“There must be something planetary happening right now?” came the text message from a friend who also described people as coming unhinged and life as being just generally hard.

Then, I received a similar inquiry in an email to my social media inbox.

They wanted me to explain the astrology. No, it’s not eclipse season, yet. Mercury will retrograde in Scorpio soon (10/31). The Libra planets had been interacting with the Nodes all month…Sun in Scorpio, now, you know what that means. Pluto-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn in January! And…blah, blah, blah. I generally get bored reciting these type things in this way.

That’s not what I heard being asked, anyhow. They wanted the big picture. How to handle the amazing amount of shifts continually going down. Because it’s not just about “Mercury retrograde” or “eclipse season” anymore. It’s constant.

Okay, I thought. Let’s talk about what’s ACTUALLY happening in our lives. 

I said: Sure, of course, something planetary is always happening, which astrology can describe to a degree, but cannot entirely capture. Essentially, the planet is undergoing massive changes and we all feel it. The intensity is not going to stop, so we need to learn to use the energy.

Thus, I decided to do a brief Q&A write-up for you, at this New Moon lunation, to share my perspective about what is happening energetically on the planet, how it’s affecting each of us, and some ideas about astrology’s role, too!  To continue with the first question…

Things have been growing increasingly intense for many years now. This is felt as intermittent intensity for some people, and nearly constant pressure for others. We get short reprieves to integrate and adjust to the energy. There are some ebbs and flows. Yet even though it ebbs and flows, it has become pretty constant, this dynamic of consistently moving towards deep, transformative change -AND- ideally a greater degree of unfolding into authentic relationship with our Self, which is mirrored in each person’s life. Each person will handle and respond to the discomfort and intensity differently. One person may respond to the ongoing discomfort by going more deeply into their wounded-ness or feelings of victimization. Another will use the same energy to awaken, to finally make huge life choices and shifts. We all have a choice as to how we use these energies. However, the reality is that we are all feeling it, in shocks, waves, ebbs and flows of (planetary) highly stimulating energy.

Q: What is the relationship between what’s going on with the planets, and my life?

As above, so below. Most agree that things need to shift into a new structural alignment.

Alignment is HUGE for all of us.

If you are out of alignment in any area of your life, this will grow increasingly stronger (usually felt as intense anxiety, panic, survival-type feelings) until you address it. If you’ve been avoiding a life decision, or not honestly facing an issue, that is what is throwing everything out of whack.

Scale/size doesn’t matter. This could be needing to take more time off from work, create more balance in our personal life, draw a boundary with a friend, or needing to move or leave a partner. Even a grain of sand in our shoe can feel like a boulder if we are not addressing it.

All it takes is one or two mis-alignments to throw your entire life out of balance. For instance, when all the big questions come at once, and you can’t sort out which one thing is causing the problem/issue, it’s probably not everything. You get confused: Do I need to move? Or, do I leave my partner? Or, do I get a new job? All new career? Maybe it’s time to retire? Truly, the one or two things you aren’t facing affects everything.  Start to work with addressing that one (or few) thing(s).

Q: If we are in this time of increased intensity and it is going to continue, what can we do?

Since being out of alignment causes us to feel energetically unstable, anxious and panick-y, we also need to help our self to calm down, stop being reactive, stop seeing potential threats and problems everywhere. Maybe that means doubling down on our spiritual practice, or on self-care. Or choosing to connect inward and listen to what our Soul is saying, instead of turning to information sources and the internet, which consistently seems to push the collective panic button. Prioritizing joy, and what makes us feel light and good in our bodies and spirits, is a must. Definitely, the foundation of all of this is addressing any real source of mis-alignment in our personal lives.

Survival fears are high much of the time now. This is something I didn’t used to feel. Generally speaking, people feel more afraid and powerless to their circumstances.

Yet people can make new decisions. We do it all the time. My teacher once told me that the human Ego is so good at staying alive that it will saw off its own arm if it needs to. We are equipped for self-preservation. We can get out of situations that are perilous for our Soul. We can change our circumstances, if we really want to (I remind myself of that when someone I care about is doing things in their life that perpetuate suffering). It’s only our minds that create stories otherwise.

I focus on helping people to simply ground, and really take back their focus from external energies and untrue mental stories. I say “I help people to…” but honestly this is the crux of the inner work I do for myself all the time. I think the single most empowering decision any of us can do is to remember: At the end of the day we get to decide who we are, what we are about, and what we want to feel. No external circumstance gets to choose those things for us.

Q: How can astrology help?

For me, astrology is only helpful when I am fully present to what it is I’m feeling, and likewise, to the energies of the other person I’m with. If talking about some astrology could be helpful for you, in that moment, if I am tuned in and present, I will know it. A description of a Uranus transit at the right moment can be a godsend, helping us to connect and say “yes, this is where I am on the map right now, this is what I’m working with. ” For instance, today, Mars crossed my Ascendant: I saw a wild boar on my hike, I got all fired up at a tourist who put his life in peril while trying to pick a fruit on the edge of a mountain, and I felt angry for a friend I care for and whom I miss…and I felt so relieved (and so fortunate!) to be able to know that this energy, which is about encountering courage and feeling my anger, independence and heat, was surfacing for me to consciously work with.

But when astrology allows us to dissociate from our deeper experience, it is not helpful. If we say things like “I’m a Scorpio” as an excuse as to why we won’t change, we view astrology as deterministic, not as living energies that evolve as we do. Not to mention, all the doomsday type planetary thinking that we can get into, if we so allow it… Astrology can be incredibly validating; astrology can be distracting. It is not always the thing that most wants to be discussed.

To get through this next decade or two, I suggest using astrology as one tool of many that you have access to. Personally, I also like listening to intuitive energy channels like Lee Harris (linked), as well as working with my own teacher – without mistaking them for my Source. No other person has the answers, but me. When there’s a lot of disempowered energy floating around, it’s important to be clear about not giving our power away to external sources.

Generally speaking, often when we go looking for external help, we are already somewhat un-centered, looking for something to take a discomfort away. Be much lighter about it. Tools like astrology, channeling, teachers, tarot are only used in service of easing my self into greater alignment and integration with my Soul. I’ll hear that one phrase, receive that one teaching or word I need. I throw out the rest. It is easy to take on untrue crap you don’t need.

When I listen to my Soul and hear that inner voice that is telling me what my Soul most needs and wants in this moment…this is always my deepest wish, and my saving grace. This is the cushion that will make any hard landing I experience in life so much softer. And if I am that integrated, that able to flow with my Soul, it might just feel like a bounce! I’ve had that experience. Some of the biggest, most difficult seeming shifts can feel surprisingly easy and light.

In a nutshell, we are in a great period of change and adaptation. That’s why everything feels so BIG. None of us knows where this change is headed, but every single day we cast our vote in any given direction through our choices: how we treat our self and others, how we spend our time and attention, what we value, what we honestly look at in our life -or what we avoid looking at.

Our relationship to our innermost self has the biggest vote in how it all turns out for us!!!