Embracing the Unexpected
A couple decades ago, I spent a month hiking on the Appalachian Trail. It was a particularly rainy summer after a dry year, so hiking was not so much a walk or climb, but a balancing-act on one stone or tree root after another in an effort to avoid the muckiness or all-out river-ness of the trail. Thus I spent about ten hours a day on the balls of my feet. By the end of the month, I moved along the muddy trails up and down the northern Appalachian mountains as lithe as a deer effortlessly slipping through dense, prickly brush, my ankles and lower legs as strong as they could ever be.
That was one of two surprises about the A.T.
I had planned on "through-hiking" this trail since I was a small, precocious child who stumbled upon an article about the Appalachian Trail. For as long as I could remember, I had assumed this would be a time of solitude and introspection. While there was some of that during the day as I tip-toed solo from rock to root, up and over mountains, and looked alone at mysterious vistas lost in cloud, every evening was a community experience, a party in the woods. There's a group pacing built into the A.T. due to the spacing of the camp spots.
There is much more to this tale, but I'll tell you about my pocket trumpet and rocket stove, the maximalist hiker: Bert the Bavarian, the hiker with the tuba who honked the theme song to the Peanuts cartoons beneath the Appalachian canopy, and the ghost I encountered on the A.T. another time. For now, this much of the story exemplifies three Aquarian themes I encourage you to consider throughout this month:
Ankles and lower legs - that which supports you as you move, and helps you adjust to the shifting terrain of your life.
Surprise - and how you adjust to unforeseen events and circumstances.
Community - and how you balance that with your needs as an individual.
Sun in Aquarius: 1/19/18 - 2/18/18
When the sun travels through the sign of the water-barer, we find ourselves simultaneously in the middle of winter and still near the beginning of the calendar year. This is a time when we're refining our long-range goals, making adjustments in our lives that head us in the general direction of those dreams we committed to around winter solstice. This refinement process requires new ways of looking at ourselves and our lives, and that's when the Aquarian magic happens: a different way of perceiving the parts and the whole changes how we think about how it all fits together, and that's when we get innovation.
Aquarius is future-oriented and community-oriented, so it has a natural correlation with the internet and social media. However, these modern expressions of Aquarius disrupt our experience of community if they take the place of actual in-person encounters. Make an effort to get together with your peeps IRL this month, let others touch your heart as you touch theirs, and see what new insights that might generate for you all.
Herbs for the Aquarius month:
I can think of no better herb for this month than Reishi. Being a mushroom, reishi beautifully embodies the interconnectedness and community aspects of Aquarius. Mushrooms are like the nervous system of the Earth, which is another nice medical astrology-herb correlation. And Reishi is also a nourishing support to the heart, which brings a nice unity to the powerful lunar eclipse in heart-ruled Leo.
A few other herbal suggestions that combine nicely with other astrological factors for this month include Oat Straw (for the Aquarian nerves & Saturnian connective tissues - deep, deep nourishment) and St. John's Wort (for the Aquarian nerves, and for the potent Leo moon - good also if you're recovering from any shocks, surprises, losses, or... puncture wounds, literally or metaphorically).
Saturn in Capricorn: 12/19/17 - 12/16/20
We're still getting our bearings with this important influence that began last month. The sun's transit through Aquarius this month will stimulate big picture perspective and appropriate goal-setting that will help steer this recent paradigm shift in a constructive direction. Read more on that here.
Total Lunar Eclipse Super Full Moon in Leo: 1/31/18 at 5:27 am PST
This is far and above the major celestial event of this month. You're already feeling the effects of this special moon, and its nudges will continue to rearrange and realign your life and being for a few months to come.
This eclipse will be in full visual effect on the west coast between 4:51a and 6:07a. The moon sets shortly after the eclipse ends about an hour later. East coast folks will only catch a smidge of the partial lunar eclipse before the moon sets.
By the time this celestial event occurs, we'll be so in the thick of our efforts, our plans, our work in the world, and our community experience that we just might have forgotten ourselves, our bodies, our hearts, and the deeper longings that led us to all of those outer-world efforts and relationships. This lunar event offers us a return to those inner yearnings, a renewed perspective on why we're making all these efforts with all these myriad people, and perhaps most importantly - how we can enjoy the process more, play within our fields more, and be less attached to particular outcomes.
What do you do with your time, energy and resources?
Why did you initially start doing those things?
Do those same yearnings matter to you now, or has your interest shifted?
Are you working/playing/relating with the right crowd/s?
What is your relationship with surprise?
How do you respond when the Unknown comes a'knockin' at your door?
Wondering what makes this a super full moon and a lunar eclipse?
Partial Solar Eclipse in Aquarius: 2/15/18 at 1:05 pm PST
This is a mild solar eclipse - just a little bit of the moon passing over the edge of the sun. It will look and feel nothing like the light-blotted-out-from-the-sky experience we had this past summer. This is a new moon with a bit of an extra push to let go of the extraneous, and commit more deeply to what matters to you in the big picture.
Let's call this The Big Picture Moon...
In the Big Picture, who matters most in all the people you know?
I hope you've included yourself in that list because - actually - you do matter.
In the Big Picture, what would you most like to do with your time in this body on this earth?
This goes beyond questions of career and path, although those are certainly important parts of your answer.
The Year of the Earth Dog
This moon also begins the year of the Dog in the element of earth in the Chinese system of astrology. This will be a much more stabilizing and building energy after the wild fire years (the hard-driving Rooster in 2017 and the trickster Monkey in 2016) in which things both increased wildly, and were also destroyed abruptly. Although we'll still be working hard, there will be a bit more balance in terms of rest and play. This earth-dog year will give us space to heal after all the recent upheaval and mayhem, and help us choose those people and activities we can be truly loyal to. May this bode well in the political arena, as well as in our lives.
We wrap up winter with the sensitive dream-scape of the Pisces month, in which Jupiter stations retrograde, and Mercury primes itself for its next retrograde (3/22/18 - 4/15/18). In the meantime, feel free to contact me or schedule a consultation or healing session. Here's wishing you a month of heart-opening breakthroughs. Thanks for reading, Rae