Thanks to a generous colleague with an Ancestry.com account, I recently got my hands on a copy of my mother’s birth certificate. For years, I’d used a chart based on her recollection that she was born “just as the men were coming home from the fields for their supper.” Mom was born at home on a backwater farm in the early 1930s, so I’d never searched for her birth records, assuming her time of birth wouldn’t have been recorded. But there it was, crowded next to the doctor’s signature like a precious afterthought. I might actually have squealed when I saw it. (Maybe you have to be an astrologer to understand.)
So I now have a proper birth chart for one of my parents, at least, and I’m having one heck of a good time tearing it apart. Astrological signatures seem to run in families as surely as high arches or a Roman nose, and it’s always good fun to compare the birth charts of parents and their children to see the recurring patterns. Not to mention that each of us were little transits to our parents’ birth charts, and it can be sobering to realize that your natal Mars conjoined your mother’s Moon represents the sweltering August afternoon hours of your agonizing birth. (Sorry about that, Mom. Guess you got back at me with that Saturn/South Node connection.)
How is it that when we think of soulmates, our parents seldom come to mind? Or for that matter, siblings, first cousins, and the grade school nemesis who unfailingly edged us out as the top student in our class? We seem to assume soulmates present themselves only as romantic partners or maybe the rare lifelong friend. That usually disqualifies the people who grounded us or gave us wedgies. (more…)
I’ve been ignoring current events to the best of my ability for some time now, but the occasional atrocity slips past the goalie. I heard about what happened in Orlando and Oakland, and the brutal murder of Jo Cox, a member of Parliament; I’m aware that Britain is deciding whether to leave the EU, and I’ve gotten the memo that the US Presidential race is just about as awful as one could imagine.
It’s all too big and too terrible, and when we try to swallow each day’s events in one tremendous social media gulp—the killings, the politics, the hatred, the news of friends variously losing parents and pets and jobs and health—we naturally choke on it.
The June 20 Full Moon is in Sagittarius, and while Saturn has been traveling through the Archer’s territory it’s been a challenge for me to locate Sagittarius’ wisdom, native optimism, and zest for adventure. It’s even hard to welcome joyous summer when you suspect that every beach has cut glass and scorpions lurking inside the sandcastles or snipers with military assault weapons hiding in the lifeguard tower. (more…)
If time seems to be moving especially fast these days, you may have gotten swept up in the energetic vortex of the approaching New Moon. The chart for the exact moment of the New Moon (June 4, 2016, at 7:59 pm Pacific time, 14.53 Gemini) features the Sun and Moon in a close conjunction with Venus, all in Gemini; they are just past an opposition to Saturn, and all four are square Jupiter and Neptune.
It’s a configuration called a Grand Cross, with at least one planet in each of the four cardinal, fixed, or mutable signs. And if you’re wondering what that might feel like, just picture yourself stuck on one of those circus wheels where they strap you on, spin you around, and throw knives at you.
But!—since this Grand Cross lies in the imaginative mutable signs, here’s a lovelier, lighter image. Picture a brave, shiny little pinwheel, catching the high afternoon winds and spinning furiously. Eventually, the winds will die down. In the meantime, how do you keep the whirligig from blowing away? (more…)
With Sagittarius rising in my birthchart, Mercury opposed Jupiter, and lots of planets in the 9th house, you could be forgiven for thinking I’m a born centaur. This is especially true on the occasions when I jump on my high horse (so to speak) and start delivering sermons like a self-styled Joan of Arc.
I’m most apt to get Sadgey when I sense someone else is being bullied or treated unfairly. It doesn’t have to be someone I particularly like, either. Mostly, I can justify those rants. But for every situation that really demands stark truth-telling, there’s one that calls for a little more restraint and judgment. At those moments, this piece of advice, attributed to Indian spiritual master Sai Baba, can be helpful:
Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve upon the silence? (more…)
This New Moon is in Taurus, “the money sign.” With lots of planets retrograde this month—often bringing unexpected financial setbacks—many of us might be fretting a bit over our bank accounts lately. It’s no fun to feel worried about how you’re going to pay your rent or your car mechanic. So by all means, at this New Moon, do some rituals (I love this one from Dana Gerhardt) and set intentions around attracting more money into your life.
But to focus only on money is to miss the larger point of Taurus, and perhaps of whatever stressful situations come your way. And that larger point is the importance of self-sufficiency.
Aries represents the challenge of withstanding immediate threat, but Taurus is where we meet the challenges of day-to-day survival. It represents how we put shelter over our heads, food on the stove, clothes on our back. If we don’t have these basic necessities or can’t provide them for ourselves, we’re in a serious crisis of security. Nowhere is this crisis more evident and immediate than in the way we feed ourselves.
“She’s like a beautiful Godzilla!”
“The only way the gods know we’re asking for help is ritual.” – Caroline Casey
Taurus and Scorpio are the two signs of the zodiac that are most closely associated with money. So if your finances are strained or life just isn’t giving you enough of what you want, the Scorpio Full Moon is the perfect time for a prosperity adjustment.
The prosperity dance involves persuading others that you have something that is so valuable, they should give you whatever you ask in order to get it. Sometimes, this exchange flows effortlessly; other times, it’s as though there is an actual, physical obstruction between you and prosperity. That’s when you find yourself feeling broke – or at least, you don’t have enough money to do something that’s really important to you (like pay rent, for instance).
Does it follow that if others are not offering to pay you for what you have, it isn’t valuable? I don’t think so. But I have noticed that simply being a nice person and good at what you do isn’t enough. Those who are wildly successful have some quality of attraction or seduction that makes others want to work with them/buy from them/be near them.
Seduction relies on a kind of subliminal, mesmerizing persuasiveness. It’s characterized by the ability to hold others spellbound and desperate to please you. These qualities don’t come naturally to me; perhaps they’re not your gifts, either.
These are Scorpionic gifts. (more…)
An old Cherokee Indian was speaking to his grandson:
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a long minute, and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one I feed.”
Another election season is underway in the U.S., and things are getting kind of ugly out there. It seems impossible for candidates to compete honestly or share differing opinions without coarse insults, even with those in their own party. And some political rallies have taken on a particularly hateful tone this season. At this Aries New Moon, it would appear that the angry, wounded wolf is temporarily winning the battle for the supper dish. (more…)
This Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse at 3.17 Libra is on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, at 5:01 am PDT, 8:01 am EDT, 12:01 m GMT, and 11:01 pm AEDT. Look to the house of your birth chart where 3.17 Libra falls and any natal planets being aspected for more insights into how this eclipse will affect you.
Like a lot of compulsive, driven types, I move a bit roughly through the world. Whether along my career path or on a trip to the supermarket, I focus on the destination and pay scant attention to the journey itself. Down to the smallest gestures, my approach is instinctively direct and graceless. I’m hard on the physical world, breaking, tearing, staining, or chipping nearly everything I touch.
But I have a pet indulgence – spending hours browsing through design blogs and magazines. I enjoy a glimpse into the way others live, their clean, spare, modern spaces, or (especially) their colorful, artfully cluttered bohemian dwellings. I savor small, elegant touches that appear in unexpected places, the gestures of someone who is attentive to each tiny nook and responds to it creatively. There’s something graceful about them, the suggestion that such a person pays attention to each moment instead of rushing to finish line.
I’m seeking an elegant oasis in a world that feels like a pretty rough place. If you’re the kind of person who pushes yourself hard, relying on the off-gassing of harsh self-talk to propel you, it’s especially difficult to live in a world that mirrors this pitiless inner landscape. It’s a very human instinct to meet brutality with greater force, exponentially, until before you know it presidential candidates are all but coming to physical blows on a debate stage. (more…)
When I was new to astrology, I was easily frightened by it. Astrology seemed accurate about so many things that I assumed it was right about everything, and so much of what I found in astrology books was profoundly scary.
Eventually I came to realize that the disturbing interpretations in those books were simply the way a few astrologers saw the world, and not gospel. Many years later, having watched all sorts of planetary cycles come and go, I’m rarely afraid of anything astrology can throw my way. Yet, I have to admit: When eclipses will aspect particular planets in my birth chart, I feel uneasy.
I hasten to tell you that this has nothing to do with eclipses in general, and I’m not saying that eclipses should scare you. To be honest, though eclipses are dramatic and interesting, few of them are truly life-changing. For many of us, this Solar Eclipse will come and go with some mild emotional disruption and perhaps some unexpected developments in some area of life, and that’s about it.
But watch your chart closely over a number of years, and you learn to identify its hot spots. And there is a particular eclipse cycle that triggers one of mine. When eclipses occur near a particular degree of the zodiac, it triggers sensitive and challenging aspects in my chart. My parents died suddenly after two separate Solar Eclipses near this degree, 27 years apart. Each of the three Solar Eclipses at these degrees since my birth coincided with important relocations and change in my life’s direction, including the purchase of my first house and the transition to my career as an astrologer.
Granted, even if history repeats itself (or at least rhymes), subsequent eclipses at this degree are unlikely to bring about the same events. I have no parents left to lose. I’ve lived in the same house since 1997 and am unlikely to move anytime soon, and my career is pretty stable. But if roughly four decades of astrological study have taught me anything, it’s that astrology is endlessly creative in the ways that it manifests. So, I’m always a little nervous to see what else the universe will dish up. (more…)
A classic Twilight Zone episode depicts seemingly benign aliens who have come to earth and pledged their help to mankind. Indeed, one of their seminal texts is entitled “To Serve Man.” Imagine the dismayed surprise of the humanoids who, having clasped these aliens to their bosoms, belatedly discover that the book is not a paean to intergalactic relations, as they’d imagined–but a cookbook!
It’s a clever twist on not just the word, but the concept of service, which in astrology is most often associated with Virgo. The sign of work, of diligent care on behalf of others, nevertheless has a rather nasty reputation–not entirely undeserved–for its hypercritical shadow side. Interestingly, the slang expression “you’ve been served” is a taunt that suggests you’ve been called out and shown up. And certainly, if you get on a Virgo’s bad side you may feel as though you’ve “been served”–or, in the case of those crafty aliens, as though you’re about to be served up!
But Virgo also symbolizes the very noble impulse toward usefulness. It represents the hundreds of people who impact your daily life. No matter how menial the task, another’s approach to his work can have a profound influence on the quality of your day. The barista who serves up your morning coffee can set the day’s tone with a smile and a little joke or can seemingly go out of his way to piss you off. A mechanic who’s having a bad day might forget an important step in servicing your car’s brakes–and that could influence the rest of your life.
I’ll bet it’s easier for you to think of half a dozen people who’ve recently given you poor service than it is to name even half as many who’ve offered help with a smile. Why does it seem so many people are unhappy in their work? Apart from things like sustenance wages and job insecurity, I think it’s mainly for two reasons. (more…)