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-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! And it just so happens that the Aquarius New Moon falls on the same day as Chinese New Year (Feb. 8, 6:39 a.m. PST). With retrograde Mercury (another well-known Trickster) doing his backwards thing throughout most of January, Feb. 8 becomes the real new year.

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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Sex and Money? Bring ’em on!


At first glance, this young Eve in the garden might seem offensive – even pornographic. Or at least anti-wealth. Granted, we may not want to be selling our bodies for money. Yet there’s nothing inherently dirty or degrading here, just a lovely young woman brandishing a symbol of prosperity. It’s only our interpretation that can make the image seem tawdry. It’s time to reclaim the sacredness of our bodies – and the green stuff that makes our world go ’round.

I was recently surprised to discover in a guided visualization that I see money as dead and dirty. So I took a pile of cash and spread it in a circle around a healthy green plant. As I held a leaf between my fingers and sent it appreciation, I felt the green fire pulsing into my veins. Then, I transmitted this energy into the money until it glowed with aliveness. Since I’ve begun to spend that cash, things are popping. I’ve even been contacted by a publisher to write a book! (more on that later).

Sex, money and power are Scorpio’s domain. The Scorpio New Moon (Wed. Nov. 11, 9:47 a.m. PST) puts that power at our fingertips. Beneficent Jupiter in earthy Virgo sextiles the Sun and Moon as they join, which helps us recognize and draw forth the good fortune all around us, and plant it in fertile ground. Mercury in Scorpio conjuncts the New Moon, lending insight, awareness and problem-solving abilities, while Chiron trines it, helping us heal any old wounds or attitudes that may stand in the way of greater wealth.

November is a potent month. Perhaps your fortunes will take a turn for the better.  Or you’ll finally understand something that has given you grief for years. Although change has been brewing beneath the surface for months, only now are you ready to let that relationship go, quit that job and launch your own business, or check yourself into that detox center. You’ve reached the point of no return.

Near the end of the month, Saturn begins its square to Neptune that lasts through next September – a siren call to cut through the fog, “face reality” and manifest an important dream. If you haven’t already heard the November Cosmic Download in which I talk about this transit, check it out.

And, here’s a Scorpio New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life, to help you bury the past. There’s also mini-video at the bottom of that page on how to enhance your Wealth sector.

Here’s to your prosperity and happiness!

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Ask Luna–November 11, 2015

Dear Luna, Is magic real? Since a child and now people all around me think i m crazy cuz i’m in love with the moon. A night without a moon seems really unhappy to me and until i see the moon i feel very down……..and nowadays i feel like if there was no moon i can’t live. I am soo much attracted to the moon since i was a baby; the first word i said is not mom or dad but “moon,” my parents told me……and as i child i wanted to be a witch that can use her spells to heal the world but now too i still have that desire in my heart…Divya

Dearest Divya, Ah, how I love your question! And I think you already know the answer. Yes, of course magic is real! The realm of the invisible is as real as what we can see with our eyes – perhaps more so. How fascinating that you have such a close relationship to Luna! Be sure to stand outside during the Full Moon and bask in the rays – it’s very healing and empowering. You were born with the Moon in Capricorn, not far from mystical Neptune, so moon-gazing is second nature to you. But you also need to learn to appreciate the dark of the Moon, when Luna is not visible – it’s the time of greatest magic and mystery. People have been worshipping the Moon for millennia – and it’s high time we brought back those ancient practices. Read Moon Magic and the Sea Priestess by Dion Fortune – they will teach you many mystical secrets. All blessings and love to you! Luna (Simone Butler)

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Libra New Moon: Mirror, Mirror


“A true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.”  –Elizabeth Gilbert

Every year when the Sun moves through Libra, I get a lot of calls from folks determined to find their soulmate. Some have been single for ages, while others long to be swept away by love – but can’t face disentangling themselves from marriages that have grown stale. We all hope to see our glory reflected in that special person’s eyes, to be told how much we’re loved and valued. Yet many of us aren’t loving ourselves very much. We work way too hard, pay little attention to the simple pleasures that make life worth living, and try to do everything alone.

No wonder we’re so unhappy! In our culture that celebrates the power of the individual, we’ve been brainwashed into believing that we’re weak or inept if we can’t master our lives by ourselves. So we struggle along, not asking for help, secretly hoping to be rescued by love. Women, in particular, are relational beings who need support from other women to come into the fullness of our power.

Since I joined Hera Hub, a collective workspace for women where we collaborate and share our talents, I’ve been inspired to forge new connections. One of these is my new “study buddy” Christine. Both of us had recently taken Jean Houston’s mind-expanding e-course, Awakening to Your Life Purpose, and now we’re meeting weekly to review the lessons. The first evening we shared our greatest desires and stumbling blocks, and are supporting each other in staying on track by texting at the end of each day.

There is something so motivating about being held accountable. Christine and I are mirroring each other’s potential as we strive to behave in ways that are consistent with what we’re committed to creating. Right now we’re focused on finding, as Jean calls it, “intimations of joy” throughout each day and writing them down in a Joy Journal at night. This is similar to a gratitude practice. It trains the brain to look for things to appreciate – from cooler weather to a stranger’s smile to a wonderful client session. Even on melancholy or difficult days, the very process of searching for hints of joy uplifts my spirits.

The sign of Libra teaches us that the entire world is a mirror, reflecting us back to ourselves. At the upcoming Libra New Moon (Monday Oct. 12, 5:06 p.m. PDT), awakener Uranus in action-packed Aries opposes the Sun and Moon in relational Libra. It’s time to move forward with ties and projects that spark your potential – especially since Mercury will be out of retrograde by Oct. 9. On the other hand, you may feel like kicking someone to the curb. Maybe it’s time…but before you do anything rash, consider that your angry boss or unaffectionate husband may simply be mirroring the inner frustration or lack of self-love you need to face.

There’s a beautiful trine from Jupiter in Virgo to Pluto in Capricorn this month, culminating with Venus and Mars uniting in earthy Virgo at month’s end. The stage is set for manifestation! Ready for your soulmate? It could happen. Launching a new aspect of your business into the world? You couldn’t find a better time.

If you need help feeling the love, check out this New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. And, watch my astounding makeover of one woman’s bedroom at the bottom of that page.

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Ask Luna-September 27, 2015

My life seems meaningless. I am thinking of relocating for stimulation and to get on my path. I wish to pursue the healing arts, either massage or esthetician or other modalities. I want to be sure what I am feeling is what I need to do and is now is the time? Or is this just escapism? I feel I am meant for much more and to help people in a big way! I too need healing energy around me! I need to feel nurtured for a change….

Dear Trina, It’s no wonder you’re questioning your career path, since you just had a solar eclipse in Virgo (work) in your 11th house of hopes and dreams. This signifies that it is indeed time to get serious about finding a path by which you can share your gifts. The healing and intuitive arts are definitely indicated with Neptune in your first house and Moon in Pisces. No doubt you’ve been criticized by family members for being an “escapist” or a dreamer – don’t let those old voices in your head control you any longer. Your dreams are valid, when backed with determination and grounded decision-making.

Transiting Uranus is activating Jupiter in Aries in your sixth house of work and service through early next year. This is a very strong indicator of pursuing an educational path that leads to a new career. If that means you need to move, then by all means do so – but nowadays there are many excellent online schools.

You have natal Sun (life purpose) conjunct Venus (the arts, beauty) on your Midheaven (career), which suggests that combining beauty or design with healing would be ideal. Thus, becoming an esthetician, feng shui practitioner or stylist/coach could be fulfilling. Brainstorm the possibilities. Watch for clues at the lunar eclipse on Sept. 27, which activates your sectors of work and intuition (6th – 12th houses). Pay particular attention to any dreams or sudden insights around then.

Mid-October is the best time to move forward with any decision you make; but not before due to Mercury in retrograde. Think it through carefully and ask Spirit and your ancestors for guidance.

Good luck to you! Luna’s emissary, Simone Butler

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Virgo New Moon Eclipse: A Clean Slate


Shortly after being crowned Mrs. Universe, Ashley Callingbull is already stirring up trouble – and winning admirers. She’s calling for political change in her native Canada by thrusting the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women into the spotlight.

Callingbull, 25, of the Cree Nation, recently made history when she became the first Canadian and first aboriginal woman to win the international pageant. As a survivor of physical and sexual abuse, the actress and model said she resonated with the theme of this year’s competition- domestic violence.

And this beauty-with-brains doesn’t care who thinks she’s too outspoken on the subject. In response to her call for ousting the ruling Canadian party, which has ignored First Nations issues, Callingbull retorted, “Did you really think I was going to just sit there and look pretty? I have a title, a platform and a voice to make change and bring awareness to First Nations issues. I’m not your typical beauty queen. Look out…I have a voice for change and I’m going to use it!”

Callingbull is a firebrand Sun-Mars Libra with Chiron square Mercury in Libra. She is using her voice (Mercury) to bring justice (Libra) to the oppressed (Chiron). She has become the Wounded Healer – Chiron’s highest expression.

Chiron is prominent at Saturday’s Virgo New Moon eclipse (Sept. 12, 11:41 p.m. PDT). The Wounded Healer opposes the Sun and Moon as they join, bringing issues related to suffering and healing into sharp focus. In a solar eclipse, the feminine (Moon) vanquishes the masculine (Sun). Thus, male abuses are being held up for scrutiny. Wrongs of the past can now be righted, and a clean slate is possible.

Venus has just ended her retrograde journey in the courageous sign of Leo – how perfect that this coincides with a beautiful, heart-centered woman rising into her power as a role model for others. Retrograde Venus (since late July) has been challenging for many – if you feel like you’ve been hanging on Inanna’s meat-hook, you’re not alone. Also, Saturn is still slogging through the last degree of Scorpio and finally sails into Sagittarius on the 17th. Saturn entered the underworld of Scorpio in Oct. 2012, impelling us come to terms with buried feelings and own our power since that time. But now the end is finally in sight.

The Virgo eclipse calls us to stay focused on and dedicated to our goals and well-being. It may be time to recommit to your work, health, or sense of service. Yet this New Moon falls just four days before a powerful, otherworldly Jupiter-Neptune opposition – and mental Mercury stationing retrograde. It’s going to be easy to get carried away, for better or worse. Let yourself become inspired, but be wary of launching any new projects (especially involving technology) or relationships (Mercury is retrograde in Libra) until mid-October. During the retrograde (Sept. 17 – Oct. 9) take time planning your next steps. Get your health and fitness regimen on track, surround yourself with supportive people, and formulate a step-by-step plan based on inspiring visions being downloaded this month.

If you need help getting focused and centered, 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 short video showing how to enhance and activate your Health gua (at the center of your home) which corresponds to Virgo.

Finally, I highly recommend finding out what the upcoming eclipses mean for you! Order your Followed by a Moonshadow report from my brilliant friend and colleague April Elliot Kent and step into eclipse season armed and ready for change!

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