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.

Venus's Day (Friday)

Sometimes while I’m driving Lyndon to school we’ll talk about one astrological concept that can get us through the day. When I was looking at the chart of the day this morning, what popped in my mind is Venus.

Friday is ruled by Venus, whose gifts are love, beauty, art, and peace. Today’s Libra moon is also ruled by Venus. So there’s a double message of peace and connection with others. Where the message gets nuanced is in the current sign of Venus, Sagittarius. Sagittarius is an independence-loving sign, seeking and striving for adventure and inspiration. And restlessness isn’t always a great remedy for peace. So how do we reconcile these energies?

That’s for all of us to explore personally, but just knowing that both coexist might help us through today. Maybe we can seek interactions with interesting people; maybe learning, reading, or exploring in some other way can bring us peace. And maybe taking time to remember our best adventures or start planning our next one can help us see where we have freedom and options and get reacquainted with inspiration again.

Partial solar eclipse in Capricorn

 
Just so you know, there's a space that only you can fill. (1).png
 

When I was younger I used to love to be in plays. I loved the excitement of waiting in the wings before the show started. I loved listening to the buzz of the arriving audience. One of the crew members would give us updates. “I saw your Mom and Dad!” “It’s packed!” “We had to add extra chairs.” So much of the overall production was out of our hands. Would the props work? The lighting and sound? Would my partner remember the dance sequence? Even after months of practice I was never sure I was ready. Would my voice crack? Would I forget a line? Would I fall? When the curtains opened it was always an act of bravery and trust for us to perform, because we really didn’t know how we would do or how the audience would receive us. We just tried our best.

I like the symbolism of curtains closing and opening for an eclipse, especially tied in with the new moon symbolism of beginning in darkness. If the sun in astrology represents us, today’s partial solar eclipse blocks our ability to see ourselves fully. So what might we be missing about our own potential right now? What part of us is trying to get our attention, that might be different from the self we’re used to? It’s terrifying to have most of our ego stripped away. But what does that make space for? What was always waiting in darkness or is ready to be seen now?

Saturn and Pluto are conjunct this solar eclipse in Capricorn, bringing up issues of age, excellence, achievement, and solitude, but also control. How much control feels safe for us? How do we over- or under- control? What have we steadily planned for, worked for, built? What’s important to us? And when the unexpected happens, when our hearts are broken in disappointment, what steadies us? What really matters and keeps us going?

I’m carrying the excitement of a beginning with me this new moon/solar eclipse but also the seriousness of Capricorn/Pluto/Saturn, because in some area of our lives the stakes are high. We might be overwhelmed or defeated or terrified. But all of our effort and all of our experience counts in ways we might not understand yet. And when we show up something powerful and unseen swells with love and pride, and marvels. And I hope we do, too.

Exploring Lyndon's and my progressed moon

Student+art+in+Terezin+ghetto+Prague.jpg

I’ve been feeling guilty that I haven’t been writing as much. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to. I’ve just been more reserved. I’m wondering how much this instinct to become more private is connected with my progressed moon having recently entered Scorpio. The progressed moon symbolizes our evolving emotional needs and states, and its 2¼-year length is helpful to explore in terms of significant emotional phases throughout our lives.

When my moon progressed into airy Libra I started writing and communicating more in general. I wrote and shared more about relationships – strategies for connecting and finding common ground. I felt compelled to check in. My counseling practice picked up. Even through a divisive presidential election I tried to show respect to people with differing opinions – a huge stretch for a Sagittarius. I was learning to be more considerate.

My moon progressed to Scorpio this summer while I was on a Holocaust Remembrance Trip in Europe with my family. I haven’t written much about the trip because there’s so much to unpack psychologically, and at the same time I’m aware that what I saw and felt over two weeks pales in comparison to what millions of people lived through. In the Jewish Museum of Prague I photographed these children’s drawings from the 1940s. Their teacher, Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, held secret therapeutic art classes in the Terezín ghetto, determined to connect the children to beauty and inspiration even as their lives got more restricted and terrifying. Eventually Dicker-Brandeis was sent to and killed at Auschwitz. I still think about her, trying to understand the evil that she was up against, wondering how I also can be an instrument of love and hope even in darkness. And it’s not always clear to me. It’s just a question. Sometimes the darkness is so potent.

I’ve become more aware of these kinds of difficult truths – how life can be unfair or cruel. And I think it’s giving me more empathy. Fellow water signs Cancer and Pisces are more often touted for their compassion and ability to love. But I’m starting to believe that Scorpio doesn’t get enough credit. With its penetrating ability to plumb the murky and intense, I wonder if the fixed water energy of Scorpio is partly about finding the strength to continue to love and empathize even when it would be tempting to shut out or shut down. Developing the right protections to carry a sensitive soul, like Cancer, renewing in dreamy darkness, like Pisces, but with the reliability of fellow fixed signs Taurus and Leo: You can depend on me. I’m not going away.

Somehow progressed moon signs or phases kick in when we need them to, when we are ready or when life is ready for us to express a new quality. Right before my moon progressed to watery Scorpio, Lyndon’s moon progressed to fiery Aries. Lyndon’s rising to the challenges of his new middle school: changing classes for the first time, meeting new friends, taking responsibility for his homework and grades. I see a decisiveness that wasn’t there when his progressed moon was in Pisces. Then he was more likely to be swayed by what other people said or just to try to blend in and not make waves. Now he’s speaking up with a budding confidence. I have to check myself when he’s a little harsh with me: Do I point it out to him or let him practice this new voice until he gets the right balance? Aries and Scorpio make an uncomfortable aspect to each other – a quincunx – and the two of us try our best to adjust to each other these days. We both can be a little too spiky. In some ways Lyndon is over-confident: He fervently debates that he’s old enough to take two subways and walk a mile by himself to get home from school every day. I counter that parents have a sense in their guts about what’s safe for their children. He doesn’t buy it. But I need to honor my strong intuition, too. He’s 11. It was only last year that he was the spacey kid who got a pencil stuck in his forehead. (For the full story, see my Parenting with Astrology webinar.) So I send him for smaller trips alone and see how he does. I defer when he tells me he’s too old this year to take a Christmas card photo. That’s a hard one for me. But I have to make sure I don’t come off as too authoritarian while he’s learning an Aries sense of his own power.

If I didn’t practice astrology, I could still find a language for what Lyndon is experiencing through developmental stages. And thank God there are so many ways for us to figure out meaning and next steps. But the progressed moon is a simple tool that helps me on a daily basis to understand emotional landscape and phases and cut myself and my family more slack.

I have two more years in Scorpio territory, and I don’t know what that will mean for me as a mother or wife, artist or astrologer, woman or simply a human. The progressed moon in Scorpio merges two symbols of mystery. And so I’m very much exploring right now. The clients who have come for readings lately seem to want to sit in deep space together. I love that. Yet I also feel socially awkward navigating this depth in other settings. What’s appropriate to share and with whom? I’m not always sure. Part of Scorpio is discerning between privacy that feels good or right and privacy that just reinforces a sense of shame.

Both Aries and Scorpio can be powerful, passionate and extreme. They’re both ruled by Mars – the red planet and God of war. And so for the next two years Lyndon and I might not always be so comfortable to be around. We might have to push back in situations we last year would have tolerated. We might have to tell harsh or awkward truths, to each other and to the outside world. In some ways that’s exciting, and I’m happy to be aligned with my child in this way. I have an Aries moon natally and I’m curious to see those energies reflected in Lyndon for the next two years. What will I admire? What will I see that I don’t like? What might I be able to help him understand? How will seeing Aries in Lyndon help me embrace untapped courage and leadership, too?

In two days transiting Mars will enter Aries; it’ll stay in Aries until Valentine’s Day. For Lyndon and me, this will ramp up the intensity and focus of our progressed moons. For all of us in some area, the symbols represent willpower and desire, boundaries and bravery. Pay attention to any unrest or passion, aggression, excitement, or fear you notice, either around you or within you. The next two months will be rife with opportunities to act and react – to challenge our natural patterns and try ways that feel more aligned with who we are right now.

I hope for me that means challenging myself to shed some of the shell I’ve been fortifying myself under – or at least exchanging it for a larger one that leaves space for more company. And so if you’d like to explore your progressed moon or your child’s, please reach out to me. The moon is a symbol of life’s natural phases of growth and renewal. It rules parenting and childhood, our inner life and creativity and our ability to recover and heal. It reveals the most tender parts of us. It can be an act of love to ourselves just to sit in that space, alone or with another: to feel, to wonder, to marvel – at where we’ve been, who we are and who we’re still becoming.

Thinking Big: Mercury in Sagittarius

Mercury is entering Sagittarius today for the second time this year. The first time Mercury was in Sagittarius, October 31 – December 1st, it got stopped in its tracks by a retrograde period. (See Mercury retrograde post.)

We’re still in the Mercury retrograde shadow period, which will end on December 24th. So until then, Sagittarian optimism and joy may be a little slow-going. We may have to process a bit to get there. It might not be automatic. Some ruminating energy still shadows our ability to wish big. That can be a good thing, slowing us down enough to wish for the right things – the things that will really serve our highest nature and not just be a quick distraction.

Take advantage of this post-shadow period to spend a few minutes each day tuning within -- or simply remembering the times in your life when you felt an excited connection to your purpose. Now is a good time for us to recognize where we are on our life paths and make some sense of it all. What fits? What doesn’t? After the deep, feeling phase of Scorpio, Sagittarius adds spark and fire to our mindset, and maybe some impatience. Sit with that, too. The divine unrest of Sagittarius can be a teacher. Examine it somehow – with a loved one, in a journal, or in some other way that allows you to be safely and brutally honest.

In some way we may have become stuck. Mercury is connected to flexibility – in thought, speech, and physical movement. And Sagittarius is related to exploration. This time can help us recognize the freedom and abundance of our current situation or point the way to something better. So even if the time is frustrating, try to stay interested in what’s unraveling. And if it helps, try to picture the sound of your own name with a Sagittarian twist: Loud and exaggerated, jovial and free, infused with possibility.