Sunday, April 15, 2012

Planetary Energies for April 16 to 22, 2012

Astrology Journal
Written by Pam Younghans
Photo: Auroras over Faskrudsfjordur, Iceland on April 14 (photo by Jónína Óskarsdóttir)

SUCH an intense week we've just been through, with both Pluto and Mars at a standstill and revving their engines as they changed gears (imagine two teenage boys at a stoplight attempting to prove their manhood). Granted, the two planets were not preparing for a race, since Pluto was shifting from first gear to reverse (retrograde), and Mars was shifting from reverse to first gear -- but the rumblings of the engines and the adrenalin rush were there all the same.

Accordingly, the Earth has manifested many strong earthquakes over the past seven days. And, for many of us, our personal lives have likewise felt a little shaky as we've worked with the changes underway.

I've mentioned before that when a planet stalls to change direction, its influence is heightened. Considering the themes associated with Pluto and Mars, the events of this past week make some sense, even if they still give us some feelings of discomfort.

PLUTO'S higher purpose is to help us become empowered -- and to achieve that goal, he often reveals the unconscious patterns that have been working beneath the surface and undercutting that empowerment. This is why Plutonian times may involve power struggles and the experience of something (or someone) not being within our ability to control. If we tend to be set off-balance by the opinions and emotions of others (especially authority figures, or people to whom we've given too much authority in our lives), Pluto in Capricorn may bring us those very experiences to show us where we are still giving our power away.

Mars is considered to be the "lower octave" of Pluto, which means they deal with similar themes, but in slightly different ways. Mars is concerned with helping us use assertiveness and our personal will appropriately -- and, like Pluto, can bring forward experiences that trigger anger and aggression. Mars reveals where our third chakra (the solar plexus) energies are needing work, and provides circumstances for us to build courage and inner strength.

FOR MORE INSIGHTS about working with issues related to the third chakra, I highly recommend Sonia Choquette's book, True Balance. Her chapter on the solar plexus energy center is titled "Balanced Sovereignty." She defines this as "the ability to stand up against adversaries and oppressors and fight for your rights."

Here is an excerpt from that chapter that feels appropriate to share right now:

"The third chakra is sometimes known as the warrior's chakra because it encompasses the ability to say no at times, to fight back, to set limits, to become angry, to confront invasions, and to face down and stop whatever and whoever dishonors you, no matter how fearful you may be. Sovereignty is the center of power and strength -- yet paradoxically, when it is balanced, it endows one with serenity, gentleness, and patience. This is because it frees us of the fear of others, which causes us to be aggressive, defensive, and harsh. A person who is truly sovereign is a peacemaker because he or she does not feel threatened by others."

So -- a show of hands: Has anyone out there NOT been working with these themes this past week? My guess is, if your personal experience didn't take you to these places, you at least had a conversation with someone who was dealing with issues of sovereignty.

OUR THINKING and processing of recent events should get a bit clearer this coming week. Mercury also recently completed a retrograde phase, and will be leaving the other-worldly realms of Pisces and entering forthright Aries on Monday.

While Mercury's transit through Pisces has helped us access our intuitive knowing, it may also have corresponded with a certain amount of fogginess about how to implement those insights. With Mercury in Aries and Mars moving direct, the next three weeks supply more energy for taking our own courageous steps forward, and for taking risks as needed to further our goals.

THE SUN also changes signs this week, moving from Aries into Taurus on Thursday. With the Sun in Taurus, some of the recklessness of Aries is balanced out, since Taurus is a more cautious influence and prefers stability and comfort over excitement and change.

The ideal scenario is to take advantage of the best qualities of both signs. This means that we have the courage to make changes and to take risks as needed, while staying grounded and practical, aware of the longer-term consequences of any actions taken. We can use the inspiration of Aries to get us out of the door, and the patience and determination of Taurus to get the work done for lasting results.

THE NEW MOON on Saturday is very early in the morning in my part of the world (just after midnight Pacific Time), and so actually occurs late Friday night for many readers of this journal. The Sabian symbol for the position of the lunation (the second degree of Taurus) is a powerful one, reflective of the times:

"An electrical storm: The cosmic power able to transform all the implications of natural existence."

Astrologer Dane Rudhyar's interpretation of this image (from An Astrological Mandala) reads in part:

"At certain times, the tremendous power of the 'Soul-field' compels the natural earth-conditioned personality to accept, perhaps in awe, the spiritual potentialities of its 'higher' celestial destiny. This experience of power can both illumine and shatter."

It is interesting that this theme has been repeating recently -- that the energies we are working with right now are of such high frequency, it's becoming difficult for some to deal with. Irrational behavior seems to be occurring more often, requiring us to maintain greater neutrality and non-reactivity.

THAT BEING SAID, the potentials for spiritual awakening and personal transformation are equally great now. The New Moon chart indicates that this lunar cycle provides the support needed for important shifts in our awareness.

A Uranus-Mercury alignment at the time of the New Moon reinforces the theme of consciousness expansion and enlightenment. The alignment is exact on Sunday, and will be the third time these two planets have crossed paths, due to Mercury's time in retrograde. The first two alignments were on March 5 and March 18, and marked steps one and two in the process of expanding our human minds to accept higher concepts and to think outside of our usual parameters.

Based on the Sabian symbol for the position of the Uranus-Mercury alignment, we are moving into greater ability to be both human and spiritual beings. The symbol reads: "Success in expressing the self simultaneously in two realms."

So -- remember that feeling of being in two realities? Or of having one foot on the earth plane and the other foot in another dimension? Looks like it will be increasing.



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