Sagittarius New Moon: Expanding Understanding

SagittariusGlyphThe Sagittarius New Moon occurs on Saturday, November 22nd at 5:32 am MST at 0 degrees Sagittarius 7 minutes.  Here’s the chart:  SagittariusNewMoon2014.  Sagittarius’ glyph is the centaur which symbolizes the fusion of man with nature.  Sagittarius is the truth seeker who travels far and wide continuously expanding his understanding of the Universe and his place within it.  His arrows are aimed at the heavens where he knows truth resides.

An optimistic sign by nature, Sag nevertheless feels alienated much of the time.  Moving from place to place, studying various philosophies and cosmologies, it is a ‘citizen of the world’ never really feeling completely at home in any one culture or country.  In its search for the truth it also inevitably uncovers the distortions and limitations of man-made belief systems that teach their version of the truth is the one and only true way to enlightenment.  Ultimately Sagittarius learns that truth is relative and each of us must find our own way to it.  Along the way, Sagittarius discovers that truth is vast indeed and that all paths can lead us back to the divine Source that created us.  All paths lead to the top of the mountain…

The principle of expansion is governed by this restless adventurous sign and its ruling planet Jupiter.  Sagittarius natives naturally pursue higher studies and distant lands and people.  Although Sag is naturally drawn to foreign countries and cultures, its most important journeys lead it inward to the core of its very own Soul.

Sag is also associated with natural laws and natural spiritual principles that underpin all of manifest creation.  The truth its looking for is ever present in the natural world or nature.  This is why so many Sagittarian natives prefer life in the country rather than urban settings.  They feel most at home in nature and nearly always have a greater affinity for plants and animals than others.  In fact, many a Sag has chosen a career that involves work outdoors in support of wilderness or ecological preservation, conservation or restoration.

Sagittarius is associated with the right brain which is the source of intuitive thoughts.  Indeed the primary evolutionary purpose of individual intuition is to lead us to our own personal understanding of truth.  Sagittarius is conceptual and abstract.  This enables it to see the whole picture not just the parts.  Perhaps intuition is best described as simply knowing what we know without knowing how we know it!  Those with a strong Jupiter in their charts or great emphasis in the sign of Sagittarius are centered in their right brain.  In a culture such as ours which is so biased towards left brain logical, linear, deductive thought processes, right brain people often feel like they just don’t fit in.  Centered in their right brains, these folks just see the world differently – holistically – not logically.  Again, the result is that Sag typically feels alienated from mainstream society and consensus reality.

Jupiter rules this Sagittarius New Moon and is currently slowing down to a standstill before it stations retrograde in Leo for four months beginning December 8th.  Stationary planets are powerful.  Intuitive faculties will increase in strength over the coming weeks so listen, Listen, LISTEN to your intuition for clues about what’s next for you on your own personal evolutionary journey.  Take time to be quiet, go inside, and receive guidance about what’s coming, what’s next and what’s important for you to know or do or focus upon in order to move forward in alignment with your Soul’s deepest desires.

The left brain and its logical thought processes are ruled by Mercury.  Mercury and Jupiter are square one another now leading us to question everything and doubt our intuitive insights!  What’s true?  What’s not?  You may wonder if certain thoughts are your intuition or your imagination.  The way to recognize the difference between the two comes from knowing that intuitive thoughts always occur INSTANTANEOUSLY in any given situation. Rational, logical, deductive thought processes always follow intuitive thoughts.  So pay attention to your very first ‘hit’ when something occurs to recognize intuitive guidance.

Old thoughts, ideas, perspectives, opinions and beliefs may be dissolving creating mental crises.  It may feel like a struggle to discern truth from lies, fact from fiction, and fantasy from reality.   Again, trust your intuition to help you navigate all the confusing, contradictory and competing information that will no doubt come your way this month.  Trusting, honoring, respecting and acting upon intuitive thoughts EXPAND intuition.  That would be a very good use of this month’s Sag energy!

The Sun in Sagittarius will square Neptune in Pisces on the 26th adding to the potential for confusion.  Old realities are dissolving now and new understandings may not yet be completely clear.  While the Sun and Neptune can inspire us to reach for higher altruistic goals, humanitarian efforts and spiritual pursuits, it can also utterly disappoint or delude us if we avoid or deny reality. See people and circumstances realistically, not as you wish them to be.  And be very mindful of the temptation to hold onto an identity or consciousness of victimization which frankly has become the norm in our culture.  That quality of consciousness will only serve to maintain delusions and distortions of the truth, undermining spiritual growth and maturity.

Saturn is finishing up its transit of Scorpio (October 5, 2012 to September 17, 2015) and is coming into a culminating aspect with Pluto in Capricorn.  Together, these two planets are helping us to throw off old realities that no longer work.  Saturn and Pluto require greater self-responsibility and personal accountability from all of us. They also demand that we learn to use our power appropriately.  Misuses of power and authority are being increasingly exposed now.  Even so, many in power continue to hold onto old conventional social/political structures (such as governments) digging in with all their might to maintain the status quo, a game they’ve been ‘winning’ for a very long time.

Are you taking greater responsibility for the reality you’re co-creating both individually and as a member of the human collective?  Are you owning your personal power or do you feel powerless?  Remember the ultimate human power is the power of free will choice.  Free will choices are the driver of the evolutionary process itself.  How are you using your personal power?  What choices are you making?

Our collective evolution now requires that we throw off these old patriarchal realities of hierarchy, dominance, fear, exclusion, self-interest and a belief in scarcity of resources.  To evolve, we must return to a matriarchal way of life.  Matriarchy is a collective consciousness reality paradigm rooted in natural laws and principles.  Its a way of living in harmony with nature that’s based upon giving, sharing, love and inclusion that considers the needs of everyone, from a point of view of abundance, interconnectedness and the belief in the sacredness of all forms of life.

Mars in Capricorn is also in a culminating aspect with Neptune in Pisces.  This planetary combination restates the need to reach higher, envisioning and co-creating that which will benefit everyone. Those operating solely out of self-interest will find themselves increasingly alienated and socially isolated in the coming months and years.

Perhaps the most important planetary event in the coming month will be the sixth of seven total square aspects between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn on December 14th.  These two planets have been within orb of a square aspect (90 degree angle) for nearly five years now.  And while the planets do not make things happen, they do indeed reflect reality here on planet Earth.

Together, Uranus and Pluto have reflected the enormous changes that have occurred all across our planet over the past several years including the Arab Spring, the economic collapse in the United States that triggered global recessions, the Occupy Movements worldwide, revelations of widespread illegal governmental spying and scientific discoveries like the ‘God’ particle and the realization that consciousness creates reality.  Lots of change has already happened AND A LOT MORE STILL NEEDS TO HAPPEN!

Its crucially important to understand that evolutionary growth is a natural, spiritual imperative.  As stated earlier, evolution is facilitated by free will choices.  And one of the free will choices we can make is the choice to resist our evolution!  But we cannot resist forever.  In fact, too much resistance for too long ultimately results in the intended evolutionary change(s) occurring in cataclysmic ways in order to enforce the necessary change required.

Often these cataclysmic changes are completely unexpected and sometimes traumatic.  Cooperating with our evolutionary growth intentions, personally and collectively, ensures a smoother, more uniform experience of growth.  Clearly, cooperation is easier than resistance.  Unfortunately, when I look at our world, I see far more resistance than cooperation which leads me to believe there will likely be more shocking, unexpected and cataclysmic changes on the horizon for humanity.  Its comforting however to realize that the collective is made up of individuals.  Each of us can indeed contribute to the evolution of humanity as a whole as we commit to our personal evolution and make the necessary changes our Souls intend for us in our individual lives.

Previously, the first five exact squares between Uranus and Pluto happened on June 24th and September 18th, 2012, May 20th and November 1st, 2013, and April 21st, 2014.  The next exact square (6th of 7 total) occurs on December 14th and the final square between them will happen next Spring on March 16th, 2015.   Think back to what has happened in your life over the past two and a half years especially on or around these particular dates.  There you will find clues about what changes your Soul intends for you to make in your own life for your personal evolution to continue to unfold.

Humanity is indeed waking up to greater truths, greater realities and to a greater awareness of our sacred responsibilities to ourselves, to each other and to this beautiful planet that is our home.  We are re-awakening to the fact that we all do better when WE ALL DO BETTER – TOGETHER!

We are re-learning how to meet our own needs as individuals and in our communities.  As we become more personally empowered and self-reliant we’ll be able to solve more and more of the problems that undermine our personal and collective health and well-being.  How are you contributing your unique skills, gifts and talents to benefit the whole?

We are indeed living in extraordinary times!  Each and every one of us alive on this planet today embodies a Soul that chose to be here now.  Prophecies of many ancient cultures the world over have foretold these times as being associated with the potential for a quantum leap forward in the evolution of mankind.  Indigenous Elders have spoken of this evolutionary leap resulting from a huge shift in human consciousness.  Expansion indeed!

So as 2014 comes to a close, be grateful for all you’ve experienced and learned this year.  Take time to receive inner spiritual intuitive guidance.  Resolve to spend more time in nature!  Gather together with friends and loved ones and celebrate your accomplishments.  Enjoy the holidays and get ready for an even more exciting 2015!

This article is written a summary of my live hour-long audio presentation/analysis that explains the energies and influences of the New Moon chart in-depth.  The audio recording is available in CD or mp3 file formats for $15.  Contact me if you wish to purchase the audio recording.

The Capricorn New Moon is on December 21st at 5:36 pm MST!

Copyright 2014 Donna Lee Steele All rights reserved.

Mars Retrograde in Virgo

Every couple of years Mars turns retrograde for approximately two and a half months.  The last time Mars went retrograde was from December 20, 2009 to March 10, 2010 in the sign of Leo.  This time the retrograde will occur in Virgo from January 23rd to April 13th.

There are many interpretations of this astrological signature.  Keeping it simple however, requires only that we look to the archetypes of Mars and Virgo to further understand the energy and influence of this celestial event.

Virgo is the sign associated with work, health and service.  This sign typically operates through crises that lead to intense self-analysis in order to understand what needs to be changed or adjusted to resolve the perpetual or cyclic nature of the crises.  Once the necessary adjustments have been made, self-improvement occurs.

Unfortunately, Virgo tends to focus disproportionately on what’s wrong instead of what’s right.  This negativity often devolves into judgment and criticism and the need to ‘atone’ for past mistakes.  A feeling of ‘not being good enough’ can lead to self-sabotaging behaviors and can even become the causative factor for illness.   Unconsciously, Virgos often use crises to distract themselves from themselves!  They’re so busy putting out fires that they never get around to addressing their own personal ‘stuff.’   Another classic Virgo tactic used to avoid doing necessary self-improvement work is becoming a workaholic.  There’s never enough time to do what needs to be done to take care of the self.

From a total zodiacal perspective, Virgo is a transitional archetype.  It is the last sign associated with development of the individual self (Aries through Virgo) before we experience the need to progressively socialize and integrate into the whole of society with others as an equal (Libra through Pisces).

Following Leo, the sign associated with the full development of the individual  ego-centric identity and the need to creatively express that unique identity, Virgo provides a necessary deflation of the ego that prepares us for the task of entering into relationships with others on an equal basis.  Virgo teaches humility which is often learned through a process of humiliation that serves to not only deflate the ego, but also to realign the ego-centric identity with its own Higher Self or Divine Will.

Mars is considered by Astrologers to be the ‘lower octave’ of Pluto and therefore directly associated with the Soul (Pluto).  Pluto operates at an unconscious level and is the source of the Soul’s evolutionary growth intentions in each lifetime.  For most of us, we can only come to consciously know our Soul’s intentions through Mars.  This is because Mars is the principle of instinctive action and what it instinctively acts out or acts upon are the desires for growth that emanate from the Soul.  So through Mars, we act on our desires and through this process, become the person our Soul intends us to become.

Because Mars always acts instinctively to pursue desires, it typically will not brook any interference in those pursuits.  When it meets with such interference or obstruction, anger usually results.  This is why Aries/Mars individuals require so much personal freedom.   Adequate freedom allows them to instinctively pursue their desires in an unfettered way.

Now imagine the planet of instinctive action, which naturally becomes angry whenever its actions are interrupted or interfered with in any way, having to STOP, turn around, and begin to move BACKWARD through the zodiac!  Suffice it to say, retrograde movement does not make Mars happy.  What retrograde movement of Mars does accomplish however is a slowing-down of the instinctive impulse to act so that thorough and thoughtful review of desired actions can take place.   Mars retrograde facilitates the necessary planning, analysis and preparation that results in greater success once actions are taken.

So in a nutshell, this upcoming Mars retrograde through Virgo will likely bring crises, delays, obstacles and a general thwarting of actions and initiatives for the purpose of necessary review.  Taking the time to thoroughly analyze problems and goals will allow for crucial changes and adjustments to be made that will have a positive effect on the outcome of actions that are ultimately taken.

So get ready for review time!  The best use of this Mars retrograde is to become more aware of the nature of both desires and crises in your life.  Perhaps you’ll notice a pattern in the kinds of problems you typically experience.  Or perhaps you’ll discover the extraordinary effectiveness that crises have had in your life relative to keeping you from doing what you know you should and could do for your own health and well-being.

Be prepared to positively manage your frustration when setbacks occur.  Consider whatever obstacles do show up to actually be your allies.  Accept the nature and timing of those obstacles as totally right and proper.  In fact, those obstacles will no doubt be the perfect facilitators of the need to rethink or review your plans.  Solicit and surrender to the guidance and direction of your Higher Self through prayer and meditation.

Virgo’s opposite sign is Pisces.  Opposite signs always point the way forward for evolutionary growth.  Pisces is the sign associated with spirituality and the desire to reunite with the source of our creation.  The spiritualization process is often facilitated by disillusionment or disappointments that reveal that what we thought had meaning and would provide happiness or ultimate fulfillment isn’t actually capable of doing so.  Through dissolving the meaning we falsely assign to desired people, places and things, Pisces serves to realign us with reality.

Used unwisely, Pisces can also provide an escape hatch for those not yet ready or willing to deal with reality or to see their life circumstances clearly.  We all need to ‘let our hair down’ occasionally.  But substance abuse and addiction can occur when escape becomes the preferred way of coping with disappointing realities.  On the upside, Pisces can provide the inspiration to ‘reimagine’ problems and opportunities.

Neptune rules Pisces and will enter Pisces for the next fourteen years on February 3rd in the midst of the Mars retrograde period.  When the Mars retrograde period ends on April 13th, Mars will be within just a degree of an exact opposition to Neptune.  This connection is typically associated with severe disillusionment and even deception so be especially mindful of the timely need to face realities squarely and to see things and people clearly as this Mars retrograde comes to an end.   Finding the courage to do so will be the factor/choice that allows you to move forward, slowly but successfully, once this retrograde period comes to an end.

Virgo and Pisces natives (and to a lesser degree Gemini and Sagittarius) will feel the influence of this Mars retrograde the most.  Aries and Scorpio natives will also be significantly affected since these two signs are ruled by Mars.  However, this retrograde will have some effect on nearly everyone since we all have Virgo somewhere in our chart.  Look to the houses where Virgo and Aries and Scorpio are on the cusps (Mars rules Aries and co-rules Scorpio) for clues about what areas of your life are due for an in-depth review during this retrograde.

Take ‘time outs’ to deeply ponder what’s not working in your life especially if it involves your everyday work routine or health.  If a health issue does need attention, consider the usefulness of natural remedies (Virgo).  Take steps now to improve nutrition and to ensure that you get plenty of rest.  And if diagnoses are confusing or uncertain (Pisces) don’t hesitate to get a second opinion especially if surgery is recommended.  Pets may also need extra attention during this retrograde period since Virgo rules them too.  Be extra kind and forgiving with everyone especially yourself.  And most importantly, resolve to make necessary changes and adjustments one step at a time as this strategy is most effective in overcoming Virgo’s ‘perfection paralysis.’

Every outer planetary retrograde reaches its halfway point when it opposes the Sun.  This Mars retrograde will be at its halfway point on March 4th.  The ‘review’ process encouraged by this Mars retrograde period will be the most intense during its first half from January 23rd to March 4th.   From March 4th to April 13th increasing energy and urgency to move forward and implement plans will begin to unfold.  If possible, it will be best to delay the beginning of any big new project or initiative until mid-April when the retrograde is complete.  But if you must begin something sooner, at least be aware of the likelihood of setbacks occurring that will probably prove frustrating, albeit necessary for ultimate success.

Above all else, use this retrograde period to generally SLOW DOWN!  Turn the focus of your attention inward.  The answers and insights you need now to make positive and necessary changes that can result in real evolutionary Soul growth in your life will be found by looking deeply inside.  And don’t forget to ask for help from whatever source of higher guidance you believe in.  The highest potential and best use of this Mars retrograde can result in tremendous personal healing, for individuals, and for our planet.

Many Blessings, Donna

The Soul’s Evolutionary Journey: Fate versus Free Will

“A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in mathematical harmony with his or her individual karma. The horoscope is a challenging portrait, revealing the unalterable past and its probable future result. But the natal chart can be rightly interpreted only by those of intuitive wisdom; these are few.”

Swami Sri Yukteswar

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Over the years, my work as an Evolutionary Astrologer has given me many opportunities to address the question of fate versus free will as clients often ask, “Is my life path pre-destined, or do I really have free will choice?” My answer is always, “Yes!” I say yes because I believe that fate and free will co-exist and actually work together to facilitate ongoing evolutionary growth.

Let me explain…

I believe that each of us is born out of a primary desire to continue on a path of evolutionary growth. Evolutionary Astrology reveals the precise path of evolutionary growth each individual intends for each incarnation. Additionally it reveals information about past life experiences including where that individual ‘left off’ in their last life relative to their evolutionary growth intentions.

These past life experiences provide insight about past life choices and are directly associated with the ‘unalterable past’ referred to by Sri Yukteswar.1 The ‘probable future result’ he also mentions speaks to the natural law of karma – that every choice made or action taken has a related outcome – a ‘probable future result’ that is commensurate with that choice. In other words, choices and actions have consequences.

Choices and actions take many forms. Besides literally taking action, there are additional human behaviors and attributes that also create karma or have consequences. Among these are thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and emotions. Besides choosing to take action or act in certain ways, we also choose to think certain thoughts, choose to believe certain things and choose to feel certain ways. All of these behaviors – thoughts, actions, beliefs and feelings are chosen. And all choices and actions have consequences because they set energy into motion that will ultimately manifest. Perhaps the most important attribute of actions and choices however is whether they are chosen consciously or unconsciously. My experience as an Astrologer for the last 27 years tells me that most are made unconsciously. More on this later.

Quantum science now understands that individual and collective human consciousness influences real outcomes or reality.2 This new understanding is reflected in current ‘New Age’ phrases like, “Energy follows thought” and “Thoughts manifest” and “Energy flows where thoughts go.”

The quality of each individual’s consciousness is directly associated with and influences the choices that individual makes. Remember, each choice we make, whether consciously or unconsciously, ultimately manifests and creates our reality. Every thought, feeling, belief and action sets energy into motion — and that energy manifests. Once a choice is made or an action is taken, the energy it carries is set into motion. Once set into motion that energy cannot be altered. It is ‘unalterable.’ It is the energy of each choice that determines its ‘probable future result.’ I believe choices, once made, are what constitute Fate.

Consider Webster’s definition of fate: “… the principle or determining cause by which things are believed to come to be as they are, or events to happen as they do; an inevitable outcome; destiny; a pre-determined state or end…”

The good news is we are always making new choices! In fact, human beings are specially endowed with the ability to make choices. We have the freedom to direct our will to make choices relative to what we desire. Think about how many choices you make every single day! As each of us contemplates and makes new choices, we are exercising free will. This, I believe, is what constitutesFree Will Choice.’

Often however, humans become dissatisfied with their reality. They become disappointed or even distressed by certain situations or outcomes to the point where they desire a change in that reality or set of circumstances. Considering that current reality is a consequence of past choices, then to create a change in reality, different choices must be made. There’s an old saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results!” This adage teaches that if a different outcome is desired, a different choice must be made.

Evolutionary growth is synonymous with the process of change. So if you wish to evolve, you must make changes. If you wish to make changes then you must begin by making different choices. Free will choice gives us the opportunity to make changes and evolve by making different choices. Changing our choices means that we will change our outcomes. We will manifest a different reality. Free will choice gives us the opportunity to manifest different ‘probable future results.’

Evolutionary Astrology teaches that choices are the driving force of human evolution.3 Let me state that crucial point again: HUMAN EVOLUTION IS FACILITATED BY FREE WILL CHOICES.

Remember, in every moment we continue to make new choices. In every moment, through what we choose to do, believe, think and feel, we set energy into motion that will create our future reality. Through consciously making different free will choices, we can over time, change and alter the ‘probable future results’ we’ll experience due to the changes in the choices made or actions taken. Through the process of free will choice, we can direct our own evolutionary growth.

The greatest value of Evolutionary Astrology is this: It provides invaluable insight and understanding about what an individual Soul’s evolutionary intentions are. It also allows for the development of conscious awareness of what that Soul/individual has been doing (past life choices it has made) which helps make sense of their current reality (the consequences of those past choices). In other words, it can explain WHY an individual’s life looks the way it looks. Evolutionary Astrology’s value is that it can provide information that allows individuals to be more conscious about the choices they make. This in turn allows them to make choices that will manifest what they want instead of what they don’t want and ultimately change their reality. It short, it helps them to consciously evolve.

This is why Evolutionary Astrology focuses primarily on counseling rather than prediction. Although traditional astrology has primarily been utilized over the millennia for predictive purposes (royal heads of state historically depended upon the predictions of their court Astrologer to help them govern the affairs of their kingdoms), its greater value in my opinion is its ability to support individual Soul growth. By providing crucial information about the Soul’s evolutionary past (what is fated) and its intended evolutionary future (what probable future results conscious free will choices can manifest) Evolutionary Astrology can be invaluable for clients who wish to evolve, grow and fulfill their Soul’s path and life purpose.

This is why I believe it is so important for Astrologers to approach prediction with extraordinary care and consideration of exactly who is responsible for deciding what to do in any given situation. Given the fact that individual choices have karmic consequences, Astrologers operating with integrity must do all they can to provide their clients with pertinent, meaningful and insightful information regarding what they intend to accomplish in this life; their Soul’s evolutionary growth intentions. This then allows the client to become consciously aware of those intentions so that they can take full responsibility for their choices knowing that they are the manifestors of their future experiences and reality.

In summary, I’ll share a simple analogy I often use when discussing the topic of fate vs. free will. In this analogy, life is like a card game. Consider fate as the ‘hand you dealt yourself’ coming into this lifetime. Consider free will choice as how you choose ‘to play the hand you were dealt.’ And finally, consider this: If you know what game you’re playing, it’s a whole lot easier to win!

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NOTES

1 Quoted by the Hindu Yogi, Sri Yukteswar, who was a student of the great sage Lahiri Mahasaya and Mahavatar Babaji, who was the guru of Mahasaya. Sri Yukteswar’s foremost disciple was Paramahansa Yoganada.

2 From the Updated Second Edition, Science and the Akashic Field, An Integral Theory of Everything, by Ervin Laszlo, pg. 118.

3 From Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul, Volume I, by Jeffrey Wolf Green, pgs. xxiii, xxiv.

© Donna Lee Steele