“Everything has its own voice. Thunder and lightning and stars and planets, flowers,
birds, animals, trees — all these have voices, and they constitute a community of
existence that is profoundly related.” – Thomas Berry

jupiterToday, both Venus and Jupiter turn from Retrograde — appearing to travel backwards — to Direct (forward), marking a significant turning point. Venus, Goddess of Love, has been Retrograde since October 8th; Jupiter, principle of expansion, opportunity and abundance, since July 23rd.

Caroline Casey, my astrological idol and inspiration, explains the Retrograde experience using the analogy of a bow and arrow. While the bow is being drawn back, it might seem like nothing is happening, or that you’re going backwards, but you’re actually gathering momentum for a big step forward. Over the next few weeks, as Venus and Jupiter get back up to speed, what has been brewing behind the scenes for the past few months is preparing to come into form.

The bow and arrow comparison seems especially resonant right now, since the Sun is about to shift from Scorpio to Sagittarius the Archer on Monday. Emerging from the Underworld, having explored our emotional depths, it’s time to come into the light and reconnect with the great big world out there. The Taurus Full Moon on Sunday is the culmination of the Scorpio season, bringing to fruition what was set into motion at the New Moon on November 5th.

Feeling and Healing the Pain of Separation

“Our separation from the natural world affects every aspect of our lives, from the most intimate to the most global.” – Derrick Jensen, Thought to Exist in the Wild: Awakening from the Nightmare of Zoos

chironIn addition to Venus and Jupiter changing directions, today the Scorpio Sun forms an exact square (90-degree angle) to Chiron and Neptune, united in Aquarius. This slow-moving conjunction, in effect for the past year, has triggered the pain of our separation from Source, from nature, from our bodies and animal selves.

Feeling the grief of this separation is an essential step in the healing process, opening our hearts and making it possible to feel our inherent connection with all beings everywhere and with the All That Is. The square between Scorpio — the intensely intimate and deeply emotional — to Aquarius — the sign of humanity, society and community — stirs up these deep feelings. If we can allow ourselves to feel our sadness, grief, anger, outrage about the devastation and suffering in the world, we can also get in touch with our sense of commitment and dedication, our passion and mission.

When Chiron and Neptune were exactly united in February, I wrote:

There’s something inherently healing about encountering the Truth. Even if we aren’t aware of all the facts, on some level, since we’re all connected, we still FEEL the pain and suffering. Knowing the truth of what’s going on empowers us to respond in a conscious way. As long as we’re operating unconsciously, avoiding pain and discomfort (as our addictive-prone culture encourages us to do), there’s no hope for healing. (The Body Is the Guide)

The CoveI was referring to my experience of finally watching the documentary Food, Inc., after putting it off forever because I was afraid of feeling the pain. Just last night, as the Chiron-Neptune conjunction was again activated, I finally watched The Cove, after postponing that out of the same fear. For those of you who haven’t seen it, this is the Oscar-winning documentary about the slaughter of dolphins, over 20,000 a year, in Taiji, Japan.

It was, needless to say, absolutely heartbreaking to witness the murder of these miraculous, gentle beings. And to see them in captivity — reduced from wild, free, playful, joyous, radiantly alive animals to “entertainers” performing tricks for hot-dog-eating (and, in Japan, dolphin-eating) humans. (I guarantee you will not want to support Seaworld and the like after seeing this movie.)

At the same time, alongside the horror, I felt hugely moved and inspired by the heroic humans, led by Ric O’Barry, who risked their lives and devoted their time, energy and resources to get footage of the slaughter, previously hidden from the public. Their passion, commitment and dedication to ending this tragedy has inspired thousands of other caring humans to step up and participate in this necessary effort.

Restoring Sacred Kinship

“In the deepest sense, magic is an experience. It’s the experience of finding oneself alive within a world that is itself alive.  It is the experience of contact and communication between oneself and something that is profoundly different from oneself: a swallow, a frog, a spider weaving its web…” – David Abram, Interview with Derrick Jensen

venusJupiter’s turnaround, in the wise words of Caroline Casey, reminds us of  “the power of vision to trump the compelling illusion of challenging circumstances.” Ideally, over the past few months of Jupiter Retrograde, we’ve replenished, renewed and restored our vision, faith, enthusiasm and dreams for the future. Venus Retrograde has been a time of rethinking, reworking, regenerating and resolving relationships of all kinds.

Venus and Jupiter reversing simultaneously (not a common occurrence) alerts us to the importance of expanding our concept of relationship, of kinship, community and alliance, to include all of the natural world. And the Sun’s square to Chiron and Neptune at the same time brings up the pain and grief that are our gateway, our initiation, into deeper communion and service.

The pitfall in this process is thinking that we’re powerless in the face of such tremendous suffering in the world, and getting stuck in grief, overwhelm and despair. But Ric O’Barry’s example makes it impossible to tell ourselves that one person can’t make a difference. Whatever it is that breaks you open, that inspires your passion and sense of mission, now is the time to play your role in re-stitching the web of creation.

– Emily Trinkaus