Right now is a good time for assessment. Or, re-assaessment. The energies are calming a bit, and many of us could use the break. It's a good time to get our bearings.
Sometimes we get so concerned with the past and future that we forget all about the present moment. And that's really all we ever have! Taurus energy reminds us to be fully in our bodies as a way to become more present.
Taurus is about values. Mercury going retrograde in this sign (during Taurus season, as this is also where the Sun is now) can mean that we are looking more closely at what it is that we really value. Becoming more present can assist in this process, as we can get closer to how we actually feel about things. Most of us are by now getting some strong messages about direction in life: obstacles, shifts in plans, changing relationships, etc. Is the way that we are living aligned with what we value? Are we feeling valued? Are the energies that we are putting out bringing in energies of equal value?
The Prince of Disks says to take things one step at a time. Take action, but don't spaz out expecting everything to happen at once. The uncertainty of the times can be managed by being here now.
Mercury is slowing down to go retrograde on Thursday. This is big stuff! Mercury retrogrades always behoove (I love that word) us to slow down. But now, as we get set for him to join 4 other planets to make FIVE going backward all at once, we are really getting a major unravel and revamp!
And this time, we'll need to get to the bottom of things. This time a tweak here and a surface clean-up there probably won't do the trick. It's time to clean house.
Things that, at core, are not aligned with our overall well-being may need to go. Roles we've played, self-concepts we've held. If we are running into obstacles, now or over the next few weeks, we are getting a signal that we're not ready to move ahead. Something isn't ready yet. There are other changes that are needing to take place...and they might not be obvious to us consciously at first. Conversely, sudden shifts can also occur. There are mysteries within us that are wanting to open and emerge. And mysteries are just that; they are veiled from conscious view until revealed. They can't be mysteries if we think we already know what they are, or confine them with old stories!
Forcing things now will most likely have a backlash effect. It's so important to breathe into what we're feeling. Let things go a bit. Give yourself the space you need. It's not business as usual for many of us. Perhaps there is a way to feel freer and more supported. This is a process.
The Sun entered Taurus on Tuesday, and with it we enter into the season of fertility. Taurus is the steward of life and all blooming things. Venus ruled, Taurus has to do with the sensual pleasures of being physical.
That all sounds so lovely, doesn't it? So then why are things so *#^%& insane?
Venus, Goddess of Love, is square this week with a newly retrograde Pluto, God of the Underworld. Venus has to do with what we value and find beautiful. As an indicator of values, she also has to do with our finances, and our sense of self-worth. As she comes into conflict with Pluto, a lot of underlying issues around value and worth may come up to the surface. Usually, when things have been below ground, they have been placed there for a reason! But what emerges now is ready to be transmuted into something better.
Venus is also making a conjunction with Uranus, god of sudden awakenings. The surprises that come up now may or may not be pleasant. If we are blindsided in some way, this may indicate that something that has needed to change for some time reached an end-point. If we do not make changes (or we simply don't know how to make changes) the Universe may seem to make them for us from without.
As Mars continues into his retrograde journey, there are seismic shifts occurring for many. He IS hanging out in the heart of Darkness after all, sparring with his rival Antares. That's bound to create some havoc.
The good news is that the Taurus energy can be stabilizing and supporting, and that might be just what we need right now. The more we can slow down and be present, the better off we can be.
I am having one of the most intense weeks...months? ...of my life. Just now I said to my dear friend "My gosh, I don't even know what to write,". Her very clear and succinct suggestion was, "Say: Yo bitches... shit is intense."
So, yeah...this shit IS intense.
Is your Master Plan going haywire? You are not alone. There is a lot of pressure now, and it can bring out our personal extremes. Victim-Perpetrator is a big one. We are challenged on how we deal with conflict and boundaries. The Universe might be doing a fine job of pointing out what area needs some work. Do we retract into victim? Do we go on the offense? Do we want to "correct" others" or blame? Do we apologize when we "shouldn't"?
This is a time when our rights could be challenged, too, and that could bring up some old stuff. Those of us who've had our boundaries crossed regularly---via unhealthy or abusive relationships, socio-economic issues, chronic racism or sexism, etc---may have trouble with recognizing new boundary crosses as they happen. We may react later when we feel safer again, or we may shut down. We may feel "undeserving" in some way. But this is an opportunity for rehabilitation and redefinition.
Some of us go the other way and never allow ourselves to feel vulnerable. We keep up a ready defense and will fight anyone that threatens our self concept. "Victor Syndrome", too, is being challenged, as some softer part of us gets tired of being unseen and isolated. It's hard to feel truly loved when we are always putting on a front of success and control. Being "fun" or "perky" can also be a defense in this way.
I chose an image of Ganesh for this post, because He is both the Remover of Obstacles AND the one who puts them in front of us as needed. He arrives when we are ready to embark on a new venture, but helps us with our true readiness. He is also associated with the First Chakra of foundation, survival and safety. He is a benevolent diety and can help us bring new beginnings and blessings of all kinds into our lives when honored. He is the remover of negativity. Jai Ganesha!
"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." --Albert Einstein
The week begins with the Moon in Gemini completing a mutable Grand Cross. While Grand Cross's are often thought of as frustrating tension aspects, in this instance it might offer some stability! In any case, it moves by quickly. Now is a good time to communicate needs and wishes.
We have a somewhat longer lasting Grand Trine in the Earth element later this week involving Mercury, Pluto, and Jupiter, among others. This is another great communication opportunity! This is the time to bring up the challenging topics for resolution while the energy is harmonious. A great time to schedule meetings and make plans (with the understanding that things WILL take longer than we expect!) in ways that work for everyone.
Perhaps this week can offer support for managing some of the combative, intense energies that have been operating. Behind the scenes, there is still great shifting and awakening happening. There is an intense and important alchemy occurring with the combination of stop/start, forward/backward, awakening and learning how to apply that awakening. The adolescent in us wants to just get on with it already, but there is an invisible barrier it seems. It's not about waiting, per se. It's more about tempering and honing our skills and strength. The Universe is not making any mistakes, or trying to cause us grief. It is not against us in any way. (You ARE the Universe, remember?) It is reflecting back to us exactly who we are, and what we need most. Don't wait for things to get "better". Develop a better relationship to what is within you that the Universe is trying to show you.
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New Moons are always about new beginnings, and in Aries, this is especially so. Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac, and represents a forward charge into our new identity.
This lunation is squaring Pluto and conjunct Uranus/Eris. A new age can't happen without an apocalypse. As we move into new territory and shift eras in our lives, we also activate the resistance of the old selves we once were. As the Angel calls us to the new path, the bodies simultaneously rise to the surface, saying "Bless me. Love me. Don't leave me behind without proper honors. I matter."
Any time we move into a higher frequency of energy, we automatically flush out from within us that which is contrary to it. There is a dissonance that shows us the contrast between what it is that we think we're ready for, and what we can really handle and appreciate. Very few of us like this fact, but it's the psyche's way of helping us to truly line up where we endeavor to go. Spring cleaning!
Pluto aka Hades is Lord of the Underworld; Uranus is the Awakener. As we move into our new lives, the living dead demand their due. They are a weighty lot to carry around, all moaning and groaning and gross and trying to eat us alive. Our first impulse is usually to run away from them, but I assure you that this will only cause them to step up their game.
I've shared this story before, but I think that it bears doing so again. It's the tale of Skeleton Woman, a story of love and death. It's one of my favorites, adapted from Clarissa Pinkola Estes version of the story by Arnell Ando:
There once was a hunter fisherman, who was fishing in a cove far from home, that he didn't realize was haunted. Looking around and seeing no other kayaks out in the water, he thought, 'I have this bay all to myself.' He dropped his bone hook over the side of his kayak and waited. And he was so hungry. And he was so lonely. And he had been hunting and fishing for days on end without finding anything to eat. And so his bone hook went down, down, down, into the deep waters.
Beneath the waters was a skeleton woman, and she lay there on the ocean floor, rolling back and forth with the tide. The bone hook, as it drifted down into the deep waters, caught in her ribcage. Although she tried to move with the currents to disengage herself, the bone hook caught all the more tightly. The fisherman above, felt a tug, and pulled a little more, and saw his fishing stick beginning to bend. 'Oh' he thought, 'I've got something really big on the end of this line that's going to keep me fed for a very long time to come.' As he pulled harder, Skeleton Woman began to drift to the surface of the water. And as he turned back around with his net to catch his 'prize', there she was - hanging off the bow of his kayak, with her long yellow front teeth, and her bald head filled with crustaceans, and sea worms dangling from the nose holes and ear holes of her skull. The fisherman was absolutely terrified! So much so that his ears turned a bright red and met each other at the back of his head. He screamed and paddled fast as he could towards shore. But she was still hooked in her ribcage and so when he paddled and looked back over his shoulder, he saw her standing on tippy-toes racing after him, over the tops of the waters. 'Oh no!' he screamed, 'She is chasing me! She is after me!' And he arrived at the shore, not a moment too soon and scrambled out of his kayak, grabbed his fishing stick and ran for his life. He looked over his shoulder every few moments and sure enough, she was still keeping up with him. The poor fisherman was running in terror as fast as he could and finally he came to his little skin house and dove inside, into the darkness.
And he thought, 'At last I am safe.' He became very still and listened...and the only sound he could hear was his own heart pounding. 'I must have out run her', he thought and after a little while just to be certain, he began to make a little fire, because he was so cold. And then, right across from him, flickering in the light there she was! She was still hooked and all in a tangled mess. Her ankles were over her shoulders and one arm was caught in her ribcage and her pelvis was tilted backwards, and her skull was hanging down below her shoulders. He looked at her and something came over him. He looked a little longer, and tried to still his fear. The more he studied her the more he felt sorry for her. She was in such a predicament. Somehow in this tangled mess she didn't look so frightful as she had before. And he contemplated her...and she did not move. The more he thought about it, she had an almost pitiful, pleading expression.
Like a father would to a child, he reached out and took her ankles down from her shoulders cooing, 'There , there, that's better isn't it? Not so uncomfortable.' He straightened and untangled her, as he sang a little song, as a father would. And soon she was all straightened out. And she had an odd little tilt to her skull that almost made her look grateful. And he mused, 'Well, she's just a skeleton hooked by accident. I'll leave her be this night and then give her a proper burial in the morning. I'll try to sleep now, because I'm so very hungry and sleep is my only escape from this hunger. And he fell fast asleep, exhausted by all the excitement and lack of food.
As often happens when we sleep, a little tear escaped from the corner of his eye and began to trickle down his face. Skeleton woman saw this tear glistening there and became very thirsty. And so very quietly, with the slightest of tinkling and rattling of bones, she got on her hands and knees and placed her mouth there and drank deeply. When she saw that he did not awaken, she slid her hand inside his chest and took out his heart. And she raised it like a great drum and began pounding on it. Boom....boom...boom...and she began to sing flesh onto her bones. She sang with the drum of his heart and long, glossy, black hair grew out of her skull and a full, elegant face and fine hips and all the things that a woman needs began to take shape. And when she was done, she slipped the hunter's heart back inside his chest and looked at him ever so tenderly. She lifted the sleeping skins of his bedding and climbed in underneath and pressed her warm body against his. And they tangled all night long. They wound up more tangled then she had been to begin with.
And when morning broke, they left together hand in hand. Because she was from the water, they never again went hungry for she had a way of calling the creatures of the sea to her. And people say that if you are ever out when the whole land is white with snow and the sky is also stark white and nothing seems to move; if you look out into the horizon, and can see two tiny black dots bobbing gently, that is skeleton woman and hunter.
There is a term that I like a lot known as: "libidinal gain". Libidinal gain has to do with pleasure, power and energy exchange, and its meaning can best be described in the question: "who's getting off here?". Though "libido" is often misunderstood to mean sexual desire only, it is more than that. It has to do with life force, and the desire to live. Libido is why we wake up in the morning and get out of bed.
With Mars stationing in the heart of darkness of the Scorpio constellation, it may be apt to ask questions concerning "libidinal gain". A really frank inquiry might sound like, "Am I getting off enough here?"
or, "who is getting off here?" And, "Am I losing or gaining energy in this situation?"
With the astrology at play right now, we might be coming up against some chronic issues that feel weighty or oppressive. This is good news, because just simple awareness can lighten the burden almost automatically. Even though it may seem like the problems are bigger, its more about focus. Most of what we are noticing and dealing with now has been there the whole time, waiting for our attention.
Even if we are feeling less than enthused about life, if we are still getting up and going about a day, we have libido going on. and that is good! But chronic tiredness or depression or conflict can be a signal that we are allowing ourselves to engage in a "bad deal". We might need to make some shifts. And, just as a gentle reminder, if you do come into a negative awareness, please treat yourself kindly. We all do it.
Why am I carrying this? Is it worth it? What am I getting out of this? Sometimes we carry weight in order to avoid ourselves. Sometimes we just have no idea how else to live. These times are giving us a wonderful and challenging opportunity to reevaluate where/what we are plugging our energy into, and where we are sending our power.
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About your astrologer:
Aepril Schaile, MFA, is Venus ruled; a Taurus with Libra rising; Lilith conjunct ASC. As an adept astrologer, Aepril provides readings which can help solve everyday problems and assist in regaining a sense of alignment with True Will, finding your deeper, uniquely powerful truth. She lives in Salem, MA and spends her days with her beloved canine companion, Gwyddion.