Consider the word value for a moment. In this modern era, value has become a promotional tool for businesses by adding perks to convince the consumer that they are getting an increased valuable benefit from their products and services. We consumers are referred to as ‘guests’ instead of customers to make us feel valued, the thinking being a valued customer is more likely to spend that hard-earned money faster.
The data implies that we respond to receiving that ‘something extra’ when becoming a member, choosing a rewards card, and accumulating loyalty purchase points to use toward ‘free’ goods. We sign up hoping to save money, receive future discounts, or earn a free trip. What we may not realize is the seduction behind these value-added opportunities. The easy sign up may have us thinking we will save time and get more bang for our buck. The question is, “Are we?”
Astrologically, the earth signs are known for being the element of adding value because of their steadfast and practical nature. Taurus is the Zodiacal second house of what we value. Virgo is the sixth house of health, healing, systems, and service, and Capricorn, the tenth house, and its position indicates career achievement and social status.
The slower outer planets have moved, or will soon move, into earth signs, at least for a while. In May 2018, Uranus entered Taurus and will stay until November 6, 2018, when it returns briefly back to finish its work in Aries. Uranus will then return to Taurus on March 6, 2019, for seven years. In late 2017, Saturn entered Capricorn and will be there until late December 2020. Pluto is in Capricorn until November 20, 2024.
When many planets are moving through earth signs, particularly the slower planets, the cosmos asks us to be down to earth and streamline our lives. Earth transits are not as much fun as the slower planets moving through fire or air signs, which they have been doing for a while. The earth element ‘corrects’ the inflationary habits that we fall victim to, requiring all of us to change and reframe our lives. It may have us asking, “Are our current values in line with our current lifestyle?” Once we answer that question we might then ask ourselves, “What can we do to change patterns that are not in alignment with our values so that our lives can be lived more efficiently, and we feel the value of our existence?”
It is human nature to want instant answers to such questions, but we must understand the other patterns that are occurring zodiacally at this time as well. In my new book, Pushing through Time: Synodic Cycles and Their Developing Phases, I discuss many historical trends and events and their evolutionary development using the idea of phase arc timing. Phase arc timing is aligned with the phases of the Moon, which goes through eight phases during its one-month cycle.
We begin with the New Moon, when the Moon is dark, and often when things begin in a seed state of development. The halfway point is the Full Moon, when the Earth finds itself between the Sun and the Moon, energetically causing some to become a little loony. Less familiar is the last phase of the Moon, known as the Balsamic phase. This last phase of the monthly lunation cycle is one of the most difficult phases and perhaps the most mysterious of the 8-fold lunar cycle. It is a fascinating phase because it can seem otherworldly in its expression.
The Balsamic phase is the end of one 8-phase cycle while at the same time the essential beginning occurring before the next 8-phase cycle truly begins. The Balsamic phase is the most hidden portion of the cycle. It may seem as though nothing is happening, but the opposite is true because ideas are percolating on a deep level. This is where our world is now. The instinct is to do something but what and how are unclear.
There is an unsettling quality to this phase. Feeling tired and confused but also hopeful is common. This is a time requiring retreat for full incubation of ideas. I mentioned the word hopeful, if you follow the daily news and world events it can seem challenging to remain hopeful, but in my research for the new book, I discovered that in the Balsamic phase nothing seems to be happening when the opposite is true. It is, in many ways, a fermentation cycle, much like Balsamic Vinegar (which I think is one of the tastiest vinegars).
In 2020, Saturn will align with Pluto, Jupiter will align with Pluto, and Jupiter will align with Saturn. Each conjoining will begin what is called a Synodic Cycle, also described as New Moons of Consciousness. These three happen ever 33, 20, 13 years respectively and can be counted on to ignite something new. We continue in the Balsamic phase of these planetary cycles through 2018 and 2019, until 2020, when these three planets begin new cycles.
These three important conjunctions have similar cyclic patterns with the USA Declaration of Independence chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 PM, Philadelphia, PA. In this chart, Pluto is in the second house of values. There is that word again–value. Pluto is the planet of choice, consciousness, power, big money and large holdings. For the first time in 246 years, Pluto is returning to its original sign and degree of this horoscope, which indicates a crisis of consciousness and questioning values. There is an opportunity to transform an old way of living and thinking into a new way of working, thinking and prospering.
Pluto remains on the dark side of these return cycles and does not return to that original place in the horoscope until February 20, 2022. That specific return cycle will end later that year, on December 28, 2022. This all means that as we, a global community, go through these final phases, before new cycles begin, our frame of mind is most important. In other words, do all you can to remain hopeful.
The following graphic is meant to illustrate declinations. If you are not familiar with declination, it is the manner of indicating the distance North or South of the celestial equator’s 00 degree horizontal line. The ‘maximum’ possible declination of the Sun (or a planet), either north or south, is 23 degrees 28′.
When the Sun is at this specific degree, we have the winter and summer solstices. When any planet passes that 23 degree 28′ position (either the Tropic of Cancer) or the Tropic of Capricorn) it is out of bounds. With so many planets moving past that 23 degree 28′ distance and even more so from 2020 through 2022, in the sign of Capricorn, this indicates significant changes (see configuration in an oval on the graph).
Saturn has a 30-year return cycle; the Lunar Nodes have a 19-year return cycle, Pluto, a 246-year return cycle, and the upcoming 2019 Jupiter transit through Capricorn, a 12-year return cycle. This confluence of activity will create a planetary log-jam, or rather a cross pollination (a more hopeful word) of planets at the furthest distance (declination) south of the celestial equator. The equatorial line is the horizontal line that runs at the 00° on both of the following graphs.
When planets move out of bounds (OOB), they are in a type of twilight zone. In Capricorn, over the course of the next three years, this signifies the conception of new ideas. Much like animals that hibernate in winter, the world is hibernating and incubating with new possibilities. Since these planets are slower, the incubation takes a bit longer.
For comparison, if we review the planetary action that was occurring during the economic meltdown in 2008, transit Pluto was entering the Capricorn zone where Chiron, Jupiter and Neptune were already traveling OOB (see graph). This activity can be viewed as a precursor to what is coming. To emphasize our hope for the future, let us review a few of the innovative ideas in the current re-use or re-purposing cycle.
Food & Health: Food production is moving towards a healthier model as more information about how our food is grown and processed reaches the public. The Moon rules the public and as the public becomes educated, informed and uneasy about chemicals in our food, the mass consciousness of the public drives changes. In recent months, large franchises, such as McDonald’s, who began in 1955, are going back to its original premise of using fresh beef instead of a meat by-product. This is the result of public pressure. [i]
Niche agricultural crops are increasing in the United States, for example, the propagation of bees, honey production and healthy hives and seaweed farms. Medical marijuana is being used to remedy ailments that regular pharmaceuticals are unable, in some cases to help, such as childhood epilepsy. In some of the more conservative United States, such as Illinois, the Compassionate Care Act of Illinois allows for medical marijuana manufacturing.
Building, Housing & Agriculture: Recycled shipping containers are being used for small food shops, small strip malls, and even micro homes that prove efficient yet not expensive. Old windows are being turned into miniature greenhouses. With more and more brick and mortar buildings closing due to the increase in online shopping, there are many vacant buildings and shopping centers being turned into housing and office space. Many areas lack affordable housing. Utilizing these abandoned commercial buildings, an inventory that will only continue to grow in availability, could ease the prohibitive cost of housing. One consideration for these buildings would be to shelter the disenfranchised and the mentally ill.
I was recently on an agricultural tour in France and found an excellent Scotch distillery was using shipping containers to triage the levels of the fermentation of Scotch. In the Champagne region of France, more of the younger farmers inheriting their family vineyards are using less and less sugar in their excellent champagnes and moving to a more organic approach to farming than in the past.
Textiles: Clothing, furnishing, seat covers, outdoor furniture and accessories are being created from recycled plastics. Recycled denim is being repurposed into yoga mats. Classic household items, such as old drinking glasses, are being turned into very creative and innovative light fixtures and chandeliers.
The above were a sample of changing perspectives. We can all do our part during this period of transition; it is just a matter of seeing things from the re-use and recycle perspective. Try to find value in things that you are ready to discard but may have a completely new life ahead of them. Instead of adding to the burgeoning landfill of dump sites, think in terms of composting, E-cycle for electronics, have a yard sale, or donate items to worthy causes.
The theme of all those planets in Capricorn is what seems dormant, dead or unmoving now has the potential to resurrect into something completely new and vibrant. It just requires a bit more time.
Consumers are catching on to the tempting allure of promotional tools used by big businesses to convince us that we are getting an increased valuable benefit by spending on goods that do not last. If you are inclined to save money, space, and your sanity, take inventory of what you have. Skip the impulse buys. Make a list and stick to it. Consider what you need before shopping. If possible, if there is an item you would like but do not necessarily need, first try to be creative with what you have instead. This is the time to trim the fat, so to speak. All of this activity in Capricorn is putting the emphasis on the degree of excellence we aspire toward as individuals, and as a global community. We need to do better for our planet and future generations.