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Solstice December 2016

'On the path of the seer or visionary we recognise that the world is a dream and we can dream it into being. And when you don't dream it into being then you get caught in the collective nightmare that we are living through' - Alberto Villoldo

Now more than ever the world needs our most precious and lucid dreaming. The Gemini full moon on the 14th December illuminated the start of a new relationship between Saturn the ‘wisdom seer’ in Sagittarius and Chiron the Shaman in Pisces. This is the time to update our seeing-healing skills and anchor for ourselves and for those around us new perspectives and practices that can stabilise us through the immense shifts we are witnessing. Our ongoing task is to stay conscious through all that is happening and thereby change the history of the future.

'When we discard our old stories, we free ourselves to explore the mystery of who we really are'' - Alberto Villoldo

We are the carriers of the seeds of our destiny. We are witnessing the pains and marvels of potential awakening even as the dreaming thickens and darkens in unprecedented ways. As our world is speeding through change we can’t afford to lag behind or lose momentum in regret. Sadness may increase as waves of energy that can connect us again and again with the cosmic pulse of swirling transformation washing through us. This is a vast purification-initiation process. When we remain transparent within this flow, without fixing the feeling to description, even sadness becomes a form of ecstatic communion with Spirit, as in the Sufi whirling experience. The Beloved is right here in our heart, in the centre of the storm.

'Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance, in the middle of the fighting. Dance, in your blood. Dance, when you're perfectly free' – Rumi

Saturn and Chiron come into their first exact encounter 28th December and there will be two more alignments during 2017 in April and November. Saturn, lord of Karma, in Sagittarius until the end of 2017, calls us to cultivate patience and discipline on the wisdom path, and connecting to Chiron shows us how we create our own suffering and ultimately how we can step out of suffering. Chiron reminds us constantly to see our wounds as a source of power and compassion, to transform the sadness within and around us, not to distract, deny, cut off or collapse in old victim identities. This is not to be depressed and gloom-laden; depression is what happens when we close our hearts against feeling the sadness, compassion. The dreadfulness around us is the call to prayer, to constant reawakening and healing of the heart, to remember what we are here for:

'Whoever does not, sometime or other, give his full consent, his full and joyous consent, to the dreadfulness of life, can never take possession of the unutterable abundance and power of our existence; can only walk on its edge, and one day, when the judgement is given, will have been neither alive nor dead...' (Rilke letters)

The seeding of this Solstice turning point is dominated by retrograde Mercury edging backwards and away from a near encounter with Pluto, god of the underworld. Mars (force, violence) is enmeshed in this tense dance. Mercury turned around within spitting distance from Pluto on the 19th to retrace its steps through Capricorn, exploring what has been long hidden, especially regarding structures, finance, ambitions and achievements. On this underworld journey unconsciousness and manipulation are like hungry ghosts that befuddle the airwaves. Keep stripping away assumptions and old emotional reflexes and trust your intuitions to come to the truth over the next weeks. Don’t be in a hurry to force solutions or they may backfire.

The pattern of this retrograde journey is especially powerful as Mercury carries the shadowy energy of Pluto backwards into a meeting with the sun on the 28th and then with the new moon on 29th December. This is another moment of seeding into the lunar cycle. Then on the 8th January Mercury's retrograde journey ends on the same day as the sun meets Pluto. Motives may be illumined or the plot thickens and darkness shines out ruthlessly. Perhaps by the end of January as Mercury finally completes its previous encounter with secretive Pluto and then ignites a connection with truth-exposing Uranus more drastic revelations may emerge through the heavily armoured veils of this ‘post-truth’ era.

While charades are playing out on the global stage, at least within ourselves we can take up the challenge to explore the transformational Plutonic energy as ruthless truth, not buying into our own storylines or being seduced by the old plots woven of our emotions. This is our chance for emancipation, for diving deeply into the heart of transformation. Pluto, underworld Alchemist is severely challenged to pull off his task of transformation at the global level where we may collectively be held fast in the ‘Nigredo’ process of blackness for some time, yet within each one of us the work can be accomplished. We are learning not only to see in the dark but to make light!

'The world without spirit is a wasteland. People have the notion of saving the world by shifting things around, changing the rules No, no! Any world is a valid world if it's alive. The thing to do is to bring life to it, and the only way to do that is to find in your own case where the life is and become alive yourself' - Joseph Campbell

Pluto has been building up steam and speed since September, now supercharged also by its first stand-off with Jupiter in November, and through January it moves in dissonant synchrony with Uranus, re-igniting echoes of the explosive-repressive dynamic we saw through 2012 - 2015 which stripped away so much of the old world as we knew it. Through January both these heavy planets lurch threateningly forward in a brutal bid for power, Uranus being exactly aligned with Chiron (wound or healing) of the US chart.

Between 8th January and 6th February every single planet is moving forward (as seen from earth) which is a rare occurrence and may feel as if we are globally accelerating downhill with no brakes. But for each of us individually this is a supercharged opportunity to embody and flow with the energy of awakening.

Jupiter, wise visionary or inflated bigot, stands provocatively at odds with both Pluto and Uranus at this destiny cross-roads and over the next few months. Jupiter last linked in with these heavy forces in a massive confrontation from March - May 2014 so take note of echoes or unfinished processes resurfacing from that period.

Jupiter comes to exact opposition with Uranus on 26th December, the first of three encounters over the next year, symbolising unpredictable and disruptive shifts of alliances, volatile reactivity or radical breakthrough. Mars (conflict, violence) and the Moon’s Node representing a collective choice point are woven tightly into this pattern. The atmosphere around Christmas could be highly charged with provocation and overreaction with far reaching consequences. Or this could manifest as super-conscious detached and expansive healing energy… also with far reaching consequences.

As Uranus (which has been retrograde since July) turns to move forwards on 29th December on the same day as new moon there could be a quickening of pace. Whatever is set in motion by reactive-impulsive Jupiter and Uranus will gather force during two more oppositions during 2017 (on 3rd March and 28th September 2017). Expect more of the unthinkable especially in terms of rearrangement of global alliances, global movement, legal systems, and religion. We are heading full speed ahead into the vast unknown:

'When a great ship is in harbour and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for. We Were Made For These Times'' - Clarissa Pinkola Estes

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