Written by Pam Younghans
Photo: Aurora borealis over Chatanika, Alaska on January 20 (photo by Marketa Stanczykova)
TONIGHT'S NEW MOON in Aquarius begins a new lunar cycle that will help us access our own higher consciousness more fully, if we choose to utilize the energies for that purpose. Aquarian themes always respect the individual's perspectives and goals, as well as each person's right to "march to the sound of their own drummer" -- so we are all meant to interpret and use this New Moon energy in accordance with our own truth and unique soul's path.
The themes of independence and autonomy are greatly emphasized with this lunar cycle. In particular, Ceres conjunct Uranus in Aries (exact on Tuesday) reminds us that nurturing is not always about holding someone's hand or helping them carry their burden. Sometimes nurturing can be defined as allowing others the space to find their own way.
At the time of the New Moon, Uranus and Ceres are working closely with the Sun and the Moon, providing the energetic space for us to make positive changes. They support us in hearing our inner guidance more clearly, and also encourage us to take action based on our truth and intuitive knowing.
HOWEVER, as we're pondering our next action step, we need to be aware that Mars is standing still right now, and will begin its retrograde (backward motion) phase tomorrow (January 23). This retrograde phase in Virgo will last until April 13.
Mars usually supports our moving forward, taking the initiative, acting assertively, and having the courage to promote our personal needs and desires. When Mars is moving backward, there is less support for external action and more emphasis on developing inner strengths.
We are still moving forward while Mars is retrograde, but it may be in less outwardly apparent ways. Instead of focusing so much what actions to take, we will be spending considerable time getting in touch with the needs that motivate our actions. If we use this Mars retrograde phase to its greatest benefit, we will explore our hearts and find out what desires really lie within, which in turn will create a much stronger flow of creative energy for us to work with.
THERE HAVE BEEN incredible changes in all of our lives over this past year or two (or three or four), changes that have altered the external landscape of our lives. As we adjust to this new reality, we need to take close stock of our internal landscape as well. What do we really want now? Is it adequate to continue down the same path, with the same goals as before? Or have we shifted so much that our entire game plan needs to change?
Mars retrograde is providing the space for us to discern more clearly what we really want, before we proceed any further. And, given that we have almost three months of Mars moving backward, this is not just a quick check-in. It is a deeper process through which we will acknowledge and align with our heart's new truths, which in turn will help us get our internal and external processes in sync. If we do this successfully, once Mars is moving direct, our journey going forward will be much more fulfilling and energized.
DURING THIS Mars retrograde phase, we'll also become more aware of where there is discrepancy between who we want to be and how we've been acting -- in other words, where we tend to tie our shoestrings together so that it's impossible to take steps forward. In particular, we'll be observing where we misuse Virgo energies by over-analyzing, being critical of self or others, or focusing on what is wrong or broken. These are the traits and attitudes that can cause delays in finding solutions that work.
At its highest vibration, Virgo is able to hold all in unconditional love and able to see perfection even in that which is technically imperfect. Higher consciousness Virgo is accepting of what is, while also willing to do the work of improvement. It knows when to take action and when to let go of control.
While Mars is retrograde, we will be refining this skill of holding a positive perspective. We will also be learning to stay present in the now moment, releasing impatience so that we can clearly feel when to direct the process, and when to just allow the process to unfold.
MERCURY interacts with several other planets this week, putting the focus on our thinking processes and challenging us to use our minds in new ways. Friday and Saturday seem to hold the most opportunity and challenge in this regard.
With the Saturn-Mercury square on Friday, communications and plans may meet with obstacles. The challenge here is not to fall prey to negative thinking, but to pause, breathe, and allow the space for a different route or solution to emerge.
After all, Mercury will enter innovative Aquarius just a few hours later, and also connect with both Uranus and Jupiter on Saturday -- all of which can provide plenty of insights and inspiration for us to draw on, as needed, to resolve any challenges that may have arisen the day before.
NorthPoint Astrology Blog: Please check out my blog for periodic updates at http://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/ -- I look forward to your comments! To Subscribe to this Journal: If you have been forwarded this issue of my NorthPoint Astrology Journal and would like to receive it directly every week, please click here. Then, scroll down to the bottom of the webpage, fill out the subscription form, and click on Submit. Please feel free to share this NorthPoint Journal with people you think may enjoy it. When doing so, please forward it in its entirety, including our contact and copyright information. Copyright NorthPoint Astrology 2011. All Rights Reserved.