north node virgo

The Astrology of November 2016 – Scorpio/Taurus Moon Cycle & Reflections on October

Hello everyone, and welcome to my analysis of the 2016 Scorpio/Taurus lunar cycle & astrological overview of themes for both October and November.

Last month in October I did not have the chance to write a full article due to hosting the Star Spirit Movement Retreat (which was awesome, by the way!!!)  But October was a super-charged month – brimming with much change and action!  The Libra/Aries lunar cycle that encompassed the New Moon on September 30 and the Full Moon on October 16 was highly social, transformative, and a powerful initiatory point for the year-long transit of Jupiter in Libra.  In October we saw the arrival of many long-awaited but nonetheless quick shifts and an abundance of social-connection oriented activity.

In the energy of October, we got a full dose of Jupiter in Libra’s influence and primary message for 2016 & 2017:  To honor our RELATIONSHIPS and CONNECTIONS as the measure of truth.

In the whirlwind of October, no matter what was happening in any interaction I was having -- positive, negative or neutral -- the message from spirit kept going back to “the relationship.”  Remember the relationship, was the whispering.  The situation doesn’t matter.  It’s about the relationship.

This came up again and again when considering the one-to-one relationships in my life -- from business partnerships, to family, to students, clients, visitors, and beyond.  It was a consistent, gentle reminder that at the central core of all that we do and all that we exchange of others (money, knowledge, love, etc) the thing that holds it together in the end is not the transaction of goods, time, or even kindness – but the quality of the bond between two people.  And in that, we each have a responsibility as individuals to recognize the value of harmonious interactions with others in our life as GREATER than momentary quibbles or grudges.  It is the RELATIONSHIPS and our efforts to harmonize with and care for one another that determine positive outcomes and govern the genuine health and happiness of daily life.

To succeed in relationship is to recognize fluctuations and work with them – knowing when a boundary might need to be set, yet in the same moment, when to back off and allow.  So often in our current cultural paradigm we are hung up on the policing and commanding of other people in our lives and we lose sight of the necessity to let things rest & reset.  Without intending it, we add fuel to the fire and get lost in a war we didn’t mean to start fighting due to our impatience and desire for instant gratification.

There are many things that can be resolved through peaceful allowing.  Every negative emotion that is directed towards us by another person is not necessarily a call to arms.  Sometimes, it is a time when we need to be still and allow the other to ventilate.  Sometimes, harsh behavior is a hidden call for attention and help, a veiled concern, a defense mechanism, an expression of isolation or frustration, etc… I feel that the energies of the times are asking us to become more sensitive to the true emotion underneath our day-to-day interactions.  What rises to the surface is only one layer of truth, and often the most superficial.  What people show first are usually responses that arise from conditioning, past experience, and expectations.  Dig deeper.  Feel what is really being said.  Respond to what lies beneath, not just what you hear with your ears.

Harmony in relationships from a Libran perspective is truly an art form.  It requires the ability to perceive and work from a nuanced space.  It is knowing that every action need not evoke a response – and that a response need not be direct to be effective. 

Consider this example:  Let’s say someone in your life approaches you in an intense way – they might even be putting you in the line of their fire whether or not you are the culprit for this upset energy.  If we respond from Libra’s opposite archetype, Aries -- the warrior energy – we might be inclined to immediately demolish this person out of impulsive anger and irritation.  If we respond from Libra’s shadow – where we feel at odds with ourselves and uncertain how to choose sides – we might even take a passive-aggressive approach – smiling on the outside while crafting a devious revenge plot on this inside.  Wearing the façade of being “cool” while internally seething.

But there is something to be gleaned from the fact that the planet that is in its exaltation in Libra – meaning a planet which has special strength in a sign – is Saturn.  Yes, Libra’s ruling planet is Venus – the planet of relationship, romance, refinement & luxury – but with the subtle connection of Saturn here, we can understand that inherent to the archetype of Libra is also a sense of wisdom, control and dignity.  Libra, in its most pure quality, teaches us how to receive, redirect, diffuse and dissolve adversity with loving kindness.

We might ask ourselves:  Why is this person upset?  Am I really the one they are upset with?  If so, what offering of peace can I make?  If not, can I remain calm enough to offer reflection?  Can I step aside and dodge the force of their attack while remaining unaltered in my own integrity of truth?  Can I suggest another perspective in a non-forceful manner, with no expectations?  Can I allow myself to relinquish the any need to control others – their reactions, behaviors, etc… and seek a peaceful solution?  And the absolute key to it all – Can I be controlled enough in myself to understand and respect the value of grace & good timing – Waiting for the right moment to act or speak.  In the meantime holding no emotion (allowing them to pass through … not encouraging their festering) or negative expectation?

Honor that honing the skills of peacekeeping in our personal lives is important right now.  The influence of discord, upheaval, and anger is strong and it is easy to allow ourselves to be triggered.  But we must always ask ourselves – is it worth it?  What is gained (and lost) through angry exchanges, emotional dramas, etc?  It’s high time we start acknowledging our desire to fall into these snake pits for what they are:  distractions from what it is we know deep down we should be doing with our mind energy – which is to be creative, evolutionary, and inclusive.  We do not need permission, or even the “on-board”ness of others to achieve this.  In fact, to the contrary – those that walk in the path of their truth will find true partners.  It need not be a fight, or a demand.  And so the irony of the Libra archetype is that in order to harmonize with others we must first recognize our individuality.  Our interdependence is one that stems from individuals in their strength operating together.  The need to “agree” is not the first step or always necessary.  If we can let go of that, we might find a greater capacity for compromise and our needs more fully met by others.  True partnership is the authentic union of two whole individuals in freedom and trust.

Anyhow – that was a pretty long reflection on the October energy, but it was a reflection that I feel is of perennial importance and will be relevant for the year as our journey with Jupiter in Libra continues to unfold.  This is a time to strengthen ourselves through CONNECTION and LOVE.

Now -- diving into the realm of the Scorpio phase, the energy of the autumnal release and drift into darkness is upon us.  What I see/feel is that this is a time to consolidate the forces that drive us, to move forward with the plans we hold dear, and let go of our grievances in the process.  We must look forward towards the health of our lives with foresight -- going beyond primal impulse urges and striving toward a deeper evolution.  We actually have a great opportunity in this moment to work positively with the subconscious, and untangle the roots of our addictive behavior patterns, no matter how they manifest.  This is the season that is celebrated in Western esoteric traditions as the time when the veils between the spirit world and the human world are the thinnest, thus this is also a time when we can receive great insight from the spiritual realms regarding our forward progress.

I write over and over in this blog about how letting go is the key to productive development at this time.  Scorpio is a sign that, at its highest level, embodies the concept of letting what is destined to be, to be.  Scorpio is empowered by the killing of the ego’s control-oriented survival urge – which is often the most difficult thing for the Scorpio aspect of ourselves to grok.  Scorpio archetype grips, and controls, and strives for power over something in order to ensure its life-force… but in this gripping and controlling, we also limit our capacity.  The Scorpio well is actually bottomless… which is frightening if we’re concerned about falling into it.  But if there is no ground to hit at the bottom, what is there to fear, really?  Must we always know everything to be secure? Can we embrace the mystery of life?  And accept the possibility that if we surrender, we may have the chance to experience life in a new way?  That a narrow tunnel is not our only destiny?

When we open to the broader vision of our life – we might later have the opportunity to understand the structure we desire to put around things.  But if we obsess over every detail of the planning, and attempt to micromanage every outcome, we may be undermining the greatness that is trying to come towards us!  This is the time of visioning and building… but it is a process that ebbs and flows.  It does not arrive all at once.  There are steps, detours, and rest stops.

What we are doing this month of November is assimilating meaning and applying the knowledge that we have gained to the situation.  The dynamics of control vs. no control underlie our present perspective and subconsciously direct us if we are not careful.  I am feeling it is important to remember that the master is within us – and to consciously seek the higher wisdom that is available to us.  If we open ourselves to hear, we are in a position to create deep and lasting change – and develop a more personal relationship with the nature of spirit and our true self.

We live in a time of restructuring and repatterning.  This is very much visible in the chaos of the outer world – but the true work of repatterning begins with us as individuals.  During this time we vacillate between feeling like “we got this” and feeling like everything is completely out of our hands -- and many people, in my observation, are subconsciously leaning towards the latter.  A hidden quality of Scorpio is highlighted by its opposite sign, Taurus – and that is a deeply felt need for security and reassurance.  Taurus finds these things through the physical world (am I fed?  Do I have shelter?  Do I have enough money?  Am I comfortable?) – but for a Scorpio this must be found through trust in self on a primal, pure instinctual level.  What I am sensing is that the consciousness of people has not fully embraced that a repatterning/restructuring is possible.  There is a great deal of uncertainty and hesitation, though the desire for change has been well established.  What I feel is that November is an opportunity to go full on into divine trust and see what we are made of.

The sense of "security" that is found within the Scorpio archetype is the unflinching knowledge that no matter where we are and what is happening, we are, at our deepest core, unshakeable and undamageable.  In order to arrive at this space we must be willing to unhinge ourselves from the many subtle grips of fear and sink into a deep trust and knowing that all is well and all will work out as it should.  We can have control of ourselves and our lives without needing to BE IN CONTROL.  There is a subtle but important distinction between the two.  The dance of November will be finding that delicate balancing point between determining where change and structure is needed while still remaining free.   Know where you are, and respect the sovereignty of the dynamic wheel of fortune that surrounds each of us in collective and individual ways.  Do what is necessary, and also heed the greater governing intelligence of mystery.  This energy is about anchoring INWARD in order to direct & manage (not control or try to drive) the outward.

The Full Moon in Taurus is to occur at 22 Taurus, the degree of the master builder.  The energy of this moon has an unrelenting and somewhat confrontational feel.  Alliances have strong relevance and will speak a great deal into the processes underway at this time.  Heed the input of October’s flow and maintain dignity, composure, and acumen.  This is the time to APPLY all the philosophy, compassion, and beliefs that are passed around and spoken about, in a steadfast, even, and determined manner.

I can’t seem to emphasize enough that it is all going to come back to our personal integrity and self development.  What I feel very strongly from this particular cycle through Scorpio is that we must empower ourselves through self discipline when it comes to how we respond to the world around us – recognizing the subtle differences between emotions rising up from hidden doubts or conditioned expectations – and those that are truly “straight from the gut.”  This is a time to really work on crystal clarity in alignment between mind & spirit, because when we are in integrity here, our consciousness has much more power of focus to create the substantive shifts that we are making at this time.  So, if nothing else, it is a good time to get to know your psychological distraction patterns really well and aspire towards greater clarity of thought and action.  Really explore the possibilities of the inner will…  With it, you might find yourself able to move previously immovable mountains.  This is the true power of our integrity, as it is integrity alone that can cause true transformation.

We are in for a very interesting time this coming month, and I am curious to see how it all plays out in the worlds inner and outer, and look forward to the opportunity to go in and go deep.

Much love.

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Astrology of August 2016 - Becoming Real

Hello again my friends, and welcome to August’s monthly forecast!  In this article I will be discussing the astrology for August based off of the charts cast for this month’s new moon August 2nd at 4:45PM EDT and full moon eclipse on August 18th at 5:26AM EDT.  Yes, you heard right, the sun is coming back to meet the nodes of fate, which means this month begins another eclipse season!  It will be a long cycle of eclipses, too, as there are three eclipses occurring from August to September, rather than the usual pair.

For simplicity’s sake, I will be discussing only August’s astrology in this particular article and will go into greater depth about the subsequent eclipses in another article.  However, I do go into detail about the overarching influence of the nodes at this time, which does apply to the eclipse season as a whole.

Last month I wrote a great deal about the indications within the chart that we were officially making the transition from established status quo territory into the reality that we’ve been working to build – for ourselves personally as well as for our community.  The energies of July were so powerfully aligned with the long-standing Uranus-Pluto square that there was a very profound sense of “now is the time.”  The most distinct image I had received during the creation of that article was one specifically of racial and religious harmony and integration.

I am sure that it goes without saying that July was a powerful month in so many unexpected ways.  A rash of violent events struck the consciousness of Americans to our core and there has been a sense that we can no longer remain numb to that which has divided us and caused undue harm to innocents for so many years.  These events sparked a great deal of widespread introspection about why it is our American culture has supported such behaviors for so long, and how we must go about changing this unfortunate situation.  I was surprised, myself, at how apt the article I wrote about the month ended up being – the prevailing message was, of course, How do we undo the webs of conditioning and so-called tradition that keep us bound?  How do we really allow ourselves to push the boat from the shore and fully commit to the mysterious, unformed vision of reality that so many of us have been striving to develop?

My feeling at the beginning of last month was that this commitment comes from simply realizing that we are ALREADY past the point of no return.  If we were to turn back, there would be nothing to go back to.  All has changed.  We are in the active process of CHANGING.  So the truth is, we have no other choice but to see this journey through, as a people, together.  It is our individual participation and our willingness to step into a space of service that will determine the ultimate outcome of these changeful times.

I am feeling the need to recap this because we are entering into an eclipse cycle where the Sun will be crossing the North Node – illuminating the way to get where we are going.  Back in March we had an eclipse series in Pisces, passing over the South Node of our default mode, habits and addictions, which over the past six months has made the problems within the collective consciousness increasingly apparent.  Since last fall, the nodes have been traveling through the axis of service & compassion – with the North Node in Virgo and the South Node in Pisces – arousing the collective fears & anguish, as well as our desire for simplicity and an unperturbed daily life.

The function of the nodes is always a polarity to be worked out – a reckoning of the soul.  The North Node indicates the area where we refine and channel the situation of the South Node.  The South Node position usually operates like a stuck, over-exaggerated version of the sign of its placement’s shadow until it is able to be harnessed and utilized effectively through the channel of the North Node.  In the case of Virgo/Pisces, we are looking for practical, real world solutions to problems that are massively confusing, complex, and are so because they are emotionally based.  Pisces’ shadow side is one of delusions, illusions, religious/emotional fervor, addiction – particularly to any substance or idea that brings about an ‘altered state,’ a tendency to see things how one wants to see them without discernment, and guilt/martyrdom/victimhood patterns.  Under the vibes of the Pisces South Node we are dealing with a storm of emotionality with no real grounding.  This is one of the reasons, astrologically speaking, that we have been finding 2016 to be so chaotic.  To spite an ever-growing consciousness of spiritual awareness – there also seems to be an ever-growing reality of unrest, violence, and bigotry.  How could this be possible?

Recently, I received a blog post update from one of my mentors that stated, “Earth is holding more light frequency now than it ever has. Are you finding that hard to believe?”  And as I am writing about this, I am seeing that paradox at work in the charts.  Yes, there is more light – but what happens when light is shone in a dark place?  We suddenly become aware of all that is falling apart and rotting away.  While this discovery is usually horrifying (THAT’S what has been living in my basement all these years?) we also have the opportunity to cleanse, purify and restore (Virgo’s specialty) now that these things have come to our awareness.  And – as painful, as disturbing, as upsetting as it is – this is our process at the moment -- to CLEAN UP and PURIFY our consciousness and perception of life.  These shadows we now see in flying colors are not new.  They have been there for quite some time – and their appearance in this moment is not a sign of our descent into chaos, rather it is our impetus to keep deepening our work.  Virgo’s urging is for us to awaken to our service in life, and to utilize all of our tools to assist each other in the process of creating the new framework.  Virgos are expert renovators.  I have watched Virgos transform structures that are dilapidated and falling apart into beautiful dream spaces time and time again.  A project that seems utterly hopeless (Pisces shadow) to most people, is just something that is waiting for Virgo’s fastidious attention and care.

So as we enter into August & September, and eclipse season, it would behoove us all to remember that in the midst of trying circumstances – now is a time when we have the great opportunity to create real reform.  But I must stress that it starts with the INDIVIDUAL first – why?  Because it needs to be REAL (Virgo Earth).  So whatever it is you are dreaming on, whatever it is you see that’s wrong with the bigger picture, wherever it is you would like to go and give in life – how can you do your OWN work to heal?  How can you really EMBODY your ideals deeply and authentically?  This is how we can utilize Virgo North Node’s practical nature to channel the positive energy of Pisces – which is the deep and unconditional love for all things and our connection to the universal.  The ideals we carry need to PASS THROUGH the process of embodiment in order to be effective.  Otherwise they’re just ideals.  But if we have embodied the ideals?  If we’ve made them real for ourselves?  Well THEN we can effect change!  The difference is that it’s not just a thought anymore, now it is a vibration that we carry in our being, something that has passed through the alchemical fire, stood the test of time, and now can be transmitted to other people through our actions.

Of course, I know in some ways it sounds like the same old trope, “Oh yeah, be kind to others, golden rule, yeah yeah yeah…”  But understand that what I am professing and where the energy is gearing us towards is well beyond that.  How can we be EFFECTIVE and create RESULTS in our reality?  What is our ROLE?  How do we help?  Until we have very seriously grappled with these kinds of questions and been able to create shifts in our own consciousness and reality reflection, no effective change can come to pass on a large scale.  It will be fleeting and temporal, as it often is.  It will be emotional and momentary, as it often is.  Think bigger.  Think not just in actions/non actions, language and emotions (how should I feel, how should they feel, what should I do? Etc.) – think how do I channel the vibration of a certain kind of CONSCIOUSNESS?  And then notice how when you broaden the question the “What to do” starts to answer itself.

In my weekly Qigong class I was speaking to the students about the distinctions between different martial arts and our own specific practice, which is, at its heart, a Taoist alchemy practice.  What came to me as I was speaking on this was that the Qigong (energy work) is naturally understood as the alchemy – but it is not in itself the alchemy.  The true alchemy is in the self knowledge acquired through practice.  It is the integration that occurs when we move and look inward.  It is the understanding of how to access and then utilize the essence of the true mind, and live from there, shedding the layers of the thinking/egoic mind or shadow self.  The shedding of the layers is and is not conscious – actually, it is more just a natural result of the increased embodiment of self.  And by self, I mean of our natural, pure, unblemished spirit.  The energy work – the alchemy if you will – is to create the fire of purification within the self to transmute all of the internal resistance to this authentic experience.  In Tao this is referred to as “becoming real.”

It is a fact of our world that society is deeply out of sync with nature.  The structure of our society does not remember our connection with nature and each other and is instead caught in a web of public perception and ideology.  If we are not aware, we can also become engulfed by the waves of the prevailing consciousness, and in the midst of it all, completely forget ourselves and our true purpose in life.  For a long time, the vast majority of people simply went with the current.  In this moment, we are understanding that perhaps this mentality has gone too far, that we must strive to regain our sovereignty as individuals and use our power to direct the flow of consciousness by awakening the inner self.  Each and every day we must awaken the formless self, and carry our own current.  In the process, we help others – through direct service and even without words.  Nothing changes until we grasp this.  Nothing changes until we see with clear eyes, and can awaken in others the ability to do the same.  This is the alchemy that sheds the coat of conditioning.

So in looking to August & September’s astrology, understand that we are working with the archetypes of Leo & Aquarius in August, and then Virgo & Pisces in September, which will greatly intensify the energy and paradox that I have been speaking about. 

For this month, the energy directs us to become clear in who we are and what we want to achieve through this process.  Leo is the energy of the heart and inner illumination – the unflinching, unfiltered glow of the sun that never leaves no matter what clouds might obscure it for a time.  For August 2nd’s new moon – we are being compelled to activate the heart.  To find that illuminating nature deep within ourselves – and to utilize the light of Leo to see clearly the dark spaces.  What clouds obscure our true light?  What subconscious programs keep us from being a force of creative evolution?  How do we subvert our own power or perhaps misuse it?  What is the example that we set?  How can we SHINE in our example?

This is a fantastic new moon to set intentions around overcoming blocks related to creativity, effectiveness, and inspiration by example – as well as meditating upon and clarifying our understanding of what, precisely, we WANT.  Define it.  Intend it.  And set the process of creation in motion – because this is a month when we will be especially inspired to do so.

The full moon eclipse in Aquarius helps us identify our role in the community and our needs in relationship to community -- who WE are (Leo/1st House in USA Chart) and our awareness of the others in the big picture (Aquarius/7th House).  There will be a great deal of focus during this eclipse around understanding and implementing personal values and cultivating self worth with integrity.  I see an emphasis here around the idea of nourishment – how do we care for the collective in a personal, heart centered way?

The month of August will continue to bring up many of the challenges that are surfacing – especially around how we relate.  There is a pretty strong ping-ponging of energies that tends toward the easily offended/overly sensitive and on the other side unnecessarily picky and critical.  Try to stay with the big picture because this can be a very productive time, to spite the disagreements and constant emotional negotiation.  Unity comes through mutual agreement to overcome differences for a common purpose.  Start to define that purpose in clearer terms now – first with yourself, and then with those close to you – and then further out into the community.

Remember the common purpose – the essence.  It is your essence, and the essence of all humanity.  In the space of essence there is tolerance, cooperation, and peace.