Saturday, 19 December 2009

Winter Solstice 09 ~ 'Smile, breathe, slow down' Mars Rx

The magic of Winter Solstice lies in Yule log fires and mistletoe kisses, as the new light of the Sun King, symbolic of our divine and radiant life-giving Spirit, is rekindled to once again illuminate these dark northern skies. At this turning point in the southern hemisphere days begin to shorten, and the emphasis rests upon inner-reflection.

This 2009 Solstice is also very special – not just because it’s the end of one decidedly ‘interesting’ decade and the beginning of another with equal amount of dramatic promise – but several astrological factors suggest momentous transformation and spiritual evolution is compelling. It is the first Solstice Sun to be conjunct the potent outer planet Pluto in 248 years. This beam of Solstice sunlight into the shadowy realms of Pluto suggests we need to look further and discover hidden resources that will rejuvenate power and energise in the future.

We also approach the close of a long drawn transition which started in 1985, when Winter Solstice began to align with the Galactic Centre, and a ‘New Age of Enlightenment’ dawned, which was initially felt by the sensitive. This alignment was exact in 1998, and ends in 2012. Sorry to disappoint those who think it’s only 2012 when we direct our gaze upon our home spiral’s hub, at the same time as the light of the Winter Solstice sun begins to grow: we’ve been doing just that for over twenty years! That said spiritual evolution can happen in an instant, or as the fruit of years of practice.

And so it is with the last of three meetings, Jupiter, as celestial Santa Claus, with mystical Neptune, ruler of oceanic feelings and the collective undercurrent, that we wave goodbye to the year’s darkest hours. The highest vibration of these two energies (three, if we include Chiron, who is technically in the conjunction, but not exact) is an expansion (and healing) of humanity’s spiritual faith.

In the wake of COP15, the mood of the moment sees many lost in Samsara’s choppy Neptunian sea, unable to accept the change we seek comes from within each and every one of us. Our expectations may have been high, as symbolised by Jupiter in Aquarius, but giving up the game is not the same as surrendering to Neptune. As a transpersonal planet, Neptune often demands a sacrifice of some kind that urges us to let go of selfish tendency and go beyond personal desire; when we ‘give in’ to this higher vibration by showing compassion to our self and others, we surrender self-interest in the name of collective cosmic harmony and begin to generate Bodhicitta, the heart essence that emanates unconditional love.

With a Solstice Moon growing in light, right alongside the Triple Aquarian conjunction, we, the people (the moon is the populace in political astrology), are also illuminated: If we want humanity to progress, we must protect nature and all planetary elements, starting with water purification to initially help heal the current toxic overload, that manifests physically, mentally, psychically and spiritually.

Together, in our solstice meditation (Monday December 21st, 17:48 GMT), we can become a powerful force for altruistic intention, and lighten each other’s spirit, in spite of the enormity of the task which lies ahead. For the first part of the next year, Jupiter will be in Pisces, the changeable water sign, making it an opportune moment to act. Yet there is a major indication that we need to revise how we are going to act.

Posted all over London underground is a portrait of Ghandi, on a bright orange background with the words “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” Being a peacenik, (as well as once having been Ghandi in a facebook past-life quiz!) the copy caught my eye, enough to make me slow down and think about how fast-paced dynamic action is extolled as a virtue in the rushed hustle bustle of our modern society. From an astrological point of view such characteristics belong to the warrior planet Mars, otherwise known as the Sun’s henchman, the ego’s or our self-image’s best supporter.

Celestially speaking when we have the urge, impulse or need to make things happen, forceful Mars steps in to act as subordinate or competitive adversary, a rival or defender of the faith; like a bouncer at the hottest Christmas party Mars is portrayed as highly spirited – if a little hasty, clumsy and headstrong; it’s all too easy to get riled-up around such zippy Martial momentum. According to Sogyal Rinpoche (Tibetan Book of Living & Dying), “Speed IS aggression” (this should be a bumper sticker!). Yet much depends upon how speed is used and in what context. Quickly aiding someone suffering with a heart condition from one too many xmas toddies has a different sense of urgency than driving along a spacious southern French road, where even a 70-year-old speed-freak Santa can pugnaciously goad and overtake everyone in sight; in the later case it makes one wonder at the kind of personal perception we have about our skills, especially when spurred by thrill-seeking hurried power.

Yet the real point of Mars is to guard our Spirit, so we can enjoy participating in life with a light-heart, without getting hooked into endless angry dramas about the rate of success or failure and, at the same time, be generous enough to rejoice in other people’s triumphs; which is just what we may find ourselves doing while Mars begins a backward trail through the creative sign of Leo from a transformational Solstice point on 21st December.

Whenever a planet puts on the breaks, lingers at station and then goes retrograde, we also slow down and revisit that part of our lives indicated by the astrological planet, sign and house in our horoscope. And because Mars is concerned with action it presents the perfect occasion to practice patience, particularly with our own self or ego, and take time – approximately three months – to rework and re-do aspects of our life we identify as ‘inspired’. Bear in mind how Leo is ruled by the Sun, the central core of the solar system, bringing light and warmth to the lion-hearted Leo’s sphere of love, generosity, artistic fun and creation - including children and parties. And as Leo Mars goes retro, just as the Sun begins to grow in light in the northern hemisphere, the challenge over the next few months is to make the most of opportunities that fully engage with the practice of ACTIVE LOVE, especially for oneself and those we care for, and to do so in style! So be brave like the majestic lion – open your heart and you will begin to notice that by the time Mars begins to go forward (just before the Spring Equinox) a smile here, a kind word there, and allowing yourself to be courteous and gentle towards others works wonders, not only for your own benefit but for everybody else’s interests as well. On that note, I wish you a very Happy Winter Solstice – Blessed Be with LOVE & radiant Solstice SunLIGHT.

Yin Yang illustration by ; Ghandi by edmittance; Xmas Cats by me; Heart Sun by Stryde31; Tibetan Lion by Tony Annionos

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