Venus as Holy Helper

Foundations

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he is the morning and evening star, the five-pointed pentacle, the sweet bite of an apple, and the heady scent of rose. Venus is the tang of salt on your tongue and the song of sensual pleasure thrumming through our bodies.

She is Venus but behind her stands Aphrodite, behind her we find Ishtar, Isis, and Inana – to name only a very few. She preceded all of the Olympian Gods and Titans in her form as Aphrodite Urania, heavenly Aphrodite, as she sprang from the blood and seed soaked waves in the wake of Uranus’ sacrifice.

She is lust, desire, and love in all of its many forms embodied. She is the ripening fig, the rich red wine, the golden honey, and the decadent cream, but she is also the sacred spring and the wind through her beloved Cypress trees, trees that like her, know something of the Underworld and Shadow.

She shows us that it is possible for Love to vanquish War, for beauty and harmony to outsmart perfect strategy and pure power. She has bewitched the most powerful of witches and spurred on fierce battles.

Most often we think of her as a rather conventional beauty, full hips, and breasts, slender waist, nubile position, forgetting that in some of her greatest statues she could easily be mistaken for Athena, appearing as she does in full battle armor. The teaching of course is that no force knows how to battle the way that Love does.

Traditionally she was petitioned to bring a lover, keep a lover, and deepen a current love relationship. Her blessing was sought on all marriages and unions of all kinds, her provenance extended to bring beauty, music, laughter, dance, and joy into the hearts of mankind. She is both a breaker and healer of hearts, the desire that can set us on the right course or drive us mad. She is often perceived as the weakest and flightiest of the Divine, but anywhere depth happens, she is present. Hekate, Titaness of the Underworld, and Guardian of all Thresholds is her protector because Love is the most precious of all.

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ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Uranus as a Holy Helper

Foundations

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e is so ancient that his presence pre-dates both Gods and Titans seen less a God-like figure and understood more clearly as the Sky itself, the realm of heaven which is exactly what his name means – heavenly. As such, Uranus is the Holy Helper most capable of seeing the whole, of knowing all that is under the sky, cultivating the bird’s eye view.

He fell in love with Gaia, Earth herself, and as a result, he is called on even today when the Earth needs protection and defense. With his love, he had children, the first of the Titans, the beginning of a divine legacy. In this way, he helps us see our own legacy as well and he is especially helpful when we need to cultivate both vision of the future and the actions that make it possible. He was castrated by his children in a clear need to ancient sacrificial practices around kingship, reminding us that claiming our future requires we leave certain parts of our selves in the past.

When his sex was thrown into the sea, magic occurred, and among the beings called to life was Aphrodite herself, bringing to our attention the essence of vision, future building, care for the Earth, and life itself: Love. Uranus

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ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Claiming Our Power ~ How to Work with Pluto Retrograde

Foundations

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very year for at least half the year and sometimes more, the planet Pluto goes retrograde. Astrologers in the classical world interpreted a planet’s retrograde motion as a descent into the Underworld, but of course, this was long before the planet Pluto was discovered and we have an interesting quandary unique to Pluto’s retrograde which is this: what does it mean for the King of the Underworld to descend into the Underworld…or is something different happening when Pluto goes retrograde?

As a Pluto-sensitive person, I have paid close attention to how this planet’s retrograde periods show up in my life and in the lives of my clients and students. Contrary to the ways that many of the other retrogrades work, I do not find that Pluto retrograde makes us more introspective or interested in navigating our shadow sides (that’s what Pluto direct does). Rather, I find that Pluto retrograde places great emphasis on the areas of our life that need to be attended to in order for us to stand fully in our sovereignty and power…not only in the obvious and visible ways but also in the less visible and hidden realms as well.

Do’s

– Consider your lineage and what aspects of it currently support you and what aspects need to be re-evaluated or worked through
– Pay attention to any “mission critical areas” that get especially intense as the retrograde begins
– Identify the areas you need extra help or support in and then find that support/ask for help
– Work with your ancestors
– Learn about the place that you live and what underground resources are native to your area
– Avoid giving power to those who would try to manipulate you
– Make solid investments
– Get clear on when you feel most sovereign and what is happening that allows you to feel that way
– Make sure you have the proper support for financial health
– Determine what support you need for physical health and get that
– Release/banish anything that needs to be released or banished
– Amp up your banishing magic

Dont’s

– Engage in power plays or attempts and dominating those weaker than you
– Be passive aggressive or emotionally manipulative
– Ignore your needs
– Neglect taking care of the areas of your life that are crying out for attention
– Forget about your ancestors
– Refuse to look at your lineage and address any areas that need to be taken care of
– Lie
– Spill secrets
– Try to hold onto something that is on its way out
– Be afraid of death
– Overlook the places you are already empowered and sovereign

Pluto is the planet of creation and destruction, the God Pluto is the ruler of the Underworld, the sovereign of the realm of the Dead. All of this points to Pluto’s fundamental relationship to Necessity, and when Pluto goes retrograde we are also encouraged to see what is needed and necessary right now.

If you are Pluto-sensitive and concerned about the effects of the retrograde you may engage in the following acts of honoring and propitiating this intense powerhouse of a planet:

– Add the color black, bowls of honey, black earth, minerals or jewels, and water to your altar
– Burn black storax on Saturdays
– Donate to an organization protecting lands from unethical mining practices
– Clean a gravesite and dedicate the merits of your work to Pluto
– Donate money for people who do not have the means for proper burial
– Create an ancestor altar and begin working with your Ancestors
– Ensure your will and last testament are up to date
– Ask your elders for stories about your family history

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Jupiter as a Holy Helper

Ceremony and Ritual

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e (Jupiter as a Holy Helper) stops all forces that would devour life, feast on innocence, and annihilate good legacy, fast in their tracks, for he is firmly on the side of life and all that is life-giving. He is Sovereign and Sovereignty but also a feckless and inconstant husband who knows something of error, mistakes, and screw-ups, giving him a particular fondness for humanity. He is Wisdom and all ways and all roads that lead to it. He is the great teacher, the guide, the guru. It is easy to see his story as one full of winning – except that he wept along with the horses when his beloved Troy fell. Easy to see him as nothing more than the most perfect example of patriarchal chauvinism except that all his sister-wife need do is dab herself with a bit of perfume, place a necklace around her neck, beckoning to him to meet her in a field of flowers and he is simply brought to his knees. He is the eagle, the all-seeing and all-knowing who nevertheless pays obeisance to the older and ancient Goddesses. He is the father who adores his children, especially his daughters. The husband who tries and fails and never let’s go. He is boundless and the bringer of wealth, prosperity, abundance, and good fortune. He delights in discovery, learning, and takes joy anywhere people come together to make ritual and ceremony. He is the law bringer, oath binder, and oath keeper. He is the one who holds the space and beats the drum for the entire drama to play out. He is the storm caller and hurler of the divine bolt of lightning that can inspire and enlighten or burn it all down. He is Lord, King, Emperor, Sovereign of All, and he is the lowest of the low. We find him in the faces of the downtrodden, those without a home, family, or prospects, the wounded, and this diseased, the ones that most would turn away from. For it is here he is able to see us best, testing our mettle…do we help when someone is hurt, do we go towards the ones others would run from, do we walk our talk and be welcoming and hospitable to those who have no place of their own? He bears witness to how we serve others, for it is that more than anything else that reveals just how sovereign we truly are. Jupiter as a holy helper

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ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Holy Helper Mercury

Foundations

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e (Holy Helper Mercury) is the fleet footed one, quicksilver tongue, knowing and speaking all the languages that ever were or ever will be. The idea that turns into a story that grows into a life, every tale ever told, every lie ever uttered, every truth ever hidden. He is the shapeshifter taking on whatever form he will, the one who travels and tricks in equal measure, the love of good words and fantastic tale. He is the student, the teacher, and the road between them. He is the truth found only in darkness and the lie that sounds like pure truth. He is the clown, court jester, Koshare, Coyote jingle-jangling his way into the feast, completely inappropriate with rattle and hat, spitting watermelon seeds at all who are oh so serious and grave – in these moments he is the teacher of reverence. He is every book you have ever read and all of those you have not yet and never will. He is every word on every page and every speech ever made or unmade. He is sound and scent and the one who delights in all the winged ones. He is the very breath we take and the space between each breath. Love of Crossroads and roadways and all who travel, first of the Mages who knows all the ways of transformation, bending, twisting, talking, and turning. His nature is change. Find him in the wind promising the seasonal shift and the quiet breath exhaled in the deepest night to fan the final spark of the campfire and keep the tale going just a little bit longer. He is mouth, throat, tongue. He is a voice. And it is voice most of all that we offer to him — our voices, our words, our thoughts, our wisdom and foolishness and the promise to use them well, to make something beautiful, compelling, or interesting with them, as long as we are in the dance. You can burn incense to honor him, feed birds or butterflies, put on good perfume. But what he likes best, as all of us who serve him know, is the telling of a good tale. Sit down, take a breath, begin the spell…once upon a time… holy helper mercury

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ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Working with Saturn Retrograde

Foundations

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ach year Saturn spends several months in retrograde – that strange state where the planet appears to be going backward in its elliptical orbit, but is not actually doing so. In classical astrology the traditional understanding is that when a planet goes into retrograde it actually descends into the Underworld, descending into shadow. Practically speaking, since Saturn retrogrades happen just over every 12 months, they provide us with one (or a handful) of handy astrological markers that we can work with to do a deep review and reassessment of our past year.
Mercury retrogrades also offer the opportunity to go into review and edit mode, but whereas a Mercury retrograde only lasts for a few weeks, Saturn retrogrades last for several months, giving us a longer span of time to work with and the opportunity to really commit to a thorough review.
As with all retrogrades, Saturn’s retrograde also gives us certain challenges and certain opportunities, here are some of the Do’s and Dont’s for this period.

 
 
Do’s
– Pay down/off debt
– Review previous lessons and learnings
– Recommit to anything or anyone that you are serious about
– Get in touch with teachers and guides from your past
– Refine the areas of diet, exercise, and sleep
– Re-organize your medicine cabinet and make sure you have the medicines that you need
– Re-set all clocks and watches
– Reflect on the big moments over the past year and their lessons
Dont’s
– Try rush things
– Make hazardous or ill-informed investment (I mean, you should never do this obviously but really don’t do it during a Saturn retrograde)
– Flake out on a previous commitment
– Make new commitments
– Be immoderate when it comes to food and diet
– Do minimal exercise
– Ignore or neglect sleep and dream cycles
– Act recklessly
– Buy a new watch or clock
– Perpetuate an old pattern that no longer serves
– Try to be younger than you are – have any plastic surgery or cosmetic enhancement procedures
– Ignore debt or allow debt to balloon out of control

On the deepest level when Saturn retrogrades it gives us an opportunity to reflect on where we have gained maturity and wisdom over the past year and what areas of our lives might still be in need of maturity and wisdom.

Generally speaking, if you are Saturn-sensitive and concerned about the effects of the retrograde you may engage in the following acts of honoring and propitiating the Lord of Time:

– Attend church, temple, mosque, or religious services and devotions
– Abstain or limit your intake of alcohol, sugar, salt, fat, and caffeine
– Exercise and dedicate the merits of your work to Saturn
– Donate to a local food bank
– Donate to a local animal refuge
– Donate services for people who are blind
– Offer dishes of almonds, milk, rice, and water to Saturn
– Maintain excellent physical posture
– Take cold showers

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Neptune Retrograde

Foundations

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In the ancient world there are moments in some of the better known stories and plays when the rivers begin to run backward. The seasoned reader knows that whenever that occurs something profound, and usually quite challenging, is about to happen. The event may be sudden but most often it is more gradual. The one sure thing is that once the rivers are running backward things are going to change and they won’t go back to the way things were before – they can’t. To my mind, this is an excellent illustration of what happens when the planet and holy helper Neptune goes retrograde.

First we must note that it is not uncommon for Neptune to spend as much or even more time retrograde as it spends moving directly. As one of the outermost planets its orbit is incredibly long and it takes its time moving through the sky – one of the aspects of this celestial helper we will return to in a moment. Neptune experiences a retrograde every year and that retrograde lasts between 6 and 7 months.

As I have written elsewhere, retrogrades of the outer planets are generally not believed to affect individuals as much as they are understood to give shape to global events. However, my personal and professional findings indicate something slightly different. What I have found is that we are all affected by outer planet retrogrades in different ways. There are those who can experience one outer planet retrograde and not even know that anything is happening. Those same people can experience another outer planet retrograde and be deeply affected by it. This speaks to something I have termed planet-sensitivities. We are especially sensitive to a planet when it is strongly aspected in our charts. So for instance, the planets that rule your Sun and Moon signs as well as your Ascendant, are all planets to watch. The planets that have strong aspects in your chart are also planets to pay attention to.

This means that when it comes to working with Neptune’s retrograde we have to look at both the global and potential personal effects.

Neptune is a planet strongly associated with the qualities of healing, spirituality, unconditional love, art and beauty, fantasy, romance, and the past. There is an otherworldly quality to Neptune (accentuated by the fact that the planet is retrograde for so long) that makes those born under its influence seem especially beautiful, magical, alluring, elusive, and also not quite of this world. The greatest challenge we find with the Neptunian flow is that of practical thinking and sound foundations. The visionary capacity we all possess is expanded by Neptune to a great degree but this is not the planet to remind us to put a foundation on those castles we have been building in the sky.

When Neptune retrogrades we collectively and globally have the opportunity to:

Review any fantasy-making that we have been engaged in and determine whether those fantasies can be turned into reality or whether they need to be banished altogether. Here we should think about collective fantasies that countries and nations are working with. Some endeavors may be called “fantastic” to deprive them of momentum and support while other agreements really are based on make-believe fantasy that needs to be sharply addressed and brought into line with reality.

Reflect on history, the mistakes, and the learnings from the past. Neptune’s retrograde can both encourage this reflection and also make it more difficult to glean the most useful insights from history. This is also a period of time when we may find our leaders or the leaders of other countries re-writing history to make it more acceptable or palatable.

Reconsider our attitudes towards healing. This includes mandates around health care and the status provided to health care providers, as well as access to basic necessities that promote health and healing worldwide. This period of time can also provide a useful review for new health and healing technologies and often the missing pieces that make such new methods possible are found during Neptune retrogrades.

Reengage global awareness around water and water rights. Water is the element of this planet and so issues around water and access to water are often first and foremost when we go into Neptune retrograde periods. Learning where your individual water comes from is a great start.

Refuse to dull our senses. Neptune’s influence can encourage more than one kind of fantasy making. Refusing to engage in fantasies that are harmful or going nowhere, refusing to let drugs, alcohol, or other poisons take precedent over what we collectively know to be good and healthy and useful, is a powerful move to make during Neptune Retrograde. We can also see the temptation to go in the opposite direction wax in strength during these periods. Staying sober, especially during these times, is the sound choice.

Re-investigate the stories that sound suspect. Neptune can bring the gifts of fiction into everyone’s life in positive and not so positive ways. Stories that sound suspect, dodgy, or have bad sources should be examined closely during these retrograde periods as their fault lines are most likely to show.

On a more personal level, when Neptune retrogrades we find that we are best able to:

Recommit to any artistic endeavor that is ready to be completed and shared with the world. This can also be a more general recommitting to your own personal creativity and the role that art plays in your life.

Re-examine any fantasies or delusions that are siphoning life force and vitality from you and giving nothing of real value back in return. (Obviously, if and when you identify them, you then banish them!) Pay special attention to the areas of love and money as Neptune retrogrades can really aggravate those two arenas.

Reflect on our own history, including our ancestors and our lineage, for valuable teachings. This is also an ideal time to do healing work on behalf of Ancestors and lineage.

Reconcile any deceptions we have been told or told ourselves with what is actually true. Neptune retrograde is an ideal time to “come clean”.

Recognize our capacity to be both healers and healed, and to work from a place of deep, abiding, and unconditional love.

Remember and work with our dreams and the wisdom they contain.

Neptune retrogrades are long periods of time, incredibly well-suited to sincere reflection. Work with this period of each year in a conscious and proactive manner in order to go deep and move the things that need to be moved with incredible swiftness. Neptune is not a speedy planet as we saw above, but it is deep and thorough, and the endeavors we take on under its auspices are endeavors that stay with us throughout our lives.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.