsive need to maintain what we perceive to be control and power.
But the unconscious has the last lol
Not only are we deluded in our belief that strict adherence to non-lazy lifestyle choices makes us better people, we are also unwittingly attracting lessons and teachers that will challenge us in ways that can be painful and troubling (physical and mental health problems), frustrating (teachers masked as bothersome-types we prefer to dissociate from), and humbling or humiliating as we face the ever-expanding truth of who we are.
Our repressed unconscious can wreak havoc with our lives. So, it is in our best interests to get acquainted with our unconscious, and a great way to begin is with dream work: a direct line to our unconscious’ most pressing concerns! Perhaps during the Scorpio Dark Moon on Sunday evening, before the REM sets in, make a conscious request for meaningful messages from the dream realm and see what comes. As soon as you wake, make a note of everything you remember of your dreams, no matter how random or seemingly non-sensical, and make a decent effort at interpretation*. I hope the skulls don’t give you nightmares 🙂
Scorpio holds our secret special powers, and, for so long as we deny the accompanying shadows, we aren’t privy to its formidable strength… “it is our light~hero~bliss, not our darkness that frightens us…” Now, with the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Black Moon Lilith, and asteroids Hygieia and Juno all in Scorpio we are fully empowered in our efforts to know our unconscious.
“Your bliss can guide you to that transcendent mystery, because bliss is the welling up of the energy of the transcendent wisdom within you. So when the bliss cuts off, you know that you’ve cut off the welling up; try to find it again. And that will be your Hermes [Mercury] guide.” Joseph Campbell
The rulers of the New Moon remain in wide conjunction in Capricorn, though Mars is separating from Pluto now, boldly forging the path forward as their new cycle commences. We must consider our own paths upon which we journey into our unknowable futures
~ recognising the potential~significance~obligation of blazing our own authentic trails. The establishment of a new paradigm demands that we each honour our own truth and live it
We are called to fearlessly commit to being true to ourselves
To do this we must know what we want, and this year has served us well in discerning our own needs desires aims intentions purpose
But we must also know who we are ~ not limited to our egoic perceptions of who we think we are or what we’d like to be or what we look like et al…
To truly know ourselves is a dynamic ongoing process that enables our vision and our path to come clear and in our immersion of self knowledge we suddenly realise that there can be no question, no doubt, no possible alternative other than to live our lives our own way
The New Moon is conjunct Mercury and trine the Lunar South Node~ Neptune in Pisces, so the integration of our shadows in conscious and healthy ways are informed by awareness of our less-healthy past tendencies. No ostriches in sight! We welcome the insights that arrive in our daily lives, helping us to know ourselves and transcend our egoic limitations
*Re: dream interpretation. It is a very personal and empowering process that yields much wisdom and insight into our lives and our Self(s) 🙂
The method I use is derived from Jungian analyst Robert A. Johnson’s technique outlined in his wonderful book Inner Work. There are four steps:
1. Write down your dream in as much detail as you can manage
2. Note the symbols that stand out within the dream, for example a colour you see, or a person, or a place
3. Write down your own personal associations with the symbols you have noted. For example, if I dream of the colour red I then write down all the associations I have with the colour red. Or, if I dream of the ocean, I write down my associations with the ocean. Remember to always remain true to the original symbol; we’re not free associating down a rabbit hole
4. Make a ritual of the dream’s message. Once you’ve worked through the symbols, distilling them into a meaningful message, create a simple ritual to honour the message. Perhaps you buy a lipstick in the same colour red as was in your dream, or visit the beach with a symbolic offering (crystal, stone, drawing etc). This brings it into concrete reality
The Full Moon Eclipse in Pisces conjunct Chiron occurs on Saturday the 17th of September at 3.06am (AWST). Pisces ~ the Fishes ~ submerged beneath the waves of a sea of consciousness~god~source ~spirit~anima mundi or, as Jung put it, the collective unconscious ~ that which eludes our rationalist scientific modern-world perception. A potentially healing Full Moon, adorned with opportunity and fraught with dangers ranging from penetrating clarity and fearless moments of awakening and release to violent rage and damaging loss of self.
Neptune is the planetary ruler of this Full Moon, and too in the sign of Pisces. Within us all exists the Pisces~Neptune archetype, and so there is a part of each one of us that yearns to return to Source, to become One With All That Is, to escape the limiting concrete reality in all its Saturnian rigidity, connecting to something bigger than ourselves. So often, in this secular society, we find our Oneness in escapism. To dull the separation anxiety suffered as a result of our disconnection from spirit, we anaesthetise ourselves with various substances, distractions and indulgences.
Neptune is a prominent energy throughout 2016, and this Full Moon Eclipse highlights the pertinent manifestations for our consideration and integration. Importantly, Neptune is conjunct the Lunar South Node in Pisces, lending an ethereal vibe to our retrospective view of the past. As we look back we might be tempted to don rose-tinted glasses, perceiving times gone by as something they were not. Fundamentally, with the South Node we consider the low-road options in depth as they represent our unconscious~default tendencies. With Neptune, we know these are slippery and tempting, as they offer escape from the pain of our reality, but at such great cost.
Cue the eternal realist Saturn (square Neptune and the Lunar Nodes) persistently pushing us to see things clearly. To look back with less nostalgia and more equanimity, less delusion and more compassion, less blame and more forgiveness ~ allows us to go forward with more purpose, clarity, courage, power, maturity, wisdom, strength…
Chiron, the Wounded Healer, and his presence in (conjunction with the Full Moon in) Pisces invites us to heal our spiritual wounds. This process is painful. The challenges are many. The more we uncover, the more there is to uncover. But far from it being licence to moan, resigned to our lot in life, it is this work that will lead us to our healing, our truth, our bright future, and our own personal god experience.
Chiron’s movement through the zodiac explicates our best medicine for the moment, lest we become embroiled in our own tragedy. Pisces medicine unequivocally equates to spirituality. In true homeopathic style, the source of our pain contains the remedy to our ills. Our collective road to healing is one that leads us closer to the divine dance, wherein we are simultaneously honoured + honouring ~ creation + creator. Our source of spiritual nourishment needn’t be religious in nature, but certainly requires us to find the sacred in life, and humility enough to show reverence for it.
At the apex of a T-square between the Sun~Mercury in Virgo and the Moon~Chiron in Pisces is Mars in Sagittarius. Having moved on from the post-retrograde conjunction with Saturn ~ courage of our convictions ~ Mars now picks up the pace heading for Capricorn. First though, his augmentation of this Eclipse adds an aggressive dimension to this somewhat yin~centripetal lunation. Its a juggle! As we inwardly try to manage the strong mutable energies we feel confused, perplexed, bewildered. With Mars in such a position of power, we can shoot off at the mouth ~ shoot from the hip as our anxiety gets the better of us. Rather, defuse Martial agitation with benign physicality ~ adventure ~ new horizons ~ fresh perspective in the fresh air ~ nature
Adding further unpredictability to the mix is Uranus+Eris in Aries trine Mars. Eris is the “newest” trans-Neptunian dwarf planet, named after the goddess of discord. Displeased at having been excluded from an Olympic wedding, shit-stirrer Eris cast an apple scribed with “to the fairest” at the feet of three chatting party guests ~ Pallas Athene, Aphrodite and Hera ~ invoking discord as each goddess naturally believed herself to be the fairest. Zeus delegated the responsibility of settling the quarrel to Prince Paris of Troy, who eventually (having secured the rights to Helen the most beautiful woman in the world) chose the corrupt Aphrodite.
The addition of Uranus and Eris to Mars’ already belligerent influence leads one to believe we might expect a certain amount of unpredictable discord in our lives presently. But Eris’ influence is one that, despite her reputation, belies some benefits when we do it right. While she is renowned for revelling in the suffering of others she aint all bad. And as always, we cannot merely reject these troublesome parts of ourselves, we must work to find a way to consciously express them. Discord isn’t always unwarranted. And competition isn’t inherently bad. At its best it inspires greatness, diversity and creativity.
So, at the culmination of this eclipse season, may we each find our high-road leading us to a future that nurtures our soul’s evolutionary intent. Keep the faith, if we build it, well you know 🙂 Once more, I borrow from Michael Leunig…
“God bless the lost, the confused, the unsure, the bewildered, the puzzled, the mystified, the baffled, and the perplexed. Amen.”
Wednesday the 3rd of August bears the gift of a New Moon in Leo… Regal, inclusive, generous, fun and warm, Leo contains our inner performance, the part of us that craves an adoring audience, applause, bouquets, standing ovations…
Low-road Leo evokes desperate neediness, relentless demands for appreciation and the royal treatment, and petulant poutiness and dramatic displays of dissatisfaction when these ceaseless expectations aren’t met.
But a high-road Leo energy is fabulous marvellous glorious, warm and encouraging like the Sun’s rays. Where we embrace the part of our psyche that gratefully accepts appreciation we each become a little more special. We are nurturing the small child within that might not have enjoyed the spoils of undivided parental adoration.
This New Moon is in square aspect to Black Moon Lilith in Scorpio, trine Saturn in Sagittarius and quincunx the Neptune~South Node conjunction in Pisces.
Black Moon Lilith’s continuing journey through Scorpio is a reminder to us all of the dark feminine that dwells deep within our consciousness. So often this energy appears dormant, a latency that holds power and self-assuredness. When we are able to integrate this strength we become less needy, expressing ourselves without an inbuilt need for kudos and praise.
Saturn demands our integrity, a willingness to accept personal responsibility for our own consciousness and the ways in which we allow it to manifest. While Leo’s need to perform is valid, Saturn reminds us that we must aim to do so with dignity and poise. As the Moon is New we might re-commit to our self-expression in ways that honour our personal need for attention with mindful respect for others.
Within the Leo New Moon’s uneasy aspect to the Lunar South Node~Neptune conjunction we encounter an inner propensity to look back with nostalgic rose-tinted glasses. Whilst an ability to find gratitude, compassion and forgiveness in retrospect can be liberating, healing and transformational, we must be aware of the dangers of repetitive behaviours that damage us. The South Node describes a past that has hurt us, and our consciousness now benefits from awareness of low-road Piscean urges (escapism in all its forms).
As we greet the new Moon cycle we invite our Inner Child to revel in creative expression. Conjure a future that stirs your soul. Even if it is a mere daydream, a cloudy image in your mind’s eye, as the Moon renews this month indulge your joyful Self, grant yourself permission to imagine, play and create with abandon, just for fun…
The 270° square between Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces (both currently retrograde) has been in play since late 2015. As one of the dominant astrological themes of 2016 it deserves its own post.
Saturn is the wise elder of our solar system ~ paternal pragmatic mature responsible ~ he brings a dose of reality to whatsoever he contacts, setting boundaries, limits and slowing things down. It can be quite abrupt and even depressing as we come to terms with the Saturnian facts.
Neptune is the mystic ~ dreamy spiritual elusive transcendental ~ it’s subtle vibration often goes unnoticed as we are so busy with our “real world” concerns. But without Neptune life is lacking. We humans are connected to our spirit source, and something in us knows it = Neptune
When these two vastly different planetary influences meet this way, the energy is palpable. The square aspect brings friction and agitation regardless of the players involved. In this case the two signs involved are mutable (adaptable and comfortable with change), but Sagittarius is Yang fire and Pisces is Yin water. Sag wants freedom to explore understand expand and philosophise, while Pisces yearns to return to oneness, connecting with something larger than itself.
The distinctions are important, providing balance when the contact is made. Neptune knows no bounds ~ it can be chaotic lawless and anarchic. By contrast, Saturn is boundaries ~ limiting and restrained. Saturn’s realism and structure will temper Neptune’s fantastical visions and daydreams, helping us to bring them closer to manifestation. Saturn reminds us of the need to work ~ show up and make real tangible effort in pursuit of the heights that Neptune inspires.
Aspects are always seeking integration ~ as two planets come into contact we on Earth experience conflicting yearnings and can make effort to assimilate these in creative ways. Can we amalgamate chaos with order?
Inner work and spiritual practice are meaningful ways that we can make use of this moving square. Neptune represents spirituality and the unconscious, while Saturn symbolises work and practice ~ walking our talk.
Where we are unable or unwilling to consciously assimilate these energies we might find ourselves waking with a hangover, perhaps in both the metaphorical and the all-too-real-world head-thumping sense. As we mindlessly ramble on down Neptune’s slippery and treacherous low-road, allowing ourselves to be tempted time and again by the urge to temporarily escape reality, this year’s astroscape points to the folly of persistently choosing this well-worn path, strewn with lost shoes (glass slippers?), beer bottles, littered ciggie butts and polaroids of long-forgotten moments once considered unforgettable.
I wish not to be a killjoy. A well-lived and happy life must surely be filled with joy, laughter, good friends, and be punctuated with celebratory indulgence. But we cannot fool ourselves forever that such indulgences are necessary on the first Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday et al of each week, can we? And how much joy do we really find in these chemical-fuelled moments? Do the inevitable consequences feel disproportionate to the pleasures we sought the night before? How long can we claim debaucherous shenanigans to be an immersion in illuminating new experiences?
Twenty-sixteen poses these uncomfortable questions.
Can we allow the well-lit clearly sign-posted boundaries of Saturn to guide our return to more authentic and transcendent Neptunian destinies?
Saturn in Sagittarius implores us to seek our own truth. For most of us, that truth cannot be found at the bottom of a whiskey bottle, or in the smokey blur of stoner-dom, or in the disturbingly repetitious thoughts of a meth habit. The truth is that we use drugs to change the ways think feel and behave. But frequent drug use creates many more problems than it can ever solve.
To every thing there is a season. I am not arguing for nanny-state laws of prohibition, or self-imposed blanket bans that lead us away from whole-hearted living. We are human beings, blessed with conscious minds with which we are able to make discerning choices. There are certainly moments in life where a given substance can enhance an experience. But the key is to make decisions guided by an inner compass oriented toward our highest good. To weigh our options mindfully, then accept the consequences.
Just as Saturn aims to balance Neptune, Neptune seeks to inspire the stoic straight-laced Saturn ~ urging us to find commonality with our fellows, to develop compassion, to go with the flow and enjoy the moments in life that are all so fleeting. Neptune reminds us to nourish the part of us that knows we are connected to something greater than ourselves. Inviting us inwards, to the silent still portal of divine experience. Measures of Saturnian success and status have no place here.
I have noticed that sometimes, among communities of spiritual people egos run rampant in ways that eclipse more traditional egoic arenas, such as perhaps the business world, medicine or show biz. It seems that the more time one spends devoted to practices intended to evolve consciousness but that are depleted in their value by their use as a tool of ego enhancement, the more points one is awarded in some spiritualist prizefight. To maintain an appearance of detachment in the face of life’s most challenging emotional upheavals is valued above authenticity and vulnerability. This feels to me to be another misled manifestation of the Saturn Neptune square. The application of Saturn’s ego boundaries to Neptune’s realm of mystery.
Saturn always demands integrity. Neptune inspires communion with the divine. No one can know the inner life of another. Despite low-road Saturn in Sagittarius’ insistent sermonising, God is not some abstract dogmatic conceptual doctrine found exclusively within the walls of a cathedral, ashram, chapel, synagogue or mosque. God is alive, dynamic, evolving, omnipresent, experiential, infinite love, found in the hearts of the incarcerated and indoctrinated alike, in badly lit shopping malls and magnificent sweeping landscapes…
every atom of this expanding universe
Saturn+Neptune ~ one without the other and we are lost, either in the grey board room of conformity, or the technicolour haze of delusion