Celestial dancer, Devata. Sculpture. Central India, mid-11th century

Please check out a gift I am offering every other week!

An online event called: Guiding You Through the Real Imaginal, where we will spend 20 – 25 minutes in a meditative exploration. The first (available as a video here) was with Venus in Capricorn. I’ve been guiding group explorations of the imaginal realm for about five years . . . and I am thrilled to now be hosting them online! AND as a BONUS, I am offering a FREE 15-minute mini-reading to one person drawn at random from all live attendees!

Aquarius New Moon: Talk is cheap

We’ve just passed this year’s New Moon in Aquarius, which together with war god Mars squaring compulsive Pluto and also conjoining defiant Uranus, could have brought a flaring forth of self-righteousness. And not that we wouldn’t have a very important point to make, it’s just that…talk is cheap. Aquarius can tune us into our ideals, but can also tune us out to the fact that we’re actually a part of the world we wish to improve. We’re all participating in the mess, for better AND for worse. It’s always a work in progress. That’s not an excuse to avoid confronting social ills—whether those are up close or farther away from us—but it’s worthwhile to take a second look at tactics if championing our ideals and beliefs requires stomping other people down. Exchanging one set of victims for another set of perpetrators keeps us all spinning in never-ending circles of trauma.

Sun sextile Jupiter: Looking for the Good

Fresh from his coniunctio with the Moon, that great integrator of energies the Sun completes a soothing sextile to expansive Jupiter (exact Feb. 7). This aspect lends a helping hand to assimilating whatever emerged from the Feb. 4 meeting of the unconscious—Moon—with the conscious sense of self—Sun. Sun sextile Jupiter looks for the good in people and situations, and if allied to the strong drive of Mars described above, can provide support for our creative projects and endeavors. It’s not only supportive for smoothing out the rough edges, but imagining a different way forward.

Mercury sextile Mars-Uranus: Many paths

Because the mischief maker and chief communicator Mercury is making a supportive sextile with Mars (exact Feb. 7) and Uranus (exact Feb. 9)! We might take stock of our prospects and plans for the next couple of months and inventory our goals in search of flexibility. How many paths could we take to reach our destinations? It’s a good idea to do that while the inspiration is more accessible and before Mercury hits Pisces (Feb. 10) where they will make a retrograde (Mar. 15 – 28) that could challenge our attempts at linear thinking.

Moon in Aries: Wakey, wakey!

The Moon is passing through fiery Aries (Feb. 8 – 10) and conjoining Mars and Uranus just as Mercury makes their sextile, bringing even more attention to this spicy final conjunction of Mars and Uranus in Aries, where they won’t conjoin again until Jan. 2096. This may provide a bit of a trigger for significant events related to: asserting one’s will as never before; our creative pursuits; fighting in the streets (however we may enact that metaphor, literally or not); disentangling ourselves from outdated power structures and institutions; and recognizing that originality in art is non-existent but authenticity is what will strike the motherlode.

Skyline in the Berkeley Oakland Hills Feb. 2019 :: image by Joshua Halpern
image by Joshua Halpern ::: ecocourageous.com

Mercury in Pisces: We protect what we love

And this week we enter a long stretch of watery Piscean mind as Mercury enters Pisces on Feb. 10 and doesn’t leave Pisces until Apr. 16 after completing their upcoming retrograde. This bodes well for summoning the Muse, the genius, the daimon—that odd inner self who is at once “ours” and yet not ours. We could take advantage of this by going out early mornings in search of beauty and making some offering to what draws us to it. The daffodil or the crocus flower, the undying rosemary bush or the bird in the bower. Rise before the sun breaks fully into day and give voice to gratitude, to appreciation and connect with the beauty that reaches out to you, asking for your attention. Notice what—if anything—may happen in response…in the inner world or the outer world. Who awakens when you praise the Sacred Other for its own sake?

The Irish poet John O’Donohue offers us the following perspective on the role of beauty in our times:

“As we are speaking…there are individuals holding out on frontlines, holding the humane tissue alive in areas of ultimate barbarity, where things are visible that the human eye should never see. And they’re able to sustain it because there is, in them, some kind of sense of beauty that knows the horizon that we are really called to in some way. I love Pascal’s phrase, that you should always keep something beautiful in your mind. And…if you can keep some kind of little contour that you can glimpse sideways at, now and again, you can endure great bleakness.”

Erica Jones profile photo, Hot Springs Creek at Esalen

This is just a general outlook on the week. To learn more about how the planets are affecting you personally, book an astrological consultation! And step into the realms of Soul to enlarge the conversation you are having with the worldWith Erica 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. You can also get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS  :::  SAVE THE DATE! I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I are offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat July 28 – August 4, 2019!  Watch this space for more details coming soon!

Traditional Tibetan thangka showing the bhavacakra and six realms of Sa?s?ra in Buddhist cosmology

Sweets amidst the stresses

The weekly astrology outlook of Real Imaginal features the ongoing Venus-Jupiter conjunction (exact Jan. 22), who provides an excellent chance to expand our networks, find like-minded collaborators and explore new ways of celebrating love. The emissary of love, Venus meeting up with the expansive nature of Jupiter offers us an experience of hope, faith in love or an opening of the heart—a welcome burst of generosity and hopefulness that spans the rest of this week. And though Venus-Jupiter is typically a lovely quality, this radiant crown of loving energy may be sitting atop many things which are less than glorious. Saturn, Pluto, Mercury and the Sun have been in Capricorn for the lead up to Venus’ kiss with Jupiter, bringing a sense of heaviness to our thoughts, general outlook and attempts to connect with others on a mental level.

This could spur Venus-Jupiter to a more escapist expression, perhaps by avoiding engaging in the complexity of life and opting instead for judgmental Saturn-Pluto’s strangely feel-good “black-and-white, good-and-evil” perspective on the world. One way to bring the relief, joy and happiness of Venus-Jupiter in a constructive way is to connect with various sweetnesses of this life. For example, we might try setting an intention to connect with someone in a meaningful way, and drop our guard long enough to have a conversation with a stranger or a neighbor we haven’t yet spoken with. Or we might volunteer to help our community in some way.

Deception Basin in the Olympic Mountains, Hafiz poem "Even/ After/ All this time/ The Sun never says to the Earth,/ "You owe me."/ Look/ What happens/ With a love like that,/ It lights the whole sky."
…Venus-Jupiter in the sky… image by Joshua Halpern

Switching it up

Real Imaginal’s weekly astrology outlook also notes communicative Mercury’s stressful square aspect to eccentric Uranus (exact Jan. 23) that may bring a surprise twist to events. If we’ve been more in tune with Venus-Jupiter sweetness, some information bearing the seriousness or gravity of Saturn-Pluto may intrude upon our reveries. On the other hand, if we’ve been absorbed in the traumatizing energetics of Saturn-Pluto, Mercury may bring news of another aspect of life on Earth that is not so gloomy and doom-y. The sense that we are trudging up a seemingly insurmountable mountain of history may be interrupted by an experience of grace.

Is it worth it? Get creative!

Of course, the long and seemingly fruitless battle with history, karma or decaying institutions in part reflects the combative Mars’ square to complicating Saturn in the sky (active roughly Jan. 11 to Jan. 30), which can frustrate our attempts to get ahead. Perseverance is prescribed, and sincere dedication (Saturn) to our efforts (Mars) will force us to review a couple of things: is what we are trying to do worth it? is it something we actually, truly care about? are we able to think creatively about achieving our goals? While the first two are the ultimate filters on how we may choose to direct our energy, this last question could bring a real boon to our mission. Mars makes a supportive trine aspect to resourceful Jupiter (exact Jan. 25), bringing a gift of inspiration to think beyond whatever limitations we may be facing. The obstacles we face now may therefore prove to be great allies in finding a new method, logic, collaborator or iteration of our designs.

Curiosity incoming

Lastly, the mind of Mercury escapes the inertia of the major Capricorn stellium that has dominated the skies since the beginning of January, when they follow the Sun into Aquarius on Jan. 23. The incoming Aquarian influence can help us take a step back from enmeshment in the problematic and be more curious about the world around us. It can also take us a little too far away from emotional realities, so while we cook up the next theory of how-to-set-everything-free (a favorite Aquarian pastime), it’s a good idea to stay in touch with how our theory actually feels in our bodies…and what others may report to us about their lived experiences. It could actually be quite wonderful! Just tune into the total organism.

Erica Jones profile photo, Navarro River redwoods

This is just a general outlook on the week. To learn more about how the planets are affecting you personally, book an astrological consultation! And step into the realms of Soul to enlarge the conversation you are having with the worldWith Erica 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. You can also get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS  :::  SAVE THE DATE! I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I are offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat July 28 – August 4, 2019!  Watch this space for more details!

Sunset, ferries, Ferris wheel, Olympic Mountains from Seattle waterfront

Welcome to the first week of 2019 and the onset of regular contractions in the birthing process of the larger Saturn-Pluto story of 2018–2021. The birth pangs that began in 2017 and quickened in 2018 will be taking greater shape in personal and collective lives. The week has a somewhat somber or leaden beginning with the Sun spotlighting depressive Saturn (exact conjunction Jan. 1), bringing loose ends, insecurities, insufficiencies and a feeling of lack or loss into awareness. Saturn likes to think of himself as The Real Reality™? but can often bring paralyzing distortions through an overly negative or pessimistic outlook. It can be helpful to step back from the way we are framing our “problems” and notice whether the way we think about them creates a dead end where there may in fact be a great way forward. The fresh start of desirous Mars’ recent entry into impulsive Aries (Dec. 31 – Feb. 14) will benefit from having a direction that is informed by a sense of history, responsibility and even duty—both to ourselves and to others. Resist compromising and rather let the internal pressure that builds shape new responses and new perspectives.

The emissary of our thinking mind, Mercury will make a helpful trine to innovating Uranus (exact Jan. 3) as the centering power of the Sun forms a supportive sextile aspect to Dream Maker Neptune (exact Jan. 4). These two influences can bring an assist to any struggle between “the new” and “the old” that may be churning within. These two days offer us a quick liminal or in-between space to waver and tremble in before Mercury enters Capricorn (Jan. 4 – Jan. 23) and turns our thoughts towards the more practical side of life. Dreamers must become doers in these times of mass planetary change and that means not dumping your Soul’s desires and its part in the dream of the Earth for the illusion of safety or control.

Along those lines, trickster Uranus has been quite busy overturning all the apple carts labeled “safety” and “stability” and it is a good use of Uranus’ direct station (Jan. 6) to reflect on how Uranus has transited your chart since entering Aries in May 2010. How has your life been altered according to the topics of the house(s) which Uranus transited, as well as Uranus’ transits to your personal planets? Uranus pushes us towards expression of our unique qualities and gifts—things that no other organism in Earth Community has and which Earth Community needs in order to flourish and creatively respond to the ceaseless motions of life’s unfolding. Whereas most of us have an understandable desire for things to be reliable, predictable, and what-is-known—when this keeps us from blossoming and sharing our nectar with others, Uranus will rattle our cage. Uranus will leave Aries for good this year, and their Jan. 6 station to direct motion may correspond to some validation of the changes it has brought over the last nine years—which can be exciting! and terrifying! and liberating! and all of the above.

Capricorn New Moon 2019 horoscope

Which brings us to the partial eclipse on the Capricorn New Moon of Jan. 5, 2019 at 5:28pm US/Pacific. This is the opening eclipse in the Cancer/Capricorn series which will run through July 2020. Since this New Moon falls at the midpoint of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, we may receive a preview of what Saturn-Pluto holds for the year ahead and it makes a difference whether we identify as a victim of or as an active participant in the upheaval and evolution of our life and times.

This is not to dismiss any real victimization that is happening but more to highlight the importance of holding our own vision of a more beautiful world and acting from that place. And given that we have far less control over much of our circumstances than we would probably like, it makes a difference if we act from the parts of us that do have some choice, some influence, some ability to create in the midst of what can feel like (and may actually be) a fairly despairing situation. The insightful author of the book Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown, composed the following mantras and they are so fitting to the tone of this year: “I am no victim of life; I shape change. We are not victims of circumstance; we shape change.” “I am a microcosm of all the possible justice, liberation, pleasure and honesty in the universe, and I act accordingly.” “I remember that I exist only in relationship to other people and systems.”

Here are some thought-provoking ideas around intentions you might place within this New Moon, to carry into the intensity of Saturn-Pluto’s 2019 landscape and its strange need to change us:
• Bring in other major transits of 2019, Jupiter square Neptune and Saturn sextile Neptune and open to healing our relationship to belief itself.
• Reflect on your desire to be an individual Sun, a shining star (Leo) and how that was impacted by the Leo/Aquarius eclipse cycle. Then reflect on your aspirations to belong to a whole, to the family of life (Cancer) and how your Sun, your shining star can contribute to nourishing the whole (including Self).
• Dream deeply. Go to the source within you. How do you want to live your values and be accountable to yourself, your Dream and your communities?
• How do you want to contribute to the healing and repair of our world? The significance is in your inspired connection to and passion for the task—not in its relative merits or valuation by others or by society.