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Gather your soul at the hearthfire of winter
Hold the embers of last year’s dreams...
“Thou know'st 'tis common;
all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.”
We come to this New Moon in Scorpio still within the tide of Samhain, All Hallows, Day of the Dead. There’s a reason all those holidays happen around the middle degrees of Scorpio — there is truly a thinning of the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead at this time of year (and don’t let anyone tell you the veil isn’t there at all — if it wasn’t, we’d all be dead).
Do you honor your ancestors as part of your spiritual practice? If not, this would be a good time to start. The New Moon in Scorpio always brings us to a time of introspection, a time to face our deepest needs and fears, commune with our beloved dead, and welcome deeply transformative experiences. I’ll tell you an experience I had with an African ancestral ritual a little later in this post, and why I think working with our ancestors is important. Meanwhile, back to the astrology…...
Hail to the beauty of the Libran New Moon. Hail to the Maiden who restores and brings the mysteries of her healing bubbling up to her surface. Hail to She who is cloaked in the mystery of tears and laughter, She who fills my soul with longing for her embrace and She who reminds me that deep within the darkest of nights and radiance shines brightly and fully awaiting its revealing in the fullness of my understanding.
On Wednesday, in the deepest dark of the Moon, I made a little nest of blankets on our balcony and sat back to try and watch the Perseid meteor shower. This is always one of our favorite Summertime traditions, as my kids and I shut off all the lights we can, and lay back to watch the darkening sky. This year, thin cloud cover veiled much of the show, but I saw spectacularly bright flashes across the sky. The rest of the time, I sensed, vaguely, that there was movement up there, but I just couldn’t quite see it. The clouds were bad luck, especially since the shower's peak was coming on a moonless night, the dark sky making the show more visible. The darker the setting of the night sky, the more brilliant the flash of shooting stars.
This New Moon in Leo lines up 5 planets in Leo, the sign of high Summer, the Fixed Fire of the zodiac, ruled by the Sun. Leo illuminates our sense of power and passion, shows us our desires, fuels our creativity and our play. The Sun and Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are all radiating Leo's boundless solar joy and strength just as the Sun itself is pouring down intense light and heat. The presence of the cosmic lovers, Venus and Mars, in the same sign brings luck and love, but this year, Venus is retrograde....
"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them." ~ Thomas Merton
The August New Moon, in fun-loving, generous, heart- (and sometimes self-) centered Leo, forms a threesome with Venus, planet of relationships. This configuration tends to turn astrologer’s minds to hearts and flowers and “Love Is in the Air” . But a closer look at the chart reveals that you won’t be able to get away with a saccharine and shallow approach to relationships this month. (Though by all means, feel free to drag out the disco music. Someday I’ll do an astrological study of the disco scene in the 70s and will, I have no doubt, find a prominent Leo signature in the charts)....
The New Moon this month occurs on Wednesday, February 18th, at 3:47 pm (PST) on the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces (at 29°Aquarius 59.9' to be exact!) I talked about Aquarius in my last month’s New Moon post, so this month, although technically the New Moon is in the last gasps of Aquarius, I want to focus on Pisces. This is also my last in a year long series of New Moon blog posts which started with Aries, and naturally, should conclude with the last sign of the zodiac, Pisces, bringing us full circle.
Pisces is a Mutable Water sign, meaning that it is a threshold sign that bridges one season into the next – in this case winter giving way to spring in the Northern hemisphere. It also resonates with the emotional and subjective element of Water. Pisces is the Shapeshifter, the compassionate one, and sometimes, the escape artist. It is a sign that is tuned in to the intuitive realm, and often has psychic flashes and uncanny ways of knowing. As the last sign of the zodiac, Pisces often has a sense of somehow having been down that road before. Pisces' compassion comes from knowing what it's like to walk in someone elses shoes. Neptune rules this Water sign, and resonates with themes of the Rescuer/Victim archetype. Neptune symbolizes our urge to merge, and sometimes those with Pisces strong in their chart have difficulty with boundaries. Pisces must learn the art of not giving away the Self, at expense of the Other. Under the guise of being altruistic, giving, and endlessly in service, there is a darker current that can run through the shadow of this sign, and sometimes there are threads of the martyr sewn into Pisces' apparent selflessness. Some individuals with this sign or Neptune aspecting a personal planet or angle, identify with the archetype of the Saviour to the point where it is unhealthy, and they are in fact, giving for the glory of being the Redeemer. This is a tricky one, and is often unconscious, and can show up as co dependence to the outside observer. Pisces' task is to not become too identified with either the Redeemer or Victim end of the spectrum, and instead find a mindful balance of compassion for others and self care.