Summer Solstice 2020

20th June, 21:45 GMT

The solstices and equinoxes are the great gateways of the year, indicated by the Sun’s passage into the first degree of each of the cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. These signs are the initiators, inaugurating the new. We – and our Earth – enter these portals and are conditioned by their energies; they herald the Zeitgeist for the coming season. So this is a chance to glimpse what is unfolding over the next quarter.

merrivale summer solstice sunset

picture credit: dartmoorcam.co.uk

At the Summer Solstice the Sun is at its northernmost point from the celestial equator, and so at the peak of its power in the northern hemisphere: the longest day. Maximum illumination. The Sun’s entry into Moon-ruled Cancer marks the Solstice moment, creating a strong energetic rapport between the two luminaries. The Moon rules the Summer Solstice. Just nine hours after the Solstice, the Moon conjuncts and eclipses the Sun, (this New Moon eclipse of the Sun is not observable from Earth). Prior to this, at the Solstice moment the Moon is exactly square Mars, warrior planet of will and drive. Mars energises the Moon, heightening emotional reactions amongst ‘the people’, creating a charge that the Moon will carry to the Sun as a challenge to leadership and consciousness. As Mars is now beleaguered (being conjunct Neptune in Pisces – a very watery situation that is difficult for the Red Planet) there is a mood of thwarted will, frustration and anger. Individual drives and desires are running counter to what serves the good of all, as expressed by Neptune and Pisces.[1] The opportunity here is to raise the vibration of Mars, aligning our effort and determination with the highest good: compassionate action. This might mean breaking out of lockdown in order to stand with others for a cause; equally it could mean observing lockdown and resisting sending your kids back to school even if you are climbing the walls. However it manifests, we are really feeling the rub!

 

Lockdown has intensified our collective awareness of the private and public spheres. The commitment required to take to the streets at this time may help facilitate a seachange in our social culture. The expressions of protest and defiance in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement across the world are remarkable. Mars entered Pisces in mid-May and at the time of George Floyd’s death was in an exact sextile with Uranus, planet of rebellion and iconoclasm, in Taurus (ruling the neck/throat). Mars/Uranus are keynotes of unpredictable aggression, and Pisces saturates the event with the spirit of sacrifice and martyrdom. Mars/Neptune in Pisces helped to heave Edward Colston into the waters of Bristol harbour; he came down as Mars, approaching conjunction with Neptune, squared the Sun, and was recovered as the Sun squared Neptune.

 

The Dark Moon is always a fertile time for the planting of seeds; its potency now, at the Summer Solstice, is considerable since it is also in conjunction with the lunar North Node, which transited into the last degree of Gemini early in May having been in Cancer since November 2018. The North Node indicates growth experiences: the nourishing direction.   Amazingly many people around the world have been going through a really intense Cancer experience (Cancer rules the domestic sphere, the inward world), locked down in our homes, getting strongly acquainted with the strengths and weaknesses of our domestic situations. Now we are consciously re-orienting towards Gemini, which is the sign of local interaction, communication, education and trade. We may feel like following the line of least resistance, indicated by the South Node of the Moon in Gemini’s opposite sign, Sagittarius, which rules living it up, freedom and long-distance travel. Sagittarius can be cavalier – eat, drink and be merry – especially in the face of straitened economic circumstances. Let’s have a blow-out and the devil take the hindmost. But the North Node will be strongly advising negotiation, intelligent troubleshooting and really giving our attention to situations within our local environments. This is not the time for sunshine holidays! And normally buoyant Jupiter, ruling the Sagittarian South Node, is struggling in the sign of its fall, Capricorn, which brings restriction and confinement. Now is the time for review and recalibration: Mercury, Venus Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto are all in retrograde; Neptune is stationary, turning retrograde on 23rd June.

 

Such retrograde times are wonderful opportunities for dreaming up the most brilliant outcomes that we can imagine from the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Wishing for life to return to what it was prior to Covid 19 risks being blind to all the shortcomings embedded within our old ‘normal’. Lockdown birthed amongst many a will to do things differently, to find healthier and more compassionate ways of being, operating with values beyond individualism and greedy materialism. Remember all the talk about birdsong?! We need positive visions of the future! The ongoing emphasis in Capricorn is still defining our overall context (being the locus of major new cycles beginning this year). Jupiter and Pluto make three conjunctions in 2020, the second of which comes up on 30th June.[2] Jupiter’s principle is expansion; it is freedom seeking. Its journey through Capricorn is disciplining Jupiter’s normally boundless optimism, urging caution and realism. Its struggle to find grounds for faith and meaning in life may actually serve to create grounded, thought-through visions for future expansion. The conjunction with powerful Pluto purges Jupiter of frivolity, hammering home the injunction for systems of authority to get real, to be accountable. Pluto is revealing and intensifying the effects of boom and bust economics that underpin our socio-political organisations (and the State). Jupiter is the signifier of foreign influences and, hence, of globalisation, the positive and negative underpinnings of which will increasingly be hitting us between the eyes. Pluto may intensify Jupiter’s impulse to break free of restriction and we may well see public displays of this impulse met with authoritative kick-back. This will serve to de-legitimise systems of governance, because the status quo’s own obsolescence is breaking it apart under the aegis of Pluto’s evolutionary pressure.

 

Political clampdown is the motif of 2020. Its benign manifestation, lockdown, may begin to look rather different as we move through the year. Saturn (authority structures – ruler of Capricorn) has moved into Aquarius: the State now has to be perceived as humanitarian. It retrogrades back into Capricorn in July, leaving the sign finally on 17th December, just four days prior to both the Winter Solstice and its own conjunction with Jupiter on 0° Aquarius: the times they are a-changing!

 

Kate Hubert   awenastro@gmail.com

[1] Neptune is the esoteric ruler of the Summer Solstice and therefore indicative of activity in the subtle realms at this point.

[2] The first occurred on 5th April on 24° Capricorn, the second (with both planets retrograde) occurs on 30th June again on 24° Capricorn, and the final one takes place on 12th November (on exactly the same degree – 22° Capricorn – as the great Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 12th January).

 

A New World?

Spring Equinox 2020:  20th March 03:51 GMT

A massive question mark hovers over just about everything that has been held to be certain for years. We have felt the inward strain of the question mark; it has led to countless protests and demonstrations, only to return to the stifling embrace of the status quo. Now it feels like change gonna come. Odd to write about wintery Capricorn in the spring, perhaps, but it is strongly emphasised throughout the whole of 2020. * This is the sign of organisation, structure, governance and authority. In January this year it hosted the much-heralded meeting of Saturn and Pluto, beginning a new 33-year cycle relating to our social and political experience of authority. These two heavyweights can be crudely summarised like this:

Saturn: concretisation, restriction, status quo, society

Pluto: regeneration, destruction, empowerment, healing

Pluto’s healing force is relentlessly breaking down the organisational systems of Saturn, bringing an insurgency of what is radically necessary for the health of all life forms.

Spring Eq 2020 graphic

This Spring Equinox is the moment when the forces of daylight – the Sun (consciousness) – overpower those of darkness, marked by the burgeoning growth of spring. It happens when the Sun enters the first sign of the zodiac, Mars-ruled Aries, making Mars the ruler of the equinox portal. As the Sun enters Aries this Friday, Mars is exactly conjunct Jupiter on 22˚ Capricorn (the precise location of the Saturn/Pluto meeting in January, releasing more of its considerable force!) and very close to both Saturn and Pluto. What a powerful line up! Mars and Jupiter are the dynamic duo. Mars has the effect of triggering action, while Jupiter expands and inflates whatever it touches, having a really energising effect on Mars’s directive force. The equinox brings us a deeper awareness of the new territory we are in, and asks us key questions. What is authority and what is its source? How do we create reliable structures to serve us now? To whom and to what are we responsible?

Toxicity and obsolescence are being driven out of our social systems in order to create the conditions for regeneration; the breakdown of the body (personal or politic) creates conditions for radical healing. This is Pluto energy, which has been active in Capricorn since 2008, marked spectacularly by the global financial crisis. Saturn’s function is to separate, differentiate and harden forms (creating boundaries and structures, but eventually causing them to become brittle and break apart). Lockdown is a typical Saturn response.   The gesture now suspends the status quo in order to be able to reinstate it later. Saturn always feels safer when everything’s nailed down. The deeper message of Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn, however, is that the status quo is, in and of itself, pathological and its disease is now being driven out. The system of order is being deep-cleaned and, in the process, will be thoroughly transformed as rottenness is eliminated. This is healing.

Mars always prompts the need for direction and clarity of intent. We need to know what we are trying to do, and why. It gives us great energy and effectiveness. Jupiter asks for perspective: a broad horizon of understanding. Its gifts are optimism, faith in life and the ability to perceive underlying, unifying principles. Undirected, Mars becomes aggressive. Unheld, Jupiter inflates the aggression of Mars. We ourselves are the directors and holders of these planetary forces; collectively we determine their register. We help when we have clear intent, when we know what we’re about and why; when we act with faith in life.

These are challenging times requiring considerable pragmatism and improvisation. Good news: we are unusually awake and engaged. Bad news: we’re anxious and fearful. GN: what is resilient and lively in our communities is empowered, stepping forward to help. BN: what lacks resilience in our communities and systems is massively challenged…. Our emotional selves are certainly getting triggered and no one is an expert in our current situation. We help ourselves when we pull ourselves into presence: drawing ourselves into our bodies, connecting with sensation and making the connection with the earth beneath our feet. Get closer to the earth than that if you feel agitated. The unfailing steadiness and support of this holding are always available. Enrich life with presence.

Man in virtual helmet . Mixed mediaThe tendency can be, when fearful, to flee presence, vacate the lived reality of sensation and hurl ourselves headlong into anxious imaginings and trawl through online offerings to find out what we should be thinking and doing. Embodied physical reality is increasingly a space we must actively choose to inhabit. It is the source of our wellbeing, our nourishment rest and connectedness. When we flee our physical moorings, we become like leaves in the wind, blown around by whirling thoughts and feelings.  It seems obvious to say it, but you can’t eat, drink or sleep online. IRL: that’s where it’s at!

spring tree

At the Equinox the planets are all squashed into 114˚ of the zodiac, bookended by Mars/Jupiter on one side and Venus on the other. Mars and Venus represent Self and Other respectively. Their midpoint, crucially sensitive, is occupied by Neptune (strong in its own sign of Pisces), whose message is essentially, We Are One: interdependent and interconnected. Neptune’s oceanic force erodes all boundaries and separation, reflecting this truth of Unity; it operates through overwhelm, the ineluctable force of inundation, to wash out the false perception of separative consciousness. Pandemic could well be Neptune’s emblem, for it shows the many and varied ways in which we are connected, every single one of us imbued with global reach and susceptibility to what happens in any and all other places. All life is part of the One field of consciousness. Differentiation and separation, are ultimately, illusory. How precious this realisation!

As we socially distance and self-isolate across continents, it is worth paying mind to Chiron in Aries, conjuncting the Equinox Sun (and powerful at all the cardinal gateways in 2019). Here Chiron expresses the wound of selfishness, the pain of separation in the isolated self. The isolate individual, is a distortion, in the old parlance, a glamour, of Neptune’s deeper truth of Oneness: we belong with each other, participants in Mystery, in Being and Becoming. It is a rare situation that allows this ineffable idea to be so weirdly tangible, suddenly manifest in every action and decision.  Mars/Jupiter make a quintile to Chiron suggesting that the consciousness being generated by the centaur is helping us raise our expression of Mars/Jupiter. We could hunker down in Fortress Self, aggressively pursuing self-serving ends; but we can feel the ways, although in separate spaces/bodies, that we belong to each other and our worlds, and allow faith in life to strengthen and direct us.

Exactly 48 hours after the Equinox, Saturn moves into Aquarius, sign of humanitarianism, bringing a real shift in how we seek to structure social systems. On the very day of the Winter Solstice 2020, Jupiter and Saturn will make a conjunction on 0˚ Aquarius, consolidating this shift away from the hierarchical, avaricious, power over model of society.

How to remain clear and independent in attitude? What are our values? What are our resources? What do we really need? How to be alive and alert to the possibility held out now that we see clearly how fragile and contingent our systems are? It feels like we are in a time out of time, an unworldly space, in which – if we choose to do more than just sit it out – we can touch into the truth of our interconnected reality, and resource the making of new values, new selves, new worlds.

Some links below to content I have found illuminating.

https://www.anhinternational.org/news/anh-intl-special-report-covid-19-fearmongering-born-out-of-uncertainty/

https://informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/covid-19-coronavirus-infographic-datapack/?fbclid=IwAR1ws7qhg4g6UHn_MOQJECUk2vmOHmAy1-pt1yvqOox3yHx–3qW8nroGqE

 

* Saturn conjunct Pluto 22˚ Capricorn, 12th Jan.; Jupiter conjunct Pluto 24˚ Capricorn, 5th Apr. and 30th Jun.; Jupiter conjunct Pluto 22˚ Capricorn, 12th Nov. Annular eclipses in Cancer and Capricorn.

As you believe it, so it will be

Saturn conjunct Pluto

12th January 2020, 16:23 GMT

If you assume that there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, then there is a possibility that you can contribute to making a better world. (Noam Chomsky)

Saturn and Pluto have now met in Saturn’s own sign, Capricorn. One cycle ends and a new one begins. These two powerhouses of the solar system meet approximately every 35 years and their cycles are reflected in the relationship between power and authority. Saturn represents the Father: authority, governance, tradition and consensus reality. Pluto is radical truthfulness, necessity and regeneration, and is the deeper, more powerful force. It is giving Saturn a real deep clean. Healing through purging is Pluto’s way and it is purifying our experience of “authority” and, even, “reality”, clearing the negative accretions that cling to the Saturn archetype in our perception, in both the personal and collective realms.

Saturn-Pluto graphic

Capricorn is a practical and pragmatic sign with a concern for effectiveness, providing an impetus for review: what works, what’s broken and what’s currently needed to secure stable progress. Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, intensifying the review, stunning us with the effects and ramifications of our social, political and economic systems, and driving out the toxicity and corruption concealed beneath the surface of our various authoritative orders – of, in fact, consensus reality.

Consensus reality arises through our shared (and highly conditioned) perceptions. We are conditioned by commonly held beliefs, values and expectations, by our culture, knowledge-production process and education, by media and institutions of the State. This consensus creates the world in which we live, and what we believe to be true and possible. It is both frame and lens for what we take to be the real. Consensus reality should not be confused with reality. We know this because it changes over time. Shifts in perception create shifts in our understanding of reality. When Saturn, representing consensus reality, comes under pressure (as it is massively under Pluto’s now) fracture lines start appearing in consensus reality leading to perceptual shifts: things are not as they seemed. It’s scary when Order is breached, but it opens up possibility and the old order cannot be reinstated. The vacuum created by the fracturing of the old order must not be filled with fear and despair. We are driven now to get real about the effects of how we operate in this earth realm at every level: personal, social, political, environmental. There is a need to act with clear intent and to discipline emotion (fear, rage, anxiety, grief, despair, indeed strong emotions of any kind, muddy the waters and, while human, should not govern and dominate our responses to our situation). The Power of Decision is required, personally and collectively.

What if the fear and malaise and anger isn’t merely being reported by cable news…

What if it’s being caused by cable news?

What if the ubiquitous video accompanied by frightening and freaked out talking heads is actually, finally, changing our culture? … [My note: certainly it changes our body chemistry]

Every time we hook ourselves up to a device that shocks us into a fear-based posture on a regular basis, we’re making a choice about the world and how we experience it. (Seth Godin)

Saturn’s question to us is ever, “To what are you truly committed?” It rewards our clarity about commitment in spades, creating channels of opportunity through which the energy of commitment can flow, empowering our intent and action with discipline, resilence and perseverance. Saturn and its sign, Capricorn, are associated with authority and the rule of the Father. Pluto empowering Saturn may certainly signal a drive towards totalitarian control. But Capricorn belongs to the earthy triplicity (with Taurus and Virgo): it is a feminine sign. Beneath the patriarchal overlay that we’ve inherited as our understanding, we may discern the gleam of a suppressed and repressed goddess energy that Pluto is reviving and intensifying. Imagine a system of authority and governance founded upon the commitment to nourish and sustain the lives of all beings. Imagine a system that had, burning at its heart, the Children’s Fire, requiring judgements, decisions and actions to be taken with a view to the future, unto the seventh generation of descendants.

The mould of patriarchal authority is being radically challenged. We see young women holding power in new ways on the world stage. The Earth itself is insusceptible to the rules, laws and norms of human-made authority, being always essentially wild and free.

We are instrumental in making of this Saturn-Pluto energy what we will. How we imagine power and authority operating in the world has an effect. Our hope, love and sacred intent for the highest good are real powers in the world. We can lend our weight, if we wish, to feeding the forces of powerlessness, materialism, greed, need and totalitarian clampdown. Or, we can use the power of imagination – and action – to invoke and honour the long-denied and demeaned sacred feminine and bring light, love and compassion into our lived experience of Order and authority.

I am imagining the Goddess insurgent, bringing us guidance and inspiration about how we might organise our practical lives with a deep and open awareness of the truth that we are all part of a complex interconnected process. We are One. The life of the great One must be served.

As you believe it, so it will be.

Kate Hubert, Awen Astrology

Intentions Count

Winter Solstice, 22nd December 2019 04:21 GMT

The darkest time, the longest night… Life forces at this time of year are extremely retracted, things appear to be dead or in suspended animation; we are held, sometimes uncomfortably, in stasis. It is in this time of restriction that our Sun, “great giver of all that is”, reaches the extent of its descent and is effectively reborn, initiating a new cycle of growth and renewal. Darkness is fertile. Stillness allows for a movement inwards which enriches and empowers our intentions (conscious or not) for the year ahead. The Sun at its still point gilds our hearts, minds and spirits. Now is a time for consciously envisioning and dreaming: seeding the future, which gestates within us before it can be born in the apparent world. Time to weed out negativity, to be aware of what future seeds we are nourishing within ourselves. Let the inner gold take hold.

newgrange

The Winter Solstice delivers a challenge to reboot the will. The Sun, from this point on, will climb higher above the horizon whether or not there is anything worth shining on. Human will – taking action, doing, creating – is required for the renewal of life. If we are in states of despair or disappointment, disillusion or despondency this is the time to ask ourselves what we would like to experience in order to repair negative states – this is then what we need to provide outwardly.

The Bach flower remedy for very great hopelessness is Gorse. Flowering throughout the year, it shines out against the muted palette of a gloomy British winter, and is the remedy associated with the Winter Solstice, initiating the rebirth of new life and new hope. It is also highly resilient and resilience is a gift of Capricorn: this time. Julian Barnard, maker of Bach’s remedies, writes, “Each day, each moment, we express in our outlook hope or pessimism; we either affirm life or deny it.” Here is the choice then: to be life affirming or life denying. At this Winter Solstice gateway, Jupiter, planet of optimism and faith in life, stands with the newborn Sun. If we are positive and purposeful in our activities, Jupiter lends great buoyancy to us at this time.

gorse

But let’s not get carried away. The planetary principle of the Earth is strength through struggle. This is not the realm of perfection; very far from it. As John Green says in The Fault in Our Stars, “the world is not a wish-granting factory.” Human beings are both brilliant and appalling; life is both sweet and tough. The way our lives unfold is productive of consciousness, which is pretty much the point. The question is what we do with our perceptions, how we make meaning, how we create contexts of significance that allow us to move through our lives with resilience, faith and courage. Our clinging to strong emotional reactions, whether happy or despairing, gets in the way of life’s unfolding. To like and dislike is the disease of the mind, as Shunryu Suzuki observes.

There is much to mind in our stricken social and political life; it’s hard to be a cheery Brit, for sure. Before the general election I’m sure many prayers were spoken, many hopes fervently wished – to see social justice, climate justice, empathy and goodness served. I’m equally sure there is much despair and bewilderment at the election result. Our prayers and hopes – our clear intent – remain valid. Our job is to cultivate peacefulness and to persevere, to cling to the potential for good in all beings and circumstances and to disperse doubts and anxieties. This is not the realm of perfection, but our intentions count. Hope is a real and vital force in a world that badly needs it.

Regardless of how impossible it seems that a situation might improve, such an improvement can happen if we remain firm and independent in attitude, and open its being possible.  (Carol K. Anthony)

No new major planetary cycles have begun in eleven years; 2020 will see three. The first (Saturn/Pluto) in just a few days on 12th January. Such new beginnings ask for clear and firm intent – because, like a new year, they are times to seed possibility. Saturn/Pluto speaks particularly of structures of authority and power and we need to be conscious of what kind of authority we wish to empower. It may well be that the way we are relating to our circumstances is irrelevant: that there is a big gap between what we perceive as our reality and what is actually happening. Giving up our emotional reactions, loosening the grip of our stories upon us, will help us relate to the real.

A fixed t-square between the Moon in Scorpio, Uranus in Taurus and Venus in Aquarius (note that Venus and Uranus occupy each other’s signs) at the Solstice indicates disruptive challenges to popular conditioning. We may have our security blankets tugged out of our hands; uncomfortable but awakening. Being awake and alert is potent. As Venus is the focal point of the t-square resources and values are foregrounded. Disruptions in supplies create an insistence on finding new ways of relating to our resources and asking what we really need and value. Capitalist economies are founded on ever-expanding growth. The neurotic aspect of this finds a weird reflection in the obesity epidemic and in the ludicrous size of our cars: nutritionless food and tank-like vehicles provide sentience-reducing armour to brave our brave new world.

This t-square also reminds us of the need to create community – new constituencies and alignments between people – that may serve to circumvent some of our frustrations with traditional structures of governance and to open channels to brilliant insights. We belong to one another and to this Earth; the isolated self, the lone wolf, is extinction-bound. Exploring our sense of belonging – to our own localities, to this time, these people gathered here, this deep earth – might challenge and change our perceptions and our values, helping us understand that matters, and even the nature of matter, are rather less fixed than we supposed.

candles at newgrange

Game Changer

Astrology of the Autumn Equinox

23rd September 2019 07:51 GMT

Cardinalis means principal or pivotal. A pivot, we know, is a means by which an alignment is corrected; a turning point. The Cardinal Cross (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) governs the turning points of the year, the Solstices and Equinoxes, when new seasons are inaugurated. These dynamic gateways (marked by the Sun’s entry into the first degree of each cardinal sign) are points of initiation: pivotal, or game-changing moments when alignments may be corrected and new directions inaugurated.

What has until this point held sway may be swept aside, as initiation brings new energetic influences to bear on our alignments, like advancing to a new level in a game. Some game! It is a human task to recognise opportunity and identify what is truly of value in any situation and to safeguard it, while allowing the forces of change to carry off what no longer serves. Pivotal times urge us to engage in this task. The script is in the bin; we are now off script and must improvise on the basis of our core values. What are they? Democracy, tolerance and the rule of law? Much could be said about those values in these times.

What are your core values? What is your vision for the future you want to create?

That we are in a time of crisis both domestically and globally is obvious. We are at the threshold of a major planetary initiation – the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in cardinal Capricorn next January. These two forces meet every 33 years or so and we are currently at the conclusion of a cycle that began in November 1982 – when we were just getting acquainted with what we now know as Thatcherism. (And the last time Saturn and Pluto met in the sign of Capricorn was 500 years ago, when Martin Luther was protesting the corruption and control of the Roman Catholic Church!) The very same degree they meet on in January (22° Capricorn) will also host the meeting of Jupiter and Pluto in next November, exacerbating this stimulation of cardinal energy. We are in an intensifying state of initiation, and much becomes possible if we hold and share clear visions and values of what we want to manifest in the world.

This Autumn Equinox packs a powerful, cardinal punch. Additional to the Sun entering cardinal Libra (marking the Equinox), we have six other planets in cardinal signs, including a cardinal t-square between the Moon, Venus (ruler of Libra and therefore of the Equinox) and Saturn, all powerfully occupying their own signs. Venus is at the apex of this t-square, squaring the MoonSaturn opposition. The Moon and Saturn relate to the past, as they govern respectively emotional and mental habits; it is these habits that give rise to what we perceive as our circumstances and material situations (i.e. reality). If these habits go unchallenged we are in danger of simply perpetuating past conditions, creating prisons for ourselves. Crisis is a great gift because it urges us to break out of habits. We have to learn at some point or other that our emotional reactions are not signals of truth; our ideas should not to be confused with reality. We really shouldn’t believe everything we think and feel! What we experience as reality is our own perceptual apparatus, thoroughly conditioned by inherited and habitual thought and feeling patterns.

The real [is not] the world as it is […], it is not! It becomes! It moves, it changes! It doesn’t wait for us to change […]. The world, the real, is not an object. It is a process. (John Cage)

The Moon and Saturn (feelings and thoughts) are filters we see through – they condition the “realities” we are able to perceive. We are not able to perceive reality unconditioned by our feelings and thoughts. The consensus reality (Saturn) that we share is the substrate of the world we build together. It conditions our sense of what is possible. “As you believe, so it is,” Saturn teaches. Saturn, currently being impacted by the big-hitting, transformative power of Pluto, signals the breakdown of a certain order. A layer of our consensus reality has become obsolete and is being ripped out, allowing new possibilities to open up. This is revealing toxic content which has been unconscious (shadow); but it also reveals incredible new possibilities, good and bad.

Values (Venus), feelings (Moon) and beliefs (Saturn), if held long enough, take material form in the world. These three are locked into the t-square at the Equinox, pressurising us to interrogate these areas of our lives, and perhaps to think about the ways in which they give rise to the realities we experience. We are becoming. Our world and this Earth are becoming. The emphasis in Libra (Sun, Mercury, Venus) accentuates the need to advocate for justice and peace as we find the path of harmony that runs between extremes. We need to be reflective and relational, diplomatic and conciliatory, our values firmly and clearly enshrined in our thinking and feeling. Mars gives some drive and direction to this project, being widely conjunct the Equinox Sun, in the sign of Virgo, the willing worker. This feels constructive, but under the influence of Mars we need to be directed towards clear, authentic goals, otherwise aggression can erupt. And this is certainly the challenge on the national stage: knowing what we are about and what we want to achieve.

Step that challenge down into your own life and ask yourself honestly, what are you about? What might be your authentic direction?

The influence of Chiron, which I have written much about, continues to be powerful for months to come as it still occupies the early degrees of Aries, aspecting the Sun at all the cardinal gateways until March 2021. The pain and division we have experienced socially, culturally and politically in Britain are a reflection of Chiron’s theme of the incurable wound that drives us towards self-knowledge, compassionate understanding and wisdom. The way in which climate change has entered in popular discourse under Chiron’s entry into Aries (aided by Uranus in Taurus, reflecting radical disruption to resources and the environment) is startling. Chiron always illuminates what is callow and immature, and we can surely see this in our profit-driven, smash and grab culture – and in those people who rise to prominence within it.

Who loves the neurotic dependency and the bland offerings of compulsory multi-national capitalism? All of us? Really? Possibilities of renewal are opening up before our eyes – sustainable, local, community-oriented possibilities – which we are in danger of ignoring because the ecological issues are framed in terms of guilt, sacrifice, denial and loss. Astrology teaches us that sacrifice has another face: the redeeming imagination. We are navigating turbulent waters guided by the media, which thrive on keeping us in states of fear and loathing. It is really hard to remain positive, grounded, resilient and hopeful when you are in a state of fear and loathing.

From the point of pause at the Equinox, we tip down towards the darker half of the year, metabolising the last six months of outward sunlight to transform it into inner gold, illuminating our journey into winter with soul force and purposeful activity. We see the work that is to be done, let’s engage with this mysterious process we call life, with love and hope for all that may be.

Please note: “In the Court of the Fisher King: Chiron & the Wounded Healer Archetype” workshop will run on Sunday 8th December in Ashburton, South Devon.  Contact me for more information or to book a place.

The Wounded Healer – Workshops with Kate Hubert and Wendy Watkins

Astrology, Creativity, Sound, Meditation …

The Wounded Healer archetype is strong right now in our world as Chiron moves through the early degrees of Aries, presenting us with challenges, choices and opportunities about how we deal with what is wounded in ourselves, the collective and our world, and empowering us towards healing and integration in 2019.

William_Blake_'As_if_an_angel_dropped_down_from_the_clouds',_illustration_to_'Henry_IV

Working With the Wounded Healer, 10am to 12.30pm, 14th July 2019, Ashburton, S. Devon

The tutelage of the Sun and the gifts of wisdom-knowledge will be our theme in the next half-day workshop in Ashburton, South Devon, on Sunday 14th July. Please book now!  (Further workshops working with other aspects of the myth on 29th September/ 20th October/ 17th November.) £15/10

In the Court of the Fisher KIng: Chiron & the Wounded Healer Archetype, 10am to 4.30pm             Exeter 15th September 2019 / Ashburton 8th December 2019:

The Fisher King (Keeper of the Grail) is the ancient British correlative of the Chiron archetype, and this legend, with its themes of environmental degradation and the violation of the feminine, is the framework for this workshop. £40 (concs available)

The centaur, Chiron, the Wounded Healer, is the planetary archetype associated with shame and pain: the ‘scar on the soul’. Chiron was conceived when his mother, an ocean nymph, was raped by Chronos/Saturn in the bestial form of a horse. His mother, appalled by his hybrid appearance (human-equine mash-up), abandoned him at birth. From its inception, his story is one of violation and abandonment. Things change when he is fostered by the Sun God, Apollo, who instructs him in the natural wisdom of healing, plant lore and astrology; in the bardic arts of music and poetry; and in philosophy and archery. Chiron becomes cultured and embraces wisdom-knowledge, which calls him into relationship with the earth and the stars: he finds a context of meaning.

Pain is essential to life. We cannot be cured of life. We too are hybrid creatures – part-personality, part-soul, both trapped in time and yet timeless, mortal and undying. We too are wounded: there is no life that avoids pain, shame and suffering. We too are capable of transforming our wounds and finding meaning, compassionate understanding and healing; indeed our deep well-being demands that we do. And astrological Chiron is our mentor in being with suffering and transforming it until we are able to serve others. Our woundedness is the source of our gift to life.

Key to transformation is the education offered by Apollo. As a star, the Sun belongs to a higher order than the planetary bodies, which orbit around it: it organises and integrates all other energies, the supreme constellator. ‘Great giver of all that is’, it brings light and warmth that unfurls us and allows us to engage and to become playful and creative. Astrologically, the Sun signifies our uniqueness, creativity, authenticity and power potential. This playful creativity is a fine way to meet the challenges that Chiron signifies, so that we can begin to find the gold in the darkness of our pain.

Bookings/info: Kate Hubert    awenastro@gmail.com        07855 241 771

Summer Solstice, 21st June 2019, 15:55 GMT

… if we were strong enough to listen without
Divisions of desire and terror
To the storm of the sick nations, the rage of the
hunger-smitten cities,
Those voices also would be found
Clean as a child’s; or like some girl’s breathing
who dances alone
By the ocean-shore …

~ Robinson Jeffers, from ‘Natural Music’

sun solstice

The solstices and equinoxes (marked by the Sun’s entry into the cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) are portals, or gateways, in our annual journey around the Sun. We see how these portals initiate the forces of life and growth (e.g. the seasons); and we know that midwinter offers different experiences and opportunities to midsummer. This is self-evident. What is less evident is how these portals affect consciousness and the non-material realm. The great cardinal gateways mark times when we are able to come to, to get conscious, and ask, ‘What am I doing? What am I becoming? What is my task?’ There is a possibility of awakening from the slumber of habitual self and noticing that we are somewhere and something in space/time with a choice to make about how to move forward. This is initiation.

We are now approaching the summer solstice initiation: a threshold between one variety of experience and another. New possibilities and ways of experiencing our lives are being inaugurated. The invitation in considering this solstice gateway is to feel into the kind of initiation that may right now be available, conditioning the unfolding of this summer season both outwardly and inwardly. We can go through this gateway awake or sleeping, the choice is ours. There is a sense of reckoning that comes as we move through the Cancer portal, illuminated by the light of our nearest star at its zenith: strong light, strong shadows. The Sun is the centre of the solar system; as such, it asks for integration.

At this year’s solstice (21st June, 15:55 GMT) the Sun only makes two aspects to other bodies (a sextile to Uranus, a square to Chiron). It’s like a teacher standing quietly at the back of the classroom watching the antics of an unruly class that assumes s/he is out of the room. The forces the Sun is in contact with signal radical disruption (Uranus) and woundedness (Chiron). Thus we are summoned to be simultaneously attentive to the wound (i.e. systemic ‘failure’ of any kind) and yet detached, a key quality conferred by Uranus as it chucks us a curve ball. To be alive and alert to the disruptive processes of change while administering to the pain of our wounds is challenging! Uranian detachment offers us glimpses of the bigger picture, and having a ‘global’ context for the experience of our little selves serves to break up the patterns the habit body runs on. This is the way freedom is won.

The habit body is a complex of our conditioned responses that sits deeply, and pretty unconsciously, within our minds and bodies: default settings. This gateway opens us to an awareness of the way in which our habitual tendencies falsify our experience of reality: a wake-up call. The defences of our habit bodies are jolted into alertness and this, for most of us, is uncomfortable (something is going wrong!), in response to which we seek, sometimes compulsively, to reassert the habit body’s normal somnolence.

Astrologically, the Moon is the indicator of our habit bodies, representing our emotional conditioning or defaults. As Cancer’s ruler, the Moon disposits the summer solstice Sun, potentially allowing us to catch sight of the habit body and pierce through a layer of conditioned response. The Moon, at this summer solstice, makes many aspects to other planets while the Sun is almost unaspected: the habit body is tending to run the show. Doing what we’ve always done, the way we’ve always done it – and, as a result, getting what we’ve always got. And into the path of habit comes the solstice reckoning, the wake-up call: the teacher is in the classroom after all!

Six months away from next year’s Saturn-Pluto conjunction, we are living in extraordinary times. This influence is disseminated forcefully at this moment by an opposition between Saturn/Pluto (authority/transformation) and Mercury/Mars (communication/drive). The political landscape in Britain could not express this more succinctly! The broader concern about climate catastrophe is a deeper layer of expression. Chiron’s heightened activity (as it moves through the early degrees of Aries) is sensitising us to how broken all of this feels: shame and pain seem inexorable and incurable. Humans are challenged to find a response to painful realities of our own making (ecological, political, moral, etc.) I’m no scientist and I have no idea how to interpret concerns over climate catastrophe. But I do know that our smash and grab culture is ruthless and exploitative, that it thrives on wasting human creativity and produces radical disconnection and despondency. We have gotten disconnected from ourselves and each other, from other species, from earth and sky, and from a deep appreciation of human value, purpose and meaning. We are also disconnected from the reality of how much work and creativity are needed for us to house, feed and clothe ourselves in sustainable ways. We’re part of a cosmic dance – and not an insignificant part, in my understanding – and yet we’ve passed out on the dance floor, full of booze and tranquilizers. Not pretty. How valuable, then, to have the reckoning and awakening of the solstice Sun! To see it all; just for a moment, to see ourselves!

While Chiron in Aries is calling us out on the ‘human stain’ it is also sending out the warrior’s call to action that is Aries’ gift. And I think we have witnessed an inspiring response to that call in recent months in the heartening activity of youth climate strikes and Extinction Rebellion. Ultimately this call is to reunite the worlds that have been wrongly perceived as disconnected: to remake connections. Idealism and inspiration are the domain of the esoteric ruler of the solstice Sun, Neptune; it raises our sights and it raises our game and it’s message is ‘We are all One.’ Everything is interconnected – and the sure and certain understanding of this is redemptive. However the beautiful dream of Neptune needs to be brought down to earth in willing work and committed action. Dreaming without digging is pie in the sky.

Benjamin Zephaniah said recently, ‘I want a revolution, but everybody’s too busy shopping.’ We yearn to find ways of living well on Earth and yet we are anaesthetised and glamorised by multifarious modes of escapism. Both aspects of this dilemma are neptunian. And Neptune is currently – and for years to come – strong in its own sign, Pisces. At the solstice it is at the apex of a tight t-square to Venus and Jupiter (all in mutable signs, suggesting reorientation). The potential of this t-square is the spiritual illumination (Neptune) of our values (Venus) and quest for meaning (Jupiter). We cannot move forward without making material sacrifices. There has to be a higher value than the bottom line; there has to be a greater motive than the profit motive; we urgently require a healthier relationship to resources and to the principle of abundance. A more mundane, or immature, expression of the same t-square is deceit, delusion, confusion, disillusionment and living it up too much because it all feels so out of control – and passing out on the dance floor one more time.

Moments of awakening are precious, affording us glimpses of a less-conditioned reality; perhaps we are even able to see through our default ‘glamours’ to more truthful perceptions. Such perceptions – and they are available now – can nourish and inspire us for a whole lifetime.

If you’re interested in working with the archetype of Chiron in Aries, I am running several workshops in South Devon between June and December this year with psychologist and meditator, Wendy Watkins.  See ‘Workshops’ page.

Kate Hubert

Awen Astrology

awenastro@gmail.com

Salvaging Possibility

Spring Equinox   20th March 2019   22:00

Give them the fields and the woods and the

possibility of the world salvaged from the lords of profit.”

(Mary Oliver)

The profit motive – a supreme cultural and moral wound, and while it rules the roost one wonders what possibilities for the world can be wrested from its dark lords.   2019 is a big year for waking up to our wounds, as the Centaur, Chiron, emerged above the celestial horizon in February, entering Aries and the first degree of the zodiac: re-entering collective consciousness after a long journey in the darkness beneath the horizon. It will travel through Aries for eight years. Chiron is a key figure at the cardinal gateways (solstices and equinoxes) this year. It is weaving itself into our awareness, bringing its theme of wounding and healing, of wisdom and compassion into our consciousness of ourselves and the world. The Sun entering the first degree of Aries – the dawn moment of the year – crests the horizon, in conjunction with the Wounded Healer, Chiron, on 20th March. The renewal of spring is marked by our need to bear witness to the incurable wound. This is the time of hope and youthful vigour, of lambs and bunnies and the planting of seeds! And yet, we are called to feel the pain and powerlessness that sits heavily in our spirits. Chiron is seeding this awareness, insisting that we cannot ignore the ways in which we are personally, collectively, socially, culturally, ecologically wounded. As Rumi – soberly – has it,

Don’t turn away your head. Keep looking

at the bandaged place. That’s where

the light enters you.

 And don't believe for a moment

that you're healing yourself.

The first international Youth Strike 4 Climate, protesting political inertia in the face of climate change, occurred four days before Chiron entered Aries, and was a brilliant expression of the archetype of Chiron in Aries. Young citizens flexing political muscle on the streets of our towns and cities because politicians, teachers, parents and elders – i.e. we are failing to meet the crucial challenge of our age. And no, it really is not Brexit. Our political leaders and their commentators seem lost in a whirling eddy of asininity and mendacity, as they jockey for power and privilege in a system that is breaking apart before our eyes (revealed by the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn that is now in force). Meanwhile a new cycle of possibility, a new world, is trying to be born from the detritus of the old. Aries gives planets a sword and shield on entry – and the will to fight. We may feel powerless and despairing, and yet the warrior energy of Aries mitigates against inertia. There is a will to become effective and authentic, to do what only you can do, active and awake.

As Aries is the sign of youthful energy, Chiron is bringing our attention to the wounded experience of youth in our world right now. Knife crime is in the news; the sexual abuse of children by priests and politicians is also in the press again, as the Establishment takes a cursory peep at its unsavoury side. The Catholics have just held a conference on the matter, and put the Devil in the firing line, like that’s going to help; the public inquiry in the UK has turned its attention to the abuse of children organised from within Westminster, mother of parliaments, indeed: “Put your vileness up to a mirror and weep.” We also begin to glimpse the cost of our love affair with technology for our youth, with alarmingly increased levels of self-harm, suicide, eating disorders, amongst a panoply of other mental health disorders, which seem positively encouraged by the virtual world. Why would anyone have FOMO about this smorgasbord of pathos and despair? And yet many young people declare that life is not worth living without online. This belief is propagated by the tech giants – and it is propaganda, algorithmically designed to be addictive and disappointing, mesmerising and nauseating: to get its teeth into the emotional body and from there to dominate behaviours. What has got its teeth into yours?

There is a real world we need to live in. Physical reality is the only place to be. Any other direction leads to loss of vitality, disease and death. And yet an offer is being made whereby we can appear to retreat from or bypass the austere and essentially unequal, often impoverished physical reality many people live in, as virtual experience extends its reach – and its market – into every area of our lives. Our imaginations, our attention and our privacy are now the raw materials of consumerised surveillance capitalism for companies that pay nothing for these materials.

Here’s a question: If a solar farm harvests solar energy and a wind farm harvests wind energy, what should we call an operation that harvests human energy?

5G

The seductions of technology are persuasive when so many experience poverty at other levels of their lives: poverty of education, imagination and opportunity, time poverty, cash poverty, housing poverty, energy poverty, food poverty. We are being rendered contingent to, and utterly dependent on, systems that are designed to syphon cash out of our bank accounts and to leave us so overwhelmed by the t’s & c’s and the need to keep switching providers and creating new passwords, that we want to submit to whatever it takes just to get the groceries in on time. Our energy is snared and snagged in technological and bureaucratic forms when meanwhile there is a world outside the window with mud, blood, fire and starlight calling us to come out and to wonder at the sheer aliveness of life! And that world requires human presence: it is a crucial part of the economy of energy transformation between Above and Below, Cosmos and Gaia, Star and Stone.

https___rachelburchphotography.files.wordpress.com_2013_05_proper-beech-river

©Rachel Burch Photography, used with kind permission

The principle of life on this planet is physical manifestation. Yet the culture is currently engaged in an attempt to shear human presence from the body, peel it away from the physical realm. When we invest time and energy in realms divorced from the physical we are separating ourselves from the source of our vitality, which is found in the body and in physical life. The physical level of our existence has to be nourished – with food, energy, imagination, mind and heart; it requires clean water and air, healthy food, creativity, beauty, meaning and purpose: love. On all the levels: love.

Marko Pogačnik has written about the contradiction between planetary life and the experience of human consciousness in Turned Upside Down:

The completely divided polarities of our modern consciousness are fighting doggedly against each other to obtain control of a world that is not there anymore. … Postmodern humans remain encapsulated in projections of space/time which evolution has already dismissed from its purview. … It makes no sense at all to be overly frightened of those forces that continue to promote the old world model, or to get involved in fighting them. Or, to put it a different way, these opposing forces can only maintain their presence here because the majority of humans believe in their existence and either revere or fight against the symbols of power.

Other than the awakening to Chiron in Aries, what cargo does the Equinox moment bring, that will be unpacked over the weeks until the Summer Solstice? A drastic situation of thoroughgoing change and intense emotion is indicated – perhaps the ruling elite flexing authoritarian muscle (Grand Trine in Earth between Moon, Mars and Saturn/Pluto; Moon opposes Equinox Sun/Chiron). There is a mood of pugnacious hostility and it will be the people (Moon) who take the hits of the histrionics in public life. At a more personal level this dearth of charm can be used to take an objective look at our own hurts, to focus our attention on the cracks within ourselves and to bring light into those places.

We may well see the sacrifice of Theresa May, brought down by Tory grandees trying to save the Party, as the taint of her woundedness spreads to the whole administration (indeed, to the very idea of parliamentary process, which is creaking under the strain of Saturn and Pluto’s meeting in Capricorn, sign of governance). The astrology certainly suggests an ugly attack on a woman and yah-boo sucks to the idea of a peaceful resolution in the Brexit fiasco (Venus square Mars – Mars empowered by a trine from Saturn/Pluto). The period between the Equinox and the Brexit date are marked by retrograde Mercury stationing in conjunction with Neptune: obfuscations, delusion, sacrifice, fraud and job losses. The real confusion of the moment presents a great opportunity to the unscrupulous for some stealth politicking –  something to which we should be alert. What is happening in the wings of the main-stage breakdown of parliamentary process? The roll-out of 5G is quietly being prepared; the D. K. Foundation’s Suzanne Rough has commented that humanity has never before known “death by air”. This is worth thinking about.

Less than four hours after the Equinox the Moon will be Full on the degree of the Autumn Equinox – Sun and Moon poised at either end of the celestial horizon, the Moon reflecting the light of a Sun infused with the depth awareness of Chiron. While we are undoubtedly in a difficult process, it does serve to wake us up and it begs the questions: How do we really want to use our energy and the limited opportunities of our lives? And moreover, how can we serve?

Kate Hubert

Awen Astrology

awenastro@gmail.com

I offer consultations, Soulmapping and monthly Soulwork workshops. Feel free to share this with friends, as long as it’s attributed. Thank you!

Stars to Steer By

Winter Solstice 2018

21st December 22:24 GMT

The kingdom turned to loss, the land was dead and desert in suchwise that it was scarce worth a couple of hazelnuts. For they lost the voices of the wells and the damsels that were therein.

Chrétien de Troyes

This quote is from the King Arthur stories, about the kingdom of the maimed Fisher King, who is the keeper of the Grail, source of miraculous healing. The kingdom is laid waste because the maidens of the wells – the feminine energy that safeguarded the purity of the water, the basis of ecological health – have been violated. The Grail, symbol of the sacred feminine, is therefore confined to the court of the Fisher King, its healing powers unavailable to the land or even to the King himself. The Fisher King (Pelles, as in this image by Will Worthington) is the astrological archetype of Chiron, the wounded healer, and it is Chiron that stands at the gateway of the Winter Solstice this year.

Pelles

The great gateways of the year (the solstices and equinoxes) are portals that take us from one variety of experience to another. The gateway is an opportunity: what does it bring to us, and we to it? Our tendency is to want to squeeze ourselves through our lives as painlessly as possible, without calamity, embarrassment or distress. What is that part of us that wants to move through the cycles of our lives unchanged and unchallenged? Chiron reminds us that we are always wounded, in some sense sullied by experience. He was the leader of the centaurs and mentor to the solar heroes. Accidentally wounded by Hercules’ poisoned arrow, immortal Chiron cannot die and neither can he be healed. Chiron, in our own experience, marks for each of us the pain that cannot be fixed, that we have no choice but to learn to live with. The deal in this Earth realm is ‘strength through struggle’: it’s a matter of bearing what is sullied and painful, and saying yes to difficulty. This way wisdom is won.

And now we reach the depth and extent of the dark. The Winter Solstice is the seeding moment. The sun-seed of the year of growth ahead is implanting in the womb of winter. This is a time for stillness and holding the mystery. When we think about the future we can feel powerless, as if we ‘just have to wait and see’. And yet, the future is only ever the outgrowth of how and what we are, here and now. And this most contracted point in time signals the need for holding: holding potentiality, holding the not-born, holding hope. Inner discipline is required to be able to be with what we are experiencing without spilling our energy out in emotional reactions. You don’t keep digging a seed up to see how it’s doing. It is for us to gather creative power now as the Sun’s energy is internalised and transforms itself in us through the process we call Winter. External fallowness is met by inward fullness as future time dreams itself in all beings. As Rilke has it, ‘the future enters into us … in order to transform itself in us long before it happens’.

Meanwhile our little island is in a flap. At the national level, we are thinking, discussing and taking action in the political realm in terms that are obsolete. Truly, we are fiddling while Rome burns. The madness of this is hard to bear. It’s not with national sovereignty and trade deals that we should concern ourselves as we slip beneath the rising waters of climate change. Instead our concern should be for how we can take power to act in the service of our planet. Many, many people are doing this, just as many others are obsessing about status, income and the bottom line. We’re all united by a common concern for security, just looking through different lenses and at different levels of awareness.

So we find ourselves in a desert kingdom with a maimed sovereign. Pluto’s relentless passage through Capricorn (sign of authority and governance and the solstice) has been exposing the limitation of all our ‘systems’. It brings purification through purging what is toxic and corrupt, and we have had had a bellyful of that and there’s plenty more to come. But what positively is coming to light is the radical necessity to take responsibility for our human sacred trust, our non-negotiable responsibility for planetary well-being, and to reinstate regard for the sacred feminine.

Pluto was, by the Greeks and Romans, cast as Lord of the Underworld. But underneath his patriarchal robe, Pluto is the expression of an older, female archetype: Kali with blood around her mouth and her vulva, the devouring and birthgiving mother. The great goddess is a powerful aspect of the Pluto archetype that is seeking integration in our understanding and experience. The #me too movement is a terribly faint but discernible echo of the goddess insurgency that is reshaping the world of the collective right now.

Kali

At the Solstice moment Pluto occupies 20 Capricorn, the Sabian symbol of which is given as, ‘The ray of hope through all difficulty.’ Despair is corrosive to our communities and to our own souls; it is a spiritual and social necessity to foster, and act on the basis of, our highest hope. As Kate Tempest beautifully expresses it, ‘Your hope is as old as the language of smoke, the language of blood.’ Hope has archetypal power; it is fundamental to maintaining our humanity. There is food, drink and shelter in our very capacity to hope.

In April 2018 Chiron, the wounded healer, entered Aries, place of sunrise, breaching the horizon after a long nocturnal sojourn. It has re-entered collective consciousness, bringing our awareness both to our deepest wounds and to our greatest capacity for compassion and wisdom. He is making the scales fall from our eyes as we see the wasteland in which we are living. In September Chiron sank back beneath the horizon as it retrograded into the sign of Pisces . It will emerge finally on 19th February 2019. The portal of the Solstice this year is marked by Chiron in a square to the Solstice Sun. It will square both Sun and Moon on 22nd December, when the Full Moon poetically occupies the degree of the Summer Solstice. Wounds that cannot be fixed and cannot be ignored are the source of our creativity and bless us with compassion and wisdom. The jungian, James Hollis, puts it simply: ‘Wounds quicken consciousness.’ They break us out of the prisons of our habit, somnolence and addiction that incarcerate and enfeeble us.

Without our wounds and our hope we might be brilliant machines, capable of a great deal; with our wounds and our hope we are human, capable of conscience, consciousness, insight, nuance, humour, development, love and wisdom. Chiron is a walker between the worlds. His emergence above the horizon and his marking of the Solstice portal indicates a time when the worlds can be seen once more in connection with each other:

world of thought with world of feeling with world of action;

world of past with world of present with world of future;

world of animal with world of plant with world of mineral;

world of soul with world of body;

world of time with world of timelessness;

manifest world with archetypal world;

world of self with cosmic world.

To do this work of reconnection means to bear with what has been spoiled – our wounds – personally, socially, politically, spiritually, environmentally. This will require us to withdraw from blame. We blame because we are in thrall to the idea that our pain has been inflicted by something external to us. In blaming we neurotically fling out the possibility of inner truth and insight that are our gifts and our guidance (and which potentially redeem, at least mitigate, suffering).

This Solstice and 2019 will focus our attention powerfully on what has been spoiled and soured. We choose how best to respond. We can say, ‘To hell with it, let’s go down in style;’ or we can despair, freighting our souls with an insupportable cargo of hopelessness, guilt and blame. Or we can be alert to the tensions and dynamics of our difficult situations and determine to hold them in our awareness, in our experience. We need to find inner discipline and independence of thought and feeling – not to be part of the broiling sea of collective reaction that surrounds us. Can we find the strength to hold our ship steady? Having a context of significance, a set of principles, through which to understand what is happening is like having stars to steer by. When the storm is raging, can we find the still point, the eye of the storm?

We stand to gain a great deal…

Kate Hubert

I offer astrological consultations to individuals, monthly Soulwork experiential astrology workshops and occasional workshops on astrological themes. Coming up on 17th February 2019, there’s a chance to explore the archetype of Chiron or the Fisher King, the wounded healer. I work in Ashburton, South Dartmoor.

The Astrological Resonance of the Armistice

I’m writing on 10th November 2018, and have been looking into the astrological resonances of the World War One Armistice, which was signed at 5am in the Forest of Compiègne, north of Paris, on 11th November 1918 and became effective later that day, at 11am. Armistice signed 11.11.1918

The chart of the signing of the Armistice, Forest of Compiegne, 11th Nov. 1918, 5am

The sabian symbol for the ascending degree when the Armistice was signed (26° Libra) is startling:

An eagle and a white dove change swiftly into each other.

Six hours later, when the Armistice became effective, the ascending degree was 6° Capricorn with Pluto (death, fate, necessity) exactly on the descendant, signalling that the destructive forces of Pluto were disowned and projected on to the ‘Other’ side, and loading the moment with depth and intensity. The Sun (national identities) is conjunct Venus (the peacemaker) ascending towards the midheaven, shining down over the whole chart.

The Moon (the people) is just hours away from a conjunction with Uranus (liberation) – an exuberant time of release and freedom. Of course, the Moon had been conjuncting Uranus once a month for the entirety of the war, but that it is stamped into this historic moment is worthy of remark. This mood of popular liberation is echoed in the 1801 UK chart which has a quintile from the Moon to Uranus: the UK populace carries the Uranus theme of eccentricity, innovation and of upsetting expectations (even to the point of perversity).

Mars (the warrior), at the signing of the Armistice, is at 29° Sagittarius in an exact square with retrograde Chiron (the wounded healer) at 29° Pisces. Chiron today, 100 years later, stands at 28° Pisces, also retrograde, lending a fraught and painful resonance to the centenary. By 11am, when the Armistice became effective, Mars had moved to 0° Capricorn, the lowest point in the zodiac and the degree of the midwinter solstice, trining Saturn: aggression is in lockdown, stilled and held by authority. Hostility is positively contained.

In the UK chart Mars trines the Sun – self-assertion/aggression (Mars) flows very naturally as a part of the national identity (the Sun). Both the Sun and Mars are in earth signs and belligerence might be seen as a national attribute. Mars squares harmonious Venus (Stiff upper lip, don’t be a softie, lad!) and opposes Neptune. Now this is interesting. Neptune signifies idealism, sacrifice and delusion, suggesting a British tendency towards idealising conflict, having an inflated sense of our own force and an appetite for martyrishness. The Brits tend towards autonomy, but the tendency is not readily seen or owned (Mars and Uranus are both hidden in watery houses, the 8th and the 12th respectively). So often it has happened in our dealings with Europe that we suppose we are being slighted and taken for a ride and feel bullish in response. It is our own perverse tendency to doing it and having it our own way that makes us poor collaborators across national boundaries.

UK 1801

The 1801 chart of the UK

The Sun-Venus conjunction in the Armistice chart opposes the UK’s Mars and conjuncts the UK’s Neptune, bringing a conscious awareness of the mood of surrender and release that is the resonance of Neptune. As we mark the Armistice each year the Sun is passing through the degree held by the national Neptune – we fall under the trance-like spell of that planet and tend to idealise our losses and focus on sacrifice and the grandiosity of heroism in a sadly sentimental way. It would be good to mark this centenary without falling into nationalistic emotion, to recognise that the wiping out of a great part of a generation of young men across the continent of Europe is a blight, a shame and a trauma from which we are still recovering.

Our UK Mars-Neptune opposition means that feelings of loss, self-sacrifice and idealism are hopelessly muddled with conflict and aggression. People in this country still talk jauntily of “the Blitz spirit”, and get sentimentally teary about our war dead. Without demeaning them in any way, those that died in WW1 were not heroes any more than you or I. They had no choice, but to be shot for desertion or abused and imprisoned as ‘conchies’ (conscientious objectors, for the younger reader). Our war dead were sacrificed by the State. The victims of war are calling out for our help still, arriving in Kent in refrigerated lorries, drowning in the Med (near coastlines where we like to holiday) and living in degrading conditions in refugee camps. These people are our people, let us not feel separate from them. If an eagle can swiftly turn into a white dove, a white dove can as swiftly turn back into an eagle. At the going down of the Sun, we shall remember them. And so we should. It might pay also to remember the atrocities that citizens are obliged to participate in on the orders of the State. This is not a time for emotionalism.

My local town hall is currently festooned with Union Jack bunting (it’s like doing pilates on the set of Dads’ Army) and the hallway is lined with letters addressed to the Unknown Soldier by our local school children, thanking him for his service and sacrifice. I’ve seen grown men and women dressed up in WW1 uniforms on the street. It’s an uncomfortable mixture of homage, nostalgia and costume party that feels to me inappropriate and confused.

Transiting Saturn is now squaring the UK ascendant/descendant axis and approaching a conjunction with the Sun. Our identity as a nation is feeling gridlocked and restricted, and in authoritarian mood. At the same time Pluto is, and will be, over the coming months, moving away from its long transit by opposition of our introspective Cancer Moon. The UK people’s sense of belonging, our crustacean-like need for firm borders and security has been radically overhauled by this Pluto transit. This has allowed us to witness a smash and grab of power-mongering in the body politic, and much that is poisonous and abhorrent in the national psyche and in national institutions has been brought into the light of consciousness. This is no bad thing, but it is surely time to cultivate the mind of compassion. This requires some emotional maturity which will become available in the new year when transiting Pluto will have moved off the Moon and transiting Saturn will have taken its place; Saturn will bring maturity, gravity and realism into the reckoning of Brexit. As ever, under the influence of Saturn, it will be time to bend or break.

We are at an historic moment: commemorating the centenary of the end of WW1 hostilities and engaged in fundamentally altering our historically fraught relationship with continental Europe. The post-war European project may be far from ideal but it has also been far better than the perpetual scrapping and warring that preceded it. It would be helpful now for us to divorce our honouring of the dead from nationalistic sentiment. To combine these two makes us highly vulnerable to political manipulation. Best to try and see and think clearly at this moment. Certainly we should honour our dead, all our dead, whatever their country of origin. And let us honour not just the dead, but those living with the effects of war: the wounded, the traumatised and the exiled.

white poppy

Kate Hubert

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