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.



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

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

 
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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

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.

When Saturn feels too heavy: The Capricorn moon conjunct Saturn

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/cassini-image-mosaic-a-farewell-to-saturn

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/cassini-image-mosaic-a-farewell-to-saturn

The moon is in the sign of Capricorn today. At 12:24 p.m. EDT it will be at the same degree as Saturn.

Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, orients us to hugeness and expansion: The sky’s the limit. But beyond Jupiter, Saturn symbolically structures us. It gives us the ability to narrow down all the vast possibilities to the ones that matter most and suit us best. It’s connected to legacy. But Saturn can also just feel HEAVY, giving us a serious, sober tone. For better or worse, Saturn reminds us of personal limits and age.

Enter the influence of the moon. Take time to visualize and then focus your dream in some way today. If you notice certain ways you’ve become overcommitted or disorganized, give yourself a loving but serious talk. Kindly bring yourself back to the basics.

Between Jupiter of hopes, dreams, and greatness and Uranus of unexpected breakthroughs, individual genius, and freedom, lies Saturn: Time-honored traditions, effort, planning, patience, silence, solitude, work. Somehow today it will help all of us to eat our vegetables or come to a full stop at a Stop sign. In the long run, it’s for our own benefit.

Before Uranus was discovered in 1781, Saturn was thought to be the last planet in the solar system with the slowest cycle, taking 29 years to orbit the sun. At that time in England, life expectancy for males was less than 35. A Uranus cycle is 84 years, closer to modern life expectancy in industrialized nations. Progress seems slow over time but eventually it’s startling.

Honor Saturn today. Reflect on the positives of your age and experience. But try not to let the demands of reality right now overwhelm you. Remember that something beyond, unexpected, and still unseen exists, too.

The first quarter moon and an emotional crisis

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Lyndon started middle school this month, and I didn’t realize until this morning how worried I’ve been.

Lang’s worries have been more on the social scale: Will the other kids be nice to Lyndon, will he be bullied or picked on? Mine, I realized this morning, have been more academic. Will teachers get him? Is he ready for a faster pace and more work? How will he handle 6th grade?!

This morning, my Overzealous Mom instinct somehow led me to these 6th grade ELA test questions from 2017.

I panicked when I saw the first response. Lyndon doesn’t write like that: Legibly, with abundant detail. Then I saw the second response, with erasures and misspellings. That answer looked more like Lyndon’s. As different as they are, somehow they both got full credit: “This response includes complete sentences where errors do not affect readability.” I didn’t know how much I needed to read that sentence.

I don’t really care about test scores. But sometimes in elementary school, Lyndon felt dumb. And as a Mom I’m an action figure. What does that mean we need to do? How can I change that? What needs to happen here?

Today the Sagittarius moon will make a square to the Virgo sun.

“The Moon, of course, is always about relationship, to oneself, others and life. We could say that the Sun represents your life – life force, life direction, potency. As the Moon moves away from the Sun, it is reaching out to connect with life, emotionally, so it can live its day-to-day life in response to the call of its Sun, its spirit. By the time it hits the square there is a crisis.”

-         Darby Costello, The Astrological Moon

Today we may become more aware of a crisis that’s been brewing emotionally for us. The Virgo sun can symbolize our idea of perfection. There may be some way we think life, or we, aren’t measuring up. What’s been moving away from you? Can the change help you follow the call of your own spirit?

I was the kind of student who added extra lines to essay tests to make sure I answered the question thoroughly. I wanted to prove myself and impress my teachers. Lyndon, on the other hand, wants to finish quickly and get back to whatever interests him. Every year he moves more and more out of my identity and range of control and more into a fuller expression of himself. And I think that’s what I’ve been coming to terms with.

A few hours ago Lyndon woke up and kissed us. He thanked Lang for doing the laundry. Lyndon gives us credit for basic things like filling the gas tank or food shopping. “Wow! Thank you for buying bread!” There’s a reason two worried perfectionists needed someone both kinder and more independent to join us in our home, celebrating the small things, not trying to change us into anything we’re not.

He highlighted that sentence in the photo for me, because I didn’t know how to. In his spare time Lyndon teaches himself Photoshop.

All of us in some area are having to redefine wholeness and success. With today’s Sagittarius moon we can all use a little hope or wisdom. If we look for it, we’ll find it. Maybe we have to push a little harder or be more strategic, or maybe we need to be more spacious in the way we’re viewing. Something about our previous judgment needs to evolve.

As for me, going forward, I’ll try to give my son — and myself — more credit.

 

 

 

 

 

Bittersweet endings meet firsts - The last quarter Cancer moon

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As Mercury changes sign to Virgo today during the Cancer last quarter moon, change and loss of control are bittersweet. Be gentle with yourself and with others. Take a moment to feel proud of your effort, or your loved ones, or something you in some way gave birth to. They might have to leave your orbit to become better or more purely themselves.