The Libra New Moon occurs at 3:47 am GMT on 9th October 2018. The Moon-Sun makes a conjunction with Ceres. Pluto squares the Moon-Sun and Venus is now getting into her retrograde process through Scorpio.
Ceres primarily represents the feminine principle as we associate her with the nurturing principle, the mother, but is so much more than that. Libra highlights themes of relationship, partnership, balance, justice, harmony and equality. This is hardly what we feel most of the time under these current evolutionary drives.
But these issues of how we relate to one another, through Libra, are fundamental to our fulfilment as individuals, and in our personal and wider community spheres. And to achieve the goal of inner harmony under these astrological conditions, we are going to need to do a lot of inner reckoning.
There’s a lot we are contending with – a mishmash of rising layers of consciousness. A differentiation process of what’s mine and what’s yours. A sorting through needs, values and beliefs. We are confronting ourselves in the other, whether we like it or not. Perhaps we are in denial of some of it, perhaps other aspects we can see. There’s a dawning sense of needing to take more responsibility, know more of our truth, to feel empowered and get clarity on what the next steps.
There are some clear themes in this New Moon chart, and the upcoming astrology just beyond it. The waxing square between Venus-Mars exact on 11th, alongside Venus retrograde, seems to highlight the fundamental division between the masculine and feminine, men and women, in our personal and collective lives.
Although a struggle millennia old, it all begins with what our parents teach us, reinforced through the patriarchal conditioning of our schools, society and media. Patriarchy teaches women to be weak, to serve, to caretake and nurture others, and to be provided for.
Men are taught to be served, to provide, to be strong, to think, strategise, plan and that it is not their role to nurture others. It’s not ok for women to be angry, yet it’s deemed natural for men. Women are expected to express feelings, at least some of them, but men should not, unless its anger. That’s just a tiny portion of it.
Then there’s all the other judgments that we have picked up elsewhere, from our experiences in our intimate relationships. Women are over sensitive, demanding, nagging, impractical, over dramatise. Men are insensitive, unfeeling, pathetic, never apologise, too proud, hardwired to be aggressive, think only with their genitalia. The lists go on.
Many of us have slipped into passive, watered down versions of ourselves. Our whole selves are largely unlived, undiscovered. We don’t know how it is to feel the full, vibrant expression of ourselves because of all the ideas, perceptions, beliefs, conditions and expectations of who we are or should be.
This Venus retrograde is interested in us reclaiming our lost identities, the parts of our consciousness that remain frozen in the mists of time, untouched and unexplored. We don’t know who we are until we can have the courage to peel back the layers of what is not us.
We all have a masculine and feminine side, regardless of gender and in everyone there are distortions of each. The way forward is curiosity, openness to the parts. Not marginalising or stuffing down aspects because they do not fit in with the so called normal view of how a human being, man, woman should be. It takes all diversity, sorts, types, creeds and expressions to make our world what it is. We need to meet the world on it’s terms, not some idealised version of what it should be like.
What we resist or deny in ourselves gets projected onto our partners, bosses, teachers and then we have a reaction to it. That’s why we have relationship issues, so we can see what we disown. Even this is a threat to most people’s sense of reality. We rigidly stand guard of our version, our truth of what is happening. We forget that in this world, as it is, we need to go through processes and some of that is required for growth. We can’t just be transported to perfection, neither can our partners (as much as it might like that).
It doesn’t work the way, what we loathe or reject in a partner holds aspects of our own rejected, denied, repressed selves. This is perhaps the first step to spiritual awakening – even prior to believing in some kind of spiritual oneness. If we can’t accept that we are within the other and vice versa, there is no spiritual awakening. Oneness cannot be experienced in the head, it’s in the felt sense, in our experience of each other.
So if we were to integrate the masculine and feminine what might that look like? Perhaps a full spectrum dance that goes to all extremes. What we currently have is a battle within and outside of us. In the wake of battle, we become a watered down version of ourselves, so we can pretend to ourselves that we are all balanced. Less integration and more embodiment I say. Integration is somewhat fake, it suggests a watering down (a balancing out), it feeds us the reality it can happen without our full embodied participation. While embodiment suggests our whole involvement, with all channels of experience alive and vital. Far more risky, and a far more vulnerable place to occupy.
The opposites seek to reconcile their differences, the archetypes seek expression and it is our fate to journey into archetypal energies whether we like it or not. We can’t avoid living out an expression of consciousness or the unconscious when our learning process is to totally embrace the lowest and highest expression of an energy, to understand it’s necessity at times in our lives. If we were never the hermit, we would never learn to go within. The only issue is when we get stuck and cycle and can’t find a way out.
Scorpio is Venus’ detriment sign. That means she’s not happy there. But where we are not happy is usually where we need to be, there’s a gift there. This 40 day cycle which ends on 16th November, for some will be a complex, intense journey. It’ll likely to tied up with lots of complexity, dark unconscious emotions and experiences, sex, obsession, fear and even power struggles. The projections could become intense.
How we navigate that journey will be an amalgamation of many different things. There is no one path, in fact there is no path, the path is made by walking. How you walk it is down to your personal requirements right now. Whether it’s with fierceness, compassion, grace, courage or forgiveness, or better still all combined.
The Ceres Pluto myth is important with the emphasis on both Ceres and Pluto, and of course they have a mythic connection, in that Pluto, Lord of the underworld, abducted Persephone, the daughter of Ceres and took her down to the underworld. Life often takes us into dark and difficult places so we face our own rejected, depotionised parts of ourselves – the parts that exist in the shadow, that get found in the other, in our obsessions, fantasies and disturbances.
The relationship between mother and daughter – Ceres and Persephone – speaks of the of the need to face the loss of that which we dearly love. This places emphasis on our wounded relationship with the feminine. Many sons and daughters cannot believe that even their own mothers, let alone ‘the Mother – the Goddess’ would be there to mourn them if they disappeared down a crevasse.
Women insist on ‘care’ coming from a man, men can after all take charge. Females are second best. When we are badly wounded in our relationship to the feminine, we tend to fair well in our public persona, we even uphold the ideals of the patriarchy. We go through life with little sense of our own feminine value (regardless of gender). For what has been valued in women and the feminine is often defined only in relation to the masculine. The good, nurturing mother and wife, the sweet agreeable daughter, the gently supportive achieving partner. The masculine is not without it’s distortions and ideals also.
But the feminine enrages itself (Pluto) when trying to compress itself into these narrow roles, just as our grandmothers deformed their bodies in corsets for the sake of ideals. We feel unseen, we are not recognised for our wholeness, there are no images it after all. We have no idea what we have lost, but we still grieve it. It’s simple – Goddesses are now seen as partial aspects of one wholeness pattern, the darker powers of the feminine are hidden in myths. And even in these original myths the original potency of the feminine was depotonised, or turned over to male deities.
Most of the powers once held by the Goddess have lost their connection to a woman’s life: the embodied, playful, passionately erotic feminine; passionately wilful, independent, regal, ambitious, many sided feminine. Women have veiled their own needs for power and passion. Feminine strength has been split off and we are left in an ungrounded state – no identity, confused, a mismash of conditioning. This is how it sometimes feels, at least. We know we can be so much more, but too often we end up frustrated and embittered succumbing to unfulfilling or harmful relationships that come no where close to meeting our needs.
If we all went willingly on a journey to gather the lost parts of ourselves, perhaps we wouldn’t have to meet them so painfully in our relationships, our diseases and our world’s disorder.
The inner tension of this deep polarisation between the masculine and feminine, Venus and Mars, might feel so challenging that we erupt in plutonian rage. Watch this doesn’t happen in a way that no responsibility for your own wounds is taken. It is everyone’s responsibility, not one person’s responsibility. Pluto also represents both the profound influence of the unconscious, and the transformation which occurs when we face the unknown and unintegrated aspects of ourselves.
The emphasis on Ceres at this New Moon strongly reflects themes of facing our own personal underworld and what we might need to be prepared to lose in that process. Venus’ journey to the underworld, through the myth of Inanna, also mirrors that which is hidden from conscious awareness.
So this New Moon closely conjunct Ceres and square Pluto, amplifies the archetypal themes around the feminine and power. Ceres symbolises the need to face our utter despair, our inability to live in our fragmented state, the unbearable loss of our birthright of wholeness. She is here to help us evolve from a patriarchy model of death being a rape of life, to be feared and controlled, towards matriarchal consciousness where there is simply a continuum of different states, and transformations of one energy. The Goddess destroys as much as it redeems.
We are all individually and collectively moving towards a consciousness that honours a co-creative relationship between the masculine and feminine, and between humankind and the natural world – life gives over to death and death to life. As such, Ceres and also Inanna represent the collective suffering of women experienced through the exiled feminine. The sacrifice to herself in order for rebirth. The secret is to not let this stay abstract, begin the journey, welcome the experience of grief and isolation if it takes you where you need to go.
Shortly after the New Moon, on 11th October, the Sun squares Pluto exactly, just one day after the exact Venus squares Mars. Perhaps this will force change for some if there’s been no attempt to invite or embrace it. Pluto has only an evolutionary mission on his mind. The energies are pulling us inside to fully embody and reconcile whats although this certainly doesn’t exclude engaging with our relationships intensely. The inner is outer and vice versa.
Juno also stations retrograde on the same day, forcing the issue of equality and co-creative partnership. She goes direct again two days before Christmas – that’s some time off. We are entering into a slippery, dark arena that might feel like phases awareness and levels of growth. In relationships it’s not always clear who is doing what to whom. The way out of the confusion is not through more conflict or polarisation though, its to go in and engage, whether that be with the other or yourself (or both).