In the Belly

I love Imbolc, halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It’s a neither-fish-nor-fowl 3286969625_6ce35099d1_mtime of year; a bare flicker of a sabbat, as tentative as the new green shoots contemplating their debut above the crust of the soil.

It was once a holy day, as were all seasonal turning points in the Great Wheel of the Year. Co-opted by the Christians, Imbolc became Candlemass and was later secularized as Groundhog Day. It was celebrated by the ancient Celts as the end of the Dark Time.

Imbolc means “in the belly”: that’s where our impulses are, during these delicate weeks of proto-Spring. In the dark belly of the Mother a new consciousness is taking shape, on the verge of being born. Imbolc falls on a New Moon this year, February 2nd at 6:32 pm PST. The new year is shifting gears; whatever began for you on January 4th is getting ready to amp up to a new level.

A major ingress occurs the week after Imbolc, one to which the subtle energies of this time of year seem peculiarly well suited. On Feb 8th, Chiron returns to Pisces, a tenure that will last until February of 2019. If we want to handle this nine-year transit with grace, we will need to develop a deeper understanding of the so-called “wounded healer,” a planetoid so new (it was first sighted in 1977) that its meaning is still settling in. And we need to get to know the sign it’s in, Pisces, better than we ever have.

Chiron is about pain, the kind of pain that calls us to attention. I have written elsewhere about how astrology, like Buddhism and many other traditions, can be used to draw a distinction between pain and suffering; between grief and depression; between empathy and enmeshment. These distinctions will be important to keep in mind in the years ahead, when Chiron will be showing us our ailments, and the world’s, as part of the dissolution of the old paradigm. Like a good diagnostician, Chiron reflects back to us our own condition. Its transits show us where we have been hurting without even realizing it.

Chiron’s shift from Aquarius to Pisces alters the mass mood in subtle but all-encompassing ways. The planetary rulers of both of these signs, Uranus and Neptune respectively, have to do with impulses that exist beyond the individual: they both pull us out of our egos. But Chiron’s tenure in Aquarius, an air sign, was conceptual, whereas the waters of Pisces are spiritual and psychic. In Pisces Chiron will invite us to register global realities from a deeper place than the mind alone can go. We’ve spent the last few years gathering the information about, for example, global warming; the next few years will be spent absorbing the implications.

Pisces, often thought of as an emotional sign, is not really about personal feelings; it’s about transpersonal feelings. It’s true that our emotions can more easily express what Pisces knows than our thoughts can; feelings are better suited to speak the watery language of the fishes. But Pisces is not really about the personality at all. It’s about the relationship between the personality and the higher self.

The Sun’s conjunction with Chiron on Feb 19th is a good day to get acquainted with Chiron in its new colors. Put out the intention to embody the bliss that comes of losing the self while staying centered. If you have a lot of Pisces in your chart, you’re already familiar with this challenge. With Chiron in Pisces, we’ll all be asked to revel in our openness to That Which is Bigger Than Ourselves at the same time that we remain true to our uniqueness.

Soon we’ll have another reason to finesse this paradox. Neptune is about to go into Pisces, for the first time in 168 years. Come April, it will be water water everywhere.


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ElizabethD
ElizabethD

Thank you Jessica...This was very helpful to me. Your explanation has given me greater understanding of my experiences and feelings.

Lisa
Lisa

Well, there may be water, but there sure is fire: Jupiter in Aries and Uranus also will be in Aries in March? Is that right guys? If so, talk about fanning the flames. Well, it seems we all could use a little fire under our chairs, bring it on.

kristy
kristy

The pregnant belly is a beautiful symbol to include in this entry; it resonated with me more than usual!

John
John

I learned something important reading this latest post, blog, essay, wordwise-poem?; whatever... however. saying just what was learned is as elusive to the tongue and enigmatic as Pisces. Let me just say that although its can easily be done, one is unwise to ever underestimate the gentle fish. Pisces may just be the strongest sign in the zodiac. And this Chiron thingie goings-on in Piscesfor years to come! Yow! "register global realities from a deeper place than the mind alone can go." Boggle, boggle, boggle, and so on in an echo that increases, rather than decreases! I thinks I may never recover, but why would I want to? Bravo!

Sistertongue
Sistertongue

Thank you for lighting up this wonderful celestial body. As a Piscean about to experience my Chiron return with Neptune holding hands with the wounded healer, I have been looking forward to this transition with balloons and a party hat! De-personalizing our emotional reactivity and universalizing our feeling states so they can finally be spoken out loud and form the bonds of a basic human commonality is key, here, I believe. I think we have the opportunity to put down the smiling masks we slap on within political, economic, social and religious structures that have deeply wounded our collective humanity and find our authenticity and union with one another. Of course, the image of the belly and the wounded healer is no coincidence at this time. Like the primordial mother we have always longed for (look to the Galactic Center for her), this is a time to hold our deepest hurts safely within while they gestate and develop into their full forms. We have to come to know them as intimately as a new mother knows the uniqueness of her baby's own scent. And it's not about the "it's all good" mantra, nor navel gazing over our personal boo boo's. It's about sitting down quietly and privately with ourselves and admitting, "Gee, sometimes it really does suck to be me." Yes, it does. And then standing up again like the adult woman we all have within and getting on with what needs to be done. It's about showing up for our own and everyone else's very real and common pain (common is the key word-not special or unique; those ideas just lead us back into "story, story, me" time). This is a time to recognize ourselves, then role up our sleeves together, and get rid of the causes for those wounds. Sorry to wax on, but you chipped a fabulous hole in the ice with this essay and I couldn't help leaping in. This particular swing toward spring has phenomenal potential for us all, as you've so eloquently pointed out. Yes, the waters are cold right now, but the ice is melting . . .

Andrea
Andrea

The connection to astrology within my (energetic) field arrived precisely on Jan. 1, 2010. I remember awakening to a new day and literally feeling a restructuring of my internal processes like never before. That same day a good friend introduced one of your more current articles concerning these 'shifts' and I immediately knew that your interpretations were a song flowing through your Heart; I could feel this deep resonance that touched my own in a way that affirmed some of the deepest energy-work I have experienced. I am a traveler following Spirit completely, 24/7, wherever it takes me. I work with fear-based Energies that obey: the Obedient, Wild and Solitary Ones. I am a 'Breather' who consciously works with these (very) conscious-entities known as 'energies'; what some refer to as 'emotions.' In a nut shell, I know their language (feeling) and work to assist them to move into higher vibration, or experience. They heal themselves... The truth of my experience is that I rarely encounter a Soul who is in alignment with the work flowing through my Being- however that may sound. This article sings of your depth in consciousness that allows God-Source to reach into the wasteland and touch my hand. "Kissing the lip of insanity" as Rumi offers can be a lonely, dark place, dear sister; and your words offer "land in sight" with their accurate assessment- Thank you. Blessings to all as we journey where we must. Love, Andrea