Solar Eclipse In Pisces: Leave It All Behind

art:  featured in 18 Days by Grant Morrison

Happy Solar Eclipse in Pisces! This eclipse incorporates a powerful New Moon that can help us to usher in change and new beginnings. Use the power of Pisces to heal old wounds and to release anything that is no longer nourishing to the soul. Listen to your intuition and give yourself space to rest, unplug, dream, create, and love. As this Moon is also connected to a fiery merger between Mars and Uranus in feisty #Aries consider it a strong cosmic push to leave the past behind. 

Lunar Eclipse in Leo: Let's Get Loud

Tonight! Around 7:30PM EST the Lunar Eclipse in Leo hits its maximum; ushering in radical changes, endings, and culminations in areas of creativity, self-expression, romance, and leadership. As a result of this eclipse, we can expect shakeups in a specific area of our lives that calls for us to stand up and take the reigns, especially in places where we have allowed ourselves to play small or not at all.

Where are you ready to boss up in your life? Let confident, fearless Leo guide the way. Look to your birth chart between 20-25 degrees of Leo to see where/how you will be affected. Of course you can also read my horoscopes for February for more info.

Thoughts & Explanations on The Astrology of February

Greetings beloveds,

There’s lots happening this month so let’s jump right in and discuss it all piece by piece.

After weeks of being in Pisces, helping us to find compassion and sensitivity in the face of injustice, discrimination, and egotism; Venus, the planet of love, pleasure and wealth moves into Aries (Feb 3) to help us find our fight for the things and people we hold dear. Since Venus is not typically at home in Aries (she prefers Libra, Taurus, and Pisces), there may be a few false starts and misfires when it comes to getting what we want, especially as Venus will be joining aggressive Mars in Aries for the majority of her stay. While Aries energy can help us with finding the courage to stand up for ourselves in the face of bullying and oppression, we have to be mindful of choosing our battles carefully as Aries can be the fire that quickly rages out of control, burning us all in the process with its “me first” way of operating. Though, if there was ever a sign you can call on to topple over an oppressive regime and the systems that created it, Aries is it. Think of Venus and Mars in Aries as the volcanic lava that produces the fertile and mineral rich soil in which new and nourishing things can be planted and grown. (When Mars squares off with power-hungry Pluto in Capricorn on Feb 21 and joins up with explosive Uranus in Aries on Feb 25, expect major clashes and shakeups)

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By Feb 6 (Feb 5 if you’re on pacific time), Jupiter – the planet of abundance, travel, religion and law – begins its retrograde in diplomatic and marriage-minded Libra. While some astrologers, myself included, heralded lucky Jupiter’s arrival in Libra as a chance to spread the love, Saturn in Sagittarius (Sag is ruled by Jupiter) has ensured (as well as free will) that Jupiter in Libra has become more about being fair and impartial to the most xenophobic and bigoted among us (i.e. the argument on whether it’s okay to punch a Nazi, give Trump a chance, etc). However, with Jupiter retrograde in Libra, collectively we are going to be asked to rethink (and in some cases repeal) our ethics and laws, namely in context to fairness, justice, and respect to others. Personally speaking, I don’t believe that bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia fall under the umbrella of equality and respect. The Libra penchant for peace at any cost will have to be reexamined as we need to continue to have these uncomfortable conversations and encounters to spark true change. As Aquarius season continues, we’ll see that change, unrest and protest, community building and humanitarian efforts will remain the focus, especially when Mercury (communication) enters Aquarius on Feb 7.

Speaking of true change, Feb 10 marks the first of the eclipses on the Leo-Aquarius axis with a Lunar Eclipse in Leo. Similar to Aries and Libra, Leo and Aquarius handle themes of me versus we, whereas Leo’s fire is concerned with unabashed self-expression, creativity, and living from the heart while Aquarius’ air is concerned with helping others, innovation, and living from a place of logic. Though the power of Leo resides in its healthy dose of self-confidence, Leo must beware of egoism, vanity, and ruling its kingdom (and relationships) with a totalitarian, my way or the highway approach. At its best Leo can stoke a fire that inspires, warms, cheers, and entertains – which why some of our best leaders and entertainers are Leo Suns, Moons, and Risings. Under this Leo eclipse, these themes will be prevalent not only in our own lives but across the globe highlighting the best and worst of human nature. However, as this eclipse is a Lunar Eclipse, a powerful Full Moon for release, endings, and culminations this eclipse will be about releasing the Leo shadow of self-centeredness in exchange for that Leo sunshine that lights up the world.

Incidentally, back when the Leo-Aquarius eclipses swept through between 1998-2000 we saw: the European Court of Human Rights established; Leo Sun and then US president Bill Clinton impeached for gross misconduct and perjury; the famine in Sudan become a worldwide tragedy, exposing human rights abuses and "the failure of the international community to the famine risk with adequate speed"; South Africa release its final report from the Truth and Reconcilliation Comission which aimed to heal the country post-apartheid; Vladimir Putin take power in Russia; NATO intervening in the Kosovo War which was fueled by ethnic cleansing; the Columbine High School shootings which sparked gun control debates; and the 2000 US presidential election. Eclipses on the Leo-Aquarius axis tend to highlight people in power, how they manage that power, and the communal response to that power – especially if it’s been abused or unevenly distributed. I should note that while researching these eclipses, I noticed that there was a high occurrence of natural disasters like earthquakes, that seemed to represent the volatile and unstable energy of tearing down and rebuilding. P.s. Trump is a Leo Rising.

Lastly, when Pisces season kicks off on Feb 18, we are going to be pushed back into emotional territory as we center again on the importance of empathy and compassion for the marginalized and underrepresented, as well as the power of divine feminine energy and its capacity to heal. When Mercury arrives in Pisces on the 25th, followed by a Solar Eclipse in Pisces, the last of the eclipses on the Virgo-Pisces until 2024, the focus will be on using our hearts and intuition lead us. Since eclipses tend to create an emotional crisis of sorts because the Moon (feelings) is involved, some of us may experience a crisis in faith or a crisis in reality, especially as Pisces can be overly idealistic or flat-out manipulative in its expression. Around this time we may have to watch out for wolves in sheep’s clothing, being held back by relationships that drain us, or over-indulging in drugs, alcohol, and escapism when life gets too hard. However, as Solar Eclipses are powerful New Moons, a Solar Eclipse in Pisces can help us to flush emotional wounds that need to be healed, improve our connection to Spirit as well as each other, discover the power of our own magic. Another gift that Pisces will bring is recognizing when it’s time to rest and retreat.

Between Aquarius season, Venus and Mars in Aries, and the eclipses our adrenals are going to be worked into overtime with the rapid changes and volatile energy that will be swept in. This means that fatigue, anxiety, depression, malnourishment, and dehydration may be an issue. To combat this, we’ll need to create ample space for sleep, meditation, prayer, hydration and nourishment, time spent with loved ones, art and creative pursuits, as well as regular fasts from social media and the news. Since Pisces is known for its psychic energy, we’ll also need to be careful with energetic boundaries, especially as Mercury travels through Pisces. Through Pisces, thoughts and feelings become real which means we’ll have to be careful about what we speak into existence and the thoughts we choose to focus on. This is not to say that we shouldn’t acknowledge the darkness, it just means to not only acknowledge it but to also fill it with light. Watch closely for what happens around these eclipses, as they tend to be game changers.

To find out how you can change the game this month (and I’m not talking about the Superbowl), read my February monthly horoscopes.

I'm In ESSENCE Magazine!

If you're a regular follower of mine, you may already have heard the news of my astrology beauty feature in the January 2017 Edition of Essence. If you're not a regular follower - consider this my official announcement. Matter of fact, even if you already know, I'm going to tell you again - because I. Did. That. 

For someone who's biggest dream in life has been to become a published writer AND as someone who's spent the last 4 years putting my blood, sweat, and tears into a non-traditional business; I am excited, proud, grateful, and awed that this work is starting to pay off for me on a very personal level. 

As Mercury retrogrades through Capricorn, through my zones of income, possessions, self-value, and self-expression - I realize how often I don't celebrate my wins enough and well, that has to stop. It's one thing to be humble, it's another thing to wipe yourself off the map. Also, the fact that one of my main intentions was to have my horoscopes published in 2016 legit manifested - mannnn, listen. I shouldn't be surprised. I'm not surprised. A little reaffirmation is necessary though. 

But I digress. 

Go pick up your copy, have a happy new year, and look forward to seeing more of me and my brand of astrology in 2017.

Thoughts On the Moon and Why We're So Damn Anxious

Photo: Nicole Mason, Unsplash

Photo: Nicole Mason, Unsplash

This post is inspired by the pre- Lunar Eclipse jitters that I've been working to keep at bay all week. 

Around eclipse season, especially at a Lunar Eclipse (which is technically a Full Moon), it's not uncommon to feel extra anxious (or extra tired) as anything having to do with the moon always keys right into our adrenals. Full Moons in general have a long history of charging the atmosphere, which is why there tends to be more accidents and heated encounters during one, and they always bring things that have been in the dark to light (like secrets) or a situation to a head. A Lunar Eclipse is a doubly potent Full Moon and the moon by astrology standards, has rulership over feelings. All of the feelings.

With this Lunar Eclipse in Pisces (September 16th) coming in with a square (hard aspect) to fiery Mars in Sagittarius, this energy is only amplified. Note that the Sun in Virgo is also apart of this Full Moon/Eclipse and Virgo energy, when blocked or misdirected, can manifest as anxiety and nervous stomach issues as Virgo is connected to Mercury, the planet that's associated with the brain and central nervous system; as well as the intestines.

As if that weren't enough stimulation, I've also been tracking the moon's movement in connection to Uranus, the planet of sudden developments, radical changes, breakthroughs, and mass communication. Uranus has been hanging out now at around 23 degrees of Aries, which currently makes it the last planet that the moon has to communicate with before the moon moves into the next sign. So for example, let's say the moon is at 23 degrees of Capricorn, the next aspect or connection it will make is when it immediately enters Aquarius and links up with Jupiter which is currently at 0 degrees of Libra. (You can kind of think as the moon as being like a hand on a clock as it moves around.) 

By astrology's standards when you take a "soft" planet/celestial body like the moon and brush it up against a more electric planet like Uranus, especially in an in-your-face kind of sign like Aries, overstimulation and anxiety can definitely be side effects.  While other planets like the Sun, Mercury, Mars, and Venus will eventually "pass" Uranus; because Uranus moves so slow, we'll still have those intermittently intense periods of activity, and more than likely lack of sleep.

By now, some of you may be wondering why all the torture?  What could the universe be thinking, putting all this pressure on us? Well, I can tell you that this energy is not meant to be a form of punishment. We are all at a pivotal time where there are great changes taking place across the globe; most notably those grassroots driven changes happening in the United States (a Cancer sun nation - influenced by the moon); and change is necessary to positive evolution and growth.

Though the moon can spark change (it changes signs every 2.5 days; Cancers are labeled as moody), it can sometimes be afraid of change, because change feels like a loss of security. However, I strongly believe that one of the biggest lessons/messages of the moment for us is learning how to better tap into the power of the moon. The moon provides us with feeling and intuition, and the time has long come that we begin listening to both. The moon as a divninely feminine energy demands it. We are watching the days disappear where we are expected to work through the pain, to grit and grin our teeth and bear it...to "man up". Our bodies, our feelings are asking that we listen to them, honor their value. We need to sleep when our body calls for it, eat what will make it feel good, take time to regularly unplug, seek out therapy and healing, give ourselves space to cry and get angry, and give ourselves space to love. This is how true change happens, when we find the right outlet to direct the energy, our energy. It's time to go with the flow.

 

 

 

 

Full Moon In Capricorn: Finding A New Method To The Madness

Artwork: Esao Andrews, House of Mystery Vol 8.

Artwork: Esao Andrews, House of Mystery Vol 8.

When I was in my teens, my mother had this affirmation taped to the wall in our bathroom. It read: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I’m not sure who it was that first coined this phrase, but it was a quote that had been popular among those in the Narcotics Anonymous fellowship, to which my mother belonged. I used to read these words to myself day after day, wondering if insanity was indeed like the hamster wheel this statement, up on our wall, had made it out to be. Having watched my mom hit the tortuous loop between addiction and wanting freedom from that addiction, I figured that in many ways this was true. While I’ve since grown up to understand addiction as extending beyond the narrow and ableist connotations of the term insanity, I do think there is something to be said about wanting change yet engaging compulsive or habitual behavior that changes…nothing.

Enter the Full Moon in Capricorn (July 19).

By nature, Capricorn loves habit. In habit, there is logic and there is order, there is security and the familiar, there is a sense of practice that makes perfect, there is structure and there is method. Through Capricorn, we learn how persistence, planning, and application creates the kind of foundation that empires and legacies are built on. Wherever Capricorn shows up in our lives, we are called to follow the due process that brings achievement and success. But what happens when we’ve outgrown the process? What happens when we’ve hit the point of no one size fits all portion of the program and we realize that we can’t get to where we want by following in the footsteps of someone else? Or better still, what happens when we have the kind of goals and ambitions to change our lives as we know them but continue on with the beliefs and habits that keep things the same? We have to be willing to try something new.

This Moon in Capricorn is being opposed by the Sun in Cancer (which makes it a Full Moon) and both will sit in a harsh angle to Uranus in Aries. Uranus, being the planet of breakthrough, instability, and radical change (transiting a headstrong and impulsive sign like Aries), means that there’s going to be an unsettling kind of energy that’s coming in with this moon. While Cancer is Capricorn’s astrological opposite, the two of these signs still share a need for security and stability. For Capricorn it’s material stability, for Cancer it’s emotional security. Though, like Capricorn, Cancer can instinctively fall back on habit and comfort when its security is threatened as a means to keep things as they are—stable. And this is where the real work comes in, kiddos. How are we supposed to remain stable when the world around us is crumbling to bits? The answer is that in some ways we must crumble along with it. We must be willing to release the dead, decayed, and outworn structures in our lives so that we can build new ones that can better support the “I” and the “We” that we are becoming. As astrologer Howard Sasportas writes in his book The Twelve Houses:

“The desire to become something greater than we are must be accompanied by the capacity to envision new and different possibilities. More than any other species, the large human brain and evolved cerebral cortex endows human beings to imagine a wide range of alternatives, choices, and outcomes…In this context, it is helpful to remember that the more clearly we can imagine a possibility, the closer we bring it to actualization. Encouraging positive visions of the future aids the process of moving in a more positive direction.”

In other words, we can’t continue to do the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

Luckily, that’s where Mars in Scorpio comes in, offering a bit of a release valve or a way out of the madness we may find ourselves in. Through the fearlessness, dedication, and laser focus of Mars in Scorpio, we are encouraged to strike out on a new path towards what we want. Are you ready? Life is changing as we know it. We must be able to change with it.

Recommended Astrology Reading - A Few Basics

Here's a few titles that I recommend to anyone interested in delving deeper into astrology. By no means is this an exhaustive list but it's juicy enough to sink your teeth into. Many of these titles I read back when I was a wee baby astrology nerd and in need of more comprehensive info than my Google searches could find. Some of the books on this list are very dated, which means you may have to get them used (most likely through Amazon) but I've included them because they were important to setting the foundation for the astrology we study today. 

unsplash.com

unsplash.com

 Beginner Level/Astrology Basics

Astrology For the Light Side of the Brain by Kim Rogers Gallagher

Astrology For Yourself by Demetra George

The Twelve Houses by Howard Sasportas and Liz Greene

 

Birth Chart Basics

Understanding the Birth Chart by Kevin Burk

Aspects in Astrology by Sue Tompkins

The Inner Sky by Steven Forrest

 

Psychology and Transformation Based Astrology

Astrology, Psychology, the Four Elements by Stephen Arroyo

Yesterday's Sky by Steven Forrest

Your Secret Self by Tracy Marks

The Astrology of Self-Discovery by Tracy Marks

Healing Pluto Problems by Donna Cunningham

The Astrology of the Moon by Amy Herring

Venus Signs by Jessica Shepherd

A Love Alchemist's Notebook by Jessica Shepherd

Astrology for the Soul by Jan Spiller

The Gods of Change by Howard Saportas

 

Relationship Astrology

Skymates by Steven and Jodie Forrest

Skymates 2 by Steven and Jodie Forrest

Person to Person Astrology by Stephen Arroyo

Love Zodiac by the AstroTwins

Love On A Rotten Day by Hazel Dixon-Cooper (humor)

The Celestial Sexpots Handbook by Kiki T.

 

Predictive Astrology

Eclipses by Celeste Teal

The Changing Sky by Steven Forrest

Planets In Transit by Robert Hand

Astrology For the Light Side of the Future by Kim Rogers Gallagher 

 

Medical Astrology

Your Body And The Stars by Dr. Stephanie Marango and Rebecca Gordon

 

 

How To Find A Reputable Spiritual Healer

artwork: David Kelmer

artwork: David Kelmer

I work in a field (some might call it New Age, others might call it the spiritual or healing arts) where unfortunately there have been too many instances where people in need of guidance and personal transformation have been taken advantage of (and in some cases bullied) by unscrupulous people looking to make a quick buck off their vulnerability.

It's because of these tricksters among us that I understand why some people are quick to write off astrology, tarot, clairvoyance, chakra cleansing etc. as being nothing more than a cool party trick because..let's face it -- fraud is a real thing (no pun intended).

As matter of fact, now that Neptune, the planet of healing and healers is retrograde (and as such we're being asked dispel the illusions in our lives); the problem with fraudulent healers makes me think about the two sides of Neptune and Jupiter -- the two planets in charge of faith, spirituality, mysticism, as well as guides and teachers. I bring up Jupiter as well because with Jupiter currently in Virgo, there has been a noticeable uptick in the coaching business. On the positive side, Neptune and Jupiter help to uplift, inspire, heal, and unite people together. However, on the shadow side, Jupiter can just as easily exaggerate the truth as well as the ego, making us prone to lies or a God complex; whereas Neptune can make us prone to addictive behavior, deception (or the refusal to accept reality), and victim-savior like relationships. Sadly, it's these kind of dynamics that fuel a bad or imbalanced relationship between a healer and a client.

As a healer, I am happy to say there are ethics and rules that I abide by in running my astrology practice and providing services for my clients. Some of which includes me following-up/delivering on anything that I've verbally promised to my client, informing my client what to expect from me and my services before and after accepting payment, and encouraging clients to ask any questions they may have about me, my work, or the reading process. Incidentally, there have been cases where I have turned down a potential client because they have either asked me for something that I wasn't qualified/skilled to do or they wanted something that I was unwilling to do (like them wanting a reading to find out what someone else was up to -- a BIG no, no). The good news here is that I am not alone in running an ethical healing practice (and I'm always striving to learn how to be a better reader and improve my practice). And there are many other amazing, authentic, and responsible healers out there too. You just need to know how to spot one. As such I've come up with a quick list on possible red flags when dealing with a fugazy healer, as well as tips on finding a reputable one.

Beware:

1. The healer who over-promises on results or isn't clear about what they do/how they do it (aka The Donald Trump). Do they make themselves or their services sound like they're the answer to every problem you've ever had? Do they make grandiose statements about what they can do for you? Are they clear/forthcoming about what they do or does it feel like pulling teeth in trying to get information from them? A healer should be confident in their skills but they should only promise you what they can deliver, especially since most readers know it's up to the client to really make use of the tools, guidance, or information they receive. Also, when it comes to what a healer/reader does, it should always be made clear to you and should you have questions, a reader should always be able to answer your questions in a thorough and timely manner.

2. The healer who uses scare tactics to get you to purchase their services or take their advice. If a healer makes you feel like things will grow from bad to worse if you don't seek out their help or their consistent message is one of gloom, doom, and a sky is falling kind of sentiment, find someone else. Fear shouldn't be your impetus for working with someone.

3. The healer with the God complex. No one and I mean no one, knows you better than you know yourself. If you come across a reader who makes you feel like they know you best or what's best for you even though you disagree, if they make you feel like they have something over you in some way because of their skill, refuse to listen to or accept your questions/feedback, or forget that their job is to support/assist you in making the best choices for you; walk the other way.

4. The healer who is abusive, negative, or just outright creepy. If a reader belittles you, disrespects you, oversteps their boundaries with you, talks down to you, makes you feel bad about yourself/your decisions or just leaves you feeling shitty: don't be afraid to stop/leave the reading, ask for your money back, or dump/avoid them as your reader.

5. The healer who is just trying to get your money. Do they keep trying to upsell you on their products or services using any of the tactics as noted above? Just say no.

Do:

1. Your research. If there's a reader you're interested in, research them. Do they have social media pages where you can get a vibe of what they're like? A legit-looking website? Testimonials from real people or honorable mentions from notable people in their field? Complaints from people online or people you know? Have they been published or featured by reputable media outlet? If you research a doctor, lawyer, hairstylist, etc. before entrusting your care to them, you should do the same with a healer.

2. Consider word of mouth. If someone you trust has been to a healer and has good things to say about them to you, it's a good chance that reader is legit. However, since what may work for one person may not necessarily work for another, see my next point.

3. Trust your gut. I can't tell you how important this is. Regardless of how successful or legitimate a reader looks, it really all comes down to the vibe or the first impression that you get from them. Do you feel like you can trust this person or does something feel off about them? Your intuition will never steer you wrong.

Ok, now I'd like to hear from you. Have you ever had a bad experience with a healer? How have you been able to figure out when someone's legit (or not legit)? Comment below!

Pluto in Capricorn; Jupiter in Virgo: Food and Abundance

photo: Olenka Kotyk; Unsplash

photo: Olenka Kotyk; Unsplash

A while back on Twitter, I tweeted about how important it is not to skip meals and how missing meals is actually a form of blocking abundance. As someone born with Venus (love, pleasure, money) in the Fourth House (family, nurturing, food, home) of my birth chart (a personal blueprint or cosmic map), food is a source of wealth to me. Keep in mind that I fully understand that for those who can't afford to eat regularly or suffer from an eating disorder, eating on a healthy and consistent basis is of course out of their control and requires help. However, for those of us who are able to keep up with our meals, we shouldn't take for granted that creating space to eat (as well as the food itself) is a form of physical capital.

As Pluto, the planet associated with power and deep transformation, continues to move through stable and business-oriented Capricorn (which incidentally is also moving through my zone of income and possessions), we are encouraged to review and redefine our wealth. While food and nourishment may seem to fall in Cancer's wheelhouse (Cancer is the sign in charge of the astrological Fourth House), Capricorn has some authority in this realm too as Capricorn shares Cancer's need for security. The only difference being that Cancer, a water sign, craves emotional security while Capricorn seeks it in the material world. And if we can consider land and crops as physical resources (both provide a source of sustenance and security), then our bodies have to be included too. After all, we can't do much if we don't have our health.

Food as wealth (and health) is also symbolized by another planetary transit—Jupiter in Virgo. Jupiter, the planet that represents abundance and good fortune, is currently moving through the sign of Virgo, where it will stay until September 9th. Virgo, an earth sign, is concerned with physical well-being, efficiency, healthy routines, and duty.  In Greek myth, from where astrological symbolism is derived, Virgo is connected to the Virgin archetype. The Virgin represents feminine and fertile energy symbolized by earth, tilling the land, growing crops that feed and sustain, and harvesting the bounty of those crops when the work is done. This is also why in medical astrology Virgo is in charge of the digestive system, because here is where the body gets what it needs in order to function and thrive. Through Jupiter in Virgo, we’re learning the importance being more disciplined with our bodies and resources. In this case; how we eat, what we eat, and when we eat it makes all the world of difference as to whether we’re feeling like we’re thriving or not.

It’s this relationship between discipline and eating, or rather work and eating (after all we need to work in order to eat) that got me to thinking about how little we create space to eat (because of work), and how that contributes to lack and depletion. As the landscape of the American workforce continues to shift (thank you, Pluto), bringing with this shift a rise in freelancing, telecommuting, and entrepreneurship; the normal 9-5 job schedule that we’ve become accustomed to is on a steady decline.1 However, with the shadow side of Pluto being connected to the misuse of power—specifically by those already in power, in this case Capricorn seems to also represent big business and its penchant for creating an office culture that leaves employees little work-life balance. How does this tie into food? I asked my followers on Twitter how many of them made a habit of skipping or working through their lunch break because of work. Unsurprisingly, I received a huge response from people, mostly women, who I did this. As a result, they also told me how poorly it affected them (i.e. moodiness, headache, fatigue, etc.) And here’s why I explained to my Twitter followers that eating and eating well is important; if we want to magnetize abundance, we have to be in a place where we already feel abundant, both emotionally and physically, in order to attract more of it to us. Otherwise, we'll find ourselves operating from a place of desperation and lack. And as anyone can tell you, desperation is not sexy.

 

 

 

1.       Pudwell, Sam. “The rise of telecommuting: 45 percent of US employees work from home.”BetaNews. September 11, 2015. Accessed March 29, 2016. http://betanews.com/2015/09/11/the-rise-of-telecommuting-45-percent-of-us-employees-work-from-home/

Let's Talk About Sun Signs: Why There's No Such Thing As Cusps in Birthdays

Does this sound like you or someone you know?

"I'm a Scorpitarius"

"I'm a Cancer/Leo cusp"

"I'm both a Capricorn and an Aquarius because I was born between both signs"

If any of this sounds familiar, here's the real deal:

NOPE. NO. NOT A CHANCE. ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Why?

Because when it comes to your Sun Sign or any planet in the birth chart, it can only be in one sign at a time. This is because astrologers work with degrees, hours, and minutes.

Let's take a look at a sample birth chart.

Birth chart courtesy of astro.com

Birth chart courtesy of astro.com

The date October 23 is when Scorpio season begins in Western Astrology, though if you look at the chart as pictured above (some of you may know Johnny Carson as a famous TV personality from years ago), the Sun is located at 29 degrees, 36 minutes and 55 seconds of Libra. That means the Sun won't be entering Scorpio until another degree later.

Each of the twelve zodiac signs (again, I'm speaking in terms of Western Astrology) are made up of 30 degrees, beginning with 0 (yes we count the zero) and ending at 29; adding up to a 360 degree circle. So as you can see, there's a lot of math and detail that goes into astrology (and I've barely scratched the surface here), which is why it's important to know the details of your birth chart. Accuracy is everything.

 

Full Moon in Sagittarius: Freedom First

Artwork: Kenal Louis, kenalsworld,com

Artwork: Kenal Louis, kenalsworld,com

What fires you up? What makes you passionate? What are you willing to fight for?

Under today's Full Moon in Sagittarius, we're called to answer these questions as the Full Moon comes in conjoined to fiery Mars in Sagittarius, and opposite to the Sun in Gemini. We're supposed to get passionate about something, but what?

The Gemini-Sagittarius axis (polarity), is largely about honoring what we know or what we believe to be true. Through Gemini and Sagittarius, we move beyond our immediate four walls to access and learn information, then share what we've learned with others, crafting and re-crafting our personal belief system along our journey. However, as Full Moons are about releasing the things we no longer need; and Mars being retrograde now is about bringing that hot, Martian energy to the interior, we are called under this Moon to reevaluate our belief system, to reevaluate what we know in order to cast any self-limiting beliefs into the fire and watch them burn away.

Of course because Full Moons are emotional and the Sun in Gemini is more about words, and rational thought (and how we identify with those thoughts) we are reminded that head and heart must align for us to truly make progress forward. For example, how can we fully let go of something if not at the emotional level first? Or, how can we be in alignment with our convictions, our personal truths, our visions if how we feel doesn't align with what we speak? This Full Moon gives us the power to expand our awareness, to move beyond our personal borders (whether real or imagined) to become truer versions of ourselves. Mars gives us the courage to hold ourselves accountable. How will you define your freedom?

 

New Moon in Taurus: Hold Your Ground

Stability has never been my forte. Put another way: I have always lived my life in a state of crisis. One reason for this is because it's part of my Chironic story. Having natal Chiron (karmic subconscious wound) in Taurus has meant that one of my biggest challenges in this lifetime has been to overcome insecurity, as Taurus is a sign whose purpose is to experience all the luxury, resources, and self-worth life has to offer. Another reason why instability has been an issue for me is because it's also a part of my family legacy. In my birth chart, Uranus (instability) sits right on top of my 4th House (emotional conditioning, family history), plus I have my Moon (instinct, emotional style, the archetype of one's mother) in unpredictable Aquarius.

In plain terms, this means I grew up in a household with parents whose own childhood wounds resulted in drug addiction and for my mother especially, mental health issues. The result of which often meant eviction threats, utility shut offs (we went years without a phone in the house), second hand clothes, nearly empty refrigerator, and fights over money (mostly the lack of it) my family and I dealt with time and time again; year after year. And because I grew up in scarcity, it became all too easy for me to take on the same bad habits with money my parents had, along with the belief that I would never have enough because, I too, wasn't good enough to deserve it. I had came to believe that scarcity was my birthright. As a result, stability in all of it's Taurus essence --being well-fed, well-paid, well-dressed, well-lived--has always been something that has eluded me (actually, frustrated the fuck out of me); up until now.

Fast forward to today, under this New Moon in Taurus which falls directly on my Midheaven (10th House), a critical point in everyone's birth chart that connects each of us to the promise and manifestation of our personal legacy, and I find the power of this moon, of Taurus season resonating with me more than it ever has in a very long time. Perhaps this also because I've been on a fever hot mission (thank you Mars) to break the cycle of my familial legacy (thank you Saturn) so that I can build (and maintain) a solid foundation for myself and my daughter. Today this New Moon gives me the opportunity to plant the seeds to create this future. Today, this New Moon in Taurus gives us all the opportunity to lay the groundwork to create the kind of life we desire.

This is why for me the biggest question under this moon is not so much about the kind of seeds we're planting but more about what we do when we've planted them; when we've set the intentions, made the prayers, or created the vision board to make our dreams real. What do we do when it seems like it takes forever to make progress or as though we are making no progress at all? Through Taurus, we dig in. We work. We add 1 part determination and 2 parts resilience. We say fuck fear and fuck failure. We treat ourselves kind. We affirm that abundance and pleasure are our birth right. We have patience. We hold our ground.

 

Mars Retrograde: Think First, Shoot Later

First, a few dates to remember:

April 17th - Mars begins its two month retrograde starting in Sagittarius, where it will then dip back into Scorpio from May 27th-June 29th.

Second, keep in mind that planetary retrogrades mean to review, revisit...to slooooow down.

Third, know that Mars (action, anger, willpower, machines, sex, physical movement) going retrograde means that it will not be an optimal time for us to move full steam ahead with guns blazing where it pertains to new projects, ventures, and in some cases, sexual relationships. As doing so, we may experience significant delays, unnecessary recklessness and mistakes, losing fights or arguments, and a general lack of motivation. In the case of sexual relationships, Mars retrograde could deliver sexual chemistry or romantic connections that are DOA. Incidentally, Mars retrograde is also not a good time to undergo surgery, if it's something you have power over scheduling, as you'll want your surgeon (and their tools) to be sharp and on point.

In Sagittarius, Mars retro will be about scaling back on overindulging (especially of the physical sort) and reviewing where we may be overextending ourselves, or getting carried away with passions or projects that offer no real reward or accomplishment. With Sagittarius influenced energy, we can get so carried away with talk and ideas that action and follow-through suffers (or never even happens). Mars in Sagittarius, is also about being passionate about our beliefs and the actions we take to defend them. As Mars retrogrades in Sag, we're also going to be asked to reconsider the validity of those beliefs and whether or not they're worth fighting (and in some cases, dying) for. For example, religious zealotry is a shadowy quality of this Mars placement.

In Scorpio, Mars retro will be about power, where we may be abusing it (manipulation) and where we may be giving it willingly away. In cases where we may have been victimized by another (sexual abuse comes up in particular), Mars retro in Scorpio could offer the opportunity to reclaim our power from our abuser and heal our wounds. Since Mars is at home in the emotionally intense waters of Scorpio, Mars retro will also mean reassessing where we may be obsessed with controlling an outcome, the the actions of another person, or forcing something that isn't meant to be. Part of Mars in Scorpio's power is intuitive/gut instinct. As a result, we may need to review where we've been ignoring our instincts or intuition and how doing so never works in our favor.

All that being said, I like to think of Mars retrograde as our time to think first, shoot later; where we need to go back to the drawing board.

photo: moviepilot.com

photo: moviepilot.com

How To Get A Free Birth Chart While Learning More About Astrology

photo: pics-about-space.com

photo: pics-about-space.com

When I'm on Twitter, I usually get asked by curious astrology beginners how they can go about getting their birth chart online.

Of course, I always recommend purchasing a reading with a reputable astrologer first. But, before I became the astrology aficionado that I am today, I spent long hours on astrology websites, googling what I could before moving on to astrology books, and then registering for astrology classes and mentoring.

That said, the best way to learn about astrology is to first learn about you. This is where having your birth chart comes in handy. Even if you decide that you don't want to pursue astrology full time like I did, it's still helpful to know what your birth chart looks like and what it's about.

A sample birth chart. photo: theastrologydictionary.com

A sample birth chart. photo: theastrologydictionary.com

The quick and easy way that you can get your birth chart for free is by visiting astro.com. Select the Natal Chart, Ascendant option from the Free Horoscopes pull down menu (as pictured below) and then follow the steps to enter in your birthday information. To get an accurate chart, it's necessary to know the exact time that you were born, though you can still find out your Moon, Venus, Mercury, etc. signs by using a 12 Noon birth time.

photo: astro.com

photo: astro.com

Once you have your birth chart, I recommend browsing astro.com for other free features, and visiting websites like Cafe Astrology, Sasstrology, Sagittarian Mind, BobMarksAstrologer.com, and of course mylifecreated.com for free astrology resources.

And as I mentioned, if you find yourself wanting to delve deeper into your birth chart, especially in the interest of unlocking opportunities and creating the life you want, book yourself a reading.

What To Do When You Don't Identify With Your Zodiac Sign

Photo: Getty Images Stock

Photo: Getty Images Stock

Recently, I shared an article on Facebook, which described the work ethic of each zodiac sign. One of my Facebook friends commented on the post that "I'm always confused when I read Libra descriptions though because I don't seem to fit the bill.” I responded to her comment by asking if she had ever had her birth chart done. She said she hadn’t, which I of course figured out was the case, but it was my gentle way of informing her that astrology is a bit deeper than the pop culture or Sun sign astrology that we usually come across in newspapers and magazines. Not that there’s anything wrong with Sun sign astrology, as it is the Sun that symbolizes the core of who we are, our style of self-expression, when it comes to astrological interpretation. In fact, astrologer Jessica Adams wrote a really good piece a while back about the importance of Sun sign astrology and how folks (mainly professional astrologers) need to stop looking down on it. Here's the link if interested: http://www.astro.com/astrology/aa_article141231_e.htm

But I digress.

While I know that my Facebook friend meant no offense with her comment (and no offense was taken) it did make me think about the many other occasions when I’ve seen people post or speak about how astrology doesn’t resonate with them because they can’t relate to the traits assigned to their Sun sign or the horoscopes that they come across in popular media. Now while I’m no astrology fundamentalist (I recognize and respect that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea), I do suggest that people do a little research with it before they decide to write astrology off entirely. That said, here’s a couple of suggestions on what to do when your zodiac sign doesn’t ring true for you:

1.  Read more than one horoscope. There are tons of astrologers out there who write horoscopes; some for mainstream publication, some for their own website or following, which means there are a variety of styles, voices, and content to choose from for keeping current with the cosmos. I often recommend to astrology beginners to pick 2-3 astrologers they really dig and make a habit out of reading their forecasts. Sometimes you need to have options in order to find something that resonates with you.

2.   Look up your birth chart. A birth chart is kind of like having your own cosmic map or blueprint. If you know the hour and location of your birth, you can go to a website like astro.com, where you can pull up your chart for free and take a look around. If you’re feeling really brave, you can Google around a bit to try to interpret it first all on your own. However, no advice really compares to my last point:

3.    Get a reading. This tip is probably the most important advice that I can give you as even a horoscope won’t be able to go into full detail with you about your birth chart. In a reading, a reputable astrologer would not only show you, for example, that you’re an Aries Sun, Cancer Moon, and Taurus Rising, but they would also show you how these three pieces (and more) work together to fuel your greatness and how they can sometimes trip you up.

So, that’s it. That’s my approach. It’s actually the path I took before I became a professional astrologer. Try it out and let me know how it goes. And of course, if you ever need a reading, get atcha girl.

The March 2016 Eclipses: Whatever You Do, Keep Moving

 

Ok, so the big news for this month are the eclipses. For those of you who may be unsure of what eclipses mean, think of them as really, really, really important (super, even) New and Full Moons. Except, the difference between an eclipse and a regular New or Full Moon is that eclipses tend to bring sharp and fast changes that can often feel like a crisis or emotional upheaval of sorts, and unlike a regular New or Full Moon, eclipse energy lasts for a full six months.

The eclipses of this month: one on March 8th in Pisces (Solar) and the other on March 23rd in Libra (Lunar) pick up where the Virgo and Aries eclipses of September 2015 left off. Eclipses come in pairs and wil set off a chain of events (or at the very least heighten our attention) in two very connected areas of our lives; for example: career and family. The purpose of eclipses is to keep us moving, keep us growing, and to help us with a shot of tough love to let go of anything holding us back.  People often report feeling the effects of an eclipse (myself included) up to a week or so before it actually happens. Since eclipses have to do with the very emotional energy of the Moon, I usually advise people to get all the rest, nourishment, and comfort they can get around this time. Eclipses can be tough on the body and spirit. But when that medicine they deliver kicks in, we become all the more better for it.

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Eclipses in Pisces tend to highlight what we need to release and heal, when we need to listen to intuition, engage compassion, and dream big. Solar Eclipses spark beginnings and fresh starts. Those of us with planets or angles (look to your birth chart) near 18-22 degrees of Virgo, Sagittarius, Gemini, or Pisces will be most strongly affected.

Eclipses in Libra tend to highlight where we need to be more diplomatic, gracious, and balanced in our relationships. Lunar Eclipses signal endings and culminations. Those of us with planets or angles near 2-6 degrees of Aries, Libra, Cancer, or Capricorn will be most affected. Incidentally, this eclipse will be the final eclipse of the Aries-Libra pairing which began back in October 2013, and took place again in April 2014, October 2014, March 2015 and September 2015. Think back to see what epiphanies or actions may have been triggered at that time. This is eclipse will be the final chapter of the story.

Still, the eclipses won't be the only things happening this month. Read my March horoscopes (coming soon!) to find out what else to expect.

Mercury In Pisces: The Shaman & The Mystic

Artwork: Anto Machado

Artwork: Anto Machado

The world slows down a bit as Mercury enters Pisces today (March 5th). Over the next couple of weeks, the Universe encourages us to allow dreams, intuition, and compassion influence our thoughts and messages.

Note: there's a waning square between Mercury and Mars as Mars enters Sagittarius that will last another day or so before Venus joins the fracas (more on that later) between the mutable signs (Pisces, Virgo, and Sagittarius) on the 12th. A rule of thumb: Intuit first, then speak/act. Don't go for the BS.

 

 

 

Mars In Sagittarius in 2016

Photo: footloosenomad.com

Photo: footloosenomad.com

Mars enters expansive and adventurous Sagittarius (March 5th) to make an extended stay from now until September (taking a brief dip back into Scorpio from April to July). Under this influence we're passionately motivated by distant travels, international causes, the bigger picture, heated debates, the mission for truth and justice and of course, good old fashioned debauchery. Though with Jupiter in Virgo (details), Saturn in Sagittarius (responsibility), and Neptune in Pisces (intuition) flanking Mars, we'll need to have a clear aim/strategy before taking off for territory unknown.

Capricorn Season: Redefining Wealth

From the Earthbound Oracle deck. 

From the Earthbound Oracle deck. 

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have caught me tweeting recently on how important it is not to skip meals and how missing meals is actually a form of negating abundance. Keep in mind that I understand for those who can't afford to eat regularly or suffer from an eating disorder, eating on a healthy and consistent basis is of course out of their control and requires help. However, for those of us who are able to keep up with our meals, we shouldn't take for granted that creating space to eat (as well as the food itself) is a form of physical wealth.

As we move through Capricorn season, which includes a New Moon in Capricorn and Mercury's retrograde through Cap (both of which have lit up my zone of income and possessions), we are encouraged to review and redefine our wealth. While food and nourishment may seem to fall in Cancer's wheelhouse, Capricorn has some authority in this realm too as Capricorn shares Cancer's need for security. The only difference being that Cancer craves emotional security while Capricorn seeks it in the material world. And if we can consider land and crops as a physical resources (both provide a source of sustenance/security), then our bodies have to be included too. After all, we can't do much if we don't have our health. Plus, if we want to magnetize abundance, we have to be in a place where we feel abundant already in order to draw more of it to us, otherwise we'll find ourselves operating from a place of desperation. And desperation is not sexy.

If you missed my tweets, I've included them below. Unsurprisingly, when I asked how many people worked through their lunch or ate at their desk, I received a huge response from people (mostly women) who said they did and apparently way too often. Incidentally, not long after I tweeted about taking necessary time during a busy day to eat, two of my friends on Facebook (who don't follow me on Twitter) posted two separate articles about the same thing, which you can find here and here

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Daily Reflections: Seeing Yourself In The Tarot

"Justice" by Yves http://alk0n0st.tumblr.com/

"Justice" by Yves http://alk0n0st.tumblr.com/

So, an artist on Twitter, who goes by @_martiniboy, created this card inspired of course by Nicki Minaj and the minute I saw it, I couldn't help but to fall in love with it. When I saw the image retweeted into my timeline early this morning I knew there needed to be a full deck based on it; not only because Nicki Minaj has been stealing my heart more and more as of late but because I believe gorgeous artwork like this, Tarot imagery based on people of color, is largely absent from the Tarot market. (A Tarot friend of mine, Beth of littleredtarot.com, recently wrote about this issue on her blog).

As a Tarot reader, I have yet to find a deck featuring people of color that really resonates with me as a black woman, which is why I've been clinging so heavily to my Black Cats Tarot Deck (which features cats, not people LOL).

The Magican from The Black Cats Tarot Deck

The Magican from The Black Cats Tarot Deck

And this is not to say that there aren't any decks that exist with subjects of color, the Daughters of the Moon and Motherpeace Tarot decks immediately come to mind. It's just that the selection is so sparse.

Cards from the Daughters of the Moon deck. Photo courtesy of astroamerica.com

Cards from the Daughters of the Moon deck. Photo courtesy of astroamerica.com

This is also a similar issue I sometimes have with astrology, as the Western astrology I practice is rooted in Greco-Roman symbology. Which is why I often choose to include wider representations of astrological symbolism on my blog and elsewhere. To me, it just makes sense to be able to see affirmative images of yourself if the goal of Tarot (or any other form of divination/spiritual practice/self-development method) is to consistently affirm yourself and your connection to the Divine Source.

But back to Nicki and this glorious card. I (and about a thousand others) have begged the artist to create a full a deck. I'm happy to report that he says he is considering doing two more cards featuring Beyonce and Rihanna (especially since Nicki saw the card and gave it her blessing). I asked him to go for the full 22 Major Arcana. We'll see if he does. Either way, I look forward to seeing more.