Friday, February 28, 2014

Heavily on the Heart--Saturn, Part 2 (with humor this time)

Father Knows Best
Images: Wikipedia

Laughing at Saturn relieves stress.  Here's a bit of Capricorn humor.

I'm on my way to wash my hair in the sink when I sit down at the computer to check e-mails and then the next thing I know, I'm typing a post about Saturn. Last night as I fell asleep, I thought about Saturn's sense of humor--it's there.  And I told myself if I have to go on a trip with Saturn around the Zodiac, then he had better make it fun.  Nothing like a road trip with a grouch lecturing me about my childhood roots and personal responsibilities. When are you going to get married and settle down, ask Saturn.

We'll start with Saturn in Aries and end with Saturn in Pisces as he considers transcending into the unknown--space the final frontier.  Saturn doesn't like either sign and I wonder if Saturn only likes his own sign, Capricorn, the climbing goat or the fish goat to some astrologers.  What does this fish goat do, climb a mountain then jump into a lake?  That sounds refreshing actually.

When Saturn transits in Aries or when people are born with Saturn in Aries, there is a tendency to cling to childhood.  Sure, some of these folks resemble a responsible adult and they might even work hard, impress the boss and take charge of the office or household.  They walk around carrying authority, but if you look deeply you'll find that Saturn in Aries lacks maturity in some respect.  They long to race around, knocking stuff of the shelf or getting attention in some way that might often seem like they've returned to their terrible twos. When Saturn transits in Aries it's time for us to grow up and listen to adult music, joking, but it is time for us to take on greater responsibilities and look at the areas where we slack off.  Saturn demands patience here and might even cause injury via an accident to get us to slow down and take a more sober gaze at our life circumstances. We'll hear the phrase, "take responsibility" during this transit and we'll want to thumb our nose at authority and rebel.

When Saturn transits in Taurus or for people with Saturn in Taurus, we want to get our hands in the dirt and grow things--flowers or food, it doesn't matter.  This double earth transit will also cause us to slow down and we might hear voices sounding like they're coming from underwater like one of those cartoon characters from my childhood.  We could run into stubbornness--our own or someone else'.  We won't want to budge and our views fall on the conservative side.  People want to spend less during this transit or if they do spend money, it's on high quality stuff that brings comfort and hedonistic tendencies.  Or we find that we believe that we can only earn stuff through hard work so we become workaholics and lose our sense of fun and humor.  Either way, it is possible to become too grounded and stuck in the mud.

When Saturn transits in Gemini, communication turns sober and serious.  Someone born with Saturn in Gemini, might start talking later in childhood while freaking out their parents, especially if their parents are college professors or journalists. Why isn't my child speaking? How embarrassing.  My child is not maturing at the level of other children.  No worries, Saturn in Gemini is more thoughtful and doesn't speak from the cuff.  If he or she has something to say, they will say it and with authority.  Just because someone doesn't talk all the time doesn't mean they lack intelligence.  In fact, some people just chatter to listen to their own voice and Saturn in Gemini doesn't fall into that trap.

When Saturn transits in Gemini, we are more thoughtful with our communication and we use words in a more concentrated manner.  We come up with telecommunication and high tech solutions that last for years and appear more stable than any other time.  Teachers and journalists speak with more authority, but they had better fact check since Gemini is a trickster, especially with information.  The foot in the mouth problem seems laughable in retrospect, but is humiliating when exposed.  It's easier during this transit to read between lines and not fall for the car sales man talk or feel flattered by empty words.  It is also a good time to learn about the intention and power behind words so that you use them responsibly.

When Saturn is in Cancer he throws a tantrum, lol.  Saturn is in his detriment in Cancer so he doesn't enjoy his beach vacation or having tea with the crab inside a cozy shell.  During this transit, family and home take on greater importance.  Saturn in Cancer would much rather consolidate resources and stick with a smaller family size rather than add another wing to the house or mouth to the dinner table.  This is a time for looking at the food system, food safety and using old fashion common sense to feed ourselves nutritious food.  Nutritionists play starring roles in news headlines and they inverse food pyramids, telling us everything we learned up to that point about nutrition was based on faulty structure. Sorry folks.

When people are born with Saturn in Cancer, they become their own parents and authority figures.  They are both mom and dad so hopefully they had healthy role models.  They could be workaholics, but they will work from the home or  in the real estate market.   They could work as interior designers, landscapers, or in any field that deals with home and family.  They might choose not to have children because they are concerned about conservation issues and environmental issues facing the planet.  They will also be obsessed with food and never feel they have enough of it. Though these folks depending on where Saturn falls in their chart could be on the thin side or feel that they're constantly hungry.

When Saturn transits in Leo our egos take a beating as we head back to the drawing board with creative projects or deal with childhood issues.  Our light dims, especially when Saturn conjuncts a Leo Sun, and we feel like our 15 minutes of fame have ended abruptly.  Why? We ask, when we were enjoying the our time in the spotlight acting our latest personal dramas, as if anyone actually cares.  When Saturn transits in Leo, reality bites and we need to do a lot of work on ourselves, practice generosity and get off our trip already.

People born with Saturn in Leo might lack self-confidence or feel like their stage mothers entered them in another beauty contest.  Life feels like one drawn out competition after another or an audition for a reality television show. However, Saturn in Leo tells us that creating art takes hard work and a degree of responsibility.  Sometimes we have to work harder to get our lights to shine and those hard luck lessons in childhood give us the grit we need to succeed in a competitive environment.  Sometimes we have to wait tables until the big Hollywood break shows up.  Think of that as a metaphor.

When Saturn transits in Virgo we all become insomniacs desperate for a good night's sleep.  Our minds race around, working out math problems or some analysis of the news.  We feel like Mr. and Mrs. Fix-It at 2:00 a.m. and decide to solve all the world problems in one night. Or we want to change our children, spouses or friends and during those insomniac hours we scheme our interventions.  Or perhaps we put ourselves on an improvement plan starting with finding a sleep aid that shuts off the chattering mind.

People born with Saturn in Virgo would make excellent accountants provided they don't take their problems home with them.  They bring discipline to the work place, solve problems, and generally are hard workers, though some fall prey to workaholism, especially if they work from the home.  They want to fix you and fix the problems in the world, but they do this more from a place of analytical thought, and not necessarily compassion.  They believe that we are all here on the planet to serve in some way and if we don't serve then we will suffer for our selfishness. Puritans? Possibly, but they do want to make the world more liveable for everyone.

When Saturn transits in Libra, it's possible that marriages or business partnerships will break up, but not if both partners use integrity and work out a win-win compromise.  Saturn asks us to bring greater balance to all areas of our lives and to take full responsibility for our contributions to others.  People could find themselves in court during this time or dealing with lawyers in some way, usually but not always, divorce lawyers.  This is also a good time to take care of the physical body because beauty comes from the inside out and if we don't radiate health beauty soon fades.

Cary Grant
People with Saturn in Libra bring a realistic attitude to marriage and would make excellent marriage partners if they don't allow the other person to walk all over them.  They are willing to compromise to keep peace, but they can also act passive aggressive or just plain aggressive like a father figure on steroids.  For this one, I see an image of Father Knows Best, or I see Cary Grant dressed in an uptight suit acting civil but angry underneath the collar.  Anger management might be a problem, but it's more likely that Saturn in Libra will repress anger with a pretty smile on the face as they hiss, "have a nice day" to you.

When Saturn transits in Scorpio, as it is currently doing, we uncover dirty, dark secrets and we have a tendency to shame others, even our pets. Have you seen all those shame the cat and dog videos on YouTube? Yikes! Don't humans have anything better to do than to video their dogs or cats caught in the act? Turn your video devices to corporate executives caught in the act instead and let Fido and Fluffy off the hook.  So your dog peed in the house or your husky ate your couch? It happens.

Seriously, there appears to be more surveillance during this time with hidden cameras on buses, on streets, in buildings, and hopefully not in our homes as we try to catch the culprit.  We uncover secrets but we don't know what to do with the secrets once we have them.  We toss them from journalist to lawyer to advocate like a hot potato that leaves third degree burns on hands.  I guess we could use the words red-handed.  But with Saturn in Scorpio we can use this information to change political and economic policies and that is the point of Saturn in Scorpio.

People born with Saturn in Scorpio sneak around like spies, watching our every move and twitch of our mouths.  Ah, hah! They whisper, "Did you see that expression in that man's eyes? He's guilty." These folks uncover those things we hide from others and especially those psychological traps we hide from ourselves. They watch us in silence like a fox hiding in the brush to see what we'll do next.  Saturn in Scorpio natives also might have hangups around sex and reproduction.  They might wish to procreate but at the same time worry about overpopulation, conservation and climate change. They tend to think on the dark side and could use more Sagittarius and Jupiter types to help them lighten up.  Hey, guys, look the black clouds have disappeared.

When Saturn in Sagittarius we turn our eyes towards religion, either to philosophize about why it doesn't work for us any longer or to poke fun at religious figures.  We do this because religion frightens us and we feel confined by its dogma and structure.  Sagittarius doesn't like any kind of confinement and prefer to write their only religious text based on far out philosophies.  We could see issues around drinking alcohol and liver disease or problems with overeating and therefore new fad diets that disappear after 2 1/2 years because they were based on pie-in-the-sky ideals.  We could see Saturn types develop a robust sense of humor that also disappears after 2 1/2 years.  Oh, darn.

When people are born with Saturn in Sagittarius they bounce back in forth between Jupiter and Saturn energies--sober and serious one minute, ribald the next.  They don't want to take life too seriously, but when they don't take life seriously, Saturn kicks them in the butt.  Their marriages end in divorce, they lose their job because their boss didn't take them seriously.  But they don't care because life is an adventure. So they get married again or sail the world or they decide to work for themselves and they make their own religion.  Out of all the Saturn placements, this group bounces back from hardship the quickest and it always feels like a Saint Patrick's Day parade.  Jolly ho!

When Saturn transits in Capricorn I give you three guesses about who's the boss.  We examine structures in all areas of our life and tests them for strength and durability.  Those of us with strong work ethics and integrity get ahead as if happy karma smiles upon us.  This is a time like no other to reap what we sow and that includes what we sow in personal relationships.  We also might explore issues with father figures and authority in general.  We might opt for a more conservative government along the lines of saving money and natural resources.  We also deal more with fears and limited thinking as we clean up the mess left behind from Saturn in Sagittarius transit.

People with Saturn in Capricorn leans towards conservatism and could be workaholics.  They're the career person who has little time for family life and therefore family members usually only see the backside of this Saturn native as they head out to work with laptop or briefcase in hand.  Still, we must not forget that their work and earnings are their contributions to the family. They're not about affection, hugs and kisses or come cuddle with me, which acts as a detriment to them.

These folks need to remember to drink enough water, stop to eat healthy meals, and spend quality time with loved ones. You only have this one life as who you are now so make the best of it and stop working already and take a vacation in Mexico or somewhere hot enough to melt those black clouds hanging around your head and shoulders.  I would love to see these folks wearing Hawaiian shirts and singing "Tiny Bubbles" to Don Ho records.

When Saturn transits in Aquarius the key word is rebellion of all sorts. This is when the teens act up and young adults buck authority figures and thumb their noses at anyone who thinks they're smarter than they are.  This is James Dean on a motorcycle looking cool with no place to go.  This is Marilyn Monroe flipping her skirt up on the Avenue of the Stars. This is scenes from To Sir with Love or Star Trek as we venture off into the final frontier.  When Saturn transits in Aquarius we start thinking in futuristic what-if scenarios and we forget to live in the here and now where real solutions reside if only we could jump out of the box.

People with Saturn in Aquarius might appear conservative and well-dressed on the outside, but you can bet they're wearing polka dot socks or clown underwear underneath business attire.  Or they show up with blew streaks in their hair or tattoos in an office environment.  But they're brilliant and talented so the boss puts up with it.  They're always the odd person out, the one with the faraway look in their eyes, rivaled by Saturn in Pisces whose eyes can outdistance them.  But they have their pulse on the future and they probably have you figured out too.

Finally, finally, we arrive at Saturn in Pisces.  When Saturn transits in Pisces we want to dissolve structure. We have grown tired of effort and hard work and we prefer to go off to a mountain cave and meditate.  At this point, we surrender to a Higher Power whether that takes place in a AA group or on a mountain we just climbed.  Saturn in Pisces, well, that's a cosmic joke isn't it? And I was born with this cosmic joke in my chart.

People born with Saturn in Pisces go from total realism to magic realism within a paragraph.  You might take them seriously until they start talking about how clouds remind them of fishes swimming downstream or they start talking about how you remind them of a medieval knight they knew in a past life.  Or maybe they invite you to sing with dolphins or dance under trees.  Okay, so I'm poking fun at myself too.  Saturn in Pisces natives dream and they fantasize a lot.  They love manifesting their desires and helping others to see the realm of possibilities.  While Saturn wants to limit and build structure, Pisces won't have any of that.  These folks would rather join a monastery than the corporate world, but they'll do what's required of them up to a point, then it's off to the Caribbean to sing with dolphins.  And really, isn't this what everyone wants? I know I do.

The Jetsons

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Weighs Heavily on the Heart--A Gaze at Sobering Saturn, Part 1

photo by Patricia Herlevi
Poor magnificent Saturn earned a reputation as a malefic thanks to ancient astrologers who saw Mars, Saturn and other planets as "bad luck" planets.  However, Saturn might seem like a planet of hard luck, hard work, and no fun.  It comes off as Cinderella before the ball and before the prince as she scrubbed ashes off the floor or Snow White when she was abandoned in the deep woods as an infant.  True enough the early years for Saturn types (Saturn Sun, Moon, Rising, 10th House Capricorn, 10th House Sun or stellium of planets in Capricorn) require patience, determination and grit.

Astrologer Donna Cunningham delved into a special Saturn type group born between 1988 and 1990 when Uranus, Saturn and Neptune formed a triple conjunction in Capricorn.  Any child born during the late fall and early winter of those years could have up to seven  planets in Capricorn.  Visit Donna's blog for more details.    Liz Greene wrote the fabulous book,  Saturn, A New Look at an Old Devil and astrologer Stephen Forrest was born under the sign of Capricorn.

Saturn reminds us of diamonds in the rough that with the right polishing become sparkling jewels.  Capricorn and Saturn types believe (maybe too strongly) that nothing in life is worthwhile unless you worked hard to achieve that goal.  In a country with a strong puritanical work ethic, Saturn types come across as heroes as they roll up their sleeves and work 50 to 60 hour weeks to build software or real estate empires.  The downside of this Saturn work ethic is that too much work causes health problems and Saturn types have a difficult time receiving gifts from others.  They feel that they have to pay off a debt to someone for showering them with kindness.  Kindness without strings seems foreign to Saturn types.  Capricorns have confessed to me that they enjoy giving to others and their communities but receiving is so hard for them. They attach guilt to the generosity of others, as if these hard workers don't deserve a few kudos now and again.  Come on, Saturn, lighten up.

We often hear about the Saturn return especially when we're fast approaching it as we rush through our twenties like bulls in the streets of Pamplona.  Saturn frowns on the rashness of youth and forces us to grow up, mature and develop during a two and a half year period that takes place between age 28 and 30, though my Saturn Return lasted until I was 32 years old.  For some folks (those with a lesser degree of Saturn in their chart), they get married, buy a house, and commit to a real career, as opposed to a job around this time.  Those with stronger Saturn in their natal chart or who didn't get Saturn's lessons prior to the return, experience sickness, accidents (especially if aspects of Mars and Uranus are involved), divorce if they married early, a unemployment or an identity crisis because they were fulfilling other people's needs instead of their own.

A Saturn Return is not a punishment nor is it a curse from a malefic planet.  At some point in our youth, we face this initiation which brings us into the maturity of adulthood.  I suppose this would feel like a struggle for Aries and Aquarius types since Aries prefers to hang onto youth and race around and Aquarius rebels against anything that smells like authority, including their own inner authority.  I know as a Cancerian, my Saturn Return dragged me by the hair as I whined and complained about the losses I experienced, including my health.  However, this loss of health led me to alternative medicine, environmental advocacy, and green architecture.  I embarked on a spiritual path to find myself and gained wisdom along the way so I love Saturn now.

Another transit that takes place every 28 1/2 to 30 years is when Saturn conjuncts the Natal Sun.  We don't hear about this transit as often as we hear about the Saturn Return, but this Saturn-Sun conjunction brings up its own issues including delays in gratification, divorce (if a marriage is unworkable), job loss (if it's not the right path) and on a physical level, we lack vitality at this time.  We might even work too hard because we feel like the losses we experience are caused by laziness.  People often suffer from depression during this period, feeling that life is too heavy and hopeless.  Then Saturn moves on to the next sign and the clouds suddenly lift.

Saturn opposite Saturn brings up brings opposition in the form of delays, a difficult boss-employer, or some type of health challenge involving the structure of our bodies.  But these challenges act like polish to the diamond that causes the jewel to sparkle.  Saturn reminds us that our efforts bring lasting value and even legacy.  I'm thinking of James Dean's chart with Saturn and Mercury in the house of career (10th House).  Even though this actor died at the age of 24 and he only starred in three movies (see chart exploration in the tab on top of the blog), his legacy lives on sixty years later.

Those of us born with Sun, Moon or Rising sign in water signs are experiencing either a conjunction with Saturn in Scorpio or trines.  Scorpios experience the conjunction and would do well to read the information I gave on Saturn-Sun conjunction.  Pisces and Cancers ride the waves and reap the rewards of your past efforts now.  Taurus experiences the opposition until Saturn transits into Sagittarius in late December, but Capricorns and Virgos experience a lovely sextile where they also reap the rewards of their past efforts.

I caution those of us experiencing the flowing aspects to practice integrity in our personal and business lives or experience Saturn's wrath when the planet squares, conjuncts or squares our natal Suns.  Remember that many astrologers connect Saturn with karma with the belief of what we sow we reap.  So even if you feel like a lucky devil at this point, moving upward in your career, remember to be kind, generous and honest with those you encounter.  You'll want that generosity returned when you experience challenging aspects with Saturn down the road.  What goes around comes around and with Saturn it comes around eventually, when we least expect it.

In Part 2 of A Gaze at Sobering Saturn, we will explore Saturn in the 12 Signs of the Zodiac.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ignite Compassion--When Planets Transit in Pisces

Neptune appears to be on my radar again along with Pisces and planets currently transiting in this Zodiac sign.  Neptune and Pisces represent a double-edged sword and this planetary energy proves challenging to master, let alone find balance.  And of course with the North Node now in Libra, achieving balance in all ways possible remains our focus for the next year and a half.

Pisces and Neptune represent the endpoint of the Zodiac, where we either transcend into Spiritual Oneness or we jump back to the beginning to Aries where we embark on another warrior quest.  Those folks (less than the other Zodiac Signs since the Pisces Sun transit is the shortest), come to the planet with a mission of spreading compassion and teaching deep spirituality.  However, the Pisces' journey itself focuses on experiences of deep soul transformation because how can you teach compassion to others if you don't have it for yourself? The initiation comes in the form of a variety of addictions, a feeling of helplessness and victimhood on the way to empowerment.

You see Neptune is foggy and wants to dissolve everything it touches.  Pisces and Neptune live in the world, but only participate up to a certain level, unless mental illness or emotional illness offers an escape route.  Pisces can and will make excuses for its lack of structure and its refusal to join a playing field of time-space reality because Neptune and Pisces lives beyond time-space reality.  This is why so many Pisces born people come to the earth with amazing psychic gifts. This is why you see those young Pisceans walking around the garden talking to spirits you can't see, but are more real to those children than you are.

Pisces and Neptune both long for freedom to transcend, to dream, to fantasize, to bring love and compassion to the world.  As children, they dream of becoming monks or nuns, they connect with prophets of the past and can even get caught up with false prophets and promises of our own age.  They must be careful because they are easily deceived which can lead to emotional imbalance and mental illness or addiction.  Anyone who has a Pisces Sun or Moon for instance would be wise to stay away from alcohol, drugs or co-dependent relationships since these act as downfalls.

However, many Pisces who have taken the journey of addiction and emerged on the other side of it grow into powerful counselors, therapists and healers because they exude compassion and they know firsthand the suffering they see in others.

So let's look at three planets in Pisces: Sun, Chiron and Neptune.  When the Sun is in Pisces, everyone feels compassion more deeply even if they ignore the stirrings in their heart center.  This could also be a time where the heart cracks open to allow more Divine Love in, such as in the case of a heart attack or even artery blockage.  This could show up in memories of broken relationships that call for healing now.  This could show up in taking up a cause to help people less fortunate such as homeless people or children with disabilities or animal advocacy causes.  But this could also lead people to listen to spiritual radio shows, start a coaching practice or take courses in energy healing. For some Neptune types this could represent a time of going on a spiritual retreat, learning sound healing or playing music for healing purposes.

The Sun spends a short time in Pisces and then it transits into fiery Aries where we forget about some of the lessons we learned about compassion or we don't use the Aries energy to pioneer new healing modalities or programs to help and heal others.  We become self-absorbed again often when the Sun is in Aries and we lose track on our spiritual path, but if we stay mindful we can use the starter energy Aries provides to make a real difference in the world.

When Chiron is in Pisces, those born with this transit tend to feel invisible and insignificant.  This is a psychic wound and not actual reality.  When children grow up with Chiron in Pisces, they might suffer from foot problems and also lack secure footing in the world.  They might feel like they're floating through life or they don't see their gifts because they're stuck in self-pity or addiction of one kind or another.  Now with Chiron's current transit in Pisces (a long transit) people born with this transit experience a Chiron Return so they get to revisit wounds from childhood to resolve what we can and accept what we can't change.

When Neptune transits in Pisces we reach a crossroads where we either develop deeper spiritual understanding which leads to awakening or we get lost in a fog of addiction and distractions.  This is where we are on the planet right now, at this crossroads where we have a choice to either live in denial or to give ourselves a deep healing and house cleaning of the soul.  We can choose either love or fear by either facing ourselves in the mirror or getting lost on the internet or other people's drama.  I hope that we choose spiritual transcendence and bring balance to the planet through the eyes of compassion.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cardinals Marching On--Forecast for March 2014

photo by Patricia Herlevi, Late Winter
Since it's pouring rain outside with wind gust up to 50 miles per hour, I'm sitting cozy in front of my laptop.  So what a great time to write about March's transits.  If you're now used to the planets lighting up like a Christmas tree, you're in for no surprises in March.  I will say that I don't see the tension from the past two months easing as far as, the need to move ahead and the retrograde planets putting up stop signs.  The good news is Mercury goes Direct on February 28, but Mars goes retrograde on March 1st and goes direct again on May 20.

I realize the retrograde planets (Venus, Jupiter, Mercury then Mars and Saturn) have tried our patience, but think of these retrogrades as gifts that slow us down and help us to reassess before moving forward with plans.  Jupiter goes direct again on March 6, but Saturn goes retrograde on March 2nd so that first week might feel like a roller coaster ride--hang on to your hats.  If you follow the asteroids of micro-astrology, Ceres, Pallas and Vesta are also moving backwards in March.

We of course start out with the Sun in compassionate Pisces where it stays until its transit into Aries on March 21st--the first day of spring or the Equinox.  Mercury backtracks through Aquarius and transits back into Pisces on March 18 and then is out of the retrograde shadow on March 22nd. Venus starts the month off with a square to Mars in Libra, then Venus transits into Aquarius on the 6th.  At the first part of the month we also experience an Air Trine with Mercury in Aquarius and Mars in Libra, which is exact on March 15.  That will give us intellectual space which we can balance with the Sun in Pisces, Jupiter in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio and Chiron in Pisces.

During the first the first two weeks of the month, until March 13, Chiron in Pisces sextiles Pluto in Capricorn so we are able to take our recent transformational experiences and bring wisdom to them.   We will also experience a wide trine between Jupiter and Chiron which will bring both wisdom and healing, though we will find ourselves accepting our deeper wounds on some level that will bring us wisdom and maturity.  On March 4th we will experience a conjunction with the Sun and Chiron exact at 13 degrees which will leave us feeling compassion for ourselves and others.

The ongoing Uranus-Pluto square tightens so that the planets are two degrees orb apart (Aries-Capricorn) forming  T-Cross with Jupiter in Cancer.  The big fireworks will show up in April.  So I feel that we will see more of the same issues in the news.  With Mars in Libra and the North Node in Libra, I'm already seeing a campaign on Linked In against domestic violence.  I'm also seeing on YouTube and other sources a concern for all this labeling of diseases, conditions and allergies with children.

Yes, we need to clean up the food industry so that we don't expose ourselves or children to toxic food and yes, we need to address food allergies, but stop labeling children as allergic to this or that.  A few years ago while I was participating at a health fair, a young girl around 9 or 10 years of age walked up to me and instead of telling me her name and her age, she said, "Hi, I have ADD."  This child over identified with this condition that nothing else seemed to matter.  And yet, doctors, school teachers and parents keep playing this game with children--pin the label on your forehead, so to speak.

These are the types of issues we will deal with food security, healthy food, healthy water, creating healthier communities, dealing with government injustice such as passing a farm bill that cuts food programs to unemployed and other people in need.  If these issues are not addressed in a dignified matter and soon, I hope that we don't end up with angry mobs on the streets.  People have the right to eat and starvation is not an option in a developed nation or any nation.  With Jupiter in Cancer, immigration issues will also remain on the radar, but probably will grow in intensity in April.  (We will get to April in a later post, however, it isn't all doom and gloom, I have seen some glimmers of hope in the watery planet aspects).

If you have Cardinal planets between 10 and 14 degrees, keep an eye on the transits for Pluto, Uranus, and Jupiter in March.  If you have Cardinal planets between 22 and 27 degrees keep an eye on the North Node and Mars in Libra.  For you fixed signs, Saturn will be retrograde from 23 to 22 degrees and Mercury backtracks through Aquarius 18 to 29 degrees the first half of the month.  The biggest concern for mutable signs are Neptune at 5 and 6 degrees Pisces and Chiron at 13 to 15 degrees Pisces.

I hope I covered all the important transits.  Perhaps, March will feel a little lighter than January and February, especially with the Spring Equinox.  But the Sun in Aries during the last week of the month is going to want to push ahead and Mars in Libra in retrograde motion is going to say, nope, sorry, turn back and rethink and reassess your plan of action.  Saturn will also go retrograde so we will feel like we have less energy to complete projects and we slow down.  On that note, enjoy the emergence of spring and the last of winter.  Take time to watch the leaves budding on the trees and the earth coming back to life.  You will definitely have time to stop and smell the roses in March, metaphorically speaking. I would also advise envisioning the world you would like to see and ask your higher self what steps you can take now to manifest such a world.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Spotlight on Mars in Libra RX (March & April)

Surface of Mars, Wikipedia

(I don't normally focus on the personal planets, but lately these planets have been creating major planetary events such as Venus in Capricorn for over 6 weeks and Mars in Libra for a stay of 7 months.  These planets have also entangled themselves in T-Crosses and Grand Crosses, as you will see coming up and have already experienced in recent months.  The personal planets have captured my attention for these reasons).

Since I already posted an article on the entire Mars in Libra transit ending in July 2014, I'm focusing only on the Mars in Libra transit while the Sun is in Pisces and Aries for this article.  You can go to

I'm actually picking up a gigantic theme of Balance for March and April with Mars and the North Node in Libra.  When the Sun and Mercury travel through Pisces we will experience a softer effect,. maybe too soft doling out compassion without discernment, not that compassion is ever bad, but we could feel ourselves getting sucked into a vacuum of other people's neediness leading to psychic burnout.  When the Sun and Mercury transit in Aries, the Mars in Libra will oppose bringing out the theme of balance between the saint and the warrior, but also bringing with it frustration.  Anyone playing passive-aggressive games at this point might find themselves on the other end of abuse and violence.  Watch out for any of these games playing out in the subconscious level and you do this by watching other people's reaction to you.

If you point the finger enough at passive-aggressive people or those who micromanage the people in their lives, then you can bet you're also doing this on some level.  Now is a good time to use other people as mirrors that reflect our own behavior back to us. This takes a great deal of honesty and integrity. This reminds me of Carlos Castaneda's books about the impeccable warrior. That's what Mars asks of us when it transits in Libra and the retrograde motion allows us to travel back in time and track our mode of operation behavior.  Remember though that we have a choice of how we behave now even if we were less than impeccable in the past.  We all have this challenge placed in front of us and for 7 months if we look at the entire Mars in Libra transit.  It wouldn't hurt to re-read Castaneda's or Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist and The Pilgrimage.

We start off March with the Mars retrograde (from day one) at 27 degrees which conjuncts the North Node in Libra at 29 degrees.  The orb isn't exact, but we will feel it until the 22nd and the Sun moves into Aries on March 21st and Mercury moves into Pisces on March 18th so that will bring up themes of compassion and discernment.  Mercury is still in the shadow of the February retrograde until March 22nd so mark that date on your calendar and see what types of stories surface at this time as well as, events in your life.

water and ice on Mars, Wikipedia
Also the first week of March (and this is significant), Venus at 26 degrees Capricorn squares Mars in Libra, until March 6, when Venus transits into Aquarius after a long stay in the Cardinal Sign Capricorn.  Libra rules Venus and here Venus squares Mars in Libra.  This tells me again that we must focus on balance.  How do we balance our personal lives? How do we balance the way we approach the opposite sex or even the same sex? Issues involving divorce settlements could come up for some of you and also take good care of your kidneys and skin at this time since Libra rules the kidneys and Capricorn the skin.  There might also be problems with kidney stones from too much calcium leaching from bones due to a poor diet.  Did you know that consumption of too much animal protein leaches calcium from bones which leads to kidney stones and thinning of bones?

I wouldn't be surprised if kidney disease and other related illnesses make the news headlines the first week of March. Kidneys represent balance on esoteric and physical levels.  So is it a wonder that Libra rules kidneys.  With Mars in Libra, there could even be a problem with bladder and kidney infections that result in high fevers so pay attention to balance.  Eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of purified water, and take herbs to keep your body in balance.  March would be a good time for a physical too.  I would do that at the beginning of the month.  The other area we'll see in the news is cosmetic surgery for teeth with Mars in Libra and for some of this, it goes back to the ego of not feeling attractive enough.  Stop already.

Mars and Earth comparison, Wikipedia
At the end of March, Mars in Libra trines Venus in Aquarius, starting on March 27 so this will help us think clearly about how we create balance in our lives.  We will also see humanitarians in the news speaking about justice or environmental issues (Venus representing the earth).

On April Fool's Day, the Moon in Aries opposes Mars.  From March 6 to the 12th, the Sun in Aries squares Mars leading to a battle of wills and egos exploding (could be some violent acts).  This will grow more tense as Jupiter, Uranus, Pluto and Mars form a Grand Square/Cross in April (but we'll get to this later when I write the forecast for April).

So for now, seek balance in every aspect of your life.  Contribute to ways to create balance in your community and the world.  What can you do to relieve the earth of our human impact in the form of pollution and over consumption of natural resources? What do you need to live a satisfying life and what could you do without? How many cell phones do you need? How many gadgets do you need? Did you know that those gadgets are made from minerals extracted from the earth and usually on the lands of indigenous people who are trying to live in balance with the earth? And did you know that a life of multitasking is a life out of balance and according to Dr. Deepak Chopra, destroys your brain?

With Mars in Libra, let's put our relationships with others first ahead of distracting technology.  And let's take a good look out in the world and see where our love and compassion are most needed.  So get off the phone, roll up your sleeves and make a difference in balancing the forces on the planet.

Forecast for March coming up later this week.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Game Changers--Iconoclastic Winter Signs

So often the winter signs, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces receive a bad rap or people completely misunderstand these three signs.  Capricorn is seen as all business and no pleasure, Aquarius is seen as icy and aloof, and Pisces as seen as victims or addicts.  However, if you look at historic people and celebrities with these Sun Signs (also Moon and Rising Signs) you will find a list of game changers.

Perhaps part of the problem lies with the drabness of the winter months.  Most of us who aren't into winter sports or enjoy snow fall, would just as well skip over this dormant and gray season.  It's too cold, the heating bills are too high, and everyone stays indoors so we have trouble meeting new people.  We see images of people wearing scarves over half their faces or just looking miserable with a head cold. Yeah, real happy images.

The three signs represent the qualities, Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable as well as the elements, Earth, Air and Water.  Cardinal signs initiate change and that's exactly what Capricorn does on the Winter Solstice (Summer Solstice if you're in the Southern Hemisphere).  Where I live, Capricorn brings in the deep freeze, causes everything to go magically dormant, but this gives us time to re-structure our lives.  This is a good time to draw up that business plan, promote your business or your projects, network in your business community, secure loans, and plan ahead.

And for those of you who find Capricorn stodgy, consider these Capricorn people who acted as game changers: Marlene Dietrich, Elvis Presley, Diane Keaton, David Bowie, Michael Stipe, Federico Fellini, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Canadian filmmaker Francois Girard.  Each in his or her own way, these Capricorns revolutionized their industry or community. They brought innovations especially with structure or took their craft into a surprising direction.  Often we mistake these Capricorns for Aquarius natives because they step outside of the box and think in a futuristic way.  They are often ahead of their time because Capricorn is slow to develop with Saturn as their ruling planet.  Here you have late-bloomers, especially with Capricorn AC folks and you have hard workers who take years to master their craft.  But in the end their work endures the test of time, also Saturn.

Following Capricorn, futuristic Aquarius steps into the spotlight.  And oddly, not all Aquarius people appear as radical thinkers touting purple hair and strange footwear.  A man or woman in a business suit could very well have an Aquarius Sun Sign or even Rising Sign.  There are different ways of rebelling against society and some Aquarius people don't take the rebellion route and instead forge a path in the scientific or academic fields.

While Aquarius lacks the deep compassion of Pisces or the solid structure of Capricorn, Aquarius hangs out in the realm of air and thought.  They think their way to solutions instead of emoting and falling into the trap of victim. If we would give them a spiritual label, it would fall closer to Buddhism since Aquarius isn't likely to follow the path of the martyr as with Christianity for instance. Aquarius also has no time for playing the victim role and most likely will leave the room if people wax melodrama.  That drama interferes with clearheaded thinking which Aquarius needs in buckets full.

People born under Aquarius include: Geena Davis (who even spells her name different), Oprah Winfrey (innovated talk shows while delving into far out spiritual topics), Abraham Lincoln (do I need to say more?), Susan B. Anthony (women's rights), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and rebel without a cause, James Dean, to name a few.

Finally, you're probably wondering how Pisces, a mutable water sign acts as a game-changer.  Consider that the Surrealist filmmaker Luis Bunuel (Pisces Sun). Other game changer Pisces include: Anais Nin (author), Albert Einstein (scientist), Frederick Chopin (composer), Maurice Ravel (composer), and Audrey Hepburn (Pisces Moon).

Most of these game changers revolutionized movies, books, and music by dissolving old structure and playing upon our subconscious minds.  Even Einstein paid attention to his dreams to come up with his formulas and theories, Audrey Hepburn enchanted us with her unique beauty and soulful eyes while Anais Nin dissolved old storytelling structure by blurring the lines between dreams and reality, which is also what Luis Bunuel did with his movies.  Ravel and Chopin provided alternatives to the big musical sound of the romantic era and post romantic era composer with their smaller chamber works. Chopin only composed for a single instrument, the piano, but created music so complex you could easily get lost in it.

This winter reflect upon the cycle of game changing and see how these signs cause you to toss out the old and bring in the new.  Even in winter when it seems like the entire world has gone dormant, much growth happens underneath the surface and pops out like crocuses in March from the snowy ground.  Also don't make the mistake that someone revolutionizing an industry is Aquarius.  Consider Capricorn and Pisces too since all three of these signs works together as a whole.  Capricorn brings the structure, Aquarius the innovation and Pisces brings compassion and the big dreams.  Think of it like a sustainable house. Aquarius brings the innovative ideas, Capricorn brings the building material, and Pisces brings the vision and compassion to be kind to the earth.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Meaningful Outer Planet Transits Lead to Mastership

Archangel Gabriel, Wikipedia
We are all on a spiritual path whether we choose to believe this or not.  The outer planet placements at this time represent no accident and in fact, this is our initiation period from novice to Master with a capital M.  We can complain, experience trembling knees and listen to our hearts racing as we journey through the current planetary configurations of Grand Crosses, change of nodes, eclipses and that Uranus-Pluto square which I know is driving some of you to the brink of madness.  But we would be fools not to listen to the message of the planets because face it, this planet is on the brink of total collapse unless we wake up and stop playing games.  These words sound harsh, but please understand, they come from a compassionate heart in communication with Divinely loving Spiritual Forces.

Jupiter in Cancer is not about striking luck in the real estate market or any other mundane manifestation Cancer natives dream of at this time.  Jupiter in Cancer is about learning self-love, nurturing others, healing the food industry, and making sure that every human and creature on this planet is fed well with healthy food choices and not the trash/poison passed off as "real food".  Jupiter leaves Cancer and moves into Leo this July, so we had better get cracking with this.

At the time I write this post, the US Government has passed the Farm Bill which eliminates or begins to, an important program that feeds millions of Americans living below the poverty line, that's one out of every seven Americans without access to food in the future of this country.  And that is unacceptable in my book since I am a Cancer native who believes in feeding the world and because I'm also one out of seven Americans enrolled in this program now (truth be known).

Saturn in Scorpio represents regeneration of structure and industries, this includes every industry on the planet.  Saturn in Scorpio tells us that we need to clean up and destroy what's no longer working in the favor of the majority. This means a dismantling of the current economy, medical system, food system, and how we treat one another.  Scorpio rules sex, tax, death, transformation, other people's resources, big government and big industry as well as the medical field, especially research, biotech and all of that. Saturn rules wisdom, integrity, structure, constriction, contraction, bones, skin, connective tissue, elders, teachers, and in a sense cycles of time.

Kali, Hindu Goddess of Creation & Destruction
And to further emphasize those themes Pluto (Scorpio's planet) transits in Capricorn (Saturn's sign) telling us that we must destroy the old way of being and rise from the ashes into a new sustainable way of living on the planet.  We have much healing to do and we must act ruthless in what we cut out of our lives to make way for the new, but to translate this as taking food away from the poor, is not the message here.  We need to heal our wounded hearts and allow light and compassion to seep in through the cracks and this might just mean blessing our so-called enemies.  Why? If you curse something or someone you don't allow this decay and destruction to occur. You can not dismantle with aggressive force, but with the power of love, compassion and forgiveness.  There, I said it. We cannot play the same wicked game of those who steal power and the truth be told, we all have inner power that no one can steal without our permission.  We all have Pluto in our chart and those of you experience direct Pluto transits right now are given a gift.  Take back your power already.

Uranus in Aries (and he's staying there for 9 years instead of the usual 7) has to do with the Spiritual Warrior.  The Spiritual Warrior stands up for Truth and Justice and uses spiritual tools to achieve those missions.  Led by Indigo and Crystal children now adults, and some much older adults must get their Truth into the world now with the help of Spiritual Forces (Angels, Spirit Guides, and Ancestors).  Don't complain or rant, but speak up in a forum and share your ideas with others.  The Spiritual Warrior is not a wimp, but a true leader who might feel incapable of leading. Think Moses with his speech impediment, Yeshua, born in a manger, Joan of Arc, a medieval woman peasant with no training in in warfare or Saint Francis of Assisi who gave all his possessions away to prove that materialism enslaves most people.

But don't mistake this for another us verses them scenario.  I think with Uranus in Aries we combine spirituality with grassroots activism in a way that serves all people or at least the greatest number.  This is about healing wounds (ours and others) and despite those wounds transforming our lives into a work of beauty. When you see something unfair in the world, stand up and speak out, but not as complaints, but with solutions you are inspired to share.  With Aries, where there's a will there is a way and we don't need to burn the city down to birth a new world.

Archangel Gabriel, Wikipedia
Finally, with Neptune transiting in Pisces, we need to heal our addiction and harness the power of music and sound vibration to bring wholeness to the world.  Slip out of illusions and delusions and get a reality check.  When I say reality check, I'm not talking about adopting a cynical attitude and siding with the negative naysayers who scoff at anything spiritual. Spiritual is reality. Unity Consciousness is Reality.  Merging with the Divine and Sacred is reality.  Let's move past our darkness into the rainbow light of reality, out of the fog into clear thinking as we shape this world into something more aligned with harmony, compassion, peace and joy.  Give up all that dark stuff of reading thrillers and murder mysteries and read spiritual literature instead.  If you don't want to see more violence in the world, stop supporting violent music, media and movies.  Replace that with sound healing, prayer, meditation, yoga, or other spiritual practices on a daily basis and Transcend the chaos.

This ends the message of these outer planets.  I hope you hear the message and pass it on to your friends and colleagues.

All images from Wikipedia

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Alchemy and the Elements

photo by Patricia Herlevi
So often when we think of astrology, we focus mainly on the planets.  However, the elements of air, fire, water and earth play key roles in transforming our lives. Like any alchemist or magician, which we all are to an extent, we look at the attributes and qualities of each of the four elements.  We also get a deeper understanding of our natal chart configurations and planetary placements when we dive deeper into the elements.  This gives us further understanding of relating to the other signs, or elements missing from our natal charts.  For instance, I have no planets in the element of fire, but plenty in water, and limited access to the earth and air elements.

I believe that Oprah Winfrey has no planets in water (I would need to double check), but plenty of planets in air and fire.  Yet, with her delving into spiritual topics and showing empathy to her guests who she interviews, somewhere she developed water qualities.  Her wealth and lasting success has proven her mastering of the earth element as well.  Then we have someone like Mick Jagger, who seems like a man on fire.  He's Leo and he's mastered the creative fire element, but less so the emotional water element seems he hardly seems like an empathetic person willing to put someone else' needs first, which is a weakness of the fire element.

photo by Patricia Herlevi
So moving on, let's look at the each of the elements literally and metaphorically.  First up, the water element which runs the gamut from placid and still lake water to raging rivers and drenching waterfalls.  The water element represents emotions and as we know, just like water has a variety of attributes given the circumstances, emotions wear many colors from the red glow of anger to the Mr. Poison green of toxic envy, to the rosy tones of love and romance.  Water reflects those colors back to us as water mirrors our emotions.  Water has consciousness too as proven by the work of Dr. Masaru Emoto with water crystals exposed to words, emotions and music then frozen with pictures taken with high-speed photographic equipment.  Water tells the truth.

photo by Patricia Herlevi
Just like air, we need water to survive on this planet or any planet.  Life cannot exists without the four elements period. Think about that.  Yet, if we don't have enough water element we enter a desert period and if we have too much, our emotions act like a flood eventually bringing decay and mold to our lives.  A person with a lot of water in their chart must learn to master emotions, just like the air element needs to master thoughts and the power of words with intent.

The upside of water is that it cleanses us, replenishes us, heals our thirst, brings us comfort through peace or excitement through turbulence, which once in a while is necessary or life grows dull.  Water can fill up a lake or turn into steam when combined with fire, or storms when combined with air.  Water can flood the earth and destroy crops, just as a watery person can drown the enthusiasm of a fire person or bring on a pity party for the earth element.  Water clings, but water also flows.  Try drying your hair on a cold day, though the air element helps as does the fire element.

When I think of water, I think of frogs, fish, whales, riding a ferry or sailboats floating on the bay.  I think of that cool glass of water after a yoga workout or a long walk, sliding down my throat replenishing my muscles and organs.  In religious context, the Holy Spirit is equal to Holy Water.  People are baptized with water, not earth, fire or air.  We say that a salt water bath (earth and water) cleanses our auras and releases other people's energy that attached itself to us.

photo by Patricia Herlevi
Next let's look at the air element.  When I think of this element the phrase "Lightness of being" comes into my thoughts.  This is a playful element where insects and birds reside. It is the element for angels, clouds, fairies, and some of the elementals found in nature.  Think butterflies and dragonflies or ladybugs.  Think kites floating in the sky or hawks sailing on a breeze high above and detached from the world.

Air represents thought, words, and communication.  If you trap air it grows stale and useless. Air must flow which is why people with dominant air signs tend to flit from here to over there.  They detach from their emotions so that they can experience clear thought.  They innovate through curiosity asking themselves many questions that begin with "I wonder what would happen if..." These folks invent, innovate, and then communicate their ideas. 

But air brings on storms too when combined with water or fire.  Air doesn't combine with earth usually, yet, we need a certain amount of air in soil for plants to grow otherwise the soil is too heavy and compact.  The downside of air are tornadoes, windstorms, hurricanes, gossip, rumors, and lies in the news. There is wordplay that cuts like knives, cynicism from over thinking and over analyzing and not enough action, unless the fire element comes into play.  We also find dualism more dominant in the air element with Libra and Gemini going in two directions at once.  We get a lot of black and white thinking and over generalizations because those sound witty and air enjoys wits and a good puzzle to solve. 

Next let's look at the fire element which we know from forest fires and expanding deserts on the earth of the destructive side of this element.  But fire also represents the sun, heat in the winter months, light, warmth, comfort and enthusiasm. Fire rages, it burns, destroys, and turns to cinder.  On the other hand, fire in the form of the sun helps plant life grow and gives us a life force.  Fire inspired us, gives us enthusiasm and confidence.

Since I don't have any planets in fire, I'm actually having a difficult time coming up with scenarios.  The image of the hearth comes up, the bonfire in midwinter blazing away or the volcano losing its top. I think of lava lamps and real lava flowing in Hawaii.  I see lights and solar panels heating homes.  I see fireflies dancing on a summer night, but alternatively, I think of annoying fireworks, and over exuberant people who just seem loud and boisterous to me.

Finally, let's look at the earth element.  This element anchors us, keeps us grounded, centered and practical or dull, dreary and depressing.  Earth is dense, stubborn, and those with more water and air in their charts, find earth boring.  However, the Earth element keeps our heads in the reality of the day, helps us set up practical step-by-step plans so we can achieve our goals, puts food on the table, since this element also represents the hardworking farmer as well as, builders, and bankers, at least on the mundane level.

On the nature level, earth represents soil, sand, rock, gemstones, mountains, meadows, forests, as well as, flora.  The animals and humans make use of the earth to build shelter, grow food, and communities.  Earth brings us bounty in the form of food, but must be in balance with the other elements to grow this food and provide us with natural materials to build shelter.  We get our medicines originally from the earth and we get our practical wisdom from the air and earth elements plus the intuition from the water element.

The downside of this element are earthquakes, shifting poles, volcanic eruption along with the fire element, landslides, mudslides, desertification, and the human destruction of mining the earth for minerals and fossil fuels.  We say that we must live in balance with the earth which means we need to live in balance with all four elements.  Our natural resources and our survival are tied up in these elements.  So show gratitude, conserve, and live in balance no matter what elements dominate your natal charts.