We reach the final day of the calendar year with Venus very combust, and a heavily waxing Moon opposite Mercury from the Messenger’s sign as the Sun progresses into the second decan of Capricorn. Our ideas of art and beauty, romance and love, sensuality and pleasure are being put into the furnace, and all that is impure is burned away, leaving only the most authentic materials, those of concrete value, those most precious, that which will last either for aeons or indefinitely. Meanwhile, the thoughts that stream through our heads as the countdown commences and balls are being readied for dropping race and rush like sped up news reel projections on every slick surface, the data reported in all reflections that glint and catch our attention no matter where we look, and perhaps even with our eyes closed we see projections and shadow puppetry under the hoods where our own rolling marbles catch the gleam of neural sparks. A very dynamic year is coming to an end and if we are to construct the the monuments and wonders that our futures require to endure us we must re-assess what we truly want and need, what is actually worth appreciating and take serious stock about what we most genuinely cherish on this earth and begin looking for solutions everywhere.
As 2018 dawns the Moon has made it to her own domain in Cancer, and by 9:30 pm will achieve a glorious fullness in the sky. This is the first notable aspect of the year, the glowing orb vaulting high right off the bat, pouring copious strange milk into the sharp snowscape sparkle. Inspecting the greater configuration the lunation completes we find an interlaced Kite pattern (not the only prominent Kite of 2018): The Moon opposite the Sun on the Cancer-Capricorn axis with the Moon only a few degrees away from and heading toward Sirius, whose prominence in antiquity as Egyptian Sothis held sway over the Gate of Incarnation. From middle decan Cancer Luna is trine to Mars and Jupiter in Scorpio and trine to Neptune in Pisces; The Mars-Jupiter conjunction sextiles both the Sun and more tightly Pluto in Capricorn, as does Neptune, who favors the Sun at eleven degrees. This array brings both a focal release point and a constructive tension to the grand trine. The harmony shared between illusion and fantasy, the philosophy of facing pain and darkness with ultimate intensity sharing energy with the cultivation and protection of nests, of nurturing and incubating, the focal point being the latter, assisted by the intention of monumental construction, building epic safeguards that have no previous historical precedents, cooperating with both the demons we must face and dragons we must slay as well as our combined dreams, nightmares and hallucinations; this appears to be the blossoming of the great fortifications out of the tumult of apocalypse.
It is an accepted practice to take the chart of the first day of the year and analyze it as that years birthchart; this particular chart says a lot about the year to come. The already present issues revolving around both women’s stories, of silence-breakings and of trans rights as well as true racial equality in reality rather than in theory all pop out of the array, as does environmental concerns, and the actual moving forward to make the kinds of shifts necessary, such as the cessation of oil use or the banning of plastics. The situations may be much more similar than it might at first seem; this is a configuration of creating safe space and coming into accord with nurturing and protecting, whether it is our own mothers, the mothers of the future or our collective mother, who we have been poisoning from inside the womb; an unwise evolution, all of the above entail a parasite that kills its host in suicidal excesses.
The fact that this is a Full Moon is significant: the situation is mature, it is happening, it is not in the future or in the past but is now, the time has come, and we cannot look away from it, it fills our imaginations, swells our emotions and flows through our thoughts. This is tears in the eyes, lumps in throats, butterflies in the stomach and fire in the hearts of people worldwide. All agree, the next year must be different from the one that has just ended, and this can not be any longer reversed. All of the placements in this configuration are in second decans, which tend more toward the fixed; the up to our necks with sleeves rolled up period of the process, although the Moon itself as does the Sun it opposes, occur in cardinal signs, and we are just as much in a stage of new initiation. Crossing into the post-patriarchy world is a grade transition, and should be treated with appropriate ritual reverence. Since before Sirius, the brightest star in our sky besides the Sun itself, was associated with Isis, Anubis and the annual rising of the Nile, it had always been associated with sacred deeds, and this should be translated to our current situation. As we take stock of the damage we have done and shed our skins into new forms, even if this requires violent self-severance, we must enter into bodies and minds more prepared to embrace the feminine divine, and consider our environmental and social corrections as acts of religious devotion; only true spiritual connection can render these atrocities impossible, we will stop abusing women and nature itself when such behavior is considered across humanity as defiling the goddess. This is not mass media spirituality which makes meditation a commodity, this is actual everyday animism that scientists and lawmakers must be made to accept; that denying anything in this universe of spirit is a crime. Strict materialism has been a major stumbling block in academia, anthropology and medicine etc., and professional thinkers and researchers themselves being educated animists can no longer be considered an undercurrent; the new paradigm considers that the world is alive, and even our own languages burble up out of our breath with sentience. Legislatures surrounding indigenous lands are beginning to either embrace or made to incorporate this thinking, and computing and programming are starting to realize its potential in progressing beyond binary logics; when 0 1 0 1 0 1 becomes n to infinity, we could be at last ready to reject dualism and the battle between good and evil once and for all, and instead of grayness being the answer to black and white issues, we collectively enter the circle and a much more dynamic reality where chromatic, spectral and prismatic diversity reign.
The Moon achieves fullness in the 8th Mansion which sources call Alnaza, Anatrachya or Nathra, with the heraldry of an eagle whose face is that of a man, and wields the power of victory with the ability to manage, protect and heal with what we win rather than gloat and plunder. Texts speak of family and friendships as well as driving out pests, namely bugs and mice. This combined with Saturn in Capricorn speaks of the irradiation and extermination of vermin that squander resources; the very needed and emotionally charged cleaning out of the nest; the making of a proper place to incubate new ideas of familial fealty with a spirit inhabited ecology, and with both Saturn and the Sun in Capricorn, as well as the current Venus combustion and inauguration of a new cycle for values, we may certainly see the incubation chamber fortified to the degree that it may impress for millennia to come; like St. Augustine’s Castillo de San Marcos whose seashell stones stood strong against siege of British cannon fire. Or, as Bernadette Brady points out, Shah Jahan, who had the Moon in paran with Sirius, and was the Moghul emperor who built the Taj Mahal in honor of his wife.
Mars and Jupiter come together in their part near the scales of the constellation Libra, touching the stars Zuben Elgenubi and Zuben Eschamali. Both of these stars tend toward helping others and social reform, one more personal and one more professional. That this is specifically the possibility of opportunities arising out of histories of violence is appropriate to Scorpio and part of the transformation process; the old ways must die, must be stricken down so that ascension becomes potential.
All of this might remind us of the birthchart of the Saros series of the eclipse we got directly swiped by in the U.S. back in August 2017 and whose effects are still playing out, especially as the lunation of January 1st is the last Full Moon until the next eclipse occurs. Over the summer I wrote:
Looking at it’s birthchart, January 4th 1639 at 4:56 a.m. we find it occurred in Capricorn conjunct Mercury and nearby to Venus. Here we can clearly see the social aspects of this series triggering deep connections to the wonders of the natural world among friends, loved ones and neighbors
This sounds very familiar and concurrent with what is on the table today, a signature that stitches our present together and weaves it from the strands of the past into the tapestries of the future. 2018 is a square on the quilt.
Mercury continues across Sagittarius, driving toward the exit out of detriment, and on the second day of 2018 he achieves the third face of the Centaur’s sign. We are privy to Monday’s highly saturated Moon and then the weight of what must be done to accomplish such feats at this crucial cultural crossroads is felt in the details the following day; the steps of every process swelling until it obscures the vision of all else, as Saturn says, this must be done, there is no alternative. The particulars of the plan might force our brains to battle themselves for clarity until Mercury reaches Capricorn, and can grasp objects and begin to slim trajectories and streamline, on January 11th, where he simultaneously exits the shadow of retrograde and begins to once more operate with accuracy and cleverness. For the time being, keep your to do lists handy and take it one step at a time, not neglecting the occasional glance at the larger catalog.
Mercury in this process also moves into position to complete his next trine with Uranus on the 6th, these exchanges have been a prominent function of 2017, but as it is beginning to apply on the fourth, the Moon trines in series Mercury and then Uranus after conjoining the North Node and squaring the Mars-Jupiter conjunction. Many of the dynamics of what was discussed up to this point descend into our bodies and feelings, become personally pertinent, either irking us or somehow striking a chord that has overtones which wash from our souls to our spirits in reverberation, inciting our logic systems and the courage to change, revolutionizing ourselves even if it requires a plunge into darkness or the quaffing of a poison potion. This may be an emotionally turbulent day for some, and a markedly meaningful one for others.
Both the Mercury-Uranus trine and the Mars-Jupiter conjunction go partile on the 6th around 7 o’clock at night. Uranus demands that any wall or mold that holds us from performing our individual identities be surpassed or smashed while Mercury takes the experimental inspiration that flows toward him through the circuitry and applies it to the sequence of the plan; this may serve as the part in our logical trajectories where the quickly speeding vehicle hits the dirt road, or swerves off the road entirely and races across raw terrain; things can get bumpy and as we jostle and rock in our seats we begin to worry about our safety, although, admittedly this is the exciting part, the adventurous detour that will deliver us where we want to be even if we must destroy our cars in the process, as there is no other way to get there via the known roads.
This is exacerbated by the t-square formed with Chiron and the Moon. Our actions absolutely aggravate our wounds, like running to catch our helicopter tow ropes with twisted ankles or burnt soles, but the world we leave behind is much healthier than the one we had inhabited, even if it is a rough ride to get there, or there is the necessary revolution that must take place in between, one that requires the detonation of our statues, and ripping off of so many protective masks and exposing our sensitive skin, (along with revealing our identities), to the many Suns of the universe, no matter the consequences we face in mutating our faces.
Meanwhile, Mars and Jupiter combine their significations in the second decan of Scorpio. This might look like the continual sparring with your Sensei, the years of master and student locked in combat that elevate the skill of both participants, and maybe at some point switch their roles, allowing transmission of knowledge to then oscillate and pour both ways at once. This may not be physically manifested for everyone, and may entail battles for justice and struggles for economic stability or even survival; even if not corporeally overt it could easily ignite an appreciation and awe of physical power and its proper use. This may be that long awaited time when we need to talk with our fists, and a punch is the most sophisticated point one can make. Here, the sword may be mightier than the pen, but at the same time, the pen might be so weaponized the sword seems hardly necessary at all, as inky emissions easily launch bombardments of missiles as long as you know how to draw the right characters. Mars tends toward obviousness, even in secretive Scorpio; you will likely know exactly where the emphasis is needed. As has been evidenced, this combination has had people ferociously improving themselves, as well as society, and in the second decan of Scorpio, this likely will look like us improving each other; giving each other the ass kickings we all deserve; the beating that opened our eyes, the fight that opened new doors, the struggle that awoke our true selves and the intense intimacy that lit within us an undying fire, from which passion continually flows.
Mars-Jupiter’s sextile to Sun-Venus-Pluto is completed on the 9th, and will be dealt with in the next forecast, although it is worth mentioning now that this mutually mind expanding ass kicking going on is willing to collaborate with visionary construction of milemarker megaliths of our wills with raw materials that may seem today unfamiliar but in the future define our aesthetics. Out of todays barroom brawl we lay the foundation of tomorrow’s militia that is sworn to protect the water and air and animals, their iconic uniforms and marching styles influencing design and dance for future generations, and their fortifications morphing into the primary features of emerging architecture.
So as we enter 2018 its out with the outmoded and in with the eternal.
The following are Herbal Ally suggestion from friend and colleague Suzanne Stone a.k.a. Moon Of Hyldemoer Herbals:
These notes are suggestions for herbal allies to assist with the effects of the cosmic influences for the first week of January, 2018. As stated last week, before imbibing any of the herbs recommended, research what is a recommended dosage, & ask yourself & research such questions as, Does this herb interfere with any medications I am taking?, Does this herb match with my constitution?, Do I really need to take this herb into my body?
Be wise: listen to your own body, intuition, guiding spirits & the plants themselves.
Imbibing the herbs recommended is of course only one way of meeting the herbs. There are multitudinous manners of developing relationships with our herbal allies including sitting with the fresh or dry herbs, or a picture/drawing of the herb, making an amulet to wear or have on your altar (adhering to planetary hours/days is important here), visioning or meditating with the plant, & taking an herbal bath or foot bath (In this case remember your skin is the largest organ of your body). Use your imagination & listen to the plants, they have been on this planet much longer than we have & have much wisdom to offer.
December 31-January 6
I have been trying to break up this weekly forecast into days, but each day of this week calls the same main herbal allies to me. This week seems a light version of the XVII Tower Card in the Tarot, allowing demons & demons to be met & slayed, allowing old ways to die that are not serving, & details felt strongly: “…steps of every process swelling until it obscures the vision of all else.” The eagle with the face of man drives away all vermin. As the week progresses (January 4) we will be feeling deeply these swirlings in our bodies “either irritating or striking a chord” & as we venture into January 6, Uranus demands that which is not allowing one to grow to be smashed & mixes with Chiron & the Moon “aggravating our wounds.” We are left with the brilliant statement of “Out with the outmoded and in with the eternal.” Damn, powerful beginning of what we call 2018, clearing with a zealous sword to make way for the real.
To me, Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), ruled by Venus & under Leo, steps forward. Motherwort, as its botanical name implies, also means Lionhearted, as she strengthens one’s heart like a warriors: open the heart to all life has to offer, but will take no bullshit. Motherwort is called upon in moments when the world seems to fall away beneath ones feet, when one cannot stop the tears from flowing & there seems to be no answers coming forth. In these instances, Motherwort brings confident aid to those that are experiencing anxiety, restlessness & disturbed sleep. I associate the Tower card in Tarot with Motherwort, as with the Tower, that which does not serve anymore falls away so that ones truth & self-loving ways can step forward. Motherwort as one of the heart medicines, along with Rose & Hawthorn, helps our hearts to be open to giving & receiving the love that we need, but they all also contain thorny, prickly parts that remind us that to love is to also have strong boundaries of self-love. Motherwort also tells us of the triad Goddess of the maiden/mother/crone with its growth habit. The new soft, maple leaf type new leaves of motherwort are very gentle, the pink flowers rising of tall spires full of love & then the prickly seed pod cases tell of times when we must say, “Stop, you have gone too far.” or “No, Enough!” so that we may set firm boundaries of health & well-being for all.
For this week I recommend keeping Motherwort tincture or flower essence in one purse, pocket, bag to call upon when moments of overwhelm take hold. One-three drops dosage of either, every few hours if needed, should suffice as this is powerful medicine. Motherwort is a strong bitter, so if taken as a tea, add a small amount to a pot of delicious tasting tea & add some honey. We could use a little golden sweetness this week anyways. Lemon Balm can be a great addition here with its nervine qualities & uplift of spirit in the face of adversity & change.
Caveats: There are a couple of caveats with Motherwort, one being that it can increase bleeding in some women, so if this is the case, instead call upon Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). Some herbalists also caveat against using Motherwort if pregnant, or struggle with endometriosis or uterine fibroids because of the increase of blood flow. Some herbalists, like Matthew Wood, say that Motherwort can be used safely in small doses during pregnancy for calming nervous tension & palpitations.
As stated above, Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), another Venusian herb, is a strong psychic filtering & boundary creating herb that can guide us as things are falling apart, crashing, & coming at us. Yarrow will help decipher that which we need to bring in for our growth & that which we can let fall away. (N.B., These Venusian herbs can also support us through the full moon in Cancer, January 1, ruled by Venus.) For this, a few drops of Yarrow flower essence or tincture works well, carrying a picture of Yarrow, or meditating on a strong yarrow stalk protecting your body, it many tiny leaves (millefolium) combing through all that is coming at us & as a tai chi warrior, pushing energy away that is not necessary or desired.
Nervines that I mentioned last week: Lemon Balm (ruled by Jupiter, under Cancer), Rose (ruled by Venus), Skullcap (ruled by Saturn), St John’s/Joan’s Wort (ruled by the Sun), Milky Oats/Oatstraw (ruled by Venus), Tulsi (ruled by the Sun & influenced also by Jupiter & Mars)(I added Tulsi this week) all carry over into this week, so sit down, breathe & relax with a pot of nervous system supporting tea while plotting your next moves.
The two last herbs that step forward for me this week are two verdant warriors, Nettle (Urtica dioica), ruled by Mars & Borage(Borago officinalis), ruled by Jupiter & Leo. These will support the position of Mars & Jupiter in the 2nd decan of Scorpio giving us the extra courage & energy for sparring in the continual honing of ourselves & others.
Not only does Stinging Nettle offer protecting, healing & banishing assistance, it also is so full of nourishing vitamins & minerals so that I often call Nettle, ‘the seaweed of the land’. With Nettle being a part of ones daily/weekly routine, ones musculoskeletal system, skin, hair, teeth, nails will be shining & healthy, ones digestive system & heart will be strengthened, as well as ones veriditas, or greening power will increase, to use the term of Hildegard von Bingen, an eleventh century German mystical thinker, abbess, artist, musician, herbalist, & visionary. “When in doubt, give nettles,” says Herbalist David Hoffman. I agree with this statement. Supreme nourishment!
Nettle drunk as a nourishing herbal infusion (1 oz. herb/1 qt. boiling water & infuse for 4+ hours), several times/week will increase ones energy, stamina & positive outlook on life. It also makes a great addition to ones daily tea or infused in apple cider vinegar & added to salads & greens.
Borage is called upon for courage & protection. Borage tea will increase ones psychic abilities & awareness. The word Borage comes from the Latin prefix cor, ‘the heart’ & ago meaning ‘I bring’, as it is strong heart medicine. Daily intake of Borage purifies the blood, remedies heart palpitations & tones the heart.
Borage has been used for thousands of years for an exhausted nervous system & low spirits. The person may have so many responsibilities that they feel run down or they run themselves down with impossible ways of being & self-criticism. Borage, containing silicon, is a strong rebuilder of the nervous system as well as for the endocrine system. Borage is a remedy for adrenal exhaustion.
Take a dosage of a few drops of the flower essence of the bright blue flowers of Borage (blue often indicated nervous system support) or tincture when courage is needed. Borage added to ones tea blend for the week also will help us to remember our bravery, or carry a picture of the flower in ones wallet.
Lots of heart health, warrior herbs for the first week of 2018.
Culpepper, Nicholas. Culpepper’s Colorful Herbal Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 1983.
Cunningham, Scott. Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs Llewellyn Publications, 1997.
Wood, Matthew. The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants North Atlantic Books, 2008.
Wood, Matthew. The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to New World Medicinal Plants North Atlantic Books, 2009.
Moon of Hyldemoer, Suzanne Stone, Community Herbalist.
This information is not a substitute for a health care practitioner. Not to be reproduced without permission.