4 Capricorn Lessons for Christmas…

My wife is a 1st generation Persian-American, meaning her parents didn’t grow up with Christmas movies and dramas. So she missed out on a lot of traditional Christmas movies like “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snow Man,” “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “The Little Drummer Boy,” and, one of my favorites, “The Bishop’s Wife.” Even though, as a Muslim, I’m no longer enchanted by Christmas anymore, it was nice to re-discover some of these movies through older eyes, since I hadn’t seen a few in decades.  I realized that most of them had themes that related to what’s often associated with Capricorn. Only fitting since Christmas happens during Capricorn season. Some were more obvious than others.

“The Bishop’s Wife,” speaks to that on a more subtle level, considering the leads are two Capricorn actors, Cary Grant and Loretta Young, in the original film. In the 1996 remake, “The Preacher’s Wife,” Dudley the angel is again played by Capricorn Denzel Washington. (It’s also noteworthy that the Capricorn angel’s assignment and foil, the Bishop/Preacher, were both played by Pisceans—David Niven in the original and Courtney Vance in the remake.

Capricorn Cary Grant (Dudley), Pisces David Niven (The Bishop), Capricorn Loretta Young (The Bishop’s wife)

As for shared themes, let’s skip the most obvious one that they all talk about remembering that it’s Jesus birthday. Not all of them do it, but enough do.

Here are FOUR lessons:

1. Life is precious, so don’t waste it being angry. This is clear in “Rudolph,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Santa Claus is coming to town,” “The Little Drummer Boy,” and several others.   Life can be long, as only Saturn, Capricorn’s planetary patron, can attest. Most of the things you could feel inclined to be pissed off about have changed, even if you haven’t.  And if those things or people haven’t changed and you haven’t changed, then being pissed off hasn’t worked either.  So you might as well let that go.  I guess Christmastime is as good a time as any.

 2. Appreciate yourself and your gifts as precious and unique.  The messages in the stop-animation movies are continually that it’s okay to be different and unique.  Now that may seem more an Aquarian theme, admittedly, but I think it works with Capricorn as they share a planetary patron, Saturn. I also think that the lesson isn’t so much about the gift, but having responsibility for that gift. That’s all Cappy, baby.  You can and do something about the gift. You only have to find your place for it.  And finding your place could come from hard work and breaking away from the pack like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, or it might find you, like one Christmas eve when Santa comes to ask if you’ll lead his sleigh that night.  But time and patience will render the perfect opportunity for you to share your gifts with the world.

3. Don’t confuse the essence of who you are with the way you narrate your story. Every single one of these dramas mess with time and plot on some level, whether it’s a time-traveling all in one night like Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol,” the alternate universe of George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” or the memory erase of Dudley the Angel in “The Bishop’s Wife.” Even the more modern tale, “A Christmas Story,” has the lead narrate a childhood story without revealing his present.  True to form, the planet Saturn, also named Chronos–Father Time–teaches that time is a matter of perception. In fact, Capricorn shows us a trick of perception with time. There are some Capricorns (and folks, in general) who feel that time is something that must be constantly managed and controlled to achieve their destiny. Not saying they’re wrong, because sometimes that happens—they manage their microseconds and achieve everything they want.  Other kinds of folks and Capricorns, have to live long enough (and even that doesn’t always have to be long) for life to find them and unfurls their destiny and fame, like Dr. King or Zora Neale Hurston in due time.  We can believe that we’re masters of time, but it’s more our perception that makes time seem like it’s our servant.  What we’re really focusing on, as these Christmas dramas remind us, is that we live by our essence, not the tick-tock of the clock or how we see our lives in chronological order. However, you project your essence, whether it’s like Scrooge to think that time’s money or the sum total of useless, nonsensical moments because you’re suicidal, like George Bailey, is up to you. But that may not be the real you. You can change your story and order of it to match your essence.

4. Know what you want and be ready to hold on to it. Christmas/Capricorn season rolls around to remind us what’s important, especially since a lot of our true desires get buried through the years, not just the year.  I was most intrigued by this lesson in “The Bishop’s Wife.”  SPOILER ALERT!, in case you’re like my wife and haven’t seen it:  The Bishop almost comes to blows with Dudley the Angel over his wife. Dudley smiles, saying his work is done, even though he had indeed fallen for the Bishop’s wife and thus had almost fallen as an angel. (I suppose Dudley even had a stirring of his own desire too. Dudley reminds the Bishop that he had prayed for guidance, thinking what he truly desired was a cathedral. Dudley came to guide him toward his real desire: the love of his wife. It’s interesting because Dudley does this for every character in the film, getting them to tap into their true and deepest buried desires. Like those characters, once that desire surfaces, then it can fly and become our destiny, if we let it.  Christmas is a time to tap into that. A precious time to unwrap our real gifts that have been wrapped so lovingly by the Cosmos and to cherish who and what matters most as the best way to be present.

And here are some horoscopes to contemplate the season as well:

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]

Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/life/zodiac-lounge-your-horoscopes-this-week-1223-1229#ixzz2oPGQoFKS
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Nothing like the Sun…

As Venus prepares to retrograde in Capricorn, I can’t help but think about what she and her retrograde signify in our larger American society. One manifestation of my recent thoughts on her comes from my studies in Islam. In Islamic thought, there’s the concept of Allah (G-d) as reflective of two principles: Tanzih and Tashbih. With the concept of Tanzih, everything in the Cosmos is unlike Allah as Allah is incomparable and transcendent. It’s the opposite of thinking that God is everything and everything is God. With the concept of Tashbih, everything relates or is like Allah in that Allah has those traits or is the source/embodiment of a trait that we express as well, like love or mercy. One interesting distinction is that Tanzih often emphasizes how Allah has distance from us through wrath or judgment. Tashbih relates more to the mercy and compassion of Allah.

If you’re curious about how Venus relates to race, racism or injustice, you might want to start here with Nick Dagan Best’s amazing correlation between Venus cycles and African American history. In that blog post, Nick does an amazing job of illustrating that the similitude function of Venus warps in American polity when it comes to race. It becomes a dissimilitude instead of a similitude. This dissimilitude between what’s perceived as Black & White is what’s at the heart of the unjust experiences of Black people. In fact, it was a few weeks before the last Venus retrograde in May 2012 that much of Black America was mobilized to bring George Zimmerman to justice for the murder of Trayvon Martin in late February of that year. And then he got off this year. I’m not in the position to debate the measure of justice Trayvon’s family received as I didn’t watch the case closely. However, it’s become apparent to many that the “Stand your ground” laws and practices are coming under question, like with the cases of  Marissa Alexander in Florida (again) and Renisha McBride in Detroit, MI. With the McBride case about to go to trial, I find it all too strong a parallel with what we were contending with during Venus’ last retrograde.

But what set me flowing about Venus retrograde as a manifestation of Tanzih or what’s incomparable is the rash of “blackface” shenanigans we had this past Fall. Here’s a piece from fellow Ebony.com writer Jamilah Lemieux about it.  But a thought occurred to me this year about blackface that hadn’t before: it would seem some White folks find being a Black person in costume incomparable to their own experience without wearing brown or black make-up. That’s bizarre since I’ve never donned any White make-up to be any number of White people I’ve been in my life.  It’s as if the color of a Black person’s skin becomes the only pathway to finding a shared point of humanity in “being” or looking like the person. This not only shows a paucity of imagination, but empathy as well. It’s as if for these folks, some of them even good hearted in wanting to pay tribute to some notable Black person, Blackness is a thing so incomparable to their own Whiteness, so tanzih in their own experience, that they can not enter the guise of someone else without painting themselves. That’s profoundly sad. It’s not even maddening for me anymore.

I’m pretty sure the answer is not just in telling folks to step out their “Tanzih” zone and reach for more Tashbih. I think we can find a more nuanced way to appreciate space for both. That’s what made me think of Shakespeare’s Love sonnet 130:

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask’d, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

What’s beautiful about this sonnet is how Shakespeare expresses how we can have the idea of the incomparable yet find love and appreciation all the same without denigration. A love sonnet is naturally under the auspices of Venus. A Venus in Capricorn is an astrological marker for how Venus seeks to find and experience value in the world of competence and materialism. Taken together, I hope we experience events, whether it’s the McBride case or Alexander case, or, heaven forbid, something new, that help us bridge the gaps in our imagination and empathy. That we find more space for tashbih and reserve the space for the incomparable for Supreme values that borrow from the Divine, but can never embody wholly as humans. One of those values is not your skin color, though.

Happy Full Moon!

Here’s how the Venus retrograde may manifest for some by Sun, moon or rising 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]

Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/life/zodiac-lounge-your-horoscopes-this-week-1216-1222#ixzz2nlP9euLq
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Fast and furious: Five Things To Consider with Mars in Libra (starting Friday!)

I can’t help but think about an odd synchronicity between the death of Paul Walker, the newest details about the Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx  and tonight’s new moon at nearly 11 degrees of Sagittarius. If we make allowance of a little more than a degree of orb, tonight’s new moon is conjoined to the fixed star Antares.  I’m a big fan of Marina Partridge’s thorough breakdown of the fixed stars, but this keyword breakdown stunned me:

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 2.26.35 PM

Seems almost too fitting to describe how “fast and furious” can get you in trouble. It’s believed that Walker (who starred in six films called “Fast and Furious”) was a passenger in a car that was “joyriding” too fast. It seems that Metro-North train that derailed was also going too fast. That’s a kind of sober reminder for all of us to slow down.

For the astrologically astute, you might notice that the fixed star, Antares, references Ares, the god of war. Ares is what we now call Mars, from Rome.  The other big celestial event is that Mars goes into Libra on Friday and that’s where he’s going to stay until July 2014!  That’s a long freakin’ time!  As I’ve tweeted recently  and put in this week’s horoscope for Libra, it’s ultimately a good thing for Libras, whether we’re talking those who have the Sun, moon or rising in Libra. You’ll be a little more amped to kick ass, especially if someone has been showing theirs to you.  But if we can step away from “signology” for a minute–when we’re overly concerned about events by “our” signs, I’d like to talk about Mars in Libra itself.  Mars in Libra is a planet in detriment, meaning that he’s in a sign that’s the opposite to his home, Aries.  More specifically, he’s in a sign of Venus; so the “god” of war has to use Venusian charms and wiles, like diplomacy, manners, or consensual debate/discussion. Mars can’t stand those things.  I talk a little more about the difference between planets in detriment & fall here. But here’s a little more to know about a planet in detriment.  Regardless, Mars is gonna be a testy little bugger, but this could lead to good, if not great, things if managed with care.

Here are, at least, five things to consider with Mars in Libra for the next 7 months

1. Slow the heck down. Mars is going to be opposite Uranus about three times in the next 7 months, including exactly on Christmas Day. Mars opposite Uranus is a classic signature for accidents or sudden disruptions. Of course, this could include all the stuff you can’t control, but get real about the things you can control like…slow down.

2. Nice-nasty. Like I said above, Mars’ natural inclination is not to be nice, though it’s not necessarily to be mean either.  Overall, he just wants to fulfill an action as effectively as he can. His emotions or those of others only come into play if there’s a hold-up or some frustration. In Libra, he’s encouraged to think about other people’s feelings. When that happens, he could be inclined to be what’s called “nice-nasty,” meaning he has a veneer of niceness to his nastiness.  You know like when you say to your honey, “Could you pass me the damn remote, please?”  Ain’t nothin’ cute about passive-aggressiveness.  If you feel aggressive, own it first. Doesn’t mean you have to act on it, but only unpleasantries can ensue if you don’t acknowledge it in the room with you.  Once you acknowledge it, perhaps you can tone down the aggressiveness and somehow get back to the action that’s required or requested, perhaps even pleasantly.

3. Learn the difference between debate and an argument.  I’m sure there are cleverer, wiki-friendly descriptions of the difference between the two, but as someone who has been in a lot of debates, even a noted debate champion, I have my own distinction. With a debate, you’re examining the pros & cons of ideas, evoking either evidence or examples. In an argument, you’re examining the pros & cons of feelings. If discussing pros & cons for feelings sounds odd to you, then, congratulations, you have a glimpse of how pointless arguments can become. (Of course, debates can quickly become arguments, so it’s important not to “catch feelings.”)  Mars particularly gets thorny here, because he likes to win and thinks when doing something Libra-like, it’s still about winning.  That’s great if you’re a trial lawyer, but not so awesome if you’re discussing how you feel and your partner wants you to provide corroborating evidence with dates and witnesses for said feeling.  Libra expressions help us cultivate more “we” than the winning. There is a way to have both, though.

4.  Think about more win-win scenarios. Mars likes to think either a winner takes all or somebody’s gotta lose in order to win. In Game Theory, this is called a zero-sum game. In the hood, it’s called going out like a sucka. But these are not the only ways to victory. Win-Win goes beyond compromise or lopsided victories to envision outcomes where people can get maybe even more of what they want, if they’re willing to think out of the box, collaborate or re-direct their priorities.  It’s great to cultivate the winning spirit, but, perhaps, Mars’ long stay in Libra will reflect a change in more people seeking win-win solutions.

5. Standing up for real justice. Who would’ve guessed some 10 years ago, with the proliferation of smart phones with cameras, that we’d use the cameras more to film and post injustices for entertainment than to use the actual phone feature to call for help when an injustice is taking place?  For instance, like this or this.  My heart has been warmed by the outcries of people decrying unfair wages in fast food and retail jobs, but there’s a lot more work to be done. And it has to be a real sense of justice, not false cries for “justice” as we saw from “Bachelor” producer Elan Gale as discussed here.  We also later learn that Diane has cancer, unfortunately.  Yeah, Elan, live tweeting how you’re passing notes to what appears to be a self-indulgent, self-entitled woman was funny with the first note; but the subsequent later notes, a la “eating a d*ck” admonition ain’t a way to stand up for the “little guy” in retail or service industries.  Hopefully, we’ll do better before Mars moves on home into Scorpio in July.

So, I hope you’re better prepared for Mars in Libra on Friday.

In the interim, here are some horoscopes for how this week, including Mars going into Libra, may affect your favorite signs:

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]

Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/life/zodiac-lounge-your-horoscopes-this-week-122-128#ixzz2mM0gB57Z
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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.

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