I will always remember waking up to a lead blanket of collective dread the day after 2016's election. I was at a cousin's house in Boston. It was the start of the city's busy work day, but an eerie and still hush permeated the atmosphere. Bright wintry light streamed in from outside, but the peculiar quiet implied inky darkness.
We possess an instinctual attraction to light. This is how our ancestors found precious, life-giving water while traversing unknown regions. And our sense of sight - the sense that gives most of us the quickest information - is dependent on light. Light defines the region of the known and knowable.
When we find ourselves in darkness, we must navigate slower and with more care. We must rely more on - what are for most of us - less developed senses: hearing, touch, smell and intuition. When we move through darkness, we move through the unknown.
It's a scary place, the Unknown.
But it is from that place that all things are born.
Sun in Sagittarius: 11/21/16 - 12/21/16
When the Sun travels through the sign of the centaur, it's time to take a leap across chasms and dive off of cliffs. This is not a passive activity. One doesn't accidentally soar across an abyss or launch oneself into the sea. These are actions taken with conviction, enthusiasm, boldness, and above all, faith.
I hope your faith is strong, my friend, for this year - we leap into the Unknown.
What do you believe in, deeply, wholly and truly?
What leaps do you sense before you?
Can you be curious and attentive as you face the Unknown?
And the most important question, both in facing the Unknown, and in making successful leaps:
Is your heart open?
I highly recommend you ingest adaptogenic herbs throughout this month to boost your adrenals and immune system during this tense time. Eleuthro offers stabilizing encouragement, while Ashwaghanda gives strength - strength to push on and strength to stand your ground. Reishi is particularly good if you want to boost your immunity, and/or need to resolve some grief.
New Sagittarius Moon: 11/29/16 at 4:18 AM PST
Now more than ever, I encourage you to meet our monthly dose of renewal in quiet and solitude, if only for five minutes. It's not about time. It's about intention. It's about devotion. Stare with all your heart at the patterns of frost. That's devotion. Make one single heartfelt wish for your own good, for the good of someone you love, for the earth. That's intention.
From where you stand, what does redemption look like to you?
Redemption is what happens when we lose something big, and after a period of emptiness, gain something different (and often bigger or truer) that has a similar feel or serves a similar purpose.
This will be a particularly tense lunation, as nearly all the major bodies of astrology are at odds with each other at this new moon. You'll be busy. You'll be pulled in many directions at once. It's not just "the holidays." It's the gods. It's the insistent tugs of giant bodies whirling through space. So what do you do when all of the gods want to wrestle with you at once?
You surrender. That doesn't mean giving up. It means two things:
1, Accepting and even welcoming everything that comes your way.
2, Taking time out for centering, grounding and healing practices.
Garden sage is an excellent nervine, and a Sagittarian herb. It helps us access wisdom and insight, even in the face of setbacks. Here's a resolving and inspiring recipe for this new moon: 1 Tbsp sage, 1 tsp elecampane, 1/2 tsp rosemary, and 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg - simmer 10-20 minutes in 2 cups of water. Add 1 tsp chamomile, let sit 20 minutes. Strain and drink.
Super Full Gemini Moon: 12/13/16 at 4:06 PM PST
This is the last of three super full moons in a row. It won't be as close as the last full moon, but the over-all tension in the heavens is greater now. This doesn't make it better or worse - just different. With the Gemini/Sagittarius axis activated, it's time to pay close attention to what's happening in our minds. And with the current planetary configurations, we must be absolutely vigilant in this.
A crash course in avoiding negative thinking without slipping into denial:
1. Something troublesome happens, you remember some pre-existing or past trouble, or you are concerned about a potential trouble.
2. Compassionately notice your emotions about this trouble, without trying to shift them.
3. Compassionately notice any tension in your body. Notice the maleability of your body.
4. Compassionately notice any holding of your breath. Then steady your breath, lengthening your exhalations.
5. Repeat as often as necessary.
A recipe for clear-headed, grounding and centering warmth on this full moon: 1 Tbsp eleuthro root, 1 tsp dandelion root, 1 inch chopped ginger root - Simmer 10 - 20 minutes. Add 1 tsp peppermint if you run hot, or 1 tsp spearmint if you run cold. Let sit 10 minutes. Strain, offer a drink to the earth (spill a little on the ground with love), and then drink.
Grand Fire Trine: 12/17 - 12/18
The moon in Leo briefly stimulates a grand fire trine for a couple days. Grand trines offer opportunities that disappear if not taken, so seize the day. This particular combination of planets and signs suggests good things happen when we make constructive efforts in right community. Get together with people who share your beliefs, and create something positive together. That positivity will come back to you. This influence will also increase the already hectic energy, so manage your energy levels. (See adaptogenic herbs above)
Mercury Retrograde: 12/19/16 - 1/8/17
Normally, I look forward to Mercury retrogrades as a time to wake up some sleeping parts of my awareness, but this retrograde honestly looks like a doozy. Mercury stations retrograde conjunct the apex planet (the planet under the most tension) of a longterm tense configuration (scroll down in that link for more info on how this effects us politically and collectively) on December 19th. This configuration involves a kind of argument between Pluto in Capricorn (death and rebirth of existing structures), Uranus in Aries (revolution my way now) and Jupiter in Libra (expanding our sense of justice).
Getting the most out of a Mercury retrograde in 2 steps:
STEP 1 (complete by 12/16 for best results):
Take care of the basic Mercury retrograde precautions in the first couple weeks of December - back up your computers and phones, tune up your bikes and cars, and finalize your holiday travel plans early. This will help you with step two.
STEP 2 (12/19 - 1/8):
Keep your eyes and ears, your mind and heart open, open, open. Learn. See and hear what you've been missing. Feel what you haven't let yourself feel. Let the walls in your mind lead to gateways of your heart.
What greater and truer power will you channel if you just let go of ______?
How do conviction and curiosity interact in your mind - do they allow space for each other?
How comfortable are you with the Unknown?
We welcome winter solstice and the winter season, Mercury and Uranus - the two planets of mind - station direct, and we get another brief grand fire trine. Until then, here's wishing you an enlightening month of heartful times in community. As always, feel free to share this post, contact me or schedule an astrology consultation or healing session. Thanks for reading, Rae