Astrological Musings

Adventures in Mercury Retrograde, December 2017 edition

Mercury retrogradeIt’s easy to give advice like “don’t plan any trips or start anything new when Mercury is retrograde,” we can’t always put our lives on hold.  I always advise clients who need to begin a new job or start a new endeavor of some kind during Mercury retrograde to go ahead and do it, but expect communication problems or the need to renegotiate during the process.

Take me for example.  I have been renovating a house to sell, and despite my best efforts it was finished right when Mercury turned retrograde. I could wait til Mercury turned direct around Christmas day, but the market would be absolutely dead.  So I bit the bullet and listed it on a day when the Moon was in Cancer, the sign of home and family life, well aspected and not void of course. We had a contract immediately and everything went smoothly until the inspection when the inspector flagged some foundation items. It turned out the inspector was wrong – a Mercury retrograde issue of having to go back and revisit something – and since then everything has been fine and we are closing in a few weeks.  Mercury Rx fears averted!

But not everything goes so smoothly under Mercury Rx.  I also was planning a trip and had intended to wait until after the holidays to book the airfare, but there was a very good price available and only two seats left.  So I booked the flights, and on the Delta website was an offer to get their American Express credit card and get a $200 discount off the flight.  I filled out the application, because $200 is a lot of money, was approved, and tried to book my ticket with the new card.  The new card didn’t work.  To make a long story short, despite calls to both American Express and Delta, not only could I not use the new card but I never got the discount. AE said Delta needed to take care of it, Delta said it was AE’s problem.  This kind of thing is a more typical Mercury retrograde story!

Elsewhere in the news:

  • Republicans are trying to pass a tax bill with Mercury retrograde and it’s not going so well, with lots of RE-visions and RE-negotiations.
  • Al Franken RE-signed and is now being urged to RE-verse his resignation.
  • The FCC voted to end net neutrality, but so far 20 states have sued the FCC to RE-peal the legislation and many more are instituting their own regulations.
  • More men in positions of power were forced to RE-sign because of sexual harrassment and assault.
  • A slush fund to pay off accusers of sexual harrassment was RE-vealed.
  • The power failure at the Atlanta airport stranded thousands of passengers who had to RE-book flights.
  • Elon Musk accidentally shared his personal phone number on Twitter.

Mercury has been retrograde in Sagittarius which yearns to be free to pursue new adventures, in Sagittarius Mercury does not like to have to go back over old territory and re-do things that have already been done, so we tend to be less careful which means more snafus.

Do you have some Mercury Retrograde tales? Please share them in the comments!

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By | 2017-12-20T08:23:09+00:00 December 20th, 2017|Mercury retrograde|3 Comments

Some thoughts about Saturn returns (including a basic explanation)

Saturn return

Photo from Hubblesite

Yesterday’s post on Saturn in Capricorn brought up a lot of comments on Facebook from a few readers who are worried about their upcoming second Saturn return, so I thought this might be a good time to explore and demystify that cycle.

Basic explanation

As the planets orbit the Sun, we observe their apparent motion from Earth – astrology is not astronomically correct.  Constellations don’t line up in neat 30 degree segments in the sky, and the Sun doesn’t orbit the Earth as Galileo discovered which ended him up in some big trouble.

When the planets in the sky reach the same astrological degree as they are placed in our own natal (birth) chart, we call that a planetary return.  There are lunar returns, Mars returns (also known as the “terrible twos”), etc.  Because Saturn can be a difficult influence, and because the Saturn return comes only every 28-30 years and is therefore a pretty significant event (unlike the lunar return which occurs every 29 days or so), it tends to be an important cycle in a person’s life.

As reported in yesterday’s post,  Saturn’s role is to encourage, or sometimes force, us into situations where we will work hard and apply a disciplined approach in order to achieve material success.  Saturn’s motivation is often through feelings of unworthiness.  When Saturn is strongly aspected in our individual chart, those feelings can become crippling to the point where we are afraid to do anything because we might fail.  What Saturn wants, of course, is for us to do the work anyway and eventually overcome the feelings of failure and find that sense of achievement.

The Saturn returns are like an exam to see how we are doing with this process.  Just as the first Mars return at around age two-two and a half is the hardest on the parents, the first Saturn return can be a bit of a shock.  Those of us with a strong work ethic who are very grounded and focused could have a positive time during their Saturn return.  This infographic shows that more writers published their first book during their Saturn return (age 27-30) or just after than at any other age.

The Three Saturn Returns

The Saturn returns divide up our lives into ages.  The first 30 years represent childhood and the growing into adulthood. We are exploring who we want to be when we grow up, and take steps to become that person. (There is another crisis point around age 20-21 as well, with both a Saturn and Uranus cycle that sometimes requires a directional shift in our life path.)  At the Saturn return, we are forced to see whether or not we are on a path that serves us and if we are not, that can feel very challenging.  We may have to go back to school, have a child, or care for a loved one who is dying (sometimes Saturn events are beyond our control).  We generally emerge from the first Saturn return stronger and more empowered to take on the responsibilities that are required in order for us to be successful at navigating through the choppy waters of the material world.

After the Saturn return, we begin (or continue) to build the structures of our lives.  We grow our family, we pursue our employment or business goals.  We are climbing the mountain of life in order to achieve our goals. The second return at around age 58-60 marks, for many, the pinnacle of this cycle.  For thousands of years it was rare to even reach the age of 60, much less achieve some sort of major worldly success but now things have changed. Helen Mirren is a sex symbol at age 70. Octogenarians are running marathons.  But typically at the second Saturn return the focus changes.  We may continue to do the work that we have always done, but take it in a different direction.  We may put our Saturnian efforts towards learning an instrument or bodybuilding.  But the quality of our life is different.  We are more aware of our mortality and the passage of time.

All Saturn cycles bring with them the possibility of a life crisis: the death of a parent or spouse or some other person close to us, a health emergency, loss of employment.  But this is not universally true and should not be feared.  Fear of something terrible happening doesn’t prevent it from happening and only causes undue stress. But life is uncertain, and we do never know what is around the corner.  What we CAN say for certain, though is that in the event of a life crisis during a Saturn cycle, the result will  be to strengthen us and impose a new resolve and ability to endure.

I haven’t personally yet done a reading for anyone who has gone through their third Saturn return at around 90. But I have watched the wonderful documentary on HBO called If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.  If you don’t have HBO you can see the panel discussion here. In this documentary Carl Reiner who is 95 talked to his other aged friends about life after 90 and it is a wonderful, inspiring story about maintaining your interest and continuing to live your life.  I imagine that while the third Saturn return probably brings with it the usual Saturnian health problems, deaths of loved ones and other challenges, it may also bring with it a release from the bondage of the cares of life.  At that point, life itself is the miracle and the simple things become a blessing.

After many years of living with Saturn right on my Sun I have come to really appreciate its qualities which can be stern and sometimes seem cruel, but which ultimately help us to be able to steer our way through life with focus and determination.

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By | 2017-12-18T07:30:36+00:00 December 18th, 2017|Saturn Return|2 Comments

Saturn in Capricorn: The pinnacle of achievement (and some practical advice)

Saturn in Capricorn

The view from the top of the mountain

Saturn will be in Capricorn between December 19th, 2017 and December 17, 2020

The perception from earth of the movement of the planets through the symbolic constellations in the sky is one of the great tools that astrologers use to forecast the energies through which we live our life.  These energies operate on the macrocosmic level – everyone on the planet is affected to one degree or another by the movement of the Moon, or any of the planets, through the zodiacal signs.  On the microcosmic personal level, we are especially affected if the transiting planets in the sky trigger something in our own astrological chart.

About Saturn

Saturn is the outermost of the personal planets – the planets that are visible to the naked eye and which represent an aspect of our personality.  Saturn represents the impulse to achieve: to master the material world.  He imposes restrictions and places limitations on the goals and dreams that Jupiter has planted in the psyche. He has the tendency to engender feelings of insecurity, self-doubt and unworthiness.  Traditionally Saturn was known as the Greater Malefic (the Lesser Malefic being Mars) because of the tendency towards negativism and melancholy.  And probably because he ate his children in order to preserve his power which certainly didn’t help his image.

Still, while we can’t deny Saturn’s challenging qualities, his gifts are also great.  In ancient Greece Saturn was known as Kronos, Lord of Time, and under Saturn’s watchful eye we cannot deny that time is fleeting and death is before us making each moment more precious and not to be wasted.  The tests and crises that Saturn often brings with him give us the strength and endurance to prevail and thrive.  The depression that often comes with a prominent Saturn chart placement evolves into self-reliance and a love of solitude.  The pressure to succeed and fear of failure becomes, with a great deal of effort, success in the material world with the accompanying wealth and prestige (for more on this see Saturn: Both Beast and Prince).

Saturn in Capricorn

The zodiacal sign of Capricorn shares Saturn’s love of success and achievement.  Like the mountain goat with which it is sometimes associated, Capricorn relentlessly climbs the mountain of its goals, putting personal emotions and other frivolities aside, in order to ascend to the summit and enjoy the view from the top. Capricorn’s traditional symbol is the “goat fish” – a hybrid creature with the body of a goat and the tail of a sea serpent, combining what we know call “emotional intelligence” of water with the practical ability to achieve one’s goals symbolized by the goat.  Capricorn’s realm includes structures of all kinds – physical, political, and social – and the need to preserve these structures in order to preserve the fabric of human life. Capricorn lacks the desire to take risks or engage in carefree exploration such as Sagittarius does.

Saturn is said to be in its domicile in Capricorn – Saturn is at its most effective and, we might say, happiest when allowed to operate freely in the material and practical world of form and structure.  Saturn’s passage through the signs create tests and obstacles in the matters of that sign.  Saturn’s movement through Sagittarius  (sign of ideology and belief as well as foreign cultures) over the last two years has challenged our ideas on issues  such as immigration and religion.  Saturn’s focus in Capricorn now shifts to the political structures themselves as well as other social structures such as marriage, religious organizations.

What this means for you!

Saturn’s passage through Capricorn can provide a great support to our ventures in the physical world as long as we apply good Saturn principles of proper planning and solid strategy.  Over the next two years, dreams and fantasies with no basis in reality will not be supported.  This is not a time to believe that positive thinking is enough to carry you through to your goals – Saturn’s reward comes through hard work, discipline and structured planning.

Those of us with planets in the cardinal signs (Aries, Libra, Cancer and of course Capricorn) will be most affected by Saturn’s trip through Capricorn as Saturn triggers those planets.  This may mean success in business ventures, and it also can suggest hardships or an overload of responsibility.  Much of how you are personally affected will be determined both by the other dynamics of your own personal chart and the choices that you make under the Saturn influence. If Saturn is in Capricorn in your own chart, you will be having a Saturn Return sometime during this period.  An excellent time to consult an astrologer!

Here are some ways you can get the most out of this Saturn cycle:

  • Look to the future and create some goals.
  • Get organized. Saturn doesn’t like a mess, and will favor those who have already created structures to support and organize their lives.
  • Make a plan for the future. We often feel like planning for the future limits our possibilities, but plans can always be changed.  For the next two years, your plans are your keys to success.
  • If you find yourself in an unavoidable situation of great difficulty such as the illness of a family member or other personal crisis, try if you can to see this as a normal part of the cycle of life and realize the potential to develop greater strength through the endurance of hardship.
  • Be careful with money.  This is not a good time for speculation although success through careful investment is favored (once the current market frenzy settles down).
  • Emotions can stand in the way under this influence – do your best to try to see through the emotional story to the practical side of the matter.

And, stay tuned to this blog.  I am intending to use this transit to get back to a regular schedule of posting!

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By | 2017-12-17T07:53:11+00:00 December 17th, 2017|Featured posts, Planetary cycles|11 Comments

Astrology in my world: The falling away of things I know to be true

Astrology gets a bad rap for being unable to reliably predict the future. The fact is, while astrology reveals the underlying order of things, it does not reveal the future.  Through astrology we can know when there is potential for difficulty, but everyone experiences these cycles differently, and they are experienced differently at different times.

As I write this today at the end of November, I have just found out that a brilliant astrologer that I have worked with over the years, Dawn Bodrogi, just died.  In her last news letter she wrote that her mother had recently died just after a New Moon in the progressed chart, and Dawn had a New Moon in the progressed chart at the time of her death.  A client recently also had a New Moon in the progressed chart at the time of death.

When we think of New Moons, death is not the first thing we predict!  A New Moon marks a new beginning – the old way is falling away as the lunar phase wanes to pave the way for a new start at the New Moon.  Often there is a fundamental change at the core of our being, or a move to a new location.

In my own chart, Jupiter (beliefs and meaning) is in a powerful square to Pluto (power and intensity).  This dynamic typically suggests someone who holds on tightly to their belief system, and there is a self-righteous quality to it.  When I have a strong feeling about something, my confidence in that belief never wavers.  98% of the time this confidence is well-placed and serves me well.  But when we are so rigid in our beliefs and what we think we know, there is no room for expansion and the opportunity for our understanding to blossom.

The Scorpio New Moon hit this dynamic in my chart, and ever since then I have been questioning everything that I know to be true which has left me feeling a bit lost at sea.  But in letting go of the things I know, there is an opening for a higher level of understanding and growth to come in.

I have my own New Moon in the progressed chart last month just a week after my birthday, so it’s locked into the Solar Return chart for the next year.  At the same time, Pluto, the planet of death and regeneration, will be sitting on my Sun for virtually the entire year.  Perhaps this means I will leave my physical body, but it’s more likely that I will not.  This is what makes astrological prediction impossible, and while astrologers keep trying (see also: Astrologers predict 2016 election results) they are not often successful no matter how ancient or esteemed the techniques used.

The presence of a New Moon in the progressed chart at death does not make me doubt the astrological symbolism.  Instead it suggests that our concepts of life and death need to be expanded.  Often I have clients in the midst of terrible crisis who later find that after the irrevocable breakdown of their lives during that time led to a powerful transformation that changed them in positive ways.  We cannot know, but perhaps the signification of the New Moon at the time of death reveals a transition into a new experience of the soul, and a new awakening.

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By | 2017-11-30T10:09:19+00:00 November 30th, 2017|Astrology in my world, Life|27 Comments

This Scorpio New Moon is packed with Scorpio Power

What is Scorpio Power exactly?  Scorpio is the sign that represents the nature of Power itself.  Ruled traditionally by Mars, the god of war, and in the modern scheme by Pluto, the god of death and regeneration, Scorpio has some very intense allies.  Under Scorpio’s influence we must find the courage to face our demons from Mars, and the wisdom to face our deepest Truth from Pluto.  We must learn how to exert force to make things happen (Mars), and when to surrender to events beyond our control, our Fate if you will (Pluto).

Scorpio is all about depth, intensity, the gritty Realness of life and it’s not always pretty.

This month’s Scorpio New Moon on November 18th is particularly intense not only because four planets including the Sun and Moon are in Scorpio, but also because both of the Scorpio rulers, Mars and Pluto, are locked in an intense square aspect that can signify conflict, power issues, anger and rage.  But when Mars (the individual Will) and Pluto (the Will of the higher self) are managed consciously, this planetary combination is a supremely beneficial ally for manifesting intention and creating real magic in our lives.  In order to utilize Mars and Pluto consciously we must be prepared to release any ideas we may have of what we think we want and need (Mars issues) and seek the guidance of the inner voice of the higher self (Pluto).  We must be ready to accept what we cannot change (our Fate = Pluto) and change what we are able to (our desires = Mars).

This intensity is softened by a lovely harmonious trine from Chiron (wounding and healing) to the New Moon which will help us to release old feelings of self-doubt and abandonment as we move forward into a newly empowered future.  The two benefics Venus and Jupiter are still in tandem in Scorpio, showering blessings of good fortune as long as we stay mindful of our own Truth and don’t become mired in illusion.

Scorpio is all about emotion – deep, dark, intense emotion.  But in this New Moon an awkward (quincunx) aspect from Uranus to the lunation will keep us from getting to comfortable as we are pushed to create change where change is needed.  Uranus is connected with Higher Mind and is aligned with Pallas, the asteroid which signifies creative intelligence and innate wisdom –  the key to finding true integration in this Scorpio New Moon is to stay centered in your own Divine Wisdom as you allow the emotionality and feelings of the Scorpio Moon to awaken all of the lost and missing pieces of Soul that are ready to emerge.

This New Moon offers a powerful opportunity for real magic in your life.  New Moons wipe the slate clean and offer an opportunity to begin anew, so taking a few moments to create an intention for this New Moon will go a long way.

 

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By | 2017-11-17T08:35:13+00:00 November 17th, 2017|Moon|0 Comments
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