“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.
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.
“Let the things that enter into your life wake you up.”
The Moon entered Aries ♈ today, conjoined Uranus ♅, and squared Pluto ♇. “Some of us may feel unsettled and grumbly” (Jim Sher). Moon in Aries is ready to fight, Uranus adds shock, and the square to Pluto digs up unpleasant old stuff. The upside is that whatever is brought to the surface can now, with courage, be seen, understood, handled, or let go of. ”Let the things that enter into your life wake you up.” (Pema Chodron)
If you are trying to make a decision now, we are in the last moments of the Gibbous phase of the Moon, before it becomes Full on Monday at 5:27a EDT, so knowledge is still incomplete. Waiting until the Full Moon to make the decision may feel natural, as the Full Moon corresponds with the part of the cycle when facts come to light; clarity is strong; understanding and the ability to be objective is enhanced.
Today I read about a powerful astronomical event: There is a star in the Pinwheel Galaxy currently in the midst of its dying process. When a star runs out of fuel to sustain itself, it collapses setting off a massive and violent explosion, called a supernova. At its peak, a supernova can shine so bright it lights up the entire galaxy in which it occurs. Additionally, the shock waves from the explosion can trigger the birth of new stars. This supernova is 21 million light years away, but it is the closest one seen from Earth for decades and tonight will be its brightest night. With a telescope it is visible above the Big Dipper and may even be possible to see with binoculars.
Astrology is the alchemical practice of taking that which is seen in the external world and discovering the inner symbolic significance of it, “As above, so below.” Regarding this extraordinary and somewhat rare supernova, some questions one might ask oneself are: Read more...
What is collapsing in me or around me? What do I need to let go of or let die, which is no longer serving or generating energy for me?
Can I see a light in this possibly challenging or dramatic change?
What new sparkly hopes or wishes (upon a star) may be brought forth by this ending?
What new bright star in my universe is finding its unexpected beginning bringing vision and light in the darkness?
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...
Jupiter retrograde and the Jupiter/Pluto trine - my reply to a client’s concern
Recently a client expressed anxiety about Jupiter being retrograde, after having multiple frustrating experiences with the last Mercury retrograde, and asked for further clarification and reassurance from me about this current retrograde planet. This is easy to give as Jupiter retrograde is a completely different story from Mercury retrograde. Mercury rules everyday business and communication, so when it is moving backwards slowing things down, it can be frustrating if day-to-day circumstances in our lives need to move forward quickly. In this particular clients case, Mercury was retrograding back into the part of his chart which has to do with communication and day-to-day business (the 3rd house, Mercurys own house) —meaning he may have experienced a double whammy in terms of miscommunications, problems, and delays regarding everyday decisions and issues. Then Mercury retrograded back into the area of his chart which has to do with resources — financial and otherwise (the 2nd house). This could have corresponded with serious re-thinking about his finances. Perhaps the economy being rather volatile lately added to his stress. Read more...
Although Mercury retrograde can be a pleasant time for some, especially if we are able to go with the flow and take some down time in the more right brain (creative, imaginative, emotional, etc.) realm, it has a troublesome reputation because in fact many people do experience frustrations connected with this transit.
Jupiter retrograde, however, is not usually thought of as a troublesome transit (although in astrology it is true that all manifestations are possible — depending on ones own birth chart, consciousness, choices, and karma, etc.)... Jupiter is the planet of opportunity and bounty even when it is retrograde! During the retrograde period, the opportunities dont go away, but rather we may find ourselves going back and discovering opportunities that didnt come to full fruition the first time around. Also, this is an especially rich Jupiter retrograde as it extends the time period and amplifies the power of the Jupiter/Pluto trine in the sky right now (an active influence from Jun 2011-Jul 2012). This trine can support us in manifesting our intentions in the real world — in practical, tangible ways — since both these planets are in earth signs and currently in a harmonious relationship with one another. It is worth noting however, that Jupiter is in Taurus, the archetype known to be slow, yet reliable; and Pluto is in Capricorn, the archetype known to take things step-by-step and have high standards — so patience and perseverance will be helpful!
Going back to this particular clients chart, Jupiter is retrograding first back through the area of his chart having to do with community, humanitarian concerns, friends, and long-term goals (11th house); and then back into the area of career/public standing (10th house). While it is traveling back, it will pass again over his natal Saturn and oppose his natal Jupiter. The conjunction with Saturn suggests he might revisit some serious issues, discovering new gifts along the way, in his marriage or other significant one-on-one relationships in his life (since Saturn rules his Capricorn 7th house). The opposition with Jupiter suggests he might take another look at something regarding his health or daily routine (since Jupiter rules his Sagittarius 6th house), making positive changes or discovering blessings that he didnt catch before. In general, it may be the perfect time to thoroughly revisit all possibilities and opportunities and gain a refreshed level of confidence connected with the concrete manifestation of his most cherished hopes, dreams, and goals, as well as related to his career and public image in the world (Jupiter retrograde in the 11th and 10th houses)!
I hope this example gives ideas of how to contemplate transiting Jupiter in your own unique chart.
How to decode the birth chart - my reply to a client/reader’s question
Recently I received a question, referencing my last blog about Jupiter retrograde, which I thought was an excellent question and one that other readers probably have as well. The question was:
“Is there an easy way for you to explain how I can look at my chart and see ‘where you have these degrees of Taurus in your chart (and other planets in early degrees which may be aspected? I never understand that stuff. How do I know if its ‘aspected?”
For people who have not studied astrology, the explanation below may seem complicated, as I have to begin to delve into the technical side of astrology in order to answer the question. For those with an interest however, I hope this will be helpful. Read more...
To begin, look around the circle of your chart and find the glyph for Taurus, which looks like: ♉. The chart is divided into 12 sections, called “houses” and 12 signs of the zodiac. However, unless you are using an equal house system, the signs and houses do not correspond exactly with one another, but rather each sign is usually covering part of 2 houses or each house has part of 2 signs within it. And each sign takes up a space of 30 degrees.
Returning to the example from my last blog, find the beginning of the section showing Taurus (♉) — that is 0º Taurus. There will be lines to count within that section until you get to 30º ♉, which then leads to the next section beginning at 0º ♊ (Gemini), and so forth. You are looking for 0º to 10º of ♉. Look to see in which numbered house (1-12) those degrees of ♉ fall. If you happen to be using a chart that does not number the houses, look for the horizontal line dividing the chart, referred to as the horizon. House 1 is the first section on the left side of the chart, below the horizon line. Then count the sections all the way around the chart. House 12 is the last section on the left side above the horizon line. For the client who asked, those degrees fall within her 11th house — of friends, community, hopes, long-term goals, etc. As Jupiter retrogrades back from 10º to 0º it will pass over her Chiron, the Wounded Healer archetype, at 3º of Taurus (for the second pass on Nov 11, 2011. The first pass when Jupiter was direct was on Jun 22, 2011, and the 3rd pass after Jupiter turns forwards again will be on 2/7/2012). Jupiters contact with Chiron may involve some kind of reminder of a primal wound for this woman, but more importantly an opportunity for further healing of and learning about this sensitive place within herself. Though the aspect happens on exact dates, the influence may be felt generally over the course of the several months that Jupiter travels back and forth over her Chiron...
Jupiter will not be making any other major aspects (Ptolemaic aspects) to other planets in her chart. The way one can tell if important aspects will be made from Jupiters retrograde travel from 10º back to 0º Taurus is by looking at the degrees of all the planets in the chart. If any are from 0º-10º Taurus, Jupiter will conjunct them (as in the case above with Jupiter passing over Chiron at 3º of Taurus). If any are from 0º-10º in other signs, specifically ¼ way around the chart on either side from Taurus, in other fixed signs of Aquarius (♒) and Leo (♌) — that planet would be squared by Jupiter. ⅓ way around the chart from Taurus, in the other earth signs of Capricorn (♑) and Virgo (♍) — that planet would be trined. ½ way around the chart from Taurus in the opposite fixed sign of Scorpio (♏) — that planet would be opposed. If you look at an ephemeris (a calendar of the calculated positions of celestial bodies), you can discover exactly when these aspects will occur...
On August 30th, Jupiter ♃ - the planet of increase, optimism, and the search for truth - stopped, turned around, and began traveling in reverse. Jupiter will be retrograde for almost 4 months, taking the journey and the search backwards (for review and synthesis) and inwards (seeking inner truth). Jupiter will travel from 10 degrees back to 0 degrees Taurus ♉. Where you have these degrees of Taurus in your chart (and other planets in early degrees which may be aspected) gives a clue about the area of life where you will have an opportunity to reassess recent expansion... The energy of Jupiter retrograde in Taurus can help us to refine and stabilize what was developing, appreciate the gains that were made, and ground them in practical, usable ways. One way to make the aspirations (Jupiter) sustainable over time (a Taurus concern) is by finding our way, Taurus style, meaning less effort and more enjoyment, less doing and more being. Read more...
Here is a little info about Jupiter in astronomical terms, which informs the astrological symbolism of Jupiter (expansion and benevolence, etc) : “Jupiter, 318 times more massive than the earth, acts like a cosmic vacuum cleaner, sucking in or deflecting debris left over from the solar systems birth 4.5 billion years ago. If it werent for Jupiters colossal gravitational field, we wouldnt be here.”
There is a New Moon in Virgo tonight at 11:04p EDT, representing first the end of one cycle... And then the beginning of a fresh new one.
The Sabian symbol for this new beginning is: “Childrens voices and the smiles of elders; it is a merry go round with blatant music and unrestrained joyousness.”
The Virgo archetype represents necessary, honest, and critical analysis — of self first and foremost, and then directing that precise vision outward — for the purpose of improving the capacity to be of service... How do we embrace the current Virgo energy of work and service along with the potent New Moon symbol of “unrestrained joyousness?” On the surface the two themes may appear in stark contrast. Yet, as The Course in Miracles states, “To give and to receive are one in truth.” Read more...
The New Moon is conjunct the Sun and Venus, which corresponds with the opportunity to be in touch with ones core inner being, centered in the heart, and giving/receiving from that deep place. The New Moon also forms a grand trine (a harmonious, flowing relationship) with Pluto and Jupiter — all in practical earth signs, suggesting that there is abundant support to find our way to joyousness, while staying grounded at the same time.
“Joy is a quality of the soul and is realized in the mind when personality and soul are in alignment.” ~Djwhal Khul
“The only true measure of success is the amount of joy we are feeling.” ~Abraham-Hicks