Times They Are A-Changin’
After the intense pressure (both positive and negative) many have experienced during August, September 2014 comes as something of a relief! It offers a break of sorts during which we can catch our breath, take some time out and settle into our ‘new normal’. There has been a recent energetic theme which can best be characterised as the ‘return of the repressed’. This Freudian term is used to denote the emergence into consciousness of repressed thoughts, feelings and memories many of which we may have believed were over and done with. Such a process often occurs at times of intense change, largely because it is our unconscious which conspires to prevent us from changing in fundamentally life-altering ways. During a time such as we have been through these past few months, the gates to the unconscious are flung open with every suppressed fear, denied emotion, ignored desire bursting out to assault our senses and do its level best to keep us from stepping out of our comfort zone. Just when we thought we’d dealt with our lack of self-worth bam! Self-hatred rears its ugly head the likes of which we’ve not encountered in a long time. Just when we thought that depression we struggled with for so long was healed, there it is again, penetrating every corner with its heavy, oppressive presence. Just when we thought we’d really got to grips with ‘this whole compassion thing’, we can’t bear to be in the same room as anyone else for fear of ripping their head off! We can end up feeling like nothing has changed and we’re simply the same person we were a year, two years, ten or twenty years ago!!
The other side of this coin is the rapid shifts which have taken place for many in the past couple of months. Positive progress has abounded in some peoples’ lives, but even this doesn’t come without its stresses! Big change often comes without guarantees. We know what we have to do and that doing it is now unavoidable, but we don’t know what the outcome will be, only that we cannot remain where we are. We take a leap of faith and hope for the best. Wherever we find ourselves on this spectrum of experience, September offers an opportunity to process more deeply all that has happened in recent weeks, and come home to ourselves in the midst of all this change.
Throughout September an alliance between Saturn in Scorpio and the North Node in Libra provides the energetic backdrop. It encourages us to own up to aspects of our shadow-self which may have been causing concern and allow them to show us where and how they need to be accommodated to align with the flow of life at this time. The problem with the shadow is that we allow it to isolate and shame us into silence. That’s why we repress it, denying the thoughts and feelings which cause us so much consternation. Anger, despair, hatred, jealousy, fear, feelings of rejection, of unworthiness, any or all of these and more can be cast into the unconscious in order to keep our every day consciousness free of such troublesome emotions. The process seems tidy and efficient, but in practice it doesn’t work so well. The amount of energy used up trying to keep everything hidden, albeit unconsciously, is energy we don’t have available for our own well-being. It’s like leaving an electrical appliance plugged in, using up power when we don’t need to. It’s costly and unnecessary. Energy is precious. It requires respect!
The funniest thing about the unconscious is that we all have one and mostly its contents are the same as everyone else’s. The details may vary a bit, but basically it’s the usual morass of anger, lust, envy, fear blah, blah, blah. We’re simply hiding what we all share, but somehow, somewhere along the line we’ve picked up the belief that it’s only us who has these feelings and we really need to make sure no one else finds out otherwise there’ll be all kinds of trouble!! This is how we collectively prevent anyone else owning up and ensuring that no one points out what’s really going on in the human psyche.
So why am I saying all this? Because September is a great month for normalising what we all share; for accepting, without fuss or fanfare, that we all have these strange and sometimes troublesome tendencies and it’s all part of being human, not some dreadful aberration with which only we have been burdened. Anger, jealousy, depression, hatred, despair, violent impulses, lust, whatever it is we’re not owning up to we can rest assured there are thousands out there not owning up to the same things!! It’s what makes us human, apparently! We don’t need to make a huge drama out of it, wailing and beating our chests. Simply accepting that all this mess comes with the human territory can clear away a whole load of pain and stress right there! September can be ‘coming out of the unconscious closet’ month and if we make it work we’ll all feel significantly more relaxed by the end of it!
After the first week of the month, during which we can settle into the terrain of low-drama ‘this is just the way it is’, we have a Full Moon in Pisces conjunct Chiron. This is a powerfully healing Moon, but it may come with exceptionally heightened sensitivity for a couple of days either side. Be sure to schedule in some time out and avoid stressful environments and activities if possible. When Chiron is lit up by a Full Moon there is enormous healing power to ‘download’ but as the healing brings us back to a state of wholeness the imbalances previously maintained may become particularly evident for a while. If so it may be useful to remember that energy is simply energy, neither good nor bad, just neutral, so whatever ails us can be transmuted into something that heals us if we let it. If however, we identify too strongly with the pain and distress we solidify it and create energetic structures which are far tougher to transmute and shift.
This Full Moon speaks of healing needed due to our previous avoidance of difficult emotions. The imbalances it seeks to correct are those created by denial. It asks us to feel fully whatever arises now, no matter how much we believe doing so will overwhelm us. It won’t. And in allowing the feelings to be felt fully and without judgement we are inviting healing into our lives and allowing our energy field to rebalance and realign. This is a time to watch our thoughts with an air of detachment, to refuse to believe what they tell us about ourselves. We are not our thoughts nor our feelings, but something altogether more constant and dependable which rests beneath them. We are the presence which can watch thoughts and feelings come and go, the life force which hums gently beneath all drama, passion, despair, joy and rage. This Full Moon calls us to identify with that, not the fleeting content of mind, and to know ourselves as something altogether more present and vibrant.
A few days after the Full Moon, Mars enters Sagittarius (on 13th/14th September) offering a lift and some positive energy to power our journey. This shift of Mars comes with inspiration and motivation. The healing from the Full Moon can really make its mark now as we move forward increasingly unencumbered by old energies which restrict and define us in ways no longer fitting for who we are. Mars remains in Sagittarius until the end of October, so we have a useful ally here who can help keep us upbeat during the down times and focused on the goal when getting there seems like a burdensome struggle. The 16th September sees further in-coming support in the form of an alliance between Uranus, Chiron and Jupiter remaining until the beginning of October. Freedom is most definitely in the air here, if we choose to claim it. But it must be a choice and we have to commit to following through on the choice, even when the going gets tough! This is not freedom without a price. This freedom comes at the expense of security, certainty and predictability. It challenges our assumptions and cuts shackles we may prefer to keep right now, thank you very much! But if we can allow those shackles to be cut and keep the faith that in doing so something greater can emerge in our lives, the final two weeks of September sees us laying the groundwork for the two eclipses in October, the first of which (Lunar Eclipse on 8th October GMT) packs a particularly liberating punch! (More on that nearer the time..).
The 22nd September GMT sees Pluto stationing direct in Capricorn. Retrograde since mid April, it has uncovered some dark and painful places both personally and collectively. Issues of power and power-over, revenge, resentment and hatred have been rife alongside a strengthening of those prepared to look such suffering in the face and see it through and out the other side into clarity and freedom. The about- turn of Pluto this month adds weight to the theme of normalising the shadow so we can all own up. There’s no need for shame or fear if we’re prepared to own it and work with it consciously, getting to know our own psyche at a deeper and infinitely more intimate level. Many of us seek intimacy with others, especially that ‘special’ other, but we shy from intimacy with ourselves first and foremost. The heavens this month call us to self-intimacy before all else: a willingness to give up shame and embrace all that we are and all that we have to share with others.
A New Moon in the second degree of Libra on 24th September heralds the start of an eclipse season which lasts until the end of October. The Sabian Symbol for this degree signifies an increase in the frequency of light, a vibrational upgrade, setting the scene for the coming eclipses in October and providing clear and unequivocal indication of their potential! It is very encouraging to see this zodiac degree accented now, after this month’s themes. Ah, the power of acceptance to enlighten and illuminate! This New Moon does exactly that, demonstrating what all this challenging inner work has been in aid of.
The month comes to a close with the Sun and Neptune in a quincunx alignment from 26th to 30th, connecting the divine will with our own personal one. This connection comes not without challenge as we may discover in stark terms precisely where we are unwilling to surrender to a higher understanding, preferring our personal perspective for a while longer! No worries: we can only go as far as we can go, and if we need to stick around where we are that’s fine too. An eclipse season always comes with stops and starts, and if this is a stop, a start will be on its tail before we know it! So wherever we find ourselves come the month end we can be sure of one thing: times they are a-changing and we with them.