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How to Cross an Ocean; How to Light a Fire

“A belief is only a thought you continue to think; and when your beliefs match your desires, then your desires must become your reality.” — Abraham

Dear Planet Waves Reader:

Pisces, as the last sign of the zodiac, represents the primal waters to which thought, action and memory return — and from which they emerge. Seawater contains traces of nearly every element, from oxygen to iron to gold. The history of humanity is contained in the world’s oceans, as rivers course through canyons and cities and carry everything to the shore. Those things carried include the trace contaminants and drugs that have been created during our current age of industry, and which inevitably find their way into the sea — which we then dip into as the supposedly eternal source of food. Meanwhile, scientists have reported a ‘water memory’ phenomenon, where water retains the properties of what it once held, and responds to everything from thought to prayer to microwaves.

Photo by Bev Dulis.

Photo by Bev Dulis.

In calendar year 2011, we will learn a lot about Pisces. You can think of the most watery water sign as the universal recipient. It’s the cosmic realm that contains every element, and is the place where the story of humanity collects from moment to moment. The ocean refuses no river.

Pisces is about to receive two new planets, which will shape our experience of life and be reflected in changes in the world we know. One is Chiron, which made a brief visit in 2010. On Feb. 8, Chiron will return to Pisces, where it will stay until it begins its process of entering Aries in 2018. Chiron, which has a wildly elliptical orbit, is currently moving at close to its slowest speed through the signs (eight and nine years in Pisces and Aries respectively); at the other end of the dial, in Virgo and Libra (where it was in the mid-1990s) Chiron sails through a sign in 18 months — faster than Saturn moves through a sign (which takes about 30 months). So currently we have Chiron in its incarnation as an outer planet, slow and powerful. I have many reasons to believe this transit will take center stage, even amidst the truly momentous changes portended in the transits of 2011.

Wherever it may be, Chiron focuses attention, and the oceans (signified by Pisces) need attention. So too does the vast interior of human consciousness represented by Pisces. This last sign of the zodiac works for all of us as a source of creativity, emotional contact and escape from the hard-edged world of the ego. If not for Pisces, there would not be music or art, and sex would not be the same. We would not recognize the subtle shades of our emotions. Yet we tend to pollute this realm with everything from mind-bending psychotropic drugs to contact with 5,000 advertisements a day.

Melanie Reinhart says of this sign, “Forms disintegrate, the past is dissolved and our separateness is relinquished.” These are processes that extend over time, rather than sudden shifts. Chiron focuses energy and accelerates any movement already underway, instigating its knack for healing first by raising our awareness — or attempting to do so. With Chiron in Pisces (the sign of the hidden dimension), we will see what we’ve been missing.

The other planet entering Pisces is Neptune, which has not touched the waters of the sign it’s so often associated with since shortly after its discovery in the 19th century. Neptune is wrapping up a long journey across Aquarius, which began in January 1998. This transit has in many ways taken over consciousness; at the beginning of this transit in the late 20th century, nobody would have believed we would be walking around with computers in our pockets, checking email 200 times a day, and basically investing our souls into cyberspace.

Photo by Bev Dulis.

Photo by Bev Dulis.

Few would have guessed that every local police department would be feeding information into the FBI database (not about arrests — they’ve done that for decades; I mean about ‘suspicious’ behavior, your employment history, who you associate with, etc.), something more suitable for the old East Germany than the land of Jefferson and Madison. And who would have foreseen the opportunities this same technology creates for countless digital artists and musicians to create innovative work and share it around the world?

Neptune will exit Aquarius and touch the shore of Pisces on April 4, 2011, staying for a four-month visit. Then in 2012 it will re-enter Pisces to stay until 2025-26. This brief visit of Neptune is another harbinger of the 2012 era, representing a distinct shift in the spiritual vibration of the planet and a new phase of what we can call the history of our inner lives. This influence may overwhelm some; to others it will feel like flushing fresh water into a dry lake.

The extended, simultaneous presence of Chiron and Neptune in Pisces is about developing the awareness and discipline to handle deep emotional, and what you might call mystical, energy. You don’t swim across the ocean — you travel in a boat. The same is true for the oceanic multidimensional realms represented by Pisces. You can think of Chiron as the boat, the vessel which includes such tools as perception, analysis, documentation and — most significantly — boundaries.

The first boundary is where the collective realm ends and the individual realm of self begins. That is represented by the imaginary line between Pisces and Aries. Uranus has been in Pisces for seven years, stirring things up. In February, Uranus enters Aries, illustrating a radical transformation in our sense of self, and how we express the whole idea of self. We dearly need this shock to our self-awareness. I am trusting that Uranus is going to light the fire of curiosity about self, and remind us how being centered within ourselves is the key to sanity. I don’t mean narcissism and I don’t mean egotism. I mean learning to focus our sense of being at our own core, and relate to the world from that alert, mindful space.

Photo by Eric Francis.

Photo by Eric Francis.

What will protect us from Uranus in Aries turning into an eruption of vanity is Chiron and Neptune connecting us to the spiritual depths of Pisces. It’s as if Chiron and Neptune are helping us reach aspects of soul awareness and Uranus in Aries is helping us project our life force through our personality and body. Together, these transits — which last for years — will help many people wake up to the beauty of existence, to life and to participating in the changes that the world is going through.

Speaking of that — the planets I’ve just described that are making changes in 2011 add momentum to another outer-planet change, which is Pluto in Capricorn. That has been in progress since about 2008, and has come with many changes in society, some of them jarring and frightening. We think of this variously as the banking crisis, the recession, the foreclosure crisis, the turmoil in government, the big hole in the Federal Reserve, and of course the general sense that everything might collapse tomorrow. That is Pluto restructuring the institutions of the world — and our ideas about them. Pluto in Capricorn is liberating something from deep within these institutions — WikiLeaks is a good example. They are having their corporate structures rearranged, and we are having our minds rearranged. We have to think about where and how we fit in differently than we did yesterday.

So it’s a good thing that we have Uranus in Aries reminding us to wake up to who we are. Now, here is a clue about 2012. That’s the year that Uranus moving through Aries first meets Pluto moving through Capricorn. This is called the Uranus-Pluto square. This is part of the cycle that delivers some of the most radical astrology ever documented by historians — the astrology of revolution and of revelation. Think of how this is developing — society changing, perhaps seeming like it’s ‘failing’, while at the same time individuals are awakening to our creative power, one at a time getting into the process of creation and change.

The Uranus-Pluto square describes the place where radical self-awareness (Uranus in Aries) meets the vast and sweeping changes that the world is going through (Pluto in Capricorn). We all know the world is changing, and we all know that many of us feel a profound need to rethink who we are and find our role, our place of participation, our point of influence. We may feel driven by passion (Aries) and practical needs (Capricorn) as part of an urgent series of awakening events. The thing to do in the midst of it all is to feel: to be present with your feelings, and to notice what your senses are telling you.

Uranus in Aries is here to light the fire of self, and Chiron and Neptune are here to guide us across the ocean of our soul.

Yours & truly,




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