Weekly Forecast February 17: Sun Enters Pisces, North Node Enters Libra

Detail of the zodiac window in the Chartres Cathedral. Image credit: Vassil, Wikipedia.

Detail of the zodiac window in the Chartres Cathedral. Image credit: Vassil, Wikipedia.

This week brings a couple of significant shifts, with the Sun moving from scientific Aquarius to mystical Pisces. Also, the lunar North Node leaves Scorpio, where it has been since late August 2012, and moves into Libra.

All the signs of the zodiac have a “positive” side and a “negative” side (from the human perspective), but none is as polarized as Pisces. Yet, it is also the sign of unity consciousness, where duality dissolves and the illusion of separateness disappears.

I like to point out that Pisces isn’t the Fish, but the Fishes. There are two of them, tied together and swimming in opposite directions – well, at least that’s the traditional explanation. Continue reading

Weekly Forecast February 10: Sun Square Saturn, Full Moon in Leo

Leo in love. © Pat Paquette, 2014.

Leo in love. © Pat Paquette, 2014.

This week’s Full Moon in Leo falls on Valentine’s Day – fitting, since Leo is the sign of the heart.

The Full Moon always pairs opposite signs and focuses our awareness on opposing ways of being. With the Sun in Aquarius and the Moon in Leo, Friday’s Full Moon highlights the concept of the collective and team effort, versus individual identity and self-expression.

The Olympics are a perfect example. There are athletes who compete for championship in individual sports, and they often go home as national heroes. But they also are part of a team, and their goal is not just a personal win, but to help bring victory to the entire team and honor to their country.

For the past several weeks, cardinal energies have Continue reading

Aquarius Rising: The Aquarius Soul

Aquarius. © Johfra, JohfraPosters.com

Aquarius. © Johfra, JohfraPosters.com

The sign of Aquarius is associated with science, technology, innovations, gadgets, individuality, uniqueness, the New Age, humanitarian ideals, and group consciousness.

Because Aquarius is the sign of the water carrier, many people mistakenly believe it is a water sign, yet if this were the case, we would see much more emotion from our often cool, aloof, and detached Aquarian friends. While water signs are about mastering emotions, air signs are about mastering the mind, and as the fixed air sign, Aquarius is all about the mind. Aquarius’s concern about humanitarian ideals and their apparent coolness on a personal level can seem like a contradiction until we understand the nature of air and fixed energy.

How can one be concerned for the whole of humanity and be apparently uncaring or “unfeeling” on a personal level? We might question their integrity and wonder whether they actually care or not. This is because Aquarius’s humanitarian concerns come from the head rather than the heart. It is an intellectual ideal born from intelligence and cold reason, rather than heartfelt compassion. “We are civilized people so we should be concerned for one another’s welfare.” This is one of the keys to understanding both the fear-based reactions and love-based expressions of Aquarius.

To really understand both the fear-based reactions and love-based expressions of this enigmatic sign, we need to briefly review the nature of fixed energy. In astrology, we speak of energy as having three “modalities” or modes of expression, sometimes called “qualities” because they describe the quality of the energy being expressed. These three modalities are cardinal, fixed, and mutable.

To understand how they work in harmony, think of a tree. The first green shoot that fights its way purposefully through the rocks and the earth towards the light of day is driven by cardinal energy, the energy of creation, evolution, and new beginnings. Cardinal energy is a driving force that pushes life onwards and upwards.

Now think of the trunk of the tree. That is fixed energy, the energy of a placeholder, containing and holding the energy within a fixed form or structure. Wherever there is structure – the structure of the trunk, the branches, the leaves, the cells within the leaves and even the DNA structure within those cells – we have fixed energy at work. It is fixed energy that will stabilize the tree within a structure for the duration of its life so it can fulfill its purpose.

Now think of the end of the life cycle when the tree dies. The leaves die and drop off, the trunk eventually breaks down, and the matter decomposes and transform into compost. This breaking down and changing and dissolving of form is mutable energy. The energy can then be reused (in the form of cardinal energy) once again at the beginning of a new life cycle. In the modalities we see the three essential energies that comprise the cycle of life: cardinal (creation), fixed (stability), and mutable (destruction).

Now think of the octaves of the musical scale, and you’ll understand the biggest challenge for all fixed signs, especially Aquarius. Fixed energy wants to “fixate” on something. So the only question becomes whether you lock and hold on the lowest octaves of the scale or on the highest ones. In terms of your spiritual journey, this refers to your level of consciousness.

As the fixed air sign, Aquarius is all about mastering the mind and the intellect. This is what makes Aquarius one of the most challenging signs for those on the spiritual quest, because changing course (by changing your mind) once you have locked in on your target like a heat-seeking missile is one of the most difficult things for you to do. This is why our Aquarian friends (and indeed all fixed signs) have a reputation for stubbornness.

On the spiritual journey, the activity of the intellect is actually considered an obstacle. We need to be able to go beyond intellect in order to realize spiritual truth, and this is where Aquarius often gets caught. Contrary to our contemporary Western view (where intellect is held in the highest esteem), in terms of spiritual development, attachment to intellectual ideas without the experience of direct perception is considered a form of ignorance.

[quote cite="~ Lankavatara sutra translated by Walpola Sri Rahula"]Ignorant people get stuck in words like an elephant on the mud.[/quote]
The term “ignorance” in this context is not meant to be offensive, but refers to people who are not yet spiritually awake. We are all “ignorant” as long as our perception of spiritual truth is obscured, and it is the intellect that can be one of our biggest obstacles. In Esoteric Astrology, the Tibetan explains that we are evolving from instinct, through intellect, to intuition. In other words, intellect is a developmental stage that we are passing through. So when our Aquarian friends get stuck there, their spiritual development has reached a hiatus! The above quote is speaking of the problem of being stuck at the intellectual level.

Spiritual teachers and yogis speak of three levels of consciousness: gross, subtle, and extremely subtle. Gross consciousness is tangible and most related to our senses; we can see a rock, we can pick it up and feel it. We can hear running water. Subtle consciousness is the realm of thoughts. We are aware of thinking, but we cannot see our thoughts or touch them. This is where we experience the intellect. Extremely subtle consciousness lies in the stillness and silence beyond thoughts, and this is where we experience intuition. It is the consciousness of the Universe, and once we are able to abide at this level for prolonged periods of time, as great masters and yogis do, it is said that we have access to the wisdom of the Universe.

The musical scale of our spiritual journey is the ability to reach the high note of extremely subtle consciousness and remain there. While it is difficult for our Aquarian friends to navigate their way up the scale, and they face the danger of becoming stuck at the level of intellect, once they do reach the level of extremely subtle consciousness, their fixed nature gives them the advantage of being able to hold their attention there for long periods of time. Fixed signs can be great meditators if they have chosen well and fixed on the right level of consciousness! This is where we see the highest octave of Aquarius. Esoterically, Aquarius is the sign of group consciousness. This is not the tribal consciousness that is often associated with Cancer, but refers to the highest unity consciousness that is accessible only at the level of extremely subtle consciousness.

As we follow the soul’s journey through the twelve signs of the Zodiac, after the soul in the cardinal earth sign of Capricorn has learned how to methodically take the steps up the mountain (in other words to navigate the musical scale of consciousness and reach the high note of unity consciousness), Aquarius is able to hold the tone and allow the spiritual waters of love and life to flow for the benefit of humanity. At this extremely subtle level of consciousness, it is not holding in the sense of grasping, but rather it is a soft focus on subtle energies that accepts the flow of the dual waters of Aquarius, love and life. This is why, although Aquarius is the sign of the water carrier and has the symbolism of being a “vessel” to bring forth spiritual energy, we can also see that the water is always flowing. This is a vessel through which spiritual energy flows and is not contained.

[quote cite="~ Alan Wilson Watts"]You cannot understand life and its mysteries as long as you try to grasp it. Indeed, you cannot grasp it, just as you cannot walk off with a river in a bucket. If you try to capture running water in a bucket, it is clear that you do not understand it and that you will always be disappointed, for in the bucket the water does not run.  To “have” running water you must let go of it and let it run.[/quote]
At this level, the energy of Aquarius joins with his polar opposite, heart-centered Leo, and the united sign of Aquarius-Leo flows the energy of love and life through a pure and open heart. Once we balance the Aquarius-Leo polarity, we are centered in our hearts, yet connected to the collective consciousness of humanity at one and the same time. There is great warmth and love here and not the cool, uncaring, aloofness that is often associated with the intellectual Aquarian. This is also why, esoterically, at its highest spiritual expression, Aquarius is the sign of the collective consciousness of humanity and the flowering of human consciousness. Once we have completed our soul’s passage through Aquarius, then we are ready for the sacred heart opening that happens on the last stage of our journey in Pisces!

If you have Aquarius Rising, you can consider yourself to be an Aquarian Soul, and your highest purpose is to flow the “dual waters of love and life for the benefit of thirsty humanity” (the Tibetan, Esoteric Astrology). The only question is whether you will fix your attention on a lower consciousness by getting caught in your own mental activity, or whether you will be able to go beyond your own thoughts and focus your attention on the peace and stillness that lies within. Then you will reach your highest soul purpose and access the flowering collective consciousness of humanity, and love and life will pour through you for the benefit of all.


Ruth

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Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

Weekly Forecast February 3: Mercury Retrograde, Ceres Enters Scorpio

Artist's conception of Ceres. Image credit: ESA/ATG medialab.

Artist’s conception of Ceres. Image credit: ESA/ATG medialab.

Anyone feeling a little fuzzy headed? I’m having trouble writing a coherent sentence, and I’m definitely slow.

As the week begins, Mercury is slowing down to station retrograde on Thursday, just a degree shy of Neptune in Pisces. Traffic moves slowly, whether it’s cars on the road, bytes on the Internet, or electrical impulses in your brain.

Then, slowing down can be a good thing.

In astrology, Neptune is the planet of sleep and dreams, and Mercury is the planet of communications, including communications between the conscious and the unconscious. One of the times when we can be aware of that connection is between wakefulness and sleep and vice versa – the hypnagoic and hypnopompic states of consciousness. Often, we get ideas, visions, and solutions to problems in that fleeting space between worlds. It’s not hard to understand how mythological Mercury (Greek Hermes) was the only god who could come and go freely in and out of the underworld – and swiftly, by virtue of his winged sandals.

We don’t always remember our dreams, but when we do, it’s often in that in-between place. That’s why it’s important to record dreams as soon as you wake up. Dreams can contain important symbols that help us understand what our unconscious is processing, and that knowledge can be powerful. When we’re awake, the conscious mind takes over, and most of us lose access to that power. With Mercury stationed so close to Neptune in his own sign of Pisces, the “signal” is stronger. The flip side is that it might be hard to stay awake during the day, and concentrating could be a real challenge. However, if you start to doze, you’re in that in-between state and have even more opportunities for creative ideas and visions to surface into your conscious mind. I’ve also experienced long-distance contact with friends in that space.

Mercury will be retrograde until February 28, the last day of the month, meaning that most of February will be slow going. It’s a good time for reviewing, revising, rewriting – anything that requires going back over something. Although he returns to Aquarius, Mercury stations direct the day before the New Moon in Pisces, so we might get messages similar to the kind that come up this week. The Messenger returns to Pisces on March 17 and conjoins Neptune on March 22.

On Monday, Ceres enters Scorpio, and she’ll be in a trine with Mercury on February 12 and a conjunction with the lunar North Node on February 11. She won’t quite reach a trine with Neptune before turning retrograde on February 27, and she’ll return to Libra in late March. In the meantime, it’s worth looking at what this could mean. I’m still observing the role of Ceres in mundane astrology, as I don’t think we’re sure yet what her influence might be. She has been prominent in charts for environmental disasters and events relating to the food supply, which is what we might expect, give the role of Ceres in classical mythology as a Mother Earth figure associated with crops and vegetation in general. As you may recall, Demeter, the Greek equivalent of Roman Ceres, lost her daughter Persephone to Hades/Pluto, who kept her in the underworld for several months out of the year. During that time, Demeter was so depressed that nothing grew.

In modern astrology, Pluto rules Scorpio, sign of death and regeneration. However, the goddess Ceres also was associated with cycles of death and rebirth, and so we might look for evidence that dwarf planet Ceres has something to do with cycles of nature and other cyclical occurrences, such as the birth, rise, and fall of civilizations. Although Ceres couldn’t go into the underworld to get her daughter – only Mercury could do that – she was the only deity who could negotiate with Pluto (essentially her son-in-law) to get what she wanted. That gives Ceres a special relationship with Scorpio. During the negotiation period, she was mad as hell. It’s typical for people coming out of depression and grief to get angry before they can heal. Anger, by the way, is the function of Mars, ancient ruler of Scorpio and co-ruler with Pluto in modern astrology. Educated people laugh at how our ancient ancestors thought disasters were the work of angry gods, but I contend that it wasn’t entirely superstition; they were just personifying invisible energies that otherwise defied description. Astrology is a way to “see” and measure these energies.

As for depression, it’s growing worldwide at an alarming rate. When you’re depressed, you can barely do what needs to be done in a day, with no time or energy left over to protest abuse of government power and other societal injustices. I believe this is one of the reasons that more people aren’t out in the streets protesting the never-ending giveaways to the rich and cuts for the poor and middle class – a repeating cycle, incidentally. I don’t know what it will take for people to start getting angry enough to take back their government. Shortages of food and water and sometimes cited as the trigger. Because we don’t know enough about how Ceres functions in mundane astrology, it’s hard to predict if and when this might happen. However, we’ll want to monitor her position in the charts.

Ceres will return to Scorpio in August and will remain there until October. However, it will be interesting to observe world events in February and March to look for correlations. This can be tricky, because there are so many planetary energies in play at any given time that it’s difficult to distinguish which might be the main signatures for an event. I’ll be watching for possible correlations to her conjunction with the lunar North Node on February 11, plus or minus a few days.

A couple of other interesting facts about dwarf planet Ceres: Recently she was discovered to have water. Scientists were caught off guard, as they didn’t expect the bodies in the asteroid belt to contain water. What they think they’ve found is what they would have expected of a comet. There also is some speculation that Ceres might have had different origins than the other asteroids and that she and Pluto might be more related than anyone thought.

Those are the only major astrological events this week, but we’re still within the influence period of a strong cardinal T-square as Jupiter moves toward an exact square with Uranus later this month. With Mercury’s turn retrograde, we might expect to see headlines that refer back to events and situations last August. One event that comes immediately to mind is the chemical attack in Syria on August 21. Supposed proof that the attack was launched by the troops of President Bashar al-Assad is now acknowledged to be less certain, and yet conservatives are still calling for a military strike. Talk about déjà vu.

Much love and courage to all,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Weekly Forecast January 27: New Moon in Aquarius, Venus Direct

Chinese New Year Poetry, by Peter Morgan.

Chinese New Year Poetry, by Peter Morgan.

Right on cue, the news headlines are increasingly dramatic as we head into another cardinal T-square this week.

Retrograde Jupiter has been approaching opposition with Pluto, and he’ll also form an exact square with Uranus in late February. That means we’re under the influence of this volatile configuration yet again, and for the entire month. Mercury turns retrograde on February 6, adding to the disruption in the weeks ahead.

I suppose the good news is that we’ve been in such disarray that we’re used to its being the rule rather than the exception. Besides that, many of us have been in need of positive change for a long time now, and there are indications that we can realize some of what we’ve been hoping for while planetary energies are in such a state of flux. Although a little stability would be comforting right about now, it’s not compatible with the major shakeups that need to happen for us to get where we want to go. Likewise, the changes we want to see in the world can’t happen without turbulence.

Thursday’s New Moon in Aquarius is a perfect setup for positive developments to emerge from disorder. Not only is Aquarius the sign of innovation and unconventional ideas, but the New Moon makes a dynamic sextile with Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius. In other words, the New Moon provides an outlet for the combative energies of the T-square. You can see it easily in the chart; look for the blue line emanating from the apex of the triangle.

New Moon in Aquarius

Click on image to enlarge

The other two blue lines in the chart connect Jupiter and Pluto to Chiron. I’ve been writing for some time about the Pluto-Chiron sextile, which has been in effect since early 2012 and represents transformation and healing of deep wounds, in individuals and humanity as a whole. The trine from Jupiter to Chiron provides an additional boost. I know it doesn’t seem like humans have learned much in 5,000 years and that we’re an inherently violent species, but statistics show otherwise. On the whole, we’re getting smarter and more peaceful. Then, you’d never know it reading news headlines written to maximize advertising revenue. Even though we’re smarter overall, “Suicide Bomb Kills 30″ still gets more readers than “Man Saves Baby in Bombing Attack” (he might get a mention in the 18th paragraph).

This New Moon also holds the potential for rewards missed at the difficult New Moon in Capricorn on January 1. Usually, the New Moon begins a new cycle, with a culmination, resolution, or landmark event at the Full Moon. However, that New Moon was all about endings, and the Full Moon in Cancer on January 15 was more about clearing space for something new to develop. This New Moon is much more promising, and new doors should start opening. What those doors lead you to depends on where the New Moon falls in your natal chart.

Also, Venus has been retrograde since December 21, which corresponds to some delays, especially regarding finances and relationship matters. Venus turns direct on Friday. Whatever might have been stalled will be freed up to move forward. Venus stations direct in close conjunction with Pluto, so she’s also part of the cardinal T-square. This pair signifies intense desire, especially for money or sex. However, Capricorn is frugal, practical, and patient, with the ability to control primal urges. If you’ve had to let go of something or if you’ve been enduring excruciating delays, the shift after Venus begins moving forward could be startling.
Earlier on Friday, the opposition from Jupiter to Pluto is exact. A few hours later, Mercury enters Pisces, although he’ll only dip his foot in the water before turning retrograde on February 6 and returning to Aquarius on February 12. I’ll have more about that next week.

Chinese New Year 2014 3Considering how challenging the New Moon on January 1 was, this week’s New Moon could feel more like New Year’s. As it so happens, it’s the Chinese New Year, marking the beginning of the Year of the Wood Horse. The last Wood Horse year was 1954; it takes 60 years to cycle through the twelve Chinese animal signs and five elements (fire, earth, metal, water, and wood). The Western astrological sign that corresponds to the Horse is fast-paced Gemini. I have no idea what that means in terms of forecasting 2014, except that Gemini is an Internet wiz, so we can Google it and find a forecast from a real Chinese astrologer.

May all your wishes be fulfilled,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Weekly Forecast January 20: Mercury Trines Mars, Enters Pre-Retrograde Shadow

Facing power. © Pat Paquette, 2014.

Facing power. © Pat Paquette, 2014.

Astrologically, there’s not much going on this week, so we should have some breathing space to adjust to developments over the past month and make room for what’s to come.

The only major planetary aspects this week are a trine from Mercury to Mars on Friday and a square from Mercury to Saturn on Saturday. The Mercury-Mars trine is perfect for discussing relationship issues in a detached manner with a good amount of give-and-take. I suggest you do this now, because Mercury enters into the shadow period mid-week ahead of his station retrograde on February 6.

Many of us avoid talking about things that bother us, because we want to give the impression that we’re cool, we can let the little things roll off our backs, and we can allow others their quirks. If you truly can do that, go for it. But more often than not, the little things start adding up, and then you’ve got one complicated mess that’s hard to untangle. It’s usually better to talk about the small things and air your concerns while you can still be cool about it. Also, the risk of misunderstandings increases after Mercury turns retrograde.

That said, you may meet with some resistance this week, causing one or both of you to “back off” without resolution. Although you can’t force anyone to talk, look for an opening, even though it might take some work. If you do end up in an argument, do your best to find a compromise – and remember, “compromise” typically means that you don’t get everything you want. If you can’t live with it, you’ll need to spend some time alone to reflect.

Saturday’s Mercury-Saturn square is good for solitude and gaining insight into sticky problems. The downside is that it can be depressing, all the more so with the Moon conjunct Saturn less than two hours later. You’ll need to be mindful not to automatically grab onto the worst-case scenario. Relationships go through rough patches, especially when one person is working to change and grow. Try to focus on the overall balance in the relationship. If you’re not getting what you need, is it because your relationship is a one-way street, or is it just going through a natural fluctuation? Some people are able to maintain a constant state of give and take, but others maintain the balance over time, with periods in which one or the other needs more support.

The Mercury-Saturn square also favors mental work, especially regarding finances. The weekend is a great time to round up your tax documents to give to your accountant. If you do your own taxes, get working on it now. The reward could be an early refund. If it turns out that you owe, at least you’ll know so that you can budget ahead for April. Essentially, any task requiring concentration and focus will be easier under this influence.

The most difficult day of the week is Wednesday, when the Moon in Libra revisits the challenges of the New Moon on January 1 and the Full Moon on January 15. The charts for both of those astrological events contain intense cardinal energy (the cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn), which represents breakdowns, loss, and sudden and fast change. There could be some repeats of recent situations and possibly some new developments.

As we’re swept along with the tide, it’s hard to see where we are or where we’re headed, let alone the purpose to it all. Change by nature is disruptive, and change on a planetary scale is accompanied by widespread tension, fear, and anxiety. Even those like me who have a lot of fixed energy in their charts and are normally able to remain grounded are experiencing a lot of anxiety, much of it due to the inevitable changes (we fixed signs have a hard time with change) and the gross uncertainty about what lies ahead. I know, that’s ironic coming from an astrologer. All I can say is that it’s like meteorologists predicting tornadoes. They can see the big storm coming, and they know that conditions are right, but they don’t know how many tornadoes will touch down, where, or how much damage they’ll cause.

Notwithstanding, I think that aspects mid-week will help us recognize the path we’ve been on and to see it as a continuum. And that recognition may be precisely what helps us adjust and regain some balance. The next lunar cycle contains the same turbulent energies, but also holds the potential for some good news, innovative solutions, and long-overdue rewards. And remember, Pluto remains in positive aspect to Chiron, so the undercurrent of healing energies is ever-present. The healing process can be painful, but it eventually leads to regeneration.

Wishing you all much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Weekly Forecast January 13: Full Moon in Cancer, Sun Enters Aquarius

Sun break. © Pat Paquette, 2014.

Sun break. © Pat Paquette, 2014.

Although we continue to feel the tension of the cardinal configurations in the sky, this week’s Full Moon and planetary aspects are a signature for productive change – if we’re willing to endure some discomfort.

OK, maybe a lot of discomfort.

Some of the changes may feel out of our control, and they might entail giving up something first in order to clear the way for something better. Even changes that are within our control will require almost superhuman discipline. Fortunately, we will have some cosmic help, with three planets in Capricorn all sending energy to Saturn, ruler of Capricorn and master of commitment and discipline. Moreover, Saturn in Scorpio has no time for whining and procrastinating, especially where finances are concerned. This applies not only to individuals, but to nations.

Still, it’s not going to be easy to stick to your guns, and there’s a risk of playing mind games to stay in your comfort zone. We’ll be in the pull of the Full Moon in Cancer for most of the week. Cancer needs its creature comforts and fears the unknown. Jupiter also is in Cancer, retrograde, and he’s closing in on a cardinal T-square with Uranus and Pluto. He’s also square Mars and opposite Venus. If what you’re trying to eliminate involves separating from a partner or spending less time with an inconsiderate friend, the urge to go back on your commitment could be hard to resist. Likewise, if the change you’re trying to make involves sticking to a tight budget, you could find it hard to keep your resolve.

The Moon reaches peak fullness just short of midnight East Coast time on Wednesday (it will be Thursday in the Eastern Hemisphere). Typically, something begins at the New Moon – a project, a relationship, a new opportunity – and it culminates at the Full Moon, plus or minus a few days. However, the New Moon also can represent an ending, and the New Moon in Capricorn on New Year’s Day had endings written all over it. Think about what might have ended for you two weeks ago or maybe a little before. Or perhaps you knew at the New Moon that you needed to let go of something in your life that was holding you back, but you weren’t quite ready to give it up. In that case, this Full Moon could bring confirmation that eliminating what isn’t working for you is in your best interest. The evidence might come through a specific incident, or perhaps a eureka moment accompanied by a strong feeling that you’re on the right track. The process of clearing away and cleaning out will create a space for something new and better to come into your life at the New Moon in Aquarius on January 30.

Likewise, if a door closed for you at the New Moon, a new door may not open until the end of the month. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. You’ll have an opportunity to slow down and get back in tune with your feelings. You might find that you feel differently about a change than you did two weeks ago. If you didn’t react back then, or if you had to keep your emotions under wraps due to circumstances, now you’ll get a chance to release pent-up emotional energy. It’s not always a comfortable place to be, but emotional release is necessary. Give yourself permission to give in without judgment. There are no “negative” feelings. Even anger has its place, and it’s one of the feelings we most often suppress. It’s just hard to find an appropriate way to release it without hurting someone, including yourself – like the time in my late 20s when I kicked a wall, forgetting that I was wearing sandals. A vigorous workout is the best way to blow off steam. Housecleaning is good, too.

Full Moon in Cancer

Click on image to enlarge

Now, it is entirely possible that something did begin for you at the New Moon, in which case you should start seeing results in the coming week. Depending on where the New Moon fell in your chart, that “something” might have been tangible, maybe a new job or relationship. Or it could have been less visible, like a change in a belief that’s been tripping you up, perhaps a shift toward more positive self-esteem. Even when something good happens, we can feel an overflow of emotions. For example, someone who finds a new job after a long period of unemployment might be so overwhelmed with relief that they need a good cry.

Cancer represents family and the comforts of home, while Capricorn is usually associated with career and ambition. But we tend to forget that Capricorn is a feminine sign. Half goat, half fish, the mythical sea goat can scale the highest mountains and dive to the depths of the ocean. In some ancient cultures, mountains were associated with powerful goddesses. The sea, from which life on earth sprang, is associated with Cancer, the sign of mother, the womb, and birth. We think of Saturn-ruled Capricorn as father to Cancer’s mother, but it’s also the family matriarch, the grandmother who has seen and done it all and provides wise guidance to successive generations.

The cardinal signs – Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn – represent initiating energy, and all four will be active for several months. That’s why astrologers are predicting so much change. And yet, this Full Moon has an enduring quality to it, telling me that the changes we’re seeing may be new and even a little scary, but they are part of a larger cycle. Dwarf planet Ceres is in Libra and square the Full Moon by less than half a degree. I’m still observing how Ceres functions in individual and mundane charts, but her mythology suggests something to do with cycles, like the changing seasons and life cycles of plants and animals. With our technology oriented lifestyle, we often lose touch with these natural cycles and, as a result, feel separated from nature.

A continuing “outlet” for tense cardinal energies to flow is the easy sextile from Pluto to Chiron in Pisces, which represents deep healing in our individual and collective psyches. The root for “healing” is the same as for “whole.” To be whole, we have to feel a connection with the oneness of the universe.

A second outlet at this Full Moon is the sextile from Mercury in Aquarius to Uranus in Aries on Friday (late Thursday in western time zones). Mercury and Uranus both represent the intellectual workings of the mind, and Mercury in Aquarius has some of the same spark of genius associated with Uranus, ruler of Aquarius in modern astrology. The sextile is dynamic and conducive to the firing of neurons. Pay attention to sudden flashes of brilliance. There’s a possibility of coming up with innovate and unconventional solutions to perennial problems.

Lastly, there is a positive sextile/trine from Sun and Moon to Saturn. The Sun-Saturn sextile was exact on Saturday, but it’s still active as of the Full Moon. This is the pathway along which stress transforms to productivity. I know that stress is damaging to health, and we wish we didn’t have so much of it. Yet, studies show that a certain amount of stress is good for you. The old saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention” might well be adapted to our era as, “The necessity to reduce stress is the mother of invention.”

Late Sunday (in the United States), the Sun leaves staid Capricorn and enters quirky Aquarius. The eleventh sign of the zodiac is future-oriented, scientifically pioneering, unconventional, and humanistic – although it’s also a fixed sign and can stubbornly resist change, especially in its thinking. Just one of its quirky inconsistencies. Still, I think it’s a good combination with the cardinal energies, as it represents higher ideals at a time when there’s so much momentum worldwide for change. What do we want to become? What kind of future do we see for ourselves as a group, a nation, a species?

Next week we get another short breather, so if this week gets too emotional, relief will be on the way.

Wishing you all much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Capricorn Rising: The Capricorn Soul

Maori earth goddess Papatuanuku as Capricorn. © Karen MacKenzie, 2013. Details below.

Maori goddess Papatuanuku as Capricorn. © Karen MacKenzie, 2013. Details below.

As we continue our journey exploring the fear-based reactions and love-based expressions of the twelve zodiac signs, we arrive at the deeply mysterious sign of Capricorn.

Capricorn is associated with achievement, practical application, method, ambition, material resources, finances, government, initiation, and discipleship. Esoterically it is said that the spiritual “goal” is identified in Sagittarius, and then in Capricorn we choose to walk the path. The highest soul purpose of Capricorn is “to create heaven on Earth,” and it is no accident that we celebrate Christmas and the birth of the Christ during Capricorn season.

The words “discipline” and “disciple” both have their origin in the Latin verb discere, which simply means “to learn.” So if Sagittarius has identified the spiritual goal, Capricorn’s job is learning how to get there. The whole idea of discipleship implies that there is a practical methodology to achieve a tangible result. Through our soul’s experience in Capricorn, we learn to build a very real “stairway to heaven.” So what would this “heaven” look like? Rather than thinking of it as a physical location, it can be thought of as the blissful state of nirvana or samhadi that comes after many years of applied discipline in a yogic or monastic tradition.

Capricorn is the sign of mindfulness, method, and skill cultivated through patient application and practice. The power that was gained in Sagittarius must now be applied in practice. The essence of Capricorn lies in the most appropriate use of resources, in particular spiritual resources, to achieve success. This is the key to understanding both the fear based reactions and love-based responses of Capricorn. Esoterically, Capricorn is said to be the most mysterious sign of all, and we will only fully come to understand the true meaning of Capricorn when humanity has made a great leap in consciousness.
[quote cite="~ The Tibetan"]The basis of the astrological sciences is the emanation, transmission, and reception of energies and their transmutation into forces by the receiving entity. … It is all a question of developed reception and sensitivity.[/quote]
Of all twelve signs, Capricorn is most associated with both the best and the worst of human character. To understand this, we need higher consciousness and an understanding of energy. Capricorn is said to rule governments, politics and banking. The current sorry state of the world’s banks, greed, avarice, corrupt politicians greedy for power, global inequalities in wealth, health and resources, has been attributed to the “negative” or fear-based expressions of Capricorn. Yet esoterically this is the sign of the initiate and the disciple! How can this be?

The soul in Capricorn is learning “right use of resources,” including our inner resources: our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy. We cannot learn the power of our own energies and become skilled in their use from books. We can do so only through experience, practical application, and diligent practice – all Capricorn qualities. Through this, we develop the consciousness that results from deep self-observation where we become skilled at watching our own energies play out. Eventually, we then begin to see energetic patterns, connections, and deepen our understanding of the nature of energy and the laws of cause and effect.

In spiritual traditions where deep self-observation is part of the practice, students are encouraged to examine their own motivation. This means deeply observing the energies in you that motivate your thoughts, words, and actions, so that you come to know and understand your own driving forces. In this way, practitioners eventually begin to see important connections between seemingly different energies.

For example it is said that anger and love are the same energy and that anger is a lower fear-based expression of love. Likewise, greed and avarice are lower fear-based expressions of compassion. With consciousness, greed transmutes into compassion. If this is so, then it makes perfect sense that the most avaricious of signs has the potential to also be the most compassionate. We can only come to know this for ourselves through diligent application, experience, and awareness.[quote cite="~ Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche"]Our anger obscures our capacity to love, our sadness obscures our joy, our prejudice obscures our equanimity, and our greed obscures our compassion.[/quote]
The current state of affairs in the world is a catalyst for human compassion to flower on a scale the likes of which have never before been known, and this is the lesson and the gift of Capricorn. In order to fully understand this, we need experience of how these energy dynamics work in our own energy field, which is why Capricorn is also the sign for skillful method, initiation, and discipleship.

The word “initiate” means to begin something or to be introduced to something. Without an introduction from skilled and experienced teachers, we are unlikely to see these energy dynamics for ourselves. Even Christ and the Buddha had teachers in their youth to point out the path. Next comes the discipleship, or discipline of applied practice. This means keeping our attention on the path. If we follow the energy of our greed, it takes us outside of ourselves, pursuing the object(s) of our desire and trying to fill a bottomless pit inside. It is this fear-based expression of Capricorn that leads to Capricorn’s worst reputation.

If we really observe ourselves deeply when we are experiencing greed, we can see that underneath it there is anxiety, fear, and maybe even terror. When we experience fear and terror, we naturally want to get as much as we can to take care of ourselves and our families. When our Capricorn friends succumb to fear, they may mistakenly chase after more worldly wealth and power, naturally trying to acquire and ring-fence resources for their own use, which gives them a false sense of security and short-lived peace of mind. Once they become well-versed and skilled in the art of energy dynamics, we will see that our Capricorn friends are transformed into the most generous and compassionate people on the planet! The Capricorn soul realizes that greed and compassion are but two expressions of the same energy and has the skill to transmute greed, avarice, and the base emotions of desire into compassion, love, and the highest qualities of humanity.

If you have Capricorn Rising, you can consider yourself to be a Capricorn soul. Your true skill and power lie in your innate focus, intelligence, and diligent method, which give you the ability to trace the energy of your emotions and desires back to their source. Rather than following the outward acquisitive direction of greed, by turning your attention inwards, observing your energy and tracing it back to its inner root, you will see it transform into compassion – first for yourself and then for others. From this connection to your innate compassion comes a deep and lasting sense of achievement, fulfilment, and spiritual nourishment. You then have an endless resource from which to practically and realistically build heaven on earth.


Ruth

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Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

KarenMacK smKaren MacKenzie is working on a series of astrology inspired paintings using goddesses from different cultures. For more information about the symbolism in this print and to view other works in her ongoing series, check out her website, Karen MacKenzie Art.

Weekly Forecast January 6: Mars Square Jupiter, Sun Sextile Saturn

Snowstorm in southern Minnesota in March 1881.

Snowstorm in southern Minnesota in March 1881.

The challenges and tension of the past couple of weeks continue into this week, with the possibility of intensifying. But there is also some good news, especially in the second half of the week.

The cardinal grand cross that dominated the astrological charts on New Year’s Day remains close all the way into the weekend. Planets don’t “cause” events on earth, but earthly events do correlate to planetary movements. We can observe this happening around us every day. Throughout last week, drivers on the road were speeding and rude. You could almost see the waves of stress and anger in the air. A friend who normally is unflappable had personnel problems at work, exacerbated when a colleague called him a name with an expletive in front of the rest of the team. I experienced similar situations, nearly all to do with inappropriate or aggressive behavior.

Anger and aggression are, of course, the domain of Mars, who is heavily involved in the cardinal configurations in the sky. The warrior planet is in peace-loving Libra, which really pisses him off. There doesn’t seem to be anyone to complain to or to help find resolution. Adding insult to injury, he’s going to be stuck is this mode until the freakin’ end of July. There’s not much of an outlet other than passive-aggressive behaviors such as speeding around and cutting off another driver or talking negatively about people behind their backs. I’m sure you can add dozens of examples. It’s not all that productive, but Mars doesn’t care. He just needs to vent, or the pent-up frustration will cause him to explode – all the more likely given his opposition to Uranus in Mars-ruled Aries.

The moral of that story is that we can act out our frustrations with others in a passive-aggressive manner, or we can stop ourselves and seek out creative solutions. There may not be many options, and they likely will be hard to find. You may have to accept a compromise, a hallmark of Libra. As an intellectual air sign, Libra also represents a cool and rational approach – not exactly the way Mars would handle a conflict if he had a choice, so you might have to work to find a healthy balance between aggressive action and rational response.

Difficult aspects involving Uranus also can correlate to violent, unpredictable, or unusual weather. That certainly is happening in the United States. Much of the nation is being affected by a so-called “polar vortex,” with a forecast of temperatures 30 to 50 degrees below normal. Jupiter, who also is moving closer into the planetary configuration, signifies expansion and enlargement, so it’s no surprise that whatever happens will be big or exceptional in some way. Mars forms an exact square with Jupiter on Wednesday, but Mars transits typically are felt a week on either side. In other words, we’re already feeling it.

That’s it for the bad news this week. The good news is that there are several positive aspects, including a helpful sextile between Saturn in Scorpio and the Mercury, Venus, and the Sun in Capricorn. At the very least, we should have an easier time finding ways to cope with challenges. At best, there are possibilities for elegant solutions to problems we’ve been grappling with for the past three years. The configuration starts out right away on Monday with Mercury and Saturn in aspect and continues all the way through the weekend with the Sun sextiling Saturn on Saturday (Saturn’s Day).

Saturn in Scorpio ruthlessly throws away what no longer serves you. Sometimes we feel stuck in situations over which we have no control, and that certainly is true for many of us now, especially regarding employment and finances. In some cases, enduring hardship may be a necessity, and fortunately Saturn and Capricorn represent exactly those qualities. Capricorn is ambitious and steadily works toward meeting goals. There’s no instant gratification here. But in trudging along, we sometimes forget to keep looking beyond the familiar for resources we may not have known existed. For example, I recently read that millions of Americans who qualify for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (commonly called food stamps)never apply. One explanation is the stigma of being on public assistance. In such a case, resourceful thinking might be changing one’s attitude to understand that Congress enacted this program precisely to provide a safety net during hard economic times.

On Saturday, the Sun conjoins retrograde Venus, and both form a sextile with Saturn. Relationships and finances can be improved, with renewed commitment and taking responsibility, a sign of maturity. If you haven’t been getting what you want and need for longer than you can remember, it’s time to speak up. In some cases, that might mean coming to a conclusion that something has to end. That will be easier to cope with if you have positive self-esteem. Under Saturday’s Sun-Venus transit, we can more easily explore issues of self-esteem and be more objective. Have you been allowing others to take advantage of you because you don’t think you deserve more? On the flip side, there does seem to be a thing as “too much” self-esteem. You know the type. They think they’re so wonderful that they should be first in line and get the best of everything. However, I suspect that underlying this sort of narcissism is a deeply insecure person who needs their self-esteem artificially propped up by others. For those who might need some help improving their self image, this is a good time to seek counseling. Scorpio is the sign of deep psychology, and under Saturn in Scorpio, we can do the hard work to dig in places we’d often rather not go.

There’s also an astronomical and mythological facet to the Sun-Venus conjunction. If you’re in a location without too much light pollution, you may have noticed Venus shining brilliantly after sunset. As she approaches conjunction with the Sun, she disappears. When she reemerges later this month, she’ll be visible in the morning before sunrise. This change always occurs during her retrograde cycle. In ancient Sumer, Venus was associated with the goddess Inanna. One of the oldest stories written down by humans is about Inanna’s descent into the underworld. There’s a theory that this myth is linked to the disappearance of Venus from the night sky and her reemergence as the morning star.

Later on Saturday, Mercury enters Aquarius, one of his favorite signs. Mercury in Capricorn takes a conservative approach and likes the tried-and-true. Mercury in Aquarius thinks out of the box (and hates clichés). Creative solutions are even more accessible. Keep your notebook handy for flashes of sudden insight and inspiration.

One other thing to keep in mind is that Pluto remains in a sextile with Chiron in Pisces, so there is an ongoing “outlet” for the energy of the Uranus-Pluto square, cardinal T-square, and grand cross. As I wrote my previous forecast:

Chiron represents healing, and Pisces concerns the collective unconscious. Whether it’s apparent or not, healing is taking place, individually and collectively. In Greek mythology, Chiron was a wise centaur who overcame his traumatic upbringing and became teacher of gods and heroes. Everyone has a core wound, a separation of self from self that needs to be reconnected and made whole. Breaking down the barriers to healing can be painful, and sometimes we are scared to go there at all. … The greatest potential for deep healing can be found by looking at where Chiron is transiting your chart.

Overall, this is a good week for healing issues related to self-esteem, values, and financial well-being. Identifying the source of a problem is the first step toward finding solutions.

Wishing you all much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

New Moon in Capricorn, January 1, 2014

Odysseus in front of Scylla and Charybdis, by Henry Fuseli, c. 1795

Odysseus in front of Scylla and Charybdis, by Henry Fuseli, c. 1795

Over the past few days, I’ve read several comments online to the effect of, “Good riddance, 2013.”

Not so fast.

An intense planetary configuration on New Year’s Day with after-effects lingering into July might make you long for the old year. Then again, challenging aspects such as these can come with changes that are long overdue.

The image that immediately comes to mind is the passage in The Odyssey in which Odysseus must sail through the dangerous strait between Scylla, the six-headed monster, and Charybdis, the deadly whirlpool. The phrase “caught between a rock and hard place” has its roots in this story. Odysseus, as you may recall from Mythology 101, fought in the Continue reading