"Ancestral Cycles" by Aeolea Wendy Burwell & Peter Doughty

Cycles and circles and spirals are at the core of who we are, despite the fact that we have mostly lost sight of them. 


Welcome to what we hope will become an ongoing series focused on the art / science of Astrology. In writing this we hope to spark the interest of a wide range of readers from those who might only know their Sun signs to others who know nothing about Astrology, including those who think it just might be a ‘hippie hoax’ from the 60’s. 


Actually, its history is deep and worldwide, from the beginning of our recorded history to present day. Every developed culture has observed and sought to understand celestial movement through their own unique lens. If we choose, our lives can also be enriched by this knowledge. 


Our ancestors marked the passage of time through the lens of seasonal cycles based on the Sun’s relative elevation in the sky. Even in our modern times we are aware of some remnants of ceremonial sites, such as Stonehenge, where ancient peoples gathered to celebrate the seasonal shifts that held the promise of increased light and warmth. It was a time of renewal, ending the period sometimes referred to as ‘the six-weeks want’ and signaling the time for planting in many places north of the equator. 


By the time you read this, we will have passed the Vernal or Spring Equinox that may have been noticed by some but no doubt ignored by many. Some threads of our ancient roots remain today in celebrations still observed, such as the Persian Noruz. This is a time of new beginnings, the start of the New Year based on the astrological wheel: The Sun entering the sign of Aries. 


Easter, the holiday itself being a Christian overlay upon the spring festival of the Pagan goddess Eostre, falls on different dates because of celestial cycles. The key factor in determining the date of Easter is the Sunday following the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox. Except this year when both celestial events happened within hours on the same day, March 20. This shifted Easter ahead by an entire lunar cycle, placing it instead on April 21 following the Full Moon on the 19th. 


Similarly, Christmas is still associated with its original connection to the Winter Solstice. The Chinese New Year is another example of a modern observance that combines solar and lunar elements. It usually falls on the second new moon following the Winter Solstice. 


At this time in our cultural evolution, holidays have mostly become shopping opportunities, devoid of their connection to the natural world. The focus on consumerism is at best unsatisfying for many of us. 


Contributing to our isolation has been the imposition of electric light, which not only creates unnatural environments that separate us from these cycles but also makes it more difficult to see the night sky. One example of this light pollution was apparent recently when we instinctively went to the river’s edge to view Mars in the early evening, only to be blocked by extreme lighting from high-rise housing. We were pleasantly surprised to find a better view from our own backyard a half-block away. 


While everyone may not be able to get out and view the night sky, especially in inclement weather, it is possible to attune to these cycles through the symbolism of Astrology. Every lunar cycle or ‘moonth’ we see the Full Moon rise in the east at sunset, because Sun and Moon are in opposite signs of the zodiac and on opposite sides of earth. At this Equinox the Sun entered the sign of Aries and the Moon correspondingly moved into Libra. And in the current lunar cycle (not calendar month) we are treated to the rare occurrence of two consecutive full moons in the sign of Libra. 


The Equinox emphasizes equality of light and dark, which is echoed in the polarity of this particular Full Moon that calls on us to find balance between our sense of self and being in relationship to an other. And, most importantly, THIS is what ‘makes the world go ‘round’, contrary to what we may have heard sung about money’s role. That approach has led all of us down a destructive path. 


People will experience these energies in varying degrees, depending on where they fall in one’s own personal chart. It is not exclusive to the Aries and Libras among us; everyone has these signs and energies in their horoscopes. It’s very much like when a rainstorm moves in; a person outside without an umbrella will experience it very differently from someone watching through the window of their warm, dry living room. This is true of all celestial events. 


In addition, Venus (Lover), Mars (Warrior) and Mercury (Messenger) are all changing signs during this period. 


Mars, which influences our physical drive, changes from steady Taurus to agile Gemini on April 1, and we will experience this as a quickening of the pace of life. Both Mercury (governing our conscious minds and communication) and Venus (what we find beautiful) are moving from dreamy Pisces to ardent Aries in the third week of April. And these parts of ourselves will attune to a more fiery approach to life.


Planets changing signs are particularly significant, especially the slower-moving outer planets. This is observable on a global scale. A prime example is Uranus’ entry into Aries in 2011, marked to the day by the great earthquake and tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, and caused a massive radiation leak into the world’s oceans. 


Uranus (disruptor) has changed signs again (March 2019) for the next seven years, moving into earthy Taurus for the first time since the 1930s. The economic and social challenges of that period led to financial reforms. Between now and 2026 we are sure to experience far-reaching transitions in our money system, food production, automation and Gaia herself. 


In the realm of the longer cycles of outer planets, the combination of Saturn (structure) and Pluto (deep transformation), both in Capricorn during 2019 and 2020, signal the large-scale restructuring of government and business. The need to get back to basics in both personal and political arenas is unavoidable. They will be joined by Jupiter (expansion) in 2020, emphasizing these trends and revealing opportunities to implement the necessary changes. 


As difficult as this may sound, hope lies in the knowledge that Jupiter and Saturn meet at the first degree of Aquarius on the Winter Solstice 2020: the start of an extended era marked by a more humanitarian focus. Drawing on the earlier metaphor, we’re more apt to grab an umbrella and help anyone caught in the downpour in part because we recognize their need and our shared humanity. This great storm will pass and there will undoubtably be much recovery work to do. Each of us has skills to offer, if we choose to pitch in and help each other. 


Linear thinking along with our shared complicity have contributed to our current situation. Awareness of the energetic cycles can lead us out into a new paradigm. 


About Peter and Aeolea: Peter Doughty has nearly forty years experience studying and writing about mundane astrology, including his blog over the past seven years and recent book entitled Scenes from a Tapestry.   (ZodiacalSpiral.com, zoidion@protonmail.com


Aeolea Wendy Burwell has also been a student of the celestial arts for over forty years, and is currently teaching astrology in her living room or wherever possible.  (aeolea@juno.com) They have recently started to write together and are both available for individual chart consultations in person or over the phone


Peter & Aeola Wendy's website: http://www.ZodicalSpiral.com