Intense Alchemy

Lack of sunlight and poor diet causing increase in multiple sclerosis (MS) in Australia and high latitude countries.

It is also an important month as far as long term processes go as we are having the fourth, and second last, instalment of the Saturn/Uranus opposition, that major deconstruction process that crashed the world's financial structures in 2008, a process that continues well into this year. If we take the transit of Pluto through Capricorn into account with its similar themes, the same will continue for years, in many ways defining this era of our lives. While the Saturn/Uranus knocks over the walls, Pluto is the front end loader that bulldozes the site, then starts on the foundations. This applies to all structures in our world, inner and outer, and particularly our internal psychic and psychological structures.

The basic themes of the Saturn/Uranus are the clash between the forces of stability, conservatism and resistance with those of innovation, radical change and the liberation of creative and individual spirit; challenges to the status quo from fast changing situations and new possibilities; challenges from places of earth realism to the seduction of materialism, technology and superficial change. This polarisation, this clash of opposites, is a huge part of the collective tension of the time. But, ultimately, the urge is to create a new unity between the two - the wise and practical use of innovative change for the collective good.

So we have another round of this intense alchemy at this time and can expect some shocks, challenges and cracks appearing in what is losing its validity in our worlds. The Saturn/Uranus, peaking on the 27th, will activate both the revolutionary and the conservative inside us and let us know more about the state of play between them. One key issue is how to flex our systems to incorporate the new into those internal structures that are essentially valid and real, as opposed to those based on old conditioning and other people's belief systems. Expect tension levels to be quite high and make sure you are looking after yourself with things like bodywork, massage and yoga.

The Sun in Aries is having an interesting time in the midst of this, energised by a trine to it ruler Mars, surrounded by a bunch of goddesses in the form of Persephone, Diana and Psyche, all conjunct, and squaring Pluto in Capricorn. Poor bloke's in a bit of a jam. He'd prefer to simply run off with his mate Mars, but the goddesses are either dragging him into the underworld or demanding that he become more sensitive and mystical, while Pluto is forcing deep change upon him and setting him up for power struggles with mother figures to test him out!

The placements of both Mars and Venus are indicative of the contradictory nature of this time. Mars in Leo is a fiery, energetic place for the old warrior, very forward moving and well placed with a sextile to Saturn and a trine to Uranus and the Sun, drawing energy from each and able to act strongly in the face of the collective line-up. However, he's in a T-square with the Moon in Scorpio and Venus and Mercury conjunct in late Aries, bringing him into conflict with the feminine in different forms. This is not an easy time for masculine/feminine relationships and will turn up the heat in our love lives in both good and not so good ways.

While challenged, Venus has a better time of it. On the cusp of Aries and Taurus, there's much good quality creative energy around, which can receive and absorb some of the Martian fire. Conjunct Mercury, she will naturally draw our attention and focuses towards both our relationships and creative expression in all its forms and we're not just talking superficially here. Venus and Mercury are in, or will come into, sextiles Neptune and Chiron in Aquarius and trines to Pluto, giving both our minds and our hearts access to some real power for change and to the exceptional healing and opening qualities of the Chiron/Neptune.

These more gentle aspects allow the intellect to reach out into the right brain, the non-rational and intuitive sides of our minds. The sensitising and spiritualising qualities of this also make for some exceptional openings to deeper insight and broader vision. The parallel influence on our creative potential is equally great, even exalted, as these openings give us access to sources of creative inspiration normally beyond most of us by opening up doors to the collective unconscious or archetypal layers of reality. We can get inspired and informed by consciously accessing this, even at these times of great tension, particularly through our spiritual and creative practices.

While we are experiencing these various forms of tension, astro-dramas and openings, there is the sense of a much bigger energetic overseeing proceedings this month. The Moon is again high in the sky, in Scorpio and conjunct the Shiva asteroid, while Ceres, an image of the Great Mother, is conjunct Pluto, the western equivalent of Shiva. Clearly, the great powers, these images of Shiva and Shakti, of the Great Mother and her consort and of the essence of tantra, are worthy of meditation and contemplation, as they remind us our day to day experience is part of a much greater cosmic drama.

Daniel Sowelu (BSc Dip Ed) is a therapeutic astrologer, primal therapist and groupleader in his 27th year of private practice. www.sacredlawfirm.com.au