May 31, 2011

The Three Eclipses - Part I

Eclipses are part of the natural cycle, yet they also feel like an interruption of sorts. If you’ve ever seen either a solar or lunar eclipse, you might have felt the sensation of time slowing down. While watching an eclipse, we can connect with that moment; our attention is focused completely in the now.  This is also a period when the veil is thin. There is magic in the air in the days leading up to and moving away from the event. 

With the eclipses of June/July 2011, the moment-out-of-time quality is further magnified.  Eclipses usually happen in pairs – one solar and one lunar, two weeks apart, and thepairs then occur in a repeating cycle every six months.  But  we will now have a series of three eclipses in a row:

June 1st – New Moon/Solar Eclipse at 11 deg. Gemini
June 15th – Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse at 24 deg. Sagittarius/Gemini
July 1st – New moon/Solar Eclipse at 9 deg. Cancer

The last time we had this three-eclipse pattern was the Summer of 2009.  At that time they were in the sign polarities of Cancer/Capricorn and Leo/Aquarius.  I did a podcast on the topic with Gary Caton and a wrap-up episode on those eclipses on my own. Gary and I did a follow up on the topic last summer as well. 

I’ll be writing a bit on the eve of each eclipse, so let’s start with the first: tomorrow’s Solar Eclipse at 11 deg. Gemini. When Solar Eclipses happen, it intensifies the themes of the sign of that New Moon and extends the period of influence from two weeks to six months until the next corresponding Solar Eclipse in the opposite sign.  The end of this period of influence will be the New Moon in Sagittarius on 11/25/11. 

Gemini is about communication, particularly writing, speaking, and teaching.  But it is not all about the mental plane. It is also about the communication that goes on within ourselves,  between our conscious and unconscious mind. Gemini’s ruler is Mercury, who often has a playful Trickster energy about him. Watch for signs, omens, and synchronicities at this time. They may be indicators of what new project, venture, or Geminian-thing you should be nurturing over the next six months. 

We will also likely encounter the shadow aspects of Gemini. Chaos, scattered energies, the inability to focus, and opportunities for confusion abound, particularly as Neptune squares Mercury throughout the week of the eclipse.  At a New Moon, we are in the dark – and during a solar eclipse, quite literally so.  Become aware of the machinations of your own particular “monkey mind” so as to avoid the potential pitfalls of this time. This can be done through practices such as mindfulness meditation, for example.

However, Saturn comes to the rescue here, lending a stabilizing presence with his close trine to the eclipse at 10 deg. Libra.  Accessing the positive side of Saturn in Libra can provide us with helpful strategies for this time.  Some phrases to hold in mind are:  keep a level head, consider both sides of the issue, and own responsibility for your half of a partnership or friendship.

Further reading on this eclipse series:

For a political take on the eclipses of June/July, I recommend Jude Cowell’s blog, Stars Over Washington

May 13, 2011

From Aries to Taurus

Mars entered Taurus on Wednesday, May 11th, beginning the cavalcade of planets moving out of fiery Aries and into earthy Taurus.  On May 15th, both Mercury and Venus move into Taurus as well, leaving only Jupiter and Uranus in the Sign of the Ram.  There have been up to six planets at a time in Aries since about the beginning of April, and we now enter a cooling-off period after May 16th.  Aries energy, when used positively, can bring us to fearlessly undertake new beginnings, bold actions, and heroic efforts.  A high concentration of planets in any sign will inevitably bring to light the shadow aspects of that sign as well.  Some of  the dark expressions of Aries are violence, narcissism, and recklessness.  We have seen both sides of the Aries coin highlighted on the world stage.  In your life, you may have also seen these Aries themes playing out more personally as competition and anger (either expressed or repressed), or as a sense of urgency to start something new. For more information on the transiting Aries stellium, check out my article about the Full Moon in Libra in last month's newsletter.

But the upcoming Full Moon in Scorpio on Tuesday, May 17th, marks the shift of action into Taurus.  There will be four planets there: the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Mars.  While Aries is about the fierce energy of birthing something new, Taurus energy is about slowing down to gather the resources we need in order to move forward with what we’ve started.  Taurus wants to dig into the ongoing task of feeding the fire that was ignited in Aries so that it does not run out of fuel. Consider what projects, relationships, and ideas were “born” over the past six weeks since the New Moon in Aries. What does this “baby” need to move to the next stage of its development?  Taurus energy is about gathering the things we need to ensure the survival of what we’ve created.

The movement from Aries to Taurus also signifies a movement from yang energy (assertive, active) to yin energy (receptive, attractive).  This is a time of making slower, more considered moves as opposed to taking risky and impulsive actions.  After the presence of so many planets in high-adrenaline Aries, Taurus-time is about quieting down and relaxing. The message of Taurus is to take your time, look around, and evaluate what you have.  Taurus connects us to the awareness of our resources, and appreciation of the earthly abundance in our lives.

Although the faster-moving planets begin to move out of Taurus in early to mid-June, Jupiter leaves Aries and enters Taurus for a solid year-long stint on June 4th.  In my June Newsletter, I’ll be focusing on Jupiter in Taurus and its upcoming trine to Pluto in Capricorn.  This ongoing earth trine, lasting for several months, will be intensifying our awareness of connection to resources, nature, and the material world. 

May 6, 2011

Moon in Cancer on Mother's Day

The Moon enters Cancer this evening at 7:32 PM PDT, and will stay in the sign of the archetypal Mother through early Monday morning.  It is apropos that this Mother’s Day falls under a Cancer Moon.  The energy of this sign will likely be heightened throughout this weekend, as the collective psyche turns its attention toward the concept of “Mother.”  No matter what your relationship to your own mother, or whether she be living or deceased, you still have a relationship to the Mother archetype. As the Moon passes through Cancer, you might ask yourself what the word “Mother” means to you. “Mother” can be a noun, or a verb.  We have a connection with our earthly Mother, but we might also have a connection to the Mother Goddess.  We might also reflect upon what it is to mother someone, to be mothered, and to mother ourselves.  The word Mother is multivalent and powerful, and throughout this weekend, a healing meditation might be to examine that word and your connection with it.

Mom and I, Disneyland '71
My own mother passed away in October of 2002 due to a brain tumor, and since then, I’ve had a difficult relationship to Mother’s Day. In fact, I’ve mostly ignored it.  And, as with most mother/daughter relationships, ours was complicated. Thinking of the past can bring pain as much as comfort, and I always tread gingerly when revisiting memories of her.  After eight years, however, some healing has been allowed to happen for me. My memories of our time together have become sweeter, more humorous, and lighter. This year, I finally feel inspired to “take back” Mother’s Day for myself.  I’d like to honor our relationship, and my mom herself, in some way.  I’ve decided to spend some time over the next couple of days snuggled up with a few boxes of old photos. I’ve been meaning to go through them for a while; this weekend with the Moon in Cancer, and with the cold and interminably rainy Portland weather, will be an ideal time.

Cancerian activities for this weekend might include revisiting memories via old family photos, and of course, spending time with family and with your own mother.  If, like me, you no longer have a living mother in your life, Sunday would be a good day to quietly honor whatever aspect of the mother you resonate with.  Maybe it is a day for you to mother yourself by treating yourself to something nice.  Or, maybe it is a day to perform a small ritual to honor your mother who has passed.  The sign of Cancer is not only related to mothering, but to healing. May your Mother’s Day be a time of connecting with the healing mother energy that is available to us all.