“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.
On Friday (3/20) there will be a Solar Eclipse New Moon, and it is the Spring Equinox marking the astrological new year. Along with the Sun transitioning to Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, the Moon will also enter Aries on Friday. Together this may feel like an extra powerful new beginning in the air. However shortly before this transition, the eclipse and the New Moon will be at the very last degree of Pisces, suggesting the experience of significant endings along with the bounding new beginnings. Additionally this eclipse is aligned with the South Node, which suggests we are letting go of something... Eclipses are associated with big shifts and transitions if they are closely aspecting one’s chart, and they are often felt ahead of time. I like the description of eclipses as a doorway or portal opening up, allowing us to step into a new experience. Along with the last exact Uranus/Pluto square on Monday (3/16) at 15º Aries and Capricorn, this is a moment of culmination — and a time of large scale transformation and change (which could potentially feel like both a crisis and a breakthrough) for many people.
An Eclectic Approach ~ Modern and Ancient Astrology
There are countless ways to practice astrology and within Western astrology alone there are a huge variety of systems, paradigms, and techniques from which to choose. Throughout the years of my own study and practice I have found that it serves me to remain open to all the different paradigms that I encounter, while also remaining focused and not overly diffused with too many different techniques at once. My biggest learning is always through direct observation, so when it comes to where I put my attention within the wide variety of approaches, my eclectic approach is based on personal experience of the usefulness and relevance of a particular concept or system.
When I began studying and practicing astrology, I was mostly exposed to Modern Astrology and Evolutionary Astrology. This is mainly what is out there nowadays, has many merits, and no doubt still forms the foundation of my understanding of astrology. As time went on, however, I began to encounter more Ancient or Traditional Astrology and I found these frameworks to be equally valuable. For instance, I certainly honor the modern practice of paying close attention to the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, as well as Chiron), as I and many people and clients I know experience monumental internal or external events in our lives that correspond with the transits from these planets. The Uranus/Pluto square from 2012 to 2015 is a palpable example of this, being unfathomably intense for many especially those whose charts were directly lined up with the degrees of this life-changing, era-defining square (By the way, the last exact pass of this square is on March 16th, 2015).
On the other hand, I found that shifting to the Whole Sign house system (the oldest house system known); using the antiquated classification of planets in dignity, exaltation, detriment, or fall; and looking to the ancient rulers vs. the modern rulers, for example — are all undeniably useful to me when I analyze a chart. I didn’t necessarily want to adopt these older techniques, especially ones that appear on the surface to imply a value judgement, but when I investigated them I couldn’t help but notice their definite relevance. Through contemplation I realized that instead of seeing a planet that is in detriment or fall as a “bad” placement, for instance, the classification is rather a tool to acknowledge when an aspect of one’s self or one’s life (as symbolized by the planet) is experienced as inherently more challenging or uncomfortable than other planets that are more “favorably” placed. These challenges are of course not “bad,” just as squares and oppositions (aspects known to be associated with more challenges) are not “bad,” but a planet in detriment, for example, may represent a part of one’s life where one undergoes more suffering and requires more work or adjustment. I view this type of inner work or challenge as part of the divine intelligence within all of Reality, reflected perfectly in the birth chart, and for the purpose of learning and spiritual growth for the individual.
This is a good segue to the last example I will mention, regarding what I resonate with from Evolutionary Astrology. Evolutionary Astrology suggests that the birth chart is a reflection of what is needed for the soul for spiritual growth in this lifetime. My view is that the birth chart is a perfect illustration of one’s karma (the results of past impressions and actions) in this lifetime. The birth chart is literally a blueprint for how one is fulfilling one’s spiritual purpose and direction in this incarnation. Yet it is an illustration made up of symbols and full of moving parts, not a black and white, simplistic, or static depiction. Therefore it requires on-going exploration and can manifest in a multitude of ways, which will also invariably change over time as a person’s consciousness expands. I am always delighted to learn how people are living their charts. it is always more perfect then I could have imagined by looking at the chart alone.
We are in a new lunar cycle (The New Moon was yesterday on Jan 20th in Aquarius). The New Moon is about bravely stepping into the unknown to begin something new. The Moon is dark and the night is dark, with no light illuminating the way ahead. Correspondingly, we cannot see exactly how the new terrain in the journey, with its challenges, endeavors and developments, will unfold. We don’t have all the information yet, and we don’t know precisely what will happen. And that is as it should be – we just have to be ok with it! All we know now is that we must take the first step to begin the process. Over the next couple of weeks things will develop (possibly with some delays due to Mercury retrograde), and on the Full Moon on February 3rd, more will be clear. It never fails. The light of the Full Moon always brings some bit of new clarity or information which was not there before.
Mercury is preparing to turn retrograde Jan 21st—Feb 11th, and we are already in the shadow period. Mercury retrograde can be thought of as a time when Mercury takes a break from normal duties and goes on a little vacation. This is often considered a frustration for people, but in actuality it is meant to give all of us a vacation of sorts. The pre-retrograde shadow period from Jan 5th—Jan 20th is a built in span of time that can help us prepare mentally and take some practical steps to get ready for this type of vacation. Read more...
Here are a few examples of the ways in which we can try to flow harmoniously with Mercury’s holiday. Mercury retrograde can be a vacation from making big decisions, since one may not have all the pertinent information and clarity until after Mercury turns direct. Or it can be a vacation from shopping for anything beyond day-to-day necessities, since one may be a bit more blurry on details and relevant factors when considering the options presented. And it certainly can be a vacation from jumping to conclusions or assumptions about what someone said or meant, as it will be revealed in time, but perhaps not fully during the retrograde period.
Taking a break from things like this creates room for what Mercury retrograde is actually for: introspection, introversion, slowing down the pace, reviewing the past, clearing up or fixing things from the past, pondering, mulling things over, and sleeping on it, etc. The delays that are often associated with Mercury retrograde can be seen as beneficial and helpful in allowing the type of spaciousness that is needed to balance the habitual go go go energy of typical daily life.
To have astrological knowledge does not confer the ability to avoid challenges or lessons that must be learned in life. From the ego perspective challenges or unpleasant situations are always unwanted, but from a spiritual perspective the trials and tribulations in life are often exactly what is necessary to create the learning or shifts in consciousness that are required for the soul. Although attempting to live in sync with the rhythms of planetary influences is certainly beneficial, it is not only undesirable to try to avoid or prevent life lessons from happening or to try to control life through careful study or adherence to astrological interpretations, but it is impossible to do so. Life and learning cannot be avoided or stopped. Experiences will happen, suffering may happen, and learning and growth never ends. What astrology can offer is insight into the perfection of it all. By seeing and understanding the planetary correlations and synchronicities, astrology can contribute to one’s peace, patience, acceptance, endurance, hope, and trust in the divine intelligence behind it all.
Saturn takes about two and a half years to travel through each sign of the zodiac. Since October of 2012 Saturn has been in Scorpio, but tomorrow morning (Dec 23) Saturn will enter Sagittarius. Wherever Scorpio is in your chart is the area in which you had the opportunity to transcend yourself and your typical patterns for the last 2+ years, through the process of facing obstacles and restrictions presented by Saturn’s demands. Where Saturn is traveling represents the realm of life where you may currently need to restructure things, pay your dues, be disciplined, be patient, and be ultra responsible, etc. Saturn can be a stern taskmaster but if we listen and do as he urges, it will create positive results and changes over time. Over time is the key phrase here. The work we put in for Saturn takes time to develop and come to fruition. Integrity, achievement, and mastery are the rewards for obeying Saturn’s long-term plans and principles. Read more...
Saturn in Scorpio was about facing reality regarding intimacy, shared resources, and the depths of one’s own psyche. Saturn in Scorpio did not permit living in a fantasy world in any of these areas of life without some dire consequences. It may be useful to review the last couple of years to understand how this was true for you personally and in relation to the house of your chart where Scorpio resides… Now the hard work/discipline/reality check theme begins to shift to a new part of the self and life (as represented by the next house in your chart where Sagittarius resides) as Saturn shifts from Scorpio to Sagittarius. In Sagittarius Saturn will ask us to get real about our belief systems and ambitions. Anything that isn’t grounded in personal experience could be tested and required to come down to earth to become a more embodied wisdom, rather than simply a philosophical concept. Also, Sagittarius, being ruled by Jupiter, is known for being expansive, ambitious, and buoyant — the opposite qualities of contractive and pragmatic Saturn, so that will be an interesting counterbalance to sustain over the next few years.
Saturn in Scorpio: Oct 6, 2012 — Dec 23, 2014 & Jun 14, 2014 — Sep 17, 2015 Saturn in Sagittarius: Dec 23, 2014 — Jun 14, 2015 & Sep 17, 2015 — Dec 21, 2017
We are currently experiencing an exciting and electrifying Grand Trine (a harmonious, flowing aspect pattern) amongst planets in the three fire signs. The Sun, Mercury, and Venus are in Sagittarius, Jupiter is in Leo, and Uranus is in Aries — with trines happening between Nov 26 and Dec 14, 2014 (see exact dates below). In a few words, the Sun is a symbol of the core self, identify and vitality. Mercury is a symbol of the mind and how we express ourselves. Venus is a symbol of love, beauty, pleasure, and wealth. While these inner archetypes connect harmoniously with Jupiter, there is a sense of optimism, opportunity, and grace. While they connect harmoniously with Uranus, there is the potential for flashes of knowing, radical change, and freedom from limitations that have constrained us in the past. A Grand Trine can bring forth rewards for work already completed. Read more...
We are also approaching a Full Moon on Dec 6, which is the climactic phase of the lunar cycle, and we are building up towards the next Uranus/Pluto square on Dec 15th. This will be the sixth of seven exact hits of this life-changing and transformative square (an aspect representing a turning point) from 2012-2015. All of this together can be a little overstimulating, but that is the small price we pay for exquisite and welcome changes, breakthroughs, and opportunities that may present themselves during this period.
Nov 26th — Venus trine Uranus Dec 4th — Venus trine Jupiter Dec 4th — Sun trine Uranus Dec 5th — Mercury trine Uranus Dec 6th — Full Moon in Gemini Dec 12th — Mercury trine Jupiter Dec 14th — Sun trine Jupiter Dec 15th — Uranus square Pluto
Today the Sun entered Sagittarius and there was a New Moon at 0º Sagittarius this morning. Wherever Sagittarius is in your birth chart represents the area of life where a new beginning is now opening up. It’s time for a fresh start, clean slate, or the beginning of a new endeavor in that area of life. Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign. Exuberant, spirited, and free – the Sagittarius archetype is about seeking the meaning of life through experience, exploration, and adventure. Through these encounters personal knowledge is gained, sorted, and distilled to make up one’s own belief systems and guidelines by which to live. Sagittarius is also characterized by a resolute striving, as imaged by the archer shooting arrow after arrow upward to a higher level. Along with the Sun and Moon, Venus entered Sagittarius on Nov 16 and Mercury will enter Sagittarius on Nov 27, so for the next month Sagittarius energy predominates and is highly accessible to all of us.
Venus squared Neptune earlier today (Nov 20), the Sun squares Neptune on Nov 26, and Mercury squares Neptune on Nov 30. It could be challenging to stay grounded during these times. Fantasies, daydreams, idealism, mental distractions, and atmospheric disturbances may abound with these aspects. Yet intuitive, non-rational, inspirational, and mystical revelations of truth are also more available with these connections to Neptune. The challenge is to have discernment and discrimination. What is real? What is my psyche vs. someone else’s psyche? Boundaries are more blurred, which can be challenging but also a wonderful opportunity to access other dimensions and surrender to Divine intelligence. In the middle of these aspects, Mercury also conjuncts Saturn on Nov 25. This will encourage the capacity to focus the mind and take steps to manifest into tangible reality the perceptions that sift down during the squares to Neptune.
The Sun and Venus have been traveling close together for the last month or so, bringing some ease to relationships and generally encouraging the enjoyment of life, during an otherwise potentially tense time. Together they (and we) are moving through the sign of Scorpio. While in Scorpio we are destined to plunge into the depths and wade through a mire of swampy darkness if need be, in search of truth, authenticity, and connection with what is real in self and other, whether it is pretty or not. This is not always comfortable for Venus as she prefers the pleasantries and niceties of life. However, since this dive into the unknown is in the service of intimacy, she tolerates being out of her comfort zone while in Scorpio, because she knows that deep down she too craves real intimacy, which requires this type of journeying. Read more...
After getting used to the new environment, Sun and Venus together encounter both Jupiter and Saturn. Though meetings with Jupiter tend to be grand and fun, especially while he is in Leo, as he is now, this meeting is somewhat challenging, as the Sun and Venus were square to Jupiter from their position in Scorpio. (Venus squared Jupiter on Nov 9, and the Sun squared Jupiter on Nov 13.) Jupiter can spout beautiful promises of adventure, triumph, and opulence, and it is certainly tempting. But even while listening to Jupiter’s glorious visions, Sun and Venus see Saturn just ahead on their path and pause with trepidation. Before taking Jupiter’s extravagant leap of faith, we are meant to have a dose of reality checking, thanks to our elder Saturn’s time-tested wisdom. (Venus was conjunct Saturn on Nov 12, and the Sun will be conjunct Saturn on Nov 18.) Saturn knows what he’s talking about. He has seen it all before and is here to remind us of the mistakes, risks, and dangers we could run into if we do not proceed with caution. He means well and wants us to succeed in our endeavors, but he is stern sometimes… We are fortunate to have this balanced perspective right now as we go forth on the path.