We move from stillness into flux and back, wave upon wave of unfolding ourselves; wave upon wave of becoming what we are: as individuals, communities, soul groups, eco-systems, as shards of the whole Gaia. We move towards authenticity and evolution and we move away from it, into involution. This movement towards and away allows us to become conscious of ourselves; it is an awakening oscillation.
We can feel this potential in our experience of the seasons and the festivals, which are like portals or moments of seeing through into a greater or different reality where greater or different possibilities exist. There are other such portals, allowing us to glimpse new landscapes, urging us to move, develop and adapt. Major aspects between transiting planets create portals. The great and mysterious eclipse cycles that describe the interweaving of Sun, Moon and Earth also create portals.
The Spring Equinox this year is marked by being preceded only hours before by a total solar eclipse and accompanied by the conclusion of a series of seven exact squares between the major heavyweights of our solar system, Uranus and Pluto, that began at Midsummer 2012. The seventh square is exact on 17th March, and Uranus and Pluto occupy the same degree of their signs (Aries and Capricorn respectively) between 12th and 29th March.
This Uranus-Pluto square forms the energetic backdrop to the Equinox. The square arises between the signs of Aries and Capricorn (two arms of the Cardinal cross, which deals with inauguration and initiation): we have the energy of the Spring Equinox grinding against that of the Winter Solstice. The impulsive yang charge of Aries (the will-to-be) is held in tension with the dark, slow restraining yin force of Capricorn. The urge to move, to will, to vent one’s strength is governed and held in check by the unshakable power of stillness.
This energetic tension is echoed by the planets themselves. Uranus is highly active, super-refined and unpredictable: it seeks to liberate energy by breaking up, breaking out, breaking through obsolete patterns of being. It is the Ambassador of the Soul quickening and calling us towards freedom and the right direction for the liberation of soul forces. Working through Aries, Uranus is seeking to liberate, through disruption, the energy of the will-to-be, the very impulse that brings us into earthly existence. Uranus cuts our moorings and launches us towards the future that was our original intention, caring not one jot for our feelings of wellbeing or security, which are often very threatened by the changes and revelations wrought by its activity.
Being in a square to Pluto, the more powerful body, the impulse of Uranus is held, checked and thwarted. In this thwarting there is the possibility of reflection and maturation: when I am released I know exactly what I need to do. Conversely, it can give rise to anger and the venting of strength for its own sake: wasted energy. Pluto’s action is to descend, to penetrate to the very depths and from the depths to purify by expelling, boil-like, all corruption and rottenness. As it is in Capricorn, sign of the Father and authority, it is relentlessly exposing and expunging the rottenness of ‘the System’: social forms, from the family to the state and the Establishment. We are pinned and held by the unflinching gaze of Pluto; it is a time of exposure and truth-telling. We can rage against it, swear that we didn’t know what was going on on our watch, deny all charges; or we can roll with the punches, allow our darkness to emerge into the light of day and, thus be cleansed and regenerated. Pluto processes are ultimately regenerative, like a boil or a volcano or a forest fire: they set the conditions for health and growth. They are thorough-going transpersonal processes and we can feel stripped and laid bare; fascination, glamour, disgust and shame are never far away when Pluto is active. We are urged towards a relationship with the reality that lies beneath appearances. The current tension between Uranus and Pluto is creating a revelatory and exhausting time; our assumptions are disrupted and we have to see where it is that we are truly at. This can feel wonderful and terrible. I believe that the Uranus-Pluto portal is an initiation for humanity and for Gaia: an awakening, a call to GET REAL – to root ourselves in the Real!
At 9:46 on 20th March we have a total solar eclipse on the last degree of Pisces (an unstable degree that tends to call to the extremes of both Pisces and Aries, which might be symbolised by the martyr-soldier). During a solar or lunar eclipse the Earth (Gaia and humanity) is separated from the rays of the life-giving Sun by the obstruction in space that is the Moon. The Moon is a reflector of light, a mirror. It is not in itself a source of anything. The Sun is a star. The contrast is easy to comprehend. It is the Sun around which our planetary system is constellated; it is the representative of a higher level of being, the source of light, life and love in our world. Human beings bring stellar and planetary vibrations into the body of planet Earth by acting as receivers; we transmit those energies combined with Gaia’s force back out into the cosmos. We are designed to do this most effectively through an alignment with Sun energy; we are heliotropic. This cosmic exchange is interrupted and threatened by eclipses, when we are deprived of the life-giving light and warmth of our star.
Eclipses then are portals marked by “difficulty–opportunity”. Unresolved emotional issues and associated snarled-up instinctual energies tend to arise when we are in shadow. When owned and embraced with healing intent, these energies can guide and help us. During eclipses we are challenged to carry the light of the Sun – and in particular of our own unique constellation of solar force represented in our birth charts – strongly within our own beings, to transform conditions and so assist ourselves, humanity and Gaia in journeying through the portal into a new level of evolution. The Sun rules the heart and the heart’s qualities are courage and joy. An eclipse can be a spectacular opportunity for the courage and joy of the open human heart to do their work in the world.
The Sun enters Aries (marking the Equinox), a mere 13 hours after this total solar eclipse, at 22:46 on 20th March, inaugurating a new cycle of birth, growth, activity and awareness. It is a time of renewal and innovation and outward movement, particularly so this year as its ruling planet, Mars, is in its own sign of Aries, producing a powerful impulse to get moving, to spring into action, to do the work we long to do. This triple-whammy portal event is followed at 12:01 on 4th April by the lunar eclipse in Libra, which squares both Uranus and Pluto, making a t-square with the Uranus-Pluto square. The period between these two eclipses brings a resurgence of repressed energies, and the lunar eclipse demands an adjustment to new circumstances – a strengthening of intention, perhaps, to take hold of our energies and perceptions with will, willingness and wisdom.
All in all, we are being pressed to move forwards and outwards, while also being held back. This can bring burn-out, anger and destructiveness or, conversely, insight and intention. Imagination and discernment are invited to engage with the Shadow and all the self-limiting stories we tell ourselves to deal with shame and difficulty. The gap opens between the stories and reality. I see this time as a call to awaken to reality. Enrich life with presence. Be real, be here and now, present to reality as it exists beneath glamour and virtuality: embodied, troubled and interesting. Full of potential. Plant the seed now.