Updated: Jan 28, 2020
Moving from Sagittarius to Capricorn
The building’s floodlight revealed a dusting of snow on the grass and wooden walkway. The previous day’s continuous rainfall had turned to flurries during the night. When I opened the hallway door, a cold gust hit me. The temps had dropped 20 degrees, and a wind storm had moved in.
It’s unusual for me to walk around outside at 4 a.m., let alone on a campus for a meditation retreat.
I did not see one person the previous night on the half-mile walk to the meditation hall, past several dorms and apartments. This night, however, a figure moved on the hill above me, a good distance away, but then disappeared, turning the corner onto a different street. A cat, or some similar looking animal, scurried up the bank, but then sat completely still when it noticed me, watching me carefully.
In getting out of bed on a restless night and going to the meditation venue, I was following the advice of our retreat leader, who suggested we meditate if we can’t sleep. I knew when I signed up for the retreat that sleep would be an issue—insomnia is common for me when in a strange bed, and also for people in general when they are at a meditation retreat. Added to Jupiter’s placement at the Galactic Center, a point in the universe said to be a source of great expansive knowledge, I accepted that sleeplessness would be something I’d have to cope with and resolved to make the best of it.
The retreat was also scheduled during the final days of Jupiter in Sagittarius (Sadge), before it transitioned to Capricorn (associated with Saturn) on December 3. I’ve been working very intentionally with the energy for a year, since Jupiter is in its fullest expression while in Sadge. At the end of its sojourn, I wanted to not only monitor my ability to be with it, but also see if I could make the most of its benefits.
And I did—I made major breakthroughs, solo in the utter stillness of the meditation hall in the wee hours of the morning, and also within the group of about 50 people throughout the weekend.
MEDITATION ON LEAVES
While drafting the initial version of this article prior to the retreat, autumn leaves were just at their peak. After a heavy rain, winds had started to blow the soaked displays of fire off their branches. The fact that I’m just now publishing this article, and the leaves are now all on the ground, shows how my inspiration (often linked to Jupiter) and sense of best timing (Saturn) are still not in perfect sync.
Yet part of getting there is just accepting that all timing is perfect timing. While my original intention was to post the article before Jupiter left Sadge, for astrologers most commonly publish prior to a transit to give readers a heads up of what’s to come, perhaps it’s most helpful is to reflect at the end of its passage. The way we are experiencing these planetary movements are evolving in our transitional time, so predictions are tricky.
I used this year to look inside myself in a big way (suitable for Jupiter crossing my Moon and also entering my fourth house, both symbolizing “home” or “internal self”). I also was very aware that we would be in the beginning stages of the momentous Saturn and Pluto conjunction in Capricorn (exact January 12, 2020), which affects everyone and will likely go down in history as one of the biggest time periods of change. (Astrologers have given a lot of attention to this conjunction. Pam Gregory has one of my favorite interpretations). I figured the best way to navigate this change was to make sure my insides were “clean,” because if they weren’t, then whatever needed to purge could dramatically come to the surface without warning come January.
In committing to inner work, the perfect resources appeared. In fact, I didn’t realize exactly how perfect those resources were until that windy night at the retreat.
This past year I decided to limit the number of landscape clients I work with and garden classes I teach. I even turned down volunteers’ offers for help because I wanted to use my time in the garden for internal reflection and healing. Gardening is the perfect way for me to both listen to internal guidance, as well as become aware of anything inside of me that is sticky. Physical work challenges the body in a way that also challenges the emotions, so more is revealed than when I just sit still in meditation.
I repeatedly thought about an article I wrote, offering the image of colored leaves as a way that nature expresses Jupiter when it’s perfectly blended with its oppositions, squares and cusps.
It’s such a new concept in our society that we have no choice but to look to nature for answers on how to do this. We can absorb a leaf’s essence by meditating on the image of autumn leaves—the bright, nuanced colors; the awe they inspire as we enjoy their beauty; the mental activity as we consider the complex, sometimes uncomprehending way the colors form as chlorophyll breaks down; and their reliability—they show up each fall season, only altered each year by temperature, light and water.
Bright and awe-inspiring = Jupiter/Sadge. The complexities in the atmosphere that influence the color = Sadge’s opposite Gemini. The structure of the tree and reliability of the fall routine = Saturn/Capricorn, the sign next door (called the cusp). Enjoyment of beauty = Neptune/Pisces, square to Sadge. Neptune is also the water now soaking the fall leaves. The changing weather is Mutability, which is the Modality of Sadge, Gemini, Pisces and Virgo, explaining their shared qualities. The healing aspect of the forest, as well as my attempt to dissect and explain, are the domains of Virgo/Mercury/Chiron, also square to Sadge.
If that is too much to piece together, remember that we can just meditate on the image of leaves, and we absorb the essence of this perfectly blended Mutable energy.
For practical readers, perhaps focusing on an image doesn’t do it for you, so I offer some concrete examples.
The goal of Unity Astrology is to show how we can blend energies that are complementary opposites to create reformed, healthy expressions of these archetypes. I’ve offered stories about these blended forms that are easier for me to articulate than Jupiter-Saturn/Sadge-Capricorn because I was born with less “stickiness” around them. For instance, in discussing the merge of Aquarius and Leo, aka Uranus and Sun, I could offer a story about my cats because, well, they are cats and are much simpler to deal with than society (although I have noticed the reformed Uranus-Sun energy transferring over to my human relationships since posting the article). It was also easy to explain because I have fewer hang-ups with Leo and Aquarius. Sure, Uranus, most associated with Aquarius, is a bit tricky for me because it can strike like lightning, whereas I do much better in calm. But the more I worked to understand the energy—and see different sides of it—the less shocking it became.
Jupiter, however, is a different story for me, not so much because of where it lands in my natal chart, but because my Moon (conjunct Neptune) is in Sagittarius, most associated with Jupiter. Where our Moon was when we were born often denotes the muddy stuff for us to resolve. It’s our emotional body, our unconscious thoughts, and our patterns learned in childhood. For me to access the abundance of Jupiter, and then blend it perfectly with its opposites so that it solidifies in reality, means I have had to create many new patterns. In short, I can easily access grand visions, but understanding society (Capricorn/Saturn) in its current iteration has been arduous. Once I did start to grasp the current reality, I had to make sure I wasn’t falling prey to the status quo, and remember that the exciting yet peaceful world of Jupiter, in partnership with dreamy Neptune, could indeed be real.
When Jupiter goes in the sign of our Moons, it may mean good luck, as conventional astrology often claims. But for people on a Complete Unified Self Path (CUSP), we are given greater opportunities to look at the hidden parts of ourselves, then attempt to reform them so that we can accept all the bounty that Jupiter has to offer. While some astrologers think that everyone's Moons represent childhood patterns in need of resolution, I think that is particularly true for those on CUSP because of the amount of opposing energies in our natal charts. Inner balance is paramount to our happiness and success.
In the midst of the reformation, we often experience the planets dualistically, which is how conventional astrology typically describes them. Yet on CUSP, we are experiencing the opposite quite strongly at the same time so they balance each other out. For instance, this past July, when Jupiter was aligned with my Moon/Neptune conjunction in my natal chart, my Airbnb was booked at 97%, the kind of bounty I’d expect when Jupiter is in my fourth house symbolizing home. In the same month, two of the appliances broke and I had to buy new linens, so profits ended up being similar to most other months. Perhaps these repairs could be linked to transiting Jupiter square my natal Saturn in Virgo, as Saturn often brings restriction, counteracting expansiveness. That way Jupiter doesn’t express itself too greatly too quickly.
Sometimes bounty can immediately provoke its opposite Saturn—for instance, aggressive vegetation, the bane of a gardener’s existence. When I have to spend so much effort controlling plants that have gone out of bounds, I have less time to spend expanding other parts of my garden. The solution I first think of is to grow the business so I can hire others to take care of the aggressive vegetation. But I don’t know if this business strategy, so common in our society’s economic system, is best for someone on CUSP. Extremities will likely be met with other extremities. Either I have to generate acceptance for the plants getting out of bounds, or get creative with my business structure I can deal with them better.
Then there’s the abundance of harvest. Once I got the hang of building the rich soil ecosystem needed to grow vegetables, I had to figure out what to do with all the produce. Cooking and preserving takes time (Saturn), as does building markets to sell or barter the vegetables. Buyers want a very specific size of vegetable—they’re not going to accept sweet potatoes on steroids like this one, over-expressing its Jupiter:
Instead of manifesting both Jupiter and Saturn in strong dualistic ways, and hence essentially cancelling each other out, what I’m instead aiming for is a blend.
My current plan (always up for change) is for caretakers to take my place at the homestead. Their involvement allows me to move to another property so I can pursue different business avenues. Instead of pushing the farm in its current iteration to expand before I’m prepared to handle growth, I’m sidestepping into other areas in which society adequately values. In these new arenas (specifically short-term rentals that I plan to eventually transition to a retreat for clients), Jupiter can express itself more easily. That allows me time to further develop InnerSynastry.
To be fair, there’s plenty of Saturn involved in InnerSynastry, despite its inherently Uranian (unusual/divinely inspired) quality. Currently, only a small percentage of the population are likely open-minded to such a unique healing modality. Even for them, I work diligently to explain what I’m doing in a way they can understand. Once I get that down, I expect Jupiter will have more freedom to express itself than it could at the farm.
At some point, I expect to be able to share that Jupiter with the farm, whether I continue to own it or am more on the sidelines. The farm, located in an urban area, has much more trouble with receiving abundance than other areas of the business because it is so tied to physical reality (Saturn/Capricorn) as it’s expressing itself right now. Over time, the binds lift, and Saturn becomes something different than just limits. For in ultimate reality, as far as I envision it, there are no limits.
THE GIFT OF CONNECTIONS
If you would have told me a year ago that I would start looking at other properties, I would have laughed at the absurdity of the idea. My ten-year-old garden beds are rich with nutrients and teeming with microbes, which make a gardeners’ life easy. Fruit on trees and shrubs planted in 2013 can be harvested in succession almost every week of the growing season. The amount of struggle and dedication required to build the passive solar greenhouse is not anything I’m looking forward to tackling again if I replicate it on another property. And I’m certainly not ready to abandon the amount of pure joy, knowledge and peace that a greenhouse full of plants offers me. I’ve only just recently increased the number of native plant species in the nursery to attract the right customers for my business, and installed several demonstration gardens so visitors can visualize what their landscape might look like.
The first clue that a change was on the horizon was when I experimented last winter with intertwining gardening and sound healing with the help of a therapist friend of mine. I discovered that if I were going to offer that program, I’d need to focus fully on the transformation process that is occurring inside both me and my clients. When two people enter the same space, physical reality adjusts, sometimes in unwelcome ways such as water outages or aphid outbreaks, showing us what’s buried inside us. These disruptions should not cause stress, like they do in a nursery reliant on plant sales, but be a welcome part of the healing process.
I also realized that my current property might not be the ideal location for a business focused on healing. I’d rather be further out of town so we can experience a reality without the buzz of neighbors’ lawn mowers or barking dogs. Many elements of my current gardening business are evolving nicely—why stop that growth just because I am heading in a different direction? While I actively savored every moment on the farm—including the noises—I also made sure I wasn’t clinging to it.
I deeply contemplated non-attachment, and I had help from an unlikely source—a podcast about meditation.
At some point I hope to write about the meaningful experience of corresponding throughout the summer with the makers of this podcast. I followed an impulse to interact with the host, partly because I felt need for stimulation without volunteers at the farm this year, but also because I had a strange instinct that he would somehow help me with InnerSynastry. In some ways, his work and mine are related because InnerSynastry is, in my belief, a form of assisted meditation. But it’s completely illogical to think he’d be open to this modality because, despite his interest in Buddhism, he is skeptical of metaphysical claims. I assume that includes astrology. As much as I try to create language that most audiences can digest, I could imagine him being repelled by some of my topics and word choices. Nevertheless, I uncharacteristically had an urge to connect with him starting the first time I read his work five years ago, long before InnerSynastry.
The podcast host discussed how he was contemplating a change in his career, as he wanted to relieve some pressure in his schedule. I could relate. Whenever I worked on my writing or facilitated a sound session, I was aware of the vast places this exploration could take me. I am the only one who could do that; meanwhile, there may be others who could take over the farm, and perhaps do a better job.
Throughout the year I felt my attachment to the farm lift piece by piece, until I found myself looking at other properties and had formulated a plan for a transition. Once I did that, I met several people who might help facilitate that change. I still had to use acute discernment, especially if they were super excited (reflections of my hidden inner self), while also not knee-jerk reacting with skepticism. In any case, I was clear I was headed toward the optimal path.
In the midst of all this strategizing, I hadn’t listened to the podcast for two weeks, and the host appeared in my dream one night. This wasn’t the first time that he had showed up in a dream, but it had happened previously right after I had turned off the podcast and went to bed. This time seemed out of the blue, so I decided to listen to the episodes I missed.
The shows were great as always, but the part that stood out was when he mentioned a meditation retreat in North Carolina. When he said the name of my home state, I felt like he was talking directly to me. I purposely pushed past my original hesitation to skip it, knowing that it would take a lot of effort to line up helpers to watch the greenhouse and clean the Airbnb. The work (Saturn) would be worth the bounty (Jupiter), and as a bonus, it would be good practice to leave the farm and trust it is in good hands.
Throughout the weekend of the meditation retreat, I had several breakthroughs. It turns out that the unique style of the retreat leader, who is a good friend of the podcast host, was perfect for me. He talked about turning the knob up on the pieces of ourselves we’d like more of, and turning the knob down on the parts of ourselves we’d like to place on simmer. He also helped us find a point of focus that is most suited for us, rather than commanding we practice one specific way.
Meditators typically pick one point to concentrate on, and for many years I have focused on areas in the body that are causing unease. My practice has evolved such that I can move my attention to these points, and the tension immediately dissipates—in fact, I’ve become addicted to looking for areas of tension as soon as I close my eyes to meditate. When the retreat leader reviewed other focal points, my reaction was immediately one of resistance. I wanted to stick with relieving areas of tension in the body rather than focusing on the breath, sounds, or the “third eye,” the spot on the forehead between the eyes.
However, once we got into the meditation, my attention fell on the third eye, a place I had focused on during my beginning stages of meditation 20 years ago. I can easily access the peace that is available there, but until the retreat, I had lost sight of that effect of the third eye.
While meditating with the group, my mind naturally drifted between the third eye and points in the body, and it felt like peace was transferring to the body. That culminated at the end of the retreat when, in combination with some very subtle movements of muscles near the spine, I noticed a pain unlocking — a point of tension that has been near my tailbone and sacrum whenever I’m seated. The pain has been there for as long as I can remember (probably starting back in elementary school, sitting for long hours in the uncomfortable wooden seats), such that it has become an extra limb. I hardly even notice it’s there, and I certainly didn’t realize life could exist without it.
I also had a breakthrough in the early hours of the morning, when I sat in the meditation hall alone. The one-room building, which I’m guessing is at least 3,000 square feet, has high ceilings, with windows stretching the longest walls. One of the windows was open, allowing air to circulate, and the wind from the snowy night was quite audible. Surrounding me were a good 50 blue meditation cushions and back rests positioned in half-circles, facing a platform up front. One lamp lit the platform, illuminating the rest of the room in a soft glow.
Some of the time I experimented with my new meditation technique, and other times I just practiced trying to be at peace with how my body reacts (very alert) to the high energy of the night, as expected when Jupiter is at the Galactic Center. Then I had an epiphany. I’ve been so diligently paying attention to how my body is being healed (which I consider to be “Earth” in astrological terms), that I’ve lost site that what’s above can also be transformed. My attention went to the sphere surrounding my head, and I identified points of tension. I suspect these points are related to places in the brain that are associated with my sleep issues, which I’ve had off and on for more than 15 years.
The solution is not only in restructuring the body and how it responds to expansive energy, but also in fine-tuning the source of the energy. I intuited a tool in how to do so—to focus on these points in the sphere surrounding my head similar to the attention I’ve given areas of tension in the body. I fairly instantly fell into a relaxed state, and that eventually transitioned into sleep.
In the days after leaving the retreat, I monitored exactly how this epiphany reshaped my physicality. I do know that shifts happened. The pain near the tailbone has mostly evaporated, although I carefully watched it, performing movements as needed. I could also tell that there was a change in my brain. At first, I alternated between two states—I’d be extremely focused and prolific, and then experience periods of fatigue and fog. I’ve had similar sensations following EMDR, a type of therapy that involves eye movement. In time, the two states balance out and I don’t notice the shifts, and instead become more present, calm, and articulate.
Meanwhile I continue to be amazed how the guidance of the retreat leader—the friend of the podcast host—seems to be so spot-on. I listened to one of his books on Audible, and am struck how he’s exploring arenas related to InnerSynastry. He covers dream states, hypnosis, and the subconscious, all through a scientific/research-based lens. He discusses how our expectations affects outcomes; how imagination is a crucial part of reality; and how we’re not just “heads on sticks” but mind-bodies infinitely connected to all that’s around us. Perhaps the reason I was drawn to the retreat extends beyond just my mediation breakthroughs.
I think back to the shadowy figure on top of the hill that I saw when leaving the dormitory at the mediation hall at 4 a.m. The moment I saw the person, I could have chosen to be scared. (Fear is often associated with Saturn). I could have given into my upbringing that taught girls need to be very protective of themselves. Or I could have chosen to swing the other way, as I often did in my late teens and 20’s in rebellion from a sheltered household. I could have been overly trusting and tapped into the over-optimistic Jupiter, taking tons of chances, at times putting my well-being at risk. Instead, I chose to hold an acute awareness, similar to the cat surveying me from the hillside, as I walked through the windy, flurrying night. And then in the safety of the meditation hall, I embraced the lessons that I was ready to hear at that time. The key to harmonizing Jupiter and Saturn is creating a safe structure so that we can receive the gifts of Jupiter in the exact right doses that are most appropriate for us at that time.
As always, it’s all about balance. While that’s the life lesson of people on CUSP, it’s especially true as Jupiter enters Capricorn and inches closer to the Saturn/Pluto conjunction, where they’ll converge at the end of 2020. We can examine, is Jupiter getting suppressed so that the expansive/excited parts of us are acting out in weird ways? Or are the structures changing so that Jupiter can express itself fully?
It’s really hard to predict the ramifications to the structures of our immediate lives or to society as a whole. Just know—nothing will ever be the same. You are being asked more than ever—How do you choose to live your life?
InnerSynastry sound sessions can help you find balance as you navigate these transits. In session we literally turn the knobs up or down on the frequencies we do or do not want to focus on, just as I did in the meditation hall.
Note: Underlined words with no links denote articles that are not yet posted. Check back in the near future!
Talking about my own life is often the easiest way to try to articulate a point, but I’d much rather tell your stories! If you have an example of how you changed your structure to be able to embrace more abundance, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also contact me directly if you'd like the names of the retreat leader and podcast host. They've greatly influenced me so I am big advocates of them, but I would only name them publicly if they personally asked me to. I'm in left field in comparison to them.