Friday, December 13, 2013

A Peaceful and Contented Solstice to You from Willow's Web Astrology

Cactus plant flowers signal a time to draw back in, to relax, to ease your pace.
Photos: Willow

Winter solstice is just ahead in the northern hemisphere, and the daylight hours are getting short. The Sun enters Capricorn on December 21 (11:11 a.m. Central Standard Time), marking the shortest day in the wintry northern hemisphere and the longest day in the summery southern.

In the northern hemisphere, this is a time of year to draw back into ourselves, to relax our pace, and to let go of some of the usual demands on ourselves so that the mysterious dark half of the year can weave its magic.

My cactus plant (inherited from my sweet Sagittarius Grandma, born today) is blooming beautifully now, and we can take our cues from it and from the rest of the natural world.

When the days start to get shorter and the sunlight weaker, the cactus plant takes it as an opportunity to produce its beautiful flowers. The plant draws back into itself for a while, slowing its overall growth, and the gorgeous blooms are a result.

To experience the beauty and mystery of this time of year, rather than the depression and low energy, it's necessary that we regulate our lives according to a slower pace. It's necessary that we ease up on ourselves. Just as the plants and animals are not pushing full speed ahead now, we must check in with our bodies and with how we feel. We must check in with our energy levels, first and foremost, rather than deferring to the never-ending To Do lists of things we "have to" complete.

One of the major problems with the corporate model of living and working, particularly under Pluto transiting Capricorn, is that it does not take into account the natural ebb and flow of energy in biological life forms.

People are put on the clock, on standard schedules year-round, and this sets them up for dysfunction, ill health, anxiety, depression, and a sense of failure if they cannot complete the usual list of tasks in the usual timeframes.

There is very little "letting up" in the current structures according to the cycles of nature.

The standard schedules, the demanding routines, and the lists of action items are relentless, and this is a big part of what puts people's systems off course. They will often then blame themselves for a "lack of productivity," asking why they can't just be "normal," and this increases the bad feelings.

We're soon moving into Capricorn season (December 21 to January 19), a sign ruled by Saturn, and depression and decreased energy - in contrast to a desire for sustained progress and achievement - are themes of both that sign and planet.

From a previous post:

"There is a natural ebb and flow to the energy of a human being. The Moon cycles are a big indicator of this. But we are in the Pluto in Capricorn years: caffeine and drug-fuelled to keep us going and going and going. We are in a series of years when it's considered a sickness if you need to rest, if you need to slow down, if you need to just stop for a little while.

We're convinced by a toxic pharmaceutical-pushing medical establishment that we need to be medicated. We need to be more "up" or more "down" or more something in order to be normal, sane, healthy.

Not once does that medical establishment look at the insanity of the constant merry-go-round. Not once does it look at the intentional disruption of the biological systems on this planet. Not once does it look at our food, our water, our air, our mental, psychic, and physical environments.

And so it misses the point...

Again, understand the insanity of a system that ignores this fundamental energy cycle, this Moon cycle, this ebb and flow, this soul root. Don't make the natural reactions of your biology and emotional chemistry into the insane things."

I wrote in the same post about the links between depression in individuals and the degree of collective denial and cognitive dissonance related to the true state of the planet at this time.

For example, the public, en masse, is just starting to get a taste of what's really going on in Fukushima, Japan - what has been going on in an ongoing way for almost three years now.

The lid is being ripped off the devastation that has been done by nuclear energy and nuclear weapons all around the world. The radioactive contamination is layered, coming from many past and present events, and we're starting to get a broader picture of just how precarious our lives are in the shadow of all this (unnecessary) nuclear activity.

The public is just starting to understand what this means for the future.

Understand that as this information (and more) comes more strongly into the public psyche, there is going to be anxiety, depression, desperation, agitation, anger, and fear, and this collective reaction will affect individuals.

Understand that there are forces attempting to start another world war, under the ongoing square series between Uranus and Pluto, and this, too, creates massive collective anxiety and stress without a distinct cause to place our fingers upon.

It's going to take a deep, relaxed, meditative winter state in order to navigate the seismic shifts with our mental, emotional, and physical health left as undisturbed as possible.

Contemplate the beauty and wisdom of that flowering cactus plant and trust.

We are moving to a Gemini Full Moon on December 17 (3:28 a.m. CST), which opposes both the Sun at 25 degrees Sagittarius and Mercury at 18 degrees Sagittarius.

On that very same day, with emotions heightened, the planet of sudden change, revolution, and shocks to the system, Uranus, stations direct at 8 degrees Aries (11:29 a.m.).

These astrological events indicate the potential for an anxious and mentally agitated time. This is a very cerebral Full Moon,  and with the energy and effects of Uranus so potent, we have to watch that the neural connections pinging off don't overload our psyches. There will be a lot of energy running through us during the week of December 16 - 22, and the current structures will not fully contain it. Many will be chomping at the bit, desiring a radical break from current conditions.

Uranus will move direct from that December 17 station into the exact cardinal Grand Cross April 21 - 24, 2014, which includes the fifth of its seven exact squares to Pluto. This Uranus direct station initiates some big seismic shifts that will be brought to a head during that configuration in April.

We also have malefic planet Mars in detriment in Libra entering the cardinal Grand Cross fray at the end of December (December 23, 2013 to January 8, 2014). This adds a definite edge to the proceedings, especially in interpersonal relations.

Mars in Libra opposes Uranus in Aries December 25. It squares Pluto in Capricorn December 30. It squares Jupiter in Cancer January 8, 2014.

With Mars tightly square Pluto, we open into the new year with a New Moon in Capricorn at 10 degrees on January 1, 2014 (5:14 a.m.). That Capricorn New Moon will be tightly conjunct both Mercury and Pluto. In other words, Mercury (mind), the Moon (emotions), and the Sun (conscious current moment) will be crossing through the Plutonic underworld as we open into the new year.

The Pluto-infused New Moon has the possibility of opening into some very bleak, dark, and disturbing information. Some blinders are coming off - en masse and individually - and it likely won't be pretty. There can be no denying what we see and feel as we enter 2014. There can be no denying the collective circumstances in which we find ourselves.

The worldwide media blackout on Fukushima could become more widely known around this time. It is becoming impossible for the state to maintain perfect control on this issue. The levy is about to break, so to speak, and watered-down and manipulated "official information" will continue to be released. Official gatekeepers will be speaking from their carefully-crafted platforms in order to direct and control public discourse.

Overall, shadowy mind and information control is a theme as we enter 2014, in addition to ongoing spying on private citizens by the state.

It will be a challenge to keep our balance and our peace of mind as we shift into the new year. Draw on the image of that flowering cactus plant! And maintain your meditative, energy-saving state.

Since late August 2013, we've experienced three major waves of cardinal Grand Cross action activated by bodies transiting relationship sign, Libra.

The personal planets in Libra have been interacting in dynamic fashion with Uranus in Aries, Jupiter in Cancer, and Pluto in Capricorn, repeatedly forming two oppositions (180-degree aspects) or four squares (90-degrees aspects). These squares/oppositions in the cardinal signs create periods of acute tension, pressure, crisis, and friction, squeezing us into new ways of doing things, like it or not.

These Grand Cross formations, also referred to as Grand Squares, trigger a cardinal requirement in relationships of all kinds: social leadership, initiation of new directions, strong decision-making, new frameworks and rules, new emotional realities.

The first cardinal Grand Cross wave was activated by Venus in Libra in late August 2013. The second wave was activated by Mercury in Libra in mid-September 2013. The third wave was activated by the Sun in Libra during the first half of October 2013.

Now we enter the fourth and fifth waves, triggered by Mars in Libra, and those waves could literally change everything, altering our directions - in relationships and otherwise - in ways we could not have expected.

Buckle your seatbelts. Some turbulence is to be expected as we close 2013 and enter 2014.

From a post August 15, 2013 "Venus Enters Home Sweet Home Libra, Kicking Off the Cardinal Grand Crosses":

"We're being positioned and re-positioned - often dramatically, often unexpectedly - in an effort to reformulate relationships and social scenes to better fit the requirements of the astrological Aquarian era. Rules are changing. Ideals are shifting. Conventions are dissolving. Power dynamics are breaking down.

We can expect situations to escalate around the times that the Grand Crosses become exact, reaching crisis points that require decisiveness and leadership. These crises will often be related to the failure of the old set-ups, requiring that we find a new way...and quickly.

With Pluto involved in the Grand Crosses, potentially uncomfortable issues related to power are being drawn to the surface in relationships with an impetus to examine, make aware, and then transform. With Uranus involved, relationships and personal directions within relationship can change dramatically and unexpectedly as new insights and events arise. People will be rebelling from attempts to pigeonhole them in outdated relationship roles. With Jupiter in the mix, it is our wisdom, our truth, and our personal guiding philosophies (and those of our families) that provide shelter during the Grand Cross storms."

The energy and events kicked up by the previous cardinal Grand Cross waves have set the tone and the impetus for a whole new social framework to unfold in 2014. We have been forced out of old relating patterns - sometimes kicking, wailing, and screaming - and now have to take a hard line so that we don't fall back.

That hard line is upheld by both relationship planets - Venus and Mars - in extended stays in cardinal signs, including retrograde periods. For more on this: "Venus and Mars Retrograde: Cardinal Relationship Shifts and a Fight for Right Human Relations in 2014"

There are big, structural shifts coming about in 2014. There are major decisions to be made and bold moves to be taken, and all this was initiated by the first waves of cardinal Grand Cross action beginning in late August 2013.

Again, we will need to maintain that meditative, matter-of-fact, naturally-flowing, and energy-saving state in order to keep our balance...and our sanity!

There is a re-balancing of relationships underway, and the most common dynamic will be women taking more control and responsibility for having their needs met (Venus in Capricorn) with men shifting their orientations in relationship (Mars in Libra) in light of this.

We're sharing power, sharing the decision-making and responsibilities. We're building relationships that are mutually supportive and successful.

But with Venus transiting Capricorn, women, in particular, must hold the line on the rules and standards that work for them, taking charge in the process of constructing relationships that will sustain over the long-term.

It is no longer enough for women to sit back as passive participants, waiting to see what the man brings them and hoping it meets their needs. (In same sex relationships, it is no longer enough for one member to take on the passive role and one to take on the dominant role.) This was a Piscean-era construct, the damsel in distress waiting for her rescuing Knight.

Women must now take control of having their own needs met in relationship, not accepting less than their standards any step of the way. This will have quite a revolutionary effect on the relationship game.

It will predominantly be men and the masculine energy, in general, doing the balancing and re-balancing in relation to women and the feminine energy holding that hard line. It is the expression of the masculine energy that requires the most re-direction in relationships now.

There are big, structural shifts underway this December and January. But again, we need to implement and navigate these shifts as naturally and matter-of-factly as possible so that we do not expend excessive amounts of energy (especially in relationship) and unbalance ourselves.

Restraint is required in relationships, including sexually, despite our end-of-era loneliness and isolation. This theme is reinforced with Saturn (restraint, limits, boundaries) transiting Scorpio (sex, intimacy, merger) for almost all of 2014.

We need to tunnel down into that relaxed, meditative, and energy-saving state, making the changes and moves we know we need to make with as little stress, fuss, and muss as possible, as naturally as a cactus plant producing its winter blooms.


Greg F said...

A blessed solstice to you too, Willow. Your cactus is beautiful.

The "fearless leader" of North Korea just executed his uncle this week. A new moon on Pluto and Mercury isn't a good mix for a crazy kid with atom bombs...on a more positive note:

I think 2014 will be one of those "Year-of-the-Woman" themed years again too. We have a wonderful progressive senator, Elizabeth Warren, who is taking on Wall Street corruption with a big stick. Janet Yellen was just confirmed as the Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank. The list goes on of a little balancing of estrogen in the system again. :)

Thanks for reminding us we need to slow down this time of year. I live in the northwest US, not far from you, and it seems to be dark both day and night right now. I put up the indoor Christmas lights last week to cheer me up.

Here's to a safe end of the year. Watch out for exploding Santas on Christmas Day!


Patricia R. said...

I love your take on the planetary changes we are constantly going through. It has been a hard year for many, myself included.

I am looking forward to 2014. I am a female and I have learned some hard lessons about not setting boundaries and standing firm, (too giving).
Well now I am taking back my power and looking forward to being who I really am.

I am glad 2014 is showing support of just such a new manifestation of (female) self. Life is a learning curve in motion and we are so gifted to have so many opportunities to re-start no matter how many times it takes to get it right.

Thank you for your insights, your spirit and your truths. It helps me to understand the world around me better.

May you have a blessed and happy holiday.

Patricia R.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful wise article. I will post some lines around me to help me maintain patience and serenity.Cath

Donna F. said...

Insightful and oh-so-timely as always, Willow!

My own Christmas cactus treated us to a stunning display back in late October that lasted until the end of November. I looked at it this morning and there's a whole battalion of new buds, so we'll definitely be getting at least one encore.

My slowing down included saying no to work-related "holiday" socializing. I didn't go into details or spin excuses--"NO" is a perfectly valid answer all by itself! (I've been saying it a lot lately, and, damn, it feels GREAT!)

Here in the U.S., Elizabeth Warren is an absolute treasure. I saw her for the first time a few years ago on the Jon Stewart show before she was well-known. I loved her at first sight; when she began to speak, I realized she's something very, very special.

Willow, thanks for helping me through some times that might have been too much for me had I not known what was going on astrologically. The reading you did for me two years ago saved my ass, pure and simple, and the posts on your blog help me regain my balance when the world becomes too surreal. It gets really freaky out there, and you're so right about the need to draw inward and have a good strong core that can't be touched by the slings and arrows of a dying paradigm.

Blessed be!

Jason said...

Thank You for being able to noticing the Deep Wisdom of this ancient little guy. In the sprit of this article, keeping it short.

Willow said...

The horticultural article in my local paper actually gave me the tip about cactuses flowering when the sunlight gets weaker! And mine was flowering, so I went from there. :-)

Capricornian said...

Pluto Sandwich!!!!

You are the freakin' BEST, Willow.

Ruth said...

Thanks again Willow for another eye opener.

I'd be interested to hear more about Capricorn and depression/exhaustion/depletion. It's the sign of business- which looks to me like the main source of manic and pointless overactivity in our world (apart from consumption!)

What I personally don't get about Capricorn (and I have a stellium in it with Moon, Venus, Jupiter and NOrth Node!) is how to balance the wisdom Saturn can give with the punishment it undoubtedly doles out to its Capricornian natives...

I guess one resolution is black humour. In my worst depressive troughs- which have had a true flavour of Hell itself since Pluto entered Cap- it's the only thing that gets me through.

On that note, my Christmas cactus DIED last year despite the fact that I'd been warned they need neither much water or much light! Go figure.

Willow said...

Greg F said...

I hope you have a wonderful week, Willow. Thanks for your advice and your sensitive essays to promote humanitarian goals.

I'm looking forward to 2014. Although it is a numerological '7', I feel very optimistic about the coming year.

Bless you for your essays about GMO's, the environment, and human relationships. Keep the fire bright! (I have Vesta conjunct Mercury in my Scorpio 11th). I am a keeper of knowledge too.

Thanks for your brilliant insight in your blog articles. You are very inspiring. I 'grok' you! (...obscure Robert A. Heinlein reference...)

Merry end-of-year holidays, my friend!