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Moon blog from Athens

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November update 2016

To risk all is the end all and the beginning all To risk all is the end all and the beginning all - Bjork ‘moon’

The unthinkable is only unthinkable until it happens. Then, like the sack of Rome, it can seem historically inevitable. – The Guardian 9/11/16

We are experiencing the after-quakes of the closest moon to the earth since 1948, impacting not only the tectonic plates of our planet but also of our collective global structures. The supermoon in Taurus aligned with Chiron and Uranus is challenging us to wake up and heal the way we use our power so that it's not motivated by unconscious fear or unconscious grasping so we stop hurting ourselves or others with its misuse. The world around us needs our absolute consciousness at this extraordinary time.

Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth
That make you fight within yourself, dear one,
And with others,
Causing the world to weep
On too many fine days. ~ Hafiz 'The Gift'

Since Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008 we have been dealing with a breakdown of the structures that govern our world, most obviously the meltdown of the banking (gambling) industry with their burden of debt shifted to the public purse. This provocation was exacerbated during 2012 - 2015 by revolutionary Uranus aligned in Aries in standoff with Pluto fighting longstanding oppression, creating a gear-grinding tight turn of drastic reaction leading to fragmentation of the reference points of much of the world as we knew it. Pluto has arrived at exactly half way through its journey in Capricorn which ends in 2023.

We are now at the end of a year of Saturn-Neptune encounter in which Saturn, like King Canute, tried to stop the tide from coming in, in this case the tide of refugees and of suffering. The bending of rules, bending of truth, erosion of security, and sacrifice of the dispossessed all are expressions of this archetypal process. Saturn-Neptune also perfectly symbolises authority assumed on the basis of deception and illusion, such as a president who is a reality (unreality!) tv star.

There is another myth that also underlies the current unfolding drama. This is symbolised in three meetings between fiery Uranus in Aries and the largest dwarf planet, Eris (June 9, September 25, and one final time on March 16, 2017.) Eris, called ‘Discordia’ by the Romans delighted in strife and furnished the provocation for the Trojan war. The story goes that she was excluded from a gathering of the gods and seeking to cause discord she threw an apple labelled ‘for the fairest’ through a window towards the three goddesses Aphrodite, Athena and Hera. Paris was given the hapless task of deciding which of them received the prize. Aphrodite offered him the clinching bribe, the most beautiful woman in the world, who just happened to be someone else’s wife. And the rest is history.

How curious in view of this myth that ‘to trump’ means to beat others in a contest using a hidden resource or a winning card!

Each of these archetypal processes can manifest on the collective level but also within each of us: How does our sense of rejection create discord or animosity? How do we load the burden of our own mistakes on a part of ourselves least qualified to bear it or on others? Where have we built walls in our lives to keep the sadness and suffering out? And where has vanity or self inflation taken a secret seat in our heart?

Pluto is still a heavy player in this scene as it enters a phase of three standoffs against the inflated fundamentalism of Jupiter between now and next August; the dates are 24th November, 30th March and 4th August 2017. Jupiter can at best bring a flash of opportunity to meet Pluto’s bid for power or if they negatively provoke each other a bigoted, extremist reaction and large-scale intimidation may ensue especially as Uranus fires up their connection in December.

Jupiter might make a secret pact during its first encounter with Pluto on the 24th November that emerges later or is sabotaged or never revealed. We have no idea of what is happening behind the scenes but we can be sure that nothing is what it seems to be and the charade goes on. By mid December as Jupiter moves forward to exactly oppose Uranus, we may expect sudden exposure and consequent drastic reaction. At this point Uranus ends its long retrograde period and it starts moving forward with unpredictable and inexorable force. By early January every single planet is moving forward, a rare phenomenon which may feel collectively like a lorry heading downhill with no brakes…

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity – WB Yeats ‘The Second Coming’

Neptune (chaos or spirituality) is the most dominant influence at this time and is now exactly on the south node of the moon, also known as the Dragon’s tail, which represents a global destiny point connected with past karma, unconsciousness and unfinished soul learning. Through this portal on 20th November Neptune starts moving forward after six months of backtracking. The question is whether we have we learnt to see through and beyond the surreal landscape woven of spin, paranoia, illusion, hopelessness and mind bending. We can’t hold back the tide but we can bring missing consciousness to it and keep a perspective of the vaster context we inhabit. Realising madness without giving in to despair takes immense courage and inner balance. The processes happening around us are far bigger than us but we can still empower ourselves through our connection with the cosmic energy which is far bigger than any of these processes.

Clowns to the left of me! Jokers to the right!
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you!
Trying to make some sense of it all
but I can see that it makes no sense at all. - Bob Dylan

There is no way to sidestep the transformational power of pain, the spiral of emotions, but there is a way of tuning into the centre of the spiral: Neptune represents chaos and deception or stillness and compassion. The choice is never absent because choice is consciousness! The more we can rest in stillness, the less we are caught by desperation and panic which may dominate the airwaves. By tuning into the feeling rather than the content of our fear we catch the fear before it catches us! This is our constant work. In this way we can keep dissolving fear-pain back into sadness-compassion, both for ourselves and for world. Our inner work is the alchemy for the outer world’s wounds.

If your mind can stop reacting to fear, suddenly the fear will disappear and only awareness will be left. - Manuel Schoch

If we really face our sadness, we find it speaks with the voice of our deepest longing. And if we face it a little longer we find that it teaches us the way to attain what we long for. - Peter Kingsley

This is the karmic choice point that is stretching our world to absolute capacity. Underlying every aggression is fear, and under fear is such a deep well of sadness (personal, transpersonal, ancestral, global) that we need all our power to bear the charge of this, all our compassion for it to melt back into the centre, love. So this is the message of Neptune now exhorting us to build a new future out of healing our past: that we find a way, whatever way, to live from the heart, that we absolutely permit our hearts to be touched. The question is whether we have enough inner stillness and grace to bear being touched or not.

Either we are touched or we react with fear, irritation, rage, hatred, all the familiar defenses we are seeing constantly around us if not in us. To bear to be touched is the disorientating leap with a movement beyond our control, to not bear is another turn in the wheel of suffering, maintaining the illusion that we are in control…

Sadness is the bridge from duality to non- duality. Love is the atmosphere in which this movement takes place. It is always present when thought is not trying to control something - Manuel Schoch

And then there are those who know how to work in perfect stillness, imperceptibly bringing the future into being. – Peter Kingsley

As we plant the seed in stillness the invisible world comes to meet us with its abundance of healing magic. We can finally rest our mind in the mind of God, infinity.

When illusion dissolves un-deluded wisdom is simply present, where it has always been – Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche

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July update 2016

‘If there is fear of any sort, the mind is confused, distorted and therefore it has not clarity. And there must be clarity for that which is eternal to be. To observe the movement of fear in oneself, and to remain with it so completely, without any movement of thought, is the total ending of it’. - Krishnamurti

‘The real question of the moment between dreams is whether we can bear the vibration of this new feeling of the unknown which carries with it the taste of a different quality of intelligence, but which at the same time utterly exposes all our illusions about ourselves.’ - Joseph Needleman

It’s as if we are in the moment between dreams where we could suddenly wake up through the break down of old reference points if we can bear what is happening, if we can constantly dissolve insecurity into observation, stillness. Illusions held in place over lifetimes are falling apart. The theme of fragmentation is moving into a new accelerated phase of surreal meltdown, chaos littered with knife-edge choice-points. It’s as if collectively like lemmings we have jumped over a cliff and instead of hitting the ground we are falling into space: what once seemed solid reality is revealing itself as vast emptiness. The question is how do we deal with this enforced leap into consciousness? Will we discover the ground by hitting it before we finally learn to fly?

Birds make great sky circles of their freedom.
How do they learn ?
They fall and falling they are given wings - Rumi

We seem to be entering a new phase of transition, seemingly more disturbing and shocking but also full of extraordinary potential. While the theme of the last several years was the clashing of entrenched power against a drastic bid for truth and freedom (Pluto versus Uranus) the fallout and fragmentation from that encounter is now commingled with the ongoing challenge of Saturn and Neptune, structures dissolving into chaos, reality-meltdown or cleansing the doors of perception. The illusions that have been upheld as reliable points of reference globally and culturally since aeons are being revealed for what they have always been…

'I am standing in the lucid dream
Of your life. To wake up
In the middle of your dream
Speak now: say I AM AWAKE' - Philip Wells, The Fire Poet

Neptune (illusion, magic or spiritual inspiration) is undermining Saturn (material stability, authority, reality).We are riding a massive wave of confusion, deception, collective hypnosis or spiritual realisation: nothing is what it seems to be! Only by returning to source within ourselves will we be able to navigate through this extraordinary unfolding dreamscape. Saturn embraces Neptune in spiritual discipline, art, meditation. By letting literal descriptions go we can come home into the realisation of insecurity as the ground of being, pure awareness. This gradually reveals the way ahead from inside out, free of the consensus hypnosis promulgated around us.

Full moon at Solstice on 21st June fell in the black hole known as the Galactic centre, reawakening the imprint of winter solstice eclipse in December 2010, preceding the ‘Arab Spring'. Full moons and eclipses at solstice are rare. The preceding one was a solar eclipse in summer 2001 for-shadowing ‘9/11’ and the next which is on summer solstice in 2020 falls on exactly the same point as that of 2001.

The last new moon in Cancer on 4th July was opposing Pluto, king of the Underworld. But he can’t be opposed, beaten, subdued or eliminated, only transformed, in the same way that unconscious emotions can’t be repressed, only brought to consciousness, dissolved into wisdom through pure perception:

‘There is no demon becoming a god. Non-recognition IS the demon. Realising IS the god. Gods and demons are primordially inseparable. If we realise the primordial view we realise their inseparability. A god degenerates into a demon by being bound’. Adzom Rinpoche

The current full moon again in Cancer is battling against Uranus the rebel/awakener which for the last few weeks has been in 'shock and awe' connection with Mars. At the end of its retrograde journey Mars has been almost stationary for a whole month around its turning point at 23* Scorpio and during that entire time has been provoking or provoked by both Uranus and Chiron, manifesting in the collective as drastic action, violence, reactivity, shock.

At an individual level this same energy can bring positive transformation and empowerment. It calls for healing and more healing through the dissolving of emotions into consciousness with scrupulous self awareness. Anger can manifest as mirror-like clarity when free of self-grasping, fear or attachment to outcomes. It returns through sadness to stillness. This energy is needed to galvanise our awakening. Our unconscious reactions are fuel for the collective nightmare and our impeccability can truly change the world.

'It’s only when we experience our connection to infinity that we’re able to dream powerfully. In fact, it’s our sense of separation from infinity that traps us in a nightmare in the first place. If this sounds like circular thinking, you’re right. Which came first, the nightmare or the sense of separation from infinity? The answer is that they occur simultaneously'. Alberto Villoldo 'Courageous Dreaming'

The hard hitting rawness and insanity of the last weeks should start to ebb as Mars finally moves away from the influence of Uranus and Chiron, although at new moon on 2 August when Mars will reactivate Pluto, there is the potential for violent power struggles. This energy could come to a head in the collective as Mars joins forces with Saturn (authority) around the next full moon (18th August) but at an individual level if we complete our inner work we should enter a fresh alignment of Will with wisdom, a seeding point of new visions for the path ahead.

As Saturn starts to move forward again through Sagittarius from 13th August we can pick up realisations that were first glimpsed last December, finally putting into stable structures our updated understanding of the most magnanimous, wise, passionately inclusive leap of faith into a new world. This long drawn out transition time is a huge test of faith. The challenge is to heal the misunderstanding by the literal mind (Saturn) of the energy of Neptune: compassion, seeing with the heart.

Compassion is the radicalism of our time – The Dalai Lama

Neptune represents both victim and rescuer, the polarity of identities that hypnotise us to forget who we are. But Neptune also represents the spiritual wisdom of pure seeing which can dissolve all the paralysing identification with pain into the heart of consciousness.

Neptune demands that we permit our hearts to be touched. The question is whether we have enough inner stillness and space to bear being touched or not. Either we do or we react with fear, helplessness, irritation, restlessness, all the familiar defences.

To bear is the disorientating leap with a movement beyond our control, as the lemmings discover their eagle nature! To not bear is another turn in the wheel of personal suffering, maintaining the illusion of control…

Lying awake, calculating the future,
Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel
And piece together the past and the future,
Between midnight and dawn, when the past is all deception,
The future futureless – TS Eliot

The last conjunction of Saturn and Neptune was in November 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down. Brexit comes at the final quarter of a full cycle of these planets. They will come together again in 2025. When we glimpse the bigger picture of ebb and flow, the patterns that repeat or bring variations on themes, then we gain a vantage point from which to observe ourselves in this moment of time differently, resting in a sense of a timelessness which can witness the rise and fall of civilisations with equanimity.

‘A new civilization, any civilization including ours, is not only a miraculous gift. It always comes into existence out of the impossible. There are really only two kinds of people in existence. There is everyone who has been trained to live either for today or for tomorrow stuck in all the cycles of endless preparations and expectations, dutifully digging holes and then falling into them, always busy trying to plant something fresh in the well-worn patterns of the old. This is called waiting for the new moon. And then there are those who know how to work in perfect stillness, imperceptibly bringing the future into being. That is called waiting for the new sun’ - Peter Kingsley,

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May full moon 2016

I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the moment had arrived
For killing the past and coming back to life
I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the waiting had begun
And headed straight... into the shining sun – Pink Floyd

This is a moment to not look back. And yet with this forward-looking Sagittarian full moon (22nd May at 0.16 Greek time) in the arms of retrograde Mars, our energy is being tugged backwards as well as forwards, as Mars trawls the deep waters of Scorpio to clean up any remaining shadows of old anger or disempowerment. Scorpio signifies a death and rebirth process: we may feel ready to be reborn but first we have to ‘kill the past’, to let go of the old stories, old identities and the emotions which glue us to the karma of our history.

Mars tips backwards into the sign of Scorpio on the 27th May and slowly through June and July performs a U–turn to arrive back to where it is now in early August. This slow motion action replay offers us a chance to review feelings and reactions that were triggered bym events of late February and early March, to create healing and a new perspective. Ripples from 2014 may be stirred up, especially from February-March and October-December 2014 when Saturn was passing through this same area.

Abundant fresh energy can be released through this deep dredging and purification process if we can find a way to take these feelings into stillness and bear the inner silence that follows. There is no way forward without cancelling the debts of the past!

While Mars moves retrograde through Scorpio there is a real risk of shooting oneself in the foot! So take this time to check you are aiming that Sagittarian arrow in the direction of your highest vision and to disentangle your intent from any emotional payback. Venus is opposing Mars and lined up with that sinister blinking eye of Medusa, fixed star Algol, which symbolises the unappeased pain of the feminine. We are carrying the archetypal energies so don’t be surprised if old relationship issues surface out of the blue to be healed, underneath the anger there is sadness which needs to be unfrozen and dissolved for the heart to open again.

The tug between past and future may palpably increase through June as the trailblazer Uranus speeds ahead into a new span of the zodiac while the energy of Mars still pulls us back. The next new moon on 5th June highlights this dilemma with a ‘grand cross’ pattern as it aligns with heavyweight planets Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter and the Moon’s node (mass destiny) pushing us towards another massive global choice point around the full moon at solstice.

Saturn (structure, boundaries) is in stand-off with Neptune (chaos, oneness) exact on 18th June and again on 10th September and previously on 26th November 2015. Bearing in mind that the beginning of this Saturn-Neptune cycle was in November 1989 exactly when the Berlin Wall came down and also the first dial-up internet connection was made, it suggests we are facing new questions around definitions of boundaries and connectedness on many levels. Reference points may blur or collapse, and what looks like a surrealistic landscape is on the horizon... But this very strangeness is part of the wake-up call:

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell, blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell? - Pink Floyd

Just hours after full moon Mercury ended its retrograde journey and by 8th June arrives back where it was on 28th April. Communications loop: we are going again over decisions that were first discussed back in late April. Perhaps we pick up the real meaning or the right direction the second time around. Not for nothing are the retrogrades stalling our progress!

Thankfully there is a steady grounded energy over the next weeks with a powerful planetary line up in earth signs to support us through this breathing space in the gap between past and future with our feet firmly planted on the ground.

A soul in tension that's learning to fly
Condition grounded but determined to try – Pink Floyd

The challenge of this Sagittarian full moon is how to create a magnanimous, wise, passionately inclusive leap of faith into a new world. The shadow can manifest as impatience, preoccupation with egoic agendas fragmenting the energy of the present moment through desire for better, for different or for more.

Only by observing the root of desire itself in stillness patience is born, which is timelessness, pure presence, where there is nothing to lose, nothing to gain and nothing to fear. Only then the movement forward is free from repeating patterns of the past. Here finally is where we can live in the heart and shine our unique gifts and Soul purpose in expression and action:

'The unborn absolute body is like the very heart of the sun;
there is no waxing or waning of its radiant clarity' - Padampa Sangye
Set the controls for the heart of the sun' – Pink Floyd

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March Lunar Eclipse 2016

‘"Make of yourself a light",
said the Buddha,
before he died' - Mary Oliver

Full moon on 23rd March (2pm Greek time) is a penumbral lunar eclipse in peace-loving Libra opposite the sun in fiery combative Aries. Thid eclipse, a four hour long dimming of the moon's light, can bring to the surface a healing crisis, and we are seeing a double impact with the energy of the powerful healing/wounding solar eclipse on the 8th March meeting the war/peace theme of this full moon. Mars is involved also, fired up in Sagittarius to push for freedom and fight for its beliefs. Our challenge is how to respond to both eclipses as healers and warriors of peace, how to keep balance and equanimity in the face of the polarisation and violence around us. A time of great wounding brings the potential for great healing.

'Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom' - Viktor Frankl

We may glimpse how we subscribe to polarisation even within our own psyche as it reflects the outer world, how we get hypnotised by limiting definitions of dark and light on which our collective psyche is based. As we see figures in the external world inciting polarisation it is easy to polarise against them! We are being pushed now to make a leap beyond the duality of dark and light to the root where all polarities dissolve into emptiness, oneness. Here we can re-integrate the energy lost in fragmentation, in taking sides. This takes immense courage and inner balance but it is worth every effort, we need this energy to move forward. The processes happening around us are too vast for us to grasp, only our connection with emptiness is vaster than any of these processes manifesting in time.

This month’s eclipses are like mirror images of the eclipses of last September with the sun and moon in exactly the same axis in reversed positions. Whatever issues were brought to the surface then (13th and 28th September) may re-emerge now in the light of new information. Mercury the messenger at this eclipse is hand in hand with the sun. Again both eclipses are aligned with sensitive points (sun/Chiron, moon/Pluto) on both the 1821 and 1974 charts of Greece and we may expect new revelations to emerge over the next days and weeks. This eclipse is also lined up with the Dragon’s head (Destiny) and Venus (symbolising both money and relationships) on the 1950 chart of the formation of the EU.

This is the last of a series of six lunar eclipses in Libra/Aries beginning in October 2013 that have challenged us to focus on our skills of relating, on how we make choices and how we balance ourselves between the ‘I’ and ‘we’. It poses the question of how inclusive is the embrace of ‘we’? For our exclusivity perpetuates a sense of separateness that feeds the egoic impulse of Aries to fight and win at all costs. The ‘we’ that identifies with less than passionate inclusivity can only be an agent of fragmentation! We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness' - Thich Nhat Han

This eclipse can focus a collaborative activation of the potential that has been accumulating through the upheaval we have been going through and growing through over the entire period of the Uranus-Pluto meltdown of the last four years. These planets of revolution and oppression, symbolising the darkening of the light or lightening of the dark are finally moving out of reach of each other. We may find ourselves balanced or rather completely unbalanced in a gap between worlds, a potential breathing wisdom space:

'Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself' - Rumi

This moon calls for action with magnanimity. It asks us to take responsibility for the Whole not just one side. This takes tolerance of intolerance and powerful non-violent communication skills based on listening not only to what the other side says but to what they don't say: listening with the heart. We need to tune into the unexpressed needs, sadness and hopelessness behind the blame, self justification or aggression we may be receiving.

'What is the key
To untie the knot of the mind's suffering?
Benevolent thought, sound
And movement.
Act great.
My dear, always act great' ~ Hafiz

Jupiter, planet of expansion is confronting Saturn, planet of contraction at this full moon for the second time (the first encounter was last August and the third and final encounter is May 26th) and both planets are aligned with Chiron (wounds/healing) and Neptune (chaos/ spirituality) in Pisces.

Jupiter is currently backtracking since January and is now in the area it was last October, reviewing and taking back its previous visions and undertakings. Open door policies have turned into wall building. Only in May Jupiter U-turns to move forward again and could renew its Virgoan commitment to implement humane and practical solutions.

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll

Neptune in Pisces represents Chaos. It is pure spaciousness, emptiness, embracing all. Or we can get lost in it, feeling out of control, helpless like a victim. Saturn in Sagittarius tries to put boundaries around it, revealing both on a personal and global level our limiting beliefs, and where our longing for meaning may have got confused with our longing for security.

Saturn U-turns like Jupiter to move backwards from 25th March until August and does not return to its current position until mid November. We are in spirals of change not linear processes. We may have a glimpse of the way forward but as yet we don’t have enough pieces of the jigsaw to grasp what it represents. We need more clarity for decisive action and at the same time we need to prepare for the unpredictable: Uranus, the rude awakener, is accelerating forwards into totally fresh territory from April to July. If we tune inwards this moon gives energy for the observation of fear underlying not only reactive action but also paralysis, indecision and confusion. Confusion is actually another name for fear - fear of the unknown, fear of loss, fear of suffering. If the mind defines fear as confusion then it is creating more confusion!

Choices are hard to make without dissolving fear. By tuning in directly to the energy of fear the real issues behind indecision and confusion become clear. Only by dissolving the root of fear into emptiness, where there is nothing to lose and nothing to gain, the movement forward is free from repeating patterns of the past:

'And then I feel the sun itself
as it blazes over the hills,
like a million flowers on fire –
clearly I’m not needed,
yet I feel myself turning
into something of inexplicable value'
- Mary Oliver 'The Buddha’s Last Instruction'

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February full moon 2016

'Love is not a feeling. Love is a state of being... a constant moving towards something without seeing where it is moving to' - Manuel Schoch

The full moon in Virgo (22nd February) was plugged yet again into the ruthless energy of Uranus and Pluto in their antagonistically aligned agenda of global shake up and prepares us for an intense pair of eclipses (9th and 23rd March) that carry echoes of last September. This is a super-charged moon for dreaming, healing, releasing old wounds and for tuning into the airwaves of higher frequencies.

Fall-out from the explosion of the old status quo into emergency, fragmentation or awakening continues to incite reactions that can be regressive, unconscious and drastic. Uranus shakes us until it awakens the detachment and wisdom we have accumulated through many lifetimes, Pluto drags us into unconsciousness until we discover how to transform fear and desire into passionate inclusivity:

Love is the cure, for your pain will keep giving birth to more pain until your eyes constantly exhale love as effortlessly as your body yields its scent – Rumi

The full moon falls on the apex of a pattern with Uranus and Pluto called ‘Thor’s hammer’ suggesting events and decisions unfolding over the next month globally may hit hard. But on an individual level and wielded with awareness this energy can serve us well. Awareness is the strongest quality of Virgo: the very act of perceiving creates order at a level beyond conceptual mind but in the process the mind has to accept confusion. This integrates the polarity of Virgo (order-separation) and Pisces (chaos-oneness):

Vast unoriginated self-luminous wisdom space is the ground of being - the beginning and the end of confusion. - Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Following on from the long dismembering influence of Uranus and Pluto which, as it wanes, leaves a landscape (both inner and outer) of no return, we are seeing a new pattern emerging since last summer. This has brought a different kind of challenge with Saturn (limitation, authority) triggering Jupiter (expansion, faith) Neptune (illusion, Spirituality) and Chiron (suffering, healing). The impact of Neptune at a global level continues in the dizzying tidal wave of refugees, desperation, no boundaries, no solution, and a reaction of compassion, overwhelm or denial.

You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid - Franz Kafka

Jupiter is now back-tracking through endless practical details and control issues in Virgo gathering new data on opportunities glimpsed last autumn. Not until May does it return to forward motion so practical solutions may be stalled for some time; only in July does it return to where it is now. Over the next several weeks and then again through June - an unusually long period - Jupiter is in exact alignment with the ‘Dragon’s head’ or destiny line. Opposite them stands Chiron at the coming new moon (solar eclipse) suggesting an intense build up of energy towards a choice point that could have a big impact on our global future, especially concerning suffering and the potential alleviation of suffering.

We are heading for a total solar eclipse at new moon on 9th March and annular lunar eclipse on the 23rd March. Both of these eclipses fall on points exactly opposite the eclipses of last September 2015 (between which the Greek election was held) and we will be seeing consequences and the re-emergence of unresolved issues from that period as sensitive areas in the Greek national charts get triggered over the next few weeks.

And did you exchange A walk on part in the war For a lead role in a cage? - Pink Floyd

At the Pisces solar eclipse on 9th March there is a pile up of the sun, moon, Jupiter, the Dragon’s head and also Saturn (responsibility or oppression) all triggering Chiron in Pisces, calling for a focus on conscious healing, since the alternative – unconsciousness - inevitably creates the re-imprinting of old wounds. On an individual level transforming pain into healing and self realisation is the journey of lifetimes. On a global level this transformation is far more difficult to achieve and right now we are witnessing how Saturn is manifesting as the urge to put up walls against suffering. This is what happens also in the psyche.

Jupiter (expansion) and Saturn (contraction) have a 20 year cycle that seems to correspond with rhythmic ‘boom and bust’ fluctuations in financial cycles; they were conjunct in 1980, in 2000 and will be again in 2020. The ‘waning square’ aspect which they are currently in (exact on 3 August 2015 and again at lunar eclipse on 23 March and 26 May 2016) indicates the tough last quarter of this cycle.

Through the challenging initiations of this transitional time we are completing a cycle of grounding our visions, testing our faith, bearing and transcending our limitations to prepare for new growth on many levels.

With such a strong focus on Chiron we can assume that whatever is triggered in this period around the eclipses, whether personally or at the collective level, is where healing is needed, where fear or grasping or frozen pain is still holding us back in a sense of fragmentation.

' If we recognise that what arises now is an opportunity to release an old identity of suffering, of un-forgiveness, this period can be full of soul nourishment, a leap into a new era. Perhaps, if we can take the long view, we may start to glimpse the Neptunian chaos and suffering surrounding us from another perspective as a challenge to awaken from the illusion of separation.

'Sometimes pain is all we have; is what makes us real and gives us existence, is the earth and soil of our being, … the strange thing is that, if we are able even for a moment to let pain be, it tends to start finding its own solution as a part of the present; a part of the whole. The more we isolate it, the more it becomes a problem, and it’s only when we try to escape from pain that we are weak. When we face everything in the moment as a whole then we are invincible'.- Peter Kingsley ‘Reality’

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Full Moon 24 January 2016

'Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light. Shine on you crazy diamond' – Pink Floyd

This is a heart-full Leo full moon of passionate intensity (4.46am Greek time on 24th January) fired up by Mars in Scorpio and calling in the energy of Chiron, the healer. Shine out magnanimous detachment, practice the transformation of emotions into pure energy, anger into clarity, sadness into compassion. In this period a spark can become a volcano and old wounds may surface. Avoid the seduction of drama! The challenge is how to create an inner healing flow.

We are in the final throes of the Pluto-Uranus collision that has turned our world upside down over the last three years. As we survey the changed landscape we are coming to terms with what has been stripped away and looking for a new orientation. Right now these heavy planets symbolising the challenge between entrenched power (Pluto) and the urge for freedom and truth (Uranus) are almost exactly where they were for their last ‘hit’ in March 2015. Themes from that time may emerge again on a personal and global level. We are weaving new patterns for our existence, stripping away the familiar, stepping into the unknown:

'let all go - the big small middling tall bigger really the biggest and all things - let all go dear so comes love' – e.e cummings

Over the next couple of months Pluto and Uranus proceed step by step only one degree apart in their frictional last dance of this period before Uranus speeds ahead in April. Pluto’s style is slow, deep and controlling while Uranus moves with awkward, unpredictable steps and sudden explosive reactions. As their period of influence is waning through February-March it may feel that these planets push harder to achieve their remit of bringing the darkness to the light. We can expect yet more revelations of manipulation and control, or on the positive side, the empowerment of new paradigms, transparency, awakening of consciousness. Through this tough period the entrenched unconsciousness of our world and also of us all as individuals is being painfully exposed.

'All evils are the effect of unconsciousness. Remember: just as you cannot fight the darkness, so you cannot fight unconsciousness. If you try to do so, the polar opposites will become strengthened and more deeply entrenched. You will become indentified with one of the polarities, you will create an ‘enemy’, and so be drawn into unconsciousness yourself. Once you recognise the root of unconsciousness as identification with the mind, which of course includes the emotions, you step out of it. You become present. When you are present you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it'. - Eckhart Tolle

Mercury is probing unconsciousness as it backs into Pluto at this full moon and U-turns on the spot. This may bring to the surface highly charged issues that first emerged around winter solstice when Mercury was in the same place or from March 2015. Over the next weeks fresh revelations could initiate some kind of breakdown or breakthrough, releasing trapped energy and changing the trajectory of things. And we are still under the influence of the Capricorn new moon on 10th January when the sun and moon landed in the arms of Pluto so seeds planted covertly then may start to be seen now. Our understanding of what is real is being tested.

'It may be when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey'. - Wendell Berry

Saturn in Sagittarius brings tests of faith. As it now connects with both Neptune (spirituality/illusion) and Chiron (healing/wounds) it urges us to have faith in own our power of healing and spiritual commitment. Jupiter in Virgo is assisting in the healing process, bringing skilful means and the search for practical solutions. We are moving towards a solar eclipse in March with a massive focus on Chiron (healing) and the Moon’s node (destiny) so now is the time to sharpen our capacities for healing ourselves and others, to receive healing, and shine the blessings of whatever we can recognise as healed within us - our soul gifts - into the world.

'Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!'

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Full Moon 2 July 2015

The full moon on 2nd July fell into the arms of Pluto in Capricorn, with the sun and Mars (energy, anger, conflict) standing opposite in Cancer. Patience, courage, visionary seeing and decisiveness are needed for us to hold steady through this emotionally charged, ruthless, and confrontational (Mars opposite Pluto) energy. We have come through three intense years of global shake-up symbolised by the epoch makers and breakers, Uranus (reform, innovation, people-power) and Pluto (repression, elitist, money-power), and as we are approaching the end of the period of their direct impact the pressure seems to be ramped up pushing events towards even more drastic transformation.

Fear, manipulation and misinformation are being circulated at unprecedented levels and we need to call on all our inner discipline to keep dissolving worry and anxiety into realisation of energy of the new, which knows that not-knowing is the only route to arrive at something truly worthy of our potential. Pluto can give a sense of dread and doom, but it also offers simply the raw energy for transformation. Not to succumb to fear-mongering means maintaining our capacity to dissolve fear back into energy and heart presence. From here whatever we do carries our essential nature and wisdom forward:

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.- Ghandi

Neptune is a strong influence at this point reinforcing either hopelessness and deception or stillness and presence. Our connection with heart presence is our greatest support through chaos. The more we can rest in stillness, the less we are caught by desperation and panic which may dominate the airwaves. By tuning into the feeling rather than the content of it we catch the fear before it catches us. This is our work. In this way we can keep dissolving fear-pain back into sadness-compassion beyond words, thus creating peace, energy, wisdom:

It’s only when we experience our connection to infinity that we’re able to dream powerfully. In fact, it’s our sense of separation from infinity that traps us in a nightmare in the first place. If this sounds like circular thinking, you’re right. Which came first, the nightmare or the sense of separation from infinity? The answer is that they occur simultaneously - Alberto Villoldo 'Courageous Dreaming'

The answer is always the same, too simple to miss and too simple for the everyday mind to grasp…

The deeply entrenched dysfunctional power structures are being cracked open as the Uranian energy is exploding the old status quo while Pluto is clinging to its familiar trappings of power at all costs. In some ways this is like the dying process which is also a birthing and Greece as ever is leading the way. Venus and Jupiter shining hand in hand in the sign of Leo in the twilight sky after sunset bring a hopeful note into this wild symphony as they chime with the improvisatory daring of Uranus in Aries, reminding us to trust our visionary inspiration as midwives of a new world:

Patience is not sitting and waiting, it is foreseeing.
It is looking at the thorn and seeing the rose,
Looking at the night and seeing the day – Rumi

Saturn is the ruler of this moon and is also in tough aspect with Pluto increasing the possibility for agitated or extreme conditions and repressive counter-reactions but also the potential for a new clarity to emerge. Saturn challenges us to take the responsible role of ‘eldership’ in any situation, to call on the wisdom of a lifetime of experience and find the strength to support others in bearing what may feel unbearable. Saturn has retrograded back into Scorpio for a final summer-time spring-cleaning of remaining patterns of disempowerment or emotional attachment that could waste any of the pre-requisite energy for the process we are in.

What matters is being able to stay on course, regardless… ‘Aporia’ (pathlessness) is the result of pausing when one shouldn’t, of hesitating in mid-stream, of looking around for a reflection of one’s lostness instead of for guidance, of doubting half-heartedly instead of having the courage to doubt one’s doubt, of wondering whether it really could be possible to go the whole way when the only chance of finding out is by going the whole way – Peter Kingsley’Reality’

This powerful full moon picks up the energy of the first full moon of the year on 5th January 2015 as well as the 4th April lunar eclipse and brings back echoes of the period April – June 2014 when Mars was in a similar antagonistic interaction with Pluto and Uranus, but now we also have the moon’s node or destiny line (activating important points in the Greek national chart) creating a ‘grand cross’ pattern in the sky. This moon brings out the conflict between respect for human vulnerability and quality of life, the need for nourishment, care of family and home (Cancer) as against a ruthlessly materialistic, power-based (Pluto in Capricorn) world view. (* Note below on the astrological chart of the EU)

As the sun and Mars move forward over the next days and weeks watch out for trigger points when they come into exact aspects with Pluto and Uranus. Volatile moments are the 6th and at new moon on 16th when the sun and then Mars oppose Pluto (power, brute force), also on the 13th and 25th July as the sun and then Mars may incite Uranus towards drastic action.

On 26th July Uranus pauses and starts moving backwards (as seen from earth) over the next six months. Venus turns retrograde the previous day. Whatever has been brewing is likely to get stalled in some way. The intensity turns back on itself as the reactive and drastic freedom urge of Uranus takes time to consider how to re-engage with power-mongering Pluto. September looks a significant moment on the way. Then from January 2016 through to April these two planets start to move forward again step by step in awkwardly synchronised frictional stand-off or negotiation. By April Uranus starts to speed ahead towards fresh initiatives leaving Pluto behind through summer 2016. From here on these planets move out of range of each other’s influence and a fresh journey could unfold starting from wherever we arrive in the next few weeks.

Here is a comment from the I Ching, hexagram 29 ‘The Abysmal’:

If you are sincere, you have success in your heart, And whatever you do succeeds.
Through repetition of danger we grow accustomed to it. Water sets the example for the right conduct under such circumstances. It flows on and on, and merely fills up all the places through which it flows; it does not shrink from any dangerous spot nor from any plunge, and nothing can make it lose its own essential nature. It remains true to itself under all conditions. Thus likewise, if one is sincere when confronted with difficulties, the heart can penetrate the meaning of the situation. And once we have gained inner mastery of a problem, it will come about naturally that the action we take will succeed. In danger all that counts is really carrying out all that has to be done--thoroughness--and going forward…

Note * Here is a comment on the natal chart of the European Union (founded 1/11/93) written by a prescient astrologer in 2001!!

If this was the horoscope of a person, then that person would be seen as dictatorial and unfeeling, totally governed by deep-seated anxiety about economic loss. The person cannot see beyond his own wallet. Therefore, citizens of the new proud state of Europe, take care! You are in the driving seat of an organisation whose fixation on material security can be life-threatening. Europe needs long-term therapy, but at the same time is resistant to it. The stellium in Scorpio and the 4th house shows the seat of the EU in the monolithic headquarters in Brussels. This is where the invisible power brokers sit, and though Mars is dignified in Scorpio, the conjunction with retrograde Mercury shows secretive decision-making and power-hungry officials, who are both paranoid of losing influence and dictatorial in wielding it. If the EU seems soft on the outside, there can be no doubt that it is like a samurai on the inside. It might be monolithic, but when it actually makes a move, it will crush whatever is in its path. (http://www.world-of-wisdom.com/04_articles/2001/04_eu.htm )

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New Moon 18 May 2015

The new moon on 18th May (4.14 GMT) in earth sign Taurus challenges us to be present in a very special way. We may be still processing fall-out from the intense emotional cleansing of the last full moon in Scorpio, inhabiting a space between building up and breaking down, holding on and letting go. Hold on to this paradox, while both the beauty and pain unfold to reveal the root of what we are dealing with so that the leap into new territory through the second half of June can be empowered by clear seeing rather than by wishful thinking. We are creating the new out of the yet to be discovered, not out of the already known.

A religious mind is a mind that is utterly free from all attachment… When there is a division between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’ there must inevitably be conflict. - Krishnamurti

This new moon brings a radical potential for perceiving the impact of attachment which normally catches our awareness before we can catch it. We are being shown again where attachment creates pain as the new moon falls exactly on the fixed start Algol, the eye of Medusa. Algol consists of two rotating stars, one being eclipsed by the second darker one every three days so giving the appearance of blinking. It seems that this point of the Zodiac has a resonance with the memory of collective pain, the role of the victim, especially the rage and disempowerment of the feminine. In Chinese astrology its name means ‘piled up corpses’, in Arabic ‘the head of the demon’.

According to myth, Medusa was a beautiful woman seduced by Neptune in the temple of Athena. For this she was punished by Athena and turned into a monster. Twice a victim, her gaze created a new victim every time anyone looked at her. Only Perseus finally managed to cut off her head by using his shield as a mirror, avoiding her gaze. Eventually Athena herself placed Medusa’s severed head as an icon on her own shield to give protection, uniting finally the power of the uncontrolled rage of Medusa with her own warrior detachment.

The myths are like feedback loops which keep replaying through the collective psyche, making people behave in uncharacteristic ways as if possessed by the archetypal energies. There is a pain which turns beauty into a monster and turns others to stone. This Moon offers a chance to heal pain we may have been carrying for lifetimes. Also to see how suffering arises. Radically transforming suffering into power and beauty is its gift.

We revisted the Medusa energy the last time at the May full moon and June lunar eclipse of 2011, so reflection on processes from that period may bring fresh insights now. We need immense power of detached observation so as not to create re-imprinting of old pain; to use a mirror as a shield like Perseus did to retrieve our power and wholeness. Perhaps as we look deeply into the reflection and dissolve any remaining sense of disempowerment we can finally glimpse beyond the duality of ‘them and us’, into the suffering of the Medusa herself:

If we could read the secret histories of our enemies we should find sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility – Longfellow

At the new moon Mercury (the mind and communication) turned retrograde in its own sign of Gemini, making a ‘yod’ or finger of God with Pluto and Jupiter. This creates a kind of held-back mental leap towards anticipated expansion. While Mercury backtracks over the next weeks our mind can enter the in-between intuitive spaces that were missed in the too swift forward momentum of expectations and agendas. It may be a time of confusion, definitely a time for listening twice as attentively as usual:

We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak. –Epictetus

Mercury turns to move forward again on 11th June, and realisations may start to clarify, but it will not return to its current position until 27th June so stay attentive, listening to all the subtler levels of inner and outer information before putting forward your ideas. Watch out on the 27th for Mercury’s meeting with Mars so the new energy doesn’t explode into expression. The retrograde period of Mercury involves various ongoing connections with Neptune; this can bring deep visions and spiritual realisations, an increased sense of presence, or if we flip to the shadow side, intensified confusion, disillusionment, spacing out. This is not just randomly being lost - we are in a specifically creative twilight zone. During the last week of May we will need all our clarity and magnanimity to manifest the best fruits of this period of incubation.

Taurus represents our connection with the earth and this new moon is also a call for healing for the earth itself. We plant the seeds of our perceptions deeply in our senses and patiently wait for them to grow. As we release the grasp of our own pain we naturally tune into a healing flow with the Pachamama. When Medusa was beheaded two mythical beings emerged, Chrysaor, a giant who became a king, and Pegasus the winged horse. Out of the transformation of pain comes a kingly power, our own rootedness in the earth, and a new magical being who can travel between the earth and sky, visible and invisible worlds:

All things arise, suffer, change, and pass away.
This is their nature.
When you know this, nothing perturbs you, nothing hurts you, you become still.
It is easy - Ashtavakra

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New Moon 18 April 2015

The New Moon on 18th April falls on the final degree of fire-sign Aries seeding the realisations of recent weeks as readiness for action and drastic decision. Aries can be impatient, over-identified with its agenda or careless of others’ needs, so stay focused on the bigger picture and let those seeds be surrounded by stillness and sacred patience as you plant your intent through them. Within hours the new moon moves into Taurus and within a couple of days the sun joins it there. Mercury and Mars are already in Taurus, bringing a focus over the next weeks on grounding, nourishing and stabilising the new growth.

Take time for the fresh information revealed through the recent eclipse ‘portals’ to integrate and open up new perspectives around any backlog of frustration, confusion or inner conflict. Chiron (healing or re-wounding) is in a special position at this new moon without any major connections with other planets, meaning it can act like a joker in the pack or a loose cannon. Keep awareness of healing in the air; bring sadness, desperation or lack of forgiveness back to Source and Chiron will liberate energy that has been long bound up in ancient pain. If we identify with the wound or stuckness and lose sight of the power of the Witness at this time the jumpstarting jumpy new energy may backfire! Our inner work is the alchemy for the outer world’s wounds.

Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you – Jean-Paul Sartre
Now that my heart is open it can’t be closed or broken - Lhasa

Thus the new downloads can shift the direction of what has been brewing over the last year or more towards enriching and unrealised outcomes, if we can hold the tension of not knowing yet how to manifest our Intent. Stay with the flow, steady and attentive to subtle perceptions within the not-knowing. The answers are coming through this process of emptiness which releases the momentum of past experience pushing us towards repetition, and suddenly anything is possible. Here is a commentary from the ‘I Ching’ which catches the profuse rich energy of this time:

Hexagram 3 ‘Sprouting’
The hexagram figure shows arousing new energy confronting unknown risks. Clouds and thunder. Strip away old ideas. Abundant new possibilities are being born. Stay where you are and let everything come into view. Set up structures and ideas that can weave things together. This is a stirring time. It releases many new possibilities. There is heavy work to be done. Things are full to overflowing. The atmosphere is the dusky light before daybreak. Things are coming at you from all sides. Don’t try to soothe and pacify them. Install your helpers and give everything a place. This chaotic profusion is in accord with the time. It is the beginning of a new world.

The new moon coincides with major points of ebb and flow in the cycles of both Jupiter and Pluto. You may feel that the direction of the wind has changed and things start to be within reach that were like chasing rainbows only a short time ago. Jupiter (expansion, progress, opportunity, optimism) has been retrograde in Leo since last December 8th backtracking over the ground it originally covered during September – December 2014. During its backward period (as seen from earth) things can feel stuck, unproductive, claustrophobic, as if all exits are barred.

Finally Jupiter turned to move forward on April 8th bringing a sense of renewed opportunity, freedom of expression and creative expansion that should go hand in hand with the revolutionary spirit of Uranus as they spark each other off speeding forwards in fire signs Leo and Aries from now until July. Extraordinary opportunities are in the air.

Neptune brings its own mixture of magic and illusion/confusion into this seeding as it whispers in the ear of Venus (resources, relationships) influencing her confrontation with Saturn, the Rule maker. Venus is poised exactly on the feisty bright red star Aldebaran, the watcher of the East, the eye of the Bull. With the pressure of harsh limitation on one side and shifting illusions on the other she needs all the power of the true watcher’s eye to perceive what’s going on from a perspective beyond the hypnotic story-line.

While Jupiter brings a fresh breeze of confidence, visions and solutions Pluto turning retrograde on April 16th takes questions of power and control back underground for deeper deliberation and doubtless shadowy manoeuvres. As Jupiter is moving forwards towards the place it occupied last December, Pluto is retrograding back to where it was last December; that month was a pivotal point revealing processes to which we will be returning during the summer. It is worth looking back to uncover any missed clues to our own unfolding within the greater picture.

Pluto ends its backward journey on 25th September just before a lunar eclipse that falls on significant points in both the 1821and 1974 national charts of Greece…

This chaotic profusion is in accord with the time. It is the beginning of a new world – I Ching

Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today – James Dean

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Equinox Solar eclipse 20 March 2015

Spring Equinox is upon us on 20th March at 11.45pm Greek time, on the heels of a total solar eclipse on the final degree of the final sign of the zodiac, Pisces. This degree is called the ‘Omega’ point because it represents the completion of a cycle of the human journey, the cosmic melting point of experience into emptiness. A solar eclipse is always a harbinger of endings and new beginnings, it closes doors to open others. But an eclipse on equinox is a double whammy. And an eclipse on the accumulated wisdom of the Omega point brings a special potential for spiritual renewal and dreamtime magic to inform a whole new cycle as the sun and moon leap into action mode in fiery innovative Aries.

This darkening of the sun at the far edge of dreamtime Pisces reminds us of twilight vision: nothing is as it seems to be. Between the eclipse and equinox we are poised between surrender and Will, non-doing and courageous action. Our challenge is to take into the next step our unwavering connection with the numinous, the subtle perceptions at the edge of our awareness, so that we can consciously weave these invisible threads of our non-conceptual knowing into the massive choice points that are arising now and will intensify yet further over the next weeks and months. It is important to avoid projecting into the future any expectations based on past experience of suffering (Pisces-style) or at the other extreme barging (Aries-style) through deadlocks. Our strength lies in making space for the unknown to manifest through us. In this way we can stay focused in the here and now on infinity.

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. - William Blake

The more the world closes its capacity for inner seeing and hearing, the more we need to open ours in order to navigate beyond the illusory reference points imposed on us by the collective. The shadow of Pisces is deception, disempowerment and confusion, manipulated images and misinformation. When the collective loses touch with the power of intuitive heart-mind we fall into a game of mirrors. This is the message of Chiron in Pisces (wounds and healing) connected at this eclipse with Mercury (the mind) and Neptune (emptiness, magic).

Vision is the art of seeing the invisible — Jonathan Swift

Where there is no vision the people perish — Proverbs 29:18

Debt is a mode of governance, a future acting, restricting and curtailing human imagination. - Ali Riza Taskale

Imagination will take you everywhere. --Einstein

An eclipse on Equinox or solstice point happens approximately every five years and marks the start of an important new chapter. We can trace the pattern back to summer solstice 2001 (total solar eclipse preceding ‘September 11th’ and the ‘war on terrorism’), autumn equinox 2006 (annular solar eclipse preceding the stealth build up of ‘toxic mortgages’ and global banking crisis), winter solstice 2010 (total lunar eclipse preceding the ‘Arab Spring’) and the next in this series after today’s will be summer solstice 2020 (total solar eclipse) which will inevitably reconnect with themes from the 2001 eclipse as it falls on exactly the same degree. The zodiac carries imprints of experience in much the same way as our own energy does.

What we are experiencing now is the ongoing apex of a tsunami-like wave of change building since mid-2012 stirred up through confrontation between entrenched manipulative and secret power structures (Pluto) and the urge for freedom, equality and innovation (Uranus). Today’s eclipse represents a portal of opportunity which, however we do or don’t pass through it, will continue to have a direct impact over the next four years and beyond. It paves the way for another dramatic moonscape, a total lunar eclipse on 4th April exactly lined up once again with Pluto and Uranus and exactly opposite the lunar eclipse of last October 8th. Remember what was in play at that point and over the next two weeks be ready for a new perspective which may be a decisive factor in the outcome of this next eclipse.

Jupiter is now back-tracking in Leo through the area it was in September 2014 so we could find ourselves picking up yet more threads from that period which will perhaps make greater sense by mid-May when it passes over this degree for the last time. This same degree is where Venus (resources) and Mars (force) will meet in early September.

From now through summer the trail blazing Uranus starts to race forward over new ground. It will return towards the end of the year to spar with Pluto again but these great forces have completed their last exact tectonic collision. This last of their seven encounters on 17th March was the only one in the series with both Uranus and Pluto moving in forward motion. Up until now each confrontation point (90* aspect) had at least one of the planets in retrograde motion while the other pushed forward. This increased the sense of gear-crunching push-me pull-you tug of war. In some encounters both were pulling backwards in retrograde motion.

What we call violence is what happens when we hold onto fixed ideas and the violent power of reality is blocked… A new civilization, any civilization including ours, is not only a miraculous gift. It always comes into existence out of the impossible – Peter Kingsley

Being observers of the unfolding of time is the gift and unsayable challenge of each and every lifetime. More than ever we need to find the anchoring of stillness in the ground of being beyond the apparent landscape shifting around us. In this way our minds can be informed and sustained by a note beyond the mesmerising and tumultuous symphony playing out in front of our eyes.

Let everything happen to you Beauty and terror Just keep going No feeling is final - Rilke

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New Moon 19 February 2015

New moon on 19th February (1.47am Greek time) coincides with the Chinese New Year of the wood sheep.

We have arrived at the intense last phase of a 3-year period of massive transformation involving the epoch shifting planets Uranus and Pluto. Both these planets represent drastic change. Uranus symbolises the urge for freedom, truth, social evolution and equality, while Pluto represents the great cycles of death and rebirth, brute force, plutocracy, manipulation and control. Both planets can be rigid and extremist. Pluto is ruthlessly defending itself against humanity awakening to new structures of co-operation but Uranus continues to bring unpredictable, inevitable and irrevocable change.

Knowledge moves so fast that you have to be as fast as it if you want to keep pace. There is no standing still. You have to keep moving, leaving what you knew behind; otherwise it will hold you back. – Peter Kingsley

My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that. ― Lewis Carroll

Since June 2012 Uranus and Pluto have been passing back and forth over the same few degrees of the zodiac. During this time they have had six exact encounters ‘standoff points’ provoking an outflow of these archetypal energies. The last two encounters were in April and December 2014. We are now approaching their seventh and final ‘hit’ of this series which will be on 17th March. Over the next weeks the build-up of energy around this point is intense. We are in a slow, slow, quick, quickstep dance that can turn at any moment into a literal tug of war between, Uranus, pushing relentlessly for awakening and freedom and Pluto, darkly pulling the covers over its entrenched underworld of power. Mars and Venus, the Sun (at the lunar eclipse of 4th April) and Jupiter all add their input to the pressure point of potential explosive freedom.

In ourselves we may see the play of shadows these energies provoke, the glimpses of clarity, detachment, realisation (Uranus) and the unconscious emotional depths that are loaded with projections, sabotage, power struggles and self-grasping (Pluto). In the outside world, without the filter of individual consciousness, these archetypal energies tend to act out in more literal and dangerously extreme ways.

Remember: just as you cannot fight the darkness, so you cannot fight unconsciousness. If you try to do so, the polar opposites will become strengthened and more deeply entrenched. You will become indentified with one of the polarities, you will create an ‘enemy’, and so be drawn into unconsciousness yourself - Eckhart Tolle

The planets are spiralling around the new and hard-earned lessons of these last intense years. Much has been sacrificed and fresh energy released in the process. Many recent full and new moons have been plugged into the Uranus-Pluto energy, and this current new moon is no exception as the sun and moon stand at the last degree of Aquarius exactly in the middle between these two planets, planting seeds that will be activated over the few weeks.

Uranus, the trail blazer, is picking up speed at last and after its upcoming encounter with Pluto, from April through to July, it will enter a totally new area of the zodiac, accelerating out of reach of the grip of Pluto. In this fresh space new information and solutions can manifest spontaneously that were previously unreachable. From there on it stays ahead of Pluto although after its retrograde period around the beginning of 2016 both planets again move forward within one degree of alignment until by the second half of 2016 Uranus speeds ahead definitively.

On 20th February the moon joins Venus and Mars exactly on the Equinox point, signifying a fresh connection for the archetypal lovers, or for issues of money (Venus) and force (Mars). These two planets move slowly forward hand in hand and on 22nd February arrive at the first of three exact conjunctions they will make this year. They may signify conflict around resources linked to the Uranus-Pluto confrontation. Their shadow side is attachment to aggression.

On 4th March just before full moon Venus joins Uranus challenging Pluto at the same time as fiery Jupiter in Leo extends its extreme demands or expectations into the already inflammable mix. Then on 11th March Mars joins Uranus to add its belligerence to the final direct challenge with Pluto (exact 17th March) which may manifest at best as a fundamental shift of power or possibly a sense of spiraling out of control. Drastic deals could be struck in the dark or exposures brought to the light. Frustration, over-reaction or sabotage is always a possibility with Mars/Uranus/Pluto interactions so stay alert and steady in this period. If we can hold enough consciousness individually the leap of breakdown and chaos that has been preparing itself over the last 33 months can become breakthrough, taking us globally into radically new territory.

The total eclipse of the sun just before Equinox on 20th March is aligned with the fixed star Sheat in the sign of the winged horse Pegasus, symbolising wildness and dare-devil nature, innovation or danger. At this point anything is possible…

We see the brightness of a new page
Where everything yet can happen.
Unmoved by us, the fates take its measure
And look at one another, saying nothing - Rilke ‘The book of monastic life’

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Full Moon 14 May 2014

The May full moon (14th May 22.16 Greek time) known as the Buddha wisdom moon falls in Scorpio hand- in-hand with heavy-handed teacher Saturn. The wisdom teaching that emerges can be both stabilising and tough: it polishes our discipline and patience and courage. It’s time to take stock of what we have achieved and what remains to be done, however with the sun in Taurus, it is also time to take some deep breaths of Spring sunshine, rest, renew and nourish our energy and tune into the inspiration of beauty around us. Phew! It’s been an intense few weeks!

Breathe space into that intensity of the download and check whether your feet are still feeling the ground. Every step of the way needs to find relationship with the earth otherwise we blast off again in mind and that’s where all those problems started! Now Saturn has started his long march backwards through the refining waters of Scorpio and will not return to where he is at this full moon until the end of October. Only then we may discover the results of what is being set into motion through reactions, inaction or conscious earthed presence undertaken in this period.

We are at a massive choice point that depends on seeing the constant micro-choice points that we normally miss, where our suffering is constellated. At this full moon the sun is conjunct the fixed star Algol, the eye of Medusa, symbolising pain especially of the wounded feminine. We need to take space and time to feel and release the sadness that comes with true seeing, witnessing, that translates into Presence.

This is the message of Saturn moving backwards in Scorpio. Moving forward at this point means looking back over what we have apparently completed in the light of new experience to see (and bear to see) what we missed the first time around. It takes humility to bear seeing our ‘mistakes’ or moments of unconsciousness. Only unflinching intent brings us to the essence of the ‘choice point’ we keep missing which is where the old roles and identities and suffering that goes with them can disassemble. If we don’t open the freedom-window, Saturn, Lord of Karma, will keep those old lessons cycling like hamster wheels going nowhere. This extraordinary time asks that we call on all our courage, all the drastic download we are being offered to fly out of the old cage:

The way of love is not
a subtle argument.
The door there
is devastation.
Birds make great sky-circles
of their freedom.
How do they learn it?
They fall, and falling,
they're given wings - Rumi

Currently Saturn is heading steadily back towards where it was last November. This full moon is exactly opposite the full moon of last 17th November. Notice what from that time you are still dealing with now and what still needs to be let go, realised, forgiven. Self forgiveness brings light and energy into the new and unfamiliar spaces that are emerging now.

Saturn in its backward-turned thoroughness makes a great triangle with Jupiter and Chiron in the water signs, Scorpio, Cancer and Pisces. This supports the intense focus in this period on releasing patterns of suffering and connects again with emotional tides that we swam through last summer. it’s easy to over-react, especially in issues to do with family, protection, home, boundaries. This intense flow is with us through the next full moon, so if old wounds get retriggered remember they are emerging to be seen and healed.

Mars finally does a U-turn and starts moving forward on 20th May after nearly 3 months going backwards through Libra. For all of May and June it is slow moving and continues in confrontational aspect with Uranus and Pluto, reactions are likely to remain drastic, unpredictable, with all the best Libran efforts at mediation possibly hitting against volatility or sabotage. At this full moon Venus is in the arms of fire-brand Uranus in Aries, igniting the ‘Grand Cross’ energy of April into further possible reactivity and retaliation, exposures and repressions.

Once Mars begins moving forwards that energy that has been held somewhat in restraint since March might start to flow more forcefully. This could bring a relief of tension or mount towards an explosive reaction when Mars returns in mid June into the same old exact exacerbating connections it had in April with Pluto and Uranus (previously it was in backwards motion). This unleashing of pent-up energy looks to be challenging on a global level but it could be powerfully liberating on an individual level if we can take Saturn’s hint and bring into this choice point the accumulated wisdom of the last intense couple of years or even better the last few lifetimes:

For we have not come here to take prisoners,
or to confine our wondrous spirits,
But to experience ever and ever more deeply
our divine courage, freedom,
and Light! - Hafiz ‘The Gift’

************************

Total Lunar Eclipse 15 April 2014

We are going through an extraordinary whirlwind astrologically, moving from a total lunar eclipse in Libra on 15th April, towards an annular solar eclipse in Taurus on the 29th, and a Grand Cross alignment of planets in the sky most potent from 20 – 27 April, but within orb for several weeks signifying a climax of the transformational energies that have been in sway for the last three and more years.

As this turning point pivots around the exposure of what has been hidden, power confrontations (individual and global shadow) we have the chance of a lifetime to observe, recalibrate and initiate new outcomes if we so choose. Conversely if we permit ourselves to be spun into emotional or unconscious reaction in this period we may miss a window of opportunity that could significantly alter the direction of our personal or collective destiny. What we are witnessing is both a climax of what has come before and a seeding point of what is to come.

Eclipses symbolise portals and endgames. This lunar eclipse is the first of four total lunar eclipses in a row between now and October 2015. It echoes the lunar eclipse of October 2013, as the moon falls exactly opposite the degree it was then. Now the focus is on Libra, fairness, justice, peace-making, which at best can sculpt the Aries thrust of competitive self-interest into a relational win-win situation. Current events are likely pick up the thread of processes which were set in motion at that time and take them in unexpected new directions.

Such a rich pattern is unfolding in the stars referencing backwards and forwards in time, across multiple cycles of planetary interactions it is hard to describe in simple terms the complex potency it contains. The extremely tense Grand Cross pattern in effect between 20 – 27 April and continuing to ripple through the next weeks and months involves the heavy transpersonal planets, Pluto, Jupiter, Uranus and retrograde Mars.

Over the next weeks things are not likely to be clear. What you see is probably not what you get. Be wary of inflated visions, hidden agendas, unexpected opposition, sudden attacks. Keep a far reaching perspective with great attention to detail. The energy brewing is volatile, liberating, exposing and possibly exploding what has been held in check over a long period. The manifestation of such energy can be vastly enriching and illuminating or intensely destructive of a fragile equilibrium. Drastic decisions may be taken behind the scenes and on the global stage we may not realise what has been set in motion at this point until later.

On 20 April Pluto opposes Jupiter in Cancer for the third and last time intensifying polarization over self-protection and desire for power. (The last two hits were August 2013 and 31 January 2014). Pluto has just turned retrograde (on 14 April) adding weight to this point. Whatever is initiated now will return to claim its dues in January 2015, when Pluto returns to this point from its retrograde journey.

On 21 April Pluto and Uranus, symbolising repression versus revolution, hit the fifth of their seven encounters (squares) between 2012 and 2015. If we look back to the mid 60’s when these planets were conjunct and the current cycle began we can see world events as an unfolding of a much vaster pattern of the archetypal dance of dark and light, shadow and exposure, repressive forces and the urge for freedom. We are coming to grips with the next stage of our collective journey.

Retrograde Mars in Libra (force, conflict) is opposite Uranus and creating squares (right-angles) with Pluto and Jupiter. Oppositions symbolise opposing values or positions, squares symbolise stand-offs, obstructions, pressure or release points. All these planets come into an exact double opposition (‘Grand Cross’) on 22nd April mutually aligned within half a degree of exactness. This is a very rare pattern and extremely rare precision of alignment. All four planets are exactly on 13* of the Cardinal (action-based) signs (which happens to be conjunct Vladimir Putin’s natal Sun as well as the natal Sun-Saturn square of the United States.) The combined effect is like a pressure cooker for global events as well as for our inner alchemy, releasing pent up energy and creating a potential tipping point.

Mars in Libra has back-peddled to where it was on 31 December and where it will finally return in the middle of June. As it is moving backwards its force may be contained and action should be more thoughtful and measured, though with the volatile energy of Uranus opposite and Jupiter and Pluto flanking on either side it may be hard for Mars to hold back. It turns to move forward on 20 May and by mid-June we can expect to see results of the choices made now put into action. May the wisdom of Mars in Libra awaken us as warriors of peace!

If we can be present at the centre of stillness in the whirling of this complex cosmic empowerment then this massive download of energy can become conscious witnessing, wise decision and unprecedented action.

‘At the still point there the dance is’ - TS Eliot

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Spring Equnox 21 March 2014

Spring equinox is today 21st March hotfoot on the full moon of 16th March. The heat is building up to help us to shift the karmic load we are have been carrying individually and globally for who knows how long. If we can trust the initiations we are passing through as soul healing and not merely a deviation from what we previously thought was our path then this can be the gift of a lifetime.

From wrong to wrong the exasperated spirit
Proceeds, unless restored by that refining fire
Where you must move in measure, like a dancer. – TS Eliot ‘Little Gidding’

The planets are moving amongst us like refining fire. We need to find our measure in a new dance. The full moon on 16th March was in Virgo opposite the sun in Pisces, reminding us of the need for precision and order in the dance. The sun together with Neptune and Chiron in Pisces can bring a sense of overload, helplessness, despair that the task of creating order is too great, energy is leaking out to small effect, old habits of trying to save or rescue others may be dragging us down. Or this moon can bring us an extraordinary flow with Spirit.

The volatile alignment of outer planets Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto continues towards an April climax spilling over into the summer – with results which may not be seen until much later. The next few weeks call for absolute spring cleaning, since whatever is dragging at our energy is likely to intensify till it can be no longer ignored. After a protracted four month period in Capricorn Venus should have brought us clearer boundaries. With her lessons the flow runs smoother.

IN this period many different threads are emerging concurrently to be disentangled, tied up or simply cut. If we can glimpse the underlying pattern indicated by the planets then choices start to flow more effortlessly. We are moving towards a fiery and drastic ‘blue’ new moon on 30th March (the second new moon of the month) and the next full moon on 15th April augurs perhaps the most highly charged celestial line-up of the last few years. This period challenges us to rediscover order as awareness, so that order can be present even within absolute chaos.

Several planets have just turned to move backwards as seen from earth while others have shifted gear to move forward again. It’s a moment of complex cross-currents carrying mixed messages. Jupiter is now finally back to where it was last August and carrying forward realisations or seeding from that time especially in areas of home, family, security and emotional flow. Flashes of relief, release and opportunity will show up like magical portals that you can leap through if you can move before they vanish as Jupiter (opportunity) and Uranus (drastic freedom) continue their series of encounters (the first last August, the second on 26th February and last on 20th April.) These demand absolute letting go. To jump and still try to hold onto some old security with this aspect can produce a bellyflop effect! As Hamlet says ‘The readiness is all’.

Mars turned backwards on 1st March and Saturn on 2nd March and these two planets will plod in reverse through Libra and Scorpio respectively until May (Mars) and July (Saturn). Mars backtracking in Libra over the ground it covered since last December can make us question decisions, take another look at how we are actualising our energy and gives space to explore the process of choice itself. Saturn moving back over the area it covered since last November also gives us a second chance to rework new structures and goals.

Themes dating back to the winter solstice eclipse of 2010 may surface now as this full moon activates the positions of Jupiter, Uranus and Saturn at that date. Something is coming to completion from that time to allow space for a totally new way of operating. What looks like constriction can be a precision realignment.

We are asked to take the next steps of the dance with attention, intention not tension. Where is our listening during the moment of our action, through each step in the dance? A dancer or musician is trained to have no gaps in their listening but for most of us action gobbles awareness. Perhaps the ongoing pressure we are all experiencing is re-sculpting the way our minds assemble awareness, bringing us back to the path of heart beyond what our minds can yet fathom.

And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one. – TS Eliot

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Full Moon 15 February 2014

The full moon (15th February 1.54am Greek time) was a rock and roll, rock the boat, rocket of a moon, calling us to give utmost attention to the energy of cosmic downloads over the next weeks as we move towards yet another intense push of the transpersonal planets activating global change. ‘Things’ may be coming at us on all sides, thick and fast, calling for attention and solutions. This is the latest moon report I have yet sent out! Our challenge is to constantly return our attention inwards to respond to the outer demands from the centre of stillness, to avoid the inevitable fragmentation of awareness in the spinning of stress, worry or excitement:

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity - Simone Weil

This special gift of generosity to ourselves and others will nourish our relationships and unlock the positive potential in the cosmic roller coaster over the coming weeks and months. The Leo full moon is flanked on all sides by the powerful transpersonal planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto, interconnecting and locked into an intense encounter involving also Chiron (healing) and Mars (conflict) that could spark exposures, manipulation, unexpected backlash, and generally push things that have been stuck over a long period to a crisis or sudden resolution. On the positive side there is tremendous potential for leaps of realisation, break-throughs, healing, and magical serendipity.

Saturn in Scorpio stands exactly poised between sun and moon demanding that we act as wisdom keepers, that we see into the root of things to reclaim our destiny. How we compose our seeing at this point becomes the landscape of the next few months.

The moon is conjunct the fixed star Regulus, the heart of the lion, asking us to awaken the qualities of kingship, magnanimity. The sun opposite in Aquarius reminds us to balance a sense of kingship with kinship, self expression with collective awareness. The moon picks up processes from last summer as Jupiter ends its backward drift on 6th March and catches up with where it was in August 2013. Over the next weeks whatever seeds we planted then may explode into new growth.

This heart-full generous Leo moon also reminds us of the power of friendship, laughter, and the wisdom that reveals itself through creative play. A childlike open attention can bring insights that our adult effortful-dullness can easily miss. We need both discipline and lightness to let the new solutions emerge as realisation. The weakness of Leo is the longing to be acknowledged as special which hooks our unrealised spontaneous magnificence to the need for approval. When we balance Leo energy with Aquarian detachment we awaken the true inner Witness to deeply see, hear and honour our own story, then our natural charisma shines out.

Jupiter and Pluto have been in a tense alignment from last July through September with an exact standoff in early August and again on 31st January. These planets represent shadowy controlling forces or on the positive side radical realisations and creative shifts of policy. We may actually have no idea what’s happening behind the scenes in this period until much later as Pluto keeps things in the dark. Their final opposition will be in mid-April coinciding with an extremely intense pattern involving also the revolutionary Uranus and Mars (force, conflict). This could be a major turning point for the collective although Uranus and Pluto (darkening the light, lightening the dark) continue to keep the pressure up through 2015.

These massive cosmic downloads are pushing us to realise destiny as consciousness. If you can create a new relationship with fear as heightened consciousness then the next few months can take you into an entirely new arena of inner and outer experience.

Transformation happens not as a result of effort - it happens when you embrace and welcome fear, the signal that you are moving towards what is new and unknown. If your mind can stop reacting to fear, suddenly the fear will disappear and only awareness will be left. – Manuel Schoch

Mercury wandering backwards from 6th – 28th February stands opposite the moon suggesting with its special retrograde logic solutions via non-linear thinking, silence, craziness, star-music. We are being offered in this period a chance to cut through stale sticky stuffy karmic patterns that we have been wrestling with for years or lifetimes to bring us into a new relationship with the vast arc of the journey of Self. Transformation follows effortlessly. This moon offers us a special chance to see more clearly and connect more deeply with our true heroic purpose and destiny.

He said, ‘You already have wings.
I cannot give you wings.’
But I wanted his wings.
I felt like some flightless chicken.
Then new events said to me,
‘Don’t move. A sublime generosity is
coming towards you.’ – Rumi

************************

Full Moon 16 January 2014

The full moon in Cancer on 16th January (6.52am Greek time) focuses us over the next weeks on fine tuning the balance between inner needs and outer responsibilities. Perhaps this balance has not been truly nurturing in the past and there may be some confusion at this point as we realign inner listening with outer listening. Trusting this realignment is the next stage of our journey.

Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you truly love - Rumi

As I write this moon email I recognise my own need to rest from jetlag and focus on preparing a new workshop which is about to start. It’s hard to relinquish the outer demands and each choice implies a loss as well as a gain. But gain and loss are not the point:

But perhaps neither gain nor loss. For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business. – TS Eliot

We are moving over the next months towards what is potentially the most intense period of global transformation of these years and the outcome depends on this fine tuning within each one of us. Can we find the courage to listen to ourselves even when it’s inconvenient or compromises the demands of our everyday life and work? Can we dissolve the old habits of losing presence through the pressure of achievement? Now is the time we can make drastic changes through subtle realignment of our priorities. Being available to listen to ourselves makes us available to listen to the deeper music of the flow around us. And we may become less predictable, more confused or confusing to others, but with discipline and patience new energy for transformation and awareness will emerge out of this process.

Hang on to the inner body, let it be the anchor, then you're present. If they say something challenging and you lose it again, pause, and anchor again. Practice, practice, continuous practice—because when you're in touch with the inner body, spaciousness arises - Eckhart Tolle

So the message of this moon is practice, patience and above all be kind to yourselves!

Ring the bells that can still ring,
Forget your perfect offering,
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in. - Leonard Cohen

************************

Full Moon 17 December 2013

Full moon on the 17th December (11.28am Greek time) ushers in a highly charged, sparkly and intense month opening vistas of potential that up to now may have seemed beyond our wildest imaginings. This Gemini - information loaded - moon stands opposite the sun which is lined up with the Galactic Centre, a massive black hole the size of a large star located at the end of Sagittarius. This was the position of the extremely potent eclipse on winter solstice 2010 and issues that were triggered at that time call now for us to see them with fresh eyes in the light of all we have learnt since then. The challenge of the moon is to realise the power of perception as action. Sagittarius and Gemini can both be careless and scattered. Beware of being drawn into a mind space that gets carried away by spin.

We are at a point of radical reorientation which requires all our skills to work with the creative/destructive energies of upheaval, as we balance between a new world being born and an old world that is reluctant to die. This applies both on a collective and personal level. We are right in the middle of the transformational period between 2012 and 2015 of seven direct encounters (‘squares’) between the heavy energies of Uranus and Pluto, the next coming in May 2014. Decisiveness is required as well as patience with the in-between not-knowing. Mercury joins the sun in the full moon landscape at the Galactic Centre opening our minds to frequencies beyond our normal wavelength. Our visions are being tested as a constantly vaster perspective is collectively called into being. This is a time of excited potential but also urgency and volatility. Readiness for change is one key to this moon. Another key is the discernment between action arising out of clear perception and action arising from old emotional patterns. Can we catch the difference before we act? That gives us plenty of homework over the Christmas period!

Mars (action, force, conflict) is in the peace-loving sign of Libra but in a tight-wired opposition with nervy agitator Uranus, who has just turned to move forward after back peddling since July and is hyper-ready to offload pent up energy and ignite any small spark that comes from the direction of Mars into a major explosion. Catch the inner conflicts before they manifest; banter may turn unexpectedly into a serious jousting match! Pluto (god of the Underworld) standing in the middle between Mars and Uranus can bring the heavy hand of unconscious power games into lighting the Christmas sparkles. This is a line-up which lasts like testing visitors for the duration of Christmas and culminates on New Year’s day with the new moon, the sun and Mercury all lined up on Pluto, the trigger point in the above dynamic. It’s a wild kick off for the new year and asks for our witnessing power to stay on maximum effortless presence to make useful this surge of energy to rewire ourselves and our relationships. Power of perceiving is the ultimate victory! The sparks are bound to fly and with Libran charm and awareness we can arrange them in the most elegant and creative patterns!

To penetrate The hardest armour,
Use the softest touch. Yielding melts resistance.
Density is filled with light.
Good work accomplished without effort. - Lao Tse

We are being challenged to become more aware of how we can exercise choice, co-create a new destiny through our personal power, and how not to be caught up (possessed) by emotions arising from the unconscious (Pluto) which kept us before in a cycle of repeating patterns. Uranus is now for the last time where it was in July 2012 and March 2013 so we may be working on processes that first emerged in those times. From here it will be retracing the steps it took between March 2013 and July when it turned retrograde. Watch how the seeds planted then pick up new energy through the next months. From next April it takes us into a whole new landscape. There is no return to what we left behind. Portals have been opened and a new life is beckoning! Steadiness and courage is required and thankfully Saturn and Jupiter are right now offering us a sense of potential flow of stability and nurturing. Venus is retrograde in Capricorn from the 23rd December quietly recommending that while we celebrate the flying sparks with full hearted presence we stay sober. Capricorn wisdom comes with a special sense of humour: if your humour wears thin give yourself a break till it returns!

The planetary line-up thickens over the next months as Jupiter moves into connection with the above planets climaxing in April-May with Mars involved yet again (now retrograde in Libra) to create a ‘Grand Cross’, an intense choice point on both collective and personal level. Mars stays in Libra for a full eight months due to its retrograde March – May 2014 so hopefully it will fine tune our energies and collective force towards deeper mediation skills and openness to listen with the heart. Whatever is ignited around Christmas and New Year will be consolidated through the next months so let us make the first imprint as attuned to our heart’s wisdom as humanly possible!

This is now. Now is,
all there is. Don't wait for Then;
strike the spark, light the fire - Rumi

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17 November 2013

Full moon on 17th November (15.16 GMT) calls on our steadiness, discipline and patience as well as reminding us how we can nourish the body and heart and the earth and our companions through simple quality of presence. The full moon in earth sign Taurus represents the love of nature and the material world while the Sun standing opposite in Scorpio carries the knowledge of magic and the invisible world. Working together Taurus and Scorpio can realign the ‘real’ world with the numinous and bring the power of Intent into practical manifestation.

This earthy moon is stabilizing and productive even if it still resonates with the dynamically ruthless and revelatory energy of Pluto and Uranus in the midst of their long term epoch shifting tactics. We may get a little gap in the intensity of what has kept us rocking and rolling of late, time to take stock of where we are after the sudden free fall shock effect of last month’s two eclipses.

It’s good to realise how much we have achieved so far, also to recognise what we can hold on to and what we still need to let go. The Taurean moon likes to hold on to what it knows; the Scorpio sun knows that loss is gain but can’t stand letting go either. This moon gives us a hearty shove towards greater detachment and the point where rebuilding can begin in earnest even while the work of dismantling goes on. Some kind of door has closed behind us and there is no looking back.

What
Do Sad people have in
Common?
It seems
They have all built a shrine
To the past
And often go there
And do a strange wail and
Worship.
What is the beginning of
Happiness?
It is to stop being
so religious
Like
That. - Hafiz, "Stop Being So Religious"

A major theme of this moon is the dissolving of old pain as the Moon in Taurus falls exactly on the fixed star Algol, the mythical eye of Medusa which turns to stone whoever encounters its gaze. Frozen pain keeps our energy locked into the past. According to myth, Medusa was a beautiful woman raped by Neptune in the temple of Athena. For this she was punished by Athena and turned into a monster. Twice a victim, her gaze created a new victim every time anyone looked at her. Only the hero Perseus finally managed to cut off her head by using his shield as a mirror to avoid her gaze.

We need the ruthlessly truthful Scorpionic eye of the eagle to slay the Gorgon, or the obsidian mirror as the Toltecs teach to dissolve our inner pain-body demons so we don’t have to fight them in others. The myths are like feedback loops which keep replaying through the collective psyche, making people behave in uncharacteristic ways as if possessed by the archetypal energies. Algol challenges us to heal whatever has been turned to stone within us and whatever patterns we perpetuate which have the effect of turning others to stone.

Some old karmic pain that came back to haunt us in May 2011 and again in May 2012, especially connecting with rage and disempowerment of the feminine, can finally be resolved during this period. Old ghosts can be laid to rest and fresh energy will pour in. When Medusa was beheaded two mythical beings emerged, Chrysaor, a giant who became a king and Pegasus the winged horse. Out of the transformation of the pain comes a kingly power, our own rootedness in the earth, and a new magical being who can travel between the earth and sky, visible and invisible worlds:

And then let the Body think
Of the Spirit as streaming, pouring,
Rushing and shining into it from
All sides while it stands quiet. - Plotinus

The theme of underworld inner-world journey continues as Mercury, messenger of the gods has been retrograding back through the deep waters of Scorpio since late October, communing with Saturn, Lord of Karma and the Moon’s Node (destiny point) bringing transmissions, revelations and forks in the road that may have more far-reaching consequences than we realise. Since 10th November Mercury turned forward to travel again over the same ground so whatever choices and realisations have emerged since the start of its Scorpionic journey (29th September) may be understood in a new light especially as it re-encounters the eclipse point and Saturn (22 – 25th November).

By now we have completed the first phase of Saturn’s journey in Scorpio which began in October 2012, a massive spring-cleaning of our relationships and the hidden shadows of the psyche, especially the misuse of power and desire on an individual and global level. Over the next 6 months not only Saturn but all the slow moving planets representing global change which have been passing and re-passing over much of the same area since early 2012 like waves on the shore at the turning of the tide will move forward decisively onto new ground. Our reference point remains constant:

little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world – Mary Oliver

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Lunar Eclipse 19th October 2013

I can’t go back to yesterday – because I was a different person then - Lewis Carroll

Change, empowerment, confrontation and mediation are the themes of the coming full moon but also of the last new moon and the next, which will be a total solar eclipse. It’s a roller coaster time so hold onto your seats and keep remembering the deep grace within you reflecting the vastness of the cosmic gaze whatever madness may be unfolding around you! Full moon is here just after midnight tonight (18th October in the US) with a penumbral lunar eclipse, a shadowing of the moon visible across the globe in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. It lasts four hours starting from 0.50am Greek time, a haunting reddish glow in the sky reminding us of the in-between, the becoming, the unknown within each step we are taking. Somehow we have to discover how this unknown is the gift not the problem! Our outdated knowing is the heaviness which obstructs our seeing and our hearing.

This Aries moon opposite the sun in Libra is activating and empowering, also potentially rebalancing and harmonising and its after-tone should last several months. It stands in the middle between the explosively drastic new moon two weeks ago (which brought out what hits the fan big time) and a solar eclipse in Scorpio on 3rd November amplifying the urgency for serious long-term decisions to be made. There is no more holding back; assuming full personal power is the only way to ride this magnificently impossible wave!

During the period between these two eclipses Mercury will be moving retrograde in Scorpio so watch how the mind deals with the twilight between the old and the new. The Scorpio influence is strong and asks for great awareness to see with ruthless clarity inner motivation and not fall into the self-sorcery of old emotional feedback loops. Now is exactly the time to observe the shift from mentalised emotions (always creating a sense of grasping with reference to time, past and future) as opposed to heart feeling, pure timeless seeing/feeling without grasping-hooks. Don’t expect full clarity to return until around the end of November but take advantage of this underworld journey of Mercury as it probes deep into our psyches to reveal mysteries, wisdom transmissions and events normally hidden from our minds. There may be misunderstandings as well as revelations. Untruth is being stripped away. Patience is true listening:

If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear. - A.A. Milne ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’

Fluff comes in all shapes and sizes. On 1st November those great movers and shakers Pluto and Uranus further increase the pressure with an exact stand-off, the fourth of seven encounters between 2012 and 2015. Their remit is to get eons of fluff out of our ears and bring to awareness both the light and the dark, our luminosity and hidden motivations, to stimulate more awakening and power within each one of us. They may create havoc in the process depending on how keen our listening is and how fast we can unplug our collective ears.

The solar eclipse in Scorpio on 3rd November is lined up with Saturn, Lord of Karma, together with the Moon’s node (representing a collective destiny point) and may bring to a head themes we have been dealing with since last November when Saturn entered Scorpio. Now we get to see how well we accomplished our homework, how gracefully we are moving through transitions, how impeccably we are cleaning our intent. The focus is massively on letting go of the past, clearing our emotional energy and our relationship patterns. This intense year’s journey prepares the way for pristinely fresh ground to be covered in 2014 as Saturn speeds forward through the next six months at the same time as Uranus and Pluto also accelerate into new areas of the zodiac as if in synchronised motion. If we can ride with grace the unknowing at this point and through the end of 2013 everything is possible.

But these energies demand that we assume responsibility for our maximum wisdom potential and let the entrenched habits of our ego-mind go. We can’t take them with us into the new times. Otherwise we will keep back-peddling through the transition. The old patterns are like computer viruses that can make the whole system crash again and again. Saturn symbolises the wisdom of time. Moving through the sign of Scorpio it calls us to integrate into time the Scorpionic wisdom of death and rebirth, the beyond-time perspective. Looking at the 19 year rhythm of eclipses the coming solar eclipse echoes another total eclipse in Scorpio on exactly the same degree exactly 19 years ago on 3rd November 1994. What was happening in your life at that time? Can you see a pattern unfolding? Here are some beautiful images of that eclipse:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkSEov3C_3Q

Take hold of the dreaming power of this moon as Mars in Virgo gives discipline and sense of potential order within chaos, and at the same time transmits the spiritual visionary energy of Neptune and healing power of Chiron, which stand opposite in Pisces. As we hold confusion in stillness and sacred space it turns into magic, consciousness. We need to trust our dreams and beware of forcing solutions which conform to old paradigms. Pluto squaring Uranus can create confrontations that make us stubborn, regressive and unconscious. Our dreaming brings the power of unknowing, freedom from the past and solutions beyond time. We are bringing together the heroic individual will into relational flow through the perspective of the beyond, of death, of Love.

Love is the cure,
for your pain will keep giving birth to more pain
until your eyes constantly exhale love as effortlessly as your body yields its scent - Rumi

************************

Lunar Eclipse 28th November 2012

We are in eclipse season, a time of accelerated movement forward, and the last new moon was a solar eclipse in Scorpio inviting us into a deeper intimacy with the passionate light and dark of all our relating, freeing energy for the massive changes to come. The energy of eclipses lasts up to a year or more. The current full moon is a lunar eclipse in the information sign Gemini tightly connected with the wounding/healing planet Chiron and Neptune in Pisces. It asks us to realise how we limit and condition our feelings and our reality by the misuse of mind, and how we can re-ignite our deeper intelligence to inhabit a totally different world. Major shifts in thinking already visible globally are likely to gather momentum creating a leap to a new level of awareness.

Many complex threads of 'meaning' are woven into the stars at this eclipse that seemly question the act of description itself, which we use to give meaning to the stories of our lives. Seeing through our own descriptions is not an easy matter to describe!

The axis of Gemini-Sagittarius, ruled by the planets Mercury and Jupiter, represent archetypal energies that manifest all too often as shadows in our world. Mercury/Gemini is a trickster, catching us out through information overload, through lies, statistics, cleverness and fragmentation of awareness. Words can become a constant unconscious or calculated brain-washing. Jupiter/Sagittarius in its shadow side suggests that expansion is my divine right (but not necessarily yours), that beliefs are a matter of life and death, and self importance is a healthy sign of success. When we want to impress others or escape from the ‘banality’ of our lives we are already trapped in Jupiter’s hypnotic gaze…

The lunar eclipse offers a fresh chance to realign with the essential gifts of these archetypal energies: Gemini as the curious, childlike, playful, communicative, storytelling agility of the mind and Sagittarius as the capacity to act big, be generous, magnanimous, respect another's freedom or expansion and realise the wisdom beyond all knowledge. As our limiting beliefs are exposed we may also get to see how exchanging one belief for another is only postponing the moment of realisation that all beliefs keep us in the prison of the mind. The cleansing of beliefs is part of the astrological pattern of 21/12/12 with Jupiter at the apex of the Solstice chart.

The challenge is to observe how we actually co-create a world of conflict, opposition and fragmentation out of apparently innocuous descriptions and beliefs. These arise from the incapacity of mind to bear paradox and especially the paradox of our own human-divine nature. Holding our weaknesses and strengths in awareness at the same time brings healing for this split which normally projects our own fragmentation outwards.

If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinions for or against anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind. To live in this realization is to be without anxiety about non-perfection. - 'Hsin Hsin Ming' by Chien-chih Seng-ts'an

Your intellect is in fragments, like bits of gold Scattered over many matters. You must scrape them together... Stay bewildered in God, And only that. Those of you who are scattered, Simplify your worrying lives. - Rumi

So the message of the moon is exactly this – to simplify our worrying lives and worrying minds. To observe how we use the restless fragmentation of verbal description as an escape from sadness and pain and equally (how we forget this!) as an escape from stillness and peace. The limbic brain is wired on a binary system dividing everything into pleasure or pain, like or dislike. This is symbolised by Gemini, the archetypal twins representing our biological dualism. No need to oppose this, only to remember we have the freedom of observation not to subscribe to the hypnotic dualities but to operate instead from inner silence, reconnecting us with heart-feeling... breath... stillness...

The words of the mystics point the way beyond the old habits of mind. These are ongoing transmissions which act like healing spells to awaken us from the root of conflict, our addiction to separation and to comparison:

To come directly into harmony with this reality just simply say when doubt arises, "Not two." In this "not two" nothing is separate, nothing is excluded. in it a single thought is ten thousand years. When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend, and when a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way. - Chien-chih Seng-ts'an

Never say, or think, ‘I am better than… whoever’ That’s what Satan thought. Sleep in the spirit tree’s peaceful shade... - Rumi

Enjoy the moon magic with Jupiter shining bright at her side!

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29 October 2012

This moon has coincided with devastating events in the US. We had an exact aspect of Mercury (mind, communication) squaring the water god Neptune (the great emptiness) which manifested in Hurricane Sandy, showing again the power of the natural world to disrupt our most sophisticated structures. This Neptunian aspect will be in the air for some time since Mercury turns retrograde aspecting Neptune and Chiron on US Election day (confusion, illusion, wounding – or healing?) and is back again tuning into Neptune exactly where it is now for the coming Solar Eclipse on 13th November and again on 11the December. Perhaps the storm in New York is a metaphor for what is to come? Mercury retrograde and in aspect to Neptune is like a double dose of dreaming energy or flooding of the mind so make space for journeying and for some emptiness this month. It will anyway come to find you one way or another…

The theme of this full moon in Taurus opposite the sun in Scorpio is transformation, passion and embodiment. Scorpio represents death and rebirth, drastic events, the power of magic, alchemy, tantra. Saturn, the great teacher, sometimes called ‘Lord of Karma’ has just entered Scorpio to spend two and a half years in this intensely passionate water sign, with a strict mandate to clean up, discipline, exact his dues and restructure how we deal with the personal and collective unconscious, with our emotional energy, relationships, sex, our power and intent. If we are not owning our personal power it will backfire into self-sorcery or negativity against us. Abuse of power will be a big issue. This is a time to reach into the depths and exorcise the last remaining shadows behind our worst addictive or self-sabotaging tendencies as we are being pushed globally towards a massive emotional detox. Even the flooding in the US could be seen as metaphor for the beginning of Saturn’s teaching in Scorpio.

The Taurus- Scorpio axis represents the perceived duality between material and immaterial worlds. Taurus symbolises the beauty of the manifest world, it feels at home in the concrete down to earth literal level of reality, which it clings to out of fear of the unknown, the mysterious ungraspable flow of psychic energy in which we exist. Scorpio represents the process of death and rebirth as transcendence of self, transformation of the energy of the unconscious into ‘super-consciousness’. Scorpio and its ruling planet Pluto carry the archetype of the alchemist/shaman with the power to move fearlessly between worlds and work with invisible energies primarily in mastery of self. The process is symbolised in the transformation of scorpion or serpent (kundalini) into eagle (desireless awareness). Scorpio focuses on the psychic level within the literal level because that is where the magic can happen. Taurus focuses on the material level showing Scorpio how to be earthed and to build up a stable structure to facilitate the power of transformation within the real world. Taurus reminds that being present in our physical body and senses is the only way we can handle the high voltage psychic and emotional energy of transformation.

The weakness of both signs is attachment, in Taurus attachment to material security, to the known, to its creature comforts, in Scorpio attachment to power, to the intensity of emotions even pain, to relationships and sex. Taurus is a fixed earth sign and Scorpio fixed water. Fixity is their strength and weakness, they are determined, loyal, unstoppable, stubborn. Taurus shadow can show up as being lazy, complacent, self indulgent, and Scorpio as vindictive, unforgiving, obsessive, manipulative and self sabotaging. Both signs are challenged to find commitment without possessiveness, investment without attachment. And all of us have the Scorpio-Taurus energy whatever our sun sign!

The main lesson of Saturn moving through Scorpio is how to let go of our fear of death and desire for security and power. Here is a beautiful description of the process:

Our passion has a tremendous intelligence of its own. The only trouble is that we keep interfering; keep breaking it up into tiny pieces scattering it everywhere. .. our minds always trick us into focusing in the little things we think we want – rather than on the energy of wanting itself. If we can bear to face our longing instead of finding endless ways to keep satisfying it and trying to escape it… it opens up a devastating perspective where everything is turned on its head: fulfilment becomes a limitation, accomplishment turns into a trap… with an intensity that scrambles our thoughts and forces us straight into the present… Peter Kingsley ‘Reality’

We need this ‘devastating perspective’ to awaken from the hypnosis – whether nightmarish or apparently comfortable – around us. This is the wisdom of annihilation and rebirth, the beginning of freedom.

Transformation happens not as a result of effort - it happens when you embrace and welcome fear, the signal that you are moving towards what is new and unknown. If your mind can stop reacting to fear, suddenly the fear will disappear and only awareness will be left. - Manuel Schoch

Saturn began its last journey through Scorpio in early 1983 so processes connected with that period may resurface now. At this full moon and during the next couple of years it moves in step with Chiron, the healing planet, in Pisces, demanding that we become impeccable instruments of forgiveness. At the moment there is a special focus on the collective pain especially of the feminine as the ‘Dragon’s tail’ or south node of the moon is conjunct the fixed star Algol, the eye of the Gorgon, considered the most malefic star in the whole sky. Through November the sun and mercury will connect with this point several times. The next new moon on 13th is a total eclipse of the sun in Scorpio, with tense and transformational aspects to Pluto and the next full moon is also supercharged with the potential for drastic events and change.

We are globally cleaning up ‘karma’ from the past but also being taught how to work on a subtle level with emotional energy to avoid creating new ‘karma’, however small and seemingly unimportant, for the future. With Saturn in Scorpio there is no way to sidestep the transformational power of pain, the spiral of emotions, but there is a way of tuning into the centre of the spiral. Tuning into unconscious fear is as always the key to dissolving the other shadow emotions. Underlying every aggression is fear, and under fear is such a deep well of sadness (personal, transpersonal, ancestral, global) that we need all our power to bear the charge of this, all our compassion for it to melt back into the centre, love. This is our task.

Sometimes pain is all we have; is what makes us real and gives us existence, is the earth and soil of our being, … the strange thing is that , if we are able even for a moment to let pain be, it tends to start finding its own solution as a part of the present; a part of the whole. The more we isolate it, the more it becomes a problem, and it’s only when we try to escape from pain that we are weak. When we face everything in the moment as a whole then we are invincible.- Peter Kingsley ‘Reality’


September 2012

When a man has learned within his heart what fear and trembling mean, he is safeguarded against any terror produced by outside influences. Let the thunder roll and spread terror a hundred miles around: he remains so composed and reverent in spirit that the sacrificial rite is not interrupted. – I Ching No 51 ‘The Arousing’

Thunder may roll and spread this month around this very intense, fateful moon, perhaps the most critical full moon of 2012 in terms of triggering actions which may have far reaching or drastic consequences. We are at a global choice point:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Einstein

This moon challenges us to remain fearless, composed and reverent in spite of the insanity around us and to keep our focus on the rites and the healings which continually realign us with a bigger picture. In this way we can channel the energy of this formidable whirlwind of change into any area in our lives which needs strong action. Decisiveness may be called for but above all we need to keep a steady attentiveness and courage to contain the strong charge of this energy and not waste it in impulsive or premature reactions, which could get triggered by irritation, insecurity, or panic. This moon calls us to bring out all our personal power to reflect the power of the cosmic download.

The moon is in the combative sign of Aries exactly aligned with Uranus representing explosive over-reactivity and possibly aggression. Aries aims to get what it wants, proving its strength through competition and strife. The sun in the opposite sign of Libra speaks out for peace, justice, shared values and above all is a great listener. Listening is the essential teaching of this moon. In the middle like a shadowy go-between stands Pluto in Capricorn, ruler of the underworld. He represents the potentially tantric power to transform unconsciousness into pure energy, the wisdom of death within life, but in the collective Pluto tends to act on a literal level covertly grasping at power regardless of the cost, through subterfuge, manipulation, blackmail or brute force. Libra ’s mediation skills may be sorely tested at this point, sabotaged, disrupted or suppressed.

To add to this somewhat difficult picture Venus and Mars, the rulers of Libra and Aries respectively, are standing in direct provocation (square) towards each other and connecting with Neptune (dreams, ideals, illusions) and with the moon’s node representing collective destiny. On a personal level this could be interesting romantically, though Neptune often brings a sense of unfulfilled longing and sacrifice. But on a world level Mars and Venus most often represent shadow processes: conflict over resources, lust for combat, or sex and violence which are entangled in the collective unconscious and fuelled alike by an addiction to adrenalin. This Uranian moon in Aries is like a month-long burst of adrenalin.

Neptune on a collective level can manifest as trickery, duplicity, magic, and the ‘destiny line’ at this moon falls exactly on Algol, a fixed star also known as the eye of Medusa. This was considered by the Ancients one of the most dire stars in the sky and connects especially with the pain of the feminine. In Chinese astrology its name means ‘piled up corpses’. Venus also represents money and in the above pattern we may see perhaps more of the economic mess and its consequences piling up. Saturn, ‘Lord of Karma’ is moving this week finally out of Libra, where it has tried over two years to teach negotiation skills with dubious success. It moves into Scorpio, the sign ruled by Pluto, calling for a need to address much deeper levels of personal and collective experience.

This moon following a few days ago the second exact standoff between Uranus and Pluto will show us more clearly the direction these epoch shifting planets are taking us in with five more encounters over the next three years. The last full moon brought out a feeling of disorientation for many people which may turn with this moon into a sense of being out of control. This is due to the speed and vastness of the change we are caught up in. You may find people around you abusing their power even more than usual, acting unpredictably and blindly as if possessed by almost maniacal self-interest. This is the thunder of the download.

The challenge for us is to remain composed so we may discover and activate the positive potential in this massive cosmic alignment and become alchemists of the zeitgeist. The energy of Uranus is demanding that we wake up, create more consciousness, detachment, fearlessness; Pluto demands ruthless impeccability for transformation and self-empowerment, no self indulgence or vanity, so that the Aries energy of the moon can be cleanly focused on courageous action, while Libra maintains consideration for others.

How much we need stillness at this moon to avoid tumbling straight into our blind spots! Beware of the tendency to want to be right, a universal blind spot which needs a lot of peering into. Ego mind exists to make itself right! This moon challenges us to experiment with making the other person right, an experience which may turn out to be far more empowering than being right ourselves.

All evils are the effect of unconsciousness. .. Remember: just as you cannot fight the darkness, so you cannot fight unconsciousness. If you try to do so, the polar opposites will become strengthened and more deeply entrenched. You will become indentified with one of the polarities, you will create an ‘enemy’, and so be drawn into unconsciousness yourself.- Eckhart Tolle

Uranus represents essentially the energetic charge of pure consciousness, freedom, detachment, insight, insecurity. When the charge is contained this leads to transformative power. When a reaction happens faster than awareness then presence gets lost in the hypnosis of an extreme state, an affect. Reactions are rooted in unconscious fear which flips into unconscious anger. But if we can perceive under the anger and reactivity, even if we have already fallen into reaction, the insecurity at the root of the process, we return to the charge of pure consciousness, freedom. Simply observing the feeling of fear or underlying sadness (the root of fear) in ourselves or others, rather than focusing on the content of surface emotions will bring awareness to the reaction and the alchemy happens by itself. We arrive at the soul level rather than ego level.

This is our ongoing work as shamans and healers, and astrologically this period is a gift for anyone on the path of consciousness. Whoever are the players in our personal dramas at this point and whatever the situations around us are there precisely for our awakening. Pluto together with Uranus is creating input of such extreme power for the transformation of consciousness that we have a chance to release processes that may have been dogging us for lifetimes and gather our soul potential for the most extraordinary life we have ever had.

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31st August Blue moon 2012

This full moon falls in Pisces with the sun opposite in earth sign Virgo probing the relationship between pragmatism and spirituality, head and heart, doing and being, order and chaos, time and timelessness. It is an especially powerful moon for healing. Every full moon gives a kind of blueprint for the month ahead and this month there is an unusually tight- knit pattern as almost every planet is thrown into the sun-moon encounter with an emphasis on water signs (feelings) and Chiron (dissolving pain).

This could be an intense period emotionally with the Piscean moon slipping us into altered states without warning, working closely in conjunction with Neptune to shapeshift people and situations around us in precise ways to stimulate maximum healing for the wounds of all concerned. Be aware (beware!) of hypnotic entanglements, illusions, misunderstandings or sleight of hand. Surrendering to sadness without description will melt the pain. The planet of communication and thinking, Mercury, a trickster himself and ruler of Virgo, is in direct opposition to the archetypal magician, Neptune, so let them teach you their spells. ‘If you could give up tricks and cleverness that would be the cleverest trick’ (‘Rumi)

The full moon landscape shimmers with magic, spiritual attunement, creative inspiration, plus some confusion. Unconscious hypnotic patterns may be reinforced or exposed, as old wounds rise to the surface to be either healed or re-imprinted. It all depends on how we deal with our perceptions.

When the limited mind
enters blessed companionship
with limitless Mind,
indescribable freedom dawns.
– Tilopa ‘Song of the Mahamudra’

As each full moon rotates through the zodiac signs opposite the sun it illuminates an axis of opposing archetypal polarities in the collective unconscious which belong to us all, regardless of what may be our astrological sign. These are polarities around which conflicts happen, the paradoxes our everyday mind cannot grasp. The arising conflicts are reminders to go deeper into qualities of both sides of the paradox rather than taking sides within ourselves or against others. Thus like any habitual movement the monthly full moon can be a stimulus to awaken or send us more deeply to sleep.

Integrating the lunar landscape this month could be disorientating and emotionally draining or ecstatic and enlightening. Virgo symbolises discriminating awareness focused towards practical action while Pisces represents desire-less awareness, no-self resting in not-doing. How can they work together? On the shadow side Virgo tends to be anxious, critical and controlling as nothing is ever good enough and the urge towards creating order in an utterly chaotic world can become overwhelming. Time off doesn’t exist with such a finely tuned observational apparatus seeking to make purposeful sense of every single perception. Timelessness doesn’t exist easily either since Virgo measures and compares everything in order to be more perfect. Longing to make a contribution in the world, it may be a good listener to words but it can sometimes forget how to stop and listen to the silent voice of the heart.

The mind asks questions
Only the heart can answer
– Philip Wells

Pisces represents heart energy, the universal longing for a sense of oneness, for something beyond our everyday world, the Beloved, God, enlightenment. We may catch a glimpse which transforms our lives for ever. Or we may run eternally after an elusive mirage. The more we are attached to it the more it eludes us so we can become disillusioned and cynical. It is in essence not graspable by mind, only by heart consciousness. The beauty is that this longing creates sadness, and pure sadness - when mind doesn’t drag us into self pity - melts the heart back into love and we are complete. This is the path of all the mystic teachings. And it reqires all our Virgoan dedication and discipline to take this way. Otherwise we can fall into distractions, addictions, consensus hypnosis, and only realise our completeness when we die. In Rilke’s words we will ‘find ourselves trapped, as in a dream, and die there without ever waking up’.

This moon is our invitation to become the awakened dreamer. We need the Virgoan skills of pure observation without judgement to fine tune our aligned intent and to see through the seductive and confusing magic playing around us. The more we listen to our inner magical power the less we fall under any extraneous spell. Venus in Cancer and Mars now in Scorpio, bring extra emotionality and passion to the sun, moon, Chiron combination. Old relationship wounds are ripe for healing. Jupiter is involved bringing desire for expansion, freedom and new direction. Pluto and Uranus, underworld and extremist impulses for drastic change are stimulating all the above with a painful exactness. It feels as if a deep hidden sadness in the collective psyche related to the misuse of Pisces and Neptunian enchantment/addiction, the false promise of redemption which has created such a powerful consensus trance, sorcery even, is cracking open, making the seed ready for new growth.

Sadness is the bridge from duality to non- duality. Love is the atmosphere in which this movement takes place. It is always present when thought is not trying to control something – Manuel Schoch

As we plant the seed in stillness the invisible world comes to meet us with its abundance of healing magic. We can finally rest our mind in the mind of God, infinity.

Rest in natural great peace this exhausted mind
beaten helplessly by karma and neurotic thoughts
like the relentless fury of the pounding waves
in the infinite ocean of samsara.
Rest in natural great peace
– Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

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August 2012

What the poet is searching for
is not the fundamental ‘I’
but the deep ‘you’.
The eyes you’re longing for –
listen now –
the eyes you see yourself in
are eyes because they see you.
- Antonio Machado ‘Proverbs and songs’

This full moon in Aquarius opposite the sun in Leo is about seeing and being seen. It aligns the creative side of Leo and the quirky detached Aquarian energy – both stimulated by positive connections with Uranus (breaking structures) and Jupiter in Gemini (information overflow). Information overflow is everywhere (here too!) But real listening and seeing, tuning into the silence behind sound can be a cure for the overcharged mind. This is what we miss. We long to be deeply seen but forget how to deeply see. The sky is seeing us, the air listening to us, the earth feeling us, reminding us that we too are seers, perceivers, co-creating every nuance of energy within and around us:

There can be no such thing, any more, as an anonymous reality… whatever happens to come to you through your senses is an intimate token for you, a gift to wake you up, and at the same time a sacred memento: a reminder of the work you have to do. – Peter Kingsley ‘Reality’

Often a star was waiting for you to notice it.
A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past,
or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing.
All this was mission. But could you accomplish it?
Weren't you always distracted by expectation?
- Rilke ‘Duino Elegies’

This moon in its connection with Uranus is teaching us how to deal with expectation in new ways, to liberate its energy into readiness, presence. Although the moon still has some intense aspects with the heavy planets Pluto and Chiron (transformational healing) and although retrograde Mercury is making mischief in mixed messages, still the moon offers fresh connections with beauty (Aphrodite, goddess of Love), opportunities, inspirational flashes and a kind of bumpy awakening flow.

The middle of August leading up to the new moon on the 17th may carry some more tense energy as Venus (resources) will hit against the drastic measures or shocking revelations of Uranus and Pluto at the same time as Mars tests its muscle (hopefully in co-operative dialogue) against Saturn’s sternness. For most of the summer Neptune influences the moon’s node, collective destinies are being tugged by either chaotic, elusive, deceptive, or on the positive side, spiritually uplifting forces.

Every full moon represents a polarity of qualities that form a complementary axis, pointing towards completeness like a paradox or a koan. The polarity of this full moon involves seeing and being seen, the search for freedom and uniqueness, anonymity and self-expression, identity and detachment. In clear mind the protagonist and spectator become one, the observed melts into the observer, the dancer into the dance, the freedom seeker into the flow.

The moon in Aquarius is master of detachment, of awareness, creates new dreams for the collective, promotes community although inwardly a loner, challenges oppressive structures and dares to be in a minority of one. Inner truth is more important than outer recognition. Invisibility can be a powerful quality. Aquarius takes risks and knows better than any other sign that freedom and insecurity are one and the same. Its shadow side is its own idealism turning rigid, a hidden tyranny of mind over heart, terrorism…

Leo is the sign of the creative Self. We need to express our soul treasure, our unique voice, to enjoy our roles, be artistic, spontaneous, playful. And still avoid the trap of identifying with any role that we play since we are bigger than every role and every role is bigger than us. Leo has a big loyal heart and joyful warmth, loves drama and especially being centre stage. Discovering its unique gifts and expressing its beauty is the journey of this sign, its flaw is the fear of not being special enough.

The temptation for Leo is to think that personal drama makes it special, that our limitations are our uniqueness and so it may confuse self with Soul. But truly unique is the heart song of the journeyer awakened from the drama! Leo is the sign of the heart’s courage. Trust the heart song even if you don't yet know the words. Keep listening. For how can we anticipate the outpouring of Soul?

My heart, sing the song of longing
like a nightingale.
The sound of your voice casts a spell
on every stone, on every thorn.
First, lay down your head
Then one by one
Let go of all distractions.
– Rumi

This is the challenge of the shifting cosmic dance - to shine light into the shadow of the collective processes within our own energy, so that we become transmitters of a finer music of the stars. We travel light into the heart of the mystery.

We open ourselves with absolute simplicity and nakedness of mind. This is the powerful and ordinary practice of dropping the mask of self-protection. Simply plunging directly into meditation in the moment now, with our whole being, free from hesitation, boredom or excitement, is enlightenment. - Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Inside the koan clear mind
gashes the great darkness
~ Ikkyu

All we need to do is to turn our awareness back, at every moment, to its source. It only takes the slightest shift in consciousness, the subtlest movement of awareness. And we are absolutely free – not because we are free from something but because we contain everything, every perception and thought, inside ourselves. This is the experience of utter stillness: more exquisite, more full, than anything under the sun. – Peter Kingsley ‘Reality’.

Enjoy the moon!

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July 2012

The full moon is here Tuesday 3rd July at 9.53pm Greek time. It’s another very powerful moon activating the intense transformational energy of Uranus and Pluto with the full moon in Capricorn aligned with Pluto and bringing out its confrontational aspect to Uranus in Aries. Pluto stands for darkness and Uranus for exposure to the light. This is a time of potential cracking open of deeply entrenched dysfunctional and hidden power structures, the Uranian energy pressing to explode the status quo while Pluto clings to its power at all costs. The encounter between these two planets over the next 3 years will probably change the global landscape more than we dare imagine.

Their last major point of contact was in 1965– 6 when they were conjunct and it’s likely that unresolved issues from that time will be reignited. Their last square aspect was in 1931 – 4 and their next conjunction is not until 2104. People born in the mid 60’s hold the energy of these two planets aligned together and may be able to offer much needed wisdom to the collective though they may also be feeling the tension of the current aspect very acutely. The square in the 1930’s was the last phase of the planets’ cycle moving towards an ending while this square is actually the first phase of a new cycle so it implies growth and transformation towards fresh potential even if this requires the dismantling of the status quo.

Around the new moon on the 19th July when Mars ignites the aspect with Uranus and Pluto provocation may turn into outright violence as the drastic forces pushing for freedom come up against ruthless Plutonic repression. Mercury will be retrograde from 14th July in Leo so could escalate the situation by causing crossed wires in some dramatic way. The problems constellate around freedom and power. This may be most obvious on a collective level but the same influences are playing out on a personal level. We are all being challenged to become more aware of how we use our personal power, how not to be caught up (possessed) by emotions arising from the unconscious (Pluto) or impatient explosive reactions. These planets are inviting us to discover a new kind of freedom, to leap to a new level of awakened consciousness:

For all that really binds us is our illusory ideas of what it is to be free – Peter Kingsley

Around this full moon illusory ideas are hanging thick in the air, as Neptune’s ungraspable influence is increased by its connection with Jupiter in Gemini offering a profusion of visions and dreams, spiritual and creative insight, or alternatively a foggy muddle. Venus is hand in hand with Jupiter in Gemini recently emerged from her retrograde journey (since 27th June) and now wanting to just have a good time but with uncomfortable aspects to Saturn, Chiron and Pluto, patience and more healing are still on the agenda. We are in the midst of a revolution in the collective consciousness so staying sober is part of the challenge which might eventually turn this intense darkening of the light into the lightening of the dark that we have all been longing for.

This is the ending. Now not day only shall be beloved, but night too shall be beautiful and blessed and all its fear pass away - Tolkien

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June 2012

Full moon is here today 4th June at 14.13 Greek time. As I’m sure many of you are feeling, especially in Greece, we are approaching a pivotal moment in which many familiar structures and reference points are – for better or for worse – breaking apart. Astrologically this period is extremely complex and charged as many powerful influences coincide to create massive change.

Forget safety.
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation, be notorious.
I have tried prudent planning long enough,
From now on I will be mad
– Rumi

The astrological landscape is pushing everything to its limits and we are about to enter a yet more drastic phase as Pluto, god of the underworld, transformation, death and rebirth, comes into an exact confrontational ‘square’ with Uranus. This will last almost three years from 24th June 2012 to 17th March 2015 with seven exact face-offs between these dates. Uranus and Pluto symbolise the explosion of debt, and the ideals of democracy against plutocracy. Pluto is the ruthless urge for power and control when not evolved into the self-transformational power of consciousness. Uranus represents the impulse for freedom, equality, humanitarian values but it can pursue its goals in a drastic, ruthless way. It also represents the potential power of awakened consciousness. The question is how to stay awake?

Of course the archetypes at a global level are unfiltered by individual consciousness, they are crude and overwhelming, hence the ancient Greek myths of the gods interfering in the lives of mortals. We all carry their energy but most of the time unconsciously. The more we recognise and create a conscious relationship with these powerful archetypes the more chance they will manifest creatively in our lives even if there is still havoc around us. Uranus in particular is an archetype we can train ourselves to better bear, tuning consciously into the energy of insecurity as freedom rather than letting it possess us as anxious thoughts (the conditioned reaction of the collective mind) so that it no longer manifests as reaction, panic, isolation. Of course we are all carrying the collective mind but every time we recognise that it’s not something personal but an archetypal energy then it delivers its gifts of detachment, clarity, innovative intelligence. The world needs this energy to recreate itself...

This full moon in Sagittarius is a partial lunar eclipse, visible from Australia to western North America. It is the third ‘Super moon’ in a row, large and bright as it is relatively close to the earth, the last one being the annular solar eclipse at new moon on 20th May. Symbolically eclipses are supercharged catalysts for change, like portals. The May annular eclipse (image enclosed) looks appropriately like a ring of flames, a portal of initiation.

Venus (money, love, values) is again prominent opposite this full moon and moving retrograde between 15th May and 27th June on her symbolic cleansing journey through the underworld which happens once every 19 months. Every 8 years Venus retraces these retrograde steps again through exactly the same zodiac sign creating a kind of dance like a five-pointed star around the sky. The last time Venus moved through this area of Gemini was in May/June 2004 so you might find yourself picking up her steps in the dance to complete a process dating from that time.

This should have a particular resonance now since after the lunar eclipse, on 5th – 6th June there is another very rare event involving Venus: an occultation (eclipse) of the sun as Venus passes between the sun and earth and will be visible as a small dark speck moving across the sun’s disc. Venus occultations take place in pairs separated by 8 years with a gap of more than a century between each pair. The first occultation in this current pair took place exactly in June 2004 at the same time that Venus was retrograde in Gemini. Before that the previous pair occurred in 1874 and 1882 and coincided with a severe economic depression in the United States.

All this focus on Venus suggests a potential realignment on a global level with some kind of major financial upheaval. Gemini represents commerce and currencies. Perhaps things will move suddenly very fast and the eclipses are pointing to a kind of inner preparation. Taken together with the upcoming intervention of Uranus and Pluto it seems we are being guided into something which is not only a break-down of the world as we know it but perhaps is an awakening of a spiritual potential which has been too long missing in the outside world even if always inwardly, intimately known:

More and more in my life and in my work I am guided by the effort to correct our old repressions, which have removed and gradually estranged from us the mysteries out of whose abundance our lives might become truly infinite. It is true that these mysteries are dreadful... Whoever does not, sometime or other, give his full consent, his full and joyous consent, to the dreadfulness of life, can never take possession of the unutterable abundance and power of our existence; can only walk on its edge, and one day, when the judgement is given, will have been neither alive nor dead... (Rilke letters)

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