I love that every year the Sun journeys through fun-loving and upbeat Sagittarius in the festive lead-up to Christmas, encouraging excessive spending, parties and celebration, eating and drinking and planning holidays. Then just a couple of days before the 25th, the Sun enters Capricorn and we deal with the serious business of families getting together and the pressures of commitments. For some, this can be a very lonely and depressing day, for others it strengthens family bonds and connectedness. Hopefully your family gatherings also include some fun and enjoyment. Then we make serious resolutions for the New Year that usually are about being more disciplined and organised that we were. Good luck with that everyone!
Of course these two signs have much more complex depths to them that this, but on a simple level, I’m sure you see what I mean.
2016 has been quite a year. We’ve lost some treasured souls – Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Mahammad Ali and Alan Rickman come to mind. Brexit, Donald Trump and Pauline Hanson happened. The Syrian refugee crisis escalated, the natural environment continues to be ravaged for personal gain and there has been a general feeling of confusion, despair and powerlessness. Of course wonderful things have been happening amidst all of this and often it seems crisis brings the best out in many…. the powerful gathering of the Tribes at Standing Rock being an example.
It’s been a 9 year numerologically speaking, which marks the completion of a 9-year cycle. There has been a deep sense of closure, loss, endings and tying up of loose ends in preparation for the brand new 9-year cycle which begins on January 1. 9 years can offer great clarity and a renewed sense of purpose – the kind of feeling we have when we clean out our bathroom cupboards (life, mind) and get down to the essentials of what’s really important. So these next few weeks are a great opportunity to really clean out.
I’ve had my own challenges and I’m sure you have too, but I hope like me, you have learned a lot and come to a new, deeper place of understanding in yourself. Even though tough times are unwelcome when we’re in them, I know that everything that happens in life is always in service to our evolution and awakening – both individually and for all humanity. We are in a powerful period of major transition and evolution and that’s never an easy process.
One of the main astrological themes of 2016 was:
Saturn in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces (Nov 2015, June and Sept 2016) This mutable square was definitely a toughie and we are just coming out of its effect now.
Hard-core matter-bound Saturn challenges Neptune’s dreamy fantasies of utopia and the urge to escape reality as it is – hence our favourite addictions. Saturn demands that we wake up to the facts as they are in the present, deal with reality and grow up. He is the master doctor/teacher who prescribes the medicine we must take and calls for sobriety, pragmatism and commitment. (‘Yuk!’ says Neptune). In Sagittarius, Saturn brings our attention to the falsehood of our opinions and prejudices.
On the other hand!, Neptune, the planet of transcendence, Oneness and illumination, wears down Saturn’s narrow fear-based rigidity and rock-like defences and calls for a more compassionate, inclusive openness to possibilities beyond what’s known. In Pisces now for 14 years, Neptune is bringing about a great dis-illusion and dis-solution on a collective scale. Squares are aspects of great pressure – in this case it’s the pressure of ‘hold on tighter’ vs ‘let go and trust’ – a paradox indeed. We experience it as confusion, doubt, depression and anxiety but out of it some kind of profound shift and new clarity happens. This is the gift of the squares.
The Sufi story of “Tether Your Camel’ comes to mid with Saturn/Neptune aspects: do what ever is practically possible and fulfil your responsibilities (Saturn), then trust and leave the outcome to existence/god/Source (Neptune)
‘This is the meaning of tether the camel: do whatever is possible for you do, don’t shirk your responsibility, and then if nothing happens or something goes wrong, trust existence. Then it knows best. Trust existence and yet remain a doer. But now you are only instrumental; existence is the real doer you are just instruments in its hands…The religious person is one who goes on doing whatever is humanly possible but creates no tension because of it. The total of the energies will decide the outcome…I have to do, and yet I have to learn not to expect. The doing is a kind of prayerfulness, with no desire that the result should be such. Then there is no frustration. Trust will help you to remain un-frustrated, and tethering the camel will help you to remain intensely alive. The camel is not a fixed entity…It will depend on the context.’ Osho
Neptune has been a major theme of 2016, with its conjunction to the South Node in Pisces for much of the year and also the 2016 Eclipses sitting across the Pisces/Virgo axis. This marries very well (or not so well depending on your point of view) with the energies of a Number 9 year. If you’re feeling a bit wrung out and emptied out – that’s the point
Of course how this energy has played out for you depends on the specifics of your chart – the houses involved and aspects to natal planets.