Updated November 19, 2007
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November 15, 2007: The Big Picture
For the next eleven weeks, till February 1, 2008, we get our doingness challenged.   That's always a fantastic opportunity to focus on being instead, but to the extent that doing 'R us, a challenge it is, particularly the mid-November transition.   We just finished, in July-September, having our beingness similarly provoked, so this challenge is at least rounding.   This process happens every two years, so while it throws us a bit off kilter for a while, it's no "2012."   The primary lesson for the next eleven weeks is empathy - the work is about compassion and being asked to examine how we project our doingness onto situations where empathy (which is about being, not doing) would be more healing.   The
lesson we got in August was about how we weave self-love, self-criticism, and self-transformation together.   While these lessons are technically over by the end of January, it'll be next September before we finish muddling through them and begin rebuilding our relationships on the foundation of what we've learned.
So as long as we're muddling, and since these two trends sit at the heart of our emotional life, and since we're still in the middle of a very transformative healing that might easily be confused with a bummer if we don't attend to keeping our thoughts pointed toward what we want, what say we take a rare look at the Big Picture, eh?   Out of the Big Six fields on the Planet, the four biggest are waxing.   That means that new energies are growing, even if it may not always be apparent.   That makes it all the more important to keep our thoughts focused on the Greatest Blessing each of us has, which is the God-Given Desires that lurk beneath our domesticated pretenses - like peace and joy and excitement and permission to be ourself, for instance.   The other two fields, the two that are waning, are about healing - healing our relationship with OurSelf, and healing our relationship with God, or whatever we want to call our NotSelf this week.   That they're waning means that we need to set our old beliefs aside so we can be open to the new field when it arrives.   In these departments it's more effective to just surrender to don't-know than to focus on what we want.   Don't-Know is especially important around our relationship to God, because that brand-new field opens with a big bang in 2009.   So for now it's dunno about God and dunno about "Who Am I?" and I want about everything else.   Of course I want is a little tricky when we're agnostic about just who "I" is, but really all there is to that trick, is to let it change moment to moment.   Don't get stuck on the picture of what you want, stay focused on the felt sense of what you want - how will it feel in my body when I get it?   Ask that question over and over again and let it change from one moment to the next.   Remember this, and it'll be easy, we can just watch, nothing we have to do, no one we have to be.
Mars (doing) begins an eleven-week retreat (reconsideration) November 14-15 spanning 25 Gemini to 13 Cancer - mostly the Cancer decanate of Cancer (compassion, nurturance, on their own accounts).   The beingness lesson was a retreat of Venus through 17 Leo to 3 Virgo (self-love etc.).   The shift next September is a Venus-Mars conjunction at 16 Libra, "After a storm a boat landing stands in need of reconstruction."
As for the Big Picture, the Neptune-Pluto cycle (God manifesting) is at the waxing septile (building power), and not to be ignored, since it's the largest field around us.   This cycle Initiated in 1891 at 9 Gemini, "A quiver filled with arrows," which Rudhyar interprets as "Man's aggressive relationship to natural life, as a basis for survival and conquest."   Ouch.   Only the quiver and arrows are given - what else can we do with them?   Maybe think Zen Archery instead, and the necessity to maintain one's consciousness at the stillpoint, to "hold your mouth right" as my father used to put it?   The Uranus-Pluto (extreme authenticity) cycle is at the waxing binovile (sleeping), but sass a sleeping bear at your peril - this is the cycle that blooms in 2012, when "the 60's become permanent."   The Uranus-Neptune cycle (Enlightenment) is at fourteenth harmonic (integration) and waxing.   This is the Berlin-Wall-falling cycle that began 14 years ago at 20 Capricorn, "A hidden choir singing at a religious service" - listen for that OM tone, and pay close attention to it.   We've already written at length about the Chiron-Pluto cycle.   It's the Chiron-Uranus (healing authenticity) and Chiron-Neptune (healing gratitude) cycles that are waning (let it go), and the Chiron-Neptune cycle that's waving its arms most vigorously - a new cycle begins very powerfully (when both planets are stationary - strong, and conjunct Jupiter - magnified) in 2009 at 27 Aquarius, "An ancient pottery bowl filled with fresh violets."   The Saturn-Chiron (healing the ego), Saturn-Neptune (identifying with God), and Saturn-Pluto (the appearance of fate) cycles are all waning (let it go), and only the Saturn-Uranus (deep integrity) cycle still waxes, and that one's almost at opposition (culmination).   So clearing the way for ego rebirth is clearly what's in order.
26 October 2007: Big Perigean Full Moon
It woke me up in fear.   In the late 80s, when this newsletter was print, I'd be writing late at night and feel a surge of fear, as if a prowler was outside.   More than once I'd throw open the door to see, and find myself face to face with - the Full Moon.   I experience unintegrated Power as Fear.   Twenty-five years ago I began an effort to recover my emotions, and that led me to another effort, to recover my intuition.   One of my teachers in that endeavor, Susan Osborn, used to sing, "I will go Moonbathing tonight / and feel my Shadow."   Tonight, after a couple of attempts to pin my fear on health or safety or some other artifice of Mind, after locating the feelings in my body and smothering them with love, and after calling in a couple of Angels, I found myself singing to myself, "I will go Moonbathing tonight and feel my Shadow."   It's clear here, so I opened the shades to bathe in the silver glow.
I'm reminded to write about anxiety and despair.   When I learned that anxiety is a process of the Mind, rather than a property of the outside World, it was liberating to focus my attention, lovingly and gently of course, on the inner process rather than the outer projection.   Despair/hopelessness is like anxiety.   It's a process of the Mind, not a property of the outside World.   Despair and anxiety are islands in the Mind, tangles of neuron pathways that have few neuronic connections to other parts of the brainbone.   If we get stranded by some reminiscent experience on one of those islands, it can so easily feel like there's no way out.   So we heal by literally building the bridges and ferries to connect these islands to the Mainland, where we can get grounded.   We do that by holding consciousness of both realities at once - feeling the real emotions that engender the anxiety/despair island at the same time that we hold tight to a symbol that grounds us to the Mainland, like Moonbathing, or locating and loving a physical bodily experience.   In the Recovery days they used to teach us to hold onto our car keys (a symbol of freedom, eh?), or to ask ourself, "What color is the wallpaper?"   Of course, colors are different in Moonlight, but it's still wallpaper, still the Present Moment.
The biggest configuration in the Full Moon itself is a grand trine between the Moon, Vesta, and the Dragon's Tail.   That means a spontaneous (grand trine) recovery, through emotional channels (Moon), of ancient truths (Dragon's Tail) about the Sacred (Vesta).   Bullseye.   And because a Full Moon opposes the Sun and the Dragon's Tail always opposes Her Head, we have five points of a grand sextile, with the vacancy at 4 Cancer ("A Cat arguing with a Mouse"), significant if you happen to have a planet there.   Then there's a Jupiter tsquare across the Venus-Uranus opposition, bridged by a trine from Uranus to Juno.   We could call this an amplification (Jupiter) of a contrast (opposition) between our mundane values (Venus) and our Soul's mission on the Planet at this time (Uranus), a contrast which we can integrate (trine) by adjusting our identity (Juno).   But of course this is a Full Moon, which means to interpret it fully we need to investigate the previous New Moon.   That was 18 Libra, "Two men placed under arrest: A breakdown in the constructive relationship between the individual and society" (Rudhyar 1973 p.183), and coincided with the Venus-Saturn-Dragon and Vesta-Pluto-Galactic Center initiations we discussed immediately below.
11 October 2007: A Long Moment of Truth
There are two significant energies born here.   One is short but strong, the other longer and even stronger.
The first is about paying very close attention to your thoughts and paying very close attention to how your programmed belief systems edit your experience.   In other words, there are unimaginable treats here - "magic is afoot" as they say in the grove - treats which, if you accept them, will help carry you safely, peacefully, and joyfully across the 2012 threshhold, whatever that turns out to be for you.   This energy is finished by April 2008, so I highly recommend that you don't waste it.   It'll go underground soon, to resurface loudly towards the end of the year.   How to recognize it?   It's fairly simple - your skepticism will give it away.   Any time you see yourself rejecting anything as too unreasonable, see if you can take a moment to suspend your disbelief.   Let yourself indulge in imagining for a few moments.   What if that was what I saw?   What if that was true?   Then, once you set yourself free for a moment, let your mind consider the implications - if that was true, then what else in my "normal" mindset and "normal" reality is false?   You'll never regret taking this luxury.
The second energy is about discriminating and choosing the right path for yourself from the bewildering array of choices that confront us.   Do you see how these two energies are related?   Your path isn't anybody else's path, and your truth isn't anybody else's truth.   If you see these two energies as conspiring to crush conformity, you won't be far off.   The key to this energy lies in paying attention to what is sacred to you - not what somebody else told you is sacred, but what is sacred in your own personal unique heart of hearts.   It's no longer business as usual, the World has changed, and we need to change with it.   We need to live and choose consciously now.   As the Planet speeds up, we need to slow down in proportion, so we don't make sloppy choices from habit.   The first energy is manifesting now to help you make this distinction.   This second energy lasts for two years; after going underground it reappears at the next equinox, about the time when the first energy is fading.   Remember, these energies aren't just windows, they're learning opportunities.   Sure, the energy fades as the cycle moves on and other energies become louder, but meanwhile we've tasted the fruit, and we have the power to recall these tastes anytime later, as talents, whenever we need them.
Two other energies are born in the last half of November, and those energies conspire to keep us chained to the past that has already died.   Learn these first two energies well now, so you'll be wise enough to resist the temptation to race after the fife in November.
The first energy arises from a quadruple conjunction of Venus (what we value), Saturn (what we focus upon), the Dragon's Tail or Moon's South Node (what we already know if we can access it), and the fixed star Regulus (the Eye of Leo, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalyse), in 5 Virgo, signifying "becoming aware of nature spirits and normally unseen spiritual agencies: opening of new levels of consciousness" (Rudhyar 1973 p.153).   The Venus-Saturn square (when the energy goes mainstream) occurs in early January 2008, and the phitile (when the energy fades) occurs in mid-April 2008.   Since many people experience Saturn as negative and limiting, it's very important to be watchful for that and reframe it positively.   For instance, a virus might have you feeling tired, irritated, and unexcited, while you stress yourself about how much work you're not getting done.   You might reframe that as an opportunity to slow down and rest, to give yourself a quiet space where inspiration can find you again.
The second energy is spawned from a triple conjunction between Vesta (that which we hold sacred), which is out of bounds (very strong), Pluto (that which we cannot avoid, and which changes us), and the Galactic Center (overarchingly inevitable) at 27 Sagittarius, which signifies "a sculptor at work: the ability to project one's vision upon and give form to matter" (Rudhyar 1973 p.226).   This energy enters the common thoughtstream (ie, the Vesta-Pluto square) in mid-April of 2008, and surrenders (ie, the phitile) at the end of September 2009.   Vesta is out of bounds from 26 September till 11 December 2007, during which span it is much more important than usual that we respect what we feel to be sacred.   Venus is about what has heart and meaning to us, while Vesta is about what is sacred to us - the difference is subtle but meaningful.   If you believe that your Planet's future depends on collaboration, I recommend plugging into Lynne McTaggart's Intention Experiment.
There are three other prominent astroprocesses occurring here that will have profound effects on all this.
First, Mercury turns retrograde today (11 October) until 1 November, it's retreat spanning 24 Libra through 10 Scorpio, and the entire process spanning 21 September through 17 November.   The Gemini decanate of Libra and the Scorpio decanate of Scorpio are profoundly different; in the former we question what treasures we may have given away in the name of harmony, and in the latter we examine how we feel about that, often exploring feelings that any "spiritual person" would find odious.   This of course is the paradox of Scorpio - finding a way to love the least lovable parts of ourself, because any part of ourself that is not fully loved is mirrored to us as evil in the outer World.   Look to see if any resentments arose for you between 21 September and 11 October - those are the meat for your meditations between 11 October and 1 November.   Of course, of particular interest will be any concerns about values which have heart and meaning for you, or which you hold sacred.   While Mercury is on retreat, you are released from the burden of communication.   Give yourself the space to sit quietly.   It's the ideal time to meditate on releasing yourself from any compulsion you might have to believe your thoughts.
Second, Mars (physical energy, action, assertion) moved out of bounds (became stronger) on 4 October, until 25 April 2008 (notice the parallel timing with the Venus-Saturn and Vesta-Pluto cycles), in preparation for its own retreat.   The retreat itself spans 15 November 2007 to 30 January 2008 and 25 Gemini to 13 Cancer, the whole retreat process covering 28 July 2007 to 4 April 2008.   The Aquarius decanate of Gemini and the Cancer decanate of Cancer is the time when we review and regret the ways we've been flaky to others, and strive to make amends.   We're not saying Gemini is flaky - what we're saying is that Gemini is about trying new things, usually a whole bunch of new things at once, and in Gemini mode we easily violate the expectations of others.   Toward the end of Gemini and the beginning of Cancer it is easy to rue what can now appear to us as selfishness, and want to re-establish connection with those we love and those we fear.   Bearing in mind that the main effect is about holding true to our own values and to our own notion of the sacred, you may want to consider redesigning those connections rather than just re-establishing them as they were.
Third, Chiron finishes its annual retreat on 20 October.   This retreat spanned 11 to 16 of Aquarius, and began on 4 May 2007.   The entire process covers 3 February 2007 to 3 February 2008, and includes the three octiles to Pluto.   11-16 of Aquarius is the first half of the Gemini decanate, and the Gemini and Cancer duads, of Aquarius.   This is the time when we review our connection to our individual soul chord, our mission, and, in the case of Chiron, heal it.   Chiron is always about healing despair, because it is shortcomings in our beliefs that prevent us from healing.   As we approach the 2012 transition, we're healing negative beliefs that we didn't even know were beliefs - such as cause and effect, linear time, death, materiality as reality, "human nature" as a limiting force.   We thought they were aspects of reality, not fully realizing that reality is what we make of it.   Believing that events are beyond our control is the ultimate in despair, despair so deep we don't even experience it as emotional.   Recalling that Pluto represents Scorpio, and that Scorpio represents the depths of emotion, it would be a great time to deeply experience how loss of control really feels.   Healthy control, the kind of control that allows us to set our own boundaries, to discern what brings us joy, and act to manifest just that.   What misery, to lose that kind of control.   That loss is exactly what our programming has sold us.   Time to transform it.
The two cycles nascent at the end of November are Pallas (wisdom and defense) conjunct the Dragon's Head or Moon's North Node (what we're learning) and the fixed star Formalhaut (another of the Four Horsedudes of the Apocalyse) at 3 Pisces ("petrified tree trunks lie broken on desert sand; the power to preserve records of achievements inherent in mature cultures" - Rudhyar 1973 p.270), and Mercury (thought and communication) conjunct Juno (joining and belonging) at 27 Scorpio ("a military band marches noisily through city streets: aggressive glorification of cultural values" Rudhyar 1973 p.207).   Not that we wish to disparage culture, but it's cultures of cooperation and respect that will prevail, while cultures of competition and control rot away.   Don't fall for conforming to expectations of cooperation - that's just more control.   The surviving cultures will respect you enough to allow you to travel your own path.
11 September 2007: The Eclipses
In the short term, this season's eclipses take a back seat to the major energy happening (see below).   What they ask us to do is to process our emotions more quickly, and to be more respectful of our Sources.   They'll have more meaning for us over the next nine months.
The September 11 partial solar eclipse occurs just as Pluto is stationary octile Chiron and a few days after the Venus station.   It's 19 Virgo, "A swimming race."   It makes a weak grand cross, opposing Uranus and squaring the Mars-Pluto opposition, so it could easily carry the Chiron-Pluto energy (below) into the next nine months, as eclipses are wont to do.   So we may need to process our emotions quickly, in order to return quickly to holding the space for Peace, Clarity, Abundance, Liberté, and Égalité.   This is actually a major lesson that Dubya is teaching us - Karl called it "message discipline" - it means holding your beliefs steadfast regardless of the reality you see in front of you.   Sure, it's psychopathic, but it's also how we manifest.   The keys to the castle in the September 11 eclipse chart are a trine-sextile truss between Mercury, Chiron, and Vesta-Jupiter (at the trine midpoint), implying that we heal ourselves and the planet by amplifying our connection to the sacred, mindful that each conscious being on the Planet holds a different notion of what is sacred (how else could we keep the Planet in balance?).   The Vesta-Jupiter conjunction also trines the stationary Venus, so any dissonance we have between what has meaning in our Heart (Venus), what is sacred to us (Vesta), and what we think about it all (Mercury), will be in our face for healing (Chiron).   Bear in mind as well, that some of us are here to explore the limits of this sort of dissonance, so be merciful with yourself and others.   In the Pacific time zone, Chiron conjoined the Vertex, enabling healing to pour in from parallel lifetimes and other dimensions.
The August 28 total eclipse of the Moon manifests the energy in the August 12 New Moon which occurred at 20 Leo, "Zuni Indians perform a ritual to the Sun."   That New Moon opposed Neptune (our relationship with all things larger than our self/Ego, especially "God," whoever that is to you).   The Grand Cross in this chart was across the Moon's Nodes, with Vesta-Jupiter on one end and Mars on the other, bringing into awareness any contrast between what we hold sacred and where we invest our energies.
8 August 2007: Deep Churn   (modified 3 Sept 2007)
In some ways 2007 is the pivotal year of the decade - and thus a turning point on our serendipitous journey toward 2012.   In August and September we again experience, as we did in March, the possible malaise or even despair of this rebirth.   We won't go into detail about the astrological origins of this transformation here, because we deal with it at length in our forthcoming book, The Path to 2012: Part I - The Polarization Decade (send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be kept posted on the book's progress).   For now, the important thing to remember is that it's not personal, it's global - in fact, it's even bigger than that.   Bottom line, it's extremely positive, but it requires a very deep release before we can plug into the potential.   Go back and retest the healing tools you've tried over the years that didn't seem to work as well as you wanted them to - they're likely to be much more effective now.
Can we ignore this energy?   Yes, definitely, if you can get away with it.   Letting go is always the first thing to try.   For many of us, it feels at the least enervating, if not depressing to the point of despair.   If you can get around that cognitively or by burning it off with your spiritual fire, by all means go for it.   The energy is transformative, but we need to recognize that it may overwhelm our existing physical and emotional processes, and those processes may require upgrading so they will be able to handle the load.
We get a lot of blank stares when we tell people to step outside their hopelessness and look back at it empathetically.   But that's the quickest path through this muck, and the quickest route to creative and productive ways to move forward.   So how can we rephrase that, to make it more understandable?   The Universe we live in is limitless.   Miracles abound when we open to their possibility.   So despair is never a bottom line, it's always a dark emotional/intellectual culdesac that we've stumbled into.   While we're transforming our emotional/intellectual relationship to the Universe (another part of The Path to 2012), such culdesacs abound.
When we're moving forward joyfully and creatively, we know we're on the right track.   So what if in every dark culdesac there lived a loving Mother figure, someone larger than yourself who loves you unconditionally, and who is willing and eager to embrace you and soothe you and tell you convincingly that it's okay, that everything is going to be all right, and who will then turn you so you're facing into the dawn and send you happily on your way with your innocence restored?   Well, there is, and that Mother is you.
By their nature despair and hopelessness overwhelm us, and when they do we lose track of our ability to nurture ourself.   So the first step is to recognize, lovingly, that we're in despair, and remember that we can take off our dark glasses and be loving with ourself, right where we are.   If you've never known a loving Mother figure, you'll have to do the best you can to imagine one.   There are only two things to change, nothing more.   First, direct your gaze at your self, as consciousness.   Second, embrace yourself with love and gratitude and respect.
There is another process that is extraordinarily healing, and which is relevant during 2007.   In this process, rather than embracing your discomfort from outside of it, you move as much of your attention as you can directly into the center of the discomfort.   Serious discomfort is usually surrounded by a ball of fear, so you may need to just send nonjudging attention into the fearball for a while.   The fearball will feel centerless, but keep at it.   After a while, you'll dissolve the fearball and find yourself in the center of your pain or anger or despair.   By then you've already jumpstarted the healing process, and it will proceed on its own.
This period provides a strong opportunity to learn to shift our reality away from the negative not only because the leverage is so great, but also because the self-rescue habits we build now will be very useful over the next 18 months.   Over the last 18 months we've become clear about our priorities, and over the coming 18 months we may feel compelled to take some risks to defend them.   To do that we'll need to keep our priorities clear, and we'll need to stay loving with ourself as we abandon or confront old realities that no longer serve us.   What we'll be defending comes from the Heart, so there will be no question about their defensibility.   But there may be questions about our resolve - we may be tempted to fudge a little to keep old friendships alive, or to avoid conflict with old belief systems that our ego is attached to.   The assured outcome here is Integrity, so there is no need to compromise.   There may be calls to make amends over situations where we've compromised under our old belief systems, if we now see them as contrary to our values and important to our mission.
Remember this.   If you are having difficulty manifesting a lifelong Desire, it is usually because an obsolete Ego blocks the way.   If your old Ego was capable of manifesting it, it would have been doing so effortlessly all along.   We change the World only by changing ourself.   That doesn't just mean that the World changes one person at a time.   It also means that when we change, the World changes with us.   If we felt guilt over receiving something, anger over not receiving it, or fear over how we would adjust to it, then the World reflects that.   When we let go of our guilt or anger or fear, we allow the World to mirror Grace and Abundance to us.   So how do we manifest the Ego death/rebirth necessary to create this?   We could (and will) write a book about this, but for here let's keep it short.
Spend as much time and energy as you can muster imagining how you'll feel when your Desire manifests.   Completely bypass mechanisms (How will it manifest?) and outcomes (What will it - or he/she - look like?).   Both mechanisms and outcomes are old-Ego tricks to make miracles seem impossible.   The feeling sense of your Desire is your Heart's Truth.   It will guide you unerringly in ways you haven't even imagined.
Chiron octiles Pluto on March 25 and September 10, 2007, and January 10, 2008.   The January occurrence finds Pluto in the last few minutes of Sagittarius, which colors the entire Pluto-in-Capricorn journey (2008-2024) just as the Chiron-Pluto conjunction colors the entire 2000-2010 decade and 2000-2099 century.   The illuminated degrees are 12 fixed, 12 mutable, and 27 mutable.   The Chiron-Pluto square occurs 2028-2030.   The September octile finds Pluto stationary (ie, very strong), as Pluto ends a retreat across much of the Scorpio duad of Sadge (the last two and a half degrees of Sagittarius) on September 8.   For the last dozen years, we've been learning that "the way out" is to "let go."   Do you remember the lesson plan for 1983-1995?   It was "the way out is through."   We've been learning to let go for a dozen years now, but during 2007, while Pluto crosses the Scorpio duad, the way out is again "through."   On this path, we'd make ourself physically safe, then surrender completely to our despair.
Until September 21, Mars opposes Pluto, so the Chiron-Pluto energy may be extended till then if we don't release it.   The Mars-Pluto cycle began in January (with Mars out of bounds) at 28 Sadge, "An old bridge over a beautiful stream is still in constant use."   The Moon is out of bounds (exacerbating everything) from August 7 to 10, August 22 to 25, September 3 to 7, and September 17 to 21.   The outabounds Moon ignites the Chiron-Pluto degrees on August 8, August 22-23, and September 4-5.   And of course the partial solar eclipse of September 11 (see above) could well extend the Chiron-Pluto energy's prominence into the next nine months.   No harm there, since this energy is growing anyway, so the more familiar and comfortable we are with it, the more effortless will be our experience of the next few decades.
Meanwhile, since July 28, Venus is on retreat in the last half of Leo (a re-evaluation of the things we congratulate ourself for).   She trines Pluto (waning) on August 14, and finishes her retreat on September 9 at 17 fixed.   Her broader retreat period (wherein we examine whether our lifestyle matches our values) spans June 24 to October 11.   She meets the Sun in inferior conjunction on August 17 at 25 Leo, initiating a new Venus-Sun cycle.   She'll rise as the Morning Star starting August 24 or 25.   Venus as the Morning Star is kin to Pallas Athena, Goddess of War and Wisdom. She is finishing a stint as Venus Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Receiving, and now transforms herself into the Goddess of Good Boundaries.   25 Leo is "A large Camel is seen crossing a vast and forbidding desert," or, as Rudhyar paraphrases it, "Self-sufficiency in the face of a long and exhausting adventure."   The Venus cycle runs 19 months; the next one begins March 27, 2009 at 8 Aries ("A large woman's hat with streamers blown by an east wind" or - Rudhyar - "Protection and spiritual guidance in the development of consciousness").   The one after that, in the Summer of 2012, is the second in the pair of once-every-250-years Venus "transits" (the astronomical term) across the face of the Sun.   But we'll talk about all that in The Path to 2012; here let's see if we can find out more about this "long and exhausting adventure" that awaits us over the next 19 months.
The cycle that's ending (which we should know all about, eh?) started in January 2006 at 24 Capricorn - "A woman entering a convent" or (Rudhyar) "Total commitment to a transcendent goal."   Look back over the last year and a half - what transcendent goal did you find yourself committed to?   (Mine was Joy, give or take.)   Hint: you would have experienced your commitment intensely in October and November.   So, over the next year and a half, take care to reframe all difficulties you encounter as speed bumps (not brick walls) on your road to that transcendent goal.   Whenever we ask for something, we always get illustrations of the reasons why we haven't manifested it effortlessly all along - it's by releasing those reasons that we come to receive it as Grace.   Next, the larger Venus cycle takes eight years (five shorter cycles - there are always five larger cycles going on concurrently), so we can look at the last Leo cycle, which began August 20, 1999 at 28 Leo, "Many little birds on a limb of a big tree," or (Rudhyar) "A wide, and perhaps confusing, openness to a multiplicity of inspiring potentialities." Since 1999? Boy, ain't that the truth! Okay, so by now we've been offered a zillion new belief systems, and we've chosen one that we think might carry us forward for a while.   So this arduous adventure is about purging the places where our old belief systems stop us.
The action actually began even earlier, but more effortlessly, as Saturn trined Pluto (order arising from mayhem) on August 6 while Jupiter was stationary (rapid expansion), finishing a retreat across the Aries decanate of Sagittarius (opening the space for copious new energies to flow in), and sextile to Chiron (lots of healing potential).   Both the trine and sextile were waning (opening space but usually leaving a void best left unfilled till the next cycles begin - in other words those copious new energies may puzzle us; if so, let it be, confusion is good).   The trine closes the 9/11/01 Saturn-Pluto cycle - we'll have its dying screams in late 2009.   Yes, that's the 9/11 cycle - isn't that a Blessing!   The sextile is a parting gift from the Jupiter-Chiron cycle that began in June of 1990 at 17 Cancer - "The unfoldment of multilevel potentialities issuing from an original germ" or "The life urge to actualize one's birth potential" (Rudhyar).   Whoa, isn't that an interesting twist considering what Venus is up to!   The next Jupiter-Chiron cycle begins in May 2009 at 26 Aquarius, "A garage man testing a car's battery with a hydrometer" - tuning up our Energies in preparation for our 2012 launch.   This cycle reaches opposition in 2012.   The ending Jupiter-Chiron cycle originally opposed Saturn and Neptune; the next one conjoins Neptune.   The bottom line of this is the healing of our relationship with forces larger than the Ego and larger even than the Self (Neptune), as well as bringing those forces to bear on the healing of what formerly kept us limited.
21 June 2007: Rock the Worldview
This season, and the year that begins at the solstice, is about learning, healing, and growing.   Ego death means that our concept of ourself is dying, or rather, is being reborn.   If we focus on the death, it's painful.   If we focus on the rebirth, it's glorious.   It should be pretty easy, but if it ain't, shift your focus to the rebirth.   Focus on your highest truth, on your single most important value, on that which holds the most life-or-death meaning for you.   If you get it wrong - that is, if you focus on your programming or who your elders wanted you to be or who you think you are, rather than on your true self, on who you really are - then no worries, it will be stripped away.   That will hurt, but only for a bit.   You'll actually find that it's a lot easier to let go of than you expect.   If you get it right, then you find deep healing.   That is, you find deep healing either way, eh?   We can't lose here.   Even anger can help you find your way here.   This summer is about the loss of the veil that the birth of the decade promised us.   It's incredibly exciting if you can trust it, or suspend your disbelief, or discover enough to put it all together, or recognize that we'll never understand.   Yet we've always understood, and that's the level you seek.   Suffering, for more than a few moments, isn't even optional - it's unnecessary.   Do stay alert for projection - whatever it is that you're thinking about them, it's not about them, it's about you.   If it's negative, turn it around, translate it from a fault to a strength, from a problem to an opportunity.   "Your playing small does not serve the World."
This is a complex chart, but the themes are clear.   First, Venus (Meaning) conjoins Saturn (Focus) in Leo (Truth) opposite the impending conjunction of Chiron (Healing) and Neptune (Our God-Connection), which at the moment are both retrograde (Subtle).   Jupiter (Growth) and Juno (Identity) bridge the opposition in trine-sextile.   Mercury (Mind) squares (Tension) Juno but quincunxes (Mystery) both Jupiter and Vertex (the Veil, or a Portal through It), making with them a "Finger of God" (Pay Attention!).   Mercury also trines the Dragon's Head (What We're Learning), which sits between Chiron-Neptune (Healing through Surrender) and Pallas-Uranus (Defending our Soul-Space), meaning of course that it also sextiles the Dragon's Tail (What We Already Know) that sits between Moon and Venus-Saturn (Defending our Values).   With Mercury retrograde, we're learning with the Heart, not the Mind.   Then Moon (Emotion) opposes Pallas (Wisdom) conjunt Uranus (Yin Integrity), which is stationary (Very Strong), and this opposition (Our Mission) is semi-sextile/quincunx (Mysteriously Connected) to the Saturn-Neptune opposition (Expanding the Ego).   The solstice Sun (Essence) opposes Pluto (Acceptance/Transformation), which trines Mars (Assertion).   And finally, Ceres (Sustainability) quincunxes Vesta (that which You Hold Sacred), which sits on the US-West-Coast IC (Security).   Vesta is retrograde, so we're being taught about deeper levels of our personal spirituality.   The "loss of the veil" promise was the conjunction of Neptune with the Dragon's Tail in the 1/1/2000 chart.   We're also within the Chiron-semisquare-Pluto zone that runs from January 2007 to January 2008; this will evoke the 1/1/2000 chart in another way, by re-awakening the Chiron-Pluto-conjunction (Healing Is Not Optional) energy.   The essence of this energy is that Healing begins with a Symbol, evolves into deepening of Perspective, then moves into Telling Everyone that the Door Is Open (12 Sadge, "A flag turns into an Eagle which turns into a Rooster heralding/rousing the Dawn").
1 March 2007: Removing Your Mask
September's Focus, Focus, Focus fades into the background now, and what comes to the foreground for the next nine months is authenticity.   In the second half of March we get to finesse - or wrestle with - the gaps between our authentic self and our habitual way of reacting to the World.   But in the first half, it's all about just letting it out, not hiding anything any more.   You'll probably be thinking about getting really drunk, but guess what - you won't need to - you can practice just being you without any artifical aids.   In the second half of March we experience the supposed reasons why we "can't" be authentic all of the time.   If you consider this a backlash, you lose.   If you consider it a teaching about what you need to change so you can enjoy that effortless selfhood allatime, you win.   All told, effortlessness reigns.   Discouragement is a paper tiger - all you need is a strong puff of wind to breeze through it, so don't let it stop you from breathing.   The healing is taking place out of view, but we can completely trust that healing is taking place, and while we're at it we can recognize that it's not us that does healing, healing happens to us when we can get outta the way.   While all this will be really strong in March, it remains in effect for the rest of the year.
The 3 March (4pm PST) total lunar eclipse (illuminating the contrast between authenticity and emotional attachment) opposes (illuminates) Uranus (yin integrity) and squares (brings into sharp focus) the Vesta-Jupiter midpoint in Sagitarrius (overwhelming attention to that which is personally sacred to us), in the same 13 Virgo-Pisces degree (liberation) as the Ceres-Uranus initiation in note (5) below.   And as if this wasn't enough, Jupiter (friendly) sits in a Grand Fire Trine (spirit erupting effortlessly) with Venus in Aries (beautiful) and Saturn in Leo (confident) - so it's not just about letting ourself be authentic, it's about being authentic in public, especially after 7 March, when Mercury comes out of retreat.   The eclipse is visible in Europe and Africa; in the Western Hemisphere we'll just see the tail end of the elcipse as the Moon rises, and only the beginning of it will be visible as the Moon sets in South and Western Oz.   Eastern Oz sees nothing of it.
The 18 March (8pm PDT) partial solar eclipse (iluminating essesnce and mission) at 29 Pisces (revealing the hidden) conjoins (is not distinguishable from) Ceres (sustainability) and squares (necessity) Pluto (bringing light to what's not yet illuminated).   But Venus (grace), now in Taurus (sustainability), also trines (effortlessness) Pluto, and Uranus (integrity), now conjoining Rahu (progressive movement), still squares the Vesta-Jupiter midpoint, with Jupiter still trining Saturn, which by now opposes Neptune again (note (2) below).   So it's going to be a lot easier than it seems at first, to transform our resistance to the natural flow.   This second eclipse is three days past the Mars-Chiron initiation described in note (8) below.   No worries about seeing this one - it's in Siberia.
1 January 2007
The most prominent theme of 2007 is release, particularly in the year's first half (1).   We are opening to drastically different orientations toward Life, the Universe, and Everything, and to prepare for that we must release the old notions that limit us (2).   Unfortunately, those old notions also provide us security, through the illusion that we know what's happening.   So along the way some grief, and even fear, is inevitable.   Fear and grief are both natural responses to seismic changes in our beliefs about the World.   What's important is that we respond lovingly whenever either one arises (2a).
Sabres may rattle in the last half of January (3) and in April (4), but they should be sheathed by February (5) and June (6).   There is a teaching underway that the old violent ways of dealing with conflict no longer work (7).   But the deepest healing process is in a hidden phase (8), so the forces of violence must learn through their own failure to prevail (8a).   The last half of 2007 feels more constructive (9).
While most of our attention will be focused on what we're letting go of, there is a strong constructive process in play in 2007, and that's a deepening commitment to integrity (10).   We can't talk about integrity without distinguishing yin integrity from yang integrity.   Yang integrity is about doing what you said you was gonna do.   Yin integrity is about doing what you dang well feel like doing, though of course yin integrity also means you call to say you changed your mind when it conflicts with yang integrity.
No discussion of early 21st-century time would be complete without considering sustainability (11).   Global Warming was a prominent theme during 2006, and while it's not nearly so out-front in 2007, it remains strong, likely grabbing headlines in February (12) and July (13).
(1) Of the major squares and trines in the 1/1/07 chart, all but one are closing (that is, they follow their respective oppositions).
(2) We're in the middle of Saturn opposing Neptune, August 2006 through June 2007, which cycle began in March 1989 at 12 Capricorn, "An illustrated lecture on natural science reveals little-known aspects of life."   In the 1/1/2000 chart (for the century and particularly the decade), Neptune conjoined Ketu, which we regard as "Loss of the Veil."   In 2007, Neptune septiles Pluto.   Power grows in secret at the septile.   The Neptune-Pluto cycle began 2 August 1891 at 9 Gemini, "A quiver filled with arrows."   Pallas begins new cycles with Chiron on 23 January at 10 Aquarius (Disidentification from ideals) and with Neptune on 23 February at 13 Aqua (Disillusionment).   See also Venus-Mars below.
(2a) Mars begins a new cycle with Neptune on 25 March at 22 Aqua (A new rug in a nursery brings warmth and comfort).
(3) Mars, out of bounds, begins a new cycle with Pluto, quite near the Galactic Center, on 12 January at 28 Sagittarius (An old bridge over a beautiful stream is still in constant use).
(4) Mars begins new cycles with Pallas on 3 April at 6 Pisces (Army officers in full parade dress) and with Uranus on 28 April at 18 Pisces (A village views a spectacle in a giant tent).
(5) Ceres begins a new cycle with Uranus on 3 February in 13 Pisces (An ancient sword, used in many historical battles, is now retired in a museum).
(6) Pallas begins a new cycle with Uranus on 18 June in 19 Pisces (A master instructing a disciple).
(7) Uranus quintiles Pluto.   This cycle began in October 1965 at 18 Virgo (A Ouija board), opposite Chiron.   This is the cycle that reaches the critical stage in 2012.   See also (2a) above
(8) Chiron noviles Pluto. The Chiron-Pluto cycle began 30 December 1999 at 12 Sadge (A flag transforming to an Eagle which in turn transforms to a Rooster), and the novile is about contemplation.   Mars begins a new cycle with Chiron on 15 March at 14 Aqua (A train entering a tunnel).   Mars-Chiron is the energy we use for healing.
(8a) The 1/1/2000 chart featured a grand cross between Moon, Pallas, Saturn, and Uranus.
(9) Vesta is initiated by Jupiter on 30 August at 11 Sadge (In the left section of a temple a human-shaped lamp burns) and by Pluto on 11 October at 27 Sadge (A sculptor at work).   Pluto initiates Jupiter on 11 December at 29 Sadge (A fat boy mowing the lawn of his house in an elegant suburb).   See also (13) below.
(10) In the 1/1/2007 chart Uranus tsquares an out-of-bounds Moon opposite Jupiter, and Moon-Uranus is the only opening square in the chart (the opening square occurs prior to the opposition).   Uranus represents yin integrity, and the Moon, especially when it's out of bounds, signifies emotional attachment.   The outer planets are all behind the Sun in the northern winter.   See also (6) above.
(11) Ceres conjoined the Ascendant of the 1 January 2000 chart.
(12) See (5) above.
(13) Mars begins a new cycle with Ceres on 10 July in 12 Taurus (A young couple window-shopping).
24 October 2006: Letting Go and Moving On
We finish two years of self-exploration, during which time we've learned a lot about our own emotions, how they operate in relationship, and how they lead us to God.   Now the current shifts, and we spend the next couple of years learning about letting go of what we've enjoyed, in order to allow deeper and broader satisfaction and meaning into our lives.   The more intense it feels, the more important it is to let it go.   Within a year or so, we'll see a lot more people feeling strongly about protecting their home planet from abusive profiteers, and helping their planetmates of all stripes survive sustainably.
Venus-Mars-Sun conjunction at 11pm PDT on 24 October in 2 Scorpio, "A delicate bottle of perfume lies broken, releasing its fragrance: the accidental nature of opportunities that impel one to break away from a past, the remembrance of which is still poignant and cherished.   A new and greater realization usually demands the sacrifice of something which has brought loveliness and fragance to a lesser form of living and feeling" [Rudhyar 1973].   The conjunction squares Chiron from behind.   The new Crescent Moon is out of bounds, and an out-of-bounds Ceres moves toward conjunction with a stationary Neptune.
12 January 2007: Oh, the Addictive Drama of War
When we know we're right, it's so intoxicating to stand up and shake our fist.   Do we choose an eye for an eye, or turn the other cheek?   There is a third path, and it's time for all of us to choose it.   No, we can't say what it is, because we haven't gone down it yet, have we.   The gate to it is as hidden as the back door to the Dragon's lair.   We just know by now that neither war nor capitulation work.   So whadda we do?   We intend.   We let go of the intoxification of righteousness, we let go of the false pride of humility, and we stand straight, chin level, and consciously channel all this power into that third way we don't know yet.   When we take out all the righteousness and fear, that's what's here, raw Power.   We need to use it just right, or it'll bite us in the butt.
Mars, out of bounds, begins a new cycle with Pluto on 12 January at 28 Sagittarius (An old bridge over a beautiful stream is still in constant use).   Ceres begins a new cycle with Uranus on 3 February in 13 Pisces (An ancient sword, used in many historical battles, is now retired in a museum).   Let's assume for a moment that this beautiful stream is harmony, peace, the effortless path that nature intends us to take.   Then this old bridge would be the shortcut that commerce decrees is necessary "for the common good," which of course really means for the good of greed.   "But we gotta feed the people," says the God of Commerce.   Of course the God of Commerce is so very good at stoking the people's need to be fed ever more and better, but we'll let that go for now.   And of course "the people" is actually our tribe, and of course that other tribe wants more and better too, so of course the bridge ends up being the path to war.   So how do we find this third way, besides war or capitulation?   Well, lets look to Saturn, symbolizing our power to focus, and Pallas, symbolizing our power to negotiate around war.
Saturn is working on a closing trine to Pluto, complete in August 2007.   This trine is beyond the Saturn-Pluto phitile, representing what we've learned from the Saturn-Pluto cycle that's beginning to wind down.   Recall that 9/11, the excuse for the Iraq War, was the crowning event of the Saturn-Pluto culmination.   That cycle began 9 November 1982 at 28 Libra, "a person becoming aware of spiritual forces surrounding and assisting them."   This suggests that we don't try so much to focus on what we want, but that we ask for what we want, exercising our trust that all prayers are in fact answered, whether we notice or not.
Pluto last initiated Pallas recently, 27 January 2006, at 26 Sadge, "A flag bearer in a battle; are you ready to assume the role of a conscious and responsible agent for all of humanity?" (Rudhyar 1973 p.225) - quite a challenge to us, eh?
The Mars-Pallas cycle is dying; the next one begins 13 April 2007 at 6 Pisces, "A parade of army officers in full dress: the dedication of human beings to the service of their community, and the assurance that it will be emotionally sustained by the people at large" (op.cit. p.272).   Easy to see the next several months as a watershed between "community service" for war and community service for peace.
Pallas is about to be initiated by Chiron, on 23 January at 10 Aqua, "A man who had for a time become the embodiment of a popular ideal is made to realize that as a person he is not this ideal." We can think of an example or two of who such "a man" might be.   But this begs for a broader interpretation.   Rudhyar goes on, "The need to deal with human beings as persons rather than as screens upon which one projects one's dream and ideal" (op.cit. p.254).   Again, we must intend a third way.
What we're doing here, and why.
What we're doing here, is "reading the stars" not for any individual, but for the Planet as a whole.   Each paragraph describes an energy or wavelength that's impacting the Planet, with an approximate timeline for it.   At any given time, we put the most important energies at the beginning.   As a cell of the Planetary Being, on some level you'll be experiencing what we write about, though every individual will experience it differently.   Bear in mind that when anyone "reads the stars" out loud, they can't help but make an interpretation, and every interpretation is one out of a great many possibilities.   So you may have to stretch your imagination to see how a given energy is affecting you.   Sometimes such a stretch will be very useful to you, sometimes not.
Why do we do this?   It's simple, if obtuse.   So you won't bother personalizing these energies.   What does that mean?   Well, each of us is impacted by our own personal "work," but we're also impacted by the "work" of our culture, and the "work" of our Planet.   The way we deal with each of these "works" should be quite different.   For instance, if your culture shifts toward fascism, you might respond by enriching yourself on opportunities it offers you, by resisting it, or by visualizing its opposite, so as not to feed the shift.   But if you see yourself shifting toward fascism, we would hope you'd rush to seek counseling.   With Planetary energies, we believe the appropriate response is usually to take advantage of the opportunities they offer us, and this is how our interpretations are structured.   There's little to be gained by resisting Planetary energies, because they're simply too big.   But a lot can be gained by interpreting them positively.   For instance, Saturn-Pluto energy, as was about in the last half of 2001, can feel dreadful.   But the core of Saturn-Pluto energy is a very powerful one-pointed focus.   Knowing that, you can direct that focus into intentions that align with your personal values.
Knowing which energies to personalize and which not to personalize can help you let go of them.   As a friend once said, "I know that 'this too shall pass,' but you know when!"   If you don't like the feel of an energy, you always have at least three choices: you can let it go, you can move more deeply into it, or you can embrace it.   The first option is always to let it go, because that's the nature of energy, it's always moving on.   If letting go doesn't work, then moving more deeply into it can be a great teacher.   The difference between moving into it and embracing it, is that you become the energy when you move into it, and you separate yourself from the energy when you embrace it.   You step out of the energy in order to reach back and embrace it, rather than stepping into it.   Knowing that an energy is temporary, how long you're likely to have to endure it, and that it may not even be yours, but the Planet's, can be a great aid to letting go and moving on.   When we're conscious of an energy, it fades quickly when it's finished.   When we aren't conscious of it, it can linger in our field long after it's gone from the Planet's field, simply because we haven't let it go.
At the end of each paragraph, in gray text, we describe what it is about the stars that we're interpreting.   If you know some astrology, you may make more sense out of the energy by reading the gray text, though of course even the choice of what to include and what not to include, is an interpretation in itself.   We use some strange terms, most of which are explained in our glossary.
And what's with the rocks?
Each type of crystal, or mineral, has it's own distinct energy, wavelength, or vibration.   Your own response to any given mineral, at any given time, will be different, depending on the needs of your physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, parallel, and other-dimensional bodies at that moment.   You can find books which tell you how each mineral is likely to impact you, and some of them are quite good.   The best book for you is the one that you resonate with - get to know a mineral or two, and then look them up in the book to see if you relate to the book's stories about the mineral.   The books I use most frequently are Roeder 1994, Marquist and Frasl 1999, and Gienger 1998.   In the end, though, your response to each mineral will be uniquely yours, and you will resonate with one crystal one day, and another the next, as each crystal rebalances your energy.   Since crystals can be expensive, we put these pictures of them here so you can "try them on" to see how they fit before you go rock shopping.   And the picture conveys some of the vibration of the stone itself, so often it may be enough to gaze at the picture.   In times like the present, where we're changing rapidly, we may need a lot of different crystals to get through the day gracefully, and some of these minerals aren't that easy to find.   We preface each update of Now with a rock that may help balance the energies described in the most recent entry.
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