Navigating the River of Life

It’s a beautiful summer day. You’re drifting down river in a canoe. The sun is warm on your face, a gentle breeze ruffling your hair. The riverbanks are green and lush, with swathes of wildflowers. Occasionally you move through the deliciously cool shade of overhanging trees. Life is good. You feel relaxed, at peace, connected to the simple abundant pleasure of being alive.

Suddenly you sense an impending change. You notice the river narrowing; the pace of its flow is quickening. Up ahead is a bend in the river. As you approach it you feel your canoe swaying; the flow of water beneath it is shifting. You decide to paddle, keeping yourself in the calmer waters near the river’s edge. As you round the bend you see white water. You gasp. You hadn’t expected this. Before you know it you’re in it, carried by the flow. Instantly you’re very awake; you’re aware; you’re present. There’s an edge to your experience now. Is it fear? Is it the thrill of being alive? Too awake to potential danger there is no space to reflect, you simply respond in every moment to the changes in the river’s tumultuous flow. Waves swamp your canoe; you paddle furiously to stay afloat. Rocks appear at random as you race down river; you turn to avoid them by a hair’s breadth. You notice your breath has become shallow; your heart is racing. You consciously breathe deeper. There’s a feeling of real aliveness coursing through you. Then suddenly it’s over. The water becomes calmer. Its race is slowing. You’re aware of the canoe flowing smoothly with the river’s gentle pace. Before you know it you are drifting down river once more.

This month’s astrology (and into August) is a river of potent change. We’re deeply supported in going with the flow. Yet amidst that flow there are periods of high activity and potential chaos, much like the white water in a river. There are times for relaxing, enjoying and appreciating life deeply. There are times we will need to be fully awake, deeply present and responsive. Of course deep relaxation and awakened presence underpins our very existence at all times. Yet our experience of this foundation of connectedness varies does it not? Sometimes the unexpected happens and our responses change. We get stressed; suddenly we’ve become reactive, losing our centre in the pace of life experience. Or we feel too exhausted to respond; we become overwhelmed by what is taking place. Let’s unpack the astrology to explore deeper.

Background - the current & ongoing flow:

With seven planets moving retrograde through July and August, there is an underlying smooth flow of relax, don’t push, go with what’s taking place, reassess and enjoy life’s naturally abundant pleasures.

Warrior Mars has been moving retrograde since 27 June. This brings focus to the way we act, how we approach life, where we drive (or over-drive) and where we react. It’s about how we use will and energy. Life events and circumstances become a clear mirror revealing our patterned responses calling for change: being reactive or simply lazy, where we use force or simply can’t be bothered, our relationship to self-assertion and anger, and our motivation or lack of it. Mars is retrograde until 28 August. More blogs here on Mars retrograde.

Wise Elder Saturn in Capricorn trine Great Awakener Uranus in Taurus in orb until October. Slow and steady is the way. This earthy trine supports us being realistic, grounded and practical. It’s an aspect of stability and yet of innovation, revealing where change is needed and opening ways to ground it. We have the opportunity to establish new patterns of behaviour that are more sustaining, based on deeper values and new levels of maturity. Currently Saturn & Uranus are forming a Grand Earth Trine with Goddess of Love Venus & Earth Mother Ceres in Virgo, plus Queen of Heaven Juno with Uranus in Taurus. This reveals that feminine values underpin these changes, moving with a holistic, relationship-orientated perspective.

10 July - Blessing-giver Jupiter stations direct (begins to move forward) at 13 Scorpio. As Jupiter begins to move forward he makes a Grand Water Trine with the Sun in Cancer and Mystic Neptune in Pisces. This aspect is about emotional connection, deep feel-good and appreciation for life, going with the flow with ease, heightened intuition and soulfulness. This is the slow flow river of life, effortlessly enjoying what comes along, where no particular effort or goal is desired or required for the magic to happen. The trine of Jupiter and Neptune continues into early September. More blogs here on Jupiter in Scorpio

White water times:

13 July 03.48BST – Partial Solar Eclipse at 20 Cancer opposing Lord of the Underworld Pluto & Dark Feminine Black Moon Lilith in Capricorn

This is an intense, potentially explosive eclipse where the polarity of Cancer and Capricorn expressing as emotional sensitivity and self-mastery, masculine and feminine values and/or differences, family and work, power games and their revelation, is highlighted. The focus is old ways of being or acting spiralling life circumstances towards a crisis point. Both the Grand Water Trine (see Jupiter above) and a Grand Earth Trine (see Saturn/Uranus above), provide openings and opportunities that ease the way through challenges and conflict. Awareness, willingness and humility are required and where those are combined with the open-hearted desire to connect, real shifts may well take place, particularly within relating.

26 July 06.02BST – Messenger Mercury stations retrograde at 23 Leo. Mercury’s retrograde through Leo brings focus to our capacity to truly be our selves, to create, to lead and also to simply have fun. Sunny Leo is the sign with generosity of heart. With the Messenger and seven planets retrograde it’s a time to slow down, smell the roses and enjoy life’s natural abundance. Last minute changes may prove an irritant. An opportunity to explore your responses and reactions, particularly where you may be trying to make life happen rather than allow it to unfold. Mercury is retrograde until 19 August. More blogs here on Mercury retrograde

27 July 21.20BST – Total Lunar Eclipse at 4 Aquarius

Responsibility and maturity required as the Lunar Eclipse conjuncts Warrior Mars and is square to Great Awakener Uranus in Taurus, creating a fixed T-square with the Sun in Leo. This is a highly volatile combination where the force of personal will meets the need for awakened conscious response. Life circumstances are the trigger for reaction and revelation, particularly around the places we are ‘fixed’. There’s a lot of learning available, particularly about flexibility and assertion or anger.

The key to moving through this period well is to generate deep consciousness through the calmer phases to be empowered in navigating the white water in the chaotic periods. Isn’t that true always? The underlying themes of this month are wonderfully buoyant and deeply soulful, if we connect with them. This month is when spiritual or meditative practice is not only invaluable but essential to build core stability, maturity and conscious response to life circumstances.

More to come on these themes later with Great Awakener Uranus station retrograde on 7 August, a Partial Solar Eclipse at 18 Leo on 11 August at 10.58BST and Mercury station direct on 19 August. Meanwhile to consciously explore the opportunities of this phase I invite you to book your in-depth astrology consultation here.

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