The Winter Whirl: Planets on the Move

Adapted from Cosmic Confidential by Eric Francis.

From mid-December through mid-January are some of the most whirlwind months of astrology in recent memory, and that is saying a lot. The nice part is that we who honor astrology can actually use it as a tool to make our lives a little easier.

Planet Waves

We are approaching simultaneous Mercury and Mars retrogrades, a lunar eclipse, a solar eclipse, two Jupiter conjunctions and finally a sign change of Jupiter. Uranus is now on a clear course for Aries, turning over one of the most significant cycles in all of astrology.

Moving through the next six weeks will require skill, awareness and the maturity to slow down and make conscious choices. In those moment when you find yourself acting like a robot, pull the plug and resume being human. You’re always just one thought away.

In all of this astrology, there is a huge cosmic and psychological push to make, rather than delay, progress. Only you know what you’re avoiding. Only you know what you really want. As I have said many times, the planetary momentum only builds from here, though presently we are at a decision point; an entry ramp into the momentum.

This article is designed as a planning tool. All of these events fall in different solar houses for the 12 signs, and shake out a different way based on your real natal chart. The Sun sign astrology is one of the key themes of Cosmic Confidential, the 2010 annual edition, and I cover it thoroughly in there as a theme for the entire year and into 2011.

I can say this for everyone, regardless of your astrological tribe: Mercury retrograde in Capricorn is about getting our business affairs in order. This is accelerated and emphasized by a solar eclipse in that sign, on the North Node. There is something here about taking all things Capricorn not as something ‘out there’ but rather as something interior, for which we are personally responsible.

Mars retrograde in Leo is about defining ourselves as individuals, in the aspect of breaking our habit of pride-based conformity. Mars in Leo will take us deep into ourselves, and if we are willing to accept the mission, we can stand apart from the crowd, with integrity. It’s an invitation to live in such a way that offers us some freedom from what we think people think about us, and worse, the pride that makes us care at all.

Mars retrograde in Leo is associated with a Chiron-like planet called Hylonome, which says: be careful about self-inflicted injuries. Watch your psychological patterns and beware of what you do to yourself.

Planet Waves
Photo by Eric Francis.

Big Astrology Background: The Cardinal T-Square

All of the current astrology is set before the background of the cardinal sign T-square: Saturn in Libra square Pluto in Capricorn, which will soon be joined by Jupiter and Uranus in Aries (which in June make a conjunction right on the Aries Point). Major forces are both combining and colliding. Navigating all of this consciously requires our full attention, and the heart-level willingness to participate consciously in the process of change. That process is never limited to one person alone. Much of the message is about awakening to yourself, and then collaborating with others.

We are seeing big picture astrology that closely resembles the Sixties, which was made of a Saturn-Uranus-Pluto dynamic: upheavals, long-delayed changes, and a rapid acceleration of both old-system breakdown and new-system creation. When Uranus and Pluto get together, there is a surge of progress in every field, and we need to keep the focus on things that are directly humanitarian. These kinds of events build for decades. We are usually involved in their momentum long before we’re aware of this fact, and before astrologers say anything. This is because the time orbs involved are generally way underestimated.

For example, what we are calling 2012, which in Western astrology consists mainly of the Uranus-Pluto square, is exact for the first of seven times in June of that year, and stretches through 2016. Yet we are well under its influence now, and there were clear signs going back to the summer of 2008. This is society going through contractions of change so deep that they represent a total change in our reality framework, also known as a paradigm.

We are seeing a metaphor of this with the dismantling of the financial system, and the whole thing seeming to be creeping toward the brink of disaster. Yet we don’t know what will replace it; most of us have not yet tapped the inventive and inventive energy of this transit. We’re not exactly tapped into the revolutionary spirit — not yet, anyway.

Part of how you can do that is to shed the skin of fear, that is, of your identity rooted in fear, and begin to allow the creative heat at the core of your being to express itself as a sense of movement, exploration and freedom. It’s time to ask real questions about what you want and need to be doing with your life. It’s time to listen to what your inner guidance has been telling you for years.

Planet Waves
Photo by Eric Francis.

The Subtle and the Sublime: Jupiter, Chiron, Neptune

Closer to the foreground is the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune alignment in Aquarius. This has been shaping our reality for the past year or so, and now it is coming to its full peak.

Chiron was also a big factor in the Sixties: in my view, it was the cosmic, spiritual piece; the part that spoke up for love and grounded the mystical and psychedelic consciousness of the era. Chiron in Aquarius is equally significant today — but playing a different role. Today, Chiron is a catalyst for social consciousness, provoking us to embrace our individuality in a way that allows us to connect with others as individuals. Yet making contact with both planets associated with Pisces — Jupiter and Neptune — Chiron is once again grounding a message of peace and reminding us of the power of social movements. In Aquarius, you can be sure that the Internet is one of the most crucial reality fields we can be working with. This to me is about no longer being a victim of technology, but embracing the technosphere as a living reality wherein we can learn, grow and feed ourselves with the Living Information. Most important, it is a place where we can connect with one another.

Jupiter and Chiron make their one and only exact alignment on Monday, and then Jupiter goes on to make its conjunction to Neptune on the solstice. This is a subtle series of events that is more obvious as an internal shift than as an external one. I would describe it as a rapid acceleration or focusing of spiritual growth; of awareness of and contact with the unseen world, and with subtle energies; and a gift of both healing and evolution that feels like an alignment with sanity. This focus on Aquarius tells us that people who can work, grow and love together are finding one another. And we’re being reminded that it is time to reach out.

Remember that Chiron has the property of being tangible and responsive to documentation. It is not an ‘etheric’ energy, but a highly pragmatic one. Chiron is a tool, like your Maglite or Leatherman.

There is an apparent paradox in these developments. The world is going through some wild gyrations, many people are in pain, and yet certain individuals have never felt clearer or safer, though recognizing the fragile edge we live on. For those caught in the old framework of a fear-based reality and identity, these Chiron aspects may not even register in their awareness, or they may turn up as crisis. For others, everything simply seems hopeless or out of control. For those going through an evolutionary progression, there may be some sense of mystery about those who grasp onto a dense level of awareness; who try to hold onto the past, or to live past patterns in a much lighter-density present moment.

Open up to the Living Information that is coming through you, and your options and sense of potential will open up. Jupiter conjunct Chiron is about applying a sense of alchemy to your perceptions, which you could say is equivalent to informing yourself with a deeper, inner truth than anything you can see in the world. Imagine the focusing power of Chiron grounding the wisdom potential of Jupiter. Or imagine the light of Chiron illuminating the beauty and potential of Jupiter with a whole new kind of radiance. This is about actual experience — not a theory or a concept.

The conjunction of Chiron and Jupiter is in full effect right now, as you read. Yes, the world and many people who live here are struggling. There seem to be many challenging inevitabilities on the horizon, but these change with the shifting perspective of how we look at them; and that perspective starts within us: specifically with how we see ourselves. I recognize that the world ‘exists objectively’ and is not merely an internal phenomenon. I am talking about something different here, which is what we do with our precious minds when we accept that we have the choice for how we see and conceive of ourselves and our experiences.

Planet Waves
Photo by Eric Francis.

Here is a listing of key events between now and early summer.

Tuesday, Dec. 8: Jupiter conjunct Chiron (at 21+ Aquarius)

Wednesday, Dec. 16: Sagittarius New Moon (at 24+ Sagittarius)

Sunday, Dec. 20: Mars stations retrograde (at 19+ Leo)

Monday, Dec. 21: Sun ingresses into Capricorn (solstice)
Jupiter conjunct Neptune (at 24+ Aquarius)

Sunday, Dec. 26: Mercury stations retrograde (at 21+ Capricorn)

Thursday, Dec. 31: Partial Lunar Eclipse and Cancer Full Moon (at 10+ Cancer)

Wednesday, Jan. 13: Saturn stations retrograde (at 4+ Libra)

Friday, Jan. 15: Mercury stations direct (at 5+ Capricorn)
Solar Eclipse and New Moon (at 25+ Capricorn)

Monday, Jan. 18: Jupiter ingresses Pisces, and does not retrograde till it reaches Aries in June

Wednesday, Jan. 20
: Sun ingresses Aquarius

Wednesday, March 10: Mars stations Direct

Thursday, May 27: Uranus enters Aries

Sunday, June 6: Jupiter enters Aries

Thursday, June 10: Jupiter conjunct Uranus on the Aries Point

One Response to “The Winter Whirl: Planets on the Move”

  1. […] ago I described our current phase of astrology as the winter whirl. Two inner planets are retrograde (Mercury and Mars) and we’re building toward a solar […]

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