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11 May 2004
original art by
Bryan de Flores
In some of the old love songs, they sing "ya make me feel like I was 18 again" as if it was a good thing.   But we dont usually regress to our past competencies, we more often regress to our past impasses.   And this week is about breaking through past impasses, so actually, these regressions will be good things - they just wont feel like it in the short term.   Trying to live this week on the material plane will be iffy.   "Delusion" is the word they often attach to Neptune when you try to live it materially.   Move to the sphere of spirit-energy-synergy instead.   I know, not always obvious how to do that, but it's fabulous practice for resonance, which is exactly what we'll need for manifesting the next Earth.
In other words, this is not the week to mold yer Heart's Desire into physical form, though it is so very tempting to believe we can do exactly that.   What we're dealing with this week, is our attachment to our pictures of what it oughta look like.   If we knew what it really looks like, we'da created it a long time ago.   Those pictures are hopelessly outadate, and they need to be released.   You can verify that by looking at the undercurrent of grief and confusion and grasping that comes along with them.   They promise bliss, but what they deliver is pain.   So what to do with them?
In one way or another, the key may be to stay inside yer own body.   If our Heart's Desire is out there, then it's always vulnerable to being broken.   If we can keep it in here, we have a far better chance of allowing it to grow and change and prosper.   It might be as simple as where you center your Attention.   In the world of the Patriarchy, what we want is supposed to be outside ourself, at the bar or the mall or the realtor, and we get it through action.   On the next Earth, what we want is inside ourself, and we get it by embodying it.
I know many of you aren't used to working with emotion (especially if you think you are), but that's really the most straightforward way to move from the old to the new - what will you feel when you get there?   Whatever you want that's outside yerself, how will you feel when you get it?   Feelings aren't wordthings, they occur in your body.   Imagine yerself getting yer Heart's Desire, then check to see how yer body feels.   Whenever yer tempted to think about yer Heart's Desire, go straight to that feeling inside yer body, bring yer attention back inside, away from the external object of yer Desire.   Be the subject of yer Desire instead.
Our astrological adventures this week comprise simultaneous stations of Venus and Juno and Neptune.   A "station" is the point in time when a planet's synergy is strongest, and the point when it stands still in the sky as it's about to "reverse direction."   Of course the planets dont really go backwards, it's only their motion relative to us.   But then, what do we care about that's not relative to us?   That isnt hedonism, its just reality - moving to the transpersonal means realizing that more and more things are relative to us, it doesn't mean meddling in affairs that aren't our business.   Stations also initiate and end retreats or retrograde periods, and planetary retreats are particularly important when they impact our natal planets.
Most folks have heard tales of "Mercury retrograde," cuz Mercury does that every four months, and when he does communications often get muddled, so it's fairly easy to detect.   But communications are muddled because a Mercury retreat is about thinking it over, finding a new path, a better course.   So of course communications are unclear - because everything mental is under reconsideration.   Same with the other planets, but not about thinking.
Venus for instance, is the Heart.   So we're kinda feeling it over when Venus is on retreat.   Venus, our Heart's Desire, is True, unchanging.   But our thoughts about our Heart's Desire change allatime.   The mindbone likes to make rules, so when we're just starting out to explore the Heart, we often start with moral judgements.   This is good, that is bad - those are my "Values."   But the Heart is also the center of compassion, and good-and-bad are about exclusion, not about inclusion.   So Venus retreats are often places where we feel it over and convert what used to be moral judgements into preferences and tolerances.
Juno is our sense of belonging.   In many ways Juno represents self-betrayal, if we're loyal to what's outside ourself and not in that moment of our own path.   So Juno retreats give us the opportunity to commit it over, to review our commitments and regain clarity about our own path in this moment so we can adjust our loyalties and prepare to renegotiate our agreements.   It's gonna be a challenge, with both Venus and Juno on retreat at the same time, because our sense of who we are (Venus) will be changing at the same time as our sense of where we belong (Juno) is changing.   A time to "hang loose" as we used to say in the 60s, a time to keep our time horizons short and our agreements flexible, even tentative.
Neptune is our relationship to everything larger than ourself, and thus our relationship to Community and, ultimately, our relationship to Spirit.   So Neptune retreats allow us to deepen our connection with Spirit and revise our assumptions and expectations about Community, including the Community of Two - our primary relationship.   Once we get outside of the materialism bubble, our relationship to Community is also our relationship to Survival and hence our relationship to manifestation.   Neptune is Grace, our willingness to receive, but in order to open to Grace we need to release our fear about what forms of control we may need to surrender, so Neptune is also the "Dark Night of the Soul," which isnt that at all, but is really the Dark Night of the Ego.   Is this picture getting clearer?   In a few words, everything's up for revision.
A planet's synergy is strongest when the planet is stationary, and planets are stationary just before they begin their retreat, and just before they end it.   Venus and Juno and Neptune are all beginning their retreats, so their strength this week will telegraph the issues we'll see change over the course of their retreats.   So of course our material egos this week will be heavily invested in getting things clear and cementing agreements and establishing concrete realities - because nobody's going through these retreats without an Ego Death, and if there's anything ego can't stand, it's a death.   So we're at that cross, between knowing that there is big change in the air, and wanting to get things fixed so we'll feel safe.
The trick is to trust Spirit over ego, to have faith that our new interpretation of our Heart's Desire, our new loyalties, and our new relationship to Community and Spirit - once we get there - will be evolutionary and not devolutionary.   Faith is the willingness to recognize that change is occurring, and to step back and allow it to occur.   We do not change, we are changed.   If it's we that do the changing, then nothing really changes, because it's the old ego that makes the rules.   On the cross our arms are open and bound.   We do not embrace, we are embraced.   As Stephen Levine says it, Do we recognise God/dess in even this disguise?
So our first question oughta be, when do we get outa this maelstrom so we can have some peace of mind again?   Otherwise the ego's gonna be whispering in our ear that this confusion is permanent and we better take action to make it stop.   Venus's retreat lasts till 28 June, Juno's till 1 September, and Neptune's till 23 October.   But remember the context, our Venus-Mars Void runs through 5 December, and our Juno-Neptune Void lasts till 7 January.   So we'll be ahead to allow our instincts to guide us and endure the ego's protests (he's just talking about his feelings) for the rest of the year.
Venus's retreat covers 10-27 Gemini and the full shadow period 14 April till 2 August.   So any planets or other hotspots you have in 10-27 Gemini, have already gotten their first workout, as Venus has crossed that space once already en route to it's 27-Gemini station.   The first crossing triggers the issues that will be reviewed, so whatever has come up for you since 14 April will be among the things that can be healed this year.   This retreat will rework your Heart-connection to any natal hotspots you have between 10 and 27 of the mutable signs - Gemini, Pisces, Virgo, Sagittarius.   Venus's retreat also includes it's crossing of the face of the Sun, so you can expect major illuminations about the concerns that have arisen in your life since mid-April.
Juno's retreat spans 10-24 Capricorn, so your natal hotspots in 21-24 Capricorn will be completely overhauled this year, as both Juno and Chiron triple-crown them.   So you'll not only be healing your victim roles, but your sense that you belong to your victim roles, and your belief that you must be loyal to those who victimize you.   The full timespan of the Juno shadow is 21 February through 18 November.   Juno is initiated by Saturn a few days after it leaves this zone, so whatever we release around our loyalties, will be reinforced.   Since Juno has already finished its first crossing of our natal 10-24 cardinal (Cap, Aries, Libra, Cancer) hotspots, our commitments around these issues have already been questioned, since 21 February.
Neptune's retreat is longer in time, but shorter in distance, hence more intense.   Her retreat covers only 13-16 Aquarius, but the shadow period lasts from 26 January through 12 February 2005.   Notice this is more than a year, so the zones that will be worked over five times insteada the usual three, are 12:36-13:11 and 14:49-15:24.   If you have natal hotspots within those ranges in the fixed signs (Aqua, Leo, Scorpio, Taurus), you're getting extra opportunities to deepen their link to Spirit.   For most of us, what will be reprocessed here are issues that have arisen since 26 January dealing with our natal hotspots between 13 and 16 of the fixed signs.
I've been working with Dravite (brown Tourmaline, http://www.jbuss.com/jbl4c/dravite1.htm and http://www.jbuss.com/jbl4d/dravite2.htm), but I cant say for sure whether it's been making things better or worse, or whether at this stage it's better to make things better, or better to make things worse, if ya know what I mean.   Mosta the books dont say much about Dravite, but Marquist & Frasl say it's "strongly associated with healing and cleansing in the will [3rd] chakra" [p.151], which is very appropriate to the time, since will is directed by the ego.
Hang in there, but hang loose.
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