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A week of shifting energy: coming into the light

Soaring
Catherine Al-Meten

We begin the new week under the influence of the Capricorn Full Moon. The fullness, activity, and energy generated by this powerful full moon, may have left us feeling exhausted or exhilarated, depending on how we experienced movement and the general life processes over the last day or so. When shifts take place in any area of our lives, we do best when we acknowledge that we are part of a much larger and interconnected pattern of energy and purpose. Individually, we have the limitations of time, space, age, skills, talents, and intention, all that help us define who we are. Each life is independent of another, yet we form interdependent relationships and seem to running back and forth on the teeter totter of life trying to find a harmonious balance.

In seeking balance, I much prefer the analogy of riding a surf board, for that seems more apt to what life is really like. The powerful force of the ocean, lifting and tossing one tiny being on a board, back and forth, up and down, high and low. When you fall off the board, you have to let go and become one with the depths of the sea, and find a place which will carry you safely to shore. Our search for meaning in life, brings some of us to use astrology as a way to look for some guideposts.

Using the guideposts is up to each of us, and discovering and finding meaning within oneself, is a singular act done in the company of family, friends, and a multitude of other. This next week or so, we enter a tunnel that lifts us from a deep place of inner awareness up into the light of consciousness where we get to try out our new surfboard, roller skates, or whatever form of transport suits your imagination. However you choose to make changes, adapt to life, or dream up a new plan, you have all the gifts and tools you need.

We might remember that it is not so much what we have or what we do or what good fortune comes our way or not, but how we envision, dream, and view life that really shapes us. Gandhi once noted: “Man[We] often becomes what he[we] believes himself[ourselves] to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”

Mercury enters Cancer, leaving behind the heady, frenetic energy of Gemini. We focus more on the quality of our experiences and expressions than we do the quantity. We narrow our focus to those areas, relationships, needs, and desires that we have identified as priorities in our lives. We deepen our understanding and expression of whatever we are involved with, and now experience life on a much deeper level. Whatever has become a priority for us, now takes on a higher quality of care, attention, and focus. We might have found ourselves caught up in a whirlwind of experiences, conversations, and contacts with Mercury in Gemini—much more social and interactive than we will be with Mercury in Cancer.

With Mercury in Gemini what caught our attention, took our time and energy, and demanded our involvement, or forced us to make changes seems to have been in the area of ideas, new connections, or external and less personal. Where we may have been caught up in all kinds of new ideas and opportunities to expand our world, we now find our focus shifting to the more personal and immediate realm of our personal lives.

Mercury in Cancer now takes us on a more personal journey, and involves us on a deeply emotional level of our own life experiences. We are deeply concerned and involved in our homes, our families and close friends, and with protecting, preserving, and nourishing ourselves and those with whom we are most closely connected. With Mercury in Cancer, we are more in tuned to our need for personal safety, security, comfort, nourishment, and balance within the daily context of our lives.

Venus remains in Gemini for five more days, entering Cancer on Saturday, July 18. In its final days in Gemini, Venus continues to spark our curiosity and fill us with endless ideas and attractions. We find ourselves bemused by a wide array of interests, new ideas, and possibilities. It’s as if we are being woken up to deep-seated needs, but only on a superficial level. We notice what attracts our eye, heart, and head, however, our attentions has been flitting from one idea to another, one potential connection to the next, like a bee gathering honey.

In the final few days of Venus’ transit through Gemini, notice what has been calling for your attention, rather more consistently than other things. Notice what has touched you on more than a superficial level, and prepare for Venus’ movement into Cancer where you can begin experiencing your desires on a deeper and more meaningful level. Venus will be in Cancer, a water sign, until August 12, and all things romantic and love-related will find fertile ground for new growth.

We find ourselves more deeply connected to those we love, and to our own sense of what is deeply moving, meaningful, and right for us. Love is a felt experience when Venus is in Cancer, and we live have the opportunity to do more than ponder its meaning or wonder if love will find us. We discover the deeply rooted nature of how we love and who we are truly connected with. Love is not an intellectual exercise nor is it a psychological puzzle, when Venus transits Cancer.

Love is who you are and how you relate, particularly in the area of your chart/life that is ruled by Cancer and those areas that form important aspects with Venus. With Neptune and Chiron continuing their transits in Pisces, and the Sun and Jupiter still in Cancer, the water signs (and the houses they rule) are being very strongly aspected. Deep healing and intuitive knowledge is brewing within your subconscious and unconsciousness. In ways that your mind has not yet comprehended, you are evolving on deep levels where old patterns, past memories and influences, and new aspects of yourself are rising to into your awareness. Notice what is moving into your consciousness (through dreams, everyday experiences, insights and signs, and through connections and awakenings that you are now experiencing.

When we can let go of trying to hold ourselves in a stable but stagnant pattern of thinking, behaving, or living, we have the opportunity to grow in ways where we are more open to creativity, insight, growth, and intuitive development. This is a verdant time for growth and deepening in our ability to both give and receive love.

Venus’ transit through Cancer is not just a light-hearted, airy, fairy, prance through the garden of love. It signals a time when we go deep into our hearts and souls to find connection and long-lasting, meaningful relationships—the kind that feed us body, mind, and soul.

Mars is in the final two weeks of its long transit through Libra. This transit has found Mars, the planet of action and energy, slowed down and traveling the murky waters of indecision and ambiguity. We waver back and forth between one idea and another, seemingly unable to find the full force of energy needed to complete or focus on any one choice or option. The problem with Mars in Libra is that it does not lessen our feelings or the energy behind our need for action, but it does sent that energy into a rather suppressed or closed in part of consciousness. What often happens when Mars’ energy is suppressed is we go into the shadow side and begin behaving in a passive-aggressive manner. In some ways, we have learned to soften our rough edges in order to make progress, win debates, or meet challenges. However, we may also have felt hampered, hedged in, or blocked from moving forward in some areas.

Before July 25, use the remaining period of this transit to go over any details, relationship issues, plans, or options we still need to consider or reconsider. Much of the energy of Mars in Libra has been in the area of how we maintain a sense of personal autonomy while maintaining healthy relationships. This transit has been about managing conflicting needs and desires, the struggle to maintain balance in our intimate relationships while finding ways to grow and thrive as individuals. This process is not something that is ever ‘in balance’—rather balance is about getting used to and honoring the ride. The times we need to focus on whatever relationships we are in and the times when we need to honor our personal needs.

On Sunday, July 13 as I write this column, Venus in Gemini and Mars in Libra form a beautiful trine. This lends itself to playful, sweet, and flirtatious interactions. There may be playful banter or exchange of a sweet and pleasurable nature. This aspect signals sexual attraction and fertility. It is also a great time for starting something new in the relationship area of your life. What is attracting your eye? What is sparking your imagination? Who has touched your heart, and sent chills up and down your spine? Notice what is waking up inside of you, and who or what may be moving into your sphere of life.

Another big astrological event of this week is Jupiter’s entrance into Leo. Moving from the watery depths of Cancer where it has been for the last year, Jupiter now soars into the realm of fire. The uplifting and fiery energy of Jupiter in Leo At 3:30 AM PDT on July 16, Jupiter enters Leo. Wherever Leo transits, it shines its light on those areas of your life where you have new opportunities, and where you faith will feel bolstered with the confidence you need to make your dreams come true through that optimism. Jupiter is the largest planet in our Solar System.

Wherever Jupiter shines in your chart, you find that blessings and benefits pour into your life. Jupiter signals expansion—of consciousness, life experience, thought, and heart. Jupiter rules philosophy and higher thought, and reigns over expansion and abundance. Jupiter colors whatever is strongest in our ideas, ideals, and in all areas that color and influences our perceptions and perspective.

The lens through which we view and relate to the world is strongly affected here. What we think and believe becomes what is expanded. The power of our thoughts, be they positive or negative, is the most powerful tool we hold, and Jupiter is a fire sign will unfold just how we will use the power of our consciousness. The shadow or unhealed side of Jupiter, is the tendency to exaggerate, distort, become over confident or remain naive to daily realities and to the force and strength of the Unconscious. Without a grounding in something stronger and greater than our individual limitations and boundaries, we become trapped in our own thinking, belief system, outworn or undeveloped patterns of behavior and living.

Jupiter calls upon each of us to pay attention to how we are presenting ourselves to the world. What message are we telling each time we speak? What story are we telling about who we are whenever we talk or present ourselves to others? How are we perceived, and what message are we sending out. How do we honor ourselves and one another? We are also called upon to confront and rid ourselves of negative programs, thinking, habits, and perceptions. Jupiter recognizes Divine Abundance. There is more than enough for everyone, when we share and let the energy flow. When we hoard, hide ourselves, cover our beauty and goodness, or become misers with our resources, love, and goodness, we withhold our part of the natural flow of energy. We block our own good and goodness.

Poverty thinking works on all levels of our being. It makes us misers of our energy, talents, gifts, resources, and love. Jupiter is entering a new area of our lives to wake us each up to the responsibility we have to treat ourselves and one another with more grace, with greater generosity, and with a deeper level of love. We reflect on the outside of our appearance, what is going on within us. When we recognize depression, lack of joy, or a depletion of love in another, we might want to look in the mirror to see if that is what is missing or in need of repair in ourselves. Sometimes when things are falling apart around us, we need to do an inventory of our inner strengths and gifts. We need to wash up, try out a new hair do, or add some color and sparkle to our appearance. When we are down in the dumps (get that image in your mind….imagine being down in the dump!), we know we need to climb out of that dark hole and clean things up.

Sometimes just making some superficial changes, taking care of simple hygiene, tossing out some old ratty clothes, recycling those 10-year old clogs (yes, I finally gave them away), and dressing up. Take some positive action to change your outlook, the way your are coming across (if that is out of line with what you really feel, believe, or want to express. And as my Godmother Dorothy would say, “Act as if….” Using 'act' to mean 'behave' not 'to pretend', behave according to what you feel and believe. For example, if I believe you are worthy of being happy, act as if you were happy. How do you do this? Think of one action that makes you happy, and then do it. Then do one more.

Act as if you felt better than you do. For example, think of a time when you were ill or very depressed. One of the first signs that you are improving is when you finally get out of your smelly PJ's and take a shower or brush your hair and get dressed in some clean clothes. Simple acts, but acts that indicate we are taking care of ourselves. For those who say that appearances do not matter, I say that’s nonsense. Your appearance may not matter to you, and you can wear the oldest, rattiest shirt or dress in your closet, but that act sends a message that you do not care to take care of yourself. It says you don’t consider yourself worthy of looking and feeling good.

And when we habitually complain that we ‘can’t do or be or have’ something, we announce to the world, to ourselves, and to the general energy of the Universe, that message. Change happens in our thinking, in our behavior, and in our relationship to the world when we alter the way we operate on each level. Sometimes the change comes from within and is reflected outward. Think of those times someone complements you on the energy you project or how happy you look. It shines from the inside out. Other times, the struggle within, reflects outwardly as a downcast or a slovenly or lackluster , or as whiny, negativity. How to change this?

Act as if you had all the resources you need. Act as if you were glad to be alive. Act as if you were capable of being loved and loving with all your heart. Try some reprogramming of the old tapes that are dragging you down or are no longer appropriate for who you are and what you want to express, experience, and extend into the world. Look to the house where Jupiter is transiting for the next year, and start making some declarations. Declare yourself free from what no longer feeds, nourishes, heals, inspires, or serves you. Declare yourself independent of limitations, limiting thought and behavior, and then start acting as if it were true.

In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, the Hamlet, calls Denmark a prison. He uses the metaphor of a prison to describe feeling trapped and confined under the pressure and spying of the King of Denmark and his spies. Hamlet aptly describes how we can create a prison for ourselves through our thoughts and words. In speaking of his plight to one of his two friends from university, Hamlet says:

Hamlet:
A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and
dungeons, Denmark being one o' the' worst.

Rosencrantz:
We think not so, my lord.

Hamlet:
Why then 'tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or
bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.

Hamlet Act 2, scene 2, 239–251

As Jupiter enters Leo this week, we are fresh off a year of deep-seated focus on what it is that makes us fee free and what it is that enslaves us. In Leo, Jupiter will act upon us to loosen the chains of false belief, negative thinking, poor sense of self worth, and other limiting thinking. We will have many opportunities to put thought into action, action into thought, and move more mindfully and consciously away from whatever prisons we have created to dull our senses, tie up our energy and resources, and block and challenge our delight in living. It is a year to grow in ways that allow you to honor your gifts, take care of yourself, and use your time, energy and resources to express your best and highest self in whatever you do.

It takes Jupiter 12 years to cycle through all the houses in your chart. Think about what was going on 12 years ago, and you may have some indication of where and how Jupiter may show up this next year. Jupiter in Cancer has been focusing attention on safety, security, keeping the home fires burning, and maintaining a sense of comfort with home and family. Jupiter is the ruler of the 5th house (though it probably isn’t in your 5th house). Its realm is love, pleasure, children, creativity, and all forms of enjoyment. Jupiter enhances our sense of enjoyment and we may find ourselves being more social than usual. What Jupiter is really lighting up is our sense of enjoying life and the people in our lives. We may feel a more overwhelming sense of relaxation. We may feel more positive and optimistic. This is a highly fertile time—babies, ideas, imagination. Jupiter, ruled by Sagittarius, is at home in fire. It is an excellent time for anyone working in the performing arts, or wanting to enhance and expand their image in the public eye. Jupiter is the sign of royalty, and attracts influential, charismatic, and highly supportive people/influences. Be aware that this sign also attracts a lot of attention to whatever area of your life it is transiting. Jupiter’s presence in Leo will help anyone whose Sun or Ascendant is in Leo. This transit will soften the effects of Saturn in Cancer’s square to the Leo Sun.

The energy of the Sun in Cancer since the Summer Solstice, has taken us into the deeper realms of our unconsciousness and our emotions. For the next two weeks, beginning with Mercury’s entry into Leo, we enter a two-week period that is like a tunnel of energy, puling us out of the depths of inner turmoil, retrospection, retreat, and discernment, into the light of Leo’s energy. The last two weeks of July will be lighter,and may leave us feeling more uplifted and happy than we have been. We feel as if a great burden has been lifted off our shoulder, While we may wonder what, if anything we have accomplished, the real growth, learning, regeneration, and awakening has taken place within over the last year or so.

With all the larger planets transiting the water signs, we have had a heavy dose of soul searching going on, and much of what has been growing and developing is beneath our conscious understanding. For those who have to figure everything out, take a break. Relax, let go. If your back or hop or neck are signaling that you have overdone it, get some rest and take time to heal. Allow joy, pleasure, and the sheer enjoyment of taking the next breath and enjoying life served on the plate before you to be your guiding light for now.

Jupiter’s time in Cancer, intensified he Uranus-Pluto square, forcing us to face situations and complex needs, and in many cases, forcing us to make changes we may have resisted mightily. We have turned the corner, and now have a period of rebuilding ahead of us. We have probably been more connected to our emotions, and in many cases, able to express emotions that may have been deeply buried or that signal significant and vital truth about who we are and what is true for us. Jupiter’s time in Cancer has strengthened our spiritual understanding and has given us some new tools for weathering crises.

Also later in the week, Saturn in Scorpio, which has been retrograde since March 2, stations to turn direct on Sunday, July 20. Birth, death, sexuality, transformation, joint finances and inheritance, and public reputation are all issues related to Scorpio. And the energy in water, is active and alive within the deep levels of the consciousness. Since March, in its retrograde phase, Saturn, the Great Teacher, has highlighted the areas that need to be awakened within to deal with and confront the issues facing us that keep us from positive transformation. We have been revisiting areas that needed further uprooting and focus, and now we move forward with a clearer sense of what is needing to be changed and transformed. And, because this is unconscious material, it is outside our complete control, and depend upon our ability to trust our intuitive knowledge, to rely on Divine Guidance, and to get out of our heads and let loose the reins of control.

Jumping ahead a bit, next Monday, July 21, Uranus goes into its retrograde phase. Uranus has been in Aries since March, 2011. It will be in its annual retrograde cycle from that point until December 21, the Winter Solstice. Going back over, bringing up the past, redefining and shocking us into awakening to our true nature, Uranus’s retrograde cycle takes us journey of self definition. This is a period of inequity crisis (individually and collectively). This seems to be one more of those cycles calling us to reexamine old beliefs, values, systems, and choices. It is a period for shedding old skins, rethinking and reforming plans, and of digging more deeply into who we are meant to be and how we are living in accordance with our soul call.

This should be an interesting week, and we should notice a definite change of energy. Notice how you feel physically emotionally, mentally, and be that quiet observer watching to see how the way you live, the story you tell yourself and others, and the what you truly desire are in harmony or discord. Enjoy the period of releasing and letting go. Joy in life’s simple pleasures, and find ways to express your love and gratitude to others. Take care of yourself. Get rid of the ratty old stuff blocking energy in your closet and life, and make space for something new, fresh, and loving to come in.