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New Moon In Aquarius This Weekend!

The New Moon in Aquarius is this weekend.  It will be exact on Saturday night, February 9th at 11:20pm PST.  The most potent timing in a New Moon cycle is in the hours leading up to when it is exact.  This has a very sexy name and is known as the Dark-Of-The-Moon.  Since the actual timing of this particular lunation is late on Saturday night for those on the west coast and early Sunday morning for you easterners and my friends in the UK, Saturday night is the ripest timing for a New Moon ritual.

By now we all understand that we have the ability to set intentions with every breath that we take.  Even so, it behooves us to honor the seed-planting moment of the New Moon.  This gives us a chance to elevate the idea of intention-setting to its highest level.  Ritualizing the process helps ground into our consciousness the influence we wield as the creators of our own destiny.  And this particular New Moon is being assisted by some significant planetary mojo in Pisces, through which we have direct access to the limitless power to create and manifest.

Mercury is entering the beginning of his next retrograde cycle in the sign of Pisces.  He is still moving forward at this point, but he is covering territory that he will be revisiting from the end of February into March.  Remember that there are currently no backward pulling energies to inhibit forward movement (read my last article for more on this).  The fact that Mercury is in this position right now means he will retrace his steps just ahead and actually assist us in generating that which we set into motion with this New Moon experience.

Mercury (the Mind) is not alone in this Piscean sea of possibility.  He is currently keeping company with Mars (form and energy), Neptune (the mystical force that supports us from the invisible realms) and Chiron (the healing that transmutes all wounds into mastery).  He will make contact with each of these planets three times and the Sun twice between now and the middle of March.  Seeds planted this weekend will get lots of support over the next six weeks.

Before anything can exist in form, it must first exist in the imagination and Pisces is that formless, imaginative state through which we bring forth all that we desire.  This Piscean thrust of energy will go a long way to help us to bring into the world all our ideas for the future.  But there is a caveat; what you are up to had also better serve the greater good as well as your own.

Aquarius is the archetype that governs the concept of community, so doing this with others is definitely the way to go!  This often misunderstood archetype has a beautiful story.  Before there was life, Aquarius had a deep and profound knowing that something was missing.  He didn’t know what it was, but was committed to finding it.  On his quest, he discovered water and brought it back to the community.  Water allowed for life to begin and flourish.  If you can’t actually do a ritual with others sometime this weekend, do your best to share your intentions with your immediately community of soul-trekkers.

Bring the Life Force to your world.  Call your friends and set some intentions at the group level this weekend!  And while you’re at it, make sure that whatever you are intending to create for yourself is also good for humanity.  Right now, we need all the help we can get.

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First New Moon Of Summer – And WHAT A Summer!!

The New Moon is upon us Wednesday evening and it is once again time to plant seeds of intention.  Astrologically speaking, it has already been a jam-packed summer and the season is only a few weeks old.  As such, I have been tempted to write several times.  However, I prefer to direct you to an opportunity to take action toward the expansion of your consciousness rather than just report on the weather.  New Moons are always such an opportunity, and so I offer this view of what’s on tap so that you can best utilize the power of the lunation that is coming up.

In order to fully understand the majesty of this time, it is best if we go back a few decades.  The slow moving outer planets hold sway over our societal structures and their interactions with each other have a powerful effect on our social consciousness.  Fifty years ago, Pluto (change through destruction) and Uranus (change through sudden awakenings) met up at the exact same place.  The combination of these two frequencies teaming up brought us the civil rights movement, the sexual revolution, the women’s movement, gay liberation and the first anti-war demonstrations.  Life on Earth would never be the same.

When the Sun and the Moon are in the same place, it is called the New Moon and we know that as seed-planting time.  One week later is the First Quarter Moon, when the Moon and the Sun are at a 90 degree angle toward each other.  This hard angle represents a moment of crisis when any challenges to the seeds that have been planted are going to arise.  The same is true of the cycle of any two heavenly bodies.  When Pluto and Uranus came together, society was planting the seeds of dramatic change.  Now, five decades later, these two planets are squaring each other and we have reached that crisis moment where we are being confronted with the challenges and obstacles associated with the intentions for peace we set during the originating aspect.

When the outside world is in chaos, we must turn within.  When we clear away any obstacles to living grounded in our own Hearts, only then will we see a world reflected back to us where there is peace and harmony.  Today, our job is to focus on what we want to create for ourselves, our lives and the world in which we live.  This includes a graceful ability to turn away from the enmity that is out there.  Not to deny it or squeeze it out of our focus, but to simply say, “That doesn’t interest me; I am focused on Light and Love.”  The necessity to do so now and to do so with utter conviction and constancy is more important than ever before.

While the current big news involves the outer planets, therefore impacting our social experience, it takes a connection with the inner, “personal” planets to make an astrological event more profoundly, well, personal.  Mercury just went retrograde last night (I can hear the collective, “what again??”) and this is actually going to help.  In fact, the simultaneous retrograde of both Uranus and Mercury couldn’t have been better timed.

Uranus went retrograde on Thursday and Mercury on Saturday of this past week; astrologically speaking that is essentially simultaneous.  These two planets are also related to each other as they both resonate with the mind.  Mercury is the small, human mind and Uranus the Mind with a capital M.  Uranus is considered the great awakener, and these two planets going retrograde at the same time is a fantastic opportunity to transform how we utilize our minds AND our Minds in order to free ourselves from the bondage that thinking and cerebral mentality has over us.  That they are doing this one hundred and twenty degrees apart, the distance of a triangle, makes this process easier than it might normally be as the trine is the angle of grace, ease and flow.

Where you focus your mental attention dictates the experience of your life.  There is no mistaking that almost all of the energy present in this moment is in the Masculine Principle, and yet both the Sun AND the Moon are in the deeply feminine sign of Cancer.  We are all being given a profound opportunity to be the Light and Love we wish to be, NO MATTER WHAT IS HAPPENING on the outer landscape of our lives.

The New Moon that is coming this Wednesday evening is exact at 9:23pm PDT.  I love when the New Moon occurs at night as the best time to ritually take advantage of this energy is in the hours before the Sun and Moon actually connect.  We benefit from the thrust that the New Moon generates for us for days after it occurs, but the juiciest time is in what is called the Dark-of-the-Moon, which is the hours before the event itself.  What better way to honor the nurturing, self-care element of Cancer (actually Cancer is more about care for others, but in this time where we truly understand that there’s no “out there” out there, all care is self-care) than to make sacred your preparation for sleep.

Take a ritual bath if you can (Cancer is a water sign, so the more water you can include the better).  If you make a list of intentions, plant them as seeds in the ground or in a house plant and be sure to water them liberally.  Center your objectives on this concept of staying grounded in your Heart no matter what the outside world is throwing at you.  Remember that the Universe doesn’t distinguish between your thoughts about the past (resentment) or your ruminations on the future (anxiety).  Stay focused powerfully on what is happening in the very moment that you are IN and your Heart will lead the way into the new world we are creating for ourselves and each other.

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New Moon In Aries: Time To Plant The Seeds Of Change!

It’s New Moon time, which means it is a moment for planting.  And boy-oh-boy is this a fertile time to sew some seeds.  Of course, one of the great challenges of fertile times is the stench of manure.  So if you’re wondering what all that chaos and mess of these past weeks has been, that’s it.  Yep.  It’s fertilizer.  And if you put it to good use, it will help you yield awesome results with respect to whatever it is you desire to create in your life.

This New Moon is in the sign of Aries, where all the big news is lately.  If you’ve been reading my posts, then you know that the Pisces/Aries connection is a very potent place.  It is the doorway between the deep unconscious field of pure potential (Pisces) and the I-Am-Here-Don’t-Get-In-My-Way energy (Aries).  It is the place where all ideas are gestated (Pisces) and then born (Aries).

One can easily get a picture of this when you consider that when the Sun crosses this threshold, we call it the first day of spring.  The season of hibernation is over and we move into the chapter of movement and growth.  Yesterday was the Equinox, marking the first day of spring, a turning point when the impulse to expand is no longer being denied and hidden, but can burst forth into bloom.  This year, the Moon is right behind the Sun, getting ready to cross the very same threshold.  This is an energy that can create powerful momentum for change if it is properly harnessed.

Mercury’s current retrograde cycle also plays an enormous role in the energy of this week.  First and foremost, his inward journey goes back and forth over this sensitive Pisces/Aries spot in the cosmos (for more on this, see my recent article below).  The integration that is taking place this month is all about how we can reinvent ourselves and allow for a rebirth of sorts.

Additionally, today is what is known as the “storm cycle” of this process:  The moment when Mercury and the Sun meet up.  This occurs each time Mercury goes retrograde and it actually sheds specific light on the value that the cycle has for you.  Take a look at what issues are coming up for you today and you will know exactly what your higher Self (notice the capital S) wants you to notice, shift and integrate.

What an opportunity:  To have clear and specific information about where your growth lies just before the New Moon offers you the very energy needed to manifest the new direction you are creating.  If that wasn’t enough to satisfy your hunger for personal expansion, Uranus is in the mix as well.  He is hanging out right at the beginning of Aries right now, exactly where the Sun, Moon and Mercury are gathering.  Uranus is the frequency of enlightenment; the flash of lightning in the middle of the dark night where you can suddenly see EVERYTHING in the landscape.  And though you may be plunged back into darkness when the flash subsides, you now know the lay of the land and can proceed with confidence.  Such is the nature of the opportunity that is upon us with this lunation.

When the gravitational pull from both the Moon and the Sun is focused from the same place, the result is that the water in the Earth is pulled downward, toward the ground.  Because of this, farmers have always done their planting during the New Moon.  It is the same with the seeds of the mind; the ideas we wish to manifest into form must be planted now in order to bear the fruits of harvest in the months to come.

What is known as the Dark of the Moon begins at about 3:00am PDT overnight tonight.  This is the moment when the Moon has entered the sign where the lunation takes place (in this case, Aries), but before it actually joins up with the Sun.  That happens just after 7:30am tomorrow morning.  This four-hour period is the absolute best moment to plant the seeds of what you desire.  So tonight before you got to bed, take a moment to write out some intentions and place them under your pillow.  For you early risers, east coast or UK dwellers, you have a later opportunity to take advantage of this sweet spot.

If you can’t manage this tonight or you read this too late, not to worry.  The power of the New Moon will be reverberating with us for a full three days and any time between tonight and Saturday is a powerful opportunity to guide and direct where your life is heading with conscious intention.  Make it count!

If you know where the early degrees of Aries falls in your natal chart, that is the area of your consciousness where the most opportunity for shift is going to occur.  If you don’t this, this might be a great time to set up a reading with me.  If you respond to this article in the next few weeks, you can take advantage of my special 2012 rate of $53 for an hour-long session.  Just drop me a line for more information.

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What, Mercury Is Retrograde AGAIN?!?

Inevitably, when I tell people that Mercury is retrograde, someone will shriek in response and say, “What, again?!”  The truth is that we are always in a Mercury cycle.  The solar system is exactly like a clock.  It is a complex structure of gears, each turning in its own perfect way to mark out the progression of moments that we call time.  Mercury is like the inner spring that keeps things wound up in a constant state of contraction and release; expansion and integration.

Because of its close proximity to us and its very fast orbit around the Sun, Mercury hits the point where it goes retrograde with great precision.  It happens three times a year for 22 days every 88 days.  We don’t have to think about the chaos of the next retrograde part of Mercury’s cycle until late autumn, starting at the beginning of the day on November 24th through the very end of the day on December 13th.  But the new cycle begins today and I thought it would be a good chance to get a jump on things.

Let’s begin by describing the archetypal sense of what Mercury represents.  The most basic meaning associated with this messenger-god is communication.  In the consciousness of astrology, Mercury is the mind.  While it is through the heart that we experience our selves, it is through the mind that we experience the world.  The capacity for our mind to expand in consciousness and for us to become wiser (as opposed to just smarter) is what the Mercury cycles are all about.

We move through life collecting data about how the world works.  Every few months we need to integrate what we’ve been learning and that is what happens when Mercury goes retrograde.  After we move around in the new territory we are learning about for a few weeks, the cycle begins anew.  This new start can be a very satisfying moment; a breath of fresh air and a new beginning.  And that, my fellow travelers, is where we are today (September 9, 2011).

Mercury has just entered Virgo.  That means it will travel through Virgo, then Libra followed by Scorpio before going retrograde in the sign of Sagittarius.  You can begin this new cycle with a much greater sense of conscious intention by understanding the themes that are being generated by this archetypal journey of the mind.

We’ll start with the end of the journey.  Sagittarius is the archetype of truth, expansion and spiritual principles.  If the world is calling us to bring on our “A-game” of how we live our lives, it is easy to see that this current cycle is going to take us through a process to do just that.  And we start in the sign that represents process itself, Virgo.

The next month is all about integrating what we’ve just learned into our daily experience of life.  That is what Virgo rules: daily routine and integrating wisdom into how we live our lives each day.  By the 25th of this month, Mercury moves into Libra, turning the focus on relationships and the mirror that life is.  Remember, there is no “out there” out there.  It’s all just a reflection.  Through October 13th, it’s all about how well we understand that the things we are looking for are to be found within us.  What we find outside of us is truly just a reflection of our own consciousness.  If you need to know what it is you want in your life, take a look at what you have, because that will tell you in no uncertain terms.

Want things to look differently?  Then the period between October 14th and November 2nd will put Mercury in Scorpio, the sign of transformation and change.  This is your best opportunity for making deeply felt changes that are organic and permanent.  In fact, Mercury meets up with Venus as they both enter Sagittarius on the 2nd.  This is a fantastic moment for your mind and your heart to become congruent with each other.  The Mercury retrograde period in late November is where the integration of all of this heart/mind congruency stuff is going to get down and dirty.

Do your work in advance and you’ll have a MUCH easier time of this part of the process.  Don’t do it and it will be done to you anyway.  The conscious path is the more loving and expansive.

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This Last Mercury Retrograde KICKED MY BUTT!

I don’t know about you, but this past Mercury retrograde cycle was about the most intense one I can remember in recent years.  It finally relinquished its grip on us this past weekend and we can all finally breathe a sigh of relief.  I thought this might be a good opportunity to point out some of the reasons why this particular experience was so difficult.  My hope is that this will offer you some perspective on the insights and awareness that may have emerged for you recently as well as encourage you to value these regular Mercury cycles, no matter how challenging they can be.

First, let’s make sure you have a good understanding of what retrograde motion is.  It is an optical illusion created by two objects moving through space at different speeds.  When one object overtakes the other, there is a change in how they will perceive each other relative to the backdrop that they are being perceived in front of.  In this case, the backdrop is space itself.

There is a phenomenon that most people are familiar with right here on Earth that can help bring this concept into perspective.  Have you ever been the passenger in a car and looked out at the spinning wheels of another vehicle?  For a moment, the wheels might appear to be spinning backwards.  This is an optical illusion (clearly, they wheels are NOT spinning backward or a horrific accident would result) created by virtue of the movement of the two cars in front of the relative stillness of the road and street beyond.  While this is not exactly the same as a retrograding planet, it has some similar sensibilities that can help people come to accept the awkwardness of just what it would mean to look up at the sky and see a planet appear to move backward.

Astrology is the science of astronomy (the actual geometrical movement of heavenly bodies) combined with the art of interpreting the archetypes they represent.  I suppose that is one of the reasons I love astrology so much is because it is yet another opportunity for me to flex my interpretive muscle.

Mercury is interpreted to represent communication and the mind.  The backward movement of a planet is interpreted to represent the process of integration.  Mercury (the mind) moves forward and collects all sorts of data and experience in its direct motion most of the time.  When it moves into retrograde motion every three months or so, it is given the opportunity to integrate all of the information that has recently been collected.

During these times, life seems to pause and the mind is turned inward.  When that happens, experiences in the outside world appear to be hindered, delayed and loose the sharp focus we are used to.  I always experience lateness and cancellations during Mercury retrograde.  It is not that I don’t experience lateness and cancellations at other times, but I imagine that during Mercury retrograde, those lateness and cancellations feel different; somehow more intense.

So, let’s take a look at this last cycle.  It occurred in the sign of Aries.  The Ram represents the archetype of getting things started, butting head first into any activity.  When Mercury goes retrograde in this sign, the impetus to move forward is thwarted and that can cause discomfort.  If that weren’t enough, guess who else was (and still is as of this writing) in Aries.  Mars. Venus. Uranus. The Sun.  And the New Moon of this past month was also in Aries.  Holy moly!  That’s a LOT of energy that wants to rush headlong into action; but it can’t because Mercury is busy making sure that time stands still while the integration process takes place.

And if THAT weren’t enough, we have the cosmic teacher, Saturn, in the opposite sign of Libra.  That means all of those Aries planets are being stared down by the ruler of Kharma, who is saying, well demanding actually, that only the highest most responsible course is being taken.  And Saturn means business; if you aren’t playing your absolute A game in life, he will unequivocally kick your ass to make sure the lesson is learned.

Aries/Libra is all about relationships.  And not just those primary relationships like your romantic partners, but all relationships.  From friends, family, loved ones, to the bus driver and the checker at the supermarket.  How were you showing up to your one-on-one relationships during the last three weeks?  With judgment and opinions ruling the day?  Or with love and acceptance.  How were you presenting yourself in the world to be mirrored by others?  With your integrity in tact, or were you cutting any corners.  If you were (which all of us by virtue of being human would have to be to one extent or another) you were knocked to the mat by Saturn’s stern hand.

What Saturn is really teaching us all while traveling through Libra (roughly for the past year and next year) is the lesson of the mirrored self: that there is no relationship that matters more than the one we have with the Self/Source.  Every other relationship is ‘out there’, and is therefore actually a relationship with one’s own reflection, which we can only do with the consciousness we have.  We are separate but we are not.  We are all a reflection of the cosmic oneness.

With Saturn in opposition to Mercury, the part of our Selves that commands authenticity is face to face with the part of our selves that thinks and communicates.  We may be experiencing this reflection in the form of another person, but it’s a great idea to think of that person as your reflection.

The bottom line is that once we landed in this past Sunday morning, everything about who we are and how we relate to our world changed.  The journey there was more than bumpy, but if you survived it, things will never be quite the same.  Here’s hoping you took advantage of all that you could to learn as much about yourself as you could.  And next time Mercury goes retrograde (August 2nd) you are prepared to go inward with as much grace and ease as you can.  It won’t be nearly the rocky ride this past one was, so you can breathe easy.

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