Sunday, 26 February 2012

Drought and Drink ~ Neptune in Pisces

I recently disovered a wonderful post about Neptune in Pisces, over at Genevieve Vierling's Blue Light Lady Blog. Here's the Link.  Genevieve’s article set me thinking about more ways that Neptune in Pisces is manifesting. Here are a few quick thoughts...

Parts of Eastern England are officially experiencing drought conditions, following a prolonged dry spell. While it's common to experience mild drought in the summer, it is very, very rare for it to happen this early in the year.
Water is of course a major theme for Neptune in Pisces. More and more we are being forced to realise that we are wasting and polluting this most precious and essential of life’s building blocks. Click here for water saving tips.

The issue of alcohol is never off the political/media agenda lately.
In the UK we traditionally have a very liberal approach to alcohol. Lately, while scores of struggling pubs close each week, alcohol consumption is going up. This is put down to cheap supermarket booze. Over the last few decades we have slowly adopted the more relaxed style of drinking common to continental Europe. A glass or two of wine with dinner every evening. Trouble is, we haven’t dropped our binge drinking habit. The young in particular are still going out on Friday or Saturday night, with the intention of ‘getting hammered’. It’s the worst of both worlds. We’re told we’re sitting on a liver disease time-bomb if we don’t allow ourselves at least two booze-free days a week.

Calls to significantly raise the cost of booze are becoming louder. It’s only a matter of time. Others are lobbying to have the legal drinking age raised from 18 to 21 or even 25.

A recent BBC documentary The Rules of Drinking looked into the history of drinking in Britain. A revelatory insight for me was that, far from drinking more than ever, we have simply slipped back to the levels of drinking of the Victorian times. Guess what? It was the Victorian times when Neptune was last in Pisces. The war years following the Victorian era led to limited licensing hours, reduced consumption and a more conservative attitude to over consumption. We're over that now and alcohol is available 24 hours in many places.

Escapism is a Neptune thing, especially with Neptune in Pisces, but I would say that alcohol consumption is not simply about escaping from ourselves, it's subtler than that. Given the times we are in, it's ever harder to escape the harsher realities of life. Booze has become a cheap and legal way of anaesthetising ourselves, a quick way of taking the edge off in a difficult world. But there's usually a price to pay and anybody who thinks they may have a problem with drinking, should seek advice from a professional.

Expect alcohol to be an evener hotter topic in the coming years.

With love,

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Saturday, 11 February 2012

Why Self-Help Doesn't Always Help ~ by William Bloom

I recently came across the following article by author William Bloom. I thought it worth sharing with my readers here because it provides important food for thought for all of us who are following a path of personal development, including those of us who use astrology as our tool.

Have you ever wondered why self-help and healing strategies do not always work — even when practised diligently and even by their own teachers? This has often bothered me, especially when I have seen close friends work hard at these techniques and then not achieve the new life or health they want. Sometimes my friends have been not only disappointed but have also, tragically, even felt stung and ashamed by their lack of success. These negative feelings and thoughts arise, I want to suggest, because people do not have the full picture of what is going on when they strive to fulfil their potential and use these self-help strategies. They do not see what is beneath the surface — the unseen realities.
So let me create a couple of fables to help explain.

The first is about a young beech tree. This beautiful young tree was very happy to be part of his small forest, growing with his friends and family, passing through the seasons, providing a home for small creatures. Then one day he began to develop some self-awareness.
‘I’m not just part of the forest,’ he thought, ‘I am also a unique me, a unique tree.’
That autumn he decided that he did not want to lose his leaves like the rest of his beech tree family. ‘I have my own unique consciousness. I decide my own fate. I shall keep my leaves green and vibrant through the winter.’ He focused and focused and willed himself, using mantra and affirmations, to retain his foliage. I am green and vibrant. I am green and vibrant.
But he lost his leaves. They turned golden and fell to the ground.
The next year he decided that he wanted to be the tallest tree in his forest and carry the most beechnuts. He concentrated hard to deepen his roots and extend his branches and stretch his DNA. He indeed grew an extra few feet but still there were older beech trees far taller and the giant douglas fir dwarfed them all.
Then the following year the weather system blew in some polluting acid rain from northern industrial Europe. Along with all other trees in his forest, unable to avoid the environmental realities, he suffered the burning effects of the pollution and took some years to recover.
For all his willpower he could not avoid the realities of nature.

The second fable turns our attention to Antarctica and to a beautiful young penguin who was sitting on top of a small and icy mound. She was a proud and haughty penguin and felt that she too was a unique individual. She had hatched on an ice shelf along with several thousand others in her colony and had slid and slithered with all her cousins down to the ocean, but she knew deep down that she was special and had a unique destiny.
‘I will create my own life,’ she knew. ‘I will not only swim. I will fly!’
Bravely she left her colony and set off on her own. She was determined and wilful and waddled for many miles, finally reaching a small mountain. This, she knew, she felt it in her bones, was the magic place! If she could only reach the peak she would then be able to fly. After more days of gruelling struggle, she reached the mountaintop.
‘Now I shall fly!’
She put her all her will and intention into her desire to become airborne. Nothing happened. She remained earth-bound. Dismayed she collapsed on to the ground and fell into a fitful sleep from which she was awoken by terrible cracking and grinding noises. The earth and ice beneath her were moving.
‘If I cannot fly, I will use my will to stop the earth moving,’ she thought. But her thoughts were, sadly, useless. She looked around. To her dismay she saw that she was, in fact, sitting on the peak of an enormous iceberg floating off into the ocean, leaving behind the landmass and her fellow creatures.
‘Stop! Stop!’ she cried. But the iceberg floated away to its own inevitable destiny.
Penguins cannot fly and the major mass of an iceberg is beneath the surface.

Returning now to self-help strategies for achieving perfect health and wealth. The insights are clear. The unseen problem with these strategies is that they rarely look at the deeper realities and conditions. In fact, many unseen forces influence our physical health and our material conditions.

How many of us are like a tiny penguin sitting on an iceberg, trying to alter our situation, but unaware that the most important realities are below our conscious awareness? 

Beneath our desire for a healthier and happier life is a massive substratum of powerful forces: personal karma, family karma, collective karma, unconscious emotions, feelings and histories. All of these cannot just be transformed by, for example, the repetition of an affirmation no matter how diligently or purely it is repeated. Even when we commit fully to deep transformation and do the hard work of personal growth, we will almost always meet the forces of our past.

How many of us are also like the beech tree, wanting the impossible and trying to escape the rhythms and waves of nature and the forces of our environment?

When we focus on our health we cannot for example avoid the reality that we belong to the vast interdependent collective of humanity, nature and cosmos. The actual atoms and molecules of our bodies, for example, do not belong individually to us, but belong to the Earth. This means that, regardless of our unique individual identities, our bodies share the collective conditions of all carbon-based creatures. So illnesses like cancer may arise simply from the contact of our bodies with the toxins of our surroundings. Or epidemics may overwhelm us. Just as beech trees shed their leaves in Autumn, so we too are embedded in nature and our environment.

Of course, there are also miracles, growth and development that transcend these collective realities. But in general penguins do not fly!

The real miracle, glory and majesty of being human is that we are also spiritual beings. This means that we have real control over and are sovereigns of our own consciousness and hearts. Regardless of our circumstances or health, we have the absolute freedom to develop spiritually: to grow our love, our awareness, our compassion.

So even when we are not succeeding at self-help strategies to improve our material conditions, we can still develop our spirituality. More compassion, more consciousness. True healing, development and fulfilment.

The wise beech tree and the contented penguin.

All my love

I won't add too much commentary, except to say that if you have Sun in Cancer and Moon in Virgo, it's unlikely you'll make much personal progress if you believe you must try and live your life as if you have Sun in Aquarius and Moon in Leo. So here's to the wonderful, unique person you are and here's to the joys and challenges of the journey to discover who that is.

Willliam Bloom is a British author and spiritual teacher. His books include The Power of Modern Spirituality, Feeling Safe and The Endorphin Effect

Friday, 3 February 2012

Astrology for February ~ Neptune swims into Pisces & Saturn in Libra's on the turn

February is upon us and with it has come some pretty chilly weather across parts of Europe. But what about the astrological weather this month?

February brings two big events, Neptune enters Pisces on February 4th and Saturn in Libra turns Retrograde on February 7th.

Neptune dipped its trident into Pisces back in April last year, before re-entering Aquarius in August. Now it settles in Pisces until 2026.

Neptune is the planet of illusion, dissolution, the dissolving of barriers and boundaries, meltdowns, glamour, scandals and collective emotional undercurrents. Pisces is the sign of compassion, imagination, spirituality, merging, yielding and the victim-saviour-martyr complex. Put them together and the possibilities are endless, indefinable, unfathomable.

See A Neptune in Pisces Miscellanea for more themes associated with Neptune in Pisces, based on its last stay there. It looks at fashion, compassion, watery technology and how we all need to be more sensitive to the feelings of others…

No doubt there’ll be more to come on Neptune in Pisces in the following weeks…

When Saturn turns retrograde in Libra on February 7th, take some time to consider how you came to be where you are right now. This could be an important step in the process of negotiating a way forward, even if it means taking a temporary step back.

To find out more about why this Saturn retrograde is an important one and how to do you your own personal Saturn review, see An Urgent Post about Saturn in Libra

See also Saturn in Libra through the Houses to find out which areas of life Saturn is prompting you to review.
February 7th also brings a Full Moon in Leo. New facts come to light under a Full Moon and emotions come to a head. We feel more sociable and keener to put ourselves under the spotlight.

Full Moons ask us to consider the issues of the opposing signs the Sun and Moon fall in. Together, Leo and Aquarius symbolize the need to balance the individual need for personal gain and acclaim with the need to help, support and be equal to everyone else. Aquarius shouldn’t deny Leo’s right to be king, but needs to insist that the king serves with integrity and honesty. Teamwork and delegation of authority is everything to Aquarius. Selfish greed is not acceptable. Aquarius teaches that it is through serving the group, the community, the team, our friends, that we gain the honour and significance that is so crucial to Leo. Conversely, Leo teaches Aquarius that sometimes you have to take the lead if the cause is important enough. Somebody has to stand up for the masses, rebel against the status quo and shake the system up if there is to be any chance of a lasting change for the better. An important message for our current times, I feel.

Later in February – on the 19th - the Sun moves into Pisces, immediately joining up with Neptune for what promises to be an emotionally sensitive few days, especially as this segues with the Pisces New Moon – the dark of the Moon – on February 21st.

By the time the New Moon comes around, we’ll feel the need for a bit of R&R and TLC. Slow down, sleep, dream, listen to your intuition, send out healing thoughts, sing, dance, create something beautiful. Go with the flow. The time to act on plans will be after this New Moon, but bear in mind that both Saturn and Mars are retrograde so it might take a little longer to put your plan into action or to see the results of your efforts.

For more insights into Pisces see: Pisces Quotes: Woundrous Words of Feelings and Pisceans In Their Own Words
For dates and details of all the Moon’s phases this month, see The Moon Pages at Astroair Astrology.

Here, you will also find February’s Void of Course Moon Times. The basic premise is that if you attempt to do something important under a Void of Course Moon nothing will come of it. It’s not a theory to plan every little detail of your life by, but I’ve found it a useful tool for planning important events and making crucial decisions. Find out more here. The Void of Course Moon chart also shows when the Moon changes signs (which happens approximately every two and a half days).

Enjoy February, which this year – being a Leap Year – gives us an extra bonus day!

With love


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