Pluto’s Spider Medicine

I have a rather naturalistic view of astrology and the animistic perspective is something I always enjoy providing for clients when they are open to exploring this angle of interpretation. There is so much interconnectedness between zodiac symbolism and the natural world – Heavenly archetypes have their Earthly counterparts and there is much we can gain by exploring their resonance with each other.

To this end, I find myself musing about spiders and their connection to Pluto energy. Plutonic people are sensitive to the intangible matrix that surrounds everyone/everything; the etheric “web” of invisible energy currents that envelops us all. In a figurative sense, Plutonic peeps have the same kind of radar for vibration that arachnids do; not necessarily for the purposes of pouncing on prey (although lower life form variants of this species certainly do use it this way), but for reading the subtle signs that allow them to size people and situations up accurately and get an overall impression. Plutonic individuals read into things like body language, mannerisms, intonation, and even what’s *not* being spoken to “see” your energy signature on a deeper level and know what you’re really about.

They also have a fabulous “sixth sense” for danger – if you’ve ever seen a kid poke a stick into a spider’s web, you’ll note the spider always knows the difference between this vs. a meal arriving at its doorstep. Whereas an ant or fly’s thrashings will trigger it to pounce, bigger objects exerting their force upon its gossamer net elicit a “flight” response where it will actually run away; perhaps sensing the amount of power being used is vastly greater than anything it has encountered before. If you’re a Scorpio (or have a concentration of celestial bodies in this sign), have a plethora of 8th House planets, and/or have Pluto wired to many personal planets/pinned to the angles of your chart (say, contacting your Sun, Moon, Ascendant, and/or Chart Ruler), embrace the gifts of Spider Medicine as it has much to offer you.


Jupiter Square Pluto: Enormous Omens

The square between Jupiter in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn continues to tighten, and as it does so one thing we can expect from this energy is the appearance of some pretty enormous omens. Jupiter loves to magnify things while Pluto does relish having some kind of secret “code” – combine the two and what you get are huge “signs”; massive portents to be interpreted by those who understand and speak the language of the Occult fluently.

Case in point: The story I just read below gave me goosebumps of EPIC proportions!

I have a really strong connection to the Animal Kingdom – I am visited by critters great and small almost nightly in dreams, so when I saw this I honestly didn’t know whether to be comforted or creeped out. Whales are supposed to be keepers of the Akashic Records; a compendium of all the thoughts, feelings, knowledge, and experiences on Planet Earth that have ever been, are, or will ever be. When scientists observe giant pods of whales “swarming” like this and don’t know why, my gut feeling tells me something gargantuan is afoot on the energetic plane.

What might it mean? While I can’t say for certain, my own feeling is the whales may be gathering en masse to remind us of our history. On one hand we have ISIL trying to erase it by blowing up all these ancient and culturally significant landmarks (such as Nimrud & Palmyra) that are a giant part of human history. On the other, we have the Trump administration attempting to re-write and/or (god forbid) possibly even repeat it with its McCarthy-era behaviors and rampant white nationalism. Perhaps the whales are congregating in order to amplify their symbolic Medicine at this time; their songs representing a dire cry within the energetic meta-narrative that we all need to take heed of.

Recommended further reading: Whale Energy

Pay attention to the first and fourth paragraphs especially – I find them particularly relevant with the opposition between Jupiter and Uranus still operating roughly in tandem with this square between Jupiter and Pluto. It may be the whales are convening in super-sized groups to also emphasize the fact that we desperately need tolerance and inclusivity on the planet at this time.

Image credit: Sylke Rorhlach 


Mars Conjunct Saturn In Sagittarius: Right Action Meets Right Timing

After months of stalled or slowed activity, action planet Mars finally reaches escape velocity from its long and arduous retrograde phase. But before it finally achieves liftoff in earnest, it has one final pre-flight checklist to go over courtesy of its current conjunction with Saturn: Are we going the right way? Doing the right thing? Do we have a good plan in place to increase our chance of success with this initiative? Do we have optimal weather conditions and timing for our “launch”?

© 2016. All rights reserved.

You may recall that months ago while discussing this Mars retrograde phase, I mentioned the importance of waiting for “the Sign” to know when it’s “go time” – it amused me to no end to get confirmation of this via a visitation from a praying mantis yesterday just ahead of this conjunction. Mantis symbolism teaches the wisdom of right timing, and of not moving until we know for sure the moment is most opportune. I watched the mantis for a good 45 minutes, noting its very deliberate movements up the stalk of a flower until it sat just below a profusion of blooms that was sure to attract its prey. It was very patient – a few bees buzzed above it here and there at various points, however they were just out of reach and moving would have meant the risk of the mantis scaring its quarry off after it had found the perfect spot. After several more moments of observing, I watched with utter amazement as it snatched a hapless yellow jacket from mid-air with complete impunity right before my eyes – if that’s not a Sign about the veracity of waiting until the perfect moment to strike, I don’t know what is. And with Mars currently aligned with Saturn, it’s crucial to heed this wisdom and strike only when we’re certain right action and right timing have in fact converged.

If you are unsure of whether or not this is indeed the case for you, this duo squaring mystical Neptune indicates that stillness is the way. Meditate. Dream. Pray, like my mantis friend. Ask for Divine Guidance in the form of a vision.


The Moon

The Lunar vibes have been coming on quite strong lately, most notably over the recent long holiday weekend when a potent Cancer New Moon arrived early Monday morning. Note the interesting correlation with the New Moon also falling on Mo(o)nday; a day of the week energetically ruled by the Moon. Feeling especially introspective on the 4th, I decided to go for a walk along a wooded trail encircling the reservoir to do some reflection and to quietly commune with nature.

I was most of the way around the loop when I passed over a wooden footbridge that spanned a rocky little creek – the water level had fallen considerably due to a recent dry spell, so instead of a babbling brook the water poured sluggishly over the rocks and collected into miniature pools. Small islands of rock and mud lay exposed by the thirsty creek bed, and I felt a pull to leave the path and do a little exploring along its bottom. Swatting away a pestilent cloud of buzzing mosquitos, I began hopping from rock to rock, occasionally finding footing in a muddy sandbar as I peered with curiosity into the tiny lagoons to see what I could see.

The first couple held nothing of interest save a small contingent of water skaters doing their bug-like Jesus thang atop the overgrown puddles; the high surface tension of the water combining with their ultra-light bodies and four perfectly balanced legs to keep them miraculously high and dry. The third puddle contained what I believe was a juvenile trout about 5 inches long – some primal hunter-gatherer instinct must have surfaced within me, because I was immediately compelled to see if I could catch it by hand. I began moving some small rocks in the pool to box him in, plunging my hands into the cold water and emerging triumphantly with fish in hand. I took a good look at him and then set him back into the water, moving the rocks back where I had found them to allow him to swim freely once again. As I was moving the rocks, I noticed a rather large pincer in the water sans its owner – there must be crayfish in here, I thought excitedly!

Downstream I went, making my way over to one of the larger pools and would you look at who I found just hanging out in the water!

© 2016. All rights reserved.
© 2016. All rights reserved.
Image courtesy of the RWS Tarot.
Image courtesy of the RWS Tarot.

He was SO COOL! I picked him up by the rear to avoid being on the business end of his impressive and no doubt mighty claws, and was absolutely delighted that he elected to reveal himself to me! Pondering the significance of Crawfish Medicine, my mind’s eye suddenly conjured up this image:

Such perfect symbolism for such Lunar-flavored astro, no? The Moon in tarot can often be a reminder that even the most domesticated creature cannot be fully divorced from wild roots – the Call of the Wild resides in each of us; it’s just a matter of how well we listen.


Planetary Archetypes In Nature, Part 2

My shaman friend Deana once told me that my line of work and hers weren’t all that different; astrology deals with the energy of heavenly archetypes (i.e. the sun/moon/planets/stars) while shamanism works with the earthly manifestations of these archetypes via animal symbolism. I have always been an animal lover, but my relationship to the animal kingdom experienced a huge shift after that conversation, as now I saw them more as living, breathing symbols in their own right and finally understood that all those dreams I’d been having of various critters almost nightly all my life weren’t simply neat oddities spawned by my abiding love for fauna. No, the critters themselves actually carried messages, so I started pondering and/or researching their symbolism whenever I would come upon them in my dreams or in real life.

Why the preface, you ask? Because yesterday when I was in the garden harvesting some stray heirloom tomatoes and preparing to pull up a few beets to roast in this chilly autumn weather, I had quite an interesting encounter in the carrot row. Gathering the small pile of tomatoes into my arms, I turned to bring them inside before focusing my attention on the selection of beets when I heard something rustling in the leaves below. My gaze fell toward my feet and the black landscape fabric beneath that was radiating heat garnered from the absorption of afternoon rays, when I suddenly spied a small snake – he must have been trying to warm himself up when my movements startled him and sent him into hiding beneath the tangled mass of carrot fronds nearby!

A living, breathing terrestrial manifestation of Pluto energy!
A living, breathing terrestrial manifestation of Pluto energy!

Naturally, I quickly placed my bounty on the ground and moved closer to inspect – he darted from my grasp and even tried to strike at me a few times before I was finally able to pick him up and have a good look at him. I told him aloud that I wasn’t going to hurt him – he responded by repeatedly flicking a red and black forked tongue over in my direction, as if suspicious of my stated intent.  He was a juvenile Eastern Brown Snake about a foot long and no wider than my pinky, and by the look of his milky eyes it seemed he was getting ready to molt.

Now you may recall from a previous post how snakes are linked to Pluto energy – would it surprise you then to know I caught this little fella basking in the Sun just as the Sun and Pluto were approaching a square to one another? I always love it when life/nature imitates astrology…! So as not to cause the snake further distress, I placed him back where I had found him and he wasted absolutely no time in slithering deep into the carrots to make himself invisible. But this story is an excellent example of the old “As Above, So Below” axiom in action – if you see it in the sky, look closer because you’ll see it on the ground, too. There is no real division between Heaven and Earth  – it’s just an illusion if the spiritual and material worlds seem separate because the reality is it’s all intertwined…


Mercury In The Beak Of The Raven

Clever Crow caught something in his beak today - Mercury! Image courtesy BS Thurner Hof.
Clever Crow caught something in his beak today – Mercury!
Image courtesy BS Thurner Hof.

The raven sees; the raven saw; and in the corn he sayeth “cah”.

LOL, the crows are yammering in the background as I write, believe it or not…! Mercury is currently conjunct the star Alchita in the constellation of Covus; A.K.A. the Raven or Crow as known by its more common nomenclature. More precisely, this star is located in the vicinity of its beak – with that in mind, what has a little birdie told YOU lately? Now may be a time to listen intently, because we might even unearth a Word Of Power or two hidden in a conversation. What key things speak to us now? Perhaps with Mercury also square Pluto, minute, almost imperceptible things such as body language, tone, or phrasing may be the most telling. Perhaps it’s not words at all, but something symbolic that piques our interest and speaks deafeningly to us like some kind of ultrasonic call only our acutely attuned ears pick up; an omen or sign of some sort…crows are magical as they are often witches’ familiars, after all!

I find that I am prone to seeing portents all the time, especially from birds. I’m freakishly attuned to my avian friends and do have many wild stories about Cool Encounters of the Winged Kind. There’s the vultures, the whopping total of 10 feathers recently gifted to me by the doves during Venus Retrograde, the incident a few weeks back where I was walking under a stand of walnut trees and listening with delight to a buzzy little bluebird tittering in the boughs above me when he floated a beautiful azure feather down to me – it was quite magical! Finding feathers is also supposedly a sign of angelic presence, FWIW. So if you come across a random feather, look twice because there may be a message there for you! If you can, try to I.D. the species and then perform an internet search for the symbolism of that particular bird. I realize that not everyone is a nature nerd like Yours Truly, LOL, so if you’re not able to identify the genus it came from, no worries there – you can always look up just the symbolism of the color itself. But this is an example of how messages don’t always require words, and with a retrograde Mercury on Alchita, I think this is something certainly worth pondering.

From a more esoteric standpoint, one other thing I want to mention is Mercury on this particular star makes me think it could be a good time to connect to our throat chakra and do a little scan to see if this energy center is either blocked or, conversely, overactive.

Let’s speak our Truth…or just plain speak up, period! Do we have something to crow about? If so, let it fly!

On the opposite side of the coin, have we been jabbering on noisily? Do we need to moderate our loquacious ways by closing our bills a bit? Perhaps we would be better served by giving our beaks a more concerted focus! Mercury in Libra loves a mindset of “All things in moderation”, so perhaps Alchita’s cawing is just a reminder to keep the yin/yang balance….


Pluto Transits To Venus: Vulture Love!

Meet my new buddy, the Turkey Vulture!

Ever since this Pluto transit kicked in, I have experienced some pretty wild encounters on the Vulture Medicine front. One of the most memorable was the time I came upon a flock of about 20-25 ominously large Turkey Vultures perched upon the lower boughs of a decaying old sugar maple one evening during a run. They were probably only about 30 feet away from me and didn’t even startle as I passed…it was surreal and made the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up in a combination of awe and also a vague sense of foreboding – I knew that life wasn’t likely to be the same after an encounter like that, as that’s some Big Medicine!

Vultures are an earthly manifestation of Plutonic energy, you see, and may appear to us at times when an old way of life is passing as harbingers of this transition. They are carrion feeders, so there is an element of learning how to spiritually sustain ourselves from the decay that surrounds us. Fortunately (LOL, that’s my gallows humor, folks!) I am well-versed in the practice of finding gold in the shadow…

So on a recent sunny summer day I …Read More…

Planetary Archetypes In Nature

Photo by Jason Quinn: "Cedar Waxing August 14, 2014  Newfoundland, PA"
Photo by Jason Quinn: “Cedar Waxing August 14, 2014 Newfoundland, PA”

Just this morning I had a little visitor outside my window – much to my delight, a lovely Cedar Waxwing was sitting in my Rhododendron, gathering the bush’s flowers with its beak!  Yes, it was quite the sight to behold….I was wondering why on earth it would be picking flowers…?  Was this some weird nest-festooning thing it liked to do, like the bowerbirds of Australia?  Were there bees or other insects inside the flower gathering pollen/nectar, and the bird was using the blossom like a net in order to catch its prey?  What exactly was the deal with this?

Referencing my handy Audubon Society field guide on birds (yes, I *am* a nature nerd if you haven’t figured that out by this point in the story, LOL), I found out some cool facts about my little buddy:

Waxwings are apparently super-social creatures, usually hanging out in large flocks.  They have a habit of lining up in a tree or bush and passing berries to one another in a chain, so they seem to enjoy sharing and are “polite” enough to feed their friends before stuffing their own beaks with berry goodness.

Hmmmm..interesting behavior for a bird – loves companionship, seems to have a penchant for flowers, and likes to share?  I’d say this bird has some very Venusian energy going on!  It was pretty cool to see an animal’s energy resonate so strongly with a planet’s.  My shamanic healer friend, Deana, once told me that she and I both do similar work as we both deal with archetypes – mine are the heavenly kind (the planets), hers are the earthly manifestations (animals/totems).  Something clicked when she told me that – I’ve never looked at animals the same way since.  Now I pay attention whenever I have an interesting animal encounter and look at the “energy” (read: message) the critter in question carries, much in the same way I see the planets expressing their energies in everyday life and decode the memos they send out. It’s all symbolic & the signs are there – whether we read them through the planets or the animals, it’s all the same.  It’s all energy.