A global near-death experience is upon us.

This is the year of Tezcatlipoca, the Lord of Darkness. This is the year the American bubble breaks and the veil is lifted. This feeling has been itching at us – the absolute need to change in order to survive. This New Moon in Capricorn marks a year ahead of profound, unavoidable consciousness shift on planet Earth.

Yet we begin the year with three retrograde cycles. Mars has been retrograde in Cancer, asking us to truly grasp the nature of our desire-body. We have been asked to slow down, which has been hard with the holidays, adding intensified emotional textures into our daily recipes. For many of us, we have been feeling less settled and more anxious, changing homes, ending unsupportive relationships, and adjusting our internal emotional barometers. This interrogation of our desire-nature has been especially challenging for those of us with fire burning up our charts, wanting to create and push into new realms, but being frustrated, overwhelmed, and extra volatile – anger and disappointment have crept in with Mars opposing Pluto, which will continue into February. With these two planets of personal and divine will, we are being asked to forigve ourselves and others, surrender into the mystery, give up our control, and prioritize our projects and relationships.

Just as Mars turns direct, (January 30th) Mercury will turn retrograde (January 28th) until just after Valentine's Day, so be patient with your loved ones and make sure your communication is clear! Also, since Mercury backpedals in the sign of technology, Aquarius, the chances for problems with our technogadgets will increase exponentially. So take some time to back up all the files, get the extra hard drive, change the oil in the car, maybe even write down all those phone numbers so conveniently stored in your phone. Mercury Retrograde is a time when those "what ifs" about losing all your precious info actually manifest. Mark down in your calendars other key Mercury retrograde dates for the year, maybe even starring a date the week before so you can prepare:


28 Jan: Mercury turns retrograde (23 Aquarius)
19 Feb: Mercury turns direct (8 Aquarius)
26 May: Mercury turns retrograde (21 Gemini)
19 Jun: Mercury turns direct (13 Gemini)
24 Sep: Mercury turns retrograde (22 Libra)
14 Oct: Mercury turns direct (7 Libra)


Saturn retrograde in Virgo brings us back to the word "Priority." We see it in the country's elections and in our personal lives, flooded with social events, travel opportunities, and efforts to pay our rent. We are in a crisis (Virgo word) of crafting our lives, honing in on the details, concentrating our efforts. As the year progresses, we are going to be feeling more like living one day at a time is not simply a mantra for healthier living, but a necessity for survival. This year will be ruled by earth energies, which simply ask, "Does it work? Is it practical? This translates into the need to put into practice not only what we preach, but what increases our individual and collective health (Virgo). The archetype of Capricorn, the sea-goat, is ruled by our currently retrograde Saturn, the Lord of Time, known as Chronos in Greece. Ironically, the sign most associated with time and resource management, long-term planning, and sustainability, is the sign which will usher in a consciousness that will root us much deeper in the appreciation of the present moment. Saturn and Capricorn cycles deprive us and increase the pressure on our lives, which helps us to receive the true value of our energy. New paradigm shifts in energy usage will begin to blossom this year

Earth structures will shift this year and there may be a huge amount of earth changes, since Capricorn is the skeletal system of the planet and of human beings. There is no doubt that the greatest earth changes that many of us will ever see in our lifetime will happen during Pluto's journey thru Capricorn in the next 15 years, from 2008-2024. With Pluto and Jupiter moving into Capricorn, and Saturn in Virgo, we will see a tremendous resilience, an empowerment through crises, and an attention to the details like never before. Any shroud over us regarding the institutions which have dominated our social spheres for so long, and any misinformation about climate change, will be made extremely obvious. Then it will be up to us as individuals and communities to make the necessary collective changes.

Capricorn in a nutshell says, Get Real! Why does Capricorn energy make for such good leaders and management? Because, like the wise elder of the native tribe, Capricorn perceives with the lenses that are dedicated towards preservation – it knows how to ground out all that Jupiterian/Sagitarrian vision of expansion and growth. If we continue to expand, we cannot appropriately manage the territory immediately surrounding us. This is how most empires have met their demise. Too much short-sighted growth without the faculties to account for the demands of all those new responsibilities. (See Atlantis, Easter Island, Rome…) So evolution necessitates this kind of contraction and this is why Saturn was traditionally the last planet, beyond Jupiter in the sky, and why Capricorn follows Sagittarius in the zodiac. It's like we wake up Christmas morning and open all our Jupiter/Sagitarrian/Santa Claus presents and then we walk into the next room. When we return, the Grinch (Saturn/Capricorn) is standing there with our gifts. "You sure had a lot of faith in your Santa Claus, now I will take everything away from you, and I ask, do you still have faith? Can you still celebrate?" Capricorn makes us an adult, even makes us feel old. As a planet, as a nation, and as individuals, we have to grow up this year. This means standing in our integrity and committing to get real.

What's so fascinating is that Jupiter and Saturn are actually teaming up this year to support people who obey their decrees. These two planets of personal and collective dharma and karma, Jupiter and Saturn, are in Earth signs, Capricorn and Virgo, respectively. This stresses the themes of individual and planetary ecology and sustainability. We expand by learning the art of contraction. We grow more radical with our ability to conserve. How do we make every effort worth the energy we exert? Three times in 2008, Jupiter and Capricorn will form a flowing, abundant trine energy in these Earth signs. So this could actually bring more abundance to those who learn to manage their resources appropriately, to not overextend themselves, and to become absolutely responsible with their passions. The best times for manifesting your projects fall a week on either side of the following dates: January 21st, September 8th.

In many ways, 2008 will be a glimpse into the cleansing over the next 15 years as Pluto moves through Capricorn. For instance, we see that India and many other countries no longer want American dollars. Even in an incredibly poor country like Peru, prices have gone up 20% because of the falling value of the dollar. It's been said for years now by economic experts, but the next few months are probably the last and best opportunity to transfer one's assets out of cash into hard currency like gold, silver, and precious commodities. As the value of the dollar decreases, the prices on gold rise. Likewise financial astrologers have noted that 2008 begins the rising archetypal wave of a T-Square, one of the more challenging planetary aspects in the sky, with an opposition between Uranus and Saturn, both of them square to Pluto. Uranus, our favorite high octave source of trauma, shocks the Saturnian status quo system built off of a faulty sense of wealth and power (Pluto). When Uranus opposes Neptune on election day in November, something very shocking and revolutionary will happen. Most likely, this will involve electing the first African-American or female President of the United States. But when Uranus opposes Saturn, the whole structure and system of governance itself can topple or be met in some electrifying resistance. And a national trauma of some sort is definitely not out of the question. Maybe we'll even see the collective announcement by world governments (Saturn) of the alien presence (Uranus) on the planet. We'll have to wait to see.

Without a doubt, this is an incredibly high octave year as we also see a global power shift symbolized by one of the most anticipated Olympics of all time in China. The Olympics begin at 8:08 on 8/08/08. Hmmm. All those eights? And anyone who's studied Chinese history and esoterics knows that eight is the most revered number: a number of completion, wholeness, and infinity (turn it on its side). There are eight trigrams in the I Ching, based in the elemental and directional energies. This was no accident and its implications will only be understood as the Games play out. During these Olympics, the Sun in the sky will cross China's Pluto. This could signify a range of events, from an obvious shift of world power and wealth to China, or it could spell a huge disaster or catastrophe, possibly an act of terrorism. It's also interesting to note that the Shanghai world financial center was recently built, making it the world's tallest building, a physical representation of a major economic shift from the home of the former Twin Towers. China has been hiring farmers to SHOOT the clouds during drought and has been confirming that the Olympics will be a dry event. Sounds like superpowers playing with the forces of mother nature and hearkens back to the US's own National Weather Modifications Policy of 2005, a law which went into effect shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Again, the archetype of destruction, war, and death, Pluto, has just now moved into the sign of earth changes and structures, Capricorn. So we see Weather Wars and weather manipulation as an incredibly potent aspect of this. Yet, if our technology is advanced enough to shift weather patterns, using satellite lasers to guide storms, then surely we can also use this technology for the reverse – to save lives by moving storms off the coast. For further info on weather manipulation see http://weatherwars.info.

The Olympic Games may just serve as an overarching metaphor for Big Brother consciousness. From what I understand, the tickets for the Olympics will all have Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags in them, an entirely new precedent in international sports competition. Remember that China still imprisons people for looking at certain websites. And keep your eye on our own National ID cards with their implanted RFID chips, as they are also due, in May, supposedly mandatory for taking flights and receiving any governmental services. These RFID chips already exist in new passports. These IDs will also be required on the new American Union international highway being built from Mexico City thru the U.S., into Toronto. Last ditch attempts by those in power to strap the reigns onto its civilians, to strangle their freedoms, are obvious indicators of the obsessive control issues displayed during Pluto's move through Capricorn and during the Reign of Tezcatlipoca, the Mayan Lord of Darkness, who we encounter by studying the Mayan calendar.

It is especially illuminating to view these planetary events in terms of the Long Count of the Mayan calendar, as explained through the profound research of Carl Calleman. Most calendric systems are founded on the premise of fractal relationships. Smaller cycles of time mirror larger ones, planetary positions reflect back through time and space to previous historical and cultural epochs. In the Mayan calendar, there are thirteen day-pulses or emanations of Spirit, which resemble the fluctuating movements of yin-yang, outward and inward energies, which are called Days and Nights. There are thirteen pulses in a cycle of becoming, similar to the process of a plant blossoming into its fruition. But there are always times of transition, bridges between the days, for it is the womb of Night which births the light of the New Day. 7 days, 6 nights = a total of 13 pulses. This timepulse is mirrored even in the Judeo-Christian Bible in the passage which remarks on God's resting on the seventh day after creating for 6 days and nights.

There are 9 Underworlds which act like consciousness generators. These began with the Cellular underworld, which commenced 16.4 billion years ago. We can vision these Underworlds as spirals of time (imagine the spiral arms of the Milky Way, which compress in on themselves the closer to the galactic center; it is the same information in a more densely packed space, like the top of a pyramid). According to Calleman, "Each of the Nine Underworlds of Mesoamerican mythology is a different 'creation' generated by a cycle twenty times shorter than the one it was built on. This is why the most important of the Mayan pyramids – The Temple of the Inscriptions in Palenque, the Pyramid of the Jaguar in Tikal, and the Pyramid of Kukulcan in Chichen Itza – were all built as hierarchical structures with nine levels." So what occurred, in terms of consciousness evolution, over a span of 400 years in the National Underworld, occurred over 20 years in the Planetary Underworld, occurs over one year in the Galactic underworld, and occurs in just one month during the Universal Underworld of 2011.

When we look at the history of the Fifth Night in the National Underworld, we see the years corresponding to 434-829ce, and we see the dismantling of the Roman Empire. At the tail end of the Fifth Day in the Planetary Underworld, in 1929, the world experienced an economic collapse called the Great Depression. At the end of the Fifth Day in the Galactic Underworld, leading into the beginning of the 5th Night, the Empire of the United States is dissolving into thin air, the dollar is evaporating, and the entire world is in the quicksand of its own economic demise. Also, during the Fifth Day in the Planetary Underworld, (1929-1952) fascism and dictatorship spread around the world and led to World War 2. (Also note the correlation here with the Olympics of 1933, the Games in China, and the U.S.'s possible birth of a Black President.) So this year, during the reign of Tezcatlipoca, the Lord of Darkness and Destruction, this same archetypal complex is playing out. With the planetary alignments supporting this perspective, we can easily see a year of intense political, corporate, and economic transformation. Systems that are no longer serving the earth will attempt to maintain control at all costs, and will likely suffer slow destruction.

Each one of us must become an agent of rebirth, a bearer of the torch of consciousness. It is important to keep the image of the Phoenix or the Butterfly in the front of our hearts and minds as we engage this coming year, and also realize that the amount of information we process today and its accelerated rate of transmission means that no particular situation will endure for very long. And yet this year we will very obviously see that those who are planning ahead, while adapting to the rapid changes, will be those most rewarded, with the greatest chance to both survive and thrive. As we know, those indigenous traditions and ancestral lenses closest to the earth, with a minimum of technological dependency, will be the greatest teachers for those of us heavily dependency on and within the electromagnetized matrix. So let this New Moon in Capricorn on January 8th, invite us into deep, transformational work through indigenous, earth-based, and plant-based ceremonies. This work perfectly mirrors the Virgo and Capricorn archetypes in their ultimate positive expressions. In 2008, let integrity and sustainability guide our actions and our speech. Let us all listen to the wisdom of our elders so that we may step fearlessly into the next Season of the Unknown.

Next months' article will be a deeper investigation into the themes of consciousness shift and 2012 and the very important window of opportunity with the Aquarian and Piscean archetypes offer us in relation to the massive changes of Spirit's ever unfolding mystery.

Into the black hole heart of the Galaxy
I take your hand in mine,
A numinous power inhales thru us
And we exhale
the Spectral
Be not afraid of the brightness of the Clear Light
It is your MotherLantern
inviting you back home
into the Luminous Womb.


– To all My Relations


Image by arte_molto_brutta_2, used via a Creative Commons license.