Blessing what you do and how you do it: The end of Mars in Virgo

Paul Klee, "Little Hope", Metropolitan Museum of Art

Paul Klee, "Little Hope", Metropolitan Museum of Art


Today Mars enters Libra and boy am I relieved it’s leaving Virgo, where it's been since September 5th.

For the last month the planet of courage and competition joined with the energy of the craftsperson. I’m so tired of second-guessing myself and comparing my work to others. In just the past few days I had someone approach me for a reading, and then leave, shoulders slumped, because she expected to pay less for a reading. And then yesterday at a restaurant we noticed the tear-off ad of a fellow astrologer (and palmist, Tarot-reader, photo-reader, face-reader, etc.). He said he was his country’s top spiritualist. He promised “100% protection from life problems” forever. Three tabs with his phone number had been ripped off. That’s more clients than I’ve had this month.

Clearly, I have a problem with self-promotion. I don’t really have an elevator pitch. But I help people understand their current situations, make courageous choices, and find peace in themselves and their relationships. I don’t speak with the dead. I’m not going to tell you there’s an evil hex that’s kept you miserable. I’ll acknowledge your struggles, but also challenge some of your thought and behavior patterns. What I do is not for everyone. The people who come to me are seekers. They’re not into the novelty of it. They want to understand something more deeply and move forward from their own power.

It’s tempting to slash my prices just to get the word out. It’s tempting to make myself more of a generalist and learn other metaphysical crafts. But I’m a counseling astrologer. I also have a full-time job and a family. Both compete with but ultimately inform and improve my astrology practice. I look for and offer real-life solutions. I know what it’s like to juggle. I carve out a spiritual life knowing I can’t spend a month in Tibet. The people I counsel can’t either. I’m trying to find the holy in Queens, NY, while I drive Lyndon to school and myself to work so my family has health benefits.

And today as Mars travels through Virgo’s final degree, I release and find peace in my rant. If the last month has made you question what you do or compare it in value to what others do, I hope you can see what you do well. I hope you can value practical actions that you have taken and see their benefit. I hope you can see that your craft and your survival have been interwoven, sometimes helping each other and sometimes necessitating uncomfortable compromise. If you’ve gotten any better and you’re still here, well done.

An honest talk about the Libra New Moon

Yesterday there was a Libra New Moon. The New Moon is a beginning. It’s customary to set intentions for the next 28 days until the next New Moon, as we go forward in hope. Libra is the sign of balance and relationship. If we just looked at that, it would be tempting to shroud ourselves in empty positivity. But this time, I’ve found myself unable to wish anyone a Happy New Moon.

This New Moon is unsettling. The sun and moon in Libra oppose Uranus in Aries. In an opposition we meet our other half. Sometimes it feels more “other” than “half.” Sometimes it’s more opponent than partner. Uranus itself symbolically makes things very uncomfortable. Uranus wants freedom and individuality. Aries is primed for a fight. Many of us are up against a sense of chaos, separation, or trauma we just can’t get around. How do we do this?

This is the fourth Libra New Moon to carry this theme in the past six years. Every two years we’ve faced this opposition: September 2011, October 2013, October 2015 and now today. Can you find any common threads in those times?

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#MeToo and other Uncomfortable Truths: Mercury in Scorpio

Mercury entered Scorpio early this morning. Until November 5th, can our voices speak the uncomfortable truth? Can we see or hear what’s beneath the surface ourselves?  Why would we want to?

In a word, freedom. Tomorrow Mercury joins Jupiter's exact degree. Jupiter’s been in Scorpio only a week and already women have been empowered to share their stories of harassment or abuse, stories many of us just kept to ourselves for decades. It was either just the way it was, or it was so shameful to us on some level that we buried it. Now we’re naming it. We’re demanding society see this secret and change. This will be a long road, but Jupiter in Scorpio is a year-long transit. It’s not going anywhere anytime fast. We’re all wrestling with the empowerment and wisdom that comes after walking through hell. Our joy is tied up with an ability to probe the depths and set free the truth.

Today is the last day of the Mercury/Jupiter conjunction in Libra that happened last October. And it’s also a balsamic moon. Both correlate with release. Before the moon enters Libra at 1:34 p.m. today, spend some time purifying the sweet heart you were born with. Mourn the violence or aggression that robbed you of your innocence. If you haven't already, face your anger. And consciously release the situations or shitheads that took away your sense of peace and safety in the world and in your own body.

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Getting Back to Basics: The Waning Virgo Moon

Under today’s Virgo moon, imagine calmness in simplicity. What is the root of basic happiness for you? Which tasks or details reinforce your happiness and comfort? Which pull you away or distract you from what truly feeds and restores you?

Life is a balancing act, and there are compromises we have to make. We have to pay the rent. We have certain obligations. But a Virgo moon helps us see the holy in the obligation. If an area of your life has become too depleting or too much of a chore, can you reframe it so that it holds some satisfaction or teaching for you? Or do you need to make a change? Can you call in reinforcements?

Yesterday Venus entered Libra, where it will be until November 7th. For the next two days, use the scrutiny of the Virgo moon to examine your relationships and inner peace. See who shows up and whether you can hear a different point of view. And refine your approach to humility. Can practicing more humility help you become better and more whole? Or have you already given or done too much?

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Getting to a place of Home: The Cancer moon faces tension

oday the moon forms quite a few tense aspects. We might need to remember to breathe today.

The day will start with a t-square involving Pluto and end with a grand cross involving Uranus. Yikes. How do we handle it?

First, recognize our emotional needs for the day. With a Cancer moon we’ll all be craving comfort and security to a certain extent. We’ll probably feel more sensitive. We may want to retreat.

But there are deep matters that need our attention. The disseminating, last quarter moon has a quality of shared ritual and release, and Pluto calls our attention to the dark areas of hell or the bright areas of empowerment. There are things we need to see or say today that will conflict with our need for safety. But this is time to get real.

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Exploring the Depths: Jupiter in Scorpio

Today Jupiter entered the sign of Scorpio, where it will be until November 8th of next year.

I’m not gonna lie. This one scares me a bit.

While Jupiter was in Libra (since September 2016), I learned to be nicer. I learned to build bridges. I was surprised by the steady parade of people who showed up to help me. Sometimes I was overwhelmed by social obligations and overly concerned with the way things looked or how I might come across. I couldn't always handle the small talk. But whenever I lost hope and let out a desperate prayer, someone would appear with a smile or a compliment to help me go forward. Exploring a kinder, calmer, more artistic side of myself boosted my faith and confidence. I think I’m just afraid that I’ll lose that ability to find peace and connect now. I don’t feel ready to have the training wheels removed.

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Aries Full Moon

Yesterday’s void Pisces moon was rough. I felt like I was under water. I couldn’t catch my breath. As I drove Lyndon to school and myself to work, in my head I kept yelling, “Where are you, God? Where are you?” Lyndon watched me loudly breathe in and out, in and out, and told me, “It’s OK to cry, Mom.” I snapped at him. “I don’t want to cry. I just want to breathe.” My head was foggy and I was overwhelmed. Why are we here? How do we all go on?

When I got to work there was a Mass for the Feast of St. Francis. Two Franciscan Brothers celebrated their 50th anniversary of service. Their friend, a nun in her 90s, came for the mass and we all rallied to make her physically comfortable: A padded cushion for her chair, fresh fruit, a bottle of water. Would you prefer to use your cane now or your walker? Two male teachers stopped their brisk walk in the hallway to welcome her back to the school. They gently leaned in to listen to her soft, shaky voice.

Later that afternoon at home as the moon changed sign to Aries, I had a Skype session with a client across the world who had been experiencing a scary, tumultuous phase. Yet she was calm, powerful, and grounded.

Before today’s full moon in Aries the moon opposed Mercury in Libra and soon Venus will join with Mars in Virgo. There’s symbolism of partnership and fight, peace and strength, and boots-on-the-ground work.

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Letting in balance: Mercury in Libra

The moon has been in the sign of Aquarius for the past two days. I’ve felt this inner tug of rebellion and argumentativeness. I’ve felt jumpy and wired. And yet, on Friday Mercury entered the sign of Libra. Libra is the sign of compromise, balance, moderation, and one-to-one partnerships. How the heck do we focus our minds and conversations toward the courteous and friendly when we’re aware of the unrest and upheaval happening in the world? What we’re noticing and feeling is disturbing. We’re primed to fight about it. It’s important. Libra and Aquarius share a focus on social justice and fairness. So maybe we’ve ramped up that rhetoric. But is anyone actually listening?

Until October 17th, what we take in and express will be tightly linked with our own sense of inner balance. According to Marcia Moore and Mark Douglas, under Mercury in Libra, head and heart cooperate. That sounds beautiful and perfect. But what if our heart is broken? What becomes of our mindset and voice?

We’re all being challenged to slow ourselves down enough in our interactions to stay more flexible, cool-minded and impartial than usual. For many of us, that means taking more breaths and listening better. For all of us, it means doggedly seeking more beauty, inner peace, and love. But if you’re already naturally open and oriented toward the partner, maybe you can look for more equality in your relationships now. Are you always the one accommodating, making concessions, putting yourself in the other person’s shoes? Are you carrying more than your fair share of the load? Maybe now is a time to speak up and push back. Maybe you have something to teach.

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Pluto stations direct: Truth Time

Today Pluto stations direct. Pluto has been retrograde or seemed to move backwards since April 20th.

Pluto represents transformation and empowerment. According to Steven Forrest, Pluto is your wise wound. It symbolizes the psychological, the buried – how deeply you must go to retrieve your soul.

What depth work have you done in the past five months?

In Christianity the Passion of Jesus correlates with the symbolism of Pluto: Suffering, death and resurrection. “On the third day he rose again….” I only noticed the other day that during the Eucharistic prayer the priest says, “At the time he was betrayed and entered willingly into his Passion, he took bread and, giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples….” Entered willingly, giving thanks. HOW?

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Don't Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater: Jupiter and Uranus

The moon will aspect Jupiter and Uranus today before the two planets oppose each other at 12:26 a.m. EDT tomorrow morning. Today is kind of like a dress rehearsal.

Visualize freedom and individuality today. Can the wisdom, abundance, and joy symbolized by Jupiter be as important as the liberation, revolution, and individuation of Uranus?

Most of us are probably more comfortable with one planet or the other. The opposition gives us a chance to bring them into balance again. It gives us a chance to see beyond our own viewpoint. I probably lean more toward Jupiter on a daily basis. I try to see the hope and meaning in what unfolds, with a shadow of Pollyanna-ness or preachiness. For me the challenge will be to let myself be shocked. What haven’t I been seeing because my mind was already made up? If you approach life with more of a Uranian outlook, can you let in some faith at this time? Can you find common ground with someone you might have dismissed before?

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Beyond our limited understanding: The moon in Sagittarius

The moon is in Sagittarius today. How can faith and a sense of reaching and expansion help you today? What meaning or philosophy might bring you focus and peace?

Sagittarius energy lends itself to exaggeration, so the Virgo planets squaring the moon and Saturn give a helpful reality check. Has something in your life or in your point of view become out of control or overblown? Noticing a new detail or approaching a task or a conversation with humility or practicality can help bring us back to the moment.

At the same time, seeing beyond what worries or upsets us can ground us in wisdom and optimism. What excites you? What feels abundant in your life right now? If things could be better, can you coach yourself through or let in the love of someone who believes in you?

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Love and reaching: The moon conjunct Jupiter in Libra

What does it mean to have the symbol of unconditional love and healing come together with the symbol of boundless reaching and faith? How might they be playing out for you in this moment?

Today the moon joined Jupiter for the last time in the sign of Libra until September 2028. They’ve come together 14 times since Jupiter entered Libra in September 2016, slightly more than once a month.

This afternoon the sun also enters Libra, the sign of harmony, serenity, balance, relationship. Libra is associated with art, beauty, justice, and connection. But those lovely goals are not the easiest to achieve. They require compromise, conversation, and a tolerance of paradox. They require vulnerability and an openness to being changed and enhanced by something outside ourselves. Since Jupiter entered Libra last September, we’ve likely all had to stretch or have faith in these areas. There were probably times we had to compromise more than we wanted to or to give more than we could. And by now we might just feel depleted.

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Balance, peace, and taking turns: The Libra Moon

Two black swans and Venus as the morning star, by Tricia Kennedy

Two black swans and Venus as the morning star, by Tricia Kennedy


Today the moon is in the sign of Libra.

Yesterday while I was driving Lyndon to school, he pointed out that people seemed to be moving slowly. That fits in with the Libra agenda of taking it easy. It also fits in with the Libra challenge of taking turns. A pedestrian sauntered in front of our car, nowhere near a crosswalk. We got stuck behind a sanitation truck. When the moon is in Libra it’s not just about us. Circumstances will probably make that pretty clear. Relax. Breathe. We might have to accommodate the other more than we want to.

Yet not too much: Libra is not just about the other, either. What do we want or need, too? What works best for both of us?

Today remember to check in with others. Communicate what you want but also ask them what they want. Try to see things from a different point of view. Seeking the middle ground, today we can find ways to help and even appreciate each other.

And as the moon squares Pluto, if you face a hard truth or a daunting task, try to notice signs of comfort, beauty, love, and support. You’re not alone. You can do this.

To those celebrating Rosh Hashanah, Shanah Tovah. May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.

(Moon square Pluto in Capricorn 1:00 p.m. EDT. Moon sextile Saturn in Sagittarius 10:11 p.m.)

    Becoming better and real: The Virgo New Moon

    Tonight Venus enters the sign of Virgo before the Virgo New Moon at 1:29 a.m. EDT.

    A Virgo client of mine once told me that the question that affects her most is, “Are you real?” With five planets in earth sign Virgo, this New Moon symbolizes becoming real. It also symbolizes becoming better. Virgo is never fully satisfied, and that motivation to improve, while it helps people with strong Virgo energy do great things, can also deplete or depress them. So how do we become better and yet also more real? Why would we want to? 

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    In Case You Get Cranky: The Moon in Virgo conjunct Mars and Mercury

    What do you want and what do you notice? How does that make you feel? What’s your dream? Does it feel out of reach?

    Today the moon entered Virgo. It will join Mars and then Mercury this afternoon, echoing themes from Saturday’s Mercury/Mars conjunction. In the evening it will oppose Neptune. When the moon is in Virgo it’s time to look at the details and be practical. But which details do we see? Do we pay attention to what strengthens and amazes us or to the roadblocks and noisy distractions? Do we really need to get away from it all or can we just use some inspiration?

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    Something to think about: Mercury conjunct Mars

    Today Mercury and Mars join for the third time in four months and the last time until June 2019.

    The final Mercury/Mars conjunction in July 2015 was in the sign of Cancer. Protective, security-minded Cancer fueled our mindset and actions for the last two years. The winning side of the US election understood that: Build the wall. Make America Great Again. A focus on country and safety resonated. Donald Trump’s natal Mercury is in Cancer. He was naturally suited to speak directly to these themes. He noticed them. He communicated them. Hillary Clinton’s “Better together” just didn’t connect to voters’ hearts as a motivator. It wasn’t emotional enough. Even if we voted for her, her speeches and slogans didn’t touch many of us enough to care beyond our own situations and loved ones. With her natal Mercury in Scorpio, she needed to go more deeply to actually move us with her words. She finally did in her concession speech, hours too late.

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    The Cancer moon changes to Leo: Take time to Love and create

    Take time to be creative today. Take time to notice the ones you love. When I took these photos of Elena at our home this weekend, part of me thought, “Should Lang really be having Elena's baby dolls box each other?” But when I uploaded the photos this morning I saw how his silliness broke the ice and made her happy and comfortable.

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    Releasing love: The waning Cancer moon

    Today the moon is in Cancer, the sign the moon rules.

    Over my pajamas I’m wearing a shawl a Cancerian friend gave me. It feels like a hug. She cleaned my house every week for the past two years, and the days we walked back into our home after she’d performed her magic, the three of us would spontaneously sigh and say “Thank you!” to her into the air. We could feel her love and care. Sometimes before she came I would text her a warning, “This week it’s really bad! I’m so sorry!” She’d respond, “Tranquila.” Calm down. Relax. It’s OK.

    I have shame attached to the fact that I hate cooking and cleaning. I wish I were better at them and I wish I enjoyed them. I hear other women talk with pride about the meal they cooked or the spring cleaning they did, and I feel like an alien. I think I’m doing a crappy job as a Mom and wife. But now balancing out my own self-judgment is my friend’s sweet voice: “Tranquila.” So kind and nurturing, making it OK to be me.

    When my friend called to tell me she accepted a full-time job and wouldn’t be able to clean our house, I could hear her worry and sadness. But she set up her cousin to take her place, someone we already know and trust. Yesterday she sent her cousin for the first time. We came home to gifts my friend had asked her cousin to bring us, including this shawl.

    Today I want to thank the people with Cancer suns, moons, Ascendants, or other significant Cancer placements for the healing work you do, in whichever walk or profession. Your love and care changes situations and other people’s hearts more than you might know. On the other hand, the part of you that does know and takes on other people's feelings could keep you stuck taking care of them, not being fed or nurtured yourself.

    During the waning moon cycle until the New Moon on September 20th, there may be situations or people you need to release in some way. Let your strong intuition guide you. The change could be good for everyone, even if it’s scary or sad right now. We'll all be OK. Tranquila.

    (Moon sextile Mars in Virgo 3:47 a.m. EDT. Moon trine Neptune 3:31 p.m. Moon opposite Pluto in
    Capricorn 10:50 p.m.)

    Two challenging days: Back-to-back T-squares

    Yesterday there was a T-square involving the Gemini moon, the Virgo sun, and Pisces Neptune.

    From “The T-Square is an aspect figure which is formed when two planets in opposition (i.e. 180 degrees apart) are both squared by a third planet. Both these aspects are considered to be so-called "hard" or "disharmonious" aspects, and the T-square intensifies this quality which makes it… challenging…. The third planet is the focal point of the figure and could be said to carry the tension of the two planets… in opposition.”

    Several hours of my day revolved around the fact that Lyndon’s bus drove right past him yesterday morning. The driver whizzed by three minutes early without stopping, never noticing that Lang and Lyndon were standing there, waiting. Neptune: the planet of fogginess and invisibility.

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    When the Gemini Moon goes deeper: Moon square Neptune

    Today try to speak with confident humility and to listen with compassion. The Gemini Messenger Moon wants to learn and teach, to amaze and be amazed; yet in a Waning Gibbous or Shaman phase with the Virgo sun, our engagement with others becomes deeper. How can what we already know help others? How can what they know help us? What can we learn or experience together?

    Humor can help you connect with another person today, but so can openness and empathy. And if you’re facing something that worries or scares you, pray or form an intention first. Look for signs to show you you’re safe and blessed, even if you’re someplace new.

    (Moon square Neptune in Sagittarius 12:52 p.m. EDT. Venus in Leo trine Saturn in Sagittarius 8:49 p.m.)