How not to end up a “Skewpio”

JesusRuns

 

I don’t know anything about dude running, but he’s clearly attempting to portray himself as a European classical idea of Jesus Christ,  according to a Detroit TV station. I guess he’s taking “he who endureth til the end” to a whole new level. And that got me reflective on yesterday’s eclipse and the other “interesting” things happening this week.  As I mentioned last week, this eclipse was personal for me. But it also has some overall bigger implications for how we perceive things. Some people may have been offended by this guy pictured above.  About 30 years ago when I was a Bible-totin’, rootin’ tootin’ Yosemite Sam Preacher, I might have joined in with the offense. Now, I laugh and get reflective.  Time allowed me to see differently, but sometimes it’s about a shift in attitude. (Or both.) But the attitude can shift things a lot more faster.

This week, speaking of shifts, on Thursday  morning we have Jupiter shifting gears toward his own retrograde with Mercury going direct on Sunday afternoon.  Mercury symbolizes, among many things, how we order and share thoughts while Jupiter symbolizes what how we expand those thoughts to reach broader, higher and with soulful expression.  So a retrograde (and a planet going direct) sounds like mixed bag of getting the facts right while challenged to be wiser and extend our reach.  Or put differently, we may have to be careful not to miss the forest for naming and identifying the trees correctly.

For me, the Jesus marathoner is funny. For another, it’s an image that shoots out as blasphemy and patent offense. Many, including me, feel the same way about blackface. Yet I do know that a joke always has a hint of something true, either about the situation or the one telling the joke.  The truth of the joke really does rest in who laughs and why. If no one does, then most people don’t think it’s funny. I guess much the same reason why people aren’t laughing during “Saturday Night Live” these days.

And that’s why it’s good to remember to laugh. The great thing about humor is the dissonance of an image or situation that ignites the flash of insight from a joke, if it turns out to be funny. It hits you and laughter just springs out of you.  Again, that depends on how well stoked or ethical the flash or joke might be. But in these darker, longer and apparently colder, at least in NYC,  Scorpio nights, it’s good to to laugh. It sharpens and viscerally connects you to your senses of perception. As a Sun in Scorpio with 2 other planets in Scorpio who grew up with another Sun in Scorpio brother, let me we Scorpios can take ourselves way too seriously. So during our season that sense of seriousness can get infectious, even with “non-Scorpios.” Then people become what my Sagittarius wife and I dub “Skewpios,”  seeing things in skewed ways based on a misperception that we might get dead serious about.

Between this eclipse, retrogrades and re-directions, we have to be mindful of how we look at things. Don’t end up a “Skewpio.”  I’m thankful for this Jesus marathon runner for reminding us that life’s race is long and we have to find ways to lighten up, especially when we have barefoot guys running marathons with faux crosses on their backs.

For more detailed thoughts on the eclipse and retrogrades, check out this week’s horoscope:

Aries [March 21st to April 19th]

Taurus [April 20th to May 21st]

Gemini [May 22nd to June 20th]

Cancer [June 21st to July 21st]

Leo [July 22nd to Aug 21st]

Virgo [Aug 22nd to Sept 21st]

Libra [Sept 22nd to Oct 21st]

Scorpio [Oct 22nd to Nov 21st]

Sagittarius [Nov 22nd to Dec 21st]

Capricorn [Dec 22nd to Jan 20th]

Aquarius [Jan 21st to Feb 18th]

Pisces [Feb 18th to March 20th
]

 

The art of reading (and writing) horoscopes

Last week, I got a question from a long-standing client who visited a sidereal astrologer recently. (Funny thing is that this sidereal astrologer and I have been seeing some of the same clients for 8 years, but we’ve never met. I hope to meet her one day soon.)

For those who don’t know, sidereal astrology uses slow moving “fixed” stars to determine “actual” positions of the constellations referenced in what we call the 12 signs of the Zodiac. The astrology most know is called tropical astrology and it attaches the seasons of the year to the Zodiac. So, for most, the first day of Spring is the beginning of Aries.  In sidereal astrology, it’s the 6th day of Pisces.  For many sidereal astrologers, they perceive their Zodiac as the true Zodiac. I’m not going into get into that debate today. My client’s question holds more of my attention:

“When I’m reading daily/monthly horoscopes should I now look at Taurus or continue looking at Gemini assuming that most people do not use sidereal?”

There’s a lot packed into that question, but here are some of my responses from the email correspondence with my client.

Horoscopes are tricky, and I say that as one who writes a lot of them. For starters, like anything else, you have to read an astrologer whose writing suits you. I can’t read everybody’s work nor can I write for everybody.
Second, some astrologers may write inadvertently more to parts of your chart besides your Sun, moon or rising sign. For instance, when I used to write horoscopes, I never related to my own sign when I read my own work. (You might know or remember that I’m a Scorpio.)  Something shifted. Now I feel Scorpio, Capricorn and Leo speak to me, in that order, more frequently.  Capricorn was most surprising since my patron for my Scorpio planets, Mars, is in that sign. But my moon is in Leo and I have a Pisces rising. Pisces in most horoscopes never appeals to me. However, some people feel that most horoscopes speak more to the rising or the Sun. Rarely seems true for me.
Do you read horoscopes for the sidereal? My advice is to try it with different horoscope writers and see what works for you.  Most astrologers are tropical, but perhaps, if you’re hooked into the sidereal frequency, their horoscopes for Taurus, Cancer will speak to you. There is no science behind reading or writing horoscopes. It’s all art. Play, and see what you find out.
My client’s reply was that this was confusing. I understand how it could be. This was my next response.

I suspect it’s confusing because horoscope writing is an act of literature, even poetry inspired by astrology. So you’re thinking, perhaps, literally. That one must read what’s for one’s sign and that’s that. And that’s not true. What’s interesting, since you have all 12 signs in you (but perhaps not all your planets in one of the 12 signs), is that you will relate more to some signs than others. This mostly depends on your chart. Now, which chart do you use? Again, read different astrologers horoscopes and see who speaks to you and in what signs, maybe even using your Sun/Moon Sign (Gemini or Taurus) or Ascendant (Leo or Cancer) as an entry point. I don’t read or write for my sidereal chart, because it doesn’t overall speak to me or those I know. But I do know that it speaks to some folks and that’s what counts.

There is no one form of astrology, and I’ve tried a lot of them, including sidereal. (And I don’t know if your sidereal astrologer said anything about why she uses sidereal astrology, but many sidereal astrologers say that they do it because it’s the TRUE position of the constellations. Well, just know that’s a hotly debated & contested sentiment. I could go on about that issue, if you want. But I sense now you just want to find sources that speak to you and help.)
You can think of the difference between sidereal and tropical astrology like the difference between AM/FM radio. Both use the same knob, but have different focal points, landing at different stations. (One is also more popular than the other, at least in the West.)  If you want to read more sidereal horoscopes, then you might try googling it and checking out the Vedic/Indian sites that come up.  I don’t know too many Western sidereal astrologers and definitely not many who write horoscopes.  So I won’t be able to help more than google, I’m afraid.  I think you’ll have better luck with Indian horoscope sites. I’m fairly certain those horoscopes are written for siderealists, mostly.
Of course, the key thing is going by a chart. But horoscopes are good for eliciting thoughts and ideas when you don’t have a chart or an astrologer to break it down for you when you can’t yourself. Writing and reading horoscopes is like the art of making and watching movie trailers.  Ultimately, trailers get you to want to see more of particular movies and movies in general, presumably at the theater where you’re viewing them. With horoscopes, we astrologers hope to get people more curious about their charts.
However, I’ve come to think about horoscopes in a completely different way since writing them regularly for the last few years.  For me, and a few other horoscope writers I know, they are conversations to folks of particular signs inspired by astrology or something else entirely, like Rob Brezny documents in his book, Televisionary Oracle. It may be unnerving to read horoscopes that aren’t always literally derived from charts or current positions of planets in the sky, whether we know charts have been cast or not. (Not all horoscopes in periodicals are even written by astrologers or people who know the first thing about astrology. Could be an intern looking for a lucky break who has a degree in eco-journalism or history.) But the truth for ALL forms of astrology, be it horoscopes in periodicals or live chart readings with accomplished astrologers, is whether it resonates for the person reading a horoscope or being read.

Some astrologers think horoscopes are bullshit and are ruining the art. I understand their concern. Hell, I used to be one of those astrologers. But then I realized that horoscope writing is its own art, inspired by astrology–not necessarily about teaching astrology itself.  It’s also true that astrologers have trouble deciding what exactly is BS in our art, whether it be talking about reincarnation in evolutionary astrology, the supposed antiquated thinking of classical astrology or the putative mushiness of modern psychological astrology.  It might be best to drop cries of BS altogether and stick to what works for folks and examining the philosophical basis for it. Just a thought

Of course, there are those who think that horoscopes in periodicals is all there is to astrology. But these may also be the same people to whom horoscopes never speak. Or worse, they have little curiosity beyond sources they read or trust, for whatever reason, be it out of a fixation on scientistic thinking, religion or wholesale ignorance. But I still think the poesis of horoscope writing is that it’s a great, popular way to think about thorny issues in daily life out loud. It’s a way to reflect on who we are, regardless of whether it’s sidereal or tropical. I’m sure most astrologers don’t seriously believe that they’re writing for everyone born under a particular sign on a particular day. When I write, I’m writing for the people I know or have a feeling of knowing. I write what I see from charts, and it’s always amazing to hear the feedback of how it resonates in their lives.  Yet I know it’s not true for everybody, even if they read all 12 signs of my horoscope column.

Not everyone can write for who you may be, but the great thing about reading horoscopes is that you are the final authority on what speaks to you. And that’s what’s most important–what speaks to you, not the sign that’s supposed to speak to you. Whether sidereal or tropical, seek that. You might have to read all 12 signs of a particular writer, if you don’t know your chart, or you’re fortunate to find a writer or set of writers who speak to your Sun, moon or rising sign. But the art of reading horoscopes is very correlated to the art of writing them: goes with what moves you. If nothing does, move on or move away.

The Crusade Of Astrology

I was honored to be the keynote speaker at the State of The Art (SOTA) Astrology conference in Niagara Falls this year. I love this conference organized by Donna Van Toen each year. It’s small, but packed with a lot of great speakers and notable astrologers like Adam Gainsburg, Maurice Fernandez, Donna Van Toen, Pam Gallagher, and Vedic astrologer Kenneth Miller; a nice hotel near a great tourist site; and it had a slamming banquet this year.  I had a ball.

With this talk, I wanted to address some problems in our field that I’ve noticed for awhile. I wanted to talk about how we treat each other and what’s really important. I also wanted to address the lack of diversity in astrology, but without making it only about the diversity. It’s bigger than that. You be the judge for whether I tackled some of these issues adequately enough. But here’s the full transcript and mp3 of my delivery. I’d love to hear your thoughts, whether you’re an astrologer or not. Thank you!

  The Crusade of Astrology

Talking about crusades doesn’t seem to be the likeliest of angles for usually secular or humanist astrologers. It seems likewise unseemly to evoke one of the bloodiest periods of human history replete with battles for prestige, land, resources and religious dominance as fodder for a keynote address. It seems an even odder choice for me as a former Baptist preacher-cum-atheist-cum-now Muslim astrologer. As you can see, I’ve had a few crusades of my own, so I’m not eager to make a public spectacle of any crusading efforts myself. Except in one very special way.

In 2001, then President George W. Bush and his administration were quick to remind us that the crusades between the East and West were far from over.   And I certainly have no interest in boring you with the painful lessons of over 400 years of the history of East battling West, except in one important way.

And that way isn’t even really for Astrology’s sake. Who would I be–who would any of us be–to think that a thing as old and vast as astrology has to rely on our puny selves to wield even mental swords to champion for it?

We may all have our moments of our unchecked hubris, but this ain’t one of ‘em.  At least not for me. Indeed, astrology has taken several heavy body blows over the last few centuries or so. Fittingly a lot of them came almost immediately after the Crusades ended in Europe. First, there were volleys of them from the Church. Then more landed from the skeptical Enlightenment that became the precursor of our “modern age.”

But, to be fair, it got hard, even brutal, for a LOT of people during and after the Crusades—from Jews, Native Americans, Protestants, feudal lords, and Africans to name a few. So Astrology’s beat down was part of a broader project for something else, something far more sinister and dangerous to human progress. Something worth crusading against.

And, of course, now would still seem a perfect time to take up a crusade for a field that appears to be besieged on all sides:

Take your pick with what.

By arcane laws evoked arbitrarily when we say we predict the future other than for “entertainment purposes only”;

By editors of “open source” Wikipedia who would shut us down when we attempt to demonstrate we’re anything other than a pseudo-science;

By the times we sometimes ferociously feud among ourselves to determine who is authentically practicing “real” astrology rather than any other permutations of flaky “Sun sign” stuff. (Never mind some of that “stuff” may have been the gateway drug for most of us );

Or when we constellate the borders of our organizations more with egos fearing personal extinction or when we loiter in online forums to skirmish for scraps of professional glory or just to let off some steam;

Or when astrology, once dubbed the “Queen of the sciences” can’t make an appearance at a major university unless as a continuing education course posted in a separate late semester catalog. Or as a class held in a basement of an old, soon to be razed academic building;

Or when major religions almost universally revile us though astrology has influenced all of their holy books and they still use principles from our art to mark their holidays as well.

And when it often seems easier for folks to come out of their sexual closets before coming out as an astrologer to their friends, family or co-workers.

Yeah, we have ample reason to stand up for ourselves, to muster up as many hurrahs as we can to crusade for astrology.

Yet I’m not confident that we could do that, much less should.

Which of the many versions of astrology would we trumpet for? Who should lead it when so many of our conferences bench the young to recycle veterans repurposing old lectures? Not too many conferences are as accommodating as SOTA. And it’s hard enough just to organize astrologers on a conference call, much less a call for a crusade for ourselves, by ourselves.

So if not for astrology, for what, as astrologers, should we crusade? It is this.

The “crusade” of astrology is to advocate for a living and meaningful Cosmos. A Cosmos that is as alive as feel we are—not a mere belief in astrology itself.  Our crusade isn’t to recover our once vaulted position as the “queen of all sciences.” It’s not for a mighty, united last stand to preserve our star-gilded empire.

Astrology can’t be about the business of privileging a “holy land” to keep a portion of its widely public secrets sanctified for some and hard to reach for others. We’re not marching to pillage and conquer “infidels” or each other. Astrology cannot afford to believe more in its workings and tools than what all its tools and workings are for.  If we do, we will surely lose a saner idea of a Holy Land, a figurative place that helps us become whole. We’re talking spirituality, not geography here.

Once, we were part of a whole and the whole was in us. We embraced something called an Anima Mundi, a soul of the world—before religion, before science came to take up so much space in our little cerebral cortexes. We didn’t see reason or revelation as set in a single moment of proof OR faith.  We were in communion with a Cosmos that we saw REFLECTED in everything—in the heavens, in plants, in animals, in our organs, and our personalities.

Of course, modern science and philosophy have been far less interested in the dynamism of a whole than the grand workings of individual gears and parts, whether those be the orders of knights, kingdoms, nations, or corporations. We’ve left behind many of the schisms of faith to create an even more profound schism between ourselves and a primal encounter with the world.

As Richard Tarnas makes the case in his book, Cosmos and Psyche, the divorce of the self from the Cosmos as alive has led to an alienating disenchantment of the self AND the world.  In fact, he says, “ …in a disenchanted cosmos, nothing is sacred. The soul of the world has been extinguished…the short-term and bottom-line rule all. “

And when the bottom-line rules all, our atomistic sense of ourselves has a price as well as a daunting tax. But it has certainly come with its benefits too.

The rise of the individual self has broadened and stabilized our definition of what it means to be a human being.  When we were more in our holism, we found it almost impossible to ever depart from the demands of a collective. One of the powerful gifts, for instance, of the Abrahamic religions, despite their legacy of bloodshed, was each person is responsible for his or her sins and the expiations of them.   The whole tribe didn’t have to sacrifice innocent animals, young virgins or whoever to appease angry gods.

Although we’ve still stayed fixated on our identities as part of a family, tribe, faith, kingdom, nation or race, it seems as if we’re getting progressively better, in fits and starts, with advocating for this idea of the individual. But we keep thinking that the individual, that non-divided thing as the word would suggest, can be separated from the Cosmos to which it inextricably belongs.

What’s the way out for us? Our greatest beauty and promise is in the first two letters of the word astrology, at least in English: AS. With A-S, we have a remarkable reminder of how one thing is like another yet wholly distinct. We unlock the mystery of the world by analog and analogy rather than the hubris and folly that we know exactly how the world is.  It’s even in our Hermetic credo: as above, so below; as within, so without; as the Cosmos, so the soul.

Models of analogy are not lost on the modern world. We all know units of stock on stock markets reflect units of value, not the actual cash worth of the company itself. (At least we learned that, again, after the housing and Internet bubble bursts.) We know that a dollar is a symbol of a value, not the actual value.

Yet too many seem baffled that when we talk about Saturn “AS” something we must be talking only about the physical properties of Saturn. We also seem confused, wanting to explain our field by appeals to electro-magnetic gravitational fields and the like. We want it to be more real as if analogue is not real enough.

The powers of analogy and analogue have their own power, their own beauty for which we can crusade. Of course, this power does not come without its problems.

The digital modern world provides great consistency and accuracy without any natural degradation like the analogs of tape recordings, records, film or paper.  We’ve come to believe what we can encode into bits & bytes is way better than the symbolism of what’s left to human assessment or vision, like your old Mercury thermometer.  We have come to trust the binary readout of machines rather than how we once had to read things naturally or with simple devices.

Yet I believe we lose so much when we come to believe more in machines or even see the world as Machine rather than the miraculous and living Cosmos that inspires us toward more life itself. Beholding a living Cosmos begets more life and is so worth our crusading energy.

Fortunately, this crusade positions us to have a lot more allies with similar modes of thinking—whether we’re talking about the meridians of acupuncturists, the symbols of Reiki, the ingredients of homeopathy, the picturesque divinations of tarot readers, the complex simplicity of casting cowrie shells. Or the hermeneutics of activists who show us how race, gender and class are also more symbols of human value and worth than what the literalism of science or religion recognize. We are people who know the world AS something, not for what it is literally.

This even forces us to face a truth about our own practices.  We often like to position astrological charts as things that speak plainly for themselves, that we can somehow know a person, a thing or event exactly as it is or should be. Or we’ll veer away from that altogether to read charts as an open field that’s impossibly fertile for any and every possibility.

Both of these paths construct an astrology that undercuts the true power of analogue and analogy in our work. Whereas digital media will attempt to reduce something to its exact similitude, analog seeks to make it just similar enough—leaving room for what can’t quite be described or known. You can call this mystery God, Noise, Chaos, the Cosmos, or nothing at all.  We sweeten our analogs and parallels to coax this dark mystery out into the brightness of day. We’ve not known to many other ways. We’ll never quite get it completely right.  And the “truth” may be that we’ll only ever see the world as we are, not as it is.

In this sense, we must become as children. But even a child’s world is becoming more literal. Once, we could learn the loopy beauty of cursive lettering in school. Not any more. Now all our “A’s” or “S’s” should look like the typefaces of machines, not what’s been fashioned by the uniqueness of our hands.

And speaking of hands, who has the time to think by way of analogy that the little hand on the eight and the big hand on the 6 means that it’s 8:30?  Who cares if the clocks once mirrored the Sun’s motion of right to left? Who needs suns and stars twinkling in the night when we can have crystal dashes that flicker the time, down to the seconds if we want?

We do.

See, this is bigger than astrology and the only crusade worthy of astrology’s fidelity. And historically it’s the only thing to which we have been loyal, considering how diverse our field has always been.  Maybe this won’t always be true. Perhaps we’ll see much of what Stevie Wonder saw, three Jupiter returns ago, when he says in his 1977 song, “As”:

As now can’t reveal the mystery of tomorrow
But in passing will grow older every day
Just as all is born is new…
Until dear Mother Nature says her work is through
Until the day that you are me and I am you

 Until that day, let’s keep marching to the music of the spheres, enchanted by how things appear to be and spreading this enchantment of living Cosmos as far and as wide as we can.

Motion Sickness Monday…

I know we’re practically hip-deep into Tuesday, but I started this in my head yesterday–when I was listening to my poor wife barf at 4:30 am in the morning in my niece’s car from motion sickness. We were on our way to the airport for an early flight from Buffalo to JFK. When we were comfortably in our plane seats and what remained of the motion sickness medicine in her stomach had finally kicked in, I said to her quietly, “Fuck Motion Sickness Monday.” She laughed.  And it came to me that a lot of us might come to feel a kind of motion sickness with all that’s happening this week: Mercury retrograde, Mercury conjunct to Saturn, another pass of Uranus square Pluto, a powerful Solar eclipse on Sunday and, for those in the US, a shift from Daylights Savings Time to Standard time. (I’m happy about that. I hate Daylight Savings Time with a lot of passion.)

In my horoscopes below, I go over what various sun, moon or rising signs could generally expect, but this solar eclipse and Uranus-Pluto square is probably the biggest part of what’s putting so much in motion now. I talked a little bit about eclipses a few weeks ago, but that was a lunar eclipse. A solar eclipse is a new moon x10.  What most muggles don’t know is that various eclipses have names and have genealogies for their cycles called Saros series or cycles.

The solar eclipse on Sunday is Saros 143 and also known as Saros Series 16 North. It was “born” February 15, 1599 at the North Pole and its cycle will end on March 25, 2843.  SS 16 N, for short, was born with Uranus and Pluto buddied up together in Aries. Now it’s only Uranus in Aries and they’re about to have static, by a square, with Pluto in Capricorn.  Bernadette Brady, in her book Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark, describes this eclipse as “[a] gentle family of eclipses which brings a sense of inspiration or the illumination of ideas. The presence of the Uranus-Neptune combination (in the 2/15/1599 chart) talks of the sudden release of material from the unconscious which brings with it a great deal of insight. These ideas are good and the individual would be wise to act upon them.” I would co-sign on that for the most part. However, the added Uranus-Pluto static discharge means we might see folks upset and in the streets again as we’ve been seeing for the last few years. (They’ve already had this beef 3 times before since 2011. They’re scheduled for 3 more until 2015.)

For me, it gets a little more personal. This eclipse is right on top of my Mercury, so it’s activating that planet. I’m about to go into a level of motion that’s been in process for months.  I’ve also been expecting and preparing for it. I’m still not fully ready. More meditation, prayer and just sitting are needed. But I can relate to the inspiration and illumination of ideas. Those are definitely very plentiful now with a good measure of follow-through.

I know a number of astrologers are gravely worried about the financial health of our world economy with this solar eclipse. I can’t say I share their same concern, especially considering its “birth” chart AND even its most recent appearance in 1995. (Remember, solar eclipses come in cycles.) If you look at that year, you’ll see that it was the year that the world wide web, as we know it, was made available to the public.  Illumination of ideas indeed! Of course, that was also the year of the OK bombing. So, like I said, people are testy, to say the least, but the next several months will open our eyes. That could lead to motion sickness, of one sort or another, for some. But I do believe we’ll arrive where we need to go and see a lot as if for the very first time.

SPECIAL ENDING THIS WEEK!

I’m offering 30 minute, RECORDED readings at $50 (normally $65) for anyone who is having a reading with me for the FIRST time. It has to be booked during eclipse season (October 8, 2013-November 4, 2013), but it can be scheduled to take place any time within the next six months, until April 8, 2014!  To book to meet in person at my office in NYC, click here.  To meet by phone or Skype, click here.  The other full 60 minute, recorded session is at the regular rate.

…And what’s in motion for you by sign this week…

Aries [March 21st to April 19th]

Taurus [April 20th to May 21st]

Gemini [May 22nd to June 20th]

Cancer [June 21st to July 21st]

Leo [July 22nd to Aug 21st]

Virgo [Aug 22nd to Sept 21st]

Libra [Sept 22nd to Oct 21st]

Scorpio [Oct 22nd to Nov 21st]

Sagittarius [Nov 22nd to Dec 21st]

Capricorn [Dec 22nd to Jan 20th]

Aquarius [Jan 21st to Feb 18th]

Pisces [Feb 18th to March 20th

A Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide Compilation…

Yesterday morning Facebook was down for a number of hours. And it was perhaps the most productive morning some people had in years. Perfect for Monday Morning Mercury Retrograde. This usually stirs panic into folks instead of morning joe, and indeed there were a few people who were caught by the surprise of it all on my twitter feed. (Might help if people had astro calendars, though.) But really there’s no need for the fear or panic.  As a friend of mine likes to opt out of Mercury Retrograde, more people can opt out of all the negativity associated with it. Mercury Retrogrades augur a “new moon” phase for Mercury. If you’re gonna cast shade on Mercury Retrograde, then you might as well give new moons the side-eye too. Stay flexible and aware, so you won’t have to beware. But here’s a little help, all in one place.  I’ve compiled some links to cope with this Mercury Retrograde along with this week’s horoscopes to add a little more detail. 

Are Void Moons & Mercury Retrogrades That Bad? 

Breaking the Fear and Tyranny Of Mercury Retrograde

How Planets Started Retrograding

NEW SPECIAL

I’m offering 30 minute, RECORDED readings at $50 (normally $65) for anyone who is having a reading with me for the FIRST time. It has to be booked during eclipse season (October 8, 2013-November 4, 2013), but it can be scheduled to take place any time within the next six months, until April 8, 2014!  To book to meet in person at my office in NYC, click here.  To meet by phone or Skype, click here.  The other full 60 minute, recorded session is at the regular rate.

However, in the by and by, we have horoscopes below to give you the general landscape of what to expect by particular signs, whether they be your rising sign, moon sign, or Sun sign. If you’re curious to learn more about the difference between your Sun, moon or rising sign, please check out this.

 

Horoscopes 

Aries [March 21st to April 19th]

Taurus [April 20th to May 21st]

Gemini [May 22nd to June 20th]

Cancer [June 21st to July 21st]

Leo [July 22nd to Aug 21st]

Virgo [Aug 22nd to Sept 21st]

Libra [Sept 22nd to Oct 21st]

Scorpio [Oct 22nd to Nov 21st]

Sagittarius [Nov 22nd to Dec 21st]

Capricorn [Dec 22nd to Jan 20th]

Aquarius [Jan 21st to Feb 18th]

Pisces [Feb 18th to March 20th

At the cross…

Today’s “Eid Al Adha,” a special day for Muslims.  It’s a day of sacrifice and celebration, preceded by fasting. I can’t help but be struck how this Eid comes just before a lunar eclipse at 25-26 degrees of Aries/Libra. This is the same axis at which we celebrate Passover in the spring, just before Easter. Of course, in the theological grand scheme of Abrahamic religions, all of these events are connected.  Christians often link how the sacrifice of Jesus as God’s son is like Abraham’s sacrifice, commemorated as Isaac for Jews and Christians, but Ismail for Muslims.

Astrologically, it is the axis by which Courage (Aries) is balanced against Consideration (Libra).  With an illuminated moon in Aries, it’s time to reach for Victory, to stand with courage.  It may symbolize a moment when you have to go out on a limb to do something that you know is right, though you risk sacrificing something that’s also been dear to your heart. The stories surrounding the holidays on  this axis point suggest by going out on the limb, you’ll find the branch firm or if you fall, you won’t fall far or you’ll land softly on your feet.  In fact, it’s said for Eid Al Adha that your sins are forgiven for the year before and the year ahead if you fast.  That is a matter of faith and, in my experience, there’s no greater assurance of that except what you find true in your own heart.  But you have to be listening.  That’s the Libra-consideration-attentive-listening part!  And then you have to act, that’s the courageous part.  (Let’s all pray, meditate, chant or hope Congress is truly listening  with their hearts on Thursday, the day before this eclipse, and can act with courage.)

If you have planets or significant points–like your ascendant/descendant, midheaven/IC, or north/south nodes (like yours truly)–within roughly 7 of those 25-26 degrees of Aries or Libra, then you can expect this is going to be a significant time for you to take a stand. There may be fear, but this fear, by faith, can transformed into freedom and victory.  I tend to think eclipses generally manifest specific events roughly between a month to 3 months after they take place.  A colleague gives a more detailed breakdown about this eclipse and that idea here.  The planet or point will tell you in what ways and what areas of life can you expect the changes.  If you need help with that, you might consider a session with me or taking advantage of the special below, if you’re eligible.

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NEW SPECIAL

I’m offering 30 minute, RECORDED readings at $50 (normally $65) for anyone who is having a reading with me for the FIRST time. It has to be booked during eclipse season (October 8, 2013-November 4, 2013), but it can be scheduled to take place any time within the next six months, until April 8, 2014!  To book to meet in person at my office in NYC, click here.  To meet by phone or Skype, click here.  The other full 60 minute, recorded session is at the regular rate.

However, in the by and by, we have horoscopes below to give you the general landscape of what to expect by particular signs, whether they be your rising sign, moon sign, or Sun sign. If you’re curious to learn more about the difference between your Sun, moon or rising sign, please check out this.

Aries [March 21st to April 19th]

Taurus [April 20th to May 21st]

Gemini [May 22nd to June 20th]

Cancer [June 21st to July 21st]

Leo [July 22nd to Aug 21st]

Virgo [Aug 22nd to Sept 21st]

Libra [Sept 22nd to Oct 21st]

Scorpio [Oct 22nd to Nov 21st]

Sagittarius [Nov 22nd to Dec 21st]

Capricorn [Dec 22nd to Jan 20th]

Aquarius [Jan 21st to Feb 18th]

Pisces [Feb 18th to March 20th]

The Churning…

Today, Mercury “conjoins” with Saturn. Literally Mercury gets hooked at the hip with Saturn (from the Earth’s perspective). But what it means is that it’s a time for ponderous thoughts and some thoughts could get too heavy, even for speaking or writing. So it’s no wonder that I don’t feel inclined to write so much today, at least here. There’s a lot churning beneath the surface–with my dreams, with my other sundry writing projects and assignments,  and future plans. But churning can also stir up a lot of fears too, especially when Saturn’s involved. I found my mind fending off what fear was churning up. A quiet still voice in my mind challenged those fearful bats in my brain. “Why you gonna leave all this room for these bats when you have doves and birds of paradise to feed? Leave the fear behind, face your faith.”  That was scary, but so necessary to hear.

Then I ran into a fellow Sun in Scorpio/Moon in Leo friend who was also dealing with a lot of heaviness yesterday, for different reasons. She was on her way to feed herself “good” things rather than the junk she had been eating all day.  I’m not sure if the food she was getting or the coconut water I recommended did the trick, but I fed her a hug. And realized how that’s an apt metaphor for these times. We have to feed ourselves the good stuff, not the fear and deprivation that gets stirred up with Saturnine thoughts.

But Mercury’s hook up with Saturn can be great for sitting down with deeper thoughts, preparing meatier meals for your soul and faith, not your fear. So that’s what I’ve been doing. This Mercury-Saturn hook up is important for a number of reasons, both personal and global.

The hook up happens at 10 degrees Scorpio. (One thing to know about astrology, for reals, is that astrologers care more about degrees than “signs.” Degrees relate to exact relationships than general associations. It’s no accident, for instance, that you get a degree from a college or high school. It’s a key, rather than a generality.) Next month’s solar eclipse is at 11 degrees Scorpio, about less than a degree from Mercury & Saturn’s current tete a tete. This means that there will be parallels between what happens over the next few days and what unfolds with the eclipse from next month and onwards.  I say over the next one to three months, but some astrologers say it depends on how long the Solar eclipse actually lasts in hours.  This eclipse will last for 3-4 hours, which some translate as years. Not sold on that, but we’ll continue exploring.  One key thing is to notice what kinds of Mercury-like activities, related to all things travel oriented and communicative, happen this week for you.

The other thing to know and notice is if you have anything at 4 degrees to 18 degrees Scorpio or Taurus.  (I use a 7 degree orb. I’m also not sold on square relationships with eclipses, but I’m open to contrary evidence, so that’s why I haven’t mentioned Leo or Aquarius here.)

For me, I know I do. I have my Mercury at 11 degrees Scorpio, right in the heart of this eclipse, close to when I experienced this eclipse 19 years ago at 26 years old. It augured a lot of changes in my life…and a lot of traveling. I was on my first theatre tour and first major gig as an actor. I also started hosting a writer’s group, called Twelfth House, at my home for a little bit.  It was through that group that I met many great writers out there now, including Stephane Renee, of 900 am WURD fame.  I’m on that station every last Friday of the month, between 9a-10a EDT, talking about astrology and doing readings.

But it’s better to know what you have to face by degrees, so to speak, than by generalities.  That’s why it’s a good time to get a reading now as we head into eclipse season.  I plan on talking about next week’s eclipse, next week. It’s at 25 degrees Aries on October 18, the day before the US Debt Limit ceiling. So we’ll see how that plays out. In the interim, I’m offering a few things: a special and this week’s horoscopes.

NEW SPECIAL

I’m offering 30 minute, RECORDED readings at $50 (normally $65) for anyone who is having a reading with me for the FIRST time. It has to be booked during eclipse season (October 8, 2013-November 4, 2013), but it can be scheduled to take place any time within the next six months, until April 8, 2014!  To book to meet in person at my office in NYC, click here.  To meet by phone or Skype, click here.  The other full 60 minute, recorded session is at the regular rate.

And there’s still these to see how generally what’s happening affects you by sign…

Aries [March 21st to April 19th]

Taurus [April 20th to May 21st]

Gemini [May 22nd to June 20th]

Cancer [June 21st to July 21st]

Leo [July 22nd to Aug 21st]

Virgo [Aug 22nd to Sept 21st]

Libra [Sept 22nd to Oct 21st]

Scorpio [Oct 22nd to Nov 21st]

Sagittarius [Nov 22nd to Dec 21st]

Capricorn [Dec 22nd to Jan 20th]

Aquarius [Jan 21st to Feb 18th]

Pisces [Feb 18th to March 20th]

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