August 2018 Eclipses and Retrogrades

I believe this message will have value to young and old: for all ages and forms of expression.  No one comes through a life journey unscathed or unharmed, as we all experience heartbreak and insecurity at times.  I believe the collective consciousness of humanity serves as a guide for our individual journeys.  All of us are immersed in this collective mind in some fashion, depending on where our “consciousness” takes us.  I will admit that the Dalai Lama’s consciousness may be far more expansive than my own.  (Ya think?)  Yet, I believe this is a fascinating time in the history of our world because there is an emerging consciousness that is creating a new awareness.  Many of us are awakening to a new definition of our existence.

For me, I developed a lens on the world that gains wisdom or knowledge from an archetypal cosmos.  Carl Jung, father of transpersonal psychology, created a language and a paradigm to understand the workings of the human soul or psyche.  He incorporated the connection of our mythology into the frame of psychological concepts. Or vice verse.  Jung created the term and concept of archetypes: the big ideas and images of the human experience.  Our various cultural symbols, stories, and myths explain aspects of our reality. Particularly, the field of astrology works with the archetypal themes that define much of our human and spiritual existence. We are all doing a cosmic dance with the archetypes.  This explains who we are beyond the body and the biology of our being. Our consciousness goes beyond the neurobiological because the human psyche reflects a cosmic intelligence that transcends time, space, and matter.

For me, the archetypes that come up in astrology and in the Tarot have provided a road map for me in my own personal journey. I have learned so much about who I am from the study and practice of astrology.  Also, due to my intuitive skills, I relate to images that come from the archetypes of the Tarot.  Both systems serve as tools to inform my understanding of what may be happening in my life, and yes, these tools help others as I provide intuitive readings.

Mars in Aquarius retrograde
The aspect of Mars, the Warrior and masculine archetype that has prevailed over much of the energy around the globe these last several months with protests, “MeToo” movement, conflicts, and yes, strong stances of particular groups to take their righteous power.  Mars has been going retrograde (seemingly backwards) through the Aquarius constellation.  This astrological sign embraces innovation, progressive change, new thought, and paradigm shifts. Rebellion is afoot with an angry emotional context during a Mars retrograde in Aquarius. Have you noticed the animated activists challenging the status quo these days?  Yes…. Mars is strongly represented in this summer’s events.

Aquarius is the water carrier – an archetype that speaks to a force that nurtures humankind and works toward a utopian world that serves us all.  When Mars is retrograde in Aquarius, we go back over and review what is broken and needs to be fixed and healed.  When Mars goes direct at the end of August, we will see the energy and will of our communities pushing forth to repair and to find solutions to our individual and societal conflicts and woes.  Mars direct will be a start to new dynamics of how we are working together in communities to solve issues of racism, poverty, inequality, and social injustice.

An archetype that works for contemporary times: Akhilandeshvari

As I have analyzed the state of the world, or have been thinking about my own humble existence, I think about the difficult circumstances we find ourselves these days.  (As we consider the issues mentioned above). Many of us may find it difficult to push our best version of ourselves out into the world.  We may feel heartbroken and in pain.  But, as Eckhart Tolle has written, we need to be present and acknowledge our pain body.  From this acknowledgement we can transcend to a higher consciousness about ourselves and others.  To quote Tolle: The ego says, ‘I should not have to suffer', and the thought makes you suffer so much more. It is a distortion of the truth, which is always paradoxical. The truth is that you need to say yes to suffering before you can transcend it.”

Thus, we come to the mythology of Akhilandeshvari.  She who is never not broken.  I need to acknowledge two wise women who have brought this beautiful archetype to my awareness: Maya and Jane. They have recently conducted a women’s workshop in Oakland, California and addressed this myth so prevalent in today’s contemporary world, yet this archetype is as ancient as our human story:

She who is never not broken…double negative you think…but, wait…think another way “ she embodies the cataclysmic exhilarating, transformative process that the earth and we as individuals are going through at this time. She, is the one who holds the keys for getting through it successfully.

Let me introduce you to her, Akhilandeshvari, is a South Asian Goddess, her name references Universal and Cosmic Powers. It may seem odd to think of a goddess as broken, but, she is broken because we are broken. Akhailandeshvari, reinforces the message in Leonard Cohen’s Anthem “ So ring the bell that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there’s a crack in everything, and that is how the light gets in”… Let go of the need for perfection, embrace your brokenness…it is the path to freedom! When something is perfect you put it on a shelf and look at it, when things are not perfect you work with them to see what you do to improve them. It is the same with us, we have to transform our breakdowns into breakthroughs. How do we approach the challenges, pain and difficulty that disempowers and overwhelms us? The Goddess never not broken promises that the greatest magic is in the transformative moments; the uncertainties, the pause before we hit the ground..and what do we do with ourselves after we land.

As wise elders we know it is normal to fear and resist change, but, this goddess whispers to us of freedom. Liberation from the past, from habits and wounds, from shifting routines, from everything that once was good but has become a burden or a prison. Liberation, indeed from the illusions of ego. Akhilandeshavi, is in the same instant the personification of destruction and rebirth, not like Kali the destroyer who levels us all with her sword. This goddess yields to the destruction of the self, the ego and the self-identity, so that she can remain in contact with truth, the divine source manifesting as the individual. She has come fully into her own, now as we and the earth, and all the systems we have built over millennia are crumpling like old newspaper.However, the blessing is we can reinvent ourselves and the systems that we operate in society…look not at the destruction but at rebirth…what a glorious concept!

For me, I am using this archetype to direct me to my broken-hearted soul and to let the light into these various parts of my psyche to heal and to find self-love.  I invite you to do the same.

Last Eclipse on Leo/Aquarius Axis

Eclipse Season is this powerful window of time we are currently in the midst of, and a beautiful opportunity to tune into the rhythms of the cosmos.  Astrology is a map that helps us navigate the terrain of life, and offers the potential for each of us to live more empowered, fulfilling, and purposeful lives.

The last of the eclipses on the Leo/Aquarius nodal axis took place on Saturday, August 11th.  For the last year and a half (since February 2017) we have been experiencing the influence of this particular cycle.  On this date, what are you willing to let end that no longer serves your highest expression? What new beginnings are emerging that gives you a fresh start to be your true authentic self?

This last powerful eclipse works with Mars in Aquarius to bring us to realize our truth, as individuals, and as members of humanity.  The archetype of Leo speaks to our own ability to act from our true authentic self. Like the Strength card in the Tarot, we are the most powerful when we honor our unique skills, talents, and personas.  Thus, the last eclipse brings to the fore a long lasting message: speak and act from your heart and your true authentic being.

As Stephanie Austin, astrologer, muses about this eclipse: “You were born for a reason. You are unique. No one has seen through your eyes, felt through your fingertips, lived in your skin. Ruled by the Sun itself, Leo summons each of us to shine our light, our singular spark of the Divine; to live from our essence rather than from our ego or programmed personality. How do we know when we are doing that? The degree of joy or strain tells us whether we are on our spiritual path — or bushwhacking. If life is largely effort and struggle, we’ve lost the trail. If we're watching the clock more than feeling in the flow or "The Zone," we've gotten off track. If we're following our fears rather than our heart, we're ready for a big course correction.” That is what eclipses do: they present opportunities to shift to a higher consciousness and a new direction that serves our soul needs.

Not only are the Sun and Moon in Leo, but Mercury and the North Node as well, offering extra illumination as to what our heart and soul wants now. Many of us had our creativity stifled at an early age, criticized or shamed overtly, or shut down in more subtle but equally destructive ways.

The archetype of Leo, symbolized by the King and the Lion, represents bravery, power, and sovereignty. It takes courage to be true to our Self, to listen to our heart, and ‘follow our bliss’ as Joseph Campbell put it. This solar eclipse urges us to be lionhearted; to shine our light and share our unique gifts. It reminds us that our inner "Sun", our core, our essence, knows what lights us up, what brings us joy and fulfillment.
I end this post with so much gratitude for the many beautiful voices that have come to me lately.  Many exist in my every day life: Barbara, Jane, Judith and Joseph. Your presence keeps me centered and connected. Also, there are my dear friends who live far away from me, such as my dear artist friend, Margaret, who lives in Melbourne, Australia.  Also, Linda, who is responsible for getting me interested in astrology so many years ago, and has been a strong constant in my circle of divine and inspirational friendships. We have known each other since 5th grade.

Or take dear friend Jim who lives in upper New York State. I have never met him in person, but as a fellow Aquarian, he confirms and supports my thought process.  Then there is Basil, who lives in North Carolina and is consistently illuminating my world.  He helps me realize that my consciousness is shifting and I am awakening to a new reality.  Speaking of this, Basil suggested my reading a new book: A New Republic of the Heart, by Terry Patten.  I leave you with this quote from the section of the book, Translating Heartbreak Into Action:

The work we have to do can seen as a kind of coming ALIVE.  More than some moral imperative, it’s an awakening to our true nature, a leasing of our gifts.” (Joanna Macy)


Cathy Basen

For most of my adult life, I have worked as an educator. Now, semi-retired from public school administration, I work part time as an education consultant.  However, my passion for decades has been my work as a professional astrologer and intuitive advisor.  My love for dialoguing soul-to-soul with people has rewarded me with amazing conversations and discourse.  I feel I have supported countless persons over the years by interpreting their astrology natal chart and also, reading Tarot cards as both serve as tools and methods to provide deep insights into the soul.