X. Phoenix Rising

“Darkening Moon” by Vanessa Hylande

The High Priestess and Pluto: Ten Steps From Darkness to Light

For me, I’m going to be doing things in a whole new way this year. I took the entire year of 2019 to allow the Phoenix to burn away completely. How miraculous it is to be left with nothing but your own soul! What a new perspective it brings. A totally new lease on life. It’s amazing how anxiety gives way to joy when you have nothing left to lose. Even in complete destruction, creation triumphs. A soul can only willingly be given away, no matter how hard the darkness may try to take it.

Anything can be overcome, and made even better in the end. It requires patience, honor, selflessness, and complete surrender. This is where true strength lies. This is what makes up our humanity. Reptiles attack, kill, destroy, and conquer. Let them destroy each other if they must. But we don’t need to be a part of it.

Waking up is an endless losing what you think you know, like a wave of destruction that leaves nothing, but what is true.


The truth is here, my soul sisters. Let those of us who have learned this, dance together through life in happiness and joy. We know how to lead the charge.

Surrender is the Path to Love

I chose to cast away the shackles of the old paradigm. Only the phoenix can accomplish this. It must be done willingly and completely and there is no turning back. It is complete surrender – for without surrender there cannot be real love. This is, in fact, what unconditional love is. Being able to set aside the ego completely for the sake of someone else, or even for oneself.

Without real love, we are just empty vessels pretending our way through life, endlessly trying to fill the void inside of us from the outside. Surrender is difficult, but emptiness is worse.

Only the Truth Remains

The only thing we will all have with us when we pass to the other side is the authentic truth. Nobody can fool themselves in death, for it is the bringer of Judgment. Believe in God or not, we all know the truth even if we lie to the world or ourselves.

At the end we are left alone with ourselves and our choices, and the stories we tell ourselves don’t matter anymore. Nobody escapes this. None of the lie believers can step across the threshold with you. We are left to face ourselves alone. For me, I’ll take my chances with the straight and narrow, even if it takes twice as long and is twice as hard. I want to remain in the light where the answers are easy.

The condor is finally taking flight and The Hierophant can go on a long, long hiatus. The Age of The High Priestess is here. We have waited long enough. The old ways won’t fix this, so together we will take it and make it ours. And we will make it beautifully.

IX. The Power of Surrender

The High Priestess and Pluto: Ten Steps From Darkness to Light

Photography by the esteemed Howard Schatz, Orenstein Studios

For those of you who have experienced birthing a child from your womb, you know that there is a certain point of no return once you begin active labor. Aside from the physical pain, the psychological transformation is humbling. In one moment, you realize there is no other way but forward. You have only one option. I believe it is a beautiful rite of passage, because it teaches us that life is not, and will never be, in our control.

Birthing the New Age

Once we truly embrace this fact, no matter how uncomfortable or scary, we can find joy even while the fires burn around us. Think of this paradigm shift as the literal birthing of the New Age of the High Priestess. Those who resist it may wind up with an emergency cesarian. Either way, the baby is coming out. Up to you how difficult you make it.

We just had a planetary alignment not seen since 1523. In that year, war was already beginning to brew in Central Europe, which would culminate in the most consequential battle of Central European history, The Battle of Mohács in 1526. This battle historically marks the end of the Middle Ages. The end of an age then, and the end of an age now. 2020 will not be boring.

Why does this matter? Well, for those of us cringing at the current state of the world, you might feel like history is rhyming. Well, you are right. Big changes are afoot. But the beauty of change is that it is filled with endless possibility. Let us allow ourselves to dream up another Renaissance.

Forward Thinking or Backward Looking?

Will you be one of the ones struggling to preserve the decaying methods of power and control, or will you lead the charge toward a new world? Will you be creative or defensive? Progressive or Conservative? Forward thinking or backward looking? And I mean that in a totally non-political way, though the entendre is quite poignant.

Are you able to envision something completely new and unproven, and dream it into existence? Or will you be a furious source of destruction as you thrash about and desperately try to squeeze the last metaphoric drop of lemon juice out of the lemon? What if we tried planting more lemon trees instead? Let’s plant an orchard while we are at it.

VIII. Humans Without Souls

The High Priestess and Pluto: Ten Steps From Darkness to Light

Excess breeds deformity and decay. That is why balance is so beautiful. We see this in business, with monopolies, for example. The excess of one entity at the expense of all others always leads to moral corruption and abuse. We see this in government, which, in its polar opposites, expresses itself as tyranny or anarchy.

We see this in intimate relationships where the abuser maintains all control and the victim is relegated to submission. We see this in religion when it expresses as dogma, or on the other end a bleak and lonely nihilism. We see this in biology, when an overabundance of similar genes leads to the deformities produced from inbreeding. The parallels go on and on.

The Curse of Black and White Thinking

This is the problem with black and white thinking – the sweet spot remains tragically elusive. Darkness is the twin of light. Darkness is not bad, it simply is. Death is not bad, it simply is. Pain is not bad, it simply is. Without pain we would not know joy. Without death, we would not appreciate life.

For it is it’s opposite that provides the context for our understanding. The contrast, the balance, is what allows each one to exist. The judgments we place upon them are not necessary, though we are taught to place them anyway.

Evil and Darkness are not the Same

When darkness is perverted to its polar extreme, where we no longer walk the line between dark and light, that is evil. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it, but there is a difference between those that are caught in suffering and darkness, and those that enjoy inflicting suffering upon others. One is natural, one is man-made.

It is no longer an absence of light, but an absence of the soul.

They, the sadists, have lost their humanity. Darkness, death, and suffering are not evil. They are simply the yin to the yang. It requires a human to mutate the darkness into evil. And I do not believe that the light can coexist in such a vessel.

Humans Without Souls

Those that rigidly prioritize their own desires over others are engaging in dehumanization regardless of what it is in the name of. The whole point of humanism is recognizing that in a collective, your own needs are not more important than another’s. If we help each other instead of obsessing over winning, we’re all better off for it. It’s not that hard to understand.

Every time we willingly self-serve at the expense of others, we sacrifice a piece of our soul. Darkness can be moved through. Evil is something else. Like a stain on the collective soul.

Authenticity does not allow these lies. We must call it out as it is. Many are lying to themselves to hide in a responsibility loophole. I don’t care what moral gymnastics they proffer up to justify harming others. I prefer to win collectively. For my enemy’s suffering only brings fuel to their fire.

I think it is safe to assume that if one’s enemy could find joy, they would no longer waste their time on revenge, preferring instead to enjoy their joy. It seems like simple logic to me. Sadly, they just don’t realize that joy is found within. So, they are doomed to point the finger.

Where Have the Souls Gone?

Native Americans speak of soul fracturing, where trauma can literally split off a piece of someone’s soul. Perhaps these people are walking around as empty vessels, and they are desperately trying to fill their void with something, anything other than emptiness. Even at the expense of other people’s suffering.

A dark pit of fear? Fill it with money and false security. A dark pit of loneliness? Fill it with flattery and adulation, bought or earned, it doesn’t matter. The problem is it never ends. Like a dog chasing it’s tail. The problem lies within at the exact point which the dog is running around.

Are their souls out there somewhere? Are they separated twins? One body and one soul, living apart? Can they be reunited? Well, one thing I know for sure: nobody can do it for them.

VII. The Trumpets of Judgment Sound

The High Priestess and Pluto: Ten Steps From Darkness to Light

If ‘authenticity’ is the theme of this age, then ‘responsibility’ is her sister. Liars and cheaters utilize neither, and this will become more and more clear if they refuse to change their ways. Yet, this is exactly what the new paradigm is meant to accomplish.

Let us lead with an example of goodness. Let us stop rewarding brutality with glorification. It comes from a place of crippling fear. Who wants to live that way? Not me.

How about we honor creation instead of conquest? How about we idolize compassionate diplomacy and consideration instead of batting our eyelashes at the largest gorilla with the largest wallet. One day the gorilla will turn on you too, for they always do. Everyone has been warned. For my part, I am taking that warning to heart.

VI. Persephone Will Never Return Below

The High Priestess and Pluto: Ten Steps From Darkness to Light

Most importantly of all, as much as we might like to indulge ourselves in a bit of Schadenfreude, Lady Justice is compassionate and fair. The scales will be brought into balance, nothing more, for revenge, is not what she seeks. It is up to those that fell into the underworld to decide how hard Lady Justice will have to push back to regain equilibrium.

Only they can decide whether to ascend or stay below. But the decision will be final. Persephone will not be returning to the underworld ever again. This Spring will be eternal for those of us above ground. Even if fires burn around me, I will charge forward in the name of the light. Let’s live joyfully on the side of bliss.

V. The Great Mother

The High Priestess and Pluto: Ten Steps From Darkness to Light

The Great Mother is powerful. She is the one who gave us all life. There is nothing more profound and mysterious than her creation. And she is resented for this by some out of envy. She represents something they cannot have or control.

That is why they pollute her and tear her heart from the earth. They pour poison into her veins and burn her lungs. She has been debased so they may stand taller upon her, stripped of her value, her torture justified in name of profit and security. And this happens amongst people too. As the rivers lead to the oceans, the blood in her veins flows to the womb.

So, prepare for The Great Deflection. They know that we are on to them. Prepare for the Great Projection because they are enraged that we dare stand up to protect her. Prepare for the loudest cries of “Witch Hunt!” yet, because they are venomous with disdain. How dare their stranglehold of control be disrupted?

We all know who really hunted the witches.

That is why this charade is not going to work. For the witches have always been the healers, and yet they burned them all. Now everyone is sick. The backlash will be caustic, but it changes nothing. The collective cat is out of the bag. And it is looking you in the eye.

The time for healing the Divine Feminine is long overdue, and now the energies of the universe are finally here to support it. May we all return to the loving arms of the Great Mother. May her steady heartbeat ground us and may her tears wash over us to cleanse our souls.

IV. The Reign of Lady Justice

The Triumph of Justice - Gabriël Metsu (1629-1667)

The High Priestess and Pluto: Ten Steps From Darkness to Light

There’s no more hiding. It’s all coming out and it can’t be stopped. The time for Justice is upon us. Great, big, karmic, collective justice that will play itself out in the most local and intimate of relationships, yet will resonate to the highest reaches of the heavens.

We are in this process together. I hope you are all prepared. Those of us who have retained our moral integrity, will find relief and vindication in this revolution, though it won’t come easily. But we already know that. We keep on going in spite of the hardship.

Collective Blindness

Then there are those with no bottom who are desperate to remain in power by trumpeting false narratives. They surround themselves with those who are desperate for someone to believe in. And they choose their justifications to suit their objectives. The perfect recipe for collective blindness. The perfect environment for those who self-serve.

We see this on the world stage as well as in the home. The power hungry stop at nothing to prevent the world from discovering their fragile inauthenticity, and their followers enjoy the safety of the herd. Targeted distractions, lofty-sounding justifications, and everyone too caught up in the chaos to notice the glaring hypocrisy. False narratives soothe the nightmare.

These false prophets claw out the eyes of the collective whole to prevent it from seeing what really lurks behind that mask, but many go into blindness willingly. It is a co-dependency of monstrous proportions. Together they will fight tooth and nail to hold up that mask because they themselves don’t want to admit what’s behind it. For then they all must admit they are lost. I think we have all flirted with this reflex in moments of weakness, but some choose to live there. Some revel in it.

Behind the Mask is Fear

It’s sad, really – to live life so fearfully. Being a slave to one’s own lies, and worse yet, being a slave to the lies of others. Zero freedom. Only danger and constant, anticipatory anxiety over fear of exposure. Winning is all that matters to these people, even if the win is a tragic loss.

They won’t see it until it’s too late. And so long as they get what they want in the meantime, the ends justify the means. And for someone living from a place of fear, they will pay any price for a sense of safety – real or imagined.

But we must also remember that many of them do not know any other way. Not really. It’s something they read about in books, see in the movies, but cannot fully comprehend. Most of the time they don’t even know they’re doing it.

The cock crows loudly with self-entitlement and the lost hens follow without thinking, satiated with simple answers to questions that can in reality never be solved. They don’t realize it’s wrong. The deceit extends to self-deceit.

One Must Know Love to Give Love

For how do you describe the taste of something you’ve never tasted? How can someone fight for true freedom when they themselves are shackled by fear? How do we expect those that cannot feel true human connection to behave as humanists? And how can we expect those too afraid to think beyond what they have been told to admit the deception and their complicity in its perpetuation?

I think we must come to recognize that some people are committed to their misery because they need a scapegoat to deflect attention away from their own emptiness. For those without a sense of purpose, purposelessness is truly frightening. And there are many who would like to take cover behind whatever is offered them. Money, fame, all false senses of purpose devoid of a soul’s true journey. But conflict can act as a large shield to hide behind.

The important question to ask is if they are willing to learn. Evil is real. Some know and choose to do harm anyway. When there is evil we must call it out. For if we are all truly self made, then living in bad faith is a choice. A very ugly choice.

l’existence précède l’essence

Jean Paul Sartre

Surrender is the Greatest of all Strengths

It is possible that these people will never understand, and perhaps they will continue to leap from crisis to crisis together. But if those of us that do understand lead by the good example, the world will already be a better place for it. That upgrade alone makes it worthwhile. Then we bring humanity back to humankind.

As Pluto pulls away the veil, may the High Priestess guide our hearts and souls. Battlefields are wretched places. But even God had to send Archangel Michael. We must bring the light to the darkest places.