Back to Normal?
Are we here to be comfortable? Or are we here to be fully alive? Awake in our responsibility to create and contribute from a growing conscious engagement with what’s in front of us? Current planetary transits are compelling us to look at this: what we engage with and how, and where we allow our comfort zones to dictate what’s priority. It’s a radical shift within an ongoing intensive process, the grounding of which we’re just beginning to see.
This strong focus growing, ongoing for the rest of this year, is activated particularly strongly over this next week as the two heavyweight planets of our universe, Pluto Lord of the Underworld and Wise Elder Saturn station retrograde in earth sign Capricorn. A station retrograde is a pause point in a long-term process. It opens our awareness keenly to particular issues. Those ruled by the sign of Capricorn and its opposite sign Cancer, where the Nodes of the Moon are currently playing. No matter what sun sign you are, these processes will be playing out somewhere in your life.
Pluto and Saturn (ruler of Capricorn) station retrograde respectively on 24 & 29 April. Also they are travelling within a maximum of 10 degrees from the South Node of karma until December making exact conjunctions 4 & 30 April and 4 July. Over this period in particular we’re drawn to explore our Capricorn experience. As this is a personal and collective journey, we see the challenge of Capricorn shadows playing out both in our lives and on the world stage. The themes are heating up right through to January 2020 when Pluto and Saturn make an exact conjunction. They’re joined by Blessing-giver Jupiter in Capricorn all next year. It’s promising to be a year of truly radical shifts. More to come on that later.
This strong focus on Capricorn all year means the aims we have and the methods we use to achieve are a core focus. Earthy Capricorn is the zodiac sign most associated with ambition and achievement. In its highest expression it’s wise elder or shaman energy - the capacity to manifest that that contributes to a wider sphere than oneself. Between these two poles of personal achievement and making a worthwhile social contribution lies the Capricorn journey to self mastery, meaning the willingness and integrity to take full responsibility for oneself and what one creates, along with how that impacts the collective. We see this process plainly in our world, along with the calling for change. The patriarchal energy of control, abuse of power, the-ends-justifies-the-means has to go, for all our sakes and for our planet. This is Pluto in Capricorn’s task – to irrevocably destroy in order that we may rise like the phoenix. Pluto reveals the choiceless choice. And we are facing it. Change or die. Truly it’s the same thing. For in changing we die to the old system or the outmoded self that has played its part. And we release the energy locked in old patterning that is needed to implement required change. Pluto and Saturn travelling with the South Node in Capricorn represent the bucket of karma that we must face. It’s about power. In the shift to a more authentic response-ability for life we claim the power to transform comfort zones that keep us seemingly safe but asleep.
Capricorn’s calling to achieve is a positive human attribute. At its highest it’s about bringing integrity to life; it stands for accountability, honour, making a worthwhile contribution to life that is tangible and manifest. The shadow of Capricorn lies in control, ruthless ambition and abuse of power. We see this at play in the death-throes of our current bureaucratic systems. And we all know the desire for control in our own lives. It seems to be a normal human trait to want to manage our experience. But is it natural? Is it even useful?
When the pressure for change is upon us, as it is now both personally and collectively, it’s uncomfortable. In the main human beings dislike discomfort. The temptation is to try and fix it, control it, run from it, change it. One of the most common phrases I heard when experiencing earthquakes in New Zealand was ‘get back to normal?’ But what if ‘back to normal’ is killing our true aliveness and our planet? Witness the Extinction Rebellion actions this week and we see how this insidious desire for comfort numbs us. Stock phrases such as ‘costing businesses millions of pounds’ preventing people getting on with their lives’, demonstrate the real issue. We want to manage any experience that threatens the status quo – even when the status quo is numbing us, even killing us. Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn are impelling us to acknowledge this fully, to honour our response-ability as guardians of our earth lives and our planet. Pluto as the destroyer of the old systems that no longer serve; Saturn as the response-ability to build new structures for life from the deep wisdom of what is truly needed for us all.
Capricorn ruler Saturn at his core reveals that the power of self-mastery is available to each of us in every moment. He reveals the strength we need to transmute our karma. He reveals the truth of power; that it lies in our choices, in our motives and how we operate in our lives and world. We all have habits of control; we all have underlying fears of claiming the power to fully be our self and contribute consciously in our world. This current journey with Saturn, South Node and Pluto focus is a time frame for consciously exploring where we allow fear or limitation to control us, where we try to control our experience, to play safe. Wisdom – the Saturn in Capricorn gift – reveals that much as we might try, we cannot control our experience. That is the plain truth. We can learn to respond to it consciously however, claiming self-mastery, embracing our fear of change whilst not living from that fear. ‘Back to normal' is the illusion of safety. Beneath it lies our attempts to keep the ultimate truth - the knowledge of death - at bay.
Anywhere the South Node of karma travels points us towards its companion the North Node. If we consider South Node to be the bucket of karma – what we already know, where we’re comfortable, what must change – the North Node is what we’re called to develop. It’s not that the South Node experience is wrong; it’s simply done. It’s a platform from which we must stretch into a new capacity. What might this capacity be? North Node in Cancer shows us. It’s the sign of mother – sensitivity, kindness, tenderness, nurture and belonging. It’s also vulnerability. What we do with vulnerability in times of change is key. Our response to vulnerability dictates whether we energise the Capricorn shadow of lock-down and control, or activate the open field of loving kindness that is Cancer.
We can view this Capricorn/Cancer nodal potential for growth from many places. On a personal level it’s about opening and allowing the embrace of vulnerability. It’s truly acknowledging life is uncertain. It’s about riding the uncomfortable edge of change with willingness, openness and self-kindness. It’s about asking for help. It’s recognising we’re all in this together, that our belonging is with each other and the blessed earth, at least on this human level. It’s about not going back to sleep in ‘normal’ but recognising the birthing process of new potential. The process of birth is edgy; it can be uncomfortable; it can also be truly empowering. A mother goes through the pain because it’s worthwhile. Birth is a process of contraction and expansion, a significant mirror of the Capricorn/Cancer themes right now. As we expand and contract in our own evolutionary processes we need to be kind to ourselves yet we also need to actively engage. We need to acknowledge the process is not only worthwhile; it’s essential.
Birthing new life in our own lives energetically supports the birth of a collective shift. Energetically we feed the potential for cultural change; our inspiration and passion for life nurtures that in others; our conscious actions encourage others to step up. Collectively this shift is about acknowledgement and honouring of feminine wisdom, the gifts of ‘mother’. And that includes our Mother Earth. As we honour the feminine knowing and wisdom alive in both men and women, we come back to basics. We undo the apparent complexity of the change process and return to simple common sense. As we stand up and speak the truth of our knowing, radical change begins to happen. Look at Jacinda Ardern’s proposal for change in the gun laws in New Zealand, passed through the bureaucratic system in less than a week. We can all play our part, however small or insignificant it appears. For ‘small and insignificant’ is the voice of ‘normal’; it’s the Capricorn shadow of self-doubt. Radical change is possible – if we want it enough. And that’s the question of these times isn’t it? Do we want it enough? Do we want it enough to face the potential discomfort, to make the step out of normal into conscious evolution. Current transits in Capricorn reveal where we are asleep to that, afraid of it, doubt our power for change, still play by our own outmoded rules and restrictions. The new synergy of this nodal polarity, Capricorn and Cancer, holds the potential of challenges and tough choices faced with wisdom, kindness and connection. Where is that called for in your life?
Inspired to enquire more deeply into these ongoing themes? I invite you to book an in-depth astrology consultation by contacting me here
More on Saturn in Capricorn