NorthPoint Astrology Journal
Written by Pam Younghans
For the past two weeks, since the Scorpio New Moon on November 16, we've been rapidly discarding previous self-definitions, leaving in their place the possibility for major change. We've also been releasing our attachment to the beliefs, attitudes and perspectives that have contributed to a certain repetitiveness in our lives -- the tendency to recreate our past in the present.
Having accomplished this Scorpio cleansing, we are now ready for the next step -- the expansion of light, of awareness, of perspective beyond the limits of what we had known before.
There's a sense of "newness" in the air this week. We are entering a new month, of course -- and the Sun is now in expansive Sagittarius rather than inward-seeking Scorpio.
But that feeling of anticipation is also supported by the Full Moon in Gemini late Tuesday night (Wednesday morning in many time zones). This Full Moon potentially expands our knowing of what is possible and inspires creative solutions to existing problems.
By the time the Full Moon is exact, all of the 10 primary planets used in astrology will be moving direct, for the first time in 2009. This gives us unanimous planetary support for forward progress for the next 19 days, until Mars breaks free from the group by going retrograde on December 20.
Mercury is the "ruler" of Gemini, and therefore holds court over this week's Full Moon. That gives great weight and intention to his relationships with other planets at the time of the lunation.
Mercury is currently in Sagittarius, and on Tuesday is in strong aspect to four other planets -- Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune (our Triad in Aquarius) and Uranus (in Pisces). Since Mercury represents our conscious, logical minds, it is safe to say that this Full Moon will both push and encourage us to think outside of our usual parameters now, to stretch our ability to comprehend and perhaps even to take a leap of faith.
We can use this energy to help us take a further step in releasing judgments and dogmatic thinking, which then allows our ears and our minds to open to new perspectives, and to what we can learn from those who we tend to see as being "unlike" us. This is the time to make ourselves available to new insights and inspirations, from wherever or whomever they may come.
Part of this openness will involve staying especially aware of synchronicities and their messages. With Uranus square Mercury and Neptune sextile Mercury at the time of the Full Moon, there should be significant opportunities for tapping into higher levels of information and understanding throughout the first days of the week.
This is especially true while Mercury is still in Sagittarius. Once Mercury enters Capricorn on Saturday, there will be more practicality and structure involved in our thinking, and perhaps less support for more adventurous ideas and solutions.
But, if we take full advantage of our ability to think expansively at the beginning of the week, while Mercury is in Sagittarius and motivated by planetary aspects, we hopefully will then be able to apply the insights gained once he has gained foothold in realistic Capricorn.
The Sabian symbol for the eleventh degree of Gemini, the position of this week's Full Moon, echoes the theme of expansion into new territory:
"Newly opened lands offer the pioneer new opportunities for experience: The power and joy of new beginnings."
The interpretation of this symbol by astrologer Dane Rudhyar goes on to say:
"These 'newly opened lands' can refer to any as yet unexperienced field of potential activity at any level -- material, emotional, mental or supermental... And the initial realization the human must experience is that he has reached a potentially virgin field of consciousness and activity. He is facing the unfamiliar. Anything could happen."
Stated in this way, we can see how helpful it is that the planet Mars is currently in the sign of Leo. Leo is a fire sign, ready to engage whatever challenges lie ahead, and excited at the opportunities for creative self-expression. Leo is represented by the Lion, which in its highest manifestation is strong, courageous and generous, and able to lead others by enthusiastic example.
Mars rules the action principle, and the sign he inhabits tells us what most motivates us to take action. With Mars in Leo, we are empowered to take steps based on what truly inspires us and brings joy into our lives. With this influence, we are supported in living in the Now, reclaiming our childlike appreciation for the gifts of the moment.
The caution here is to make sure we are drawing on those positive qualities of Leo in whatever new endeavors we begin, and that our actions are in alignment with what is truly empowering and revitalizing, both for ourselves and for others.
As mentioned earlier, Mars will be going retrograde in a short three weeks, and will be moving backward through Leo until March 10, 2010. This retrograde phase means that Mars will be in Leo for nearly eight months (from October 16, 2009 until June 6, 2010), when he is typically in a sign for only two months.
During a Mars retrograde phase, we have opportunities to revisit actions recently taken. In this case, Mars will eventually backtrack to where he was on October 19, which means we are already in the "shadow" zone of his retrograde phase, in the process of initiating projects we will soon be reviewing.
All that we have taken action on since late October will be up for review between December and March. And, we may be called to "redo" any actions that have been motivated by the less positive Leo characteristics -- the need for attention, false bravado, pride, or self-absorption. These traits are born of a lack of security and of not knowing what is truly desired -- and not believing that we each possess the creative power to fulfill that heart's desire.
Please note that by including "pride" in the list of negative traits, I distinguish it as different from "being proud" of oneself or of others. One of Leo's motivations is to feel proud of what he has created, and to gain the satisfaction of knowing he has succeeded in expressing outwardly the essence of who he is.
As in all positive traits, however, "being proud" becomes a negative when taken to an extreme -- when it turns into a comparison of my achievements to yours. The resulting "pride" is actually based in a feeling of superiority, rather than in the childlike, joyful sharing of one's accomplishments.
The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz always comes to mind when I think of the two sides of Leo's expression. Until he opens his heart and allows himself to be vulnerable, the Cowardly Lion believes that the way to have what he wants is by roaring and intimidating. He thinks he lacks "nerve," but what he really lacks is Heart of a different kind.
In truth, he doesn't want to rule from a place of power and superiority, which keeps him separate and alone. What he really wants is to feel Belonging -- he just doesn't know how to create it at first.
Ultimately, it is his true caring for Dorothy and his fellow travelers on the Yellow Brick Road, as well as his innate generosity of heart, that finally allow him to invoke true courage in the face of challenge, and to embody the confidence he once pretended to have.
These themes, and the challenge to be spontaneous in our self-expression and childlike in our expectations, will be present with us through the end of 2009 and into the first half of 2010. We will find that efforts put forth merely to impress others, or dramatic shows to gain attention, wlll fall even shorter than usual, as we continue to refine our egos.
By the time Mars goes direct on March 10, each of us will have walked a considerable way back along our own yellow brick road, observing the side-paths we took and those we didn't take, and considering the alternatives. Then, by the time Mars leaves Leo in June 2010, we may finally have learned that the road to joy and fulfillment is perhaps far simpler than we had guessed.
Ruby slippers, anyone?
NorthPoint Astrology Blog: As always, I'll be posting to http://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/ during the week -- please visit for additional perspectives on the week's energies, and add your comments if so inspired!