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The energy shifts: Pluto and Jupiter go direct

This week both Pluto and Jupiter turn direct. For most of us, the change will be palpable.

When a planet retrogrades, from our viewpoint here on earth it appears to move backwards over the same orbit it has just travelled through. So, during the time of the retrograde we go back over the same emotional ground. It’s a like a second chance to ‘get it’. To hammer home whatever lesson we need to learn.

After turning retrograde in early May, Jupiter goes direct on Monday. “We could feel the alteration in a big way”, says Julie Demboski, “Through obvious differences in social attitudes toward material realities”. Hard on Jupiter’s heels, Pluto is direct on Tuesday, completing a retrograde cycle that began in early April. What lessons have you ‘been over’ in these past four or five months? Whatever it is, Mystic Medusa advises us not to drag out or prop up this scenario any longer. It’s time to take what we’ve learnt and move on.

In times of great change we need something to hang onto. Right now, Mercury, Venus, and Mars are in relationship-oriented Libra. As Julie Demboski says, “Relationships, clear communications, and a willingness to take needed action can be our anchors in those moments when foundations seem made of sand and threaten to shift beneath our feet”. While some associations are ending or lessening, some are strengthening and growing. These, I think, are the jewels shining through the struggle of the everyday.

Take heart, too, from the energies of the recent Sun/Saturn conjunction – the air is fairly crackling with all the energy needed to build and consolidate the future of our dreams.

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That ol’ boy Saturn

Yesterday saw a Sun/Saturn conjunction in Virgo. (This literally means that, from the perspective of the earth, the Sun and Saturn appear to be directly on top of each other.)

Ruler of Capricorn, Saturn is known as a hard taskmaster. In our natal charts he often points to areas of life where we will encounter difficulties, or need to learn lessons.

‘If you’ve been feeling stressed, weighed down, not listened to, like you’ve run into too many brick walls,’ says Lynda Hill, if you’re ‘tired, unsatisfied and unrewarded’, then ‘welcome to the land of Sun/Saturn’.

Saturn is the master of harsh reality, of flushing the sediment at the core of our pretty illusions to the surface. It’s not pretty. Not at all. But there are enormous opportunities for change. For creating the life that we want to live.

Saturn is not gentle. When he’s ready to teach us something, it’s best to go willingly. Those who resist will be dragged along kicking and screaming anyway.

What appeases Saturn? Hard work. Honesty. Bravery. These are the qualities that will see us through right now.

Above all – don’t lose hope. There is a great deal of love and happiness in the world. And although he works in mysterious ways, Saturn does help us reach and hold it for ourselves.

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Further reading: Lynda Hill’s post Removing the Veil – Sun/Saturn Conjunction is simply magic.

A little Virgo is never enough…

Fact One: I’ve been unusually focused on GTD of late.  And my tolerance for fools is markedly low. 

Fact Two: The Sun is in Virgo, now until late September. 

Could these two Facts be related?  Certainly my heavy-handed prose implies that they are.  Not only that – read almost any description of Virgo and you’ll be tripping over words like ‘perfectionist’, ‘meticulous’, ‘fussy’ and ‘overcritical’ from here until Sunday.

Virgo gets a heckuva bad rap. Condemned as a worrier on one hand and damned with faint praise (like ‘diligent’) on the other.

A few months ago I ran across a cool post on Mystic Medusa’s blog wherein readers were asked to send in Virgo positives.  At the time I was labouring under the delusion that I had a Virgo ascendant (a long story… or, more accurately, a short yet incredibly dull story), so I read on with interest and discovered that Virgos are frequently:

-subtly witty
-green thumbed
-artistic
-thoughtful
-there in a crisis
-kind
-sensual.

Link through to the comments on the post for more of the above (and a healthy dose of cynicism – seems it’s hard to avoid when the topic of conversation is Virgo).

Virgo is a mutable Earth sign and, along with Gemini, is ruled by Mercury.

In seeking to understand Virgo, it’s useful to dwell on these facts alone.

Earth – fair enough. Practical, reliable etc. Mutable – surely the monumental pain-in-the-ykw Virgo is made out to be would be fixed? And Mercury – renegade planet, trickster, magician, alchemist… I mean, what’s up with that?

As usual I have no answers, dear Reader… instead I Open the Floor to You for guidance…

Lunar eclipse in Aquarius

A lunar eclipse is similar to a full moon, Lynda Hill explains, but much much stronger.  Also longer lasting – we could feel the effects for nine months or even more.

So the lunar eclipse this weekend (exact 7:16am Sunday) is important.  It’s at at 24 Aquarius 21, and Neptune (planet of illusion) is only a couple of degrees away.  Also nearby are Chiron (the wounded healer) and the North Node (the future). 

I’ve been reading a bit about what all this means and the consensus seems to be: discard anything (physical, emotional, spiritual) you no longer need or want in your life.  You can’t make room for anything new and great until you clear out all the old crap.  Surround yourself activities and people that feed, motivate and extend you.  Prioritise these people and experiences over those that numb and paralyse you.  Prepare yourself for something new and wonderful to enter your life.  Then actually do what it takes to make it happen!

As a write this it occurs to me that it might be useful to draw up two lists – one headed ‘Discard’ and the other ‘Create’.  This is what mine would look like:

Discard: fear, envy, anger, worry, sloth.

Create: joy, energy, space, calm, compassion.

All very Aquarian big-picture lofty goalish, don’t you agree?  Of course there are specific activities I’ll need to undertake to make this happen.  Luckily for me, Saturn is in GTD Virgo right now – and, as a friend pointed out only yesterday, Saturn rewards hard work with steady progress.  All the ingredients are there for us to live to our best potential.  No excuses!!

One last thing: the Sun is still in Leo and, as Mystic Medusa says: ‘detaching and having a good giggle at the follies of your ego where appropriate could be good medicine for this moon’. 

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For some great lunar eclipse tips (much more specific and practical than mine) – check out Linda Rose’s post on the topic.

Between the eclipses

Right now we’re in the space between two eclipses: the 1 August total solar eclipse at 9 Leo 32 and the upcoming partial lunar eclipse at 24 Aquarius 21 on Sunday 17 August (exact at 7:16 am).

Probably I should have blogged about the Leo solar eclipse earlier – but frankly I was fully occupied with simply keeping my head above water (the eclipse activated my natal Saturn at 10 Leo 31 – ouch.)  

Eclipses are about new beginnings.  Changes.  Who are you? asks Astrobarry.  Yep, it’s that fundamental.  We’re offered the opportunity to look at how we present ourselves to the world, he says, and how that integrates with who we really are inside.  (An aside: the conjunction with my natal Saturn may help me here, now that I think of it – I seem to remember that one of Saturn’s greatest gifts – and challenges – is to harmonise the inner and the outer worlds.)

This is a good time to evaluate your life and decide what stuff (emotions, attitudes, beliefs) you want to carry forward, and what you want to discard.  As always, we get out what we put in.  This eclipse, according to Mystic Medusa, ‘You know you’re doing it right if you’re feeling LEONIC… determined to be all brave and beautiful as you push through SOME sort of dazzling change, new start or stance.’

The solar eclipse is just the first of this eclipse set.  The lunar eclipse this week will offer clues as to how the scenario will play out, says Julie Demboski.  She also warns that the space between the eclipses will likely be fraught with tension.  With the solar eclipse in Leo, and the lunar in Aquarius, the question is: will we run with our own needs, or those of the group?  The lunar eclipse in Aquarius will conjunct Neptune and, as Sparrow Moon points out, this will increase our sensitivity and worries.  It will also enhance intuition – listen calmly and, above all, don’t panic!

Linda Rose called the day of the eclipse ‘the first day of the rest of your life’.  Eclipses are not just one ‘big bang’ creating the ‘new you’ – although the event is strongly felt, the influences linger for some time after the actual event (as well as being building up beforehand).  We’ll be feeling the effects of these eclipses until the next set in January/Febuary 2009

So, what’s it been like for you so far?  Feel free to share…

La Leo

Presently the Sun is in Leo, where it will stay until moving into the sign of Virgo on Saturday 23 August.   

I’m quite pleased about this – I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for Leo.  Not that I have any particularly Leonine friends or acquaintances, mind you.  (Perhaps that helps?) 

Back in the (not-too-distant) day when all I knew about astrology was via Linda Goodman’s Love Signs, Milton Black’s little yearly sun-sign booklets and Athena Starwoman’s columns in Woman’s Day, the descriptions of Leo were the ones that leapt off the page for me.  That’s Leo: larger than life, golden, lit from within by its ruler the Sun.  A natural performer.  At home in the limelight. 

As a shy young Piscean, I was a little afraid of Leo who would, I thought, overpower me.  Fizzle me out (not that I had a lot of fizzle to start with).  The negatives attributed to Leo go something like this: self-centred.  Arrogant.  Selfish.  Overbearing.  To me this all sounded terrifying.

Now, though, I rather like the idea of basking in the fiery glow of Leo.  I’m ready to be charmed, and to charm in return.  To catch some of that lust for life.  Inject a little drama into the humdrum. 

Bring it on, luscious Leo.  Bring it on.

Full moon in Capricorn

The moon entered the sign of Capricorn yesterday, as we approach the Cappy Full Moon on Friday (exact at 6:00pm). 

We often associate this, the last of the earth signs, with ambition, materialism and a hunger for power.  Not to mention a certain stiff-necked up-tight-ness.  This however is Capricorn’s shadow; his endpoint, Steven Forrest explains, is integrity and solitude.  Other Capricorn positives include practicality and dedication. 

In the leadup to this Full Moon, take a leaf from Good Cap’s book.  Treat people fairly.  Do something useful.  Be dignified. 

And if you can’t get down to earth figuratively, why not do it literally?  We’re talking about the Sea-Goat here – so a walk on the beach, toes in sand, would be perfect if you can manage it.  Failing that, grounding yourself out in nature – in any way you can – will go a long way this Capricorn Full Moon.