Saturn Squares Neptune: Reality is a Convincing Illusion

matrix michael cheval

Saturn in Sagittarius is square Neptune in Pisces through November 2015 (this will be exact at 7 degrees 11/21-30, then again, June 2016 -12 degrees with Saturn and Neptune retrograde, and again, Sept 10 degrees, Neptune retrograde)*.

As Saturn in Sag lines up for a square with Neptune in Pisces this month, there’s a conflict between our spiritual worldview, faith (Pisces) and our core beliefs about life (Sagittarius). As Neptunian glamour and illusion clashes with reality, we witness endless shenanigans (Donald Trump, for instance) and real suffering (the Syrian refugees crisis, etc.) co-existing side-by-side in the world. Life can all but seem surreal. Horrors happen in a corner of the world every day, in our own life, atrocities and suffering sometimes so harsh that we cannot imagine living another day…yet our stomach still grumbles for food, and the beauty of a rainstorm still moves us. Life is an absurdist art piece. How weird. How to make sense of it? Moreso, how can we make sense of the absurd, confounding and suffersome situations in our own life? [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.

Saturn in Sagittarius: B* Slapped By The Unfamiliar

free_falling

Last night I was bitch slapped by Saturn.

Specifically, by Mars in Pisces, transiting my fifth house of risk, performance and self-expression, squaring Saturn in Sagittarius, now located in my second house of self-esteem.

What comfort zone was I pushed to face? I threw myself directly into the fire of my fears and went to a “speaking circle”, a way of being with an audience through“relational presence” (It’s not public speaking, the founder told me, it’s having an intimate conversation with each audience member). Essentially, it was eye-gazing (which I’m familiar with through spiritual exercises) – except you’re being intimate with total strangers while speaking (or not speaking), spontaneously and unrehearsed. For 3 and then 7 minutes. While being recorded on a camera. Oh, okay, why not just have your toenails pulled out, you ask? Or hey: wanna go scare up some mountain lions? [Read more…]

Sagittarius New Moon: A Lighter Spirit

viking feast by harvey dunn

In the Pacific Northwest, it’s raining as I write this.  The gentle pattering of rain is drenching the Earth with wetness, making up for all those days of having to go without. And so it goes with astrology. Those of us who study it know that astrology flows with the cyclical seasons of life. Just as spring follows winter, yang follows yin, each zodiac season relieves the former. The good and the bad news is: Everything changes. Nothing can last forever. And so on the heels of the shadowy, intense, autumnal, inward looking sign of Scorpio -the season of increasing darkness, of falling leaves and fallen loved ones, of grief and intense emotions and psychological introspection – arrives Sagittarius in a fiery bluster, all bravado and festive boisterousness. [Read more…]

Sagittarius Full Moon: A Life Less Ordinary

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 10.26.47“Dwell in possibility.”
“Truth is so rare it is delightful to tell it.”
– Emily Dickinson

Famous Sagittarian (Sun, Mercury, Venus) poet Emily Dickinson may seem an unlikely fit for this adventurous sign. Emily was an ordinary recluse, an eccentric social hermit who wore white clothing and eventually lived her life from one room. You wouldn’t know it from her poetry. Born with the Spirit of the Adventurer, Emily’s inner life was colorful, expansive, rich. She ventured inward, and created her own meaningful diversions. In her time, Dickinson, probably better known for her botany skills and glorious garden than poetry (according to Wiki), wrote that she “could inhabit the Spice Isles merely by crossing the dining room to the conservatory, where the plants hang in baskets.” Emily was also born with Moon (Libra) in the Twelfth House, explaining her chosen solitude and enchanting imagination. She was also irrepressibly optimistic, her writings often banished darkness with optimism and hope -a skill of the torch-bearing Ninth Sign: “I saw no Way/The Heavens were stitched/I felt the Columns close/The Earth reversed her Hemispheres/I touched the Universe…” [Read more…]

Sagittarius New Moon: View From The Top

black-mesaI live in a tree house that sits high above our small town, overlooking a canyon. From my living room window, I can see hawks circling the valley below looking for lunch while in the distance the sun shimmers on the ocean bay. Removed from the bustling town center and with a wide panorama view that Mother Nature reserves only for birds, this mountain-top home preaches the art of perspective. I love it for many reasons, but the consistent effect it seems to have on others and myself is a sense of expansion. It’s near impossible to feel small and insignificant for too long when confronted by such spaciousness. It stuns you into submission. When life has me feeling tight and cramped inside, the feeling doesn’t stick around very long. Not here. All I have to do is take a meditative look at the expansiveness in front of me and I am drenched in the bigger view. [Read more…]