Retreat, Replenish, Restore – Mercury Stations Retrograde in Cancer

mercury retrograde

collage by Emily

Greetings from bed. Cooperating with the current cosmic energies, I’ve returned to bed to write this post, cozy under the covers with a cup of tea and cat by my side.

Mercury doesn’t officially turn Retro until Saturday, but I’m already noticing those tell-tale signs – you too? The urge for more BEING and less DOING; fuzzy-headedness leading to mistakes, miscommunications and memory lapses (my editor over at New Connexion just emailed me about an erroneous astro-date I put in my column – me! with four Virgo planets!!); the need to reschedule and rearrange existing plans; unexpected delays and technical glitches.

As Mercury the Messenger – typically speedy planet of connection, communication and intellect – slows down and prepares to reverse directions, we’re called to do the same. All the “re” words apply: retreat, regenerate, reflect, reconsider, review… Mercury stations Retrograde on June 7 (until July 1) in comfort-seeking Cancer, drawing us into the innermost realm of deep feelings, and asking us to rethink what truly nurtures, supports and sustains us. Home, family, root system and foundation are all up for review, renewal and reconnection during this Retrograde.

mercury retrograde in cancerCancer wants emotional security, and Retrograde planets are all about the inside job, so this Mercury Retro wants us to turn inward and reconnect with our true source of safety and security within ourselves. Mercury reverses back into Gemini on June 17, and this Cancer-to-Gemini, Water-to-Air shift can help us get new perspectives on our habitual emotional responses, family past, and early-life conditioning.

Let’s REview the basic Mercury Retro guidelines:  take your time with important communications; don’t be afraid to repeat yourself or ask for clarification; leave extra time getting to appointments; double-check the details; and avoid signing contracts and buying electronics (cars, computers, etc.). If you need to break the Mercury-Retro rules, best to wait until after June 19, the midpoint of the Retrograde cycle. And if you haven’t backed up your computer data lately, now’s the time!

Mercury is just the first of three planets to turn Retrograde in the Water signs this month. Neptune turns Retro in Pisces on June 9, followed by Chiron in Pisces on June 20 (coinciding with Solstice). This trio of watery Retrogrades stimulates much emotional churning – deep feelings rising to the surface, heightened sensitivity and vulnerability, getting easily triggered, crying for no apparent reason. Retrograde planets stir up the past, and in the Water signs, this is about old emotional wounds coming into awareness, ripe for healing.

jupiterAdding to all this watery goodness, the Grand Water Trine of Jupiter in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio and Chiron in Pisces is still strong for another week or so, meaning that there’s great cosmic support for: committing to and getting support for your healing process; taking responsibility for working through emotional shiznit; releasing what doesn’t feel good and what’s not aligned with your emotional truth; establishing practices, systems and structures that feel nourishing and supportive; softening defenses to allow for more ease and flow. The thing about trines (even GRAND ones) is that they can be passive and lazy, and require a bit of intention and effort. Take one small step to activate the magic.

With some astro-technical know-how, you can get more insight into what this upcoming Mercury Retro means for YOU. Find the house or houses in your birth chart that contain 24 degrees Gemini to 3 degrees Cancer. The areas of life indicated by the house/s are where you’re invited to: review and reconnect with sources of nourishment and support; back up to revisit, re-do or complete something from the past; heal from old emotional wounds; use your intuition to get a new perspective.

- Emily Trinkaus

sagittarius full moonCalling all priestesses (yes, YOU)! Energy-healing genius Katie Todd and I will be working with this Retrogradey watery deluge in next Wednesday’s Galactivation teleclass for the Sag Full Moon. Themes of TRUST, galactic nourishment and creative inspiration. All women are welcome, and you can participate from anywhere by phone or online. Register by midnight Sunday to be entered into the drawing for a personalized session! Details here.

 

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This Is Your Mind on Neptune – Today’s New Moon in Gemini

gemini new moon

collage by Emily

Today’s New Moon is super-Neptunian – are you feeling it? Sleepy, spacey, weepy, overwhelmed… Honestly, I’m feeling so freakin’ lazy that I just want to refer you to (or plagiarize from) the post I wrote about last year’s Gemini New Moon, because it’s basically the same deal (well, this New Moon is a little different, but last year’s post is still worth reading or re-reading).

The New Moon (at 7 degrees Gemini) forms an exact square – 90-degree, challenging angle – to Neptune, God/Goddess of the Ocean (at 7 Pisces). The typically light, airy, intellectual, chatty, busy-busy Gemini New Moon instead takes on a Neptunian flavor – watery, deep-feeling, uber-sensitive, imaginative, inward-turning, and potentially escapist, addictive, self-pitying and victimy (shadow Neptune).

Drawing us further into the dreamtime, Neptune is also stationing – standing still in the sky before turning Retrograde on June 9. We’ll continue feeling our way through the Neptunian haze through the 9th, and even throughout this entire lunar cycle, since the chart of the New Moon sets the tone for the entire “moonth” (29 days, to be precise). Neptune turns Retrograde just two days after Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, also turns Retro (until July 1).

Neptune dissolves personal boundaries so you can open to the level of reality that exists beyond the limits of the rational mind and the ego-bound small self – the ultimate reality of oneness and source consciousness. In a Neptune-deficient culture that enforces the illusion of the separate self and devalues the invisible and unquantifiable, most of us don’t have much skill or practice when it comes to navigating the mysterious Neptunian waters. Instead of merging with the divine and feeling “all one,” we project divinity onto another person, thing or future fantasy and, longing for the divine outside ourselves, we feel “all alone.”

neptuneAs a watery, feminine force, Neptune works best when we focus on the process, the feeling itself, instead of fixating on an object or outcome. “The solution for longing for union is union with longing,” says James Hillman, astro-savvy Jungian genius (in a talk called “Venus in America”). He explains, if you unite with longing itself, rather than the object of longing – the thing you think is going to make it all better – then “you’re filled, not empty.” Useful guidance for this lunar cycle.

The current cosmic intertwining of Mercurial and Neptunian events is telling us that the Mercury function – perception, the logical/rational mind, connection and communication – wants to be Neptunized. As long as we’re stuck in the illusion of the separate self, your mind on Neptune is a lonely, isolating, frightening, anxiety-producing place to be. Plugging into a higher Neptunian level of awareness typically requires unplugging from the usual media-driven deluge of external input – our minds are more open and sensitive now, more porous, so we can get easily distracted, overwhelmed and confused with over-stimulation. This is also a good time to be more discerning about which images and information we’re choosing to imprint into our spongy little brains.

Some high-vibration expressions of Mercury-Neptune include expansive, intuitive, imaginative, visionary thinking; enhanced compassion for others’ suffering; and dissolving patterns of polarizing, dualistic thinking that keep us stuck in limiting perceptions of good/bad, right/wrong, etc.

venusMercury, the ruler of Gemini, is especially potent at this New Moon, and precisely sextiles Venus, suggesting that beauty, artistry, love and eroticism are also keys to this lunar cycle. (A sextile is a 60-degree angle of harmonious excitation.) If you’re not attending to the aesthetic in life, says James Hillman (again from the Venus talk), you become anesthetic, anesthetized, numb.

Slowing down to notice, appreciate and cultivate beauty, taking the time to create art and to live our lives as works of art, helps us connect with that Neptunian feeling of communion with the divine (Neptune is considered the “higher octave” of Venus). We can LIVE beauty, connect with the FEELING of beauty, rather than longing for beauty as something outside ourselves to attain or possess.

When it comes to setting your intentions for this lunar cycle (starting today at 11:41 am Pacific), the Neptunian nature of this New Moon means listening deeply to the needs of your soul, which might not “make sense” to your conscious, analytical, rational mind (Gemini). This New Moon wants you to go beyond linear thinking and use your imagination, your dreams to guide you. What’s your guiding vision – for yourself, for the collective? What’s the most beautiful future you can imagine?

For deeper insight into what this New Moon means for YOU, find the house in your chart that contains 7 degrees Gemini. The areas of life signified by that house are where you’re being called to: deepen your sense of belonging and connection (first within yourself); listen to your feelings, dreams and intuitive guidance; improve communication skills; learn something new, or return to a subject you used to love; connect with and communicate your vision.

- Emily Trinkaus

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Love Into Action – Mars Stations Direct in Libra

mars station direct

collage by Emily

Mars – action, passion, desire – starts moving forward again today (6:31 pm PDT), ending his Retrograde journey that started March 1. If you’ve been feeling sluggish, sleepy, resistant and just wanting to hole up and be still, then you are perfectly in tune with the cosmos.

As Mars stations – appears to stand still in the sky as he changes directions – the action principle is suspended, on hold, caught between past and future. A part of us that’s been backstage or on retreat is preparing to reemerge, but not quite yet. We’re completing a process of regenerating vitality, redefining goals and desires, recharging motivation and enthusiasm. As Mars starts moving forward, sparks of inspiration and clarity are now available.

I had intended to start this post on Saturday, didn’t happen, and then sat down to work on it last night. No go. It wasn’t until after listening to the last session of the class I’ve been taking with Andrew Harvey, and then an interview with Caroline Casey (part of the very awesome Inspiring Women Summit) that I finally had a sense of what I wanted to say. Before I could write (take action) I needed to fill up on inspiration and be reminded of what’s really important (and make the above collage). Pushing through on my own wasn’t working – I needed to cooperate with the energy of this Mars station before I could write about it!

What in you resists the challenge to put love into action?” was Andrew Harvey’s final question for students, and to me this gets to the heart of Mars Retrograde in Libra. Venus-ruled Libra is the sign of love, while Mars is the planet of courageous action. Mars in Libra is the masculine principle in service to the feminine – having the courage to assert, stand up for, defend and protect what we love and value. (Just to be clear, I’m not equating masculine and feminine with men and women – I’m referring to the masculine and feminine, animus and anima, within ALL of us.)

mars in libraMars Retrograde in Libra has asked us to get in touch with our inner Love Warrior. What is it that you love so deeply and so passionately that you’re willing to take committed, courageous action? During Mars’ journey through Libra, he’s intersected with the Uranus-Pluto square, meaning that this question of love in action extends beyond the personal realm – waking up and stepping into our own Love Warrior is not only about coming into deeper integrity and vitality in our own lives, but about being part of the “army of lovers” (another great Libran Mars phrase, courtesy of Andrew Harvey) working to counter the suicidal/ecocidal/genocidal trajectory of humanity:

It is absolutely clear to anyone with half a heart and an open mind, to anyone who is not in denial that if we do not now have on the earth an organized, coherent, humble, empowered, divinely inspired, worldwide grassroots movement of divine love and wisdom in action, humanity will die out and take a great deal of nature with it.” (Andrew Harvey, from The Christ Path)

Yes, it’s a daunting challenge, which is why depression (shadow Mars) is so popular right now. The good news is, we don’t have to do everything ourselves, we just have to do our part, and there is support available. Part of the Mars in Libra lesson is that we need each other. The macho Marlboro Man version of masculinity is not cutting it – this isn’t the time to tough it out, go it alone, and maintain a pretense of holding it all together. As Caroline Casey says, “we can’t save the world without partnering with everything” (trust me, you really want to listen to this entire interview).

Word to the wise – although Mars starts moving forward again today, we’re not entirely out of the Mars Retro “shadow” (i.e., we continue to be under the influence) until July 20. And! Mercury is about to enter into its next Retrograde cycle, June 7 to July 1, though we’ll be in the shadow starting May 23 and until July 16. All of which is to say – whatever you’ve been wanting to launch into the world in a big way will be VERY supported by the cosmic winds starting in mid-late July. Until then, keep working your behind-the-scenes juju, doing the inner preparation and healing that will help you move forward. Patience, patience, my friends. The unfolding, as always, is perfect.

- Emily Trinkaus

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Feeling through the Limits of Fear, Frustration and Resistance – Approaching the Scorpio Full Moon

scorpio full moon

Scorpio Full Moon, collage by Emily

Holy crap I’ve had to work through some serious resistance to get this post done. I’m guessing I’m not entirely alone in feelings of overwhelm, pressure, frustration, stagnation and exhaustion… all of which seem right in line with the energies building toward Wednesday’s Full Moon (12:16 pm PDT).

The Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 28 planted a seed for a potent new beginning, and now the Scorpio Full Moon lights up the basement of the subconscious, revealing inner blocks to creativity and growth. Where have you lost your power, passion and vitality?  Where are you playing it safe and not playing your edge? What do you need to let go of so you can create what you really want?

Taurus-Scorpio themes amplified at this Full Moon include power, money and resources, intimacy and sexuality (just a few light areas…). Amping up the pressure, the Full Moon is conjunct Saturn in Scorpio, urging you to stand in your emotional authority, and get real about your priorities and values. What’s your bottom line?

saturnThe emotion associated with Saturn is FEAR, which, unconscious and unacknowledged, can become CONTROL (shadow Saturn) – either feeling controlled by external forces, or attempting to control others and outcomes. Saturn in Scorpio says, instead of obsessing over what’s happening “out there,” go straight to the source, get to the core of what’s going on by heading into the icky feelings, digging into the buried pain and uncovering the old wounds where your present-time vitality and power are being held hostage.

Meanwhile, Mars – the traditional ruler of Scorpio – is slowing to a standstill before turning from Retrograde to Direct (forward) on May 19. As Mars stations, there’s not a lot of mojo for moving forward (understatement). This is a time for turning inward and taking a deeper look at what’s motivating your desires and decisions. The process of excavating your authentic passions, regenerating your vitality, and re-wiring your inner masculine – which got started last November, when Mars entered his Retro shadow – is coming to completion, but all the pieces are still falling into place. Trying to force the process results in frustration.

Fueling the Full Moon tension (creative, sexual, and otherwise), Mars in Venus-ruled Libra opposes Venus in Mars-ruled Aries (exact on Sunday but still in effect at the Full Moon). The archetypal masculine and feminine are occupying one another’s home territory, in “mutual reception” (in astro-speak) yet in dynamic conflict. Mars in Libra is the Sacred Masculine in the guise of Lover, Artist and Peacemaker, while Venus in Aries is the Sacred Feminine as Warrior. The Venus-Mars opposition plugs into the Uranus-Pluto square, revealing our shadows, and the need for radical transformation, when it comes to balancing and integrating our inner masculine and feminine, animus and anima.

scorpioIf you have some astro-technical know-how, you can discover more about what this Full Moon means for YOU by finding the house in your birth chart that contains 24 degrees Scorpio. The areas of your life signified by that house are where you are:  ripe for transformation, healing and growth; being challenged to “let go to grow;” facing your shadow and acknowledging deep, dark feelings that want to be felt and released; under pressure to reclaim your emotional authority and break through internal limits; gaining clarity about your bottom-line priorities and values.

I’ll leave you with some words of inspiration from writer/activist Eve Ensler, my Venus in Aries heroine, writing about “Vagina Warriors” and exemplifying the transformational spirit of this Scorpio Full Moon:

“I have had the honor to meet women and men across this planet who have witnessed or suffered enormous violence, and rather than getting an AK47 or a machete, they feel this violence, grieve this violence and allow it to transform within their beings. Then they devote their lives to making sure it never happens to another woman or girl. We have come to call these people ‘Vagina Warriors.’ There are thousands, perhaps millions of these warriors in the world. They are fierce, obsessed, can’t be stopped, driven. They are citizens of the world. They cherish humanity over nationhood. They are done being victims. They know no one is coming to rescue them. They are community makers. They bring everyone in.

They are women and men who constantly sacrifice their own personal security and by doing so create real safety and freedom for the rest. They realize that the end goal is becoming vulnerable, realizing the place of our connection to one another rather than becoming secure, in control and alone.” (Eve Ensler, A View from a Vagina Warrior)

- Emily Trinkaus

Calling all priestesses! Want support and companionship for this Scorpio Underworld journey? Join energy-healing genius Katie Todd and me on Monday (or enjoy the recording at your leisure) – we’ll be working with these powerful Full Moon energies in our fun and informative galactivation teleclass. All women are welcome, and you just need a phone to participate. Details here.

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Calling All Creators and Earth Lovers – Tonight’s Solar Eclipse in Taurus

taurus solar eclipse

collage by Emily

Tonight’s Solar Eclipse is a super-potent New Moon, planting a seed for a new beginning that will develop over the next six months and even the next 19 years.

At every New Moon, the Sun and Moon – the cosmic Father and Mother – unite at the same degree of the zodiac, giving birth to a new cycle. At a Solar Eclipse, their union is so precise (from our perspective on Earth) that the Moon’s shadow temporarily blocks the light of the Sun:  a profound re-setting of consciousness, a regeneration of the creative life force. What wants to be “eclipsed” (released, composted, transformed) to free up energy for a rebirth?

In earthy, sensual Taurus, this Eclipse marks a turning point in our relationship to the material world – our own bodies and the body of our home planet; money, possessions and other resources; food. High-vibration Taurus is the fertile, life-giving Earth Goddess, the Environmentalist, the Lover and Protector of the Natural World.

Shadow Taurus is living large in our culture in the form of treating nature as a “resource” to be consumed and exploited rather than an extension of, and inextricably connected with, our bodies. The illusion of the separate self turns us into “consumers,” stuffing ourselves with food that’s not nourishing, hoarding more and more crap that doesn’t actually make us feel better. “You can never get enough of what you don’t really need,” says mythologist Michael Meade (I’ve been listening to his latest CD, Finding Genius).

It seems appropriate that the Food Revolution Summit, hosted by John and Ocean Robbins and with the tagline “heal your body and the world with food,” coincides with this Taurus Eclipse. I’ve been tuning in intermittently and just this morning heard anti-GMO activist Andrew Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety channeling high-vibration Taurus: “We’re not consumers, we’re creators.

taurusThis Eclipse wants us to tap into that abundant, fertile, flowing creative power that comes from loving and being rooted in our bodies and the Earth. The glyph for Taurus – which looks like the head of the Bull – was also traditionally associated with the female reproductive system, the womb and fallopian tubes. What new life are you incubating in the dark womb of this Eclipse?

For more specific insight into what this Eclipse means for YOU, find the house in your birth chart that contains 9 degrees Taurus (that’s 8 degrees 51 minutes, for my fellow Virgos). The areas of life signified by that house are where you’re invited to: regenerate your creative power; realign with your values and priorities; reevaluate your needs and let go of what you no longer need but are holding onto out of fear; work on deepening your self-love, self-worth and inner security. The best time for setting intentions is after 11:14 pm (Pacific) tonight, or all day tomorrow (Tuesday).

- Emily Trinkaus

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Crucify the Old Stories, Resurrect Your Divine Body – the Peak of the Cardinal Grand Cross, Venus in Pisces, and the Grand Water Trine

cardinal crossWelcome to the most intense astrology of 2014, the Cardinal Grand Cross – humanity at a crossroads, a radical turning point in our personal and collective stories. What’s dying? What wants to be born, reborn, reclaimed?

The peak activation of the Cross (April 20-23) just happens to coincide with Easter, honoring the death and resurrection of the crucified Christ. Like all Christian holidays, Easter has its roots in a pagan holy day – the Spring Equinox celebration of fertility and rebirth (in case you were wondering what eggs and bunnies have to do with Jesus).

The co-incidence of the Cardinal Cross and the Christian holiday of crucifixion points to the bigger story of now – our transition out of the Age of Pisces (the Fish), which started around the birth of Christ. We’re working through shadow Pisces dynamics of worship, martyrdom and victimization, resulting from projecting god outside the self, and separating spirit and matter, consciousness and embodiment, divinity and sexuality. Where are you playing the victim or martyr? Where are you sacrificing your truth, denying your desires, giving away your authority and feeling crucified?

cardinal cross

Cardinal Cross, chart for April 22, 12:28 pm PDT

The precise alignment of the Cardinal Cross (see image) occurs at 13 degrees, the number sacred to the Goddess. Venus, the archetypal divine feminine since ancient times – known as Inanna, Isis, Ishtar, Astarte, etc. – completes five synodic cycles, forming a five-pointed star (pentagram) in the sky, every eight years. 5+8=13. The Moon, another signifier of the feminine and traditionally associated with the Triple Goddess (Maiden, Mother, Crone), completes 13 cycles in one year.

As I wrote in my previous post, Venus is extra-powerful right now – both of April’s Eclipses occur in her signs (Libra and Taurus), and she’s in Pisces, the sign of her exaltation. The symbol for Pisces is said to come from the Vesica Piscis/Pisces (literally, “the bladder of a fish”), an ancient geometrical figure (see image). The Vesica Pisces has been associated with the Goddess for thousands of years, and more specifically, with the feminine power of giving birth – the almond-shaped figure in the center symbolizes the vagina.

vesica piscesDerek Murphy, in the brilliantly titled article Mary’s Vulva: Jesus Christ, Vesica Pisces and the Christian Fish Symbol, explains:

“In the mysteries of Ephesus, the Goddess wore this symbol [Vesica Pisces] over her genital region, and in the Osiris story, the lost penis was swallowed by a fish which represented the vulva of Isis. Likewise, in many examples of Christian art, Jesus Christ is proceeding from this symbol, representing his birth from the Goddess.”

Murphy goes on to show how the Christian Fish symbol comes from the Vesica Pisces – which you can see in the center shape plus the lines of the tail. (Now when I see the Fish on the back of someone’s car, I think: Mary’s vulva.)

Why am I spending so much time on this? Who cares? One of the major themes of the Cardinal Grand Cross is transforming, healing and breaking free from the old, disempowering “origin stories” – signified by Jupiter in Cancer opposite Pluto and square Uranus. Whether or not you were the direct recipient of religious conditioning, we in the modern West are steeped in the Judeo-Christian paradigm of “original sin.” Sex is dirty and evil, women’s sexuality is especially evil, and so we’re all, so to speak, screwed from the beginning.

venus in pisces

Venus in Pisces, collage by Emily

Can we all just pause for a moment and imagine what adolescence would have been like, what our intimate relationships and sex lives would be like, what our relationship with our own bodies would be like, and what the whole freakin’ world would be like, if we’d grown up with a sexual Jesus, a lover of women? With a Mary Magdalene who was Jesus’s spiritual equal and partner in sacred sexuality? With a Mother Mary whose “divine birth” of Jesus had nothing to do with chastity and everything to do with the sacredness of ALL life, as if the ability to create another human in one’s body were a divine miracle in and of itself?

Mars, the Sacred Masculine, is the most “personal” planet involved in the Cardinal Cross, i.e., the planet closest to Earth and therefore the most accessible entry point. Mars in the Cross is about shedding old, distorted versions of masculinity, which we see living large in the culture in the form of war, rape and planetary destruction. The masculine becomes distorted without the balance and integration of the feminine, and this is the agenda of Mars Retrograde in Venus-ruled Libra – the re-wedding of opposites, the restoration of the Sacred Marriage. We transform the origin stories that have distorted the masculine and excised the feminine by embodying our own divinity, by divinizing our bodies and sexuality.

grand water trine

chart cast for April 22, 12:28 pm PDT

Support for this healing and transformative process comes in the form of a Grand Water Trine (which looks like a big triangle – see image) that’s happening simultaneously with the Cardinal Grand Cross. Venus conjoins Chiron in Pisces – signifying healing the feminine through dissolving the false separation between spirit and body – and they trine Saturn in Scorpio (shadow work) and Jupiter in Cancer (origin stories, the roots of religion).

While a Grand Cross holds the energy of maximum friction – and, let’s face it, friction is usually what it takes to motivate us into action and make a change – a Grand Trine is an alignment of ease, flow and harmony, and requires more intention and awareness to access its power. In the Water element – the uber-yin, invisible realm of feelings, intuition and dreams – this Grand Trine is about FEELING and BEING, though, with Saturn (structure, boundaries, discipline) involved, this being-ness wants to happen in a structured way. This could look like: setting aside a specific time to let yourself cry it all out, grieve, really feel everything – and then come back; or committing to a consistent practice of meditation, yoga, sacred sexuality, dancing, making art, communing with nature – whatever activity (or non-activity) helps you connect with that feeling of expansion beyond the “little self,” the feeling of union with all life.

The optimal use of the Grand Water Trine is to help us dissolve the false polarities and dualities that keep us stretched between opposites, and return to the truth of our wholeness, our embodied divinity. This is the consciousness that can support us in following the call of the Cross – stepping into our authenticity, authority and power. The unconscious, shadow expression of this Grand Water Trine brings a feeling of poor me, it’s all too much, I just want to check out/escape/go back to sleep. Again, balancing the yin and yang is key – there’s a time to soothe and nurture and comfort and rest, and a time to take a risk, step outside your comfort zone, and do the very thing that terrifies/excites you.

- Emily Trinkaus

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Into the Shadow, Through the Portal – Pluto Stations Retrograde at the Libra Lunar Eclipse

libra full moon

Libra Full Moon, collage by Emily

Whoa, Nellie. There’s a lot of wild emotional energy flying around, a lot of uncertainty and chaos, many known and unknown unknowns. Deep breath, my friends. The Aries New Moon on March 30 sparked us into Eclipse season – a six-week period of high-intensity growth and change. And the upcoming peak of the Cardinal Grand Cross, April 20-23, is amping up the pressure.

Eclipse Season serves as a portal into a new reality, which is all well and good, but when you’re IN the portal (like, now), it can be mighty uncomfortable and anxiety-producing. We’re in that awkward in-between stage, the old reality crumbling away while the new reality, the new self, doesn’t even know WTF it is, it’s not yet time to know.

Eclipses ask you to make friends with the dark – the darkness of the mysterious, unknowable Great Mystery, the darkness of your own deep, yucky feelings now erupting to the surface. This is a time for invoking TRUST and COURAGE. Trusting the cycle of death and rebirth, trusting that there WILL be a rebirth, even if you’re currently stuck in the dark and the dying with no signs of new life. The courage to feel your intense feelings, shed another layer, and let go of what wants to end.

lunar eclipseFirst up is next Tuesday’s Lunar Eclipse in Libra (12:44 am Pacific) – a super-potent Full Moon illuminating the parts of yourself you’ve been denying or hiding. The light of consciousness is swallowed by the dark, and the shadow wants to be revealed. The Libran shadow is co-dependence – where are you being “nice” at the expense of being authentic? Where are you sacrificing your desires and vitality to “keep the peace”? Where are you holding back your creativity and individuality because you’re afraid people won’t like you? Where do you wear a mask of caretaking to hide your true self?

Turning up the volume on the shadow-revealing nature of this particular Eclipse, Pluto – God/Goddess of the Underworld – is now stationing, preparing to turn Retrograde on Monday. This activation of Pluto in Capricorn so near the Libra Eclipse asks you to look at the consequences of projecting (Libra) your authority (Capricorn). Are you blaming someone else for your own unhappiness and lack of fulfillment? Who’s the author of your life?

The ongoing opposition between Jupiter in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn – one of the polarities in the Cardinal Cross – uncovers and sheds light on your “parent gods” (Jupiter is god, Cancer and Capricorn are the parenting signs). When you were a child, your parents were your literal creator gods, and your survival depended on pleasing them (or at least not pissing them off excessively), following their rules, adopting their religion/worldview, etc.

jupiterThe Jupiter-Pluto opposition reveals where these parent gods are still hiding out in the deep recesses of your psyche, running the show from behind the scenes. Where are you still playing by your family’s rules? Where are you still playing out your childhood survival strategy of contorting/distorting/suppressing/ignoring your true self? And, asks the Libra Eclipse, how are these parent-god dynamics playing out in current relationships – with your partner, boss, friends, clients, etc.? Are you checking in to see “how you’re doing” by looking outside yourself for other people’s validation and approval?

The Cardinal Cross is so much about daring to be who we really are at a time when we can’t afford not to, and having to shed shed shed all that programming that tells us it’s not safe, it’s not possible, why bother anyway. All hands on deck, please – this is not the time to play small (if there ever was one), not the time to hide out living someone else’s path or purpose. Wise mythologist Michael Meade reminds us that NOT living your purpose is not a “neutral situation” – the gifts you’re not using turn against you and destroy you from within.

Venus plays a starring role this Eclipse Season, as the ruler of both Libra and Taurus – the sign of the upcoming Solar Eclipse on April 28. Throughout this period, Venus is in Pisces (April 5 to May 2), which in its conscious expression opens you to a “higher love” – unconditional acceptance, forgiveness, compassion, ecstasy and oneness. High-vibration Venus in Pisces sees the divine reflected in the other, and sees that “the other” is in fact the self; human relationships become a path to deepening relationship with Source. Shadow Venus in Pisces is the martyr/victim on the altar of love, the delusional romantic, the love addict – projecting god-like powers onto another and then feeling victimized by the power you’ve projected (or, falling prey to the delusion that YOU’RE god and have to save/rescue the other).

chiron in piscesAt the first Eclipse, Venus is sandwiched between Neptune in Pisces and Chiron in Pisces, bringing attention to longer-term planetary themes. How do we use our emotional sensitivity to the massive suffering engendered by the imploding of industrial civilization to encourage healing, evolution and empowerment rather than feeling overwhelmed and getting sucked into depression, addiction and victimization? How can we use our Divine Feminine spiritual connection as fuel for our Sacred Activist selves, rather than a place to escape to and hide out in (as in, the denial and delusion of shadow New Age “spiritual materialism”).

Eclipses stir up the past – people from your past can resurface, old issues come up for reassessment and healing. Eclipses happen every six months, and it’s helpful to look back to what was going on at the previous Eclipses, because similar themes and issues are likely to show up in your life (and on the world stage). Last fall we had a Lunar Eclipse in Aries on October 18, followed by a Solar Eclipse in Scorpio on November 3. What was shifting in your life then? Which buttons were getting pushed? How does that relate to what’s happening now?

19 years ago, in 1995, we had Eclipses at the same degrees of the zodiac (i.e., a Lunar Eclipse at 25 degrees Libra followed by a Solar Eclipse at 8 Taurus). The parts of your chart – houses and (if applicable) planets – activated by the current Eclipses, were activated in April 1995, and similar themes are likely to arise. Something you initiated then – a life direction, project, relationship, approach to relating, etc. – may now be coming to fruition, culmination and/or ending. In case you’re having a hard time remembering 1995 (and, unlike me, you weren’t obsessively keeping journals that you can now revisit and feel mortified by): the Oklahoma City bombing happened on April 19 that year, Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees” and Alannis Morisette’s “You Oughta Know” were released, and “Toy Story” was the highest-grossing film.

For more insight into what this Lunar Eclipse means for YOU, find the house in your birth chart that contains 25 degrees Libra (and yes, everybody has Libra in their chart – read this post to find out how to find it). The areas of life signified by that house are where: change is brewing, volatile energy is erupting, and something from the past is coming to culmination, fruition or completion; where you’re being called to recalibrate your scales and return to dynamic balance; where awareness of and owning your projections can lead to deep healing and a greater sense of personal power.

- Emily Trinkaus

libra lunar eclipseCalling all priestesses! Want support for freeing yourself from codependence and unleashing your passionate, independent, authentic self? Join energy-healing genius Katie Todd and me next Monday (or enjoy the recording at your leisure) – we’ll be working with these powerful Lunar Eclipse energies in our fun and informative galactivation teleclass. All women are welcome, and you just need a phone to participate. Register by midnight Friday to be eligible to win a personalized priestess session on the call! Details here.

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