By Michelle McClunan
Well, here we are, heading for the home stretch of 2014, which has been a blurringly quick, busy, somewhat challenging year for many of us. It’s certainly been a bit of a whopper for me, but the blessings and learnings have been immense too! Dark and Light, Pain and Liberation, Sadness and Joy – the polarities or life!
When I look at the Astrology for December, it’s clear that this is a month filled to the brim with more of the same paradoxes, contrasts and perhaps challenges, as well as great opportunities to shift, heal and grow.
In astrology we have these pesky little aspects called squares, which occur when two planets are locked into a stressful ninety degree angle with one other – a lot like being confined in a room, with someone whom we have nothing in common with, or seriously don’t like… for an extended period of time. With nowhere to run, we are pushed to find the commonalities between us and to reach a level of acceptance. This is exactly what squares do – they aren’t designed to just give us a hard time. They’re there to help us s t r e t c h and grow, tiresome as that might be sometimes.
Many of us may find ourselves facing some squares over the Festive Season, which is when we get to spend more time than usual with family, extended family, partners, in-laws, step relations and the like. This is generally guaranteed to bring to the surface all sorts of issues, which we thought our adult selves had dealt with and packed neatly away. As they say, if you think you’re enlightened, spend a weekend with your family!
Without going into too much complicated Astrology, we essentially have two major squares between slower moving planets that are being activated this month.
The good old Uranus Pluto square, which I’ve written about a lot in past, becomes exact for the 6th time since 2012. The last time it will happen will be in March 2015 – glory be!
Briefly, Pluto, the agent of death, rebirth and regeneration (transformation) is in patriarchal conservative Capricorn, which represents control, tradition, the old guard, governments, corporate structures etc. Revolutionary Uranus is in fiery, impulsive, aggressive Aries, defender of the peoples’ rights. What this means for the planet is essentially a revolution, where “the people” fight the establishment. It also has a habit of bringing deep dark secrets and compulsions (Pluto) out of hiding and into the light – largely through the media (Uranus) The latest sex scandal with Bill Cosby is just one example. The women who he allegedly abused, are risking their reputations after decades and spilling the beans to the media, about the man who was a traditional father figure to so many, for so long. This is a literal example of Uranus Pluto at work.
What it means for us personally is that it’s yet another opportunity to connect with whatever is lurking in the shadows of our own psyches, bring it up to the surface, pick out the gems and ditch the rest. As a fellow coach said the other day, “Decide what’s not serving you, kiss it goodbye and let it go”.
It’s a time for questioning the old guard that resides within us and ushering in the new. All those old hackneyed beliefs and judgements about everything that we’ve held for so long – are they even valid and how are they serving us?. It’s also about asking where and how we are trying to control the world around us and how that’s working.
Anxiety levels about our country, our world and our planet are running high, as everywhere you go, people are talking about the crime, the injustice, the unfairness, the ineptitude, the insecurity. Although most of us can relate to it in some way, we need to ask ourselves whether it serves us to talk about it all the time or to engage with people who do.
Is it changing anything or just bringing our personal and collective vibrations to their knees? It’s one thing if there’s something we can actually do to change a situation, but if there isn’t, our energy is better employed at addressing what we can change about our own lives or attitudes For me, the quickest way to change my attitude, is to enter into a state of gratitude. I was given such a wonderful example by a friend the other day, who, whilst driving to class, ran through her body and expressed gratitude for each part of it. This instantly lifted her vibration and her spirits. Every single one of us can do that, any time we choose to.
We also have the choice, every minute of every day, as to whether we are going to enter into the downward spiral of judgement and criticism or not.
The other square that’s happening involves the giants, Jupiter and Saturn. These two polar opposites are currently engaged in an interesting kick boxing match. Where Saturn is about old knowledge, maturity, tradition, categorising, control, judgement, limitation, contraction, duty, conservative outlooks and responsibility, Jupiter is about liberation, expansion, broader perspectives, new knowledge and higher learning.
This square asks us to consider, in any given moment, whether something is contracting or expanding us and then make our choices from there.
As we hurtle towards the finishing line of 2014, Saturn and Jupiter advise us to take a bit of time out, to do a stock-take and ask ourselves some questions that will reveal what we’ve learnt this year.
I’m running one workshop on the 13th December, where we will explore this theme as a small group, through visualisation, reflection, and art. Using a combination of painting, words and imagery, we will tell our 2014 story in a GRATITUDE COLLAGE. I still have a couple of places available, so please email me for more details. firstname.lastname@example.org
“An unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates
Here are some of questions to ask yourself before year end – the Gemini full moon on 6th December would be a great time to do it.
- What would you like to kiss goodbye to, along with 2014?
- What were the things or who were the people that challenged you and contributed to your growth in 2015?
- What are you grateful for, right now?
- What new truths have you learnt this year and how will you embrace them and expand them further in the year to come?’
- If you made one lifestyle change for your mental, physical, spiritual, emotional health in 2015, what would it be?
When I did this recently with a bunch of life coaches (thanks to you all), the clearest thing that came up for me was the word “Surrender”. Much of what has happened in my life this year, has been largely out of my control and has more or less pushed me into a place of acceptance. While I was mulling this over yesterday, the word middle ground kept on coming up. I looked up some synonyms for the word – golden mean, centre, happy medium, neutral territory, interface – all of which resonated hugely.
For me, taking the middle ground seems to be one of best ways to navigate the extremes and embrace the changes that are happening at any given time. It means not judging whether something is good or bad, but rather staying neutral.
Words like “neutrality” and “surrender” get a bit of a bad rap, unfortunately, as they’re often seen as boring or weak or jelly fishy. That’s certainly how I used to perceive them. However, more and more I’m realising, that when things feel overwhelming, if I can remember to stop, lean back, step away, breathe deeply, soften and unclench my jaw and my fists, I start entering into a place of neutrality and can actually feel my heart softening. The neutral place is where the Divine resides.
It’s the still point in the storm, where we can connect with the higher part of ourselves, see the situation from a broader perspective and open the way for magical, infinite insights and possibilities. I’ve noticed when I do loosen (not let go of) the reigns for a while, Lo and Behold, things actually have a way of wobbling into place all by themselves, without my controlled intervention…fancy that!
Another tool that helps us find the middle ground is to find a symbol or an image that re-aligns us. It might be the centre point of a spiral or the place of meeting in an infinity symbol or the dot in the middle of a circle (the symbol for the Sun) or something else that resonates for you. You could imagine gathering your energy inwards, towards a core centre line, or walking to the centre of a labyrinthe or bringing a wildly swinging pendulum to the quiet, stillpoint close to the ground.
Whenever you need to re-align yourself – call your image up in your imagination, take a few deep breaths, relax, soften, run through your 5 senses and then consider 3 things that you are grateful for. Et Voila – you will be back in your centre – back in the middle ground. The more we do that, the more fertile that middle ground will become and the easier it will be to go there.
The grass is not greener on the other side, its greener where you water it.
Thank you to all my valued friends, clients, colleagues and readers of my ramblings, for being such a vital and cherished part of my life. You are my teachers and my green grass.