“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.
After a long/semi-permanent hiatus from social media — for the purpose of spending more time outside in nature and less time at my computer — I had an inspiration to write the attached article. I hope you like it. Please let me know. My learning and practice of astrology hasn’t stopped even though I am not posting much online. Much love...
When the planets in the sky interact with our birth charts, especially the longer term transits from the heavy hitters like Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, each transit can last from several months to a few years, and these transits usually correlate with the most growth-inducing times in our lives.
For anyone who is paying attention to these transits and anticipating which ones are imminent, it’s helpful to have a way to hold this knowledge without a sense of fear and dread. Otherwise it’s easy to get caught up in negative anticipation as these heavy transits keep unfolding over the years. We certainly get times of respite, but sometimes it can be one challenging transit after another.
So, I have been contemplating how to make friends with these planets. I take inspiration from the Indian/Vedic tradition of literally worshipping the planets in the hopes of gaining their mercy or graces. And I have great respect for those who feel called to do ceremonies or rituals in honor of the planets. For me, however, creating a relationship with each planetary archetype and finding a way to honor that archetype in myself and in my life is what feels more natural and is what I am focusing on in this article. So I thought I would share some of my ideas for how to do this with regard to each of these heavy hitters/great lords in the sky. Tuning into their presence in our lives, through the seemingly magical synchronicity that is astrology, offers one way to get an inkling of the perfection of Divine Intelligence.
Everyone seems to know about the Saturn Return these days, when Saturn in the sky returns to the same position it was in at the time of your birth, at the age of 29 or so. And in Indian astrology there is the Sade Sati, or the 7½ year period when transiting Saturn goes through three consecutive signs: the sign before your Moon sign, the sign of your Moon, and the sign after your Moon sign. These are usually life-changing years in our lives. How can we propitiate Saturn and flow more harmoniously with these transits? I believe it is by actively incorporating, welcoming, and expressing Saturn principles as much as possible during these periods. Here are a few general ideas for how to do so:
Be responsible, reliable, hard-working, and disciplined.
Say no to frivolous things that don’t serve your long-term goals.
Spend time in solitude/Be a hermit for awhile/Overcome the fear of being alone (“Seclusion is the price of greatness.” ~Paramahansa Yogananda)
Be frugal and get serious about planning for the future.
Contemplate and prepare for the inevitability of your own death and the deaths of your loved ones.
Allow deep or chronic sorrow to rise to the surface. It is emerging now because the time is right for revisiting it, reparenting yourself, and moving further along on your healing journey.
Accept and take pleasure in the tedious, monotonous, and mundane chores of life.
Think structure: Get structured about your time, create structures in your life that you can count on, and let structured support help you cope.
Embrace humbling and ego-annihilating moments and events. Trust these moments are serving you even though it might feel like torture.
Enjoy, respect, and learn from the elders in your life.
Behold the wisdom and backbone that develops in you as a gift from Lord Saturn.
Uranus is the god of radical or shocking change, revolution, freedom, new technology, eccentricity, and electricity. Everyone has a Uranus opposition in their early 40s, which can be understood as part of the so called mid-life crisis, where the typical challenge is to express a more authentic self. But one can have a major Uranus transit at any time depending on one’s chart. Now, as Uranus recently entered Taurus, those of us with more planets or angles in the fixed signs of Taurus, Scorpio, Leo, and Aquarius are currently having or will soon have some serious Uranus energy to contend with over the next 6 years, depending on the degree of those placements. Here are a few ideas for how to play with Uranus:
Be open to the possibility of making a seemingly wild or crazy change — one that fulfills a longing that you have been craving for awhile. It may require a significant upheaval in your life (usually it will be in the area related to where Uranus is transiting in your chart or what it is triggering). At the same time, consider any changes made during a Uranus transit as experimental. If possible try to avoid making any permanent decisions just yet as you may end up changing your mind again before Uranus is done with you, or after the transit is complete. And then you might have terrible regret to live with if you threw the baby out with the bathwater as you were creating your more authentic life.
Alternatively, go with creative ways to incorporate more freedom, space, and newness into the current structures of your life. This way the major upheaval is circumvented, yet the need for change and freedom is still honored.
Be willing to let go of structures you built under Lord Saturn’s rule. The changes that happen may come to you from the outside, from unexpected events or initiated by others. These changes may appear to be against your wishes, yet Uranus deems change and disruption is needed to free you from attachments, stagnancy, or old concepts that are holding you back.
In general: Speak your truth, live out loud, and no more people pleasing if it isn’t coming from an authentic place. In the end, everyone will benefit from any healthy changes you make (even if they resist the changes at first).
Receive glimpses from Uranus. Inspiration can strike you. Be open to tiny sparkling glints that reveal an alternate way of seeing things, especially with regard to old beliefs that were once keeping you alive but are now no longer needed.
At times, change for the sake of change can be a good thing in that it shakes you out of self-imposed or confining patterns, and it introduces more flexibility into your being.
Behold your limiting walls crumbling when Lord Uranus gazes upon you.
Neptune is the god of oceanic oneness and unity, dreams, visions, and mysticism, but also illusions, addictions, delusions, and escapism. What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been is an apt title for a Neptune transit. Here are a few ideas for how to merge with Neptune constructively:
Focus on your spiritual path, whatever that means to you.
Immerse yourself in activities or environments that help you tune into and feel connected with that which is greater than yourself, your greater self, and the greater whole, the cosmos, God, or whatever it is for you… Things like meditation, prayer, being in nature, being in or near large bodies of water, and engaging in creative or movement practices that get you in the zone.
Even though certain things may usually seem black and white, it could be beneficial to contemplate the grey areas at this time. Something transcendent might emerge from the edge of that grey.
Try to hear and discern the quiet voice of intuition within.
We all have imaginative scenarios that come up from the unconscious, almost unnoticed. Catching one of those is like catching a fish, a little treasure from the deep. To assimilate that content can contribute to a significant internal realization.
Be aware that information you receive from others may be lacking in clarity or reality. Conversely, do some self-inquiry about whether you yourself are painting a picture that is somewhat misrepresentative.
Be especially mindful about pharmaceutical drugs and other chemical exposures, which you may become more sensitive to during a Neptune transit.
Behold! Out of the vagueness of the oceanic currents Lord Neptune confers your divine destined wholeness.
Pluto is in Capricorn from 2008 to 2024. Where you have Capricorn in your chart — that area of your life is currently going through a slow, sometimes imperceptible, but utterly thorough and complete makeover. It may not be clear now, but in retrospect it will be awe-inspiring to see the fullness of the transformation. When Pluto connects with a specific planet or angle in your chart the transformation process peaks for a couple of years. Here are a few ideas for how to be on friendly terms with the god of the Underworld:
Have the willingness and courage to face parts of yourself you may have disowned, denied, or never encountered before. These previously unconscious parts may initially become known to you through external forces in the form of other people or events, yet in the largest sense, it is all in you. Forces that initially threaten to overpower you impel you to undergo shifts that result in self-empowerment.
Contemplate forgiveness of self and others. I mention forgiveness because sometimes Pluto transits correlate with events that stir up an abyss of pain, resentment, or guilt. If you can begin the process of seeing these events as instrumental for your growth and regeneration, a glimpse of being able to forgive may knock on the door of your heart. (For clarification, I see forgiveness as being able to have understanding, insight, and empathy around something that was harmful or hurtful, but it is not the same as condoning that thing.)
Engage in some type of therapy to begin to process all that gets stirred up. Pluto requires us to see and touch the very depths of our being that we don’t normally contact. We may not have conscious cognizance of all that is being worked out within the psyche as this is happening, yet the transmutation that occurs will be seen more fully at a later time.
Allow yourself to experience a symbolic or psychological death — such as the death of a cherished ideal, self-image, or life plan — that you were attached to but that needs to be let go of now. Though this ending can be painful, scary, or simply revelatory, a rebirth is on the other side of this experience.
Behold the phoenix that rises from the ashes of the old you after lord Pluto pays you a visit.
I hope these ideas for how to connect with these divine archetypes are helpful. For those of you who have any of these planets prominently placed in your birth chart, the ideas above may apply for that particular archetype in a longer term way or in a more global manner for you. The lists above are not exhaustive by any means. I would love to hear your ideas or experiences with how you survived and thrived during transits from these game-changing planets.
See my older post on Astrological Rites of Passage for more about the timing of the Saturn return, Pluto square, Neptune square, and Uranus opposition, etc: /blog/3675
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.
In honor of Neptune stationing direct early Sunday morning, here is a short excerpt from a description of a near death experience. Neptune is the planet of Merging with the Love, Light, and Oneness of all that is. When a planet is stationary, the archetypal energies it symbolizes have a stronger influence on us. Read more...
“I came to understand that most of us have lived much, MUCH longer than we could even fathom. That our lives that feel so very long are infinitesimal when placed in the Whole picture… which for that matter, cannot even be framed. I was shown how every single individual through their own free will chooses paths that MATHEMATICALLY take them to the circumstances of their next existence or life. That NOTHING at all sits in accident or chaos. That every single aspect of our lives are ruled by NATURAL Laws that we placed ourSELVES in! That in a sense, we create our own worlds. I was shown how one can never assume either, that if someone lives a life of suffering that this is because of ‘evil’ deeds. Many may CHOOSE a life of suffering because of what it Awakens in them.. or to help another, etc.. We can NEVER EVER assume that we can be accurate in guessing why each Being lives the life they live. I cannot describe the relief... the refreshing, peaceful balm this Knowledge was for me. To finally gather this Truth that Id yearned for all of my life… That all IS Good! That there IS sense and beauty all around. That no one is just ‘free-falling’ as it had seemed before…
I have been trying to bring back what I remember as the Perfect Love I experienced on the Other Side and become One with it.” ~Amy C
The recent eclipses, the transit of Venus, and more...
Eclipses shift things dramatically, bring change, and remove stagnation — all to clear space for the new. Two weeks ago on 5/20 we had a Solar eclipse, which is like a super charged New Moon. The New Moon signifies a new cycle beginning, but because it was conjunct the South node, it was a time to release a negative pattern from the past… This morning on 6/4 we had a Lunar eclipse, which is like a super charged Full Moon. The Full Moon is the climax and culmination of the lunar cycle, bringing clarity and vision. But because it is conjunct the North node, it suggests moving towards one’s growth edge and imbibing something new, even if it is unfamiliar or uncomfortable… Read more...
Also today, Neptune is turning retrograde, adding some inspiration into the mix, or maybe confusion and delusion. Who can know with Neptune(?). All one can do is listen within to the voice of intuition, with trust but also discernment…
Then tomorrow on 6/5, there is a very rare astronomical event: the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun. This won’t occur again for about 105 years. During Venus retrograde, her conjunction with the Sun (which happens around every 19 months), is itself a significant moment. It is an invisible conception of a new beginning and new potentials in Venus realms (love and relationships, values and money) within each of us… So this rare transit is powerfully emphasizing the new inner birth of Venus, and the action of the eclipses both — catapulting one (even if only on a subtle internal level) in a life-changing direction…
On Feb 3rd, after going back and forth over the cusp in 2011, Neptune entered Pisces ♓ to stay for approximately 14 years (Neptune hasn’t been in Pisces since 1848-1862). Neptune and Pisces, sometimes referred to as “the 12th principle” in astrology, (i.e., Pisces is the 12th sign) share many of the same archetypal significances: numinous dreams, mysticism, unconditional love, and the melting away of boundaries between self, other, and the Divine into an oceanic Oneness. This is a beautiful, cosmic experience. Yet Neptune and Pisces both also correspond with challenges such as confusion, unending nebulousness, delusion, deception, addiction, and difficulty separating fact from fiction. With Neptune and Pisces together like this, I imagine this archetype will be strengthened and emphasized in a quantum way. It will be interesting to watch how the felt experience of it will unfold over time, individually and collectively.
As the planets move through the sky and through the zodiac, they affect each one of us differently depending on how they connect with one’s individual birthchart. There are some astrological events, however, that happen to everyone at approximately the same age, which mark important rites of passage and correspond with certain life phases. Here is a list of a few of the major ones:
Saturn return (Saturn conjunct Saturn), first one at age 29:
This is the symbolic entrance into adulthood — new structures are built or current structures break down if they are not in alignment with one’s proper track in life, responsibility increases, and/or obstacles must be overcome.
Second one at age 59: This is a time of passing on the torch to the next generation — all that has been learned and achieved can now be shared fully, and let go of, as one prepares for the last third of life.
Pluto square Pluto, varies due to Pluto’s irregular orbit, currently takes place at age 35-37, but in certain other eras, it was around age 62:
This is a significant turning point involving the integration of one’s shadow — can be experienced as intense pressure, forced growth, or having to surrender. This eventually leads to regeneration, transformation, empowerment and finding new purpose and meaning in life.
Neptune square Neptune, age 40-41:
This is a spiritual turning point — the need arises for direct experience of something greater than the ego self. Initially it can manifest as confusion, doubt, or escapism, but leads to a shift in consciousness.
Uranus opposite Uranus, around age 42:
Uranus brings freedom from that which is limiting or preventing one from being true to oneself. Sudden changes and shock often accompany this transit, but culminate in the awakening to a new life.
Moon’s Nodal return, every 18.6 years, at approximately age 19, 38, 56 and so on:
The nodes have to do with the soul’s direction in the larger scheme of one’s life. The nodal returns are moments in time that may be particularly destined and feel like they have a karmic quality to them.
Jupiter return, every 12 years, at age 12, 24, 36, 48 and so on:
These are times of growth, opportunities, blessings, and abundance connected with the area of life where natal Jupiter is in the birthchart.
I would love to hear about people’s experiences with these major passages through time. Feel free to contact me with questions or comments.
Sun square Neptune today: Vitality may not be at its height, nor logic and clarity. It could be more productive to slow down and nurture the right brain side of life. The demand of a square can help one make a shift. With some effort — one may discover intuition, vision, compassion, or mystical love. Even in practical pursuits there may be a dimension of art or transcendent inspiration... Planetary transits are opportunities — we can partner with them to go with the flow instead of resist it.
Full Moon in Taurus ♉, Neptune and Chiron turn direct
The Full Moon is the climax of the lunar month and a time to observe with objectivity what is coming to light or to a head. At every Full Moon there is an opposition between the Sun and the Moon, and this polarization and tension of the opposites may be felt within oneself or within ones relationships and circumstances. When the Full Moon is in Taurus, the Sun is in Scorpio: on the one hand, there is a need to let go of the past in order to allow the necessary transformation of the self (Sun in Scorpio) — but on the other hand, there is a valid emotional longing for stability and security (Moon in Taurus), for instance…Read more...
The Sabian symbol for this Full Moon is: “A newly formed continent is seen, fresh and green within its setting of interminable ocean.” Something new is emerging — new ground to stand on and a fresh perspective. Yet it is surrounded by seemingly endless water, which can represent deep feelings, the unknown, or the infinite Divine (all of which can feel frightening to the ego).
Along with this Full Moon, both Neptune and Chiron turn direct after about 5 months of being retrograde. The retrograde period is a time of inner work — on the spiritual level with Neptune — and with Chiron, involves the healing of deep wounds. As both turn direct, we slowly see ways to integrate what we have been working on and move forward.
Have you ever experienced a synchronicity that is so outrageously timed that you know life is a dream... and so perfectly relevant that you know God is near? With Mercury opposite Neptune today, the mind can attune to notice these little divine communications...
With Venus and the Sun opposite Neptune, the urge to escape from ordinary reality may be strong. Anything from fantasy and glamour, to deception, delusion, and addictive behavior, to mystical love and deep communion with the Divine through art, nature, and contemplation is available... And we can use our inspired imagination for conscious creation.
Venus opposes Neptune Sunday at 9:41am EDT, and the Sun opposes Neptune on Monday at 7:28pm EDT. The influence may be felt for a day or two on either side of the exact times...