Thursday, February 21, 2013

Neptunian Cinema

If you don't have a strong Pisces signature in your chart (Moon, Sun or Rising in Pisces), but you would like to feel something of what Pisceans feel, here is a movie list with Piscean themes.  You could also listen to music by Pisces composers such as Chopin, Ravel, or any number of Piscean musicians.  You could also watch movies by Luis Bunuel or Fellini (who had a Pisces Moon).

I'm including links to movie trailers.  Happy viewing.

Movies about alcoholism and redemption

1. When a Man Loves a Woman

2. 28 Days

Movies with Marine Themes

3. The Perfect Storm

4. Moby Dick (Part One, 1956)

5. Titanic

6. Whale Rider

7. Free Whilly

Religious Themes

8. The Last Temptation of Christ

9. Siddhartha (trailer isn't in English)

10. Jesus of Montreal

Pisces Implosion Continues

Photo by Patricia Herlevi
Two days before Mercury goes retrograde in Pisces (what fun!), three personal planets, Sun, Mercury, and Mars transit through Pisces along with Neptune (ruled by Pisces).  Venus will join the fishy party on February 27 and meanwhile, Saturn in watery Scorpio went retrograde on February 17. In addition the Sun, conjunct Chiron in Pisces forms a T-Cross with the Full Moon in Virgo at 7 degrees on Monday, February 25 and a square to Jupiter in Gemini.  At least Virgo is grounding, but also able to cause restless energy and nerve problems.  This could feel like a breaking point for many mutable Sun Signs.

All the Pisces energy leaves us feeling ungrounded and many of you might feel like you're swimming in molasses. You feel an urge to get a project off the ground, but end up watching movies or listening to music instead.  Don't beat yourself up. This isn't the time to launch new projects and even if you're a triple Aries, your usual spunk is hiding underneath your pillow or couch.

No, worries, your ambitions will return in late March and early April when we experience a stellium in Aries, but for now, watch those movies, meditate, go for walks, and get in touch with your soul.  With Mercury going retrograde and Saturn already heading into introspective territory, this is a time to reassess, and even to return to old friendships, heal old wounds, and to revisit projects that failed and to learn how you can do it better next time.  Racing around with a to-do list in hand will only lead to frustration now.  Communication glitches and brain fog are common experiences now.  You walk into a room and forget why you're in the room.  You might even forget your name or phone number now, write a bad check, or lose your keys.  Do your best to pay attention to details and go slow now to save yourself endless frustration.  This is also advice for me since I enjoy running around crossing errands off of to-do lists.

Photo by Patricia Herlevi
As I mentioned in a previous post, we can expect Pisces theme events now and here are several I found in news headlines (and I don't even read the news).  First, Pope Benedict resigned because of a Vatican scandal,

A stranded Carnival line cruise ship makes the headlines

An on-going study linking alcohol consumption to cancer makes news headlines again

Overfishing and marine life makes headlines

I saw another article linking anti-anxiety drugs to behaviors in fish (pharmaceutical companies and marine life)

And of course the Grammy Awards involving music took place during the Pisces implosion

In my life, I had to deal with the odor of burned fish in my apartment due to a poorly ventilated building and bad plumbing.  This situation is a bit surreal too.  I have experienced pain in my feet (Pisces), brain fog at times, and just a lot of foolish mistakes caused by space out.  I have experienced more compassion than usual, and felt drawn to baby animals more than usual.  I've also found myself watching movies about redemption, alcoholics in recovery and enjoying music more than usual.  My dreams are vivid and informative and my psychic awareness seems sharper than normal.

Feel free to share your Pisces implosion experiences.  Or if you're in the Bellingham, Washington area and would like a reading for transits or your natal chart, contact me at wholemusicexp at or through  

Here are some Pisces videos on YouTube:

Jacques Cousteau's Undersea Adventures

Poseidon's Adventure

The ever sexy 70's series The Love Boat

Friday, February 15, 2013

Purposeful Astrology (A Map for Everyday Living)

Since astrology existed in ancient times and has an aura of mystery around it, not to mention mysticism, it has garnered a esoteric reputation. But on the other side of the coin, astrology for some people has taken on a pop psychological approach or it plays the role of a daily oracle of hope in the form of horoscopes. While both situations have advantages, the tools of astrology are lost in both cases and we miss out on opportunities to map our lives through planetary transits or to fully understand our selves via our natal charts.

But for anyone who enjoys Joseph Campbell's exploration of myths, legends and archetypes, astrology can provide the path to bliss in our own lives.  A common complaint by people is that they don't know their life path or even what brings them bliss.  This is because these people have chosen to live in boxes built by their parents, peers, or society in general.  It's impossible to follow your bliss if you don't know what it is, but you can find out what it is by unlocking the symbols in your natal chart.  No one goes on a long journey these days without a map. And even when I move to a new city or town, I rely on maps to get me around until I understand the terrain. 

A natal chart represents maps of our souls. These maps lead us to our core and we truly can know ourselves by unlocking the symbols and exploring the archetypes that make up who we are.  And don't even worry about the transiting planets until you have a deeper understanding of your natal chart.  If you are just starting out with astrology, forget the charts of your friends, family members and celebrities, and learn about what makes you tick by studying your natal chart.  I believe too that the exercise of studying your chart will move you past any denial you have in regard to yourself.  I also think when you learn about your strengths and vulnerabilities and see what makes you sing and what makes you hurt, you will develop compassion for yourself then later self-love.

I'm not talking about reading a natal chart to gain bragging rights or to boasts about any important configurations or aspects you find in your chart.  I'm talking about mining a chart for gifts and for directives that lead you on to your life path.  Don't get hung up on squares between Mars and Uranus or even a Grand Square with the most powerful or dynamic planets (though I do sympathize if you have a Grand Square in your chart).  But I also know that the dynamics of that square provides opportunity for extreme growth and wisdom which you'll teach to others later in your life.

triple Aries
I have seen books with Practical Astrology in the title and I think for most people, we need to find practicality and everyday uses for astrology.  Once you learn your natal chart on a deeper level, then it's time to follow the transits.  Transits tell us when to back off and retreat as well as, when to move forward and remove obstacles from the path.  Think of transits as traffic lights and when you have the green light speed ahead like a triple Aries. Go, go, go!

But the other thing you'll learn is that as we move around this wheel of fortune, and as the planets move around our chart, life won't always go smoothly.  It's not your fault so don't blame yourself when transiting Pluto squares your Sun and DIVORCE lights up in your brain.  Life happens even if life events seem irrational at the time. When Jupiter rolls around usually life goes smoothly, but we might grow too complacent, same with Venus.  When Pluto or Saturn come knocking on the door, it feels like Beethoven's fate--duh, duh, duh, duuuuh.

And there are some things to remember during the challenging transits.

Never blame yourself for life events, but know that on some level you attracted those events to you.

Take responsibility for only what is yours and trust that others will eventually take responsibility for their part when we stop enabling bad behavior or defeatist attitudes

Practice self-love and self-honoring

Don't beat yourself up when life challenges you, nurture yourself instead

When you feel exhausted, stop and take a nap or if you need to sleep for an entire day

Breathe deeply and drink plenty of clean water

Instead of asking "why me?" ask "what's next?" As in what small step can I take now to relieve my suffering or get me back on track?

Find out how long the transits will last (with Pluto up to 3 years)

Then look for relief transits in the chart, such as Jupiter or Venus transits or if your energy is low, look at Mars transits for the next several months

The Chariot, moving forward
And finally remember that the flowing aspects come so easily to us that we would never redeem those gifts without tension caused by squares or oppositions.  Grand Trines for instance light us up, but t-crosses push us forward and as we deal with those tensions, we develop new gifts and gain wisdom. I'm fortunate to have two Grand Trines in my natal chart and a mutable T-Cross with Saturn/Moon, Uranus/Pluto and Mars at the apex.  And yes, this T-Cross has nearly destroyed me a few times, but thankfully I found relief in other sections of my chart.  And remember this, some of the most successful people who have walked this planet, had challenging aspects in their charts that gave them the necessary push to pursue their dreams, as opposed to lounge on a couch with a bag of chips watching television reruns.

There's a time and place for horoscopes and esoteric astrology, but why not unleash the power of the planets in your daily life? Consult the planets for important but also daily decisions.  Just don't become superstitious in the process or give all your power away to Pluto or Saturn.

If you need help with reading your astrological map, I give consultations in Bellingham, Washington and surrounding areas. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

FYI: Upcoming Features

If you look on the right hand side of the blog you will notice a growing list of astrology websites.  I will also add another list of books in the future.

I'm in the process of contacting book publishers who publish astrology books since I plan on reviewing astrology books on this blog in the near future.

I'm also offering low-cost basic astrology workshops in Bellingham, Washington starting this spring, starting with offering workshops through the Community Connections building with the Community Food Coop on March 23, 11 a.m. to noon.  Cost $5 to cover material and room rental.

I strongly believe that astrology offers a tool for everyday living as well as, personal development.  It's something we can all learn, at least the basics to better our lives and the lives of our loved ones.

Friday, February 8, 2013

That's so retro (When planets do the backwards dance)

Photo by Patricia Herlevi, 2009
We have all heard of retrograde planets, signified by the "rx" in a natal or transit chart.  However, most people seem only concerned with Mercury retrograde, which has developed its own brand of superstition.  However, the world has never ended because the communication planet appeared to move backwards.  And the keyword is appeared because the planets actually never moves backwards, but the earth shifts orbit giving us the impression of retrograde planets.

All the planets except the luminaries (Sun and Moon) retrograde.  However, the sun and moon eclipse two times a year, and we also experience the moon/sun cycles each month with the new and full moons, which many astrologers use as predictive indicators for the energies for the next several months, if not years, especially if the new or full moon falls in an angular house (1,4, 7, and 10) or conjunct a natal planet.  We'll tackle the moon cycles in a future article.

So if all the planets except the sun and the moon go retrograde, why is it that only Mercury retrograde receives the bulk of attention? Personally, I experienced hardship in the spring and summer of 2005 when Mars in Taurus went retrograde and Mars stayed in Taurus for 6 months.  Before that period began when Mars was in Aries, I fell down a flight of stairs and sprained my ankle.  The ankle took over three months to heal, and during that time I was housebound next door to a house under loud renovation.  A construction project scheduled for 30 days took several months to complete and the neighbor's cat died of pneumonia in the process.  Mercury was moving direct at that time.

So what does it mean when a planet goes retrograde?  Some astrologers say that the retrograde mutes the planet's outward energy and creates introspective energy.  It's not a time to launch new projects depending on the planets that are retrograde.  And in some situations we experience a cooling of the jets and a calming of minds.  When Neptune was last retrograde and during the last Mercury retrograde, I found it easy to meditate and spent a lot of time walking my spiritual path. 

The upside of a Mercury or any planetary retrograde is that we can retrace our steps and take a closer look at details.  The message is slow down and even take a vacation, which won't be possible during 2013 with several planets retrograde and for several months.  Sure, we can slow down and re access, and relax a bit since we won't have access to the planets anyway. 

But we can't take a 5 month vacation without losing the day job. I'm not a mundane astrologer, but I understand astrology enough to realize that 2013 is not a year for launching a huge project, or building an empire. With so many planets in introspective water signs and with the outer planets retrograde it's time to get in touch with our spiritual footing.  It's time to let go of fear and limitation and TRUST.  And this isn't easy for any of us, and especially not critical earth signs or the action-oriented fire signs, not to mention the highly analytical air signs. But the message is step back and breathe.

Saturn goes retrograde on February 17 and goes direct on July 8.  That gives us roughly 6 months to reassess the structure in our lives and this might even be a good time to take up a study or a meditation practice.  We will reassess issues around responsibility and discipline, not to mention dealing with aging populations, and gaining sage wisdom from our elders.  Traditions will come under scrutiny, especially traditions revolving around family and marriage.  We won't act upon these issues until after Saturn goes direct in the beginning of July, but we will spend a lot of time revisiting and reinventing.

Pluto in Capricorn goes retrograde on April 12 and goes direct on September 19.  Again, this is an outer planet which deals with the bigger picture going inward for several months.  I've already discussed Pluto on this blog so you already have an idea of what this transformational planet is capable of doing.  Capricorns, Cancers, Aries, and Libras born in the first third of their sign, will feel this planet retracing steps from the previous months and old unfinished issues will come up again, both on the personal and global level.  Check out the house or houses Pluto retrograde appears in your chart and this will give you an idea what area of your life Pluto will highlight.  Since Pluto is slow moving, you have already visited these issues two or three times, and you have two more rounds to go if your Sun, AC or Moon is around 7 to 12 degrees Cancer, Capricorn, Libra, or Aries.  Other personal planets feel the affects too.

Still in a way, when planets go retrograde we do get a break from the planets' intense energy, and Pluto is the most intense of all.  On June 6, Neptune goes retrograde (a good time for meditation) and goes direct on November 12.  Uranus goes retrograde on July 17 (also giving us a break) and goes direct on December 16.  This gives you an idea of the number of planets and their retrograde periods for 2013.  Mercury of course, will go retrograde three times during the course of the year and it unfortunately, is the most feared of the retrogrades.  In addition (at the end of 2013), Venus goes retrograde on the Winter Solstice in Capricorn and Jupiter in Cancer goes retrograde on November 8.

The downside to Mercury retrograde is that computers, cars, and machinery could break down at this time.  Get your car checked before the retrograde periods and also get your computer anti-virus and firewall updated before the retrograde periods.  Letters and mail gets lost, miscommunication happens (speak more clearly and don't hide your intentions) and I will say with Mercury going retrograde in the foggy sign Pisces on February 23, that miscommunication and foggy thinking will be the norm for 6 weeks (3 weeks of the retrograde and 3 weeks of Mercury retracing its steps forward).  Mercury is in its fall mode in Pisces.  People could overreact emotionally at this time, pulling out sob stories from their sleeves.  Hearts could shatter from the intensity of suffering in the world.

However, the upside of this Mercury retrograde period is that it is a good time to get spiritual.  This is a good time to deal with pain by seeking a therapist or life coach.  This is a good time to heal the heart chakra and learn to set appropriate boundaries so you don't become a perpetual shoulder for people to cry on.  This is a good time to go on a retreat, but not to travel too far from home because this is also a good time to get lost.  We won't be thinking clearly so practice grounding meditations and go slow during this time.  Take a yoga or tai chi class.  Join a choir or enroll in a dance class.  Watch a lot of uplifting movies and listen to uplifting music.  Remember to breathe.  This is a good time for photography, especially nature photography, but take good care of your camera during this time because it could break down too.

Having said all of that, there is nothing to fear.  Retrogrades happen to give us a break.  We need to balance the yin with the yang and we can't go, go, go 24/7 for 12 months straight without burning out and ending up in a mental ward (which is ruled by Pisces).  Find the humor whenever possible, because at least with Mercury we have a trickster planet at work.  Take time to play, to laugh, and to enjoy your life no matter which direction the planets move.  It's like one online radio spiritual coach mentioned recently, it's always perfect timing.