Venus Enters Capricorn

Venus just entered the sign of Capricorn (12/2/2016) a friend’s sign. He will be well-placed until 5/31 when he enters Aries for one month and then he will enter his own sign of Taurus on 6/29 and then moves into Gemini (another friend’s sign) on 7/25 and will stay there until 8/20 when he moves into the sign of Cancer.

The constellation path of Venus for approximately the next seven months is well-needed good news.  He, of course, will not take away all of the bumps in what is promising to be a difficult journey we are taking together during 2017.

Many people know Venus as the “planet of love” and that is one of his qualities. Venus, in Vedic Astrology, is known for much more than love and even the love for which he is known is not the love of Valentine cards and sexual desire – it is the love which is the opposite of fear and/or hatred.  As we move through this time period and watch the old forms of spirituality fade we are often left with love being the only proof we have of a higher source of being.  That is the love which Venus rules.

Venus is also known as the keeper of the “shastras” which are the books and teachings left for us by wisdom teachers throughout the history of mankind.  Venus, as the keeper of the shastras, is also known as the teacher of the “asuras” – the mythological beings who can be used to explain the negative traits of humanity or even as those who infused human beings with the qualities of fear, hatred, violence, greed, etc.  The planet Venus has to be stronger than a Valentine card to be in charge of taking on the asuras and protecting our wisdom teachings.  Venus is known for being a cloudy and storm filled planet which means that while his placement is favorable for the next seven months or so that does not mean that we are entering a sun-filled rose garden. But it does mean that we have the higher teachings as we push towards love instead of fear-filled hatred on our side – despite the storms which are surrounding us.

Venus, on a physical level, rules the circulation system of the human body and all of the problems and attributes that our physical circulation involves.  On the level of yoga Venus is the planet which rules the fourth chakra (Anahatta) which is the chakra that balances the lower three charkas with the higher three chakras.  The lower three chakras are generally concerned with our physical existence while the upper three chakras play a role in our spiritual understanding and energy. Since we are spirit encased in a physical form true health and harmony comes by balance of the lower and higher chakras in the fourth chakra.  The fourth chakra resides in the center of our chests and is considered to be of the air element which when balanced will give greater compassion along with expanded awareness and peacefulness.

It is important to remember that Venus is the teacher of the “asuras” and is not the wimp that so many believe is a quality of compassion.  Learning, growing and standing up for truth are all part of the lessons of Venus and it is important that all of the action be taken with the calm and rational energy of both Venus and a balanced fourth chakra.

A simple and powerful way to work with the positive side of Venus for the next seven months is through a mindful approach to the energy (circulation) of the fourth chakra. Every chakra has what is known as a “bija” or “seed” sound which will activate the positive energy of each chakra.  The sound for the fourth is “yam” (it is said not like the vegetable but with a soft “a” – so soft that it almost sounds as if there is a soft “h” attached to it “yahm”).  One can sit down to meditate for a few minutes and chant yam silently or aloud with a focus on the center of the chest.  Visualizing an emerald green light in the center of the chest and placing the hands directly over the chest will also work to enhance the balance and harmony of the heart-centered fourth chakra.

Finally, the Sun and Saturn will be dancing together until the 15th of December which is a rather negative and fearful energy.  However, for most of us the Holiday season should actually turn out to be more enjoyable than we anticipate and certainly we can start working with the new Venus energy to ensure that we end the year on a more positive note.

This article was not edited by my good friend Laura Cerenzio – all grammatical errors are mine :-).   

 

 

 

 

 

Truth and The New Moon

 

The current New Moon cycle is taking place in Scorpio along with the great planet Saturn.  The New Moon happens approximately every twenty-eight days and simply marks the time in the lunar cycle when the Moon is conjunct the Sun.  It is both an ending and a beginning as it ends the cycle of the last Moon/Sun conjunction and begins the cycle of the current Moon/Sun conjunction.  On an energetic level, it marks the time of the lowest level of prana and is therefore a “natural” time to reflect, rest, and work on inner healing.  Once the moon is past the exact degrees of the Sun, it moves into the waxing phase and the pranic energy begins to build again.

The “exact” conjunction of the Moon and Sun will take place on 11/29 at approximately 7 AM, Eastern Standard Time.  However, the Moon will not leave “Scorpio” until 11/30 at approximately 4:30 P.M, Eastern Standard Time which will give us all extra time to utilize the last New Moon being influenced by the energy of the planet Saturn as it will be approximately twenty-eight years before Saturn is in Scorpio again.  Keeping in mind the nature of Saturn as the great karmic teacher and Scorpio as the sign which delves into the hidden nature of the subconscious mind, the lessons of this configuration cannot be underestimated.  While, for some, the most noticeable feelings may be fatigue, discouragement, or resentment, by looking a bit deeper they can discover that the theme of the thoughts and emotions have a familiar pattern.  Those thoughts, issues, and emotions should be those that have been strongly present for the past two years and may actually represent one’s own shadow.  If one respects Saturn’s nature as the “truth bringer,” this is an opportunity to clear out some emotional and mental garbage within ourselves which tends to prevent us from experiencing harmony and balance in our lives.

I came across a wonderful quote which gives a perspective on dealing with truth and seems appropriate for this New Moon:  “The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest – but the myth-persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.  Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”  (John F. Kennedy)

 Here in America, we are all dealing with the results of a shocking and even frightening presidential election.  Donald Trump ran a campaign in which he lied almost every time he opened his mouth.  His opponent is a life-long politician who, as is the nature of the business of politics, too often spoke within the scope of trying to appeal to segments of the population with what she considered the “right” words.  She was saddled with some poor decisions along with a decades-long smear campaign by her political opponents.

In the end, enough people chose the myth of Donald Trump – they chose to believe that Donald did not release his taxes not because he was hiding something, but because he was taking a stand against the government and was actually on the same page as the angry voter who believes in the right-wing myth of the evil government.  Does the fault lie with the liar or with those people who prefer myth over the discomfort of thought?

On a more individual basis, all of us have had Saturn parked somewhere in our charts, and we can be sure that there has been a recurrent theme in our lives for the past two years.  This New Moon is an opportunity to truly reflect on why a certain area of our lives seems to be bothersome at this time in our lives.

Perhaps the best way for me to illustrate this is to get more personal than I usually get in these blogs.  Scorpio is the ruler of my sixth house of work and health.  These two issues have been under the glance of Saturn for two years now and have caused me to make some changes.  I deal with an auto-immune illness and, at one point during this cycle, I had to admit that the illness was becoming stronger and that some change had to be made if I wanted to be able to complete my own bucket list.  In order to make the necessary change, I needed to first accept that part of the truth of the situation was that my lifestyle was a detriment to my health and that all of my choices for my illness were helping me to perhaps maintain, but I was not actually becoming any healthier.  I was living in the most densely populated community in America and one of the most expensive.  The pollution of the area was making me nearly house-bound, and the expense was not worth the living conditions.  After long thought and deliberation, I closed down life in that location and ended up here in Quebec.  It is not my final location, but I am able to leave the house and benefit from the cool, clean air.  My physical energy is returning, and I feel that I am no longer just maintaining the status quo.  The two big items on my bucket list are now within reach.

The issue of work and truth is a bit more challenging because it is in that area that I can run into the issue of people preferring myth over truth.  Like many astrologers of my generation, I came across astrology via the Western or Tropical system of calculation and studied it for years.  I moved away from that system of astrology because, like the English language, there were just too many exceptions to the rules, and it was getting too messy for my mind.  I had and still have great respect for the psychological aspects that Western astrology brought into this most ancient of all sciences.  It is the psychology and humanity that makes the Western system unique, and a great debt is owed to people like Dane Rudyar, Stephen Forrestor, and Robert Hand since today many Eastern astrologers have been able to add another layer to their own work.

Because of the respect that I have for the work done by Western astrologers, I followed the path of many Eastern astrologers and simply left the differences between the positions in the two zodiacs in the background.  Western astrologers are often able to be accurate because they are very open to the discovery of new planets, stars, asteroids, etc., and the intuitive blending continues to make their work valuable.  However, Saturn is truth and facts and, for the past two years, I’ve been nagged very much about the differences in the calculations of the two zodiacs.  Today, anyone can go up to the NASA website, or any other astronomical site, and see with their own eyes that the Sun on November 21st is in Scorpio, not Sagittarius, and they certainly can see that Saturn is in Scorpio.  Modern science has also been stunned to discover that people born during certain times of the year tend to share specific qualities – the same qualities that astrology has been talking about for thousands of years – but these same scientists will usually add to their conclusions a comment about how these studies in no way give credence to the quackery of astrology.

As someone who has spent most of her life being disparaged for my “space cadet” beliefs and also has clients who keep me a secret in their lives, Saturn being in Scorpio has been telling me that I don’t have to be rude or militant, but that I do need to stand up for the truth.  The truth is that there is nothing imaginative or intuitive about the placement of the planets along the zodiacal path.  The truth is that there is much to be said for the principles of astrology, but if the majority continue to put the planets in positions that were correct over two thousand years ago, astrology does not have a viable position in the world of fact because anyone who knows the positions are wrong will simply stay with the “it’s a ‘bogus’ system” mindset.  The truth is that I cannot honestly blame them for believing that.

I am not going to start a movement about this issue, but for those who read this blog, you will notice I am going to be more insistent about the “true” positions of the planets.  Those who happen to follow my Twitter or see my Facebook postings might notice a somewhat snarky comment at times – it is just me doing my best to follow Truth.

Not everyone, of course, has their sixth house ruled by Scorpio and each of us may have a different Saturn truth depending upon the house placement. If someone has Scorpio ruling the seventh house of relationships – both personal and professional – there may be a shift in their attitude towards relationships or in the people with whom they are in relationship. There are twelve houses which gives us quite a variety of issues in which truth is being discovered.

As you read about the New Moon in Sagittarius and compare it to your own New Moon experience, keep in mind that Sagittarius is a forward-moving, positive, and naturally buoyant energy – if you don’t feel that type of an energy flow, don’t believe it’s because Saturn is in Sagittarius; what you are experiencing is the nature of Scorpio.  Use this energy to delve deeper into your shadow and allow yourself to dump some of the garbage.  Finally, in approximately two years perhaps we will be discussing the results of Saturn’s truth in the positive sign of Sagittarius and we will hopefully find that we have  rediscovered the forward-thinking and more idealistic side of America and ourselves.

 

What We Share

One of the modern scientific breakthroughs is what’s constantly being discovered through advancements in DNA. On the level of curing disease, the study of DNA is going to make possible more cures and the prevention of illness through working with the human genes. The information that has become available is also showing human beings’ connections with one another that no one would have even thought possible less than one hundred years ago. There are very few people who would have thought that, through the study of DNA, there are people living in Greece who have genetic connections to Native Americans. One of the ironies of the excitement that some of us find for the proof that “we are all connected” is that we are witnessing global separation causing deep divisions. On a basic level, the human ego seems to have a need to be separate, different, and unique in order to feel special and validated.

However, like it or not, we are not each an island of our own, and we share more than we would like to share. Something we all share is the “planetary weather,” and none of us get to escape it. Transits are simply where, on the constellation belt, current planets reside; today’s transits will be the natal birth chart of a baby born today and, as that baby goes through life, the subsequent transits will have an effect on his/her natal chart.

The faster-moving planets tend to affect us on a short-term basis, and the effect can be as small as Mercury being in a position wherein traffic moves quickly without any incidents and helps make for an easy commute. In other words, the faster-moving planets can be observed as a smaller weather pattern within a season. It may be a balmy forty degree day in February in the north, but it is still winter and days in the teens and single digits are still possible. The slower-moving planets can be looked at as if they are the season itself.

While each of us has certain planets, signs, and house placements which are prominent in our own individual charts, that doesn’t mean that any chart is absent of any planet, sign, or house indicators. The transits of the slower-moving planets will obviously affect those charts which have a natal chart position which happens to fall into the target zone of a slower-moving planet, but each of us will be affected in some way by the slower-moving planets.

For almost two and a half years, all of us have been experiencing the effects of Saturn in Scorpio and, given that Mars slowed down due to retrograde motion, we also went through approximately eight months of Mars being stationed in Scorpio. I know very few people who have experienced an easy time, especially for the majority of 2016.

Those who have their Sun signs in either Scorpio or Taurus would be the easiest people to see as those targeted directly by this Saturn transit because the Sun sign is indicated by one’s birthday, and everyone knows his or her birthday. Please be aware that the dates are different in the sidereal or astronomical system. The Sun is “actually” in Taurus from May 14th until June 19th and in Scorpio from November 16th to December 15th. If you have friends or family members born on those days, you should know that they’ve had challenges in the past two and a half years. Additionally, anyone who has his Moon or Ascendant or other strong planetary placements in these two signs has also experienced the special attention of Saturn. However, both Saturn and Scorpio have certain issues and qualities which are unique to them, and we all have both placed somewhere in our charts. The transits are something we all share and, on some level, we’ve been challenged or affected in some way by the qualities of both Saturn and Scorpio. I would like to give a brief overview of the nature of both Saturn and Scorpio and have chosen to use the words of David Frawley from his wonderful book Astrology of the Seers for their clarity.

“Scorpio is the negative sign of Mars, Fixed Water, the sexual organs of the Cosmic Man, a scorpion. It shows a need for balance and stability on a deeper or psychic level.

“Scorpio is a very profound and mysterious sign. As the negative or physical side of Mars, Scorpio people are often soldiers, policemen, or athletes. They like to use their martial force on a physical level and can be prone to the use of force.” When mentally developed, they have a good capacity for research and inquiry and may become chemists or surgeons. More evolved Scorpio types like to explore the depths of the mind and may have an interest in the occult and Yoga(Tantra).

“Scorpios can be very intelligent and perceptive but are cautious, hesitant to reveal what they really think, or to expose themselves. They are usually passionate and can be very attached sexually. When unevolved, they are prone to vice, perversity, or the underworld side of life. They have an active subconscious and must keep their emotions clear and pure, free of envy and attachment or they can get stuck on an emotional level; yet by this sensitivity they may develop a philosophical disposition and profound insight that the other types rarely attain. They can be caught in their solar plexus and the accumulation of personal power. They need to surrender to the heart. The higher side of Scorpio is symbolized by the eagle, the profundity of vision and transcendent need to subdue the serpent.

“Saturn is traditionally the most difficult of the major planets, the legendary king of the malefic. He has been feared throughout the centuries as the great God of Death – the significator of death, disease, poverty, separation, ugliness and perversity. Saturn brings limitation and obstruction, hindrance in self-expression and in self-manifestation, which may become oppression and adversity. (As Jupiter is the great affirmer, Saturn is the great negator. As Jupiter is the God of joy, he is the God of sorrow. As Jupiter is the optimist, he is the pessimist. As Jupiter shows the joy inherent in all life, Saturn reveals all life as misery.

“Saturn is the significator of disease, old age and death – the great enemies of humans which overcome all life bound by time. As the most distant in orbit of the major planets, he is the major influence we all must face in the end.

“Though the power of Saturn to limit or destroy what it influences should not be underestimated, its positive values must be considered as well. Destruction is the necessary counterpart for creation, as decay and death are required for new life and growth.

“Our great fear of Saturn has measured the degree of our attachment to the material world and our inability to face the ultimate issues of our existence. Saturn shows us the limitation of this realm, which is the necessary but painful lesson we must learn to find our way into the unlimited.

“Saturn causes poverty, deprivation and want. He keeps us in bondage or servitude, under the domination of others, and under the rule of external forces. Yet Saturn also causes us to retain what we possess. Saturn indicates property, land, and fixed assets. Those who obtain wealth through a well-disposed Saturn may become misers and will carefully hold on to what has, with such difficulty, been acquired.

“In the lower sense, Saturn is a selfish planet; in fact, we could say that Saturn is the planet of selfishness. It indicates our most deep-seated and obstinate ego drives towards self-protection. Saturn is our survival instinct, which becomes our need to maintain our separate existence, and is more basic and stronger even than our sexual drive (1st chakra). Furthermore, as the planet of the ego, Saturn is also the planet of fear upon which the ego is based (1st chakra). Only Jupiter has the power to really subdue or to balance out his influence. As Jupiter elevates Saturn, Saturn gives Jupiter a greater detachment and more objective perception.

“Saturn is in many respects not only the lowest of the planets but also the highest. Its lesson is the most difficult but the most rewarding. Saturn is the grandfather spirit and law giver, our guiding ancestor. Saturn is the yogi in meditation. He can give complete detachment and independence. A well-placed Saturn is thus necessary for the spiritual life. In fact, it is necessary for creating anything of enduring values in any domain of life. Saturn gives the concentration, the sense of detail, the discipline and seriousness necessary to win the great challenges of life. A strong Saturn protects the life.” (David Frawley, Astrology of the Seers)

It is easy to see that we have not been under the easiest of energy once Saturn took up residence in the sign of Scorpio. In many ways, we have had the two most intense and difficult energies in astrology join forces and, to add insult to injury, a dose of the fiery and aggressive Mars decided to join the party for eight months. If you are tired, discouraged, confused, or just angry, it is understandable since this has not been an easy part of our earthbound journey. It has been, of course, harder on some depending upon the disposition of their individual charts but, because of the fact that the entire planet shares the transits, very few people have not been affected.

Every planet is good for something, every sign has its positive attributes, and every house gives us an opportunity for growth. I have seen individuals who have been stuck in the morass of misunderstood emotions rise like the phoenix as the truth of Saturn lit up the natural ability of Scorpio to reveal the subconscious mind. I’ve seen people confront their own habits truthfully and allow the Scorpio power of regeneration to heal their bodies through sound health care and changed habits. I’ve seen people finally discover their true passions and move forward professionally. We’ve seen societies moving forward with an understanding of the civil rights of gay people, and we’ve seen some parts of America actually acknowledging our broken justice system. It’s been the truth of Saturn glancing at and paying attention to the underbelly of individuals and society. It’s been painful, it’s been rough, and we see where the work needs to be done collectively and individually.

On January 27th of 2017, Saturn will move out of Scorpio into Sagittarius which will give us a reason to exhale. Saturn will move along in forward motion in Sagittarius until, as is Saturn’s path, he starts his retrograde motion. The retrograde will be in the sign of Sagittarius until June 22 when he reenters Scorpio for a final visit until October 26th. While in the sign of Scorpio he will resume forward motion on August 24th. In some ways, we will all be experiencing the opportunity to revisit what we’ve learned and, for those who have managed to avoid learning or transforming, the period from June 22 until October 26th is a chance to do something about taking responsibility for the ability to achieve self-knowledge, transformation, and inner peace. It will be fourteen years before Saturn enters the sign of Taurus, at which point the ability to focus on our emotions, desires, and transformation falls under the mastery of the Saturn energy. Regardless of what each of us does individually, we are seeing the beginning of the lessening of the intensity of Saturn in Scorpio.

“Only Jupiter has the power to really subdue or to balance out his influence.As Jupiter elevates Saturn, Saturn gives Jupiter a great detachment and more objective perception.”

Sagittarius is Jupiter’s sign,and what we will all share as Saturn moves into Jupiter’s domain is a more positive energy which includes movement, generosity, grace and, most importantly, the return of hope and an easier pathway to goodwill. There is always continuity to the planetary movements and, just as we enter the darkness of Scorpio to explore the underbelly, we come out of the underbelly hopefully with more knowledge and the desire to fix what was found on the underbelly. Jupiter will be there to assist. The choice is, as always, up to us.

In my work, I am always seeking not only to look at what the planets have to say, but also to assist in offering tools to help in the quest for better self-knowledge and a healthier, stronger body and mind. As those who’ve known me for a while know, I often will recommend yoga, mantra, meditation, or pranayama.

Life can sometimes have a wonderful synchronicity and, just as I am finishing up the intense energy of the Saturn in Scorpio and I’m getting ready to give my usual advice to heal and balance through yoga, I find the perfect book to recommend to everyone to assist in their own process.

The Yoga Toolbox by Jan (Durga) Ahlund, available at: http://www.babajiskriyayoga.net might be the single best yoga manual I’ve seen. The author, a fellow teacher trainee back in the 1990s, is someone I’ve known for years. We shared an intense training in the old “gurukul” style of one-on-one training with a single teacher. This was not a twenty-eight day intensive – – it took eighteen months of four classes per week along with special workshops and required sadhanas and studies to get a Level One certificate and years to move to Levels Two and Three. Durga went through the same system, moved on to became a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, and then developed and teaches the Yoga Teachers Training Course worldwide for the Babaji’s Kriya Yoga Organization.

Durga is known for her mastery and love of the physical positions of yoga – she was better at the postures than our own teacher – and she found sacredness and healing to the postures that I never was able to achieve. If truth be known, I would do the postures just waiting for them to be over so I could meditate or chant afterwards.

As I moved on to Jyotish, she moved on to a deeper study through Babaji’s Kriya Yoga and many trips to India. The result of all of her work is this book which, in a masterful way, manages to meld the ancient teachings with the words and understanding of the 21st century. The clear explanation of the yogic principles behind the postures, along with the physical and mental benefits of the postures, makes this a book for now. Durga’s understanding of Hatha Yoga allows her to clearly explain how to do each posture she recommends along with ample photographs to add to the instruction.

It is a perfect book for those who are determined to take better control over their body, mind, and spirit.

I would like to thank my good friend Laura Cerenzio (Atma Amita) for editing this blog.

My Final Non-Astro Post On The Election

After I finish writing this final post I am going to spend the rest of this Saturday doing laundry and cleaning. I’ve always found cleaning my surroundings to be a ceremonial end to a painful situation.

What I am observing right now is our country moving into a far too familiar pattern of finding monsters to be afraid of and others to blame for a situation. It’s a dangerous and disheartening pattern in America – the fearful victim.

The monster under the bed right now is Donald Trump. I am sixty-five years of age and have spent fifty-six of those years as a New Yorker. I spent many of those years commuting from the outer borough of the Bronx into New York City daily for work. I was commuting into the city and worked in the neighborhood of the first Trump Tower and watched it being built and after it was completed was a citizen who enjoyed the open lobby of that building.

Most New Yorkers knew back then that the newspaper we were “supposed” to read for intelligent news was the New York Times and many of us would read that venerable paper. However, many like myself, also read the Daily News even if we didn’t always admit it. Papers like the Daily News is how most of us took a peek at the lives of the big-wigs of our city. Donald Trump was,of course, someone who was featured on a regular basis in both the news and gossip pages. He was known as a colorful figure who had no particular interest in causes we all knew that his motivation was money and fame. Having no interest in causes he was not known for caring about racial equality nor particularly looking to destroy people of color. He was brought up on charges of keeping black people out of his rental properties but if we are going to be honest that is the way the real estate business was conducted and The Donald was following the policies of the banks and real estate business along with thousands of others. “Yes, Virginia institutional racism does exist.”

As an opportunist Donald Trump also worked with all types of people, especially in the entertainment world, if it suited his purpose. I am not privy to Donald’s real estate holdings but I would bet that in his higher price properties there are plenty of people of color as well as gay people owning or renting apartments. Green is Donald’s favorite color. There is an ice skating rink in Central Park known as the Wollman Rink. It had fallen into disrepair and was shut down in 1980. The city planned on renovating it for $9.1 million and the job was expected to take four years to complete. Six years later the rink was still closed and Trump decided to get involved he worked with then Mayor Koch and in four months at a cost of $2 million New York City’s Wollman Rink reopened. Of course, it now shares its name with Trump but it is open and affordable to all New Yorkers. This doesn’t, of course, make Donald a saint but he also could have chosen to ignore the situation or to make the ice skating rink as exclusive as one of his golf/country clubs.

The point I’m trying to make is that the President-Elect is a wild card who has allegiance to no group. He is an opportunistic man who seems to be driven by money, fame and an inflated opinion of himself. He likes to make deals and will deal with anyone if it suits his purpose. Our Senate minority leader will be Chuck Schummer a fellow New Yorker whom most likely has already had many dealings with The Donald. One loyalty we know The Donald has is a loyalty to his family and while it is his lack of foreign experience which is of the most concern to me I take comfort in the fact that he doesn’t want to die and certainly wants a world to exist for his children and grandchildren. Donald is also not someone who wants to live his life in a protected bunker or on some protected island built in international waters. I think the chances are high that our current “monster under the bed” will find a way to not press the nuclear codes. I also believe that given his opportunistic nature and that he is a die-hard New Yorker who has lived his entire life in a liberal multi-cultural city that the GOP has plenty to fear from the wild-card Trump. We can, perhaps, turn on the lights and see the “monster under the bed” is a pile of dirty socks.

My work and lifestyle has given me the privilege of knowing and loving many people of color and members of the gay community. On a personal level it has been so painful to hear the fear in their voices as they anticipate the hateful racists thinking they have a new found right to express their ignorance and hatred to whomever they want in however a manner they choose to express their hatred. I believe that the most awful thing about this election is that Donald Trump played the role of an opportunistic carnival barker and brought the bigots out of their hole and into a position of perceived power. They voted based on anger and hatred – they voted on the ignorant belief that their problems have been caused by people of a different skin color, religion or sexual orientation.

The question we must ask ourselves is how did the ignorant among us get the power to vote on hatred? We are not victims here and the outcome is not the fault of Donald Trump or the DNC or the Bernie supporters or the Hillary supporters. The outcome lies at the feet of the 46% who did not vote at all. Just like the outcome of the hatred that we allowed to stop the Obama Presidency from truly changing our lives lies with all of the citizens who turned the congress over to the GOP by not voting in the election of 2010. We are not the victims we are the cause of this situation – there are no monsters under the bed.

From everything that I’ve read and have been reading the active racists and bigots are about 30% of the population and yet they seem to be the ones with the loudest voices and who have gained the most political power. How can that be when 70% of the population is not that ignorant and bigoted? No, we are not victims here – we are not taking our responsibilities as citizens seriously. Too busy or uninformed to vote? Well The Donald is the consequence.

I sometimes have a unique position in our society because I truly do look like someone who could be the mother of a racist cop. I am someone who is often looked at with suspicion by my fellow citizens of color – from the outside they don’t know that I am part of a mixed family – they don’t know that I have life-long friends who are outside that box of whiteness and hetero-sexuality. They don’t know that I look at a young Muslim mother with her beautiful young children with sadness as they won’t even look at me so that I have the opportunity to smile at them. The young Mexican or African American teen doesn’t know if I’m one who hates him for the way that he looks and it is not up to him to prove anything to me but I have found that the overwhelmingly majority will smile back and greet me if I reach out first. We who do not support the hatred that fueled this election have the responsibility to take a damn moment and smile at a stranger. We have the responsibility to not look the other way when we are in the unfortunate position of observing racism in action. Standing up for what we truly believe is important and that means stepping out of our comfort zone whether in a supermarket, speaking to a neighbor who is a bigot, on Facebook with a “supposed” friend (the unfriend button exists for a reason) or even at a family function when ignorant Uncle Charlie takes over the conversation. You never know if by speaking up you help others sitting at a dinner table who simply need a nudge to go from silently thinking “shut the hell up you old fool” into actually supporting your words.

On the positive side of this election there is the fact that more of our citizens voted against Trump and the blue states held strong on many of their progressive initiatives. The power of those who run today’s Republican Party comes from their understanding and use of the 10th amendment. They built their repressive movement from the ground up via the 10th amendment. The blue states are standing strong in their 10th amendment power. It takes a bit of involvement and a trip to a local election once a year to push towards the communities we actually want. Who says that the racist who is your county sheriff has to stay in power – he can be voted out by your vote. Who says that local school boards have to be run by religious zealots who want to teach children about Adam and Eve playing with the dinosaurs or that slavery was no big deal? They can be voted out by our votes. They can be put in check by us being aware of what is going on a local level.

We are not victims of anyone but ourselves. It is our fault that for the past three decades we have allowed the voices of the loud and ignorant haters to gain such power. I have watched for three decades decent people keep their heads in the sand and it is encouraging to see the push back that is finally happening. The question is do we join in or do we continue to cling to the borders of our own sandboxes and tsk, tsk as we run to the mall or turn on the television to shut out the voice of our own responsibilities to our fellow citizens.

End of my spiel and I promise my next blog will be about the movements of the planets and yoga. Now, I’m off to do some housecleaning and listen to some loud music while doing so!

I have been working on another article for my next blog which had nothing to do with this election. However, based upon my inbox and Facebook messenger, I have decided to write a little something about yesterday’s upset.
A few years ago a colleague and myself joked about how given the extreme difficulty that comes with being the President perhaps we should be looking at the candidate who has the worst, not best, chart. That is exactly what happened yesterday as Donald Trump’s chart was in worse shape that Hillary’s.

Of course, the chart of the United States needs to be taken into consideration as well. The USA’s chart is currently under the dasa (current primary planet) of Rahu. Rahu is the king of surprises, illusion, deceitfulness and the world of performing. One can easily see President-Elect Trump as a Rahu figure. However, Rahu is also forward moving in his results and despite the fears I’ve been hearing we will not be giving up the progress that has been made. We will have to be on our toes and involved in order to survive the rocky change ahead but backwards is not the direction we will be moving in under Rahu.

Yesterday’s election chart had Mercury move into Scorpio the 12th house of secrets, betrayal and illicit activity, in the early afternoon and it is likely that there was some level of voting fraud but most likely not enough to wage a fight over by Ms. Clinton.

What is more notable was the position of Saturn in Scorpio which indicates that the wave of anger which kept building during the eight month stay of Mars in Scorpio was imbeded in the Saturn energy and had not dissipated in time for common sense to return to the electorate. This would account for whatever percentage of the voters chose a protest vote and are planning on enjoying a show just as if it is one of Trump’s reality shows. Perhaps those voters are planning on stocking up on extra popcorn.

The bigger factor was the election day opposition of the Moon (ruler of people, especially women, mind and emotions) to Rahu (lies, deception, illusion). The democratic nominee was a woman whom has had a deliberate war of lies and hatred waged against her for decades. The targeted audience are people who don’t even consider fact checking and over the past decades and, especially during the Obama years, have chosen to live in an world based on media driven lies with little relation to fact or truth. The proverbial chickens came home to roost as they voted on their illusions, fears and, for far too many, hatred of the “other” whomever their personal “other” happens to be and there are many “others” in their world vision. These voters were the perfect audience for television reality star turned politician.

Keeping in mind the nature of Rahu we can expect the show to continue as Trump continues to say whatever he feels he needs to say and stirs the murky waters around us all. However, it is important to remember that Trump lied to “everyone” including those who believe they just need another gun and a rich white guy in charge and order will return to America. The very first people that Donald may disappoint could be the low-information voter who cares nothing for knowledge or truth. Donald does not actually have a record of supporting values like citizenship to a two day old zygote or assisting in allowing guns in the hands of every America nor does he have a reputation as a religious zealot – despite his newly-found religiousity. Will the destructive “base” be the first to feel the knife in the back?

We then have the so-called “fiscal conservatives” who have been slowly starving our nation as they fight their war against high-debt (even though “facts” prove it is always the GOP who raises the debt). Their leader is now Donald Trump a man who believes very much in carrying debt as a way to conduct business. How quickly will the debt hounds feel the knife? Donald is a man who is going to understand that our failing infrastructure, expensive drug wars, uneducated peoples and prohibitive college costs are costing us money. The fiscal hawks may be in for a surprise. Even the die-hard racists may be disappointed as they discover to Donald the color green is the most important color of all. He may like white dominance but he likes green as well. We all know that this is the last historical stand for the old “alpha anglos.” We stay out there and keep in mind that The Donald is a deal maker above all else and we push back forcing deals. Remember that The Donald fought his own party members fiercely – he has one loyalty only and that is too himself.

This is not a positive moment for our country because hatred and ignorance won the day but it doesn’t mean we are done as a nation. The 2018 election has a good chart for America. No matter the changes around us we will keep moving forward. My biggest concern is foreign policy and the policing of our communities. It is important to keep in mind that despite the media’s representation our people of color citizens have moved forward and do have a power base let’s all help to use that power base in individual communities, be vigilant and keep building on power because time is on the side of a universal humanity. We will not be stopped by a Carnival Barker and ignorant, angry and hate-filled people.

Autumn Update

I am out of New Jersey and temporarily settled in Quebec. It was an adventure moving during an eclipse along with Mercury retrograde.  Autumn in Quebec is beautiful and being on sacred grounds and in the company of good friends is more than worth the stress of the move.We all survived the eclipse, Mercury retrograde, and the very long station of Mars in Scorpio. The planets are actually in better locations at the moment, but it can take awareness  to feel the positive shift as there is always a bit of a fall-out from the action of Mars being retrograde and stationed in the same corner of the constellation belt for a long period of time.

Mars spent almost eight months in the sign of Scorpio accompanied by Saturn. Scorpio is the sign of desires, and this sign can be very intense.  Saturn is not a planet which will easily satisfy our desires, and Mars does not like to be thwarted… nor does he care for the quality of patience. Across the planet, people have been frustrated and angry, with far too many making decisions based on anger and frustration.  In other words, it is clean-up time for many as they look to put their own houses back in order.

At the moment, Mars is in the sign of Sagittarius which is a good sign for Mars; from Sagittarius, he will move into his sign of exaltation, Capricorn, on November 1st.  In Capricorn, Mars will be able to actually get back to what he likes which is achievement of goals.  The challenge until November 1st is that Mars is aspecting the sign of Gemini which can negatively impact the nervous system. Autumn is known in Ayurveda as “Vata” season which will strengthen the element of air within the mundane world.

While the planetary weather is vastly improved, when compared to the rest of 2016, it is hard to feel the improvement if the nervous system is so stressed out that one can’t relax or let go of worry. This stress will only increase if we allow the high level of vata/air to increase the fire of anger.  This is a time to consciously take steps to work with the nervous system via herbs, exercise, healthy/grounding food, and meditation.  It is always a good idea to pay attention to our nervous systems during Autumn, but this Autumn it might be even more important to do so and that includes appointments with health care professionals if need be – it makes no sense to carry the challenges of the past cycle into the next one.

Venus moves into the sign of Scorpio on the 13th of October and could increase creativity as well as romance. Venus is capable of softening the edges of Saturn still in Scorpio. The Full Moon is on the 15th and will be an active one due to Mars influencing it. It takes place in the signs of Pisces and Virgo which includes a Jupiter/Mercury conjunction.  Take some time over the weekend to enjoy the energy and get out into the crisp, clean air of Autumn.

On the 17th the Sun moves into Libra which is not its best placement — and the ego wants to rule the day — but the neutral mind and heart are stronger, especially if we’ve taken care of our nervous systems.   The 19th will feature the Moon and Saturn in opposition which can be a calmer energy especially if one chooses to be patient and thoughtful.  It is helpful to stay watchful over negative thoughts and insecurity.  The weekend with Mars aspecting the Moon on the 20th, 21st and 22nd  are days when the nervous system may be challenged, and anger could rear its head. If one is planning on getting a massage, one of those three days might be a good day to schedule an appointment.

The 17th to the 22nd might be the most challenging days in the month of October.  No matter how stressful it feels, it is good to remember that it does not really compare to this past summer.  Being in charge of our own minds leads to right perception and perception is a key factor in living a good life!

 

 

Mars and Current Events

Mars goes into apparent retrograde motion approximately every eighteen months and stays retrograde for approximately three months.  The retrograde motion means that the planet is closer to earth than usual and the energetics of that planet will be felt more strongly.  We experience Mercury going retrograde every four months and generally by the time Mercury resumes his normal motion whatever static has been experienced goes away quickly.

The challenge with Mars is that in addition to his fierce, fiery and impatient nature he moves more slowly than Mercury or Venus which causes him to stay in one or two signs for approximately eight months.  Because of the slowness of his movement a Mars retrograde can affect the planet for the entire eight months until he moves beyond the one or two signs which have been most affected by his energy.  In this particular cycle Mars will move back into Scorpio on July 12th at approximately 6:00 a.m., eastern daylight time.  Mars will be in Scorpio until September 18th when the movement of Mars into Sagittarius will signal the end of the eight months of Mars being so difficult.

It can be very challenging to have Mars influencing only one or two signs for such a long period of time because the energy of Mars is difficult and as the anger, frustration and aggression builds those who are influenced through their personal charts often experience negativity, opposition and unexpected events in their lives.  Besides our personal charts and lives being affected the world in general can seem to be a place of anger, violence and aggression filled with accidents, bad weather and decisions based on anger and irrationality.

America is a country which has a very prominent Mars in its natal chart and will be strongly affected by the movements and placements of the transit Mars.  The past few weeks in this country have been painfully difficult as Mars had retrograded back into the gentle Libra. Libra is the sign of balance, relationships and harmony and we have all watched that balance and harmony be destroyed by the aggressive anger of Mars pushing those whom were already seeped in anger to act out on their most base and/or insane emotions.

Mars is not only about violence and anger as he also has a strong influence on independence, farming, construction, art, math, athletics and laughter.  America being so strongly influenced by Mars used the more positive qualities of Mars to build a country that, at one time, excelled in all of the areas ruled by Mars.  Unfortunately, the recent decades have seen America become more interested in the war-like qualities of Mars.

I looked back at a few retrograde cycles to see if we had experienced similar events and this is what I discovered:

1993 – First bombing of the World Trade Center.

1995 – Timothy McVeigh blows-up a Federal Building. Interestingly, he was sentenced to death during the 1997 Mars retrograde and put to death during the 2001 retrograde.

1997 – Heaven’s Gate mass suicide.

1999 – Columbine which was the first massacre at one of America’s schools.

2001 – World Trade Center attack.

Other years of the Mars retrograde saw the Haiti earthquake, riots in Cincinnati over the killing of an unarmed citizen, James Holmes massacre in a movie theater, the massacre at a Sikh Temple in WI, the decision by the US to attack Afghanistan and assorted attacks around the world along with awful accidents.

One of the greatest frustrations to being an Astrologer is that we watch events like these knowing that,  if like the old Kings and Queens of another time, world leaders would pay attention to the movements of the planets some of the tragedies could be prevented.

We can not force leaders to pay attention to Astrology but we are fortunate to know that there is an end to each Mars retrograde cycle and by the end of September of this year life will not seem as hopeless and violent as it is today.  Mars is in Scorpio along with Saturn which happens to be the only planet which can stand up to the fiery Mars.  Saturn is the planet of the people and we can help by taking care of ourselves and not giving into hatred and violence.  Mars is a builder and perhaps Saturn’s truth is that much of the planet needs to be rebuilt along with many other pressing problems.  We can demand as a unified people that we use the energy of Mars for productive action rather than destruction.