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  As though one day we woke up and saw, realized, how worn our furniture is, how out of date our clothes are, how imbalanced our relationships (including to ourselves) are.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!

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:  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:

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 décor, 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: and the attached email: 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.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Feeling off-center and out of whack? Focus on the blessings.

By some measures May is a relatively quiet month celestially.  Only three planets move from one sign into another; and there is steady progress forward into growth and development, especially as two key planets turn direct motion.  However, at May’s onset you may feel that things you need to get done are sputtering along; that there is resistance, missed connections or tripping over words.  Mercury retrograde anyone?  The messenger planet that rules thought and speech turned reverse motion in the final days of April.  The first week of May, we are in the thick of communication snafu wonderland.

For the next three weeks, Re-member the Re words:  restore, repair, relax, read, research, renew, etc.   This helps immensely to navigate an otherwise tricky few weeks.  Refrain from signing significant documents during this time and instead of racing out to buy a new car or appliance, do your product research as to which one suits you best.

This is not the only fly in our soup during May.  The biggest challenge is a month-long throw down between Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune.  Three planets tilting at odds.  Think of a chair missing one of its four legs:  you keep tipping forward or backward where the missing leg is.  Feel the imbalance?  If I only had two words to describe this month I’d say:  off center.  Generous Jupiter in Virgo delivers abundant help wherever it falls in your chart – especially in the areas of work, health, pets/animals and service.  Feels great right?  Not so fast.  In Virgo, Jupiter focuses like crazy on the details – the tinier the better.  This rubs Saturn in Sagittarius the wrong way.  In fiery Sadge, Saturn wants freedom, liberty to go wherever and whenever we want, explore topics of interest to us completely unfettered; to learn and understand and take adventures.  Meanwhile, Neptune in Pisces seeks clarification.  Neptune tells us to Let Go and Let God, not to worry about the details or worry so much in general.  Piscean Neptune focuses on the bigger picture of our lives:   Does this [situation/relationship/job] serve our best interests or of those we love?  What do we really want?  Before we get clear, we have to go through a lot of fog to arrive at the answers we seek.

Feel the conundrum?  The push and the pull, the internal tug of war.  One thing is for sure:  May is rife with second guessing, doubt and insecurity.  

My family recently faced our own conundrum.  Anyone with a sick family pet can relate to our heartache:  Our beloved dog Daisy had cancer.  Question was:  should we operate or not?  Do we put her through misery (and our financial expense) of surgery and post-op suffering…or do we let her slowly decline until she can’t function anymore and then decide when is the right time to put her to sleep?  Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  So goes the month of May.   Please take comfort knowing there is no right or wrong way, no easy answers or easy ways out of the fix you might find yourself in.  There is only learning and understanding:  that life is indeed a process of trial and error.  If nothing else, taskmaster Saturn in Sagittarius is here to teach us.  So you think you know everything?  Mmm, perhaps not.  Best to open our hearts and minds to new ways of thinking, believing and hearing what others have to say. Try.

Through our struggles we are supported mightily by Transformer Pluto making a beautiful angle to Generous Jupiter and the Lunar North Node in Virgo all month long, in fact, all summer long.  Where we apply our energy, time and money solutions can be found.  They rise up to greet us.  Assure us we have abundant resources if we only look for them and apply the elbow grease to work through the details.  We simply have to use that Saturn kick in the pants to explore alternatives.  Because:  the old ways just do not work any more.

The Republican party is a great example of this.  Traditional GOP conservative voters are not thrilled about Donald Trump being their party’s nominee.  But they may not have a choice at convention time in July.  They will either have to embrace this man or go fifteen rounds at the convention to hammer out exactly who they want for a nominee and what their party stands for now.  Should be a very interesting spectacle either way!

The New Moon on May 6th forms an incredibly helpful grand earth alliance to Virgo Jupiter and Capricorn Pluto.   We can hardly ask for more:  this formation effectively boosts our efforts on the work, health, and resources front, including the actual structure of our lives.  Use this energy responsibly as possible and to your advantage to build, renovate, repair, or heal any area of your life. Three days later on May 9th,  this cosmic support is underscored by two significant events. First, Generous Jupiter turns direct motion.  Hallelujah!   You can practically hear the choirs sing!  The Titan of Blessings forms a beautiful alliance with beneficent Venus (love, money and relationships) casting a glow of goodness around May 9-11.  At the very least, we feel the rough edges of life are softened a bit.  YAY! 

The second event occurring on the very same day is called the “Transit of Mercury”.  This phenomenon happens only twice in a century as the messenger planet Mercury passes between the earth and sun.  For us, it means heightened communication.  Much.  WOW.  If you have an important message to deliver or have been waiting for the right time to say something, the time is now.  But be careful with your words.  Once uttered, they cannot be put back in the mouth.  Say what you mean but think before speaking.  Ask:  how would I hear these words if someone else spoke them to me?  Are there kinder word choices to deliver especially difficult messages?  This is crucial as this passage falls during the Mercury retrograde phase.

Energy builds like crazy just after mid-month.  As we enter the Full Moon phase several planetary gears shift.  It is as though the cosmos saved them up to unfold all at once.  On May 21 not only do we have a Full Moon but the Sun changes signs, from earthy Taurus to communicative Geminii.  Give your gardening tools a rest and strike up a conversation…with anyone.  While this particular Full Moon is chatty, it also seeks more lengthy, probing discussions, searching to learn, questing to understand life as the Moon (our emotions) tightly conjoins Mars (action) in spiritual Sagittarius.  It appears happy go lucky on the surface but actually wants to take things apart, figure out the why and how of the situation at hand.

The very next day Mercury turns direct motion prompting that Full Moon pursuit of knowledge to churn forward.  Get going on all those projects, contracts, relationships and purchases.  Two days later, Venus moves into Geminii joining the Sun.  Discussions really pick up the pace now, aided and abetted by direct motion Mercury in Taurus which aligns to Virgo Jupiter and Transformer Pluto in Capricorn.  Wow.  Whatever you have your eye on, person, place or thing, GO FOR IT now.  There is nothing holding you back.

This grand earth formation remains with us thru the end of May and into the first days of June.  Virgo, Capricorn and Taurus are all earth signs lending grounded realism, practicality and pragmatism to our efforts, noting what functions well in our lives and how to build on that.  It is actually very comforting.  There is a quiet, implicit certainty.  It is not loud and noisy energy but simple, clean, elegant communication.  Yes we still have our struggles to clarify and understand that which is a mystery to us, what keeps off off-balance, or does not optimally serve our lives.  But we are given immense help, healthy communication, transformative power and detailed work ethic now to create the changes we seek, to create the life we want.  Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Take a breath!

If nothing else, this April reminds us that the only constant in life is change.  Amidst all the upheaval, or at a minimum -- lightning-fast paced living, please remember to take a breath.  As the month opens we may be suffering from what is known in astrology circles as an “eclipse hangover”.  Moving around, we try to collect ourselves and get our bearings.   With the immense amount of planetary activity bombarding us, we feel unsettled and that nothing is for certain right now (definitely not in the US elections!).   What we have always relied upon as givens in our lives, the tried and true, has been or is in the process of being radically altered or yanked out from under us.  And if you can put your mind around this:  the givens we always expect to support us are supposed to dissolve and be altered; otherwise, we would stay put, get too comfortable and not grow.

The great news is that helping us, the month unfolds with a fiery, can-do, trailblazing energy as well as earthy stability underpinning our dreams.  It is a potent mixture.   The fearless first combination involves Saturn and Uranus.   Taskmaster Saturn is cycling through Sagittarius, seeking adventure and new horizons.  Saturn aligns beautifully all month long with Change-maker Uranus in Warrior Aries.  Go for it, these two say.  Open to new possibilities and stretch yourself!  Meanwhile, the second planetary pairing beautifully ties Transformer Pluto in pragmatic Capricorn to Jupiter in hardworking Virgo, telling us to make a plan and build, baby build. 

Together, the effect of these four planets say:  If you build it, they will come. 

So…what is your dream?   What do you seek to build?

By the end of the first week, two key personal planets shift signs.   April 6th finds Messenger Mercury (how we think and speak/communicate) moving into earthy Taurus lending practicality to our ideas and words.    On the very same day, Venus rolls into pioneering Aries.  The planet of love and money isn’t comfortable in this brave warrior sign.   Here, she is very impulsive and rash, not known to keep her emotions or wallet in check; so exercise caution with relationships and purchases.  Buying needless things and plunging headlong into relationships with a Devil-May-Care approach can cost you.  So will challenging others to a throw down, or smack down, as Aries Venus has been known to do, to, you know, prove themselves or prove a point, to be sure everyone knows they are right!  Not to mention maxing out your credit cards to take home that flashy red sports car.  Do you really need a car or do you just want to make a statement? 

The impulsivity of Aries Venus is notorious.  Think:  the runaway bride jilting her groom at the altar; the couple who elopes; the crazy-mad and completely reckless one night stand.  You get the idea.  The effect of Aries Venus is exacerbated by the New Moon on April 7th .  Both our emotions (the Moon) and will to act (the Sun) are ignited by the blazing energy of Aries, especially as it conjoins Radical Uranus.  You may feel as though you are standing on a rocket launch pad. That’s how fired you will be!

With four planets in Aries ready to hit the ground running, such fearless energy pushes us to launch any endeavor in a blaze of glory. Tightly bound to this energy, Uranus sparks sudden, out-of-the-blue movements, insights and discoveries.   With the Sun, Moon and Uranus in Aries making a gorgeous angle to Saturn in Sagittarius, do not be surprised if you have the energy of a three year old, the innovation of Edison and the determination of Caesar to set life in motion.  No joke!  That is how powerful this New Moon is.

The downside is there is significant look-before-you-leap cautionary note here.  Impulsiveness is an understatement.  So … take a breath.  Just stop and count to three.  Don't worry that if you hesitate all will be lost.  Really?  Will sleeping on a decision for a night (or two) really cost you? 

The combustability leading into the New Moon and afterward is difficult to exaggerate since Transformer Pluto challenges all three:  the Moon, Sun and Uranus.  Plutonium is named after Pluto for a reason.  Think atomic energy.  Rubbing against our emotions and will (sun and moon) with Uranus as the match, Pluto has the power to level and reduce to rubble that which must no longer stand, what is standing in the way of our growth. Hence, as aforementioned, we have the feeling of the rug being pulled out from under us, or the givens we have relied on for years disappearing before our eyes, what we have been able to count on is just no longer there.

Along with fearless choices to act bravely, this atomic energy can prompt us to walk out of a poisonous partnership (romantic or business), cause accidents, violence, religious or philosophical warfare, etc.  April is a notoriously violent month for a reason:  Aries, the god of war, is leading the Sun’s charge.  This April is a poster-child for upheaval.  And while I do not like to predict the dreaded and dire, I would be remiss to neglect mention of darker possibilities.  Take heed.  Do what you can to protect yourself…pay your insurances, really listen to and follow your intuition.  Don’t allow anyone talk you into anything that does not feel right for you. 

The best antidote and helpmate during April is Messenger Mercury’s cycle through grounded and practical Taurus.  Much more cautious, plodding and methodical than Aries, our mind and thoughts are guided to look check the underside of any relationship, project or purchase (car or otherwise).  Taurus asks the hard questions, wants solid information, stats and data because it rules values.  What bang am I getting for my buck?  How are my skills and talents valued?  What is this job, relationship, project, appliance, worth?  How am I valued?  What am I worth?  Taurus Mercury is the original show me the money combination.

We work hard for our money, applying our talents and skills where they are most useful and appreciated, to fulfill and enrich us literally and figuratively.  Taurus Mercury says: all that Aries Venus bravery and bravado is fine, all that Aries Uranian innovation is fabulous, just as long as there are solid foundations underneath what you create.  In the great rush to act this April, take a breath and gently apply some Taurean brakes.  Then ask:  how will this person, project, collaboration, purchase, benefit me or others in the long-term?   

The following day, April 8th, the Moon joins Messenger Mercury in Taurus to bolster our realistic thoughts and center our emotions; when mind and feelings align pragmatically, we can accomplish anything!

By mid-month, both Motivating Mars and its higher extension, Transformer Pluto, slow down to a halt and reverse course turning retrograde motion on April 17th.  For the next two and half months, Mars travels backwards from Sagittarius into Scorpio until it moves forward again the very last day of June.  Pluto's retrograde phase lasts much longer.  But the fact that both of these catalytic planets shift into reverse on the same day is truly significant.  Brace yourself.  You can practically hear the grinding of the gears.  Be gentle with yourself and others.  Practice patience.  And yes, take a breath.

Mars is the motivating planet.  By extension, as the Transformer and ruler of our desires, Pluto triggers our actions.  Both push us out of bed in the morning and propel us forward in life.  Without them, we’d be hard pressed to do just about anything.  They are the great initiators.  So as with any planet that has turned retrograde, the energy of Mars and Pluto now turns us inward toward ourselves, inviting us to review and reflect (in this case) our actions.  Of any planet in retrograde motion, Mars no doubt gives us the most difficulty because our activity is wired to move outwardly and externally.  We want to literally move on with our lives in every sense; especially in springtime when life is coming into full bloom. 

The effect of these inwardly facing planets depend on where they fall in your chart; but for all of us, Mars will retrace its steps in Sagittarius, then the latter part of Scorpio.  So first, we are called to reflect on the honesty of our intentions and actions.  Sagittarius is about spirituality, freedom, lessons we learn through living, education, the law and long journeys.  We will be called to answer for our actions and deeds where we have been less than honest with others and ourselves.  We are granted freedom in life but only by obeying common rules of civilization:  the law.  So anyone committing crimes or acting dishonestly (especially those in the name of religion, God or spirituality) will be held accountable.

When Mars backs into Scorpio, we are then asked to pay up:  pay back taxes owed, balance the karmic slate where or however it is uneven in our lives.  Consequences are nigh. This Spring is not the easiest time…yet another reason to stop and smell the flowers.  To pause in our ever-loving compulsion to get ahead.  Retrogrades are naturally built into the cycles of life on purpose.  Because think about it:  where would you be if you never stopped to reflect, muse or mull over something or someone before doing?  In the past, when you have leapt into a significant endeavor or relationship without sleeping on it first or listening to the valued opinions of others, how has that worked out for you?

This Spring, we have little choice but to hit the brakes.

Three days later on April 20th, the Sun joins Mercury in practical Taurus where our mind and thoughts are beautifully linked for a few days (April 19-21) with Generous Jupiter and Transformer Pluto all in down-to-earth signs.  This energy provides the grounded grid on which to establish plans, create healthy choices that serve as a sustaining base for our future:  what is built to last.

The energy is a lovely entrée to the Full Moon in Scorpio on the 22nd.   Where the practical Taurus Sun is still offering a realistic foundation for our lives (thank goodness) there are some contrarian forces at play now which are definitely heightened and magnified by the Full Moon.  The Scorpio Moon deeply and carefully examines every emotion.   Why am I feeling this way? you ask; meanwhile Aries Venus, now conjoined to Radical Uranus, absolutely cannot be bothered looking twice into the emotional whys and hows much less deeply at the underlying causes of relationships, conflict, etc.   Aries Venus-Uranus wants to get on with it already, whatever it is, most likely brand new, highly charged, fearlessly exciting, brazenly flagrant and perhaps recklessly undertaken relationships, work, projects.

Aries Venus-Uranus wants to love and spend money completely unchecked, unquestioned, unfettered, especially in its challenge to Capricorn Pluto.   The Scorpio Full Moon says:  not so fast.  With all the earthy planetary elements mitigating the Venus-Uranus haste, some will be saved from grand mistakes.  And themselves.  Not so for many others.  All full moons garner lavish attention.   This particular Full Moon has a severely radical quality to it (like its inception at the New Moon on April 7) that begs awareness.    Venus rules relationships and Uranus is the change agent.  Already we are witnessing the complete upheaval, if not the collapse, of the Republican party in the United States.  On the positive side, accidental meetings or reunions of karmically tied relations may occur, including those you have never met before in this lifetime.  Remember:  there is no such thing as coincidence.   Sudden awakenings in consciousness, realizations, breakthroughs (in every possible path…artistic, psychological, scientific), emotional a-ha moments will be the norm.

The flip side to this energy cautions us about accidents, sudden death, complete breakdowns in relationships including breaking off ties to family and friends.

SIGH.  Inhale.  Exhale.  Breathe…

In all of our rushing around, if we have not learned that haste makes waste, we surely will this April.  On the 28th, Messenger Mercury turns retrograde for the next three weeks until May 22nd, joining Mars and Pluto in its reflection of thoughts, words, deeds and desires.

Slow down, you move too fast.  You’ve got to make the morning last” reminds Simon and Garfunkel.  Time to conduct a full assessment of who, what and where we are in our lives.  Think of it as a whole and thorough spring cleaning.  This Spring, before planting hopes and dreams, take stock.  A full inventory of yourself.  You’ll be glad you did.

Of Special Note:

I am once again offering my class "Creativity, Moon Cycles and Self-Expression".  The course will be offered on two nights, Tuesday, April 26th and May 3rd at the Newton South High School, Newton, MA from 7-8:30 PM.  To register, please go to the Newton Community Education website:  The class is listed under Body, Mind, Soul.  Cost of the session is $45 for both nights.  I look forward to seeing you there!