Contraction & Expansion :: Cosmic Weather Forecast for March 5th – 11th

Image: Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons

Holy, BRAIN FOG. Seriously, all that Neptune-Pisces-Chiron-Scorpio-Moon energy needs to dissipate so I can think properly.

And it will, thank goodness. Mercury and Venus leave Pisces to enter Aries on TUESDAY, bringing courage and a straightforward directness to our conversations and our close relationships. This Mars-ruled sign wants you to get fired up and inspired about what you really, really want and how you are going to get it.

Impulsive decisions, obnoxious competitiveness, and verbal exchanges that combust into flame in seconds, are a risk with these transits. But thankfully these liabilities are balanced out by Aries’ capacity to effectively handle crises, to bounce back from disappointments, and to happily let go of a disagreement as soon as the fun of fighting gets old.

For the next couple weeks we will have 3 personal planets in fire signs (Mercury and Venus in Aries, and Mars in Sagittarius), but don’t forget that the Sun is still hanging out in Pisces for a while yet.

We’ll be working with a fire-water mix… which are clearly not the most compatible of elements. I can attest to this personally as someone with a lot of strong fire and water in my birth chart.

A fire-water mix can look like a lot of spontaneous leaping forward with exuberance and naive eagerness to connect, to share, to take action… and then just as quickly, retreating to a more protected position where one can safely sink into their emotional depths.

Try to avoid acting rashly without thinking, but don’t get immobilized with second-guessing and self-doubt.

Mercury will enter its Pre-Retrograde Shadow on THURSDAY at 4 degrees Aries, and will Station Retrograde on March 22nd. The Pre-Retrograde Shadow period begins at the degree where Mercury will eventually pivot and Station Direct (on April 15th).

There’s no need for extra precautions at this point, but be aware that the Mercurial terrain you are traveling from now until March 22nd, will likely be getting a thoughtful review in the future when Mercury traverses this area of your chart twice more.

FRIDAY arrives with the Last Quarter Moon in Sagittarius, squaring the Sun in Pisces. Two mutable signs; one fire, the other water. Both of these signs are associated with faith, spirituality, and a transcendent Truth.

We are currently half-way through Pisces Season. As we reach this moment of friction and tension before we relax into the Balsamic Moon phase in preparation for the upcoming Pisces New Moon, what attachments might you need to let go of? In what ways might the material world be holding you back from surrendering to the magic that arrives when one loosens their grip?

Also on FRIDAY, we will have Jupiter Stationing Retrograde at 23 degrees Scorpio. This great, big, expansive planet is turning around and moving backward for the next 4 months until it Stations Direct on July 10th at 13 degrees Scorpio.

Interestingly Jupiter will Station Retrograde at the same degree (almost to the minute) where Mars Stationed Direct back on June 29th 2016. Thus there could be some correlations between these two dates in some way.

When a planet happens to do something important on the exact same degree that another planet did something important previously, there is a type of symbolic relationship between the two cosmic events. These types of synchronicities are relatively rare given the 360 degrees of the zodiac planets have to work with , but when they do occur, it seems as though the Universe is trying to make a point.

Each degree of the zodiac has inherent symbolism and meaning, and I believe that each degree, each microscopic cell of the zodiac, holds the energetic imprint of past transits (or life events).

Even on an individual level, for example, if you have the opportunity to get to know your birth chart intimately and regularly track your transits through the zodiac wheel, you will begin to notice consistent types of internal or external themes showing up in your life when a certain degree (particularly those aligning with angles and planets) is activated by transit. Our birth charts themselves, contain memories and imprints within each degree.

Life is cumulative at the same time it is cyclical – meaning, you will likely not experience the same event twice, but there may be a noticeable resonance and thematic similarity between the time around June 29th 2016 when Mars Stationed Direct, and this upcoming FRIDAY, March 9th, when Jupiter Stations Retrograde.

A planet’s pivot point is very potent and leaves a noticeable footprint in its wake.

I have been thinking about how Jupiter symbolizes expansion, growth, flourishing, a proliferation… and then how, in contrast, a Jupiter Retrograde period would appear to be a type of “contraction. Within the trauma recovery and health/wellness realms I am familiar with, the language of “contraction” often has a strongly negative connotation.

Contraction is often associated with shame, feeling small, insecure, repressed, withdrawn, isolated, stuck, congested, imprisoned by fear, clinging to coping habits, filled with anxiety, a prolonged fight/flight/freeze response, and wrangled by psychosomatic pain symptoms and tense muscles.

If we were to association retrogrades with periods of contraction, then similarly we can see how we often perceive these cosmic movements in a negative light (especially Mercury Retrogrades).

And yet… perhaps there could be a more positive expression of “contraction”?

Before writing a post I sometimes wander about on the internet aimlessly for awhile, plugging in keywords and searching for inspiration. When Googling “contraction and expansion” I came across Eva Pierrakos’ lecture on this topic. It was such a beautiful description of this symbiotic movement of pulsation, and so exquisitely on point for Jupiter’s retrograde period, that I had to share an excerpt for FRIDAY’s reflection.

Eva wonderfully differentiates negative forms of contraction from more positive forms. Her lecture is a challenge to us to welcome a retrograde as a positive form of contraction…

You imagine that contraction is negative, bad, while expansion is positive and good. While this may be true on certain levels, it is not true in itself.

Contraction is negative when there is a tight holding back, a cramp, a refusal to flow and give out. This form of it is very familiar to you. It is a seeking of safety through isolation and separateness. It is a movement reaching inward that is motivated by fear, distrust, ungivingness, and false ideas about what is safe and what is not safe. It contains itself in one’s own inner world, but not for the purpose of bringing out the riches of the inner world so as to spread them out, as is the case with positive contraction, but rather in a refusal to move, reach, love, trust, and give out.

Contraction in its positive form has a beautiful, beautiful meaning. It is an in-gathering of all the forces; what has occurred in the expanded state is being gathered back into the self. It is being digested, assimilated. It means reaching into the depths of your infinite divine reality to bring out the treasures of the deepest aspects of the self.

Expanding means letting this flow out into the world, but to be able to do so, positive contraction must occur first. Expansion means gathering the riches of divine creation in the inner universe and then bringing them into the outer universe. Contraction means gathering the riches of the outer universe and then bringing them into the inner.

…In positive contraction you gather from without, like a wave that rolls back into itself, so as to reach in and bring out, only to move outward again. This is the ever-present pulsation of life, to be found in all creation, in every creative process. Nothing can be created without the threefold interaction of the expanding, contracting and static principles, be it a small object of the simplest form, or the creation of worlds and universes, material or spiritual realities.

… If you believe contraction is bad, you will experience only its negative facets and will fail to see that these very manifestations you consider negative have a tremendous meaning and sense, most necessary and beneficial for you and, indeed, most positive.

You lose sight of its regenerative, benign nature and meaning. The same is true, in reverse, for the expanding principle: you seldom recognize in a negative aggression the negative manifestation of the expansive movement.

…If you do not fully give yourself, in the most positive spirit, to the contraction of one aspect of your personality, the expanding on the other level cannot be wholesome.

…Contraction is as necessary as expansion. It is part of the pulsatory movement that infiltrates all of life. Without this, creation cannot exist. I invite you, my friends, to sense deeply into yourselves, where and when and how is your contraction part of your creative process, how can you encourage it, and how you can then utilize it for the next expanding movement. Sense in yourself how both create, and are necessary to unfold your innermost being. You want to bring out your innermost being, for it is the ultimate reality.”

~ Eva Pierrakos

Where is Jupiter transiting Scorpio in your chart? As this grandiose planet makes its pivot in the sign of shadows, deep healing and transformation, it is time to digest and assimilate all the processes of personal growth we have been embarking on as of last October. Re-assess your beliefs, worldviews, and ethics. Embrace this process of in-gathering. By revisiting previous life terrain, retrograde cycles bring us to deeper levels of insight and healing.

A retrograde period is an inhale. Draw the outer into yourself. In those hidden shadowy realms, you will find the regeneration you seek.

We have further opportunity to practice this symbiotic movement toward both contraction and expansion on SUNDAY when Mercury squares Saturn as Mars makes a fire trine with Uranus, and the Sun sextiles Pluto.

Mercury square Saturn may give us deadlines, mental structures, serious conversations, limitation and contraction – along with a strong sense of purpose and direction for the day.

Meanwhile Mars trine Uranus beckons us toward freedom, toward outrageous liberation – an energized catapult toward the wacky, weird, and brilliant expression of individuality. This is an aspect of expansion.

The Sun in Pisces sextiling Pluto in Capricorn, harnesses the complementary spiritual energies of these two signs to deepen our reflective processes and heighten our self-awareness. This transit feels like both a contraction and an expansion.

Send your nets deep down into the water, and then pull them up onto the beach so you can discern what should be kept, and what should be discarded. Don’t be afraid of doing some heavy lifting over the weekend.


“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.” ~ Rumi

I don’t always get posts up on all platforms at once! The following posts were posted on Instagram this past week..

At the time of your Solar Return (i.e. your birthday – when the Sun returns to the same place in your natal chart where it was when you were born), as it is with all transits, all aspects and house and sign themes that involve your Sun will be activated (or “triggered”) at that time.

This unfortunately means, that if your Sun is challenged with a number of tense and difficult astro characteristics, unless there are other compensatory transits occurring simultaneously, you may find yourself struggling to “celebrate” your birthday in good cheer.

This is understandable.

And honestly this kinda makes me want to move my birthday “celebration” to another day – a day where the Sun lands on a more auspicious degree in my natal wheel…

I have a history of truly wretched birthdays.

My Sun is in Pisces in the 8th House, quincunx my Leo Ascendant, tightly squaring my Mars and Uranus conjunction.

The 8th House is many things. One could say it is in the 8th House where we meet with impermanence, with chaos, with loss, with human fragility, with surrender, with the element of uncertainty that we can never, ever control, despite our best attempts. The 8th House is a hidden, seething, powerhouse of raw energy – energy “which cannot be created or destroyed…only changed from one form to another” (~Einstein), through an act of alchemy.

From this, springs its associations with emotional intensity, death, traumas, corrosive secrets and shadows, inheritances (of all types), toxic legacies, the supernatural, the vulnerability of sexual intimacy, money (as a form of energy necessary for living on this planet), power dynamics/struggles, shared resources, fear – and transformation.

The tough type of transformation. The type of transformation that takes you to the edge of what you can think you can handle… and then sends you catapulting into the air so you can discover your wings and find your freedom. The 8th House paradox – face fears & release control to access your power. Easier said then done.

When planets start wandering through my 8th House, it is UNCOMFORTABLE to say the least. Like this weekend, with Venus and Mercury traipsing through my 8th House territory.

–>Side Note: Crucial Forecasting Tip for Budding Astrologers…

Transiting Venus conjunct natal Sun? Jupiter transiting the natal Moon? Venus conjunct natal Jupiter? Open up your Time Passages app or google any typical description of these aspects and you’ll get something that sounds lovely and deliciously fortuitous. I’m continually working on deprogramming these standard descriptions from my consciousness when working on individual charts because they interfere with my intuition and the sacred skill of astrology, which is the ability to synthesize all the many puzzle pieces into a coherent and meaningful whole.

One must always, always, contextualize the current transit. How does THIS individual person experience this natal placement on a day-to-day basis (considering all aspect/house/sign factors)? Okay, now what might happen when this natal placement is activated by this transit?

Anyway, back to birthdays… my 32nd birthday is coming up and I would prefer to avoid another disaster and despairing vortex.

If you are an 8th House Sun person, how do you like to pay homage to the anniversary of your birth?

Having my 8th House activated tends to make me quite anti-social – especially because it contains the ruler of my Leo ascendant (the Sun), thus highlighting the awkward incongruence between the social energy of Leo and my core identity. This is not conducive to celebrating a birthday with other people. I’m reflecting on how to lean into the 8th House territory, rather than fighting it by trying to make my birthday something it is not.

I’m not feeling particularly creative at the moment. The only thing I’ve come up with so far is that I really want to watch The Departure, a newly released documentary available on iTunes. Ha, maybe I’ll save that for my birthday? Here’s the synopsis:

Ittetsu Nemoto, a former punk-turned-Buddhist-priest in Japan, has made a career out of helping suicidal people find reasons to live. But this work has come increasingly at the cost of his own family and health, as he refuses to draw lines between his patients and himself. The Departure captures Nemoto at a crossroads, when his growing self-destructive tendencies lead him to confront the same question his patients ask him: what makes life worth living?”

In an interview with the director Lana Wilson, she is quoted as saying:

“Nemoto knows, and I’m sure anyone who works in suicide prevention or as a social worker or therapist knows, you can never “save” someone else, Nemoto looks at it as more like, “We’re saving each other here.” I think that’s what makes him so unique, how he’s saying, “I’m exactly like you, in fact, I need help. I’m seeking the answers to these questions too. Can you help me?

“…I think his method is totally dependent on the person he is with. The other thing that I think is one big idea that binds his work together, is this idea of meeting people where they are and going through a process with them in which they find meaning in their life. One of my favorite moments in the film is when a woman says, “I’m trying to find the meaning of my life. Shouldn’t there be a meaning?” Nemoto says, “Well, I don’t know. Does a river have a meaning?”

“It’s a beautiful and comforting idea, that there is no secret meaning we need to discover. But you want one, Nemoto has created this process that is a way of creating your own meaning, together, even if it comes from the smallest thing, like wanting to see the cherry blossoms next year. The small moments, that is exactly the idea, that by the end of the film you’re feeling that those small moments, like the feeling of the sun against your face, those experiential sensual moments, that is the meaning of our lives. That’s what it’s all about.” (~ Lana Wilson)

If you are familiar with 8th House themes, you know that this documentary is super resonate on many levels. It also reminds me a bit of my last post – I was very surprised and intrigued that the previous post [below] about “Housework as a Spiritual Practice” would garner so many responses [on Instagram], and I’ve been trying to narrow in on why… perhaps we are all seeking support to actively create meaning in life’s small moments, by imbuing the mundane everyday with a taste of the sacred?

I would love to hear your birthday experiences, especially in relation to the astrological position of your Sun! ❤

Posted March 1st, on Instagram/FB…

Today I came across an article titled: “The Art of Cleaning: Housework as a Spiritual Practice“, by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee. It is a beautiful example of the Pisces-Virgo polarity, which is activated right now with the Full Moon in Virgo opposite the Sun in Pisces. This is where the mundane meets with the sacred. Also, I would bet money the main author has some strong Virgo in his chart…


“At this time I find it more and more important to have outer activities that can connect us to what is more natural and help us live in relationship to the deep root of our being, and in an awareness of the moment which alone can give real meaning to our everyday existence. Over the years I have developed a number of simple practices that bring together action and a quality of mindfulness, or deepening awareness, that can nourish our lives in hidden ways.

These activities, like mindful walking, cooking with love and attention, can reconnect us with the web of life, our natural interconnection with life in its beauty and wonder. They can help us “declutter” our outer life and instead become rooted in what is simple and real. One of these practices, which combines action with mindfulness, is cleaning.

The art of cleaning is a simple spiritual activity that is often overlooked. The image of the monk sweeping the courtyard has a deep significance, because without the practice of cleaning there can be no empty space, no space for a deep communion with the sacred. Outer and inner cleaning belong to the foundation of spiritual practice, and as the monk’s broom touches the ground, it has a particular relationship to the Earth. We need to create a sacred space in order to live in relationship to the sacred within ourselves and within creation.

In today’s busy life cleaning one’s home is often considered a chore. We may spend time and energy (and expensive products) in our daily ritual bathing, but the simple art of cleaning our living space is rarely given precedence. Our culture calls to us to use products that will kill all of the “germs” that surround us, products that are often more toxic than the germs, but do we give attention, mindfulness, to caring for the space in which we live? Are we fully present with our brush or vacuum cleaner?

Once I realized that everything is part of one living whole, that nothing is separate, I understood how everything needs care and attention. I bring this feeling and awareness into my cleaning. Cleaning a table, dusting a shelf, I give attention and love, because everything responds to love and care—not just people, or animals, or plants, but everything. I feel strongly that just as I should have only what I need, I should have only what I can look after, love, and care for.

It is a simple recognition of the sacred that is present within everything, and a way to live from the heart in everyday life. Maybe, having been brought up in a family without love or care, I feel this need especially strongly, but I sense that it comes from a deeper knowing of how everything is part of the fabric of love—that creation is woven out of love. And so when I clean I am also looking after, caring for, what is around me, knowing that it too needs to be loved.

Our present culture teaches us to accumulate, but not how to make empty. But for real spiritual work in the inner and outer worlds, in order to give space to the divine, in order to return to the sacred, we need to practice a certain purification in our daily lives. We learn to eat consciously, to be attentive to our outer environment, to sweep our courtyard. We also need to learn how to clean our house, both physically and inwardly. Just as we need to learn to empty our mind in meditation, to clear away the clutter of unnecessary thoughts, so do we need to consciously clean our living space. Dusting, sweeping, vacuuming with attention, we bring a certain awareness to the ground of our being. This has to do with respect for our environment.” (~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee)

Pssst… for additional and more frequent cosmic weather updates, follow Lilith Rebellion on Instagram and Facebook. To receive a weekly cosmic weather overview by email, subscribe to Lilith Rebellion email updates. The week’s cosmic weather forecast will be published on the blog every Monday, with periodic additional posts to mark important cosmic events

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