Planning by Starlight ~ Part Three

Divination and Dreams

I

am so excited to give y’all the third and final lesson in this Planning by Starlight series.

So, this next lesson is my personal favorite because it deals with what I think of as the number one missing piece when it comes to not just planning with astrology but working with astrology in general. And that, my friends, is magic.

Here you are. If you followed along with the first two lessons you actually have quite a bit of information. You might be planning according to your sun sign or working with the phases of the moon. You have probably started to map out the transits of the major planets and noted when in the course of 2019 those pesky Mercury Retrogrades are going to occur.

For more advanced students, you might be looking at how some of the major transits will affect your life by noting what area of your charts they show up in and what aspects they form with other important planets and celestial bodies. Whether you have started out very simple or you are getting into the nitty-gritty of planning by starlight, your planners are looking pretty spiffy and you should have a much better sense of the general shape of the year to come.

Now, if you have been paying attention, it is right at this point that a question naturally comes up. You have some solid-Astro information plotted into your planner, yes, but what does one DO with the information? As I said in lesson two – there are more ways to work with this data than just paying attention to it – although truly that is a great place to start.

The first step to working effectively with Astro-planning is to think about practical actions. I have given examples of these throughout the lessons so far – don’t launch something when Jupiter is retrograde, don’t have a big conversation with your significant other when Mercury is retrograde if you want to focus on healing in the year to come work with Neptune, etc, etc. For each astrological observance you have mapped out in your planner you should ask yourself: what practical actions on my part can support this event so that it is a blessing in my life? 

Do note: that does not mean that every Astro event is going to be an obvious blessing. If Saturn is going to be prominently placed in your chart over the next year then you go into the year knowing that it is going to feel like a slog sometimes and expecting to get a little existential. You can also know that practical actions focused on reducing debt, exercising, tying off loose ends and generally being super responsible will be deeply supported by Saturn while going on a Jupiter/Venus/Neptune inspired art binging and shopping spree (and sure, throw in a wild love affair while you are at it) is NOT going to work well for you, no matter how fun it sounds.

There has been a debate in astrology forever about free will vs. fate with some ancient astrologers saying that the stars are the stars and whatever they indicate is simply fated to occur while others have always disagreed and claimed that it is our relationship with the stars that is the determining factor. As a sacred artist, I fall firmly into the second camp, I believe our relationship to the stars is essential to both our understanding of them and our ability to work with them and not against them. After assessing what practical actions you can take, you may find that there are certain events that really seem to stand out for you. Maybe there will be a moment in the coming year when Jupiter is conjunct your natal Sun, perhaps Pluto is transiting the area of your chart the deals with money and cash flow (the 2nd house) and it has you a bit on edge, maybe you see that Uranus is changing signs from Aries to Taurus and the last time that happened we experienced both WWII and the Great Depression and so you are wondering…how exactly does one have a right relationship with that? This is where magic comes in.

Magic is the Ace in the hole for astrologers who do not buy into the fixed fate idea of the stars. More than that, as two Sacred Arts, magic and astrology have always been deeply related. Magicians, Priestesses, Sorcerers, and Witches all have worked with astrology to give them a sense of timing and to increase their chances of accomplishing whatever it is they have set out to accomplish with their magical work.

Some magical materials and talismans are traditionally made taking detailed astrological information into account – and for that reason can only be made at certain times or during certain years. In today’s world, more people are familiar with astrology than they are with magic and so we see more and more people moving to magic as a way to deepen their understanding and relationship with the stars.

If there is an astrological event that is coming up over the horizon for you and you want to get the most out of it then I guarantee you the best way to do that is to marry smart practical actions with simple magic. And, very much like planning with astrology, you do not need to know much about magic in order to start working with this process. In fact, here are three ways you can start immediately:

Elemental, my dear Watson ~ One of the ways that we know that magic and astrology are related sacred arts is because they share a common language and that is the language of the 5 classical elements. (For our purposes I am focusing on “Western” astrology – although much of it originated and was developed in the Middle East, and “Western” magic – although much of it has originated and developed all over the globe. To that end, I am referring to the classical “Western” elemental system, popularized by the ancient Greeks, but worked extensively in ancient Egypt and ancient Persia). These elements are Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit (also known in some traditions as Ether). Every planet, zodiac sign, and the house of the chart has an element associated with it. And in an individual’s chart, there is often one or two elements that make strong appearances as well as one or two that do not appear much or at all.

This elemental information is useful to notice when it comes to all kinds of things – from balancing your health to balancing your checkbook, but it is also very useful to know when it comes to making magic because many forms of magic also work extensively with the elements. Your initial approach to this can be so simple that it might not even feel like magic (and typically that is a sign that you are actually on the right track).

So, for instance, let’s say that my writing about Mercury has piqued your interest and you want to develop a deeper relationship with that particular planet. Mercury is associated with the element of Air so you might write a petition and then hang it from a tree so that the wind is able to blow through it, activating it. Or you might burn incense to Mercury on his special day of the week (Wednesday). If you want to take it deeper you might find out (or work with a professional astrologer to determine) when Mercury transits over the hot spots of your chart and set aside those days to do a little deeper work with the speedy messenger planet.

Perhaps you are really focused on physical healing in the coming year and have decided to work with Neptune. Let’s take it a step further and say that you have learned that Neptune is going to be conjunct (sitting right next to) your natal moon in Pisces. The element that both Neptune and Pisces are attuned to is water. So one beautiful way to work with this magically would be to take some drinking water, place it in a clear crystal or glass container, set it out under the Full Moon in Pisces (which occurs once a year at the end of August or in September) and allow the water to soak up the moonbeams and the vibe from Neptune. The next morning bring the water inside, say a blessing over yourself for healing, and drink the water down.

The singular best way to begin exploring the connection between astrology and elemental magic is to look at your own chart and discover which element is most strongly represented there. Begin to develop a relationship with that element. Here are some questions to help you do that:
What have my experiences of this element been like in my life?

What colors, scents, sounds, places, and stories do I associate with this element?

How do I feel when I am around this element?

How do I feel when I am away from it for a long period of time?

Sunrise, Sunset ~ Another, very old, way of working with astrology and magic is by working with the sunrise and sunset. This is probably one of the first ways our ancestors combined the sacred arts of magic and astrology because it is a daily occurrence and quite visible to the naked eye.

Work with the rising sun all the way up until the point that the sun reaches its zenith in the sky as a time of drawing towards you whatever it is that you have need of. You might ask for general blessings, for increased knowledge of astrology, or for something more specific. Notice how your requests change throughout the year and notice if there are times when you feel especially resonant with the sun’s presence and other times when you do not.

In the same way, work with the setting sun to remove things from your life you no longer need. Again, the requests may be general or specific. And again, you will want to notice when you feel especially attuned to the sun as well as when you might not.

Again, this magical work can look very simple. Standing in the direction of East (to work with the rising sun) or West (to work with the setting sun) and stating your need or desire out loud is one great way to get started. Take it farther by building an altar in the east or the west and doing you any attraction work or banishing work in those places respectively. Light a candle as the sun is rising in honor of its fiery strength, or focus on a melting candle as the sun sets with the expectation that whatever you are releasing or repelling will also melt away.

Moon Magic ~ Working magically with the moon is one of the oldest kinds of magic work. When we stand in the moonlight and listen to the night sounds we all feel our inner magic-maker begins to stir! Like the Sun, the Moon has phases that are an idea for drawing and attracting whatever it is that you need and/or starting new endeavors, as well as phases for completing any outstanding work and tying off loose ends and also phases for celebrating what has been accomplished thus far.

The first thing to do if you want to magically work with the moon is to get a sense of the different phases. At the very least pay attention to the days when the Moon is full and then again when the Moon is new. Here is an article on making magic with the full moon and here is one for the new moon. The phase of the moon just before the New Moon often called the Dark Moon is also a potent time, especially for self-care. Each half phase of the moon (known as quarters) is also special: the waning quarter moon is an ideal time for banishing magic and the waxing quarter moon is a great time for divination and/or sharpening your divination skills.

As you begin to explore the wild and wonderful world of lunar magic you will also realize that there are actually six months of magic in every full moon.

Again, I know I have given you all a ton of info but I really want you to have some basic tools that allow you to move from just passively noting the significant Astro dates to actively working with the stars, planets, and the magic that speaks to them to create not only an organized year for yourself but a year that flows and is full of a road that is open and a way that is clear!
May it be so!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Planning by Starlight ~ Part Two

Divination and Dreams

W

elcome to the second lesson in the Planning by Starlight series! This lesson speaks to the reason why so many people love the idea of planning with astrology and get you started on that path with minimal fuss. So, just a reminder. If you missed lesson one you can access it right here and feel free to leave a comment/question if you have one.

We ended the first lesson with a question about how to work with astrology to plan around major celestial events, especially for those of us who are not super well-versed in Astro-speak and/or who are intimidated by all of the Astro terms. This is one of the biggest reasons why people start to pay attention to astrology in the first place. Maybe you experienced a particularly rough Mercury Retrograde period and then found out about this whole thing called Mercury Retrograde. Maybe you saw your life fall apart and then dramatically re-arrange itself only to find out years later that those events all occurred around the time of your Saturn Return – and then you decided to find out just what the heck a Saturn Return even is!

In today’s teaching, I am going to walk you through how to find out about and then plan for the major celestial events you want to keep an eye on whenever you are planning out the course of your week, your month, or your year.

Outer Planet Awesome ~ When it comes to looking at big celestial patterns that have the ability to deeply support or dramatically disrupt our lives, the first rule of thumb is to look at the outer planets. These planets include Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. (In classical astrology you will not see Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto mentioned as they were discovered later).

The outer planets represent big patterns and themes that we all want to be aware of as we make our plans. They move much more slowly than the inner planets do, so this gives us more time to get to know the outer planets, and also means that when they do something special – like move from one zodiac sign to another or go into retrograde – the effects are felt not just by us in our personal lives, but quite often in a more universal and global manner. The movements of all of the planets are called transits and usually when we speak of transits in astrology we speak of them like this: “For most of 2018 Jupiter is transiting the sign of Scorpio”. That means that for most of this year Jupiter has been moving through the constellation of Scorpio.

Understanding what is happening with the transits of the outer planets in a given year will help you make any big plans and also set you up to get the most of the coming year. We can also work with the transits of the inner planets but they tend to move much faster than the outer planets so there is a lot more data involved in those assessments.

Because the outer planets move so slowly they are pretty easy to map out:

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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. This is especially true during the Neptune – Jupiter squares. How to do Neptune in Pisces well? Don’t lie, trick or deceive – yourself or others, note your addictive tendencies, and focus on healing.

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.

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.

Now, for some of you, this is awesome information and for others, you might also be feeling overwhelmed because none of this is helpful if you do not know what qualities and areas of life each planet speaks to. Many astrologers speak about the energy of a given planet and if you like thinking about it that way you certainly can – planets do give off energy, they give off sounds, and in some cases, they give off smells! Personally, I think of the planets as Holy Helpers – they are celestial bodies that resonate with specific areas of life that people are interested in shaping or influencing in some manner. Painting in BIG brushstrokes here are some of the key ideas for each of the outer planets:

Jupiter – money, wealth, wisdom, teaching, traveling
Saturn – debt, banishing, mastery, discipline, asceticism, protection
Neptune – healing, dreams, intuition, magic, love, redemption
Uranus – connection, community, rebellion, technology, progress
Pluto – destruction, power, depth, secrets, re-birth, trauma, sovereignty

Here is how I suggest you work with this information: first, make a note in your calendars of where each of these planets is. Also, check to see if there are retrogrades for each of the outer planets and if there are when those occur (we will talk about retrogrades in a sec). If one of the outer planet changes signs, as Jupiter and Saturn do in December then make a note of those moments in your calendars as well.

Once you have plotted that basic information you have some choices. If you are brand new to this method of planning pick ONE of the outer planets – maybe you want to increase your money this year so you pick Jupiter or maybe you are really focused on healing a chronic health issue so you pick Neptune. Learn about the planet. Learn about the God that the planet is named for and resonant to. Find out what prayers were said and what offerings were made traditionally by the people who worked with this energy. Get an image of the planet and put it in a place where you will be sure to see it on a daily basis. Write out the glyph of the planet on paper, in incense smoke, on your skin with oil or lotion. Learn what YOU associate with this particular planet – take the year really getting to know it.

If you want to take this a step farther, find out where the planet is showing up in your natal chart. Jupiter is moving through Capricorn for everyone but one person might have Capricorn ruling their 5th house while another may have it ruling their 8th houses. Those different positions can make a big difference in how that Jupiter in Capricorn energy shows up in your life.

If you want to go even a step further then look at how the planet you have picked is relating to other areas of your chart. Because the planet is moving through a sign it will begin to form different aspects with other parts of your chart throughout the year. If you are an intermediate or advanced student of astrology then plan with an eye to this. Obviously, when Jupiter is squaring your sun you don’t want to try to launch anything or raise money and conversely if it is conjunct your natal Neptune you have a really good opportunity to heal something either physically or spiritually.

As you begin to work with this method of planning you will notice that some outer planets really speak to you while others do not. There are a bunch of reasons for this. Your sun sign has a natural planetary ruler, depending on your chart you may have a planet in a very powerful position (for instance, in my chart Pluto is right on top of my Sun so I have a strong relationship to Pluto). You do not need to know anything about your chart or planetary ruler though to find out which planets really speak to you – all you need to do is pay attention to the moments when planets shift signs and when they go retrograde – those two instances will tell you if you really feel the presence of a planet or not, especially in the case of the outer planets.

Again, to use myself as an example, whenever Pluto goes retrograde I can feel it in my physical body. One year when it happened I got food poisoning and spent the day worshiping at the porcelain throne. In between bouts of vomiting I had to marvel at how precisely affected I was by the planet’s movement, a planet that in astrological medicine is associated with the intestines and waste elimination processes of the body. I came out of that experience with a clear realization that I was overworked and the next day I hired a VA.

So, note when the planets are going retrograde (where they appear to go backward in the sky even though they really are not), and then when those events happen, ask yourself – how do I feel, what have I experienced and what have I realized during this time?

Mercury Moves ~ You can work with the inner planets just as you do with the outer planets but because the inner planets move much faster, it can be a bit overwhelming to plot their course throughout the year. Instead, I recommend you focus on one planet – the fastest moving of them all, good old Mercury. Specifically, you will want to note that what the Mercury Retrograde periods are for 2019. Here they are:

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.

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

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.

Mark these dates in your calendar and then go bookmark this post that tells you what to DO before Mercury goes retrograde.

Mercury is one of the most powerful planets to work with on a daily basis. This Holy Helper rules communication, technology in the day to day, connection, networking, presentations, speech, thought, publishing, friendships, and commerce. In the body, Mercury resonates with our breath, ability to extend, nervous system, and mind. Most people only work with Mercury during its retrograde period, but I fee that of all the inner planets, this is the one that we should really be paying attention to during the whole year. You don’t need to map out all of the Mercury’s movements through the year – but advanced students can notice when Mercury moves over important spots in their charts and beginning students can pay attention to what they encounter during retrograde periods as well as what times of the year they feel especially articulate and clear-headed.

Return to Me ~ A third way to work with planetary transits is to focus on returns. You experience a planetary return when the planet in question returns to the exact point it was at during the time you were born. Because planetary motion is regular, returns are also regular. The best-known return is your solar return – also known as your birthday! Everyone experiences a Jupiter return every 12 years. Mercury returns to its original place in your birth chart every year, and most of us experience a Venus return every one to two years. Saturn returns occur every 28 years. Uranus returns to the exact spot it was in at the time of your birth every 84 years.

Planetary returns respond well to reflection. If you have marked out in your calendars what returns you might experience in a given year then you are more likely to take even a couple of hours and reflect on what you have learned since the last time the planet was in that placement.

OK, so I know this post was information-heavy! As always you can leave a comment on the Canto page and if you have questions let me know and I will answer them. As you start playing with these different possibilities you will probably start to notice a pattern (actually, you will start to notice A LOT of patterns) but you may notice that sometimes there are astrologically sticky moments or that there are big Astro opportunities and now that you have marked them in your calendar you don’t really know what to do with them. I mean sure, you can “be aware” of them – but is there more to it than that? Indeed there is, and that will be what we cover in our third lesson!

Planning by Starlight Part Three

I am so excited to give y’all the third and final lesson in this Planning by Starlight series. Thanks so much to each and every one of you for your participation, great questions, and comments – LOVE Y’ALL!

So, this next lesson is my personal favorite because it deals with what I think of as the number one missing piece when it comes to not just planning with astrology but working with astrology in general. And that, my friends, is magic.

So, here you are. If you followed along with the first two lessons you actually have quite a bit of information. You might be planning according to your sun sign or working with the phases of the moon. You have probably started to map out the transits of the major planets and noted when in the course of 2019 those pesky Mercury Retrogrades are going to occur.

For more advanced students, you might be looking at how some of the major transits will affect your life by noting what area of your charts they show up in and what aspects they form with other important planets and celestial bodies. Whether you have started out very simple or you are getting into the nitty-gritty of planning by starlight, your planners are looking pretty spiffy and you should have a much better sense of the general shape of the year to come.

Now, if you have been paying attention, it is right at this point that a question naturally comes up. You have some solid-Astro information plotted into your planner, yes, but what does one DO with the information? As I said in lesson two – there are more ways to work with this data than just paying attention to it – although truly that is a great place to start.

The first step to working effectively with Astro-planning is to think about practical actions. I have given examples of these throughout the lessons so far – don’t launch something when Jupiter is retrograde, don’t have a big conversation with your significant other when Mercury is retrograde if you want to focus on healing in the year to come work with Neptune, etc, etc. For each astrological observance you have mapped out in your planner you should ask yourself: what practical actions on my part can support this event so that it is a blessing in my life? 

Do note: that does not mean that every Astro event is going to be an obvious blessing. If Saturn is going to be prominently placed in your chart over the next year then you go into the year knowing that it is going to feel like a slog sometimes and expecting to get a little existential. You can also know that practical actions focused on reducing debt, exercising, tying off loose ends and generally being super responsible will be deeply supported by Saturn while going on a Jupiter/Venus/Neptune inspired art binging and shopping spree (and sure, throw in a wild love affair while you are at it) is NOT going to work well for you, no matter how fun it sounds.

There has been a debate in astrology forever about free will vs. fate with some ancient astrologers saying that the stars are the stars and whatever they indicate is simply fated to occur while others have always disagreed and claimed that it is our relationship with the stars that is the determining factor. As a sacred artist, I fall firmly into the second camp, I believe our relationship to the stars is essential to both our understanding of them and our ability to work with them and not against them. After assessing what practical actions you can take, you may find that there are certain events that really seem to stand out for you. Maybe there will be a moment in the coming year when Jupiter is conjunct your natal Sun, perhaps Pluto is transiting the area of your chart the deals with money and cash flow (the 2nd house) and it has you a bit on edge, maybe you see that Uranus is changing signs from Aries to Taurus and the last time that happened we experienced both WWII and the Great Depression and so you are wondering…how exactly does one have a right relationship with that? This is where magic comes in.

Magic is the Ace in the hole for astrologers who do not buy into the fixed fate idea of the stars. More than that, as two Sacred Arts, magic and astrology have always been deeply related. Magicians, Priestesses, Sorcerers, and Witches all have worked with astrology to give them a sense of timing and to increase their chances of accomplishing whatever it is they have set out to accomplish with their magical work.

Some magical materials and talismans are traditionally made taking detailed astrological information into account – and for that reason can only be made at certain times or during certain years. In today’s world, more people are familiar with astrology than they are with magic and so we see more and more people moving to magic as a way to deepen their understanding and relationship with the stars.

If there is an astrological event that is coming up over the horizon for you and you want to get the most out of it then I guarantee you the best way to do that is to marry smart practical actions with simple magic. And, very much like planning with astrology, you do not need to know much about magic in order to start working with this process. In fact, here are three ways you can start immediately:

Elemental my dear Watson ~ One of the ways that we know that magic and astrology are related sacred arts is because they share a common language and that is the language of the 5 classical elements. (For our purposes I am focusing on “Western” astrology – although much of it originated and was developed in the Middle East, and “Western” magic – although much of it has originated and developed all over the globe. To that end, I am referring to the classical “Western” elemental system, popularized by the ancient Greeks, but worked extensively in ancient Egypt and ancient Persia). These elements are Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit (also known in some traditions as Ether). Every planet, zodiac sign, and the house of the chart has an element associated with it. And in an individual’s chart, there is often one or two elements that make strong appearances as well as one or two that do not appear much or at all.

This elemental information is useful to notice when it comes to all kinds of things – from balancing your health to balancing your checkbook, but it is also very useful to know when it comes to making magic because many forms of magic also work extensively with the elements. Your initial approach to this can be so simple that it might not even feel like magic (and typically that is a sign that you are actually on the right track).

So, for instance, let’s say that my writing about Mercury has piqued your interest and you want to develop a deeper relationship with that particular planet. Mercury is associated with the element of Air so you might write a petition and then hang it from a tree so that the wind is able to blow through it, activating it. Or you might burn incense to Mercury on his special day of the week (Wednesday). If you want to take it deeper you might find out (or work with a professional astrologer to determine) when Mercury transits over the hot spots of your chart and set aside those days to do a little deeper work with the speedy messenger planet.

Perhaps you are really focused on physical healing in the coming year and have decided to work with Neptune. Let’s take it a step further and say that you have learned that Neptune is going to be conjunct (sitting right next to) your natal moon in Pisces. The element that both Neptune and Pisces are attuned to is water. So one beautiful way to work with this magically would be to take some drinking water, place it in a clear crystal or glass container, set it out under the Full Moon in Pisces (which occurs once a year at the end of August or in September) and allow the water to soak up the moonbeams and the vibe from Neptune. The next morning bring the water inside, say a blessing over yourself for healing, and drink the water down.

The singular best way to begin exploring the connection between astrology and elemental magic is to look at your own chart and discover which element is most strongly represented there. Begin to develop a relationship with that element. Here are some questions to help you do that:
What have my experiences of this element been like in my life?

What colors, scents, sounds, places, and stories do I associate with this element?

How do I feel when I am around this element?

How do I feel when I am away from it for a long period of time?

Sunrise, Sunset ~ Another, very old, way of working with astrology and magic is by working with the sunrise and sunset. This is probably one of the first ways our ancestors combined the sacred arts of magic and astrology because it is a daily occurrence and quite visible to the naked eye.

Work with the rising sun all the way up until the point that the sun reaches its zenith in the sky as a time of drawing towards you whatever it is that you have need of. You might ask for general blessings, for increased knowledge of astrology, or for something more specific. Notice how your requests change throughout the year and notice if there are times when you feel especially resonant with the sun’s presence and other times when you do not.

In the same way, work with the setting sun to remove things from your life you no longer need. Again, the requests may be general or specific. And again, you will want to notice when you feel especially attuned to the sun as well as when you might not.

Again, this magical work can look very simple. Standing in the direction of East (to work with the rising sun) or West (to work with the setting sun) and stating your need or desire out loud is one great way to get started. Take it farther by building an altar in the east or the west and doing you any attraction work or banishing work in those places respectively. Light a candle as the sun is rising in honor of its fiery strength, or focus on a melting candle as the sun sets with the expectation that whatever you are releasing or repelling will also melt away.

Moon Magic ~ Working magically with the moon is one of the oldest kinds of magic work. When we stand in the moonlight and listen to the night sounds we all feel our inner magic-maker begins to stir! Like the Sun, the Moon has phases that are an idea for drawing and attracting whatever it is that you need and/or starting new endeavors, as well as phases for completing any outstanding work and tying off loose ends and also phases for celebrating what has been accomplished thus far.

The first thing to do if you want to magically work with the moon is to get a sense of the different phases. At the very least pay attention to the days when the Moon is full and then again when the Moon is new. Here is an article on making magic with the full moon and here is one for the new moon. The phase of the moon just before the New Moon often called the Dark Moon is also a potent time, especially for self-care. Each half phase of the moon (known as quarters) is also special: the waning quarter moon is an ideal time for banishing magic and the waxing quarter moon is a great time for divination and/or sharpening your divination skills.

As you begin to explore the wild and wonderful world of lunar magic you will also realize that there are actually six months of magic in every full moon.

Again, I know I have given you all a ton of info but I really want you to have some basic tools that allow you to move from just passively noting the significant Astro dates to actively working with the stars, planets, and the magic that speaks to them to create not only an organized year for yourself but a year that flows and is full of a road that is open and a way that is clear!
May it be so!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Planning by Starlight

Divination and Dreams

W

orking with astrology in a practical manner that speaks directly to our lives is something we all want to be able to do. Astrology is not one of the most popular sacred arts without reason! And when it comes to figuring out how to work with astrology in a really practical manner, planning with it is right up there near the top of the list.

Unfortunately, this is also where the problems often begin. Almost as soon as we begin we can feel lost: ascendent this and ruling planet that, where is your sun and where is your moon, and what the heck does it mean that I have Mercury in the 8th house?! The problem is basic: we are suffering from information overload.

Specifically, there is too much information to process and a lack of clarity about how to discern the information that is most relevant to you and your goals, dreams, and desires.

It makes sense. The study of the stars has been with us for millennia and some version is found in every culture. Many of you know how central storytelling is to my work and I truly believe that we started telling stories as we gazed up at the glowing heavens in wonder, awe, and yes, sometimes fear.

So, we have a study that spans time and culture and has been around for thousands of years. Add to that, the basics of astrology as most of us practice it here in the 21st century developed the Western world, begins with 12 planets, 12 zodiacal constellations, and 12 houses that correlate to specific life areas and concerns.

Right off the bat, we are dealing with 36 terms and that is before we get into major aspects (like conjunctions or squares) and even before we talk about the way that the four elements (earth, air, fire, and water) speak to each component!

So then, we try to take this information and plot it into our planners and calendars (and I don’t know about you but for me just making sure I know what appointments I have on tap for the next week can feel like an uphill slog).

No WONDER we experience information overload when it comes to planning by starlight. That smart and savvy intuitive voice within you might be telling you that there has to be a better way and you know what? That voice is right.

If the biggest challenge in Astro-planning is information overload then the solution is actually pretty simple. Aristotle mentioned it thousands of years ago…start with what is closest to you. Start with what you really want to focus on in the coming year.

See, this is the beautiful thing about astrology and actually all of the Sacred Arts. You don’t need to know all of it or everything, you just need to know enough to make a beginning and you can make a beginning anywhere.

I am going to give you my process for planning throughout these lessons, but in this first lesson, I am going to talk about how I initially approached Astro-planning when I was much younger. You might be tempted to think about this as a “beginning level” or baby steps, but I will tell you from my personal experience that I have talked to many seasoned and advanced Sacred Artists who have not incorporated these steps into their own practices and once they do they are pretty impressed with the results.

Planning By Starlight Part One

Before we get into the Astro-planning part I want to say a few things about planning in general. In my experience you will have the best success at planning if you do the following:

  • Understand that this is going to be a multi-day process – you won’t get all of your planning done in one day, I don’t get my planning or the year completed in a single week – I take a couple of months to do it.
  • Pick your planner(s) – I like both paper and digital planners. I use a Filofax for my paper plans and I use my icalendar for my digital plans. The ical (you could also use outlook or gcal) function is nice because it syncs to my phone and reminds me when I have an appointment. I can also share it with my husband’s calendar, and I can send invites to my clients and students for one on one sessions directly from the calendar. I like a paper version because sometimes weird things happen with digital calendars and if you have a hard copy you are set. If you want more options on planners I highly recommend JetPens. I also like to have my journal by my side.
  • Have your materials ready to go! Some of the things I like to have on hand include different colored pens, highlighters, mini-sticky notes, colored mechanical pencils, and my computer. Some people really get into stickers and inserts. Some folks like to have a color-coded legend. I like to have some good music on hand too! You might want to invest in a good lunar calendar and have on hand a resource page with the astrological highlights for the coming year – like this one.
  • Plot out any essential dates non-Astro dates first. These might be birthdays, anniversaries, national holidays, or known periods of time when you will be on vacation. If you have children, get their school calendar and plot out the days and times that they have off, special celebrations, etc. If you follow a specific religious or spiritual practice make sure that you mark out your Holy Days as well.

Now you are ready to start working with some Astro info! As I wrote above, you can start anywhere. And with astrology, the best place to start is with the really obvious stuff – the celestial bodies that you can actually see with your naked eye. Here are three approaches to help get you started:

Sun Sign ~ Most people’s beginning point with astrology is learning their sun sign. This is the zodiac sign that the sun was transiting during the time of your birth. The sun remains in each sign for about a month and because its motion is fairly regular those month-long periods more or less retain consistent start and end dates. When you are talking to someone and they say “Well, of course, I care about my work, I’m a Capricorn!” they are sharing their sun sign with you. These days you can literally google your sun sign if you happen not to know it. Identify your sun sign and work with that as your first (and possibly only) step in your planning adventure this year. Here is how to do it:

Let’s say that your sun sign is in Sagittarius. The first thing you can do is note when the sun will be in this sign in 2020 (November 21st – December 20th).

Mark out that time period on your calendar. Your birthday falls in this period so obviously, the star that day. Then, think about how you typically feel during this time of year.

Do you feel too busy and unable to really enjoy your solar return (ie, birthday)?

Do you feel like this is your favorite time to go on vacation?

Do you want to snuggle down and rest during this time of year?

Think and feel into years past and what your experiences have been. Jot down a few notes. Then ask yourself, what would I like my experience to be this year during this period?

Think about the sun. In traditional astrology, we consider it a planet and it is the planet of enlightenment and revelation. Practically speaking the light and warmth of the sun makes our lives possible. Think a bit about the sign of Sagittarius. Here is an article you can read on it if you don’t know where to begin. What are some of the major themes you associate with this sign? How might they play out in your practical planning?

See? Planning with your Sun Sign! Easy!

I see the Moon ~ After working with your sun sign you may want to turn your attention to the moon. Lunar-based calendars are some of the oldest and the Moon gives us a reliable way to tell that days are passing because this celestial body actually transforms over a 28 day lunar cycle – going from seeming to be completely invisible in the night sky (during the New Moon) to full and radiant, to vanishing once more.

There are many ways to incorporate the Moon into your Astro-planning projects but the easiest and best place to start in my opinion is with a lunar calendar. Get one for yourself – there are many to choose from – and treat it as a kind of journal. Each day notice what sign and phase the moon is in – this is a great way to familiarize yourself with the Zodiac too. Every day, jot down a few notes directly into your lunar calendar. These notes should describe how you felt on this day (because the moon speaks to our feelings), and record any places you felt stuck or deeply intuitive (because the moon speaks to both of those areas as well). After a couple of months of this, you will start to notice patterns and get a sense of what moons are really supportive for you and what moons might pose more of a challenge. You can then consider this information in your planning efforts.

You may also want to note in your calendars when the full and new moons are every month. These days have been honored since time beyond time and a good way to begin appreciating the stars and all they have to share is by setting aside a little time during these two points each month to honor and observe the heavens. Here are some ways to do that on the New Moon and here are some ways to do it on the Full Moon.

Pick a Planet, any Planet ~ So, you are now considering the sun and moon in your plans. This is great because you can look up in the sky at any time and connect to either. As you are looking at the night sky you might see that there are some other celestial bodies asking to be noticed. They might look like really bright stars but they are not, they are actually planets. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and sometimes Uranus can be seen with the naked eye in the nighttime sky at certain times of the year. (And a hot tip for beginning stargazers: the best time to look at the night sky is during a New Moon because the absence of the moonlight allows the stars to shine brighter).

Planning with the planets has many layers but again, we start really simple. And with the planets, the best place to start is in understanding how they work from a Sacred Arts perspective. Quite simply the inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, and of course Earth) speak to practical concerns and issues – the stuff that again, is closest to us. Here is how to work this:

Perhaps this is the year when you want to draw the right partner into your life, or maybe you are getting married this year and stuck on finding the best date for your “I Do”! In that case, you might want to really pay attention to the planet, Venus.

Begin by asking if are there times of the year when she is visible and times when she is not?

Does she have a special day of the week associated with her? (She does, it is Friday).

Is she going to be retrograde (when the planet appears to move backward) at any point in the next year? Mark out those moments on your calendar.

Maybe this is a year where you really want to make some strong professional connections, publish something, or move. In that case, you might want to work with the planet Mercury – the mover and shaker of the zodiac. Consider the questions we asked for Venus and then go deeper. Mercury the planet resonated to the Roman God Mercury, the metal Mercury, the Ancient Greek Hermes, and on it goes. Find out about these figures and materials. What is their story? That might seem like an arcane approach but it is actually an approach that will allow you to plan all the better with this speedy planet.

If fitness, losing weight, winning any kind of contest or competition, or developing the discipline to attain mastery in a given area is your focus then you will want to work with Mars. Again, follow the same approach outlined above.

Just Start ~ Starting small, with one planet or one sign, or even one season, can often be the best way to make a start when it comes to planning by the stars because it guarantees that you WILL actually start.

And as you do this, do not, for the love of all that is holy, make it abstract. Begin by thinking concretely about the current year we are in. What has worked for you? What has not? Where did you feel like you had enough time and where did you feel like you did not? Having answers to these questions will set you up for excellent success as you look to the stars.

As you answer these questions you might find yourself thinking: yeah, yeah, Bri – this is great and it gives me a good sense of my personal preferences, but what about the big Astro-events I need to be aware of? How do I factor those into my plans? 

To which I say: hold your horses as that will be the topic of our next lesson!

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
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, 2020 – 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.

Mercury RX in Pisces: Decoding Intuitive Messages

Divination and Dreams

M

iracles,

When Mercury goes Retrograde in the sign of Pisces one of the areas of our lives that springs into action are our psychic sensibilities and our intuition. Despite what some may say, the truth is that we ALL have psychic abilities and intuition. The big difference between “psychic” people and those who are less so is that some folks choose to exercise those particular muscles and other people choose not to.

Another difference is that everyone’s intuition works in different ways – some people are really good at intuitively understanding what’s wrong with a person’s body and physical health. Those people often become doctors, nurses, or health practitioners of some kind. They rely on hard science, data, and test results but underneath all of that is usually an intuitive sense of things that they themselves may not be aware of. The same is true for every field and industry – from business and finance to law enforcement and school administration.

So as you can see, the question is not whether you are intuitive or not but rather how to start relating to your intuition, getting to know it, and putting it to work. This particular Mercury Retrograde is all about that action! Pisces is the sign that rules our intuition – our deep sense of knowing so when Mercury retrogrades through this sign we cannot help but all feel a bit more psychic.

In the classical world Oracles always delivered their predictions in the forms of riddles, proverbs, or aphorisms – the information was always there but only a wise person would actually see it because a bit of unscrambling or decoding was needed. To some extent, this is just how intuitive knowledge works but this is especially true during Mercury in Retrograde.

So the rule of thumb when Mercury is retrograde through Pisces is that this is a great time to either commit to or brush up on a divination skill. Courses like this one or books like this one are great places to begin that process. My favorite way of learning a divination skill is to pick the skill I want to learn and then get readings with that particular format. You will meet a lot of cool people, invest in the art, and learn different styles and approaches to the same basic process along the way. If you let your reader know that you are a student of the particular divinatory art then they may even throw in a lesson – I often do!

While we are on the subject, it is useful to recall that your dreams are also part of your intuitive knowledge and that dreams are their own kind of divination. Pay attention to your dreams and begin journaling about them or discussing them in a dream group so that you can glean information from them.

While the above two approaches are highly favored during Mercury Retrograde in Pisces, it is equally important to remember that now is not the time to go off acting on every intuitive impulse that you have. Often during this period our intuition flows strong but in weird ways. For instance, we might need to do the opposite of what our intuition is telling us, or we might need to focus on every third word or image. (I know those sound like bizarre examples but I have actually seen both of them play out during certain Mercury Retrograde periods).

Dive into your oracular powers, learn to work with them and express them during this period. But be aware that you are doing just that…learning, so as I tell my 7 year old – double, triple, check your work. Don’t go acting impulsively on an intuitive flash and be open to second opinions from folks with more experience.

xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Mercury Retrograde in Pisces: How to Dream Deep

Divination and Dreams

O

ne of the areas that Pisces is especially attuned to is sleep and dreams. In fact, Pisces is the sign of the bedroom so any bedroom spiritual cleansing, magic making, or protection ceremonies are highly effective at this time.

When Mercury is retrograde in Pisces it is a great time to take stock of your bedroom, remove anything that doesn’t belong there, add whatever you want to add and give the entire room a good cleaning. Change, clean, or buy a new set of sheets, pillowcases, and/or a comforter for your bed. This is a great time to buy a new mattress or flip the mattress over as well. Dress your mattress, sheets, and pillowcases with your preferred oils, sprays, perfumes, or sachet powders.

A lot of these little practical acts will also speak to your dream life. When I talk to my clients and students one of the areas with the Sacred Arts that they most want to explore is their dreams. Every night we each have 5- 7 dreams and rarely do we remember 2 or 3 dreams much less 5 or 7. If you have been yearning to go deeper into your dreams then this retrograde period is one of the best times to do a bedtime/sleep ritual review and set yourself up for success.

Begin by looking at your current bedtime and sleep habits. Not what you wish they were but what they actually are.

– Do you go to bed at about the same time every night or does it vary? (Studies show that going to bed and getting up in the morning at about the same time everyday lead to better sleep and better sleep leads to better dreams).

– What is the ambient light situation in your bedroom? Do you need more darkness? (Light pollution has all kinds of negative health effects). If you feel there is too much light in your bedroom and you don’t want to go in for window treatments try a sleep mask.

– What activities do you engage in right before you go to bed? Are you working on your laptop? Watching t.v.? Snuggled down with a good book? A good rule of thumb for deeper sleep and deeper dreams is to turn off all electronic devices at least an hour before you hit the sheets. Hint: this is a great time to REplace your smartphone alarm clock with an actual alarm clock.

– Do you have a bedtime ritual to signal to your physical body and your Holy Helpers that it is sleep time now? This can be anything – the traditional goodnight prayer is one example. You might want to light a special dream candle, cense your bedroom with an aromatic smoke or spritz the sheets with a relaxing linen spray. Personally, I like taking a few drops of this flower essence and rubbing this cream into my hands and my feet.

Cultivate Calmness, or engage in another stillness practice before sleep.

– If something is weighing on your mind and heart, try writing it down before you go to bed. You can write it as a question that you are seeking insight on or just write a couple of lines about it – you may end up dreaming the solution to the quandary!

– Keep a notebook and pencil by your bedside table for jotting down the dreams (or impressions) that you remember upon waking.

– Make dream discussions part of your daily routine. There are social media groups and forums dedicated to dream discussion and analysis that you can make use of, you can keep an ongoing journal of your findings, talk about dreams with your family members (this is one of the easiest ways to introduce children to the Sacred Arts) or discuss your dreams with a friend! One of my favorite books about dreaming is this one – it looks at the role dreams play in African American culture – a culture where dreams are still tended, nurtured, and taken seriously – as they are in so many parts of the world even today.

These are some useful starting points and as you go through this review you may discover other elements that come into play for you. Pay attention to your findings and then implement whatever needs to be acted upon. May you sleep deep and dream sweet!
And…if you want to truly optimize your Mercury RX experience do the Mercury RX Survival Kit – it opened for registration today.

xo,
Bri

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.