You are so busy being YOU that you have no idea
how utterly unprecedented you are.
~ John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Aug.06, 2013, 5:50 PM EST
Aug.06, 2003, 10:50 PM GMT
Aug.07, 2013, 7:50 AM AEDT
That's Leo's motto. Leo is the sign where you learn to feel good about yourself. You learn to celebrate your existence and shine the light of who you are out into the world.
This is not about egotism or believing that you're the only one that matters. Of course you matter! The point is not to rank yourself against others. The point is to shine who you are!
Where there is a light, however, there is also shadow. Most of us, if not all, have issues and doubts about who we are—or more accurately, who we think we are supposed to be.
We find ways to compensate for feelings of inadequacy, soothe fears that we're not enough, and defend ourselves against anything/anyone we think could dim our light. At some point most of us are led to believe that some part of us is bad and should be disowned or amputated from our spirit. That is our shadow. It's the parts of ourselves we try to hide, lest others see us as bad and someone to be avoided or shunned.
The truth is that who you are is okay. Hooray! You can breathe now. ;-)
What we do is sometimes less than wonderful. What we think or feel can lead us to attitudes and actions that are less than our best or are counterproductive. But actions, thoughts and feelings are expressions of who we are – they are not who we are.
Our self-image – who we believe we are, inside – sometimes reflects qualities we think are undesirable. How others see us may seem to reflect something bad about us. But these things are layers of paint that build up over top of the essential core of who we are.
Like so many before us, we could debate whether human nature is fundamentally good or bad, but most of what we think about ourselves – and about others – is to a large extent learned. It's not something we're born with; it's something we absorb, adopt and embrace, regardless whether that self-image is good, bad or just is.
Leo's lesson is to find your essential core, your central heart – to scrape off the old paint, discover your true essence and let it shine!
In 1929, the Belgian artist Rene Magritte created "The Treachery of Images." The painting showed a pipe, and under it the paradoxical inscription "This is not a pipe." When it was pointed out to him that what he had created was in fact a pipe, Magritte replied "OK, you should try filling it with tobacco then". Stated 10 years before the infamous WWII propaganda campaigns, Magritte's warning was clear: Beware of the seductive and deceptive power of images.
~ from the website for the
documentary film, Beware of Images
So: who do you think you are?
We often think of feeling good about ourselves as having positive self-esteem. The problem with self-esteem is that it is an image of who we are. But isn't an image of something the same as the thing itself? No, but we can use that image as something to model ourselves after in an effort to evolve into the qualities that the image represents or embodies.
A positive self-image is what we reflect back to ourselves. It's what we imagine ourselves to be, and that image is often formed from what has been reflected back to us from other people. As we get older we become better able to pick and choose which parts of those reflections we think are valid and which ones don't belong to us. In that way, we become increasingly self-defining and create our own self-image. (This begins in earnest at the first Saturn return, around the age of 29.)
The thing about a self-image, no matter who it is defined by (ourselves or others), is that we feel compelled to live up to it. We tend to see it as an expectation—especially when it comes from outside of ourselves. We tend to fear what will happen if we don't fulfill that image; that we could lose the approval of others; that we might be left alone and shunned; that we may lose the benefits, advantages, social stature or respect that the self-image grants us. We may feel self-doubt about whether we can live up to that improved image of ourselves.
In other words, once we reach that level of performance, competence or improvement the first time, we could be expected to live up to it all the time. Does that mean we can't ever make mistakes? Can't ever fail? What will happen if we let down those who believe in us? Once the world knows what we're capable of, maybe it will never let us get away with less ever again.
However, our energy levels and focus and priorities change through time, so we may not always be able to measure up to our very best all the time. So the prospect of self-improvement may sometimes feel like we're taking on a huge commitment that will have to be maintained consistently. And if we aren't sure if we're ready for that, it could feel like a trap to even try.
Guilt says I've done something wrong;
shame says there is something wrong with me.
Guilt says I've made a mistake;
shame says I am a mistake.
Guilt says what did was not good;
shame says I am no good.
~ John Bradshaw,
Bradshaw On: The Family
A New Way of Creating Solid Self-Esteem
This fear of being trapped in having to live up to higher expectations can sometimes hold us back from even trying. As a result, we might just give up and believe that we are incapable of improving our lives. Or, we may unconsciously sabotage our own efforts for improvement, so that we won't have to face the possibility of failure.
There is no single right or wrong answer to this. The fear of being trapped by the expectation of consistently optimal performance can be very real, and possibly with real consequences if we don't. As an example, say you're offered a better job but it requires you to work longer hours. Should you take it? You might be concerned about becoming burned out, or not being able to be there for your family or kids. Or maybe you're just feeling haunted by an old self-doubt that you might fail. Only you can decide if the concern is realistic or not, or whether you're ready to conquer the fear of it.
It's important to acknowledge and work with whatever our limitations are at any given time. It's one thing to believe we ultimately have infinite potential (and we do), but realistically we still need to be ready for change and that preparation can take time.
So, if it's limiting self-doubt that's holding you back, the question becomes: how do you break free of an old self-image that no longer fits you? How do you become ready for change and positive development? Much can depend on what that old self-image is made of and how deep it runs. However, it's especially helpful to aim for something other than simply "positive self-esteem." Self-acceptance is a much more powerful, and ultimately more genuine, goal.
Self-esteem says, "This is who I think I am and I will vow to live up to this. As long as I can live up to this, I will be able to feel okay about myself."
Self-acceptance says, "I am a work-in-progress. I make mistakes, I am still learning. I can improve, grow, learn and evolve. It's okay to be human and imperfect. If I discover something I've done that's less than who I'm trying to become, I will do what I can to change that. In the meantime, I can still feel okay about the essential person who I am. I don't have to believe that the essence of who I am is contaminated and stained if I do, think or feel something that contradicts who I want to become."
So: how do you break out of feeling trapped by heavy expectations and point yourself toward self-acceptance? Funny you should ask! The New Moon chart happens to have some suggestions for you.
Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be.
~ William Hazlitt
Laughter was once thought to be unique to humans. Seriously.
Science used to tell us (sometimes still does) that animals don't smile, and they certainly don't laugh.
Those of us with smiling and laughing dogs and other pets were accused by condescending scientists of anthropomorphizing – foolishly projecting human qualities onto creatures that lack them. Thankfully that view is changing.
Laughter is good for you! It gets the endorphins going – those natural morphine-like neurotransmitters that get us feeling good physically and mentally. Norman Cousins managed physical pain in part by laughing with hilarious comedy films like the Marx Brothers and TV shows like Candid Camera.
Unsurprisingly, there are many mental and physical benefits to laughing. It decreases stress hormones, gives your body a mini-workout, helps maintain good blood sugar levels, helps to reduce pain, and boosts the immune system.
Stress often comes when life throws something unpleasantly unexpected at you, or when you feel discouraged by a difficult situation. However, there's a fine line between being ambushed by something you don't want and being surprised by something that delights you. One of the best ways to cope with a frightening, difficult or painful situation is to look at it differently. Find the humour in it. Find ways to laugh about it or to laugh at your own reaction to it.
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style
~ Maya Angelou (Leo rising)
The New Moon in Leo is in trine aspect (120°) to Uranus, that lovable planet that's always full of surprises, good and bad. This is the only planet with a major aspect to the Sun and Moon in the chart, so it takes on extra and very significant importance.
Uranus says: look at the situation from a completely new perspective. Humour helps! Take what you think you know and turn it on its ear. Or turn it inside out and see what it looks like then. Look at it in one of those fun house mirrors and see how funny, kooky and silly it looks. Or reframe it in a brand new context and be hit by a bolt of lightning as you suddenly see something completely different.
Learn to laugh at yourself – well, not at yourself but with yourself. If you weren't attached to the outcome, how would the situation be funny? If you were trying to cheer up someone who had the same issues, how would you do it? We're not talking about Pollyanna platitudes, but how to lift someone out of the doldrums when they're stuck.
This is not about making fun of or dismissing whatever you're feeling – it's about taking yourself out of being stuck so you can see it from a different angle. This is to help you take a step back and look at things from a broader perspective, which can help you see things you couldn't see before.
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit
the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
~ Maya Angelou
Actually, Uranus has his own problems right now, impaled at the apex of that T-square aspect pattern. On one side is Pluto in Capricorn with whom Uranus in Aries has been locked in mortal combat since last year (with a loooong build-up for years before that).
Together they are plowing the fields of the global collective, so that in time new seeds can be planted and a better world order can emerge. For now, they're having a heckuva time sorting through the massive list of divergent priorities, ideologies, ambitions, visions and necessities. Not exactly your light and fluffy bit of fun.
On the other side are Jupiter and Mars. Jupiter in Cancer is in full heated argument with Pluto, glaring at each other in opposition across the zodiac. At a mere quarter-degree of orb, they also form the closest aspect in the chart, other than the New Moon itself, so their argument can be heard loud and clear throughout the solar system.
As they negotiate how to move forward with the massive changes that are needed and developing throughout our world, Jupiter insists on the highest moral integrity and vision, while Pluto just wants to establish something workable that will stand the test of time.
Mars in Cancer is starting to move beyond his conjunction with Jupiter, but is still within orb of the T-square. He just recently came down from being Out of Bounds (Jun.28 to Aug.03). He's becoming a bit better behaved, enough to go home to the wife and kids. Although he still has a hand in the game of cosmic poker being played out around the T-square, he's about to fold his hand and say goodnight. But first he's going to try to up the ante a bit more just to keep things "interesting..."
We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
~ E.E. Cummings
The Grand Trine Kite is still in orb for about another week after the New Moon. The Jupiter-Pluto opposition turns the Grand Trine into a Kite configuration, echoing the Kite that Mars formed when he opposed Pluto (Jul.27). The rest of the Grand Trine consists of the now-separating trine between Saturn and Neptune, which has been with us since last October. The Kite stays with us until Aug.12, at which point the Grand Trine falls apart as the Jupiter-Neptune trine fades away.
The overall effect of the Kite is that in order to squeeze the last drops of juice out of the Grand Water Trine, you will need to reconcile the issue of prioritizing how you will put that energy to use. And in order to do that, you will need to grapple with the Jupiter-Pluto opposition (more about that below). In essence, you will need to balance principle with power and growth with endurance.
The question to ask yourself is: What kind of power does Water have? Water is about feelings, creativity and bonding. How can that power be used within the highest principles? How might it be used ineffectively or even abused? For instance, having access to someone's innermost feelings, it might be used (consciously or unconsciously) to wound instead of to heal. Or there could be a strong temptation to cling to someone and try to control them, afraid of losing them, rather than connecting with them as a separate, independent individual.
The great potential still within the Grand Water Trine is a cooperative, creative combination of intuitive knowledge, authentic discipline and visionary dreams. Gather your version of these together with authentic integrity and you will have a powerful resource from which to build something lasting in your life.
With Pluto in an Earth sign (Capricorn), how you rally and align that Water power and principle will be what you manifest. But be careful what you ask for—there could be consequences you don't anticipate, so it's best to probe into yourself to find out what you really want and why you want it.
The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.
~ Walt Disney Company
Through the New Moon cycle in Leo, you have the chance to explore your sense of self and discover something new about who you are. Find ways to tickle your funny bone and see yourself in fun, spontaneous new ways.
This can help you fortify and renovate your identity to let go of what doesn't fit you anymore and to encounter new possibilities that you can try on for size. This can give you added strength to work effectively, cooperatively and creatively with the T-square and Grand Trine Kite energies.
Be who you are. Trying to be anyone else is a waste of your beautiful, unique spirit.
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.
~ Martha Graham
Once you have something fascinating or enlightening in your sights, what do you do with that? Alternatively, when you discover something disturbing, unsettling or with heavy implications, how do you respond? For example, do you want to understand and explore it, figure out what makes it tick and discover what it means? Or do you try to steer it, control it, utilize it and manipulate it to take advantage of it?
Neither of these alternatives is all good or all bad; they can potentially be used well for whatever best fits the situation you're in. However, it may not be possible to do both at once. It's very difficult to be receptive to what something can teach you, while also exploiting it for what it can do for you.
Under this transit, you may have to choose between the two, which could leave you feeling anything from mild frustration to a bit of panic, depending on what's at stake and how attached you are to each alternative. To resolve this dilemma, the urge to polarize could be very strong. In other words, feeling pressured to choose one "side" and crank up its volume, in order to drown out the other side and distance yourself from it. However, this kind of response tends to only perpetuate and amplify the problem, rather than solve it.
For a lasting peace, both sides of the issue need to be included in the solution. Sometimes compromise will be necessary, but if you become locked into a polarized extreme it could make compromise seem like failure (when it's probably not). There may be a difficult reality that must be faced AND also an opportunity to understand it from a higher perspective. They don't have to be (nor should they be) mutually exclusive.
You may need to embrace a position of power in some way, and from there you must choose whether to balance it with compassion and understanding or with condemnation and self-righteousness. Alternatively, you might be called upon to take a stand about something involving moral values, ethics or principles, and you'll need to decide whether to take the path that gives you control and influence for your own benefit or for the greater benefit of all involved. For example, it may be better to allow an enemy to save face, in order to avoid both of you becoming locked in opposing extremes. Avoid all-or-nothing rigidity; aim for a win-win flexibility.
This is the first of 3 passes of this transit: Aug.07.2013, Jan.31.2014 and Apr.20.2014.
While Mercury struts through Leo, your creativity and self-expression are flying high! Your communication strives to express more than just facts or information – it wants to convey the dramatic energy that tells a story in larger-than-life proportions! How you perceive and experience life right now can be vivid, dramatic and fun, as you pick up more easily on the expressive and "feel-good" elements of what's happening around you. You may become very creative, inspired and motivated during this time. The downside is that it may also easier to indulge in a mindset that is self-serving, egotistical or overconfident. Your motives are likely to be noble, heroic and full of good intentions, but you could also become so in love with your vision of what's possible that you miss valid criticism or drawbacks. This is a time to enjoy the playful delights of sports, games, humor, fun and children.
Your thoughts, ideas and communication need to become structured, rational and discreet, although this may not be easy to achieve. You may have to work extra hard to get your point across now, since others might be resistant to your ideas or may not be familiar with the basic concepts. It is a time to be clear, objective and down-to-earth in your communication and thinking, but equally important to do this without going overboard and becoming rigid, autocratic or over-cautious. If you find yourself stuck in a "glass half empty" frame of mind, you might be sagging under the weight of melancholy ...Or, it might mean you are coming to terms with some hard realities and decisions and feeling the gravity of the implications. But also check to be sure you're not taking yourself and your situation too seriously. By applying your best efforts, this can be a very productive time, especially with anything involving communication, writing, organising or logic.
Under this transit, you might find you need to, or are compelled to, change your mind about where you are heading in your life. You could be confronted with facts or information that contradicts what you thought was real or true about your sense of life purpose, or it might seem like someone is getting in your way. You may be tempted to dismiss this, deny it, avoid it or rationalize your way around it. However, there is probably valuable information coming to you that is important to take into consideration. It doesn't necessarily mean your life destination should be abandoned; rather, you are challenged to see it more clearly. You might also need to communicate information or a point of view that could be unwelcome or unpopular, or difficult to get your point across. In that case, try not to go overboard in standing your ground and focus primarily on what needs to be said and the best way to say it.
Unusual ideas, flashes of insight and seeing unexpected possibilities are all part of this transit. You may find it easier to be open-minded right now, especially about insights that have eluded you. Your ability to see beyond your usual horizon of perception can bring visionary brainwaves, as well as a fun sense of humour. You might be inspired to experiment with something new or do something out of character. You might have an impulse to break free of old habits or constraints. This can be a very liberating transit that opens your mind to new possibilities and ideas. However, be careful that you don't become so liberated and spontaneous that you become erratic, hyper or reckless. Words may come tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to consider their wisdom, or you might find yourself talking non-stop and interrupting, creating a bit of awkwardness in those around you. On the other hand, you might also find the clarity and vision that gives you the words to speak your truth with new conviction. It's a great time to do some writing or other form of self-expression, especially if it's spontaneous or involving technology.
Venus glides like a graceful model through her own sign of Libra, giving you the opportunity to expand your interactive style, cultivate diplomacy, beautify your surroundings, schmooze with social connections, and discover a new fashion statement. Find something beautiful, balanced or harmonious to appreciate or do during this time. You might consider visiting an art gallery, or watch a romantic movie, or listen to music that moves you into a peaceful place inside. You might feel drawn to going shopping for beautiful clothes or items to decorate your home. It can also be a good time to negotiate agreements with people, in a way that is fair and is focused on a win-win solution. Do something to celebrate, express and discover your inner and/or outer beauty. Find new ways to balance your own interests with those of others, which generates good will and harmony.
Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.
~ John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Aug.20, 2013, 9:44 PM EST
Aug.21, 2013, 2:44 AM GMT
Aug.21, 2013, 11:44 AM AEDT
This is also a Blue Moon in the original meaning of the term. When a season (between the equinoxes and solstices) has an extra, fourth, Full Moon, the third Full Moon in that season is called a Blue Moon. Read all about Blue Moons.
Life ebbs and flows in its own organic rhythm. Good times flow into difficult times, and then back into easier times again. Inspiration, planning, development, achievement, repeat.
You set your sights on something, do what is necessary to make it happen, and reach the point of completion. Beginning, middle and ending.
Trying to envision what comes after a cycle has run its course is sometimes easy. As you move through the cycle, new ideas come to mind; further possibilities. The next cycle evolves from the previous one so naturally that you might not even be aware of the shift.
Then again, sometimes completing a cycle can be difficult, stressful and disorienting. Endings are not always easy. You might have been motoring along in one cycle, only to find that you've become so accustomed to it, you're not sure what to do when it's gone.
Retirement can be like this for some people. Most people eagerly anticipate a life of freedom, with no job to make demands on them. And yet, some people dread retirement and stay on the job as long as possible. Their job has provided structure to their lives, social connections and something to do, and so they envision retirement as flat, meaningless, boring and lonely.
It's not the load that breaks you down,
it's the way you carry it.
~ Lou Holtz
We often put off endings or try to avoid them altogether, in order to avoid the pain of loss – loss of the familiar, loss of benefits we get from what we might lose, and so on. People with a lot of Fixed energy are especially prone to this (e.g. Sun, Moon, Ascendant or several planets in Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius). Fixed energy is good when you need staying power and the ability to turn on the cruise control and just let the flow of the situation carry you through. In other words, you get into a rhythm with whatever you're doing and the rhythm kind of takes on a life of its own, which sustains you and keeps you moving through the process.
This can be a blessing until it comes time to change direction or complete the journey. Fixed doesn't do change well. Like riding in a car, when you turn a corner or step on the brakes, your equilibrium is disrupted and you get tossed and twisted around – sometimes very uncomfortably if you're fully relaxed into it and aren't prepared for the change. Your body is still going in the same direction at the same pace, but reality has moved on to other plans and other horizons.
Mutable energy (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) is much better at endings, and to a lesser extent, Cardinal energy. Mutable energy can adapt, change, adjust and flow with whatever happens. Mutable doesn't do maintenance mode well, which requires constancy, endurance and stability. Whereas Fixed is comfortable with those qualities, Mutable gets distracted and bored, always looking for ways to fine-tune, tinker and perfect, which can interfere with the Fixed rhythm.
Cardinal energy (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) is something yet again. It is the initiatory energy that reignites the fire of motivation and purpose after Mutable has wound down the energy to complete and let go of the previous cycle. Cardinal doesn't do endings well, nor preserving the status quo in maintenance mode. It's all about the goal and getting things rolling.
Answering the question "What next?" is a team effort between Mutable and Cardinal. Mutable's flexibility can dream of the potential and possibilities that can emerge out of what has been in the fading cycle. Cardinal's focus and intention takes this wish-list and chooses which of the options to pursue and develop. Its job is to start (or restart) the engine, get you warmed up with motivation and point you in the right direction to eventually arrive at your chosen destination.
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
~ Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
There's plenty of all three modalities to go around in the Full Moon chart. For starters, the Moon in Aquarius and Sun in Leo bring a strong Fixed focus to the Full Moon energy. On the other hand, the Moon is conjunct Neptune (just over the cusp, in Pisces) and the Sun is conjunct Mercury – both very mutable planetary energies (both rule Mutable signs).
The Moon is also in the second-last degree of Aquarius, so it suggests the Full Moon is manifesting the end of a longer process. This is especially significant, since this is the second Full Moon in Aquarius in a row – that is to say, the previous Full Moon (Jul.22) was also a Full Moon in Aquarius. The July Full Moon was at zero degrees of Aquarius, suggesting the beginning of a journey or theme. This one is almost at the end of the sign, suggesting a time of completion or a preparation for transition.
This late-degree Full Moon seems to say, "This journey is coming to a close. What next? It's time to envision the future!" Mercury, conjunct the Sun, is more than happy to help think up lots of juicy ideas. And Neptune encourages you to dream big about what could come next. This creates some stress for our Fixed Moon which normally prefers to stay the course, not change direction or come to a halt. On the other hand, forward-thinking Aquarius is naturally pointed toward the future anyway, so it may not be that difficult as long as Aquarius can focus mainly on the ideas (as opposed to putting those ideas into action).
The overall result is that this Full Moon, and the 2 weeks the follow, are a good time to envision what you want down the road. There is a theme running through your life now that is either drawing to a close or is getting ready to shift into the next gear – either way, there's change on the horizon and your life will look rather different from what it does now. (The house in your Natal chart will usually show the area most likely to be affected by this change.)
Depending on how attached you are to the current state of things, or how much you feel apprehensive about the anticipated changes, this may be a welcome change or a dreaded one. This Full Moon gives you a chance to envision how to work with the change and how to make it work for you. If you wind up being dragged kicking and screaming into whatever lies beyond, it will leave you disempowered, defensive and guarded from expecting the worst. When you meet change pro-actively, steering it in your own way as much as possible, you become empowered, more confident and open to being pleasantly surprised by benefits you hadn't anticipated.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
So we have a Fixed process that is winding down, with Mutable visions of what the future could hold. Now we need some Cardinal energy to prioritize the options, focus on a new direction and be ready to kick-start the process.
Lo and behold, we have just the thing – a Cardinal Grand Cross!
This Grand Cross aspect pattern will give you a kick, alright! It starts with Uranus square Pluto, add in Jupiter to form a T-square aspect pattern that stays with us from Jul.22 to Sep.15. This is like a prize fight with 3 boxers! Each of these planets is battling from their own driving purpose, trying to ensure that their priorities and agenda will prevail and not get knocked out by the other two. (Read more about this T-square aspect pattern.)
Let's learn more about the contenders. Pluto in Capricorn wants stability, order and authority, although there is a danger of it becoming oppressive. Uranus is Aries wants freedom, innovation and action that will speak to the future, but there is a risk of chaos if the status quo is broken so badly that it can't sustain or survive the change. Jupiter in Cancer wants to nurture and protect everything it sees as part of its vision of the future, but care must be taken that this doesn't become an excuse to indulge favouritism and divide the world into those who are or are not deserving.
Venus is just arriving at the boxing match and forms a Grand Cross out of the T-square (more about the Grand Cross below this article). Now there are 4 planets duking it out in a competition to see whose priorities will lead the way. Venus in Libra wants fairness and balance for all involved, and is ready to apply her famous diplomacy to the situation. Think of Venus as the referee in the boxing match, but with an agenda of her own.
She's not above putting on the gloves and giving Jupiter, Uranus or Pluto a good whack upside the head in order to keep things from getting out of control, but she's more likely to try some good old fashioned Libran persuasion first. Her preferred style is to mediate and find the common ground between all parties, and then work at finding a point of compromise somewhere above that common ground. And if you think Venus is a lightweight in this fight, just remember that she's the only one of the four who understands the dynamics of how they're all relating to each other. She's seeing the fight from a rather different perspective than the others, which gives her an edge.
So Venus steps into the ring and sets about trying to find ways for everyone to work together toward one goal. With so much motivation, drive and determination amongst them, Venus knows it's a waste of energy for them to squabble between themselves, when they could combine their strengths and become a combined force to be reckoned with. This is the way with the Grand Cross configuration, especially when it's in Cardinal signs. Either you stumble all over and exhaust yourself trying to pull in all directions at once, or you get all your conflicting desires, purposes, priorities and agendas aligned together and become a steamroller that can flatten anything that gets in its way.
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
~ Søren Kierkegaard
So this completes the circuit. There is strong Fixed energy (in the Full Moon) that is aligned with Mutable energy (indicating an approaching transition), alongside extremely strong Cardinal energy (providing an enormous urge to make something happen). That Fixed energy in you needs to look toward the future and get ready to shift gears. Whether you step up something in your life to a more advanced level, or whether you gear down in order to let go of something that has run its course, it's important to anticipate what will come next. What resources will you need in the next phase? How can you prepare yourself for the transition?
What do you need to let go of from the current cycle in order to graduate effectively into the next one? With Neptune conjunct the Moon, the letting-go part is of utmost importance. You can't allow yourself to move with the flow of the transition if you're still holding onto baggage from the past and trying to take it with you. You will bring with you the learning and the wisdom from the experiences you have had, but inevitably you will need to let go of the structures that enabled you to acquire that learning and experiences.
If you try to advance into the next cycle backwards, facing toward the past and trying to hang on to what is familiar, it is only likely to bring turmoil to the birth of the new cycle. In order to face toward where you're going, entering the new cycle with your eyes open and able to meet whatever comes, you will need to turn your back on the past to some extent. It's best to be like a newborn babe, coming out head first and bellowing to the world, "HERE I AM!"
I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
~ Albert Einstein
For now, it's enough to become aware of the approaching transition and think about what it means to you. You might already be seeing the glowing dawn of change on the horizon. Or you might be so immersed in what you've been doing that you aren't even aware of the coming shift in energy. Nothing can stay the same forever – life means change. And change goes one of two ways – either something ends in order for something new to begin, or it transforms into an extension of what it already is.
Allow your imagination to spontaneously roam free, as you meditate on the possibilities. It's okay to steer it in the direction of your needs and priorities, but try not to limit where you mind goes. Often we can get what we need in ways we never expected, so it's best to allow your imagination to introduce new ideas and possibilities without you trying to censor or edit them.
Just dream. And pay attention to your sleeping dreams as well as your waking dreams. In particular, note how you feel in those dreams. What excites you? What scares you? What daunts you into cautious hesitation? What do you say yes to when you feel you should say no? And vice versa? What kind of setting does the dream take place in? Are you at home or in a place from childhood? Are you in a strange place that's completely unfamiliar, even in the dream?
All of these factors give you clues about what kind of unresolved baggage you might be bringing with you into the next cycle. And it's okay to bring unresolved baggage (that's what a new cycle is for – to let you try again from a different angle), as long as you're not trying to hold onto the past in order to halt the natural change that's happening. If you are, then this is the time to work on letting go of what has run its course and what no longer supports your growth.
The more you can face the approaching transition with your eyes open, and your mind awake and receptive, the better that Cardinal Cross energy will be able to align itself to a common purpose within you.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do
than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
~ H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Why and how do you want to change or grow? Both Jupiter and Uranus are about growth and change, as well as freedom and idealism, but they have rather different agendas and styles of going about it. Jupiter is all about purpose and reaching for the moral high ground, whereas Uranus is more about liberation and allowing freedom to rule, even if that means chaos. These two agendas are at odds right now, pulling in different directions due to a conflict of interest. Jupiter says, "What good is freedom if it doesn't bring greater meaning into your life? Chaos is the absence of meaning." Uranus says, "You can't know what the moral high ground is, nor what it means, unless you allow for all possibilities, not just the ones you think are virtuous. Chaos can create room for true meaning to emerge." And how to you want this change to occur – through a gradual evolution that builds on what came before, or through an explosion of unprecedented, spontaneous, mind-blowing awakening? Do you hunger for fresh principles you can believe in and apply to your life, or would you rather wipe the slate clean and start fresh? Both the Uranus and Jupiter sides of this argument are within you. You may, however, need to choose which has the higher priority in your life, or which one feels more compelling and attractive. You might see this discord playing out in your own life, or the world around you might be locked into a conflict like this in some way. The solution might not be for one to win out over the other, but rather to recognize that both sides have validity in their own way and to find a way for them to coexist or compromise.
This is the first of 3 passes: Aug.21, Feb.26.2014, Apr.20.2014.
Dates for the current Jupiter-Uranus cycle:
|Second Pass||Third Pass|
|Jupiter conjunct Uranus (0°)||8-Jun-2010||19-Sep-2010||4-Jan-2011|
|Waxing sextile (60°)||22-Jul-2012|
|Waxing square (90°)||21-Aug-2013||26-Feb-2014||20-Apr-2014|
|Waxing trine (120°)||25-Sep-2014||3-Mar-2015||22-Jun-2015|
|Waning trine (120°)||15-Dec-2019|
|Waning square (90°)||17-Jan-2021|
|Waning sextile (60°)||18-Feb-2022|
|Next Jupiter-Uranus conjunction (0°)||21-Apr-2024|
Trines often have a way of passing by unnoticed, which is usually because the energy just allows things to feel "as they should be." As a result, you may find you just coast along and relax, basking in the break in the usual turmoil without thinking about it much. In this case, you may experience this relaxation from stress in the areas of physical health and/or mental outlook. Much depends on where your "wound" is – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, etc. As a result, you might go through a couple/few weeks of feeling more optimistic about things that usually feel difficult or stressful. You may find it easier to feel good about yourself, your life, your body, etc. Or you might feel more accepted or included by a world in which you often feel awkward or alienated. This shift in energy might come to you through an opportunity or event that allows things to fall into place more easily, or you might become open to a new mental perspective that gives you fresh hope for improvement.
There's a chance that this transit might also aggravate that "woundedness" in some way. Jupiter often amplifies whatever it touches, so if you are struggling with physical health issues, low self-esteem, feeling socially out of sync or overly cynical, this transit might magnify those issues and lead you to want to hide out in the dark recesses of your cave. The good news is that if this happens, it gives you a chance to take a close-up look at what is haunting you, and if you pay attention it could lead you into a new way of dealing with it all. If you get stuck in just feeling overwhelmed by it all, take some time out to do things that remind you of how things could look when viewed in a positive light. For example, do something to pamper your body, or listen to music that soothes the soul, or do something to decorate your cave, or go outside to a place that nourishes your spirit.
This is the first of 3 passes of this transit: Aug.21.2013, Feb.05.2014 and May.14.2014.
Venus opposes Uranus, while Jupiter opposes Pluto, and everyone does a do-si-do in a Cardinal Square dance for a week or so. This aspect figure is just the latest chapter in the Cardinal Cross saga that evolves and unfolds from 2008 through 2016 and beyond.
This Grand Cross starts with the Cardinal T-square that is with us from Jul.22 to Sep.15. (Read the article about this T-square.). Now Venus comes along and forms a Grand Cross. Venus in her own sign of Libra is a strong player to add to this drama. She can mediate, negotiate and even manipulate, if necessary, the conflict in the T-square.
Venus therefore has a potentially positive role in the situation, since she has the ability to bring balance and harmony to the T-square's squabbling planets. However, Libra is known not only as the peace-maker but also the war-maker, and she is not above knocking some heads together if she thinks it will balance out the situation and establish a sense of equilibrium. She's also not above playing one side against the other, or both sides against the middle, if she believes it will do the trick. And she'll do it all with a sweet smile on her face. ;-)
So how are you are likely to experience this? These dynamics could affect or describe what's happening in your relationships with Significant Others, for example. Or your finances could be at the centre of a battle between conflicting desires, obligations and priorities. Your sense of self-worth or self-image might be challenged, as you struggle to find a positive balance between who you try to be, who you are afraid you might be and who you actually are.
You could be faced with options that feel impossible to choose between because each possibility seems to lead to something that will make your life worse. Is it really just a matter of selecting the least of evils, or is there a higher principle that can guide you to a more meaningful and fulfilling outcome?
Finding balance in chaos and conflict can be quite a challenge! It's always tempting to take sides, if for no other reason than to feel there will be someone you feel relatively safe with who seems to be "on your side" too. The problem with that choice is that now you're stuck in an us-versus-them polarization, which doesn't often lead to a peaceful resolution.
It's much harder, but also more rewarding and meaningful in the long run, to keep at least one foot in an objective position where you can see, appreciate and understand the whole mess from a more detached viewpoint. Of course, we all have our opinions and perspectives that make sense to us, so complete objectivity is probably not healthy or realistic – but neither is staying stuck in one perspective that affirms one way to see things and rejects all others.
This Grand Cross challenges you to shift your balance a little, whether that is emotionally, spiritually, socially or mentally. Seek to discover not simply what makes sense to you, in terms of your values and priorities, but to also understand in a new light that which seems contrary or even objectionable. It is by finding ourselves in both sides of the equation that resolution can be found.
The Grand Cross stays with us from Aug.21-29, and is at its tightest from Aug.24-27. This Grand Cross also returns in mid-September (14-19) with Mercury briefly filling in the 4th corner of the cross. And it also comes back in January 2014 with Mars taking the 4th corner position.
Happy Solar Return to all Virgos! While the Sun is in Virgo, we are all honorary Virgos. You are encouraged to clean out the toxins in your body and mind. Organise and tidy up your life, in whatever ways it is "a mess." And take stock of the ways you give service and make a contribution to the world around you. Take some time to pay attention to the details and precision of what you do, and appreciate how much you can do with very little. During this transit, organisation, useful procedures and practical application come together to form the key that opens the door to effectiveness, efficiency and improvement. This is a good time to adopt a service-oriented attitude, whether that involves being helpful to someone else or dedicated to your own healing and betterment. You could volunteer your time. Or, perform some "random acts of kindness." Or, just do something nice for someone. Projects and problem solving may work a bit better if you take an analytical, methodical approach to them (rather than intuitive or guessing). This is a good time to assimilate and "digest" the results of any preparation you've been doing toward a project, goal or production. Weed out what doesn't work and what doesn't support your efforts, and then reorganise and simplify whatever is left. Just don't get so carried away that you throw away something that's important to you or your goals.
Mercury moves into its own sign of Virgo, where it brings an awareness of health, healing, work and service. This is a good time to be analytical, methodical and focused on improvement. But be careful not to get so lost in details or perfectionism that you can't see the forest for the trees. This energy is well spent by finding ways to make your work and the pursuit of your goals more efficient and effective. Try organising your activities better and prioritizing them according to what works well and what needs improvement and how. This is especially true for any health issues that keep getting pushed to the back burner. Whatever your plans, this transit can help you organise an effective strategy to move you forward.
Relationships and interactions are likely to be deep, intense and transformative under this transit. The same goes for your sense of beauty, and your material and financial dealings, which may require you to delve far deeper than usual to discover the truth under the surface of things. You may encounter the dark shadow of your desires – the obscure, secret or unconscious hunger that hides underneath the "politically correct" face you show to the world (and to yourself. This is a challenge to be resolved in some way. It might bring out conflict rooted in envy or jealousy, if someone has something (or someone) that you feel you are entitled to. Or, it might prompt you to reach very deep into your soul to find your inner beauty and value. You may be challenged to develop empathy or empowerment about something that initially seemed undesirable, unforgivable or scary. This transit can show you the problem areas that need to be transformed and healed. And seeing these more clearly can be a catharsis that sets that transformative healing in motion.
During this transit, your sense of self and purpose can become merged with what you think, perceive and say. On one hand, this can make for an easy flow of ideas and communication from inside your brain to the external world. It can also increase your perceptions and observations of the world, as you file it all away in your internal database. On the other hand, you may find yourself a bit tongue-tied, as it could be hard to separate your sense of self from your perceptions and ideas enough to find the words to adequately express them. In that case, just observe and go with the flow; the words will come later. It can also be a time when it's not easy to be objective, especially about yourself and how you bring yourself to the world around you. It's like your Being automatically expresses and sets into motion the things you think, perceive and want to say. This can help you to feel like your sense of self is shining effortlessly, but if your thoughts and perceptions are in conflict with other parts of you (e.g., emotions, needs, objectivity) then it might become a time when you act a little too quickly with blinders on. Strive for balance and self-honesty before you act.
Inspired thinking, mental fantasy, imaginative ideas and lucid dreams are likely during this transit. This can result in enormous creativity that sees inspiration and magical ideas in the world around you (be sure to write them down to develop later). Your communication may be unusually intuitive and inspiring now. However, it can also be a time when your perceptions about reality are a bit off and coloured by wishful thinking and irrational conclusions. Doing a reality check with a trusted friend or advisor is a good idea, especially if you are trying to make important decisions right now. But be sure to explore any non-rational or irrational thinking, since the veil between the conscious and unconscious mind is thin now and you can learn much by observing your thoughts and perceptions.
Relationships, social interaction, material resources and emotional balance may be a bit unpredictable or unstable around this time, as Uranus the Awakener sounds a wake-up gong in these areas. You may be more inclined to act out of character, to experiment or be reckless in relationship, social or financial matters, which could be liberating or disturbing, exciting or upsetting. Circumstances or other people might create a situation in which you are forced to respond in an unusual or unfamiliar way. The idea behind this energy is to become more flexible and more open to a broader vision of what is possible in those areas. There may be weak spots in the affected areas which this transit illuminates by creating problems, so that they can be repaired and strengthened, or else broken and released so that new opportunities can come in. Trust the process and keep your eyes open to seeing new truth and insight.
For a few days, you are face to face with the boundless universe! This could come to you in a number of ways, from creative inspiration to vivid dreams to enchanted encounters with great mystery. There is a tension now between clarity of purpose and infinite vision; between being centred in yourself versus being connected to the Great Unknown; and/or between personal independence and autonomy versus blurred boundaries with a person or situation. If you lose your bearings, you could feel some depression, lethargy or confusion. Your dreams, longings and expectations may be rooted more in wishful thinking than reality right now, which could lead to disappointment or disillusionment. It's a good idea to do a reality check with a trusted friend if you need to make any important decisions. On the other hand, you are also able to see your hopes, dreams and illusions more clearly than usual, reflected back through other people or the outside world. It may be like looking in a cosmic mirror that shows you what's going on in your subconscious. Just remember that it may be hard to tell which is the real thing and which is the mirrored reflection. Just like a dream, you might get better insight by interpreting them intuitively rather than literally. Try expressing your experiences, feelings and perceptions in ways that are poetic, artistic, creative and non-rational.
It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and decisions now. It's a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your ambitions. Or, you may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals, by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the past several months. This will probably require a bit of effort on your part to make it happen, but the opportunity is there if you choose to take it. This transit can bring mental stability and the ability to apply your mental focus in a practical and grounded way. It may be easier to see things realistically and objectively. Creative energy can become productive and rewarding, if you use it methodically or logically.
"Your eyes are bigger than your stomach" (as Mom used to say). That means you are more likely now to over-indulge, especially in the areas of relationships, spending, desires, pleasure and social contact. Your desire for fulfilment and satisfaction may exceed your resources, and you might not even realise it until the bill comes in later (probably under a Saturn transit ;-). You may also find you require more knowledge, understanding, faith, freedom or optimism than you have available, making it tempting to compensate by inflating what you really have. For example, you might want to resort to flattery, manipulation or over-optimism in an effort to make up for a lack of genuine confidence, rapport or preparation. However, this can also be a time when your creativity is running high and you are able to pull rabbits out of your hat on a moment's notice. The problem is that you could over-extend yourself by doing so.
Fire meets Fire during this transit! Physical and emotional energy tends to run high and hot. This transit is great for doing work that requires a creative, dramatic, courageous or confident focus. This is also very playful energy that spurs you to throw off inhibition and express your most brilliant self. Sexual energy can be aroused, as well as anger or aggression. Assertiveness may emerge as more confident, edgy and dramatic than usual. If these emotions are based on defensiveness, lack of self-esteem or automatic reactions to unconscious assumptions, your effect could go overboard and come across as arrogant or sensationalist. On the other hand, if you tend to be a "shrinking violet" and find it hard to express yourself openly, this transit could provide some courage, inspiration and motivation to help you break free. To make the most of this transit, find ways to bring out your playful, creative, expressive side.
It is possible to dive deep below the surface now, in your perception of situations, other people and yourself. If you have been working on trying to understand the deeper motivations and dynamics of what is happening in your life, there could be a breakthrough now. The light may finally go on in the darker corners that have eluded you, and your penetrating insight. You could find a way to articulate these perceptions and speak your mind in a way that is unusually powerful or intense (so be careful you don't inadvertently blow your audience out of the water). This transit can bring an opportunity to shed and leave behind old worn out perceptions or ineffective forms of communication. Try writing down your thoughts and ideas to capture the energy of this transit. This is the only exact pass for this transit, since Pluto was out of range when Mercury came through this area two months ago.
You could experience extra sensitivity, compassion or sympathy toward the problems and suffering of others under this transit. One possibility is that you encounter more people than usual who are struggling with problems that are brought to your attention. Another possibility is that you might be on the receiving end of the results of their suffering – for example, if someone takes out their frustration or discouragement on you. Yet another option is that you may encounter others who are sensitive to and able to offer help for your own ongoing problems and struggles. You may be in a special position to have insight into the problems of others, or they into yours. Exchange of information, experiences, ideas and theories could be useful. You might also experience a difficult interaction with someone that raises an old issue about style of communication (for example, words might be spoken with good intentions that instead cause hurt). This is a good time to listen and observe, and you might catch a glimpse of some ironic or paradoxical truth.
You have an opportunity now to make some progress in obtaining results in your projects, career, ambitions and creative expression. It is possible to tap into a disciplined mindset, which can be used to take some steps toward goals that you're trying to manifest. You are surrounded by potential to achieve this, although it will not simply be handed to you – you will still have to work for it. Your mind and purpose are likely to be clear and strong now, enabling you to be decisive and productive. Leadership, management and organizing abilities are potentially high right now. Asserting your authority in a situation that calls for it can be done successfully, as long as you don't let yourself become rigid or bossy. It can be a good time to learn or practice new skills, or to apply yourself to any kind of serious study. It is also a time when you could formulate some solid plans for future projects or make some progress with current undertakings. Make the most of it!
You may have an abundance of ideas and words to express them under this transit. There is the potential (if you reach for it) to put ideas, facts and thoughts together into a cohesive whole. You may find you can understand the overall patterns in a situation, or you are able to see the Big Picture, better than usual. New insights and a change of perspective may abound, as your stream of consciousness flows abundantly with optimism and visionary possibilities. You may find yourself more talkative than usual, as you try to share and convey the new ideas, inspiration and knowledge coming into your mind. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun now playing with ideas to want to stop and make them manifest just yet. There is a chance that you may be so elated and confident that you might come across as a bit overbearing or even as a "know-it-all," so be sure to listen too.
Your sense of purpose is strong now, as you are able to tap into a deeper level of energy and determination. Your personality is likely to be more forceful now, which can be great if you need to make a strong impression but perhaps not so much in situations requiring delicacy or subtlety. Your ability to see below the surface of things is especially clear, and it may be possible to unearth secrets or get at the core of unconscious patterns (yours or others'). This is a time when your personal presence may come across as somewhat "larger than life," so you need to remember that a little goes a long way during this transit. This could be a time when you suddenly find the strength to stand up and assert your personal power in a situation that has felt overwhelming or discouraging. On the other hand, if you are still struggling to learn how to own your power, without using nuclear bombs to make your point, you may still feel a bit overwhelmed or daunted by this transit. In that case, take smaller steps and don't try to push the river.
This transit can bring a challenge to your sense of personal purpose versus the trans-personal vision of possibilities. This could play out in many areas; for instance, spirituality, career, life direction, physical or emotional healing, etc. Perhaps you are feeling a conflict between what you want to gain on a personal level versus a higher vision of what you could be capable of. The problem is that to reach for greater possibilities, you have to move beyond your comfort zone. There is a certain amount of risk and sacrifice involved in any kind of growth. You might worry that moving into a larger context could undermine your self-esteem by making you feel small or inadequate. You may be concerned that you'd have to give up personal rewards in order to achieve that higher vision. Regardless of how this plays out in your life, the struggle to find a balance you can live with – between what is and what could be – is the purpose of this transit. Later it will be time to take further action, but for how it is important to grapple with the dynamics of your situation which will lead to a decision.
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© 2013 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Graphics of Leo and Aquarius, pageant marcher and butterflies, from CanStockPhoto. Image of kitten and lion: source unknown (if you own the copyright on this image, please contact me). Image of Rene Magritte painting, The Treachery of Images, from Amazon.com.