High alpine total lunar eclipse

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!

This week’s astrological forecast is written for the plant-wise Anima Mundi Apothecary newsletter!  And this week also features herbal insights into Mercury and a mind tonic recipe helpful for navigating the current Mercury retrograde by herbalist Adriana Ayales.

Also check out Anima Mundi’s herbal explorations of the SUN as well as the MOON, and sign up for their valuable weekly newsletter to receive information on the rest of the planets in their series on astrology+herbs along with DIY tips for health and wellness.

Click here for a look at the HERBS OF MERCURY and a mind tonic recipe







The full forecast for this week, an abbreviated version appears in the Anima Mundi Apothecary newsletter:

It’s a busy week here at the midpoint of Mars’ two months in retrograde motion with Mercury stationing retrograde (July 25) just before a very dynamic total lunar eclipse on July 27. However, the week opens with the relational graces of Venus opposing transcendental Neptune (exact July 24), alerting us to be wary of painting too rosy or too gloomy a picture of our friends, workmates or romantic partners. While this influence is strong for a short week, it will also place its stamp on the total lunar eclipse so that its meaning will unfold through at least the next six months. With Venus-Neptune comes a strong suggestion to be faithful to the quest for truth—how you come into knowledge of the truth will be just as important as grasping the “simple facts.”

Do you have a tendency to get swept into gossip? Gossip is a tool of the powerless and the powerful alike, and in its more negative form seeks to undermine others rather than support and draw out the best in everyone. Gossip can be mean-spirited or simply come from a wounded place, so that it drains a community’s vitality, damaging some connections while making others more influential than they otherwise would be. We all participate in gossip to some degree, but check in on your motivations for participating in conversations about others which do not include the direct input of those others. And carefully consider the motivations of those who would share or create gossip with you. Your quest for truth and serving divine purposes will be best supported by an attitude of compassion toward whatever pain, wounding or unmet need pushes people to create alliances or a feeling of security through sharing secrets or making a spectacle of human shortcomings.

As we appraise the value and merit of various communications and perspectives, take note: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Not only the “too good” but the “too awful” as well…if you come across the perfect monster to fit your worst nightmares, that may also be too good to be true! All the same, we may be witnessing many hopeful new partnerships forming and then dissolving, as well as existing partnerships breaking up or changing significantly over the next six months. Stability in general is challenged but don’t forget to reach out to your connections to the other-than-human world—plant, animal and mineral allies, the nature spirits you commune with and all types of earthly connection with the divine will help guide you through the confusion that Mars’ and Mercury’s retrograde may be churning up.

The total lunar eclipse happens on July 27 at 1:20pm US/Pacific at 4° Aquarius and involves a close, tense aspect to the summer-long square between Mars and Uranus. If you are drawn to blaze a new path, know that a working through of the past—or being worked over by past actions, or karma—will not be easily avoided. The long-term influences of Saturn trine Uranus and Jupiter trine Neptune can help open your heart to more challenging realizations about yourself as well as others. Ask what practical, grounded ideals of beauty might enable you to work with your karma in a more generative way, while being wary of over-idealizing your own capacities or noble intentions. (It’s okay to be human—really!!) Especially do not mistake a feeling of confident enthusiasm with a well-considered action. You might check the houses of your natal chart that the Sun in Leo and the Moon in Aquarius fall in to see which areas of your life are potentiated. While you may not be surprised by the areas of life which are highlighted, there may yet be a surprising new wrinkle, a relief, an unburdening, a blessing—even if that blessing comes in disguise.

Key dates for Mercury retrograde:
July 6, 2018 – Mercury enters shadow 11° Leo
July 25, 2018 – Mercury stations retrograde 23° Leo
Aug. 18, 2018 – Mercury stations direct 11° Leo
Sept. 1, 2018 – Mercury exits shadow 23° Leo

Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With 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. Get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

SATURN RETURN SPECIAL    In honor of the generation born roughly 30 years ago with a Saturn-Uranus-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn, I am offering everyone with natal Saturn placed from 25° Sagittarius to 29° Capricorn ~ roughly those born Jan. 1929 – Nov. 1932; Mar. 1958 – Jan. 1962; and Dec. 1987 – Feb. 1991 ~ a special Saturn return reading at the following reduced rates for a limited time only:

Returning clients
$65 for 60 minutes
$35 for 30 minutes

New clients
$75 for 60 minutes
$40 for 30 minutes

This week features a total lunar eclipse, or “blood moon,” which is also a blue moon, meaning a second full moon in a calendar month. It is also a supermoon, which happens when the moon comes closer to the Earth than usual (14% closer), making it 30% brighter. The extra special features of the Full Moon converge on 11° Leo, which is exact at 5:26AM US/Pacific time on Wed., Jan. 31, 2018. Mercury will enter Aquarius just shortly thereafter, moving us from a more strategic, rational mindset to one of cool detachment and a willingness to entertain different ideas. It offers a chance to open up to new perspectives and perhaps take a step back from entanglement in problematic emotions—though beware of becoming so detached that you become impersonal and unfeeling and lost in conceptual reality. Trying to escape an unpleasant reality is a far cry from gaining fresh perspective on it to move things in a better direction.

The Full Moon in Leo

Venus at 16°Aquarius is caught up in this total lunar eclipse, which brings an emphasis to surface appearances, matters of reciprocity, sentiments, pleasures and beauty as well as romantic, social and work relationships. Venus in Aquarius values freedom, individuality, perhaps being a little shocking with unconventionality or originality. And so you are called to be true to yourself as you are confronted with your unconscious or semiconscious habits of relating to others. Be that in friendship, in romantic partnership, in collegial or workplace relationships—this Full Moon is your cue to take note of the ways you sabotage yourself in relationships without really being aware of it. How this shows up could be reflected in the condition of your own natal Venus, and how it is aspected by other planets. Here are a few jumping off points for your reflection – find the planetary combination(s) with Venus found in your chart:

Venus-Sun – It’s nice to be liked, and doesn’t Venus-Sun crave that! But conflicts which you have been avoiding, or faults in yourself which you have glossed over may come bounding towards you with a test of your ability to be honest.

Venus-Mercury – Diplomacy falls flat when it’s only serving of your self-interest and to the detriment of your community. Those with Venus-Mercury may find themselves forced to show their hand around this Leo Full Moon.

Venus-Moon – Whether sticky sweet and overly empathetic, or using charm to coerce or deceive, this Leo Full Moon may bring those with Venus-Moon some perspectives which cause divisions or otherwise bring in needed objectivity to their interaction with others.

Venus-Mars – Perhaps you love a good quarrel, or enthusiastically pursue nearly every romantic opportunity, no matter how complicated, and so this Full Moon may shine a light on ways in which you damage potentials for genuine connection.

Venus-Jupiter – A tad self-indulgent at times, where too much is just not enough? Or is it that your expectations of others are off the charts? Perhaps this Full Moon will help you get a handle on knowing when enough is enough.

Venus-Saturn – It’s okay to be discerning but where has the quest for discernment lapsed into fear? A collision with boundaries that hamper the flow of connection may be a feature of the Leo Full Moon.

Venus-Uranus – The consequences of erratic choices or inconstancy in relationships may enter your awareness, asking you to evaluate how you achieve independence within relationship or how you might better serve your love of the unconventional.

Venus-Neptune – Go easy on yourself if your illusions begin to falter under the influence of this Full Moon. There is a profound art to retrieving projections of the ideal onto others, and retrieving parts of your own Soul thereby. Let disappointment guide you to deeper knowledge, as you offer the radical acceptance of a loving parent to the part of you that may feel victimized.

Venus-Pluto – Your addiction to radical vulnerability is highlighted in this lunation, and payoff can come through looking at how you put your heart or sense of well-being firmly in the hands of others. Not how anyone “makes you” do so, but in fact, what is by your own choice.