“What about this year? It has been a struggle so far. Any ideas?”
I recently received this question on Facebook. At first I laughed because it is such a broad and big question, and I am far from having any answers. But if together we take a look at your chart and your life, we may see how the current planets and aspects are reflecting your experience, and that can be so helpful for finding the answers within…
I can offer a brief sketch of some general astrological themes for this year (2017): The revolutionary energies of radical change and wrenching transformation that began a few years ago during the epic Uranus/Pluto square are getting triggered off this year by Jupiter in Libra. Additionally there is an emphasis on FIRE, and air feeding fire this year (with Saturn in Sagittarius, Uranus in Aries, Jupiter in Libra, the Nodes of the Moon preparing to enter Leo and Aquarius, with our first Leo eclipse tomorrow on Feb 10, and Venus and Mars both in Aries right now as well). So it makes sense that collectively we are seeing and feeling instantaneous flare-ups of high-spirited passion and energy, manifesting in all kinds of different ways.
I have a lot of fire and air in my natal chart so I am used to intense energies within myself zooming to the surface for expression. For balance I look to and learn from my more earth and water friends. They are not instantaneous in their reactions. When I am able to slow down my responses, and try to really listen, and pause before speaking — it is miraculous. Taking it a step further is listening for the feelings and needs underneath whatever we are hearing or seeing, that might seem irritating, disturbing, frightening, or enraging… When we can bring mindfulness, inquiry, empathy, understanding, compassion, and presence to whatever is arising within or around us — it is a nourishing tonic for this fiery year, with the potential to offer deep and healing solace. I am needing to review my Non-Violent Communication books and I am loving listening to Tara Brach’s podcasts. She continually reminds people to ask, “What is it like to be you?” When we ask this we automatically become an ally, especially to marginalized and vulnerable others (“What is it like to be you?”), or especially to people with whom we vehemently disagree (“What is it like to be you?”), and often most importantly to ourselves (“What is it like to be me, in this moment?”).
The Spiritual Implications of the Astrological Birthchart
Upcoming workshop with Randy Wasserstrom
At the heart of the astrological birthchart is spiritual karma and from this karma comes a perfect compassionate design for each one of us. Our mission is to feel the perfection of the design and to guide our lives by it. In this workshop, “The Spiritual Implications of the Astrological Birthchart”, we will discuss how to interpret planets, signs, houses and the lunar nodes from a spiritual perspective while comparing this perspective to the psychological model. Participants will have the opportunity to look at their own charts (voluntary) “piece by piece” from this perspective. This workshop is for all astrology students — beginning to advanced.
Randy Wasserstrom, MSW, a professional astrologer from Cary, NC will be the workshop leader. He has 22 years of experience as an astrologer, has taught many classes in beginning to advanced astrology, and started the Network of Triangle Astrologers.
The fee is $45.00. For further information and/or pre-registration, call Randy at 919-467-4043 or email email@example.com.
When: January 28, 2012 from 1-4pm
Where: A Far Away Place —16 Battery Park Ave. Asheville, NC 28801
The news about the historic first time ever flyby of Pluto is a few days old now but still interesting to me, and this is the first chance I’ve had to post anything. At the very moment of the flyby of Pluto by NASA’s fast moving spacecraft, New Horizons, which took almost ten years to get to Pluto — the Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Mars were all opposing Pluto. The opposition is an aspect of awareness of the Other. It is like looking across a round table at someone sitting exactly opposite you. Although they are furthest away from you, you are in a position to have the most clear, straight-on view of them compared to all the other seats around the table. So with the faster moving planets in this opposite position we got a much better look at Pluto, who is known to us in astrology as the hidden, mysterious, and powerful symbolic god of the underworld. On the day of the flyby the Sun and Moon were unified in Cancer opposing Pluto in Capricorn, representing a sort of spotlight bringing our undivided attention to Pluto. Additionally Mercury’s opposition represents communication with and about Pluto, and Mars represents decisive and probing action regarding Pluto. Wherever Pluto is currently transiting in your birth chart will give an idea of the area of life that is undergoing a slow but profound death and rebirth process (what we associate with Pluto). During the last couple of weeks with this four pointed opposition to Pluto — we had an opportunity for more awareness of what is being disintegrated and transformed within ourselves or our lives.
These faster moving planets were acting as triggers, going over the degrees of the longer-term transit of Uranus square Pluto, which is correlated with a groundbreaking turning point for us individually and collectively, as well as now literally with new astronomical information about Pluto. Even though Pluto is small in size (though New Horizons found it to be larger than anticipated) and even though scientists are finding many other dwarf planets out there in space, I trust there is a reason why Pluto is unique and has been part of our consciousness for a long time. I am struck by the heart-shaped landmass shown in the new photos of Pluto and widely circulated and discussed in the media. Pluto is associated with doing the heavy and sometimes frightening psychological work of confronting one’s unconscious shadow parts. But this new mass awareness of Pluto’s heart, suggests that on a psycho-spiritual level, once we actually have the capacity to get a closer view of our own deeply hidden feelings and motives, for instance, as symbolized by this distant and invisible (to the naked eye) body in our solar system, we may also discover a more welcoming and loving part of ourselves that we never knew before.
“The waxing crescent moon and the dazzling planet Venus are the first two celestial lights to appear after sunset on January 25, 2012. Look low in the west to see the shining pair at dusk and early evening.” ~EarthSky.org
The 2 feminine archetypes join — The Moon, shimmery and reflective, and Venus, beautiful and receptive.
Love, support, empathy, kindness, rapport, harmony, and compatibility — these are words in Venus’s bible. Recently a thought came tumbling into my mind and I realized it was inspired by Venus and represents an important expression of her Libra archetype. Being in the Sun’s month-long stay in the sign of Libra, I am not surprised that Libran values are dominating my mind and heart. The Libra archetype makes the art of relationship a sacred temple.
I was listening to a conversation between two people where one was more interested in making his own point than in hearing and receiving the other person’s thoughts and feelings. I felt sad for both… We have all done it and been there, on both sides... When one is observing, it is easier to see how helpful it would be to the relationship, and to the precious sense of relatedness in the relationship — if we realized that effective communication, not to mention a feeling of communion, only happens through a balanced give and take of expression and reception: not just seeking to be heard, seen, and understood, oneself, but making the effort to hear, see, and sincerely understand the other person as well. This give and take must happen on both sides, or there develops a one-sidedness in which the person who does not feel heard and seen eventually retreats inside — for, on a deep but subtle level, it feels as though his existence is not being acknowledged. Read more...
This is a painful feeling, even if it is not perceived consciously. Ordinarily the conversation continues at this point, but at least one of the participants will feel, to a degree, frustrated and invisible. This creates distance and resentment, and the sense of union or camaraderie is diminished. When both people are more interested in making their own points without listening and acknowledging the other, the quality of the interaction degenerates even more and becomes like two young children, before they have developed the capacity to actually relate, not speaking with each other, but speaking at each other.
The practice of truly listening to another is more than simply hearing words and responding with one’s own ideas. Often we do hear and understand but fail to explicitly articulate in some way that we hear and understand. This small omission weakens the sense of connection in that moment. In addition, the ideas of the one vehemently trying to make his point without first acknowledging the other person, usually lose power and are often lost altogether. I would go on to say that the power of the ideas is lost because the sense of deep communion has ruptured. It takes, for instance, not just a nod from the listener, and not just a pause on the listeners part before talking about his own experience, but genuine interest. Then, the texture of the listeners responses will reflect nods, pauses, and relevent questions which indicate the listeners caring about what the speaker is expressing, but more important yet, the listeners caring about the speaker, himself.
With the Sun in Libra, there is the opportunity to experience being more keenly attuned to the other person. It is an excellent time to consciously practice ones capacity to take in what the other person is seeking to share and express — to hold it, dwell with it, feel it inside, and actively respond about it — before switching the commentary over to ones own experience, thoughts, or feelings. That is the key. The one who has been heard, seen, and understood has received a gift, and the sense of communion prospers. To mutually gift one another in this way is one of the treasures of Venus and her sign, Libra.
This one seemingly small communication practice is so powerful that it can make or break a relationship, and has the power to rescue a failing relationship. These Venusian communication skills are not automatic and they often feel counter-intuitive, but If we applied them, our relationships — personal, professional, civic, and global — would be benefited with more mutual understanding, love, peace and unity.
Today I read about a powerful astronomical event: There is a star in the Pinwheel Galaxy currently in the midst of its dying process. When a star runs out of fuel to sustain itself, it collapses setting off a massive and violent explosion, called a supernova. At its peak, a supernova can shine so bright it lights up the entire galaxy in which it occurs. Additionally, the shock waves from the explosion can trigger the birth of new stars. This supernova is 21 million light years away, but it is the closest one seen from Earth for decades and tonight will be its brightest night. With a telescope it is visible above the Big Dipper and may even be possible to see with binoculars.
Astrology is the alchemical practice of taking that which is seen in the external world and discovering the inner symbolic significance of it, “As above, so below.” Regarding this extraordinary and somewhat rare supernova, some questions one might ask oneself are: Read more...
What is collapsing in me or around me? What do I need to let go of or let die, which is no longer serving or generating energy for me?
Can I see a light in this possibly challenging or dramatic change?
What new sparkly hopes or wishes (upon a star) may be brought forth by this ending?
What new bright star in my universe is finding its unexpected beginning bringing vision and light in the darkness?
On August 30th, Jupiter ♃ - the planet of increase, optimism, and the search for truth - stopped, turned around, and began traveling in reverse. Jupiter will be retrograde for almost 4 months, taking the journey and the search backwards (for review and synthesis) and inwards (seeking inner truth). Jupiter will travel from 10 degrees back to 0 degrees Taurus ♉. Where you have these degrees of Taurus in your chart (and other planets in early degrees which may be aspected) gives a clue about the area of life where you will have an opportunity to reassess recent expansion... The energy of Jupiter retrograde in Taurus can help us to refine and stabilize what was developing, appreciate the gains that were made, and ground them in practical, usable ways. One way to make the aspirations (Jupiter) sustainable over time (a Taurus concern) is by finding our way, Taurus style, meaning less effort and more enjoyment, less doing and more being. Read more...
Here is a little info about Jupiter in astronomical terms, which informs the astrological symbolism of Jupiter (expansion and benevolence, etc) : “Jupiter, 318 times more massive than the earth, acts like a cosmic vacuum cleaner, sucking in or deflecting debris left over from the solar systems birth 4.5 billion years ago. If it werent for Jupiters colossal gravitational field, we wouldnt be here.”
“The latent sense for this hidden inner reality indirectly makes itself felt even in the world of illusion through the attraction which one form has for another form. The law of gravitation, to which all the planets and the stars are subject, is in its own way a dim reflection of the love which pervades every part of the universe.” ~Meher Baba
There are many constellations not used in astrology. “Ophiuchus was one of the 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations” (wikipedia). The 12 archetypes used in Western & Vedic astrology are comprehensive and have worked for millennia. Though it is worth contemplating why Ophiuchus has surfaced now in the collective consciousness. Our understanding of the universe is constantly expanding...
“According to Christian tradition it was a star that had guided the three Wise Men (who in the original Greek are called astrologers) to Bethlehem... The consensus of opinion among modern astrologers is that the ‘star of Bethlehem was in fact a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Pisces... an exceptional phenomenon that the Wise Men would have considered a major omen”~Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology