This week could very easily be called “the week of heavy lifting”. Existing tensions continue to increase, and in many parts around the world, there is a state of near panic rising. Geopolitical unrest is at a point of massive uncertainty, and with such shifting and movement happening, it is hard to see exactly which way things will shift, other than, at least for a period, likely quite far down. Financial markets are taking incredible plunges, leaving people holding their breath, waiting for who will fall next. Time is beginning to compress, and the intense changes that will continue to come upon us are beginning to rise up and challenge everyone to new levels of pressure not seen for centuries. On a ground level, the sense of gravity should be palpable for everyone. Now is not a time for frivolities, and if you are still accessing that level of consciousness in your life, well then I have to congratulate you, as you have managed to find a pocket of relative isolation in the gridlock of intensity that is now our planet.

On the 19th, the Moon and Saturn form a conjunction in Virgo, adding a somewhat dour, serious and critical note to the air. People will not be in the mood for frivolities, and if you have any issues to discuss with people dispassionately, with an eye to detail or specifics, then this is the week for you to get your work done. Do it sooner than later, as with the progress of the week, things will continue to heat up. Underlining the movement of the Moon, the Sun, on its journey towards Aries, which it enters on Thursday March 20, enters into a T-square formation with Pluto and Mars, adding fuel to the fire of the existing, violence-provoking Mars/Pluto opposition. By week’s end, we will have a Grand Cross formation in the skies, involving the Sun, Mars and Pluto, transposed by another T-square, involving the Moon/Sun opposition on Friday’s Full Moon, tying into the Mars/Pluto opposition by square. This is a make-it or break-it week in many ways, for many people all over the world.

With the Vernal Equinox this week, the first day of spring, we have natural forces of light and consciousness rising into the forefront once more. And as the Sun enters the first degrees of Aries, the Cardinal Cross comes to bear on this awakening consciousness, pressing into it messages of great urgency and the force of change. It is good that it is so, that this volatility and pressure is coming to bear as the Sun enters the Equinox degrees, for it symbolizes to me that the real action in this world is now beginning, and that we can now take an active part in making real change happen. The light is illuminating what needs destruction. It is a matter of course that change will involve destruction, but if you are prepared, if you are conscious and really try to connect with the world, and in particular, with people around you, we can grow into a new state of being, weathering this time together. The long-awaited tearing down of the structures of power, and the exposure of widespread corruption is beginning to speed up now. It makes sense that the movement of the Sun into the first degrees of Aries, returning light and heat to the earth, should find itself at odds with Pluto, newly situated in Capricorn, slowly building speed and power for it journey through Capricorn, the sign which rules power, establishment, dogma, administration and government. Now we shall see the real action begin, and sadly, much trouble as well.

Cross formations, such as the one we are about to enter, create such a sense of urgency and a deep need for action. As this is a Cardinal Cross that we are about to experience, not only are we going to experience a pressing need to act, we will be in a mode of creating new ways, new projects, new ideas. The Cardinal signs (Aries and Capricorn, Cancer and Libra) are the great initiators of the Zodiac, executive energies which summon up the power to press forward and try new paths, create new modes of being that can be of great benefit to others. While those in the Fixed and Mutable signs are the builders and sustainers of our social structure, it is with the Cardinal signs that initial creation occurs – the impulse to build and grow. With the planets that we now have involved in this Cardinal Cross, we have a remarkable mixture of our fundamental energies – the Sun, our urge to light, consciousness and ego urges; the Moon – our emotional life, our heart and hearth, our homes and our health, in other words, those things which are nearest and dearest to us, and how we feel about them; Mars – our urge to act, our will and drive, our sense of movement and basic physical energy, our temper and how we express; and Pluto – the depths of our subconscious minds, the power of death and transformation, rebirth and all those forces that are designated as underworld, too dark to look, those things we wish to avoid.

Together, these forces combined are incredibly powerful, and will operate in the world to start actively bringing down whatever edifices have concentrated themselves in seemingly immovable or permanent ways. Change rarely happens without some level of destruction, though, for in order for true change to take place, that which needs changing must be removed. This is a hard thing, and now, for many people, times of great sorrow have arrived and we must remember all those people who are suffering at this time, in our hearts and in our prayers, particularly if we are blessed with peaceful homes and lives. It would be a foolish person indeed who looks at the world the way it is today and says that nothing needs changing and that everything is fine. We often forget, in our lives of ease and comfort, that there is a big world out there which we are incredibly connected to, whether we are aware of it or not. We are all connected. And it is for this reason why I have a very hard time tolerating people who are blithe or foolish in their words and deeds. Yes, everyone should have time for fun, but life is not a fun thing right now on this planet. You can manifest all the peace and prosperity for yourself that you want –certainly, and now is a prime time to do so - but please, do not forget your fellows. Do not forget that your prosperity has a cost and that somewhere, someone is paying it, or will pay for it in the future. This world is at war, and as such, I think that it calls for a certain sense of sobriety among people, particularly here in the West, where for the most part, populations have become stupefied, glutted with commercial “prosperity”, toys and trinkets and fattening foods, pharmaceuticals and substances that dull the mind, and television and computer media that put the final nail in the coffin of independent thought. I hate to be dour, but I don’t see how it can be otherwise, at times like this.

I was raised a Catholic, and despite the fact that I stopped attending church while I was 9 years old, the traditions of that edifice are still within me. As such, given the way that the world is right now, and given the fact that we are approaching Easter, a pagan/Christian celebration, in the spirit of Lent (which, when you strip away all the Catholic dogma surrounding it, is actually quite a wise observation), I challenge you all to sacrifice something until the end of the month. Yes, Easter is this weekend, but go further than that. If you are strong, this practice might even change the rest of your life. Sacrifice something that gives you pleasure – it can be a food, a drink, a habitual treat for yourself. It can be a thought process that you return to when you are feeling insecure or needy. It can be some form of entertainment that you use to turn off the world and your reality. But in the spirit of consciousness, in a spirit of unity with those who are suffering in the world today (and I do not mean just those in Tibet – look around the world and you will see more suffering than you can stomach) give something up. Take that energy and time, and focus on those who are without, who are hurting, and most specifically, have nothing that you have and cannot even dream of it where they are right now. Share your heart, don’t be selfish, and be strong in your focus. If we can concentrate our heart energies towards alleviating suffering, we can lift the energetic essence of this world. You might think your little efforts and concentrations are not doing anything, but they certainly are. I hesitate to call this prayer, as so many people are shy of that word, so then let's call it meditation, a much more palatable word in our world of trendy East/West syncretism. Call it concentration or whatever, but apply your energy to it, and think of something you can sacrifice – even if you think you already “got it bad” – think of others.

In the West, we have been driven so far from any sense of real community in our world, as we all find ourselves living very isolated lives, with compartmentalized consciousnesses and justifications for all of it. You may watch the news and wonder at it all. You may turn it off and block it out, or simply never look at it at any point. It only stands to reason that people will shy away from things that are difficult to do, tolerate or accept. It also stands to reason that people want to protect themselves from any harm, whether it is ideological, physical, financial or spiritual harm. So while we turn within ourselves and focus on building up our own lives, we must remember to tear down and throw away those things that are not good in us, and we all have plenty. Right now, we are in a place where our power to build is at a very high level, but that building must be done consciously, and building always starts from the ground up, even from an underground place, if you want real stability.

Look in your own heart and life and consider this – from the most mundane level, to the most abstract – where can you tear down things that are no good for you? How can you clear and establish your groundwork? What do you have to do to see that happen? Begin the process, communicate with others about what you are going through, and your strength will fund others and make them see that their situation is shared and not so different. And while you are at it, open your mind to the consciousness of the fact that this world is in a lot of trouble, and that to lift us out of it, we have to all concentrate, pray and be aware that together, we can make things change for the better. Use your natural, inner light to dispel darkness. Be sober about what you are doing. Share your talents and passions and do something good, either in your home or in your community, something that you know how to do and something that you really care about. The planets are supporting us, and we have to support one another. Madness is a universal affliction, and a human being in pain has no nationality. Step past dividing lines and open your heart to the world!

Be well everyone!
Thank you for reading.
With much love,
LP