You might ask how much crazier it could get. Violent revolutions for “freedom and democracy” that depose democratically elected leaders. The United States and Russia in a new Cold War. A plane gone mysteriously missing without a trace. And now a U.S. government-funded report suggesting that industrial Continue reading
Ruth’s series on Esoteric Astrology began in November 2010. Since that time, she has introduced us to this very different perspective and taken us through the zodiac three times as we explored the sign pairs, soul rulers, and Rising signs through the lens of Soul Astrology. This will be her last regular post on RealAstrologers as she moves on into other work. She will be back from time to time with articles on other topics. I hope you have gained as much as I have from Ruth’s wisdom and insight. Don’t forget that there’s an archive of her posts, in case you missed any or would like to go back and re-read your favorites. (I have been remiss in linking to all of her Rising Sign series but will do so soon). Also, you can continue to follow Ruth on her own website. ~Pat
As we complete our journey around the zodiac exploring the love-based expressions and fear-based reactions of the signs, we finally arrive at the magnificent and mysterious twelfth sign of Pisces: the sign of the Sacred Heart.
The sign of Pisces is associated with escapism, suffering, retreats, religious orders, prisons, everything illusory and glamorous: photography, the movie industry, and … oceanic consciousness, devotion, and universal love. To understand the mysteries of this seemingly contradictory sign, we need to understand what is sometimes known as the “veil” of our illusion; how it is our illusion that causes suffering, and how disillusionment or seeing reality as it truly is can be an end to suffering and Continue reading
The images are unfamiliar, and most of the other people in the dreams don’t resemble anyone I know. Typically, I thought it was just me. Within a few days, a friend mentioned she had experienced something similar, and another friend said the same thing. While I was in the city last week, I overheard two more conversations. In every case, there was a sense of bewilderment and disquiet, and of course they all thought it was “just me.”
I’m not ready to predict one way or the other, but I can tell you that astrologically, we are in an extremely dangerous period, and it is going to get steadily worse into April and May, with the last two weeks of April being the most volatile period.
I’ve written so much about the Uranus-Pluto square that most of you know by now that it has been an unmistakable signature for the revolutions we’ve seen since 2010 and the violent response by police and military. The Uranus-Pluto square extends into 2015, but will have a “ripple effect” for several years afterward.
Then yesterday I realized that astrological events are pretty overwhelming, too. “As above, so below.”
I’ve been reading news reports on the violent protests in Kiev, trying to figure out the truth of what’s going on and, even more confusing, who all the players are. But I am clear on the astrological signatures underlying these historical events.
On Wednesday, we experience the second of three exact squares between Jupiter and Uranus, both in conflicting aspect with Pluto. The first one occurred on August 21, Continue reading
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
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
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 Hadikin – Soul Astrologer
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,
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.
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.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.
Considering 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,
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.