Hello dears- Happy equinox. Today is the day that Pluto turns direct. Pluto, modern ruler of Scorpio, is associated with Hades, Erishkigal, Kali, Hecate and other Goddesses and Gods of the underworld. Pluto has been retrograde since April of this year. When a planet is retrograde its tendencies are turned inwards and can therefore either become reflective and self-inquiring or distorted and non-relational.

'The Triple Hecate' by William Blake

Pluto is currently in the sign of Capricorn symbolizing in a global sense the enormous impact of systems of authority and control, governmental institutions, and armies (Capricorn) who fuel their power (Pluto) through terror tactics and oppression (negative Pluto and Capricorn). The last few months have brought Brown/Ferguson and the increasing awareness/unrest of privilege, power, and race relationships in the U.S., ongoing escalations of Isreal/Hamas relationship, ISIS, the continuing battle of Russia and Ukraine, and now we're going "back" to war in Iraq.

One way to think about Pluto and its associated dark deities, and the underworlds they preside over, is as Hell. This perception comes from the place in all of us that is (understandably) terrified of dying and suffering- the place in all of us that is so scared of losing the life we know that we will destroy life of another to preserve our own comfort or security. Whatever we have to say or think about the aforementioned global (and local) disasters, the truth is that we are all complicit in them and if we stop objectifying the perpetrators of these disasters long enough to observe our own thoughts, we will realize that it's a rare being who doesn't indulge in violence, fearful judgment and extremism.

The Etruscan Charun, predecessor of Pluto

In an interview I did with Michael Stone in 2010 he said "I like to translate the word yoga as intimacy, literally being one with everything. But I think that sometimes we get a little bit inflated about what our ideas of intimacy or oneness might be. Maybe we want to be one with pleasure or what we think is beautiful, but do we really want to be one with loneliness or one with pain or one with war?"

Another way to think about Pluto and its associates is as the transformative power of intimacy: the incredible liberation that comes from owning our fears and shadows so that we can stop running from them, and being run by them.

The thing about fear is that it often wears a mask. Once in a while fear presents itself obviously with a racing heart, tremors and terror... But more often fear comes through as bias, prejudice, mistrust and attachment to what is already known. As adults who have been taught to be brave we often do such a good job of masking our fear as bravado that we believe it ourselves. This is the kind of fear that starts wars, kills innocent children, perpetuates hate crimes and clings to its own viewpoint. This is the kind of fear that holds subjective belief as truth. This is the kind of fear that can't see itself. This is the kind of fear that we all have somewhere.

A friend of mine the other day was talking about someone in her life who recently chose voluntary death from poison over a drawn-out death from radiation therapy. She was remarking on how much bravery this woman had as she faced her certain death. She said, "The thing about bravery is that it only exists where there's fear to confront." Her revelation was that fear is what allows us to know our own strength; to face into the void and to accept it, to be intimate with it. Pluto turning direct is a potent time to ask ourselves if we know our own shadow intimately. Have we taken the time to get to know what it is that we're scared of? Chances are good that if we have, we're no longer so scared of it.

Tuesday, the day after Pluto stations direct, is the day of the new moon at 0˚Libra. The first degree of any sign is a potent degree, even more potent when it's the first degree of a cardinal sign. The cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) are the signs that begin the seasons. The first degree of the cardinal signs is also associated with the Aries point, or the vernal equinox: the place in space where the sun crosses the equatorial plain going north. The Aries Point represents a movement from inner quality to outer manifestation and orients us towards the world at large. The first degree of Libra begins the orientation towards relationship to others and suggests how our motivations to relate stem from our inner experience and manifest in the outer world.

The Sabian Symbol for this degree is "Pierced by a dart of light a butterfly is "made perfect"", symbolizing the metaphoric death and loss of ego that is initiation into spiritual reality and wisdom, the sudden awakening, and coming home to inner light.

Pluto stationing and the new moon coinciding with the Aries Point is a moment to consider deeply what fears we're ready to let go of and to then face the subsequent fears of letting go. On the other side of terrifying loss is the sudden awakening of inner light. Today is a day to take a moment to be still. Remember the abundance, lushness and wealth of the fading season... Invite the warmth of summer to make its home in the marrow of your bones and the deepest depths of your heart. Days and nights are equal now, but the equinox marks the halfway point to the darkest night, and that is the only direction we can go now. Make sure to do what you need to do now to cultivate your inner light for guidance.

Consider both your power and your fear wherever 11˚ Capricorn falls in your chart, and make your new moon wishes by considering what seeds you wish to plant and what light you wish to nurture wherever 0-1˚ Libra is.

Leonard Cohen sums it up pretty well y'all [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGu3SLzTKU8&w=420&h=315]

And before I say goodbye for now, just a few gentle words of preparation for the next few weeks...

Mercury goes retrograde in Scorpio on October 4th. The station is trine to Neptune in Pisces suggesting that your fantasies and emotions are potentially NOT actually based in reality. Watch your communication please, especially if you have sudden emotionally charged insights... Tell your journal, tell your therapist, but wait to tell the object of your insights until you're very clear that your insights are indeed sober and sane.

The new moon is leading up to a super-charged full moon eclipse on October 8th that will set off the Pluto/Uranus square yet again, at the same time as a grand fire trine between Mars, Jupiter and Uranus heats up through mid-October. There is A LOT of energy right now. You are probably doing way too many things... A Zen saying is that the person who needs meditation the most is the one who doesn't have the time for it. Just meditate on that for a moment. Your sanity, health and humor is definitely more important than checking all items off your to-do list.

Alrighty my friends, I'm signing off for now. But for those of you that want more astro goodness this month please join us tomorrow night for:

Embodying The Zodiac: Introduction to Libra and Venus 7-9PM The People's Yoga 2nd Studio (4940 NE 16th St.)

And also on October 15th come and learn a bit more on self-care and support and help us welcome our October guest Jen Gouvea for "Plants, Planets and the 5 Elements". Click here to read the class description

Wishing you all an easeful, peaceful and intimate transition to autumn.

With love, Renée