Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio – The Flower Moon May 16, 2022

Odilon Redon, White Vase with Flowers, pastel on paper, France, 1916.

May’s Full Moon, also known as the Flower Moon, is a total Lunar Eclipse and is exact at 25º18’ Scorpio on Monday May 16, at 4:15 UT (May 15 00:15 EDT). The term “Flower Moon” perfectly describes this time, as the energies closely reflect those experienced by a flower opening to life after a long winter’s struggle. Watch a garden in the springtime, and you will see that Nature is ever determined to provide budding plants with the challenges they require to grow into their strongest version. This Lunar Eclipse presents us with a time of considerable potency, offering just the right amount of difficulty and inspiration we need to move forward into our best future.

Lunar eclipses are watersheds; decisions have to be made, something must be left behind, and our destination remapped. In the case of a budding flower, the state of dormancy must be left behind, and the urge for life apprehended. For us, it is similar; eclipses present us with new ideas and directions of growth, often through irrefutably important events, thoughts or interactions. What had once seemed like vague possibility becomes a point of central focus, particularly if it benefits our evolution. Things which seemed so important in the past shift out of focus, moving into the background to support the new vision which pulls us ahead into the future. And so, we evolve.

This Full Moon Eclipse is marked by a tight T-square with has Saturn at its apex. Saturn stands at a crossroads, looking left to the deeply emotional Scorpio Moon, and right to the Sun/Uranus/Mercury Retrograde conjunction in Taurus.  This is a time of heavy consideration, and the Moon in Scorpio wouldn’t have it any other way. What we value most on an emotional level, where we find security, meaning and connection is now highlighted by the undeniable urge for forward motion and growth. We cannot suppress the life force, and the Full Moon allows us to see clearly what must be shed and what must be allowed to come to life. 

Mars and Neptune are conjoined in Pisces, diffusing energy so that rather than clearly seeing what is happening, we need to intuit, reaching with senses little used.  This aspect can be very inspiring, giving us the energy to work at manifesting our dreams, but it can also be very delusory, fogging real action and perception with untruth.  Faith in the growth process is required, and a bit of caution not to get lost in the fog.

Venus conjoins Chiron in Aries, which creates a second-guessing effect for the normally demanding Venus in Aries experience.  Venus seeks to please herself, she wants beauty, adoration, peace and pleasure. As natal ruler of Taurus, currently locked in conjunction with Chiron, we find an undertone of doubt in what where we find pleasure. Something must change in what we find enjoyable, collectively, for there is a woundedness associated with what we seek.  Every time we reach for something we want, there’s a pinch involved.  While certainly an uncomfortable aspect, it allows us to collectively find a sense of true empathy as we go about chasing our desires. What we value as a society is changing – our urges for consumerism, glamor, and over-consumption are clearly no longer working out, for the economy or the planet. The “me-first” urge of Venus in Aries is being given a pause as we find other, more equitable ways of seeking pleasure and enjoyment, particularly in light of the mass suffering the world is currently experiencing.

Pluto in Capricorn stands high above it all, looking down with an unrelenting desire to see everything turned upside down.  The changes that are currently being wrought are fundamental, deep and permanent. Pluto lends support to the Retrograde Mercury, indicating just how deeply we need to dig in order to ensure that costly, time-wasting errors are not made, but this aspect also gives us a wonderful opportunity to thoroughly review old work, plans and ideas for potential breakpoints and pitfalls. Mercury Retrograde in Gemini is a tough placement, as Gemini rules our communication, our thought processes, daily interactions, business, contracts, writing – all the things we rely upon to get our point across and gather the information we need on a daily basis.  Communication is challenged during this Full Moon, but that may not be a bad thing, as the overall energy right requires us to slow down, consider, be open to inspiration and evaluate what lies ahead as clearly and thoroughly as possible. Saturn dominating the day adds a sobriety and discipline that is required, ensuring that we will take our time with this eclipse.  Envision where it is you want to be three months, six months, one year from now, and use the energy now available to put your vision into motion.

An interesting observation – the Uranus/Sun conjunction in Taurus is yielding surprises every day, it seems.  A remarkable news article surfaced just this week, discussing how scientists have discovered a black hole at the Galactic Centre, in Sagittarius.  This will certainly set theorists on the path of wild speculation for years to come, but it is these sorts of discoveries and innovations which occur during heavy Uranus transits, and in Taurus, the manifestation in concrete reality is even more evident. Read the article here: Black Hole: First Picture of Milky Way Monster


Full Moon Forecast for Each Sign of the Zodiac

Aries:  Your persona comes across loud and clear, and you are in the midst of healing what it is about yourself that causes you the most grief, Aries.  You are all about the money now, finding new ways to diversify your assets, and opening to things you had never dreamed would be important to you.  However, this Eclipse is shining light on the fact that you need to contend with how you feel about significant others in your life – particularly any friends who may be causing challenges to your overall MO.  Be careful not to escape into overindulgence as you try to escape the pressure of reality, it’s not worth it in the long run.  Listen to your dreams, and watch for Freudian slips as communication can prove challenging.  Say what you mean, say it again, and one more time for good measure, otherwise misinterpretations will be hard to unravel later on, which would be a waste of time – anathema to any self-respecting Aries.

Taurus:  Taurus, it’s pretty hard to ignore you folks these days.  You are coming into your own, and for all those who thought they had you pegged – HA.  This Eclipse, the spotlight is on how those closest to you affect who you want to be, and how you want to be perceived.  You may have a bit of trouble communicating your values right now, but don’t feel rushed. Take your time to work out the nitty-gritty.  Career plans get serious as long-term details crop up, and you need to sort through what’s best for your overall development.  Old beliefs need revamping, but don’t necessarily look to your circle of friends for answers – that bunch may seem a bit foggy right now, so take what you hear and see with a grain of salt.  Deep healing of old, gnarly wounds is highlighted right now.  Take time with yourself – meditation, ritual, prayer and grounding will be especially fruitful right now. Embrace yourself – all of it – even the bits you wish you could forget.

Gemini:  This Eclipse may feel a bit confusing for you, Gemini, as you seek to solidify your self-concept. Just who are you, anyway?   There is much subconscious material springing up at you, causing some compulsive reactions that you need to sort out later.  This is a good time to take a look at any habits that might be better left by the wayside, and tightening up routines and daily tasks will be highly beneficial.  You may feel burdened by old beliefs that you can’t seem to shake, but rather than railing against them, meditate on what holds you back. Take your time and look at this stuff.  It’s all about how you deal with power issues, what’s fair and what’s not.  Friends inspire, and you can make peace with circumstances that once seemed inaccessible.  You may just find that previously closed doors are suddenly open – it’s up to you whether you step into that new reality or not.

Cancer:  This Eclipse is a great opportunity to start seeing some positive progress on things you feel like you’ve been working on forever.  The tide is just about to shift, as you find new opportunities opening up for you in social settings, and in manifesting your dreams and wishes.  Power issues, particularly with significant others, will feel tough, but a little discipline and a hard line is sometimes just right to define much-needed boundaries.  Let your creativity come to life this Full Moon, Cancer, and open to the inspiration you feel welling up – what you create now will serve as fuel for your fire as you continue through the months ahead.  Subconscious material can crop up, and it’s a good time to review old, long-standing problems that seem to have been evading practical solution.  Mediation, journaling and therapeutic talk can be very productive now in allowing you to finally unearth those nasty old stones that have been weighing you down.

Leo:  This Eclipse, the spotlight is on your home, Leo, and how you balance home life with career.  Everyone needs a solid, secure home base, though things are emerging in your public life which require integration.  Relationships feel serious, as the lay of the land is evident to all involved.  You know what you are dealing with; either commit or quit.  The depths feel particularly heady these days, as issues of sex, death, power and control slip through your consciousness.  You are in an intense learning phase, and your horizons are broadening, allowing you to finally embrace new ideas, visions and beliefs.  It feels good to know that you are on the right track – and you are!  Don’t be afraid to revamp your approach with daily work habits, getting rid of what holds you back, and stepping up to better ways.

Virgo: The spotlight is on your daily communications, Virgo, and how your belief systems are being revamped and manifested in your day-to-day life. It’s a good time to start a new job, a new course of study, or enroll in a program that can help you with your career, or personal development. It is time to revamp how you think and talk about things – especially yourself. Are you stuck in repetitive, negative thought processes? Look to your creativity for ways to break free – deep things are welling up inside, let them out, and let yourself communicate freely. Be sure that you are meticulous in career matters – especially contracts, as things may go backwards for a while. Work habits and methods are due for a stringent overhaul. Clean out and rearrange what’s a mess in your immediate environment, and make space for something new and more beneficial to arrive.

Libra: What do you value, Libra? That’s the question you need to ask yourself this Eclipse. What is important to you? How do you define your sense of self-worth? Surprises come from power-plays, as intertwined values press upon what it is that compels you to feel good about yourself. Issues in the home, ancestral memory and the father rise up for you to evaluate. The impact of these matters runs deep, and now is a good time to see how such things influence your belief system. Communicating may feel difficult, but sometimes you need to let ideas breathe before sharing them with the world – now is one of those times. Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate what you think you believe. Creativity feels serious – you want to manifest, but it’s hard work. Habits may be somewhat undermining; you think what you do on a regular basis is inspiring, but it may actually be diffusing your energy. Relationships feel sweet, as you have power available to heal old wounds.

Scorpio:  The spotlight is on your persona, Scorpio, as it seems that how you feel is what you are.  If you were ever going to wear your heart on your sleeve, right about now would be the perfect time – this Eclipse is highlighting just how you feel about your closest relationships, how they impact your daily habits, your creativity and your home life.  Power plays are gnarly, and you want to talk them through, but now’s not really the time.  Meditate on the details, and let these things rise to the surface before sharing your thoughts, otherwise you run the risk of misunderstandings and complications which will need to be sorted out later, if at all.  This is all about how you communicate.  You want to get deep, but start with yourself before unleashing on those around you.  Work habits feel good, health is fine, and creativity is inspired, if a bit nebulous at this time.  Solidify your home base, even if it feels hard.  What you do there within the next few months will result in a holding pattern that will last at least until the end of the year, if not become a permanent state of affairs.

Sagittarius:  This eclipse is allowing you to really get into your subconscious mind, Sagittarius.  You have the capacity to drill deep into what makes you tick, and you will be able to see just how things you hadn’t quite grasped about yourself surface in your health, work and daily habits.  Compulsive behavior can undermine your best abilities – now’s the time to focus on that stuff, even if it comes as a surprise, perhaps an outburst or announcement from a work colleague, employer or employee. Your values are being reshaped, and you want to communicate, but that feels hard, especially in relationships and partnerships.  Hold those thoughts for at least a month, because what you think is important right now probably won’t be later– if you can remember the details at all.  Look out for inconsistencies in matters dealing with home life, and beware of overspending, even if that splurge seems like a great idea now.  Let yourself feel creative, your pleasure principle is at a high level, so enjoy what feels good, and let the guilt go.

Capricorn:  The spotlight is on your society this Eclipse, as you seek to break through to new forms of creativity and pleasure.  What may have suited in the past no longer serves, Capricorn, and you know deep down that it’s time to move on and unleash all that you have pent up inside.  Work issues are tricky, and your daily habits need some reconsideration, especially things that tend to obfuscate what you should really be doing.  Don’t waste precious time, and don’t bother talking about it – just make the changes you know you need to make.  Your persona is in the midst of a total overhaul, and you can’t see the forest for the trees right now as you seek to define your values, but keep doing what you are doing.  You are motivated by what is serious, and results that matter for the long-haul.  Home life supports your efforts, and feels full and sweet at this time.  Enjoy and dig deep into your foundations, for they support you all the way.

Aquarius:  The spotlight is on your career, Aquarius, and this Eclipse offers you the opportunity to do what it takes to manifest your ideals in what you do on a daily basis.  Creativity seems a little confusing right now, as you seek to root out the details which have been eluding your grasp. Don’t bother discussing, just let everything that seems like a good idea now float to the surface – you will sort out the important stuff later, once it all becomes clear – but be sure to document everything, lest that genius idea slips away.  You want to communicate, get out and be busy in your community, and this is a perfect time to do so.  You will likely find yourself very involved with short-distance travel, errands, weekend vacations and shopping, visiting friends and relatives.  Your persona may come across as rather serious at times, but don’t worry – you are manifesting your true self.  Stick to your guns!

Pisces:  This Eclipse is focused on your most deeply held beliefs, Pisces, and you may receive some surprises from your friends, relatives and daily contacts that shake things up for you.  If you have been wanting to travel, now’s a good time to put a big trip into motion.  It’s also a good time to go back to school, take some personal development courses, learn a new language or meet people from places you have never been.  Think consciousness-expanding, and you’ll get the picture.  Finances are in order, and you are happy with making a splurge right now, particularly for something big-ticket.  Home life needs a bit of communication, but the details of what’s necessary are hazy right now.  Be very clear with any plans you put together that involve home, family and health care, as you will need to repeat instructions, processes and procedures if you don’t take extra care to double check and ensure things are in order at this time.  Your long-term dreams are changing, and as such, your persona feels a bit hazy right now, but no worries, it’s a good time to enjoy yourself Pisces.


For more information about this year’s Lunations – Full Moons, New Moons and Eclipses see: Lunar Events and Eclipses 2022

See also Moon Phases and Eclipses for more information about how to work with the different phases of the Moon.

And for anyone interested in having an astrological consultation, please see my Services Page. I am taking bookings on a “pay what you can” basis, and I am happy to work with anyone who has a sincere desire to learn about themselves through study of their astrological chart.

Interview with a Poet: Reflections on the Work of Bruce Whiteman

ECW Press | A Canadian Indie Book Publisher | Publishing Curiously  Compelling Books Since 1974
The Invisible World is in Decline, Book IX is available through ECW Press, as well as through Amazon
9 (Melpomene) 

Lack of belief is the tragedy. It’s not that God’s ineffable face is gone. It’s out there somewhere like a star, like a childhood memory fated eventually to rise. It’s counting on the smaller things that come to be the hardest: poetry and its adagio truths, the tick-tock of love interminably out of reach and bound to fade away in any case, cocks and clocks and every squalid aspiration for eternity.

Bruce Whiteman, The Invisible World is in Decline, Book IX (p. 33). ECW Press. Kindle Edition. 

Bruce Whiteman lives in Peterborough, Ontario, where he is a full-time poet and book reviewer. Most recently he is the editor of Best Canadian Essays 2021 (Biblioasis). His selected essays and reviews will be published in 2022 by Biblioasis. Book IX, the conclusion to his long poem, The Invisible World Is in Decline, appears this April 2022 (ECW Press). His book reviews appear in such publications as The Hudson Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Canadian Notes & Queries, The Toronto Star, Quill & Quire and elsewhere.


Published this year (2022) The Invisible World is in Decline, Book IX is the last of nine books in your long poem of the same name which you began in 1981.  Congratulations on the publication, and thank you for allowing me to interview you.  As a writer who focuses on the metaphysical, particularly cycles of time and how they are expressed in culture, I find your work compelling, as it represents a concerted effort of vision which you have managed to sustain over a considerable time period.  Poetry is difficult work, as the matters of life, love, loss, hope can be onerous points of focus which many prefer to avoid. The Invisible World is in Decline represents an oeuvre of continual, concentrated self-awareness that is remarkable, and I am grateful that you are willing to share some insights. 

In Opus Posthumous (1957) Wallace Stevens says:  “The poet is the priest of the invisible.” The poet’s invocation of words charges our perception of hidden reality with power not otherwise available; through poetry, we are allowed to commune with subtleties which lie in places normally unknown.  Poetry’s precise reflectivity provides impressions of the invisible world with a power that is akin to that of visual arts such as photography, painting or sculpture, but poetry goes beyond what those arts offer, as the power of language is specifically human.  Good poetry has a visceral impact that forever changes the reader. Through the work of a skilled poet such as yourself, we are allowed to view the shape of the ethers underpinning our world, and we come away with new knowledge in apprehending a perspective not normally seen.

To be a poet takes great strength, and speaks of a love of life that encompasses a willingness to not look away and hide from tenderness of this world, but rather revel in it, transcribing impressions for the benefit of all.  I hope my questions here are not too personal, or vague, but rather represent what others may find salient in considering your poetry.  Your work and insights are deeply valuable, and much appreciated. Thank you Bruce.


#1 Define “Invisible World”

The phrase “invisible world” brings many things to mind, and as a person who tends to look at things metaphysically, I was quite struck by this concept.  For me, this phrase refers to the subtle current of energies which underpin what we consider consensual reality.  What do you mean when you use the phrase “the invisible world”?  Are you specifically referring to the world of the aesthete, the artist and musician, a world little perceived by the majority of humanity, or is it perhaps a spiritual reference? 

BW:

There have been times over the last forty years when the title of my long poem has seemed a regrettable limitation. Perhaps I should have chosen something less specific, broader, more capacious, like The Cantos or The Divine Comedy. And almost necessarily the poem sometimes strays quite far from the central armature, perhaps most especially at those times when the personal irresistibly comes back into the work, through passion or trauma or whatever is the case.

No, the title is not aesthetic; yes, it’s more spiritual. If you look back over the history of thought since the Enlightenment, it’s pretty obvious that the invisible world is in decline. Call it God, or the world of the spiritual generally speaking, its centrality to our lives has eroded. We see this in Locke, in Hume, in Nietzsche among the philosophers. In poetry, Wordsworth’s The Prelude announces the future dominance of the personal that will continue to be at poetry’s heart through Whitman and on into Modernism. Some Modernist art will aspire to be impersonal—T.S. Eliot wanting to derogate private experience, etc.—but really almost all art in every genre is personal after Wordsworth, after Berlioz, after Blake and Turner, after Freud. So the world of the spirits, as opposed to the world of the spirit, comes to be left behind or at least to decline in relevance. I chose such an idea as the central theme of my long poem precisely so I could get away from lyricism, from the ego as the source of poetry. I freely admit that over nine books and forty years, I didn’t always succeed in keeping the ego out of the poem.


#2 Is poetry confessional or impersonal?

It seems it is the poet’s task to delineate ephemera, showing us what they have retrieved while in communion with energies that ultimately transcend the personal.  The poet transcribes delicate perceptions into a transpersonal form, allowing the sharing of material which is larger than the individual. How much of your poetry has served as personal testament as opposed to representing collective considerations, or vice versa?  I understand that you have converted to the Catholic faith, and you are surely aware of the importance of confession to the life of a practicing Catholic.  How, throughout your career, has poetry served in place of that formal sacrament, if at all?  

BW:

I converted in 2019, so the bulk of my poem was composed before I became a Catholic, at one of the worst moments in Church history, I might add! As far as confession goes, both in the Christian sense and the psychotherapeutic sense, when I began to write The Invisible World, I had reached a point as a poet when confession had become boring, and it was precisely to get away from the confessional mode that I turned to the prose poem and the long poem. I suppose, now that you ask, that poetry WAS a kind of sacrament when I was young and writing lyric poetry, poems about feelings largely, the sorts of things one talks to a priest or a psychoanalyst about. The seven deadly sins writ large or secularized. With my long poem I wanted out of therapy, and into a kind of language that engages larger issues that are not at heart personal. Book IV is about light, for example. Inevitably, and even against my better judgement, personal feeling got back into the poem, especially at moments in my life when I was devastated by something–a love affair gone bad, the death of a parent, etc. I even allowed the “lined” poem back in twice, once at the end of Book VII and again in Book IX, where one whole section consists of poems—translations in fact—of conventionally structured poems. So I guess the short answer to your question is, inevitably, both.


#3 Does decline imply a fall from grace, or is it a matter of cyclical change?   

To consider that the invisible world is in decline is sad, and also somewhat alarming.  The question that comes to mind is this: why is it in decline? Is saying the invisible world is in decline a statement of hopelessness, or cynicism?  Or is it a clear-minded, objective assessment?  Does this concept of decline encompass the idea of falling from grace? Do you believe that decline is inevitable, a condition of mortality, or is there a turning point which can be found somewhere?   Is decline a permanent state, or do you believe it is a cyclical affair? 

BW:

That’s a hard question to be definitive about. The metanarrative of continual human progress is not easy to argue for, when you take a cold hard look at the planet today. The climate crisis feels like just the latest demonstration that somehow we humans have wasted our opportunity as a species through egotism. Of course, when you think about progress in concrete ways, it’s hard not to agree with the statements that we should be glad not to be forced to have dental work done in the 18th century, or that the elimination of smallpox is a wonderful thing. But spiritual progress? Not really. A geographer named Carl Sauer once pointed out that the first time humans did something really bad to the Earth was during the Renaissance, when humanism came to the fore; and in that sense, it has been downhill ever since, as far as our relationship with nature is concerned. And maybe our relationship with God too. But it’s complicated, and I’m not sure that the idea of a fall from grace is historically accurate. Emotionally, though, it kind of feels apt. It’s hard to imagine that we will ever return to the sort of integrated world view of earlier periods in human history. But hope is a very human emotion, so who knows?


#4 Are poets psychopomps?   

In Book IX, you say:

“Part of a poet’s job is to journey to hell. Seeking dear ones gone into pitch. Wanting the smell of love, the touch of a moving body. Missing hoarfrost and starshine, glabrous light, polyphonic voices.” (p. 14)

And:

“Remembering the dead, our lot is to walk carefully forward. Not to fall headlong from hour to hour, from day to day, hurled like water from edge to edge, into the darkness that yawns beneath our steps. Like a man on a wire we don’t look back and can’t look down, but focus straight ahead.” (p.16)

Your use of the psychopomp as a recurring character is fascinating. For those not familiar, a psychopomp is a divine or semi-divine being who is able to traverse the borders between the land of the living and the land of the dead, travelling back and forth to the underworld usually to fulfill a specific task, relay information or retrieve something lost.  Very few have been allowed by the gods to travel to make this journey and return to tell the tale, and success usually involves not looking back at that which we wish to bring to the surface. In looking back, we express doubt, and we scorn a divine gift, yet it is such a temptation to do what we have been decreed not to do. As a poet, how do you relate to the figure of the psychopomp? Are poets psychopomps in their own way, and should they be?  What temptations does the poet entertain in traversing the invisible landscapes of the underworld?

BW:

I took the idea of the psychopomp from Jung, for whom it is much as you say—a kind of spiritual cicerone. Some of the great works of western literature describe the visit to the realm of the dead—The Odyssey in Book 11, The Aeneid in Book 6, and of course Dante’s Inferno, the first great book of The Divine Comedy. The Orpheus myth as told by Ovid and others falls into this narrative as well. All of the seekers return to the world or rise upwards, sadder but wiser. Dante has to leave his psychopomp behind, because he—the poet Virgil—is a pagan, and not qualified to enter Paradise. Orpheus of course loses Eurydice because, as you say, he lacks faith and looks back to ensure that she is following him–just exactly what he has been told not to do. As I say in a note to Book IX, the psychopomp in one way is the master of dreams. Several of my poems engage with something I literally heard in a dream and recorded–the statement, for example, “I have an immortality problem.” I was hesitant to use dream material this literally, but decided in the end that there is so much poetry in dreams that it was stupid or ungenerous to ignore it. Dreams often do feel like an expedition to Hell, and what we can learn there, and from them, seems worth registering. Are poets psychopomps in this sense? The ancients would have answered in the affirmative for sure, and I do too.


#5  What advice do you have for the young poet?

For one last question, I ask broadly – what do you have to say to the young poet?  What advice do you have?  What would you like to say to those who would follow in your path, taking up the life of a poet?

BW:

I would try to be positive, though the real-world rewards are few. I would say, read as much as possible, poetry and other literature too. You cannot write well if you do not have a rich reading experience among the poets who came before you. Poetry doesn’t begin with Mary Oliver or Leonard Cohen. Read Homer and everything or as much as possible of what comes after him. Read translations if you don’t have other languages, though knowing another language is a very good thing for a poet. And as a poet who emphasizes the musical elements of poetry, I would recommend knowing at least something about how music works. Read aloud a lot. Read and re-read the same poems to know them well. Hang out with other creative people—musicians, painters et al. They will provoke you but also be good readers of your work. Learn about where words come from, as this will enrich the ways in which you use them. Poetry isn’t much of a living, honestly, but it’s a rich way to engage with life.

Solar Eclipse April 30, 2022 – New Moon in Taurus

Whatever gets you through the night
It's all right, it's all right
It's your money or your life
It's all right, it's all right
Don't need a sword to cut through' flowers
Oh no, oh no

Whatever gets you through your life
It's all right, it's all right
Do it wrong, or do it right
It's all right, it's all right
Don't need a watch to waste your time
Oh no, oh no

Whatever gets you to the light
It's all right, it's all right
Out of the blue, or out of sight
It's all right, it's all right
Don't need a gun to blow you mind
Oh no, oh no
 - John Lennon, 1974

We have a New Moon/Solar Eclipse on Saturday April 30, exact at 10º28’ Taurus, at 16:29 EDT/20:29 UT.  This is an unusual lunation, as it is the second New Moon of April, an occurrence which is only occasional. There seems to be a trend with people calling this “The Black Moon” which sounds great, though as that term can be used for various reasons, I will not be referring to it as such. In fact, one of the old names for the New Moon is Black Moon. When the Sun and Moon are conjoined, our capacity to see is hindered, we are in darkness. Everything is perceived very subjectively, and is often too close to see with any realistic perspective. With a high energy solar eclipse like this, it’s a good idea to take a step back, allow yourself some breathing space, and know that everything is just fine. The ancients always marked New and Full Moons as days dedicated to meditation, prayer, ritual withdrawal and silence. Do not be afraid to give yourself a rest, and retreat for this day, particularly if you have been feeling stressed lately. While you may be feeling a strong sense of urgency, or confusion right now – let things settle and don’t jump to any conclusions.

Solar Eclipses are a powerful time to initiate new directions, and put to rest old, worn out ways of being that no longer serve you effectively.  Sometimes all this takes is to allow ourselves to think about things. Meditate. Delve. Do whatever feels most comfortable to honor the importance of your life, as the heavens support your efforts. This Solar Eclipse, those with planets or personal points that fall between 7º and 13º of the signs listed below will be most strongly affected, particularly any who have direct Sun/Moon or angles involved.   

Any planets or personal points in fixed signs between 7º and 13º Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius

Any planets or placements in earth signs between 7º and 13º – Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

This is the second eclipse on the Taurus/Scorpio axis, a series which will be completed May 5, 2023, with a Lunar Eclipse at 14º58’ Scorpio .  Those born in the first two weeks of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius will particularly feel this as a highly charged lunation, and are especially affected with forces of challenge and change. These signs have been doing deep, hard work and the foundations for new directions are showing their bones now, whether you are fully conscious of this or not. Taurus and Scorpio are preoccupied with self-definition, and issues of partnership vs ego needs. The signs Virgo and Capricorn can use this eclipse to further plans of manifestation and transformation, while Cancer and Pisces should have a refreshingly inspired lunation, allowing the chance to see your ideals coming to life.   Enjoy.

Any notable events that have occurred within the last month should be considered seriously, as the most challenging, exciting and charged concepts recently faced will form a signature of new directions manifesting, pointing the way to things which will become increasingly important in your life over the course of the following year. Think back – did any interactions particularly strike you as important or deep – any arguments, outbursts, ruminations, ear worms? Any message or idea which is uppermost in your mind now deserves your full attention. Take your time.

This New Moon is conjoined with Uranus, which adds a sense of surprise and chaos to the mix.  Innovations, sudden changes, emotional outbursts, surprise meetings, arguments and confessions can arise with this influence.  Discoveries and brainwaves can happen as solutions to old problems are found. People suddenly break up, or suddenly decide to be together.  You learn things you didn’t know about those closest to you, and they in turn also make discoveries about you.  This can affect our feelings of security, as we either want to throw caution to the wind, or else retreat in shock as we try to process what is new and unusual. 

The Venus/Jupiter/Neptune conjunction in Pisces continues to imbue the world with a hazy glow. People want to feel luxury, glamor, emotional depth. Some will feel more empathetic, creative or dramatic than usual; it’s a good time to make amends, and look at the big picture, just beware of what seems too good to be true. It’s easy to be taken advantage of under this influence, drink too much, seek too much pleasure, and spend too much money, so consider yourself forewarned. On the other hand, it is a highly creative time, and you may find yourself drawn to beauty, quietude, peace and solace. Dive in, it’s a lovely energy.

Mercury just entered Gemini, so there is a sense of analysis in the air.  This will help to dispel some of the fog that is hanging around.  Communications will be high, people will be chatty, seeking details and comparisons.  Mars is also in Pisces, sextile the Solar Eclipse, so good energy is available for active discovery and change. Saturn and Pluto remain in the background, arms folded, solid and stern. Lean on them if you need to, they aren’t going anywhere.

As this is a New Moon in Taurus, the prevailing mood is wanting to find security, pleasure, comfort and stability.  Uranus may not allow for that, but sometimes we need to change where we find security.  This is a great time to overcome habits that may be holding you back, particularly anything that holds you down and makes you too heavy.  Look at your relationship with money, and the insecurities you may be holding there – this is a good time to renovate preconceived notions about need, want and desire.

As everyone has Taurus in their astrological chart by house placement, it helps to know which of your houses this eclipse falls in.  Always consider the house holding the Eclipse, as well as its polarity point to get the fullest idea of what to expect. If you haven’t already run your own astrological chart, Astrodienst offers free chart calculations and a wealth of information for anyone interested in astrology.

Eclipses in Houses:

Eclipse along First House/Seventh House Axis – the focus is on 1st House issues of identity, persona, how we put ourselves out to the world versus 7th House issues about our relationships, partnerships, open enmities. How you do you, personally versus how close relationships affect you and how you are perceived

Eclipse along Second House/Eighth House Axis – the focus is on 2nd House issues of what we value, what we strive for, what we want and how we go about doing it versus what we need from others, dependencies (including debt and sex), what others want from us, power plays in resource management

Eclipse along Third House/Ninth House Axis – the focus is on 3rd House issues of how we communicate on a daily basis, with whom, and where.  Immediate interactions including with friends, neighbors, community versus 9th House issues of what we learn from the world at large, how the world affects our thinking and communication, higher education, travel, foreign influences, law

Eclipse along Fourth/Tenth House Axis – the focus is on 4th House issues of our most personal life, home, inner sanctum, ancestry, place of residence versus 10th House matters of career, what the world sees and knows of you, how you are viewed by the public, what you do with your life and how it represents who you are in the world

Eclipse along Fifth/Eleventh House Axis – the focus is on 5th House issues of personal creativity, joy, children (including conceptual offspring – projects, hobbies), gambling, what we do to find pleasure and enjoyment versus 11th House matters about how society affects us, our sense of friendship, fraternity, community involvement, how the outside world impacts our hopes and dreams, especially how these play out in the world at large

Eclipse along Six/Twelfth House Axis – the focus is on 6th House matters relating to our sense of service to others, jobs, work, employment, habits, daily maintenance and tasks, pets, things that need taking care of for which we are responsible (including our health) versus 12th House issues about what we are unconscious of, things beyond our grasp, the collective, dream worlds, illusions, isolation, limitations, delusions, where we fool ourselves, or engage in self-sabotage

For a list of 2022’s lunations, including eclipses, see: Lunar Events 2022

For more about Moon Phases, see: Moon Phases and Eclipses

Beauty Will Save the World: Full Moon in Libra 16 April 2022, with forecasts for each sign of the zodiac

Walter Crane, The Renaissance of Venus, 1877 at Tate Museum (not on display)

“Is it true, Prince, that you once said ‘beauty’ would save the world?  Gentlemen,” he cried loudly to them all, “the prince insists that beauty will save the world!”

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot, Part III, Chapter V

The Moon enters Libra on Thursday April 14 at 21:46 UT/16:46 EDT, and the Full Moon in Libra will be exact at 26º45’ on April 16 2022 at 18:55 UT/14:55 EDT.  After it reaches fullness, the Moon only remains in Libra for approximately six hours before scurrying off into Scorpio, and the last aspect it makes is a square to Pluto at 22:57 UT/17:57 EDT.  This is the first Full Moon of the astrological year, fleetingly short, a tight blend of tension and inspiration.

Libra is a sign known for its diplomacy and desire to maintain harmony. This Full Moon, in its opposition to the Sun in Aries, is captured in a tight T-square with Pluto, putting at odds the harmonious will to personal power, the importance of relationship and the need for catharsis and renewal.  This T-square is a portrait of interpersonal tension, as people feel under pressure to determine what is theirs and what belongs to others – psychologically, spiritually, practically and emotionally. Pluto, lord of the underworld, is a difficult energy at the best of times, and here, embroiled with the forces of emotion and ego, its cathartic influence creates a profound urge for upheaval and renovation of the existing state of affairs.  Add to this the sense of compulsion that is natural to Pluto, and we have a yearning for deep transformation, an itch that needs to be scratched even if we leave ourselves raw in the doing.  The accommodating Moon in Libra feels oppressed by the heavy-handed energy of Pluto in Capricorn, and it needs help from the Sun in Aries to find its way free.

The energy of Aries versus Libra can be seen like this.  Imagine getting up in the morning, not picking up your phone, not looking at your computer, or the television, not switching on the radio – not connecting with the outside world at all.  You only check in with yourself.  You sit down and write a few notes in a journal – consider how you are feeling, what you want or need to do with your day as you focus on yourself only.  That’s Aries energy, all “Me”.  In contrast, you can immediately look to the outside world for information, direction, inspiration, entertainment, all of which modifies how and who you are in any given moment – that’s Libra – all “We.” When we add a square from Pluto in Capricorn, we are challenged by forces outside of our control.  It’s like sky debris hurtling from space, landing on our front doorstep, energy that comes from the world beyond our personal lives, and impacts everything across this spectrum of “Me” and “We.” Collectively, Pluto indicates that our very foundations are being remade, and this impinges on how we understand everything about “Me” and “We” – who we are as individuals, and our relationships with others.

The current Jupiter/Neptune conjunction in Pisces sees the two rulers of that sign united, and that could be a glorious thing, but it adds a sense of deception to this time by creating the illusion that nothing is real, nothing is important, and that pleasure and idealism are all that matters. These two planets travelling together must be handled with great care, lest we get loss in the swirling mass of mythic powers. As a culture, we have been anesthetized with time-wasting habits, and it is so easy to just disconnect from the real world – click, surf, move on. What a luxury it is to be able to deny reality!  Just remember to consider the following concepts:  how do we fall prey to illusion, in self-concept, and in relationships with those closest to us, and the world at large?  What does “reality” mean? What do we hide from ourselves and others? What is being hidden from us? While the possibility of delusion is high with this Jupiter/Neptune conjunction, there is also so much inspiration available which we can use to build a better world for ourselves and others.  As such, we cannot give up and fall into despair or delusion. There is too much work to do people! We must continue to shine light into the darkest places of our collective experience, even if all you can muster is the smallest gesture of peace and consideration, a prayer in the dark.  This is an intense time, and frightening for so many who are in the midst of conflict. Remember the ideals which lead us to strive, and hold them close. Consider this as a period of renovation; we are going through the ugly, messy, seemingly hopeless stage of tearing down what is old and useless, and things don’t look good right now. We have to keep in mind our highest ideals and what we want to see emerge from all this mess. 

The quote at the beginning of this article is from the Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, from his book The Idiot, written in 1869, a time of much turmoil for the author, as well as the world. Sadly, we see how recently the actions of one particular Russian have resulted in the misery and horror of millions of people.  As a result, world opinion of all things Russian has plummeted to a state of hatred and revulsion, and even Russian contributions to literature, art, philosophy, and science are being removed from education curricula the world over. I hesitated to use this quote, given what is happening, but we cannot deny the impact that writers like Dostoevsky and Tolstoy have made to the body of literature. Some of the most profound creativity the world has ever seen comes from Russia, and we must give credit where it is due.  This small five word sentiment is one which is particularly valid at this time:  beauty will save the world.   Beauty, art, aesthetics – these are universal pursuits which elevate humanity and give us hope and the will to survive.  This is a fitting remembrance for a Full Moon in Libra, Venus-ruled sign of all things beautiful, erudite and refined.

In the spirit of Venus-ruled Libra, be a warrior for beauty.  Do something beautiful in your life – whether it’s dressing up in your best clothing, using color that pleases you in your fashion or environment, buying some flowers or delicacies, visit an art gallery, listen to some exquisite music – do something to honor the spirit of beauty, and share it with those you love.  Do your part, be a torch-bearer and shine the light of beauty into the world now, as it’s needed most.  Remember that the only way to shut down negativity is by being positive, and you don’t have to entertain negativity in your life, even if it’s the devil you know best.  Be open to inspiration and wonder.  Look for beauty in this world and it will find you. Embrace beauty, and let it inspire you as you let the delicate light of this Full Moon in Libra fill your heart with the gentle grace of Venus.


Aries:  Even warriors need time to heal and rest, Aries, and that is perfectly fine.  You are feeling full of spit and vinegar, and ideas for expansion of what you hold most valuable are flying faster than you can catch them.  Take the time to record all this good stuff, you’ll be surprised to review it all later.  This Full Moon is a good time to take a long hard look at your relationships and consider how they are affecting who you think you are.  You want the world to see a different you – alright, it’s going to take some serious soul-searching, a solidifying of your act, and courting some more mature playmates.  The inspiration is there, and your dreams are beautiful.  Let go of the reins, and let them come to life they way they want to, once and for all.

Taurus:  Your persona is crackling with innovation, and hell, maybe just a little bit of genius, but you need to stabilize that good stuff.  You like stability, remember Taurus?  It’s time to get serious – really serious about how you want the world to see you, and that is going to take work, work and more work, but in a new way that reflects this emerging worldview. Are you up for it?  The spotlight is on your habits, your daily routines, and your health.  How could subconscious material be tripping you up?  What are you hiding from yourself, what needs to be uprooted to free up the energy you can put to better use elsewhere? Old stuff impacts how the world is seeing you; that’s not necessarily bad, but structure could be useful.

Gemini:  The spotlight is on your creativity Gemini.  Embrace the beauty in your world and let yourself be a channel this Full Moon.  Share something that makes your heart sing, and let your sense of beauty inspire how the world sees you.  Much energy is available for you to capture your inspiration – look to your dreams, flashes of vision, and let the creative juices flow.  Zingers from your subconscious mind will surprise, but could very well lead to new directions as you work on solidifying your personal philosophy.  Control issues could prove discomforting, as you work through what’s mine and what’s yours.  Stand your ground, but don’t be a bully either.

Cancer:  This Full Moon, the spotlight is on your home/career axis, Cancer.  What does home mean to you?  Partnerships compel change, and you look to your worldview, philosophies, higher learning and your sense of justice to inform the decisions you make about how your power and that of those around you impact your sense of personal mission.  Expect surprises from your social scene, you may meet new people who shake you up with their innovative ways.  On the career front, your ego is in the game, even though you feel a bit put upon by the past, expectations that just won’t seem to leave you alone.  Some things cannot be changed, and it is wise to acknowledge what that means to you, and make peace.  Seek the solace of your inner sanctum, and make it beautiful.

Leo:  The spotlight is on your closest confidants, your buddies, your immediate environment and how you communicate on a daily basis.  You have ideas brewing about the world, and you want to share them, though issues of power, sexuality and control add spice to the mix.  Partnerships are either solid, stodgy or downright withholding right now – take your pick and work with it, even if it’s no fun. Go for what suits you, but don’t shy away from structure.  Remember, not everyone can keep up with your shining ways.  Work, routine and health provide an arena for change – what can you do to eliminate bad habits and start on a new path? Expect surprises in career, perhaps an announcement about a sudden change in direction.  It could even come from you.

Virgo: What do you hold dear, Virgo, and how does that measure up with what those closest to you value most? This Full Moon, allow your closest relationships to inspire you as your passion principle gets an overhaul. Partnerships and intimacy show you where your dreams lie, and beauty is found in higher thinking, learning, art, law and foreign travel and influences. Inspiration comes in surprising flashes as ideas you’ve been chasing suddenly become available for review. This is an excellent time to tighten up on any bad habits, do an overhaul of your health and domestic routines. If you want to start a new path and clean up your act, now’s the time to do so as you will be able to clearly see what needs work.

Libra:  The spotlight is on your persona this Full Moon, Libra, as you stand face to face with issues of how others influence the way you put yourself out into the world.  You are going through deep inner changes, revamping what security means on the deepest level of home and body; old traditions are sometimes the best, but if you want to put a spin on things, now would be the time to materialize your visions and kick up the old ways a bit.  Creativity feels hard to come by, but when it does come, it sticks and what you make is solid.  Don’t let yourself overindulge in workaholic tendencies; you need to rest and recuperate, and remember, lots of work happens in downtime too.  In fact, that’s often when the best inspirations strike.

Scorpio: This Full Moon, connect with your dreams, Scorpio. It’s like there’s a light shining into your subconscious mind, and you have the opportunity to feel wonderful inspiration in your creative self expression, and in your experience of beauty and pleasure. Sounds great, but materializing your inspirations will take looking at your daily habits, your routines and your approach to work to unlock that good stuff. Home life could pose some restrictions, or on the other hand, allow you to feel the support you need to let that inspiration unfurl. Career is out there for all to see, though how (and what) you talk about it is in a state of transformation. Expect surprises in relationships and partnerships, or even an appearance from an old flame or enemy.

Sagittarius:  The spotlight is on your society, Sagittarius.  Who do you rub shoulders with?  Who inspires you?  What do you wish for most dearly?  How do the people in your social scene affect your ideas of pleasure, joy and creativity?  Do they help, or hinder?  Communicating about this stuff feels tough, but if you have something important you’ve been wanting to say, now’s the time, because the message will be perceived as important and will be respected.  Home life is dreamy, and you feel inspired by your inner sanctum.  How you access the resources you need to keep those dreams alive needs some renovation.  Don’t be afraid, your value structure is changing.  Look for surprises in domestic, work and health routines as a new approach becomes apparent; pay attention, it could be a stroke of genius.

Capricorn:  The spotlight is on career, Capricorn, and how your very roots affect what you put out into the world.  Home offers you the foundation you need, but it can feel like an eternal compromise.  Your persona is in the midst of total renovation, and your value structure is solidifying; you want to see the money, long-term and you are willing to do the serious, long-term work. Make peace with what you can’t change, and seek beauty in your daily world.  Communications with those closest to you are inspired and you have much that is wonderful to consider.  Joy, pleasure and creative output are supercharged; pay close attention to any brainwaves that come through over the course of this Full Moon.  You are plumbing the depths; keep a record of this stuff, you will find it valuable in the future.

Aquarius:  The spotlight is on your philosophies, Aquarius, and how foreign ideas, teachings and people from other places impact how you communicate.  Your daily routines, interactions with those closest to you, and short-distance travel become amplified and you could find yourself quite busy as you seek to ground what you value in closer alignment with your outward persona.  This is a good time for manifesting your dreams, though do be careful if you are taking out a loan that you don’t overextend yourself now.  Home life and ancestry pose surprises; information comes to light which could change a lot about what you thought you knew, and material you’ve been carrying with you for some time.  Keep a close record, you will want to review later.

Pisces:  The spotlight is on power, power plays, how people hold things over you, and how you in turn like to control others, Pisces.  Your value structure is what it is, for better or for worse, and you know it – but now’s a good time to look at how your values mesh or not with those most important to you.  Expect surprising communication from relatives, siblings, neighbors and a lot of zooming around over the next few weeks.  Old material that’s been buried in your subconscious mind feels like work as it maintains a heavy presence just below the threshold of consciousness.  Your persona is inspired and you want to express your sense of blissfulness to the world.  Let it unfurl, share what you know to be beautiful, and expect your social scene to respond in kind.  Changes in your hopes and dreams are brewing.  Take care of the daily stuff first, the rest will follow.

Beauty in action, standing against oppression. In the streets of Kharkiv, Ukraine-22 March 2022 – Bach Cello Suite no 5 in C minor BWV 1011, Prelude.
“My name is Denys Karachevtsev, I am a cellist and a citizen of Kharkiv. I love my heroic city which is now struggling to survive the war. I deeply believe that we can help. I believe we can restore and rebuild our city and our country when the war is over. I am launching my project in the streets of Kharkiv to raise funds for humanitarian aid and for restoration of the city’s architecture. Let’s unite to revive our city together!”

On Psychic Grooves, Balance and Free Will

Sri Dharma Mittra of Dharma Yoga Center, New York, NY in Niralamba Sirsasana (hands-free head stand pose), an expression of perfect balance.

Balance is ultimately a matter of Self-control, a refinement of how we exert our free will through careful consideration of proportion and scale in our behavior and action. Most people live in a well-worn habitual mode of action, using that mode as their regular vehicle as they move through life. Think of all the times you hear people say self-defining things like “I’m so stupid. I’m a pot-stirrer. I’m just lazy. I’m a bull in a china shop. I’m this or I’m that…” and you will understand what this means. In yoga we call these self-defining, habitual modes of thinking and being samskaras. These samskaras can be regarded as psychic grooves, much like the grooves on a vinyl record.  No matter how many times a record is played, we experience the same song over and over again, maybe with a few scratches here and there as the record gets older. As we move through our days, each of us is playing our own record, and our psychic grooves cause us to respond to the world in a habitual way.  We tend to think the same thoughts repetitively, feel the same feelings, and react to circumstances, no matter how novel, in ways based on pre-established memory and presupposition.  We seek recollection of previous experience for ways to comprehend what we have before us, whether the response proves to be balanced or not.

Samskaras are the result of years of conditioning and in cases of particularly unmovable patterns, likely previous karmas that we carry into this life which create preconceived notions that we rely upon to navigate the world. We often find ourselves stuck in repetitive thoughts regardless of our intentions, and recurring memories affect how we proceed with our relationships, often hindering us from seeking better ways of doing things. These are samskaras in action making it difficult to separate what we believe we know from what is there to be known. We all live in our samskaras, and while they are fundamental to consciousness and it is impossible to exist without them, our goal is to change our limiting grooves, realizing where we may go wrong as a result of acting through habit or misconception.  This is why so much attention is paid in spiritual development practices on learning how to disconnect from patterns that may not be to our benefit to follow. Consider yourself as a vehicle with the tires on one side stuck in a rut. Sitting in the vehicle, you find yourself unbalanced, and it is your goal to remove yourself from that rut and set yourself back on a balanced path. This takes a concentrated effort, but is not impossible by any means.

What we spend most of our time thinking about eventually overtakes our personas, and we come to embody our habitual thoughts – a self-fulfilling prophecy is enacted.  This is the principle behind what is commonly known as “The Law of Attraction,” which, while a deceptively simple idea, is usually only half-considered.  One believes that to focus on prosperity and wealth will attract such benefits in our lives, and yet, the psychic hygiene required to maintain positive focus typically falls away through ennui, lack of sufficient evidence of efficacy, or simple distraction, and people resume their immersion in negativity once again.  Habitual thinking leads to habitual behavior, and if the habits are inherently negative and Self-denying, life force, happiness and personal effectiveness are curtailed. To manifest positivity, we must live our lives positively, on a continual basis.  Positivity is not something that we schedule as a point of focus for 15 minutes here or there throughout the day after which we resume bad habits.  A positive, productive and prosperous life is built on establishing a positive overall outlook, and that outlook must be maintained with passion and commitment.   This is a matter of free will and choice.

“Do not grieve over your present state and do not worry. If you refuse to worry, you will remain calm and you will surely find a way of reaching your goal. Remember that every time you worry, you put on a mental brake; and in struggling against that resistance, you place strain on your heart and mind. You wouldn’t try to drive off in your car with the brake on, because you know it would severely damage the mechanism. Worry is the brake on the wheels of your efforts; it brings you to a dead stop. Nothing is impossible, unless you think it is. Worry can convince you that it is impossible to do what you want to do. Worrying wastes time and energy. Use your mind instead to try to make some positive effort.”

Paramahansa Yogananda, The Divine Romance

What about people who have been traumatized, who have suffered terrible violence, are immersed in depression, anxiety, limited circumstances or otherwise compromised?  Do these people have a choice to be positive, or are their negative experiences going to define their lives? Unfortunately, it is true that societal forces have resulted in the destruction of capacities to live good lives for huge swaths of the human population. Ultimately though, the choice with what to do with one’s life, and how to best live that life, is up to the individual.  One only has to reflect on survivors of trauma, of horrors such as war, cultural genocide, Holocaust, slavery, emotional, psychological or sexual abuse and look to the inspiration of stories told by those who overcame their traumas to understand the potential of the human spirit.  We see that positive mental outlook and choice are the forces behind successfully overcoming traumatic pasts.  The human spirit can be unbelievably strong, and it is possible to summon that strength to overcome anything, even when it does not seem immediately possible. Don’t ever let anyone or any circumstance lead you to believe you cannot overcome what you want to overcome. This power is available to every single member of humankind. Have faith in your abilities to find balance and live the life you want to live

Currently we find the world gripped in great tension, with large-scale exertions of individual and collective power, extreme expressions of violent tribalism, and delusive ideological bludgeoning causing mass confusion and uncertainty. Sadly, for many people, this all proves to be too onerous, and we have a burgeoning population of those who suffer, unable to find their way free of the burdens that they bear. But we must remember this: nobody needs to give us permission to choose to live a balanced, positive life. It is within the power of each individual to take the steps forward to find harmony for themselves. When we become imbalanced, we easily succumb to negative states of mind which spiral outward, affecting everything around us, but even one step on the path to balance leads to a sense of inner encouragement, and a person can see their accomplishment and build new foundations. The grooves that we travel in life do not have to be negative, and we do not need to remain stuck in them. We have the power to make new tracks, create new songs, and to seek out positive, creative ways of being. Only in focusing on maintaining balance in our own Self will we find any semblance of balance in the world around us. The more people choose to maintain balance in themselves, the more balanced we will all become, something which is sorely needed in this world today.

“The material and the spiritual are but two parts of one universe and one truth. By overstressing one part or the other, we fail to achieve the balance necessary for harmonious development. Life is expressed in a threefold way: through thoughts, desires and actions. Rightly guide all three forms of expression and they will lead you to a higher state of consciousness. In your activities you are the creator, the preserver, the transformer; your will is the director. Practice the art of living in this world without losing your inner peace of mind. Follow the path of balance to reach the inner wondrous garden of Self-realization.”

Paramahansa Yogananda was a Kriya Yogi and founder of Self-Realization Fellowship

Memento Mori Miniature Art

I visited Art Gallery of Ontario yesterday and spent some time looking at a wonderful exhibit called “Meditation and the Medieval Mind.” I took many photos, and thought I would share some here for those who may be interested. Reflection on death through contemplation of what are known as “memento mori” has been an important source of religious, philosophical and spiritual art throughout European history. This exhibit looks mainly at miniature art, as well as some larger religious pieces, all reflective of the undeniable fact of mortality and our inevitable appointment with Death.

“Death Triumphant” carved lindenwood, Germany (Bavaria), 1670.
Thompson Collection of European Art at Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo: Veronica Childe.
Coffin pendant and case, gold, hair, crystal and sharkskin, England, 1721
Thompson Collection of European Art at Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo: Veronica Childe.
“Saint Michael Triumphant Over the Devil”, carved fruitwood, Southern Germany, 1742.
Thompson Collection of European Art at Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo: Veronica Childe.
Left to right: Death, carved boxwood, late 16th to early 17th c Germany;
Death, ivory, early 17th century Germany;
Skull with crown of thorns, ivory, 18th century Germany
Thompson Collection of European Art at Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo: Veronica Childe.
“The Dance of Death”, Circle of Leonhard Kern, ivory, mid 17th century, Germany
Thompson Collection of European Art at Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo: Veronica Childe.
Skull Pomander, silver, 17th century.
Thompson Collection of European Art at Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo: Veronica Childe.
“Allegory of Youth and Death,” ivory, early 17th century Germany (Augsburg or Munich)
Thompson Collection of European Art at Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo: Veronica Childe.
“Skeleton Arising from the Tomb at The Last Judgement” ivory and paint, 16th century Germany or France
Thompson Collection of European Art at Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo: Veronica Childe.

March 2022 Full Moon in Virgo with Forecasts for Each Sign of the Zodiac

Vasily Vereshchagin, Apotheosis of War, Turkestan Series, oil on canvas, Russia, 1872. Tretyakov Gallery

Note:  I discuss current planetary activities at length here, so if you are looking only for your astrological forecast, please scroll down. Thank you.

Since the last Full Moon on 16 February 2022, war has erupted in Europe, the likes of which has not been seen since World War Two. At this writing, 2.5 million people have fled Ukraine after Russia’s full scale invasion of February 24, 2022, and the world watches as Vladimir Putin wages a war which will surely go down in history as a crime against humanity. This month’s Full Moon is exact on Friday 18 March at 7:19 UT (3:19 EDT), and as we have seen so far this year, intensity is not abating.

Full Moon 27º40′ Virgo 18 March 2022, exact at 7:19 UT/3:19 EDT.
Chart courtesy of Astrodienst

Should this astrologer address war as it plays out on the eastern edge of Europe? Is it even ethical to discuss war astrologically? Is this not the purpose of astrological forecasting, to glean insight which is otherwise obscured by superficial events, or is that approach an archaism? I am not an entertainment-based astrologer, and I know that perhaps some readers find my posts too serious, but I offer no apologies. Whether or not my readers appreciate this proclivity in my thinking, I find it difficult to ignore the mass influence of the planets as they effect us universally. I will leave the reader to make up their own mind on these questions of ethics and entertainment, and offer my usual assessment of the sky as it happens, in the world as it happens. Otherwise, I run the risk of glossing over what I see occurring globally by just giving an account of what each individual sign should expect.  We are a global society, and I believe we cannot ignore the call of the trans-generational planets and their effects on the collective. 

For decades people have been talking about the Age of Aquarius, and unfortunately much of what has been bandied about on this topic has been overly idealistic.  Aquarius, ruled by Saturn traditionally, and by Uranus in modern astrology, while the sign of brotherly love, is also the sign of erratic and unpredictable events (like Putin’s invasion of Russia after promises otherwise), revolution, shock, tyranny, socialism, refugees, fanaticism, explosions, radiation and nuclear science, armaments, and incidentally, Uranus also rules Russia.  These are not light-hearted concepts, but rather some of the most serious things that any society can encounter.  While Saturn’s transit through Capricorn saw a tightening of governmental restrictions, and the imposition of higher-level rules for society, Saturn in Aquarius now butting up against Uranus in Taurus is testing the strength of the established order in ways not seen since the last time these two giants squared off in the late 1980s, a time marked by the Palestinian Uprising, the Soviet-Afghan War, the bombing of Libya, and the rise of Al Qaeda.   

Currently, the most visible venue of change is Ukraine, a country which gained independence on 24 August 1991, when the Sun was at 0º 42’ Virgo. A country historically subject to the winds of war, Ukraine embodies the phrase “salt of the earth.”  It is known as the breadbasket of Europe, and holds many valuable resources in its broad lands.  This Full Moon in Virgo conjoins Ukraine’s natal Mars, pushing people to violence as they need to fight for what they love most.  Saturn in Aquarius is conjoined with Ukraine’s natal Moon, which intensifies the natal opposition to the stellium in Leo, all of which is further widely squared by transiting Uranus in Taurus, signifying a heartbreaking period of loss, upheaval, challenges to idealism, emotional pain and insecurity.  The passionate conjunction of Mars and Venus in Aquarius seeks material acquisition of progress, and is moving into full conjunction with Saturn, confounding the satisfaction of personal desire as it combines with the will to aggression.   The conjunction will be at its closest by the end of March, and will result in deep frustration as people seek to enact their personal desires but are thwarted by powers beyond their reckoning.  Mars and Saturn will travel together in Aquarius until the third week of April. Saturn stands as gatekeeper, the god of time pressing down on Mars as it struggles for its will to power.  Passion, nurturance and depth of emotion are dampened by harsh reality in this overall combination, and people are tired of suffering, tired of being oppressed and repeatedly told “No”. 

18 March 2022 transits to chart of independent Ukraine. Courtesy of Astrodienst

We must also recognize the continuing influence of Pluto in Capricorn, the most cathartic force impinging upon the established order with insurmountable tensions that are boiling over in a cataclysm of collapse. Pluto has a few years left before it moves into Aquarius, and will continue to undermine established structures, sometimes painfully so.  As a rule, people do not like change, and Pluto’s approach to transformation can be extremely powerful as it eliminates what does not serve evolution’s requirements.  What may or may not be useful in the arena of Ukraine/Russia politics is beyond the scope of this article, but at the very least, we can expect that the popular, romanticized global image of Russia will once and for all be shattered in the wake of a tyrannical dictator’s destructive quest for power. Russia has long been a complicated presence on the world scene, a nation that created some of the world’s most elevated art and literature, as well being responsible for perpetrating some of the most barbaric atrocities ever known. Whenever this war is over, the reputation of Russia will be irrevocably changed, and we can only pray that lessons will be learned which allow that country to grow into a more compassionate and humane nation.

Also at play is the tremendous power of the current Neptune/Jupiter conjunction in Pisces, and the delusion inherent in that aspect, the combination of idealism with illusory desires for sublimation and loss of consciousness, indicating a deep collective need for escapism in the face of unrelenting terror.  This conjunction in Pisces is exemplified in the opiate of mass media that has plunged the world into a state of insurmountable addiction, as social media, streaming, binge watching, the gobbling down of political punditry brimming over with opinion editorials, the sheer spectacle of it all keeping people placated and numb as they flip from screen to screen in the quest for just the right sort of balm that will get them through the night unscathed.  This addiction pales with the epidemic of drug dependency which has swept across the planet, fueled by the greed of big pharma.  The Jupiter/Neptune conjunction in Pisces is also embodied in the reality of the global COVID-19 pandemic, as the rapidly spreading, highly infectious disease has brought the world to its knees, necessitating global lock-downs, restrictions on movement, and freedom to enjoy normal life. How we perceive reality, historically defined as the material here and now, is being challenged as much of the world now perceives reality virtually. Our increasing connection with the nebulous world of living “online” defies what we once considered the bulk of our daily lives. We can reach out to people around the globe, share ideas and images which shape who we believe we are. This development in human consciousness is unprecedented and has created new definitions of what it means to be human. The concentration of Neptune and Jupiter in Pisces is blowing open collective consciousness, and everywhere, people are swimming in deep waters as they try to ascertain what is real and what is manufactured disinformation spun for the purposes of confusion, profit, propaganda and chaos-making.

Despite this grim constellation of planets, I truly believe in the interconnectivity of life on Earth and that despite the problems of the world today, we are growing as a species.   I believe that while we are multitudes, we are One humanity, regardless of any distinguishing factors which individuals may use to mark out their place in the world – nationality, color, creed, sexual or political orientation.  While we are all immured in the vicissitudes of our daily worlds, on a greater level, we all exist here on this planet at the same time as 8 billion other people, and whether we are conscious of it or not, we share in a fundamental collective mind.  Aside from the high-profile war in Ukraine, violence still rages in places like Pakistan, Myanmar, Syria, Afghanistan, East Africa, Yemen, Iraq, Mexico…and the list goes on, all with considerable loss of life, terror and pain. It is easy to forget the rest of the world’s suffering as we are inundated with media’s immediate attention on Ukraine, but if we could each say a prayer for all those who suffer, for the men, women and children who spend their days and nights in fear and uncertainty, then surely that energy will be of benefit, somehow.  Use the increased light of this Full Moon in Virgo to look at the details of the world around you, and in true Virgo fashion, find some way to offer service to the greater good, even if that begins with taking a crack at cleaning up your own personal reality.

The March Equinox occurs on Sunday 20 March at 15:33 UT (11:33 EST) and the Sun moves into Mars-ruled Aries.  Let use the heightened energies available now to be peaceful warriors – do what you can in your individual world to spread some love. No effort at peace is ever wasted.


Forecasts for each sign of the zodiac:

Aries:  You feel pressure to revolutionize your value system and how the world sees you, Aries.  No longer satisfied with what you have been, you look ahead to materialize your dreams, and there is considerable power available if you allow yourself to listen to the stirrings of your subconscious mind.  You will feel discomfort as you stretch into your new persona, but that will pass with practice.  There is considerable activity going on below the surface – take the time to listen to those quiet stirrings in the fringe moments of the day and night.  Let your imagination flow, for you have the power available to manifest the changes you wish to see – use that Aries courage and grab the future by the horns.  Beware seeking comfort in workaholic tendencies.  That’s old hat for you – try self-nurturing instead and see what a difference it makes in opening up your heart and life.

Taurus:  You are revolutionizing how you come across to the world, Taurus, and while old, hidden material in your deepest heart still feels tender, and there are secrets you want to bury, know that the tough stuff also gives you strength and fuels the energy now available to actualize your new persona.  Your philosophy and what you dream of achieving are in the midst of transformation, and it’s time to take to the open field.  Build it and they will come.  Support comes from your peeps – you have a lot of idealistic energy behind you, as you work on vocalizing the dreams of many.  Allow creativity to flow, and let yourself emote in tangible ways, you will soon have the specifics down pat.  Just let the energy flow, get it out and amaze yourself. Others will catch up with your changes eventually. Don’t take this energy for granted. Carpe diem, Taurus, carpe diem.

Gemini:  What you dream, you can achieve, Gemini, and you have the power to actualize some of your ideals, though perhaps not as fast as you’d like.  Don’t worry about delays, they will prove valuable later.  Inklings of new world views that have been playing at the edges of your mind over the past few months are starting to finally concretize, and you come across as inspired on the career front.  Home matters are key, as it is finally sinking in that you need some stability in your foundations.  Philosophizing is great, but the need to be grounded presses, as you understand that what you put out to the world has to come from a stable place deep inside first. Jolts of inspiration and the disclosure of secrets surprise, but they might just point you in the right direction, so pay attention.  Trusting others feels tender, and power struggles may come to a head once and for all.

Cancer:  The spotlight is on communication with those in your immediate environment as you seek to share your ideals and aspirations with those closest to you.  Your world view is inspired as surprising influences inform the development of a new system of philosophy, and you are hard-pressed to separate dream from reality.  Beware of inundation.  Partnerships are up for renewal, and interpersonal power plays feel like very high stakes, as you seek to actualize a new system of give and take.  You are flooded with ideals, but grounding has to happen somewhere.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help, though beware the strings attached with any offers.  Any loans you take on now are going to be long-term commitments.  Mind the details and don’t get carried away. Assess what you really need carefully.

Leo:  You see the brass ring and want to grab it, and you are ready to commit to your ideals, as you finally feel that you can manifest what you actually want, not what others want of you.  Power plays feel energizing, and you may feel like you are winning, and you will if you stick to your guns, but take a good long look at what you really value before taking the fight to that hill.  If it glitters, it may not be gold, so double check before you commit.  Transformation in routine can bring up health care matters that need attention, and it’s a great time to start fresh approach on the work front.  Existing personal philosophies require maintenance and acceptance as you find some of your ideas fall short when put to the test.  If you put in the effort at work, you’ll find your attention shifts away from those tender spots, just beware of burying your head in the sand.

Virgo:  The spotlight is on your persona this month, Virgo, and you feel keenly the impact of others on how you put yourself out into the world.  Wearing your heart on your sleeve feels good right now,  and relationships of all sorts are energized, though you may get a bit confused as you can’t see straight what’s yours and what’s theirs.  This applies to friends, partners, lovers, and even people you consider enemies, so take note.  Look to exploring new influences in your world view as fresh impressions make themselves felt in how you find creative pleasure.  If there’s something you really want in your routine life – work, health, day-to-day – now’s the time to manifest changes, as energy is high and you are able to concretize inspirations.  Intimacy feels tender; don’t be afraid to transform what turns you on.

Libra:  Health, work, daily routine and how they affect you on a deep subconscious level are highlighted this month, Libra.  Subconscious material and obsessions can be seen more clearly, especially how they impact your work life.  There’s a lot of idealization happening, and you see that you can bring your dreams to life in your day-to-day setting, but beware of compulsions taking over and leading you down the garden path.  Home life is due for a shake up, be careful of any maintenance issues that may require attention before a serious breakdown occurs.  Much energy is available to help manifest your creative projects.  Don’t get frustrated by delays, but use the time to delve into details that may otherwise evade attention.  Shared resources can surprise, and partnerships feels tender.  This too shall pass.

Scorpio:  Personal values are up for transformation, Scorpio, and you may feel compelled to transform how and who you communicate with, especially on a daily basis.  Friends, fondest wishes and your regular social scene are highlighted, allowing you to see what’s what more clearly, particularly how these impact your creative output and pleasure principle. Desires for acquisition and dominance are compelling, but feel thwarted – a push/pull effect occurs as you see what you want but obstacles arise.  Work with the slow-down as you are now able to clarify details.  Things that look really good now in light of today’s idealism might trip you up later when everything calms down and the haze has lifted. Surprises pop up with partnerships, but new directions might be just the thing you need.

Sagittarius:  Your career is in the spotlight, as who you are and what you stand for shifts with powerful undercurrents of evolutionary transformation.  You are working hard at being the best that you can be, Sagittarius – roll with it and don’t be afraid to embrace change.  You are passionate about letting everyone know where you stand, particularly on the home front.  While you feel idealistic about your inner sanctum and what you need to feel inspired, you may also find yourself stymied as people around you want to be serious when you want to play.  Be careful of snags in short-distance transportation, car repair issues and getting caught in delays.  Attend to the details now to avoid hassles later.  Changes in daily routine, new co-workers and methods will crop up, but don’t worry, it’s what’s best in the long run.  

Capricorn:  The spotlight is on your personal philosophies, Capricorn, and you have the opportunity this Full Moon to see clearly what has been guiding you, what moves you, motivates and inspires you.  You come across as intense, as you want to discuss and share your ideas with the world, and you will certainly have a lot to say.  Your value structure is highly energized and if you want to manifest any changes in where you put your efforts, now is the time to build new foundations.  Think carefully as what you set in motion now will tend to stick.  Creativity surprises and new directions in how you find joy call you forward to your best new self. Discuss, share, open up and allow yourself to be all that you have ever wished for.  Not everyone gets such an opportunity – make the most of it while you can.

Aquarius:  Saturn’s rulership of your sign makes itself evident as you come across as no-nonsense and empowered, Aquarius.  Your dreams are what you value most, and your active value system is finally embodying your dreams, though how you communicate all of this may still feel a bit stifled and insecure. Let that develop on its own time, there’s no rush. Your voice will be heard.  Surprises on the home front can be inspiring, as new directions are hashed out in what you want to see actualized in your inner sanctum. Be careful of accidents around the home, as well as power plays with loved ones, as the interconnection between what you want and what others want of you is fully illuminated.  Depths that normally remain unseen spew forth transformative material which informs who you are becoming.  Let the purge happen now with the light of this critical and insightful Full Moon.

Pisces:  Your persona and how it impacts your closest relationships is front and center in your mind now, Pisces, and you seek to embody all the idealism that you hold inside you.  Normally shy about your dreams, you may come out with a few zingers that surprise those closest to you this Full Moon, as you are actively seeking to transform your social scene.  New wishes emerge from the depths, and you have the capacity to do deep and serious psychological work at this time.  Allow what is happening around you to pull forth from your core what has remained hidden for so long.  While your values are shifting, and it may seem you will never get what you really want, don’t fret.  You will, but do the foundational work first.  Avoidance tactics will only backfire and leave you (and those around you) surly. Let your dreams guide you, and shine.

The Divine Light Invocation by Swami Sivananda Radha

Swami Sivananda Radha Saraswati, 1911-1995

Swami Sivananda Radha (born in Germany in 1911 as Sylvia Demitz) was a student of Swami Sivananda Saraswati, and her dedication to promoting the well-being of people everywhere led her to create Yasodhara Ashram in Kootenay Bay, British Columbia, a spiritual center which still thrives to this day. Her establishment of a woman-focused lineage, The Saraswati Order, resulted in the ashram largely run by woman, with special attention to women’s issues and the understanding of the Divine Feminine. Swami Radha’s approach was to bring Westerners the teachings of yoga in a manner that was relatable and which cut away much of the complicated philosophy, terminology and practice that Indian yogis adhered to, allowing greater apprehension and benefit for a wider group of seekers.

Her chosen name “Radha” is in praise of Radha, the goddess of love, the main consort and devotee of Krishna. Radha existence was dedicated to love, compassion and undying devotion to the Divine, and she is never separated from her lover, their bonds of love are so strong. The virtues of the Divine Feminine , devotion to tenderness, nurturing, love and compassion are sorely lacking in our world today and it is a blessing that such teachings are available at Swami Radha’s ashram.

Radha (Bani Thani) , attributed to Nihâl Chand, Kishangarh, 1750. Wikipedia.

One of the most beloved of Swami Radha’s teachings was The Divine Light Invocation. It is simple, easily remembered and highly beneficial, particularly in times of darkness, doubt, fear or anxiety. Some people like to incorporate this into their Hatha yoga practice, but it is equally powerful for those who wish to recite the words at any time of need. You needn’t be a yoga practitioner to benefit from this healing invocation.

I am created by Divine Light

I am sustained by Divine Light

I am protected by Divine Light

I am surrounded by Divine Light

I am ever growing into Divine Light.

For more of Swami Radha’s teachings, I suggest the following books, both written by her, and which allow for greater understanding of her approach. She is an inspiration to women’s seekership everywhere, an advocate of wholesome, healthy living and the will to thrive.

Radha: Diary of a Woman’s Search

Hatha Yoga: The Hidden Language

Also visit the website of Yasodhara Ashram for more information about the opportunities for spiritual development, study and retreat.

Yasodhara Ashram’s Temple of Light, Kootenay Bay, British Columbia.

Excerpt from “Memorial: A Version of Homer’s Iliad” by Alice Oswald

Juan de la Corte 1590-1660, Achilles Confronting Hector Outside Troy

A short excerpt from Alice Oswald’s epic poem, Memorial: A Version of Homer’s Iliad, published in 2011 by Faber and Faber Ltd., pages 68-71.

And Hector died like everyone else
He was in charge of the Trojans
But a spear found out the little patch of white
Between his collarbone and his throat
Just exactly where a man's soul sits
Waiting for the mouth to open
He always knew it would happen
He who was so boastful and anxious
And used to nip home deafened by weapons
To stand in full armour in the doorway
Like a man rushing in leaving his motorbike running
All women loved him
His wife was Andromache
One day he looked at her quietly
He said I know what will happen
And an image stared at him of himself dead
And her in Argos weaving for some foreign woman
He blinked and went back to his work
Hector loved Andromache
But in the end he let her face slide from his mind
He came back to her sightless
Strengthless expressionless
Asking only to be washed and burned
And his bones wrapped in soft cloths
And returned to the ground

Like leaves who could write a history of leaves
The wind blows their ghosts to the ground
And the spring breathes new leaf into the woods
Thousands of names thousands of leaves
When you remember them remember this
Dead bodies are their lineage
Which matter no more than the leaves

Like chaff flying everywhere at threshing time
The winnowers waft their fans and the wind does its work
And a goddess is there picking the grain from its husk
While a fine white dust covers everything

In Anne Oswald’s own words: “This translation presents the whole poem as a kind of oral cemetery – in the aftermath of the Trojan War, an attempt to remember people’s names and lives without the use of writing. I hope it doesn’t need too much context. I hope it will have its own coherence as a series of memories and similes laid side by side.: an antiphonal account of man in his world. ”

Ukrainian Artist Ilya Repin, the Narodnik Movement, and the Power of Propaganda

Ilya Repin, Ukrainian Woman, 1876


Artist Ilya Repin was born in 1844 in Chuhuiv, Russian Empire, in an area which, after the February Revolution of 1917, was declared the Ukrainian People’s Republic, and then in 1991 became independently known as Ukraine.  Most recently, Chuhuiv was bombed on February 24, 2022, as a result of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine which began on the same date, but which has been an ongoing threat since February 2014. Presumably, Russia is seeking to regain territory it lost with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, and so the world watches as it invades Ukraine with impunity, destroying the peace and lives of families throughout that nation. This area of the world has a long and rich history, but has suffered from the terror of war for centuries.  At one point, during the 10th and 11th centuries, Ukraine was the most powerful state in Europe, and its capital, Kyiv, was the center of Kievan Rus, until Kyiv was destroyed by the Mongols in 1240.   With centuries of shifting nationalities, borders and political alliances all based on the productivity of one of the richest caches of natural resources in the world, Ukraine’s position in European history cannot be understated.

Ilya Repin was highly influential and prolific, and remains one of the leading artists associated with his day.  Due to the inflammatory nature of some of his art, as well as his ideological differences with the Russian government, Ilya Repin lived much of his life in exile, in an area of Finland which was later allocated to Russian Saint Petersburg.   His paintings depicted the some of the most important political moments of Russian history, ranging from the murder of Tsarevich Ivan Ivanovich by his father, Ivan IV Vasilyevich, known as Ivan the Terrible and the first declared Tsar of Russia, to the documentation  of the Narodnik Movement, which was active in Russia after the abolition of serfdom in 1861.

Ilya Repin, Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16th, 1581, oil on canvas, 1885, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

The painting below, Arrest of a Propagandist, depicts the betrayal by an informant and subsequent arrest of a propagandist in the Narodnik movement which grew among Russian intelligentsia and focused on redistribution of capital, and social revolution. After the overthrow of serfdom in 1861, agrarian-based socialist sentiment became widespread among middle and upper-class Narodniks, with the belief that if the peasantry, newly released from serfdom, could be organized, then the aristocracy could be overthrown, paving the way for a new form of socialist egalitarianism.  

Ilya Repin, Arrest of a Propagandist, oil on canvas, 1892. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. A Narodnik propagandist is betrayed by an informant, and arrested by authorities.

The fervor and idealism of these sentiments developed into a movement known as  Going to the People. Organized by the intelligentsia, notably Mikhail Bakunin and Pyotr Lavrov, and focused on educating and uplifting the peasants to overthrow the aristocracy, Going to the People was a mass phenomenon of social unrest.  While having no centralized leadership, intelligentsia encouraged idealistic students to leave their university posts, abandon their studies and go live among the peasantry, inspiring them to rebellion and eventual overthrow of the ruling classes.  Students were to guide the peasants in ideological education and development of propaganda networks, promising that participation would lift up their station in life, allowing the development of greater equality. At its height in 1874, between 4,000 and 6,000 impressionable students from the upper classes quit their studies and flocked to the countryside, brimming with idealistic, revolutionary sentiment meant to see through an economic and political transformation of Russian society. Differences within the Going to the People movement arose as to whether it should remain peaceful and idealistic, or more overtly revolutionary, and adoption of the peasant lifestyle proved too onerous for many used to the comforts of upper class urban life. 

Ilya Repin, They Did Not Expect Him, oil on canvas, 1884-88, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. This painting depicts the return of a Narodnik revolutionary to his home after imprisonment and exile.

Nevertheless, the Narodnik movement ultimately resulted in the successful assassination of Russian Tsar Alexander II in 1881, after four previous attempts by radicalized Narodnik agitators failed in 1866, 1867, 1879 and 1880.  The movement, while achieving its goal of destroying Tsar Alexander II, was ultimately not effective because of the disconnect between the ideologies of learned intelligentsia and illiterate peasants. The upper classes overly idealized the peasant lifestyle, as well as the willingness of the peasantry to participate in revolutionary activity.  Many former serfs were suspicious of the interference of the urban agitators, and actually supported those in power as their rightful overseers, believing that the aristocracy acted on Earth acted as representatives of God, not to be opposed or aggravated in any way. The ideals behind Narodnichestvo, however, had taken hold strongly enough to influence the later Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917, and it is speculated that the ideology influenced the Bolshevik Revolution that resulted in the destruction of the Russian Royal Family. 

Ilya Repin, Bolsheviks, oil on canvas, 1918, Constantine Palace, Saint Petersburg. A depiction of a Bolshevik soldier stealing bread from a child.

Ilya Repin was a close friend of Leo Tolstoy, whose books strongly focused on their depictions of the lives of both peasants and aristocracy.  Tolstoy was strongly influenced by Narodnik ideology, as can be seen in his masterpiece, Anna Karenina, in the rendition of an idealized rural lifestyle taken up by the discontented but idealistic protagonist Konstantin “Kostya” Dmitrievich Levin, as he struggles to leave behind the aristocracy and embrace a more natural, wholesome and spiritual lifestyle as exemplified by the simple yet happy peasantry.

Ilya Repin, Tolstoy Writing at Yasnaya Polyana, oil on canvas, 1891, Pushkin House Collection.

While the Narodnik movement may have begun as a truly idealistic outgrowth of the release of people from centuries of serfdom, with an urge to equalize classes and seek reform for the benefit of all, unfortunately, the romantic idealization of the peasant lifestyle, and the flattering glorification of good, honest hardworking family folk living close to the land still continues to this day. Note the recent “Freedom Convoy” movement, with many adherents coming from the North American heartland – centers of industry based on agriculture, oil and associated resource extraction and transportation. While we no longer openly acknowledge class divisions in the Western world, implicit class distinctions based on education, income and heritage still remain, and people all along the spectrum are easily manipulated by the propagation of increasingly sophisticated, emotionally charged propaganda and disinformation.

Whether in 19th century Russia, or 21st century Europe and North America, power protects itself. Those holding it are isolated from the harsh realities of life, easily deploying common people to spread propaganda which further its interests.  It is sad to see this at play in the world today, spreading throughout the world via social media venues. Peace is an elusive thing, easily fractured and rarely found, but we must strive to achieve it at all costs – except through the horrors of war.  While many changes are needed in our world to effect greater economic equality and improved living conditions, particularly for the most vulnerable, incitement to violence and war should be the very last avenue of approach.  However, when attacked by the power hungry, grabbing for additional resources and terrorizing innocent citizens, unfortunately, there must be a call to stand and fight for the basic right to live peacefully and unobstructed.   It is a travesty that even after the terrible lessons of two world wars, with 40 million dead in World War I and almost 85 million dead in World War II, we are still facing the brutal, horrible realities of war today. 

We must support peace in Ukraine, peace for all people everywhere, and work for an end to war once and for all.

For further reading, please see:

Astrology: February 2022 Full Moon in Leo with forecasts for each zodiac sign

Nick Brandt, Windswept Lion, platinum print, 2002

The increased light available at each Full Moon allow us to see clearly what is otherwise obscured from consciousness, giving us the capacity to be more objective than at any other point in the month. For those who are consciously set on their course, this can be an encouraging time as pieces of our personal puzzles are more easily apprehended.  For those who tend to avoid personal responsibility, the Full Moon can flood the mind with an influx of imagery, thought and emotion that can be overwhelming, thus observations of “lunacy” that surface around Full Moons. Life feels more intense and strange things can happen as compulsions take over otherwise rational minds. These lunations are powerful times best dedicated to assessing and harvesting what is working well and for consciously acknowledging and letting go of what no longer serves us.

The Full Moon of February 16 is exact at 16:58 UT (11:48 EST) and we have a concentration of planets in Earth signs as well as Fixed signs.  This is a combination which gives density and seeming immovability to the time.  “Wherever you are, there you are” as the saying goes, and that sentiment holds especially true now.  Fixed Earth is all about security and manifestation, and the energy is executive, focused and fertile. Use this time to stand your ground, look around and thoroughly take in your environment.  Who are you in the midst of it all? Is this what motivates you every day? Would you be willing to fight for your circumstances, or are you yearning for something else? Can you see where you need to change things to find your most authentic self?   If there is something in your personal world that you don’t like, doesn’t fit, or otherwise bothers you, use the light of this Full Moon to soundly address your circumstances.

The Sun/Moon opposition between Aquarius and Leo strongly highlights issues of personal pride and identity versus what is important to those around us. People want to be heard right now – they want to tell their stories, stand up and be counted, but push-back comes from a weary population that is inundated with a flood of too much information from too many. The line between the individual and the collective has grown increasingly blurry, but this Full Moon in Leo allows personal definition to hold center stage. The energy at this time reminds us that it’s ok to be yourself, use your voice and be proud of it, but remember to consider those around you too. Everyone deserves to shine.

The Venus/Mars conjunction in Capricorn gives a passionate push to satisfy desire on a material level.  People are very focused on manifestation of their desires and willing to go to great ends to get what they want.  The out-of-sign Mercury/Pluto conjunction straddled between Capricorn and Aquarius creates an intense, potentially obsessive capacity for concentration, a deep tendency to brood and pick bones as we ruminate over slights real or imagined, adding to the Mars/Venus willingness to fight for what we want most.  This is a perfect time for concentrated work and manifestation of concrete change, as we have power available for important personal discoveries, but we must beware of fixating.  Know when to let go, and allow yourself to release burdens that are holding you down.

Uranus continues to square Saturn and we continue to feel a push/pull sensation. We seem to make progress then are stopped in our tracks as sticking points crop up, leading to mounting frustration.  Thankfully, Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces provide inspiring visions of better days to come. These two are at home in Pisces, giving us gentle reminders that we are all in this together, that creative dreaming and escapism can be beautiful and healing.  Remember to look for joy in your days.

February’s Full Moon follows close on the heels of Valentine’s Day, originally a Christian holiday celebrating St. Valentine, the patron saint of love, couples, happy marriages, and beekeeper. He is also the patron saint of the mentally ill, and plague, a very apt patronage which soundly reflects the status of our world today. Too many people are isolated, alone and experiencing trauma caused by the continuance of social restrictions imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19. Valentine’s Day is already a rather tough holiday for many, and likely a bit harder this year as options for contact remain limited. Let’s remember to be extra kind over the next few days as we get past this bump. A smile never hurts!


Forecasts for Each Sign of the Zodiac

Aries: Follow your bliss, Aries. You know where it lies, and you can see it clearly now as you feel the rumblings of revolution on the career front. You see a new future taking shape and you are driven to achieve concrete manifestations of your hard work. Who you are is changing, your values are changing, and things you never knew you cared about pop up and demand your attention. It’s all good! Remember though, you can’t push the river – it’ll happen in good time. Look inside and allow secret dreams to rise up and offer direction and inspiration. There’s gold there, you just need to claim it (even if it feels embarrassing!)

Taurus:  You come across as a firecracker, which is unusual for normally placid Taurus. Well, too bad, people will have to get used to it as you find shifts in your personal philosophy taking hold.  A tendency to brood can make you feel heavy, but the spotlight is really on home and how what people know about you impacts your most private being. Secrets may be spilled, causing you serious reflections about public persona. Friendships lift you up and inspire, and old wounds feel tender. Center yourself, see what needs the most attention and get to work on the hard stuff while it’s bright enough to see.

Gemini:  You’ve got a lot to say this Full Moon as your dreams are stirred and budding new personal philosophies take shape. What’s hidden feels compelling, even sexy as you focus on the depths of experience that you normally skirt past.  Watch for power plays in close quarters, you may lay an ultimatum you regret later. Your subconscious mind will produce a few zingers – pay attention to your dreams and any sudden inspirations. Write this stuff down and surprise yourself later – you’ll be thankful you did.  A good time to break a bad habit, Gemini, and make a fresh start.

Cancer:  What makes you feel secure, Cancer? What do you want to nurture, and where does your duty lie? Most importantly – what are you going to do to protect this tender stuff? There’s a pull on your heart from what others impose upon you, and you are unsure which way to turn as you seek to do the right thing for all. Let your guiding philosophies and inner devotion help keep your head above water. Partnerships feel hot, and can bring you into deep waters as you skirt with issues of control and dominance. Don’t fixate on changing each other too much.   You know what’s what with career, you carry it daily.  Make peace and let it be as you see where your true priorities lie.

Leo:  Be loud and proud now Leo, this is your Full Moon, so shine on. Your persona is big and bright – use this time to let the world see the whole package that is you in your Leonine splendor.  However, it’s really through relationship that you will best understand yourself, so if you want to know something about yourself, just ask, people are more than willing to reflect back to you what you need to hear. Workaholic tendencies prevail as you seek to manifest your desires – don’t get squirrely, just remember to plan. Surprises pop up in career, expect the unexpected and think twice before speaking openly, especially if it’s not a sure thing yet.

Virgo:  Now is the time to take a good look at any habits that are holding you back, Virgo.  Look at your regular routines – are you working too hard, not eating well, not sleeping enough? Strong creative urges push you to chase what you desire most, and you feel committed to seeking joy, but it’s not an all-you-can-eat buffet, so slow down and savor the experience.  Intimacy feels tender but partnerships and closest friends inspire and provide solace. Be open to learning something new – you may just surprise yourself with a passionate new interest.

Libra:  Be willing to wear your heart on your sleeve Libra, and open up to new groups of people, ideas and associations, and be sure to take the time to do a good, thorough job of vetting any new connections. Doing so will support how you manifest your creativity, which is helpful, as you may be feeling that things have gotten a bit too heavy on that front. Home life is a source of passionate focus as you seek to keep balance – beware of control issues that crop up in surprising reactions to shared finances, taxes or sexual relations. Work can feel dreamy as inspiration flows freely but watch the details.

Scorpio:  Career is in the spotlight as you balance your outermost being with your home life, Scorpio. What you stand for is out there for all to see, and you feel passionate about communicating with those closest to you, even if you get occasional push back or blank stares.  You want to be heard, not just placated as you seek to probe ever deeper for the truth that you see before you. Focus on what gives you pleasure and allow inspiration to lift you out of the doldrums of routines that you cannot change. Surprises come in close partnerships, but don’t worry, it’s all for the best as your roots are strengthening.

Sagittarius: Your immediate environment imposes some restrictions, and your daily worldview may require some tweaking as you are dealing with fresh concepts and approaches, especially on the work front. You feel particularly passionate about what is important to you right now Sagittarius, and you are willing to go the extra mile to manifest your goals.  You want what you want and you see the finish line, but don’t allow yourself to fixate or you are courting burn-out, which surely would be a waste of your precious time.  Home life offers gentle solace, allow yourself to dream and feel connected on a core level.

Capricorn:  Your approach to what you value, your acquisitions and achievements gets serious. What’s important to you, and how that aligns with outside influences is highlighted this Full Moon. How does what you want match up with what others want of you? Can you accept the generosity of others without feeling beholden, or are you keeping tabs? You come across with great passion now Capricorn – don’t be shy, let your intensity shine as you communicate your ideals. Declaring your intentions proudly will create the momentum you need to achieve your goals. Make peace with the things you can’t change at home – it’s all still part of who you are, so don’t shun your roots.  

Aquarius:  While an individualist, Aquarius, who you are is directly related to who you know, and those closest to you, whether partners, friends, lovers or enemies. How do you process these influences on a conscious level, and how do others impact how you present yourself to the world? Pressure feels personal now – watch for intense feelings of compulsion in your reactions, emotional outbursts and compelling dreams this Full Moon. What you value most is deeply inspiring and rewarding, though communication feels tender as old insecurities rise. Surprises pop up on the home front – new announcements or arrivals.  Who and what are closest to you present new considerations.

Pisces: This Full Moon, allow your dreamy, otherworldly self to take center stage, Pisces.  Deep inner processing is going on, and you can’t quite see what it all means just yet, but keep the faith – it will see you through the darkest hours.  You feel the need to examine your daily habits – work, health, diet, routines – and make improvements once and for all.  Surprising communications from those closest to you may shed some light on the matter and spur you to new directions. Hopes and dreams feel passionate, and you feel compulsion to see interactions intensify.  Heavy subconscious material is floating up for your review, allow the light in where darkness has ruled for so long – you can break old habits now with greater ease than otherwise.


The next New Moon is Wednesday March 2, 2022, exact at 17:36 UT (12:36 EST).  Use the focus of this time to allow you to make the best use of the renewed enthusiasm that will come with the New Moon. Take stock of what is working and discard what is not, freeing yourself for a new cycle to begin in early March.

Full Moon in Leo February 16, 2022. Focused, productive and concentrated. Chart courtesy of Astrodienst

Astrology: New Moon in Aquarius February 1, 2022

Johfra Bosschart, ‘Aquarius Man,’ 1975

The month of February 2022 begins with a powerful New Moon in Aquarius. We also have the Chinese New Year of the Water Tiger beginning today, as well as the observance of Imbolc, or the Feast of Saint Brigid. The last Water Tiger year was seen February 5, 1962 – January 24, 1963, making this is a profound time for Water Tigers, as it signifies the completion of an old cycle and the beginning of a new phase. The festival of Imbolc celebrates the power of the Goddess Brigid, a figure that later became known as the Catholic Saint Brigid, and is observed at the point midway between the December Solstice and the March Equinox. Imbolc heralds the coming of spring, celebrating the rise of the Earth’s fertility as it is quickened with the increasing power of the Sun.

The New Moon of February 1, 2022 brings the Chinese New Year of the Water Tiger. The last Water Tiger year was observed from February 1962 – January 24, 1963. Water Tigers are exciting, charming, innovative, daring, skillful, natural leaders, honest and lucky.

Astrologically, this New Moon is super-intense as we have a conjunction of the Moon, Sun and Saturn in Aquarius, a conjunction of Mercury and Pluto in Capricorn, as well as Venus and Mars conjoined in Capricorn. This is heavy, concentrated Saturnian energy. Remember that Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius, as well as Capricorn – both signs are his domain and he revels when at home, providing us with the most profound expression of his executive capabilities. This is a perfect time to plan, build and manifest, as well as evaluate and eliminate what is excessive or unnecessary. Squaring the Aquarian New Moon is Uranus in Taurus, pushing us on a very deep level to manifest real, substantial change. Uranus in Taurus is shaking our foundations, asking us to change how we do what we do, set new patterns of behavior and consider how we tread on this Earth and why. This is a potent time for breaking new ground – physically, or spiritually – as the forces currently in alignment are concentrated on manifestation, removing what is in the way, and spurring lasting transformation.

Even if you are not one for ritual, this powerful New Moon is the perfect time to quietly focus on your soul’s deepest intentions. Take a little time to reflect, meditate, chant, pray, dream, focus on what you want to see blossom as the Moon progresses. Get in touch with what you love and value, and allow your passion to speak for itself. Don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve right now – the vibrations will resound with those around you, as everyone is feeling the same intensity and will respond in kind.

‘Brigid’ artwork by Lisa Iris. Saint Bride, or Saint Brigid, is a patroness saint of Ireland, a Christianization of the native Goddess Brigid, one of the old gods of Ireland, associated with wisdom, healing, poetry and poets, a protector and helper of women.

Remember to listen to that quiet inner voice that tells you what feels out of balance, for it is at the New Moon that sticking points can arise and trip us up later. What seems wrong right now probably needs to be addressed with true focus – get rid of what doesn’t serve you anymore. Be courageous and meditate on what troubles you with an eye to culling what you no longer need, but remember to be gentle and patient with yourself and those around you. Later in the week, the Moon conjoins Jupiter on the 2nd, then Neptune on the 3rd, adding inspiration and beauty to our focus. Mercury turns direct on February 3rd, and the Sun meets up with Saturn on February 4, solidifying our intentions. A very busy, high-intensity week allowing us access to incredible powers of insight and manifestation. Use this time wisely.

New Moons and Full Moons are regarded by yogis and mystics as the most potent times of the month when we should hold back from action, instead taking the time to ground ourselves and feel our connection with the world and the greater universe, reaching out our feelers to understand where we are in the overall context of our lives. New Moons allow us the pure subjectivity to feel who we are and what we want to become. Embrace this powerful manifestation energy available now, and travel gently, in peace.

New Moon in Aquarius February 1, 2022. 5:47 UT, Greenwich UK. Chart courtesy of Astrodienst

Goodbye Venus Retrograde, Hello Venus Direct

William Blake, Venus and Anchises, 1889-1890. Venus falls in love with Anchises, who sired her son Aeneas, hero of the epic poem by Virgil The Aeneid

Many people are familiar with the phenomenon of Mercury Retrograde, but most don’t consider that astrologically, we take note of retrogrades of all the planets (except of course The Sun and The Moon, these do not retrograde). Venus is one of the brightest elements of our sky, appearing as the Morning or Evening Star, and moves around the Sun in 584 days, taking just over a year and a half to do her circuit through the zodiac. So what does Venus Retrograde mean for us anyway?

In mythology, Venus (or Aphrodite to the Greeks) is the goddess of love, sex, beauty, fertility, lust, luxury, passion and desire.  She was a fickle goddess, seeking pleasure above all, and was amoral when it came to the ideas of commitment and fidelity.  While married to Hephaestus, the god of fire, craftwork, metal work, blacksmithing, Venus was none too faithful, and frequently entertained suitors, most famously, Ares or Mars, Hermes (Mercury), Poseidon (Neptune) and Dionysus, the god of ecstasy, wine, fertility and madness.  

In our charts, Venus indicates where we find our pleasure, what we value, and how we focus on what brings us sensual and aesthetic fulfillment.  What is it that we desire?  What kind of art and designs appeal to us most?  What sort of fashion do we enjoy? What do we want most in a lover, what turns us on and motivates us sensually? Venus shows where we find beauty in our lives and where we strive to express it personally. Fulfilling material desires involves spending money, so Venus also shows us how we relate to money matters. While generally positive, Venus is also vain, and can be fickle in pursuit of desires (less so in a fixed sign like Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius). She can be vindictive if not violent when scorned. Don’t be fooled into thinking this goddess is a soft touch.  Withhold what she desires most and watch the vengeance fly. Venus is one of the most important personal factors in our charts as it indicates the fundamentals of why we like what we like – from bubble gum to bed sheets, and everything in between.

We began 2022 with Venus Retrograde, an event which happens every 18 months. The planet entered retrograde on December 21, 2021 at 26º 29’ Capricorn, and turns direct on January 29, 2022 at 11º4’ Capricorn.  As this placement has been carrying a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn, we’re feeling a very goal-oriented vibe, an unrelenting desire to obtain what we want how we want it, with a definite emphasis on luxury and power.  This placement is active in everyone’s chart, either by direct contact with personal points or through inhabiting whichever house contains Capricorn, so it’s worth looking up.* 

Venus of Willendorf, oolitic limestone, 25,000 years BP. Found in Willendorf, Austria by Johann Veran, August 7, 1908. An early rendition of the Goddess, likely a fertility fetish object, though her actual purpose remains a mystery. Another face of Venus to consider in her most primordial essence.

Heavy, almost overpowering desires are common with Venus/Pluto contacts, especially the hard aspects, and even more so when colored by Capricorn’s Saturnian vibe, bringing a tendency to brood, nurture obsessive desires, engage in compulsive spending, get caught up in overwhelming infatuations and the like.  When Venus turned Retrograde, as with any planetary retrograde cycle, the action of the planet was arrested, causing an internalization and reconsideration process to take effect.  So how does this play out?

In existing, stable  relationships, Venus Retrograde brings a period of distance as both partners turn into themselves to accommodate personal desires, wishes and pleasures.  Love is still there but a bit distant and quiet as each in the partnership focuses on their own thing.  In new, or casual relationships, on the other hand, can often see a change of heart, a cooling off period, a realization that what we had expected of the other is perhaps not the real deal. We come to see things differently, noticing that what we have before us is not what attracted us in the first place, and often end up with a classic case of buyer’s remorse.  This can either lead to a break, or at the very least a shift in how the relationship plays out. Things will change as necessary to protect Self’s best interests.

In either new or existing relationships, we are presented with a different facet of the other person than we had previously known.  It may be flattering, unflattering, off-putting, or a welcome realization, but any which way, there is a reconsideration that takes place during the duration of the retrograde period which thenceforth colors our perspective of that relationship. Established couples learn to do things a bit differently, honoring “the space in their togetherness.” People we thought we knew surprise us, and we find a different level of relating. Frequently, brand new relationships are scrutinized and found lacking, requiring change that can even mean a permanent break.

One thing to keep in mind with Venus and relationships in general is that a relationship doesn’t necessarily mean with a person.  We have relationships with our work, our hobbies, our ideas, our memories.  We have a relationship with ourselves, and it is this fact that can activate interesting Venus retrograde experiences.  Are you having a relationship with your old memories? How do you relate to yourself?  How do you have fun? What gives you pleasure?  What do you do to feel good about yourself?  Do you spend too much money, or do you tend to hold back on spending? These factors can change when we go through Venus Retrograde, sometimes permanently, as we find different ways of understanding our pleasure principle.

Venus Retrograde is not the time to make large, luxury expenditures like buying a car, house or apartment etc.  Also not a great time for going on a pleasure trip, as your natural desire to have fun feels inhibited.  And Venus Retrograde is really not a good time to get married, go on a first date or try to break into the dating scene.  Anything to do with pleasure, like gourmet dining, attending art galleries or museums, shopping for luxury items or fine clothing will feel off, like we can’t quite connect even though we feel we should.  We feel internal and quiet, with an underlying need to tamp down on extravagance.

When Venus turns direct, an opening occurs as once again we feel interested in reaching out and connecting.  We’ve done the reflection, considered how we approach relationships, desires, pleasure and money differently, and we feel a resolution to incorporate what we’ve learned as we consolidate changes in our behavior. Maybe we’ve figured out that we don’t want to talk to that guy down the hall anymore because he’s just not who we thought he was.  Maybe we’ve resolved to spend less money on frivolities, and realized that we’re just fine without constantly consuming. It could be that we decide to let bygones be bygones and try again with an old friend, eyes wide open.  Perhaps we once again feel like connecting with dear loved ones, and do something new together.  Or we finally decide to go ahead with that big ticket purchase, the new hairstyle, coat, pair of shoes etc. we’ve been considering for so long.  Whatever was stalling our desires resolves and we can move forward with ease.

Venus direct is the time to step out again with the understanding that your perspective and what you expect from relationships is just a bit more evolved than it was a few weeks ago. Venus turns direct on January 29, 2022 at 8:46 UT, at 11º4’ Capricorn and won’t be retrograde again until July 23, 2023 at 28°23’ Leo. The next time we will have Venus Retrograde in Capricorn will be eight years from now, December 16, 2029 – January 26, 2030, as Venus follows an eight year cycle of returning to the exact same place in the sky on the same date.

The Five Petals of Venus, or the Pentagram of Venus, a diagram reflecting the eight year cycle of Venus. Image Guy Ottewell. An interesting article on the Venus cycle.

*Visit Astrodienst for one of the world’s best astrology websites and run your chart if you haven’t already.

For detailed information on planetary events in 2022, visit here: Planetary Events 2022

Astrology: Moon Phases and Eclipses

Moon Phases diagram courtesy of University of Iowa

Working with the Moon puts us in harmony with our world, and awakens in us deep understanding of our innate connection with life.  The Moon governs our emotions, our need for nurturing and our capacity to nurture others, psychological habits, body consciousness and habits of personal care, psychic connectivity, dreams, the Unconscious, women in general and how we relate to them, food, anything to do with water from baths to the oceans, our idea of home and home life, our inherited habits and proclivities, menses, the public and how we relate to the public, our digestive and reproductive systems, one’s wife, tides, and how we protect what we care about. Important stuff that bears careful attention!

The Moon changes sign within 48 – 60 hours, making it the fastest moving factor in our charts. Watch as people’s moods fluctuate: a grumpy, touchy Moon in Scorpio on Monday gives way to gregarious and philosophical Moon in Sagittarius on Wednesday, and all is well again with the world. Working with the Moon can ease our passage as we learn to go with the flow, and give up futile attempts to push the river where it’s not going. Particularly keep an eye on the major phases detailed below to allow deep personal work and development to occur more effectively, bringing greater success, peace and satisfaction.


New Moon: The moon stands between the Sun and the Earth, and the face that we normally see is almost invisible while the dark side that faces away from us is fully illuminated, so we rightly call this the Dark Moon. The Sun and the Moon are conjoined and will appear at the same zodiacal degree, creating a powerful one-note vibe. Ego and Emotion are aligned as we experience the most subjective time of the month, and we feel a sense of invigoration and spontaneity, ready to go on any new adventure that arises. However, this time can also reflect the idea of something being too close to see – we cannot separate Ego from Emotion, and this can lead to believing that what we feel must be who we are. This is a time to consolidate our energy and focus on positive visions. Strive for objectivity if possible, and consider your habitual blind spots. Listen to what feels out of balance, for it is now that sticking points can arise. Set pure intentions as the combined force of Sun and Moon allows us to access personal power at this time, but understand that patience and deliberation are required before fruition occurs. What is planted in the dark will grow with the light of the waxing moon, so do be careful what you wish for. Don’t wallow in darkness, but rather protect what needs nurturing. Plant your seeds.

First Quarter: Also known as the Half Moon, as the Moon appears as a half-circle in the sky. (Sometimes also erroneously called the Second Quarter Moon). The Moon is waxing towards Full, and is 90º into its monthly cycle, placing it at a square aspect to the Sun. Ego and Emotion are at odds with each other. This is a time for action, as tension spurs us to change, but do not expect culmination now. A good time for hard work, motivated intentions, building up and adding substance to existing foundations, but beware workaholic or obsessive tendencies, as well as impetuosity or callousness in our striving. People get pushy, but don’t necessarily have details that back up their direction. Watch plans take nascent form and nurture their development.

Full Moon: The Moon is at its greatest visibility, and is directly opposed to the Sun at 180º, standing behind the Earth as we face the Sun together.  The Sun illuminates the entire visible hemisphere of the Moon amplifying light, shining a spotlight in normally dark, unconscious places. This phase allows us objectivity and insight into things which usually remain hidden, as the power of Ego reveals the recesses of the Heart, showing clearly what needs to be understood.  A time of fulfillment, we are empowered in our ability to see more details of our situation than usual, though the Full Moon can also bring disillusionment if we are not following our heart’s path.  Poorly executed motivations can be fully viewed now, and adjusted.  Anything which has been a source of distress can rear its ugly head, driving many to escapism as they seek to dive deeper into unconsciousness and avoidance to get away from things we may not wish to see (think lunacy).  A good time to harvest what is working well, or to cull what is unnecessary or unhealthy, allowing dissemination and release of the energy back to earth. Intentions blossom now, whether they were consciously seeded and beautiful, or unconsciously strewn and self-negating.

Last Quarter: Also variously called Third Quarter or Fourth Quarter Moon. The Moon is waning, and has moved 270º away from the Sun.  This is also a square aspect, full of dynamism.  We have the impetus to clear up what we haven’t dealt with and address things that tripped us up with the recent Full Moon.  The insights gained with the Full Moon’s brightness give us a checklist allowing further refinement of our goals. If we haven’t followed our best interests, high tension and compulsion to change can occur at this phase; beware anxiety and spinning out in high stress. This is a good time for working with details, and outlining what needs to be addressed at the next New Moon. As we define our situation, we find ourselves descending, drawing back into a state of concentration which can become tunnel vision if we don’t come up for air occasionally.  Release negativity and think ahead to the next Moon cycle, considering what worked and what did not with previous intentions.


Eclipses:  Eclipses occur in repetitive cycles, which take approximately 18 years (or 223 synodic months) to recur. Solar and Lunar Eclipses occur consecutively, with a Lunar Eclipse always occurring fourteen days before or after a Solar Eclipse, with the complete eclipse cycle taking approximately 37.5 days.   On June 10 2021, we saw the last of the eclipse of the Gemini/Sagittarius cycle, and on December 19, 2021 we saw the beginning of a Taurus/Scorpio cycle.  The Aries/Libra cycle will begin on April 20, 2023, which will coincide with the ingress of the Sun into Aries, quite a potent day for early Aries natives.  Eclipses can be either total, partial or annular.  Total solar eclipses in particular are quite rare as the window of opportunity for the Moon to obfuscate the Sun is very short; most eclipses that we experience are either partial or annular.  Total lunar eclipses can last up to 2 hours, whereas total solar eclipses are only last for about 2 minutes. The next total Solar Eclipse will be April 8, 2023 and the next total Lunar Eclipse will occur on May 15/16, 2022.

Solar Eclipse: Also known as a New Moon Eclipse. Solar eclipses are conjunction of the Sun and Moon which occur on the axis of the Lunar Nodes.  The Sun and Moon are in the same sign as the North Node (within 15-18º)   and in opposition to the South Lunar Node.  Indicates an alignment of the Earth, Sun and Moon, with the Moon blocking visibility of the Sun from our perspective here on Earth. Traditionally considered malefic, as the Sun, source of power and life, is obscured and eliminated, however briefly. Significant in that issues of Destiny, Ego and Emotion are aligned, a Solar Eclipse is a powerful time to set intention for major change, altering life course, beginning new paths in directions previously untrodden.

Lunar Eclipse:  Also known as a Full Moon Eclipse. Lunar eclipses occur when the Sun and Moon are in opposition from one another and aligned with the axis of the Lunar Nodes (within 15-18º)  .  The Moon falls in the same sign as the Earth and the South Node, in opposition to the North Node and Sun, which fall in the same sign. The shadow of the Earth falls on the lunar surface and creates an impression that the Moon is being eaten up, either partially or entirely. Lunar Eclipses are powerful times for realization and manifestation.  Clarity of vision is profound, and many can experience watershed moments around these times if their natal placements are activated. If the process of change has been conscious, then Lunar Eclipses can provide a significant boost in direction, pushing one up to the next level. If change has been resisted, Lunar Eclipses can often provoke crisis that initiates one onto seeking a healthier, truer path. 


The effects of eclipses are most significant if the transiting Moon aspects natal points – particularly the natal Sun, Moon, or personal points like the Ascendant, Midheaven, Descendant, Imum Coeli or the Nodal Axis.  These points are usually sufficient to provoke a response, however, you can also look to Arabian Parts, Black Moon Lilith or asteroids for interest.  Such factors will usually only be of importance if aspect to personal planets or points anyway, so keep that in mind and spare yourself unnecessary digging. The Vertex is another point which some astrologers use as a marker of fate, destiny, or wish fulfillment as well as being an indicator of relationship matters.  It is always housed in the western half of the chart, usually near the Descendant, and if touched closely by an Eclipse could herald significant changes in relationship – either status of existing, or initiation into a new love relationship.  Also consider the house in which an eclipse falls, and look to the rulership of the house, the position of the house ruler and if it is aspected by the Eclipsing Moon.  The chart ruler, in particular, if aspected by an eclipse should be considered as significant, indicating an invigoration of approach to the core personality. 

If a Solar or Lunar Eclipse aspects a personal planet or point within an 8º orb, you may feel the effects anywhere from one to three months prior to the actual event.  Consider this as rumblings in the deep soul trying to be heard.  All change that we experience has deep roots, created by seed thoughts which may be conscious or unconscious.  As our soul ripens to the impetus for growth, we will find that events align around us to facilitate our development.  Oftentimes, we cannot consciously admit what we want, but the soul knows how to sort the wheat from the chaff, and will subtly steer us in the direction which is best for our personal development.  A person may offhandedly say something, we see an image or an article that resonates with something deep within us, and the path of change is initiated, however quietly at first. If we choose not to listen to these happenchance messages then often after enough chances have passed by, something jarring and overt occurs which snaps us to attention, forcing issues of change that we have been avoiding.  It’s best not to let things go that far, needless to say, so take the time to meditate and listen to your Soul’s yearnings.

Eclipses can be the tipping points that we require to grow into personal well being. As they occur in cycles, we have multiple opportunities for spurring growth, and each passing eclipse will build on the progress made with the last. The effects of eclipses can be permanent, resulting in changed paths, the opening of new doors and a deeper knowledge of self. This does not happen for everyone, every time, so don’t be expecting every eclipse to be a profound cataclysm. However, if you watch the cycles and see how they line up with the particularities of your own chart, you can work with the energy in a focused, concentrated way – opening yourself up to growth and greater self-fulfillment. For most eclipses you can expect to see culmination of change within six months to one year. It’s good to remember that sometimes even little changes, bit by bit, can result in positive shifts in direction, so be patient and be kind to yourself, always.

For dates of this year’s major lunations see here: LUNAR EVENTS 2022 – FULL MOONS, NEW MOONS AND ECLIPSES

For more information on the science of eclipses, see these references:

Wikipedia: Solar Eclipses

Wikipedia: Lunar Eclipses

Short video: PBS Solar Eclipses Explained

Short video: PBS Lunar Eclipses Explained

And for a good online Moon Phase calendar that you can customize to your choice of year and location see here:

Time and Date Moon Phase Calendar

Astrology: Sun Sign Aquarius

Édouard Manet “Le dejeuner sur l’herbe,” oil on canvas, 1863. Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Manet was an Aquarius born 23 January 1832.
This piece is considered his most famous, highlighting various issues including the male vs female gaze, the iniquity between the main female being unclothed and observed by those wearing clothes. Quite Aquarian.

“A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.”

James Joyce, Ulysses. Joyce was an Aquarius, b. 2 February 1882 – d. 13 January 1941

The Sun moves into progressive, experimental, visionary Aquarius January 19, 2022 at 21:39 EST (tomorrow 01/20 2:39 UT). Ruler Uranus turned direct yesterday adding a welcome boost of energy, releasing efforts at progress and change. Co-ruler Saturn is currently in Aquarius, and won’t be here for another thirty years, so if you want to define yourself Aquarius, now’s the time. Saturn is always there to help perfect plans and actualize ideals.


Each year, the Sun moves through the astrological sign of Aquarius from ~21 January to 18 February. This sign is Fixed Air. While the traditional ruler of Aquarius is Saturn, the modern ruler is Uranus, and this dichotomy of rulership can, in a sense, be said to define Aquarius, as it is a sign of paradox, embodying at one and the same time the essence of chaos, iconoclasm and unpredictability, as well as staunch conservatism and obstinate, holier-than-thou idealism and philanthropy. Aquarius is a sign that many love to hate, as it can be difficult to understand the people born under this star. Aquarius people are the ones we look to when we are all out of answers, when the problems before us are simply too twisted and seemingly unsolvable, as they are the original “think outside the box” types. A Gordian knot never stopped one born under Aquarius, as they love more than anything to sink their teeth into problems that have brought others defeat. Remember that the sign opposite to Aquarius is Leo, so there is a good deal of shadow pride at work in the Aquarius psyche, and being right, smarter and more interesting than their peers is definitely a goal to be pursued.

Imagine you have a friend who is, at times, extremely, pedantically political and yet, at other times vehemently apolitical, bordering on anarchistic and chaotic, presenting you with bizarre ideas of social upheaval and pictures of society straight out of a science fiction book. Even though at first glance, what this friend espouses may seem far-fetched, in quiet moments of consideration, you have to admit that they may just be on to something. And you can’t really disagree with your friend, as they are so charming and helpful, always ready to chat and socialize. Hell, some of the best conversations you’ve had have been with this buddy, so what was your problem again? This is Aquarius. They naturally have their finger on the pulse of society, and have the ability to divine how that pulse may express itself in the future, whether near or far. If they seem occasionally aloof and cold, perhaps it is because in their experience, they have been shut down too many times, told that they are just plain crazy, foolish or both, and they have learned to hold their cards close to the chest, mostly out of defense, and for some, out of a sense of nurtured pride and the understanding that what they know is not for all to understand. They hold within their hearts and minds visionary ideas which aren’t necessarily fit for public consumption.

Aquarius is passionately intellectual, and in their avant garde vision, can often seem quite glamorous, drawn always to the heights of refinement and beauty, as they understand on a deep level that Beauty is one of the constants of this world, to be revered and protected. And yet, that same sensitive, refined Aquarius can turn on a dime and seem only to enjoy espousing aggravating and inflammatory messages, presumably for the sake of provocation and theater, but more likely they do so out of frustration, and perhaps a touch of spite. They know, better than most, the effect that words and ideologies can have, and so they can take delight in stirring the pot, mischievously leaving steaming outrage in their wake. They like nothing more than to be right, and to “get your goat”. They love to appear cutting edge, but ultimately, when push comes to shove, they can be just as traditional as your Aunt Mae from Little Town, because Aquarius understands the comfort and security of a well-functioning society, and even if the society they presently inhabit isn’t functioning so well, they have awareness of the changes which need to occur to keep people happy. At their best, Aquarius is sophisticated, humane, thoughtful, considerate, understanding, innovative, creative, objective and insightful. At their worst, Aquarius is cold, indifferent, obstinate, perverse, pedantic, petty, short-sighted, eccentric, infuriating and contrary.

Aquarius Tarot Correspondence – Major Arcana XVII: The Star (Rider Waite Smith Tarot)

Frequently, Aquarius is labelled as “eccentric”, and if questioned about their peculiarities, Aquarius will always have excellent, compelling reasons for being exactly as they are, fully justified and tied with a bow. Aquarius is the intellectual par excellence, and only the very brave will foray into debate with these folk. Whereas Gemini likes to collect facts, Aquarius creates compendiums, annotated and organized not just alphabetically, but thematically, and usually, by date as well. These people thrive on information the way Scorpio thrives on sexuality, and the deeper, the gnarlier, the more arcane, the better, whereas while Scorpio revels in emotion, occasionally getting lost in the murky depths where others fear to explore, Aquarius always seems to float above it all, untouched, pristine, clean and cool. This world is a feast of wonder, and the information they collect becomes like a garden, well-loved and well-tended. An intellectual challenge is the ultimate turn on for Aquarius, and they will seek far and wide to satisfy their appetites which tend to grown more erudite as they age. If you have questions for which you cannot find answers, find an Aquarius friend. They will be sure to help out, for ultimately, this is what Aquarius loves best: to be friendly, to help and to share, for the betterment of all.

As mentioned above, the polarity sign of Aquarius is Leo, and Aquarius has much to learn from the Leonine folk, primarily in the area of self-awareness. Leo can teach Aquarius that it’s perfectly fine to put yourself first once in a while, to take the credit, accept the kudos and feel proud of your individuality for yourself and yourself alone. Many Aquarians will try to be a voice for all around them, couching their egos in the larger panoply of society, and this can lead to a sense of dissociation from self. Leo can show Aquarius that speaking with one’s true voice can in itself be a blessing to society at large, and that true individuality doesn’t always need to be plastered on a placard for the benefit of the greater good.

  • Keywords: individualistic, friendly, humane, curious, original, idealistic, inventive, intellectual, hopeful, pacifistic, avant-garde, acquaintanceship, aloof, creative, visionary, experimental, sociable, progressive, cold, indifferent, obstinate, perverse, paradoxical, pedantic, petty, eccentric, contrary
  • Rulership: traditional – Saturn; modern – Uranus
  • Modality: Fixed Air
  • Polarity: positive masculine
  • Gemstone: aquamarine, cubic zirconia, opals, black pearl, sapphire
  • Metal: aluminium, zinc
  • Tarot: The Star
  • Color: azure, violet, bluish mauve, sky blue, purple, changeable, inconstant colors
  • Deities: Nuit/Nut, Athena, Ganymede
  • Flora: olive, coconut, kiwi, apples, orchids, hybridized and genetically modified plants, rapeseed (canola), citrus, chilis, black pepper, elderberry, fruit trees, frankincense, myrrh resin, galbanum resin, spikenard
  • Fauna: large flying birds, migratory birds
  • Famous Aquarius Personalities: Abraham Lincoln, Babe Ruth, Rosa Parks, Kim Jong-il, Bob Marley, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Oprah Winfrey, Charles Dickens, Yoko Ono, Sharon Tate, Nicolae Ceausescu, Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keyes, Elijah Wood, Buzz Aldrin, Christian Dior, Virginia Woolf, Ellen De Generes, Justin Timberlake, Matt Groening, Harry Styles, Edouard Manet, Langston Hughes, Dick Cheney, Edith Wharton, Jackson Pollock, Toni Morrison, Malcolm Mc Laren, Jeb Bush, Christian Bale, Laura Dern

Astrology: Full Moon in Cancer January 17, 2022

Galileo Galilei, ‘Sketches of the Moon’, ink on paper, 1609. Image: Museo Galileo

The first Full Moon of 2022 arrives on January 17 at 23:48 UT (18:48 EST, 15:48 PT).  It’s a busy time – Mercury is retrograde, Venus is retrograde, Uranus moves direct on January 18th, and the Sun enters Aquarius on the 19th.  This Full Moon chart is dominated by the tight opposition from the Moon to the Sun/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, the Mercury/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius squaring off with tetchy Uranus, and a quiet but pervasive square between Venus and Chiron adding a touch of melancholy to the air as people grapple with things that seem unfixable. Mars adds smoky fire to communications, leaving open to debate what’s true and what’s fantasy.

Pluto’s presence in this Full Moon configuration brings current issues to a core level for all, and people feel compelled to expose their emotions, even if talking feels hard going (Mercury/Saturn). Pressures exerted from society at large are causing even the most placid to feel anger and frustration.  We look around to see that more than ever before the actions of total strangers affect our personal lives in very direct ways.  Patience and good humor have worn down as we are faced with ongoing restrictions, increased security and powerful monitoring measures that are unavoidable for even the most mundane actions.  Going to the grocery store, seeking personal fitness goals, international travel, working with other people, sending our kids to school – all of these things, once commonplace are now subject to officiated governmental scrutiny and societal commentary in a way that hasn’t been seen since WWII.  While this time feels heavy, the stricture is currently as pronounced as it will be this year, so bear with it and do the shadow work that needs doing.  Energies will shift as we move into the Spring Equinox  – it will still be an intense year, mind you – but won’t feel quite so bleak.  Right now, though, the overbearing powers of Saturn, Uranus and Pluto are knocking hard, requiring everyone to manage global issues on a personal level.

However, there is a silver lining to all this gloomy cloud cover. It is through the pressure of universal energies that we gain greater understanding of the world around us. What we have happening here, folks, is evolution in action.  It’s been easy for people to retreat into their respective shells over the last few decades, as the spread of internet technology, social media and virtual reality (Uranus and Neptune’s influence) has allowed people to block out the world and carry on as if what we do on an individual basis doesn’t matter. The events that grip our planet at this time speak otherwise, and the message that is being brought to bear overall is strongly this: we are all One, we all impact each other, no matter where we are, and to move forward personally and collectively in health and well-being, we need to open our hearts, release fear and be willing to learn, to grow and to be more than we are as individuals.  Allow the light of this Full Moon to shine on what you need to see most – and don’t be afraid, we are all in this together.

“The world is evolving from imperfection to perfection, it needs all love and sympathy. Great tenderness and watchfulness is required from each one of us.

Hazrat Inayat Khan

Current planetary events:

Sun ingress to Aquarius January 19, 2022 21:39 EST (January 20, 2022 2:39 UT)

Mercury Retrograde until February 2, 2022, exits shadow on February 2, 2022

Venus Retrograde until January 29, 2022

Uranus Direct January 18, 2022 until August 24, 2022

Next Full Moon February 16, 2022 16:58 UT, 11:58 EST, Leo 29º

Forecasts for the month:

Aries: Home/work balance is under the spotlight this Full Moon, as surprising shifts in your values make existing social scenes and alliances feel sombre, with much reflection on what came before. Inspiration is calling – be who you want Aries, when was that ever a problem for you? Settle down a bit and meditate on it (really, do it!).  You’ll find what emerges most fruitful. Write it down when it comes.

Taurus: You feel inspired by beauty and called to find your deepest truth, and you want to talk about it, though it feels more emotional than usual.  Sex and money feel energized but elusive, so seductive, pushing you to the chase.  Light is available to heal your oldest wounds, though it may take some serious thinking on the career front to get you there.

Gemini:  The spotlight this full moon is on money – yours vs theirs.  What do you value, and how strong is your value structure when put upon by the wishes and pressures of the outside world?  There’s an underlying seriousness to you these days as you seek to gain lessons, and that may spell opportunity in career. Don’t let sniping undermine you.  You may have a foot-in-mouth moment.  Be careful what you say! 

Cancer:  Your emotions are on your sleeve, and partnerships feel intense as deep levels are being plumbed.  Watch for power plays that compromise self-identity. The heavy stuff – sex, death, commitment – feels serious, however, details remain to be clarified on the work front which raise questions on the ethical front. Career feels a bit Sisyphean but don’t fret, surprises and inspirations come through networking.

Leo:  Don’t let compulsions and old habits be your self-undoing.  Now’s the time to look at self-undermining behaviour, particularly in how you approach relationships, work and how you treat your body.  The heavy stuff inspires and creativity is energized – let it out, it’s gold.  Career could offer breakthrough over the next month, be open to your subconscious mind for inspiration.

Virgo: The spotlight right now for you Virgo is learning to have fun again.  What does pleasure mean to you?  Do you have people you can share yourself with, or have you been holed up? Reach out, allow romance back into your heart, and don’t be afraid to shake things up. Open up to new philosophies and dreams, and you’ll find new friends knocking at your door.

Libra:  Career vs home feel intense as you seek to manifest your deepest desires. Compulsions are surprising and add tension to pleasure, but on the other hand, you want to be serious about what excites right now. You might come across as aggressive at the wrong moment – say what’s on your mind truthfully, it will be easier on everyone. Have a spa day soon, it will be of greater than usual benefit. Beauty heals.

Scorpio:  Deep change pushes you to walk your talk, and embody your highest ideals. Romance is inspiring, and you look with a critical eye on long-term changes in the home.  Watch your health this month as old issues may come home to roost, requiring a stepped-up plan of action. Money talks – go for that brass ring now, but don’t be prodigal.

Sagittarius: You feel the Force as your values are overhauled, and your persona is energized and powerful.  The spotlight is on why you do what you do and who you do it with.  You are able to cut to the chase and isolate details that have been tripping you up for a while.  Home life comforts and inspires.  Even the most valiant knights need respite sometimes – don’t be afraid to slow down.

Capricorn:  This Full Moon allows you to expose your underbelly, Capricorn. You’ll want to talk seriously about your tender spots, as subconscious material pushes to the surface requiring an outlet.  You have lots of support, be willing to reach out and touch base, you’ll be surprised at how conversation flows.  Let work lie and pay attention to the foundational core stuff, even if it’s hard going.

Aquarius:  This Full Moon feels very businesslike for you, Aquarius, as you focus on how to bring what is hidden to the fore.  Deep subconscious material stirs up dreams, and mediation allows for core problem solving.  Don’t let old insecurities nip at your heels, identify them and put them in their place. Watch for surprises and accidents on the home front – keep any potential hazards under control.

Pisces:  This Full Moon feels romantic and inspired, Pisces.  What gives you joy? Where do you find romance and pleasure – or do you anymore?  Let yourself be inspired by the beauty of the world, and let your dreams unfurl. Communications can be surprising, and your subconscious wants to be heard.  Impressions of the day can surface at night – keep your notebook handy and pay attention.

Born on this day – January 17: Benjamin Franklin (1706); Anne Brontë (1820); Konstantin Stanislavski (1863); Al Capone (1899); Betty White (1922); Eartha Kitt (1927); Vidal Sassoon (1928); James Earl Jones (1931); Maury Povich (1939); Muhammed Ali (1942); Ryuichi Sakamoto (1952); Jim Carrey (1962); Michelle Obama (1964); Kid Rock (1971); Zooey Deschanel (1980); Jake Paul (1997)

Sadly, January 17 would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday. Happy Birthday Betty, blessings to you as you travel on your journeys.

January 17, 2022 Full Moon 23:48 UT, Greenwich, UK. Chart courtesy of astro.com

Astrology: Mercury Retrograde January 14, 2022

Reinhold Begas, ‘Mercury and Psyche,’ marble, Germany, 1878. Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin.

It seems these days everyone likes to talk about Mercury Retrograde.  The phrase is bandied about at meetings, in casual conversation, social media is flooded with little tidbits about the phenomenon, and even mainstream news outfits dedicate an article or two each year to the idea (thanks Oprah!).  So what then should we know about Mercury Retrograde, and how does it actually affect our lives?

Astrologically, Mercury governs all things to do with communication, travel, our basic capacity for understanding, listening, agreements we make with others, arguments, clerical work, brain functions, business matters, computers, matters of diet, education, errands, forgetfulness, gossip, writing, ideas in general, illness – particularly public illnesses that spread, information and information gathering, the capacity to learn, mischief, the nervous system, news, newspapers and news commentary, the post (mail), reason, respiration, sanitation, service, stupidity, telephones, transportation, treaties, young people (especially those 5-15 years), and worries. Mercury is the ruler of the astrological signs Gemini, and Virgo, and all the matters ruled by these signs are also impacted during Mercury Retrograde (see Gemini and Virgo for more information on what these signs rule). The phenomenon of retrograde planets is particular to our perspective from Earth, as we look up at the sky and the planet in question appears to move backwards against the fixed canopy of the stars.  This “backwards” movement is a trick of the eye, perceived when regarding the relative speed of motion of the planets through the sky in relation to other faster and slower moving objects, as the planet does not literally reverse its direction, but only appears to reverse from its normal west-to-east motion across the sky to an east-to-west path.

Mercury’s orbit is 88 days, and it is never more than 28º away from the Sun.  With such a tight orbit, Mercury frequently conjoins the Sun, and this can occur in two different ways.  An Inferior Conjunction occurs when Mercury moves between the Sun and the Earth, and Mercury’s degree is past the Sun’s on the zodiacal wheel.  It is at this time that Mercury is considered retrograde. A Superior Conjunction occurs when the Sun’s degree placement is slightly ahead of Mercury’s, so Mercury passes on to the other side of the Sun as seen from the Earth, and needs to “catch up” by moving forward – thus travelling in direct motion. 

Let’s take the upcoming Mercury Retrograde period as an example: 

January 14, 2022 Mercury Retrograde 10º14′ Aquarius. Mercury is past the Sun, between the Sun and the Earth, and turns “backwards” to meet the Sun, making an Inferior Conjunction on January 23, 2022.
February 4, 2022 Mercury Direct 24º 23′ Capricorn. The Sun is past Mercury, and Mercury needs to “catch up” to the Sun with its direct motion, to eventually make a Superior Conjunction on April 3, 2022.
Charts courtesy of astro.com. Annotations by Veronica Childe.

Mercury goes Retrograde on January 14, 2022.  On that day, the Sun is at 23º43’ Capricorn, and Mercury is at 10º18’ Aquarius, and the Earth is at 23º43’ Cancer (the Earth is not usually shown on astrological charts, but is always 180º away from the Sun, in opposition). The Sun and Mercury are approximately 17º apart, and as Mercury is ahead of the Sun in its movement around the astrological wheel (Aquarius is the sign past Capricorn), from a geocentric perspective, it appears to move away from us, or retrograde.  On February 4, Mercury turns direct.  The Sun is at 15º8’ Aquarius, Mercury is at 24º23’ Capricorn and the Earth is at 15º8’ Leo.  Here, Mercury and the Sun are approximately 22º apart, but as the Sun has moved forward into Aquarius, and is ahead of Mercury’s degree placement in Capricorn, Mercury is behind the Sun, further away from the Earth, and so travels in direct motion, towards us geocentrically. It makes a Superior Conjunction on April 3, 2022 at 13º Aries.

On a mystical level, we can consider Mercury Retrograde as a time when intellect, or Psyche (Mercury), struggles to maintain attachment to the Soul (Sun).  It is only by joining Psyche and Soul together that we can find cohesion in Spirit, and so Mercury, rather than travelling on alone past the Sun, must turn “retrograde,” reversing so that the two can come together and travel forward in union again.  The reason why Mercury Retrograde cycles can feel difficult is that they highlight any disruption in our inner connection and make plain for us to see exactly where we are tripping up, going wrong, not thinking straight or being illogical.  This feels much worse the more we are out of sync with our Soul’s needs, and we need to backtrack to re-establish harmonious inner cohesion. To address this discontinuity, we need to take the time to re-establish our internal connections, meditate, slow down, perceive more carefully, and reflect. Mercury Retrograde is not a time for action, it is a time for slowing down, reviewing and reconnecting with our Spirit.

Certain Mercury retrograde cycles can be felt as more difficult than others, for instance, when Mercury has a longer retrograde journey. This January 14 – February 4 cycle, Mercury retrogrades for approximately 16º as opposed to later in the year when we see shorter cycles, as Mercury travels retrograde for approximately 8º and 9º in May and September 2022.  Further, when the retrograde occurs in signs that are ruled by Mercury – Gemini (May 2022) or Virgo (September 2022), we find particularly irksome difficulties arise, though this does not discount the fact that any Mercury retrograde cycle usually poses some difficulties for at least a portion of the zodiac. We can expect that this January 2022 Mercury Retrograde period will hit hardest for Fixed and Cardinal signs particularly those born in the first ten days of Aquarius, Leo, Scorpio, and Taurus, as well as the last ten days of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.  These people in particular need to slow down for a little while.

This upcoming cycle, as Mercury travels back through the first decan of Aquarius into the last decan of Capricorn, we can expect glitches in self-assertion, as ego moves – particularly in relationships –  tend to backfire at this time. More information will be disclosed than we might expect or want, and this applies doubly for those in power or authority positions.  It would not be surprising to see public announcements about high-profile extramarital affairs, sexual or financial indiscretions, or otherwise unsavory dirt over the next few weeks. Attempts at hiding the truth will fail and could prove embarrassing, if not completely overturning what seemed to be established, stable situations. Working methods will require switching gears on the fly, and interactions with others will need to be adjusted as people are just not doing what we expect.  All this may feel rather onerous, but at the same time, there will be a sense of “well, let’s just figure this out once and for all.”  In fact, that is the absolute best thing to do with this particular Mercury Retrograde, colored as it is by Saturn – rehash, perfect and finalize.  Don’t pull the trigger on plans, submissions, contracts and pronouncements until Mercury is fully direct on February 4, but do take the time to focus on getting everything done to the best of your ability.  As Mercury is conjoined with Saturn for this retrograde cycle, the power to perfect is on hand – Saturn wants to see discipline, and will reward your efforts, so do not stint on concentration and revision of details.  Doing so may just save your reputation and protect you from costly errors that will take months to repair.

All this being said, there is never any reason to worry too much with Mercury Retrograde.  Think twice before you act, cultivate patience rather than aggression, prepare carefully, and be willing to wait before signing any contracts. Take the time to read the fine print as things you blindly agree to during Mercury Retrograde almost always require revision, however minor, before a final result is achieved.  People find that it is with things they rarely focus on consciously anymore, like routines and habits, that problems arise, which is why we tend to see an increase in traffic accidents, and failure to receive basic communications like voice mail, snail mail, email etc. during Mercury Retrograde. What, you didn’t get the memo? Go ahead, blame Mercury Retrograde – at least you will know the logistics behind the situation! 

You can find information about more of this year’s upcoming Mercury Retrograde cycles as well as other planetary cycles for this year here:. Planetary Events 2022

Thank you for reading. Many blessings to you!

Astrology: Happy New Year 2022

Guercino, ‘Atlas Holding Up the Celestial Globe,’ oil on canvas, Italy, 1646.

Each year on January 1, we are greeted with the serious face of Saturn, ruler of Capricorn, and everyone, like it or not, takes stock on this day. It’s usually a somber time, for even if we have much to celebrate, Saturn likes to elbow in and say his piece, ensuring we prepare to fulfill our duties for the year ahead. However somber, this is also a time of great promise and hope, for it is only through commitment, hard work, and focus that we can accomplish anything, and it is at this time that these positive, useful energies are in abundance, more than at any other point in the year. I like to look at the chart of the New Year as a marker of the overall tone of the year to come, and we see that 2022 is chock full of intensity.

The overall theme of this year is passionate, concentrated intensity. Pluto is conjoined with Mercury and Venus in Capricorn indicating that what we hold dear is being considered and understood with great profundity. As we look back on a year that has been universally trying, we feel compelled to consider what we hold most important in life, and people are willing to dig deep and really embrace their desires and reflections in a practical manner. 

The Moon and Mars are conjoined in Sagittarius, and there is a bright, active philosophical tone to emotion.  We want progress, we feel hope, and we are enthusiastically broadminded, open to learning more about the world around us – even if it only involves our local neighborhood.  Some might feel scrappy or self righteous, particularly when faced with Saturn and Uranus as they maintain their travelling square, but by now, the sense of constraint that has gripped the world since early 2021 feels like old hat. More and more, people are willing to work with societal situations, making the best of looming restrictions, rules and regulations.  There is a feeling of supported empowerment in the air.

However, there is also a tendency to feel confused or overwhelmed at times, as Neptune squares the Moon/Mars conjunction, and what is defined as truth these days seems to be a moving target.  No matter, as a lovely Sun/Uranus trine gives a strong sense of wanting to do better, making people readily able to find innovative solutions to improving their lives day by day. There is an emerging sense of universal agreement that what is practical must be the rule of the day – very Capricorn – and a strong sense of push back is at play, as pointing out inconsistencies proposed by authorities and bureaucracy is the new norm all around. The voice of the individual speaking the truth of the many takes on new power, and we will see this theme become more important over the next year, particularly as Jupiter dances back and forth between Pisces and Aries over the coming months. Don’t be afraid to speak up if something bothers you – it’s likely that you are voicing what many people may be too shy to say.

2022 also begins with a New Moon on January 2, at 12º20’ Capricorn, and it promises to be a tender time, as the Sun/Moon conjunction squares Chiron, the wounded one.  This energy underlines the intense Mercury/Venus/Pluto conjunction as people are willing to examine and accept things that cannot be changed, and work at finding practical solutions to living with things which feel perpetually sensitive.  While not light-hearted, the executive power of Saturn available now makes this a perfect time to work on establishing our visions in reality.  If you have any plans drifting on the sidelines, pull them out and put them into motion.  Also, if you have any lingering problems – be they lifestyle, career, health or relationship issues – this is the most effective point of the year to hash things out, examine the pros and cons of your situations and consider what positive changes you want to see actualized.  Saturn, while often dour, is truly the best friend we can have, for without his guidance and foresight, very little can be accomplished.  Use the power available now to manifest your dreams in their most perfect form and let 2022 be your best year ever.

New Year January 1, 2022 Greenwich UK, 0:00 UT

January sees Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius, squaring Saturn and Uranus. Communications, paperwork and official matters will confound, but commitment to discipline will help clarify. Intensity in action puts dreams within reach.

February Mercury turns direct just before a sizzling Venus/Mars conjunction on Valentine’s Day. Discipline gets bumped by innovations, and watch for surprises in serious conversations, commitment and promises by month’s end.

March and April will prove to be a particularly intense months, and the Equinox in particular will feel a little hairy as Mercury, Venus and Mars are all involved in close contact with the heavy hitters Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Deep intensity, tensions and potentially explosive stressors will feel gnarly. Emotions are ready for deep work, beware of inflating desires.

May sees surprises as the Sun conjoins Uranus and squares Saturn. It will feel like an uphill battle as new constraints emerge, though powers of concentration will be flowing. Mid-end month will feel sensitive as hurt feelings want expression. Watch for tall tales from the 15th on.

June sees Mercury Retrograde from the 3rd the 26th and communications and travel will feel hard going mid-month. Make duplicate copies and write things down to be sure. Surprising pleasures lead to some remorse and power struggles by end of month. Keep a lid on it and save the embarrassment.

July is intense but vibrant and will prove to be a breath of fresh air in a year of contradictions. Go with the flow and enjoy the ride, but watch for aggressors at month’s end. Arguments and accidents arise from careless rushing and pushing. Be careful and be safe.

August flows with Leo’s passion, though beware of jarring surprises during the first week. Love affairs and obsessions could arise mid-month, and communication feels intense and drenched in mystery (or confusion!) Overindulgence mid-month spells remorse by month’s end. Remember Leo dignity and Virgo analysis and you’ll be fine.

September brings another Mercury retrograde, and loss of objectivity prevails mid-month. Passion runs high as dreaminess seeks to overcome reason. Personal empowerment holds the line – fix what’s been bothering you once and for all while the opportunity is there.

October sees Mercury, Saturn and Pluto turn Direct, while Mars moves Retrograde, and Retrograde Jupiter dips back into Pisces. The churning feels like revolving doors, as people mince words and hedge around the truth, which could lead to forcing issues by the 20th. A grand trine between conjoined Sun/Venus, Mars and Saturn allows for either free-flowing communication or floaty hot air. Maybe some tension’s not so bad after all.

November’s pressures could push things to a head and Jupiter turning Direct by month’s end feels like a gust of power blowing through and releasing tensions. The Full Moon feels romantic and grounded, but Retrograde Mars stymies action, requiring reconsideration of plans. Desire butts up against uncertainty as we race towards year end.

December begins with a sense of confusion, and if you feel like people aren’t listening, you are probably right. To frustrate matters, Mars is still Retrograde, and Mercury turns retrograde at month’s end. Jupiter moves back into Aries which feels powerful, Neptune turns Direct unlocking trapped dreams, and the end of the year finds us ready to celebrate, release and start the whole cycle again – one more time, with feeling!

Note: For this year, I will be posting monthly sign-by-sign reviews on the Full Moon. While the New Moon is the beginning of the lunar month, I have found that the power of the Full Moon is apprehended more strongly. The New Moon is a good time to start on new paths if required, seeding nascent manifestations (much like the beginning of the New Year), while the Full Moon is a time to take stock of what you have to work with in the here and now. The light of the Full Moon allows us to reflect, fulfill, create, release, cleanse, dispense with what is unnecessary, and see personal meaning and circumstance with maximum clarity. Essentially, more light is available for us to see during a Full Moon, and that increased light allows a greater conscious connection with personal power, and with the world around us.

Thank you for reading. Blessings to all for 2022!



Astrology: Planetary Events 2022

Lunar Eclipses:

April 30, 2022 – 20:29 UT, 15:29 EDT, New Moon Eclipse – 10º 28′ Taurus

May 16, 2022 – 4:15 UT/May 15, 2022 23:15 EDT, Full Moon Eclipse – 25º 18′ Scorpio

October 25, 2022 – 10:50 UT, 5:50 EDT, New Moon Eclipse – 2º 00′ Scorpio

November 8, 2022 – 11:03 UT, 6:03 EST, Full Moon Eclipse – 16º 01′ Taurus

For a list of all New and Full Moon events see: Lunar Events 2022

Solar Events:

March Equinox – March 20, 2022 15:35 UT, 10:35 EST, Sun moves into Aries

June Solstice – June 21, 2022 9:15 UT, 4:15 EDT, Sun moves into Cancer

September Equinox – September 23, 2022 1:05 UT (September 22, 2022 20:05 EDT) Sun moves into Libra

December Solstice – December 21, 2022 21:49 UT (16:49 EST) Sun moves into Capricorn

Mercury:

Retrograde January 14, 2022 – 10º18’ Aquarius

Direct February 4, 2022 – 24º23’ Capricorn

Exits Shadow – February 24, 2022.

Retrograde May 4, 2022 – 4º50’ Gemini

Direct June 2, 2022 – 26º50’ Taurus

Exits Shadow – June 19, 2022

Retrograde September 10, 2022 – 8º55’ Libra

Direct October 2, 2022 – 24º12’ Virgo

Exits Shadow – October 17, 2022

Retrograde December 29, 2022 – 24º20’ Capricorn

Direct January 18, 2023 – 8º9’ Capricorn

Exits Shadow – February 7, 2023

Venus:

Venus Retrograde December 21, 2021 – 26º29′ Capricorn

Venus direct January 29, 2022 – 11º4′ Capricorn

Mars:

Mars enters 2022 at 13º5′ Sagittarius

Mars Retrograde October 30, 2022 – 25º37′ Gemini

Mars Direct January 12, 2023 – 8º8′ Gemini

Jupiter:

Jupiter enters Pisces on December 30, 2021

Jupiter enters 2022 at 0º33′ Pisces

Jupiter enters Aries on May 11, 2022

Jupiter Retrograde August 2, 2022 – 8º41’ Aries 

Jupiter re-enters Pisces October 29, 2022

Jupiter Direct November 23, 2022 – 28º48’ Pisces, leaving the shadow zone on February 14, 2023

Jupiter re-enters Aries December 21, 2022

Saturn:

Saturn enters 2022 at 11º54’ Aquarius

Saturn Retrograde June 4, 2022 – 25º15’ Aquarius

Saturn Direct October 23, 2022 – 18º53’ Aquarius

Uranus:

Uranus enters 2022 in Retrograde at 10º57’ Taurus

Uranus Direct January 18, 2022 – 10º49′ Taurus

Uranus Retrograde August 24 – 18º55’ Taurus

Uranus Direct January 22, 2023-  14º56’ Taurus.

Neptune:

Neptune enters 2022 at 20º40’ Pisces

Neptune Retrograde June 28 –  25º26’ Pisces

Neptune Direct December 3 – 22º38’ Pisces

Pluto:

Pluto enters 2022 at 25º56’ Capricorn

Pluto Retrograde April 29 – 28º35’ Capricorn

Pluto Direct October 8, 2022 – 26º6’ Capricorn

For a list of 2022 New Moons, Full Moons and Eclipses, please click here: Moon Phases and Eclipses 2022

Astrology: Full Moon in Gemini December 18/19, 2021

Joachim Wtewael, La Bataille entre les dieux et les titans (The Battle Between the Gods and the Titans), oil on copper, Netherlands, 1600. Art Institute of Chicago.

The last Full Moon of 2021 occurs at 4:36 UT December 19 (23:36 EST December 18, 2021). This is a Full Moon in the last decan of Gemini (which colors this Gemini Moon with Fixed Air or Aquarian energy) exact at 27º 29’, and the Sabian Symbol for this degree is: “A man declared bankrupt.”  For those not familiar with the Sabian Symbols, the system was created by astrologer Dr. Marc Edmund Jones in 1953, and they are a set of evocative images applied to each degree of the zodiac. They are striking, intricate and multi-layered and add an interesting element to chart interpretation.

So then:  “A man declared bankrupt.” What an apt image for the end of a year that has found the world staggering under the COVID-19 pandemic and all the economical, social and political fall-out it has brought. Many individuals and businesses have lost their established livelihood as the constraints of the pandemic have left their work obsolete or impossible to maintain with pre-pandemic methods. Add to this the rolling climatic events that are gripping the globe, with increasingly dangerous storms and wildfires destroying established communities, forcing people to rebuild at a time when they should be celebrating. We also have rampant moral bankruptcy that must be addressed.  The pandemic, while completely decimating so many, has also served as a boon to opportunists, those inclined to profit from the calamity that has befallen society.  Previously defined lines of morality have been blurred and greedy raider mentality has free reign during this time of indefinite circumstances with ill-defined rules and regulations. The morality displayed by our governments, while usually dubious at best, is now teetering on the edge of collapse as global power structures rapidly shift, deeming presupposed notions of hierarchy no longer valid. 2021 has been a very intense year, and there is much sorrow sitting on the planet right now – remember this holiday to say a prayer for those in need, those who have lost their lives, and the families that struggle without them. 

This Full Moon in Gemini is complicated, and its energy will punctuate any holiday celebrations over the coming weeks as we approach the New Moon on January 2, 2022.  Be cautious during gatherings as there is an overall sense of smoldering aggression in the air, and a readiness to jump to militant tendencies to prove a point.  The Moon and Sun are constellated in a wide T-square to Neptune in Pisces, adding an irksome sense of confusion, and an inability to pin down the ever-elusive concept of truth.  Questions of personal values are polarized against the need to recognize the emotional requirements of others, but communication will be unclear, despite people feeling quite philosophical and willing to discuss their issues. Venus and Pluto conjoined in Capricorn indicate that people are seeking tangible manifestations of power, and a heightened desire for structure and authority, but the continuing square between Saturn and Uranus indicate that any attempts at the establishment of control are going to be punctuated by potentially explosive tension, a constant cat-and-mouse feeling of needing stability that is undermined by a desire for change and innovation. Jupiter lends a hand by allowing a sense of levity and breadth to the talkative Gemini Moon and the gregarious Sagittarius Sun, allowing the free flow of idealism and an overall need to “do the right thing,” but we have the danger of self-righteousness creeping in as people can get proud about enforcing their favorite rules and theories – there will be a lot of bickering around the holiday dining table about things like vaccinations, for instance, as folks get together perhaps for the first holiday in over two years, and are just busting to share their opinions, for better or for worse.  The good thing is that after all we’ve been through, people have come to a greater global understanding, and most are sincerely willing to pitch in and help, though everyone wants to see the sense of overriding danger kept in check – somehow. Overall, this is a high-energy, idealistic, potentially explosive but communicative time.  Think carefully before getting into any big discussions, but enjoy this holiday season – there is much good will in the air right now, so stay positive and do your best to avoid arguing!  

Sign by sign:

Aries: This Full Moon the focus is on how you communicate your philosophy of life, how you feel about issues of higher learning, and how the idea of God and personal spirituality impacts your immediate environment.  This holiday season will likely see you involved in deep discussions with siblings or neighbors. Intense concentration smolders around career – be careful not to let thoughts become obsessive, though you may find that you have a definite magnetism right now, as you come across as powerful, even sexy on the career front. Social issues feel serious as you strive to circulate with those older and wiser.  Self-image is a work in progress, and may feel tender. Allow yourself to have a lovely, dreamy holiday, and remember to keep it light.

Taurus:  This Full Moon taps into your deepest concerns about how the power of others affects what you value, your deepest sense of security and personal ownership.  You will be feeling quite philosophical and willing to explore the bigger picture in considerable depth.  Career and public image feels serious as you strive to express your highest ideals as representative of who you really are, and plunging into the depths feels sexy and a bit dangerous. Allow yourself to swim in those waters, for it is in the darkest recesses that you can reveal the light that guides you. You might be inspired to try a new look to bolster your persona – go for it!

Gemini:  Who are you Gemini?  This is your focus for this Full Moon. Partnerships, close friendships and rivalries offer you a mirror to help determine how it is you are presenting yourself to the world. All of this self-reflection can feel a bit heavier than you are normally comfortable with; beware of compulsion driving you to places that may not be healthy.  Home life allows you the venue to show your true colors, while you may feel a bit murky about career matters.  Do the stage rehearsal for family and friends before letting the cat out of the bag at work. Social life may be tender now; work with it, it’s healing.

Cancer:  This last Full Moon of 2021, dive deep into the depths of your subconscious mind.  Now is the time to dream, meditate, cast your spells, and discover how old thoughts and memories, and those things deeply buried may be impacting how effective you are in navigating the challenges of your daily life.  Could it be that you have certain compulsions, habits or preconceived notions that may be hindering your effectiveness in the work setting, or your personal health regimen?  Now’s the perfect time to suss this stuff out.  Relationships are hot right now, and romance feels right as you share your dreams with those closest to you but, watch out for compulsive behavior, as the resulting power plays could prove highly sobering.  Friends surprise, and career feels tender. Communicate with those you value most, it’s a good time to unburden yourself of heavy secrets that might be holding you back.

Leo:  The spotlight is on your creativity, and where you draw your highest levels of inspiration.  What propels you, what guides you, who do you look to as your personal muse?  It may just be the larger forces of society prompting you to be the best that you can be, and that’s a wonderful thing, for by focusing on the bigger picture, your personal creativity gets that much better defined.  Surprises appear on the career front, but you are in for a nice time of rest and recuperation this lunar cycle, particularly if you have been feeling poorly, stressed or otherwise compromised.  An overhaul is in order, and if you want to break any bad habits, the force is with you now. Deeper motivations and power plays in relationships elude you, and watch for deceptions in finances – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably really is.

Virgo:  The spotlight for this Full Moon is on the relationship between career and home life.  A good time to sort out details that may have been sticking points for a while.  You are feeling serious about health, personal and daily work habits, but don’t be glum, for the discipline you need is now available.  Watch for nagging healthy issues cropping up, but if they do, know that you have the power available to overcome after a few adjustments.  Creativity, romance and fun take a sexy turn – be wild, Virgo. It’s looking like this could be a spicy holiday, but beware letting your head run away with your heart.  Surprising inspirations come from higher learning, and if you feel like talking about it (and you will) go for it. You’ve got the ear of someone important.

Libra:  The focus this last Full Moon of 2021 is on your deepest personal philosophies. Now is the time to review what is most important to you, what inspires and guides you, and own how it is you like to communicate, no judgements, just truth.  You will feel a strong urge to make your ideals real, grounding and owning the inspirations you find in the recesses, at the edges, and in the nether-regions that many are too shy to face. Relationships feel tender as you plumb the depths, and you seek to find gravitas in your creations. Career is on the backburner, but you may find solutions to gnarly problems in your dreams. Keep your dream journal close at hand, and be open to active imagination.

Scorpio:  This Full Moon hits you where the sun don’t shine, causing you to dive deep and ask the question “What’s that worth to me actually?”  Values tangle with your various commitments, leaving you to reflect on issues of personal power versus what’s expected of you, otherwise known as duty.  Creativity is inspiring, and romance can feel dreamy, but surprises may arrive in partnerships.  Work circumstances and old ancestral duties bring serious sentiments and considerations can leave you feeling tender as the same old stuff keeps coming around.  A profound discussion in your immediate environment stirs compulsive communication patterns and recurring thoughts. If you feel like fighting, take a breather and keep it nice. It may not seem worth it tomorrow.

Sagittarius:  Partnerships and self-definition are the key themes for you this Full Moon.  Meditate on how home life and career are working or not working with what you need for self-definition at this time.  Is it all about them, or all about you? How to get the balance right? New innovations in the workplace, perhaps the arrival or departure of co-workers or routines can be inspiring and lead to greater efficiency in communications, while seeming troublesome at the outset.  This holiday season, Sagittarius wants luxury, and only the finest gifts will satisfy you.  Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, you are likely to get exactly what you wish for.

Capricorn:  Capricorn, what you value is serious longevity, and you don’t want to see any superficial fluff flying around this Full Moon.  Your persona feels deeply passionate, and only intensity will satisfy you now.  The spotlight is on personal habits, health care and how old skeletons in the closet are messing with your sense of well-being.  Time to evict those old bones – don’t be afraid to purge what you don’t need. If you find yourself caught in a loop, and you can’t quite understand it, you’re probably working under a compulsion.  Study it, it’s ready for dissection, and be willing to leave behind what doesn’t work for you any longer. When one door closes, another one opens – it really is true. Romance and creativity are ripe with inspiration now – share your dreams and visions, you are connected to big things.

Aquarius:  This Full Moon shines a light on the connection between your creativity, your highest ideals and how you put yourself out into the world. As you rummage through the depths of known experience, your urge to communicate feels a bit tender, and rightly so. You are in uncharted waters Aquarius, but be bold and lead the way for others to follow.  Your persona is oscillating between somber and jovial, but your value system is inspired, even if tangible proof seems elusive right now. Your subconscious mind can provide a gold mine of rewards, be open and pay attention to dreams and visions, quiet manifestations and messages. You may be receiving more than you know.

Pisces:  Dear Pisces, it’s been a year, hasn’t it? This Full Moon highlights your home and how your public image impacts on who you are in your private moments.  You are putting yourself out there with great verve (even if all you do is visit the grocery store, mind you!)  Ask yourself – how does your public persona impact who you are in your most private moments?  Your identity is ever shifting, and what you value feels a bit tender as you realize that old ways need to be revised in order for you to move forward.  Watch for surprising communication from those closest to you, and be ready to revolutionize your social scene, what inspires you, and your biggest hopes and dreams.  Subconscious stuff can feel heavier than usual, watch for strangely upsetting Freudian slips or blurting things out that you may regret later.

PS: For anyone interested in Sabian Symbols, astrologer Lynda Hill has been working with the Sabian Symbols for decades and has a great website with a very fun instant oracle feature. Find it here: Sabian Symbols

Full Moon in Gemini, December 19, 2021, 4:36 UT, Prime Meridian at Greenwich, UK. Chart courtesy of astro.com