January 27th-February 2nd: Shadow Work

This weekend our mental focus begins to get more singular as Mercury shifts into Capricorn on Sunday the 28th. The more expansive transit through Sagittarius gave us a lot of ideas and excitement to implement these, while Capricorn will provide a more solid ground to build from. Mercury will be in Capricorn through February 15th. This time is useful for planning, organizing and beginning to shift toward a more responsible outlook that will allow for more abundance to flow. It is easier to not get too hung up on emotions during this time, or at least be able to set them aside in favor of getting things done. Students will find that their capacity for memorization and integration of information can increase throughout the next couple weeks.

We are building up to a full moon on Wednesday the 31st in the sign of Cancer. While the Sun transits Capricorn, the traditional “father” sign of the zodiac, and the moon shifts to Cancer, the “mother”, we often find duality in its many forms coming up in our lives. This may be so literal as to actually involve our own parents or ourselves as parents, or more figurative and connected to the duality of this realm. The many facets of ourselves are called together to become integrated. This process may be challenging, because it may seem as though each part is so separate from the other that there is no way they can work alongside each other. In our society it is especially difficult to feel this duality pull; for instance, it may be a challenge to be a sensitive, emotional person and also successful in the traditional sense. This full moon requires not an obliteration of one part of ourselves but a total integration and harmony.

This full moon in Cancer is especially notable because there is a lunar eclipse taking place. The eclipse will be most visible in the hours before dawn on Wednesday, particularly in the southwestern US/northwestern Mexico and parts of Central America. This enhances the theme of duality, and embracing our shadow selves as part of us. What is meant by a shadow self? This term refers to the parts of our psyche we may not show to others, that we deem as too “dark” or volatile. This is directly connected in to our ideas of vulnerability. We choose not to show these sides of ourselves out of fear of what may happen. What will others think of us? Could they handle the truth? In embracing our shadow selves, we are not necessarily letting all this anger or sadness come bubbling out for the world to see. Rather, we are forgiving ourselves for holding it and loving even these most guarded parts of ourselves. By doing this work we are allowing ourselves to step into a greater capacity for empathy, for not only ourselves but for others as well.

The full moon/lunar eclipse in Cancer takes place right beside the Beehive star cluster in the head of the Cancer crab constellation. The Beehive gives a sort of moody overlay to the full moon that can create an internal buzzing and restlessness. The qualities of the Cancerian crab are tempered by the positive poles of Capricorn: stability, physicality and tenacity. If you are feeling these mood swings during the full moon, consider physical exercise to help keep you grounded and centered.

Friday the 2nd is an interesting day because it is the midpoint between the winter solstice and vernal equinox. This is why the American folklore places Groundhog Day on this date in particular. The zodiacal light is visible this evening, which is a phenomena that is a bit similar to the glow of the Milky Way (though it is visible far less frequently, with viewing dates only in late winter and early spring). The reflection of ice and dust particles from the solar system reflects and creates a sort of cone-shaped column of light in the sky that is only visible away from city lights and moonlight. You can view this just above the western horizon this evening after sunset.

August 5th-11th: Smoke and Mirrors

All the month of August hangs in the balance of the upcoming eclipse on August 21st. This day carries weight and power, as the vedic points Rahu and Ketu (somewhat comparable to the North and South Node of western astrology) shift signs the day before. As Rahu and Ketu typically spend a year and a half in their respective signs, this is an intense event that will herald drastic change for many. We will get deeper into this transition in a week or two, but for now it is enough to note the slow energy build-up that is occuring as we approach this point in linear time. Rahu brings revolution and change, and Ketu digs a toe firmly in the sand, inviting us back to our familiar and comfortable shadows.

The big energy this week comes from the partial lunar eclipse/full moon in Capricorn on Tuesday the 8th. This full moon’s light is obscured slightly by the eclipse, and so the typical work of a full moon (for those who observe such occasions) may have to be shifted to achieve similar results. Typically the full moon is for reaping our harvest. We cast a net out to receive the fruits of our thoughts made manifest. Capricorn full moons tend to put a heavier focus on career and professional life. The shadow of the eclipse will pull up a wall of illusion. It may seem as though our career goals are further away than we had realized. There could be a strange flare-up of old thought patterns regarding money, even if we believe we have broken the habit. Keep in mind that all of this is illusory, temporary. As soon as the full moon energy breaks (partially on Wednesday the 9th, fully on Thursday the 10th) a sense of calm and clarity is easier to find.

The Sun and Jupiter create a pleasant aspect to one another on Thursday the 10th, which further helps to shake off the darkness of the eclipse. Expansion and growth are highlighted. As Jupiter transits the pure, antiseptic realm of Virgo, our attention has been focused on health and diet more than in previous years. We may meet with a harsh warning sign from our bodies, which could produce fear. It is essential to try to reframe our thinking about such things. The body gives us many signs that it requires different care, but often we shove these aside and continue on our way. A sudden flare of illness or pain may seem frightening, but perhaps there is something we can learn by using this time to really listen in and see how we can better take care of ourselves. Jupiter has been here in Virgo for the past year, and will be transiting out in September. Use this time to come up with a plan that works for you. While it is very helpful to listen to the advice of doctors and healers, don’t cut yourself short and forget that you are capable of translating the messages your body is sending.