new moon

Astrology of July 2016 – Finding the new Home

This past week in my internal martial arts class, Sifu (Chinese title for master-teacher) went into great depth on the topic of spirit, and how one must learn to move through the will of spirit.  Not just in training and practicing our forms, but in life.  His final instructions to the class were ones that felt quite relevant for the astrology of July:  “Know who you are and what your destiny is – and fulfill it.”

July’s astrology encourages us to really take the leap – to go against the grain -- and find, discover, and be who and what we are at a deeper and more complete level.  The moons this month are a new moon in Cancer on July 4, and a Full Moon in Capricorn on July 18.  This is the axis of creation and represents our innermost foundations and outer identity.  These are the vibrations traditionally associated with mother and father.

One interesting aspect of the July astrology is that we are passing through the space of the now separating Uranus-Pluto square that has been the central force of revolutionary change for the past five years.  At the same time we are also still working with the energy of Mars in Scorpio (now direct) throughout the whole month of July, putting a strong emphasis on completion around the Saturn-Scorpio story that has been ongoing for us since 2012 (but most particularly March 2014 through September 2015).  These elements seem to be operating in tandem this month – with Mars passing through a trine to Chiron (the point of deep wounding) -- and the implication that I sense is a sort of face off / show down between the sacred path and those things that interfere with or pull us from it.

Cancer and Capricorn can be understood as carriers of tradition.  Cancer is the archetype of the nurturing mother and the comfort and safety of home.   Capricorn is the archetype of accomplishment and success through the intelligent maneuvering of society.  But these realms have been shifting in recent years – for all of us.  Everything about what makes home, what makes a career, who we are and how we partner (all of the cardinal archetypes), have been turned on their head under the intense power of the Uranus-Pluto square – and for most, it has not been an easy process.  Social unrest, financial instability, homes and jobs lost, broken systems of government, human rights violations (and wins) – have touched ALL of our lives in some way these past several years, forcing the collective to seriously reevaluate what is real in this world, and what changes need to be applied towards future structures in our lives and society at large.

Yet, to spite the obvious disarray and apparent need for change, our internal programs and feelings of expectation still hold strong.  Even if we’re confident that we are on the right path for us, the territory can still feel unfamiliar, treacherous, and leave us filled with doubt.  At times, we may be inclined to turn back, but when we turn around, we find that there is no “back” at all!  We are essentially stuck in between – the web of the past and the knowledge of the future.  How do we figure it all out?  How do we fix it all?  How do we forgive (ourselves, each other)?  Is it possible to work together?

Mars Retrograde brought us back into the territory of our deep psychological obstacles and wounds through the past two months.  On a higher level, we know we must face these aspects of ourselves, these shadows of our being, in order to do what it is that we are called to do.  But while it sounds good on the surface, there’s a level at which this is actually quite a terrifying proposition – one that we might find ourselves resistant to embrace.  The small self feels protected by the layers of identity that once formed us.  If we let go of “home” – even if “home” is a place rife with dramas and struggles – who the heck are we?  And if we do make this shift into the being of our self that is our future self – our higher self – how can we know if it is authentic if it appears to be so different from where we came?

It is natural for us to now be considering these questions – but important to rise above these concerns and recognize what we are really being asked to focus upon at this time – and that is finding the home within the self.  The New Home.  Home is not where we’re from anymore.  It is not even the long lines of our ancestry.  Home is something entirely different – something beyond location, association, and culture.

What I am sensing is that the evolutionary promises of July’s astrology are a threshold into embracing a higher frequency of the Cancer archetype of unconditional love and the Capricorn archetype of divine authority.  We must all create sacred space and take sacred time in our lives as individuals so that we may transmute the anxieties and fears that befall us, and face the obstacles before us with courage.  The courage arises when we have established our inner anchor and we begin to see ourselves as sovereign.  Everything about who we are culturally is not our true identity – for we have all of us lived in many cultures, many times.  So it is up to us as individuals to make the effort to establish our own roots, and see beyond the veils of expectation and assumption.

We need to heal our wounds and fears around the unseen world.  This has been the hidden undercurrent of the past several years, represented by Chiron’s travels through Pisces – for when we can look at the truth in its many layers with clear eyes, we will see much, much more than we currently are able to, and only then can we actually have the change of heart and mind necessary to realize the deeper possibilities inherent within ourselves and humanity as a group.

“It is so much to sort through – an impenetrable knot of endless conditioning – how can it all be done?”  I hear myself protest.

The answer lies within each individual’s efforts to transcend their own conditionings (e.g. the ideas of how life “should be” that have been told to us by Mom, Dad, society, and even our own karmic self) and take an active part in the creation of those new things and new spaces that are left behind by the wounds of failed or failing structures.

There is a new world beyond this.  A more cooperative reality.  What it needs are different things – different ideas, different approaches, people who are willing to take those gifts that have felt like curses and utilize them in service of the collective force.  Why do you want to let your life be limited when you could be so much more and give so much more?  The fear and resistance we feel, the trepidation – it’s not there to encourage our hiding under the same ol’ same ol’ – it is there to propel us towards our destiny.  It is the discomfort necessary to inspire change.

Surrender to the process in this year of fateful turnings.  It may seem slow, other times it may seem like we’re moving at light speed – but the important part is that we keep going, keep integrating, and continue to be willing to shine our light out to the world – and to always, always hold close to the uncovering and exploration of what is the truth, and who is our true self.

When we practice these things – and come to know our sacred self – we will always find the way.  Without trying so hard!  It is there for you as it is for me, and for all of us.  Remembering this, we can see our fear for what it is and dissolve its influence.

Whatever it is, wherever you are – if it’s in your heart – keep going.  See it through.  Have faith and appreciate.  Your destiny will never desert you.  Only you can desert it.  We are all a part of the bigger picture – and it is incumbent upon us to fulfill our roles – knowing that these roles are not like the ones we’ve known.  Celebrating the awesome ability to be a part of collective creation and evolution.

Honor and embrace the past for what it’s been.  Embrace and honor the future – for what it will be.  Embrace and honor now, with openness and faith that there is something beautiful beyond the veil.  Be confident that the sphere of your abilities and your interests is enough.  It can all be done – if we all stop looking outside, and come back in.  Back home.  To who we really are.  And trust in it.  Because the true self knows the cosmic design, the web of connection, and the plan for your life.  We do not need to strive for what already is.

Sink in.  Just be.

Taurus New Moon

New moon tomorrow 5/6 at 3:30EDT. Moon goes void of course at 10:10pm EDT conjunct Mercury rx. If you miss the window for intentions, wait till the moon is in Gemini on Saturday 5/7 at 12:34pm EDT.

It's a great moon cycle for focusing on growth and productivity, and is also the most powerful moon of the year for cultivating one's finances. The Moon's last aspect to Mercury rx says to me that it's a great moon to make improvements -- especially with Virgo rising on the Washington, D.C. Chart. So if there are areas of your physical reality where things have been lacking, you can really start to create some movement in those areas. Health, routine, money -- anything pertaining to the body, pleasure, relaxation, luxury -- are all great areas to focus upon. Live like a Taurus -- you know you can do it!! Ha ha!

This month is a good time for reevaluation with both Mars and Mercury retrograde. With the Taurus moon, I'm feeling it is an especially good time to create space for the "slow down" amidst the chaos, as the Gemini half of this month is going to be significantly more crazy. Taurus is a firm believer in the good life, and so there is a pull right now to access that level of being, and remind ourselves of it very well, so when life starts pushing us around, we can always find our emotional / mental safe space. Taurus is also about the fundamentals of things, and so we can use this period to firm up our life foundations in order to create more stability for ourselves down the road. Mars rx is going back over the path of Saturn the past two years, so we are doing a final sweep of clarity around our vision, and then moving into June, revisiting the psychological processes behind it all. So all around, we're really in a phase of making stable all that has been in development for the past several years.

This Taurus moon is very oriented toward action -- but not in a crazy, running around, mania sort of way... It is very deliberate, thoughtful action that keeps the long range view in mind. What level of comfort and peace would you like to attain? What does it take to get there? How can I start something today that will lead me towards that goal? And remember, Taurus processes are cumulative. It's not about doing it all at once... It's about focused consistency. So be practical about it. Choose pathways that are realistic, something you are ready to commit to, but still stretch and expand you in a healthy way. Since Taurus is also about value -- as in what we value and our own self worth -- it's also a wonderful time to practice treating yourself well by honoring your goals.

All in all, remember that Taurus is a sign that's a big fan of quality over quantity. Whatever you do, whatever your visions are at this time, keep it simple and be abundant.

*~*~*~*~*~*

Here is Astrologer Ellias Lonsdale's write up on the degree of 16 Taurus, where our new moon is this month:

TAURUS 16
A young girl and boy explore a perfume counter. 
Weaving polarities adroitly with alchemical awareness of what can come from the right combinations. You are fascinated and awestruck by all the various combinations, facets, and ways the life-force distributes itself and plays itself out. The rapt admirer of the wisdom and beauty of nature, transfixed by what happens around here. Coming at things always from yet another side, yet never feeling it is enough. There is more to be done, infinitely more to partake in and enhance. The world is an open book. And it magnetically, almost hypnotically draws your attention and interest to what is needed next, to what is emergent and outstanding as life matches dreams and dreams encompass fantastic variety and vivid spectrum to lose yourself in and discover everything through, from one end of the Earth to the other.

*~*~*~*~*~*

Love and peace.

Fall 2013 Eclipse Season Reflections

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This Sunday's Full Moon in Taurus concludes the energy surrounding the very intense season of eclipses that we have just gone through since October 4. This cycle of eclipses, as with the last several (Last April/May and Last November/December), was very profound. For me, personally, this set of eclipses took on a particularly strong INTERNAL quality of transformation and change. As always, an important thing to always realize when eclipses occur is that eclipses always bring events, realizations, culminations, endings, new beginnings, and other sorts of big changes and "Aha!" moments -- in particular when they aspect our natal planets. Reviewing the charts of the past several moons, there seem to be a few main themes, with the major emphasis on Saturnine (e.g. Karmic) decisions or disappointments. Saturn in Scorpio is working our issues with commitment and the charts also suggest, to me, a deep desire to become more in tune with our true inner SOUL yearnings (a theme that seems to have taken prominence in this past year.) In this process of trying to understand our karmic work -- the real project of our lifetime -- many things from our past need to be relinquished and finding a place of surrender within ourselves seems at once tenuous and tantamount. Do we accept the responsibility and hardship of our Saturn work? Can we face the bare bones, no frills truth of what we truly dream to be, and how we may or may not be currently in line?

This eclipses have also had a strong Neptune vibe, as always lending an additional shroud of confusion to the overall picture. Saturn may have shattered our illusions about ourselves, others, or situations around us in a jarring way. Or it's required us to make realistic adjustments to our expectations or plans based off of the new insight. A tendency to avoid the situation and indulge or escape could have been very powerful -- it is so much easier to stay within the confines of our habits, our safety zone, and comfort, but Saturn seems to want to pull us away from these behaviors and remind us that if we really want to play out our higher Neptune (Do good for the world, for example) we need to pull it together, see it clearer, and do the work.

This past month has really been a time of looking more deeply into our lives, facing and healing painful issues originating deep in our ancestry, trying to understand what it is we really want, and, of course, with Saturn and the North Node in Scorpio -- learning to let go of attachments which block our growth and transformation. SURRENDER is the key word, but surrender in these circumstances is also immensely challenging. We have to have the courage to let go of parts of ourselves and things in our lives we perhaps once loved -- but even those we don't. We have to have trust that events in our lives beyond our control also serve some kind of purpose, that there is a lesson to be gleaned that may help us better understand our karmic work. Finally, we have to have faith in the decisions we make every day -- especially when choosing the path of our intuition, following what comes to us -- that stepping into unknown territories and committing to the vision is not something to be afraid of, that we will be taken care of, and end up where we're supposed to.

So much of this year has been about THE DREAM. So much of this year has also been about immense and deeply challenging internal transformation (As can be expected during the Chinese year of the Water Snake!). It's one thing simply to dream... but now we must ask ourselves, seriously, are we willing to work for it? Live it. Be it. That, to me, is the central core of this year's transformational energies. How do we shape ourselves to reflect the reality of the dream? -- And what does it really mean to walk the path as who we really are?

Without going outside, one may know the whole world!

Karmic Resonance

"One dies every minute one departs from one's true natureEvery minute is a new life to a true being." - Ni Hua Ching ... I-Ching Hexagram 12

A week of profound changes, karmic life events, and decisions that have lasting and meaningful impact on our lives and for our soul's journey. Tomorrow is a full moon in Pisces... watch for culminations in relation to the new moon in Pisces on March 11 of this year. After a summer of sowing and cultivating, we may see some clarity about where we're headed when some part of the dream becomes manifest or in some way reveals new dimensions or definition. This has truly been a summer, and year, of immense evolution and growth for many. It is the year of the Water Snake after, all. Each and every one of us is having the opportunity to shed an old skin through a process of internal revolution and is laying the foundation for a whole new cycle of work. In the swirling vortex of events, may we seek comfort by connecting to the eye of ourselves, around which everything revolves, and find it easy to shed those things within and without that only serve to complicate and obfuscate our inner direction.

"The universe never dies because it maintains eternal constancy." (Hex 12)

Find the still point, for therein lies peace, stability, and truth.

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Caught in the Current

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August has felt much like autumn. The summer continues to roll by with its themes of flexibility in crisis, sowing intentions, evolution, and new pathways emerging as old ways of being die away. These days I reflect upon all of this drinking tea, writing astrological reports, making photographs, and reading Chuang Tzu ... So I bring to you a slice of all that:

"Great knowledge is all encompassing; small knowledge is limited. Great words are inspiring; small words are chatter. When we are asleep, we are in touch with our souls. When we are awake, our senses open. We get involved with our activities and our minds are distracted. Sometimes we are hesitant, sometimes underhanded, and sometimes secretive. Little fears cause anxiety, and great fears cause panic. Our words fly off like arrows, as though we knew what was right and wrong. We cling to our own point of view as though everything depended on it. And yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away. We are caught in the current and cannot return. We are tied up in knots like an old, clogged drain; we are getting closer to death with no way to regain our youth. Joy and anger, sorrow and happiness, hope and fear, indecision and strength, humility and willfulness, enthusiasm and insolence, like music sounding from an empty reed or mushrooms rising from the warm, dark earth, continually appear before us day and night. No one knows whence they come. Don't worry about it! Let them be! How can we understand it all in one day?"

Excerpt from the "Inner Chapters" (trans. Gia Fu Feng)

On the Star Tetrahedron

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Today's very interesting and rare chart has been all the rage in the astrology world for the past month at least. The formation in this chart is referred to as a "Grand Sextile," "Star Tetrahedron," and "Diamond Tetrahedron" among other things. It shows a very exact 6 pointed star formation created by two grand trines, one in earth and one in water (the "yin" or feminine elements of the Western Zodiac), interspersed with two pretty stressful T-squares and a Yod. Though the completion of this formation as we have seen it today is somewhat fleeting, many of the influences involved are enmeshed in long term relationships that have already, and continue to show a substantial and unquestionable change in the world at large on both personal and societal levels. There are many theories about the meaning of this formation. Admittedly, even as an astrologer I approached looking at it with some measure of pragmatism. Does this "star" formation really have any special impact beyond its fleeting few hours of life? Is its message as profound and prolific as many believe?

I did not really have an answer to that question in advance of today. My feeling as I contemplated the chart this afternoon and sensed the energy of the day, was that this chart represents a pretty powerful overall metaphor for the transformative processes at work -- and perhaps a further elaboration on the long term influences involved. The influence of this event, in itself, feels rather like an illumination of new pathways that have not seemed feasible, or may not have even been visible before.

What really stands out to me about this chart, aside from the obvious visual effect, are its stressful characteristics. Mars/Mercury/Jupiter are in a T-Square with Pluto and Uranus, an extremely volatile combination on its own -- Jupiter making Mars' sensitivities in Cancer more extreme and Mercury, more biting, while the on-going Pluto-Uranus combination shows a long-term disruption of established systems. These are not influences that play well together, and without mitigating factors have the feel of very angry, explosive situations and emotions, the essential driving factor being Mars toward Pluto and Uranus -- like all efforts are constantly being thwarted and usurped by greater power, but there is no sense of giving up or yielding. The second stressful aspect of this formation includes a T-Square between the Sun, Moon and Saturn showing an inherent conflict between the soul's desire for pleasure (Moon Taurus) and the ego's desire for recognition (Sun Leo) in a relationship frustrated by the limiting effects of Saturn. The overall theme being that there are inherent obstacles for individuals whose desires are to be seen and live comfortably, but whose needs and wants are constantly being curtailed by the problems imposed by the system at large. This of course connects to the former conflict -- where profound change is taking place, we feel intensely that we are fighting for survival, and that our simple needs must be protected against the force of life's unrelenting, and often unforgiving tests. The needs of the individual are threatened by the disruptive nature of these influences and the potential for dangerous people coming into power, but simultaneously liberated by the situation, for as the established order crumbles, people find the strength to stand their ground -- in the hopes, of course, that there is ultimately going to be some sort of compromise.

Meanwhile, the Grand Sextile itself seems to provide an answer -- in fact, a whole new set of answers -- to the problem posed by the above troubles which we have come to know intimately in recent years. Practical Earth signs and Emotional Water signs suggest heart based solutions, and the matrix of the formation itself supports profound and large scale changes where we have had blocks, obstacles, and stalemates for the past several years. Here, we see Mars and Saturn softened somewhat -- in a less defensive context we see a distinct opportunity to express needs, envision our dream, and then actually begin the process of manifesting those things into lived reality. The earth trine shows that the need for transformation is both an emotional and social process. We want comfort, desire perfection, and surrender (finally!) to the necessity of structural changes in order to move forward. Motivated by the stressful impact of the earlier discussed energies, we find ourselves meeting a unique opportunity to plant seeds and intentions for the new structures we wish to create. There is a greater sense of the "big picture" and reality feels more malleable and workable than it has for some time. Perhaps the phase of crisis was, as it often is, merely a period of discerning our true values and needs. Now that we have a better sense of what we want, our carefully cultivated and protected hopes and ideals have the opportunity to take root.

The final interesting piece is the Yod between Pluto, Neptune and the Sun, emphasizing what has felt to me like a phase of profound transition. As we adjust to changes that are currently dissolving and transforming everything about our approach to life, we are doing so through a process of spiritual renewal and purging. Those things that have been destructive and deceptive on the outside are being rooted out, and the conditioning that we ourselves have created as a matter of course our whole lives is being released. All of this in a constantly evolving effort to reveal our most authentic self expression and inner light.

So -- quite interesting energies are afoot. Even though this particular formation was only up there for a few hours today, I feel the themes of this chart describe very much themes that have been at work since the start of the summer, if not longer. And I don't know about you -- but it has been one crazy adventure so far!!!

OK, just my 23 cents. It is time for rest -- Have a great week and enjoy the cosmic roller coaster ride! 

Some thoughts on Neptune

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Neptune stations to move retrograde on Friday, at the same time Venus and Mercury in Cancer form two grand trines across the water signs with Neptune in Pisces and Saturn in Scorpio. A very heart centered, emotional week all around. If for some reason you feel way more touchy and sensitive ... this is why! Neptune's Station is giving us a particularly potent dose of his energy over the course of the next 8-10 days. This confusing, dissolving, spiritualizing vibe has been a major player in the charts since his ingress into his natural sign, Pisces, last year. Though the aspect patterns in effect this week are important and very much indicative of the summer to come -- I feel inclined to focus on Neptune today because the force represented by Neptune has been so incredibly prevalent and relevant!

In recent years of observation of this transit, I have noticed Neptune vibes have several particular manifestations and characteristics. From the positive end -- Neptune can have a very creative and inspiring quality. Astrologer Kelly Lee Phipps often says that this planet represents Universal Harmony, and within that are themes of Divine or High Love. Neptune dissolves the barriers between realms and between people, reconnecting us with our innate sense of the oneness that exists beyond the tangible and material -- this is why the sign of Pisces and the planet Neptune are so closely associated with dreams, intuition, compassion, and spirituality. Neptune energy in its higher forms represents the boundlessness of our hearts and those subtler aspects of reality that are beyond description but move us deeply. When it is manifest, it comes through in highly refined forms of art, spiritual connection, healing, and empathic communication. Music is naturally associated with Neptune (as it is harmonic, vibrational, and often nonverbal!) and I personally always find playing, singing, or just listening to music very soothing during particularly Neptunian times! So this week, if you're feeling down, I highly recommend putting on your favorite music, it might surprise you how much it helps you feel better! :)

On the negative, Neptune can also be incredibly confusing and put a sort of fog or blanket over things. It is very difficult to do analytical or detail oriented work under such energies, and it can also create considerable confusion in communication. People may not thinking clearly, or what they are saying is not coming through clearly. Many people may be extra sensitive, and emotional outbursts can also create confusion, since both parties are likely to feel touchy without necessarily understanding why. Neptune also rules escapism, madness, and illusions. So discernment is not always very high, nor are boundaries. I always notice more woe-be-gone people walking the streets during Neptune phases and sometimes the "Oceanic" energy of Neptune can feel quite "Swampy." Neptune is watery and works best in the FLOW of change, but it can get stagnant if we get caught up in the inertia of irrational fears and feeling like we need to get away and hide from the world through the use of substances, excessive sleep, dogma, watching too much tv, etc. Name your method of escape and that's Neptune! Neptune can also create situations where deception, lies, etc run rampant because it is very difficult to "see." Or there is an exposure of the deception and illusions we hold within ourselves that can make us feel uncertain and confused. Grief and sadness can also be great when these energies are present. It can be personal or impersonal, as this grief can be felt like a collective hurt, or like the burdens and chains of all those who are suffering. Compassionate hearts are stirred by injustices and we can feel a call for healing, helping, or serving in some way.

People undergoing Neptune transits at any time can often feel they've lost their sense of direction. In some ways, I feel this can be said for the world at large at this time in history. But the hidden blessing of losing your sense of direction under the care of Neptune is that it allows us to ask ourselves what we couldn't when we were still bound to our routines, our stability and our normalcy -- What does our SOUL want? I mean -- REALLY want? What is the DREAM within us that drives us to be alive? What can we do to give, to serve, to help the world we live in with our own special gifts and talents?

And as everything around starts to dissolve and disappear before our eyes, realize that now is the perfect opportunity to create everything we've ever wanted.

This, I feel, is what's at the heart of these trying times. And while the energy of Neptune can be confusing and challenging, he also bestows a sense of faith in the higher, divine good and the power of our own personal destiny.

Dream big, and have a great afternoon :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAVyKDDsM3s

Outworn Beliefs

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Much has been going on this eclipse season. The first eclipse saw harsh aspects between Saturn & Mars implying some serious standoffs and major adjustments that we needed to make in our lives. The second eclipse also occurred at the same time the moon occulted (eclipsed) mercury and mars, meaning we had a triple eclipse! Revelations, insights, and new beginnings came to us on three levels -- feeling, thinking, and doing. The final eclipse occurs around midnight on May 25 with aspects reiterating my earlier post about spiritual service and revelations regarding the path to the future. These eclipses have been really powerful and seem to be profoundly karmic. We are being asked to take responsibility for ourselves, rid ourselves of outworn belief systems and structures, and change -- FAST! I see this as a major transitional period and tipping point. Just stand back and watch what unfolds. Do your best to make positive and growth oriented decisions for they will have a lasting impact on your life. Pay attention to messages you receive and the changes afoot -- and enjoy the ride!!!