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Posts Tagged ‘Capricorn’

Butterfly: Original Painting by Holly Alexander

Originally published September 26, 2008

This is my favorite day of the year.   I love celebrating my birthday and I always wake up infused with the magic and possibilities of creation, the wonders of birthing a new me.

This day, this season, is when I feel the energy of planting seeds.  What I begin will show me its harvest six months from now, around the time of the Spring Equinox.

As I reflect over the past year, and particularly over the last seven years relative to transiting Saturn as it aspects my natal Moon, I feel my completion on many levels.  I have felt the “cycles within cycles,” more palpable than I can ever remember feeling them before.  I attribute this to my deep dive into the realms of astrology and the Divine Beauty of Great Mystery…and with that, my activation of a more conscious participation with my relationship to It and Me.

This past year has felt like a grand culmination of my entire life, my first 47 years.  My mantra has been about letting go, releasing, endings, death.   While my natal Moon/Jupiter in Sag holds the space of optimism for me, my enthusiastic and expanding place of vision and possibilities, it has been challenging to manifest the new, fiery creative impulse bubbling up inside of me, not quite ready to come to a boil.  I’m excited to taste that full heat and I know it is arriving soon…very soon!

For now, the message has been about freedom (Uranus), about a reclamation of my Feminine Power (Venus Return) and about taking the elixir I have distilled (Pluto), out into a larger community (Jupiter/AC Cap and Venus Return/MC, Mercury).  I look forward to sharing my medicine with you!

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Photo by Holly Alexander

Originally published November 30, 2008

Saturn’s hands of time
sit me down
plainly
breathing me
into the ground

His bony knuckles
rapping on my door
pointing to his watch
speechless
he’s been here before
he knows
I’m not surprised
to see him again

Lately
he summons me from slumber
in the dark, early hours
“Stop wasting time,”
his voice urgent
and matter of fact
“You have work to do.
Get out of bed…now.”

He has me picking up pears
littered among gold-orange leaves
spotted with gray-black decay
filling garbage cans
in the sobering autumn air

The old man
has me going through filing cabinets
stored in the basement
drawers filled with
evidence of past labors
proof of days, weeks, years

That degree earned
adoption contracts and photos
of animals rescued
and taxes
paid faithfully
throwing my old self away

—November, 2008

The time has finally arrived.  I’m leaving Salt Lake and moving toward new life.  I’ve been waiting for this day, for over a year now.  It looks like I had to wait ’til transiting Saturn came around to square my Moon.  I must admit, when I looked at this upcoming transit, around a year ago, I was not looking forward to it.  As I have intimately known Saturn throughout my life (Capricorn Rising with Saturn conjunct, forming a T-square to my Sun and Mars, as well as three personal planets in the 10th house), he has shown his face to me in ways that have been…well…hard.  Restrictive.  Heavy.

As I have gotten older, I’ve gradually learned to create other experiences of him in my life.  The old Saturn in me, the critic, the perfectionist, the one who takes on the burden and feels responsible for all of it, working like hell to redeem myself, continues to leave me.  The goat that was saddled with the sins of the community, and either sacrificed or sent off into the wilderness, carrying those burdens with him.  Continually confronting authority outside of myself, feeling guilty for situations I did not create. Yeh, like I said…heavy.

For whatever reason, this time, Saturn feels different to me.  Maybe because I understand him in a way that I haven’t before.  Over time, the vulnerability of first time Cap AC, has given me an intimate understanding of this serious side of myself.  And, of my ego and the part of me that judges, compares, thinks I have to always do better.  Keeps working incessantly to change things, to “make them right.”

I remember hearing Daniel, my teacher, tell me that Saturn was the most instructive force in us, that teaches us to be free.  That is, if it doesn’t crush you.  Over the years, I have learned to make peace with this part of me, and let it go, little by little.  I can let the Saturn part of me, my strong identity with my ego, show me that through this suffering, through limitation and restriction, I can see exactly what I need to let go of.  I can release the parts of my ego that keep me imprisoned, and I can form a new relationship with Saturn that feels like a partnership of the pieces of Saturn and my ego, that actually serve me.

So, for now, I’m saying my good-byes to cherished friends, packing my life up in boxes, and moving West.  I’m California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day…

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Originally published May 18, 2009

Father Time

I remember feeling like I would literally die if I didn’t leave Salt Lake City before winter hit.  Like a snake, the skin of my emotional habits had become too confining and it was time, once again, for it to shed.  I knew my oncoming Saturn initiation would be a process related to all areas represented by the Moon, and although much of it would address my inner world, I felt an overwhelming urgency to honor the beginning of the cycle externally.  On October 1st I gave my landlord a 30 day notice.  I did not know where I was going, I only knew I could no longer stay in Utah.

Transiting Saturn’s 9 month initiation cycles take us into a death and rebirth process relative to the planet, angle or node it is contacting in our natal horoscope.  At the beginning of the cycle, Father Time taps us on the shoulder, signaling the need for change.  As Saturn is related to our ego identification, its transits are a time of letting go of old attachments, forms and structures that have fulfilled their purpose and are ready to die.  Sometimes it means the literal death or ending of a person/relationship,  job/career,  home and/or lifestyle.  Even if a Saturn transit does not manifest this way, it still means a death of the current structure or form, and the birth of a new one.

Saturn cycles are work cycles and during these times, we feel the impetus to take a sobering or realistic look at the area of our life represented by what transiting Saturn is contacting in our natal chart.  Evaluating what’s working and what is not.  These are “time to change the game” periods, opportunities to reflect on the way we are playing the game of life.  Responsibility is a key word for Saturn, and these cycles offer a period of time for us to re-examine our “response ability.”

At the beginning of the initiation, it can be difficult to be clear about what we want, what the changes looks like, or the specificity of our future goals.  Oftentimes it begins with an awareness of what we no longer want, “no,” “not this,” “not that,” “can’t stand it anymore,”  “it’s time-something has to change.”  Perhaps anxiety increases at the thought of staying or continuing on in the same patterns within a current relationship, job, home, lifestyle for another 7 years when the cycle comes around again.

During Saturn cycles, we have an opportunity to see which doors are ready to close and which ones want to be opened.  Experiences in the outer world feel increasingly restrictive, limiting and binding (all Saturn keywords).  As we begin to redefine (Saturn) what matters to us in these areas of life, accessing our inner authority (Saturn), clarity increases.  We can more easily set the boundaries, limitations and restrictions for ourselves.  The need for giving ultimatums arises.  By focusing (again, Saturn) on the feedback in our external world, what’s being mirrored to us, we can make a choice to continue to struggle and meet with resistance, or let go and try something else, move on, severing the attachment in its current form.  Continuing to clarify and define what we want, and paying attention to the response in our world, shows us the path to be taken.  Where are we flowing?  What is working?  Where are we feeling rewarded for our efforts?  Where are we being amply and easily supported?

Giving my 30 day notice to move, I sent out a signal to the gods, saying I was done.  I waited for the signs to point the way to where I would go.  Within a week, I received a message so obvious and clear, and I knew my path was leading me to Santa Rosa, California.  Tuning into the timing, I delayed my departure for another month.

As I took I-80 heading west, I felt a weight (Saturn) lifting from my shoulders and a giant exhale followed – a cathartic release.  I was finally leaving this Saturn-ruled state again (Capricorn Sun), heading to California, a cycle I’ve repeated numerous times since 1980.  Each time I left Utah, I said I would never move back.  I know better than to say this now, and still…I feel more certain than ever this is my last time.

Santa Rosa would be a temporary place for me and my move here marked a transition and passage state in my life.  An in-between void space.  Deathing Utah, a difficult relationship and my old self.  Birthing a move to Hawaii, a union with my future Beloved and my new self.  Santa Rosa would serve as a safe haven for my death-conception-gestation process preceding my birth.

I knew that wherever I moved, I wanted to feel nurtured and supported.  But Saturn to the Moon can bring about experiences that are the opposite of that.  Loneliness, isolation, depression.  I was not prepared for the intensity of this. During my first 3 months in California, I went deeper into the cave, rarely leaving my house or wanting contact with the outer world.  The inner work to be done was forcing me to confront the ways I was not emotionally loving, nurturing and supporting myself.  Coming face to face with childhood and adult experiences of isolation, feelings of abandonment and no one to count on.  In my early years, the religious foundation I had was where I found my support.  Even though my conditioning was laden with harsh judgment, fear and guilt, God was always there.  I moved frequently as a child and the physical/emotional chaos and instability of my home life was countered by the stability of my experience in the Mormon community.  That foundation crumbled for me when I moved Utah (ironically) at 16 years old, and I experienced a loss so deep and great of everything I thought I knew to be true up to that point.

33 years later, I am still discovering what God is and means to me in a continually expanding quest.  Finding myself.  Coming home.  The process of integration and the movement toward wholeness has been naturally highlighted since my last Saturn initiation cycle 7 years ago, during my mid-life and its particular transits.  The longed for “Other,” deeply ingrained, as my human self has yearned for the marriage of my soul and spirit to it.  I have known myself to be on the verge of an outer marriage with my Beloved, and had enough awareness that the union must happen within me, to truly manifest my heart’s desire.

The Dweller on the Threshold

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

–The Guest House

The Essential Rumi, Translated by Coleman Barks

In Caroline Casey’s book, “Making the Gods Work For You,” she writes, “Saturn says that we will encounter any inner issues we shirk, or qualities we refuse to possess, outside ourselves in a form we might not like so much.  Without our inner authority, outer authority will direct us…challenging external circumstances drive us inward to make an appointment with Saturn to rewrite the script.  ‘How do you want your life story to proceed?’ inquires Saturn the inner author.  If we do not go inward willingly, then Saturn will reach up and yank us down forcefully.  The involuntary yanking downward is very often experienced as depression, but is instead a reminder not to live life by default.”

Saturn has traditionally been called, “the dweller on the threshold,” or “the ring-pass-not.”  Casey says, “these monikers refer to the scary initiatory ordeal each of us must undergo in which we encounter all that holds us back or keeps us fearfully obedient to a life of oppressive limitation.  Usually, the catalyst for this transformation is an experience in which we break a rule, violate a taboo, or otherwise disobey the tribal elders.”

What attachments and habits were running the script of my life, jailing me, usurping my power? The emotional prisoner of my past.  Ways of being I thought I had released reared their hideous head, breathing fiery hot breath in an effort to purify shadow pieces of my unconscious still running the show.  Casey points out that right before a change, we encounter all our obstacles to that change.  She states, “this is known as a ‘sunset effect’: as a pattern goes down, it glows most vividly.  Just before people are ready to change, they often thrash around, saying, ‘I’ve already worked through these issues, so why am I dealing with all of this again?’  The answer is, ‘these issues are coming up again because you’ve almost resolved them.’  When you feel this intensification coming on, remember Saturn’s motto: ‘Things are so hard, I must almost be done.'”

This certainly was the case for me.  Before leaving Utah, I was entangled in destructive relationships with two men.  The first one, lasting two years, continued on in an addictive fashion for over another year past my initial attempted escape.  The second, a condensed and potent caricature of the first.  These powerful relationships precipitated a healing crises for me, and I plunged deeply into the abyss of emotional currents I had consciously forgotten about.

At the same time, I had also become aware of my Witness Self, the Watcher part of me that observes my human self.  Like a loyal, steady friend to hold my hand, or a guide to shine the light on the darkness of my path, the Witness Self was a saving grace as I continued to be cooked in the cauldron of past and current fears, examining ways I was still not fully present to self-love, self-nurturing and self-support.  The ways in which I continued to doubt myself, my truth, allowing others to claim authority, power and control over me.

“Saturn says there is no shame or blame in landing hard, as long as we acknowledge that we have been thrown by the spirited horse of our own teaching,” says Casey. “The initiatory ordeal is by definition, a solitary experience that leads us to self-reflection. Solitude, Saturn’s sacramental activity, is the portal to the magical realm where power larger than us resides. Time spent alone allows us to ‘consider’ our lives, to align the inner gods with the outer gods of the cosmos, to disentangle ourselves from the phantasmagoria of seductive distractions.”

Carl Jung said, “The highest, most decisive experience is to be alone with one’s own self.  You must be alone to find out what supports you, when you find that you can not support yourself.  Only this experience can give you an indestructible foundation.”

Positive Father

Sometime at the beginning of March, I realized I had deathed what laid lurking in my darkest realms.  After repeated rounds of self-judgment (Saturn) followed by subsequent self-compassion, I fell in love with me again.  Over and over, I felt myself as a little girl-scared, lost, alone.  As I continually judged myself for allowing these malefic experiences into my life, I followed the judgment up with, “what if it’s okay?”  Saturn can represent the negative father, admonishing us with criticism, blame, pointing out our imperfections.  But what I wanted to experience of Saturn was the positive father, the one I needed to allow for “mistakes,” and lovingly point me in a better direction.  This was the masculine I wanted to more fully integrate.  Radical self-acceptance was the starting point.  Through sheer determination, focus and dedication to a breakthrough of limiting ego thoughts and emotions, I became the loving father I always wanted.  I broke the chains of fear, and found my “Other” as my wise soul and spirit, merged with my human self.  I found my way home, resurrecting an integration of Divine proportion unknown to me up until now.

Photo by Holly Alexander

Being in nature helped.  There, my soul rested and came alive at the same time.  A beautiful man appeared in my life, my “nature boy,” and my connection with what feels like “my original state,” that inner union, manifested in the outer world, miraculously showing itself to me.

This 9 month initiation feels like a lifetime. Time has slowed down and stretched itself in such a way I hardly recognize it as linear anymore.  Being circular, or feeling like a spiral, the past, present and future feel interchangeable. I am seven months into my pregnancy, and transiting Saturn has just stationed direct.  I have moved through the third stage of transition, the toughest part of my labor and am getting ready to birth the baby, my new Self.

Caroline Casey’s book, “Making the Gods Work For You,” was instrumental in bringing me to a new understanding of astrology and its archetypal language.  Caroline led me to find and study with Daniel Giamario, and the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School.  I am deeply grateful for the work these two have done, and also for Beth Wachenheim, who introduced me to Caroline’s book.

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Symbol for Capricorn

Originally published July 6, 2009

Tomorrow’s Full Moon in the zodiacal sign of Capricorn at 15 degrees, exact at 2:21 a.m. PST, highlights what Shamanic Astrology calls the mystery school of that sign. Its archetypal energy investigates the rules and principles that govern the structure of the Universe, bringing spirit into matter to administer and manage it.

As the expression of the Feminine, it is connected to The Central Woman, Queen Bee, The Matriarch Herself, The Business Woman Responsibly Commanding Her Domain, The Counselor, The Elder, and The Wise One.

As the expression of the Masculine, Capricorn represents the archetype of The Elder, Prime Minister, Lawgiver, Responsible Father and Good Provider, The Practical Business Man, The Exiled Scapegoat.

In Shamanic Astrology, this tribe is a giver energy, dedicated to keeping it together for everyone else. In return, they receive great respect and get to be in some position of power to better carry out their responsibilities. Their personal joy or pleasure often comes from what they get from being loved and respected for having done the job so well.

Capricorns are oriented toward the welfare of the community and concerned with sustainability. This archetype asks the question, “Does it grow corn?” It needs to be useful. Connected with the ancestors and the circle of grandmothers, it looks to the past and the preceding seven generations to glean what has worked on this earth, the “middle world,” while at the same time, looks into the future about what is needed to further ensure the viability of the next seven. It is also connected to the resources that are needed to continue to live on this planet.

Capricorns are leaders. Focused, task oriented, and dedicated, they gain their position of authority through step by step application. They are the builders, focused on creating a solid foundation.

Working ceremonially with the Full Moon, means bringing your attention to this domain in your life. If you have a personal planet, or angle in Capricorn, there is an activation in your energy being highlighted by this Full Moon, energized further by the eclipse, making it a Super Full Moon. If you don’t have any personal planets or angles in this sign, you can still tune into the meaning of this mystery school, and look at your relationship to this energy in your life.

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Joanna Macy

Originally published June 26, 2009

First in line to get my book signed, I looked across the table at the deeply wrinkled face and cloudy eyes radiating grounded crone wisdom, and I reached for her hand.

“You’re a grandmother,” I said softly.

“I am a grandmother,” she said, her reply affirming my acknowledgment of something deeper beyond the literal meaning. “You’re a grandmother too, for all those future beings.”

Joanna Macy took my book and signed, “for Holly, friend and protector of the future generations. Love, Joanna.”

A renowned activist, author, speaker and workshop leader on Buddhist philosophy, systems theory and deep ecology, Macy delivered a passionate speech at this year’s Harmony Festival with the energy of an optimistic twenty-something. Filled with idealism and ready to change the world, she spoke with a fire mixed with the wisdom of a grandmother, occasionally addressing the audience affectionately as “sweeties” and “honeys.”

As I listened to Macy, I was reminded of a centuries-old Native American prophecy that speaks of the circle of grandmothers coming together during these chaotic times, encouraging humanity to turn to these sages for guidance and the action needed to assure our place on earth. It says, “When the Grandmothers from the four directions come to speak, a new time is coming.” In 2004, a group of thirteen international women leaders came together forming the first International Council of Grandmothers.

The Circle of Grandmothers is one expression of the Capricorn archetype at “The Turning of the Ages.” Capricorn is the archetypal giver to the community. As elemental earth energy, it is committed to sustainability. They are the teachers looking back at the previous seven generations, gleaning knowledge about what has worked and what hasn’t, informing them as to what is needed in the present to sustain the next seven generations.

An embodiment of this archetype, and in keeping with the role of Capricorn at The Turning of the Ages, Macy’s ideas are traditional and revolutionary at the same time. An elder and wisdom keeper, she talked about the need to rejoin the natural world. One of the most widely known “deep ecology” methods is the “Council of All Beings,” a communal ritual in which participants speak on behalf of other life-forms.

Macy also addressed her concept of “Deep Time,” work meant to refresh our spirits and inform our minds by experiencing our present lives within larger, temporal contexts. One of the ways to do this is to invoke the “Beings of the Three Times.” This reminds us of our place in time and our connectedness with those who have gone before and those who come after us, as well as those living now. Doing this evokes the inspiration they can offer us in our work for the world, heightening our sense of gratitude and responsibility and strengthening our will.

Borrowing the perspective of future generations and in that larger context of time, Macy spoke of “The Great Turning” and how it is allowing us to come alive again, bringing out great courage and creativity. This is happening simultaneously in three areas or dimensions, the third being the shift in consciousness-perceptions of reality, both cognitively and spiritually. The realizations we make in the third dimension of The Great Turning save us from succumbing to either panic or paralysis.

“We need our imaginations to rise above consensus society,” she said. “Gratitude for being alive at this moment when everything is at stake-that is liberation from the consensus society. Don’t be afraid of the dark, of your own emotions, the loss of species and cultures. If you’re alive, you’re carrying grief and despair-don’t be afraid. Keep breathing. Say, ‘I know I’m suffering with my own world.’ It means you’re connected to the web.”

Macy continued, “You are made from the living earth. When you’re not afraid of your pain for the world and its suffering, nothing can stop you. When you go to act, know that you have been around for a long time, a vast authority of fourteen billion years.”

“But it’s not just about the suffering,” she added. “We also have to feed our appetites for joy and beauty, the juice of our own hearts, gasping with gratitude about being alive at this moment.” Poetry is one way. Picking up a book, Macy read her translation of poet Ranier Maria Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus.

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

What batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent Earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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