Friday, August 1, 2008

Willow's August 2008 Astro Perspective

The first day of August brings a New Moon total solar eclipse in Leo, ushering in a new backdrop of personal creativity and living from our hearts’ truths. This New Moon solar eclipse will infuse us with the Leonine courage necessary for the new creative cycle unfolding as we express who we truly are and allow that expression to lead the way into something better. Channelling the love we have inside into our lives and using what inspires us on the deepest levels as a force for action and change. It means saying goodbye to old ego games, old creative expressions, old personality traits, old glories that have had their day and saying hello to a new context for our creative self-expressions. It means bringing a whole new role for the creative force within all of us into the community at large. Fresh!

We start the month with the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus in Leo, the sign of the performer, the artist and royalty. Leo is symbolized by the regal lion, king of the jungle, and its ruling planet is the Sun, so the Sun is very happy and comfortable being in this sign. Flowing expression of the self. Leo relates to the joy of creative self-expression and the child-like wonder and magic of the moment. Revelling in our ingenius creations. Think of a child totally wrapped up in whatever it is creating - a mudpie, a finger painting, a play for its parents. Within that creative process, nothing else seems to exist. Nothing else matters. So this is the conscious backdrop of this month as we enjoy the summer. Living in the moment, enjoying being ourselves. Fashion, parties, fun, the dramatic nature of the human experience. Celebrity is a Leonine thing, and if you look at famous Leo Suns, they generally have that larger than life quality. Madonna (Express Yourself!) and Jennifer Lopez come to mind. Dramatic and showy…but also prone to ego excess, insane demands of other people (their peons) and doing things just to gain attention rather than for the true benefit to the community. I'm sure these (and most) artists could somehow justify how everything they do is of benefit to the community...but again, in a lot of cases, there is a strong element of self-indulgence talking.

With the South Node in Leo this month, connecting with the personal planets, there are certain expressions of self that we are being asked to move on from. Suns that have sustained us with warmth in the past are burning out. Continuing to follow those same orbits will provide decreasing amounts of energy. It's no longer about creating strictly for fame, attention, glory or personal ego fulfillment. The world doesn’t need another diva.

The North Node, Chiron and Neptune are still in Aquarius, and the personal planets that inconjuncted Aquarius from Cancer last month now move to oppose from Leo. The tension of the Leo - Aquarius polarity challenges us to understand ourselves, our creative self-expressions and what we create within the larger context of the community, the planet, the times in which we are living and our desired future. It’s the balance between individual (Leo) and collective (Aquarius).

So while we're living it up as the Leonine stars that we are this month, we must also understand that it’s not all about us. There is something beyond the personal, something equally important. Our personal egos and desire for attention and acclaim have to exist within the larger paradigm of what is needed for the community as a whole.

The conjunctions of the Moon, Mercury and Sun in Leo to the South Node (opposing the North Node in Aquarius at the same time) drive these points home. The Moon moves across the South Node August 1, colouring the themes of the New Moon solar eclipse. Dropping the old orbits as we find new ones. Letting old forms of self-expression fall away as we find ones more vital to our current moment. Mercury crosses the South Node August 4 and the Sun does August 10. The South Node relates to an expression that has had its day, to a certain extent. It’s an area that has been mastered as fully as it can be, and in order to continue to develop it, one must head to the opposite point of the polarity, the North Node. With the North Node currently in Aquarius, the way forward is about doing what is right for the community, the planet and the future. It has a humanitarian bent. It means having an objective overview of what is going on around us and using that objective overview to motivate and guide our personal expressions. We have to understand the context of our creative self-expressions, of ourselves and our lives, in general, so that we can truly be brilliant, cutting edge, effective and in the now.

The days of purely hedonistic art are, under the current backdrop of conditions on Planet Earth, well…a little silly. A little out of context. That’s not to say hedonistic art and the lifestyle that goes with it won’t continue to be pursued. For some, this is the way to go, I guess. But we're in the dying days of the Piscean era, which means that the overall context for art and creativity are changing. We are shifting away from romanticizing the tortured and/or pampered artist, wrapped up in the Neptunian pursuits of booze, drugs and transcendence, sacrificing personal health for the sake of the art, insulated in a bubble of his or her own making. The current astro conditions are asking us to move on from the old ideas of art and creativity and from the old ego pursuits of fame, attention and elevation from the masses as a special, special snowflake.

The Aquarian winds of change are asking us to increase our relevance by ensuring that our art (whatever form it takes), our creative force, has a larger context - aligned with bringing the Aquarian future into reality. We can personally determine what the specifics mean for us, but the creative expression of the self must be aligned with the way forward and with the vision of a world that works for everyone, not just for the few “in control” within the current structures. This month, we are challenged to express ourselves creatively while keeping our gaze firmly on the way forward, creating something new, something relevant, something to catalyze the revolutionary spirit. It is about using our creative power and the power of our personalities to make it possible for everyone to be the artist that he or she is. Rather than segregating into the “artistic” community, or creating an artificial image for ourselves, it’s about unleashing the creative potential of the entire community, within the entire population. Cutting a path forward that inspires people to listen to their own creative muse and live from their hearts’ truths in their day-to-day lives - in whatever form that takes. To live as if their hearts’ desires really matter - because they do. It’s about freeing not only ourselves but those around us, little by little, by making the world a little more beautiful, more colourful, and making that beauty and colour accessible to anyone who wants to share in it. It’s not about overpowering or intimidating others with the power of our personalities or personal artistry (South Node Leo pitfalls). It’s not about putting our energies into elevating ourselves above others as “the star” or creating glamour and image to separate ourselves from the “regular people.” It’s about incremental changes in the fabric of our communities that make art, creativity, beauty, and the joy of living accessible, bringing all people closer to achieving their creative potentials - all who want to, anyway. In a society of people often dragging themselves through uninspiring work/lives, to touch peoples’ hearts and souls is important. To uplift and assist people through our acts of creative genius is important. This is the redefining of the role of the artist/artistry within the community that is going on this month. Maybe getting back to what art’s true purpose is…and to the true purpose of the creative force in all of us. Bringing it back to the people and leading away from it being a pursuit only of or for the financial elite.

The emphasis on the Leo - Aquarius polarity will especially be hitting home for the Baby Boomers this month (Pluto in Leo generation - born 1939 to 1958). They have gotten pretty used to ruling the roost, their way or the highway, and now the winds of change are whipping up. It will be interesting to see the shifts happening…and whether there is a lot of ego clinging to the old glories and structures. My guess, knowing what I know about Pluto in Leo, is yes. I suspect we will see some royal tyranny coming up for a purge. Some immaturity, some ego crystallization, some bullying with personality coming up from the depths. The puffed up egos being broken down could get ugly, so stay detached if you are in close contact with a Baby Boomer - or are one! Don’t get bogged down by the detritus. Don’t get involved in the drama. Just keep an eye on where you’re going.

It’s not all about them anymore - and this could come as quite a shock to the system for the Pluto on Leos. The king/queen of the castle doesn’t give up that position easily. But it’s time to grow up, make room, become aware of what is going on. To become equals and comrades, rather than lording personal power over others. The vanity projects are losing steam.

August 16, we have a Full Moon partial lunar eclipse in Aquarius, showing us that one wave of work we’ve done to create the space for new ways has come to completion. At this point, we have created a new balance between individual and collective. Or if we haven’t, the work we still need to do should be forced into the open by the heightened emotion of the Full Moon eclipse. Luckily, the emotional detachment of Moon in Aquarius will help us not to become overwhelmed by what is left to be done, by how far it is from where we are to where we need to go.

Less than 12 hours after the Full Moon eclipse, we have a Mars in Virgo - Pluto in Sagittarius square. A tense aspect between two powerful energies - the force of personal desire (Mars) and the force of evolutionary desire (Pluto). Pluto in Sagittarius will dig up excess and crystallization of religious or cultural ideology, rhetoric, beliefs, etc., and Virgo will analyze and trim away anything that is no longer necessary.

We’ll see the sometimes dark truth of how people really feel, what they really believe, coming to the surface…possibly kicking and screaming. The dark edge of religious fundamentalism, cultural/educational bigotry, dogma. Misuse of universal law, twisted to further certain ideologies and groups. This will set the stage for us to determine what we will and what we will not participate in or further with our personal energies. A paring down there so as to extricate ourselves from anything we can simply no longer tolerate in our lives. Cutting ourselves out of the detritus of crystallized religious, cultural, political views. Understanding people’s true, core-level allegiances and how they may be used to oppress and control others, especially when hidden - as well as our own. Choosing how we operate in our daily lives in relation to that, accordingly. Here, we're getting it all on the table - nothing hidden under the rug. Remember that Pluto is in its final retrograde through the last degrees of Sagittarius…it won’t touch these degrees again for over 200 years, so we have to get to all of it. Virgo will make sure of that, as it knows the importance of dealing with the details.

Mercury and Venus in Virgo will follow Mars’ footsteps later in the month, also squaring Pluto in Sagittarius. Mercury on August 27 and Venus August 29. This will force the issue even further, if necessary. We really have to get clear on any hidden cultural/religious/ideological dynamics and determine just what we will and will not participate in. Understanding things on this core level will help us to define our roles so that we do not get caught up in any draining karmic dynamics here.

There will be some pain here (and throughout the month) for the people who have already been attempting to move past man-made oppression/control structures…who have been trailblazing from way back. The North Node is conjunct Chiron in Aquarius all month, and all the Virgo planets are co-ruled by Chiron in Aquarius…again, the wound of the visionary, of the ones leading into the future and the difficulty, attacks and alienation that sometimes go with that.

Mars leaves Virgo for Libra, the sign of balance, harmony, justice and relationship, August 19, and we desire to maintain peace and harmony…which might be difficult, depending on what the Full Moon eclipse and square to Pluto has kicked up. Anyway, here we strive to balance and harmonize “me” with “we.” And to begin new relationships that reflect who we are now and the community we desire to be a part of.

August 5, Venus leaves Leo for Virgo.
August 10, Mercury follows suit.
August 22, the Sun moves into Virgo.
Saturn is in Virgo all month (and for the next year and a bit).

As the month progresses and we shift focus from Leo to Virgo, we move from pure, creative expression of the self and revelry in being who we are to refinement of the self and the ego so as to be of service. Virgo is the sign where we master ourselves, detail by detail, and focus our efforts. Here is where we find “right work.” The work that feels right; the role only we can do.

The planets in mutable Virgo are busy this month…lots of adjustments, changes, cutting away the extraneous, making refinements. Mercury and Venus in Virgo will conjunct Saturn, trine Jupiter in Capricorn, oppose Uranus in Pisces and square Pluto in Sagittarius throughout August.

The cumulative effect of these aspects is challenging us to understand what is being asked of us by the forces of change and to take responsibility for improving things that need improvement on an earthy level. Mars, Mercury and Venus in Virgo opposing Uranus in Pisces, in particular, relate to getting real about practical reality and addressing it so that we can move forward in a real, rather than artificial and over-inflated, way. Understanding the practical realities of the whole. It means dropping old Piscean spiritual ego and ideas of spiritual hierarchy, in general (the “more enlightened than thou” trip). Taking a look at the material circumstances on Planet Earth and taking action to address things we can no longer let slide. Getting our heads out of the Neptunian clouds. Understanding that the work to be done is right in front of us, right here. It’s not about transcending it, ascending past it, or floating along in a state of denial about what is going on. At the same time, we have to recognize when we should just surrender. Choosing our battles and using our energies effectively so as not to overwhelm ourselves. Not taking the weight of the world on our shoulders but not burying our heads in the sand, either.

Dropping the Piscean “head in the clouds” thing is a big battle going on lately on the Internet message boards. The Love and Light Brigade declaring that they live in a “different dimension,” beyond the suffering going on on Planet Earth. To me, this is more misuse of the “creating your own reality” ideology. “I create my reality, you create your’s,” they repeat. Nice sentiment. Unfortunately, this solipsistic idea of reality doesn’t take into consideration collective reality. It doesn’t address how realities are inter-related, inter-connected. Or the fact that if you are currently living on Planet Earth, you are part of the situation, like it, admit it or not. What is going on affects all of us. We’re on the same planet on the material, biological level. There is no escaping physical reality (Virgo) by insisting one is spiritually above it all (Pisces). No one lives in a vacuum. And the denial of the darker, more unpleasant realities of what is going on on this planet is only furthering atrocities. It only gives them free rein. Historically, denial has not proven to be an effective strategy for change.

Another big push in the “creating my own reality” group (that will be put in check by the grounded, no-nonsense Virgo energy) is that positive people create positive realities, negative people create negative realities. This is how they explain away things like war, crime, homelessness, poverty, injustice, class/race/sex oppression, etc. Instead of these situations being the cause of anger and “negativity,” the anger and “negativity” create the situations, they insist. Back assward if you ask me. Using this ideology, people are often discredited or written off for being “angry,” “negative,” or “in a lower form of consciousness” and creating their own bleak circumstances all of their own volition - a convenient way for the positivity police to block out anything that they find personally upsetting. And yet another way that people can dismiss the current circumstances on the planet as “not my problem.” Another way to shirk any collective responsibility for the circumstances in which we find ourselves (“Doesn’t affect me! I’m above all that!”)…while remaining blind to the ways that they take part in and benefit from these dynamics. Again, not effective if you actually want to improve material conditions (Virgo).

The “ultra positive reality creators” equate positive with “good” and negative with “bad.” In reality, positive and negative are charges that just exist. The good/bad thing is something people decide for themselves. The idea that positive creates more positive and more positive is also an error. Negative and positive co-exist on Planet Earth and seek to create balance. Yin and yang. Feminine and masculine. This is a basic physical law on Earth. Excesses of positive will more than likely create excesses of negative…explaining why the rallying cry from the positivity pushers in the New Age establishment is that everyone who disagrees with them is “negative.” Well, when you insist on experiencing only the “positive,” denying anything that doesn’t fit into your happy, happy, blissed-out world view, that leaves the negative to try to balance off those excesses. And here is the challenge of the Virgo energy this month - to provide some much needed reality checks to the dying-days Piscean era ideology that has gotten a little out-of-touch with physical reality…

Doing things in an attempt to elevate ourselves above the masses and the problems on the planet will not be effective. Doing things simply to prove how “enlightened” we are will also not be effective. Recreating the forms of the past is not what is being asked of us. Under these astro conditions, we must be cutting a path forward as equals, staying real and grounded while creating something new. Moving forward collectively. I don’t move forward until we move forward.

We are also being asked to make sure that our creative forces are not being hijacked in ways that we do not agree with. With the focus on Virgo this month, we must define exactly the roles we play using what we’ve learned from listening to our hearts' guidance. Define yourself or be defined, Virgo says! And none of us really wants to be defined by someone else’s limited view of us. Virgo asks that we choose carefully what we participate in, how we use our personal energies (and how others use those energies), cutting away our involvement in those dynamics we do not wish to further. Virgo relates to service, and too often in today’s societies, the huge contribution of service people is overlooked for something more superficial and glamorous. Too often, Virgoan service falls into dynamics where its masterful energy is taken for granted and not appreciated or recognized as much as it should be. This has to change. And changing it means a lot of analysis and focus on the details of our lives. We need to be precise in what we do and say so that we are serving only what should be served (in our personal estimation)…serving only those situations and dynamics we wish to further, rather than propping up structures, dynamics and people that do not warrant our energy and assistance. The current structures will not shift until we make the adjustments personally that we need to make, coming directly into alignment with our heart’s truth and personal vision. We must take responsibility for the service, assistance and roles we provide within the systems of our society. We have to ask the questions: Who and what am I serving? What dynamics am I supporting and continuing by playing the roles I play? How am I being utilized within the systems of my life, and do I agree with it? With Virgo, the smallest adjustments and refinements create big results. No detail is meaningless. Adjusting, adjusting, adjusting and looking to understand the reality of the world around us so that we truly understand our own context within it.

At the end of the month, Mercury (August 28) and then Venus (August 30) join Mars in Libra. Now, we start to see Libra themes related to balance, equality and justice. Our relationships with others come into play more fully, and we work to harmonize the differences that came up earlier in the month (and year). Some relations can be harmonized…others will have to change dramatically. Keeping the peace is a Libra theme. And hopefully, by this point, we are working to maintain a true, core-level peace and harmony. The squares between Virgo and Pluto at the tail-end of Sagittarius should have forced our different allegiances and ideologies to the surface one final time for analysis. If we have done our work here, we can avoid a Libra pitfall…which is keeping things nicey nicey on the surface while darker, unresolved things brew underneath. Superficial peace does not last long. Avoiding uncomfortable realities and differences within our relationships will eventually come back to bite us in the ass. With luck, we can take these things on in a meaningful way and create a new harmony, based in practical reality.

The last day of the month brings our second New Moon of August. This one is in Virgo and will usher in a new cycle related to the Virgo themes mentioned earlier in the Astro Perspective. Taking responsibility for all aspects of the roles we play, the functions we perform.

- defining ourselves and our roles very precisely
- discontinuing those dynamics we no longer wish to support
- serving only what we truly feel befits us at our best
- focussing, working out the details, smoothing out the rough edges
- cutting out detritus on all levels
- improving diet, habits, holistic health in general
- removing anything that is a detriment to mental or physical health
- streamlining to conserve energy

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