Where Are We Going, America?

 

During times of uncertainty, clarity and perspective are the most crucial ingredients to a successful outcome, and yet typically those things are the most difficult to come by in those moments. Such is the case in America post Presidential election 2016. Regardless of how you view the outcome of it, we’re unmistakably in unknown territory; clarity and perspective regarding the bigger picture beyond a handful of recognizable names in the news is needed.

 

In the very short term, we have a Full Moon in Taurus opposing the Sun in Scorpio on November 14th asking us to balance roiling dramatic emotions with pragmatism and level headed thinking. Soon after, on November 19th Neptune stations direct at 9 degrees Pisces, conjunct the South Node in Pisces, and at the degree of the September 1st Virgo Solar Eclipse as well as the final of the three Saturn-Neptune squares. The Moon was in Pisces the night of the election, crossing over the South Node, Neptune, and Chiron in Pisces. Psychic overload was the result. (Well, one of many results.) Mars entered Aquarius on election night, moving into a mutual reception with Uranus retrograde in Aries which is tightly conjunct Eris. Piscean confusion competing with anarchic rage.

 

With these things in mind, during a time of shaky astrological weather it’s probably a good time to stop and recalibrate, reclaim our senses and point our compasses back in the right direction. To help with the clarification and recalibration process, let’s just run through where we are now, at this moment in time, taking things on one at a time. I’ve written before about everything that is happening now; not everything below is necessarily new but aggregating it into one narrative will hopefully provide focus. I’ve been asked if I’ll do a post-election writeup; my answer for the time being is no, because I’ve been writing about it in advance for a while now: [Read more…]

The 3rd House And Depression (And Other Quirks)

 

Mental health issues -whether something we were born with a propensity for or aquired through our lives- come in a wide variety of flavors, each with different root causes and paths to healing. Mental health in astrology is equally varied, and can be attributed to many different combinations of planetary aspects, transits, and so on. Astrology is a fairly reliable tool in getting to the source of the problem and pointing out the deeper philosophical and spiritual reasons for why one is going through such an experience. It’s been interesting to me throughout my years of astrological observation that the relationship between the 3rd house and mental health, specifically depression, doesn’t seem to be as common knowledge as some of the other astrological influences. So, I thought I’d make a brief overview of the 3rd house, depression, and some of the different ways this plays out in real life.

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Real Time Astrology: November 2015

The astrology of the month of November starts with the magic of alchemy and ends with the need for separation of fact from fantasy. This month is a rapidly changing month but the changes are more subtle, more likely to sneak up on us rather than announce themselves.  [Read more…]

It Might Get Weird: Mercury direct, Neptune retrograde & Saturn re-enters Scorpio

Even if nothing looks different over the next week and a half or so, things will most definitely feel different as the cosmos shifts gears. The psychosphere will respond accordingly, of course. Prepare for some temporary quirky and jerky “speeding down and slowing up” effects as Mercury finally leaves its retrograde period and stations direct at 4 degrees Gemini on Thursday, June 11 @ 5:33 P.M. CST, only to be followed by Neptune’s retrograde at 9 degrees Pisces just a few hours later, on Friday June 12 @ 4:08 P.M. Just two days after that Saturn, already retrograde (working its way backwards through a sign), will leave Sagittarius and re-enter Scorpio for the remainder of the summer.

Mercury moving forward, Neptune moving backward (from our Earthly vantage point, anyway) and Saturn changing signs, all in the span of a few days… it will be a little dizzying. People will feel this, on mental, emotional and physical levels. The more sensitive folk are likely already getting a taste, particularly the Pisces and Neptune type personalities. Neptune is already stationing retrograde in the sign it rules, Pisces, at the time of this posting, infusing the psychosphere with its peculiar mix of spiritual longing, confusion, fantasy and painful disillusionment. The desire for escapism, the need to leave the dull soul-killing mundane world behind, cravings for something otherworldly… all are considerably heightened during a Neptune stationing period. A sense of world weariness begins to seep in, and we may not feel up to the task of handling everyday life. People often sleep and dream more during a Neptune station and feel more fatigued than usual. Some passive negligence of our bodies is common too; sleeping and eating too much, watching too much TV or spending too much time on the internet, neglecting hygiene and appearance. In small amounts this is harmless of course, but the need for escapism coupled with careless negligence can lead certain personalities into more destructive territory. Those with drug or alcohol abuse problems tend to not show as much restraint during Neptune stations. Even people not ordinarily inclined can develop unhealthy cravings. Avoiding triggering situations where you know you won’t have as much self control as usual is a good idea for the next week or so.

That’s not the common manifestation, though. Mostly people feel the Neptune stationing retrograde period as general and vague fatigue. This will linger a little longer than usual and actually intensify as Saturn returns to Scorpio on Sunday. Saturn in Scorpio = restricted energy. Not just physical energy, but our vital life energy that we invest in the world around us. Everyone will experience this transit differently, and not everyone will find it as dark and difficult as it seemed the first time round, but once Saturn takes that plunge back into Scorpio waters most everyone will become aware that they have pressing matters at hand that need resolution. Regardless of the scope of the situation, we will feel our energy and efforts need to be channeled and not wasted. The fuzzy withdrawal effect of the Neptune in Pisces retrograde station will morph into a somewhat strict buckling down. Saturn retrograde in Scorpio ain’t playing around this summer. Take the hints it drops here.

Somewhere in the soupy mix there will be hints dropped. Our bodies may feel worn down but intuition will be peaking. Neptune stationing retrograde in its own sign Pisces enhances its inherent ability to dissolve the gossamer-thin boundaries between us and the divine. If something seems like a sign now, really speaks to you, it probably is a sign. Deciphering the meanings may require discernment but messages will get clearer on the return of Saturn retrograde in Scorpio.

Aiding our efforts will be Mercury stationing direct in Gemini, its natural home, after a particularly grating retrograde. Acting as a strong counterpoint to the sluggishness of Neptune and Saturn, Mercury will be excited to be back in the game and back up to speed. Making seemingly trivial, unrelated things make perfect sense is a Gemini specialty. Mercury direct in Gemini will be busy piecing together all the sly hints, nudges and winks from the universe, all the strange hunches and tingling spidey senses. In direct contrast to the Neptune stationing retrograde in Pisces, Mercury direct in Gemini will have minds and mouths moving fast and sharp. It won’t be unusual for people to alternate between chattiness and silence, piqued curiosity and sudden disinterest, or running hot one minute and cold the next for the next week and a half or so. Many different areas of life will be competing for attention and people will be a bit too out of synch to handle it all smoothly.

Again, while some strangeness should be expected as we turn this new corner, it will be short lived. Things will begin to even out during and after the  New Moon in Gemini on Tuesday, June 16 (read about it here!) which will help to give a clearer view of the summer to come. That tide rolls in June 21, the summer equinox, with the entry of the Sun into Cancer.

Real Time Astrology: New Moon in Aquarius January 20, 2015

On Tuesday, January 20 at 7:14 a.m. Central Standard Time we will experience the New Moon at zero degrees Aquarius, the next in a series of New Moons – beginning in October 2014- that have taken place at zero degrees of their sign ( see tag: new moon). This New Moon in Aquarius will be heavily influenced by a number of other astrological factors: an exact conjunction between Mars and Neptune in Pisces the preceding day; the Mercury retrograde through Aquarius the following day; Aquarius’ ruling planet Uranus- in Aries and still squaring off with Pluto in Capricorn- squaring the South Node in Aries shortly before the New Moon.

This New Moon will not go unnoticed. It is strong at zero degrees of Aquarius and knows what it wants, what needs to be done.  It wants both independence and camaraderie, in equal doses. It wants an original perspective on our situations, on how we go about obtaining our goals for the future. It wants to question whether it really is necessary that we need to strive so much for what we end up with; are we cheating ourselves by accepting certain rules and roles? It wants only what is relevant for the times we’re in and for the times we’re moving in to. It will be looking for common ground and can suddenly change direction if it finds it. It wants, more than anything, to disrupt once and for all stagnant waters and finally allow fresh, clear headed vision back in.

Startlingly electric this New Moon at zero degrees Aquarius will be. It will, however, be working on a different plane than the other influences. There will be a distinct feeling of different areas of our lives and personalities operating on different levels and at different speeds during this moon phase. The message of the New Moon may lose something in translation, as Mercury stationing retrograde in Aquarius plays havoc with our brains and our mouths. We know what we feel, but saying it is a different story. The considerable disruption will of course frazzle nerves. The usual outlet of this energy, Mars, will not be channeling the energy as healthfully as it could, in Pisces and conjunct Eros and Neptune. We may find ourselves caught off guard by surprise anger, both in ourselves and in others, that seem to come from somewhere much deeper than initially appears. There may be petty fights that stem from a much larger sore point that remains ignored or unseen. There may be lashing out at undeserving targets, or playing the victim. It won’t be easy to trace the source of every trigger point and, even if we can trace the source of some, it won’t be easy to find a healthy way to release the pressure.

What is needed the most, but will be the hardest to pull off, is the ability to pick and choose your battles. With the strong Aquarian influence, with Uranus in Aries activating the Aries South Node, there will be an unbearable desire for independence in some areas of our life. Our survival instinct will be heightened and we’ll be wanting to shake off anything we perceive as restricting. Though the North Node in Libra is telling us that nothing is ever really accomplished by going it alone, that may be a hard message to hear now. Things may get tense, terse and confusing as the North Node in Libra pushes us towards love, peace and balance while the South Node in Aries, strained by the square from Uranus in Aries, urges us to fight savagely – both literally and figuratively- for those very things.

Passions and emotions will be running hot and cold. You may feel inspired, only to find an icy reception if you reach out. It may be that it is you who cools off around people who you usually have affection for. Friends, loose acquaintances and strangers may feel more like family than actual family and loved ones. As the New Moon in Aquarius seeks out common ground, we may feel loneliness if we feel we cannot find any in the people around us. Attitudes towards relationships and emotional involvement will likely fluctuate. Its important to keep this in mind, as both Mercury retrograde and Mars conjunct Neptune will be causing people to verbalize strong opinions they may not fully believe in at the time. If you don’t fully trust what you are saying, there’s plenty of reason to keep quiet for a time.

The house in your natal chart that this New Moon falls in is where you are most likely to experience disruption and a need for independence. The house that the Mars-Eros-Neptune conjunction falls in simultaneously shows where you can best express any tension from this moon, and where you may be expressing misdirected anger.  Disruption is not usually welcomed but it does not necessarily have to be awful, either. Being shook up is a necessary tool to remind us that we are still alive, vital and electric. Though the cosmic energies are going about things in very different ways, in many ways the goal is the same: to propel our lives forward on a trajectory in line with our desires and dreams, to see our internal goals and wishes reflected in the world around us, and to share in this with kindred spirits.

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.

 

Put on your red shoes and dance the blues!

Friday and Saturday nights -November 28 & 29- were made for dancers. The Moon will be in Pisces both nights conjunct Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, with Pisces ruler Neptune strongly aspected by Sun, Venus and Mercury. This is also the last weekend energetic Mars will be in earthy Capricorn. (In a natal chart, any personal planets in water or earth signs is an indication of a love of dance, but more so if it is Mars.) There is also tremendous fire, with a Sagittarius stellium, Jupiter in Leo and Uranus in Aries. Shake off whatever doldrums are still clinging on from the beginning of this month! This is a terrible weekend for practical undertakings, so go with the natural flow and lose yourself to beauty and inspiration when and where you can. If at all possible, find a dance floor to allow this magic to take place.