Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Circle of Fortune--Exploring a Solar Return Chart

While we celebrate a collective New Year each year depending on our culture, each of us celebrates a personal new year every time our birthdays roll around.  On this day, we begin a new cycle determined by the new planetary alignment in the sky as the planets fall into the houses in our Natal Charts in the form of transits.

When our birthdays roll around we visit an astrologer who casts a Solar Return Chart for the upcoming birthday year.  While the Sun always returns to the exact degree of our births, the other planets land in different signs and directions while informing us of upcoming energies.  As I prepare to explore my own Solar Return Chart, I feel guided to share general insights.

As you already know, astrology transits feature cycles whether that is the shorter cycle of the Moon or a longer cycle of an outer planet.  For instance, the Moon travels through each Zodiac Sign every 28 days, but there are even longer Moon cycles such as the cycle between a Cancer Full Moon which lasts approximately 365 days.  A Jupiter cycle lasts 12 years and so on.  Mercury goes retrograde 3 times a year for around 3 to 4 weeks and the outer planets retrograde for 5 to 6 months.

Each birthday year or Solar Cycle (when the Sun returns to the Sign and degree when we were born) gives us an overview of potential events and situations for the upcoming year.  While I don't believe in using the Solar Return Chart as a fortune telling tool, some astrologers do and if the birth time on the chart is accurate, and the person experiences few changes overall in his or her life, those predictions could manifest.  However, most of the people reading this blog came here because they were or are experiencing transformation and shifts in their perspectives and lives so for you, I'll view the Solar Return Chart from a different angle.

photo by Patricia Herlevi
First things to look for is the signs of transiting planets.  For instance, I doubt anyone is experiencing a Sun, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter returns on the same day, which is their birthday.  So we first look at the transiting personal planets (and possibly the progressed planets too) in the Solar Chart and the houses where the transits occur.

Say a person was born with the Sun and Mercury in Cancer, but at the time of the Solar Return Mercury falls in Gemini retrograde.  And say, the person had Venus, Saturn and Neptune retrograde at birth and now experiences Pluto, Neptune, Saturn and Mercury in retrograde. Does this mean that the person can expect a quiet year or an introspective 12 year cycle of working less hard, but putting more effort into clear communication and relating to others on a deeper level?  Perhaps the lesson here is to stop going it alone and giving off an air of independence and accepting help or cooperation from others.  The lesson for the upcoming year (of yes, subtle transformation with Neptune and Pluto retrograde) is to reap harvest of previous discipline and hard work at building new structure (Saturn RX).

Also look at any planets transiting over the AC, MC or in angular houses (1, 4, 7 and 10) because those transits highlight personal identity either by conjunction, square or opposition, relationships/partnerships, home and career/public life for the next Solar Cycle (until the next birthday).  For instance, a client has transiting Saturn on the MC for the Solar year, then this client could expect either hard work of the past to finally pay off (especially if Saturn is retrograde which to me suggests past events) or feels that they have to work hard in the new cycle to build new structure that eventually brings career success.

Look for heavy hitters such as Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto transits in the Solar Chart by house placement, degree and aspects to Natal and transiting planets.  And don't gaze negatively at these transits and use the positive correspondence such as Mars represents drive and passion, Uranus represents change, freedom, innovation and liberation, Pluto represents transformation and coming into one's power and Saturn represents rewards from work and walking in integrity.  And if the client is older, hopefully they will have developed some mastership over these planets so the reading of the transits is positive.  Certainly that is a worthy mission of anyone using astrology as a tool for transformation.

Finally, do a simple breakdown of each of the Solar Return planets by sign and house to get an idea of how they will play out for the next year.  Create a story or play if you feel imaginative.  For instance, my Solar Moon falls in Leo (right after the New Moon in Cancer, so it's a waxing Moon in Leo, even better), Mercury falls in retrograde or trickster Gemini, Mars is in Libra, Venus is in Gemini, and so on.  So will my life feel comical with unexpected events that bring up Shakespeare's famous words about the world as a stage? Certainly I can expect a lot of chatter (in my mind and with others) that goes nowhere, but provides entertainment nonetheless.  Or perhaps I can expect harmless flirtation full of witty dialogue.  This already feels like a playful year with dinner parties, social gatherings and plenty of information getting passed around that might not survive discernment and investigation.

I could also look at the progressed planets and aspects between the Solar and progressed planets if I want to delve more deeply. Since I'm a workaholic, I'll probably do that.  However, even a trip through the personal planet transits in the Solar Chart, house placement and Solar planet aspects with Natal planets provides a clear picture and provides a map for the upcoming year.  This suffices for anyone who already experienced a shift or transformation or any client with a status quo year.

An astrologer will go more in depth with a client going through a major transit with Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune or Uranus. People born in the 1960s for instance are experiencing numerous outer planet transits at this time, people born in the late 1980s are dealing with Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries transits and there are other highlighted transit periods to look for which would suggests taking a deeper look at the Solar Return Chart instead of giving it a quick brush over.

I believe that a Solar Return Chart reading provides a client enough of information for the upcoming year to reap rewards, make wise choices and have faith that the outer planet transits promise transformation in the areas of their lives that correspond with the houses in their charts. I also like the idea of each Solar Return cycle acting as a rebirth or a fresh start.  Combine the reading with a personal ritual of letting go of events from the previous year, reassess life goals and toss out everything that no longer serves the new you.

I give astrology readings and intuitive coaching sessions (for artists, entrepreneurs and artisans) in Bellingham or online through e-mail reports.  If you're ready to use the transits to propel you into a deeper reality, sign up for a reading at Whole Music & Whole Astrology.  Please read the Whole Astrology page first for details.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Singleton Venus Memoir--Reflection of an Unaspected Retrograde Venus in the Sixth House

photography by Patricia Herlevi
Venus usually represents charm, diplomacy, romance and enjoying abundance.  She represents beauty, sexuality and sensuality, but a Singleton Venus transiting retrograde offers a new twist to an old story. I'll share my Venus story here knowing that many women relate to it.

Unaspected retrograde Venus affecting me in the following ways:

In my early childhood to adolescence I was a tomboy.  I played with dolls and other girl toys, but I also climbed trees, rode horses, played kickball and baseball with the neighborhood children.  I loved spending time outdoors though spring hay fever put a damper on that.  Venus in the 6th House which rules health and in my case respiratory health (Venus in Gemini) kept me indoors.  Doing housework worsened my allergies and I suffered from asthma too.  When I was ten, a boy pushed me off a table in art class, causing me to fracture my wrist (Gemini).

Photography by Patricia Herlevi
As a teen, I fantasized about dating boys I had crushes on, but I was too thin and shy to attract their attention.  They dated the Aphrodite types anyway.  I escaped into writing poetry, music, and eventually photography.  In my senior year of high school, I was a journalist and photographer for the school paper. Before I entered my senior year, I met a young woman at work (a tulip bulb factory) who was engaged to get married.  I told her about my situation with boys and she predicted that I would finally meet a partner in college, though that did not happen.  I encountered men who were attracted to me, but I didn't feel any attraction for them.  I took on an Artemis archetype by this point giving off an air of independence. I thought I would serve the world in some way (Venus in the 6th).  I took several art classes in college and fell in love with photography, but wanted to become a rock star.

In my 20s and 30s, I had several short-term boyfriends, but I didn't feel mature enough to make a commitment nor did they.  I read about shamanism, medicine women, and delved deeper into goddess archetypes, especially Artemis.  I entertained the idea of healing the world in some way, but I didn't know how.  I had an interest in cinema and music so I pursued journalistic endeavors in this area thinking I could serve the world in this way or through writing screenplays.  I dabbled in astrology.

Photography by Patricia Herlevi
Turning 50 this week and when I look back at my 40s, I notice that this began my journey to self-love.  I'm now able to look back at my past through the lens of an unaspected retrograde Venus.  I use photography, music, writing and astrology to heal others.  I feel inspired to play the role of an intuitive coach for artists because of my background in the arts.  Most of my spiritual teachers have been women and my deepest friendships are with women.  I believe that I have finally integrated Venus into my life.  I notice the importance of beauty in my life and of sensual experiences as I re-enter my body and spend less time in mind.  I prioritize healthy food and spending time in nature with my camera as my closest companion.  I also developed the gift of animal communication and I hope to take this gift further down a path.

My goal with this post isn't to brag out my accomplishments, but to share my Venus experience with others going through similar experiences.  Many of us have singleton planets in our charts and these planets provide life lessons for us to master.  It reminds me of students who take extra credits in high school or college.  And all our experiences lead us to wisdom for our souls.  By the time we reach midlife and if we do the work, singleton planets and yods provide blessings.  They add color to our uniqueness and in that way they act as gifts.

I give astrology readings and private coaching sessions in-person or through e-mail reports.  Sign up at Whole Music & Whole Astrology.

Monday, June 23, 2014

July 2014 Forecast--Dragons of Luxury & Abundance Loose Upon the World

The image I see for July 2014 is a bowling ball gaining momentum, lining up and hitting its target.  The other image I see revolves around fire breathing dragons coming out of their caves and sleeping in the grass among sparkling jewels.  

For most people, July represents the proverbial ship carrying treasures arriving at the port.

In July, Mercury gains momentum in the forward direction where it transits over the shadow of the retrograde until the 18th after Mercury arrives in Cancer.  Venus rolls into Cancer on the 19th, giving us Mercury conjunct Venus (wide orb of 6 degrees) in the nurturing Water Sign that also heralds the launch into summer.  Mars finally moves out of Libra into Scorpio on July 27, Jupiter transits into Leo on the 17th (July 17 - 20 is an active time), then Saturn goes Direct on the 20th and Uranus goes retrograde two days later.  Anyone who has felt stuck or stagnant for the past few months gets a push forward now, with Mars, Jupiter and Saturn calling the shots once again.

By the month's end all the outer planets and Chiron retrograde causing us to do inner transformational work on a planetary or generational level.  We review any progress we made during the periods when the planets moved forward so with Neptune, we revisit our dream life and our dreams we desire to manifest into the physical reality.  We reassess whether we still believe in these dreams as we stand in the wake of transformation and consciousness shifts.  Many people will find that they buried their old dreams in favor of new ones based on their new perceptions.  Those of you who pursued material dreams, might opt out of them now and pursue spiritual paths.  And those of you exclusively on a spiritual path for the past months or years, reenter the mundane material world to test out new tools and skills.

When Uranus goes retrograde we reassess the parts of our lives where we feel inventive or futuristic.  We scrutinize those products or services we created in the past months on all levels.  Are these inventions marketable or are they actually effective or just pipe dreams?  We reflect on where humanity is heading and our roles in this new society we are creating.  We reassess activist and grass root campaigns and their effectiveness.  Less people will feel like donating to causes during this time as they question their motives and own plans.  People will even question the motives of activist organizations finding their messages heavy-handed during the next 6 months.  Uranus goes direct on December 21st around the Solstice.

When Pluto retrogrades we delve even deeper into the realm of the collective consciousness and our subconscious. What's lurking in there? We face our shadows, but we do this privately and are less likely to share our experiences online or offline.  Pluto retrograde forces us to go underground and observe the world from a distance.  We could see the glass as half empty and the world as completely mad.  Be careful not to fall into pessimism during this time.  Pluto goes direct on September 22nd around the Equinox.

So now, let's take a quick look at the personal planets along with Jupiter and Saturn because we're going to feel a lot of changes entering our lives now in every area.  My Spirit Guides tell me that the speed of events picks up momentum now and dreams we never thought possible manifest so quickly that we could lose our footing if we're not careful.  After Mercury goes Direct on June 30, it spends 12 days in Gemini and then transits into nurturing Cancer.  Meanwhile, the Sun, Venus, and Jupiter transit in Cancer, with Jupiter heading into Leo on the 19th.  With this many planets in Cancer, it's a good idea to read about the Zodiac Sign of Cancer to get an idea of how we will communicate with, love, and nurture others during this time.

Please revisit

The biggest news is that Mars moves out of Libra (where it has transited for 7 months), into Scorpio.  We will feel that we have more energy now to pursue our dreams, but we must not act rash or impulsive or we could scare our dreams away.  While Libra gives us a sense of balance and diplomacy, Scorpio feels pushy. However, when Mars falls in its traditional sign (Scorpio), we grow more passionate about our dreams and life just feels sexier.  Just watch out for vengeful feelings or coming on too strong towards the more sensitive types.  Ironically, Scorpios are a sensitive type.  For most of us, this change of signs for Mars will put wind under our sails that propel our projects forward, especially if we have done the work behind the scenes since last Fall (December 2013) when Mars moved into Libra.

The next big news story revolves around Jupiter changing signs as the benevolent planet moves into sunny Leo where it transits for the next 12 months. Cancerians say good bye to their 12 months of good fortune and Leos get ready to receive a bounty for the next year.  Of course, look for any planets in your chart that fall in Leo, even progressed planets as those areas of your life receive a boost in the right direction. For instance, I don't have any planets in Leo, except for my progressed Sun which falls in my 8th House of other people's resources.  But I will have to wait around 10 months to see any results since my progressed Sun is at 27 degrees Leo.  However, my Solar Return Moon falls in the early degrees of Leo so it will be interesting for me to see how that plays out.

With Jupiter in Leo we can expect to see more enthusiasm but also posturing in the world.  We work harder to keep our egos in check, but we can also experience greater self-love and practice generosity with others.  We will focus on the theatrical stage more and Broadway plays will reap rewards during this Jupiter transit. The media focuses on royalties and celebrities and more people pay attention to movie award ceremonies or flock to the cinema or other performances.  In fact, even regional theaters can see a boost in ticket sales.  The book publishing industry spends most of their efforts on celebrity authors, though celebrity biographies could actually bomb and not do as well as predicted.  The public will feel that there's too much hot air with the biographies.  The main caution here is that Jupiter only remains in Leo for a year which means that when Jupiter transits into Virgo the summer of 2015 many balloons will bust and many dreams based on superficiality run out of steam.  It's like discovering that the Wizard behind the curtain is just an everyday man with a bag of tricks that he doesn't even trust.

Also in the astrological news for July, Saturn moves Direct which keeps Jupiter energies in check.  Saturn reminds us that all dreams require structure and realism.  Saturn comes as the dream tester and part of those tests come as challenges, trials and tribulations.  Oh yeah, so you want this dream to manifest but will you put in the effort? When things get tough, will you give up too soon? Will you rely upon the wisdom you have gained so far or give your power away to authority?  Saturn reminds us to act as our own authority, especially if we are above a certain age, at least 28.  Saturn in Scorpio moving direct for the next several months (changes signs this December) asks us to go deep to find and then launch our dreams into the world.  Remember these three words: Discipline, Responsibility and Accountability.

Finally, Uranus goes retrograde on July 23rd with a 5 degree orb square with Pluto also retrograde and an on-going inconjunct with Saturn.  Expect less surprises, but more time to reflect on sudden events that occurred when Uranus was moving forward.  It is not time to lick wounds over losses, but to clean up the debris from those losses and take this time to build a solid foundation.  With Uranus in a weaker position and Saturn moving direct we have a better chance of setting our transformed lives in motion.  It's as if Uranus takes a summer holiday and we disembark from the roller coaster.  Even more adventurous types take a rest.

Because we have so many planets changing signs and directions in July, those of you with personal planets in Cancer, Leo, Aries, Sagittarius (Jupiter), Scorpio and Libra would benefit from having your transits read by a professional astrologer or intuitive coach. Anyone with Natal Jupiter in Leo, Saturn in Scorpio, Sun, Mercury, Venus in Cancer, or Mars in Libra or Scorpio also benefit from a transit reading for the next six months.

Since I have written a long post on the planetary shifts for July, I will cover actual aspects in upcoming posts.  Happy sailing in July!

I give in-person and long distance astrology readings and intuitive coaching sessions.  Sign up at Whole Astrology website.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cry No Tears for Me, Cancerian (June 21 to July 22)

photo by Patricia Herlevi

Sentimental, mushy, clingy, nurturing, motherly and generous (though sometimes stingy depending on the childhood experiences), Cancer natives leave many folks feeling baffled.  Who are these mysterious moonbeams staring at the stars and wishing on dandelion pollen? Who are these hoarders of old birthday cards, childhood photographs and memories of past loves?

Their reflective moods remind us of the cycles of the Moon as the orb shines its light on a calm lake or they remind us of a kaleidoscope capturing the rainbow wings of dragonflies.  Cancer natives, though often shy, peak during the summer months.  It's at this time that you find the Cancer natives hanging out on the beach watching the surf roll in or out on a sailboat, that is if they're not frightened of deep water like I am.

Famous people born under this sign include Princess Diana, Robin Williams, Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep (cry me a river), Erin Brockovich, Harrison Ford, Sylvester Stallone and Jessica Simpson.  You'll find Cancer natives in real estate, alternative medicine, the metaphysical field, entertainment, the arts and sports.  Many Cancerians suffer from shyness, but that also depends on the phase of the Moon.  Full Moons bring out the zany extroverted side of Cancer natives and being besides a large body of water brings out their dreamy contemplative side.

photo by Patricia Herlevi
Cancer rules the stomach and breasts and many Cancer woman have larger breasts, but this also depends on their Rising Sign.  A Cancer woman with a Capricorn Rising will fall on the thinner side.  Cancers eat for sentimental, emotional and nostalgic reasons.  They have a tendency to crave comfort foods, the creamier the better, but they also crave foods from their childhood. For me I couldn't get enough of tomato soup and grill cheese sandwiches which reminded me of childhood.  I also craved animal cookies in my 20s and 30s because that took me back to my earlier years, plus Cancer people love animals in all forms, though many of us are vegetarian.

There's a myth that Cancer women long to become mothers and have families.  I have met Cancer women who devoted themselves instead to spiritual practices or careers with no intention of mothering children, at least not their own.  Cancer natives who endured a difficult childhood might find that being around children too painful for them.  While other Cancerians will choose to work with children in some way because of a deep empathy they feel for them.  Cancers also have a playful side which children enjoy.

I have found many of the Cancer men in my age group to be somewhat old fashion even when they're rock musicians.  Many of them marry young or they pursue the romantic ideal, often ending up disappointed. Some Cancer men played the field and ended up with gaping wounds.  But all the Cancer men I knew in the past in my age group were sweet and probably wax nostalgic these days.  It's true if the Moon is in an awkward sign or waning, then Cancer natives seems grumpy and downright crabby as they go about snapping at people.  They also worry too much that others don't like them and are often slighted by nuances of others.  This seems odd to me since Cancerians are one of the most intuitive signs associated with the High Priestess in the Tarot deck so why do we keep imagining things?

As far as lost loves go, Cancerians cling to their former lovers the longest of any sign. They don't hold vengeful thoughts in their hearts like Scorpio or escape into the next love interest like Pisces.  They quietly nurse their wounds, cry into their pillow and seek out divination tools and psychics to tell them what they want to hear, even if they choose to believe lies.  And what a waste that is (I can tell you first hand), because people of this Sun (Rising and Moon) Sign are a real catch of the day.  Many of them stick to their values and ethics while expecting others to do the same.  One astrologer called Cancerians wholesome or the old fashion boy or girl next door.  We could make that argument.

I'll be celebrating my 50th birthday this June and having spent that many years with a Cancer Sun, I still haven't figured out this Zodiac Sign.  I'm still chasing rainbows, looking for Peter Pan, and feeling like the Pied Piper on a good day.  Get me near the water and I'll leave my worries of the day or week behind.  Comfort food is my weakness as is nostalgic music from my childhood.  I also have a box of old birthday cards I can't seem to toss out (nor do I want to), and my moods change with the Moon.

For my fellow Cancerians here are things to watch out for:

You are sensitive so don't hang around harsh people or environments
Keep your allergies in check
Toss out old clothing etc and don't keep just for sentimental reasons
Let the old loves go and seek new ones
Watch your diet and stop eating foods for nostalgic reasons
When tears back up, watch a sad movie and sob 
Express your emotions (don't hold them in your breasts)
Mother yourself and let others off the hook
Nurture animals and plants
Advocate for a cause close to your heart
Hang out near water to relax
Drink plenty of purified water
Remember to exercise (walking, bicycling, swimming, Tai Chi or yoga)
Use natural medicines
Work with crystals (make sure you cleanse them first)
Love and honor yourself (this isn't selfish)
Choose loving-kind and gentle partners 
Don't play the field (or you'll get burned)
Get a pet

If you can think of anything else to add to this list, leave it in the comment section.

Happy Birthday Cancerians!

Sign up for a Solar Return at Whole Music & Whole Astrology.  The birthday special for the months is $10 off on an hour reading June and early July).

4th Week of June Forecast--Nurturing the Soul through the Stomach

photo by Patricia Herlevi
Food will be on our minds the final week of June.  We question which foods actually nurture us and which foods wax nostalgia for us (foods from our childhood that we cling to as adults).  Food safety, food security, nutrition, diet and gourmet foods grab our attention in news headlines or at dinner tables.  What exactly are we eating and what eats us?

First, we have the Sun in the sign of nurturing Cancer, then Jupiter in Cancer squares the North Node in Libra (balance and moderation) on exact on June 27th, also the day of the New Moon in Cancer.  Meanwhile, we're going to talk about food, nutrition and diet as Venus transits into chatty and analytical Gemini on June 24 and Mercury RX also transits in Gemini trining the North Node exact on June 23 and 24th.  What foods did we love as children and do those foods serve us now?

As anyone would imagine, each astrologer has his or her own take on the week's transits, but since my Sun and Mercury fall in Cancer, my gaze lands on food issues.  Are we eating too much gluten, sugar, fat, protein or are we not eating enough of something? How healthy is the food we put on our tables and feed to children? Would it be better to start our own victory gardens or return to traditional farming (cleaner than corporate organic farms)? Would refraining from high-acid and spicy foods heal our stomach complaints?

The North Node in Libra suggests  both fate and balance.  North Nodes always represent where we are heading and with some discomfort because no one likes taking leaps of faith.  Libra, the co-ruler of Venus suggests moderation, diplomacy and balancing the scales, usually involving justice and partnerships, in this case our partnership with the food industry.  Food justice comes to mind, but I also think with the Cancer Sun, New Moon and Jupiter involved, we must follow our intuition and passions in regard to pursuing healthy diets.  For instance, I have encountered people passionate about a gluten-free, vegan, raw food or whatever type of diet.  And this passion or enthusiasm certainly beats the litany of "I can't eat that because".

The sign of Cancer has deep emotions around food and nurturing as well as sympathy for people with food-related illnesses.  However, the polarity of Cancer is Capricorn/Saturn which tell us to take responsibility for our health and diet.  This could mean making an appointment with a nutrition expert, picking up nutrition magazines or visiting websites for particular diets.  This could mean adding nutritional supplements to the diet, cutting back on unhealthy foods such as sugar-laden foods (even salad dressings and canned foods).  According to the experts in the documentary Fed Up, the healthy amount of daily sugar intake is 24 milligrams and one container of yogurt with fruit & sugar contains 30+ milligrams and let's not even talk about soda.  The only sweetener that balances blood sugar is Stevia, all other sugars go straight to the liver (Jupiter) which turns it into fat.

However, eating fruit with skin on it (when possible) provides fiber which slows down the metabolic process thus giving the liver and pancreas a break.  Why am I mentioning this? Because with Jupiter in Cancer along with the New Moon and Sun in Cancer squaring the North Node and eventually Mars in Libra, food moderation appears on our plates and the results of overindulgence or addiction to sugar has expanded waistlines, not to mention added hundreds of pounds on children and adults, as well as, causing healthcare costs to skyrocket.

This brings me to the on-going tension with Mars-Uranus-Pluto in a T-Cross.  Mars opposes Uranus exact on the 25th to the 27th (the day of the Cancer New Moon).  Mars in Libra represents where we have repressed our anger and acted too diplomatic in regard to the food industry and the US Department of Agriculture (I'm talking Americans here), Uranus in Aries represents the warrior spirit of the average person and even children who are standing up for food rights at their public school cafeterias!  And Pluto in Capricorn, though retrograde, represents a transformational shift on the planet that places the power and authority back in the hands of the average person.  Now you might give three cheers, but if the everyday person isn't up to speed on proper nutrition and healthy food because they believed the hype of the industry, then we're still hanging out in perilous water.  Here comes the sharks of ignorance and helplessness.

Finally Venus in Gemini squares Neptune in Pisces on June 30th just as Mercury goes Direct.  Our thoughts feel foggy at best on the last day of June, but this bodes well for getting in touch with our higher wisdom and sharing that with others.  And at least, Mercury begins its wobble in the forward direction gaining momentum the first two weeks of July.  Too many, this brings relief.

So the message I'm picking up revolves around food and self-nurturing.  It involves doing what feels right intuitively for each of us and not allowing others to sway us in the wrong direction. Diets are personal so let's not force our dietary advice on others or tell a vegan to go Paleo or a Paleo dieter to go vegan.  No food fights at the table.  Refrain from talking about food allergies at the table too and just share your love with others in a diplomatic way.  The message asks us as individuals and society to bring balance and justice to the realm of food.  And to examine our emotions around food which surprise us now. I never knew I thought that.  Remember food is not punishment and we are allowed to enjoy favorite foods in moderation. For me, that is healthy food grown organically or locally harvested.

I give in-person private astrology readings in Bellingham and also long distance via e-mail.  Sign up for a reading at Whole Music & Whole Astrology.  And happy and healthy eating the last week of June.

I'm open to a trade with a professional astrologer for a Solar Return Reading.  Contact me if you're interested in trading readings. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

3rd Week of June Forecast--Bring on Summer in the North

We won't only experience the turn of seasons this week with the Solstice on June 21st, we also experience another transformational shift on the planet with the Cardinal T-Cross with Mars, Uranus and Pluto.  Meanwhile, Mercury travels backwards into its own sign, Gemini.

First let's look at the T-Cross which is not exact degrees.  Mars in Libra which has already been in an exact square with retrograde Pluto in Capricorn tightens the opposition with Uranus at 16 degrees Aries. Meanwhile Neptune forms a sexile with Pluto so this brings a deeper level of consciousness to the picture and we might just take a spiritual approach to age old problems that we aren't solving on the mundane level.  Saturn in Scorpio also forms a sextile with Pluto and inconjunct (yield signs) with Uranus so this actually puts the breaks on the T-Cross so we won't be seeing events like we saw in April, but underneath in our subconscious and collective unconscious, we experience a desire for expansiveness in the area of releasing fears and limitations that never served us.

Venus continues her opposition with Saturn.  With Venus in her own sign, we reflect on self-love and partnerships, depending on where these planets fall in a Natal Chart.  Though most people would find this a sensual or sexy time for intimate relationships, depending on the Natal Chart, Venus opposite Saturn could also deal with business and other types of partnerships.  Saturn in Scorpio wants to dig deep into the dirty part of our souls such as our shadows and projections because not owning our shadows is death to any relationship.  Venus in Taurus wants romance, sensuality and to explore beauty in the world.  She wants a vacation from investigative journalistic reports, sex scandals, and any of the other dark stuff people are spreading in the world right now.  Enough already, Venus says.  So in this regard, we will experience this polarity this week and we'll want to take a vacation from activists who we feel rain on our picnic.

Mercury moves out of Cancer and into Gemini on June 18.  When Mercury retrogrades in an Air Sign, according to Astrologer Erin Sullivan (in her book on retrograde planets), we are more likely to experience problems with machinery and electronics such as computers.  There could be delays in short distance travel too at this time.  The best use of a retrograde Mercury in Gemini is to go to a place of silence, even take a silent retreat.  It's not a good time to sign contracts, but it is a good time to begin looking over the fine print.  It's a good time to review our communication skills and style.  It's a good time to edit blogs and redesign websites.  It's also better to listen and absorb now then talk. Finally, when Mercury moves out of watery Cancer into the Air Sign Gemini, we approach communication from an analytical and intellectual level.  We are less likely to blow our emotional cool and we look at both sides of an argument without getting emotionally hung up.

photo by Patricia Herlevi
The Sun moves into Cancer on June 21st and we experience the Winter Solstice in the southern hemisphere and the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere.  So this marks a time of either going inward or going outward in an expansive mode.  Our ancient ancestors celebrated the Solstice and I still think this is a good idea or at least to look back and see how far we've come in the last six months.  Solstices are also ripe for manifestation rituals.  What would you like to manifest between now and December 21st?

We begin the week with a disseminating Moon in Aquarius and we experience a waning Moon as we approach the Solstice.  So if we're in the North, we experience diminishing light with both the Moon and the Sun.  Some people feel depressed as energy wanes from these orbs, while others use this time to reflect and listen to their intuition.  While the Solstice gives us a feeling of new beginnings, the waning Moon speaks of the ending of a cycle as we approach the dark Moon which falls on June 26th before the New Moon in Cancer.

Now is an excellent time to take a vacation or go on a retreat.  Head to a beach for the Solstice if you're in the northern hemisphere or build a bonfire if you're in the southern hemisphere on the Solstice.  Speak and write clearly with full sentences this week and don't assume people get the gist of what you're saying or writing. Ask for clarification because we might not all land on the same page during the next two weeks with Mercury RX.  Clear out old e-mails, and close old accounts you no longer use.  Clear away mental clutter with meditation (though meditation is challenging with Mercury in Gemini).  Expect a transformational shift in your personal life.  Look to the chart houses where Aries, Libra and Capricorn are on the cusps and that's where you will experience a shift.

I give private readings in Bellingham, Washington or online through e-mail reports with charts.  I specialize in pediatric astrology but I also read charts for adults.  Specials this month include $10 off a transit reading for college graduates and Solar Returns for people with Gemini or Cancer Suns.  Sign up for a reading at Whole Music & Whole Astrology.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Neptune Types Part 2--Girls and Boys Wearing Space Boots

You dreamy, mystical Neptuneittes (just coined the word) welcome to the land of space boots and mystical visions.  Unlike your Virgo polarity, you don't pay much attention to details and people often diagnose you with ADD or ADHD, if they want to sound more technical.  But what's really going on in your section of the Zodiac Wheel?

If you have Pisces Rising, Sun or Moon or Neptune on the MC (top of the chart), then you qualify as a Neptune type. If you have a stellium of planets in Pisces or in the 12th House you also qualify as a Neptune type and often times you feel out of sync with the world.  The drummer marching to a different beat isn't Aquarius, but Pisces, except you're not marching, you're floating.

It's not true that Pisces can't hold down a job or that many of them end up in the breadline or the detox facility because they don't cope well with modern living.  Well, I've actually known both types of Pisces, the kind who flourish at their careers, successfully raise a family, and bring healing to their communities and the other kind who lose their footing and have trouble getting back up.  But this doesn't imply that Pisces deserves to be viewed as wishy-washy, alcoholic, and a victim-martyr, even though they've carried this reputation around for centuries.  The 12th House ruled by Neptune and Pisces was called the "House of Undoing" for centuries, but now we label it the house of transcendence or "leave me alone while I claim my spiritual inheritance."

Pisces are natural caretakers and they're sponge-like hearts and minds absorb other people's dramas and traumas, leaving Pisces tipping back the bottle of booze or pill-popping.  But it doesn't have to be this way if Pisces learns to set boundaries and use their discriminatory skills of their Virgo polarity, meaning they discriminate a toxic and a healthy situation.  Pisces' greatest lesson is to stop fixing others or thinking they came to the planet to rescue others (dogs, cats or people).  They project their own weaknesses and suffering on to others then roll up the sleeves of their red cross nurse outfits.

The best drama for Pisces appears on the stage underneath a spotlight.  Most Pisces are gifted in the fine and performing arts.  Pisces rules dance, cinema, photography and music.  I would bet it also rules figure skating and the romantic couple dance figure skating with those shimmery costumes and nifty choreography that leaves us gasping like fish out of water. Which brings me to the aquamarine side of Pisces, these folks love to be on, in or under the water. Combine the sea, conservation and photography, and we just described the Pisces heaven.

Use that famous compassion for intuitive coaching, psychic work, energy healing, music therapy, bedside music (for hospices and hospitals), animal communication or arts therapy.  When a Pisces empowers themselves they inspire others to do the same.  They must remember to retreat now and again, especially to a spiritual retreat center near the ocean or a lake.  They find balance in yoga, mediation, Tai Chi and other relaxing movement practices.  Sound healing is a good practice for them too and Pisces often have beautiful singing voices with healing tones.

From 2011 until 2025, Neptune transits in Pisces so this gives us double the spaciness, double the vision, double the compassion, and double the addictions and escapism.  Also we keep hearing that the end of the Pisces Age awaits us and some astrologers act like we have already entered the Aquarius Age while some experts tell us that we won't enter the Aquarius Age for another 100 to 200 years, so don't listen to the song by the Fifth Dimension ("Age of Aquarius") for your cues, even if Jupiter lines up with Mars (which it does all the time) and in the past year it lined up with Mars in a Grand Cardinal Square!

So my dear Pisces-Neptune types, we must stay sober because we have much work to do in the area of spiritual awakening (which isn't the same as waking up with a hangover the next morning after spending time with liquid spirits) and your compassion is required.  However, you must also learn to set boundaries and stick with them. You require to love your soul as the teacher Sonia Choquette says on her radio shows.  The true lesson for you is that through self-love you love everyone.  Isn't that what you've been getting at all along with Unity Consciousness? That's your big trip, Unity Consciousness but you must practice what you preach or no one will hear you.

Let's end with a song for Pisces and we could even call this your theme song.  I won't keep you long because your mermaids and dolphins await your Neptune space boy or girl presence.  Remember this, life gives back to you what you give to the world, but the world will only consider you if you consider yourself.  You matter a lot.

Provocative Astrology & Sage Wisdom

In ancient time, astrologers and sages were rolled into one.  Astrologers played the role of reporter too by letting the aristocrats know what fate awaited them.  So in this regard, here is a sage astrologer Kelley Rosano as she strikes out with the sword of truth.  Go girl!

The message with the Sagittarius Moon revolves around speaking our truth, but even better, living our truth.  For me, the awakening came when I decided to pursue the path of happiness. If it doesn't make me happy, then I'm tossing it out.

I don't know Kelley's Sun Sign, but I'm guessing she's an Aries with some planets in Taurus.  She's definitely a warrior.

The video was removed from YouTube or from the embedding feature. Look up "Kelley Rosano, Sagittarius Full Moon" to pull up the video.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Transits for 2nd Week of June--Astrological Congestion on the Super Highway

Photo by Patricia Herlevi, Boston, 1989

I woke up last night with pin and needle sensations in the entire left side of my body, I wondered what the heck was going on?  Why did I feel like someone had plugged half of my body into an electrical outlet?

First, I panicked.  Then I prayed to my Spirit Guides and Angels. Then I thought about looking up the day's and the week's transits.  Oddly, looking at my planetary guide calmed me down, but also surprised me.  Have we always had this many transits in a single week?  And does the hand of God play a role? And finally how are astrologers supposed to keep track of all the planetary configurations and transits? This is full-time work and frankly, it's a rare occurrence when someone signs up for an astrology reading so I'm hardly making a living as an astrologer and I don't have full-time to give to this profession.

The image that comes into my mind is Lily Tomlin playing the role of the gossipy phone switchboard operator.  But the planetary congestion we currently experience not only has the switchboard lighting up, but all the circuits are full so we can't get through.  We have much to communicate, but are unable to connect with others to get our message out.

Beginning last week when the Sun was at 15 degrees Gemini (around June 6th) we experience an exact sextile between the Sun and Uranus in Aries.  This transit continues into this week bringing us shocking information.  People use words to provoke thoughts and some innovative and pioneering ideas surface during this short period that ends on June 21st.  Meanwhile, Mars opposes Uranus with both planets squaring Pluto.  The opposition between Mars and Uranus is exact from the 22nd to 25th, but we're still feeling the tension between Libra and Aries now.  I believe this aspect teaches us how to act assertive instead of playing the role of the passive-aggressive martyr.  Mars squares Pluto exact from the 16th to the 18th, but we're already feeling that tension now.

Hastings, England, 1991 photo by Patricia Herlevi
In fact, I wake up in the middle of the night wanting to write letters to the senators that represent me and ask them a litany of whys.  Why are we allowing corporations to poison our earth, water, food, and air? Why are we burning fossil fuels irresponsibly when we're told there is a limited supply and concerns about climate change? Why are airplanes spraying us with heavy metals everyday? Why are we allowing corporations (big pharma) to poison us?  And I'm not sure if I'll even get real answers or if I will be given more platitudes and rationalizations.  These are the kinds of concerns we could expect with Mars representing the everyday person verses Pluto representing big government and corporations.  And if Pluto in Capricorn is supposed to bring transformation to these old dinosaur structures, then why haven't I witnessed any real changes?

On the other hand, I could focus on the pleasant flowing aspects happening now which there are many.  They include, a Jupiter trine to Chiron, Venus sextile Jupiter, Venus trine Pluto, a Full Moon in Sagittarius at the end of the week, Jupiter sextile Juno in Taurus, Jupiter trine Saturn in water signs and Mercury sextile Pallas in Virgo.  We also have transits slowing us down if not outright placing stop signs on our paths.  These include, Neptune, Saturn and Mercury retrograde, Vesta inconjunct Chiron, Juno inconjunct Vesta, and Venus inconjunct Mars.We also started out the month with a yod with Venus in Taurus, Mars in Libra and Neptune in Pisces which stretches out into the 2nd week of June.  Could there be a standoff in personal relationships due to delusional thinking? Are we being real when relating to others or projecting our fantasies on to our partners and friends?

The Sagittarius Full Moon brings us hope as does Venus' short transit in her own sign Taurus as well as, the Mercury in Cancer wide trine with Neptune in Pisces.  On one hand, we want to write our political leaders and demand better treatment of the earth, the resources and humanity, but on the other hand, we want to retreat and lick our wounds or go deeper spiritually.  We definitely know what's not working and we're ready to invent, pioneer, and innovate new solutions to age old problems so we can all get to the next step in our collective evolution.  And as I suggested in previous posts, now is not a time of action, but a time of stepping back and viewing the whole picture.  It's not a time to talk to the air but a time to engage in real dialogue which isn't easy to do with Mercury retrograde.  We find ourselves repeating ourselves or we feel that no one hears what we are saying.

And yet, with Saturn and Neptune retrograde (Saturn goes direct in July), we also feel like we don't have the stamina to move forward and we prefer to sleep in and entertain the messages in our nightly dreams.  Which isn't such a bad idea considering many inventions derived from the dream state! The three lessons I see in all of this still have to do with owning our shadows (collective and individual), developing self-love, and reaching the conclusion that the concept of separation is an illusion.  I believe that the planets teach us these lessons, but we first must toss out all our distractions and listen with intent and purpose.

I give astrology readings and intuitive coaching sessions in Bellingham, Washington or online via e-mail reports. If you want a boost in the right direction, support as you journey on your unique path, or encouragement as you live your destiny, sign up for a reading at Whole Music & Whole Astrology.  I also give pediatric astrology readings for parents looking for instructional manuals for their children.  I look forward to serving you.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Retreat, Read & Retread (June's Planetary Energies)

Many of you have already figured out that the June energies are asking us to retreat from everyday life.  We are asked to review past events, regroup and reassess while taking time to read spiritual or self-help books.  Time to dig through that pile of wish list books, visit a library or better yet, a spiritual retreat center.

With Neptune, Saturn and Mercury in Retrograde we feel like procrastinating and we might even beat ourselves up and call ourselves lazy.  But that's not what's going on.  The planets ask us to delve more deeply into our newborn selves and to take this month to ask hard questions.  Why are we pursuing certain goals and dreams? Are those even our dreams or someone else' such as a parent, friend, spouse or authority figure?

Many people focus on manifesting fame, wealth  or at least recognition in their communities.  And by focusing on those trappings, they lose sense of themselves and their connection to the Divine or Source or God (whatever you want to call it).  And while I'm not going to wax religion here (I'm not religious), if we pursue outer trappings instead of seeking happiness within or foster the close relationships in our lives, we lose the thread and end up lost in a labyrinth.

And having walked several labyrinths, I can tell you that the only way out is to trust our instincts, and take one slow step at a time.  So why not use this retrograde period (several planets moving backwards) to find our true path in life. Of course, for any of you who feel fulfilled and content, you're on top of your game. But those of you who manifested your dreams and still feel empty, now is the time to regroup and reconnect with a higher source.  This is not a time to escape with alcohol or street drugs. This is not a time to go shopping and lose yourself in a shopping mall while maxing your credit cards nor is this a time to gamble, especially because none of us are thinking clearly with both Neptune and Mercury retrograde and taking responsibility is also challenging when Saturn is retrograde.  Pluto is also retrograde and Chiron turns retrograde later in the month.  It's up to us to find some discipline but not in physical work but in daily meditation.

With the Sun in Gemini many of us think we have all the answers.  We might even smugly tell others in some way or the other that we have the answers.  The truth is we don't and the misinformation we are doling out like candy these days will lead to missteps and more calamity on the planet.  Face it, us humans have really done a number on the planet and we don't know how to fix or clean up the damage so we do even more damage.  We are sailing on a ship of fools and no one wants to admit it.  Gemini and Mercury represent tricksters who think they know it all or the smarty pants in all of us.

So before we point the finger at a public figure who has messed up or been caught with his or her hands in the candy jar, look in the mirror.  Everything we witness outside of us has roots in our subconscious mind.  We are all collectively creating the reality of chaos that surrounds us.  And it seems on some days that there are too many of us involved in writing the dramatic script that lacks a plot, truthful characters, and the believability factor. And yet, we get sucked into the drama while not recognizing it as illusions fabricated by our collective minds.

With Neptune and Mercury in retrograde, let's take some time to ponder those heavy thoughts.  How are each of us contributing to the mayhem on the planet? Are we using low-frequency words, entertaining low-vibrational thoughts and treating others with disrespect? How do we treat ourselves? Believe it, that matters too.  What's our self-talk like? Do we put ourselves down? When we put ourselves down, we put everyone else down too.  Playing small serves no one and self-betrayal comes back to haunt us.  Gemini is about the thinking process and now is a time to reassess how we use the power of thought and collectively how this power of thought shapes the world that we witness everyday.

I give astrology and intuitive coaching sessions (combining oracle cards/astrology and law of attraction tools) in Bellingham, Washington.  I'm also available to give online readings and reports via e-mail.  I'm in the process of setting up Skype for future readings.  For more information go to Whole Music and Whole Astrology.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Deep Breathing Required---Mercury Stationary RX & Other Tense Transits

Photo by Patricia Herlevi
Some of you felt like a wrecking ball crashed your party and the restful days of May hardly sufficed as giving you time to heal past events.I'm picking up chaotic energy and not just because Mercury is preparing for the backward dance.  Back in April, we experienced intense transits mainly with the two eclipses and the Cardinal Grand Cross as well as, the T-Crosses as we moved into the Grand Square.

May felt restful to some of us, those mainly who put in the efforts towards self-love, claiming shadows/projections and soul integration.  But not everyone on the planet has chosen these paths of mastership and some are hardly prepared to step on these paths at all.  So we have witnessed murder and mayhem literally on the planet.  We have witnessed corporations placing strangle holds on the everyday person and this seems to grow worse with each passing day.  We have witnessed insanity in the name of commerce, healthcare, food distribution and the surreal in every industry on the planet.  No crumb has been left untouched.  And in April, all of this blank hit the proverbial fan in such a way that no one could ignore the elephant sitting in the coffee table any longer.

So then along came May, all and all a pleasant month for some of us, but some tension still buzzed in the background and grew louder as May moved into June.  In June we started out with Saturn and Pluto RX, Mercury slowing down to go RX and day after Mercury goes RX, Neptune joins the backwards dance.  So not only do the majority of us feel dazed and confused (both Neptune and Mercury can do this to us), some of us are still healing wounds and losses from April.  Many people are still on the defensive or questioning why the world is the way it is because honestly much of what we hear in the news does not make sense.  It's like humanity has lost the little common sense it had left!

photo by Patricia Herlevi
So as Mercury and Neptune go retrograde, consider meditation as a daily respite and time to connect with the Divine.  Admit it, we don't have the answers, but the Divine does.  Humility, compassion and tolerance are called for now and in large doses.  The message of forgiveness also comes up and some of us have more to forgive than others.  Since we're talking about planets in retrograde (4 this month + Chiron later in June), it is time to return to our past and dig out all that stuff to release and forgive.  We all know that forgiveness doesn't equal letting someone off the hook.  But it does imply that we let ourselves off the hook and that we no longer wish to carry people and circumstances around like a ball and chain.  Picture that image and you'll see what I mean.

Saturn RX gives us time to reassess the responsibilities in our lives, including work, family, and leadership roles.  Mercury RX asks us to go back and revise how we communicate, edit old text, clean out old e-mails from accounts or close e-mail accounts entirely if you have several. It's a time to simplify all forms of communication and in Cancer, it also means reading food labels carefully since ingredients might have changed or a product you have been eating all along has allergens or GMO ingredients that you didn't notice until now.  Mercury in Cancer RX also has to do with how we relate to our mothers and how we communicate mothering towards ourselves and others.  When Mercury transits into Gemini, we look at how the media communicates and we'll do our own research and find factual errors.  Or we might find several conflicting news stories about the same event.

With Neptune RX, it's time to reexamine our spiritual yearnings and even our spiritual practices of the past.  Would we like to return to dream interpretation, working with totem animals, rejoin a religious or spiritual group or revisit past lives? All of these scenarios are possible when Neptune is RX in its own sign Pisces.  It's also time to examine our views on death, imprisonment, hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and the dissolution of matter. For those of you suffering from addictions, now is a good time to reach out for help and detox from destructive or self-sabotaging habits.  Add Chiron RX to the mix and we clear away roots of our suffering from childhood, knowing that we can never fully heal a Chiron wound, but we can make peace with it.  Accept what we cannot change and find inner peace is the message here.

photo by Patricia Herlevi
Pluto RX gives us a respite from the two bad boy planets Uranus and Pluto butting heads and scheming against each other.  However, that doesn't mean we don't work behind the scenes in building new sustainable structures in every area of our lives and throughout the planet.  Now, is the time to also clean up messes behind the scenes, make apologies or amends and practice the arts of regeneration and transmutation.  Have you ever worked with Archangel Zadkiel's Violet Flame? Now, there's a powerful transmutation.

Anyway, I ask you to play with the themes in this post and do your own brainstorming and pulling threads together.  If you require rest and rejuvenation then find the time to do that in June.  Don't push against the retrograde planets since these will cause you even more stress.  Now, is not the time to launch new projects or businesses because that is like building a city on an active volcano.  I know as we moved away from Mars RX, we're all rearing to go in a new direction, including me, but this isn't the time.  Wait until July after Mercury goes direct or when Saturn moves direct on July 20 and Mars transits into Scorpio on July 27.  I realize that this is a long wait for some of you, if not most of you.  However, now is the time to get everything in order, do research, edit material, and complete old projects so that you can make room for new energy.

Mostly, now is a time to prepare the ground for spiritual growth and in the months ahead we have plenty of opportunities to grow spiritually, mentally and emotionally.  Humanity has the opportunity to mature to the next level, but first let's get our ducks in order.

I give in-person readings in Bellingham, Washington.  Canadians and residents of Western Washington are welcome.  My focus now is on pediatric astrology, but I also give adult chart reading (transits, natal, synastry etc).  I give long distance readings via e-mail reports and charts.  Sign up at Whole Music & Whole Astrology.  I look forward to serving you.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Sun in Gemini and Mercury RX--Crisscross Communication

Twins by Patricia Herlevi

Sun in Gemini until June 21
Mercury Retrograde June 7-30
Mercury in Cancer June 1-16
Mercury in Gemini June 16- July13

Normally when the Sun transits in the Air Sign Gemini, people seem more chatty and communication flows.  However, starting June 7th, Mercury goes retrograde in the Sign of Cancer then backtracks into Gemini, Mercury's sign.

Our focus is on telecommunication corporations, lack of service, internet laws, internet access, cell phones, landlines and the media.  In our personal lives, we experience frustration in communication wires getting crossed in personal and professional relationships.  Phone or e-mail messages get lost, voice mail malfunctions, planes, trains and buses experience delays depending on the speed of our personal frequency.  Those people vibrating closer to the fear frequency will experience the most dastardly communication malfunctions while people vibrating at higher frequencies, will turn off their computers and phones then take a vacation from everyday stress.

On the other hand, long-awaiting messages and mail will show up.  Delays from previous communication will finally end and travel when it is about returning to a place lived at or visited previously will go smoothly.  Old friends show up for us to heal connections and let them go, or to reunite under new circumstances.  Past loves could come up in the mind or physical reality for release as well.  Remember the saying, "Set your love free and it will return back to you"?  It's liberation time.  Surrender your thoughts and thought forms to a higher consciousness.  And though it is a real challenge with Gemini energy to let go, surrender anyway.  Surrender that you don't know everything. Surrender that you don't have the solution to solve a world problem.  Surrender that you're not always right and it's okay.  Surrender your thoughts so that you can feel the emotions in other parts of your body.

Gemini, a dualistic sign focuses on the mental and learning process.  It also has playful energy and loves to work with the hands. Gemini flirts with words or by showing off his or her many interests to anyone who has an ear to listen.  But listening and hearing aren't the same thing and sometimes we get lost in Gemini tangents or avoid the Gemini shadow which is a dark and cranky mood.  Some Gemini's because they are too mental end up with mental illnesses and yes, I've known a few Geminis suffering from mental breakdowns or conditions. Some of them diagnose themselves with ADHD or whatever mental condition is trending in the media at the moment.  I don't get that, but then I deal more with emotions then mental processes.

We know Mercury as the communication planet, but this planet has another identity--that of the trickster.  When dealing with Mercury we experience the androgynous part of ourselves or the Mercurial spirit that's up to his or her old tricks.  So then it is it any wonder that the only time a planet causes havoc when it retrogrades is with Mercury? Pluto or Saturn retrograde doesn't cause computers to breakdown or internet service to slow down or mail to get lost.  I once received a package of CDs from US post that had been run over by a mail truck when Mercury was retrograde.  I found tire tracks on the torn package and all the jewel boxes were shattered, as you would imagine.

In June 1991 when Mercury was retrograde I flew to Chicago to catch a flight to London, England.  The Chicago flight was delayed because the mechanics changed the brakes on the plane.  We sat on the plane for over an hour while this process took place then when I arrived in London an hour or two later then expected, my relatives chastised me for making them wait.  Looking back, that was actually funny.  I also was looking for a restroom in the airport and didn't know that WC meant water closet or toilets.  I passed by tons of those and kept asking for the bathroom or loo. Mercury was having a ball with me.

However, this June, I'm asking each of you to remember to breathe.  Schedule less activities in your day and expect delays and breakdowns of the mechanical nature, but also with communication.  Have patience since this will all pass by quickly (Mercury is quick silver). The most frustrating is the week before the retrograde (1st week of June) and the week after Mercury goes direct (first week of July).  Communicate clearly and ask people to repeat what you just said so you know they're on the same page.  Return phone calls and don't leave people waiting and wondering.  And if you haven't received a response for e-mail or voice mails you left, contact those people again.  Chances are your voice mail or e-mails ended up in the wrong place. And last, but not least, have a sense of humor.

Now, would be a good time to work with your hands whether that's playing a musical instrument or building or making art objects, furniture, clothing, etc...If you feel extra nervous or irritated, get out and go for a walk. Journal instead of talking someone's ear off on the phone or texting someone to death.  Don't talk just to hear your lovely voice and decide what point you wish to get across before approaching your conversation partner.  Go see a talky movie or watch one on a DVD (not over the internet which will keep crashing or take too long to download anything).

But mostly, breathe, breathe and breathe. And clear your throat chakra with toning or voice work.

I give in-person astrology readings in Bellingham, Washington.  I read charts of children and adults.  You can also sign up for a long-distance report at 
Gemini and Cancer Sun as well as college grads receive $10 off an hour reading in June.