Winter Solstice 2018/ Yule

Tonight, we celebrate the winter solstice as the Sun moves into the cardinal sign of Capricorn. In Capricorn, the Sun is industrious and hardworking and we feel motivated to reach our goals.
The Winter Solstice marks the point of the earth tilting farthest away from the Sun, corresponding with the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. From this point onwards our days will get a little longer as we move away from the darkness of the shortest day of the year.
As the Sun moves through the last few signs of the zodiac, we make life changes in preparation for a rebirth at the time of the spring equinox.
The energy of the solar transit in Capricorn helps us to manage our responsibilities and focus on success and achievement. It’s a good time to honour our ancestors and spend time with our Fathers or Father figures. We can also set the intention today to heal ancestral wounds that run down the paternal line.
The Winter Solstice marks the beginning of the Norse festival of Yule (Or Jól) which celebrates the rebirth of the Sun Goddess. Traditionally the festival lasted from the Solstice to around the 12th of January and included a sacrifice to ensure good fortune in the new year. The celebration includes drinking, feasting and story telling around the burning of yule logs which symbolises the sun burning brighter and wards off evil. “å drikke jul” means to “drink Yule” and celebrate our Gods, ancestors, and life.
The Norse God Odin also has the name of Jólfaðr, which means “The Yule Father.” I encourage you to research Yule and the pagan origins of Christmas.
Gifts don’t need
To be extravagant
A little praise is often enough
Sharing food
And something to drink
Has secured many friendships
HÁVAMÁL – verse 52
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Mercury enters Sagittarius

Mercury has re-entered Sagittarius where it will transit until January 4th.

Mercury in fire sign Sagittarius encourages us to think about a broad range of topics and we feel more open minded and optimistic. We communicate with enthusiasm and become more focused on fairness, setting our sights on a better future. Our thoughts turn towards spirituality, law, and foreign lands.

During this transit our communications with others become warmer and we feel more comfortable with speaking from the heart and being openly affectionate.

We should try to avoid the negative traits of Mercury in Sagittarius, such as exaggerating or speaking without thinking.

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Artwork by Peter Doig

Chiron Direct

Chiron turns direct today and will move forwards through the last degrees of Pisces, entering Aries on February the 18th 2019. Chiron will remain in Aries until 2027.
What is Chiron?
In Greek Mythology, Chiron was a Master healer but he was unable to save himself from the deadly wound that he received from a poisoned arrow. In the birth chart, the placement of Chiron, which is a minor planet, represents our most painful wound, the one that we received early in life that we struggle to heal and continues to be a “sore spot.” This wounding may manifest over and over again, attracting the same archetypes and situations until the native acknowledges and makes peace with the wound and banishes any person or situation from their life that is of a similar energy to the original wounding.
As well as wounds, Chiron in a birth chart can indicate musical and artistic gifts and talents, healing abilities including natural medicine and energy healing, a flair for Astrology and someone who has the ability to act as a teacher or guide for other people.
The lowest frequency of a Chiron wound would be to hurt others in the same way that we ourselves were hurt. We can work with it from a higher vibration and use it to help other people. One example of this would be a victim of child abuse who later goes on to train as a counsellor – he/she still lives with the pain but she uses her experience to give children the help that she never received.
Chiron’s energy is Shamanic. When I read charts, I’ve noticed that Shamanic people have a “strong” or heavily aspected Chiron, frequently placed in the 12th house which gives the person the natural ability to travel through different spiritual realms. These are usually people who have suffered through long periods of physical or mental illness and had difficult childhoods, but always felt in tune with the spirit world. Chiron people frequently feel alienated and shunned by society and are often diagnosed with disorders and end up on medication. The Shamanic view of some mental illness is that it can sometimes be an initiatory soul crisis which aids spiritual development and encourages the person to surrender to the healing path and answer the call. Finding the meaning and lessons in this crisis is to unlock the cure.
During Chiron’s transit through Pisces, we surrendered to our wounds and pain and we felt compassion and empathy for other wounded beings. There was a tendency to “wallow” over our problems and play the martyr or victim. Some issues were caused by loose boundaries and deception and we may have glossed over the flaws of others and worn rose tinted glasses in our relationships rather than facing the truth. Many people suffered at the hands of psychic vampires who used manipulation in order to tug at our heartstrings. We made excuses for the people who hurt us and contributed to our own unhappiness by giving them a place in our lives.
Chiron in Aries will bring opportunities to heal our identities and we’ll become pro active in our approach to healing ourselves. No longer content with wallowing and reliving the past, we declare war on pain and on our (no longer hidden) enemies.
Armed with the wisdom gleaned from Chiron’s journey through Pisces, we aggressively fight for the right to be our true selves and to break through the situations in our lives that cause us to feel disempowered. Many of us follow the same old routine – work a 9-5 job, watch TV, get married, have kids, buy a house – but is this who you really are, or are you only conforming to society’s expectations of you? What is your identity when all of this is stripped away? Are you working in an office every day, living in suburbia when the real you would rather sell everything and drive a camper van around the world?
Chiron in Aries gives us the opportunity to live authentically but first of all we may have to experience an identity crisis and work towards peeling away the layers of falseness that we’ve worn over the years. The transit is the next phase of our spiritual awakening and the things that used to be important to us, like job titles and celebrities, may no longer interest us as much. We may experience increased conflict during this transit but we recover quickly as we learn to take back power from those who stole it from us. Reaching another stage of initiation on the path to enlightenment, it’s time for us to master the element of fire and review how we express it in our lives.
As the earth switches gears to move towards a different frequency and dimension, we’ll see more clearly through the illusions of society around us and as a result of that, we’ll unapologetically upset the apple cart and set fire to the status quo. As we shake off the shackles of the control system that we were born into, we furiously fight for our independence and freedom and demand the right to be ourselves. During Chiron’s transit in Pisces, many of us became aware that we were being manipulated by the fake news of the mainstream media and it was difficult to identify fiction from fact. Armed with the truth, the energy of Chiron in Aries helps us to form a new, authentic world which begins with the self realisation of each individual.
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Final New Moon of 2018

Early tomorrow morning (in Europe) and this evening in North America, we have the final new moon of 2018 which also marks the last retrograde of the year.

A new moon, which is a conjunction between the sun and the moon in the same sign, ends one cycle and creates another. The new moon is an ideal time for starting new projects and creating life changes. This new moon falls at 15° Sagittarius and is loosely conjunct benefic Jupiter but makes a separating square to Mars and Neptune.

During 2018, we experienced seven retrogrades including Venus & Mars which resulted in some stressful times for all of us. This wasn’t the universe being unfair – there was a spiritual purpose for these retrogrades, and many of us managed to break through difficult karmic cycles and blockages which had been ongoing for years. Now we get the opportunity to breathe as the energies of the next few months support us in making progress.

Some relationships fell away and although this was painful, it was a natural part of our spiritual awakening process. An awakening nearly always results in losing friends and family members and sometimes this is because we stop tolerating behaviours from them that we once accepted. Another reason for separations is that long term friends and family can’t accept that we’ve changed, and our new awake selves make them feel threatened. If we have only one person in our lives who understands us, then we’re truly blessed.

The new moon presents some difficulties from the Mars and Neptune squares and this may cause some confusion. We should be aware of the potential for deception – either from others or continuing to kid ourselves over some matter. Mars, the God of war, may create some conflict with others, but we should try rise above this and nolt let others lower our frequency.

The new moon heralds a new beginning for all of us and we can blaze ahead at full steam over the next few months if we use this energy wisely.

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Venus enters Scorpio

Later today, Venus will reenter passionate Scorpio where it will transit until January the 7th. This is the second transit of Venus in Scorpio due to Venus retrograde. Under the energy of Venus moving through the underworld, love intensifies and we’re not satisfied by anything fluffy or superficial.

People with Venus in Scorpio tend to be all or nothing in their relationships and they ooze sex and sensuality. Think of a femme fatale with dark hair, red lipstick, black eyeliner and perfumed with Dior’s “Poison.”

Venus in Scorpio may avoid relationships because of a fear of betrayal and they might wait for years to find someone suited to their level of intensity, but once they fall in love they’ll love you forever. That is, unless you betray them, then they’ll cut you off and never contact you again.

During this transit, some bonds may strengthen while other, weaker bonds break and we’ll seek transformation through intimacy, sex and exploration of the shadow side.

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Neptune direct

Neptune, the planet of dreams, spirituality, illusions, and the subconsious has been travelling in retrograde motion since June and tomorrow the planet stations direct. The retrograde caused us to reassess and question the truth about our lives and some illusion or fantasy may have been shattered, forcing us to see the uncomfortable reality of a situation.

The retrograde taught us to be more realistic about life, learning how to trust our intuition over the honeyed words of others, and giving us a well needed reality check.

Neptune direct will make life seem softer and more supportive but there is a risk of retreating too far into an inner dream land and falling for deception again because the truth is too unpleasant to face. We will feel this on a personal but also a global level – world events are already getting incredibly confusing and we’re unable to trust the mainstream news.

On the plus side, direct Neptune is highly creative and the direct motion period is a good time to write fiction, create art and films and also practice psychic, shamanic and dream work.

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