Sunday musings: Can we, should we, move past Charleston?

racistNormally a tragedy such as the one which just occurred in Charleston, in which 21-year old Dylann Roof, in the throes of the double transit of Saturn and Uranus I wrote of just this week, killed nine people worshipping in a church, would send me to the astrological chart to attempt to find a personality disorder that would explain how a person could commit such a heinous act.

The real tragedy is that these events are becoming so commonplace that there is barely time to profile so many criminals and murderers, and at this point it becomes evident that the illness is not just in the individual, but also in the society that feeds the illness of the individual and causes it to erupt into the collective conscious experience.  The racist spewings of Dylann Roof are not that different from what you will hear on Fox News nearly every day.  “Taking our country back” is a catchphrase that was often used during the 2012 election when conservative voters talked about taking the country back from the African American living in the White House.

There has been a drastic spike in mass shootings since 2000, and especially since 2007 (just before Pluto entered Capricorn and sent financial markets into a contraction that still reverberates today).   Between 2000 and 2006 there were 6.4 mass shootings a year.  Between 2007 and 2013 that number jumped to 16.4 mass shootings a year.  Mother Jones magazine has posted a comprehensive list of mass shootings in the US and you can see that in the 1980s there were one or two mass killings a year.  Shootings began to increase in the 1990s to two to three a year, and then we see a drastic increase to five in 1999, the year of the Columbine shootings.  During this time transiting Pluto was crossing the ascendant of the astrological chart for the United States and doing its job of bringing out the darkness of the collective unconscious.

Planetary transits, even of Saturn and Pluto, the two dark forces of the astrological pantheon, do not in themselves create murder and horrific events.  Their role is to enforce the need for Universal balance, and when the life of an individual OR of a nation is out of balance, events will occur in the outer world to draw our attention to the need for change.  When our children began murdering members of our society, we must cease our denial and explanations and realize that there is something very fundamentally wrong with our culture that needs immediate repair.  With Sagittarius rising in the US chart there is a tendency to want to believe only the best about the country – the myth of “American Exceptionalism” is at this point only a fantasy, and yet it appears to be the driving force for many political forces and only serves to keep us trapped in a web of delusion.

There is a lot of talk right now about forgiveness.  And there’s no doubt that carrying rage and resentment in one’s heart for a lifetime creates nothing but illness and misery.  But forgiveness will not correct the underlying karma of a nation trapped by its own mythology.  These murders in Charleston were committed by one very disturbed young person – that is absolutely true.  But it was an action that resonated in the hearts and minds of a large portion of mainstream America as we have witnessed nearly ever night over the past year as we watch the news.

Until the truth is allowed to emerge and real discourse and accountability can take place, the darkness will continue to rule this country.

 

The Astrology of Rachel Dolezal

Rachel Dolezal astrologyRachel Dolezal, a woman who was just outed by her own parents for posing as a black person for years but is actually white, is the type of case that send me right to the astrological chart to try to find an explanation of such bizarre behavior.

Unfortunately without a birth time we can’t identify the ascendant, the sign on the horizon at the time she was born, which would provide more details about her relationship to her personal identity which is what this case is all about.  The rest of the chart is interesting  – three planets in Scorpio and three planets in Sagittarius show a basic duality in the personality between two signs that have nothing in common with each other and don’t understand each other.  Scorpio is intense and dramatic and concerned with matters of power – Sagittarius rebels from all that and wants to get unstuck and find freedom to explore new ideas.

Dolezal’s Scorpio Sun conjoins Uranus, the planet of radical behavior so it wouldn’t be unusual for her to be rebellious and want to find her own way.  Her Mars – showing her desires and drive – is in the sign of Leo which needs a sense of importance and validation and often seeks fame and attention when the inner validation is not found.  Uranus forms a challenging square to Mars, aggravating the rebellious streak and instilling a desire to be different and unique.

With her Venus in Scorpio she is passionate about everything she becomes involved in, but Chiron, the planet of wounding and healing, opposes her Venus and suggests insecurities and a fundamental lack of self-worth.   In addition, Saturn, the planet of self-doubt and restriction forms a square to her Sun, further stressing her confidence yet pushing her to achieve.

On the Sagittarius side of the equation we see the Moon conjunct Neptune – an aspect which instills imagination and creativity but potentially also a disconnect from reality if one travels too far into the Neptunian realm of transcendence.  The Sagittarius influence encourages her to think big – to yearn to expand beyond the boundaries of a limited life.

Her identity confusion is apparent in several different areas.  Dolezal is apparently an accomplished artist, and some of her paintings took the perspective of a black man.  She self-identified as black.  Yet as a student at Howard University, a predominantly African American college, she tried to sue the university for discrimination against her because she was white.  If we had a birth time we would likely see either Neptune or Pisces on the ascendant, clouding the identity question, or perhaps Gemini or Mercury which creates a fluidity of self-identification.

Neptune can play a different role – a darker role, in which the individual is either scapegoated or takes on the role of victim.  In any case, this is an individual with a tremendous imagination (Moon/Neptune) who used that imagination to escape (Sun/Uranus) a life of boundaries and limits (Sun/Saturn) and got carried away with the drama.

There is a karmic element at work as well, which we can see with Pluto sitting right on the North Node, the point of destiny.  This typically denotes an individual with a very focused path in this lifetime, and Pluto’s destructive and regenerative power suggests that there will need to be significant surrender and letting go in order to continue the growth required. Transiting Pluto is in an exact square to her natal Pluto, the first of the midlife crisis transits for this generation, setting off this karmic quest.  And, as several commenters have pointed out, transiting Saturn just moved across her own Saturn for the second phase of a challenging cycle that will force her to face some hard cold realities as Saturn so often does. View the chart here.

My Big Uranus Transit and the Uranus Cycle

"Phoenix of the Heart" by Kim Dreyer
“Phoenix of the Heart” by Kim Dreyer

Some of you may be wondering where I have been, and in fact I have wondered that myself.  I am in the middle of a Very Big Uranus Transit in which the planet of rebellion and the destroyer of all that is rigid and feels like obligation is sitting right on an important system in my chart.  (Geeky astrological details: I have a triple conjunction in Libra of Saturn, Sun and Neptune which is squared by Uranus in Cancer.)  

The Uranus cycle tends to be associated with major changes in a person’s life.  The first one, the square (90 degree) aspect from Uranus in the sky to Uranus in the chart, occurs around age 20-22 in tandem with the closing square of Saturn in the sky to Saturn in the chart.  This is usually a time of chaos in a young person’s life during which they may dramatically shift the course their life has been taking up until that time.  Saturn puts pressure on the individual to get serious about their life, and at the same time Uranus is urging rebellion and a breaking away of anything that feels restrictive.  No wonder it’s such a challenging time!

The second phase in the cycle is the classic midlife crisis transit at age 40-42, the Uranus Opposition, which occurs in tandem with the square of transiting Neptune to natal Neptune.  During this cycle the urge to break out of routine (Uranus) is complicated by the confusion and delusion that is imposed by Neptune in an effort to inspire transcendence and a yearning for a more inward and spiritual life course.

The third phase in the cycle occurs around age 60-62, after the second Saturn Return at age 56-68.  The second Saturn Return marks the entry into what used to be called “Old Age” – now that 70 is the new 40, all of our conceptions about aging has changed.  Yet there’s no doubt that the second Saturn Return urges us to get serious about preparing for old age.  At this stage we have to let go of our ideas of who we wanted to be and recognize that we are who we are, and we had better embrace it.  And here comes the closing square of the Uranus cycle – the impetus for change that calls our attention to anything in our lives and in our psyche that feels stuck and calcified and needs release in order to achieve liberation.

The final phase in the Uranus cycle is the Uranus Return at age 84.  If one has lived to this stage, the Uranus Return offers an opportunity to free oneself from any artifice of human existence and prepare for the final passage out of this life and into the realm of pure energy.  For really, Uranus in its purest form represents the energy of human life: the electromagnetic force that provides the spark of life and supports that spark through a web of electromagnetic fields that we sometimes call “auras.”  For this reason Uranus cycles are often associated not only with shocking events that change our lives in the outer world, but also with kundalini events that can bring about anxiety and intense emotional changes.

When like me Uranus in your birthchart is tied into a sensitive system including a very personal planet like the Sun, these Uranus transits are intensified and become more important in transitioning into the next stage of the human experience.  My own Uranus Opposition happened to occur when Uranus and Neptune aligned in the early 1990s.  It was the best of times and the worst of times – my life was filled with exciting new experiences but also divorce.  I started to tap into my psychic abilities, but I also experienced debilitating panic attacks.  The breaking down of the defenses of the psyche is more difficult for people (again, like me) who have numerous planets in fixed signs that are not easily adaptable to change.

Over the past five years with Uranus locked in its dance with Pluto that you have been reading so much about (and if this is new you can catch up with the mini article in the sidebar), those of us undergoing these major Uranus cycles have been even more powerfully affected because of the inclusion of Pluto’s intensity.  This includes those born between 1990 and 1995 who have experienced the opening square of the cycle, those born between 1970-1975 who are in their Uranus Opposition, those like me born between 1950-1953 in the closing square, and finally, those in their Uranus Return born between 1926-1929.

I was somewhat apprehensive about the effect of this big Uranus Cycle in my own life, especially since transiting Uranus is at a virtual standstill in the sky and has been powering a laser beam of intense energy since May and will continue until at least September.  Like all transits the beginning was the most intense as the energy ramped up for the transit and I was forced to adapt to new energy pathways being forged that created some insomnia and emotional outbursts.  But now the initial intensity has smoothed out and I see that I am being opened from the inside out which is making it easier for me to let go and allow these changes to occur.

When these intense energetic shifts happen it can be quite frightening, but understanding the way astrology works can be quite helpful as we have a better idea of why these changes are happening and what we can do to facilitate the process.

Unfortunately my dear readers, under the force of Uranus I have neglected this blog.  The (almost) daily writing that a blog requires is a Saturnian effort – it requires discipline and focus and patience.  I do have Saturn on my Sun which usually helps me to pump out articles that are hopefully interesting and help to educate on a regular basis where so many other bloggers have quit.  However, with Uranus urging me to drop the routines, forget the obligations – seek something new and exciting in my life – it has been more difficult to write something fascinating about a New Moon for the thousandth time since this blog’s inception in 2005.

So while I apologize to you for having neglected you for so long, I believe that something is awakening in my soul and in my psyche that will ultimately benefit you as well so that we can take this journey into greater understanding together.

June Planetary Illuminations now posted

Found on YeatsVision.com
Found on YeatsVision.com

I am running a bit behind this month!  Blame it on Mercury retrograde and a big Uranus transit that I will write about soon.  You can read the article in its entirety here, and if you are on my mailing list you will soon receive your report with a translation of the planetary events into easy to understand language.

Here is the introduction discussing the main planetary events in June.

June begins with Mercury (ruling the mind, the mental realm and communication) still in retrograde, and this has been a difficult one for many people.  It began with a square from Mercury to Saturn, and because Mercury is in its own sign of Gemini adapability and flexibility is required.

Three planets change direction this month:  Mercury turns direct on the 11th which will start the gears moving again for most things, but Neptune turns retrograde on the 12th and is stationary throughout most of the month.  Neptune is the planet of inspiration and creativity, but it also urges us to transcend the material and discover the magic of the transcendent.  Boundaries are blurred and physical reality can be confusing, making decisions and anything practical difficult to achieve right now.  This is a better time for spiritual practice and creative endeavors – enjoying the arts and music, meditation and generally looking for an inner experience of the divine.

Chiron (wounding and healing) also turns retrograde this month, aiding Neptune in its quest to bring us more deeply into the inner mysteries and taking the process one step further by opening the doorways of the heart so that healing and transformation can occur.

Saturn (testing and hard work) is already traveling in retrograde motion, but this month it retrogrades from Sagittarius back into Scorpio where it will remain until September.  Saturn first went into Scorpio in October of 2012 and moved into Sagittarius in late December 2014 (read more about Saturn in Scorpio here).  With Saturn completing its passage through Scorpio we will be cleaning up situations of power imbalances, secrets and betrayals, emotional damage that we are holding onto.

The two planets of liberation and freedom, Jupiter and Uranus, complete their trine cycle this month.  Jupiter provides expansive confidence, and Uranus excites the imagination and creates innovation and change.  This is usually a very positive aspect for breakthroughs of all kinds, especially in science and technology.  In our personal lives this aspect will call our attention to areas of our lives that require change or where we may feel that we are being blocked from being our authentic self (Uranus) and the desire for change and liberation will be expanded by Jupiter’s confidence.

Finally, the challenging square between Uranus and Pluto (see the sidebar article if this is new to you) which has created so much stress and tension in our lives since 2010 may be over, but these two planets are still just two degrees apart from an exact aspect.  These planetary energies are preventing anything in our lives from taking root unless they serve the highest good, forcing us to let go of our old lives and begin anew.  Globally we are seeing this take shape as chaos and political turmoil as a new order begins to emerge.  The old must be destroyed before the new can take its place, and the same is true of our own worlds.

Mercury turns retrograde today, May 18 2015

23716981_sMercury difficulties came early this year with a challenging square from the planet Saturn, the ruler of challenges, delays and disappointments.  Saturn creates blocks and forces us to find a pathway around obstacles – it inspires determination and strength to overcome endurance, but also supreme frustration.

This Mercury/Saturn square was embedded in the chart for the Scorpio Full Moon on the 3rd. For the first two weeks of May as Mercury’s motion begins to slow in preparation for its change of direction we saw communication begin to become more confused and a greater need to turn inwards for answers as the externals lose their focus.

Mercury retrograde periods are essential since they help us to realign our thinking and refocus our energies – however, they can be difficult when we try to push a project through to completion and encounter Mercury-related glitches and delays.

Many people become unnecessarily frightened of these retrograde periods and believe that they have to hide in their house, essentially, and not make any decisions or take any steps until the retrograde is over.  This is an inaccurate and disempowering way to look at the situation and not one that I would ever advise.  Mercury is retrograde for three weeks, four times a year which is 25% of the year.  You can’t stop living your life!

There are lots of things Mercury retrograde periods are good for and most of them begin with RE.  A client recently called me because she had to have surgery when Mercury is retrograde.  RE-moving a tumor is a good thing to do under retrograde Mercury.  RE-vising your life plan.  RE-modeling your house or office.  RE-doing your website.  Anything that involves looking backwards over the past to correct past problems is a good thing to plan now.

If you can help it, putting off a major purchase or decision until after Mercury retrograde is a smart idea, but not always possible.  As many of you have heard, in my other life I own a real estate business and we have to write contracts throughout Mercury retrograde periods.  Very few of them fail, and I would guess that the number of failed contracts is not any more than non-Mercury retrograde periods.  We DO see more glitches, communication breakdowns, equipment failures, etc.  But we laugh, acknowledge that Mercury is retrograde and move on.

Perhaps its my contrarian nature, but I have a tendency to schedule vacations when Mercury is retrograde.  Often there are glitches, and sometimes I make mistakes and the reservations are for the wrong day, but generally things work out for the best.

Think of astrological cycles as being like the weather.  Just because there’s a chance of thunderstorms doesn’t mean you will always be hit by lightning.