On telling our story and the hope of Jupiter in Sagittarius

Astrology fascinates me as a tool to understand family systems, including my own. I love to hear people’s stories and then see how the symbols in their charts reveal an added dimension to the challenges they've faced and the resources they have. I asked my brother Rich if I could share some of his story.

Rich was a Full Moon baby. He was born with the Sagittarius moon opposite the Gemini sun. His moon, Venus and Mercury are all “out of bounds”, which astrologer Tony Howard describes to non-astrologers this way: “...An out of bounds planet is as high or low as it can go from our view on Earth. Imagine a midline that all of the planets more or less travel along. Each can travel above and below that midline. But some get really far up there, even further than the Sun can go. And that’s when we call them ‘out of bounds.’” Out of bounds planets correlate with innovation and out-of-the-box originality, but also with extremes. The full moon and out of bounds planets in Rich’s chart reflect this inner and outer experience of extremes, in his emotions (moon), his processing and communication (Mercury), and his relationships (Venus). Rich was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a senior in high school.

Rich is a rapper and a poet, very fitting for a Gemini who is here to teach and witness. He raps about his experience of feeling suicidal and our Mom’s herculean faith:

“Fetal position for days. Mom tellin’ me God is good and this is only a phase.”

In astrology the opposition aspect is an interesting one: It can symbolize what opposes you or seems out of reach and what is also your partner. His out of bounds Sagittarius moon at once represents the bipolar genes he inherited, the hope and comfort that have at his lowest point seemed unreachable, and the mother who has helped pull him out of his own mind, toward faith and love. Our mother was hospitalized with post-partum psychosis when Rich was seven. In this way I see the out of bounds quality of his moon as a gift: If you’ve walked through Hell like Rich has, how much would it help to have a parent who has been where you are and won’t give up on you, no matter what? How would your broken spirit require that?

Our suns ultimately show us how we’re here to shine individually, and though Rich’s sun is so significantly tied to his moon, his story is not my mother’s. It’s unique to him. Three out of bounds planets reflect a path of freedom and individuation. He learned to write poetry just as our Mom did, but his poems are a different style, and he also raps. He learned to have faith just as our Mom does, but to him Church became riding the subway or walking to buy milk from the neighborhood store. And he teaches just as our Mom did, but not high school: Rich leads groups as a peer advocate, at times in the same hospital unit where he stayed after his own breakdowns.

Rich is 51, an astrologically significant age, because it refers to your Chiron return. Chiron is the symbol of the wounded healer, and it takes 51 years for the centaur to make a full trip around a person’s chart, returning to the spot where it was when s/he was born. We all have the option to become attached to a description of ourselves as wounded; the reality is that life is hard and we would be justified. But people who navigate their Chiron return gracefully take on a mentoring role for others and use their own experience of wounding to help and heal others.

Here’s a poem Rich wrote recently. He’ll be the featured poet next week at the Queens main library, and in generous Rich fashion, he’s invited Lyndon to perform a poem during the Open Mic portion. I don’t know if Lyndon will. Really, we’re all so excited see Rich. If you find yourself in Queens on November 18th, please join us.

Now that Jupiter has entered Sagittarius, beginning a year’s trip through the sign, may you find hope in your own story, reasons to believe in your own great gifts, and ways to share them that fill you with confidence and joy.

'never Ladybugs'
these days,
i am grateful for the moments
when i am forced to narrow my focus.
for example,
when there was a Ladybug on my leg
a few days ago.
that dominated my thoughts for a minute or two.
i was sitting in my apartment when i noticed her,
so i took her outside and realized how lucky she was
to not know all the things we know.
to be a four-spotted citizen of the world.
my pet Corn Snake Julius had a respiratory infection last week.
his breathing sounded like a bowl of rice crispies.
i went online and learned
that you can treat it
with a couple of plastic containers
and a bowl of hot water with vicks in it.
it did the trick.
human beings let us down.
never Ladybugs
never Julius
never tupperware
never vicks
we are lacking.
a Butterfly is never less than a Butterfly.
not even in these times.
these times,
according to newspapers and magazines,
were made for poetry.
that's a lot of pressure.
better for a Ladybug to land on your leg, i think.
or for you to save a Snake from pneumonia.
better for you to look into the eyes of someone you've missed.
and for you to be, for one another,
a respite

When Mercury and Saturn have a Talk

Mercury and Saturn joined together early this morning. This could go a number of ways. Two are a sobering of the mind or an insight that helps you understand the heaviness you’ve been laboring under. This happens about once a year but since Mercury will turn retrograde on December 3rd, we’ll experience this aspect three times in two months.

Mercury represents youth, speed, curiosity, and language. Saturn represents age, integrity, duty, and structure. Mercury wants unlimited options and Saturn wants to stick with the plan. But too much Saturn can be deadening. Every once in a while it helps to examine why we’ve been marching along, doing the things that are boring, hard, or grown up. Do we simply have to right now because of difficult circumstances? Are there options we haven’t noticed?

If you’re a Saturnian person, doing the stable or hard thing might feel satisfying. If you’re more Mercurial, you’ll be happier with movement and change. Today take some time to think about what’s more comfortable for you. Imagine whether Saturn or Mercury has had more of an imprint on your life overall and recently. While the moon is still in Pisces, imagine Saturn and Mercury talking to each other or to you. Would it comfort you more right now to be with someone who’s older and wiser or someone who’s clever and fun?

If you haven’t had enough stability or enough change, set goals to bring yourself into a balance that aligns with your values. Write yourself an inspirational note, a poem, or even a love letter. And if someone has stuck by you or helped you through something difficult, reach out to let them know you see them and you’re grateful.

(Mercury conjunct Saturn 1:58 a.m. EST. Moon trine Venus 4:41 a.m. Moon square Saturn 6:55 a.m. Moon square Mercury 7:08 a.m. Moon void of course 7:08 to 11:30 a.m. Moon enters Aries 11:30 a.m.)

#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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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.)

    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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