“When courage comes alive, imprisoning walls become frontiers of new possibility, difficulty becomes invitation and the heart comes into a new rhythm of trust and sureness. There are secret sources of courage inside every human heart; yet courage needs to be awakened in us. The encounter with the Beautiful can bring such awakening.” – John O’Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace

venusToday is the Fall Equinox (Spring in the Southern Hemisphere), when the day and night are equal. The Sun has just entered Libra, marking the midpoint of the astrological year, a time to pause, reflect and recalibrate your inner Scales. What did you set into motion at the Spring Equinox on March 20? What’s working, what’s not? What needs to be weeded out to make space for what really matters? What steps can you take to restore balance, harmony and peace?

The Sun’s entry into Libra energizes the Cardinal Grand Cross, reflecting the escalating intensity of this moment in time. The global elite is ratcheting up the fear factor, exemplified in the “terrorism drill” being held in Denver today. As you may know, similar “drills” were held in the U.S. on 9/11/01, and in London on 7/7/05 (the subway “terrorist” bombings). Meanwhile, Comet Elenin is scheduled to make its closest pass to Earth on the 27th, inciting yet another apocalyptic scenario in the collective consciousness.

On this holy day, this “gate of power” in the wheel of the year, the cosmic assignment is to honor Venus — goddess of love, beauty, peace and harmony, ruler of Libra and therefore the presiding deity of the season. And in order to do that, we have to unplug from the group mind and access our own courage and power. The Cardinal signs are the initiators and leaders of the zodiac, and the primary challenge of the Cardinal Cross years (2010-2014) is for humanity, for each of us, to recognize and reclaim our power, and to step up and take responsibility for creating the world we want to live in.

libraLibra is Cardinal Air, and the Air element, ideally, brings a welcome breath of neutrality, objectivity, and compassionate detachment. The Libra Sun’s entry into the Cross wants us to take a step back from the drama, reclaim our mental space, and cultivate a more neutral perspective. From this place, we can renew our perception and identify creative ways to move forward.

The Libra Sun, along with Venus and Saturn (also in the sign of the Scales), remind us that beauty, art, love and kinship are not to be dismissed as expendable luxuries to be sacrificed on the altar of mechanical time and artificial technology. Arguing the exact opposite, John O’Donohue writes in his brilliant ode to Venus, “it is because we have so disastrously neglected the Beautiful that we now find ourselves in such terrible crisis” (Beauty).

At the time of the Equinox, the Moon — the maternal feminine, ruler of the emotional realm — is in a close conjunction with Mars the Warrior, both in passionate, playful Leo. The Moon-Mars conjunction forms a harmonious trine (120-degree angle) with Uranus the Trickster, the principle of innovation, experimentation and liberation. This alignment speaks to the potential to free ourselves from deadening, soul-destroying old patterns and open to imaginative new possibilities for revolutionary action.

Leo is the archetype of the Child and the Artist, embodying the quality of innocence — the ability to see the world with fresh eyes. Accessing this perception requires shifting awareness away from habitual mental constructs and into the heart — the part of the body ruled by Leo. In the heart we find courage, which comes from the French “coeur” (heart) — the emotional fortitude to stay present and grounded during these wild times, and to respond in creative, empowered ways instead of reacting as victims. As David Pond writes in his Equinox newsletter, “You were born for times like these. How do you know? You are here.”

– Emily Trinkaus