Springtime means it's time to dive in, to activate, to thrust upwards and outwards, like seeds sprouting up from the soil into the light of day. What's more, 2016's vernal equinox is sandwiched between two energizing eclipses, which should mean "full speed ahead."
In the 1964 Pink Panther film, A Shot in the Dark, the chief inspector is so troubled by Inspector Clouseau's bumblings that he is plagued by nightmares. He dreams that Clouseau sends him thousands of pounds of jelly, but can't imagine where it could possibly have been delivered to until he dives into his swimming pool. Rather than smoothly gliding into cool, refreshing water, he lands with a loud and ostensibly painful "Thwack!" onto a swimming pool full of jelly.
Let's run with this image for a moment. It's spring. You're ready. The energy is high. The time is ripe. Everything is set, and you dive in, but it's not water you land in. It's jelly - thick and sticky and ridiculous. It's a cosmic joke. Can you laugh about it? Can you take your full-steam-ahead energy, and stroke your way through the jelly?
And, just out of curiosity, will you take a moment to notice what flavor it is?
Vernal equinox, Sun enters Aries - 3/19/16 at 9:30 PM PDT
At the vernal equinox, the balance of light and dark shifts in favor of light, and we are one quarter of the way through the Sun's yearly apparent transit through the zodiac. This is when the seeds we planted at winter solstice start to come alive and take shape. We need to care for them actively and outwardly. And we plant more seeds. We spread them higgledy piggledy to see what will actually take. We say YES - to life, to opportunities, to people, and to our own desires. We go. We grow. And so does everyone and everything else. What's more, we get an extra push in the direction of that which most inspires us this spring from a grand fire trine that occurs on the equinox day.
During the sun's transit through Aries (3/19/16 PDT - 4/19/16), we awaken, refreshed and inspired from Pisces' dreams. We now have the energy to catalyze those watery wintery visions, but we must access our courage to do so. The root of the word courage is the French word, coeur, or heart. To act with courage means to act from the heart - not to act without fear, but rather to act in spite of fear. We can't make our fear go away, but we can look it in the eye. Acknowledge and get to know this faithful, fearful, unshakable companion, but no matter what your fear tells you, let your heart call the shots.
What is your heart telling you to do these days?
What is your fear telling you to do these days?
What is different about these two voices?
What do you love?
What are you afraid of?
What's the difference?
Lunar eclipse in Libra: 3/23/16
This eclipse is a bookend. It's a penumbral eclipse, which is not nearly as powerful as the full solar eclipse we just experienced on 3/8/16. However, it is significant because it's the final eclipse in the Aries/Libra axis until 2023. We've been experiencing eclipses in this axis since October of 2013, which means it's time to wrap up the lessons of this set of eclipses.
What have you learned about yourself in the context of relationships in the past two and a half years?
How can you create win-win situations in your relationships?
Are there any relationships you need to end, or that you feel are coming to a close?
What brings you into a state of balance (yoga, meditaion, creativity, nature, exercise, etc)?
If you'd like to see this eclipse, it is visible on the west coast from around 3a until just before 7a, and peaks at about 4:45a.
Saturn throws some grit into the machine
Adding torque to the tension of the sun and moon in tight opposition on March 23rd, Jupiter makes a square aspect to Saturn, just as Saturn is about to station retrograde on March 25th. This is starting to set the stage for further tension in the mutable signs that will build throughout the spring. All of this means it's time for another round of the Saturn Cycles workshop on Saturday, April 2nd at Homestead Apothecary in Oakland. This class offers helpful tools for turning the challenges of the ringed planet into opportunities, and we'll also touch on the current events of this tough-love planet.
In general, Saturn slows things down. When Saturn itself is slowing down, as planets do when they change directions, well, let's just say that's one reason you'll find yourself swimming through jelly rather than water. Saturn will be retrograde 3/25/16 - 8/13/16.
Some things you may consider in relation to these influences:
Which of your foundations do you need to shore up?
What daily practice/s will help you build a solid foundation?
How do your beliefs limit you? NOTE: Limitations have the potential to help as well as hinder.
How do your beliefs give you freedom? NOTE: Freedom has the potential to hinder as well as help.
Mars Retrograde: 4/17/16 - 6/29/16
Mars retrogrades less than any other planet, and in fact, retrograde motion is quite frankly not in keeping with Mars' general nature. Mars is about action, momentum, movement. When the red planet is retrograde, action, momentum and movement continue to occur, but they fade in importance and impact. Mars is the ruler of Aries, the sign where the sun is transiting this month, and the sign of the inception of spring. This is why we will be swimming through jelly, my friends.
Mars has some areas of internal operation as well, and those are what will be coming to the fore during this retrograde. Mars begins moving backwards in early Sagittarius (belief), and then continues to back-paddle through late Scorpio (passion). Saturn retrograded through a similar area of the zodiac during March-July of 2015, so you may find yourself revisiting some issues that came up for you then. Here are your ruminations for this influence:
How can you feed the part of you that loves so it can grow in strength, prominence and vitality?
Are your actions in alignment with your beliefs?
What are you willing to do?
What are you not willing to do?
If you imagine an older version of yourself in the last moments of your life, looking back at this point in your life, what would you wish you had chosen to do or not do with this precious time?
I've posted this before, but this quote from the Upanishads is the North Star for this retrograde, so up it goes again:
Stretching Time & Moving Sound: Wednesday, April 13th
As Mars slows down, so should we. We'll be pacing our movements and sound in time with our breath throughout this voice and movement workshop at the Temescal Arts Center in Oakland.
Spring's plot (and jelly) thickens next month as Mercury begins its next retrograde, a tense configuration begins to form in the mutable signs of the zodiac, and meanwhile we are offered tangible opportunities from a grand earth trine. In the meantime, remember to taste the jelly you are swimming through. Notice its color and fragrance. See how the light hits it, illuminating a berry or a piece of rind here and there. Renewal can occur even in the most absurd of circumstances. Here's wishing you good humor, and a profound month of breakthroughs. Thanks for reading.