Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Magic Wand: What is Your Command?

After all of the tumult, sturm and drang of the US election, there is a collective sense of:  So now what?

What, indeed, will happen?  Will the hopes and dreams of Trump supporters be realized?  Will the nightmares of Clinton supporters manifest?

Whether you are a US citizen or not, one thing is for sure:   a whole lot of hard work is ahead of us.   The reality of just how disparate our global landscape is has vividly emerged.  What is not yet clear is how to work together to achieve common goals.

The good news is that we have a lot of help this month to begin the work ahead.  Opportunity abounds at the start of December.  The month opens with Messenger Mercury changing signs on Saturday the 3rd.  Our thoughts shift from truth seeking and truth telling to creating a grounded, realistic task list.  Now that we have uncovered the truth (with all of its warts and fangs), how do we apply our knowledge in practical and useful ways to move forward? 

More immediately, with the holidays upon us, we may lean toward giving ultra pragmatic and essential gifts this holiday season rather than decorative, playful toys.

How will you wrap up 2016, letting by gones be by gones, and kick start your 2017?  Mercury in Capricorn wants to know.  Prods you to decide in no uncertain terms, black and white.  What will you build?  How will you reach across the great chasms that divide our country, communities and families to build bridges? 

Consider this extraordinary cosmic gift:  we are being handed a magic wand.  Literally.  Serious Saturn forms an increasingly harmonious angle with change agent Uranus, both in fire signs.  In whatever area of our chart these two fall, task master Saturn demands raw truth while Radical Uranus creates from thin air.  Watch life change on a dime.  If you are feeling (or have been) stuck or mired in seemingly impossible situations, relationships, blocked either at home or at work, this month is groundbreaking. 

Nothing like a little FIRE to get things going.  Stir the pot.  Because not only are these two planets drawing together, flaming higher, higher and higher, Saturn continues to be complemented and enhanced by Generous Jupiter all month long.  Additionally, Motivating Mars in Aquarius forms immensely helpful angles to this trio from December 1-10th.  Both in air signs, Mars and Jupiter fan the flames, pumping oxygen into our relationships (whether with our selves or others).   And we know, understand, that relationships are the bedrock, the foundation of any world in which we engage.  Relating and relationships.  Getting along.  Reciprocity.  I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.  This is the stuff of bridge building. 

I cannot emphasize enough how opportune December is – both for those who have prepared and waited for the tide to turn in their lives as well as those who may have prayed so long yet lost hope that life might deliver better times and outcomes.  The trick in all of this is certainty.  Because possessing and wielding the cosmic magic wand is incredibly powerful.  With Transformer Pluto challenging both Jupiter and Uranus, we have raw, catalytic energy in our hands.  What you incite now comes to fruition.  Truly, be careful what you wish for. 

Be sure of exactly what you desire.  Understand why you want what you want, the underlying source reason(s).   Know that what you want is actually what you need, in your highest and best interests.  This is vital.  Because the New Moon of November 29 challenged Neptune, elusive master of disguise, layering our emotions (the Moon) and our will (the Sun) with fog and delusion.  If you haven’t been working decisively toward a goal before now, Neptune will easily sidetrack you here. 
Beware of buying into something that is too good to be true; if however, you have been patiently and diligently chipping away at your dream, with pristine clarity and steadfast faith, you may watch it all unfold this month and manifest.  The actress who has patiently waited landing her big break comes to mind as does the scientist who has toiled and searched for years for a breakthrough in his quest to find a cure, a solution to a vexing disease.  The hour is nigh.  Big break and break through:  that is the role of Uranus, the Great Awakener, rule of earthquakes and lightning strikes, dramatic and sudden shifts that blind side us for good or ill.

For those who have lost faith or feel generally lost, Messenger Mercury’s move into down-to-earth Capricorn draws attention to the bare bones, the essentials, our focus toward what can be done, what implements, facts and tools we have to work with, use to build something better, move us out of our rut, be it unemployment, addiction, abusive relationships, etc.

For all of us, no matter what our circumstances, Mercury in earthy Capricorn is just plain smart.  Down to business, driving toward the bottom line.  It directs our thoughts and words (ultimately our actions) efficiently and wisely, if not gracefully.  And the Messenger planet gathers strength as it gradually aligns with the Lunar North Node in grounded Virgo.  Need to deliver a message that everyone will not only hear but relate to?   The second week of December 6-11 is your time.  The ongoing Lunar South Node/Neptune pair adds pure intuitive insight to the Mercury-North Node duo, guiding our thoughts now most effectively.

This same week finds Venus switching into airy Aquarius on December 8th.  Not exactly the warmest, cuddliest of signs for Venus; here she acts as an observer from a distance. Though if you need to stand back from a relationship(s) or group, whether at work, home or community, Venus in Aquarius is your gal.  She exercises cool detachment rather than in-depth involvement.  Distance and detachment help off-load some of the fiery steam generated by the Sun’s conjunction with Saturn in Sagittarius on December 10th, adding super power to its continuing alliance with Uranus.

Cooler heads are always necessary as we approach any full moon.  Inching toward the December 13th Full Moon in talkative Geminii, put on your listening hat, your expert, mature filter.  A little less know-it-all and a lot more curiosity will serve you, all of us, well.  The Geminii Full Moon wants to share, exchange, chat.  Pull up a chair.  Discuss amongst yourselves.  This moon glides comfortably on the surface rather than plunging into deep, soul-searching conversations.  The energy is great for company holiday parties and neighborhood gatherings happening this month as it forms harmonious angles to Jupiter, Uranus and Mars.  So make full use of this force to steer deftly in and out of conversations and situations that would otherwise ensnare and entangle. 

There are two rather special formations as part of this Full Moon.  One is a grand air trine and the other, a mystic rectangle.  What you need to know:  both are immensely beneficial and highlight change agent Uranus.  This is the week to make your big move, pop the question, be blindsided by blessings and breakthroughs.  This moon guarantees huge visibility.   If you are seeking a promotion, raise, notice of any kind, December 10-13 is ripe for promise.  Go for it now!

Especially so because the following days leading into mid-month winds the energy down substantially.  Both Messenger Mercury and Uranus are slowing to a crawl, to eventually halt and reverse course.   On Monday, December 19th, Mercury turns retrograde until January 10th.  Then ten days later, Uranus shifts direct motion on December 29th.

First Mercury.  A wee review of Mercury retrograde DO’s and DON’Ts: 

DO:  any RE-words…reflection, review, renew, replace, research, restore, relax, reading…
Assuming you booked your travel plans before the retrograde phase, 12/19, the next three weeks is a terrific time to enjoy a much needed holiday.

DON’Ts:   purchase anything major now including cars, appliances or sign any contracts of significance.  Once Mercury turns direct after January 10th, proceed purchasing and signing as usual.

The very same day Mercury turns retrograde, Mars moves into dreamy Pisces.  This is not the most comfortable of signs for fiery, Motivating Mars, where it will reside through all of January.  The best use of this combination of fiery planet in the deepest and most sensitive of water signs is to dream.  Allow yourself to believe, practice faith over fear, meditate, do yoga, write, dance, play or enjoy music either live or recorded, surrender what you cannot control.  These actions will make you feel productive and soothe the savage beast beating beneath our surface.  Mars in Pisces is terrific for artists and pursuing spiritual endeavors.  For those tuned in, it can be divine. 

Two days later the Sun moves into Capricorn, gradually joining Mercury and Pluto for the remainder of December.  This troika aligns our will, thoughts and desires along ever increasing practical measures.  At the same time, the Sun also aligns with the Lunar North Node in pragmatic Virgo.  The earthy realism of this earthy combo cannot be underscored enough.  And we will need every bit in the coming week as Radical Uranus changes direct motion on Thursday, December 29th.  Hold on tight as this shift often brings sudden, dramatic news events.

2016 has certainly had its challenges, especially politically in the United States and Europe with Brexit.  For those who prefer the status quo, resist change and progress, growth and development (both personally and globally), please know that 2017 holds surprising and often unsettling shifts.   Uranus the Great Awakener’s turning direct on December 29 jolts all of us, particularly those who want to sleep through change.  Let’s be real:  this just isn’t possible now.   Think of being tossed out of bed and heavy slumber by an earthquake in the middle of the night.  Uranus in warrior Aries aligned exactly with Saturn, planet of dharma and karma, delivers a potent dose of cosmic justice.

We are charged to begin the New Year on a wildly different and alternative front.  Return for a moment to January 2016:  who could believe (even among Republicans) that Donald Trump would be the nominee of a major party, let alone win the US election?   The sleepy, lethargic citizens of the United States will have to engage now, become active in civic life if they want a different political landscape.

So:  join hands, look into each other’s eyes, start a dialogue of equal exchange, actually listen, hear your neighbor, their perspective.   They are not so different from you after all.  Begin with one shared goal:  good health and well being.    Imagine a New Year’s Day of radical peace.  Imagine that.

Of Special Note:

HOLIDAY GIFT CERTIFICATES:
The holidays are fast upon us.  Please consider the unique gift of an astrological reading or Reiki session for anyone in your life!    Contact me at: hilary@hilaryharley.com to order yours.



Monday, October 31, 2016

Power, Passion and the Search for Truth

Scorpio is the most psychic sign of the zodiac.  As one of the three water signs, the Scorpion’s natural intuition revs up significantly from the first of the month as the Scorpio Sun aligns perfectly with tuned-in Neptune.  This strengthens the depth of our perception and sharpens our awareness antennae.  We seem to have x-ray vision now; a nothing-gets-past-me quality that can be very off-putting and intimidating to those who have blinders on or choose denial over reality.   Crystal clear insight is nonetheless a terrific asset especially when accompanied by Messenger Mercury in Scorpio which joins Sun-Neptune.  From the very first day of November, we sniff out charlatans, what feels off, false or fake, and definitely suffer no fools.

“Cut the bullshit” says Scorpio and look at what is really going on.  The October 30 New Moon in Scorpio set the stage for this energy to do its transformational work:  gutting out the rotted parts of our lives so the new, fresh and affirming growth and development may occur.

Meanwhile, Serious Saturn joins Relatable Venus in Sagittarius to ardently pursue the truth.  The essential bones of the matter, the relationship, the work to be done, with pure, unadulterated honesty.  The dual planetary combinations in Scorpio and Sagittarius yield a highly potent and powerful time:  shrewd, penetrating observation working alongside the quest for transparent knowledge.  As sharp as your awareness is right now, you may also very well feel  naked and that everyone can see right through you. 

Scorpio also rules secrets and for good reason.  With their keen x-ray vision, Scorpios know if they reveal the slightest clue, others may expose them.  So naturally they seek protection to cover up and conceal thoughts, words and deeds; and are extremely particularly about who they share information with and how they share that information.  They are filtering masters.  Why?  Because Scorpio and its ruling planet Pluto rule power.  Knowledge is power.  And secret knowledge is the ultimate power:  how knowledge is used, steered, controlled.

Brings to mind the election of the leader for the Free World.  At the post of this blog, the US presidential election will be one week away.  There is a great deal at stake in the election outcome.   The October 30th New Moon energy combining the strength of the above Scorpio-Sagittarius alliances says it all:  each side, both Clinton and Trump, seek the most powerful office in the world and claim that only they tell the truth.   Yet both leave a trail of lies and deceit, alienating a whole swath of the electorate.  On the other hand, both candidates have passionate  followers who will vote.  Pushing to see their man/woman win, these voters drive stakes further into the ground, believing only their candidate holds the true answers, resulting in an increasingly divided country.

At the same time, Generous Jupiter dances through Libra, sign of balance, seeking reason through diplomacy and negotiation, to bring order to what is so completely off kilter in the United States, politically, economically and socially.

During the end of October, we’ve already seen the shadow sides of Scorpio and Sagittarius playing out in real time:  Scorpio Sun-Mercury is wildly passionate about its point of focus and carries an acid tongue when provoked.  Sagittarius Saturn and Venus insist on honesty at any price, no matter whom gets hurt.  On the actual election day, November 8, Motivating Mars, god of war, is on a critical, final degree of Capricorn.  Exalted and honored in this sign, Mars tells all Americans to vote your conscience.   And regardless of nationality, Mars now says:  do the right thing.  The fiery planet has been cycling through Capricorn for the past two months urging us to lay a solid foundation for our lives.  In early November, its placement compliments the Sun-Mercury energy beautifully, holding up what they unearth to be seen in the light of day and asking:  is this useful?  Will it help you grow?  If yes, use it as a building block; if not useful, there’s the trash heap.

The very next day following the election, Mars moves into inventive Aquarius.  Now life gets really interesting....  Aquarius is radical, rebellious and rules group consciousness.  It is also the Great Awakener and Humanitarian.  So keep an ear out for calls for peace and understanding.  Watch (out) for disillusioned and disenfranchised voters who take up arms.  Literally.  The days leading up to the Full Moon on Monday, November 14 are dicey indeed, not even a week after the election. 

Two planetary sign changes now shift the individual and collective energy:  Mercury moves into Sagittarius demanding justice, the law.  Wants to know if the election was fairly conducted, or has been suggested:  rigged.  Venus moves into Capricorn at a catalytic degree, inciting action.   If you are roiled to the bones by the outcome of the election (and half of the US population will be), I encourage you to take a look at your own backyard, the mess building up under your very own eyes and clean that up first.  If we each take responsibility for our individual actions, the world would be a very different place indeed.  Harness the power of this very practical placement of Venus to bring a detached pragmatism to your relationships, including with yourself.  Where do you need to apply effort to creating long-term and sustainable relations and work practices?

Amidst the turmoil of November, two words of advice:  calm down.

Take a breath.   Ask, where are your efforts really getting you?  Are they aligned positively and productively, or leading you circuitously, on a road to no where, or worse, digging you (further) into a hole?  Think hard and think twice now about negative words and actions.   Tap into the abundant intuition available now because one thing is for sure:  intuition stems from LOVE.  It only leads in positive directions.  A source of love, our intuition is often drowned out by the loud and raucous egocentric voices crowding our head space.   It is vital to discern the difference between the calm, softer voice of reason versus the demanding voice dictating our next move.   The Scorpio-Sagittarius elements certainly provide us with the tools for such discernment.  And with Saturn, the ruler of Karma and Dharma, at the middle degrees of Sagittarius now, it is wise to remember:   you reap what you sow.

The third week of the month we are offered significant help:  Intuitive Neptune turns direct motion at a super harmonious angle with Venus.  This alliance guides our higher selves – we will know the right thing to do or say.  Now, follow that guidance and blessings be!  We also receive abundant support from planetary titans Jupiter and Saturn.  Through the end of November, Generous Jupiter forms a very helpful connection to Saturn.  In Sagittarius, Saturn seeks structured truth and honesty, while Jupiter in Libra knows how to graciously and effectively ripen relationships with skilled charm.  As Messenger Mercury joins the Saturn-Jupiter pair through Thanksgiving weekend, we find ways to tactfully say what needs to be said.

The caution to this period, November 23-26, is Jupiter’s challenge to Venus-Pluto in Capricorn. Where Venus-Pluto make for practical, realistic relationships, they can also expose an icy, buried underside.  Jupiter may help smooth out the bumps but it also magnifies the intensity of any relationship imbalance.  Better to err on the side of grace, dignity and honorable action.  Be responsible for your words and deeds and let others account for their own behavior.  No need for you to play monitor, judge nor jury.

The New Moon in Sagittarius on November 29 invites us on a journey.  It precisely challenges the lunar nodes in Pisces-Virgo, calling for a balance between health, healthy habits (including work), and trusting your intuition and going with the flow; search for and find a balance between control and Letting Go and Letting God.  Holding the positive energy of the Jupiter-Saturn alliance, cast your prayers, hopes and wishes for the next month and year.  Write your intentions with honesty:  whom do you want to be?  What do you want to accomplish for your life?  What do you hope for your loved ones?  Like walking a tight rope, practice makes perfect. It is more than OK to fall down...as long as you stand back up and try again.   Once, twice, three times, and more so, habits take time to root and change us, our ways.  Ready, steady, go.

Of Special Note: 
My new website is up and running!  Please take a look around a vastly improved www.hilaryharley.com.   I am so grateful to Robin Agricola, cyber guru extraordinaire, for her exceptional expertise in delivering a beautiful as well as easy-to-navigate site offering my therapies. If may contact Robin at www.birdhousemarketing.com 

HOLIDAY GIFT CERTIFICATES:

The holidays are fast upon us.  Please consider the unique gift of an astrological reading or Reiki session for anyone in your life!    Contact me at: hilary@hilaryharley.com to order yours.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Art, relationships and being honest

Relationships.  Getting along.  The give and take in life.  Reciprocity.  Balance. Order.  Judgment. Beauty.  Art.  Negotiation and diplomacy.  October draws our attention to these essential facets of being human.   This is Libra.  We begin on the very first day of the month, Saturday, October 1, with the launch of the New Moon in Libra.   It is closely tied to Jupiter, planet of abundance – magnifying our relationships and how to achieve balance in our lives – between family, individual/personal time, couple, work time, bank account, and any other area that may be out of sync or proportion.

Drawing our eye like a laser beam, we may notice that our relationships, home, our bodies, our wardrobe are long overdue for a makeover.  As though one day we woke up and saw, realized, how worn our furniture is, how out of date our clothes are, how imbalanced our relationships (including to ourselves) are.  Heightening this awareness is the Jupiter-Sun-Moon troika challenge to Motivating Mars in Capricorn.  Here, Mars rules super effectively.  It is responsible, status conscious, and wants to not only to appear to be put together in body, mind and soul, but to actually be solidly put together from the inside out. 

Let’s talk about that for a minute:  your thoughts form your words and actions.  If our thoughts are out of whack, negative more than positive, directed either to ourselves or others, our actions follow suit.  Libra is about judgment – how we judge ourselves, our work, our loved ones and co-workers.  This New Moon is a call to action like few others to exercise responsible thought, word and deed to bring order from chaos in our lives. 

From the get go, we have an opportunity for incredible self-determination brought about by order, harmony and the penultimate:  beauty and art.  As Winston Churchill said during WWII:  art is what we are fighting for.  Because without it, our world would be very gray indeed.   It is the stuff we live for.  So create your New Moon wish list:  hand write five or so desires you hope to manifest over the next month and year.  Life is a work in progress so you may repeat desires from past months.  That is OK.  Your New Moon list is alive, never static.   It can remain the same from month to month or be added to as necessary.  The key point is to focus your attention on what you desire/seek to manifest.  Then plant your list of hopes and dreams into the earth or into a moving body of water such as a stream, river or ocean.  And believe.

The New Moon energy stays with us the whole first week of October, catalyzing your will and directing our focus wherever it falls in your chart.  Feel energized, motivated, uncomfortable, edgy?   You bet.  Mars rules armies and energy.  Our get up and go.  In its challenge to Jupiter, we are charged with marshaling our energy to move.  Be it your body, to take responsibility to exercise and eat healthfully, to direct your thoughts in a positive and conscious way, or to feed your soul, enjoy and bask in music, dance, works of art at a museum.  It is the stuff of life.  Why we work.
Art and beauty are healing.  Part of the New Moon configuration finds Venus in Scorpio forming a grand alliance with dreamy Neptune and the Lunar South Node.  This is a deeply healing and cleansing energy; terrific for self-love and love for others.  Release and transform what no longer supports you.

At the end of the first week, Messenger Mercury moves into Libra, gradually joining Jupiter and the Sun.  Keep in mind that Libra is about judgment and balance.  Thus it can be very indecisive.  With Mercury, the planet of communication, our thoughts may swing back and forth like a pendulum, weighing each decision carefully.  If you have significant decisions to make over the next two and a half weeks, consider making pro and con lists.  Ask what really stands out (positively or negatively) about certain aspects of either choice.  What will be the long-term effects of either decision?  Where is the greatest growth possible in either direction?  If we use the analogy of choosing a paint color for the choices that lay ahead of us, look at the color in all light, day and night.  Can you wake up to the color and live with it every day?  Does it soothe you and help create a feeling of peace?  If not, you know the answer.   Once Mercury shifts into Scorpio on October 25, decisions will be quickly made, or made for us.  More on that later.

At the end of the first week, Saturn exactly challenges the lunar nodes, our directional calling and what we need to release, in some cases forcing our hand.   Saturn, the lord of dharma and karma, in sagacious Sagittarius demands truth and honesty, honoring the law of ourselves.  In its challenge to the lunar nodes, there is a mighty evolutionary/developmental purge to release what no longer serves us (Neptune and the Lunar South Node in Pisces).  To cleanse what hangs over us and push us to live healthy lifestyles filled with service, work and purpose.  You may feel a push and pull, like a tug of war system-wide, body/mind/spirit.   The North Node in Virgo pulls for control.  The South Node/Neptune pushes to release control:  to let go and let God.  With Saturn in Sagittarius dangling in the middle, truth in all of our words and actions are demanded and in many cases, enforced.  You may actually feel the Universe watching.  It is.

The North Node in Virgo also has to do with animals and we may find engaging with animals and pets to be particularly helpful now, along with listening to music, walking near water and relaxation activities such as yoga and meditation.   These are not the easiest of days.  The North Node/Saturn conflict may fill us with anxiety.  But at the root of this, it invites as much as insists that we practice honesty in all of our dealings, practice faith and trust, in ourselves, others and a higher power.  Meanwhile, Mars bears down on Pluto at mid-month.  These two are a power couple in the Zodiac.  The higher and lower octaves of energy drive home their point now.  Between October 12-20, be very mindful of power:  your own and others.  Are you stepping into your own power, using it responsibly or to undermine, dominate or destroy?  Chances are with Sagittarian Saturn confronting the Lunar nodes of evolution, if you dance on the dark side, your tricks will be displayed under the glaring spotlight of the Full Moon on October 16.

Tied to Radical Uranus in fiery Aries, this is a particularly volatile Full Moon.  Aries is impulsive, abrupt and fired up.  The Moon rules emotions and at its fullest, our feelings now brim over to the boiling point. Meanwhile Uranus in Aries says change and change fast.  Surprise!  Expect hot tempers, sudden and unexpected situations, angry words.  The world feels at 6s and 7s.  With such radical energy at mid-month, a word of caution:  as much as you can, do some preventative maintenance leading up to October 16.  Think before you speak.  Pause.  Just P-A-U-S-E.  Ask:  how will the other person hear what I’m saying?  Check your brakes (all car engine maintenance is wise).  Turn off ALL appliances, especially stoves, ovens, grills, before leaving the house.  Pay up all insurances.  Practice patience and awareness of your surroundings, awareness of other people’s feelings, and your own gut intuition.  This is NOT a time to ignore your inner knowing.   It is best not to delay doing the responsible thing for tomorrow…do it before the 16th.   Otherwise, when Motivating Mars joins Pluto in Capricorn on October 19-20, you will be served.   Big time.  So do your due diligence proactively now.

Venus enters Sagittarius at the same time on October 19, lending truth and ribald honesty to our relationships, with people, ourselves and especially money.  Venus is Sadge wants freedom; yet as it conjoins Saturn through the end of the month, we may feel our freedom restricted.  This is not the most comfortable pair.  Saturn restricts.  In Sagittarius, it is a stickler for truth and honesty, the law.  Venus wants to have its own way, to love for the sake of loving.  In Sagittarius:  Venus wants to do its own thing regardless of time, location, inconvenience to others.  The upside is Venus lightens up the severity of Saturn, gets it to come out and play as much as it will allow.  Best to pursue healthy outlets alone or with others, especially in nature, or exploring new or new-to-you ideas, adventures, people, books. 

Several days later, the Sun, our will, moves into Scorpio on October 23.  Scorpio is the detective and psychologist of the zodiac, rooting out exactly what is going on, how we feel, like a private eye.  Two days later, Messenger Mercury joins the Sun in Scorpio, heightening our XRay vision and observational skills.  This pair in Scorpio leaves no stone unturned.  They get to the bottom of what seems or smells off.  As the Sun-Mercury pair turn over the soil of our lives, digging up problems to be solved, Venus-Saturn show the honest facts in broad daylight.  The truth to be dealt with and managed. 

Mars duels with Uranus on the 29th.  This can be an explosive time.  Mars vies for responsible action while Uranus in Aries wants to blaze a whole new trail; says sayonara, I’m doing what I need to do for me.   At best, these two prompt us to save and use what has worked in the past while building and creating new ideas, methods and relationships.  Just remember not to throw the baby out with the bath water.  Save what works and gently toss the rest.

It is darkest before dawn as the dark side of the moon belies leading into the final days of October.  Release what causes pain, what you no longer need, outmoded beliefs, images of yourself.  Because two days later on Halloween, we are afforded a second New Moon this month to set intentions, trust, hope and believe.

Of special note:

THANK YOU for supporting my growing holistic healing practice and blog readership!  It has allowed me to update my website which I will launch later this month.  Please keep an eye out for a whole, new www.hilaryharley.com!

If you are interested in learning about how you connect to creativity, I am once again teaching my “Creativity and Moon Cycles” class through Newton Community Education.  Class will be held on Wednesday, November 2, from 6:30-9:30 in Newton.  Please register at:  www.newtoncommunityed.org  Class details are under the “Mind, Body and Soul” course listings.

I’m also thrilled to announce that I’ve been asked to teach this same course “Creativity and Moon Cycles” at the annual astrology State of the Art (SOTA) conference in Buffalo, NY, November 10-13.   If you are in the area at this time, you will hear incredibly dynamic and forward thinking astrologers speak on myriad topics.  To register for the day or weekend, please visit:  www.donnavantoen.com




Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Go from Yuck to Yum: The Great Cosmic September Stew featuring Mercury Retrograde, Double Eclipses, Jupiter enters Libra and more!

I sincerely hope you had a chance to relax and enjoy a break over the summer because the first part of September is not for the faint of heart.  Remember, though, that it is always darkest before dawn; and by the end of the month we are blessed with beauty and light.

Before dessert we must take eat our leafy greens:   September 1 opens the month with a powerful solar eclipse, the first of two in September.  Eclipses act as doorways to our lives and distinct markers of events, often life changing.  For some, these doorways present opportunities:  will you walk through the door?  For others, they are pushed, or forced, through a door like it or not.  For anyone born in the early 1960s, especially 1963-1965, or who has planets at 9 degrees Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces or Gemini, this eclipse will resonate strongly.

So let’s unpack this event.  At 9 degrees Virgo, the Sun and Moon sharply challenge the Saturn/Mars duo in Sagittarius and oppose Neptune in Pisces.  This eclipse means business.   Our emotions and will in Virgo is about health and work; opposite Neptune, the great Cosmic Cleanser, we are prompted to clean up our act:  body, mind and soul.  With Saturn/Mars wedged in between these two configurations, there is an urgency to get going, get down to brass tacks.  Saturn rules time and tells us:  there is no more time to waste; it is high past time to focus on your life lessons, difficult as they may be (and we all have hard lessons), to make a plan, a to-do list and apply yourself. 

This is where Motivating Mars in combination with work-horse Saturn is tremendously helpful.  The pair kicks our behind to act.  Mars also supplies the energy to do the work.  Endlessly fiery in Sagittarius, we are invited to make an adventure of life, to make an exploration with curiosity and imagination of the tasks ahead.   Yes, there is work to do, but why not have fun while doing it?   We might as well as since the coordinates of this eclipse supply abundant discernment, clarity, focused energy, and efficient application of will to get the job(s) done.  Wow.  We aren’t given any excuses now.  Not let off the hook in any way, shape or form.

As with any cosmic energy, it is ours to steer, to make the best of the hand we are dealt.  Or the hand we have gradually dealt ourselves over time.  There are significant blessings too with this eclipse to help us along the way, directing our words and efforts with careful precision.

First, Generous Jupiter and Messenger Mercury are tightly conjoined in Virgo at this eclipse, lending great weight and impact to our words and actions.  Mercury is now retrograde until September 23, so it is best to hold off on signing contracts or investing in major purchases until then.  However, any creative endeavors, especially those involving writing, technical expertise, detail, spirituality, health care and organizing will benefit immensely during this time.   A re-minder to make use of RE words during Mercury Retrograde:  review, rest, restore, recycle, repair… 


It is an excellent time to purge possessions and cleanse our habits and habitat, more so than other Mercury retrograde cycles due to the Sun/Moon daring Neptune and Lunar south node.  Where do you need to get to the root cause and core of what no longer serves you?  To stop the cycle and repetitious burden of ___________ fill in the blank.  Remember:  insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different outcome.  This eclipse demands we jump off the hamster wheel, review the habits that got us into the rat’s nest we find ourselves in and reinvent like crazy.  Virgo rules habits, patterns and routines.  Jupiter and Mercury in Virgo provide innumerable ideas and diligent focus to retrain our brains and patterns, and thus our lives.  Did you know it takes 60 days to master and instill a new routine?   With focused mind and emotion offered by this eclipse, we have a ripe opportunity to be our own change agent.  “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” said Ghandi.  No time (Saturn/mars) like the present.  The hour is nigh.  The caution here is focusing too hard on the trees and losing sight of the forest. Virgo loves details and perfectionism.  So step away from yourself and see the big picture of your life.  Again, Sagittarian Saturn/Mars will help you now.

Another blessing of this eclipse is Venus (planet of love and money) in its home sign of Libra.  She reminds us to strike a balance between myriad facets of our lives so one part does not dominate the others.  Relationships are easily formed with her help:  both to ourselves and others.  We’re reminded that beauty matters and to bring it into our lives regularly.  Buy yourself some flowers.  Venus also rules grace.  Being gracious to others and allowing grace for ourselves by forgiving past mistakes, remembering we are human, perfect just as we are.

The third blessing of this eclipse is the terrific aspect between the Lunar North Node and Transformer Pluto in Capricorn.  Talk about a cosmic helping hand.  This pair aligns our desire with accurate direction, like a NASA GPS.  It points to True North:  where we need to focus our efforts (our work, health, family, relationships, you name it), provides the road map, how-to guide and practical steps to get the job done.  This pair isn’t sexy but man, talk about efficient.  The first week of September, the Sun joins this pair in Virgo to underscore the work-horse pair of the entire eclipse pattern.  Take advantage!

The second and final eclipse of 2016 falls on September 16th, in Virgo-Pisces.  The Full Moon lunar eclipse finds Mercury bound to the North Node and the Moon joined to wounded healer Chiron opposite the Sun.  The key note here is emotional surrender.  As a Sufi healer once told me when I was struggling with a problem, “Surrender and surrender now”.   In order to heal emotionally, give it up.  Not give up.  There is a difference.  Control what you can, what is manageable.  Try not biting off more than you can chew.  You can go kicking and screaming, resisting, fighting and pushing back at life.  Or, you can surrender to the Flow.  Be guided and carried by life’s current.  This is such a time.

 Each of us thinks we control our lives, destiny and future.   And to a certain extent we do.  But during days like September, a dose of humor is essential as we RE-member the Yiddish expression:  We plan, God laughs.   Plot, plan and prepare your grand design but be sure to include Plan B, C and D.  Just in case.  The good news is that Virgo is great at that:  devising a back-up plan.  Because as we emotionally surrender and fall blindly into the safety net beneath our existence, we will need a ladder (or 2 or 3) to climb back up and to the healing work required.

 A gentle reminder:  the time period between September 1 and 16 acts like a gigantic black hole.  Especially given the overlap with Mercury retrograde, it is most effective to use this time for planning and preparing, mapping out exactly what you want and where you want to be by the end of this year and into 2017.  Any major decisions that are brewing are best to hold off committing to or acting upon until after September 23rd.

Smack dab in the middle of the eclipses, Generous Jupiter enters Libra at an attention-getting degree on September 9th.  Relationships blossom, love abounds, money grows.  Jupiter, the planet of abundance, is comfortable in this sign of harmony, softening the harsh edges of our lives.  It prompts us to beautify ourselves and homes.  For the entire next year, we feel the graceful goddess’ touch:  update your wardrobe, invest in art and new home d├ęcor, host a dinner party, reach peace accords in long-standing problem relationships.  Libra is truly lovely energy.  Venus also rules money so you may find money flowing in more readily and steadily over the next year.  Or at the very least, flowing.  Put your intentions and energy toward this!

As if we haven’t had enough cosmic stirring in the first half of September, the energies really kick into high gear at mid-month.  It is like the unfolding and blossoming of a flower, one petal after another, stunning, gorgeous, and very natural.   On the 23rd, Messenger Mercury finally turns direct motion.  YAY! And the very same day, the Sun enters Libra, marking the Fall Equinox, joining Jupiter.  Every year we are blessed with the annual pairing of Jupiter and the Sun.  This year it occurs in Lovely Libra on the very same day Mercury directs our thoughts and speech forward.  You can verily hear and see the Universal embrace of life, beauty rising everywhere, humming, the autumn colors, vibrant crisp air filling our lungs, source of precious breath.  This moment is deeply spiritual and acutely magical:  for beauty, art, relationships are the reason we breathe, and keep on breathing.  Without them, life is eminently drab, devoid of shape and purpose.

The next day, September 24th, Venus enters Scorpio, deepening and enriching our relationships and (hopefully) bank accounts.  Where this planet cycles through in your chart, discussions about joint resources, how to spend shared assets becomes easier.  Money flows in this sign.  So does sex.  May you be blessed with both!

Two days later, Transformer Pluto turns direct motion in Capricorn.  What has been a trudge through darkness, more drudgery than we ever expected, gradually lightens up – adding to the energetic flow and flowering.  Step by pragmatic, realistic step, we move forward again.  By the 27th, Motivating Mars joins its big brother Pluto in Capricorn at an attention-getting degree.  If you haven't felt the cosmic push yet, you will.  Dive into life in all its glory and living color.   Down to earth and every bit in its element, Mars in Capricorn harnesses the best of our potential, energizes us to build baby build like never before.  This is the supreme manifestor combination.  All month long we have wondered and wandered about our lives and dreams.  Now, we are shown.  Given the answers and energy to act. What will you create?




Sunday, July 31, 2016

Girl: Heal Thyself

If I could have one super power, it would be to erase evil events before they occur. 

My work as an astrologer is to guide and uplift where possible.  So as a human being but particularly as an astrologer, I am discouraged by the violent global events of June and July.   There is just no accounting for human behavior.  Energy may be directed either positively or negatively.    And if we focus our energy toward positively, this summer may be a truly transformative time. 

Transformative possibilities continue into August as it opens with Motivating Mars finishing its tour in deep and intense Scorpio.  There is significantly more planetary activity this month than last, the trickiest part of which finds Mars shifting from psychic Scorpio into adventuresome Sagittarius where it will join Saturn later this month.   Our attention shifts away from attention-getting crises toward how to manage the gravity of philosophical differences driving said crises (often violent).

First, though, let’s look at the energies building up to this climax later in August.  To begin with, Messenger Mercury entered health/work-minded Virgo on July 31.  For the next two months, all through September and even into the beginning of October, Mercury draws our thoughts toward planning, perfection and acute detail.  Mercury is at home here in the sign it rules and commands a tremendous work ethic.

The first week of the month the Messenger planet tangles with Motivating Mars and Saturn which demand freedom rather than planning or details.  Sagittarius is big picture energy; if anything, we are directed to honor our truth no matter whom it offends.  Mercury in Virgo pulls the other way:  So you’re unsatisfied with your job/home/partner/finances?   Get down to business and make a plan.  Pull out some paper and pen, your laptop and calendar and chart a course.  Change does not happen without effort says Virgo.  Elbow grease and using your head are the only way to get things done.  Shift, change, move forward.  Step by step. Plan. Step by step. Rest. Repeat.

Our motivation is directed by Mars and as it moves into Sagittarius on August 3, pushing toward Saturn,  Mars drives our efforts while Saturn sets the agenda; meanwhile Mercury tells us how to think, what to do and in what order.  With Mercury rabidly discerning every detail as Mars/Saturn look at the global landscape, things can get dicey.  The most effective way to manage these contrarian forces is to take turns with your efforts.  Like a painter, step back from the picture you are working on and see it in full, its entirety:  where you need to add, delete, edit, re-do…then, go to it, attend to the details in that sector of your life.

With the New Moon on August 2-3, if we align our thoughts and actions carefully, we are afforded an excellent opportunity to set the course and reap rewards over the next month.  This New Moon is wildly creative as it forms tremendous alliances with Saturn.  Think of it:  your creative urges and will (the Moon and Sun) are underscored by fiery Sagittarian Saturn responsibility to honor your truth, to do that which you believe in wholeheartedly.  At its core, that is Sagittarian energy:  philosophy, personal truth, belief, and understanding.  Joining creativity and personal philosophy is very powerful stuff.  Combine that with Messenger Mercury and Generous Jupiter in planner Virgo and you’ve got yourself super potent forces to work with.

This force is strengthened and highlighted as relationship-oriented Venus enters Virgo on August 6th, the same day Mercury conjoins the Lunar North Node pulling us toward our goal. Mars/Saturn push us to dream BIG while Mercury/Venus/Jupiter/North Node in Virgo tell us exactly how to make that dream come true.  How to make it real.  This energy can feel daunting.  And, Virgo, because it sees every single detail in how much work there really is to fulfilling the dream, you can be riddled with self doubt or second guessing.  A word of advice here:  Don’t.   Just don’t.  Do not go down the path of doubt.  Remember, if you are aligned with positive action and know that you are given ideas and dreams for a reason, whether for self-improvement, positive life change, growth and development, only good can result.  The great news is that the Sun cycles through creative Leo well into August.  So it roars right back at all those naysayers, needling self-doubting thoughts and Negative Nellies dancing in your head.  The Leo Sun is can-do energy like no other.  It tells us to go ahead, step out into the world in a great big way and take up space.  This desire is particularly strong from August 10-18 when the Sun aligns beautifully with Radical Uranus.  Our ingenuity and creative engine is running full speed in whatever sector of your chart this alignment occurs.  Truly, breakthroughs are truly possible now; and with careful application of your will, change naturally follows.  

Strengthening this passage is Saturn turning direct motion on August 13.  We get a gigantic kick in the pants, telling us to get going with our Responsibility to fulfill our potential.  Our dharma and karma.  What we came to earth to accomplish.  All of these forces increasingly build up to the Full Moon on August 18th.    This Full Moon bears a lot of helpful energy with it as North Node/Venus align with Pluto (transforming our relationships and what we focus on) and Messenger Mercury’s pairing with Jupiter (masterful touches to our work and projects).   The cautionary angle here is Mars/Saturn’s continuing conflict with illusory Neptune.   Mars/Saturn are hell bent searching for truth(s) we must face while Neptune reaches for the escape hatch.  There is a lot of disillusionment, wanting something else instead of what we have, refusal to accept the present moment in favor of wishful thinking.   Again, allow this conflicting energy to take turns:  continue to dream and work for the ideal (Neptune) but face the truth you are dealt with honesty.  Resisting or pushing against the flow is wholly a waste of time and energy.  If you do, you'll find yourself further and further behind in the game.

A note of warning here is global events.  As we know, we have free will and may direct our thoughts and energy anyway we want.  So it must be said that darker drives continue this month, driven by beliefs and personal philosophy (Mars/Saturn in Sagittarius).  Some such as ISIL clearly think their beliefs are right, correct, Holy, and the only path to embrace.  It is my sincere hope that the darker choices and paths are contained, this month and in the future.  Humanity is really being shown light and dark, goodness and evil in stark contrast now.  At few times in our history has there been such an increasing emphasis for the individual (and thus collective) to choose sides; and that one side is the correct side to stand on, stand up for.  This is dramatically playing out on the US political front.

As the days of August unfold, we are squeezed to make our choice.  If you are uncertain, be still, turn off the phone, listen to your heart; act in good faith and conscience.  Ask yourself which path leads to love, health, healing, grace, unity.  And which path divides, separates and leads to disconnection?   This is truly an auspicious time.  No hyperbole here.  As we face collective choices as a nation and world, so do we also on an individual level.  Will you stand up for yourself, your child, your employees, your community?

Enormously helping us all month long is a series of key planetary alignments in earthy Virgo with transformer Pluto in pragmatic Capricorn.  It keeps our feet on the ground and our minds and hearts realistic.  Given the times we live in, that is a very good thing.  First, on August 11, the Lunar North Node (our directional calling) and Messenger Mercury align with Pluto.  Our thoughts match our desires.  Next at mid-month, August 15-19, the North Node and Venus align with Pluto, fostering our relationships and desires, perfecting these, building healthy relations, whether to loved ones, work colleagues or ourselves.  This is highly useful energy, especially in sequence.  Use it to your full advantage.  It is a terrific time to plan anything:  travel, personal or work projects, self improvement goals.

Right around the Full Moon, Mercury/Jupiter oppose healer Chiron.  There is an emphasis on what we need to cleanse and release from our lives in order to heal, and in many cases, heal really old wounds such as toxic relationships, thought processes/traps, poor eating or exercise habits, finances and spending patterns.  With all of the Virgo planning energy, map out exactly how to revise areas of your life that do not work efficiently. 

By August 23, the Sun joins the troika in Virgo, aligning our will to our efforts.  We will need this very pragmatic, earthy energy focus as the Sun/North Node challenges Mars/Saturn squaring off with Neptune/South Node the last week of the month.  You may feel off–balance or thrown off-kilter by people and life events as August closes.   The point of this conflicting energy is to ground us, really push us to focus on what is real and what is most definitely not real.  With Mars/Saturn in the middle of the other two pairings, we are driven to find the truth of the matter, and of ourselves.  There is a whole lot of disillusionment and delusion to cut through here…a sorting through, gutting out and focused discerning to determine what is smoke and mirrors versus what is actual and factual. 

Ask:  where are others leading you on, deceiving you (at home, work, national politics).  Where are you misleading or kidding yourself?  Leading up to the Lunar eclipse on September 1, it feels like something really has to give, especially as Messenger Mercury turns retrograde on August 30.  For the first three weeks of September, we are offered a wonderful chance to review, revisit, repair and revise absolutely any part of our lives that is broken.  We are human and we make mistakes.  As much as Virgo quests for impossible perfection (chastising ourselves with full-blown self-flagellation as we go), it is also the Great Healer.  Tend to your wounds now, be they open and festering or old and scarred over.  It is time to get real.  Time to be healed.

Friday, July 1, 2016

All together now: Exhale.

Anxiety much?  Not typically a raucous month, June gave tension a whole new meaning.  Nothing you can exactly put your finger on either…so, what’s up?  Last month shoved a glaring light on all the kinks in our own lives as well as social ills plaguing humanity, manifesting in some truly ugly violence:  namely, the largest gun massacre in US history and even the UK with the murder of MP Jo Cox.  Underlying our efforts at civility and playing nicely, there are strong undercurrents tearing apart the fabric of our preferably neatly organized worlds.  Enough already we scream.

Fortunately, July eases us into love and healing.  The next four weeks softens a great deal of the anxiety we have felt building over the past two months.  First, Motivating Mars turned direct motion on the final day of June.  Have you been holding your breath since May, trying to get things done but spinning your wheels?  On July 1st, exhale.   Breathe, baby, breathe.  All systems are go now.  Let it all out.  While some of the underlying tension still exists, three planets are now in nurturing Cancer, saying, go ahead, cry on my shoulder, relax on the beach, take a day or a week or two off and find out what feels good to you again.  As the Sun (our will), Venus (love and money) and Mercury (our thoughts and words) move through Cancer we find abundant TLC and compassion, and are encouraged toward much-needed self-care.  Lots of resources envelope us if we only look for them.  Cancer is crazy intuitive and the sentient power of this planetary troika is accentuated by its super helpful angle to Neptune and the Lunar South Node in psychic Pisces.  It’s like being guided by a gentle hand that knows exactly where you need to go.  NICE!

In addition, the first week of July, the same trio in Cancer make a beneficial alliance to Jupiter/Lunar North Node in Virgo.  That gentle hand guides us toward healing people, resources, projects that are just plain good for us.  Let the healing begin!  This energy is so needed after the hullabaloo and chaos of May and June.  We are given a plum opportunity for rest and body/mind/soul restoration during the first part of July.  Take advantage and make the most of this golden opportunity.  Water signs are terrific at tuning in, listening, diving deep.  Use this special time to quiet the voice in your head and truly hear what your soul is saying.  Hear what your loved ones are trying to tell you…for weeks or months.

July 4th falls at the end of a long weekend in the United States and is especially advantageous as the New Moon occurs precisely on the national holiday.  Venus aligns beautifully with Mars as do Pluto and Jupiter/North Node, giving our relationships a boost of inner knowing and glow yet firmly and practically rooted in reality.  It is a New Moon with terrific potential for building the loving world we hope and long for, both individually and collectively.  Praying and setting intentions now are most powerful.

Now that Jupiter has shifted away from its challenging position to Serious Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune/South Node in Pisces, there is less mental gymnastics, tension, worry and anxiety.  However, Saturn and Neptune are still dueling:  Saturn demands truth and justice while Neptune/South Node cleanse and clear away all disillusionment.  It’s like having your psyche run through a car wash.  Where we have misled ourselves or been led astray by others, honesty prevails now and insists on having its time through much of the fall.  Lies, even bare shading of the truth, are not tolerated now.  With our heightened intuition this month, we can feel the right thing to do, the next steps and wiser word choice to make.  Pay attention to your gut now as it is ringing with truth and showing you the way.  Jokesters and tricksters take note as your shenanigans will not get you very far.  The old rules are out, done with and done for.  Inhale a deep cleansing breath to clear away the cobwebs in your head.  Five planets in water signs during the first half of July offers us a delicious opportunity to wash away what doesn’t work, what we no longer need in our lives.

Also, the Venus-Sun-Mercury trio in Cancer draws our attention to home, family, food and mom.  With its alliances to Mars in Scorpio and Chiron in Pisces now, we can deep dive into family history/psychology to heal old wounds, do (significant and perhaps costly) repairs and renovations to our home, and develop new approaches to eating.  Our diet:  eating healthy (or not), regular and well-balanced meals, is one of the truths revealed to us now by the cosmic configurations.  Really, our bodies and minds are what we eat.  We must deal with it.  How much better would we feel if we consciously consumed healthfully prepared and proportioned platefuls instead of grab-n-go junk?

On July 12th, our attention turns as Venus enters festive Leo, prompting us to find creative ways to make necessary changes to concerns raised in the first half of the month.  Two days later on the 14th, Messenger Mercury joins Venus in Leo, adding a sense of humor to our thoughts and speech.  Leo is all about FUN, romance, taking chances we might not otherwise, and drama.  These next two weeks are great for going on vacation.  If you can’t take a whole week off, just a day will do a world of good now.  Go ahead and enjoy yourself.  Indulge.  Splurge on a new outfit (Leo is all about the clothes, hair and makeup) or new look.  Step outside your comfort zone.  You have cosmic permission. 

The Full Moon on July 19th in pragmatic Capricorn lends a grounded realism to our inclinations.  It prods:  so you have an idea or two…well, how will you go about building that?  Creating the relationships you want?  Creating the self that you desire?  With the truth ripping off our rose-colored glasses, we see the bare bones of what it will take to create the life we desire.  This Full Moon shines a huge spotlight on your assets, greatest strengths and flaws/shadow to be turned into productive use.  Notice:  I did not say how to best hide your flaws or deal with your shadow.  There is no more of that now, says this Full Moon.  We are to use each last bit of our being, the good, bad and ugly, and apply it positively to heal ourselves, relationships and world.  It is high past time and so very, very needed.

By Friday, July 22nd, the Sun moves into Leo, joining Venus and Messenger Mercury.  The party’s really hopping now.  For the next two weeks, all of the feelings and emotions churned up during the first part of the month turn externally, seeking creative outlets.  Use this energy wisely.  Now is the time to get inventive.  Your ideas take off now as the Leo planetary troika makes gorgeous angles to demanding Saturn.  Approach tasks adventurously.  Play.  Try something (or a strategy) you’ve never done before, individually, with family or friends.  We feel festive now.  Stir ideas for a creative project, taking all of those feelings provoked by the melee in May/June (possibly a lifetime of frustration) and channel smartly.  All systems are go now, so let the tiger out of its cage.  Paint, write, dance, cook, create your way to freedom and catharsis.

The final week of July finds Radical Uranus slowing down and preparing to turn retrograde on the 28th.  In its groovy alliance with Messenger Mercury this last week of the month, we may find the answers we need to long-standing questions or problems, breakthroughs in relationships, work, science and the arts.  Creativity abounds heading into August.  We are so blessed with options, choices and solutions, and the courage to seize these.  So try them out and on unabashedly.  The last two-three weeks of July are truly a time to step out and strut.   The Pluto-Jupiter/North Node alliance provides enough practicality that we won’t take unnecessary or foolhardy risks.  Go ahead:  you can do it!  On the final days of the month, Messenger Mercury moves into Virgo, planning and preparing our future.  If nothing else, Virgo is efficiency personified.  Harness the creative engine and ideas you’ve developed then stand back and marvel out at your amazing results!   Yes, yes you can.



Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Brass tacks: hard choices with abundant resources


June:  Man am I glad to see you!!  May was a real doozy that took us for quite a ride.  I sure hope you had it smoother than I did.  Wow.  While a lot of blessings rained upon us, we really had some major kinks and plot twists tossed our way.   I know I had more than my share. If you were trying to reach me via my website email and couldn’t, I am now fully reconnected and all lines are open for business once more.  Little comfort to know that I was hardly alone in the communication snafus as Mercury retrograde handed out some tough stuff last month. 

The days since the messenger planet turned direct motion on May 23rd are gracing us with a steadier path that continues with our entry into June.  In fact, the cosmic gears are not shifting signs or motion until mid-month.  Thank you Universe!  Yet we will have enough challenging planetary angles to poke or prod us.  Fortunately, there is abundant stability supporting us as we move into summer.
June opens with exactly this:  super support and strength from three key planets in earth signs.  For starters, Messenger Mercury is cycling through practical Taurus aligning beautifully with Generous Jupiter and the lunar North Node (our directional calling) in hardworking Virgo.  These energies are powered up by transformer Pluto in pragmatic Capricorn.  

With their help, we will be given the answers we need to our most confounding questions and problems.  This incredibly realistic and deeply helpful alliance has bolstered us through most of May’s rocky road.  We continue to benefit from the peace, practicality, clear thinking and communication this magnificent trio affords.  Where do you need to make a plan?  Create a solid foundation from which to grow?  At home, in business, in your health care practices and routines?  Anyone celebrating a birthday, anniversary or launching a venture between mid-May through June 5th will have this stellar support backing them up throughout the next year.  The very powerful help it offers us in whatever sectors of your chart it falls cannot be overstated.  Take advantage!

Another beneficial aspect as June opens joins Venus (love, money and relationships) and the Sun (our will and identity).  These two travel together until mid-month.  Venus casts a versatile, engaging glow over our efforts and how we direct our energy.  Simply:  it is like having a magic wand for two weeks.  Of course the caution is:  be really careful where you wave that wand; be careful what you wish for and use the power wisely as this duo is part of a very dynamic planetary formation.  These are mighty forces at work. From May 25-June 5th, we feel as though we are inside a boxing ring as five planets square off:  Neptune (illusion), Jupiter/Lunar North Node, Saturn (karma) and the Sun/Venus duo.  It feels like we are being pinched, cattle-prodded and squeezed through an altogether too-tight passage.   A suggestion:  surrender and release.  Go with the flow, wherever the current takes you. 

Remember:  fighting the current only pulls you under.  Surrendering and swimming with the current’s flow, you will stay safe. 

So how do we navigate this tricky landscape?  There is a lot of illusion going on and especially illusion about control.  Give it up.  Manage work, health care matters and the hard facts of life to the best of your ability; control what you can and let the rest go.  Applying force of will just will not work right now.  There is a demand for truth, honesty, integrity, knowledge and answers.  Find them.  This is your work right now!  And we have abundant resources supplying information.  Get as much information about anything you plan to buy, invest in (including prospective relationships…business or romantic), agreements, etc.  Be wary of the “too good to be true” quality to anyone or thing.  The old adage that knowledge is power is the name of the game now.  Listen, really listen to what someone tells you.  Venus/Sun in Gemini challenging Neptune in Pisces is the ultimate spin doctor.  We soooo want to believe…something, someone, our prospects.  And there are savvy people who are chatting us up and talking a great game.  So just exercise caution.  Before moving in with him/her, taking the job, signing on the dotted line:  know what you are getting into.

You may turn up details or information that you do not want to hear or know about.  But really?  Would you rather spend a lot of time or money on something or with someone who is taking you in the totally wrong direction?  The Mercury-Pluto-Jupiter/North Node earth trio is an incredible helper here.  So please trust what the information is giving you.  If you are uncertain, just keep asking questions.  Especially as Mars reverses into Scorpio all month long, it places a detective hat on us.  Prods us to dig deep.  Find the answers.  Don’t stop until you feel certain.  Until you know for sure.  Listen.  Trust your gut and intuition now.

We can feel life shifting gears the week of Monday, June 13.  Venus/Sun in Geminii are still traveling together but no longer squaring off with Neptune/Jupiter/Saturn.  Messenger Mercury moves into its home sign Geminii really sparking conversation and a thirst for knowledge.  You will really want to know what’s going on, be in the thick of things, be happening:  No bystander energy is this!  On the same day, Neptune turns retrograde motion until well into November, cleansing and healing old ways, habits, patterns and routines that are long out dated.  Neptune, especially in its home sign of Pisces, signifies the soul.  Bound tightly to the Lunar South node (the point of release) we move through a very deep clearing cycle.  We are pushed to purge now.  Big time!  Throughout the summer we experience the effects of a giant soul cleanse.  Think of the next few months as a spiritual colonoscopy you may have avoided but can no longer.  What pieces of your life are completely broken and in need of release or repair?  What can you no longer dodge or hide? 

Saturn in Sagittarius demands pure honesty, the truth and nothing but the truth, as Neptune brings in the Tidy-Bowl men in white suits to scrub everything down and wash away all the dirt.  Meanwhile, Jupiter continues to provide endless new healthy connections, details, alternative options to better our lifestyles.  This challenging troika asks:  is your job killing your personal time and/or relationships?  Is it time to move on, move out of that suffocating partnership (business or romantic)?  Are you living life as fully as you desire?

The trio really gives us life experience(s) we otherwise would not pursue in order to realign our paths with our soul purpose:  what we are here to do.  If you are off path, you will not be after this passage.  Life events will force your re-direction.  The good news is Jupiter/North Node will provide abundant resources to find our way ahead.   When harnessed effectively, the energies of June set us up beautifully to break us out of ruts, fulfill our deepest needs.  It is a very challenging time for sure.  And as always:  you have free will.  So you can go kicking or screaming or embrace the opportunity to clean up your act.
Some self-nurturing wouldn’t hurt as we make these life changes and on June 18th Venus enters motherly Cancer, showering all the care we could ask for and use.  This loving energy is enhanced three days later as the Sun (our will and identity) shifts into Cancer on the annual Summer Solstice June 21. It is no accident that the apex of the Sun, bestowing the brightest, longest light and warmest days launches the vitally nurturing sign of Cancer.  Our basic needs since birth:  food, mom, home, and family dwell within this deeply loving sign.  Cancers are caregivers.  Period.  They naturally nurture and grow what crosses their paths.  Venus/Sun in Cancer now prompt us to take care of ourselves first…and no it is not selfish.  
Your happiness (or discontent) spills out into the rest of the world.  Once you are replenished, then take care of those around you:  loved ones, friends, community, the world.  Many people think of mothering and nurturing as a passive act.  Yet it is the greatest action as it stems from love.  To feed, teach, and care for another forms the invisible net that sustains our planet and the creatures on it.  Cancer is feeling, emotion, intuition.  Our extrasensory perceptions are heightened now through the end of June when Venus/Sun in Cancer aligns beautifully with Neptune/South Node.  Follow your truth, what it tells you. 
Then at last on the final day of the month, Motivating Mars turns direct motion (finally) bringing our actions and inspiration forward, out into the open.  And somehow, life just works well again.

Of special note:
My website: www.hilaryharley.com and the attached email:  hilary@hilaryharley.com are all back in great working order!  Please contact me to schedule astrology readings or Reiki sessions.    Mercury retrograde insisted on having its way with me last month and I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that the disconnect may have caused my readers and clients!  I hope to hear from you soon.