Full Moon Stretch

The Sagittarius Moon is in full phase, and will be exactly opposite the Gemini Sun at 9:10 Friday morning. Restlessness and anticipation are keywords to be watching for because our instinct to grow is activated– and this leaves us on the brink of leaping forward in some area of life.

Jupiter, the ruling planet of Sagittarius, is at an astrological “standstill” in the sky, ending its retrograde phase which began back in early February. When a planet is retrograde, the energy it represents is directed more internally, toward introspection and personal contemplation. And with Jupiter’s expansive and future-oriented outlook focused on our inner value system, there’s been a sense of spinning our wheels without traction in the outer world as we revamp our quality control. The question may have come in the vague shape of, “What’s in it for me?”

harvest-moon-2016-134.jpgNow Jupiter is turning direct again, which will light a fire to fuel our intentions. It may be time to start implementing some of those bright ideas, especially if your gut is telling you to expand your horizons. Where have you been selling yourself short? Momentum is growing, igniting the start of warm days and the peak of daylight hours in the northern hemisphere. A summer ahead…  a symbol of life in fullness. This Full Moon energy is supportive of creating our own joy.

In aiming for the high road, there’s the hope that this Sagittarius Full Moon instills in us the trust in our own worth and the courage to take a running leap off the diving board. As always, be aware of that excitement getting out of hand and becoming selfishly exaggerated and overblown, the common shadow side of fiery Sagittarius. Finding the balance between assertive self-expression and conscious receptivity is the task of the weekend’s astrology.

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Scorpio Full Moon Astrology

The Moon reaches fullness tonight at 5:42, bringing us to an emotional high tide in issues of trust and stability. With the Sun in security-minded Taurus, our comfort level is vital, and we may be getting an influx of solar energy illuminating what kind of stuff we believe would make us happier. Sometimes this relates to material items, but it also can tie into the sense of worth we get from our jobs, relationships, or in other areas of life.

As the Moon reflects the Sun’s light back from the opposite sign Scorpio, we’re able to get a poignant, bare, honest look at what we fear and lack. Earning self-worth and sustainability, the basic goal of Taurus the Bull, is so tough in today’s cutthroat competition, and the Scorpio Moon can bring to the surface some jealousy or blame aimed at a world that doesn’t always feel supportive to our needs. Harvest Moon 2016 149

Mercury is all worked up after its overnight conjunction with Uranus, which symbolizes that there’s new information out there. On May 20th, Mercury will finally reach the same spot where it turned retrograde, ending its shadow phase. There’s a sense here that we’re picking up the pace in our forward motion– the doors that open from Uranus’s lightning strike enlighten Mercury, offering a higher road or broader perspective. And Saturn will form a supportive trine to Uranus during late May, supplying some ingenuity and discipline to physically manifest a new way of doing things.

When we’re able to stand solid, despite being vulnerable, we can see more clearly what we need. This Full Moon is all about generosity of spirit– to counter the tendency to envy or distrust with some acceptance and faith that things are improving.

 

Bare Essentials

The Sun shifts into Taurus today at 5:27 p.m., signalling what is typically a calming and stabilizing wave into the astrological atmosphere. But as Mercury’s retrograde motion sets it back into Aries and into the neighborhood of wild child Uranus, there’s bound to be some unexpected activity that makes it challenging to ground down into stillness.

Taurus is an earth sign concerned with maintaining serenity. Symbolized by the bull because of the self-possessed and slow-moving strength of the animal, Taurus likes keeping things uncomplicated and predictable. There’s a strong sensuality to this energy– Taurus is associated with the earth and Venus, relating to the pleasure of the simple things in life, like good food, good music, and the beauty of nature. Taken to the extreme, there’s a risk of  self-indulgence and stubbornness, as that need to hold onto what is comfortable and familiar creates an obstacle for progress.lavender 020

So on the one hand, we have the Sun entering this sign for the next four weeks, assisting us in rooting back into our bodies. Get into nature, into cooking, into exercise– activities that slow down the chatter of the mind and focus us in the present moment. Smell flowers. Plant flowers. Do things that calm you down. Engage with what matters now, and not all the superficial stuff that distracts us from what is essential.

On the other hand, Mercury is turning up the volume. It is at 0 degrees of Taurus as I write this, moving retrograde. When the Sun moves into Taurus tonight, the two will conjoin, and then Mercury will back up into Aries tomorrow afternoon. With Mercury so close to the Sun, our minds are worked up. There’s a mental buzz, perhaps not audible, but going on inside our head. Operating in the signs of Taurus and Aries, the buzz is probably pretty self-centered in nature– concerns about personal needs and wants are at the core. It’s as if we’re trying to sort out information and formulate a plan, and since Mercury is retrograde, we’re trying to correct or improve our course of action.

As Mercury continues its retrograde, it will back up to meet Uranus in Aries, which will affect us all the way through mid-May. This is an impulsive and erratic energetic current that offers possibilities of liberating information and genius new ideas, while also promoting impatience and brash inconsideration. The Taurus Sun can get stressed out by this hectic whirlwind of excitement, especially if we feel swept up by it all. And Taurus’ penchant for stubborn defensiveness can cause problems if we dig our head in the sand and refuse the new opportunities being offered to us.

This is a balancing act of poised, deliberate action with openness to wild insight and unexpected ideas. It’s important to remember that patient consideration is necessary here, because the inclination to jump may be quick with the Mercury/Uranus influence. We need to harness the solid nature of the bull in order to bring these great possibilities down into practical use, and that means not jumping to extremes before caution is taken. Remember that Taurus seeks real, lasting value– not all that glitters is gold, as the saying goes.

Anticipation

Spring is just around the corner as the Sun moves its way through the last degrees of Pisces. The vernal equinox is Monday, March 20, at 6:29 a.m., when the Sun transitions into Aries, the first sign of the zodiac. The vitality of this cardinal fire sign helps us shake off the dormant feeling of winter, heating up our physical bodies with the impulse to get out and do something. There’s a catch in the start of this year’s spring season, however–one that may potentially trip us up if we’re trying to move too fast.

DSC01384Aries embodies a powerful straightforwardness that seeks freedom to move ahead with decisive action.Words like ‘pushy’ and ‘hasty’ are often applicable, not because Aries is an inherently selfish sign, but because the expression of personal will is necessary. We’ve had Uranus, the big rebel of the planets, transiting Aries since 2011, charging the atmosphere with an electrifying and restless dissatisfaction of life as we know it. Venus, ahead of the Sun right now, has also been in Aries since early February. Venus is a symbol of our value and discernment– how we internally choose what we like and honor and what we are repelled or insulted by. The headstrong and impetuous climate of Aries can put a little bit of a warrior in Venus, getting straight to the point but perhaps forgetting patience and manners. And this touchiness in relationships is extended with the planet’s retrograde phase, lasting from March 4-April 15.

Mercury, messenger of the gods, joined Uranus and Venus in Aries yesterday. Because of its retrograde phase (April 9-May 3), Mercury will be in Aries through the end of March, and then will revisit it again April 20- May 16. With all of this retrograde activity going on in Aries, there’s a sense that we have to rectify some things before we can really spring forward into the freshness of a new season. It’s not that we have to stay stuck in reverse motion– Aries will not wait for any planet to catch up! The winter planning phase is coming to an end, and we are compelled to start breaking out of the cocoon and implementing our ideas. But within that energy is the need to be brave and clarify some things, perhaps on an internal level. Aries is brazenly honest, and we can utilize that to get to the core of our intentions. It’s time to stop lying to ourselves and to others.

Venus and Mercury are signalling that we need to reevaluate in order to live more freely, stripped of superficial pretenses and ideals that no longer feel authentic. The rejection of the status quo, represented by Uranus in Aries, is a background pressure that we’re all feeling. The Sun’s entry into Aries, coupled with Venus and Mercury, shines a light on our individual power and conviction. This is an ideal time to develop courage to make changes and to regain a sense of integrity on a collective level as well as a personal one.

impeachment : (noun) the action of calling into question the integrity or validity of something

 

 

The Good We Do

We’ve entered the waning half of the Moon’s cycle since it reached Full phase last Friday night. There’s a sense of de-escalation surrounding the waning phase, similar to a long exhale after taking a deep breath. The potency of the Full Moon (and the emotional and psychological drama it can encourage) slowly begins to recede back with the shrinking lunar light, allowing us to take a step back from the intensity.

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The waning cycle lasts 2 weeks, from Full to New Moon. During this time, the Sun will pass through the last degrees of Aquarius and eventually shift into Pisces on Feb. 18. Pisces energy tends to release the severity of our convictions– the strong-minded Aquarian ideals melt a little in Pisces, allowing for more acceptance, passivity, and forgiveness. It’s easier to live and let live because Pisces likes to dissolve boundaries, looking at the world from a more inclusive point of view. The danger can be avoidance and escapism, where sweeping details under the rug simply feels easier than dealing with things honestly and directly. Strong backbone can be lacking because the sensitivity factor is so high, which makes it difficult to engage in confrontation. The positive potential here is to recuperate, taking some time to alleviate stress and indulge in peace and quiet.

Mercury is getting all sorts of planetary excitement during this lunar waning phase, indicating that things won’t be completely mellow. The planet of communication is still transiting Aquarius, following behind the Sun by several degrees. It will make contact with Mars, Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn over the course of the 2 weeks, all of which serve to stimulate our mental faculties. Information is flowing: what seemed solid is going to start to shift and mobilize. These astrological aspects can be energizing, destabilizing, and liberating– Mercury is being activated to think in bold and new ways, which can help us get out of familiar ruts. It’s a good time to be thinking outside the box and trying different approaches to old problems.

The purpose of this blog is not moral grandstanding, but to offer advice from the planets. There is something to be said, however, about the moral condition of the world right now. Bertolt Brecht, the German playwright and poet, wrote, “These people, I saw, lived by the harm which they did, not by the good.” As we head into the last weeks of the winter season, maybe we can find some hope in living by the good we do. Pisces is innately inclined to let go of stress and to heal through unconditional love, understanding that any small way we can contribute helps the whole.

 

 

 

 

 

Clearing the Slate

The darkest nights of the lunar phase are upon us now as we await the arrival of the New Moon on Friday, Jan 27, at 7:07 p.m, when the Sun and Moon make their annual conjunction in Aquarius. The new cycle that’s about to begin accentuates our individualism– Aquarius is a fiercely independent sign that seeks authenticity over conformity. There’s a sense that we can anticipate a change of pace in something soon, maybe a shift in perspective that allows us more freedom to express ourselves.

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Personal style is overabundant in our culture today, and a lot of that is projected outward on social media where we can develop a profile that doesn’t necessarily represent us honestly. For better or worse, we say things without fearing an immediate human response. So there’s a distance there– between what we “are” in our communication and what we truly are in reality.

The astrology of this New Moon phase reminds us to check in with our true nature, and to realign with that centering point in all that we do and say. Late January and early February are marked by some intense planetary aspects which can stir up our awareness and everything we think we know. It may be stressful; but it can also be liberating, particularly when phony facades are torn down to show the true nature of human spirit, exemplified by the inspiring marches that took place all over the world in the name of women’s rights after the orange president’s Inauguration. On a personal level, this energy helps us to move toward a more free-spirited incarnation, shedding the need to fill certain roles or take routine points of view.

It may serve us well to use this time as a pre-spring cleaning, particularly in behaviors or habitual attitudes that we’ve had a tough time breaking. Mars will enter Aries the day after the New Moon, followed by Mercury getting involved in the Pluto/Uranus square as it passes through the later degrees of Capricorn. And then Venus follows Mars into Aries later in the week, continuing the themes of headstrong, courageous conviction turning up the pressure in our lives. Energy levels are strengthened with fiery Aries, which reinforces us as we head into the last full month of winter. Physical and social activity get a boost, which also lowers patience levels. Mercury’s entanglements represent power struggles which can become verbal. There is a potential to clear the air in long-buried issues, but it’s important to remember the power of words. We’re not necessarily inclined to sensitivity during these astrological events, but we are certainly defensive of our own free will.

A productive way to use this is freeing up the space that isn’t being used wisely. The gift of Aquarius is trusting one’s own unique path, and knowing that the path is not limited by the past. The Aquarius New Moon offers clear vision to make sure you mean what you say, and you say what you mean.

 

Early Winter Astrology Preview

The longest night of the year has begun up here in the northern half of the world. Today is the Winter Solstice, celebrated in pagan tradition as Yule, the Festival of Light. The Sun moved into Capricorn this morning at 5:45, marking the start of the winter season. Bitter cold winds, ice, and snow loom ahead for many of us, and it takes a stoic thick skin to brace for the impending battle with nature. That, in a nutshell, describes the backbone of the earth sign Capricorn– a gritty determination to do what we have to, regardless of how hard it may be.snowy-feb-day-in-maudsley-016

The Solstice is also celebrated with a nod to Capricorn resiliency– the triumph of the days getting longer, symbolized in many religions as the birth of a deity. We celebrate faith in humanity at this time of year, and good will to all, as we dive into winter with merrymaking and overeating.

Mercury stationed retrograde in Capricorn this past Monday, Dec. 19, just before reaching a conjunction with Pluto. It will backtrack until Jan. 8, forcing us to slow down our pace during the holidays. Because the planet of communication relates to how our words are perceived, it’s wise to take extra times choosing what we say. Traffic and delays are often more prevalent during a retrograde cycle, or at least seem to be more of a bother. Patience is needed during this high volume phase of humans shopping and gathering.

Our first New Moon of the winter is Thursday, Dec. 29 at 1:53 a.m. The Sun and Moon form a conjunction in Capricorn, a moment symbolic of laying a foundation for the new year ahead. This theme echoes the meaning of the Solstice: the winter is an ancient time of purification, refinement, and renewal. The Capricorn New Moon is a powerful and dedicated starting point to build from.snowy-feb-day-in-maudsley-032

January 2017 begins with leftover visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads. Despite the rational presence of the Sun and Mercury in Capricorn, we have a Mars/Neptune conjunction in Pisces. We tend to be more subjective at this time, allowing our feelings to dictate. And with Venus moving into Pisces on Jan. 3, the emotional influence keeps rising. It’s important to stay grounded and not get carried away with wishes and illusions about others. The strong Pisces vibe means that we can misjudge limits or boundaries of what other people are capable of, and  will need to employ some of the mental competence and self-reliance of earthy Capricorn to deal with reality. Be careful and deliberate making decisions, especially as Mercury slows down and begins moving direct again Jan. 8. Things are muddled and colored by perception.

The first Full Moon of 2017 occurs at 6:34 a.m. on Jan. 12, forming a Grand Cross between the Moon in Cancer, Sun in Capricorn, Jupiter in Libra, and Uranus in Aries. Look for volatile sensitivity around this time, as potentially raw wounds feel exposed. The struggle is how to remain connected while emotionally safe. Venus will also form a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces, hopefully allowing us to help each other out in times of stress. Escaping into self-indulgence is a typical strategy, but numbing ourselves won’t help moving forward from of the same old drama.snowy-feb-day-in-maudsley-043

There’s a tension between secrecy and intimacy in this lunation, one that highlights a larger theme of the winter months– the Jupiter/Uranus opposition. These planets can help us broaden our comfort zone if we engage with them, but there’s also a danger of watching the game rather than getting into it ourselves. Jupiter in Libra urges us to improve our sense of worth through relationships in our lives. The shadow side of this transit is putting surface-level harmony over authentic honesty and trust. Jupiter is slowing down to station retrograde in February, and will remain at 23 degrees Libra for over two weeks. We can use this phase as a reflection on what matters to us, particularly in our relationships and activities– the people and things we choose to spend time and energy on. Jupiter always asks us where we’re taking ourselves for granted, and where we’ve grown too far for our current situation.

The Sun shifts into Aquarius on Jan. 19, followed by the Aquarius New Moon on Jan. 27 at 7:07 p.m. Openness to change finds support in this freedom-oriented sign. This is a good time to honor personal choice and let everyone have a bit of space. Mars is moving into fiery Aries on Jan. 28, and Mercury finally reaches Pluto in Capricorn, where it began its retrograde cycle. There’s an unapologetic and headstrong quality to this, which may put some callous words on the table. It’s important to let other people have their opinions, while remaining true to our own convictions. At its best, Aquarius is a diplomatic and collaborative energy that helps us live and let live.