About Simone Butler

Simone Butler is an intuitive astrologer with more than 25 years of experience helping people engage with the mystery of their lives. In addition to having a consulting practice with clients throughout the world, Simone has taught many astrology classes and workshops, most recently at Vintage Religion in San Diego and the Golden Door Spa in Escondido. Simone's articles have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer, The L.A. Times and many other publications. She wrote the daily forecasts for the Starscroll for many years, as well as the lunar forecasts for Tarot.com. Simone loves ritual and combining astrology with feng shui. She lives in San Diego, California, and can be contacted through her website.

Libra New Moon: Reset Your Love Vibe

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Are you connected to your core love vibration? Did you even know you had one? According to relationship expert Arielle Ford, we are all born with a unique signal that we broadcast, attracting those of a similar vibe. That’s how soulmates and best friends find each other. Yet, says Ford, most of us have been knocked out of sync with this natural vibration through fear, insecurity and life’s slings and arrows. We therefore end up attracting people and situations that don’t match our true essence.

It’s easy to get back in touch with your love vibe, however. Try this HeartMath technique right now: Put your hand over your heart and breathe in deeply while imagining a person or pet you adore—past or present. Really feel into the love. Once you’re blissful and serene, you’re tuned in to your love frequency. I tried this for the first time at a recent salsa festival in Long Beach. Wandering around in the blistering heat, I radiated my love vibe to all. Nobody seemed to notice—but I was on top of the world (at least until the heat got to me!)

Ford recommends tuning in to your love vibe as often as possible to attain greater harmony within yourself, which is the prerequisite for finding your soulmate. She says it took her six months of doing various things—including tweaking her love vibe and going to a few therapy sessions to overcome her fear of commitment—before she attracted her husband Brian. (Read her inspirational book, The Soulmate Secret, to find out her winning three-step formula—which includes getting clear on what you want, releasing energetic anchors to the past and feeling grateful.) Arielle and Brian have been happily married for 16 years, and she is now dedicated to helping others get in touch with their true selves, manifest the mate they were destined for and improve relationships.

We’re coming into a stellar time to reset your love vibe and/or manifest your mate. The Libra New Moon (Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 11:14 pm PDT) falls right on the heels of the Fall Equinox, or Sun’s entry into Libra, the night before. Libra is all about beauty, harmony, fairness—and most of all love. Also on the 22nd, Pluto stations direct after a long, hard backward slog through Capricorn since April. Pluto’s retrograde was for the purpose of generating internal heat and combustion to burn away old habits and beliefs. Now that the Lord of the Underworld is turning forward, we’re ready to give birth to our true selves. At the Equinox, key soul contracts can be broken if necessary and new ones formed. Take advantage of next week’s potent window of opportunity for shifting the energy in your relationships.

At this New Moon, set intentions, perform rituals and create a vision board showing what kind of relationship energy you’d like to bring in (hint: if you can feel it, you can manifest it!). And, you’ll certainly want to clean, clear and enhance your Love gua (furthest right hand corner of your home as you enter the front door.) For help with this, as well as opening your heart and strengthening your love vibe, check out this Libra New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. At the bottom of that page, you’ll also find a mini-video showing how I helped one woman transform her bedroom to attract more love within and without.

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Virgo New Moon: What is Healing?

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Ninety-nine-year-old Lillian Weber is on a mission. Each day in her Bettendorf, Iowa farm house she makes one dress for a young girl in Africa. By next May, when she celebrates her 100th birthday, her tally will reach 1,000 handmade dresses. In the past two years she’s finished more than 840 of them, all created from a single pattern but adorned with different decorations, ribbons or ruffles. Her donations are distributed to schools, orphanages and churches by an organization called Little Dresses for Africa.

Sewing is Weber’s sacred service. She admits she’s fueled by her need to stay busy, but also by the love she pours into each dress—knowing how happy it will make the girl who receives it. “When I get to that thousand, if I’m able to, I won’t quit,” she told WQAD-TV.

When I was in Houston a few months back, I saw a chiropractor who’s also on a healing mission. A Christian radio station was broadcasting as I entered Dr. Chapman’s office. “Do you mind if Iet Jesus do the work?” he asked. I acquiesced, even though I don’t put much stock in traditional religion. He laid his hands on my shoulders and absorbed everything he needed to know within a minute. It was the best treatment I’ve ever had. Not only did he release the headache I’d had since my recent stroke, but he also greatly relieved a long-standing shoulder injury that no other treatment had been able to touch.

How did Dr. Chapman get such awesome results? By channeling love in a skillful manner. To heal is to connect and bless by applying one’s intention and skills—whether it involves African children or Houston chiropractic patients. Richard Carlson’s anthology, Healers on Healing, reveals that the most essential factor for achieving results with illness or injury is the presence of unconditional love. The attitude held by both practitioner and patient turns out to be more important than the technique that was used.

During the time when the Sun passes through Virgo, we’re called to heal ourselves and others through simple acts of love and service. This is especially true at Monday’s Virgo New Moon (August 25, 7:12 a.m. PDT). The Sun and Moon join in opposition to mystical Neptune in Pisces, while Mercury in Virgo opposes Chiron (the Wounded Healer) in Pisces. This double dose of the Virgo-Pisces polarity joins sacred service with unconditional love. Also, Mars conjuncts Saturn at this New Moon, adding a note of finality, decisiveness and commitment.

What sacred service are you ready to commit to or expand? How about committing to your own healing by giving your body more love, healthy food and exercise? Or, perhaps you’re feeling drawn to volunteer for a cause you believe in. This New Moon is perfect for beginning a new regimen or committing to whatever will help you and/or others to feel better.

As for me, I’m expanding my sacred service by giving more local talks. If you’re in or near Escondido on Friday evening, Sept. 19, please join me for a fun and enlightening talk on Astro Feng Shui for Love, in which we’ll be tapping into the powerful Libra New Moon and Fall Equinox! (Click here and scroll down to the bottom to see my flier).

If you could use a little focused relaxation during the sometimes-hectic Virgo season, check out this Virgo New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. You’ll also find a mini-video at the bottom of that page, showing how I helped one couple make a clean sweep in their kitchen (Health gua) – that led to a whole new life for them!

© 2014 by Simone Butler.

Painting by Claudia Fernety. See more of Claudia’s work at her website.

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Leo New Moon: Vein of Gold

FridasCourage

When you think of Julia Roberts, do you remember her scowling face in Ocean’s Eleven – or her radiant, megawatt smile in Pretty Woman? She tried her best to transcend the romantic comedy genre (and won an Oscar for her terrific role as bombshell-turned-investigator in Erin Brockovich), yet the world will always remember her as the pretty woman who got the guy despite the odds.

It’s her vein of gold. Consider Robert De Niro, who turns in brilliant performances bonding with other men in tough circumstances, dealing with loyalties and betrayals and wrestling with his own dark side. Romantic comedies are not his forte.

As director Martin Ritt, who coined the term “vein of gold” explains, “All actors have a certain territory, a certain range, they were born to play. If you cast an actor within that range, he will always give you a brilliant performance. Of course, you can always cast an actor outside his vein of gold. If you do, that actor can use craft and technique to give you a very fine, creditable performance, but never a performance as brilliant as when he is working in his vein of gold.”

Julia Cameron writes about this phenomenon in her book The Vein of Gold. She states that we all have something at which we excel—because we have a passion for it. “It’s very important,” she says, “to make art about what we are really interested in, not what we should be interested in. All too often, we aim at writing a script we should write, and when it’s done with, that’s exactly how it reads—like a noble effort, well-meant but somehow hollow. The same holds true for dutiful paintings, meals, poems, letters, even curtains.”

You may not be an artist or an actor, but you can feel when you’re working in your vein of gold—you’re in the zone. Time stops, creativity flows, you feel in charge of things. Your unique spark of the divine springs forth.

That spark is about to be lit at the imaginative, outgoing Leo New Moon (July 26, 3:42 p.m. PDT). Tightly conjunct expansive, enthusiastic Jupiter, this New Moon fully releases the Year of the Horse from its starting gate, where it’s been champing at the bit for months. Creativity and passion are running high, with artistic Venus opposite potent Pluto. And, with Saturn recently direct, we’re able to start hammering out a structure to contain our creative efforts.

So the question is, What do you want to create? That would depend, to some extent, on what house the New Moon activates for you. If it’s in the first house, you’re creating a new image and direction. A fourth house New Moon prompts you to beautify or expand your home. A seventh house New Moon could bring new love, or take your existing relationship into new territory. A tenth house New Moon signals that it’s time for your business to take off. No matter where it falls, make the most of this exuberant fresh start. Find your vein of gold—and have fun bringing forth something that you’re passionate about!

If you need help lighting your spark, check out this Leo New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. You’ll also find a mini-video at the bottom of that page showing how I helped an artist friend transform her Creativity and Children gua to bring in more creative flow.

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Cancer New Moon: Wrapped in Love

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In the Daily Guides of last month’s Science of Mind Magazine, Cynthia James shared about her rescue dog, Rusty.  Abused as a puppy, Rusty was an anxious mess—tearing up furniture, barking incessantly, running away. For nine years James and her husband put up with Rusty’s difficult behavior and loved him anyway.

Then a friend told them about Thunder Shirts—a garment that wraps around a dog’s (or cat’s) midsection and exerts steady pressure which calms the animal, even in the face of thunder storms. James was skeptical, but thought it worth a try. She put the garment on Rusty and within a day, he was much more relaxed. “It was amazing,” she reports. “It was like he was wrapped in love.”

This story reminded me of the Squeeze Machine, which the autistic Temple Grandin devised as a college student after seeing cows calmed by the pressure of a holding device. Plagued by acute anxieties and unable to tolerate a human touch, Grandin found that spending time twice daily in the Squeeze Machine calmed her and provided a sense of safety—as it did for others in her research project.

With four planets in security-loving Cancer, the idea of such a device appeals to me. (After all, our loved ones can’t always be there when we need a serious hug). In her Daily Guide, James imagines wearing an invisible Thunder Shirt. What would it feel like, she wonders, to be wrapped in love all the time? “That would mean we would feel safe, whole, nurtured and comforted in every situation. We could walk out each day with confidence that love guides our paths and handles every experience.”

The upcoming Cancer New Moon (Friday June 27, 1:08 a.m. PDT) carries the potential for such a wondrous embrace. Magical Neptune trines the Sun and Moon in nurturing Cancer, heightening our powers of visualization and ability to give and receive love. If you’re lucky enough to have a significant other, hold each other tightly at this New Moon. If not, just imagine yourself being held within the arms of the Divine—the ultimate Squeeze Machine. Later that day, the Moon opposes Pluto and squares Uranus, which could present a few emotional hiccups. And, Venus squares Neptune early Sunday morning, promoting higher love but also veering toward melancholy or confusion—which could be accentuated by Mercury’s current stationary status as it prepares to turn forward on July 1.

So it’s a deep, emotional weekend in which we could all benefit from a hug. Gather friends and family around you now. The Cancer New Moon trine otherworldly Neptune is also an exceptional time to contact your ancestors for support. Check out this ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. At the bottom of that page, you’ll also find a mini-makeover in which I helped one woman transform her Family gua and improve relations with her daughter.

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Gemini New Moon: Moving On

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The recent Scorpio Full Moon conjunct Saturn combined with a stationary (extra powerful) Mars brought this year’s second heat wave to San Diego – resulting in a series of devastating fires in North County. Friends evacuated their homes as the Santa Ana winds whipped through vulnerable areas. Facebook proliferated with scary photos and breaking news—such as the century-old Harmony Grove spiritualist center burning to the ground, leaving many homeless. Now that things are back to “normal,” some are counting their blessings while others sift through the wreckage and contemplate whether or not to rebuild.

The past few months have been challenging for most of us. You may have sailed right through the extreme planetary happenings and even felt energized by them. But many of us had a rude awakening in one form or another, and may now be starting to realize that certain things in our lives, no matter how worthy, are no longer workable.

With Mars finally direct and the dust beginning to settle, the question becomes:“What do I want next?” If you’ve been resisting the way things are, or feeling upset that something or someone is slipping away from you, it may be a sign that the container you’re in has become too small for you. Like a plant that’s outgrown its pot, choking on its own roots, you’re ready for a transplant. Like me, perhaps you’ve been waiting for something outside of you to change so you won’t have to. I suspect it’s time to accept the truth: We’ve grown, and it’s time to move on and begin again.

A fresh start is ahead with the Gemini New Moon (May 28, 11:40 a.m. PDT). This lunation urges us to set new intentions based on our recently refurbished needs and desires. Yet because the Sun and Moon in curious, mental Gemini exactly square nebulous Neptune in Pisces, we’ll need to deal with our fears and fantasies and move slowly and intuitively, rather than striking out blindly in a new direction. The month of June is for dreaming the future, doing research and prep work, and asking for unseen help. Trickster Mercury is slowing down, preparing for its thrice-yearly retrograde from June 7 – July 1. But luckily the messenger planet spends most of that cycle in its own sign of Gemini, where it is strong. This helps us review the past and decide what’s worth reclaiming.

I’ve been saying all along that the spirited “Year of the Horse” won’t pick up speed until mid-July, when all the retrogrades are over (including Saturn) and Jupiter gallops into spirited Leo. In the meantime, we get to embrace our current truth and create a new plan or recommit to an old one. For help in doing that, check out this Gemini New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. At the bottom of that page, you’ll also find a mini-video showing how I helped one man transform his Knowledge gua and gain greater clarity and direction.

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Taurus New Moon Solar Eclipse: Abloom with New Life

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I always know when the Taurus season has arrived – my backyard is suddenly abloom with magnificent pink and orange epiphyllums! Sensual, beauty-loving Taurus is my favorite sign. It rules the finer things in life—a homemade Caesar salad with an exquisite glass of pinot noir, a barefoot walk in the grass, a long, slow massage. During the Taurus season (mid April to mid May) we feel more than usually inclined toward such indulgences. At the Taurus New Moon, like the one that’s due April 28 at 11:14 pm PDT, we plant new seeds for creative projects, deepen the love in our relationships, and generally celebrate new life. This New Moon is also a solar eclipse, intensifying Taurean themes like security, finances and commitments of all kinds. Yet because Taurus is ruled by peace-loving Venus (currently exalted in Pisces), and messenger Mercury makes beautiful aspects at the New Moon, the stage is set for a calmer, more stable period ahead.

And boy do we need it, after the recent Grand Cross and total lunar eclipse. Talk about wake-up calls! The April 15 eclipse lit up my Neptune in the sixth house of health, and squared my Sun (life force). A week before the eclipse was exact, I suffered a stroke. The doctor was dumbfounded, as I have none of the risk factors for stroke. Nor did I exhibit the usual slurred speech or paralysis. Just an infernal headache that wouldn’t quit. I was lucky. In fact, I was blessed—at the time of the incident, transiting Jupiter was near my Venus (ruler of my sixth house), protecting me. Friends and family came out of the woodwork to pray, send healing energy and surround me with love. I was released from the hospital after only two days, and told I’d make a full recovery (with the help of blood thinners). Cleared for travel, I flew to Houston a few days later to visit my sweetie, who pampered me to the hilt. I was “stroked by love” on so many levels. I even found a chiropractor who greatly reduced the headache.

Still, I can’t help wondering—was the stroke a warning of some kind? It was the second time recently that I’d been knocked upside the head (the first was when my digital marketer partners abruptly pulled out of The Tantric Woman magazine, leaving me in the lurch.) Sometimes it’s hard to discern what the Universe is trying to tell you—especially if your chart is being hit by disruptive energies like the Uranus-Pluto square (catalyzed by last week’s Grand Cross). During such times, all you can do is surrender to the process, avoid making rash moves or jumping to conclusions, be grateful for all that’s good in your life and wait for clarity to emerge.

Set your intentions for grounding, wealth, clarity and sensual enjoyment at the upcoming Taurus New Moon. By the time action-hero Mars finally turns forward on May 19 (or perhaps even sooner, around the May 14 magical Scorpio-Taurus Full Moon), all sorts of good things and new directions should begin to manifest for you.

To cultivate more wealth and well-being in your life, check out this Taurus New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. At the bottom of that page, you’ll find a mini-makeover showing how I helped one woman beautify her Wealth gua at the New Moon, which triggered new blessings to flow into her life. And don’t forget to order April Elliott Kent’s terrific eclipse report, Followed by a Moonshadow, to find out what’s ahead for you!

 

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Aries New Moon: Time to Misbehave!

FearlessFrida

Are you up for a little healthy risk? Lately I’ve been witnessing friends and family members doing outrageous things in the name of self-discovery. One friend just got back from a two-month South American journey, where she had so much fun that she’s now offering exotic trips for her coaching clients. Another left a stable position and relationship to move cross-country for her dream job. And, a third just bought a house in another state, where she’s moving with or without her long-time partner.

Are these people being selfish? Are they abandoning established careers and relationships to satisfy their impulsive desires? To me, they’re just following their dreams. Perhaps they’re “misbehaving” a bit—but if that’s what it takes to shake up the status quo and bring new vitality into your life, then why not?

According to an article by Rebecca Webber in Psychology Today, misbehavior can be liberating, even necessary. The healthy way to do it, she says, “is to occasionally break rules, norms, or expectations in ways that don’t cause any serious harm. By doing so, we can test out roads not normally taken, and make sure we’re on the path that’s right for us. Misbehavior usually reaffirms our established ways just as it provides a refreshing break from them. But it sometimes reveals an even better direction in which to steer our lives. If we never misbehave, we’ll never know what we’re missing…and it could be something great.”

Misbehavior is written all over the Aries New Moon (Sunday March 30, 11:45 a.m. PDT), which some astrologers are calling the most important New Moon of the year. Fiery Aries wants to strike out on its own—an impulse greatly intensified by rebellious Uranus, go-get-‘em Jupiter and all-or-nothing Pluto making an inflammatory T-square with the Sun and Moon. The ego-driven Sun’s involvement is apt to stir up trouble, especially in combustible regions around the globe. Push could easily come to shove in our personal lives, as well. Yet the urge for freedom can’t be denied—especially in matters related to the house where the New Moon falls. (Email me at simone@astroalchemy.com for a $50 Snapshot reading on what’s being activated for you).

This New Moon offers a preview of the potentially life-changing April 20-23 Grand Cross, in which Mars will retrograde back to oppose Uranus and square the Jupiter-Pluto opposition. Like the Sun, Mars is a fiery, impulsive planet—especially when frustrated by its retrograde passage through peace-loving Libra. By mid-April, bracketed by eclipses on the 15th and 29th (more about that in my next post) the Grand Cross will trigger the results of whatever is now being initiated. Throughout April, emotions will run high—necessitating forethought and careful attention to our words and actions. If you’re truly ready to charge ahead with something, go for it—just be aware that with Mars retrograde through May 19, progress could be slowed.

Most important right now is to get clear on your goals, and recommit to whatever truly makes your heart sing. Check in–this may have changed. If you’ve been conforming to rules or limitations that no longer make sense to you, develop an exit strategy. Dare to be selfish—especially if you always strive to make others happy. If you’re not ready for a big change, find a harmless way to misbehave—stay out late dancing, take a spontaneous vacation. Do whatever it takes to feel more alive and fulfilled.

For helping in pumping up your life force and career at the Aries New Moon, check out this ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. You’ll also find a mini-makeover at the bottom of that page showing how I helped one woman transform her porch—and career path.

Featured image from a painting by Claudia Fernety. See more of Claudia’s work her website.

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Pisces New Moon: Soulful Communion

TwoWomenWithLilies

Kristi Rodriguez’ ten-year-old son Sean was struggling with reading in school. One day Rodriguez, a program coordinator for the Animal Rescue League in Berks County, PA, had an inspiration. She decided to bring Sean in to read to the shelter’s cats. He loved it so much – and so did the cats – that she knew she was onto something. So Rodriguez launched The Book Buddies Program in August 2013. Since then Sean has shown great improvement in his reading. And, over 20 children grades 1 to 8 visit the ARL on a weekly basis, where they enjoy reading to and bonding with an appreciative feline audience.

The program is a win-win for all concerned, especially kids struggling in school, who receive small prizes for each book they read aloud. And, the shelter’s cats enjoy the rhythmic vocal sounds, while they get some much-needed company and socialization. “One little boy has autism and his mom home schools him,” says Beth Ireland, the shelter’s marketing director. “He’s blossomed while he’s here. It’s so sweet to watch.”

Soulful communion, interspecies bonding, joyful learning—all depicted by the upcoming Pisces New Moon in exact trine to expansive Jupiter (March 1, 12:00 am PST). Watery Pisces connects us all at the deepest level, while stationary Jupiter in connective Cancer brings the urge to bond as it prepares to turn forward within a week. Plus, messenger Mercury turns direct on Feb. 28, just prior to the New Moon, bringing greater mental clarity and helping us release internal frustrations from the last three weeks. Sounds like cause for celebration, eh? Yes, but it’s a bit more complicated than that.

Tough love planets Mars and Saturn turn retrograde on March 1 and 2, respectively. Mars’ retrograde turn in Libra (through May 19) demands that we review and re-evaluate agreements and partnerships, while Saturn’s backward turn in Scorpio (thru July 19) plunges us into deep waters to heal old wounds and reassess emotional or financial commitments we’ve made since last fall. This combination will require finesse and patience, especially through May. Yet the transcendent nature of the March 1 New Moon suggests that great blessings are coming if we just keep the faith, stay centered in our hearts and have compassion for one another. Still, it’s wise to be extra cautious this weekend, especially when it comes to travel, finances and relationships, as Mars and Saturn both station retrograde.

To tap into the mysterious, psychic nature of the Pisces New Moon, try this Water Gazing ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. On that page you’ll also find a mini-video of my Health gua makeover at the center of one couple’s home – which led to a whole new life for them.

 

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Aquarius New Moon: Welcoming the Horse

GreatGrandmaHaddad

As a girl, Koelle Simpson spent hours engaging with horses near her rural home in Tennessee. They helped her heal from the sexual abuse that had left her feeling broken and withdrawn. In her passion for understanding these amazing creatures, Simpson studied everything she could about the equine nature. In the process, she developed a skill often called ‘horse whispering,’ or what she refers to simply as “communicating with horses in their own language.”

Simpson discovered how, sometimes within a matter of hours, to transform an abused horse from a stampeding demon into an angelic companion—using only gentleness and patience. Soon she and her equine pals began helping people who’d been similarly scarred. Seemingly miraculous healings occurred as people learned, from interacting with horses, how to treat themselves more gently instead of whipping, hobbling or denying their instincts and true selves.

We’re entering the Year of the Horse on January 31, and those who follow Chinese astrology are predicting a New Year characterized by rapid expansion, fast-paced spurts of growth, optimism and achievement of goals. This makes sense on one level, since the horse is an energetic force of nature, running wild and free. And there is bound to be a release of energy as we leave behind two years of watery influences (first the Dragon, then the Snake) and gallop into the fiery Year of the Horse.

Yet horses are also very sensitive, social creatures, with an intense desire for companionship. Since a lone animal is vulnerable to predators, horses need one another for protection, and easily become spooked when feeling exposed. So the freedom-loving horse also symbolizes the need for community, safety and a slow, gentle approach. We’d do well to bear this in mind—especially because the first half of this year is rife with retrogrades, suggesting that patience will be the key to manifesting our goals.

Love goddess Venus ends her six-week retrograde on Jan. 31st, just as action-hero Mars starts to slow down in preparation for his backward turn from March through May. The retrograde of Mars can be particularly frustrating, because it demands that we make internal changes rather than trying to force external results. And, with February and June both colored by communicator Mercury’s backward turn, there’s a retrograde flavor to the period through early July. The Horse may need a lot of love and gentling before he really hits his stride in mid-July, when Jupiter canters into fiery Leo for a year.

Meanwhile, the Chinese New Year and Venus’ direct station both happen within hours of the Aquarius New Moon (January 30, 1:39 p.m. PST). The New Moon’s Aquarian bid for freedom is accentuated by its sextile to independent Uranus. Combined with the incoming Horse energy and Venus casting off her retrograde shackles, it should make for a potent breakthrough period. Throw in an opposition from blustery Jupiter to an intense Pluto-Venus conjunction, however, and things could easily get out of hand. Hold your horses before doing anything rash, especially where relationships are concerned. This holds true for the entire month of February, in which Mars will be virtually stationary in fair-shake Libra and Mercury turns retrograde in nebulous Pisces before heading back into Aquarius. We’d do best to cultivate our own pastures now rather than blaming others for not taking us on the grand ride we think we deserve. On the other hand, these energies favor the cultivation of community and friendship, as well as making slow, steady progress that lays the groundwork for rapid expansion this summer.

This is a good time to reach out for aid, as you energize your Helpful People gua (to the right of your front door as you enter). For guidance, check out this New Moon ritual  from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. You can also view a short video at the bottom of that page, showing how one woman attracted the help she needed by shifting things dramatically in her bedroom.

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Capricorn New Moon: Beauty from Chaos

Isabella

“This is what a chakra looks like,” Richard explained as he texted me this stunning crystalline image. (We’d just been connecting our chakras over the phone—a practice that keeps us close while he’s away). The ‘chakra’ had manifested on the hub of his tire while driving through an ice storm – a great example of beauty arising from chaos!

chakraOur world is shaped by intricate geometric patterns that lie just beneath the surface of things, like the chakras that animate our physical bodies and connect us to our higher selves and each other. The shifting angles made by the planets are another example of this. When these angular connections are particularly strong—as they are in the chart for the New Moon on New Year’s Day—they tend to trigger intense feelings, prompting decisive action and new beginnings.

The Capricorn New Moon (Jan. 1, 3:14 a.m. PST) catalyzes a grand cross between Mars in Libra, Jupiter in Cancer, Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn. The planets involved represent strong yang forces, intensified by their presence in action-oriented cardinal signs. Do-or-die Pluto conjuncts the Sun, Moon and Mercury and exactly squares headstrong Mars. This forceful call for evolutionary change can prompt a fresh start, but it can also trigger antagonism and impatience if we’re not careful to channel it wisely.

Because this powerful energy colors the entire year ahead, we can expect 2014 to be a magnificent, make-it-or-break-it year. The good news is, if you’re inclined to cut ties with the past, launch new projects or begin running marathons, this alignment will give you the push you need. The bad news is, if you persist in clinging to old patterns or being less than your authentic self, you’re apt to suffer.

Complicating the planetary picture, Venus is currently retrograde in Capricorn (Dec. 21 – Jan. 31). Pleasure-loving Venus can feel weighed down in that serious earth sign, but she’s also able to devise effective plans for change, and cement healthy habits in existing relationships (not a great time to start new ones, though). Don’t rely overmuch on others’ financial or emotional support during this retrograde, as it’s meant to guide you into your own depths to reclaim your talents, power and self-esteem (although it is a good time to recoup losses or receive money owed to you). Through the end of January, you may have to dig deep to find the softer side of love, to unconditionally accept yourself and others—but your efforts will be richly rewarded.

Working with your chakras is a great way to empower yourself and find the beauty in chaos; to learn how, check out my friend Paula Shaw’s illuminating new book, Chakras, The Magnificent Seven: Pathways to Higher Energy, Happiness and Health. Visit her Amazon e-Store and enter the promo code: NTKJMZAM before Jan. 1 to receive $5 off your order.

If you need some help cultivating self-confidence, check out this Capricorn New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. You’ll also find an inspirational mini-video to help you transform the Fame gua of your home and attain more authenticity and recognition in 2014.

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