The Brave and the Free: Uranus Retrograde

Uranus stationed retrograde this morning. Until January 2, 2018, Uranus will appear to move backwards from the earth, from 28°31’ Aries until it will station direct at 24°34’ Aries. The slower a planet moves, the stronger its symbolism can be felt in our lives.

Themes of courage, assertiveness, action combine with individuality and freedom. Over the next five months, ask yourself what you can do to support your own true individuality, even if it will be uncomfortable for you or others. This time is not about needless shock. But if there’s a genius or rebel inside us that we haven’t been accessing, this time will bring it out. If there are boundaries we need to set or brave ways we need to strike out, our intuition or our outer circumstances will let us know. Be attuned to anger, chaos and fear. They can be a wake-up call to try a new, better way forward. This time is about necessary shock to the status quo if we’ve hidden or compromised a crucial part of ourselves.

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The Blessing and the Wound: Jupiter Square Pluto

In the past day two people I was casually talking to spontaneously burst into tears. All of a sudden they realized how overwhelmed they were. They needed to cry it out with someone. 

On Friday, Jupiter will make a final waning square aspect to Pluto. Usually I write about the cycle between the sun and the moon, but the slower-moving planets have cycles, too. The cycle between Jupiter and Pluto occurs over a period of about 12 ½ years. The current cycle started in December 2007 and will end in the Spring of 2020.   

What does this all mean? Symbolically, Jupiter represents expansion, blessings, risk, wisdom, and the confidence to reach our potential. Pluto represents our deepest wounds and the empowerment that comes from facing a monster or walking through hell. Their conjunction in 2007 represented a melding of these themes for the next 12 years: Empowerment through risk and expansion; wisdom through truth, change, death and rebirth. But in the sign of Capricorn, it wasn’t the easiest task. This was going to take doing the right thing over time, with persistence, maturity, commitment, and maybe more solitude than we actually wanted.  

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The Scorpio Moon and Seeing the Love Around You

My alarm goes off at 7:00 this morning.

Me: I have to get up and write.

Langston: I have to get up and be within three feet of you.

With the Scorpio moon making up part of a grand trine in water today, we all have a chance to see who or what has been our Giving Tree.

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The Gemini Moon, or Now We Can All Be Joe Biden

At 8:15 a.m. E.D.T. the moon enters Gemini. At 3:44 p.m. will be the Gemini New Moon.

I’m calling this one the Joe Biden New Moon.

This week when I was pondering positive Gemini qualities – versatility, humor, fascination, youthfulness – Joe Biden memes kept creeping into my mind. Joe Biden cracking jokes, Joe Biden finding change and showing us, Joe Biden really seeing that second ice cream cone.

Joe Biden is a Scorpio, but he has two planets in Gemini – Saturn and Uranus. So he can be the elder and the awakener when it comes to the Gemini agenda. Watching Joe eat ice cream makes me really want to eat ice cream. Seeing Joe crack up makes me wish I heard the joke. His ability to interact with the moment elevates the moment and turns it into something worth seeing for the rest of us.

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Finding Stillness in Our Name: The Taurus New Moon

I hadn’t been sure what to write about Tuesday’s New Moon in Taurus. It was significantly less earthy than last year’s. Last year Venus and Mercury joined the sun and moon in Taurus, and six out of the ten major planetary bodies were in earth signs. The message had been clearer then: Return to the earth, return to the body. Communicate love and simplicity in your words and find stillness in your heart and relationships. But Tuesday’s new moon message was modified by some jittery energies: Mercury and Uranus in Aries and Mars in Gemini. It didn’t feel quite so comforting, and I didn’t know what to make of that. So in Taurus fashion, I stayed quiet and took it slowly.

Then I saw this poem on the subway, and it suddenly clicked. Like Eve, part of us is longing to be comforted right now. Somehow the upheavals of life have left us uneasy, and we’re longing to hear our own name.
 

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Libra Full Moon

This is an especially juicy Full Moon, and there are so many aspects involved that I wasn't even sure I wanted to tackle it. But I did feel moved to write about one particular aspect: This Full Moon's connection with the planet Jupiter.

Jupiter has been in the sign of Libra since September 9, 2016. It’s been calling us to stretch more in Libran areas – relationships, art, balance, beauty, peace. Jupiter traditionally gives us blessings, and maybe we’ve felt luckier in those areas. But as Steven Forrest says, Jupiter always asks us “How am I underestimating myself?” Jupiter has been asking us to take risks in these areas and not just settle.

How have you been doing? I’ll tell you how I’ve been doing: Mensa mens'. Así así. I've been writing more, meeting more interesting people, and reading for more clients. Those are all reasons to celebrate. And yet, I'm exhausted by this new pace and I can't stop eating Tostitos. The other side of Jupiter is expansiveness. Jupiter brings more. And while I think I'm hearing the Jupiter message, I'm not sure about the Libran side of it. I find myself swinging back and forth more than achieving balance and peace. Fights with my Mom and husband have brought messages that I'm too judgmental and too generous with people to the point where I overextend myself -- both negative Jupiter traits. At the time of course, they were wrong. I’m just the right amount of judgmental and it’s OK to be generous with people. Plus, isn't calling me judgmental a judgment? During this time, we can be the suboptimal face of Jupiter in Libra, breezily caught in a loop of our own opinions.
 

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Venus Retrograde 2017

My niece has a security blanket named Frisa (free-sa). Frisa is kind of a tattered mess at this stage. And Elena is a strong and tough little warrior, so she doesn't need Frisa at all times anymore. But she still reaches for Frisa when she's tired, scared, or hurt. She likes to know that Frisa is relatively close by, ready to help in any Comfort Emergency.

As I was thinking about this Venus retrograde period, I was imagining what it might be like for Elena to see Frisa moving slowly backwards from her, seemingly farther and farther out of reach….

Retrograde periods are when a planet appears to move backwards from the earth. Our natural ways of "doing" that planet will typically not work during retrograde periods. We're called to be more reflective and try a new way. Circumstances will inevitably test our openness and flexibility. We hear a lot about Mercury retrograde, maybe because Mercury rules communication, so it's the planet whose retrograde periods we're most likely to notice and discuss. But the other planets give us the same opportunities. And right now, Venus is retrograde. We're all feeling pretty unsettled, and it's a big deal. Not to take anything away from Mercury, but what's a missed flight compared to discontentment in our relationships and a lack of inner peace???

For all of us right now, there's a sinking, terrifying feeling that Frisa has left the building.

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Aries New Moon

The Aries New Moon invites us both into total darkness and fire for a moment. In the hours before, we can reflect on what we are ready to leave behind for the benefit of our own survival. And we can look forward. What have we forged within that can now help ourselves and others? What new habits, emotions and ways of loving and relating can we brave in mystery until they are fully realized? Is there an Aries message in our being and the way we nurture that can be strengthened or adjusted? Are we called to be the pioneer, the warrior, a benevolent leader, or something more precious, delicate and new? Take a moment to imagine how a healthy ego looks to you: Can you incorporate more reflection, kindness, and imagination into your being at this moment? Can you integrate the balance and support of the universe with the boldness, courage and fire within you? Maybe you already have! Can you now come forward to inspire others?

Both the new moon and Aries carry the energies of possibility yet vulnerability. It's not easy to be first. It's not easy to advance in darkness.

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On Turning 40

For my birthday, my husband and son made me Amy: The Game. It’s a mock board game, with memories filling the spaces around the board and kind or funny words about me filling the playing cards. Some of my favorites are “You are light in the darkness” (written by my dear and tender son, Lyndon) and “You always know where to put the furniture” (by my dear and wisecracking husband, Lang). Truly, it floored me.

This was a big one: 40. The two years leading up to it were humility- and faith-building, which I didn’t find so easy or comfortable. But one reading in particular helped me, and today I want to share it:

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

I think I’ve always understood from this reading that life can be hard. But in the last two years I’ve taken it a little less about discipline and a little more about compassion and discernment: At this particular moment, am I on the road or at the gate? How about the people I love? And what about the people I find hard to tolerate each day?

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Venus Retrograde: Recreating Art, Finding Peace

Having to face interviews after almost nine years of being a Stay-at-Home Mom is humbling and utterly demoralizing. Part of me feels compassion for these employers: At this point I'm overeducated but also unproven. My last full-time job was in 2000-freaking-7. If I were the Hiring Manager I'd probably go with the person who worked in say, 2011 even. And so I've sunken into a funk of despair and self-doubt. Venus brings us peace, and since she's been retrograde it's been very hard to feel soothed or settled. I've been an emotional wreck. What exactly have I been doing for the last 8+ years?!!

Thankfully, even in the darkest moments, Astrology, like any spiritual practice, can offer a remedy. Any planet's retrograde period is the ideal period for the re-do: Revisiting that planet's themes and archetypes. And since Venus also rules art, I decided to recreate a series of photographs I took almost seven years ago: Lyndon's first trip to the Barbershop.
 

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