As someone with a very un mainstream career, when people ask what I do for a living, what I call myself (at this point either: writer, astrologer or health coach), sadly, is determined by what is most likely to merit the least amount of judgment from others. Being so firmly planted “outside the system” has put me in the position of getting a bird’s eye view about what and who people, and our world, values — and what I’ve learned is painful. While I have followed purposeful calling(s) that allow me to offer my gifts to the world and they reflect my values, over and over I revisit the fact that my values and the mainstream’s values are not the same. I often learn this through that universal form of valuation: money. Read more
A friends of my friends are in newly committed relationships. After the heady high of romance, things can get rocky. From listening to their stories, I’m reminded of the challenges a relationship faces during that precarious and magnificent time when two people decide to merge hearts & lives.
John and I quickly decided we couldn’t live without each other; time was made irrelevant by the fact that we had found our other half. There is no more glorious feeling than finally finding the one you love. Cue: angel wings and the horns of heaven. So why then was the first year of our relationship so fraught with dramatic fights, fears and cry-fests (mostly mine)? Read more
The truism goes, you have to love your self before you can truly love another. I experienced this truism as 100% true the first time I realised I’d given the love I should’ve been giving to my self to another and wound up empty & unloved.
As I get older the love truisms develop in subtlety, complexity. For instance, the idea that before you can be a “We” there must be an “I” – a Self. This is very different from loving your self, recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, becoming a confident person with goals and vision for her life. What I’m talking about is being deeply and utterly Self- centered and being okay with that. I mean really being okay with it. In a way that (most) men are born and raised knowing but (many) women aren’t. After all, if we were lucky enough to have escaped being mistaken for a parent’s appendage in childhood, society will socialize us out of putting our Self first. Read more
Springtime is the season of awakening. All of nature is conspiring to wake up: the Sun warms the birds so they’ll sing, likewise encouraging the buds. This encourages certain housecats to chase said birds. We feel this, too. We get the equivalent of cabin fever in our bodies, lives and relationships: it becomes increasingly impossible to put up with the same old same old. It is a time when, as my friend said on his Facebook status update, we discover that “Staying in my comfort zone for too long gets uncomfortable. It’s Spring, it’s time to get growing again.” The comfort zone may not even be all that comfortable, but it’s the old familiar, the same song and dance we always do, the one we let our self get away with doing. That’s the beauty of springtime — we get impatient with this old ball of tricks. At Spring, if we don’t take action to step outside of our comfort zone, we may even start to annoy our self. Read more
I used to co-teach a monthly new moon astrology class, one where we’d give a handout months’ worth of transits coming down the pike. Always, students bemoaned the transits. Mercury is retrograde, again? What good is that? Yet hope springs eternal — even in the heart of the most jaded starwatcher. When Jupiter met Venus, or the New Moon was particularly positive, the air glimmered with potential.
So it goes with life. We parse it out into good and bad experiences. We anticipate our future in the language of either/or. It’s easy for any of us to slip into duality, believing one experience is good and the other bad. We prefer bodily pleasure over suffering, ease over effort, wealth over poverty…and yet when you pause to think about it, so do children. We are here to spiritually grow and mature. There are no shortcuts for that. Apparently. Read more
There are times in life when impossible relationships appear. They aren’t available, you aren’t available, there’s a difference in age, or geography so vast that coming together is not only crazy but exceedingly impractical. Some may say that’s the definition of true love. It may be one. However, the difference between a possible or impossible relationship is that sooner or later the relationship itself, through its potential for drama, heartache and impracticality, reveals that it is not designed to exist in this time-space continuum.
Love can be confusing, crazy and everything in between. Especially if we feel: comfortable, familiar, and romantically attracted to each other. And often a part of us knows we have “been together before”. I don’t think it’s a cruel twist of fate that we have contracts to meet again with people whom we feel connected to in a mysterious way, or even love, but cannot be with today. It is apart of being a spiritual being in a human body. There’s a practical aspect to this: if you believe you’ve had more than one life, you’ve probably also had more than one mate in your perhaps hundreds of lifetimes. Obviously you cannot mate with everyone you have ever mated to in all of your lives. But what happens when we run into them in the grocery store or on Facebook? Well, it gets messy, complicated and confusing.
In astrology there’s one planet that describes this timeless tangential aspect of love– Neptune. When Neptune makes connections by transit to Venus or the relationship houses (by transit to, or transit the rulers of the Seventh, Eighth, Fifth and sometimes Fourth), Neptune can bring about these types of experiences: you meet someone, gaze into their eyes and felt that “I’ve known you forever” connection. But Neptune is not Saturn, which is to say Neptune doesn’t really care if this person fits into your life plan, if the relationship pans out in reality – or if it lasts at all. All that matters is that you’re touching souls with another soul, in this moment, and to be present to this timeless awakening that this person has inspired in you. Neptune teaches us the spiritual aspect of love– which has nothing to do with time, age, the availability of either partner or whether you can actualize the relationship in real life. Neptune says: the physical doesn’t matter, the spiritual does.
With Neptune, as with every planet, we have an element of choice. We cannot choose whether or not to have this experience but we can choose what to do with it. That’s the joy of knowing a little astrology. If we see Neptune coming ’round, we can treasure the relationship for what it is – ephemeral, heart-opening. We can orient toward spiritual awakening. Through the new awareness this person brings up we may realize our priorities in the world, and our understanding about our own life, has been incomplete. Maybe we explore the idea of past lives, of being a timeless soul in a body, for the first time. Maybe this soul mate person functions as an “angel” who brings wisdom, understanding, reminds us who we truly are and gives us pieces of our soul back – all common features of a positive Neptunian relationship. Spiritual awakening can happen in other forms, too, of course: through near death experiences (NDE’s) for instance, in which death awakens awareness of other dimensions of life that have nothing to do with this body, careers, money, getting ahead …and this initiates a spiritual journey. When Neptune is transiting your Venus or relationship points/houses, love is the invitation to a spiritual awakening, journey. You needed a reminder that: you are more than this body, and you needed to discover this through love. But Neptune is not Saturn, planet of earthly form and vows. Neptune dissolves.
What Neptune dissolves, along with heart barriers to loving others, is our mind. Maybe our linear logician may have needed dissolving. However, as the official planet of crazy-making, Neptune can wreck marriages and lives. When you try to attach your self to a relationship that is by its very nature ephemeral and formless, oh, the drama! I’ve seen clients (almost) leave their happy marriages while under Neptune’s mesmerizing influence. As an astrologer, it’s not my role to tell them what to do, but point out they are indeed under the influence – of Neptune. Balancing those crazy drug induced highs with reflective solitude is essential.
To escape the rocky relationship-wrecked shores of Neptune do not try to turn it/them into something it/they cannot be. In this, it’s important to find a way to be at peace with what the relationship is – to explore its meaning between your ears and your heart. It is your journey. Neptune always reminds us that life and love is neither good nor bad, but an experience. Choose to experience your impossible relationship as what it is: beautiful, awakening, soul-invigorating, timeless –and as delicately perishable as a flower. Hold on too tightly and you will crush it (and chances are it will make you crazy).
As with all transits, this too shall pass. The heart-wrenching soul longing to be consumed by another, the thirst for an impossible mating, eventually mellows into a deeper understanding of love, life, one’s self. Eventually you will recognize a spiritual awakening has occurred and sometimes trying to put this new awareness into words can be as impossible as trying to describe exactly why this person had such an irresistible, hypnotic hold over you. But eventually, even memory fades and all that remains is the essence.