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.

On the Libra New Moon

On Monday right before midnight EDT there was a Libra new moon, closing out an emotionally exhausting previous month. 
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I’ve been weighing what to share about the Libra new moon, because the air signs challenge our objectivity. And each time I typed a sentence about an aspect in the new moon chart, I saw my own perspective creep in. Libra helps us build a bridge of respect and rapport with each other. It challenges us to see different sides. And so I typed and then erased so many words these last two days. I just wasn’t sure they were universal enough. I didn’t know what would help.
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I can use more Libra energy. I naturally have tons of the opposite energy in my chart. I’m oriented to Aries action, independence and crisis. I can drive myself and the people around me a little bit too hard. 
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The past couple of days I’ve noticed civility and humor creep in: Someone opening a door for me, students calling me Mrs. Jones, a little boy karate chopping the air in my direction as he and his Mom cross in front of my car – just in case. Simple signs of interaction, drawing me out of my own head. I needed these after a Virgo month of scrupulous introspection, of trying to do things just-right. I feel some Libra ease set in. Amy, you can breathe.
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But that’s just me, and this month that’s really the point. The air signs represent open-mindedness. And so I don’t know the ways that you can get stuck, too, but this month offers an invitation to balance. This month is a chance to challenge patterns of thought, speech, and relating. Can we carry the mutable – changing – quality of Virgo forward and add in the cardinal new start? How would it heal us to begin again?
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This month isn’t entirely comfortable. Because Venus, the ruler of Libra, is now retrograde in Scorpio, the past informs this cycle, as does the mysterious, the psychologically powerful and complex. In this cycle we try to find the outer expression that reflects our honest inner selves right now, allowing that we’re a complicated stew of paradox. And so any practice that helps us make peace with ourselves can keep us from being too explosive and reactive. We’re working some things out. And Venus’s square to Mars symbolizes that we’ll be compelled to act. But it takes some effort not to act on auto-pilot, driven by past trauma or rejection. 
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In Sweden last week a little girl pulled a pre-Viking era sword from a lake. I wish that image were just tremendous, but it’s complicated, too. This month reminds us to enter those murky waters, but carefully. We can become the best or the worst of what we’ve seen and experienced. 
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There’s so much more to say, but this month I have to remind myself that I don’t have to be the one to say it. I’m working on listening, too.

Venus in Scorpio, intentionally

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As Venus transits through Scorpio we see beneath masks or distortions in our relationships. Between the Libran “I can make you happy if I just...” to the Sagittarian “This’ll work out great if I just believe” lies penetrating Scorpio. If we’ve been bending over backwards too much for other people, Venus in Scorpio will give us an edge. Enough. The Scorpion’s tail isn’t cruel. It’s a matter of self-protection so we don’t overinvest ourselves in relationships that don’t meet the Venus test: Do we really feel connected? Does this person look out for my well-being, too?

Of course, it can go the other way. Venus in Scorpio can be a wake-up call between Libran too-socially-overextended and Sagittarian too blunt and direct. If we haven’t been considerate enough in a relationship, Venus in Scoprio can make us aware of someone’s hurt feelings. It slows us down to see what’s been bubbling beneath the surface. It can help us strategize so we’re more careful next time. How about I not look at my phone the whole time we’re together or blurt out that thing you might want to keep private? If we’re really all in, maybe it’s time to change some of our behaviors.

As Venus transits through Scorpio, pay attention to vibes & feelings. Don’t just brush them off. Explore them in art, explore them with people you trust. But don’t bury them. Pluto in Capricorn just won’t have it. It’s time to get more real.

Water signs are associated with greater intuition & compassion. Fixed signs symbolize strength & staying power. Just remember to give some Venus in Scorpio love to yourself while you're at it, Beautiful. Enter the stillness & depth to see your own magic & become a better friend to you, too.

Moon opposite Pluto and the power of projection

Last night I had a dream I was about to play Monica Seles in a tournament match.

In the dream I didn’t have any special abilities. I knew it was ridiculous to go up against Monica Seles. I probably haven’t played tennis since fifth grade. Still I wanted to help her, because she needed this match for her standings. I knew she and I shared a birthday, so I thought, “I guess by playing I can help a fellow Sadge move ahead.” 

I didn’t have much time, so I prepared for the match by buying the right clothes. It might have been more useful to work on my serve or to stretch. I knew she would destroy me on the court. But I at least wanted to look the part. 

Accommodating, helping, sharing. Appearances, the question of an equal match. My dream was filled with Libran themes.

I woke up before I got to the stadium.

Today the moon enters the last quarter phase. Steven Forrest refers to "cathartic theater and the inner journey of the solitary artist" of this phase. In my dream I was about to face a powerful opponent who was sure to win. But she also has my birthday. On some level I was facing myself. 

Jumping in when it's not really appropriate or before I'm really ready to; over- or underestimating myself; deferring so someone else can win. I do these things sometimes, but do I still have to or want to? How often do habit or duty play a role in my decision-making? And what does it really matter what I look like??? 

Throughout this Virgo new moon cycle, the details and tasks that come up and the ways we're recruited to help or serve reveal to us the unfolding self that fits right now. It's a process of adjustment. It takes discernment. We get messages telling us how we’re doing, and we sift through them the best that we can. We weigh them with what we notice, and what feels safe and right for us, too. 

Who have been the major players in your life recently? What have been the major themes? Are there relationship or behavior patterns you've recognized? What have your dreams or intuition been telling you?

If a powerful image or interaction also gets your attention or elicits a strong emotional reaction, it might help to explore it from different angles or talk it through with someone you trust. It could have a helpful message that takes some time and attention to unpack.

Today's Cancer moon represents secure bonds and deep emotional safety needs. Show up for people how you can and when you're ready, but if you're someone who always thinks about other people, maybe give yourself some kindness, care, and love today, too.

The jarring Aries full moon: Growing -- and speaking -- up

The new moon that began this cycle symbolized the Virgo ideal: The worldly connecting us to the holy, like Barbara Brown Taylor's metaphor of laundry as prayer flag. Some part of our home base and identity takes on a level of higher meaning and becomes sacred through attention and ritual. But Virgo, as it seeks and reaches perfection, is a mutable sign. We never really stay “there”, or “there” changes.

And… so must we. This week's Aries full moon is revealing what’s no longer working as is through tension, passion, and conflict. It carries the energy of wanting to break out or break away – to shake free of complacency. Exploration. Fight. Flight. The Libra sun is rebalancing the scales somewhat. What truly fits or is fair now?

When I was growing up, the Thursday night NBC line-up was a big deal in our house. As New Yorkers in a large family The Cosby Show felt like watching ourselves: The doting husband, the sassy Mom, the occasional songs and choreographed dances. Eleven years ago, as Lang and I were about to start our own family, a Cosby Show marathon on the maternity room TV helped us relax, and even laugh, through some of my labor.

Yesterday Bill Cosby was sentenced to prison for drugging and sexually assaulting women.

Whenever Libra is involved, the paradox of two truths plays a role, and that’s a big message of Monday's full moon. It’s true that I'm nostalgic about The Cosby Show. It’s true that I stand with survivors of sexual abuse. But Saturn in Capricorn was the apex of that t-square between the Libra sun and full Aries moon. Now that I’m an adult, which truth is more important? And are they really equal?

I noticed that Lyndon is starting that walk-half-a-block-ahead-of-your-mother phase. He’s using teenaged phrases like, “Whatever”— but softly, carefully — like the first time you say a word in a foreign language. I’m usually the one forging ahead: the coach. But at this stage Lyndon is learning boldness, directness, and independence, and I’m learning a more supportive role, and often a more worried one: Will he look both ways when he crosses the street? Will he hug me for a full five seconds? The other morning as I automatically straightened out the waistband of his sweatpants, it dawned on me: I really should ask before I do that. It’s a matter of respect I simply never considered before.

Whether we’re learning to be more assertive or more cooperative – or both – this week can be emotionally tense and jarring, as we realize we need to draw or accept new boundaries, as we take on new patterns of being and relating.

Some behaviors are no longer appropriate. And some have never been appropriate, but now our eyes are open. The Aries full moon reminds us: Take an honest look before deciding something's sacred or even simply fine as-is. For all of us on some level, it's time for a change.

We're accountable in a way we haven't been before.

Before Virgo leaves....

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The sun in Virgo can be a fretful experience. Ruling Virgo is speedy Mercury, noticing everything, drawing our attention to this or that. It can be hard to feel settled. There are just so many coulds and shoulds — a never-ending to-do or to-improve list.

The yearbook photographer has taken up shop these last two days in the faculty/staff room in my school. Every time we initial the sign-in sheet or grab a cup of coffee, we're confronted with just how much we hate our own pictures. Those of us who especially despised last year’s picture have a chance to retake it, awkwardly, in front of everyone in the room. Often, the new one is no better. We borrow hair products from each other or try to make each other smile, but pretty much everyone I see walks away with the same reaction: It is what it is. Maybe use last year’s, after all.

Yesterday I couldn’t bring myself to eat lunch in the faculty lounge. I went to the quiet, dark chapel instead, and cried. I didn’t even know why I was crying. A colleague walked in, and sat in her own pew. When I passed her to leave I noticed she was crying, too.

On the stairs leading to the chapel hangs this picture of St. Clare.

Virgo season can remind us almost cruelly how life, and we, are less than perfect. That's not Virgo's intent, any more than it's the yearbook photographer's intent to make us all feel gross. But anything that's not-quite-right has gotten our attention and by now maybe somehow deflated us.

Tonight Mercury and the sun will be at the same degree in Virgo. In some way we need to attend to a new vision of ourselves. The astrological symbol of the sun is a dot surrounded by a circle -- the seed of potential within a vast and greater whole.

Tomorrow Mercury will change signs to Libra, and the next day, the sun will, too.

My frizzy hair and failings, your fill-in-the-blank. Before the mirror of eternity — even as we are right now — I hope we can see beauty and find peace.

Venus square Mars

Today Venus in Libra squares Mars in Capricorn.

Relationships vs. boundaries, company vs. solitude, relaxation vs. work: These themes could find themselves at crossed purposes today, catching us by surprise or creating a challenge.

Whether the tension reveals a need for more self-sufficient action or more easy-going cooperation, under the Virgo moon, we’ll probably notice something that needs improvement. Show up where you can, in the best way you know how, but you may also have to cut yourself or others some slack.