Think about it, there must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
Without it, life is a wasted time
Look inside your heart, I'll look inside mine
...Bring me a higher love!
~ Will Jennings and Steve Winwood, Higher Love
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Jul.26, 2014, 6:41 PM EDT
Jul.dd, 2014, 11:41 PM BST
Jul.dd, 2014, 8:41 AM AEST
This is the kind of lunar cycle that can be over-the-top inspiring, exciting, motivating and empowering. Or, it could also be around-the-bend upsetting, infuriating, exhausting or overwhelming.
Much depends on how you get along with Leo energy. And Jupiter. And Mars. And we'll throw in Chiron for good measure, so he doesn't suffer from feeling left out.
Get ready to get hammered – a Thor's Hammer aspect pattern, that is (sometimes called a Quadriform or Arrowhead). This Hammer features prominently and powerfully in the New Moon chart and in the unfolding energy of this lunar cycle. In fact, it's so central to the Leo New Moon chart that I'm going to focus almost exclusively on it.
A Thor's Hammer consists of (at least) two planets in square aspect (90°), and a third planet in sesquiquadrate aspect (135° or a square-and-a-half) to the square planets.
The sesquiquadrate aspect (sometimes called a sesquisquare or a tri-octile – three-eighths of the circle) is part of the square family (90°, 180°, 45°, 135°). As such, its fundamental energy is about conflict, stress, friction and struggle, as well as being motivating, dynamic and energizing. This ain't no cushy trine (120°) or playful sextile (60°), but a hard-working, edgy chisel designed to keep you moving when you're tempted to get complacent, bored or lazy.
When you combine the sesquiquadrates with a square, they form the business end of a hammer. It's capable of smashing away obstacles with the blunt end (think peanuts pureed straight into peanut butter with one blow). Or, with the apex end, it could "get to the point" in one swift whack or a series of carefully aimed taps, splitting those annoyingly ambiguous shades of grey into black-and-white clarity.
I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.
~ Abraham Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being
So: which tool do you need? Do you need something to deal with the "broad strokes" in a situation? Or do you need something more focused for a more specialized task?
Well, it depends on what you're trying to do.
The end result will largely depend on picking the right tool for the job. If you need something with a finer touch that can get into the nitty-gritty, a blunt instrument is more likely to cause damage than repair it.
If, for example, you need to speak your truth to someone, whose easily hurt feelings have held you back from doing so before now, blurting it out with blunt force (the broad side of the Hammer) probably won't get you the best outcome. Better to choose words carefully to avoid overreaction and undue damage (the focused point of the Hammer).
On the other hand, if you need to lay out the broad strokes of the big picture, approaching it through details and specifics (the pointed end of the Hammer) will more likely get you lost in minutia and you'll lose sight of what you're trying to accomplish. For instance, if you want to write a book, it's better to start by figuring out the structure and flow of ideas for the book's topic (the flat end of the Hammer), rather than zeroing in on which font to use for the chapter headings.
Love and kindness are the hammer and chisel that gently chip through barriers and long-held beliefs to reveal the magnificent soul contained within every human.
~ Molly Friedenfeld, The Book of Simple Human Truths
In the case of our Leo Hammer, the broad side consists of Mars on one end and a tight conjunction of the Sun, Moon and Jupiter at the other end. Wow, talk about a dynamo of energy!
Mars in square aspect to anything cranks up the heat and volume. For example, if you get triggered into anger or defensiveness, it's likely to be louder and more forceful than usual. If you're looking for motivation and energy, this is a wave you could potentially surf all the way to the shore—but make sure you've got your water wings on in case you wipe out!
Jupiter is conjunct the New Moon, which is a pretty Big Deal all by itself. Jupiter seeks to expand and enlighten whatever it touches. In fact, it is the quintessential Seeker – of knowledge, truth, justice and wisdom. And to acquire any of these means you have to get up off the couch and go look for it (literally or figuratively). Hence: Jupiter's penchant for travel, whether to distant shores or inner realms.
Jupiter just arrived in Leo after a year in Cancer, and this New Moon is his grandiose celebration party to welcome him home. With Leo's flair for the dramatic and self-expression, Jupiter will be right at home—as long as he feels it's all being done for a higher purpose.
However, Jupiter starts to get cranky if he feels his talents are being whittled away by trivial pursuits designed to merely inflate the ego or pander to self-importance. In this case, he may try to puff himself up to full-blown maximum. At its best, the intention is to reach out to connect with something greater than oneself, like a higher calling or meaning. However, if the ego being boosted is only interested in short-term gratification, and ignores the capacity for long-term fulfilment, the result may look more like an overdose of vanity and arrogance.
Does this mean you can't do something that just makes you feel good, for fear of limiting your greater potential? Heavens, no! Leo is all about feeling good about yourself and wanting to spread the love around. However, when Jupiter's doing the talking in Leo, he speaks of a universal, spiritual, higher love. To ignore this and settle merely for ego stroking or hedonistic indulgence is a missed opportunity at best, or a waste of spirit at worst, in Jupiter's royal opinion. And Jupiter is all about opportunity—that's where his reputation for luck comes from.
So there are two levels of potential happening here. Ideally it's probably best to aim for a balance. By all means, celebrate, have fun, go after the warm fuzzy strokes that make your Inner Leo purr like a contented kitty. But remember to radiate some of that warm energy back out into the world too. And if you're already focused on connecting with a greater context of life (whether it's cultivating spirituality, philosophy, knowledge or greater tolerance), be sure to bask in that inspiring glow with your personal self too.
I really must stop saying sorry; it doesn't make things any better or worse. If only I had it in me to be all fierce, fearless and forthright instead of forever sprinkling my discourse with pitiful retractions, apologies and prevarications.
~ Stephen Fry, The Fry Chronicles
At the pointy end of Thor's Hammerhead is Chiron in Pisces. Now, you wouldn't think that anything in nebulous Pisces would be sharpened to a fine point, and perhaps that's the point (so to speak). Chiron is about woundedness and our struggle to stay balanced between our boundless sentience and spiritual nature versus our limiting physical creaturehood. Being in Pisces, this balance shifts like quicksand, guided by the flow of feelings and intuition, as well as a longing to surrender into Universal Oneness.
So it seems to be Chiron's job to serve as the metaphorical chisel that carves life (inside and out) into a specific shape. Or, it could be used to break down events and experiences into smaller bitesize parts that can be manoeuvred and understood more easily. I can hear tender, wounded Chiron crying "ouch!" at ever tap!
The point here is that in order to utilize the apex of this Hammer, it means you will need to face and grapple with your own woundedness and perhaps that of others. In other words, when you need to make a point or get to the heart of the matter, it could cause some distress or struggle in some way. And the more you're able to simply be with your discomfort – instead of trying to escape it through distractions, addictions or denial – the more you will be able to move beyond the distress and be effective.
You remind me of someone with a bad toothache who's hitting herself in the head with a hammer to distract herself from the pain in her mouth.
~ Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Fancy Pants
Here's an example. Say you're having trouble in your relationship and you need to confront him or her about something that bothers you. Your partner knows how to push your buttons and perhaps uses this to deflect the confrontation, conveniently turning the focus back on you. Your initial reaction might be to back off to avoid their criticism and hostility—or worse, you might wind up in a blowout fight as you try to defend yourself.
Instead of getting stuck in the fight-or-flight response, you might try containing your pain and anger inside the protective, loving arms of self-acceptance and self-compassion. No, you're not perfect. Yes, your partner's accusations might have some truth to them. No, you don't have to become perfect in that moment in order to have the right to speak your truth. Yes, you can deal with whatever issues your partner has raised, but it doesn't necessarily have to be in that moment. No, you don't have to blast him or her to smithereens in order to make your point. Yes, you might find it's more effective to keep your message simple, succinct and focused in the present. No, you don't have to bring out the "laundry list" of past sins and unresolved problems in order to state your truth clearly.
You get the idea. When you run away from your own woundedness and human imperfection, you also run away from your true personal power. By allowing yourself to acknowledge who you are as a whole person, complete with good and bad, you can avoid getting trapped in the belief that your shortcomings define who you are and make you unworthy.
Life's a forge! Yes, and hammer and anvil, too! You'll be roasted, smelted, and pounded, and you'll scarce know what's happening to you. But stand boldly to it! Metal's worthless till it's shaped and tempered! More labor than luck. Face the pounding, don't fear the proving; and you'll stand well against any hammer and anvil.
~ Lloyd Alexander, Taran Wanderer
So, how can you make the most of this Leo New Moon Hammer, and avoid smashing your proverbial thumb in the process?
To utilize the blunt end most effectively, you have to swing it from the pointy end. When you can grapple with your human woundedness in a healthy way, you have access to the power to swing the blunt end of the Hammer with a lot of clout and really make a difference. Use this wisely and you have a powerful tool to forge dreams, creativity and ambition into something that can be an expression of the best part of you.
On the other hand, swinging the pointy end of that Hammer might feel like you just grabbed a knife by the blade. (ouch!) If this is just too painful for you to bear gracefully, the risk is for the blunt end of the Hammer to wind up being used like a weapon. We all take out our pain, fears, anger and frustrations on others sometimes, but with this energy in the air your impact could be much more forceful than usual. Use it wisely or walk away.
The thing is: deep in your heart any aggression is probably rooted in a childlike self-protection. The problem is that to the person on the other end, your inflamed Chiron soaking in healing Piscean waters will probably look more like an angry shark coming at them. In other words, if you wield the Hammer energy from a place of fear, rage, pain or defensiveness, it is more likely to evoke a defensive response that just compounds the problem.
The other danger here is that, in an effort to avoid lashing out at others, you might wind up turning that aggression on yourself. If you find you're beating yourself up, you might find it's better to resort to the escapism and distraction that I suggested earlier to avoid—but do it in a way that minimizes the negative impact on yourself and others around you. For instance, you may want to indulge in your favorite libations to numb your stress, but don't go out drinking and then get behind the wheel of a car. Just don't. In fact, don't drive angry, period. And it's probably best not to get drunk and then decide this is the right time to talk about sensitive topics with your partner.
The best way to balance yourself on a knife edge usually involves a lot of stillness and calm, not impulsive reaction.
Leonardo's Mona Lisa is just a thousand thousand smears of paint.
Michelangelo's David is just a million hits with a hammer.
We're all of us a million bits put together the right way.
~ Chuck Palahniuk, Diary
To use the sharp end of the Hammer like a chisel, start by grasping the blunted, forceful end. Think of a turntable needle that finds its way into the groove of the record. (Okay, I'm dating myself here, but humour me – it's a good metaphor.) When you have a firm grip on the broad end, you can triangulate your way to steer the point to where you want it. Let one side or the other of the substance slip and the point becomes lost.
Applied to real life, it's wise to be clear on what it is you want to accomplish (the substance or weight) before you let the point of your diamond do its digging. And once you have it all in place, you will often find that it finds the right groove where it will do the most good.
It's not always about forcing the issue, but about patiently persisting in steering your point to the place where the person or situation will be most receptive to it. When it all fits together, it can almost speak for itself, expressing the music of the spheres.
On the other hand, if you try to force your will on someone or something, you could wind up with damage, like scraping the needle across a record. It can just interfere with what you're trying to do and cause more problems.
If you can't find your "groove" – if the person or situation isn't receptive to what you're trying to do – you have two (healthy) choices. You can first reconsider whether it's a good idea to try to do it. Perhaps the person isn't ready for it, or maybe you're feeling impatient and want to dig in quickly and get to the point.
Taking the time to find the right time and context in which to address the issue can sometimes make the result better and smoother. Be like the diamond cutter that carefully and patiently plans and chooses where and how to cut that works with the grain of the stone.
The other choice is to carve out a new "groove" – to pioneer a new path, but this doesn't usually happen quickly. It's often best to start gently and through repetition gradually forge something new. A path through the forest must be cleared of obstacles, then walked many times before an enduring trail is established. In the same way, it may take time to achieve the results you want, combining persistence, faith and heart.
Creating a new theory is not like destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in its place. It is rather like climbing a mountain, gaining new and wider views, discovering unexpected connections between our starting points and its rich environment. But the point from which we started out still exists and can be seen, although it appears smaller and forms a tiny part of our broad view gained by the mastery of the obstacles on our adventurous way up.
~ Albert Einstein
You have a powerful tool in the Leo New Moon to use in shaping your future. By the time the Full Moon in Aquarius arrives, it's important to have a clear sense of the structure you're trying to create and the method you intend to use (which end of the Hammer). Saturn will feature prominently in the Full Moon chart!
Thankfully, Saturn is a pretty happy camper these days, still getting "Grand Trined" with Chiron and faster moving planets. Mercury completes the trio from July 21 to 28 (peaking July 24-25), and Venus joins the party from July 27 to August 6 (peaking July 31). Mind you, as Mercury and Venus do the Grand Trine waltz, they are also T-square dancing with Uranus and Pluto, so there's plenty of different energies to keep everyone happy.
If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening, all over this land
I'd hammer out danger, I'd hammer out a warning
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land…
~ Pete Seeger and Lee Hayes
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.
Under this transit you could experience great intensity and challenge in your relationships or financial matters. It is a time to delve into the depths of your personal issues that associated with relationships, finances, resources and values. That means being willing to examine the under-the-surface dynamics and hidden patterns that affect these areas of your life. These emerging patterns could indicate a need to come to terms with your "Shadow" – this could include unconscious hidden agendas, secret desires, obsessions or power games. You have an opportunity now to learn more about how you project this "Shadow" onto others through your interactions, expectations, hopes and fears. At its best, this can be a time to transform fear into fortitude and powerlessness into endurance. By being willing to negotiate and work with your fears, feelings of intimidation or efforts to gain empowerment through self-honesty, you have the potential to create a win-win situation.
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.
Under this transit, you may be tempted by impulse spending, or you might be somewhat erratic in your use of resources. This can result in unpredictable or unstable finances, so double check your bank accounts and credit cards before you draw on them. It is also a time when the way you relate to others (or they to you) could be somewhat inconsistent, fickle or impulsive. If your relationships or financial situation have been struggling with difficulties for a while, this transit could bring a lingering problem to the surface and require attention. On one hand, this could be a welcome breath of fresh air that cuts through the complexity of your problems and puts the cards on the table (despite the stress and conflict that likely triggered it). Or, you might feel resistance to making these changes and instead experience this as a time of unwelcome instability, upset and adjustment. However, this may be a good way to break free of excessive restraint, control or structure, which allows new possibilities to emerge that couldn't do so otherwise.
Stability in relationships and finances characterises this transit. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and to invest the hard work to maximise your earnings. Your ability to grasp the solid, realistic facts will help you choose wisely in your investments of both money and interaction with others. Commitment and structure are easier to achieve and embrace than change or taking risks. Self-worth can benefit now because you are less inclined to give in to mood swings. However, if you are prone to depression, you might want to be careful you don't become so grounded and stable that you lose touch with your sense of hope and potential. It is a good time to make concrete progress in matters involving beauty, love, harmony and balance. Keep your pleasures simple and humble for maximum benefit.
Healing and rebalancing are possible now, especially in the areas of relationships, finance, resources and values. Any problems that have persisted in these areas lately could benefit from an influx of helpful and healing resources now. Relationships and interactions of all kinds can benefit now, since it can be easier to see the beauty and value in others whom you might usually dislike or feel ill at ease with (or they with you). Negotiations and strategic efforts to resolve conflicts may go smoothly now, especially when you balance the results in everyone's interests. You may also be able to attract what you need to heal your wounds (physical, psychological, spiritual, etc.). Like it says in the "Serenity Prayer," you may now find it a bit easier to accept that which you cannot change, while finding you make progress with the things you can.
Under this transit your energy is more accessible, but this could be more problematic than helpful. On one hand, you have more enthusiasm and motivation available to take bold steps toward your goals. However, you might be forced to do this out of a sense of moral coercion, rather than freely choosing it. Or, your actions could be triggered by exasperated impulse more than by a sense of what is right for that moment. Impulses are likely to become easily amplified, but also more difficult to control. This includes anger, sexuality, aggression and assertiveness. Confidence could come across as arrogance. Courage might become reckless or brazen. If you find it difficult to bring out these qualities in yourself, they may come spurting out in a way that might be frightening or intimidating. But once your energy has emerged, you are in a better position to learn how to harness it, use it, work with it and summon it at will.
This aspect can make you quite talkative and your mind flooded with ideas. Be careful you don't blurt out any secrets! Your stream of consciousness ideas can flow abundantly right now with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun playing with ideas, to stop and make them manifest. Basic perceptions and simple communication can provide food for thought that feeds your greater understanding and philosophical insight. Your point of view expands to identify opportunities, possibilities and the broader implications of what is happening around you. You might get a flash of vision, insight and inspiration. You could be called upon to form an opinion, consider a different viewpoint, expand your knowledge, or make a judgement call. Your conscious awareness is open to spiritual experiences right now.
Fiery speech, argument and hot debate characterise this transit. This could come in the form of conflict, or it might be stimulating and challenging – or both! One thing to watch out for is that you may have a short fuse for a temper, and the same may be true for others around you. It can be a time when you blurt out things you later regret, or you might finally find the courage to do something that's long overdue. The problem is that one can easily look like the other, and what feels like courage in the moment might look more like reckless haste in retrospect. Harsh words can't always be taken back, so keep a grip on your objectivity and better judgment while you're verbally fighting the dragons. Use this energy to stoke your motivational fires, and use your ideas to generate positive action. It can help to pace your mental energy like racing a horse, which can harness abundant energy to fuel your decisions, courage and resolve.
With all things Saturn, slow and steady wins the race. Therefore, healing and recovery efforts are likely to benefit from a stable, paced, structured approach. For example, if you have the flu you might find you get better faster if you take a day or so to rest and focus on getting your health back, rather than trying to push yourself back into action. If that's simply not an option, then do other health promoting things regularly and steadily (e.g. taking whatever remedies, vitamins, etc, work for you). In other words, a sporadic or half-hearted approach are likely to be a waste of energy, since they won't be enough to combat what you're fighting. This can be applied metaphorically as well: if you're feeling out of balance or "unhealthy" or conflicted in your psyche or your life circumstances, a regimen of actions designed to bring yourself back to your stable centre again will likely be your more effective approach.
By the same token, when you're feeling grounded and centred, you are more likely to view life through a healing and healthy perspective. It could be easier now to take responsibility for your own healing, rather than just seeing someone else as the cause of the problems in your life. This transit can also help fortify you when taking a serious look at your suffering and dis-ease, making it easier to face your woundedness (or that of others) in a realistic way, instead of hoping it will go away on its own if you ignore it.
Last Saturn-Chiron trine: 2012-2014. Next Saturn-Chiron trine: 2061-2063.
Dates for the current Saturn-Chiron cycle:
* Note that the the Saturn-Chiron opposition in this cycle is unusually long: 20 years! This is due to Chiron's eccentric orbit. When Chiron gets close to the Sun, its speed is almost as fast as Saturn, so the two often form the same aspect for many years.
Perhaps you're finding that the people in your life are not being as supportive, encouraging or cooperative as you thought they would be, in terms of helping you fulfil your life purpose. Someone might suddenly withdraw their support, or maybe they contradict or interfere with what you're trying to do with your life. Perhaps an argument or disagreement happens and the upset, stress or hard feelings that result seem to cast a shadow on how you feel about your life. If this happens, it's possible that what you disagree about is something you should look at more closely. Are you responding to this situation in a way that truly reflects your values? Or perhaps your values need to be reconsidered. The agreement or balance of priorities between you might need to be renegotiated. This transit might also manifest as problems around finances or possessions, which requires some adjustment on your part. Since this transit usually lasts only a few days, in most cases its effects will not be major. If it does bring up some significant issues, it is probably hinting at a deeper issue, and you would be wise to look at the problem beyond the current circumstances. Other transits (especially to your natal chart) can give you more information about the nature of the situation.
This transit can bring a mystical, imaginative, compassionate aura to Mars' normally direct, fast, aggressive, self-focused energy. You may feel inspired to act on faith, confront with compassion, and react gently. On the other hand, it can be much easier to be motivated by something that turns out not to be what you thought it was. Much can depend on how impulsive your actions are and whether they are based on preplanning and research. We may tend to see our actions as righteous and justified. Creative energy is usually strong, whether this is used literally in the arts or in finding creative solutions to conflicts and problems. Our anger and aggression may be expressed in a way that is compassionate and intuitive, although our assertive edge might also be blunted a bit too much. It might help to think of the snake in the old parable – even if you choose not to bite if someone steps on your tail, it doesn’t mean you can't hiss.
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.
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.
You are more open than usual to spontaneity, surprises and "flying by the seat of your pants!" Your sense of humour and fun are let loose during this transit, as is your ability to break out of old outworn habits. You may get a flash of insight, a burst of courage or a surge of inspiration under this transit. The spirit of who you are can become released now, possibly leading to you behaving a bit "out of character." It's a great time to try new things and experiment with something that's out of character for you. In fact, it may be surprising how easy it is to break out of your usual routine...so much so, that it's good to be careful not to be too reckless under this transit. If your self-confidence, self-expression or self-esteem have been stifled or dampened lately, these could come flying out rather erratically, carelessly or chaotically. Strive to have fun pushing the envelope without ripping it. ;-)
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.
It is necessary for you to come to grips with limitations, boundaries or expectations. If you have been avoiding some task or obligation, this transit might bring consequences from that avoidance or a warning of consequences to come. You might also encounter a situation that requires you to accept unwanted responsibility or restricts your freedom in some way. You might be faced with some part of your life being pruned back, either to rein in something that is out of control or to make room for new growth.
This is likely to be more or less stressful depending on how comfortable you are dealing with responsibility, authority, limits and hard work. If you have a hard time with authority issues, you might find yourself in conflict with someone in authority under this transit – perhaps in part because your buttons are getting pushed. On the other hand, this could also be a time when you are challenged to take action or make a decision that involves taking on more responsibility. It is also a time when you may have to find better ways to deal with personal boundaries – accepting others' or learning to assert your own. You're bumping up against reality, so try to work constructively with it, not hurl yourself against it.
Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.
~ Dan Brown, Digital Fortress
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Aug.10, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT
Aug.10, 2014, 7:09 PM BST
Aug.11, 2014, 4:09 AM AEST
There are two sides to Aquarius.
Usually it's the dual signs that have split personalities: Gemini (the twins), Libra (the two-sided scales), Pisces (the two fishes), and in a way also Sagittarius (half man, half horse) and even Capricorn (part goat, part ...mermaid??).
Aquarius is one of the few signs symbolized by a human figure, along with Gemini, Virgo and half of Sagittarius. Aquarius is usually depicted as a man with a large jug and water is pouring out of the jug.
Because of the presence of water in the symbol, Aquarius is often assumed to be a Water sign, which would make it emotional, sensitive and intimate.
Nothing could be further from the truth! The Aquarian stereotype is that of a detached, analytical revolutionary, not a warm and fuzzy snuggle bunny. (Not that all Water signs are either, nor are all Aquarians like the stereotype, but you get the idea...)
Aquarius is an Air sign – intellectual, curious and communicative. It's not that Aquarius doesn't have Watery feelings – of course they do – it's that feelings are not typically their "first language." Throw around some wild ideas, radical thoughts and brilliant insights, and now you're talking!
We used to laugh at our small selves, saying that I was a bad girl trying to be good and that he was a good boy trying to be bad. Through the years these roles would reverse, then reverse again, until we came to accept our dual natures. We contained opposing principles, light and dark.
~ Patti Smith, Just Kids
When we think of the Aquarius symbol, we usually think of the man; the human; the guy with the jug. And indeed, this sign is often associated with human potential and the ability to escape the trap of passion, limitation and consequences.
And yet, the pivotal part of the Aquarius symbol isn't so much the human – it's the jug of water. It's not just there to give him that rugged rural look, you know. So what's it doing there?
A jug is a container: limitations, containment, structure, endurance, practicality, usefulness. It's the jug's job to keep the water from getting loose and becoming lost. Sound like any planet you know? How about Saturn?
Ah, funny you should mention Saturn! Before Uranus was invented, Saturn was the CEO of Aquarius. At some point after Uranus appeared on the scene in 1781, Saturn retired and became the CEO Emeritus. He has a permanent seat on the Board and still exercises his authority when he feels the situation calls for it, even though Uranus usually does the photo ops and media relations for the modern day masses.
Back to our Aquarius symbol. Out of the jug comes the water: the water of life, the spring of human feelings, the tidal wave of change, the flow of the inevitable. Once that jug is past its tipping point, the water is set free from its containment and could potentially go anywhere from there. Liberation, release, new possibilities, going beyond the established boundaries. Sound familiar?
Uranus! This is the side of Aquarius we hear about most often in modern Western astrology – the urge to break free of conventions, predictability and limitations. These qualities are associated more with Uranus, to the point that when the student of astrology discovers that Saturn is a co-ruler, they go "Whaaa—??"
Saturn and Uranus seem as different as chalk and cheese. Saturn is conventional, stable, responsible and serious. Uranus is quirky, excitable, adventurous and spontaneous. How could they possibly have sway over the same sign??
Many Western astrologers have reconsidered the role of modern planets as sign rulers and recognize only the traditional rulerships: Saturn for Aquarius, Mars for Scorpio and Jupiter for Pisces. In true Aquarian style, it is left to you, dear reader, to decide what makes the most sense to you.
Man is out of nature and hopelessly in it; he is dual, up in the stars and yet housed in a heart-pumping, breath-gasping body that once belonged to a fish and still carries the gill-marks to prove it.
[...] Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with atowering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever.
~ Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death
So it seems that (to the crushing disappointment of millions of heterosexual women and gay men) the central focus of the Aquarius symbol isn't really the hunky dude in the loin cloth. Rather, it's actually the container and the water pouring out of it. These two things represent two distinct sides of Aquarian energy. And since we all have Aquarian energy in our makeup (we all have Aquarius somewhere in our charts and we all have Saturn and Uranus), that makes everyone an honorary Aquarian!
So the question is: are you the jug or the water?
Are you the jug whose job is to contain, restrain and conserve the unpredictable and unstable water of human emotion? Or are you the water that rushes to be released from captivity, to explore and nourish new territory?
Are you the Aquarian who strives to hold the diverse universe together as a place where all are welcome equally? Or are you the one lighting the match to the powder keg so that the shell of the old can be swept away and a fresh start can be made?
Are you the Saturn side of Aquarius or the Uranus side?
As with all things astrological (and life-ical), one is not necessarily better than the other. Both are necessary and essential archetypes in the cosmic puzzle. Aquarius works best when both sides of its dual nature can coexist within the whole.
Archetypally, Capricorn morphs into Aquarius which morphs into Pisces. We progress from structure and organization (Capricorn) into dynamic diversity (Aquarius) that eventually diffuses and merges with the holistic universe (Pisces).
However, too much Saturn in the Aquarius part of the journey and it will seem like you took two Capricorns and skipped right on through to Pisces. Too much Uranus in the Aquarius phase and you become lost in chaos, where the accomplishments of Capricorn disintegrate and are absorbed directly into Pisces.
Nothing is impossible. The word itself says "I'm possible!"
~ Audrey Hepburn
So just what is the best way to trek through Aquarius? Funny you should ask! The Full Moon in Aquarius has just the thing to help you tune your diverse Aquarian strings into harmonious music. Saturn and Uranus both feature prominently in the Full Moon chart, each telling a different story about the Aquarian energy bursting across the sky.
Saturn forms a tight T-square with the Sun-Moon opposition. The T-square aspect pattern indicates stress, struggle, conflict and the need to do something about it. The fact that it is Saturn who's cracking the whip means there's hard work involved. To make it even more "interesting," Mars is creeping up on Saturn's backside over the next couple of weeks, and will catch up to him just in time for the New Moon in Virgo (Aug.25). Although Mars is too far back to be part of the T-square, Saturn feels his presence.
Having Mars and Saturn conjunct in Scorpio, with Saturn at the pointy end of a T-square, suggests there's a LOT of energy, pressure and force lingering around under this Full Moon. This is not something you're going to be able to sidestep, ignore or blast your way out of. There may be an obstacle to remove from your path, a mountain to climb, or perhaps a fortress that must be built. It's time to get the elbow grease out of the cupboard, roll up your sleeves and sharpen your tools. There's an agenda being waved in your face – a list of instructions about what must be done next in order to keep you moving along whatever your chosen path is.
You might experience this as hardship, but from Saturn's perspective it's just the next item on the list of what must be done in order to get you where you need to go. It could be that you need to fortify some area of your life so that it can withstand the growth, pressure, changes or de-construction taking place within it. Or you might run into a wall of "can't-get-there-from-here" and have to take some time to figure out (a) why this has happened and (b) what to do about it.
One thing to remember, no matter how it manifests for you – this is "reality" crossing your path. "Reality" in the sense of cause-and-effect in the physical world we live in. In that sense of the word, this is "karma" – the consequences and rewards that result from the choices we make and the actions we take.
If you're having a hard time of it, don't think of it like you've been a "bad boy/girl" and are being punished. Think of it like you've done the preparation work and are now ready to take on a deeper layer of the problem. Just because the situation sucks doesn't mean you haven't worked hard to earn the readiness to take it on.
Let us cleanse this farce with fire, strike the fool who leads the liar
Let it all come crumbling down
Like the firebird from the ashes we will rise to lead the masses
The strongest will emerge to wear the crown
Well, they say nothing grows 'til the oak has hit the ground
So let's clear the way, my boys, and let the giant come crashing down
~ Heather Dale, Crashing Down
On the other side of the Sun-Moon opposition, Uranus forms a Wedge aspect pattern. The apex planet in a Wedge pattern (Uranus, in this case) usually offers a way to ease the tension of the opposition aspect (the Sun and Moon, in this case). Whereas the opposed planets are in a conflicted or challenged relationship to each other, the apex planet is on good terms with both of them. In this case Uranus trines the Sun and sextiles the Moon – he "gets" both of them.
Uranus is likely to "side" with the Moon more, however, since it is a ruler of the Moon's sign. Uranus knows how to "speak her language." He knows the territory and can give her some great tips on how to avoid feeling like she's just another set of clapping hands in Leo Sun's audience. "Be distinctive! Be an individual! Sing harmony with the Sun's songs. Laugh out of turn if it's funny. Dare to express your feelings in any way that distinguishes you as an individual. If you don't feel you're part of the crowd, that's a gift to be celebrated, not an excuse to feel exiled."
On the other hand, Uranus may not understand the Moon's natural need for connection. Uranus can be spontaneous in the moment and move on to the next nexus of excitement with barely a "buh-bye!" The Moon: not so much. With her need for warmth of connection, it hurts if she feels isolated or too detached. And even the Sun cares very much if his audience gets up and leaves to catch the last call at the bar. The Sun needs to feel his radiance reflected back by his audience in some way, shape or form. If he feels he's losing his audience, he may not welcome Uranus' upbeat suggestion to just "get over it" and move on.
My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue?
It rather denotes a lack of courage.
~ Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic (Aunt Frances)
While Uranus' spontaneity and visionary eccentricity has its benefits, it could backfire, even under an Aquarius Full Moon. Detaching from the stress and struggle of life could come easily – too easily. Although this can give some relief to your Leo-Aquarius identity issues (Am I the centre of my universe, or am I one among many?), detachment might not be the best solution in the long run.
No matter how much rising free and clear above the stress might feel better, we still need connection and bonding with others to be whole. In a way, the challenge is to also be willing to rise free and clear above the urge to rise free and clear, to sail back to our vulnerable humanness, where life may be harder in some ways but also more fulfilling.
In that sense, Saturn's hard road might ironically take you to a more satisfying and rewarding place in the long run. Saturn will say, "You can pay me now or pay me later."
However, Uranus will counter with, "Don't count me out yet! Life has to be more than just 100 miles of bad road. Everyone needs to wander off the path sometimes and remember that who we are isn't always found on the main road. Besides, through perspective and vision, I can show you the whole map, including what lies beyond the approved boundaries, whereas Saturn will only show you the next turn on the GPS."
The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.
~ Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time
Another factor in the Full Moon chart is the aspect relationship between Saturn and Uranus themselves. They are currently in exact quincunx aspect (150°), having stationed within 8 minutes of being exact in July. These two have been playing quincunx-tag with each other for almost 2 years and are now starting to move away from that irritating aspect.
Moving within the same aspect together for 2 years is pretty standard for Saturn and Uranus, since they both move so slowly. They opposed each other 6 years ago, as the Uranus-Pluto square (90°) was gathering to form the Cardinal Cross. From 2008 to 2010 we saw head-butting confrontation (Saturn opposite Uranus) between the status quo versus radical change; tradition versus progress; systemization versus breaking free of rigidity.
Since 2012 we've had two frustrating years of struggling to build bridges that have been virtually impossible to align (Saturn quincunx Uranus). Even trying to find common ground that everyone can agree on has been as elusive and diffuse as a herd of jittery cats.
We are about to head into 2 years when these planets are in sesquiquadrate aspect (135°). This is likely to bring more struggle and disagreement between these energies. However, instead of the tension being slippery and obscure, it is likely to be more direct and unambiguous – not exactly relief or resolution, but at least it will be easier to see the problems more clearly. The good news is that from 2016 to 2018 they will be in trine aspect (120°), so these factions will be better able to be cooperative with each other and negotiate a truce...at least for a while.
Absurdity and anti-absurdity are the two poles of creative energy.
~ Karl Lagerfeld
In the meantime, this Aquarius Full Moon offers an opportunity to find creative, innovative and unconventional ways to bridge the space-time continuum between the forces of tradition, realism and systematic stability (Saturn) versus the forces of modernism, individualism and daring to colour outside the lines (Uranus).
The questions are therefore put to you. Where in your life are you influenced by the need to behave, do as others expect of you and stick to the plan? Is this working well for you, or are you feeling a bit constricted and lost in the shuffle?
And where in your life are you seized by defiance, the urge to take risks, the itch to find your own path and the need to see the big picture? Is this taking you where you need to go, or is it keeping you from being fully present in the present?
There isn't one answer to these questions, and certainly not just one right answer. Keeping these two energies in balance is what the Full Moon in Aquarius is all about. The next two weeks will give you a chance to work and play with these energies until the New Moon in Virgo on Aug.25.
Now, I'm as appreciative as the next obsessive-compulsive recovering-academic of the vast riches of material becoming available online, thanks to all those Google scanners crouched in the basements of libraries around the world, madly feeding books through their machines. I download obscure tomes onto my iPad and give thanks to the dual gods Gates and Jobs, singing hymns to all the lesser pantheon of geniuses.
But there's nothing like a book.
~ Laurie R. King
This can be a very creative time, as Venus' love of beauty combines with Leo's creative flair for the dramatic. Find ways to feel good by making your surroundings and yourself beautiful and reflective of your inner spirit! High fashion and vogue style are "in," and crudeness and ordinariness are out...unless you want to turn them into a fashion statement. ;-) However, it's probably wise not to become so identified with the outer appearance of yourself or others that you lose sight of the person, situation or context that it's all happening in. The aim is to pamper yourself with pleasures that enhance your quality of life, without inflating your ego with synthetic self-esteem and glamour without substance. Relationships, interaction, finances, values and resources all need to include ways to express your identity, valour and "heart." Some light-hearted fun and play can be a good place to start.
This can be a time of intense and powerful energy. It can be especially so if you focus your intention to tap into and use this energy deliberately, although if you are triggered into a reaction you might find it is more forceful than you intended. This can be a good time to make changes that have far-reaching, transformative effects. Your powers of persuasion can be stronger now, so be careful you don't try to force things to the point of making something happen that perhaps should be left alone or treated with a gentler touch. Sex and other passionate urges may rise more easily now, although obsession and the need to control your surroundings might come up with them. This transit is perhaps best used to refresh your sense of passion and transform your sense of purpose and direction.
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.
Romance is in the air, harmony is reflected in everything around you, and love and beauty abound! This can be a time of sweet mercy, pleasure and peace, both personally and in relationships. It can also be a time when your ability to attract money, resources and rewards into your life are especially strong. You might consider indulging in a lottery ticket! Or maybe treating yourself to some creature comforts, like a massage or a double chocolate brownie or anything that gets the endorphins flowing! Unfortunately, this can also be a time when you are prone to over-indulge in pleasures or overestimate your resources. By all means enjoy this lovely feel-good energy, but it's also wise to keep your "addictions" in check. Don't entirely disregard your diet, your budget or your realism in relationships.
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.
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.
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.
The healing of assertive energy and willpower mark this transit. It is bound to be easier to get past any inhibition you might normally feel about being assertive, expressing frustration and anger, and putting things into action. Perhaps you are able to reconcile some internal guilt or fear that has held you back in the past. Or, maybe you are finally able to reach a state of acceptance or resolution that allows you to move beyond a conflict or struggle that has been keeping you stuck. Applying your willpower to problems has a better chance of succeeding now because you're likely to be more attuned to the path that leads to peace rather than more conflict. It's possible you might choose to use this energy in the defence of another person, a cause or something else you feel passionately about. It's possible to focus your energy, intent, motives and actions in ways that are healing, healthy, balanced and constructive.
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.
There is a potential now to find the courage to speak your mind and say what needs to be said, if you focus consciously on doing so. In fact, your ideas and words may come so quickly and easily that it's hard to stop them from tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to evaluate the best way to say them. Communication is probably easiest and most effective when it's direct, concise and quick, although it might also be a bit blunt or pointed. If you need to confront someone about a difficult situation, this transit can provide courage and clear words to help you do that – although perhaps a bit too forceful when a more delicate, sensitive touch is called for. It is a time when you might find the nerve to take risks, or to defend yourself if the need arises (especially verbally). This is a good transit for creative problem solving and trying on decisions to see if they fit.
Spontaneity and liberation burst into your relationships, finances, resources and pleasures. You might feel compelled to try something completely different that shakes up the "same-old-same-old" routines you're used to. The upside is that you have the opportunity to break free of some old habits and breathe some fresh air into your life. But the downside could come in the form of impulse spending beyond your budget, or recklessness in your interactions and relationships. Strive to break free of what holds you back from being your true self, without destroying the structure of order in your life.
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.
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© 2014 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. Images of Thor illustration, hammer and rock sculptor from CanStockPhoto.com. Photo of burned forest by "Ren" from Morguefile.com. Illustration of Aquarius constellation: "Johannes Hevelius - Prodromus Astronomia - Volume III "Firmamentum Sobiescianum, sive uranographia" - Tavola MM - Aquarius" by Johannes Hevelius - http://www.atlascoelestis.com/. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons..