Mercury/Venus Mutual Reception: People Say The Nicest Things

June's Mercury/Venus mutual reception: Mercury in Taurus, Venus in Gemini!
The April/May 2020 Mercury/Venus mutual reception: Mercury in Taurus, Venus in Gemini.

It sure is lovely to have the impending mutual reception between Venus in Gemini & Mercury in Taurus soon arriving (4/27/20 – 5/11/2020); something that will help smooth some of the rough edges off these Covid-19 nerves!  It’s amazing what a kind word can do under this vibe; how verbal expressions of kindness can multiply as we reciprocate and communicate the same to others, or how such sweetness can replace anxiety and help to ease the mind. Sure there is the potential for mere flattery with this mutual reception, but as this energy approaches we should never underestimate the power of a heartfelt, loving, complimentary, or appreciative word – the world needs it now.  💚💚💚💚

04/24/2020

Meet Deana

In my March newsletter, I spoke about Saturn in Aquarius & the importance of strengthening our social networks – to that end, today I’d like to take some time to introduce you to a dear friend of mine: Deana Paqua of Embody the Sacred. Deana has long been listed among my friends & allies; both on a professional and, blessedly, a personal level as well.  As an astrologer I feel it’s important to understand where my expertise both begins and ends, which is why I believe so strongly in having a good, solid network of holistic wellness professionals around me to refer clients to if/when their chart indicates a need and they are open to it.  Astrologers are not healers; we can identify a need and make recommendation accordingly, but we are not doctors, nutritionists, herbalists, chiropractors, physical therapists, etc.

A contemporary shamanic practitioner and expert on a wide array of cross-cultural healing techniques, Deana is someone to whom I have myself turned for healing.  The insight I’ve gained from working with – and quite honestly, just by being around – her has been tremendous and I have a vast amount of respect for her point of view.  Her knowledge is authentic and has often been hard-won, and I revere the fact that she took no shortcuts on her Path. These days – especially with Chiron now in Aries – it seems like people are all too quick to wear that self-appointed badge of “Healer” without putting in the necessary time and work to earn this honor the legitimate way; which is something that can only be appointed by the community and takes many years of humble service to acquire. Deana has been doing this work for a long time; she can cite her teachers, has permission from the indigenous elders she’s studied under to share what they have taught her, and – as you will hear below – on a very human level she has direct firsthand experience gleaned from her own healing Journey.  Without further ado…. ❤

03/31/2020

Black Hole Sun

Somewhere along the course of your astrological studies, you’ve probably heard of the term “Hades Moon”; i.e. the Moon forming an astrological alignment (aspect) to Pluto.  But what about its archetypal Solar partner; the Sun in aspect to Pluto? Or – as I prefer to refer to it – the “Black Hole Sun”.  What does it fundamentally mean to have a Pluto-powered Sun?  There is no singular definitive answer; like all astrological energies it is capable of a broad spectrum of expressions (Hi-Fi, Mid-range, and Lo-Fi), though because Pluto tends to be a planet of extremes by nature we are much more likely to see Sun-Pluto alignments manifest in a Hi/Lo fashion; even if other mitigating astrological factors can somewhat temper this.  But for the sake of understanding the core of what this kind of energy signature is, here are some basics on how it functions:

The Black Hole Sun swallows up the light of the Self (Sun) so that what becomes illuminated – or perhaps the better word is “revealed” – is the Shadow (Pluto); those dark, dysfunctional bits of the psyche we would often prefer to reject or leave “safely” locked inside a closet.  The light is eclipsed by the dark, and a distinct silhouette appears in stark contrast to the dimmed corona outlining it.  In artistic terms, we might think of this as being somewhat akin to “negative space”; drawing the space around an object rather than the object itself. The emptiness is the picture; the Self becomes more clearly defined by the “holes” within (i.e. the experiences of loss, desolation, and trauma).  Solar energy is life, but when withered by Pluto’s skeletal death-touch it becomes what we’ve lived through; what we’ve survived. These things naturally leave their “marks” on the identity and we must be careful not to over-identify with the damage done/loss incurred but fix our gaze instead upon healing.  To do this however, we first need self-awareness.  We have to be able to look unflinchingly at the “ugly” parts of Self in all their horrifying glory and extend/expend deeply restorative energy in that direction.  When we have insight into the things that – through no fault of our own – were inflicted upon us, we become less resistant to letting go of our attachment to that damage as being the sum-total of our identity.  We are not our scars, though certainly we can become them if we become too invested in our trauma instead of our empowerment and recovery.

Everybody’s level of consciousness level is, of course, different and the efficacy of our self-restoration efforts will be directly proportional to how in-depth we can be with I.D.ing those levels of dysfunction within. If one’s consciousness level is stuck in the basement – that is to say, one is living a life on a very base level that is unexamined and which operates more on reflex and instinct than on the level of conscious awareness – it is going to be very difficult to devote healing energy to that which is essentially invisible to oneself; i.e. that which isn’t able to seen by the Self as non-functional.

That’s not a judgement, either – there are any number of reasons why such a thing might happen; say, by being forced by circumstance to live in “Survival Mode” for an extended period of time.  As Maslow’s Hierarchy illustrates so clearly, we have to take care of those lower-level foundational needs first before we can get to the self-actualization pinnacle up on top. If you’re just barely getting by in life, it’s awfully hard to focus on thriving when you don’t even have essentials like food, shelter, or a sense of basic security.  You gotta do what you gotta do just to function, and sometimes that is “good enough” (certainly at least for now, anyway).  Worry about working on yourself when you can breathe/have had a meal/have a place to rest your head at night – no sane person would expect more from someone under these conditions!

However when things repeatedly go bad?  Look within; ultimately we are our own Lowest Common Denominator.  Yes, some people have crap luck.  Yes, curses (generational or otherwise) do exist. But divesting ourselves of the power we have to heal by being invested in our trauma more than our recovery is, in itself, a pathology.  That’s not to say we necessarily have the power to metaphorically resurrect the dead, and some scars we unfortunately do live with. But that doesn’t mean we can’t extend light and warmth to the darkest reaches of our being so we’re not sucked into a vortex of negativity from which we cannot escape.  Seek always the light; even in gloom.  You will find that – from the supposed inevitable – an impossibility will arise: You are still alive.  You are not the shit that happened to you; you are not your circumstances.  You are who you make of the shit that happened to you; draw into that negative space with your own hand and let it reveal your true character.  Deep down there is far more to you than meets the eye – not everyone will see it, but that’s OK; their eyes simply aren’t capable of picking up on this dimension of the spectrum.  Eye see you, though. 👁

03/11/20

Astrologically Warned

I wrote the following in January 2020 in reference to the impending Mercury Retrograde in February 2020 (excerpt):

“…Boost your immune system in prep for this retrograde, though – there’s a ‘communicable illness’ side of this Rx that can have us laid up if we’re not good about washing our hands or avoiding exposure to those who fail to cover their mouths when coughing….” 

This was well before hearing of the coronavirus that has since been declared a Public Health Emergency by the WHO in recent weeks.  Astrology is not fear-mongering; the sensible precautions the Art can advise do have the ability to literally save lives in some instances.  Would you rather have the terminally positive reader who tells you what you want to hear; like to go ahead and take that trip to Wuhan, China (“Everything will be awesome, man!”), or would you prefer instead to have an astrologer who tells you to pick different timing for your journey; say maybe not during this Mercury Retrograde?

02/28/2020

The Capricorn Stellium: Root Down To Rise Up

We have a decidedly grounded vibe on our hands for the foreseeable future with Pluto, Saturn, and now Jupiter all currently traversing terrestrial Capricorn.  While this earthbound vibe may feel like bit of a slog for some, the key in utilizing this energy to its highest capacity lies anchoring ourselves in uber reality, leaning heavily upon the virtues of personal responsibility and accountability, and connecting to a hidden subterranean reserve of inner strength, constancy, and resiliency; even in crisis.  This energy symbolically represents the firm and deep establishment of roots that anchor a large and ancient tree; its sprawling branches growing ever-upward  even as it remains planted in place.  We feel connected to the Earth, to our bodies, the lowest two levels of need in Maslow’s Hierarchy are fulfilled, and we have good & healthy boundaries with others where we are firm in knowing exactly where our responsibility for things both starts and ends.

At this point the yogis among us reading this are probably envisioning Vrksasana (better known as Tree Pose) and the sacred energy center Muladhara – more colloquially known as the Root Chakra  – this asana is often prescribed for.  For me however, it calls to mind the Family Tree; our own personal Tree of Life from which we ascend.  Some might say descend, but after spending the last year of my life delving deeply into my own personal genealogical history I’ve come to prefer seeing my Ancestors as the foundational pillars and myself functioning as a sort of bridge (perhaps part of the trunk?) helping to pave the way for the successive upliftment of future generations who hopefully grow to greater heights than all previous successors. Given some of the darker matter the seed of my creation germinated in, I’m understandably partial to viewing family “line” as spreading upwards rather than the reverse.

But how can one truly accomplish this; choosing to be the upward trend in the line rather than a downward one?  In a phrase, “Root down to rise up” – digging down deep into the matter (specifically, the Shadow material) from which we come, centering the Self, and choosing to be the point of accountability where dysfunction stops. In recent months, I have been discussing the concept of using the energy of the Saturn/Pluto conjunction to straighten out gnarled roots in the family tree from an energetic point of view; even if posthumously.  Nobody likes to think of their family gene pool as being “tainted” but the fact is many of us are living with the heavy-duty residue of things like abuse, war, slavery, or even genocide lingering in the shadows of our lineage.  Doing everything we can to clean up whatever karmic “messes” our predecessors may have left behind so our line can come correct from an energetic standpoint and honor can be restored is work well worth undertaking at this time. In fact, I’d argue it’s eternally worth the effort to do our best to clear up any negative karmic debts our Ancestors may have incurred but having 3 slower-moving planets hanging out in Capricorn for a while certainly makes the sense of responsibility for doing so considerably more prevalent. When so many of our parents have not yet learned the lesson of accountability, it only makes sense that eventually someone’s gotta do it; might as well be us.  There’s no time like the present to rectify the past/our personal history and set right what we can – time’s a-wastin’…..

02/02/20

A New Take On Your Astrology

The next time you’re exploring your chart and groaning over hard the aspects, I want you to  reframe this by keeping in mind the following:

The pressure of squares creates diamonds.

The friction of conjunctions makes pearls.

The tension of oppositions yields exquisite high-tensile strength silk.

An “easy” chart is a chart in which there are more limited opportunities for massive soul growth – a nativity littered with trines and sextiles just doesn’t offer the individual the same degree of stimulus to hone & refine character.  That’s not at all to imply those with comparatively more relaxed nativities are somehow “lesser”; far from it!  It’s just that in every difficult chart, from a spiritual point of view there is some kind of latent rags-to-riches Cinderella story waiting to unfold.  Whether or not the individual will rise to this challenge is, of course, entirely up to them.

02/02/2020

The Saturn/Pluto Conjunction, Aggregated

We are now just 10 days away from one of the more heavy-duty astrological alignments we’ve seen in decades: The conjunction of Saturn with Pluto in Capricorn on January 12, 2020.  I’ve spent well over 2 years prepping clients for this event since we haven’t had one like it in almost 40 years and won’t see another for a good 30+ more, but as this energy will be peaking during the next week and a half it occurs to me that it would benefit my readers to have all the information in one place.  For your consideration then, I submit the following:

Excerpt from my November 2019 newsletter on the Saturn/Pluto Conjunction

All posts tagged Saturn conjunct Pluto in Capricorn

If you read only one thing, do make it the excerpt from my newsletter because it both dissects how this energy works and discusses how to best manage/direct it. Strength through adversity, my friends – tough times are temporary, but tough character is permanent 💪 Whatever manner of fuckery you may be dealing with at the present moment, you’ll outlive all of it.  ALL.  OF.  IT.

01/02/2020

Moonstruck

As of last night, we are officially in the midst of yet another eclipse season.  These semi-annual events can only happen at a New or Full Moon and usually occur in groups of two (or far more rarely, three) lunations six months apart – right now they are a summer/winter phenomenon but eventually they’ll shift over to a spring/fall pattern.  The current signs in which they occur are along the Cancer/Capricorn axis, but you certainly don’t have to *be* a Cancer or a Capricorn to be affected by them.  If you happen to have a key planet or point within a couple of degrees of where an eclipse falls, the wry old benediction “May you live in interesting times” would seem completely apt.  Eclipses can – and often do – upend our sense of “normal” when they touch a sensitive point or body in our personal astrological chart.  Not every eclipse will be a “hit”, but the ones that do land can have a profound “You sunk my battleship!” feel to them.

To determine a “hit”, first we need to find out what degree of the zodiac a given eclipse falls on.  Using last night’s solar eclipse for example, this one was at 04Cap07; or four degrees and seven arcminutes of Capricorn.  We would then consult our personal astrological chart to determine what planets or points of ours may be within one or two degrees of being affected.  Beyond this, we also must consider the overall weight the affected planet/point carries in our personal chart – a “hit” to one’s Sun, Moon, or Chart Ruler is far more worthy of our consideration than, say, contact made with an outer planet like Neptune that isn’t otherwise significant in our personal nativity. An eclipse falling on our Ascendant will have much more of an impact than one falling on our Venus/Mars midpoint.

The effects of an eclipse are often long-lasting and can be thought of as epochal – they tend to herald big shifts in life that may be felt for 6 months – 1 year or even beyond this as a “life-changing” event.  One may, for example, leave the parental nest and move out on their own – it’s the end of the safety of being under our parents’ wings but also our flight into true independence/adulthood.  Something or someone may pass from our lives during an eclipse – both myself and a dear friend lost our fathers 6 months apart during eclipses; hers being expected but still sad and yet serving as a relief of suffering, while mine was very abrupt.  Before you get all panicked after reading that, let me be clear that an eclipse does not = death.  Rather, what I mean to speak to in relating this story is how radically different life becomes for us when a parent passes away – in my case, it involved taking on the complicating responsibilities of managing the affairs of a deceased loved one and tying up all their worldly loose ends. The day a parent passes away is an indelible marker in life – everything is different from that point on.  And there’s a lot of processing things – both in terms of the physical (possessions, bills, house, money) and legal parts as well as the emotional end of dealing with our feelings surrounding that loss – that takes time to settle out; certainly at least months, if not an entire year or more.

So with all of this in mind, our next eclipse on January 10, 2020 happens at 20 degrees of Cancer, and it’s a big one due this eclipse being wired into the Saturn/Pluto conjunction happening just days later.  Look and see what you may have at the 18-22 degree mark of the Cardinal signs (that would be Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) to see if it’s going to be a hit and to get a feel for how you might potentially be impacted.

12/26/2019

Saturn Conjunct Pluto In Capricorn: Some Old-School Blacksmithing

If you’re reading this post then you’re probably well aware by now that we’re currently heading toward a major astrological alignment that has been almost 40 years in the making: The conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, which occurs on January 12, 2020.  If I had to describe this vibe in a nutshell with regard to how it functions, one good way to look at this energy is as if there’s some old-school blacksmithing going down in one part of our chart.  First we have the smelting of the ore where intense white-hot heat is being applied to burn off impurities – sounds super FUN, right??? That part would be Pluto, and this is something that has been a long time in the making ever since Pluto started grinding its way thru Capricorn in 2008. At least one area of our life is undergoing a prolonged purification process where the dross is being slowly and carefully burned off.  Then Saturn came on the scene at the tail-end of 2017 to hammer out this base metal.  Blow after blow lands, and as Saturn edges closer and closer to Pluto this pressure gradually gets more intense; shaping the ingot purposefully while hopefully not distorting its function.  We have to be careful that it doesn’t warp on us at this stage; ever mindful we must be of straight vs. crooked – it can be easy to get bent out of shape (resentful) over the definite impressions being planished in.  If we can withstand this process as the eye of this conjunction passes over us between now & January, we’ll be left with something strong, resilient, and useful; an empowering, vulcanized tool that has survived time, heat, and powerful forces.

10/28/2019

Mercury Retrograde Oct/Nov 2019: Reaching Out & Haunting Someone

It’s almost time for our final Mercury Retrograde of the year, and this one is set to make quite an impression because it’s kicking off in spooky Scorpio *on* Halloween!   In a nutshell, connections we once thought severed may suddenly become reanimated during the next several weeks.  So before we pick up our phone or answer that email/text message for curiosity’s sake, consider what it did to the cat. 🤔🙀  Think twice before resurrecting lines of communication that may have best been left undisturbed, because it’s quite possible to open up a can of worms during this retrograde.  Think of it as if you were contemplating excavating a gravesite – if the thought of what could be uncovered brings up a sense of horror and revulsion, better to let that conversation Rest In Peace.  Don’t let false notions about “closure” suck you in, either – closure is about the peace you make with yourself in the aftermath and nothing more.  Besides, conversations are more likely to be tinged with bitterness or resentment when Mercury is retrograde in Scorpio – old triggers can play on repeat and toxic, dagger-like words may come lashing out with lethal accuracy. One of the better uses for this particular Rx energy is to go over old traumas – preferably talking about them with a trusted, qualified therapist – to see what root operating scripts in our brain need to be overwritten.  Internal exploration of the psyche is favored over reviving long-dead connections that may haunt the mind.  While it is true that healing discussions can also be had, the likelihood of wires getting crossed is high during Mercury Retrograde so the risk makes this a dicey proposition at best; bridges can be burned as quickly as they are mended.

One thing this retrograde will definitely be good for, however, is attuning our psychic antennae to alternate sources of data; everything from picking up on the vibe conveyed in someone’s body language, to reading what’s *not* being said, to getting information from Spirit or via divination tools.  Withdrawing a bit to be alone with our thoughts is favored, and allowing ourselves to exist more in a feeling-state as opposed to a headspace can help us tap into a deep wellspring of insight & illumination.  Listen to or make music – songs may speak to us in code now.  Talk out loud to deceased loved ones and ask for signs of their presence or for their guidance. Perhaps we can petition them to communicate with us via a dream Visitation if they’re having trouble connecting to us on the earthly plane.  As far as dreams go, this is another way we might obtain symbolic information during the next several weeks – keeping a recording app or good old fashioned pen & paper by our bedside to document is a good idea.   And lastly, never underestimate the power of words to bless or to blight. You might even think of a personal Word of Power to chant like a mantra daily during this Mercury Rx – repeat it over and over again as in invocation; an empowering spell.  So mote it be! ✨

10/22/2019