On Tuesday, October 30, we move into a Grand Water Trine, with the Moon in Cancer, Jupiter in Scorpio, and Chiron in Pisces, all at 28 degrees. Then on Wednesday, October 31, Venus retrograde in Scorpio moves into opposition to Uranus retrograde in Taurus just before re-entering Libra.
The Moon in Cancer is in its domicile, the sign that it rules and in which it has access to its resources. The Moon is the luminary associated with our most basic, primal emotional needs. It is also associated with the daily rhythms and cycles of the body. Reflecting the light of the Sun, the Moon shows us where we are living our life’s purpose. Cancer is sensitivity and care, the instinct to nurture and nourish, to provide and protect. Cancer represents the waters from which we emerged, the waters of the maternal body, the ancestors, our tribe. How do we feel our ways back to the formative places, where we have known care, where we were nurtured, where we felt safe and protected? How do we journey into our bodies as archives of ancestral care where we feel the tidal pulse and rhythms of the Moon above? I think of the words of Alexis Pauline Gumbs: “I cannot be separated from that love that has generated me. You know. I’m connected to that. And: that’s what has generated me and also what’s being generated.” How can we carry those resources with us, and draw on the love and support of our ancestors as we cultivate spaces of safety and support with and for one another?
Jupiter has been in Scorpio since October 2017. Jupiter is the planet of expansion, abundance, growth, and belief—the recognition that we are part of something that is much bigger than any one of us. In Scorpio, Jupiter has been asking us to uncover what is hidden in the depths, in the darkness, bringing to the surface the secret or forgotten traumas and desires that reside at the bottom of our personal and collective emotional waters. It’s like bringing a shipwreck from the ocean floor back up to the surface, and as we bring up all this intensity, we recognize that we are part of something bigger, that our hidden feelings and experiences connect us to one another in ways we could not have known. It reminds me of Tarana Burke describing the #MeToo movement: “What actually happened on October 15  was people raised their hands to say, ‘Me too’ … They opened up and said, ‘Yeah this happened to me.’ And it was millions of people from all walks of life, every stripe, and I really feel like those people still have their hands up.” This is the work of Jupiter in Scorpio, discovering that what has been in the darkness also connects us.
Chiron is a minor planet—sometimes called an asteroid or comet—orbiting the Sun at the outer edges of the solar system, between Saturn and Uranus. Chiron signifies the primal wound and the wounded healer. It shows us our formative suffering, the wound with which we are constituted, a place in our charts that demands healing. And as we do the ongoing work of healing with Chiron, we learn that what we are healing within ourselves is also what we are here to heal within the world. I think of Chiron as our part of collective trauma, those formative injuries that we carry that are symptomatic of systemic struggle and injustice. Pisces is the third water sign, the sign of the collective, profound empathy and compassion, where we are in service to the whole. It is the sign where we experience the healing capacities of connection and union. Chiron in Pisces recognizes that my pain is our pain, and so my own healing requires that we heal together.
This Grand Water Trine happens just before Venus—the planet of love and relationships, which is retrograde in Scorpio—applies an opposition to Uranus, the planet of disruption and upheaval, currently retrograde in Taurus. On Samhain, October 31, the Witches’ New Year, this opposition between Venus and Uranus propels us toward breakthroughs and breakdowns. As Venus has moved retrograde back through Scorpio, we’ve been asked to review and reflect on how we form relationships, how we honor that which we value, and the place of the feminine in our lives. Venus opposed Uranus takes this reflection and review and demands that the structures change. How will you allow what you now know to change you? What are the relationships and values that it’s time to center, and what are the relationships and processes that it’s time to bring to an end?
How these placements and aspects show up in each of our charts and lives will be different, but collectively, this is a week with a strong emphasis on connecting to our ancestors and the resources they offer to our hearts, for recognizing that we are not alone in our suffering, and for healing our wounded places together. As we truly examine the relationships in our lives, we know that there are things that must change, and as we move through the cycle, we know that each ending becomes the beginning.
Lately, I’ve been doing work with myself around grief, despair, and loss.
As some folks know, my father died this summer, and that has led to layer upon layer of grief and mourning.
But of course we are also living in a world and a nation that is built on injustice and careening toward its own collapse. The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change report warns of catastrophic conditions if we continue in the same global warming trajectories. We are living within the Sixth Great Extinction event. Kavanaugh was confirmed as a justice of the supreme court as lawmakers ignored multiple charges of sexual assault.
ongoingness can feel insurmountable.
But we aren’t in this alone.
We have each other.
And we have wisdom from the Earth and from wise-folks who continue to support us in our survival and flourishing. I’m really grateful to Dori Midnight, Asali Earthwork, and How to Survive the End of the World for the resources they continue to share (links below).
I’ve also been working with more-than-human allies, and in particular, this orthoceras fossil that came into my life this summer.
Orthoceras is an extinct species of cephalopod that lived approximately 400 million years ago. They are some of the earliest animal life recognizable in fossil records.
When I sit with this stone, I sit with the traces of ancient life as well as the loss of the species.
I sit with the endurance of earth and the life of ancient waters.
I commune with letting go and also holding on.
I sit with the immensity of deep time and the minerals of my own body that have persisted for millions of years.
I connect to the parts of myself that swam in watery depths before this continent surfaced.
being in connection is healing.
I remember that we are not the first species to face extinction and I am not the first person to experience immense loss.
I sit with the materiality of memory, the nonlinearity of time, and intimacies that form across countless ages.
None of this makes loss or grief or despair go away. rather, it’s a way of being with it, getting close to it, holding it, and caring for it.
As you face your own despair or grief or loss, I hope that you reach out for connections with more-than-human and human allies. You are not in this alone.
-Asali Earthwork, "Herbal Allies for Grief": https://littleredtarot.com/ritual-honey-herbs-for-grief/
-Dori Midnight, “Rituals & Remedies for Hard Times & Political Despair”: https://kpfa.org/episode/the-herbal-highway-october-18-2018/
-adrienne maree brown, "Spell for Grief or Letting Go": adriennemareebrown.net/2014/10/09/spell-for-grief-or-letting-go/
-How to Survive the End of the World podcast, "learning from the apocalypse with grace, rigor and curiosity": https://www.endoftheworldshow.org
These have been heavy days—following the ongoing Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford regarding Brett Kavanaugh. The weight and intensity of the world has left me feeling worn down with weariness of standing in tides of patriarchy that feel inevitable.
Reading tarot is one way that I come to perspectives that I maybe would not have come to on my own, looking to mystery and nonlinear forms of meaning-making for lines of flight beyond the repetitive thought processes that just keep bringing me back around and around the same rage and frustration. Today I read for myself, but inspired by adrienne maree brown’s #movementtarot, I also read for all of us.
I hope this opens up some room to breathe, imagine, and dream new possibilities:
As Pluto prepares to station direct tomorrow, these were my questions:
-What can we transform?
-What are the structures and foundations we can resurrect from our dead?
-What is the source of our hidden power?
Knower of Rivers:
Transformation is already happening. Life is change. Center the transformation of the world around you—the changing seasons, the flow of the rivers and the tides of the seas—in your joy. Yield your static understandings of yourself. You must be willing to enter into the waters of your own inner darkness, the formless possibilities of all that you might become, in order to discover that your own power is in your capacity to face your own shadows and surrender to change. Hold tightly to the expansive possibilities of your own imagination, dive deep into the dark waters, and let go of who you believed you had to be.
10 of Stones:
Gather the resources that you’ve been given, the sacred traditions of your ancestors and the earth, and build a site to which you can arrive as one thing and depart as another. You are not facing this darkness alone. You are standing with all the Dreamers who live within the earth and who brought us to this place, who taught us to survive, who taught us how to fly. Go back to the earth, go back to the ancestors and the wisdom traditions they have passed to us, gather with them and ask how they transformed all that was possible into the concrete forms we receive.
The Hanged Woman:
Your power is in surrender, in sacrifice, in the duration of discipline, the steadiness and ease of sadhana. What are the practices that ground and center you in all things, that connect you to the rhythms and cycles of a world that is so much bigger than you? What are the practices in which you experience your union with the world around you? Your power is not in your independence or autonomy; the source of your power is in your devotion to practices that dissolve the artificial boundaries between self and other.
[cards from The Shining Tribe Tarot by Rachel Pollack, accompanied by an essence from Dori Midnight]
Today is Mabon, the Autumnal Equinox, when the Sun enters Libra. Libra is an air sign associated with balance, harmony, cooperation, collaboration, justice, and beauty. Libra invites all voices into the conversation with equal say, and knows that in order for justice to flourish, it must be both collective as well as particular and situated. There is no “one size fits all” for balanced justice, even in "justice for all." True balance is dynamic and responsive, attending to many perspectives, and meeting different kinds of needs, each on their own terms.
These themes are emphasized for us as the nighttime and daytime come into perfect balance in our journey from the longest day of the year (summer solstice) to the longest night of the year (winter solstice). This is the midpoint, at which we experience illumination and shadow in equal parts.
When we think about all the ways in which our world feels out of balance right now—the exponential escalation of climate change and the Sixth Great Extinction, patriarchal abuses of power at every scale from the intimately personal to the highest politics of the U.S., the ongoing state and socially-sanctioned violence against people of color and trans folks, the dramatically disproportionate distribution of wealth, just to name a few—we can see how the values and voices of some are given excessive weight, priority, and privilege. What is required to bring each and all of these systems into balance?
As soon as the Sun moves into Libra, it applies an almost immediate opposition to Chiron. Chiron is an asteroid that has also been called a minor planet; in astrology, it is marks the site of a primal wound, the part of injury and trauma that we each carry. Chiron is sometimes called the “wounded healer” in that it asks us to do the work to heal parts of ourselves in a way that is also a part of collective healing. At the start of this new season, as the Sun moves into Libra and this opposition to Chiron, we find ourselves facing our personal and collective wounds, the traumas that we carry, and also the task of healing.
The Sun—as well as Mercury, which also moved into Libra today—also moves into a square (90-degree aspect) to Vesta in Capricorn. Vesta is an asteroid associated with the Goddess of the hearth, the one who tends the eternal flame. Vesta is the warmth and comfort of returning home, the nurturer who supports us in our survival as we move through this difficult world. Vesta also symbolizes devotion to oneself, one’s own integration and purpose, and commitment to a cause. Vesta is also trine (120-degree aspect) to Uranus in Taurus. With Vesta sitting in these aspects—square Sun and Mercury, trine Uranus—this equinox calls us back to ourselves, to the comforts of home, to the inner flame that nurtures each of us, in order to commit our cause during destabilizing times and to do the work of pursuing balance and healing. What is the hearth around which you gather? What are the resources that will support you in—to borrow language from adrienne maree brown and Autumn Brown—surviving apocalypse?
Lastly, the Moon moves into Pisces today and applies a supportive trine to Venus in Scorpio. Together, we dip into the deep waters of compassion and empathy. We soften our boundaries and borders and recognize that connection itself is a process of healing.
As we move into this powerful moment of balance, how can we respond to the call of justice?
How can we come to face our own deep wounds and ask how our injuries are traces of collective traumas?
How can we take the time to return to our inner flame, the experience of hearth and home that we each carry inside of us, in order to step back out into the struggle?
How can we practice softening, dissolving that which divides us, and coming into connection as a process of healing?
Blessed Mabon, everyone.
Yesterday the Sun moved into Virgo, a mutable earth sign that invites us to be meticulous in our work, precise in our attention what needs to be accomplished, and careful in how we utilize our resources.
This week we’re also moving toward what is called a Grand Earth Trine, as the Sun in Virgo comes into alignment with Saturn retrograde in Capricorn and Uranus retrograde in Taurus—all three in earth signs, all three at 2 degrees, forming an equilateral triangle in the sky. the Grand Earth Trine will be exact on Saturday, August 25. In astrology, a “trine” is the most supportive and auspicious aspect—or relationship between planets—making this an excellent time to reflect on what grounds us and what connects us to our roots, stability, security, and safety. It’s also a time to take stock of our resources: what do we have? what can we give? where do we experience abundance?
Looking at the planets themselves, the Sun is the great luminary, the source of all life and vitality on earth, the bringer of illumination who guides us through the seasons of the year. Saturn is the planet of structure, boundaries, commitment, duration, and life-long lessons. retrograde, Saturn in Capricorn asks us to review the lessons we’ve learned and are still learning, our relationship to boundaries, the structures we are building and perhaps dismantling, and the processes to which we are committed for the long haul. Uranus is the planet of revolution, upheaval, and seismic change, disrupting our established patterns and propelling us into the new. Also retrograde, Uranus may demand that we consider what needs to change, the establishments in our personal and collective lives that are truly at a breaking point.
How this all shows up in our individual charts will be distinct—but remember, we all have all of these signs and planets somewhere, so even if you sun sign isn’t one of these earth signs, this astrology still has lessons for all of us.
On a collective level, this Grand Earth Trine raises questions like:
How do we as a society gather, distribute, and utilize our material resources?
What are the institutions that are in need of disruption and dismantling in order for life to flourish and thrive?
Where are we investing and divesting our resources in ways that support and challenge entrenched relations of power?
What if we commit to revolutionary change as the deep structure of our personal and social lives?
Today is a total lunar eclipse in Aquarius. In ancient times, eclipses were believed to be omens, powerful markers of things to come. A lunar eclipse is an alignment of the luminaries—Sun and Moon—with the Earth, a full moon passing through Earth’s shadow. The Sun in Leo asks us to consider how we are showing up in the world, how we are letting our brilliance radiate. The Moon in Aquarius turns our attention toward the collective, the future, the big picture.
Lately, I’ve been deeply inspired by adrienne maree brown’s #movementtarot posts, reading tarot for social justice movements. As we come into alignment with this lunar eclipse, examining how we show up within our communities working for our collective futures, today I'm reading with the Shining Tribe Tarot—created by Rachel Pollock—to ask: what do we need to witness together in order to envision a future in which more lives can flourish? Three cards: what is in shadow, what is in the light, and what is our direction.
-In Shadow: Place of Rivers
A meeting place where different rivers channel into the same deep reservoir. Where do our movements come together, particularly those places of convergence that are not immediately apparent? What are our shared sources and destinations? These are the places where we can go to rest from the constant struggle. Can we share these spaces of coming together, retreat, recovery, and healing?
-In Light: 10 of Trees
A cluster of trees growing together, their roots in the circles and cycles of the solar system and bright green growth bursting upwards into the sky. The expansion of consciousness that emerges from the experiences and histories of our movements. What have we learned, and what is growing out of those lessons? What can we celebrate? What if we center our experiences, living as if the worlds we are making together are at the center of the present world? Let's put the places where we are working and growing and thriving together at the center of our world.
-Our Direction: 4 of Stones
Looking backwards through time, reaching back through the ages to find the stability and security of ancient wisdom. Our direction is toward the foundation of our pasts, the mysteries and histories held within the Earth. We cannot return to the Earth as it was; there is no return to a mythic Eden. But what can we learn from what we once knew, from the ways of living together that we have forgotten? There are ancient truths to uncover, on which we can build a future yet to come.
This month’s blue moon will be exact tomorrow morning, March 31, at 8:37am EST.
There’s a lot of push and pull in this full moon. Full moons are the peak of a lunar cycle, when the Moon is opposed the Sun, and we stand in the full light of this opposition.
This full moon will be in Libra opposing the Sun in Aries. Libra is an air sign that emphasizes balance, harmony, cooperation, and equanimity. Libra hears all sides and honors multiple value systems. Ruled by Venus, Libra exudes grace and the beauty of aesthetic harmony. On the other hand, Aries—a fire sign, the first sign of the zodiac—emphasizes individuality, blazing ahead, taking initiative and taking charge. Aries can be aggressive and assertive, but also confidently standing in one’s own truth.
On the surface, this full moon invites us to find balance between the blazing individuality of Aries and the collaborative cooperation of Libra, standing confidently in our own truths while honoring the harmony and balance of multiple voices and experiences.
But that’s not all: the Moon is also coming into a close opposition to Mercury, which is currently retrograde in Aries, and within a few degrees square (90 degrees) both Mars—the ruling planet of Aries—and Saturn in Capricorn.
Mercury retrograde is a time of review, taking time to examine and integrate what we’ve learned, studying our own patterns in where we’ve been, particularly in how we communicate. It’s a time of listening and reflecting—which may not be the easiest impulse in fiery Aries.
We’re also coming up on a conjunction (planets at the same degree of the same sign) between Mars and Saturn in Capricorn—it will be exact on April 2—and this approaching conjunction is nearly square this full moon. Mars is the drive to take action, to pursue what we desire, to exert our willpower, and charge ahead. But Saturn is the great teacher, imposing boundaries and structure, limitations from which we learn life-long lessons. Mars conjunct Saturn invites us to learn from pushing at our limits, channeling our drive into the structures we’ve built to support us, and do the slow, hard work that is necessary to actualize our desires and support our direction in the long-term.
So, how do we take the time to reflect on how we communicate and integrate what we’ve learned (Mercury Rx) as a practice of finding balance between the fires of individual truth (Sun in Aries) and the beauty of cooperation and collaboration (Moon in Libra)?
What are the relationships and contexts in which you know the feeling of shining brightly as yourself while still fully holding space for other voices and perspectives?
What can we manifest (Full Moon) through tapping into our need to take action while also honoring our boundaries and limitations, through containing our passion and directing it decisively into careful planning, hard work, and learning potentially difficult lessons (Mars conjunct Saturn in Capricorn)?
Where do you feel a lot of energy and drive right now, and what are the lessons you need to learn in order to lay the foundations needed to support those actions?
How all of this works itself out will be different for each of us depending on our rising signs and the houses in which these planets, signs, and aspects occur. But these tensions are in the sky, and we’re all invited to work with them to find our way in this dynamic dance.
For what it’s worth, here are some witchy, ecosexual reflections on a day that in many ways insists on the couple as the most meaningful relational unit:
You are not and never have been alone.
You are in countless, long-term, life-affirming relationships—with the earth, the sun, the stars and moon, the innumerable ecosystems with which you co-create your life, the countless forms of microbial species who sustain the space you call your body, and all the human and more-than-human life with which you move about the world.
Even in solitude, you are a member of a vast collective.
If you pay attention, you can sense all the ways in which you are connected—and dare I say, loved.
The air that fills your lungs sweeps over the mountains and the plains; the fire that sparks within your every cell putting off the heat of your body blazes at the center of our solar system and at the very core of the earth; the water that crashes onto the shores is the same tide flowing within your veins; and the earth on which you stand holds you up from within as the sedimented minerals of your bones.
All that you are also surrounds you, and this is sacred.
Of course you aren’t alone.
You are in the company of an ancient love that stirs again and again within every relation of which we are made.