On making it work for us: The Leo moon opposite Mars in Aquarius

Ever since I was little, I remember hearing my mother change the words to prayers and rituals so they would be more meaningful, inclusive and inspiring. "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" and "for us men and for our salvation" became "Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier" and "for US and for our salvation." She thought of worship as celebration. She felt called to participate fully, and she wasn't going to reduce her expression of a welcoming, loving God to gender or exclude herself from God's love.

She was always making tweaks, and she uttered them loudly. Of course, this was a little odd. It made her seem like she didn't know the real words. It meant sometimes she was out of step with the group. 

Today during Mass for the Feast of St. Francis, we remembered the saint who loved all living creatures and wrote poems to the sun and the moon.

And I found myself channeling my Mom, as I contemplated the following words:
"Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."

I've struggled with this response for a while. I've wondered, is it the capital "I" that's the problem? Is it ego, selfishness or separateness that makes us unworthy? For a few years now I've tried to see beyond myself and become a little "i." But the words still always felt clumsy – absent of the love, acceptance and peace of Jesus Christ. Yes, we're human. Yes, we're flawed. But unworthy? Aren't we created in God's image?

I thought about the messages of spiritual teachers old and new, male and female. They call us to engagement, action, and attention, and help us see how we can stretch. For many of us, that means learning to stand in the light.

And so I tweaked the words. I said, "Lord, I AM worthy that you should enter under my roof, so only say the word and my soul shall be healed." 

Today the moon is in the sign of Leo, reminding us of our inborn dignity and worth, at odds with what can make us feel disconnected, challenging what can make us feel ashamed. 

I hope at some point you can feel the presence of someone who's taught you you're deserving of love. I hope you see that you're part of a beautiful whole. And I hope you can express yourself honestly, even when you're noticeably out of step.


Pluto stations direct during a Gemini moon: The truth and an open mind

blackout.jpg

Pluto stations direct today, seeming to reverse directions from backward to forward.

Pluto is named after the Roman god of the underworld and it’s associated with the underground, the deep and powerful. Where we have Pluto in our charts we bring a probing quality, or we need to. The surface is not enough.

Pluto has been transiting the sign of Capricorn since 2008, combining the symbolism of authority and the gold standard with the shadow and the ultimate truth. This is reflected in our society, as long-honored traditions and institutions that have abused their power and privilege are facing a very public reckoning. And this is reflected in some area of our personal lives, where we’re confronted with a wound, buried truth or shadow and we’re invited to reclaim what was lost or taken.

Is Pluto a planet or a dwarf planet? Is what’s happening in our lives a mountain or a molehill? Pluto brings up questions and we do or don’t answer them. But they’re there. They don’t go away.

We know that Pluto moves more slowly than any of the other planets, with a cycle of 248 years. We know it’s not visible to the naked eye. NASA calls Pluto mysterious and complex, with a heart-shaped glacier the size of Texas and Oklahoma; Pluto actually has red snow.

A heart-shaped glacier and red snow. Just think of those images for a moment. What do they conjure up for you?

There’s a blackout experiment on social media now. It’s a statement against abuse; it’s meant to reflect solidarity and help us imagine a world without women. To those who are participating, it means something, whether somber or uplifting, which some may be willing to shout and some may never feel safe enough to share.

Today I’m reminded of Jane Elliott’s “Blue-eyes-Brown-eyes” experiment, in which the 3rd-grade teacher separated her students by eye color and gave the blue-eyed children extra privileges. By the end of the day the blue-eyed children had become more arrogant and bossy and scored higher on tests than they ever did before; the brown-eyed children became more timid and isolated and their test performance suffered.

Many of us can relate to the brown-eyed children, whether because of our race, gender, or some other part of us that is outside of traditional privilege. It’s confounding. It hurts deeply. And yet it can be so tempting to accept the other role if we’re invited to, like when Elliott reversed the exercise.

I’m not likening Elliott’s experiment to anything right now. I’m not drawing any conclusions. I’m just pondering it because it popped in my head again, and so I’m trying to re-consider and learn from it. I’m seeing how my own behavior measures up.

Today’s Gemini moon reflects the healing power of images and communication. So I’m sharing this picture to validate and support the women of integrity and conviction who sent me the invitation. I didn’t create the social media blackout, so I really don’t have the authority, but I also don’t believe in exclusion. So if you don’t identify as a woman but feel moved to participate, I invite you to , also.

No one disputes the fact that Neptune is a planet, and so what it represents may have the last word: Compassion, vastness, unity, direct connection to the divine without boundaries or divisions.  But we wade through murky waters to get back there. We have personal and shared experiences of hell and of redemption. And they’re real and meaningful, even if not seen or acknowledged.

Recovery is a long and slow process. Stopping to consider Plutonian territory today — what’s mysterious or complex, the shameful or the shadow, especially as it has shown up in our past relationships — might enable us to move forward in some way today. But if we regularly plumb the depths or have recently been through acute pain and darkness, we may need to give ourselves credit; we might need a little break.

Wherever we happen to be, today's Pluto station and Gemini moon remind us to be patient and flexible with ourselves and with each other as we express what we're ready to, as we discern our right speed and direction.

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.

When you can see what you really need to do: Gemini moon square Virgo sun

The moon is in the mutable air sign of Gemini and the sun is in the mutable earth sign of Virgo. At 10:37 p.m. EDT they’ll square each other. A square is a tense aspect that can prod us to resolution.

A Gemini moon can represent a mood of distraction – jumping from one thing to another, the eternal child or student never maturing or taking the reins to teach. That’s not a knock on Geminis. That’s an energy we all have inside us, represented by today’s Gemini moon. If we’ve been avoiding a commitment that would actually be good for us, that’s the tension in today’s sky: Hey, focus. It doesn’t mean we won’t have other options. It just means it’s time to come forward in one specific way. In a sense we’re trading some freedom for some agency, picking what’s more important to us.

Virgo can represent that part of us that always finds something the matter. It can also be the part of us that takes on a subservient role. It feels good to solve a problem or help someone. But taken to an extreme, Virgo can become invisible, either because we don’t think we measure up or because we think someone else’s needs are more important than ours.

Gemini and Virgo can collude: Don’t come forward in this one way because someone else can do it better. Or keep doing this hard thing for someone who doesn’t appreciate it because that’s easier than speaking up. Make sure you really worry.

If we resemble those statements, the tension in the sky could nag us today. It’s time to let some of that go.

The blessing of the mutable signs is that they remind us that nothing is permanent. Time is fluid and so are we. If we’ve been stuck in a way of thinking or behaving, today can remind us that there’s more to explore. We all have resources. We have options and skills. We're surrounded by creative solutions.

Gemini and Virgo are both ruled by Mercury, the planet of noticing and sharing, by our words or by what we do.

Today our restlessness can reveal what needs adjustment. The quarter moon forces some resolution of last month’s Leo new moon. We had something to say and do then, that might not have been obvious to us yet. Today it can come to us in a whisper or a shout.

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.)

On love and change: Venus square Uranus

FullSizeRender (5).jpg

Today the moon is in Libra. The focus is on balance, well-being, inner calm and equilibrium.

But today Venus will also square Uranus. So how do we connect with others, create beauty, and maintain balance while being absolutely original and free and shaking things up?

This is the opening square of a conjunction that began on June 3rd at 27°05 Aries and will end with the conjunction again at 27°19 Aries on March 28th of next year. That’s basically the same degree. In some ways, we’ll finish where we start. But with the Lord of Earthquakes involved… not exactly.

Where 27° Aries is in your birth chart is where you’ll be integrating these two themes for the cycle – peace, love, and connection with space, rebellion, and change. That happens to be right on my moon and in my first house.

For ten years I’ve approached life as a mother first. For the first few years of his life, anytime you’d see me you’d see Lyndon. My life revolved around meeting his needs. But lately I’ve hardly seen him. He’s stayed overnight with friends or relatives more this summer than he has in ten years. Sometimes he calls or texts. Often he doesn’t. The adults he’s with send me photos of Lyndon’s adventures while in their care: at an amusement park, on a hiking trail, in a pool. It’s surreal. He’s happy. I often feel guilty or perplexed about the arrangement. It seems so unconventional and I've had to let go of a lot of control. But it's actually working for me, too. We’re both enjoying the space.

That feels scary and rebellious to admit. With a first-house moon my identity has always been somewhat tied up with my family. But the moon symbolizes so much more than that. It’s also feelings, creativity, mystery, and regeneration. And honoring the space Lyndon and I both feel comfortable with right now is helping me access and present those as my identity, too. Can I be OK with change?

Can you?

This cycle can help us actualize more of our natal promise. To put it in context, refer to Uranus and Venus in your birth chart. For me it relates to the 7th and 10th houses. The freedom and individuality (Uranus) I allow in my relationships (7th house) will help me create art or connection (Venus) with the outside world (10th house). If I fight this change I won’t feel at peace. Thankfully, I gave birth to an Aquarius. Lyndon offers me freedom and celebrates my individuality. The question is whether I can accept it.

Is there some part of your life that hasn’t followed the usual script lately, that’s been somewhat shocking to you? Can a change in this area in any way bring you more peace and connection, in a way you’ve never imagined? Are you fighting the change? Can you partner with it?

Your change might be more exciting than unsettling. But if you’re facing an even harder change, I want to tell you I’m sorry. And I want to say that at the end of this road, however surprising, there’s peace.

Relationships and Happiness Review Time: Venus square Jupiter

Today Venus makes a closing square to Jupiter. This is a releasing aspect of a cycle that began with the conjunction August 27th of last year in Virgo and will end and begin again when they join on November 13th in Scorpio.

Now there’s a feeling of tension. Money is tight. Maybe we don’t feel so secure right now. We probably feel overextended. 

When these symbols come together, relationships, inner peace, and money combine with risk, reaching, and faith.

How does the last year measure up to your ideal? 

Read More