This year I have the following exact transits:
Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter all conjunct Sun and sextile Saturn
Pluto trine Pluto, sextile Jupiter
Uranus square Saturn
Saturn square Moon and square Saturn
North Node hard aspecting Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Neptune, North Node and Uranus.
And the following within 3½ degrees or less: Pluto conjunct Mars, sextile Node and Neptune; Saturn conjunct ASC; Uranus square Moon.
So it’s a big year for me astrologically, and I’m feeling like I’m inside a pressure cooker, as you might expect! Tomorrow’s New Moon at 6.35 Pisces is within a few minutes of squaring my MC-IC. There are various troublesome events coming to a head that are providing the pressure, and I don’t know the outcome, but it feels very transformative. Tomorrow’s New Moon is on the one hand a dynamic trigger, but being in Pisces it’s also telling me to keep my hands off and trust.
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While on the one hand I’m feeling quite a lot of stress from it all, the work I do for people has gained in power and effectiveness. This isn’t just the readings, for I’ve also dragged my bear off the back-burner and done some pretty good work, not just for people but also for a horse. The way I work is very physical, it’s like I shapeshift and I get taken over and it can be a bit scary for people, but there is a raw power to it that really moves stuff along and puts missing bits back, even though I couldn’t necessarily say what.
I’ve also started doing astrology readings for horses and their owners. I didn’t plan it, it’s just started happening, but astrology and synastry seem to work just as well for horses as they do for people, though usually you don’t have a birth time.
I haven’t felt inclined to blog much over the last few weeks as the planets have drawn me into myself. I’ve been making a sweat lodge of my own design in the garden. Sweat lodges are a lot of work, and I wanted it very small, so that the fire, wood and stones would be less of a big deal. I also wanted it to be DIY, so I could put it up and take it down quickly, and store it when I wasn’t using it. And I wanted it to be a bit more comfortable than the usual frame, where you are always getting bits of wood sticking into your back.
In the end I made a hexagonal lodge using five metre-square pieces of plywood (plus door), which I have unconventionally painted the colours I use for the directions: yellow, black, red and white. I tie the plywood squares onto permanent posts, put a frame of sticks on the roof, then chuck blankets and a tarpaulin over that. The stone pit is off to one side next to the door, so there is more room: this is what they do in informal Native American ‘family’ lodges.
So far it’s looking like it’s going to work OK. We’re having our first lodge on Thursday, and I’m looking forward to getting fried. Or melted. The idea is that the heat ‘melts’ you out of your rational mind and into somewhere more heartfelt.
We also have a much bigger permanent lodge in the garden that we built – or had built – 4 years ago. It’s 11 ft wide internally and takes about 20 people, but it’s a lot of work to use. It’s an earthlodge, with turf growing on the outside and adobe walls on the inside. Its basic frame (which isn’t visible) is made of steel reinforcing rods, with chicken wire to hang the adobe on. Outside the frame, and below the turf, is a waterproof membrane, because otherwise the inside would be permanently damp and mouldy. Covering the turf is more chicken wire, to stop the neighbours’ cats clawing it all up when they sun themselves on the roof.
A Native American friend tells me that on the reservation they do whatever works. So they will, for example, put a load of paraffin on the fire to get it going. But they couldn’t do that over in Europe because people would regard that as inauthentic!
I’ve been reading Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights over the last few days. It has absorbed me in a way that I haven’t been for a long time. It’s sort of a kid’s book, but also not really. It’s based in a universe similar to ours where everyone has a daemon, or animal familiar. The children’s daemons (pronounced demon) are continually shapeshifting, but by the time you are adult the daemon assumes a permanent form. The central theme is a secret plot by an all-controlling church to permanently separate children from their daemons for their own good, and the foiling of that plot by a motley group including a gifted street urchin, a bunch of gypsies (or ‘gyptians’) and armoured bears.
They’ve made a film of it, The Golden Compass, which I started with and which is well worth seeing. The book is the first in the His Dark Materials trilogy. The film did well in the UK but bombed in the US, throwing into doubt the plan to film all 3 books.
I enjoy the classic novels by the usual crowd – George Eliot, Tolstoy, Jane Austen, the Brontes – as well as a lot of more modern novelists. But it seems to me that the best fantasy novels, and perhaps some sci-fi as well, are able to touch a mythological level that belongs to the earliest type of story-telling.