July 11, 2019

Things heat up as Mars squares Uranus

Ho boy. Things heat up today, and that’s saying a lot when we’re in eclipse season, Mercury and Chiron have just stationed retrograde, and our personal planets have been filing through the North Node and opposing their Majesty Saturn + Pluto sitting on the throne of the South Node. Some of us have been dealing with reality checks, imposter syndrome, over commitment and power struggles. As Mars in Leo squares Uranus in Taurus (both fixed signs), today could feel like the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s the “I just can’t do this anymore” buildup that threatens to crack us or at least reveal out fault lines. Even though the temptation might be great, today is not the day to engage in impulsive decision making. We will regret heroic gestures of breaking free. Reckless behavior will bite us in the ass once we get to August.

That said, if we have a grip on our situation and we’re acting consciously, Mars square Uranus can be that sudden breakthrough and push towards freedom. For instance, the day Mars squared Uranus in May of 2018, I handed in my resignation at a highly respected science research institute. The pressure to architect my own life had been building for awhile and it hit a peak the moment I decided to leave a great job for doing astrology full time. This square provided the courage I needed to trust that taking a chance on myself was the right choice. It fueled my confidence while overriding my fear. I’m so glad I left that job… but I needed the surge of “Shit, I’m going for it” that some of us will feel today.

Bottom line: know yourself. If you’re responding from a place of confidence and integrity, the energy today might be the push the Universe gives you like a mama bird urging its fledgling out of the nest. If not: sit tight. This too shall pass.

July 8, 2019

Mars & Mercury square Uranus: Watch for Heat of the Moment moments

Mercury—stopped in his tracks—gets bumped by Mars today in strong-willed Leo. Stationed Mercury + Mars + Leo has all the makings for letting our tempers get the better of us. It’s a loaded gun environment where righteous anger and challenged egos hurl words they’ll regret tomorrow. In fixed signs, nobody wants to budge into compromise. This is heat of the moment stuff where we might feel tempted to tell someone off and/or throw down an ultimatum. Be on the watch for over-reactions, either in yourself or others. Mars and Mercury will be squaring Uranus which can escalate hot-headed situations like gas on a fire.

If you feel anger bubbling within the “pain body” (#EckartTolle) wanting to surge out like dragon fire today, recognize that you have a choice. You can use today’s energy to your advantage. Mars + Mercury + Uranus can be the assertive combination of standing up for oneself or loved ones, but in a way that draws boundaries, not ultimatums. Look to spell out your position or to ask for clarification and then ask for time to respond. If you’re able to step out of the ego and skillfully communicate what needs to be said, Mars + Mercury + Uranus will help you deliver information in a way that eliminates passiveness and hesitance.

Illustration by @andywestface

July 4, 2019

Saturn conjunct the South Node in Capricorn: The second installment of three parts

One of the main energetic signatures this year is Saturn conjunct the South Node in Capricorn. Today we’re experiencing the second installment of three parts, the other two bookending in April and September. Saturn on the South Node continues to ask us, What can you let go of? What structures, people, jobs have outlived their expiration date? Where could you trim and prune so that your path is lighter and brighter?

We work with Saturn and the South Node to release, surrender and detach. This is spiritual work which often seems brutal until we learn to trust the process. We’re moving towards the North Node in Cancer which would have us cultivate kinship, nourish our friendships, and provide care to not only our loved ones, but our own, vulnerable needs as well. There is a part of us that simply wants to rest and appreciate tender connections with our dearests and closests. But in order to do that, we’ve got some purging and purifying to do on the Capricorn side which can feel scary and trigger our insecurities, because after all, these reliable structures and alliances we’re being asked to check and clip were initially put there to build security and structure in our lives.

Saturn on the South Node is very much like a controlled burn in a Redwood Forest. These periodic fires keep the forest healthy by controlling invasive plants, rejuvenating growth, and encouraging plant diversity. Burning down selective parts of the forest eventually brings new life and encourages vibrancy. We can imagine that Saturn on the South Node is doing similar type of work for us right now, if we let it.

If you have planets or angles between 15-19 of the Cardinal Signs (Cancer, Libra, Capricorn, Aries), you’ll feel this transit more strongly than others.

Art by @cara.guri

July 3, 2019

Venus in Cancer

Venus slipped into something more comfortable as she ingressed into Cancer today, perfect timing for the massive Instagram/FB meltdown which gave her the impetus to connect IRL instead of on a screen. An ideal evening switched from mingling with friends⁠—old and new⁠—at Trivia Night to bubble baths with candles, followed by slippers, popcorn, and Netflix. Venus, the planet of love+friendship & grace+beauty, connects emotionally in Cancer, a water sign. We’re inclined to mother ourselves and our loved ones in ways that feel nurturing and intimate. Venus in Cancer needn’t be alone as she paints her toenails and watches re-runs of the Golden Girls. Fur babies, family, besties, or her beloved are usually right there with her, in the sacred hearth of home.

Mid-month, Venus will follow in the steps of the Sun, Mercury, and Mars as she opposes Saturn and Pluto. In the water sign of Cancer, Venus is looking for more meaning and connection in her relationships. Saturn asks, What are the barriers to this? Where is the lack? What do you fear? What is the reality of your relationship(s)? Pluto is looking at depth and intensity, ready to resurrect, rebirth and renew. With Venus close to the North Node and opposite Pluto during the full moon Lunar Eclipse on the 16th, events during this time can feel fated. This may very well be a time to look at our insecurities and how they may have grown like vines around the values we have built concerning family, tribe, partners and significant others.

Art by @83oranges .

July 2, 2019

Total Solar Eclipse: The Cosmos gets our attention

One of the ways the Cosmos gets our attention is with eclipses. Today, the New Moon in Cancer eclipses the Sun in Cancer causing a Solar Eclipse. Think of this as a New Moon on steroids. As with all New Moons, our lives might be opening to new beginnings and breakthroughs; but with an eclipse, these beginnings can be quite startling and unexpected in their nature.

This eclipse is actually part of a story that began last year in July when we experienced the first Solar Eclipse in Cancer followed by another Solar Eclipse in Capricorn on January 5. It’s as though our fairy godmother has whipped out her Sharpie and highlighted the Cancer-Capricorn axis in our charts, signaling the 2 years of course work we signed up for at this stage in our life. We’re learning how to surrender and let go of our outgrown structures and ambitious scaffolds so that we have room to grow towards our evolutionary impulse in Cancer which asks that we focus on providing care, tending to family, examining ancestral patterns, and simply enjoying our loved ones. With Saturn on the South Node, we may be dealing with obstacles and/or responsibilities that we didn’t sign up for or understand when we took them on. If you know where Cancer + Capricorn fall in your chart, you can identify what area in your life the eclipses are activating. Additionally, think back to July of 2011 and July 2000 when the eclipses were at 9 & 10 Cancer. You may be learning a new version of a past lesson.

This theme will continue across the C-C axis for another year which is when the nodes move into Gemini and Sagittarius and we’ll have a new course of study to master. But for now, for today, we have a Solar Eclipse at 10° Cancer. If you have any planets or angles between 9, 10, 11, or 12 of the Cardinal Signs (Cancer, Libra, Capricorn, Aries), buckle up and get ready for a ride. And remember, if we stay true to ourselves and align with our evolutionary impulse, all things conspire for our greatest good, even though it may not seem that way at the time.

Art by @bethhoeckel

July 1, 2019

Mars this month: Cruising through July

We’re halfway through the year and Mars is changing signs! Mars leaving Cancer and entering Leo today is like a triathlete who is a poor swimmer but a great biker. After facing off some serious opposition in the water with a strapping Saturn and powerful Pluto, now on dry land in Leo, Mars is stronger and will pick up speed.

Mars (how we go for what we want) collides with a stationing Mercury (how we express ourselves and the way we think) on the 8th, and the two of them will square off with unpredictable and high voltage Uranus. Will it be road rage? over-reacting? hot-headed shenanigans? accidents (because Mercury is texting someone) throwing down an ultimatum or bullying? You decide to engage this energy and how it manifests; but be careful because these three together in this configuration can create regrettable outcomes.

On the 22nd, the Ruler of Leo⁠—the Sun⁠—enters his own sign. The leonine terrain becomes even more hospitable to Mars because the Sun has resources for his guests in his home sign. With Pluto and Saturn tucked away in Capricorn, it’s easy cruising for Mars… people are cheering him on from the sidelines… there are more support tables on this stretch… someone throws him a rose which he catches in between his teeth.

Eventually he trines a friendly Jupiter in Sag later in the month making the 25th an extra special day to take a risk or cannon shoot your way into life affirming adventure. Finally, at the end of the month, the Leo stretch is packed with many others: there’s the New Moon (31st), Venus, the Sun, and Mars in the lead. Mercury will turn direct this day and with the New Moon conjunct Venus in uplighting Leo, the cosmic weather is laying down a jubilant and hopeful carpet for August to enter in on.

Art by Yuji Yamada

June 27, 2019

Mercury enters razzle dazzle Leo

Mercury left the womb-like sauna of Cancer and entered sun splashed Leo yesterday. Have you ever gone to open mic night and really really wanted to get up there and share your story about That Time When You Did That Thing but your fear of flopping kept you in your seat? Well, when Mercury enters Leo, the self-protective gravitational force that has held you down suddenly lifts and like magic, there you are on stage, in the spotlight, sharing your shine. Especially on a day like today, with the Sun sextile Uranus offering a bit of fairy dust and pizzazz. Uranus high fives any behavior that sees you taking authentic risks and putting yourself out there.

Hecklers in the audience? Probably not. But with the Sun in Cancer squaring Chiron in Aries, you may hear your own insecurities playing right alongside your stand up, not unlike the control room microphone issue at last night’s #DemDebate2020 where the voices in your head get in the way of your Sunshine Unicorn Flow. But hey, it’s ok! Mercury in Leo loves collecting stories and this experience of putting yourself out there could very well become food for future story fodder. Ánadale!

Art by @the99thstudio

June 25, 2019

Buried Grief and the Three of Swords

My personal story with this card revolves around buried grief. I was bullied at school from the ages of 6 to 11. The bullying started when I stood up to a pack of girls hurting a special needs child. I suspect it continued because I was different: my mother made my clothes and grew the food she packed in my lunchbox. My parents, both immigrants to the USA, might have well been from another solar system. There was always a sense of not belonging and not being wanted just about everywhere.

Strong feelings of rejection shaped me those years, but thanks to a very watery and mutable chart, I adapted. I found sanctuary and developed my own sense of self worth. I made friends with the school and city librarians and planted myself in front of the 100-300 #deweydecimalclassificationsystem I learned photography and isolated myself in the high school dark room. I spent weekends at the ocean, body surfing, releasing the hurts in my mind and body to the massive walls of water I learned to ride.

I exorcised the buried grief out over the years by nurturing others who were going through the things I had become stuck in. You cannot open a window for someone without getting some sunlight on yourself. I learned that every time I extended myself to help a bullied girl, or a woman who had been beaten, I was also addressing the Three of Swords buried deep inside of me.

Triggers still come up. I imagine they always will. But it’s much less now than even ten years ago. I’m keenly aware of rejection or not fitting in. But when these feelings arise, most of the time it’s me projecting my bullshit onto a scenario that only exists in my mind. If I were to keep projecting, then the scenario would take on a life of its own and my misplaced feelings would give it the breath of life it needs to become a “real thing”. So I watch it and work with it because these swords, they’re double edged. So many times we only experience the painful side. But pain alchemized is power… power to transform, heal, evolve, and become the light this world needs.

June 21, 2019

Neptune: Driven towards the Divine

“First there was the song. Then the song was God. Then I was the song. Then I was God.” -An attempt to describe the effect of an icaro during an ayahuasca ceremony.

Happy Solstice! Neptune stations retrograde in Pisces today as well. Neptune, the higher octave of Venus, seeks to unify on a cosmic level. There’s a certain sorrow to Neptune, a nostalgic memory of a primordial womb where there was no separation. Neptune forever propels us to return to this felt sense of home deep within ourselves where there is no ego that separates one life form from another. This home is pure consciousness itself. Neptune’s language is the sacred geometry from which synchronicity and magic unravel, perfuming our ethereal bodies and dreamscapes, leading us by intuition and psychic impulses. We find that truly, we are all one. In this acknowledgement, deep love, understanding, and compassion arise.

We can go on a journey with Neptune through profound spiritual experiences, consciousness expanding tools, meditation, a practice of kindness, and through surrender. Less effective pilgrimages are through mind numbing experiences that basically transform us into walking ghosts and empty husks. Here we find escapism through drugs, alcohol, or media binging. Deception (either by self or by someone else) and living an illusion is another way dark Neptune can play out as we seek to reconnect to cosmic bliss. With the huge compassion component, there can be a Savior/Martyr complex as well.

When Neptune is strong in our charts natally, or by progression or transit, we seek a higher meaning to our existence. We’re driven towards divine union, transcendent experiences, and steeping in states of bliss. So what to say? Choose your Neptune experience wisely.

Art @geenssarchenti .

June 14, 2019

Planets in Transit: Mars oppose Saturn

Should I go to my daughter’s swim meet or skip it to finish a deadline on time? These are the questions Mars oppose Saturn asks, especially a Mars in Cancer (nurturing, family, sensitive) and a Saturn in Capricorn (ambitious, disciplined, cautious). In an opposition, there’s usually not a a blending but a compromise. And when Mars is in a sign where he’s sluggish and bloated and Saturn is totally ripped, the scales tip in the favor of hard work, responsibility, and duty on this one.

On a much larger (and darker) perspective, the human rights abuses in Sudan embody this energy as well. Peaceful civilian protesters (Mars in Cancer) are being whipped, raped, executed, and tossed in the Nile by the militant regime (Saturn in Capricorn), who at this point holds the power and wants to keep it that way. Even though the violence began on June 3rd, the news is finally spreading due to social media and influencers (Neptune). As Mars opposes Saturn today, both planets are receiving a trine from Neptune in Pisces, communicating to the collective the suffering of our brothers and sisters⁠—we are all one⁠—via social platforms and celebrities.

It’s likely the cosmic weather we’re feeling today is a preview for what’s coming up as we move into eclipse season. The eclipses in July will be activating the Cancer-Capricorn axis. In our own lives we might be seriously weighing responsibilities vs nurturing, work-life balance, and what we do for duty vs for passion. Some of us may be wish to throw in the towel at work to dedicate more time to the side gig we love if only we could figure out how to pay the bills. In tv land: I don’t have access to #HandmaidsTale here in Mexico, but I imagine the story’s themes are scripted right along the Cancer-Cap backbone.

At any rate, give yourself extra cushion today for some heavy feelz, frustration, power plays and blocks. We’re all doing our best and today we might have to try a little harder.

Art by @nouriflayhan of Alaa Salah, a 22 year old architecture student in Khartoum who has become symbolic of the protest movement.

June 12, 2019

The North Node, visited thrice

Do you pay attention to patterns? I do. Especially when it involves the path of development and personal growth. Starting today, the North Node in Cancer receives a visit from an emotionally driven Mars. Then on Saturday, protective Mercury stops by followed by an intuitive Venus a month later in July.

This line up reminds me of advice I recently heard from business maven and thought leader @marieforleo She shared that sometimes, our thinking gets in the way of progress. We over analyze to the point of optimizing an idea to death. Paralysis by analysis. Sometimes the best thing we can do is take the plunge and then figure out the details afterwards. Hit that publish button!

In this lineup with the North Node, our path of development (which can be a wee bit uncomfortable but soooo worth it), Mars wants to push ahead, but in Cancer, there’s a hesitancy… a sideways two-step as Mars circles round an action to take. But we can take action; even a small one is a start. Mercury will stop by this weekend and do the thinking, massaging out the details, brainstorming next steps and considering viability. Then let it live for a month. When gracious Venus comes along, she’ll help out with promotion, relating, comfort levels, and smoothing out any wrinkles.

So the steps I’m taking with the North Node and its celestial lineup is to act now, think later, and resolve in a month.

Art by @somniumcollective

June 6, 2019

Astrobits: Applying & Separating Aspects

Since rescuing a street pup on Sunday, everything around me is DOG. As I walked my dog this morning, I found myself becoming alert as we approached another dog (we walk fast). My pup’s ears would lift high and she would pull on the leash a bit as the energy between her and the other dog built. As we got very close, both dogs would react to another, sometimes greeting one another with a sniff when they met up. As we began to pull away, my dog might turn her head one last time, but basically, the other dog was out of sight, out of mind. I thought of applying and separating aspects and how they mirrored one dog overtaking another one on the street.

In an applying aspect, the degrees of two planets decrease as the faster planet approaches the slower planet until they are exactly in the same degree either by conjunction, sextile, trine, square, or opposition. In a separating aspect, the degrees between two planets increase as one “flows away” from the conjunction, sextile, trine, square or opposition. Applying aspects tend to be more intense, imminent and anticipatory as they represent energy coming into being – like my dog gaining on another. Separating aspects tend to be more stable and feel as if they are fading. The range for applying is 3° (13° for the Moon) while the range for separating is 1°.

This is helpful to look at when we’re considering transits to determine when you will feel the energy at its strongest. You can use it with your natal chart as well. Separating aspects might have been experienced early on, but as you grew, the energy faded. Applying aspects are more likely to be activated throughout life.

Art by UK photographer Linsay Williams

June 5, 2019

Moon with Mars & Saturn: Sad Muffin kind of day

If you’re feeling a little irritable, you’re not alone. Today is kind of tricky. We kicked it off with the Moon conjunct Mars in Cancer which might have seen some of us working through impatience and needing to let off a little steam.

Later on, the Moon-Saturn opposition will trigger us early/late evening (depending where you live) leaving some of feeling especially sensitive and maybe in need of a good, ugly cry. With the Moon in Cancer and Saturn in Capricorn, we may be trying to balance our nurturing with our responsibility, our self care with our duties, expressing our feelings versus standing stoically tall. Moon-Saturn is great for emotional maturity… but sometimes, it can feel isolating, lonely, and defensive.

Mind you, Venus is treading over the confrontational fixed star Algol at 26º Taurus today and tomorrow bringing us some challenges in relating. If you think you might lose your head, it’s quite possible that others are struggling too. Perhaps the best way to consciously move forward is to pretend there’s a skunk outside and it has left a major stinkbomb. Just like that smell, this unpleasantness will also pass. In the meantime, keep your shit together.

I find it interesting that both Black Mirror and The Handmaid’s Tale start their new seasons tonight! Both shows have this energy baked into them.

Art by @mikecreighton

May 30, 2019

Whooping of Facebook

Facebook is getting whooped right now. Yesterday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi publicly castigated Facebook for enabling Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and for refusing to remove the viral video that was doctored to make her appear drunk. Also yesterday: Senator Elizabeth Warren erected a billboard to break up Big Tech, calling out Amazon, Google, and Facebook, so that they don’t have so much power. And then last night, the nonprofit Fight for the Future projected a huge “Fire Mark Zuckerberg” in Palo Alto.

People are getting fed up and are demanding accountability. We can see this in Facebook’s chart: May 18, 2012 at 11.30am in New York, New York. Saturn is making its first square to natal Saturn and we see tension and conflict that’s forcing accountability and responsible action. Pluto is also involved in this square to natal Saturn and we’re witnessing scrutiny and investigation of power: how much is too much? How are we holding executives accountable? It will be interesting to see what occurs in January 2020 with the exact conjunction of Saturn and Pluto square FB’s natal Saturn. I would suspect some sort of regulation and perhaps changing of the guard.

 

We can’t leave Uranus out. Shortly before Uranus dipped into Taurus last year, Zuckerberg testified before 44 senators, answering questions and addressing controversies over privacy. In September as Uranus retrograded over the chart’s Moon in 10th House Taurus, lawmakers grilled Sheryl Sandberg on what actions FB was taking to prevent Russian interference.

And now, Uranus is wedged between the Moon and the Midheaven, stirring up questions and protest. Uranus turns retrograde in August and will Station direct on the moon once again in January 2020, the same time FB’s Saturn receives a square from transiting Pluto and Saturn. As ruler of the 12th, the Uranus conjunction to the Moon might reveal things that been hidden from us (aided by this year’s eclipses which are ping ponging across the 6th and 12th). At the very least, the square from Saturn & Pluto could see a major change in the way FB conducts business. Fun times.

Art by @darioveruari

May 29, 2019

The Luckiest Rocket Man

I’m the luckiest man in the world. I’m on the biggest world tour of my life. I have this film coming out which everyone says is amazing… I have a book coming out… this is the biggest year of my life. – Sir Elton John, 72 years old.

Things are going pretty good for this Rocketman. He’s an iconic musician, has sold more than 250 million records, is happily married to his husband with whom he shares two sons with, and was knighted in 1988. For 2019 to be “the biggest year” of his life immediately made me wonder what Jupiter is doing in his chart. At 72, #EltonJohn is in a 1st house profection year which magnifies his image, sense of self, and how other people see him. The timing for #Rocketman, a musical covering EJ’s breakthrough years, couldn’t have been better timed. As a Sagittarius Rising, Jupiter rules EJ’s 1st House and is his chart ruler as well. The transits to and from Jupiter have a little more kick this year since as ruler of the 1st, Jupiter is EJ’s Time Lord. As Jupiter retrogrades in a square to Neptune, we see the release of musical that tells the story of Elton John’s past on the silver screen, such a gorgeous manifestation of Jupiter & Neptune.

Further, If we take a look at his progressed chart, EJ is currently shining brightly with a progressed full moon, which is often a time people literally step into the limelight. His North Node is guiding his #firdaria (ancient Persian timing technique) from 70-73 as we see him shaping his legacy and bringing fortune.

There are some concerns that may be coming up: starting March of 2020, EJ’s Firdaria will be led by his diminishing South Node for two years + his progressed Moon currently in Sag will be in Capricorn (where it moves in 1 mo) + in his Solar Return chart, Jupiter occupies the 6th House which could signify sickness (ancients called the 6th the House of Bad Fortune) + Uranus will conjunct his 8th House Ruler (the Moon) which could point to a more more serious time. That said, for now, it’s wonderful to see his Jupiter generously working for him as he basks in the light and feels as if he’s the luckiest man alive.

ART @intjdesign

May 9, 2019

Planets in aspect :: Venus square Pluto

Today’s Venus square Pluto may have some of us feeling a bit obsessive about our relationships. Or perhaps we’re on the receiving end of a partner’s compulsive behavior such as constantly checking on us or even stalking. When a person holds this energetic in their natal chart, the challenges they experience in relationships as well as what and how they attract become a part of their spiritual path. Venus–the force of mating and relating–becomes the focal point through which Pluto’s power, transformation, and depth is experienced.

Like all aspects, there’s a range of behavior manifested. On one end of the spectrum, we find shadow material such as sexual abuse, suppressed rage, and controlling behavior often shrouded in shame and secrecy. Relationships always play out themes of obsession, jealousy, and compulsions. At the middle level, Pluto & Venus create intensity in relationships. We hear talk of Twin Flames and karmic ties. There can be a lot of drama and needless pain as people cling onto the sinking ship of their relationship.

Then there’s the high side. My daughter (pictured) @marlybenedicto has Venus opposing Pluto in her chart. She has experienced power dynamics as well as controlling partners. But in her commitment to continually evolve into the best version of herself, she’s used her relationships as a laboratory to go very deep in playing out this powerful aspect. Pluto has a shamanic vibe when we work with his energy, giving us the ability to transform ourselves. In doing so, we begin to deeply understand ourselves and other people, taking the obsessive quality into a spiritual direction. Here we find crusaders for the Sex Positive Movement, tantric practitioners, power couples, and profoundly honest relationships that work in the service of alchemizing shadow to light.