Labyrinth in Tilden Park overlooking San Francisco Bay : image by Matthew T. Segall :

We welcome in the first full week of December with the Sagittarius New Moon on Dec. 6 at 11:20pm US/Pacific, highlighting our ambitions to adventure, explore, learn and believe in something greater than ourselves. Sagittarius is considered the home sign of the royal planet Jupiter, whose significations are getting a signal boost since Jupiter entered Sagg about a month ago. As harsh as many realities are, Jupiter in Sagg can encourage us to seek out grounds for optimism or to (re-)establish our relationship with hope, meaning and our purpose in this lifetime. The quest for meaning is a primary quality of the sign of Sagittarius and those who have strong Sagg emphases will often find meaning in even the most challenging of circumstances, when all others would despair. Our relationship to the planet Jupiter reflects our sense of optimism, faith and hope for the future, as Jupiter correlates to good fortune and favor, the ability to grow, opportunities, and philosophy as “a love (philos) of wisdom (sophia).”

Horoscope of the 2018 Sagittarius New Moon
2018 Sagittarius New Moon

This week’s New Moon in Sagg features storyteller Jupiter exactly at the midpoint between messenger Mercury and the fertile conjunction of Sun and Moon. This means that Jupiter—the planet of expansion—draws Mercury—the planet of the mind—into the New Moon configuration and the four planets can work together to infuse any intentions you might like to set for the lunar month ahead. One possibility is to welcome in the healing available from the Jupiter square Neptune world transit (Nov. 2018 – Nov. 2019) which could be a great ally to the intensity and rigidity of the Saturn-Pluto world transit that’s bringing some urgency to our evolutionary process. Jupiter-Neptune is soft, empathic, forgiving, endowed with grand visionary potential and imbues imagination and spiritual experience with an ecstatic, celebratory or humorous quality. In a less integrated form, Jupiter-Neptune can represent the grand delusion, spiritual materialism and an overblown, false religiosity.

Amongst the potentials of the current Jupiter-Neptune alignment is “healing the relationship to belief itself.” Working with this New Moon to explore both your skepticism and your naivety is supported by the Mars conjunction to Neptune (exact Dec. 7) which is aspecting the New Moon. Mars-Neptune can appear as the spiritual warrior and Mars will bring a bit of complexity to Neptune’s square to the New Moon, which might otherwise render us very blurry and indistinct. Mars may function by way of irritation and following the lines of what ails us in order to find reconciliation or healing is suggested by the overall cosmic portrait. Particularly where violations of our boundaries or those whom we care about intersect our belief or our relationship to belief systems, ideologies and philosophies. Sagittarius and Jupiter want us to grow, not to remain in a “repetition compulsion,” the psychological tendency to re-enact traumas again and again and again, with the hope of having a different outcome. A different outcome will require a different viewpoint and the application of conscious self-reflection. Fortunately, Mercury returns to direct motion on Dec. 6 just prior to the New Moon’s exact conjunction, offering hope of thought processes that are more direct and on target. But Mercury’s slowed motion indicates value in moving slowly through thoughts, reflections and feelings. Particularly where injury and trauma is involved, it is important to move at the pace of the body rather than the mind.

Venus’ return to Scorpio (Dec. 2 – Jan. 7) in the wake of her recent retrograde adds to the picture of following the lines of what ails us in order to heal. Venus represents many seductions we can spend a lifetime pursuing: money, sex, love, community. She wants connection and harmony but can have such a hard time in Scorpio because she must first confront whatever is problematic or terrifying within our needs to give and receive love. It’s hard to feel balance, harmony and satisfaction when there is so much “stuff” to metabolize. And what does it mean to metabolize something? Metabolism describes separating nutrients from what is unusable and sorting each to an appropriate place. What is nutrient? What is material for the compost pile? What is a little bit of both? Don’t neglect the nutrient value of whatever may want to emerge from Scorpio’s hidden underworld. It is foundational to the Jupiterian path to wholeness.


Key dates for Venus retrograde:
Sept. 3, 2018 – Venus enters shadow 25° Libra
Oct. 5, 2018 – Venus stations retrograde 10° Scorpio
Nov. 16, 2018 – Venus stations direct 25° Libra
Dec. 16, 2018 – Venus exits shadow 10° Scorpio

Key dates for Mercury retrograde:
Oct. 28, 2018 – Mercury enters shadow 27° Scorpio
Nov. 16, 2018 – Mercury stations retrograde 13° Sagittarius
Dec. 6, 2018 – Mercury stations direct 27° Scorpio
Dec. 24, 2018 – Mercury exits shadow 13° Sagittarius

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!

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!

We open this week with Mercury in the final degrees of Aquarius, where it will snuggle up with the chilly, cerebral Aquarius New Moon on Thurs., Feb. 15 after forming an exact square on Tues., Feb. 13 with the reigning king of the underworld, Jupiter in Scorpio. Your mouth may get you in some trouble if you are unaware that you’re motivated to simply shock or upset others with your clever (you thought) perspective. Even if you know you are trying to upset some apple carts, you still might want to check in on where your intentions are placed. Mercury square Jupiter suggests exaggerating or stretching the truth, or perhaps having an honesty deficiency, so make sure that any of your tall tales will have some entertainment value.

We have an Aquarius New Moon on Thurs., Feb. 15, 2018 at 1:05pm US/Pacific, which also ushers in the Chinese Year of the Dog and the 4,715 year of the Chinese calendar. When the Moon conjoins the Sun in the sky, it is a time of dayworld consciousness (Sun) interpenetrating with the more unconscious, animal self (Moon), when the Sun’s directed, focused nature energizes the deeper, hidden layers of our being. In turn, the Moon may saturate dayworld consciousness with its emotional tides and the immediate needs of the body. The mutual activation of what can appear to be two poles or extremes of the human experience is perhaps why the New Moon is thought to be a good time to plant seeds and set intentions for the lunar month.

Aquarius New Moon 2018

This Aquarius New Moon on Feb. 15 is a partial solar eclipse featuring Mercury in a triple conjunction with the Sun and Moon, squared by Jupiter and sextiled by Uranus. It’s a good New Moon for declaring your quirky, unconventional ways to be fit for human consumption. If you have had any reservations about being exactly as you are because at least part of you feels like a misfit, an alien, an outcast or outsider…this is a good time to explore self-acceptance of those parts of yourself. Is it really the outside world that is judging you? Or an inner critic trying to protect some tender spot or insecurity? How have your coping mechanisms served you so far, and are they still successful? Or do you need a change of strategy? It may be time to trade in some old habits of hiding your uniqueness or the ways that you stand out from the crowd—or to simply notice that those habits of hiding or shying away exist. Venus in Pisces, along with Mars squaring Neptune, can help open your heart to those outcasts or misfits within.

With Venus sextiling Saturn (exact on Feb. 15), your duties and obligations in intimate and platonic as well as workplace relationships are highlighted. It’s generally a good time to make adjustments to those relationships, but other factors may make the situation a little more contentious. While Venus in Pisces provides a kinder tenor to any relational adjustments, you may experience the heights of passive aggression, as unexpressed needs or desires refuse to conveniently disappear, despite having been unexpressed.

Feb. 18 features Mercury’s superior conjunction to the Sun at 28°Aquarius, when Mercury is farthest from Earth and begins its transition over the next few weeks from a morning star to an evening star, eventually joining Venus who is presently low in the western twilight sky. Mercury will enter Pisces on Feb. 17, closely followed by the Sun on Feb. 18, making somewhat of a pileup in the spiritual sign of the fishes: Sun, Mercury, Venus, Neptune and Chiron will all be swimming in the Piscean ocean through March 5. It will be a time to get in touch with that bleeding heart of compassion—however concealed it may be.

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 here!

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


Danger: Open Excavation

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.