“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)
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.
Were gearing up for another Mercury retrograde (Nov 24-Dec 13)
Mercury retrograde is a wonderful opportunity to slow down the increasingly busy pace of day-to-day life and attempt to calm the restless “monkey mind.” Beginning tomorrow, Nov 5th, Mercury enters it’s shadow (the time preceding Mercury retrograde), meaning that everything Mercury-related (travel, commerce, and communication, etc) will potentially have to be reviewed or redone when Mercury retraces his steps over the same segment of the zodiac. The shadow period, and the retrograde period even more so, are ideal times to be extra conscientious, patient, and attentive to details, so as to minimize misunderstandings, confusion, or other small mistakes (such as uninformed or impulse purchases... I’m planning on using this period as a shopping fast, buying only routine or necessary things, as opposed to new or important items)!
From the end of Oct through mid Nov — Mercury, the planet of the mind & communication, and Venus, the planet of art, beauty & love — are traveling close together. As these two archetypes merge, we can more easily find ways to bridge the gulf which exists between the head and the heart…
Nov 2: On the same day, both Venus and Mercury leave deep Scorpio ♏ water to enter buoyant Sagittarius ♐ fire. Now that we have explored the depths of our beings, courageously piercing through the facade of ourselves and others, to look at the intense beauty and fearsomeness of that which lies below… We are now ready to venture outward again, exploring distant lands and new ideas with a renewed spirit and fresh optimism.Read more...
“Scorpio explores deep underlying sources of ones humanness. Sagittarius takes that experience and distills principles and philosophy out of it for self-guidance.” (Diane Applebaum)
Once a month the Moon aligns with the Sun, marking its new cycle and presenting an opportunity to make a fresh start. Today is that day. We have a New Moon in Scorpio ♏ (3:56p EST) urging us to welcome a rebirth on some level, inner or outer. Perhaps this means letting go and allowing a death first. This requires great inner strength, but also the willingness to surrender. This is the art of Scorpio.
Dane Rudhyar describes the Scorpio archetype as, “a tree with a powerful tap-root, able to draw sustenance from the hidden springs of life. There is no depth which the person may not reach if he dares to sink himself into those basic organic energies which are the foundation of human behavior… It is energy which comes from identification with an ocean of life whose tides and storms are tremendous.”Read more...
Later in the evening Venus squares Mars (♀◻♂). The square is considered a “hard” aspect, often felt as a challenge or a crisis, because some action must be taken. Other times it is felt simply as a turning point. A square between Venus and Mars involves a challenge, crisis, or turning point between the receptive-feminine-feeling archetype and the active-masculine-discerning archetype (Regardless of gender, both archetypes need to be developed in everyone)... However it is experienced, the growth that emerges from working with a square moves us forward.
Though we have completed the Sun’s annual transit through the sign of Libra (as of yesterday), today and tomorrow the Moon (representing the general mood in the air) is making its monthly transit through Libra. One of Libra’s compelling needs is to create a harmonious field between oneself and the other, so that the relationship may be cultivated and love nurtured. This need is what underlies some of the Libra stereotypes.
Today the Sun enters Scorpio ♏, joining Venus and Mercury, bringing the Scorpio archetype into sharp focus. Where we have Scorpio (or Pluto, the modern ruler of Scorpio) in our chart reveals where we are compelled to dive into the depths, because superficiality is not tolerable. We crave to fearlessly face the truth in ourselves, others, and life because it is the prerequisite for authentic bonding, one of Scorpios ultimate goals.
I will be on a spiritual retreat, away from this blog and astro consultations for a little while (through 10/17 at least)… As far as planetary transits go, here are some highlights, which I will be observing over the coming days:
I am hoping Mercury (transportation) conjunct Saturn (Father Time) on 10/6 does not delay my travel plans! On 10/7 I am looking forward to experiencing the mystical sweetness of Venus (love) trine Neptune (spirituality). The Moon is Void-of-Course for much of this weekend, favoring chill/incubation time over productivity and initiating new things… Then next week Venus and Mercury shift out of fair and diplomatic Libra, taking communicating and relating of all kinds into the deep waters of Scorpio for intensified intimacy and self-transcendence through relationship… On 10/11 there is an exciting Aries Full Moon. Emotions tend to run high anyway when the Moon is full, but in Aries they could be extra fiery. This Full Moon is the perfect time to step into and embody the full courage of your spirit, since Aries is the inner pioneer and warrior... On 10/12 Mercury trines Neptune, bringing an opportunity to absorb collective Higher knowledge into one’s own personal thought waves… On 10/13 the Sun is conjunct serious and disciplined Saturn, but then on 10/14 Venus opposes Jupiter the two benefics in a polarized position could be just the antidote, expanding love to great heights… October is certainly rich with a diversity of planetary energies in the air...
A seed is planted at the New Moon (9/27), but its outward manifestation is still invisible, just as the Moon appears dark to us at this phase of the lunar cycle. We can not yet see what will become, yet we can invest energy in our intentions. “A new moon teaches gradualness and deliberation and how one gives birth to oneself slowly. Patience with small details makes perfect a large work, like the universe.” (Rumi)
This New Moon is in Libra, opposite Uranus and square Pluto, bringing more energy to this potentially challenging or urgent-feeling, yet transformative configuration in the sky. We have been feeling this intense square between the god of change (Uranus) and the god of the underworld/unconscious (Pluto) especially strongly since mid-Sep when Venus triggered it stirring up relationship and/or financial issues. Tomorrow (9/28) Mercury and the Sun complete the square by both opposing Pluto on the same day. Our core beings and attachments, as well as habitual thought patterns may be getting shaken up as old issues surface or big changes occur rapidly. All this is in the service of living more authentically and healing deep parts of the psyche. In the next couple weeks Venus, Mercury, and the Sun will conjoin Saturn in Libra helping us find our balance and stabilize once we land on new ground. Also, 4 planets in Libra brings focus to the sacredness of the significant others in our lives how we are enriched by them and our own capacity to love. Read more...
In honor of Libra: the quest for harmony, moving thru conflict & cultivating authentic relationships
Venus is in Libra Sep 14-Oct 8, 2011
The Sun is in Libra Sep 23-Oct 23, 2011
Mercury is in Libra Sep 25-Oct 13, 2011
The Libra archetype, ruled by Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, brings relationships to the forefront like no other sign. The symbol for Libra, the scales, reveals how balance, equality, and harmony between self and other is the essence of this sign. It isn’t that Libra is inherently balanced and harmonious, but those with prominent Libra in their charts, actively seek and work towards peacefulness and beauty in themselves, their relationships, their surroundings, and in their lives in general, because these qualities are truly necessary for their well-being. Of course, it is relationships with other imperfect humans, that tend to be the greatest source of conflict and turmoil. A Libra person (Sun in Libra; Moon in Libra; Libra rising; many planets in the 7th house, Libra’s house; or Venus, Libra’s ruler, conjunct the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant) must find ways, and the courage, to work through conflict in order to arrive at authentic harmony, on an on-going basis, instead of falling into patterns such as avoiding, people-pleasing, or pretending that everything is fine for the sake of maintaining harmony on the surface. Even if you are not a Libra person, everyone has Libra (♎) somewhere in their chart, and this is the area where these matters will be relevant for you. Read more...
I recently had the occasion to review the stages of community-building as outlined by M. Scott Peck in The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace, and it reminded me of some helpful insights we can keep in mind when conflict emerges in relationships. Although this book was written primarily for groups of people trying to work together, I have found that the stages also apply to one-on-one relationships. Also, the stages are not static and once one stage is achieved, the relationship may oscillate along the continuum in our constant process of growth and transformation. It is natural for this to happen as relationships have cycles, tides, and rhythms.
This is the first stage of most relationships when we are nice, polite, and showing our best face. Differences are downplayed and anything that might produce conflict is usually avoided or ignored.
The next stage is when major differences begin to arise and we become unpleasantly surprised and disillusioned with each other. The projections begin to fall away and disappointment sets in as we see the other isn’t fulfilling our fantasy of who we thought they were. This leads to irritation, disagreements, and arguments. A lot of relationships end at this stage unless it is worth it for all involved to hang in there.
If we don’t give up on the relationship at this point, we enter into the unknown. The unconscious expectations of harmony and bliss are slowly and sometimes painfully replaced with a more realistic appraisal of the relationship. We may attempt to change each other, to fit into what we think we want or need, but this fails. Weaknesses and vulnerabilities are revealed, but it doesn’t feel safe. It may feel like a death is occurring.
If there is sufficient openness to let go of preconceived ideas and empty ourselves of ego biases and attachments, the present moment reality of the relationship may be seen and appreciated. Now there is authentic sharing and real intimacy. We are seen for who we are, respected, and held in a safe space. The shift is subtle and quiet, but perceptible. A sense of the sacred and the Divine may be felt within the relationship.
If we choose to go beyond the initial superficial connection by facing the conflict that arises within a relationship, we have the opportunity to heal old wounds that inevitably surface, and this lends strength and resiliency to the bond. The mutual desire and commitment to do the work of going through these archetypal stages of relationship transformation creates a profound regard for one another, trust, and deep communion.
Pluto: the underworld, healing, and true empowerment
Pluto is preparing to turn direct on Fri, 9/16/2011, after 5 months of being retrograde. When a planet slows down to stop and change directions, it is often felt more powerfully because if your chart is being aspected by a more or less stationary planet, you are getting a longer lasting and more intense hit, a slow burn, from it (Pluto is basically in the same spot, 4º53” Capricorn, from 9/12-9/21!). Even if you dont have any planets or points in your chart being stimulated by Pluto at the moment, the core features of the Pluto archetype may still be resonating in you right now because Pluto is stationing direct.
Pluto (known as Hades in Greek mythology, god of the underworld) is symbolic of the dark unconscious places within the psyche. This includes all the painful emotions (grief, rage, shame, etc) that we have ever experienced and then repressed in order to go about our daily lives without falling apart. But those shadows do not go away they simply lie dormant, buried deep within the heart, until something happens in life to trigger one of our old core wounds. And then boom, we explode. Or alternatively we implode, collapse, or dissolve. When this happens, usually we are surprised and caught off guard by our own or anothers reactivity. Read more...
All along Pluto has been waiting and watching. He senses when we may be strong enough to finally face those buried wounds within (possibly showing up as an intense Pluto transit to our natal chart). Perhaps after experiencing a troubling reoccurring pattern, or an addiction, or a painful breakup, etc we decide we want to get to the root, we want to change, we want to heal. Often this means acknowledging that the current situation or conflict is triggering something deeper. If we are brave and willing to dig around, we usually find a hurt little child self abandoned, abused, traumatized in some way, and then possibly dissociated or shut down. As children and as adults we find ways to cope and live through traumas. Weve all had them. Its part of life. But Pluto demands that we integrate those painful scenarios into consciousness so that we are no longer unconsciously controlled by them.
Pluto is about empowerment, but true power means being courageous enough to face the things we are afraid to look at or afraid to admit, own them, feel the feelings connected with them, and ultimately find the real truth of who we are. Often the things that cause us the most pain are based on false conclusions, which we came to in order to explain the trauma. Especially as children we take everything personally and we unconsciously interpret someones failure to be present or loving as our own fault, inadequacy, or lack of importance. This all happens at an unconscious level. Enter Pluto: Pluto shows us that by facing the pain, we also get to recover the truth, which is of our innate worth, lovability, and holiness regardless of whatever we have lived through. Through our healing process we may also rediscover faith in life and in humanity, which we hadnt even realized was lost.
Recently I was reminded of a special tool that works amazingly well at helping to not only uncover the underlying issues that scar the heart, but also to help heal them in the context of relationships. It is called an Imago Dialogue (or Couples Dialogue) and can be done within any important relationship in which you are experiencing conflict feeling distant, unheard, angry, resentful, or hurt, etc.
“Imago theory shows that most conflicts that have a painful ‘charge are only 10% about the present situation and 90% about some past wound that is causing pain now. Imagine if you could truly heal old wounds.” (Tim Atkinson)
The Imago Dialogue is a form of communication that requires active listening, mirroring, validation, and empathy. It may feel tedious to go through the structure of this format (and if you are really angry there is the option of doing it over instant messaging so that you have some space and the emotions dont continue to get out of control with one another). However, If you go through with the process, I can almost guarantee it will have some beneficial results creating insights, understanding, and even lasting healing.