Today is the Vernal Equinox, Ostara, the first day of spring. It is a time for celebrating new life, the crocuses sprouting up through the muddy earth of late winter, the return of birdsong, the buds of new leaves and flowers just beginning to sprout at the tips of branches. It is the midway point between the solstices, when the hours of daylight and nighttime are equal, the balanced place as we journey into longer days and the abundance of light. As the Sun moves into Aries—the sign of its exaltation—there’s a burst of energy, the spark of an ignition, the rush of sprinting into something new. Aries is a cardinal fire sign, and in many schemas, it is considered the first sign of the zodiac. It craves freedom and self-sufficiency, charging ahead into new situations and projects, blazing its own path, without necessarily concerning itself with the follow-through or outcome. With springtime beginning to blossom all around us, it certainly feels like the time for new beginnings, new experiences, new ventures, new loves, and new perspectives. But remember that Mercury is still retrograde until March 28, asking for patience, careful review, reflection, and in some cases delay. The equinox is a time of balance, and part of what we’re balancing right now is looking forward and looking back, processing what we’ve said and done as we dream that which is yet to come. With Mars—the ruler of Aries—in Taurus, our drive for erupting into the new may feel tempered by the grounding energy of slowing down, paying attention to body and earth, and finding our footing on solid ground.
Today is also the Full Moon in Libra, the sign of the scales, ruled by Venus. The Moon is gathering up the light of the Sun as it carries us into this new season, and sending it back to us in all its glory. The day and night might be equal, but the light will be constant. This lunar cycle is coming to its climax, reminding us that although some things are just beginning, other cycles are coming to their fullness or completion. We live within and between all of these processes, all of these cycles, and this full moon invites us to consider how we might use all this initiatory energy of the start of spring to also bring process that have already been unfolding into the light. Libra is a cardinal air sign that holds many perspectives and points of view in harmony. It is associated with beauty and grace and justice, and it understands that the more perspectives we can see and the more stories we can hear, the more beautiful our world might become. Justice will never emerge from a single point of view; the full flowering of justice requires us to reach out and listen to others who are not like us, and to find how multiple experiences and truths co-exist.
Blessings on this first day of spring and this full moon.
This is a big week in astrology:
On Tuesday, March 5, Mercury stations retrograde at the final degree of Pisces.
Then on Wednesday, March 6, Uranus ingresses into Taurus, where it will spend the next 7 years.
That same day, we have a new moon in Pisces in an almost perfect conjunction to Neptune in Pisces.
Mercury retrogrades happen multiple times a year. People talk about them a lot with anxiety or trepidation, or blame these periods for everything that’s going wrong. But Mercury moving retrograde is not a cause for panic; it’s a time for review, reflection, revisiting and revising the things we say, the messages we send, the stories we tell ourselves and one another. It’s a time for taking care, for remembering what Brené Brown has written: “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.” This feels even more true and necessary as Mercury retraces its pathway through Pisces, the mutable water sign that turns us toward receptivity, empathy, and compassion. Pisces feels so deeply and is willing to allow what we feel to transform us, to set us in a new direction. With Neptune co-present with Mercury in Pisces, clarity might feel especially elusive, and boundaries may seem to dissolve when faced with the immensity of the world’s feelings or the process of reviewing our own narratives. Our task through this Mercury retrograde will be to remember—as Brené Brown has also written—“Compassionate people are boundaried people … If we’re going to practice acceptance and compassion, we need boundaries and accountability.” Mercury will station direct on March 28, so over the next few weeks, how can you take this opportunity to slow down, reflect on your own boundaries—what is and is not okay—and communicate those boundaries with clarity in order to practice deep, transformative compassion with those around you?
Uranus is the planet of disruption, upheaval, revolution, and radical invention. It spends 7-8 years in each sign of the zodiac. As it moves into Taurus on Wednesday—where it spent a few months in the middle of 2018, and where it will remain until 2026—seismic transformation will begin to rumble through whatever part of our charts Taurus occupies. Taurus is a fixed earth sign. It is steady and grounded, rooted in resources for sustainability and pleasure. Taurus knows that the sensuous awareness of body is one of our greatest teachers. It is reliable, sometimes even to the point of stubborn resistance to change. Uranus demands revolution. Some of our most steady and reliable support systems may be asked to change at both personal and collective scales. What would be a revolutionary approach to the wisdom of your own body? How might you invite disruption and invention into the ways that you resource your life and the lives around you? As Uranus moves through the Taurus part of your life, transformation will no longer feel optional. As we look around our world, it is obvious that revolutionary transformation is needed. How will you work with this need for change, rather than trying to resist or struggle against it?
All of this gets channeled into the start of this new lunar cycle, as the Moon and Sun meet up with Neptune in Pisces. The new moon of each lunar cycle is like the seed of the month ahead, a cycle that will climax and reach full visibility at the full moon. The full moon will be on Wednesday, March 20, with the Moon at the first degree of Libra and the Sun at the first degree of Aries—also known at the Vernal Equinox. This new moon in Pisces conjunct Neptune may feel nebulous, mysterious, and diffuse—especially with Mercury retrograde in the same sign. At this point in the cycle, it may not be clear where we are headed. This is a time for allowing yourself to drift in dream states, listen to the subtle vibrations of inspiration, the ebbs and flows that draw your attention in different directions. There is not a lot of focus at this new moon, but we know that this cycle is moving toward the balance of the equinox, the changing of the seasons at the Sun ingresses into the cardinal fire sign Aries and the Moon catches its light in cardinal air sign Libra. Alongside the much longer cycle of transformation initiated by Uranus in Taurus, over the next several weeks, we might be asked: what needs to change in order to move toward clarity and balance? What are we dreaming and imagining in watery Pisces this week that will launch us into a new season with the assertiveness of fire and air in the weeks ahead?
If you would like to talk through the astrology of your own chart and the wisdom the sky holds for you in the days ahead, I have consultations available in March, April, and May. Please visit the bookings page to schedule a consultation, and the offerings page to learn more about my approach.
There are several important things happening astrologically this week, but what I am reflecting on most happens Saturday, February 2, as Venus in Sagittarius perfects a trine to Uranus in Aries.
Venus is the planet of love, connection, union, beauty, aesthetic and social harmony, and the general significator for relationships. Uranus is the planet of disruption, upheaval, revolution, and sometimes sudden, life-altering change. A trine is a geometric relationship of 120 degrees between planets in signs of the same element and polarity. Both Venus and Uranus are in fire signs—Sagittarius and Aries respectively—which crave movement, action, and freedom. Venus is finishing up its time in Sagittarius, where it has been for most of January. On Sunday, February 3, Venus will move into Capricorn, and we will be asked to take responsibility for our relationships, mature in our approaches to love, and recognize the value of hard work and building connections that can last. But just before Venus arrives in Capricorn, Venus takes all the expansive, generous, adventurous fire of Sagittarius into a deeply supportive aspect with Uranus.
I see this aspect is a provocation toward revolutionary love.
We’re being invited to set fire to the limited and limiting ways in which we try to contain, restrict, or prohibit our experiences love—for ourselves and for others.
It’s a supportive push to challenge the habitual patterns or worn-out systems and norms that tell us how to love and create meaningful connections in our lives. It is a burst of creative innovation, for imagining and generating the loving relationships that we need, even if it means moving beyond our own comfort zones in order to do so.
What is the love that you need that feels beyond what you can imagine? What are the systems or structures that are limiting the love you can imagine or how you might act on it?
This could be an explosive moment, a combustion that sets you along a new path or that brings into sudden focus changes that began last March when Venus was conjunct Uranus in Aries. Maybe seeds of change were planted then that are only now bursting into full view.
Venus trine Uranus might also ask: how do you allow beauty to shake you, to change you, to transform you?
How might your relationship to aesthetic experiences—art, dance, music, poetry, ritual, the beauty of the more-than-human world—inspire new forms of social relations, where aesthetics become ethics?
How can you allow that which you value most to disrupt your personal—or the collective—status quo, in ways that might be disorienting but supports a greater good?
We’re also approaching the New Moon in Aquarius on February 4, coming to the end of a cycle and setting the stage for new beginnings.
As always, what these transits can mean will be different for each of us, depending on the particular placements of the planets at our moment of birth. But these are some general themes coming up this weekend. If you know which houses Taurus and Libra—the signs ruled by Venus—occupy in your natal chart, you may direct some of these questions toward those specific areas of life. You might also take a look at where Aries and Sagittarius are in your chart, and pay attention to what is happening in those areas of life.
Friday, December 21, is the Winter Solstice: the Sun enters Capricorn, marking the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere. Capricorn is steady, patient, devoted, and hard working. This is the energy it takes to carry us through the winter months to come.
The winter solstice is the longest night of the year, and it is also the start of days growing longer. So, while there are several cold, potentially challenging months ahead, at the solstice we also celebrate the darkness and also the return of light. This year, the solstice is the night before the Full Moon, so the skies will be giving us an abundance of light to see us through this longest night.
On the day of the solstice, Venus in Scorpio forms an exact trine to Neptune in Pisces. A trine is a relationship of 120 degrees, and forms between planets in signs that share the same element and polarity. It is the most supportive, auspicious aspect in astrology. Scorpio and Pisces are both water signs and their polarities are yin. In traditional astrology, the polarities were described as “feminine” or “masculine,” and coming from a queer perspective, I’m reluctant to impose a gender binary onto the signs of the zodiac. But as a feminist, I also want to celebrate the abundance of femme power in this Venus/Neptune trine. Venus in Scorpio can present a challenge: the planet of love and connection dives deep into the dark, hidden waters of Scorpio, demanding that we uncover and confront our shadows, our secrets, even our shame. Venus in Scorpio knows that we can only truly love and be loved when we risk exposure, step into the courage of vulnerability, and allow ourselves to be seen and known in all our hidden parts. Neptune in Pisces brings an ocean of compassion and empathy into these intense demands for uncovering. Neptune in Pisces reminds us that love is often a mystery, if for no other reason than we are each mysteries to ourselves and one another. We spend so much time living into fantasies and projections, gazing into the eyes of another as if they are a mirror for ourselves. Venus in Scorpio challenges us to check our projections and dive beneath surface illusions, even as Neptune in Pisces reminds us that there is no outside to our fantasies and there is no final resolution to mystery; rather, what can we learn as we get intimate with mystery and cultivate curiosity and compassion for our fantasies and projections?
Just a few minutes after Venus and Neptune form their trine, Mercury and Jupiter make an exact conjunction in Sagittarius. Conjunction means planets are at the same degree of the same sign. Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius, where it is said to be in its domicile. In its domicile, a planet is at home, in familiar territory, with easy access to all of its resources. Jupiter connects us to abundance, expansion, and growth, invites us to experience faith in something bigger than ourselves. In Sagittarius, we’re invited to expand our horizons, widen the frame, move beyond the known into the unexplored.
Mercury—the planet of communication, sharing ideas, and moving between the worlds—sometimes struggles in Sagittarius. In traditional astrology, it is said to be in its detriment here. The expansive big picture, big ideas, big, fiery feelings of Sagittarius can feel difficult to manage, challenging to communicate or put into words. But as Mercury applies this perfect conjunction to Jupiter, it gets immense support from the great benefic, the ruler of the sign. Perhaps we are experiencing so much more than we know how to express, but Jupiter’s presence here reminds me of something Maggie Nelson writes in The Argonauts: “I had spent a lifetime devoted to Wittgenstein’s idea that the inexpressible is contained—inexpressibly!—in the expressed … it doesn’t feed or exalt any angst one may feel about the incapacity to express, in words, that which eludes them. It doesn’t punish what can be said for what, by definition, it cannot be … Words are enough.” Jupiter conjunct Mercury in Sagittarius is a celebration of the vast abundance of meaning, the expansive sufficiency, of our seemingly finite communications.
The very next day, December 22, we have a beautiful Full Moon in Cancer. Cancer is the domicile of the Moon, its homeland, the primal waters of birth and beginnings. Following closely the Venus/Neptune trine the day before, the Moon shines full just as it moves into the third water sign. Cancer signifies our most basic, instinctual needs, our experiences of care and caretaking. Right here at the start of winter, this Full Moon reminds us to drop back into sensing and feeling, listening closely to what we need most while we also listen and respond to the needs of others. Cancer also speaks to our origins, where we come from, the body of the mother but also our tribes. As you listen more closely to what you need in the most basic, instinctual parts of yourself, you might also reflect on where is it that you experience belonging? Who is your tribe? Who are the people who are invested in caring for your needs just as much as you are invested in caring for theirs? Getting through the long winter requires gathering close to our support systems and developing deeply sensitive practices of mutual care. Over the course of the following day, the Moon will apply a trine to both Neptune and Venus, bringing our attention back to those themes of love, vulnerability, exposure, and mystery once again.
For the Solstice, I’ll be co-facilitating a ritual with the Temple of Ara. The ritual is hosted on Zoom, so people anywhere can participate. The ritual is Friday, December 21, 2018 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM (EST)—free and open to the public.
More info here:https://spellrebellwinter2018.eventbrite.com
Today is some big astrological magic:
Venus, which has been moving retrograde since October 5, will station direct at 25 degrees Libra. This is significant in several ways: first, after over a month of retracing its own path, Venus will finally begin its forward motion. This is an opportunity to begin to integrate and active the lessons we’ve been learning about love, relationships, connection, what we attract to ourselves, and how we serve the things and people we value most. Venus is also in its domicile in Libra, meaning that it is stationing direct in a sign that it rules. Venus is at home in Libra; in this sign, it has access to its resources and power. Libra is an air sign associated with harmony, cooperation, collaboration, and holding different perspectives and points of view in balance. Venus—the planet of love and relationships—thrives in Libra, asking us to begin to consider: what new perspectives have you encountered over the last seven weeks? How might you begin to reconcile points of view that seem to be divergent or even in contradiction to one another? How might your understanding of love or what it means to be in right-relationship with others be transforming as you’ve encountered hidden motivations or needs and desires that were not previously in view? These are questions we can ask on a personal and interpersonal scale, but we can also ask these questions in relation to our social relations and our connections to community. Whose voices and perspectives have not yet been included? How do we center love and care in our movements? These are questions that we can begin to ask, knowing that the process of integrating the learning from the retrograde will take time, especially as Venus again moves through the degrees of Libra then Scorpio that were covered during this period.
It’s also significant that Venus is stationing direct in its domicile on a Friday: in branches of traditional western astrology, Jyotish (Vedic) astrology, and ceremonial magic traditions, each day of the week is ruled by a different celestial body, and Friday is ruled by Venus. This could be a powerful time to do a ritual or magic around love, especially as the Moon is waxing. This could be as simple as setting aside time and space to sit with these kinds of questions about love, journaling through your own reflections and realizations. You might also consider how you might show extra care for the loved ones in your life as a ritual practice of devotion, finding ways to actively contribute to the wellbeing and flourishing of their lives. This could also be a good time to conjure more love in your life—and no, I don’t mean casting a spell to make someone love you. Rather, ask yourself: what does it feel like to be fully loved in stable, supportive connections, and then stay with that felt sensation within your body, recognizing that you already hold the capacity to experience the love that you need.
Tonight Mercury also stations retrograde in Sagittarius while square Neptune Rx in Pisces. Mercury will move from 13 degrees Sagittarius to 27 degrees Scorpio, and will station direct on December 6. Mercury is in its detriment in Sagittarius, meaning that it is not a sign in which Mercury feels at home. Mercury—the planet of communication, sharing ideas, sending and receiving messages, and travel—struggles in a sign that encourages big, expansive ideas, making details difficult to hold onto when Sagittarius is always pushing beyond the horizon. Square Neptune which is retrograde in Pisces, clarity and precision become even more diffuse, and the blurring of boundaries can make communication more challenging. Mercury retrograde invites a lot of reflection, review, and patience in how we communicate. It’s a time to think carefully before we speak, re-read the emails and text messages and manuscripts before we press send, and practice deep and open listening. This could be a period where we aren’t feeling heard, or perhaps we’re feeling misunderstood. Perhaps we’re struggling to communicate ideas that feel really important to us. As Mercury stations retrograde on the same day that Venus stations direct, the process of integrating Venus’ lessons around love and connection could involve careful and loving practices of listening. If you aren’t feeling heard, who might you not be hearing? If you’re feeling misunderstood, can you put patient energy into trying to understand others more? This retrograde only lasts for a few weeks, but it’s a time to examine our patterns of communication, to listen deeply to what other people are saying, and to tune in to our own needs around expression and being heard.
As always, how each of us experience or understand these planetary movements will vary according to the particular details of our own charts, but with the big shifts in how Venus and Mercury are moving, the next few weeks are putting a lot of emphasis on connection, communication, integration, and care.
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?