When I first started tracing astrological transits, I did my best to be optimistic. My Sagittarius stellium focused on the potential benefit, the perceived silver lining in every dark cloud. But optimism only prepares you for half the battle ahead. Before we rebuild, we need to face the destruction--and 2020 has been one seriously destructive year. Each week, I struggle to write words of encouragement that don’t come from a place of warning: this year, I am Cassandra, and I’ve finally begun to accept my role.
When I sat down with my ephemeris last year to determine the energies of 2020, several planets stood out: Saturn, Pluto, and Jupiter all jumped off the page, vying for the throne as the year’s dominant. It was going to be a year of Big Shadow Energy no matter who won out. But as the year began and we were thrust into the energy, it became clear that there was another competitor--the God of War and Fever, Mars himself.
Mars has been a quiet instigator over the course of the last few months, bringing the emotional waters of Pisces to a rolling boil, adding furious vapors to the already thick fog of Neptune. But late in June, he moved into Aries--his own sign, taking the crown of essential dignity that goes with his dominion. Mars has officially installed himself as a force to be reckoned with: from here on out, we’ll need to tread carefully to avoid being caught in Mars’ war games.
The Aries war fields have been largely barren since Mercury and Venus made their seasonal rounds, but two figures have remained, picking through the carnage like carrion crows: Lilith, the Goddess of Disgrace, and Eris, Queen of Chaos. Together, they’ve irritated and inflamed the feminine energies, severely damaging our ability to receive. We see ourselves as prisoners of war, straining against chains of strife and discord, unable to step out of roles we never wanted and into power we’re still not sure we can handle. But what if salvation has been there all along?
Chiron, too, has been stranded in arid Aries for some time. Considering that so many of us struggle with wounds of self and development, it’s no wonder that the Wounded Healer spends a rather large percentage of his irregular orbit limping across Mars’ battlefield. Since early 2018, when Chiron completed his final retrograde transit of Pisces, our personal wounds have been reopened. They began slowly--a small abrasion over an old scar, the lifting of a dry scab, just enough to feel the irritation. But as the energies have revved up, those scabs have been ripped clean off: Jupiter spent several months squaring off with Chiron, blowing up our insecurities and expanding the holes in our psyches while the Cancer/Capricorn eclipse axis left us unable to tend to our injuries while caught in the balance. With the Capricorn stellium safely outside any applying aspect and the eclipse axis now changed, we might hope to devote some energy to the process of healing ourselves once and for all…
Well, sort of. A healer’s work is never done, and Chiron’s attention is still occupied with other issues. In fact, we haven’t even seen our own wounds yet. We may feel the sting, but we’ve yet to find the source. This isn’t for any personal failing--there are plenty of planets obscuring our view: Neptune still casts his fog of confusion over Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto, the Shadow Cabal pulling the strings of power from controlling Capricorn. And with the Sun working overtime to pull us into Cancer’s subconscious depths and illuminate the strength within, what attention is left for the karmic wounds? We’ve harbored them for this long, what’s a few more years…?
Chiron may be content to wait for the world to heal around him, but he’s finally outnumbered. This morning Mars made his move, an ambush from behind. In recent months Mars has been the Great Agitator, the God of Irritation and Abrasion, but in the presence of Lilith and Eris we are reminded of his lusty motivations. War is motivated by desire, and Mars is nothing if not passionate--at the end of the day, that which wounds us most deeply is ultimately our desire.
Venus, now direct in Gemini, lends her covetous eye to Mars’ aim rubbing the salt of envy into the wounds of want--but far from the obstacle to wholeness, this can actually help us gain clarity on the situation at hand. If we can temporarily blind ourselves to the injuries of others, we may actually be able to turn our attention to ourselves and cleanse the wounds that plague us. Aries is also the sign of Calcination, the alchemical process of purification through high heat--Mars’ flames of passion become the cleansing fire, capable of burning away the dirt and contamination that threaten to consume us from the inside. And Mercury, our element of mind and intellect now direct, we actually stand to burn away a fair share of illusion in the process. It’s time to get as real about the world within us as we are about the world without: over the next few months, it will be less about our place within the structure of the outside world and more about our interior universe. Mars may rule our actions and drives, but as we build towards September’s retrograde, the actions we take now may become obstacles later on. This pre-retrograde heat may be one of the most constructive tools of the year if only we can reign in his passion and turn the calcination process inwards.
Astrologers generally agree that Calcination Season proper takes place during the Sun’s exaltation in Aries, a season that feels so far in the rear view mirror that we hardly remember passing through. But this is not a calcination of ourselves--this is the purification of our drives, our ambitions, our will and desire. Mars remains in Aries for the rest of the year, subject to his own scalding heat until January of 2021. While we could certainly remain unconscious and allow this energy to rub us raw and pitch us into the fever of madness, we can choose to set desire aside. While this process breaks down our motivations and challenges our ambitions, we’re free to allow our will to undergo its own transformation, a deeply personal journey through our own internal landscape. Cancer season plunged us into our subconscious, and over the next few months we’ll introduce new tools to build ourselves into stronger, more capable entities: the creative impulse of Leo, the benevolent service of Virgo, the artful harmony of Libra, until we reach the expansive world of the spirit. Each season arrives with its own work to do and its own lesson to master, each with a sense of urgency unlike anything we’ve previously felt. 2020 is the cusp of a cycle and as we see new beginnings spring up around us, we are constantly reminded that the old requires resolution. We are not free to move on until we’ve closed the book on the past. We may crave that new beginning, chomping at our own bits to pull the cart forward and be done with the path we’re on, but there are still obstacles ahead and we must be prepared to face them head on.
What drives paranoia?
We may think that it’s a fear of the new, an inability to quantify the changes on the horizon, to see where they may lead. Over the last few years, many have invoked visions of dystopia as a dark parallel of our rapidly changing society. Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Terry Gilliam, and Margaret Atwood gave us some of the most enduring visions of a fear-based future, but these dystopian nightmares have something more than their fear in common, and it links them with this very moment in time: Saros Cycle 121.
The name sounds like yet another science-fiction reality, but Saros Cycles are part of an ancient tradition that maps the trajectory of eclipses and calculates exactly what type of eclipse will occur. By looking at these events, the Chaldeans were able to organize them into cycles known as Saros, “repetitions,” stretching over vast lengths of time. Each eclipse in a cycle occurred roughly 18 years apart, a variation on the eclipse preceding it. These cycles could be ...
I was a little surprised to receive a digest in my email earlier this week announcing a dozen or so new members to this group. I began this in the summer of 2020 when Instagram debuted some new features that rubbed me the wrong way. It was the first wave of a new trend of censorship, with algorithms combing through new posts, choosing words out of context and crushing distribution as a result. While plenty of creators noticed their reach decreasing, it didn't seem to affect popular opinion and it was difficult to convince readers that Instagram--among other platforms--would not be the future of content creation. I am incredibly grateful for the readers who joined me here from the beginning, but this platform had its growing pains and for small creators like me, the walled garden model wasn't exactly conducive to growth.
However, with the recent TOS changes across the internet and social media transforming itself into so many publishers of moderated content, platforms like ...
Desire is tension. It exists only in the moments before it is fulfilled with the bowstring pulled tight, begging for release. To shoot the arrow turns desire into reality, a success or failure, satisfaction or emptiness. Just as archery requires extreme discipline and patience, so too does desire: one must hold that tension with care and strength until it is aligned with the target. Too often we wait for the target to move towards us, for reality to align with our own desires. We choose to live in the state of tension, turning it into conflict.
This transformational nature of desire is at the very heart of Taurus. As the ruler of the 2nd House, it represents those things we literally desire — possessions, money, jobs, houses, material objects. After establishing the ego and perception of identity, Taurus represents the point at which we identify with desire, emphasizing the physical experience. In the acid-washed psychedelia of the zodiac-crazed 70s, Taurus is the lusty-eyed bull surrounded by ...