Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ember Days: time for intention

As I mentioned in my last post to this blog, after the Winter Solstice is good time to slow down and go within. Shown by the New Year’s Eve resolutions that many of us set at this time of year, there is something about the energy after Winter Solstice that calls for reflection and new intention. The ancestors knew this too. Kenneth Johnson in his book, "North Star Road: Shamanism, Witchcraft, and the Otherworld Journey," writes that folk tradition of central and northern Europe called the time between Christmas and the Epiphany (January 6) the Ember Days. It was thought that at this time the ancestors were more accessible to the living. Just like at Samhain, the veils between the worlds are thinner at this time. This is a good time to seek insights about our lives using astrology and other forms of divination.

My own divination practice at this time
I look at my progressions and transits of the past year and the next. Astrology helps me to set the context of my life — what is really important for me to pay attention to right now. I think about my goals. Then I do a tarot and rune reading for the year. From all this exploration, I set an intention. It is helpful to put my visions, emotions, and yearnings into clear words, simple words, which I can use as an anchor of intention when the ebb and flow of the year begins again after Epiphany.

The Full Moon of January 3rd will occur during the Ember Days. The Winter Full Moon is one of the most beautiful moons of the year. This Full Moon in Cancer should be particularly potent. Who are the planetary allies of this moment — the ones who will help us with our visions and intentions? Saturn is the ally of intention and manifestation. Saturn in Leo is trining both Pluto and Mars in the Full Moon chart. In this alignment there is strength and power for putting creative action behind our intentions. What does Saturn ask in return for this help? Focus, paring down distractions, responsibility. The visionary allies of this chart are Uranus, Neptune, and the Moon itself. Here, there is more struggle and potential danger. Uranus is squared Jupiter. This paints a picture of big ideals meeting big visions for change. Notice whether the goals you set for yourself are realistic. Perhaps it is appropriate to dream big right now, but how will you feel later when you encounter reality? There is a learning curve here to pay attention to. Neptune is quiet in this chart but will oppose Saturn two more times this year. The opposition between Saturn and Neptune will challenge us all to dream the dreams that we can make real. Our paradigms are shifting this year. It may be harder this year to distinguish reality from dream and that may be the point. The Moon becomes an anchor for me as I realize that it may be hard to navigate the Neptune/Saturn territory. The Cancer Full Moon reminds me to set intention that includes compassion for self and others. The glyph for Cancer reminds me of the arms of the Mother holding her Child. I can also hold my own heart this way. What does my heart want to dare to dream into reality this year? What intention can I set that will honor the nurturing compassion of this Full Moon?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Winter dreamtime

Winter begins today in the Northern Hemisphere. Winter is a time for dreaming, turning within, tending the light inside — the small spark of inspiration that can grow into miraculous manifestation. I welcome this time to turn away from outside distractions and drift into incubating my dreams. Many of us are caught up in a frantic holiday season right now that does not honor this natural impulse to slow down and let go. I honor all intentions that say it does not have to be so. I honor the quiet of Winter.

Turn within,
Go within,
And find the center of things.

The chart for the Winter Solstice shows Pluto transiting the Galactic Center. What a powerful directive to go within and find the center of things! This year, Pluto, was reclassified by the International Astronomical Union as a binary dwarf planet with its formerly designated moon, Charon. The synchronistic symbolism is intriguing. Pluto was “demoted” and its moon was “promoted” just as these binary planets were nearing alignment with the center of our galaxy! In Greek myth, Charon was the ferryman, who ferried the dead across the River Styx. I am beginning to incorporate a new interpretation of Pluto’s power into my astrology— Pluto/Charon can carry us across the vast divide into new and deeper realms. Right now they carry us into the very center of our galaxy.

Winter is a time to turn within. In letting go of the outside world, for a time, what small light do you find within, deep within, that yearns to be ferried back into the world when we begin to awaken again at the next seasonal station – Imbolc (February 2)? There is no effort needed to find this light. Pluto/Charon will magnetically draw us toward it. However, it is a good thing to slow down when you can, so that you may see it better and be gladdened by its light.

Solstice blessings.
[Due to techincal difficulites, I could not post this on the Winter Solstice, however the invitation to turn within is still very relevant and delicious at this time of year. later -- Teri]

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Farewell to Scorpio

The energy is shifting. We are saying goodbye, for now, to Scorpio.

Astrology is about noticing energy. In fact, the word "energy" is often overused when discussing astrological insights. Yet, it is a word that works well in my practice of using astrology to become more aware of myself and the world around me. Since the word is used so often, it is a good idea to think about what I mean by "energy." What is energy?

Simple answer: Energy is what gets noticed. The bigger the energy, the easier it is notice - the more it commands our attention.

For the last year, the themes of Scorpio have commanded our attention. In October 2005, Jupiter entered Scorpio for a year-long visit. Jupiter expands, makes the sign it is travelling through bigger, easier to notice. What gets noticed by Scorpio is everything that we try to hide. It has been an interesting year of uncovering secrets, hasn't it? Look at the Bush presidency. Finally, this year, some of the nasty secrets of this administration got revealed. But Jupiter did not stop with world events. I've noticed shadows in my own life coming to the surface.

Things really heated up this fall when Mercury entered Scorpio in early October for a longer than usual time in this sign since Mercury went retrograde in Scorpio and helped upset the Republicans in the retrograde elections in early November. Venus and Mars both entered Scorpio right before Mercury turned retrograde. From the end of October, we've been in a Scorpio soup. The energy I've noticed? Undercurrents of claiming power, breaking taboos, purging old patterns. Death is a Scorpio theme. Vitality is released through the compost of death. As I say good bye to Scorpio [now, Jupiter is in Sagittarius; Mars and Venus have moved on to that sign too; only Mercury remains for one more day], I want to take a moment to reflect on what I have learned.

I've learned about energy. I've learned I can notice more than I can see. I can also feel. The intense waters of Scorpio emotion have washed me up on new shores. What have you noticed? The energy is shifting. We have only this brief moment to honor the transitions we have made - time to move forward.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Sun in Sagittarius and Moon in Gemini

Welcome readers, to The Starsdance - a place to share insights, to learn, to question, and conspire so that we may consciously co-create the world we wish to live in. That world for me is a place where nature, symbol, story, and passion come together in the glorious dance of the stars.

Today is the Full Moon in Gemini. I am reading a wonderful book on the Moon by Darby Costello, The Astrological Moon. She writes," To achieve your purpose, to let your Sun shine, to fulfill your destiny, you have to do it through the Moon. The Moon describes how you interact with life from day to day." The Sun's goal right now is symbolized through the energy of Sagittarius.

With my Ascendant in Sagittarius, I resonate with a Sagittarian life destiny - to seek and express the truth as it changes and shifts before my eyes. The Moon in Gemini, today, is my means of achieving that destiny. Through the Gemini Moon, I reach out, and connect to this mysterious new world for me, the world of blogs. Today at the Full Moon, I set my intention to share my mutable truth—my daily connection to meaning— through words, and hopefully through conversation with my readers.

Today, I invite you to think about how you express and connect with others about the truth you see before you. And can you see yourself in a world with other people doing the very same thing? I ask myself, How do I open myself enough to listen, and calm myself enough to hear the truth of the world?