2011 - A YEAR FOR BREAKING DOWN AND
ASTRO - OVERVIEW 2011: GROUNDSWELL
Change is rumbling underneath us, swelling from
every crack in the culture and through every choice we make. We
can resist and feel torn by its tremors or choose to roll with
the waves, set our sails toward personal and cultural evolution,
and see where the current takes us.
We are breaking down and rebuilding during an era-birthing
T-square between Saturn, Uranus and Pluto, all in active
Cardinal signs for most of 2011. These three have been dancing
in and out of challenging aspects since 2009. Saturn then moves
on and lets us lay new foundations, but Uranus and Pluto
continue to square though 2015 to make sure we keep evolving.
The word disaster breaks down to dis=against, aster=stars. A
real disaster this year would be to try to prevent change; the
tectonic plates of the earth and of the culture continue to
move, and we have to adapt. We can't predict the direction of
the change with so many wild cards in play, but we can guide it.
Each day we need to hold on to our vision for ourselves and our
world, and make decisions to move us in that direction.
Momentum builds toward a new creative era as expansive Jupiter
conjuncts change-maker Uranus, and both trine warm-hearted Venus
as 2011 begins--an aspect that flavors the whole year with
hopeful and creative innovation. Jupiter then enters awakening
Aries 1/22. This winter we get to review a delayed hope or plan
we had in the late 1990s, revise it and begin to manifest, if
we're willing to do the work and don't take shortcuts.
The planet Uranus speaks of innovation and technology, our
nervous system, and our capacity to create and withstand change.
It was first brought to our consciousness during the industrial
revolution, and it was conjunct Jupiter in 1983 as the internet
came on line. As Uranus opposed Saturn for the last few years it
broke down old systems and let us see where we needed to
reinvent. Now, under these aspects, Uranus can help us find the
ingenious alternative fuels and technologies, as well as the new
social constructs we need in order to progress.
Uranus asks us to experiment and be honest about the outcome;
use ideas to look ahead but don't get caught up in the theory.
Instead, stay in the moment, take a step along the road and
observe. Honest assessment helps us make progress, but stay
balanced on the Beauty Way in the process.
We'll need this balance as old rules fall by the wayside. We're
compelled to take risks, to drop old modus operandi and do it
differently. If our culture is willing to be honest, this
Pluto/Jupiter/ Uranus T-square can help us make the radical
adjustments needed to ameliorate climate change. But it may be
hard to get anyone to work together; we cannot tell others what
to do. We can inspire, but have to let others find their way
under this freedom-loving and rebellious aspect.
Find allies and help shift the collective imagination during
February; imagination can find solutions our rational mind can't
see, when Mars conjuncts Neptune in Aquarius on 2/20 and Jupiter
squares Pluto on 2/25. Watch out for water damage or arguments
over ideals; keep it real and compassionate.
Rebellion blossoms along with the crocus as Uranus enters Aries
March 11th and joins four planets in feisty Aries. The energy is
fresh and demanding, self-directed and unsubtle. Political
unrest catches fire quickly, the demand for reform will echo
from both sides, and so will resistance to reform imposed. We
will not tolerate what doesn't work, but are tempted to see
everything as struggle, tempted to think others thwart our
progress rather than admit we need to form better plans and take
on our power. Better to rebel against old limitations and break
free into a new and more sustainable form.
Potential for beautiful change is ripe if we can avoid
polarizing, both inside our soul and in our culture. Scientific
Uranus strengthens in action-oriented Aries just as spiritual
Neptune enters dreamy Pisces: high tech gets more efficient, and
magic deepens. A rift between them can widen to the detriment of
both. But if we can keep our mind and soul working together,
inspired compassion will use innovation and technology to create
Jupiter opposes Saturn 3/28 and can deepen the divide between
political parties, or make it hard to get experience engaged
with enthusiasm. We may need to let go of the past, let go of
our old identity or skills, and strike into new territory. Kids
won't want to follow the old ways. But everything lost is found
again, in a new form and a new way; we'll be able to integrate
past experience and future vision later in the year, and in the
years to come.
Jupiter enters Taurus on 6/4 for the duration
of 2011, supports our material resources and deepens our earth
traditions. It promotes healthier crops and brings attention to
our earth and all we grow. People want to feather their nest. As
the material realm enriches, some see an excuse to spend,
acquire or collect, but it's still a financially precarious
time--all too easy to overextend. Business can get greedy and
needs to be monitored. But if we nurture our material resources
carefully and invest in the rich and fertile loam of life, we
can begin to build a robust crop.
The Great Midwife needs to make adjustments under the summer's
retrograde season: don't push now; instead, integrate, work and
consolidate changes already in progress. Pluto retrogrades 4/9
through 9/16, Uranus retrogrades 7/9--12/9, and Jupiter
8/30--12/25; use this time to catch breath and deal with any
psychic jet lag.
The era-change resumes momentum in the fall as Jupiter trines
Pluto 7/11 and 10/28 and loans us confidence; make the most of
any opportunities or chance to broadcast. As the ground swell
gains momentum, change can begin to feel like freedom, not
Heather Roan Robbins
© Mother Tongue Ink 2010
Circle of Life
The Miracle of Prophet Silva.
Born December 10, 2010 at 11:56 p.m.
This last Saturday women from
Temple of the Goddess were overjoyed to welcome a male into their
midst. Little Prophet Silva was 36 days old. He was welcomed with
open armsĖliterally. He was passed from woman to woman to woman
around the circle, perhaps much like the Red Tent. He was cuddled,
kissed, and danced with. Of course he slept a lot of the time, so
wonít remember the event.
His mother, CandyJo Dahlstrom, had a chance to relax, nosh, chat,
and yes, she danced too.
If you came to Temple of the
Goddess 2010 All Hallows ritual, you saw (in a way) Prophet. He
danced in CandyJoís womb as she danced to As Above So Below.
He just might dance with her again at the Spring Equinox ritual on
As the women celebrated this new, beautiful human being, I was
celebrating on an even higher level. I was seeing Prophet for the
second time. Mama CandyJo and papa Ernie Silva blessed me with the
gift of being present at Prophetís birth. I had never witnessed
anyone or anything being born. For decades I had a need to witness
the miracle of birth. It is such a precious thing, this birthing
process. Yes, itís painful. Yes, itís dangerous for both mother and
baby, but CandyJo choose the natural way and actually had a short
I arrived at their apartment before the midwife, so Ernie had me
time the length of contractions while he timed the spaces in
between. After only a half-hour more, the midwife arrived in time to
receive Prophet and place him on her chest.
As I watched the head crowning, and realized I was watching this
precious little person when he was minus one second old, then plus
one second old, I marveled at the miracle. The human female body is
designed to construct the bones, the muscles, and the organs. The
little one is actually made from the motherís body. The motherís
body not only constructs a new, soon-to-be autonomous human being,
it feeds it, oxygenates it, carries away waste products, and
protects it from all harm in a comforting cocoon of warm water.
After birth, the motherís body becomes a source of nourishment, not
only feeding the baby, but transferring immune substances to further
protect this priceless being.
At the end of our soiree, CandyJo fed Prophet-Ėthe natural way,
Prophet tucked against her chest, sucking on a giving breast. We at
the Temple who visualize the Deity as a feminine Goddess, see CandyJo as a modern Goddess. Like a warrior, she stood at the
threshold of the gates of life and death to usher this new soul into
the world. She consciously walked up to the chasm of life or death
to give birth to Prophet. She created Prophet from the cells of her
body joined with the cells of Ernie. Creation is a divine act.
I honor her conscious choice to produce a miracle. Please join with
me and say a silent prayer for Prophet, CandyJo, Ernie, and big
sisters Essence and Isis. May their family flourish with prosperity,
health, wealth, and happiness. We welcome them to the family of
Temple of the Goddess and the Pagan community of Southern
You are sitting
around a fire after a hard day of work. The air cools and the sun
sets, the frogs and crickets begin singing as the sky darkens.
Suddenly the person you have been eagerly awaiting leaps to the
center of the circle. Your Shaman begins her story. You have heard
the story a hundred times, but the antics of the animals and the
wisdom in the story never fail to give you pleasure. As she weaves
her tale, the knowledge that every thing is alive, carrying its own
power and wisdom, soothes your soul.
Let us join together, in this virtual circle, and share these Animal
Tales. Let us once again feel how the stories connect us to the
natural world and remind us that we are all part of a vast Circle of
Life. Listen now as the Shaman's animal stories whisper tales of
and wisdom in your ear.
Tonight it is a tale that explains why
things are the way they. Why are there seasons? is the question
answered in this story. Bear teaches us to rest, to look inside for
our own wisdom. Bear represents that deep place of introspection and
the dark of winter, when bear hibernates, a good time for musings
THE LONG WINTER
This tale comes from one of Canada's First
Nations, the Slavey tribe of NW Canada.
Adapted by Elaine Lindy
Before any humans walked the earth, when the world was the land
of the animals, a very long winter set in. The sun did not come out
for three years. The air was always dark. Thick clouds hung low and
covered the sky. It snowed all the time. The animals were suffering
very much from this long winter. The lack of food was alarming
enough, and the lack of heat made it all absolutely unbearable. They
became greatly frightened.
The animals called for a grand council to be held. All the
beasts, birds, and fishes of all sizes and shapes were invited. At
the grand gathering, as the animals looked about, they realized that
one creature in all the animal world was missing: Bear. Then they
realized that no one had seen any bears for three years.
All the animals quickly agreed that the most important thing to do
was to find out what had become of the heat, for without heat their
sufferings would never end. Yes, the heat must be found! And it must
be brought back again. They decided several quick and brave animals
would go on a search mission to the upper world. That's where they
suspected the heat had been taken. These are the animals chosen for
the mission: Lynx, Fox, Wolf, Wolverine, Mouse, Pike (a freshwater
fish), and Dogfish (a kind of small shark--dogfish is a funny name
for a shark, isn't it?). After much traveling far and wide through
the air, the group finally found the hidden doorway that opened to
the upper world. Excited, they all climbed upward to the world
After exploring the upper world for some time, they saw a lake. By
the lake a campfire burned with a tipi beside it. By the tipi were
two young bears. They asked the cubs where their mother was, and
were told she was off hunting. Inside the tipi, a number of big,
round bags were hanging up. The animal visitors pointed to the first
bag and asked the cubs, "What is in this bag?"
"That," they said, "is where our mother keeps the rain."
"And what is in this one?" the animals said, pointing to the second
"That," the cubs answered, "is the wind."
"And this one?"
"That is where mother keeps the fog."
"And what may be in this next bag?" said the animals.
"Oh, we cannot let you know that," said the cubs, "for our mother
told us it was a great secret, and if we tell, she will be very
angry and will bop us on our heads when she returns."
"Oh, don't be afraid," said the fox. "You can tell us. She will
Then the cubs whispered, "That is the bag where she keeps the heat."
"Aahh..." said the visitors. They glanced at one another, and
stammered their good-byes. Outside the tipi, they rushed to a hidden
spot and held a quick council. Their first agreement was that they
should leave the bears' campsite at once, as the mother bear might
return at any time. This they did, and found a safer spot to hide.
The next topic was more difficult. How to capture the bag with the
"We need to distract the old mother bear somehow," said Fox.
"I know!" said Lynx. "I'll change myself into a deer on the other
side of the lake."
"Good idea!" said Wolverine. "The mother bear will see you across
the lake and she'll want to hunt you. She'll have to paddle her
canoe across the lake, and that will give us time to get the bag
with the heat."
"Better yet," squeaked Mouse, "I'll chew a deep cut in the bear's
paddle near the blade, so it will take her even longer to canoe
"Yes, yes!" cried the others.
So Lynx went around to the other side of the lake and turned into a
deer. Now as a Deer, he wandered near the edge of the lake to
attract Bear's attention. In the meantime, Mouse scrambled into
Bear's canoe and chewed a deep cut in the handle of her paddle close
to the blade. The others hid near Bear's tipi.
When one of the bear cubs saw the supposed deer across the lake he
cried out, "Look at the deer on the opposite shore!" The old mother
Bear immediately jumped into her canoe and paddled toward it. Deer
walked slowly along the beach pretending not to see the canoe, so as
to tempt Bear to paddle up close to him. Then all at once Deer
doubled about and ran the opposite way. Old Bear threw her whole
weight on the paddle to make it go faster, and the paddle broke
suddenly where Mouse had gnawed it. The force of Bear's weight threw
her into the water. The other animals were watching the hunt from
the other side, and as soon as they saw the mother Bear floundering
in the water, they ran into the tipi and pulled down the bag
containing the heat. One at a time, they tugged the bag through the
air toward the opening to the lower world from where they had come.
They hurried to get back to the opening as fast as they could, but
the bag was very large, and none of them were able to keep up the
pace for long. Whenever one tired out, another would take the bag,
and in this way they hastened along as quickly as they could, for
they knew that the old mother Bear would soon get ashore and return
to her tipi, and that when she did she would discover the missing
bag. Then she'd be furious and follow their footprints to catch
them! Sure enough, the old mother Bear was soon in hot pursuit, and
had almost overtaken the animals when they spied just up ahead the
opening to the world below. By this time the stronger animals were
all so tired, they could hardly move at all. Now Dogfish (the small
shark) took the bag and pulled it along a good way, and finally Pike
(the freshwater fish) managed to inch it along some more.
At that very moment, Bear lurched toward them. All the animals
together pushed the bag until it tipped through the hole to the
lower world and they each jumped in after it to safety, just in
time. As soon as the bag dropped to the world below, it broke and
all the heat crammed inside the bag rushed out. Warmth spread at
once to all parts of the world and quickly thawed the ice and snow.
Flood waters ran high for many weeks, but then the waters subsided.
The trees and bushes and flowers which had been covered by ice grew
green leaves once more, and springtime bloomed anew. From that time
till now, the world has always seen a warm season returning after a
cold one, just as we see it today.
Animal Tales Column brought to you by Kamala.
Animal Tales logo by Anne Gauldin, Gauldin Farrington