Category Archives: In The Sky

Awaken in the New Year: Astrology of Dec. 26, 2017 – Jan. 1, 2018

The last week of December 2017 begins with a Sun-Venus-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn that may have brought a bit of a reserved, somber or even contentious mood to holiday gatherings or other social events. Perhaps a less festive mood and more reflective, introspective and even an enjoyable (Venus) solitary (Saturn) experience (Sun) prevailed, and this tenor will largely continue up through New Year’s Eve of the Gregorian calendar.

However, moving into mid-week, we see Mars trining Neptune, which along with Mars’ conjunction with Jupiter in Scorpio, could light more of a fire under our ideals and spur us to correct imbalances in our social, intimate or employment spheres. Beware of any zealous delusion, since Mercury in Sagittarius squaring Neptune in Pisces could be susceptible to making broad generalizations or simply selfish, short-sighted appraisals which may be great for heated arguments but fall short of making a convincing case. Particularly on Dec. 28 and 29, as the Moon sweeps through Taurus, we could find ourselves caught between making a more conciliatory gesture that retains a cool social veneer, and just meting out raw justice. Find the balance—keep it real, but recognize the complexities of the situation. If it helps to summon your kindness, remember your own past mistakes or shortcomings, so that the adjustments you try to make now will go as smoothly as possible.


Awaken! Do not squander your life!


New Year’s Eve in US time zones looks a little more festive, although the Moon’s opposition to Saturn, along with a tight Sun-Venus conjunction in Capricorn could make for a less than expansive mood. More intimate gatherings with trusted friends and close loved ones are favored, as well as celebrating in more refined, classy or even old-fashioned settings. A house party featuring old-fashioned parlor games and party favors, and copious amounts of tasty hors d’oeuvres comes to mind. Beware of over-indulgence, as the Full Moon chart for New Year’s Day (east of the International Date Line) looks like one of seeking tonic from “the hair of the dog that bit me,” i.e., having overindulged in alcohol. Sticking close with a trusted friend to check in on everything—including intoxication levels, if that’s on your agenda—throughout the evening of New Year’s Eve is a very good idea. Have several plans for how to get home safely if you plan to go out.

The Full Moon in Cancer falls on New Year’s Day 2018 at 6:24pm US/Pacific, and looks to be a contemplation on the choices we have made around who to associate with. Venus falls at the midpoint of Saturn and Pluto, and anything that may have been stirred up at the beginning of the week could be deeply illuminated as we strive to understand how and to whom we belong. If this theme is up for you, it is not likely to be a superficial or simply passing thought but a matter with far-reaching consequences or implications. Endings signify new beginnings, but only if we can summon the emotional and spiritual maturity to take honest steps in the direction of  greater health.

The final Mercury retrograde period of 2017
Key dates:
Nov. 14 Mercury enters its own shadow at 13° Sagittarius
Dec. 3 Mercury stations retrograde at 29° Sagittarius
Dec. 22 Mercury stations direct at 13° Sagittarius
Jan. 10 Mercury exits its own shadow at 29° Sagittarius

Saturn enters Capricorn: Astrology of Dec. 18 – Dec. 25, 2017

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

Once a month, the week’s astrological forecast will go out in Anima Mundi’s newsletter along with their herbal tips, DIY preparations and information.  In the meantime, be sure to check out all that Anima Mundi Apothecary has concocted in conspiracy with the plants’ desire to heal us!

Wishing everyone a blessed Summer or Winter Solstice, and whether the light be increasing or decreasing in your part of the world, may your heart be energized by its generous, life-giving luminosity!

Click here for a look at the astrology of the week of December 18 – December 25, 2017


Sowing seeds of destiny: Astrology of Dec. 12 – Dec. 18, 2017

This week features the New Moon in Sagittarius on Dec. 17, 2017 at 10:31pm Pacific, which is preceded by a few days with potential for hot emotions or situations which have been close to boiling finally erupting. The Moon swings into Scorpio at 6am Pacific on Dec. 13, immediately encountering Mars who just entered that sign on Dec. 9. Scorpio is a fairly powerful position for Mars, bringing his passion, heat and aggressive qualities to bear on the otherwise fairly open-minded Sagittarian scene. The Moon’s conjunction with Mars may provide a “trigger” that sets off whatever transiting Mars is aspecting in your personal chart, or it may symbolize an unreflective expression of anger or other high-energy emotion.  You may feel righteous in your angry or high-energy pursuits, and justified in meting out punishments or doing whatever it takes to achieve your goals—and there may be some truth in your actions, but don’t expect you won’t receive a reaction, pushback or a few of your own shortcomings called out in kind.

Not long after the Moon leaves the powerful depths of Scorpio on Dec. 15, the Sun will square Chiron and provide an opportunity to bring some healing through self-reflection on what role you may have played in the previous days’ fury—be it an interpersonal or merely an internal kerfuffle. Even if you were just a witness to something, you may feel a sense of responsibility for what went down. Avoid the temptation to take on more responsibility for a hurt or an unfortunate situation than is yours to take on. Free yourself from too-limited perspectives—whether it’s a perspective which says you are only a victim, or one that reduces you to a mere perpetrator.

2017’s New Moon in Sagittarius

New Moon in Sagittarius ritual
This New Moon has the special honor of conjoining Saturn as Saturn spends its last two days in the sign of Sagittarius, having entered Sagg on Sept. 17, 2015 for its 2 ½ year stay. Combined with the Mercury retrograde period underway, it would be a fitting and good use of this potential to prepare a ritual based on your reflections on the last 2 ½ years.

To harness the particular qualities of this New Moon, your reflections could focus on any or all of the following areas of your life: your destiny and the nature of your service to the flourishing of Earth Community; your relational sphere in terms of intimate or romantic relations, your economic arrangements, and the way in which you give and receive support; your source of optimism and faith in life, and your growth or your stagnation; and your relationship to your core wounding. Has your sense of destiny come into sharper focus, or do you need to continue deeper explorations? Do you feel connected to your much-needed offering to this world which is so hungry for your Soul-infused gifts? What will support that connection to Soul? How have you fostered harmony and tolerated the necessary discord and social disruption that can sometimes accompany becoming who you truly are? What has fueled your optimism and faith in life over these past 2 ½ years? What have been the actual consequences of that orientation? And be honest with yourself! You will suffer the most from too-grandiose notions. What has fueled or impeded your growth? And, finally, what is your relationship to your core wounding? A core wound is one around which our identity forms. What wounding has defined your life, and how does that fit into your philosophy of the way the world works? Does that orientation still serve you? If so, how? If not, what has changed?

Taking time to sort through how any or all of these life areas have changed, grown, fallen away or become more integrated and organized can then inform a ritual to plant seeds for Saturn’s ingress into Capricorn on Dec. 19. You could plant seeds of determination to carry forth these important lessons of Saturn in Sagittarius, to create new patterns to help embody what you have learned. Honor what has passed away during this time and witness how it served you up to this time. This will provide a good ground for integrating and continuing to receive benefit from those former ways of being in the world.

The final Mercury retrograde period of 2017
Key dates:
Nov. 14 Mercury enters its own shadow at 13° Sagittarius
Dec. 3 Mercury stations retrograde at 29° Sagittarius
Dec. 22 Mercury stations direct at 13° Sagittarius
Jan. 10 Mercury exits its own shadow at 29° Sagittarius

Accountability to our aspirations: Astrology of Nov. 28 – Dec. 4, 2017

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

Once a month, the week’s astrological forecast will go out in Anima Mundi’s newsletter along with their herbal tips, DIY preparations and information.  In the meantime, be sure to check out all that Anima Mundi Apothecary has concocted in conspiracy with the plants’ desire to heal us!

Click here for a look at the astrology of the week of November 28 – December 4, 2017

with much love and blessings on your wholeness, health and well-being under the Gemini Full Moon,

A change of perspective: Astrology of Nov. 21 – Nov. 27, 2017

We start this week off with the Sun entering Sagittarius—and we do rejoice! Not that we could or should skip over the revelations of this past season of Scorpio (Oct. 22 – Nov. 21), but Sagittarian influences will begin to bring some new perspectives and insights into our situation. A more generous, inclusive and flexible portion of ourselves will be more readily available to get down with the business of living within a changed reality, and using our higher principles to shape the meaning of those changes. There is the possibility of feeling some hope of moving through the heaviness, and noticing that horizons stretch out farther than those which may have previously felt like they were collapsing in on you.

This process of integration could be helped by minding any gap between one’s abstract ideals and the messiness that life can bring us. The Moon’s square with the Sun on Sunday, Nov. 26 suggests that solutions to such gaps may appear if we examine where our needs (Moon) conflict with our desires (Sun). For example, if we need to shelter and protect a previously traumatized part of ourselves, and yet feel called by our principles to put ourselves in situations which challenge the well-being of that unintegrated part of ourselves, we might want to reflect on any patterns of self-sacrifice and martyrdom. Is that what is driving the desire to “make a stand?” Mercury’s movement through Sagittarius, aspecting the roughly year long square between Chiron in Pisces and Saturn in Sagittarius which is completing this week, signals the importance of locating our mature resources in order to identify and enact our responsibilities to others. This never involves getting rid of old survival patterns, but rather being able to notice when they want to arise, thanking them for their desire to protect, and then choosing to do something different.

This week, Neptune is also appearing to stand still in the sky, stationing to move into direct motion at 11° of Pisces on Wednesday, Nov. 22. Although the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) spend a relatively large amount of time stationing, the week or so surrounding their stations can be especially drenched with their significations. Life may become dreamy, almost aquatic, as if moving slowly through another world where mundane notions of time have little relevance. For some, healing will come through surrendering to this dream state and allowing the intuitive mode to propel your efforts—or to simply float motionless. You might channel this into more artistic or spiritually-oriented outlets. For others, relying on routine and set schedules can help you weather any intensification of your already imaginative or free-floating experience of life. This could be healing through improving ways of coping well with an industrial growth society which would rather label you unproductive or unwell—findi the ways that work for you to balance your spiritual being and material needs.

Underworld blessings: Astrology of Nov. 14 – Nov. 20, 2017

This week of the Scorpio New Moon can recall us to our wholeness, if we are willing to accept the unknown into our lives, the mystery of our being. On Tuesday, make an offering to the receptive parts of you, that which chooses to receive and that which cannot help but receive. Come Wednesday, you might inquire into the health and well-being of your assertive parts or that portion of you which protects you. How are these working together, or not? Are we trying to force, where we should relax? Are we trying to allow, where we should be exerting more will? What does it mean to cooperate with the greater stream of life in which we are carried? Above all, how can we honor the becoming that we each are, a process that has its own timing, its own motive, its own messy and wonderfully intact aspects.

It is a good week to make gifts of abundant love to the mythical Underworld: to all the forgotten ones, the hidden ones, the repressed ones, the misunderstood ones, those beings who simply travel as the unknown. Getting comfortable with discomfort goes a long way, as you will find support for blessing the Sacred Wound—a core wound that never heals, but which, when we release our old stories around it, can become a source of our Soul’s story, carrying some of our greatest gifts, insight and wisdom. For those who have already been working with this profound and precious vulnerability, you might welcome in a maturation of this Sacred Wound in terms of how it takes up space in psyche, or how it is held within psyche.

This Scorpio New Moon also seems to call for a dance party—move the muscles, feel the way gravity shapes your movement, cut the air with your body. This new moon is for dancing with the dead, dancing with the previously hidden and newly revealed, dancing with the wilds both inner and outer. Don’t just sit and contemplate. Let your body teach you about the unknown, let your body move you towards wholeness. Trust its tempo, and know that the rhythms may sound strange, but so it is with intimacy. We can be intimate with another because we do not know them, and in some sense, can never completely know them…do not focus only on those external to you – tend to the sacred Other within as well!

Beware of being pulled into manipulation by deceit or outward aggression or too forceful action—whether by the unintegrated parts of your own psyche or by those external to you. The damage could run deep. It’s better to find out how to expose yourself to yourself, while being very kind and very gentle in the doing. In this way, you could liberate your assertive nature from old, hampering patterns which do not support the kinds and measures of distance which true intimacy requires. Spending enough time with your patterns of assertion and receptivity, as well as with your Sacred Wound, will allow them to transform and take up a truer shape, or a more fitting-for-this-moment shape but oohhh it needs muscular involvement, not mere cogitation. Performance. Enactment. Making things body-real.

Prickly truths: Astrology of Nov. 7 – Nov. 13, 2017

While some of us may still be trying to recover from the emotional tides of last week’s full moon, Mercury saunters into happy-go-lucky Sagittarius on November 5, bringing an optimistic outlook. And instead of the usual three-week stay in Sagittarius, Mercury will camp out there for over two months, due to the upcoming December retrograde through Sagittarius. If we take care now to tether this optimistic Mercury to our more sobering realities, we are in a better position to get the most out of the Sagittarian tendency to expand our views, possibilities and horizons.

Sagittarius is future-oriented, philosophical and adventurous but both the Sun and the traditional ruler of Sagittarius, Jupiter, remain in broody and sometimes swampy Scorpio. Scorpio will be asking us about the ways in which we are compromised and where we should be more cautious than carefree in the ways that we portray ourselves, as we grow into and reach for the future. Venus’s entry into the mysterious and spicy realms of Scorpio (Nov. 5 – Dec. 1) suggests we also tread carefully where others’ hearts and wallets are concerned. Venus governs reciprocity, and all areas of giving and receiving and when she’s in Scorpio, she can be rather guarded and quick to anger. Boundaries are more permeable, and vulnerabilities are closer to the surface. Old resentments, insecurities and relational patterns that need to be tested or released rise up.

Under these influences, thinking, strategizing or communication which is too superficial or grandiose is likely to be called out. The details and nuance which we are missing and the areas or actors we are neglecting will be pointed out by others. It’s worth taking some extra time to be thoughtful, and to choose carefully when and how you communicate. If something you put out into the world is flung back at you in ferocious rejection or accusation, experiment with choosing curiosity, compassion and careful engagement—who knows what deeply liberating relational shift could be occurring. Also try to notice if you are taking the “high road” to avoid the discomfort of seeing more of the whole picture. Mercury in Sagittarius can be filled with so many principles and lofty ideals and yet lacking in basic empathy—not out of spite or ill will, but just out of assuming the best about oneself and the world. The other person really understands that you mean well, right? Venus in Scorpio gives a resounding NO and wants solid reassurance of intentions, or where there is simply a disagreement, she asks for a little more gentleness and compassion than blunt and direct Mercury in Sagittarius may naturally provide.

In longer-term influences, the final of three exact trines between the planet of stability and responsibility, Saturn, and the planet of change and freedom, Uranus, occurs in a near exact grand fire trine with the Moon in Leo on November 11. The Saturn-Uranus trine (Dec. 2016 – Dec. 2017) has lent ease to transitions, or has perhaps appeared more as a shape-shifting or elusive transition that may now be taking more shape as Saturn begins to speed towards ambitious Capricorn. The chart for this final exact trine speaks to our responsibilities to our philosophy or worldview, and enacting or performing it not only for personal benefit but for the welfare of the whole. Any double standards are likely to be exposed this week, so careful with any swagger as Mystery may step in to take you down a few notches.

Finally, it’s important to consider that a failure to live up to one’s own ideals doesn’t mean that others’ failures should be overlooked—and vice versa. Co-dependency will be especially painful in this season. Pristine perfection isn’t required, but rather recognizing what needs to change. Make Mercury in Sagittarius your ally in this, by being generous with your own faults and incredibly perceptive of others’. What really needs to change here? Let me say it again: Co-dependency will be especially painful at this time. Do not confuse real responsibility with uninspired duty or a sense of obligation driven by guilt.

Announcing new monthly astrological forecast

Announcing a new monthly astrological forecast written for the plant-wise Anima Mundi Apothecary newsletter!

It is an honor to team up with Anima Mundi to share the medicines of cosmos, plants and alchemy with you – and to launch it on the week of Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead!  Once a month, the week’s astrological forecast will go out in Anima Mundi’s newsletter along with their herbal tips, DIY preparations and information.  In the meantime, be sure to check out all that Anima Mundi Apothecary has concocted in conspiracy with the plants’ desire to heal us!

with much love and blessings for your wholeness, health and well-being during this week of remembrance of ancestors beneath the Taurus Full Moon,

Click here for a look at the astrology of the week of October 30 – November 5, 2017


Moon-Mars-Neptune: Fighting a house of mirrors

In The Sky: Mars in Virgo is opposite Neptune in Pisces from Sept. 18  to Sept. 29, 2017.  The Moon joins Mars in Virgo on Sept. 18, and forms a T-square with Mars and Neptune on Sept. 25, 2017, when the Moon passes through Sagittarius.  NOTE: In world transits, the Moon may act more as a trigger of the potential embodied in the slower moving planets, and this article is most relevant to those with these three planets combined in their natal charts.

When the Moon forms a dynamic aspect to Neptune, clarity can be a bit challenging. Someone with this aspect once lamented to me that it can be like navigating a house of mirrors. With Mars added to the brew, locating the source of one’s motivation, anger, vitality or sense of direction can be frustrating.

The Moon is what we’re unconscious of, and it can take a long-term effort to notice its role in our behaviors and circumstances. The Moon represents those things which simply are, whether inherited or which by their nature operate outside of our awareness—such as our life support systems. We don’t have to be aware of the daily toil of literally countless beings that allows us to eat, to breathe, to exist. That reality falls into the realm of the Moon. In a similar way, so too does the personal unconscious belong to the Moon.

Moon-Mars-Neptune can symbolize free floating (Neptune) aggression or anger (Mars) in the emotional atmosphere (Moon). Those with this combination in hard aspect will sometimes report a childhood home filled with outward aggression and a pervasive atmosphere of fear. Such an early childhood could generate a profound compassion for others who suffer, or a deeply wounded, victim-identified fragment of the psyche, among other possibilities.

Another common experience is a good deal of passive (Neptune) aggressive (Mars) behavior in nurturing parental figures (Moon). But what is “passive aggression?” Perhaps if we look beyond the label to the activity itself, we can begin to recognize more expressions of Moon-Mars-Neptune archetypal themes.

Essentially, passive aggression is rooted in outwardly expressing one’s feelings, desires and needs in one way, but inwardly feeling very different, often in contradiction to what is verbalized. People will have different storylines driving why they feel they must betray their own experience—and while surviving the constant threat of violence is a very good reason, why else might we see this behavior particularly with Moon-Mars-Neptune?

Sam's River bank cut

It is easy for Moon-Mars-Neptune to feel invaded by others and by their own empathy. Moon-Neptune symbolizes the capacity to feel the emotional experience, the suffering and the illness of others – literally and in one’s own body. With Mars involved, such sensitivity could then be experienced as an attack or invasion.  Moon-Mars by itself can indicate an instinctive (Moon) reactivity or combativeness (Mars), since the Moon represents what we habitually do without thinking.

But when Neptune begins to saturate Moon-Mars, the resulting combination is incredibly sensitive, resulting in a lot of defense mechanisms to protect all that tenderness. Avoidance seems to be a common approach, and that can be avoidance of one’s own feelings, not necessarily avoiding other people’s feelings. Perhaps by denying their own feelings, Moon-Mars-Neptune would feel attacked (Mars) by their own empathy for others (Moon-Neptune).

For example, I had a friend with this combo who absolutely refused to let me apologize to them.  They thought they were taking the high road, being compassionate and understanding of my suffering. But really? They were avoiding their own feelings of anger and trespass, because they would later (totally unconsciously!) punish me in various ways, which was very confusing at first. By not allowing other people to actually be imperfect, to make mistakes, to be messy…they martyred themself in a strange way. I couldn’t apologize because I was already forgiven—but then their own suffering was excluded and not mutually acknowledged, and out came their unconscious resentment.

A well-integrated Moon-Mars-Neptune has an admirable capacity to advocate for compassion, to bring energy and vitality to the receptive and caring parts of the human being, and to actively provide care. Once its deep sensitivity is integrated into the psyche, that sensitivity is no longer a liability or vulnerability.  Moon-Mars-Neptune can be quite the spiritual (Neptune) warrior (Mars), after the native has established a deeper, loving relationship with the Victim archetype—an archetype in everyone’s psyche, but perhaps especially poignant for this combination.

Because the activity of advocating on behalf of others (Mars-Neptune) HAS to start first at home (Moon), for oneself. The Moon-Mars-Neptune native must first establish their own safety and choices for themselves, and not seek to merely create it for others or by living through others, e.g., codependent relationships.  This is Neptune’s challenge: how to not so identify with others’ hardships, that one’s own self is lost.

Mind Meets Body: New Moon in Gemini

“We are not lacking in the dynamic forces needed to create the future.  We live immersed in a sea of energy beyond all comprehension.  But this energy, in an ultimate sense, is ours not by domination but by invocation.” -Thomas Berry

On Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 12:44pm Pacific time, the Moon will conjoin the Sun at 4°47” of Gemini. The New Moon is traditionally conceived of as a time to set intentions for a new cycle of growth, with the following Full Moon (June 9) as a good time to reflect on your intentions and how they have manifested or not.

This Gemini New Moon can offer us a potent window into reconciling the apparent opposites in our lives. Are multiple aims and goals which you feel drawn toward actually in opposition to each other, or perhaps in opposition to the expression of your Soul? Perhaps if you look closely, you will see that what feel like conflicting goals aren’t so much in conflict as requiring patience, endurance, sustained attention and the measured expense of energy. Or a closer look might show that you are living on the surface of life and wearing yourself thin by refusing Soul’s demands to focus attention and energy in particular areas.

Going one level deeper into this lunation, we might consider how the Mars-Saturn opposition of this New Moon relates to “mechanical breakdown” via a split between self-concept and who we truly are. Our self-concept may be colliding with the true nature of reality.  If we regard nature and the physical world in mechanical terms, living through that metaphor can indeed lead to a breakdown. The body as machine results in the alienation of feeling, emotion and Soul, creating inner conflict and confusion, cutting us off from the source of our values and ethics, severing one of the most basic connections to a sense of having our own choices. In this way, our thoughts and ideas become divorced from our daily acts.

Are there ways that you could more fully embody your values and principles? Mars-Saturn can be devoted action and a mature passion, being so humble as to truly belong to the whole and to know how to foster life. Examine your actions not from a place of value judgment (is this good or bad?) but more with an objective eye. What is happening, first of all? Desires and repulsions—all based on our ideas of what should be or how it is supposed to be—will interfere with being present to what you are actually doing in your life.

Looking to Chiron’s T-square aspect with the Mars-Saturn opposition, we might consider ways of healing the mind-body split in our lives. For industrialized societies, this is a deep, deep wound which shows itself in things such as the poisoning of air and waters, since our ideas about the body (Earth) have been given primacy over presence to the needs of that body. Small daily acts towards honoring the body, even as simple as saying “thank you,” could accumulate through the Full Moon of June 9. Don’t burden yourself with too much too soon, as Mars-Saturn asks for a long-term commitment, small steps which build up over time and pay off as you play a long game with a greater return. An intensive focus may look noble, but tends not to endure because such intensity cannot be sustained in the day-to-day. When changes aren’t incremental and slowly integrated, they can’t get to the roots of daily habits.

Another striking feature of this New Moon in Gemini is the exact square between Venus and Pluto, both of which make an exact semisquare (45°) and sesquisquare (135°) to the New Moon, respectively. It calls to mind some words attributed to the Buddha: “If you love, you will know that everything begins and everything ends, and there is a time for beginning and there is a time for ending…one is not in despair, one simply understands, and thanks the other: ‘You gave me so many beautiful gifts….'”  Endings are bound with beginnings. We might consider that we can honor what is passing away through our grief. Whether that is an ideal, a way of being in community, an image we had of ourselves or an intimate relationship, we might allow ourselves to experience the power of love to transform us through its cycles of beginnings and endings.

As we integrate the experiences of the Venus retrograde period which just wrapped up, the Gemini New Moon presents an opportunity to plant our intentions to move into a deeper relationship with our beloved communities of life, our partners and lovers, our colleagues—and our own bodies. How can we allow things to change? How can we cooperate with those changes? Not just in words, but in our deeds.

May your mind celebrate a blessed reunion with your body under this New Moon.