Read it here and enjoy!
The next missive I send out to you will kick off a series of Active Imagination Meditations that take us on a journey into the wild lands of our souls and the magic that pours forth from them!
Read it here and enjoy!
The next missive I send out to you will kick off a series of Active Imagination Meditations that take us on a journey into the wild lands of our souls and the magic that pours forth from them!
Blessed Full Moon in Virgo – the sign of sovereignty as well as physical and mental health. It is no coincidence that these qualities go together. Sovereignty is a certain kind of self-sufficiency. Without physical and mental well-being, self-sufficiency is diminished. In more extreme cases, the self-sufficiency that goes with sovereignty is altogether undermined. Physical and mental well-being are difficult topics to approach, not only for Sacred Artists but most people, because they strike at the roots of who we are and how we live, here and now.
When it comes to physical health there are the normal types of resistance. Perhaps the largest one is that it’s expensive. But even more, finding a good doctor – one who is not only competent, but who you feel really knows you, and can work with you – is actually hard. Finding a good alternative health practitioner is even harder. It takes time, and it takes energy. In magical work, there are a number of situations where the first piece of advice to a would-be client is that they need to go see a trained medical practitioner, a doctor….stat. They may need to have their blood pressure assessed, their cholesterol checked; they may need a healthier sleep regimen, or they may need to look into effective alternative treatments to over-prescribed drugs. None of these things sound remotely magical and yet – believe me – they make a HUGE difference in the magic we make and in the magic we seek out. Perhaps the greatest secret to magic (ready?) is that it lives where we would least expect it, and it is on the side of optimization, of taking care what you have already and bringing out its deepest hidden potential, tapping into the power currents that already lay sleeping inside of every part of our ordinary lives. In the middle of the mess is the shining one. So if you want more magic in your life, the starting point is clear: begin with a strong dose of self-care.
By far the biggest resistance I encounter around physical health check-ups is that they expose things that we would rather keep hidden away, unseen, undisclosed, and undiagnosed. I understand. There is no one who would rather curl up with her cats and children and be left to her own devices than me. And yet, it is also true that our relationship to the unseen translates across the board. Meaning that you cannot be in right relationship with the aspects of the unseen and the liminal that are spiritual if you are ignoring the unseen parts of your home, your family, or your own physical body. They are all of a piece. This is not to say that our ability to make magic and live enchanted lives is over if we have physical limitations. If that were the case there would be no magic to speak of! Rather, it is to say that it is the relationship we have with those limits, with the things we would rather not look at, that determines in large part what kind of enchantment we can experience every day.
And, as true as this is for our physical bodies, it is even more true for our mental health. For this is where the relationship between soulful seekers and health becomes particularly dicey – in the mental arena. Why? Because so many of the things we do and so many of the experiences we have can be and have been, branded as crazy pure and simple. For all of the advances that we have made when it comes to mental health, for all of the research that shows us that “healthy” behaviors, thoughts, and emotions are not so much divided from unhealthy ones by a sharp line but rather are found on opposing ends of a large and vast spectrum, the fear of being branded crazy, insane, and a kook runs widely and deeply through our community.
Chances are you have had special experiences that no one talks about openly, that you yourself don’t even know how to talk about openly. You feel alone, but you are not alone. Countless people have, around the world, and throughout human history, experienced things that today we do not talk about for fear of being branded “weird”. Often these experiences come unannounced at night during sleep, or when we are grieving, or when we fall in love, or in many other moments during waking hours. All of these moments touch upon the sacred, but our present habit of mind discounts and forgets them – sees past them, turns the other way.
I sometimes refer to my work as “normalizing” the so-called weird experiences we all have. What we take to be normal and what is in truth normal are out of whack, need to be brought back into alignment or right relationship. Because the experience of the sacred is a common human experience, perhaps another way to describe what I do in the Sacred Arts is about “communalizing” these experiences. I’m not a mental health professional, but I don’t have to be in order to know that most people feel connected to the dead in one way or another; most people have had experiences where they simply know things are so, most people have felt themselves move between the worlds at one point or another.
These are all common examples of Sacred Arts practices that we do not talk about and we do not teach our children about because we don’t want to be seen as crazy. And so, another generation of Sacred Arts knowledge is lost, and we have to cast ever further back into our lineage to find the people and teachings that spoke about these things openly and frankly. Our old ones usually will. They have nothing to lose in a society that often equates the aging process with going soft in the head. Our children will speak openly because they have not yet learned to censor themselves or conform to the current trend of societal norms. But in between the old ones and the children is a great swath of people who simply pretend that a good chunk of their experience actually never happens. That is until they talk to someone like me. Then the gloves come off and the sharing gets real and I am able to say, ah yes, so you have experienced this too? The relief at knowing that we are not alone, that we are not “crazy”, is so absolute that it is not surprising to find people moved to tears.
However, this begs the question about mental illness and really all illness, all imperfections. They aren’t really the kinds of things that you either have or you don’t in most cases. Mental disequilibrium, for instance, is something any of us can slip into and out of, from time to time. So what about those of us who have normal, magical and liminal experiences AND suffer from anxiety or depression or schizophrenia or limited range of motion or cancer or chronic pain or some other limitation – then what? Can we not make magic? Should we simply accept that some people can have enchanted lives but not everyone? Not us? If you believe the magazines and the Instagram accounts, what we often see is that magic is equated to perfection. So there is a message: in order to make magic, you have to be perfect. There are other messages too: in order to make magic you have to be rich or you have to be poor, you have to be a certain color, you need to be a lady or a dude…we have all seen the categories that are more noticeable for all that they exclude as opposed to those that they include.
It is thoughts like these that make me love, love, LOVE, my friend and student, Esmé Wang’s new book, the Collected Schizophrenias. Esmé is known and beloved to some in our community and to others, her name might be brand new. She is an award-winning fiction writer who also happens to suffer from a chronic illness and schizophrenia. Esmé is lovely. She is always beautifully put together. She went to Yale. She has great taste in luscious red lipsticks. She loves her dog and her husband. She writes beautiful, true, words and she teaches people around the world how to work with their limitations. She also suffers from one of the most stigmatized mental illnesses out there. Esmé doesn’t get to worry about whether she is called crazy or not – that’s already happened. What Esmé does get to do and what she does beautifully every single day is getting to decide how to live with ALL of the parts of herself, including the stuff she would rather not see or deal with or think about. Over the years I have watched her show up, make use of the Sacred Arts, and stand in her own sovereignty. She is one of the sanest, most talented, and most dedicated people I know. I was honored that Esmé included a chapter about our work together in her book (the final chapter, entitled Beyond the Hedge), but I am more excited about the book as a whole because it does what the best books do – it tries to understand something complicated – in this case, mental illness – from the inside out. That is a worthy task, one that can benefit our entire world and one that is especially of good use to our community of soulful seekers. I think Esmé’s book has teachings for all of us who have ever deceived ourselves about our experiences on the shaky grounds of “but they’ll say I’m crazy.” Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. Maybe that too is a part of real sovereignty.
Working 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 millenia 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 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.
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:
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 2019 (November 22nd – December 22nd).
Mark out that time period on your calendar. Your birthday falls in this period so obviously 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 hot tip for beginning star gazers: 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 backwards) 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!
And now I want to hear from you. Head over to the Canto post where you can leave a comment or ask a question. Everyone who comments has the chance to win an awesome prize – Kim Krans’ The Wild Unknown Journal!
Welcome 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 gets you started on that path with minimal fuss. So, just a reminder. If you missed lesson one you can access it right above this section. And remember, you can leave a comment on the blog for a chance to win the Wild Unknown Journal by artist and author Kim Krans.
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 Sagittarius
For most of 2019 Jupiter is in it’s favored sign of Sagittarius and then in December it moves into earthy Capricorn. Jupiter loves to be in Sagittarius. During this period expect your sense of self to radically expand as new options and possibilities present themselves. With this alignment there is a sense of freedom and possibility that is pretty spectacular. Travel, higher education and learning, and the development of your own personal philosophy are energized at this time.
Saturn in Capricorn
For all of 2019 Saturn continues a long and slow transit through its favored sign of Capricorn. Saturn moves into Cappy on December 19, 2017 and will be in Capricorn for about 2.5 years. If you have been paying attention you know that Pluto is also in Capricorn throughout 2019. Either planet by itself packs an incredible punch but both of them together is something fierce. On December 2nd when Jupiter joins them we will experience a triple threat in Capricorn where the energies of constriction, expansion, learning, destruction, and re-birth are all at cosmic play. Globally we should continue to see a shaking of the foundations of some of the most apparently timeless institutions as well as an infusion of discipline, conservatism, and possible asceticism too. Personally this is a time when all of us are focused on career and career opportunities as well as getting clear on the areas where want to gain mastery, and navigating what reputations we want to cultivate and share publicly.
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 it’s 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 story telling 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
In May of 2018 Uranus changed signs, leaving the fiery Ram of Aries and moving into the stable territory of Taurus the Bull. Then, it retrograded and went back into Aries for a short stint. But on March 7th of 2019 Uranus moves into Taurus and STAYS PUT. 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 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 to 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-brith, 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 are. 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 does in December, and as Uranus does in March of 2019, 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 Sagittarius for everyone but one person might have Sagittarius 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 Sagittarius 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 backwards 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:
March 5, 2019 – March 28th, 2019: Retrograde starts at 12:19pm in Pisces, and ends at 8:59am on the 28th.
July 7, 2019 – July 31, 2019: Retrograde starts at 6:17pm in Leo, moves into Cancer on July 19th, and then stations direct on July 31st at 10:58pm
October 31, 2019 – November 20, 2019: Retrograde starts at 10:41 am in Scorpio and ends on the 20th at 1:12pm.
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 to 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!
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 everyone 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 at 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 with 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 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 peaked 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 to 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 your 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 begin to stir! Like the Sun, the Moon has phases that are 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 is 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!
Blessed Full Moon in Aquarius and Lunar Eclipse to you all today!
I am writing this while sitting on a porch in New Mexico while the wind blows, the fountain in front of me burbles, and the birds swoop down to catch bugs and water as they can – it is so lovely and restful both for me and the baby.
Aquarius, the sign that the Full Moon occurs in today is very focused on the themes of community and congregations – how they work, how they can work, and also when and why they do not work. The eclipse gives us an opportunity to break cycles. So, when we put the two together we discover that today we have a potent opportunity to break certain cycles, habits, behaviors, and/or compulsions around communities and congregations that no longer serve us or are relevant. Given that this is the vibe in the air, I thought I would share a bit about our own community, how it has formed, where it currently lives, and how it might change as we go forward.
It was a question asked in one of the online groups that I belong to that got me thinking about this. Under discussion was the issue of intake forms. These are forms that must be filled out before certain service professionals agree to work with you. Gyms, doctor offices, mental health professionals, and tarot readers all often have some version of an intake form. Think of it as a kind of application that ensures that the individual seeking out the service and the service provider start out their relationship on the same page. I mentioned that I have used intake forms in the past but that now I do not since many of my services, especially my one on one services, are only available to my students – current and past. A dear friend inquired how this came to be and so it got me thinking about our Sacred Arts community and how it has grown over the years, as well as where I see it headed.
The fundamental question anytime you are creating or, as I prefer to think of it, cultivating, a community of brilliant folks is, what is the intention for this community? I knew early on that the community I was dedicated to is the community of soulful seekers – people who come from all walks of life who are dedicated to asking hard questions, seeking out real answers, and putting what they discover along the way into practice in their lives right here and right now. My intention for our community is to support the good, deep, and vital work of soulful seeking with the remembered ways of the Sacred Arts.
Throughout all of the years that I have been dedicated to this work and sharing it online, the common thread that has always tied our community together is this lunar letter. I have gone through phases where I sent out one a month, four a month, or two a month (current phase), but I have always made sure to touch base with everyone via this email letter at least once a month. This email list has been my community constant and the size of it testifies to that.
I have experimented with creating spaces for our community through various social media channels – and indeed the Sacred Artists group on Facebook is our virtual meeting space – as well as through in-person events. All have their positive attributes and negative drawbacks. Recently I asked a number of my students about their experiences in a virtual group and the feedback I had was unanimous: while it is nice that there is a FB page to like and follow, a big FB group for everyone interested in the Sacred Arts, a Twitter account, and an IG profile, their most favorite way to contact me was still one on one via email and their favorite way to hear from me was via email notes delivered right to their inboxes.
This revealed another component of the intention I hold for our community and that is that we have intimate and deep connections. I don’t think that depth or intimacy are mutually exclusive to large numbers of people, but I have found that we have to choose which one to prioritize: numbers or quality. We can have both but not in equal measure and not by equal effort. This reminder, when coupled with the privacy issues many of us have been concerned with on various social media platforms, and my personal experience of having so much more energy and insight to do the work I love when I am not constantly checking my social media feeds, revealed to me some of the changes that I am beginning to make in our community. There will be less of me on social media generally speaking and there will be more of me via these letters and the Resources list where I share my offerings (I keep this list commercial free). The social media places I currently show up at will still be regularly updated, but my favorite way to talk to you is like this, through a long form piece delivered to your inbox.
The containers we work with to house our communities are one part of the depth + intimacy puzzle but there is more. As I have brought more courses to the fore I have also had a community form within our greater Sacred Arts community, I have been graced with a community of dedicated lifelong learners – my students.
A couple of years ago I was feeling deeply overworked. My students had first priority always when it came to scheduling readings or ritual services with me, but members of the general public were also clamoring to work with me. My calendar was booked out months in advance and it was hard for me to take an afternoon, much less a day, off without feeling guilty. At that time I realized I had been given a gift. I had enough students to ensure steady work for myself. I could remove several of my more popular offerings from the public eye completely and make them only available to my students and been-with-me-forever clients and I would receive the double prize of not being grossly over scheduled so that I could make time to do things like write the book, AND I would be working with people who were intimate with my approach and understanding. People who I knew would also show up and do the work required of them – because magic works when we do.
Logistically it was easy to make the switch. An email was sent out, my website was nipped and tucked, and I created a pdf menu of offerings and services only available to students and loyal clients. I still have several goodies both free and inexpensive available to the newcomers in our community and the general public because I love to meet and welcome new Soulful Seekers. After I made that transition I did feel closer to our community as a whole. A year later when I decided to start offering special student pricing and discounts on goods and services that are available to the general public another level of depth to our community was achieved – I am able to commit deeply to the people who commit deeply to me and this reciprocity is foundational to the fierce devotion I have for my people.
The point of this letter though is not to give you a blueprint to follow when it comes to cultivating your own communities (I don’t believe in blueprints unless they are the kind my dog makes after stepping in blue ink). The point is to say that in order to create an intentional community you need a clear intention and you also need to be willing to re-examine and refine (two great Mercury Retrograde activities!) that intention throughout the years. For me, and our community of Soulful Seekers I am committed to more intimacy, depth, and and closeness. I want a community that may be virtual in space but is face to face in practice and feeling. Every time I send out one of these letters I receive many emails remarking on my thoughts – those are the kinds of interactions I cherish. May they continue and may the roots of our community grow ever deeper, the branches ever wider, so that all Soulful Seekers find succor and sanctuary here, as I hope each of you have!
Under this Aquarian Full Moon and Eclipse, with your divination tool of choice, consider asking the following:
What intention do I want to see in my communities and how can I open the road for it?
I love our community of soulful seekers for many reasons, but one of the most basic is that you are all willing to go down beneath the shine, the gloss, and the superficial into the real, the tough, and the hard. For we all know that when we are willing to get real we don’t lose the shine. In fact, the reverse takes place: we grow in strength, vitality and beauty. We shine out even more luminously and brilliantly.
Many of us have lived our lives up against necessity. It is easy to forget that necessity was once viewed, in all seriousness, as Necessity, with a capital “N”. That is, as a Goddess.
And you don’t mess with Her.
Because of this you understand that magic, prayer and blessing, ceremony and ritual are not goods reserved for a luxury leisure market. They are essentials that directly inform us right here and right now, and indeed help bring us into a more productive relationship with that oldest of Goddesses, Necessity.
When life throws you a curve and you have nothing else, you still have the Sacred Arts and all that they hold. No matter what. We find our blessings in our broken places.
It is also true that because our community is full of real people with real challenges — we are not the stuff of glossy magazines or Vaseline coated lenses — it can sometimes feel like the good, the blessed, the fruits of our labors, are always just out of reach.
We work our tails off, but the rewards we are hoping for or the treasures we seek are one more, ten more, a hundred more, steps farther down the road. In spiritual circles and communities, it can often seem as though it is somehow “not allowed” to talk like this or think like this or feel like this. It’s a buzzkill, or “low energy” or “bad vibes” or not in alignment with our highest good.
Now we know well enough that the hard parts of our stories are not the whole of our stories. But we also know that they are present. They are there. You can run but you can’t hide from them – nor should you. As a leader in our community, as a teacher, and a counselor, I see the struggle we are all engaged in and I am engaged in it too, right there with you, shoulder to shoulder.
So, in this last lunar letter of 2017, I want to give you a story of hope. Hope is a feeling, a power, a virtue that has perhaps been difficult to come by for many over the course of this last year.
I wanted to begin by giving voice to what many of us have experienced in the struggle, because the only kind of hope that matters is the kind that is tough enough and tender enough to look at real struggle head on, not flinching, covering over, or trying to hide when faced with the hard.
In order to practice hope we need stories that reflect hope, so indulge me while I share a very personal one with all of you.
Let’s begin with the Full Moon. As you read this, the Full Moon is in Gemini. Gemini is the first Air sign of the zodiac – a sign of sharing, ideas, connection, deep message, and true voice. Finding true voice is something that many of us struggle with today.
The world is so noisy that it is hard to hear ourselves think, seemingly impossible to hear ourselves speak out loud or write words down that reflect what we know to be real, true, and meaningful, what we know to be sacred and blessed.
For me, true voice, has always been especially hard. Starting out as I did with a cleft pallet, two major surgeries and years of speech therapy, it was literally an uphill battle as I learned to use my voice, to speak, to express myself.
When I did discover my voice I realized it was different from everyone else’s. I saw things differently, and I responded to information in a different way. I asked (and still do ask) a lot of questions to the chagrin of family members and students. (I say “a lot” of questions, but that is probably downplaying it: they would laugh and tell you “thousands”.) I will sometimes make light of the heaviest situations and I can get dead serious when people least expect it.
My voice has led me to strange and wonderful places – to being the only woman in various debate competitions, to studying classics in college and being the first in my immediate family to graduate; to teaching adults and facilitating classes for adults on classical texts from around the world; and of course to working as a Sacred Artist for all of you my dear soulful seekers.
In business, my voice has led me to say a loud NO to attitudes and opportunities that everyone else seemed to say yes to. It requires me to write letters (like this one) that are longer than what anyone recommends.
It has asked me to make myself personally available and not walled off by a team to my community, my students, my people.
My true voice says NO to sales funnels, slick marketing, mystifying the Sacred Arts, or positioning myself as an “expert”. My voice has said YES to teaching even when I was sure I was not ready, to taking on the role of leader in various communities that I serve even though I wanted to serve, not lead; to skipping the intermediate steps in the labyrinth and going straight to the mountain, and to moving on with it already.
I listen to my voice and I follow it, because I know first hand how easily it can be lost, because as a very young child I worked like the Devil to gain it back; and also because many of my ancestors had voices that were not ever really heard, not ever really acknowledged. And so when I speak, I speak not only for myself, I speak for them too, and for those who will come after I am gone. I feel that responsibility every day. I know many of you do too.
Listening to my true voice has not always been easy. It has made my life better in innumerable ways but it has also made it hard in that it requires work, daily showing up, real effort, seeking for knowledge and right action, one foot ever moving in front of the other.
One of the things that occurs when you begin to listen to your true voice is that you hear the answer “No” quite a bit. And it isn’t “No, you aren’t worthy” or “No, who the hell do you think you are to try that?”
It is more along the lines of “No, not that way.” “No, not right now.” “No, not for you, not ever.” If you are really listening to your true voice, you can’t argue with those true No’s. You have to practice patience and you have to have mercy on yourself.
You will also receive external No’s because you are greeting the world with your true voice – not the voice that is expected or demanded or foisted upon you, but your voice, your ideas, your words, your vision – and many times the world at large just seems not to get it, not to want it.
But then some people do. They become your community as you all have become mine. Often from that community comes financial support which is vital and needed. Always from that community comes another reason to keep on in your work. Because even if you are only sharing your true voice with one other person, it might change something in that person that would never otherwise be changed; it might heal a heart, save a life, make the day a little more doable, and that alone is worthy and worthwhile.
Some true voices find the ways to speak, to write, to create and they are the ones we hold dear, look up to, and feel inspired by. They become our creative North Stars. I’m not sure what alchemy or magic occurs that makes it possible for one’s true voice to be heard above the fray, but I am sure that whatever else it requires, it demands work. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, totally un-sexy toil and devotion.
It also requires friendship, because your real friends will see your true voice, and they will cherish it, encourage you to remain in it when you are wondering “is this really worth it?” Sometimes your friends will be the ones who open the door for you so that someone else can hear that voice too.
I won’t say that if you work hard enough the door will always open. You know too many stories and I know too many stories where that is simply not the case. But what I will say is that when the door does open if you have spent a lifetime making the effort and facing the hard then you are ready for what lies ahead and you can meet it with hope.
In October I learned that such a door had been opened for me. One of my favorite publishing companies, one that I admire ethically as well as for the works they release into the world, Sounds True, offered me a book deal. Having a book published has been a dream of mine since early childhood. When other little girls were planning their fantasy wedding, I was planning my author bio – true story! But throughout the years true voice said “Not yet.” “Not now.” “You need to do this first.”
As the years went on the dream of publishing a book seemed a fainter though still a burning star within me, but Necessity had me working on other things – like building our community, teaching classes, working one on one and in an intensive manner with a small group of students, hosting gatherings, and so on. These were the things that needed to happen first, needed to happen now.
A year ago, with the trepidation someone feels when approaching a beloved dream, I sent in a proposal. I pulled a card and got the Devil. This would be a dance that would keep me on my toes. There would be some hard and I had to meet it with hope. I made a dear friend along the way; I learned the true characters of others and gained insight into myself, and now I am writing a book about magic – not what other people say it is, but what we know it to be, what my true voice has taught me about it throughout these years. She will be born in the Spring of 2019. I’m still in awe.
Now I know that if I followed the current state of things I’d make a brief statement about how awesome it all is and then go back to posting pics on instagram…but my true voice won’t let me do that.
Instead I want to say that this is yet another of countless examples all around us that serve to remind us that when it feels like our efforts and our work and our dreams remain unseen and unheard and unrealized, that they are seen, they are heard, they can be realized, and the hard that you face and struggle with today can be the seedbed for the hope that you will be able to give to someone else tomorrow.
That’s the truth about hope. It is meant to be shared, and it dies when you hold onto it only for yourself. You all have shared hope with me in countless ways. I know that magic of our shared hope is part of what brought a book deal and publishing into my world. There aren’t enough words to say thank you, so instead I will promise to work hard, do my best, lead with my own true voice, and carry that hope back to each and every one of you as often as I can.
In love and blessings always,
Blessings of the Season! December is a tricky month astrologically speaking as we have a deepening that occurs when three planets move into Sea-goat Capricorn (and Millenials begin to experience their Saturn Returns) and Mercury goes Retro. Read on for the full picture!
At the beginning of the month the sun is in positive, cheerful, and bright Sagittarius. This placement has given us a sense of possibility and optimism over the past several weeks. Mystical interests are at an all time high when the Sun is in Sagittarius as is our feeling of generosity and joy – perfect for the holiday season.
Ask: How can I make it brighter?
On December 12th the Sun conjuncts Mercury RX which means that you have a special opportunity to see into the choices of the past year and get information relating to them. You might also have people from your past approaching you on this day so look out for that.
Ask: What has 2017 taught me?
On December 21st we celebrate Winter Solstice and Yule as the Sun moves into Capricorn. There will be a Feast Day for the Radically Reverent celebrating this time but I don’t have it up quite yet – first we have to honor Guadalupe! This is the shortest day of the year and the official beginning of Winter. Solstice keeps us firmly grounded in the liminal and reminds us that on the darkest and coldest nights, we can be the lights that shine out and show others the way home.
Ask: What light am I ready to shine?
December’s Full Moon at 11 degrees Gemini occurs on December 3rd at 9:47 AM
Ask: What do my friendships show me?
On December 10th we celebrate a Waning Quarter Moon at 18 degrees Virgo at 1:51 AM
Ask: What does the need for perfection prevent in my life?
December 18th sees a lovely, bright, New Moon at 26 degrees Sagittarius at 12:30 AM
Ask: What am I ready to set free?
On December 26th we celebrate a First Quarter Moon at 4 degrees Aries at 3:30 AM
Ask: What does right relationship to new beginnings look and feel like?
December 31st comes to a close with a moon in Gemini celebrating all that is liminal, betwixt, and between before we kick off the New Year with a luminous Full Moon in Cancer.
Ask: What am I ready to leave behind? What am I ready to carry forward?
On December 3rd Mercury goes retrograde in Sagittarius and remains that way until December 22nd. Here are my tips on surviving a holiday retrograde period.
Ask: How do I engage with places, people, and ideas that are not immediately familiar to me? Do I wear exotic experiences or unlikely friendships like badges of honor? Do I hide from anything or anyone that is new and different or do I go seeking out after adventure?
Make a note that on Friday, December 22nd, Mercury RX is OVER!
Ask: What did the RX period teach me?
On Friday December 1st Venus makes a sign change from the deep waters of Scorpio into the bright and cheerful optimism that is Sagittarius.
Ask: Who in my life is in need of a cheerleader? (And then show up to cheer them on!)
Mercury and Venus hook up with a sweet trine on December 15th. Here we all have the ability to sweet talk anyone into anything. At the best this trine gives you eloquence and the ability to articulate and express your ideas in a compelling, even seductive, manner. At worst, this trine encourages gullibility – so easy to believe the words when they are all so nice, and superficiality as well. Go for the former, not the latter.
Ask: What love do I want to express?
On Christmas Eve Venus follow the trail blazed by Saturn and the Sun and also moves into Capricorn. This sign change for the planet of love and beauty can bring depth, seriousness, and ambition to artistic endeavors and romantic relationships alike. Marriage proposals that occur on or around this time will have a sincerity and seriousness to them that bodes well for long term togetherness!
Ask: What love am I ready to get serious about?
A potentially nasty Mars-Uranus opposition occurs on Friday December 1st after Venus moves into Sagittarius. This opposition has an explosive and often martial component. On a global level we should expect to hear about flare ups happening abroad and perhaps at home too. These signs together rule guns so gun violence might be something that we see as well. Those of you who hunt and everyone who is driving on this day should be extra careful.
Ask: What battles would I like to stop participating in?
On December 9th Mars heads into its native sign of Scorpio – a place it very much likes to be! Deep energy especially when it comes to engaging with the hidden, creating strong protection around yourself and your loved ones, and engaging passionately in all things are hallmarks of this combination. Mars in Scorpio can also bring out our more blunt, aggressive, unforgiving and stern aspects – so be aware of that given the holiday season and judge most mercifully as much as you can.
Ask: What mystery am I willing to fight for?
Jupiter and Neptune trine it up on December 2nd. This is the day before Mercury goes RX and so many of you might be out and about trying to finish up your shopping tasks. If that’s you my advice is: be extra careful with your wallet because Jupiter + Neptune love to splurge! That said, this is a brilliant time to make, find, sell or buy art and/or spiritual supplies. Looking for some spiritual supplies for holiday gift giving? Here are my favorites to buy from.
Ask: What dream is ready to be enlarged?
Saturn and Mercury have a conjunction on December 6th right after Mercury has gone retrograde. This meet up is all about discipline and applying Saturn inspired determination to ticking items off of your TO DO list.
Ask: What task needs to be wrapped up or re-done?
On Tuesday, December 19th Saturn makes a sign change moving from Sagittarius into Capricorn where it will remain for the next three years. This is significant in many ways. Saturn loves to be in its native sign of Capricorn. Its brings a level of seriousness and responsibility into the mix. Regions and terrain that have been unregulated should expect to begin to get tamed (this includes virtual regions like the web and digital currency markets). Millennials will begin to experience their first Saturn Returns during this time. Law enforcement, military order, and protection will all be emphasized during this time but so will mastery, dedication to one’s craft, and fiscal responsibility.
Ask: What do I need to master most now?
On Christmas day Saturn saddles up along side Venus in a nice conjunction. It can make Christmas seem more serious and you might have some Grinches that you have to be on the look out for. BUT it can also inspire love and compassion in the places and for the people that you usually have an especially hard time with during the holidays. This aspect can also encourage doing good for those who have less.
Ask: Who really needs care right now?
On Sunday, December 10th, Uranus and Mercury trine up to each other. Keep your eyes on the public square as people who come to notice on during this trine tend be talented visionaries. For everyone this gives you an opportune to time to review what you have learned over the past year about your legacy.
Ask: What do I find when I review my choices about legacy?
A Uranus-Sun trine on Sunday, December 16th encourages excitement, vision, legacy building, and is also perfect astro weather for banishing what is no longer needed.
Ask: What am I ready to release?
Neptune squares up with Venus on December 10th – this can create a hazy sense of where you are and what you are doing that you definitely want to be aware of. It’s a good day to relax and chill, not a good day to have a deep conversation about where you and your partner are romantically or a day for shopping. Make art as much as possible.
Ask: What creative vision or idea have I been ignoring?
Neptune and Mars get into a tangle of a trine on Thursday, December 28th. This is a great time to let your intuitive side flow (and perfect timing as it occurs during Omen Days). It will also energize your dream life and any healing work you have been dedicated to will feel as if it just received a power boost of energy and enthusiasm.
Ask: What am I ready (and willing) to see?
Pluto is nice and quiet in Capricorn, doing its deep seated work of utter and complete transformation.
From my familia to yours, may you have a bright, beautiful, blessed, safe, and fun holiday season!
Love and Stars,
PS: There are a few time-sensitive offerings available right now which you may want to know about:
Lunar Lights are open and registration closes on December 17th. This is my much beloved monthly candle service. Once a month on the Full Moon I dress, bless, and set a candle for you and your heartfelt prayer, wish, desire, and/or intention.
Your candles are allowed to burn without being disturbed and around the New Moon you receive a candle report detailing how the candle burned, what signs were seen, and what next steps you might want to consider.
Learn more + register here. After December 17th this service is gone for another year. The first lunar light setting of 2018 occurs ON January 1st for the Full Moon in Cancer!
The Banish and Burn end of year ceremony is out and available. Join us in releasing what needs to be released and walking forward fresh and clean into 2018! $13 gets you in with half of all proceeds going to the family of Aidan’s son. Learn more + register here.
The Book of Hours is the planner for Soulful Seekers who want a different relationship to time. Snag it, download it, keep it on your device or print it out – contains all the essential astro info for 2018 and so much more! At $24 this is also an EXCELLENT last minute gift! Get it here.
As we are just coming off the recent intensifying that is Pluto direct once more, let us turn our attention to one of the most magical months of the year. Sign changes, Scorpio movements concerning Death and Taxes, and Venusian Va-voom are all in the stars this month, so read on!
At the beginning of the month the Sun is in beauty, harmony, and balance-loving Libra where love rules all and relationships are king AND queen.
Ask: Who am I committed to?
Then, on October 22nd the Sun moves out of balance and beauty seeking Libra and into the deep and tumultuous waters of Scorpio. This period marks one of the most liminal times of the year as it coincides with the many festivals for the Dead and kicks off the months ahead when the veil between worlds is at its thinnest. Plan accordingly like the soulful seeker that you are and don’t fill your engagement calendar until you are exhausted.
Ask: How can I go deeper?
On October 12th we have a waning quarter moon at 19 degrees Cancer at 10:20 PM – remember, this is the best moon for all banishing work.
Ask: What are the emotions that consistently trip me up?
October 19th ushers in the New Moon at 26 degrees Libra, 2:12 PM
Ask: Where do I need harmony and balance?
Finally on October 27th we have a waxing Quarter at 4 degrees Aquarius, 4:22 PM – and remember this is the BEST lunar phase for divination!
Ask: What does right relationship with my community look and feel like?
Mark your calendars for Sunday, October 8th because there is an excellent conjunction between the Sun and Mercury – this is an ideal time to hatch a brilliant new idea.
Ask: What new idea am I ready to explore?
On Monday, October 9th, Mercury and the Sun are still conjunct but they start to square up with Pluto which can indicate stress and power struggles and you may enter into a situation where you are asking yourself – is this really worth it?
Ask: What is the Return on Investment I can get from this relationship?
The next day to pay attention to is October 15th. On this day Mercury and Uranus are opposed to one another and the sparks can fly. This is the kind of astro weather that can leave you feeling tired but unable to sleep with your thoughts racing a million miles an hour. Writing or talking to a friend are both good ideas.
Ask: How can I best make room for all of my ideas and insights?
On October 17th Mercury departs from lovely Libra and enters into the dark sea of Scorpio. This is a time when you are more likely to dish out the unvarnished truth and explore mysteries that you may not have had time for earlier in the year.
Ask: What am I ready to investigate?
This entrance into Scorpio is then followed up on October 18th by a conjunction with Jupiter which brings expansive ideas and possibilities to the table.
Ask: What big idea am I ready to give deep roots to?
Finally, on October 24th Mercury sidles up for a nice trine with Neptune, giving you immediate access to your inner psychic.
Ask: What is my intuition telling me?
Venus gets intense early on this month as she partners up with Pluto in an intensely sexy trine on October 3rd. Expect relationships to be extra intense during this day both in positive and more challenging ways. This is also a great time to do glamour work around power, wealth, and influence.
Ask: What intensity do I desire?
On October 5th while the Full Moon is doing her thing, Venus forges an unlikely alliance with Mars as they conjunct each other. Mythically speaking this is the Goddess Aphrodite and the God Aries getting hot and heavy with one another, the offspring that were produced from that union were all monstrous except for their daughter Harmony who was finally able to bring peace and balance to the realm.
Ask: What happens when love partners up with discipline?
October 8th will bring issues around relationships, excess, indulgence, vanity, and superficial-anything to a head as Venus squares off with Saturn. This is the last Venus – Saturn square for the year and it has the capacity to teach you much so do pay attention.
Ask: Where do my passions need to be moderated?
On October 14th Venus traipses into her happy place, moving from Virgo into Libra. While Venus in Libra encourages all of us to be a little sweeter, a little nicer, and hum “what the world needs now is love, sweet love…” we can also find ourselves blinded by those rose-colored glasses. Enjoy the time but continue to exercise discernment.
Ask: Where am I ready to share my love?
On Friday October 27th Venus and Pluto come together again but this time they butt heads in a stressful square. Relationships that have been experiencing stress might well hit their breaking point on this day. Be aware of lower Pluto-Venus impulses – the ability to emotionally manipulate, blackmail, and use sex as a weapon.
Ask: What relationship experience have I given too much power to and how might I reclaim that power?
On Wednesday, October 11th Mars and Saturn square off in a tetchy dance. Delays will happen, tempers may well flare, any area where you have not exercised appropriate moderation might come up and snag you in some manner. BUT this alignment also gives you the opportunity to influence your discipline with passion or vice-versa. DO NOT skip your exercise or fitness routine on this day.
Ask: What am I willing to take on?
The only other big move by Mars in October is its departure from Virgo and movement into Libra. Mars in Libra is traditionally considered bad juju because it can encourage inner conflict born out of Libra’s natural desire to please and Mars’ determination to come out on top. However, see above – Mars and Venus (or Libra who is ruled by Venus) also have the potential to create last peace, clarity and inner harmony – it all depends on how you play it.
Ask: What conflicts do I need to engage in in order to keep or create significant harmony?
On Tuesday, October 10th Jupiter makes a sign change this month that is very significant since he will be spending quality time in his newfound home of Scorpio. To recap: Jupiter has been in Libra for 13 months, now he is going to grace the Scorpion with his benevolent presence. This brings a cosmic magnifying glass to the issues that Scorpio is most at home with: Sex, Death, and the Sacred Arts. It also can indicate deep shifts in taxes, law (especially estate law/wills) and the dance between mainstream culture and the magical arts. All you Miracles with Scorpio heavy in your chart, make sure you get in formation because 2018 will bring abundance in a major way.
Ask: What treasure is in the depths?
Jupiter’s sign change is really intense enough to be the singular event of October but there is another one on October 24th that you will want to keep in mind. This is a conjunction between the Sun and Jupiter both in Scorpio – if you are looking for more visibility and potency in your Sacred Arts work, if you work in the sex industry, if you are involved in undercover work of any kind, and/or if you are involved in the criminal justice system (on either side) then this is a primo time for you to shine and up your game. For everyone else consider this:
Ask: Where am I ready to expand my sense of mystery?
Saturn is fairly quiet this month, but do check out the above sections to see where he gets frisky. He is storing up his energy for his own sign change which will be coming up soon!
On Thursday, October 19th we celebrate a New Moon in Libra AND we also experience A Sun/Moon opposition with Rock n Roll Uranus. This can often indicate that there will be shake up of current relationships, that you will be particularly attuned to fresh and new ideas, AND that you need to be extra careful and cautious so that there are no accidents or explosions.
Ask: What brilliance am I ready to reflect?
Neptune continues to swim through Pisces. See the Mercury section above for the other Neptunian action this month.
Venus and Pluto are the major dance partners this month so see Lady V’s section above for that information.
Here is wishing you a gorgeous and magical October!