Our Plutonian Journey

I am celebrating a milestone this month, one of nearing completion of a long and dark Underworld journey.  I have been living and breathing a very personal dance with the planet Pluto for more than a decade. For the past several years, as it has come to the exact degree of my Capricorn Sun, most of the ways I have thought of myself and my place in the world have shifted. 

I have written two installments of what I’ve come to think of as my “Pluto diaries”, originally as part of an intended memoir. I shared them on my Patreon page, first created as a means of support for the yet-to-be-completed book and, more recently, The Natural Wisdom Podcast. I have been shy about sharing these personal stories further, but as the United States enters our own collective Pluto transit, specifically the return of Pluto to its place at the birth of our country, my words seem relevant. Titled “The Death of Control”, they capture some of my experience of what an encounter with Pluto feels like. 

The basic energy of Pluto intensifies and eliminates. The end result is a rebirth, like that of the phoenix rising from the ashes of destruction. The Lord of the Underworld in mythology, Pluto guards the riches buried beneath the surface. The only way to get to them is by visiting the Underworld. The ancient myth that best captures the process is that of Inanna, the Sumerian queen who went to visit her sister in the “place below”, where she was summarily killed and hung on a meathook prior to being brought back to life and released. I told the whole story in my Pluto class, as well as in a writing salon session on the planet Venus.

Whether you live in the States or simply watch from elsewhere in the world, the Plutonian process is evident in a number of ways, but perhaps no more clearly than through our confrontation with the shadows inherent in our creation. Our country is in the throes of our Pluto return. An internet search of “US Pluto return” will provide a list of astrologers opining on the subject. But we have only to pay attention to the national conversations to get a sense of the shadows we are facing. As I write this, for example, we have just celebrated Thanksgiving. I grew up with the version of the holiday told through rose-colored glasses, about pilgrims and cooperation. Now we are being forced to acknowledge the more brutal history behind the holiday, with many questioning whether we should even retain it on the calendar.

Such is the way of Pluto, bringing to the surface what has been buried and hidden. Yet as in the myth, treasures are hidden in the darkness, most notable among them a sense of unshakable power that comes only from facing the dark places and reclaiming what we have turned our backs on. The wisdom of Pluto is the depth of character that comes with honoring both the light and the dark within us all.

The next couple of years will show what our collective Pluto process has in store; for now we are in the midst of the chaos and dismantling. My own journey is still in process as well, of course, but I can finally feel the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope to write part 3 of my Pluto diaries in the coming months, as I emerge more fully from the Underworld, bearing its gifts.

Scorpio Super-Moon – what will break free from our depths?

Scorpio Super-Moon – what will break free from our depths?

Monday’s Super Full Moon in the sign of Scorpio brings old and new tensions to a head. Scorpio, ruled by the animating force of Mars, is the symbol of the edge-walker and the sense of intimacy with life that comes only through awareness of death. Mars has just crossed into the Moon’s sign of Cancer, the Great Mother of creation, and the two bodies are working together from each other’s homes. But with Mars “out-of-bounds” and unpredictable, and Pluto – Underworld Lord  with a Scorpionic feel – standing still as it prepares to turn retrograde, there is a ferocity and obsessive quality in force as this Full Moon brings to light what has been hidden. 

The Scorpio Moon stands opposite the Sun and Uranus in earth sign Taurus. Radical, revolutionary Uranus exacerbates the unpredictable energy of Mars and Pluto, suggesting potential breakthroughs, break-outs, or breakdowns. These aspects alone point to a powerful time for breaking free from old patterns and restrictions, as well as a time of plumbing the depths of our own hearts and minds for what we are ready to release.

However, the Full Moon-Sun/Uranus opposition triggers the tense square angle between Uranus and Saturn in its home sign of Aquarius. We have felt the strain between these planets since the beginning of the year and perhaps most acutely at the U.S. inauguration. Uranus pulls us toward freedom and release, while Saturn constricts and restrains. The interplay between these forces continues through 2021, culminating on Christmas Eve, pointing to the continuation of eruptions of resistance to authority and control.

Uranus in Taurus is known for triggering earthquakes and volcanoes, break-throughs and eruptions in the Earth itself. As Taurus is associated with money, agriculture, food, and other forms of what is material, these breaks can come in the financial system, agriculture or food supply as well other material aspects of life. Crypto-currency, the current volatility of the stock markets, and lab-manufactured ‘food’ are all examples of revolutionary Uranus in Taurus. 

Yet another layer of meaning for this Saturn-Uranus square is the inherent conflict between old traditions (Saturn) and the revolutionary and new (Uranus). Nowhere is this more evident than in the field of health science right now, where the traditional story of germ theory is being tested and challenged by our growing knowledge of the microbiome. Conclusions drawn based on the new science, especially around the pandemic, have been ignored or suppressed as potentially contradicting the current response policies. Yet, without access to all the research, scientific rigor becomes mired in dogma.

These health policy conflicts are the tip of an iceberg: the question of what it means to be human, and what it means to be ‘natural’, and what role technology will play in our future. Will we continue to tinker and remodel ourselves as human beings by incorporating technology into our bodies?  Learn to see ourselves as an integral part of the natural world on our home planet and treat both accordingly? Or is there room for both, somehow?

With Saturn in Aquarius, the sign ruling science, this year’s conflict, suppression and disruptions indicated by the square to Uranus pave the way for Pluto’s entry into Aquarius in 2023-24. Just as Pluto in Capricorn has coincided with the transformation of institutions, governments, and other human traditions around the world, its entry into the sign of science, technology, and human wisdom promises death and rebirth in those areas of life over the next two decades.

The Full Moon may offer us a preview of the some of the paradigm shifts we are undergoing as a collective. It most certainly offers us the opportunity for our own personal breakthroughs. Where are we constricted by old rules or ideas? How do we integrate ourselves into Nature, and Nature into ourselves in our daily lives?

With three of the four fixed signs activated at this Full Moon, there is a feeling of a logjam waiting to break free. What is lacking is the fiery, creative expression of Leo. Each of us can fill in the missing energy by tapping into the blaze of our hearts, and expressing what we find there.

See what Monday night’s Full Moon brings to light for you, and how your heart wants to break free.

If you want to learn practical ways of aligning with Nature in your daily life, join me for my seven-week Diet as Medicine course, beginning May 5th.

An Aquarian vision

We are squarely in the middle of winter here in the northern hemisphere, Aquarius season. My portion of the Earth is at its coldest, with the Sun just beginning to regain some of its strength to warm us back up. 

Aquarius is the water-bearer, the one who pours out the waters of life and wisdom into the community. As the penultimate sign of the Zodiac, it has much to do with our collective vision for the future, yet we reach that collective vision through our individual contributions. As the sign of the scientist, the outcast and the revolutionary, Aquarius supports us to find our inner truth, and resist the pressure to conform. The conscious expression of Aquarius is in thinking for one’s self, recognizing the patterns of life around and within. Its shadow is ‘groupthink’, the mentality of the mob. As it is ruled by Saturn traditionally, Aquarius drifts into shadow territory when it is borne by fear, rather than integrity.

Thursday’s New Moon in Aquarius, with all but one of the visible planets in this revolutionary sign (something that hasn’t happened since 1962), provides us with an initiatory opportunity to reclaim our own wisdom, our unique combination of experience and knowledge, and the freedom to think for ourselves. In a time when there is tremendous pressure in our culture today to see the world in a specific way, thinking for ourselves could not be more critical. Nearly every media outlet, television program, advertisement, and official information source is telling one story, an old story of war and conflict, invisible threats, and technology-as-savior – from drugs to vaccines to AI to online everything. 

Yet there is another story, one that brings us ‘full spiral’ back to ancient wisdom, but for modern times. It is a story that includes technology, but in service to Nature, including humans as ‘part of’ rather than’ apart from’ Nature. This story of basing our models of the world on the patterns in Nature is not new, but our understanding of those patterns is changing, and with it our world view – eventually. As with the time of Copernicus, who was burned at the stake for challenging the prevailing view of the Earth as center of our solar system, there is an immense inertia holding in place the view with which most of us grew up.

As an astrologer, I am often challenged by someone telling me there is no scientific basis for using the movements of the planets to understand and even predict the affairs of humans.  What we (and I) have been taught and have daily reinforced in our culture is that we live in a cold, dead, mechanistic and materialistic world of objective, measurable physical and chemical reactions without purpose or design. Yet, in the “new and ancient story” of my vision for our cultural future, everything is conscious, with intelligence and purpose, from ants to plants to planets. Astrology, Ayurveda, and all indigenous wisdom with which I am familiar tells this story. 

There are fundamental, and often unconscious, assumptions of the old worldview. A few of the most familiar:

  • The history of humankind is one of linear progress and we are more sophisticated today than at any point in our collective history;
  • The natural world is one of competition and survival of the fittest;
  • Humans are the only conscious beings;
  • There exists a factual, observable reality independent of us;
  • If we do not know how to measure it, it can not be real.

The worldview of these assumptions was not our ancestors’, and is – I hope – not our children’s. Whether we have entered the ‘age of Aquarius’ or are simply in an Aquarian phase, there are many of us questioning the old story and working to create a new one based in connection, cooperation, self-organizing systems, and other principles from Nature. And perhaps, being branded heretics espousing ‘disinformation’ in the process.

If you have read this far, maybe you are with me on the fringes, wondering on many days if you are crazy to see the world differently than what you are told. My Aquarian gift is the revival of the ancient wisdom, the re-membering ourselves as integral members of the natural world, through classes and readings and newsletters and blog posts. And a reminder that being considered crazy by a world gone insane is perhaps the single best indicator of sanity.

Thank you for being here.

2020: Time to choose love over fear

One of my friends teased me the other day about my comment on the big astrological events in this coming year, 2020. She noted that astrologers so often hype the ‘intensity’ and importance of the placement and interactions of the planets. While I know she is quite accurate, I also know that 2020 marks some major endings – and new beginnings.

The longest cycles, and therefore those with the most impact in our lives are marked by the slowest planets. In other words, while we may well notice the monthly conjunctions of Sun and Moon, in general the influences of the Moon’s 28-day orbit of the Earth pass quickly. This coming weekend, however, two of the slower moving planets in our Solar System come together to initiate a new 35 year cycle: Saturn (29 year orbit) conjoins Pluto (248 year orbit) on January 12th in the tropical sign of Capricorn. 

While the meeting of the two planets happens every 35 years, the last time it happened in this part of the sky, Capricorn, was in 1518, the time of the Protestant Reformation and the beginning of the American slave trade, as well as major Spanish exploration and colonization. Add in the planet Jupiter with Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, and we have a line-up not seen since nearly 2000 years before the time of Christ, when the city of Babylon began.

Do a quick Internet search on “Saturn Pluto conjunction” and you can find legions of astrologers offering perspective and predictions. I’ve written bits and pieces about this intense Capricorn energy over the past year using words such as destabilization and restructuring. We are certainly seeing these energies at play in our country and the world. The historic events I mentioned above exemplify colonisation and control, combined with disruption and destabilization.

My sense of this week’s coming culmination is that there may well be a consolidation (Saturn) of power (Pluto), or at least a crystallization (Saturn) of some of the themes lurking in the shadows (Pluto). The tension is between an old, control-based system of working, governing, and living (the dark side of Capricorn) and a new (and ancient) way of honoring our subtle senses, our intuition, our deep connection with the life force in every creation, and our innate natural wisdom. The latter qualities are the constructive expression of the sign Cancer, the polar opposite of (shadow) Capricorn. The signs work in polarity, and each sign has a more constructive and a more destructive expression. Constructive Capricorn gives the ability to bring into form, and to act in support of longevity and sustainability, while constructive Cancer honors sensitivity, feeling, and the past. Both signs honor the Earth, each in its own way.

In my view, we are at a crossroads of sorts in how we treat each other and our planet, based on whether we live from fear or love; from what we don’t want versus what we deeply desire. We’ve seen the result of acting from fear: walls; military build-ups; hoarding of wealth in one form or another. Often, greed stems from the fear of not having enough.

For those of us with a lot of Capricorn energy in our charts, we may have had a number of opportunities to see how fear drives us over the past year. In my case I’ve noticed the attraction of ads and marketing hype promising to ‘grow my list’ or ‘reach more clients’. Fear makes me think about what I can offer to make money. But love and desire help me offer what lights me up, which ends up being more sustainable as well as more effective.

A new offering that is lighting me up at the start of 2020 is an astro-writing salon, beginning in February. I’ll be offering astrology prompts in a weekly online salon to those wanting the container and context for their writing.

For my part, I have a lot to write, from accounts of epic journeys both inner and outer, to a story of money and its redemption in my life when I chose love over fear.

Time to begin!

The Moon, Jupiter and Venus were strung across the southeast horizon as I began this post, just before sunrise. The Moon was, then, a tiny silver sliver, an “Old Moon”, ending the Sagittarius cycle begun in early December. Tonight, January 5th, 2019, the New Moon in Capricorn begins a new lunar month; as the first New Moon since the Solstice and the calendar New Year, it initiates the New Year. The New Moon also sets a new six-month cycle through the Capricorn Full Moon in July; and, as a Solar Eclipse initiates both a new 18-month cycle of eclipses in Capricorn and Cancer, and an 18 year cycle ending with the next round of eclipses in the same signs.

The Solstice, the New Year, the New Moon and partial Solar Eclipse combine in a powerful time of evaluating and adjusting the foundation of our personal (and collective) existence. More than New Year’s Day, today’s New Moon is a potent time for setting intentions or resolutions.

It’s time to begin.

Capricorn season comes as the light begins to return in the northern hemisphere. We’ve had several weeks of darkness, offered as an invitation to slow down, turn within, perhaps take stock of the year behind us in preparation for what is coming.

Capricorn zodiac glyph

Although Capricorn is nearing the end of the Zodiac – the tenth sign of twelve – the season lends itself to new beginnings and intention-setting. Ruled by the planet Saturn, cardinal Earth sign Capricorn is much about manifesting into form our goals and ideas. Cardinal energy is initiatory energy, marking the beginning of a season. Earth energy is that of form and substance, solid and real. 

Capricorn and Saturn both represent the mastery and authority that come with maturity. The Zodiac wheel symbolizes, among other things, a cycle of human development. By the time we come to the tenth sign, we have learned much about ourselves and the world around us; we’ve stabilized our sense of self, learned to express ourselves, entered into relationship with others, explored the larger world. Through our experience and experiences, we have developed wisdom. 

Perhaps my favorite word to summarize Capricorn energy is integrity. The word means wholeness; when we integrate differing qualities, we bring them together into one whole. This particular Capricorn season is heavily emphasized with five planets and the Lunar South Node in the sign at the time of the New Moon, and Saturn, Pluto and the South Node remaining for the duration of the year. Now is a time to come into integrity – within ourselves.

We are in integrity when our thoughts, words and deeds are in alignment with our true selves, our Souls. We live from the inside out, acting from our deep inner knowing. This is, in fact, our true power – to speak and act from what we know at a bone-deep level. Just as our bodies are stronger when we stand and move in alignment with our skeletal foundation, so our intentions come to life when we act in alignment with our Souls.

The ‘cosmic weather’ of current planetary placements points to creating a foundation for this year and many to come. The next couple of months, too, offer great forward momentum and the chance to let go of shadows holding us back, especially fear and the toxic mimic of power – control. 

I am feeling the ending and beginning of several cycles at this New Year. I begin a personal New Year at my mid-month birthday. I am also in the midst of my second “Saturn Return”, in which the planet Saturn returns to the place in the sky where it was at my birth. This 29 year cycle is a potent time for crystallizing intentions and reaping what has been sown over the previous cycle. 

At my first return, I started my corporate career and got married for the first time. As Saturn initiates me into a new phase of my life, I am setting into place the foundation of my second career as teacher, writer, healer. A mainstay of my new foundation is serving others in claiming their own integrity and sovereignty, living from the inside out. 

After spending the past couple of weeks winding down, ruminating on the year past, and allowing seeds of new creations to germinate, I will set intentions tonight for the month, year, and perhaps even 29 years to come.

If you would enjoy some support in setting your own intentions for the new cycles, a Soul Map reading offers clarity, context, and self-affirmation. A reading with me is a conversation with your Soul in which I act as translator and interpreter.

Questions? Send me an e-mail or leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to have a conversation!

An end to the madness!?

I don’t know about anyone else, but this New Moon in Sagittarius offers me a ray of hope that the madness of the past few weeks, or perhaps months, may finally ease. As much of a cliche as it might be, Mercury retrograde lives up to its annoying reputation in my experience. Website glitches, e-mails sent to the wrong people, missed appointments, last-minute cancellations, all are classic symptoms of the frequent yet short reversals of the planet ruling communications and electronics.

Three times per year, the smallest planet in our solar system appears to move backwards in its journey through the ecliptic. When it does, we are advised to not sign contracts, begin new ventures, buy electronics, and to brace ourselves for communication snafus. What I have noticed as I’ve paid closer attention the past couple of years is that I become ensnared in my thoughts about how things are or should be during these periods. The unhappy result is that I often miss signals as to what is really happening.

In one simple example, I met a woman the other day with the same name as another woman whom I have met a few times. They are in the same age bracket and I met them both in the company of the same people. So, I sent an e-mail to one thinking she was the other. If I had been paying attention to all the information I had available, it would have been clear I was mixing them up. But alas, I powered through any doubts. In this case there was no real harm done and I have given up, mostly, being embarrassed for silly mistakes. And perhaps I am more sensitive to Mercury’s backwards shenanigans because of my somewhat organized, plodding Capricornian mental processes. Once in motion, my thoughts seem to want to continue on their paths.

There are other reasons to celebrate today’s New Moon in Sagittarius, beginning with the blessed relief of passing out of Scorpio season. This New Moon closes out the Scorpio New Moon cycle, and the dark, murky, emotional Scorpio energy of the past month. In contrast, fire sign Sagittarius offers us meaning, optimism and hope at the darkest time of the year. And for the first time in twelve years, ruling planet Jupiter is back home in this sign. Bright and expansive, Jupiter represents the part of ourselves that wants to learn, to grow, to be all that we can be and perhaps a little more. Jupiter is the explorer, guru, adventurer, and storyteller.

This next year – the time it takes for Jupiter to traverse the sign of Sagittarius – offers us opportunities in the area of our lives touched by this transit. It also promises opportunities on a collective scale. One way to see and grasp the opportunities is by telling our own stories and re-writing them where they are holding us back from fully living our lives.

One of the benefits of Mercury retrograde, as well as all the other inner planet retrogrades of the past several months, has been a chance to slow down and re-examine our thoughts (Mercury), our actions and deep desires (Mars), even our relationships (Venus). All this looking back gave us time and space to reframe and revise the stories we tell ourselves about our lives. Maybe our biggest mistakes have paved the way for our greatest blessings. Or the job we lost made space for a whole new career. At the very least, we can be kind to ourselves – and the others who might have played various roles in our dramas – in the re-telling.

Best of all, in the wake of all this reflection we can now move forward with our new stories. Each of us is on a hero’s or heroine’s journey, with our share of trials and triumphs and unique waypoints. Where are you in your epic drama?

In the next few weeks, I’ll be offering again my mentorship for women who want to reframe their own stories, claim their sovereignty, and commit to service and embodiment.

In the meantime, perhaps simply take some time with journal and pen to jot down your story, maybe even around a fire with some friends.



Own the shadows and the light

We are in relationship with everything. Relationship is a fundamental aspect of life itself. And how we choose to relate determines the quality of our lives. Whether it is a another person, our vehicle, our body, or our self, we have the option of honoring or not, appreciating or not, loving or not. How we relate to anyone or anything reflects something intrinsic to how we relate to life itself. 

fullsizeoutput_e6bWith the Libra New Moon occurring tonight (9:47 MST, 15 degrees Libra) and Venus, the ‘ruler’ of Libra, having just turned retrograde and disappearing into the Sun, this is a time for re-examining the quality of our relationships with everything and everyone, including ourselves. As the darkness overtakes the light here in the North, and the planet of relationship looks within, so can we, and our examination may just show us both our light and our shadow.

We are getting lots of help with the task. Mercury, planet associated with analysis, perception and how we express ourselves is opposite Uranus at the time of the New Moon. Uranus, the ‘great awakener’, acts as sudden catalyst to break down barriers to being completely, authentically ourselves. The two in this tension of opposition throw down the challenge of being completely truthful with ourselves, in and about our relationships. Yet Mercury’s placement in Libra helps us to express ourselves with grace.

The New Moon is also in a dynamic square angle with Pluto, God(dess) of the Underworld. Wherever Pluto lies, there lie shadows and darkness. This configuration inaugurates a time to face into the dark corners of how we relate to others. 

At last month’s Virgo New Moon, I spoke of discernment, of separating wheat from chaff in the season of harvest. As we apply the task of discernment in our relationships, we can easily end up in the dark corner of comparison. Comparison takes the wisdom of discernment – of clearly seeing the difference between one thing (or person) and another –  and corrupts it with the application of hierarchy. Rather than honoring the rich variety of creation, we append the labels of “better” or “worse” or, in the case of new age spirituality, “higher” or “lower”.

Comparison and hierarchy are woven into our culture, both overtly and on more subtle levels. Advertising is founded on asserting one thing or another as more, better, faster. Sports, school tests, and even professional advancement is predicated on placing one above the other. It may even be hard to imagine operating without it.

In our relationships with other people, comparison shows up in our perceptions of our bodies, our finances, or any other facet of life, including spirituality. 

Yet the truth is, all hierarchy is artificial. No one or thing is inherently “higher” or “lower” than any other. Every created being has a place and a purpose, from the person next to you to the screen on which you are reading this. And none of us needs to ‘up-level’ or ‘evolve’ or ‘raise our vibration’.

We’ve allowed ourselves to equate different roles, such as teacher, leader, so-called “expert” with different “levels”. And, we’ve experienced the cruelty that comes from making someone or something both “other” than us, and “less than”  or “more than” us. Worse, we’ve used the artifice of greater or lesser as an excuse for abuse. From helping to ‘civilize’ other cultures, to trying to help the unenlightened become enlightened, the falsehood of hierarchy perpetuates oppression.

Our tendency to put ourselves above or below another can be subtle and even acceptable. The spiritual world is rife with it. I’ve seen many an article or post pointing to someone as ‘enlightened’, ‘conscious’, even the latest trendy label of ‘woke’. Yet as a great teacher once shared, if you threw a party for enlightened people, no one would come. It’s one of the great lies of most spiritual paradigms, that there is some status to achieve, that we need to become ‘woke’. 

In my experience this tendency to arrange ourselves and everything around us in some kind of order stems from a couple of places: one is a defense mechanism born from fear or lack, and the other is the erroneous assumption of linear time.

I’ve had a tendency for most of my life to retreat into either a sense of superiority or of being ‘less than’ when I’ve felt threatened. The superiority typically manifests mostly in my head, but, coupled with a tendency toward mothering (Cancer Ascendant, after all), it also comes out as unsolicited advice, as if my way is ‘better’. On the other hand, my tendency to feel less-than has shown up as surrendering control to others in my life who seemed to have it more together – spiritually, financially, socially, etc..

The former has been my way of trying to feel better about myself – by being ‘better’ than someone else. The latter tendency to see someone else as ‘better’ is, at its core, a fear of my own sovereignty.

As for the misunderstanding of time itself, our (generally) unconscious assumption that time and, therefore, change move in one direction, from past to future, from young to old, from ‘asleep’ to ‘woke’ leads us to believe we are getting somewhere, that we are on an ever-upward trajectory of improvement.

For a major portion of my own spiritual work, I was seeking to ‘awaken’, to become something I believed I was not. I was fortunate enough to connect with a truly authentic spiritual teacher who did not feed my belief and taught true sovereignty. I was also fortunate enough to sit with a ‘soul friend’ who has a gift for helping people know their own souls, and therefore knowing themselves as inherently divine, inherently whole.

This, then, is the antidote to the sense of lack that leads to psycho-spiritual self-defense: once I recognize my inherent value just as I am, right here and right now, I can honor the same in everyone and everything around me, no matter my experience of them. Acknowledging someone’s sovereignty does not require me to hang out with them!

When, too, we let go of the sense of time as proceeding in a linear fashion, with a direction, we can release the notions of ‘more’ or ‘less’ evolved, awakened, enlightened, etc. Just as we live through some number of days or years that, despite our Gregorian calendar and digital clocks are simply cycles (circles) without beginning or end, so, too do our (and everyone’s) lives move through cycles without beginning or end. Today we may be awake, conscious, enlightened. Tomorrow we may get caught in stories or emotions and go right back to sleep. 

When I look to the chart of tomorrow’s lunation again, I see Neptune in Pisces in the ‘blind spot’ angle to the New Moon in Libra. The real bottom line cure for comparison and hierarchy is nothing more or less than unconditional love for everyone and everything as expressions of the Divine.

At this New Moon,

Look in the mirror for the inherent perfection there;

Honor a leaf, a rock, or a random object;

Appreciate some thing or someone;

Notice that the Sun shines on everyone, the rain falls on everything.

The beginning of the harvest – and the end of eclipse season

As I sit down to write this post, the Sun has just reached 15 degrees of Leo, the point associated with the ancient celebration of Lammas, or “loaf-mass”. Although in today’s world we look to the Gregorian calendar on the wall to find these holidays, they are actually determined by the position of the Sun. Lammas is a cross-quarter day, meaning we are half-way between the (northern hemisphere) summer solstice and fall equinox.

This is a time of harvesting the ‘first fruits’ of what we sowed at the spring equinox, traditionally summer fruits and the first wave of grains. It is a time of abundance, a time to receive the gifts of the Earth and our own hard work. We might also pause from our summer play and work to appreciate and be grateful for this first flush of abundance.

Zodiac sign of Leo
Leo zodiac glyph

Just a few days after Lammas comes the New Moon and Solar Eclipse in Leo, which is also the penultimate eclipse in the Leo-Aquarius cycle (the last is the Leo Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in January, 2019). Not as intense as last year’s “Great American” Eclipse, nor even the recent Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius, this Saturday’s Moon heralds a rise from the ashes of this eclipse season. If we’ve noticed some huge endings over the past months, now is the time to be vigilant for what begins.

This Eclipse comes within the formation of a (literally) pointed configuration called a “yod”, meaning that two planets in a 60 degree angle with each other are pointing indirectly at another across the sky in an elongated, converging triangle. In this case, Neptune in Pisces (unconditional love, spiritual connection) and Pluto in Capricorn (transformation of structures, mastery of true power) are pointing directly at the Leo Eclipse (Sun conjoined with the Moon in Leo) itself.

With the Sun and Moon conceiving a new cycle in Leo, the theme is that of creativity, leadership, and the self or Self. Leo, the lion, is also the sign of royalty. The shadow side of royal leadership is self-serving. But the greatest expression of the same is selfless service: the royal serves the good of all.

This Eclipse offers an opportunity to master the true power of unconditional love in service to – humanity, the planet, the cosmos.

If you read my last newsletter, you know I came to this very choice point, false as it is, near the time of the Cancer New Moon and Eclipse. I felt a deep need to practically get on my knees and commit to service no matter the consequences, in particular financial consequences. Even though I know there is no real separation between service and prosperity, making the declaration is a way of throwing off the programmed fear that tells me I have to focus on making money over offering service.

Matrix map
World matrix

Then, just a couple of weeks later at the Aquarius Lunar Eclipse, I saw through the fear program that has told me for as long as I can remember I don’t have enough; I am not enough. It felt a little like watching Neo finally see the codes of the Matrix creating the world around him. Although the old mental habits are still dissipating, this clear view of fear of lack as an artificial construct has shifted, well, everything.

Maybe not everyone will have such a dramatic awakening during this eclipse season. After all, I have a Leo Moon and Leo is also the sign of drama. But we each have the opportunity to springboard off all this eclipse energy: we can release some element of cultural programming that no longer serves us and choose to use the power of our love in service.

If it sounds useful to explore your own path of service in community, with some structure and guidance, you may be interested in the Embodied Service program, my own new creative offering. It will be an extended group mentorship, at least a couple of months long, to learn how to detox from the old fear programming and learn to do business in a way that feels joyful, easeful, and in alignment with who you really are, with your Soul. I’m still working out details, which I will share within the next week or two.

Would you like a more personal take on what this Eclipse season means in your life? Consider an astrology consultation with me.



Eclipses and retrogrades, oh my!

I don’t know about anyone else, but the past few days have stirred up my shadows. I’ve noticed thought and behavior patterns that aren’t very pretty, and that I thought I had worked through, re-wired, healed, etc. All that spiritual work, you know. 

Apparently, not.

It has been a little like walking past a mirror and catching sight of my reflection in one of those moments when I might scare small children (or even grown men!)

A few days ago, I told someone that the fear of not having the money to pay bills is worse than death. I was slightly triggered by what felt like a too optimistic view of life, and I blurted out what I can only describe as a dark, shadowy energy.

IMG_4746A day later, I was alone in the forest near the family cabin, walking up the creek to avoid the heat. For some reason, I was afraid. The fear wasn’t intense, just uncomfortable, all the worse for my judgment that it was unfounded. I was in a place I visit often, less than a mile from the cabin. The background of anxiety was familiar, too familiar, reminding me I have been living with it for far too long.


The very next day, deeper into the forest and higher on the mountain, I collected huckleberries. My picking was accompanied by a litany of thoughts along the lines of guilt and bargaining over how many berries might be too many. Was I taking berries from the bears? Could I pick a few more? Did I have the right to take some huckleberries? The monologue would have been funny if it hadn’t been in my own head. 

What’s going on in the sky to contribute to my shadow work is unique and intense. Tomorrow (Friday, July 27th) the Full Moon is in Aquarius and is a total Lunar Eclipse. This is the longest-lived Lunar Eclipse in a century; for 103 minutes the Moon’s reflected light will be blotted out by the Earth. Right next to the Moon is the planet Mars, the second-closest it has been to Earth in 60,000 years. 

Any Full Moon can heighten emotions, but an Eclipse is an amplifier. Mars – planet of action, desire, masculine energy – can stir up restlessness, agitation, even anger. Since Mars is opposite the Sun (vitality, identity, our inner light) and retrograde (appearing to go backward in the sky), and part of the eclipse, it may stir up old resentments and point us inward to our own shadow, as is the case for me. 

Add in Mercury also just turned retrograde, and several other planets in their backwards-moving cycles, and the tides are metaphorically (and perhaps literally) against our every effort. 

There is value in the retrograde, though, not least in the revealing of shadows. We can’t change what we don’t notice. 

We also need to be knocked on our rear ends occasionally (at least I do) in order to pause and review where we are headed. This is a time to really see what we are creating with our thoughts, words and deeds. 

With the forward momentum and action-orientation of masculine Mars temporarily on hold, we have an opportunity to let our feminine energy take the lead. The harmonious blend of Venus (archetypal feminine) and Pluto (God/dess of the Underworld and signifier of deep power), exact at the Full Moon, encourages us to explore what real feminine power might look like. Fluid, relationship-oriented, compassionate qualities are greatly needed now more than ever to balance the assertive, driving masculine. 

Are you forcing your will on your life, or going with the flow? Are the voices in your head critical, or compassionate? Is fear or love in the driver’s seat?

Are you feeling worthy of the abundance surrounding you?

I know what my answers were last week. As my shadows come up from my inner darkness, perhaps they will dissolve in the light of my love.

Want to know how this Lunar Eclipse might show up in your life and how to find the best path forward? Sign up for a Moon Guidance session with me!

What nourishes you at the Cancer New Moon/ Solar Eclipse

It is (finally) unmistakably summer here in Montana. After a long, cold, snowy winter and cold, wet spring, we are in that period when the days are still long and bright, the flood waters have receded, and Nature seems unstoppable and inexhaustible.

As we approach the Caner New Moon and Solar Eclipse on Thursday, the natural world around us seems nourishing in every respect.

Cancer, signified in the zodiac wheel by the crab, represents the Great Mother, She who gives Life. Ruled by the Moon, Cancer and the fourth house of the astrological chart point to our own mothers, our ancestors, and what nourishes us. 

Nourishment begins in the heart

Traditional wisdom tells us that we digest everything we take in through all of our senses. The food we eat is the most obvious example, but we also digest emotions, thoughts, what we see, what we hear, even what we sense on a subconscious level. Many empathic or sensitive people can tell you we need extra time and space after being with a crowd or a particularly intense individual to process (ie. digest) the energy we pick up.

The concept applies to all of us, though. Most people have the experience of noticing some strong emotion disrupting their physical digestion, and vice versa. Perhaps we are sad or grieving and simply lose our appetite. Or, we are so angry about something our digestive systems become unsettled as well. Anxiety and stress can lead to all sorts of troubles with the physical digestion.

We digest energetically as well as physically. In fact, according to Ayurveda, the traditional medical system of India, digestion starts in the heart. When we take something in that the heart cannot process, the next step is in the mind, where we find ways to not feel, disconnecting from our body and our experience. This leads to digestive trouble, creating toxins that form the basis of disease.

Nourishment or poison?

This New Moon in Cancer presents a good time to notice what nourishes us. With underworld God(dess) Pluto exactly across from the Moon and Sun, and the added intensity of the Eclipse, however, we are likely to find we have been ingesting poison.

It’s not so hard to imagine, given the content of the news and social media these days.

The fact is, we often proceed unconsciously to “feed” ourselves and our friends poison. What I notice is that even well-meaning friends frequently share pictures and stories ranging from unpleasant to sad to outright devastating. Once we see the image, or read the words, it becomes something we need to digest. For those of us who feel acutely, just the first quick glance can be like a needle – or poison arrow – to the heart. 

The truth is everyone feels the impact of what they see, hear, read. But not everyone notices until the undigested emotions and thoughts accumulate and show up as dis-ease of some sort on the mental, emotional, or physical (or even spiritual) plane.

In addition to noticing what we are feeding ourselves – war, strife, the horrors of the world; or love, beauty, and the unselfish acts of love that occur every day – we can also see what we are feeding the world. If what we put our attention on grows, then what are we building with our attention, our Facebook shares, our daily conversation? 

The fact is that our Plutonian power lies in our attention and intention; what we share or don’t share. 

This Cancer New Moon is the first of three eclipses over the coming weeks. Each eclipse is a potent time of transformation, giving us the opportunity to see what might need to change and the help to make that change. Eclipses herald several different cycles: the lunar cycle of approximately one month; the 18 month cycle of eclipses within the same Zodiac sign; and the 19 year return to the same sign of the Zodiac wheel. 

Look back 19 years as well as 18 months to see what might be coming to a close. Set intentions with love and care for the coming month, months, and years. 

What nourishes you?

To what do you give your attention?

What are you feeding your community?