Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Lights within the darkness

The nights are lengthening and we are moving deeper into the dark time of the year. The Sun moved into Scorpio at the weekend, joining Mercury and Venus which have been there for a couple of weeks already, with tomorrow's new moon adding to the Scorpio energy. It's almost Samhain, and Scorpio connects deeply with the cycle of death and rebirth. In the past, this was the time when livestock where slaughtered and the meat preserved and stored for the winter ahead. This is a time when the physical reality of death and decay is all around us, as the sap dies back, the leaves fall from the trees, and nature prepares for a time of dormancy. The need for fallow time is not much acknowledged in our rushed western society, but it is necessary, whether to allow our creativity to flourish or simply to keep us in good health.

Scorpio is the sign of fixed water, of deep rooted emotions and the unconscious self. It's a sign known for mystery, desire, drama and passion. At the heart of Scorpio is a need for emotional security - the fixed waters of Scorpio feelings run deep, and fear vulnerability. The shadow side of this can lead to jealousy, possessiveness and issues of power and control. However Scorpio is fiercely loyal and courageous, not afraid to face difficult truths head on. Indeed seeking the truth, however painful or hidden, is another key motivator for those with a strong Scorpio energy. Once their passion and fascination is aroused, they will search tenaciously to penetrate the mystery. This ability to get beneath the surface means that Scorpios often find themselves carrying the secrets of others, usually whilst carefully keeping their own secrets to themselves.

Ruled by both Mars and Pluto, the sign of Scorpio demands a breaking down of structures, a surrender to the darkness. This can be challenging, especially if Scorpio energy is not prominent in our chart, but it is necessary. Without a dying back of the old, energy cannot be released - it takes time for structures to break down and turn into compost fertile enough to allow rebirth. Scorpio is not afraid to travel into the underworld, and to show us the mystery at the heart of life.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Roots and foundations

I've not been as much away in the stars as I would like lately, being rather firmly rooted in the material world right now. So I've been pondering the astrological houses, which anchor our natal chart, the positions of the planets high in the heavens, to the place on earth where we are. An astrological chart is divided into twelve houses, each signifying a different area of life. The planets we have in each house show us the realm of life in which we are likely to meet the energy of that planet. A person with the Sun in the seventh house of partnerships is likely to pour their whole self (Sun) into their relationships, whereas a person with the Sun in the first house of the individual is likely to be much more self-contained. The sign of the zodiac on the cusp, or beginning of a house will also show us the type of energy we are likely encounter there.

Home is for relaxing, and inner explorations...

One of the many things occupying me right now is my home, and I've been looking to the signifiers of home in the astrology chart to help me explore what it means to build a home. The astrological house signifying the realm of home is the fourth, rooted down at the bottom of the chart, showing a place to which we can retreat and from which we gather our strength. The fourth house is an angular chart, connected to the IC with which it shares much of its symbolism. The houses on the angles of the chart are closely tied to the ways in which we actively build our sense of self, from the external circumstances which surround us. The fourth is a watery house, and so this is the area of the chart where we build emotional stability, where we find and create that which sustains us emotionally and is the root of our being. This inner emotional stability is born from the home we create for ourselves, and also from our family, our background and the culture in which we were brought up. Many people find family patterns of behaviour described by their fourth house, and until we deal with these ingrained  patterns of emotional reaction, we may not be able to feel truly "at home" anywhere. If we never felt truly secure within our home and family as a child, we may struggle to find security as an adult. Or we may find ourselves looking beyond the convention of home and family to find where we belong. These days, many of us have a group of friends who are our chosen family, with whom we may be more likely to share a worldview and a way of life than we can with our birth family.

Our home is our stability, both in a physical and material sense but also in the sense of the centred self. Our attitude to house and home may reflect something about our personal foundations on an inner emotional and psychic level. Home is where we leave from and where we come back to, a place of renewal and nurturing. On an inner level, we need to put our own house in order, to find our centre in our deepest self, in order to fulfil our potential. So perhaps I can invoke some sympathetic magic amongst the architects plans and building regulations to make sure that my own foundations are dug deep, solid and strong. Because even travelling to the stars needs a solid structure to get you there.