As we move towards the month of August evolutionary messengers are setting the scene for what may well prove to be the core focus period of this year’s challenging energies. As we navigate our way through the challenges of a pandemic, social distancing, mask wearing and the associated restrictions on our perceived freedoms and security, many of us have more questions than answers about the state of our world. One thing is very clear: this year’s events are calling us into a huge evolutionary shift. Nothing is certain; there are certainly no easy answers. The exploration of astrological rhythms does support however, in deepening our understanding of the bigger picture, our personal dilemmas and the evolving opportunities. September through December brings us to the crux of this current energetic climate. It reveals the opportunity, I would say the demand, for deep-rooted change in the patriarchal way of being in both men and women. The outdated model of linear goal-orientated action and expansion at any cost has had its time. It is clear we need a more sustainable and life-enhancing, truly holistic way forward.
Any process of change reveals layers of what is calling to be transformed, together with what may be engaged as new opportunity. Energy released in letting go the old model is then available for new ways of being and forms of life. Astrology provides pointers to the focus of that process. In this upcoming period that’s a planetary retrograde involving Warrior archetype Mars in his own fire sign Aries. Themes of direction, motivation, use of will and action are involved, as is the shadow of Mars in Aries: reaction, forcefulness, anger and powerlessness. As Mars travels retrograde it will activate three times two Deep Sacred Feminine archetypes, both also in Aries: Goddess of Discord Eris & Dark Feminine Black Moon Lilith (detail below) and the current long-term planetary line-up in earth sign Capricorn. If we look at the very simple interplay between these two zodiac signs, we find clues to the unfolding.
The Child & the Adult; The Individual & the System
Aries is the first sign of the zodiac; it represents the child. It represents our self, the ‘I am …. “, and how we take action on our own behalf. Mars is the Aries planet, the warrior archetype. It symbolises our will, desire, action and reaction, our capacity for courage, drive and to assert will. It’s the instinctual reaction that protects and defends, or not, depending on our conditioning and Mars placement in the birth-chart. The dynamic energy of spring is a good example of Mars energy: vibrant and fresh, uprising, alive. It is pure vitality surging forth. Capricorn is the tenth zodiac sign and represents the elder, how we’ve matured, the authenticity and integrity we’ve grown, what we’ve accomplished and how we’ve learnt to take responsibility for our lives. The highest manifestation of Capricorn is the shaman who understands and undertakes responsibility for the whole tribe (self, family, organisation, country). The Capricorn shadow reveals where we haven’t matured fully and instead live via too much control and attachment to status. As Capricorn also represents bureaucracy, governments, laws, what we know as ‘the authorities’ in a collective sense, the shadow is seen in our world as authoritarian control and power used or abused.
The upcoming interplay between Mars in Aries and the Capricorn line-up reveals how we act and achieve, respond and react purely through self-interest or in regard to our responsibilities. It’s about what motivates us, or not, what we protect and defend, where we take action or use force to achieve, and the means and ways of doing that. These two zodiac signs are always naturally in square aspect to each other and therefore linked through dynamic tension that requires us to evolve. Symbolically we can understand this tension through the interactions of child and parent, adult and ‘the system’ or authority. We experience it in the tension between spontaneity and planning, action and restriction, ‘what I want’ and ‘what I’m allowed to do’. Inwardly we experience it through the friction of feeling alive versus being inhibited through fear or self-doubt, taking a risk or controlling a passion that’s uprising, reacting with anger or mastering it consciously. You may already see how this dynamic tension has been in play all year through the lockdown on personal freedom and our reactions to that. We’re about to go deeper in engaging this core shift; becoming more in touch with our instinctual responses and reactions to what’s been occurring, with the ongoing potential of uplifting core values and transmuting our beliefs about security. It’s about evolution in response to a changing world.
When faced with a crisis our core values are revealed. We have the opportunity to discover what our motivations really are in regard to survival, security, power and powerlessness. We see what’s truly important in a complex world. Crisis shows us how our instinctual survival response or reaction kicks in when our security is under threat. The human system has a trio of programmed reactions to a real or perceived threat. They comprise the natural survival mechanism of the body. Yet as individuals we also have a psychological alignment to one of these reactions – fight, flight or freeze. Where that particular reaction doesn’t work to resolve the threat and reinstate security, we may switch to another. For instance when in danger first we may fight, then run. We can see these reactions all playing out in our current world scenario of lockdown, through displays of erratic behaviour, rebellion, dismissal of the ‘threat’ and so on.
The core recognition behind our current collective experience is that nothing is certain anymore. Was it ever? Or was that the illusion that provided us with a false sense of security? Right now the childlike search for certainty is clearly no longer valid. The truth that anything can and does happen in any moment is much more evident. We need to find security in other ways. To discard our old security concepts as no longer having meaning. My personal perspective is that true security is discovered deep inside oneself, in one’s inner resources, in the knowing and trust of life’s constant flow of change. Yours may be different. Yet this year the truth is our roots of security are moving. They are moving because they need to. For each of us that will look different as life delivers that awareness to us in unique ways and at different times. One valid perspective might be that the pandemic, despite its tragic consequences, is merely life’s tool to accomplish that in a collective way. Simply because we are ready to step up our consciousness into a new frequency of security, whether we believe we are or not.
As questions of certainty, security and new values have arisen through this year’s experience, we have been called back to basics. How we use our will to survive and thrive, and the personal and environmental cost of the treadmill of achieving, is a growing focus now. Governments are talking ‘new normal’ but that’s not enough. We need radical change. It’s time to face the truth of how we have been using and abusing our resources through the will to have what we want without taking responsibility for its cost. Over the next few months the heat is being turned up. We are being shown what our motivations really are in regard to survival, security, power and powerlessness. We are reaping the shadow and the cost of patriarchal perspective, denial of our collective responsibility for nature and our earth. We are being called to realise the shadow of progress and expansion personally and collectively. These energies of revelation, of growing up and facing our personal and collective responsibility, are not necessarily easy or comfortable to face. One clear aspect of this collective maturing process is our desecration of the natural world. Nature is the Feminine aspect of existence and it’s here, in the Deep Sacred Feminine energies, that we find further keys to this evolutionary process.
The Uprising Feminine – Eris, Goddess of Discord
Deep Sacred Feminine archetypes in these current energetic dynamics reveal shifts that are essential to a more deeply rooted security and holistically aligned way of being. There are several Deep Sacred Feminine archetypes involved in this year’s key shifts. This blog is just the first in a series over the coming months that reveal the contribution of the uprising Feminine. One key player of this next phase is Goddess of Discord Eris, also in Aries. Eris is the sister to Ares, aka Warrior Mars.
Huge change creates discomfort in our human system. What is deeply authentic and true also creates uncertainly and discord within our comfort zones. Often we become conflicted when growing authenticity meets stasis. We are pulled between the growing edge of what we know to be more true and our security blankets. If we’re maturing consciously, we meet that edge; if not, sometimes we are forced to change anyway. In the Deep Sacred Feminine archetypes, Eris, Goddess of Discord, is a catalyst for change. She challenges us, sometimes with explosive honesty, to go beyond what is considered comfortable or acceptable in order to reveal and transform what has been hidden. She is a Warrior archetype. Unlike her brother Ares/Mars however she does not create war. Although her actions may precipitate it, she merely reveals what has been hidden. What happens after that depends on reaction or conscious choice.
The Golden Apple myth from the Greek culture demonstrates Eris’s gift as catalyst. The gods and goddesses were celebrating a wedding from which Eris was excluded. She came anyway and threw into the celebration a golden apple inscribed ‘to the most beautiful’. This apple immediately revealed the underlying antagonism between the goddesses of love, marriage and wisdom who competed for that title. Eris’s action exposed the hypocrisy of ‘the system’, shaking up the Olympian status quo with her calling for honesty. Eris is very active in planetary line-ups this year, particularly in the next five months. We can see how the theme of social exclusion in the myth is reflected in current global circumstances and how it’s raising issues within ourselves that would previously have been hidden from awareness.
In another myth involving Eris and chief of the gods Zeus (aka Jupiter), Eris played her part in resolving a conflict by reversing the usual rhythm of nature. We can see exactly how this is taking place now in that our human lives are deeply affected and limited by a virus. The hierarchical order of the natural world – with humanity supposedly as peak – is being reversed. There is a purpose to this reversal. Our perception of humanity as ‘top dog’ in what is actually a unity of natural life is under question. To some people that is a threat; to others it raises truly valid questions and a potentially radical evolution.
When Eris is triggered, she acts through the ‘fight’ mode of human survival instinct. She is a mischief maker but sometimes we need mischief to reveal what’s deeply true. Is Eris’s motivation in the myth of the Golden Apple to do harm or simply to disrupt the status quo and bust a few egos? Is the virus here to destroy human beings or make us deeply question how we are behaving within the context of our global community and the unity of life. It might seem that nature (or even the hand of man using nature) has turned against us, yet in truth it is we who have acted against nature. We are reaping the harvest of our irresponsibility towards all life.
Eris involvement in upcoming aspects highlights:
Our instinctual reactions to uncertainty or threat and how we may respond in new ways to the primal animal nature in our self.
Allowing our emotional reactions to reveal their gift of wisdom
Unleashing the inner Feminine (that which you may have repressed as chaotic) in order that a more holistically orientated understanding of life opens, revealing new values and ways of being
Letting go of judging and controlling reactions; recognising them as messengers
Acting as catalyst; speaking the truth as you see it, even if it seems irrational, or upsets the apple cart i.e. purposefully upsetting the established order as an experiment in evolution
The Uprising Feminine – Black Moon Lilith
We have a further link with mythical apples through a different Deep Sacred Feminine archetype currently also in Aries, Black Moon Lilith. Lilith was the first wife of Adam, created equal to him, not from his rib. According to myth Lilith caused trouble in creation by refusing to ‘lay under’ Adam. She insisted on being treated with the equality in which she was created. When this didn’t happen, Lilith flew off to the desert where it is said she mated with demons rather than bend to Adam’s will. She is associated with the serpent in the Garden of Eden who is said to have tempted Eve to eat the apple from the Tree of Knowledge.
Lilith represents the feminine that stands her ground initially but then disappears inward, burying her humiliation and rage, seething and brewing up trouble inside. She’s the female shadow that feels unacknowledged, dishonoured and shamed for being female, or for asking for what’s rightfully hers – to be acknowledged and treated as equal. Lilith is linked to sexuality, its repression and labelling as ‘sinful’ by the patriarchal system in order to control creation and woman’s natural gifts. Behind her deeply judged shadows she is a naturally magical transformational and gifted Feminine archetype. We must meet her darkness willingly to release her brightest light.
Lilith, depending on birth chart placement and aspects, expresses through making an initial stand for what’s real, but then withdraws or takes flight because she, or her demand, is not seen, heard or acknowledged. She represents the ‘freeze’ or flight’ modes of human survival instinct – the need to run, disappear or hide, or aspects of our nature that are frozen due to trauma. Qualities such as shame, humiliation, the feeling of exposure, rage directed inwardly, and themes of manipulation and abuse are core to her locked-up energy. When released her deeply honest perceptive vision brings forth truly magical solutions to challenge.
Lilith’s involvement in upcoming aspects highlights:
Reactions now being triggered by old wounding and their potential for integration
Releasing and reclaiming locked-up energy caused by trauma, being catapulted beyond paralysis
Finding your unique path to freedom and purpose; leaping beyond the known
Transforming wilfulness, and rebellion for its own sake, into willingness
Speaking and acting instead of hiding, repressing, withdrawing. Allowing what’s been denied to have a voice, especially around being female, sexuality, power and powerlessness
Honouring fiery reactions to shaming, manipulation, subtle innuendo and sexual or power plays as valid, empowering and uplifting.
We are reaching the crux of this year’s energies over the period August to December. Late July and August alignments are setting the scene for the dramatic evolutionary potential of 2020 as a whole. Events and experience during this time provide pointers to how this plays out in your individual life and on the world stage. Key factors towards consciously engaging this potential include:
The need to respond to our fears and reactions in new ways as evolutionary messengers
Refining the ways in which we use and abuse energy: will, power, force, passivity, aggression
Replacing the old patriarchal model of goal orientation, unlimited expansion, control and abuse of nature (including our own) and the natural world, with more holistic values
Power with not power over
Recognising and committing to life-enhancing creative endeavours, step by step
When frustration, irritation or anger run high finding healthy creative ways of allowing energy to move: dance, garden, work out, yoga, martial arts, take on physical projects
Recognising a sense of urgency merely as a distorted perception (unless there’s an actual physical threat) survival mode on high alert needs soothing, calming, uplifting, centring and grounding with more presence
Traditionally an example of the highest alignment of the Aries/Capricorn synergy might be the Zen Warrior – grounded and present in a code of honour, highly disciplined, alert and poised to act only when absolutely necessary. With the inclusion of the Deep Sacred Feminine archetypes this synergy also encompasses the responsibility of acting on behalf of the unity of life. The Feminine perspective (in men and women) innately understands that any action has collective impact, even in the unseen worlds. It does not deny, detach from or rise above the instinctual levels of human nature, our animal body with its primal sensitivity, but encompasses it within wholeness. It recognises how everything has its place on the wheel of life, that each thread has innate value within the intricate web of life, and harmony is possible only when we engage life consciously in its entirety. We cannot avoid life’s evolutionary impulse. We are it here on Earth! These next few months the question may well be: how willing am I to really engage it?