Your Own Personal (Productive) Volcano

Posted by Amanda Painter

By Amanda Painter 

Last week, two major volcanoes put on impressive shows with their eruptions: Mt. Etna in Sicily, which is regularly active, and Momotombo in Nicaragua (for the first time in 110 years). Unsurprisingly, they serve as fitting illustrations for this week’s astrology -- and the way that creative and destructive forces coexist, even within the same event.

[caption id="attachment_32660" align="alignleft" width="400"] Momotombo emitting lava, gas and ash on Dec. 2, for the first time in more than a century. Photo by Esteban Felix / AP[/caption]

Astrologically, the volcanic eruptions are mirrored by Mars in Libra, which squared Pluto in Capricorn on Sunday and is opposing Uranus in Aries on Dec. 11. Friday also is the New Moon in Sagittarius, which I’ll address in greater depth later in the week. 

Our ‘volcano’ aspect pattern is a mix of fire (Mars; Aries), earth (Capricorn; Pluto by way of the ‘underground’ underworld) and air (Libra; Uranus, who was the original sky god in Greek mythology). In all three planets we have images of active force, whether passionate, violent, evolutionary, disruptive or liberating. 

Yet at their most basic, physical level, the actual volcanic eruptions embody one of the planet’s most primordial processes: in response to the shifting of tectonic plates and the subsequent buildup of tension, these hotspots eject molten magma. While the magma destroys elements of surface life in its path, it also builds a new (or larger) mountain. Destruction and creation, all in one go. It’s pretty awesome if you can witness it from a safe distance.

So what do you do when volcanic processes take center stage in your life? Do you run for cover? Try to stop it? Bear witness to the transformation? Try to harness the energy and focus it in some kind of positive, creative way? Do you try to learn from the eruption so you can recognize and work with the forces involved better next time?

When faced with a literal volcano, the only sensible thing to do is to move to a safe distance. Metaphorical life-volcanoes might require similar strategies; it’s just as likely, however, that your conscious, aware participation (which is different from reaction) is being called for. If you’re seeing the metaphorical volcanoes in terms of current news events (such as last week’s shooting in San Bernardino, California), you might be feeling torn between the ‘escape to safety’ and ‘participate consciously’ options. 

The right answer for you could change several times over the course of a day, depending on whether your focus is ‘out there’ or ‘in here’; or whether you can easily shift perspective from a big picture that is overwhelming to something more local and manageable, thereby transmuting fear or numbness into creative action. 

At the same time, as painful as eruptions can be in our lives, they are unfailing red flags that we need to address something important. If that sounds very centaur-ish, you’re right: before we get to Friday’s New Moon (and Mars opposite Uranus, just two hours before that), on Wednesday the Sun in Sagittarius squares Chiron in Pisces. This aspect is exact at 5:03 am EST (10:04 UTC) Dec. 9.

In a comment to Thursday’s subscriber issue, in which Eric wove together themes of several recent violent and painful events, Planet Waves member Barbara Koehler wrote:

“This bears the signature of Chiron doesn’t it? With Chiron in lock-step with Uranus (who has been and will again return to be painfully close to Eris before they make an exact conjunction in May), the centaur’s trademark ‘repetitive pain’ is key to these tragic events. The repetitive pain is necessary to bring awareness to a situation which is not getting proper attention.”

I hesitated to quote it directly, because my intention is not to create fear in anyone that this week is going to involve nothing but repetitive pain. That is far from the case; in fact, the Sagittarius Sun is also trine Uranus in Aries -- an aspect that offers originality, inventiveness, independence, heightened intuition and a draw toward progressive causes and ideals.

Keep those qualities in sight and at your fingertips this week (Mercury may help with that, as it aligns with the Galactic Center, our ‘cosmic homing signal’, today). Something is may be trying to get your attention in a way that looks familiar -- because, in fact, it is familiar. And yes, it might be painful in some way; possibly just by virtue of the fact that you thought you had dealt with it for the last time already.

Pay particular attention if this matter of inner reckoning has something to do with your beliefs (whether religious, spiritual, philosophical, emotional). Riffing on recent events and themes, it could have to do with war, life and death, ‘the meaning of it all’, your ability to create your own reality (or the belief that you cannot). Depending on where Sagittarius and Pisces fall in your chart, the issue trying to get your attention so that you’ll address it could have any number of more tangible, mundane manifestations. 

Keep your mind open, and watch for anything that fits a familiar pattern you’ve struggled with in the past. Whatever insights you discover will be carried straight into the Sagittarius New Moon at the end of the week. Sounds to me like the centaur is aiming his bow for a new beginning of some kind.

What do you do when volcanic processes take center stage in your life? If it’s part of a repeating pattern, are you ready to see it for what it is and learn from whatever pain it might be causing? If so, you’re in a good position to make use of this week’s astrology and begin a new cycle with Friday’s Sagittarius New Moon.

By Amanda Painter

Last week, two major volcanoes put on impressive shows with their eruptions: Mt. Etna in Sicily, which is regularly active, and Momotombo in Nicaragua (for the first time in 110 years). Unsurprisingly, they serve as fitting illustrations for this week’s astrology — and the way that creative and destructive forces coexist, even within the same event.

Momotombo emitting lava, gas and ash on Dec. 2, for the first time in more than a century. Photo by Esteban Felix / AP

Momotombo emitting lava, gas and ash on Dec. 2, for the first time in more than a century. Photo by Esteban Felix / AP

Astrologically, the volcanic eruptions are mirrored by Mars in Libra, which squared Pluto in Capricorn on Sunday and is opposing Uranus in Aries on Dec. 11. Friday also is the New Moon in Sagittarius, which I’ll address in greater depth later in the week.

Our ‘volcano’ aspect pattern is a mix of fire (Mars, and the sign Aries), earth (Capricorn, plus Pluto by way of the ‘underground’ underworld) and air (Libra, and Uranus — who was the original sky god in Greek mythology). In all three planets we have images of active force, whether passionate, violent, evolutionary, disruptive or liberating.

Yet at their most basic, physical level, the actual volcanic eruptions embody one of the planet’s most primordial processes: in response to the shifting of tectonic plates and the subsequent buildup of tension, these hotspots eject molten magma. While the magma destroys elements of surface life in its path, it also builds a new (or larger) mountain. Destruction and creation, all in one go. It’s pretty awesome if you can witness it from a safe distance.

So what do you do when volcanic processes take center stage in your life? Do you run for cover? Try to stop it? Bear witness to the transformation? Try to harness the energy and focus it in some kind of positive, creative way? Do you try to learn from the eruption so you can recognize and work with the forces involved better next time?

When faced with a literal volcano, the only sensible thing to do is to move to a safe distance. Metaphorical life-volcanoes might require similar strategies; it’s just as likely, however, that your conscious, aware participation (which is different from reaction) is being called for. If you’re seeing the metaphorical volcanoes in terms of current news events (such as last week’s shooting in San Bernardino, California), you might be feeling torn between the ‘escape to safety’ and ‘participate consciously’ options.

The right answer for you could change several times over the course of a day, depending on whether your focus is ‘out there’ or ‘in here’; or whether you can easily shift perspective from a big picture that is overwhelming to something more local and manageable, thereby transmuting fear or numbness into creative action.

At the same time, as painful as eruptions can be in our lives, they are unfailing red flags that we need to address something important. If it’s part of a repeating pattern, are you ready to see it for what it is, learn from it and allow yourself to heal and move on?

If that sounds very centaur-ish, you’re right: before we get to Friday’s New Moon (and Mars opposite Uranus, just two hours before that), on Wednesday the Sun in Sagittarius squares Chiron in Pisces. This aspect is exact at 5:03 am EST (10:04 UTC) Dec. 9.

In a comment to Thursday’s subscriber issue, in which Eric wove together themes of several recent violent and painful events, Planet Waves member Barbara Koehler wrote:

“This bears the signature of Chiron doesn’t it? With Chiron in lock-step with Uranus (who has been and will again return to be painfully close to Eris before they make an exact conjunction in May), the centaur’s trademark ‘repetitive pain’ is key to these tragic events. The repetitive pain is necessary to bring awareness to a situation which is not getting proper attention.”

I hesitated to quote it directly, because my intention is not to create fear in anyone that this week is going to involve nothing but repetitive pain. That is far from the case; in fact, the Sagittarius Sun is also trine Uranus in Aries — an aspect that offers originality, inventiveness, independence, heightened intuition and a draw toward progressive causes and ideals.

Don't let the word "change" scare you; Planet Waves just helps you grow as you move through life's seasons. Try an affordable Reader Level membership (tell your friends about it!); for more comprehensive service, try a Core Community membership.

Don’t let the word “change” scare you; Planet Waves just helps you grow as you move through life’s seasons. Try an affordable Reader Level membership (tell your friends about it!); for more comprehensive service, try a Core Community membership.

Keep those qualities in sight and at your fingertips this week (Mercury may help with that, as it aligns with the Galactic Center, our ‘cosmic homing signal’, today). Something is may be trying to get your attention in a way that looks familiar — because, in fact, it is familiar. And yes, it might be painful in some way; possibly just by virtue of the fact that you thought you had dealt with it for the last time already.

Pay particular attention if this matter of inner reckoning has something to do with your beliefs (whether religious, spiritual, philosophical, emotional). Riffing on recent events and themes, it could have to do with war, life and death, ‘the meaning of it all’, your ability to create your own reality (or the belief that you cannot). Depending on where Sagittarius and Pisces fall in your chart, the issue trying to get your attention so that you’ll address it could have any number of more tangible, mundane manifestations.

Keep your mind open, and watch for anything that fits a familiar pattern you’ve struggled with in the past. Whatever insights you discover will be carried straight into the Sagittarius New Moon at the end of the week. Sounds to me like the centaur is aiming his bow for a new beginning of some kind.

12 thoughts on “Your Own Personal (Productive) Volcano

  1. LizzyLizzy

    Amazing, dear Amanda. In fact, what is coming up for me right now is huge fear – which I used to experience regularly – but since finding relatively more stable work, and having really looked it in the face, I haven’t experienced for a long time – and yes, thought I’d laid it to rest. My mother is very sick right now – and on top of all this terrible violence in the world, there was a brutal attack in the London underground this weekend – near where my sister lives – and I’ll be heading back to my hometown for Christmas. I’m able to recognize that the fear that comes up is the same old thing, in true Cancerian style – it’s the threat to security – and have been opening up to this fear and trying to let it be and observe it. And your piece, dear Amanda gives me more courage to do this. Scary times, but also times of immense growth, Thank you.

  2. Amy Trafford

    My life changed completely the moment I realized that pain is not “bad” and something for me to run and/or defend from.
    It is my teacher and feeling it is an absolutely essential part of deep healing for me.
    Like fear (another feeling that gets a “bad” tag), I experience pain as a full-on sensual experience, where tremendous energy moves through my physical body AS I feel the feeling(s)…and weep, scream, wail, or whatever else comes in the eruption.
    As with any feeling, including ones which are judged as “good”- joy, love, the pain is a living thing. It moves through and changes. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end of the process. Even though when I am in the experience, I am not sure what phase I am in…the feelings roll and roar through and I find that eventually, I can feel I am on “the other side.”
    Pain and fear are not separate from love and joy. Love- big love, god/the universe and everything love, is the core of everything. Every thing.
    When I pray, in my way, as I am in the process, I often find myself saying, “Please help me birth into a new place.”
    So wow.
    What a time. What an opportunity this astrological moment offers!
    I AM scared!!! And excited. Beloved. As we all are.
    I am the volcano and the volcano is me.
    Thank you so much.

  3. Robyn Landis

    Wow, hitting home. “Something is may be trying to get your attention in a way that looks familiar — because, in fact, it is familiar. And yes, it might be painful in some way; possibly just by virtue of the fact that you thought you had dealt with it for the last time already… it could have to do with war, life and death, ‘the meaning of it all’, your ability to create your own reality (or the belief that you cannot). Depending on where Sagittarius and Pisces fall in your chart, the issue trying to get your attention so that you’ll address it could have any number of more tangible, mundane manifestations. Keep your mind open, and watch for anything that fits a familiar pattern you’ve struggled with in the past…”

    This has been building for a couple weeks, and I woke up about five hours early today and grabbed my journal with all sorts of questions—old questions, recurring questions about life, meaning, purpose, what’s going on in the world, all the craziness and terror and also sense of change and possibility all tangled together and finding footing to relate to that; how to make an impact/difference/contribution and be sure I am fully used/fully serving/doing all I am here to do …etc. I’m Sag sun with Pisces moon, so yeah. Feelin’ it. Thanks for giving some explanation, connection, form to this. It’s always helpful to know these surges and waves are not random, that there is a container, a larger process to work with and within.

  4. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

    Robyn, Amy, Lizzy — thank you for being so present to the astrology and within your own lives, for filling this container with your respective processes. This is exactly why we do this work here at PW.

    I’ve been having fascinating dreams the last three nights or so, but sadly have not had time in the mornings to write them down, so their messages are fuzzy. I think one of them I might still remember; maybe I can journal about it tonight and see what comes to me.

  5. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

    Note, in this paragraph:

    “Our ‘volcano’ aspect pattern is a mix of fire (Mars, and the sign Aries), earth (Capricorn, plus Pluto by way of the ‘underground’ underworld) and air (Libra, and Uranus — who was the original sky god in Greek mythology).”

    I intentionally am not listing Mars and Uranus with the signs they are in — I’m making correspondences between how we traditionally or mythologically think of those planets and the gods they are named after and the signs involved. I do think it’s interesting to have fire-air mixes on two ends of the loose T-square, and earth/earth at the third end. For some reason that mixing speaks especially vividly to me of the way volcanoes shoot their fire and molten earth far into the air. All in all, it’s a very alchemical sort of imagery, I think. And what begins as molten earth far below the ground becomes solidified earth above the ground. …At least, until the next time…

  6. Sarah TaylorSarah Taylor

    Great article, Amanda!

    Volcanoes are also the eruption of unconscious content into consciousness, which can feel violent and disruptive, but can also be a moment of supreme insight – one that changes the landscape forever.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      ohhhhh — talk about a perfect tie-in to a Sun-Chiron square! Isn’t it funny how the astrology all seems to work together?
      ;)

      Thank you for that added layer of symbolism, Sarah. I do think that with Sagg Sun simultaneously trine Uranus in Aries, what you describe makes beautiful sense. Especially with all that fire energy (spirit) involved.

  7. P. SophiaP. Sophia

    Amanda: Thank you for the way you recognize and weave the astrology’s influence into the physical aspect, and goings on, on earth. It’s really beautiful how it is all cosmic-ally connected, and working in unison.

    I am that volcano too! Since Friday, and throughout this weekend I have been erupting, although disruptive to existing patterns, it has not been in a reactionary mode, but in more of a powerful purposful, intentional self directed action towards further defining my desires and interests in a particular relationship.  This came about from a very conscious, and liberating place. Your molton’s description offering destruction, but also leading to new growth in it’s wake and path, could not have been more fitting to my expression and experience’ ultimate intention..

    “.. in response to the shifting of tectonic plates and the subsequent buildup of tension, these hotspots eject molten magma. While the magma destroys elements of surface life in its path, it also builds a new (or larger) mountain. Destruction and creation, all in one go.”

     One interesting thing for me in my enduring process this weekend was that I kept to and held my intention. I am proud of my ability in my effort in continuing to define my direction and goal while most importantly retaining my personal power. I also became more in touch with my partner’s values in us through this process which became very relevant,  and i guess that was the hidden rock of my core intentions. The piece that on the  on sought I was unaware, i also needed in preparing that place of new ground.  Although the process wiped me out physically, I am sick in bed today from yesterday, drained with this flu and lung pain, Iam aware of the effort it took in value of what transpired, in moving such a big mass of earth material that had long been blocking my way. I will stay strong through Friday.. looking forward to the New Moon.

    Btw, I shared the Crystal reading I pulled on Saturday. I posted it under Sarah’s Tarot reading of Sunday if anyone wants to see it there.  But i feel it’s relevance is also just as fitting to the current astrology here,  as well as our current humanity, and speaking out Earth..

    Amazonite – Personal Truth
    Water Element
    Heart & Throat Chakra
    That which is on the inside is exhibited on the outside, reflected back from all that is in your environment. The stones energy is linked to the oceans; air and water in it’s freest form,  primal creation. It is in first forms of life, with Oxygen and the breath of life that we express our deepest selves and emotions. Water makes up a large percentage of our bodies. The s pirit of water. Amazonite activates expressive capabilites and encourages us to speak our higher mind. In declaring your mind and heart, your path will be made clear.

    Petrified Wood – Beginnings
    Earth Element
    Root Chakra
    Source of the universe. Trees symbolize deep and ancient beginnings of all things. Knowledge and understanding is preserved in the energy patterning of the plant that has fossilized in stone taking form. In awareness, acessing beginnings, at the DNA, cellular level we draw strength and knowledge from with in our linage nourish deeply to release the old. While at the same time, recognize a new path in our life.

    Selenite – Higher Self
    Wind/Air Element
    Crown – 12th Chakra
    Selenite crystalline structure allows it to move energy easily throughout it’s form. Clear, sweet and high energy evoking air and water elements. Movement encouraging health and en-light-enment of each of our cells.  Activated physical vehicle we are able to allow our highest visions to enter the physical world. Bringing humanity into resonance, with earth and then the universe.  This stone’s energy  is a doorway through which the vibration of our Higher Self can enter into our consciousness and physical systems.  Being connected to our Higher Self, our physical body and manifestations become direct consciousness tools for Divine expression in our life.

  8. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

    Thank you, P. Sophia — that crystal reading is lovely and resonant. And I love how clearly you feel you are living the astrology. I hope that you feel better soon!

  9. DivaCarla Sanders

    I had a waking vision wee hours of Saturday. It involved a cone: a volcanic shape, but one of light not ash and rock. I’ve been scanning for others who felt a call via dream, vision, or ceremony during that time, and haven’t come up with much. This volcano seems to match. That which is a volcano in this dimension may be something less concrete and just as powerful in the etheric dimension.

    The astrology for that moment that feels relevent involved Moon on ascendant, Venus crossing into Scorpio, Sun approaching Great Attractor, and Vesta on the Aries point. All other astrology applies too, but those seemed on point.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      DivaCarla — Yes, it sounds like you’ve found some interesting astro-correlations to your vision; in a way less astrologically concrete, but I can still see the themes working through it all in their own way.

      “That which is a volcano in this dimension may be something less concrete and just as powerful in the etheric dimension.”

      I’ll be pondering that, for sure. Thank you.

  10. beleclaire

    Thanks for this piece Amanda. I love the physicality of the volcano. It is so powerful. After the molten lava has cooled down it enriches the fertility of the soil as it’s full of mineral nutrients and can store water because it’s porous….so lots of new growth to look forward to!

    Amy: Thank you so much for your practical account of dealing with all the pain and fear. Its so eloquently expressed and warmed my heart. I think that way, your way is really the only effective way of dealing with it all.
    All power to you:-)

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