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-May 6, 2016

Dear Luna, At 58 yrs of age, is it too late to learn how not to worry about things that are not in my control, i.e daily news events and things? Are you able to offer me guidance in how to achieve this? Thank you, Robert

Dear Robert, It’s natural that you’d be questioning matters of faith at this time, with your Saturn return in Sagittarius coloring this entire year.  In fact, finding a sense of faith in life despite appearances is your major work in this lifetime. So no it’s certainly not too late to learn not to worry about things you can’t control, but it will require doing some soul-searching on what you believe.  You must be a spiritual person or you wouldn’t be visiting this website. So, commit to the spiritual principles that you know to be true and realize that life is what you make it. Rev. Michael Beckwith says that watching the news is only good for identifying our “prayer requests” for the day. So, why not begin praying for the people and situations that trouble you? Science of Mind’s spiritual mind treatment is a particularly effective form of prayer (google it).  Say an affirmative prayer every time you start to worry. And if you choose to keep watching the news, please don’t do so at night just before bed, when negative stuff can disturb your sleep. Many blessings to you, Luna (Simone Butler)

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Taurus New Moon: Slow and Steady


On a stroll in the neighborhood, I turned the corner to see a large tortoise striding toward me. Hello! His guardian gave me a bemused smile; she’s used to the shocked expressions when people see her pet walking the streets.

Welcome to the season of Taurus, a fixed earth sign. The tortoise is one of my favorite Taurus symbols. Steady and determined, this charming creature gets where she wants to go, no matter how long it takes. The Sun, Venus, Mercury, and (soon) the Moon are in that slow, sensual sign, so it’s time to make like a tortoise. With five planets in retrograde, including Mercury and Mars, that means slowing down, revisiting old territory and finishing up the past. Greener pastures may beckon, but it’s probably better to bloom where you’re planted right now.

The New Moon in Taurus (May 6, 12:30 p.m. PDT) features a lovely Grand Trine to Pluto in Capricorn and Jupiter in Virgo. This suggests positive developments with existing projects, especially in earthly realms like finances, home and health – as long as we know what we want and are willing to stick with it. Jupiter turns direct two days after the New Moon, boosting health and work-related matters, especially those that have been stalled since early in the year. Just be cautious and patient, as quick, impulsive moves are bound to backfire this month.

Since Taurus rules money, this is a good time to get real about your needs. Exactly how much prosperity do you require right now? What form would you like it to take? Once you’re clear, write it down. Then fix up your home to accommodate that reality. Need beautiful new clothes? Give away the ones you never wear and make room in the closet. Need a specific amount of cash? Add at least one of the following to your Wealth gua (furthest left corner as you walk in the front door). Light a purple or green candle at the New Moon, giving thanks that the amount is yours.

  • A healthy green plant – especially a jade or lucky bamboo plant
  • A picture or statue of Lakshmi, or a golden Buddha
  • A bowl of coins or “treasure chest” with jewelry spilling out of it
  • A chunk of purple amethyst or green malachite
  • A hundred dollar bill

For additional help with prosperity, check out the Taurus New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. And watch the mini-video on that page showing how I helped one woman transform her bathroom to increase her wealth.


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A Magic Carpet Ride at the Aries New Moon


Recently I bought a magic carpet, covered in beautiful mandala-like designs. My cat Nora thinks it’s magical too – she likes to sit at the very center and survey her domain. The carpet hasn’t yet taken us on any mystical flights, at least in the literal sense.  But it lights up the living room with a sense of possibility and promise, and I swear it has stimulated my creative process with the book I’m writing.

So I was thrilled to see the Sabian Symbol for the upcoming Aries New Moon (April 7, 4:24 a.m. PDT): “The magic carpet of oriental imagery; the use of creative imagination.” The New Moon is stimulating “flights of imagination and super-physical perception”  which can help us rise above daily strife and see the bigger picture. The only catch is, we have to avoid “hectic involvement in social competition” to receive this transcendent understanding.

This message certainly fits April’s astrological theme. The Aries New Moon conjuncts stimulating Uranus and squares transformative Pluto, fostering an atmosphere of radical change within our hearts and the world at large. This is the first New Moon of the astrological New Year, traditionally considered a great time to sally forth and make your mark. Yet only ten days later, on April 17, Mars (Aries’ ruler) turns retrograde through the end of June.  So yes, there may be fun and fireworks at this Super Moon (the second of six this year), but the retrograde of Mars in Sagittarius warns us to think things through before acting and be patient as matters unfold.

Do you remember the magic carpet ride of Disney’s Aladdin? Flying high over Agrabah, Aladdin and the Sultan’s beautiful daughter Jasmine begin to sense the magical bond between them.  The carpet leads Aladdin and his trusty monkey (his wits and primal instincts) into a cave full of riches, and ultimately helps him win Jasmine’s heart. Since we recently entered the Year of the Monkey, let’s allow Aladdin to be our guide to an ingenious and enriching month ahead. Even if it may be a bit of a wild ride!

If you need help pumping up your life force for the journey, check out this Aries New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life.  You’ll also find a short video there on transforming and enhancing your Career gua (around the front door and porch) to make your mark on the world.

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March 23, 2016-Ask Luna

Dear Luna, Please enlighten me on my life’s direction. I have taught in the past but now feel I am blocked by where I live. I have put out postings to teach in a group setting, but maybe I need a new avenue.

Dear Esther, It’s no wonder you’re longing for a new direction—restless Uranus is activating your Mars in Aries, your career point and your Moon through early next year. It’s time to take a risk, and that likely involves moving. With natal Uranus and Pluto conjunct in your second house of money, you came here to shake up the status quo and earn money doing it. You do have excellent communication and financial skills, with Mercury, Sun and Jupiter conjunct in your tenth house of career. You’d make a terrific spokesperson for a cause you believe in, likely involving the Earth. Perhaps it’s time to join up with a non-profit (you’d be great at fund-raising), and put your very public-oriented chart to good use broadcasting a message.

You’ll always be a teacher – just brainstorm ways you can expand that role to benefit more people. Uranus wants action, though the next three months (April thru June) is best spent figuring out options, preparing, researching and perhaps visiting places you might want to live (action planet Mars will be retrograde). You’ll know when you’ve hit on the right place or project – it’ll make your whole body sing! Best of luck to you, Luna (Simone Butler)

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Pisces Solar Eclipse: The Power of No


Living in L.A. in the 1980s, I often visited the Ojai Foundation in Ventura County for a dose of spirituality and nature. At that time, the gifted artist Beatrice Wood was still throwing pots in her enchanted studio not far from the Foundation. We’d bring her chocolates as an offering, and she’d hold forth about life and love.

Sometimes Beato would tell us about her adventures as the “Mama of Dada” (a protest art movement of the 1920s and 30s), hanging with the likes of Marcel Duchamp and Isadora Duncan. A dreamy, imaginative Pisces, she’d developed her own process for glazing ceramics that yielded a magical, luminescent effect. She’d also had a string of unfulfilling relationships with men.

Sitting regally in her chair one day, wearing her signature sari and bold bracelets, her silver hair in a chignon, she fixed a serious gaze on the women gathered at her feet.

“What is the most important word in the English language?” she demanded.

“Love?” asked one. Beato shook her head.

“Beauty?” ventured another.

With a dramatic pause backed by 90-odd years of hard-won wisdom, Beato announced: “The most important word in the English language is No.”

I thought of this recently while considering the upcoming Pisces total solar eclipse square boundary-setting Saturn. The first of three SuperMoons in a row, this New Moon eclipse also happens with the Moon at perigee (the closest approach in its monthly orbit around the Earth), which intensifies its impact on tides, tectonic plates and human beings. In fact, some astrologers conjecture that there could be some major earth changes around this eclipse (March 8, 5:54 p.m. PST).

Fear-mongering is definitely not my thing; I’m more interested in the effects on our psyches. Because the New Moon in spiritual, otherworldly Pisces is conjunct Wounded Healer Chiron, opposite growth-oriented Jupiter and square decisive Saturn, it certainly can symbolize a big ending and a new beginning. This is a pivotal opportunity to eclipse whatever isn’t serving us anymore, and ask the Divine to bring in a whole new level of healing and service.

With the fresh, exciting energy of the Spring Equinox due on March 19-20, we naturally want to take risks and say Yes to life this month. But sometimes Yes begins with No. As we sort and filter the new beginnings flooding in, we’re carving out a new pathway for ourselves. It may be excruciating to say No to whatever is no longer working for you or to those who want a piece of your action, but doing so can set you free.

If you need help tuning in to the Divine Forces, check out this Pisces New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. You’ll also find a mini-video showing how I helped one couple transform their Health gua, which corresponds with Pisces (as well as Virgo).

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Ask Luna-February 8, 2016

Dear Luna, I have a deep feeling to be of service to fellow humans, animals and the nature at large. I love writing, painting, give healing, tarot readings, recycling etc… But, my question for how I best can be of service/support, what specific ways I best can do good, as well as feel good myself – is eluding me. If you please could shine some moon-magic-light on my true soul-purpose in this life I would be very much grateful! Thank you, Yvonne

Dear Yvonne, No wonder you have such a desire to be of service – you have five planets in the sixth house of work, service and health! And, of course, you are a nurturing Cancer with your Moon in sociable, helpful Aquarius. Mercury and the Ascendant in Gemini make you a writer and communicator – but you can also spread yourself too thin since you have so many talents and interests. I’d say, pick your favorite two things that bring you the most pleasure and satisfaction (perhaps writing and healing) and think about ways you could combine them (i.e. start a blog for women about some aspect of healing).

Transiting Saturn is opposing your Ascendant this year, encouraging you to cut away the chaff and get serious about what’s most important to you, and perhaps to bring in a partner or an established organization to help further your aims. Also, Jupiter in Virgo is intensifying your sixth house planets, so this is a good year to step out with your work. At the upcoming Feb. 8 New Moon, light a white candle in your Helpful People area (to the right as you enter) and ask your guides and angels to bring you focus. If there is particular help you need, such as coaching, give thanks that the perfect person is arriving now. Many blessings to you! Luna (Simone Butler)

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It’s Time for a Little Monkey Business!


Consummate Trickster Groucho Marx once noted, “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” And how about this one, which he uttered as he left a dinner party: “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”

Tricksters have a unique perspective. According to astrologer Caroline Casey, Trickster (aka Coyote) is daring, curious and unpredictable. Those who embody this archetype, she says, are in league with nature’s guiding genius. She also states that everyone’s inner Trickster needs to come out and play at this time of “dire beauty.” The kinship of Trickster souls, Casey asserts, is the only thing that will save the world. “Coyote wants to come alive in us,” she said recently in her Way of the Trickster training. “And the Trickster within loves ‘against all odds,’ so now is the time.”

In myth, Trickster is often depicted as a fox, crow, coyote or monkey – a crafty character who punctures pomposity to playfully expose the truth. Sometimes Trickster achieves justice by defeating enemies twice his size. But at heart he is no con artist – rather, he’s creativity incarnate. Like the impish monkey, he hangs upside down, staring bug-eyed at this crazy world, a half-eaten banana hanging from his mouth.

Welcome to the Year of the Monkey – and the Trickster! On Monday, February 8, the Yang Fire Monkey bursts on the scene as we bid farewell to the more passive Yin Wood Sheep. It’s time to pump up those muscles and raise the rooftops! This means using our wit and creativity to scoop up opportunities – and borrow the Monkey’s bravery and beginner’s mind to find unconventional solutions to long-standing problems.

An auspicious year for new beginnings, the heart-centered Yang Fire Monkey is passionate and generous. Now our heartfelt desires move to the forefront, and we join with others to create friendships, groups and movements that benefit ourselves and the collective. Those who dare to be different will win out while the monkey reigns.

What sign is best known for daring to be different? Aquarius, of course!  With retrograde Mercury (another well-known Trickster) doing his backwards thing throughout most of January, Feb. 8 becomes the real new year (Feb. 8, 6:39 a.m. PST).

This New Moon catalyzes our most ingenious and socially-oriented selves to take action on what means most to us. A square from passionate Mars in Scorpio to the Sun and Moon in clever Aquarius gets our hearts pumping and feet moving. So beat a path to a new meet-up group or rally, or find other ways to strengthen your circle of friends.

To bring more Helpful People into your life and get the angels on your team, check out this Aquarius New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. And be sure to watch the mini-video on that page showing how to make over and maximize your Helpful People gua.

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Capricorn New Moon: Do Your Best, Bless the Rest


Remember that awful fitness rule from the 80s, “No pain, no gain?” We’ve come a long way since then. Now most of us realize that torture is not the way to achieve our goals, fitness or otherwise. If we’re not loving and forgiving ourselves along the way, we may never get there – or if we do, the stress will eventually ruin us.

With that said, however, how many of us welcome change and the discomfort it inevitably brings? Achieving a goal usually involves some level of pain that takes us out of our comfort zone. Most people fail to achieve their New Year’s goals because they’re unwilling to live with discomfort – or they try too hard at first and then give up.

After spending a week eating unsalted raw vegetables, drinking green juices and exercising twice a day, I’ve definitely ventured out of my comfort zone. But my main goal for 2016 is TOTAL HEALTH, so it was worth it to feel so much better. Now I’m trying to keep the momentum going. I bought a fantastic Omega juicer and am using it every day. Most of what I’m eating is raw. The day I broke down and had a latte and a piece of quiche yielded such unpleasant results that I got back on track with no complaints.

At Optimum Health Institute, they have a saying: Do your best and bless the rest. We’d all do well to adopt this motto, especially now. Our tricky friend Mercury just went retrograde and backsliding is inevitable for the next three weeks. So rather than fight it, just accept that it’s likely to be “two steps forward, one step back” for a while. In fact, we may as well consider February to be the real start of the New Year, and save any super ambitious activities – like starting a new business or launching a web site – until then.

January is for reviewing the past, making adjustments and continuing on our path, as well as resting, rejuvenating and being kind to ourselves. That doesn’t mean that a bit of discomfort won’t be required – we’re in the Capricorn timeframe, after all! Capricorn and its symbol, the mountain goat, represent the self-reliance and fortitude that come from dealing with difficulties yet forging on up the mountain, one step at a time.

You couldn’t ask for a more Capricornian New Moon than the one that’s coming up on Jan. 9 at 5:30 p.m. PST. The Sun and Moon join powerful Pluto in the sign of the goat, reactivating the unpredictable, breakthrough-oriented Uranus-Pluto square. Mercury retrogrades back into Capricorn, where it remains thru mid-Feb. And, Venus joins Saturn (the Capricorn ruler), cautioning us to move slowly, choose wisely, and keep our resolutions in sight. Also, Jupiter turns retrograde on Jan. 7. Mercury rules everyday activities and Jupiter rules higher thought, so with both planets turning backward, we’d be wise to deal with lingering issues around health, negative thinking or inefficiency – and rethink our priorities if we haven’t already done so at the New Year.

Spiritual maturity is within our grasp this month. We may need to move through a bit of pain or revisit old lessons to reach this new level of mastery, but it will be so worth it. For inspiration, check out this Capricorn New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. On that page, you can also view a mini-makeover showing how I helped one couple transform their Fame gua – with amazing results!

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Ask Luna -December 25, 2015

My health is stopping me getting the fulfillment out of life I need. I have asked for help from my doctor.  This has been frustrating. Three referrals failed to get processed alone for me via the N.H.S.this year. I am still waiting. I have been deserted by my son’s father. He first left 8 years ago (Venus retrograde influence ). And comes back often but no commitment. I have been too unwell to not accept his love and support. I am also extremely isolated. I have been ill since 1998. Before this I was super woman. Ambitious hard working. And a devoted mother. I got M.E.  I am amazingly strong as I have gone through so much crap all alone and am still doing so. I haven’t ventured far over the years And I feel I need to get away. Maybe a cruise. My question is will I get the fulfillment I am craving? Is there light up ahead? My positivity is starting to be compromised.  Yours, Uma

Dear Uma, With Mercury conjunct the South Node in Capricorn, you have always prided yourself on being tough and able to make it on your own. However, this is an old pattern that your soul is determined to break – and often, the only way the soul can get through to us is through physical breakdowns. Your North Node in Cancer demands that you take care of yourself, physically and emotionally, as your number one priority in life.

With Venus conjunct the Moon in Pisces in your 7th house of other people, you are unbelievably kind, loving and forgiving – hence your support for charities and devotion to your children. However, this aspect also shows your willingness to keep letting your ex back into your life even though he’s not giving you what you really need. So yes, you’re receiving his support – but at what cost?

While transiting Saturn squared your Venus-Moon (most of 2015), you learned some hard lessons about setting boundaries and saying No. In 2016, Saturn will trine your 9th house Jupiter all year – so you definitely need to get away! A cruise would be great, or extended travel in foreign countries if you’re up to it. Learning a new language or otherwise studying fascinating new subjects will also help to give you a new lease on life. Broaden your horizons and have some fun – this is your time! Many blessings, Luna (Simone Butler)

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Sagittarius New Moon: 30-Day Challenge


We all know the importance of physical fitness. But how much attention do you pay to your mental fitness? In a recent issue of Science of Mind magazine, Mitch Horowitz mentions a passage from a 1931 book called Body, Mind and Spirit. In it, a prominent (but unnamed) scientist describes how he transformed his life through undertaking a one-month thought experiment.

“Up to my 50th year,” says the scientist, “I was unhappy, ineffective and obscure. I had read some New Thought literature on directing one’s attention to what is good and useful and ignoring the rest. Such ideas seemed like bunk, but feeling that life was intolerable, I determined to subject them to a month-long test.” During this time, he resolved to impose certain restrictions on his thoughts. “In thinking of the past, I will dwell only on its pleasing incidents. In thinking of the present, I will direct attention to its desirable elements. In thinking of the future, I will regard every worthy and possible ambition as within reach.”

Our intrepid hero threw himself into the experiment, and soon felt happier than ever before. And, to his astonishment, he soon received an offer to become the assistant of a man he deeply admired. The scientist went on to publish many books and enjoy cooperation from his all colleagues. “It seems,” he concluded, “that I stumbled upon a path of life and set forces working for me which were previously working against me.”

When Horowitz suggested that we repeat this experiment, I was intrigued. But could my monkey mind sustain a positive focus for 30 days? I decided to find out. As luck would have it, the perfect start date is at hand: Friday’s New Moon in Sagittarius (Dec. 11, 2:29 am PST). Not only is the Archer associated with the higher mind and goal-setting, but this New Moon squares expansive Jupiter and trines free-thinking Uranus. Plus, nearly all the planets are in forward motion. You couldn’t ask for a more auspicious date on which to begin turning your mind – and life – around.

Want to join me? At the New Moon, write down the following: “I dedicate myself on this day, Dec. 11 2015, to focus on all that is nourishing, advancing and promising for 30 days.” Sign it, and place it somewhere where you’ll be reminded of your commitment. Don’t get discouraged when you become aware of distressing or unkind thoughts; just gently release them without judgment. Then focus instead on something pleasing, or at least neutral.

I want to know how your experiment goes! Email your results to Simone@AstroAlchemy.com and I’ll report on the outcome in a future essay.

One great way to get into a positive space is to make a Treasure Map for the New Moon. For tips on making one, check out this Sagittarius New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life.

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