A Test of Faith: To Live in Wonder Rather Than in Fear

A Test of Faith: To Live in Wonder Rather Than in Fear

By Heather Ensworth – September 2011

As I write this newsletter on the day of the New Moon, a hurricane is moving up the eastern coast of the United States. Our new Moon arrives at 11:04 pm (EDT), bringing high tides and increasing the flooding along the coast. The new Moon is in the sign of Virgo and lies in opposition to Neptune and Chiron. Neptune is the god of the Sea and of storms. As we have discussed in recent newsletters, Neptune and Chiron have been moving together for months and are calling us to heal and to dissolve whatneeds to be dissolved. As the weather beings show us their power and bring us rains and floods, perhaps on a larger scale, Neptune and Chiron are asking us to collectively attend to what is out of balance and what needs to be healed in our culture and in our global community.

The new Moon is also in a grand trine with Jupiter and Pluto. In the sky, Jupiter (as it was last month) is in the stare of Cetus, between the whale and the stars of the warrior, Perseus. Pluto is in the stars of Sagittarius, poised at the top of the archer’s bow, aiming toward the galactic center.   This profound configuration tells us that a central theme of this lunar cycle is about the transformation and power of our faith and beliefs. In this time of dissolving (with Neptune) and time of storms, what is it that we believe in? Where do we put our faith? Pluto reminds us that our sense of control individually and collectively is an illusion and points us toward the Source, the galactic center.

Jupiter in the stare of Cetus is about the test of faith, a crisis of consciousness. As Darrelyn Ginsburg has written in the Visual Astrology newsletter (May 2008), when a planet lies in this part of the sky, it is about choices — “about independence versus relationship, engaging willingly or unwillingly with the collective unconscious on a personal, family or global level”. She further notes that “imbalances or aberrations in these choices bear the consequences, and issues can erupt with them in moments of great intensity and tragedy or moments of great insight.” As we face these stormy times, and the weather-beings remind us of the larger shifts that we are experiencing in this time of climate change, we are challenged to rise to new levels of consciousness — to remember that we are part of a larger galactic story, part of the web of life. If we deepen and transform and move into new forms of consciousness, this time (despite its intensity) can bring us to a profound sense of gratitude and faith in the Cosmos and in the currents of change that we are in. Depending on our choices, this time may also bring with it drama, fear and crises of faith. The potential and gift of this lunar cycle is that we may remember that awe is the beginning of wisdom (as Jewish philosopher and prophet Abraham Joshua Heschel and others have reminded us).  In being reminded of our finitude, in living in wonder in the face of the power of the weather-beings, in coming back into relationship with the Cosmos, we can quiver in fear or find ourselves silenced by awe.

The new Moon and Sun lie under the stars of Leo and above the stars of Hydra, the serpent. Hydra is the water serpent reminding us of the archetype of Tiamat, the primal energies of life and of the deep. The earliest image that we know of Leo is the ancient Egyptian fiery lion goddess, Sekhmet. Between 6000 to 3000 B.C., the stars of Leo rose with the sun at the time of summer solstice and when the Nile River flooded the valley. In this way, the lion (and lion goddess) became associated with being the protector of the living waters. This is why we often see the lion’s head on fountains. The new moon and Sun lying between the stars of the lion goddess and the serpent are linking us to the ancient energies of the Sacred Feminine and reminding us to honor the primal energies of life and of the life-giving waters. The weather-beings are certainly echoing this message with their encounter with us at this time.

The Sun on the day of the new Moon rose with the star Zosma, at the tail of the lion. This is the place where Hercules crushed and destroyed the Nemean Lion, the symbol of matrilineal culture and an honoring of the sacred feminine, and it represents the ways in which the established power structure can strangle or seek to make powerless those who do not fit within the institutionalized paradigm. The new Moon and Sun also lie near the royal star, Regulus, the heart of the lion. As we deepen into the message and meaning of this lunar cycle, we find our courage and strength and power in the heart of the lion. The challenge with this star is to not seek revenge. In other words, our sense of power must not reside in the ego, in self-interest or even in seeking security within the presiding power structures but in our commitment to a higher vision and to our soul’s purpose.

Venus remains in the underworld, lying close to the Sun, and will emerge again as an evening star at the end of September. She reminds us again in this lunar cycle of the importance of taking time to meditate, to rest and to remember our connection with the Cosmos. Mars lies in the stars of Gemini, near the Wasat point, known as a liminal place, a place for transformation. Mars is telling us to look at our actions and our choices and reminding us of the importance of moving beyond dualities or polarization.

As we move into the time of the full Moon on September 12th (5:28 am EDT), the Moon now is in the sign of Pisces and the Sun is in Virgo. This dynamic calls us to attend to the way that we integrate our connection with Spirit and the deep waters (of our consciousness and emotions) with our daily lives and our decisions (Virgo). The full Moon is next to the asteroid Ceres and the Sun is conjunct Venus. This has the potential to be a deeply healing and nurturing time for us if we have let go of our longing for control or for power-over (our lives, our circumstances, our world) and have deepened into a sense of gratitude and awe for our place in the Cosmos.

This full Moon time is a profoundly liminal time. The Moon and Sun square the lunar nodes. From an evolutionary perspective, this indicates that it is a karmic moment when we have the chance to resolve or transform what has been unresolved from past life experiences, individually and collectively. For all of us, it is a call to transform our consciousness (as Jupiter continues to lie in the stare of Cetus and in aspect to Pluto). Jupiter at the time of the full Moon is also in relationship (rising) with the star, Acumen, strengthening our willingness to take the risk to live out of our renewed sense of faith and our social conscience if we have listened to the call of the new Moon.

Interestingly, the Sun, Moon and Mars during the time of the full Moon all lie in liminal places in the sky, between constellations. The Sun is out of the stars of Leo and approaching the stars of Virgo, the Moon is between the stars of Aquarius and Pisces, and Mars is now journeying between the stars of Gemini and Cancer. While the full Moon time often carries the energy of manifestation and of action, the energy of this full Moon is of being willing to be in the liminal spaces. As above, so below. The theme of this lunar cycle mirrors what we are experiencing on Earth. We are indeed in a liminal time as we experience the shifts of climate change, as we watch the world erupt in political and financial turmoil and see the institutions and technologies that we have based our security on falter or collapse. Our faith and beliefs are being challenged.

Mercury now lies in the sky near Regulus, the heart of the lion, and is in aspect to Jupiter and Pluto. Mercury, the messenger, renews our sense of courage as we find our faith in our place in the Cosmos and allow our consciousness to be transformed. This is a time to allow our institutions and the structures of our lives to dissolve and be transformed. As we open to being fluid in this time of change and open to the transformation that is beyond our human consciousness, we feel the sense of peace in remembering that awe (and not knowledge or power or control) is the beginning of wisdom.



Brady, Bernadette. Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars, Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, Maine, 1998.

Ginsburg, Darrelyn. Astrologos.co.uk, May 2008 newsletter.

Heschel, Abraham Joshua. God in Search of Man, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, NY, 1955.

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