“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: 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?”).
“Newspaper reporters would regularly seek interviews with Meher Baba, and sometimes he would consent… ‘But what about astrology?’ the reporter asked. ‘Everything has something to do with spirituality. It depends on how it is worked out.’ “ (From LM, p. 2077)
To have astrological knowledge does not confer the ability to avoid challenges or lessons that must be learned in life. From the ego perspective challenges or unpleasant situations are always unwanted, but from a spiritual perspective the trials and tribulations in life are often exactly what is necessary to create the learning or shifts in consciousness that are required for the soul. Although attempting to live in sync with the rhythms of planetary influences is certainly beneficial, it is not only undesirable to try to avoid or prevent life lessons from happening or to try to control life through careful study or adherence to astrological interpretations, but it is impossible to do so. Life and learning cannot be avoided or stopped. Experiences will happen, suffering may happen, and learning and growth never ends. What astrology can offer is insight into the perfection of it all. By seeing and understanding the planetary correlations and synchronicities, astrology can contribute to one’s peace, patience, acceptance, endurance, hope, and trust in the divine intelligence behind it all.
In my experience, the deepest and most meaningful learning about astrology comes from experiential observation and involvement. Book learning is essential of course, but for instance, to truly understand the intensity of a transit from a slow moving planet to your birth chart, living through it or watching someone close to you live through it, is entirely different than reading about it. The theory you studied suddenly becomes tangible and is clearly manifesting before your eyes, and yet at the same time it is infinitely more complex and varied in its expression than you could have imagined. The same goes for truly understanding another human being, let alone yourself. It is a lifetime study. As an astrological counselor, I can study a natal chart for hours and hours, days, and weeks, but it would still take time to truly and comprehensively know the native (the owner of the chart). I may be able to quickly speculate about trends in character, predispositions, challenges, gifts, themes of the past and future, and various timelines of various archetypal influences affecting the individual, etc. And all of this can be immensely helpful for people in terms of inspiring self-understanding, self-permission to be who one is, as well as to give encouragement, patience, and strength with one’s life situation. Read more...
However, to really know a person, in a deep sense, and what it means to have a combination of particular planets in particular signs and houses with particular aspects, it takes time and keen observation. That is why I like working with people for a series of sessions over a period of time. We can go so much deeper into personality, life, or relationship dynamics, all of which the chart will illustrate in perfect fashion. Yet it takes time to unravel those mysteries written in a symbolic language. Like any relationship, it takes time and participation with someone to get to know them beyond the surface appearances or presentation. The same is true in a relationship between a counselor and a client and between an astrologer and a chart.
“A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in mathematical harmony with his individual karma… The message boldly blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate — the result of past good and evil — but to arouse man’s will to escape from his universal thralldom… The starry inscription at one’s birth, I came to understand, is not that man is a puppet of his past. Its message is rather a prod to pride; the very heavens seek to arouse man’s determination to be free from every limitation.”
“The basic mind-body constitution is determined by:
*The souls karma (subconscious conditionings) and dominant state of awareness prior to conception. *The mind-body constitution of the parents. *the mental and emotional states of the mother. *Conditions in the mother’s environment prior to giving birth. *The planetary aspects which prevailed at the time of birth.”
~Roy Eugene Davis, a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda
April is a uniquely intense month, with the Cardinal Grand Cross peaking Apr 20th thru 23rd, sandwiched in-between two eclipses (Apr 15th and 29th). The revolutionizing Uranus/Pluto square has been in action for a couple of years now, and we’ve been dealing with the preliminary energy of the Grand Cross since Mars entered Libra in Dec of 2013. However this month we experience the exact hits of Mars opposing Uranus, Jupiter opposing Pluto, and all 4 planets squaring each other. This is a moment of climax and possibly crisis as we experience extreme tension between conflicting or opposing forces, that will lead to sweeping changes or big breakthroughs for many people. If you have planets or points in the cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn, especially if they are near 13 degrees, you will feel this Grand Cross quite personally. Read more...
The Sun triggered the Grand Cross Apr 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 8th. Mercury will trigger the Grand Cross Apr 14-16th, so those precise days may be stressful or significant for many. The Full Moon Lunar Eclipse (with the North Node) on Apr 15th in Libra may represent a time of clarity and culmination about something needing to be integrated, cultivated, or given more attention — wherever Libra is in your chart will give more information about what that is for you… The New Moon Solar Eclipse (with the South Node) on Apr 29th may represent a fresh beginning regarding something unproductive needing to be released — wherever Taurus (and Aries) is in your chart will give more information about what that is for you… Under the turbulent influences in April some people may behave irrationally or erratically (if they are prone that way), but this can help propel us towards profound spiritual opportunities for growth and to shift old or toxic patterns that no longer serve. While in the pressure cooker of these tense aspects, the deeper challenge is to inwardly surrender (which is different from outward submission) by completely accepting the present moment, and in so doing we become more free and more whole, little by little, moment by moment.
Last night as I was falling asleep I was contemplating – for awhile and quite intensely – love, what love is, and how to actually be loving. I didn’t have any obvious individual aspects I could think of that would account for this particular focus of my mind. But when I woke this morning and looked at the ephemeris I realized that the moment I was contemplating love so deeply was just when the Moon was applying to a conjunction with Venus, the goddess of love. How perfect. There is always an astrological correlation. Even for brief or minor events.
A friend sent me this wonderful video full of truths about what love is and what love isn’t…
With the practice of astrology you may see a thing coming, but that does not mean you can avoid it. You may note influences and archetypal energies that are active, but regardless of how accurately you interpret meanings for a particular time period, or how much awareness and self-knowledge you have worked to achieve, that does not mean you can eliminate certain lessons that are necessary to expand and deepen your being. So, what can astrology offer? Astrological explorations have the potential to mirror back to you with validation and insight what you are experiencing, and help you make connections between outer and inner events and passages, as well as a larger context of cycles in your personal journey to greater wholeness. This can bring more inner peace, acceptance, and understanding about whatever is happening. Higher intelligence and divine purpose guide the journey. Birth charts, as well as transits, progressions, elections, and the other astrological charts we use — help one gain glimpses of that divine intelligence and purpose.