Surviving Shadow Work Lesson Three: Living With Shadows

Learning and Community

A

iracles, shadow

Today marks our final lesson in this mini-teaching on Surviving Shadow Work. You can access lesson one here and lesson two here. I want to take a moment to thank all of you for the kind emails you have sent, full of your own stories of survival and shadow work – it is such an honor to bear witness to each and every one of them.

So in our final lesson I want to touch on how we LIVE with our shadows. Once we have discovered them, seen them, found medicine for them and applied it…then what?

Go back to our first lesson and recall that the origin of the idea of shadow work started with Carl Jung. We don’t have to be Jungian scholars to understand that Jung’s ultimate vision of a happy, person with a healthily functioning psyche was one of integration, meaning that the healthy psyche was one where shadow and light, good and bad, desire and restraint, all have roles to play.

In some cases, usually in cases of severe trauma, recognizing the root cause of a shadow is a really significant act and the shadow itself – once properly treated – simply disappears.

But for most of us what we find is that we discover a shadow, find the needed medicine, treat it successfully, and then integrate it into our waking life in various ways.

For some of us that will look like relying on the right medicine and making sure it is available to us.

For others it is sufficient awareness of what situations might trigger your shadow and the subsequent avoiding of those situations.

Still for others there is a sense of peace and healing that goes hand in hand with renewed energy and activity.

The point that I really want to make here is that we all live with our shadows in different ways, but living with them is really what we are meant to do.

Even in cases where one shadow seems to have completely been illuminated (and thus disappeared) there will be more shadows…there always are. That is not a bad or good thing, just truth.

However, we can make choices in our daily lives that feed our shadows or don’t. And we can choose to look at our shadows when we are ready to or not. So many of those choices constellate around how much strength, endurance, and support you have in your life at the given point in time. For this reason attention to the things that nourish you here and now is of paramount importance.

In short, we live with our shadows best when we discover what truly sustains us at present.

So, for your final prompt I would like you to consider that: what truly sustains you and how can you bring more of that sustenance into your life?

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Surviving Shadow Work Lesson Two: Focusing, Finding and Applying the Needed Medicines

Learning and Community

A

lright Miracles, shadow

Today we are going to work in a very particular way with the area of shadow that you identified for yourself after reading yesterday’s lesson.

As I wrote there, the biggest challenge around engaging in shadow work is getting stuck in the psychic underworld, never ascending, never returning to life here and now.

I believe this is such a challenge for the age-old reason that any journey can be perilous – distraction. For when we plumb our depths and experience the underbelly of our thoughts, feelings, actions, and beliefs we often find much more than we bargained for.
We may have started our journey with one area of shadow in mind and find ourselves months or even years later so far off course that we couldn’t tell you what we were trying to do in the first place. In some traditions, this is referred to as being fairy-led and there are many stories that deal with the theme: from the Biblical tale of Lot’s wife to the ancient myth of Orpheus, to the classical work of Dante. In all cases, the protagonists deal with the very real possibility that in their foray into the Underworld (where our shadows reside) we run the risk of getting stuck and never ascending.

Which brings us to the question of how one avoids falling into the trap of distraction and making the actual ascent back into the world here and now. The answer is simple: stay focused, find the needed medicine, and apply it immediately.

Let’s break this down into three steps with the help of a hypothetical story. This is a true story from one of my clients who gave me permission to share, the name has been changed for obvious reasons.

Amy dreams of public speaking. She has had offers to go and speak in front of crowds and lead gatherings because her work is popular and known. But Amy does not like to be in the spotlight AT ALL. Not because she is shy – she isn’t – but because she is very comfortable with people’s eyes on her. Amy came to me to have some divination on this situation and also to do some liminal work around it – she realized that some shadowy reason was at the root of her resistance to being seen and wanted more insight on it.

We worked together and this is what she found:
Amy realized that the shadow she was dealing with concerned her dad. He would come home from work every day tired and angry and looking for someone to take it out on. Since she was very tiny Amy learned to hide, in her bedroom, among her stuffed animals, to avoid his wrath.

This brings us to Step One: Stay Focused.
Amy did not need to do a lot of work to discover the deep cause of her discomfort with the spotlight. A little divination, a little liminal work, and she knew what the situation was. At this point Amy had a choice: she could continue with the shadow work by seeking to understand WHY her father was the way he was OR she could deal with the issue at hand – her discomfort with being seen. You can see how tempting it is to take it further, to get just a little more information, but you can also see how that journey takes us farther away from the goal – which was to support Amy in public speaking and being seen by people. Amy wisely chose to deal with the issue at hand. She knew what her shadow was, now what?

Step Two: Find the Needed Medicine.
Amy had mentioned that she always hid among her stuffed animals. A little more divination and a few questions later, we had determined that one stuffed animal, in particular, a lion, had really made her feel especially safe and secure. This was ONE medicine that resonated with her situation and addressed her shadow with potency. From there it was obvious what needed to happen. We were ready to move to Step Three: Apply It Immediately.

Now we did have a moment where we had to get creative because Amy’s little lion was long gone…and a grown woman probably couldn’t take a stuff lion on stage with her! But, we did discover that there are tiny stuffed animals of all shapes and sizes, many that attach to a key chain. Amy found a lion she loved, I loaded it up magically for her, and she attached it to her key chain. She takes it everywhere with her and guess what? She also does lots of public speaking now. Amy had a successful encounter with one of her shadows because she stayed focused, found the needed medicine, and applied it immediately.

You can do this as well: go back to the shadow you wrote about in the last lesson. Think and feel into it and try to recollect what medicines supported you when it was an active force in your life. There may be several such medicines but most likely, one will stand out. Then ask yourself: how can I apply for this medicine today and immediately?

In our final lesson, we are going to talk about what happens next, after the medicine has been applied.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Surviving Shadow Work Lesson One: What Is Shadow Work and Why Do It At All?

Learning and Community

H

ola Miracles!

The above picture features Hades, one of our two cats, and he has graciously agreed to be our familiar during this intensive on Surviving Shadow Work.

Why, a cat, you might ask?

Well, Hades and his sister Aphrodite, were born right after their mother was rescued from Houston during Hurricane Harvey. If anyone knows about surviving the shadows it is this little guy!

So, in order to make a beginning it would probably be useful to define what shadow work is. This is my definition and it may or may not align with what you have heard before.

Shadow work is any physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and/or therapeutic work that we engage in that puts us face to face with the aspects of ourselves that we typically do not see or acknowledge.

Carl Jung coined the term “shadow” to refer to the unconscious mind and thus we often see “shadow work” as a term employed in various psycho-spiritual disciplines.

A couple of notes about my definition and how it might differ from what you are familiar with:

1.) Shadow work is not exclusive to the emotional realm. Often we think of shadow work as something that occurs exclusively through our feelings but this is not accurate, we can engage in shadow work with multiple faculties including our spiritual, intellectual, and even physical selves. How do I know this? I have done it, and you probably have too.

2.) Our shadows are not necessarily bad. They are not necessarily good. They may or may not be neutral and they may or may not be gifts. Our shadows are first and foremost the unseen and unacknowledged parts of our lives.

Talk to any good therapist specializing in trauma and they will tell you that sometimes, in some situations, and for some people there are aspects of life that are hidden and the need to remain that way – at least for time being. There can be a bias among spiritual practitioners that all shadows are somehow malevolent and need to be conquered or brought into the light or what have you. This is not true.

There is also a bias in some communities that all of our shadows are fundamentally benevolent and gifts that we have yet to claim. That is also not true.

The most important thing to recognize about our shadows at this point is that they are the unseen and unacknowledged parts of ourselves – there may be good reasons that they have gone unseen and unacknowledged and there might be not so good reasons for that.

Now that we have defined it, let’s talk about why we do shadow work in the first place. Actually I would say that we don’t do shadow work, it does us. By which I mean that typically we begin engaging in shadow work when a shadowed place naturally makes itself known to us.

This can happen in a lot of different ways. Sometimes a shadowed part of ourselves begins to impede our daily functionality – we find ourselves triggered all of the time or our issues begin to take a toll on those closest to us – and we know it is time to look at the shadow. Sometimes we remember something that had previously not been present in our waking minds and it is time to deal with our shadows. And sometimes, we commit to a spiritual or intellectual path that requires us to look at our shadows for the sake of further development.

Typically people in communities like ours are pretty hip to why you would want to do shadow work and what the benefits of that kind of work can be.

We are much less clear however (or at least much less willing to talk about) the greatest pitfall of shadow work which is getting lost, trapped, and stuck in the shadows. This phenomena happens frequently and you can usually recognize it in yourself and in others whenever you encounter the feeling (or the thought) that your work with a particular shadow is never-ending.

To go back to Jung for a moment, Jung took the notion of the shadow from literature, stories, and myths. In many of these works we see the protagonist confront something about themselves that had not been previously seen or noted. They discover this unseen aspect of themselves, they see it, and then…what?

This is where the story often ends in modern practice but in reality it is where most stories begin. The meat of most of these tales is not the discovery of the shadow but rather what happens after, the integration of whatever medicine the shadow might carry into our lives and the ascent out of the depths back into the waking work.

Much has been written and created around the theme of descent and with good reason – it is an essential step in our development. But less attention has been paid to the ways that we then ascend back into the here and now. That’s what our focus is going to be in the next two lessons.

For now, I would love you to think about your previous experiences with shadow work and feel into one shadow area in particular that you are aware of. Write it down and if you need to add any description to it feel free to do so.
We are going to work with this in tomorrow’s lesson so stay tuned.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Astro RX 2020

Divination and Dreams

M

iracles — Let us discover what astro events are happening in the heavens so that we might be fully rooted here in this gorgeous earth.

In this post we will go through the various phases of the moon, briefly look at what each of the planets will be up to in 2019, and of course, I will give you pertinent retrograde dates and eclipse dates as well.

As always for every single point, I will give you at least one question to consider. Why?

Because although the popular way of teaching astrology (and most other things) is by telling you dear reader what I think they mean, I have found that a much better way of approaching anything in the sacred arts is to give you the tools to think about it, feel into it, and figure it out for yourself.

Questions, the right questions, can help you do just that. I teach magictarot, and astrology in this manner and from the reports I have received and my own experience I know that it works.

So get those pens and notebooks ready!

 

And now, the dance of planets:

The Many Faces of the Moon

LunarLetter_FullMoonLa Luna is the most visible and easily trackable celestial body in the sky beside the sun. And so it makes complete sense that the earliest calendars were lunar to say nothing of the many ceremonies, rites, and feast days that honored Luna in her various phases.

Within the sacred arts there are four lunar phases to pay special attention to First Quarter, Full, Balsamic and/or Dark, and New.

New Moons are the best time to start any project or breathe new energy into any situation or area of your life. At this point the Moon is at the very beginning of her next 28-day phase – luna is starting fresh and so can we.

First Quarter Moons are best for looking at relationships and bringing harmony, balance, and intuitive insight to any given situation. Traditionally this phase of the moon was considered the best time to the divine and the very famous Oracle at Delphi only gave out her divinations during this phase of the moon.

Full Moons illuminate the land and the sky, allowing us to “see in the dark” and making this the best time to look at and uncover the aspects of a situation that usually remain in the shadows; revelations occur during Full Moons.

Dark Moons are traditionally times to rest, fast, dream deeply, and banish anything that is no longer relevant and/or of use to you.

It is important to note that everyone has a very different relationship with the phases of the moon. While the above descriptions are tried and true in my life and the lives of many of my students and clients, I also know a hefty number of folks who feel (for instance) very depleted energetically during new moons and much more alive and full of energy during the Balsamic phase. Use the information as a springboard but then pay attention to your own experiences.

Below are the lunar phases for 2020 in central time. If you need help with timezone conversation go here.

January

1/10: Full Moon + Lunar Eclipse at 20 degrees Cancer 1:21 pm
Ask: What are my dreams telling me?

1/17: Waning Quarter at 26 degrees Libra, 6:58 AM
Ask: Where do I need to banish dependency?

1/24: New Moon at 4 degrees, Aquarius 3:42 PM
Ask: What message am I ready to broadcast?

 

February

2/1: Waxing Quarter at 12 degrees Taurus, 7:42 PM
Ask: What pleasure am I ready to meet?

2/9: Full Moon at 20 degrees Leo, 1:33 AM
Ask: What is my relationship with courage?

2/15: Waning Quarter Moon at 26 degrees Scorpio, 4:17 PM
Ask: What inherited stories are I ready to acknowledge?

2/23: New Moon at 4 degrees Pisces, 9:32 AM
Ask: What new prayer or blessing am I ready to commit to?

March

3/2: Waxing Quarter at 12 degrees Gemini, 1:57 PM
Ask: What message is growing within me?

2/9: Full Moon at 19 degrees Virgo, 12:48 PM
Ask: What is my relationship to sovereignty?

3/16: Waning Quarter at 26 degrees Sagittarius, 4:34 AM
Ask: Where does my aim need to be improved?

3/24: New Moon at 4 degrees Aries, 4:28 AM
Ask: What new adventure is calling me?

April

4/1: Waxing Quarter at 12 degrees Cancer, 5:21 AM – All Fools Day
Ask: Where do I need to increase nourishment?

4/7: Full Moon at 18 degrees Libra, 9:35 PM
Ask: What is my relationship to balance?

4/14: Waning Quarter Moon at 25 degrees Capricorn, 5:56 PM
Ask: What can I stop pretending to be/do?

4/22: New Moon at 3 degrees Taurus, 9:26 PM – Earth Day
Ask: What financial seeds am I ready to sow?

4/30: Waxing Quarter at 10 degrees Leo, 3:38 PM
Ask: What does the right relationship to luxury look and feel like?

May

5/7: Full Moon at 17 degrees Scorpio, 5:45 AM
Ask: What is my relationship with shadow?

5/14: Waning Quarter Moon at 24 degrees Aquarius, 9:03 AM – Jupiter RX Begins
Ask: What connections are no longer relevant?

5/22: New Moon at 2 degrees Gemini, 12:39 PM
Ask: What am I ready to share?

5/29: Waxing Quarter at 9 degrees Virgo, 10:30 PM
Ask: What new health and healing regime am I ready to explore?

 

June

6/5: Full Moon + Lunar Eclipse at 15 degrees Sagittarius, 2:12 PM
Ask: What freedom am I ready to pursue?

6/12: Waning Quarter Moon at 22 degrees Pisces, 10:24 PM
Ask: What addictive thoughts, behaviors, and/or attitudes do I need to banish?

6/20: New Moon + Solar Eclipse at 0 degrees Cancer, 1:41 AM – Summer Solstice
Ask: What home am I ready to create?

6/28: Waxing Quarter at 7 degrees Libra, 3:16 AM
Ask: What Justice am I committed to?

 

July

7/4: Full Moon + Lunar Eclipse at 13 degrees Capricorn, 11:55 PM
Ask: What mastery should be celebrated?

7/12: Waning Quarter Moon at 3 degrees Aries, 10:24 PM
Ask: What weapons am I ready to put down?

7/20: New Moon at 28 degrees Cancer, 12:33 PM – Summer Solstice
Ask: What home am I ready to create?

7/27: Waxing Quarter at 14 degrees Scorpio, 12:31 PM
Ask: What mystery am I ready to explore?

August

8/3: Full Moon at 11 degrees Aquarius, 10:59 AM
Ask: What community am I seeking out?

8/11: Waning Quarter Moon at 19 degrees Taurus, 11:45 AM
Ask: Where do I need to banish laziness or sloth?

8/18: New Moon at 26 degrees Leo at 9:42 PM
Ask: What new luxury am I ready to embrace?

8/25: Waxing Quarter at 13 degrees Sagittarius, 10:10 PM
Ask: What travels am I ready to undertake?

September

9/2: Full Moon at 10 degrees Pisces, 12:22 AM
Ask: What am I ready to heal?

9/10: Waning Quarter Moon at 18 degrees Gemini, 4:26 AM
Ask: What distractions do I need to remove?

9/17: New Moon at 25 degrees Virgo at 6:00 AM
Ask: What do I want to plan for?

9/23: Waxing First Quarter at 1 degree Capricorn, 8:55 PM
Ask: Where am I ready to build mastery and expertise?

October

10/1: Full Moon at 9 degrees Aries at 4:05 PM
Ask: What core aspects of myself do I wish to honor?

10/9: Waning Quarter Moon at 27 degrees Cancer, 7:40 PM
Ask: What family/tribal ties am I ready to sever?

10/16: New Moon at 23 degrees Libra at 2:31 PM
Ask: What new relationship am I ready to form?

10/23: Waxing Quarter at 0 degrees Aquarius, 8:23 AM
Ask: What message am I ready to amplify?

10/31: Full Moon at 8 degrees Taurus at 9:49 PM – Halloween/Samhain/Blue Moon
Ask: What brings me stability?

November

11/8: Waning Quarter Moon at 16 degrees Leo, 7:46 AM
Ask: What pride needs to be vanquished?

11/14: New Moon at 23 degrees Scorpio, 11:07 PM
Ask: What shadow am I ready to explore?

11/21: Waxing Quarter at 0 degrees Pisces, 10:45 PM
Ask: What does right relationship with my intuition look and feel like?

11/30: Full Moon + Lunar Eclipse at 8 degrees Gemini, 3:30 AM
Ask: What words matter most to me?

December

12/7: Waning Quarter Moon at 16 degrees Virgo, 6:37 PM
Ask: What categories do I need to drop?

12/14: New Moon + Solar Eclipse at 23 degrees Sagittarius, 10:17 AM
Ask: What am I ready to set free?

12/21: Waxing Quarter at 0 degrees Aries, 5:41 PM – Winter Solstice
Ask: What fire wants to be kindled?

12/29: Full Moon at 8 degrees Cancer, 9:28 PM
Ask: What hungers have I successfully sated?

Sun

The sun moves through the zodiacal belt just as the moon does. Your astrological sign is determined by the Sun’s position at the time of your birth. As everyone has ALL of the zodiac signs in their own charts, it is very useful for you to know when the sun moves into a new sign.

1/20: Sun enters Aquarius 8:55 AM
Ask: What community am I ready to cultivate?

2/18: Sun enters Pisces 10:57 PM
Ask: What dream am I ready to follow?

3/19: Sun enters Aries (Spring Equinox) 10:50 PM — Spring Equinox
Ask: What is ready to be balanced?

4/19:  Sun enters Taurus 9:45 AM
Ask: What foundations am I ready to lay down?

5/20: Sun enters Gemini 8:49 AM
Ask: What is my message?

6/20: Sun enters Cancer 4:44 PM — Summer Solstice
Ask: What sanctuary am I ready to create?

7/22: Sun enters Leo 3:37 AM
Ask: What do I roar for?

8/22: Sun enters Virgo 10:45 AM
Ask: What is holy for me?

9/22: Sun enters Libra (Fall Equinox) 8:31 AM — Fall Equinox
Ask: What relationships am I devoted to?

10/22: Sun enters Scorpio 6:00 PM
Ask: What are the blessings from my broken places?

11/21: Sun enters Sagittarius 2:40 PM
Ask: What am I able to teach?

12/21: Sun enters Capricorn 4:02 AM — Winter Solstice
Ask: What mastery do I seek?

Lunar and Solar Eclipses in 2020

There are six eclipses in 2020. You can learn more about eclipses and how to work with them here. In short, I have found that eclipses are very useful for breaking long-held patterns of thought, behavior, attitude, and action that no longer serve. Many astrologers talk about eclipses in negative terms but don’t let that keep you from noting eclipse times and trying your hand at working with them in an intentional manner. If you want to truly optimize your eclipse experience then check out my Eclipse Magic offering.

1/10: Lunar Eclipse at 20 degrees Cancer at 1:21 PM
Ask: What feelings are no longer serving me?

6/5: Lunar Eclipse at 15 degrees Sagittarius at 2:12 PM
Ask: What comforts are keeping me from true freedom?

6/21: Solar Eclipse at 0 degrees Cancer at 1:41 AM
Ask: What no longer nourishes me?

7/4: Lunar Eclipse at 13 degrees Capricorn at 11:44 PM
Ask: Where am I resistant to developing mastery?

11/30: Lunar Eclipse at 8 degrees Gemini at 3:30 AM
Ask: What keeps me from articulating my message?

12/14: Solar Eclipse at 23 degrees Sagittarius at 10:17 AM
Ask: What keeps me from deep learning.

Planets

Just like the stars, planets move throughout the sky all of the time. The inner planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars) all move relatively quickly through signs and sections of the chart. The outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto) all move at a much slower rate through the various constellations and houses of the chart.

Inner planets traditionally are understood to deal with everyday, practical, daily life issues while outer planets are understood to work with big cycles, realizations, and patterns in our lives. First, we will spend some time with some of the inner planet happenings in 2020, starting with the ever-dreaded (but actually awesome if you know how to work with them) Mercury retrogrades.

Mercury Retrogrades for 2020

Every planet has retrograde periods but most people are only familiar with Mercury in Retrograde – mostly because many astrologers and non-astrologers alike make this period out to be terrible, full of bad luck, and extremely frustrating. It can be, but I prefer to practice with Mercury retrograde instead of in resistance to it.

You can learn more about Mercury retrograde in my Mercury RX archives here and check out this article to start to get a sense of how you might deepen your retrograde experience. If you are what I call Mercury-sensitive you will want to make a note of the things to do BEFORE Mercury goes retrograde and join up with the Mercury RX Survival Kit.

In 2020 the Mercury Retrogrades all occur in water signs with the exception of the second retrograde period in July which begins in the fire sign of Leo. When Mercury retrogrades throughout our watery friends we see a tendency for emotions to get the better of us, for brilliant insights and connections regarding art, spirituality, and concerns of the heart to be revealed, and for our ability to verbally articulate to take a backseat to our deep creativity. These retrogrades also often bring up potent dreams and dream cycles so be on the lookout for that!

Here are the dates for the 2019 Mercury Retrogrades:

February 16th – March 9, 2020: Retrograde starts at 6:54 PM in Pisces, moves into Aquarius on March 3rd and stations direct on July 9th at 10:49 PM.
Ask: What spiritual practices are ready to be reviewed?

June 17, 2020 – July 12, 2020: Retrograde starts at 11:59 PM in Cancer and then stations direct on July 12th at 3:26 AM
Ask: What in your home needs to be restructured?

October 13, 2020 – November 3, 2020: Retrograde starts at 8:05 PM in Scorpio, moves into Libra on October 27th and ends on the 3rd at 11:50 AM.
Ask: What elements of my lineage are ready to be re-balanced?

Inner Planet Awesome: Mercury, Venus, and Mars

These three inner planets move through the sky and around the zodiac relatively quickly which means that they make many transits throughout the year. (If you want the full scoop on what each of the planets is doing then you should sign up for Star Magic which includes a monthly list of all essential astro events). All of the major transits this year are occurring for the big, outer, planets, but the inner planets are still keeping us on our toes with Venus and Mars Retrogrades!

May 13th, 2020 – June 25th, 2020 Venus Retrograde begins at 1:45 AM in Gemini and stations direct on June 25th at 1:48 AM.
Ask: Where do I need to re-examine my loving connections?

September 9th, 2020November 13th, 2020 Mars Retrograde begins at 5:22 PM in Aries and stations direct on November 13th at 6:36 PM.
Ask: Where do I need to optimize my independence?

 

Outer Planet Amazement: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto

Big Events in 2020

January 12th – Saturn and Pluto Conjunction. This is a conjunction that occurs only every 34 years. It kicks off 2020 with an intense pairing. Saturn, the stern taskmaster encounters power player Pluto and this can impact us in a couple of different ways. On the one hand we can be shadowy and sketchy about our pursuit of power, skirting the law and taking the easy way out in order to gain or keep the upper hand. On the other hand, this duo can inspire unparalleled discipline and potency that you can bring to your New Year’s Resolutions and any other area of life where you need it!
Ask: Where do I need to super-charge my discipline?

April 4th, June 30th, and November 12th – Jupiter and Pluto Conjunction. This pairing occurs every 13 years. It is sometimes referred to as the “mogul” pairing and carries a lot of potential for creating deep wealth and money magic.
Ask: Where am I ready to deepen my wealth and abundance?

December 21st – Jupiter and Saturn Conjunction. This conjunction occurs once every 20 years and heralds a new age in business and politics, personal finances, and the ways that our reality is affected by our spiritual work.
Ask: What big changes need to be supported at this time?

 

Jupiter in Capricorn and Aquarius

Jupiter in Capricorn: For most of 2020 Jupiter is in Capricorn. Traditional astrology regards Jupiter as “fallen” in the sign of Capricorn because Saturn-ruled Capricorn tends to emphasize constriction while Jupiter values expansion above all else. However, there is much common ground to be found between Jupiter and the sign of Capricorn and this ground will be emphasized by the fact that Jupiter will be conjunct with Saturn through much of its tour through Capricorn. This is a time when hard work, restriction, and thriftiness will be well rewarded as will the dedication to any specific skill or craft.
December 2, 2019 – December 19th, 2020: Jupiter encourages a solid foundation as it moves through Capricorn.
Ask: What hard work am I willing to engage in and what rewards would I like to see as a result?

Jupiter in Aquarius: Jupiter’s tour through Aquarius will begin with a bang when Jupiter and Saturn conjunct one another. Jupiter in the sign of the Water-bearer will support those who have messages that they wish to broadcast into the world gain greater clarity on how to do that. It will be a time when change is well-aspected and given a cosmic blessing and when significant decisions that will have long-term effects on the future come into being.
December 19th, 2019 – May 12th, 2021: Jupiter blesses all projects that deal with expansion, connection, technology, and broadcasting. Congregations and groups of all kinds are especially auspicious now.
Ask: Where am I ready to expand my horizons?

Jupiter Retrograde: There is a Jupiter Retrograde in 2020.
May 14, 2020 – September 12th, 2020: Retrograde starts at 9:32 AM and ends on September 12th at 7:41 PM.
Ask: What aspects of my daily devotional and spiritual practices are still relevant and what needs to be released?

Saturn in Capricorn and Aquarius

Saturn in Capricorn: For most of 2020 Saturn will be in its favored sign of Capricorn but it will move briefly into Aquarius from March – June giving us a taste of what is to come at the end of the year when it stations properly into Aquarius. The opportunity now is to look at the areas where mastery, duty, obligation, and responsibility play out in your life. Use these final months while Saturn is in its elevated position to set good routines and amp up the discipline in any areas where that is needed.
January 1st – March 20th, 2020  and July 1st – December 17th, 2020
Ask: Where am I ready to gain mastery, experience, and cultivate true excellence?

Saturn in Aquarius: Although in modern astrology Uranus is listed as the ruling planet for Aquarius, in classical Astrology it was Saturn, not Uranus (which had not yet been discovered) that ruled over this sign. This combination gives rebels a cause and can infuse needed discipline and responsibility into ideals that have been seen (up until this point) as too “out there” or “fringe.” It ushers in a new era of technological developments, some of which may have hard effects on the current economy and job market as we know it. It can also call in more oversight and legal obligations for big tech companies. For you personally this alignment is a time to take the discipline of Saturn and harness it to the future facing energy that is present within Aquarius.
March 21st, 2020 – June 30th, 2020 and December 18th, 2020 – March 8th, 2023
Ask:
What kind of future do I want to build?

Saturn Retrograde: There is a Saturn Retrograde in 2020 in the signs of Aquarius and Capricorn.
May 10, 2020 – September 29, 2020: Retrograde starts at 11:09 PM in Aquarius, moves into Capricorn on July 1st and stations direct on September 29th at 12:11 AM.
Ask: What disciplines do I need to review?

Neptune in Pisces

Neptune continues moving through the sign of Pisces, giving us plenty of deep ocean to swim around in and go diving for treasure. Neptune in Pisces both supports our ability to dive deeply into our intuitive selves and also to heal not only on a personal level but on a global level. It also stirs up the waters so that problems and issues that need to be seen are able to float to the surface. On the flip side, as Neptune swims through its favorite sign we can all engage in more fantasy and problematic escapism – this is a time when it is especially easy to run up those credit card bills and engage in creative storytelling that allows us to escape accountability. How to do Neptune in Pisces well? Don’t lie, trick or deceive – yourself or others, note your addictive tendencies, and focus on healing.
Ask: What is ready to be healed?

Neptune Retrograde: June 22, 2020 – November 28th, 2020: Retrograde starts at 11:31 PM and stations direct on November 28th at 6:36 PM.
Ask: What unfinished creative/dreamwork do I need to turn my attention to now? What unhelpful fantasy needs to be revised and made relevant?

Uranus in Taurus

On March 7th of 2019, Uranus moved into Taurus. This marks a seven-year cycle that is going to shake up our most solid institutions and assumptions in both the personal and global spheres. To give you an idea of what Uranus in Taurus can look like, the last time it occurred was between the years of 1935-1942 – that was the Great Depression and beginning of WWII. While this transit may not be easy, it will absolutely re-orient some of the fundamental assumptions we make and the basic ways we engage with life. Expect to see tech on all fronts including AI and Robotics gain ground and importance in both global economies and everyday life.
Ask: What assumptions are ready to be challenged?

Uranus Retrograde: August 15, 2020 – January 14, 2021: Retrograde begins at 9:25 AM and stations direct on January 14th at 2:36 AM.
Ask: What needs to be shaken up in my life and what needs to be settled back down?

Pluto in Capricorn

Capricorn works hard and Pluto goes deep so this pairing cannot help but leave an impact wherever it happens in your chart. Capricorn is often thought of as the career sector of the chart but I think of it more as craftsmanship. The difference is that for many of us career is a notion tied distinctly to our jobs, while craftsmanship is a virtue that we can apply to many areas of our lives. Pluto relentlessly tears down whatever is not working and Capricorn has the good sense to continue moving forward and refining all needed skill sets.
Ask: What is excellence asking of me?

Pluto Retrograde: April 25, 2020 – October 4, 2020: Retrograde begins at 1:54 PM and stations direct on October 4th at 8:32 AM.
Ask: What aspects of my personal power need to be refined?

 


Sync up with the stars

We’ve created digital calendars with all the important dates, times and events for your convenience:

download the Google Calendar
download the iCalendar
download the Sacred Arts Book of Hours – a planner for Soulful Seekers for $24 here.


 

 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Share A Little Magic. Win Something Big!

Alchemy and Magic

M

iracles,

A few days ago, I shared what the word magic means to me.

To me, magic is anything you do to make everyday life feel a little more extraordinary. Magic is ritual and ceremony, yes. But magic is also the celebrations of birthdays and anniversaries, quiet moments of reflection, rites of passage like graduate, periods of meditation and prayer.

Magical moments are found in all places. Light a candle in honor of someone you have lost, writing down all the reasons why you are still angry with your ex and then burning the paper, censing your home with your favorite incense or spritzing it with room spray, making a birthday cake for your child, taking a bath with your beloved, rolling around with your dog, and planting seeds before a storm hits…magic comes in many forms.

To celebrate the release of my book Making Magic, I have an invitation for you…and yes of course there will be fabulous prizes!!!

Read on for instructions…

Step 1: Experience a magical moment for yourself. Any type of moment. Big. Small. Doesn’t matter. Light a candle. Cense a room. Draw a hot bath. Journal after dropping the kids off at school. Pull a tarot or oracle card. Anoint your front door with a blessing oil. Make a circle of salt. Feed the birds. Sprinkle petals on your bed. Leave a love note in your child’s lunchbox. Put a crystal in the windowsill so that it catches the light. Let yourself be quiet. Dance. Sing. Make a fire. Say a prayer. Make whatever magic you feel called to make.

Step 2: Take a photo of that magical moment.

Step 3: Post your photo online somewhere. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, your blog, anywhere you want — and say, “This was the most magical moment of my day”, or “Finding the extraordinary in the everyday”, or “Today I wanted to make some magic”, or something along those lines. (Want to write a little more? Want to share why this moment was so magical for you? Go for it! Write as much or as little as you want.)

Step 4: In your post please mention somewhere that this post was inspired by a new book: Making Magic and please include the #makingmagicbook and #BrianaSaussy hashtags and this link for ordering the book.

Step 5: Get your post up before midnight (central time) on June 3rd, 2019. Email a link to bri@brianasaussy.com and then you are all done!

Now the really fun part…the prizes!

I will read every single post (I can’t wait to see them!) and I’ll choose 7 people who will win some awesome prizes.

Grand Prize: A year of Lunar Lights and a one hour Sacred Arts Session with me.

Additional Prizes include: signed copies of my book, 3-question tarot readings delivered via email, a 20 minute audio recording focused on a specific area of your natal chart, and a devotional candle dressed, blessed, and set on your behalf.

Thank you for making magic in your life — and helping to spread the word about my book at the same time. Double magic!

I cannot wait to see your photos. I know they will be so moving, tender, and sweet. I see a lot of happy sighs and squeals, and probably some tears too in my near future!

Never forget my loves – you are magic.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Mercury Retrograde in the Sign of Pisces

Divination and Dreams

I

mentioned before that it is super useful to know what zodiac sign Mercury is going to be retrograde in. So let’s take a look at that now.

From March 5th through March 28th Mercury goes retrograde in the sign of Pisces. So what does this mean? Well, first off it means that if you have Pisces as your Sun, Moon, or Ascendant sign then you can expect to really feel this particular retrograde period and be extra sensitive to it. Since Pisces has two planetary rulers, Jupiter and Neptune, this also means that folks with Jupiter and/or Neptune in strong positions in their charts (like conjunct your Sun or at your Midheaven) will also really feel this RX period.

If you don’t know about any of the above that is OK – the rule of thumb with Mercury Retrograde is to assume that you will be affected. If you aren’t then awesome and no harm, no foul. If you are sensitive to these times of year then you will be ready!

Pisces is the Fish, the final sign of the Zodiac, and the ruler of the 12th house. So what happens when Mercury crabwalks backward through this sign? Because Pisces is a water sign and the water signs all bring us into contact with our emotions one of the first things that happen is we all start to feel more thin-skinned. We wear our hearts on our sleeves. And the words that we use with one another can often be more hurtful during this time than we anticipate – so we have to be extra thoughtful and discerning with not just what we say, but also how and when we say it.

Another thing that occurs when Mercury Retrogrades through Pisces is that our speech and our thinking are not at its clearest. Pisces is the sign of dreams. Archetypal symbols, ancient motifs, and powerful faerie tales complete with riddles are the natural lexicon of this sign – straight forward, logical thinking and analysis – not so much. It isn’t that Pisces is not capable of rational thought (Einstein was a Pisces) but rather that the way we arrive at our rational conclusions when guided by this sign is more circuitous (Einstein also famously dreamed about the theory of relativity).

Over the next week, I will be touching on some of the other themes that come up with Mercury Retrograde in Pisces, including the influence that this retrograde can have on our dream lives and intuition. I’ll also share my favorite kind of magic to make for this retrograde season and more!

xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Hearth and Home Vol. 10 ~ Does Anyone Here Speak Sumerian?

Ceremony and Ritual

T

he Sumerian-inspired subject line of today’s Hearth and Home is brought to you by my seven year-old son, Jasper, who has been availing himself to my Sumerian dictionary. Yep, you heard that right: Sumerian. Like from ancient Sumer. Actually the text I have is more than a dictionary: if you want to, you can learn how to read Sumerian cuneiform, based on scholarly reconstruction of archeological findings. It’s a solid tome, and, you know, practical if you want to learn Sumerian. He has plans for this book, he is going to try to cram it into his bookshelf so that it magically becomes his, that’s right, the bookshelf in the picture – do you think there’s room?

Who in the world would want to learn Sumerian? NO ONE speaks or writes Sumerian anymore. It is truly a dead language, written and spoken. And yet this very fact is what makes languages like Sumerian so attractive to some people (and certain 7 year olds).

Y’all should have seen J as he tried to wrap his head around the fact that Sumerian is dead. The notion that a language could be dead is actually what brought cuneiform to life for him, lighting the whole thing up like a Christmas tree. Now there are scraps of paper with cuneiform marks all around the house. (One of the groupings of marks he copied, means “liberty”, according to scholars, and Sumerian is the earliest known written language with this concept.) So this ancient, dead language is now the coolest most relevant thing ever, and Jasper has decided he wants to become an ancient culture detective (as he calls it) and find out what really happened to the people who spoke Sumerian.

Oh, and also: he does not quite believe us about the whole “dead language thing” because he woke up last Saturday morning asking who in the household speaks Sumerian. He is pretty sure one of us is holding out on him. Maybe it’s the baby.

I love everything about this. I love the fact that my 7 year old chooses to spend his Saturday morning delving into a magical script from a faraway time and land. I love the fact that he is so sure someone really does speak Sumerian somewhere, and I love the fact that he might just be right…maybe somewhere someone does after all.

Jasper’s tenacity (around ancient languages and generally speaking) is a study in belief. The belief that he has access to this knowledge and that this is appropriate – that knowledge should not be jealously guarded under lock and key or held only be a few. The belief that if he practices at something long enough and diligently enough he can begin to make headway with it. And the belief that there is magic…in old books and ancient languages and everywhere around us if we know how to look. This has been the theme for our family this year, ever-present magic and the fact that while the extraordinary is most definitely part of the everyday, we still have the privilege – and challenge – of dealing with the everyday.

This month ‘the everyday’ beyond the usual work load looks like wrapping up presents and picking out gifts, decorating the tree, and sending out Christmas cards. I unashamedly and unabashedly love Christmas, Solstice, Yuletide, and the Omen Days that come after. I love it all. I love the sparkle and the color and the corny music. I love the excitement of the kids. I even love the pangs of sadness – the way that I miss by best girlfriend because when we lived in the same city we did our Christmas cards together. And the way that I miss my grandfather who loved this time of year above all others. I adore the stillness and the quiet of the cold air and the sparkling stars.

We often hear it said that the holidays are hard. And they certainly can be. But there seems to be an expectation that they should not be so hard…that everything should be happy and joyful and perfect. To my mind this expectation is rooted in the forgetfulness that the holidays are in fact HOLY days.

Genuine holy days are days pierced and crowned with the qualities of wholeness and healing, and holiness – truly beautiful and magical things. But these magical qualities are no more free of the hard and the tough than the phrase “happily ever after” is meant only for fairytales. Never in my experience has the magic of the truly holy turned away from the incredibly hard. Always it has made room for and embraced it.

This means of course that the genuinely hard times are never far from holy, wholeness and healing – even if it can feel like sometimes they are, even if the grace and freedom you seek feels a million miles away.

I tell my students that what keeps us steady in the face of the hard is our daily practices. These practices change as we do. They morph, they transform. But if we commit to showing up with them, they in turn commit to us and give us a steady foundation from which to work, live, and simply be. These days my practice begins at 4am when I get up before anyone else to take care of all of our animals.

Then, when the weather is favorable, I go outside in my pajamas, with a thick blanket and wrapped up in a coat, and I lay down under the stars. It is dark and cold. The neighbors are mostly asleep (and my neighbors know that I am a bit touched and seem to be OK with that), the wind is usually blowing gently at 4:30am, I listen. I’m watching the stars in part because I am preparing to teach my most ambitious astrology course yet in the New Year. But I am also simply being with the sky and the earth and the air, saying an intentional hello to these elements that surround me all of the time. With so much happening, with so much busy activity, these few minutes of star and moon bathing seem to add hours on to my day.

My practice is also all of the daily stuff. Watching Heath as he begins to eat solid foods…zucchini is a yes, bananas are a yes, as is spinach; green peas he is not so sure about and green peas and rice will earn you a Paddington Bear-esque hard stare. Listening to Jasper play piano at his winter recitals and play basketball (he is learning to catch the rebounds) and loving the way his little brother smiles at him as if he is the very sun itself. My practice has also included the fun of snuggling with my love, diving into Grey’s Anatomy – yes we just started, and yes it is so fun – and figuring out how to bend time and space so that my lover has time to draw and sketch and create the gorgeous art that our homes and lives are filled with.

Business is a practice for me too. I love my work so the scheduling and the follow up emails and the readings, the lighting of lunar lights and the teachings – all part of the practice. First writing and then shepherding the book into this next phase has been a new set of practices I have become familiar with.

At the end of November I got to speak to the publicity and marketing team in charge of my book (we have decided that when we meet in person it shall be over margaritas) and we have devised a very sophisticated marketing strategy…would you like to know what it is?

Write a good book.
Tell your community about your book.
Create an actually useful and awesome bonus when people pre-order the book.
Whip up some fun ways for there to be more time and connection within the community without outsourcing everything to social media or a keyboard…so simple, yet pretty revolutionary stuff huh?

Amidst a sea of bad marketing advice this certainly feels revolutionary. And then there is my publisher and my team, and for us it all comes down to integrity…write what needs to be written, share what needs to be shared, make it worthwhile and let your community know. As Emeril says, “Bam!” I’ll be sharing loads more about the book in January so stay tuned for that but in the meantime I hope you do what the title advises and make some magic for yourself this season.

And on that note, I want to share one of my favorite little tricks for creating some sweet magic in your home. It is the holiday season and some of the tough stuff that we encounter happens in our own families, yes? We can all use a reminder to speak with more kindness and compassion, to listen with more mercy, and to check our snap judgements at the door. One of my favorite magical tricks to inspire this behavior is to fill the sugar canister with whole vanilla beans, one for each member of the family. As you place the pod into the canister, name it for the family member and bless them with the following blessing:

“May your season be full of love, warmth, and kindness for yourself and for all you come into contact with.”

Of course you can also utter a blessing straight from your heart.

When you bake with the sugar or add it to your tea or coffee, it will call to mind the sweetness that you have wished upon yourself and everyone in your family. Want another little home sweet home enchantment? I’ve got one right here. And for those of you who have asked me about the lunar lights for 2019 – they are open through today so get in on it! Beautiful blessings of this holy, hard, and yes, magical season.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.