Robin Williams: A Walker Between the Worlds

With Chiron conjunct to the center of our Milky Way,  Robin Williams' life was a bridge between the multidimensional realities of human existence.

With Chiron conjunct to the center of our Milky Way, Robin Williams’ life was a bridge between the multidimensional realities of human existence.

Of all that has been written over the last 36 hours about Robin Williams’ death yesterday, little is as profound as  Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ essay, “Robin Williams is Gone, Ay, Long Live the Fisher King!”  The energy that swirled about him, she writes, was archetypal. “He learned for 63 years of his life how to be ‘the fire handler.’ That is where I would praise him, for what he has managed to do for six+ decades; handle fire, while being made of parchment.”

When a life becomes an expression for archetypal energy, it’s not being lived for the small self alone. Like many of you who follow this blog, Williams was anchoring energies that are complex, potent, and not easy to carry. The beneficiaries extended far beyond his personal circle, to those he would never know — as they do for all who are embodying the energies that can transform our planet and allow life to continue. Many in our world today are walking between two worlds. Most are not famous. All are performing a great service to Life, often at tremendous personal cost.

All the archetypes that Pinkola Estes identifies as central to Robin Williams’ life leap out of his birth chart. The puer, “eternal boy” filled with “energy, imagination, inquiry, exploration, ever highly excited about new and interesting possibilities,” springs easily to life when Mars is in the creative, sensitive sign of Cancer. The loving, protective father who is the pater expresses beautifully the nearly exact sextile between Williams’ Cancer Sun and Virgo Saturn. The lover who knows that physicality and the soul are the same thing is a gift of a Mars-Uranus conjunction in Cancer, in trine to a romantic Pisces Moon.

Water is the dominant element in Robin Williams’ chart, giving him the depth and sensitivity that allowed him to touch so many hearts so deeply. His Sun was in Cancer, along with a Mars-Uranus conjunction and Black Moon Lilith, and his Moon was in Pisces.

Fire, however, was the element that called him. The cosmic star power of Leo was the energy of Williams’ Midheaven, with both Pluto and Mercury in the 10th House, giving him a deep and incisive mind, able to cut to the core truth in any situation.

All of these contributed to the potent mixture of creativity, depth, electricity, and vulnerability that gave Williams an appeal that for many went far beyond a good laugh. The energy of “the mystical king who walks between the worlds” that Pinkola Estes recognizes in Williams is astrologically captured by Chiron, carrier of the sacred wound and sacred gift within each of us.

In Robin Williams’ inner sky, Chiron was precisely aligned with one of the most mysterious and powerful nodes of the Great Mystery in the Universe — the Galactic Center. This super-massive vortex of creation and destruction at the heart of our Milky Way is where our Sun was born, along with almost everything else in our solar system — and in your birth chart. Those with Chiron in Sagittarius have a deeply mystical sense of the Quest embedded in their core. With Chiron here, one’s very identity becomes, in the most profound and the most elemental ways, a bridge between the two very different dimensions of our human nature.

“The gifts of the gods are burdens to bear,” as the ancient Greek saying goes, and this was certainly true for Williams. The sometimes harsh and ruthless energetic tempests of the Uranus-Pluto era hit his chart repeatedly and with full force. The day before his death, the Aquarian Supermoon occurred precisely across the sky from his Pluto, which is closely conjunct Mercury. Like every creative and alive human being, he was vulnerable. We all are, and we hide from that fact at the cost of everything that is most precious, within us and around us.

As we mourn the departure of this warrior for Life, let’s dedicate our grief over all that makes our beautiful planet such a dangerous place for all that is full of magic and fragility. May Planet Earth become again the garden spot of the Cosmos, a place where the mystical queens and kings, the whales and the dolphins, the butterflies and the bees, the artists and the astrologers, flourish amid a vibrant, flowering web of Life.

 

Vision Questing for the Goddess Within You: Mercury Turns Retrograde in Cancer

As Mercury turned  retrograde on June 7, a wave of radiant solar energy moved Earthward through the Cosmos.

As Mercury turned retrograde on June 7, a wave of radiant solar energy moved Earthward through the Cosmos.

We’re in the heart of a cosmic storm.  Two planets begin retrograde vision quests within three days, doubling the retrograde storm effect. After Neptune, the Cosmic Mystic, changes direction — at 12:50 a.m. UT on Tuesday, June 10 — a total of four planets will be directing their energies into the invisible realm where the mysteries of transformation take place.  Intensifying the vibrations in the skies are four of the cosmic riddles known as yods, or Fingers of God.  Meanwhile, the solar storms that arrived on Earth early this morning are expected to continue for several days. At every turn, we are surrounded by the Mystery. And the closer we look, the more clearly we see the signature of the Cosmic Feminine.

Yesterday, Mercury began the second of his three 2014 vision quests. For the next three weeks, the Cosmic Messenger will travel back to the beginning of Cancer — one of the most potent degrees in the sky — and on into Gemini.  The Messenger is on a quest. He’s looking for awareness that you’ve lost or forgotten – and that you need to claim more fully the power of these two very different, and very powerful, ways of perceiving the Universe within you and around you.

This is important — so important that our Star has sent an energetic emissary to empower the Messenger as he begins his quest.

A burst of energy from the Sun occurred as the Messenger prepared to turn retrograde.

A burst of energy from the Sun occurred as the Messenger prepared to turn retrograde.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Retrograde Storm with Star Power

Mercury and the Sun have a special relationship.  The Messenger is the closest planet to our Star, and above all else serves its life-giving purposes in the Cosmos within us and around us. As Mercury made his retrograde turn, by a wave of energy headed earthward from our Star.

Arriving early in the morning of June 8, this solar wave rippled through our planet’s magnetosphere, creating minor geomagnetic storm conditions that included auroral displays at higher latitudes.   NASA’s Space Weather Prediction Center expects minor radio blackouts over the next three days, with a slight chance of moderate to strong events as magnetic flux continues to emerge from the Sun.

The energy that the Sun sends earthward through the Cosmos powerfully stimulates our evolutionary processes. As author, teacher, and healer Jim Self often points out, magnetism is a yin force, working within us through our emotions.  Electricity is yang, operating at the level of thought. During the recent period of solar maximum, many of us have observed how the passage of electromagnetically charged energy into the Earth’s  atmosphere accelerates changes in our emotional and mental fields, as well as our physical bodies (which are also part of the Moon’s domain, astrologically).

Cancer, the part of your inner sky ruled by the Moon, is where the lunar realm is most potent.

Cancer, the part of your inner sky ruled by the Moon, is where the lunar realm is most potent.

Cancer and the Power of Luna

Mercury will spend the first 10 days of his vision quest in Cancer. The Messenger has been traveling very, very slowly through the first, potent degrees of the ancient sign of the Cosmic Mother since May 29, the day after our Gemini New Moon.  It will take him 19 days to make his way through the first four degrees of Cancer and back. That’s a distance he normally travels in less than three days. The Messenger is going deep and going slow.  In the days ahead, you’ll be able to sense with increasingly clarity the depth of attention he’s giving to all that he finds within you.

O degrees Cancer is one of the four most dynamic degrees in the sky. When it’s activated by our Star on June 21, everything changes. If the Vernal Equinox (which occurs as the Sun activates 0 degrees Aries) is the year’s most concentrated burst of yang energy, the Summer Solstice, when our Star lights up 0 degrees Cancer, is the most potent infusion of the yin energy of the Cosmic Feminine.  The first degree of Cancer is a profound point of beginning for her. 

Cancer is the sign that’s ruled by the Moon, whose domain is the vast, fertile realm of emotion, memory, and creativity that lies beneath the threshold of our conscious awareness. It’s estimated that this lunar intelligence comprises 96% of all that we know. (Interestingly, this is precisely the percentage of the Universe believed to comprise the dark matter and dark energy that cannot be seen by our rational, linear perception.)

Of all the signs in the cosmic wheel, none is more sensitive emotionally than Cancer. You may find that your feelings are hurt more easily over the coming days.  Memories of the past may be easily triggered and you may feel more nostalgic than usual.  Something from your past may be trying to reach you.

The ocean within you and the oceans around you, where all life begins, are ruled by Luna and her sign of Cancer.

The ocean within you and the oceans around you, where all life begins, are ruled by Luna and her sign of Cancer.

And no part of your inner sky is more concerned with nurturing what is young and growing than Cancer.  In this retrograde, Mercury is questing for the awareness you need to nurture something within you, and within us all.  It’s something intrinsic to the Cosmic Feminine. What is waiting to emerge from this energetic ocean where Mercury is diving deep, within you and around you? In the next post, we’ll look deeper.

 

 

Everything Is a Catalyst: First Quarter Moon in Virgo

The New Moon in Gemini created the seed of a new, star-powered vision somewhere in your inner sky. With today's First Quarter Moon, the time to act on it arrives.

The New Moon in Gemini created the seed of a new, star-powered vision somewhere in your inner sky. With today’s First Quarter Moon, the time to act on it arrives.

Somewhere in your inner sky, the seed energy of a new way of seeing was created last week at the Gemini New Moon. This was no ordinary seed. It was full of star power, infused with the auspicious, illuminated energy of the great star Aldebaran. Also known as Buddha’s Star, Aldebaran has been associated with great good fortune and wisdom since ancient times. When the Sun and Moon came together in Gemini last week, Aldebaran was just two degrees away.

Today's First Quarter Moon in Virgo, the ancient sign of Isis and Persephone, brings a crisis: what is the right action?

Today’s First Quarter Moon in Virgo, the ancient sign of Isis and Persephone, brings a crisis: what is the right action?

How to See and What to Do: Your First Quarter Moon Crisis

A week from today, that auspicious seed will ripen at the Full Moon in Sagittarius. That’s Jupiter’s sign, home of the quest. It’s the luckiest sign in the sky. While that’s where you’re headed, today you’re at a turning point – the crisis that comes with the First Quarter Moon.

Every quarter moon brings a crisis. Though we’re taught to shrink from the word “crisis,” it’s hard-wired into the Cosmos. In fact, from the Cosmic point of view, crisis is one of the Universe’s favorite growth-stimulators.

The crisis that every First Quarter Moon brings is about action.  At the First Quarter Moon, we can’t feel right until we find the action that will bring the New Moon energy into reality.

It’s complicated, though.  When the Sun and the Moon are at odds, as they are at every quarter moon, what we want conflicts with what we need.  And the only way to align them is to expand our awareness of the choices before us.  Buddhists call this “right action.” It’s an essential element of the Noble Eight-fold Path out of suffering.

Last week’s new moon was our first since the Taurus Solar Eclipse, amidst the seismic shifts of April. By the time the Gemini New Moon occurred on May 28, how and what we see as reality was being redefined.  With today’s “crisis moon,” you’re getting a big push from the Cosmos to make some choices about the reality you believe in — and to take some actions that are aligned with them.

Sun Square Moon: When Your Will & Your Needs Collide

The crisis between what you want and what you need  awakens another element of the Buddha’s Eight-fold Path out of suffering — Right View. The perception that lets you see reality differently shows you the action that will lead you forward. Both of them will arise right out of the tension between your will and your needs.  The key is

Here are the key energies at play in this crisis of Right Action and Right View:

The Cosmic Messenger, ruler of both Sol and Luna at today's 1st Quarter Moon, is at the center of the crisis it brings.

The Cosmic Messenger,
ruler of both Sol and Luna at today’s 1st Quarter Moon, is at the center of the crisis it brings.

Mercury, the Messenger: Choosing How You See

The Cosmic Messenger rules both the Sun, our life-giving center, and the Moon, our life-sustaining pulse, at this First Quarter Moon. With Mercury in the driver’s seat, the way you’re perceiving reality is at the heart of the conflict between what you want and what you need.  Likewise, our shared perception of reality is at the heart of what we want as a collective — and what we need.

A key question here is who defines what is real — within you and around you?  And whose interests does that definition serve?

The day after last week’s Gemini New Moon, Mercury entered the watery, feeling-based sign of Cancer.  Everything we see now is saturated with emotion, much of it beneath the threshold of our awareness. The messages he’s bringing you are coming from the depths.  Imaginative and creative, they can nurture the new life within you.

First, though, you’ll have to re-think some things. You’ll have to become aware of which emotions are driving which perceptions.  And Mercury is about to do all he can to help you.  Today’s First Quarter Moon takes place amid what’s known as Mercury “retrograde storm.”  The Messenger is at a near-standstill, preparing to change direction in just two more days.

On the outer level, events are unfolding in slow motion. That’s amplifying their emotional, intuitive impact. Together with the quantum electricity Uranus is adding to the sky, you’re walking a boundary between realities today. If you like your feet firmly on the ground, the coming days may not be the easiest for you to navigate.

Uranus' quantum, cosmic electricity is a challenge for Luna in Virgo to ground.

Uranus’ quantum, cosmic electricity is a challenge for Luna in Virgo to ground.

Uranus, the Cosmic Awakener:  Liberating Your Life

The Awakener’s vibrations are non-linear and always full of surprise. The energy set in motion today is saturated with them – and with the shock that comes from perceiving, all in a flash, the world around you in ways that are startling and new.

  • As she squares the Sun, Luna is making a very close quincunx to Uranus. The awkwardness of the very word “quincunx” perfectly captures the feel of this contact. It’s uncomfortable .  It’s stressful.  Absorbing Uranus’ quantum energy on the emotional level today is going to take effort – and guess what? That’s also part of the Eightfold Path.  Right Effort is what the quincunx is pushing you towards.  It’s the cosmic version of “no pain, no gain.”
  • Luna’s in Virgo. She really wants you to  stay grounded. Staying open to the unpredictable revelations from the quantum realm — and grounding them —  is going to take Right View, Right Intention, and Right Effort.  That’s exactly what the Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Uranus are awakening in you.
  • The Sun, on the other hand, is all over the exciting and unpredictable vibrations of the Awakener. In fact, these two are creating new opportunity via the collaborative aspect astrologers call a sextile.
The core wound in our hearts and in our minds is the split between Earth and Cosmos.

The core wound in our hearts and in our minds is the split between Earth and Cosmos.

Chiron, the Sacred Healer:  The Cure Is in the Wound   

Chiron, the Sacred Healer, is at a near-standstill in the sky, around you and within you. The day before the Summer Solstice, he’ll begin his own retrograde vision quest. Already, though, he’s slowing down, and his vibrations have nowhere to go but deep within you.

Chiron is the healer of the Cosmos, and the medicine he uses is homeopathic:  the cure is in the wound. Chiron is the energy within you that understands that all the wounds within you and around you come from the perception that you are separate from the Whole.  The healing he brings comes from the re-joining of that which has been broken apart.

Squaring the Sun and opposing the Moon, Chiron is opening the deepest wound within us all – the split between spirit and matter. And as he does, your neurological system is being activated with the potent life-force energy that the spring released into the world within us and around us. Find a way to ground this energy — through yoga, through acupuncture, through emotional or physical release — and bring your intention.   Think of yourself as having a live energetic connection to the Cosmos fully activated within you.

By next week’s Full Moon, Saturn will be trining Chiron and serving as a grounding rod.  Until then, consider Chiron as you contemplate the right action for you now.

Gaining momentum after his 11-week vision quest, Mars is put to the test this month.

Gaining momentum after his 11-week vision quest, Mars is put to the test this month.

Mars, Uranus, and Pluto:  Taking Action that Transforms

  • Mars is the energy we tap when we go after what we want. With an 11-week vision behind him now, the Warrior is beginning to pick up speed. He’s heading straight towards a confrontation with both Pluto and Uranus.
  • Over the next two weeks, you’ll feel the tension build as these three draw closer and closer. You can think of the entire month of June as a test of what happened while Mars was  vision questing (March 1-May 19),  re-assessing how and why you take action in your life. The actions you take over the next three weeks will set the stage for the events unfolding in the coming months.
  • Today’s First Quarter Moon brings Mars and Pluto within two degrees of each other. Contacts between the Warrior and the Transformer activate ambition at the deepest levels. Here’s the important part: the ambition that Mars and Pluto create isn’t   despite overwhelming obstacles. It’s because of them. Injustice, anger, blockage – they all become catalysts for transformation. This is the element of the Noble Eightfold Path the Buddha called Right Concentration.

And this, my friend, is what the Cosmos is asking of you in the days to come:  honor your vision, hone your intention and use everything as a catalyst.  On this, everything now depends.

 

 

 

 

Putting a Broken Reality Back Together: Mercury into Gemini

The ancient, maze-like structure of the labyrinth evokes both our own brain and the functioning of Mercury,  our Cosmic Messenger.

The ancient, maze-like structure of the labyrinth evokes both our own brain and the functioning of Mercury, our Cosmic Messenger.

Just hours ago, the Cosmic Messenger entered his own part of the zodiac.  Gemini, the sign of the Twins, is the perfect home for Mercury, who rules our our perception of reality and the way we communicate it.  For like Gemini — and Mercury himself — our brains are twinned as well.
In recent centuries, as the imbalance between the two modes of energy in the Universe as become    ever more extreme, Mercury and Gemini have come to be far more associated with the left brain’s linearity and superficiality than with the intuitive, emotional receptivity of the right brain. In the ancient world, this was not at all the case.  Mercury — or Hermes, as he was first known — was the guide of the souls in the Deep Time, the healer who traveled between the worlds carrying messages throughout the Universe.
Reconnecting the split within reality –within us and around us —  is the most important work of our times.  Nowhere do we feel this wound more than in Gemini — and nowhere is the potential for reunion greater.
Alcyone, the central star of the Pleiades constellation of Seven Sisters, is located in the first degree of Gemini.

Alcyone, the central star of the Pleiades constellation of Seven Sisters, is located in the first degree of Gemini.

The first degree of Gemini reminds us of the price we have paid for our left-brain-dominated way of life.  This is the degree of the sky occupied by Alcyone, the central star of the Pleiades.  Arguably the most magical portion of the sky, this constellation was once associated with bliss and ecstasy.  Since the great shift towards domination, however, the Pleiades or “Seven Sisters” came to be known as “the weeping sisters.”   Of these grieving sisters, Alcyone alone has retained the essence of her former energetic identity.  Her story, and her nature, describes the transformation of sorrow into bliss.

The ring of fire eclipse in Alcyone's degree was a seeding event for the powerful transformations of this, the Uranus-square-Pluto era.

The ring of fire eclipse in Alcyone’s degree was a seeding event for the powerful transformations of this, the Uranus-square-Pluto era.

The Great Star Alcyone & the Transformation of Bliss into Sorrow — & Back Again

This is the degree where an annular, “ring of fire,” eclipse occurred just two years ago, on May 20, 2012. This eclipse — and Alcyone’s energy — was a seeding event for the deep and radical transformation of reality that is now occurring at multiple points within us and around us.  This “ring of fire” eclipse in Alcyone’s degree was just weeks before Venus made the second of her two once-in-130-year passages across the face of the Sun, and just over a month before Uranus and Pluto made the first of their world-changing seven squares.

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Mercury, the Goddess, and Whole-Brain  Reality

As Mercury moves through the first degree of
Gemini, he triggers the ancient energy of the displaced Cosmic Feminine.  Listen and look for the information and insight the Messenger brings you today about the transformations underway in your life, and our world over the last two years — and about the transformation of sorrow into bliss, within you and around you.   Know that you are joining what has been broken apart as you do, and moving towards living in a whole-brain reality.

Begin Within. Dare Seriously: First-Quarter Moon

Tomorrow's 1st Quarter Moon in Leo brings a series of quintiles.

Tomorrow’s 1st Quarter Moon in Leo brings a series of quintiles.

It’s time, the Universe is whispering to you:  it’s time to get moving.   And indeed, we are moving — from one sacred fire to another, within 24 hours.  From Monday night’s  Beltane fires, we move to Tuesday’s 1st Quarter Moon in Leo, the sign of our Star.

As the energy seeded by last week’s solar eclipse gains a foothold in your life, the newness of its life makes itself known.  Writer Eudora Welty captured an essential reality about that seed this way:  “For all serious daring starts from within.”

She was right.  And by the 1st  Quarter Moon, it feels awkward.  Uncomfortable. Not doable. It’s not going to fit in easily with the status quo.  It’s disruptive.  It disturbs the peace.  Otherwise, it’s not doing its job. The week following a New Moon – especially when it’s an eclipse — is a time when it’s far more important to listen to “what can be” than to “what has been.”

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If you’re tempted to abandon the seed — don’t. Instead, find the action that you can take to move things forward. That’s the purpose of any 1st Quarter Square, whenever it occurs in the relationship between two bodies in the sky.

Squares are actually highly creative.  The dynamism of squares and oppositions are the cosmic mechanisms of evolution.

Taking Right Action

As the Sun and Moon approach the 1st Quarter square in the new life they created last week, they’re pushing you to think deeply about another ancient yet  timely concept –right action — and then take it.

If the action that’s called for was easy, it wouldn’t be a crisis — and the energy your future needs   wouldn’t be generated.

The five-pointed star is often called the pentagram of Venus, as 5 is one of 3 recurrent numbers in her cycle, along with 8 and 13.
The five-pointed star is often called the pentagram of Venus, as 5 is one of 3 recurrent numbers in her cycle, along with 8 and 13.

More Number Magic of the Goddess: Five Quintiles

There’s a lot at stake for every thing on the Earth right now, including you.  that’s why the Universe is stacking the decks in your favor with:

  • A cascade of expansion, optimism, and gratitude, as Jupiter and the Sun create new opportunities for growth and expansion, helps us understand this.   It’s the final  opportunity created from the new beginning that the Sun and Jupiter created last summer, when they conjoined in Gemini on June 19.
  • A bouquet of inspired and visionary energies, in the form of the five quintiles that are forming in this week’s skies – three of them on the day of tomorrow’s 1st Quarter Moon.

A quintile forms when two planets are 72 degrees — a 5th of the zodiac – apart.     Associated with genius, inspiration, and vision, the quintile dials up the high-vibrational magic of the Universe — or, as astrologer Bill Tierney puts it, “channels the Cosmos.”  And this week, we have five of them.

How to Tap the Quintile Magic

Taking advantage of this profound but subtle energy in your own life will mean:

  • paying attention,
  • staying grounded,
  • listening to your dreams,
  •  meditating (or focusing on your spiritual practice), and
  •  believing.

Here’s what Tuesday’s quintiles bring to the mission:

  • Deep and ground breaking change, aligned with your own passionate truths — compliments of Saturn in Scorpio and Uranus in Aries,
  • Achievement of your heart’s desires through creativity rather than confrontation – thanks to the Sun and Mars
  • Balancing right and left brain functions and enhancing deeper, more intuitive yet precise levels of awareness  — courtesy of Chiron and Mercury (Friday)
  • Wiring your creativity with the unlimited inspiration, vision, and intuition, thanks to Sun and Neptune.

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 Reality Check, Compliments of Saturn

Just before the 1st Quarter Moon becomes exact, Luna squares Saturn. That’s always an emotional wake-up, and one that rarely feels good in the moment.  But  it’s important.  How do we know?  As soon as she makes this square, our 1st Quarter Moon goes Void of Course.

While Saturn’s squares to the Moon trigger feelings of being blocked, what the Cosmic Manifestor is confronting us with is something important. 

Right now, it’s self-reliance.  Approval from authority figures, rewards for hard work, ease in self-expression — none of it will be forthcoming.  It’s not what we need now.  Instead, it’s time to turn within.

Into the Void with Our 1st Quarter Moon

After squaring Saturn, Luna goes void of course at 10:50 a.m. UT.  Until she enters Virgo at 6:24 a.m. UT, she’s in between realities.  It’s a time when  doing is far less important than being.  It’s time to nourish being, to keep a low profile and rejuvenate.  This is how the lunar realm restores and renews life. If you don’t participate, it can’t happen within you.

Tonight, while Luna is in the Void, the Messenger enters Gemini.  That’s Mercury’s own sign, and he comes alive here as nowhere else in the sky. Here he’ll be for 21 days.

We’re finally ready to process all we’ve come through  — two eclipses, a Cardinal Cross, and the 5th of Uranus and Pluto’s seven squares, and the enormous shifts they brought about.  While the Messenger is in his own sign of Gemini, we’ll talk about it, think about it, write about it, network about it.

This process begins where everything does — within, during today’s long, void of course moon.   Don’t waste a minute of it. Dare seriously.  Begin within.

 

 

Sacred Fire, Holy Earth: Beltane 2014

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Today is the cross-quarter point that for millennia has been celebrated throughout the Celtic World as Beltane, a festival of life’s fertility.  It’s the halfway point between two of the four great energetic hinges, or quarter points, of the year:

  • the Vernal Equinox, when the Sun crosses the Aries Point and life begins anew, and
  • the Summer Solstice, the Northern Hemisphere’s longest day, when the Sun enters the first degree of Cancer.

Although many celebrate Beltane on May 1,  the potency of the relationship between the Sun, the Earth, and the Galactic Center becomes exact when our star’s ecliptic longitude reaches 45 degrees.  This year, that’s today.

For millennia, fires on hilltops throughout the Celtic world marked the rekindling of the sacred fire at Beltane, the ancient cross-quarter day of the energetic year.

For millennia, fires on hilltops throughout the Celtic world marked the rekindling of the sacred fire at Beltane, the ancient cross-quarter day of the energetic year.

 

The mysteries that Beltane celebrates are elemental — the sacred mysteries of masculine fire and the feminine earth.  Throughout the ages, on hilltops and mountaintops, fires have been lit at Beltane.  They call to the sacred fire that is our Star. They burn away the toxic influences of the old cycle and re-kindle the fires of hearth.  Across Europe, trees were decorated with the shells and flowers that are sacred to Venus, and sometimes they too were burned in the bonfires at the festival’s end.

At its deepest levels, the Taurus festival of Beltane celebrates the outer expression of the mysteries that take place in the invisible realm in Taurus’ complementary sign of Scorpio:  the transformative, life-renewing rites of fertility, sexuality, and renewal. Tonight those mysteries burn within you. 

This Beltane is a special one.  From its Beltane position in Taurus, sign of the fertile Earth, the Sun is contacting  each of the planets in the Grand Cross.  Only Pluto, the ruler of next week’s Full Moon, remains in the degree of the Goddess, 13.  However, while the Cross is  no longer exact, it is still active. And today, the Sun brings the mystery and magic of Beltane into the Cross —  trining Pluto, opposing Jupiter, semi-sextiling Uranus, and quincunxing Mars,  with potent star power.

Beltane is always first and foremost a celebration of  the life-renewing fertility of the Cosmic Feminine.  The presence of Pluto, ruler of the mysteries of transformation and consort of Persephone / Proserpina, in the Goddess’ degree tells us that this year, the Beltane mysteries are full of special potency  – in the Cosmos within us and in the Cosmos without us.

Light a Beltane fire tonight — whether a candle flame or a blazing bonfire.  Feel the Earth beneath your feet.  Ask the blessing of the great goddess of life before you sleep.  Join the timeless, sacred dance of life and its endless regeneration taking place within you.

The Mysteries Continue: On to a First Quarter Moon in Leo

This year’s Beltane comes on the eve of the pivot point in the lunar cycle that began last week with a solar eclipse in Taurus.  For more on that, read on!

 

Love Calling: The Cosmic Feminine & The Cardinal Cross of 2014

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Who is the Cosmic Feminine?

Who else would be at the heart of the great energies of the Cardinal Cross that are sweeping through the depths of our individual and shared realities? Who else but the primal power the Vedic texts call Shakti, and that astrology tracks in multiple ways?  The personification of the creative power of the Divine Feminine, she’s the primordial cosmic energy that flows throughout the Universe.  Her very name, which  means “to be able,” refers to “the power” at the heart of life.  She’s the living principle of empowerment.  

 

In countless forms and by numberless names, her relational, sensual, emotional, lunar, fluid, receptive, nourishing energy has been recognized as feminine for as long as humans have named reality.  She’s been called Durga, Kali, Inanna, Ishtar, Gaia, Demeter, Persephone, Medusa, Hekate, Luna,  Venus, Mary, the Magdalene, Bride, Freya — and more.   Her modes have been dreaming, healing, diving, mothering, midwifing, hospicing, creating, lovemaking, cooking — and more.

Whether we recognize her or not, she exists everywhere and in everyone, regardless of gender.  Every time we create, or dream, or love, we’re in the realm of the Goddess.  She’s always within us and everywhere around us.

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Transformation: The Core Expertise of the Goddess

At her core, the Divine Feminine is a virtuoso in the arts of transformation. This, her essence, is exactly what we most need now .    From the Moon (who disappears every month to create seed energy with the Sun) to Venus (who, as Inanna, was the first divine being to descend into the underworld to die and be reborn), she’s always showing us how to go within, shed our dead skin, and renew life within us and around us.  She knows how to enter the Void and invite new worlds into being.

For thousands of years now,  we’ve turned away from her wisdom.  We’ve all but forgotten her, and as a result we’ve become exhausted, over-stimulated, brittle, rigid, and dry — closed off from our depths, which are also hers.

Without her, life becomes a shambles and a travesty — and across our planet, it is.   From our economy to our planet, everything required for her flourishing is in crisis.

One of the primary carriers of Cosmic Feminine energy in our solar system is Earth's sister planet, Venus.

One of the primary carriers of Cosmic Feminine energy in our solar system is Earth’s sister planet, Venus.

Return of the Many-Formed Goddess

Yet this is also the time of her return. We can see it everywhere, from the growing awareness of the importance of our food and our environment to the resurgence of ways to connect with Her.  From Chameli Ardagh’s Awakening Women Institute to Toko-pa Turner’s dreamwork practices to Tsultrim Allione’s Tara Mandala Institute and the late Emilie Conrad’s Continuum Movement practices to awaken the  biocosmic memory within us all — to name only a few — she is pouring herself into the world everywhere there is an opening.

And she is creating openings, within us and around us, by the minute. We are living amid a proliferation of such openings.  Because they don’t look like the model we’ve grown used to, it can sometimes be hard to recognize them.

The Blessing of the Cardinal Cross:  The Venus-Chiron Conjunction

Noli_me_tangere_Fra AngelicoAs if to signal us to leave our fear of change and transformation behind us, on Thursday — three days before the Cross perfected — Venus and Jupiter magnified their auspicious vibrations with a trine of sweet grace and blessings.  On Sunday, as the Cross came into exact form in the skies within us and around us, Venus made the same harmonious, auspicious alignment with Chiron, the shamanic healer of the Cosmos.  As we stepped across the energetic threshold, the Cross perfecting around us,  she was with you. She was with all of us, where we always find her — in our dreams, our intuitions, and the opening of our hearts.  

The Way of the Goddess

250157776With the tense and dynamic pattern of the Cardinal Cross, the Universe is stacking the deck every way it can.  We’re being urged to release the outworn emotional baggage of the past and surrender the desire to control outcomes.  Wherever in your life you’d like to do things differently, the Universe invites you to let go, open your heart – and trust.

The spiral, the wave, and the pulsation create the cosmic language with which Emilie Conrad awakened our innate resonance with what she called "our biocosmic heritage."
The spiral, the wave, and the pulsation create the cosmic language with which Emilie Conrad awakened our innate resonance with what she called “our biocosmic heritage.”

BioCosmic Resonance, the Power of Love: The LIfe and Work of Emilie Conrad

On April 14, the day before we entered this portal of transformation through a Venus-ruled total lunar eclipse, a woman who embodied the potential of the Uranus-Pluto squares left the planet.

Emilie Conrad was born just after the Uranus-Pluto squares of 1930-1934. Her life work represents the creative potential of the Cosmic Awakener in the XX energy of Aries, and of the Cosmic Regenerator in Cancer, the sign of the Divine Mother.  Known as Continuum Movement (which she began to develop in 1969, just after the Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo, where her natal Neptune was placed) is a way of bringing the body into alignment with what she called “the choreography of life.”

Emilie Conrad’s Sun was in Gemini, but half the planets in her birth chart were ruled by Venus, and three were in Cancer.  Using movement sequences based on the wave, the spiral, and the energy of pulsation, Conrad developed a process for expanding our ability to “receive the vibrations of the larger field of pulsating life.”  The profound power of this approach is movingly described by Cherionna  Menzam-Sills in the essay “A Continuum Experience: Trusting the Field”,

In what we call the body, Conrad sees the movement of “interpenetrating  wave motions that have stabilized within a particular electromagnetic field called earth — for a purpose that we don’t know.”  Noting the fluid nature that is the inner essence of our physical reality, Conrad observes that “fluid in the galaxy, . . . in the planet . . . and in our bodies, is engaged in a resonant stream of what I would call biocosmic nourishment.”

Like all of us who are alive now, Conrad was a pioneer, using her intuition and her own resonance with life as a map.  “I had no map to follow except my strong urge to experience our essential bio-lineage and my certainty that our existences were fed from far beyond our cultural moorings. It is my belief that we carry in our cells, in our tissues, in the very throb of our existence, an underlying flow that urges and inspires, flares our nostrils and beats our heart. This encompassing atmosphere of Love has its own destiny.  Perhaps using humans as its messengers, this Love has arrived on Earth.

It is this Love that the Cosmic Feminine — within us and around us — is both receptor and transmitter for.  She’s calling us now, loudly and clearly.  Are you listening?

Uranus Square Pluto #5, the Cardinal Cross, and the Power of Shakti

One of the world's most ancient symbols, the cross has had many meanings for different people at different times in human history.  For the Rosicrucians, a philosophical secret society founded in the late medieval period, it is the "Rosy Cross.  At its center is a rose.   -- a long-time symbol of both Venus and Mary --  which represents the  unfolding consciousness that the dynamic energy of the cross expands .

One of the world’s most ancient symbols, the cross has had many meanings at different times in human history. For the Rosicrucians, a secret philosophical society founded in the late medieval period, it is the “Rosy Cross,”  with a rose at its center. Long associated with both Venus and Mary, the rose at the center of the Rosicrucian cross represents unfolding consciousness at the intersection of matter and spirit —  which the dynamic energy of this week’s cardinal cross seeks to expand .

Within you, and around you, a rare and dynamic energy pattern — an exact Grand Cross at 13 degrees of the cardinal signs– is now at maximum potency.  Today, the 5th of the 7 world-changing squares of Uranus and Pluto will unfold within this cross.  Since the Uranus-Pluto squares began in June 2012,  each of us — and all of us — have been zones for the evolution of consciousness, and thus of life.  This energy is intense, high-frequency, and high-pressure. It’s pushing us all out of comfort zones and into our evolutionary zones

While we’ll understand much more about what that means when this week is over, one thing is already certain.  Whatever happens in the days ahead will shift reality, on the personal and also the collective level.

At every turn in our world, profound shift is already unfolding at an accelerating rate.  Much of it is taking place at the deepest levels of our lives. While more and more of us are aware of this, it can be still hard to name and, sometimes, to connect the dots. For the most powerful dimensions of this great energetic seachange don’t fit our culture’s perceptual categories. That’s no accident. This cross, and all of its elements, is infused with the transformative power of the Cosmic Feminine. If we try and observe it — much less act on it — from an already outworn paradigm, the results are likely to backfire.

Energetic Markers of a “Shakti Infusion”

The infusion into this week’s tumultuous skies of the powerful Cosmic Feminine energy the ancient Vedas described as “shakti” is profound, subtle, and multi-valent:

It’s not even that every player in the cross, as well as the numerous supporting characters — a total of 7 planets altogether — has a direct energetic linkage to the Cosmic Feminine:

  • Mars is deep into a 12-week retrograde in Libra, Venus’ sign of  love and relatedness,
  • Jupiter is in the Moon’s sign of Cancer, where he is exalted,
  • Pluto, the co-ruler with Persephone of the invisible realm of transformative power, is collaborating with Venus  (Persephone’s ancestor who, as Inanna, blazed the first trail into the underworld) in the creative pattern known as a sextile.
  • Uranus, the ancient god of the fertile chaos of the sky, whose passion for our beautiful Gaia brought the world into being, is Venus’ father,
  • the Sun has just moved into Taurus, the sign of the fertile, abundant Earth, and the second that Venus rules.
  • the Moon is in Capricorn, moving into the Cardinal Cross as the day begins and ending it on the  Moon’s North Bending of the Moon’s North Node. This is a point in the sky typically associated with very fortunate developments.
  • Venus is in Pisces, the sign of her exaltation.
  • Saturn is in Scorpio, the energy associated with the Underworld where Venus, Persephone, and Pluto share deep connections.

It’s all of those, and more.

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One Way Out:  The Quantum Leap

As many astrologers have noted, the Uranus-Pluto squares are evolutionary in intent and effect. Their nature is to force deep, radical change, and they occur at a time when multiple forces — economic, natural, political, and spiritual —  are backing us into a corner, where there seems to be no way out.  Except one — a quantum leap.

The good news, our lives, like all life on Earth,  only exist because of a long history of quantum leaps.  This is precisely the trajectory of the evolutionary process.  It’s not linear.  It’s discontinuous, novel, and surprising. And it rarely happens because there is a choice. It almost always occurs because there isn’t.

Shift of the kind this extraordinary pattern is inviting isn’t going to come from doing what we already know how to do, only better.  It’s going to emerge from the deepest and most creative place within us.  The Goddess wants us to evolve.  This sky is asking us to allow ourselves to be surprised– to deeply surprise ourselves. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Double Cosmic Rainbows on the Way to the Big Waves

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Between eclipses, solar storms, cardinal crosses, and the build-up to world-changing clashes of cosmic energy, it’s been an intense week.  Tonight, the Universe brings us double sweetness  — boons to help us access blessing and grace we need as we head into the powerful energies just ahead —  the tightening of the Cardinal Cross over the weekend and Uranus’ and the 5th of Pluto’s 7 world-changing squares on Monday.

For most of the three days since two Tuesday’s total lunar eclipse, Luna’s been in Scorpio.  It’s been perfect energy for taking the energies of the Red Moon deep within to use as grist for the cosmic mill that’s transforming our lives, minute by minute. However, light and easy it’s not — especially in the days following a full moon, when Luna is still ripe.

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You may have noticed a palpable lightening in the atmosphere at 1:45 UTC (5:45 EDT), when she moved into Sagittarius. If not, just wait.  Ruled by Jupiter, a Sagittarian moon throws an upbeat, optimistic vibe into the most intense and extreme dynamic.

In just four more months, Jupiter leaves Cancer — where he’s exalted — and enters Leo. That means we have just four more occasions to experience the underlying buoyance that spills over onto everything involving Jupiter when he’s in the state of exaltation.  With all the turbulence of the last year, it’s easy to discount the easy access we’ve had to the awareness of what the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Trogyam Chungpa RInpoche called “the basic goodness of life.  It’s safe to assume, though, that without Jupiter’s blessings turned up full strength since July 2013, more than a few of our individual and collective close calls would have been far more devastating.

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So that’s Boon #1.  Moon in Sagittarius as we navigate the big waves leading from a total lunar eclipse to a Uranus-Pluto square in the middle of a Cardinal Cross.

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Boon #2:  Light on the Karma Point

Tonight, the Sun begins its annual conjunction with the Moon’s South Node. This is the most karmic point in the sky.  It carries the accumulated energy of the past — the strengths we’ve developed as well as that energy that keeps us stuck in the destructive and self-defeating patterns from the past. The meeting between the Sun and the South Node gives star power to your choice to release old patterns.  Aries is where the Sun is exalted, and it brings illumination and clarity to the most karmic degree in the sky.

This is the choice the Universe wants you to make.  To facilitate the activation of this choice, an old issue may resurface in your life —  bringing you a very concrete opportunity to finally let it go.

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Boon # 3:  Venus Trines Jupiter

Venus and Jupiter are the planets the ancients called the “two benefics.” They sweeten every picture they’re in — and tonight, that’s your life, as these two wax towards a a perfect, harmonious trine.  This strong, positive exchange of energy between the two “benefics” amplifies the magnetic charge of your connection to love in all its forms, from relationships to abundance.

Any trine of Jupiter and Venus is an energetic windfall.  This one is doubly so, because both of these generous, wise,  loving, pleasure-loving energies are in the signs where they’re exalted, and thus at maximum strength.  In fact, three planets are in states of exaltation at the moment — the Sun, Venus, and Jupiter.  If you had to pick only three, those would be the ones. 

it’s double cosmic rainbows — just when you’re likely to most need a reminder.

Whatever else you do in the next 24 hours, be sure you make time to tune out the distractions and the worries and tune in the wisdom, the bliss, the promise, and the sweetness.  The big waves are coming — you may need this to remember what a grand adventure we’re actually on..

13’s and Palindromes: Number Magic in this Week’s Skies

Pythagoras believed the number 13's energy was transformational.  For millennia, it's been seen as sacred to the Cosmic Feminine.

Pythagoras believed the number 13’s energy was transformational. For millennia, it’s been seen as sacred to the Cosmic Feminine.

Astrology is full of numbers and their magic.  Every degree in the sky is numbered.  The 360 degree wheel of the sky is divided into 12 signs, each with 30 degrees.  When the wheel is divided, the squares, stars, and triangles that are created generate energy of a particular type, when they’re activated by the constantly moving celestial bodies.

There’s quite a bit of number magic at work in this most powerful of weeks. We can see it in the degrees of the sky in which the Cardinal Cross will form, in the patterns of the Red Moon in Libra eclipse (and the Taurus Solar Eclipse just two weeks away).  It’s also in the calendar.  It’s another of the ways the Cosmos is revealing herself and her purpose to us.

The Goddess of Lausell, carved into the wall of a cave in the Dordogne region of southwestern France during the Paleolithic era, is the earliest known example of the deification of the feminine principle.  The crescent she is holding is marked with 13 notches.

The Goddess of Lausell, carved into the wall of a cave in the Dordogne region of southwestern France during the Paleolithic era, is the earliest known example of the deification of the feminine principle. The crescent she is holding is marked with 13 notches.

Cardinal Cross in the Goddess’ Number

On April 16, the day after the Red Moon, the dynamic and volatile Grand Cross that has been forming in the four cardinal signs – Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn — becomes nearly exact.  These are the most dynamic signs in the sky.  Planets placed here in a birth chart or moving through by transit are change-makers. 

The Cross will form at 13 degrees of these four signs — bringing together Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto to stretch our consciousness, and our lives, wide to make room for the future that is waiting to be born.  By Wednesday, Jupiter, Uranus, and Puto will be in 13 degrees of Cancer, Aries, and Capricorn, with Mars at 15 degrees of Libra.  During the days when this Cross is exact – April 20-23 – all four will be in 13 degrees.  Even without a pair of eclipses framing their action and a Uranus-Pluto square coming in the middle of it, an exact Cardinal Cross would be enough to make astrological headlines.

For the ancient Greek spiritual teacher, philosopher, and mathematician Pythagoras, 13 was the number of transformation.  While is power has been associated with many traditions, it’s been recognized for millennia as sacred to the Divine Feminine (which is why it’s been regarded as unlucky in recent centuries).

The number 13 is highlighted in earliest example of the deification of the feminine principle — i.e., the recognition that there is something in the feminine energy that is part of the fabric of the Cosmos itself.  In the caves near Lascaux, France, a  27,000-year-old carving known as the “Earth Mother of Laussel”  depicts a female figure painted red (the color of the blood of life and rebirth — and of all total lunar eclipses, including tonight’s Red Moon in Libra).  She holds a crescent-shaped horn bearing 13 notches, one for each lunation in a lunar year.

 

Along with the numbers 5 and 8, 13 is a key number in Venus’ cycle.  13 is associated with the Norse goddess Freya  The 13th letter of the alphabet is “m,” which begins the words mother, mater, matter, mens, menses, menstruate, month, mama, mammary, and, in Latin, mare, or sea.  Even today, the dark basaltic plains on the Moon that were formed by ancient volcanic eruptions are known as the lunar maria.

While the Cardinal Cross of 13 is in effect — until April 28, with its peak occurring between April 20 and 23 — we will have a rare opportunity to experience the transformative nature of the number 13. Over the coming weeks, outgrown energies and situations will end and new ones will be born.

As with all births, Life itself is in charge.  This is a time for receiving.  Ask for guidance – and to receive it.  As astrologer Sarah Varcas says,  the way to connect with this energy is through the heart.  It is, as astrologer Tosha Silver puts it, a time to “make your life an offering” to Source — from your heart to the heart of the Cosmos.

Venus traces a five-petaled flower -- or five-pointed star -- in the sky every eight years, which is why all five-petaled flowers have long been sacred to her.

Venus traces a five-petaled flower — or five-pointed star — in the sky every eight years, which is why all five-petaled flowers have long been sacred to her.

5, 13, and the Cycle of Venus

As noted above, during this Cardinal Cross of 13, the cosmic change agents Uranus and Pluto will be making the 5th of their world-changing squares. It’s more than interesting that the Cross of 13 forms  immediately  after a Total Lunar eclipse in Venus’ sign of Libra, isn’t it?  

As I mentioned, 13 and 5 are, like 8, key numbers in Venus’ cycle.  As observed from the Earth, for every 8 times that the Sun goes around our planet, Venus circles the Sun 13 times, tracing a lovely five-lobed pentagram (known both as the Flower of Life and the Pentagram of Venus) in the sky where Venus comes closest to Earth.  You can see it for yourself here. 

Palindromes are Everywhere: The Numbers in this Week’s Calendar

 Finally, there is the fact that every day of this week is a palindrome. Here’s the sequence:  4/13/14, 4/14/14, 4/15/14, 4/16/14, 4/17/14, 4/18/14, 4/19/14.  (The calendar itself is based on the Sun and the Moon, and the days of the week are named after the planets.)
As the online magazine Slate commented, “With that “4” right in the middle, today might be the most palindromest day of all. Celebrate/consult the skies for astral omens accordingly.”

And we already know what the skies say, don’t we?