In the summer of 2017, the year of the great solar eclipse that crossed the entire USA, my husband and I took a road trip through California into Oregon. We were in a pretty luxurious RV that let us travel in comfort and bring our home with us. The two of us and our small dog stopped along the way in state and national parks. We might have been a bit ambitious in distance, but we saw beautiful country and enjoyed visits along the way.
One of our stops was on Mt. Shasta. We found a spot at McBride Springs Campground in Shasta-Trinity National Forest, a 12 space campground a short distance from the little town of Mt. Shasta City. McBride Springs campground is basic. There are no showers or flush toilets. There are sturdy bear boxes and there are trees and plenty of water. We were completely self-contained, so McBride was perfect. We parked and began settled in by a sweet running creek.
The name of the park was McBride Springs, so we set out to find those springs. A short walk brought us to a path with a sign of a hand pump. Another bit of walking brought to muddy wet puddley bit and finally a fallen log making a bridge across a deeper puddley bit. At the log, a couple, each carrying a water tank passed us. We asked about the water and were told to stay on the path. We were told we would come upon a hand pump that drew up the sweetest water from deep in the mountain.
Sure enough we got to the place where the pump just came up in the center of a concrete square. It took serious effort to get the water up and flowing. But when it did, it was indeed sweet and very cold. We filled the 3-gallon water bottle we had brought and our smaller jugs as well. We heard a conversation moving toward us. It was a man and woman probably in their late 20s or early 30s. They were young and attractive, fit and friendly and each carried a large water tank.
I almost always talk to strangers so I asked what they were doing. They explained they were coming ahead of a group of 12 that would be setting up camp higher up the mountain where there was no water. Their task was to bring water for the entire group for their stay. They filled their tanks and headed back to the road at a good clip while we followed behind at a slower pace.
Back on the road the couple we had met were ready to set off to fill another couple of tanks. They had a big job ahead, but were in good spirits—motivated by a sense of service to the group. It was thinking these thoughts about them that I realized I was face to face with Aquarius. They were the water bearers for the group of 12.
It was clear their task was not taken on as a burden. They were serving the greater good and that was reward for them. They were energetically tending to the needs of the future and clearly doing their task as equals—another attribute of Aquarius.
Part of living a magical life is being open and curious and willing to engage life enough to see what is before your eyes. I didn’t expect to find and drink from the pure deep water of a sacred mountain, but I did. I didn’t expect to meet an astrological archetype, but I did. You never know when or where symbols will show up, but you can know for certain they will.
Full Moon September 24, 2018
I had the idea that it might be a good idea to take a look at the chart for this Full Moon. It comes just 2 days after the Equinox which puts it squarely in an angular position on a natural chart. Here's my takeaway on the message of this chart:
There is a definite karmic element. Saturn is at the top of the chart and in precise square to the Sun and Moon. Saturn is structure and in a position of mediating the opposition of Sun and Moon. The darkness that is illuminated by this Full Moon is aggression and what we do to tone it down to maintain relationship or what we give up of ourselves in relationship. It might just be a study in the difference between being "nice" and being 'kind".
To be "nice" one gives up oneself and there is always some hidden (or not so hidden) aggression as a result. There is judgement as the other is seen as unable to competently handle the truth or the presenting reality. To be "kind" the other is honored as having the capacity to face reality and the natural consequences of their behavior and/or choices.
Second Mercury Retrograde of 2018
Here is the general info re: Mercury retrograde this year. Remember, Mercury retro is a GOOD thing. It forces us to take a pause in our forward motion and review what has occured to us during the forward period of Mercury.
In mythology, Mercury is the messenger of the gods. Mercury skims the boundaries between earth and the heavens, between genders, between humanity and divinity. Mercury impacts how we think, do business, and communicate. Mercury aids us in translating ideas into words and products.
Mercury is always a close companion to the Sun and is never far from the great luminary. 3 or 4 times a year Mercury slows its forward motion and seems to move backward, this is called a retrograde motion and it is said to have an impact on us from about 7 days before and after the days of actual retrograde motion. The retro motion lasts about 3 weeks. This year, Mercury will retrograde in each of the 3 fire signs. Mercury will pass through Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.
Before the retrograde get repairs made, documents and
agreements signed, travel plans set and projects officially begun. Once Mercury moves to nearly a standstill begin operating as though it were already retrograde. Use the retrograde to review,
rewrite, relax, and renew. On reflection, edit and make necessary adjustments. This is a great time to research in order to make better decisions on action after the retrograde is
over. Each retro is flavored by the sign Mercury occupies for its backward glance.
So what is so good about Mercury retro?
If we go full speed ahead all the time, we exhaust ourselves and miss oppotunities for course corrections. Mercury retro is time for the pause. These are the times when with a look at the past and a pause for reflecton, we get a better sense of our current course and where we are headed without adjustments. Insights that come at this time lead to a clearer path to our goals and objectives.
You may not begin something new during this time, but you will likley get some excellent ideas. Carry a notebook or dictate notes so you will have these ideas to put into action when Mercury is once more guiding us forward.
2018 Mercury retrograde in Leo
posted July 20, 2018
"It's perfect for reviewing the past, reclaiming the present, and researching the future." Jim Shawvan in Llewellyn's 2017 Daily Planetary Guide
Mercury is retrograde-settle down! You have nothing to worry about. This happens 3 or 4 times a year and it gives us all time to catch up. This retrograde will spend the entire time in the sign of Aries. Mercury moves into Leo on June 29, and will be there until September 6, 2018. The retrograde ends August 19, but we are still under its influence until August 24. As you know, it's good to get all business done a few days ahead of the retrograde and commence initiating new projects a few days after the stationary period.
Yes, it's still best to avoid signing contracts, read them extra carefully if you must sign. Retrograde Mercury is not a great time to move into a new place or begin a new project, or begin a new job. The retrograde in Aries is a great time to do some research into examining the image you put forward into the world. It isn't the time to put that image out as yet, but it is surely the time to review and see if what you are putting out in the world to represent you is still relevant.
The key words for Leo are "I will". Mercury is our thinking. A good question for this retrograde is "Who or what do I love?". Mercury retro in Leo is a perfect time to reflect on your ego and sense of self. What are your sources of re-creation? What is your hearts desire?
I think of the question, "Whom does the Grail serve?" Are you a living expression of the unique aspect of the Divine that you and you alone can be. Is your ego aligned with the prescious spark of Divinity that is you greater and best self? What do you use your life energy to create and is that changing or changed? Is Love reigning in your heart?
I have noticed some people feel a distinct urge to make changes and big moves during the retrograde period or just before it begins. In the retrograde period, the thinking function is altered. The mental process is no less sharp, but is more strongly influenced by other factors such as feeling, intuition, maybe even a bit of "fuzziness". This is not a bad thing, but can be anxiety producing for individuals who rely on facts and analysis. Review with a bit of "fuzzy" thinking can help us see things in a different light that can lead to positive change, but this new view is not necessarily comfortable. There is also the idea that Mercury rules the nervous system and those sensitive to its influence may ordinarily feel a bit anxious and much more so under the retrograde influence.
Here's an idea. Start making and using your own Mercury Retrograde log. Keep track of your ideas during the retro and how they develop during the direct motion. Keep track of your urge for change and anxiety levels prior to, during, and just after the retrograde. Use the very Virgo process of observing and documenting the observations of nature in order to understand and form ideas of what is happening with a clear sense.
Take a look at ASTRONEWS on this website to see more about Mercury retrograde. I have learned to appreciate these retrograde periods that let me look at each of the signs Mercury explores in a new way. Maybe you will observe in a new way as well. If you are interested in where Mercury was at the time of your birth, that is something shown in your natal or birth chart. It is definitely something I can help you with. You can reach me through this website or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
reviewed and revised for first retrograde of 2018 on 7/20/18
As an astrologer, I look at patterns in countries and cultures to see the power of cycles working out. Above is an interesting chart. Shortly after the testimony of James Comey, former head of the FBI, I wondered how and if the President and Mr. Comey might be related. I had a reliable time of birth for Mr. Trump but not for Mr. Comey. So I placed Mr. Comey on Mr. Trump’s natal chart. The result is above.
You will see more than just a little bit of interaction between these two players. I'll be writing more on this soon. So stay tuned.
In the mean time, take a look at this interesting and explosive relationship.
Let Instability Do Its Work
Here we are at another Sun change of sign and New Moon. The Sun is just barely into the sign of Gemini and will be delivering clear Gemini energy. I came across some of my notes on Gemini. I found a quote; Let instability do its work. I think this quote is from Alice Bailey, a 20th century esoteric teacher. I think how apt this quote is for our time.We are experiencing tremendous instability politically, culturally, environmentally, and most likely personally as a result of all the areas impacted.
I find it comforting to consider the idea that there is value in instability. Bailey did her work during and after WWII. The world was in upheaval and that upheaval seems to continue to this day. It helps to remember that change takes time. From the perspective of my human life, everything seems to be taking so long and there is no calm. From the perspective of a tree, like the giant sequoias, my lifetime is barely a speck.
Most of us have heard of the Chinese curse; May you live in interesting times. Interesting times are times of instability and flux. How we manage these times makes a difference. I get an assist from connecting with Gemini energy. Gemini rules the lungs. When in stress—breathe. Gemini rules the mind and thinking. These are times to use our minds and also to discipline them. Too much worry and anxious thought is not help. I try to remember that my mind is a servant to the soul.
Mercury, the ruling planet of Gemini, was the mythic messenger of the gods. This trickster of a deity was rarely straightforward and often a troublemaker. In story it is often a challenge to determine who and what Mercury served. I take this uncertain time to ask of myself, "Who and what do I serve? How may I best serve? What message am I carrying to the world and how?" These questions seem so much more relevant and important in times of instability when each one of us can provide a tipping point.
-this drawing with the caption on the wall of The Beginning is Near seems just right for now. I don't know the artist, but thank them and hope it's ok to have it here.
Preparing for the Full Moon
For those of you new to ideas in astrology this is a little note.
Because planets have eliptical orbits around the sun with us, from time to time they seem, from the perspective of earth, to move backwards. We say in these cases that the planets are in RETROGRADE MOTION. This happens cyclically and the retrograde times are opportunities to reflect, correct, examine, and make corrections-among other things.
Right now (just before the Full Moon on April, 2017), Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are all in retrograde motion. These are all visible planets-Mars is the only visible planet that is not retrograde right now. The visible planets are personal. We feel them and their influence in our personal lives.
Mercury - We are familiar with this one, since it happens 3 or 4 times a year. This retrograde begins in Taurus and moves back into Aries. In general, this would be a review of what you value and your personal wealth (interesting that taxes come due during this retrograde). Mercury moves back into Aries providing an opportunity to review just who you think you are and what actions you have taken to demonstrate that to the world. Where this is in your personal chart is very important in determining more clearly personal impact of this retrograde.
Venus - Venus moves in a retrograde motion about every year and a half.This is the valueable time we review what we value and what we love. This retrograde begins in Aries and moves back into Pisces. The review is uncomfortable as we are given time to review our actions and how consistent or inconsistent they have been in the service of love. The return into Pisces allows us to either seek escape from our part or go deeply and be rigorously honest and serve soul(Once again the placement in your personal chart is an essential element in gaining the most value from this).
Jupiter - Jupiter moves in a retrograde motion about every year. This means we spend about half of the year in review of all things Jupiter. We review and reflect on expansion, abundance, hubris, and inflation. Jupiter is the grand benefic and as such has a positive influence most of the time, but bigger is not always better. The entire retrograde is in Libra. This suggests a good time to review relationships and how fair you feel they are. In myth, Jupiter's largesse was rarely a benefit to relationship. Time to take a look . Take time with this one and note its placement in your chart.
Saturn - Saturn also seems to be in retrograde motion about every year. Saturn is the karmic teacher. Saturn tends to be limiting and painfully honest and in Sagittarius could likely impose painful justice. Find out where Saturn may be forcing you to take a cold honest look at your life and behaviors.
Some of you might be interested in the chart for this New Moon in Aries. You don't have to know a lot about astrology to figure that a square doesn't have a lot of movement to it. There isn't a lot of flow. A square puts points against one another and that is what we see in the chart of this New Moon and we will see in the coming Full Moon as well. The difference will be the coming Full is even more filled with obstruction and disharmony.
Certainly you are seeing this around you. Here's my suggestion for this. You can make a choice regarding where and with whom you will put your energy and allegiance. Think you position out carefully. Take time to breathe and monitor your connection with what might be called objective reallity. Things may or may not turn out the way you think they should. Your task is commitment to integrity.
I probably don't have to tell you there is rough weather currently and coming. If you are weak or ill, rest. If you have energy and a plan, act. If you are fuzzy headed and rudderless, pray and do the job in front of you. Help when and where you can. Ask for help when you need it. Review and examine what you love and value and why. Commit to love and beauty and learning what needs to be learned.
There are certain activities that connect us to Life in a deep way. When we note the changes of season, or the cycles of the Moon, we include ourselves in the changes of nature. We can use the natural currents of unseen energy in much the same way a sailor uses the winds and currents to reach distant shores.
A magical life is one that notices and makes use of the multitude of small miracles that are part of everyday life. To live a magical life it’s essential to be present and pay attention to the sweet magic that surrounds us all.
Wonder is an essential element of a magical life.
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