**NB: Not intended to be educational 🙃
Touted as the latest in tactile (Taurus) communication (Mercury), this braille-based smartwatch for the visually impaired connects to a smartphone via bluetooth technology and allows users to not only read time, but texts, & notifications via their fingertips as well – how cool is that?! Taurus is a sign we associate with the sensory and specifically the tangible, and with communication & gadget-loving Mercury currently traversing this sign I was quite tickled to see this news today.
In other Mercury in Taurus-related news, this past week there was a strike by Uber & Lyft drivers who were protesting – among many other things – their lack of being paid a living wage. Mercury also rules cars & drivers while cash cow Taurus is all about the moo-lah. Not coincidentally, this protest was going on just as Mercury in Taurus joined up with rebellious Uranus. 🙃
A live look at the current Mercury/Mars mutual reception; Mercury is in Aries, Mars is in Gemini. Note that Mars is also out-of-bounds right now:
Things remain hot, hot, hot – especially in a verbal sense – thru May 6th. Before road raging-out or giving someone a piece of your mind, please bear this in mind. And do watch your fingers and arms around hot or sharp objects.
With Saturn and Pluto both currently sitting in a near-standstill just a few degrees away from each other, the astro-vibe du jour serves us a little taste of the upcoming Saturn/Pluto conjunction; a major astrological alignment culminating in January 2020. Metaphorically, if you have a rather sour taste in your mouth at the moment, you’re certainly not alone – this is some dense, dark, & heavy energy we’re dealing with, so the effects upon our lives tends to be anything but light-n-sweet. The conjunction of Saturn with Pluto in Capricorn is like a stale cup of extra strong dark roast served straight-up and cold – there’s nothing to mask the bitterness, but from a utilitarian standpoint it gets the job done if you can stomach such a no-frills brew.
In a somewhat similar sense, Saturn in Capricorn as the archetypal Great Cosmic Taskmaster reminds us that we’ve all got something to learn while crisis-oriented Pluto tends to bring things to a head – at present, we all seem to be getting a crash-course educational intensive in some area(s) of our life as these two planetary titans merge their energies. There’s a definite impression that we have a very limited amount of time with which we must attain an intense level of proficiency at something. To get an idea of what this might be, look at the House this duo is occupying in your own personal astrological chart or examine any aspects they may be making to any of your natal planets. This combo is dead-serious; there’s a real sense there is no time left for fucking around and the stakes are high, so this can constitute some pretty intense pressure. But if instead of being scared we can see this as a challenge to attain a deep level of mastery in an area where we were previously deficient, we’ll see how we can in fact use this energy to fortify ourselves from the inside out. Look at where the cracks are now; where the crises arise or where weakness is exposed. The challenge is to be dipped into the river Styx entirely so that we no longer have an Achilles’ heel in that particular regard. Baptism by hardship; a trial-by-fail. A difficult Initiation. You’re going to grab the controls and figure out how to land that plane safely, though, come hell or high water – step up and dig deep.
With the impending Saturn Retrograde about to arrive in just days (April 29, 2019) and this planet currently sitting stationary, right now is an ideal time to feature a post on this planet and also review what we’ve been learning from Saturn in Capricorn thus far. To recap, Saturn has been in Capricorn since December 2017 and it remains in this sign – excluding a brief 3 month stint next year when it will pop its head into Aquarius – until December 2020. We’ve talked about Saturn in Capricorn and how it helps us master the art of delegation, how it teaches us to say “no” & set boundaries, and also how it definitely gives us the collective sense that our biological clocks are ticking. It’s this last concept I want to expand upon now.
I’ve mentioned before how Saturn in Capricorn is *the* most time-conscious energy there is. We become more aware than ever that time is indeed a finite resource, so a large part of the lesson we’re all collectively learning now is how to master the management of it. Budgeting the time we have so that we can use it effectively is absolutely crucial; we’re only allotted so many hours in a day and we do need time to sleep, too. But realistically, many of us aren’t being economical with the overall usage of our time and we’re simply not allotting enough of it to the higher-priority items. This isn’t about rigidly structuring every minute – especially with Saturn in Capricorn’s series of repeated sextiles to Neptune in Pisces also in the mix this year – but it *is* a call to identify and limit (within reason) the amount of non-productive leaks that generally suck away our productivity. Lest you think this is an entirely slave-driver of an energetic influence, this includes building in time for relaxation, too. What we’re looking to put a stop to are the ways in which we’re unconscious about out time usage. Mindlessly zoning out on television. Going down an internet rabbit hole for hours on end. Idle Facebooking. Endlessly scrolling through Twitter. You get the idea; it’s not that we need to stop doing these things entirely but if we should find there’s a lot of time-suckage going on somewhere, then we *may* want to tighten up the slack.
The next few days are ideal for calling a “time-out” and re-evaluating how we’re spending our days. Are we dedicating enough time to the things that matter most? Are we allocating enough of it to the necessities and are we taking care of business? Conversely, maybe we’re overworked and need to schedule some regular chill time for ourselves. The idea, though, – rather than to be careless about it – is to become more intentional and actually pencil things in. Whether we choose to look at our free time in terms of daily or weekly blocks is irrelevant; the point is to make more of an effort to wrangle the various time-sucks of which we may be unconscious and instead set aside dedicated hours to the pursuit of relaxation. This will allow us to have better control over our schedule rather than getting sucked into vortex and then wondering where the day went. Try spending the next week troubleshooting in this regard. Invest in a day planner or download a time-tracker app. Then consider how you might want to tweak your time management & implement a plan – make this revision now and it will pay off later. It may take some time, but if you make and effort and stick with it you should definitely be reaping rad results over the next several months and beyond!
We have an interesting astrological setup playing out during April – Pluto just crossed the Moon’s South Node at the beginning of the month and now Saturn is about to do the same at its end. The South Node symbolizes a “path of least resistance”; attitudes, traits, and behaviors that represent an unconscious habitual rut we may be inclined to fall into on our soul’s evolutionary journey that don’t serve its growth. When a planet passes over this point we have to be especially careful not to misuse its energy by aligning with the Lo-Fi end of its vibrational spectrum, because this can have the potential to derail our individual and/or collective destiny.
Pluto symbolizes power, sex, and corruption. It is a destructive principle as a first order and while under ordinary circumstances sometimes tearing things down is necessary and warranted, when this planet crosses the South Node we do have to be careful this doesn’t veer pathological. Abuse and misuse of power or sex must also be avoided and it’s generally good policy to abstain from anything sleazy or underhanded when Pluto hovers around the South Node.
Saturn represents control, authority, hard-heartedness, ambition, status, and business. Its hardworking nature can create hazards for us when it joins up with the South Node; particularly from the angle that it can veer workaholic and “all business”. Saturn hovering around this point means that collectively we’re learning lessons pertaining to that which we can/can’t control; this planet puts us in touch with our limitations one way or the other. It also cautions us against being overly authoritative or using status/prestige as the benchmark of “success” to the exclusion of other metrics – for example, one can have a very successful professional life and yet because they were consumed by this “end-all, be-all” tunnel vision they may have wound up lonely or depressed because they failed to put time or effort into family, friends, and relationships. One real hazard of Saturn conjunct the South Node is that we’ve failed to weight things properly; that we’re assigning a level of importance to something that we shouldn’t and have our priorities askew.
On a more transpersonal level, this combination of astrological influences makes April a crucial month for examining the power corruption has in causing the steady and gradual derailment of our leadership. It represents a sloping downward pitch on a graph; I see this very much as an inglorious, undermining type of influence that degrades the pillars of society and the very framework of our governments. Saturn concerns itself with hierarchies; it represents delegated officials as opposed to the Divine Right of kings. When you place it in proximity to Pluto and the South Node, this might be thought of as a power vacuum where all sorts of unseemly influences can gain control – low people in high places seems to be a theme.
This energetic effects of this triple alignment unfortunately do not terminate in April; we’ll see the residuals of this for quite some time and it should be thought of more like a slow lead-in to the big Saturn/Pluto conjunction of January 2020. While this means we’re going to be wading through some pretty dense, heavy energy for the foreseeable future, no matter how grim reality may look at the time we mustn’t fall prey to negativity and pessimism; two of Saturn’s other downfalls. We *will* need to recognize, however, that corruption has corporate – or perhaps even State – sponsorship.
While we’re deconstructing this, we must remember that when the world is run by cruel authoritarian/totalitarian regimes, dysfunctional Patriarchy, and/or unfeeling corporate entities, it takes audacity to care. In these sorts of screwed-up conditions, rather than hardening over, shutting down our emotions, and easily defaulting to giving our power and authority over to apathy, the key is to fully engage with our feelings and dare to give a damn; particularly when it comes to that which we wish to protect and nurture. It may feel a bit like David going up against Goliath, but this is how we staunch the flow of poison leeching its way into The System; with passionate purpose and true patriotism in contrast to heinous hardline nationalism. It is possible to love your country and yet still be deeply disturbed by what it is – or maybe isn’t – doing; remember that as you carve out internal space for tenderness and caring. With the Moon’s North Node in Cancer for the foreseeable future, we all do well to tap into Maternal energy now; to meditate upon the Universal Mother archetype and how we can embrace or embody facets of this protective, nurturing energy. Think: Elephant Medicine 🐘
Over the years I have developed an astrological theory that seems to dovetail nicely with the quote above – I’ve observed a correlation that when a transiting or progressed planet crosses the natal Ascendant of an individual, a person will then tend to enter that individual’s life who will sync up with that particular planetary archetype. So for example, if it’s Saturn crossing the Ascendant then a Saturn figure may appear in the individual’s life. If it’s Mars, we get a Martian figure and so on.
When a planet it crosses the threshold of the Ascendant, that energy is brought to our consciousness in a very front-and-center way. We’re going to get in touch with what that planet is all about one way or the other, and more often than not I’ve found this can mean an outside agent appears to make us intimately familiar with the energy/archetype for the purposes of bringing it out in our personality. I don’t often see people spontaneously adopting the demeanor of whatever planet is making the visit to their Ascendant on their own; rather someone who embodies that planetary archetype seems to step in to provide feedback, instruction, a model, or whathaveyou to put us in touch with the qualities of that planet we need to embrace more fully in our own persona.
As a reference point, using the above hypothetical planetary scenarios Saturn across one’s Ascendant might bring them a mentor figure; someone who can help them “adult” and be more responsible, professional, advancement-oriented, or perhaps parental. Mars may bring us someone who will help us to embrace our Inner Warrior; someone who might challenge us, be a sparring partner or competitor, light a fire under our butts and get us to be more physically active, or who will show us by example how to stand up for ourselves/others and be more assertive. We hold within us the seeds of each planetary archetype and it seems when the Ascendant is crossed by one of these heavenly bodies, that seed germinates.
Now it could certainly be argued that in theory we *ought to be* observing this phenomenon moreso when a transiting planet crosses the Descendant as it is the opposite end of this axis that is said to represent “The Other”. But my practical experience has been that in general we tend to be LESS conscious of energies crossing the Descendant as we’re not apt to recognize their influence as something within. When a planet is located near the Descendant its energy more inclined to be disowned or projected; both within our lives and personas. For example, Saturn near our Descendant might cause us to view a partner as a restrictive influence, as parental, as someone who more or less metaphorically “pees in our Cheerios”, or who tells us to “suck it up”/“grow up”. But does this necessarily cause us to embody the energy of Saturn on a personal level? No – we’re far more likely to disown those qualities and resist by acting out the opposite end of the spectrum when Saturn crosses the Descendant and offers his counterweight against the “I” of the Ascendant. We might find others curbing us under this transit, but it’s hardly self-initiated and is always at the behest of someone else; a scenario of artificial enforcement rather than natural embodiment. Thus, when a planet crosses the Descendant it’s more difficult to harness the astrological energy in question – we tend to experience it as being outside of us rather than within us. It’s why oppositions in the chart incline toward projection. In the realm of the Descendant (or even the entire 7th House for that matter), the answer lies less with others and more within how we experience others.
Conversely ,what I’ve seen happen time and time again with a planet’s passage across the Ascendant is someone comes in to help us develop (one way or the other) that neonascent energy which is dormant inside of ourselves. As the Ascendant represents how others view us, perhaps it’s a quality within us they see or sense; something they recognize and possibly find resonance with (“You’ve got potential, kid!”). Whatever the case, it’s something that through this interaction we’re naturally stimulated to accentuate within ourselves/ our being/our persona.
So the next time you have a planet crossing your Ascendant, do pause and take note – especially if it’s a slower-moving planet like Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto – if a corresponding figure appears on scene to teach you how to accentuate those energetic qualities. Embrace the gods within by being willing to see others as the emissaries for the astrological vibrations we should be cultivating inside ourselves.
Everybody has different coping styles when we’re emotional; the Moon sign (and aspects to the Moon for the intermediate astro-students in the house) governs this expression. For the purposes of this post however, we’re going to stick with describing just the Moon sign. Maybe you’ll read the list below and recognize some of your own habitual processing methods or those of loved ones – my hope is that if so, it will help you to better understand yourself and others. Gaining insight on what we or others need when we find ourselves immersed in the waters of feeling can provide productive natural outlets so emotion can flow rather than become backed up. I see emotion as neutral energy; neither inherently “good” nor inherently “bad” – I’ve said this many times, but I don’t believe in judging any organically occurring feeling that Divinity equipped with at birth as being inherently “positive” or “negative”. However, for best results I do believe emotional energy should be allowed to circulate rather than stagnate – with that in mind, may the following post provide you with some ideas for how to swim with the natural currents of your internal landscape.
Aries Moon: Copes with strong feelings by doing something physical. A workout, sweating it out on the dance floor, or a fist fight; the Aries Moon reacts quickly to feelings & directly translates this into motion/activity in the physical body – especially if angry. Can be hot-tempered and may use anger to cover over vulnerability; the best defense is a good offense, as they say.
Taurus Moon: Retail therapy or self-care pampering are common ways Taurus Moons deal with surging feelings. Their generally mellow mood means they don’t tend to rile easily; preferring instead a massage, a glass of good red wine, or gourmet chocolate to get back on an even keel in an emotional sense. Perhaps even a bout of gardening for the Earth Mama types, where one can stick their hands into the dirt to literally “ground” their feelings.
Gemini Moon: Tends to cope with their feelings by either intellectualizing them or talking them out. Journaling is another popular way for this Moon sign to process their emotions when a chat, phone call, or text won’t do. In times of stress, this Moon sign (along with Cousin Virgo) is more prone to seeking out an emotional distraction; little things to keep whatever is bothering them off their mind. Or perhaps they like to just get in the car and go for a drive to clear their head.
Cancer Moon: Frequently seeks comfort from their family when all up in their feelings – sometimes when this isn’t available, they might be inclined to turn to comfort food instead (cooking and/or eating). This sign needs to feel secure in order to be emotionally vulnerable otherwise they do tend to retreat. Of all the signs, if they’re “in a mood” sometimes they just need to stay at home until the tide changes – don’t try to push them to go out; they’ll come out when they’re ready.
Leo Moon: Has occasionally been known to make a production out of their feelings – Leo energy tends to dramatize things & they may need an audience in order to play out whatever role their feelings demand. Alternately, also the “Good Time Charlie” who parties their ass off to cope or hits a night out on the town to dance their feelings out. Give them a creative outlet to express their emotions; Leo energy is highly creative and this Moon can use their feelings as inspiration.
Virgo Moon: Analyzing, compartmentalizing, or even criticizing their own feelings are ways that Virgo Moons tend to process their emotional landscape. Self-care may include exercise, dietary cleanses, staying up on their health, making sure their meals are ultra-nutritious, or enhancing their diet with natural supplements so the body can work more efficiently during emotionally intense periods. When all else fails this Moon sign is often comforted by a bout of cleaning and/or organizing; there is something Zen about filing, alphabetizing, labeling, or generally making things tidy/more efficient. Keeping to-do lists and/or day planners in place to help manage the day-to-day details is quite helpful for them when stressors arise.
Libra Moon: Tends to bounce their feelings off others for validation; a partner or BFF for example – it’s comforting for them to feel like others are in agreement with their sentiments. Libra Moons try to be on an even keel emotionally and don’t like to be ruffled, so they favor a bit of pampering to help them relax and get their feathers smoothed back down. Generally speaking, they may tend to focus more on others’ feelings rather than their own and may need to re-orient a bit to consider what they themselves need in a given moment.
Scorpio Moon: Experiences their emotions intensely and as a result can sometimes stew over or bury their emotions. Often very insightful in an emotional context; may need to unpack their complex feelings with a trusted confidant or therapist with whom they are allowed to puke up whatever unpleasant ruminations may have been bothering them without judgement. They need to vent to take the edge off any raw feelings so these don’t fester from being left unattended. Scorpio Moons are emotional alchemists; able to turn lead into gold – especially when dealing with dark or turbulent feelings. Encourage them to dig into the root of what’s bothering them without fixating on things they can’t control and help them to feel empowered.
Sagittarius Moon: Tends to be an emotional optimist with candid emotional responses and generally feels a need to look at the bright side of things in order to cope. Keeps emotional perspective by putting their feelings into broader context and looking at the grand scheme of things – hey, it could always be worse, right? This truth helps them choose to exist in a feeling of gratitude, even in emotionally difficult situations and they are often comforted by a belief that everything happens for a reason. Does not tend to experience emotion in a “small” way – big feelings make for frank emotional responses and they are nothing if not honest about their feelings. May be comforted by faith/prayer.
Capricorn Moon: Is inclined to be reserved, mature, and serious when it comes to their feelings. The Capricorn Moon can be a bit pessimistic but also rational, realistic, and pragmatic when emotional. While it can be challenging for them to open up, this Moon sign will figure out a plan for how to manage their feelings and may find comfort in productivity; via taking care of business or finding solace in a sense of accomplishment. Has a habit of slipping into “Boss Mode” and trying to control what can be controlled when upset.
Aquarius Moon: Aquarius Moons tend to have highly variable and rather unpredictable emotional responses; detached, aloof, and “I don’t care” on one end of the spectrum and yet suddenly and surprisingly emotive on the other end. This Moon sign often seeks out comfort through friends and/or online communities, or sometimes in taking space just to breathe. Doesn’t tend to require touchy-feely comforting in the traditional sense, but does need social stimulation and will tend to crowd-source opinions regarding whatever is bothering them within their social spheres.
Pisces Moon: Highly sensitive creatures apt to need time alone to process their feelings. The Pisces Moon can be flooded with emotion which may be experienced as confusing to them, so retreating to get quiet with themselves in order to tap their inner guidance is helpful. Otherwise, they can be rather suggestible/impressionable and absorb others’ feelings. May seek comfort in a bath/shower, a yoga class, in meditation/prayer, or in a bottle/pill/other “substance”- the latter is ill-advised however, as it only functions to numb out their emotions.
Though we’re now through the first round of the Saturn/Neptune Sextile and its influence will continue to dissipate in the immediate short-term future, we do have two more hits of this energy coming in 2019 so it’s important we continue discussing this energy and what it brings to the table. Over the last month+ you may have noticed any or all of the following themes coming to the fore in your life, but in addition to what we have already covered regarding this astrological alignment there’s also an aspect of voluntarily surrendering to the yolk of responsibility and making some very “adult” sacrifices somewhere in our lives; partly because we know we “should” and partly because we may see our labor as being in service to an even more important/monumental goal of some kind.
For example, one way this could play out might be through logging in some serious community service hours for free because it looks good on our resume, or maybe because it helps us get our foot in the door in the social services department of a nice secure government job somewhere. It doesn’t have to play out exactly this way mind you, but there is a very real sense of there being some kind of deferred “payoff” arising from whatever mature sacrifice we might be called to make during this sextile that is both altruistic and yet strategic; something that both serves our 5-year plan AND helps us feel good about our reasons behind whatever we’re giving up. This oblation has a definite purpose; whether we might see it as a Divine lesson or model (ex: In the spirit of following the teachings of Christ or perhaps another Ascended Master of our choosing), a means for the absolution of difficult karma, or perhaps because there may be a higher or more more spiritualized goal/calling we’re answering by giving something up now.
The point is we are likely to be called to give something up this year – it could be a goal, it could be a dream. But this is *NOT* defeatist; make no mistake – far from it!! It’s something purposefully done out of humility, out of a desire to be used in service to Divinity’s Master Plan, and there is indication of a reward for doing so. Granted this is more of a delayed reward scenario, but Saturn’s gifts are always tangible; especially when it traverses dense and material Capricorn. If you’re sitting there waiting for Divinity to throw you a bone, how about you try reversing your stance and throw Divinity one instead? Don’t resist giving up what you think you *should* be giving up; the tighter you hold when you should be surrendering, the less in alignment with this energy you are and thus your chances of reaping a favorable reward are greatly reduced by staying stuck in this setting during 2019. Remember, to sacrifice is to make sacred; what would you sanctify through the act of necessary relinquishment this year? While this series of sextiles continues to play out (next hits are in June & November!) it’s time to stop putting it off and suck it up, buttercup; bite the bullet & get on with it instead of trying to postpone the inevitable. You’ll look back on it later and be glad you did.
Not all transits are created equal. While this premise doesn’t seem to get quite enough astrological press, it is absolutely true; particularly when we are dealing with any scenario that involves a chart receiving a long series of transits from one of the Transpersonal Planets (that would be Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto BTW). While this can certainly also be the case with other heavenly bodies, the effects of a transit are going to be much more pronounced when they involve the energies of any of these slow-moving astrological Heavy Hitters. Not every chart is wired in such a way that it will receive a (more or less) continuous chain of transits from a given planet over a long number of years, but when this is indeed the case it’s worth paying special attention to the final contact the transiting planet makes to a nativity because the manifestations are apt to be especially marked.
For example: There’s been a lot of cosmic action around the 8-15 degree mark of the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, & Capricorn) as Uranus & Pluto squared off during recent years. If a chart has a bunch of planets clustered around this degree range in any of these 4 signs, it was blitzed by the influence of both these planets. Ergo, paying close attention to the LAST planet or point (by latest degree) in the natal chart to be touched by these two would be particularly important, because issues related to that planet may arise with a vengeance as the transiting planet(s) exert their final successive influence. So if one has Moon in Aries at 7 degrees, Mars in Cancer at 10 degrees, the Sun & Mercury at 12 & 14 degrees of Libra, and Saturn at 16 degrees of Capricorn, one would take note of this not so much as individual transits operating in a vacuum but see this as a continuum while paying special note to the last planet being affected. Now – using this example – assigning yet another layer of additional importance to the event of one’s natal Saturn being contacted by an outer planet (or planets) would also be warranted if the individual in question is also ruled by Saturn; say by virtue of that individual being a Capricorn Rising. But that is a topic for another day.
Not all transits are created equal; some are more impactful than others and this is why looking at the greater context of a chart is so important. This is most obvious in cases where a natal chart displays a stellium; a row of planets all smooshed together within a very tight area of the zodiac. If one has 6 planets piled up in Pisces, a planet passing over them – like Neptune currently is, for example – is going to create a chain reaction not unlike that of a row of dominoes toppling over.
This is the best way to visualize the concept, actually; seeing the invisible “hand” of a planet creating this energetic ripple effect over a chart. When you are looking at transits – whether it’s your own chart or someone else’s – try to take a macro, longer-term view of what’s going on and note whether the majority of the chart contains planets or points concentrated within a tight degree range of like Elements (Fire, Air, Earth Water) or Modes (Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable) – if so, any transits to the “caboose” are especially likely to go out with a “bang”.
As of yesterday we’ve just passed the peak of the first round of the Jupiter/Neptune Square and now it’s Saturn we find inching ever closer toward contact with Neptune; this time via a helpful sextile. From an astrological POV, Jupiter’s current effect on Neptune is a frictional one – we take spiritual Neptune and add the influence of dogmatic Jupiter squaring off against it and our beliefs & philosophies can easily distort. Both of these planets believe in something “bigger” or “higher”; Jupiter tends to express this via organized religion or some sort of moral philosophy, while Neptune energy reflects the “oneness” consciousness of unity with the Divine. Neither vibe is particularly grounded, however – it’s easy for this combo to get carried away with some sort of false spiritual doctrine and develop a major blind spot. The personal truth may be confused for a Universal Truth; the fantasy of what we wish to believe clouds our judgment and interferes with our ability to look at things honestly and straight-on, perhaps because we’re avoiding/denying an even bigger Truth. Self-deception is HUGE with this energetic influence; this vibe may reflect a narrative we’ve told ourselves where a myth has somehow become personal gospel – needless to say, this isn’t exactly serving us/our Highest Good.
By contrast, Saturn currently serves as an antidote to this affliction – the supportive sextile this planet makes to Neptune gently but firmly reminds us that spirituality must be anchored/authenticated in personal accountability. This can be challenging though because it involves dissolving defensive barriers created by the ego and surrendering to the process of humbling ourselves before Divinity. Beliefs and philosophies are all fine and dandy (especially when they *feel* good), but if we’re not doing The Work necessary to keep ourselves in check/on the straight-and-narrow regarding them it can be all too easy to lose perspective and find ourselves living in some kind of ideological bubble. Resistance is good for us in this regard – we may try to tell ourselves whatever narrative we like best, but this doesn’t necessarily equate to an honest depiction of Reality and keeping friends around who can delicately challenge any illusions we might be under can prevent us from being swept up in a tide of self-validating drivel. Some look at Reality – particularly when it’s hard – as an Alcatraz from which there must be an escape. But rather than duck and evade, the sextile between Saturn in Capricorn & Neptune in Pisces both shows us where we’ve erred in this regard and allows us self-compassion so we relax our defensive posture to come correct & get right – it’s a lot like an astrological 12-Step Program helping us to abstain from delusion. As this influence builds toward month’s end, look to see the detrimental effects of the Jupiter/Neptune Square slowly dwindling while this vibe becomes more prominent.
As the incoming square between Jupiter in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces continues to tighten up (perfecting for the first of three rounds on January 13, 2019), there certainly is merit in discussing the above quotation because this alignment very much affects spiritual matters…among other things. The sign of Sagittarius and the planet Jupiter are associated with organized religion; Pisces and Neptune spirituality as well as “substances” – you can see, then, how the above quote resonates with the energy of this astrological alignment.
In dissecting the above statement it’s important to state right out of the gate that it’s actually paraphrase of a longer quotation by philosopher Carl Marx; one that has been oversimplified and lacks context. On its face, this would seem a rather critical statement about religion as a whole in comparing its effect to that of a drug. Now this perspective can be true from the POV that belief – and specifically when we start getting into the territory of delusional belief – can cause us to suspend judgment and impair our critical thinking. This may be true of religion, but it may also be true in the political arena as well (which is also and not coincidentally associated with Jupiter and Sagittarius); just look as the vast and apparently endless pitchers of toxic Kool-Aid being swilled in mainstream politics today. *glares directly at Climate Change Deniers et al*
In such cases we often surrender our (good) judgement and substitute it for someone else’s (a religious leader, a political pundit, etc.) because hey; that’s what true faith’s all about, right??? But what happens when the person to whom we’ve entrusted our faith has a cockeyed moral compass; isn’t that how cults become *a thing*??? When religion (or for that matter, politics) would dull our senses and have us have us turn a blind eye to things like moral incongruity, it is indeed A Problem; a huge one, much like an opiate addiction. And this is most definitely something I expect to see a lot of in 2019 while Jupiter in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces dominates the astrological scene.
That said, the full statement by Marx via his “A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right” is as follows and it’s much richer than the oft-quoted soundbite:
“Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness”.
In reading the full context, one gains the impression that Marx is at least somewhat sympathetic to people’s attachment to religion. He appears to look at it as a symptom; much in the same way an opiate temporarily relieves suffering but doesn’t make the underlying root cause of the pain suddenly vanish. He appears to view it as medication, but also emphasizes that in his view for people to be truly happy it’s important to ditch the crutch of religion. Additionally is important to note that religion can also have the capacity become an instrument of oppression when it’s used to induce submission to an external authority; being comatose with dogma certainly makes people much easier to control when one’s intentions aren’t honorable.
Setting Marx aside for a moment, I do believe anything we use as a crutch only hobbles us from achieving our true authentic potential as human beings and there is merit to learning to stand on our feet without the aid of whatever that happens to be. That said, I’m not necessarily comfortable classifying religion as a crutch – this in my view amounts to painting with too broad a brush. I feel that – with the context of a proper anchor/safe container – faith can play a major role in our soul’s development and do not wish to bash organized religion because there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to spirituality – Different Strokes for Different Folks; Live and Let Live & all of that jazz. But as this square hits, there is most definitely is merit in looking critically at how our beliefs are or aren’t supporting us and certainly questioning them for the sake of ensuring they’re not doing us more harm than good. The Neptune/Pisces influence distorts things, and when we apply this to Conservative, religious Jupiter/Sagittarius we have to be particularly careful regarding anything around which we might tend to be evangelical. While this is true more broadly as well, do understand as these two planets square off that religion and politics in particular can indeed be super potent drugs when we go overboard.
“On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero” – Unnamed narrator, “Fight Club”
It’s been a while since our last discussion of the Saturn/Pluto Conjunction; a major incoming astrological alignment coming to a theater near you in January 2020. But I think it’s about time we resumed coverage seeing as it’s only about a year away now. In understanding the essence of this energy and its many manifestations, the above soundbite seems to so perfectly set the tone for this vibe. And make no mistake; this *is* – by definition – some dark and heavy energy we’re dealing with here, so this post will not be a light read.
Before I proceed, let me clearly state the above quote most certainly isn’t in any way alluding to the Saturn/Pluto conjunction signifying some kind of mass extinction event; rather, it’s a statement meant merely to be illustrative of this conjunction’s ability to 1) acknowledge ugly – or perhaps even grim – realities and 2) crunch the numbers in these sorts of scenarios. Ideally, the latter leads to the formulation of some kind of “plan”. Prevention, of course, is the best plan; focusing time & energy how to stop things from ever getting to that “worst-case” scenario. But sometimes we don’t always have control over the outcome – such as the inevitability of time marching on regardless of our finite lifespans – which can lend itself to the adoption of a nihilistic slant.
Setting that angle aside for just a moment, speaking of what we *do* have control over, an important keynote of upcoming Saturn/Pluto conjunction regards how this energy is a qualified expert at crisis management – Saturn in Capricorn is the quintessential “Executive” archetype for a reason (able to respond well under pressure, architects plans, pragmatically lines things up & puts them in order, and is superb at controlling/managing/delegating). Pluto energy, however, catastrophizes. Pluto is where the proverbial crap hits the fan – it represents powerful and often destructive forces over which we have no control; save our response to those circumstances. Merge those two energies and you have someone who reliably and consistently keeps it together when things are going to pot; just ask the kids born circa 1982/83 (preferably the Scorpio or Capricorn Suns/Risings) how they do “crisis management” – they were born with a Saturn/Pluto conjunction in their natal chart.
Now regarding the Saturn/Pluto Conjunction’s potential nihilistic slant, this combo is very Nietzsche-esque in a sense for a number of reasons. For one, the “will to power” that so much of his philosophy was founded upon – the psychological drive for ambition, achievement, and reaching the highest possible position in life – is so very Saturn/Pluto mashup. Saturn in Capricorn is ambition & achievement in spades while Pluto symbolizes power & the compulsion of unconscious drives. For two, Nietzche’s own thoughts on nihilism (coming to us from “Will to Power”) were as follows:
“Nihilism is…not only the belief that everything deserves to perish; but one actually puts one’s shoulder to the plough; one destroys”
Putting the shoulder to the plow and doing the work is very Saturn in Capricorn, while the destructive principle is once again symbolized by Pluto. When we think of true nihilism, we commonly think of it within the context of a destroyed sense of purposefulness; unless that sense of purpose is to destroy. (Are we seeing shades of Tyler Durden here yet?) Nietzsche’s views on the subject of nihilism were intriguing – he saw it as both inevitable and as a means to and end: The “Ubermensch”.
“I praise, I do not reproach, [nihilism’s] arrival. I believe it is one of the greatest crises, a moment of the deepest self-reflection of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master of this crisis, is a question of his strength. It is possible….”
This statement is incredibly resonant when contemplating the Saturn/Pluto Conjunction; a “great crisis” (Pluto), deep self-reflection (Pluto again; it loves to make us look at our own Shadow), the mastery (Saturn) of crisis (Pluto) being a question of his strength (Saturn). What I find hopeful about this, though, is Nietzsche does seem to think it possible. It is my astrological opinion – at least as we simultaneously face down the barrel our Pluto Return in government-oriented Capricorn here in the USA – that as this conjunction perfects there might just be a place for some degree of political nihilism; the notion that we have to scrap and rebuild the very framework of a broken, compromised democracy and construct an “Ubergovernment” upon superior, more functional foundations. Along a similar vein, collectively we’ve seemed to hit peak Dysfunctional Patriarchy; patriarchy of course being closely tied to paternal Saturn and Pluto symbolizing the corrupting principle. I truly hope the current socio-political nightmare is enough to provoke deep and lasting collective self-reflection upon what got us to this point and that it is – as Nietzsche postulated – a catalyst for serious and lasting transformation for the better. One can certainly hope, anyway.
Or rather; when Saturn meets Neptune, I should say – yes, this post is a reference to the upcoming sextile between Saturn in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces that is in the process of activating for the first time as we speak! Though Round 1 of this cosmic alignment doesn’t perfect until the end of January 2019, it will be felt weeks before and after it peaks and it’s beginning to kick into gear now. You may recall from our previous discussions on this topic there are two more hits of this vibe that will occur in June and November of 2019, but setting these particulars aside for moment let’s talk about what else we can anticipate with this vibe on-scene.
Since Saturn arrived in Capricorn about this time last year, it may have felt like a grind for many of us under this super hardworking vibe. Yes, we’re productive. Yes, we’re getting our shit together. But the hours may have been long, we might have significantly more responsibilities than we’ve previously had in our lives, and we’re generally inclined to get stuck on one setting under this vibe: TCOB Mode. Needless to say while this energy *is* useful, it’s not exactly what you’d call “fun”; Saturn in Capricorn = hardcore “adulting”.
But something awesome happens when this planet slips into supportive alignment with relaxing, restorative Neptune in Pisces: We ease up. Neptune in Pisces affords Saturn release and escape; as they always say there’s not enough hours in the day, so why waste them all on workaholism when it doesn’t matter anyway? For goodness sake, even God rested on the 7th day; why can’t we?? When Saturn in Capricorn synergizes with Neptune in Pisces, the rigid structure of our timelines, plans, and life goals start to soften a little bit so the hard edge comes off and we’re not so freaking uptight and on-deadline all the time. Yes it’s OK to slack a little bit, because busting your hump 24/7/365 simply isn’t sustainable. Loosen your necktie; maybe live a little and go business casual for a change. If you can’t remember the last time you had a day off, call in sick. Neptune in Pisces gives us permission to take the time off we’ve earned and just sleep in or have a day where we don’t get out of our PJs because we’re binge-watching movies or our favorite TV series on Netflix.
If Saturn in Capricorn is all about control and having things in order, Neptune in Pisces is all about surrender and letting go of the need to have everything all lined up and squared away. When these two celestial bodies link up as they are about to next month, it’s OK to tap out if/when we’re tired and take 5. It’s fine not to bust our butts at work for a boss who – when (s)he sees how hard we’re working – just “rewards” us with more work; sometimes there’s merit to pretending a task is more challenging/taking us longer than it is so our competency and efficiency isn’t treated like slave labor. What’s the sense in burning ourselves out for an imaginary carrot (a raise, promotion, etc.) that we have no tangible proof even exists? It’s OK to throttle back and coast a bit where we can under this energy – we’ll have plenty of time to resume O.D.-ing on Saturn in Capricorn’s ambition when it‘s *not* in helpful alignment with Neptune in Pisces; particularly once it joins up with the South Node (Sept 2019) & then Pluto (Jan 2020). But for now, maybe figure out when you wanna pencil in time to take that breather.
As 2018 comes to a close, we’re inching ever closer to the first of three alignments between Saturn in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces; a helpful astrological influence that plays out in tandem with the more problematic effects of the Jupiter/Neptune Square. While I’ve written about both these cosmic configurations in the aforementioned linked posts, there’s another timely angle I want to discuss about the Saturn/Neptune sextile in particular because I think it will help alleviate challenges for so many of us.
Ever since Saturn entered Capricorn at the end of 2017, many of us have the acute awareness that time is ticking away in some sense. Perhaps we feel the pressure that we don’t have enough time to do x, y, or z in or *with* our lives. Or maybe we feel it might be “too late” to pursue a given avenue; like a ship has sailed or it’s possible we’re “too old” to do whatever it is. But with Time God Saturn being augmented by spiritual Neptune throughout most of 2019 (Jan, June, & Nov), the edges soften and the pressure relaxes a bit; all is manifesting in Divine Time if we will only allow it. It behooves us to challenge what we thought possible to do with our allotted time here on this earth because as this aspect kicks into gear, time starts to flow in a gentler way that’s not as solid and hard as it has been over the past year. It becomes less linear during these periods and we can start to experience a certain degree of slippage that acts like a grease upon Saturn in Capricorn’s hard cogs. What if the dial were slowed or even turned back just a bit to allow the possibility of something that you thought was passing/had already passed you by? What if – going forward into this series of astrological alignments – we anchored ourselves in trust that The Universe has a perfect order in which it orchestrates all things; regardless of whether or not we can understand the rhyme or reason to it?
As this sextile continues to play out on and off through 2019, there really is something to the concept of “What’s meant for you will not pass you” – if there’s something about which we had previously adopted a wistful sense of resignation in sad acceptance of this limitation we know as time, perhaps this energetic influence may be akin to the possibility of having some kind of “Get out of jail free” card slipped to us where we no longer need to be a prisoner of that particular self-defeating, self-limiting premise. Now I don’t mean that everything will magically come to us; as I said in the other post, elbow grease will be required. We can’t just coast on autopilot; we have to recognize the moment(s) when this celestial easement is being granted to us and then get to work making the most of this wrinkle in time!
Welp, this is one super impaired Mercury Retrograde we have on our hands ATM – not only is Mercury’s coordination and cognition all screwed up from recently throwing it into reverse gear, but it’s also backtracking in a sign where it is astrologically debilitated (Sagittarius) while sitting in a prolonged square to confusing, clarity-lacking Neptune. This is, quite simply, a recipe for a communication & travel “hot mess” – sorry; there’s just no dressing this up. It would be dishonest to try and spin it any other way by attempting to put a more positive slant on Mercury’s present condition. So rather than veil this discombobulated energy with a bunch of well-intended but utterly unhelpful euphemisms, instead let’s have some straight talk about what to be aware of with the holiday season upon us and a major one kicking off in just a few days here in the USA (Thanksgiving) while this vibe is in play:
1) Don’t drink and drive. It’s a bad idea to do this anyway, but it’s an especially terrible idea to do it under these particular astrological conditions. Do not operate motor vehicles – or even your phone – while under the influence of any kind of “substance” from now thru Christmas. Especially when it’s winter here in the Northern Hemisphere where bad weather can unexpectedly roll in while we’re at holiday festivities, it just doesn’t make sense to risk having “one too many” and then attempt to drive home in sub-optimal road conditions.
2) Keep your “hoof” out of your mouth. Mercury in this condition is prone to verbal gaffes, so make it a blanket policy to avoid pointless discussion/debate about things like religion or politics this holiday season; evade any kind of topic where people are prone to having philosophical differences.
3) Alcohol-fueled conversations are a NO. Seriously, don’t do it – that uncle/cousin you always clash with or the in-law who just won’t shaddap? Alcohol is not going to make coping with their BS any easier and may in fact only make it twice as bad. What’s worse: Someone saying something inappropriate, or the two of you saying something equally uncalled for? Two wrongs do not make a right, and when you have Mercury in Sagittarius lubed up by a liquor-induced Neptune, all kinds of candid things can slip out of our mouths that – no matter how true they may be – are not exactly what we’d call judicious or kind. It’s not right to use a few beers/glasses of wine as an excuse for brutal honesty; further, it’s not fair to make everyone else uncomfortable because of our case of verbal diarrhea.
4) Budget extra travel time. Worst case? You’ll get there early; big deal! But *not* allowing for extra travel time under these skies could leave you with more stress and aggravation than you need. People might run late, traffic may be a mess, cars could have trouble, or flights get delayed/cancelled; things happen. And forgetfulness under pressure may also be another factor to watch out for, like leaving for the airport and realizing halfway there you left your phone at home on the charger. Leaving yourself way more time than you think you want/need to get from Point A to Point B is solid policy during this particular holiday season. And please do check your luggage tags if you fly to make sure your bags are being routed to the correct destination.
5) Track your packages. Many of us will be buying or shipping gifts during this Mercury Retrograde, and while it’s best to hold off if/when we can (December’s 2nd & 3rd weeks are about as good as it will get in this respect), sometimes we’re not able to so it’s best to get delivery confirmation. Aside from actual package theft, there’s the chance that a parcel could just be lost/delivered to the wrong address. And check return/exchange policies carefully in case there’s an issue BEFOREHAND; don’t just assume it’s all good and it won’t be a hassle to remedy an issue in the event that one arises.
5) Breathe, meditate, and/or have a “Zen” playlist on standby. Mercury Retrograde is 90% mind over matter and if you can get yourself into a headspace where you don’t mind, it won’t matter. Being mindful of our breathing, stress levels, and actively seeking that “restorative” space via going Within or immersing ourselves in a particular soundscape can help us cultivate a state of surrender and flexibility.
6) Forget Black Friday/Cyber Monday this year and just sleep in. The likelihood of aggressive sales pitches coupled with “bait and switch” advertising tactics is abnormally high this year; do you REALLY want to get up at the buttcrack of dawn or leave Thanksgiving dinner early for this??? I understand that some people get addicted to the rush of a good deal, but astrologically speaking the skies seem to indicate this being in short supply and the potential for aggravation being extra elevated. To contemplate: Would you be happier if you were well-rested and relaxed instead of shopping till you drop this coming weekend?
7) This Mercury Retrograde triggers the residue of the old 2015-2016 Saturn/Neptune Square; especially the June 2016 hit. Is it any wonder the Brexit situation is once again making headlines? The Brexit vote took place right as this alignment perfected in June 2016! Setting this aside, in our personal lives this Mercury Retrograde can be a lot like receiving some sort of phantom redial from the 2015-2016 era. You may recall from my writings about the Saturn/Neptune Square that it represented a conflict between Realism and Idealism; how it pit What Is against What We’d Wish It To Be. Think about this for a potential “Ah-ha!” moment; a temporal vortex is being reopened and a cognitive reset may be in order.
Astro News Flash: Jupiter just entered Sagittarius – its energetic home – as of 7:38am ET this morning and it will remain in the sign of The Archer for an entire year. As discussed in my November newsletter, this is a very good thing; we sure can use the vibe boost with all this heavy Saturn & Pluto in Capricorn energy looming in the background! In honor of this once-in-12-years event, I’ve created a playlist just for the occasion to help readers get a better feel for the many facets of this energy. Our first entry comes straight from the mouth of a Lady Centaur herself; in her own words, who better to tell us a bit about the Jupiter in Sadge vibe than Sagittarius Britney Spears? I spoke of the huge Jupiter-in-Sagittarius appetite for “more” and the resultant penchant for excess this can create via the aforementioned newsletter article, but don’t just take my word for it; take Britney’s:
“Gimme gimme more, gimme more, gimme gimme more…”
Then there is the legendary Jupiter in Sagittarius ability to roll with the punches and keep it moving right along; coupled with the faith that it will all work out for the best no matter what. Sagittarius Taylor Swift is an expert on this:
“But I keep cruising; can’t stop won’t stop moving. It’s like I got this music in my mind, saying it’s gonna be alright…”
And speaking of keeping it moving, this one’s an oldie but I’ll be damned if it isn’t the quintessential theme song for the Jupiter in Sagittarius romance vibe – ladies and gentlemen, I give you “The Wanderer” c/o Dion & The Belmonts:
“They call me the wanderer
Yeah, the wanderer
I roam around, around, around
Oh well, there’s Flo on my left and then there’s Mary on my right
And Janie is the girl well that I’ll be with tonight
And when she asks me which one I love the best?
I tear open my shirt and I show “Rosie” on my chest
Cause I’m the wanderer
Yeah, the wanderer
I roam around, around, around
Oh well, I roam from town to town
I go through life without a care
And I’m as happy as a clown
I with my two fists of iron but I’m going nowhere
Oh yeah, I’m the type of guy that likes to roam around
I’m never in one place, I roam from town to town
And when I find myself a-fallin’ for some girl
Yeah, I hop right into that car of mine and drive around the world”
While we’re on the subject of oldies, no Jupiter in Sagittarius playlist could possibly omit this tune from Old Blue Eyes himself (who was, unsurprisingly, also a Sagittarius) – this IS *the* luckiest astrological placement of all, after all:
Finally, this song wasn’t written by a Sagittarius but it so perfectly encapsulates the upbeat nature of this energy that it’s a mandatory inclusion on the Jupiter in Sagittarius playlist:
“It might seem crazy what I’m bout to say
Sunshine she’s here; you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air like I don’t care, baby, by the way
Huh because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel
Like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel
Like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know
What happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel
Like that’s what you wanna do”
Enjoy the new vibe, everyone – if you would like more in-depth info on the effects of Jupiter in Sagittarius, feel free to sign yourself up for my free monthly newsletter by clicking the link over on the right sidebar, drop me a comment below, or hit up my “Contact” page above and arrange for a personal consultation to understand how this vibe directly affects you. Buona Fortuna!
The vibe, as of 2:00pm ET today:
With Uranus retrograding back into Aries, we now have a 9-day long mutual reception in effect between this planet and Mars in Aquarius – the image of a warrior illuminated by an electric-blue bolt of lightning seems about right. But there’s more; this vibe instantaneously teleports us back to November 8, 2016 (AKA Election Day), when the very same mutual reception was about to take effect and the USA experienced an astounding collective sucker punch in the wee hours of the following morning right as this energy kicked in. Mars/Uranus represents the hit you don’t see coming; the anomaly coming from out of left field that suddenly and unexpectedly winds up right in your face, front-and-center. Like getting randomly clocked in the head by a foul ball at a baseball game.
With a repeat performance of this energy in effect on Election Day two years later, perhaps the warrior that spontaneously teleports onto the battlefield today will once again go rogue. Though it’s hard to say exactly what he’ll do because this energy is so unpredictable by nature, upsets are way more common under this energy so let’s hope he mobilizes in a different & more socially progressive way as a direct counterpunch to all the Toxic Masculine Alt-Right insanity of the last two years. Regardless of outcome, though, we must understand that Uranus is an Agent of Change – in this case due the involvement of Mars, rapid and perhaps even violent shifts; it’s the kind of sudden jerk in direction that can result in whip(back?)lash. If it’s a change that doesn’t agree with us, we must allow any resultant anger to cool just enough for us to channel into pro-active action.
We’re a little over halfway through the 2018 Venus Retrograde now, with Venus having recently ducked back into her Libra stronghold after spending a debilitating several weeks in Scorpio. “Debilitating” just about says is all, in fact – ever since Venus began treading in the footsteps of her pre-retrograde path back in September, it’s been quite a wild ride for many of us; both financially and in terms of relationships. Her retreat back into Libra serves as a fortifying and restorative influence; a calm eye in the midst of a considerable amount of material and relational uncertainty due Venus being periodically blitzed by shocking Uranus & the fated Nodes. This was the plot twist no one saw coming; a bolt from left field that instantaneously cleared the air and brought illuminating clarity regarding our liberation from stagnant or perhaps even disempowering financial or relationship scenarios, but likely also left us reeling in slack-jawed astonishment.
With Venus now back into Libra, though, we’re looking to regain a sense of inner peace and equilibrium that will serve us well in the weeks ahead; specifically as Venus clashes with Uranus and the Nodes a final time in late November. Fate is strongly in play when it comes to our financial situation and partnerships; we have absolutely no control over it. But we’re being awakened to new possibilities now; gaining radical and objective clarity about thorny issues that may have previously had a “stuck-and-f***ed” kind of feel. It’s easier now than ever to identify where a preference for the finer things in life or even a partner’s company may have left us overleveraged or perhaps even enslaved in a certain sense. Venus regaining her composure through her re-entrance into Libra represents a moment where she can re-evaluate the situation and re-orient herself so that she has greater freedom of movement going forward – ponder this and what it may possibly mean for your wallet and heart over the next month.
Only this isn’t confined to Las Vegas! No, no, no; it’s infected our educational systems, our institutions, our governments, our leadership, our corporations. There’s a gradual systemic rot that has taken a firm hold and degraded the (structural?) integrity of all the above and more. I’ve been writing about the effects of the upcoming conjunction between Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn – which perfects in January 2020 – for about a good year and a half now, and there’s a reason. This astrological event evinces grim and ugly realities that tend to inspire a certain degree of fear and loathing; hence the title of this post.
Now perhaps you are reading this and thinking those are pretty strong words for me to use as descriptors, but this cosmic combination is at bare minimum primarily an energy of discomfort and aversion; both collectively and in our individual lives. How each of us are impacted by this event varies based upon where this combination perfects/what celestial bodies this duo might be touching in our own personal astrological charts, but the bottom line is we’ll need insightful management of this energy and likely to execute some kind of renewal plan as well. Addressing structural rot – where we’ve built something up upon shoddy framing or let something fall into disrepair due lack of maintenance – is absolutely crucial ahead of this conjunction’s peak if we don’t want the whole thing to collapse in on us.
To put this in larger context, think about things like the undermining of democracy; the entire framework that supports the foundations our government. Or the way Patriarchy supports and protects sexual predators by rewarding them with positions of authority (Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh, I’m looking directly at you) – remember The Good Old Days when even a whiff of this kind of filth would finish your career/reputation forever? Not so nowadays; apparently it just cements your status as part of The Boys Club. 🙄😒 Remember way back in the Dinosaur Era when corporations – and especially insurance companies – didn’t rule the world and line the pockets of our elected officials? How about recalling the quaint age when the safety of the classroom was sacrosanct? Times sure have changed, and certainly not for the better in these respects. There is a major need to scrap and rebuild with this energy, but this is particularly difficult because most of us would rather keep trying to cobble something non-functional together for the sake of maintaining a sense of normalcy than deal with the ugly reality that what we really need to do is put on our Big Kid Pants, swallow hard, and write something off as a loss. It takes maturity and wisdom to do the latter, but the compulsion to maintain even a defunct status quo is quite powerful when it seems even harder to grapple with a reality that fundamentally threatens to undermine our sense of security/safety/certainty/order.
How’s that really working for us, though? Unless and until we acknowledge something as broken, how can we possibly work to restore it? This post is an invitation to hold space for that which may be fractured in our individual and collective lives with a spirit of renewal; in full acknowledgement that we will likely have to labor to strip things back/tear them down before we can build back up. Here are some ideas for where this fear and loathing might pop up and where the energy of challenge to renew might be best directed based on the area(s) of our chart being impacted by this conjunction. You will need a basic understanding of astrology for this exercise to see where 23 degrees of Capricorn falls in your chart, but even with no astrological knowledge at all if you just pay very close attention to the things that give you both apprehension and a strong sense of disgust, you’ll likely be able to ID the areas to work on from the list below. Note these are only some *possible* expressions of this conjunction’s energy; nothing is written in stone but is instead meant to provide flavor text.
1st House: Self-loathing. Learning about Shadow aspects of our personality. Misanthropy. Experiencing a fear of/revulsion to aging/the degradation of our physical bodies or appearance. The challenge: Psychologically coming to terms with the natural aging process and normal state of gradual physical decline while working to support our bodies as best we can through the Waning Crescent crone/sage phase of life. Acceptance of the reality that we all have Shadow material to work on and doing our best to manage the facets of our Lower Self that we’re afraid to look at and take responsibility for. Realizing that our negative experiences in life do not have to be permitted space to infect the rest of our Reality; containing the Darkness so it isn’t allowed to taint our views of life/the world.
2nd House: An aversion to the risk inherent in spending our own money coupled with the compulsion to spend others’ money instead (i.e. taking on debt). An inclination toward hoard/purge cycles with regard to physical possessions. Bad experiences/trauma – possibly of a sexual nature – that may have negated our sense of self-worth on a deep-seated level. The challenge: Acknowledgement of the reality that “we can’t take it with us when we go”. Reducing debt with the insight that it equates to voluntary financial enslavement to “owe” someone. Fiscal empowerment through shrewd and solid longer-term investments that involve managed/minimal risk. Engagement with a professional who can help us work on the root of any damaged sense of self-worth to renew our sense of value as a human being.
3rd House: An acute revulsion to our neighborhood, neighbors, siblings, and/or cousins; seeing the reality of their Dark Side. Non-functional communication dynamics. Complex thought processes arising from a problem-solving place that can actually create impediments to effective dialog. Obsessive thinking that isn’t solution-focused and that may threaten to suck us into the undertow of negativity. The challenge: Being aware of any degradation occurring in our ‘hood and either working to renew or limiting our liability in removing ourselves from a problem environment. Forming a neighborhood watch. Accepting only our part in any communication breakdown with siblings, neighbors, or kin and erecting appropriate psychological boundaries for protection, if need be. Deconstructing what isn’t working for us with regard to our thought processes or communication dynamics and simplifying; overhauling and getting back to basics.
4th House: Strong emotions dredged up regarding our family-of-origin or homeland; especially if this entails disgust or contempt. Bad memories haunting us. Uncovering actual rot in our physical residence; possibly that affects the framing or foundation. Pests like termites or carpenter ants seriously damaging the structure of our home, or an old faulty septic system backing up and giving us problems. Unearthing old family secrets that may be a source of shame, such as finding slave owners or Nazis in our lineage. The challenge: Breaking away from the “familiar-yet-f***ed up” and realizing that discomfort serves a purpose in telling us when it’s time to move on/away. Finding the strength to settle in a locale that’s an energetic safe space rather than stay stuck rotting in place. Leaving the Past behind and resolving any deep trauma in our history via the therapeutic process. Undertaking serious home renovations. Professional pest management/repellent solutions. Transmuting any negative family karma by making reparations when/where possible while resolving to put a stop to ingrained cycles of dysfunction.
5th House: An aversion to the (pro-?)creative process; possibly due old and unresolved trauma. Being horrified by children or seeing them as “bad”/“monsters”. Negative experiences with stalker-y (older?) suitors. The compulsion to either repress the sexual identity entirely or engage it without heart. The challenge: To overcome any psychological hurdles that prevent us from recognizing ourselves as creative beings. Addressing the root of any distaste we experience regarding children and resolving it within ourselves. Looking at kids as energetic imprints of their parental influence if/when we have issues with their behavior; no child is “bad” and difficult behaviors are either learned or the result of psychological coping mechanisms for difficulties at home. Becoming a surrogate guardian (in any sense) for a kid in need, or even an actual foster parent. Taking extra precautions when dating to quality-screen potential lovers. Working on any repression we may be experiencing regarding our sexual identity via engagement with the therapeutic process. Realizing that sex is a poor substitute for real intimacy and addressing any subconscious dislike we may have for going deeper than just our skin.
6th House: Caginess about health matters and/or a revulsion regarding doctors and medical settings. The potential of steadily deteriorating health; possibly the consequence of vices/bad habits, and frequently something we’re too afraid to address/get real about. Toxic – literally or figuratively – workplaces. Co-workers or employees that work to undermine us; possibly resulting from envy over our successes or status. The challenge: Utilizing the power of Preventative Medicine. Dealing with the reality of any physical dis-ease. Arresting any potentially progressive (hereditary?) condition in its tracks. Working with heavy-hitter (specialist?) doctors/healers. De-stigmatizing our attitude toward the state of our health; especially if it’s something that involves our psychological wellbeing. Reducing or eliminating the things we know are bad for our health. Managing/mitigating our risk of any inherited genetic conditions though proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Screening our workplaces for literal or figurative “pollutants” – whether that’s noxious substances or people – and limiting exposure.
7th House: The potential for hesitancy and eschewal of committed partnerships; likely resulting from old and unresolved trauma (“It’s safer to just be alone”). Or, engagement in intense relationship experiences that teach us some serious Life Lessons. Power/control dynamics within partnerships. Learning from the Shadow material that arises in committed unions. The challenge: Not closing ourselves off to others by challenging ourselves to safely engage in deeper intimacy. Having healthy psychological boundaries between ourselves and our partner; boundaries that are rooted in a foundation of deep respect. Taking responsibility for our own Shadow in a relationship and knowing from experience exactly where to draw the line between our “stuff” and our partner’s “stuff”. Drawing on the wisdom of age to help us make empowering choices in regards to partnering where we may have previously struggled in the past. Uncovering hidden programming/conditioning in partnerships and breaking it down via the therapeutic process; hitting Ctrl+Alt+Delete and wiping the slate of any defunct operating scripts that don’t support a healthy union. Shunning turbulent connections in favor of mature, self-aware partnerships.
8th House: The potential for serious phobias regarding things like death, taxes, and even intimacy. An aversion to merging with others sexually or in a financial context. Distaste for dealing with estate matters; from things like living wills, to establishing legal protection in “worst-case” scenarios, to potentially rejecting an inheritance or legacy that comes with serious (messy/complicated) baggage or even responsibility (such as inheriting a parent’s business). Restricted access to others’ resources, which may include difficulty securing loans. The possibility of lessons surrounding the burden of (mandatory?) debt. The challenge: Sober and practical acceptance of life’s inevitabilities; unpleasant as they may be. Having a plan in a crisis; emergency preparedness that helps us to stay level-headed when the proverbial crap hits the fan. Working on intimacy by stripping back defenses and using this as a trust-building tool that solidifies alliances. Limiting our liability concerning others’ financial status while also being willing to “put skin in the game” on low-risk investments (literal or metaphorical) that stand to build in value over time; good karma can result from “buying in” low and supporting/sponsoring someone learning to stand on their own – prudent screening advised as a precaution, of course. Having a carefully calculated debt repayment plan laid out if/when attempting to secure funding on our own. Working our credit like a boss rather than letting a (negative) credit rating work us over. Not taking on more debt than is realistically necessary; clearly delineating a “want” from an actual bare necessity. Caution surrounding any “obligatory” debt we may be tempted to accept on the behalf of others because it’s accepted as “the norm” even though we truly might not be able to afford it (ex: paying for our daughter’s wedding, or financially supporting a parent in their retirement).
9th House: Abhorrence of topics that revolve around religion or politics, or experiencing views that contrast with our own re: these subjects as totally repugnant. Fear of travel or airplanes; a subconscious sense of impending disaster regarding either that isn’t easily abated. The possibility of an education that puts us in serious debt. Staunch support of rigid, outdated, or even totalitarian philosophies. The challenge: Working through any resistance toward passionate engagement regarding serious moral, political, religious, or cultural issues. Breaking down for others what we perceive as a messed up dogma or way of seeing things with enough wisdom and restraint that we’re respected for our insights regardless of differences in opinion. Realizing that an aversion to travel can prevent us from having powerful, transformative, life-changing experiences while striving to take sensible precautions to avert danger abroad (i.e. avoiding a stay at the budget hotel on the wrong side of town). Considering the utility of any higher education we’re compelled to pursue before sinking ourselves into student loan debt; do we have a guaranteed return-on-investment, or are we merely following a conventional but defunct status quo that might not actually work for *us*? Deconstructing the parental model for our beliefs and worldviews; something infectious may have been planted deep within and yielded a malignant bloom – nip it in the bud.
10th House: A potential obsession with building/maintaining *an image*. Possible antipathy toward “authority figures”, whether this is a parent, teacher, boss, law enforcement representative, or elected government official; likely due to the strongly negative influence of a similar figure in our history. Controlling and/or sleazy mentors. Experiencing an intense pull toward a career path with power/authority. Ruthless ambition; achievement of high position(s) but the propensity to also fall into disregard. Destroying and rebuilding one’s career/reputation/business/“brand”. The challenge: Deconstructing what psychological fears might be compelling a fixation with image and social standing. Not giving our power away to authority figures though either subservience or being “triggered” by their influence into reacting negatively. Resolving any trauma surrounding parents, bosses, or teachers who may have made a strongly negative impression upon us. Building or maintaining solid and empowering boundaries with mentors to prevent potential violations of propriety/ethics; respecting the fact that there is a power differential inherent in any student/teacher relationship which can be dangerous to both parties if/when lines are crossed. Checking our motivations professionally; asking ourselves whether we seek to use power for selfish ends or are humbly compelled to bear the burdens of authority to protect and serve those under our wing. Being in authentic energetic alignment with our Mission/Purpose on core level and using a deep-seated sense of integrity as the foundational cornerstone for our career/reputation/business/“brand”.
11th House: The possibility of a strong dislike/distrust of groups, clubs, and/or associations. Potential difficulty regarding dysfunctional social networks/”community”. An inclination toward bad experiences within the group dynamic and/or a tendency to suffer the consequences from “falling in with the wrong crowd”. Age or elder figures corrupting/tainting our aspirations and ideals. The challenge: Regular quality-screening of our social spheres for problem elements and not fearing to purge when/where necessary. Transforming negative social experiences by working to restore/rebuild our trust in humanity. Limiting liability regarding our risk of being left holding the bag for our friends’ character flaws. Steering clear of power/control dynamics where the hive mind is permitted to hold sway. Realizing when/where age or elders have polluted our social ideals, possibly twisting them with cynicism, bitterness, or hate; working to rectify this and transform lead into gold.
12th House: The inclination to have an aversion to Surrender/“giving it up to god”. Possibility of holding hoary grudges against Divinity for times we’ve been let down; where we strongly feel god didn’t “come through” for us in moments of severe crisis. The potential for a serious obsession with “psychic” phenomena. Possible unconscious compulsion toward self-sabotage, or to experience hardship via addiction to vices. Ancient and secret trauma – perhaps regarding a parent – that’s difficult for us to resolve because it is scary-powerful; it may be locked away in the psyche and forgotten about but manages to drive subconscious behavior nonetheless. The potential for a rigid fixation with illness; possibly manifesting as intense phobias of being “contaminated” or “infected”. Nightmares that seem all too real. The challenge: Working to overcome any subconscious need for control. Transmuting resentment into forgiveness when it comes to our spirituality and the challenges we’ve endured in life. Realizing that crisis and hardship serve complex spiritual purposes that we have limited insight into during this mortal incarnation. Relegating our submersion into the “psychic” realms to fixed/finite periods and practicing self-regulation so we’re not obsessed with being “read” by intuitives, mediums, etc. Purging any compulsive cycles of self-undoing via working with a professional trained in the therapeutic arena. Unlocking our psyche with the power of relaxation, meditation, and dreams that we use as tools to help us access our subconscious. Realizing that illness isn’t confined to just the physical plane and may actually be rooted in the psychological and/or spiritual realms, where we must also do prevention/extraction work (with proper supervision from one trained in this area, of course). Learning the symbolism of our dreams and working with them to deconstruct what it is our bad dreams stem from.