Full Moon In Sagittarius: Making the Most of Our Jupiter Time

Life’s a show and we all play a part. And when the music starts, we open our hearts.
— Joss Whedon
Once in a while we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if you look at it right.
— Robert Hunter

HAPPY FULL MOON IN SAGITTARIUS everyone - very early Monday morning, June 17th, 1:31 AM PDT, in Sagittarius, 25˚ 53’. Jupiter, 18˚38’ retrograde in Sagittarius, square Neptune, 18˚43’ Pisces. Mars, 20˚41’, Mercury, 19˚52’ in Cancer, opposing south node 17˚39’, Saturn 18˚48’, and Pluto 22˚32 Capricorn.

There are a number of very strong – potentially difficult – aspects in the sky between planets at the moment, but I don’t want to stress what might be “bad” or “stuck” or “angry” in this post. I had a great night last night dancing with my local friends and community under the moonlight with big, bright Jupiter. So, instead of focusing upon the heavy Mars and Mercury in Cancer opposing the south node, Saturn and Pluto energy, I’m going to write about the Moon in Sagittarius for the hope it brings and for its suggestion of what the current passage of Jupiter in Sagittarius offers us in the months ahead.


Last month I wrote about the current Jupiter / Neptune square, exact this Sunday, June 16th , PDT – Happy Father’s Day! The higher road to take with this square is to allow our minds to observe and teach us how life is an ongoing “movie” of our perceptions – always unfolding around us  - and realize our minds create the reality we experience, what we believe. We can, and continue to be, power players for social change and justice, but it is our thoughts, attitudes and reactions to the “movie” surrounding us daily that can open us to synchronicity and positive change. Enter Jupiter in one of his favorite signs, Sagittarius, giving him strength and us faith and gumption to see “the glass half full” -look to see what House Jupiter is traveling by transit in your birth chart.


Jupiter is at 18˚ 38’ retrograde at the time of the Full Moon, allowing us to retread and reconsider where in life the universe is granting us a chance to see what we can make out of that “half a full glass,” to reevaluate “What do we really want?” – again, refer to your unique chart for the best scenarios for you. Back on April 10th, Jupiter stationed and turned retrograde at 24˚ Sagittarius, close but just shy of reaching where the Moon is full this coming Monday, at 25˚54. This Full Moon gives us a meditation to manifest the ideas, plans, aspirations we hope for as Jupiter again approaches that degree in the zodiac mid-November, this coming fall.



Meanwhile, those with planets in the Cardinal signs, especially Cancer and Capricorn between 15-24˚, try to feel through this time and don’t put too much weight on what appears stuck or blocked. Try to embrace the higher road with the current Jupiter/ Neptune square to see life for what it really is – a series of movie stills – and how we have the power and freedom to control our reactions, our joys, our journeys.

Winds of Jupiter

Winds of Jupiter


Here’s a quick illustration of how you can use Jupiter by transit to guide you. It is a personal story, but perhaps it may help. Six years ago, Jupiter was moving through the sign Gemini and traveling through my own 3rd House, house of communication, teaching and perception among other things. My natal Moon is in the 3rd House and I wanted to be close to my mother at the time, because she was close to passing away. Moon is often tied in with one’s mom. Gemini is often associated with siblings, local travel and, as it is a sign ruled by Mercury, mental perceptions and again communication. Knowing the glass was “half full” in these realms, I sought out my brother, Jeff, a filmmaker, to work with me on making a film about African art, to use as a teaching tool in art history, a project that involved a trip to Ireland, and a rare chance to work closely on a collaborative film project with my older bro.

Because, in part, I took the chance to engage my brother, in Gemini fashion, in making the movie, synchronicity opened another door; my brother, it turned out, had done a film already, a few years back, with the very same community who happened to own that very same African art collection – but this time in Tenafly, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from my mom’s home. This part of the film production with my brother gave me the gift of time and local travel to be near my family at such a critical moment. Synchronicity brought me closer to my mother when she needed me – she died the following fall in November, when the planet Saturn met my natal Neptune in the 8th House. I used the transit (movement of) Jupiter then and it worked for me. It was not “predictive,” so much as it was instructive and it was useful to know. The film, by the way, became part of a successful sabbatical time for me as an art history professor. I learned a lot by being involved with the film’s production. And all of this unfolded, well, just because I bothered to take a look at Jupiter in Gemini, in my 3rd House.

 What does it hurt to look?

Where does this Full Moon in Sagittarius fall in your birth chart? Where is Jupiter currently moving retrograde and what doors of synchronicity may open for you in the months ahead? Blessings on the Full Moon! Blessings on Father’s Day!



Full Moon In Scorpio, Upcoming Jupiter Square Neptune: It's Time We Stop, Hey, What's That Sound, Everybody Look What's Going Down

I thought I heard a young man moan this mornin’
I thought I heard a young man moan today
I thought I heard a young man moan this mornin’
I can’t walk you out in the morning dew today
— Morning Dew, folk song by Bonnie Dobson. Opening song by the Grateful Dead at the Human Be-In, January, 1967.

Full Moon, 27˚39’ Scorpio, Sun, 27˚39’ Taurus Conjunct Mercury, 24˚24’ Taurus, Jupiter retrograde, 22˚12’ Sagittarius, Neptune, 18˚25’ Pisces, 2:11 PM PDT, May 18, 2019. Upcoming: Jupiter, 18˚43’ Sagittarius Square Neptune, 18˚43’ Pisces, 8:18 AM PDT, June 16th, 2019.

I love this old photo of hippies in San Francisco. It fits well into what I want to write and say about our current astrological moment. The light in the image gives me a feeling of the surreal; a sunny day of fun and laughter, but something lies underneath, something in the realm of a passing mood, an intensity of feeling.

You might be thinking, “What does all this have to do with a Scorpio Moon? Where are the scorpions? Where is the telltale sign of the zodiac?” I promise I’ll connect back.

Sometimes I find it intriguing to look back in time and compare an historical moment, what was happening in the sky then, and follow up in my mind with a reflection upon the current moment in terms of astrology. This coming June we have the second in a series of three 90˚ squares between the faster moving planet Jupiter, in Sagittarius, and the slower moving Neptune now in Pisces. Jupiter forms a square with Neptune about roughly every six to seven years, so it has a certain cyclical rhythm to it, though the timing of the exact aspect varies and several can happen in one year, as we have this year, because of retrograde motion. The square first occurred this past January, about two weeks after the start of the New year. Then in April Jupiter turned retrograde (perceived backward motion) and, as I write, the planet is four degrees away from another exact square that will occur on June 16th, Father’s Day. The third hit will happen just before autumn equinox in September, after Jupiter swings direct in August.

I decided to write about this square now, on the Full Moon in Scorpio, rather than when it happens next month, just before the June Full Moon, in part because I believe the historical comparison I make speaks to the nature of Scorpio as a sign – to help us with the feeling of this current Full Moon. But I also hope it helps us contemplate Jupiter’s retrograde passage leading back to the square. Better to have the information now while the energy builds! The stationing, slowing and stopping before moving retrograde, of the planet Neptune at 18˚ the week following the square, strengthens the tension of these two archetypal energies, Sagittarius and Pisces, to the eventual separation of the aspect later in the September. Also during our current Full Moon, Mercury, right now in opposing Taurus, opens us up to ideas and perceptions we might feel on an intuitive level about what this longer phenomenon might mean for us both on an individual and on a collective level.

The time in history I chose is the Summer of Love and then the following fall of the year 1967. The square in the sky between Jupiter and Neptune then shared signs in common elements as the current square in 2019, though the signs, Leo and Scorpio respectively, were, of course, very different from today’s Sagittarius and Pisces. The exact square occurred in early September in ’67. Jupiter had entered Leo briefly in late 1966, turned retrograde, and then when the planet was at 0˚ Leo again, Jupiter graced the infamous San Francisco Human Be-in of January 14th, 1967. Jupiter in Leo – a fire sign that embraces the joie de vivre and celebration of self-expression so characteristic of the moment, all the folks who flocked to San Francisco and embraced hippie culture, the passions of the times, the psychedelic play and performance of the era. Those of that generation, especially those with natal planets in Leo, many with Pluto in the sign when they were born, or those with Leo in their 5th House – must have reveled in enjoying the ride.


Meanwhile Neptune – planet of shared consciousness and mass spiritual sensitivities in the intuitive water sign of Scorpio – brought the intense feelings and awareness always under the surface of the thoughts and memories of those being sent abroad, those killed and maimed in Vietnam, the horrors of war, the suffering and fear and reality that you or those you loved could be next. What a deep, true feeling – so Scorpionic – embodying Neptune’s compassion through its passage through the sign. Somewhere deep below the play and revelry of Jupiter in Leo, demonstrative and heartfelt, if at times ostentatious and loud, wasn’t there always the underlying fact of it all being so fragile? Both pain and pleasure were real.

About a month after the square was exact, when it was waning, on October 6, 1967, the Hippies staged the now famous “Death of a Hippie” – a mock funeral through Haight-Ashbury neighborhood – declaring the media had “sold out” the concept of the Hippie – now a product of mass culture, the Hippie had been appropriated into the mainstream and became an empty shell of the very symbol of the countercultural. The Moon in Scorpio that day, October 6th, triggered the larger Neptune in Scorpio and the sextile to Uranus and Pluto in Virgo; all underscored “death” and truth as radical steps in maintaining the very power for social change embedded in that fun-loving, but in some ways very serious, certainly impactful, self-expressive spirit of a Leo generation.


So how does this relate to 2019? To the passing months surrounding the square now between Jupiter and Neptune? Jupiter currently in Sagittarius – like Leo, a fire sign – brings a passionate enthusiasm, in this case for Sagittarian truths we seek, our philosophical views, our opinions, our quests to understand, while also, at times, a push to adamantly make our beliefs known. Neptune in Pisces, like Scorpio a water sign, feels deeply, but with no boundaries, dissolves our understanding, brings about delusion and confusion – while nurturing a collective desire to connect with what is larger than ourselves, to escape (whether through the current episode of Game of Thrones or, of a more serious concern, through opioid addiction), to find the Divine, the spiritual in a world desperately in need of healing. Passion is muddled with Neptunian confusion and lack of clarity and creates tension with our set notions of what is right, with our higher ideals, especially if we remain rigid to what those ideals and beliefs are.

The timing of this past March’s retrograde passage of Mercury in Pisces and the unfolding dramas of what we learned, or even more so what remained hidden, in the Mueller Report, suggest the difficulties inherent in Neptunian and Piscean communication. The very day, March 24th, that Mercury made a transit to Neptune in Pisces, Attorney General Bill Barr sent his summary to Congress, writing that while the Mueller report "does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him." There seemed a shared frustration many of us felt over the lack of clarity around what is actually in the report. Deception seemed to abound. Donald Trump’s Natal Moon at 21˚ Sagittarius, opposing his Gemini Sun (the President was born on a lunar eclipse), ties him emotionally into proving “he is right” under this upcoming square. Now another critical issue angering so many Americans concerned in protecting a woman’s right to choose, we watch state after state rushing to pass radical anti-abortion laws that even some on the far right are claiming have “gone too far.”

There is such tension now in the world between what we hold to be true individually, among our closed networks of family, peers, neighbors, co-workers and colleagues, and what we need to feel and do collectively for true compassion and change in support of all beings “with a heartbeat” and for the survival of our planet.  

Thinking this way about the astrological moment, the Full Moon in Scorpio or the square between Jupiter and Neptune, in the realm of the collective, is mundane astrology. But I feel it is worth asking “How do we use this square productively in our own lives?” Consider where the square falls in your own natal chart. As Jupiter moves retrograde, can we wrestle with what this means for us individually? A Scorpio Full Moon may help us begin the process with a penetrating intuition into what our hearts hold true.

How do we dissolve ego and feel compassion for the many, while also holding onto our own truths and values? Does “my truth,” my “faith”, where in life I quest for understanding, need to be reevaluated? Or, even more relevant, where do I force my opinion or belief without honoring what others bring to the table?

In what arena have I been underestimating myself? Where do I need to question or expand upon my beliefs, my principles, and how can I act with compassion to make a lasting difference? To me, thinking of new paradigms and opening to ways more constructive to the common good sounds like a much higher road to take with Jupiter and Neptune!

Wishing everyone a great Full Moon!


Vernal Equinox, A Libra Full Moon, The Sun and Chiron: My Values and My Needs Are Part of The Balance!


Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right
— George Harrison
Don’t compromise yourself. You’re all you’ve got.
— Janis Joplin

Full Moon in Libra 0˚09’, 6:43 PM PDT, Sun 0˚09’ Aries conjunct Chiron at 1˚45, March 20th. Moon quincunx Uranus at 0˚42’ Taurus.

Sometimes life just seems to be about navigating that fine balance we create with others, while we also defend what we hold true in ourselves and what we value in our world. There is a lot going on in the current sky to suggest we are dealing with the raw emotions behind this basic premise – we are all in this cosmic balancing act with those we encounter every day. How do we hold onto and defend our truth, be the enlightened warrior, be our authentic self? Claim our right to take up space?


March 20th is a packed day this year. Vernal Equinox, marking International Astrology Day, occurs a few hours before the Full Moon in Libra, here on the West Coast at 6:43 PM PDT. And, yes, we also have the last of this year’s ‘Super Moons’ when the Moon is at perigee and close to the Earth. Sun at 0˚09’ Aries, the first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere, is conjunct Chiron at 1˚45’. Spring Equinox every year – when light and dark are “Equi” – equal – between “nox” - night and day, also begins the “New year” in the astrological calendar – the first day of the Sun in Aries, the first sign of the zodiac.


 Aries says let’s take action with a passionate, fiery expression of the soul! The Sun is in opposition, like a seesaw, a balance, a scale, with the Moon in Libra, a sign that seeks beauty, peace, and harmony between bodies and souls. At this lunar time, we feel this polarity. Chiron, the wounded healer, also in Aries, further offers us a look to see our own insecurities or hesitancies to put our “self” forward, when some “thing,” some part of our “self,” something we cherish, needs defending.

IMG_6998 (1).jpg

 What principles or parts of ourselves seek healing and protection? The Moon forms a quincunx – a 150˚ aspect – to Uranus at 0˚42’ Taurus when the Moon is Full, so it helps to look to see where 0˚ Taurus falls in your natal chart. The sign Taurus likes creature comforts that bring pleasure, peace and stability into our lives. Uranus wants to rattle these up and awaken us. And with the Full Moon’s quincunx to the planet, there is a little bit of tension in us that seeks integration of our fixed ideas of what makes us feel secure, comfortable and grounded -  what we value – and what ideas or values jive with happiness in our closest relationships.

 Want to wear socks with sandals, but your partner hates the fashion? Want to go nude in the hot tub, but roommate says cover up? Peace and balance come through relationship, but they also come through honoring self and the basic actions of simply being “me”.


Planets or critical degrees in early Taurus (or in the early degrees of fixed signs - Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) may be up for release under the transit of Uranus this spring. For me, it helps to consider this part of my chart where Taurus lies and think: Where have I been stuck? Where do I need to be shaken and challenged? Then add the quick-moving Full Moon in Libra to wrestle with the dance we do with others – how is balancing the scales, the give and take with my close ones, feeding my individual needs? The “real” me? Or is it cutting or closing me down or avoiding the healing I need?


For example, with planets or the luminaries (Sun or Moon) in Taurus in the natal chart, one might revel in the pleasures of music. Taurus is ruled by the planet Venus and the sign often brings pure comfort and joy when creativity through music is part of the life. The Uranus transit may awaken a new passion or direction in musical expression, while the Full Moon in Libra adds to the mix the social dynamics we feel and encounter as we engage in innovation and work with our band mates to bring and embrace change - or failing to get our friends’ support, we feel wounded and stuck.

Recently, the slow-moving planet Uranus moved into the sign of Taurus. It changes signs about every 7 years. Last spring, Uranus entered Taurus for several months before appearing to move retrograde back into Aries, and then finally entered Taurus again March 6th of this year. This long, impactful shift in energy reflects a much-needed change of our personal and collective values. How in tune are we really to our physical needs, to our connection to nature, to our ability to just ‘be’? This shift also affects the way we see our resources and, hopefully, how we honor the Earth and approach our home planet’s gifts and blessings. How do we feel collectively about “material things” and what truly has meaning in creating the life we want?

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL ASTROLOGY DAY! Happy Full Moon in Libra –Wishing everyone a great SPRING EQUINOX!






Full Moon in Virgo, Pisces Season: RBG, the Divine in Becoming the Master Craftsperson


There’s a sense that time is precious and you should enjoy and thrive in what you are doing to the hilt
— Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Sun Enters Pisces, 3:04 PM, February 18th, Full Moon in Virgo, 0˚42’, 7:54 AM, February 19th, Mercury enters Pisces, February 10th, 2:51 AM, Chiron enters Aries, 4:00 AM, February 18th, New Moon, 15 47’ Pisces, 8:04 AM, March 6th, Moon conjunct Neptune, 8:48 AM, Sun conjunct Neptune, 5:01 PM, March 6th, 2019. PST.

Happy Full Moon in Virgo everyone…The Moon is full at 0˚42’ Virgo at 7:54 AM, February 19th, PST, with the Sun entering Pisces the day before, February 18th. Like some of you, perhaps, I have been thinking about the upcoming Oscar ceremony and the various nominated films. A favorite of mine, RBG, directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen, has been nominated for the Academy Award, Best documentary. I am rooting for Ruth!!! I thought I’d mention her now because her birth chart reflects our current Pisces season, just beginning, and the beauty of the polarity between Virgo and Pisces – two signs opposing one another in the zodiac.



How perfect for the current Full Moon! The very beginning of Virgo suggests an awakening, an emergence, a fresh and naïve initiation into where we want to serve, where we seek to master our abilities and become the “master craftsperson.” The Moon moves quickly so the Full Moon in early Virgo is a momentary meditation on where our heart says “develop your skills,” so to become what the universe is asking you to be.


The Sun is in Pisces now until the next Full Moon in March on the Vernal Equinox, March 20th. Accompanied by Mercury, in the sign since February 10th, both meet up with slow-moving Neptune, Mercury on February 18th, the Sun and New Moon on March 6th. Also on February 18th, slower moving Chiron leaves Pisces and enters Aries.


Let’s take a quick look at Justice Ginsburg, the “Notorious RBG,” hardly a typical Pisces! Ruth was born March 15, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York; I don’t have the birth time. The last sign of the zodiac, Pisces, an emotional water sign, is about the dissolving a ‘self’ or ego, an opening to deep compassion and to visionary realms beyond boundaries, including a tapping into the larger collective consciousness. Justice Ginsburg’s Sun is in Pisces along with her natal Venus at mid-Pisces, where currently the planet Neptune is moving by transit. Neptune has such a way of connecting with the larger collective! Her popular appeal has never been greater – two films about her have recently been released (Neptune rules the artistry of film) and Venus attracts us to her – her compassionate gift of tireless dedication to hard work in support of justice, especially for women, but we could argue for all of those most vulnerable, and to her spirit as warrior. Enter Mars…



Why notorious RBG on a Full Moon in Virgo? Ruth has the planet Mars conjunct Neptune and her south node of the Moon, along with her Jupiter in Virgo, the sign opposing 180˚ to Pisces; this all resembles the mood we will experience this Full Moon. There is an old biblical story of Martha and Mary that so embodies the polarity of Virgo and Pisces. Martha, the ever-working spirit of service, in balance with her sister, Mary, who embodies the feeling heart of prayer; both equal devotees, both a worthy path.


When we have planets in the sign of Virgo, we strive for the best, we work hard with precision and develop analytical skill so, in the case of Justice Ginsburg, she is able to compose brilliant arguments with exactitude, that put into place laws in pursuit of what is truly just (RBG has a Scorpio natal Moon; she seeks truth with the heart of a passionate detective!). The writer, Malcolm Gladwell, coined the expression, “10,000 hours,” the effort it takes to master a craft. Like Martha, always servant to her Lord, Ginsburg hones in on the innate Virgonian-focused effort to put her will (Mars) and her visions (Neptune) for social change into action.


Jupiter, also in Virgo in her birth chart, allows RBG opportunities to question and wrestle with what we collectively value, our faith, in what is just and right. And Justice Ginsburg has Saturn in Aquarius – one of the co-rulers of Saturn, Aquarius strengthens the planet here – taking on obstacles earlier in her career (Saturn can be blockage), she claims the role of elder in radical social change (I would argue her Saturn falls close to her MC, her midheaven – the most public area of her chart - though I do not have her birth time). By the way, when she was appointed Supreme Court Justice in August, 1993, the planets Uranus and Neptune, together in Capricorn, formed a trine, 120˚ aspect, to RBG’s natal Jupiter, grounding her radical visions in a position of authority and power in the highest court in the country.



This February also marks Chiron’s entrance into Aries. RBG has her natal Mercury (conjunct Eris) and Uranus in Aries. The sign gives her the perceptions and voice (Mercury) of a revolutionary (Uranus) woman warrior (Aries) with the courage to fight on the frontlines. Collectively, now, we are all asked to combat our fears, move beyond wounds of doubt, and to be strong healing warriors (Chiron) in a world so in need of action and change. Those who are celebrating their 50th birthday this year may value especially this point most in their hearts.


Late February and early March grace us with a “Mary time,” a Piscean and Neptunian season of sorts, for our own meditations and reflections. But I say let’s use this Full Moon – seek how we all can “serve like Martha” or maybe, just maybe, with our 10,000 hours, be just a little bit of the “master craftswoman” of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Collectively, now and in the near future, we are confronted again with strong energies in Capricorn – as RBG encountered Uranus and Neptune in 1993, in 2020 it will be Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto  – time to hope, not fear, and create and transform ourselves so that each of us can be agents for change!


Many Blessings for the Full Moon!!!!



We Can Only Look Behind From Where We Came: Partial Solar Eclipse in Capricorn, January 5th, 2019

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game
— Joni Mitchell

New Moon in Capricorn, 15˚ 25’ 5:28 PM, PST, January 5th, 2019. Saturn, Capricorn, 11˚ 58’ and Pluto, Capricorn, 20˚ 46’. Partial Solar Eclipse.

Life is funny sometimes; how it brings back the past, reconfigures it and then touches us to move ahead into something new. There is a partial solar eclipse this Saturday, January 5th, at 5:28 PM PST, a New Moon in Capricorn, 15 degrees. It is part of a set or family of eclipses occurring in Cancer/Capricorn through 2020. It won’t be visible here in California nor will it make much of a splash as the Super Moon lunar eclipse probably will later in the month. But it is a very special one for me because of the particular degree and area in the zodiac it occurs. Synchronicity and an old photograph, a slide, gave me a chance to learn.



Many years ago, I was an art history professor at a university and I was putting together a lecture with slides. It was a time of pre-digital imagery; finding good, clear pictures with proper color of paintings was always a challenge, something we take for granted today. I had a few slides of very good quality that my father had taken and had gifted to me before he died. 

I was working on a talk about iconography, subject matter, that included this painting below. It is a famous one by Georges de La Tour, a 17th-century French painter, a master of capturing light. It shows Saint Joseph as a teacher, an intimate scene of “father” - stepfather, mentor - and Son, Jesus. I really loved the slide. My Dad had taken it in the Louvre in Paris, where the painting still lives today. Old Kodachrome slides have dates printed on them and on the cardboard was stamped, “July, 1963.” I realized then in my heart, as I stared at the slide, that I was there that day with my parents, so close in that museum, in front of that painting. You see I was in my mama’s womb, about 4 months old, that summer. I heard my father and mother discuss composition, light and the beauty of the art they saw together as he captured it on film. I was born in December later that year.


In July, 1963, the same month as my “in utero” visit to the Louvre, the lunar eclipse was at Capricorn 14 degrees, one degree off from where the solar eclipse is this coming weekend. Both eclipses conjunct my natal 11th House Mars at 17 Capricorn, Mercury at 20. Both also conjunct my south node of the Moon, at 11 Capricorn, and Sun, 6, in the 10th House. The solar eclipse occurred later that month at 27 degrees of Cancer, the one that preceded JFK’s assassination. Considered my “prenatal eclipse,” the one closest to the time of my birth, this one fell in my 5th House, house of joy and creative expression. The sign Cancer embodied the nurturing love I received from my parents, who encouraged me to think, write and embrace who I am. Prenatal eclipses seem to amplify the part of our birth chart that they touch. Current eclipses can bring into focus something new or something not previously seen.

I loved my father and I loved art history…and his words infused me then and moved me to create the life work that gave my soul meaning. When I reflect back upon the eclipses, it helps me to feel my family is still with me and that they give me strength and support in what I do. With this weekend’s solar eclipse, I feel I am changing. I am finding a new voice, a new direction, a Mars one. Where does the eclipse fall in your chart? A New Moon grants us a time to set intentions, have hope, new visions. With Saturn and Pluto in conjunction with the Sun and Moon this weekend, we can make intentions real with hard work, effort and perseverance. We may feel alone and our goals hard to reach. Just don’t give up; challenges lead us to transform and let us align with who we are becoming.

Astronomers and astrologers alike seem to love the Saros - the period or cycle of roughly 18 years that can be used to predict eclipses, solar and lunar. But I am always surprised by how most of the general public has no idea about them. Even the word “Saros” is a bit of a mystery to most I meet. The cycles of eclipses, how they repeat, not exactly, but so close to degree and in geometry, is very old sacred knowledge indeed. I’m pretty naive about it all and I don’t know a lot. There are plenty of folks online - astronomers and astrologers - who can tell you much more. My examples – lunar and solar in 1963 and just one solar in 2019 do not correspond to the same Saros cycle. But simply knowing about eclipses, how they appear to repeat, and how they can touch your birth chart, can be very meaningful and helpful. You just have to look…or have someone help you see them. Awareness of the past, and where we come from, just might open us to new paths now and in the future. Maybe your prenatal eclipse has something to say?



Sagittarius into Capricorn, Jupiter and Saturn: A Winter’s Tale for Solstice Time

All I know is something like a bird within her sang, All I know she sang a little while and then flew off, Tell me all that you know, I’ll show you snow and rain.
— Robert Hunter
I showed her where to find the gold, but the gold she finds is truly hers.
— Auguste Rodin
I have fallen into an abyss. I live in a world so curious, so strange. Of the dream that was my life, this is my nightmare.
— Camille Claudel

Winter Solstice: December 21st, 2018. Sun enters Capricorn 2:23 PM PST. Jupiter in Sagittarius, November 8th, 2018 through December 2nd, 2019. Saturn in Capricorn, December 19th, 2017 to December 16th, 2020, PST.

This is a love story as much as it is an astrological post. But isn’t that what life is really about? Human connection, soul connection; others in our life bring us the grace we need to be our most gifted self.  

 Everyone thinks of Winter solstice as that time of the year when night is at its longest and when light then begins to slowly return. How can we rise from the darkness, awaken to new life and light? Astrologers will immediately say “Pluto”! And as a gal who has felt the power of Pluto transits destroy and rebuild her life, who am I to argue? But I’d like to also point out a part so critical to evolutionary astrology: freewill in response to life’s challenges and turning points. I chose to discuss two charts of two well-known people, two lovers, to illustrate my points in this article, and, as you will see, the charts reflect the solstice season: Winter solstice (called “Winter” in the northern hemisphere) marks the Sun’s ingress (entrance) into Capricorn from Sagittarius.



Capricorn and Sagittarius are such very different signs, and they will become a part of this story. A Capricorn should never marry a Sagittarius! That is what we often see in “pop” astrology – don’t marry the sign immediately adjacent to your own Sun sign. Of course, we all know this is garbage. The birth chart is an intricate celestial map, much more complex and nuanced in meaning, than a simple Sun sign reading. If we think of the harmonics embedded in the “music of the spheres,” the music of the cosmos, two adjacent signs are like two keys back-to-back on a keyboard. Played together the noise is not right. But a chart is a symphony of sound, polyphonic and rich in character. As the night sky changes, the chart plays out, resonates with others near and dear to us, and we all move with the changing astrological rhythms – hopefully, but not always, in sync.



Throughout most of the current year ahead, 2019, Saturn continues to move through Capricorn, Jupiter through Sagittarius. Both planets are at home in these signs, strong placements reinforcing their respective energies. Time for us to expand into new dreams, new horizons and paradigms, open doors to opportunity for growth through faith in shooting that Sagittarian archer’s arrow. Look to see where Jupiter is transiting in your own natal chart to make the most of the coming year.  Meanwhile, in Capricorn, Saturn’s call is to reality, maturity, and discipline, in order to make those dreams of Jupiter, real. I will stress the nature of these two planets and these two signs in the synastry reading below, hopefully giving a flavor of each in the natal chart but also by transit (current movement in the sky) and by solar arc.



We begin with two birth charts, 19th-century artists, Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin. Most of us know them well through college art history surveys, popular films about their lives, or through seeing their art exhibited in museums. I include the charts of both below. Camille Claudel was born December 8th, 1864, at 5 AM in Fère en Tardenois, France, (AA Rodden rating suggests recording of accurate birth record or certificate) and Auguste Rodin, November 12th, 1840, at 12:00 Noon, Paris, France (Also AA Rodden rating). The rounded off birth time of both suggests they probably are not the exact birth time. In terms of learning astrology and the “ins and outs” of synastry, the two make an ideal choice for seeing connections as well as illustrating traits of Sagittarius and Capricorn helpful in our reflections about the current sky in 2019. Their birth charts read like a fairy-tale romance, with many classic conjunctions between the two charts. I want to teach a little bit about how we can look at synastry, two natal charts in comparison, along with the passage of time and potential for growth, through transits and solar arcs, diagnostic techniques used in astrology. For simplicity’s sake, I will use chart comparison only, though I recognize there are a number of useful techniques used in synastry analysis. Keeping Winter solstice and the year ahead in mind, this post will also comment upon the nature of the planets in both Sagittarius and Capricorn in the two birth charts.


If you are not that familiar with the two sculptors, let me explain. You have probably heard about the infamous “love affair” – a relationship which lasted about 15 years – between Camille and Auguste. There are even sketches in existence of their carnal and sensual play, and many at the time acknowledged the heat and shared passion between the two. They remain one of the  most well-known passionate lovers in the history of art. Although we have many sources about Rodin’s life and work, we know very little in detail regarding the life of Camille Claudel. Most of her letters and the archival resources about her life are gone. We do know both were critical catalysts for each other’s creative work, muses one could say, for the art they shared (most controversial is the probability that Claudel actually made some of Rodin’s most accomplished pieces – certainly we know her hand was at work modeling and carving, as well as posing for, many of his renowned commissions). Rodin was 43, Claudel 19, when they met. Some art historians have argued that, once separated, Rodin’s work was never the same. Most tragic was the more than 30 years following the end of the relationship, later in Camille’s life, when she suffered from mental illness, extreme poverty, and eventually life in an asylum where it seems she stopped creating art all together.



Let’s start with just a brief look at some of the basic insights into Camille’s birth chart. Her natal Sun is at 16˚ 25’ of Sagittarius, and falls in the 2nd House using the Placidus system. I find I am often drawn to charts by synchronicity because they help me reflect upon the current astrological moment. I decided to explore Camille’s biography, in part, because by chance, I discovered she has Jupiter in Sagittarius at 10˚ 11’, similar to Jupiter’s current location in the sky. (Jupiter is at 10˚ at Christmas time, 2018, this year. Jupiter has a 12-year orbit, so the planet is at this exact degree roughly every 12 years. Depending upon the particular passage, it may hit the degree more than once in a year due to retrograde motion – but not this year). The planet is in a wide conjunction to her natal Sun. Her ascendant is in Scorpio, 14 ° 51’ and her Moon sign in Aries, 11° 7’, 5th House, house of self-expression, joy, creativity, among other things. A fiery trine between Jupiter and her Moon gave Camille a lust for life and a passion for her art. The first quarter phase of Moon she was born under underscored her need to express a unique, potentially transforming, message through her art, one the world may not have been receptive to hear. The placement of 1st House Jupiter and 2nd House Sun, along with an Aries 5th House Moon, held possibilities for taking the risks needed in life to be a confident, successful woman artist at a time when the field of sculpture was dominated by men. Jupiter the “King”( or in this case, the “Queen”) in the 1st House of self, her unique identity, allowed her to approach life with a jovian (Jupiter-like) enthusiasm and confidence, though its tie with the 2nd House meant she needed to claim that confidence, step up and recognize her own abilities and talent.


Jupiter now in the sky in Sagittarius graces our own birth charts with such optimism, opportunity for growth or perhaps life lessons, depending upon how your natal Jupiter is positioned in your chart and where the planet is currently moving (by transit). For Camille, her Jupiter gave an outlook of life similar to seeing the glass half full rather than half empty. She was known for being quite arrogant about her talent early on in her career. Yet her ascendant is in the neighboring sign of Scorpio (remember the piano key analogy above), so as she encountered the world and others perceived her, she carried also an intensity, passion and depth of curiosity into the psychological forces that move people through life. Near the end of her life, while suffering from mental illness, her Scorpio nature sadly became one of compulsive suspicion, jealousy, and obsession. If we turn to her descendant, the sign ruling her 7th House of one-on-one relationship, we find Taurus, an earth sign, grounded in a need for stability, long-term commitment, and a desire to embrace the simple needs of the heart and body in partnership.

La Valse  (The Waltz). Camille Claudel, various reworkings of the subject, 1889-1905.

La Valse (The Waltz). Camille Claudel, various reworkings of the subject, 1889-1905.


We can sense the fundamental difference between Sagittarius and Capricorn, the two music keys side-by-side, by balancing Camille’s Sagittarius Jupiter and Sun with a brief look at her Capricorn Venus and Mercury. The natal position of Camille’s Venus, 22°8’ Capricorn on the cusp of the 3rd House, reinforced the partnership needs of her Taurus descendant, giving Camille a basic drive for a stable partner, perhaps older and mature, one she could relate to on an intellectual, mental level, supporting her artistic ideas and work. This Venus gave a promise of hard work and discipline to bring about a “great work,” Capricorn, through her voice as an artist. Her 2nd House Capricorn Mercury made her great work a mission in her life deeply tied into her self-worth and confidence (2nd House) and her abilities to express and communicate through clay and marble. With Mercury’s sign, Gemini, ruling the 8th House of deep intimacy with a lover in Camille’s chart, her partner, Rodin, would need to offer that bond. The classical ruler of her chart, Mars, is in Gemini, 7th House; Camille needed a variety of experience in terms of partnership, but also a lover who could engage her intellectually in supportive dialogue and exchange. As we will see, Auguste Rodin, as her mentor and lover – and rightfully, one could argue, her partner for a time – held potential to awaken Camille to her own self-realization as an artist. Unfortunately, however, as many of my readers know, Rodin missed the boat in terms of fully mentoring Camille. Or perhaps he intentionally used her as a sex object, though I’d like to believe he truly cared for her. I applaud Camille because as we will see, she did take the chance, she did awaken to her own authentic self, yet cultural and societal roadblocks, along with the struggles of mental illness, made true success as an artist not possible until after her death.


I include Rodin’s birth chart here as well, but I’ll dive right into the synastry. Right away it is easy to see the classic signs of immediate compatibility and lust and joy Camille and Auguste found in each other. Yet also evident is the potential for upset and emotional turmoil. Her natal Venus falls on his Capricorn ascendant; she must have been attracted to his very presence as the older, successful gentleman, the ascendant is how one shines through to the world. His Venus, at 18°44’ of Sagittarius, is conjunct her natal 16°Sun; he was attracted to that fiery Sagittarian gypsy spirit, her jovian solar self. His Saturn is also conjunct her natal Sun, and with a Capricorn Venus, Camille most likely was attracted to the mature man, one that had the potential to either dampen her soul or to give it structure and support. His Mercury, at 12°44’ Sagittarius, conjunct both her Sun and Jupiter, gave her the thoughts, ideas, creative stimulation, that her 3rd House Venus so craved.



Meanwhile, in Rodin’s chart, Saturn is in close conjunction with his natal Venus (Saturn at 20°19’ Sagittarius, Venus at 18°44’) showing a need for serious commitment to both his art and to relationship, wrestling with possible blockage and frustrations in the discipline and challenges both require. Both planets in the 11th House suggest Rodin would need to mature in his approach to relationships and most likely encounter his deepest love and greatest intimacy later in life (Planets in the 11th House, according to evolutionary astrologer, Steven Forrest, are often on “a long fuse” – taking time for their potential to manifest in the life).


Saturn conjunct Venus in Rodin’s natal chart provided him with the discipline (Saturn) to complete his “10,000 hours” of practice as an artist, but it also gave him a need for long-term commitment in love and partnership (Venus). He achieved this with his common-law wife (whom he eventually married near his death), Rose Beuret, whom he must have felt a great sense of obligation and commitment to support and maintain, despite his passionate love for Camille Claudel. Why did Rodin insist on maintaining partnership with Rose when sources suggest it made all involved miserable? Enter cultural and societal expectations: a male artist was entitled to his muse (Camille’s south node of the Moon conjunct Pluto falls in her 6th House; she was drawn into patterns of subservient abuse by a “superior,” in this case, a mentor). With a Capricorn ascendant as well as the strong Saturnian influence on his natal Venus, Rodin was concerned with creating a respectful and dignified public persona, one that he could control. Tragically, this did not allow for the reality of committing to his muse, pupil, and assistant Camille – a strong, willful woman with her own power and artistic voice that challenged his – a woman twenty-four years younger than him and eccentric in her passion and countercultural in her practice and lifestyle. Camille Claudel never healed from this rejection.




With natal revolutionary and rebel Uranus sitting on his 2nd House cusp and Camille’s natal Uranus in a conjunction to his natal 5th House Moon, Rodin needed Camille to awaken his self-confidence to “think outside the box” in his development of his artistic expression and style, which in turn would support his self-esteem and success as a sculptor (Note Camille’s natal Jupiter falls in Rodin’s 10th House of public mission and recognition, forming a conjunction with his natal Mercury). Uranus, planet of unpredictable, eccentric genius, gave a wealth of creative insight, but must have shocked and rattled Rodin’s emotional security.

It is hard looking back at the historic love narrative and not feel pity for poor Rose Beuret. Perhaps Rodin truly loved both, difficult to know. Rose must have felt the obvious bond between Auguste and Camille; she certainly knew of the ongoing affair. Funny Rodin never married Rose, until on the verge of death. Maybe he finally realized he truly loved Rose. Or, perhaps fearful to look and see what was really in his heart, Rodin left the door perpetually open. According to archival sources, Rose made a good cook, but they certainly did not share the same jovian passion and Saturnian commitment to art.

Camille appears never to have allowed herself to open to love with another, despite the honest intentions of other men. French composer, Claude Debussy (of ‘Clair de lune’ fame), also apparently tried to love her. One archival record claims Debussy and Claudel attended a concert together in July, 1899, when her progressed Sun formed a conjunction with her natal Venus - an event often heralding a time of finding one’s potential “right” partner. I describe this critical time for Camille in more depth below. But let us return to Claudel and Rodin!

One of the fascinating parts of exploring synastry between two souls is to study the moment they met. I can’t go into too much detail here, in part because we do not know the exact date or time of meeting between Rodin and Claudel. But if we look at the early years of their romance, solar arcs are particularly telling. Astrologers use a number of techniques to reveal the celestial spark or potential for evolutionary change in a person’s life, such as when they encounter a significant other. One technique is looking into solar arcs, which can be readily seen in a person’s outer life (I will allow you to explore what solar arcs are on your own if you are curious). Most scholars hold that Camille met Rodin sometime in 1882 or 1883, when solar arc Venus formed a sextile to her natal Jupiter. She developed her strong attachment to him in the years that followed. A critical time came when Rodin apprenticed Camille in his studio at 182 rue de l’Université, in 1884. Claudel’s biographer, Reine-Marie Paris, described this time, “The years when Claudel served as Rodin's studio assistant were the master sculptor's most productive; for Camille they were both the most instructive and, perhaps, the most destructive in terms of establishing a career independent from Rodin.” Keep in mind how this quote describes a kind of psychological limitation as well as artistic growth.



I include Camille’s birth chart above showing the solar arcs in the outer circle that were at play in her chart the year she became both intimate muse and collaborator with Auguste Rodin (set for January 1st, 1884). There are a number of solar arcs worthy of mention, but I’ll focus on only a few. Her progressed Sun at 5 Capricorn forms an exact square to natal 5th House Neptune at 5 Aries; her evolving self, needing self-reliance and hard work in Capricorn, was in tension with her artistic vision as well as her romantic fantasies and illusion (5th House Neptune) - and, we could add, a fiery, enthusiastic Aries passion. Solar arc Venus at 11˚ Aquarius formed a square with Camille’s natal Pluto at 11˚ Taurus (In the 6th House. It is important to note one could argue Pluto falls very close to her descendant and if the birth time is rectified to roughly 15 minutes earlier, it falls on her descendant, further stressing the need for honesty and trust in intimate partnership. Camille’s birth time is given as 5 AM, a time suggesting it was rounded off at birth). This solar arc suggests a time of meeting a potential partner who could help Camille process deep-seated psychological patterns or wounds in her psyche (Recall how I noted Pluto’s ability to transform us on a very deep level in the introduction above). Solar arc Mars is approaching a conjunction with Camille’s 8th House Uranus as well. The 8th House is house of deep intimacy with another, among other things. Such an encounter could help her face her shadows, bring them to the surface (with the square possibly forcing them into view) in a way that would free her to claim her own individual power as an artist.


The solar arc of Venus making a square to Pluto also suggests romantic passion and obsession, complementing the intensity of Rodin’s Scorpio Sun and Camille’s Scorpio ascendant in their natal charts, and certainly characteristic of their passionate, sexual obsession for each other. Pluto is the modern ruler of Camille’s Scorpio ascendant and one could argue with such an ascendant, Camille was here to self-actualize as a “shaman,” someone who could reveal psychological forces at play in human behavior for the collective to see. Her best artwork does just that; her gifts as a sculptress laid in her natural talent to express her subjects’ inner moods and psychological states of being, a talent Rodin admired and copied during their years of collaboration. In the year that followed, her solar arc Mercury formed a conjunction with her natal 3rd House Venus, her solar arc Jupiter, in turn, made a conjunction with her natal Mercury. Both provided a perfect time for her to develop her ideas (Mercury) about art (Venus) as well as cultivate a robust intellectual, artistic exchange with Rodin. It is worth mentioning that the composite chart of the two artists features a very close Sun and Jupiter conjunction. Jupiter as teacher or “guru”, we can see that each artist mentored and inspired the other.

Pygmalion and Galatea,  Auguste Rodin,  modeled 1889 shortly after separation from Claudel, and later carved ca. 1908–9. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Pygmalion and Galatea, Auguste Rodin, modeled 1889 shortly after separation from Claudel, and later carved ca. 1908–9. Metropolitan Museum of Art.


I’d like to jump ahead in years to a later stage in the lives of both artists and consider how Camille worked through her own claiming of her personal power in response to the planet Uranus, known in the astrological world as the “great awakener.” Uranus crossed Camille’s ascendant in 1893 and 1894 (during her 1st Saturn return), continuing throughout the 1890s in her 1st House, following in 1899 and 1900 to conjunct her natal Jupiter. As early as 1896, Camille had asked Mathias Morhardt, a writer and friend, to contact Rodin to request that he not visit her anymore. The two artists permanently ended their romantic involvement by 1898, the year Uranus entered Sagittarius. One of the most important public exhibitions of Camille’s sculpture was the inclusion of her piece, Hamadryad, at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. Her work appeared right next to Rodin’s, though her break with him both as an artist and lover had occurred two years earlier. Uranus by transit can bring about a sudden realization and liberation, helping a soul release old patterns, free the evolutionary path to individuation. Camille Claudel successfully navigated a pivotal Uranian period.

The chart of the opening date of the Exposition, April 14, 1900, shows Jupiter at 10˚ Sagittarius, an exact conjunction with Camille’s natal Jupiter, a time to have hope, take risks and have confidence in herself and her talent, while Uranus is at 12˚ Sagittarius, along with the mean north node of the Moon at 13˚, the node suggesting karmic destiny. All form a conjunction, the node at the midpoint, with her natal Jupiter and Sun. Transiting Saturn is at 5˚ Capricorn, a waning conjunction to her Mercury in the 2nd House, challenging her to make her own artistic voice heard. Once again, this story of Camille Claudel’s relationship with Rodin is telling in comparison to our current sky at Winter solstice and leading into next year, 2019. Recall how now both Jupiter is in Sagittarius, Saturn in Capricorn. Jupiter in Sagittarius offered Camille a moment to question “How can I bring out the best of myself?” in other words, in her 1st House, her willingness to have faith in and take a risk to be herself. Uranus, also by transit in her 1st House, between her Jupiter and Sun, awoke in Camille the urge to claim her independence from her mentor, Rodin, whose work, sadly, in this period became increasingly less experimental and more commercial. Uranus and Jupiter by transit in Rodin’s 10th House led to increased recognition and financial success for the artist, but the glory of his most creative period had past.

Camille Claudel’s Natal chart (inner circle) in comparison to the sky at the opening date of the Exposition Universelle, in Paris, April 14, 1900 (outer circle - Set for Noon, Pacific Standard Time - I am uncertain of actual time of the opening but I assume it was in the evening in Paris).

Camille Claudel’s Natal chart (inner circle) in comparison to the sky at the opening date of the Exposition Universelle, in Paris, April 14, 1900 (outer circle - Set for Noon, Pacific Standard Time - I am uncertain of actual time of the opening but I assume it was in the evening in Paris).


Why then did Camille Claudel fail so drastically in the later years of her life? By 1900, I believe, Camille had successfully separated from both the passionate sexual bond with Rodin and from the apprenticeship that kept her work tied so intimately to his. An evolutionary astrologer would recognize for her the radical potential the Uranus transits held to free her and awaken in her a true inner voice, one radical, independent and alive. Camille’s birth chart features Mercury out-of-bounds. Out-of-bounds refers to planets whose declination is beyond the maximum declination of the Sun, 23˚27’, either north or south. When a planet is out-of-bounds in a natal chart, it can manifest as extreme behavior in line with the nature of the planet. For example, Mercury out-of-bounds may bring a creative genius or it may bring eccentric thought processes in the extreme. It is challenging, in Camille’s case, to have Mercury out-of-bounds in her natal chart! Camille needed allies; people who would not only recognize her extraordinary gifts, but support, allow and encourage the countercultural creative mind, soul and heart of her artistic genius.


Those of you who may have seen the 2013 film about Camille’s later years, Camille Claudel 1915, directed by Bruno Dumont, with Juliette Binoche as Camille, know there is much more to the story involving her ongoing struggles with la différence she felt in comparison to the world at large and the frustrations she encountered as she lived among the mentally ill, as well as her tormented attempts to reach her brother, Paul. A comparison of the charts of Paul and Camille Claudel is yet another story in synastry! It is too much to wrestle with family astrological dynamics in this article, however it is important to mention Camille and her brother, Paul Claudel, had a very strong bond from childhood, recall her Gemini Mars in the 7th. He would be the one to eventually commit her to a psychiatric hospital. Her mother and sister never supported her creativity nor her eccentric lifestyle, though her father provided love and support throughout her life, until he died in 1913, the same year she was first committed to a mental asylum. Camille Claudel’s 4th House Pisces Chiron suggests a family wound to her visionary life as an artist, not to mention sacrifice at the family’s expense. Rodin must have “pushed buttons” for Camille in terms of her role as daughter and her ability to receive love and recognition within her family (Rodin’s natal Uranus is conjunct her natal 4th House Chiron and forms a square to her vibrant Jupiter and Sun, challenging her claim to her authentic self). Camille Claudel never healed from the broken heart of Rodin’s refusal to marry her, her bohemian lifestyle and sexual freedom always a source of scorn held by mother and sister. In 1913, she experienced her Chiron return (Chiron’s return to its natal position, roughly at age 50), a time that held such promise for her to heal the familial wound and step into role as healer. Once again, societal attitudes blocked her development as woman artist.



The years after Claudel and Rodin permanently separated, she struggled in poverty, not able to receive enough commissions. In part, I believe, this is because she was a strong-willed woman. Meanwhile, her past relationship with Rodin and the resentment she held for him continued to haunt her. Again, the synastry between Camille and Auguste played into this time, for both of them, as his natal Moon forms a conjunction to her 8th House Uranus. He undoubtedly played a part in her seeking her authentic self when eventually Uranus by transit opposed her natal Uranus, in 1903-1905, a transit that occurs for everyone in their early ‘40s, and formed a conjunction with her natal Mercury. Though he attempted to give her emotional and professional support in this period, Rodin’s love was erratic and volatile, upsetting and disrupting her needs for both deep intimacy and for financial support. Eventually, Camille Claudel was committed to a mental asylum, first in Ville-Évrard in 1913, then, in 1914, to Enghien, then finally Montdevergues, near Avignon, where she remained for 29 years until her death in 1943.


The cosmos gave Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin a chance for true, lasting intimacy and connection with shared work if they could process the shadows. But in 19th-century France, the reality of being an artist’s muse, apprentice and mistress is just that – one is a muse and pupil, nothing more. Rodin did try in earnest to give Claudel professional support and encouragement, but he lacked follow through on the most important of all forms of support – true, humble respect and recognition for her as lover, partner and equal. Solar arcs are windows in time that give circumstances to us for personal growth. Recall how in 1884, solar arc Venus moved into a square to Camille’s Pluto. If we read Camille’s natal Pluto on the descendant, and add in that Pluto is the modern ruler of her chart, we can imagine that she fell deeply in love in obsession with Rodin. Often Pluto in the Venus realm brings up psychological issues, unprocessed wounds ready to be released. I’ve heard of such relationships described as the potential partner serving as “coat rack” for the projections of the other. For Camille, much of her “coat rack” most likely stemmed from the limitations of a gifted, spirited, independent woman living in an age dominated by the power and privilege of men. By facing Pluto and taking Pluto head on, claiming the muck and guck, and rising from the ashes, Camille could then face Uranus and the potential to find authenticity. But we move in a human world, one limited by societal and cultural expectations, one very much at play in 19th-century France. Was the world not ready to receive Camille Claudel?


Camille Claudel’s birth chart, in comparison to that of Auguste Rodin, gives us insights into how chart comparisons can reveal times of potential change, times of awakening and self-realization. In 2019, Jupiter is in Sagittarius and Saturn in Capricorn. Like Camille, whose life held so much promise, so much passion (Jupiter), we have opportunities to see where we most need to expand, how we can do better, what gifts we can bring forth. And, like Camille, with her Capricorn Venus and Mercury, her hard work and her desire to have her artwork acknowledged (Saturn), we are asked to make our dreams real and last. We, too, have a chance to make our work endure. That is, if the world is ready to hear.

Wishing everyone a great Solstice yuletide season and a blessed 2019!


Harvest Full Moon in Aries, Followed by Moon Making a Square to Saturn.

Human dignity demands courage to defend oneself.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
— M Gandhi

FULL MOON 2 degrees 0’ Aries, 7:52 PM PDT. Moon square Saturn at 2 degrees Capricorn, 9:27 PM PDT, September 24, 2018.

I wanted to send out good vibes for the upcoming Full Moon tomorrow, September 24, at 7:52 PM PDT. It might seem odd in a blog about a fiery, feisty Aries Full Moon to include a few photos I recently took in India of a memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, but I think if you read a little more, it might make sense…


This particular Full Moon in 2 degrees Aries will be followed about an hour and a half later by the Moon forming a square (90-degree) aspect to the planet Saturn in Capricorn. It might be helpful, if you know your birth chart, to look to see where Saturn has been transiting in recent weeks. Those folks with planets, the Sun or Moon, or other critical degrees in early Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn) might want to pay particular attention at this Full Moon, using the time to better understand the much slower moving Saturn transit in your life and evolutionary soul journey. I, myself, have my natal Sun at 6 degrees Capricorn, in the 10th House (House of “career” or “mission”). Saturn often calls us to work hard and mature in the area of your chart where the planet currently travels. I’m writing just a short reflection here, rather than a longer blog, because I am feeling the limitations of my own “solar self,” my core sense of who I am, what has value to me, what I need to be doing.

I suppose most of you know I have been traveling in India for the last month; my body is so exhausted and, frankly, my spirit feels weak. I am questioning my own abilities of what or where my “mission” is…what I am meant to pursue or even if I have the desire or energy to do so. All of this occurs while the college where I work goes through a major restructuring, the classes I teach are changing, and, meanwhile, I am questioning what I write, if evolutionary astrology is worth my time - or perhaps more real, if my writing is worthy of evolutionary astrology - if I have anything at all to contribute to astrology, a discipline gifted with so many worthy voices and talented writers, and yet so ignored by most of the larger world.


So this is where the three photos I add fit in: While I was in Delhi, I visited Birla House, the Gandhi Smriti, the place where the “great soul, “ Mahatma Gandhi lived later in life and where he was shot by a religious zealot in 1948. These pictures show a few of his personal objects and the walk he took to the place where he was shot. I didn’t share the photos with others at the time of my visit. In part I guess because I felt a deep, inner reflection that I wasn’t ready to put out there on social media. Instead, I spent some time sitting with Gandhi’s birth chart over the several weeks after as I traveled. I have a lot to write about it; no confidence or energy to put most of it down. But I would like to briefly share my thoughts about Gandhi’s natal Neptune, 18 degrees 25’ Aries in his 6th House, house of daily work, mentorship and service. I realize this is pulling out piecemeal just a little bit of a very complex natal chart, however a few words about Neptune in Gandhi’s birth chart allows me to make a loose connection to the current Full Moon in Aries for all of us when considering Saturn’s slower movement through Capricorn in our charts.

A few of Mahatma Gandhi’s personal items at Gandhi Smriti

A few of Mahatma Gandhi’s personal items at Gandhi Smriti

Neptune, the spiritual planet, often represents the avenues, places or activities in our lives where we can best connect with the Divine, with a sense of universal love, and with compassion. Aries, ruled by Mars, is the sign of the one who initiates, takes action; the warrior who fights the battle. Neptune in Aries in the 6th, in a very loose opposition to Gandhi’s 12th House Libra Sun and a trine with Gandhi’s Leo Moon in the 10th House, infused Gandhi’s daily life, work and service with the love, commitment and humility of a Neptunian warrior, preaching passive resistance to lead a massive collective transformation in basic human rights and equity for the people of India (Again, there is so much to write about in Gandhi’s chart: it also features a strong opposition between a conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto in Taurus in his 7th House and a Venus, ruler of his chart, and Mars conjunction in Scorpio in his 1st House - he clearly was a leader of collective change in how people relate one-on-one, how we can learn to recognize the Divine in one another, and how a core part of his ‘self’ was revealing the deeper truths of how people treat each other unjustly and why).

So how does this help us with a Full Moon in Aries meditation in the hours that currently lay ahead?

Having the courage to be the warrior in the area of our birth chart where the Full Moon will be - look to see where 2 degrees Aries falls in your chart. And how might there be tension or a critical awakening to that part of our chart where Saturn now asks us to acknowledge our limits, have patience and endure, keep focused and work hard. We may not be Neptunian warriors in the sense of non-violent action of Gandhi’s great mission. But all of us have a part of ourselves where we need courage to use our inner warrior, where perhaps finding the spirit of the warrior will help bring into critical focus that area of life where Saturn is challenging us and where we need to mature, and where perhaps there just may be a worthy harvest.

Wishing you a great Harvest Full Moon!


Full Moon in Capricorn and Mars Retrograde in Aquarius: Won’t You Be, Won’t You Be, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?


We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.
— Fred Rogers


Full Moon in Capricorn 6˚28’, 9:53 PM, Conjunct Saturn in Capricorn 5˚49’Rx at 8:34 PM, Square Chiron in Aries 2˚24’at 1:41 PM, Trine Uranus in Taurus 1˚54’at 12:40 PM, PDT, June 27.

Mars station retrograde 9˚13’ Aquarius, 2:05 PM, PDT, June 26.


Yesterday I went to see the new movie, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, about the life and public mission of Fred Rogers, a.k.a. ‘Mister Rogers’, directed by Oscar-winning documentarian Morgan Neville.  It seems that everyone’s favorite neighbor has returned to our collective consciousness. It is not surprising that a film celebrating the strong will and intellect of a man, who successfully fought for justice and dignity for all children, should be popular at the moment. A moment when the right of children to remain with their parents seems at jeopardy and images of broken families saturate the media. I assume most of us feel as I do; I want to act, change, move my magic wand, and somehow reunite the families torn apart at the U.S. national border. Yet how do I find that inner warrior and what path, what part, do I play in the fight for justice? For a better world? For radical change? I don’t have a small Tiger sock puppet, as Mister Rogers had, to help me face such challenges but, well, I try to use this time, a retrograde Mars in Aquarius and a Full Moon in Capricorn, to find my own inner mountain to climb, maybe my own small way of making a difference, a way to make my contribution real.


The Full Moon in Capricorn, 6˚28’ conjunct Saturn, may bring limitations, and, depending upon the House location and aspects the Moon makes to your natal chart, may not be the easiest of Full Moon celebrations. The Moon also forms a trine, 120˚, aspect to Uranus in Taurus, earlier in the day (or night, depending upon your location!), so, with effort, new directions may awaken in us, but strategy is in the planning. Also several hours before, the Moon will form a square to Chiron in Aries, a wound in action or lack of assertion in the past may be in memory and up for release so the inner healer may open as part of the plan, the strategy. Strategy is a great Capricorn word. I believe being open to seeing limitations or obstacles as just one inevitable part of long-term change can be a possible strategy for this particular Moon time. Taking it in as part of our overall strategy for our future might help. I also think it is instructive to look at these signs  – Capricorn and Aquarius – in the example of Mister Rogers’ birth chart and see if it might give us some clues.



I can’t help thinking the current popularity of the documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, is somehow reflective of the astrological moment. The planet Mars is stationing and turning retrograde as I write, the afternoon of June 26 (PDT), at 9˚ Aquarius. In Fred Roger’s birth chart, Mars is in Aquarius, 16˚ 11’ (if we use the 8:20 AM birth time - see below - Mars is in the 10th House - House of mission)  – fixed, air energy – the sign ruled by both Saturn and Uranus – can be the rebel and revolutionary fighter, stubborn advocate for ethical treatment of the outsider, the underdog, while also holding firm to what one believes is right despite the status quo, or perhaps I should say, what appears to be the status quo. Mars in Aquarius is about ideas, revolutionary ones, and defending those ideas and putting them into action. It may not always be about justice; my own father’s natal Mars in Aquarius contributed to him becoming a cutting-edge artist and designer in the 1960s, helping to create a radical new vision in the world of design. Much of what we consider “retro ‘60s” today in terms of design came, at least in part, from my Dad’s and other artists’, willingness to think and act differently about art and design, to be the “outsiders.”


A number of astrologers have discussed the birth chart of Fred Rogers, ‘Mister Rogers’, and so I don’t wish to repeat what has been said. There are just a few points about his birth chart that I find useful for considering the current Full Moon and for this time of turning inward as we consider what Mars retrograde in the weeks ahead may mean for us. Fred Rogers was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, on March 20, 1928. His chart has been given an A Rodden rating because the birth time is based upon family memory. The time widely accepted and used to prepare his chart is 8:20 AM. Accurate timing of birth is critical to a proper reading and Rogers’ chart is a good example of how radically different a birth chart can be if time is set differently. Other astrologers have discussed at length Rogers’ Pisces stellium, a number of planets are in the water sign. Using the 8:20 AM time, his Pisces Sun, along with his Pisces Moon, 11˚ 56’, Venus, 2˚58’ and Mercury, 2˚ 02’ gifted Rogers with the creative vision and imagination to access the world of a child, while also seeing the Divine expressed in all beings (Rogers was also a minister, musician, artist and deeply compassionate - his compassion for all animals led him to become a vegetarian in midlife). Rogers’ natal Sun is at the critical degree 29˚ 42’ Pisces – very close to Aries, so close this Sun, on the cusp, could be interpreted as Pisces with a spice of Aries flavor. If he was born later that day, he would be an Aries. His Sun is conjunct his 3˚09’ Aries Uranus. Mild-mannered Mister Rogers, loving visionary Pisces, created alternative worlds of fantasy to reach children, but he was also a passionate fighter.



Rogers’ natal Sun was colored by the close conjunction with fiery revolutionary Uranus in Aries, a sign ruled by Mars. Mister Rogers’ had the solar identity of both the mystic and the warrior, one who fought for the outsiders, the ones most vulnerable in the collective (if 8:20 AM is used as the birth time, his Sun / Uranus conjunction falls in the 12th House). When Uranus by transit opposed Rogers’ Natal Sun and Uranus conjunction, in 1969, he made his famous defense of PBS broadcasting and children’s educational television in front of a U.S. Senate Committee during the congressional hearing over federal funding for Public television. Working together with his Sun/Uranus conjunction, Mars in Aquarius in Rogers’ chart forms a sextile with natal Saturn, at 19˚ 04’ Sagittarius, providing strong, solid convictions and faith in what he held sacred: all children should be honored with utmost respect, always cherished for what made each of them unique: “I hope that you'll remember…Even when you’re feeling blue. That’s it’s you I like” and “There is only one in this wonderful world. You are special.” Looking at Rogers’ Midheaven (using the 8:20 AM birth time), the sign Capricorn suggests Fred Rogers was seen as a parental figure, a wise one, an elder in the community, in the “neighborhood.” He certainly had a strong sense of ethics, holding firm to them in times of battle, and gently, but boldly correcting mainstream attitudes toward racial segregation by offering to soak his white feet in a kid’s bathing pool with the feet of his black neighbor, Officer Clemmons, at a time when many across America forced blacks out of public pools for whites.


Capricorn is often seen as the rigid face of patriarchal authority, but the sign is also one of structure, tradition, and morals. The current Full Moon in Capricorn conjunct Saturn is telling us “Ok, time to get real”: what do we hold high in terms of our ethics?  What structures and goals do we strive for? What obstacles are worth tackling? With Aquarius Mars retrograde, we might also reflect what or whose battles are worth the fight? Saturn’s transit in Capricorn touches us individually depending upon the House(s) Capricorn occupies in our birth chart and also the natal placement of the planets Saturn aspects. The House(s) reveal the arenas or places these questions may be playing out for each of us. In any case, however, I believe the Full Moon conjunct Saturn shows us how to be mature, to grow, by giving us these obstacles so that we might find the right path, the one worth the climb. How do we become the elder in the House(s) where Capricorn graces our charts?



Most recognize the Full Moon as a phase of fulfillment and making manifest what has been in process for us as Saturn has asked us to plan and work diligently toward our goals (again look to the House placement to reflect upon where in your life these plans are in process). Saturn may offer us obstacles to make us question our path. Saturn also may make this Full Moon seem like things are worse than they are; a bit of a downer. But the gift Saturn gives is time. Be patient and try to see frustrations or blockages as just one more avenue to help us see what really matters or perhaps the ways we really can make a difference. Saturn in transit in your 4th House and building that new home? What additional work needs to be done? What is it that is going to give you long-term happiness and a feeling of accomplishment in that home? In the 7th House or aspecting Venus? Do restrictions or frustrations in relationship help us better understand commitment or our needs for security? It is not easy to deal with the disappointments of Saturn and they may very well confront us. But one of the gifts of a Saturnine nature or the sign of Capricorn is endurance. Again, let’s consider the wise Mister Rogers with Capricorn at the most public arena of his chart, asked by the U.S. Senate Committee to not read his prepared speech, so carefully worked out, but rather to openly speak his mind. Instead of falling under an unseen obstacle, Rogers waits, gathers his thoughts and speaks slow, patiently, with wisdom – and with grace.


Under the current Full Moon, Saturn’s potential for blockage will be compounded by Mars appearing to move retrograde (Saturn is also retrograde at the moment). I think it will help to recall how retrograde motion allows us fresh opportunities to reconsider, rework, reprogram, reconstruct our sense of action in the part of our chart we find the sign of Aquarius. Time to process through our own Martian desire to be warriors for what we believe needs to change beyond the status quo, for those outsiders or underdogs we wish to aid, and, maybe most important, for the rebels in ourselves. As a fixed energy, Aquarius can also be stuck or rigid in terms of the ideas we hold true, what opinions we value. In the retrograde period, we can wrestle with perhaps the ideas or notions we need to reprogram to move us collectively into a productive future. What cause, what outsider do you seek to protect? How can we all work together and fight for radical change? What strategies and goals are worth our time and effort?


Blessings to everyone on this Full Moon in Capricorn!


"How Does It Feel to Be One of the Beautiful People?" Uranus Enters Taurus

How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people? Now that you know who you are......
— John Lennon
When German soldiers used to come to my studio and look at my pictures of Guernica, they’d ask, “Did you do this?” And I’d say, “No, you did.”

Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working
— Pablo Picasso

Full Moon in Scorpio 9˚ 39’ 5:58 PM PDT, April 29th, 2018

Uranus Enters Taurus 8:23 AM PDT, May 15th, 2018

I was talking with my dental hygienist the other day. You know, just the usual chitchat. “I love astrology,” she exclaimed, “I have for 30 years!” I ask, “What Sun sign are you?” “Capricorn.” “Oh, you are probably in a Saturn time right now,” I say. “What does that mean?” she asks followed by “Oh, I don’t follow transits, but I listen to what’s going on via youtube all the time!” I wonder to myself, what is she doing with this cosmic information? So often I meet people like this. Familiar and comfortable with astrology, but not sure what to consider or where to look next.  I wish there was a way to say learning your birth chart and following an ephemeris is a path, a journey, and one really quite simple to follow and learn. We currently have a Full Moon in Scorpio, yes, but what does that mean for you? Where is the Full Moon happening in your birth chart? Does the Moon create aspects with planets or luminaries in your birth chart, especially aspects to those in other fixed signs – Aquarius, Taurus, Leo? In what House does the Full Moon occur?


The Moon moves fast and such transits happen for only a brief moment, but in two weeks we have a much slower, potentially much more lasting and profound time of awakening.

We have a very big astrological change starting in May and it can be useful to see where this is happening in your birth chart. Let me show you through some quick examples.



I keep hearing a Beatles song in my mind over and over again. “How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?” I have been planning a possible trip to India, and as one thing led to another, I started reading about John Lennon and George Harrison, the Beatles and their time in Rishikesh in 1968. I was reflecting upon what a radical time of spiritual awakening and shifting sense of self that time must have been for each one of them. The year before their infamous quest to the subcontinent, Lennon’s line about self-realization, “a beautiful people”, developed into a song co-written by John and Paul, “Baby, You’re a Rich Man.” I often find myself reinterpreting song lyrics and giving them meaning relevant to my own reflections and, well, this song was no different. I always thought the song was a critique of “the beautiful people,” those of wealth and privilege – “the rich man.” In truth, Lennon was writing about the community of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, those waking up to, what I would argue was, a spiritual life and embracing a countercultural movement able to break out of the rigid norms and conventions that held previous generations back from personal and collective growth. A.K.A. the hippies. Well, I had never thought of the song that way! Surprise, surprise! The lightbulb went on, a flash of insight; one could say I had a Uranian moment.



Uranus, the ‘Great Awakener’, is about to enter the sign of Taurus in May (on the 15th, then the planet will briefly move retrograde back into Aries this coming November 6th, reentering Taurus March 6th, 2019). Collectively, this is a big shift as the planet Uranus moves slowly, taking 84 years to orbit the Sun. Uranus has been in the sign of Aries for about the last seven years (entering March 11th, 2011). Now I don’t know about you or how Uranus in Aries may have hit your chart, but when Uranus was conjunct (same degree) as my 1st House Aries Jupiter in my birth chart, a flash of cosmic juice shot through me, radical freedom stretched her arm into every part of my static life – I changed, with a capital ‘C,’ big time, radical, major CHANGE. Not only did I change in energy and attitude, with a new-found vibe   - can I say juju? – that infused all I did, my life as a whole turned on its heels, spun me around and I awakened to completely new directions. I must mention such reactions to a transit, of course, will vary. It is especially important to pay attention to how critical a part the planet being transited plays in the overall symphony of person’s chart – Jupiter is co-ruler, along with Neptune, of my own birth chart, and so the big, gaseous giant carries a particularly powerful punch!



Welcome to Uranus, rebel, outsider, game changer. And now we have the planet moving into Taurus, a fixed earth sign, very different from cardinal fire Aries. The topic of mundane astrology – the outward changes we will see and the collective shifts that take place – will be fascinating, and at times difficult, to watch unfold. But what does Uranus in Taurus mean for us on an individual level? Where in our chart are we stuck, fixed, in need of a great awakening? A sudden moment of grace and liberation? I hope to show, by exploring briefly the biography of two well-known artists, how we can use astrology as a self-reflective tool so that, perhaps, we may consider such potential “awakenings” occurring in our own birth charts.


First, perhaps it might help to consider the sign and house position of Uranus in our birth chart. Let’s take John Lennon as our example. Now there is a lot to explore in Lennon’s chart that suggests his life as an artist, activist, advocate for peace and an end to all wars (and, yes, religions too). Here we will just briefly consider Uranus in Taurus, something Lennon shared with a cohort of people born between June 6, 1934 and May 15, 1942, the last time the planet was in Taurus  (Notice these years – economic upset led to new infrastructure in the U.S. under the New Deal – let’s hope for the same focus on rebuilding and restoring  Mother Earth now as we see such manifestations again while Uranus is in Taurus – Taurus as an earth sign wants to stabilize, build, make real and secure, while Uranus wants to “think outside the box,” find new technologies to do so).


Lennon, a Libra Sun, Aquarius Moon and Aries ascendant, was born October 9th, 1940, at 6:30 PM, Liverpool, England.  John Lennon’s birth chart has Uranus at 25˚33’, Taurus, in the 1st House, along with a very close Saturn/Jupiter conjunction at 13˚13’ and 13˚42’ Taurus. The 1st House encompasses the primal sense of self and it is also associated with recognized positions of leadership. Saturn and Jupiter in a tight conjunction (together in the sky at Lennon’s birth) suggest a person with the natural enthusiasm, joie de vivre, and appeal of a “king” and a faith to embrace life (Jupiter) in tension with the hard work and commitment to make it real (Saturn). Saturn also suggests the potential as the wise elder Lennon could (did?) become in heralding and envisioning a faith and optimism in a better world. Uranus in the 1st House in Taurus, in turn, is the rebel leader who questions the status quo, rattles the cage (complementing Lennon’s Aquarius Moon), through music, art, love, and peaceful non-violence (Lennon’s Sun is in Libra – Venus rules both Taurus and Libra).



 If we start to consider transits (the sky at the moment in 1967-68), Uranus and Pluto were close and, at times, conjunct, in Lennon’s 6th House of work, service, daily routine, forming a harmonious trine, 120˚ aspect by transit, to his natal Taurus Uranus (within a 3˚orb of the trine - they were also conjunct his natal 6th House Neptune), opening up Lennon to a lifestyle and to daily practices of meditation to create one of the greatest creative minds and leaders in free thinking. Since a number of writers have written about the Uranus and Pluto conjunction of the 1960s, I’ll move on to another example of a “Uranian moment” that I find telling and, well, quite remarkable. This I believe will be a good example of the possibility for sudden shifts in awareness – can I say enlightenment? Certainly, enlightened liberation and action – we can learn from and cultivate in ourselves when Uranus conjuncts key natal degrees in our own birth charts. To help illustrate this sudden potential to awaken a planet in one’s chart, I’d like to move to another artist whose chart’s Taurus planets were transited by Uranus’ movement through Taurus in the 1930s, the years prior to Lennon’s birth.


Let’s turn to a particular time in the life of the famous Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso. Picasso was born October 25th, 1881, at 11:15 PM in Málaga, Spain. A Scorpio Sun, Sagittarius Moon, Leo ascendant, Picasso had natal Uranus at 17˚ 2’ Virgo, 2nd House, forming a trine with his natal Neptune, Chiron, and Jupiter in Taurus in his 10th House. Taurus and the 2nd House are both ruled by Venus and the trine allowed the revolutionary artistic and visionary side of Picasso’s nature to express as he made manifest his Leo ascendant. Again, like Lennon’s birth chart, there are so many ways to pursue looking at Picasso’s chart.



I always remember a story I learned many years ago about Pablo Picasso. Apparently, when he was just 13, Picasso was able to pass a very difficult entrance exam in art in a matter of days. The exam was supposed to take several weeks to finish. When Picasso was a young artist, his natural talent in drawing and painting, as the legend goes, so shocked his artist father that his dad gave up painting altogether to help his son develop his talent. But it is Picasso’s experimentation with cubism and eventual conversion to abstract art that radically shifted the art world and opened the door to Modernism in the 20th century.



A quick look at Uranus’ passage through the houses of Picasso’s chart reveal the awakening potential of the artist’s vision. Early in the year 1907, Picasso began working on a radical, new modern work, inspired in part by African art, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, a cubist portrait of prostitutes from Avignon district of Barcelona, Spain. The planet Uranus was transiting between 8 and 12˚of Capricorn in Picasso’s 6th House (Mars was there as well by transit), forming a trine to Picasso’s natal Saturn at 9˚27’rx, within orb of his 10th House Neptune. (Both Uranus and Mars turned retrograde later that spring and Uranus throughout much of the year revisited the same degrees, aspecting Picasso’s 10th House planets). Boom, boom, boom. Like I mentioned when bringing up Uranus by transit in John Lennon’s 6th House, Uranus sparked new directions in Picasso’s work and daily routines, while opening a potential (trine, 120˚ aspect) to radical and revolutionary ways of seeing in his artistic vocation (10th House Taurus planets).


Let’s return now to Uranus through the sign of Taurus in the late 1930s and to the transit of the planet to the 10th House of Pablo Picasso’s birth chart – often considered the house of “career,” the part of the chart that speaks to the person’s mission, where the artist touches the larger public and brings outward change (the midheaven or 10th House cusp is the most “public” dimension of the birth chart and often speaks to the possible vocation or public identity of the person). The planet also opposed his natal Scorpio Sun, ruler of his chart, in the 4th House.



A critical year in Pablo Picasso’s public life as an artist occurred in 1937, the year German planes bombed the Spanish Basque town of Guernica, a sudden destruction resulting in much pain, suffering, and loss of life of many innocent civilians. Picasso had been wrestling with an important art commission, a very large oil painting, to be exhibited at the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris exposition later that year. On May 1, 1937, within days after learning of the bombing in his home country, Picasso tore up his sketches and suddenly reworked the entire piece as an anti-war protest artwork that would become Guernica, one of the most famous of all modern artworks of the 20th century, a forerunner of protest art against the violence of war.  Uranus at that day was at 9˚ Taurus, conjunct Pablo Picasso’s 9˚27’ natal Saturn (retrograde) in the 10th House. The Sun, too, happened to be at 11˚ Taurus, roughly the midpoint between Picasso’s natal Saturn and Neptune, acting as the spark, or trigger, to catalyze the event. Saturn we say can be a blockage we experience through its placement in a particular astrological house. But as we mature and work through and claim its energy, Saturn can give structure, discipline and lead us to become the elder in that very same placement. Uranus, the planetary fuse box gifting a break and freeing him into moments of change, allowed Picasso soul growth into higher expressions of his 10th House Saturn and Neptune.


Uranus is the rebel, the outsider, the genius, the revolutionary. Just consider the planet Uranus rotating parallel to the ecliptic, while every other planet spins roughly perpendicular to the ecliptic as they orbit the Sun in the solar system. In other words, if all the other planets are spinning like tops as they orbit the Sun, Uranus turns on his side while he orbits! Uranus is sudden transformation, lightning bolts and radical awareness. Uranus in Taurus in the natal chart can manifest as someone whose core values, self-esteem and sense of aesthetics take on a radical tone as in John Lennon’s 1st House placement. By transit, as in Pablo Picasso’s case, Uranus in Taurus altered the very foundation of the artist’s aesthetic sensibilities (remember Taurus is ruled by Venus and the sign often plays a prominent role in the birth charts of artists and musicians), gave the artist a critical cause or fight worth rebellion (the slaughter at Guernica), to openly declare and claim as part of his artistic 10th House mission.

Picasso's birth chart is the inner circle, the outer circle shows transits for May 1, 1937 at noon. Note the 10th House planets (in upper left house). A number of other transits were occurring that day as well stimulating a number of key areas in Picasso's birth chart.

Picasso's birth chart is the inner circle, the outer circle shows transits for May 1, 1937 at noon. Note the 10th House planets (in upper left house). A number of other transits were occurring that day as well stimulating a number of key areas in Picasso's birth chart.


So you might be asking: but what about all the other little babies born in Málaga, Spain, October 25th, 1881, at 11:15 PM? Why did they not become great modern artists who touched the world in a radical, bold artistic leap of faith? Well, I hold that our horoscope, our birth chart, current movements in the sky, and our own free will, all make up a two-way dance, a kind of cosmic Do-si-Do, as above so below, a moving dialogue of opportunity, potential, and our own will to act.  Astrology, to me, is a state of mind; a cosmic dance we co-create and bring to life. It is up to us – how do we respond? How do we, as in Picasso’s case, break beyond the blockage and seek the higher ground? We make the dance happen. Uranus will swing the partner, but we got to take that step.


Meanwhile Uranus is gradually approaching my own 2nd House cusp, a House associated with Taurus, Venus, one’s resources, money, self-esteem and personal values. I have been pondering the word, value, and trying to come to terms with what personal values mean for me, what I hold most dear and what I cherish. I believe my values are changing. At times in the past, I have not let myself recognize certain things that I now believe were so important to me. I just didn’t know it. What makes me richer? This is how I am trying to learn. I guess now might be a good time for all of us to ponder our connections – wants versus needs – to material things and to what we truly value.

Photo by Josh Power.

Photo by Josh Power.


So maybe now is the time to consider Taurus, the sign, in your own birth chart. See what and when (over the next 7 years or so) Uranus will aspect, what sudden moments of enlightenment and change are ready and waiting for you to step into and dance? And “How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?” “Now that you found another key, what are you going to play?” A Full Moon in Scorpio is a good time to dive deep into the inner waters of what makes you tick – enjoy in the reflection and many blessings!

Postscript: Last spring I wrote this blog post in which I included certain astrological transits marking events in the life of the famous Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso. Later in the year, while attending an astrology conference, I heard a well-known British astrologer present on the exact same transits and time in the life of the artist. Although I am very well aware that similar findings are common, I want to state here that I do not consult other writers when writing for this website and so conclusions I make here come from my own reflection and analysis.



Full Moon in Virgo, Navigating through Pisces: Finding Paths through the Life of a Writer

Photo by SasinParaksa/iStock / Getty Images


Full Moon in Virgo, Sun in Pisces 11˚23’, 4:51 PM PST, Neptune in Pisces 13˚50’, Venus in Pisces 23˚50’, Mercury in Pisces 22˚12’

I play a thousand roles. I weep when I find others play them for me. My real self is unknown. My work is merely an essence of this vast and deep adventure. I create a myth and a legend, a lie, a fairy tale, a magical world
— Anaïs Nin
I have seen where the wolf has slept by the silver stream.
I can tell by the mark he left, you were in his dream.
Ah child of countless trees, ah child of boundless seas.
What you are, and what you’re meant to be
— John Barlow

Here we are at a Full Moon in Virgo. Even though it is a rainy day where I write and the sound of the rain helps me let go and type, I find myself doubting and taking a critical eye to what I have been exploring, and also to what I have been trying to say for several weeks. Virgo Moons tend to bring about self-doubt, a criticism seeking perfection, that makes putting the final touches on a writing all that more difficult. I started writing this post at the New Moon in Pisces. I wanted to write about what I thought were good insights into the sign of the fishes, two intertwining fish, that I thought might be helpful to friends who might read and reflect upon the sign’s placement in their own birth chart. I was drawn to the connections, what I wanted to discuss, in the birth chart of a writer. Yet I found myself struggling with the biographical details of the life of the woman I chose. She lived through her fantasies and deception seemed fundamental to her story and, eventually, to her declining health and her death.


A few weeks ago, around Valentine’s Day, I picked up Delta of Venus, a book of erotica, written by Anaïs Nin. I never really enjoyed Nin’s writing, but I thought why not give it another try. She strikes me as such an odd bird, living a life half real, half fantasy, and putting it all into diaries she wrote year in and year out for literally decades. And Anaïs’ natal chart is so strongly colored by Pisces. Her chart is useful to better comprehend our current Piscean moment at this Full Moon: now we have Sun, Mercury, Venus and Neptune all in the sign. In the context of today’s #metoo movement, Anaïs’ stories of sexual intrigue, desire, and bold erotic play seem like some kind of odd anachronism, taboo perversion accepted for what it is; no blame, but plenty of secrets. At times, her work smacks of misogyny, her characters revel in what pleasures they want, often with little care or concern for others or for societal norms. I wrestle with how she responded to her natal chart, the planetary and Sun placements in Pisces, and how she willing deceived those she loved (in her “real” life). I suppose we might accept and learn from her choices and acknowledge her free will. March is Women’s History Month after all, and with the Full Moon falling on the first of the month, how best to address Pisces than to take on a woman who had Sun, Jupiter, Venus and Eris all in Pisces. The Moon moves quickly; the Moon enters Libra by the start of this weekend. What is more useful than focusing upon a Virgo Moon is to ponder Pisces as a feeling and a motivator in life’s longer journey. Looking at Pisces in the natal chart of an artist of the past gives us a chance to better understand Pisces manifesting in our own lives and offers us guidance in our own evolutionary path.

I’d like to use the natal chart of Anaïs Nin, born February 21, 1903, at 8:25 PM, Paris, France, to explore the high and low expressions of Pisces. Known today for her diaries, many essays, novels and books of erotica, Anaïs wrote in a time when sexually explicit writing by a woman was simultaneously alluring and taboo. The popularity of her books, especially those of an erotic nature, have waxed and waned through larger collective shifts in acceptance of women’s sexuality and pleasure, feminine power and eventually the rise of feminism. Yet, not all of Anaïs Nin’s writing is erotica. She also kept a daily diary, starting when she was 11, and continuing for over sixty years until her death at 73 in 1977.


There are many signifiers suggesting a writer, and one of unorthodox subjects, in Anaïs’ birth chart. Others have written at length about her natal chart. In the limited space here, I want to work with Pisces, the strengths and pitfalls of the sign, at play in her life. Then connect aspects of Anaïs’ Nin’s biography with how we might best use this month’s passage of planets and the Sun through Pisces when reflecting upon our own natal charts.


In Anaïs Nin’s birth chart, the Sun is in early Pisces, 2°02’, conjunct Jupiter at 0°21’ Pisces, both in the 5th House – house of self-expression and creativity, traditionally associated with romance, affairs, children, and entertainment. Jupiter, our solar system’s “second Sun, “a frustrated star and a gaseous giant, brings exuberance, expansion, opportunity and optimism to the area of our birth chart the planet lies. Together with Anaïs’ Sun, Jupiter blessed Anaïs with a charm and charisma she carried throughout her life, especially in the realm of love and romance. If not a Femme Fatale, certainly she was a master seductress. Pisces, the last sign in the Zodiac, is a dissolution of the ego, but in Anaïs’ case, her loss of self became a core reflection of her solar self writ LARGE by jovial Jupiter. Numerous lines from her writings point to her sexual merging and literally becoming one with another. At one public lecture, she even wore a metal mask to underscore the masks of identity women have worn through history and how they have abandoned the self to societal expectations, a challenge taken on by Eris conjunct Venus in Anaïs’ chart. It is in her writing, where Anaïs Nin wears the masks of others and then is able to most fully release and express herself.



Piscean energy is in tune with the collective. Visionary and creative, Pisces taps into fantasy and the imagination. Jupiter in Pisces (the planet is the sign’s classical ruler) gifted Anaïs with a rich fantasy life and the ability to tap into collective desires through her 5th House artistic play. Venus, the ruler of her chart (Libra ascendant), is also in Pisces, 22°12’ conjunct Eris at 23° 03’, Vesta at 18°48’ in the 6th House, house of daily routines, service, work, and mentorship. Vesta, the priestess, the lighter of the temple flame, works together with Venus, aesthetic pulse of her everyday life, her diary writing, where she is able to touch and serve a larger audience. Venus together with Eris in her natal chart, her most private, passionate sexual thoughts became creative expression through daily routine, one radically feminine and one radically assertive. Delta of Venus, erotica written for a private patron, eventually was published posthumously in 1977, touching the larger collective at a time when both women and men were embracing sexual independence and liberation, transforming collective attitudes (Pluto transiting through Libra conjunct Nin’s 1st House natal Mars and north node). Pisces, the last of the Zodiacal signs and associated with the 12th House, has a collective dimension, allowing the individual to merge through the senses and through the heart with all outside the oneself and, in turn, can impact and shift, contributing to a collective change.


There is a heightened sensitivity with Pisces. Venus in Pisces is a good placement for a musician or artist because the sign of Pisces gives the artistic expression of Venus an ability to reach into the collective psychic realm of what moves us spiritually through art. Jerry Garcia, lead guitarist of the Grateful Dead and master of improvisation through music, had his south node of the Moon, the path and skills his soul carried into this life, in Pisces. His music became an aesthetic conduit for spiritual play through music and dance. Venus in Pisces in a natal chart is a soul seeking spiritual love in the highest form, whether through creative expression or loving another, yet can be caught in the illusion or dream of what that love can be. Sensitive and psychic, Venus in Pisces has to be careful of sacrificing boundaries, letting go of self or personal needs, because one feels the other profoundly. There is also an intuitive connection with the other, sometimes made difficult through delusion or deception because of fantasy and dream. Conjunct Eris and Vesta, Venus in Anaïs’ chart underscored not only the acceptance, but power, free rein and, at times, domination, of women’s sexual desires embodying the ultimate “letting go” of self-doubt and inhibition Pisces allows.


Pisces has trouble with boundaries, with saying ‘no.’ Anaïs Nin obviously suffered from her lying and had trouble hurting others and perhaps more telling, creating boundaries. Marrying Hugh Parker Guiler at a young age, Nin stayed married to him while juggling affairs with countless other men, most famously her affairs with writer Henry Miller and psychoanalyst Otto Rank. In her forties, Anaïs entered a passionate, long-lasting love affair with a man much younger than her, Rupert Pole, whom she married despite still being legally married to Guiler. Eventually, she told Rupert of her other husband but Hugh Guiler only learned of her dual life at the time of her death. Legally married to two men, living months at a time in New York and then California, Anaïs allowed herself to suffer physically, mentally and psychically from the effort of being two people, two wives, living two worlds to maintain the connections she so deeply felt with both Hugh and Rupert, not to mention the shared love she gave to the many close relationships she held onto throughout the years of her life. Critics have called attention to her narcissism, the self-absorbed attitude and tone of some of her writing, so much a reflection of that Jupiter Sun conjunction. Yet one wonders how much of herself did she sacrifice to keep up appearances? Saying ‘yes’ to it all had its toll, particularly on her health. Lies and deception must certainly have weighed down upon her soul.


Pisces is renowned for the sign’s tendency to escapism – whether through alcohol, drugs, sex or any other number of indulgences. One way to move beyond such avenues of escape is to seek a higher consciousness through spiritual practice, meditation, or, especially with Venus in Pisces, spiritual union with one’s partner or through artistic creation. Did Anaïs have such a union with Rupert Pole or with her first husband, Hugh Parker Guiler?  Impossible to know. But the lack of authenticity and her failure to acknowledge both men, both marriages, must have deterred true intimacy. One marriage became an escape from the other, but I doubt either could go into authentic deep spiritual union. Anaïs’ natal chart has Mercury conjunct Saturn in Aquarius in the 4th House, House of roots, family, home. Chiron also resides in the 4th. She faced a blockage and wound to achieving true intimacy in her closest relationships (in part because of her incestuous relationship with her father), though Saturn gave the structure and commitment she needed to write (Mercury) about her most inner world. Partly this failure came through her response to her natal planets and Sun in Pisces, the dissolving of boundaries, and the escapism from the reality of truth. A Pisces pitfall is responding to the tendency to feel intuitively and innately the reactions of others by shifting one’s own needs, identity, and truth to avoid the pain.




How would we counsel Anaïs? Anaïs, you want most of all to embrace self-expression rich in imagination and visions of love not readily experienced in the everyday world. What advice could we offer? Write daily and let your passions and flights of imagination have a voice. Check. Done. Make daily living and routine a work of art and a theatrical performance. Check. Done. But how about allowing yourself to love LARGE, feel and take in all the passion and lust your soul craves?  Be open and honest about it. Be accepting of your polyamorous soul. Anaïs Nin lived at a time when marriage was the societal path to acceptance. Did she fall into the trap of deception because being married to one person was not enough for her passionate soul? Or, lacking boundaries, did she allow herself to juggle both men because she could not bring herself to hurt another? The expression “tough love” might sound a bit cliché, but for a person navigating a strong Pisces chart, it is the hardest of concepts to grasp. Better to shift oneself than to feel the discomfort in shifting another, even if the other sorely needs to hear the truth. What about holding onto fantasy as a Piscean strategy? If we imagine the fantasy element removed, if she told both men about the existence of her dual life, Nin would have been free from balancing a crazy, two-fold life of deceit. Then, we can only speculate, she would have been able to access so much more of the creative energy so present in her life. Was the fantasy, the delusion, something Anaïs Nin needed?


It is easy to take an historical figure, trace the life of him or her, and see astrological archetypes within their life unfold. But what gives such a reflection value is how we can counsel with it, help ourselves and maybe perhaps others, as we journey through the current moment. By looking back at individual lives in history, we see, perhaps, something of our own life. Then, who knows, maybe we create a better future; we make collective change. The Sun now is in Pisces until Vernal Equinox on March 20th. Mercury is currently in Pisces until March 5th , Venus until March 6th. For those of us with planets or critical degrees in our natal charts falling in Pisces, we will feel a quick fleeting time of life’s pleasures and joys. However, here, too, and more lasting in impact, we feel the slow-moving planet of Neptune, currently at 13° Pisces and remaining in the sign until 2025. The Sun will trigger Neptune’s transit (at 13°56’ Pisces) on March 4th.


As always, most meaningful for you is to reflect upon where Pisces falls in your own natal chart to grasp what Neptune’s passage, and these other much faster moving planets and the Sun, through the sign, might mean for you. I see the life and art of Anaïs Nin as a creative, visionary voice and a Piscean gift she offered us through her many writings. We, too, can all reach into our imaginations and creativity Pisces grants us (look to see what House is touched by Pisces in your chart to understand the arena where this creative expression can best manifest).

Neptune, as the modern ruler of Pisces, moves us from Venusian love into higher spiritual, compassionate love, and gives us glimpses into the Divine. Anaïs was challenged by the escapism, lack of boundaries and delusion of Pisces. One could argue she also struggled with the strong, often overwhelming, sensitivity, so characteristic of the sign, to all that surrounded her. Be careful of sacrificing your own needs because of what you see or feel to be the needs of your partner or other one-on-one relationships in your life, watch out where in our lives we become the “shapeshifter” to please another. Use this time to meditate upon bringing peace into our hearts and acceptance of our true self and the self of others. Two Piscean fishes attached by a cord; one pulls to open our inner fantasy and vision, the other seeks a greater union. Perhaps it is time to just let our partners, and ourselves, be who we are, open our hearts not through delusion or lie, but through acceptance and love. Acceptance and courage to be ourselves and let others be, tap into our own creative visions, and let that inspiration flow.

Wishing you all a joyful Full Moon in our season of Pisces!


A Watery Moment To Open Our Hearts: Cancer Moon Time, a Grand Trine, and the New Year, 2018


Full Moon in Cancer 11°38’, Mars 14°51’ and Jupiter 17°07’ in Scorpio,Neptune 11°56’ Pisces, January 1, 2018, 6:24 PM PST. Uranus Stations Direct 24°34’ Aries, January 2, 2018, 6:11 AM PST.

Compassion is the radicalism of our time.
— Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

The 2018 Cancer Full Moon makes me think of the birth chart of Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet. Everyone loves the Dalai Lama! The ‘Grand Trine’ in Water signs in the birth chart of his Holiness somehow resonates with me at this endtime of 2017. Like any astrological chart, the complexities of planetary energies in the birth chart are very different in many respects from that of the current Full Moon. Our current Cancer Full Moon will be conjunct (very close to the same degree) as the Dalai Lama’s natal Sun and within orb of (a few degrees from) his Cancer ascendant. He has Saturn in Pisces and Jupiter in Scorpio composing a 'Grand Trine' with his Sun in his birth chart (120°aspect between each planet and the Sun). Dalai Lamas are the Bodhisattva of Compassion with us on Earth. Opportunities to express (5th House Jupiter) the deepest truths of compassion and to share his heart of faith as a holy leader works naturally with the role of mystical elder in expanding our knowledge of the Divine and Universal Love (Saturn 9th House Pisces).


This current Full Moon also creates what astrologers call a ‘Grand Trine in Water signs’; the Moon is at 11°38’ Cancer, Mars 14° 51’ Scorpio, with Jupiter at 17°07’, and Neptune at 11°56’ Pisces. It is a powerful intuitive, emotive Moon. The Moon is in her domicile, her home, in Cancer, while Mars is the classical ruler of Scorpio, and Neptune the modern ruler of Pisces. I feel this promises to be an emotional Moon time, but one with great potential for healing prayers and hope; visions for more compassionate action so needed on our planet right now. For all of us, this Full Moon at the New Year, 2018, offers us the possibilities inherent in the 120° aspect, a trine. A Grand Trine provides a stability of purpose with a potential for manifestation, but only if we accept the challenge. This Moon sets the table or altar in our hearts for this next year’s trine Jupiter will make with Neptune (the first one occurred in early December, 2017, close to the last Full Moon, the next two come in late May and August).



The Moon opposes Saturn and Venus in Capricorn hours before the Sun (forming what astrologers call a ‘kite’ with Pisces and Scorpio). So, I suppose, we are all asked to be like the Dalai Lama, “compassionate leaders” (like Saturn in his natal chart, planets now in Capricorn bring to all of us suggestions of how we can be “the elder” - look to see where these signs and planets fall in your chart) or, at least, compassionate humble souls. The rebel planet of revolution and awakening, Uranus, is stationing to move forward January 2nd, underscoring the words of his Holiness: “Compassion is the radicalism of our time.” All I have to say is let’s hope for a collective healing and a collective awakening; let’s hope for some massive change of heart! Wishing you all a GREAT 2018!




Solstice Blessings: Sun and Saturn in Capricorn


Winter Solstice, Sun enters Capricorn, December 21, 2017, 8:29 am PST.

Saturn, 0° 11’ Capricorn.

I spent a little time on the mountain, I spent a little time on the hill…
One way or another, one way or another, one way or another, this darkness got to give.
— Robert Hunter

The arrival of winter in the Northern hemisphere begins Capricorn season. My favorite image that I think of when pondering the archetype of Capricorn is bamboo. Chinese literati painters, the scholarly artists of Asia’s past, preferred the simplicity of bamboo as a subject, because the plant represented endurance. Stable throughout a time of adversity, bamboo models for us an inner strength valued by the Chinese. Push down upon a bamboo branch and feel it push back, return to position and hold its course.  Capricorn leads us to personal evolution (look to see the House location of Capricorn in your birth chart) through patience, maturity and hard work. Winter Solstice is marked by the arrival of the Sun into Capricorn, a sign ruled by Saturn. In the Northern hemisphere, the Solstice brings hope for the light of a new year, the eventual arrival of spring, and rebirth. Just two days prior to Winter Solstice, 2017, Saturn entered Capricorn, giving a particularly strong Saturnian flavor to this year’s Solstice and Capricorn season. This is a powerful Solstice as Saturn returns to a place, a sign, of natural support, strength and power.



Saturn takes roughly twenty-nine and half years to orbit the Sun. Last time Saturn was in Capricorn was from 1988 to 1991. It may help you to reflect upon the challenges, visions, goals and changes of those years in your personal story. During those years, the slow-moving planets of Uranus and Neptune also entered Capricorn, eventually together in conjunction with Saturn, combining the structures of Saturn with visionary Neptune and revolutionary Uranus to bring us a time of sweeping technological change, altering the very fabric of how we communicate and connect on a global level. The timing of Saturn’s return to Capricorn this December seems auspicious; each fast-moving planet, first Venus, then Mercury (after the planet moves direct just after the Solstice), and eventually Mars, will meet up with Saturn in the weeks and months ahead. Saturn, in turn, will eventually join slow-moving Pluto in 2020. Mundane astrology, which covers larger patterns of history and humanity’s evolution, suggests a time of intense power struggles and possible breakdown of time-honored structures of government, institutions and leadership. I think this is a time where it helps to recall Capricorn is also about reform and moral responsibility. Evolutionary astrologer Steven Forrest pointed out how Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol while Saturn was in Capricorn in 1843. We often think of Ebenezer Scrooge as the epitome of Capricorn’s stern, serious, practical and calculating approach to life’s need for security. But let us also think of the enduring legacy of the moral message of A Christmas Carol, meant to correct an age of greedy materialism and lack of concern for the underprivileged. The wisdom of Capricorn to reform and evolve is the essence and true heart of the story.



At another time in history, Saturn and Pluto were conjunct, together in the sky (as they will be again in a few years), in early Capricorn on November 9, 1518, the day the pope condemned Martin Luther’s writings as opposing traditional beliefs of the Catholic Church. Such astrological transits take time. And, of course, such changes take time, if they happen at all or at least in part. The current Pope Francis has Mercury in Capricorn in the 7th House of his birth chart – House of one-on-one relationship with others - and Saturn will transit there soon. Pluto is currently in his 7th house by transit. Working with others to balance both a maintenance of tradition, while embracing reform, entails careful planning and strategy. After writing these words and before I posted this reflection, I heard the news of the death of Cardinal Law, bringing the painful events surrounding the sex abuse sandals in the Boston archdiocese back into public discourse. Saturn's entrance into Capricorn begins for Pope Francis, as the planet will transit his natal 6th House Jupiter, then eventually his descendant, 7th House cusp, and his natal Mercury. This must be a difficult personal time for Pope Francis as he needs to negotiate tense debate within and outside of Church doors and to reflect upon his own moral conscience and beliefs.

Returning to the 16th century, as Saturn moved through Capricorn the few years following Martin Luther’s initial problems with the authority of the Church, Luther’s teachings were examined. One can only imagine the inner challenges and loneliness Luther felt as he faced a trying and difficult journey, asking for a strength of will and determination to hold fast to his values and beliefs in reform. Though pushed to recant for months on end, Luther did not and was eventually excommunicated from the Church January 3, 1521, just following Saturn’s entrance into Aquarius. Not an easy time, but a Saturnian one. In terms of evolutionary astrology, where we consider individual growth and potential, Saturn’s passage through Capricorn can give us great lessons in maturity and personal conviction.



I often feel like I need to come to Capricorn’s defense. After all, the holidays are a time of relaxation – how does the expression go? “Making rather merry”? The Romans celebrated Saturnalia in honor of the God Saturn in December and filled the season with feasting, pleasure parties and gifts. When sunlight is at a low, we come together with love and warmhearted generosity to share what we got and bring joy and light, into the World. I don’t feel it is necessary to just look at the gloom and doom of Saturn. Let me see if I can give Capricorn and Saturn a positive spin.

Despite such reputations for both sign and planet of limits, struggles, discipline, and responsibility – plain, old hard work - I believe we can look at Capricorn and Saturn for what we can achieve, what wisdom we can learn, what reform we can help to bring about and what mountain can we climb worth a soul’s quest. Capricorn’s symbol, the Sea goat, helps us visualize slow, gradual evolution, the fishtail merging into the mountain goat, similar to the long passage of a human life and the arrival of old age, the crone. We all experience the path of the Sea goat when setting long-term goals, imagining the steps, carefully calculated, like rungs in a ladder, to reach the mountain top. Saturn in Capricorn at this time can allow us more focused energy in creating the kinds of structures we need to build these steps. The House position in your birth chart helps you find the mountain where Saturn wants you to face and embrace that ladder. Saturn can give us strength in this area of our life, but we must want to do the work and make it real. Try to visualize the obstacles as part of one long journey, one worthy of both the valleys and the climb.



As always, when considering our own soul’s journey, we need to consult our individual birth chart – our celestial map for understanding what Saturn’s movement through Capricorn means. Look to see if Saturn forms aspects (especially Ptolemaic: conjunction 0°, sextile 60°, square 90° trine 120° or opposition 180°) to any of the planets or luminaries (Sun, Moon) in your birth chart, and consider the Houses affected as well. Saturn in “old school” astrology is the great Malefic. Why? Because Saturn asks us to face reality, limitations, often blockages, to the areas of life we most need to develop inner strength of character and wisdom. Where the upcoming conjunction of Saturn and Pluto fall in our charts also asks us to reflect upon our personal power, what possible part do we play in breaking down or reforming tradition, what structures do we tear down, what new mountains do we climb? Now more than ever, I believe we need to question our own values, our sense of personal power and/or privilege. To successfully navigate the upcoming Saturn and Pluto conjunction in a few years’ time, you just want to be on the right side of the fence in terms of universal goodwill. Easy? Well, think about it. I know I have to ask my heart constantly. Now is the time to visualize goals, strategies for your own evolution – Saturn allows the time for reflection. In the meantime, there may be some challenges and there may be some obstacles. It is hard to see adversity as a gift, but I suppose the Chinese artist scholar had it right; better to approach life as a simple branch of bamboo, bend but hold firm.

Wishing everyone joy and happiness this Saturnalia and Solstice season, Christmas and New Year. Many Blessings!




Not Your Typical Gemini Moon


Full Moon in Gemini 11˚40’, December 3, 7:47 am PST.
Neptune in Pisces 11˚30’, Jupiter in Scorpio 11˚37’,
Mercury Retrograde 29˚18’ Sagittarius, Saturn in Sagittarius 28˚4’.
Mars  in Libra 26˚ 24’, Uranus Retrograde in Aries 24˚ 57'.


Listen with Ears of Tolerance. See through Eyes of Compassion. Speak with the Language of Love.
— Rumi

When I was kid, my parents knew a gentleman who worked in the United Nations building in Manhattan. His little daughter enrolled in the school that served the international families of those working for the U.N. The school’s language program was very rigorous. Part of the curriculum included learning French, a language the daughter picked up very quickly. She became so fluent in the language that, when the family went to France, the little girl went into a drug store with her father and the shop owner took her aside and said, “Why are you with this strange American man? Do you need help?” The little girl’s French was so perfect and polished, the shop owner mistook her to be Parisian! Oui, c’est vrai! How difficult it can be to truly learn a language and to enter another’s cultural realm. I wonder sometimes what it feels like to be a member of the General assembly of the United Nations, sitting in a room of incredibly accomplished individuals, most with sharp intellects and a passion and dedication to their home country and, we hope, to planet Earth. Think about the secretary general working with various translators and what it must sound like to hear so many languages at once. Then, of course, there is the cultural perspectives each member brings to the table. It must take a great deal of patience and acceptance, along with intelligence and hard work, to negotiate with so many souls from so many places and with so many diverse concerns.  One must need an open mind and an open heart to get anything accomplished! The Full Moon this weekend, at 11˚ Gemini, forms a square to Neptune at 11˚ Pisces and a quincunx to Jupiter in Scorpio 11˚. She asks us to open our minds, embrace new perceptions in a spirit of compassion. Listen to what truths others bring to the surface, even if they expose pain, suffering or a past we don’t want to face. Be willing to see the world from a different point of view, hear a language not quite your own. If not supportive of others’ beliefs or perspectives, try to understand and negotiate in ways that are at least tolerant. Simple though it may sound, there is so much we can learn from one another.


 Astrology is a language of both the mind and of the heart. But it is a language not well understood by most in the general public. Gemini, a mutable air sign, carries a potential for multiplicity: many views, many perceptions, many voices. In this post, I hope to honor this aspect of Gemini by creating a short writing that will reach folks not familiar with the complex language of astrology.  So often I read wonderful blogs and posts on social media that have a lot to say and a lot to give to the general public. But somehow I can imagine they get mostly lost on the average reader. We have a Full Moon in Gemini this weekend. It is a complex moment; there is a lot going on at same time in the sky. The Full Moon in Gemini takes on a different feel, a different mood when we look at the larger picture in the night sky. I hope to work with this and try to explain why astrologers might see this lunar time as  “not your typical Gemini Moon.” I’d like to ask my friends and readers, those with the astrological language under their belt, to be patient as this will be a rather simple explanation. Gemini, which is so involved with communication, perception, data in and data out, lends itself to a teaching mindset. And so I’d like to try to tap into this Full Moon in a Gemini way. I was born under a Gemini Moon myself, at the same degree, 11˚, but She was in a waxing gibbous phase that particular late December, back in 1963 (sounds like a old song, I know). Every moment and every chart is unique and, as always, it is best and most meaningful for you to look and see where what I describe below is located in your own birth chart. What new modes of perception are available to you? Where does a path to higher consciousness await?


In astrology, we look at the sign that the Moon is in at any particular moment in time. Then we look to see if the Moon forms an aspect to another planet or important point (a degree). Every year around this time (when the Sun is in Sagittarius), we have a Gemini Full Moon, but every year the Moon’s energy is filtered through and affected by other planetary placements in the sky. For example, the planet Neptune has been making a slow passage (called a “transit”) through Pisces, a time often marked by delusion and escapism in its low manifestation, a spiritual time of awakening in its higher form. All around us is the evidence of those seeking to flee, escaping pain, through perhaps the worst avenue of chronic Opioid addiction, to mild escape routes of “binge TV” and the fantasy worlds of gaming. Recently, Neptune was retrograde (this is a period when a planet appears to move backwards - in actuality, it is an illusion of backward movement caused by the relative position of the planet to Earth as they orbit the Sun).  Neptune’s passage through Pisces affects all of us individually, depending upon the house(s) Pisces is located in our birth charts. Those with planets (or key degrees such as the angles of their chart) in mutable signs - Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces - near or at 11˚ - will be most influenced by the fast moving phase of this Full Moon and, more critically, the slow moving presence of Neptune. The Moon and Neptune both rule water signs, Cancer and Pisces, lending an emotional, intuitive dimension to this Full Moon time. A Gemini Moon asks us to flow, to adapt, to change, in essence to be mercurial, while the 90-degree square to Neptune makes this adaptability and openness to new perceptions critical to a higher response to Neptune in Pisces, one of aspiring to a higher consciousness and compassion so needed in the world at this critical time. A square aspect creates friction, tension and urgency to address. We are entering a time where we must recognize multiple paths to the Divine and accept the paths others’ choose. An example in recent news events has been the visit of Pope Francis to Myanmar (and the earlier commentary by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama), seeking a compassionate solution to the hateful treatment of Muslims, the Rohingya, by Buddhists in recent months. Fall to a lower response to the Moon in a square to Neptune, and we have emotional miscommunication, fantasy, and delusion.

The Full Moon also forms a quincunx, 150-degree aspect, to Jupiter in Scorpio. Jupiter entered Scorpio in October, beginning His passage through the sign for roughly a year. Scorpio, co-ruled by Mars and Pluto, is another water sign, one that can bring dark truths to the surface of our consciousness and ask us to process our shadows, the deeper psychological issues we often bury and hide. Scorpio is associated with death and rebirth, the phoenix that rises from the ashes. Jupiter in Scorpio offers us a chance to face the bittersweet notion that “this too will pass.” My favorite verbal description of this is the Japanese expression, mono no aware; all in life is ephemeral, nothing lasts. Jupiter, the planet of expansion and opportunity, brings encounters with life’s deepest truths and pain. Nothing stays the same; death is always at our doorstep. Jupiter in Scorpio also allows past traumas hidden within our subconscious to surface, including misuse of personal and sexual power. It is no wonder we witness now the current slew of sexual allegations revealed in the news, the hard truths and pain women experienced by sexual abuse and actions of politicians and public figures many of us admired. Accepting the facts make us uncomfortable and angry and yet the need for them to arise is obvious, for personal healing for those abused, but also for a collective healing and awareness to fight such systemic poison against women. Jupiter was forming a trine, 120-degree aspect, to Neptune in recent weeks, allowing these women to speak out, be heard and for most of the public to express concern, feel sensitized to their cries, to listen and to act for change. The trine aspect allows for a flow of energy; Jupiter is expansive and opens opportunity to Neptune, a spiritual avenue and awakening to compassion and suffering of others. Our Full Moon in Gemini now forms a quincunx to Jupiter and a square to Neptune. The quincunx brings out an uncomfortable shift, 150- degree being a bit of an awkward angle, where now we need to come to terms with the reality of how widespread sexual misconduct and abuse has been and how can we take a more proactive, preventative stance in the future.


The Full Moon occurs just a few days after the planet, Mercury, finishes a station (appears to not move from a degree; in this case, 28˚ Sagittarius, marking part of the Galactic Center, a super Black Hole at the center of the Milky Way). When stationed, Mercury was conjunct (same degree) as Saturn, also at 28˚. Then we encounter Mercury retrograde. Saturn asks us to take a hard look at the facts and question what and where are our values, our beliefs. Mercury begins its retrograde period, the fourth one this year. “Mercury retrograde” has become common knowledge for many, in part because of social media, which has caused a resurgence of interest in astrology in recent years. Some of you may have seen quick references to this phenomenon, advising you to cross every ‘T” and dot every “i.” Be careful of signing documents and making commitments without proper care and reflection. Wear a full-body knitted sweater to wrap yourself in protection from the dreaded “Mercury retro.” At times, this will be true because our minds are moving through and processing thought in ways counter to the usual pace. Things can be overlooked and details missed. Mercury retrograde, however, can be a productive time to reconsider and reimagine our plans and dreams. Rethink, “refeel,” reevaluate ourselves, our relationships, everything we perceive around us. Be cautious, slow down, reflect, but let it be a productive time. Mercury retrograde is aligning perfectly for those who turn inward through the Christian practice of Advent, beginning this weekend, or through ceremony in preparation of Solstice, when, here in the Northern hemisphere, light returns.

Most of all, be patient. In the context of the Gemini Full Moon, square to Neptune, we can choose to be open to alternative modes of communication, to omens, to the sights and sounds around us. They have more to say than we think. Miscommunication that occurs under Mercury Retrograde can be used in instructive ways. My favorite story to illustrate this is a Yoruba tale from Nigeria. The story involves Eshu Elegba, an Orisha, a Yoruba God of communication with the Divine, not unlike Mercury. Eshu, a trickster, is often found at crossroads or at the marketplace, wearing a hat of two colors, one side red, the other blue. One day, two friends are walking along the road in opposite directions and each spy Eshu. One exclaims, “There is Eshu! His hat is red!” while his friend says, “I see Eshu too! He wears his blue hat.” An argument follows, the tension mounts and the two friends storm away, their friendship torn. When do we judge one another on surface appearance alone? When are we quick to say “no” to a point of view, to a language we don’t know, to a faith we don’t understand? It is easier to judge a hat by its color, whether it is red, or whether it is blue, than to recognize the multiplicity of expressions evident in any world language, culture or faith.

I want to close in a more “typical” Gemini fashion, against the grain of this post, by shifting into a positive ending. I know this has been a writing somewhat serious in tone. But we live in times of painful revelations. Gemini Moon can be a curious, light hearted Full Moon as well. Let this weekend help us find joy in conversation with friends and family. A Gemini Moon gives us a chance to enjoy talk, “the gift of gab,” at that Holiday party. An air sign and mental in feel, Gemini allows us a chance to unwind with inquisitive, witty banter to lighten our weekend. Just be wary of miscommunication and the potential for Neptune’s delusion and possible deception to creep in. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt. The waning opposition (180˚) between Mars and Uranus is also still in play, so sudden fits of anger or surprises may be in store. These transits I mention (like planetary moments in time) move fast. Neptune, on the other hand, moves gradually through Pisces and it is here where I can again encourage your own consideration of your birth chart and the slower, gradual evolutionary changes in consciousness possible for you. I started by mentioning my own birth chart has the Moon at 11˚ Gemini. So I have been living through the slow movement of Neptune in a square to my natal Moon by transit throughout this past year. Last winter, I lost my home, my place to nurture myself and retreat, due to a storm and fire damage (Moon, in part, is our emotional comfort, our “home” - this was just one of a number of transits triggering my natal chart at the time - each transit must be looked at in the context of the whole chart). I literally felt my home dissolve under me. I spent almost a year in temporary spaces, as I again tried to rebuild what would be my new abode. As I write, I sit near the fireplace of a new house, a new space, a new beginning. This is where evolutionary astrology can offer guidance and support. Awareness of the longer cycles of change as our lives and souls evolve, make the short, sweet moments of a Full Moon in Gemini unfold with the joy of life.

Wishing everyone a great Full Moon in Gemini!


Full Moon in Scorpio: Time to Reflect upon the Longer Journey with Pluto.


Full Moon in Scorpio, May 10th, 2017, 20˚24’ 2:42 PM PDT

Up a narrow flight of stairs
In a narrow little room
As I lie upon my bed
In the early evening gloom
Impaled on my wall
My eyes can dimly see
The pattern of my life
And the puzzle that is me
— Paul Simon
Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know
— Pema Chödrön
You ain’t got half of what you thought you had
Rock you baby to and fro
Not too fast and not too slow
— Robert Hunter

Full Moons are always so beautiful to gaze at in the night sky. I like to follow the phases of the Moon change through the month and then sense if I feel some kind of culmination, something reaching strength before the Moon wanes. This Full Moon is in the sign of Scorpio, at 20˚, so the potential is for an inner culmination of something buried below the surface, a swift undertow ready to rise, perhaps a moment of truth about the patterns of behavior that make us who we are, as Paul Simon wrote, “the puzzle that is me.”  A Full Moon happens quickly, but working together with slower planetary aspects or in conjunction with longer transits evident in your birth chart, a potential moment is there for us to reflect and try to understand better our journeys. Scorpio is ruled by both Mars and Pluto. The day after the Full Moon, Mars, the traditional ruler, will form a square to Neptune and then a trine to Jupiter a few days later. These bring action, optimism and possibly some escapism into the waning gibbous time. But I want to focus upon Pluto, the modern ruler of Scorpio, because this particular Scorpio Moon forms a sextile with Pluto about two hours before reaching Full phase. To best grasp the psychological depth into which we can dive with this Full Moon, I want to consider as well this spring’s square between Saturn and Chiron. My teacher Steven Forrest says, “All aspects are about integration.”  He is referring to the complexity of the aspects at play in a birth chart. I believe we can better tap into the passage of the Moon through her phases and the climax of the Full Moon’s energy by listening to the symphony of the sky at the given moment, as well as shortly before and after, about integrating those aspects with the longer transits occurring, and work with the grand sweep of the night sky. Let me see if I can explain.

I believe it is helpful for anyone to notice where Pluto is moving at the current moment (transiting) in comparison to your birth chart, especially if Pluto happens to be making an aspect to a natal planet’s position in your chart. It is difficult to address Pluto because of the schism so evident between the astrological world and the general public. Most people with little or no knowledge of astrology think “Pluto? Really?” They consider the definition of a Dwarf planet, the small size of Pluto in relation to the Earth, that Pluto is smaller than the Moon, and that Eris is denser, and that Pluto is just one of many Trans-Neptunian objects. The facts create the skeptic. In the meantime, astrologers of all stripes have thoroughly wrestled with the meanings of Pluto, developing set schools of thought, methodologies, ways of seeing and understanding the planet in relation to the human soul, evolution, even seeing Pluto as a reflection of karma and previous lives. Who am I to join in this conversation?  Yet I cannot write about this Moon and not mention what I see, what I feel is helpful to consider about Pluto. In all humility I write from experience. The French have two words to convey, “to know”: savoir is to know as in “to know a fact” and connaître means to know as in “to know from experience” or to know “by acquaintance”. My writing comes more from the second notion of “to know,” connaître, because I have had an ongoing relationship with Pluto transiting my natal planets in the past several years, what seems like almost a decade - Sun, Mars and Mercury in Capricorn (as well as the south node of my Natal Moon) - by conjunction (Pluto gradually reached, or is about to reach, the same degree of each as they are in my birth chart).

Because Pluto’s orbit is unusual and it takes so long - 248 Earth years - to orbit the Sun, these transits are slow moving and have the greatest impact upon the individual psyche. I do not wish to carry on about the details of my life’s unfolding dramas. Needless to say the last four years of my life have been one long obliteration of who I am and one long process of rising up into who I will become, punctuated by quick moments of change, challenge and growth. Welcome to Pluto. Work on your stuff, or your stuff works on you. Ask yourself: how am I being pushed to grow and evolve, what avenues of learning are for my soul in this lifetime? Where is Pluto transiting in your birth chart? Does He create an aspect to any of your natal planets, your ascendant (rising sign) or pivotal points in your chart? What house is Pluto moving through at this time in your life? Depending upon the size of a house (I use the Placidus system), Pluto’s transit may last years, even decades, in a particular house. But that transit is unique to your life story. That long period can be such a long step or process of your own journey in this lifetime. Pema Chödrön says it well, “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” The quick passage of the Full Moon and sextile right before of the Moon to Pluto feels into the moment of what these changes may be - what self-realization will help bring about the highest manifestation of the slow-moving plutonian shift happening for you? I want to underscore that this particular sextile aspect and what I write is most relevant for those being directly affected by a conjunction, square or opposition of Pluto (19˚ Capricorn, consider three degree orb) to a natal planet (Cardinal signs - Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn). However, given that the Full Moon is in Scorpio, co-ruled by Pluto, the moment is a poignant one for anyone to consider what this slow-moving planet might mean in our personal evolution and how Pluto’s path through our birth chart might be reflective of the larger story of our life. The Moon at 20 Scorpio will be felt strongly by those with natal planets at 20 degrees of the fixed signs as well (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius).


Buddha pointing finger at the Moon.jpg

The Full Moon in May marks the Buddhist celebration of Wesak. Wesak does not always fall on a Scorpio Full Moon. Last year’s festival occurred under a Sagittarius Moon. But this year’s Scorpio Moon and the Moon’s sextile to Pluto seems especially designed for the Buddhist Holy Day, which honors the life journey of the historic Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama - His birth, enlightenment and death (or Parinirvana). A sextile aspect is one offering the potential to make something manifest - it is not a guaranteed opportunity. The energy is soft and available if one opens to what is possible. Pluto can pull us down into the depths of our subconscious; bring to the surface truths, opening our inner selves through psychological process that then allows us to touch the Divine. Life in its fullest is a journey from birth, enlightenment, into death. The asteroid Juno joins Pluto as well (Conjunct at 18˚ Capricorn). Juno, the mythological wife of Jupiter, is the archetype of committed and long-term relationship (it is not necessary to assign gender or specify heterosexual relationship here. I honor all). In what ways does relationship and intimacy play in awakening consciousness? Is Juno’s dance with Pluto calling us to deconstruct, reevaluate committed relationship in light of our own expanding consciousness? In the narrative of the historic Buddha’s life, he leaves his wife and child as he embarks on the spiritual quest. Yet, in the end, Buddhists take refuge in the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma (teachings) and the Sangha - the community.  We need the “other” and we need community. Such ongoing reflections on relationship are also at play in the moment(see my recent posts on Jupiter in Libra and the Jupiter and Uranus opposition). Our work forward for the collective good depends upon the changing dynamics we create through relationship and partnership.


I want to end by mentioning a little about the current square in the sky between Saturn (27˚ Sagittarius) and Chiron (27˚ Pisces) because I believe it is helpful when considering the inner truths one may try to reflect upon under the Scorpio Full Moon and the Moon’s sextile to Pluto. Chiron in Pisces is a collective wound playing out in a unique fashion in each individual chart. Together we can co-create a better future and move humanity from the wounded to the healer if we address our own soul’s journey with the asteroid Chiron. Chiron, an area where we may carry a wound and where we must heal, is forming a 90- degree angle at the moment to Saturn, the taskmaster who sets up restrictions and calls us to hard work and maturity. A square forces us to face what potentially is tension between where Pisces falls in your chart and where Sagittarius lies. This is especially so, if you have natal planets at 27˚ mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces). It is useful to contemplate where in your birth chart Chiron’s square to Saturn falls. In the larger interconnected world in which we live and engage, Chiron in Pisces is like a collective wound which, if we can all address, frees us to be the healers and instigators of change we need at this critical juncture in time. Saturn may challenge you where tough work is needed and the square may bring crisis in order to heal that Pisces wound. Then the potential of the Pluto work will unfold.

The current Full Moon passes quickly as does the Moon/Pluto/Juno sextile, the Saturn / Chiron square moves slower, falling mostly out of orb in the months ahead. Contemplating the quick moments in celestial time may help us with the longer, slower (and more profound) gifts of evolution Pluto transits offer. “Rock you baby to and fro…Not too fast and not too slow.” Each type of transit works in sync with the others; each one rocks us just right. It all simply rests on us to listen. 

Buddha Blessings!


A Spark, A Fire, A Journey Ahead: Full Moon in Leo, Jupiter and Uranus in Opposition

There’s a dragon with matches that’s loose on the town. Takes a whole pail of water just cool him down.

Fire! Fire on the mountain!

You say it’s a livin’, we all gotta eat. But you’re here alone, there’s no one to compete. If mercy’s a business, I wish it for you. More than just ashes when your dreams come true.  Robert Hunter


Hot, passionate, anticipation, a call to action, unbridled enthusiasm thrust against strong energies of self-expression, leadership and the urge to find self, and to individuate. The Full Moon is a powerful time of momentary flair and emotion; things may combust, the good times may roll, but we might expect equal measures of possible anger, angst, a lack of patience, power play and aggression. The hours leading up to and after the moment of the Lunar eclipse, at 22˚28’ Leo, 4:33 PM PST, is packed with trines and sextiles, including what astrologers call a ‘Grand Trine’ in the element of Fire.  And then there is Valentine’s Day only a few days away and this weekend may be the chosen time to celebrate. This year’s February Full Moon seems to roll out the red carpet with promises of fiery passion, romance and gusto. Venus chases Mars, the warrior at home in the sign of Aries. The Moon, with a penumbral eclipse, forms a 120˚ trine with Saturn at 25˚28’ Sagittarius and Uranus, 21˚22’, and Eris 22˚38’,  in Aries. We also have sextiles between Saturn and Jupiter, Uranus/Eris and the Sun, and a trine between the Sun and Jupiter. It is almost like Divine fingers are playing one harmonious chord. But some of those notes - watch out! Sharps and Flats…Can we create music to tame the savage beast? Do we want to? How do we individuate and still balance self in relationship or with our tribe?


Do you know the expression, “It isn’t the wedding, but the marriage that follows that counts?” The current sky under the Full Moon in Leo reminds me a bit of that expression. All that Fire and all those closely knit aspects seem to radiate the here and the NOW, but if we are to be more practical, step back and look at the bigger picture, we can see some potential is just beginning, may even be turning back, processing through what the slower moving planet, Jupiter, fiery and expansive in his own right, may push us towards in the months ahead. The Full Moon may be the “wedding” but the marriage of true individuation, finding our inner rebel, our own genius, and letting it reach its optimal expression with the right partners, right intimates, comes later, and is a slow process we need to honor and let unfold.


So much astrological writing focuses upon the moment at hand, quick transits and “celestial weather reports” promising us short-term satisfaction of a Valentine weekend. Yet, sometimes we can see a glimpse of something more, perhaps developing and offering endurance for greater personal change and growth. This particular Full Moon falls in my own 6th house, house of daily routines, work and service, and so I am going to reflect here in part about how you can use the on-going aspect of the slower moving planets - Jupiter and Uranus in opposition - as the year moves through spring and into early fall. The strong Earth energies in my own chart want to offer practical advice, something I hope may be useful. Our New Year began in January with this opposition, 180˚, between Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries, at 21˚. Now in the month of February, Jupiter turned retrograde early in the month and will oppose Uranus again at 22˚at the end of the month and into early March. The process of moving through and back and through again in this opposition allows for the radical, revolutionary spirit along with the potential for the creative, innovative epiphanies of Uranian insight and opportunities for opening and expanding our consciousness - dare I say “sudden enlightenment” or as the Japanese Zen Buddhists would say Satori may be a possibility for you? All one step at a time. Such openings are possible, but the marriage of awareness and of self (Uranus in Aries) and other (Jupiter in Libra) needs time to percolate. Honor that process. The last week of September, when Jupiter is again moving forward at 27-28˚ Libra, the planet will oppose Uranus again bringing those Uranian visions and epiphanies into fuller expression.



Key to understanding this transit is to notice and meditate upon where in your own chart Jupiter and Uranus are transiting. The cultural historian Richard Tarnas, in Cosmos and Psyche, summarizes the revolutionary impact of these two planets in aspect through history as the “greater benefic” Jupiter presents opportunity in conjunction or through opposition with Uranus as the exiled genius, “ The Jupiter-Uranus complex appears to be associated with the experience of breakthroughs of all kinds, joyful Promethean moments of discovery, sudden ascents, unexpected insights that expand one’s world, the “Aha!” experience.” (309) Richard Tarnas describes the many scientific and technological discoveries of the times of axial alignment of Jupiter and Uranus, such as the invention of the electric light bulb in 1879 and the first Internet transmission, 1969, and the first personal computer designed by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in 1976. The months ahead offer us such innovative ideas and revelations! Some will be expressed on grand stages of our current history, but we also have a chance now to let the energies play out for our own individual evolution. What houses in your birth chart do you find the opposition? Where in your life do you need to self-actualize and where can you find the people, the friends, the intimate partners who will best help your journey?


Blessings for the Full Moon in Leo. I hope everyone finds a “Valentine,” whether it is through the love of a partner or joy of friends, family and community. May the affectionate, demonstrative, and self-expressive side of the Leo Moon along with the Sun and Jupiter trine, bring you pleasure and good times. Let’s hope we all can be patient with the tempers that flair, with the ego parades that unfold, and let’s just make the moment one step closer for us as we journey through what Jupiter and Uranus offer us in the months ahead.


Full Moon in Gemini, the Arrival of Winter: Capricorn and the Messages that come from Mercury

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game.
Joni Mitchell

    Time...is on my side. Yes, it is.      The Rolling Stones, written by Norman Meade

The World is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.     Robert Louis Stevenson


December 13, 2016 Full Moon in Gemini, 22°26’, 4:05 PM PST. Sun 22°26’ Sagittarius, conjunct Saturn 19°16’, Moon forming a loose Grand Trine in Air signs with Mars at 25°56 Aquarius and Jupiter, 18°52’ Libra. Jupiter opposes Uranus, retrograde, 20°40’ Aries.

December 19, 2016 Mercury in Capricorn retrograde 15°8’, 2:55 AM PST, within orb of conjunction with Pluto, Capricorn 16°31’. 

December 21, 2016 Winter Solstice - northern hemisphere, 2:45 am PST, Sun enters Capricorn.

When I was a kid, I used to love to write stories. I used to illustrate them too. I also had a goal that one day I would climb Mount McKinley, officially known as Denali, the sacred mountain's indigenous name. I imagined reaching the top. Summiting was something I could strive for and I could actually make it happen. Don’t we all have dreams as kids? Goals we set for ourselves. But our dreams seem to change. They change as our perceptions, along with our circumstances, change.  And the structures that we once thought were so present in our lives seem to morph into something else. We end up becoming a different person, different than what we thought we would become when we were six.  Whatever happened to climbing Mount McKinley? Now I find myself writing stories again and wondering what it would be like to climb Olympus Mons. That’s the largest mountain in the Solar System, taller than any mountain on Earth. Of course, we’d have to travel to Mars, but why not? A curious mind is a flexible mind. We open doors. The Full Moon in Gemini, a mutable sign ruled by Mercury, stimulates our mental processes and offers us opportunities to shift our perceptions. The week following the Full Moon, Mercury in Capricorn will turn retrograde asking us to search inward and reflect back upon our "mountains" – what changes now need to happen to guide and give structure to your goals? What great accomplishment is calling you?

 In the northern hemisphere, the short days and fading light as we approach Winter Solstice seem to bring us into a time of reflection. We seek the light inside ourselves and recognize it within those we love as we feast, celebrate the year that was and ready our hearts for the year ahead. The Solstice brings us into Capricorn season. Capricorn is the sign ruled by Saturn. In antiquity, the Romans celebrated Saturnalia, a festival in honor of the God Saturn, in the middle of December.  This year, Mercury retrograde in Capricorn allows us to look back on the paths we have taken. Because Capricorn is about the climb. This sign fits so naturally into this season of advent, which is a time of turning inward. The internal process of advent is a Christian meditation. However, we all know it does not matter if you are Christian or Pagan, Jewish or Muslim, we recognize the gifts we get from such inward- focused times. Let’s step back a little. Let’s look for that light inside. When Mercury stations retrograde, on December 19th, he will be almost in a conjunction with the dwarf planet, Pluto (After the New Year, starting January 8th, Mercury appears to move forward again and he will meet Pluto exact at 12:18 PM PST on January 29th). The near, but "not quite there," conjunction, brings an opportunity for our meditations to delve under the surface, look for truth within, find the inner side of consciousness that holds us back or pushes us forward up the mountain. We all see such forces in play around us. A lot of people, rightfully so, are questioning the political turmoil of the moment, the veracity of the election process in America, and they are critically looking at the systemic and often rigid structures we have built in our communities and nations. Yet,  December is also a time to honor self by using Mercury retrograde to pull inward and investigate our own inner terrains. What processes make it so hard to see? What blocks us from seeing the cycles of our dreams and goals that come and go, evolve and change? The Full Moon in Gemini initiates this process by breaking down the limitations of our perceptions.


At the time of the Full Moon in Gemini, a loose trine, roughly 120 degrees, between Mars in Aquarius and the Moon and between the Moon and Jupiter in Libra creates a Grand Trine in Air signs. We have an opportunity to act and assert ourselves through emotional self- expression, through verbal, artistic communication and through the joy and support of others. The sign Gemini is so often associated with words and the intellect. But, mercurial communication can also be through the realm of creative image-making that may help stimulate the upcoming meditations of the retrograde period. We often consider artistic expression to be closely tied into Venusian signs of Libra and Taurus. But the power to communicate through imagery, such as visual arts, film making, metaphor and music, can be a Gemini art that opens our preconceived notions and shifts our understanding. Take, for example, master musician, bard, and poet, Bob Dylan, whose Birth chart has strong Gemini energies along side a strong Taurus 5th house and Libra, 10th. The current Trines are flowing, easy aspects holding a potential to underscore the mental shift of this Full Moon. Meanwhile, Jupiter in Libra also opposes Uranus in Aries (this aspect is exact the day after Christmas, December 26th, at 10:32 AM, PST). Uranus, the individual, the rebel, the eccentric, in fiery Aries, is in tension with our desire to build jovial, loving 'friend' energy, a harmony and balance with others. Of all the planets in the Solar System, Uranus is the only one to rotate on his axis tipped at a 98-degree angle to the planet's orbit around the Sun. A freak, an outsider, Uranus plays his own tune and dances to his own rhythm. This opposition of Uranus and Jupiter plays into the shadow period leading to Mercury retrograde because it presents an opportunity to wrestle 'self' and one's true dreams and goals from the expectations of pleasing others. During the days prior to the Full Moon, the Sun met up with Saturn in a conjunction in Sagittarius making this hard work.

Capricorn so often receives a "bad rap" as the conservative, restrictive sign ruled by Saturn. In actuality, Capricorn done right offers us a kind of strength; it comes from being able to see past structures and patterns that restrict our growth and evolution. It is what old age brings us through the ability to be able to look back and say “I’ve done this before. I‘ve done this and I’ve done this and I've done this yet again."  And so there it is; there’s the structure. We can view it. View it from today. It doesn’t matter what age you are; the elder wisdom that comes from reflecting upon retrograde Mercury in Capricorn will help you. Consider where the sign Capricorn falls in your Birth chart, what aspects it effects, especially note mid-Capricorn degrees (second decan - Shadow period began at Sagittarius 28 degree). Mid-degree of Cardinal signs will be also emphasized. Remember to look where transiting Pluto is in your chart: what lies behind these cycles, limitations, set backs to our dreams? Why DO we go round and round in the circle game? Shifting perspectives may help us see. That is what the mercury retrograde is about. 

There is a trickster dimension of Mercury. The retrograde period may fool us into hurrying through our day-to-day communications and bog us down with technological glitches as we fail to notice simple mistakes. But a full-body "sweater" to protect us from "harm" is not necessary. Rather take the trickster for the game and make it work for you in Capricorn style. In Mercury's giant impact crater, Caloris Basin, lies "the Spider," a formation of deep troughs or valleys marking the surface of the planet. Like the Lakota Sioux trickster spider Iktomi in Native American myth, this apparition of a Mercurial spider fools us with parts and pieces to reveal an essence. It is similar to a gestalt; you have to look at all the lines to grasp the big picture. This retrograde period of Mercury in Capricorn allows us to look back upon all the "pieces," all the pathways, that gave structure to the "mountain." We don't have to let Mercury simply be the "trickster." Use this inward time of reflection to fill in the gestalt and see the cycles of the past and rework the goals and steps for the future. The Moon opposing Saturn several hours before the Full Moon calls us to work on contemplating and communicating about what feeds us emotionally and what out-dated, rigid structures and paradigms keep our viewpoints locked and our goals limited.

Detail of Caloris, a large impact crater on Mercury, and the extensive radial troughs known as 'The Spider'


You might be asking, but wait a minute, isn’t Mercury about communication and the mind? About conveying information? Mercury is also about receiving and observing, a dialogue where we listen and perceive. When retrograde, it is possible to revisit, review messages in a fresh light. Twisting information into new ways reminds me of the now famous dream of Nobel Laureate James Watson, who in sleep saw the spiral staircase that would help him realize the double helix of DNA. Here is another short story, a true bit of history, that I believe helps us to question how we glean information from creative insights, not just as words on a page but, like evolutionary astrologer Steven Forrest describes, as omens, signs made known to us. In 1726, Irish author Jonathan Swift wrote, Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, better known to us today as Gulliver’s Travels. Most of us know the famous chapter in which the ship surgeon Gulliver ends up among the "little people" of the land of Lilliput. But in another part of the book, Gulliver meets a people, the Luputans, who are great mathematicians and astronomers living aboard a floating island. They observe the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. But yet how did Jonathan Swift know to include these two moons? Astronomers would not discover them until 1877, over hundred years after the publication of Gulliver's Travels.  Swift was using most likely a popular mistranslation of one of Galileo’s letters. Galileo put his discoveries into Latin word puzzles in his letters as a way to document his findings, but at the same time, keep them secret from the reader. Galileo sent the letter to fellow astronomer, Johannes Kepler. Kepler was not able to translate the anagram properly and assumed Galileo wrote of two moons orbiting Mars, but Galileo did not see these moons. Jonathan Swift knew of Kepler’s translation and hence wrote of the Luputans and their observation of the two moons.  Swift even wrote a fairly accurate estimate of the orbital paths and distances of the moons from Mars. Are there two moons of Mars? Yes! Was this chance? Maybe. But to me, this story illustrates the complex way information can be conveyed, the subtle forms an omen can work and the possibilities of diverse modes of perception Mercury can reveal. The Luputans had it right.

The Two Moons of Mars. From Giberne,  The Story of the Sun, Moon, and Stars , 1898.


Here is a more mundane example of how Mercury works as a change in perception. To be aware of the omens takes an open heart and the patience to listen. Remember the times you were on the way out the door and you see the bank card there on the table? A feeling comes over you like you need to pick the card up, you will need it, you perceive it as a feeling, but the rational mind kicks in and says, “No, I don’t need that card.” Then hours later at work you realize you have left your wallet at home. The card would have saved you. Have you missed a Mercury moment? Perhaps. Under the retrograde an awareness of that process can be made more real for you as an idea, an insight. See if you can notice those moments this winter season. Like we saw in the example of Jonathan Swift's story, they may just help you to see the "two moons."

The Two Moons of Mars. From Giberne,  The Story of the Sun, Moon, and Stars , 1898.

The Two Moons of Mars. From Giberne, The Story of the Sun, Moon, and Stars, 1898.

Finally, I want to close with an image that seems to capture the essence of Capricorn as we approach Winter Solstice and the Sun's ingress (entry) into the sign. It is one of walking on ice, or rather the dry, black spaces between the ice, as one carefully and gradually steps along the ground. My principal astrology teacher, Steven Forrest, used this image once in a story. I only heard him share the story one time, but it lingered in the back of mind because, for me, a person with several natal planets in Capricorn, it worked. It captures the spirit of the "sea goat," the gradual evolution of a soul and a life well lived. Imagine a dark, cold alley in an old, medieval town. On a winter's night, you walk along the rough, uneven cobble stones, up an old, crumbling set of steps, near the walls of a church ruin. There is little light so it is difficult to see. Some parts of the stone surface shine with the reflections of light from the street lamps, subtly revealing the icy patches. Capricorn spies a narrow slice of dark, dry pavement, steps lightly, then firmly, maneuvers the feet and turns to seek the next dry segment, sure-footed and skipping a step to find a clean landing. One step, check, balance to the next, check. The rustic surface of the stones require care and caution.  Capricorn looks for steps with a focused sight and chooses a path that will endure.

What were those paths, those steps that led us one way or another through the years in our "circle game"? And how did we get sidetracked or did we get sidetracked at all? How did we decide what dreams were worth pursuing? As dark turns to light here in the northern hemisphere, we claim the time for introspection and the grace to see our paths in new ways. Wishing everyone a blessed Winter Solstice and much joy in the New Year!

Nothing can cure the soul, but the senses: the Full Moon in Taurus


Nothing can cure the soul, but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul. Oscar Wilde

Make the universe your companion, always bearing in mind the true nature of things - mountains and rivers, trees and grasses, and humanity - and enjoy the falling blossoms and the scattering leaves. Matsuo Basho

November 14, 2016 Full Moon in Taurus, 22°37,’5:52 AM PST. Sun 22°37’ Scorpio, conjunct Black Moon Lilith 19°45’, Sun in a quincunx aspect to Eris, at Aries 22°48’ and Uranus, Aries 21°22’, Sun trine Chiron, 20°48’ Pisces (Moon in a sextile to Chiron), Mercury, 3° 1’ Sagittarius in a sextile to Mars, 3°55’ Aquarius. Jupiter, Libra 13°52,’ in a sextile aspect to Saturn, 15°51’Sagittarius.

American Thanksgiving, November 24th 6:00 PM PST: Jupiter 15°48’ Libra, Moon 15° 9’ Libra square Venus 15°19’, Pluto 15°47’ Capricorn.

There is a healing practice in Japan called Shinrin-yoku, forest bathing. The simple joys of letting nature calm the heart and soul, while being present in the woods. The art of simply being there. In a similar sense, the Japanese tea ceremony, or chanoyu, developed as a calming exercise under the turmoil of war and the political and social upheaval of 16th-century Japan. People sought comfort in the quiet, slow movements of the ceremony in the rustic simplicity of the teahouse amidst Japanese pavilions and gardens. I want to start by mentioning a few suggestions reminiscent of these subtle and simple Japanese cultural practices. I hope these insights may be helpful during the current Full Moon in Taurus. We all are entering a period of adjustment. How could we not? It does not matter how you voted or if you voted in the recent American presidential election, if you call United States your home or if you live abroad, this past week was a time of shock and disbelief as many realized our world will not be the same. The Full Moon in Taurus asks us to simplify. We find comfort in our routines, reflect upon what we have, what is real, our support system, and to recenter ourselves and take stock of our resources in order to process such a collective shift. A lot of us will be climbing out of a kind of psychological shell shock and facing our thoughts and feelings about what a Trump presidency will bring, disrupt or repeal. We all need moments of calm. We reclaim our soul out of the mayhem, honoring our bodies, our basic needs and comforts. Our Shinrin-yoku may literally be a place in nature, in the woods or at the beach, or a quiet tea ceremony in the soft, comforts of our home. Such periods allow us to regroup, reset, adjust and move forward. For those of us living in the northern hemisphere, the yearly passage of the Taurus Full Moon suggests the gathering of resources in a time of asking what are our fundamental, basic needs as the light of day dims and we prepare for winter solstice in December. The meaning of the Full Moon in Taurus, leading us gradually toward winter solstice, can offer solace and hope. The act of taking stock of what we have and can use, the time of adjustment and regrouping, can only make us stronger.


There are a few unusual traits of the Full Moon this month that seem to help manifest its energy as well as potential for emotional impact. The Moon will reach perigee – the Moon’s closest point to the Earth - within one and a half hour’s time of the Full Moon, 5:52 AM PST. A so-called “Supermoon” is not uncommon; we usually have several Supermoons a year, causing the larger than usual tides known as Spring tides. This particular perigean Moon, however, is unusually close to the Earth, the closest she has been since 1948. The Moon will not come this close to Earth again until November 25, 2034. Those folks living near the coastline may enjoy viewing the particularly high tides in the days ahead. The energetic signature of Taurus will be felt strongly and it might be helpful to look to see where the sign of Taurus falls in your birth chart or if you have natal planets at 22° of the fixed signs, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius. The opposition of the Scorpio Sun and Taurus Moon will also be the last major aspect the Moon makes before moving into Gemini. Astrologers refer to the Moon at this time as being void of course.  In general, when the Moon is void of course, it is best to wait before embarking on new paths, signing contracts or taking on new commitments. However, it is a productive time to let go and release what is not needed - in this case, the Taurus Moon gives us a time to drop the stress and tension of the past few months and let us return to the simplicity of the moment, of our bodies, of our souls. Tap into the wisdom of the body through touch and the senses (soak in that hot tub or bubble bath!), through healthy practices of yoga, hiking, and eating (in moderation!) good, honest foods. Take time to enjoy cuddling and loving the animals in our lives. And embracing silence when needed can go a long way. The sign Taurus is ruled by Venus and so aesthetic pleasure, the sensual and natural beauty in visual art, or the comfort of our favorite pieces of music, are especially powerful as a nurturing, healing expression under this Full Moon.


The picture I include to illustrate the Full Moon in Taurus is a photograph I took while traveling through Dogon country in rural Mali, West Africa. I chose this image, in part, because of the feeling of connection between child and animal and the tilling of the earth. The bull, of course, is a symbol for the sign, Taurus. But there are two stories behind this picture I feel capture the polarity between the energies of Scorpio (the Sun will be in Scorpio until November 21st) and that of Taurus. The Dogon people are traditional farmers. In some ways, I am hesitant to use my experiences in West Africa here because it is so easy for people who are from outside of the continent to simplify African peoples and cultural practices as “primitive” in comparison to communities in Europe, Asia or the Americas. But I believe these stories will help illustrate the two signs well. While staying in one of the villages along the Bandiagara Cliffs, a vast plateau and valley where Dogon communities are found, I witnessed the basic sense of connection with the land so clearly in the people I met. At night, I slept under a simple mosquito net on blankets under the stars. I was on top of one of the houses in the open air. One night, I slept well until I felt tiny drops of rain starting to fall some time in the middle of the night. I scrambled to pack up my things to scurry down below to seek shelter when my friend, Madou, came up to my sheer tent and whispered, “No, lie down…in a minute, it will pass.” The rain stopped then and I realized how deeply in tune Madou was to his cliffs, to his Dogon home, to the wind and rain, like a simple Taurean bodily response to knowledge and wisdom. The rain will stop and it did.

Dogon Village of Begnimato, Bandiagara Cliffs, Mali.

Dogon Village of Begnimato, Bandiagara Cliffs, Mali.


Earlier that night I felt the magick, some other realm of my own inner shadows, in the very same village before going to bed. I went out at dusk and started playing tag with a bunch of the Dogon children. I ran between and through the mud, adobe houses and felt their chase, all a game of fun and laughter. Night fell and the shadows loomed and gradually the energy changed. I felt some kind of fear rise up inside me, the children pressed on and after me and then I felt something raw, real and difficult to escape. These were just children. What was it that came through me? Scorpio makes the subconscious conscious, brings truth to the table and reveals forces underneath, either within us or around us (Scorpio is ruled by Pluto, planet of deep psychological transformation and work, along with Mars, the warrior planet). Was it some childhood fear of my own coming back into consciousness? The experience reminded me of the classic novel, Lord of the Flies, the group overtaking me. What was it that I felt? Was it my own inner prejudice of the other, fearful of a children from a different culture, world, than my own? Or was it the shamanic side of Scorpio (Scorpio is also associated with the sorcerer, with the occult) that allowed me to feel fear, but also see and feel something deeper, something more at play that night in the shadows. This is how I see Taurus and this is how I feel Scorpio. The two energies are so different; each so revealing, each in some way so human, so universal.

Dogon children at play, Mali.

Dogon children at play, Mali.

At the Full Moon, the Sun will make a quincunx (150°) aspect to the current conjunction of Uranus (Aries 21° 22) and Eris (Aries 22° 48). Although this is a fast-moving aspect (the Sun moves a degree a day), I feel it represents the culmination of what a lot of us are wrestling with at the moment. The Full Moon can be a time of fruition and then release, a natural time of fulfillment. Yet, for some of us, the recent presidential election in the United States does not leave us with a feeling of fulfillment. The period for me, and I believe probably for some of you, reflects the energy of “misstep,” irritation or a need for adjustment embodied in the energy of the quincunx. A quincunx (150°) is about reconciling or settling into two very different energies, in this case Scorpio and Aries. In astrology, we talk about the Ptolemaic aspects, such as a conjunction, sextile (60°), square (90°), trine (120°) or opposition (180°) based upon the division of a circle. They were named after the famous Greco-Egyptian writer, astrologer, mathematician and astronomer, Claudius Ptolemy, who used them in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD/CE. In earlier periods of Mesopotamian history, the Sumerians and Babylonians used a numeric system based upon a sexegesimal mathematics, a base of 60, and defined a circle as 360°. The Ptolemaic aspects are major aspects, and it makes sense to us how they operate. We can see the circular pie and the slices seem logical. But the quincunx, a 150°, is not a comfortable number for us to see when dividing a 360° circle and it is not as easy as the major aspects to recognize and to process.

Election day, November 8th, and the period right after, embodied the sudden, abrupt energy of Aries, shock and revolutionary nature of Uranus and the feeling of resentment, anger and retribution that is a potential manifestation of Eris. As I mentioned in my last post, Eris, a dwarf planet, has recently received critical attention by astrologers. In myth, she is the goddess who is not invited to the party and throws to Paris the apple of Discord he uses as a prize in his judgment of the goddesses, Hera, Athena and Aphrodite, which leads to the Trojan War. The apple can be seen as a symbol of sustenance, what is needed and desired, and what leads to discord and conflict. The recent political upset in the United States, in part, stems from the feeling of rejection or lack of attention or recognition felt by of some in America. They do not feel heard by the mainstream factions of the two political parties. Black Moon Lilith is at 19° 45’ Scorpio in conjunction with the Sun as well and the Sun forms a trine to Chiron in Pisces, suggesting a potential for a collective wound and a need for healing. Black Moon Lilith marks the lunar apogee - the place in the lunar orbit farthest from the earth. An archetype of the Divine feminine, she also can symbolize the repression of the feminine at the expense of the patriarchy, another indicator of discord and upset in recent months as the respect for women and the right of a woman to lead have been called into question.

I do not wish to elaborate upon the election nor the astrological “politics” at play. Rather I mention the quincunx to help us best process the feeling nature of this Full Moon for us on a more personal or individual level. Following such a sudden, outer thrust of change, what surfaces for us? How do we balance the angry, impulsive reactions versus our deeper reflections upon the truth of why the upset happened? The quincunx, I believe, offers us a chance to dive deeper into what this election means for us, what it triggers in our psyches, what truth is behind this time of uncertainty for ourselves and perhaps we may ask what is really behind the current political forces for others. For ourselves, the Scorpionic energy can help reveal what lies under the surface that we need to wrestle with and combat for us to be successful activists, to support social justice and be better global citizens. Like the fear I faced in the shadows of the Dogon cliffs and houses, what fears arise in us?


The current passage of Mercury in Sagittarius opens our perceptions and understanding into this process. Time to free our preconceived notions of how politics work and brainstorm new ways to build bridges of rapport. During the Full Moon, Mercury, 3° 1’ Sagittarius, will form a sextile to Mars, 3°55’ Aquarius, supporting ideas and plans for action and change. At the same time, Jupiter, at Libra 13°52’, will be in a sextile aspect to Saturn, 15°51’Sagittarius. Saturn adds structure and reality to the enthusiasm of Jupiter. Mercury will eventually conjunct Saturn on November 23rd in Sagittarius helping to add clarity along with reality to our ideas and eventually Mercury will form a trine to Uranus, further supporting our insights for action and change. These last aspects mentioned can bring the abstract into reality and may help to reinforce the push for change in more concrete terms, whether in the new Trump administration or through efforts to revise and change the system.



I would like to end by transitioning into the weeks ahead and briefly mention the beginning of the holiday season and Thanksgiving, which in the United States occurs this year on November 24th. I find Thanksgiving a difficult holiday to embrace, especially this year when the indigenous community is continuing to face battles over access to clean water and sacred lands due to the ongoing struggle to prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Let’s hope we can honor and hold in our hearts the movement and ask for justice, guidance and peace. Thanksgiving will involve the coming together of family and friends, giving us yet another opportunity to heal from the anger, tension and divisiveness of the election season. Venus moved into the sign of Capricorn on November 11th helping us find joy and comfort in the traditions of the holidays and structures of family life we cherish. Traditions can be so soothing and reassuring and none better than those at the holidays! On Thanksgiving, the Moon will join up with Jupiter in mid Libra, 15° 42,’ for a celebratory mood of love and connection. But both will also form a square aspect to Pluto and Venus in Capricorn. Conversations and arguments may be based upon deeper truths and issues hiding under the fray. Pay attention to the undercurrents of family dynamics; they can reveal a lot! Was that comment my sister made really about my political sentiments? Or is she still holding onto some deeply held grudge or past hurt? Awareness of these undercurrents can bring healing. Though we often feel them at play during the holidays, this particular year holds opportunities for psychological insights to surface. As a final note, avoid spending too much money on the holidays or indulging in too much merriment of food and drink just because Jupiter said it was ok. We may want to spend more as a psychological release. Instead perhaps it is better we ask, what really is at play in our desires to indulge?

Wishing everyone a beautiful Full Moon in Taurus and a joyful Thanksgiving!

Let the Dance Happen and Revolution Will Follow: October's Full Moon in Aries


“If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution.” Emma Goldman

“But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you.” Khalil Gibran

 “In so many and such important ways, then, do the planets bear witness to the earth's mobility.” Nicholas Copernicus explaining a heliocentric model of the universe

October 15, 2016 Full Moon in Aries, 23º14, 9:23 PM PST, Conjunct Uranus, 22º29, Eris 23º05, Mercury in Libra square Pluto in Capricorn, 15º01, Mars in Capricorn, 12º45, Venus in Scorpio, 27°27

The only constant in life seems to be change. And sometimes it seems to me the change is gradual like the passage of the seasons, other times abrupt and unexpected. So deeply embedded in our processes of change is the dynamic of relationship. Who touches our heart, who offers us a hand to dance? The one we connect to because we see soul with our eyes. Synchronicity brings you together, possibility is there, and as the French say “et plus si affinities.” It is more than “déjà vu.” Is it projection? Are we seeing self in other? What is authenticity in relationship? Equally meaningful, who steps away, abandons us, leaves the dance floor empty when the time seems ready to take the dance deeper and develop intimacy? Is it your fear or mine? We have been traveling through the season of Libra, the push and pull of the dance we do with others, finding the right balance, applying the right discrimination to know what and who we need in our Divine dance with our own soul. Our Milky Way is composed of solitary stars, like our Sun, along with binaries, pairs of stars that orbit each other at distances unique to each pair, triplets and multiple star systems. Like the stars above, we orbit one another to create meaning in our lives and to discover perhaps what we ourselves have hidden. At times, we are best alone. Some of us truly become stronger as single stars. But it helps to remember that the origin of the word disaster is “without stars.” We all have Libra expressed in our charts; we all need others to grow.

Last month, in the northern hemisphere, the Celtic festival of Mabon marked the time of year known as fall equinox when the day and night are of equal length. The Sun’s passage into Libra on the equinox each year is tinted by the blending energies, like colors of autumn leaves, marked by the shifting motion of the planets, the angles they create. This moment we find ourselves in 2016 is part of the rhythmic cycles of the planets’ motion through time. This Mabon came just as Mercury finished his retrograde motion in Virgo. September was a time of revision, remake, review with the critical mental processes of Mercury as he retraced through his own sign. He was in his ‘shadow’ until October 6th when he reached 29º04’ Virgo (the shadow period is the time when Mercury is moving ahead but has not yet reached the degree he initially turned retrograde). Mid-October we find Sun, Mercury and Jupiter together in Libra. Mercury’s quick passage through the sign triggers the slow dance of Jupiter, bringing us fresh perspective and awareness of the part relationship plays in our lives through the house Libra falls in our birth chart. Later in the month, the Sun and Mercury enter Scorpio as we approach Samhain, Halloween, All Souls Day or El Dia de los Muertos. We move from the earthly dance of day-to-day relationship with friends, family, lovers, to the shamanic healing spiritual realm of the souls of the other side. Happy Halloween! And may the spirits of your ancestors bless you. Now is the time to pay them homage and remember.

El Dia de los Muertos in the Highlands of Guatemala.

El Dia de los Muertos in the Highlands of Guatemala.

October’s sky asks us to focus upon where we want to create a stronger sense of balance and equity in our evolving dance with others. Where or with who do we work one-on-one and is it time to develop that dance further? When I think of Libra, I think of self as well as other, in a supportive dialogue of give and take. The recent New Moon that followed the autumnal equinox on September 30th was at 8°15 Libra. She was in a conjunction with Jupiter about seven hours before and in a supportive sextile (60°) to Saturn almost seven hours after. Jupiter opens us up to opportunity, followed by Saturn in an aspect granting possibility for structure and reality for our New Moon dreams. The weeks ahead in October are great times to reflect upon the next year, as Jupiter moves through Libra, how we might establish, through our relationships, the love and support we need. Checking the house(s) in your birth chart where the sign Libra falls may help focus upon the places in daily life you might find this work productive.

After fall equinox and then throughout the first half of October, Venus, the planet ruling Libra, moves through Scorpio, entering Sagittarius October 18th. While we have the Sun, Jupiter and Mercury in Libra the first half of October, a Scorpionic Venus pushes us into deeper territory, perhaps allowing us to get beyond the surface pleasantries of Libra. Even a good salesman or, dare I say, political candidate, can manipulate words and use persuasive actions to reap the benefits of relationship. But Scorpio Venus delves into truth; what really is behind our need for ‘balance’ - harmony? Is it a personal agenda, a kind of selfishness through other? Again, it may help to meditate upon Jupiter’s transit through Libra and how he touches your birth chart. These are the places (houses) and avenues of expression (planets) where you may consciously reflect upon “What kind of relationship are we building?” “What place does it serve in the greater good of our lives or in the larger collective?” Look below the surface and investigate what needs to be transformed. Later in the month, Venus’ passage through Sagittarius opens us up to more fiery, outgoing play and release, during our time of masquerade and tricks and treats. By then, the Sun and Mercury have entered Scorpio, a New Moon in Scorpio occurs at 7°44 on October 30th moving us into the season of darkness and spirit.

The sign of Libra, the scales, with its emphasis upon balance, reminds me of the fusion of opposites, the union of substances, and the Latin expression Coincidentia oppositorum, in the ancient practice of alchemy. The psychiatrist Carl Jung used this Latin phrase to characterize the need we all have to integrate opposing aspects within our own psyche. The sign of Libra and the planet Venus ask us to consider the role of others in the alchemical process of the evolving soul. I brought together images from the alchemist’s workshop to represent Jupiter in Libra in the illustration I include above. Centuries ago, alchemists developed a musical octave, similar to a scale, composed of each of the seven known planets (including the Moon) and ending with Saturn. The child in the photograph below is playing a musical interpretation of the octave in a museum exhibition about alchemy (Here Saturn appears on the top of the octave as if beginning the next octave up in progression). Called the Music of the Spheres, astronomers, who were also astrologers of the time, saw the relationship between the orbits of the planets as harmonic intervals reflecting the similar natural harmonies of music.

In turn, aspects (the angles between planets) also carried a harmonic structure: conjunction 1st harmonic, opposition (dividing 360° in two) 2nd harmonic, trine 120° 3rd harmonic, square 90° 4th harmonic, quintile 72° 5th and sextile 60° the 6th harmonic. Libra is ruled by Venus, the planet known for having the most perfect circular orbit in the solar system. Venus in Libra expresses the beauty of aesthetic harmony, balance and perfection of form. The Music of the Spheres, the music of the planets, the harmonies embodied in the aspects, like the binary and multiple star systems, demonstrate an interdependence of energy. “As above, so below.” Aspects, angles, the planetary positions in sign and house of our birth chart act in unison like a musical score. Coincidentia oppositorum is an internal, evolutionary process that lasts a lifetime, the lifetime of the soul. Yet like the celestial dance of the planets through time, the fusion of self is dependent upon harmonics played between self and other. Enter our need for the sign of Libra, the 7th House, the work one does with another, the work one does in relationship. 

Then we have a Full Moon, conjunct Uranus and Eris, in Aries, October 15th. The radical rebel, Uranus, graces the night sky less than a degree away from the Moon. Eris and Uranus have been conjunct for several weeks. In Greek mythology, Eris is the Goddess of discord. Potentially vindictive, she carries the energy of the one left behind and not invited to the “party.” Eris is a dwarf planet receiving critical interest among astrologers in recent years. Here she is coming together with the abrupt agent of change, enlightened thought, freedom, independence and genius of Uranus, in Aries the sign of the self, the initiator of fiery action and leadership. The word, revolution, in all its forms in current usage, comes to mind with this Full Moon. Revolution is often applied to radical social upheaval and overthrow of political power, but the word stems from the sudden shift in cultural and scientific thinking that began when Copernicus explored “outside the box,” discovering a new way of seeing the universe (at this point in time, the universe was perceived to be the solar system). The Copernican Revolution shifted a 2000-year old foundational view in astronomy: the Earth was seen previously as the center of the solar system, while Copernicus led the way to eventual acceptance of a heliocentric model, placing the Sun at the center and the planets orbiting the Sun. The Earth “revolves” as well, hence “revolution” around the Sun, the Copernican “Revolution.” The movements of the planets confirmed the theory, as Copernicus wrote, “In so many and such important ways, then, do the planets bear witness to the earth's mobility.” As we saw the emphasis upon relationship between self and other in Libra, and the relationship of planets through the Music of the Spheres and in aspect, revolution comes from the independent thought of genius in response to the work of previous generations of astronomical study. In turn, this word “revolution” came to symbolize societal shifts, rise of new paradigms, brand new ways to visualize and shake up the status quo. Our modern definition of the word “revolution” was born.

What does this mean for our current Full Moon coming mid-October? We have a moment of claiming our personal power, initiative, drive to individuate, to be authentic self, and let the inner rebel thrive. Lead the revolution - even if it is an internal one. With the other planetary energies at play, a Libra Mercury and Jupiter in a square with Capricorn Mars the days before, and Mercury forming a square to Pluto in Capricorn on the day of the Full Moon, building upon the dance, our Libra skills of diplomacy and the insights we gain by working with others can help bring about and transform the Aries warrior, the Capricorn elder and leader in us all. Where the planets Eris and Uranus, as well as the sign Aries, fall in your birth chart reveal the places where a revolution of the authentic self can manifest. Claim personal freedom and let your genius speak. Be cautious of the inner Goddess Eris and the potential for resentment, spite and hurt (look to see where 23° Aries falls in your birth chart). Instead be part of a collective paradigm shift through your individual gift of genius or through the spirit of the rebel. In relationship, honor the freedom and space the other needs. As Khalil Gibran wrote, “But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you.” It may be a time of awakening, a time for sudden, abrupt change, where the light bulb goes on. As the bumper sticker says, “Shift happens.”

Wishing everyone blessings during the Libra and Scorpio seasons, the Full Moon in Aries, and through Samhain, El Dia de los Muertos, our most sacred time of connection!

September’s Harvest Full Moon in Pisces

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” Eleanor Roosevelt

“Finding the right work is like discovering your own soul in the world.” Thomas Moore

Moon in Pisces conjunct Chiron, Penumbral Lunar eclipse
Sun in Virgo in a loose conjunction to Mercury and Jupiter. Jupiter enters Libra.
Mars in Sagittarius squares Moon and Sun.

September 16th brings a Full Moon in 24° Pisces at 12:05 PM PST. Always coming late summer into early fall, as the Sun moves through Virgo, the Pisces Full Moon is aptly called the Harvest Moon. There seems to be a feeling of going home at this time, like a returning to our spiritual roots and finding our place again within the mystical whole after the play and joy of summer.  Leading into fall, through Libra, and eventually Scorpio, the Sun’s path suggests a time of letting go, turning back to the source. A water sign co-ruled by Jupiter and Neptune, Pisces energy allows us to manifest the inner mystic part of us that connects with the Divine. This particular Full Moon will be conjunct the asteroid Chiron currently at 22° Pisces and will be forming a square to Mars at 23° Sagittarius. Chiron is the wounded healer who in mythology was a centaur injured by an arrow with a wound that would never heal. His wound eventually becomes his source of power that gives him the gift of healing. Chiron and Jupiter were in an opposition, 180 degrees apart, in mid-August, possibly offering us an opportunity through work, service or perhaps mentorship (Jupiter at 24° Virgo) to release a blockage, a spiritual wound, or to open avenues to heal our relationship with our spiritual work. “Spiritual” in this context does not necessarily imply “religion,” although it can, but may connote a compassionate mission- one that sees beyond boundaries of self and other. A month later, under the Full Moon in September, we see the fruition of the Virgo/Pisces Jupiter and Chiron opposition. This may be a good time to consult your birth chart and see in what houses, what areas in life, you can best refine your gifts of service, your modes for healing, for the good of others and the planet. “Finding the right work is like discovering your own soul in the world.” How else can we better serve the Divine?  

In another perspective, the Pisces Full Moon is an emotional, sensitive Moon and can be time for a“good cry,” having compassion for our own suffering and tender emotions. With Chiron there as well, overall it maybe a time to be cautious of our escapist tendencies. Pisces energy can lead to desires to numb ourselves through the altered states of drugs or alcohol or just the pleasures of excess food or television. In what ways do we bandage the wound and escape from the pain? The Pisces Full Moon is a wonderful time to tap into your deepest imagination, your dream world, and your higher vibration of spiritual self. Keep beauty in your dreams. Let go through dance, meditation, artistic expression. The ongoing Saturn / Neptune square at this time (see my other post for a description) instructs us to take advantage of the discipline of Saturn and give our creative visions form, rather than falling into negative patterns of escape. 

Mars in the square aspect to the Sun and Moon at this time may add to the emotional tension of the typical Pisces Full Moon. Tempers may flair up and it is a good time to avoid arguments based upon fixed opinions that are too rigid in opinion or offer no solutions (Mars in Sagittarius). Don’t allow emotions to rule over peace. It is not a good time to insist you are right; rather it is better to encourage compassion by seeing how really we all are connected. Jupiter enters Libra September 9th and will remain in that sign until October 10th, 2017.  Now is a good time to look to see where Libra falls in your natal chart and plan accordingly for the year ahead. The astrologer Rick Levine likes to point out the similarity of the 12-year passage of Jupiter through the zodiac to the 12 signs of Chinese astrology. It helps us to reflect upon Jupiter in Libra as a period of roughly a year when planets in Libra or the house(s) in your natal chart touched by Libra may bring new opportunity and growth. In conjunction with the Virgo Sun during this Full Moon in Pisces, the arrival of Jupiter in Libra calls us to bring out the harmonious balanced love in the larger Neptunian realm of Pisces without allowing the warrior spirit of Mars in the square to win the day. Rather the square of Mars in Sagittarius to the Pisces/Virgo axis can be used to muster up in ourselves the will to work upon what needs to expand into higher realms of consciousness, what faith, beliefs and philosophy will open us to reach those higher goals of understanding. How much better will our actions and intentions be than if they were to fall into dogmatism and emotional outburst?

Like the centaur of Sagittarius shooting the arrow, Mars can push us to take action in a way that helps us through the Piscean wound and reach that spiritual gift.  Recognizing a very loose conjunction of Jupiter in Libra with the Virgo sun and Virgo Mercury, part of this action may involve new pathways of communication - a communication grounded in critical discourse and that seeks building off of a real desire for harmony and balance. Virgo Mercury square Mars in Sagittarius again holds the possibility of arguments, and we maybe nitpicky, where we can be overly critical in the will to be right. It may help to keep the ongoing Saturn /Neptune square in mind at this time since there is a tendency toward delusion and false “facts” that may surface under this slower moving aspect. It may work better to use this time to constructively reflect upon how I might best serve the greater good (Virgo Sun and Mercury opposition Moon in Pisces) for more harmonious understanding (Jupiter in Libra), for expanding my mind (Sagittarius Mars) in more flexible ways (Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces are mutable energies) and not at the expense of maintaining the collective wound (Chiron in Pisces). One last final point involves the asteroid, Vesta, which forms a trine, 120-degree angle, with the Pisces Full Moon. Except for Chiron, I do not use the asteroids very much in personal readings unless they are in a critical place in the birth chart. I, myself, have Vesta in the 10th house very close to my Midheaven and I find the asteroid plays strongly into the theme of my natal chart (I use the Placidus House system for casting charts). At the time of the Harvest Full Moon, Vesta will be in the sign of Cancer, at 20°. There is not enough time here to write about Vesta in length, but I would like to add one comment that fits within the larger reading of this particular Full Moon. Vesta is the fire in the temple and what moves us into action - Divine action. Echoing the call to action (square) of Mars in Sagittarius (fiery sign of faith) with the Pisces Moon/Chiron conjunction, the coming into fruition (Full Moon) of the Jupiter /Chiron opposition, Vesta also asks us to tend the fire of the spiritual self, here in another water sign, Cancer, where there is a need to nurture and protect what is sacred. 

Wishing everyone many blessings on this Harvest Full Moon! This time will be especially powerful for those who have planets in their natal charts that fall between 21-27 degrees of the mutable signs, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces, and Gemini. Much love and joy for the autumn season and for the year ahead as Jupiter travels through the sign of Libra!

2015-2016 Saturn / Neptune Square: Saturn in Sagittarius/ Neptune in Pisces - Making Dreams Real

November 26, 2015 at 7°, June 17, 2016 at 12°, and September 10, 2016 at 10°  

“If we are full of enthusiasm for life, then the unknown reveals itself, and our universe changes direction.”
Paulo Coelho

“We are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world”

“Go slowly and go far”
Old Welsh saying

While watching the media coverage of the Summer Olympics, 2016, I noticed a young athlete who reminded me of the opposing energies of Saturn and Neptune. Neptune is currently in transit through Pisces, a sign the planet co-rules with Jupiter. Expansive, opportunistic Jupiter complements the dreamy visionary dimension of Pisces and Neptune. Saturn, on the other hand, is in Sagittarius, and has been making a series of squares - 90-degree angle - with Neptune over the past year, the final square occurring this September.  I have no knowledge of this woman’s birth chart, but her conversation in an interview led me to reflect upon what this current planetary square offers us in terms of vision and making dreams real.  In addition to her accomplishments in sports, the woman in question is an aspiring artist. With enthusiastic confidence, she shared some of her artwork with the interviewer.  I thought “how bold” and what confidence she has - how Jupiterian in spirit! She embodied a youthful enthusiasm, putting herself and her creativity out on a line without hesitation. Saturn teaches us to slow down and use caution wisely. But the planet also provides the discipline and mind set to make the vision real. Given the chance to present her work, was the young athlete turned artist naïve? Was she taking too much of a risk?  Or was the time ripe to say “this is what I create” and “I take responsibility for who I am, what I believe,” so “I take a leap of faith to put it out there.” This square asks us how do we find the balance of visionary Neptune with the structure of Saturn.  There is a fine “art” to knowing when it is time to make the vision real.


The planets move in cycles through time. In astrology, we explore these cycles and the meaning of the planetary archetypes involved to better make use of the current celestial energy. Two big players in the sky this past year have been the planet Saturn, which has been moving back and forth creating a 90-degree square with the planet Neptune at three points in time. Starting late last fall, on November 26, Thanksgiving Day, Saturn, 7° Sagittarius, made the first square to transiting Neptune, 7° Pisces. Then in mid-June, on the 17th, the second square occurred at 12°. And, finally, the last square takes place this month, September 10th, at 10°. 

Let’s start by looking briefly at each of these planets and the signs they are transiting. Saturn in Sagittarius represents opposing energies as Sagittarius, a fire sign, is ruled by optimistic, enthusiastic Jupiter. Jupiter expands while Saturn contracts. Jupiter is about seeking and having faith about embracing life. Saturn calls faith into question - a reality test. When Saturn transits Sagittarius, it is an opportunity for furthering education (perhaps through travel), challenging preconceived ideas, dedicating time and effort to understanding your philosophical views. It is a great time to learn. You might look to see where the sign Sagittarius falls in your natal chart. You might explore the validity of your beliefs relative to that area of life represented by house location of Saturn. Is Saturn touching any natal planets by conjunction or is it creating angles (transiting aspects) to planets in your natal chart? Saturn calls us to work hard, mature and take responsibility in these areas and aspects of life symbolized through the planetary archetypes and houses. In classical astrology, Saturn has been called the “Great Malefic” because the planet is associated with times of difficulty, restrictions, and limitations. On the other hand, Evolutionary astrology, the type of astrology I practice, stresses individual choice and freedom to work upon our own personal development and maturation through using knowledge of the sky to transform self. In regard to the meaning of Saturn, we can move beyond the negativity, step up to the plate and claim responsibility for the work Saturn is asking us to do.  Saturn will be in Sagittarius until December 20, 2017.

Neptune, on the other hand, is at home in the sign of Pisces, which the planet co-rules with Jupiter. A slow moving planet, Neptune will spend about thirteen years in the sign, entering in February of 2012 and remaining there until 2025. The period can be a deepening time of spirituality and recognizing the Divine presence in the world around us. Most likely we will see a rise in meditation and prayer. We may also see an increase in escapism through realms of fantasy and altered states through drugs and alcohol (such as the rise in prescription drug abuse as a form of escape). A visionary time, Neptune in Pisces breaks down boundaries between the material and the spiritual. The appearance of the Holy Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, to Saint Juan Diego, in 1531, and the visions of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Virgin Mary, to Saint Bernadette Soubirous, in 1858, both occurred in years when Neptune was in Pisces. Few Marian visions have had the lasting impact of Our Lady of Guadalupe and of Lourdes in cultivating deep devotion and love of God in the history of Christianity. During the period of time Saint Bernadette Soubirous experienced her visions at Lourdes, transiting Saturn was in Cancer forming a trine (120-degree aspect) to Neptune and further triggered by Mars in Scorpio, combining to create a Grand Trine in water signs. The current square of Neptune and Saturn has seen a rise in religious fundamentalism, martyrs dying in the name of faith and the use of violence and terrorism in radical religious wars. As I write, Mars, a fast- moving planet, is transiting through Sagittarius to conjunct Saturn, and will act as a trigger for the ongoing Saturn / Neptune Square. We live in a time of tension indeed. 


In order to reflect upon the current Saturn / Neptune square, it might be helpful to refer back in history to another moment characterized by this aspect: November, 1963, when the assassination of President John F. Kennedy occurred. Saturn in Aquarius was in a square to Neptune in Scorpio. The reality of Saturn called into question our Nation’s visions and dreams. The current 2016 Presidential election brings to mind a similar crisis - what vision for America do we hold true? What facts, what political rhetoric, what media spin can we believe? A friend posted on social media that one of the popular terms for political corruption at the moment is “porous ethical wall.” (“Porous” Neptune - deceptive, nebulous, uncertainty - and the“ethical wall” of Saturn - duty, deep moral conviction, responsibility - are at odds). There is no better time than during an election year to question the “facts” and keep reality checks in place. However, as we move to consider the square in the birth chart of individuals, we can see this aspect as a cosmic push or crisis that can lead to positive growth. Delusion, lies and escapism are all possible, but we can turn to higher opportunities for these planetary archetypes to manifest. In Evolutionary astrology, we honor the soul’s freedom of choice and will to reach for the higher expression rather than fall to despair, denial or escape.


For individual meaning and reflection, we might question our own dreams, visions, and beliefs - where do we need objectivity? Where do we need to apply hard work and discipline to make a vision real? You can have the romantic dream, but only Saturn gives it structure; there is no dream come true without effort. The sign Sagittarius represents optimism, hope, faith and with Saturn in the sign we have a chance to work, planning our dreams as “spirits in a material world.” You can consider where Neptune and Saturn fall in your natal chart, what houses they are moving through, and what aspects do they make to planets in your natal chart. Knowing the houses will help you ponder the meaning of the square in your journey. The archetypes of the planets involved will guide your understanding. Saturn moving through your 12th house square Neptune transiting your 3rd House natal Moon? Perhaps it is time to develop a meditation practice to support your creative writing projects and help you through a writer’s block. 

Let’s take another example of the creative process. I chose to illustrate this post with a photo collage I made for my own reflection about the Saturn / Neptune square. The image doesn’t “look” real, but in actuality, the principal photograph IS real. It gives a frame and structure for a more nebulous horizon - the water and light reflected in the background of the scene. I took this photograph through a glass window from the interior of the famous Opera House in Sydney, Australia. The night before I had looked through the same window at the light of the full moon at intermission while attending the symphony. The picture carries an emotional memory, a feeling of place and time deeply personal. Now think of the years of practice and patience required of each musician in that symphony performance to allow the sound to become music. The beams, rods and railings of the Opera House, support the glass that reveals a deeper vision - the creation of the music and architecture that feeds the soul. Astrologer Tony Howard noted that some of the greatest jazz musicians of the 20th century, such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane, have the Saturn / Neptune square in their natal chart. The soul is pushed into making the artistic vision (or in this case, sound) real.  Neptune improvisation - creative dream - meets the Saturnian physical plane. The rigid skeleton of the Opera House, the discipline, foundation, reality of Saturn, give way to windows of glass, the dreams and visions of Neptune and Pisces. 


Wishing everyone peace of mind and heart during the final Saturn / Neptune square this fall. May we all find a place for our “spirits in the material world” as part of our own individual soul journey. Blessings!