Preparing for Tranceformation: Mercury Retro and Summer's Transits
This summer is not a rebirth, it is a birth. That difference is important. It means that the consciousness that emerges from the canal is a completely new species.
In our desire to stay attuned to the exciting new frequencies of this consciousness, we can seem stuck between feeling both overwhelmed and empowered from the woven thread of online connectivity. We are increasingly etherealizing, spending far too much time with our umbilical cords plugged in or making love to our iphone -- we tend to do this even more when the Sun travels through Aries. We awaken from our Piscean slumber, and start to plan like crazy for summer, prepare for travels and festivals, and the activation of all we have been incubating in the winter months. Aries is a completely future-oriented, action-based sign. It is that time of the year where we emerge from the womb, passionate to share our gifts.
Yet the next sign of the zodiac, Taurus, reminds us that there is nothing more crucial at these transformational times than appreciating the sensual earth mama in all her abundant glory -- the delicious meal dancing across your tongue, the tender caress of a loved one, planting roots firm in mountain pose, hugging the bark of brother tree, breathing with the sunset, and inhaling the flowers as they blossom into their new life -- their beautiful mirror for us as a species, in our youthful bloom as beings of conscious light. The Sun entered Taurus April 20th, to join both Venus and Mercury in his retrograde motion since April 16th.
Re-trograde, re-newal, re-surrection: on Wednesday April 28th, we experience the Full Moon in Scorpio, allowing us to access the dark mystery as we regenerate and rebirth in preparation for the summer ahead. The Full Moon in Scorpio is Wesak, celebrated as the day when the Buddha penetrated the heart of the mystery, and stung the essence of Scorpionic truth, attaining Nirvana. Later in the week, the pagan festival of Beltane, highlighting the re-turn of the Earth mother in all her bounty, invites us to fertilize the gifts we have been gestating all winter, especially creatively with Mars extended journey though Leo.
From the Aries statements of I AM and I WILL to the Taurean phrase, I HAVE, we expand our identity to include our value systems, our self-esteem, our management of resources, and our sense of secure belonging. These are powerful areas to focus upon entering this summer's catalytic shifts. The birth pangs are shaking us from the core of the Earth herself.
To feel into the textures of this birth canal, we can study the recent, nearly simultaneous occurrences of the massive earthquake in Tibet and the volcanic explosion in Iceland, beginning with Mercury Retrograde.
For centuries, astrologers, have studied Mercury's triannual retrograde motion, usually three weeks long. During the retrograde, Mercury dives closer and closer to the Sun. The Sun's plasma rotates at different rates, creating a dynamic, tangled magnetic web with the possibilities of millions of poles, not just one north and south pole. When Mercury goes retrograde, we can picture the messenger god flying about with his winged sandals tying to dance between these huge knots of electromagnetic energy. Does this picture sound familiar to us who chronicle these retrograde cycles? Surely, Mercury and his psychic correlations in us -- urges to communicate, travel, trade, network -- are all going to get jumbled in the solar spiderweb. But we can also feel these mental chaos and confused contractual effects during Mercury's shadow period -- when he enters the degree to which he will retrograde back to during his cycle. This shadow effect usually lasts between 2-3 weeks before and after the regular retrograde cycle.
If there was any doubt as to the reality of the shadow effect, we need look no further than the volcanic eruption in Iceland and its subsequent effects of travel delays, cancellations, adjustments, refunds, etc. The volcano erupted during the shadow period and its effects have carried into the retrograde cycle. Additionally, the horrible 6.9 earthquake in Tibet, killing between 2000-10,000 also demonstrates some of the Mercury retrograde frustrations: coupled with the breakdown of phone lines for rescue efforts, since the province is very remote and mountainous, it has made travel to this region very challenging.
Importantly, the volcano and earthquake also reflect one of the more uncomfortable and aggravating sky transits exact from April through Summer of 2010: the Saturn-Uranus opposition, and its challenging but stimulating square to Pluto in Capricorn. Each planet and sign rule or have affinity with certain elements of the weather or nature. Capricorn rules the mountains and Pluto rules volcanoes; thus, the Earth's rumbling intensity of 2010 in Haiti, Indonesia, Chile, Los Angeles, Tibet, and Iceland signify the beginnings of many transformational, tectonic shifts over the next decade.
In addition, all flight technology is related to Uranus' impulse to move freely, at will. But Saturn has "grounded" this urge, delayed and constricted the ability to follow our individual desires, creating the frustration that I cannot do what I want to do, nor do I have the freedom to go where I want, when, and how.
How can you translate these powerful transits into your personal life at this time? Where is Pluto challenging you to confront the shadow and embrace cathartic release? What are the Saturnian obstacles and walls to you realizing your Uranian original genius, following your unique path, or breaking away from limiting perspectives?
One only needs to look at the last opposition of Saturn to both Uranus and Pluto during the ultra conservative politics of the 60's in opposition to the electric ladyland culture of the hippies to understand the uncomfortable, and somewhat irresolvable tension of these two evolutionary forces. In the last two years, the Saturn-Uranus opposition has created the health care crisis and the irritable and highly charged build up to the 2008 elections, when Saturn-Uranus were exactly opposed.
Big daddy Jupiter conjoins Uranus the rest of 2010, amplifying the inspiration and excitement. But his opposition to Saturn also cranks up the volume on the friction between the visionary potential and the "real," the hopeful possibility and the gritty actuality. This is beginning to show up for many of us through our attempts at new models of exchange and currency -- often we combine barter, money, and payment plans into a single exchange for projects and work. But fairness in finance, love, politics, and business, a Saturn in Libra theme over the next two years, will take a lot of compassion and tweaking for us to fully realize the Libran ideal of balance.
This limitless potential, these horizons without edge, can also intimidate us, as we can easily feel the frying of the nervous system. To help us, we receive the beneficial quality of the opposition from Saturn, especially in his exalted position in Libra. While Jupiter-Uranus is strung out on radical ideas, breakthrough awareness, and even Facebook overload, Saturn centers and focuses all of these nervous, electrified psyches, requiring responsible maintenance of our relationships. In Libra, Saturn reminds us that it will be these relationships that must mature in order to fulfill their greater potential: to provide us an anchor amidst the acceleration.
Saturn asks: "Of all these hundreds and hundreds of ‘friends,' how shall we prioritize and not get swept away?" With Saturn in Libra, we may discover the need to allow certain social practices and relationships to pass away, while we nurture others of more solid dependency. The purpose of this process is to gain clarity on what is balanced, harmonious, and equal in our energy exchanges with others, including intimate personal and business relationships.
The symbol of volcanic eruption is very important and pertinent to consider in what is beginning to emerge all around us. We feel at these moments both as the volcano and the lichen, the new life, on the crust of the volcano. All the new life will sprout from us. Every action unfolds in butterfly-effect repercussion. Thus, we are nervous and erupting, we are anxious and overflowing, like the symbol of the cosmic ocean of Jupiter and Uranus conjunct in Pisces. In the ocean, we recognize that we're all one, so our sensitivity increases and we feel everything. Then we wonder, "Am I swimming or drowning here?" That Jupiterian urge to expand and grow, as well as overindulge and overflow without borders merges with Uranus, the urge to liberate, break free, radically shift, even if it's traumatizing.....like birth and the fetus bursting from the amniotic fluid.
With every Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, once every fourteen years, new cultural phenomena emerge. Brilliant works of genius are channeled and shared with the world, forever shifting collective perception. In order for each one of us to become a conduit for this enlightened breakthrough, we must create the space in our lives to receive the divine mind, to listen to our intuition, and to leave our previous worldview behind. Saturn's opposition makes this easier said then done. Due to all of these planets' square from Pluto, the Lord of the Underworld and the transformations necessary for evolution, we must surrender to the catastrophic volcano that destroys the old structures and fertilizes the landscape with molten vitality -- the womb is abandoned in agony and ecstacy. For the infant's eyes to shine alive with golden sunlight, the constrictive pressure of the canal must be surmounted.
And if we relax, we may be able to slide through this wormhole. If we try to force, we may find ourselves sucked in every direction. Amidst this liminal, bardo awareness, we should not be surprised to fall asleep and wake up crying at the sheer potency of what is occurring. Insomniac passages may become more of our norm as well, as our Mother Earth roars from within us. So we release into what is. Conscious, connective breathwork can help to repattern us in these moments of birth once we assure ourselves that we are both protected in our journey, and also going to appear quite different in the mirror on the other side.
I was recently reminded by a good friend that many pregnant mothers in the months preceding birth experience a complete mental fog, as if everything they know clouds over. Indeed, their consciousness is preparing to enter the point of no return. The mother will forever onward play that sacred role, and the old baggage of self-destructive stories and defeating wounds must be discarded to care for the new life.
Each one of us is now being forced into a similar situation. We are pregnant with massive potential, but we must first be willing to destroy our delusions, to abandon our naivete, and to transform our karma into our dharma, our restless soul-habits into the activation of our luminous and evolutionary purpose.
The real juice of the undulating tide we find ourselves riding can be found in the moment just as the wave takes us under. We imagine the potent and revealing conversations that must have transpired in the long overnights at the airports, in the full lobbies of the hotels, in the waiting lines of the rental car companies? Struggle and suffering can seed an empathy and insight into archetypal difference--the Taurean "being" vs. the Aries "doing," Uranian freedom and Saturn constriction.
When you can't sleep, ask yourself what god is keeping you up, hunkering in your ear with some hidden wisdom. When you break down, recognize why that catharsis was necessary in order for you to break through into a deeper level of self-awareness. And remember the simplicity and necessity of inhalation and exhalation. And let Taurus sensuality guide you in the month of May.
Preparation for Tranceformation, The Astrological Transits of Summer 2010 Teleconference:
I invite you all to join me for a special teleconference Wednesday May 5th, where we will expand upon this newsletter's themes. We will explore in depth the specific transits of this summer, far more powerful than those of 2012 -- the culmination of many cosmic forces in an unprecedented Cardinal Climax upon the seasonal axis of Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn. We will discuss the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, the Uranus-Pluto square, the Saturn-Pluto square, the Saturn-Uranus opposition and more, giving special attention to some key historical cycles when the planets were in the same positions as this summer. I will also ask for participants' birth data to help personalize these transits, in order to point out what evolutionary forces in your own chart will be catalyzed by this summer's transformations, providing tools for how best to allow your own unique genius to shine through.
All participants will also receive a $5 discount copy of my new book, Codex of the Soul: Astrology as a Spiritual Practice, being released this June. To pre-order copy of the book and read excerpts visit astralshaman.com
If you would like to read excerpts from the book, please go to astralshaman.com. To pre-order your copy, send an email to email@example.com. To follow the thread on Mercury Retrograde effects, visit me on facebook.
Please follow the paypal link on my website to register for the Summer Transits class.
Image by Daníel Örn, courtesy of Creative Commons license