Tag Archives: venus retrograde

Healing Our Relationship to Belief: Astrology of December 4 – December 10, 2018

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!

The Quest for Accountability: Astrology of November 27 – December 3, 2018

We begin the week with Mercury’s retrograde backing over the Sun and Jupiter (exact Nov. 27 US/Pacific) in Sagittarius, signaling the halfway point of Mercury’s current retrograde period. Right around this time, we may receive information relevant to the substance of this retrograde, especially that material it would be helpful to review, rework, reconsider or revisit. This information may very well pertain to works you will write and perhaps publish, new philosophical insights, material you find worthy of teaching to others, and what of yourself will come to be shared with others as Jupiter makes his way into the interior of Sagittarius (through Dec. 2019). There could be a little bit of impatience or difficulty concentrating or focusing on what we should be investigating but we could try to incorporate our wanderings into our days. Jot down your stray thoughts in the moment and short reminders to later attend to the distractions that would threaten your focus. You may also find your sleep and your daytime concentration improved if, before going to bed, you take time to write down everything you intended but did not accomplish that day. Don’t reflect on it or make your notes neat and organized; let it all flow out in a stream of consciousness. Tell yourself before closing your eyes: I have it written down, so I can remember to get to it tomorrow.

Quote: "People pay for what they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it simply: by the lives they lead." -James BaldwinThe Moon will enter Virgo on Nov. 29 until Dec. 1 US/Pacific, squaring the Sun in Sagittarius in her Last Quarter phase. During this part of the week, we may find ourselves in a more critical, fault-finding mode. Virgo in its unintegrated aspect can be fairly obsessed with “whose fault it is” and while the quest for accountability is necessary for justice making, beware of blowing things out of proportion or seeking a too simple answer. The strong Sagittarian currents can fuel arrogance and overconfidence, and as Mercury backs into Scorpio on Dec. 1, the desire to uncover deeper truths will rise. The danger here is descending into paranoia and scapegoating attitudes, especially as Venus makes her final opposition to Uranus (exact Nov. 30) and moves forward into Scorpio herself (Dec. 2). During her retrograde this year, Venus opposed Uranus on Oct. 31 and Sept. 12 and this final opposition of Venus retrograde may call forth the many upsets and unsettling shifts of 2018. Why did that happen? Who did this? Indeed, whose fault was that? Whatever disturbing or unwanted events remain unmetabolized may boil to the surface and seek out your care and attention. For those who have worked diligently with the twists of fate of 2018, Venus opposite Uranus this week may feel more like a test of hard-won stability and present an opportunity to solidify insight, new ways of relating and identifying oneself.

Set within the larger Saturn-Pluto cycle (2018-2021), the overlapping Mars and Venus retrogrades of 2018 carried with them the onset of “birth contractions” which will culminate in 2020 to 2021. If we think of Pluto as the base desire to persist, to exist, to be alive and Saturn as endings and death, historical circumstances and the necessities of being in a body—when the two come together, the desire to live meets the limits of that living. In response, new things wish to emerge, perhaps even a new version of yourself, your sense of family, reciprocity, belonging, community, sexuality, passion and guiding values. Unfortunately, this planetary archetypal collision between instinctive survival (Pluto) and real limitations (Saturn) can produce so much fear, paranoia and obsession with control—hence the rise of dictatorships and all manner of authoritarian institutions. This trend will intensify through 2019 and 2020, and taking a moment here near the end of 2018 to breathe, assess and re-assess the way we are living, how we direct our finite energy, the communities we serve and our deepest commitments can give us the grounds to be responsive rather than reactive to destructive/creative pressures of the anima mundi, or Soul of the World.

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!

New Wrinkles: Astrology of November 13 – November 19, 2018

This week’s astrological forecast is written for the plant-wise Anima Mundi Apothecary blog. All about Jupiter’s grand transition into Sagittarius, Venus going direct, and the Soul of the World.

Click here for astrology of the week of Nov. 13 – Nov 19, 2018

Anima Mundi Apothecary blog with image of plants representing women's reproductive system

And for those affected by the California wildfires or poor air quality, please see Anima Mundi’s latest newsletter featuring 6 LUNG HERBS for the body and mind, supporting healing for lungs, grief and trauma. And sign up for this valuable weekly newsletter to receive useful info on herbs along with DIY tips for health and wellness every Monday!

 


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!

Too Close or Too Distant: Astrology of October 2 – October 9, 2018

***Check out NEW Real Imaginal Daily Divinations on Instagram!***

Venus carries the big news in the sky this week as she stations retrograde on Oct. 5 at 10° Scorpio and backs up to 25° Libra where she will turn direct on Nov. 16. Though these dates demarcate Venus’ time in retrograde, there is a “shoulder season” of retrogrades known as the shadow period that contains precursors as well as culminations of events which carry the significance of Venus’ initiatory descent into the underworld. The shadow period started on Sept. 3, when Venus first passed 25° Libra. And though she returns to direct motion on Nov. 16, she remains in the shadow of her retrograde until Dec. 16, when she moves through 10° Scorpio. In other words, her influence spans more than three months.

The planet Venus represents many seductions we can spend a lifetime pursuing: money, sex, love, community and the sweeter things of life. Venus in our individual birth charts will describe what we value and how we give and receive in various relationships, as well as our pursuit of pleasure. When Venus in the sky turns retrograde, our particular interests in these areas and qualities of life can intensify or take a sudden turn as hidden or suppressed aspects emerge and demand to be dealt with. The 2018 retrograde could bring up especially tender feelings around issues of fidelity or loyalty, fairness or equality in commitments with others, feelings of or revelations of actual betrayals, our vulnerabilities concerning income and livelihood, and especially any imbalances in exchanges of our time and energy with others. Venus does signify romantic partners, but also holds sway over friendships, work relationships and basically any relationship that is not family, as family is more governed by the Moon.

Chart for Libra New Moon 2018
Chart for 2018 Libra New Moon

This Venus retrograde is a good influence for our inner work around questions of intimacy and distance. How close is too close for us (or not close enough)? Why is that our boundary? Is it a good or a functional boundary? How do we negotiate others’ requests to come closer or to back away? It’s more possible at this time to see both the causes and effects of our patterns of negotiating proximity—whether that is physical, emotional or spiritual closeness or distance. It can also be a very tense and perhaps reactive period of time, as Scorpio may lend a tendency to be quick to anger and to defend (as does Venus’ square aspect to aggressive Mars at the front end of this period). The desire to control others could emerge for your inspection—whether you are the one who wants control or the one who is being dominated. Since Venus retrogrades through roughly the same part of the zodiac every eight years, we can look back at the years 2010, 2002 and so on to see what areas or topics of life were activated around October/November for a preview of what 2018’s retrograde could center on.

However, throughout this particular retrograde Venus opposes Uranus, the planet of liberation and unexpected change which suggests breaking free of outgrown habits and perhaps an unpleasant surprise or two in Venusian areas of life. An exciting new relationship—love, business, friendship or income-related—could form but look closely at its prospects for longevity and don’t form an emotional attachment too quickly. The true nature of this relationship could take time to unfold and that doesn’t mean you won’t get something quite lovely in the end—in fact, you may get more than you ever dreamed was possible but only if you let a healthy curiosity and openness lead the way, rather than fear or habits of relating that no longer serve you.

Venus does back up into her home sign of Libra (entering Libra on Nov. 2) which strengthens any intentions we would like to set on this week’s New Moon in Libra at 8:46pm US/Pacific on Oct. 8, particularly in the areas of fairness or equality in our relations (who gives, who receives, and how); how you try to promote harmony (is it a superficial playing nice, or engaging in honest if uncomfortable conversations); your judgmental versus your discerning nature; and your tactics and strategies for getting what you want. Use this Libra New Moon to plant seeds of justice and reciprocity and hold yourself accountable to your own higher standards. It’s okay if your own shortcomings come to light over the retrograde—it will provide a golden opportunity to further develop and honor the beauty of the truth at the center of your being.

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


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!

The Obscured Comes to Light: Astrology of September 25 – October 1, 2018

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The equinox is just behind us and our week opens with the vibrant Sun squaring somber Saturn (exact Sept. 25) while underworldly Pluto comes rumbling to a halt (stationing direct Sept. 30). Some of us will be feeling the strain of work or responsibility or just a general sobering of our exuberance as Saturn reminds us of the details we overlooked or the mistakes and problems yet to be resolved. Pluto’s slowing intensifies his presence wherever he is transiting our personal chart—it’s hard to forget the time I once found a half-decomposed mouse in my recycling bin, swimming with Pluto’s regenerative if repulsive lifeforms, just as Pluto was stationing. We may be catching a greater whiff of the stench of needed if unwanted decay in personal, professional and civic spheres and it will be helpful to alternate between disgust and reverence for the whole process. There is a good reason we tend to prefer to steer clear of death and decay, and yet its presence is vital to the continuance of life. How can your repulsion guide you towards life-affirming actions, decisions and affiliations with others? Can you remain humble to the fact that you, too, have a “sinister side?”

With communicative Mercury in the sky approaching their square to regenerative Pluto, our thoughts might quite naturally drift down into the broody depths. And while we may be confronted with important information we have failed to notice until now, there may be little we can do about it, at least in the immediate term. And yet the desire to act will be spurred by the Sun’s trine to energetic Mars (exact Sept. 27) and so we may try to plough ahead with renewed, optimistic intensity. Will this work? Maybe.

Because the planet of harmony Venus is also slowing down to make her retrograde station (Oct. 5) and may also bring some unexpected twists to normally functional social relations. Our attempts to assert ourselves could be ill-received or just go nowhere, as needed connections or supports remain elusive, or require more of us than we expected. On the other hand, your assertion could lead in an unexpected direction and it would be wise to take it slowly and use the incoming Mercury-Pluto influence to gather good intel—listen carefully, peer beneath surfaces, don’t settle for the superficial perspective. Just be careful of bumping into a hornet’s nest or stepping into a yellowjacket hive as you go!  Tender situations are easily provoked and it’s possible that your investigations will reveal more than you ever actually wanted to know. But stick with a low and slow tempo for most of this week—patience can pay greater dividends than charging at windmills or banging your head against a door that’s not ready to open.

Note, too, that the trickster Mercury is now scouting out ahead of the Sun and aspecting Pluto before the Sun does, perhaps bringing you hints, clues and tidbits that will prepare you for the meaning of upcoming Venus retrograde (in Pluto’s sign of Scorpio, also backing into her home sign of Libra) as well as the upcoming square of the Sun to Pluto (exact Oct. 11). Listen in to the end of this week and the beginning of the next for clues about your mid-October plans. Not only could secrets, betrayals and “shady” types of information surface, but word could come from powerful allies, shapeshifting peers or even siblings, as well as powerful inner figures. If you’ve been playing around with malevolent or unwholesome forces without any real understanding of what it is you’re dabbling in—take notice. Some kind of fallout from those associations is imminent. The Aries Full Moon we’ve just experienced (on Sept. 24) will have likely triggered or confirmed these developments.


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!

On Sept. 29, I will be giving a Kepler online webinar on An Uncommon Saturn Return: The Capricorn Stellium of 1988-1991 (registration at the link).

Looking for the Center: Astrology of September 11 – September 18, 2018

***Check out NEW Real Imaginal Daily Divinations on Instagram!***

The story in the sky this week centers on sweet Venus’ opposition to erratic Uranus (exact Sept. 12), which is sharply punctuated by a T-square formation with the swordsman himself, Mars. We can expect the beginnings (or a deepening) of a re-organization in our social sphere which may impact our friendships, our sources of income, our intimate partnerships and our ideas about how to love and be loved. While the period of Sept. 7 through Sept. 16 may produce a number of shocks or major turns, it is reasonable to expect various consequences and additional wrinkles to the plot to roll into the Venus retrograde this fall. (See bottom for key dates of the 2018 Venus retrograde.)

Since aesthetically attuned Venus makes her retrogrades in a symmetrical fashion, retrograding through the same part of the zodiac every eight years, it is useful to reflect on what was going on for you in fall 2010 in the sphere of love, friendships, money and sex. You might also reflect on what was happening for you around the topic(s) of the house(s) she was retrograding through in your personal chart as these areas of life will similarly be stimulated during the present retrograde. You can also reach back in memory to previous retrogrades for hints and suggestions of what may unfurl this fall, such as 2002, 1994, 1986 and so on. This particular retrograde is notable for its overlap with the Mars retrograde which is winding down (Mars leaves the shadow of his retrograde on Nov. 12) and its opposition to the revolutionary impulses of Uranus. There could be alternating periods of confusion and clarity around key relationships in your life which have anchored your identity up to this point. Re-orienting to a different social self may be unpleasant at times but it will ultimately be liberating, as you tune into the demands of Saturn in Capricorn, who wants solid life support structures. Fortunately, stabilizing Saturn’s harmonious trine aspect to earthquaking Uranus offers a bit of support for a more life-affirming movement.

The planet of mind, Mercury makes their opposition to illogical Neptune (exact Sep. 13), which can make clear thinking a bit challenging. As suggested for last week’s New Moon in discerning Virgo, altering one’s consciousness in various ways could catalyze access to greater spiritual knowledge, particularly as Mercury applies to their trine with the penetrating depths of Pluto (exact Sep. 15). It is not necessary to take powerful mind-altering substances, particularly since the astro-weather already heightens the potential for reaching into more transcendent or inscendent realms of consciousness. In fact, centering practices such as meditation, contemplative practice and mantras as well as yoga asana can be much more useful in bringing some focus to what could otherwise be a blurry or indistinct state of mind. Exploring more artistic and poetic modes of expression is also supported, as Pluto’s influence brings even more of the underworld of the unconscious to the surface. However, this could also translate into messy conversations with a great deal of misunderstanding and suspicion or paranoia mixed in! Slow down and take it easy if you are in a contentious situation as the air may clear of its own accord by the end of the week.

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


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!

I will also be appearing Sept. 15 in Portland, Oregon with the Oregon Astrological Association offering a 3-hour workshop on Saturn-Pluto and You: The birth contraction of 2018 – 2021. Then on Sept. 29, I will be giving a Kepler online webinar on An Uncommon Saturn Return: The Capricorn Stellium of 1988-1991 (registration at the link).

Which Way Is Up?: Astrology of September 4 – September 10, 2018

***Check out NEW Real Imaginal Daily Divinations on Instagram!***

As many of us orient to all the changes, delays, frustrations or re-directions the outgoing Mars retrograde period has brought in (beginning in early May/ mid-June), the planet of harmony, Venus begins to enter her slightly overlapping retrograde period, entering the shadow of the path of her retrograde at 25° Libra (Sept. 3) and squaring the planet of discord Mars (exact Sept. 8). They are both making a hard aspect to trickster Uranus, alerting us to be on the lookout for mischief in our intimate, social and work environments. Tensions that have been hidden may suddenly spring into the light, or ongoing problems may finally boil over. Patience is running short and this configuration can indicate a desire to completely overhaul existing agreements and arrangements.

Meanwhile, Saturn is moving at his slowest as he prepares to return to direct motion through the zodiac on Sept. 6 at 2° Capricorn. Waves of karma are spinning some of us in great circles, while others of us take bold and decisive steps to break free of ancient restrictions, however problematic the jailbreak may be. Sometimes falling two steps backwards will provide an impetus to take a great leap forward—even if that setback is annoying or baffling at the time. For everyone invested in their healing path to psychospiritual wholeness: we never get rid of our wounding and our karmic tendencies. As these are attended to with care and tenderness, they may become more integrated and less overwhelming, but they’re still there. The path towards wholeness is more of a spiral, so that the next time we encounter a particular wound, we get a different viewpoint of it from along the spiral, but the wound is not simply gone. With each encounter comes the chance to gather more wisdom about ourselves and the human condition.

Which brings us to the Virgo New Moon at 11:01am US/Pacific on Sept. 9, 2018. This New Moon offers a powerful conversation around health and wellness, whether psychological, spiritual, physical or emotional, in large part due to its close opposition aspect with the planet of healing, Neptune in Pisces. Virgo can be health obsessed and perhaps that’s because of the desire to never be in the position of needing help (overly independent). Virgo’s opposite, Pisces, can be too vulnerable to external influences and therefore constantly in need of help (overly dependent). Both Virgo and Pisces are service-oriented, perhaps out of recognition of vulnerability both large (Pisces) and small (Virgo) and this New Moon could represent a melting of old defenses that are no longer needed—or a complete meltdown of epic proportions. The Mars Retrograde of the past few months has highlighted for a great many people any incongruity between their ambitions and their capacities, especially physical limitations. If we’ve listened to the signals to slow down, we are in a better position to rearrange our strategies for self-care. If we’ve ignored those signs…this may represent a breakdown point.

Regardless of your current trajectory, Virgo’s potent powers of discernment can be challenged by such a strong aspect from Neptune, who can create confusion and disorientation. But if we take time to alter our ordinary ego consciousness and enter into other, more Neptunian ways of knowing, we may receive some vital information on: the state of the sacred union of the active and receptive principles within ourselves; how to fortify our boundaries, whether energetic or more material; where or how we should practice more vulnerability; how to open our hearts to ourselves; the nature of freedom and attachment in relationship. Altering our consciousness could look like taking inner journeys with the spirits of plants, including non-entheogenic plants who reach out to us as allies, such as ocotillo, motherwort, cornsilk, black cohosh, hydrangea, devil’s club, hawthorn, and so on.


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!

I will also be appearing Sept. 15 in Portland, Oregon with the Oregon Astrological Association offering a 3-hour workshop on Saturn-Pluto and You: The birth contraction of 2018 – 2021. Then on Sept. 29, I will be giving a Kepler online webinar on An Uncommon Saturn Return: The Capricorn Stellium of 1988-1991 (registration at the link).

A Prayer For Venus Retrograde 2017

“Love is not the same thing as analysis.”

This approach to personal development came to me through Bill Plotkin of Animas Valley Institute, though I don’t know the origins of the sentiment. But the difference in orientation is profound. When we consider our approach to natal charts, whether our own or others’, analysis brings flesh to an entirely different animal than the one animated by love.

Venus stations direct April 15, 2017

To analyze something means to pull it apart, to try to separate a phenomenon into different parts in order to understand how it functions. Analysis starts off with value judgments and assumes that the one who is analyzing has an answer to a designated “problem,” or the correct view on matters. It tends to discount the native intelligence of the psyche or soul itself, the intelligence in its functioning just as it is, the inherent value of its activity and existence apart from whether the observer may appreciate it or not.

Love offers quite a different approach. Rather than pulling things apart to answer “how” (and therefore bring under control), love tends to draw parts together, making a space between the observer and the observed in which reflection can happen. Awareness can emerge under the application of love. No scrutiny need cause a behavior, an attitude, a memory to scuttle back into hiding, because it is welcome to be itself. Love thus promotes self-disclosure, and allows for a greater wholeness to weave itself.

Orienting by love, various parts of the natal chart and their associated activities can themselves disclose what is problematic, which promotes an infinitely more stable and cohesive solution. Our solutions are defined by the way a question is asked, by the way a problem is posed.

An orientation of loving is rooted in a fundamental trust in the intelligence of the soul or psyche, that it knows what it needs for healing and wholeness to come in its own time. Outgrown behaviors or stances did serve their purpose for a time and should be honored for their roles in our lives. Good or bad, they bring us to this present moment which is curiously the only time in which things seem to happen. When we’re able to be exactly where we are and how we are, and in the present with that reality, things can change, move and flow in time.

What happens if we offer this attitude to the entire world around us? Our partners, our children, our neighbors, our politicians? What sort of space for new possibilities could open up?  This may be a repugnant idea to many, and such is love, not the soft, cuddly, cloying thing it has been made out to be. If nothing else, though, we could try this when working through interpersonal conflicts with those whom we already care about. What if, rather than analyzing them as if we know what the problem/solution is, we offer our curiosity and presence so that both (or all) parties can witness a disclosure of the nature of the conflict.

It can be difficult to let the other person(s) have their own feelings and perspective and not try to make it better, change it or “fix” things. But that is one of the greatest gifts we can give to each other, to allow the intelligence of the other being to try to express itself. Whether that is an inner figure of our own psyche, or a fellow being on this planet, cultivating an attitude of love can generate awareness which makes visible more choices, and offers a chance for real understanding.