This week there's been a lot of energy shifts in the cosmos. Last Monday, the Sun went into Pisces & Saturn went retrograde. On Saturday, Mercury goes retrograde too! Again! And on Monday, we have our annual Virgo Full Moon. It's time to pay attention to our emotional body.
The Cosmic Story: Virgo Full Moon, February 25, 2013
Mercury Retrograde, February 23, 2013
We're coming up to another Mercury retrograde, but from all reports, it's been feeling like Mercury retrograde since the holidays! Is that your experience?
Mercury goes retrograde from February 23 to March 17, 2013 in Pisces. Mercury will be traveling back and forth through Pisces along with the Sun, Venus, Neptune, Chiron and Mars, checking in with our sense of purpose, our heart-connections, our spiritual vision, our collective wounds and our desires. All this while swimming along in the cosmic waters of Pisces, the realm of the collective unconscious!
Mercury goes retrograde Saturday morning, February 23rd at 1:41am PST/ 4:41am EST/ 9:41am GMT. The Sabian symbol for Mercury stationing at 20* Pisces is: A table set for an evening meal. This seems to indicate that there will be nourishment for us even here at the end of an age. The needs of our soul and its destiny will be met! We just need a dose of Piscean faith--and imagination!
In Pisces, we connect with something larger than ourselves, that place of unity where we just know we're all one--that we're all in this together. This is the anecdote for patriarchy's insistence on "rugged individualism'. Pisces asks us to trust in Spirit and let go of our boundaries so we can connect with others on a heart level. Mercury in Pisces also gets us in touch with the old archetypal stories which can help us in these confusing and chaotic times. What stories inspire you to live your values? Which stories inspire you to take up your personal destiny?
As most of you know, Mercury goes retrograde 3 times a year and when you add in the shadow periods before and after the true retrograde (when Mercury travels over the degrees of the retrograde forward, backward and forward again), it adds up to about 2 months each time or almost 6 months of the year. It seems the cosmos want us to learn to think before we make up our minds!
Mercury is considered the planet of communication, travel, business and the Mind. When Mercury goes retrograde, these aspects of life are affected. So when your computer crashes, your travel plans are in disarray, and your car breaks down, Mercury has a message for you. Mercury is also the Trickster who trips you up when you're off-course. So pay attention to what comes up during the 2 weeks before Mercury goes retrograde and you'll know what you have to reconsider during its retrograde. The Greek version of Mercury is Hermes, the psycho-pomp, or guide to souls. The highways and byways we are led down during Mercury retrograde might be Hermes leading your soul to its next appointment with destiny.
Mercury tells us what we need to review, redo, revisit, and re-vision. Its retrograde phase is also a great time to slow down, meditate and remember to breathe. Learn to listen--to yourself, to each other and to Nature. You'll find that once you go deeper into the unconscious realms, you'll pick up information in different ways than you usually do. That's because you'll be more attuned to your feminine right brain. This new information will help you enlarge your perspective--hence the re-doing!
The big news for this Mercury retrograde in Pisces is the resignation of the Roman Catholic Pontiff, Benedict XVI. Although it happened in the shadow period before Mercury goes retrograde, this piece of news is a big indication that we need to re-think Pisces and our religious beliefs. It makes sense since Jupiter in Gemini squares this retrograde, challenging us to change how we think about things. With Jupiter in Gemini, we need to expand our perceptions, deepen our thinking and discern what information is important and what isn't. So perhaps we can let go of guilt over our supposed "original sin' and get on with our "original blessings' as Matthew Fox says.
What message is the "Messenger of the Gods' delivering about the most important social and religious institution of the Piscean Age? Perhaps it's finally time for old men to stop "running the show'. Under Pope John Paul II, Benedict--Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger-- served as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a new name for the Office of the Inquisition. He silenced many modern theologians, especially Matthew Fox for his writings on our original blessings and the Cosmic Christ. His conservative views on birth control, homosexuality and inter-religious dialogues do not take into account the world we live in today. And he was a part of the Church's cover-up of priestly sexual misconduct in past decades. Benedict certainly represents the old hard line patriarchal religion. But this hard line is exactly what is forcing people out of the churches. If religion doesn't meet our soulful, feeling needs, then people will look elsewhere for spiritual consolation.
The next pope will be elected under this upcoming Mercury retrograde in Pisces. With 5 planets and Chiron in Pisces during this time period, it will be interesting to see who gets elected. It would be gratifying if it was another John XXIII, who surprised everyone by convening the Second Vatican Council (1962--1965) to bring the Church into modern times, and who died suddenly before its completion. But perhaps that is a naïve hope, since Benedict has filled the College of Cardinals with his own conservative followers. Matthew Fox is correct in thinking that it is time to leave all religions behind us and develop our own spirituality.
It's interesting that Mercury retrogrades through all three water signs this year: Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio. It seems to be a year when we get to develop our emotional intelligence. Saturn in Scorpio's focus is on facing our dark wounds so we can undergo emotional renewal. The Chinese Year of the Water Snake indicates some kind of emotional shedding of skins. Our celestial messenger can help us name our hidden emotions and turn them into feelings, so we can judge whether or not they make our lives fruitful or continue to frustrate and wound us. A healing of our individual emotional body will contribute to healing the wounds our culture has created in the collective unconscious of humanity. Mercury and the proper use of the Mind can give us the insights we need to change ourselves and our world.
Virgo Full Moon, 2013
The Virgo Full Moon occurs on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 12:26pm PST/ 3:26pm EST/ 8:26pm GMT.
At Full Moon, the Sun and Moon stand in opposition to each other on either side of the Earth; they contemplate each other as they engage in their Earth dance, all three cycling in complex patterns of relationship. Soli-lunar opposition doesn't necessarily create obstruction or disagreement. We've forgotten how to use opposition because the patriarchy excluded our Goddess, women and feminine consciousness from its considerations. Without the measuring, reflective, contemplative opposition of the Moon, the Sun would continue to fight its own shadow, the shadow-selves of the ego's unconsciousness, greed, fear and violence. That's when opposition becomes antagonism and conflict. Unfortunately, this is how we deal with oppositions in our very left-brain, patriarchal society.
But when we bring the Goddess back into the equation, we begin to see that opposition entails balancing, reflecting, and incorporating--with the end result being the transformation of light into conscious awareness. Full Moons are the part of the cosmic dance when things become clear--or they turn into drama, another form of definition created by unconscious acting-out. The truth is Full Moons can indicate the dance of true partnership, where each side is seen and valued. But you have to let yourself be seen; you have to take on the Sun's light and let the Moon speak to you of what it wants to create. Then your purpose becomes manifesting the vision.
So take hold of your courage and dance the dance this Virgo Full Moon. Because we are being called to birth the brightest truths of our spiritual essence.
When the Sun lights up Pisces, we step into the Unseen Realities of the Cosmos. The last sign of the zodiac, Pisces symbolizes the soul's return to our Source as well as its immersion in the collective unconscious. To swim in the watery depths of life demands that we trust; trust gives birth to renewal. At the moment, Pisces is full of diverse energies--the Sun's search for purpose, Neptune's spiritual vision, Chiron's healing touch, Mars' desire to stand for the Light, Mercury's dreaming Mind and soon after this Full Moon, Venus' compassionate Love and Wisdom. These are the energies that are bubbling within the cauldron of the collective unconscious, waiting to be incarnated.
It is the Moon who does the incarnating, just as the mother gives birth to the child. This Virgo Full Moon helps us become aware of what our soul is here on Earth to incarnate. We've been at this for a while now. Do you recognize what it is you're called to do? The first step is to become conscious, to Know Yourself! Just that is a big step.
Each sign manifests in different ways depending on whether it is the Moon or the Sun in a sign. While the Sun signifies our identity and life purpose, the Moon symbolizes how we're attuned to the world, how we take in nourishment and what we hunger for. This Virgo Moon wants to be the vehicle and servant of the Pisces Sun's message.
Virgo is the Virgin, the Mother, imaged as Isis and the Virgin Mary, both divine Mothers who give birth to Saviors. Virgo itself symbolizes the aspect of the zodiac where we are asked to become the person we are meant to be, the Christ-consciousness within each of us. The Virgin Mother wants us to live out our own unique Self. The ancient saying, "Know Thyself" is a Virgo statement. Virgo helps us learn discernment, so that we can say, "This is me and that is not me." It is only the patriarchal Virgo who has been taught that s/he has to be perfect instead of whole. That's where Virgo gets her reputation for being picky and controlling. It's so impossibly hard to be perfect! Our individuated Self, though, is rarely perfect; more often, we come to know ourselves as a mixture of light and darkness, seen through the lens of creativity, compassion and truth.
This Full Moon squares Jupiter in Gemini, expanding our perception of reality and opening the Mind to greater consciousness. It will also help us cut through the useless information our culture throws at us so we can get down to what is really important. Because there are critical issues the world faces, and it is up to each of us to make sure that we start facing them soon. We have to step out of the box of patriarchal thinking to discover how to stop the destruction of our Earth's vital ecosystems. We have to stop the violence against women and children. We have to put corporations in their rightful place--as tools for a better life, not as an end in themselves.
So our task is to think differently, to open our intuitive brains, to listen to our feelings. As Mercury, which rules both Gemini and Virgo, moves backwards, he joins first Mars on February 26th and then the others later next month. Then the Sun joins Chiron on February 27th and Venus and Neptune joins together on February 28th. The Mind must understand our desire for peace and unity; we must learn to trust that our unique identity will not be lost when we foster Unity; and we must let Love guide our vision of spiritual awakening.
The Sabian symbol for the Sun at 8* Pisces is: A girl blowing a bugle. Dane Rudhyar, in his Astrological Mandala, sees this symbol as "a call to participate in the service of the race, as an evolutionary crisis approaches'. It is a young woman, a virgin, who sounds the call, because it is Feminine Spirit who leads us to rebirth. As we develop our wholeness, uniting the right and left sides of the brain, we can be true to our original nature and dedicated to the future well-being of our world.
The Sabian symbol for the Moon at 8* Virgo is: A five-year old child takes a first dancing lesson. This symbol evokes the need to channel our energies through dancing. The fact that it is a dance lesson means that we have to focus through specific forms, the archetypal form that is calling to you. At 5 years of age, a child begins to know himself--his ego is starting to form. Our patriarchal ego is shaped by our collective expectations. This dancing child, though, is in your hands. What steps do you want to dance? What archetypal reality is calling you to the dance?
The Sabian symbol for Jupiter at 8* Gemini is: Aroused strikers surround a factory. Rudhyar indicates that the misuse of human consciousness, which has raped the Earth to demonstrate man's power and mastery, naturally gives rise to conflict and dissent. This is the closest aspect to the Full Moon, and so the strongest influence. All three images seem to point out that it's time to stop obeying "the rules' when they no longer serve life. It's time to be self-aware, awake and ready to be of service.
On Monday, February 18th, the Sun moves out of Aquarius and into Pisces for the next month. And Saturn turns retrograde in Scorpio. Saturn in Scorpio energizes us to look into the darkness within and redeem it. It's time to see that the wounds of the past were our initiation into higher consciousness. It's time to let them go! With Saturn turning retrograde, we have about 4 - months to face our shadows. The Sabian symbol for Saturn at 12* Scorpio is: An official embassy ball. It seems to me that this political gathering is an apt symbol for the' official' masks we wear in society, especially if we need to find a balance between sometimes conflicting interests. Isn't it time to step out of the "rules of conduct' that must be followed to be "politically correct' and really become an ambassador of the Light. What's Saturn up to in your chart?
May the blessings of Lady Wisdom empower you to be yourself!
Cathy Pagano is the author of a new book, "Wisdom's Daughters: How Women Can Change the World". Cathy trained at the C. G. Jung Institut-Zurich in dream interpretation, then got her M.A. in Counseling Psychology in Feminine Spirituality, and along the way became a certified Life Coach. As an astrologer and storyteller, she weaves the Cosmic Stories written in the stars and from The Bard's Grove, comments on emerging archetypal themes in movies.
Cathy works with the tools of the imagination - dreams, alchemy, myths, astrology, symbolic language, storytelling, ritual - to awaken the Soul's wisdom.
I believe that Americans are called to a higher consciousness at this point in our history. We are called on to live up to our ideals and create the country our forefathers imagined. Inner consciousness needs to be acted upon for social justice.
Cathy believes that our writers and artists must take up our responsibility to create art that inspires, teaches and heals our humanity.
Cathy writes about political, psychological/spiritual, and cultural issues.