Real Time Astrology: January 3 & 4, 2015 / Full Moon in Cancer

In my previous article on the Taurus Moon we have for New Years Eve, I wrote: “Take a deep breath, create quiet time to calm your nerves, and find your center”. It is advice I hope is followed, as the first weekend of the new year, January 3 & 4, will see many tense planetary aspects, sign changes, and a highly charged Full Moon in Cancer that will be rocking all our centers. A quick rundown:

Saturday the Sun at 14 degrees Capricorn will square Uranus at 12 degrees Aries at 2:40 a.m. and conjunct Pluto at 13 degrees Capricorn by 5:34 p.m.

Sunday Mercury enters Aquarius at 7:08 p.m. followed by Venus’ entry into the sign at 8:48 p.m., ending the Capricorn stellium we had through the end of December and at the beginning of the new year. Mars at 24 degrees Aquarius will still be in opposition to Jupiter at 21 Leo.

The Full Moon @ 14 degrees Cancer takes place at 11:53 p.m. Central Standard Time Sunday, January 4. (Of course, depending on your time zone, it may take place in the wee hours of Monday, January 5.) The Moon is the natural ruler of Cancer and this alone will increase the strength of this Full Moon. Its magnetic pull will dominate the entire weekend. Normally I would like a Full Moon at its home in Cancer, however this Moon will be in a very agitated state. It will be squared by the North/South Nodes along the Aries/Libra axis shortly before the Full Moon is exact. It will also be at an exact square to Uranus at 12 degrees Aries at 7:18 p.m. and in opposition to Pluto at 13 degrees Capricorn at 8:34 p.m.

There will be a spooky feel, then, to this Full Moon weekend. Cancer is a cardinal sign, and as this Full Moon takes place at 14 Cancer, we will rehash many of the friction points set off by the Cardinal Grand Cross at 13 degrees from April 2014. Think back to that time frame, any unresolved issues from then will arise again. As both the Full Moon on Sunday and the Sun on Saturday will be in hard aspect to Uranus and Pluto we will also see the themes of the most recent exact Uranus-Pluto square on December 14, 2014 brought to a head. If you felt unscathed at the Uranus-Pluto square, you may feel the effects of it here.

Many issues brought to light by the Full Moon will of course be typical of Cancer: women’s issues; issues regarding home, family, heritage, our roots and our past/our family’s past; mothers/maternal instinct; issues of our collective family, our countries, patriotism; and emotional and financial stability and security.

A Full Moon in Cancer of course takes place in opposition to the Sun in Capricorn, and as both will be squaring the North Node in Libra, important balancing acts will be asked of us. Balance between our home/family life and our professional life. Balance between sentimental thinking and nostalgia for the past, and the ambition and drive into new territory. Balance between our very real current need for emotional and physical security, and the reality that we must forego some of our current desires in favor of long term successes. Are we sacrificing too much, or not enough? The Sun-Pluto conjunction Saturday will heighten our  awareness of power dynamics, either that we control or are controlled by us, that are restricting and thwarting this balancing act.

Answers to these questions are possible now, but they may come from some very deep and weird places. The Moon full in watery, psychic Cancer is a strongly intuitive Moon, and the aspects to Uranus and Pluto will help bring the otherworldly into our world, heighten any natural ESP abilities, give flashes of insight. Along with this will likely come sleep disturbances; insomnia, nightmares etc.

Those who have planets in their natal chart in cardinal signs -Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn- will feel particularly revved up and agitated this weekend. Mood swings and emotional outbursts will be likely; it may even be you, even if you typically aren’t the type. It would be wise to give people lots of space and quiet time to process the inner turmoil in healthy ways. Give yourself space as well! Patience will be pretty thin now, and maybe justifiably so. Many will see rapid changes in plans and circumstances; even if the need for change has existed for a long time, it may still be a shock to the system when it happens.

Monday January 5 Mercury at zero Aquarius will sextile Saturn at 1 degree Sagittarius at 4:21 p.m. This will afford many the chance to take a step back from the turmoil of the weekend. Our thought processes will be serious without being weighed down; we can reflect on all that was dredged up and rid ourselves of what will not serve us any purpose as we move forward in this new year.

Real Time Astrology: New Years Eve & New Years Day 2014-2015

2014 was a helluva year and many are understandably happy to see its end in sight. 2015 will be a dramatically different year of astrological transits affecting us on the personal and transpersonal levels; truly uncharted territory and a game-changer. At New Years Eve/Day people are naturally inclined to reflect on the previous year and plan goals for the upcoming year. This New Years the need for introspection and commitment to action is more critical than usual. Take a deep breath, create quiet time to calm your nerves, and find your center. Do not push this aside this year.

Make time to party, too! This will be a fun year to celebrate. The Moon will be in Taurus on New Year’s Eve Wednesday, December 31. It will move into Gemini New Years Day Thursday, January 1st at 11:09 a.m. Central Standard Time.  An exact opposition between Mars in Aquarius and Jupiter in Leo will take place at 1:49 p.m. CST January 1st but will strongly felt the night before, as the Moon in Taurus will be squaring it. Moon in Taurus is always a good time to have a good time, especially where music, dancing, food, alcohol and any other sensual pleasures are concerned. Mars in opposition to Jupiter will have energies running high and encouraging some to bite off more than they can chew and, as it will be squaring the Taurus Moon, the feeling of New Year’s Eve will be the saying: “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!” I won’t bother warning the hard party types about how awful the hangovers and headaches will be the next day; going too far WILL feel worse than usual the next day but that’s what some will be driven to in spite of reason!

One potential cause of concern is the opposition between Mars in rebellious Aquarius and Jupiter in flamboyant Leo. As stated, this opposition causes energy to run high and sometimes doesn’t know when to stop. Pulling pranks at a party for attention and fun can be fairly harmless; loudmouthed condescension or crude, shocking insults will make for a bad scene, especially if the people involved are heavily intoxicated. The Mars-Jupiter opposition will be squaring a Taurus Moon and while Taurus isn’t a sign that angers easily – preferring to chill at a leisurely pace- once it does anger it has considerable stamina backing it that doesn’t fade fast and, in worst case scenarios, can become physical. That isn’t the usual manifestation, however it would be best to avoid anyone or any scene that’s too brash or obnoxious, lest it turn into something else.

For those who prefer a quieter commemoration to the years end, it looks like a wonderful night to stay home with friends or loved ones anyway. Music can be profoundly moving at this time, not only from the Taurus Moon so strongly emphasized but also from Pluto in Capricorn’s sextile to Chiron in Pisces in the very wee hours of the new year. Play music that reminds you of someone, that reminds you of what you went through this past year, that dredges up the strongest emotions. It will all feel comfortable, healing and inspiring. Actual dreams may be more interesting or vivid than usual as well.

For anyone doing the New Years resolution thing, you’re better off starting the resolve December 31 rather than January 1. Even though a Taurus Moon is prone to slowness and self indulgence, it is still a sign of emotional stability and health and does not easily change course once it has set its mind to something. The Moon moving into Gemini New Years Day is a flakier time to get a start on goals; more changeable, less decisive and resolute.

Even if you do not plan on celebrating in any fashion, or have any typical resolutions, as stated it will still be important to find your center now, to process fully the previous years experiences so you can move forward into the new one with more awareness and clarity. Astrological transits are often like tornadoes or hurricanes in that you’re aware you’re in a major storm, but you cannot fully assess the damage until the storm has cleared. ( I’ve lived in “Tornado Alley” most of my life; there’s been times I didn’t know the tornado was there until I was close enough to it to practically shake hands…)  The transits of 2014 were life altering on every level. Even if some of what was written about these configurations seemed like overblown hype at the time, with hindsight we can now assess what was changed and how deep the impact was.

For those who lost the most, endured the tough physical, emotional and psychic lessons, what you have to show for it is who you are now, who you have become. Your character has firmed up, you’ve eyes have been opened to how this life really works, and you have a very deep well of Truth to draw from now. At this New Year, perhaps your best resolution is to promise yourself you’ll live by your wisdom gleaned from those painful episodes,  you’ll help to end the dynamics that create such chaos in the first place, you’ll turn Truth into action and tangible results. If you make no other resolution for 2015, resolve to return to the land of the living, and commit to fighting the good fights!

Real Time Astrology: December 16-25 / Christmas Day

Some very significant changes are underway as we close out 2014. If you’ve been reading here so far ( well, thank you!) then you know that much of the planetary activity in October, November and early December was in preparation for major changes on the horizon. As these changes now begin to take flight, there will be some turbulence on the takeoff, as we leave behind 2014 one one note and enter 2015 on another.

Venus entered Capricorn Wednesday, December 10. Mercury will join her in Capricorn Tuesday, December 16 at 9:53 p.m. CST,  followed by the Sun’s entry into the sign Sunday, December 21 at 5:03 p.m., shortly before the Capricorn New Moon at 7:36 p.m. With Pluto also in the sign, we will end the year with a Capricorn stellium, and the themes of the sign will be dominating the psychosphere. Underscoring the theme will be an intense conjunction of Venus and Pluto in Capricorn Saturday, December 20, the same day Venus squares off against Uranus in Aries. Uranus then stations direct the next day, still revved up and manic from its most recent exact square to Pluto December 14, warming us up to the long awaited entry of Saturn into Sagittarius Tuesday, December 23 at 10:34 a.m.

That’s a lot of activity and change in a fairly short amount of time. If you’ve had a feeling of a levee about to break, you’re absolutely right, and this time frame is the kick starter. Anyone keeping up with world events has noticed the recent uptick in expressions of dissatisfaction with the current status quo on many, many different levels. People sense that things cannot continue as they are and they’re right! This will play out in obvious ways on the global stage, but this changing tide will be affecting us as much, if not a little stronger, on a personal scale.

As I wrote in my last article: “It is usually more accurate to remember that the image for Capricorn was initially the Sea-Goat, not the Mountain Goat. The Sea-Goat had the body of a goat with a tail attached that was a strange mix of serpent and fish. It was a subterranean sea creature that was evolving into a land creature. It swam in deep, murky waters but became able to place its hooves on solid ground and climb upwards and onwards, without losing the psychic memory of where it came from. Everyone has heard that to know where you are going, you have to know where you have been, and this personal evolution will be the message of the Capricorn New Moon. We take what we have learned with us while we begin forging out a new path in the wilderness.” This is a good thing to keep in mind, as the New Moon will be made potent not only by its occurrence at zero degrees of its sign, but also by the Capricorn stellium we will close out the year with. Our focus will be on our ambitions, our drive to get ahead and survive the changes around us, our financial security. Particularly the financial part. Capricorn is a sign that deals with checks and balances; the conjunction between money and relationship planet Venus and power player Pluto in Capricorn will leave no doubt as to our financial stability now, for better or worse. Those that have will be fixated on maintaining; those without will become even more concerned on obtaining.

Amid the other influences, there is likely to be a degree of people jockeying for position at this time as people ambitions are heightened. Both Pluto and Capricorn are concerned in their own way with reputation, public image and perceived power, so be mindful of this. Stay out of power struggles and I highly recommend not starting any drama of your own.

As the Venus/Pluto conjunction will be squaring off rebellious upheaval planet Uranus, its possible to see reversals in financial situations, power and relationship dynamics flipped, and changes in public image. These changes may be for better or worse, major or minor but its unlikely they will remain completely unchanged. On another note, I would not be surprised to learn of another well known public figure scandal coming to light at this time and involving the themes mentioned here.

As Uranus turns direct on the 21, just after the recent exact square to Pluto on the 14, and Saturn changes sign, many will feel a sudden restlessness, feeling a fire lit under them. Some of the aforementioned changes in personal and financial dynamics may actually come as a result of positively inspired optimism and a sudden need for independence or autonomy. For those unable to do much about their current situation, though, the heavy Capricorn influence may leave a feeling of being left behind, ignored, unable to achieve their potential as they would like. The Mercury/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn Thursday, December 25 will be a potential trigger for depression. Thought processes may run a little too deep and dark at this time, obsessing over our current lot in life. Again, financial matters will be a major sore point. Particularly as this happens in the wee hours of Christmas Day, when we are sometimes most aware of how much we lack in comparison to those around us, or compared to years past.

Overall, I don’t really like the look of Christmas this year. I’m sure many will have a lovely time, but I’m certain just as many will find it rather hard. In addition to the Mercury/Pluto conjunction and the Capricorn stellium, Mercury will be squaring Uranus, with the Moon  squaring Saturn and conjunct Mars. That’s a recipe for a foul mood and bad communication. A sense of isolation and loneliness will be strong, whether people are actually alone or in a group of people. If emotions are disturbed angry outbursts or arguments could result. The Moon will be void of course in Aquarius for most of the day; trying to keep the tone dry and detached may help diffuse tense situations. The Moon will move into sensitive, emotional Pisces at 10:07 p.m.,  so by then even those who kept their cool may have the sads by nighttime.

Lots of ups and downs then, with more downs at certain times… but seen from a higher perspective we will really be trying to put our feet on stable ground and evolve with the times. New realities are shaping up for us now.  Many of these changes will be for the better and are worth enduring the friction we face along the way. Capricorn season teaches us a lot about emotional resilience. Learn how to be happy for yourself, what you’ve survived and what you’ll eventually achieve, even if for the moment it seems no one else is happy for you.

Real Time Astrology: New Moon in Capricorn December 21, 2014

The New Moon will take place on winter solstice in the northern hemisphere at 7:36 p.m. CST  Sunday, December 21, 2014 at zero degrees Capricorn, the third in a series of  zero degree New Moons. The Capricorn New Moon will mark the beginning of a new era that we have been anticipating, with equal parts hope and fear, and will help set the tone of our transition.

Occurring as it is on a continuum of zero degree New Moons, I wouldn’t expect this one to be any less potent. The kickoff in this series was the Scorpio New Moon eclipse October 23, followed by the Sagittarius New Moon November 22. The December 21 New Moon in Capricorn brings to fruition the themes of the prior zero degree moons. From the Scorpio New Moon came loss and pain; at the Sagittarius New Moon our pain became our wisdom and we broadened our scope of vision based on our new soulful perspective. At the Capricorn New Moon, our wisdom now becomes our personal authority and power, and we assume leadership in changing the course of our futures.

The symbol usually associated with Capricorn is usually the Mountain Goat, forever climbing up the difficult steep grade. For what purpose does the goat do this, though? It is usually more accurate to remember that the image for Capricorn was initially the Sea-Goat, not the Mountain Goat. The Sea-Goat had the body of a goat with a tail attached that was a strange mix of serpent and fish. It was a subterranean sea creature that was evolving into a land creature. It swam in deep, murky waters but became able to place its hooves on solid ground and climb upwards and onwards, without losing the psychic memory of where it came from. Everyone has heard that to know where you are going, you have to know where you have been, and this personal evolution will be the message of the Capricorn New Moon. We take what we have learned with us while we begin forging out a new path in the wilderness.

The Capricorn New Moon will not be a warm and fuzzy one, though you can find plenty of caustic, dry humor if you’re looking for it. Especially coming off the heels of the inspired Sagittarius New Moon and the overall buoyancy of Sagittarius season, this Capricorn New Moon may feel as if our dreams have hit a wall. What is actually happening is our dreams are trying to “grow up”. Our goals and visions require tangible plans, structures and shape to work in real life. As this moon will happen quickly after the sixth exact Uranus-Pluto square December 14, our goals may be severely restricted by our financial and social circumstances. Fighting the many reality checks we’re faced with now may make this a rather depressing moon, with feelings of isolation and despair. Especially as this occurs at winter solstice in the northern hemisphere; the shortest amount of daylight, in the heart of winter, a day that is sometimes associated with depression by itself. If this is the case, all you can do is take stock of what you have to work with- however much or little that may be- and plan to build a bridge moving you forward. It doesn’t mean you have to stop dreaming of a better future, or that your dreams were wrong in the first place. For now, dreams must learn to work with our brutal outer reality.

As this moon will be in opposition to Pluto in Capricorn, our actual sleeping dreams may be more potent and informative than usual. With Capricorn, there is always logic to our intuition, so writing down your dreams may be useful. The house of your natal chart that this New Moon falls in will show you where you can assume an authoritative leadership role in initiating growth and evolution in your personal life. It also shows you where you may benefit from seeking advice from someone older, more mature or experienced than you.

Real Time Astrology: December 8-15, 2014

We are currently working our way through Sagittarius season, a time when we are focused on our soul wisdom, expanding our visions and philosophies, and seeking out truth in all areas of our lives. Sagittarius has brought many of us back into the land of the living, bringing with it a renewal of hope and possibilities.

So, there is some potential for frustrations to reemerge as the planet that rules Sagittarius, Jupiter, turns retrograde on Monday, December 8. Jupiter is still transiting the sign of exuberant, outgoing Leo; as Jupiter turns retrograde, we may find our personalities, our creativity, and our newly rediscovered sense of humor and optimism is kept in check.  Jupiter typically represents expansion and growth, and the retrograde functions to internalize the expansion and grow, rather than project it in the world around us. It doesn’t mean success isn’t possible during this time- Jupiter retrogrades every year, after all- but we may not see success happen at the rate we envisioned or banked on. Jupiter retrograde allows us to take a step back and reevaluate the big picture. The house(s) in your natal chart that Jupiter is retrograding in will be the primary focus of this internal expansion, which might be slow in bearing fruit. Do not be too hard on yourself if you cannot produce immediately the results you wanted!

As we head into the next exact square between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn, we will be contending with considerable forces exerted upon us that, in many ways, are beyond our ability to control. Times are changing, whether we want them to or not. Whether we’re ready for it and able to cope with it or not. The Jupiter retrograde period, then, will help in slowing down progress enough that we can change our visions and ideals to better work with the realities we are being faced with. The ongoing Uranus-Pluto squares are bringing us into truly unknown, unprecedented territory. Our best efforts and intentions may not necessarily pan out, and considerable angst and bitter frustration comes with this. Try to take it easy on yourself during this time, and try as much as possible to refrain from taking out your frustrations on others.

Money, values and relationship planet Venus enters Capricorn Wednesday, December 10. Capricorn is also associated with money, and as this takes place just after Jupiter retrogrades and just before the Uranus-Pluto square, much of our change in perspective will be in regards to money. Taking a sober look at your income, spending habits, debt, or employment situation will become a focus. You may only be able to work with what you’ve got for now, however much or little you may have.

Astrology and Depersonalization

We have certainly experienced some intense, frictional transits here on Earth lately, and this will not let up as we segue into the next chapters in our personal and collective lives. There will be tempo changes along the way, and moments of breakthroughs along with the moments of breaking down. As I write this, we are heading into another square between rebellious freedom fighter Uranus in Aries and controlled, austere establishment figure Pluto in Capricorn, exact at 12 degrees on December 14. This is the sixth exact square in a series of seven that began June 24, 2012, and again we feel the mounting tensions approaching breaking points. We are also trudging through the final degrees of hard-assed Saturn’s transit of Scorpio, shortly before its entry into more extroverted, cause-fighter Sagittarius on December 23. Not long after this transition Saturn will begin a potentially painful square with Neptune in Pisces, creating struggles when we attempt to clarify what’s real and what’s illusion.

 

While books could be written about the impact of these transits on our external lives, I thought I’d devote a little time to explaining one way this will likely manifest in our quiet, interior lives.

 

Depersonalization and derealization describe two distinct states of dissociation. Depersonalization describes a state of disassociation from the sense of self or body; it is an alteration in experience or perception wherein you feel detached from yourself and/or as if you are an outside observer of your own life. Derealization is this same disassociated feeling externalized; the distortion/detachment is instead in relation to the environment. The environment itself may not feel real, or your relation to your surrounding may not feel real, or feel distorted. It is an alteration in experience or perception with the physical world, time and space.

 

Literally, most everyone will experience this to a degree at some point in their life. It is far from rare. Sleep deprivation is enough to trigger an episode. The moments in our lives that we experience acute crisis, stress and anxiety are very often accompanied by depersonalization episodes. Though it can be very disturbing, for the most part the feeling is fleeting. Ongoing crisis can extend the duration, but even then the feeling usually resolves on its own. Drugs, alcohol and other substances that cross the blood/brain barrier are known of course to be disassociatives. It is also a common symptom of many neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, sleep disorders and migraines, as well as a common side effect of the meds used in treatment. There are some people who experience it frequently throughout their lifetime, some often enough to be considered a disassociative disorder, though for most it isn’t disruptive to their daily habits and responsibilities. For those who experience it on a somewhat more regular basis, it is usually internal conflict and anxiety that is the source.

 

Astrologically, I look to the following for someone describing bouts of depersonalization without major external upheaval: any planets in the 12th house, a highly stressed Sun, Saturn or Pluto, and aspects to the Sun from Saturn or Pluto. In people who do not usually experience depersonalization, stressful transits involving Saturn, Pluto or Neptune can still give way to this experience for the duration of the transit(s).

 

As you can see, many of the usual suspects involved in depersonalization and derealization are and will be dominating the psychosphere. I think, as a result, these uneasy internal experiences described here will become more common on a broader collective scale. It will calm anxiety considerably to know what the feeling is as it happens, so you are not caught off guard. By no means is this an exhaustive list of the many complex feelings associated with the phenomena, these are just some common feelings associated with depersonalization and derealization:

 

– Experiencing life in the third person

– Feeling unreal, like a visitor to your life or to Earth

– Feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed to see your reflection in mirrors, electronic screens, store windows, photos; you may not recognize yourself as you and feel startled that you have a physical body or shape

-Embarrassment at others treating you as if you are real

-Discomfort with making eye contact

– Feeling unreal, invisible or overlooked completely

– Affecting a flat, monotone voice or a change in syntax

– Feeling emotionally flat, empty or dull; feeling that life has no significance

-Hyper awareness of your behavior and others behavior with intense observational detachment: “I am a man/woman, I am talking to someone right now, they are looking back at me, the clock is ticking on the wall…”

-Hearing your speaking voice in the third person, or sounding different than usual

 

Not everyone will be experiencing this, obviously. Even those that do will usually experience one or two symptoms, not all, and the feeling will pass quickly on its own. If you do experience it, for the most part it is nothing to worry about. Strange as it sounds, in some cases the feeling serves a purpose. It is a survival mechanism of sorts; an “off switch” to our psyches when we are overloaded with fear, anxiety, worry, agitation, crises, and stress of our environments. Who among us doesn’t live with all these things? As the world changes around us and we struggle to adapt and survive, it will be crucial to remember -paraphrasing Dave Chapelle here!- that its often the environment that’s sick, not us. It will be necessary for all of us to do what we can in our personal and collective lives, give it everything we’ve got, but do not do more than that. Learn when to hit the psychic “off switch” and allow yourself time to heal and regenerate.