By Heather Ensworth – May 2013
A note about astrology, the Boston marathon tragedy and these monthly newsletters:
Last month, a tragic event occurred here in Boston with the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15th. Many have wondered if that event could be seen in the chart for that day or in the energies of the April lunar cycle. I strongly believe that astrology is not predictive or deterministic. While some astrologers try to predict external events from planetary configurations, I firmly believe that astrology is showing us energy patterns or themes for any given time period. What we do with those energetic patterns and their outcomes are influenced by our free will. Whether we work with those energies in a conscious way or act them out in unconscious and possibly destructive ways is up to each one of us. As I look back on the energies of that lunar cycle, it is clear that there was a configuration stirring up agitation and frustration and even anger, especially with the New Moon and Sun squaring Pluto. This configuration can signify turmoil, violence and even death, but at a deeper level, it is about alchemy and is about moving through intense times of turmoil and transformation to open to new ways of being.
As we continue to move with the intense transit of Pluto squaring Uranus that will continue through 2015, we will see in profound ways that both individually and globally we are moving through times of tumult and transformation. Sadly, some will respond to this intense energetic pattern with reactivity, anger and violence. Others of us will choose to transform, deepen, heal and live in a more full, integrated and loving way.
The Uranus – Pluto square is leading all of us to move beyond old patterns and ways of being that are corrupt, out of balance or destructive. Individually and collectively, we must choose how we will respond to these intense energies. Will we listen to the deeper meaning of these transiting energies and open to transformation and to more just and compassionate ways of being or will we resist and react in anger and violence as we attempt to assert our control or will on others and the world around us? How we respond to that choice will shape our own lives and affect the lives of all around us. If enough of us heed that deeper call to transformation, we can change the world and enter into a new world era.
Much of our current world is caught in a paradigm of greed, misuse of power, injustice and exploitation of our natural resources. With Pluto in Capricorn, the systems of our global community are experiencing a challenge to transform or to disintegrate into chaos. We see this challenge occurring worldwide in our political systems, financial systems, religious institutions, healthcare systems and other aspects of our global community.
Uranus in Aries is showing
us where there is corruption and injustice and allowing us to see possibilities for new more just and caring forms for our global community. Together, we can work with these energies to open to new ways of being characterized by compassion, peace and justice. We are in a profound liminal and transformational time that will shape the new world era. What we choose and how we deal with these energies is up to us. This is a liminal time in which there is potential for intense disintegration and destruction and also for profound transformation into new more healing, compassionate and integrated ways of being.
THIS MONTH’S LUNAR CYCLE:
This is a powerful lunar cycle involving two eclipses. We have an annular solar eclipse at the time of the New Moon (which will visible in Australia, New Guinea and the Gilbert Islands). Then, there is a penumbral lunar eclipse at the time of the Full Moon. This will be visible to us in the Americas and western Africa. Eclipses are like “reset” buttons. They signal a break in the normal patterns and routines of life. At times, they are viewed as a portent of crisis, yet, in truth, they are a call to awareness. They are a wake up call, asking us to pay attention to our lives and to the world around us.
The New Moon arrives on May 9th at 8:28pm EDT, and in the tropical zodiac, is part of a stellium in the sign of Taurus. The New Moon, Sun, Mercury, Mars and the asteroid Pallas Athene are all now in Taurus. This is the time of year in the northern hemisphere when the Earth is moving into the fullness of spring and new life. Taurus is an earth sign signifying beauty and the wonder of colors and textures, and its meaning resonates with this seasonal energy.
For all of us (both in the northern and southern hemispheres), this stellium actually lies in the sky between the stars of Cetus and Perseus that we discussed in last month’s newsletter. This part of the sky may signify conflict and violence as it depicts the battle between Perseus the warrior and the sea monster, Cetus. But the deeper meaning of this configuration of stars is a call for us to not be caught in conflict and in polarities but to integrate the energies of the Sacred Masculine and Sacred Feminine within ourselves and in our world. In our patriarchal era, this means that we need to honor and remember the wisdom of the Sacred Feminine. The Sacred Feminine wisdom is the understanding that Spirit is in all of life and that everything is interconnected. It means that we need to honor our bodies as sacred and our natural world as an expression of the divine. When we understand that everything is sacred, we live in respect and compassion for all around us.
This lunar cycle beginning with the solar eclipse is a call to pay attention and to remember the ways of the Sacred Feminine. This is underlined by Pallas Athene’s presence next to the New Moon and Sun. This asteroid symbolizes the creative intelligence and wisdom of the Sacred Feminine and the integration of the masculine and feminine energies.
On May 10th, we may see Venus as she emerges from the underworld and comes back into view for the first time in months. She will be visible next to the tiny sliver of the New Moon just after sunset. Over the coming days, she will continue to rise higher and higher in the sky. Her presence as the beautiful evening star is another reminder to remember and honor the energies of the Sacred Feminine. In the oldest known written myth, the Sumerian myth of Inanna, Venus in the evening star phase is Inanna, Queen of Heaven, the goddess who is wise and just and discerning. Venus at the time of the New Moon is in the sky near the stars of the Pleiades, often seen as “the seven sisters” and also resonating with the energy of the divine Feminine.
The energy of the Pluto-Uranus square reverberates strongly during this lunar cycle as Pluto and Uranus go into an exact square on May 20th. We will all feel the intensity of this transformational energy during this lunar month. With the eclipses marking this lunar cycle, we are called to pay attention, to wake up. We are asked to look at our lives and see whether we are living in conflict, caught in duality and in fear and hatred towards those that we view as different or are we able to wake up and see that we are all interconnected and that what we do to others or to our planet we are also doing to ourselves.
During this lunar cycle, Jupiter lies in the sky in the horns of Taurus the Bull. Our faith and beliefs may be in a time of crisis, in the horns of a dilemma. What will we choose? How do our beliefs inform our lives and shape the choices that we make?
Saturn, the planet signifying the form and structures of our lives, is in the sky during this lunar cycle in a liminal space between the stars of Virgo and of Libra. This lunar cycle is asking us to be open to letting go of old paradigms, old beliefs and old ways of being. We are asked to open to the unknown, to live in the mystery and be in the unfolding of this transformation without fully knowing what will emerge on the other side.
A few days after the exact square of Pluto and Uranus on May 20th, we move into the time of the Full Moon (12:26 AM on May 25th here in the northeastern part of the United States). Our Full Moon is a powerful one in that it is both a lunar eclipse and a “super moon” because the Moon is now at its closest point to the Earth. Here in the Americas and the western part of Africa, we will see the lunar eclipse. The Moon will be at her brightest, then go into darkness and re-emerge in her fullness. In the sky, the Full Moon lies
|photo by Gail Byrnes|
in the stars of Scorpio near the royal star, Antares, the heart of the Scorpion. The stars of Scorpio have since ancient times signified death and rebirth. This placement echoes the
theme of the lunar eclipse and is showing us the Moon going through her own death and rebirth as we are each called to undergo this transformational journey. What do we need to let go of? What do we need to shed to open to new ways of being?
The other major planetary configuration in this time of transformation, Neptune conjunct Chiron, is now in a square aspecting the Full Moon. This Full Moon signifies that this can be a time for healing and for dissolving old wounds and ways from the past that no longer serve us. Uranus is trining the Full Moon, supporting us in getting clarity and in releasing what may bind us and hold us back from being in the truth of who we are. The Sun is now in the sky near the Pleiades, echoing the New Moon’s earlier placement here.
Shortly after sunset on the 25th, we are able to see Venus as she rises higher in the sky next to Jupiter and Mercury. These planets are now all between the horns of the Bull of Taurus. In our patriarchal era, we may perceive the horns of the Bull as a signal of aggression or symbolic of conflict. However, in ancient pre-patriarchal times, the Bull was seen as a symbol of the Sacred Feminine with the horns symbolic of the crescent moon. Even how we view the meaning of the planets falling in these stars in the sky will reflect our world view and the lens through which we perceive ourselves and the world around us. This lunar cycle asks us to look at ourselves and at our ways of seeing and being.
If we cling to the shadow aspects of the patriarchal era (separatism, polarization and a need for power and control), then this lunar cycle might be understood as a time of conflict and tumult. The New Moon is caught in the violent gaze of the warrior fighting with the sea monster. Perseus, the patriarchal warrior, has slain Medusa (symbol of ancient Feminine wisdom) and now vies to destroy the whale, signifying the energy of the sea and Sacred Feminine Source. He strives to be the solar hero, defeating those who are different and asserting his power and supremacy. The Full Moon with the Moon in the stars of the Scorpion, standing at the threshold of the underworld, could signify death and destruction. With Venus, Jupiter and Mercury in the horns of the Bull, we could see this as being caught in conflict in our relationships (Venus), beliefs (Jupiter) and thoughts (Mercury). This could be a time of turmoil, unrest, conflict and polarization.
However, if we trace back to the deeper meanings of these stars and the ancient myths from pre-patriarchal times and integrate them with the wisdom of the patriarchal period, we find ourselves seeing a very different meaning to these placements. Now, we realize that the New Moon and Sun and planets lying between Perseus and the whale are a call to integrate the wisdom of the Sacred Masculine of our patriarchal period with the ancient ways of the Sacred Feminine. We find our ability to honor our individuality and to explore and understand our world (the wisdom of the Sacred Masculine) combining with the remembrance that we are all interconnected and that there is beauty in diversity and in honoring the sacred in all of life (the wisdom of the Sacred Feminine). The warrior now gazes into the stare of the whale, and both are transformed.
With this integrated perspective, we can see our Full Moon at the threshold between the worlds (in the stars of Scorpio) and going through a literal death and rebirth with the lunar eclipse as showing us the way through our individual and collective transformational journey in these times. She is reminding us that letting go and dying to the ways of the past allows us to open to new life and new ways of being. With the Sun near the Pleiades and Jupiter, Venus and Mercury in the horns of the Bull at the time of the Full Moon, we are called to remember the ways of the Sacred Feminine and to be held in that fierce and compassionate embrace. We now remember that we are explorers in this world to gain wisdom and to learn how to love. We have been birthed from the “Mother of all that is” and will return to her when we die to be reborn. This lunar cycle reminds us that we are now in a profound tumultuous transformational process to birth ourselves and our world anew. The choice is ours to choose to cling to outmoded, dualistic and destructive ways of seeing and being or open to the magic and wonder of a new expanded and integrated paradigm that leads to the birth of a new wiser, more just and compassionate world era.
In these monthly newsletters, the lunar cycle and its meaning are explored both through looking at the astrological chart (modern western tropical zodiac — of the patriarchal period) and by weaving that with visual astrology (looking at the actual placements of the Sun, Moon and planets in the stars) and remembering the pre-patriarchal meanings of these constellations.