ebbcccf8eae43d04b8daf5fb5de56e21What a year. What a year….many of us are shaking our heads as we read that line, flummoxed, bewildered, and exhausted.

It’s not secret that 2016 has been a rough ride for ALL of us – no one has emerged unscathed. Battle scarred, limping, bloody bandages trailing after us as we creep toward the finish line – we are much stronger than we were before, albeit shaken and carrying some post traumatic stress. And we are praying for a reprieve, a break from the chaos that has strewn about the contents of our hearts, lifted up Pandora’s Box and allowed the shrieking demons to fly, baby, fly!

The above description may be rather dramatic, but apt. Why has this been happening, Astrologically, at least? Is there even a reason? Is there any sense to what has passed?

Dear friends, it is not all our fault. There has been dire chaos in the heavens this year which has had and effect in every single person out there – no one is alone in this. We welcomed the year in with two big eclipses, in Virgo and Pisces. Eclipses have a six month or longer effect on us, particularly if any of your birth chart planets (cast your chart here to find out) around the degrees of the eclipses – for example, if your Moon in your chart lives at 18 degrees of Pisces, the eclipse would have happened right on top of it, likely spinning you into an emotional sh*tstorm.

Eclipses in themselves are tough enough, as they are traditionally harbingers of strife and challenge. They swallow the light and push us into a dark, shadowy place. Their lessons are through the dark night of the soul.

Later on, we watched as first Mars, God of War, began his backward dance into the sign of Sagittarius and Scorpio. Fire and Ice, we could call it. When a planet goes into retrograde, his powers are weakened and he brings out the worst of himself. Mars’ powers are of assertion, energetic forward movement, passion, fight, drive, vitality. In the reverse, we became argumentative, exhausted, passionless, frustrated. Particularly if we were an Aries or Scorpio Rising sign, or if we had any personal planets in the early degrees of Sagittarius or the late degrees of Scorpio.

Cue Saturn, the greater ‘Malefic’. This planet, Father Time, Lord of Karma, The Old Wise Man, strolled in with his hard lessons of fear, insecurity, huge and painful change, responsibility, structure – he came into the picture, into the sign of Sagittarius and began his months long war with Mars. Like an immovable object stopping a frustrated and fast moving cannon ball. He TOO went retrograde and all of our throat choking fears emerged, our deepest insecurities, our fear of change – and for months Saturn and Mars warred, meeting in a final clash, a conjunction, in August this year. This could have crippled many of us.

All this happened whilst Neptune was retrograding in Pisces – Neptune bringing confusion, fogginess, unable to see the truth in front of us, stumbling around in the dark looking for a light. Neptune also warred with Saturn and despair was their child.

Pluto and Uranus, the last two outer planets, were also in retrograde during this time, adding to the general confusion and disorientation. Pluto challenged us to look at where our power lay – was it with us, or someone else? Who did we needlessly surrender to? A job? A partner? A family member? Our own seemingly indefeatable darkness? We became weaker and weaker. Uranus brought us constant change, chaos, electric storms, jolts of shock to the heart space, things were happening too fast, too unordered.

Is it not interesting that this season was named “Mutable Madness” by Astrologers? Why? Well, almost all, besides Pluto and Uranus, of these planets, INCLUDING the eclipses that were also later this year as well as earlier – were in MUTABLE signs – Sagittarius, Pisces, Virgo, Gemini. These signs are all about change, they signify the change of a season, that step of darkness into light, or light into darkness, Spring into Summer and Autumn into Winter. They are that critical point of change.

Hence, As Above, So Below – we had been flung into change. Into chaos. And we have scrambled, because, dear ones, it has not been easy. Our armour has been stripped, we have been laid bare to the elements. We have been vulnerable, naked, like children.

But we have emerged. And we have come out stronger. And we have made the changes. And we are still struggling along but we know, now, that truly, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. If we can handle 2016, we can handle anything.

It’s not quite over yet. On December 19th, the final door closes with Mercury, planet of thinking, communication, travel, goes into retrograde….in the sign of Sagittarius. The sign that has been edging us all year towards what is really true for us, what is authentic – cutting the crap. The sign Mars and Saturn warred in. It’s no coincidence, folks. Mercury retrograde urges us to now REFLECT – go inwards. Collect ourselves. Reflect in the year. Close the chapter.

It’s not an easy period my friends, so gear up. It’s the Final Push of a long year of labour. The throes of this birth have been long and hard, but there is a gift waiting us. The gift of truth. Of true compassion. Of Self Knowledge. Of living a life true to us. Of freedom. Of less restriction.

As this number nine year draws to a close and we prepare ourselves for the new cycle ahead, a number one year in 2017, we can ask ourselves what we truly want to take into the new cycle – and we can bet our bottom dollar that the Gods will take away anything that is not truly aligned to us anymore. If that relationship, that job, that mindset, that draining family member, our own darkness, is tripping us up – it must go, now. There is no space in the new world for this anymore. And we need all our strength in these coming years to be self led, as our world leaders have failed us. To care for our Mother Earth, as her people have failed her. To care for ourselves, as we have failed to do.

We move into 2017 with clarity, compassion, and brave, new hearts. We have made it. We are free.