On Parenting and the Taurus New Moon

When a child is born the birth chart reflects just a transit or passing moment for the rest of the world, but for the child it reflects the life experiences and a set of instructions that will theoretically lead to a joy-filled and nourishing life. If the child is ours, the transit of their birth is more than a moment. It represents ways we will continue to grow ourselves: A commitment not only to our child but to the instructions of their birth moment, which we continue to face in every interaction we have with them. If you have a Pisces child, you can’t escape lessons in going with the flow, imagination, empathy, surrender. Twelve-plus years ago, Langston and I had an Aquarius baby.

Aquarius is a fixed air sign. It’s the water-bearer, which confuses people into thinking it’s a water sign. But the water that Aquarius shares is of the air variety: Thoughts, ideas, knowledge, information. Aquarius is associated with movements and humanitarianism. Aquarians are often ahead of their time. Aquarius is co-ruled by the planets Saturn and Uranus. Saturn, long-thought to be the last planet of the solar system, and Uranus, the only other planet besides Venus to spin clockwise rather than counter-clockwise. Uranus takes it one step further and rotates on its side instead of upright. The Saturnian part of us is the way we must persist and work for a worthwhile legacy. The Uranian part of us is the way we have to spin absolutely in our own direction; as alienating as this can be, this will also often connect us to a kindred group. Discovered after the American and French Revolutions, Uranus is the planet of rebellions. It’s associated with shock and originality.

When two people form a relationship, astrologically they create a composite chart. Two individual charts meet in the middle to form something brand new. Lang’s and my composite sun and moon are in Aquarius, and so Lyndon was born to an Aquarian couple. It’s becoming more normal now, but on the day he was born our mixed marriage still turned some heads. As Langston looked through the nursery glass at our son, a nurse who knew my family pushed him out of the way. “I know the family”, she said, curtly. My brother Ted corrected her: “This is Amy’s husband. He’s the father.” She simply didn’t imagine anything but a white husband for the daughter of a white family she knew.

We didn’t baptize Lyndon when he was born because we didn’t want to limit him -- not only in his conception and relationship to a higher power but also in his acceptance of himself and others. Our Catholic Church still preached that the expression of gay sexuality was a sin. We didn’t know if our baby was gay, but we didn’t want sign onto those beliefs just in case. And so we held a Blessing Ceremony for Lyndon, we chose godparents for him, but we waited.

When Pope Francis became the head of the Church, Lang and I were touched by his humanity and compassion. We have a Pope Francis bobblehead in our attic, along with RBG and other people we admire. We started attending Mass more regularly. Every so often we’d ask Lyndon, “Would you like to be baptized?” “Maybe,” he’d say, always noncommittal. During Mass Lyndon would move his knees to the side so we could pass him to join the communion line. It didn’t seem to bother him too much not to be able to receive communion himself, even as he got older. He’d kneel to pray, or sing, and then he’d scooch over to make room for us when we returned.

Recently we started attending Episcopal liturgy as a family. Lang and I had become exhausted trying to fit ourselves into the Catholic Church. During the first Episcopal liturgy we attended I remember the moment when we prayed for “Gerilyn, our Bishop.” Gerilyn?? Lang and I looked at each other, excited.

In prayer I think symbolically, so that when I hear “Father”, I think “Parent.” When I hear “man” I think “human.” But there was something about hearing an actual woman’s name within the hierarchy of church that made my heart dance that day. I was raised by a mother who had earned a Master’s in Theology while raising five children. When my parents went to India as a young family to teach Marriage Encounter to Catholic couples there, it was because my Mom had heard and acted on a calling. Once we were in school ourselves, my Mom became a religious education teacher. When we’d come down the stairs to make our breakfast we’d find Mom on a living room chair, wrapped in a prayer blanket and passionately writing Bible reflections. My Dad is faithful, too. But my Mom actually wanted to be a married priest. One day a pastor asked my Dad whether he would like to be considered for the role of deacon. My Dad declined. It became a joke between my parents, how my Mom does all the work and my Dad gets all the glory, but it was still telling and hurtful. My Mom didn’t have the option to become a deacon.

Couples outside of the Catholic Church have asked my Mom to marry them. People recognize gifts where institutions may not. But my Mom’s broken heart not to be included as a full member of the Church she loved is a wound that shaped me -- a way for so many years I also internalized being less-than.

One day at our new Episcopal Church Father Tom invited people to meet him after liturgy if they were interested in renewing their faith or baptizing their children. Lyndon whispered to us, “I think I want to be baptized.” Father Tom was a little taken aback when Lyndon approached him after liturgy, directly asking to be baptized. Later when we asked Lyndon why he finally decided to be baptized and why he picked the Episcopal Church, Lyndon said ,”It’s because of women priests and LGBTQ rights.”

Lyndon has heard us discuss these things in our home. He knows these are our values. But he is the first of our family to take a public, religious stand in that direction.

And so I don’t know who brought the water to whom -- Lyndon to us or we to Lyndon. But in the beginning light of yesterday’s Taurus new moon, as Lyndon prepares for his baptism next month, I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned these twelve years as his Mom -- of planting roots and becoming free.



Today's meditation: Fitting songs to areas of your chart

This morning I played James Taylor’s “Something in the Way She Moves” and imagined which part of my chart “she” might be.

She has the power to go where no one else can find me
Yes, and to silently remind me
Of the happiness and good times that I know

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoevtZiVR4k

For me, my Jupiter in Taurus came to mind: The part of my chart that helps me be present and still.

Is there a part of your chart that strikes you as comforting? If you don’t know your chart, is there a quality you have that fills you with a sense of peace?

If this song doesn’t speak to you right now, is there another song that can remind you of a beautiful piece of you?

When Jupiter gets your attention

I’ve won three raffles in the past five days. It’s almost like Jupiter is having fun with me: You were asking when we would get to the good part? Voila.

I don’t usually win things. But my job has had a series of fundraising raffles in the past week, so I gave to each of them. I just considered them donations. But then the emails came: You won the wine basket! You won the soccer tickets! You won the Louis Vuitton bag! Naturally I pulled up the transits to my chart. Is this all about Jupiter in Sagittarius? Why am I winning everything??!!

I’ve heard that Jupiter/Uranus aspects are common in lottery winners. Currently my progressed moon in Scorpio is conjunct my natal Uranus. In the past five days the transiting moon joined with my natal moon, then transiting Uranus, and then my natal Jupiter. Is that enough?

Maybe. Jupiter also stations retrograde today on my natal 9th-house Mercury. In less than two weeks I’ll teach a class about Jupiter in Sagittarius for Fresh Voices in Astrology. In the class I’ll be explaining that natal houses with Sagittarius and Pisces on the cusps are part of our Jupiter story. For me those are houses 9 and 12. Two of the raffle tickets I bought with the intention of giving away the prize if I won: The soccer tickets and the fancy, pricey bag. Two of my friends wanted the prizes more than I did. And so I had my friends in mind when I bought those tickets, and when I won I gave them the prizes.

I don’t know if I had never really won anything before because I was missing that 12th-house element of non-attachment or intention beyond my own ego. But today I feel overjoyed and deeply at peace.

I did buy a lottery ticket and scratch-offs last night, just in case. The scratch-offs didn’t win; maybe the lottery ticket will. If not, I still have great friends, and a great husband, and those several bottles of wine. Today’s Gemini moon is ruled by Mercury, the messenger. I’ve gotten the Jupiter message loud and clear. My cup overflows, and I’m grateful.


Jupiter in Sagittarius: Join me for a webinar on April 20th!

I hope you'll sign up for my webinar! Yay!

 
Jupiter in Sagittarius Lyndon Pic.png
 

When it comes to astrological symbols, if you're looking for excitement and inspiration, Jupiter is a biggie: Not only is it the largest planet in our solar system, but it’s also named after Jupiter in mythology: The most divine ruler. The planetary symbol of blessings, wisdom, faith, risk and joy, Jupiter in our natal charts show us where we naturally have those qualities. We’re born with them and other people likely notice them. But to quote a poster in my son Lyndon’s middle school, “The difference between try and triumph is a little umph." To make the best of our Jupiter gifts, we have to work up some moxie and go for it.

Every twelve years Jupiter returns to its own sign for a year, and this happened on November 8th, 2018 when Jupiter entered Sagittarius. I’m a Sagittarius. I’d been awaiting the year-long transit of Jupiter through Sagittarius the way Lyndon waits for summer vacations: Just knowing how free I’d feel, how happy, how hopeful – basking in sunshine and opportunities. Jupiter in Sagittarius was going to be my very favorite thing. And I’ve had some moments like that, but not consistently. So when do we get to the good part?!

Sagittarius is a sign of adventure and higher learning, connecting dots for meaning and inspiration. And so on April 20th, I’ll be teaching a webinar on Fresh Voices in Astrology in order for us to explore this Jupiter in Sagittarius territory together. Beyond basic keywords, what does this transit mean for us on a deeper level? Using a mixture of astrological tools and contemplative exercises, I'll show you methods for uncovering the good parts, too.

As we make sense of where we’ve been and create meaningful future goals, some Jupiter lessons are constant: The individual ways we’re here to give and receive love; the inspiring breadth of who we already are.

I hope you’ll join me. Crown optional.

https://www.freshvoicesinastrology.com/offers/Gz8GYsYT/checkout

Venus conjunct Saturn and the Super Full Virgo Moon

 
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/27/us-explorer-colin-obrady-completes-first-unaided-solo-traverse-of-antarctica

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/27/us-explorer-colin-obrady-completes-first-unaided-solo-traverse-of-antarctica

 

At 5:15 a.m. EST Venus and Saturn came together in Capricorn, for the first time since Christmas day 2017.

Saturn brings up themes of difficulty/mastery, loneliness/solitude, aging/wisdom, pessimism/realism, limits/a need for careful planning. Venus is associated with love and connection, but also with taking things a little too calmly or compromising too much for a sense of peace.

Saturn can feel harder. But if you’ve ever stuck with something difficult and come away with a lesson or a method worth sharing, that’s positive Saturn. For Saturn in Capricorn I’ve been thinking about Colin O’Brady, the first person to cross Antarctica alone. He called it “The Impossible First.” Lugging over 300 pounds of equipment and faced with whiteout conditions for almost the whole trip, he cried a lot while he was doing it; he said his tears immediately froze on his face. But he just kept going. He had planned, he had trained, and in 54 days he accomplished his goal.

Saturn stories are inspiring: We overcome the impossible with sheer grit and mature steadiness. At least it looks like that from the outside. On the inside we’re more like Colin O’Brady during the actual trek: Almost defeated, unable to see the end or even the next step.

Venus coming to Saturn represents an easing of what’s been hard or limiting for us personally and a call to befriend ourselves anew, from an adult place that honors all of our experiences up to this point. But it’s also a reminder to ally with those who are still limited or suffering, taking us out of isolation to notice who or what has helped us or to notice who or what can use our help.

Tomorrow’s full moon in Virgo is a Super Full Moon. It’ll look bigger and brighter because it’s closer to the earth. The mutable nature of the full moon reminds us of the way life keeps flowing and changing and so do we. And so I hope we can find ways to forgive our failings and to dream as we keep showing up -- human and superhuman, through tears and incredible feats.


Mars/Uranus check-in: Yikes

The big news in the sky this week were Mercury’s entrance into the sign of Pisces on Sunday (until April 17th) and the Mars/Uranus conjunction of Wednesday morning (Eastern time).

What’s been especially frustrating, scary, or beyond your control? Where have you had to go with the flow, chill, or let someone help you?

Yesterday when I started my car it sounded like I was starting a motorcycle or a Mustang. It was really loud. I turned my car off, scared, and restarted it. Same sound. I knew Lyndon was waiting for me at his school, so I started driving. But the car was pulling and not letting me accelerate smoothly. And it was still roaring. So I took side streets instead of the highway, called my Mom to ask her to get Lyndon, and drove straight to the mechanic.

As soon as the mechanics lifted the car, they called me over to see what the problem was. Someone had taken a saw to my catalytic converter. It was still there, but with a slice through it. The mechanics told me to buy a lottery ticket because it was my lucky day. It didn’t feel like my lucky day. It felt like a criminal had ruined my day. But they said that the criminal must have had to flee before finishing the job.

I had hoped to treat Lyndon to a mother/son Valentine’s Day dinner. That didn’t work out, but we both wound up in good company. My parents picked up Lyndon and prepared his dinner. The mechanics told me stories of all the robberies they’ve seen or experienced. We laughed at the ridiculousness and universality of it all. The mechanics were able to weld the part instead of having to replace it.

I love difficult separating aspects because they remind us that were coming away from something hard. One face of the Mars/Uranus conjunction is unexpected crisis. But sometimes it takes perspective to see that we’re already on the other side.

Happy Friday. I hope that someone shows you kindness today. And as the moon makes harmonious aspects first to Uranus and then to Mars, I hope you can notice somehow you’re more free and empowered than you might have been before.

A free gift for Valentine's Day

My mother-in-law, Dian Bustillo, first learned astrology as a kindergarten teacher, as a way to understand and to connect better with each student. She later became an astrologer and astrology teacher. She was my first astrology teacher, and as soon as she learned I had an interest she started giving me freebies: My first ephemeris; a subscription to The Mountain Astrologer magazine; a hand-made personal planner with the astrological aspects for each day.

Dian has a Leo moon and an outrageously generous nature. For my birthday this year I asked her to knit me a long, chunky scarf. She used my favorite color and somehow figured out how to knit a big “A” into the design. I didn’t know that at 42 it would be so exciting to get clothing with my own initial, but as an astrologer Dian has an inside track into understanding my Aries rising.

Her birthday is Friday, and in honor of her and in the spirit of Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I’m sharing my Parenting with Astrology webinar free through February 15th with the code LOVE. From what I can tell, grandparenting comes naturally. But as a parent, it’s helped me to have some tools. :)

I hope it’ll help you understand and connect better with the ones you love, too.