Fixing the Spirit

Don’t turn away your head. Keep looking at the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.’1

medical astro

There is a curious medical condition that manifests as the loss of sensation in the skin: the nerves of the skin are unreceptive to stimuli. Interestingly, this results in a condition that we tend, in our mental, emotional and bodily lives, to strive towards: painlessness. We often consider comfort and painlessness to be the markers of wellbeing. They could well be the markers of closure, stagnation and imminent danger. The child suffering from loss of sensation in the skin is in danger of serious physical damage; the warnings, experienced as pain, are not registered, so the child can get into threatening situations very readily. Pain is not the problem in our lives; suffering is not the problem. The problem is the disconnection between sensations and awareness that results in unconsciousness.

Pain is the signal that something is going on that is threatening our wellbeing. We often mistake the signal for the threat, and our approach to sickness arising at any level of our beings (thinking that the symptom is the source of the problem) is tantamount to shooting the messenger. Suffering at any level requires us to question what is manifesting, what is going on with us. It is a natural, knee-jerk reaction that sends us into fear or wilful impatience when we experience pain. If only we could override fear and hostility and get interested in the process that is trying to work out through our beings. Pain, suffering or the symptom are not the problem, but the guides that will illuminate our healing paths. They are the signals that something is ready for healing, and if we work with them with rigorous honesty they will direct us on a journey towards greater authenticity and wholeness.

It is the way of mainstream medicine in the West to see disease as the enemy. We talk about being the victims and sufferers of illness. Illness is something that invades us from the outside and disrupts our heretofore healthy lives. Medicine accepts that our mental-emotional states make us more or less susceptible to the agents of illness, but it does not accept that illness arises within us as a direct expression of those mental-emotional states. When our bodies become ill, our spirits need fixing.

aquarius

* * * * * * *

A rudimentary image for expressing the purpose of human life is that of the transmitter/receiver. Occupying our space between heaven and earth we receive star energies from heaven and transmit them into the planetary body; we receive earth energy from below and transmit it out towards the stars. We are agents of the interaction between the above and the below. All energy is consciousness; it is information. At its most dense level the energy of consciousness coheres into manifest physical expression: the physical plane. Just because the energy is dense and physical does not mean that it has ceased to be consciousness, simply that it is vibrating at a lower (and lower is not lesser) level. Consciousness operates at different vibratory rates. Consciousness can have a very high vibration, which makes it refined and extremely subtle; or it can have a low vibration, which results in coarseness and density. The physical plane is where consciousness is so dense that it manifests in form. ‘Consciousness,’ as Dethlefsen and Dahlke remark, ‘is to the body as a radio programme is to the receiver.’2 The experience we get to have on Planet Earth is one of manifesting idea, thought and emotion in the world of form. The invisible realms of consciousness are translated into visibility at the level of the physical plane. The visible mediates the invisible (form mediates idea). When something arises in the body it will have its correspondences, or counterparts, in thought and emotion. A block in the flow of energy (i.e. information/consciousness) at a higher level will manifest in the body. The body is the agent through which the unknown (or disregarded) is made known to us. This is a magical process by which the invisible becomes visible. To seek to eliminate symptoms without hearing their messages is the desire to remain in ignorance, to close our eyes to what is manifesting.

Why do we do this? There are two layers of explanation. One is personal, the other cultural. The personal layer of explanation is that disease (at whatever level) challenges us to change and makes us fearful. Physical challenges are the manifestation of challenges that are occurring in consciousness, because, as we have established, consciousness is continuous with the body. The challenge arises because our energy is not flowing; it is getting stuck and stagnant. The flow of energy information has to be reinstated if we are to keep on doing our human job of transforming energy between heaven and earth. Reinstating the flow will also move us towards greater wholeness and authenticity. Fear and habit are the enemies of change and we cannot over-estimate what a tight grip they have on us. Astrologically they are represented by Saturn and the Moon, which together construct the conditioning and limitation of consciousness that we are seeking to develop beyond. Any development involves us in challenging our fears and habits, and refusing their conditioning. This experience is difficult and painful; the more we resist it the more difficult and painful it can become. When we are confronting illness in our own beings or in the beings of people close to us we really feel fear and habit kicking in. They make us want to give up responsibility, to put ourselves in the hands of experts, to turn our heads away from our wounds. This is entirely natural, but ultimately this is where the challenge lies: in assuming responsibility and looking at our woundedness.

In this approach to illness people often feel that assuming responsibility means saying ‘I have made myself ill’, the inference being that in some way one has failed. This is not the assumption of responsibility but the futile placing of blame. It leads people into judgement of self and others, which only deepens the sense of shame and separation that often accompanies illness. Illness is a necessary component of health and a totally valid experience for consciousness. There is no judgement of illness or of people experiencing illness. Assuming responsibility means accepting that our experiences belong in particular and unique ways to us; we call ourselves into being and our stories come into our bodies. Caroline Myss, in Anatomy of the Spirit, makes the point that biography is biology. Illness merely indicates that there is work to do, a spirit that needs fixing, a story that is creating a distortion. While we may use the wonderful help that mainstream medicine and natural healing methods can give us, if we wish to find healing we have ultimately to rely upon the process of coming to consciousness for ourselves. Fear and habit catch us in a pattern of resisting in some way the ‘tao’ of life, the way it is. Resisting the tao creates the blockage that will eventually, if ignored, manifest in the body. Here, fear and habit involve us in ignoring or suppressing and further resisting the message of life; so it is that we close to life and give even greater potency to our fear. The possibility that we have through illness is of re-establishing an honest and open relation to life and the tao of our beings by hearing the message and opening to its teaching. This is what is meant by assuming responsibility.

The second layer of explanation of why we ignore what is manifesting in us pertains to our cultural experience. Culturally, we have tended to denigrate the physical realm of experience. Religious attitudes have regarded the physical realm as the place of sin and separation from God. We have polarised spirit and matter, idealising one and demonising the other. The sacred is immaterial; the material is profane. In these deep-seated attitudes we neglect the value of the physical level’s role in the development of consciousness; we forget that sensation (at the physical level) is continuous with awareness (at the spiritual level). It seems absurd to the point of tragedy that we incarnate on Earth, where the principle of experience is manifestation on the physical plane, and then seek to identify only with the ideal and immaterial. When we reject the physical or resist engaging with it, we miss the point and the opportunity to learn the amazing lesson of life on Planet Earth: consciousness is manifesting here; god/dess is here made flesh.

In a real sense this denigration of the physical realm and its artificial severance from the higher realms of being constitutes our sickness. We have polarised heaven and earth; we have severed our heads from our bodies, and our bodies from our souls. These polarities are false. Heaven participates in Earth, they do not exist without each other. Likewise, sickness and health do not exist without each other: they are in a dynamic, continuous relation of interchange. Our minds are distributed throughout our bodies; soul quickens and gains experience through the body. As human beings we stand between Heaven and Earth transmitting and transforming energies between them. Our healing, as individuals and as cultures, will rely upon our ability to reintegrate spirit and matter in our understanding. There is a work of invoking our forgotten connections to be done.

This work will involve us in patient listening as we cultivate a relationship with our bodies and with the body of the Earth, the planetary consciousness. We need to develop intuitional understanding of the physical plane. In her book The Subtle Self, Judith Blackstone makes the simple point that sensation never arises in the body without counterparts in thought and emotion. Wherever there is sensation there is an accompanying thought and emotion. Where there is an emotion there is also a thought and a sensation in the body. It is through interrogating the emotional and thought content of our physical sensations that we will be able to begin to develop a dialogue with the physical realm and to infuse physical experience with consciousness and intelligence:

Polarities are actually contractions of continuums. For example, the body-mind dichotomy is a contraction of the underlying body-mind continuum, or spectrum. We experience the mind as separate from the body because we have defensively withdrawn our consciousness from our body. As we release our defences, we realise that there is nowhere we can definitively draw the line between physical and mental experience. Because polarity is conflict and contraction, resolution is experienced as expansion. In this example of the body-mind dichotomy, both our physical and mental experience become richer as the dichotomy is resolved.3

dartmoor spring

The great usefulness of the physical plane is that it is totally undeceptive. We can be very unrealistic about how things are in the invisible realms of being. We can lie, cheat and steal at the levels of thought and emotion without it even occurring to us that we are handling things falsely. The body, however, does not lie. It tells us (and others) what we are longing and needing to be made known. The body expresses our truths with total honesty and unerring appropriateness. Therefore, it can teach the spirit truthfulness and self-acceptance in such a way as to reconnect us with a wider sense of meaning through making our suffering conscious and understandable. From the point of conscious suffering real progress in development can be made.

Astrology, as a system of knowledge and a mode of understanding, has the capacity to describe the interchange of consciousness that is occurring between Heaven and Earth via humanity. It suggests that each of us participates uniquely in this interchange, as we are all designed to channel different aspects of the energetic exchange. The birth chart represents the energy matrix with which the individual is impressed. This matrix conditions the quality of consciousness and predisposes us to certain experiences in form life (at the level of physical manifestation in the world of bodies and events), depending on our rate of vibration. Astrology offers us a frame of reference through which to interpret and understand the world of form as we experience it, thereby regaining meaningfulness and the faith bestowed by having a context for making sense of life. Such a context can be redemptive – and there is a real need to redeem the massive cost of our unconscious suffering. We need to find the gods in our flesh and in the rubble of our personal, cultural and political experiences. We need to re-member our connections to Heaven and Earth and to each other, and recover the deep significance of our lives: ‘Our existence is deeper and vaster than both our suffering and our memory of suffering.’4

Illness is always the expression of a desire to reconnect to meaning, wholeness and authenticity, and the possibility of any illness is nothing less than initiation. If consciousness is to become more inclusive, then life requires that we locate the stagnant areas within our energetic beings, where energy is not flowing fully; it asks that we restore the flow of information or awareness to these areas. Life requires we draw ourselves into alignment with it, rather than insisting that it gets into line with how we think it should be. Life includes everything; it rejects or excludes nothing. As our undertaking is the development of consciousness, nothing (however unpleasant, frightening or painful) can be excluded or rejected. What is the point of accepting this, but not that; of liking this aspect of experience and disliking that? All forms of challenge are grist to the mill of consciousness and can be engaged with as such. Life requires nothing less than everything.

Lowering his voice to almost a whisper, he said that if I really felt that my spirit was distorted I should simply fix it – purge it, make it perfect – because there was no other task in our entire lives more worthwhile. Not to fix the spirit was to seek death, and that was the same as to seek nothing, since death was going to overtake us regardless of anything.

He paused for a long time and then he said with a tone of profound conviction, ‘To seek the perfection of the warrior’s spirit is the only task worthy of our manhood.’5

Kate Hubert

Awen Astrology

kate@spiral7.co.uk

1 Rumi, ‘Childhood Friends’ in Lion of the Heart (tr. Coleman Barks; London: Arkana, 1998), p. 39.

2 Thorwald Dethlefsen & Rüdiger Dahlke, The Healing Power of Illness (1983; Shaftesbury: Element, 1990), p. 6.

3 Judith Blackstone, The Subtle Self (Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1991), p. 72.

4 Ibid. p. 64.

5 Carlos Castaneda, Journey to Ixtlan (1972; Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974), p. 124.

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Chiron into Aries

chiron-2

Chiron, wounded healer, leader of centaurs, is moving into Aries today, breaking over the celestial horizon and entering the very first degree of the zodiac. It was last here in 1968, except then of course it was undiscovered (discovery came in 1977). Chiron was the teacher and mentor to the solar heroes: it was one of Hercules’ deadly poisoned arrows that wounded Chiron’s thigh in an accident, leaving him unable to recover and yet unable, being the son of Saturn, to die. He has to learn to live with the wound.

From celtic legend we inherit the Fisher King, charged with keeping the Holy Grail, who has also been wounded in the thigh, too sick to live and to sick to die. He is forever growing weaker and is unable to father a child to whom to pass on the duty of keeping the Grail; as he weakens his realm becomes increasingly arid, until it is a wasteland. His palace, full of riches, can no longer even be found.

The pain signified by Chiron in the birth chart is often intense and difficult. The house and sign occupied will be a place where the native cannot recover from wounding and yet neither can they die to, or give up on, this aspect of life. Instead they have to learn to be with pain and difficulty, which will bring them back time and again to the unavoidable wound. This process cultivates awareness of the area of life concerned, allowing creativity, wisdom and compassion to arise. In Kahlil Gibran’s words, ‘Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. … It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.’

Our preoccupation with our own wounds is, however, boring and limiting. We have to learn to look after ourselves without dwelling in pain. Pain is, in a sense, information coming in an uncompromising, dense and intense form. We can learn from it; it helps to bring our feeling lives to life; it is what has evaded the anaesthetic of our ways of being. To this extent it is a useful guide. And Chiron, as wound and as teacher, guides us towards what we need to give back to life, community, companions. The wisdom and compassion which are the potential gifts of Chiron emerge when we take our focus off ourselves, stop endlessly licking our wounds and start giving back.

The particular wisdom Chiron brings, arising out of difficulty, is the key to the contribution our souls are longing to make to life. Suzanne Rough (www.dkfoundation.co.uk) describes Chiron as ‘spokesman for the soul’s intention regarding the process of incarnation’. The world is hungry for the deep awareness and compassion that the wounded healer bestows.

Chiron’s orbit, between Saturn and Uranus, is the ‘rainbow bridge’ between the planets of our separated personality consciousness and the outer planets that call to our connected, timeless soul existences. Chiron weaves together the experiences of our limited, amnesiac personalities and the limitlessness of soul, drawing us ever back to our soul’s intention, which will ultimately serve evolution (evolution being, in the words of Castaneda’s Don Juan Matus, the ‘product of intending at a very profound level’). Intention is an activity of the will. It requires determination.

Chiron’s entry into Aries, beginning a new cycle, is an emergence after a long journey below the horizon. Its energy is brought now forcibly into the outward world of activity and expression. Here in Aries Chiron asks us to become effective, to galavanise our wills and actively to serve the will of life. There is an urgent imperative to resist being defeated by a sense of our own weakness; we need to show up and get on with it.

Kate Hubert

Awen Astrology

kate@spiral7.co.uk

a new cycle of Soulwork begins

soulwork

I’m really interested in feeling into the energy of the planetary archetypes as we experience them in our lives and in our bodies.  Astrology is a brilliant tool for investigating all aspects of our experience – and to do that through attuning to the distinctive energies of the planets in meditation (rather than generating lots of ideas about them) can be powerful.

soulwork themes

These are stand-alone workshops.  You can sign up for all of them for £120 – payment can be made in instalments – or pick and choose.  Book in advance – limited space.

New Light

Spring Equinox, 20th March 2018, 16:17

lisamichaels

(Image: Lisa Michaels)

The equinoxes and solstices are gateway moments. Unfolding their resonance describes the spirit of the time, like a passage of music, that will continue over the next quarter of the year until the next astronomical gateway is reached. That is why they are worth thinking about. They reward our attention.

Mars, ruler of the Spring Equinox, takes its heat and fervour into Capricorn on 17th March, just prior to the equinox, under cover of the darkness of a New Moon. Governance, authority, status: these Capricorn matters have been in the spotlight for a good while already as Pluto moves through that sign, piling high its revelations of power abuse in the work place and public life. Pressure to remake social structures along more responsible and egalitarian lines is intense and will only become more so as Mars pursues its two-month route-march through Capricorn. It conjuncts Saturn at the beginning of April and Pluto at the end, a marker of the closing cycle (begun in 1982) of Saturn and Pluto, and foreshadowing their new meeting in 2020.

The Sun’s entry into Aries (marking the equinox) on 20th March is the moment of daybreak in our northern year. The time of preparation is over; the forces of light and warmth now swell and burst the buds as activity begins to outweigh rest. Whatever we have been fomenting in the darkness of winter – represented in part by the current condition of Mars – can and will now take form in the light.

Chiron is in conjunction with the newborn Aries Sun (in the last degree of Pisces, crossing the threshold into Aries on 17th April). The leader of the centaurs and mentor to heroes, Chiron has been in Pisces since May 2010 and this notable emergence, illuminated by the equinox Sun, gives depth and seriousness to the Aries impulse to be, to do and to become effective. Jem Neal describes Chiron in Aries as expressing the ‘pain of selfishness’ and its powerful presence asks us to find a mature and connected expression of selfhood, one that heals the rift between what the singular ‘I’ wants and what the whole requires. Separative personality consciousness is a massive source of suffering, for which healing arises from consciousness of our deep connectedness with all of life and with our own soul forces.

Mars will be expressing this very dilemma as it conjuncts Saturn (the tyranny of separative consciousness) and trines Uranus (the perspective of the self ensouled). Indeed Mars will be coming to our attention really strongly, not only as the ruler of the equinox and of Aries, but because of the aspects it holds at this gateway moment. It is squaring the SunChiron conjunction, impressing our conscious understanding with its desire for effective action. Such energy is valuable, but we have to know what we are about.

Energy without purpose is random activity. When sustained intent is the basis for activity our lives can be truly vital, authentic and purposeful. Activity that arises out of an awareness of interconnectedness can also be inspired (as is the case for Chiron, coming out of a long journey through the waters of Pisces). Individual expression is the flame that leaps from the collective fire: luminous, illuminating and full of life and heat.

Mars brings a mood of conflict and aggravation to Jupiter’s work (sextiling Pluto from Scorpio) of expediting the current seismic undoing of structures of power and privilege that is going on in the ailing public body. The certainties of how privilege empowers some and excludes others has been experienced forever by those who fall outside its radiant glow; now some of that can be seen from within the circle of light too. Let’s hope we don’t drown in the sea of #butimagoodguy; such responses are failing to appreciate that these problems are historical and systemic, not personal – even where their impacts are profoundly personal.

It is for us now to know what we are seeking to do and to become. If we don’t know what we’re about and are not actively holding intent, nothing can or will come of the opportunities that time brings us. If we don’t get behind our intent, our statements and actions, nothing and nobody else can.

Kate Hubert

Awen Astrology

kate@spiral7.co.uk

Capricorn Kaput? Re-dreaming authority

arianrhodWhen the Grandmothers from the four directions come to speak, a new time is coming.”

It is amazing to my ears to hear discussions of patriarchy being aired in mainstream culture: for so many years these were confined to ‘radical feminism’! The generalised denigration and abuse of women was just the way it was. And then Jupiter went into Scorpio and Weinstein came tumbling down. Scorpio’s ruler, Pluto (dispositing Jupiter in Scorpio), has been travelling through Capricorn since 2008 and is at the bottom of this unravelling of the fabric of power and of a certain register of Capricorn that is right at the forefront of our collective mind at the moment: authoritarian, patriarchal, status-seeking, exploitative and ruthlessly materialistic.

Pluto’s journey through Capricorn is taking a demolition ball to defunct expressions of the sign’s energy. And as Capricorn rules the structures, traditions, conventions and systems of authority and governance that bring order at the physical, social and political levels of our lives (e.g. public life, the ‘apparent world’) Pluto’s work is literally making headlines as it dismantles obsolete expressions of Capricorn. Plutonic energy expels toxicity from any system, and so it is currently exposing abuses of power and status, and all the associated rottenness of that.

But of course, there are many registers to our experience, and they express a variety of ways in which we may potentially receive and understand experience. We need now to be alert to a different register of Capricorn, one stripped of its patriarchal overlay. There’s an urgent need to re-dream Capricorn. The sign belongs to the Earth element, always associated with ‘feminine’ energy (downward moving, grounded and receptive). Earth is definitively about nourishment, support and sustainability. Pluto’s exposure of Capricorn’s shadow simultaneously unveils its more life-affirming underlying archetype, which is that all life depends on relationship with Gaia, planet Earth. While our connection to the planetary body in general and to place or land in particular may seem remote to many it is, as it always was, fundamental to survival. Our understanding of this connection now stands in need of renovation – it needs to become conscious, lived and felt. Or, more simply, honoured.

Right now Capricorn’s ruler, Saturn (turbo-charged in its own sign) is, like Pluto, travelling through Capricorn, moving inexorably towards 2020 when they will meet. It is 500 years since they last met here and this time signifies the powerful seeding of a massive new cycle of growth. There will be three major planetary conjunctions in 2020, two of them in Capricorn (Saturn–Pluto and Jupiter–Pluto). We are now living through the falling away of old cycles, a hiatus before the beginning of the new; this is a powerful time for establishing a new resonance with which to work and focus intent. And during 2018, as Jupiter sextiles Pluto from Scorpio, there is great assistance to do just that (as expressed, for example, by the #metoo movement) and to alter the register of our experience; but we have to do the work of re-dreaming Capricorn.

Pluto is creating space for a more authentic order of authority to be established, and it is this resonance of Capricorn that we need to identify now. The energy of Capricorn, being earthy and retracted, belongs to the land. The indigenous traditions of our island home in Britain have been harshly and systematically interrupted, but the wisdom (or dream) they grew out of still exists within the land and within our bones; it may not be in our habit to relate to it, but this wisdom is accessible through ritual and meditative connection. Capricorn has become identified with the ‘power over’ model of human relations and with the very force of authority that seeks to interrupt indigenous authority/wisdom/connection and this is what is falling away now as the glamours of ‘power over’ and of human separation from the body of the Earth begin to dissipate under Pluto’s spell.

Some astrologers in North America engaged in finding a new resonance for Capricorn are calling it the Circle of Grandmothers, referring to a Native American prophecy, “When the Grandmothers from the four directions come to speak, a new time is coming.” The Circle of Grandmothers ‘are the teachers looking back at the previous seven generations, gleaning knowledge about what has worked and what hasn’t, informing them as to what is needed in the present to sustain the next seven generations’ (Holly Alexander). Old age and its wisdom are under the rulership of Capricorn, and the authoritative place of wise elder women in first-nation cultures suggests a corrective to our youth-loving, male-dominated authority structures. There is a desperate need for a reinstatement of eldership in our communities.

In British mythology an archetype associated with the authority of cosmic order is the goddess Arianrhod, one of the great mothers named in the Mabinogian, where her story is one of being tricked into giving her power to her son by stealth. The Mabinogian stories are renditions of ancient myths recorded in patriarchal times, narrating the very passing of feminine power to masculine agency. Silver-circled Arianrhod is a celestial goddess whose cloak of stars is the celestial sphere, turning and turning around her as she, like an axis, holds heaven and earth in right relationship. Her heavenly spiralling energy is found at the core of all forms, evident in bone, seashell, DNA. She is both very distant and inmost: most remote and most intimately known, as confirmed by the Law of Correspondence. This axial feminine archetype brings us a sense of connection, an order of being, that exists between starry lives and our own embodied human existence. She holds together distant star and the shape of the human hand painted on the rocky wall of a cave, and declares their necessary relationship, even their interdependence.

As a great mother of the starry heavens connecting the most distant with the inmost, Arianrhod resolves the polarity of Capricorn and Cancer. Arianrhod’s dark and holding night surrounds us with powerful, fruitful gentleness, in a place of umbilical connection and safety. Nourishment by the mother in Cancer and empowerment by the father in Capricorn are not in reality separate experiences but part of an archetypal human wholeness. Both communicate that we are securely and lovingly held, in inner and outer life. There is no need for fear. Indeed, fear belongs to the misapprehension that we are alone, disconnected, separate. The womb-like wintry darkness of Capricorn can be hard for the personality to handle. Not knowing, not seeing the way, no growth being evident are troublesome for us when we are disconnected and out of touch with support; but when we connect with trust to all that holds us, the mystery of the dark is beautiful and richly nourishing, the seeding space deeply valuable. And this is where we are right now.

In this darkness we can either freak out or seek connection with that axial power that holds the worlds together! This power holds us in right relationship with the worlds, each other and all our relations, past, present and future. It is in this place that we must now patiently work with our connection to Gaia, to initiate modes of authority that serve the whole circle of life.

Astrology Circle (working with meditation, sound and ritual) timed to coincide with Jupiter’s second sextile to Pluto will take place on Sunday 15th April in Ashburton, South Devon.  Please contact me if this interests you.

 

 

Fomenting Possibility

Winter Solstice, 21st December 2017, 16:29

There is power in silence.

At Solstice, the midpoint between the Sun and the young Moon is occupied by the ruler of the underworld, Pluto, marking this time of darkness and peace with a charge of depth and power. The dark nourishes and replenishes all of life, readying us for a new season of growth and expression. Great potential lies in the deep tranquillity this moment offers.

The spirit of any time is created by a field of resonance. This is a musical chord that causes everything that vibrates at that frequency to sing. The vibrational frequency that pertains at any one time conditions (rather than determines) what is imagined, experienced, perceived, thought and done in that time. In this process moments arise that are openings into new territory, and astrology, the complex language of energy patterns in time, provides a sense of where and when these openings are and what opportunities might be found as we travel into the new.

In early October Jupiter’s entry into Scorpio marked such an opening, offering a very different way of experiencing Pluto’s renovation of Capricorn, which has, since 2008, been relentless in its revelation of the toxicity and corruption at the heart of our structures and systems of authority. Jupiter’s movement into Scorpio – ruled by Pluto – brought that archetype’s concern with protection, benevolence and justice into our experience of societal corruption. The revelations that followed in the wake of the Weinstein scandal may have come as a devastating surprise to some, but were not news to most women. The only surprise was that suddenly – after lifetimes – sexual predation and abuse of power through sexuality was being seen as “NOT OK!” Pluto and Scorpio rule sexuality and power; Jupiter is illuminating plutonic vileness but in a helpful way, enabled by the resonance created by being in Pluto’s sign.

Furthermore, as Saturn (ruler of Capricorn, the sign Pluto currently occupies) has been travelling through Jupiter’s sign of Sagittarius, Jupiter’s entry into Scorpio put all three planets into a strong energetic relationship with each other: they all disposit each other. This represents an opportunity for conscious recalibration which we can see reflected in the example of Weinstein and the #me too response. That door is about to close as Saturn changes sign.

On 20th December, 36 hours before the Solstice moment, Saturn will come home. It moves into its own sign, Capricorn, where it will edge slowly towards a major astrological moment: its conjunction with Pluto in January 2020. We have had no major planetary conjunctions since 2011: the longest period of quietude since at least 1900. In 2020 we will have three! JupiterSaturn, Jupiter–Pluto and SaturnPluto. JupiterPluto and SaturnPluto will be in Capricorn; JupiterSaturn will occur on 0° Aquarius (note this degree!) Given the energetic relationship between Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto this autumn, we can see this time as a foreshadowing, a gathering of force for these major conjunctions to come in 2020.

At the time of this year’s Winter Solstice all planetary energies (except Neptune in Pisces) will be pouring (by disposition) into Saturn in Capricorn. Saturn is home and ready to build, manifest and give form to what we will. Capricorn may be the sign of authoritarianism, materialism and avarice, but it’s also the sign of spiritual aspiration and Initiation – tune into the level that you would like to manifest in your life, but please spare a thought for the rest of us; look unto the seventh generation, if you would! Saturn in Capricorn brings the possibility of great steadiness, endurance and self-discipline; now is the time to garner the forces of the will to manifest new structures and forms of governance, individually and collectively. What authority do we wish to honour and live by? We’ve had time to think about it; now it’s time to commit.

At the Solstice all planets fall within 167° of the zodiac, leaving 193° wide open and empty. The midpoint of planetary activity is 0° Aquarius (remember?), site of the coming JupiterSaturn conjunction. This gathering of planetary heft suggests the tightening of a bowstring and a taking aim into the other half of the zodiac where the warmth and caring connection associated with Cancer, and the joyful creative expression of Leo are indicated as crucial qualities to guide the will at this time and as we head towards 2020.

And let’s not forget that the Solstice is created by the movement of our life-giving Sun, our guiding star, into its midnight place. This year it is accompanied by Venus and Saturn (which shares the Solstice degree); exuberance and expenditure are chilled and stilled, replaced by the wish for something more serious, like real connection. With care and joy, take the time to go deep and connect; know what it is that you will. There is power in the stillness and silence of this time.

Kate Hubert

Awen Astrology

kate@spiral7.co.uk

Fulcrum

The Collective, the Equinox and the Venus-Mars ConjunctionequinoxCan you imagine the Earth’s equator, projected out into space like a cosmic hoola hoop, and the apparent path of the Sun around the Earth as a second hoola hoop? They have two points of intersection and two places at which they are furthest from each other. The points of intersection are the equinoxes (yielding equal day and night across the globe), and the places of greatest distance mark the solstices (yielding shortest day and shortest night). So these moments are astronomical phenomena arising from the relationship between our home planet and its local star. Upon this relationship all life depends.

These astronomical moments are marked by the Sun’s entry into the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) and they inaugurate new phases of activity that we see unfolding over the following three months. It is worth engaging with the quality of the opportunity that is presented at these times out of time.

The gateway into the dark half (for us in the north) of the year is ruled by Venus, Libra’s planetary ruler. Right now Venus is travelling with Mars (ruler of Aries and the Spring Equinox) through Virgo, sign of the harvest and service. Cosmic geometry is such that Venus and Mars will be conjunct exactly on 5th October, day of the Full Moon: Venus rules the Sun in Libra which will be opposite the Mars-ruled Moon in Aries. Very neat. The conjunction of these two personal planets speaks of an opportunity to resolve the relationship between self and other: the unilateralism, self-seeking and disregard for others that is Mars, is seeking balance with pacification, harmony-seeking and disregard for self that is Venus. Mature and wholesome expressions of Mars and Venus come about through right relationship and appropriate regard for the requirements of self and other.

The warrior readily becomes isolated and embattled. “ It’s me against the world!” While the lover loses itself thinking it can find purpose and identity only in the approval and accommodation of others. “If only you loved me!” When they come together, as now, there is the possibility of sensing the potential that a fine balance between these two polarities may bring. Our energetic expressions of these principles come to the fore as we tilt back and forth on the fulcrum of self and other. A low-level expression of this conjunction could be bruising! An integrated expression could be the realisation of the interdependence of self and other (I and thou); a determined defence of what is gentle and relational; the mutual acceptance of the need for love and the need for self-actualisation.

So here and now stand the lover and the warrior together, and opposing them is Neptune, mighty god of inundation, tempest and earthquake, urging the pair to yield to a far greater context of meaning, beyond all personal concerns: profound interconnectedness, the unity of all things. See the Oneness that interfuses and surrounds all manifest life – and place your personal concerns within this context of significance. Neptune is always involved in the erosion and sacrifice of separative values and the personality perspective (our little selves). Neptune reveals to us that we are far greater than the personality assumes, for we are embodied spiritual beings and a vital part of the great unfolding of cosmic life.

Neptune, at a low register, functions as the attempt to numb out and fog up. It is overwhelmed by the world – a reaction we all know well. Our cultural world insists we engage with terror and tragedy persistently: we are exposed on a daily basis to horror and suffering. The human imagination is tranquilised by terror. We are made torpid by a cultural addiction to suffering. The gift of Neptune operating at a higher register is that it infuses the personality with a vision of the sacredness of all Being, and the personality thus inspired can re-enter the fray of mundane existence – as we must, determined to act in the world with compassion and alertness to the significance of collective experience, which is that it is not separate from us. Rather, the experience of the collective is an echo chamber of our own unresolved inner hell realms. The world is ours, it belongs to us; we are making it every day.

Mars as the grabbing aggression of the isolate self is an impulse we all know in ourselves; Venus as the pushover who cannot stand up and speak the truth is also uncomfortably familiar. It is for us to resolve the polarised dynamic between Venus and Mars within – so that we may empower the warrior who will defend what is of true value, and the lover who can create connection and relationship between things that have been put asunder. In this way, perhaps our worlds can manifest compassion. At this moment in the turning of the world, we feel the fulcrum of dynamic tension: there is a choice; we are creative; we are powerful.

Kate Hubert

Awen Astrology

kate@spiral7.co.uk