Category Archives: In The Sky

SHOWING UP WITH THE AQUARIUS FULL MOON: Astrology of the week of AUG. 13 – AUG. 19, 2019

This week’s astrological forecast is written for the plant-wise Anima Mundi Apothecary newsletter!

August is slowly bringing in a breath of fresh air to the birthing process of 2019. The principle of mind and communication, Mercury, is moving away from their very potent and problematic retrograde. And the hope, expansion and joy of Jupiter returning to direct motion (Aug. 11) brings a needed boost of positive, supportive energy. This past Mercury retrograde (Jun. 19 – Aug. 14) provided a frustrating, demanding or perhaps simply potent viewpoint on our particular role in our planet’s transitional times. For many there has been a heightened experience of being trapped within the larger forces of history, and being forced to cope with the transformation of social institutions and conventions. All of the shortcomings or failures may have felt oppressively close. Some of us bear witness, some of us bear direct consequences and some of us want to look away from overwhelming pressures bearing down on us.

It could be very useful to reflect on how we have responded to any events that boiled over in our lives or communities during this past Mercury retrograde. Where did we shine, succeed, stretch ourselves and reach towards greater health and wholeness? Where did we fall short? The failures may be more important than the successes, for instructing us about our path forward. And maybe we can’t do everything all alone. A prophecy attributed to elders of the Hopi nation said of this time of purification: “See who is in [the river] with you and celebrate.” The river which is flowing fast now, is the intensification (Pluto) of our collective and individual karma (Saturn). And it is asking us to recognize cause and effect in our lives.

The celebration of being in the river together is underscored by the Aquarius Full Moon on August 15 at 5:30am US/Pacific. This Full Moon makes the planet of love, connection and social currency—Venus—integral to the spotlight placed on our Aquarian intellectual ideals about freedom, progress and innovation. The Leo Sun-Venus is asking us how we are showing up—and whether or not we are just showing off. Leo can certainly be both—the desire to be visible as a leader for The Good, and the desire to receive a lot of ego stroking. Displays of bravery or courage that are not backed by the quest for maturity, deep relationality and real responsibility (no more and no less than what is ours to do) will not serve us well as we move closer towards the climax of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction (exact Jan. 12, 2020).

The very end of the shadow of Mercury’s retrograde brings a harsh square aspect between communicative Mercury and the planet of rebellion, Uranus (exact Aug. 16). This infuses the atmosphere with extra Trickster energy, and a rush to proclaim one’s freedom or difference or will. But simple-minded rebellion is far from helpful in our times. What vision do we wish to enact? What is the more beautiful world we feel emerging within us, despite all the indications against it in the world? Living a loving future into existence is the very, very hard work that Saturn-Pluto points us towards. Not despising others, or wishing ill upon anyone, which only compounds the suffering and often presents a self-defeating distraction. This choice is happening in our individual lives, not just on the world stage.

Jupiter’s square to visionary Neptune (Nov. 2018–Nov. 2019) means that we must be willing to see beyond our own times, that our wildest dreams can also pass through the portal of birth contraction represented by Saturn-Pluto. These are healing times, if we summon the compassion and the courage to show up for it. Even the plants are trying so hard to reach out to us! For example, several initiatives to decriminalize plant medicines (entheogens) have passed or are underway in cities around the United States. The plants are reaching out to us—do we see them? And do we see our beloveds? They are all in this river with us, too! Can we see each other? It is time to be mindful of the very good news that we are not swimming all alone.

Eclipsed ~ A Deeper Belonging: Astrology of the week of Jul. 2 – Jul. 9, 2019

This week’s astrological forecast is written for the plant-wise Anima Mundi Apothecary newsletter!

We are entering the eclipse season of Cancer (family, home) and Capricorn (society, contribution). The total solar eclipse in Cancer on Jul. 2 at 12:17 pm US/Pacific is asking us about what has been overlooked, or neglected, or perhaps in awareness but habitually pushed away, avoided, or set aside. The magnification and intensification (Pluto) of timescales (Saturn) ironically asks us to slow down in order to shape and be shaped by our lives and times. But far from slow, the mind of Mercury and the hasty might of Mars are hot and reactive together for most of July! It won’t always be possible to be present. And Mercury’s retrograde influence that peaks in July will be relentless in its revelations. A redefinition of belonging is possible under this total solar eclipse—but only if we bring enough care, compassion and empathy to bear.

Click here for a full report on the Cancer/Capricorn eclipses and astrology of the week of Jul. 2 – Jul. 9, 2019

Solar Eclipse Animated gif

Separating to Unite: Astrology of the week of Mar. 18 – Mar. 25, 2019

This week’s astrological forecast is written for the plant-wise Anima Mundi Apothecary newsletter!

Welcome to the equinox and the Libra Full Moon at 6:42pm US/Pacific on March 20, 2019! This week centers on the experience of being an individual involved in creating and maintaining relationship, and all the ways we find it hard to be an individual with our own will, needs and desires. Any recent readjustments to the Venusian parts of life—finances, intimacy, friendship, energy exchange—may reach a crescendo or finale point as we consider what it means to be “selfish.” Mercury’s continuing retrograde motion invites us to connect on emotional levels as logical understanding could be hard to achieve during negotiations with important relationships. But the understanding that relationships happen between separate entities—and are impossible when we are merged with others—could come in waves of revelation over the next two weeks.

Click here for a full report on the astrology of the week of Mar. 18 – Mar. 25, 2019

If the Universe didn't need you, you wouldn't be here

Crunch Time: Astrology of Feb. 26 – Mar. 4, 2019

I’m pleased to introduce Healing Earth in the Real Imaginal, a series of conversations with Kirsten Love Lauzon from Healing Earth. Using the work of international facilitator and neuroscience educator Sarah Peyton as a launch pad, we explore the topic of relational neuroscience—which is essentially the study of the impact and effect of other people’s presence on our nervous systems, well-being, development and so on. In this first conversation we especially focus in on what these studies reveal about prevention of and healing from personal and collective trauma. We also explore the interconnection of the topics of astrology, modern consciousness studies and systemic/family constellations. Please have a listen and let us know what you think!

Triggering transit: Venus-Saturn-Pluto

It has been an emotional week for so many of us, with the identity of the Sun and the mind of Mercury floating through empathic Pisces and highlighting the depths of feeling. Together with relational Venus’ interactions with clarifying Saturn and pulverizing Pluto, our intimate lives may have been put through the washing machine. For others of us this influence may have brought a measure of clarity to what must be released or otherwise changed in order for a constructive way forward to emerge. Relationship-maker Venus’ passage through structure-seeking Capricorn has also provided a trigger for the destabilizing and restructuring world transit of Saturn-Uranus-Pluto, which will continue to test the foundations of societies for the next two years. For example, the conflict in Kashmir between Pakistan and India has just escalated with each country launching airstrikes against the other for the first time since 1971. Michael Cohen is testifying to the US Congress against US President Donald Trump while North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Trump meet in Viet Nam for discussion of nuclear armaments. In a hopefully lighter example, news broke over the last few days of a failed 1970s Soviet probe meant to explore Venus that may crash to Earth in the next year or two—it is an eerie evocation of the breakdown associated with Saturn-Pluto via a literal failed attempt to connect with the planet Venus.

Siren: Bronze statue of nude woman, aquatic waist down, scaly tail in each hand

Venus-Uranus: Do we abandon ourselves or are we being abandoned by others?

And if we’re still resisting needed ch-ch-ch-changes, Venus making a square to liberator Uranus (exact Mar. 1) may give us another push. Venus-Uranus likes freedom to experience, with its love (Venus) of the novel and the unusual (Uranus). And all the practicality and prudence of Capricorn will likely slough off quickly once Venus enters the sign of forward-thinking Aquarius (Mar. 1). Abandonment fears may also surface in these conditions and we’ll need to call in our resources—external and internal—to ensure the Orphan of us doesn’t hijack our life’s storyline. While Venus makes a supportive sextile aspect to achy-breaky Chiron newly in Aries (exact Mar. 1) our connection to moments of being abandoned or cut out of the group or being left behind can bubble up. Particularly if there was bullying involved—whether we were giving or receiving—or if the perception that our expressions of independence or defiance would not be tolerated.

Another call to action with Sun sextile Mars

The Sun’s beacon of self-awareness makes a smooth sextile to warrior Mars (exact Feb. 27), perhaps adding a little more oomph and energy to the Sun’s Piscean dreams which can drift and swirl like quiet pools in a river. We could get a needed confidence boost or a reminder of some of our larger desires. As this sextile continues strong through Mar. 11 and pulls Neptune into the conversation, what began as an inkling of a plan or a direction this week may blossom into something more substantial. Note that we may also experience this influence as a bit irritating if we are indeed chafing under the harness of something we no longer desire to pull along in our lives. And confusion that is coming along for the ride with this irritation could represent a sign of learning how to do something differently, or just needing to surrender a bit to the process. Karmic patterns are simply magnified over the next few years, for better and for worse.

Erica Jones profile photo, Moraga at sunset

This is just a general outlook on the week. To learn more about how the planets are affecting you personally, book an astrological consultation! And step into the realms of Soul to enlarge the conversation you are having with the worldWith Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. You can also get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS  :::  SAVE THE DATE! I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I are offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat July 28 – August 4, 2019!  Watch this space for more details coming soon!


What’s Good Enough: Astrology of Feb. 19 – Feb. 25

Please check out a gift I am offering every other week! This Wed., Feb. 20 at 6pm, live via Zoom!

An online event called Guiding You Through the Real Imaginal, where we will spend 25 – 30 minutes in a meditative exploration to restore and replenish ourselves under the Virgo Full Moon! You may register by following this link.
I’ve been guiding group explorations of the imaginal realm for about five years . . . and I am thrilled to now be hosting them online! AND as a BONUS, I am offering a FREE 15-minute mini-reading to one person drawn at random from all live attendees!

Virgo Full Moon 2019

The Virgo Full Moon presides over this week, shining a light on our hopes, dreams, aspirations…and their many, many shortcomings. Within the context of dicey Uranus square Saturn-Pluto, attempts at improving social conditions are not doomed to fail but rather beset by problems. While we may witness serious in-fighting and dissension around whether a reform or a proposal is “good enough” in the outer world, there could be quite the inner dialog along similar lines. The radiant Sun’s entry into the dreamland of Pisces (Feb. 18) with the “bring it to Earth” conjunction of Venus-Saturn-Pluto is emphasizing strategy, maturity and realistic goal-setting to make our dreams a reality. Many things may be wearing thin at this time and taking time to inventory our assets in terms of what is working well and all the positives in our lives will do more to create realistic plans than focusing only on what’s breaking down.

Find good counsel

The planet of communication Mercury also joins nebulous Neptune in a helpful sextile to Venus-Saturn-Pluto under the Virgo Full Moon, offering a softer perspective on the pressure we may be experiencing in our love life, money life and/or social life. It suggests that we may get helpful guidance from those who are not directly entangled in whatever is transitioning into or out of our lives—so seek out that wise counsel! Not the merely practical, those friends and advisors who are all too happy to tell you what they think you “should do,” but those who can guide you to your own true knowing by asking the right questions. And in solidarity with you and whatever hard or difficult choices you may be faced with. This time period in particular could reveal where we are trying to ride two horses at once, how we are working against ourselves in some way.

Mercury retrograde incoming

Tricky Mercury is now gearing up for their retrograde phase, though. They will station retrograde on March 5 at 29° Pisces and back up to 16° Pisces which means that they’ve just entered the path of their retrograde during the Virgo Full Moon. This time in the path of their retrograde is referred to as the “shadow period,” and we can expect some of Mercury’s mischief and merriment to be afoot. Neptune is heavily involved which suggests a fair amount of confusion, getting bogged down in thoughts or losing track of items. At its worst, it could indicate outright deception or lies of omission (failing to disclose information). With such an emphasis on Neptune in this retrograde, it doesn’t have to be intentional deception, but be a very innocent if painful case of two people having completely different understandings of the same conversation, agreement or discussion. It is worthwhile to take the precaution of getting things in writing so they can be reviewed. For example, after a conversation, you could carefully write out your understanding in an email and request a response of agreement or any clarifications.

Bernard Palissy,  Platter, last quarter 16th century, France

Connect to the divine mind and heal our own

And there are some very positive aspects of the combination of Mercury and Neptune! All of you artists, visionaries, writers, poets, musicians—catch the wave! From now until mid-April will be an excellent time for re-working your compositions or allowing the Muse to flow in freely and freshly. Don’t expect a completely finished product to arrive—though it could happen—it’s better to just be open to what comes, capture it in some way and allow it to evolve. (AND make backups my friends, make a religion of pressing “Save,” it is impossible to kneel too often at that altar in these conditions.) Whatever has a life of its own will take shape over time if you continue to feed and care for it and remain curious about what is waiting within that seed.

It is also an excellent time for creating a different relationship with the inner critic and judge, by tapping into the right hemisphere of the brain and bringing warmth and caring presence to ourselves and whatever may be frustrating for us. Relational neuroscience offers us quite a few insights into practical, accessible ways of doing just that, for example in Sarah Peyton’s groundbreaking work Your Resonant Self.

Mercury-Jupiter-Neptune: Words should be weighed and not counted

To establish a new relationship with our habitual mind and begin to turn towards ourselves and our shortcomings with warmth, caring and love would be a grand expression of Mercury’s mind together with wholing Jupiter and healing Neptune in the retrograde. And this combination also calls to mind the Yiddish proverb, “Words should be weighed and not counted.” Look out for logorrhea—compulsive, repetitive, excessive wordiness—throughout Mercury’s retrograde period. It is advisable to stop to consider the impact of words we may choose rather than trying to connect through an overabundance of words. As hard as it can be—especially with communicative Mercury feeling so unbridled and free—I try to practice the orientation of one of my Buddhist teachers, Rina Sircar: “Does what I have to say improve upon the silence?”

Erica Jones profile photo, Mount Diablo

This is just a general outlook on the week. To learn more about how the planets are affecting you personally, book an astrological consultation! And step into the realms of Soul to enlarge the conversation you are having with the worldWith Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. You can also get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS  :::  SAVE THE DATE! I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I are offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat July 28 – August 4, 2019!  Watch this space for more details coming soon!

Power and Motivation: Astrology of Feb. 12 – Feb. 18, 2019

Mars-Uranus: Get moving!

The weekly astrological forecast portends several energetic shifts in our skies. We start off with a great big shove from action-oriented Mars finally completing his conjunction with electrifying Uranus in the feisty sign of Aries (exact Feb. 12). We may be more in the mood to challenge beliefs and attitudes, as well as experience a challenge of our sense of direction! Shall we tilt at this windmill? Or that one? Or is there an entirely different and more productive road to travel? The most willful road—the path of I, Me, Mine and F-the-world—may seem the most appealing in the moment, but it also may be wise to wait until Mars enters Taurus (Feb. 14) a few days later before making any life-changing decisions which are wrapped up in sudden anger, pure rebellion or resentment. Mars in Taurus might give us a better lay of land for making any bold moves. On the other hand, if we’ve been unable to take an important step forward or are caught up in limiting beliefs, this extra bolt of energy could at least get something moving!

Saturn-Uranus-Pluto: Who’s got the power?

Mars’ conjunction with Uranus also forms a kind of kickstarter for the larger world transit of Uranus square Saturn-Pluto, which will run through Dec. 2021. Saturn-Uranus-Pluto periods of time challenge not only the status quo (existing conditions) but also those who believe themselves to be the vanguard of change bringing an answer to the world’s woes. The intensification (Pluto) of radical (Uranus) backlash (Saturn) is one possibility and in the current climate it is hard to pin “radical” on just one political persuasion. We might see even more unpredictable splitting (Uranus) amidst all the polarization (Saturn-Pluto) around the world—and note that unpredictable doesn’t automatically mean bad or undesirable. There will likely be echoes back to the 2007 – 2012 Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-square formation which correlated to an economic crisis, in keeping with the economic upheavals under previous Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-square alignments in history. Since Saturn and Uranus will continue to square each other from 2021–2023 outside of the direct orb of influence of power-broker Pluto, our current time period may be more focused on questions of “the sources of power.”

What is power anyway?

I have a perception of power as something dynamic. I define power as the ability to cause or prevent change which arises out of the fact of communion (a fundamental relatedness). It’s not an object that one or another person or thing possesses but is more of a dynamic that is co-created. To summarize the observations of Gene Sharp, a scholar of nonviolence, the power of all rulers and hierarchical systems, including tyrants and oppressors, resides within the attitudes, behaviors, cooperation and obedience of the governed. So if power does arise from relationship, a thorough examination of how we are connected to one another seems the order of the day. And across all scales, because the larger collective movements of the Soul of the World are enacted by individuals and in individual lives.

Open Heart tarot card of the Triple Goddess Deck

Venus-Saturn sextile Neptune: Right relations

This is an appropriate reflection for sociable Venus’ sextile to empathic Neptune (exact Feb. 17), as she also sidles up next to the make-or-break energy of Saturn, putting a spotlight on “right relations.” We have our “ideals” (Neptune) and then there is “what actually is” (Saturn). Venus-Saturn can correlate to sweet karmic friendship, long-lasting bonds filled with loyalty and mutual support. And it can also point to what would stand in the way of enduring connection and the sweetness that is available to us, as well as whether loyalty is authentic or will not last through rough times. We might encounter where we have outsourced the leverage points of our power or where we can improve the quality of our existing connections. Transits involving Venus plus Saturn are a classic for “clearing out relations” and that doesn’t have to spell The End. Not at all. With maturity and discernment, we could actually come much closer to our Sacred Others—but only if we’re not compromising ourselves or our deepest truths. Many of us may experience the frustrations of inequalities in maturity levels which can make negotiations difficult. It’s very hard for one person’s maturity to carry the entire load especially in a relationship between peers.

Sun sextile Uranus: What do we serve?

Meanwhile, the identity-bringer of the Sun makes a helpful sextile to freedom-seeking Uranus (exact Feb. 17) which can support our aspirations to remain true to ourselves and our own values. If there is a dispute cropping up, it could be very helpful to identify how serving our own values serves the relationship—or if it doesn’t!

Erica Jones profile photo, Navarro River redwoods

This is just a general outlook on the week. To learn more about how the planets are affecting you personally, book an astrological consultation! And step into the realms of Soul to enlarge the conversation you are having with the worldWith Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. You can also get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS  :::  SAVE THE DATE! I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I are offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat July 28 – August 4, 2019!  Watch this space for more details coming soon!

Beauty Be: Astrology of the week of Feb. 5 – Feb. 11, 2019

Please check out a gift I am offering every other week!

An online event called: Guiding You Through the Real Imaginal, where we will spend 20 – 25 minutes in a meditative exploration. The first (available as a video here) was with Venus in Capricorn. I’ve been guiding group explorations of the imaginal realm for about five years . . . and I am thrilled to now be hosting them online! AND as a BONUS, I am offering a FREE 15-minute mini-reading to one person drawn at random from all live attendees!

Aquarius New Moon: Talk is cheap

We’ve just passed this year’s New Moon in Aquarius, which together with war god Mars squaring compulsive Pluto and also conjoining defiant Uranus, could have brought a flaring forth of self-righteousness. And not that we wouldn’t have a very important point to make, it’s just that…talk is cheap. Aquarius can tune us into our ideals, but can also tune us out to the fact that we’re actually a part of the world we wish to improve. We’re all participating in the mess, for better AND for worse. It’s always a work in progress. That’s not an excuse to avoid confronting social ills—whether those are up close or farther away from us—but it’s worthwhile to take a second look at tactics if championing our ideals and beliefs requires stomping other people down. Exchanging one set of victims for another set of perpetrators keeps us all spinning in never-ending circles of trauma.

Sun sextile Jupiter: Looking for the Good

Fresh from his coniunctio with the Moon, that great integrator of energies the Sun completes a soothing sextile to expansive Jupiter (exact Feb. 7). This aspect lends a helping hand to assimilating whatever emerged from the Feb. 4 meeting of the unconscious—Moon—with the conscious sense of self—Sun. Sun sextile Jupiter looks for the good in people and situations, and if allied to the strong drive of Mars described above, can provide support for our creative projects and endeavors. It’s not only supportive for smoothing out the rough edges, but imagining a different way forward.

Mercury sextile Mars-Uranus: Many paths

Because the mischief maker and chief communicator Mercury is making a supportive sextile with Mars (exact Feb. 7) and Uranus (exact Feb. 9)! We might take stock of our prospects and plans for the next couple of months and inventory our goals in search of flexibility. How many paths could we take to reach our destinations? It’s a good idea to do that while the inspiration is more accessible and before Mercury hits Pisces (Feb. 10) where they will make a retrograde (Mar. 15 – 28) that could challenge our attempts at linear thinking.

Moon in Aries: Wakey, wakey!

The Moon is passing through fiery Aries (Feb. 8 – 10) and conjoining Mars and Uranus just as Mercury makes their sextile, bringing even more attention to this spicy final conjunction of Mars and Uranus in Aries, where they won’t conjoin again until Jan. 2096. This may provide a bit of a trigger for significant events related to: asserting one’s will as never before; our creative pursuits; fighting in the streets (however we may enact that metaphor, literally or not); disentangling ourselves from outdated power structures and institutions; and recognizing that originality in art is non-existent but authenticity is what will strike the motherlode.

Skyline in the Berkeley Oakland Hills Feb. 2019 :: image by Joshua Halpern
image by Joshua Halpern ::: ecocourageous.com

Mercury in Pisces: We protect what we love

And this week we enter a long stretch of watery Piscean mind as Mercury enters Pisces on Feb. 10 and doesn’t leave Pisces until Apr. 16 after completing their upcoming retrograde. This bodes well for summoning the Muse, the genius, the daimon—that odd inner self who is at once “ours” and yet not ours. We could take advantage of this by going out early mornings in search of beauty and making some offering to what draws us to it. The daffodil or the crocus flower, the undying rosemary bush or the bird in the bower. Rise before the sun breaks fully into day and give voice to gratitude, to appreciation and connect with the beauty that reaches out to you, asking for your attention. Notice what—if anything—may happen in response…in the inner world or the outer world. Who awakens when you praise the Sacred Other for its own sake?

The Irish poet John O’Donohue offers us the following perspective on the role of beauty in our times:

“As we are speaking…there are individuals holding out on frontlines, holding the humane tissue alive in areas of ultimate barbarity, where things are visible that the human eye should never see. And they’re able to sustain it because there is, in them, some kind of sense of beauty that knows the horizon that we are really called to in some way. I love Pascal’s phrase, that you should always keep something beautiful in your mind. And…if you can keep some kind of little contour that you can glimpse sideways at, now and again, you can endure great bleakness.”

Erica Jones profile photo, Hot Springs Creek at Esalen

This is just a general outlook on the week. To learn more about how the planets are affecting you personally, book an astrological consultation! And step into the realms of Soul to enlarge the conversation you are having with the worldWith Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. You can also get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS  :::  SAVE THE DATE! I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I are offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat July 28 – August 4, 2019!  Watch this space for more details coming soon!

Aquarius New Moon: Astrology of Jan. 29 – Feb. 5, 2019

Sun conjunct Mercury in Aquarius: Getting some distance

We’re anticipating the Aquarius New Moon as messenger Mercury makes their superior conjunction to the Sun, marking their farthest distance from the Earth—and appropriately enough in the otherworldly sign of Aquarius (exact Jan. 29). Later this week, Mercury will then appear as an evening star right after sunset, as they follow the Sun down into the underworld each night. We may receive some benefits of being able to take a more objective stance and to distance ourselves from relational entanglements to get better perspective, whether that’s in our business, intimate or family dealings.

Mars square Pluto: Do not bypass emotions to collect $100

Beware of bypassing difficult emotions, though, as energetic Mars makes his square to not-messing-about Pluto (exact Feb. 1) and adds quite a bit of energy to our desire to have some control, to be in the driver’s seat, or to reach a particular goal. It will be more helpful to know WHY we are angry or frustrated rather than pretending it doesn’t matter that we’re angry or frustrated. This is definitely a week for touching into our ambitions and examine whether these are connected to our long-term goals or if we’re getting caught up in distractions. Action-oriented Mars has just been squaring slow-it-down Saturn for much of the past month, accentuating the reality that this year, the quicker inner planets will be aspecting those two heavy hitters—Saturn and Pluto—one right after the other.

Triggering Transits: Who’s knocking at our door?

When faster moving inner planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus) form aspects to outer planetary alignments, such as Saturn-Pluto, they can function to trigger events within the longer narrative of that combination. Depending on the role of Mars in your personal natal chart, and how Saturn-Pluto is transiting your natal chart, these triggering transits can shed light on or mark beginnings and endings related to this dominating force of 2018–2021. Current correlations to Mars’ activity with Saturn-Pluto seem particularly important given the 2020 Mars retrograde in Aries which will be squaring Saturn-Pluto for the second half of 2020. Take heed of what’s happening in your life now with regard to your goal orientation, what you desire to serve, what you are drawn to protect and your sense of boundaries. This will provide a preview of some of 2020’s (significant) demands. Again, your personal natal placements will tell you much more about this dynamic and how it may unfold.

Saturn sextile Neptune: Stabilizers on hand

Reality Checker Saturn makes a helpful sextile to Dream Maker Neptune (exact Jan. 31), the first of three sextiles happening between now and Nov. 2019. This is such a welcome grounding influence to complement the potentially inflating Jupiter square Neptune of this same time period. On the one hand, we need a bit of grandiosity to transcend old stories that limit our living, and limit the possibilities of right relationship in our societies—on the other hand, we need to remain in contact with our deep relatedness to all things, so that the new story emerges from the old instead of pretending the past no longer matters. The “real” of Saturn more harmoniously blends with the “ideal” of Neptune under these skies (as mentioned elsewhere), along with the stress, strife and upheaval we must also contend with. The potential here, though, is of bringing some stabilizing influence to our dreams—whether those are hopeful responses to crises, or the stuff of helpless nightmares.

2019 Aquarius New Moon horoscope
2019 Aquarius New Moon

Aquarius New Moon: Leaving the comfort zone

Also this week, sexy Venus enters the sign of somewhat reserved and cool Capricorn (Feb. 3) and she’s just in time to make an exact, challenging semisquare aspect to the Aquarius New Moon of Feb. 4 at 1:03pm US/Pacific. This will represent a bit of a change in the festive mood of Venus in Sagittarius (Jan. 7 – Feb. 3) to a more somber, cautious and loyalty-oriented approach to making connections, friendships and exchanging energy. Her aspect to the Aquarius New Moon encourages considerations of any contradictions between wanting so much to be liked or to belong to a group, and our sense of identity. Are we stretching ourselves out of our authentic shape in order to “fit in?” Discomfort with such stretching could emerge as the Moon takes up her waxing phase over the next two weeks. The approaching Mars square Pluto may push us to take on any inner or outer bullies and also step out of our comfort zone around “being liked” versus “being ourselves.”

Erica Jones profile photo, Mount Diablo

This is just a general outlook on the week. To learn more about how the planets are affecting you personally, book an astrological consultation! And step into the realms of Soul to enlarge the conversation you are having with the worldWith Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. You can also get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS  :::  SAVE THE DATE! I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I are offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat July 28 – August 4, 2019!  Watch this space for more details!

Samsara’s Grip: Astrology of Jan. 22 – Jan. 28

Sweets amidst the stresses

The weekly astrology outlook of Real Imaginal features the ongoing Venus-Jupiter conjunction (exact Jan. 22), who provides an excellent chance to expand our networks, find like-minded collaborators and explore new ways of celebrating love. The emissary of love, Venus meeting up with the expansive nature of Jupiter offers us an experience of hope, faith in love or an opening of the heart—a welcome burst of generosity and hopefulness that spans the rest of this week. And though Venus-Jupiter is typically a lovely quality, this radiant crown of loving energy may be sitting atop many things which are less than glorious. Saturn, Pluto, Mercury and the Sun have been in Capricorn for the lead up to Venus’ kiss with Jupiter, bringing a sense of heaviness to our thoughts, general outlook and attempts to connect with others on a mental level.

This could spur Venus-Jupiter to a more escapist expression, perhaps by avoiding engaging in the complexity of life and opting instead for judgmental Saturn-Pluto’s strangely feel-good “black-and-white, good-and-evil” perspective on the world. One way to bring the relief, joy and happiness of Venus-Jupiter in a constructive way is to connect with various sweetnesses of this life. For example, we might try setting an intention to connect with someone in a meaningful way, and drop our guard long enough to have a conversation with a stranger or a neighbor we haven’t yet spoken with. Or we might volunteer to help our community in some way.

Deception Basin in the Olympic Mountains, Hafiz poem "Even/ After/ All this time/ The Sun never says to the Earth,/ "You owe me."/ Look/ What happens/ With a love like that,/ It lights the whole sky."
…Venus-Jupiter in the sky… image by Joshua Halpern

Switching it up

Real Imaginal’s weekly astrology outlook also notes communicative Mercury’s stressful square aspect to eccentric Uranus (exact Jan. 23) that may bring a surprise twist to events. If we’ve been more in tune with Venus-Jupiter sweetness, some information bearing the seriousness or gravity of Saturn-Pluto may intrude upon our reveries. On the other hand, if we’ve been absorbed in the traumatizing energetics of Saturn-Pluto, Mercury may bring news of another aspect of life on Earth that is not so gloomy and doom-y. The sense that we are trudging up a seemingly insurmountable mountain of history may be interrupted by an experience of grace.

Is it worth it? Get creative!

Of course, the long and seemingly fruitless battle with history, karma or decaying institutions in part reflects the combative Mars’ square to complicating Saturn in the sky (active roughly Jan. 11 to Jan. 30), which can frustrate our attempts to get ahead. Perseverance is prescribed, and sincere dedication (Saturn) to our efforts (Mars) will force us to review a couple of things: is what we are trying to do worth it? is it something we actually, truly care about? are we able to think creatively about achieving our goals? While the first two are the ultimate filters on how we may choose to direct our energy, this last question could bring a real boon to our mission. Mars makes a supportive trine aspect to resourceful Jupiter (exact Jan. 25), bringing a gift of inspiration to think beyond whatever limitations we may be facing. The obstacles we face now may therefore prove to be great allies in finding a new method, logic, collaborator or iteration of our designs.

Curiosity incoming

Lastly, the mind of Mercury escapes the inertia of the major Capricorn stellium that has dominated the skies since the beginning of January, when they follow the Sun into Aquarius on Jan. 23. The incoming Aquarian influence can help us take a step back from enmeshment in the problematic and be more curious about the world around us. It can also take us a little too far away from emotional realities, so while we cook up the next theory of how-to-set-everything-free (a favorite Aquarian pastime), it’s a good idea to stay in touch with how our theory actually feels in our bodies…and what others may report to us about their lived experiences. It could actually be quite wonderful! Just tune into the total organism.

Erica Jones profile photo, Navarro River redwoods

This is just a general outlook on the week. To learn more about how the planets are affecting you personally, book an astrological consultation! And step into the realms of Soul to enlarge the conversation you are having with the worldWith Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. You can also get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS  :::  SAVE THE DATE! I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I are offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat July 28 – August 4, 2019!  Watch this space for more details!

Making the Break: Astrology of Jan. 14 – Jan. 21, 2019

This week’s astrological forecast is written for the plant-wise Anima Mundi Apothecary newsletter!

We welcome the Sun’s entry into Aquarius, a total eclipse of the Leo Full Moon and the emergence of the Cancer/Capricorn eclipse cycle—and with all the excitement of the new and the possible comes a certain dragging on our vitality. This week contains contradictory energies of breakthrough versus holding back and it will require our commitment to working for what we desire in order to receive “a lucky break” and opportunity. The ending of the Leo/Aquarius eclipse cycle asks us to reflect on where we may be hiding behind a false image while the opening of Cancer/Capricorn summons the interweaving of our work and our personal lives…

Click here for a full report on the astrology of the week of Jan. 14 – Jan. 21, 2019

Three women sitting in a swamp braiding each others' hair

This is just a general outlook on the week. To learn more about how the planets are affecting you personally, book an astrological consultation! And step into the realms of Soul to enlarge the conversation you are having with the worldWith Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. You can also get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS   I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I will be offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat in summer 2019!  Watch this space for more details and to save the date!