The Astrology Blog 28 December 2015
All times stated in GMT
Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas Day. As planned and expected we had the quietest Christmas ever as my heroic and unbelievably good natured brother in law battles on with illness, but we were blessed by all being together at home and enjoying stunning weather, so we really did embody that Christmas Day Full Moon in “family and home” Cancer.
Health issues are inevitably the main topic in our house at the moment and I came across this article whilst searching for something else entirely different, but it grabbed me, especially in relation to how we handle stress. The following is by a Dr. Siegel, faculty editor of Positive Psychology, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
If you want to read the whole article, here’s the link:
These points won’t be new to most of you, we’ve read them in many forms, but he’s succinct and convincing in the way that he gets the message across:
• Challenge yourself to try new things, learn new ideas, and develop new skills. Realizing that most human abilities follow a “use it or lose it” pattern can motivate us to stay active in all realms of our lives.
• Bring your attention repeatedly to the present moment, through formal mindfulness meditation or informal mindfulness practice. It can help you to appreciate this moment, rather than becoming lost in regrets about the past or imagining future deterioration.
• Develop a sense of meaning in life. Focus on something larger than yourself, whether that’s connecting with people close to you or helping improve the lives of others. Or commit yourself to a hobby you love, such as gardening, attending the theater, dancing, or reading. When our focus is just on our own immediate pleasure or pain, we’re much more likely to have difficulty with the aging process
Regular readers and students will know that I’m a fan of “hands on” stuff rather than airy-fairy theory that may sound mystical and magical but is actually of very little real use. Dr Siegel makes it all sound like common sense, which of course it is. Reminded me of how Kim Bennett from Serenity Retreat described mindfulness and meditation to me, that it shows us when we’re “rehashing the past or rehearsing the future”, rather than staying in the “now”. This seems to me a helpful philosophy to carry into the New Year, especially with Mercury poised for his next retrograde period.
What’s happening this week?
The Sun is now in Capricorn as we celebrated the Solstice last week, and the first aspect is to Neptune –
Tuesday Sun sextile Neptune (13.19)
This harmonious aspect happens with the Sun at 7 Capricorn and Neptune at 7 degrees of his own sign of Pisces. As I’m late posting this week’s blog this aspect is just a couple of hours off being exact as I write and in my world has coincided with Mike going back into hospital this morning, but made all the less traumatic through the kindness of the medical team involved. One of the top qualities of Neptune in his own sign is compassion. This planet belongs to the 12th House – the house that rules places of confinement such as hospitals – and which is also traditionally known as “the vale of tears”. In other words, Neptune links us to suffering and shows us where empathy and kindness are needed. The positive face of Neptune is therefore healing.
Neptune is also often powerfully placed in the horoscopes of those with creative talent, especially actors and musicians. A soaring imagination and the ability to capture and express the human experience through drama, words and music are hallmarks of the Neptunian nature. The flipside to this is escapism of the self destructive kind too. Look at Drew Barrymore’s chart for a textbook Neptunian – she’s a Pisces, and with Gemini rising her ruling planet is Mercury, closely sextile Neptune, and she has her the two Pisces planets Jupiter and Neptune in a powerful mutual reception (ie Jupiter is in his feminine sign of Pisces, which is also Neptune’s sign, and Neptune is in Sagittarius, Jupiter’s masculine sign. These two planets are therefore working as a team even though they are not in aspect. Drew of course was the adorable Gertie in ET, filmed when she was only 6 years old, but her adolescence spiraled into drug and alcohol abuse, and two stints in rehab before making the successful transition to adult success. Her autobiography is called Little Girl Lost.)
Coupled now with the Sun, the life force and symbol of our essential identity, in sturdy and goal orientated Capricorn, this captures the message that Neptunian types/issues need grounding. It brings us back to the “hands on” message I mentioned earlier. If someone you care about is suffering don’t forget to ask what you can do to help or, vice versa, ask for the kind of help you need. If you have a creative idea think about how you can get it off the drawing board.
Plans and ideas are however not exactly clear cut at the moment. Today’s second aspect is –
Tuesday Mercury square Mars (14.54)
Squares to Mars, from any planet, spell pain or difficulty. With Mercury as the partner this combination signals wounding words, hurt feelings or tough decisions, or, in this case, the beginning of a complicated battle. This aspect is the start of a complex sequence as Mercury enters Aquarius this coming weekend but will turn retrograde next Tuesday, and is therefore slowing down and repeats the square to Mars, who is also changing sign, and will repeat it again after turning direct and catching up with Mars for the third time.
• Tuesday 29 Dec Mercury 27 Capricorn square Mars 27 Libra
• Saturday 2 January Mercury ingress Aquarius (02.21)
• Sunday 3 January Mars ingress Scorpio (14.34)
• Tuesday 5 January Mercury 1 Aquarius square Mars 1 Scorpio
• Tuesday 5 January Mercury turns retrograde an hour later at 1 Aquarius
• Monday 25 January Mercury turns direct at 15 Capricorn
• Saturday 5 March Mercury 29 Aquarius square Mars 29 Scorpio
If you have natal planets or angles at or close to any of the above signs and degrees then this sequence will be especially significant for you. Note that the last Mercury/Mars square falls at 29 degrees, at the very end of the signs. As above, so below – events unfolding during that first week of March will be the finale. Here are the usual links for checking the position of your own planets and angles:
You can also try this calculator, which lists all your planets and angles rather than bringing up the visual of the horoscope, so for non astrologers it’s easier to use.
So, this is not the best of pictures for New Year resolutions – if you’re making them at all then keep them flexible and realistic. Anything over ambitious is likely to prove too difficult to adhere to, at least until Mercury turns direct again at the end of January, which will in effect be the real New Year. Until then note that Mercury is already slowing down and it’s not too early to think ahead for the three week period when Mercury will be retrograde from 5 to 25 January. Here’s my usual checklist –
• Guard against trying to force any kind of round pegs into square holes. It won’t be worth the effort and could cost you dearly.
• Try to operate by “re” words – review, revise, research, reappraise, rethink and so on
• Buy yourself time wherever needed
• Write things down – forgetfulness, being distracted, inattention etc can be a troublesome theme
• Back up all your computer work
• Don’t delete any documents – you may need them at a later date
• Getting back to ideas on the back burner
• Getting back in touch
• Rest and relaxation, give the brain some time off
• Keep options open
• Assume nothing, double check everything
• When in doubt, check it out – second hand opinions are a dead cert for getting hold of the wrong end of the stick – and don’t believe everything you hear
• Keep a close watch on all belongings – especially keys or anything linked to communication such as phones, laptops, tablets, cameras etc and don’t even think about buying new ones for the time being
• The same for cars – never buy any mode of transport under a retro Mercury
• Plan any journey with extra care and don’t trust to luck
• Kill your speed when driving – allow extra time for getting there slowly but safely
• Take extra care with form filling/signing on dotted lines
• No matter how certain a situation might seem there is a good chance that it will morph into something else over the next couple of weeks – the “x” factor is at work …
Until next week, wishing you a fun New Year’s Eve and a wonderful 2016, even though it may be slow getting off the starting blocks!
With love from Greece