Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Blessed Point of Balance

The Sun enters Libra September 22 (8:21 a.m. PDT), marking fall equinox in the northern hemisphere, a balancing point when daytime and nighttime hours are perfectly matched.

After the nose-to-the-grindstone Virgoan harvest, a time of work, work, work and intensely industrious progress on the physical plane, we move to this airy Libran equinox point of balancing and re-balancing.

Fall equinox is a time when we raise our eyes from our own dutiful productivity, shifting focus to the enjoyment of human society and the people we like and love most on this planet. It marks a time characterized by relationships, sociability, and the shared enjoyment of the fruits of our industrious labour. It is a point of rest, recuperation, and relaxation as the scales balance themselves out naturally with little effort on our parts, perfectly counter-weighted for a fleeting period of time that must be recognized, enjoyed, and celebrated.

So Happy Equinox, everyone!

This equinox and the following Libra season are special ones, indeed, as Greater Benefic planet Jupiter is also newly in Libra (as of September 9), marking the first fall equinox since 2005 when lucky horseshoe Jupiter is bringing its blessings, expansion, and grace to the proceedings.

The Sun will form its one and only conjunction to Jupiter in Libra on September 26 at 3 degrees. These bodies will not conjoin again in Libra until September 30, 2028, so the cosmic grace is really raining down on all things Libra - and on anyone with a strong Libra placement or placements either natally or by Secondary Progression. This is a time of blessed expansion, luck, and grace in relationships, partnerships, social life, and community building. Issues around art, beauty, and aesthetic are being given a boost at this time. This aspect also indicates the potential for beneficial progress related to justice issues, fairness, truth, and overall mutuality in human relationships.

We are forming or building relationships and alliances at this time that expand our social webs in beneficial ways that will develop over the next 12 years of life on Planet Earth and beyond.

There is some strong social magic at this fall equinox and throughout this Sun in Libra season, to say the least.

With Jupiter transiting Libra until October 2017, love and togetherness are back in vogue.

This is not to say that it's all smooth relational sailing, however. (A more in-depth look at the Jupiter in Libra transit can be found in this patron article.)

Libra's ruling planet Venus moves into the sign of its detriment, Scorpio, on September 23 (8:51 a.m.) for a transit that lasts until October 18. This is the placement most heavily influencing the Sun-Jupiter conjunction in Libra on September 26.

In order to benefit fully from the relationship expansion indicated by the Sun-Jupiter conjunction, we must go deep, perhaps deeper than lovely Libra is completely comfortable with.

Full emotional authenticity - layer by layer - will be required as we work together to overcome tricky ancestral patterns and sore spots as well as their emotional/psychological aftermath.

There are deep needs that have gone unmet in relationship through our ancestral lines, particularly emotional and psychological needs. These unmet needs create disturbance, trauma, and dysfunction that are carried forward through the generations. The upcoming aspects indicate a wonderful opportunity to address the carried-over ancestral trauma and unmet needs right to their roots, building relationship dynamics with greater awareness, transparency, depth, understanding, and mutual support.

Venus transiting Scorpio indicates a time when it is especially important to be clear on underlying motivations, goals, and trajectories in relationships, ensuring that these things are ultimately compatible before too much expansion and merger are taken on.

Venus transiting Scorpio indicates a deepening of soul-level bonds, a stronger emotional meshing with others, and a full merger at the heart with those we love right to the core of who they are. Powerful bonds are being forged here, and a powerful love is being catalyzed that will fuel our relationships and social settings over the next 12 years. 

We will also experience some relief in mental pressure and intensity just in time for equinox, as communication and intelligence planet Mercury stations direct at 14 degrees Virgo on September 21 (10:31 p.m.).

We've had a lot on our mental plates as the messenger planet retrograded in highly-focused and hard-working Virgo. There were many details we had to stay on top of (not at all easy during a Mercury retrograde period), many duties that had to be completed, and much work and worry and stress that had to be navigated.

Now, with Mercury shifting forward again, we experience some relief in the mental strain and worry, as well as an alleviation of the painfully intense focus. (A full shift comes as Mercury enters Libra October 7.)

As Mercury re-gains speed direct, we start to feel as if we're on top of things once again.

Something has been clarified for us since August 10 when Mercury first entered the retrograde shadow. Our perspectives have been honed and re-shaped as new information and details came in - or were dug up by us.

As Mercury goes direct, we have achieved a necessary new clarity, and we are able to put that into practical application in our lives. 

Mercury stations direct in exact trine to Pluto in Capricorn, which is also stationing direct at this time (September 26 at 9:02 a.m.). This flowing Mercury-Pluto trine - though quite concentrated and intense with both bodies stationing direct - indicates some very welcome progress, no matter how small the advancements may seem. Solutions can appear for even the largest of problems and concerns.

Overall, the Mercury direct station in Virgo relieves mental pressure, taking a load off our minds as we move into Libra season.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Jupiter in Libra: Bringing it All to the Table

Photos: Willow

Relationship-related planet Venus is acting as a scout at the moment as it transits its home turf of Libra. 

Venus is currently out front of Jupiter, which enters Libra September 9 for a transit that lasts until October 17, 2017. 

As it transits the sign of the scales, Venus is forming the same aspects to the outer planets that Jupiter will form during its own year-long transit. 

This gives us a taste of the social and relationship growth on the near horizon, and friends, this taste could be a little spicier than we were expecting from such a balanced and peace-seeking sign. 

Just as we clear the final exact Saturn-Neptune square on September 10, Venus will square transiting Pluto in Capricorn (September 11) and oppose transiting Uranus in Aries (September 18). 

Sandwiched between those two Venus aspects, we have a number of dominant squares to navigate, and the flavour of these squares gives us an indicator of the sometimes-frictional growth opportunities that lie ahead. 

The Sun and Mercury retrograde will form their interior conjunction at 20 degrees Virgo on September 12, and both bodies will be in exact square to Mars in Sagittarius September 12/13. 

We will also experience a 24-degree Pisces Full Moon conjunct wounded healer Chiron on September 16 opposite the Sun and Mercury Rx in Virgo and with all bodies squaring Mars in Sagittarius. This Full Moon has a definite "getting it all on the table" quality, and the things being shared could be inflammatory (Mars). *ahem* 

As mentioned in the recent Jupiter in Libra patron article, Jupiter's transit of Libra will put a spotlight on social justice issues and the ongoing work toward a more just society.  *hoo boy* 

The main theme I see here - with Venus scouting for us in Libra and the Sun-Mercury in Virgo square to Mars in Sagittarius - is a requirement for some of the finer points on social justice issues to come forth in order to puncture and "reality check" some partial-truth rhetoric being put forth by academic circles, media, and various organized groups. 

From the Jupiter in Libra article: 

"On the macro level, the indicated turbulence relates to social justice issues intensifying and gaining steam - though the real potency here involves perspectives and truths that are rarely heard on a public platform. 

There is quite a bloated “social justice machine” at play these days with certain pet issues being funded and supported while others are kept muted. Crystallized messages on social justice are being produced, often to the point of rhetoric. These aspects work to break down those crystallized messages, allowing those who have been shut out of the conversation to find some space within the cracks. The finer points on social justice issues must come forth, re-shaping the standardized takes that are currently dominating the collective discourse." 

In order to have a truly just society, we have to air the concerns, struggles, and grievances of all parties involved, not just the ones that fit conveniently into the currently accepted discourse. We need to understand the common roots that are shared among people of many different races and cultural backgrounds, and we need to come together through these common roots to fight - together - the unjust power structures and dynamics that continue to injure us today. 

With the Sun and Mercury in Virgo square Mars in Sagittarius, cultural and philosophical battles are to be expected, and it is precisely-applied details, facts, and personal perspectives (Virgo) that re-shape the discourse into something truer and more powerful that what we currently have going on.

I've recently re-located to a different Canadian province, and I've immediately come into instances where I know that the accepted rhetoric here is not the full story. 

I've had to pipe up in a couple different ways that have proven somewhat socially frictional, and I'm certain similar themes will be affecting many of you in the next weeks and months, as well. 

This is a theme first outlined in my main Saturn in Sagittarius article from January 2015, "Saturn in Sagittarius: Freeing Suppressed Truths with Our Blazing Arrows of Righteousness": 

"We will be confronted with many instances during Saturn’s transit of Sagittarius when the accepted rhetoric, including in alternative scenes, is not fully effective or truthful. It will be up to us to call these out." 

The transit of Saturn in Sagittarius involves: 

* Moving out from under cultural truths, beliefs, religions, philosophies, or accepted rhetoric that no longer rings true to us 
* Challenging the wisdom and authority of old era figureheads, academics, authors, scientists, intellectuals, and spiritual gurus 
* Working through fear of the truth or fear of speaking the truth 
* Updating our education and knowledge to stay relevant in these quickly-moving times

One of the areas hitting me as not-quite-right is a tendency in this new area to start public meetings and gatherings with a declaration that the land we're on (the town) is actually native land, belonging to a particular tribe, and that we are just visitors on this land. 

This statement, put forth as absolute truth by the people purporting it, is actually controversial and debatable. 

In principle, I respect the grievances of the native people, and I understand that they are embroiled in a battle with government over land rights.

What I don't agree with is using public meetings and gatherings to advance the agenda of one group of people - often unrelated to the meeting or gathering itself - while indicating that all other people are less entitled to a place in that area/to a place at the table. 

The Accepted Rhetoric: native people have experienced systemic genocide at the hands of white Europeans and are the bearers of the greatest injustice in Canada. All white Europeans come from a colonialist background.

The Unacknowledged Truth: most cultural/racial backgrounds have experienced genocidal practises in the relatively recent past and continue to struggle with the trauma and negative effects of those practises to this day. This includes people of a white European background.

Since time immemorial, people with power and wealth have oppressed, injured, exploited, and murdered those without power and wealth. This has gone on, and continues to go on, across racial and cultural lines. 

People have been pushed off their land by owners and imperialist forces all around the world. They have had their homes torn down or burned to the ground, sometimes with them inside. They have been forced onto marginal land that could not sustain life. They have been forced into starvation, degraded living conditions, and disease brought on by malnutrition, exposure to the elements, inadequate housing, over-work, vermin, and insects. They have been forced into slavery, de facto if not literal, in urban factories and in other low-paying jobs. 

The Irish potato famine, the Highland clearances of Scotland, and the purges and forced labour camps of Russia, Poland, and Ukraine are just a few examples of "white people" being subjected to similar genocidal treatment within a similar time frame. 

As stated, there are many other examples from across almost all racial/cultural backgrounds.

But because "white people" are so often considered (or implied to be) privileged within the currently accepted discourse, I offer these examples simply to puncture the "all white people are the oppressor/all white people are colonialists" rhetoric. 

Many of the white people living in Canada and the United States today were forced to leave their home countries under a situation of "emigrate or die." For many, it was not a free personal choice to come to North America. They had been forced off their land, out of their homes, and into degraded states, including starvation and almost certain death if they stayed in their home countries. 

Many died on the trips across the sea, as the ships were in extremely poor condition and were overcrowded, without proper food or medical care. During these times of forced emigration, white immigrants were considered less valuable than African slaves because the slaves were a commodity that would bring cash value if they arrived alive. The white immigrants had no value by comparison. No one was overseeing whether they lived or died on the passage over, and many perished, including when the ships carrying them sank. According to one account, 34 ships carrying white immigrants sank in the span of just one year. 

Many other white immigrants starved to death, died of exposure, or died prematurely of disease once they hit North America. 

Genocidal practises against white people and against all other races not included in the standardized discourse have been whitewashed from the current social justice rhetoric, from standard history books, and from school curricula. 

Children are taught about native history and struggles in Canada. They are taught about African American history and struggles in the United States. They are taught about the Jewish Holocaust (which, incidentally, killed more than Jewish people - intellectuals, activists, the disabled, and gypsies were some of the others rounded up and murdered.) 

Within the current discourse, class is generally kept invisible or, again, related mostly to native people, black people, or new immigrants - when in reality, poverty and the troubles stemming from dispossession and facist/genocidal practises are affecting people from many backgrounds. 

We have to broaden the current discourse if it's going to be a true representation of reality. 

And if we aren't working with a true representation of reality, we're ultimately going to get nowhere.

People of non-white races are much more likely, per capita, to experience things like poverty and police brutality. Racism is a huge and despicable problem, and we all need to work together to make it unacceptable and not tolerated in our societies. 

But there are more white people living in poverty in Canada and the United States than any other race. I can speak to this firsthand because I live below the poverty line myself. 

There are more white people killed by police every year than any other race. I have personal experience with dangerous police misconduct, as well. 

White people are struggling with the traumas and social problems stemming from genocidal/fascist practises, just like people of other races are. They are battling unresolved emotional and psychological demons, psychic disturbance, alcoholism, addictions, poverty, domestic abuse and violence, rootlessness, ill health. They are being worked to death in blue collar jobs or falling prey to joblessness, homelessness, and mental illness - just like people of other races. 

Many white people have had their roots, histories, and stories erased from the public dialogue and struggle with a sense of anomie because of that. Even worse, they have had their roots, histories, and stories re-written and manipulated by the fascist/genocidal forces themselves. (Again, this experience is not limited to white people, but it does include white people.) 

If you listen to the talking heads on the mainstream media or attend one of the many rallies on the subject of oppression in our society, it is quite unlikely that you will come away with any understanding of this shared struggle, however. 

These are all facts. But they are facts that are rarely acknowledged or spoken about in the current history books, in school curricula, or on mainstream media platforms. 

If you do bring up these inconvenient facts, it's quite likely that you will be branded a racist, and I'm willing to take that risk here. 

Focusing almost exclusively on the plights of certain groups of people - native people, African Americans, or Jewish Holocaust victims, for example - manufactures a consensus reality that is not fully true or representative of the current situation. 

This has a tendency to breed resentment in groups that feel their concerns are being ignored, downplayed, or kept invisible within the broader discourse. 

These manufactured resentments often have a racially divisive effect, rather than bringing together all the different groups to fight these power dynamics that are still harming us and running rampant today. 

I know I won't be popular speaking and writing about these things, but it isn't about being popular. It's about saying what needs to be said and writing what needs to be written to bring about effective social change.

And it's about saying what needs to be said and writing what needs to be written from your perspectives, too. This is what's being asked of you under the current transits. You have the ability to speak clearly from your own particular perspective, puncturing half-truths and bloated rhetoric (whatever form they may take) that are keeping us from being as effective as we need to be. You have the ability to advance the discourse in ways that it desperately needs to be advanced. 

This is the cathartic healing point we're being pushed to at the Pisces Full Moon conjunct Chiron September 16. And this is the work being laid at our feet as Jupiter enters the sign of fairness, beauty, and justice. 

I don't wish to play identity politics. I know my injustices are no more deplorable than your injustices and vice versa. I just want everything on the table so that we can fight and work and make a more just world together, for everyone. 

I want the needless suffering of everyone, regardless of background, to end. But first, we have to acknowledge the shared suffering that has gone on and continues to go on. We have to come to a true understanding of the context in which we are living on Planet Earth.

They're hurting and killing all of us.

I want it acknowledged that we're in this together, that we're struggling together, and that we fight this fight together, even as we fight it in our own particular ways, from our own particular backgrounds and personal perspectives.

From where I sit, this is not what's happening with the current discourse.

And it needs to change.  

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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Jupiter in Libra and a New-Era Shake Up of Relating Patterns

Big, beautiful Jupiter enters tropical Libra on September 9 for a transit that lasts until October 11, 2017. 

We have a lovely equinox September 22 to look forward to, as the Sun enters Libra and daylight and darkness hours are in perfect balance. This will be the first fall equinox with Greater Benefic Jupiter bringing its good vibes to the party since 2005. Enjoy this moment of natural re-balancing and good cheer. The Sun will form its one and only conjunction to Jupiter in Libra on September 26 at 3 degrees. Wonderful.

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and is said to make anything it touches BIGGER. Jupiter is associated astrologically with blessings, benefit, luck, wisdom, expansion, and the broadening expansion of horizons. Referred to as the Greater Benefic planet, Jupiter is generally considered an optimistic and jovial influence, a bringer of benevolent things.

Libra as a sign is associated with balance, peace, justice, beauty, aesthetic, manners, and social graces.

Oh, yeah, and relationships. Did I forget to mention relationships?

Now, I have a feeling I know how a lot of astrologers out there are going to read this transit. Jupiter in Libra: nothing but luck in relationships all year long! If we're single, we all fall madly in love, get married, and live happily ever after! If we're already paired up, get ready for romantic trips to Paris, Mimosas and chocolate-dipped strawberries every morning, and full-on coupled-up bliss!

The astrologer you're reading, however, has Venus in one of the tougher placements, which makes her well aware that relationships are not that easy-breezy, smooth sailing for everyone. In fact, if you are reading this particular astrologer, it's quite likely that you're well aware of that yourself, and probably from personal experience.

This astrologer is well aware that Jupiter is also associated with bluster, rhetoric, assumptions, blanket statements, over-reaching, and over-confidence.

This is an excerpt from the article, "Jupiter in Libra and a New-Era Shake Up of Relating Patterns." It is available in its entirety to Willow's Web Astrology patrons, or it can be purchased for $10.25 by PayPal or email money transfer.

This 3,400+ word article outlines themes and major aspects for the year-long Jupiter in Libra transit.