Astrological Musings

astrological state of the unionLike people, countries have astrology charts that are based from the date and time of their inception.  There is a great deal of argument among astrologers over which is the “real” chart for the US, and if you like you can read more about that argument and why I use the Sibly chart here.

In my Astrological State of the Union post from 2009 I wrote:

The United States is at an astrological crossroads.  The US progressed Mars turned retrograde last year, and is searching for a new direction.  Pluto, god of transformation, has been challenging the US Midheaven, the point of public perception.  The qualities that gave the US its power over the past 400 years will not work for the next 400, and the nation will have to adapt.  Economic systems are changing and becoming much more tenuous and fluid as they go global.  Traditional social systems are weakening and require a new way of looking at the way humans form families and cultural groups.  As a people we must become more lithe and limber so that we can adapt to the changing collective, or we will not survive the 21st century.  This is not a time to look back and long for the conservative values of the 1950s – those days are over.  There is a new day dawning, and we will have to be ready for it.

This is no less true today.  The transit of Pluto, planet of destruction and regeneration, in a square to the US Midheaven oversaw the breakdown of much of American life which resulted in the appearance of a decline in the American role as world superpower.  Uranus, the planet of radical change and revolution, is preparing to transit in opposition to the US Midheaven.  Uranus is known as the “awakener” because it stimulates a view that is different from the everyday world view that keeps our lives in order.  Under this Uranus cycle there will be a growing awareness among the common people that the lives that many of us knew have been irrevocably changed, and there will be a growing unease about the future.

Uranus and Pluto are getting ready to face off in a powerful cycle such as the 1960s when the alignment of these two stimulated the social change and upheaval of that period.  In 2014 and 2015 the square (90 degree aspect) between these two planets will reach the degree of the Sun in the US chart and stimulate some radical events that are likely to continue the ongoing battle between the forces that seek to return to the ways of the past, even though the bridges have burned behind them, and the forces that demand change in a radical and perhaps unsustainable form.

In the meantime, though, there is a “double whammy” of Uranus and Jupiter events beginning with a square of transiting Uranus to the US Jupiter this year beginning in April.  Jupiter in a national chart represents the national ideology and belief system, and with Uranus demanding a radical departure from the past we are likely to see a further splintering of religious dogma and organized religion over the next year.  But this cycle will also stimulate excitement and greater readiness for the changes that are necessary in order to move into the next phase of the nation’s ability to sustain itself.  Then Jupiter will conjoin Uranus beginning in July (through next February) which could stimulate greater innovation and new ideas.

The death of an old way of living leads to a new beginning, but only if we can let go of the past and move forwards.  This Uranus/Jupiter “double whammy” can provide the fuel for this to happen if we allow the change to unfold.  If we cling to the past, things will not go well under this influence.  Change is inevitable.

In the summer of 2012 there is a large number of Jupiter cycles which will create expansion and help the changes to find their ground and become anchored in the new reality.  After that point the transits are generally favorable for growth and national confidence that can put the nation’s finances back on track.

Art by Willow Arlenea. It’s hard to deny that we are being pulled into a vortex towards a new future that is unlike anything any of us have ever known.  This is exhilarating for some of us and frightening for others, but our reactions and programming don’t really matter now.  The change is happening and we are a part of it.

This guided meditation is taken from Joanna Macy’s fine book Coming Back to Life and titled “The Web of Life.”  I’ve made some changes to fit with the intention of integrating with the process of the earthly incarnation and the purpose of the Change that is afoot.  I invite you to read it aloud, or perhaps record it and then play it back when you are able to relax with your eyes closed.

Feel your breath, glide on the breath as it flows in, and then flows out.  The oxygen ignites each cell, stirs it awake as it burns in the metabolism of life…. Extend your awareness deep within to feel this energy…. It is all around you , too – sustaining your body, sustaining great circles of air, water, fire and earth flowing through us all… weaving us into the web of life.

See these interlacing currents, like threads of light…connecting you with everything else in the room you are in.  Expand your awareness beyond the room – to your entire home, to the street on which you live, encircling your entire community, encircling the Earth.  This great multiplicity of strands, formed of the emotions and thoughts and laughter and tears you’ve held in your being and shared with others…they hold you in place.  Sense those filaments – lie into them.

This web sustains your bones and blood and skin, concocted so intricately out of the food you have eaten and the soul of the earth from which that food has come.  The soil that yields the grain for your bread, the boughs of the tree that bears the fruit you eat…all are part of your body now.

Back through time this web extends, back through your mothers, fathers, all of the ancestors…extending back through countless generations to the very stars themselves from which we come.  For it is of star stuff evolving that we are all made in the flowing of time… We are each a jewel in this vast net that called us into being…. Each of us a unique and wonderful jewel, sparkling with awareness, reflecting the world.

There is pain, too, along the strands of the web and perhaps this pain has become stuck in the filaments.  A memory of loss…an aching of rejection and betrayal – open to these sorrows…breathe them in so that the channels may open once again and the beautiful sparkling web may flow smoothly with the energy of life and change and love and joy.  There is power in the flowing of this fluid net, love that has enriched us and love that we give.  Feel the opening of your heart as you breathe love in and breathe love out, nourishing and feeding the web with love and grace.

Open your inner eyes and your heart and your mind to the pulsing of the web and all of its murmurs and whispers as deep as time and life itself.  You are a part of it, and it is a part of you.  Open to it all – unafraid, relaxed, with perfect love and perfect trust.  You are the Universe, knowing itself and flowing with divine inspiration and courage.

In this time of change we may go through a dark place, but we do not go alone, and we do not go without the timeless wisdom of the web which nourishes and sustains us, which cradles us in the arms of ancestral power and love.

You are already home…there is nowhere you can go where you’re not held in grace.

This is an excerpt from a longer article that can be found on my website here.

By its very nature, Neptune is difficult to talk about. It tends to be evasive and dreamy, and full of imagination and artistic creativity.  It also can become lost in the illusion of fantasy and encourage sacrifice of the individual self, sometimes for a higher purpose and sometimes in a codependent loss of Self.  In its highest form Neptune inspires us to transcend the material world and connect deeply and directly with an experience of the Divine.

Before Neptune was discovered, Pisces was ruled by Jupiter.  Jupiter, being one of the personal planets, operates on the worldly plane where Neptune, a transpersonal planet of transformation, inspires us to go beyond this world.  Where Neptune governs the direct experience of transcendence, Jupiter presides over the more intellectual construction of what gives life meaning.  Jupiter therefore is more concerned with religion and theology where Neptune deals with matters of spiritual experience.  Both planets also have a hand in popular culture.  Neptune is found in areas of artistry and entertainment, where Jupiter is more involved with the actual media through which entertainment is  delivered to the masses.

With Neptune moving into Pisces, there is the potential for tremendous spiritual transformation, but also mass delusion such as has never been seen before.  The last time Neptune entered Pisces was in February 1848, shortly after its discovery in 1845.   1848 is the year that the gold rush began in California, leading one reporter to complain that everyone in the state was under the spell of gold fever.  This kind of fever, or mass hysteria, is emblematic of Neptune in Pisces.

The transit of Neptune in Pisces this time around once again (as it did in 1848-1852) coincides with a strong aspect between Uranus and Pluto that inspires revolution and radical change and the destruction of the status quo.  The Neptunian influence can cast a spell of delusion over the fever for revolution, or it can inspire us to greater love and compassion for all of humanity.

As we move from the age of Pisces into the age of Aquarius, humans are waking up out of their sleep of delusion that religious dogma has cast over the world during the past 2000 years of Piscean mystery.  Aquarius is more concerned with the rights of the individual, although it can be brutal in its efforts to accomplish social equality as we have seen throughout history in events such as the French Revolution.

As we stand at the doorway of the Age of Aquarius, this passage of Neptune in Pisces represents a completion of sorts – a final test of our ability to rise above the urge to lose ourselves in unconscious urges and escapist behavior and instead achieve a higher level of conscious awareness in the elevation of our ideals and dreams.

Neptune wants to inspire us to transcend ordinary reality, and its ideal expression is to seek this transcendence through a connection with the divine.  This is the source of the creative fire, as we channel any type of creative output through our more limited conscious experience.  As Neptune travels through Pisces we have an opportunity to more easily stretch ourselves beyond the limits of our intuition and conscious awareness.  Our capacity for compassion for the suffering can grow and our hearts can open.  If we ground ourselves in a spiritual practice we will be able to take advantage of the opening flower of divine wisdom that will be available to us, especially during the period in which Chiron is also in Pisces.

With Uranus squaring Pluto over the next four years, revolution and radical changes in the global landscape will be a major part of our experience.  Neptune in Pisces can inspire us to either escape from the difficult intensity into new heights of avoidance, or to seek the higher path of elevated consciousness that can help us to create real change and transformation.  Neptune in Pisces offers opportunities for unparalleled creativity and imagination which can combine with the powerful Uranian influence for invention in ways that can create amazing things for the world of the future.

The symbol for Pisces is two fish swimming in opposite directions.  Pisces is said to be the sign of the saint and the sinner, the priest and the addict. It is our choice, as it always is, whether we will take the easy road of sleep and unconsciousness,  or remain awake and utilize the powerful energy of change that is coming.

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As an astrologer I am always looking for coincidences and interesting links, and the release of a huge solar flare the day that Mars turned retrograde is one of those interesting connections.  Mars represents fire, enthusiasm, drive, it’s an aggressive force.  A solar flare comes from the Sun, but it is fiery in nature and the quality of the eruption has a Martian flare.

From our perspective here on Earth, the electromagnetic energy from the solar flare could create havoc with telecommunications systems and the fact that Uranus, planet of electromagnetic energy, is in the sign of Aries now (ruled by Mars) suggests that an increase in electromagnetic anomalies would not be unexpected.

There has been a great deal of fear of the collapse of the electromagnetic grid as part of the 2012 phenomenon which supposes that the Solar Max period will occur in 2012, but the Solar Max is actually expected to take place in 2013 or 2014.  There is real astrological significance to those years because the cycle of Uranus in Aries squared by Pluto in Capricorn will be reaching its peak at that time.

In any case, with Mars retrograde our attention is turned to our own inner needs to assert ourselves and find a way to energize our desires and dreams.  The added fiery influence of the radiation from the solar storms may affect our own electromagnetic energy fields and perhaps we can find a way to harness that energy to assist us become more conscious of the way energy works in our mind/body/spirit system.