By Sarah Varcas
The month ahead comes with a fluid and creative underlying energy, gentle yet powerful, bringing to mind deep currents beneath a still surface. It’s time to embrace our creativity whatever that means for us. We don’t have to be Picasso or Beethoven to do this. No ‘talent’ is needed, no standards to be met. Simply allowing ourselves to embrace the beauty of the natural world, the soulful look in an animal’s eyes or the gentle rise and fall of our sleeping child’s chest – all of these things and many more connect us with the creative beauty of the universe which forever demonstrates its awesome wonder even if we remain oblivious, head down, rushing through another day.
In this sense creativity is not something we do but a way of being. In appreciating the many shades of green in the springtime trees, the symmetry of reflection in a shop window, the love that went into a garden we pass, we align ourselves with the power of beauty which awakens the creative spirit. Too often we are led to believe creativity requires talent, gifts and an end product whose worth is affirmed by others. In fact creativity is simply our body doing what it does to keep us alive and our heart reaching out to connect with the world around us. This heart response to moments of beauty is our spirit rising up to be one with them, to claim its place in the creative dance of the universe.
The Full Moon in Sagittarius on 2nd June sets the scene for this shift of perspective. Marking the culmination of old habits that keep us stuck in unhealthy patterns of thought, feeling and behaviour, it encourages new responses to familiar situations even when our emotions urge us down the same old track. This Moon offers great support to those who choose to do life differently and step out of familiar ruts. It invites us to take part in one of the most creative acts of all: changing our behaviour. No matter the strength of old and deep-rooted emotion, it invites us to choose a different way and make that choice the first of many which will unleash new possibilities through the embodiment of our creative spirit.
Venus enters Leo on 5th, remaining there until the beginning of October but for two weeks spent in Virgo in July. This lengthy stay occurs on account of Venus turning retrograde next month, which happens about once very twenty months. Venus in Leo is warm and demonstrative, colourful, confident and creative. She provides a wonderful backdrop to the gently creative energy of the month ahead and adds a note of confidence to our expression and appreciation of both ourselves and others. Venus in Leo loves the self reflected back in another’s eyes as much as she loves the other in whom she encounters that reflection. Adoration of self and other are not mutually exclusive for her and only in a relationship which embodies the creative power of self-love can she be truly satisfied. This Venus needs to shine and she needs us to shine along with her, embracing our capacity to re-create ourselves, our lives and our world one magical moment at a time.
When Mercury turns direct on 11th, having been retrograde since 19th May, we have an opportunity to reflect on recent revelations about relationships. It may not have been a comfortable few weeks, but if we can view current dynamics objectively we can come out of it with deeper insight into how we and other people operate in the beautiful mess that is human relationships! If, however, defensiveness and blame have become our default settings we may reach the end of this retrograde phase wearing enhanced armour that will only serve to isolate us in due course. Between 11th and 27th June we have a final chance to address outstanding issues before Mercury moves on to pastures new and we must learn how to walk around in this ungainly armour for the coming months. Far better to shed it before then, steel ourselves for dialogue and do what needs to be done!
Neptune’s retrograde passage (12th June – 18th November 2015) coupled with Saturn’s final sojourn into Scorpio (15th June – 18th September) amplify the need to connect with the divine within, for only by rooting ourselves in sacred source can we truly be free to share ourselves authentically with others. This is how we find the courage to speak the truth, the strength to commit, the power to change and the wisdom to let go. Knowing ourselves as something greater than the ‘little me’ that fears rejection, shies away from misunderstanding and demands acceptance to feel secure, unleashes the creative spirit to fly free and embody the power of mother nature, the awesomeness of the heavens, the depth of the deepest ocean and majesty of the highest peaks. Liberation, Saturn and Neptune tell us, is not about freedom from something, which concretises duality, but freedom to simply be. If we seek only liberation from that which binds, we are merely bound to its opposite. But freedom to simply be what we are in the fullness of our complexity and the simplicity of our divinity – that is true liberation, the flight of the phoenix from the flames of egoic insecurity and fear.
The Gemini New Moon on 16th continues the theme of emancipation. It provides a lightness of being coupled with the necessary energy to uproot some unhelpful influences in our lives. In doing so, however, it poses the question of what we intend to do with the resulting freedom? The desire for liberation is strong in many people these days, but freedom comes with responsibility and a conjunction between Black Moon Lilith and the North Node at the time of this New Moon reminds us we cannot liberate ourselves from each other. Our collective destiny calls now, urging us to make a stand for truth, embrace possibility and allow new ways of being in community to emerge. We cannot survive alone on this planet, nor can we do so by exploiting its inhabitants for our own gain, but by recognising them as the divine spark they are. In doing so we honour the creative spirit which burst forth aeons ago and lives on in each and every one of us. To gaze upon the world in this way is an act of power, a moment of rebellion against the tiny mind that sees you over there and me over here, competing for resources and security, for life itself. Life is not a competition but a team effort with the winning score-line being the one which makes us all victors, equal in value and honoured as a spark of sacred source lit millennia ago and still burning bright through the ages.
The 19th June sees Chiron, Uranus and Jupiter form an alignment which lasts until the 2nd week of July. In this we see the drive for individuality challenged by the desire for dissolution of self and unification with the divine. These two impulses, for individuality and union, exist side by side in the human spirit and are often perceived as incompatible. In fact they are two sides of the same coin, not obstacles to each others’ potential. We are both unique individuals and minute parts of an infinite whole. We can access identity, personality and individual presence alongside a dissolution of self into the collective field which connects us all. The process of conscious evolution necessitates intimacy with both these aspects of human experience.
However, the desire to side-step the messiness of human life and the trickiness of ego identification can result in a flight into ‘spirit’ without the necessary rootedness in the world of form where our body, the anchor of spirit, resides. This is not awakening but instead denial of incarnation and all its challenges. It can indeed be tough to see through the craziness of a world gone mad, but in seeing through it we are still part of it. We must live out our awakening – with its moments of insight, times of freedom and dark passages of isolation and challenge – here in this world not off in another. As the great Zen Masters remind us, awakening is not a pleasantly polite, neat and comfortable experience. It is messy, challenging, exhilarating, liberating and terrifying in equal measure! It teaches us how to be many things in one space, how to live with paradox, embrace contradiction and risk everything to be free.
As the Sun (21st June) and then Mars (24th June) enter Cancer whilst Venus and Jupiter continue to journey through Leo, the interplay of inspiration and emotion is highlighted as the month comes to an end. With a current dearth of planets in earth signs (we have only Pluto in Capricorn holding that fort), we may struggle to bring our imagined creations into form. Possibilities and potential may seduce us but the energy and effort required to manifest them could be lacking. Which brings us full circle back to the issue of creativity, for the more creative we can be in our everyday life – the more we attend to the wonder of life in all its messy glory – the better able we will be to make real our own creative endeavours when the time is right. We cannot rely solely on a moment of inspiration to fulfil our potential, nor on the right emotion to bring forth all we can be. We must also commit to the process, walk the path through famine and feast and do what is needed to manifest in the material realm the delights of our mind and heart.
As Mercury crosses its retrograde degree from mid-May, on 27th June, it wraps up concerns of the past six weeks and clears the decks for a new phase. Soon to enter the watery realms of Cancer it offers a few more days to think logically through current concerns before engaging a more intuitive approach to balance the mental one. Both have value. One is not more worthy than the other and we can recognise, now, how they work together to provide a balanced and rounded appreciation of all the data available! To honour one and dismiss the other is to cut ourselves in half and discard a huge portion of who we are. The mind and heart must work together and in so doing provide all the guidance we need to journey onward. Herein lies the key to creativity: a fulsome and rounded relationship with ourselves, each other and the world around us, which embraces paradox and celebrates diversity, within and without.
A conjunction between Venus and Jupiter in Leo as the month closes, celebrates all that we are as unique individuals and the power we have to change the world for the greater good. It is not only in recognising ourselves as part of the whole that we effect change, but also in standing out from it, to shine our unique light of selfhood and individuality. The iridescent tapestry of humanity, replete with differences of texture and tone, is fulfilled through each of us being ourselves, sharing our gifts, being honest about our foibles and never giving up on the potential for humanity to come through for each other, transforming the world as we go.