Steady Climb and Resilience Strategies

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Notes on the Astrology of 2018

The condition of today’s world cannot be transformed by technocratic rationality, since both technocracy and rationality are apparently nearing their apex… In examining the manifestations of our age, we must penetrate them with sufficient breadth and depth that we don not come under their demonic and destructive spell. We must not focus our view merely [o]n these phenomena, but rather on the humus of the decaying world beneath, where the seedlings of the future are growing, immeasurable in their potential and vigor. Since our insight into the energies pressing toward development aids their unfolding, the seedlings and inceptive beginnings must be made visible and comprehensible.
— The Ever-Present Origin, Jean Gebser

This year emphasizes the elements of Water and Earth, which are more inward-focused. They represent the Soul and the Body.

Key words: Softening. Strengthening. Flowing. Building. Mud. Cleansing. The power of water to cut through stone – over TIME. The power of earth to damn up water – but at what cost? Containers for water. Moisture and Fertility. Soil and Rain.

Symbolically, water is the imagination, feelings and intuitions, emotional bonds; while Earth is the container for the imagination, the protection for our emotions, and the practical implementation of our intuition.

Compared to the previous years, we may feel as if there’s less going on, or that we are doing less, or that there’s nothing happening. But think of rhizomes, compost, underground life. That’s where it’s happening – beneath the surface, readying for the long-term, integrating and fortifying for the future.


Saturn in Capricorn: December 19, 2017 to December 17, 2020

Keywords: Fortifying, Building, Strengthening, Planning, Strategizing, Detaching, Dying, Denying, Boundaries, Integrity, Responsibility, Conserving Energy, Stripping Down to the Roots, Structures, Time.

[Saturn rules over] that phase of the soul’s work when the mess that has been made is allowed to settle, rot, and putrefy.
— Thomas More, The Planets Within

Use this energy to act with intention rather than react emotionally. Plan for the future. Focus on practical, long-term strategies for change. Be alone when you need to. Steady yourself by remembering what it is you value, and honor those values in your day to day life. Read Numen Naturae: Dismantling the Tower edited by Cassandra Johns.

Saturn and Trust: How many of us think of trust as an impulsive feeling that just happens naturally? Perhaps you have instinctively resisted someone because you just knew they couldn’t be trusted. Or perhaps you fall into an easy trust with someone, sensing openness or compassion in them. While intuition is an important tool of the witch (and all humans), trust requires more than intuition because it is an on-going process rather than a one-time piece of information. Our intuition also needs time to develop a relationship with.

Trust implies relationship. Trust is not something we should expect immediately; it is not something spontaneous, but something cultivated through experience. I can make a decision to trust someone, and experience will show me if that trust is warranted, whether I might choose to deepen it or choose to limit it.

Taking responsibility means that in the face of barriers we still have the capacity to invent our lives, to shape our destinies in ways that maximize our well-being. Every day we practice this shape shifting to cope with realities we cannot easily change.
— bell hooks, All About Love

Trust is about responsibility to ourselves as well as others. Trust is being responsible to others (in this case, protecting the squishy insides of our bodies), while being open to a belief in others (in this case, the world outside of our physical bodies). We must take in flows of sensory information from the outside world to stay healthy.

This brings up the subject of boundaries, borders, limitations, and walls—those common Saturn keywords. To trust ourselves and one another, we must clearly define our needs. Saturn in Capricorn will help us trim away unnecessary craving and the places our ego or inflated self has gone too far in its fantasies. When Saturn is honored, it does not constrict to the point of death; it finds the balance, the integrity point which allows openness and responsibility to coexist.


Uranus in Taurus: May 2018 until July 2025

Keywords: Awakening to Earth, Radical Pleasure, Greening Technologies, Steady the Revolution, Peaceful Breakthroughs, Sudden Abundance, Strange Persistence, Genius of Resistance, Sustainable Liberation 

Use this energy to innovate your relationship with the Earth and your own beautiful body. Seek out new sensual experiences.  During the retrograde back into Aries from November 7, 2018 – March 7, 2019, accept the challenge to consider how your fiery passion an anger can be put into useful, practical action rather than impulsive, destructive outbursts. Read World As Lover, World As Self by Joanna Macy and Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by Adrienne M. Brown.

When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.
— Malala Yousafzai

Everything got shaken up with Uranus in Aries from 2011-2018. Revolution has been in the air, the world on fire, catalyzed by the Pluto square to Uranus. This transit has shown us the power of the individual to sacrifice for the collective good and instigate big changes from small actions: Bree Newsome, Colin Kaepernick, Mohammed Bouazizi (whose mother said his action was “spontaneous, from the humiliation”), and Malala Yousafzai.

As Uranus makes a move into earthy Taurus this year, we will a be challenged to put that anger, impatience, and passion into useful, practical, long-term actions rather than impulsive outbursts.

Uranus will be pushing us to innovate our relationship with the Earth/our bodies. Uranus will never accept the status quo; it will shake things up so that we wake up, break down, or break through the barriers of consciousness.

Of course, this has me thinking a lot about Climate Change. Taurus is the sign of the self-renewing, ever-stabilizing power of nature. With Uranus there, there will be shocks to this system and we will have to deal with it rather than ignore it. In his book Don't Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change, George Marshall writes:

The bottom line is that we do not accept climate change because we wish to avoid the anxiety it generates and the deep changes it requires. In this regard, it is not unlike any other major threat. However, because it carries none of the clear markers that would normally lead our brains to overrule our short-term interests, we actively conspire with each other, and mobilize our own biases to keep it perpetually in the background…[and] no one is offering to give us encouragement or to help us to ‘walk though that together.’ There is no defense against backsliding and denial, and there is no mechanism for coping with grief.

So now we won’t have to think about it, we’ll feel it. Rather than feeling powerless in the face of these Earth upheavals, we can take refuge with one another. Uranus calls for radical action, outrageous thinking, wild ideas. And in the age of globalization, in the face of what is arguably the worst disaster ever faced by humanity, what could be more outrageous than thinking small?

Create Life rafts with the people around you. What do you need to survive? What do you want survival to look like? Who do you want to work with to ensure survival? Where do you want to be? What are the skills that you have to share with others? What do you NOT know and need help with?

REVOLUTION OF VALUES: Uranus in Taurus is ultimately about the destruction and revolutionizing of VALUES. Because Taurus rules resources of the Earth, alternative currencies, banking breakdowns, and property disputes. Perhaps we will see a reclaiming of The Commons in earthy, material ways – not just online.

It's time for us to wake up as Gaia.


Chiron in Aries: 2018 through 2026

Keywords: Healing Fire, Heart-centered Power, Wise Survival, Opening Doors, Keys to Power, Compassionate Impulse, Prophetic Rage, Mentoring Adolescents, Initiation of Will, Self-healing

Use this energy to take a stand, even when you are afraid. Chiron will remind us to be especially aware that there are invisible connections supporting us throughout the cosmos. Remember that the invisible wants to help, that people you don’t know are rising up too, and that your dreams can be the guiding force that carries you into action. Read There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker.

Chiron in Aries asks, “What if you could be healed now?” Meaning, you already know how to do it. Trust your knowledge, your embodied experiences, and be transformed. Aries is spontaneous, impulsive and resilient. It teaches us about the power found in the seed – like a holographic imprint of the universe or an idea which takes immediate form – and how much courage it takes to be vulnerable.

We will be guided by Chiron – sage, healer, teacher, mentor – through the channels of desire. I am reminded of both the High Priestess card as well as the Temperance card for this configuration.


Mars Retrograde in Aquarius and Capricorn: June 27 – August 28, 2018

Keywords: The Tyranny of the Collective, Systemic Oppression, Rage Against the Machine, Plan for Upheaval, Denial of Urges, Humanitarian Desires, Temper Selfishness, Cool Your Heels, Slow Down

Use this energy to understand your anger and intensity. Review the ways you feel oppressed or experiences in which you have tried to control others. Examine power structures in your life: are you utilizing power-over (dominating), power-with (collaborating), or power-from-within (personal empowerment). Read Magic of the Iron Pentacle, by Jane Meredith and Gede Parma.


Venus Retrograde in Scorpio and Libra: October 6 – November 16, 2018

Keywords: Evaluating Sexuality, Recommitting to Self/others, Beauty in the Darkness, Trust Issues, Loving with Intensity, Mysterious Affinities, Underground Connections, Eternal Love, Death of Relationships.

Use this energy to reflect on pathways that lead to a whole relationship with yourself and healthy relationships with others, without moving into an oppressive or manipulative dynamic. Read All About Love by bell hooks.


Eclipses 2018 in Leo, Aquarius and Cancer

Lunar Eclipses: January 31 (11 Leo), July 27 (4 Aquarius)

Solar Eclipses:  February 15 (27 Aquarius), July 12 (20 Cancer), August 11 (18 Leo)

Keywords: Changing Social Awareness, Revealing the Heart, Remaking the World, Subjective vs. Objective, Science vs. Art, Shining the Light, Encouraging others, Sharing your gifts.

The dwarf planet Ceres and asteroid Pallas are strong in the eclipse charts. Ceres reminds us this winter that laughter and creativity are the medicines that can break open the heart after periods of grief and withdrawal. Pallas rules over craft and arts. This summer, she helps us remember to weave our stories into something tangible for others to enjoy and relate to. Read We Were Witches by Ariel Gore.


Mercury Retrogrades: March 23 – April 15; July 26 – August 19; November 17 – December 7

Keywords: Reviewing passion, desire, creativity, truth, movement, inspiration, impulse, will, meaning.

Use the energy of Mercury Retrogrades to revise, edit, and renovate your creative projects. Ask yourself if you are burning out. Be careful of being quick to anger. Practice patience and ask others for their opinions. During these periods we will be pushed to stop being REACTIVE and start being mindfully active. Cultivate openness to new ideas. Read Misfit Manifesto by Lidia Yuknavitch.