Scorpio Full Moon: Vital Bonds

ouoboros

Love always involves a dance between closeness and putting up walls. We love each other, hurt, annoy and frustrate each other. Lately I’ve been doing the latter, tainting the precious time we have together with emotional jujitsu. I feel irrational when he talks too long and laughs too hard with the wait staff on date night, so I pick a fight goes something like “I’m not enough for you?” though as I am saying this I know I’m being dishonest. Those aren’t my true feelings, but an excuse for a clingy-ness I don’t yet understand.

Then one day I remember to look at my transits (just as “the cobbler’s children have no shoes”, I often forget). A-ha! Saturn is trine my Venus. Our pair-bond is maturing. I think about how slowly the kids have left for college – our youngest will go this fall, we don’t have a full house anymore and it seems, almost imperceptibly, we’ve each started to fill that empty space. I’m nestling into my domestic haven, pets, spiritual work; he’s surfing and socialising. He is visiting Inca ruins in Peru; I’d rather be meditating. I can see this bothers us both. We each want the other to be doing what it is we’re doing. We both want closeness and our freedom.

Saturn is the crystallized structure of habits and patterns we’ve developed, a garden container, Venus, the intertwined roots of our partnership. “We” are ready for more space. We’ve outgrown our Saturn pot. The truth is, I don’t want certain things to change.  As having kids around will do, we’d cultivated our relationship patterns and pleasures around domestic life, making family meals together, and stealing non-kid time for the joys of togetherness. I didn’t like having to steal time but I enjoy domestic life: cooking family meals, our weekend plans revolving around the house. I have Venus in Cancer. I also want freedom for everyone (me, too) to do whatever the heck they please (Venus square Uranus in Libra). It’s a conundrum and as Saturn shifts the biological timeline of life, our connection, our shared pleasures must mature, too.

Even during robust Taurus Sun springtime season, we must face the reality of change. This Scorpio Full Moon wants us to face the things we don’t want to face, connect with our strong emotions, and to honestly communicate what we feel. The terrain is our most intimate relationships, the people we most care about…hence the difficult emotions. Scorpio Moon’s shadow is moody self-absorption and self-isolation, i.e., what you feel when your emotions are so intensely charged with old wounds, insecurities, perceived threats and abandonment fears that you lash out or hole up. And then: what if the honesty required is too painful to admit, even to ourselves? With Venus in Aries now square Pluto, the distancing strategies we’ve been using to avoid addressing real topics have grown stale. We need to reveal more of our humanness, our vulnerable, naked feelings to partners, to our self. We need to stop hiding the truth of our humanness, our pain, our raw hurt and fear, behind drama and avoidance.

Saturn is joined with the Moon at this Full Moon.  Maybe, like me, you have outgrown a stable “the way things have always been” pot in your life. Maybe you can, with awareness, transplant what’s alive and salvageable into a new container and avert bigger, darker issues down the road…or maybe the pot will not so delicately splinter and breaks wide open so Spirit can grow. Liberating Uranus is joined Venus: the bonds of connections and pleasure need to be refreshed, renewed and revitalized. People need to be valued, relationships need to be restored, pleasures redefined. To Uranus, it really doesn’t matter how this happens, but that it does.

The gift of this Scorpio Full Moon is an ability to honestly see the truth of our reality and act on that insight. When we feel and communicate the personal and interpersonal fears that have been holding us back, we’re freed up to more fully live, and enjoy each other. Brooding gives way to the awe-ful, sometimes tragic, always deeply moving dance of life, death, change.  Dark moodiness releases into the deep gratitude we have for life, and those we love. As we restore emotional integrity to our vital bonds, we’re free to enjoy the beauty in life.

© 2014 by Jessica Shepherd

Image: Ourobos photo collage by David Adams

Ask the Oracle

For the past 4 years, my marriage of 32 years has been on the brink of collapse. We just could not get along. With the pressure of an empty nest after raising 4 kids and major philosophical, political and spiritual differences; basically, it appears that we have very little in common. And, of course, this led to some “knock down, drag out” fights, very painful. Finally, after 4 years of this I said to myself “this is enough, I’ve had it, we’re splitting!” He flatly refuses to go to counseling and I know he was ready to separate also even though he still  says he loves me. Just lately the discord has almost vanished. Now a time of peace but the wounds are still open and I can’t even get my feelings back on track to “love” him. I just play this gun shy, uncommitted wife trying to let our love flow on. What do you see in our charts? Thank you so – my birthday is March 5, 1954 and my husband’s birthday is February 7, 1955. (MC)

The complete Saturn cycle of approximately 29 years is always a critical time to reevaluate, review and be willing to release what we committed to at the beginning of that cycle whether that is a marriage, a career, a belief system or any other important structure in our life. The question is “does this serve me, my growth and my joy any longer?” and is there a more conscious, desired structure I have evolved toward, can  and desire to choose for my future.

If you believe in karma and/or destiny, this is the time when you are not only free to make a new choice, to trust that you have completed your responsibilities in the previous structure but the time when you are called by your soul/life journey to make a new choice if that is the healthiest and most satisfying choice or to renew and recommit to the past situation if it can be reborn for the present and future.

Your marriage upheaval arose at 28 years of partnership, led to a near split and though the battles have calmed, nothing has improved in the marriage. No counseling, very little in common now other than a significant history which is in the past and painful, open wounds. If you can’t get your feelings “back on track to love him” maybe you are just done, complete. Your husband probably does “love” you though you do not describe feeling love for him anymore. Perhaps, your family and children were the purpose of your years together. If you had shown me this chart comparison years ago asking if this man was your ideal mate, life partner, I would have said no.

Yet, your husband’s Jupiter is conjunct your South Node of the Moon in Cancer which is an indicator of the potential, even the karma or destiny to have a family together. His Saturn trines your Moon in the 7th house of marriage and he has supported you, had children with you, raised a family with you which you both wanted (South Nodes in Cancer, the sign of family).

Relish what you have accomplished together. I suspect that you have been done with this marriage for at least 7 years due to progressions and transits that would be complex to describe here. While it is rightly your decision to stay or go, I can see a new and different future for you in your chart if that is what you choose. Offer yourself the freedom to choose, trust your excellent Pisces feelings and intuition to guide your choice.

I was born November 18, 1970. I have had a lot of upheaval in my life the past 3 years; falling in love, starting a new job, quitting that job months later to  move to Hawaii with my fiance, getting married, and then 2 years later finding out that my husband cheated on me. We are now back on track with our marriage after going to counseling, but I still feel confused about my life in general. Where is it  headed and what do I do to find fulfillment? I feel like I’ve just been spinning my wheels since we moved to Hawaii. Later this year my husband is retiring after which we will both be moving to another country and have been discussing having a baby or doing volunteer work. I guess I’m wondering if this drastic change will somehow help me find my life purpose? (MA)

Wow, yes, you have indeed had 3 or more years of upheaval in your life  which we can see in transiting Neptune squaring your natal Sun, transiting Saturn  conjuncting your natal Mars, transiting Neptune squaring your natal Neptune, transiting Uranus opposing your natal Uranus, transiting Pluto squaring your natal Uranus, transiting Uranus opposing your natal Pluto, and transiting Saturn in Scorpio moving across your Scorpio Venus/Jupiter/Sun and squaring your natal Moon as transiting Pluto squares your natal Uranus.  Upheaval, change, challenge, confusion, disappointment, disillusionment, yet also, falling  in love, getting married, going to counseling, getting your marriage back on track and   looking toward an amazing number of choices for your future. When we see all 3 of the trans-personal planets challenging our identity, life and future in a few years you can expect to see your life turned upside down. This is the good news. It was time to let go  and change/challenge everything in your previous life, to open every door making each   choice for your future a conscious one.

Congratulations to you and your husband for your courage to make so many changes, to go into counseling and to now be willing to consider these new possibilities for your future together. Your marriage was a crucial piece of your destiny as it occurred when your progressed Moon, ruler of your 7th house of marriage, conjuncted your Ascendant while the potential for the improvement and healing of your marriage is visible in Jupiter’s transit into your 7th house.

A move to another country should be beneficial and successful during this next year as your progressed Venus (ruler of your 9th house of long distance moves) conjuncts your natal Sun. Fulfillment is the most   important question for this time of your life as transiting Pluto reaches its conjunction to  your Ascendant opening the door to your deepened, empowered awareness of yourself,  your desires, your potential, your independence (the ability to be yourself not the need to  be alone),  and your ability to initiate what you most want/are called to be and do in this life.

Pluto will be your challenging companion for the next 2 years as you begin, experiment,  risk finding your fulfillment through following your intuition and desires. If you truly want a child, this is the time (the next 2 years as transiting Venus, the ruler of your 5th house of children, conjuncts your natal Sun) to become pregnant yet I would also suggest you seek a role in the world through which you can make a contribution in the world that is meaningful to you. Born with your Sun/Jupiter/Venus in the 10th house and your chart ruler, Saturn, in your 4th house makes both your 10th house role in the world and your 4th house home/location/family equally important to your fulfilled life.

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.

 

monkcrop

The circle—a timeless image used in Tibetan mandalas, Native American medicine wheels, and astrology—conveys the ever-turning wheel of life.  And in the circle of the year, the Pisces New Moon always arrives before the Spring Equinox.  In three weeks, the Sun will emerge from Pisces into Aries, signaling the start of a new astrological cycle. Thus this New Moon in watery Pisces, the last sign of the Zodiac, is an appropriate time to close out the old year with reflection and meditation.  “Life is lived forward, but understood backwards,” wrote the philosopher Kierkegaard—a fitting phrase for this month’s Pisces meditation.

As the mystic artist of the Zodiac, Pisces weaves a meaningful narrative out of life’s seemingly random events.  Peering through the Moon’s eye, then, we draw on Pisces’ visionary capacity to help us make sense of the jumble of circumstances that have transpired over the last twelve months.  Where were you in your life, for instance, a year ago? What was the condition of your intimate relationships? At what stage were your creative projects? What were your hopes and ideals? How have you stayed the same, and where have you changed course? The world has altered dramatically in the past year, and so, in large and small ways, have all our lives.

After you have looked back over your journey this past year, continue with your meditative reflections.  Emptying your mind of everyday distractions, contemplate whether a pattern of some kind emerges out of the cascading chaos of recollected images and events. In surveying all that has happened through the visionary eye of the Pisces Moon, a design may become apparent: the myth of your life may come shining through.  Perhaps the saga you have been living is that of the hero, overcoming great obstacles and  slaying the dragons of doubt.  Or, maybe you have been living the epic myth of love, deepening your heart’s knowledge of the human condition. It is possible that your life quest this past year has been one of service, artistic endeavor, or of learning the ways of magic.

Whatever myth has been revealed, now is the time to turn the page on a new chapter in the unfolding story of your life.  Because astrology reflects the temporal, and not the eternal, dimension of life, it offers a beautiful structure to help us transition gracefully through the endings and beginnings of our cyclical lives.  So this Pisces New Moon, take whatever wisdom you have learned this past year, and consecrate it to the next passage in your mythic journey.  Looking back one last time, take all the sorrows and losses, the mistakes and confusion, the gains and successes, and thank them for the knowledge with which they have blessed you. Then, drawing down courage from the Moon, look forward into the future for the next stage of your adventure!

SheLovedTheMoon-ClaudiaFernety

Creativity is a quality that most astrologers associate with Leo, the sign of this Full Moon, and with its ruler, the Sun. Absolutely everyone is creative, with a mad desire to connect with a powerful and loving Source, although many people deny that they’re creative at all. But if you ask them to remember a situation in which they lost all track of time because they were doing something they enjoyed, nearly everyone can come up with something. It might have been something as simple as dead-heading roses, organizing a closet, or playing fantasy football. “But that’s not creative!” we might object, imagining that creative people wear berets and wield paintbrushes.

Of course, passionate absorption in anything is the hallmark of creativity. The moment when you’re fully and happily engrossed in some activity, delighting in its nuances and solving its delectable puzzles, you’re engaged in what therapist Phil Stutz calls The Grateful Flow. In his book The Tools, Stutz describes five techniques he uses to help his patients build happier and more fulfilling lives. The Grateful Flow uses gratitude to retrain the mind away from the endless loop of negativity and toward joyful engagement.

For instance, if you’re doing something just for the money, because your boss demands it, or because your readers expect to hear from you twice a month; if you’re preoccupied with how much better you should be doing something, or whether it will be well received by others—you’re not in the Grateful Flow. To motivate yourself with the sting of the whip is the opposite of creativity, which is spontaneous, joyful, and self-directed.

As a writer, I’m no stranger to the whip. I’ve been writing about astrology now for nearly a quarter of a century. In some ways it gets easier and easier, but in one very important way it is harder now than it used to be: Now, I feel self-conscious because many more people are reading the things that I write. It’s easy to give into fear that what I write will be less compelling than others things I’ve written, or might offend somebody. Each time I finish a new article, my finger hovers for a moment over the “publish” button; I’m a little bit anxious about what will happen next.

When we fall into the ego trap, playing out Leo’s self-aggrandizing shadow side, we’re especially vulnerable to creative blocks. “The moment you claim credit for your success, you also have to take the blame for any future failure,” Stutz points out. His antidote to creative anxiety is to connect to the Source by thanking it for what you already have. Literally, any time you notice your mind visiting familiar neighborhoods of negativity, reroute it with thoughts about the things, people, and circumstances for which you’re grateful. Gratitude opens the heart to the world around you in the same way being in love makes the world seem like a kinder and more benevolent place. You’re not only happy, but inspired—available to receive whatever ideas and inspirations come your way.

The technique sounds simple, but changing attitudes always takes time, effort, and discipline. Luckily for those of us who wish to practice the Grateful Flow, the chart for this Full Moon finds the Sun and Moon in a high-energy t-square with Saturn. Wait— luckily? Astrologically, the square aspect is a bit like the slap that revives a movie character who has fainted away from “the vapors.” It’s a wake-up call. And if there’s a god of negativity, we would almost certainly imagine it would be Saturn. Surely this Full Moon chart has all the earmarks of a phone that rings all night with calls from telemarketers!

But Saturn is not inherently the god of negativity. He is the parent who provides a playpen to keep us safe while we amuse ourselves. He helps us develop the discipline and patience to acquire the skills we need to do things well. When you watch an Olympic ice skater make a spectacular leap with apparent ease, you are watching someone who is in the Grateful Flow. What you are seeing, in that seemingly effortless moment, is the hours and days and months and years of work that makes such magic possible. What you’re seeing is someone who has a close, loving relationship with Saturn.

Leo is the sign that symbolizes our connection with the Source, whether you imagine it as God or physics or something else entirely. For our purposes, you may simply imagine it as a huge battery that generates more than enough energy and inspiration for everyone. In our Leo/Solar selves, we develop creative ways to connect to that loving, powerful source. 

At the Leo Full Moon, the source is close enough to touch. But the Sun and Moon square Saturn suggests a state of apprenticeship. You’re nearly ready to dazzle the world with a spectacular leap, but first, you have some work to do.

Begin by practicing the Grateful Flow. When negative habits of mind threaten to close you down, comfort yourself with a mantra of gratitude for the vibrant lemon, fresh off the tree; the friend who always makes you laugh; the parents who cared enough to make you do your homework. This simple tool is like a USB connection to a limitless source of creativity and joy, and it’s all yours. All you have to do is show up, do the work, and let the gratitude flow.

How can you use your birth chart to magnetize the career and clients that are right for you? Order my Astro*Marketing lecture and workbook!

© 2014 by April Elliott Kent

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

post-1655-0-58409500-1391402957crop

The Sun–the source of our vitality–enters Pisces on February 18.  Pisces is the sign of the Dreamer, the Artist, and the Mystic.  The solar Pisces month encourages us to renew our vitality by nourishing these parts of ourselves. Grant some “me time” to the inner dreamer, artist, or mystic. These characters are most alive, perhaps, in the affairs of the house where Pisces falls in your chart.  But you don’t need to be that precise. Just vow this month to face the sky with your Mystic self.  Clear from your mind how astronomers have named the stars or astrologers have interpreted the planets.  Simply enter the night and see if there is a twinkling light—a star or planet–that catches your notice.  Settle your mind and ask:  “Do you have a message for me?”

The answer may come in words.  Or it may not.  It may come as a feeling, a sensation, a new conviction.  It may come immediately or hours later.  Your work is simply to be receptive and reverent.  Thank the sky by agreeing to bring this message into your world—through a new decision or action, a changed perspective, an inspiration you share with another.  You may even want to name your star and commune with it throughout the month.

Working this way requires a special dreamy kind of clarity.  Your conscious mind may be suspicious. It might diminish your reverence by accusing you of just pretending. The very phrase “just pretending” reveals how our culture typically views Pisces perception. As children, before we heard this phrase, we were wiser. We knew that we had this special ability. We could flow through our days like mermaids through water. We knew how to listen to  stars and how to get help from the fairies whenever we needed it most.  This is the month to remember all that.

If you’d like to harmonize with the Sun throughout the year, you may enjoy my enrolling in my Moon workshop (by snail-mail or email). It’s designed to deepen your relationship with the guardians of natural time, the Sun, the Moon, and the zodiac.

stars

I, like many, was surprised to hear about Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death last week. As an actor and human he seemed to be in a genre completely of his own, and because he had touched me in that place few actors do, I was saddened. I didn’t know he had a history with addiction, and that he relapsed last year; now we all know. In the media, compassionate articles like Russell Brand’s “my life without drugs” re-circulated (he wrote this after Amy Winehouse died of an overdose last year), and there have been more discussions since. A NYTimes article talked about the impact his death has had on fellow members of the AA community who shared their collective fear: If it can happen to a man 23 years sober, can it happen to me?

Scorpio rules the realm of things that we can’t see, things that go bump in the night: our fears, addictions, death. With Saturn transiting Scorpio, we are afraid of death and change, losing control, of losing. Some things, like addiction, can make us more intimate with being brought to our knees, of potentially losing the battle. As Brand said, “I look to drugs and booze to fill up a hole in me; unchecked, the call of the wild is too strong. I still survey streets for signs of the subterranean escapes that used to provide my sanctuary.” We all have shadows that hungrily stalk us in the nighttime alleyways of our fears. I have a friend whose ongoing health problems have gone on for so long, been so confusing, disheartening and egregious, that openly shares that she has lost faith in life, God. Suicidal thoughts haunt her, thoughts of losing her haunt me.

This Leo Full Moon is square Saturn in Scorpio, and sextile Mars in Libra. A sparkly Leo Full Moon always favors self-expression, celebration and declarations of affection, just in time for V-Day, but just as Valentine’s Day rarely lives up to the hype, this Moon receives a sobering square from Saturn. This doesn’t have to be depressing. Mars and Saturn demand, courage, action. Acknowledging what’s weighing heavy on our hearts, what’s ripe for doing, is freeing.  People we love may require proof (Saturn) of our commitment. The achievements (Saturn) we’re celebrating need our acknowledgement for the long and difficult journey getting here. For some, with Saturn fact-checking how we spend our time and energy, we may need to swallow our pride, admit defeat to our resistance or a fruitless activity- difficult for the Fixed signs.

No one likes losing, to death, to anything, yet the sexiest and most loved people in the world lose, too. If you think money or love can inoculate you against the pain of losing control, think again. Love makes everyone a loser. You wait all your life for love, fearing it won’t happen for you…your Beloved finds you, then you fear their death. I’ll never forget the time I accompanied John to have his wisdom teeth pulled, an apparently simple operation but one that made my knees shake, my stomach quell and led to me lying down on a gurney while John lay happily unconscious (note: if I care about you, I’m not a reliable companion in surgery).

No one knows more about the pain of losing than my neighbors, the Brooks. Years ago, their 17 year-old daughter Casey took her life. Now, at the posthumous request of Casey (through a medium), they’ve finally published this book that tells of the agonizing journey every parent experiences after a suicide. The search for the answer to “why?” revealed Casey, adopted from Poland, had a condition called attachment disorder, a potential cause for her suicide. Today they hope the book will give others the information they didn’t have in time to save Casey. For these folks, this teary Full Moon accomplishment is indeed bitter and sweet.

Why confront the difficult at this typically cheerful Leo Full Moon? With Saturn squaring this Moon, what we most need to do is feel into the hard stuff, let it open our heart. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death has helped us all better understand addiction, and will in all likelihood shock some people into sobriety, saving lives; Casey’s story will land in the right hands at the right time, too. Maybe we’re not fully alive until we’ve faced our death. Maybe we can’t feel the full aliveness of loving another until we’ve faced their impending loss. This is the best of Saturn in Scorpio: the honest conversations we need to be having are happening. Even if some days turning on your Facebook stream, or talking with your neighbor, feels like open-heart surgery, fallen stars shine no less bright once out of our line of vision. In loss, some shine even brighter.

© 2014 by Jessica Shepherd

Image: “Fallen Stars in the Blue” by kaikaku, from Deviantart.com

ZodiacAquarius400crop2

It’s another New Moon! The wishes you make now may indeed be super-powered, but if you don’t have a strong relationship with the archetypes, don’t expect special favors. If you rarely visit your eccentric Aunt Ella, don’t expect her to gift you with the latest iPad on your next birthday. New Moons are potent times to forge alliances with the gods. Open yourself to their touch. Bow and make an offering. Humans have been rendezvousing with these archetypes for thousands of years. When you call out to the gods, they do respond.

Calling Aquarius

People say Aquarius the Water Bearer was actually human. He was a shepherd named Ganymede, who was so gorgeous, Zeus spirited him to the heavens to serve the thirsty gods water and wine. But this isn’t the full story. He was also a radical, always disturbing the village. He was teaching the sheep how to climb trees. While his sister was sleeping, he dyed her hair purple and blue. Afternoons he served fortitude tea to the crazy woman everyone hated. She adored his inventions: a thorn-bush goblet-scrubber, sandals-on-wheels, a wooden cart with wings, an eyepiece that revealed the fish on the Moon, and finally, a catapult that carried his resume to the heavens. He wanted to serve in a big way. Zeus hired him to be the gods’ water bearer, until Aquarius devised an ever-flowing water urn out of stars, leaving him free to pursue other ambitions.

Often, when Aquarius visits, he acts like a teenager. He rolls his eyes a lot, always hates what I like, spends hours locked in his room. He’s constantly texting, tweeting, updating his Facebook profile, or playing with the apps on his iPhone. At first I thought Aquarius disapproved of me. Then I discovered the notes he left in all my favorite places. Some contained a quietly brilliant idea to make my life better. Others posed a question so startling, my world spun. Twice he shared visions of my future in such detail I believed they would actually come true. He’s a good friend now. His face betrays little emotion, but he’s very compassionate. He cares more about the world’s well-being than anyone I know. He loves this season, when the snows melt and it rains on Saturdays. When the clouds break, he takes me to an orchard of dead-looking trees and points out the tiny buds sprouting on the branches. His eyes are always looking to the future.

Honor Aquarius this month by breaking out of your box. Awaken from the midwinter slumber of your limitations. Your inner genius is ready for a revolution. Aquarius is the cycle to raise your energy. In fact that’s the best way to call in Aquarius: Liberate yourself!  Is there someplace you’ve been feeling stuck? If you’re not living the life you want, Listen. What has your spirit been longing to do?  No sign has a greater connection to the future than Aquarius. It rules progress, innovation and breakthroughs. But first you’ve got to clear out all the musty, droopy, angry, wimpy, static energy of the recent past.

The inner and outer spaces mirror each other. If your work has been uninspired, rearrange your office and throw out old papers. If family relationships are not as harmonious as you like, give your home a top-to-bottom cleaning. A simple ritual for this New Moon is to become your own Water-bearing Angel. Fill an atomizer or spray bottle with energetically charged water. Charge the water by placing a crystal in it for at least 24 hours (before that, clean the crystal by soaking it in a bowl of salt or under the sun’s rays). If you’re familiar with Dr. Masaru Emoto’s work, you know that writing positive intentions on the water bottle (“grace,” “radiance,” “fertility,” “passion,” or “peace”) will further charge the water molecules. Dip a sprig of pine in the water to double its energetic potency. Pine is purifying–it smells clean too! On the day of the New Moon, visit all the rooms in your house and mist them with your ritual water. You should notice the difference instantly! Enjoy the newly charged air. Be alert. New inspirations may come pouring in.

Aquarius’s Response

Waiting for the response is the fun part. No way can I predict it for you. But if you’re edgy, itchy, and irritated, know that you’ve been touched.  If you find yourself shouting “No!” to something you’ve tolerated too long, Aquarius may be prodding you.  Or you might be suddenly inspired to figure out all those gizmos you’ve received as gifts—like your latest palm device. Or maybe you need a new appliance or two. Aquarius is THE cycle to upgrade your life. Take advantage of the latest technologies. Gadgets may seem like a tame way to celebrate this brilliant deva-but they are potent emblems of the possible human and its divinely inspired capacities. With a palm device you can instantly connect with the world. With your Aquarian genius, you might log onto the brilliance of the universe.

If you’d like to explore the archetypes in even greater depth, if you like to journal and/or muse on the positions of the Sun and Moon, you may enjoy my enrolling in my Moon workshop (by snail-mail or email). It’s designed to deepen your relationship with the guardians of natural time, the Sun, the Moon, and the zodiac.

socks-fire

As we turned the corners of the new year, I returned home after living in Stockholm, Sweden for four months. I am finally where I belong. Home. In Northern California where the air has an otherworldly perfume of damp peaty musk and fresh green. Home. As David Byrne of the Talking Heads once sang, “…where I want to be” And as poet David Whyte once wrote, “…where I want to love all the things it has taken me so long to learn to love.”

Returning home has made me swoony with happiness, in love with things it has taken me long to learn to love: the drafty windows that won’t entirely shut. The chickens John bought as his pet project and over the years became mine; the comfortable-for-one-but-too-soft-for-two (so the lighter person always rolls into the crack by midnight) bed; the redwood hot tub that takes the edge off the dampness that gets in our bones out here but needs vintage car level maintenance; my cramped too-tight house, full of family, energy and life and the wide-open freedom and loneliness when it’s empty.  Home’s gentle and secluded nest allows me to love things in myself I have a hard time loving in my self, my life. A safe harbor and guardian of my inner world, home makes room for life’s contradictions. Where else can the quirks, joys, emotional hiccups and sadnesses, the full range of one’s inner everything swirl together and simply be okay?

Home is belonging. We often think we own our house, that it belongs to us, but in reality our home doesn’t belong to us so much as we belong to it. For instance, here’s something I know about my cat, Obi. We can leave him at home in the hands of another caretaker, for months, and he is so happy I’m not sure he even noticed we were gone yet if we’d sent him to a pet hotel or even another family member’s house, his world would’ve ended. He belongs here, to this house. It seems if we care for and love a thing, it owns us (pet owners know this). And like any intimate relationship, the more we invest in the places, people and pets we love, the harder it is to think about ever leaving them. Belonging is not for the commitment shy.

Home is on the inside, they say, and if we feel at home in our self, we can be at home in the world wherever we are. But without a true place to anchor us, it’s impossible to know where we belong. Home is earthly, a physical dwelling place, a country, the friends and intimate partnerships we return to over and over again – the people and place we are charged to care take and care for with devotion and love. By so doing, we create the necessary sanctuary for our self, a refuge to restore our self so that we can go out into the world feeling at home in our self. The safe feeling: you belong hereno matter what we will always be here for you with open arms translates into that magical security of being permanently okay.

The Capricorn Sun’s symbol is a solitary, earthly mountain goat, symbolic for the time of year many of us are gearing up for the year’s necessary material pursuits. As a balance the Cancer Moon asks us to check in with our physical dwelling place, the people we call family and kin, and the condition of our heart. What do you need to tend or heal in your life? What people, pets and family of friends might need your love, care and support? At new year’s we did our family ritual of going round the dinner table with the “best ” and “worst thing” that happened this year. It had been a long time since we’d caught up like this, we learned a few critical things about the secret inner lives of our teenagers and are now thinking how we might better support them.

If your home is not feeling so bright, nor giving you the fulfilment of being “at home”, the planets and signs in the house of Cancer, the astrological Fourth House, say something about the type of home you need and the type of soul mate are willing to live under one roof with, let alone yoke yourself to for eternity. Jupiter/Sagittarius here? A big home and an optimistic, jolly partner. Neptune/Pisces? You need a sensitive, spiritual partner and housemate, and a meditation room at your house. Saturn/Capricorn? A stand-up, reliable partner and at least one room that’s your very own are necessary for “the temple of your adult aloneness.” When a couple is moving in together, I always look to their respective Fourth Houses for homey synergy. The Fourth House is where we find our people and place.

At this Full Moon, tend to the place and people that you return to, that cradle and hold your heart, without which all your worldly pursuits and ambitions would be empty. For Cancer, home is a verb; a tending, doing and caring, a temple flame to be renewed with devotion. Cancer Full Moon asks, In what bright home do you want to love all the things that have taken you so long to love? Are you already living in it?  There is no house like the house of belonging.

This is the bright home

In which I live

This is where

I ask

My friends

To come,

This is where I want

To love all the things

It has taken me so long to learn to love.

 

This is the temple of my adult aloneness

And I belong

To that aloneness

As I belong to my life.

 

There is no house

Like the house of belonging.

-excerpt from The House of Belonging by David Whyte

hopingforpeace

A few years ago, I discovered that I had to have a tooth pulled. Big deal, right? Yet I was astonished at the intensity of my reaction. Most nights I found myself awake at 3:00 a.m., tormented by thoughts of mortality. My poor old tooth prompted fears that growing older would mean a future in which I drop limbs like a diseased tree. Before long I’d be old, old and frail, old and alone!

I mentioned these nocturnal worries to a friend, taking care to present the subject with humor so I didn’t seem like an hysteric. He was not unsympathetic, but did take the opportunity to caution me about the law of attraction and to wonder why I was manifesting this physical problem. He’s a genuinely caring person and I know he meant well; so why did I leave our meeting feeling judged and alone instead of positive and empowered?

Maybe I’m a cynic, but it seems to me that trying to inoculate ourselves from life’s darker side is rather empty—like a false Santa Claus groaning beneath the weight of unearned gifts. This Full Moon is conjunct optimistic Jupiter, with the Sun conjunct Venus, the good-time goddess. But the Sun and Moon are both square challenging Mars, a reminder that enjoying life’s tenderest pleasures often requires that we first confront the gargoyles of pain and fear.

Alone with my sundry tooth terrors in the wee hours, I found something in my heart besides fear: compassion. I found a lot more empathy for people coping with pain, loneliness, and troubles much more profound than my own. Pema Chodrin calls this compassion “the awakened heart,” akin to the bodhichitta. Feeling what we feel, the negative as well as the positive, is a doorway to the complex hearts of others.

My poor tooth is long gone, but my early-morning mind still finds plenty of worrying thoughts to obsess over. The truth is, these are tough times. Lots of us are scared, and angry because we’re scared. Where is the extended family who will look after the dying aunt? How will the new graduate pay off his student loans, or the  recently laid-off 55-year-old woman find a new job?

It may sound strange, but whenever my 3:00 a.m. self taps into this atmosphere of shared fear and pain and hopelessness—really surrenders to it—I’m immediately calmer. Suddenly I’m sharing in the world’s fear and pain and hopelessness, not just dealing with my own lonely messes. In those moments, I glimpse an alternate vision of Jupiter… not a claymation Saint Nick with a bulging bag of toys, but a kind, accepting, glowing Buddha.

Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to encounter these luminescent, warm-hearted, Buddha-like souls in real life—the wise elder, the avuncular grandfather, the fun-loving friend who never met a stranger—and it’s as healing as a comfortable nap in front of a roaring fire. Interestingly, these are never people whom life has spared from difficulty and fear. In fact, it’s because they’ve faced life’s problems and retained a hopeful, positive Jupiterian presence that they reassure us we can do the same. “We all get older, we’re frail and afraid,” their manner implies, “but it will be okay as long as we help each other out. We just have to be there for one another. We just have to be there for ourselves.”

Maybe my friend has it right, and I attracted that sad, wrecked tooth into my life—not as a punishment for thinking negative thoughts, but as a gift of knowing. At this Full Moon, I hope you feel genuinely happy, loving, and at peace. But if you find yourself tangled in the odd moment of sadness, regret, or loneliness, I wish you the confidence to let your own pierced heart awaken. Feel everything that you feel, even negativity and fear. When Mars opens our lunar hearts at this Cancerian Full Moon, let’s leave them open and let them teach us, soften us, and bring us closer to one another. Our awakened hearts can draw us, gracefully and naturally, into the joyful light of the Moon and Jupiter, setting us aglow with the comfort, hope, and merriment of our own Buddha natures.

© by April Elliott Kent