The Jupiter/Neptune Square: “Religion Is The Opiate Of The Masses”

Opium poppies.

As the incoming square between Jupiter in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces continues to tighten up (perfecting for the first of three rounds on January 13, 2019), there certainly is merit in discussing the above quotation because this alignment very much affects spiritual matters…among other things. The sign of Sagittarius and the planet Jupiter are associated with organized religion; Pisces and Neptune spirituality as well as “substances” – you can see, then, how the above quote resonates with the energy of this astrological alignment.

In dissecting the above statement it’s important to state right out of the gate that it’s actually paraphrase of a longer quotation by philosopher Carl Marx; one that has been oversimplified and lacks context.   On its face, this would seem a rather critical statement about religion as a whole in comparing its effect to that of a drug.  Now this perspective can be true from the POV that belief – and specifically when we start getting into the territory of delusional belief – can cause us to suspend judgment and impair our critical thinking.  This may be true of religion, but it may also be true in the political arena as well (which is also and not coincidentally associated with Jupiter and Sagittarius); just look as the vast and apparently endless pitchers of toxic Kool-Aid being swilled in mainstream politics today.  *glares directly at Climate Change Deniers et al*  

In such cases we often surrender our (good) judgement and substitute it for someone else’s (a religious leader, a political pundit, etc.) because hey; that’s what true faith’s all about, right???  But what happens when the person to whom we’ve entrusted our faith has a cockeyed moral compass; isn’t that how cults become *a thing*???  When religion (or for that matter, politics) would dull our senses and have us have us turn a blind eye to things like moral incongruity, it is indeed A Problem; a huge one, much like an opiate addiction.  And this is most definitely something I expect to see a lot of in 2019 while Jupiter in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces dominates the astrological scene.

That said, the full statement by Marx via his “A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right” is as follows and it’s much richer than the oft-quoted soundbite:

“Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness”.

In reading the full context, one gains the impression that Marx is at least somewhat sympathetic to people’s attachment to religion.  He appears to look at it as a symptom; much in the same way an opiate temporarily relieves suffering but doesn’t make the underlying root cause of the pain suddenly vanish. He appears to view it as medication, but also emphasizes that in his view for people to be truly happy it’s important to ditch the crutch of religion.  Additionally is important to note that religion can also have the capacity become an instrument of oppression when it’s used to induce submission to an external authority; being comatose with dogma certainly makes people much easier to control when one’s intentions aren’t honorable.

Setting Marx aside for a moment, I do believe anything we use as a crutch only hobbles us from achieving our true authentic potential as human beings and there is merit to learning to stand on our feet without the aid of whatever that happens to be. That said, I’m not necessarily comfortable classifying religion as a crutch – this in my view amounts to painting with too broad a brush.  I feel that – with the context of a proper anchor/safe container – faith can play a major role in our soul’s development and do not wish to bash organized religion because there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to spirituality – Different Strokes for Different Folks; Live and Let Live & all of that jazz.   But as this square hits, there is most definitely is merit in looking critically at how our beliefs are or aren’t supporting us and certainly questioning them for the sake of ensuring they’re not doing us more harm than good.  The Neptune/Pisces influence distorts things, and when we apply this to Conservative, religious Jupiter/Sagittarius we have to be particularly careful regarding anything around which we might tend to be evangelical. While this is true more broadly as well, do understand as these two planets square off that religion and politics in particular can indeed be super potent drugs when we go overboard.

01/02/2019

Saturn Conjunct Pluto In Capricorn: Nihilistic

“On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero” Unnamed narrator, “Fight Club

It’s been a while since our last discussion of the Saturn/Pluto Conjunction; a major incoming astrological alignment coming to a theater near you in January 2020.  But I think it’s about time we resumed coverage seeing as it’s only about a year away now.  In understanding the essence of this energy and its many manifestations, the above soundbite seems to so perfectly set the tone for this vibe. And make no mistake; this *is* – by definition – some dark and heavy energy we’re dealing with here, so this post will not be a light read.

Before I proceed, let me clearly state the above quote most certainly isn’t in any way alluding to the Saturn/Pluto conjunction signifying some kind of mass extinction event; rather, it’s a statement meant merely to be illustrative of this conjunction’s ability to 1) acknowledge ugly – or perhaps even grim – realities and 2) crunch the numbers in these sorts of scenarios. Ideally, the latter leads to the formulation of some kind of “plan”.  Prevention, of course, is the best plan; focusing time & energy how to stop things from ever getting to that “worst-case” scenario.  But sometimes we don’t always have control over the outcome – such as the inevitability of time marching on regardless of our finite lifespans – which can lend itself to the adoption of a nihilistic slant.

Setting that angle aside for just a moment,  speaking of what we *do* have control over, an important keynote of upcoming Saturn/Pluto conjunction regards how this energy is a qualified expert at crisis management – Saturn in Capricorn is the quintessential “Executive” archetype for a reason (able to respond well under pressure, architects plans, pragmatically lines things up & puts them in order, and is superb at controlling/managing/delegating). Pluto energy, however, catastrophizes.  Pluto is where the proverbial crap hits the fan – it represents powerful and often destructive forces over which we have no control; save our response to those circumstances.  Merge those two energies and you have someone who reliably and consistently keeps it together when things are going to pot; just ask the kids born circa 1982/83 (preferably the Scorpio or Capricorn Suns/Risings) how they do “crisis management” – they were born with a Saturn/Pluto conjunction in their natal chart.

Now regarding the Saturn/Pluto Conjunction’s potential nihilistic slant, this combo is very Nietzsche-esque in a sense for a number of reasons.  For one, the “will to power” that so much of his philosophy was founded upon – the psychological drive for ambition, achievement, and reaching the highest possible position in life – is so very Saturn/Pluto mashup. Saturn in Capricorn is ambition & achievement in spades while Pluto symbolizes power & the compulsion of unconscious drives. For two, Nietzche’s own thoughts on nihilism (coming to us from “Will to Power”) were as follows:

“Nihilism is…not only the belief that everything deserves to perish; but one actually puts one’s shoulder to the plough; one destroys”

Putting the shoulder to the plow and doing the work is very Saturn in Capricorn, while the destructive principle is once again symbolized by Pluto. When we think of true nihilism, we commonly think of it within the context of a destroyed sense of purposefulness; unless that sense of purpose is to destroy. (Are we seeing shades of Tyler Durden here yet?)  Nietzsche’s views on the subject of nihilism were intriguing – he saw it as both inevitable and as a means to and end: The “Ubermensch”.

“I praise, I do not reproach, [nihilism’s] arrival. I believe it is one of the greatest crises, a moment of the deepest self-reflection of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master of this crisis, is a question of his strength. It is possible….”

This statement is incredibly resonant when contemplating the Saturn/Pluto Conjunction; a “great crisis” (Pluto), deep self-reflection (Pluto again; it loves to make us look at our own Shadow), the mastery (Saturn) of crisis (Pluto) being a question of his strength (Saturn). What I find hopeful about this, though, is Nietzsche does seem to think it possible.  It is my astrological opinion – at least as we simultaneously face down the barrel our Pluto Return in government-oriented Capricorn here in the USA – that as this conjunction perfects there might just be a place for some degree of political nihilism; the notion that we have to scrap and rebuild the very framework of a broken, compromised democracy and construct an “Ubergovernment” upon superior, more functional foundations. Along a similar vein, collectively we’ve seemed to hit peak Dysfunctional Patriarchy; patriarchy of course being closely tied to paternal Saturn and Pluto symbolizing the corrupting principle.  I truly hope the current socio-political nightmare is enough to provoke deep and lasting collective self-reflection upon what got us to this point and that it is – as Nietzsche postulated – a catalyst for serious and lasting transformation for the better.  One can certainly hope, anyway.

12/28/2018

When Saturn Met Neptune

Or rather; when Saturn meets Neptune, I should say – yes, this post is a reference to the upcoming sextile between Saturn in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces that is in the process of activating for the first time as we speak!  Though Round 1 of this cosmic alignment doesn’t perfect until the end of January 2019, it will be felt weeks before and after it peaks and it’s beginning to kick into gear now.  You may recall from our previous discussions on this topic there are two more hits of this vibe that will occur in June and November of 2019, but setting these particulars aside for moment let’s talk about what else we can anticipate with this vibe on-scene.

Since Saturn arrived in Capricorn about this time last year, it may have felt like a grind for many of us under this super hardworking vibe.  Yes, we’re productive.  Yes, we’re getting our shit together.  But the hours may have been long, we might have significantly more responsibilities than we’ve previously had in our lives, and we’re generally inclined to get stuck on one setting under this vibe: TCOB Mode.  Needless to say while this energy *is* useful, it’s not exactly what you’d call “fun”; Saturn in Capricorn = hardcore “adulting”.

But something awesome happens when this planet slips into supportive alignment with relaxing, restorative Neptune in Pisces: We ease up.  Neptune in Pisces affords Saturn release and escape; as they always say there’s not enough hours in the day, so why waste them all on workaholism when it doesn’t matter anyway?  For goodness sake, even God rested on the 7th day; why can’t we??  When Saturn in Capricorn synergizes with Neptune in Pisces, the rigid structure of our timelines, plans, and life goals start to soften a little bit so the hard edge comes off and we’re not so freaking uptight and on-deadline all the time.  Yes it’s OK to slack a little bit, because busting your hump 24/7/365 simply isn’t sustainable.  Loosen your necktie; maybe live a little and go business casual for a change.  If you can’t remember the last time you had a day off, call in sick.   Neptune in Pisces gives us permission to take the time off we’ve earned and just sleep in or have a day where we don’t get out of our PJs because we’re binge-watching movies or our favorite TV series on Netflix.

If Saturn in Capricorn is all about control and having things in order, Neptune in Pisces is all about surrender and letting go of the need to have everything all lined up and squared away.  When these two celestial bodies link up as they are about to next month, it’s OK to tap out if/when we’re tired and take 5.  It’s fine not to bust our butts at work for a boss who – when (s)he sees how hard we’re working – just “rewards” us with more work; sometimes there’s merit to pretending a task is more challenging/taking us longer than it is so our competency and efficiency isn’t treated like slave labor.   What’s the sense in burning ourselves out for an imaginary carrot (a raise, promotion, etc.) that we have no tangible proof even exists? It’s OK to throttle back and coast a bit where we can under this energy – we’ll have plenty of time to resume O.D.-ing on Saturn in Capricorn’s ambition when it‘s *not* in helpful alignment with Neptune in Pisces; particularly once it joins up with the South Node (Sept 2019) & then Pluto (Jan 2020).  But for now, maybe figure out when you wanna pencil in time to take that breather.

12/17/2018

Saturn In Capricorn Sextile Neptune In Pisces: Divine Timing

As 2018 comes to a close, we’re inching ever closer to the first of three alignments between Saturn in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces; a helpful astrological influence that plays out in tandem with the more problematic effects of the Jupiter/Neptune Square.  While I’ve written about both these cosmic configurations in the aforementioned linked posts, there’s another timely angle I want to discuss about the Saturn/Neptune sextile in particular because I think it will help alleviate challenges for so many of us.

Ever since Saturn entered Capricorn at the end of 2017, many of us have the acute awareness that time is ticking away in some sense. Perhaps we feel the pressure that we don’t have enough time to do x, y, or z in or *with* our lives.  Or maybe we feel it might be “too late” to pursue a given avenue; like a ship has sailed or it’s possible we’re “too old” to do whatever it is.  But with Time God Saturn being augmented by spiritual Neptune throughout most of 2019 (Jan, June, & Nov), the edges soften and the pressure relaxes a bit; all is manifesting in Divine Time if we will only allow it.  It behooves us to challenge what we thought possible to do with our allotted time here on this earth because as this aspect kicks into gear, time starts to flow in a gentler way that’s not as solid and hard as it has been over the past year.  It becomes less linear during these periods and we can start to experience a certain degree of slippage that acts like a grease upon Saturn in Capricorn’s hard cogs.  What if the dial were slowed or even turned back just a bit to allow the possibility of something that you thought was passing/had already passed you by?  What if – going forward into this series of astrological alignments – we anchored ourselves in trust that The Universe has a perfect order in which it orchestrates all things; regardless of whether or not we can understand the rhyme or reason to it?

As this sextile continues to play out on and off through 2019, there really is something to the concept of “What’s meant for you will not pass you” – if there’s something about which we had previously adopted a wistful sense of resignation in sad acceptance of this limitation we know as time, perhaps this energetic influence may be akin to the possibility of having some kind of  “Get out of jail free” card slipped to us where we no longer need to be a prisoner of that particular self-defeating, self-limiting premise.  Now I don’t mean that everything will magically come to us; as I said in the other post, elbow grease will be required.  We can’t just coast on autopilot; we have to recognize the moment(s) when this celestial easement is being granted to us and then get to work making the most of this wrinkle in time!

11/30/2018

Mars/Uranus Redux

The vibe, as of 2:00pm ET today:

With Uranus retrograding back into Aries, we now have a 9-day long mutual reception in effect between this planet and Mars in Aquarius – the image of a warrior illuminated by an electric-blue bolt of lightning seems about right.  But there’s more; this vibe instantaneously teleports us back to November 8, 2016  (AKA Election Day), when the very same mutual reception was about to take effect and the USA experienced an astounding collective sucker punch in the wee hours of the following morning right as this energy kicked in. Mars/Uranus represents the hit you don’t see coming; the anomaly coming from out of left field that suddenly and unexpectedly winds up right in your face, front-and-center. Like getting randomly clocked in the head by a foul ball at a baseball game.

With a repeat performance of this energy in effect on Election Day two years later, perhaps the warrior that spontaneously teleports onto the battlefield today will once again go rogue.  Though it’s hard to say exactly what he’ll do because this energy is so unpredictable by nature, upsets are way more common under this energy so let’s hope he mobilizes in a different & more socially progressive way as a direct counterpunch to all the Toxic Masculine Alt-Right insanity of the last two years.  Regardless of outcome, though, we must understand that Uranus is an Agent of Change – in this case due the involvement of Mars, rapid and perhaps even violent shifts; it’s the kind of sudden jerk in direction that can result in whip(back?)lash.  If it’s a change that doesn’t agree with us, we must allow any resultant anger to cool just enough for us to channel into pro-active action.

11/06/2018

Saturn Conjunct Pluto In Capricorn: Fear & Loathing

Only this isn’t confined to Las Vegas!  No, no, no; it’s infected our educational systems, our institutions, our governments, our leadership, our corporations.  There’s a gradual systemic rot that has taken a firm hold and degraded the (structural?) integrity of all the above and more.  I’ve been writing about the effects of the upcoming conjunction between Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn – which perfects in January 2020 – for about a good year and a half now, and there’s a reason.  This astrological event evinces grim and ugly realities that tend to inspire a certain degree of fear and loathing; hence the title of this post.

Now perhaps you are reading this and thinking those are pretty strong words for me to use as descriptors, but this cosmic combination is at bare minimum primarily an energy of discomfort and aversion; both collectively and in our individual lives.  How each of us are impacted by this event varies based upon where this combination perfects/what celestial bodies this duo might be touching in our own personal astrological charts, but the bottom line is we’ll need insightful management of this energy and likely to execute some kind of renewal plan as well.  Addressing structural rot – where we’ve built something up upon shoddy framing or let something fall into disrepair due lack of maintenance – is absolutely crucial ahead of this conjunction’s peak if we don’t want the whole thing to collapse in on us.

To put this in larger context, think about things like the undermining of democracy; the entire framework that supports the foundations our government.  Or the way Patriarchy supports and protects sexual predators by rewarding them with positions of authority (Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh, I’m looking directly at you) – remember The Good Old Days when even a whiff of this kind of filth would finish your career/reputation forever?  Not so nowadays; apparently it just cements your status as part of The Boys Club. 🙄😒  Remember way back in the Dinosaur Era when corporations – and especially insurance companies – didn’t rule the world and line the pockets of our elected officials? How about recalling the quaint age when the safety of the classroom was sacrosanct?  Times sure have changed, and certainly not for the better in these respects.  There is a major need to scrap and rebuild with this energy, but this is particularly difficult because most of us would rather keep trying to cobble something non-functional together for the sake of maintaining a sense of normalcy than deal with the ugly reality that what we really need to do is put on our Big Kid Pants, swallow hard, and write something off as a loss.  It takes maturity and wisdom to do the latter, but the compulsion to maintain even a defunct status quo is quite powerful when it seems even harder to grapple with a reality that fundamentally threatens to undermine our sense of security/safety/certainty/order.

How’s that really working for us, though?  Unless and until we acknowledge something as broken, how can we possibly work to restore it?  This post is an invitation to hold space for that which may be fractured in our individual and collective lives with a spirit of renewal; in full acknowledgement that we will likely have to labor to strip things back/tear them down before we can build back up.  Here are some ideas for where this fear and loathing might pop up and where the energy of challenge to renew might be best directed based on the area(s) of our chart being impacted by this conjunction.  You will need a basic understanding of astrology for this exercise to see where 23 degrees of Capricorn falls in your chart, but even with no astrological knowledge at all if you just pay very close attention to the things that give you both apprehension and a strong sense of disgust, you’ll likely be able to ID the areas to work on from the list below.  Note these are only some *possible* expressions of this conjunction’s energy; nothing is written in stone but is instead meant to provide flavor text.

1st House: Self-loathing.  Learning about Shadow aspects of our personality.  Misanthropy.  Experiencing a fear of/revulsion to aging/the degradation of our physical bodies or appearance.  The challenge: Psychologically coming to terms with the natural aging process and normal state of gradual physical decline while working to support our bodies as best we can through the Waning Crescent crone/sage phase of life.  Acceptance of the reality that we all have Shadow material to work on and doing our best to manage the facets of our Lower Self that we’re afraid to look at and take responsibility for.  Realizing that our negative experiences in life do not have to be permitted space to infect the rest of our Reality; containing the Darkness so it isn’t allowed to taint our views of life/the world.

2nd House: An aversion to the risk inherent in spending our own money coupled with the compulsion to spend others’ money instead (i.e. taking on debt). An inclination toward hoard/purge cycles with regard to physical possessions. Bad experiences/trauma – possibly of a sexual nature – that may have negated our sense of self-worth on a deep-seated level.  The challenge: Acknowledgement of the reality that “we can’t take it with us when we go”.  Reducing debt with the insight that it equates to voluntary financial enslavement to “owe” someone.  Fiscal empowerment through shrewd and solid longer-term investments that involve managed/minimal risk.  Engagement with a professional who can help us work on the root of any damaged sense of self-worth to renew our sense of value as a human being.

3rd House: An acute revulsion to our neighborhood, neighbors, siblings, and/or cousins; seeing the reality of their Dark Side.  Non-functional communication dynamics. Complex thought processes arising from a problem-solving place that can actually create impediments to effective dialog.  Obsessive thinking that isn’t solution-focused and that may threaten to suck us into the undertow of negativity. The challenge: Being aware of any degradation occurring in our ‘hood and either working to renew or limiting our liability in removing ourselves from a problem environment.  Forming a neighborhood watch.  Accepting only our part in any communication breakdown with siblings, neighbors, or kin and erecting appropriate psychological boundaries for protection, if need be.  Deconstructing what isn’t working for us with regard to our thought processes or communication dynamics and simplifying; overhauling and getting back to basics.

4th House: Strong emotions dredged up regarding our family-of-origin or homeland; especially if this entails disgust or contempt.  Bad memories haunting us.  Uncovering actual rot in our physical residence; possibly that affects the framing or foundation.  Pests like termites or carpenter ants seriously damaging the structure of our home, or an old faulty septic system backing up and giving us problems.  Unearthing old family secrets that may be a source of shame, such as finding slave owners or Nazis in our lineage.  The challenge: Breaking away from the “familiar-yet-f***ed up” and realizing that discomfort serves a purpose in telling us when it’s time to move on/away.  Finding the strength to settle in a locale that’s an energetic safe space rather than stay stuck rotting in place.  Leaving the Past behind and resolving any deep trauma in our history via the therapeutic process.  Undertaking serious home renovations.   Professional pest management/repellent solutions.  Transmuting any negative family karma by making reparations when/where possible while resolving to put a stop to ingrained cycles of dysfunction.

5th House: An aversion to the (pro-?)creative process; possibly due old and unresolved trauma.  Being horrified by children or seeing them as “bad”/“monsters”.  Negative experiences with stalker-y (older?) suitors.  The compulsion to either repress the sexual identity entirely or engage it without heart.  The challenge: To overcome any psychological hurdles that prevent us from recognizing ourselves as creative beings.  Addressing the root of any distaste we experience regarding children and resolving it within ourselves.  Looking at kids as energetic imprints of their parental influence if/when we have issues with their behavior; no child is “bad” and difficult behaviors are either learned or the result of psychological coping mechanisms for difficulties at home.  Becoming a surrogate guardian (in any sense) for a kid in need, or even an actual foster parent. Taking extra precautions when dating to quality-screen potential lovers.  Working on any repression we may be experiencing regarding our sexual identity via engagement with the therapeutic process. Realizing that sex is a poor substitute for real intimacy and addressing any subconscious dislike we may have for going deeper than just our skin.

6th House: Caginess about health matters and/or a revulsion regarding doctors and medical settings.   The potential of steadily deteriorating health; possibly the consequence of vices/bad habits, and frequently something we’re too afraid to address/get real about.  Toxic – literally or figuratively – workplaces.  Co-workers or employees that work to undermine us; possibly resulting from envy over our successes or status.  The challenge:  Utilizing the power of Preventative Medicine.  Dealing with the reality of any physical dis-ease.  Arresting any potentially progressive (hereditary?) condition in its tracks.  Working with heavy-hitter (specialist?) doctors/healers.  De-stigmatizing our attitude toward the state of our health; especially if it’s something that involves our psychological wellbeing.  Reducing or eliminating the things we know are bad for our health.  Managing/mitigating our risk of any inherited genetic conditions though proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle.  Screening our workplaces for literal or figurative “pollutants” – whether that’s noxious substances or people – and limiting exposure.

7th House: The potential for hesitancy and eschewal of committed partnerships; likely resulting from old and unresolved trauma (“It’s safer to just be alone”).  Or, engagement in intense relationship experiences that teach us some serious Life Lessons. Power/control dynamics within partnerships.  Learning from the Shadow material that arises in committed unions.  The challenge: Not closing ourselves off to others by challenging ourselves to safely engage in deeper intimacy.  Having healthy psychological boundaries between ourselves and our partner; boundaries that are rooted in a foundation of deep respect.  Taking responsibility for our own Shadow in a relationship and knowing from experience exactly where to draw the line between our “stuff” and our partner’s “stuff”.  Drawing on the wisdom of age to help us make empowering choices in regards to partnering where we may have previously struggled in the past.  Uncovering hidden programming/conditioning in partnerships and breaking it down via the therapeutic process; hitting Ctrl+Alt+Delete and wiping the slate of any defunct operating scripts that don’t support a healthy union.  Shunning turbulent connections in favor of mature, self-aware partnerships.

8th House:  The potential for serious phobias regarding things like death, taxes, and even intimacy. An aversion to merging with others sexually or in a financial context.  Distaste for dealing with estate matters; from things like living wills, to establishing legal protection in “worst-case” scenarios, to potentially rejecting an inheritance or legacy that comes with serious (messy/complicated) baggage or even responsibility (such as inheriting a parent’s business).  Restricted access to others’ resources, which may include difficulty securing loans.  The possibility of lessons surrounding the burden of (mandatory?) debt. The challenge: Sober and practical acceptance of life’s inevitabilities; unpleasant as they may be.  Having a plan in a crisis; emergency preparedness that helps us to stay level-headed when the proverbial crap hits the fan.  Working on intimacy by stripping back defenses and using this as a trust-building tool that solidifies alliances.  Limiting our liability concerning others’ financial status while also being willing to “put skin in the game” on low-risk investments (literal or metaphorical) that stand to build in value over time; good karma can result from “buying in” low and supporting/sponsoring someone learning to stand on their own – prudent screening advised as a precaution, of course. Having a carefully calculated debt repayment plan laid out if/when attempting to secure funding on our own.  Working our credit like a boss rather than letting a (negative) credit rating work us over. Not taking on more debt than is realistically necessary; clearly delineating a “want” from an actual bare necessity. Caution surrounding any “obligatory” debt we may be tempted to accept on the behalf of others because it’s accepted as “the norm” even though we truly might not be able to afford it (ex: paying for our daughter’s wedding, or financially supporting a parent in their retirement).

9th House: Abhorrence of topics that revolve around religion or politics, or experiencing views that contrast with our own re: these subjects as totally repugnant.  Fear of travel or airplanes; a subconscious sense of impending disaster regarding either that isn’t easily abated. The possibility of an education that puts us in serious debt. Staunch support of rigid, outdated, or even totalitarian philosophies. The challenge:  Working through any resistance toward passionate engagement regarding serious moral, political, religious, or cultural issues.  Breaking down for others what we perceive as a messed up dogma or way of seeing things with enough wisdom and restraint that we’re respected for our insights regardless of differences in opinion. Realizing that an aversion to travel can prevent us from having powerful, transformative, life-changing experiences while striving to take sensible precautions to avert danger abroad (i.e. avoiding a stay at the budget hotel on the wrong side of town). Considering the utility of any higher education we’re compelled to pursue before sinking ourselves into student loan debt; do we have a guaranteed return-on-investment, or are we merely following a conventional but defunct status quo that might not actually work for *us*? Deconstructing the parental model for our beliefs and worldviews; something infectious may have been planted deep within and yielded a malignant bloom – nip it in the bud.

10th House: A potential obsession with building/maintaining *an image*.  Possible antipathy toward “authority figures”, whether this is a parent, teacher, boss, law enforcement representative, or elected government official; likely due to the strongly negative influence of a similar figure in our history.  Controlling and/or sleazy mentors. Experiencing an intense pull toward a career path with power/authority. Ruthless ambition; achievement of high position(s) but the propensity to also fall into disregard.  Destroying and rebuilding one’s career/reputation/business/“brand”.  The challenge: Deconstructing what psychological fears might be compelling a fixation with image and social standing.  Not giving our power away to authority figures though either subservience or being “triggered” by their influence into reacting negatively.  Resolving any trauma surrounding parents, bosses, or teachers who may have made a strongly negative impression upon us.  Building or maintaining solid and empowering boundaries with mentors to prevent potential violations of propriety/ethics; respecting the fact that there is a power differential inherent in any student/teacher relationship which can be dangerous to both parties if/when lines are crossed.  Checking our motivations professionally; asking ourselves whether we seek to use power for selfish ends or are humbly compelled to bear the burdens of authority to protect and serve those under our wing.  Being in authentic energetic alignment with our Mission/Purpose on core level and using a deep-seated sense of integrity as the foundational cornerstone for our career/reputation/business/“brand”.

11th House: The possibility of a strong dislike/distrust of groups, clubs, and/or associations. Potential difficulty regarding dysfunctional social networks/”community”.  An inclination toward bad experiences within the group dynamic and/or a tendency to suffer the consequences from “falling in with the wrong crowd”.  Age or elder figures corrupting/tainting our aspirations and ideals.  The challenge: Regular quality-screening of our social spheres for problem elements and not fearing to purge when/where necessary.  Transforming negative social experiences by working to restore/rebuild our trust in humanity.  Limiting liability regarding our risk of being left holding the bag for our friends’ character flaws.  Steering clear of power/control dynamics where the hive mind is permitted to hold sway. Realizing when/where age or elders have polluted our social ideals, possibly twisting them with cynicism, bitterness, or hate; working to rectify this and transform lead into gold.

12th House:  The inclination to have an aversion to Surrender/“giving it up to god”.  Possibility of holding hoary grudges against Divinity for times we’ve been let down; where we strongly feel god didn’t “come through” for us in moments of severe crisis.  The potential for a serious obsession with “psychic” phenomena. Possible unconscious compulsion toward self-sabotage, or to experience hardship via addiction to vices.  Ancient and secret trauma – perhaps regarding a parent – that’s difficult for us to resolve because it is scary-powerful; it may be locked away in the psyche and forgotten about but manages to drive subconscious behavior nonetheless.  The potential for a rigid fixation with illness; possibly manifesting as intense phobias of being “contaminated” or “infected”. Nightmares that seem all too real.  The challenge: Working to overcome any subconscious need for control. Transmuting resentment into forgiveness when it comes to our spirituality and the challenges we’ve endured in life.  Realizing that crisis and hardship serve complex spiritual purposes that we have limited insight into during this mortal incarnation.  Relegating our submersion into the “psychic” realms to fixed/finite periods and practicing self-regulation so we’re not obsessed with being “read” by intuitives, mediums, etc.  Purging any compulsive cycles of self-undoing via working with a professional trained in the therapeutic arena.  Unlocking our psyche with the power of relaxation, meditation, and dreams that we use as tools to help us access our subconscious.  Realizing that illness isn’t confined to just the physical plane and may actually be rooted in the psychological and/or spiritual realms, where we must also do prevention/extraction work (with proper supervision from one trained in this area, of course). Learning the symbolism of our dreams and working with them to deconstruct what it is our bad dreams stem from.

10/27/2018

Jupiter In Scorpio: “Bucket List” Travel

We only have 7 weeks left of Jupiter in Scorpio – Jupiter’s tour of this sign is done and dusted when it enters Sagittarius on November 8, 2018.  There’s a growing sense of finality as this year-long transit approaches a close; something all too appropriate for a sign concerned with mortality.  Speaking of mortality, Jupiter as The Wanderer of the zodiac has dominion over long-distance travel (think plane as opposed to car, train, or bus) and as such the remaining weeks of this transit are as good a time as any to contemplate our “Bucket List” destinations; i.e. the places we hope to get the opportunity to visit sometime before we die.  Now this isn’t in a morbid sense; nobody’s kicking the bucket tomorrow or anything.  Rather this concept is something that can help us to walk in gratitude for every opportunity we have to expand our horizons, because the inevitability is that life itself is a terminal condition – as The Doors say, “No one here gets out alive”.  If we’re all gonna go sometime (and we all are!), why not allocate some energy and resources toward affording ourselves opportunities to enrich our lives through the experience of travel?  It can be life-changing.  And it’s certainly worth pointing out that Jupiter’s upcoming visit to Sagittarius is *the* premiere travel transit; excluding the times when it squares Neptune in Pisces (Jan/Jun/Sep 2019), which are not exactly the moments I’d pick to explore a fantasy destination.  So Jupiter’s remaining time in Scorpio = an ideal time to Vision Board out our “Bucket List” locales in prep for the restless, nomadic, wanderlust-laden energy of Jupiter’s imminent arrival in Sadge.  Do you have any particular places in mind?  Mine all seem to center around ancient sacred sites like Stonehenge, the Pyramids of Giza, Machu Picchu, The Nazca Lines, The Acropolis; ancient magickal monuments with powerful connections to the ley lines running through the lands they were built upon. Regardless of your reasons for visiting, think of places that provide fuel for a truly transformational Journey; make it a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip!

Bonum cursom.

09/19/2018

Jupiter In Sagittarius Square Neptune In Pisces, Part 1

There’s a little sumthin’-sumthin’ I see coming on the astro-horizon in the not-too-distant future: Between the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, Jupiter will enter Sagittarius and head toward a square with Neptune in Pisces.  We’ve had the good fortune over the last year+ of having both planets in Water signs and supporting each other, but when Jupiter moves into its fiery home turf of Sagittarius this will put it at odds with aquatic Neptune in Pisces at points; specifically on January 13th 2019, June 16th 2019, and then a final time on September 21st 2019. The degree range affected is 14-19 degrees of the Mutable signs, so if you have planets or points around these areas of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, or Pisces, this is definitely something to pay attention to.  Both planets are very powerful being located in their respective home turfs, so this is something epic; a true large-scale astrological “production”.

To understand the effects of this square, first we must contrast and compare the energies of these celestial bodies: Jupiter in Sagittarius is uber (excessively?) honest; Neptune in Pisces is prone to (self?)deception.  Jupiter in Sagittarius = high-test optimism; Neptune in Pisces = pure idealism. Jupiter in Sagittarius can be super biased; Neptune in Pisces utterly non-judgmental.  Jupiter in Pisces tends toward orthodox religion; Neptune in Pisces has a much looser and free-form concept of spirituality.  Jupiter in Sagittarius inclines toward intemperance (If a little is good, more must be better, RIGHT????); Neptune in Pisces is apt to veer towards addictive tendencies.

When these two planets square off as they are about to in fairly short order, we need to be very, VERY careful of a few things; namely

1) Not to lie to ourselves or others REGARDLESS of whether or not it comes from a place of good intent.

2) Not to be so overly honest/candid that it’s actually self-defeating – perhaps showing all our hand at once demonstrates too much trust that should instead be EARNED, or maybe there’s no real benefit to be had from over-sharing and it causes more problems than anything else.

3) Not to live under some kind of massive delusion – when you take the idealism of Neptune in Pisces and inflate it with the boundless optimism of Jupiter in Sagittarius, there’s a tendency to seek out feel-good “warm & fuzzy” narratives that paint a better picture of Reality than is truly warranted.  We may fantasize excessively, or enjoy such wonderful dreams that we experience difficulty operating on the concrete level of “What Is”; the hazard being the bigger the bubble, the larger the “pop” as the USA found out in the Housing Bubble that peaked/burst circa 2006 and in the Higher Education Bubble that arguably reached critical mass around 2012 in the wake of the Great Recession (AKA the LAST times Jupiter squared Neptune).

4) Not to skew religious or political beliefs towards some kind of cult-like bias.  There can be a heavy inclination to drink vast amounts of moral or political “Kool-aid” under this energy; gulping it all down thirstily instead of using better judgment to see there is in fact something distorted in our perspective.   Be very aware of narratives pitting supposed “Truth” against supposed “Lies”; this is a huge theme of this energy.  And crucially, understand the difference between a personal Truth vs. a Universal Truth, because some will attempt to conflate the two in order to tilt views a certain way or spread mass confusion.

5) Not to overdo it on the “Love all, forgive all, help all” end of the spectrum.  Jupiter and Neptune both like to believe in people’s better natures and there may be an inclination to suspend judgment entirely in a way that creates greater opportunity to be victimized.  For example, letting a broke & newly sober addict-in-recovery crash in your home “just until they can get on their feet” and then wondering why all your jewelry suddenly goes missing.  This can indeed be a “No good deed goes unpunished” kind of vibe, so it’s important to recognize any inclination we may have to be overly forgiving, trusting, or loving before it gets out of hand and use better judgement.

6) Understand there will be moments of uncertainty when it comes to spirituality/matters of faith.  Both these energies have a strong connection to Divinity, but there may be some sort of dogma we’ve absorbed along the way that has actually been doing more harm than good for us.  Or perhaps we’re feeling disillusioned with a particular spiritual path and seeking greater understanding.  There’s the sense of a whole lot of questioning going on where we’re not so sure of the Divine Plan and feeling like the answers from Above are vague/unclear/subject to interpretation.

7) Addictions can get really out of hand under this energy. If it feels good and floods our brain with dopamine, we can have a very difficult time convincing ourselves that we’re doing something to excess. We may con ourselves into believing that it’s not impairing our motivation, functionality at work, or relationships; this square is super permissive and – more often than not – the default may be to give ourselves a “pass” instead of being super honest that sometimes it feels good to check out/“escape” from reality.  But again this energy tends to snowball; this square is intemperate by nature and it’s a slippery slope from something that just “feels good” to a full-blown addiction.

Now having said all of this, there are definitely positive ways to harness the square between Jupiter in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces; it just takes a little more work/awareness to steer ourselves away from the pitfalls, so it’s this angle I wanted to address FIRST!  The trick in working this square to maximum advantage and avoiding the above-mentioned drawbacks lies in the ongoing supportive relationship Neptune in Pisces will have to Saturn in Capricorn.  In a nutshell: GROUND.  Anchor.  Foundation. Reality is our friend; not a buzzkill.  Work within the parameters of What Is, *then* – and only  then! – may we indulge a vision of Things As We’d Wish Them To Be. Think: Augmented Reality; not a replacement for it.

09/08/2018

Manifesting Neptune Miracles

We so often hear about Neptune’s trickier side in astrology; its propensity for deception, denial, obfuscation, escapism, addiction, and delusion. While all of that is certainly true in discussing the Lo-Fi potential of this planet’s energy, that’s only the half of it; what if I told you Neptune also has an exquisitely Divine countenance that – when it smiles upon us – gives us direct access to transcendental states of being? Neptune energy alone can hold us in an invisible auric forcefield where we’re enveloped in a state of infinite love, kindness, and mercy by The Universe (or insert your deity[ies] of choice here) in a way that allows us to totally Trust. We may not know where we’re going or how exactly we’ll get there, but we’re nonetheless compelled to surrender our individual will and flow/float in the current of something that we feel is divinely orchestrated. The experience of Neptune can indeed be a direct a “Hotline to Heaven” where our prayers are heard and answered, but how can we help ensure this is the way it plays out for us vs. being lured by the Siren Song of Lo-Fi Neptune into a riptide that sends us crashing upon jagged rocks?

It’s actually deceptively simple while also being easier said than done. Rocks represent cold, hard Reality – we have to acknowledge the Saturnian terrain of limitations, obstacles, facts, challenges, and workable parameters whenever we’re dealing with Neptune instead of just allowing ourselves to gloss things over with a slick sheen that would surely only trip us up later. With Neptune, it’s easy to get swept up in fantasy to the exclusion of What Is; ignoring all that doesn’t fit into our idealized narrative of How We’d Wish It To Be. But with Neptune finding supportive links to Saturn multiple times during 2019 (late January, mid June, & early November), it’s going to get a whole lot easier to incorporate a rational sense of practicality with this planet’s dreamy romanticism; especially for those who have planets or points in their chart located around 14-19 degrees of any Earth or Water sign and this zone of Capricorn and/or Pisces in particular. Sobriety helps, as does having A Plan. Organize. Think about the long term vision, and maybe even ask for help via professional advice or a mentor. Because while God(dess)/The Universe/Divinity may provide, we’ll definitely have to do some heavy lifting. Earn your miracle. Prove that you respect any godsend you’ve been given by working your ass off to maintain it – roll up those sleeves and sweat your prayers.  🙏

07/20/2018

An Astrological Date With Destiny

Every so often there are certain energetic portals that open to us and offer transport to places – or perhaps states of being – beyond our imagining.  Energetically speaking, it’s as if we have a Date with Destiny and it’s possible to predict when such instances may occur by tracking the movement of the Moon’s Nodes.  The Nodes are like invisible astrological vortices that pull us toward the Future (North Node) or Past (South Node), and when they come into contact with an individual’s Sun by transit or progression it’s as if kismet is in play.

While any planet or point in the nativity can certainly be touched by the Nodes, the Sun is a highly personal point that represents the eternal spark of the Divine residing in each and every one of us.  When the Nodes cross the Sun by transit or progression, I liken it to being touched by the hand of God – while we can’t *see* Divinity, our consciousness becomes activated in such a way where we often get the strong sense that fated situations, meetings, and events are in fact occurring in our lives.

The South Node passing over our Sun tends to kick up residue from the Past – regarding our current incarnation and/or perhaps lifetimes prior if our philosophy allows us to be open to such views – for the sake of bringing closure to our Now.  Vaguely familiar old habits, situations, patterns, and people beam into our lives but in a way that might not be the most conducive to our soul’s evolution because we’re less inclined to be put outside of our comfort zones.

By contrast, the North Node crossing our Sun is a transport vehicle toward our Future Self – it often brings challenging but rewarding circumstances that serve as a cosmic invitation to self-actualize. North Node influenced situations or interactions tend to give us the sense of “Well, this is new for me; I’ve never done this before” yet ideally confidence inspires us to make that leap and embrace the soul’s journey into new and unfamiliar territory.

Though there is no hard-and-fast rule regarding a particular age at which we experience the influence of the Nodes crossing over our Sun since this largely depends upon how close our birth was in proximity to an eclipse, by transit the Nodes make one full lap around the zodiac about every 18 years and a half cycle roughly every 9.  So once you determine when the last or next time this happen(ed)(s) for you is, all you have to do is look ahead at 9 or 18 years to see when your next astrological Date with Destiny is.

06/28/2018

Pulling Into The (Mars) Station

We have less than two weeks to go now until Mars stations (AKA pauses and turns) retrograde!  Mars stationary retrograde in Aquarius is like an itch you can’t quite scratch that’s driving you, well, crazy. Things chafe at us now but there’s no immediate relief in sight.  Speaking of immediate relief: Sexually frustrated? Fuhgettaboutit! It’s like our motors are all revved up but we’re not going anywhere; at least not in a hurry!  Mars is super carnal energy – on a symbolic level it’s both the libido of what turns us on and the orgasm of what gets us off.  In Aquarius, Mars wants complete freedom of sexual expression – he wants to experiment, do things outside the bounds of normal social convention, innovate, and try novel techniques.  But with the retrograde station in the mix, it’s like he’s hung up; caught in some kind of invisible energetic groove like a planetary skipping record.

So don’t freak if your sex drive or life seems to get a little…strange…under these skies.  This astro merely represents some kind of “deviation” from whatever our “norm” is; with the aim that by the end of this retrograde period we’ll find a newfound level of freedom outside the confines of self-imposed limitation or denial.   With Mars ping-ponging between the signs of Aquarius and Capricorn, there’s a direct relationship between self-denying vs. giving ourselves full unfettered permission to be and to do whatever we want; perhaps even in an act of rebellion.  Question all default settings of being and doing now, in *every* sense.  Because with this retrograde approaching, there’s a general feeling of inflammation, irritation, or impatience surrounding something we want to be different in our lives.  It’s something we’re inclined to want quite badly, however we can’t *quiiiiiite* reach it yet.  And it’s just as well, because right now any action we might take toward this end is liable to lead to a premature…release of energy (kundalini or otherwise)…that has unintended consequences.  Not necessarily the ones we think, either – metaphorically this energy is not unlike someone who had a vasectomy unexpectedly getting you pregnant; surprise!  It could absolutely be something that defies the laws of science/nature/probability.  Though this isn’t *always* a bad thing, most of the time we wind up better off if we can avoid doing something crazy in the heat of the moment – this is likely to be one of those times.

06/12/2018

Sun Conjunct Mercury In Gemini TOTD

With the Sun presently conjunct Mercury in Gemini, it’s time to derive creative inspiration from our innate inquisitiveness about life! Recall which core topics joyfully absorbed your intellectual attention as a child; way back before you started to care who was watching and what they thought of your interests. It’s these little threads that appear early on that so often tie together and gather into something greater to come full circle later. Everything else is a distraction – the soul communicates the information vital to its mission of self-actualization in youth; frequently though play/our pastimes. So think back to all the natural curiosities that consumed your mind as a kid; whether this encompasses subjects you enjoyed learning/reading about, topics of conversation you loved talking about, or any intellectual pursuit that may have filled your heart with joy – especially if it was in any way precocious. The glowingly radiant spark of Divine Child that we all carry inside of us ignites and comes alive if we blow on the ember but a little…

Image c/o the Rider-Waite Tarot

06/05/2018

Mars Volta

With the arrival of June we’re inching incrementally closer to the edge of a major astrological event horizon – Mars is in the process of downshifting as we speak; losing speed but building in power as it prepares for its Retrograde station on June 26th. This was the topic of my recently published June newsletter so I shan’t bore you all by repeating myself here, but one thing I would like us all to keep in mind going forward from this point regards how there’s apt to be a long slow burn perhaps punctuated by intermittent outburst in some area of our life over the next few months as Mars does this prolonged bump-n-grind motion between the area of 09 degrees Aquarius and 28 degrees Capricorn.

Even if you don’t have planets or points located in this particular vicinity of the zodiac, look to see what astrological House(s) in your chart will be affected by this passage. This energy is both frictional and invigorating, though it may not feel like it at first – Mars is the desire planet and when it retrogrades we’re challenged to get in touch on a deep visceral level with what we want out of life or our raison d’être. This can then lead us to take inspired action, but note the entire retrograde period as a whole (late June – late August) is best used as an incubation period. Stoke the internal fires and tend them consciously and carefully, but do not rush into action just yet; our desires are still in the process of more fully unfolding during this time so may wind up altering significantly. It is a waste of energy to change tack two or three times and there is an economy of movement being conveyed by this energy, so definitely take your time before pulling the trigger on something.

06/01/2018

I Spy With My Little Eye…

A stylized Pisces symbol set upon a funneling column; blacklit in a watery blue hue that denoted the bar area of the hotel lobby.  Sooooo many astro-clichés in a single sentence, non? When I pointed this out to friends they exclaimed “How the hell did you see that?!?” in absolute astonishment.

Pluto Life, my lovelies; the symbols and omens are omnipresent and obvious.  Just wait until I tell you about how my (otherwise perfectly lovely and very comfortable) hotel room sprang a water leak that left a soggy, spongy pool on the carpet after the day’s lectures had concluded….!  Yes, Neptune in Pisces had his fins aaaalllll over this trip; including the remote viewing dream sent to me circa a year and a half ago that gave me the heads up my attendance at this very function would be required.

05/31/2018

Neptunian Idealism In The Land Of Saturn In Capricorn

With the Neptune vibe super strong for the foreseeable future c/o its occupation of Pisces, we need to have a discussion about this planet’s idealism for a moment.  Planets in Pisces, the 12th House, or in aspect to Neptune tend to distort our view of reality; it’s just how this energy operates.  When this applies to the planet Venus it can affect how we see our partners or women in general – the same is true of the Moon, with a slightly different flavoring that it’s inclined to skew our views on maternal figures or the mother of our children (if we partner with women, that is).  Neptunian energy affecting either the Moon or Venus tends to broadly impact our relationship with women and this can mean we may ignore/miss some major red flags regarding females.  Now if it’s Mars or the Sun in Pisces, the 12th House, or in aspect to Neptune, men tend to get idealized instead – both are Masculine planets, and again there’s apt to be this distortion thing going on.

Neptunian energy affecting anything is prone to projecting worship onto false idols – I have this theory that may times we may do so due to early disappointment with a parent.  For example, they may have been absent, addicted, or ineffectual and we were so let down by this we cope by (consciously or unconsciously) fantasizing about a mythic “savior” or “saint” who never disappoints us in this way.  However, human beings have a very difficult time living up to this fantasy.  They’re often tragically flawed so when we fling these glamorous qualities onto the blank canvas of someone else serving as a stand-in, we risk repeating the cycle when the blinders finally do come off.  Unless we just keep them on and continue glossing over the fact that our suffering has led us to project illusory qualities onto a figment of our imagination.

Here’s the thing, though: Denial never makes it better.  When “The man behind the curtain” is finally revealed for what they are, we mustn’t excuse or enable. We have to learn to live with disappointment for what it is instead of perpetuating cycles of sickness.  And if we cover for someone, make excuses for them, and/or enable them, we’re not only victimizing ourselves without realizing it (because it gives them permission to do it again) but we also potentially risk victimizing others via our blind devotion.

There’s this unconscious defense mechanism that can be triggered as a result: Denial. Instead of allowing this insular bubble of fantasy to be burst, the individual views everyone criticizing the person on their pedestal as “lying”.  This is where the blind devotion comes in; you see it time and time again with sexual abuse in families, for example – “Oh he would never do that”.  Meanwhile, the person they’re defending has been arrested and arraigned on charges of soliciting a minor and there’s evidence for days; including emails, texts, and photos.  But when Neptunian energy holds sway, none of that matters.  An individual will just bury their head in the sand and insist the charges are fabricated rather than face the crushing disillusionment that their precious so-and-so is actually a very sick individual.

So here’s the TL;DR version: If you have the Moon or Venus affected by Neptunian energy, know your views of women aren’t likely to be very realistic.  If it’s the Sun or Mars, how you see male figures is prone to the same kind of distortion. Either way in these Saturn in Capricorn times, it’s time to straighten this out. Saturn’s power is equal to Neptune’s now, and this = a Reality Check; particularly when Saturn moves into a sextile with Neptune in 2019.  It’s time to pump the brakes and stop projecting fictitious qualities and “can do no wrong” innocence upon real life figures who are just as human and fallible as the rest of us.  We mustn’t genuflect to the cult of fame, either; rather look instead to those using their social status/position as a platform to make a real difference in the world via humanitarian causes – these are the ones who earn our respect in this Saturn in Capricorn era.

05/18/2018

Venus/Pluto On: Love

In honor of the approaching square between Venus & Pluto, here is the crux of about 90% of the issues that Venus/Pluto peeps (Pluto in Libra generation, pay attention!) typically encounter in partnerships:

People with this energy signature present in their nativity (and it can come in many different forms – Venus in Scorpio, Pluto in Libra, Venus in aspect to Pluto, Venus in the 8th House, Pluto in the 7th House) tend to attract power struggles in relationships. This happens because deep down individuals with this energetic “stamp” often feel threatened by a loss of control in relationships and do not yet possess the insight to see that real intimacy entails placing total trust in your partner; thus making oneself scary-vulnerable and “naked” in every sense of the word.

Frequently this may be the result of some kind of trauma attached to the word “love”; perhaps on an instinctual level we’ve had reason not to feel safe enough to metaphorically “disrobe” like this because trust was violated somewhere along the way. So we then become determined to always make sure we have the upper hand/ace up our sleeve/dagger in our boot that will keep us from being totally disempowered in the event that things go bad. Consequently what can happen in such instances is a subconscious attraction toward relationships where we’re not equally matched with a partner, because on a superficial level our psyche thinks this will allow us to stay in power.

Now it doesn’t always manifest this way; sometimes we’re forced to confront this “power differential” theme in other ways. And the reverse can certainly be true where we may be magnetized toward relationships where we tend to give our power away to a Significant Other and become submissive rather than dominant. But unless we look deeper and leave no internal stone unturned in understanding the propensity for this kind of dynamic and healing it, eventually one or both of the parties comes to resent this and the relationship sours; resulting in a negative feedback loop that affirms our suspicions regarding vulnerability and validates a subconscious desire to gain or keep control/power. In situations where there has been a major trust violation that deeply affected our ability to “expose & disclose”, it can be scary for the psyche to feel like it risks being subsumed by another via intimacy.

But the Hi-Fi version of Venus/Pluto love is about viewing relationships on a more psychological level so we can become truly empowered. Every relationship, no matter how bad, puts us directly in contact with our own “Shadow” one way or the other via involvement with a Significant Other so we can heal any dysfunction within that leads to be attracted to partnerships with built-in power differentials. The x-ray vision this energetic combination affords one when it comes love and partnership is second to none – once we let our eyes adjust to the darkness, we can see the layered subtext going on behind the scenes to get to the bottom of the issue(s). It’s a complex process and there are hidden entanglements to tease out, but Venus/Pluto natives come factory-wired with invisible illuminated mining helmets precisely for this kind of job.

In healing, what we might aim for in the future is to be intimidated by a partner in a *good* way. I don’t mean creeped out, LOL – that kind of thing happens all the time when you’re a Venus/Pluto person. But finding someone who puts us in our un-comfort zone in a positive sense; who has gone just as deep (or deeper) into themselves and mined their own love life just as intensely for insights, self-healing, and personal transformation to gain profound acumen. This energy signature is about learning – on a soul-level – how to figure out the balance of power in close intimate relationships; neither hoarding it nor giving it all away. The trick is we have to share it.

03/19/2018

Saturn Conjunct Pluto In Capricorn: Beware Of Toxic Teachings

With Saturn now in Capricorn and gradually working its way toward a conjunction with Pluto in 2020, it’s becoming more important than ever to guard ourselves against “toxic teachings”. Though we have some time before this conjunction perfects, it’s definitely something we want to prepare for well in advance and the longer we give ourselves, the stronger the buffer. I’m putting out this caution now because Pluto’s energy tends to corrupt things gradually in Capricorn; it’s never an overnight process and with Saturn playing the role of Cosmic Teacher we do have to be very careful that any educations instilled in us aren’t twisted. This ranges from ancient lessons imparted by parents or mentors that were perhaps rather messed up, to rigid programming drilled into us by our leaders, or any kind of teaching implanted in us by anyone that we consider an “authority” – this includes spiritual and occult “leaders” as well.

It is this last item I want to discuss in particular, because it can be very dangerous when a toxic teaching takes root in our psyche or soul and metaphysicians work on these levels almost exclusively. Spiritual and occult leaders are often granted a form of absolute power due to the intense loyalty of their followers; nobody stops to question their authority, and those that do are often gagged and shunned. But as we’ve seen time and time again with every fall from grace since antiquity, being wise, perceptive, and in a position of prominence does not make one exempt from serious moral failings and character defects – it does not render one immune to criticism, nor let them off the hook from facing the consequences arising from any abuse of power.

When it comes to the psyche and the soul, we have to be more watchful than ever about substituting someone else’s authority for our own internal sense of authority. This is not an area where we should ever allow someone to usurp our power from us because dysfunctional constructs, programming, and conditioning can take root and bear poison fruit if we’re not careful; particularly as we get closer to the conjunction of Saturn with Pluto in Capricorn. We need to be particularly cautious regarding what we’re letting our teachers and leaders sow inside of us now – this especially applies to any toxic teachings regarding how we “create our own reality” , which may then used to mask forms of abuse. We need to watch out for any kind of teaching that could potentially infect us with Surrogate Responsibility Syndrome™; a condition where we psychologically take on responsibility/blame for something that frankly doesn’t belong to us and never did.

This is where certain New Age precepts can actually become dangerous – in reality, IMO it is a covert form of control fetish to buy into the false teaching that everything in life is completely within our influence and we’re 100% responsible for every (negative) circumstance in it, as in “I attracted the lesson”. Sometimes we do through poor choices and lack of good judgement, yes, but other times it has absolutely nothing to do with us at all – if bad things sometimes happen to good people (like pediatric cancer to an innocent child) or good things happen to bad people (Trump becoming president), we’re a bit out of line for thinking that we’re responsible for *everything*. We have no business trucking with this kind of control freakery when it actually has the potential to be very damaging – for example, toxic teachings that imply we’re somehow responsible for being raped or for being abused by our parents. This is an undercover form of Stockholm Syndrome – instead of placing the blame where it belongs (i.e. squarely on the shoulders of the abuser), we internalize this burden and make it about *us*.

On a psychological level, it’s understandable that one might subconsciously do this as a self-protective measure; convince themselves the circumstance was somehow within their control. But at the end of the day this is how we enable abuse to continue; by not holding it accountable – this is how we wind up with problems like teaching our girls how *not* to be raped instead of teaching our boys *not* to rape and it’s how we wind up with things like rape apologists. To put a stop to this corruption, we need to hold abusers accountable and stop manipulating our psyches with the covert power trip that we “create our own reality” and that everything is within our ability to control – it’s not. Get off the exit well before Saturn hits that conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn, because otherwise it’s a dead-end.

02/26/2018

Jupiter In Scorpio: Terminal Positivity

I want to talk about the notion that “positivity” is always a good thing – we love being upbeat because it feels…good, right? But like all things Jupiter-oriented, it does have the capacity to be harmful when taken to excess and it’s this angle that I want to discuss today with Jupiter continuing to traverse Scorpio until November 2018. Any planet tenanting Scorpio has to face its Shadow side for proper psychological integration, and when we’re talking about uplifting Jupiter this naturally entails an examination of how it’s possible to suffer from terminal positivity.

Let me begin by stating that I am generally of the opinion that what people choose to believe is their own business – as long as you’re not going door-to-door trying to promote your life philosophy to others and “convert” them, vaya con dios. I prefer “Live and Let Live”, so provided you’re not bothering me or mine by “correcting” others and telling them they’re “wrong”, have at it. But please bear with me, because for the purposes of this post I do need to outline how certain beliefs have the capacity to turn dysfunctional on us and this includes Jupiter’s optimism.

There is a point where positivity warps into something pathological and one of the primary indicators we have of this is zealousness; especially regarding the promotion of it. Jupiter in Scorpio can be prone to fanaticism because Scorpio is a sign of extremes, so it takes the moral, philosophical, political, and spiritual beliefs of Jupiter and applies them with passion. Now there is nothing wrong with believing something very deeply; however when this crosses the line to where we seek to impose our personal truth upon others (no matter if we think it for their own good and do it with a smile), this is a problem. This kind of coercion or manipulation does not respect the sovereignty of the individual and is in fact an intrusion – recall the saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

Another important point to consider is whether or not the “positive” individual is open to discussing different point of view. Scorpio energy can tend to make things very black-and-white, all-or-nothing and one of the signatures of terminal positivity is negating the existence of all that does not fit within its paradigm. If one is very fixed in their doctrine and finds it threatening to contemplate or discuss other ways of seeing things, they may seek to kill off anything they perceive as “negative” or “low vibration”. The keyword is perceive, though; it does not mean that in raising bigger-picture (social, cultural, moral, spiritual, political) questions that may be challenging to the individual’s views, one actually is being negative.  “Positive vibes only” becomes destructive when it loses context – for example, when it denies the existence of things like racism, sexism, classism, and all kinds of larger socio-cultural issues because it’s too busy white-lighting its aura in a protective bubble because we magnetically “receive what we believe”. To insist a “poverty mindset” is at the root of someone’s financial insecurity when corrupt and very real things like wage inequality still exist in the world is rather messed up, IMO – it is a very first-world problem to be able to negate the things that huge segments of the global society have been deeply affected by just because one has supposedly ascended above it all and says they have reached a level where it can no longer affect them. While it may be all fine and good that it doesn’t affect *your* reality, what about everybody else??

Perhaps the most reliable indicator that someone is suffering from a case of terminal positivity, though, is when this has twisted from being a helpful tool in combating a negative default inner monologue and turned instead into a covert weapon of smug condescension directed at those one perceives as having “stinkin’ thinkin’”. If this really is about making your life and the lives of those around you better, surely there is no need to pervert this with the taint of arrogant self-righteousness? When lifting yourself up involves kneecapping someone else, re-evaluate your ulterior motives because this is a dysfunctional, poisonous, and power-trippy philosophy.

02/19/2018

Uranus In Taurus

What is Uranus in Taurus?

It’s the vocal changes brought on by puberty as our throat chakras Awaken. It’s the voice of rebellion; an anthem of protest. And it is digging in its heels to use the voice of the collective to bring peaceful reform and revolution – screw “slacktivism”; our 21st century Indigo Ray neo-Flower Children are woke to all kinds of social, ecological, and environmental issues ranging from economic disparity, to awareness of GMO “FrankenFoods” effects upon on the body AND the environment, to a prescient and humanitarian concern for the sustainability of our Future. Uranus in Taurus knows the value and substance the vocalizations of the collective carry and yokes modern technologies like social media to network and influence people’s VALUES. It also inherently understands that the best way to create change is with your wallet and emphasizes conscious spending; particularly regarding social and environmental causes that align with one’s personal value system – if you want reform, nothing speaks louder in this corporatocracy than where your money is or isn’t being spent.

In technology, Uranus in Taurus signifies a graphics revolution – Taurus is aesthetic while Uranus is electric and I predict some gorgeous advances that change the way we see things. If history is any indicator, we might consider how a revolutionary new 3-strip Technicolor process gave us huge and visually stunning hits such as “Gone With the Wind”, “The Wizard of Oz”, and Disney’s “Fantasia” the last time Uranus visited this zodiac sign.  It’s exciting to think about the optical advances this energy may herald; not only for cinema and television, but regarding computers, software, gaming, and all of our modern digital devices.

Uranus in Taurus will also set textile trends – Taurus is a highly tactile sign and I predict there will be a cutting-edge fabric that comes out during the next 7 years that changes EVERYTHING. When Uranus previously occupied Taurus, nylon and polyester were invented; let’s hope for something more organic than synthetic this time around! Or if not, then perhaps novel and environmentally-conscious technologies will facilitate the (re?)invention of more sustainable textiles that help further the green revolution.

Uranus in Taurus also represents a sort of neo-communism vibe – I realize this word carries unfortunate political connotations that may be triggering for many, but I mean this in its purest philosophical sense. As in, living in hippie communes with people who all share the same ideals, sharing resources among the community to create a hedge against things like wealth inequality, and crowdfunding things and causes we feel are worthy; especially important social and/or ecological ones.

This placement also deals with the redistribution of wealth; Uranian energy reforms and re-arranges, while The Bull is a fiscal sign (it’s one of Wall Street’s two animal totems for a reason!) and as such there will be financial disrupts that change fortunes literally overnight. Perhaps a substantial portion of this may be precipitated by wild fluctuations in commodities and currency markets; digital currencies especially, which are now creating their own economic revolution. Uranus acts as a destabilizing influence and wealth can be made or lost in the blink of an eye – “Nouveau Riche” may no longer be such a dirty term after this 7 year transit. Retrospectively, the previous Uranus in Taurus era from mid-1934 to mid-1942 should ring some bells in an economic context; it was the era of FDR and his “New Deal” (both of them) so we see that financial (Taurus) reform (Uranus) is indeed a hallmark of this energy. Part and parcel of this included the founding of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the *exact day* that Uranus entered Taurus in 1934!

Uranus in Taurus is coming – this momentous shift will be upon us in just over 3 months’ time and on May 15, 2018 we step into a brand new Uranian era that few people have ever experienced in their lifetime. Perhaps the most intriguing thing for me in contemplating the significance of this event is the fact that I see history repeating itself – Uranus last entered Taurus on the heels of the Great Depression and a Uranus/Pluto Square in Aries and Cancer. Today, its ingress will be in the wake of a global financial crisis and recent Uranus/Pluto Square in Aries and Capricorn. The 1934-42 version happened with a Uranian President of the United States of America (FDR; Aquarius Sun + Uranus Rising) while the current one will feature a Sun + North Node conjunct Uranus at the helm. Don’t get me wrong; DJT isn’t even a quarter of the man FDR was and the comparison ends there. However when we look things dispassionately and just consider the data, the correspondences between these two periods do seem uncanny for the above mentioned reasons.

I wonder, will Uranus in Taurus be the “hero” we deserve, or the one we need?

02/11/2018

Neptune’s Intuition

With Neptune powerful in its Pisces domicile for the foreseeable future, I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss this planet’s considerable intuitive gifts and how to recognize them. Intuition is something that happens completely outside of the conscious rational mind – it is a non-tangible, non-logical sense of receiving information that we have no other reasonable explanation for. For some this expresses as “hearing” a voice that is often initially mistaken for their internal thoughts. For others, they may “see” things in their mind’s eye and blow it off as “just their imagination”. Others feel things on a visceral level in the form of physical sensations in the body that are “weird” or transiently mimic illness. There are many varietals – perhaps yours comes instead through dreams. Or maybe it’s heard through music, whether it’s the perfect timing of a song on the radio or the lyrics stuck in your head on repeat for no good reason.

Neptunian intuition is frequently quite hard to pin down; it is something prone to shapeshifting and behaves differently for each individual. Some are more connected to it than others, and it all depends upon how good we are at listening to it rather than judging it. Those who consciously seek a spiritual connection to Divinity and who have personal beliefs that hold space for the impossible and miraculous seem to have an easier time tapping into it, as there is less resistance to the flow and the ability to suspend judgement and disbelief is crucial in lubricating Neptune’s energy so it can stream *through* us. We’re just Receivers for the signal, that’s all – it doesn’t originate *from* us but is instead a god-given factory setting that allows us to tune in to the Source of all that is, was, and will ever be. The precise frequency that each one of us uses to tune into that information from Source varies, but the key is to put ourselves in settings that allow us to tune out more of the white noise of mundane life so we can pick up instead on the more subtle dimensions that might otherwise be ignored.

That last bit is crucial; the more distractions we have jamming up the input lines, the harder it is to decipher what’s what – that’s why solitude can be invaluable. Carving out time to rest, meditate, pray, sprawl out in shavasana, be still, or just get good sleep are all ways of making ourselves clearer conduits for intuitive messages to come through us. And perhaps the most important thing to understand about Neptunian intuition is how it often goes unrecognized by the Self because this planet’s energy is highly ego-effacing by nature. “Oh, that wasn’t anything; it couldn’t possibly be – I don’t have any ‘psychic’ abilities. I’m no Edgar Cayce,” is often what we tell ourselves, downplaying the significance of those nebulous impressions we shouldn’t be ignoring. The Neptunian vibe seeks no glory or recognition, being inherently self-effacing. Therefore it can easily remain a blind spot obscured from our view so that we don’t recognize it for what it truly is; a different means of understanding that comes not from the mind but from Spirit.


02/03/2018