New Moon in Cancer 2017: What Speaks to Your Heart?

White Yarrow by Peter Pearsall/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, via Wikimedia Commons.

White Yarrow by Peter Pearsall/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, via Wikimedia Commons.

New Moon @ 2 degrees Cancer 47'

June 23, 2017

7:31 PM Pacific

10:31 PM Eastern

This month, the lunar cycle renews itself with a New Moon in the tropical sign of Cancer. After the peak of energy at the Full Moon (June 9), you may find yourself needing a moment to recharge and relax. That’s kind of always the deal with New Moons in general, but particularly in Cancer, consciousness is more attuned to intimacy and inner needs. However, the Sun just made a conjunction with Mercury which lies within three degrees of the New Moon. There’s likely to be some residual buzziness in the atmosphere, urging you to seek stimulation and conversation. 
 
In Cancer, that’s likely to be directed to the imaginal life. With Cancer being one of the most fertile signs of the tropical zodiac and the Moon as ruler of this sign, this is a potent time for planting seeds of intention. Use this New Moon to get attuned to subconscious messages that may be arising. There’s probably been a lot of good ideas floating around, but focus your attention on those that really resonate with you on a gut level. That’s what this New Moon is all about, getting in touch with those impressions we receive about things that defy logic and common sense. 
 
The unconscious, imaginal life has considerable power with this lunation. This is also a potent moment for magic, mystery, and deep intimacy. Just past the summer solstice (winter solstice in the southern hemisphere), we’ve crossed a critical threshold in the Sun’s annual cycle. The summer solstice is a time to revel in our creativity and to enjoy the abundance that surrounds us. There is so much life and vitality at this time of the year, and with Mercury’s close proximity to this lunation, it can feel like there’s so much to do but you don’t quite know where to start. 
 
The New Moon in Cancer says, “start with what truly speaks to your heart.” To hear what the heart is saying, you need to avoid distraction and overwhelming yourself with too much activity. Make it a point with this lunation to lay low and recharge your energy. When you do that, you’ll find it easier to make contact with your inner guidance. With that said, a New Moon in Cancer highlights a need for security, safety, and domestic concerns. When planning for the future, you’re likely to take these themes into deep consideration. The Sun recently opposed Saturn, which is at its brightest this time of the year. 
 
This Saturnian opposition has many of us focusing on long term goals, strategies, collaborations, as well as a realization of life’s limitations. A New Moon in Cancer can also amplify emotional insecurities, fears, and vulnerabilities in the face of harsh realities and obstacles. However, the New Moon in Cancer invites each of us to trust the process at work. This dark of the Moon does not bring resolutions, but rather the willingness to take those first steps into the dark to make our dreams a reality. Look around for the support that you do have, and take time to show gratitude and love. The New Moon says, “you’ll find your way; just listen to your heart.” 
 

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A Steady Gaze: Full Moon in Sagittarius 2017

 A swing high above Saturn by NASA's Cassini spacecraft; photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Cornell, via Wikimedia Commons

 A swing high above Saturn by NASA's Cassini spacecraft; photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Cornell, via Wikimedia Commons

Full Moon @ 18 degrees Sagittarius 23'

June 9, 2017

6:10 AM Pacific

9:10 AM Eastern

This month, the Full Moon culminates in the tropical sign of Sagittarius conjunct Saturn. It brings to a head the consequences of several choices recently made and an awareness of the reality of certain limitations we’re currently dealing with. In Sagittarius and forming a t-square with the Sun in Gemini and Neptune in Pisces, this lunation may also bring about a critical testing of our beliefs, ideologies, and faith in the universe/God/Goddess/higher power. With this potent Saturnian energy, the Full Moon also correlates with the manifestation of situations which require the solidification of commitments. 
 
This weighty Full Moon has a quality of seriousness with a focus on a specific mission, goal, or purpose. The Sun in Gemini creates some tension because there is an equally powerful desire for variety and a tendency toward distraction which can leave us running in circles, unable to tend to our responsibilities and more important priorities. Saturn in Sagittarius suggests narrowing our focus and sacrificing anything superfluous to avoid getting lost in uncertainty, confusion, and vagueness of purpose. In fact, this Full Moon is helping us to more clearly define or accept our purpose, whatever that may be.
 
In the days leading up to the Full Moon, look around for environmental cues that could be helpful in making more conscious choices and decisions. If you’ve been working hard toward some end goal, this Full Moon could help to bring about the rewards of your labor. But don’t expect any opportunities which manifest to be easy pursuits. Whatever shows up alongside this lunation is going to require time, energy, discipline, and hard work to reach success. Full Moon’s often coincide with an influx of excess energy, though some of us may respond to this particular lunation with feelings of depression, hopelessness and futility. 
 

This is because Saturn is always forcing us to face our limitations and employ reality testing to keep our ideals in check with what’s actually possible. If you find yourself feeling frustrated or sad, check in with yourself and take a sober look at what you’re dedicating the majority of your time and energy toward. We all need a purpose and some sense that we’re guided by a higher power; this is simply human nature. This lunation could be a powerful wake up call for some to rediscover their connection to a higher source and to connect with a divinely guided plan for their life. 
 
And remember, whatever you’re feeling is only transient in the moment. It will pass in the following days. Take whatever awareness or realization you acquire with this Full Moon and use it to guide you out of the fog of uncertainty and existential angst. Reflect deeply upon any potential commitments you’re considering at the moment. This powerful Full Moon is helping to provide us with a much needed perspective to take us to higher ground in our personal and professional lives. Most of all, pay close attention to your feelings and emotional center. It will have a lot to tell you about your current life direction. As always, have faith and trust the flow.

Love and Blessings,

Chad Woodward

You did not come to Earth without a guide. Evolutionary Astrology is a powerful tool for self-discovery and an exceptionally helpful guide in times of uncertainty, crisis or stagnation. Click here for reading options and pricing.

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A New Voice: New Moon in Gemini 2017

Photo by Chad Woodward, 2017

Photo by Chad Woodward, 2017

New Moon @ 4 Gemini 47'

May 25, 2017

12:44 PM Pacific

3:44 PM Eastern

This month the lunar cycle renews itself in the tropical sign of Gemini. It should help break up some of the intensity of the last few weeks with the ending of Mercury’s retrograde cycle, it’s conjunction with Uranus, and the Full Moon in Scorpio. While the Gemini New Moon brings with it some buzziness, business, and need for stimulation, Mercury’s current transit in Taurus gives this New Moon a grounded, slower pace. As with every New Moon, it’s a time of lower energy and recharging ourselves. 

But no need to let laziness take hold, for Gemini stimulates curiosity, variety, and new activities, which you should pursue gently and mindfully. Look around for clues arising around and within you about what you could focus on to bring some new life and interest into your life. Feel free to step outside of your usual routines to seek something fresh and interesting. This is a good time to plant some seeds for improved communication in your interactions. The New Moon doesn’t make any dynamic or stressful aspects this cycle, but Mars and Saturn are building up to an opposition along with a Venus, Uranus, and Eris conjunction. 

Mars and Saturn make their opposition on May 28. Use this powerful energy to bring some ideas into concrete manifestation. The combination of Mars and Saturn isn’t easy to integrate, but the opposition can help clear the air of unresolved issues and communicative obstacles. Focus less on getting exactly what you want in the days following this New Moon, and put your energy instead into things that just really need to get done. This sobering aspect can also help us assert our needs in a dynamic way, but be mindful about how you present those needs to others.

There is a strong potential for this opposition to trigger people in a negative way. Be wary of your limitations and how much space you actually have to assert yourself in your environment. Overstepping boundaries will result in greater awareness of what’s resisting your efforts, but that awareness might come with some uncomfortable experiences. To avoid those pitfalls, follow your curiosity and look for ways to practically integrate these new lines of inquiry into your life within the boundaries of what’s possible. Pushing too hard will meet resistance, but not pushing at all can lead to pent up frustration and anger making a mess of things. 

Keep your eye on the prize and stick to some sound moral base, and you’ll find that Saturn and Mars will be excellent allies in getting some critical things accomplished. Venus, Uranus, and Eris make their conjunction on June 3. This can generate some restlessness in relationships, but it’s also a good time to create more space and freedom within any partnerships that limit your individual needs. With all of this Gemini energy so prevalent, communication is critically important now. So take this time to get the necessary information and data lined up. The next week will surely present some challenges in your interactions, but not meeting them will merely leave things the way they are while deep down you’ll know that some things really need to change. 

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The Settling Storm: Full Moon in Scorpio 2017

A rainbow in the Mojave Desert from Landers, Ca; photo by Jessie Eastland via Wikimedia Commons. 

A rainbow in the Mojave Desert from Landers, Ca; photo by Jessie Eastland via Wikimedia Commons. 

Full Moon @ 20 degrees Scorpio 24'

May 10, 2017

2:42 PM Pacific

5:42 PM Eastern

The current lunar cycle makes its climax in the tropical sign of Scorpio. A few weeks of stagnation, uncertainty, frustration, and various technical issues, should be fading out as Mercury turned direct (May 3). Trickster Mercury likes to poke holes in our assumptions about reality, reveal our ignorance, and remind us that chaos is just as much a part of life as anything else. While not always easy to navigate, Mercury retrograde cycles show us that we’re not really in control. While we can certainly make choices and change our attitudes, affecting how we experience life, there’s always those fated, unpredictable encounters that surprise us when we least expect it. 

As difficult as such experiences can be, with a little humility, we can embrace them as valuable teachings, expanding our awareness of life and how it actually operates. The Full Moon coincides with Mercury leaving its final shadow period, the gradual ending of its retrograde effect. Every Full Moon brings about a culmination of energy, intention, and activity. This should be quite helpful in getting back on track with your objectives after some potential delays or setbacks. The sign of Scorpio places an emphasis on authenticity and depth of perception and understanding. 

With the Full Moon sextile Pluto and trine Chiron, this should help to open some perceptual doors, allowing for the acquisition of insight we were blind to before. This is a good time to turn your attention inward, or upon your most intimate relationships. These soft aspects to Pluto and Chiron can help us deal with wounds, blockages, and traumas in an open and receptive way with much less defensiveness and or resistance. With the Taurus/Scorpio axis highlighted with this Full Moon, the Moon’s sextile to Pluto could also heighten our need for sensuality and sexual expression. 

Mercury has been slowly picking up its speed while conjunct Uranus and Eris in Aries. Since the last week of April, Mercury, Uranus, and Eris have likely correlated with the collapse of many structures, beliefs, and assumptions. Ideally, these events are helping to catalyze new directions and actions. What has fallen away is helping to make more space for new adventures and experiences. This aspect is helping us break free of limiting beliefs about what’s possible. Now that Mercury is direct and the Full Moon is culminating, use this extra boost of confidence to step up and face your fears and hesitations head on. Embrace any new paths that have opened up for you and step into the unknown. 

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Be Gentle With Yourself: New Moon in Taurus 2017

Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, Murrieta, CA; photo by Chad Woodward, April 2017.

Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, Murrieta, CA; photo by Chad Woodward, April 2017.

New Moon @ 6 degrees Taurus 27'

April 26, 2017

5:16 AM Pacific

8:16 AM Eastern

April’s New Moon takes place in the tropical sign of Taurus. With Mercury still retrograde, this New Moon helps us keep things simple, direct, and gentle. Mercury retrograde conjoins Uranus in Aries alongside this lunar rebirth, adding a certain edge to this otherwise easy going and calming lunation. Mercury and Uranus invite us to deeply question our assumptions and perceptions about reality. In the days leading up this New Moon, you may have noticed something new about your environment, or had some potentially shocking realizations. 

How attached you are to a certain perception of life will determine how shocking or awakening these insights will be. Mercury and Uranus also help to give us glimpses of new possibilities or ways of solving problems in our lives. Innovative solutions are likely to be more readily available now, inviting us to re-strategize and find ways of moving around current obstacles. Questioning your beliefs, theories, and ideologies is likely in light of groundbreaking information. Needless to say, keep your ears open and receptive to what’s floating around in the wind. 

Mercury turns direct on May 3, one week from the New Moon. Use this time to dig deeply into this Taurus energy. As with all New Moons, new possibilities are emerging that aren’t quite clearly defined. A New Moon always points to something mysterious that you know exists, but you can’t quite pin it down exactly. The signs are all around you now, and they invite you not to think too much about them. In fact, with this Taurus New Moon, it’s a good time to get in touch with more subtle or even somatic dimensions of experience. 

Venus, the ruler of Taurus, is still picking up its speed as it goes direct, after roughly 40 days of retrograde motion. It is currently at the end of Pisces conjunct Chiron. That could shed some light on deep insecurities about our self-worth and relationships. Venus and Chiron may accentuate certain heart wounds and blockages in connection with our ability to bond and relate. Now that Venus is stationing direct, you may have had some deep realizations about yourself, your sense of value, and your true feelings. A change of heart is possible, and this New Moon can symbolize a new path to embark upon with our creative passion and loved ones.

Use this New Moon to slow down the pace of your life and take some time to listen carefully to your body, your heart, and the natural world. Whatever problems you’re currently trying to solve will be more easily digested by taking some time to unplug from the hectic external environment. Take some time for yourself. Eat well, listen to beautiful, soothing music, go for a hike or gentle walk in the natural world--anything to help relieve your nervous system. With Mercury still retrograde, there’s no need to rush. Your focus will become more clear in a few weeks, especially if you take this time to be gentle with yourself. 

You did not come to Earth without a guide. Evolutionary Astrology is a powerful tool for self-discovery and an exceptionally helpful guide in times of uncertainty, crisis or stagnation. Click here for reading options and pricing.

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A Larger Focus: Full Moon in Libra 2017

Photo by Aleksandr Abrosimov, via Wikimedia Commons. 

Photo by Aleksandr Abrosimov, via Wikimedia Commons. 

Full Moon @ 21 Libra 33'

April 10, 2017

11:08 PM Pacific 

April 11, 2017

2:08 AM Eastern

 

We’re now waxing with the Moon into its cyclic culmination. This month’s Full Moon occurs in tropical Libra. Venus is slowing down, getting ready to turn direct, while Mercury just turned retrograde itself. Saturn is also in retrograde; though that is a much more common occurrence. Planetary stations tend to amplify a planet’s archetype. And when planets station (especially several at once as we are now experiencing), we often find ourselves at a crossroads or transitional point in our life narratives. That’s typically how it feels. 

Venus’ station has us focusing on our values, self-worth, and relationships. There’s a lot more mixed up with that, but those are the big themes. Saturn’s station is likely to give you a reality-check by accentuating limitations and challenges we’re currently facing. If you’ve felt a bit frustrated with some circumstances in your life, know that Saturn is helping you step up and take responsibility for yourself. Saturn’s help often goes unrecognized. Existential angst, depression, and feelings of futility are signs that we need to step it up and get productive with something. Mercury, well, it always tends to slow things down and create some setbacks alongside the usual technical and communicative issues. 

Luckily, the Full Moon in Libra conjoins Jupiter. That helps to open up new possibilities, opportunities, and connections for us at the right moment. However, don’t overestimate what you can handle. Don’t be surprised if the universe throws you quite a lot with this Full Moon. Your job is to mindfully discern what it is you’re capable of taking on. To start, take a deep breath (don’t forget to exhale). Find your center of calm or your happy place. Sit there and gather yourself. Transitions are often stressful; that’s a natural consequence of change. 

This social Full Moon can give you a helping hand. Consider reaching out and putting yourself out there to truly benefit, but first, make sure you’ve found some place of balance within yourself. That might not be reflected in your external life, but you can always find it within. All that chatter outside is just a highly convincing illusion anyway. The true reality is inside of you. Once you’ve calmed down, take a step back and assess what it is you’re actually trying to do. If you have no idea, accept that, and put it out to the universe that you need some help and guidance, perhaps some signs or omens. 

Use the next three weeks to play around with some things. Give yourself extra time and space to gain clarity. Urgent and pressing emergencies aside, Mercury’s retrograde cycle suggests holding off on making big decisions right now. Give yourself a few weeks to sort it all out. Accept that there isn’t much in life that can’t wait that long. What you’re looking for won’t manifest if you actually look for it. That might sound strange, but Pablo Picasso summed it up when he said, “I do not seek, I find.” Commune with the playful, trickster. Allow it to surprise you. The Sun is in opposition to the Moon and conjunct Uranus and Eris. 

The need for freedom and authenticity is strong, which can go against cooperation or compromise in certain situations. This Full Moon equally asks that we find some balance between the need to be true to ourselves and the need to integrate with others. That’s a point of frustration, but again, consider new possibilities you’ve yet to encounter. Put yourself in a place of receptivity and trust that you will find a new solution that’s truly out of the box. And lastly, Venus, the ruler of the Full Moon is currently stationing and conjunct Chiron. That might accentuate heart wounds, shadows, and defects in our relationships, but realize that whatever pain you may encounter can be quickly transmuted with a change of attitude and a change of heart. You have the power to rise above anything you encounter with others, by seeing it from a different perspective, or even focusing on bigger things. 

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Blazing the Trail: New Moon in Aries 2017

Image by Chad Woodward, 2016.

Image by Chad Woodward, 2016.

New Moon @ 7 Aries 37'

March 27, 2017

7:57 PM Pacific

10:57 PM Eastern

This month’s New Moon in tropical Aries is a potent new beginning. In fact, with Venus’ retrograde conjunction with the Sun (also known as an inferior conjunction) and the equinox behind us, there are vibrant atmospheric conditions conducive for new adventures, experiences, and starting points. Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, is a cardinal, fire sign. Aries relates to our need to catalyze enthusiasm to assert our will in the world. As an archetype, Aries is known as the warrior, though I like to refer to it as a trailblazer. Those born with strong Aries signatures in their birth charts, often find themselves faced with the need to take their own path in life. 

Their evolution depends on taking risks, facing fear, and consistently seeking new challenges. That often leaves the Aries individual with the need to lead themselves and others into new territory and experiences. With this New Moon, you may find that whatever you’re caught up in has this quality of blazing a new trail or taking off in some uncharted direction. The New Moon naturally carries this quality; something mysterious is emerging at this point that we can’t quite fully grasp. Aries encourages us to follow our will and desires to this new place even though we may not fully understand what the end result will be.
 
Use this New Moon to reflect deeply on what’s arising within you. Take some time to connect with your desires and what you really want. Whatever intentions you set now, have the power to carry you far for the next several years. With Venus retrograde and in conjunction with this New Moon, we are in fertile ground for setting into motion projects, commitments, and relationships that will unfold and develop in synch with Venus’ eight year rhythm. That means that the things you find yourself presently dealing with in your personal life are likely to have long term consequences. Consider deeply how important these things are for you and whether they’re truly worth the time and energy.
 
For many relationships, this New Moon is generating an entirely new chapter and turning point. Whether those relationships are romantic, platonic, or professional, consider what’s happening between you and these important people in your life. This lunation is creating an opportunity to change the direction of certain partnerships. Over the past few weeks of Venus’ retrograde cycle, you’ve perhaps had a change of heart. You’ve likely seen certain dynamics in a different light, or have even realized certain feelings you didn’t know existed. This New Moon will help to give you the confidence to take the next step with your realizations and put some things into action.

All trail blazers need immense courage, conviction, and assertiveness to face the unknown. You may find that taking the initiative, setting clear boundaries, and asserting your needs will be quite effective at this point in creating change. That change may not be what you initially expected, but these energies are asking you to assert yourself in some dynamic way to bring in fresh momentum and movement. Many issues that have been circulating in the air the past few weeks are now given a chance to really shift so that forward progress can happen. Embrace the new path that is opening up in your life and in your partnerships. It has the power to take you far.

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Getting It Together: Full Moon in Virgo 2017

Photo by Chad Woodward, Feb. 2017. 

Photo by Chad Woodward, Feb. 2017. 

Full Moon @ 22 Virgo 13'

March 12, 2017

7:54 AM Pacific

10:54 AM Eastern

This month’s Full Moon culminates in tropical Virgo. The Sun sits in opposition to the Moon in Pisces conjunct Chiron and Mercury. Saturn in Sagittarius creates a t-square to the Full Moon axis, generating an opportunity for breakthrough in the material world. This earthy Full Moon in Virgo brings to our awareness the need for focus and the practical application of skills to the benefit others. The combination of Saturn and this Virgo Full Moon is about concrete manifestation and the limitations we must work with to make our dreams a reality. 

The tension created by this lunation can shed light on the fears and blockages which stand in the way of the actualization of certain goals and objectives. It can help you see more clearly those obstacles that keep snagging you and preventing the flow of productivity. Chiron conjunct Mercury square Saturn invites us to question beliefs and ideologies which are not in alignment with reality as it’s actually experienced. Question whether an attachment to certain beliefs have shaped your attitude and perception of the world and how well they serve you. Some fact checking and more thorough research would be a good way to gain perspective.

Saturn reminds us that while we can work hard to make our dreams come true, we sometimes have to strike a compromise when we realize that our previous strategies are not in alignment with the laws governing the universe. Full Moons always bring situations to a head. Something often culminates and reaches a pinnacle of expression. Yet it is also preceded by the process of decay and breakdown of structures that have served their purpose. This lunation can stand as a symbolic moment to help release beliefs, attitudes, and ideologies that have limited our capacity to trust and go with the flow of life. 

Consider the messages and teachings that are coming to you now. There is likely to be a lot of wisdom floating around, perhaps from places you wouldn’t normally consider. Reflect deeply on those places that you’ve condemned or discarded. You may rediscover potential, insight or gifts where you fear to tread. While this Full Moon may not feel initially comfortable, as it amplifies fears, wounds and the awareness of challenges, it can be used as a catalyst to narrow down opportunities and objectives. With several planets in Pisces, there’s a surge of creativity and inspiration with this Full Moon. There can also be some delusion, denial, and tendencies toward escapism.

The Moon in Virgo can help ground and implement a lot of this abstract and indefinite material. It can also help get us back on track after a period of uncertainty and confusion. The Moon’s North Node in Virgo suggests focusing on some greater purpose or objective in which we can contribute mindfully to the larger community. Uranus conjunct Eris in Aries quincunx to the Full Moon reveals that the need for personal freedom and self-expression must make an adjustment to pertinent duties and responsibilities. That might require finding some way to express yourself without that interfering with your ability to be of effective service. 

Lastly, this polarity of energies can create frustration with certain realities, but it can also point to the potential for breakthrough. Our choices and how we use this energy will greatly determine how well we can rise above distraction, ambiguity, and delusion to find greater clarity and sense of purpose. If you feel lost at the moment, find some point of focus that can carry you through. It could be a simple project, task, or discipline that you can immerse yourself in. Virgo’s highest objective is self-improvement and competence. As you keep your sights on those ideals, the inspiration and creative insight you seek will come flooding in. Keep to the tasks at hand, and you’ll more effectively ride the wave toward your objectives. 

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The Path of Heart: Venus Retrograde 2017

Western buttercup in bloom; photo by Chad Woodward, February 2017.

Western buttercup in bloom; photo by Chad Woodward, February 2017.

Venus Retrograde in Aries/Pisces 2017

March 4-April 15, 2017

Venus turns retrograde on March 4, 2017 in tropical Aries. Venus will transit from 13 degrees of Aries to 26 degrees of Pisces this cycle. It turns direct on April 15 after 42 days of retrograde motion. These roughly 40 days of Venus retrograde are often quite significant for relationships and “matters of the heart”. The planet Venus correlates primarily with the bonding instinct. When she turns retrograde, many relationships undergo a notable transformation, but there is a lot more to it as you will soon learn. The Venus retrograde cycle runs on an eight year rhythm. She stations retrograde at five different points in the zodiac and returns to roughly the same locations every eight years (yes, she forms a near perfect pentagram in the sky). 

The Venus retrograde cycle correlates strongly with the development of situations that reach critical turning points every eight years. This particular cycle echoes back to March-April 2009. You may want to reflect on this past cycle to gain some understanding about what’s happening now. Relationships cover a lot of territories. We form relationships with people. That one is obvious. We can also form relationships to other sentient beings like plants, animals, and “higher entities”. Venus is associated with both Libra and Taurus. The Libra face of Venus deals with “bridge building” and rapport--the instinct to form connections between self and other. 

The Taurus face of Venus deals with the more interior dimension of Venus--what we place value upon in life and how we value and show love for ourselves. The goddess Venus/Aphrodite is the quintessential love goddess. In both her two faces, Venus deals with love for other beings and for ourselves. Venus is the brightest “star” in the sky. We know that Venus is not actually a star, but it’s radiant glow certainly gives it that illustrious, star-like appearance. Like Mercury, Venus is never too far away from the Sun (an actual star which is certainly brighter). Due to this fact, Venus can either be seen rising before the Sun or setting after the Sun. 

It is during these retrograde phases that Venus switches from evening (known as Venus Hesperias) to morning star (Venus Lucifer). At the midpoint of the Venus retrograde cycle (also known as New Venus), the Sun and Venus form what’s called an inferior conjunction where Venus is between the Earth and the Sun. After Venus slowly emerges from this conjunction, it will be seen rising before the Sun each morning until the superior conjunction (when Venus is on the far side of the Sun). These two conjunctions create a Sun, Venus, Earth alignment. During Venus retrograde, it is moving at its slowest, it’s closer to the Earth, and it spends several months in roughly one sign of the zodiac. 

To understand Venus retrograde, these fine details are important. Venus is the archetypal “heart”, not really the actual organ, but the “heart center”, like the heart chakra. It represents that place inside of us that seeks peace, love, understanding, common ground, and relational stability. We associate Venus with beautiful things and people, experiences that have this calming and sedative effect on the body. When you look at something beautiful, how do you feel? When you see someone incredibly attractive, where do you feel it? Beauty fills us with this warm fuzzy feeling in the heart center in the body. Culturally, we often talk about “following your heart”, listening to that place inside of you that is guided by blissful feelings. Mythologist Joseph Campbell summed it up in this catch phrase, “follow your bliss”. 

The pattern that Venus' cycle creates from our geocentric perspective. 

The pattern that Venus' cycle creates from our geocentric perspective. 

We don’t just experience life through the mind and ego. That is of course how we’re culturally conditioned to see the world--logically and rationally. Venus isn’t either of those things. Venus is that heart centered desire for something idyllic--something beyond reason and common sense. Venus wants everyone to get along and live a harmonious, blissful existence. It seeks to connect and with whomever it comes into contact with. While that’s not an entirely realistic goal, it does say a lot about what happens in our social interactions. Even in the most awkward of exchanges, there seems to be something inside of us that attempts to find common ground no matter what. Some of us are better at that than others. Usually, Venus is strong in these people’s charts. 

Venus is this bridge-building impulse within the psyche. When we have common ground, when we’re at peace with people in our lives, we can relax. We calm down. We don’t have to worry so much about where other people stand. When we look at a beautiful painting, sculpture, natural setting, or listen to breathtaking music, we equally feel this sense of calm and ease with the world. And when we slow down, when we relax and really listen, we can hear the heart. How do we follow the heart unless we can hear it? You can’t hear it if you’re up in your head all the time thinking about how you’re supposed to be following your heart. You need to stop, quiet down, and listen.

How do we learn about other people if we just talk about ourselves all of the time? We don’t. We have to shut up and listen to others. Venus also deals heavily with empathy--the ability to put yourself in someone else’s place to understand what they’re experiencing and where they’re coming from. So, when Venus is retrograde, the heart is louder! Venus is the closest to the earth when it’s retrograde. This is a time to slow down and get out of your head. Sometimes during these cycles we’re kind of forced to slow down by circumstances around us. Between the stations of Venus (when Venus stops and changes direction), Venus reaches its inferior conjunction with the Sun. It is engulfed by it; the heart undergoes this alchemical transformation. Venus is descending into the heart of the Sun to become reborn. 

When Venus is retrograde, all of these Venusian themes are much louder than usual. Our relationships (our ability to relate and bond with others) undergo a transformation. You may notice a lot of shifting dynamics within your interactions with other people. You may reevaluate all of your partnerships (friendships, professional, and marriage/intimate partnerships). You may notice certain shadows, flaws, and blind spots in others that you didn’t see before. You may focus heavily on such things within yourself. You may become preoccupied with beautiful things. You may discover or rediscover beauty in some new way in your life. You may also come closer to finding your own unique “heart path”--that thread through life that is guided by your bliss. There is a lot of reevaluating going on during Venus retrograde, shifting values and priorities.

You may heavily reevaluate yourself, what you’re worth and worthy of. That may deeply impact your relationships and how you connect with others. To get the most out of Venus retrograde, you need to go with the flow. Take some time to slow down your life and check in with your heart. What does it have to say? What does it need? Tend to and take care of this powerful place. Learn how to feed it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the saying goes. This is a time to discover what you find beautiful so that you can actively seek and attract it into your life. Give your heart what it needs during this time. Be gentle with yourself and the people you love.

This is an opportunity to go deeper, to see how far you can reach both inwardly and outwardly. When Venus is reborn, you will feel some new and expanded capacity for love. You can love a whole lot more, but only if you take the time to listen, slow down, and trust where your heart is leading you. It may defy logic. It’ll probably be a little uncomfortable, but if you choose the path of heart, you’ll really be living. You’ll know what it means to thrive. That is not something the mind knows how to do. Only the heart knows how to really feel life in its wholeness--to see beauty in both the joy and the pain. 

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Insight from Eternity: Solar Eclipse/New Moon in Pisces 2017

Annular solar eclipse; photo by Takeshi Kuboki via Wikimedia Commons

Annular solar eclipse; photo by Takeshi Kuboki via Wikimedia Commons

New Moon/Solar Eclipse @ 8 degrees Pisces 12'

February 26, 2017

6:58 AM Pacific

9:58 AM Eastern

February’s New Moon is an annular solar eclipse in tropical Pisces. It conjoins both Neptune and the South Node of the Moon. Mercury and Chiron are also in Pisces alongside this powerful and mysterious lunation. A New Moon is always a beginning point. It’s a fresh new start in the Moon’s lunar cycle. It’s a time to embrace the uncertainty of the moment and trust the seeds that you’re starting to plant in your life. A solar eclipse is an exceptionally powerful New Moon. It can sometimes generate intense feelings and reactions to what’s going on in your life.. 

Eclipses can also rapidly accelerate changes both inwardly and outwardly. Since Pisces is a mutable sign, this eclipse symbolizes a significant transitional point. If you’re ready for this transition, then you’ll find it easier to navigate. Since Neptune, the South Node, and Pisces are highlighted with this eclipse, the first theme to consider is surrender. This is really about letting go of emotional obstacles that have prevented full participation in life. The high end of Pisces and Neptune is the desire for full awareness and greater conscious perception. It invites us to slow down the mind and listen carefully to our inner guidance. If you're aware of this need, this eclipse can help you access information and insight from higher conscious states.

When we perceive more, we feel more. The more aware we are of our reality, the more we can experience. Higher consciousness comes with a price. It requires that we sacrifice ignorance and comforting illusions. That’s not something a lot of people are willing to do. That brings us to the low end of these archetypes, which are very likely to manifest if we’re not aware of what’s happening. Overburdened by sensitivity, we may seek to escape from the intensity of the moment. This is why Pisces and Neptune are so often associated with escapism to addicting drugs, alcohol, or Netflix binges. 

The dark end of Neptunian escapism is not the same as needing something to dull the discomfort that is a part of us. It’s the addiction to escapism that becomes the problem because it disconnects us from ourselves and others. And typically behind our desire to escape is anxiety which is rooted in fear. Take this moment to truly get in touch with those fears. Instead of ignoring or numbing out the anxiety, use this eclipse as an opportunity to begin a dialogue with it. Talk to your fear and pain, and choose to sit with it. Ask yourself what you need to move on. Use this powerful eclipse to transcend in a positive way. It carries a lot of creative, spiritual, and visionary potential. 

Mars is approaching a conjunction with Uranus and Eris in Aries in opposition to Jupiter. This dynamic conjunction is about taking initiative. It can help you to step up and take a stand somewhere in your life. Mars, Uranus, Eris, and Jupiter also correlate with strong rebellious impulses, which we can use in different ways. Consider what, if anything, you want to liberate yourself from. Mars and Uranus can help give you the courage to take off in a new direction. Consider that only you know what’s really best for yourself. Honor that reality, and when you’re ready, you can take a more active part in directing your life. This New Moon/eclipse might bring up some uncomfortable things, but it can also help you break through to a new level of perception and inclusiveness. Both miracles and nightmares await you here. It takes a certain level of awareness to see that both ends of that spectrum are a part of what we call the universe.

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Standing Rock at the Precipice: The Astrology of NODAPL

Dakota Access Pipeline protest site near Cannonball, ND August 15, 2016; photo by Shane Balkowitsch via Wikimedia Commons. 

Dakota Access Pipeline protest site near Cannonball, ND August 15, 2016; photo by Shane Balkowitsch via Wikimedia Commons. 

You’ve likely heard about the ongoing protests against the construction of an oil pipeline on unceded territory of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota. It all began on April 1, 2016 when dozens of tribal members from various nations rode on horseback to set up camp near the construction site--the portion of pipeline that was to be placed beneath Lake Oahe which connects to the Missouri River. It is the only source of clean water for the people of Standing Rock as well as many other indigenous groups. It equally supplies water for 18 million people downstream. The protesters, who call themselves water protectors, traveled to the site to peacefully protest and pray to the land in which their ancestors are buried. They feel that this pipeline not only threatens this vital water source but also violates treaties made between the U.S. government and the Sioux nation, infringing upon sacred burial grounds and historically significant sites. 

“They’re going under the river 500 yards from my son’s grave, my father’s grave, my aunt who I buried last week. I really love my land, and if that pipeline breaks everything is gone,” Ladonna Allard, a member of the Standing Rock, told the Guardian. Oil pipelines are notorious for leaks causing massive environmental contamination and requiring large scale clean-up operations. Like the Keystone XL pipeline, the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has been subject to ongoing delays due to fierce opposition from protesters and environmental groups. However, unlike Keystone XL, DAPL doesn’t cross the Canadian border and is not considered a federal project. It’s privately funded and its construction is subject to approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). 

On Dec. 4 2016, the USACE denied an easement for the texas-based subsidy of Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the pipeline construction. This proved to be a short lived victory for the water protectors and many felt it was a distraction intended to remove the No Dakota Access Pipeline (NODAPL) protests from the media. There was already very little coverage of the story by the mainstream press and, for the most part, complete silence from politicians before and after the 2016 election. Coverage of the DAPL protests has derived entirely from alternative media outlets and activist groups. As expected, shortly after his inauguration, President Donald Trump issued an executive memorandum expediting the completion of DAPL. As of this writing, on Feb. 7,  the USACE has stated their intention to now grant an easement which will give Energy Transfer Partners permission to continue construction beneath Lake Oahu. 

Lake Oahe; image by Doc Searls via Wikimedia Commons.

Lake Oahe; image by Doc Searls via Wikimedia Commons.

The camp at Standing Rock grew into the thousands over several months since the water protectors arrived in April 2016. Tribal nations across the U.S. and the world have joined forces to fight DAPL. Many non-native people also came to Standing Rock to show support and protest peacefully, including thousands of U.S. veterans who arrived just as the easement was denied back in Dec. 2016. Activists across the country held protests, demonstrations, and marches to voice their opposition to DAPL. The water protectors’ primary plea is for the pipeline to be rerouted from its present course so that it doesn’t threaten their sacred sites and source of clean water. In fact, the pipeline was already rerouted from its previous course just north of Bismarck, a highly populated city which, according to a 2010 census, is 92.4 percent white. 

The ongoing fight at Standing Rock is not only an environmental justice issue, but one involving racial and class discrimination. American History is tainted with stains of genocide and relentless oppression against Native Americans and many other ethnic minorities. The residents of Bismarck, just like the people at Standing Rock, opposed the construction of this oil pipeline that could potentially cause massive environmental harm. Yet unlike Bismarck, the voices at Standing Rock have only been faintly heard by Energy Transfer Partners and the USACE. It would seem that it’s far easier to exploit a subjugated minority group (who suffer a 63 percent unemployment rate) than the residents of Bismarck. 

Energy Transfer Partners has gone as far as hiring police from various departments throughout North Dakota to protect their pipeline. These militarized police forces have, in the name of defending corporate interests, inflicted harm upon American citizens, the very people they are supposed to protect. This abuse of power is one of the most egregious examples of the corruption that has infected the heart of corporate and governmental relations in America today. Attack dogs, tear gas, rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and water cannons (in freezing temperatures) have been unleashed on the water protectors. They’ve been harassed, arrested (even kept in dog kennels), and overall treated as criminals on their own sacred land. 

People marching to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline near San Francisco City Hall; photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen. By Pax Ahimsa Gethen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

People marching to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline near San Francisco City Hall; photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen. By Pax Ahimsa Gethen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Of course, this is nothing new for the native people of the U.S. American history is filled with the gruesome assault on native people. And yet, so many, including many of our elected (and supposedly “progressive”) officials, have remained silent about the injustices that are happening at Standing Rock. I’ve been following this story since the summer of 2016, yet just recently thought of looking into the astrology. It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact time for the construction of the chart that would symbolize the fight at Standing Rock. April 1 is really the symbolic day that it all began. That morning, tribal members left on horseback to travel to a camp near the site. After some research and slight rectification (a method of testing a chart against various dates to adjust the time), I came up with April 1, 2016 @ 1:04 PM, Cannonball, ND, around the time they arrived according to video tweets from Unicorn Riot. We could also theoretically look at a time when they departed. Yet, this chart seemed a better fit than earlier variations as you’ll soon see.

I rectified the chart to 1:04 PM after looking for significant angular activation on days of critical developments (planets hitting the Ascendent, Nadir, Descendent, or Midheaven). For example, on Dec. 4, the date that the USACE denied Energy Transfer Partners an easement, Jupiter was conjunct the Nadir (fourth house cusp) trine the transiting Moon conjunct Mars. Venus was conjunct the radix Moon in the 6th house and sextile the radix Venus in the 9th. The transiting Sun was also exactly trine the radix Sun in the 9th. The secondary progressed Moon was conjunct the Descendant (seventh house cusp). These were all rather “positive” aspects. With stimulation from both classical “benefics”, Jupiter and Venus, and a nice trine from Sun to radix Sun, this indicated the symbols of a celebration which the water protectors certainly indulged in that day.

Taking this chart to be merely symbolic of the fight at Standing Rock, let’s see what it has to say. I will look at this chart from a classical approach and then interpret it from an evolutionary lens. To begin, the chart has tropical Leo rising. I adjusted the Ascendant (ASC) to 4 degrees of Leo which gave a sabian symbol of, “Rock formations at the edge of a precipice.” Interestingly, the opposite symbol, on the Descendent (DSC) is, “A council of ancestors.” This was immediately intriguing to me. With Leo rising, the ruler of the chart is the Sun, which is elevated in the 9th house and exalted in Aries. This gives the ruler of the chart, and thus the water protectors themselves, a tremendous advantage and considerable power and influence. 

 

The Sun is free of affliction from any malefic planets though it does receive a trine from Saturn which is actually quite supportive. The only trouble with this chart is the Moon. The Moon is in detriment in Capricorn and it’s void of course. On April 1 of that day, the Moon went void of course at 11:39 AM. Could the Sun’s exaltation overpower this negative omen from the Moon? When the Moon is void of course, it means that “nothing will come of the matter” or “the situation is out of your hands.” Let’s imagine that the Moon, the fastest moving planet, carries out our wishes and expectations. The Moon helps us manifest the things we desire which emanate from the unconscious, emotional terrain within the psyche. When the Moon is void, she is of no help to us. She cannot make use of our will or desires at these times. Now, considering that we don’t exactly know the official start of the fight at Standing Rock, and that the water protectors actually left for their trip to the protest site on horseback before the Moon went void, this may not have the greatest power over the will of the water protectors.

Yet, if it does, it may have much to say about the realistic result of the peaceful protest itself. Meaning, it’s possible that this fight, the ultimate rerouting of the pipeline, may be “out of the hands” of the water protectors. But that Sun is powerful! In Aries, it shows a group of people who are ready for battle. Aries is the warrior, the trailblazer, and the daredevil. There are three planets in Aries. Both Mercury and Uranus are conjunct each other and the Midheaven (MC) in the 10th house in Aries. This reveals the public persona that this group will create for themselves: those who are vocally opposed (Mercury) to the pipeline, willing to fight (Aries) and rebel (Uranus) against any authority (10th house) to the bitter end. Uranus and Mercury on the MC in Aries gives Standing Rock a powerful voice to spread a message publically about the injustices they face. 

With the Sun exalted in Aries and also conjunct the MC with Mercury and Uranus, this reveals a group of radical warriors willing to withstand and face any challenge. From the evolutionary perspective, the emphasis in Aries shows that the water protectors are destined to face tremendous stress and opposition. While the Sun is exalted, its placement in Aries foreshadows that this is a fight that will strengthen their group identity. Aries tells us that they must face some serious fears and cultivate immense bravery to carry this mission out. When Aries is highlighted, there is an element of risk, thrill, and considerable stress involved--all elements we have seen manifest at Standing Rock. 

The chart with transits on Dec. 4, 2016 when the U.S. Army Corps denied easement requiring an environmental impact study before further construction. This has now been revoked and DAPL has been granted easement. Note Jupiter on the IC with three more passes to go. 

The chart with transits on Dec. 4, 2016 when the U.S. Army Corps denied easement requiring an environmental impact study before further construction. This has now been revoked and DAPL has been granted easement. Note Jupiter on the IC with three more passes to go. 

The Sun in the 9th house in Aries paints the picture of true spiritual warriors that are fighting and defending their religion and beliefs. Interestingly, while the 9th house has a correlation with “foreign travel”, the very people who first settled on these lands are perceived by the rest of us as foreigners. Their customs, traditions, and way of life seem alien to westernized Americans, which they have fought to preserve against all odds. This strong Arian energy is something that the indigenous Americans have had to cultivate merely as a means of survival. The Moon in Capricorn reveals much about the group soul. In the 6th house, there is a deep concern about survival and the preservation of their daily life (6th house). 

Capricorn is concerned about the future and planning ahead. The emotional impetus of NODAPL is exactly that. The Moon is their home, their sacred land. In Capricorn, we feel a sense of urgency within these people driven by the fear of the dangers within the environment. The Moon is very widely conjunct Pluto (by over 9 degrees). Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008, which began with the Global Financial Crises that shed light on the corruption of big banks and the government’s inability to hold them accountable. Many big banks have in fact invested in the pipeline. Pluto in Capricorn in the 6th house reveals a threat to survival and personal and environmental health. The Moon’s close proximity reveals the core emotional and karmic reasons for this standoff. Pluto also makes a square to the Sun (ruler of the chart), the MC, Mercury and Uranus. This further reveals a conflict that the water protectors (Sun in Aries 9th) must face and the hardship they will endure from the corruption of a big and powerful entity. 

Pluto is certainly a worthy opponent for this exalted Sun in Aries. The ultimate mission of these water protectors is highly thwarted by Pluto. This reveals that a compromise will likely be made, because in a square, neither side will back down. This tells us that the fight at Standing Rock is one that, even despite any “official” decision, will continue for some time. Looking at the South Node of the Moon, the core of any evolutionary reading, we see it in Pisces in the 9th house conjunct Chiron, Ceres, and Venus. The ruler of the South Node, Neptune, is in Pisces in the 8th house. This is all rather telling. As we know, Native Americans have been the victims of mass genocide for hundreds of years. Chiron conjunct the South Node reveals a deep, karmic wound of dissipation and loss of identity (Pisces) at the hands of foreigners (9th house). 

Neptune in Pisces in the 8th, the house of death, reveals a dark history of the native people facing the constant threat of annihilation. The South Node in Pisces has the feel of a ghost, unseen and unnoticed. Deeply buried in the karmic past, we see a people who feel unheard and forgotten. We see the soul of a nation that has seen the darkest side of humanity. With Venus and Ceres conjunct the South Node as well, we see that they have been able to band together and maintain a strong bond upholding their beliefs and customs. Yet, Chiron reveals the reality that these bonds, traditions, and way of life have succumbed to deformity and defectiveness. Ceres, the grain goddess, and its association with food and nourishment, tells of a wound related to malnutrition and poverty. We also see, quite poignantly, Pisces’ association with water. 

People marching in protest to the Dakota Access Pipeline; photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen. (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

People marching in protest to the Dakota Access Pipeline; photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen. (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Chiron speaks quite clearly to the threat of “wounded” (Chiron) water (Pisces/Neptune). The North Node of the Moon is in Virgo in the 3rd house conjunct Jupiter. It’s ruler, Mercury, is in Aries in the 10th, conjunct Uranus and the MC. From our evolutionary lens, we see that this protest, whether it succeeds in rerouting the pipeline or not, will have a greater impact on informing the world about this injustice, hopefully inspiring others to stand up against corporate and governmental corruption. The North Node in Virgo in the third house conjunct Jupiter reveals that these native groups must learn new skills and means of communication to get their message out. Many have teamed up with various legal groups to fight the pipeline in courts and to help communicate with police forces. Mercury conjunct Uranus in Aries in the 10th house urges the water protectors to continue to fight and rebel against the structures that seek to oppress them. 

Jupiter conjunct the North Node illustrates the unresolved wound within these indigenous groups of not feeling heard, noticed, or taken seriously. It also reveals the power of authority figures over them, who used a complicated foreign language (such as legalease) to oppress and dominate them. Jupiter’s presence here suggests that the water protector’s higher destiny involves taking a big risk--even risking it all, to stand up and be heard by the world. It also suggests the need to use this complicated language, previously used against them, to fight back. The presence of Jupiter may involve the need to take legal action. While many mainstream media organizations have persistently ignored the water protectors, the power of the internet and alternative media has given them a platform to be noticed (symbolized by Uranus conjunct Mercury).  

Saturn in the 5th house also makes a square to the nodal axis. This symbolizes a karmic “skipped step”, something that was left unresolved in the past but must now be integrated. Saturn has clear associations with authority figures and government. In Sagittarius, it relates to the further wounding and violence perpetrated upon these people by the ideologies and beliefs of European immigrants. A square is an overpowering influence, one which the ancestors of the water protectors couldn’t resolve previously. It speaks to past patterns of enduring daunting challenges that leave the karmic memory with a sense of futility and depression. The way to resolve it now is to persist against all opposition and accomplish something great. Saturn in the 5th house symbolizes a wound inflicted upon children and future generations, and the need to make a dramatic statement to preserve their traditions and spiritual beliefs. 

The chart with transits in mid April 2O17 with Jupiter's second pass to the IC. 

The chart with transits in mid April 2O17 with Jupiter's second pass to the IC. 

Looking ahead, it seems that Jupiter’s recent retrograde may give some support. All hope is not yet lost. Jupiter is set to conjunct the IC again in mid April 2017 in its retrograde phase (assuming this chart is radical and has predictive value). Just as it did in Dec. 2016, this Jupiter contact could indicate another victory for the water protectors, or another construction delay of some kind (considering Jupiter’s retrograde motion). Jupiter will station one degree from opposition to the radix Sun at 13 degrees of Libra from May to early June of 2017. It will hit the IC one last time in early August 2017, and so perhaps, if the God of good fortune smiles upon the bold efforts of the indigenous warriors, some good news or compromise will come. Early August looks potentially promising, with the Sun, then in Leo, making a trine to its radix position as it did from Sagittarius in Dec. 2016. The Sun will be joined by Mars in the first house of this chart, giving great willpower and new direction to the water protectors.

Venus turns stationary retrograde in early March conjunct the radix Sun near the MC. It then turns stationary direct in mid April while conjunct the radix Venus. Mercury also turns retrograde shortly after, and then stations direct in early May conjunct the radix Mercury/Uranus in the 10th. It’s hard to say if all of this retrograde activity is positive or not. Hitting major placements in the chart, we can see some definite significant happenings taking place with the fight against DAPL. With the symbolism of retrogrades, we can anticipate a delay; some lengthy chain of events that drags out the battle. It’s likely, considering the circumstances, that this may involve legal proceedings at this point. When the easement was denied in Dec. 2016, Mercury was in the shadow of its retrograde, one week before its station near the radix Pluto in the 6th. Thus, we can expect these events to manifest from March through perhaps mid May with a definite highlight around mid April. We can only hope that Jupiter’s retrograde cycle brings a solution or compromise (Jupiter in Libra) which will likely occur in the August time frame. 

The protest at Standing Rock also coincides with the opposition of Jupiter and Uranus. The cycle of Jupiter and Uranus historically correlates with periods political and cultural upheaval, leading to widespread demonstrations, marches, and protests worldwide. The last phase of the Jupiter/Uranus cycle peaked in the summer of 2010, during the height of the Occupy Wallstreet movement and the Arab Spring uprisings in the middle east. This next opposition phase will be active through the end of 2018 using wide planetary orbs. With this in mind, it’s quite likely that the battle for this sacred land is not over yet, and we’re likely to see more opposition against similar projects in the very near future. 

As I briefly mentioned above, the sabian symbol for the rising degree is, “Rock formations at the edge of a precipice.” Not only does this symbol allude to Standing Rock, the tribe whose land is being directly violated by Energy Transfer Partners, but it speaks to a profound truth about the indigenous people of the United States. They and the legacy of their ancestors, are indeed like these symbolic rock formations, ancient and yet still standing tall at the edge of a precipice. Yet despite the uncertainty of the moment, sitting on the edge of a cliff, they persist, defying all the forces that seek to take them down. They are a people whose way of life is on the verge of extinction. If we care at all about those who first nurtured and cared for this land, then we must too stand with Standing Rock. We must stand at the precipice with them and fight for the injustice that has been inflicted upon them. It is the destiny of the water protectors to fight, that much is clear, and it is their destiny to be heard. 

You did not come to Earth without a guide. Evolutionary Astrology is a powerful tool for self-discovery and an exceptionally helpful guide in times of uncertainty, crisis or stagnation. Click here for reading options and pricing.

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The fight at Standing Rock is not over. Cheyenne River Sioux and Standing Rock Sioux have filed a lawsuit as of Feb. 9, 2017 in response to the USACE granting easement. There is another legal challenge to the Dakota Access Pipeline organized by Revolution Truth, a grassroots-based, human rights organization dedicated to protecting democratic principles and civil liberties. They are in need of funding to bring the case. 

Visit their gofundme page here
Revolution Truth website
RT interview with Tangerine Bolen

Here are some other ways you can support Standing Rock. Many need help with legal fees and cleanup costs....

Donate directly to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund

Lakota People's Law Project

Rise With Standing Rock

NODAPL 2017 Action Hub

Further Reading

The Treaties of Fort Laramie

Standing Rock Reservation

Declaration On The Rights of Indigenous People

United Nations Document on DRIP

 

Uncovering the Life Force: Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in Leo 2017

Holi Bonfire in front of Jagdish Temple / Udaipur; photo by Ingo Mehling via Wikimedia Commons.

Holi Bonfire in front of Jagdish Temple / Udaipur; photo by Ingo Mehling via Wikimedia Commons.

Full Moon/Penumbral Eclipse @ 22 Leo 28'

February 10, 2017

4:33 PM Pacific

7:33 PM Eastern

February’s Full Moon is a penumbral eclipse in tropical Leo. As we enter the beginning of the first 2017 eclipse season, you will notice a quickening of circumstances around you. Eclipses have the effect of acceleration, and if you’re mindful of this process, you can make a lot of progress. However, it’s often difficult to use this energy externally because the eclipse, especially lunar, is so focused inwardly. Quite often, we can make some breakthroughs within ourselves by reaching new levels of emotional and personal expression. Consider the archetype of the Moon--the womb from which life emerges. The Moon symbolizes nurturance, domesticity, and the expression of empathic feelings. 

The Moon is a safe place, but also a place of great mystery. The secrets of life and death are contained within the lunar archetype, and like the tides, the Moon is a symbol of endless change and transformation. This quickening of energy often feels that way. Things around us are passing away and coming into form at a much faster rate. Internally, there is the awareness of some new capacity for deeper feeling and heightened psychic awareness. This is a moment to get more in tune with the irrational aspect of the psyche and to look more closely behind certain facades. 

In the sign of Leo, this lunar eclipse can quicken creative insight and expression. It can generate feelings of spontaneity and playfulness. Consider what it is that’s been preventing the flow of joy in your life or your ability to have fun. This lunar eclipse can help release those blockages by helping you become more aware of them. With Jupiter making a sextile to the eclipse and a trine to the Sun, there are opportunities to make some creative advances with some help or assistance from others. The eclipse forms a fire grand trine with Uranus in Aries and Saturn in Sagittarius.

A trine from Uranus to the Moon can give innovative insights and unique perspectives. It also enhances restlessness with the status quo and the desire to rebel against anything overtly restrictive. Saturn in Sagittarius can help keep you grounded, practical, and focused on integrating creative insights concretely. This powerful synergy of fire energy creates a surge of enthusiasm and excitement. If you’ve been in need of something to push you out of a rut, this lunar eclipse has the potential to get things moving in a new and dynamic way. The fire archetype has the power to bring some life back into current circumstances. Mars and Venus loosely conjunct in Aries gives an extra boost to the inner will.

Lastly, Chiron and Pluto form a yod aspect with this lunar eclipse/Full Moon. This further amplifies the subconscious dimensions of this Full Moon, as well as breathing new life into our home environment, routines, and our relationship with the irrational. While there are a plethora of easy flowing aspects to this eclipse, these quincunx aspects to the Moon speak to the work required to bridge insights from the unconscious into conscious awareness. That may require taking the initiative to listen carefully to messages emanating from your dreams or your environment. Remember that such content isn’t easy to accept or readily understand. Getting in touch with your deeper self has the capacity to reinvigorate your personal life, potentially leading to some much needed breakthroughs and changes.

You did not come to Earth without a guide. Evolutionary Astrology is a powerful tool for self-discovery and an exceptionally helpful guide in times of uncertainty, crisis or stagnation. Click here for reading options and pricing.

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Fresh Perspectives: New Moon in Aquarius 2017

Image by Chad Woodward

Image by Chad Woodward

New Moon @ 8 degrees Aquarius 15'

January 27, 2017

4:07 PM Pacific

7:07 PM Eastern

While this New Moon occurs in Aquarius, and you may certainly be feeling those Aquarian winds of change blowing toward you, the highly prominent cluster of planets in Pisces still carries a lot of weight at the moment. An interest in mysticism, altered states, or mysteries surrounding current events has likely captivated you, and with it perhaps an uncertainty about what it all means. However, Mars will move into Aries, its home sign, several hours after the New Moon occurs. The first inner planet to dip into Aries this year, Mars can help you turn ambiguity into action. It can change abstract conceptualization into concrete actualization. With it, a renewed desire, interest, passion, and enthusiasm to take some initial steps in the direction of your choosing. 

Aquarius is often associated with visions and intimations of what is to come. With Mars hitting the Aries point (where the Sun initiates the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere) and coinciding with the New Moon, this a potent brew for new beginnings. The Aquarian vibrations invite us to see upward and outward into realities that have yet to manifest. It stimulates foresight and the improvement of current circumstances. It’s modern ruler, Uranus, is a planet of revolution and liberation from paradigmatic prisons which bind thought and action. Uranus seeks to free the individual from blind obedience and acquiescence to authority. Currently, the planet Uranus is in opposition to Jupiter, collectively inflaming the inner rebel and igniting creative and innovative genius.

With this New Moon, you may feel a surge of rebelliousness and inspiration within yourself. The wave of civil unrest, creative explosion, and the innovation of the established order will continue through to the latter half of 2018. At the moment, check in with your inner radical, heretic, and outlaw. The constellation of Aquarius (which is not the same as the tropical sign), that the zodiacal sign Aquarius derives from, is often depicted as a human figure carrying a pitcher, pouring celestial water from the heavens upon the mundane world below. It’s believed that the symbolism of falling water fits nicely with the Aquarian season in the northern hemisphere when the late winter rains help to fertilize the soil for new life to emerge. 

You may find some meaning for yourself in this symbolism and some deeper connection to the natural processes that surround you. With this New Moon, you may notice a fertilization of potential in your own life and a renewed excitement about what may eventually birth from it. This lunation is a moment of innovation and a reactivation of willpower--a thrust of much needed momentum after a lengthy period of gestation and existential hibernation. A separating square of Venus conjunct Chiron to Saturn, can help you make some adjustments in your relationships. You might find that certain ideological differences can be dealt with through a change in perspective. Resolutions are likely to emerge as the New Moon develops, giving you a greater ability to deal with flaws or perceived deformities in other people. 

Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius, and so this square speaks to the inner tension that equally accompanies the sense of expansion, liberation, and creative birth inherent within this current New Moon. It invites you to resist the temptation to fix problems perceived in other people and to focus more on how to shift your own life which will help generate healing and growth in your partnerships. The best medicine may be to focus on future objectives, step back from presents dramas, and reflect on your reactions.

Maintaining distance from certain situations can help you gain the necessary clarity and trust in the current process. Remember that very often, our wounds are reflected in the wounds we see in others. Accepting that and taking steps to address our own issues generates more growth and maturity within ourselves which then helps us deal more soberly with those we’ve chosen to love. With this New Moon, embrace the fresh air. Take a deep breath. The winds of change are inevitable. Choose to flow with it or struggle against the current. These flowing waters will carry you towards new life and experience. 

You did not come to Earth without a guide. Evolutionary Astrology is a powerful tool for self-discovery and an exceptionally helpful guide in times of uncertainty, crisis or stagnation. Click here for reading options and pricing.

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Breaking Down Walls: Full Moon in Cancer 2017

Iridium flare on a moonlit night in Võru County, Estonia; photo by Martin Mark via Wikimedia Commons.

Iridium flare on a moonlit night in Võru County, Estonia; photo by Martin Mark via Wikimedia Commons.

Full Moon @22 Cancer 27'

Jan 12, 2017

3:34 AM Pacific

6:34 AM Eastern

This powerful Full Moon occurs in the tropical sign of Cancer. In its home sign, the Moon makes it easier to express acutely buried feelings. The deep womb of Cancer contains the seeds of imaginal thought and fantasy. It is pregnant with symbolic and unconscious meaning. What has been lingering just beneath the threshold of your conscious perception? Both positive and negative emotions can come bursting free here. You may be more empathetic or psychically sensitive than usual on the days surrounding this Full Moon climax.

The Moon finds itself in the cross hairs of a dynamic grand cross with the Sun (and Pluto), Jupiter, and Uranus. This isn’t an easy integration to pull off. Naturally, it presents us with some uncomfortable reactions to some things in our lives. But the key to resolving such things is finding your way out of a stagnant situation so that you can move forward. With Mercury now direct and getting close to normal speed, this Full Moon awakens us out of a brief period of hibernation. You may feel more energized and confident now, more eager to begin taking steps in new directions.

First, let’s consider the dark side. The Cancerian shadow can be overprotective and enabling. It can be too nurturing thereby stunting the growth and maturity of others. Cancer can also become quite isolated and exclusive, even overtly protective to the point of smothering those it seeks to keep safe. Cancer can build walls so high that no one can make contact from the outside. This Full Moon may momentarily tear down some walls; it could expose yourself and others to the harshness of reality. The intention behind it: to see and experience new possibilities and horizons and to ease our muscular armoring and let our guard down. 

That’s where Jupiter opposite Uranus comes in. It invites us out of  our comfort zone to acquire new experience. Ideally, you should choose to break some of these barriers down yourself via your own volition. What needs to be done for this to happen? You may find that in dealing with current situations, the best choice is to back off and set things free. Allow enough space so that others can find their own way, too. And if you’ve been holding back your feelings about something, take a risk to express them in an open and heart-centered way.

As the Sun and Moon come to this cyclic climax, they seek to help us discover a new way to feel and experience our lives. It could be something quite subtle, yet have an incredibly powerful effect. However you choose to respond to this Full Moon, ideally, choose the path of greatest change. Trust yourself and your hunches. Venus conjunct Neptune can romanticize and idealize others, but it can also help us make authentic soul contact, something quite rare in this digital age. Collectively, this is a potent moment of creative and interpersonal breakthrough. That might be hard to see at first, but trust what is unfolding around you. It’s attempting to lead you to higher ground. The only way to sink is to cling to the past. Loosen your grip and surrender to the infinite possibilities the universe has in store.

You did not come to Earth without a guide. Evolutionary Astrology is a powerful tool for self-discovery and an exceptionally helpful guide in times of uncertainty, crisis or stagnation. Click here for reading options and pricing.

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Inner Gaze: New Moon in Capricorn 2016

Illustration of a Siberian shaman by Dutch explorer Nicolaes Witsen via Wikimedia Commons.

Illustration of a Siberian shaman by Dutch explorer Nicolaes Witsen via Wikimedia Commons.

Dec 28, 2016

10:53 PM Pacific

Dec 29, 2016

1:53 AM Eastern

Modern society attempts to create the illusion that everything is under control. While that illusion certainly helps things run smoothly and ensures that everyone plays their role, it comes with a price. The price is immense repression of our primal nature and the subjugation of any reality or viewpoint which threatens the status quo. We’re all conditioned to see the world a certain way and to fear anything that puts into question our standard narratives. This New Moon in tropical Capricorn helps us to see the structures and routines in our lives through different eyes, which will help us to gain clarity about how we fit into the larger whole.
 
December’s Capricorn New Moon is the last lunation of 2016. Occurring just three days before the New Year, this is a moment to step back, reflect, and take your time in considering your present options and decisions. Every New Moon is a collective moment of lower energy conducive for healing, rest, and meditation. At this stage of the lunar cycle, the Moon invites us inward to recharge and consolidate. Mercury’s alignment with this New Moon further reinforces the need to slow down. That’s because Mercury is currently retrograde.
 
This three-week process can sometimes feel frustrating. Life doesn’t readily yield to our plans and expectations. Things sometimes break down. Communication can be difficult. We may be more accident prone, sloppy, or clumsy. Before hastily moving forward with important matters, use this time to carefully review the details. Open your mind to new perspectives, realities, and alternate viewpoints. Occurring in the sign of Capricorn, this New Moon favors conscious solitude. With the busyness of the Holidays, this can be hard to attain. But even a brief moment of alone time will help you focus and clear your head.
 
While Capricorn can incite ambition, hold off on impulsive or drastic actions. You have more time than you think. Capricorn prefers sustained effort and thoughtful strategy. With Mars conjunct Neptune in Pisces sextile Mercury and the New Moon, you will uncover the energy you need only if you pause and take notice of your inner needs first. Consider the importance and value of inner journeying and self-reflection. And consider how much insight you already have within you. Before we enter the New Year, this lunation is a great way to gain perspective about the past year so that you can more effectively plan for your future.

Uranus is also stationing direct conjunct Eris just after its first opposition to Jupiter on Dec. 26. With Uranus stationing at the peak of this opposition, there is a powerful need to break free from current restraints and a longing for the freedom to uncover new heights of potential and experience. This dark of the Moon time also carries a dynamic creative and visionary potential as well as an opportunity to see beyond the old ways of doing things. As the new year approaches, it might also be wise to hold off on implementing resolutions; there’s a lot to reconsider and think about with this New Moon. Sit back, relax, and turn away from outer distractions. Allow this New Moon to gift you with the focus needed to reconsider your goals, strategies, and direction.

You did not come to Earth without a guide. Evolutionary Astrology is a powerful tool for self-discovery and an exceptionally helpful guide in times of uncertainty, crisis or stagnation. Click here for reading options and pricing.

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Focusing the Mental Storm: Supermoon in Gemini 2016

Supermoon rising over Queen Valley in Joshua Tree National Park; photo by NPS/Brad Sutton [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Supermoon rising over Queen Valley in Joshua Tree National Park; photo by NPS/Brad Sutton [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Full Moon @ 22 Gemini 26'

December 13, 2016

4:05 PM Pacific

7:05 PM Eastern

There’s a lot going on with this final Full Moon of 2016. First off, it’s a Supermoon. That means that the Moon is at perigee and thus closer to the Earth than an average Full Moon. This closer proximity makes the Moon appear slightly larger; though visually, the difference isn’t really that drastic compared with other Full Moons. However, its closeness does appear to amplify emotional reactions for some people. It can rip the lid off of the unconscious, especially those who tend to suppress their feelings, resulting in spontaneous, psychic eruptions. Richard Noelle, the astrologer who coined the term “Supermoon”, also claims that there’s an increase in seismic activity or other natural events around Supermoons.
 
As fitting for the Gemini archetype, this month’s Supermoon is talking to a lot of planets via a series of aspects. Most significantly, the planet Saturn sits in opposition to the Moon and conjunct the Sun in Sagittarius. A Saturn/Moon opposition is not a comfortable thing. It can pit the sensitive inner life against the demands of the outer reality--generating an awkward and often difficult confrontation. With the Full Moon in Gemini, expect the surfacing of important information or an explosion of busyness to permeate the atmosphere. With Mercury, the ruler of Gemini currently in the shadow of its retrograde cycle (in Capricorn), you can also expect information that sheds light on the past, or the resurfacing of data that you might find useful for future endeavors.
 
This Full Moon brings to a head an important conversation, one that’s likely been going on for some time. Be alert to whatever is trying to get your attention. It could be quick, fleeting, and evasive. Saturn’s opposition can be a hindrance or incredibly helpful. Coming up against Saturn can feel frustrating at the moment. If you find yourself feeling trapped, without the possibility of direction or a clear path ahead, consider that there’s some work you must do to find your way forward. Keep your mind open to the input that’s coming at you, and try to sort it all out the best you can. It’s possible that this Full Moon stands as a prelude to future obstacles and setbacks in the weeks ahead. But don’t let that discourage you! See it as a challenge to discover new possibilities and directions.
 
The Full Moon also forms a grand trine between Jupiter in Libra and Mars in Aquarius conjunct the asteroid Athena. While Saturn’s presence focuses this Full Moon on long-range goals, limitations, and current restrictions, this air grand trine is quite stimulating, bringing with it a desire to share ideas, thoughts, and information--generating potential solutions. Uranus, which also makes a sextile to the Moon, is about to make its first opposition to Jupiter this month. While not a focal point of this lunation, the Jupiter/Uranus opposition is a collective and personal process of revolution, innovation, and creative or personal breakthrough. Try to remain receptive to alternative solutions or strategies when dealing with current obstacles. There’s a lot of information floating around that could help you break free of oppressive circumstances.
 
So, while there’s likely to be a lot of stimulation and incoming messages to process with this lunation, stay focused! With such a barrage of data, it’s easy to get sidetracked or distracted. The Gemini archetype impulses us to catch things in our environment that we would normally miss. That’s certainly a good thing, but Saturn’s opposition in Sagittarius places some pressure to remain focused on a specific objective. That’s the challenge with this Supermoon: to remain open minded enough to take in new information without getting lost in it. As this rising tide of mental energy builds, keep your eye on the prize. A new perspective is waiting for you to discover and integrate in some practical and purposeful way.

You did not come to Earth without a guide. Evolutionary Astrology is a powerful tool for self-discovery and an exceptionally helpful guide in times of uncertainty, crisis or stagnation. Click here for reading options and pricing.

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Looking Ahead: What Astrology Reveals About Future History

A composite image of Earth; photo by NASA/ GSFC/ NOAA/ USGS, via Wikimedia Commons

A composite image of Earth; photo by NASA/ GSFC/ NOAA/ USGS, via Wikimedia Commons

Over the many years that I’ve studied astrology I’ve learned that life is an endless blending of cycles and waves of experience. Each day and every moment is a microcosm of the larger cycles that envelop the world. If you want to understand where we are collectively and where we’re going, take a look at the interactions between the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and some recent discoveries. They won’t fail to give you at least a weather forecast understanding. I don’t think that astrology can concretely predict the future, but it can provide a rough archetypal sketch that can be incredibly useful in discerning upcoming trends. 

We are currently reaching the end of the Uranus/Pluto square, the second peak of a cycle that began with the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in the mid to late 1960’s. What happened then reached a crisis point from roughly 2012-2015. If we use a broader, ten-degree orb, the entire Uranus/Pluto square epoch encompasses the years 2007-2020. Richard Tarnas, a true authority on this topic, calls the peaks of the Uranus/Pluto cycle, “Epochs of Revolution”. As we saw throughout the 60’s, this period carried on the implementation of many progressive issues in the political arena. 

Two obvious highlights here in the United States: the first African American president and the national legalization of same-sex marriage. If we look back at the 60’s, the fight for civil rights for gays and blacks were at the forefront of the progressive movements at the time. These topics have gained considerable legitimacy and momentum during this period. The recent election (of 2016) is also a profound reflection of the “revolutionary spirit” of this cycle. Presidential candidates such as Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton all carried themes of breaking through the boundaries of tradition and creating upheaval in the status quo. 

Looking ahead, we see this process slowly diminishing and giving way to a drastic shift in the archetypal narrative in the next few years. The two major cycles to look out for are the upcoming Jupiter/Uranus opposition and the Saturn/Pluto conjunction. In particular, the Saturn/Pluto conjunction will likely correlate with a significant backlash against the liberal regime of President Barack Obama. While many people expected Hillary Clinton to become the first female President of the United States, Donald Trump gained victory, and because of that, there will be a definite shift of power to conservative republicans. 

The Uranus/Pluto cycle is a developmental process. The major breakthroughs that have happened during the square are stepping stones in a larger process that will fully peak at the opposition phase in the mid to late 2040’s. It’s possible, for instance, that the vision and movement catalyzed by Bernie Sanders, of creating a more democratic, socialist leaning American society will be more within reach at that time. We will also realize the full consequences of technologies that have developed throughout this cycle including the reality of mass surveillance revealed to the world by Edward Snowden (a major revolutionary figure of this period). 

It’s important to realize that what follows is only a rough sketch of significant, upcoming cycles. Every moment in history is unique because we must consider all cycles involved. To do that in an article would be impossible; to do so in a book would be exhausting. Also, as an evolutionary astrologer, I feel that human will and consciousness can elevate an archetypal complex to a higher level of expression. While it’s certainly much harder when we’re dealing with masses of people, it’s still possible that people can change, and that outcomes may not be so dire as they might initially suggest at first glance.

*The time frames listed represent the entirety of a particular era using 10 or 15 degree orbs between the planets involved. The exact contacts listed are not meant to predict anything on those dates, but are simply the peaks of the cycles discussed.  Often, the symbolism of a particular era becomes more evident at the latter phase of the time band. 

The Jupiter/Uranus/Eris Opposition

Day 14 of Occupy Wallstreet; photo by David Shankbone [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Day 14 of Occupy Wallstreet; photo by David Shankbone [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Oct. 2016-Sept. 2018
 
Exact contacts:
Dec 26, 2016
Mar 2, 2016
Sept 27, 2017
 

If you want to plan a creative breakthrough or revolution, do it under the peaks of the Jupiter and Uranus cycle. The last conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus occurred in the years 2010/2011 alongside the building Pluto/Uranus square. There was a lot more going on than just these two planets, but they definitely correlated with an amplification of this collective, revolutionary impulse. We saw uprisings all across the globe, including the Arab Spring uprisings throughout the Middle East and Occupy Wall Street in the U.S. 

The opposition phase of this cycle, which will hit its peak in late Dec 2016 through September 2017, will be the climax of what began around the 2010 time period. What might it look like? People across the world will be increasingly upset with oppression and restriction. Jupiter combined with Uranus wants to expand to new heights and horizons. Many visionaries, artists, and scientific geniuses will make breakthroughs in their fields delivering to us entirely new perceptions of reality and glimpses of what’s possible. But don’t expect to receive these gifts just now. New discoveries and creative works often take place during the cycle and reach the public at later phases.

What you will see is another intense wave of civil unrest and resistance to oppressive conditions in the form of marches, protests, and demonstrations across the world. There will be a collective mood that embraces a sense that new things are possible and infinite frontiers are within reach. Here in the United States, we’re likely to witness the empowerment of revolution and a sense that the status quo is actually changing. In some ways it might, but we must also realize that this archetypal current is easily co-opted by those in power to steer the masses in favor of their own agenda. 

Eris conjunct Uranus is a bit of a mystery since Eris is a recent discovery and we don’t know much about her yet. I do think that Eris, the trickster goddess of chaos and discord, will correlate with the release of unconscious forces within the collective psyche that will be frightening and difficult to fully comprehend. Her conjunction with Uranus is likely the beginning of a new revolutionary movement within the collective psyche that we will understand more fully in hindsight. I feel that Eris may be pointing to the limits of cultural imprinting, seeking to liberate and give voice to deeply repressed, primal impulses which exist in the collective unconscious, as many Trans-Neptunian objects symbolize. The next significant stage of the Jupiter and Uranus cycle, the conjunction, will peak on April 20, 2024. Expect the birth of another wave of revolution then.

 
Saturn/Pluto Conjunction

President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan pay their respects to the caskets of the 17 US victims of the 1983 attack on the United States Embassy in Beirut during the last conjunction of Saturn/Pluto. Image courtesy of the Reagan Library, via Wikimedia Commons. 

President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan pay their respects to the caskets of the 17 US victims of the 1983 attack on the United States Embassy in Beirut during the last conjunction of Saturn/Pluto. Image courtesy of the Reagan Library, via Wikimedia Commons. 

Jan 2018-Dec 2021
 
Exact contacts:
Jan 12, 2021

Imagine the breakout of disease, the threat of atomic warfare, terrorism, fascism, intense economic contraction, or apocalyptic doom. You now have a good sense of the Saturn/Pluto cycle. That doesn’t mean all these things will actually happen, but their threatening presence often looms within the atmosphere under significant stages of this cycle. The conjunction and opposition phases often correlate with the rise of highly conservative regimes and the confrontation with their dark side. The last opposition took place from July 2001 through June 2002. You might note that Sept.11 fits right in that time band which paved the way for the invasion of Iraq. The last square between Saturn and Pluto occurred from late 2008 through 2010 and coincided with the Global Financial Crises. 
    
Major historical contacts between Saturn and Pluto are what astrologer/historian Richard Tarnas calls “Cycles of Crisis and Contraction.” If you want to understand the full history of this cycle fleshed out, read Tarnas’ book, Cosmos and Psyche. In it, we find correlations of this cycle with the rise and development of international terrorism, fascism, economic downturn, outbreaks of war and disease, and a lot of other unsettling things. This cycle, in particular, will occur in Capricorn and will touch the U.S. Pluto during its Pluto return. Pluto takes approximately 248 years to orbit the Sun. This is the first Pluto return since the birth of the United States. It will be a critical period where we must confront the shadow of America, and deeply reassess our true destiny as a nation.

It all looks rather ominous, but we’ve made it through plenty of other cycles and I’m sure we’ll make it through this one too. While this is likely to be an extremely challenging phase, especially here in the U.S., I’m hopeful that it will also bring to our awareness the need for more accountability, integrity, and ethics within our political structures. I’m hoping that along with the rise of the darker, shadowy elements of this nation there will be a systemic transformation of the establishment. This period has the potential to wake a lot of people up to dimensions of reality that have been deeply repressed, but that might only happen after incredible restrictions and challenges are placed on us for a period of time. 

If you’re hoping for a progressive government in the years ahead, I wouldn’t count on it. It may be another eight years before we see more liberal or progressive leaning politicians take the lead again. There is an element of fear and austerity within this cycle, so if you feel you should prepare for that, I’d suggest doing so. I’m not predicting anything specific, but historically, these are highly uncertain and difficult periods especially for the economy.  I plan on writing a more in-depth piece on this alignment in the near future, so please stay tuned. 

Saturn/Neptune Conjunction

A view of Hurricane Katrina over Louisiana and Mississippi on August 29, 2005 during the beginning stages of the Saturn/Neptune opposition; image from the NASA Earth Observatory website, via Wikimedia Commons. 

A view of Hurricane Katrina over Louisiana and Mississippi on August 29, 2005 during the beginning stages of the Saturn/Neptune opposition; image from the NASA Earth Observatory website, via Wikimedia Commons. 

Mar 2024-Apr 2027

Exact contact: 
Feb 20, 2026

Saturn and Neptune symbolize two very different ends of a spectrum. Saturn represents concrete form and worldly manifestation, while Neptune symbolizes the transcendence of the world and the dissolving of boundaries. Imagine that Neptune symbolizes faith, belief, hope, and spiritual yearning, while Saturn symbolizes skepticism, cynicism, rationality, and an aspiration for orderly structure. When these two planets combine, they often correlate with historical periods that pit the rational against the irrational. Such has been the case during the most recent Saturn/Neptune square which peaked from 2015 through 2016 and made its last contact just two months before the 2016 U.S. election. The peaks of the Saturn/Neptune cycle can correlate with periods tainted by the sense of extreme divide and polarity between opposite points of view.

It can generate a sharp contrast between things like religion and science or Democrat and Republican. Saturn can impose a sense of limitation on Neptune, correlating with a collective mood of immense disappointment, loss of faith, or despair. Saturn/Neptune cycles can also correlate with the death and breakdown of a dream or ideal. Such was the case with the recent election; the incredible ideological divide within both parties such as Bernie Sanders versus Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump versus the rest of the Republican establishment. 

Neptune can have a dissolving effect on the very structures we rely upon. With Saturn square Neptune we witnessed the breakdown of the two-party system, a loss of faith in the democratic process, and a collective sense of hopelessness with the American Dream. Past cycles have also coincided with ending of wars (such as both World Wars, the Cold War, and Vietnam), correlating with a collective mood of exhaustion, sorrow, and mourning. However, there is also an opportunity during these times to build bridges between both worlds, between the faith-based and evidence-based. The Dalai Lama, a spiritual leader who truly exemplifies the high end of this ideal was born under an opposition of Saturn and Neptune.

While these periods often correlate with periods of prodigious uncertainty, confusion, and collective disillusionment, they also help to provide awareness of certain blind-spots within our political, economic, spiritual, and scientific establishments. They are opportunities to reach beyond the boundaries which divide us to ultimately reveal the underlying commonality between us all. During these cycles, it’s important to distance yourself from any extreme view or party. The truth is likely between the dividing poles. This upcoming conjunction in 2026 occurs on the Aries Point, the first degree of the tropical sign of Aries. This cycle is likely to be incredibly significant for the entire world. Aries, the sign of the warrior will give this Saturn/Neptune alignment a thrust of power that has the potential to shake up the globe. 

You did not come to Earth without a guide. Evolutionary Astrology is a powerful tool for self-discovery and an exceptionally helpful guide in times of uncertainty, crisis or stagnation. Click here for reading options and pricing.

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Narrowing the Infinite: New Moon in Sagittarius 2016

New Moon @ 07 degrees Sagittarius 47'

November 29, 2016

5:18 AM Pacific

8:15 AM Eastern

November comes to an end alongside a New Moon in tropical Sagittarius. Saturn is currently moving through Sagittarius and widely conjoins this lunation. The sign of Sagittarius is a mutable, fire sign, ruled by the planet Jupiter which currently squares Pluto in Capricorn. The New Moon also makes a square with Neptune and the south node of the Moon. What is surfacing now may largely deal with your beliefs and the facts (or lack thereof) you have to support them. The asteroid Juno, also conjunct the New Moon, emphasizes the commitment required to sustain faith in a worldview.
 
The high-end of Sagittarius is not a rigid attachment to a belief, but rather an openness to contextual ways of thinking about or perceiving the world. Naturally, spiritual faith or religion fits into the Sagittarian archetype. Evolution demands that life changes in accordance with a changing environment. It also demands that organisms try new possibilities when old pathways no longer ensure success or survival. Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius serves to actually limit possibilities for the sake of finding more authentic pathways. It also asks that we question those beliefs that we’ve outgrown and that no longer serve us.

As the Sun and Moon conjoin in Sagittarius, it invites you to begin a process of exploring the possibilities that are available to you after a realistic assessment of their validity. This doesn’t mean throwing away all caution and taking a leap of faith, which you may be impulsed to do now. While Sagittarius naturally desires movement toward the infinite, instead focus on more sustainable beliefs and perceptions that have withstood scrutiny and challenge. Neptune’s station on the south node this month has generated a lot of collective hype and confusion. Beneath it, there is an opportunity to receive inspiration and authentic, numinous guidance.
 
The challenge with this New Moon is to distance yourself enough from the collective fog to see clearly into the epicenter of the what’s going on. What are you really devoted to now, when you cut away the superfluous? The challenge ignited by this New Moon is getting clear about that, and uncovering the passion, drive, and motivation to make your beliefs somehow work in the real world--to serve some concrete, valuable purpose for the benefit of others. At the moment, it’s not about being right; it’s about being relevant and useful. There may be a lot of directions to go, but this New Moon asks that you find that single guiding light in the mist, and to direct your enthusiasm toward it. Authentically doing that will likely elevate your personal purpose to a higher cause.

You did not come to Earth without a guide. Evolutionary Astrology is a powerful tool for self-discovery and an exceptionally helpful guide in times of uncertainty, crisis or stagnation. Click here for reading options and pricing.

Life on the Threshold: Terence McKenna

By Entropath (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Entropath (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

American ethnobotanist, psychonaut, and mystic, Terence McKenna, was known as the Timothy Leary of the 90’s and the intellectual voice of rave culture. Born on November 16, 1946 (in Hotchkiss, CO at 7:25 AM MST), McKenna had the Sun, Venus, and Jupiter in tropical Scorpio in the twelfth house along with a Scorpio Ascendant. The sign of Scorpio is associated with death and rebirth, occultism, psychology, and sexuality. Scorpio dominant individuals have come into this life to play on the edge of existence--to experience the full and raw intensity of life experience. 
 
There’s something about the Scorpio archetype that is incredibly drawn to anything taboo, edgy, or controversial. As a spiritual pathway, Scorpio’s highest potential is to sit with uncomfortable truths about reality and to dare to share those truths with the world in some way, no matter how much it might offend or displease the cultural status quo. Terrance had an early interest in psychology. He read Carl Jung’s Psychology and Alchemy at the age of ten. As a young boy, McKenna was an amateur fossil hunter and had a profound interest in the natural sciences.
 
In his later life, he was a vocal advocate for the responsible use of naturally occurring psychedelic substances (catalyzed by his experiences in the Colombian Amazon in the late 1960's). His lectures focused heavily on his relationship with psilocybin mushrooms, which he eventually claimed to be an advanced extraterrestrial intelligence seeking to communicate with higher evolved species throughout the cosmos. If that sounds too far out, it should. McKenna had a powerful cluster of planets in the twelfth house of his horoscope, a house we associate with experiences of transcendence or which facilitate communion with higher consciousness. In its shadow side, the combination of Scorpio and the twelfth house can push too far beyond the boundaries of reality, tending toward the extremes of escapism. 
 
To many, especially critics of his work, McKenna did just that. His ideas about reality and psychedelic substances, would to most people, appear far-fetched or just plain insane. But, if we look closely at McKenna’s chart, it appears that his life story was pretty clearly in alignment with his spiritual mission--to push the envelope of consciousness and life experience, to dance on the razor edge threshold of reality and the numinous. As someone who has heavily researched (and dabbled with) psychedelics, I can honestly say that I don’t believe these substances to be a form of escapism at all. 
 
I'll admit that I share with McKenna the idea that psychedelics open the mind to a potential we don’t normally have access to. In accord with the Scorpionic archetype, psychedelic substances certainly reveal the raw truth of reality which makes the ego incredibly uncomfortable. It is their nature to momentarily disparage the ego’s grip on an individual’s conscious state, thus showcasing the mind from the perspective of an objective observer. Terence lectured heavily on the nature of the psychedelic experience and its impact on human evolution. He authored several books, including Food of the Gods, True Hallucinations, The Archaic Revival, and The Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide, which he co-authored with his brother, Dennis McKenna. 
 
McKenna died of an aggressive brain cancer in April of 2000 at the age of 54. Perhaps, in some way, at least metaphysically, McKenna pushed too far. Or, perhaps, it was a part of his destiny to do so. Before his death, Terence in true Scorpionic/twelfth house fashion, had this to say about facing the reality of dying, "I always thought death would come on the freeway in a few horrifying moments, so you'd have no time to sort it out. Having months and months to look at it and think about it and talk to people and hear what they have to say, it's a kind of blessing. It's certainly an opportunity to grow up and get a grip and sort it all out. Just being told by an unsmiling guy in a white coat that you're going to be dead in four months definitely turns on the lights. ... It makes life rich and poignant. When it first happened, and I got these diagnoses, I could see the light of eternity, a la William Blake, shining through every leaf. I mean, a bug walking across the ground moved me to tears."

Happy solar return, Terence!

Be Gentle With Yourself: Full Moon in Taurus 2016

Image by Chad Woodward

Image by Chad Woodward

Full @ 22 Taurus 37'

November 14, 2016

5:52 AM Pacific

8:52 AM Eastern

This month’s Full Moon occurs in the tropical sign of Taurus. It’s also a Supermoon, which means that the Full Moon is closer to the Earth, at its perigee, and will appear slightly larger and brighter than usual (about 7 percent larger than an average Full Moon). In fact, this is the closest Full Moon since 1948. A Full Moon won’t be this close to Earth until 2034. Some astrologers feel that Supermoons are more powerful and significant. Emotional sensitivity may be more pronounced. The size increase does make the Moon a little more striking to look at, especially if you catch it at Moonrise (just after Sunset) or Moonset (just before Sunrise the following morning) in relation to objects on the horizon (mountains, hills, buildings, etc.).

In the sign of Taurus, this Full Moon emphasizes the physical body, the natural world, and the cultivation of inner stillness. Utilize this lunar climax as a moment to ground yourself and find your center. With the election now over here in the United States, the collective energy could use a moment to calm down. The Moon is exalted in Taurus, which means it has more ease of expression. As a symbol of nurturance, safety, and comfort, the Moon generates a notable desire to attend to our needs, especially physical ones while in Taurus. You may find a slight heightening of your senses and an increased interest in good food, music, sensual pleasure, and natural surroundings.

While a Full Moon is usually a time of increased energy, Taurus isn’t a sign that stimulates interest in much activity. A good hike or walk in a park may be all that you need to expend excess energy. Be gentle with yourself. Take a breather. With the Sun in Scorpio conjunct the dark Moon Lilith, it is a good time to feel deeper into yourself and the situations in your life. To really take advantage of this, use this Full Moon moment to quiet your mind and get in touch with your primal self--that part of you that is often dampened down by society and modern culture. We must surrender our inner animal and abandon ourselves to receive full cultural imprinting, which leaves some part of ourselves neglected and caged.

With this calming Full Moon in Taurus, it’s a good time to let that wild part of yourself out for a bit. In fact, feel safe in the notion that you can surrender to your senses and desires without them causing much harm. Uranus, Eris, and Ceres quincunx the Sun and Lilith may create some hesitation in relation to fully tearing through any barriers in the moment, but that works well for the Moon and Taurus. Consider where you need to release any repressed parts of yourself in a gentle way that won’t incite too much upset, but don’t neglect or ignore whatever comes up for you. If you can find some space to relax and simply be yourself, you’ll come closer to your wholeness, inner animal and all.

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