Pluto as a Holy Helper

Ceremony and Ritual

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is story begins, as so many creation do, with a game of chance – the drawing of lots. Jupiter received the realms of heaven and earth, Neptune claimed the Ocean’s depths and Pluto, Pluto received the realm beneath all that is hidden and unseen, all that belongs to the Dead.

Here then is his first teaching: he rules through service, not mastery. His fealty is to the dead and the fallen, his realm their place of safety and sanctuary. Call on him then when you would speak to your own beloved dead, he will aid you in coming to know your ancestors.

He serves what others fear, what the living cannot know or seem, and so we can ask for his favor when we are attempting to understand the unseen and the unknown. He reveals the hidden ways and hidden wealth.

Miners and those who love and work with minerals, metals and gems should know him, for they all fall under his custodianship. At the height of his influence he was understood to be so powerful that even saying his name was too much. Leave an offering of honeycomb under the cover of night and head back to your family.

He is best known as the abductor and rapist of Persephone but the oldest tales weave a different story – there was a forbidden love there, one that demanded its participants to partake of both worlds – that of the living and that of the Dead.

We must know when and make space for him if we are to inhabit our full power and potential for transformation. For it is only when we know of death that we are truly able to appreciate life.

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

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Hearth and Home Vol. 20: Just Add Water

Lunar Letter

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t is hard to believe that I have not sent out a Hearth and Home since December of last year!

There have, of course, been Things Happening. First, for me, was the completion of the manuscript for my second book, Star Child.

I spent January, February, March, April, and May writing, polishing, and writing some more. My original due date was May 1st but due to the Coronavirus and myself and my husband suddenly finding ourselves thrust in the roles of homeschool teachers like so many other parents around the country, I received an extension and finally got the beast in the second week of May.

I am really excited about this book which explores how we can joyfully parent with Astrology as a guide – I think the past months have shown how much it is needed and I cannot wait to share more about it with you all!

At the beginning of March, I was in my beloved New Mexico, celebrating Jasper’s 9th (9!!!) birthday and eating dinner at one of my favorite restaurants with some dear friends.

By the time we drove back to Texas, everything was on lockdown, Spring Break turned into a semester of homeschooling and an appalling number of people grew sick and died from the virus.

Jasper’s school went online and Heath’s, our 2 year old, day school closed altogether for the semester. We found ourselves like everyone else adapting to a new rhythm and facing new questions and concerns, especially when it came to our children.

In our household, one of the things we learned early on was that the boys needed to get outside and move around and stretch their bodies first thing in the morning.

Our schedule morphed from making breakfast, packing up backpacks, ensuring teeth were brushed, diapers were clean, and clothes were on before loading up into the truck to get dropped off at school to herding everyone outside, applying lots of sunscreen and bug spray and making sure bike helmets were securely fastened. During our morning walks, we would chat about the schedule for the day and, after making the block we would return to the house and water the gardens.

Those of you who have been with me for a while know that I descend from a long line of farmers and gardeners, that I love plants, and that I grow many of the plants that I work with magically. I noticed though, as this past Spring found me more outside than I had been in a long time, that I had allowed gardening to take a back seat and in particular I had neglected the task of watering – one that I have always loved and enjoyed. Now, while I generally have a tough love philosophy with most of my plant allies (you kind of have to in South Central Texas), I was amazed and a little disappointed that I had somehow become too consistently “busy” to water the garden. The boys turned watering into a grand adventure and unsurprisingly I started seeing growth from plants I had forgotten I had even planted!

We are now in the dead heat of Summer so we have to wake up extra early to water, go for a walk, take care of the chickens, and all of the other animals we share our land with, but we do it and I do it because what I have learned, what I have remembered over the past few months, is that water is magic. Even though we are in the middle of 108 degrees July days our gardens are verdant and beautiful and nourished.

When I think about 2020 I see a year that has been full of what rootworkers call Crossed Conditions. From the virus to the anger on the streets and on the screen to needless and unjust deaths this year has tested all of our mettle.

The oldest understanding of Crossed Conditions is that they are times where we are dried up, dried out, and devitalized. The remedy is an invitation to do the opposite, to add water, to call upon the things that nourish, sustain, and protect…the things that keep us tender. What those medicines are is different for each person but now as we have just passed the mid-point of the year, I encourage yourself a couple of questions – consider it a ritual for today’s New Moon in Cancer.

1. What in my life has gone un-watered for too long?
2. How can I restore it?

The answers will surprise you and the remedies are almost always simpler than we think. Watering as a morning ritual, an act of devotion to our land does not solve all of the problems. It doesn’t make the answers easier either. But it does remind me that amid the dried up times that seem perfectly poised to suck the essence right out of us, there is an ally, a Holy Helper and that sometimes all we need to do is just add water.

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.

Neptune as a Holy Helper

Learning and Community

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iracles, Neptune

He is known as the Earth Shaker, a lover of horses, of waves, and of depths, his original name most likely hails from the Sanskrit root “dawon” meaning, one who flows. It is easy to write off Neptune or his Greek equivalent Poisedon as vain and vainglorious Gods who care little to nothing for the affairs of mankind but to do so would be a grave mistake.

With his trident Neptune can cause the earth in of her greatness to literally shake and tremble, causing earthquakes and tidal waves and great flooding. Sometimes disruption is necessary, and when it is, he is a Holy Helper to call on. As the creator of Earthquakes he is also a Holy Helper to call on for protection from shifting and moving ground as well as big waters and flooding.

His trident could cause destruction, yes, but also could call up fresh or salty water from the earth’s layers to spring up and through even the most parched lands. And so he is an ally for anyone who is trying to bring more moisture, suppleness or fertility into their lives, anyone who finds that their life is too dry, too desiccated, lacking creative flow and depth would do well to call on him.

He is also strongly associated with horses, animals known for their sensitivity and their power, but also strongly associated in the ancient world with the art of healing. We may call on him whenever we are working with horses, but also whenever we need to have the qualities in our own lives that we associate with horses – power, attention, sensitivity, great endurance, and keen intelligence. His favor may be sought in matters of healing – both by those who heal and by those who are in need of healing, for water and healing have been associated with one another for age upon age.

The newer stories say he pulled the wrong lot and was given domain over the depths but the older stories tell of him choosing to make the vast deep his home…and so he can aid us in feeling at home there as well. He is a God of both sea and freshwater, not picking one over the other. For all dealings concerning water – from finding it, to purifying it, to working with it or harnessing its power his favor must be sought out. Beloved by fisherman and those who work with the Sea, he may also be called upon by those who are invested in protecting the sea and all of the life it holds, and by those who are working for equitable water rights around the world. As the seas warm and rise he is a particularly good Holy Helper to get to know. Neptune is the one who holds our hand when we go deep – into our physical world and into our psychic terrain. For this reason he is also associated with dreams and the Zodiac sign over which the planet named in his honor – Pisces – rules, are known to be the dreamers and the ones who are most able to speak to and with dreams.

He is the protector or challenger of every voyager who must cross water. Making an offering to him before setting off on a water-heavy adventure is always a good idea. One of his sons is said to be the founder of Atlantis, the sacred isle that destroyed itself with the very technology that allowed it to be so very advanced. The ancient Greeks spoke of Atlantis as ancient meaning that Neptune has seen it all unfold this way many times before. For this reason, it is deeply associated with history and specifically our ability to learn from our history. So we may call upon his aid whenever we need to reflect – globally or individually – on what history has taught us and what it will continue to teach us.

In his oldest stories he is the husband, the lover, the devotee of the Earth herself, and we cannot help but reflect on how the sea ever and always kisses the land. Wherever the Earth finds herself in need of a protector, defender, or servant, Neptune may be called upon, for he bears the waters that bless the rich dark soil and allows all growth to happen. His depths mirror our own and in his waves we can find strands of our own story reflected over and over again.

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Mars as a Holy Helper

Ceremony and Ritual

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e is the God of War, the bringer of strife and disharmony, one of the troublesome planets, the ones that are seen as baneful and full of bad luck. Let me show you his (Mars) Holy.
He is the activist in the streets, the brave rush into flame or bullets, the soldier who takes the shot meant for someone else, the officer who takes a knee. He is the fiery hot courage to say what needs to be said, to do what needs to be done. He is not patient, he is tired of waiting, he refuses to sit back. He is disciplined and will support you in being such as well. His furious might can be controlled and unleashed at the exact right moment, as can yours. Focused. Defiant. Potent. He is your ally in this. He is the Protector, the shield, the one who stands for those who cannot stand for themselves, who defends the defenseless, he has much of Michael in him.

He is the lover of Venus/Aphrodite – an illicit love, hidden for eons. Because what does it mean for War to be a lover of, a devotee to Love, Beauty, Goodness, and Kindness? Their story has been trivialized, mocked, ridiculed, but there is medicine here and wisdom if we will see it. What happens to our understanding of War when we realize that it too, can love? He is a Holy Helper who reminds us that when we truly love someone or something we will go to battle for it. To love is by Necessity, to risk. He is the God of War but he is also one who tells us why, when, and how we make war; he stands by us as we choose our battles. Many of his children are monstrous as we know all too well. But Harmony is also his daughter, without him, she does not exist. mars mars 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.