“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.
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May 18, 2014
Mars stationing direct
There is a quality of stillness or hesitancy right now, as Mars is stationary at 9º2 Libra May 18-21. Action-oriented Mars has slowed down to an almost imperceptible crawl as he prepares to shift and turn direct Monday night. On the other hand, when a planet stations, its energy is heightened and intensified, so some people may be experiencing the Mars station as an active and stimulating energy. Mars, who is normally confident, quick, decisive, and independent with strong determination to achieve his goals and win any battle, is going through an unusually long and possibly uncomfortable journey through Venus’s territory, Libra, from Dec 7, 2013 thru Jul 25, 2014. Libra is the sign that epitomizes the opposite of Mar’s nature. The Libran way values careful deliberation, cooperation, harmony, and balance. So with Mars in Libra and including a long retrograde phase, we’ve had an interesting journey over the last few months of integrating opposing forces. Some possibilities include: seeing the value of sitting with anger or other strong feelings or impulses instead of acting on them; or trying to express anger or our individualistic choices in a diplomatic and considerate way. These practices might feel as though they require superhuman strength at times, but while Mars is in Libra we are especially likely to benefit greatly from attempting them.
The timing of the 3 phases of this retrograde may be of interest: Read more...
The pre-retrograde shadow, from Dec 26, 2013 thru Mar 1, 2014 — Mars reached 9º of Libra the first time on Dec 26, 2013. Whatever was arising at that time may be arising again now, but from a different perspective — after the unfoldment of all that has taken place since then. The pre-retrograde shadow marks the beginning of a significant process that is to be addressed during the retrograde phase.
The retrograde phase, from Mar 1 thru May 19, 2014 – Mars began moving backwards from our visual perspective on Earth, on Mar 1st at 27º Libra. During the retrograde, some possibilities are: confusing and conflicted actions, feeling strongly thwarted, or in contrast feeling regret because of forceful energies that were not thwarted. Waiting, observing, and responding when necessary rather than initiating life changing actions are advised while Mars is retrograde.
The post retrograde shadow, from May 19 thru Jul 21, 2014 — Mars turns direct on May 19th so initiating important actions and decisions based on the wisdom that was gained during the retrograde period will have energy and support. However, although Mars will be direct, he is still in review mode and it will take some time to gain momentum and find resolutions.
Compassionate communication and Mars retrograde in Libra
Today I am beginning an 8 week course in Compassionate Communication (also known as Nonviolent Communication). This is something I’ve wanted to pursue a serious study of for awhile after reading books and trying to practice on my own (which proved difficult!). Everything lined up for me with this endeavor now while Mars is retrograde in Libra. How perfect! Why is the period when Mars is retrograde in Libra perfect for focusing on compassionate/non-violent communication? Firstly, because Libra rules the art of listening and speaking skillfully, diplomatically, and most importantly empathically — balancing awareness and sensitivity between self and other. This is challenging, to say the least, especially when strong emotions are triggered. Secondly, Mars rules self-assertion, leadership, and frankness, but also aggression and violence on the shadow side (every archetype has a shadow side). Mars retrograde on the other hand, supports holding aggression back, turning it within, contemplating it, and transmuting it. We all feel anger and aggression sometimes, which is often a surface layer over suppressed hurt or fear. To be able to express those deeper feelings and in a way that inspires giving and receiving from the heart, as opposed to creating more hurt feelings, anger, defensiveness, and chronic unmet needs in our relationships, is a great way to utilize the energy of Mars retrograde in Libra. I am happy for this opportunity.
Visit the Happiness Series. Its a great resource for all kinds of inspiring, uplifting, and helpful information! Check out the Astrology section to read some of my articles. So far they have featured:
Love, support, empathy, kindness, rapport, harmony, and compatibility — these are words in Venus’s bible. Recently a thought came tumbling into my mind and I realized it was inspired by Venus and represents an important expression of her Libra archetype. Being in the Sun’s month-long stay in the sign of Libra, I am not surprised that Libran values are dominating my mind and heart. The Libra archetype makes the art of relationship a sacred temple.
I was listening to a conversation between two people where one was more interested in making his own point than in hearing and receiving the other person’s thoughts and feelings. I felt sad for both… We have all done it and been there, on both sides... When one is observing, it is easier to see how helpful it would be to the relationship, and to the precious sense of relatedness in the relationship — if we realized that effective communication, not to mention a feeling of communion, only happens through a balanced give and take of expression and reception: not just seeking to be heard, seen, and understood, oneself, but making the effort to hear, see, and sincerely understand the other person as well. This give and take must happen on both sides, or there develops a one-sidedness in which the person who does not feel heard and seen eventually retreats inside — for, on a deep but subtle level, it feels as though his existence is not being acknowledged. Read more...
This is a painful feeling, even if it is not perceived consciously. Ordinarily the conversation continues at this point, but at least one of the participants will feel, to a degree, frustrated and invisible. This creates distance and resentment, and the sense of union or camaraderie is diminished. When both people are more interested in making their own points without listening and acknowledging the other, the quality of the interaction degenerates even more and becomes like two young children, before they have developed the capacity to actually relate, not speaking with each other, but speaking at each other.
The practice of truly listening to another is more than simply hearing words and responding with one’s own ideas. Often we do hear and understand but fail to explicitly articulate in some way that we hear and understand. This small omission weakens the sense of connection in that moment. In addition, the ideas of the one vehemently trying to make his point without first acknowledging the other person, usually lose power and are often lost altogether. I would go on to say that the power of the ideas is lost because the sense of deep communion has ruptured. It takes, for instance, not just a nod from the listener, and not just a pause on the listeners part before talking about his own experience, but genuine interest. Then, the texture of the listeners responses will reflect nods, pauses, and relevent questions which indicate the listeners caring about what the speaker is expressing, but more important yet, the listeners caring about the speaker, himself.
With the Sun in Libra, there is the opportunity to experience being more keenly attuned to the other person. It is an excellent time to consciously practice ones capacity to take in what the other person is seeking to share and express — to hold it, dwell with it, feel it inside, and actively respond about it — before switching the commentary over to ones own experience, thoughts, or feelings. That is the key. The one who has been heard, seen, and understood has received a gift, and the sense of communion prospers. To mutually gift one another in this way is one of the treasures of Venus and her sign, Libra.
This one seemingly small communication practice is so powerful that it can make or break a relationship, and has the power to rescue a failing relationship. These Venusian communication skills are not automatic and they often feel counter-intuitive, but If we applied them, our relationships — personal, professional, civic, and global — would be benefited with more mutual understanding, love, peace and unity.
(The following is not comprehensive — just some observations. And it is important to recognize that no one is a pure archetype. The Sun sign holds a central place in the personality but other important factors in the birth chart — especially the rising sign, the Moon sign, and strongly placed planets — combine to make us each unique and complex.)
Aries ♈: to be held back from acting on an impulse, to be suppressed, to be prevented from expressing contentious and/or passionate energies, to be slowed down.
Taurus ♉: to be rushed, lack of financial or emotional security, to be deprived of touch, to be deprived of beautiful sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and textures.
Gemini ♊: boredom, lack of information, being “out of the loop” or cut off from communication, pressure to commit to one thing, having to stay still.
Cancer ♋: no one to nurture and protect, no one to be nurtured and protected by, thwarted from cultivating one’s “baby,” not having a safe and comfortable home.
Leo ♌: no loving audience, not being seen, not being appreciated, not being adored, not enough attention, cold-heartedness.
Virgo ♍: lack of attention to detail, skipped steps, orderless chaos, not adhering to thorough technique and “proper” procedure, lack of refinement, lack of purity.
Libra ♎: having to go it alone with no one to bounce off of, having to make a quick decision without being able to weigh the pros and cons, that which is unjust or unfair, insensitivity, lack of empathy, inconsideration, ugliness.
Scorpio ♏: superficiality, inauthenticity, feeling powerless, revealing vulnerability, failing to do one’s deep inner work, lack of emotional intimacy, lack of meaningful bonding.
Sagittarius ♐: the everyday routine with nothing exotic mixed in, lack of freedom, lack of access to philosophical perspectives, lack of ethics, narrow-mindedness, a life with no adventure.
Capricorn ♑: that which is unrealistic, inefficient, wasteful, impractical, or theoretical only; losing status, losing authority, lack of mastery, lack of having a respectful place in the world.
Aquarius ♒: conformity, exclusive hierarchical systems, social inequity, being confronted with ignorance, self-centeredness, or drama queens/kings.
Pisces ♓: the mundane details of life, no way to escape ordinary reality, lack of inspiration, lack of vision, lack of art, lack of feeling connected with the divine.
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.
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.
Early on 7/13 Venus in Cancer ♋ squares Saturn in Libra ♎
Here are some of my musings on this aspect: Real love is giving with a spontaneous desire to serve. Being “in love,” in the romantic sense, is wanting with a compulsive desire to get [usually]. What a quantum difference between the two.
The archetype of Venus, though soft and sweet, uses various powers of seduction to fulfill her desires and compensate for a sense of lack. Whereas the archetype of Saturn, though usually thought of negatively because of his harsh and uncompromising nature, on the high side is known for having deep integrity, being conscientious, hard-working, and spiritually responsible (having humility, self-control, and a sense of karma - what goes around comes around).
Heres a more traditional interpretation for Venus square Saturn (♀❏ ♄):
The desire for love and adoration or beauty and comfort may be in conflict with the actual reality before you. It is a moment to see situations clearly and either solidify worthy foundations and build on them, or let go of that which is not working.