Sunday, November 1, 2009

Conjunction Junction…

We’ve been experiencing an interesting, and very rare, celestial occurrence for the better part of this year involving Chiron, Jupiter and Neptune being in close conjunction with each other in the sign of Aquarius. While the year, and the conjunction is almost completed, I chose to highlight this occurrence now, because the impact of this energetic shift indicates far reaching effects for years to come.

Knowledge is power, and the more awake and aware we are, the better we can utilize the opportunities that manifest for us. Since this is such an important occurrence, I will touch briefly on its effects this month, and next month go deeper into our exploration of this occurrence, and how it affects us both collectively and personally.

A conjunction occurs when two or more planets move into close angular proximity to each other, which promotes cooperation between each planet, and allows a mixture of energies that create a unique alchemy that can transform us in profound ways. The breadth and scope of this transformation is entirely up to us and how we choose to utilize the energies provided.

In this case Jupiter, the planet of expansion, is in collaboration with Chiron, the Wounded Healer, and we are offered the opportunity for healing on a deep level. With Neptune offering his unique energies to the mix, we are better able to work on several dimensional levels. This energetic shift happening in Aquarius is profound indeed, and many Aquarian concepts, such as environmental sustainability, humanitarianism and collective cooperation are at the forefront of activity at this time.

For those who have an interest in the Mayan calendar, what began November of last year was a movement through the Sixth Day of the Mayan calendar, which has offered us a period of profound enlightenment and healing. We are finishing up our movements through this period throughout the month of November, and the conjunction between Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune are amping up the process quite a bit. This inspires us to become more conscious of our connection to Source, and in our abilities as powerful co-creators of our own experiences, as well as our personal impact upon each other. I’ll explore the potential effects this collaboration has upon our personal relationships in my December article.

Anyone whose birth chart is significantly aspected by this phenomenon will have the opportunity to transform his or her life into one that is more inspiring, spiritually based, and functional. Nearly everyone is being inspired by this occurrence, however, and we can all benefit from its effects. For instance, anyone born at this time, or anything began during this occurrence has the potential for greatness.

Depending on where this triple conjunction falls in your natal chart is where you will feel the insistent, somewhat unsettling impetus for change and intense healing. We are all given the opportunity to finally face the old wounds of our past, allowing the deep healing necessary to move forward toward freedom from our typical, subconsciously-inspired responses. To fully utilize these energies, thereby transforming your life into one that is more connected to your true Divine path, move toward opening your heart and remaining centered within it. Many of us have learned, through childhood traumas and/or life situations, to seek refuge in our minds. This has provided us with the illusion of safety from our emotional centers, but has actually kept us from experiencing fully our joyful natures, and our connection to the Universe.

And so, wherever you are feeling inspired to heal, to motivate and to create positive change for yourselves and others, I say go with it, allow the energies to flow, and I’ll see you next month with more on this fabulous opportunity!

Namaste.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October in Motion!

Another Mercury retrograde has come and gone, and we are hopefully none the worse for the wear. I observed this latest Mercurial hiatus with great amusement (I chose the best feeling vibration accessible) as the world went a bit wacky around me. I don’t know about your experience, but this latest retrograde session seemed to be a particularly rambunctious one, leading many to believe that our planetary director of communications, thought processes and transportation had bailed on us for good! Well, we can all relax because as of September 29, Mercury’s back from holiday, and after taking a few days to unpack and re-acclimate himself, he’ll be back on the job setting things in order.

The big news this month has to do with both our cosmic “fathers”; the indulgent, expansive Jupiter, and Saturn, our disciplinarian planetary patriarch.

First of all Jupiter, who has been retrograde in Aquarius since June 15, will return to his forward movement in Aquarius on October 13. This is good news for many who have wondered why they felt a bit more restricted in the realm of enterprise and spirituality than usual. As with any planetary interaction, however, Jupiter taking a four-month hiatus gives us a unique opportunity to take a pause in our quest for fortune and expansion, turning inward to reevaluate our direction and to reassess our beliefs and values. It is in this period of reflection that we can fine-tune our methods, reorganize our plans, and reexamine our objectives.

Jupiter in Aquarius brings humanitarianism, unconventional solutions to long-standing problems and a bit of rebellion against the typical ways of doing things. If you’ve wondered what happened to the exciting momentum of change we were experiencing before June in our lives, our country, and our world, take heart; we’ll be returning to our collective forward movement this month with a bit more clarity, wisdom, structure and fortitude. To use politics for example, although it seems that we lost a bit of cohesion there for awhile; experienced by a great deal of uncertainty and in-fighting among our leadership, we actually really needed this pause in activity to hone and modify our methodologies, so that this great change we are initiating can be more effectively implemented, and have lasting beneficial results.

So if you’ve experienced a loss of confidence in the direction things have been moving on Barack Obama’s watch, hang in there. A stronger sense of hope is in the offing. Jupiter’s return to forward motion will bring about a renewed faith and enthusiasm in his leadership, and we’ll begin to see a more polished, perfected system being put into action.

Next we have Saturn, the much-maligned, yet highly beneficial patriarch that provides the structure we need to bring our ideas into form, is moving into Libra, the sign of partnership, on October 29. This is significant, since he hasn’t visited Libra for 29½ years. The energy modification that occurs when this takes place is a shift from a focus on self, which took place with Saturn spending the past 2½ years in Virgo, to a focus on relationships. With Saturn in Virgo, we have learned the art of self-nurturing, self-focus, and self-connection. This period of a spotlight on Self has been in preparation to now successfully welcome a partner into our lives.

When in solitude, our personal evolution is limited. It is through sharing, relating and making strong connections with others that we can grow as individuals, and Saturn will bring this wisdom to light in the next 2½ years. We will now come to realize that we can commit to a partner, while still maintaining our own sense of integrity within that partnership. Saturn will teach us, through our partnerships, where we need to make the necessary shifts, how we can make these shifts and where we have already grown in the realm of relationships and hadn’t really realized it on our own.

Saturn in Libra helps us to undertake the joy of building something substantial within our lives that involves true partnership, and the sharing of responsibility. As an Air sign, Libra puts a great deal of thought into action, and with Saturn here, we will learn how to willingly balance our needs with the needs of our partners in order to achieve harmony and stability within our relationships, and in our lives. Here is where we will learn to stand firm in our own sense of self, while sharing our lives with others. It is possible to maintain our individuality, to preserve our sense of personal power, while joining and sharing with another without compromising our values and ideas, and Saturn will teach us how.

We will also learn that oftentimes when we feel confined or lost within our relationships, that it is not actually the relationship or our partners that are confining us, but our own projections that are creating the conflict. It is very likely that what we sense as the demands of our partners are actually products of our own perceptions, and that our partners don’t really have those expectations of us. For example, it is not necessary to take on our lover’s experiences as our own in order to be a caring partner. It is enough to just be present as they experience whatever is challenging them and while they relearn their footing. We can cohabitate with others and not be joined at the hip to them. It is possible to go about our routines with another present, without it hampering our movements in the least. It is a matter of mutual respect and allowing that facilitates this flow. If both partners understand the need for, and agree to nurture and preserve each other’s independence within the scope of the relationship, then true growth and harmony is possible.

Saturn in Libra is bringing us the gift of true partnership; working together to build something beautiful and fulfilling, while maintaining our own autonomy and freedom. Personally, I am in great appreciation of this opportunity, and choose to welcome its energy in my life.

Namaste.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mercurial Reflections

Once again, Mercury will begin his second to last retrograde term for the year on September 6th, and will return to direct motion on September 29th. This gives us the better part of September to make use of the opportunities such an event offers us.

While I realize that I have touched on discussing the energies of Mercury in retrograde motion in past articles, this is such an important subject that I feel inspired to once again remind everyone of the benefits and opportunities such an event provides.

This more or less appears to be necessary in my experience. Judging by the fact that whenever I mention “Oh by the way, Mercury will be retrograde this month beginning on such and such a day…” I most often hear a collective groan; it’s likely that I haven’t quite succeeded in convincing you that this period in Mercury’s movement is actually a benefit to us. It seems that whenever Mercury goes retrograde, this little guy gets blamed for everything that goes wrong in our lives. Anything from crazy drivers, lost mail, computer crashes and failed conversations prompt people to ask me, “Any chance Mercury’s retrograde right now?” Of course, 9 times out of 10 he is, but that’s beside the point.

The cool thing about Mercury going retrograde is that he’s actually asking us, “Where are you stuck in your life right now, and what do you need to do to unstick yourself?” This is valuable stuff here, since many of us tend to wear ourselves into a deep rut at some time or another through useless repetition, be it mental or physical, and not even realize it. It is through the energies of Mercury in retrograde motion that we get an intellectual “breather” where our typical mental focus is shifted enough to allow room for alternatives. Mercury is a creator god, after all, and this period of time helps us all to create new spaces in our minds, which in turn help us to create new beginnings in our ideas, our work and our relationships. Of course, this only happens when we work with these energies, allowing them to inspire us, instead of working against them by engaging in fear-based behavior.

In essence, “unsticking” ourselves.

I’ve recently read a quote from the book The Gods in Everyman by Jean Bolen that the elemental metal Mercury only adheres itself to precious metals. I find that fascinating. So in essence, the energies of the planet Mercury can inspire our movement toward creating golden, or even platinum opportunities for ourselves. Sounds good to me!

And so the key here is to remain flexible in our everyday routine; be it business transactions, commuting back and forth to work or school, writing, and all forms of communications and thought processes in general. Understand that when Mercury is retrograde, these areas of our lives may seem a bit cockeyed and bumpier than usual, or even vacant for that matter, and remain calm. Breathe. Stay flexible. Implement your contingency plans.

Oh! Did I forget to mention contingency plans? My bad, since this is essential: Always have a contingency plan to back you up. In cases of Mercury retrograde, have more than one. Get the numbers of coworkers who live near you, just in case your car decides to take the day off when your presentation is scheduled first thing in the morning. Back up all your computer work on more than one storage device, in the event your laptop gets a little wacky and wants to evict your hard drive. Develop communication strategies with those you converse with regularly, such as coming up with a key word that signals the other person that it’s time to take your respective corners and process for a bit when things get heated.


One couple I have heard of uses a code word significant to both of them for this purpose. Apparently they used to fight about how much time the husband watched football while the wife wanted him for other activities. They eventually realized that fighting about this particular subject was useless, since there was no way in heaven or on earth she was ever going to convince him to give up watching his favorite sport. Now, whenever a conversation has neared the red zone, one of them shouts out “Football!” and the other knows that they’ve gone too far, or that the disagreement has reached an impasse.

Not to say that the above things will happen, just that they could and it’s good to be prepared.

So, do you feel better about the encroaching Mercury retrograde? Perhaps the word “encroaching” is a bit too ominous here. Sorry, my mischievous slip is showing. Let’s use the word “approaching” instead.

The approaching Mercury retrograde is a vital opportunity to refresh ourselves mentally. To find the stillness within that allows for new ideas to take form. In what way can you best utilize this opportunity in your life experience at this time? Wouldn’t it be great to find out?

Yes.

Just breathe. Allow. Receive.

Namaste.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Lunar Celebration

Aquarians and Leos can soon do the happy dance; the Lunar eclipse in early August, affecting both signs directly, will be the last one in our signs for eight years. Not that eclipses are bad or anything…nothing is truly bad, per se. It’s just that the challenges we face during these celestial events can make us feel a little wuggy at times.

Eclipses always denote change…whether we like it or not. While both fixed signs, Aquarius and Leo tend to deal with change a bit differently. As Aquarius is naturally ruled by Uranus, change is our middle name. Well-adjusted (or perhaps well-acclimated is a more apt term) Aquarians have learned to actually thrive on it, finding excitement in a more dynamic environment.

Leos, however, are ruled by the Sun. They like being the center of their universes; calling all the shots, and get very uncomfortable when some uninvited celestial event comes along and shakes up their carefully constructed kingdoms. What Leo would do well to accept is that change is inevitable, even constructive. When change comes along and shakes things up a bit, we get to see the silverfish and other hidden varmints that have settled into the carpets of our psyches and can choose to finally be rid of them once and for all. A good spiritual, mental and emotional housecleaning is just the ticket for freeing us from all that clutter and self-imposed bondage.

So try not to practice avoidance maneuvers by shoving your faces firmly into the cushions of your thrones (Leo), or hiding away in your science labs (Aquarius) when the Lunar eclipse of August 5th rolls around. A much more joyful (and constructive) way of experiencing it is to join forces and throw one smashingly exceptional eclipse party! I’m game, how about you?

Leos, this is your queue to take the offered hand of that lovely Aquarian who’s been smiling at you with adventure in her (or his) eyes, let your hair down and run free with it to your heart’s content. You might be happily surprised at the outcome!

Okay, now just because I’ve been highlighting Aquarians and Leos for a few paragraphs doesn’t mean that everyone else is off the hook, so you other signs need to snap to attention here. The eclipse will affect everyone in differing ways. Wherever Leo and Aquarius lands in your natal chart, and whether the eclipse aspects any planets in your chart will denote the profound shifts that you can expect in your own lives.

For instance, if the eclipse aspects your Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and/or Mars, the changes you can expect will be personal in nature. The house placement of each planet influenced will show what areas of your life these changes will occur in. Any aspects occurring on your outer planets will be more generational or global in nature. (Hint: This would be a very good time to contact an astrologer for more concrete information on how it affects you personally.)

What’s important to remember is that change is good. We are not meant to be static, but ever growing and shifting. Change helps us to thrive and continue our forward movement along our path. It’s a good thing. What we resist persists, so try to embrace the energies surrounding this eclipse. Better yet, come join the party that we fearless Aquarians and Leos are throwing…it’s sure to be a blast!

Happy August!

Namaste.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July’s Celestial Dance

The year so far has been rife with positive, forward movement on a global scale and we’re still going strong in that direction. A few unusual planetary occurrences have been slated for this year, and we’ve already seen a couple. In this article, I will focus on the energies created by the dance of Sun and Moon in eclipse.

This month, we’re experiencing a pairing of both Lunar and Solar eclipses, akin to the duet we experienced in January and February of an Aquarius/Leo energy, which signified a new beginning and a solid shift (finally!) into the much-anticipated Aquarian Age. While we’ll see an encore performance of the Aquarian/Leo pairing of eclipses later this year, this month will see the Lunar/Solar dance take place in the signs Capricorn/Cancer. We’ll witness a prenumbral Lunar eclipse, which will be barely visible with the naked eye, on July 7. If you detect anything at all visually, it will be a slight shading of part of the Moon…however astrologically, there will still be significant effects.

Lunar eclipses signify a period of major changes; the ending of old, outmoded ways of doing things and the beginning of a fresh methodology that promises great benefits if utilized effectively. Emotional by nature, these changes often refer to relationships in one form or another. These changes often have to do with how we relate, and the shifts we create will have lasting results. Emotions tend to be easily triggered, and can inspire upsets and sometimes disoriented feelings. The actions we take will likely bring higher awareness and illumination into ourselves and others. Those of us who like to keep our hearts hidden deep inside may suddenly feel compelled to put it all out on the table, finally freeing ourselves from our self-imposed limitations. This can be healthy on many levels, even if it initially feels strange and uncomfortable. It would be good for us all to ease any tension we may feel by engaging in some form of daily physical exertion to keep the energies moving through us and deepening our connection to the All.

The Solar eclipse in Cancer on July 21 will be a total eclipse, and the Moon will be in her Maiden (New) aspect. This is a time of the powerful union of feminine and masculine energies on all levels; both within and without. It’s a time for nurturing of oneself and others, for rejuvenation, healing and renewal. I’m speaking here of both inner transformation and its outward manifestation; it is our choice what we choose to do with this opportunity, on both a personal and global level. This Solar eclipse is asking us to open ourselves to the promise of unconditional love…the highest level of fearless love that is both healing and freeing. It is our choice whether we choose to utilize this golden opportunity, bravely showing up in our own lives and allowing the healing to happen, or if we choose to let it flow by. What do you think? Are you ready? I know I am.

Namaste.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Groovy June Happenings

Summer is definitely upon us, and I look forward to the warmest months with a happy, grateful heart. June is a month filled with planetary activities that guide us along on our journey, so let’s begin with the biggies.

We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief now that Mercury is again back at work and moving forward in direct motion. It’s important to note, however, that while Mercury turned direct on May 30, we can still count on a few residual effects of the recent retrograde to last another week as our speedy messenger re-acclimates himself to his more typical ways of being. We’ll all likely spend the week following Mercury’s lead in some manner or another. (For more information on Mercury retrograde, please refer to my article, “On Mercury’s Path” Conscious Mind Journal, March 2009)

For those of us who rebelled against common sense (and my advice) and initiated any major changes, entered into agreements or made key decisions during this retrograde Mercury, you might want to prepare yourself. You just may realize that you acted rashly, burned a few bridges, and/or entered into contracts and agreements that you now wish you hadn’t. If this is the case, you may wish to take the first week of direct Mercury to scratch your head awhile, wondering whatever possessed you to do such a thing, and then begin to figure out how to work with the energies you’ve likely created. Perhaps some damage control is in order, yes?

For those of us who used this Mercury retrograde period effectively for quiet, inward-directed contemplation, reassessment and planning, you may wish to wait a week or so to fine-tune your results, and then begin to implement your new-found ideas and plans. Every once in awhile a break in action is beneficial for inspiring us to review and make adjustments, so feeling gratitude for this period of pause is a very good thing.

Interestingly enough, Neptune, our planet of high intuition and sometimes overwhelming confusion, took up the retrograde baton on May 28th. Neptune in Aquarius will remain in retrograde motion until November 4, 2009, stimulating heightened sensitivity and awareness. It will be easier for most of us to perceive information more clearly about issues that may have seemed complicated or just out of our grasp while Neptune was in direct motion. This gives us the opportunity to pay attention; listening to our inner guidance and seeing what is happening around us more accurately.

While you experience this new dynamic, it’s a good idea to allow yourself to communicate your feelings and insight to others; opening a sensory valve, as it were, to let out some pressure and relieve any sense of psychic overload you may experience during this retrograde episode. This is especially important for those of us who are highly sensitive, and is globally relevant to boot, since many perceptions gleaned during this time may prove highly beneficial for us all. Practicing good grounding techniques while we move through this time of uber insight will also be a good idea, since we are most effective while we’re exploring the ethers when we have good, solid footing on the Earth at the same time. Carrying grounding stones, such as black tourmaline, jet or onyx along with green malachite will help in this process.

At just about the same time Neptune was shifting gears, Mars moved into Taurus on May 31, and will languish there until July 11. The blending of dynamic Mars with determined Taurus will be a quietly powerful one. Whatever actions we take during this period are likely to be productive, methodical and proficient. Impatient folks may feel a bit frustrated during this time, when our naturally impetuous Martian energies are slowed down considerably by the plodding nature of Taurean energies. It’s okay, however, if you think about it this way: Your activities will be much more thorough, and it’s likely that you’ll see them through effectively during this transit.

We will all do well to take this opportunity while Mars is in Taurus to roll up our sleeves and get to work on implementing all those plans and ideas we created during retrograde Mercury. Now is the time to get the physical work out of the way, while our stamina is high, and pave the way to the future sharing of our ideas and progress with others. Being mindful of our temperament is a good idea, by the way, since Mars in Taurus may inspire some pretty fierce fireworks if provoked. If you’re feeling backed into a corner, it’s a good idea to take a moment to breathe and count to ten before charging though any proverbial china shops you may encounter along the way.

Venus will join Mars in Taurus on June 6th, and will continue her visit until July 5th. Venusian energies will flourish during this period, since she will be in the sign she naturally rules. While there, she will likely inspire sensuality and pleasurable pursuits in many of us, and perhaps even a bit of overindulgence in some sensory form or another. Such is her nature, after all. There is also a possibility that this transit could inspire some of us to become more grounded and purposeful in the way we conduct ourselves in relationships, with our finances, and in practicing the Law of Attraction. We may find that our abilities to manifest our desires are heightened. It is important, therefore, to become mindful of any tendency we may have to gauge our sense of self-worth to our material possessions. We are not our possessions, and the quality of our lives is heightened more by intangibles such as how we behave with and care for each other, not in what we acquire. To make the best use of Venus’s transit through Taurus, be sure to take some time out for relaxing Venusian activities, such as enjoying the sunset, visiting an art museum, listening to music, and pampering yourself and another in healthy, sensual ways.

Following Venus’s lead, Mercury will re-enter Gemini, the sign of his own rulership, on June 13th. (Note that Mercury’s reverse motion brought him back into Taurus during the retrograde.) Expect mental processes and all things Mercury to be seriously amped up, especially since this transit so closely follows Mercury going direct again. Happily spastic info-gathering activities can result, along with the desire to chatter about your findings to anyone and everyone.

Finally, Jupiter will move into retrograde motion in Aquarius on June 15th until October 12th, 2009. Jupiter’s retrograde motion will inspire us to focus on inner growth and awareness, and is a great time to hone our principles of integrity. We’ll likely be moved to adopt a bit of a philosophical perspective, and many may also choose to return to school, take a long trip, or reconnect with a lost friend or loved one.

However you choose to experience the dynamic planetary energies this month, I wish you a joyous heart.

Happy Solstice everyone!

Namaste.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Upward and Onward in May 2009!

Happy Mayday, my friends! Spring is finally here, and I'll bet that right about now you're wondering what the planets have in store for us this month. I know I am, so let's peruse these events together, shall we?

Gear up again, dear readers, for a bit of a bumpy romp mentally when Mercury goes retrograde in cerebral Gemini from May 7th to May 30th. Check and double-check any important contracts, communications and decisions during this time - if they absolutely have to happen. If these issues aren't immediate, however, perhaps you can put them on a back burner and ponder things a bit until about a week after Mercury goes direct. When communicating with others, try to put some thought into each statement before blurting them out. Conversely, if someone's said something that you find puzzling or upsetting, cut them some slack and wait a bit for clarity. Chances are that Mercury's involved in some way. A good way to take advantage of this period is to take time for personal reflection, and to keep your mechanical equipment well-maintained and fully functional.

During his "backward" motion, Mercury will return to Taurus for a spell, giving us just a tad more grounding than we felt with Gemini. Remember, however, that Mercury will still be retrograde until the end of the month. Keeping Taurus's stubborn nature in mind, try to avoid being overly forceful in your communications. Treading too hard can close a lot of doors down the road, so if you're feeling inflexible during this period, consider easing up a bit.

Jupiter conjuncts Neptune May 27 in the progressively mobile sign of Aquarius, and the effects will be felt for a couple weeks. This will happen again on July 10 and December 21. What is so absolutely cool about this is the expansive, mind-blowing quality of energies these planets in Aquarius create, which then inspires us to follow suit. This just serves to move us further along into the shifts and turns the year has promised, and delivered, so far. (Are you still keeping your chin up about the exciting transition we're engaged in, while refusing to buy into the fear element of resistance? I sure hope so, because the growing pains we're currently experiencing will be so very worth it in the long run. Trust me on this one. Just have faith and remember to breathe. In, out, in, out…keep going…you got it.)

We're getting through this together, as Aquarius is known to encourage. With Neptune's capacity for compassion coupled with Jupiter's bighearted indulgence, this conjunction inspires deeper faith, hope and the courage to reach out and create a better world. The veil is lifting as our collective eyes are opening to a more profound knowledge of our inter-connectedness, and the awareness that it's not only safe, but beneficial to work together. Cooperative endeavors can be nurtured now, along with a good, healthy dose of common sense. I speak of this because in our efforts to create strength through solidarity, there are those who may see this shift as an opportunity to press their own agendas. Knowing that it is possible to let our minds and hearts soar while keeping our feet firmly planted on the ground, however, will ensure our continued freedom to transform ourselves and this world.

Are you still breathing?

Namaste.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

An Inner Interlude

In our explorations of 2009 so far, we’ve uncovered some pretty fascinating events regarding our celestial guides, which have this amazing knack of cluing us in to the bigger picture of events here on Earth. As I’ve mentioned in recent articles past, the planetary indicators are suggesting that we make some pretty hefty about-faces in the way we do things on our lovely planet…and it appears that, thankfully, many of us are taking these ideas seriously. Many planetary dynamics have already been underway this year, giving us a wealth of guidance in how to go about creating the change this world is ready for. And this is only the beginning, my friends!

As far as celestial events go, this month we’ll see a bit of a biggie on April 4th when Pluto, our powerful little Feng Shui guy, goes retrograde in Capricorn. Pluto will stay retrograde for around five months, returning to direct motion on September 11, 2009. While Pluto has been in Capricorn for some time now, its imminent retrograde motion will amplify our current transformational trip to the ninth degree. Pluto retrograde is indicating an opportunity for us to become greatly introspective, both on an individual and collective level. Its visit with Capricorn is indicating the transformational focus needs to be on some areas of interest for Capricorn; namely the economy, corporate structures, aggressive competition, traditional values, and the uncompromising pursuit of success.

Pluto inspires us to dig down deep and explore our inner murky depths -- you know the ones I’m talking about; the scary viscera that we always want to shove down even deeper and out of the light of day in the false hope that it will go away unseen by others. C’mon now, we’ve seen where that’s gotten us, haven’t we? Now we are being gifted with an opportunity to heal through purging and transformation. In watching the news, reading the paper, or even just being mindful of the concerns of our co-minglers we’ve become aware of how the present corporate structure is being forced to revise itself in light of many recent revelations into how those in positions of authority have run things up to now. This has Pluto in Capricorn written all over it; exposure of all secret undercurrents and demands for change. Now that a retrograde period is imminent, we’re inspired into even deeper investigation and are being urged to let go of antiquated attitudes, the giving away of our own power to those we think know better than we, and our rigid systems.

On a personal level, Pluto retrograde is an opportunity to do some deep introspective work, assessing what patterns we hold that make us feel out of control, which in turn compel us to engage in control struggles over others. These internal meanderings help us to discern where and why we give our power away, to release outmoded patterns, and to seek out various forms of regeneration. Wherever Pluto hangs out naturally in your chart, and which area of your chart his present journey leads, will indicate the direction your current inner focus will take. Pluto encourages us to take a deep long look. Yes, there can be some pretty scary-looking cobwebs and creepy-crawly things in there, but if we look at them from a higher view, we will see that it’s just our “stuff,” not us. We are not our stuff. In fact, we are better, more beautiful and more alive when we are free of it.

Namaste.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

On Mercury’s Path in 2009

While I’ve touched on Mercury in a few past articles, there is an interesting difference in Mercury’s movements this year that warrants a bit more attention. This year will see its share of planetary retrogrades, and it appears that Mercury will be adding an additional episode of retrograde activity to the mix, giving us all a bonus period of opportunity for reflection, contemplation and reversal.

Mercury typically goes into retrograde motion three times yearly, making this year of four retrograde events extra special, and very appropriate given the hefty dynamics of 2009 that I’ve already touched on in previous articles. When a planet is described as in retrograde motion, it means that it appears to have reversed its forward movement through the cosmos, and is seen to be moving backward for a period of time, depending on the planet involved. (For Mercury, this period of time is typically three weeks.) Each planet experiences retrograde motion at some point, except for the Sun and Moon. The planet doesn’t actually move backward, but it does slow down in its orbit enough for it to be seen as moving backward from our vantage point here on Earth.

The easiest way to understand this in a physical sense is by using the visual of two athletes; yourself and another. Picture yourself running a marathon and a runner who has consistently been ten paces ahead of you suddenly begins to become fatigued and slows his pace markedly, enough for you to inch your way past him. You move along this way for awhile, the gap slowly widening between you and the runner you just passed until suddenly, he has regained his stamina and begins slowly closing the gap again. In time he passes you and regains the lead. This experience can be likened to the visual retrograde motion of a planet as seen from Earth.

Astrologically, the retrograde motion of each planet takes on a profound energy all its own. For instance, Mercury retrogrades, while reviled by many as a chaotic time of mangled messages, stunted communications, confused decisions and crazy driving, is actually a divine gift…a “do-over” if you will. It is a chance to adjust our thinking, attitudes and decisions, which may have gone a bit off-course in our travels. You see, when we experience the so-called “ill-effects” of retrograde Mercury, including frustration and stress, we are usually experiencing them because we are not allowing ourselves to go with the flow of events. This is likely due to our ego-attachment to the status-quo, which could have the effect of stunting our forward movement along our life paths. When facing any approaching stage of retrograde Mercury, it’s important to remember that he does not set out to turn us on our ears, but merely to wake us up to the fact that we could be doing things just a little bit differently, and therefore more effectively. Moving into this period with the intention of paying attention and remaining flexible will do us all a world of good.

What is extremely important to note here is that retrogrades tend to run in cycles, in which Mercury will cover the exact same signs and degrees on approximately the same calendar days as an earlier era of time. The reason I bring this up is because the exact Mercury retrogrades we experience this year will be in the exact same signs and degrees on approximately the same calendar days as they were in the year 1930.

Do I have your full attention yet?

Some remarkable similarities have come to my attention regarding the exact Mercury retrogrades of 1930 and 2009. For instance, during 1930 our President was Herbert Hoover; a Leo who faced the daunting task of leading our country through a crippling economic crisis…and many feel that he dropped the ball. In 2009, our President is Barack Obama; another Leo who is facing the daunting task of leading us through what is potentially another crippling economic crisis. He has the opportunity to pick up the ball Hoover dropped, and make the necessary adjustments to inspire us through this crisis. I say ‘inspire,’ because it’s important that we all realize that we’re in it, too…we all have to participate in our economic recovery. History is once again repeating itself to give us another opportunity to grow as individuals and as a society, and to make a difference this time. It’s a profound do-over if you ask me!

Do we have what it takes to do it right this time? Of course we do! We always did.

The Mercury retrogrades occurring in 2009 are affording us the opportunity to make mental adjustments about our decisions and our individual and collective focus during the year. Our current focus is on bringing innovative ideas and visionary awareness into the forefront of this journey we’re on, which is in direct keeping with the planetary indicators. The events occurring during 2009’s Mercury retrograde events will help us to let go of our past, release the fear, and move boldly into our newly-adjusted future. Adjustments have already been made, and will continue to be made throughout this year with the help of these retrograde events and our shared cooperation.

We’ve already experienced the first of four retrograde Mercury phases this year, beginning January 11th and ending February 1st, which began in the Air sign of Aquarius and ended in Earth sign Capricorn. The next phase will be coming up on May 7th in Air sign Gemini, and will end May 30th in Earth sign Taurus. The third event will be September 7 in Air sign Libra, and will end September 29th in Earth sign Virgo. The fourth and final Mercury retrograde event in 2009 will begin December 26th in Earth sign Capricorn, and will actually end January 15, 2010 in Earth sign Capricorn.

What is especially important about the opportunities presented by these Mercury events is that the adjustments we make will also be in our attitudes in relationship to each other, and in working together as a society. Partnerships in several areas of our lives become the focus and area of our personal and collective fine-tuning all throughout the year. It is important for us to recognize that we all walk this journey together, that we share a common core desire, and that is to be happy. Whatever this means for the individual, as a society we can work together in the spirit of cooperation, so that all are recognized as worthy of sharing this path. We have the opportunity now to operate from a place of mutual support and dignity, rather than our past experience of operating from a place of fear.

Again, it’s all a matter of free will. What we do with what is offered is entirely up to us.

I’m game…are you?

Namaste.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Teachings of Saturn for 2009

In last month’s article, we began an in-depth look at the wisdom our Universe is sharing with us this year, via the perpetual dance of planetary movements and interactions in the sky above. These movements and interactions serve as road maps or instruction manuals, if you will, indicating the shift in energies we are constantly experiencing both on a global and personal level. If we pay attention, we can learn a great deal about what to expect in the year to come, and how best to utilize this knowledge to its full advantage on our personal and collective journey through the year. Last month, we began by having a look at Jupiter’s very cool trek this year through the sign of Aquarius. I don’t know about you, but I can already feel the exciting shift in energies, which are definitely for the better!

This month, we’re trying our hand at deciphering the messages of Saturn. What’s that? Did I hear a collective groan from my readership when I mentioned the planet…Saturn? Hah! There it is again! (Better watch it; you guys are bringing out my impish nature.) Well, contrary to what you may have heard, felt or believed about our second fatherly planet, I’m here to fill you in on the extraordinary long-term benefits that we experience if we’d only heed the advice he gives.

Yes, I know that he’s the quintessential taskmaster, hell-bent on getting us to straighten up and fly right. Believe me; I’ve had my share of lessons taught by his firm and very deft hand! However let me ask you this, where would we be if our only planetary father figure was the ever-indulgent Jupiter? Really now, think about it; how would we evolve and become our highest potential if the only form of guidance we received was an indulgent pat on the head and an unbounded allowance to go forth and do whatever we please? (I know, it sounds real good to me too, but let’s be reasonable here.)

Saturn is what inspires us to actually “show up” in life and strive for better, both personally and communally, by indicating the consequences we experience when we don’t. While we always have a choice in the matter, following Saturn’s wisdom means that we’ll most likely end up on the sturdier, more-beneficial-in-the-long-run ground of just about every situation. There’s that collective groan again. I’ll bet the only ones out there not groaning have a heavy Capricorn influence in their charts. It’s either them, or others who are mature enough to see the wisdom in my words. Yep, it’s true…most of us tend to agree with our elders just a little bit more with every passing year. It’s okay, you know. We can remain young at heart while we embrace the wisdom of the ages. Trust me, it’s been done.

Okay, now that we’ve relaxed a little, let’s take a peek at what Saturn’s showing us this year. Beginning in September of 2007, Saturn made his shift away from Leo and into Virgo, and will remain in the present transit until October of this year, when he moves into Libra. This change in Saturn’s energies from the self-involved influence of Leo to the practical and service-oriented energy of Virgo is indicating some pretty massive changes that we are all experiencing directly. Virgo is earthy, practical, and very concerned with making things work efficiently and fairly. Saturn’s trek through Virgo is inspiring us to push forward with the “greening” of our lifestyles and our planet at an accelerated pace. It’s important to remember that inspiration by Saturn can come at us full force, if we don’t act upon his more subtle hints first. Either way, his message will be heard. It is entirely up to us which way it will be.

As an aside, I often wish my column came with a soundtrack. It would be so much fun to select corresponding music to convey the mood of my work most effectively. Like that last sentence would have a kind of powerful, ominous tone playing while you read the words. Ah well, it is not yet meant to be. Perhaps soon, however…

One example of the extreme way Saturn teaches that comes glaringly to mind is the crushing weight of gas prices on just about everyone’s budget (except those who are involved with Exxon, of course) that we’ve recently experienced, which inspired us to face our destructive dependence on oil and to demand more research into alternative fuels and transportation methods. More people began purchasing hybridized and fuel-efficient vehicles than we’ve seen in a long while, most of which are imports, which in turn is forcing our domestic automakers to shift gears in a hurry, and develop more green technology if they want to survive. We in Michigan desperately want our domestic automakers to survive, because so many of our manufacturing jobs and satellite businesses are dependent on the auto industry, much like a wheel and spokes on an axle.

You see? Saturn’s lessons may be painful initially, but we often need to get a feel for the negatives of a situation before we can really appreciate and take decisive action toward creating the positive. Such is the nature of the human condition at times. It wasn’t enough that we knew our oil gluttony was creating political, social and ecologic upheaval. We actually had to experience its effects first-hand, on an economic level, to finally motivate us into action. At the end of the day, however, we and future generations will be so much better off by the changes we are being compelled to make now.

Another example of how Saturn in Virgo is teaching us a harsh lesson is the results we are now experiencing from our move away from traditional, independent farmers to industrial, corporate farming complexes. While we’ve long known about the dangers of pesticide use on our produce, and felt bad about our dying independent agricultural heritage, only a small percentage of society had taken steps to become more deliberate in their consumption by purchasing only organic foods and locally grown produce. The majority of us have blithely gone along with taking for granted where our food comes from, and how it is prepared. That is, until recently. We’re now being rocked to the core with some pretty scary effects of our acquiescence in the form of people getting sick by eating mass-produced leafy green vegetables as well as prepared peanut products from an industrial farm in Georgia.

Bear in mind that the above examples are the result of our not taking decisive action when the facts and opportunities were first presented to us. Saturn steps in when many other methods of waking us up have failed. He is the loving disciplinarian, after all, and all his lessons are for our own good.

The good news is that we can choose to pay more attention to the information we’re given, and then act upon it appropriately. If we do this, then Saturn can just sit back, sip on a cool one and monitor us from afar. A much happier situation all around, I’d wager.

So what is Saturn saying to us this year? Well, Saturn in Virgo ties in nicely with Jupiter’s work with Aquarius. We’ve ushered in a new political administration that has great promise and leadership. Our new president is a man who has already indicated his desire to change many of the issues that have brought us to our knees. He has already begun this shift by demanding that great strides be made toward alternative energies, updating our infrastructure, and revamping the healthcare industry into something far more functional and accessible to all. All these demands are within the domain of Virgo. President Obama has also asked for our help. Instead of pretending that he has all the answers and taking a God-like stance, he’s asked us all to work together, cooperatively moving toward the rebuilding of our country. This is decisively Aquarian in nature. The cool thing is that I think we’re ready to do just that, and the majority of us have chosen a leader that inspires us along.

During Saturn’s transit through Leo, a common trend developed where people became more interested in helping themselves, and less interested in helping others. The principals of the Law of Attraction became whittled down to an endless wanting and a focus on self-gain for many individuals, which is not the greatest path for spiritual growth, and not the original intention of LOA. Many took on the less savory Leo characteristics of self-absorption, narcissism, self-concern at the expense of others, and paying lip service to spiritual beliefs in an ego-based effort look good, without really practicing them. Saturn in Virgo is asking us to understand that getting everything we want is not necessarily the goal of spiritual evolution. Saturn in Virgo helps us to realize that each of us has a duty to heal ourselves by reaching out to heal others. When a friend asks for help, instead of asking yourself, “how will this affect me?” or “what will this cost me?” think instead, “how may I serve?” Virgo is a sign of service, and is teaching us that we will find true fulfillment in being of service to others.

There is a great deal of work that needs to be done, and Saturn in Virgo is now inspiring us to get on with it, already. There is a strong need to move away from the waste and lack that we’ve experienced in a global economy, and to get back to basics by forgoing the long-distance commute and working closer to home, cultivating personal and community gardens and farms so that we are more self-reliant and supported by cooperative participation. Mutual interdependence that reacquaints us with our neighbors and communities will help us to know that we don’t have to face what we’re facing alone; that we are all, every one of us, in this together.

We need to bring back the individual farmer who works closely with the true cycles of nature. We can all support this shift by purchasing produce grown locally by independent farmers. You will find them at nearby farmer’s markets during the warmer months, and independently-owned grocers usually purchase only locally grown produce. You can ask at the counter if your favourite grocer supports local farms.

On a more individual level, Saturn in Virgo is indicating several things that we need to start paying attention to and taking action toward improving. One major thing is the state of our health. Many of us have neglected or ignored the more subtle suggestions we’ve received in the past, and Saturn will show us what needs attention, and will use any means necessary to motivate us toward a healthier direction. The best way to handle this, and to avoid any harsher prodding, is to begin to do the things we need to do on our own. This can include getting a full physical, committing to a healthy diet and exercise routine, and freeing ourselves from any unhealthy habits that can have a destructive effect on our bodies and minds.

There are many Virgos, and people who’s natal Saturn is in Virgo, who are experiencing a pretty heavy state of affairs, depending on where Saturn and the Sun are in their individual natal charts. This is an important time for your personal evolution, and an opportunity for you to face the things that you have resisted facing, or simply weren’t aware of and need to be. The best way to work with this energy is to go with it, stop resisting, and pay attention to what you are learning. There is great benefit in what you are experiencing. Know that, have faith in it, and act accordingly. You will be all the better for having experienced it.

Something for us all to watch for with Saturn in Virgo is that we don’t take on the more fearful energies of this sign. Virgo can be a nervous worry-wart by nature, and we need to guard against any nervous, OCD-type behaviours that are more destructive than helpful. A better way to channel this energy is by taking up activities that sooth Virgo’s nervous energy, such as gardening, yoga, martial arts, handwriting letters, engaging in service-oriented volunteer work, helping a friend in need, reorganizing your home, detoxing your body, mind and spirit, and engaging in group activities that reach for a higher level of global well-being.

There is so much more information about this important transit that I’d love to share with you, and yet I feel that I’ve given you enough to chew on for the time being. As I mentioned earlier, Saturn will shift into Libra in October of this year, and I’ll elaborate more on what to expect when we get closer to that time.

May we all enjoy the journey!

Namaste.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year of Our Creation

Today we are blessed with the emergence of a New Year. The planets are in position, ready to guide us with the wisdom of their placements and interactions with each other. It's important to remember that we're all in this together, and the planets are some of many tools that we can use to help us navigate effectively through the events of this year, and work in cooperation toward the creation of a new way of seeing, doing and being.

With that in mind, I'm shifting gears this month and offering a series on what the planets are showing us for the year ahead. By understanding these messages, we can move forward with confidence and greater wisdom. It's important to understand that while the planets themselves do not cause these changes, they are however indicators of them. It is through our actions that we create what is to be. Through the wisdom gained from knowing what we have to work with, we can then make decisions that will affect the outcome of these events. Astrology is one of many tools at our disposal to gain this knowledge.

As we enter this exciting New Year, Aquarius energy is at the forefront with Mercury, Venus and Neptune having a soirée in this sign. Venus will leave the party on the 4th, taking up a dance with Pisces, a couple days before Jupiter moves in to take her place. Yep, it's pretty certain that Aquarius will set a profound tone for the year to come in a variety of ways, and not a moment too soon in my book!

So for this month's article, we'll be taking a good look at transiting Jupiter, our indulgent and expansive astrological father figure. As mentioned above, Jupiter begins the year finishing up his dialog with staid and practical Capricorn until the 5th of the month, when he will begin his year-long conversation with the effervescent and friendly Aquarius. And oh, what a conversation this will be!

Jupiter's usually expansive energy has been a bit stifled by his visit with Capricorn this past year, where we witnessed a major tightening of the belt on many different levels. On some of these levels it was a good thing, as our extravagances of the recent past have resulted in a bit of a political and economic mess, to put it mildly. On other levels, however, Capricorn's constriction of Jupiter put the brakes on our innovative, imaginative abilities. We truly need these qualities to begin the shift into a new perspective and action plan that will create lasting, positive changes in all of these realms.

You see, Jupiter's intentions are to expand our experiences, knowledge and understanding. Jupiter represents hopefulness, generosity, growth, joyfulness and abundance. Jupiter is in his fall while in the company of conservative Capricorn, and therefore feels unhappy and constricted there.

Enter Aquarius the Visionary, and the fearless sign of freedom and change. This is a sign that is innately optimistic, humanitarian, unconventional, creative and rebellious…the list just goes on and on. Jupiter will breathe a sigh of relief, as will we all, as he is allowed to stretch and relax himself into a more comfortable countenance on Aquarius's couch. In the presence of Aquarius, Jupiter's focus will be of a more mystical and humanitarian bent, and will express himself in more positive, original and philosophical ways. Here, our chances for success are greatly improved, although we may have to find constructive ways to harness and work with an amplified Aquarian nature that can at times be restless and erratic. The interesting dynamic here is that Aquarius is ruled by both Saturn, the conservative restrictive father, and Uranus, the innovative unpredictable genius. Somehow, Aquarius finds a way to make it work beautifully. Jupiter can work very efficiently with both energies as well, extending the benefits of this collaboration to us all.

We can experience the dynamic of Saturn and Jupiter as a sort of harmonious tandem; the Kundalini breath, if you will: Saturn contracts and Jupiter expands…breathe in, breathe out. By finding a good rhythm with these forces of nature, we can build up an energy that can move mountains!

At the same time, the Uranian energies of Aquarius will find unrestrained expression while in a mutually receptive dance with Jupiter, and advances in electronics, technology, working in groups, various gadgetry, and exploring new and innovative ways of thinking and doing will be a powerful focus. This is Uber-creativity in the making, with a capital U. As a result, this year we can look forward to massive expansion in the areas of technology, aeronautics, astrology, alternative methods of transportation and energy, broadcasting, science and research. All things Aquarian are moving forward by leaps and bounds! Whoo-hoo!

Ahem. Excuse me. My Aquarian slip is showing.

Another highly dynamic Aquarian alliance will occur twice at the beginning of this year between Mercury and Jupiter. The first time will be on January 18th, while retrograde Mercury in Aquarius visits with Jupiter for a spell before briefly moving back into Capricorn. Retrograde Mercury can be likened to a "do-over" of sorts, where we can transform our fearful thoughts and outmoded paradigms into something much more workable. This particular experience, due to a square between the Jupiter/Mercury alliance and a Scorpio Moon, will be related to the individual healing of our emotional selves, which likely include issues with our mothers and/or food.

This event will be a doorway for us to finally let go of the past and embrace healing. The influence is especially powerful with Pluto busily doing his Feng-Shui thing at the same time in the sign of Capricorn, by rearranging our old ways of thinking, and cleaning out all the clutter in whichever house Capricorn occupies in our individual natal charts.

January 18th is a good time to turn inward and ask yourself, "How am I shaped by the fears of my mother?" (and/or a prominent female guardian.) Take this opportunity to explore how the particular issues she may have inadvertently projected onto you are holding you back. What moldy internal dialog do you still carry with you from her influence that no longer serves your present path? Once you isolate these underlying influences, you can then work toward healing and loving forgiveness. Remember that it all begins with love.

The second hook-up between Jupiter and Mercury will occur in February, and I'll cover the opportunity this meeting indicates in next month's article.

Jupiter in Aquarius beckons us to release ourselves from the cover of fear and self-imposed, or otherwise imposed restriction; reaching out and connecting with groups and organizations that help us expand our consciousness, which then helps us to evolve into a state of stimulated awareness and mind-blowing spiritual advancement. Where this opportunity for change arises for you personally is indicated by the placement of Aquarius in your natal chart. Whichever house Aquarius occupies is the sector of your life that is Jupiter's primary focus this year.

Now that Jupiter is teaming up with the energies of Neptune in the sign of Aquarius in the spring of this year, we are free to evolve beyond seeing ourselves as members of nationalistic societies compartmentalized by perceived borders, and finally awaken to the knowledge of ourselves as world citizens. By understanding our connection to each other, we can then work toward a common vision, functioning through inspired leadership, where everyone benefits and can then live in peace.

How cool is that?

Namaste.