A heart, earth stons, archetype cards for The Guide, the Wounded Child, The Teacher and The Prostitute...with Saturn in the 9th House in Scorpio

Wanna fight?

The week is heavy with cautious Capricorn’s influence and yet the planet of mind, Mercury making a stressed square aspect to the god of war, Mars (exact Jan. 8) setting off existing tensions or initiating new conflict. If you feel the heat of anger rising while you’re speaking to someone, try to put on the brakes and evaluate if you’ll get what you want through shoving or arguing. It could be very hard to catch yourself, though! Mars is in Aries (until Feb. 14) and as the aggressive part of this combo, will be strong and inclined to move fast. On the other hand, Mars-Mercury can help with working through differing perspectives on an issue. You’ll find Mars-Mercury in the skilled debater and the passionate advocate. Fighting (Mars) with words (Mercury) can drive people apart from each other—Mars as the knife edge that separates—but this influence can also help to define or carve out differing (Mars) ideas (Mercury). The key is a willingness to be curious about our anger rather than merely possessed by it. Why does this idea, issue or point matter so much? Does it? If so, what is the best way to get what we want?

Breakdown to breakthrough

Expansive Jupiter is making a dynamic sesquisquare (135°) aspect to liberating Uranus (exact Jan. 9) which can add to the impulsiveness of the moment. But Jupiter-Uranus will also assist the contemplation of the more generative aspects of the currently heavy zeitgeist that is defined by Saturn-Pluto (2018–2021). Saturn-Pluto is carrying the overarching narrative into which all other stories are woven or subsumed. It is driving the momentum to “face reality” and to have a real encounter with what has been previously hidden under the veneer of civilization. Jupiter-Uranus is a very different piece of the evolutionary puzzle containing unexpected breakthroughs. Jupiter-Uranus symbolizes the opening of new vistas of understanding in various human endeavors and the impulse to break free from suffocating structures. This week will be particularly good for reflecting on how the breakdown (Pluto) of consensus reality (Saturn) can create the opening for very positive and life-affirming changes. Perhaps it is an ongoing project of yours or a new inspiration—give it some attention this week in order to plant your ideas, projects and efforts within the reality of the trauma of the birth experience of Saturn-Pluto. How can the breakdown help the breakthrough you’re dreaming of and working for?

Family of mushrooms breakdown to breakthrough in the damp Douglas fir forest

Synergy versus power play

Sociable Venus has just entered Sagittarius (Jan. 7 – Feb. 3) and will aid our efforts to network with others and expand our spheres of support, cooperation and reciprocity. She is also making a hard semisquare (45°) aspect to the lord of the underworld Pluto (exact Jan. 12) which can add a little oomph to our connections—for better and for worse! Along with the egoic Sun’s conjunction to Pluto (exact Jan. 11), we may have to explore our ability to share power with others and get real about our true orientation to the cosmological power of synergy, which is the power of working together. Synergy may require us to shift our perspective on boundaries and identity, adopting new contexts and joining with others to create larger wholes. True synergy results in more energy, creativity and productivity for all—it is a mutually beneficial relationship. But Sun-Pluto emphasizes our own personal quest for power: the ability to cause or prevent change that arises from the fact of our deep interrelatedness with all beings. Do we crave power over others? Do we battle for control? Can our identity expand to include the others—seen and unseen, human and other-than-human—whose active cooperation will magnify our own power, reach and effectiveness? This kind of expansion can surely be experienced as a breakdown and yet could give us one of the biggest breakthroughs of the year.

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!

Welcome to the second week of April 2018 and the Aries New Moon, which is strongly associated with new beginnings, fresh starts and the renewal of a cycle. The Sun squares Pluto and Venus trines Mars (exact Apr. 10), providing some of us with some insight into a struggle for power in our lives. Venus is sitting pretty in her home sign of sensuous, earthy Taurus and also making an opposition with Jupiter in the depths of Scorpio, but the total astrological picture suggests we may need to consciously call in the juicy, open-heartedness that Venus-Jupiter aspect suggests. It’s juicy in that it’s still complicated. Taurus gets a rap of being “simple,” but in the presence of insecurity it can also exhibit jealousy or possessiveness. While this could relate to relationships between people, it could certainly apply to possessiveness of material or worldly goods, or even jealousy of others’ (apparent) spiritual power, knowledge or higher learning. I define power as the ability to cause or prevent change, which arises from the fact of communion, or being deeply related to all things. If you want to engage in power as if it is an object that must be taken or grabbed from another, then you will join a common crowd in misunderstanding the nature of change. But for the next two to three weeks, you may also find such efforts quite self-destructive.

We notice that Venus also makes a sextile with Neptune, the planet of divine dreams and delusion (exact Apr. 12) as if trying to pour some love and prayerful intention into what looks to be an ambitious and perhaps unsettling week. Maybe she is reminding us that power isn’t something that anyone has or owns, but is rather something that is created from an interactive process. “The universe is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects” according to the theologian and ecological thinker Thomas Berry. Stopping to consider our options from this perspective—that power is not so much a possession but more of an interactive force—can help bring awareness to an open window we hadn’t noticed for all our pounding on a closed door. Perhaps we will find it is just a hop down to the ground and out of the building we feel so trapped in right now. (Okay, some of you may have to climb out on a tree limb, but it will be a sturdy friend!)


Turning our attention to the New Moon happening on April 15 at 5:57pm US/Pacific, it’s worth noting that Mercury returns to direct motion in the early hours of that day. Decisions may be taken that have been under consideration or review for the last couple of weeks, as hesitance turns to action. Confusion may slowly lift as Mercury gets back up to speed over the next few days, though there may be some lingering interference with mental clarity. Sharpness may come in other forms—biting criticism, or heavy judgment—while for others, emotional distortions may prolong the confusion as Mercury retraces their steps until leaving the “shadow” of their retrograde on May 2. Be open to questioning your own narratives of events—take a critical perspective and entertain contrary possibilities. Yet the ultimate arbiter will be the depth of your connection to your higher self or highest good, which can best assist with navigating any uncharted or dicey terrain over the next two weeks.

The configuration of this Aries New Moon, with a close conjunction of Sun, Moon and Uranus, speaks of change and a desire for forward movement. If you know you are in a moment of change, you could anticipate a Uranian unexpected or Trickster quality imprinted upon the seeds of renewal or beginning/ending you plant at this time. Trickster can be a bit of a killjoy for our ego at times, but make no mistake: Trickster made this world.

If you recognize you are standing at a crossroads, it is well worth it to make some time to connect to your higher self, your Soul, your deepest knowing, to the divine good—however you conceive of that—and ask for any protector or helper deities, angels, guardians with which you have a relationship or affinity to stand with you. You might pray or intend for your own generosity of spirit, and include a litany of gratitude in the welcoming of what this Aries New Moon brings. Harness Venus-Jupiter’s open heart to the highest good for all beings, for yourself and for everyone and ask for the insight and the wisdom to hear and understand what is revealed to you in the coming weeks. Rooting into your highest good is the most powerful rudder for those who feel hard pressed to either embrace or make a change.

We might all well reflect on a version of the Serenity Prayer sometimes heard in 12-Step Programs: “God grant me the Serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the Courage to change the one I can, and the Wisdom to know that it’s me.”

And in this way, Mars, Saturn and Pluto, who are currently colliding in determined Capricorn, could be turned towards the strength to serve a great discernment, a Great Work, perhaps even your role in the dream of the Earth. And should this be relevant to your life: it’s a fitting time for severing ties to the past which impede your growth and which may in fact endanger your life in some way—metaphorically, or even physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. If there is this aspect in your life, it is unlikely to be coming from nowhere, but will rather be rooted in something ancient, something known, perhaps an old pattern you haven’t quite shaken loose. Be kind to yourself—you deserve nothing less!


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