Marlena Applebaum

M.A. in Counseling Psychology

Astrological Counseling

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“My evenings are taken up very largely with astrology. I make horoscopic calculations in order to find a clue to the core of psychological truth. Some remarkable things have turned up which will certainly appear incredible to you.”

~Carl Jung in a letter to Sigmund Freud (June 12, 1911)


Astrological Counseling

I offer astrological counseling for psycho-spiritual exploration, understanding, and transformation. Astrology utilized in this way can be a missing key for deep inner work and can shed light on the path towards greater harmony with the natural rhythms and cycles of one’s life journey. My approach to astrology is to share the potentials and opportunities I see while exploring how the symbols and archetypes are manifesting uniquely for each individual. Astrology is a wonderful tool for self-knowledge and a help in times of challenge or transition. It can facilitate tremendous insight and peace, as well as provide timelines for certain archetypal or energetic influences reflected in our lives and inner states of being. Consultations available for birth chart exploration, current influences, relationship dynamics, and timing for important events. 


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Question about Synastry (relationship analysis)



I received this question from someone, and I think it’s such an interesting topic that I decided to post about it. 


Question (paraphrased):
My boyfriend’s Moon and Venus fall into my 7th house, but my planets do not fall into his 7th house. Will I be the only one stimulated by this? Will he feel the familiarity too? Does it go both ways?


My answer:
I have observed and thought about this many times. In the context of a significant relationship, when a person’s planets, especially their Sun, Moon, or Ascendant, fall or overlay into your 7th house (the part of the chart representing partnership), yes it does mean that they embody in a big way whatever it is that you need in a partner, so you may feel strongly drawn to them. They balance you and complete you in a sense. This can apply to a romantic, friendship, business, or any other significant partnership. 


So how does this affect the person whose planets or Ascendant fall into your 7th house? In my experience, it is not the same dynamic, but the connection and attraction is still mutual. The person whose planets or Ascendant fall into your 7th house feels called and inspired to be your partner. It feels natural to them to be what you want and need in a partner. This happens on a relatively subliminal level. Some authors say the attraction is stronger for the person whose 7th house is being over-layed by the partner’s planets, as opposed to the partner, but I have not found that to be the case. Your 7th house (i.e. the partnership) provides for them an area and a context for vital expression of part of themselves.


To feel seen and nurtured



Highlight of my day: At the end of a session, client said she felt seen and nurtured. I love that. It’s truly a gift when I get to play the role of helping people feel more peace about themselves and life.

Life is often so full and things happen in phases and cycles. This has not been a writing phase for me (sorry for no astro blogs for quite awhile!), but I am still doing consultations!


Everything has something to do with spirituality

“Newspaper reporters would regularly seek interviews with Meher Baba, and sometimes he would consent… ‘But what about astrology?’ the reporter asked. ‘Everything has something to do with spirituality. It depends on how it is worked out.’ “ (From LM, p. 2077)


Mercury retrograde in Libra, Lunar eclipse in Aries



We’re past the halfway point of this Mercury retrograde (Sep 17-Oct 9), and so I have a few observations (The deepest learning of astrology comes through observation). Like all Mercury retrograde cycles this one is providing opportunities to revisit and reconnect with projects and relationships from the past, review misunderstandings or mistakes, and move towards resolving old issues. Since this Mercury retrograde takes place fully in the sign of Libra, the revisits may revolve around Libran values, such as interpersonal relating, empathy, and understanding the feelings and needs of both sides of any difference or conflict. Depending on the house of your birth chart where you have Libra will determine more specifically the types of things you may be reworking during this Mercury retrograde period.


Meanwhile the Lunar eclipse on Sep 27th was an interesting counterbalance occurring in the opposite sign of Aries. A Full Moon is always the peak, climax, or crisis point of the lunar month, but the addition of an eclipse takes it to a more intense level. Even though the deeper significations of an eclipse take place over a period of months (before and after the exact date of the eclipse), the day of the eclipse itself can certainly be telling too. I knew of three people who had this eclipse tightly conjunct one of their Aries planets, and they were all sick during the few days around the eclipse. Since this was an eclipse occurring near the South node of the Moon, it suggests a time of letting go. For those who were sick, I’m interpreting this as a detoxification process. But more generally this eclipse could be seen as a detoxification process for all of us in whatever part of our natal chart where we have Aries. I have Aries in my 7th house of one-to-one relationships, and right around the time of the eclipse, I had fleeting but important differences to attend to with a few people I connect with in a one-to-one way. Each one involved letting go of old thought forms or patterns. The fact that it was a Full Moon, an eclipse, and being in the fiery, impulsive, assertive sign of Aries added a higher degree of emotionality than might otherwise be present. 


How did this eclipse play out for you? It’s always fruitful to note these things, in the same way it is fruitful to remember and explore the meanings of one’s dreams. These practices help us along the path towards greater self-knowledge and self-mastery.


During Mercury’s apparent travel backwards, at the midpoint of the retrograde phase, is a special moment when Mercury meets up with the Sun. This occurred on Sep 30th. It can be thought of as Mercury’s New Moon so to speak, the beginning point of a new Mercury cycle. Things are sown, either consciously or unconsciously, at this conjunction, so you can note what occurred on that day — ideas, discussions, events, or flashes or urges for a new and different way. It is an inception point, though it may not be clear just how those things will grow up and expand until after Mercury goes direct.


Venus unfolding



You can find abundant information about current astro weather everywhere on the internet. So, instead, for today, I’m going to write about what’s on my mind a lot lately with regard to the planets… Though first I will say briefly that there is a lot going on right now astrologically (but there always is. It never stops). We’re in-between eclipses — a North Node Solar Eclipse in Virgo on Sep 13 and a South Node Lunar Eclipse in Aries on Sep 27. Eclipses mark big though sometimes subtle shifts, which unfold over the course of several months before and after the actual eclipse dates. Also, Mercury is about to turn retrograde on Sep 17 (we’ve been in the shadow period since Aug 28) and Saturn moves into Sagittarius (also on Sep 17) to stay until Dec 2017…

But what I want to mention today is the last Venus/Sun conjunction, which occurred on Aug 15th. Astrologer, Gary Caton, taught me to pay attention to these special conjunctions, because they set into motion a deep transformative process that is in effect for about 9.5 months until the next Venus/Sun conjunction. Through observation I have found this to be profoundly true, yet it’s sometimes only in retrospect that I can really see and appreciate it, which is why I’m bringing it up now. We’ve had a month to start feeling this new Venus unfoldment process. The conjunction was at about 23º Leo. What house of your birth chart does Leo fall in for you? That house will describe the sphere of life that is beginning to undergo a transformation of values (values, a Venus thing), especially if 23º Leo is near an angle or planet in your chart. Where Leo is in your chart is an area of your life that will be in focus until the next conjunction in Jun of 2016 in mid Gemini. The domain of life affected by the Venus/Sun conjunction often manifests in a clear or concrete way over the 9 month period so it is worth contemplating. The Venus/Sun conjunction correlates with a discovery process of what you truly value/desire/enjoy and that discovery creates change. if you want to think about the 9 months prior to Aug 2015, the Venus/Sun conjunction before this last one was on Oct 25, 2014 at 2º Scorpio. If you aren’t familiar with your chart or if you want to explore this further, contact me and we can set up a consultation.


Jupiter square Saturn



A tense square forms between Jupiter and Saturn a few times between 2014 and 2016. Ever since Jupiter entered Leo in July of 2014, it has been squaring Saturn in Scorpio by sign, but this morning the aspect reached a climax (at 28º Leo and 28º Scorpio). Regarding one area of life (where you have Leo in your chart, Jupiter is transiting) you may be feeling expansive, joyful, and even triumphant. Things have worked out well over the past year. There have been some amazing shifts and gains. You have reason to feel optimistic as you progress. But even as you are celebrating that within yourself, your mind may gravitate to another area of life (where you have Scorpio in your chart, Saturn is transiting) where you may be feeling fearful or needing to face a harsh reality. Here you may need to reign yourself in, accept certain failures, losses, or difficulties, and move forward with caution. The contrast between these two areas of life has been present for awhile, but today it is stark!

As I reflect on this, I am feeling just as grateful for the hardship associated with Saturn as I am for the good luck associated with Jupiter. Although Jupiter may have a great time, for awhile — without Saturn’s sobering down-to-earth self-command, eventually the potential for foolishness, naivete, or arrogance unchecked can cost a heavy price.  Saturn takes the long view and in his own way is a great protector. It may seem a bit pessimistic compared to Jupiter’s supreme confidence. But realistic Saturn is looking out for present pitfalls and future dangers — urging us to prepare and work harder with an ever present awareness of the fragility of life and our inevitable mortality. During the square between Jupiter and Saturn we are asked to embrace both optimism and caution at the same time. The friction between the expansive Jupitarian archetype and the contractive Saturnian archetype generates a powerful force pushing us towards greater wholeness. The combination is a blessing conferring circumstances in which we learn wise action and balanced growth.


The Cancer Archetype



Before the Sun leaves Cancer and enters Leo tonight, I want to be with the Cancer archetype a little. Some images associated with Cancer, such as the turtle (who carries its home on its back) and the great mother — are all about the nurturing, safety, and comfort we associate with the sweetness of feeling at home. Having a place to call home — where we don’t have to be “on,” where we can gently remove any personas and just be — is so utterly important and basic to a solid sense of well-being that sometimes we take it for granted. Any success “out there” is dependent on having a place to come from and return to for rest and rejuvenation. A given sign of the zodiac follows the sign before it and grows out of it, is its fulfillment and completion in a sense, and produces a wholeness-making circle of the 12 signs. So Leo, which follows Cancer, is able to walk out all shiny and ready for creative self-expression after Cancer has taken care of basic needs and created a stable home from which to emerge.


“I feel for myself that being at home happens whenever I enter into the vibration of feeling completely, 100% invited to be what I am, to feel what I am, to abide in the sense of safety and wholeness in whatever is being experienced. An unconditional acceptance that I belong, I am loved. I am held.” ~Ari Moshe


Pluto’s heart



The news about the historic first time ever flyby of Pluto is a few days old now but still interesting to me, and this is the first chance I’ve had to post anything. At the very moment of the flyby of Pluto by NASA’s fast moving spacecraft, New Horizons, which took almost ten years to get to Pluto — the Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Mars were all opposing Pluto. The opposition is an aspect of awareness of the Other. It is like looking across a round table at someone sitting exactly opposite you. Although they are furthest away from you, you are in a position to have the most clear, straight-on view of them compared to all the other seats around the table. So with the faster moving planets in this opposite position we got a much better look at Pluto, who is known to us in astrology as the hidden, mysterious, and powerful symbolic god of the underworld. On the day of the flyby the Sun and Moon were unified in Cancer opposing Pluto in Capricorn, representing a sort of spotlight bringing our undivided attention to Pluto. Additionally Mercury’s opposition represents communication with and about Pluto, and Mars represents decisive and probing action regarding Pluto. Wherever Pluto is currently transiting in your birth chart will give an idea of the area of life that is undergoing a slow but profound death and rebirth process (what we associate with Pluto). During the last couple of weeks with this four pointed opposition to Pluto — we had an opportunity for more awareness of what is being disintegrated and transformed within ourselves or our lives.

These faster moving planets were acting as triggers, going over the degrees of the longer-term transit of Uranus square Pluto, which is correlated with a groundbreaking turning point for us individually and collectively, as well as now literally with new astronomical information about Pluto. Even though Pluto is small in size (though New Horizons found it to be larger than anticipated) and even though scientists are finding many other dwarf planets out there in space, I trust there is a reason why Pluto is unique and has been part of our consciousness for a long time. I am struck by the heart-shaped landmass shown in the new photos of Pluto and widely circulated and discussed in the media. Pluto is associated with doing the heavy and sometimes frightening psychological work of confronting one’s unconscious shadow parts. But this new mass awareness of Pluto’s heart, suggests that on a psycho-spiritual level, once we actually have the capacity to get a closer view of our own deeply hidden feelings and motives, for instance, as symbolized by this distant and invisible (to the naked eye) body in our solar system, we may also discover a more welcoming and loving part of ourselves that we never knew before.


Saturn in Synastry



Saturn is often considered a challenging planet associated with obstacles and hardships. However, especially in connection to a synastry analysis (how two birth charts interact together) and particularly between a parent and child, I have been noticing an interesting theme with regard to Saturn. It is one that contrasts with the common Saturnian stereotype of difficulties, obstacles, and hardships. Saturn aspects between a parent and child often turn up in harmonious relationships. In these cases the parent is indeed in an archetypal parental role, taking responsible and reliable care of the child, and being ultra motherly or fatherly. As well, the parent is experienced by the child as the authority. And that initial dynamic between them often continues, even after the child is fully an adult. In relationships like this I have repeatedly seen the parent’s Saturn tightly conjunct a significant point in the child’s chart, especially the child’s Sun, Moon, or Ascendant. This is not surprising, as Saturn is known as “the wise old elder.” And it is commonly said that Saturn is almost always notably placed in the synastry of any long-term relationship (such as family).


In non-parent/child relationships, even in the case of hard aspects, such as an opposition, for instance, from one spouse’s Saturn to the other spouse’s personal planet such as the Moon or Venus, the Saturn person may simply take on a responsible, mature, and perhaps a directive role in the relationship. Depending on the other person’s internal relationship with these Saturnian qualities, the person receiving the Saturn energy may be harmonious with this dynamic or not. In any case, a Saturn configuration between two people in a committed relationship is commonly present and is indicative of a tone of accountability, reliability, and practicality within the structure of the relationship.


The current Mercury retrograde (May 18-Jun 11)



Today an astrology friend mentioned to me her observation about the current Mercury retrograde: “It seems like I have to go backward rather than being able to go forward with my plans. But when I really look at it I see that all the stuff that comes up does serve my plans from a larger perspective… Just not the ones I had at the top of my most current to do list.” This is a helpful way to perceive the classic delays or needed repairs that occur during Mercury retrograde.


My experience with this Mercury retrograde is the uncanniness of how unresolved issues from the past pop up like clockwork during Mercury’s retrograde phase. Especially when it is something that was initiated during a previous Mercury retrograde cycle. It seems it will forevermore come up in subsequent Mercury retrogrades, in hopes of resolution! Yet in many circumstances it may be that a final resolution will be impossible until a resolution is reached while Mercury is direct and not retrograde. Remembering this can help when patience for things to be resolved is needed. Because even if it is resolved during Mercury retrograde it may not *really* be resolved, so might as well sit tight and peacefully wait for that desired resolution until after Mercury turns direct! 


Likewise, I am once again observing that if a decision is made during the shadow phase, which started on May 4th this time, I should be prepared that it may not be as final as it seems. The issue will probably surface again for review during the retrograde phase, and the decision may even appear to move in the reverse direction (appropriate symbolism for a retrograde planet). Further reviews may occur in the post-retrograde shadow phase. However when a decision is come to after Mercury is direct, it has usually gone through the necessary back and forth process and will actually be final.


The same astrology friend as mentioned above said another telling thing that reflects this back and forth process of a retrograde planet: “It was like ironing. I had to go back and forth till I got the thing ironed out.”


To read more about Mercury retrograde check out some of my past blogs about the subject: ./?cID=555&tag=Mercury%20retrograde&fr=1

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