Mars Retrograde in Aries Begins Today – Have a listen on how to navigate!

Mars Retrograde Begins on
Sept. 9, 2020 at 6:22 PM Eastern

Unlike Mercury Retrograde, which happens three times a year, and Venus and Jupiter Retrograde, which both occur once a year, Mars Retrograde only happens every two years. This means we’re not quite as accustomed to, or as comfortable with, the energy of Mars (forward motion and determined action) stopping, and then heading backwards. It might take some adjusting.

Mars Symbolizes ACTION and Forward Motion

Mars symbolizes initiating action. He is very much about connecting to your own will and your own desires, and then taking action to get those desires met. When Mars goes Retrograde, that need to get the party started and the ability to push for what you want loses steam. Mars Retrograde is less about taking action and more about figuring out what you really do want, and how you go about getting it. How DO you take action to get what you want? Do you take action on your will positively? With self-mastery? Or could you elevate your consciousness and ultimately your actions in this arena?

How to Navigate Mars Retrograde

For the next several weeks, until Mars goes Direct on November 13, if you use the Mars Retrograde period optimally, you’ll have the opportunity to answer those questions. With this planet retracing his steps, we’re also meant to retrace ours. We’re meant to recover the ground we’ve been actively covering since since the last full week of July.

Give some thought to how you’ve been taking action on your desires since that time. And think about what you got excited about in mid-August… with Mars Retrograde you now have the opportunity to align your actions more consciously. If your pet project begins to flag, this is a clue that you’ve got some tweaking to do. The idea is to get a little introspective about how you do what you do, why you do these things, and your motivation behind them.

Energy is Pulled Back from Forward Motion, Often Leading to Frustration or Anger

While Mars is Retrograde we may find that our “push” becomes ineffective, or our interest wanes, or due to circumstances we didn’t foresee, we can’t move forward any longer the way we’d like to.

Try not to despair… with conscious navigation of this time, when the Retrograde is over in November (or more likely when we get beyond the shadow of the Retrograde in early January 2021) we’ll have uncovered what we need to change about how connect with our desires, how we take action, and will have learned what we need to do to align the two appropriately.

Frustration is often the hallmark of Mars Retrograde periods, but knowing that we’re meant to be retracing our steps and re-imagining our desires can be SO helpful in ameliorating that frustration. For many, pushing forward unchecked and without introspection ends not only in frustration, but in anger – and taken to extremes, rage.

This Isn’t Just Any Mars Retrograde – Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter Are Involved. Extremes Are Probable.

This particular Mars Retrograde definitely has the potential to go to extremes. Between now and early January, Mars is in an explosive conversation with the planet Pluto. And Pluto is everything extreme and intense… Mars is also throwing out a dare to Saturn and Jupiter during much of the Retrograde period, further complicating the energy and adding to the potential for frustration.

So please proceed with caution. Understand the need to engage introspectively – to recognize your motivations and re-align with your desires. And practice empathy for those around you who haven’t been educated on how best to use this time. They’re probably going to need it.

Listen to My Conversation with Chiara Luce about the Astrology of the Fall Season and Mars Retrograde

(YOU CAN ALSO LISTEN ON SPOTIFY!)

Chiara Luce, host of the Clear Light Creative Podcast, and I had a discussion about the astrological weather of this coming Fall Season. Where we landed had everything to do with the Mars Retrograde.

We talked about both the personal implications of Mars Retrograde, with respect to the pandemic, as well as what it may mean socially and politically.

Hope you’ll click below and listen for a deeper understanding of the times in which we live.

https://www.clearlightcreativepodcast.com/podcast-episodes/marsrx-covidastrology

This is what we cover in the podcast.
The Astrology segment begins at 15:07.

15:07] Astrology interview begins.

[18:28] What happens when Jupiter goes direct.

[20:09] All about Mars Retrograde.

[23:22] How to see how Mars Retrograde will affect you.

[24:49] Listen up if you’ve got personal planets in cardinal signs.

[25:48] What to do during Mars Retrograde.

[30:41] How Mars interacts with the COVID clump/conjunction planets.

[34:39] More things to do in order to have a successful Mars Rx.

[36:10] What the transits of the fall mean for the pandemic.

[37:08] Jupiter+Pluto conjunction – Nov 12th a spike in fatalities? Soooo SOCIALLY DISTANCED HALLOWEEN PEOPLE.

[48:00] Oxygen mask on first. Practice personal development during this time.

Looking for an Astrology Podcast? I’m Guest Podcasting about Astrology with Chiara Luce on Clear Light Creative!

Clear Light Creative Podcast with Host Chiara Luce and Astrologer Michelle Gregg
Clear Light Creative Podcast with Chiara Luce and Michelle Gregg

Astrology Podcast: Very Cool & Topical Astrology Topics on CLEAR LIGHT CREATIVE PODCAST with CHIARA LUCE and MICHELLE GREGG!

If you’re interested in hearing some full-on consciousness streaming (and consciousness raising) conversation about astrology, how to use it now, and how it’s significant to the times in which we live, I invite you to join me, Michelle Gregg, on Chiara Luce’s new podcast, Clear Light Creative!

The last 15 to 20 minutes of each of her podcasts we get together and dish on some incredible astrology topics like:

  1. Debunking Sun Sign Astrology
  2. George Floyd, The 13th Amendment, and Black Lives Matter
  3. The 27 Club: Suicide at 27 from an Astrological Perspective
    (we look at Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, & Kurt Cobain)

  4. Uranus in Taurus – What this Shift Means for Us Now (Money/Earth)
    (and a look at it historically, politically, financially, ecologically)

And that’s just the first four! We’ll be talking about many more topical astrology subjects throughout the coming months, as it applies to the current state of our culture and government, as well as how you can use astrology for greater understanding and fulfillment in your life.

Besides Astrology, the Clear Light Creative Podcast is All About Inspiring You Creatively!

The first hour-ish of each of Chiara’s podcasts are interviews with amazing, creative, and inspiring humans.

Clear Light Creative Podcast is a new and expansive resource for:

  • Aspiring Artists
  • Wellness Seekers
  • Astrology Enthusiasts

Chiara interviews creatives in every field, from all walks of life, who provide their stories, unique experiences, and guidance on how they achieved their professional and artistic success. These artists and professional creatives inspire and motivate with every episode!

There are also episodes with Chiara deep diving with guest experts from all branches of the healing modalities, covering beliefs from Eastern and Western viewpoints, as well as esoteric traditions.

Who is Chiara Luce?
(And there’s a bit about me at this link too!)

Well, first – her name. In Italian, Chiara means “clear” and Luce means “light.” So it seems that in creating this amazing platform called Clear Light Creative for artists, creatives, wellness seekers, and astrology enthusiasts, she’s living up to her name in a gorgeous way!

Otherwise, Chiara is a copywriter and career creative who has explored and experienced many facets of the artist’s life. From creating and directing for Cirque du Soleil, acting off-Broadway, to singing in the Notre Dame Cathedral and helping create some of the coolest sets in Hollywood, Chiara has left her mark and garnered quite a bit of wisdom along the way… and she loves to share it all…

And to top it all off, she has a full-on passion for astrology!

Astrology every episode!

The last 15 to 20 (and maybe even 30) minutes of each episode of Clear Light Creative focuses on a specific topic in astrology that Chiara and I are excited to explore, and to bring to you to contemplate and engage with. We’ll be sure to keep every episode juicy, relevant, fun, and fascinating!

Where can you listen to this awesome podcast?

Clear Light Creative (and our exciting astrology chats) can be heard on:

Follow Me and Clear Light Creative on Instagram!

@michellegreggastrologer

@clearlightcreative

Hope to see you on the Gram!

I hope you’ll give us a listen!

I’m really SO EXCITED to be bringing all this exciting astrology info to you with Chiara on her motivating and inspirational new podcast, Clear Light Creative!

Give us a listen and let me know what you think!

As always, be well,
Michelle

New Moon in Cancer – July 20, 2020 – Protecting Home

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

There’s just something about the New Moon in Cancer… you know, with the Moon in her own sign, feelings are everything, and everywhere. We relish them. We want to share them with others and give and receive nurture. We want to focus on home and family and feel safe in that sweet bubble of love…

Or do we?

Well yes, AND more… Cancer is famous for its protective qualities. It doesn’t rest until everyone is safe. So before we can cuddle up with cookies and milk and bask in the glow of familial love, we have to shore up the holes in the castle walls.

And the feeling of this particular New Moon in Cancer is extremely qualified by restrictive Saturn in a super tight opposition to both the Sun and Moon in Cancer. The operative word here being “opposition” and everything that you would normally think of when you read that word. And from a political perspective (yeah, I’m going there) when we focus on where the New Moon in Cancer is active by transit in the birth chart of our country (July 4, 1776, 5:10 PM, Philadelphia, PA), the warm and fuzzy slips right off.

For those familiar with the language of astrology, the New Moon at 28 degrees of Cancer conjoined our country’s Mercury at 24 degrees of Cancer and opposed our country’s Pluto at 27 Capricorn. Transiting Saturn at 28 degrees of Capricorn was exactly opposed to the New Moon and conjoined the country’s Pluto. (There’s a pic of the chart at the end of this article.)

This is powerful energy about power – and how the voice of the people can counter and impact, via opposition, the force of authority and government. It’s not your typical New Moon in Cancer. This one is tapping directly into the intensity, fear, and necessary transformation of the times we find ourselves living in.

As with every New Moon, this one is about a new start, and this new start has something to do with our ideal, as the people of this country, of how home should be and our responsibility to that ideal.

Something I find particularly interesting that illustrates this, is the debacle going on in Portland, Oregon, where the voice of the people (symbolized by the country’s Mercury in Cancer) is being triggered by Saturn into an oppositional stance with the force of authority. Federal troops are grabbing protesters from unmarked cars and arresting them, without identifying themselves or giving reasons for the arrests. The new “voice of the people” rising up at the New Moon is a massive wall of marching, chanting moms – that’s right. Moms. This New Moon ushered in a new group of mothers (Cancer) out en masse protecting protesters from the big bad wolf that the federal government (Saturn) has become. They are protecting home and family – their kids, other people’s kids, their homes, their businesses, their way of life – but they’re doing it in a way that directly opposes an authority that by the day is becoming more and more frightening and violent. They are a wall (Saturn) of protective, concerned motherhood (Cancer.)

This is what Heather Cox Richardson, from Letters from an American, reported last night, July 19:

“There was a new force on the Portland streets this weekend: moms. Dressed in yellow shirts, wearing helmets and masks, several hundred women are forming chains between the officers and the protesters. They call themselves the Wall of Moms, and are chanting: “I don’t see no riot here; take off your riot gear,” and “Feds stay clear, moms are here!” Officers tear gassed them last night, but they came back tonight in bigger numbers. Tonight’s protest was one of the largest this month.”

Sometimes I’m still dumbfounded at how literally the planetary energies play out in our lives… this is one of those occasions.

On a more personal perspective, this New Moon in Cancer opposite Saturn is very much about protecting our own, and the responsibilities that come with that territory. It’s about creating a new familial structure that echos the imperatives of the times we live in. It’s about balancing family and necessity, and learning to understand when to be hard and diligent, and when to be soft and gentle, and recognizing that both are required in equal measure.

So yes. This New Moon in Cancer IS about home and family and feeling safe in that sweet bubble of love… and everything we have to do make that possibility a reality.

Inner Wheel: United States Sibley Chart: 1776 at 5:10 PM in Philadelphia, PA. Outer Wheel: New Moon in Cancer on July 20, 2020 at 1:33 PM Eastern, in Washington, DC.
Inner Wheel: United States Sibley Chart: 1776 at 5:10 PM in Philadelphia, PA. / Outer Wheel: New Moon in Cancer on July 20, 2020 at 1:33 PM Eastern, in Washington, DC.

New Moon in Virgo – August 30, 2019 – The Liberation of Discernment

New Moon in Virgo – August 30, 2019 – 6:38 AM Eastern

Discernment: the ability to distinguish; the ability to judge well

Discernment is one of the highest characteristics of Virgo, and at this New Moon there are FIVE planets in Virgo. These five planets are all of the PERSONAL planets: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars. It’s time to be discerning – about YOU. The way you communicate, how you commit and why, the way you react (turn that into responsiveness), what you allow into the NOW from your past (beam your light toward the future), the way you take action on your desires (make those actions masterful), and the way you LOVE.

Ground yourself through that discernment to free yourself to be exactly, UNIQUELY, brilliantly who you are meant to be. Let your genius shine through your service to yourself and others. Don’t just begin something new at this new moon – begin the RIGHT THING that rings the TRUE YOU.

This is moment of intention. Intend with keen discernment toward the AUTHENTIC YOU. We have Uranus in a very easy conversation with all that Virgo energy. What an opportunity to find yourself in the details of your TRUTH, and to liberate yourself from self-deprecation and hyper self-criticism – the agonizing pitfall of Virgo. Question old limits and lean into what feels risky, which is what Uranus is asking of us… it’s an odd combination. The grounding, practicality of Virgo being liberated by revolutionary Uranus. Find the best in both.

New Moon in Virgo Astrology Chart

New Moon in Virgo – August 30, 2019 – 6:38 AM – Atlanta, GA

New Moon in Sagittarius and the Astro Spirits of Past, Present, and Future.

beautiful-cold-girl-247246

Happy December my lovely friend… yes, it’s been a minute. And here we are riding the final exhale of 2018, a year that for many, myself included, has been rife with challenges and uncertainty. Personally, I can’t say that I’m sorry to close the door on this year, and to deeply, consciously inhale the potential of a new one.

And you have the opportunity to do exactly that on this New Moon in Sagittarius today, Dec. 7, 2018 (Dec. 6 Pacific). I encourage you to shake yourself off, open wide, and embrace the joy of this new beginning. Every new moon each month is the opportunity to refresh yourself and start anew in some area of your life – but this one is kind of spectacular. The questions to ask are: What is my journey? Where am I heading? And perhaps more importantly: Is my journey a happy one? Does my journey help me to expand my consciousness and grow as a human being? And then: What area of my life is this New Moon impacting? (We can see that by the house within which it occurs – and the other planets it touches by aspect.)

At this New Moon allow yourself to be filled with the shining possibilities that Sagittarius always offers. When both your emotions (Moon) and your ego and purpose (Sun) combine (New Moon) in this particular sign, you can tap into an extraordinary font of positive, optimistic, and joyous energy. It’s exciting. It projects you into the future. It’s adventurous and certain of the best possible outcome, even without knowing what that outcome may be. More than anything Sagittarius is about the journey rather than the destination. And that means enjoying and celebrating along the way, and finding meaning along the path. And when Jupiter, the ruling planet of Sagittarius, is involved, as he is at this New Moon, the impetus, the purpose of this energy is to infuse you with this optimistic sense of things. He requires you to do something positive, something exciting, something that grows and expands who you are and how you feel about yourself. He is pushing you toward new experiences, the resulting wisdom of those experiences, and a sense of omnipotence. Wherever the New Moon happens for you, that’s where you’re meant to become Zeus – larger than life and as expansive as the heavens. A big thought… but Jupiter is always big. (And yes, there is a lower vibrational way to use Sag and Jupiter energy… I’ll simply frame it as self-aggrandizement and self-righteousness… but why go there? It’s a choice.)

This New Moon in Sagittarius that conjoins with Jupiter is also in a challenging connection to Mars and Neptune. The downside of this combination has the potential to seduce you into perpetuating the idea that you are, or have been, victimized, misunderstood, used as a doormat – or that your codependent tendencies are out, loud, and proud – or that your inner escape artist is poised to descend into whatever may be your avoidance tactic of choice (binge watching, pot, alcohol, sugar, drugs, social media). Mars in Pisces connected tightly to Neptune could have you feeling inadequate to the task (the celebration), or rationalizing that no action at all is a plausible choice. BUT! The UPSIDE of this combination is sublime. SUBLIME! If Jupiter is your joyous moral fibre and optimistic compass leading you into the future, then Neptune is your inner Divine nature who reaches into the transcendent realms toward God/dess. Neptune with Mars lends the capacity to act on your exalted imagination, your expression of Divinely inspired artistry, your ability to connect to beauty on every level and merge with it. See? Sublime!

The take away of the total energy of this New Moon is – travel happy. Despite everything. Choose to find the goodness and beauty in front of you, make decisions and take actions from your inner Divine nature, and walk forward in that state of mind. TRAVEL HAPPY! That can be your New Moon mantra.

Ghost_of_Christmas_Present

And that brings me to this. You must choose what you think, what you feel, what you say, which direction you turn, and what actions you take in all the moments of your life. Every single moment is a confluence of decisions. And all those moments string together and become your past, your present, and your future – your LIFE. So it makes sense to choose the high ground, to divine meaning, to seek and find the positive (even when that feels almost impossible), and even to laugh out loud, in as many moments as you possibly can. It’s appropriate and wonderful, right now, to embrace the Green Man, the symbol of joy and vitality, of sparkling life and merriment. Witness the Green Man as the Ghost of Christmas Present as he visits the sour faced Scrooge on Christmas Eve, as Father Winter, and as the fat old elf Santa Claus – all gift bearers. They all have a shared history and mythology, and all are faces of Jupiter, who dominates the energy of this moment.

If you want 2019 to be your year...
I recently reposted a message on Facebook that was originally posted by one of my wisest friends. It goes like this: If you want 2019 to be your year, don’t sit on the couch and wait for it. Go out. Make a change. Smile more. Be excited. Do new things. Throw away what you’ve been cluttering. Unfollow negative people on social media. Go to bed early. Wake up early. Be fierce. Don’t gossip. Show more gratitude. Do things that challenge you. Be brave.

 

 

Almost all of these are qualities of Sagittarius and Jupiter! That struck me when I read it – how perfectly this encouraging advice aligns with the meaning of this wonderful New Moon. So take these words to heart. Read them repeatedly. Print them out and put them up somewhere where you will see them often. Let them become your cheerleader to move you into 2019.

Now let’s look briefly at the past of 2018, the current energies, and into the future of 2019 – sort of like the spirits of Past, Present, and Future, who visited old Scrooge, just before he made that brilliant transformation from a truly miserable and miserly curmudgeon, into a joyful, loving, optimistic and happy (Jupiterian) man:

PAST
The driving force of 2018 was the Mars/Uranus square that was active from April through October. What to say about this? We experienced a disruptive, highly energized force that had us constantly on the inhale… the feeling that everything was up in the air with no place to land. Impulsive actions and a sense of urgency were markers of this time. The challenge was how many plates can you keep spinning at once? Very volatile, very forceful energy. For some this was an exhilarating foray into new territory that was refreshing and enlightening, even if challenging. For others it was unsettling and anxiety was high. And for still others the disruption of all that was known was at hand with the rug yanked hard from beneath their feet. The question was “Have you found self-mastery through your actions despite the chaos?” And it’s certainly not too late to answer that question.

PRESENT
We get to exhale. 😊 First, Jupiter moved into Sagittarius on Nov. 8, 2018. I certainly felt that shift! It felt like a lift up – a heart opening. Second, Mercury went DIRECT yesterday, Dec. 6, 2018, and by the 12th will be in Sagittarius along with the Sun and Jupiter, and where this New Moon and your new beginnings occur. So your projects and ideas can begin to move forward if they’ve felt back-burnered during the retrograde, and your communications with others can be optimistic, brightly clear, and incisive (except when Mercury squares Neptune between Dec. 20-28, when communication can be blurred, artistic, beautifully muddled, and/or wisely compassionate.) Third, we’ve got this fabulous New Moon in Sag, which is what the bulk of this writing covers. And finally, this Winter Holiday Season is the first we’ve had in two years when Mercury was not retrograde throughout, and the first in 12 years with Jupiter in his own jovial sign of Sagittarius. There’s a lot of happy/merry to tap into this year!
(Apparently gift-giving & spending are way up!)

FUTURE
First, we can look forward to a January and February during which no planets are retrograde! The potential here is that things really begin to move forward on all fronts. Yay! Second, January is eclipse season with a New Moon Solar Eclipse in Capricorn, and a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Leo. More to come on those later. Third, the biggest shift we’ll experience, beginning in March of 2019 and continuing for the coming 7 years, is Uranus moving from the fiery Aries, where he was potent and aggressive, into earthy Taurus. With Uranus, the Great Liberator, meeting the immovable force that is Taurus the Bull, we have a dynamic of RESISTANCE meeting a dynamic of CHANGE. Wherever that energy impacts your life via your birthchart will be an area that will require a tremendous amount of attention to navigate well. Those with planets in Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius, will be profoundly moved by this influence at some time during the 7 year cycle. Everyone is feeling this shift of energy, and these 4 signs will require the greatest changes. On a global scale the shift of Uranus into Taurus will strongly influence technology and innovations toward earth friendly devices; the weather and climate change; the environment and our connection to the Earth as advocates and caretakers; and our finances, investments, banking, the stock market, and our possessions. We’re obviously already seeing much of this as Uranus has already visited Taurus briefly from May through November of 2018. DO NO FREAK OUT. Uranus is always somewhere breaking down the status quo and ushering in a new way. He’s just shifting his position and changing his focus for the coming 7 years, and we will shift and change with him.

For right now I wish for you a beautiful, loving, peaceful, and joyous Winter Holiday! Choose all your moments wisely, and TRAVEL HAPPY into 2019!

 

Vesta, Keeper of the Sacred Flame Padcast with Christina Caudill and Michelle Gregg

I was recently invited to be a guest on astrologer Christina Caudill’s Radiant Astrology Podcast. We had a wonderful lively and enlightening discussion about the Goddess Asteroid Vesta, who symbolizes the Keeper of the Sacred Flame and is the Goddess of Home and Hearth. She draws from the history of the Roman goddess Vesta and her Vestal Virgins, and the Greek goddess Hestia. We recorded this just before the Scorpio New Moon (Nov.7, 2018) during which there was a conjunction of Vesta with Pluto. Our conversation explores the history and mythology of Vesta, how she moves through people’s lives via their birthcharts, and her symbolism encompassing sacred sexuality, chastity, devotion, and vigilance. Please enjoy by clicking the image below! If you’d like to skip directly to our conversation it begins at 19:40. 

Know Thyself: Consciously Learning the Energy of YOU

(This article first appeared in the May/June 2018 issue of the Conscious Life Journal)

woman_looking_into_mirror

The Mirror, c. 1896 by English painter Sir Francis Bernard Dicksee (Frank Dicksee). Oil on Canvas – Private Collection

 

Picture this. You’re being born… meeting light and life. And because all things are energy – waves and vibrations connecting and disconnecting and always in flux – there is a specific and unique symphony in that precise moment. Your moment. Instinctively you gasp in your first breath, and are forever imprinted with the spirit of that time and place. You have become. You are a manifestation of the energetic pattern you inhaled in that quickening breath. And you will resonate to and through that energetic pattern for the rest of your life.

Psychological Astrology maps the energy of your psyche based on that miraculous moment of birth.

Your astrological birth map, based on the date, time, and place of birth, opens a dynamic and transformative world of Self-knowing, Self-acceptance, and Self-mastery. Why am I the way I am? What are my gifts? What are my challenges? Through the symbols of planets, signs, houses, and aspects – the language of astrology – you become conscious of yourself in a multi-layered and profoundly rich way.

“Astrology then, is the language of the
Cosmic Mind – the macrocosm –
reflected via the Personal Mind –
the microcosm.”
 

Each Planet represents a distinctive piece of your psyche – the urge to love and be loved via Venus; the urge to take action on your will via Mars; the urge to learn and communicate via Mercury; the urge to feel and express emotions via the Moon; the urge to BECOME via the Sun.

horoscope-mandala-cropSigns of the Zodiac qualify those urges and are the lens through which they manifest. We all feel emotions, yet, Moon in Aries will emote differently than Moon in Taurus. The Moon in Aries is emotionally direct, willful and spontaneous; while the Moon in Taurus is practical and resists emotional change and turbulence. We all communicate, but Mercury in Sagittarius openly expresses, while Mercury in Scorpio shares only with those who are trusted.

Houses of your birth map show an area of focus in your life: the perceived Self, the life-partner, home, family, career, and finances are examples.

Aspects show relationships between planets. We clearly see for example, how your emotions (Moon), get along and communicate with your ego (Sun); or whether your relationships (Venus) are more romanticized (Neptune), or more based in reality (Saturn).

These are simplistic examples, but learning these distinctions is both helpful and validating. When you understand your personality, your motivations, and your potentials, you are much more likely to create a life story that promises success, confidence, contentment, and even happiness.

Astrology then, is the language of the Cosmic Mind – the macrocosm – reflected via the Personal Mind – the microcosm. The more you understand about yourself, the more you understand the nature of the Universe, and that in being your best Self, you are a positive co-creator of Life.

Know-Thyself-CLJ-Article-Image

 

This article first appeared in the May/June 2018 issue of the Conscious Life Journal

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The Spring Equinox and the Resurrection of Life

spring_garden-tulips-daffodils

(I intended to post this article on March 20, 2018 – the day of the Spring Equinox. Alas, life has been intense and overwhelming – as clients in my astrological counseling practice attest to day after day. So despite the fact that the Spring Equinox is past, and we are almost to the Summer Solstice, you may still draw some inspiration from what is written below. All apologies for not getting this to you on time! ~Michelle)

The Wheel of Life continues its turning, and with this fleeting moment of equal day and night at the Spring Equinox, we are delivered into the freshness of being, the bursting forth of life, and resurrection from the darkness and cold of the Winter just past.

As the Sun continues his sacred, life-giving journey and enters the sign of Aries, he advances higher in the sky, increasing in heat and intensity. This annual enlightenment encourages the recently cold ground to warm, the plants to push their way above the newly verdant earth, to unfurl their tender, new leaves, soon to burst with flowers and seeds… everything swells with life once more. We in the Northern Hemisphere are reminded each March that the battle between darkness and light, lost each Winter and won each Summer, stands at a truce – even if only briefly. This Spring Equinox détente delivers both relief and a promise – that as the light strengthens and warmth returns to stir and embolden us, and the glistening hues and fragrances of nature enchant and astonish our senses, we know that the descent into darkness is always rewarded with the sojourn back up into the light… into life.

Yin-Yang-flora-fauna“Equinox” describes that moment of equality between the darkness on one side and the light on the other. This means that we must emerge from the darkness to go into the light – to be resurrected. This idea, this symbolism of the battle between dark and light, is the source of stories passed down since the dawn of time. We witness our connection to this eternal battle via great literature, our most popular modern books and films, and from a spiritual perspective, much religious mythology throughout the world. It is no coincidence that one of the most enduring religious stories, that of crucifixion, death, and resurrection (shared by numerous deities throughout religious history), is the one many embrace during Spring – the time of Easter (resurrection of Jesus), Ostara (return of life from death), Passover (resurrection from slavery), and Isra and Mi’raj (ascension of Muhammad). There is an inherent knowledge deep within us, that the cycle of life and the ceaseless journey of the Sun, will bring us back into life and light – eternally.

Each Spring Equinox offers its own unique energy to mark the beginning of the return of warmth, life, and light. The astrological chart of the moment the Sun moves into Aries at 12:17 PM Eastern on March 20, 2018, ushers us into and provides the “background” influences for the duration of the Season. This year our first thrust into re-burgeoning life is one of mastering the challenge between impatience and passion, with the wisdom of the natural timing of belonging, of acceptance, and of healing. Mars challenges us to push forward with our desires, while Saturn and Chiron make sure we do so with pragmatism, and the experience of the time-tested. Actually, the Serenity Prayer comes to mind with this Spring energy – renew and reinvigorate your life with the serenity to accept the things you can’t change, to have the courage to change the things you can, and to call on wisdom to know the difference.

Spring-Equinox-2018-astrology-chart

Chart for Spring Equinox 2018. Sun moved into Aries at 12:17 PM EDT.

 

To read all four of my Seasonal articles for the year across 2017/2018 please click below:

The Spring Equinox and the Resurrection of Life

The Summer Solstice and the Wisdom of Spiritual Action

The Autumn Equinox and the Moment of Balance

The Winter Solstice and Loving Responsibility

The Winter Solstice and Loving Responsibility

Winter-Solstice-Yule-Stag-Fox-Blessings

A Joyous Yule to You!

As we reach the moment of this Winter Solstice, when the Sun moves into the sign of Capricorn (11:29 AM Eastern, Dec. 21, 2017), we see the trees with their stark, naked limbs as reminders that we are in a natural time of retreat from the fullness of life, and entering a time of deep reflection. At this shortest day and longest night of the year, the dark offers us solace and the space to replenish.

Since the Autumn Equinox and its moment of balance, the Sun has diminished in power and strength, moving continuously Southward in the sky, until this day, December 21, when we become lovers of the darkness, and welcome her opportunity to introspect on the year’s passing; all that we have fulfilled, and all we have yet to accomplish. The Winter Solstice is the “one step back” in the natural “two steps forward, one step back” cycle of life, bringing us the opportunity to withdraw, to rest, to restore ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I love to imagine the hibernating animals in their dens, sleeping peacefully until the first thaw. Metaphorically, this is the image we can hold in our psyches to help us find comfort and to understand this time of harsh, bleak weather in the Northern Hemisphere.

The movement of the Sun at this time each year gives us food for thought as well. The Sun actually appears to stop once it reaches its southernmost point. He pauses in place for 3 days around the Solstice – in fact, the word “solstice” means “the sun stands still.” This is the space in which we can also stop and explore our inner workings, contemplate how we will rise to the coming year, as the sun begins to rise again after the third day.

MAAS-Winter-Solstice-Return-of-the-SunWhile the Winter Solstice is physically a time of darkness, the thing we celebrate at this time of year, as we have for thousands of years, is the return of the light – the return of the Sun. Ancient humans saw the annual decline of the Sun as a time of hardship, the time when they were tested in their ability to survive until Spring. But just after the Winter Solstice, even though the weather was still bitter, the Sun began again to rise northward in the sky, gaining in strength each day. They rejoiced in this, knowing that the days of cold, darkness, and little food would pass with the rising of the light, and their survival would become easier.

This hopeful message is also our experience during this time of year. Our hearts are lighter as we give gifts to our loved ones and celebrate with family gatherings. Our homes are brighter with candles, fires lit in fireplaces and fire bowls, and twinkle lights hanging all around. We are symbolically welcoming and calling the light back, to feed, to nurture, and to heal us. We have faith our fears will subside with the coming of the Sun, and we evoke life by bringing in evergreens to inspire us in our own continuity. It is a glorious time during which we welcome the purity the light promises and brings.

The message of this particular Winter Solstice, as viewed from an astrological perspective, is one of loving responsibility. Pause for a moment and lean into that phrase, “loving responsibility.”

The horoscope for 11:29 AM Eastern on December 21, 2017 shows a strong Saturn influence, not only from the sign of Capricorn into which the Sun just entered, but Saturn himself conjoins the Sun and Venus at this moment. The influence of Saturn is one of commitment, duty, and practical management. He asks us to work hard toward our dreams, and to put strong structures in place that will stand the test of time. Venus shows us the beauty of harmony, fairness, and the blessing of our loved ones. As these two energies combine with the Sun, the message is one of holding our loved ones close, and of doing our best by them so that we strengthen our bonds, grounding them in reality. At this time, may we also use Saturn and Venus to extend loving responsibility to all our fellow humans, and indeed to all our fellow beings.

So, I invite you to light your Solstice fire and to look intently into the flames as you ponder the year just past. Allow the flames to inspire you toward a profound sense of loving responsibility as you welcome the glorious return of the Sun.

A Note:

There is another face of Saturn that I believe we often forget – the idea of rich rewards for work well done – of digging in and doing the hard work when it is required, and then reaping the rich rewards of that committed effort; of creating a solid structure from which good things can grow and thrive. As you sit before your Solstice fire introspecting about the year just past and setting your intentions for the year to come, remember this dynamic of Saturn as well, and remember to extend your loving responsibility beyond yourself and toward all within your reach. Your blessings and rewards will be great.

If we remember our mythology, it was during the reign of Saturn that humans enjoyed The Golden Age, which was then celebrated in Rome for centuries as Saturnalia at this very time of year. For a week each Winter Solstice, Rome was rich with feasting and evergreens and merrymaking to honor Saturn and that mythological Golden Age.

 

Winter-Solstice-Chart-2017

The Winter Solstice 2017 – 11:29 AM Eastern, December 21, 2017, Atlanta, GA

 

The Autumn Equinox and the Moment of Balance – September 22, 2017

sunset-in-autumn

Sunset in Autumn

Balance.

This is the word we reflect on at the Autumn Equinox. As we see and feel the shifting of the light and the crisping of the air, the Sun, just entering the astrological sign of Libra, continues its descent across the Southern sky, gradually weakening in light and height. This day is the day of equal day and night hours, when light and dark are not battling for the sky, but equal in strength. The equinoxes, both Spring and Autumn, are the only times when the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are equally illuminated. In the Northern Hemisphere we are now in-between the extremes of the heat of Summer with its long, languid days just past, and in anticipation of the short, dark, cold days of Winter. We are betwixt and between… a time of equilibrium, a time of balance. A time of transition. It is as though we are between a deep inhale and a powerful exhale, where the moment hangs shimmering and poignant, before it passes away.

The-Red-Vinyard-at-Arles-1888-Vincent-Van-Gogh

The Red Vinyard at Arles, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888

Before we started buying our food at grocery stores and super centers, the Autumn Equinox was a celebration of the harvest – the time when, both exhausted and jubilant, we’d successfully brought in the fruits of our labors, preparing and storing them for the winter. It was a time to mark the importance of working together for a common cause, a time to revel in our community as the stronghold of our survival together. This is an idea that is central to the energy of Libra and to this time of year: equality, balance, community, peace, beauty – the peace and beauty of the dying sun, of the vibrancy of the trees in their final blaze of glory, of our relationships and what we create when we are equal together, honoring all sides, balancing all views, and coming to diplomatic solutions that strengthen and protect us all.

Equinox is from the Latin aequinoctium, meaning “equal night.” Today the night is equal to the day, yet as we move through time away from the Equinox and toward the Winter Solstice, the days become shorter and and we have less light to live by. What was known to our ancestors, before technology gave us permanent days with electric light, is the part darkness plays in the work of spiritual transformation. The darkness, to which we are absolutely heading as each day passes, is a place that restores us, a space where we germinate, and regenerate. But before we reach the full darkness of the Winter Solstice,

Libra-Symbol-Glyph

The glyph for Libra represents both the scales and the Autumn sun setting over the horizon, a symbol for equilibrium and peace.

we have the opportunity to learn from the harmony and symmetry of the Equinox. We tap into the beauty of internal balance, that sense of equilibrium we need in order to start preparing for the darkness. In this space of anticipation, when the light is gorgeous, the air is temperate and cooling to the skin, and the riotous, rich colors of ‘Nature in her Fall’ imbue our spirits with gratitude, with generosity – and because we are feeling externally delighted – we find it easy to extend ourselves in love, open to both giving and receiving. The crispness of the season is reviving to the spirit, and for as long as we dare, before the dark and cold drive us inside, we strive toward company among others, pleasures, beauty, harmony, and love. This is the message of Libra.

The particular message of this Autumn Equinox, found in the astrological chart drawn for the moment the Sun moves into Libra at 4:03 PM Eastern on September 22, 2017, has much to do with balancing our wounds with our identities, and where we want to shine. Often the places where we feel wounded, excluded, abandoned, or victimized so interfere with our potentials that we can’t seem to get past ourselves to achieve our goals or take the next step toward healing. Sometimes we even project our talents, our greatness, onto others, not quite believing that we can ever fulfill the dreams we long for, leaving it to others to lead creative, fulfilled lives. This Autumn Equinox season brings the opportunity to pull in those projections so that you can own your own dreams and potentials. This energy also includes showing you the the ways in which to attain the tools you need to bring your gifts into reality – if you are willing to see and take the challenge and do the necessary work. So again, we are back to balance. Being out of balance is living only in a dream; or conversely being so focused on duty, responsibility and work that you don’t allow yourself to have a dream. Use this Autumn Equinox energy to open you to the balance of both creating a vision from your dream, using the tools before you, and doing the work to manifest the reality that you yearn for. (Sun in Libra opposite Chiron in Pisces, both squaring Saturn.)

Autumn-Equinox-Sept-22-2017-Atlanta

Chart for the moment the Sun enters Libra, heralding the Autumn Equinox. Drawn for Sept. 22, 2017, 4:02 PM Eastern, from Atlanta, GA