Sunday, August 8, 2010

New Moon August 9, 2010: Precious Fire, Flame of Self

The New Moon of August 9 is in the Fixed Fire sign – Leo. Fire is both the teacher and precious resource we celebrate this month. Fire and life are connected. Although fire alone may not sustain life, without fire there is no life.

Fire is the most vulnerable element. I learned this lesson from my teacher, Cynthea Jones. She writes, “Fire is a showy and admired element. Yes, we marvel at all the elemental forces: the wild wind before a storm, the fierce rain, the vast ocean, the mountains – the elements in their states of grandeur. But fire, just a simple fire, draws us to it. The elegance of a candle flame, the compelling warmth of a fireplace; fire is an admired element and… It is so insecure. Fire is dependent. It must be fed.” [Seasons of the Soul]. I’m feeling the need for fire this month. Perhaps the most meaningful exploration I can make right now is to note the state of my internal fires and create ways to tend those flames.

What is this fire? “Leo is the piece of us that craves recognition. It is the creative fire within us.”[Jones]. Leo is ruled by the Sun. Everyone’s Sun, whether in the sign of Leo or not, craves what Leo craves—to matter to others, to share our gifts. Without this fire, we lose our sense of purpose. And even if we haven’t lost our sense of purpose altogether, without the energy of fire, if feels as if we are creeping along, barely managing, about to give up.

Fire is a good antidote for depression. A real remedy for the blues is to sit in the Sun for a few hours a day. We need that light. The joy of Leo’s creative, playful energy also relieves stress. With the state of the world these days and the stress of the Cardinal transits of Pluto, Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter, it is important to collect all the sunlight we can. What is the state of your internal fires? How will you tend these vulnerable flames?

In our culture, we disdain as selfish or needy any notion that we should be important. From early age, we are taught that we should be ashamed of our desire to be recognized. We learn to be afraid of ego and therefore have a hard time knowing what a healthy ego is or how to cultivate one. Therefore, whenever I make an intention to tend my own flames, I immediately experience all kinds of resistance—from the thought, “This is unimportant,” to “How dare I take time for myself.” Whenever resistance gets particularly strong, that is hint that I am about to make a breakthrough, if I persist. Remember that this month.

The mystery of Leo’s fire is that there is enough for everyone. The Sun is enormous and generous. When I shine, I allow others to shine as well. Fire feeds fire. This is not a selfish act. We need inspiration. We need the glow of many flames to help us shift the world into a more loving, balanced, and joyful place for all of us. Leo’s fire is essential.

As we commit to tending the fire of our essential worth, the ebb and flow of planetary influence adds to the journey.

At the New Moon, the Cardinal t-square that I wrote about last month is still very strong. Perhaps you are experiencing these transits personally as a time when the stakes are high, when you really want to make the right decisions and fear that you may not. For these times, the Leo Sun is especially important. Playful, joyful, creative energy is vital right now.

The Lovers Dance. At the New Moon we see Venus and Mars almost conjunct in the sign of relationship—Libra. Their near conjunction is important because they join Saturn there too. It is as if the Lovers come to bless Saturn’s task of bringing recommitment to relationship. Venus and Mars come together exactly on August 20 but the interesting thing is that Venus does not sprint ahead of Mars as it usually would since Venus usually moves much faster than Mars. Instead, Venus hovers around the same degrees as Mars until early October when Venus will turn retrograde and finally move away from her lover. I wonder what this energy will bring? Both Mars and Venus contribute to the creative process. The Lovers do a tantalizing dance with us for the next two months. How does desire feed you creatively?

Three times a year, Mercury turns retrograde. It will station retrograde a few days after the New Moon in the sign of Virgo. Mercury rules this sign and I expect that after adjusting for new thoughts, communication styles, and ways of processing information, this retrograde journey will strengthen our capacity to use Virgo discernment in our lives. However, while Mercury travels backwards from August 20 to September 12, we may be surprised at how hard it is to make this adjustment. When I welcome Mercury retrograde periods as a time to learn new ways to think, I am able to enjoy them. Laughter feeds the flame. Mercury retrogrades are a good time to laugh at ourselves.

The 10 of Swords. There is a card in the Waite Smith Tarot deck that is so dire and so melodramatic, I have to laugh when I draw it. It shows a man with 10, count them, 10 swords in his back. Yikes. We can think of the final square between Saturn and Pluto this month as a good representation of this type of energy. Yes, things suck. But really, do we need another sword in our backs to tell us that? Some astrologers say this aspect between Pluto and Saturn, which began last November, is the cause of our terrible economy. I think of this transit as a time when things get very real, the stakes are very high, and we have the opportunity to reframe how we see things like wealth, authority, and responsibility. Embrace the possibilities.

The Full Moon happens right after the Sun enters Virgo. The transition from Leo to Virgo is interesting. From the healthy expression of ego and pride to the healthy expression of humility and service, these signs are compliments to each other—a lesson in how we need to be many things in order to be whole. After two weeks of tending our creative fire, the energy shifts to putting our gifts to work. At this Full Moon, we can sense that fall is around the corner. We get ready for a shift in focus. For some of us it will be a return to school. For others, a need to get our lives and homes in order for coming winter. Perhaps for all the season of Virgo will be a time for planning how to serve our bigger dreams. Tending the flame of self will provide a garden ripe with fruit. The goal will be to harvest the bounty and move with clarity and discernment into the future.

 Dates important to our stories: *

August 9 Venus 3° Libra squares Pluto 3° Capricorn
August 16 Jupiter 2° Aries opposite Saturn 2° Libra
August 20 Venus conjunct Mars 13° Libra
August 20 Mercury stations retrograde 19° Virgo
August 21 Saturn 2° Libra square Pluto 2° Capricorn
August 23 Sun enters Virgo
August 24 Full Moon
September 3 Sun conjunct Mercury retrograde 10° Virgo

*These dates are not a complete list of transits for the month, but rather are times when the themes of these stories are stronger. Each aspect between planets carries its own energy of harmony or conflict. These are:
Conjunction – merging
Sextile – encouraging
Square – challenging
Trine – harmonizing
Opposition – confronting
Quincunx – perplexing

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