What To Do During Venus Retrograde

Beautiful girl in ethnic jewelry with mirror covered with sand

For forty days, July 26-September 6, 2015, Venus will move retrograde in the degrees of 00’46’ Virgo-14’24’ Leo.

Retrograde Revaluations

Venus is the cosmic darling, Goddess of Love, Beauty, Pleasure and all we enjoy. With Venus, life is good – we find money under our pillow, our creative achievements win accolades and praise, our friends and lovers shower us with affection and we feel confident and look good. So what happens when Venus goes retrograde? Though we might be tempted to imagine lovers being jilted at the altar, abject poverty, and beauty treatments gone very bad, while not impossible, a more typical expression of Venus retrograde events feel more like an adjustment and reorientation around what makes you truly happy, what and who you enjoy and consider worthwhile. For instance, like an eagerly anticipated trip to an ice cream store an hour away only to find out our favorite flavor has been discontinued, we may feel disappointed, a little cheated, and wonder why we spent so much time, effort or money on an activity, thing or person that ultimately left us feeling flat. [Read more...]

Cancer New Moon: Goodbye, Persephone

Little red riding hood on a shore of a misty lake

This Cancer New Moon is a Goddess Moon. Like the summer season itself, Cancer holds our nostalgia for and faith in good things: family, patriotism, apple pie, watermelon on a hot day, unconditional love and our belief in others’ good kind hearts. This innocence is precious. When spread like butter on hot corn, it is compassion embodied, and it is what we Cancerians do well. Maiden-Mother-Crone Goddess reminds us to hold our hearts high and holy. [Read more...]

Capricorn Full Moon: Grandfather Moon

desert moon

“If you can’t get rid of the family skeleton you might as well make it dance.” -George Bernard Shaw

“Your ancestors send you good wishes.” -Anon

“You do know that we are descendants of George Washington,” said my cousin, who proceeds to send me a text image of the index card my grandmother wrote up in her wobbly handwriting, with equally wobbly evidence of this linkage, before she died. The first time I heard this story I was sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen, age 8 or 9. Every family has their mythology and this one, while glamorous and fun to think about, was about as relevant to my life as some distant person never met, which is to say, not that much. My family life bore such scant resemblance to that of a noble leader and statesman it was laughable. [Read more...]

Make A Wish


Have you noticed the celestial good vibes circulating – feelings of celebration, goodwill, affection and love?  Look up! As Venus and Jupiter visibly align in Leo this week (exact early Wednesday morning), we are under the influence of what the ancients called these two Greater Benefics (benefic=beneficial), and aspects like this one can cause us to feel soporific, in love with life, pleasantly lazy or indulgent. [Read more...]

Sexy Summer Solstice Spell


My delectable friend Sofia Facebook’d me this morning…Y’know the pomegranate ritual? It’s too effective. I’ve been celibate for 10 months; is there something or a ritual to do to reverse it? PLEASE say yes! I created The pomegranate ritual because using shimmery sexual chemistry as a qualifying factor for a partner, which while good at attracting a partner of the moment, never attracted a life partner for me.  Instead of compulsively following the sexual buzz, I wanted to take back my sexual power so it no longer overrode my intuition (it worked!). If you want to shift into a more self-possessed relationship to your sexual body, sensual magnetism and attractiveness, try it.

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Gemini New Moon: Fresh Air

Little twins doing repair at home, hanging wallpaper

As a young school girl, I remember looking forward to this time of year. School was out and summer break beckoned: A three month stint of lazing by the pool, playing with friends, camping trips, trips to visit relatives and plenty of time to whittle away at my Nancy Drew book collection. Mostly I looked forward to freedom- from the ho-hum of same stuff, different day. By May I was fidgety and bored, ready as a bottle rocket to burst out the school door and while I didn’t have the superpowers make the world brand new again, I suspected that summer could. [Read more...]

Mercury & Neptune Station: Speaking & Knowing


I don’t have one voice. I have many voices. Sometimes it is soft, silky and seductive. Other times it is courageously bold. My voice can be wise, with wisdom beyond my years. My voice can be spiritual, moved by the field of connection unifying us all. Or it can be fiercely honest, calling bullshit on me, and on you. I may appear a white woman in her early 40’s but if I were a nineteen years old black man, or if I were in Bruce, nee’ Caitlyn, Jenner’s body, I would still be me. I contain multitudes within me. The multitudes move through me in dialects of moods, tone, emotion. My voice reflects the multi-dimensionality of my human and spiritual experience. [Read more...]

Sagittarius Full Moon: Change of Heart

Sailboat in the sea.

Today I am in Vienna, Austria, a place I typically cherish. Yet this time we arrive to wet, unseasonably cold and dreary weather and an impersonal feeling Airbnb apartment filled with minimalist Ikea furnishings. Our apartment lacks all warmth and soulfulness, I brought all the wrong clothes, I miss my dog, Magnus, and my body hurts from the uncomfortable furniture that makes it hard for me to work – or do anything. A metaphor for life, travel is rife with suffering, discomfort, extreme fatigue, inconvenience and time sinks.

Still, I am lucky; my husband travels a lot, so I choose my trips. A girlfriend asked me what I do everyday while he works. I prefer to avoid touristy crowds. I do mundane, everyday things that I do at home. I become absorbed in daily life, but this time with the fresh eyes of a traveler. I walk a lot. I look in boutique windows. I ride the underground, and shop for provisions in open-air markets. I smile when I come across a sight that I’d never encountered before: A whole shop devoted to colorful handmade peppermills (and that at first glance resemble something else). A dog so small I could fit it in my pocket. We play with, stumble through, and marvel at the language. Our Austrian friend, who has lived here lifelong, tells us there is a bastard word that translates as: “this person was conceived by two people who had sex on a park bench”. He says his (progressive) 75 years-young mother just taught him this word. We laugh.

Regular readers know I love Vienna. All 3 of my books were either written or have their origins in this place so I’ve come to think of it as inspirational, magical – my muse – and have even questioned whether I’m actually a European at heart. Yearly, John and I (who share a composite ninth house Leo Sun) have rekindled our romance here. Together, we’ve made this journey 9 times over the past 9 years, for week and months-long stretches… so for all these reasons and more I didn’t expect to feel adrift, listless, and frankly, done. Not now. The pleasures that once called my name with their intrigues, the cakes, coffees, museums and shops, suddenly feel empty. I notice how little things have changed here over the years and, instead of being charmed as usual, this fact feels provincial and oppressive. I grow confused. Maybe the inconveniences of travel have finally outweighed its delights. Maybe this once unfamiliar Sagittarian journey has grown too familiar. I think about the number 9, the number of fruition, completion.

With its love for movement, variety and change, the Gemini season stimulates us to seek out new information, scenery, and this new information we gather is Gemini’s lifeblood, pumping new thoughts and perceptions into our Spirit. To engage Gemini, we do things that open our mind -like travel, get an astrology reading, read a new book, have a stimulating conversation or just step outside our door with the intention to learn or try something new. Gemini Sun’s pilgrim counterpart, the Sagittarius Moon, with its hunger for adventure and soul-broadening experiences, is a clever companion. Alone, Gemini Sun can scatter and spend experiences like Monopoly money, unconcerned for their wisdom, truth, but Sagittarius Moon prompts perspective: Yes, but what does this mean to your heart?

This Moon is Full in Sagittarius, sign of: journeys and journeyors, sitting on mountain tops and drinking from the dregs of life. Every time we follow our restless instinct to expand into the unfamiliar we engage Sagittarius. Yet a destination never guarantees certainty; that is why it’s called a journey. Where will we actually wind up? How will it turn out in the end? What will our heart learn, this time around? We just never know…And right now, we truly don’t know. Neptune wearily squares this Full Moon: Amidst our hunger for experiences, inexplicable feelings of dis-illusionment, dis-enchantment, sorrow, sadness, and loss may inextricably surface like a piece of driftwood from the sea of consciousness into our own. Neptune’s placement at this lunation suggests our consciousness is shifting in an area of our life, and we need to give our self stillness to simply be with and process the new information. Like watching a ship come into a foggy harbor, we are working with a level of uncertainty and unknowns, and like the ship, we, too, need to give our self a wide berth. We need to give our self space to accept and adapt to changing conditions. We may need to let go… of an old identity, a way of being, a place.

I have a thought that scares me to speak aloud, so I don’t: I don’t know if I want to come back, here, again. This place, of our honeymoon 9 years ago, this place that has nurtured our marriage, has been so sacred and integral to our identity as a couple that it feels sacrilegious to even think it. Neptune molts us, like my chickens do, annually, asks us to surrender our reliable feathers with only a teardrop of faith that downy new ones will re-grow. Seekers always look for gifts of personal meaning in every journey. I have been given a great privilege in being here, and I hope I have reciprocated this with all my heart -even as it changes. It has been a blessing to know Vienna, to have loved and been loved by her. So with wistful tears in my eyes, heart full of gratitude, I step outside the door. The weather has changed; it is sunny and warm now. People are drinking aperitifs on pop-up sidewalk cafes that weren’t here yesterday. I choose an unfamiliar street, and a natural foods grocer I’d not discovered in my other 9 times here magically appears. Things are looking up. That old familiar feeling returns: Vienna loves me. Vienna is my friend.

Taurus New Moon: Return To Your Senses

Two  girls  outdoor

My grandmother’s house had a certain smell. I’ve never identified it as say Chanel no. 5, which she had on her dressing table, yet it was just as much of a signature scent. A combination of Lily of the Valley, cedar and, likely, moth balls, every time I walked into her house this soothing scent was like baker’s vanilla to my soul, putting me at ease. When she died, I thought she would take this signature scent with her, but when I went back to help settle her house, which had been sitting there a year since she died, the painful final memories I had of her fighting her death with every ounce of life force she had left, which was not much by then, were erased by that glorious perfume, the same as I remembered. I loved her, and I loved her lingering smell for the physical, visceral way it brought her right back to me. [Read more...]

Venus, Out of Bounds

Impatient wife

This afternoon, while working in my home office, my dog, Magnus, who had been sitting quietly next to me, started barking like a wild man. I had heard a sound in the front yard, and frankly this isn’t unusual (we live amongst deer and other wild animals, and we always joke that he barks at ghosts) so I chose to ignore the barking. When he refused to be calmed, I got up, rounded the corner, and saw a woman in my living room about to ascend my staircase. [Read more...]