New Moon Leo, Sunday, August 15, 2004, 6:24 PM PDT

‘Your heart will give you greater counsel than all the world’s scholars.’—The Talmud

New Moon Leo, Sunday, August 15, 2004, 6:24 PM PDT

The wheel of the zodiac symbolizes a life cycle. The circle as an ancient mandala of life contains 12 houses—corresponding to each zodiac ‘sign’ symbolizing progressive life stages from birth to death. Last month’s new moon cycle in the constellation of Cancer lent the moon’s light to the attention of home, roots, safety, security, nurturance and the elements necessary to sustain and nourish life. At the full moon, deficiencies may’ve been highlighted, or new steps taken to secure basic needs vital to the emotional and physical body’s viability. Imagine that you’ve just passed a crucial step in your development; after all it is one of the four corners of the wheel, a symbolic threshold between the signs of Gemini and Leo. See the four directions, or the four cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) as pillars, the framework holding the whole of the wheel. If you cannot pass Cancer’s call for inner supports, the house falls. This last month gave you the opportunity to shore foundations in some part of your life. Now you prepare to cross the threshold entering Leo’s realm, the lair of the Lion.

Leo is the satisfaction of Cancer’s work. Emotional satiety and physical security, your basic needs have been met. You are now reaching beyond your immediate needs and wake up to the discovery of a light filled world bursting with color and dynamism. This is the fun house of the zodiac, where all the planets love to play and frolic. In traditional astrology, Venus finds her ‘joy’ in Leo’s house as she flirts and teases, entertains as Madame extraordinaire. It’s a phantasmagoria of fun when you hang out in Leo’s house, and Leo will personally introduce you to your heart’s desires, to which Leo swears are the equivalent of longevity elixirs. Leo’s question to you: Who is the person inside you that colors your world with creativity? Will you innate artist, actress, lover, king or queen, hero, sports, fan, child, diva please stand up? There is someone living inside you that makes your spirit hum, possibly belly laugh, actually, magnificently sign at the top of her lungs Opera-diva style. Leo knows no limits to the power and magnetism of self-expression, which you evoke by taking up your passion and following it to its limit.

This passion is personal, not the sexy steamy stuff of Scorpio, the exuberant excitement of Sagittarius or the altruistic save the world or perish passions of Aquarius. It’s the kind Anthony Robbins talks about in his personal power seminars. The walking-on-fire kind. Metaphysical and psychological debates aside, who would ever thought it possible to walk on fire? Who would have the ‘hubris’ to think he could virtually outsmart nature? A Leo. Here the pride and vanity of Leo lends itself to acts of audacious courage.

The word courage has its etiology cour- meaning ‘of the heart’. The word ‘encourage’ means ‘to take heart’. The key to any successful firewalk is the act of taking heart. This New Moon points to the hotbed of your hearts desire. Where can you be a bit more audacious and bold, more willing to take risks and push your personal excellence envelope? It is not an act of pride if it has heart. This heart quality of Leo is a good check against the ego-urge you may confront when you attempt to stop eating humble pie and instead opt for something that reflects your true preferences, tastes and talents. If we are to become truly excellent we must learn to truly take heart—take heart in the truth, strength and beauty contained within our unique contribution to the world. Stepping into a greater level of personal power is no small task and so Leo is saddled with the unfortunate burden of the negative ego. This may be the voice inside which belittles accomplishment, telling you the small acts of beauty you’ve performed are ‘no big deal’. At other times, the negative ego would convince you that you’ve just built the new Taj Mahal—and sell it to your brother! I’m reminded of ancient Egyptian paintings depicting the scales, the judgment of the dead. On one side of the scale is a feather and the other, a heart. Only if the heart is light, may you pass the gates. The action is praiseworthy, no matter how big or small, if it has heart. Leo reminds: If it has heart, Praise Be!

I had a conversation with my neighbor last week about the recent death of a relatively young friend of hers. She died of a heart attack, in front of her parish in the arms of her priest. We both marveled at the wonder of that last creative act and agreed that she had chosen a conscious dying. Beyond this though, what lingered in my mind of our conversation was an elegant piece of wisdom my neighbor shared. She said ‘the older I get, the more I realize how alike we all are. Take any accomplished person, President Dynes (UC’s president ) for example probably goes home at night and wonders if he is living it right, worries that he’s disappointed his mother, wonders if he’s on purpose at all. We’re all living with the same hopes and fears.’ It is true; we are all living with the same basic hopes and fears. We all want to be happy; we all want to avoid suffering. They seem to appear in different forms, but are really imposters of the same drive. In one person it looks like designer shoes, in another, a devotion to spiritual practice. No one rises above or rests below hope/fear. Spiritually and philosophically, this drive seems to revolve around the quest for love—love for self and others. Experiences of true love necessitate some degree of self-actualization, the activation of our true potential and life purpose. Why not ask for and believe in the highest from yourself? Like the Cowardly Lion looking for his heart, it may b e necessary to disrobe the lonely little man behind the controls of our smoke and mirrors, the imposter ‘wizard’. Yet, without the courage to undertake the journey to the heart there is no chance of unleashing our true Lion/Lioness potential into the world. Remember this as you dive into unsettled times.

This New Moon occurs during Mercury retrograde, giving us a chance to think before we act. Mercury’s apparent backward motion is not the devil we make him out to be, he allows us time to re-asses and collect our thoughts. Details have been omitted, plans need to be thought through and filled out. Any new moon brings a potential, a promise. We may see the potential of our brilliance but there is m much to sort through before we can shine. Try to shine prematurely, before your mind is settled and you invite Mercury’s malice. This is where the bravado of Leo rushes forward like an actor who has relied on his good looks to earn the part. Mercury in Virgo sees right through this, recognizing the work and substance underneath any craft. And so right now, your mind is well suited to pick out the craftiness in self and others, and right the facts. Pay particular attention this energy quality around 8/18 as backward Mercury meets Mars, both opposing Uranus. This can be an unsettling day, sudden obstacles appearing out of the blue seemingly intent on disrupting routine—a day when movement meets motion and faces off with sudden upheavals. As with any astrological aspect, if you are on your right path, listening to your intuition, this energy doesn’t have to ‘come at you’ but arises as a situation or energy just right for your personal growth. This first appears on the New Moon day, but reverberates throughout this week. A push to do differently appears, albeit somewhat aggressively. Your thoughts and ideas may be peculiarly ‘over the top’ with an urge to ‘act now’ or ‘do or die’. Try to view any extremism with a grain of salt; globally we’re at a very strained time in history. Uranus in Pisces sensitizes us to the unconscious suffering of all. Whether you identify suffering as yours or another’s, realize that we are all now highly sensitized to a much larger body of pain, the pain of the collective. If this energy appears as a personal affront from yourself or another, taking a broader view may be an effective remedy to undue upheaval.

Backtrack to the day of the New Moon 8/16, which sets the energetic tone for this whole 28-day cycle. As discussed above, Mars opposes Uranus creating urgency and the thrust for freedom. Although this agent of change is an agitator, the mind is open to receive the gifts of companionship and compassionate support. Venus in Cancer with Mercury in Virgo epitomizes the empathetic listener, the nurturing friend who says all the right things, lifting your mind out of the morass of overworked, re-hashed details. ‘All this processing is enough to give me a stomach ache!’ says Venus in Cancer. Remember to let yourself be soothed by water, hot baths, and the sea. Stretches of tranquility, family and good food are all helpful.

The Sun moves into the sign of Virgo on 8/22, joining Mercury and Mars in the same sign. This is a threesome absolutely focused on getting down to the essentials. Likely a busy time, roll up your sleeves and dutifully surrender to the clean up work in your life. Sun in Virgo is the janitorial service of the zodiac; the housekeeper that drops in once a year and analyzes the crap (literally) out of your ability to ‘keep house’ when she’s not there. Virgo has a reputation for being nagging, bossy and negative. ‘If you had to perform the white glove test for everyone you knew, you’d be critical too! retorts Virgo. It’s her job to clean the mildew off the bathroom tiles, so point your attention toward ‘living right’. Keep it clean, people!

The first quarter moon on 8/23 may push the envelope when Moon in 0 degrees Sagittarius tries to put the wagon before the horse. With retrograde Mercury joining the Sun, objectivity is questionable, objectivity surrounding our thoughts or the morass of details we face. Traditional astrology says the Sun on top of any planet steals that planets ‘light’ or ability to function. Taking action now may be based on a leap of faith rather than well-thought reason. The next day, 8/24, Mercury retrogrades back into Leo which says again, anything new started now is either a repeat performance or will be repeated in the future. This may be a good time to reconnect with your intention around the new moon, remembering to hold the heart quality contained within your innate creative potential. Put your attention into what makes your passionate heart wildly beat. Let go of excessive self-chatter. Saturn and Jupiter continue to hold ground for whatever you feel may be too ‘up in the air’ right now. Hold onto this inner knowing—that your efforts are leading you to the place you want to be. Your job is staying connected in spirit, to that place you’re headed. This is the ultimate truth of it all—after all this astrological information is just information to help you guide your boat. Your heart contains the message behind the message.

Heading into the full moon, Uranus opposes sun and Venus quincunxes Pluto 8/27. It may be worthwhile to question authority, your own and others. What is the intention behind this authority? What seems impartial may disguise a ‘divide and conquer’ attitude. Who does this attitude serve? If it’s in the service of positive change, you’ll know it and will make adjustments as presented. You may not enjoy this process but as you see the rumblings of the deeper machinery at work realize that anything hidden takes on greater potential for disruption. In the context of our current culture, transformation may be an overused and misunderstood word. It’s not really about seeing something suddenly become different than what it was, like a Jim Carrey character in a movie. Transformation is allowing; the allowing of a process to occur which eventually and ultimately creates a shift. The shift happens as a result of the work done beforehand…silently and when you’re not looking. This day may be an incredibly inventive one, where you find the ability to experiment with new ideas in a deeply profound way. Open your mind to the unusual. Do so and you may hear the call of your true ‘character’, the creative and expressive person you most desire to be. Unleash the light of your inner star.

Full Moon Aquarius, Sunday, August 1, 2004, 11:05 AM PST

Full Moon Aquarius, Sunday, August 1, 2004, 11:05 AM PST

Blue Moons occur once every 2 1/2 years– an astronomical phenomenon where two full moons occur within one 29 1/2 day lunar cycle. The association of the Blue Moon with rarities or flukes is easily linked when considering the infrequency of this event. From Shakespearean sonnets to popular songs, history has given the Blue Moon an enigmatic quality. Will this Blue Moon weave a memorable, original story into your life? Our Full Moon ruler, Uranus, would love to make it so.

In ancient Greek genealogy, Uranus and Gaia were the first divine pair, giving birth to humanity. Uranus is the Sky God, “drawing near and spreading out in all directions, eager for love, enveloped the earth in all directions”*. Uranus mates with Mother Earth, Gaia to produce children, whom upon birth he fears their power and sends them back into the center of the earth, forbidden to leave her belly.

The Aquarian Moon is detached from his instinctual nature, the earth quality of Gaia. This is an unstable moon, at odds with the needs of the body. Ideas and flashes of brilliance pronounce themselves as our future goals are held in a nervous, dreamy tension. The mind flickers on and off in genius moments of possibility, searching for ways of doing something differently, to reach to a yet undiscovered corner of the sky. This is a gift of Uranus—finding solutions that were previously inconceivable.

Uranus is the groomsman of a very earthy, Gaia for a reason. He creates ideas and ideologies, far removed from the body’s instinctual nature and so needs grounding, needs to be carried by the feminine, our earth nature. Gaia is the mother of all life forms and is bound by the body’s dark and earthly limitations: cycles of life and dormancy, bloodletting and mother’s milk, time. This earth cycle is necessary to birth Uranus’ children. It is in the realm of Earth time we find Uranus’ weakness. When we attempt to put theory into form we come against earthly limitations of time, space, sustainability. Is this a utopian vision or is it a creative solution, a new way of being? Is this an act with vision and purpose or an act of defiance? If we dare to take our creative substance to the next level, there is risk. Sky meets earth our form is no longer perfect, somehow corrupted by the transmutations the idea must make to get into a body, embody. We may then become stubbornly blinded by our ideals, ungrounded to the necessity of tending to, caring for the reality show version of our idea.

The challenge is to bring the possibility into form, allowing imperfections to exist while knowing that none of these perceived flaws injure our true creative essence. By embracing our edgy ingenuity, we risk our brilliance on the ropes of reality without giving in to fear, banishing our creative gifts to the center of the earth. The earth is needed here, to give our light substance and to make sure what we’re doing takes others desires, hopes and dreams into account. In questions of power, we absolutely must weigh in the desires and hopes of others. If we do not account for the whole, we set ourselves up for failure. It is the Aquarian way to make sure everyone is positively affected by change.

This Full Moon we may be anxious, our minds refusing to turn off, spinning in possibility. Uranus opposes Mercury and creates potential for erratic behavior from all things Mercury related—friends, mind, communication, transportation. You may be trying to put organization around matters as Uranus lets out a big achoo! and scatters your papers all over the floor. At the same time, you go to pick them up and find a new solution. Confusion around future goals may have you wondering if you’ve reached breaking point. Take a step back and know that Mercury is getting ready to go retrograde soon, so any plan is subject to change.

We just passed a nasty Saturn/Pluto inconjunct, and saw a rise in violence and assertion of force. Reverberations are possible through mid-August, although not as intense. You may’ve felt more compelled to have certainty and control, or may’ve been at the whim of other’s need for control so this may be a lingering issue. Ever wonder why force doesn’t accomplish anything? These forces of strength are impersonal, to be used to teach us how to grow beyond the ego. Seen it’s best light, this is the power to negotiate power into its rightful arena– like the relationship between a Troubadour and his bull. This moon prepares us for Jupiter square Pluto (8/5) when the appetite for power increases. It’s the pair that says ‘too much is never enough’ and wants to expand the bottom line even at the expense of your own personal truth. Take care not to waste precious resources on gimmicks seemingly custom-made to distract you from your good. Instead, bring possibility and exploration into the depths of that desire. What does it want and would that overwhelming desire really bring lasting happiness? The bottom line is probably not as it first appears.

Meanwhile, the sextile of Jupiter/Saturn continues and tightens through the month. If you are learning anything now, physically, spiritually, emotionally or even taking a new class– keep the effort there. This aspect says you are able to take your lessons with you, creating positive change for the future, the long haul. This is a boon to the higher learning we’ve all been going through. By integrating the messages we’ve received from all the painful homework, we are insuring no do-overs. Maybe even a little wisdom, no? So,…ahem, pay attention.

This may be difficult on 8/5 when Sun opposes Neptune and the Jupiter/Pluto square is exact. This is a powerful little cocktail. A shot of confusion and haziness, an ounce of opportunism, well mixed. This is one of those days when you may be tested to keep your feet on the ground. A possibility: hazy agendas when people don’t quite know what they want but have an uncanny conviction in their stance. Try to make sure this isn’t you! Own your part in the process and know on a day like this, surrendering to the process is best. Things may slip through your fingers and appear to be what they’re not. Watch from the passenger seat and let your grip go lax.

8/7 last quarter moon in Taurus emphasizes letting go of your stubborn stance. The need for perspective is emphasized and this comes sweetly with the moon’s trine to Mercury and Jupiter. Gentle friends and practical advice are well received. Venus moves into Cancer, love and affection snuggle up with emotional security blankets. Venus in Cancer is a nostalgic romantic, loves misty seasides, hot chocolate and old lovers. Slip into something comfortable and treat yourself to a daydream and a cup of tea.

Mercury retrogrades on 8/9 and there’s no time like the present for review. Mercury retrograde is a wonderful time to take pause, and with all the change this summer reflection is needed. Don’t plan on starting anything new unless you’re prepared to do it over again. Finish up those projects you’ve been putting off, too busy to tackle. This Mercury in Virgo likes to clean, organize, prioritize, analyze and in her exalting sign is a natural here. Even in the dreaded ‘retrograde’ you might find your ability to put the details in place more successful than previous retrogrades. Look forward to this time of re-assessment to get your ducks in a row, your car fixed, your bills sorted out. It’s always best to be pro-active with what you think is in need of re-dress or fixing. Otherwise, the trickster does it for you—the parking ticket you ‘forgot’ to pay now wants double or triple payment. The plans made in haste backfire. Mars into Virgo the next day puts the muscle into this period of re-evaluative energy and movement. Whatever project you decide to undertake, give it the detailed attention it demands. Mars is a wonderful partner in putting the muscle to the medal, to clean things up. Think Arm & Hammer Baking Soda’s muscle man mascot or Mr. Clean. Energy for cleaning up, but beware the chance of really fielding some snafus right away. Mars is a take no prisoners kind of guy; by hanging out in Mercury’s home sign Mercury retrograde starts with a quick and animated shuffle, ball change (of plans). Mars also rules cars, so with Mercury, a double transportation whammy. Make sure that car is in working order and use caution in movement.

8/11 Pluto trine Sun in Leo. Plumb your inner resources by bringing more creativity, pleasure and fun into your life. Any form of creative expression is fruitful today, as the Sun in the sign of the Lion knows how to disarm with charm. Leo is the ruler of performance artists, children, fun and games. Take a risk in self-expression. Wear your wares like the Lion wears his mane. When you wear what you do best with loving and genuine self-awareness, you give yourself and others a self-esteem boost. Take your inoculation today as creativity is called for tomorrow, 8/12 when Sun semi-sextiles Jupiter and Saturn. Overall, there has been some major integration happening between Jupiter and Saturn bringing a grounded ness to your future plans. Sun just wants to shine on that portion of your plan that has perhaps left something behind, excluded. Make sure you’re not compromising yourself out of the picture by paying attention to those things necessary for you to be performing at your very best.

8/13 Uranus trines Venus in Cancer. This is the day for unusual tastes, relationships, and preferences. Today, risk taking is a good thing, especially when it involves your pleasures. Do something differently with your lover (or lovers, says Uranus!). Remember the Sky God’s idea of partnership? — Independent, a lover of the ideal over the real, of the many over the one. Uranus and Venus are electrically charged with a magnetism that’s off the charts. Their compatibility is sensitive, psychic, charismatic. This may be a day when your full moon ideas land on the ears of the intuitive, where there exists holism and purpose beyond words. This is the nervy idealism of the Aquarian Moon assuaged by the lunar baths of the sea. If you’re a water sun sign, it’s your turn to play the ‘seaductress’. Sing your songs of sweet healing liberation. Will you heed the call of the siren?

*Hesiod, in the seventh century BC, in his Theogony

Full Moon Capricorn, Friday, July 2, 2004 4:09 AM PST

“Naturally…I have no shape of my own so I try to be just like whatever I’m near, said the Gelatinous Giant. In the mountains I’m a lofty peak, on the beach a broad sand bar … I just hate to be conspicuous; it’s really not safe, you know”. Then he looked at them again with hungry eyes and wondered how well they’d taste.

“You look much too big to be afraid of anything”, said Milo quickly, for the giant had already begun to open his mouth wide.”

“I’m not’ … I’m afraid of everything. That’s why I’m so ferocious. If the others found out I’d just die. Now do be quiet while I eat my breakfast”, he said, raising them toward his gaping mouth.

“Then aren’t you really a fearful demon?, Milo asked desperately under the assumption that the giant had been brought up well enough not to talk with a mouthful.

“Well, yes… I mean, no… What I mean is, relatively maybe—in other words, roughly perhaps. What does everyone else think?” “There you see,” he said peevishly; “I’m even afraid to make a positive statement. So please stop asking questions before I lose my appetite altogether”. — excerpt from The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Full Moon Capricorn, Friday, July 2, 2004 4:09 AM PST

This week the satellite Cassini explores Saturn for the first time in 40 years. The mission is ‘explorational’, to go deeper and further than ever before, to see Saturn from Saturn’s perspective. Just as we live in a solar centered universe, Saturn has it’s own universe replete with moons, planetoids, asteroids. As above so below, our consciousness wants to explore the internal nature of the planet called Saturn, Capricorn’s planetary ruler.

Saturn is the only planet with boundary rings. A sphere with a fence, an entity with clearly demarcated rings of dense gaseous matter. This ringed matter holds the planet in a Saturn-specific stasis. Of course, every planet has its unique ecology with varying temperatures, elements and weather. Flying bits of space matter be handled according to the unique quality of the planet’s gravitational force—maybe exploding a comet with its heat, or possibly sucking it into orbit or sending it hurling back into space. But Saturn is more obvious than most; Saturn has a message that space observers can immediately see. Saturn’s rings announce themselves. As though through a megaphone, deep bass voice bellows: ‘these are the gates through which you must pass’.

Saturn’s perspective is one of consequence in form. He is the Gatekeeper. It’s the force within us that asks any person, job, and goal: If I let you into my life, how will you affect my sustainability? Will you contribute to or subtract from my viability as an individual? If the answer is positive, you are willing to commit to this part of life, and the brevity of this commitment contains your highest aspiration: contribution to your net worth. The risk is letting someone or something in who may potentially disrupt your stasis or damage our delicate ecology. When younger, this is where our essential boundaries were implemented (and later) where our most stubborn defenses arise. In this sense, boundaries help us discern what is beneficial for our success and growth. They keep the baddies out and the goodies in.

Boundaries are useful here. As adults we can use the power of choice as boundary, as a ring around the pearl of wisdom that is slowly growing. We make choices all the time, but these are the choices that collect in the nether regions of our psyche. These are the types of choices that instantly calcify into patterns of behavior; fed into the body, into the matter that we are as human beings. Whether we make a choice of compromise or liberation, Saturn is that law of cause and effect. Karma. It is inevitable and irrevocable, capable of manifesting great beauty or great deformity.

We are all familiar with the Saturn’s toll, the deformity of self-neglect. People we know or have known who were once free and beautiful, now bound by so many bandages we can no longer see their essence. On my regular route to work via infamous MUNI, San Francisco’s subway system, I see a new face. Rather, it’s the face I don’t see that startles. When I see this person in the elevator on my way back from yoga, I realize this meeting has been pre-arranged. This person has wrapped the face completely, a bandaged mummy with patchwork rags piled on so deeply that even looking through the small slit for eyes is akin to looking into a pool of darkness. Head to toe, no body shape is recognizable for the layers of clothing. Thought appears: ‘Where are you hiding? What is your injury, wound, disease? What part of you became so used to being unseen that you have literally transformed into someone who we no longer see?’

A choice to protect, defend or hide. It once preserved integrity and sense of self-security. Over time did it warp us into unrecognizable creatures? This being is that person in each one of us, the one who made the decision, in a certain part of life, to go under wraps. We hide from the world only to find that we are so far from the story we were trying to begin. We can make the choice to take off the rags that bind us to invisibility. The ecology of that choice no longer exists and now the wound needs to breathe. Most of the time the protected thing was a myth or lie and spontaneous healing occurs just from exposure to light and air. For those deeper wounds, the hurt is still there but the dressing needs changing regularly and with great care.

Enter Cancer Sun’s nurturing love into the deep corners of the Capricorn Moon’s defenses. The timing is synchronous as Venus just came out of retrograde (6/29) on the heels of new relationship and self-worth discoveries. Many of us have re-evaluated if not completely overhauled our intimate relationships during the past 40 days. Some of these realizations now arise as a new lovability paradigm checks itself against our relationships. What are our expectations of those we love? Is it realistic to ask for unconditional love from others? The Universe loves us all in unconditional love as a service– so we can learn to discriminate that very specific form of love for which our unique soul seeks. This is where it’s often necessary to define our ‘No’ so we can find our ‘Yes’. Until we become enlightened, we grow through this working and reworking of love. Human love is conditional love.

Reaching into the depths of the psyche, Gemini’s New Moon asked us to integrate multiple perspectives and apply new information streaming into our consciousness like super fuel for the new energy we’re fielding. Now again at Full Moon, this moon cycle’s close relationship to Mercury reinforces the need for perspective and feedback from others and our environment. Fruition of awareness, a lotus flower in full bloom, this full moon brings opportunity, perspective and revolutionary awareness into communion with our most inner and reflective self. Jupiter, Uranus, Sun and Moon are lined up in a configuration called a mystical rectangle. To be a mystic, one must live and breathe paradox, so use this opening to see into patterns, habits, defenses that have been previously obscured. It’s one of those time periods when we can see where we went wrong and why.

Take some time to allow this spontaneous awareness to arise into clear seeing. Things have changed so rapidly over the past few months and now we see that for better or worse, we have chosen our lot. Our feet stand on a dense terrain called reality. Learn from and hold the boundaries and commitments you have chosen. Hold them with that same integrity the land holds for your blessed feet.

7/3 Mars quincunxes Uranus for a pre-4th firework. This day may start out with a bang and turn into fizzle. On the 4th someone may not stop talking or want to show off as Mercury enters the sign of Leo with a big ‘Listen to me!’ Later the moon goes void of course after passing over Neptune and everyone is just hanging out.

Overall, for July there is a marvelous opportunity to put plans into form. This is that wonderful Jupiter sextile Saturn which puts your new perspectives into tangible reality. If you’ve been working on creating a more abundant life, see your reward as you plug in your light bulb and actually see it light up your room. There’s nothing like turning vision into something you can sink your teeth into. This is supported by the Sun conjunct Saturn in Cancer on 7/8. Cancer feels, and with Saturn on her we may feel burdened by obligation or duty. This is a meeting of measure allowing you to size up the reality of a situation so that you can get what you really, really want. Sometimes this requires truth telling or removal from a cozy situation no longer relevant to where you are headed. If reality hasn’t been courting you already, call this aspect the reality police.

If the stakes are high in some area of your life then this is your chance to come clean. It would behoove you to do so because on this same day Jupiter quincunxes Neptune for the next week ahead. If you haven’t accurately sized up the situation, overindulgence and overestimation are likely. This could be an element of escape, the place you choose to sweep your errant ways under the rug to keep going as continued. Hmmm? Where’s that smell coming from, no bother, I’ll cover it up with a crisis or nasty little habit. This can also become the mirror for where your ‘just functional’ or ‘dysfunctional’ shows up. View this with Saturn’s gift, the rearview mirror of hindsight. Shine light now, so you won’t have a repeat performance later.

The last quarter squares off with the moon in Aries on 7/9. This is the push to move forward into new territory. Venus sextiles Mars for the next 4 days as Venus, the tantalizingly attractive librarian directs you to the reference section for some schooling on how to move forward with grace and ease. Her first foray with Mars since retrograde, she kicks up her heels and if you’re receptive, reveals new pleasures into your life.

Saturday, 7/10 people will put it out there, talking their talk and making their presence known. Mercury and Mars join together in fiery Leo where everyone wants center stage and if staged properly, this can happen. Make room intellectual discussion with the knowledge that words and thoughts are sharp instruments today. Hopefully heated debates don’t turn into firestorms of personal opinion, rather brainstorms of clarity and inspired collaboration. The potential for accidents and carelessness is here yesterday and today so please use caution as you drive your vehicle, open your mouth.

7/12-7/18. On 7/12 Venus squares Jupiter, echoing the ongoing Jupiter quincunx Neptune. Indulgence overrides sensibility. Anyone or anything new on the scene today is an open target for errors in judgment and perception. Keep your wallet closed because there’s the risk of spending too much for something, placing too much value on this person or thing. The remedy is on the way as you turn your attention within and Neptune lovingly massages Venus with sweet oils of dreamy absolution. This has echoes of the Venus retrograde period; the lessons learned are back to help or heal you in some way. Be aware of misperception, misjudgment yet stay open to the higher message. This period of time is in effect longer as these aspects mutually reinforce one another.

New Moon Gemini, Thursday, June 17, 2004 1:27 PM

“Hermes is the god of the unexpected, of luck, of coincidence, of ‘synchronicity.’ The ancient Greeks would say: ‘Hermes has entered our midst,’ whenever a sudden silence had entered the room, descended on conversation and introduced into the meeting another dimension. Whenever things seem fixed, rigid, ‘stuck,’ Hermes introduces fluidity, motion, new beginnings – as well as the confusion which inevitably precedes new beginnings.” Arianna Stassinopoulos – “The Gods of Greece”

New Moon Gemini, Thursday, June 17, 2004 1:27 PM

We’re most familiar with sun sign Gemini as the symbol of the twins. Astrologically, we know we’re encountering two halves of a whole– duality. Throughout history, twins are associated with light and the dark, the good and the evil, saint and sinner. Gemini Sun knows the contradiction of light and shadow quite intimately; a formulaic approach toward life never works for cutting off the opposite is a certain form of death. To be creatively whole and rich, Gemini’s key resource is the ability to switch up. When speaking of Gemini it behooves us to remain flexible, to not do so actually creates a chasm in which we find our innate creative freedom denied, opportunities missed and resources wasted.

Mercury, also known as Hermes, is the planetary ruler of Gemini. Hermes has many different traditional associations that speak to his/her creativity and diversity of role and form. Hermes is an androgynous figure, most often portrayed as male in literature and art, with a reputation for being able to wear the disguise of anyone– male, female, human, creature, both visible and invisible. As the natural element of mercury is ‘quicksilver’, mercury is changeable in form agilely shifting and adapting to the environment. The Olympian Gods gave Mercury the dubious task of delivering messages to/from the underworld. They obviously held Mercury’s gift of swift and sure movement in the highest confidence. Mercury was bestowed with ability to move back and forth between not only physical locations but also spaces of consciousness. This function of Mercury as messenger is absolutely essential to movement into new realms.

As Mercury traveled between realms, he had the skill to ‘language in’ new elements–providing a synthesis between gathered bits of information (indeed Mercury influenced people often excel at foreign language). As patron saint of the crossroads, many early European trade routes were known for their ‘mercurial’ figures: guides, visionaries, tradesmen, hustlers, thieves and bandits. Inhabiting the boundary between the known and the unknown, mercurial types were repositories of information: from conditions of mountain passes to where to find supplies, to who was trading what and where the next big thing was sought. At this crossroads, information is king; so unschooled travelers were vulnerable to schemes and cons of all sorts. Mercury is street smart and cunningly knows how to work this innate talent to his advantage. He uses his skill to advantage, not only transforming information into marketable, durable goods but in his magical function uses this same creativity as a bridge between worlds of the known and unknown. In this form, Hermes is the healer; objectively bring new information from the subconscious to the conscious, reconciling opposites as true act of healing.

This new moon shows a crossroads, where a new level of adaptability is necessary. We are able to receive information on new levels, and some of this information has to do with our alter ego or shadow self. As New Moon and Mercury opposes Pluto, the Daemon, Doppelganger, the Devil on your shoulder—all of these characters speak to our dual nature. Coinciding with the necessity of receiving new information we seem to be having mercurial experiences of receiving new bits of information beyond our 3-dimensional reality, beyond the reality-self interface. Many of us are noticing an enhanced ability to respond to signs and signals from beyond our everyday left-brain mode. Thoughts are becoming reality rather quickly and synchronicities more apparent. According to Carl Jung, Hermes inhabits the liminal dimension of space, or the space between. This 4th dimension is the realm where information, people, events, dreams, connections, directions just ‘drop in’ through no conscious ego effort. In this realm we are not involving the all-powerful Self, which often distorts and uses messages to the end of ego. Without the ego’s meddling, these bits of information are all the more precious. The term ‘hermetic seal’ means ‘air-tight’ and was associated with Thoth, the Egyptian god of alchemy and mystical secrets. Thoth, with Hermes’ assistance, sealed sacred spaces of information. Mercury invites us to revere these sacred pieces of information, to hold them as communion with unseen forces of truth.

Mercury symbolizes mind, as this is the physical and creative vessel in which we receive and translate information. Around this new moon we may find our minds restless and unstable, flip-flopping from one idea to another like fish flopping in a bucket. This may be a result of choices we are facing, of which the multiplicity and diversity of outcomes astound. You may embody a Mercury character in your life right now, or someone may have appeared on the scene creating ambiguity or multiplicity of choice. Mercury as the trickster has an amazing dexterity to talk us into or out of anything. Here we may use Mercury’s street talk for good or evil, to trick ourselves, or others. Mercury as a friend and fellow traveler may be friend turned into foe. Friends who become ‘shady characters’ are usually old issues that need address for resolution. Whatever form he/she takes, with Venus retrograde we see shadow in our relationships easily now and that shadow is pointing the finger back into our own heart. The trickster element wants us to acknowledge that these people around us are giving us a map or trade route to the jewel inside.

This New Moon brings new abundance of information and mental activity and associated with Pluto, a particular harshness. A semisextile to Mars & Jupiter indicates right use of power is possible, but with a quincunx to retrograde Chiron, circumventing old wounds is critical. The risk is: the head may try and leap ahead of the heart. Gemini is the mental element of air and used in excess without grounding in heart wisdom you may find yourself pulling the 9 of swords. In tarot, the 9 of swords card is a heart pierced by thoughtless thinking, the intellect without practicality or heart wisdom. Whether it’s one of negative self-talk or harsh words, the bleeding heart is a particularly painful image. Aleister Crowley names this card ‘Cruelty’ aptly describing the harsh mental critic as the heart cries out for reprieve. If you are struggling with the right words & thoughts, remedy yourself with some Venus light therapy. Before you speak, visualize yourself in a soft green blanket of light to soften your mind with heart energy. If you speak from your heart you are honoring both yourself and the other. It’s a win-win.

Retrograde Venus squares Jupiter Saturday, 6/19. Having just passed a pretty tight relationship to the Uranus and Jupiter opposition, someone or something valuable may’ve dropped onto your radar screen or fallen off. This certain something has held your self- worth in a precarious position. The tension created is a certain excitability lending itself to an attraction/repulsion sensation. The risk is overvaluation or overspending, so beware of this tendency. How to move forward confidently when there’s an argument between values and expansion into the future? Communication probably holds the wisdom key here when Mercury moves into the sign of Cancer, the sensitive crab. This is a reminder that communications over the next month should draw on the feeling nature and principles of the heart. Tune into intuition and find the answer.

6/20 Sun moves into Cancer and issues of emotional security will surface. The U.S. is a Cancer Sun ruled nation and with Saturn soon to touch on this, look to heightened domestic issues of security, tightening of economy. Emotionally too, the bare essentials are highlighted. We’re still in Venus retrograde so the personal value of safety is relevant. When do we feel safe? It’s an important question for this Sun in Cancer time and in true mercurial form you may find the answer in it’s opposite. Despite BushCo’s assertions, safety is not about issuing defense, weapons and safeguards against the forces of ‘out there’. Connectedness to others allows us freedom to express our self. This engenders a feeling of safety. When we feel safe, we let our full being shine, and if our self-expression is successful, we receive love, honor and esteem– Venus’ favorites.

6/22 Mercury trines Uranus retrograde putting a little schwizzle in your mizzle (translation: some spunk in your missive). Take Snoop Dog’s cue. As a modern day rapster/trickster Snoop Dizzle spins a rhyme and busts out a new vocabulary. Today a new connection or important meeting electrifies your consciousness. Suddenly your mind is in a whole new place. This is a good thing as both planets are bent on opening you up to radically inventive insight.

6/23 Mars enters Leo where haberdashery and bravado seem to get you everywhere. Leading into the first quarter with a swish of the lion’s tale, your best investment is about what you hold inviolable. Don’t lose your footing on 6/24 when Saturn quincunxes Neptune. The planet of form meets the planet of dreams and dissolution. It may take a little re-working to project confidence when your best foot forward feels connected to sea legs. Dreams can meet reality with some fancy footwork & creative negotiation. New solutions arise when you open up to alternative ways of working within the apparent limitation. The first quarter moon in Libra on 6/25 tells you to lay tracks down only if your heart deems it worthy. Information surrounding your adventure abounds on this day when Jupiter sextiles Mercury, opening doorways previously shut. Just like Fed-Ex, (surely an invention of Mercury) the parcel is delivered right on time.

Discern the message as the urge to commit on 6/26 appears when Saturn conjunct Mercury. Discernment. This may be a particularly mentally demanding day. Be sure you know you’re in the green before signing your name on the dotted line. This aspect emphasizes the importance of words, contracts and all forms of communications. Any commitment you make on this day will have lasting effects for better or worse. Watch what you say and think, paying particularly close attention for any negativity creeping in. It may or may not be justified; use your inner critic wisely. Try to see if this day reflects some of the issues you were sorting at the new moon. You may field more clarity around these, and find yourself able to communicate with precision.

If thoughts turned fearful yesterday, today 6/27 the order of today is lightening your load. Like 6/22, this is another day of impulse toward originality and invention. Today’s a great day to step out of the box and try something new. You are excited and optimistic, as the future seems to face forward again. Break ground today for some communication breakthroughs tomorrow.

6/28 Mercury quincunxes Pluto as communication seems to get sucked into a vortex. Keep the new insights from yesterday going as again, originality and flexibility is required to dodge the popcorn being thrown from the peanut gallery. Some of it is just junk being thrown at the super sensitive ears of Mercury in Cancer; today we may run up against the idiom ‘don’t kill the messenger’. Imagine yourself as Hermes with an ability to travel the space between. Separate old habitual patterns of thinking as you navigate new paths. Often neurotransmitters create nerve paths out of old habits no longer useful; this day we can realize an old way of functioning no longer works.

Today, 6/29, remember that the work of life is love. Venus goes direct and she’s given you the past month and a half to re-assess what makes you happy in relationship to yourself and others. With the help of Pluto you’ve gained a new level of understanding about those places you absolutely must be honored–your bottom line. As you’re challenged to bring this new awareness lovingly into your life, revel in Gemini’s gift of curiosity. Curiosity lightens the load. Be playful and curious as you receive messages from curious channels. Mercury says: take heed of messages in all forms. Messages in bottles, symbols, or shadow aspects of our self may be marked ‘handle with care’ for good reason. You’re building bridges between the old and new model of love. Proceed with Care!

Full Moon Sagittarius, Wednesday, June 2, 2004, 9:20 PM

Full Moon Sagittarius, Wednesday, June 2, 2004, 9:20 PM

Full Moon points bring realization and illumination. As you climb your mountain, picture a ledge where you have the opportunity to view what lays behind and before you, in panoramic glory. What has transpired, and importantly, if you stay on this road, what is to come? Nothing changes by doing things the same as you’ve always done. Full Moon in Sagittarius is the visionary who has the perceptual filter of experience of Sun in Gemini as guide. Everything you have been prior to this moment has created the exact experience of your unique life experience in this moment. Everything you have created is apparent. Now.

What do we do when we see things we don’t like? Pluto is once again opposite Venus, exactly influencing this time period. The information we receive right now has huge potential to transform our beliefs about love, power and the shadow. Sagittarius has a key for us to use. Sagittarius is the sign of the believer, and most Sagittarians will tell you that as you believe, so it will be. Beliefs are the invisible frameworks that create worlds within this one world. Your personal world and my personal world are so vastly different, even though we are a part of this same world. If you don’t think beliefs are powerful, understand that history has us fighting wars over differences in beliefs. Human interpretations about religious doctrines are just thoughts about thoughts.

In your personal life you may be dealing with the shadow of love, symbolized by the Pluto Venus opposition. You are being challenged to hold a loving view of some element of darkness, which has been rising to the surface. It has been there all along, this part of yourself that you’ve projected onto someone or something else; that now you give your power away to, to what you label circumstance, restriction, karma, fate. It has been necessary for that person or thing to hold this restriction, this thing which you do not want because at one point in time it was necessary to create this particular circumstance. And the result of that choice, so necessary for survival, was this thing that you now behold. This thing now holds you back. Whether this is a job, a relationship, a family situation, an identity, a pattern of behavior, these are all just players in your great dream. We are all unpacking something right now; a heavy bag carried around too long full of outdated survival strategies like overdue library books. Someone or something in our life is paying the fine…if we’re not individually paying for it, guaranteed, someone else is. In actuality even if you think you’re the only one paying the price, you are not. Many people are feeling the pain of your particular restriction. Lovingly, delicately, gently take back the book. You’ve had it for too long, it’s old and outdated. This survival manual is no longer needed for your purposes. In fact, it’s now become a liability and is exacting a fine every day. Right now you are being granted the vision, grace, strength and beauty to find that book buried underneath the bed because the universe has trusted that you’ll know exactly what you need to do with it.

Understand the effect of not taking back your book. Always, but perhaps in unseen ways, the sword turns outward. We all eventually feel the result of one another’s pain. No matter how hard you try, you cannot keep the self separate from others, even if the book is about a shameful ugly monster. The universe simply won’t allow it.

Optimism and facing forward is a keynote of this Full Moon. Forming a t-square to Uranus and Jupiter we are catapulted into a broader view. Sagittarius will tell us that our personal world is a single mirror on the disco ball of life, a many-mirrored globe. All we have to do is change our vantage point. Here’s something about vision in times of darkness. We’re all being pushed and stretched, with the resiliency of rubber bands we stretch and release. World events so loudly demanding, unrelenting talk about monetary restriction, violence, fear all around us and yet…these times can push us into places we never before imagined possible. An idea appears. An idea so fresh and full of heart we begin to envision possibility again. Out of discordance and darkness rises new possibility. It’s almost as though the world needs to get dark enough to prepare for a new level of light, a brightness and saturation not before seen. Think of the many things we’ve gained as a society from times of darkness. The Great Depression yielded jobs for artists. Who would’ve thought? I take weekend hikes in one of the most wonderfully designed regional parks, artfully and beautifully built during the New Deal.

Take heart: Even well laid plans can go awry. The message of the archer is encouraging, aim higher, envision bigger, and expand your mind so that continents are mere stepping-stones for the distance you can cover. The sign of the eternal optimist, the archer keeps us in good stead during times of darkness with an ability to pull rabbits out of hats.

On 6/4 & 6/5, plan on letting inspiration in as the Neptune trines the Sun. This is the open doorway to the universal ethers, when activities become mysteriously vitalized with richness and meaning. This can be a release valve to recent pressures or a chance to see into the magical. Seek inspiration and plan down time on Saturday, a good day for just soaking it all in.

The Last Quarter moon in Pisces 6/9 is the day after the Sun/Venus conjunction (see below, Venus Ascends). Attention shifts and we prepare to willingly lose the attitudes and things no longer working for us. Mars quincunx Pluto allows us to view the discrepancy between action and motivation. The quickest way to your goal is certainly the most direct route. Why take detours? Slip into new behavior as easily as a lizard slips between the crevices of ancient rocks.

Thursday, 6/10 Jupiter squares Mercury and Uranus goes retrograde. Communication snafus, too much information, change of plans and direction. Little and big mind have an argument and no one wins because the order of the day is change. For the next 5 months you’ve signed up for a class in the ancient art of sign reading. Put your stethoscope to the ground and listen for the rumble of horse’s hooves. That there’s the sound of somethin’ big comin’. These are the gathered gleanings for those major pieces of your plan, those requiring nothing less than total overhaul. Change is internal until one day, it appears as though it were always so. Mid-November reveals the ground covered.

Friday, June 11. Whoever said June was a lily-white maiden? Snow white bites into the apple, tasting the sweet juice of poison. You are not so naïve, easily seeing that by scratching beneath the surface of things something else is revealed completely. It might not be pretty, but at least it’s honest.

The very next day, Venus trines Neptune coming to our rescue with the vapors. This is another wonderful Saturday for taking it easy, letting the world fall away into activities that just make us happy and inspired. Relationships, art, movies, music, poetry all have the potential to inspire and uplift. Forgive and forget, a great day for letting go. Yesterday? I don’t remember what was bothering me… Distinctions are blurry, and that’s just perfect.

June 13-16 has only minor planetary action. Don’t start anything new, but chances are you won’t be. You are content to sit by the sea, watching this wave roll out. You gather what you’ve learned around you and release the inessentials. Take it easy, recover your energy and let go. Do so and you will surely be prepared to catch the next wave of the new lunar cycle.

Venus Ascends
Venus rises with the Sun on the early morning (1:42 AM) of 6/8. She rises from the underworld to start anew, to begin a new 584-day cycle. This rise she eclipses the Sun, a rare occurrence happening only once every 120 years. If you’ve been following these newsletters you’ll know that Venus will continue to be retrograde until June 30. During this particular retrograde cycle we’ve been assessing our relationship values and integrity, our particular preferences, ideals involving relationship. Venus retrograde is subtle & internal, changing the way we dress, our tastes or the company that we keep as a reflection of the deep alliance between our senses and the world. We rely on our senses & pleasures to support our basic self. How are we feeling about ourselves? The pleasure seeking self that has tastes, ideals, preferences will tell us much about the condition of our self esteem. Are things working here? Venus retrograde attempts to answer, she hopes you’ve been working with her.

This alliance between Venus and the Self (Sun) is fluid, changing as we change, and so we move through Venus’ cycle. Each cycle of 584 days touches a celestial point in the zodiac, and a cycle of 5 seems to be her magic number (equaling 8 human years). Her orbit is simply elegant: 5 of these repeated cycles paint a celestial mandala in the heavens, an exact pentagram. The pentagram has been portrayed in daVinci’s circle with the man in center; the measure of each section of the pentagram is the unit of space defined as the golden mean. The golden mean is a measurement of space said to possess aesthetic and harmonic proportion. Her retrogrades can often be linked to events at the previous retrograde of Venus 8 exact years ago. Think back to May/June 1997. Venus is covering the same part of your birth chart now.

How significant is her rise with the Sun? Is once every 120 years significant? This looks like a solar eclipse except instead of the moon between the sun and the earth; Venus now blocks the Sun’s rays. The Sun’s rays, energy must pass first through Venus to reach us here on earth. No human on this planet has seen this before, last occurring in 1882.

On such a universal timeline, 120 years, most astrologers link this event with collective occurrences. Unless Venus is a prominent focal point in your birth chart, this may play out most prominently for you on the global stage. And you may be surprised to know that this Venus is not about sweetness and light, manners and social propriety. No siree. This Venus is about balancing the scales. Justice.

The Aztecs and Mayans knew this ‘Morningstar’ Venus best. Astrologer Erin Sullivan says ‘They set armies marching in synchrony with her rise from underworld, transformed from woman to man to woman again, still redolent with the atmosphere of the dead’. In a famous Mesoamerican artwork, the panels at El Tejan, here is the lustful & androgynous Venus. She/he takes masculine form, mates with the Goddess, gives birth to a ‘sky monster’ (jealousy) and is sacrificed at the Morning Star (the Venus/Sun meeting) then reborn as the feminine again. This is a war goddess, a goddess who descends to the depths to reclaim what must be brought into light. The masculine/feminine polarity demands wholeness, and this re-balancing contains violence only proportionate to what one has denied and kept hidden. Seven or eight days after Sun and Venus rises (6/15), Venus is first seen separate from the Sun. This is often a time when world leaders are called to answer to questions of integrity; leadership may be thrown into crisis.

How is this relevant to you personally? Viewed from lighter perspective of Venus, duality over separation is appropriate here. As discussed in Pluto v. Venus we don’t hold want to hold back the darkness but let it rise and lovingly hold it for what it is. This Venus-Pluto opposition (occurring 3 times total: 5/4, 6/2 and again on 7/25) has much to contribute to the new cycle of Venus. Understand that you have come up against some structure of loveless ness that has outworn its worth. It is bigger than you and in service of the timelessness you are apart of, not apart from. Meet that form with truth and beauty. Disarm the monster, let her be reborn as the Goddess she is.

Libra Full Moon, Monday, April 5, 2004, 4:03 AM PST

Libra Full Moon, Monday, April 5, 2004, 4:03 AM PST

Spring come too soon? Sometimes Aries energy fakes you out, with it’s bravado of entrance, not knowing what it yet wants. The New Moon 2 weeks ago was similar. The urge to begin, but begin what? New Moon energy is like that. By the time of the new moon we are ready for the new. Yes, the saying goes ‘readiness is all’. But it takes a certain amount of process time for the mind/body to digest the changes that have just begun. If our potential is contained in the seed of the new, how to make sure we’re following the right path? Again, but worth repeating here, Full & New Moon day planetary signs and aspects set the stage for the next two weeks. The heady warrior of the Aries New Moon was not a thinking one, and is so balanced by the cool rationality of the Full Moon of Venus, Libra’s lady. Taking Venus’ cue, let’s make the next couple of weeks deliberate ones.

Week 3-4 of the lunar cycle: Full Moon in Libra. A painting that has taken form. Time to register the nuance of color, the way light falls on your favorite part. Make conscious intent to receive signs. They’re sure to come if you actively open to receive.

Full Moon in Libra takes us back 2 weeks ago to what we started, and mirrors the missing pieces. Imagine a beautiful painting as a looking glass, the negative space takes up as much form and meaning as the positive. As Venus stares into the mirror, no matter how lovely the vision, she has the capacity to see what is not there as easily as what is. This is Venus’ way. By identifying what’s missing, she gets closer to what she wants. Her agility is striking. She travels between the light and dark, the eternal opposites with a grace that makes the rest of us look like heathens with our lumbering concepts. This is a mental skill, one resting on proportion. Venus out of balance is a ‘value’ taken to extreme, ‘on principle’. As she sees the distance between what she wants and what she has, the dark side of Venus has the capacity to coldly, intellectually eliminate anything less than ideal out of the picture. But, you see, she says, why should I settle for anything less than My Ideal? Therein lies the trap. When an untrained Venusian eye looks at a painting, she sees the beauty of the immediately obvious. Oh, it’s a wonderful pink flower, my favorite! When a trained eye looks, she sees the juxtaposition of color, of other less attractive colors, that make up that ideal. If you know color, yellow ochre is kind of flat and dull. Yellow ochre though is wonderfully versatile; enhancing other more obviously brilliant colors so subtly that you don’t even realize it is there. But there it is.

This Full Moon day 4/05, Neptune trines Moon, sextiles Sun. Neptune is the planet of ‘visions’ and higher octave, transcendent version of Venus, planet of love. If Venus has a vision, here is the potential for it to come to her, in the form of an inspirational vision or synchronistic event. Moon sextiling Pluto, this feels powerful.

The Full Moon as translator of the Sun’s light, and her ruler gives each moon a particular flavor. Venus is one of the easier planetary energies for people to identify—we are usually quite conscious of wanting to attain relationship. Venus enters exploration Gemini on April 3. Gemini is a mental air sign indicating that we will be enjoying her pleasures through revelry of facts, friends, new ideas and opportunities for education, information. She semisextiles Mercury, is semisquared by the Sun and is sesquiquadrate to the Moon. These are the little snafus, the hindrances, the getting caught in our own or other’s maligned perceptions. Expect adjustments on your social/relationship calendar around this day of the Full Moon. This reflects the necessity of change in your relationships. Something’s gotta give, whether it’s your inflexibility or someone else’s, the message is that in order to move forward you must take a broader vision to make it last. Venus holds your gaze in her mirror. Accompanying close by is her lover, Mars, the planet of self-assertion. He can both help and hinder her. The hot sauce label for this duo reads: use sparingly. However, if you’re an Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) or Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) sign, this month romance is more tangible than ever. When Mars and Venus co-mingle, sexy meets sweet in an affair to remember. That good-looking hottie on the street looks tantalizingly back. Can you say sizzle?

Jumping into the fire, Venus is squared by Uranus on 4/09. This may bring a taste of the unusual into your current category of likes/dislikes. If you’re going on a blind date this day, expect to fly totally blind. Don’t like surprises? Well, no excuse not to be gracious. Expand your relationship identity to include the shockingly different. On 4/14, another run to Venus, this time Jupiter. Jup won’t let her go without making sure she’s taking others into account, discriminating between the waste and the right, and encouraging perspective. Do this and you receive Venus’ Beauty School diploma.

We learn that other’s plans are not exactly meshing up with ours, as Mercury goes retrograde on 4/06. With Mars in Gemini, flexibility is appropriate. Retrograde, again re-member the ‘Re-‘ rule. Do anything with a ‘re-‘ in front of it but don’t count on any new plans turning out the way you expect. It may be especially hard this month, but try not to get irritated, go with the flow. Mercury is Gemini’s ruler– & loves to be light on his feet. His nickname was Quicksilver. Work with the energy in it’s own way, be light and adaptable and you’re sure to manage just fine.

Mercury retrograde gives us opportunity to look at the holes in our plan. This is good, because this year everyone’s on the verge of a new big something. Overall, we have several themes at work: expansion into the new and sustainability. This Full Moon day, trailblazer Mars is squared by Jupiter. We may push ahead and again need to adjust to take in more possibility. We see possibility and the options seem tense with choices. Jupiter in Virgo though won’t go for the usual hare-brained schemes but is looking for conscientious growth. Uranus peppers Jupiter with spurts of sudden insight and revelation. Jupiter opposite Uranus through mid-June keeps our lives spicy with with periodic swings of temperance and exciting upheaval, a wonderful act if you’re a tightrope walker.

The Moon having just passed a square to Saturn over the first quarter, asked ‘can the bucket hold water?’ The vision has met its test, appropriate adjustments made, this Full Moon shows us where we need to square up. Ceres in a tight square to the Full Moon is interesting. Ceres is the asteroid Goddess representing the earth based cycle of birth/death. Asteroids are goddess/feminine messengers who run between the personal and transpersonal realms. Ceres in square to Sun wants everyone’s survival needs to be met, at the expense of no one, including herself. Ceres’ female energy tends to over give at the risk of losing herself rather than accept what she needs. If you’re a woman or have a woman in your life, this may be a background question right now. Mother Earth, the Mother Ceres, is asking us collectively if we can learn to consciously sacrifice for the good of the whole. What must we have to go on, what must we give away? As we look around us, it is apparent that we don’t know how to do this. We hold Her against Her will in an underworld enactment of separation and destruction. Psychically, if you chose to hold yourself in places of sacrifice that are out of balance, you inhibit future growth. Sustainability will not be possible.

4/11 Last Quarter Moon in Capricorn trines Pluto with the intent of cutting out the fat. Last Quarter Moon energy always brings a shift in consciousness, another chance to correct the course. This I find it useful to give something away during the final week of the moon cycle. As I rid myself of a posession, habit or attitude at this time I am freed up to receive the divine correction coming my way. Today, affirm: ‘I lovingly release this thought, feeling, person or attitude to its highest purpose. By so doing, I expect and receive only the best.

On the ‘heals’ of our release, Mars trines Neptune on 4/13 giving our actions an altruistic, loving flavor. This day has the makings of a beautiful friendship, as deed meets compassion for a secret rendezvous. Use your natural clairvoyance this day to know the prescription for a pressing situation. Need a therapist or ready to heal a wound long overdue? Make that phone call this day.

How to prepare for the next cycle? Sun gives us a clue as he sinks up with Mercury on 4/16, a couple of days before the 2nd New Moon of Aries 4/19, also a Solar Eclipse. How are you faring through the retrograde travails? Today is a good check in point. Now in the dark moon period, let yourself release all that seems unfinished or distracting–calm your busy mind with a meditation. Go inward today without expectation for answers, just to settle and let go.

This month of April, the trials of change vs. the material world continue on seemingly parallel paths, yet make obvious inroads at other times. Despite, or perhaps due in part to Mercury retrograde’s call for re-evaluation, we have a remarkable opportunity to manifest our visions throughout April as Saturn and Jupiter join hands near month’s end. Meanwhile, solar eclipses are about big changes, and the next New Moon on 4/19 may shake a leg or two, especially legs of later month Sun signs Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn (days 17-23 of the last week of the sun sign). I don’t want to jump ahead, but if there’s something in your life ready to both move on out and in, here it comes. Solar Eclipses are spunky! All Sun signs experience this to some degree now. Changes in a very specific area of your life absolutely gain motion, often triggered by an outward event. Think back to the New Moon Aries, March 20 for a clue as to what part of your life this eclipse will affect. More later, but let’s just say that this month is full of surprises with plenty of potential for lasting change!

BONUS: Mercury Rx

Mercury Retrogrades Re-Do List Mercury Retrogrades Self Un-Doing List
Re-organize Absentmindedness

Re-evaluate Wild scheme hatching

Re-mind Doing too much at once

Re-member Starting brand new anything

Re-lax Criticism & perfectionism

Re-pair Old habits (re-run their script)

Re-do Written contracts, legal documents

Mercury’s rule of thumb during an Rx period: anything that begins during ‘re’, shall end with a ‘re-‘!