About Simone Butler

Simone Butler has been a professional astrologer for 30 years. In addition to a worldwide consulting practice on astrology and Astro Feng Shui, Simone offers New Moon collage classes, and writes for The Mountain Astrologer. She also wrote for and edited the Starscroll for many years. Simone’s book Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life fuses Western astrology and Western feng shui into one unique, transformative system. Sign up to receive her entertaining, informative bi-monthly blogs and learn about her monthly rituals and tips.

Ask Luna-April 4, 2015

Dear Luna,
Will I find my way to a healthy relationship with a man?
Thanks, Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth, Creating a happy, healthy relationship is largely a matter of using your imagination – something you have in abundance with the Sun conjunct Neptune in relationship-oriented Libra. I’m not talking about a fairy tale fantasy with no roots in the physical world, but one in which you share a deep, spiritual union while also doing the work required to make your dreams come true. That work starts with opening your heart and healing any trust issues from the past around men (which could be an issue for you, with Jupiter, Mars, Moon and Venus all in Scorpio), so you can imagine and create the future you desire. There are some simple but vital steps you can take to clear the past and magnetize the relationship that’s right for you. Check out Arielle Ford’s wonderful book The Soulmate Secret to learn more.

With transiting Uranus opposing your Mercury and Pluto squaring it this year, you’re in the perfect cycle for releasing the past and stepping into the future. Mercury is the ruler of your 7th house of partnership, with Gemini on that point. You’re attracted to cultured, literate, perhaps foreign men (Mercury and Sun in the 9th house). Are you living somewhere that attracts such men? If not, Uranus approaching your 4th house cusp says, Go to them! Move to a foreign country, or at least take a trip. Brush up on your French or Spanish and embark on an adventure – it’s never too late to find love! Love, Luna and Simone

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Pisces New Moon: Jewel in the Heart

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End-of-life researcher Stephen Levine writes of a woman who was dying in terrible pain and bitterness. Suddenly, when she couldn’t bear the suffering any longer, the woman had a breakthrough: She began to experience the agony of a starving mother in Ethiopia, a runaway teenager dying of an overdose, a man crushed by a landslide. In great awe, she told Levine that she understood it wasn’t her pain, it was the pain of all beings. It wasn’t just her life, it was life itself. And this knowledge set her free.

The peace-inducing experience of unity consciousness doesn’t have to be triggered by extreme pain. One way to cultivate it is the simple but powerful Buddhist breathing technique known as tonglen. In her book When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron describes tonglen as a way to transform the pain of the world by letting it touch your heart with compassion. You simply breathe in suffering with the wish that everyone could be free of pain. Then you breathe out happiness with the wish that everyone could feel joy. Rather than trying to protect yourself from pain (yours or others’) you embrace it and gain relief.

When you don’t close off and you let your heart break, says Chodron, you discover your kinship with all beings and gain access to your intrinsic “noble heart,” no matter how far you may have strayed from it.

“Just as a jewel that has been buried in the earth for a million years is not discolored or harmed,” she explains, “in the same way your noble heart can be brought out into the light at any time, and it will glow as brilliantly as if nothing had ever happened.”

Next Friday’s solar eclipse in Pisces, the last sign of the zodiac, falls right on the heels of the final Uranus-Pluto square– and within hours of the energy-recalibrating Equinox. A lot of old karma is coming to a head, to be released and transformed once and for all. The paradigm-shifting Uranus-Pluto square, which has been stirring up change – and trouble – since June of 2012, may now be officially complete, but its reverberations will be felt for years as we re-envision and rework those aspects of our lives and the world which are crying out for change.

Pisces unifies all dualities – pain and pleasure, life and death. This mystical water sign helps us retrieve what’s been buried in the subconscious and bring it into the light of awareness. Since this New Moon/total solar eclipse (March 20, 2:36 a.m. PDT) is at the super-charged 29th degree of Pisces, it offers deep insight and healing to those who are receptive. I highly recommend doing a meditation on the evening of the 19th to harness the cosmic energies of the eclipse. Doing some tonglen breathing to process and release old pain – personal and collective – is a great way to tap into unity consciousness at this auspicious time. Then, when the Sun charges into fiery Aries at 3:45 p.m. on March 20 to kick off the astrological New Year, you’ll be recharged and ready for action.

Another way to tap into Piscean energies is by water-gazing, an ancient technique for receiving inspiring messages or visualizing what you’d like to create. For help with this process, check out the Pisces New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life.

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Aquarius New Moon: Wood Sheeps and Helpful Peeps!

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Wait! Didn’t we just have an Aquarius New Moon last month? Yes, it’s rare, but occasionally two New Moons occur back-to-back in very early and very late degrees of a sign. This one-two punch thrusts all things Aquarian into super-duper prominence—from friendships and team-building to websites, blogs, equality between the sexes, animal welfare and the importance of getting in sync with future trends.

Adding to the significance, next week’s New Moon (Feb. 18, 3:47 pm PST) happens within hours of the Chinese New Year. Now we shift from the nervous, rushed pace of the galloping Horse to the slow, steady gait of the gentle Sheep (sometimes known as Goat). The Wood Sheep emphasizes nature and art, thoughtfulness and teamwork. Everyone born after mid-Feb. in 1955 is a Wood Sheep – so this is our year! All Sheep (those born in 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991 and 2003) should feel the benefits, but so will anyone who’s willing to take a more sheep-ish approach to life. That doesn’t mean negating your needs or being ashamed of who you are—on the contrary, it’s about honoring yourself and others in a gentle, nurturing way.

The Chinese New Year is an important time to ritually cleanse your home. Since Sheep corresponds to the water sign Cancer, which prizes home and family, we want to clear away old, stagnant energies and usher in the new. The Wood Sheep brings peace and plenty, comfort and healing to those who are willing to simplify, slow down, eliminate unnecessary expenses, spend more time at home and come from your heart. Clear useless clutter from your home, car, purse—especially your desktop and inbox—to make way for more well-being and abundance. And, be sure to add lots of healthy green plants and fresh flowers to oxygenate the air and beautify the space. Save any big risks or independent ventures for Fire Monkey 2016, since the Wood Sheep favors slow cultivation and teamwork.

In Astro Feng Shui, Aquarius corresponds to Helpful People (the area just to the right of the front door as you enter). If you’re the type who usually tries to do everything yourself, now’s the time to change that pattern. Before the New Moon, spiff this area up as much as possible. Add angel figures to call in the aid and guidance of the Angelic Realm. Place a silver box in this area, and fill it with slips of paper on which you have written your intentions for help (i.e. “I give thanks that the perfect website designer is now coming to me.” Or, “I give thanks that my husband cleans out his Man Cave!”) Then at the New Moon, light a white or silver candle, read your desires out loud and give thanks for their fulfillment.

f you need help getting the Angelic Realm on your team, check out this Aquarius New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. Or, contact me for an in-home Astro Feng Shui consultation – just $175 through the end of Feb. (reg. $250). Those outside San Diego can take advantage of this rejuvenating service by providing me with panoramic and close-up pictures of different areas of your home, or we can do the consultation via Skype.

Happy New Year!

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Ask Luna-February 18, 2015

Dear Luna, I had a quite good career in my life. I studied Information Technology and I have been working in that area since I was graduated. However, my career has stalled since 2011. I really feel I could do and progress much more but it has been status-quo or declining since then. I do not enjoy my job anymore and I cannot find a new pathway forward. I would like to have life direction :) Thank you, Pablo

Dear Pablo, The reason your career has stalled is because you’re not having enough fun with it! With your playful fifth house Sun and inquisitive Gemini rising, you need stimulating and creative work. Since you have imaginative Pisces on your Midheaven (career, calling in life) and its ruler, Neptune, in your sixth house (daily work), I’d suggest applying your IT skills to creating or editing movies, videos, animation or games. You’d also be very good at creating artistic, original websites for people.

The March 20 solar eclipse activates your Midheaven, signaling the time is NOW to commit to a career change. With transiting Saturn on your Neptune through October, you should lay the past to rest and get whatever training you need to shift into a new direction. This could be on-the-job training or adult education classes. Saturn wants you to commit to a new path and do whatever it takes to master it, so you can feel fulfilled at last.

Best of luck to you! Luna (Simone Butler)

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Aquarius New Moon: Called Back to Community

ClaudiaFernety.com

The Mission Hills United Methodist Church is having its Centennial Celebration this weekend. Newly restored to its original splendor, the Craftsman-style church I grew up in – with its awe-inspiring stained glass windows and gleaming woodwork – has been a bastion of the community for a hundred years.

My parents joined the church in 1948, just after they were married. Mom made beautiful music in the choir with her best friend Pauline, and Dad donned his finest suit each Sunday to pass the collection plate. We hosted church barbeques in our backyard, and my folks played bridge with other church couples. I studied the Ten Commandments in Bible School, and shared a passionate embrace with my first boyfriend to the thundering sounds of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” at a church-sponsored dance.

At 15, I announced to my parents that I would no longer be attending Sunday services. Dad didn’t care, as he rarely went anymore, but Mom was furious.  Though never especially devout, the church was her community. Yet Christianity had failed to answer a deeper spiritual call within me, and I rebelled at being forced to continue. From that point on, I attended only on special occasions.

Years later the church hosted both my parents’ memorial services, but I was not tempted to return to the fold. Yet when I received an invitation to Christmas eve services last month, something prompted me to go. It was deeply comforting to be back in the elegant old dowager’s embrace, singing the carols I knew so well, greeting those who remembered me.  I even took Communion. I do not believe that Jesus died for my sins, yet I found that I could still be true to myself while worshiping with those who believe differently.

Next week’s Aquarius New Moon (Jan. 20, 5:14 a.m. PST) falling a day before Mercury turns retrograde in Aquarius, calls us back to community. We’ve come a long way in knowing who we are and what we believe. Now it’s time to reconnect with old friends or groups who know us well – even if we diverge in certain ways. Because of its retrograde, Mercury spends a long time in the sign of fellowship and fraternity – from Jan. 4 through March 12. This gives us plenty of time to do the Aquarian thing and revisit those connections that once held meaning for us. In the process, we’re apt to rediscover important parts of ourselves. Even if we don’t stay forever, there can be beauty and magic in touching base.

You have all weekend to prepare your Helpful People gua (to the right of the front door as you enter) before doing a New Moon ritual to call forth helpful connections on this plane or the next. For guidance, check out this Aquarius New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life.

Image by Claudia Fernety. View more of Claudia’s work at her website.

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Ask Luna-January 4, 2015

Dear Luna, How do I walk into my future in strength and leave my parents behind, without hurting them too much (particularly my mother where there is a lot of resentment and anger)? I don’t want to be held back by feelings of guilt and pity but my withdrawal is taken as cruel and cold. –Lilith

Dear Lilith,  First of all, I don’t think it’s possible to completely leave your parents behind. They will always be an integral part of you, for better or for worse.  However, you are certainly entitled to a full, rich life of your own without undue interference from them. With four planets in your fourth house of family, including your Virgo Sun, you have a strong tendency to feel responsible for your parents and let them control you overmuch. This is also shown by Saturn in Cancer conjunct your Ascendant. You feel responsible for others’ feelings and needs, and often put those needs ahead of your own. This is an old karmic pattern that is no longer serving you.

You recently experienced a Uranus cycle that brought out your rebellious side and made you ready to become much more independent. And now that stabilizing Saturn has moved into Sagittarius, where it makes a supportive aspect to your Mars in Libra most of 2015, you’re less likely to sit on the fence and more prone to take well-thought-out action to create a new future. The key is to take things slowly. Do whatever research or preparation is necessary between now and the fall, which is your power time.

There’s a solar eclipse on your birthday September 13—a major indication of a fresh start—followed by Saturn’s final sextile to your Mars in October. If there is decisive action that needs to be taken, that’s the time to do it. Meanwhile, follow through with your plans in a calm, steady fashion and don’t let yourself be swayed by any parental judgments or demands. Their reactions have nothing to do with you. Let them know how much you love and value them, and thank them for their support—no matter how they’re expressing it. Keep praying to the Great Goddess and asking for Her guidance in breaking free of old chains. Perform rituals at each New and Full Moon to sustain the strength and gain the insights you need. You can do this! Many blessings, Luna (Simone Butler)

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Capricorn New Moon: Hope with Legs

ClaudiaFernety.com

In 2007, David Oyelowo had a profound experience shortly after receiving the script for Selma – the soon-to-be-released movie of Martin Luther King Jr.’s crusade for voting rights. The British actor was relaxing at home when suddenly, he says, “The voice of God popped into my head and told me I was going to play MLK.”

Unfortunately, the director at the time didn’t concur with God and someone else was cast in the role. Yet Oyelowo remained hopeful. He began studying the civil rights leader’s life, poring over his speeches and interviews and memorizing his accent and gestures. Then, three years later, another director took over and lo! – Oyelowo was cast. Still, it was still another three years until the film got green-lighted.

By spending seven years preparing for his dream to come true, Oyelowo was demonstrating the kind of hope that has legs. According to researcher Brene Brown in The Gifts of Imperfection, hope is not just a warm feeling of optimism and possibility. It’s also an active, grounded process of setting goals, having the tenacity and perseverance to pursue them, and believing in one’s own abilities.

This sounds very Saturnine to me. Yet hope has a Neptunian element too, that’s closely akin to faith – whether it’s the voice of God speaking to us, or an inner spark of knowing that things will turn out okay.

Auspiciously, the worldly and the otherworldly merge at the upcoming Capricorn New Moon (Sun. Dec. 21 at 5:36 pm PST). The Sun and Moon join in the sign ruled by practical Saturn, as magical Neptune makes a supportive sextile to them. Even more importantly, the New Moon coincides with the Solstice – a potent turning point as the old season makes way for the new (here in the Northern hemisphere, the Winter Solstice lights a spark in the dead of winter – foretelling brighter days to come).

Change-agent Uranus in fiery Aries stations direct at the Solstice/New Moon as well, jumpstarting a burning desire and momentum that’s been held in abeyance for five months. In fact, the three-hour period from 2:45 pm to 5:36 pm PST on Dec. 21st is one of the strongest portals for release and rebirth that I’ve seen in a long while. This is especially true wherever zero degrees of Capricorn (New Moon) and 12 degrees of Aries (Uranus SD) fall in your chart. I’ve been telling all my clients to get out into nature or at least light a candle and do a ritual to celebrate the rebirth of the light within. Whatever intentions we set at this time will be supported by Saturn’s shift into Sagittarius on Dec. 23, which will help us cultivate and sustain hope, and stay on track to manifest our New Year’s goals.

Yes, hope can be cultivated – even if you’re still struggling to emerge from the wreckage of Saturn in Scorpio and the Uranus-Pluto square (which completes in March). Brene Brown assures us that we can develop hope by becoming more patient and realistic. “The new cultural belief that everything should be fun, fast and easy is inconsistent with hopeful thinking,” she notes. “It also sets us up for hopelessness.”

Although some worthy endeavors may indeed be fun, fast and easy, adds Brown, others will prove to be difficult, time-consuming and not enjoyable at all. “Rather than saying, ‘It’s only hard and slow because I’m not good at it,’” she advises, “hopeful talk sounds more like: ‘This is tough, but I can do it.’”

Like Martin Luther King Jr. and David Oyelowo, we can have a dream – and cultivate the hope to make it come true. If you need help believing in yourself and your dreams, check out this Capricorn New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life.

To find out what’s up for you in the New Year, contact me for my annual Holiday Special Reading – only $150 for a 75-minute phone consultation (reg. $195). Must be purchased by the end of December, although readings will be booked into January.

Image by Claudia Fernety. View more of Claudia’s work at her website.

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Ask Luna -November 22, 2014

Hello Luna, I have gone my whole life thinking I was Gemini, trying to do Gemini-like activities & jobs, beating myself up when I did not show all those great Gemini qualities such as communicating well, going with the flow, showing quick-wittedness… and so on!

Then, after being diagnosed with an illness, I became very interested in astrology and decided to look further into my chart. Turns out I am a Cancerian!!! I am right on the cusp… but it seems to me I have been denying my homely, nurturing cancer-side… which has in turn made me quite ill.

Do I have a bit of both signs? It feels weird to identify suddenly with a different sign. Who better to ask about this than Luna? Many thanks!–Gillian 

Dear Gillian, That must have been quite an identity crisis for you when you discovered (determined by your time of birth, no doubt) that your Sun was in Cancer! Yet you are indeed a blend of the two signs – and much more – as determined by the other planetary placements. You have a need for the Gemini social and communication outlets, as well as the Cancerian private, inward time and nurturing, home and family. A wise astrologer (Zipporah Dobbyns) once called this type of air-water mix the “freedom-closeness dilemma,” as you may feel pulled toward autonomy at one moment, and intimacy at the next. Integrating the two – or at least making room for both of them – will be your life-long task.

Since you’re technically a Cancer, however, it would behoove you to develop that side of you more. You’re a  babe in the woods with the Moon Child energy, being at the first degree of that sign, so go easy on yourself as you develop your homey, nurturing side. And by all means start with nurturing yourself – which can be the Cancer’s toughest challenge, as you discovered with your recent illness.

It’s wonderful that you’ve created an altar to me! As you continue to do rituals at the New and Full Moons, asking for my help and guidance, you will begin to feel more comfortable with your Cancer identity. Be sure to spend plenty of time outside when the Moon is full – that’s how I’m best able to send you the magic and blessings you deserve.

Love, Luna

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Sagittarius New Moon: Taking the Long View

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Can you imagine being so happy with your job that you wouldn’t want to retire – even at 95? To round out my trilogy of extraordinary women who embody the current planetary theme of female power, I give you spunky Elinor Otto, the last working “Rosie the Riveter,” who answered the call for women factory workers during World War II – and has continued to build airplanes at Boeing ever since.

The 95-year-old great-grandmother is finally retiring, not because she wants to, but because the C-17 planes she has always worked on are being discontinued. A vivacious redhead with provocative purple nails (watch the short video here), Otto remained every inch the lady despite wielding a riveting gun. “I thought, well, I’m going to do men’s work, but I’m not going to try to look like a man,” she explained.

Otto’s colleagues say it’s her larger-than-life attitude (a hallmark of her upbeat Sagittarius Moon) they will miss most. “She’s an inspiration to keep people moving forward,” said Sal Gutierrez, a Boeing production manager. “She’s a trooper,” he added (which reflects her loyal, determined Scorpio Sun.)

Lovely Venus just sauntered into Sagittarius, where she will join the Sun and Moon next Saturday for the New Moon (Nov. 22, 4:32 a.m. PST), to lighten spirits all around. Yet another lunation catalyzing Venus! While the last two involved life-or-death Scorpio, this one inhabits the cheerful, adventurous sign of the Archer. Anyone up for a little travel, or learning something new? This Sagittarian emphasis foreshadows Saturn’s entrance into that sign on Dec. 23, where it will remain through 2017. Saturn’s shift tells us to start taking a long-range view. Whether it’s, “What can I do to help arrest climate change?” or “What steps do I need to take to improve my business?” being a visionary is now the cool thing to do.

This is especially true for women, with Venus in Sagittarius through December 10. Let’s take our cue from Elinor Otto, who embodies the iconic “Rosie the Riveter” image – long a symbol of female power. Yet becoming an icon was never her intention. “We just knew this war had to be won and we had to help because the men were gone. Not until years later did we think we did anything special.”

Treasure-Mapping is a fun way to engage your subconscious mind in envisioning your future. For inspiration, check out this Sagittarius New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui, Making Magic in Your Home and Life.

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Scorpio New Moon Solar Eclipse: Girl Power!

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Thunderous cheers erupted from the audience at a recent Jon Stewart show when guest Malala Yousafzai declared that a woman’s power is not just equal to a man’s, but superior. A shocking statement from a young woman raised in Pakistan, where, under Taliban rule, females are not only forbidden to go to school but cannot have their names written on any documents – effectively denying their very existence.

Exactly two years after a Taliban gunman shot her in the head for her activism, last week 17-year-old Malala became the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Following her recovery in a British hospital, the preternaturally poised young woman had authored a best-selling book, I Am Malala, and had been touring the world speaking out for female education.

Malala credits her supportive father, Ziauddin, for making her such a strong warrior. At Malala’s birth, he dared to write her name in the family tree – a 300-year-old document that had never mentioned a female. And, he defied Taliban restrictions by putting Malala in school – urging her to “unlearn the lesson of obedience.”

The younger Yousafzai received news of her Nobel Prize just prior to the upcoming Scorpio New Moon (October 23, 2:56 p.m. PDT), which is also a potent solar eclipse exactly conjunct Venus. Scorpio is the sign of female empowerment, and the New Moon’s conjunction to Venus symbolizes the Goddess arising from darkness and obscurity to reclaim her rightful place in the world.

The eclipse is in Malala’s third house (life-changing information coming through), just as lucky Jupiter transits her brave, colorful Venus in Leo (ruler of her career point).  As a caring Cancer with the Moon conjunct warrior Mars in peace-and-justice-oriented Libra and courageous Leo rising, Malala says she intends to keep championing the rights of women, no matter the consequences to herself.

The Scorpio season can often be a heavy time of anger, loss and grieving. These dark emotions, however, are like the muddy water from which the beautiful lotus arises—much as the incandescent Malala arose from a dark, repressive regime (and near death) to bravely speak out for change.

If your darkness is related to financial lack, take heart that a Wealth New Moon is upon us. Try this ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life, to bury the past and make way for an influx of blessings and prosperity.

Image by Claudia Fernety. To see more of Claudia’s work, visit her website.

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