Today’s photo: Auroras over Juneau, Alaska, on April 14 (photo by Ron Gile, posted on SpaceWeather.com)
SEEKING ANSWERS, as many of us are, I of course look to astrology. In recent history, we have had more than a few dramatic and explosive events happening in mid- to late-April. Seeing a pattern like that makes us wonder if we can find clues “in the stars.”
It is true that every year around this time, the Sun is completing its month-long transit of Aries. The first sign of the zodiac has many qualities that can be used in positive ways – confidence, initiative, leadership, instinctive action, courage, enthusiasm, etc. And yet, taken to the extreme, we can also see how those same positive qualities can become anger, combativeness, impatience, resentment, rashness, and even violence.
The conditions that lead to catastrophic events do not just occur in the moment, however. Even the explosion in West, Texas, although not “premeditated” as it would be if initiated by human hands, must have had its causal beginnings in weeks, months, even years prior.
ULTIMATELY, there has to be a “perfect storm” of conditions that enables an event to occur — and that’s what we seek to find in the planetary alignments. I have not gone back to research all the events of past Aprils — to be honest, I prefer not to spend an over amount of time focusing on painful events of the past, and don’t want to drag us all through that journey.
What occurred last week, that we can surmise was a piece of the “perfect storm” puzzle, was the Mars-Sun alignment. This potentially volatile alignment occurs every two years, although not always in Aries. The energy of this particular alignment was increased this year because both planets were in close proximity to Eris at the time. On top of that, we’re in eclipse season and the influence of the Pluto-Uranus square is building — enough conditions in place for the storms to manifest.
IT MAY BE too early to start looking for specific cosmic purposes for recent events – emotions are too raw, and wounds are too fresh. But we can acknowledge that these types of events usually result in a coming together of community, a greater appreciation for loved ones, and a stronger awareness of what we most value in life.
And, given the way in which the entire country shared in some aspect of the experience through the immediacy of our communication and media technologies, the events of this past week have also reminded us of how interconnected we are. Here in Seattle, far from the physical location of either explosion, reporters are interviewing local runners who participated in the marathon, which brings it all “home” in more visceral ways.
NOTE: My apologies for the extra length of today’s Journal — after writing my short blog posting, I actually had decided not to talk about events of the past week in today’s Journal, but when I sat down to write this morning, it spilled out anyway.
Now, on to the forecast for the next TEN DAYS. I will be on holiday next weekend, without access to a computer, so please note that today’s Journal actually covers Monday, April 22 to Tuesday, April 30. I will write a shorter Journal covering Wednesday, May 1 to Sunday, May 5, and send it out the last day of this month.
THIS COMING WEEK brings our first eclipse of three in a row. Most years, we have just two eclipses every six months, but periodically we do have three at a time. This means that the next four to six weeks will bring especially important opportunities to resolve or release long-lived (karmic) patterns and embrace necessary changes.
My sense is that we’re already working with the energies of this Lunar Eclipse — both from the evidence of recent events and because Thursday’s eclipse is a Full Moon, so is actually the climax of the lunar cycle that began with the New Moon on April 10.
ALL OF THE ASPECTS in the “highlighted aspects” list for the week are contained in the Lunar Eclipse chart, giving them longer-term influence than just the days they occur. Of special note are the Saturn oppositions to Venus, the Sun and Mars, especially since at the time of the eclipse, the Moon is also aligned with Saturn and opposing the other three planets. Planets in opposition set up polarities, where we can tend to seesaw back and forth between opposite responses, when our solution is actually to find a balance point in the middle.
These particular oppositions are between planets in Scorpio (Saturn, Moon) and planets in Taurus (Venus, Sun, Mars). If we seesaw between these two signs, we may be at times outraged and highly dramatic, at other times apathetic and just wanting to be left in peace. Most likely, neither exaggerated response is the best answer.
INSTEAD, we are asked to look beneath the surface and to be willing to see truth that may not be pleasant (Saturn in Scorpio). We will also need to deal with some heavier emotions and perhaps fears (Saturn conjunct Moon). Our answer is to call on our inner strength and discipline so that we can utilize events as a means to grow into greater emotional maturity.
The oppositions in the eclipse chart also compel us to create balance by finding a new level of inner peace, one that cannot be disturbed by — or at least can be quickly regained after – external events and changes. This is the Taurus influence. To assist us in creating that place of calm, we can use all the sensory tools that Taurus loves most: walks in nature, soothing music, calming scents (such as lavender), comforting and familiar surroundings, a massage or a bath, and beautiful art or scenery.
THE STRONG Saturn influence this week and during the eclipse designates this period as an important time of completion and reassessment. Saturn’s opposition to the Sun requires us to take another look at our goals and make refinements as necessary. The opposition to Venus puts relationships in the spotlight, making this an appropriate time to get very clear on what does and doesn’t work — and to make decisions or commitments accordingly.
Saturn’s opposition to Mars is another opportunity to apply discipline, but this time the lesson involves patience and flexibility, since Mars in Taurus can tend to be a bit stubborn and set in its ways. Saturn in Scorpio tells us that the responsible thing to do is to be honest about our own motivations, even if they don’t make us look particularly “good.” And, the Saturn-Mars opposition requires us to make course corrections if it turns out the road we’re traveling is not in alignment with what we really value and honor.
ANOTHER THEME of Thursday’s Lunar Eclipse is found in the placement of the North and South Nodes. These are the “karmic indicators” of any chart, showing both our default mode and the path of our soul’s intended growth.
The South Node is in Taurus, and is aligned with Venus and Pallas Athena at the time of the eclipse. This represents our default mode — the option we always have to choose the easy way, the less complicated way, the way that requires the least effort and the least flexibility and change on our parts. Taurus likes things simple and comfortable, and change is rarely defined by those words. And, with warrior goddess Pallas added into the mix, our stubbornness may be more pronounced than usual.
EXACTLY OPPOSITE the South Node is the North Node in Scorpio. This represents our path of growth. With this North Node placement, we will benefit from releasing whatever has become stagnant in our lives, that we’ve been holding onto out of habit or fear. We will grow through allowing change to occur, through letting go of attachments, and through accepting the support of others, rather than resisting others’ input.
Most especially, we will benefit from considering where we continue to walk the same road merely because it’s the route we’ve always taken. This is the time to look with complete honesty at what motivates us to act in certain ways — and to have the discipline and self-respect to interrupt habitual patterns as appropriate.
THE SABIAN SYMBOL for the location of the Lunar Eclipse offers the encouragement that we will be able to make the great leap forward that is possible now:
“Cantilever bridge across a deep gorge: The conquest of separativeness through group cooperation.”
Astrologer Dane Rudhyar’s interpretation for this symbol reads in part:
“The person who has suffered deprivation and loneliness can give new substance to his or her emotional life by participating in a collective project. All great evolutionary challenges imply this overcoming of basic difficulties… A link must be built through the power of the collective mind of the group or of the community at large to make a bridge over the canyon.”
It’s interesting that events of the past week have already shown us the power of community, of asking for input from others, and of coming together and supporting one another.
A FINAL COMMENT on the eclipse chart — it also contains an inspired and magical Water Grand Trine between Saturn/Moon, Neptune, and Ceres. Astrologer Bil Tierney writes in his book Dynamics of Aspect Analysis that a Water Grand Trine enables us to more readily respond to subtle undercurrents in life, to be more psychically sensitive, and to more easily access the realms of imagination and visions.
Mr. Tierney also explains that:
“A Water Grand Trine represents the evolutionary blooming of the ability to attune to the needs of mass consciousness with much compassion. This is an asset for psychiatric work, medical fields, or psychic counseling.”
BECAUSE it works primarily at the emotional and imaginative levels, a Water Grand Trine alone may not supply enough grounding to bring results into physical form. Instead, it can result in dreaminess, lack of incentive, and general inertia.
However, Saturn’s involvement in this particular Water Grand Trine is a great asset. Saturn is all about manifestation in the physical world, putting ideas into form, and having the discipline to follow through. With Saturn’s influence adding substance to the grand trine, we are more able to manifest the positive qualities of this configuration, in ways that can be consciously experienced and explained.
Remember: Next week’s Journal will be in your inbox on Tuesday instead of Sunday. Have a good extended week!