February 1st is the Festival of Candelmas in the Celtic Calendar. The Ancient Celts charted the progress of the Sun’s annual journey through the sky with eight celebrations throughout the year. And while one’s individual experience may not exactly coincide with the path of the Sun, we are all still affected by its annual movement. By understanding the inherent psychological meaning signified by the path of the Sun, we can align our development with this archetypal energy to nurture our consciousness as well as find solace in these evolutionary times.
As 2015 begins, we are entering the last phase of an astrological transit that is likely one of the most profound to take place in our lifetimes: Pluto and Uranus in exact square to each other. Since June of 2012, the energies of Pluto and Uranus, evolution and revolution respectively, have confronted one another at the same exact degree six times. On March 17th they will meet up for the seventh and final time in this cycle.
To understand the square between Pluto and Uranus we need to look to the signs they are in: Pluto is in Capricorn and Uranus is in Aries. Capricorn represents the material world, the establishment, structures and organizations, governments, the patriarchy, the status quo. Aries, the first sign in the zodiac, represent the individual, the adventurer, the leader, the initiator, the life force energy needed for a seed to push through the earth into a sprout. When Pluto moves through a sign a major overhaul is on the agenda. When Uranus moves through a sign liberation is the result.
A Pluto transit is like a jackhammer on cement breaking down that which no longer serves the highest good or the evolution of the soul. And because Pluto is all about power, the resistance to the required transformation is inevitable as power is never easily surrendered. However, when Pluto prevails, and it always does, the Phoenix rises from the ashes.
Uranus moving through a sign is all about CHANGE. Anything holding back expression and freedom will be challenged or eliminated. Uranus is revolutionary and not interested in wasting time holding on the status quo. Uranus is also completely unpredictable. The only advice an astrologer can ever give is to expect the unexpected and to also be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater!
The significance of this planetary meeting is that collectively and individually we stand on the brink of birthing something new because Pluto and Uranus meet in the waxing phase, which signifies the conflict created from the interaction will bear fruit. In other words, there is light at the end of the tunnel. That said, at present, we are still in the tunnel. And we are still IN IT being buffeted by the forces for transformation and liberation that are embattled by Pluto and Uranus in square. To really understand the conflict playing out between the two planets the elemental imagery is helpful: Capricorn is an earth sign and Aries is a fire sign, when Pluto has the upper hand, earth smothers fire; when Uranus has the upper hand, fire is scorching earth. No wonder the past seven years have been so challenging and tumultuous. This is why Candlemas 2015 is especially important.
Psychologically, Candlemas is a little glimmer of insight… a subconscious ripple of an idea… an inkling that is lurking, waiting to be nurtured… it is something that doesn’t have form yet but it can be felt… it is a spark ready to ignite something to come. Experientially, Candlemas can be observed in nature this time of year as the sun sets later each day giving us a little more light and the promise of Spring around the corner. This year, Candlemas occurs when Mercury is retrograde (January 21 through February 11) a period of time when communications tend to go awry or technology breaks down or both. Despite these frustrations, Mercury retrograde is a time well suited to inner contemplation. Astrologers often give the guidance that retrograde periods are best navigated by focusing on things with “re” like review, reassess, reevaluate, reorganize, release etc. In the perfect pattern of the universe this retrograde is a flashlight in the tunnel as we prepare to run the final gauntlet created by Uranus and Pluto in square.
The psychological, emotional, spiritual task at hand is to reexamine the events of the past seven years in search of any meaning that gives you hope or excitement. There you will find your personal glimmer. It can be small like a whisper. Or it may be loud and clear with an urgency that now is the time. Whatever the experience, the point is that the square between Pluto and Uranus is culminating and a new chapter is beginning. What do you want to manifest? What do you want to surrender? Make the time to meditate and focusyour intention so that when the next festival in the progression of the sun arrives, the Spring Equinox (March 21), you are ready shift your energy and take up the task of preparing the foundation to manifest your self-defined something new.
Lisa Karmenis an astrologer, artist and teacher living in New York City. She has a lifelong interest in wellness and has studied Green Medicine at the NY Open Center, Bach Flower Remedies, andHomeopathy. Lisa is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts with a focus in Psychology, Mythology, and Ceramic Art.