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.



Today's meditation: Fitting songs to areas of your chart

This morning I played James Taylor’s “Something in the Way She Moves” and imagined which part of my chart “she” might be.

She has the power to go where no one else can find me
Yes, and to silently remind me
Of the happiness and good times that I know

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoevtZiVR4k

For me, my Jupiter in Taurus came to mind: The part of my chart that helps me be present and still.

Is there a part of your chart that strikes you as comforting? If you don’t know your chart, is there a quality you have that fills you with a sense of peace?

If this song doesn’t speak to you right now, is there another song that can remind you of a beautiful piece of you?

The zen of balloon animals: The Taurus moon aspecting Jupiter and Mercury

Lang’s outside power-washing our backyard furniture for my Mom’s birthday party. It might rain; my backyard has too many mosquitoes to sit comfortably outside anyway. But that simple act of effort, of his own volition, just makes me feel better. It strikes me as incredibly sweet. My preparations center around balloons and gemstone stickers. What I’m doing isn’t practical either, but my Mom’s festive and fancy. I think silly touches will make her smile.

Blend some imagination into real life today. If you’re bored or exhausted, something outside of you can give you inspiration, helping you see strategy and purpose: What your work and patience have been building and why.

The shadow of today’s Taurus moon is stubbornness. And no matter what your plans are, that could sap the energy and fun. If you feel yourself getting frustrated, try to absorb the fullness of the moment. There might be another way.

Our steady presence and that little over-the-top extra we add can help someone feel lifted and loved.

Be as you are, do what you can: Grand trine in earth

Today there’s a harmonious grand trine in the earth element: The moon and Uranus in Taurus, the sun in Virgo, and Saturn in Capricorn.

It's a good day to lose yourself in a task. Take a break from overthinking or drama. Let your senses soak up beauty and pleasure – a taste, a view, a hug.  Feel the satisfaction of stillness or productivity. In Italian there’s an expression, “lavoro ben fatto” – a job done well. It’s connected with honor and pride: Putting time and effort into the details; devotion to the craft itself.

Today enter that space, away from the crowd or noise: Just as you are. Simply do your best.  

The Taurus New Moon and Uranus in Taurus

Today at 7:47 a.m. EDT there will be a Taurus New Moon at 24°36' Taurus. Uranus will move into Taurus at 11:17 a.m after having spent almost eight years in Aries (May - August 2010, March 2011 until today.) 

How has your life changed since 2010? What did you begin? What changes upended who you thought you were or the path you thought you were traveling? Have you found a role as part of a new group? Which crises or adventures brought breakthroughs? How have you dared to become weirder, or to take a counter-cultural stand?

I started studying Astrology in 2010 as a way to understand the inner turmoil and unrest I was feeling as a stay-at-home Mom and wife. Lyndon was in nursery school and I was feeling lonely and unfulfilled. That year I also started working outside the home, first part-time and then full-time. In the last eight years Uranus joined with my Ascendant, moon and Chiron. I do feel different now and more willing to show up even if I might get rejected. I've accepted a broader definition of who I am and have dared to explore and share more of my inner life and creativity. Maybe it's age, and maybe I've internalized a little more of the Uranian who-gives-a-crap-what-people-say detachment and openness to shake-ups. I'm not fully there, but I'm trying. I hope that the ways I've grown and asserted myself will prepare me for changes and breakthroughs in the next 8 years in Taurus areas -- for me the second house of money and self-worth.

Where does Taurus fall in your birth chart? Where does Aries?

By all means, learn about and explore the combination of Taurus and Uranus archetypes to anticipate what could be stirring for the next cycle. But also look back and within. For all its positive associations, the joining of Uranus and Aries also symbolized trauma survival. In the past eight years, all of us have survived some unexpected trauma or loss. Our bodies, resources, nature, and certain loving relationships somehow sustained us. As you usher in the Taurus new moon, take some time to see and feel the power and stability of everything that helped you endure.

Today we begin again in the dark, as we began in the womb so many years before. Try to ground yourself in peace and openness to all that's building.

 

 

Venus in Gemini with a Saturn Overtone: The Thinker

 
The Thinker , Auguste Rodin, Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Thinker, Auguste Rodin, Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

Today Venus enters exciting, expressive Gemini, where it will be until May 19th. How can we bring a beginner's mind of openness, curiosity and flexibility to our relationships, to our own wellbeing, and to what we create? Why is now a good time for it? 

Crucially, it will energize us. While the sun is in Taurus, Taurus's ruling planet, Venus, holds a key to accessing our life force and well, shine. Opening our minds and our senses will be tied to feeling the power and brilliance of our sun and the steady, comforting peace and strength of Taurus. But getting to that peace and strength will take some different and possibly challenging strategies until May 13th.  

Why? From May 13th - 19th, Venus and Mercury, the planet that rules Gemini, will be in each other’s signs – Venus in Gemini and Mercury in Taurus – so symbolically they can excite and support each other in a positive feedback loop that in turn energizes the sun. But before then, in true Gemini fashion, we'll be bouncing around a Venus trail that leads to Saturn, and Saturn's not the fun and airy ending that Gemini might have had in mind. (Astro jargon background: Until May 13th, Mercury in Aries “disposits” Venus in Gemini, Mars in Capricorn disposits Mercury, and Saturn in Capricorn disposits Mars, making Saturn the Final Dispositor.) So although Venus in Gemini is about being open to variety, newness, fascination, learning, movement, and change in love, inner peace, and art, the symbolism of Saturn in Capricorn adds an editing quality to the Venus: a careful planning and consideration. What’s truly important to say to another person or to express in your art in this moment? How can maturity, patience, integrity and wisdom inform the beginner's mind? How do experiences of personal struggle, loss, and grief shape the love you can give to yourself and to others? Can they empower and embolden you, steady and inform you but not scare you, control you, or entirely define you? Can you leave some lines blank? 

Saturn's connection with Venus until May 13th reminds us that what we express in love and art lasts – in a hug, a kind word, a letter, a creation. And that can be frightening and intimidating. You may be tempted to stop yourself before you even begin. And so give yourself time and solitude to sort through what you take in every day and what you want to express. Organize and set goals if that helps. But in the next few weeks challenge yourself out of your comfort zone a little, too. Try your best to move, explore, and grow incrementally -- as a parent, a partner, a relative, an artist, a friend. The highest expression of this Venus transit will be to open yourself in fascination to all that's still left to learn, and to share with others — simply, profoundly – who you are right now and what you have to say. 

 

Why We Might Need to Let Go: The Last Quarter Taurus Moon

Today the Taurus moon enters the last quarter phase. This phase symbolizes a time for release and catharsis. The moon enters this phase today not only with the sun but also with Mars.

Taurus doesn’t give up. Yet today we’re doubling down on release. And that paradox is why today can feel especially challenging: How does a bull change direction?

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