Spiritual awakening – a topic I absolutely love creating resources for. In this video I talk about the Hermit/Retreat phase of spiritual awakening, the Judgement phase, how the two phases relate to each other, and when it’s time to move beyond these to more mature phases of the spiritual awakening process.
In this video I talk about the rather esoteric and obscure-sounding aspect in astrology called the “quincunx” or “inconjunct.” I explain why it isn’t a so-called “minor aspect”, and how the natural 150 degree relationship between Aries and Virgo helps us to decode its meaning and function in the psyche.
I share two real-life examples of the quincunx or inconjunct in action from my counseling work with clients. Some food for thought on why the quincunx is absolutely worth paying attention to, especially if the quincunx aspect is between two planets that represent critical psychological functions.
Some time ago, a friend reached out to me for a listening ear. He spoke of how misunderstood he felt as his worldview changed – he was undergoing a spiritual awakening. He began to voraciously read new literature, he found new friends who were exploring the same spiritual and political ideas he was, and much to the chagrin of his family, he felt increasingly alienated from his devoutly religious upbringing. I noticed how strikingly different he looked from the last time I saw him – it was as though his body morphed into a new one, mimicking his inner journey as his mind mutated to accommodate new philosophies and conceptions of reality.
(I should point out that this is quite typical of a spiritual awakening. Inner energetic shifts often result in striking physical/outward changes. New thought forms alter the frequency we broadcast, and because we are, as humans, bio-energetic beings, these new thought forms give new commands to our biological/physical systems. If you are going through an awakening process at the moment, you may find want to check out this page for some support).
Naturally, the first thing I did was ask him for his birth data. I cast his natal chart with his current transits, and there it was: transiting Pluto in Capricorn was closing in on an exact conjunction with his Ascendant, and was opposing his Cancer Mercury. And as if the action of transiting Pluto wasn’t enough, transiting Uranus was also closing in on an exact conjunction with his Aries I.C, and squaring his Moon. Big stuff.
So, for fun, I decided to have a look at Jamaica’s astrological chart – cast for August 6, 1962 (12 p.m.) when we became an independent nation, and separated from Britain. What a fitting time for nation-building it was, with Saturn in Aquarius, right there on the IC. We were forming/crystallizing (Saturn) a new collective identity (Aquarius), a new nation (IC – 4th house). There’s a reason why both Saturn and Uranus rule Aquarius. Aquarius reforms and changes a system (its Uranian side), but it also builds (Saturn) a new more progressive collective structure. In this case, we were throwing off colonial rule (Uranus), and building a nation (Saturn-IC) founded on new values.
Jamaica has its Sun at 13 degrees Leo, right up there on the Midheaven with Mercury and the North Node also in Leo. What is Jamaica known for? Our performance and our creativity (Leo) – whether that performance or showmanship is in sports, or music. With the Sun right on the Leo MC, this is what we contribute to the world. We gift the world with our creative self-expression. Leo/Sun on the MC also reinforces how, for such a small country, our public image and the extent to which we are globally recognised are so strong! North Node in Leo conjunct our MC lets us know as Jamaicans that our highest path and destiny, the highest expression of our collective soul is the contribution of our creativity to the wider global collective.
I was saying to my email list recently that it really makes me sad when a client gets in touch with me to say they’d like to come for an astrological counseling session…but then, they don’t have an accurate birth time. I think of all the potent therapeutic insight we can get by having their chart on hand, and then my heart sinks.
“Can I come for a session? I don’t know my birth time though.” (“No you may not, and I’m actually really sad about that.”). Like any other conscientious astrologer, I insist that a client have an accurate birth time, and will ask someone to make every effort to find out their time of birth before they book a session.
When my professional astrologer colleague and fellow astro-nerd internet friend, Wayman Stewart, emailed me recently, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to co-opt him for the purposes of helping people understand more about this notion of the birth time, and what astrological remedies are available if the birth time is uncertain. (I do have a selfish agenda though. Whenever anyone explains that they don’t have an accurate birth time but would like to come for a session, I plan to just send them a link to this interview. Wink, wink).
A few years ago I went out to a trendy new night spot with some friends. The nice thing about this new spot was that there were tables outdoors. Feeling the balmy Caribbean night air while sipping on a couple of drinks was a welcome change to the usual stuffy, air-conditioned room.
As my friends chatted away, I noticed myself zoning out, increasingly drawn to the light of a star overhead. I took out my Blackberry (remember those?) and checked: it was Jupiter, visible in the night sky.
I nudged my friend, “Hey, look up! There’s Jupiter!”
“Oh, okay”, he shrugged. He went back to his drink, fixed on the straw as he spun the ice in the glass.
That was it.
Recently I had a client whose Saturn return in Sagittarius had occurred within the last 18 months. Predictably, this had much to do with what she was experiencing, and the specific choices she was facing.
So I brought it up, explaining the nature of the developmental tasks that her Saturn return – in the 4th house, and passing over her Mars and Uranus – was bringing into the foreground.
I saw the recognition on her face (indeed, she had heard of the dreaded “Saturn return” before). Her eyes widened: “Oh my god! I missed my Saturn return!”
THE NATAL CHART: SYMBOL OF ENERGY ATTUNEMENT + SOUL AGENDA
The astrological chart is a map, a symbolic diagram of our energetic and psychological attunement. But the astrological natal chart is more than that: it is a cosmic statement, a cosmic manifesto, of the evolutionary and developmental tasks we have assigned ourselves in the lifetime we are currently living.
Challenging aspects between, say, the Moon and Pluto may very well signal that one of our evolutionary tasks is to learn how to release and purge the emotional resentment originating from a difficult and complex relationship with our mother figure. We may very well challenge ourselves by partaking in outer events, situations and lessons that provide an impetus for us to experience and then release our resentment and wounded feelings. Challenging aspects between the Moon and Saturn in our astrological natal chart may indicate that part of our curriculum of evolution is to experience and transcend feelings (Moon) of inadequacy (Saturn).
Similarly, aspects between the Sun and Pluto may indicate that one of our evolutionary tasks – from the perspective of our souls – is to learn how to claim our power, to learn what being (Sun) powerful (Pluto) actually is. We may, in this instance, with a significant Sun-Pluto aspect, have assigned ourselves the evolutionary task of understanding that true power is always something that we radiate from within – in true solar fashion, not something coming from without.
In the physical external world, we may therefore elect to experience situations and events that allow us to demonstrate to ourselves the correct application of power. Or we may find ourselves in a disempowering external situation in order to learn how to reach for inner resources and inner power (Sun-Pluto). Part of our central aims and purposes (Sun) of the lifetime we are living may be to help others to access their own inner power (Sun-Pluto).
Here is a summary of the essential differences between more traditional [Tarot] readings, and therapeutic intuitive counseling – the latter being the type of counseling I practice (and advocate!). These guidelines are not limited to intuitive work with Tarot, but are generally applicable to all sorts of intuitive work, such as astrology.
The lunar symbols on the High Priestess’s crown and at her feet reflect an ancient association with the moon and psychic receptivity. By psychic, I refer not only to abilities such as ESP and clairvoyance. Psychic means “of the soul.”
The High Priestess is the quintessential archetype pointing us in the direction of the soul. Her knowledge comes not so much from her clairvoyant extra-sensory ability, as it comes from her deeper understanding of the fundamental laws of life – the type of knowledge held within our soul consciousness.
The High Priestess sits at the gateway to the soul – she is the presence within us that knows our reasons for coming into a human body, she is the presence within us that knows the specific things we have come to accomplish, she is the presence within us that is fully aware of our other lifetimes and dimensional connections. She has within her possession a draft of our Life Plan – the life plan carefully crafted by our souls – not our incarnating personalities.
The High Priestess as an archetype embodies the understanding that it is the soul that has the answers we seek. She embodies a curious paradox of the human experience: we each have the answers that we seek within us, but we also stand guard, preventing access to these answers. The conscious mind stands guard as it firmly situates our awareness in our present, physical, time-space reality. The conscious mind is the mechanism that keeps us occupied here, while our super-conscious mind and soul stand quiet behind the scenes, situated in other dimensional realities.
Truly therapeutic work carried out within the archetypal framework of the High Priestess is based on the following premises: i) the person seeking therapy has their own High Priestess within them, and therefore has the answers, ii) because the person seeking therapy has the answers within them, they are their own healers, iii) all therapeutic interventions therefore amount to self-healing whether or not a facilitator guides this process, iv) for therapy to be effective – the High Priestess must let us pass her veil, even just a little – we must reach for insights that lie beneath the surface, somewhere below the conscious mind. We must access deeper levels of perception that lie beyond our normal, waking consciousness or usual ways of thinking about an event, or situation. We must cross the bridge between conscious and unconscious.