Monday, 22 September 2014

Season of mists

Autumn equinox approaches, the equinox storms of the last few days heralding this season of change. The thunder and lightning mark an especially deep shift for our family this year, with the loss of one of our cats and my daughter starting school. As the sun leaves the sign of Virgo (at the Autumn Equinox point, 3.30am on September 23rd, a few hours away as I type), once again it is her opposite pole of Pisces and Neptune energy which is my mind.

Those with strong Pisces energy often struggle to express it, it can feel chaotic and nebulous, sensitive and vulnerable. I have been looking at several charts recently with strong Neptune energy and key planets in Pisces or the twelfth house (all resonances of this same energy). The owners of these charts tell me how difficult it can feel just to get started, rather than following the urge simply to surrender, to let go. Pisces people often need a catalyst, something or someone to get them motivated, to encourage them out of the swamp. Of course, many people with planets in Pisces often also have planets in Aries, the next sign of the zodiac and the sign of fiery new beginnings. So the catalyst energy is within them, if they can find a way to balance these two very different ways of being.
When contemplating Neptune, it's always good to stand in the sea...
Neptune energy dissolves away, and of course the ego feels threatened by that, so it resists. Often people who fear this dissolution of the self, like the person with Saturn in the twelfth house and the person with Mars in Pisces whose charts I've been contemplating recently, retreat to the shadow sign of Pisces energy, its opposite sign of Virgo. Practical thinking and attention to detail become ways of holding the chaos at bay. The Pisces Virgo axis has mystery at one end and service at the other, and asks us to reconcile these two seemingly disparate principles. What, or who, do we serve? Ideally we can use earthy Virgo to keep us grounded, whilst serving something greater than ourselves. The gift of strong Neptune energy, whatever level it shows up at in your chart, is the ability to surrender to a deep connection with spirit. Our Neptune placement, planets in Pisces or the twelfth house, this is where we can dissolve back into the infinite. There we experience oneness, the unity of all beings, the self as a drop in the primordial ocean. The trick then is to use this experience not as an escape but as an inspiration, allowing it to nourish our souls and our work in the world.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Eclipse season is here again...

It's all somewhat intense in the heavens right about now. The cardinal grand cross was exact last week on the 23rd and 24th April, there was a lunar eclipse on the 15th and a solar eclipse yesterday. The renewal brought by spring may be especially deep and powerful this year.

The cardinal grand cross brought us some intense and heavy energies, stepping up the current Uranus Pluto square with a dose of Martian energy, all helpfully expanded by Jupiter the wise teacher. If you have personal planets around 13* of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn), you will have been aware of these energies building up. I don't have planets there, and I still felt it. A grand cross consists of four squares and two oppositions, and may well leave us feeling blocked at every turn. Deep transformations can manifest here, and the established order (on whatever level you like - outer, political and collective or inner, emotional and individual) will fight back hard. Adding Mars to the mix increases the likelihood of confrontation, the authentic self demands to be heard and expressed, the structures around us either block our way or threaten to topple under the weight of all that intense planetary energy. Thank goodness for Jupiter in Cancer keeping us rooted in the healing power of surrounded ourselves with loved ones, of using our imaginations. As ever, these big configurations bring opportunities for genuine and lasting change, if we can just hold our awareness and not get burnt out.


The two eclipses are trigger points for these energies, and the lunar eclipse two weeks ago may well have made confrontation even more likely, as lunar eclipses tend to bring things to a head. Yesterday's solar eclipse, on the other hand, gave opportunities for healing, for channeling something new from spirit into matter. All those blue lines, trines and sextiles, nicely balance out the challenging red lines of squares and oppositions. Once again it's Jupiter giving us something positive to work with, as the focal point of a kite in opposition to Pluto. There is great wealth in this opposition, and inherited power. The trines pull Saturn (a teacher like Jupiter, but not always such a kind one) and Chiron the wounded healer into the mix. Healing is possible, if we are willing to face the fires of the underworld. As these intense energies back off a little, we can dive into the depths of the water trine and bring back treasure. 

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Travelling with the Psychonaut

Mercury is retrograde right now, having stationed on my birthday / solar return just before the position of my natal Mercury. This is classically a time to re-do, to revise, reevaluate, rethink. Mercury has access to all the realms, travelling between the realm of the gods, the material world and the underworld. His retrograde period can be seen as the underworld phase, a time to shed light on wisdom we might have missed. For me, past hurts have been resurfacing, demanding to be processed. With transiting Neptune still sitting close to my natal Mercury, it has felt like a confusing time, and a frustrating one - why is this stuff still bothering me? The period from Mercury's station on February 6 to the midpoint of the retrograde phase on February 15 was especially intense. During this time Mercury was moving closer to the Sun, a phase known as Combust, in which the planet's power is traditionally seen as burning up in the heat of the Sun. In the case of Mercury, this means that 'old thought patterns and mental scripts that no longer serve us...are consumed and destroyed' (according to Demetra George). This is exactly what has been happening for me. It's an intense time, but I can feel the next round of the spiral opening up before me. So far this Mercury retrograde has brought me Neptunian mystical experiences, and several profound conversations which have looked back at old patterns and found a concrete way to move forward, out of those energy draining patterns for good. Mercury retrograde allows us to reset and reevaluate. The trick, of course, is to know that you are in the underworld, and remember that transformation has to happen in its own time. Mercury is the trickster, and with watery Neptune nearby there is no chance of controlling this process. We follow the underground river out into the light as best we can. Mercury finally emerges from the cave of the shadow zone in March, returning to the point of the retrograde station on March 21, close to the Spring Equinox. We exit the cave blinking in the spring sunlight, and if we have used the time in the underworld well, our minds are firmly set on the path of new growth.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Sevenses

For the last three days in a row, I have pulled the Seven of Cups as my daily card. The Seven of Wands was lurking at the back of the deck yesterday too. In the Greenwood deck, the Seven of Cups is titled Mourning, and the Seven of Wands Clearance, and I have a strong sense of a letting go and a shifting of patterns with these sevens. Seven is a number associated with spirituality and mysticism - there are seven traditional planets, seven days of the week, seven notes in a musical scale. The tarot sevens are often seen as moving into the unknown, needing to have faith. Aleister Crowley, in his Thoth tarot, saw them as a weak or passive manifestation of the element - the Seven of Swords is often associated with cunning and deceit, the Seven of Cups with daydreaming and being out of touch with reality. After the balance and harmony of the six, the seven asks for reassessment and reflection. Something comes along to break the balance, and we are called to go deeper, to find a new level of authenticity in our expression of the element.

RWS Seven of Cups
Mathematically, seven is known as an "irrational" number, which cannot be represented as a simple fraction, and it has some strange properties. Taken symbolically, seven is therefore associated with the unusual, the irrational and strange. In astrology, the septile series of aspects, where the wheel of the zodiac is divided by seven, are linked to changes in our fate, forces of destiny at work beyond our control. Just like the tarot sevens, septile aspects are seen as being elusive and often difficult to interpret clearly. Septiles are associated with spiritual and emotional maturity, and inspiration, and can also show the stories and myths which inspire us and by which we live our lives.

The Seven of Cups is telling me, over and over, to look to my emotional patterns, to the images and visions that fill my mind, to figure out which ones are real and to focus on those. This is the card of castles in the air, of fantasies which may or may not have any connection to our reality. But an inner reality can affect our outer reality - for example, if we believe that we are unlovable, we may struggle to accept the affection of those who love us and end up driving them away. Our thoughts can create reality, as every magician knows. Many people interpret this card as overwhelm and overindulgence, a lack of focus and an inability to choose between the many opportunities offered. And this may be the case. But the sevens always ask us to step up, to move past temptation and escapism. If we - well, I - can do that, I can find my authentic vision and work to make it a reality.

Greenwood Seven of Cups
The Greenwood, however, adds a new twist to this interpretation. This is not a card depicting temptations, like the RWS image above, this is altogether darker. Giving up a comfortable fantasy is hard, as is all change, and this card seems to be asking that we acknowledge that. I am stripped back to bare bones, no more delusions, and must mourn the death of the old ego even as I seek that new and authentic vision.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Nurturing the seeds of creation

Still feeling creative here, with lots of Yuletide making going on. Creative energy manifests in many different ways as we travel the wheel of the zodiac. Looking at the sign on the cusp of the fifth house, as well as the sun and  moon signs can give us an idea of our unique creative self.

The fire signs are perhaps considered the most obviously creative, and are maybe most likely to see life in general as a creative process. For them the most important part of the creative process is the initial spark, the idea and the excitement it generates. Fiery people work quickly and like to see results fast, especially Aries who tend to jump right in to a project, no planning ahead or thinking through. Leo wants their creative efforts to be recognised, and often love drama, so are most likely to create with an audience in mind. Sagittarius is a seeker, searching for meaning and adventure. For them creating can be something that broadens the mind.

Earthy people like to create something tangible and useful. They thrive on steady hard work and are generally good at discipline - the earth in our chart helps us to show up each day and create even when we do not feel in the mood. However earthy types can get bogged down in routine, and may stick to the tried and tested rather than taking creative risks. Strongly earthy people are inspired by nature, especially Venus ruled Taurus who often express creativity through music and art. This is a practical creativity, especially for Virgo who often enjoy creating something useful rather than creating purely for the joy of the process. Virgo is the perfectionist of the zodiac, so they will take their time to get the end result just right. Capricorn is a sign often seen as lacking imagination, but they have an amazing capacity for hard work and will tackle an ambitious project without hesitation.

Airy people need to make connections,  and are most likely to be ideas and word focused. They need lots of stimulation, especially Gemini. Air signs may enjoy talking through their ideas with others, bring together lots of inputs. For them, knowledge, information and communication are creative. They are likely to be creative writers and thinkers, and are more likely to create something abstract like an idea or a theory than the other signs. Libra seeks to create harmony and beauty, and this is as likely to be between other people as it is to be a musical composition or a painting. Aquarians may want to use their creativity to benefit the community or even to make a political statement, so they might be craftivists or polemic writers.

Water signs need to allow imagination to flow. They are the most likely to be affected by feelings and for creativity to be triggered by emotion or mood. Writing poetry, dancing or playing a musical instrument can all be ways for watery people to explore and express their feelings. Cancer is the nourisher and nurturer of the zodiac, as likely to bake an amazing cake when the creative urge strikes as they are to paint a picture. Scorpio digs deep, and can use their creativity to express their deep truths, however uncomfortable or even confrontational others may find them. And Pisces is the sign most likely to see creating as something for which they are merely a channel, setting their self aside to access a flow of creativity which comes from spirit.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The creative seed

Welcome to Week Three of the month-long Carnival of Creative Mothers to celebrate the launch of The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood
by Lucy H. Pearce

Today's topic is Creative Inheritance. Do read to the end of this post for a full list of carnival participants. 

Join the Carnival and be in with a chance to win a free e-copy of The Rainbow Way! Next week is our final week!
December 11th: The Creative Process.

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Since becoming a mother, I have often considered the concept of creativity. For me,  motherhood and creativity go hand in hand, not least it was because creating a whole person that made me re-think my lifelong conviction that I was just not a creative person. So I was very excited to hear of The Rainbow Way, a book combining these two passions and inspiring me to live them both more deeply

The Sun is one of the key indicators of creativity in the natal chart. The zodiac sign Leo, and the fifth house, share the same energy resonance, and it is these areas of the chart which describe how we manifest our inherent creativity. The fifth house, of course, also describes children and how we relate to them, another inidication of the link between child-bearing and creativity. However the Moon has at least as much to say about creative inheritance, as the planet describing our past, our roots, and also of course motherhood, how we nurture and are nurtured. Our Moon placement shows how we nurture and nourish all of our creations, be they children, paintings or cakes. The kind of mother we are, is also the kind of creatirix we are.

I have Saturn in the fifth house, not the easiest placement for letting creativity flow. Growing up, I didn't think of myself as a creative person, and 'creating' meant creating a fuss in our house. So I blocked my creativity, feeling that I would never be good enough to create, that I lacked the natural talent. But as astrological cliche would have it, Saturn is also where we can achieve mastery, and find our inner authority. Our Saturn placement can describe what we are resisting, and for most of my life I was as insistent that I was not maternal, and was never having children, as I was that I was not a creative person. But it turns out giving birth is something I flow into quite naturally, and one of the many revelations it brings tells me that perhaps I can create after all.  Saturn is the planet of the senex, of age - I was thirty five when I birthed my first child, and thirty nine when the second came along. Like so many, becoming a mother, creating a person, didn't just reawaken my creativity, it gave me more confidence in it. Saturn in fifth demands hard work and persistence in the creative realm, and so now I try to use this energy more positively - carving out time to work on creative projects, practising skills over and over.

My Moon is in Leo, ruled by the Sun, so this ought to be a fairly creative placement in itself. Leo is the inner child, seeking unique forms of self-expression. My own mother sews and knits and does all sorts of creative things, although when I was a child at least she saw these as practical skills rather than something artistic. She taught me to sew (although she never did get me knitting!), and whenever we are together now we craft. I have also discovered a literal creative inheritance in the months since my second child was born. My Mum gifted me a beautiful sewing box which belonged to my Aunt, filled with a rainbow of threads. Another aunt passed on embroidery thread and fabric in every colour under the sun, and then there are my Dad's drawing pastels just daring me to use them.

The Sun shows our creativity as the way that we express our unique self, the person we are becoming. The Moon describes our inheritance, where we come from and the emotional resources we carry within. These are not separate areas of ourselves, just as our creative self is not something we only get out of a box when the children are asleep. All of the amazing and inspiring women taking part in this blog carnival are combining their Moon and their Sun energies to grow as a mother and as an individual - and even more importantly, they are teaching their children to do the same.

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  • Carnival host and author of The Rainbow Way, Lucy at Dreaming Aloud celebrates her creative fairy godmothers, and gives thanks for the creative blessings that each has gifted her.
  • In 'From Trash To Treasure: Christmas Decoration' Laura from Authentic Parenting shares fond memories crafting with her mom and a little project her mom did recently. 
  • Lucy Pierce from Soulskin Musings celebrates the rich creative inheritance of her mother's poetic soul and artful ways. 
  • Is thinking differently a curse or a gift? Zoie at TouchstoneZ susses out whether her family legacy might hinder or encourage creativity.
  • Dawn Collins at TheBarefootHome Dawn thinks we're all born with a creative inheritance from the mother we all share…Mother Nature.
  • Licia Berry at Illumined Arts looks at the creative inheritance passed on by our ancestral lineage, discovered through sexuality and the Sacred Feminine within in "Sexuality and the Sacred Feminine"
  • Alex at The Art of Birth explores the nature of creativity. 
  • Handcrafts are prayers, that's what Corina from PatchScrap learned from grandmother.
  • Jennifer at Let Your Soul Shine retraces her creative inheritance from her childhood and all the way back to the 19th Century.  
  • Kirstin at Listening to the Squeak says "I have always known my creative inheritance and it is so very important for my children to know theirs."
  • Becky at Raising Loveliness reflects on her experiences of creativity.
  • Creative Inheritance is a Beautiful Thing, says Aimee at Creativeflutters and discusses where her creativity comes from and what influences in her family have helped her on her artistic journey. 
  • Georgie at Visual Toast shares her creative inheritance.
  • Esther at Nurture Workshop expresses the gift of a creative mind and the doors that are waiting to be opened for those who are willing to explore.
  • Whitney Freya at Creatively Fit is inspired by the sacred spark within each of us, a spark that transcends time and is infinitely creative.
  • Denise at It Begins with a Verse  looks back at her family's creative inheritance.
  • Womansart shares her reflections on creative inheritance.
  • Lys at Stars and Spirals looks at the creative inheritance as described by the astrological chart, drawing on her personal journey into motherhood and reawakened creativity.
  • Biromums wrote poems about their creative inheritance.
  • Kae at The Wilde Womb reflects on the various artists within her family and how it has shaped her identity and what impression she wishes to leave her own children. 
  • Marit's Paper World shares her creative inheritance.
  • Lucy at Capture by Lucy  reflects on her experiences of creativity.
  • Knitting blankets and the inner landscape--my mother's life's work, writes Nicki from Just Like Play
  • Something Sacred - Sadhbh at Where Wishes Come From writes about how the creativity of the women in her family has influenced her.
  • Mamma Bloom at Breathe and Bloom writes about her creative inheritance.
  • Mama is Inspired shares how she loved to make holiday ornaments as a child, and now is continuing that tradition with her own child.
  • Ali Baker is a creative mama to twin girls who reignited her creative energy and sense of who she used to be by just doing it and creating whatever needs to be created in an imperfect way. 
  • KatyStuff hopes inheritance is a long way off, but, when the day comes her woodworker father has already said he is comforted by knowing his work is in so many homes.
  • Jasmine at Brown Eyed Girl realizes that the creativity she craves for so deeply may actually be something that runs deeper than just her imagination.
  • Darcel at The Mahogany Way shares her creative journey.
  • Rising on the Road shares her experiences at Finding Life in a Death.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Born on an Eclipse

A few days ago (on October 18) there was a lunar eclipse, at 26 degrees of Libra / Aries. A friend birthed her daughter just a couple of hours earlier, just as I birthed my son a couple of hours before the solar eclipse at 19 degrees of Taurus on May 10. So what does it mean to be born so close to an eclipse?

Essentially, an eclipse is a supercharged lunation - a solar eclipse occurs at the new moon as the moon aligns itself between the earth and the sun, and a lunar eclipse at the full moon, as the earth is aligned between the sun and moon. Whilst the eclipse influence will be powerful for both of them, these babies will experience these energies very differently. My son has the Moon and Sun very close, so it's unlikely that he will experience a division between his inner and outer selves, between where he is coming from (symbolised by the Moon) and where his life quest takes him (symbolised by the Sun). My friend's daughter, on the other hand, is likely to see herself, and life in general more objectively, as if seeing herself from the outside. Her quest in life may take her far from her beginnings, indeed far from her comfort zone, as she learns to negotiate the continuum of Sun (where she wants to be to grow and be fulfilled) opposing the Moon (where she needs to be to feel emotionally secure). Those born under a lunar eclipse are likely to be focussed on relationships, on their connection to others, and may need to beware of projecting essential parts of themselves onto others. A solar eclipse, on the other hand, suggests are more subjective vision, a sense of being self-contained, but perhaps an inability to see the self as others do.

More generally, solar eclipses are seen as seed points for a new beginning, whereas at a lunar eclipse something reaches its peak or comes to an end. Taurus is a fertile sign of growth, the establishing of something tangible and the beauty of nature. It suggests that value systems, and the need to let go of outdated values and come to an understanding of his self worth and inner resources and talents will be a key journey for my son in this lifetime, especially as the South Node is also in Taurus. His solar quest, as well as his lunar comfort zone, may be around sowing the seeds of a new system of values which can lead us away from excessive consumerism and towards a more sustainable way of living. The Sabian symbol for 20* Taurus is "wisps of winglike clouds streaming across the sky" - perhaps these are spiritual or "higher" values as well as the material values more usually associated with Taurus.


It's also interesting to look at how this solar eclipse connects to my own chart, as birthing my son was clearly a significant event for me. The sun is connected to male energy and the moon to female energy, so it makes sense that I would have a son on a solar eclipse, and that my friend birthed a daughter on a lunar eclipse. The nodal axis in the solar eclipse chart forms a t square focussing through my Sun in Aquarius. The Sabian symbol for North Node at 17* Scorpio is "a woman, fecundated by her own spirit, is "great with child"" - pretty accurate for the night I gave birth! Literal interpretations aside, of course we always give birth to a new mother self when we birth a child, and this has been especially powerful for me this time around.

The recent lunar eclipse on the Libra Aries axis suggests that my friend's daughter will need to find a balance between her own needs (Moon in Aries) and her relationships with others (Sun in Libra). The Sabian symbol for Sun at 26 Libra is "an eagle and a large white dove change into each other". The eagle symbolises clear vision and the dove compassion, so perhaps there is also a balance to be found here between intellect and intuition, the airy approach of Libra and the fiery inspiration of Aries. The Moon at 26* Aries has the Sabian symbol "a man possessed of more gifts than he can hold", suggesting lots of Aries ideas and plans, which need to be balanced with the needs of both self and other. Perhaps my friend's daughter will find herself using both compassion and clear vision to know which gifts to hold on to, and which she needs to let go.