Saturn In Capricorn Sextile Neptune In Pisces: Sane Spirituality

“Sane” is such a relative term; I know.  Believe me, as an astrologer I’m fully aware that some people look at what *I* believe and think it’s nutty!  🙃 Despite the mild irony inherent in addressing this topic, I feel it’s something important to talk about.  Because with sober Saturn in grounded Capricorn making contact to spiritual Neptune in mystical Pisces a total of 3 times this year, one of the key themes running throughout 2019 has been this concept of a more concrete, less airy-fairy brand of levelheaded spirituality that revolves around personal responsibility.  Oneness consciousness is not meant to be used a shield that absolves us of self-accountability; rather it is a tool to help us see how important it is that we each do The Work divinely ordained of us by cleaning up our own side of the street as best we can to the benefit of ALL. If enough people do this – personally, socially, politically – it creates a ripple that becomes a wave. Far too often have we seen people defending their mistakes or personal shortcomings in this manner – yes, it is important to have compassion and understand that to err is human.  With that said, it’s also irresponsible for one to use pseudo-spiritual “rationale” to deflect responsibility (often couched by the defended ego as “blame”) for words or deeds that have a detrimental effect upon others – what’s so hard about just saying “I made a mistake; I’m sorry”???

The backbone of healthy, sane spirituality lies in how one deals with their own faults; with humility and an honest desire to set things right again, or with denial and excuses?  Sane spirituality accepts that living this earthly existence means we’re all going to screw up somewhere along the way, but we hope at least to learn from it, to contain the damage we stand to do to others in our ignorance/obliviousness, and to work to prevent such things from happening again whenever possible.  Where spirituality goes off the deep end is when functions as an insular yet fragile little cocoon that shields us from self-accountability; when we wrap ourselves up in feel-good platitudes or just plain navel-gaze at how “we’re choosing to let things affect our individual reality” while totally ignoring the realities of others.  Sane spirituality entails having a social conscience and realizing it’s not just about *us* while working to do what we can to alleviate the suffering of others. Yes, by all means put your own oxygen mask on first and don’t become a martyr by trying to save the world on your own.  But also be aware of bigger picture issues rather than tune out others’ problems.  Spirituality is nothing without practical application, and if we’re not using it to make the world (not *our* world!) a better place then what good is it really? Bring it down to earth via humble service to humanity in whatever limited capacity is possible – our sphere of influence may only extend so far, but we really can’t go wrong if we pause to take our own inventory, fix what we can when we err,  and also take the time to help others with their own very real struggles.  Angels on Earth do exist –  let’s resolve to get down to business and earn our wings before this sextile comes to an end in November.


The 13th Sign 🙄

“Aren’t there really 13 zodiac signs? I just read an article online and some guy at NASA said….”

This is a topic that seems to keep intermittently popping up every now & again – every so many years, some scientist or maybe team of scientists decides it’s that time again; time to put out a press release attempting to refute the basis of astrology cuz SCIENCE! While I understand these individuals probably feel as if they’re somehow doing their civic duty in pointing out the number of constellations along the ecliptic,  there’s an erroneous assumption on their part that it’s the basis of how astrologers make their calculations.  Um… I hate to break it to ya, but that’s not how it works, guys. 🙄😒

No, astrologers do not have it all wrong.  No, nobody’s astrological sign has suddenly changed because (take your pick) either a new constellation has suddenly been discovered or astrologers have ignored a constellation that has been right in front of their noses for thousands of years. Before throwing stones or veering out of their lane, it would be nice if astronomers bothered to research (Hey, I heard you scientists are supposed to be pretty good at that) or even ask an actual astrologer about this *perceived* (keyword) discrepancy.  Because as an astrologer for over 20 years, I can assure you that either premise is quite laughable.

Truly, it is not my intention to bash astronomy or the scientific community – I appreciate the process of scientific inquiry and encourage people to exercise their own critical thinking faculties. However I do get tired of having sand kicked in my face for no good reason at all; as well as in the faces of my colleagues, clients, and the legions of people the world over who are “into” astrology.  So in order to keep the perspective balanced, I think it’s important for people to pause and consider what an actual astrologer might have to say about the matter. I’ve noted that commentary from such professionals always seems conspicuously absent from any of the pieces I read pertaining to this topic – if the goal is to educate & inform the public, then why not point out these supposed “discrepancies” to a real, live astrologer and ask them to explain? To do otherwise just seems rather one-sided.

It’s unfortunate that astronomers and astrologers have very little in common nowadays; unlike in ancient times when both roles were one and the same. Astronomers typically know very little about the fundamental mechanisms behind astrology these days, which causes problems when one of them decides to talk out of turn & make commentary about subject they typically have very little (if any) knowledge of. Let’s explore this topic a bit and you’ll see what I mean….

You know all those horoscopes you’ve read your whole life that tell you you’re a/an:

Aries if born approximately March 20-April 20, Taurus if born April 20-May 20, Gemini if born May 20-June 20, etc?

This are based on your Sun sign, and it’s important the reader understand these dates are all based on Tropical astrology. Tropical astrology uses time and the seasons (or, more precisely, the Equinoxes and Solstices) to determine the position of the Sun in the “signs” at given parts of the year. The fact the “signs” astrologers use seem to draw their names from physical constellations is what often leads some to jump to erroneous conclusions about how astrologers calculate and track the movement of celestial bodies. In fact, if you were to pick up any beginner’s book on astrology, most authors are quick to make the distinction between the “signs” that astrologers use (which are simple 30 degree divisions of a 360 degree circle) and the physical constellations we see in the night sky in order to avoid confusion. In short, the “signs” we speak of when we look at an astrological chart are not the same as the constellations.

Now, when Tropical astrologers say, “You have the Sun in the sign of Aries.” what we are really saying is that on the day of your birth the Sun occupied a segment of time that we call “Aries” – this period begins at the March Equinox and lasts for 30 days, at which point the Sun leaves Aries for Taurus. We are not saying “You have the Sun in the constellation of Aries” – BIG difference! But to the layperson who does not understand the differences between the “signs” and the constellations it’s easy for them to assume the two terms are interchangeable, which they are not.

Why am I talking about this system? Well, because once you understand that the horoscopes you have been reading your entire life for your “sign” in books, newspapers, magazines, and on the internet are almost always based on the Tropical system – and know that this method of calculation is based on time and the seasons – arguments that detractors of astrology try to throw out about the quantity or positions of constellations in the sky become pretty much irrelevant. It’s a non-issue as we’re not measuring by that yardstick, so to speak.

Now, I used the words “almost always” in the paragraph above quite deliberately. There is another system of astrological calculation (used more in Asia) that is called Sidereal astrology. Sidereal astrology didn’t really grab a firm hold in Europe, America, and the majority of the Western world the way that Tropical did, so you can rest assured the horoscopes you’ve read during the course of your lifetime are most likely not based on this this system. But for further elucidation:

What is Sidereal astrology? Sidereal astrology uses space/location to ascertain the position of the Sun in the “signs”. The sky is divided into twelve even “slices” – each of which is 30 degrees in size and is called a “sign”. Like Tropical astrology, the “signs” each have names that correspond to a series of constellations roughly situated along the ecliptic; however, once again this is a case where the “signs” and the constellations are not the same thing. As anyone who has ever looked up at the night sky can tell you, the actual constellations themselves vary considerably in size! Some are diminutive while others are quite huge, so assigning them each a 30 degree “chunk” of real estate in the sky was essentially just a way of creating a standard and uniform system of measurement and nothing more. This branch of astrology uses the positions of certain fixed stars (not whole constellations!) to determine the Sun’s passage from one “sign” (as in 30 degree segment of a 360 degree circle) to the next. These stars are simple reference points that remain relatively constant, and as such it causes the Sidereal “signs” to match up much more closely with the location of their real, live constellational counterparts. Mind you, it’s closer, but still not exact and never has been – remember we’re still treating each segment of the sky as an equal 30 degree division of space when the actual constellations aren’t even remotely uniform in size. Contrast: The constellation of Virgo w/ the constellation of Pisces, for example.

But what of this “13th constellation”?  Usually the one being referenced in these scientific articles is Ophiuchus. And again, this is an important distinction; Ophiuchus is another constellation (astronomy), not another sign (astrology). And if you’ve been paying attention to our lesson so far, it should be clear to you now how the signs are merely a unit of measurement that the ancients used for reference and they did not (and do not) correlate directly to the constellations in the sky. Posing this question is a lot like asking “Why aren’t there 13 inches in a foot?” – simply put, it wasn’t the standard of measurement set forth at the time.

But what is a constellation, really? Plainly stated, it’s an arbitrary grouping of stars that is assigned a territory in the sky. There are no real, tangible lines connecting the stars together and forming them into various shapes. The ancients used their imaginations and folklore to group and name them, but what our ancestors recognized as constellations vs. the 88 we know today are likely very different. Why is this so? Because it wasn’t until the early 1900’s that the IAU (International Astronomical Union) formed and attempted to uniformly demarcate them. Even now, when new stars are discovered they are simply incorporated into the constellation they are located nearest to. Astrology has been around for much longer than the IAU.

Ptolemy – one of astronomy’s own forefathers – only recorded about 48 constellations in his work circa 140 AD. Astrology first originated in ancient Babylon thousands of years prior to his documentation, and it is difficult to say for sure just how many constellations the ancient Babylonians actually observed in the sky and what it was they looked like. Documentation to this effect is obviously somewhat lacking as this was a time period that relied heavily on oral history and tradition rather than on the written word. Even looking back to Ptolemy’s time, some of the constellations he recorded (for example, Argo the Boat) are no longer recognized by astronomers today and are not counted among the 88 listed by the IAU.

Does this mean that the ancients were wrong? Hardly. It just means that defining a constellation – up until very recent times – was a highly subjective thing; much like you and I looking up at the clouds and one of us sees a bunny while the other sees the face of a woman. It is doubtful the ancient Babylonians looked up into the sky, saw the constellation Ophiuchus, and then arbitrarily decided to “ignore” it as it has been suggested by some. One must then pose the question, “When did this constellation first become recognized by mainstream society?”

Though Ptolemy did document this constellation’s existence in his work around 140 AD, it is unclear exactly when it became such a part of popular culture and folklore as to be included among the stars as a constellation. Some earlier records from Eudoxes and Aratus mention its existence a few hundred years prior, but this information postdates the origin of the 12 zodiacal constellations by a few thousand years. It is likely that this constellation was adopted into existence after the advent of 12 original zodiacal constellations.

Further muddling the picture is the fact that Ophiuchus’ southern territory (i.e. the parts of the constellation that actually cross the ecliptic) was originally assigned to Scorpius. In fact, if you look up at this constellation it is only the feet which cross the ecliptic; one of which is actually located ON Scorpius. So where did one constellation’s territory start and the other’s begin? Essentially, this becomes an issue of how and when the dots were connected so to speak; when the Ophiuchus we know today came into being and what his original territory was vs. the territory we have assigned him today.  We must remember the boundaries of constellations are artificial, and as such are prone to periodic interference from mankind.

So in closing, please do not buy into any hype/hysteria along the lines of “Your zodiac sign has changed!” – I can assure you that according to the standards astrologers have measured by for millennia, it has not.  Thank you for coming to my TED talk. ✌


When Mercury Retrograde Starts EARLY!

🙃 It’s that time of year again; we’re gearing up for our quarterly Mercury Retrograde and this one looks like it’s going to be a doozy!  On a personal level the last week or two seemed populated with minor annoyances like random phone glitchiness, TV quirks, and – more recently – email login wonkiness, but yesterday’s large-scale half day mini-meltdown of multiple social media platforms (FB, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)  had me fully convinced “The Trickster” (that would be Mercury, FYI) was indeed in full effect if there was even a shred of doubt left in my mind.

Many folks are inclined to focus solely on the period that Mercury is actually retrograde (in this particular case, from July 7 – 31, 2019) as the segment of time when wacky things tend to happen with our technology (and oh so much more!), but the weeks before and after the retrograde can be just as funky; usually moreso before as Mercury’s kinks have been mostly  worked out by the time it turns Direct.  This time frame is often referred to as the “shadow”, and it’s a madcap stretch because Mercury is already traversing a patch of the zodiac it will have to cover again in a few weeks or it will have already covered that same spot twice in the last month in a half.  Mercury doesn’t seem too keen on this review/redo, so to keep things interesting it releases a few krakens gremlins because if it has to suffer, we might as well suffer too, LOL – that’s *my* theory, anyway!  😂 Mercury has always been a rather impish figure with a notoriously low threshold for boredom so perhaps it’s just how this planet gets its jollies; by screwing with our phones, gadgets, communications, cars, and whatever else it can get its hot little hands on for ha-has. 

I’m not an astrologer who advocates canceling everything during Mercury Retrograde, but we do need to bear some extra things in mind.  Back up your data prior to the Rx.  Don’t even think about applying non-mandatory software updates or doing something wack like picking now to switch to a different OS.  No, don’t buy a new phone or car and do take extra care with the ones you currently have.  Pick your words more thoughtfully; think twice about what you write or say. Don’t put yourself in the position to have to “sign on the dotted line” if you don’t absolutely have to.  Try to avoid travel if possible, or if not be patient and account for the possibilities of SNAFUs or delays.  And last but not least – and this is coming directly from personal experience – don’t accept or start a job when Mercury is retrograde.

Instead, try and use this period to get caught up on some (re-?)reading. Tweak your nutrition or daily routine.  Have a conversation you need to have again.  Write yourself good old-fashioned memos; preferably on paper (careful with putting them on your phone/computer in case of technology hiccups). Review and revise things.  Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while to reconnect (be cautious if this is with an ex or anyone you suspect you might later change your mind about ).  Redo your resume.  Unplug more & make it a point to be more alone with your thoughts so you can hear your inner voice more clearly.  Simplify your schedule and minimize distractions.  Diversions are allowed, but be conscious instead of mindless about them.  De-stress.  Take a trip down Memory Lane and uncover a blast from the past while also appreciating where/who you are now – sometimes it’s nice to dust things off and sit with them for a spell, but not everything/one from the past necessarily has ongoing relevance in *this* era.  Clean and reorganize.  Tend to your mental health.


Under The Jupiter/Neptune Square

A theme song of the current square between Jupiter in Sagittarius & Neptune in Pisces:

“God sometimes you just don’t come through….”

You ever sit there paradoxically full of faith on one hand and yet wondering where TF your miracle is on the other?  If this is you right now, know there is nothing wrong with you – I mentioned this in my June newsletter, but one of the (many) effects of the Jupiter/Neptune Square is how we can tend to feel confused, disillusioned, or just plain disappointed regarding our relationship with Divinity.  We may have some kind of philosophical misunderstanding with God/Goddess/The Universe, or feel like Divinity has somehow “ghosted” us.  Don’t automatically believe your perception, though, even as you rightfully question what you’ve thought to be true.  Do, however, be willing to reinterpret that which you’re not presently understanding.  The context is muddled.  Clear perspective is needed; one that isn’t colored by dogma or bias.  Talk about it.  Use logic & critical thinking.  And if your way of seeing something isn’t working for you, be willing to examine whether that belief is truly serving you or if instead it might be the result of indoctrination.


Saturn Conjunct Pluto In Capricorn: Peak Dysfunctional Patriarchy

You! Yes, you! Stand still, laddie!”

When we grew up and went to school
There were certain teachers
Who would hurt the children any way they could
By pouring their derision
Upon anything we did
Exposing every weakness
However carefully hidden by the kids
But in the town it was well known
When they got home at night
Their fat & psychopathic wives would thrash them
Within inches of their lives

~Pink Floyd, The Happiest Days Of Our Lives

The above soundbite is crucial to listen to if you want to understand a particularly dominant note of the upcoming Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn. From this clip we get a dark & sadistic feeling; one of oppression and subjugation by so-called “authority figures”.  It’s no coincidence at all that Saturn in Capricorn is an energy very much associated with teachers – put dysfunctional Pluto nearby and we can see these figures taking on a twisted countenance; one that firmly adheres to the old axiom “Spare the rod, spoil the child”.

Though I cringe in contemplation of the above, it is absolutely critical we have awareness of how this astrological alignment reflects a deep-seated underlying social sickness – that sickness, my friends, is Patriarchy. Saturn in Capricorn represents The System; it’s the quintessential Daddy State, and with Pluto nearby this takes on a decidedly screwed-up tone. Saturn conjunct Pluto in Capricorn = tyrannical legislature designed *by* men *for* men in order to quash resistance from all deemed “lower”. Under the guise of imposing providing “order”, “protection”, and/or “setting the bar”, of course.  No matter how restrictive, impositional, or just plain fucked up these standards are, unless you are one of this privileged class the chances are high you’re probably going to experience this conjunction much like the schoolchildren in the above song.  Authority is particularly dangerous these days – we have low people in high places and these men in power have absolutely no qualms about kneecapping others by whatever means necessary to maintain control.  When Saturn joins Pluto in Capricorn, it is wise to distrust male “authority”.

Though this astrological influence isn’t  exact until January 2020, Saturn has been “in the neighborhood” of Pluto since about the beginning of April and this has given us a little preview of some of the the things we might expect to see out of this conjunction.  Here in the USA, it’s manifested as sweeping legislation banning abortion – even in cases of incest or rape – in several states.  There’s no better marker that we’ve hit Peak Dysfunctional Patriarchy than when a woman – whose bodily autonomy has already been violated by a man via incest or rape – is then forced by law to carry a resultant pregnancy to term. In the era of #TimesUp & #MeToo – when women are already publicly crying out about the abuse they’ve suffered at the hands of men – women are now taking to social media to share their experiences with abortion while the men who impregnated them are allowed to sit privately and peacefully in shadow because it’s not their bodily autonomy being legislated.  Somethin’ ain’t right here, ya think? 😒


Squaretile ™

Squaretile: An astrological alignment in which a planet or point makes both a 90ﹾ (square) & 60ﹾ (sextile) aspect. See also: Neptune in Pisces, currently.

**NB: Not intended to be educational  🙃


Mercury In Taurus In The News

Touted as the latest in tactile (Taurus) communication (Mercury), this braille-based smartwatch for the visually impaired connects to a smartphone via bluetooth technology and allows users to not only read time, but texts, & notifications via their fingertips as well – how cool is that?!   Taurus is a sign we associate with the sensory and specifically the tangible, and with communication & gadget-loving Mercury currently traversing this sign I was quite tickled to see this news today.

In other Mercury in Taurus-related news, this past week there was a strike by Uber & Lyft drivers who were protesting – among many other things – their lack of being paid a living wage. Mercury also rules cars & drivers while cash cow Taurus is all about the moo-lah. Not coincidentally, this protest was going on just as Mercury in Taurus joined up with rebellious Uranus.  🙃


Mercury/Mars Mutual Reception

A live look at the current Mercury/Mars mutual reception; Mercury is in Aries, Mars is in Gemini. Note that Mars is also out-of-bounds right now:


Things remain hot, hot, hot – especially in a verbal sense – thru May 6th. Before road raging-out or giving someone a piece of your mind, please bear this in mind. And do watch your fingers and arms around hot or sharp objects.


Saturn Conjunct Pluto In Capricorn: The “Crash Course”

With Saturn and Pluto both currently sitting in a near-standstill just a few degrees away from each other, the astro-vibe du jour serves us a little taste of the upcoming Saturn/Pluto conjunction; a major astrological alignment culminating in January 2020.  Metaphorically, if you have a rather sour taste in your mouth at the moment, you’re certainly not alone – this is some dense, dark, & heavy energy we’re dealing with, so the effects upon our lives tends to be anything but light-n-sweet.  The conjunction of Saturn with Pluto in Capricorn is like a stale cup of extra strong dark roast served straight-up and cold – there’s nothing to mask the bitterness, but from a utilitarian standpoint it gets the job done if you can stomach such a no-frills brew.

In a somewhat similar sense, Saturn in Capricorn as the archetypal Great Cosmic Taskmaster reminds us that we’ve all got something to learn while crisis-oriented Pluto tends to bring things to a head – at present, we all seem to be getting a crash-course educational intensive in some area(s) of our life as these two planetary titans merge their energies.  There’s a definite impression that we have a very limited amount of time with which we must attain an intense level of proficiency at something.  To get an idea of what this might be, look at the House this duo is occupying in your own personal astrological chart or examine any aspects they may be making to any of your natal planets.   This combo is dead-serious; there’s a real sense there is no time left for fucking around and the stakes are high, so this can constitute some pretty intense pressure.  But if instead of being scared we can see this as a challenge to attain a deep level of mastery in an area where we were previously deficient, we’ll see how we can in fact use this energy to fortify ourselves from the inside out. Look at where the cracks are now; where the crises arise or where weakness is exposed.  The challenge is to be dipped into the river Styx entirely so that we no longer have an Achilles’ heel in that particular regard. Baptism by hardship; a trial-by-fail.  A difficult Initiation. You’re going to grab the controls and figure out how to land that plane safely, though, come hell or high water – step up and dig deep.


Saturn In Capricorn: Mastering The Art Of Time Management

With the impending Saturn Retrograde about to arrive in just days (April 29, 2019) and this planet currently sitting stationary, right now is an ideal time to feature a post on this planet and also review what we’ve been learning from Saturn in Capricorn thus far.  To recap, Saturn has been in Capricorn since December 2017 and it remains in this sign – excluding a brief 3 month stint next year when it will pop its head into Aquarius – until December 2020.  We’ve talked about Saturn in Capricorn and how it helps us master the art of delegation, how it teaches us to say “no” & set boundaries, and also how it definitely gives us the collective sense that our biological clocks are ticking. It’s this last concept I want to expand upon now.

I’ve mentioned before how Saturn in Capricorn is *the* most time-conscious energy there is.  We become more aware than ever that time is indeed a finite resource, so a large part of the lesson we’re all collectively learning now is how to master the management of it.  Budgeting the time we have so that we can use it effectively is absolutely crucial; we’re only allotted so many hours in a day and we do need time to sleep, too.  But realistically, many of us aren’t being economical with the overall usage of our time and we’re simply not allotting enough of it to the higher-priority items.  This isn’t about rigidly structuring every minute – especially with Saturn in Capricorn’s series of repeated sextiles to Neptune in Pisces also in the mix this year – but it *is* a call to identify and limit (within reason) the amount of non-productive leaks that generally suck away our productivity.  Lest you think this is an entirely slave-driver of an energetic influence, this includes building in time for relaxation, too.  What we’re looking to put a stop to are the ways in which we’re unconscious about out time usage.  Mindlessly zoning out on television.  Going down an internet rabbit hole for hours on end. Idle Facebooking.  Endlessly scrolling through Twitter. You get the idea; it’s not that we need to stop doing these things entirely but if we should find there’s a lot of time-suckage going on somewhere, then we *may* want to tighten up the slack.

The next few days are ideal for calling a “time-out” and re-evaluating how we’re spending our days.  Are we dedicating enough time to the things that matter most?  Are we allocating enough of it to the necessities and are we taking care of business?  Conversely, maybe we’re overworked and need to schedule some regular chill time for ourselves.  The idea, though, – rather than to be careless about it – is to become more intentional and actually pencil things in.  Whether we choose to look at our free time in terms of daily or weekly blocks is irrelevant; the point is to make more of an effort to wrangle the various time-sucks of which we may be unconscious and instead set aside dedicated hours to the pursuit of relaxation.  This will allow us to have better control over our schedule rather than getting sucked into vortex and then wondering where the day went.  Try spending the next week troubleshooting in this regard.  Invest in a day planner or download a time-tracker app. Then consider how you might want to tweak your time management & implement a plan – make this revision now and it will pay off later.  It may take some time, but if you make and effort and stick with it you should definitely be reaping rad results over the next several months and beyond!