“We have all heard people describe other people, in a derogatory way, as being ‘full of imagination.’ The fact is that if you are not full of imagination, you are not very sane.” 
–Buckminster Fuller

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Real Imaginal Astrology Newsletter

Vol. 5, Issue# 1 – April 2019

Dear Ones,
May my message find you afloat as we make our way out of a very dreamy, confusing and somewhat re-orienting Mercury retrograde (Feb. 19 – Apr. 16) that may have cast our plans to the Mystery. It probably won’t be until Mercury reaches Uranus around May 6 that we begin to see the larger pattern that Mystery is currently withholding. 

Below you will find a look at the current astro-weather, as well as a few thoughts on growing with the worldshaping demands of Saturn-Pluto.

I’m excited to announce a series of conversations called Healing Earth in the Real Imaginal, which I recorded with Kirsten Love Lauzon, a facilitator of systemic/family constellation.

And I also share news of a new online offering called Guiding You Through the Real Imaginal! 

As always, I am available for personal consultations to help you make your way through these times, uncovering meaning and cooperating with the movements of Soul and tending to the goals which call out to you.

Read on below and thank you for subscribing!

Healing Earth in the Real Imaginal - Moon, Earth, Large Magellanic Cloud

I’m so excited to introduce Healing Earth in the Real Imaginal, a series of conversations with Kirsten Love Lauzon that explores the topic of relational neuroscience—which is essentially the study of the impact and effect of other people’s presence on our nervous systems, well-being, development and more. And we especially focus in on what these studies reveal about prevention of and healing from personal and collective trauma. We also delve into the interconnection of other topics such as astrology, modern consciousness studies, ecopsychology and systemic/family constellation.

“The deeper that scientists go into looking at the nervous system in relationship, the more we understand how humans are built for relationship. Every nerve is designed to be in connection with another human and these ways of being in resonance, being in attunement, having accompaniment, this is what we were designed for.” —Kirsten Lauzon

We have released two parts of our conversation so far, which you can find and subscribe to us via YouTube, iTunes (Apple Podcasts), Spotify, Google Play or via Alexa’s AnyPod command! RSS feed is also available at this link.


Saturn! Uranus! Pluto! Oh my!

The year 2019 looks set to offer the world regular pulses of energy in the 2018–2021 birthing process of Saturn-Pluto, and warrior Mars’ recent trip through Aries (Jan. 1 – Feb. 14) marked a sort of kickoff to the tricksterish Uranus square Saturn-Pluto story. The Uranus square Saturn-Pluto combination promises to highlight the difficulties surrounding liberation, the chasm that falls between the idea of freedom and the immense responsibility of actual freedom, and the limits of technological cleverness in addressing fundamental civilizational problems.

There will likely be echoes back to the 2007–2012 Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-square formation which correlated to an economic crisis. Economic upheavals strongly correlate to Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-square alignments through history and while we are not currently in a T-square formation, erratic economic scenarios would not be out of place.

Since Saturn and Uranus will continue to square each other from 2021–2023 outside of the direct orb of influence of power-broker Pluto, we will get the most out of our current time period by focusing on questions of “the sources of power.” It is possible to establish or fortify newer sources of power, new networks of cooperation and mutuality, though beware of sentimentality around retaining outdated systems, relations and ideas. Bringing forth the novel, experimental and evolutionary is essential to satisfying Uranus’ Promethean impulse which may otherwise shatter our attempts to hold on to the past.


Note: My method here focuses on outlining key moments with relevance to collective level events, though certainly individuals will be impacted. This is mostly based in the methodology of archetypal astrology.

For personal level transits, you may use these dates and compare with your natal chart to see which of your planets, points and houses are involved.

I’ve tried to list all the stations retrograde and direct for Saturn and Pluto. I’ve identified where Mercury and Mars conjoin, square or oppose Saturn-Pluto, and where Venus conjoins it. When inner planets aspect outer planetary alignments, there can be a triggering effect that produces correlations (events) related to the outer planetary alignment.

April 23, 2019: Saturn stations retrograde at 20° Capricorn
April 30, 2019: Pluto stations retrograde at 23° Capricorn

April 28 — May 4, 2019: Mercury in Aries squares Saturn-Pluto

June 5 — June 25, 2019: Mars in Cancer, opposite Saturn-Pluto

June 14 — 22, 2019: Mercury conjunct Mars in Cancer, opposite Saturn-Pluto

July 2, 2019: Total solar eclipse at 10°Cancer, wide opposition to Saturn, which is exactly conjunct South Node at 17° Capricorn, as Mercury prepares to station retrograde opposite Saturn-Pluto

July 7 — July 31, 2019: Mercury retrograde (4°Leo — 23°Cancer) opposite Saturn-Pluto, while conjunct Mars and square Uranus

October 16 — November 9, 2019: Mars in Libra square Saturn-Pluto

December 9 — 14, 2019: Venus in Capricorn conjunct Saturn-Pluto

January 6 — 14, 2020: Saturn conjunct Pluto at 22°Capricorn
NB: The only exact conjunction of this cycle

January 6, 2020: Saturn square Uranus within 10° of exactitude (until November 2023)

Saturn-Pluto periods of time, such as our present alignment from 2018 through 2021, can represent a transformation (Pluto) of the status quo or the existing state of affairs (Saturn). At the same time, it also represents the empowerment (Pluto) of that which would either regress or hold back changes (Saturn), and that seems to be a pretty strong correlation throughout history because of the fear that can accompany these two.

Saturn is fear and Pluto can take that fear to the level of demonic possession—whether the “demonic” is experienced as something inside of a person or a group, or as something outside of a person or a group. Such depths of fear often arise during times of major uncertainty or transition, when the way forward isn’t clear—and so there can be a tendency to resist change, to try to hold onto the past even to the point of becoming tyrannical.

And yet with a devotion to the process of becoming conscious—which can be as filled with discomfort as with the joy of liberation—the power of Saturn-Pluto can express as a renewal of the community of life, and a deeper or larger sense (Pluto) of collective belonging (Saturn).

This is not guaranteed – it does require devotion and a kind of spiritual discipline, which is why I think we’re seeing a lot of kids having to grow up fast (Parkland Florida youth, School Strike for Climate, etc), even as the adults around them regress into the most unintegrated expressions of this archetypal complex.

Read more about ways of working with the current alignment here: Growing with Saturn-Pluto

And here are some additional reflections on beautiful Saturn-Pluto movements of the human Soul which were mostly drowned out in the aftermath of 9/11/2001 attacks in the USA: September 11: Saturn-Pluto and the Birth of Hope

I am happy to share a new venture called Guiding You Through the Real Imaginal ~ live via Zoom videoconferencing!  I’ve been guiding group explorations of the imaginal realm for about five years . . . . and now I am offering them online!  A 25-minute meditative journey guides you into your own imagery in collaboration with the Knowing Field, which is our shared field of consciousness and experience.

The next one will be on Wed., April 17 at 6:00pm US/Pacific. Follow this link to register. This journey center on the second Libra Full Moon of 2019 which occurs the following day. What is it to be selfish? What is it to be of service? We can have more or less integrated images of the self and of other, and I will lead us in a meditation to connect with our personal imagery of Self and Other. The inquiry is open-ended so that you can gain insight into your health and well-being with regards to this core exchange and direction of energy.

Follow this link to register and also be eligible for a bonus 15-minute mini-reading to one person drawn at random from all live attendees!

You can undertake past explorations via recordings uploaded to YouTube: Guiding You Through the Real Imaginal.

“Elderhood, Grief and Mystery”

In another Saturn-Pluto tidbit, I’ve listened to hours and hours of interviews with Stephen Jenkinson and this one is a stand-out worth sharing, at this link: Elderhood, Grief and Mystery.

For those who don’t know, Stephen Jenkinson is a Canadian threshold walker, culture activist and artist of the word, one of the most careful sculptors of language I have lately come across.

Jenkinson has been face to face with death and dying a good many years in “the death trade” as he refers to hospice work, and he has allowed those experiences to shape him. Being with his mode of expression, which was largely invented by his time in the heart of hell and not-knowing, could support a better understanding of what Saturn-Pluto is asking of us…particularly concerning the utter hostility to difference that characterizes modern civilization. And while Jenkinson does not explicitly honor the oppression and fear which are behind older social conventions around meeting the stranger, his points are nonetheless worth considering.

Especially as I realized that the universe he inhabits is radically relational. And this is why I can be so challenged by some of his ideas and views—not only that I feel like he overemphasizes the importance of Saturn, but that his radical inclusion of the Moon (viz. next section) actually irritates the dominant culture that still lives within me. Jenkinson does not wish to inhabit an impoverishing world of transactions, but the living plenitude of relationships.

For example, in the discussion of elderhood I have linked above, he states that I should not expect an elder to act or to be the way I (the younger) want them to be. Upon reflection, I think he states this because I am not purchasing something from the elder. Elders don’t exist solely to fulfill my wants. Or even my needs. That would be the world of transactions, which is the world of the dominant culture that has driven us into exile from Soul and from our belonging in Earth Community.  Rather, in Jenkinson’s view, we exist together by relationship.

A relationship entails work, as any of us who have intentionally undertaken that effort knows. It asks much of each party to it, not being a one-sided affair at all…not an easy matter of singular, self-substantiating identity (all Sun), nor of an identity defined by everything or everyone else who shines upon it (all Moon).

The Moon

Much as Jenkinson tries to explain how the making of elders is not formulaic but that they are rather formed by the times in which they live, planetary archetypes do not exist in isolation from human cultures. Let’s use this quote as a simple foil for our reflection:

“While the sun strives for differentiation, the moon strives for relationship and merging of identity. The sun eschews personal relationships in favour of developing the independent ego; the moon eschews identity in favour of relationships…” —Liz Greene, Relating (p. 34)

This formulation reveals some cultural notions of what it means to be individual and what it means to be in relationship. Granted, the author is trying to contrast the two luminaries of the Sun and the Moon, to identify what makes them different and she is not inaccurate. Yet it betrays some assumptions about the body, emotions and relationships (all the province of the Moon). We could say that the archetype of the Moon reflects identifying with the whole, which seems to submerge one’s identity but the riddle is: there is no “whole” to speak of without its constituent parts.

Unfortunately, the deeply interrelated nature of our existence does not inform the values of industrialized cultures—a sense of personal integrity and a sense of integrity with the whole of life or society is often portrayed as somehow being at odds. Perhaps the notion of ownership of other beings—that the modern world proposes to “own” other beings—is part of why the Moon can be seen in this light. Any sort of dependency thus equates obedience, being subservient, being an extension of another person’s will and so the identity of one’s belonging to a greater whole becomes mediated by another person—the spouse, the owner, the master.

If we chose to break that mold of what dependency implies—the idea that to receive from and give to another is a point of weakness and powerlessness—then why should we figure that relationship and individuality are at odds? Sure, relationships will change us, draw different parts of us out, add new dimensions to our lives—but they seem more like something which also develops identity.

This is where relationship and merging with another is understood not as a loss, but as the potential birth of something new entirely! We’re not going to become someone else or take on their identity; we’re called to shed inauthentic ways of being and become more ourselves, who we most authentically are because of relationships, not in spite of them. In this way, intentionally entwining our lives with others could be a collaboration, a group effort, a call to cultivate belonging.

This might mean taking less for granted and noticing what is in the background. For example, at the most basic level, even the most inattentive and self-absorbed person requires the labor and participation of countless (and often invisible) people in their everyday life to supply basic necessities as food, housing, transportation and so on. Without that supporting matrix of relationships, there is no individual. Such is the ubiquity—the pervasive presence of the archetype of the Moon in our lives. Such is the give and take of the Moon; the capacity to receive and the capacity to offer, or as the astrologer Sue Tompkins puts it, “in psychological terms, the Moon is largely about the mirroring and reflecting…that occurs [back and forth] between people” in relationship (The Contemporary Astrologer’s Handbook, p. 86).

It may be that we are currently being birthed by the Moon to which we are giving birth, in an eternal cycle of creative participation between the mystery of nature and the wonder of human culture. This lunar layer of our particular planet-time may well describe the pivot point that is launching the industrialized human into an entirely new mode of being.

Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With me as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life.
Get in touch at erica@realimaginal.com or book directly via this link.

“Safety is not the absence of threat… it is the presence of connection.”
–Gabor Maté

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