5th June 2020: Lunar Eclipse in 16th degree of Sagittarius: Courageous Hearts by Sarah Varcas

Sarah Varcus is one of my favorite Astrologers, I get great insights from her perspective. I don’t read her enough, though she is generous with her free access to much of her work. ~PB

(p.s.) This speaks volumes to me:

“An alliance between Chiron, Uranus and Mercury at the time of this eclipse unlocks fresh perspectives. But to benefit from them we must reclaim the fundamental right to honour our own experience and not have it dismissed, ridiculed or silenced if it runs contrary to the received wisdom of the time. This takes courage in a world where people are being demonised and discredited for daring to question the ‘party line’ and reflect more deeply on the narrative they’re being fed. But if ever there was a time for courage it is now! Courageous thought, courageous speech, courageous hearts open to a new world in which we’re not told how things are but instead discern, through digesting many perspectives and listening, perhaps most importantly, to the voice within that knows truth.”



5th June 2020: Lunar Eclipse in 16th degree of Sagittarius:
Courageous Hearts
by Sarah Varcas | Astro-Awakenings

This is the first of three eclipses this eclipse season, which also features a solar eclipse in Cancer on 21st June 2020 and a lunar eclipse in Capricorn on 5th July 2020.

All dates are UT

This lunar eclipse raises the issue of dependence and conditioning. In Sagittarius, it potentises the transfer of power away from the expert elite triggered by the North Node’s arrival in Gemini last month. Against the backdrop of recent unprecedented – and in some quarters hotly debated – social and interpersonal restrictions the world over, further compounded by protests and riots in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of the US police, this eclipse cycle alerts us to a burgeoning shift of perspective, auguring an ever-increasing challenge to the authorities from people who have simply had enough.

The Sabian Symbol for the degree of this eclipse speaks of seagulls circling a ship in expectation of food. It’s fair to say this isn’t the most natural food source for seagulls, but it’s convenient and reliable. That’s why they do it. If you’ve ever eaten a sandwich on the beach you’ll know how quickly you become central to their quest for an easy meal and how easy it is to lead a flock of hungry birds down the beach if you wander off whilst eating!

These images convey a warning: if we make ourselves dependent upon a single supply (of anything), the source of that supply can control and lead us where it wants us to go before we even realise we’ve been led. Focused on the satisfaction and security of an easy meal we overlook the changing scenery and the distance developing between where we used to be and where we’ve wound up now. In Sagittarius we gain nourishment from information and learning, from broad concepts, highly sophisticated bodies of knowledge and honed expertise. Sagittarius is the sign associated with law, religion and medicine: three institutions that have shaped our modern world in many ways. This eclipse is an excellent time to reflect on how much power we’ve given them to determine what matters in our lives, and whether now might be the time to expand our perspective beyond what they want us to believe.

An alliance between Chiron, Uranus and Mercury at the time of this eclipse unlocks fresh perspectives. But to benefit from them we must reclaim the fundamental right to honour our own experience and not have it dismissed, ridiculed or silenced if it runs contrary to the received wisdom of the time. This takes courage in a world where people are being demonised and discredited for daring to question the ‘party line’ and reflect more deeply on the narrative they’re being fed. But if ever there was a time for courage it is now! Courageous thought, courageous speech, courageous hearts open to a new world in which we’re not told how things are but instead discern, through digesting many perspectives and listening, perhaps most importantly, to the voice within that knows truth.

Mercury is currently preparing to turn retrograde in Cancer on 18th June 2020. Between this eclipse and that moment, we would do well to FEEL into what’s happening in our world right now. Let our intuition guide us towards an understanding that holds water in a deeper and more profound way. Once Mercury is retrograde, and as the next two eclipses occur, we’ll have the opportunity to recalibrate our internal knowing according to information that comes our way. But we can only do that if we give our intuition a platform from which to speak, and reclaim the power invested in the experts as they dictate what our experience should be.

As we stand at this juncture in human history there are weighty choices to be made and we must each make them as best we can. This eclipse season will both reveal the shadow side of readily accepted sources of information – hidden interests, inaccurate assumptions, covert agendas –  as well as illuminate in their wake new sources of knowledge previously eclipsed by the might of received wisdom and unquestioned ‘truths’. The path ahead remains scattered with obstacles and the battle for dominion over the collective mind continues unabated. This lunar eclipse is just the beginning and there is much to be revealed and digested before we can decide, collectively, the quality of our future.

Saturn is now retrograding through Aquarius before returning to Capricorn in July. You can read more about what this means for us in terms of freedom of thought and speech here. But as we encounter this eclipse we may well find stirring within, a more insistent demand for information that challenges the dominant narrative and a burgeoning need to forge alliances with others who sense a more pressing truth bubbling to the surface. For whatever’s going on in this world today, it is we the people, not the privileged elite with vested interests in our obedience to their cause, who can – and must – decide the shape our lives take from here.

Sarah Varcas

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Sarah Varcas: The Astrology of 2020: Part 1 Resistance, Choice Points and Fresh Perspectives

 Saturn Pluto conjunction 2020, Jupiter south node conjunction, solar eclipse in Capricorn, lunar eclipse in Cancer, December 2019 solar eclipse, January 2020 lunar eclipse, Jupiter Pluto conjunction 2020, Jupiter Saturn conjunction 2020


2020 is set to be a watershed year offering many opportunities for change and recalibration. On considering the charts for this year I feel excitement about what could be, whilst being mindful of the fact that what will be is largely up to us! There will undoubtedly be challenges along the way, coupled with gifts and blessings. Our task is to rise to the former and welcome the latter with gratitude, knowing that both form part of the current evolutionary thrust.

The quality of energy throughout 2020 is defined by three core events:

1) The Saturn/Pluto conjunction which reaches exactitude on 12th January and begins a new 33 year-long cycle.

2) The Jupiter/Pluto conjunction which reaches first exactitude on 5th April, second on 30th June and third on 12th November. This begins a new 13 year-long cycle.

3) The Saturn/Jupiter conjunction which reaches exactitude on 21st December and begins a new 20 year-long cycle.

These influential conjunctions will shape our future direction both personally and collectively. Involving three of the outer planets, they remind us that what happens in our individual lives feeds into the collective stream of consciousness from which we all draw. Cultivating hope and envisioning a positive future can be a powerful act of creation. If that vision is imbued with commitment to being part of the solution, not allowing oneself to be torpedoed by negative doom-mongering, all the more so. The energy of a conjunction is fresh and innovative, allowing new possibilities, perspectives and potential to emerge. It enables us to combine inner resources and outer circumstances in such a way that we can forge a new path ahead, one that may have seemed out of reach or even non-existent not so long ago.

Three such conjunctions in one year signals the need for much adjustment during the coming twelve months. Indeed, with so much innovative energy in the mix, the future is highly unlikely to look much like anything we’ve envisaged from our current standpoint. 2020 will see arising new ways of perceiving life and our role in its unfolding. Being open to these perspectives is key to allowing their fruits to be realised in the years to come. Be prepared to release long cherished beliefs in favour of a more expansive view of what could be possible in the longer term. Human knowledge is forever evolving. There is so much more to be revealed. Beware of anyone who claims possession of the full facts and declares the debate closed – that it’s time to pick a side and either you’re right or you’re wrong, with us or against us. This string of conjunctions tells us there’s more to come, more to be revealed, discovered, surmised, hypothesised and tested against our current understanding of reality. There’s still so much we simply don’t yet know.

Further supporting a shift into new ways of living is Uranus travelling through Taurus. Facilitating a radical restructuring of the externals of our lives, it brings us into alignment with a more balanced and sustainable future. Here we find innovative solutions to the pressing global and local issues of our time, epitomised in a root and branch reshaping of our relationship with the physical and natural world. Our understanding of everything from money to the environment will be changed by Uranus in Taurus in the coming years. In 2020 we will find ourselves either hyper-energised to be part of the change or to resist it with all our might. Which is why what actually happens is up to each and every one of us!

The build up to the Saturn/Pluto conjunction

The immediate build up to the first of the 2020 conjunctions began with a solar eclipse in Capricorn on 26th December 2019.  Conjunct Jupiter, trining Uranus and squaring Chiron, this eclipse provided a window of opportunity to stabilise energy and ground aspirations for the new year. Mercury in Sagittarius trining Eris at the time of the eclipse may have seduced us into over-estimating our capacity for rapid change. But Jupiter’s support in Capricorn balanced this with a more pragmatic approach to the pursuit of our goals. If events around this time left you feeling a bit flat when you hoped to be inspired, bear in mind that the peaks and troughs of energy flow can be communications from life itself, highlighting where and when we need to act, rest or recalibrate. There will be plenty of opportunity in the coming weeks to both light the fires of inspiration and get our hands dirty in the practicalities of implementing change. This eclipse was only the beginning…

Jupiter’s grounding influence in the 26th December eclipse is brought to fullness in its exact conjunction to the moon’s south node in Capricorn on 8th January. In doing so it reminds us that traditional bases of power are crumbling and placing our faith in their continuation is increasingly unwise! Relying on those in power to take action for our collective wellbeing may be the biggest mistake we could make this year! And being the change we want to see in the world, our greatest act of power. This conjunction affirms that political and economic systems everywhere are on their last legs, no matter how powerful they may appear. It has never been more timely to think in different terms about how we secure our personal and collective future; to recognise the power of living on purpose in our everyday lives. We are not victims and we are not powerless. Far from it in fact! But our strength is potentised not in a struggle against the status quo but in an affirmation of the potential for change and an expression of that change in our daily life and consciousness. What you resist persists is not a well-worn saying for no reason! Where we place our attention matters more than we can know. Turning away from the system and towards a new dawn allows us to invest energy in positive solutions, not in bolstering out-moded powerbases by fighting against them.

A Lunar Eclipse in Cancer

Jupiter’s alliance with the south node continues into the lunar eclipse in the 21st degree of Cancer on 10th January. With the Sun conjunct Mercury, Saturn and Pluto at this point, it serves as a precursor to the Saturn/Pluto conjunction occurring two days later. It’s frequently the case that the build up to such a conjunction feels more stressful than the actual conjunction and its aftermath. Once the planetary alliance is exact the energy flows and we know what to do with it. Prior to this resolution of tension, the approach can feel unsettling and disruptive. It will come as little surprise, then, that the activation of Cancerian energy at the eclipse signals heightened emotional sensitivity and a need to take care of each other. We may find ourselves mysteriously free of recent troubles or increasingly weighed down by them. We may finally see their insignificance in the context of the vast universe or be unable to see around them no matter how hard we try.

This is an eclipse of extremes and therefore of extreme possibilities. It could bring liberation from a viewpoint that has kept us imprisoned – mentally, emotionally, spiritually – or it could strengthen those prison bars with a dose of so-called ‘reality’ which tells us nothing ever changes, life’s a struggle and the sooner it’s over the better. It reminds us that personal experience cannot be divorced from the collective energetic field in which lies the potential for all things. In seeing beyond our tiny fear-based perspective we can open ourselves to this wider potential with reverence and awe. There are always possibilities at the edge of our vision if we look in the right way. What was previously in our blind spot can come into view with a tilt of the head and this eclipse provides an opportunity to shift perspective to see things in a very different light. But the strength of our emotions may discourage us from believing this to be true! If you find yourself overwrought or overwhelmed at this lunar eclipse, ask yourself ‘How would it feel if I believed there was another way to view this situation?’. That question alone may take the heat out of the flames and allow a more cooling effect on an over-stimulated heart and mind.

The Saturn/Pluto Conjunction

Following hot on the heels of the lunar eclipse comes the Saturn/Pluto conjunction exact at 16:23 UT on 12th January in the 23rd degree of Capricorn. With the Sun and Mercury also conjoined, consider it a reminder of the power (Pluto) of thought (Mercury) and our responsibility (Saturn) to inform our evolving will (Sun) with greater insight into the true nature of ‘reality’. Perspectives formed at this time will be highly charged with the innovative force of the Saturn/Pluto conjunction. Unlike many outer planet conjunctions which recur over a number of months, this alliance occurs only once, intensifying the process of shift to a new perspective. Consider this a choice-point of sorts, during which we can decide how to approach the year ahead and draw upon the imposing energy of this conjunction to cement our commitment. Of course, this also means that if we allow negativity or despair to cloud our minds and hearts at this time, the ripple effect of doing so may lap upon our shores for some time to come.

But this doesn’t mean that if we’re having a hard time in January the whole year’s already a write-off. Far from it! The key is our response to that hard time: do we cement it with our reactions, adding misery upon misfortune, or do we embrace the conjunction energy to allow new understanding, perspectives and feelings to arise? Can we recognise the catalysing action of trauma or challenge, which can as much clear away old emotional debris as create more? Can we feel the energetic hurricane that up-ends a life as the winds of change that point us eventually in a new and more productive direction?

Many people fear the action of Pluto in their lives. But fear is not a helpful response and be wary around those who encourage it! Pluto demands of us a mighty heart that can release all that no longer supports who we must be. Conjunct Saturn it reminds us that the most imposing change can also be a powerful catalyst for mature wisdom. Whilst this conjunction may have a purging effect on our lives at some level, if we can recognise its action as a solution not a problem we can ride those storms more wisely. This conjunction of planetary heavyweights invites us into a more mature and insightful relationship with our inherent power. It illuminates where we project it onto others or onto institutions which seek to control our lives for their own benefit. In the coming years we must own our power and the responsibility that comes with it. Or face with full force the consequences of refusing to do so. We must dig deep and rise strong in the face of increasingly desperate power-plays of those who sense influence slipping from their grasp as people wake up to their lies.

Uranus And Eris have their say

Both  Uranus & Eris are stationing direct at the time of the conjunction, reflecting how this alliance between Saturn and Pluto may stop us in our tracks. Not immediately perhaps, but as its energies ‘bed in’ over time and pervade our everyday life. Grabs for power may occur on the world stage in unanticipated ways, whilst the karmic consequences of egotistical assumptions of entitlement become ever more evident. Those in power who refuse to pause a while to reflect on their intent may find themselves confronted with the inevitable outcomes of blind arrogance. In the words attributed to Mahatma Gandhi: ‘What’s the point of running so fast if you’re running in the wrong direction?’. In this new Saturn/Pluto cycle, slowing down becomes a radical act of self-determination: An opportunity to cease spinning in an endless whirl, gather up our thoughts and feelings and embrace their deeper contemplation for a while.

By contrast, a square from Eris to the conjunction heralds an opportunity to move through intensity much quicker than before. Here we see the potential for our perception of time to shift exponentially. What once took years to process we can now do in a few months and what took months can take weeks or days. We have the opportunity to suffer less and reap greater rewards, but we must choose to do so. Our attitude is key to this choice. If we focus on pain without hope of change, that’s what we’ll get. If we process the pain, work with it, be authentic within it, the outcome could be beyond our wildest imaginings as the rejuvenating power of a mighty heart is unleashed within us.

In this sense, the notion of ‘long term’ is shifting beneath our feet as evolutionary forces flood our lives with such intensity that we can be swept up in their embrace before we catch our breath. One day we’re living this life then, bam, it’s all change. Just like that. The external trappings may look largely the same (for a while at least) but the very fabric of our life has shifted beyond return. We know it and feel it, even if we can’t yet articulate it. This experience is becoming more frequent as we awaken to the forces of change that act on all levels of our being. We can no longer ignore or dismiss them for they have become us. They are the very life force itself, refreshed and renewed by the vital forces that flood this planet and all who live upon her.

Amidst these moments of sudden shift are those of mind-numbing mundanity which challenge us to put into regular practice all we profess to believe. This is the ‘work’ of conscious evolution: living the ordinary life in an extraordinary way, knowing material ‘reality’ as both the most and least real thing about our existence. We can reach out and touch it, identify it, name it, and yet if we seek its substance it melts before our eyes. Nothing is as it seems and yet we must live it anyway, both mundane and divine. In doing so we embody the unbounded human spirit which is rising triumphant, undeterred by the barriers it must breach to make its mark.

Occupying our own sovereignty

January will be intense, for sure. It will also be immense in terms of the heralded new beginning. Saturn/Pluto cycles speak of power and responsibility. Of what we do with the influence we have over life. Of what we choose to create and destroy. Of how well we mature (or not) into intentional beings of vast creative potential. With the Saturn/Pluto conjunction occurring in Saturn-ruled Capricorn squared by Eris, the tendency to concentrate power in the hands of the wealthy, the confident, the ‘entitled’ and the ‘experts’, will be dealt a mighty blow in the coming years. Many will be knocked off their perch and we’ll see some spectacular falls from grace. Those who propagate such power bases will face unyielding challenge to their assumptions of entitlement as individuals occupy their own locus of control rather than surrendering it to those who’d have us believe they know best.

By contrast, those who choose to project power onto others and perpetuate a ‘poor me’ persona will face some intense and unremitting challenges to that world-view. In times of change such as these we must first take charge of our own attitude. Then – and only then – can we occupy the sovereignty that allows our world to heal.

Happy New Year everybody!

Sarah Varcas

by Sarah Varcas on 06/01/2020


Tagged as: Conscious Evolution, Conscious Relationships, Coping with emotions, creativity, Deep Truth, divine timing, Eclipse Season, Ego & Essence, embracing the shadow, Eris, facing fear, faith and hope, healing energies, Jupiter in Capricorn, Jupiter Pluto Conjunction 2020, Lunar Eclipse, managing change, managing the mind, Mercury, Moon cycles, Personal healing, personal truth, planetary healing, Pluto in Capricorn, Saturn in Capricorn, Saturn Jupiter Conjunction 2020, Saturn Pluto conjunction January 2020, Solar Eclipse, South Node in Capricorn, Spiritual development, Sun, Uranus in Taurus

Sarah Varcas: 15th August 2019: Full Moon in 23rd degree of Aquarius: The Magic Is Us

Full Moon in Aquarius, Uranus retrograde, Venus in Leo


15th August 2019: Full Moon in 23rd degree of Aquarius:
The Magic Is Us By Sarah Varcas

 The moon is full at 12:30 pm UT on 15th August 2019

This Full Moon in Aquarius is poised to blow some old beliefs out of the water. With its ruler, Uranus, having turned retrograde on 11th August and now squaring Mercury, it illuminates how our mind works and the power it holds. This moon reminds us we don’t have to believe a single thought or subscribe to any belief unless we choose to. And we must choose with great care, for what occupies our mind also shapes our life. If we can simply sit in silent witness of all our mental meanderings at this moon, we can create the space around our thoughts which allows us to just be: watching them without believing them. Assessing their value before committing to them.

It’s often said that ‘where attention goes, energy flows’. This moon refines that statement. It’s not the fact of placing attention that holds the power, but the quality of the attention applied. If we attend to painful feelings with a mind that feeds off the drama and identifies with the pain then yes, our attention is problematic. If, however, we bring to difficult issues a softened heart, a compassionate perspective, patience, insight and a desire to know our true nature, we don’t have to look away from what challenges us. Instead we can observe it, feel it, surround it with compassionate awareness and, ultimately, change our relationship with it by doing so.

Creating this space in our own mind – which is simply a tiny cell in the vast collective consciousness – is akin to introducing fresh air into a closed room or sunlight into a darkened space. We all too easily believe our mind’s every movement, allowing it to dictate our life not in the interest of truth but of those energies on which it feeds: fear, separation, anxiety, power, superiority. Mind is the ego’s domain and if we want to balance ego with spirit, we must get to know it intimately, not simply surrender to its might.

If we’ve been wondering why we can’t get it together and make some long overdue change, this moon reveals how we keep ourselves in chains, blinkered to truths on the edge of awareness and mired in self-sabotage. It may be a rude awakening, especially if the stark lunar light reveals not external circumstances but our very selves as the obstacle at hand. Whilst such insights are a bitter pill to swallow, this is just the first stage: a nudge from the universe to recognise our role, not beat ourselves up over it. Self-blame gets us nowhere, so whatever comes to light at this moon, meet it with a gentle and loving heart, not a hardened, self-critical one.

We may, however, be too distracted to take ourselves in hand. An accumulation of stress and anxiety, despair or depression – even the tedious boredom of a life lived in black and white – can prevent us recognising the power of the present moment and the alchemical force unleashed when we live it fully, without guile. If we’ve invested too much energy in anticipation of an ideal future where everything magically falls into place, we need to realise the magic is us, living on purpose, with clear intent and for the greater good right now.

Opposing Venus in Leo, this moon may trigger loneliness or a sense of being misunderstood. If we can resist taking things too personally it will go a long way to not letting these feelings rule the day and create mountains out of molehills! There’s a fair bit of tension around, so cutting each other (and ourselves) some serious slack is good advice. If possible, avoid heated topics of debate and focus on things that unite rather than divide, otherwise it may be all too easy to slip into overzealous championing of our own perspective with no consideration of someone else’s view.

If we find ourselves resistant now, wrestling with external pressures that threaten to change our course, discernment is key. We cannot and do not live apart from the world and must attend always to the constant feedback loop which occurs between us and our environment. Sometimes we must stand firm in the face of external pressures. At other times those very pressures are the touch of the divine reminding us we may be losing our way, drifting off track or blind to something we can’t afford to ignore. If resistance energises and clarifies intent, it’s probably keeping us on track. If it drains us and destroys our peace, distracting from positive action which could blow cobwebs away, we may well be resisting the very thing that will set us free.

Beware, also, the seduction of certainty in the face of current confusion. It can only ever be a thin veneer atop an infinitely complex existence beyond anyone’s power to fully understand. Knowing it’s okay not to know, being at peace with paradox, embracing with an open heart all insights gleaned (even that we’ve been wrong all along!)…. these are important elements of this time. Avoid the tendency to act out rather than turn within. It may be easier to take our stress out on the people around us, but every time we soften around the tension, turn toward another not away from them, seek common ground not battleground, we plant the seeds of a quieter mind that can clear the wheat from the chaff and know instinctively what’s needed in times of challenge to come.

Uranus, the Great Awakener and ruler of Aquarius, uses sudden twists of fate to rouse us from the deceptive slumbers of assuming we know who we are. But what we call ‘fate’ is often our own nature reflected back to us, and what we find ‘out there’ has its deeper roots within. Now retrograde, it’s rearranging our inner world to illuminate those roots – stories we tell ourselves; beliefs that shape our perceptions; dogma absorbed from others; mental constructs perceived as truth. These beliefs, thoughts, feelings, behaviour patterns and perspectives are traps we unwittingly set on our own path of awakening.

In the coming five months Uranus retrograde will reveal the inner roots of our ‘fated’ lives, in which we’re mysteriously confronted by the very circumstances that force us to draw upon ever deeper levels of the Self. While this Full Moon reminds us that overcoming external limitations is one thing, but only by removing inner barriers are we truly free.

Sarah Varcas

Sarah Varcas: One of a Kind & One of the Crowd: 28th July – 21st August 2019: Venus + New Moon in Leo

 eclipse season, Venus in Leo, wisdom, conscious relationships, Mars in Leo, Sun in Leo, Juno in Leo, new moon in Leo


Venus entered Leo on 28th July 2019. Given the challenges of the eclipse season which ended on 29th July, this is something to celebrate! After much self-analysis and the illumination of some thorny issues, we can now relax into being who we are without apology or self-consciousness! Venus in Leo rejoices in the pleasures of being a personality in a sensual physical body, occupying a world that provides enjoyment alongside the hardships we face. It’s time to embrace some more of the fun and a bit less of the challenge!

With four heavenly bodies now in Leo (the Sun, Venus, Mars and asteroid Juno) and a new moon in the sign of the lion on 1st August, we can proudly proclaim who we are and let the world see us in all our glory. But what applies to one applies to all, so there needs to be space for others to do the same. Indeed, a central task on the Leonine path is that of allowing others to shine as much as oneself. The coming few weeks will provide significant opportunities to do that, so we all get some positive attention. Think of it as a collective affirmation of individuality. It may sound paradoxical but it can be deeply healing, enabling us to break out of limiting communal dictates into the breath-taking beauty of who we uniquely are.

Embracing this natural uniqueness is an all-important part of finding the balance between self and other, me and you, individuality and the collective. We each have a gift, be it a winning smile, a compassionate heart, a strident passion, a good head for figures or a talent well honed. But gifts can be overlooked if we strive only to be ‘special’ and stand out from the crowd. In truth, some of the most precious gifts are very low key. Chatting with a lonely stranger in the bus queue won’t get much attention, but it may create a ripple effect we can’t begin to imagine. Nursing an injured bird back to health is done by someone somewhere every day, without great fanfare. And yet Mother Nature herself whispers ‘thank you’ as she stretches her mended wings to return to the wild. The universe is infinitely grateful when we share our unique gifts and the more we can attune to this omnipresent appreciation the less we need it from others to feel worthwhile.

Venus entering Leo while the North Node continues its journey through Cancer, assists us in balancing our role in the local and global community with our need to be recognised as an individual. We walk both these paths, one on which we must place the greater good above personal gain, and one on which we prioritise honouring our unique individuality. At times these two endeavours can seem at odds and we may stumble as we try to establish balance. Venus’s current journey through Leo reminds us not to neglect either aspect of this human life. To do so is to live a lie that says either we’re more important than everything else or everything else is more important than we are. Neither of which is true.

Honouring the greater good should not demand a relinquishment of all that we are as individuals. We can stand apart from the group and still contribute in the right way for us. At the same time the collective continues to act upon us as individuals, influencing and shaping our development even as we stand alone. Just as we cannot keep our breath from mingling with others’, we cannot prevent our energy from merging either, birthing the unified energetic field that criss-crosses this planet, connecting us all.

Whether walking a path of individuation or aligning with the greater whole, we can both nurture our own uniqueness and contribute to the collective field from which we draw support, inspiration and nourishment. Bringing authenticity, compassion and integrity to these dual roles enables us to be vibrant individuals and productive parts of the whole, knowing when to bow to the greater good, when to stand firm in our individuality and when our uniqueness can contribute to the collective in ways that hiding in the shadows never could. The higher we rose to the challenges of the eclipse season, the more we’ll have to celebrate now, for embracing the light alongside the shadow makes us complete: neither light nor dark, nor this or that. Just you and me in all our weird and wonderful glory! One of a kind and one of the global crowd.

Sarah Varcas

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16th July 2019: Lunar Eclipse in 25th degree of Capricorn A Time of Reckoning By Sarah Varcas

eclipse season, lunar eclipse in Capricorn, Mercury retrograde in Leo, Eris, Venus in Cancer, wisdom, conscious relationships, Pluto in Capricorn, Saturn in Capricorn

‘Buddha in Blue’ © S J Varcas


16th July 2019: Lunar Eclipse in 25th degree of Capricorn

A Time of Reckoning

By Sarah Varcas

This is a partial eclipse. The time of greatest eclipse occurs at 21:32 UT.

With the Sun at the North Node and the Moon at the South Node, this eclipse warns against the sacrifice of inner knowing in favour of external authority. Pluto conjunct the Moon, with Saturn also in Capricorn, emphasises the power and influence of received wisdom which keeps us locked into old beliefs and patterns of behaviour. Such service to another’s agenda disenfranchises our own insight, denying us the ability to know for ourselves what is true. Occurring less than two degrees away from the point of the Saturn/Pluto conjunction due in January 2020, this eclipse augurs approaching changes and provides an opportunity to get ahead of the game.

Redefining maturity
When Saturn and Pluto work together we have a formidable force of authority and power at our disposal. But Pluto’s passage through Capricorn since 2008 has in part revealed the fear of our own authority and agency in the world. With the Saturn/Pluto conjunction approaching, it’s important we use this eclipse to unearth any fears of leading our own lives and discerning our own destiny independent of mainstream propaganda. We must be prepared to do what we know to be right even if everything and everyone around us says it’s wrong. This is a formidable challenge which requires courage and strength. We need to find those kindred spirits that will support a new way, even while the world tells us we’re crazy, irresponsible, immature or ignorant.

Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn stress that maturity needs to be redefined. It’s no longer about proving oneself in economic terms, making a good living, gathering possessions and status. In short, becoming ‘someone’. Maturity is found in those prepared to live with a sense of responsibility toward the greater whole. It’s being prepared to sacrifice so everyone can gain from a rebalancing of wealth, power and influence. It cuts across the modern-day narrative of unending economic growth that makes the world go around. This eclipse teaches us that what feels like sacrifice is in fact a profound and enduring liberation from everything that binds.

When Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008 we saw a global financial crisis considered by many to be the worst since the Great Depression (which began as Saturn prepared to enter Capricorn in December 1929 and was then opposed by Pluto in 1931). Conjunct Pluto, this eclipse reminds us that when the heavens are stirring things up in Capricorn we need to use something other than our bank account and social status to assess our worth. So if things aren’t looking so great from where you stand, and the results you’d hoped for in recent years aren’t forthcoming, this eclipse is a wake-up call. A gift. For within the conditions that disappoint are hidden the shoots of new life and fresh, but different, possibilities. The challenge, however, is spotting them! One has only to turn on the TV to hear all kinds of doom-mongering, misinformation and fear. There may be, on the face of it, little to give us hope. When minds and hearts contract in fear, a bunker mentality develops. We must guard against this contraction now. Whilst at one level it looks like everything’s falling apart, the search for an abiding truth continues. We must be prepared to protect what truly matters and let go those things which are mere props, mistakenly placed centre stage for too long.

Enter Eris…

Thankfully we have the mighty Eris on side to help us now. Sitting at the apex of a T Square formed with the Sun and Pluto at this eclipse, she leads the charge against all who wilfully obscure the truth to serve their own agenda. She alerts us to the lie that life is a competition in which we must forever protect something we could lose at any time. In fact we simply cannot lose what truly matters, for it is our very essence: the defining substance from which we’re formed. All else is illusion – the exhaust fumes of a struggle to encounter our core divinity. Were we all to know fully our divine essence, wars would end overnight, women and men would be free from the dictates of patriarchy, the equitable distribution of resources would become top priority, no one would starve while others compete to eat the biggest burger, and Mother Earth would be honoured as the breathtakingly beautiful being she is.

Needless to say, the human race is not there yet! Our default settings tell us we have reputations to protect, battles to fight, honour to defend, people and resources to control. Eris reminds us just how deeply we’re programmed to polarise the world and fight ‘the other side’, no matter who or what it may be. In the coming months we’ll encounter the unpredictable nature of such a world view. When we create an ‘other’, it takes on a life of its own. We cannot control how it fashions its identity, responds to our challenge or determines its own destiny. Our present moment perceptions can change the future irrevocably. If we see a world full of enemies, enemies are born, and they will undoubtedly do all they can to convince us we were right all along. But if we dive deeper to penetrate the source of current conflicts, we’ll find millennia of fear, oppression and hatred that continues to feed off the human psyche like a parasite, to this day. In the months to come we have the chance to curtail its advance on the human heart and begin to reshape the future into something other than more of the same.

The blessing of safe refuge

Venus in Cancer, currently on the North Node, emphasises the blessing of relationships in which we feel safe, loved and accepted for who we truly are. Many never experience such a refuge, but in the coming months we have a potent opportunity to both seek it out for ourselves and provide it to others. Doing so will take effort though! It won’t spontaneously happen. It can be all too easy to blame other people for failing to fulfil our needs whilst overlooking how we may be doing the exact same thing to other people in our lives. At this eclipse Venus asks us to shift from ‘you’ and ‘me’ to ‘us’ and ‘we’, seeking common ground when we can. Kindness, she reminds us, is a revolutionary force in a world built on conflict and lies.

But we must also be prepared to face hard truths if our relational environment is too toxic for our own good. Venus desires peace and security, not a miserable existence for the sake of a quiet life! Many may feel the need to move on at this time, walking away from people and places key to their past but not their future. To them Eris offers courage and resolve to do what must be done, while Venus provides gentle support to seek out true kith and kin.

A time of reckoning


This eclipse signifies a time of reckoning: for personal relationships, political movements and global alliances. Nothing and no one can be taken for granted now. With Mercury retrograde in Leo at this eclipse, attempts to serve our own interests apart from those of the collective may land us in hot water! However the eclipse energies manifest in our individual lives, the challenge will be to embody our wisest and kindest self, even as we stand firm and refuse to be taken for another ride! Learning how to say ‘no’ with an open heart can be a radical act that subverts the prevailing discourse of ‘disagreement equals conflict’. Nothing could be further from the truth right now. For only in seeking a deeper and more nuanced understanding of difference can we truly comprehend the path to peace.

Eris turns retrograde on 21st July 2019 until 11th January 2020. Read more about Eris and what her retrograde journey means for us here


Click here for more information about lunar eclipses and how to understand their role in your own birth chart 

Sarah Varcas


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Sarah Varcas: 2nd July 2019: Solar Eclipse in 11th degree of Cancer: Stronger and Wiser


 eclipse season, solar eclipse in Cancer, Chiron retrograde, Chiron in Aries, Mercury retrograde


2nd July 2019: Solar Eclipse in 11th degree of Cancer: Stronger and Wiser ~ By Sarah Varcas


The eclipse is in the 11th degree of Cancer and reaches totality at 19:24:08 UT

This solar eclipse in sensitive but nonetheless dynamic Cancer brings emotional healing in its wake. In response to a gnawing inner hunger it unleashes emotional and spiritual nourishment to those in need. Old ways of navigating this life may be falling short of late, with inspiration replaced by a jaded lack of motivation and faith. Growing intensity as Saturn and Pluto prepare to form their conjunction in January 2020 may feel heavy to many hoping for a lighter wave to ride right now. If that’s you, take heart. Nothing lasts forever, and this solar eclipse reminds us that even in the darkest hour nourishment is at hand.

This eclipse pokes at our emotional balance. If we struggle with feelings that routinely sabotage us, it offers insight about our internal dynamics and how to change them. For some, this eclipse may even bring the final healing needed to overcome a well-established pattern of emotional self-sabotage. But we must be prepared to do our part and acknowledge without candour, how we generate our own suffering. Self-awareness is key, and any feelings we choose to deny will continue to sabotage us as they, too, reach for the light.

With Venus the only planet in an air sign at the eclipse, objectivity may be hard to come by. And as Mercury prepares to turn retrograde in Leo on 7th/8th July, conjunct Mars, we must think twice about how we express ourselves. The force of our desires may cause our mouth to run away with us, speaking words in haste or anger that are best left unsaid right now. The consequences of unguarded expression at this solar eclipse will be significant. Mercury and Mars in Leo prioritise self-expression at the expense of listening to others. But balanced communication is vital at this time, together with a willingness to accept that what may seem undoubtedly obvious to us may be opaquely inaccessible to others. With feelings running high and our internal filter overridden by an over-confident appraisal of the ‘facts’, there’s an ever-present risk of words becoming the source of our undoing! If this happens, Venus’s passage across the eclipse degree on 12th July provides an opportunity for reconciliation if needed.

The Sabian Symbol for this eclipse degree references a clown impersonating others. Humour may well play its part in our journey into the Real Self, and objectivity that helps us chuckle at ourselves can be uniquely healing at this time. Life is intense, for sure. But we can lighten it up if we’re willing to shift our perspective and take ourselves less seriously. How much conflict could be avoided if more people were prepared to simply walk away rather than labour a point to win yet another meaningless argument? How much energy would we save if we let go of the routine slights and offensives that pepper our day? How much focused attention could we then invest in what truly matters? This solar eclipse poses such questions and suggests we take note of what sparks a reaction in us and why.

As Chiron begins five months retrograde in Aries on 9th July, the scales are shifting in favour of self-healing, self-acceptance and self-love. Whilst of course we need support from each other at times, those times may be fewer than we think. We are stronger and wiser than we’ve been led to believe by centuries of ‘experts’ telling us they know best in everything from religion and spirituality to science, politics, economics, health and even what we should wear and when! The time has come to own our sovereignty and claim our right to shape our own destiny. But of course, doing so comes with weighty responsibility. No longer can we lay our struggles at the feet of others and demand a solution. Chiron retrograding through Aries affirms we already have what we need and healing happens when we embrace this fact and lay claim to everything that we are.

Taking full responsibility for every moment of our lives is a radical and terrifying act. It’s also exciting, liberating and replete with potential. No more complaining. No one else to blame. No more self-pity. Just a state of pure intentionality in which we embody the power of fully being who we are. As the Moon eclipses the Sun, however, we discover just how elusive the Real Self can be! Amid conditioning and expectations, social mores, familial dictates and our own self-criticism how can we possibly spot the real me?! But like sunlight that returns once the eclipse is done, we find illumination in the shadows, weaving from their darkness the resplendent threads of a radically sovereign life.

Click here for more information about solar eclipses and how to understand their role in your own birth chart 

Sarah Varcas

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Sarah Varcas: 21st June – 29th July 2019 ~ Eclipse Season: Returning From Exile

"It may help to think of energy as encoded 
wisdom: a particular resonance or vibration with the potential to 
recalibrate our understanding of life in general and/or specific 
situations in particular." 

 Saturn retrograde, Pluto retrograde, Neptune retrograde, eclipse season, void-of-course moon, solstice

21st June – 29th July 2019: Eclipse Season

Returning From Exile

By Sarah Varcas

*All dates & times are UT*

21st June 2019 sees a number of astrological events occurring in quick succession, alerting us to a significant energetic shift. At 8:27 a.m. Neptune stations in its own sign of Pisces, beginning its annual five-month retrograde journey. At 2:03 p.m. the Moon becomes void-of-course in Aquarius until it enters Pisces exactly 24 hours later. This is a particularly long stint for a void-of-course moon. At 3:55 p.m. the Sun enters Cancer, marking the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere and the Winter Solstice in the southern hemisphere. Amidst all of this an eclipse season  begins which lasts until 29th July, featuring a solar eclipse in Cancer on 2nd July and a lunar eclipse in Capricorn on 16th July.

When so many shifts coincide with the start of an eclipse season we know this will be an energetically significant few weeks. It may help to think of energy as encoded wisdom: a particular resonance or vibration with the potential to recalibrate our understanding of life in general and/or specific situations in particular. This current season will illuminate the feelings, sensations and intuitions which reveal the quality of any given moment. Like learning a new language, we can become more intimately acquainted with the nuances of our inner wisdom which will, in turn, help us draw upon the information encoded in the prevailing energetic field. We can invite guidance on how to integrate these new levels of awareness into daily life, seek clarity about when to share what we perceive and when to remain silent, and explore when to act on intuition and when to simply acknowledge its guidance, postponing action for another day.

Whilst the impact of eclipses always radiates through the following six months, the eclipse season itself establishes the perspective and state of consciousness needed to make the most of these cosmic graces. In this instance, the shadow work begun when Saturn and Pluto turned retrograde in April will act as an important foundation stone for us. The extent to which we’ve embraced the personal shadow as manifested in recent weeks, will in large part dictate the extent to which we can confront challenges and receive blessings in the weeks yet to come.

A Formidable T Square

But the real story begins on 18th June when Pluto begins to oppose Mercury conjunct Mars in Cancer, all forming a T Square to Eris until 24th June. Here we find Eris poking at our sensitivities. Tendencies toward passive aggression and ‘acting out’ (whilst claiming we’re not!) may be heightened. Stay alert to your true feelings, aim for sensitive but honest communication and remember we’re all under pressure here and relationships may suffer as a result! This alignment demands a pragmatic approach to interpersonal dynamics alongside a willingness to recognise not only where our own wounds skew our perception, but also how we continue to wound each other.

This isn’t an exercise in self-blame, but in understanding the ego-force that inescapably shapes our lives. No one can avoid subjectivity. We all see life through our own eyes, assess it according to experience and react to protect what feels like a vulnerable core. In doing so we impinge upon the lives of others, often in ways we fail to perceive. Relationships are intensely complex. This T Square will bring some of those complexities to the fore, muddying waters and revealing the grey areas where we can’t simply point the finger and say ‘this is all YOUR fault!’. Only by setting blame aside can we make the connections which reveal what’s really going on.

This heavenly configuration acts as a doorway into the eclipse season, supporting those who seek to master emotions and penetrate their true message, not be forever swamped by their unremitting force. We cannot wait for feelings to subside, fear to abate, emotions to settle or our brains to churn out the chemicals of happiness to ease our lot. Instead we must get to know our feelings: how they arise, their triggers, their patterns and, most important of all, how we create, perpetuate and manage them. In doing so we may just discover an inexorable source of energy to draw upon when we life is overwhelming and we feel we don’t have what it takes. This T Square assures us we do. Always. As long as we’re prepared to call upon our inner warrior as much as our inner empath; to resist as much as acquiesce; to speak out perhaps more than we hold back, whilst knowing sometimes silence is the truest response of all.

Neptune Retrograde

The signature of this eclipse season is writ large by Neptune’s retrograde station at 8:27 a.m. on 21st June in the 19th degree of Pisces. The Sabian Symbol for this degree is a master instructing his disciple, a motif which speaks of the transmission of wisdom from one who knows to one who seeks. In its retrograde phase Neptune reminds us the knower and seeker are one and the same. We need only still the mind and look within to discover well-springs of wisdom: the very heart of all that we are. But how often do we ignore a wordless inner knowing and choose what’s ‘expected’ over what feels right? How often do we profess a certain belief only for it to go out the window once challenges arise? How often do our feelings tell us one thing but we do something else instead?

Such common-place self-betrayals cast into exile the part of us that actually knows what’s best. Our inner guide can no longer communicate because we’re shutting it out. A vibrant and wise part of us is silenced. We continue with our lives largely oblivious to this fact, but each time we agree when we want to disagree, act when we want to stand back or say nothing when we want to speak up, another part of our core essence is cast into darkness. The longer we live this way, the more of our psyche and spirit is disenfranchised and the smaller our lives become. Eventually, when we really need to draw on our inner-sage, we don’t even share the same language and our exile is complete. The journey of awakening is akin to emerging from this exile to embrace fully the role of wise counsellor, teacher and seer, to and for ourselves.

But in its alignment with Saturn, the Moon’s Nodes and Jupiter this month, Neptune alerts us to the risk of ‘spiritual-bypassing’. To awaken is not to escape into bliss or to avoid the cut and thrust of daily life. We awaken within the fabric of our humanity, not to escape it. We continue to live in a world on the brink, where societies have been torn apart by deep divisions of suspicion, hatred and fear the world over. Where human activity threatens the survival of countless species including our own and patriarchal posturing continues to eclipse a more equitable and heart-centred expression of our humanity. To awaken is to see all of this and our part in it. And then to birth a wise and noble Self that counters the dominant narrative of greed, aggression and war with a commitment to peace, wisdom and hope.

Void of Course Moon in Aquarius

Between Neptune’s retrograde station at 8:27 a.m. on 21st June and the solstice point at 3:55 p.m. when the Sun enters Cancer, the Moon begins a twenty-four hour void-of-course period in Aquarius at 2:03 p.m. A void-of-course Moon makes no more aspects to planets until it enters its new sign, and therefore signals a time of stillness during which activity and effort produces few useful results. Given the Moon’s key role in any eclipse season (both solar and lunar eclipses are dictated according to the moon’s cycle), this is an important significator for the coming one, best read as a warning not to invest too much importance in the effectiveness of our doing but instead focus more on the quality of our being.

This void-of-course Moon speaks of loneliness. It digs at those parts of the self which feel out of place and make it hard to fit in when we most want to. Not to be confused with the uniqueness so cherished by the Aquarian spirit, this disheartening experience of not finding our space in the world can leave us ever more isolated. We may increasingly feel this way as the eclipse season progresses, or we may encounter others struggling to find their place in a confusing world. It may be tempting to feel something’s seriously wrong, that we’ll never find our way back to a sense of safe community. But take heart: every void-of-course Moon is resolved as it enters its new sign, and as much as this one will colour the coming weeks, so too will that sense of resolution.

An Aquarian Moon is resolved as it enters Pisces: the final sign of the zodiac where individuality surrenders to the imponderable mystery from which all life is born. If we feel out of step with our environment or alone in our pain, this Moon connects us with the Great Heart vast enough to contain all joy and suffering, all hope and despair. And as the Sun enters the Moon’s own sign of Cancer at the solstice, it affirms this heart as our true home, offering sanctuary from the growing dislocation of humanity in the ever more frantic modern world.

Eclipse seasons often pose challenges, disguised as disasters or strokes of good fortune in equal measure! Even the best that life offers can stress us out if we let it! What if we mess it up, or it doesn’t live up to expectations?! The mind can turn anything into a source of trouble and eclipses often bring out the inner drama queen or king! So if you find yourself spiralling off into an emo-meltdown, spiritual emergency or plain old temper tantrum in the coming weeks, bear that in mind! Things just may not be as dire as they seem or as far beyond your influence as they feel. A change of perspective may be the key to a change of fortune. And some good old-fashioned patience could be the difference between make or break in the weeks to come.

We have a solar eclipse in Cancer on 2nd July and a lunar eclipse in Capricorn on 16th July. I’ll be sharing more about these specific eclipses soon.

Sarah Varcas

Sarah Varcas: 7th & 8th November 2018: New Moon in Scorpio & Jupiter Enters Sagittarius: Emotional Renewal



7th & 8th November 2018: New Moon in Scorpio
& Jupiter Enters Sagittarius:
Emotional Renewal

By Sarah Varcas

A new moon occurs on 7th November at 4:03 p.m. UT, in the 16th degree of Scorpio, trined by Neptune. She invites us to embrace the unknown, assured that doing so will lead us not into the mouth of danger, but the outstretched arms of wisdom which illuminates our darkness. We may feel sensitive at this Moon, both beguiled by her magic and unsure of her intentions: moved to look beyond the veil of awareness and yet strangely apprehensive about doing so. Fear of the unsettling realm of the unconscious may insist that ignorance is bliss and there’ll be no going back once we’ve seen what lurks in the darkness! What if wisdom is too much knowledge, too much responsibility, too great a challenge?

Whilst replete with mystery, this Moon is not to be feared. For those commited to waking up it hastens the journey into the sacred Self. But this journey may seem less than inviting, not full of sparkles and light! To know The Self we must know the self: the tiny, limited, fearful self which tells us we must be acceptable, ‘nice and kind’, or tough enough to ‘beat the bastards at their own game’; the self that needs to be admired or revered, protected or hidden, born of pain, separation and fear. It tells us we are at risk; that we must fight to protect our corner or betray ourselves to stay safe, accepted and loveable. It needs all the love and compassion we can muster to reveal itself: its many dark corners and sharp edges, contradictions, manipulations and fear.

This new moon allows for that compassion and potentises the power of self-acceptance which enables us to burn through the defensive twists and turns of our psyche. It reminds us we are more than just flesh and bone, opinions and emotions. Beyond and around all of that we are an embodiment of dark and light, conscious and unconscious, spirit and matter, forever immersed in a sacred dance. In the dark of this mysterious and seductive new moon we are revealed in all our paradoxical glory, to those with eyes to see and a heart eager to know.

The day after this moon, 8th November, Jupiter enters its own sign of Sagittarius, providing a welcome energy lift. This Jupiter introduces an expansive and optimistic backdrop which will build in the coming weeks and remain with us until December 2019. But it’s important to remember that optimism takes effort. It’s not just a state of grace. We must do it and be it, not simply wait for our perspective to shift, liberating us from negative and fear-laden thinking as if by magic. This is not Pollyanna thinking, denial of the troubles and struggles of this world. Instead it is hope born of bone-deep knowing that truth will rise like a bubble and wisdom win the day if we honour both in our daily lives and refuse to be controlled by impotent rage or paralysing fear. If we continue to feed the hamster wheel of anxiety, our lives will change little in the coming months. But if we align ourselves with Jupiter’s expansive and visionary hope, thinking new thoughts outside the box of our tiny mind, we might just see life in such a new light it will be forever changed.

As it enters Sagittarius, Jupiter forms a Grand Trine with the North Node just arrived in Cancer and Chiron in Pisces. Here it offers to lift us out of emotional pain into clarity, where feelings are felt, embraced, honoured and released, not clung to and solidified into you and me. All emotion is in motion. It never stays the same and there is much we can do to keep it flowing like a clear mountain stream, not crashing through our lives like a mudslide swamping all in its path. Use the New Moon in Scorpio to reflect upon your emotional landscape and identify where painful hooks keep you stuck in the past or paralysed in the present. Then welcome Jupiter into Sagittarius the following day with open arms, ready to embrace a different perspective which will help you see all things anew.

Click here for more information about the astrology of November 2018

Sarah Varcas

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Sarah Varcas: November 2018 Overview: Observing the Stories of Our Lives

 Astrology of November 2018, Energy Report, Venus retrograde, Venus in Libra, Mercury in Sagittarius, Mercury retrograde


November 2018 Overview:

Observing the Stories of Our Lives

By Sarah Varcas

All dates are UT so may vary in your time zone

At an elemental level November 2018 is all about fire and water. A Grand Trine which began to form at the end of October features significantly throughout this month, accentuating the creative force of fire and the intuitive nature of water. Fire is anger and passion, desire and resistance, inspiration and the impetus to be made new through courageous engagement with life itself. Water is the world of emotions and sensitivity, intuition and spirit, tenderness, oneness and overwhelm. We may drown in our emotions or be refreshed by them; delight in the intimacy of shared feelings or be overcome by a lack of boundaries and the impingement of the world around us. Throughout this month we must strive to balance inspiration with intuition, anger with empathy, tenderness with courage and resistance with surrender. External struggles may trigger emotional meltdown but still we must stand strong in the world and say our piece, make our mark. We may have to fight when we’d prefer to retreat or withdraw to contemplate the world rather than struggle to change it.

Attention to the subtle nuance of each moment will be necessary. The perceptual impact of heightened emotion and the fires of inspiration or anger must be carefully discerned. But most importantly we will need to connect with the subtle knowing that lies beneath all of this, steady and stable, neither you nor me nor anyone else: just the flow of energy and essence underpinning each moment from cradle to grave. It is from this flow that we can draw energy in each moment, pure and untainted by an obsessive mind or broken heart, by shame or regrets, grief or despair. Free even of the joys and delights that hook us into a worldly narrative of good and bad, right and wrong. This energetic presence that lies beneath – the source of our being – remains forever true to the moment and free of all that binds us to the world.

From this place of quiet clarity we can know what’s called for in each moment. When to speak and when to remain silent. When to act, when to step back, when to insist and when to yield. This month invites us to engage with life from a deeper place where wisdom flows like a fresh mountain stream, born of intimacy with all things and embodiment of the wise heart which sees beyond the deceptions of the world to its radiant core.

Mercury entered Sagittarius on 31st October, adding fuel to our inner flame. It will remain there all this month, turning retrograde mid-November and returning briefly to Scorpio at the beginning of December. In Sagittarius, Mercury can be a bit too confident if we let it. A tad over-zealous in its expression, it may tempt us into arrogant pronouncements where open-minded enquiry would better suffice. Consequences are often out of radar range with this Mercury. We forget they exist and make decisions with little regard for them. Sometimes there’s a place for doing this and when Mercury’s in Sagittarius it’s often the case that we simply need to speak out and see what happens. But it’s important to bear in mind that this Mercury can be liberal in its interpretation of fact and fiction, as can we. It allows for all manner of ‘creative’ truths, subjective perspectives and exaggerations, just as it provides the unfettered freedom to speak one’s mind and say it like it is no holds barred.

At its best, Mercury in Sagittarius seeks grand truths that weave all things into an integrated whole. At its less than best it fosters division through its sheer fiery force of opinion which leaves no space for difference or debate. It can broadcast opinions as fact far and wide, and so might we when under its sway. The force of resistance to our pronouncements may catch us off guard if we don’t first listen carefully to what we, ourselves, are saying. Forming part of this month’s influential Grand Trine as it shifts from the water of Scorpio to the fire of Sagittarius, this Mercury reminds us that only through deep inner enquiry can we know the truth and only through the risk of honest and open expression can we share that truth with others in a meaningful way.

Throughout the next two months we’ll have plenty of opportunity to consider the stories we project upon the world to make sense of it: how we insert our personal narrative into the impersonal conditions we encounter in our lives. Using this time to observe how that narrative impacts our experience will be time well spent. Do we weave stories that allow for creative solutions or feelings of limitation and despair? Do we forever resist the conditions we dislike, refusing to discover the power of surrender to a greater force of change in the deeper recesses of our lives? Or do we have the courage to change what we can and the wisdom to let be what we can’t? Do we project a dark and disempowered future or one of possibility – both good and bad – which we, ourselves, can shape – even by the power of our attitude in each moment? Mercury’s current cycle will reveal much about the sense we make of the world and what that sense means to our on-going experience of every day.

Venus also retrograded into Libra on 31st October where she will remain until the beginning of December, turning direct on 16th November. Since turning retrograde on 5th October she’s revealed where we get lost in obsessive desire, allow past hurts to dictate the course of the present and seek unhelpful interpersonal drama to feel connected. As Mercury now highlights the dramas we create out of life’s twists and turns, Venus’s return to her own sign softens the edges of these realisations, allowing us to share with others insight seeded in recent weeks.  If relationships have revealed their problematic sides of late, it doesn’t necessarily mean an end is called for. The solution may be far more subtle. Better communication may be necessary, or a deeper understanding of the different ways in which we express love. We may benefit from an agreement to air grievances as they arise, not let them fester for a later date. Or perhaps committing to quality time together as a priority, not a luxury, will help us connect at a more intimate level once more.

Venus retrograde in Libra allows us to find love for self and others. She relights the flames of intimacy and the warmth of appreciation, recasting difficulties in the light of busy lives, stressed-out minds and troubled hearts in need of gentle care. It is always true that some relationships simply don’t survive Venus’s retrograde cycle and were never meant to. Their time has come and moving apart is the only way. But for many, gentle and more nuanced shifts of time and attention can release the healing balm of acceptance and forgiveness which forges a more loving and intimate path ahead.

Throughout November, Venus reaches out her wise and gentle hand to any and all who seek greater intimacy and a more heartfelt exchange with life itself. She wants us connected – with each other and ourselves – guided by the heart and relaxed in the warm embrace of love. Together with Mercury in Sagittarius she reminds us that love really does make the world go around, but it comes in many different forms. The more open we can be to giving and receiving it in all its guises, the safer and gentler the world will be. Which is exactly what the North Node’s shift into Cancer on 6th November is all about. So stay tuned for more on that soon!

Sarah Varcas

Sarah Varcas: October 2018 Astro-Energy Report: Relationships and Revelation

October 2018 Astro-Energy ReportRelationships and Revelation
by Sarah Varcas

All dates are UT so may vary in your time zone

October 2018 sees a square from Uranus to the moon’s nodes settling in for five months. This alliance speaks of both positive potential and risk. It may signify sweeping change that cultivates a more innovative and courageous attitude at a personal, local and global level. Or we may end up reacting to life’s challenges blind to their deeper significance, unwittingly retreating to intellectualised theories about the ‘right’ thing to do without embodying those beliefs in a ‘real-world’ way. This relationship between Uranus and the nodes reminds us the future can hang on a single decision as much as it contains infinite potentialities. It affords us the power to impact many lives both near and far, and insists we respect this responsibility bestowed upon us.

Uranus is currently tying up loose ends in preparation for its final entry into Taurus in March 2019. It first entered Aries, the previous sign, in May 2010, since which there’s been a certain amount of leeway available for the more impulsive among us. Aries is a fiery energy, fast to act, quick to change, always ready to begin something new. If the first decision didn’t work out let’s try this one, and that one. It doesn’t hang around for the long haul, trying to make something work that’s already crashed on the rocks of misguided impulse. And it doesn’t hold our mistakes against us! Taurus, on the other hand, is far more intransigent, eager to stick on the same path no matter what. Uranus in the sign of the bull is just as impulsive as ever, but the consequences of impetuous decisions and ill-thought through plans will stick around a whole lot longer, their implications pinning us to the spot. So as Uranus prepares for its final entry into Taurus we need to reflect on what restricts our movement and growth. What triggers our impulsive side? What keeps us stuck in old habits that die hard? What behaviours do we repeatedly indulge regardless of how poorly they’ve worked out for us before?! Identifying these now will help us curtail impulsive reactivity and discern what truly needs to change once Uranus begins six unbroken years in Taurus in March 2019, and we can shift those intransigent things we never thought we could.

Pluto turned direct in Capricorn on the final day of September, signalling the start of a seven-month period of impactful external change. Daily routines may go awry as institutions fundamental to our way of life flounder. Structures and systems that underpin our lives may be increasingly undermined. Those who seek to misuse the power of public office may regret past arrogance and scramble to make amends, albeit too little too late. The sea change that Pluto enacts in our personal and collective lives is rarely gentle but always necessary. With Saturn now accompanying Pluto in Capricorn, we’ll increasingly encounter the consequences of our resistance to change as much as our desire for it. The next seven months will shift some stubborn ground and reveal further the dark under-belly of ‘respectable’ society, illuminating the shadow forces within and without that perpetuate the reckless exploitation underpinning a world in which money is king and power the ultimate currency.

That said, a waning quarter moon in Cancer on 2nd October reminds us that other people aren’t the enemy, even when they are! We can stand firm against injustice without dismissing beyond all hope of grace those who perpetuate it. Divisive politics and disenfranchised people create conflict and war. We have enough of those already. Most people on this planet struggle with the inner forces of ignorance and see through the distorted eyes of an ego under siege. Cooling water is poured on the fires of discord and hatred when we recognise that the very source of our conflict – the ego’s need to prevail at any cost – also unites us. Use this quarter moon to connect with others and create a safe space in which to promote reconciliation and compromise, ready for the new moon in Libra in a week’s time.

Venus is retrograde between 5th October and 16th November. This happens only once every year and a half, signalling an important time of reflection and realignment in our capacity for pleasure, our values and our relationships. Venus currently in Scorpio seeks total absorption in the experience of lust and longing. She needs to be overcome by the visceral force of her own desire and consumed by all-encompassing surrender to the desire of another. This Venus yearns to lose herself in tumultuous passion which fosters depth and intensity in her relationships. Retrograding in Scorpio, she emphasises the obsessive nature of desire and illuminates specifically where we identify with and feed off the experience of passionate craving. She reveals where we’re driven by an insatiable need for emotional intensity, creating problematic situations and relationships we just can’t seem to let go. This Venus illuminates where the driving-force of passion in all its forms keeps us hooked into circumstances that diminish our well-being. If we need the ‘juice’ of emotional passion to feel alive we may settle for harmful as much as life-affirming intensity, becoming embroiled in relationships which keep us angry, needy or obsessed. Power struggles may ensue as we invest increasing amounts of energy in people who rile our emotions and matters which ultimately drain our energy rather than feed our spirit.

As Venus retrogrades through Scorpio until the end of the month, observe where you get hooked by drama, where you can’t just walk away and leave it be. Ask yourself what’s really going on there and do you want or need to change that dynamic? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Only you will know. But as this month progresses, those problematic things we feed off, forever a cause of complaint and yet clung to for dear life, will become increasingly apparent. We may discover surprising and unpalatable truths about how much our identity and sense of self is bolstered by obsessive passion and negative interpersonal dynamics. The ego loves an enemy and as much as we suffer and complain, walking away once and for all may feel like too great a sacrifice. If so, an honest appraisal of why that might be is in order as Venus retrograding in Scorpio sheds light on the deeper motivations at play.

A new moon in the 16th degree of Libra at 3:48 a.m. on 9th October signals a good time to wipe the slate clean in any recent conflicts. Just because we’ve clashed with others doesn’t mean we’re bound to be forever at war. On the contrary, we may have far more in common than we know! Human nature is cyclical, moving in ebbs and flows of togetherness and understanding, strife, separation and discord, then back to connection again. Like the heavens in constant motion, nothing remains the same and any notion that people never change simply isn’t true. In an alliance with Neptune and Pluto, this new moon both softens and strengthens our relationships. It supports a compassionate heart and courageous spirit, willing to say the tough stuff with bold love, knowing the truth which sets us free is sometimes the hardest truth of all.

In a world that can seem devoid of it, being able to generate love is a mighty act of deceptive power. When Venus, ruler of Libra, is retrograde, self-love is especially important. Not a narcissistic, self-absorbed ‘love’, but a tender and accepting one. Without it we’re dependent upon love from others, on conditional love that shapes us to its own agenda. With it we are sovereign and complete: free to love who we choose, how we choose, whether or not that love is returned. This moon encourages deep reflection upon matters of the heart and an opportunity to align with the rhythm of our own, so often lost amidst the clamour of the world.

Pluto squares the Sun between 9th and 15th October, reminding us that high drama and intensity aren’t necessarily the hallmarks of a meaningful relationship. If it can’t withstand the demands of everyday life – the mundane realities that form much of a day – we may be using a relationship to escape life, not to share that life intimately with another. Relationships come in all shapes and sizes. Comparing one to another is largely pointless. But for those wondering where a current connection will lead – Is it what I want? Does it feed me deeply? Is it too serious or not weighty enough? – this alliance may provide some clarity. It is within the alchemical flames of everyday life that we often encounter the most profound challenges and deepest transformation. Relationships which can dive deeply into this realm – finding the precious in the midst of every day – can withstand much that life throws at them, strong in the shared rootedness of love. With Venus retrograde supporting all who seek a deeper, more meaningful understanding of love, this square from Pluto to the Sun exposes both the weak points and the greatest strengths of relationship, enabling us to reflect deeply on who we want to share our life with and why.

Mercury enters Scorpio on 10th October, remaining there until 31st. Conjunct the Moon and opposing Uranus as it changes sign, this passage of Mercury may uncover emotionally charged issues which trigger instinctive defensiveness or pre-emptive strikes on those we sense are about to plunge in the knife! We may well need to calm down and take a moment to reflect and rewind before we decide who’s the enemy and what’s really going on. Mercury in Scorpio wants more than anything to articulate the truth, but many of its truths are hard to bear. It’s not that it wants to dig at wounds and rake up pain, it just can’t help itself! Its insight can be so incisive that disputes and conflict, misunderstandings and even estrangement are hard to avoid. The onus is therefore on us all to ensure we reap the blessings of Mercury’s insight whilst navigating its challenges with compassionate grace.

While Mercury’s journey through Scorpio may test us in the authenticity department, it does bring its own kind of freedom. If we stand firm in the face of its truth, we’ll be strengthened beyond measure. Mercury doesn’t act out of malice. It simply says what it must and moves on. If we feel the sting of exposure or the pain of revelation it shows where hearts need to open and minds expand. Truth rises like a bubble not when we think we’re ready but when it is! Only by encountering its formidable force head on do we discover our capacity to embrace it and move on through.

Eris opposes the Sun between 13th and 19th October. She has no compunction about stepping into battle, being unpopular, speaking the unbridled truth that no else will say. She wants us authentic and real, even if that means angry and bitter. ‘If that’s who you are right now, then don’t fight it!’ she says. Her opposition to the Sun in Libra highlights where we try to deny our feelings and impulses. She forces us to look without guile at where and how we suppress our innate and visceral knowing in favour of a politer and more palatable evasion or half-truth. Together with Mercury in Scorpio she creates a formidable and veracious force while the Sun in Libra smooths their harsher edges, not to disguise the facts but to deliver them in a sensitive but relentlessly honest way. If difficult issues need to be addressed there’s much support for honest dialogue here, but those who want only to obscure or avoid may encounter the unremitting force of truths that insist they be told, no matter the consequences.

A sextile between Saturn in Capricorn and Venus in Scorpio from 19th to 28th October provides some background support if things (and especially relationships!) are feeling a bit (or very!) intense. Grounding us in the midst of intensity, this alliance helps us enjoy, rather than fear, the process of revelation. The more we can appreciate the inherent beauty of each layer of truth revealed, the easier authenticity becomes. A trine between Jupiter and Chiron from 20th October to 13th November adds additional support to those shifting from the quagmire of stagnant emotion into a lighter and more expansive place of insight. This direction of movement won’t suit everyone. Some will need to shift into emotion and out of the mind, others out of emotion into greater detachment. Only you will know where you need to be and why. But for all who seek truth there is support and encouragement on the journey right now.

An opposition from Uranus to the Sun between 21st and 27th October will keep us on our toes and stop us drifting back into bad habits that distance us from life. Uranus currently retrograde in Taurus is all about disrupting just such habits, refusing to let them win. The force of human unconsciousness is unremitting, but so is the current evolutionary impulse to awaken. As Uranus journeys through Taurus in the coming years the balance will shift in favour of the latter as the most intransigent habits of mind, body and spirit come under sustained assault from the forces of truth within and without. This current opposition reminds us we don’t dictate the evolutionary timetable, we are subject to it. We can neither stop it nor force it, but can instead align ourselves with it in total trust. If Uranus trips you up now, with unexpected events that shake you awake, try to rest in that trust rather than fear. Make faith a habit and courage your default setting. And when you can’t do that, resolve to begin again. Old habits die hard, but they do die eventually. As the Sun journeys through Scorpio between 23rd October and 22nd November we can discover precisely which habits are holding us back and resolve to deal with them once and for all. This is an excellent time to commit yourself to living in a different way, to challenging inner voices which insist on a certain perspective you now know to be false. Don’t let them drown out the voice of truth which is gaining in volume by the day.

A full moon in the 2nd degree of Taurus on 24th October (16:46 UT) illuminates the power of questioning who we believe ourselves to be. Conjunct Uranus and opposing Venus, it provides the courage to stand strong in the face of self-delusion and denial, exhorting us to look beyond self-deception. This is a moon of profound change and radical disruption of the status quo. It threatens to test even the strongest attachments if they compromise our freedom. Squaring the North Node, this moon can either propel us forward or hold us back, depending upon how we use it. Refusing to budge can be as radical as letting everything go if that’s what circumstances require. Wise discernment is key to managing the energy of this moon and we may well experience its ripples throughout the rest of the month. Things long ripe for change may shift exponentially around this time, most likely just when we’ve gotten used to living with them as they are! Likewise projects we’ve pursued because we thought we should may suddenly seem too burdensome to continue, auguring a return to a simpler life previously sacrificed on the altar of progress. What this moon means for individual life circumstances will of course vary, but the end result can be a powerful and positive recalibration of our energy and intention if we let it.

A sextile between Saturn and the Sun from 24th to 31st October provides some more grounding support. What seems like a burden may prove to be far more satisfying as we discover creative ways to access a deeper and more authentic current of instinct and emotion. If the full moon illuminated inner conflicts that we struggle to reconcile, Saturn and the Sun provide the courage and creativity to live in deeper alignment with apparently opposing drives and desires. With Venus conjunct the Sun in Scorpio between 24th and 28th October, accepting the shadow self becomes an act of love which demonstrates the depth of our commitment to fulfilling our potential whatever form it takes. We don’t have to achieve great things, make a name for ourself or develop some amazing new power! The core challenge of life is to simply be who we are without guile or shame: without the denial and suppression that distorts the human drive for expression into something altogether less edifying. As October comes to a close and the Moon begins to wane we are, each and every one of us, called to risk being a bit more who we actually are and a bit less who we think we’re supposed to be.

On 31st October Mercury enters Sagittarius where it turns retrograde next month. On the same day Venus retrogrades into Libra. Watch out for next month’s report for more info about them. In the meantime, suffice to say that October ends with a waning quarter moon in Leo which offers solace to egos wounded by the full moon a week prior. Ego isn’t the enemy despite what you may have heard. We need its sense of self and substance, an identity with which to navigate through the world. The key is to know the difference between our conditioned ego identity and our unchanging, unconditioned essence. Being intimate with both allows us to live with greater awareness, equipped to face life’s twists and turns with increasing wisdom and grace.

Sarah Varcas


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