Within the Web of Awakening
So, here we are approaching the end of another year. If you’re anything like me you’ll be wondering where on earth it went?! December begins, fittingly perhaps, with reflection and blasts from the past, reminding us that we don’t leave our former selves behind as we change and grow, but instead better assimilate them into the fuller, more authentic and effective self that arises out of deep-enquiry. This process is not one that makes us ‘special’ or something other than human. Instead it brings us into a state of full humanity, functioning on all levels – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – in a balanced and integrated way.
As we evolve collectively and each contribute our part to the awakening of this planet, we must do so with all of our being, not casting aside the material realm for something ‘more spiritual’, or emotions for something ‘more peaceful’. Every aspect of human experience is grist for the awakening mill, and every moment of our lives provides precious fodder for insight and expansion. This month the heavens remind us we can awaken in any moment – every moment – no matter who we are, what we’re doing or what we have previously done. As can everyone else. No one is beyond hope. No one is a lost cause. We are, all of us, held within an energetic web of light and dark, activity and rest, insight and ignorance, love and fear. These apparent opposites, rather than complicating awakening, provide the very friction that fuels its advance. For once we open ourselves to the possibility that we can be all this and more, something within lets go, our boundaries expand and we are no longer defined by events on a linear path of experience, but by the enormity of who and what we all become when we simply become who we are.
November ended with the first exact Saturn/Neptune square. As December gets underway we’re still getting used to this new dynamic that will be with us for much of the coming year. This alignment will both test and fortify us. It demands mature wisdom, not wishful thinking; embodied spirituality not fantastical escape from a world under pressure. In their square, Saturn and Neptune insist that we aspire to be the fullest and most authentic ‘me’ we can be, and to express this ‘me’ in its most mature form. This is not an easy task and it will take some doing for many of us! In a world often mobilised to peddle fear and hatred, division and disempowerment, it takes a strong heart and clear mind not to be sucked in. But the heavens support our every effort not to be. They encourage reflection and wisdom, deep seeing into complex issues not a dumbed-down, black and white appraisal of a world on the brink.
For the brink on which we all stand does not have to be the one many perceive. There’s talk of being on the brink of war (already a reality for many), on the brink of climate catastrophe, on the brink of economic meltdown and general disaster. And yes, these are all part of the cliff edge on which we are poised. But this is a double-sided brink, with recovery and awakening a stride away and we can choose which way to jump. The Saturn/Neptune square requires that we shape our life to enable a compassionate and considered response; one that arises from the clarity of an unfettered heart, even in the face of enormous and challenging trials. It is much harder to make space for ‘the other’ so often deemed a threat, when our own life is so full we can barely find time for ourself or those we love. The need to slow down, clear out the general detritus of every day that clogs our consciousness and occupies our minds and hearts was never more vital than now. We can meet fear with love and hatred with fierce compassion far more effectively when we can rest in our own centre, connected to something greater than the ‘little me’ that lives its life under siege. We must organise our life to enable compassion, wisdom, reflection, not tag them on as after thoughts once we’ve got everything else out of the way. For there will always be ‘everything else’. It doesn’t go anywhere, and, to reference Martin Luther, most of us are too busy not to pray, reflect, meditate, dance, sing, paint, drum or write our wise and sacred self into being.
In the final week of November Jupiter crossed the solar eclipse degree of 13th September, reanimating the issues and experiences of that time. As a result, a penny may now drop that was previously stuck and things become clear that have caused confusion. This shift of understanding and awareness may be so significant that it brings unfinished business to a conclusion, enabling us to let go and move on by perceiving fully the bigger picture in which recent events occurred. However, with Uranus and Pluto now echoing their square of 2012 – 2015 and the Sun squared by Neptune to start the month, we may find the past very seductive, enticing us back into old dynamics when we need to view them through the wisdom of the present. This is worth watching out for! The cosmos indicates a chance for real freedom from the past now, but we must commit to fulfilling that potential rather than becoming overwhelmed by outdated thoughts and feelings that need to transform before our inner eye.
Venus entering Scorpio on 5th followed by Mercury entering Capricorn on 10th help us pragmatically understand the deeper desires that fuel our onward journey through life. At this time of great change we must each reflect on where our desires take us and the needs they serve. Some no-nonsense, straight-talking self-enquiry this month can reveal pertinent insights into our deeper nature, helping us get to grips with how we may sabotage ourselves. With that Saturn/Neptune square now doing its thing, seeking personal satisfaction at the cost of collective well-being is best avoided. We are all responsible for the Whole and satisfy that responsibility by aligning our individual lives with the greater thrust of conscious evolution. Personal fulfilment is vital to a life well lived, but it is easy to confuse it with striving to control life and get what we want whatever it takes! These days, satisfaction may need to adopt a different hue…..
A New Moon in Sagittarius on 11th December challenges complacency and exhorts commitment to more courageous goals than before. Nay-sayers may tell us we’re barmy, living in cloud-cuckoo land with no grip on reality. So let them! It’s okay. We’ll either prove them right or wrong and neither outcome is the be-all and end-all. Sometimes we need the inspiration of a future vision that excites us, even if we ultimately settle for something else entirely. The important thing is to not let life pass us by as we dream big and do nothing, but instead dream and act, hope and commit. There’s a big difference between Walter Mittyish fantasy and bold plans, and now’s a good time to get familiar with that difference to ensure we’re on the right side of it!
An opposition between Mars and the dwarf planet Eris between 15th and 27th December signals an intense second half of the month, with wave after wave of disruptive but nonetheless liberating energy flooding the planet. What we do with it is a personal matter! We could use it to blow away the cobwebs of the current year, clearing out our life ready for the new one. We could draw upon it to break through inner and outer blocks that have been frustrating our progress in recent months, or we could let it take over the driver’s seat and wreak havoc in the final weeks of the year. I strongly suggest one of the first two is the way to go! These are powerful energies but they’re not beyond our ability to manage them as long as we do so with steady focus, humility when appropriate, confidence when needed and an enduring intention to allow ever greater spaciousness out of which a balanced and fulfilling future can emerge.
The Full Moon in Cancer on 25th December once again raises the issue of what we desire and how we go about getting it. If we come at life from the perspective of what it can do for us we are forever in a state of lack, seeking something ‘out there’ and apart from us, to fill an inner vacuum. Shifting the question to what we can do for life opens the floodgates of providence, synchronicity and hope which conspire to enable effective fulfilment of our role in the collective drama of awakening. To quote an old adage, Christmas is for giving, not receiving, and never was this more the case than now, when a Christmas Full Moon illuminates all we have to share – physically, emotionally and spiritually – and asks how we intend to do so!
The final week of the year provides both chilled-out fun and a few feisty conundrums to keep us occupied! A gentle and creative alliance between Jupiter, the North Node, Venus and Mercury between the 25th and 27th makes for some happy times and easy insights on how to help life flow, whilst a Yod formed by the Sun, Neptune and the Moon on 27th – 28th reminds us that the best way to do that may be simply to, as Krishnamurti once famously said, not mind what happens. Which isn’t the same as accepting all things passively, but implies an attitude of openness to the present moment, enabling responsiveness not reactivity, and clarity of intent rather than a stressed-out mind and heart calcified through resistance to the now.
30th December sees Venus getting into party mood by entering Sagittarius, just before Black Moon Lilith forms a T Square with Uranus and Pluto to bring the year to a powerful close. There’s a buoyant, albeit intense feel to the year end, with the pressure of possibility bearing down upon us even as we shirk off the cares of the world to celebrate a new beginning at midnight. 2016 promises to be another whirlwind ride, with the Saturn/Neptune square making its mark and the beginning of a conjunction between Eris and Uranus the likes of which we have never seen before. So hold onto your hat and sign up for the ride. Life is about to become even more interesting!