Written by Pam Younghans
Photo: A snowy weekend in western Washington state (komonews.com)
A SOFT BLANKET of white covers the ground and trees outside my window this morning, and the snow continues to fall. Three inches and counting!
Not unheard of in the Pacific Northwest, but still a rarity in comparison to other more typically-wintry parts of the world.
OUR PLANETARY LINEUP this week carries a variety of experiences for us to learn from. First up on Monday is a Chiron-Venus alignment, bringing into our awareness relationship issues and perhaps our own woundedness in this area.
Based on Chiron's placement in our birth charts, we may experience this wounding in a variety of ways. For example, with natal Chiron in Scorpio, we may feel manipulated or deceived; in Aquarius, rejected or abandoned; in Cancer, uncared for and vulnerable; in Taurus, insecure and unsupported.
CHIRON ALWAYS HOLDS the potentials for both the wounding and the healing. So, if we find ourselves working with some of those wounds at the beginning of this week, it may help to know that healing is facilitated by learning to love the part of ourselves that is hurting -- just as we would care for a small child that we love and want to nurture.
That self-love and caring opens our hearts and allows healing energy to reach the small (or large) pockets of pain that still reside within. If we can allow this process to occur, it moves us one step further into the open-hearted way of living and loving we all want to experience.
CERES (once known as an asteroid, now called a dwarf planet) moves into Aries on Thursday. Ceres represents the nurturing principle -- both how we care for others and how we care for ourselves. It also shows where we are working on issues of self-worth and self-esteem.
According to Demetra George, author of Asteroid Goddesses (the gold standard for astrological information about the asteroids), Ceres in Aries supports others through "promoting their self-determination and self-sufficiency." As Ceres moves through Aries (through the second week of April), we may find our nurturing needs shifting, especially when Ceres and Uranus align on January 24. We may surprise ourselves when we find out just how strong, independent, and courageous we really are.
THE THEMES of self-assertiveness and personal initiative are also supported by enhanced Mars energies, due to the red planet moving at a very slow pace this week. But, this influence may be showing us a different face of the coin. Instead of promoting progress and activity, slo-mo Mars may provide some frustrations in our plans to move forward (snowy roads, anyone?).
Mars is actually setting the scene for an 11-week retrograde period in Virgo, which starts next Monday (January 23). If we have issues coming up now related to Mars issues (assertiveness, how we pursue what we desire, personal will, anger, aggression), perhaps it is helpful to know that we have until April 13 to review these themes and gain new insights into what is needed for healing and repair.
IN HIS BOOK Dynamics of Aspect Analysis, astrologer Bil Tierney writes that Mars retrograde gives us:
"...the opportunity to re-channel our efforts in a manner that can present new ways of mobilizing our vital forces. Frictional experiences at this time are revealing where energies are not aligned properly. Mars transiting in retrograde phase urges for constructive alteration of an energy pattern that otherwise could end up becoming very self-depleting and nonproductive.
For more insights into where this retrograde phase may be working in your life, find the house location of Virgo in your natal astrology chart. This will tell you where Mars will be retracing its steps, and provide information about where you are being challenged to reassess your energy expenditures. (For a reminder about the meanings of the different houses, visit the "Houses" page of my website.)
SATURN AND JUPITER both square the Sun this week -- Saturn on Thursday, with the Sun still in Capricorn, and Jupiter on Saturday, after the Sun has moved into Aquarius.
These are very different influences. Squares between Saturn and the Sun tend to make us aware of obstacles to our personal fulfillment, and provide the opportunity for us to learn greater responsibility and discipline as we work to overcome the challenge.
Squares between Jupiter and the Sun often exaggerate our needs to be seen and acknowledged. We may tend to arrogance, superiority or overconfidence. Our challenge here is to know our limits and to have more realistic expectations.
Given these disparate effects, we may feel like two different people within the course of two or three days. The opportunity is for us to redefine ourselves based on what we learn during this time, so that we proceed with greater integrity and personal awareness.
OUR NEW MOON occurs late next Sunday here in Pacific Time, which means early the next morning or the next day in many other time zones. This New Moon in Aquarius emphasizes our need to be unique, a theme that is expressed succinctly in the Sabian symbol for the location of the lunation:
"A deserter from the Navy: The individual's self-realization through a crucial repudiation of a collection status which has become unbearable."
As we begin the new lunar cycle next week, the theme of personal truth is central, even if claiming our truth estranges us from others. This symbolic image challenges us to "step out of our bondage to collective patterns and ideals," thereby truly finding ourselves and living an even more authentic life.
AND, for a bit more cosmic information about the next few days, check out my January 14 blog post entitled "Coronal hole and solar winds."
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