The Direct Stations of Mars & Mercury

January 13th ~ 20th

The Passage of the Wild Geese by Jean-Francois Millet

Practice the pause. Pause before judging. Pause before assuming. Pause before accusing. Pause whenever you’re about to react harshly and you’ll avoid doing and saying things you’ll later regret. ~ Lori Deschene

On Thursday, January 12th, Mars stationed for its direct phase in a Mercurial sign, at 8º Gemini 08’. This will soon be followed by Mercury’s station direct on January 18th, at 8º Capricorn 08’. This will all be thankfully so. But don’t expect to see our energy and motivation restored overnight. Mars is now at a dead standstill, and it will take several weeks for it to resume normal speed again. However, this apparent lull in the Mars cycle, is not about a reversal, so much as a reorientation. It’s the “Ready, Set…” before we “Go.”

In the mean time, that Mercury energy is still in its own awkward stage of reawakening this week, as it also appears to stop on Wednesday for its own direct phase. We’re still in the throes of this redundant retrograde weather. The days just before the station, are when we are readjusting to what we usually associate with the normal state of Mercury. And so when Mercury stations on the 18th it will finally begin to feel like we can resume business as usual. The trains and planes will get back on schedule, people will be able to return to their normal activities, and we can confidently follow through with our New Year’s resolutions and plans.

Whenever Mercury and Mars are in their retrograde phases at the same time we can usually expect a little mayhem. We rely on the normal activity of these planets to keep the balls rolling, and the wheels turning in our everyday lives. This was further complicated by the double-Mercury connotation of having Mars in Gemini, crippling transportation systems and hobbling communications. Even as Mars was stationing this week a system malfunction caused thousands of flight cancellations and delays both in the US and Canada (at the same time!). A literal dead stop in Gemini, the sign of transportation.

But note, that this could actually be a good thing. These systems are in place in order to avoid accidents, and get people safely from place to place. Having a temporary glitch in these stop gap mechanisms are a hell of a lot better than an actual accident, and not knowing if there is some place for the planes to land when they get to their destination. The retrograde phases show us what needs fixing, and what is out-dated or vulnerable. Ignoring it will only make it worse, and harder to fix later on.

It’s like that in our personal lives as well. We are paused in order to regain our own orientation, so that we can be sure about where we are going, how we are going to get there, and why we are doing so.

We will want this orientation, because after Uranus resumes its direct phase on the 22nd, all of the planets will be direct, positioning us for this rare period of forward momentum. Falling right after the New Moon in Aquarius, all systems will be ready and set to Go. This rare forward momentum lasts until Mercury stations for its retrograde phase on April 21st.

Even though we are temporarily stalled, planets are always a bit stronger when they station. And they make their presence felt. For Mars that can bring a feeling of impatience and agitation. We want to get going again, to get on with business. And so Mars is setting a fire to the kindling that will get us motivated and moving again later on. Mercury gives us permission to look at situations from another perspective, to redress mistakes, and change our minds. Do not be surprised if decisions made during the retrograde phase of Mercury will soon have its faults revealed now that it will be direct again. Plans started over the past few weeks, may now need to be revised. We are reorienting ourselves.

We enter this week with the last quarter moon, gradually diminishing to the faint Balsamic Moon. And so as both Mars and Mercury pause, we too are advised to pause, release and tie up loose ends, in preparation for the New Moon to follow on January 21st.

Therefore, use this week to:

  • Reorient yourself to your surroundings.

  • Tie up any loose ends that have been lying around. Finish whatever needs finishing.

  • Fix whatever needs fixing.

  • Release what needs releasing.

  • Pause where and when you are needing to pause.

This morning I stopped to watch the geese fly, even though I didn’t have the time to do so. And I realized that not having the time to do something might be the very reason why I need to do it. ~ Craig D. Lounsbrough

The Full Moon in Cancer 2023

January 6th ~ 13th

The above image of a Full Moon over Snow is by H. Kopp-Delaney

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, As the swift seasons roll! Leave thy low-vaulted past! Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea! ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

On January 6th we have a Full Moon at 16º Cancer 22’. Nostalgic, emotional and protective, the Full Moon in Cancer is usually a time for reflection, looking back on where we have come, while also looking forward to where we hope to see ourselves going in the future. The Sun is in Capricorn, a disciplined and organized sign, armed with a plan and a resolve. And it can often feel at this Full Moon as if we are standing on a precipice, with one eye looking back, and the other gazing forward to the future.

In order to know where we want to go, we need to  find ourselves in the scheme of things, and know fully who we are. At the Full Moon emotions can come bubbling to the surface. All the more so with the Full Moon in emotionally laden Cancer where memories swirl up through the cosmic mists of time, carrying with them all of their associated feelings. Pay attention to those feelings, for they are trying to clue you in to a story about yourself.

This year the Cancer Moon coincides with the (inferior) conjunction of Mercury, which begins a new Mercury cycle in the sign of Capricorn. Occurring in the middle of the retrograde phase of Mercury, the conjunction between Mercury and the Sun sets the tone for the next whole Mercury cycle which continues through the 1st of May.

Although we are in the midst of the retrograde phase of Mercury, and Cancer is a reflective sign, there is no nostalgic clinging to the past with this Moon. With a square to Chiron and an exact sextile to Uranus this moon seems to be making quite a different statement. Limping into the New Year, Chiron square the Full Moon is asking us to face those problems that we’ve been trying to avoid. But in order to do so, we will need a safe harbor in order to heal old wounds, and receive the support we need in order to meet the world on its own terms.

The sextile to Uranus implies that we are looking towards the future with the hope for something better. One of the things that becomes apparent to us under these Uranian rays is that we don’t have to keep doing things the same way over and over. That there just might be better ways, and better solutions. Change is in the air. And many will be seeking the solutions that would best suit them and their purposes.

The time for action is not quite yet. But it is near. Mars is slowing for its direct station on January 12th. As it does so, it could feel as if the pause button is being pushed and we are being put on hold. This coming week can feel like a full stop. But a full stop just before we are about to take off.  Many will be agitated to get moving right away. But it will take some time for Mars to pick up speed again. So allow things to come together as they will, in their own time.

This pause can also be a good thing. Mercury is still retrograde until January 18th, and we stand here at the dawning of the next Mercury cycle, when the focus is directed within. Mercury in Capricorn, albeit retrograde, is very organized and goal oriented. But even before we take any action, we are being asked to orient ourselves within: Is this path truly the one for me? Are these goals at the expense of my personal needs? And if you were to make any changes in your life and goals, what might that look like for you?

This is when we are being asked to set our inner gps system, and make sure that we are aligned with the proper coordinates. The coordinates we truly wish to be aligned with. For once Mars, and then Mercury are direct again, all systems will soon be moving forward. May they bring you where you need to go in order to fulfill your heartfelt goals, and build more stately mansions ever more noble than the last.

Mercury Retrograde and the Old Year/New Year

December 30th ~ January 6th

“Victory, Janus, Chronos and Gaea” by Giulio Romano

This is what you shall do; Love the earth and the sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families;

 read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul; 

and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body. ~ Walt Whitman

As we close the year, Mercury stations for its retrograde phase which lasts from December 29th thru January 18th at 24º Capricorn 21’. This may seem like a lousy time for Mercury to be messing up schedules, travel mayhem and such, but it can also be the perfect time for a brief interruption in time. It will remain in Capricorn until February 11th, which is both a sign of reflection, looking back from where we’ve come; as well as a sign that looks forward to where we intend to go. Built on the foundations of the past Capricorn looks for ways to improve the present by setting goals for the future. And so this can also be the ideal time to rediscover and re-find ourselves in the scheme of things.

Janus, the Roman God of time, endings and beginnings, is portrayed with two faces: the older of the faces looking back to the past, while the younger face looks to the future. Janus presided over doorways and the gates of Rome. He also presided over the New Year. And so it was that the 1st month of the Julian calendar was named for this god, that both looks back on the year that was, while anticipating the year to come.

We make our resolutions in Capricorn season, a sign of planning, foresight and goals. The Cardinal corners of the year are particularly receptive to the inception of plans and new beginnings. And Capricorn has a way of cementing these resolutions with intention and commitment. This year, the New Moon in Capricorn may have been a better time to make these resolutions, before Mercury’s station. And now that we are in the retrograde phase of Mercury we can use the insights gained from this reflective phase to perfect our strategies and revise our plans for the New Year to come.

Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true. ~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The issue with having both Mercury stationing retrograde whilst Mars is also retrograde in the Mercury sign of Gemini, is that it can exaggerate much of the usual Mercury retro mayhem. Here in the States major storms and an arctic freeze upended the holiday week with major power outages and particularly inconvenient travel gremlins, blizzards, hail storms, bomb cyclones and whatever else the deadly duo could throw at us. Travel just before and during a retrograde phase of Mercury is often an exercise in flexibility and patience. All the more so with cranky (and sometimes dangerous) Mars in tow.

But one of the advantages of having Mercury retrograde in Capricorn this year, is that it affords us the opportunity to do this important work of reflection and assimilation. Making sense of the past and putting the pieces of a puzzle together. Watch out though. Mercury retro in Capricorn can be particularly self-critical if we allow the should-have’s and could-have’s to dominate. Rather than falling into the rabbit holes of regret, use the retrograde cycle to review, revise, reorganize and reassess. We need to do this important work in order to process and assimilate the experiences of the previous months and years of our lives. How else are we going to learn and grow?

Mercury retro phases are great for reminiscing: gathering with loved ones, old friends and relatives. The memories from the past that we share at the end of the year are interlaced with the sort of poignancy, that can only come with time-worn familiarity and experience.

In order to get the most benefit from the retrograde phase, allow yourself to sink into it. Like the trees in Winter, recognize that this is a time of dormancy and withdrawal from the busyness of the world. This was traditionally seen as a time of peace and good will. And we are being asked to go with it.

Also see it as an opportunity to just let go: Let go of unresolved issues; practice patience, forgiveness and understanding. Release any accumulated resentment, anger and frustration, knowing that it does you no good when you hold it inside. Removing the excess clutter from our lives and our minds, allows you to move into the New Year with a clean slate, a clearer mind and a lighter heart.

In summary, for the 3-week retrograde phase of Mercury, from December 29th thru January 18th:

  • Turn down the noise of your busy life and turn within. This is a sacred time of rest and reflection. Be like the creatures of Winter, who know how to reserve and save their strength for when they will need it later on.

  • Instead, use the period to assimilate, process and learn from the past.

  • Travel, daily plans and routines can easily be interrupted. Approach each day with patience, compassion and acceptance; knowing that these too can be opportunities for learning and understanding.

  • Review, revise, reorganize and update. This better allows you to create a more efficient, and well thought out road map for the foreseeable future and the year ahead.

  • Release any accumulated remorse, regret, frustration or negativity. We are setting the tone for the year ahead. Therefore replace these with joy, gratitude and anticipation for what you would much rather be bringing with you into the year ahead.

As you turn inward and fall in love with the truth of who you really are, you become whole, despite the brokenness. ~ Chloe Rain

 

The New Moon in Capricorn 2022

December 23rd ~ 30th

Stonehenge December 20, 2019 by Carol Evans

Grow as the flower grows, unconsciously, but eagerly anxious to open its soul to the air. So must you press forward to open your soul to the eternal. ~ Mabel Collins (Light on the Path)

At 1º Capricorn 33’ the New Moon falls on December 23rd, just a mere few days after the Solstice, and the Sun’s entrance into Capricorn. The darkest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the New Moon stands as a symbol for the hope of renewal, rebirth and the return of the light. And if we were to hitch a ride on this wave of renewal, it can bring us where we need to go.

Capricorn is a sign of commitment, resoluteness and planning, therefore the New Moon in Capricorn is an ideal time to set positive, realistic and achievable goals for ourselves. Do not be deterred by the Mercury retrograde phase which begins on the 29th. That will be our opportunity to review, reassess and revise the goals that we are setting now.

Traditionally we make our resolutions for the year ahead on New Year’s Day. However, New Moons are times of New Beginnings. So rather than waiting for January 1st this year, plan on making your New Year’s Resolutions with the New Moon instead. We can all benefit from the determination and resolve of the sign of Capricorn to carry these resolutions forward into the New Year. All the more so with the raw potential of a New Moon.

With the New Moon square optimistic and enthusiastic Jupiter in Aries, we are being asked to think large. As mentioned last week with the Solstice also exactly square Jupiter, these 90º square aspects motivate us to grow and evolve. Jupiter is enthusiastic, bold and energized in the fire sign of Aries. A sign of raw energy and possibility. And in the potential of the New Moon and the growing influence of the Jupiter/Aries transit, many are probably already thinking in terms of what we need to do in order to make new beginnings, and/or further grow in 2023.

What we need to look out for with the Moon square Jupiter, is of setting our goals too high, or of having unrealistic expectations. Resolutions often don’t make it past the first few months, and often it is because we overdo things, or try to do too much. The key is to not take on more than you can handle, while also finding ways to allow for some sort of growth or progress to take place. Jupiter entering Aries is encouraging us all to move in a new direction, and allow some new vision to take hold. If you feel like you have too many goals, pick the most important of these to focus on

Here is some practical advice for making resolutions or setting intentions with the New Moon in Capricorn and/or the New Year:

  • Don’t make too many resolutions. It will prove to be self-defeating. Rather focus on one (maybe two) goals that are realistically achievable within a reasonable amount of time. Pick the one that is most important to you.

  • Don’t make drastic changes too quickly. The Mercury retro period will totally undo all that. Rather take small incremental steps that allow you to gradually adjust to changes as you are going along.

  • Writing your resolutions or intentions down is a way for you to process and really consider what you are wanting to accomplish.

  • You don’t necessarily need to start any new commitments at the New Moon or on New Year’s Day. But know that if you do, you can use the upcoming Mercury retrograde from December 29th thru January 18th, to revise, tweak or adjust your plans so that they can be more realistically achievable.

  • Be specific! If you wish to eat healthier, or create a wellness plan, or write that book, be specific about what you are going to do, and when: “I am going to commit to taking a 1 hour walk in the park 4 days a week beginning January 1st”.

What the New Moon in Capricorn is really good for: 

  • Creating a plan. Make it concise. Make it specific, and realistically achievable.

  • Beginning things, or taking on a project that requires a little extra discipline and foresight.

  • Organizing things. Whether in your calendar, your environment or those drawers that got out of hand.

  • Looking for positive ways to manage your time. Create a realistic and manageable schedule. Use an on-line calendar with reminders. Find a 2023 date book that appeals to you.

  • Seeking advice, either from people you respect, are experienced, or are older, wiser and have been there and done that already.

  • With Mercury stationing on the 29th for its retrograde phase, this could be a good time to revise, or reassess certain family traditions or rules. Perhaps even passing the torch of traditions and/or responsibility on to someone else.

Cultivating more Capricorn in our lives:

  • In what ways can you be more self-reliant and self-sufficient?

  • What promises and commitments do you want to follow through with over the year ahead?

  • What are the things that would make you feel most accomplished?

  • What would self-respect look like for you?

  • How can you show greater respect to those you consider to be your elders, or those whom you look up to and admire?

  • What can you learn from them?

If you wish to set intentions, make resolutions, or positive affirmations with the New Moon, the best time to do so is while the Moon is still in Capricorn from the New Moon on December 23rd (5:17 AM EST; 2:17 AM Pacific Time; 10:17 AM Greenwich Universal Time) through December 24th. Some positive affirmations and intentions for the New Moon in Capricorn might be:

  • “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

  • I honor Experience and Memory as the basis of Wisdom.

  • May I take the steps that are necessary in order to promote a more positive public image.

  • I embrace my limitations as a means to practice patience while focusing on those areas where I know I can make the most progress.

  • I lead best when I lead by example.

  • “Character ~ the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life ~ is the source from which self respect springs.” ~ Joan Didion

  • May I recognize and follow the path that is best for me.

Less than one hour before the New Moon, Chiron will station for its Direct Phase at 11º Aries 56’. One of the keys to working with Chiron is learning to accept our foibles and peculiarities, not as weaknesses of character, or as things to be ashamed of, but as the natural consequence of living a unique human experience. The ultimate aim for Chiron is healing, acceptance and wholeness. Recognizing what makes us unique, also allows us to recognize the sort of path, life or lifestyle that would be most appropriate for our needs. Chiron in Aries brings us the courage to live our lives according to our own needs, and on our own terms, while also accepting others where they are on their own journeys.

Combined with the New Moon in Capricorn the station of Chiron can bring us the courage and the motivation to get our lives back on track. The track we were meant to be on all along.

One last Note on Mercury’s retrograde phase December 29th – January 18th: When Mercury is retrograde while Mars is retrograde in Gemini (a Mercury sign), expect those things associated with Mercury to be even more haywire than usual:

  • Travel and commuting: We have already been seeing a lot of weather related travel issues for the holiday weekend coming up. Traveling during these retrograde phases will require patience, flexibility and some extra time and planning. Be prepared for delays and cancellations.

  • Miscommunications: Not the best time to make major decisions, or have that really important talk. It is however a good time to sort things out in your mind. We’ll talk more on that in the next posting.

  • Making promises or commitments; signing contracts. Things will probably need to be revised or reversed later on.

  • Plans, appointments, routines. Be prepared for last minute changes.

More on this next week!

The Solstice 2022 and the Jupiter Ingress in Aries

December 16th ~ 23rd

“Eternal” by Rajewel

It is the season of the birth of the Sun: the coming back and bringing into fructification those seeds and plants needing Sun energy for their growth and expression ~ but it is more than that, because behind the Sun, as behind every single body, there is spirit, there is life, and there is intelligence. ~ Robert Crosbie

Yuletide begins on December 21st and lasts through New Year’s Day. December 21st is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, when the Sun appears to stand still at its Southernmost point of the Ecliptic. On a geographic map this would be the equivalent to the Tropic of Capricorn, 23º  South of the Equator. The Solstice at this sacred time of year, is one of the most powerful and significant times of the Solar Year. A time of transition as the Sun appears to pause in its journey. Shortly after this day, the Sun will gradually appear to make its way back North again, bringing with it the return of the Light.

In the darkness before the dawn, we are symbolically confronted with our own soul journey searching for that ephemeral light of enlightenment. Whether we seek this truth through ritual, religion, community, prayer, parties, love, the wonders of nature, or festive holiday lights and candles; it brings also a hope for renewal, rebirth and for wisdom and light. And if we can ride this wave, dedicating ourselves to this journey at this time of year, it can help to bring us where we need to go.

In Winter time, the potential of life still lies dormant within the earth, waiting for the return of the light to invigorate it once again. So too, in our own lives it is meant to be a time of rest and contemplation. This is our own version of hibernation and withdrawal, where we seek our own potential within.

The symbolism of the Winter Solstice and the Yuletide time of year is perhaps the basis from which our New Year’s resolutions evolved. For with this shift into the sign of Capricorn also comes a renewed surge and commitment to purpose and growth. On the day of the Solstice, celebrate the day with stillness. Pausing to reflect on what once was, while looking with anticipation to what could be.

This year, the New Moon in Capricorn will fall on December 23rd, just a few days after the Solstice. Astrologically, the New Moon phase that follows will be the most ideal time to be making our New Year’s Resolutions for the year ahead. The sign of Capricorn is a sign of commitment and longevity, and it is helpful to have the determination and resolve of Capricorn to carry these resolutions forward into the New Year.

Hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It’s not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be. ~ Barack Obama (A Promised Land)

Square aspects motivate us to grow and evolve. This year the Solstice is immediately preceded by Jupiter’s ingress into Aries, creating a 90º square aspect with the Solstice point at 0º of Capricorn. Jupiter is expansive and bold. And in the sign of Aries is further emboldened by the fiery enthusiasm and potential of the first sign of the zodiac. Aries is a sign of New Beginnings, sowing seeds in our lives for ever greater potential and possibility.

Because Jupiter was already in the early degrees of Aries earlier this year, it will now race through the sign of Aries this time around, then entering Taurus on May 16th. Launched into Aries at this primal time of year, Jupiter fills us with excitement for what could be. Over the next 5 months, many will find themselves fulfilling initiatives that had been simmering on the back burners of their lives; some may even decide to take some risks, going off in a whole new direction. The enthusiasm, optimism and hope that Jupiter can bring when in the sign of Aries should not be taken for granted.

Therefore use this week of the Capricorn Solstice to pause and reflect on where you came from, while also wistfully looking forward to what could be. This is a time of stillness, not action. But it is a time of contemplation and connecting to your own inner potential.

In preparation for your New Year/New Moon resolutions and affirmations for December 23rd, some questions for consideration might be:

  • In what ways do you want to see yourself growing and improving in 2023?

  • What are the things that you want to learn more about?

  • What goals would you like to set for yourself this year?

  • What might your own personal Bucket List look like for 2023?

About that Neptune Station

December 9th ~ 16th

“Dharma Moon” by H. Kopp-Delaney

Yes, there is a Nirvana; it is leading your sheep to a green pasture, and in putting your child to sleep, and in writing the last line of your poem. ~ Kahlil Gibran

There are 4 cross-corners to the Sun/Neptune cycle each year. If we were to begin with the Sun/Neptune conjunction on March 13th, this would have been the beginning of the Sun/Neptune cycle this year. That is when we were asked to plant our own fanciful dreams and notions in what we believed to be the fertile soil of possibility. And at each of the other corners of the year those ideals were and are then challenged for validity. Often they end up floundering haplessly upon the rough shoals of the Neptunian shores. But occasionally they can also offer us a glimpse into the realm of divine and/or magical possibility.

On June 16th, 12 days before the retrograde station of Neptune, it made its first opening square to the Sun. This was the first challenge to our wistful notions planted in the earlier conjunction. This was a time of adjustment, which compelled us to dive deeply into the retrograde phase in order to cultivate our own internal Neptune: our dreams, our ideals, our imagination and our fantasies. Neptune junctures can feel hapless and unmoored, but it is also when we are inspired to seek ever greater understanding and meaning in our lives. And not doing so would make us feel as if something was missing.

In the middle of the retrograde period the Sun opposes Neptune as it did on September 17th subsuming us in a collective Neptunian wave. Those who had been working on cultivating their connection with their own inner Neptune will have that inner gps system guiding them through the Neptunian matrix, confirming and reaffirming their ideals, while simultaneously divesting us of our delusions. Dreams are vivid, disappointments are laden, and the intuition is strong as we navigate the treacherous and liminal waters at the edge of the Neptunian sea. This is where we stand between the real and the unreal, between loss and transcendence.

And now, approximately 12 days after the direct station of Neptune, on December 14th we have yet another adjustment: the closing square between Sun and Neptune. This is when the rubber meets the road. Now that we are emerging out of the retrograde phase of Neptune, it could feel a bit like we are coming out of a long dream. And we are being asked to put those dreams and ideals into application in our everyday lives.

It may be that we find our hopes and dreams out of alignment with reality or our current circumstances. And so we may ask ourselves: Is there something I can change in my life that would allow this dream to become a closer reality? And if there is nothing that can be done, what can I change in my perspective or my expectations, so that I can arrive at a greater level of acceptance and understanding of what is, or is not, realistically achievable?

Neptune can drive us to madness with despair and disillusionment, but it can also carry us aloft to the land of the gods. When we center ourselves in our own inner Neptune, whether we do so through introspection, meditation, the imagination, or inner prayer, it can be a magical, beautiful and wistfully divine experience. If Neptune were to desire anything for us, it would be to find deeper meaning and purpose in our lives, and to recognize ourselves as being part of something much greater than ourselves. Neptune in action imbues us with compassion, inspires us to be charitable and fills us with a social conscience. It identifies with higher causes, and with those things that invest our lives with meaning and magic and beauty.

Even in our ordinary everyday lives, we can feel its magical influence trying to remind us of who we really are. Neptune is that feeling you get when you see the magnificence of a perfect sunrise, when you write the last line of your poem, when you immerse yourself in the beauty and profundity of nature, walk by the sea, or notice the dew on the petal of a flower. Neptune is that which inspires, and fills your heart with meaning, whether in a dream, a song, or with the feel of a subtle breeze like the breath of a baby on your skin. Neptune is that experience you have when you do a good deed, say a kind word, or come to realize the ways that we are all so deeply moved by and connected to one another on these subliminal levels.

And it is through these very ordinary experiences in our lives, that we are brought into alignment with that inner divine spark, and our most profound ideals. The sort of ideals that invest everything we do with meaning, no matter what happens, no matter where we are, no matter what we do or do not have. It is that which transcends the material world, and re-enchants our lives.

And as much as I’d like to believe there’s a truth beyond illusion, I’ve come to believe that there’s no truth beyond illusion. Because, between ‘reality’ on the one hand, and the point where the mind strikes reality, there’s a middle zone, a rainbow edge where beauty comes into being, where two very different surfaces mingle and blur to provide what life does not: and this is the space where all art exists, and all magic. ~ Donna Tartt

What this week is good for:

  • Getting lost in your imagination: Draw, paint, play music, sing, dance, write poetry, watch a good movie, read a good book, and dream. 

  • Practices that help to align you with your spiritual center: Meditate, Pray, Chant, read something spiritual. Take long walks in nature, near water, or seek solace in sacred spaces. 

  • Let go of that which you no longer need to carry and is taking up too much room: Release. Forgive. Shake off the old leaves of regret, anger, dismay and sorrow, in order to make room for something better to take root.

  • Connect with yourself: Reflect, journal, lay out the cards, read the I Ching, dig out the pendulum & oracles

  • Doing activities that connect you to Neptune: Perform acts of compassion and random acts of kindness, a kind word, stop to listen, be present for others. Volunteer your time or your resources for a good cause. 

  • Slowing down: Pay attention, See, Hear, Feel, Be present in order to honor and fully appreciate each moment.

The Full Moon in Gemini and the Mars Opposition

December 2nd ~ 9th

NASA images: credit given to Mike Linnehan

Truth is like the Sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away. ~ Elvis Presley

The Mars opposition occurs in the middle of the Mars retrograde phase, approximately every 26 months. This year, the Mars opposition occurs simultaneously with the Full Moon in Gemini on December 7th or 8th, depending on where you are in the world. At 16º’02’ of Gemini, the Full Moon will then temporarily occult Mars, eclipsing it from the night sky. It is at the time of this opposition that Mars is at its closest to the earth in its orbit, and otherwise at its brightest.

Astrologically this makes for a feisty, raucous and potentially angry Full Moon period. Emotions will be raw and on the surface. Tempers will flare, and passions will smolder. In Sagittarius season the urge to have our say will be especially strong, but will also be that much more difficult to contain. Therefore take this one with a grain of caution, understanding that there are consequences for what we say and do.

Never will we feel so aware of the consequences of our own words and actions than we will with this Full Moon in Gemini. 

The Full Moon could be raucous, emotional, and perhaps a little loud. More so than usual because it is being riled up by this lawless and un-contained Mars. We’ve been seeing Mars in Gemini doing its work on the global stage. Major and unprecedented protests have erupted throughout the world. In Iran people have been taking major risks by staging protests, which began when a woman died in custody, after having been arrested and held by the police for not wearing adequate head covering. In China the powerful Zero Covid protests have evolved into an also unprecedented cascade of growing grievances, while rallies in support of the China protests have spread throughout the world.

Notably, with Mars retrograde in the sign of communications and square nebulous Neptune, there has been a wave of people symbolically speaking out without saying anything. Instead protestors are seen holding up blank sheets of paper. Students near Beijing added a twist to the wordless campaign by holding up a sign showing only a mathematical equation. That equation was originally formulated by a physicist whose last name, Friedmann, translates as ‘free man’ in China.

In Sagittarius season we become seekers of truth. With Neptune stationing in Pisces on December 3rd at cross angles to the Sagittarius planets, we struggle with the truth being obscured, manipulated, modified and withheld. But in the brilliant light of the Full Moon the truth will not be hidden for long. Facts will be revealed, truths come out and secrets disclosed.

It will be all we can do to contain the bold, restless energy of the Full Moon, but it might be wise to refrain from action until you have all the facts. Step back and see what is being revealed first. And then draw your conclusions later when we emerge from the shadow of the Neptune squares. The symbolism of the blank papers that the protestors proffer is perhaps enough for now, letting others know that they already know what we have to say, without actually having to say it. A symbolic, Neptunian gesture, that says everything without the words.

In the potential cacophony of the Gemini Full Moon, we may still want to find some rare moments of silence and withdrawal in our lives. If only for a moment. When Neptune stations as it will on December 3rd it is square the planets transiting in the sign of Sagittarius, which could drown out the still small voice of spirit that can come with the stations of Neptune.

For the past 5 months that Neptune has been in its retrograde phase we have been getting in touch with our own inner Neptune: the behests of spirit, those things that bring meaning to our lives, our most cherished ideals, dreams and fantasies. And now that Neptune is stationing for its direct phase once again, we are approaching that time of year in which we attempt to put those ideals into practice and application. This is when we ask ourselves, what it is that we need to change or adjust, in order to make those ideals a closer, more achievable reality?

Watch for vivid dreams, intuitive flashes of insight, and an increase in our sensory perceptions this week. Neptune is speaking to us in its own silent voice, in its own way. Even if it hasn’t the words to do so.