The Astrology of 2011
At the beginning of 2010 I had a medicine ceremony that led me to quit my job as a therapist working with Schizophrenic adults in NYC. I took my next job as the manager of a yoga studio, but the studio was falling apart and I soon found myself entirely unemployed. Several weeks later as the Summer Solstice Eclipse approached a 72 hour orb, I fell sick with a 102 degree fever that came and went for three days. The day after the eclipse my fever was just starting to break, and I attended an Ayahuasca medicine ceremony. For most of the ceremony I was incapacitated on the floor. Around the middle of the ceremony I began to sweat profusely, and I could feel my fever, and something much much deeper than my fever, finally releasing. As I rested in the healing effects of the medicine I began to ponder my calling in life. Even though my first book was set to be published in the following month of July, being realistic I knew that my life as a writer would not pay the bills day in and day out. At this point in the ceremony the medicine started showing me colorful visions regarding my deep love for the field of Archetypal Astrology.
Over the course of the last five years, the medicine had been my primary astrology tutor. Every textbook I read and every chart reading I performed would eventually be refined by the medicinal plant spirits, though I never once saw myself becoming a professional astrologer. As I resisted the sensations from the medicine, I heard exaggerated voices saying things like: "It's not practical." "People won't take your writing as seriously if they know that you're an astrologer. You will lose a mainstream audience demographic." "Astrology is a dark art." And the more exaggerated the voices became the more ridiculous they got. It was as if the medicine simply said, "See how much you love Astrology. See how many times you've studied astrology in ceremonies and how much growth has come of it? See how much you want to do this?”
Quite accidentally, the LLC paperwork for Nightlight Astrology would be approved the day my book was published on shelves a month later.The company vision of Nightlight Astrology was developed in several more ayahuasca ceremonies after my Eclipse vision and before the next Full Moon. I saw several vision points for my "shamanic" inspired business model (to borrow from Daniel’s recent, inspiring article):
1. The vision of Nightlight Astrology would be to offer counseling sessions and chart readings, as well as an aspiring astrologer's one year long study intensive, all by donation.
2. The structure of the study course was designed not just for students but in cooperation with medicine spirits for the advancement of my own studies and practice. The group model created would be a return to the advancement of astrological skill via the group or community model (the mystery school) rather than the Guru/Disciple model (which for me, although it had served a purpose in Universities, Mesas and Yoga Studios, was no longer working).
3. The long term vision of Nightlight Astrology would be to create a 4 year, Bachelor's Degree Model for Archetypal Astrology Counseling by the year 2015 (efforts toward accreditation presumably taking longer).
4. The study of the evolution of consciousness seems to have its oldest roots in the study of the bio/astro/archetypal patterns of life. It's important during these rapidly changing times, times when much seems at stake for our planet, that this fields engaged with by serious astrology students of younger generations, following in the lines of folks like: Robert Hand, Richard Tarns, Dane Rudhyar, Liz Greene, Steven Forrest,and many other elders and pioneers in the field.
5. My income and my business model will not be based on competition or fear for my survival but on the generosity of the donation based model and the pure love that I have forth fact that astrology exists at all.
Since Nightlight Astrology launched I have examined nearly 250 individual charts in workshops and private sessions (all by donation). The wages have not been predictable in terms of monetary profit, but they have been predictable in terms of monetary sustainability. I am persisting, and for me that means "so far so good." My only monetary goal outside of personal sustainability and growing Nightlight is to clear myself of student debt (join the club, right!)The NYC intensive learning course has a strong body of 15 students, and I am privately studying with 7 distance learning students from across the country (as far away as the Netherlands in the case of one student!). It has been a tremendous learning experience thus far. We will begin our next intensive class in May of 2011.
This past week, as the orb of the Winter Solstice eclipse approached within 72 hours I was taken by an almost identical set of physical symptoms (highlighting, in the midst of another 3 day fever, my Saturn return). My personal life and relationships have been changing a great deal, and I feel a deep sense of sadness and loss accompanied by hope and excitement. If I were to write a second book right now, then it would deal with all the difficult implications of an adult life that follow the “coming of age story.” From where I stand now at the precipice of 2011, I realize that I can only take one step at a time. There is no final curtain call, no "defining" moment for myself or another aspect of reality. For as much as my life and the astrological transits of my natal chart in 2010 were marked by sudden emancipations (Uranus) and powerful transfigurations (Pluto) they were equally marked by slow, difficult, karmic movement (Saturn), and the reconciliation of relationships for the sake of greater harmony (Venus going through a tough Retrograde in Scorpio this fall, and Venus being my chart ruler). It's as if my Saturn return said to me, "Congratulations, you've finished your 20's. Now let's keep moving. Oh you didn't know? Yes. This keeps going."
I present all of this because perhaps the most underestimated piece of a New Year’s Astrological forecast is the astrologer him/herself. So I offer my thoughts on the Astrology of 2011from the lens of my personal experiences with the transits of 2010. I hope they are helpful and thought provoking for everyone!
Eclipses in 2011
Like 2010, 2011 will feature several powerful eclipses, starting with a Solar Eclipse on January 3rd in the sign of Capricorn. The eclipse point will square Saturn in Libra (Saturn is considered "exalted" in Libra), which could present many folks with an interesting dilemma. On the one hand, intimate relationships with others, fairness, wisdom, and the balancing eye of Libra will ask us to do things the fair way as we walk the path. Yet, because of the solar eclipses emphasis on the sign of Capricorn (ruled by shrewd Saturn) we can also be sure that our hardnosed drive for redemption, salvation, and personal immortality may come at the cost of Libran diplomacy. The message on the Capricorn side of the square might be: you can't play fair all the time, Libra. Principles are not always the same things as results. If fairness is based in idealism, then it’s just an idea. Saturn in Libra, on the other hand, may pull just as hard in the opposite direction saying, "Principles are here so that you don't get a Christ Complex."
In my astrological experiences of 2010, since my natal moon is in Capricorn and natal Saturn in Libra, I have learned that the argument between these energies is best diffused by listening to our daemons (our inner planetary radio stations). Sometimes I find myself entering into the social sphere (Libra) because I feel ready for that kind of engagement. Sometimes I feel that the project of transforming our society is the most important one (and I have given my time as a therapist, counselor, writer, friend, church member, collaborator, social activist, etc), yet other times I spend alone in pursuit of my own personal redemption and immortality. The project of my existence is sometimes only about me and my ambitious trek up the cosmic mountain, toting my cross as I climb (Capricorn). As soon as a serious argument begins within myself about which project is more important (the Libran social project or the Capricornia immortality project) I get stressed out or sick, especially if I try to force one over the other in my everyday life for an extended period of time.
During the coming solar eclipse of January 2011 it will be important to listen and act with the flow of this Libran/Capricornia dynamic. Don't simply choose between Libra and Capricorn. Doesn’t issue an ultimatum for yourself or you too may get sick! Instead act upon what truth is rising within you. Squared aspects like these (Saturn square the moon) during an eclipse teach us how to listen carefully to the stars. If you think of it, meditate on the fact that you are both a human being involved in a human project, and that your help and wisdom and concern are of great value on earth. Your action is important. You do make difference. Then, also, reflect on the fact that you are an eternal soul whose journey is to learn things of cosmic significance while passing through this temporal, human world. Remember that to some extent there is nothing to fix but you.
The next eclipses will come in June and July. The Solar eclipse of June 2011 in Gemini will reflect the recent lunar eclipse of the 2010 Solstice, which was also in Gemini. The Lunar eclipse on June 15 2011 will be in the last degrees of Sagittarius. Then we will have yet another solar eclipse at the beginning of July in Cancer and close to the USA's birthday. And finally we'll close out 2011 with eclipses in November and December (a solar eclipse in Sagittarius and Lunar eclipse in Gemini).
I mention the USA's birth chart because the eclipses of 2011 will provoke some very interesting elements of the United States’ birth chart. For example, the moon’s phase in Gemini will be touching the descendent of the USA's chart (considered a place of potential unconsciousness or shadow material). One of the great ironies of the USA's relationship with itself, spiritually speaking, is that we have always been our own worst enemy. It's a very stereotypically "Gemini" thing about our country. We have an evil twin. It's a shadow figure that's chasing us around and around and we can't figure out who it is. First it's Iraq, and then it's Al Qaeda. First it's Republicans, then its democrats. Back and forth.The fate of Gemini is the realization that these two seemingly opposite twins are one and the same entity. I suspect the astrology of 2011 (especially considering the rising popularity of wiki leaks, for example) will show the USA more of its own dark twin; the way we literally and figuratively are sabotaging ourselves. The good news is that seeing your dark twin is the same thing as facing your fear. It’s something we have to do it if we're going to clear out this whole "good guys" versus "the bad guys" mentality. The bad news is that seeing your own evil twin generally causes the good twin to want to eliminate the bad twin, and the cycle starts all over again. This year will be a crucial year for Americans to learn a new kind of revolution and protest. Hopefully we have learned our lessons from the 1960's and will be cautious to throw around binary words like"counterculture."
It seems to me that our spiritual culture is also reaching a boiling point. We have to stop using that one vision of the unity of time and space had within an ayahuasca ceremony, yoga class, trip to India, or whatever else, as merely another marginalizing or responsibility avoiding point of speech or rhetoric. We have to learn how to make decisions (Gemini) and use our heads. On the contrary, we also have to stop writing essays about what ‘theoretically ‘leads us to believe ‘x,y or z' about the current ‘transformational moment' we’re witnessing and start making actual, concrete, moral changes in our personal/spiritual lives (Sagittarius). We have to start living with a love in our hearts that can only come from systemic, religious/Sagittarian changes in our diet, daily mind/body practices, romantic relationships, sexual patterns, and so forth. Making Sagittarian changes takes courage and faith (these things are found in the abstract mind, not the dialectical mind of Gemini). The need for a Gemini/Sagittarian balance in our personal lives should be highlighted by this year's eclipses for certain!
The Cardinal Grand Cross of 2011
In addition to a batch of strong eclipses in 2011, this summer will feature an incredibly powerful alignment called a "Cardinal Grand Cross." The aspect pattern is called a Cardinal Grand cross because it involves planets closely aspected in the zodiac signs of the cardinal modes (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn). Cardinal energies are starters and initiators, and we got a sneak peak of this major alignment this past summer of 2010 (really starting, in my mind, with the Oil spill disaster). This 2011 summer the Grand Cross will primarily feature Uranus, Saturn and Pluto, and these outer planets pack a punch.Uranus opposed Saturn reflects the need for order, tradition, rules, boundaries, time and restrictions (Saturn) in contrast to revolution, immediacy, emancipation, and freedom from restrictions (Uranus). Both are squared to Pluto (deep, elemental power, transfiguration, death and rebirth).
The Cardinal Grand Cross will be activated by a number of planets passing over the opposition point to Pluto (The sun in Cancer, the Moon in cardinal signs, Mercury, Venus, and Mars), which means that all the personal planets will be in play. This makes the Cardinal Grand Cross more than just an activator of large, cultural/global energy fields; this summer everything from how we communicate (Mercury) to how we relate (Venus) to how we see ourselves (Sun) to how we approach life and take action (Mars) to how safe we feel in the world (Moon) will be touched upon by this configuration. I believe it's going to be an awesome summer of growth.
Another way of saying all of this is that much like the decade of the 1960’s (the last decade to feature a simultaneous Uranus/Saturn/Pluto hard aspect) we will be facing personal transformations in light of, or in reflection of, or even at the very same time AS, larger cultural/historical happenings are unfolding before us. At the most intense this could look like one of the slow motion combat scenes from iconic war movies like Platoon or Full Metal Jacket (a soldier contemplating a butterfly while listening to the Jimi Hendrix in his head and wishing for his life ‘back home', whilst bullets fly all around him). When history speeds up it generally causes our personal reflection and integration process to slow down. During the Grand Cross we could see more people accessing meditative states of consciousness simply because the world around them is sped up. The sudden contrast between the global story and an individual's story creates a container of sudden reflection, like the soldier suddenly contemplating his place in the cosmos during the middle of war. When things are coming together or falling apart at fast speeds people simply sit back and watch; people naturally learn to meditate. By this meditation visions are born and a lot of people could potentially wake up.
During my own personal experience of the Eclipses and the Grand Cross in 2010 the main truth I took away was about watching and listening rather than acting out of urgency or the desire for immediate resolution. So this 2011 I'm going to keep my eye on the road in front of me, or on the stars above and within me. I'm going to sit up straight and listen carefully. I hope everyone else can do the same.
As the heavens of 2011 present themselves, I pray that each one of us open our hearts, minds and souls to more and more of this beautiful cosmos!
Blessings & Light--AdamTweet