New Moon Sagittarius, Saturday, December 11, 2004 5:29 PM PST

Come, come, whoever you are, this caravan has no despair. Even though you have broken your vows perhaps ten thousand times
Still, come again, come, whoever you are, Whoever you are, come. Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving, come!
-Rumi

New Moon Sagittarius, Saturday, December 11, 2004 5:29 PM PST

A second lunation for Sagittarius, another opportunity to cultivate the seeker. The full moon illumined the inkling of a seed something. We read the lay of the land with its many paths and directions. The river whispered your name, the bending tree told you which direction to best follow your life destination. Your vision was broad, and the particulars needed focus-,it was just beginning. The full moon promised new roads in the backyard of our familiar. Hopefully we discovered some. Sagittarius wants us to reach further, to envision outlandish possibility. This is the searcher, seeker, preacher, teacher, poet-philosopher, mystic & magician in you. Looking for the purpose in all things, this is where we weave context and meaning. To the mystics, the mundane of ordinary life events are like puzzle pieces falling into a larger cosmic web. This new moon wants us to drop the baggage off on the way.

The timing of this lunation seems especially relevant to the new paradigms we’re now living. There have been big shifts this fall; many people have been catapulted into new realities. These changes were subtly announced with elegant planetary patterns, long awaited breakthroughs happened almost seamlessly, like a knife through butter. All your surrender, work, your patient waiting for life, finally softened and allowed room for new. If you showed up to the moment, the effects produced profound results: healings, endings & beginnings. The Divine blew gentle kisses into your ear. For Sagittarius, life is magic, the universe pulsing with color and new experience. The visionary in us lives for expansion. As we get ready to expand, there is clean up work.

The thinker, Mercury the mind, has been stressed. Mercury is moving backwards and has for the 2nd time joined with Pluto, the planet of ‘all that you can’t leave behind’. You may find yourself circling in loops of emotional memory; jealousy, resentment, bitterness, fear, desire…name your injury, the restless and fixed energy of the mind knows the difference between where you want to be and where you are. The mind is thinking with your gut, and your gut has a list of injuries longer than Santa’s. A repeating aspect, you may’ve reached your edge more than once through the past month; this is the phone call you avoid, the phone ringing off the hook. This is the caller asking for a past due invoice. What is it you need to finally stop thinking or believing? You hunger for change and expansion like the roaming mystic/gypsy/poet traveler you are. The urge to expand is countered by an initial contraction. A priori to the new, we must be willing to get deep into the nitty- gritty of our own beliefs, the root cellar of mind.

Imagine a deep forest, dark and still. The landscape pulses waves of dense black-green. You find your story beyond the stillness, where redwood trees begin to look human. Did they just speak & move? Senses so alive, you can taste the rich and thick smells, primordial, earthy. Smell something rotten and fresh alive. This is the mind, fertile and powerful. The mind knows the stories of humanity since the beginning of time. A million voices: tell, untell, remember, forget, relive, release. Your story holds a very powerful connection to the timeless and your very personal beliefs.

Leaning into our personal story may take the rest of our lives. But here we are in the sign of the visionary, at the edge of deep inner space. With Pluto, Venus and Mars in Scorpio, all that we can’t leave behind is our hidden richness, our wealth of energy. It’s all bound up down there like a magical kundalini charging our creativity and desires with raw funky stuff.

Let it bubble up. Investigate the story. Chances are, much has changed since the song first began. Have you noticed? Life has given you so much, even through the darkness of injury and pain. Pay in kind by relinquishing a little piece of the woundedness. With a gentle touch in the right spot, universes shift, realities folding like pudding batter. Find a small way to give up the old story, let obsession be replaced by a new expansionary expression.

To bridge the inner world to the outer- this isn’t a New Moon you’ll want to do alone, or spend doing the same old thing. Sagittarius lives for the open road—take a day trip! Visit someplace special to you, a teacher or church you haven’t been in awhile. Experiment with new perspectives, dialogue. Take in points of view on the outside as food for growth.

12/11

Venus in Scorpio has just left a sextile to Chiron (12/10) and applies a trine to Saturn on Monday. This is soft energy for intense times. Kindness in relationship proves healing. The urge to prematurely act out is countered by awareness of the others emotional, physical limits. Much has been learned through Venus’ tour with Mars the past few weeks; the inner and outer tantrums were just as passionate as the sex. After all the hiss and spit, this is the place where we take what we’ve learned and apply with care.

12/12 Mercury sextile Jupiter, Moon in Capricorn. Take your trip this day, talk to friends, your mind is opened and receptive to information. Mercury is sitting between Jupiter and Neptune for some creative inspiration. The imagination may be rich right now and the perceptual field dense with possibility. Use fantasy, travel, movies, art to give you a lift. Not too head in the clouds, down to earth moon leans toward practical concerns, money, time, effort spent & how our plans fit in the overall scheme of things.

12/14 Moon into Aquarius, Mercury sextile Neptune. The mood is a little experimental and imaginative. Shake it up by doing something out of the ordinary. Eat some squid ink pasta while composing esoteric poetry from your bathtub.

12/16 Venus moves into Sagittarius, shifting social preferences, interactions and tastes from close encounters of the dominatrix kind to a little bit of everything. This is Venus, International Style, with a catch-me-if-you-can attitude that leaves us all very non-committal, but always wanting more. I’ll take one of …everything, please. The marketers for last minute Christmas Shopping love this Venus. Moon in Pisces shape shifts seamlessly.

12/18 First Quarter Moon in Pisces swims around what she wants to do. Impressionable and vacillating, we dive right in to a Moon in Aries that afternoon. Regardless of what’s unclear, we move forward with determination. Moon trines Venus in fire signs, take this Saturday night to the streets and enjoy natural spontaneity and enthusiasm. All fired up for 12/19 when Venus does an about face to Uranus. Someone’s cranky and looking for attention; we find it difficult to reconcile issues of freedom in relationship. Too much or too little, we’re looking at how to get the best of both worlds. Jupiter in Libra andVenus in Sagittarius behold one another in mutual reception. This is like the Goddess of Love receiving the benefits of Fortuna. Whew, a planetary agreement saves the day! For now, and the next month or so it is possible to blend both freedom and relationship. This is also a great aspect for getting those last minute Christmas gifts—your tastes may be unusual or you may find a surprise. Chances are you’ll like what you find.

Mercury goes direct today, meaning green lights, go, the gate has been lifted. Now you can put into action those decisions and purchases, contracts you’ve been holding at bay. Isn’t it nice to have a little more positive feedback from the world? No more round robin on all the endless details, persnickety people and mechanical breakdowns. Mars trine Saturn is a steady hand guiding our energy in the right direction.

12/21 Sun moves from Sagittarius into Capricorn, Moon in Taurus. This is the winter solstice, when the night is the longest. The good news: from now on we get more daylight, not less. Capricorn energy is practical, efficient and focused on sustaining material and social resources; Moon in Taurus emphasizes this.

Tune into Capricorn by thinking of your prairie ancestors at this time of year in the cold, dead of winter. They had canned, dried food, chopped wood from the summer and fall so there would be food on the table, warmth in the house. This is a time of year when resources have always been harder to find- we can easily find ourselves in black or white thinking, focused on the bottom line. Look at your sadness or melancholy through the world lens of this phenomenon and it becomes bearable by connecting you to life.

12/24 Sun sextiles Uranus, Moon in Gemini. Throw a Christmas Eve mixer. This is a social day perfect for sleigh-bells ringing, are you listening… All good spirits are optimistic, and facing forward. The inner revolutionary nudges the Scrooge naysayer away.

New Moon Sagittarius poetry/wisdom offering to the Teacher within:

If we can dream it up, we can dream it down. -Rev Ike
[Read more…]

Scorpio New Moon, Friday, November 12, 2004, 6:27 AM PST

Scorpio New Moon, Friday, November 12, 2004, 6:27 AM PST

In Ancient Greece, Medusa was the most beautiful woman in the world. Her beauty had the power to captivate any man. Original cast member of ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’, Medusa incurred the wrath of Artemis when she took the coveted Poseidon as a lover—in a temple of Artemis, no less. As punishment, Artemis turned Medusa and her sisters into hags, making Medusa hideously ugly, with snakes for hair.

Imagine Medusa’s power and influence for beauty, and thus truth, banished to a dark cave, underground. Medusa is forced to live in a cave, accursed with a wretched form of beauty. Here she remains, unseen, her blood boiling on a high simmer. She grows night vision– penetrating and allergic to the light of day. She becomes a keeper of secrets: the secret of Artemis’ dark shadow of jealousy and betrayal. She learns that her gaze turns mortal and immortals unable to face the hideous truth of their own shadow, to stone. She realizes that truth and beauty are prizes coveted by the most influential and powerful—and that price of ownership is high.

Scorpio is the keeper of secrets, and no one knows more than she that so-called secrets are nothing more than the obvious truth. Funny thing about secrets—they’re not really secret at all, just the white elephant in the room, the dysfunction everyone can see but the owner. Scorpio magnetizes the falsity below the veneer, drawing into her energy the deeper darkness, which refuses to be consciously named. Scorpio’s reputation for impatience with superficiality ultimately bears out in explosive acts of transformative power, call it ‘death by truth’. Yet as a feminine sign banished to the bowels of the earth, this is a truth we may be forced to hold for a very long time. Truth doesn’t have to be a weapon for destruction, but a surgeon’s scalpel; the secrets must remain below the belly in order to essentialize and transform into a palatable & incisive expression.

I digress, back to Medusa. Has she become victim of someone else’s destruction doomed to spend rest of her days living in the bowels? She thinks to herself: Maybe she shouldn’t have used her beauty/power to seduce the God most coveted by Athena, no less in her own temple. But it was her power, to do with as she chose! She sits and sits becoming really mad, very pissed– no, this is rage. She is enraged! She has been brutalized and so becomes brutal. She wants to destroy everyone she sees. A human reaction we understand. We have all experienced this to some degree or another. We sit with the snakes, our hair– our connection to spirit–writhing, venomous, truly unmanageable hair, eh? We develop that acrid taste for revenge. We stew and kill, then stew and kill, recognize our own suffering, stew, kill, recognize our own suffering and on. Enter Perseus, the slayer of suffering, who walks into the cave backwards and using Athena’s shield as mirror slays Medusa via her reflection. The hero never directly looks at Medusa because to kill the truth (Medusa) any way other than by reflection is total death. Knowing that directly facing the stony rage is a death wish he uses the mirror/shield as reflection for his slayer sword. She loses her head (analysis paralysis, negative thinking) and by so doing finally experiences transformation. From her pierced eye, Scorpio’s power to reveal truth, emerges Pegasus, the winged horse of In-sight, wisdom creativity and intuition.

Where Scorpio lives in our birth chart, Medusa sits. New Moon in Scorpio wants us to honor the deep and transformative power of the secret darkness we hide from light, maybe even from ourselves. The secret is a sacred seed and with the moon, our job is protection. Not defense or denial but protection. Protection is merely serving our capacity to reflect, to sit with and hold the truth until the moment is ripe, the moment when truth will not destroy but will transform and heal. It’s the part of our lives where death is imminent and where we are finally ready to embrace the regenerative power of loss.

Medusa/Scorpio sits and stews like a good autumn soup. Eat it too early and it is lifeless, pale, and bland. This is the attack that prematurely attacks itself, the antibiotic without the antidote wiping out without providing the cure. With a strategy however, Scorpio becomes a slayer on the behalf of Truth. Remember the Slayers of the ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ days? The slayer always appears at the right moment as though there were a sub-sonic vampire whistle calling the slayers to battle the bloodsuckers. The magnetic energy (intuition) Medusa generates as she stews is a draw for the dark forces that smell her power and want to taste it. She doesn’t ‘do’ anything; she simply attracts. By setting the stove on simmer, we give ourselves the opportunity to experience the nuance, subtlety & depth of our power/powerlessness in life. Rage & loss beget life; life begets rage & loss. It’s all in the pot.

How do we take on the darkness of our own loss/urge for new life without becoming possessed by, stuck in our emotions or obsessed with rage? How do we protect our self so our spirits aren’t broken, horrified by the heavy truth? Perseus was sent to slay the demon in Medusa, on behalf of Athena, the jailer. That which imprisons us also sets us free. This is the truth of Scorpio and the truth of life. Only by ‘serving time’ do we learn the lessons of power, desire, betrayal and loss.

And so we don the protective power of Athena’s mirror/shield as psychic protection against forces that have the power to wipe us out. Wisdom, beauty and truth are in our service. We honor our distrust for superficiality and triviality, allowing our gaze to penetrate veneers. We willingly keep secrets because we honor the sacred power in darkness, knowing it will transform when the time is right. We understand Life as the ultimate teacher of Truth and become Life’s passionate devotees– this passion infuses our actions with integrity even as we stare down the darkness of mystery. Like the starfish who re-grows a lost limb, we realize that we lose is not lost forever, just regenerated in a new way. And ultimately, we recover a knowing: that we have enough faith in life’s love for us to know that we too will grow a new limb, relationship, treasure, dream or skill. This is the power of the New Moon in Scorpio.

11/12 Mars moves into Scorpio on this New Moon day, your perfect tool for crafting a long-term strategy. Obviously this Mars says: first reflect, action draws to you as a result of your power. Know that your urges for self-assertion have both a forcefulness and fixity–unlike the previous few months spent in Libra’s Waffle House.

11/14-11/15 Mars trines Uranus. Uranus exit from backward motion (June-November) has us actively looking for new approaches to tired circumstances, patterns. With Mars, we have the opportunity to re-vision our behavior, our ability to respond to life. The visionary warrior appears.

Venus in Libra sextiles Pluto in Sagittarius and we receive a little gemstone from the salt mines. With minor digging we may uncover a kernel of truth in relationship with our closest partners, something of value, substance. This is music to Capricorn’s ears as today and the next we’re looking for the substance behind the flash and style.

11/18 The moon heads into it’s monthly first quarter square, this time in the sign of Aquarius, enhancing the Saturn retrograde feeling we’ve all recently encountered. How do we move ahead when limitations linger like bedraggled bedfellows? Imagine a hospital corridor: ‘I know I’m healing, but look at all these people walking around real slow like with tubes and bandages.’ The bone has been effectively set (Sun trine Saturn), but the doctor just told you that it will be a few more months than anticipated (Saturn retrograde). Despite the delays, with Uranus as co-ruler of Aquarius, we have enough spunk to be upbeat. Heading into 11/19, Venus in Libra squares retrograde Saturn in Cancer providing enough frustration to send anyone into the underbelly of Scorpio. Relationships are tested and wallets feel the pinch. It may be time to integrate a give and take around emotional and security needs. If you find yourself and partner in a row, cool off. Saturn is a cool, dry planet and is asking for the distance of detachment. A little primer on Saturn retrograde:

Saturn mantras: The good things in life are worth waiting for. Negative emotions mellow with age. Sell no wine before its time. All in good time. Patience is a virtue. I wish I knew then what I know now. Wisdom is golden. Good things come to those who wait.

Feel the necessity for re-working a foundational issue and apply your own mantra to the place where you find your bottom line needs reinforcements.

11/20 Mercury conjuncts Pluto in Sagittarius. Mercury in Sag is prone to foot-in-mouth disease, mentally running ahead of itself. As he bumps into something hidden or previously unseen, information provides rich discourse. Sun moves into Sagittarius 11/21, ready to create that festive mood we associate with the holiday hustle and bustle. Where are our motivations? Idealism is high and we find ourselves ‘in the spirit’, connecting with purpose and meaning throughout our own particular style of holiday worship. This year, holidays are appreciated through Jupiter in Libra—generosity with loved ones, many social events and interesting discourse. We use Jupiter best when we strive to honor everyone at the Thanksgiving table by learning from one another’s philosophy, perspective. Sign o’ the times –it’s a good lesson for us all.

11/24-25 Sun squares Uranus providing us with the perfect Jupiter practice. Some disruptions in plans, last minute changes are possible. Like a rowdy distant cousin from back home interrupting the flow of your feng-shui’d holiday table, accommodating the unexpected is on your late night shopping run. Sushi meets cranberry sauce while the take-it-slow–and-easy Taurus moon somehow makes it palatable. Our holiday culminates in full bellies on the eve of the full moon. Expect to be more stuffed than usual!

Red & Green Alert: Mercury the Magnific goes retrograde 11/30-12/24 just in time for holiday shopping season! Do I have to spell it out? No electronics or mechanical gadgets should be purchased 11/30 or after. In fact, those of you who are familiar with Mercury’s antics know that about 2 wks. prior and at least one week following we do not sign contracts, make big purchases (especially related to communications) or expect the details of our day to day life to go forward, hardly. Get your holiday plans down, presents purchased, as soon as possible. Saving grace, Santa’s reindeer are recovered from their winter flu by 12/24. Yes Tiny Tim, Christmas comes to the children after all.

Full Harvest Moon Aries, Tuesday, September 28, 2004 6:09 AM

Full Harvest Moon Aries, Tuesday, September 28, 2004 6:09 AM

The Harvest Moon is the first fall moon that falls after the autumn equinox
in the northern hemisphere. The gap in light between sunset and moonrise
has shortened, with only 1/2 hour between sunset and moonrise. So named
Harvest moon as the moonlight allowed farmers to harvest their crops in the
evening, as daylight dwindled and there was still work to be done. The sign
of Virgo is one of harvest, the Virgo energy of the last month perfecting
what we can to produce the best of who we are. This full moon illuminates
the harvest, and like all full moons, asks us to make room for new
awareness. Falling so close to the autumn equinox, changing of the seasons
and signs, suddenly we are participants in a new cyclic process. Fall
harvests the bounty to prepare for the winter ahead. Out moves in, light
moves into dark.

Because the moon is cyclic and builds in light, the full moon doesn’t seem
as straightforward as New Moon energy. The collection of light builds, from
new to first quarter to full. The initial impulse takes color and
complexity building to a crescendo of multiple perspectives and choices. As
the moon has filled her belly, so we are full with choice. Ideally, this
harvest moon is a culmination of the seeds we’ve planted. The opportunity
is to see with precision and clarity, what our next step will be, what
action is ripe for the taking.

Sun, Mars and Jupiter all line up in the early degrees of Libra, Mercury
will be moving into Libra the day after. Virgo held the same planets in a
‘tour of duty’ over the past month; we stop picking ourselves apart and find
the strength in paradox. We are flawed and imperfect, divine and human–
there is more acceptance around this now. Virgo’s stomachache is soothed
with Libra’s cool hand of reason. Libra is the urge for equality and
balance in relationship; the aesthetic of beauty & balance attempts to
answer the human need for the inner peace, harmony. This peace of Libra is
one path to freedom, bliss in balance.

When Aries pushes forward into full moon energy, somewhere there is strain.
Aries is forceful; Libra has suddenly started asking difficult questions
around our capacity to hold the tension in relationships. Aries feels an
impulse to move in a direction, which may be premature, too hard, too quick
or too soon. There are other people’s realities to consider, expectations
and demands which require a tactful knack for diplomacy. Diplomacy isn’t
just a word for politicians; it’s another expression of balance. We need to
sustain goodwill toward the players in our lives in order to keep our
personal world spinning in delicate balance. Like a hanging mobile-we are
each holding pieces and parts of a structure that each hang in the balance
of the other. A weakness or kink in the system may show up, requiring a up
close and personal look at where we’ve been too pushy, self-centered or
unwise in our use of personal will.

The recently directed motion of Chiron suggests this may be an old wound, a
continued pattern in need of healing. Questionssurface: How do we give
when we are left wanting? How do we do this thing called ‘taking others
into consideration’ when others may not do this for us? What do we do when
we’ve given and now find ourselves depleted? Is there an ‘I’ in ‘We’? The
questions prompt a new understanding around giving and receiving,
relationship and independence, codependence and interdependence. The
suggestion of the Full Moon is that you find yourself on one side of the
fence; polarized from your innately balanced, true nature.

How to take this yearning for harmony, deeper, into the action of the Full
Moon? The depletion and defeat of pouring self out into others, into the
world, can only be remedied with the equal action of taking in for self. We
cannot give to others if we are hurting inside, if we haven’t taken the time
and intention to honor our own need for giving to our self. Giving to
others has become so culturally marketed, its partner receiving takes a back
seat, a menial by-product to the sainthood we’re told to aspire. We begin
to build a default reality of ‘no expectations’, taking our needs &
dependencies inward, secretly letting them fester with each missed
expectation. Each missed expectation builds resentments and possibly
co-dependency, taking us into dark territories. At this point we declare
how much we do for the other, and how little reward we are given. We ask
for sainthood and end up martyring our self. Or we pull away completely
into a bubble of ‘I don’t need you, I’m fine on my own’. The end result is
aggression and violence in relationship, destroying the delicate balance in
the cycle of flow. All because we have a need to receive and cannot seem to
find a way to find this for our self.

We acknowledge the need to receive and give in measure, in balance, but how
many of us can say that we are at any given time in possession of this
balance? We must learn how to do both. Despite popular opinion, there is
no shame in receiving. If you need to give to yourself now, acknowledge
it. Take it in like air. Then decide how to do it for yourself (Moon in
Aries) instead of getting on a self-righteous bender (also Moon in Aries).
It is necessary to ask for what you need in relationship, but before we can
make this request we must be certain we are doing it right for self. I’ll
let you in on a secret and paradoxical law of Libra-give to yourself, and
receive. This is a special spin for those of us who do our share of giving
and need reminding that we must put ourselves as sacred before we can do
this for another. When you reach that point of emptiness or deficit, it
also helps to realize that nothing you give away is irreplaceable; it all
comes from the infinite source within. You are however, subject to the
human/divine laws of giving and receiving. If one is working in overdrive,
the body & soul feels the impact, transmitting the message that it’s time to
correct the course, or suffer injury. Correct the instrument and move
along-use Mercury in the last degree of Virgo to glean one last lesson: the
only obstacle between you and change is choice.

Still faced with a Full Moon in Aries screaming need, what do we do? How do
we create experiences of receiving when it’s either impractical or
impossible to receive from another? Start small. Try noticing a compliment
and really taking it in. Appreciating it, repeating it, mulling it over in
your head like you do so well with your negative thoughts. Or notice the
way the color you wear today affected your day; how it uplifted everyone you
came into contact with. Acknowledge how laughter ripples through a room
like a stone’s throw on a lake, how your thoughts work like this, too.
Relish the smell of the fall, eucalyptus trees and the sharp, brisk take the
air has lately. Do those things you do for you anyway, but let yourself
have them completely. The class, pedicure, the meal under the stars, the
treat you buy yourself. Become completely engaged with the fact that your
energy is moving inward now, out toward activity, or wherever it needs to
be. Accept and receive how good it feels to give yourself the gift of total
presence to the moments in your life that make your life uniquely yours, no
one else’s. Your preferences, your feelings, and the nuances of what you
notice. Giving your self permission to enjoy completely those things you
know to be true for you, without judgment, is incredibly restorative and
healing. And this is what we look for when we’re looking to balance our
giving/receiving equation. Full Harvest Moon in Aries wants you to see,
hear, touch, and taste what makes you feel most alive. Take it in real deep
and praise it with the love you’ve kept bound up inside like a question
waiting for an answer. You are the question and the answer.

9/29 Mercury moves into Libra, now the fabulous 4- Sun, Mercury, Mars and
Jupiter reside in the sign of the scales. Mars and Jupiter are happy to be
so close to one another, in the agreeable side of Libra much less prone to
act like a crazed Giants fan, Mars & Jupiter’s’ fanatical behavior.
Fanaticism will more likely show up in the art of negotiation, discourse and
the desire to see all sides of the situation. This can leave the feisties
in a stalemate, because they do want to move ahead while Libra’s analysis
paralysis must be certain everyone has had their say. Individualism can
dissipate into just trying to get along, albeit with much enthusiasm and
bickering. Mercury’s gift of fluidity comes in handy when things get too
hot. A creative negotiation is in order on 9/29 and 9/30 when Mercury joins
Mars. The need for impartiality is highlighted; words can be weapons here,
even in the name of truth. Hear ‘Both Sides Now’ like the Joni Mitchell
song. Be wary of anyone who tells you they have the truth market cornered
as Mercury quincunxes Uranus-the objective is to look at an old issue with
new eyes. Communication may suffer some distortions as words have the
impact of electricity, shocking & rocking the boat of reason. Charged up,
people are taking things ‘on principle’ arguments break out in the name of
‘fairness’ and ‘equality’. Reason weighs right and might; this time, right
wins. Moon is in Taurus our concerns are on the practical-security, money,
how we are compensated and valued.

10/01 Mars quincunxes Uranus Change something in your behavior now to
incorporate a new way of expressing what you want. We may find the courage
and means to act on behalf of or in the name of others; someone may want us
to incorporate some new ideas around assertion into the picture. If it
doesn’t feel safe, it’s probably not right, but if it pushes the edge into
new discovery, it was worth the risk. Moon in Taurus may want to play it
safe, so holding the tension with love is paramount.

10/03 Venus moves into Virgo and Moon in Gemini. Venus shifts and so do our
preferences. Moving into Virgo she may not be so happy, finding fault
before love and not getting the appreciation she’s due. The line-up of
planets in her ruling sign, Libra will make sure she’s given due
attention-but what is highlighted may be all that’s left to fix and clean-up
for the fulfillment of the relationship or ideal. It’s a month long journey
which is sure to entail some course correction. This can cause some
resentment or disappointment when a promise turns out to have been a
stand-in for true change. Do not fear, says Moon in Gemini, we’ve plenty of
ideas for improving our love life. Resources are within reach and a new
piece of information or conversation proves invaluable.

10/05 Mercury and Sun meet to discuss their preoccupation with what is so
darn obvious to them, why can’t anyone else see it? Yes, vision is myopic
and both trining Neptune the Nebulous, it’s easy to fall prey to the pretty
delusion of our own mind. However pretty it may be, Venus opposes Uranus,
guaranteeing some strange, eccentric or unusual behavior from others. While
you talk yourself in circles and then do the surrender dance of Neptune by
checking out from sheer exhaustion, you may be strangely drawn to magnetized
to someone who is excitedly different, or someone who has an unusual take on
things. The upside is the ability to see what needs to change in
relationship, ultimately for your own benefit although perhaps
discombobulating. Explore a new taste. Partnered or not, try not to
claim’sour apples’ as Venus wants to jump to conclusions in lieu of taking a
risk. Throughout this day moon in Cancer may sensitize us a little more
than usual. If emotions run high and logic is faulty, order in and rent an
oddball flick. Now at the last quarter of the moon cycle, if consciousness
is saturated, perfect timing to throw something that has fallen into state
of disuse, away.

10/06 through 10/11 Jupiter quincunxes Uranus, where big ideas and change
aren’t really seeing eye to eye. This aspect runs itself out for a few days
and that may be how long it takes to re-stabilize and establish some feet on
the ground perspective. This is the dynamic duo of potential– the
booby-trap is getting swept up in what could be, leaving behind what needs
practical attention. The last quarter Moon on 10/06 sets the tone with
Saturn attempts to align us with the urge for sustainability even in the
flow of progress and change. The practical details may win out when the hot
air balloon we’ve been riding starts to slowly descend. This is a natural
part of the cycle, a necessary loss for the next step. Moon in Leo 10/07 &
10/08 may still want to take us higher.

10/09 Mercury is still riding sidesaddle to the Sun; both sextile Pluto,
Mercury 10/09 and Sun on 10/12. This is the opportunity for synthesizing
our deepest thoughts with our purpose. Libra wants us to think and
perceive with fairness, Pluto is interested only in the truth. The
combination makes for a good Supreme Court Justice with the ability to get
to the bottom of the matter at hand. Deliberate attention is rewarded with
a fair and just verdict. Listen with impartiality, remembering the scales
of Maat-keep the wisdom of the heart as deep as the ocean and as light as a
feather. Test for truth: if it is a Universal Truth, it won’t hold true for
just one ‘for instance’, it can be applied to anything and everything.

New Moon Virgo, Tuesday, September 14, 2004 7:29 AM

New Moon Virgo, Tuesday, September 14, 2004 7:29 AM

Virgo is in a precarious position on the zodiac wheel; it’s located at the point where the physical body makes an adjustment or tune up before it crosses into the southern half of the circle. I see the symbol in my life as I sit down to write and realize I’m experiencing minor back pain from a late night yoga posture turned jiu-jitsu maneuver. I had fun doing it! says the preceding sign, Leo. After Leo’s fun, Virgo steps back and discriminates looking for any excess, unwise or indiscriminate behavior. The urge to perfect experience in this reality of form is channeled through the physical body. If we try to bypass this step, the body feels the impact. Virgo knows that the body is a great source of feedback, thus the sign’s preoccupation with health and healing. It is a container holding that sacred ground where memory, spirit & mystery intermingle. The body is the container for the magical alchemy of our experience here—the temple for the nameless, formless and mysterious. Much of the time we walk around in this sacred space blindfolded. The blindfold appears as a form of neglect, addiction, procrastination, disorderliness– all of which eventually create physical crisis. Blind to our body, the blindfold is our inability to sense what we know are greater truths happening in the here and now, in the body. The appearance of a bodily crisis or limitation points to the separation we have from greater truths. It is the body that holds the space for the co-creation of our very personal reality.

Virgo can initiate us, through the body, into mysteries far deeper than we initially deem ourselves capable of holding. As a ‘house’ on the zodiacal wheel, Virgo represents the place, the ‘room’ we enter right before we’re ready to show self to the world. Imagine this as a dressing room where you get to examine yourself up close and personal. Florescent lighting, mirrors from all angles and yes, you are wearing a bikini. You’re sizing yourself up because in the next room you travel to, Libra; there will be another person ready and all too willing to hold up a hand mirror to your beauty. Are you ready to see beauty or are you up in the mirror, squeezing the ooze out, spying the imperfections? If you’re honest, there are many things to fix here. There shows up our teacher asking us to make room for pain, discomfort or adjustment.

Moon in Virgo is the spirit perfecting itself through the body; the daily adjustments and grunt work, the activities and requirements for doing what it takes’. This impulse is a clever veil for the urge for perfection. This happens in myriad ways—the new diet is no longer working (again), work has become overwhelming or monotonous, an old injury needs new attention or the neglected inner life starts rowdily demanding attention, emotional backlog. Initially, this may appear as work or drudgery, a new responsibility, one not planned on taking. These are practical demands, practically demanding that we adjust, as the cost of neglect is too high. Self-improvement needs to happen and quick. This is the uninvited guest we are asked to set a place for—in the midst of an already full banquet of life.

The secret of Virgo is two-fold: humility & work. If you are blessed with the inner and outer vision to see what it takes to improve your situation, offer all of yourself to the cause fully and completely. If you’ve ever selflessly given something of yourself while relinquishing all desire in happiness for self, you know the purifying power of Virgo’s humility. It’s as though someone came along and deep cleaned your soul, you blessedly receive the equivalent of a ‘spiritual facial’. You life energy amps up so brightly, you practically levitate into your beauty. This is the inner glow we see radiating from people we admire, the awe-inspiring question we ask ourselves ‘how do they look so good?’ There is a catch though, and this is where Cosmo and Vogue miss the beauty boat entirely. As with many concepts we think we know and own but really don’t have a clue how to practice: Humility is not an idea, but a way of being. One of the most direct paths to humility is service, and service implies work. ‘Too much work’ you complain. Work is really just a time and energy commitment. If we’re all constantly committing time and energy, are we committing in the right place? It may just be a matter of re-directing priorities.

Here’s something to work with: humility is not just useful in orphanages, volunteer work and giving money to the homeless– although at the right time, these can be very profound practices. Humility is about offering all of yourself to the best aspect of you. Not trading up your weakness for strengths but letting your strengths shine into the parts of your self aching for improvement. In fact, I offer that this is the best way you can use this Virgo energy right now. What are we doing here if not bringing heaven to earth, attempting divine perfection in our own human bodies? So often we say we’re ‘only human’ as though being in the body is synonymous with being imperfect. In the spirit of this Mars/Jupiter/Moon/Sun alignment I am both assigning and challenging you: Daily, over the next few weeks, humbly bow to the best parts of yourself as though you were bowing at the feet of the divine. Then, lovingly, tenderly, wash the stinky feet. Make the lifestyle changes you need to make to bring yourself closer to your God, to burn more brightly and beautiful. You can humbly admit and commit.

On the tail of a Mercury Uranus opposition yesterday (9/13), you are crackling with electricity and may have a wild card up your sleeve. Insight and revelation make it through all the static somehow, busy-ness and hyperawareness take precedence over the forceful passion/destruction of the weekend. Play the insight card and you’re at a full house with four planets in the get-busy sign of Virgo sextiling Saturn, the Lord of Form on this New Moon. This planetary energy is about taking the ideal to the real, as earth signs want to manifest something physical. This is an absolutely perfect time to put the pedal to the medal and expect to see long-term results. With all the Virgo energy this month, you may’ve already started a diet, exercise regimen, cleaned up an old behavior, cleaned out a closet, began a new project—these are all Virgo pursuits of purification for the body and soul. If you’re in a helping profession, you’ll be particularly aware of the healing energy asked of and available to you right now. You may also find yourself vulnerable to the demands of others. Don’t forget to put yourself first, a priori to being of any use to anyone! Venus in Leo should keep you in check, reminding you not to be shy about asking for attention and affection. Admiration and praise are what we all need to feel loved and appreciated right now. Likewise, it may be easy to see someone else’s exaggerated demands for attention. Give them center stage they crave while reminding them that Oscar gives the same gold awards to supporting actors & stage designers. No one does it alone.

Muscle Man Mars gives you stamina as he travels with Sun until 9/21. This is energy just waiting to give you some kind of payoff—I can’t emphasize this enough. If you’ve been waiting for the right time to stop procrastinating you’ve hit pay dirt. With few retrograde planets, the energy appears to be moving forward for the first time all year. Mars exactly sextiles Saturn on 9/17 & 18 joining concentration and effort. Strong-arming, with a gentle touch, can lock a plan into place. Two aspects of Venus on 9/18 & 9/19 soften the atmosphere, a welcome reprieve to workaholism or energy burnout. Venus opposed by Neptune softens our senses, extending body intelligence to include the realm of the senses, the psychic, and the creative impulse. As though you’ve been walking down a city street full of jackhammers and construction, you notice the quality of the morning light or find yourself lost in an internal reverie of color. Let this aspect transport you; lift you out of the trap of the mundane. Neptune is the glamour planet with a marvelously seductive ability. Partnered with Venus, con artists, messiahs and saviors now find it easy to pull a fast one. You are vulnerable now so take all promises with a grain of salt—and expect none to pan out. Use illusion and creativity to your advantage by creating an experience of enlightened bliss, instead of falling prey to an apparition of the relationship of your dreams. Mercury inconjuncts Venus at the same time as relationship preferences walk the line between fact and fiction. This is a great aspect for some poetry; jumbled words and images coalesce far more effectively than analysis paralysis.

The intensely focused energy of the past month begins to shift on 9/21 when Sun and Jupiter join and bid Virgo adieu at the fated 29th degree. The day of truth is here. The past year has delivered rewards to a certain part of your life- have you received them? The rays of the Sun take on the expanse of Jupiter. Jupiter is a teacher and philosopher who uplifts and broadens perspective- by enriching, he teaches. Some astrology refers to the 29th degree as the crisis degree– I liken this to a sense of urgency around managing the energy of the planet. Jupiter is the jolly green giant of the cosmos. Like Jack and the Beanstalk, Jupiter continually outgrows us, just when we think we’ve seen it all it pushes us to think bigger, be bigger. If we’ve kept pace with our capacity to expand, truth be told, we’ll continually be catching glimpses of a new vista. This is one of those magical moments when we can really grasp this understanding. This planet is meant to push us beyond our boundaries, beyond what is comfortable and safe. Not for the sake of trespassing what we hold inviolable but in order for us to experience a bigger reality, a bigger experience of what and who we are. Where is it that you tighten and constrict when a big bear embrace would do wonders? Sun entering Libra on 9/22 prepares us for Jupiter’s shift into Libra on 9/24. Take a deep breath around this day and ask yourself if you can feel the new wind under your wings. This is a breath of fresh air enlivening an area of your life over the next year, an area ready to receive the cosmic boon of bigger and better. A fiery Venus and Pluto sextile today providing a boon of inspiration, so tap into the charisma around you and let it animate the beginning of this new cycle.

9/25 Mercury sextiles Saturn is a good day for clear communication and day-to-day type transactions of importance. If you’ve wanted to sign a contract or make an agreement stick, give it longevity and stability by signing today. Let your friends know how much they mean to you today and they’ll really hear it.

This is one loaded day as Mars moves into Libra on 9/26 (thru 11/10) urging the warrior to be more balanced in his assertions. As he has been over the past month, he’s still moving very close to the Sun where his aggressive nature is intensified by the Sun’s heat. Adding the new element of airy Libra, fire is creating a lot of hot air. Yes, people are just beginning to take others into account. This feeds debate and dialogue as we crave impartiality but don’t see it yet! Represent the highest aspect of Libra by recognizing both the relevancy and relativity of each side. When we are truly able to sit in the middle, we open to the truth of the situation. This same day, Mars joins Jupiter, initiating Jupiter into his new kingdom. Energy and enthusiasm meet and we may experience overload. Our enthusiasms take us to extremes and we may just want to bite off more than we can chew. Positively, these same qualities usher in signs of what’s to come over the next year. Use this day to make the big push in that direction you feel moved to follow. Libra always plays well with others, using diplomacy and moderation when called for– so don’t run over others in your haste.

The Sun in Libra quincunxes Uranus on this same day, indicating creative adjustment and a change in plans. Revolutionary solutions, creative compromise, reinforce the quest for balance in relationship. Libra energy is replacing that of Virgo and we move from housecleaning into prettying ourselves up. We find ourselves wanting to partake in pleasures of art, music, beauty and love. Mercury, the mind, moves into Libra on 9/28 where she joins Sun, Mars and Jupiter. The myriad perceptions we encounter are focused through relationships. Expect to encounter idealism in self and others as we try to put on our best face for the world. The shadow side of Libra is people pleasing, neglecting who we are for who we believe others want us to be. The trickster checks this misperception—when we try to become who we are not, we fall flat to those same people we were hoping to please. We want to please others and this is a noble pursuit. How do we do this without compromising self? Who experiences the reward of our giving? ‘Give and you shall receive’ may paradoxically read ‘Receive and you shall give’. Open to receive and watch your world populate with Jupiter’s bounty!

Jupiter Bonus: If you have a copy of your natal chart, look to see what area of life Jupiter is entering. However, we can also supplement your personal ‘transit’ by looking at Jupiter’s relationship to your sun sign. Here are some very general areas where you can expect an influx of good fortune:

Aries- one on one relationship and business partnerships

Taurus- work, habits & routine, health, fitness

Gemini- romance, creativity, children, fun

Cancer- home, family, real estate

Leo- communications, siblings and extended family, friends, neighborhood

Virgo- money, financial stability, self worth

Libra- YOU, you lucky thing. Attractiveness, charisma, the body and life force

Scorpio- mystery, the world of imagination, spiritual awareness, secrets, letting go

Sagittarius- hopes, wishes and dreams

Capricorn- career, public persona, establishing stability in profession

Aquarius- travel, higher education & higher mind, expanding into different perspectives

Pisces- joint resources, financial obligations, psychic & physical transformation

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 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. 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 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. 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.

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.