Bowl with Central Fish Motif , 13th century China

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!

View of San Francisco from Alcatraz Island / image by Joshua Halpern ::

Our week opens with the Sun awkwardly squaring eccentric Chiron (Dec. 19) and fluidly trining the even more eccentric Uranus (Dec. 20), which could offer us a glimpse of painful obstacles that make it hard to tap into and offer our creative gifts. Sun trine Uranus is nice for creative openings, inspiration and fresh insights but Chiron’s square may place a few hurdles in our way. Beliefs around scarcity and abundance may be particularly present, but our own natal placement of Chiron (where Chiron is located in our birth chart) may also indicate the nature of impediments. It is hard if not impossible to just power on past what Chiron wants us to look at, but the good news is that it is possible that Uranus can lend a helping hand of a fresh approach to an old problem. Start exactly where you are (instead of wishing you were in that ideal place where the creative flow is happening) and focus on honoring and addressing the obstacle and you may get some surprisingly good results!

This is happening as we are wending our way towards the Solstice point of 0° Capricorn (Dec. 21), signaling winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern hemisphere. The longest night of the north, the longest day of the south sets the stage for the Cancer Full Moon on Dec. 22 at 9:49am US/Pacific. The Sun and the Moon are teetering on the edge of Capricorn/Cancer and this face-off of conscious (Sun) and unconscious (Moon) seems to highlight interpersonal responsibility and the ethic of care. The Moon in Cancer is already very emotional, bringing us in touch with the instinctual response of the child. But Full Moons are particularly charged up as the Sun forms a dynamic relationship with the emotional self that draws forth or expresses feelings, repressed or hidden aspects of the self and the environment which (usually invisible) supports you.

Horoscope of the 2018 Cancer Full Moon

Even though irritable Mars’ tense square aspect to the Full Moon is not very close, it can offer a poke or a prod that will get the ball rolling. With Chiron so close by, care of the self (Cancer) and the responsibility towards the other (Capricorn) may be churning under the pressure to act and indecision on what to do—or the nature of our actions could come under scrutiny. Are we caring enough for those we’re responsible to? Is it just to make us look good, which means that our actions are not properly tied to results or consequences or—heaven forbid—the desires or needs of the others we (pretend to) serve?

As the Moon’s nodes are currently sweeping through Cancer (North Node) and Capricorn (South Node) from Nov. 2018 until May 2020, I notice an emerging discourse of criticism of the philanthropy of corporations and the wealthy, particularly of those based in the United States. Several books have been published which point to the wealthy’s failure to contribute to the tax base of a (theoretically) democratic system of governance while funneling large sums of money to ideas and institutions that are not democratically decided or governed. The results of these efforts are not always beneficial and reflect and can even reinforce structural inequity. (NB: In the United States, certain charitable contributions result in lower taxes.) Such disconnects between an ethic of care and interpersonal responsibility will possibly echo through our own lives, with this Cancer Full Moon providing a sort of catalyst.

In other news, we have Mercury conjoining Jupiter (exact Dec. 21) and squaring Neptune (exact Dec. 24), giving us an opportunity to inquire into how we can bring out the most juicy, generative, creative and buoyant potential of the Jupiter square Neptune world transit (now through Dec 2019). This is an excellent influence for using intuitive means of inquiry—e.g., writing stream of consciousness, using tarot or other divinatory systems, turning on your favorite music and tuning into your body’s movements and gestures, creating collages, or using systemic constellations processes. As I’ve written previously of some of the potential of Jupiter square Neptune, how would we like to heal our relationship to belief itself? Or how would we like to ground our spiritual aspirations into true service to others? Let ourselves be free to get in touch with what WE want to serve—not the whole host of “shoulds” and “this will make me a Good Person” and other social pressures. When we solicit and enact our Soul’s desire, it not only feeds us, it will meet a genuine need in the world, one that we would not even be able to guess at.

On the other side of this Mercury-Jupiter-Neptune transit, look out for being overly optimistic and overestimating your capacities, and being way too sloppy with details. We might instead indulge in works of beauty, immersions in favorite natural settings, asking the Dreamtime to send us important dreams and listening for and recording those dreams. This is an excellent period of time for working with dreams from our sleeping worlds, as well as from our waking worlds. If you are gathering with family over the holidays, be aware of the desire to slip into or communicate a kind of fantasy land. On the one hand, this can be wonderful for healthy childlike wonder and entering into play with children (both inner and outer!) On the other hand, this could create a problematic dynamic if others are wanting to “be real” about something. We may find a generative way through conflicts about “fantasy” and “reality” by acknowledging there are no simplistic answers to complex issues, especially those that have a long history.

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!

With apologies for missing last week’s forecast due to continued illness.

The week of the Solstice opens with a harmonious grand trine between Mercury in Cancer, Jupiter in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces, offering us an imaginative window into our intuition and deeper emotional currents. This particular configuration is in no hurry to get to the bottom of any great mystery and is quite content to float along in dreamy wonder. You might use this influence to communicate to or with the empathic imagination so necessary for human ethical orientation. Also a lovely influence for making offerings to sweet and sassy Oshun, the African orisha of the sweet waters of rivers who enchants whatever she lays her honeyed hands upon, we might ask her to help awaken hardened hearts and rationalizing minds to injustice and wrongdoing everywhere. The beautiful one, Oshun protects the neglected and the impoverished child, acting as the mother of all orphans, such as those forcibly separated from their parents at the United States border—pray to her, speak with her, ask her to please watch over those who are in harm’s way and to open the hearts of those who can help bring healing to that situation and others like it.

The Sun enters the sign of the mother and the child, Cancer on June 21, not long before Venus in generous Leo opposes Mars in the more reserved sign of Aquarius (exact June 21). This bodes well for an examination and cross-examination of the quality of your caregiving. Is your caregiving rooted in love? In abundance? In a state of overflow? Or are you in more of a caretaking mode? Is your care rather rooted in reactions to the needs and thoughts of others? Mired in a loss of your own direction, your own sense of self? The line between “responsive” and “reactive” may seem blurry and there are definitely relationships—such as parenthood—which demand setting oneself aside at times. But maintaining a solid connection to your own deep needs and desires is necessary to make the most of your offerings to the world and to those who need your care. Any inner or interpersonal conflicts between “giving” and “taking” can begin to work themselves out during this opposition, which in some ways opens up the long, dynamic dance between Mars and Venus over the next four months or so as each undertakes their retrograde, starting with Mars next week. The question of self-identity in community, self-identity as one who cares and exactly how that identity radiates into the world can turn up some interesting answers this week!

Image of California’s river systems
from Obi Kaufmann’s book California Field Atlas

The nature of mind will move from the watery grand trine beginning the week to a more powerful, driven quality when Mercury opposes insatiable Pluto (exact June 23). While there is a potential for forceful communication, revelation or release of secrets and powerful advocacy, it could also break down into a screaming match or simple, rogue manipulation. Taking a moment to stop and remember yourself, your true nature, which is an inexhaustible source of love, compassion and wisdom, can help turn this influence towards the type of ferocity required for the occasion. You might recall Oshun’s grace and capacity to calm even the wildest human with her sweet honey, or the Buddhist deity Kuan Yin’s attentiveness to the cries of the world’s need, or figures of whatever tradition or lineage you may follow—express your need for help under pressure, whether that pressure is the pull of old habits or the push of an external provocation—know that you can receive support from realms less visible but no less a part of our reality.



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