Inside Out Change
My report for October highlighted the need for patience with life’s challenges and a willingness to make space for woundedness – our own and that of others- without having to jump in and ‘make things right’. This compassionate patience – holding a safe space of acceptance in the face of pain and a willingness to acknowledge and not turn away from suffering – was a potent force last month and all efforts made to patiently co-exist with difficult feelings, challenging circumstances and those difficult to bear aspects of ourselves and others, begin to pay-off in November as Pluto aligns with Uranus and Chiron for a relationship which continues until February 2015. This alignment points a way through challenges and out the other side. It invites us to actively engage with any areas of struggle in our lives now – the time of patient waiting is over – and to do so with a wholehearted commitment to living the questions, challenges and conflicts which confront us. The more willing we are to do this the more we will recognise just how much we set ourselves up for difficulties simply by failing to recognise the truth when we see it, be it the truth about ourselves, other people, or the very nature of life itself.
Truth is a major theme this month. Whilst for those on a journey of awakening the discernment of truth is always prevalent, the nature of truth is changing now and there are fresh truths & perspectives to be gleaned. If you feel your spiritual practice is letting you down, or you’re just not inspired like you once were, if you’re having to face recurring problems in your life, aspects of yourself, which you thought were long gone and are wondering whether you’ve really changed at all, this month holds promise of fresh perspectives and new opportunities to step back into the flow of life with renewed faith and focus. Pluto, Chiron and Uranus are clearing the path ahead to support those who choose to walk it. It won’t all be sprouting roses, and some of it’s up hill, but with these three formidable companions we have great strength and wisdom at our side.
Which isn’t to say we can just chuck patience out of the window though! We still need it, towards ourselves and other people. And perhaps most importantly, towards the evolutionary process of conscious awakening occurring on this planet, to which each one of us contributes every minute of every day. We may find ourselves, this month, in the midst of very familiar circumstances, experiencing very familiar responses, except this time we can readily choose a new way to act rather than repeat old habits and patterns which have gotten us nowhere fast. The deepest changes at this time are not those which can be measured in physical and material terms but in terms of attitude and understanding. When we can see a familiar situation through completely new eyes, perceiving heretofore hidden dynamics and truths, we are deep within the process of transformation, no matter how things look from the outside. Shifts in circumstance are the icing on the cake, but it is the inner changes which truly matter: new truths perceived, old perceptions released, a willingness to follow one’s heart no matter how misaligned it seems with everyone around you! These are the shifts highlighted for the coming month – an internal re-ordering which will bear external fruit in due course (hence the need for patience!).
These fresh energies, triggered by Pluto at the beginning of the month, bed in for the first week of November. We may find ourselves on something of a see-saw, up one minute down the next. That’s okay. We’re finding our feet in a new terrain which can take time. Come the Full Moon in Taurus on 6th/7th November we run the risk of rejecting the invitation to jump in and see life through fresh eyes, preferring instead to stay put and do things the old way…. Whilst still complaining, of course, about how life isn’t fair and nothing ever changes! Best we don’t tumble into this trap! There are many opportunities in the coming weeks to embrace significant shifts in understanding and experience. It would be a monumental waste to forego them simply for the familiarity of tired wounds, old pain and the apparent safety of ‘victim consciousness’. No matter how unfair life appears to be, no matter how hard we have struggled to change with no change happening, this month offers countless opportunities to do things differently if we are willing to take responsibility for our future, even when the state of our past has seemed completely beyond our influence.
Mercury helps out from 8th to 11th November, returning to Scorpio after its retrograde journey through Libra, crossing the degree of the recent solar eclipse (23rd/24th October) as it does so, then traversing the degree in which it turned retrograde at the beginning of October. If you’re wondering how to implement insights gained during the course of October, Mercury could well bring you the information and connections you need to do so. Its gift could be as straight forward as a few handy facts or as convoluted as insight into an aspect of your character you’ve just never really seen before, but whatever Mercury brings pay attention, even if it seems inconsequential, because pieces falling into place in the coming weeks will place information received now into a useful context.
A powerful backdrop to the first couple of weeks of November is formed by a conjunction between Mars and Pluto, peaking between 10th & 12th. This is something of a notorious combination with a pretty bad name, often indicative of aggressive and intimidating behaviour, a need to get one’s own way no matter the cost. We are not, however, obliged to embody the more destructive nature of this alliance. There is another way, not least because the Uranian planet Kronos opposes these two heavy weights, keeping them in check and reminding them (and us) that ‘might makes right’ is the old way. The true warrior of the burgeoning Aquarian Age is a warrior of the spirit who embodies fierce compassion for all of life, who occupies their heart not their head and who knows authentic power as that which enables truth to rise like a bubble to the surface, not that which suppresses truth in favour of egoic lies and authoritarian mind-sets. Mars, Pluto and Kronos invite us to become spiritual warriors now, to brandish the sword of unflinching truth and use it to break open the hardened ego into which the healing balm of insight and wisdom can be poured. And before we decide to use it on someone else they remind us to check our own ego in the mirror first! If we’re too focused on everyone around us and what they need to do to change, it’s time to look back at ourselves and see what’s really going on. What do we avoid in ourselves by pointing the finger at someone else? Pluto, Mars and Kronos hold us to account now, each and every one of us, demanding unflinching honesty about what and who we see when we look in the mirror. Honesty which will be rewarded many-fold when Uranus and Pluto form their next exact square in mid-December.
16th November sees Neptune station direct followed by Chiron doing the same on 23rd, both having been retrograde for five months. Those with planets in Pisces in particular will begin to feel this subtle shift in the coming weeks, but we will all benefit from this change of direction. Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, both powerful forces of compassion and healing, have been unveiling those places within which need the most tender and patient care these past few months. The process has been a painful one for many, especially those with deep losses to face and grief to traverse. Open wounds around loss, separation and isolation can feel like an endless dark tunnel with not so much as a glimmer at the end. For those who have been in just such a space this year, the light is beginning to flicker, very gently, at the end of the track. And not at all before time! The broken pieces of lives shattered by loss are beginning to reanimate, even while the grief goes on. None of us are immune to loss. It is an unavoidable part of life, but these past few months have especially lain bare the impact of just such experiences. As Neptune and Chiron begin a forward journey once more they lead each and every one of us toward a deeper appreciation of life and love in the face of loss, of the preciousness of what we have in the present moment and the joy available when we can fully appreciate the blessings of the now.
The Sun enters Sagittarius on 22nd November followed hot on its heels by a New Moon which reawakens the issue of patience and its role on the path of conscious evolution. This Moon speaks to our inherent desire to ‘solve’ life. Against a backdrop of centuries during which the mind has been deified and the spirit increasingly ignored, if we can’t come up with an answer to a problem we can end up feeling hopeless, ineffective, a failure. The ability to apply logic to life and make it better as a result has been the standard against which so much has been measured. This standard is shifting now. Tired logic won’t cut it in the burgeoning astrological Age of Aquarius ruled by Uranus who couldn’t think ‘in the box’ even if its life depended upon it! We must be open to a new way now, to challenges which demand illogical responses: hope in the face of despair, love in the face of aggression, wisdom in the face of ignorance, and most importantly of all for this New Moon, patience in the face of not knowing what the heck to do about something! Because nothing will curtail progress faster than pre-empting a deeper and more enduring solution with a quicker more convenient one. So if this New Moon brings us conundrums that leave us itching to sort them out, we’d best wait up for a while because there’s more to discover before we take action and more wisdom to be gleaned before we move on to the next thing!
And glean it we will, now that the Sun is in Sagittarius until 21st/22nd December, welcomed there by a square between Mercury and Jupiter which assists us in discovering with both the mind and the heart how different the world could be if we ourselves decide to live in it differently. For this is the essence of change: from the inside out, rebirthing our minds and hearts in order for the world itself to change, not the other way around. Throughout the final week of November a square between the Sun and Neptune once again challenges us to embrace new perspectives, fresh truths. We cannot experience change from the application of old truths now out-dated. It is only the timeless truths which can really transform and until we are living them we are forever trapped in someone else’s ideas of how life should be, even if we now call them our own. A sacrifice is called for: of who we thought we were, of old truths adopted from someone else’s life, of beliefs that no longer hold water in the face of rapid evolutionary change. A sacrifice, that is, of anything and everything which has overlaid our core self, to bolster identity and give us substance where once we felt empty and incomplete. Of everything to which we have clung, at first to save us from the emptiness, but which eventually simply anchors us to a past self no longer vibrant and alive.
To bring the month to a close, the Quarter Moon in Aries on 29th November reminds us there is no destination on this journey, no matter how much we may perceive there to be. That was the old way: do this and you’ll live happily ever after in a life filled with success and everything you could possibly dream. The new way says this: ‘you can’t even begin to imagine what’s possible so don’t bother trying! Simply live, present to the moment, follow the clues, listen to the wisdom whispered on the breath of life every day’. In doing so we will know what to do, who to be, and we will know when to stop being and doing and move on again. The freedom which arises when we live in this way reveals that the letting-go was no sacrifice at all but simply a return to our true self, there all along but hidden beneath the shell of identity, hardened to resist the fact that nothing to which we cling is true and only now is real.