The Tao of February 2015's Astrological Weather: Reflections on Mercury Retrograde, Venus & Mars in Pisces, the Wounds of Chiron & the Waves of Neptune


On a recent episode of one of my regularly enjoyed astro radio shows, Astrologer Heather Roan Robbins made the comment that “One of the great gifts of Astrology is that it allows us to be where we’re at.” This can apply to so many things in Astrology, but she was talking, of course, but the recent influx of Piscean laziness that seems to have stricken many as both Mars & Venus (the two planets which rule our social nature and action/motivation) transited Pisces in conjunction with a powerful Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius. I, myself, have enjoyed this time taking it easy and encouraged the others I encounter in my days to remember that it’s really OK if they don’t feel like pushing themselves too hard right now – this is a lazy, slow moving, lackadaisical vibe. We’ve been licking old wounds and pampering tired bones. There will be time for action later – for now, just let it all be. For myself, personally, the rest and reflection period was much needed to tie up the extremely hectic Horse year. I have been working quite a lot with Neptunian realms for the past several years, and when these extra potent phases of dreamy, floaty, watery energies pass through, I am reminded that there can be a great deal accomplished in states of “non-doing.” As a person whose strengths are in every element BUT water, this has been challenging for me to learn.  On a cultural level, we have become so obsessed with producing, having results, and doing that we almost completely disregard the moments of simple refinement that these Piscean realms represent. Really -- all healing, all joy, all beauty, all abundance, all true love – comes to us not through a state of doing but through a state of allowing. No matter what we might want there are just some things in life that cannot be forced into being – they either are, or they aren’t. Pisces is a sign that represents dissolution but also, in my eyes, radical acceptance for what is. If you look at Pisces’ polarity, Virgo – the sign of judgment, critical analysis, etc – we see the world more through the lens of “This is the right way” and “this is the wrong way.” In Pisces’ world, any way is right, because all paths, no matter how windy, indirect or convoluted, are intending us all in the same direction. That is, in the direction of the divine will – our reunion with the Oneness. There is almost a complete lack of discrimination here, which in a way can be quite wonderful, but is also sensitive Pisces’ major Achilles heel. In the world we live in, discernment is a necessary skill, or else we can easily allow ourselves to be mercilessly thrashed by every oncoming wind and wave – taking on the woes and troubles of everyone we meet and eventually drowning in the muck. Nonetheless, in the right time and the right place, these non-discriminating states can open us to experiences of otherworldly beauty, deep heart healing, and the simple, evolving process of living without needing to have a reason.

Experience within this realm has taught me that at its highest level, Pisces work is soul work. Everything we deemed important can be taken in a second out to sea, and we find that we are left alone with just the core of our inner self, our inner want, our inner calling. There was nothing we could have done to discover this inner self, it was actually there all along – it was just the conditioning that we carry and all the stuff we cloak ourselves with that was covering it. Often it is the clinging to these cloaks that causes the pain and disillusionment often associated with Neptune (Pisces realm) transits. In this realm, we really grapple with what is REAL – as in what is TRUE – and what is just an illusion. Our inner vision is suddenly awakened, and our inner atmosphere seems more permeable and more impressionable than before. Ordinary encounters now possess many layers– mixed signals, hidden motives, emotional manipulations – and can become quite tiring to experience, much less sort through and understand. Becoming aware of the subconscious noise within ourselves and others can be disorienting, but it is in our allowing that these confusing experiences also become teachers. Rather than resist, try to fix, or resolve, we let the process unfold naturally and reveal to us the hidden aspects that we were previously unable to discern. And then, these experiences that once vexed us become gifts of insight and crystal clear clarity. All this is accomplished quite effortlessly. It is said that muddy waters become clear once settled. This is exactly the lesson of Pisces/Neptune. Through letting be and doing nothing, clarity comes on its own.

Another major feature of the past month’s work in Pisces has, of course, been our work with Chiron as both Venus and Mars made aspect to this planet/asteroid in the course of its journey the past few weeks. Chiron represents wounding, healing, and wounding all over again. So while the Pisces sea always seems to me like this place of unstructured randomness and free form emotion, there was also this added element of primal wounding at work. I saw this play out in my life in several ways – the most potent example for me was the day before the Chiron-Mars conjunction on January 31st, my sister’s Chiron in Taurus (wounds surrounding money, material possessions, worth and self worth) was activated when she peeled off the top of her moving truck on a low clearance overpass (at a bank, no less) just moments after I had decided to ignore an intuitive message that was repeatedly prompting me to warn my sister about said overpass, triggering my own Chiron-in-Gemini dilemmas (Gemini is not only the sign of communication, but it is also the sign of siblings. Seriously. Astrology is that literal.) Over the course of the following days and weeks, I found myself really working deeply with my emotions surrounding my siblings, and in an even bigger way – my struggles surrounding self expression, conveying information/truth, and listening to my inner voice. This week, as Venus came into aspect with Chiron on Monday, I found myself looking at this wound again as I fumble through a new intuitive process for me – working with the Akashic Records. Although I had one extraordinarily amazing adventure in the records in the beginning (which I hope to share in some future time), the subsequent process has mostly been an exercise in breaking through incredible inner resistance. At the same time, this has also been illuminating in itself, as I am learning about this resistance more intimately and also receiving instructions (abstract as they may be) on how to actually CLEAR these energetic barriers that have been ailing me most of my life. Communicating truth (Chiron in Gemini) has been a major source of wounding for me. I have either told the truth at all the wrong times, in all the wrong ways, or withheld the truth at all the wrong times, in the wrong ways… and from my fraught perspective – there’s been almost nothing in between. The reality is, there are plenty of times when my communication skills have actually been lauded and I really flow with my divine truth (just as I have observed individuals with Chiron in Taurus, who usually fret about finances and success, experience great rewards and praise for their steadfast, fastidious & level headed hard work). So in some totally contrary way, communicating truth is also my divine gift. But this is Chiron we are talking about – so akin to Saturn, this divine gift does not necessarily come easily at all times. It must go through a lifetime of painful trials and total failures in order to find that central, refined place where the aspect of our lives that we’re always screwing up and feel real sensitive about evolves into our natural source of healing.

This principle of Chiron will apply to you differently, depending on where Chiron is in your chart. For my sister with Chiron in Taurus, we spent three days at my house with the ripped up truck in the driveway and all she could do between frustrating phone calls with the truck company was sit in a room away with no view of it and refer to “The Monster In the Driveway” with slight fear and trepidation. The truck had become the manifestation of her inner Chirotic dilemma. The very picture of everything wrong. Chiron can feel very much like the “Monster In the Driveway” – a giant gaping THING that we’re perpetually having problems with and feel like everyone sees. It’s where we feel like we’ve been walking around half exposed, and are unable to escape our own folly. It’s where we’re vulnerable, weak, struggle to trust, and feel like we’re failing. In fact, it was the question, “Why do I feel like a failure?” that brought me my most important guidance with reference to my troubles with inner listening. Failures are moments when things are the exact opposite of how we want them to be. Moments when we feel we’ve met a dead end, where we’ve made the same error too many times, or create an obstacle for ourselves through our expectations. Moments where we’re required to do one of two things – take a totally new approach, or further refine our way of being in order to create a new pathway for success. When we have the courage to not only face our wound, but begin the work of reframing our life according to the new knowledge gained through the wounding experience, we then transition into the energy of healing. Not only for ourselves, but also for the other people we meet along the way who can now benefit from our experiences.

I find myself thinking of the guidance from Hexagram 39 “Obstruction” in the I-Ching – this is a teaching I find myself returning to frequently, and speaks very much to the considerations I brought to this post. In summary of these reflections, I leave you with this…

During times of obstruction, one should be still and practice cultivation. This opportunity should be used to gather energy, instead of complicating matters with impatience and struggle. When one has a positive attitude, even the highest mountain seems lower and the deepest water more shallow. Inner strength can make obstructions seem less imposing.

Attempting to fight an obstruction directly can often become an obstacle to breakthrough. Instead of battling the difficulty head on, one can overcome the obstacle by simply letting go and ceasing the struggle. Both benefit and growth can result from a so-called obstruction.

Obstructions are met daily when things do not go as planned. In the process of growth, obstructions are met thousands of times over and usually generate great despair. One who wishes to move forward, but is unable to do so because of restrictions, can respond by changing direction and taking another path, one that goes inward or upward. Sometimes what appears difficult is actually a protection or an opportunity for spiritual growth. All great achievements are attained through the positive use of obstructions.

Without an obstacle there can be no breakthrough.

 -- Excerpts from Ni, Hua-Ching, I-Ching: The Book Of Changes and the Unchanging Truth, Hex. 39 “Obstruction”