Working with Saturn Retrograde



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

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

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

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

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

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Star Stories: July 2020

Ceremony and Ritual


strology for July 2020

Note for July: Mercury turns direct and a trio of Sun oppositions give us the flavor for July which is festive, forward-facing, and overall moving in a positive direction despite a few snags here and there. This month also holds a few moments where truly deep healing can occur.

7/1: Saturn retrogrades out of Aquarius and back into Capricorn. This is Saturn’s last hurrah in its home turf of Capricorn until it returns in about 30 years. Any final lessons that you have been working on under the guidance of Saturn for the past two years come home to you in the deepest way between now and December 17th.
Ask: What disciplines do I need to review?

7/4: Full Moon + Lunar Eclipse at 13 degrees Capricorn, 11:55 PM. Some ideas for how to work with the Full Moon can be found here: and here:
Ask: What mastery should be celebrated?

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

7/8: Mercury square Mars. This aspect reminds all of us – if you cannot say something nice then don’t say anything at all!
Ask: Where do I need to remain quiet?

7/12: Waning Quarter Moon at 3 degrees Aries, 10:24 PM. A reminder that this is a great time to banish:
Ask: What weapons am I ready to put down?

7/12: Mercury Direct!!!

7/12: Sun trine Neptune. This is a lovely and gentle aspect that makes us all feel kinder towards each other. You may find that this day feels like everything is aligning just as it should and it is an especially auspicious day to donate to a charitable cause.

7/14: Sun opposed to Jupiter. New opportunities beckon but staying realistic about chances and probabilities is key.
Ask: What previously unseen opportunity is asking for my attention?

7/15: Sun opposed to Pluto. This opposition highlights the places where you have knowingly or unknowingly restricted yourself when it comes to healing and personal power. At its best these places are illuminated and freed up so that you can work with them in a healthy manner.
Ask: What old wound is ready to be fully seen?

7/20: New Moon at 28 degrees Cancer, 12:33 PM. Here are Four Ways to Honor the New Moon just in case you missed them:
Ask: What home am I ready to create?

7/20: Sun opposed to Saturn. This opposition can leave us feeling like no matter how hard we try, we are never going to really get what we want. Take a breath and acknowledge that this is a moment in the story, not the entire story.
Ask: What would happen if I let go?

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

7/27: Waxing Quarter at 14 degrees Scorpio, 12:31 PM. This is the perfect time to brush up on your divination practice!
Ask: What mystery am I ready to explore? July 

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Making the most of your online course…without living online!

Learning and Community


ear Miracles,

So you are interested in an online course but don’t want to spend your days on the computer or online…is it possible to have your cake and eat it too? In this case, YES!

And I created this little guide for all of you out there who are intimidated but also attracted to online learning experiences. Read on and find that your big worries and fears are really not insurmountable at all as long as you keep these questions in mind:


How do you learn best?

There are many different ways to learn. Some people are most comfortable reading their information off of a page. If that describes you, then prior to enrolling in a course of study (whether its online or offline) make sure that it is primarily delivered in written format.

Others are audio-verbal and they learn best by listening to information and then having opportunities to give either verbal or written feed back.

Still, others are kinetic based learners, this means that they do not do well when someone “tells” them how something works, they need to be “shown” and then they need to have the opportunity to do it themselves. If you are a kinetic learner then a video format (for online courses) or better yet, in person workshops and gatherings are the way to go.

Get to know and honor your learning style.

What are the tech-specs?

Most of the time the technical specifications for an online course are not very elaborate or fancy. You don’t need the most cutting edge computer or smart phone to be able to participate. But if you have questions and/or you are not sure if your equipment will work with a program’s delivery method, then just ask! Oftentimes if there is an issue, the course instructor will help you figure out a workaround so that you can still participate.

Can the lessons be taken off-line? 

Even though there is more pressure than ever today to stay on-line, the internet is merely a tool. We can still use it that way.

Many courses have substantial written components. I prefer reading print text off-line, so when I take an e-course I always print out the material. I don’t even have an e-reader, and printing out any written materials is an easy way to unplug quickly and bring the lessons into the space of my physical life.

In our day and age of digital audio, there are also many courses that are delivered primarily through audio mp3 files. In fact, one of my courses, Spinning Gold, is structured with both written and audio components.

For programs which are primarily audio, an easy way to get off the computer is to download the mp3 files into your phone or iPod and listen to them while you are on the go or at home over stereo speakers. My favorite time to listen to podcasts and audio files? When I’m cleaning!

Extra, Extra?

Online courses typically have some components that are not electronic, such as group phone calls, “printables” (well-designed pdfs that are meant to be printed out and written on) and in some cases one on one time with the main instructor. Any good course description should include a section on what the various components of the course are so keep an eye out for add-ons that do not involve you logging in.

Is the forum optional?

Most classes which are delivered either partially or entirely online include some kind of forum, whether that is a private facebook group or a custom forum hosted on an individual’s website.

I have taught classes using both methods, and I have taken classes using both methods too.  Almost always participation in the forum is not required.  It is simply another way to flesh out your learning experience.

An online forum can be like a student coffee shop. Some folks love to hang out in coffee shops and other people don’t.  But it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing kind of thing. You may not be the sort to hang out in a coffee shop, but you know you can still get something out of it.  You can, for example, pick up a latte and a muffin and then get on with your day.

In exactly the same way, even if you don’t like to hang out on electronic forums, you can still make limited use of it in a way that works for you. Ask a question, or see what others are asking; get some information and a perspective on an issue, and move on. You won’t be missing out on anything if you do, because the information submitted by the group does not disappear. It will be there when you return, if you want or need it.  There’s no hurry. You can take your time. It is that simple.

Can you set the pace?

One of the oft-cited benefits of web-based learning is that it allows the learner to set the pace. In today’s world of many online courses that is not always the case, so it’s a good idea to get clear about the delivery schedule in your course.

How many lessons?

How long in between lessons?

Do you get the repeat the course again and again for free or not?

What happens if you fall behind?

Knowing how to answer these questions before you enroll in a program will prevent a lot of stress down the road.

Are there quiet periods for reflection?

To me, this is one of the most important questions to answer. Learning requires periods of active engagement on the part of the learner and then it requires periods of reflection, integration, and implementation.

Lessons need a chance to come out of the book, audio file, or classroom, and into each individual’s life – they need to be practiced.

And guess what? Periods of quiet and reflection most definitely take us off the web.

For instance, I have structured both of my year long courses to include a month of active learning and then an implementation month during which time I continue to make myself available for correspondence, but learners have the space to talk about, reflect, integrate, and implement the information they have received, and especially to nurture emerging insights from within their own understandings, experiences and practices.  The implementation months are crucial incubation periods for your own soul growth and spiritual practice.

In our busy lives we are trained more and more to expect everything to keep moving, but if we never take the time to be still, to think about the information we have received, asking whether or not it sounds correct, asking too how it might play a greater role in our lives, and how we might implement it, then we are not really engaged in learning at all. Instead we are merely checking off boxes and going through the motions. So give yourself the gift of time and space for thoughtful reflection. This is what gives depth and breadth to any and all learning you will do. If such times are not automatically built into a course then make sure that the course design allows you to create them for yourself.

Online learning is brilliant in that it allows for flexibility and learning “on-the-go” in a revolutionary way, but like everything else, it works best when it works for you and not the other way around.


magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.