Planetary cycles

Neptune and the Opioid addiction epidemic

Neptune in Pisces

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Neptune is one of the “transformational” planets – more recently discovered it does not fall under the traditional category of planets which include the luminaries (Sun and Moon) as well as the planets traditionally used by astrologers which include all the other solar system planets through Saturn.  I have found that the transformational planets do not operate on a personal level; instead, they inspire and motivate change.

At its higher level of operation, Neptune encourages us to transcend the boundaries of the material world in order to enjoy a spiritual experience of bliss and “not-self.”  However, there are different ways to achieve that experience and not all of them are positive.  Meditation, music, art – these all encourage the highest expression of Neptune.  But alcohol and drugs are also used to obtain that experience of “not-self” which verges on oblivion rather than bliss.

Neptune entered its own sign of Pisces in 2011 (you can read more about that here and here). In these early articles about Neptune in Pisces I wrote:

For the first eight years that Neptune moves through Pisces Chiron will be there as well.  In its role as the Wounded Healer (or as I prefer to call it, the Soul Healer) Chiron reveals any area in our world which requires release and healing so that a greater wisdom may emerge.  We are likely to see a more advanced wave of “designer” drugs – pharmaceuticals designed to evoke certain experiences.  The legalization of marijuana for medical use, and its adoption by pharmaceutical companies for profit, is likely to come rather quickly.

The spread of legalization of marijuana  is certainly occurring, and so is the spread of opioids to quash the psycho-emotional pain that Chiron added to the Neptunian mists. In fact, since Neptune entered Pisces the rates of opioid addiction have increased by over 500% A study by Blue Cross Blue Shield found “In 2010, there were just 1.4 incidences of opioid use disorder among every 1000 members. By 2016, that rate had climbed to 8.3 incidences for every 1000 members.”

There is a lot of talk about how to treat opioid addiction pharmaceutically, especially in light of the health care debate.  But from the astrological viewpoint replacing one drug to kill emotional pain with another, as was done with methadone treatment for heroin addiction, will not solve the problem.  The astrological problem, from my perspective, is that Neptune in Pisces is driving us all to seek greater meaning and a higher experience in our lives.  The materialistic focus on achievement and power and things will no longer work under Neptune in Pisces but many people are unable to find a way to transcend their pain.

This pain appears to be both physical and emotional, and the two are often connected.  Many individuals who become addicted to opioids begin taking them for pain related to injury.  Other types of pain, such as back pain and fibromyalgia, likely have an emotional component such as the work pioneered by Dr. John Sarno.  In some studies yoga and meditation have been found to be helpful  in relieving pain symptoms.

We can all navigate the transit of Neptune in Pisces (which will continue until 2026) more successfully if we focus on bringing more transcendent experiences into our lives.  Finding a spiritual connection through meditation, song, yoga, or religious bliss.  Allowing the creative side of your being to emerge. Spending time in the stillness of nature.  Ultimately all of these experiences will bring us closer to the bliss and heightened awareness of consciousness that is called for now.

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By | 2017-07-02T11:28:49+00:00 July 2nd, 2017|Neptune in Pisces|2 Comments

“When will we see the end of these difficult planetary cycles?”

planetary cyclesSomeone left this question in a comment recently, and I quite frequently hear this question from clients.  It’s a difficult one to answer because there are so many layers of planetary cycles that begin on the personal level with your own astrological chart that is affected by planetary movements.  Then we have the astrological chart of the nation in which we live that undergoes planetary cycles which affect the political landscape.  Expanding even further, we have the dances of the slower moving planets including Saturn, Chiron, and the outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

Not everyone is affected by planetary cycles in the same way – human behavior is difficult to predict since it depends so much on the choices that we make.  Still, this Uranus/Pluto cycle that we have been going through since 2010 is one of the most difficult because of the degree of change that it brings about.

While the Uranus/Pluto cycle is technically over, it is being kept alive this year by Jupiter which is bouncing back and forth between squares to Pluto and oppositions to Uranus, “translating” and re-connecting the Uranus/Pluto conflict and maintaining a level of tension that requires adaptation and synthesis.

Still, there are always harmonious cycles flowing through the most challenging of planetary alignments that provide support and encouragement.  A harmonious trine from  Saturn (discipline and focus) and Uranus (innovation and radical change) could help to facilitate the changes and new patterns that are necessary in order to recreate our world in the new ways that are required for the future.  Under this aspect the structures that we build under Saturn are energized by the ingenuity of Uranus.  This aspect tends to make the idea of change seem more exciting than frightening as we look towards the future with new eyes.

Planetary cycles don’t make things happen – they create a storm with a signature that is particular to that planet in order to create necessary evolution.  A tornado will not destroy every house in its path, but the mobile homes and shacks without strong foundations are vulnerable to the force of its power.

 

 

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By | 2017-04-11T08:14:25+00:00 April 11th, 2017|Astrology, Planetary cycles|2 Comments

The Mars effect, February 2017: Stocks, politics and personal power

Mars went into Aries on January 28th and will remain in that fiery sign of will and adventure through March 9th.  While in Aries, Mars is at its most potent and the aggressive force is permitted full expression, unhampered by the niceties of signs like Libra or Pisces, by practical considerations such as Capricorn and Taurus would exercise, or by reason and intellectual processing such as Gemini and Aquarius would instigate.  It is pure, unadulterated need and drive.

Mars is also bold and especially in Aries, does not hesitate to venture into unknown territory and take untold risks.  We are seeing this in the stock market, which continues to break records as it soars into the stratosphere because of unbridled optimism and the sheer force of momentum.  Currently Jupiter, the planet of expansion and luck, is forming a challenging opposition to Uranus, planet of radical action.  This planetary combination is ready to break through all kinds of barriers – whether physical, emotional, or ideological.  When we add Pluto’s destructive and transformational force into the mix, we get a powerhouse of movement and upheaval.  Jupiter here is reconnecting Uranus and Pluto for one final dance after nearly eight years of the Uranus/Pluto square.  Although Uranus and Pluto are not in exact alignment to one another, Jupiter “translates” the dynamic by acting as an intermediary over the next few months.  You can see how the current political climate fits perfectly into this drama of radical behavior and action that seems to have no basis in fact.

During the last week of February, Mars steps into the fray like a match thrown into a smoldering fire.  Until February 28th Mars will be poking the bear of the Uranus/Pluto square, creating extreme excitement and fueling us with a tremendous amount of energy, but also triggering anger and rage that may be suppressed or otherwise managed but not resolved.  As with any intense Mars time, using our conscious mind to focus this energy on a goal or aspiration can be very helpful in utilizing the power of Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto.  Physical activity can help us to channel the intensity and feel more comfortable in our bodies.

This will become more confusing around February 25-28 when a solar eclipse in mystical Pisces, with the Sun and  Moon conjunct Neptune, dumps a bucket of water and a wet blanket on all this fire.  I suspect that this is when the stock market will begin to retreat in response to this confusion.  On a personal level, this is an optimum time for a personal retreat and reset, especially since Venus will turn retrograde on March 4th.  I’ll be writing more about that as we get closer to the time, but Venus retrograde periods tend to cause a pullback in the financial markets and are good times for a personal review.

We live in exciting times.  Thank the gods we have astrology to help us to make sense of them!

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By | 2017-02-21T11:59:56+00:00 February 21st, 2017|Featured posts, Planetary cycles|11 Comments

Mars transiting through Aries – Harness the power of the “Id”

Mars is the planet of desire and need – it is the planet associated with the “Id” in psychological theory – “the part of the mind in which innate instinctive impulses and primary processes are manifest.”  The Id makes no value judgments – it is pure desire and instinct, and so is Mars.  Freud didn’t care much for the Id – he saw it as a “cauldron of passions” that needed to be tempered by the moderating forces of the Ego and Superego.

The instinct for self-preservation is a critical one for the survival of a human individual, and just like the Id, Mars acts solely to preserve the Self and to gratify desire.  Mars is particularly strong when in the sign of Aries, and Mars just entered Aries today (January 28, 2017).  While in Aries, Mars is at its most potent and the aggressive force is permitted full expression, unhampered by the niceties of signs like Libra or Pisces, by practical considerations such as Capricorn and Taurus would exercise, or by reason and intellectual processing such as Gemini and Aquarius would instigate.  It is pure, unadulterated need and drive.

When this basic force of need is thwarted, frustration is the result.  A certain amount of frustration leads to anger, and chronic anger leads to chronic rage and health problems.  A healthy Mars is, in my view, very important for the human ecosystem to function properly and nowhere is it as healthy as it is in its own sign of Aries.

Mars will remain in Aries through March 9, 2017.  If you have had trouble motivating yourself recently, this infusion of pure raw energy can help you.  There will be more action and less talk – and the talk that does occur will be more frank and more blunt.  Under Mars in Aries there is less care to avoid hurting feelings and more of an urgency to get on with things.

During this time of Mars in Aries, Mars will enlist some powerful friends to help fire things up.  Beginning around the 19th Mars will begin to face off against Pluto (planet of power and transformation) , intensifying the energies and potentially setting off power imbalances and struggles.   At the same time Mars snuggles up to Uranus, planet of radical rebellion and sudden change.  Suddenly the intense drama of the past eight years (with Uranus square Pluto in the sky) will re-emerge as a force to be reckoned with.  The foundation will once again shift and new patterns will emerge.

This intense period will last all the way to the end of February so mark your calendars!  As with any powerful Mars transit, this energy is best channeled through vigorous physical activity, defending yourself in situations where you may be under attack, develop a greater sense of personal empowerment, look closely at the things you want and need in your life and in your relationships and decide to go after them.

Sign up for my free monthly Planetary Illuminations report!

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By | 2017-01-28T19:40:04+00:00 January 28th, 2017|Planetary cycles|12 Comments

Sunday inspiration: We’ve come a long way, baby

The Age of Cancer, approximately 6000-8000 bce, was marked by the rise of agriculture as a more reliable means to feed humanity than simple hunting and gathering.  The Moon, ruler of the nurturing and sign Cancer, became elevated to goddess stature and we begin to see cults of the “Mother Goddess” and fertility cults.  With people beginning to settle into homes and communities, paternity could not be established but maternity could, so the lines of family origin were traced through the mother.  This matrilinear culture persisted through the Age of Gemini (approximately 4000-6000 bce) which continued the establishment of communities and language, and into the age of Taurus (approximately 2000-4000 bce)

Under the influence of the warlike Age of Aries (approximately 2000 bce to the beginning of the common era) the concept of monotheism arose and with it a more patriarchal warrior society to defend the single god.  The role of women became diminished (they are hardly mentioned in the Hebrew bible) and while societies remained matrineal in nature they were ruled by men and dependent on them economically.

This continued through the Piscean age (approximately 0-2100 ce) with the rise of the ancient Church and its denigration of sexuality and emphasis on the idea that any man born from woman is born in sin. While some women rose to power through family connections it was a relatively rare thing and women held no government positions unless they were of royal blood.  They were unable to attend school and were subservient to their male relatives.  If they attempted to take on too much power in their societies they were looked on suspiciously and for about 300 years burned as witches.

It took 10,000 years of female history (and the discovery of the planet of radical change, Uranus) for the first treatise on the rights of women to be written in 1792 (A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft).  It took another 100 years before the idea of woman’s suffrage (the right to vote) took hold in the late 19th century, and it wasn’t until 1920 that women won the right to vote in the US, Britain and much of Europe. Women weren’t allowed to vote in France until 1945.

Women weren’t allowed to own their own property until the early 1900s. They couldn’t get birth control advice, even if married, until 1918 and it took another 50 years before it was legal for unmarried women to seek birth control advice from a physician.  Women weren’t entitled to equal pay until the early 1960s. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the rape of a wife by the husband was made illegal.

We’ve come a long way in just 100 years, but there is still a long way to go. The fact that millions of women all around the world marched in solidarity with their US compatriots shows that we are ready for the next step.  As we move from the Piscean age into the Age of Aquarius – an Age of equality and social justice – we will shed the shackles of the past 2000 years and take our rightful place in the culture of human life.  Under the Aquarian influence the traditional roles of sex, gender, race and ethnicity have already begun to fall away and we stand as human beings, connected in community.

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By | 2017-01-22T08:56:31+00:00 January 22nd, 2017|Age of Aquarius, Astrology|5 Comments
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