Stepping Into 2016
In my mind, we have several points leading us into a new year, the end of our calendar year not being one of the most potent energetically, but more of a marking of time for more mundane and fiscal purposes.
So here we are about to cross the calendar threshold into 2016.
The winter solstice, the honoring of the dark and celebration of the return of the light, is really that point, astrologically, where I feel most compelled to set my intentions for the new year. It is that point where we have reached the pinnacle of darkness and now can plant our seeds of intention so that they may grow along with the light for the next six months. It is also the time that the sun moves into the driven and motivated sign of Capricorn, ruler of Saturn, that urges us to do the practical work and get things done, taking action steps that celebrate the return of the light and the effort that must be put in to ensure growth, just as society tells us it's time to take a break.
The sun in Aries is actually the beginning of our zodiac cycle, but that doesn't happen until March 21st, the spring equinox. Aries is a fire sign and symbolizes action, motivation and being first. In the Northern hemisphere the time of Aries is the time that the first of the tender green shoots begin to push through the earth and we begin see the results of what's been happening below the surface through the dark months, and this is what I associate Aries energy with.
So now that we moving forward steadily through sun in Capricorn and the light is growing steadily toward spring equinox (sun into the first sign of Aries) and summer solstice (sun into Cancer), what are the predominant energies of 2016 we may want to take into account?
1. The moon is in Virgo, on now until the wee hours of the morning of January 1st; use this productive planning and analytical energy NOW to get a handle on any end of the year wrap up, intention setting, 2016 planning, or first of the year to-do's - next week is going to be characterized by a lot of planetary activity and will be much less predictable and probably less productive.
2. The year kicks off with a lot of planetary activity, so get things in place as much as possible before the first of January and get ready to ride out the eclectic nature of the first week of January with grace. On January 3rd, Mars moves into Scorpio, where it will be for the better part of 2016. This is strong action energy in the sign of transformation. On January 5th, Mercury begins its first retrograde of the year, signifying the reviewing or reevaluating of thinking and communications. On January 8th, Jupiter turns retrograde, indicating a period of reevaluating philosophies and beliefs and turning inward for answers. The activity with these three planets mean that all three energies will be heightened this week. That means we will have the fiery, passionate energy of Mars, the quickness and sometimes instability of Mercury and the optimistic but expansive energy of Jupiter. Remember that these energies are just energies, and it is up to us as to whether they are expressing more positively or negatively. The passionate energy of Mars can express as channeled energy to accomplish something or it can turn into arguing. Mercury can be quickness of mind, but Mercury is also known as the "trickster". Jupiter can signify desired growth, protection and luck but also overdoing it, as in expansion of the waistline or being larger than life or even "too big for your britches".
3. I'm using three main astrological themes to characterize 2016 - a) Mars in Scorpio (and Sagittarius), b) the Saturn-Neptune square, and c) the eclipses - one on the Aries/Libra axis, a throwback to the lunar tetrad of 2014 and 2015 involving self versus relationships and three that will be on the Virgo/Pisces axis. I will be expanding more on these but simply put, we have a) driving, passionate, motivational energy lighting up and activating the territory that Saturn covered starting in late 2012, bringing action to that area. It's the area of deep psychological work and death/rebirth that signifies a Phoenix transformation AND it relates to power, sex and intimacy and shared resources/other peoples' money. Mars is the energy of action that must be channeled consciously lest it turn into arguments and fighting. It is the energy of creation, but also destruction. The energy is one and the same it only depends on how it is used. Just as you wouldn't turn your back on a fire, stay conscious of Mars, especially while he is strengthened in his home turf of Scorpio. b) The Saturn-Neptune square is that push to hold your visions consciously as you create the action steps to bring them into reality. It will push and test you. You can read more about this energy here. c) The eclipses. You can read more on the Aries/Libra lunar tetrad from 2014/2015 here. The other three eclipses are on the Virgo/Pisces axis which is the mundane versus the spiritual, the detailed versus the broad, and reality versus fantasy.
This reality versus fantasy theme of three out of the four 2016 eclipses plays right into the territory the Saturn-Neptune square is digging up of teaching you how to make your visions real. All the while, Mars will be actioning that territory Saturn churned through starting in late 2012. What did you learn between late 2012 and September 2015 that you are now taking action on? Saturn is now in Sagittarius, where it takes the knowledge from his stint in Scorpio and uses it to create new ideals and take aim. Mars is now supplying the motivation and energy to take action. The Saturn-Neptune square is saying make the dream real. And the eclipses will be supporting that by teaching you lessons on micro versus macro, fantasy versus reality, the mundane versus the spiritual and asking you to balance those and integrate the two into something that works in your life. And one eclipse will be a reminder about how you are valuing yourself and how you are foundationing your relationships. Mercury in retrograde and Jupiter in retrograde starting this first week of January are a great kickoff to the whole scenario, as Mercury retrograde will allow you a chance to reevaluate your thinking patterns and communications and Jupiter retrograde will encourage you to turn inward, reevaluate beliefs and trust your inner guidance.
In 2016, we are being led to trust our inner guidance and align our beliefs, philosophies, thinking and communications to support the new inner selves that we uncovered between 2012 and 2015. We are being led to step fully into our new selves and value ourselves so that we have a strong inner foundation as we move into making our dreams real.
noun be·lief \bə-ˈlēf\
Full Definition of belief:
Beliefs are those concepts, those ways of understanding the world around us, that directly affect our experience of life. A belief or a tenet is not something that can be scientifically or mathematically proven as a truth, as conforming with fact, but rather it is something we have accepted as truth or chosen to uphold as a truth. We have chosen to believe, whether the choice was conscious or unconscious.
Beliefs also form the powerful foundations of our thought patterns and emotions, which shape the way we experience our world. Do you feel the world is a scary place or a friendly place? Do you feel that you are always taken care of or that you can never get what you want? These ways of thinking are rooted in belief and will directly affect how you experience the world.
I have a set of beliefs that I choose to uphold in my life and in my work. These beliefs are why I have chosen to help others free themselves and learn to consciously create their own lives.
I believe that the power lies within us all to consciously create the world we want to experience and through increasing awareness and consciousness we can access that power - we just need to believe in ourselves. We need to believe in the magic that lies within each one of us.
Consciously Creating Your Christmas
There is a full moon in Cancer this Christmas and at the same time, Uranus is turning direct. Key words are: feelings, intensity and unexpected. I could easily also title this post "Managing the Mine Field of the Full Moon at Christmas", but I wanted to take a more positive approach. And maybe its not quite a mine field. But depending on your relationship to those you will be spending time with this holiday, this full moon could prove intense.
The full moon will be in Cancer, and Cancer is about nurturing, but whether you are soaking up nurturing, doing the nurturing, or being given an opportunity to forgive others and learn to nurture yourself will depend entirely on your situation.
When we have a full moon, the sun and moon are opposite each other and the sun is shining its light onto the moon. Because the moon is in the sign it rules, its energies are strengthened. The moon represents our subconscious, the Mother, and our emotional reactions. Cancer is about home, family, nurturing and childhood experiences. In regards to karma, the moon represents the past and the sun the present. When the sun shines his light on the moon, the light of consciousness is illuminating what lies beneath in the subconscious. With a full moon in Cancer, we may experience the rewards of personal work done around healing our past and taking responsibility for our emotional reactions and nurturing ourselves, or we may be shown where work still needs to be done.
Our emotional reactions come from our past. I'm not talking about feelings in a general sense, I'm speaking here of reactions. The intense ones. When someone or something really affects you. There would be no reaction if there wasn't something inside of you, no matter how deep, no matter how unconscious you may be of it, for it to trigger. Since a lot of these are connected to our younger developmental years, who better than close family to activate these triggers?
The intensity of the full moon energy is being combined with the emotional depths of Cancer, just in time for you to sit down at the dinner table with the whole family. If that wasn't enough, also on Friday, Uranus, planet of the unexpected, sudden change, and upheaval, is moving direct in the impulsive sign of Aries. Easy does it!
This is a Christmas to take space, give space, and dig deep for forgiveness, compassion, and understanding. Slow your roll. Use the 90 second rule. Visualize your ideal desired outcome instead of focusing on what has happened in the past or worrying what might transpire. What are your intentions for the day? Be proactive by being in tune with your needs and your boundaries and being responsible for yourself while practicing kindness and understanding with others. If you need to (politely) excuse yourself, do it, but at the same time use the opportunity to understand the underlying factors of any emotional reactions (what is being triggered inside of you) and what you need to do to nurture yourself and take emotional responsibility for yourself without blaming others.
Focus on nurturing, in whatever form it may be presenting for you. Whether you are giving it, receiving it, or learning about nurturing yourself, you can have gratitude for all of it and let your experience be what it is without attaching to it. With every day, every moment, every breath, we are given the opportunity to start anew, to create a new reality for ourselves and to experience life differently. This one is no different.
Consciously create your Christmas!
There are times for all of us when we become overwhelmed with emotion. Something happens and suddenly we are overcome by anger, sadness, grief, fear, hurt or whatever emotion the incident unleashed.
In counseling this is referred to as being "triggered". It refers to something in a person's environment that causes them to react in a highly emotionalized way. When triggered, the person is highly emotionalized because they are responding to a trauma from the past (that the present event has "triggered"). Typically this results in the emotional reaction seeming greater than the present event may warrant, and many times the person having the emotional reaction is not conscious of what is being triggered, or why they are having such an intense reaction. It can take a lot of personal work to understand these reactions and learn to prevent them.
Physically, when the body finds itself in a "threatening" situation, it releases cortisol. The sympathetic nervous system is triggered, whether the situation be real danger or an emotional memory, and it releases stress hormones to prepare us to deal with the threat. The stress hormones take 90 SECONDS to move through our system. Thoughts can trigger the release of stress hormones. (You can watch the entire TED Talk by Jill Bolte Taylor, the brain researcher that studied her own stroke as it happened and wrote the book My Stroke of Insight, that explains more about the brain and the "90 Second Rule", here.)
So how can the 90 Second Rule help you? When you find yourself triggered and highly emotionalized, stop and breathe and know that the body's chemical reaction takes a minute and a half to pass. After that, you get to choose your experience. Since thoughts can trigger this physical reaction, you can stay in the thinking that triggers it, or you can choose to change your thoughts. You can choose to focus on the ideal outcome. You can choose to visualize what you would like to experience. You can choose to consciously create happy, joyful, loving, trusting, positive, optimistic, confident and successful. You can consciously create your life.
We've passed the winter solstice, as the sun moved into Capricorn yesterday, and with it comes the first day of winter and the return of the light.
This is the time that we can tune in and set intentions for what we desire in the coming year, but especially in the next six months. What seeds do you want to plant now that will grow with the light as we move towards the summer solstice? What do you want to see grow in your life? What do you want to feel? Sit with these questions and see what comes to the surface.
Now make a list of the action steps you can take to achieve these goals and desires. The sun is now shining in Capricorn, the sign ruled by Saturn and represented by the goat. Saturn (now in Sagittarius) is also in the process of making three exact squares to Neptune (in Pisces), which won't complete until toward the end of 2016. The first of these occurred at the end of November, and may have given you a glimmer into your visions for a new way of being in the world.
The Saturn-Neptune square is asking us to make our dreams reality. Neptune puts us in touch with our intuition, our dreams, and visions. Saturn is asking us to do the work and take the action steps to ground our dreams, goals and desires into reality.
Now with the sun shining in Saturn's sign of Capricorn, bringing the light of consciousness to the characteristics of diligence, responsibility and persistence, we plant our seeds and move into the necessary work to nurture and grow them into reality. The Saturn-Neptune square will be running in the background helping us to remember to keep our ideals and dreams - the goals we aspire to - at the forefront of our minds as we envision our new reality, while we take the necessary action steps and do the work to give birth to it.
Think of a mountain goat, the symbol of Capricorn, climbing a mountain. He aspires to the top, but he moves toward his goal steadily, step by step. He must ensure that each step has sure footing, a stable foundation, before he takes the next. He may run into an area along the way that is impassible, and therefore he must find a new route. He makes his way to the top step by step, slowly, surely, steadily and deliberately.
As you set your intentions and goals and now move into action to bring them into being, remember the mountain goat. Let the energy of the sun in Capricorn remind you of the practicalities of grounding your biggest dreams into reality and carry you to the top of that beautiful peak.
If there has ever been a time to consciously create your life, it is NOW!
The moon is new in Sagittarius. Sagittarius is a fire sign – the element of fire expresses an energizing life principle, which manifests as enthusiasm, faith, encouragement and the drive to express oneself. Think: confidence, initiative, and enthusiasm. Sagittarius is about aspirations toward an ideal, aptly represented by the archer. The new moon is an energetic portal for a new beginning.
What do I mean by consciously creating your life? We are powerful creators. We are always creating, whether we are conscious of it or not. If we are unconsciously creating, then our minds are creating from the beliefs and thought patterns of which we remain unaware. We are still attracting life experiences to us every moment of every day, we just remain passive in the process. If we are consciously creating, however, we have chosen to become aware of what beliefs are feeding our thoughts and emotions, what patterns we carry, and we have delved into what we truly desire in life and decided to be an active participant in making the necessary changes within ourselves to make those desires a reality.
At this moment, we can harness the new moon’s fresh reset vibe along with the Sagittarian enthusiasm, faith, and initiative, to take calculated aim at a new ideal for our lives – a new way of living – a new way of being in the world. Saturn is also in Sagittarius so this new moon is indeed touched by those energies, but it doesn’t have to be all limitations and restrictions. Saturn’s energy, when properly integrated, serves to make things real. So you have an aim, an ideal, a desire for the way you want to experience life…what do you need to do in the here and now, in quantifiable and measureable terms, to make it a reality? That’s what Saturn wants to know. He doesn’t have to be pissing all over your idealistic Sagittarian fire.
And running in the background all the way through 2016 will be the energy of the Saturn-Neptune square. This aspect is going to be churning away behind the scenes for a while, so we need to get used to working with it. Neptune in its sympathetic sign of Pisces is at its best putting us in touch with our intuition and our biggest dreams. At its worst it is fantasy, delusion, escapism and addiction. You must work it and not allow it to work you. Neptune says: “live the ideal to make it real,” and this whole configuration with Saturn is really bringing that idea home. Harness the potency of aligning with your true inner self and higher guidance and discovering what really sets your heart on fire. Saturn in Sagittarius is making your ideals a reality. These two planets are in a challenging aspect to each other (the square; or in other words they are making a ninety degree angle to one another so the energies are intersecting). This is asking you how you can meet the challenge of making your dreams a reality. The square tends to force growth. The message is: aspire to your ideals but ground them with a realistic plan and manageable, measured action steps, and then be ready to adjust and problem solve along the way.
And this new moon is just the time to really assess what sets your heart on fire. What do you want to experience in life? What are your most cherished dreams, ideals, philosophies? Finding the ones that are aligned with your most authentic self is the cornerstone to success in manifesting them. In order to do this, many times we have to dig down through layers of “shoulds”, limiting beliefs and fears. With this in mind, just in time for intention-setting with this new moon, I’m including here guidance on aligning with your most authentic desires.
A goal based on what someone else thinks you should do, or created out of a sense of obligation, whether it be for money or other reasons, does not have nearly the same power as a goal that is honoring your truest expression in the world.
A successful goal will be one that fills you with energy and will have a “why” behind it that truly moves you emotionally. Emotions create the vibrations off of which the Law of Attraction works. In order to successfully engage the Law of Attraction, you must be emotionally connected to your goal, and those emotions need to be aligned with what you want to attract. Your beliefs create your thoughts, which in turn create your emotions, so you also need to “clear the fear” by clearing out any limiting beliefs running beneath the surface of consciousness that would be in conflict with, and therefore block, what you are trying to create.
To unearth and clarify your most authentic intentions and goals:
Now compare the three exercises and notice the repeating themes or correlations. These are your core desires and feelings – the things you most want to create in life and the feelings you most want to experience. You can now use them as your road map, setting intentions and goals and creating action steps around them thereby consciously creating your life.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” ~Henry David Thoreau
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As an ambassador for Consciously Creating Life, Kasey serves as an advocate of the magic that exists in this life and in each and every one of us. She is a champion of the journey to access our own powerful magic by returning home to ourselves and reclaiming the thrones of our hearts as sovereign rulers of our realms, through practicing the Art of Consciously Creating Life.
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