Friday, September 29, 2017

Full Moon Aries 10/5/17 Achin' To Be

Masculin Feminin by Godard
Basically, how I see this week into next: Mars and Venus in endless conversation with Mercury rolling its eyes in the corner, playing referee, devil's advocate, and color commentator by turns.

Oppositions abound! What does this mean? Tension? Attraction? War? YES! Am I shouting?! Sorry. We have a full moon in Aries to contend with.

Aries explodes onto the scene then makes a sudden departure. No announcement. No fanfare. It is pure action. It is immediate and impulsive. The eternal infant of the zodiac it never outgrows its direct line to its desires. Aries always finds ways to be born. If there are obstacles to its desires or anything that might thwart their need for rebirth it will be seen as an opponent. Or, it might not be seen at all. If you have nothing to do with what Aries is trying to accomplish, it will simply forget that you’re there and start a war out of pure obliviousness.

No. I do not like the sound of that either given our current political climate.

Aries is where you may feel your aggression, desire, and impatience calling you up. It’s where your trigger finger is going to get itchy and where you’re going to feel ready to floor the gas pedal. If you’ve been making your way down a birth canal of sorts…you’re ready to come out.

This lunation happens all over a stellium (3-4 planets) I have in Aries. And I happen to be doing a full moon reading at a friend’s birthday party on the 5th. This moon will figure prominently in her Libra solar return chart as it will for all those born the first 2 weeks of October. I may not have much to drink this evening. I may not need to.

All of you out there with planets or sensitive points in the mid-degrees (11-17) of cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), KA-POW!! For better or worse, of course. It’s gonna get loud up in here.

 Here’s the Full Moon breakdown (Aries loves bullets):

·      Sun Libra-Moon Aries opposition (aka full moon) square Pluto in Capricorn: Passion, exposure, power struggles, transformation.

·      Mars Venus conjunction in Virgo square Saturn in Sagittarius: A strong urge to start new relationships or new phases in relationships and the urge to create using emotion and physical action— all being frustrated or delayed for their own good. Or you just have to put in a lot of hard work and patience, or display maturity to see any results in these areas.

·      Moon Aries-Mercury Libra opposition: sensitive communications around relationships, or insensitive conflicts surrounding what “I” want.

·      Neptune Pisces quincunx Mercury Libra: over-idealization leading to disappointment, disillusionment, deception, and lack of clarity with communications. Get your facts straight. Tell the truth. Discern what’s real from what you project on others. Extremely important with all the hot impulsiveness flying around.

·      Jupiter Libra-Uranus Aries opposition separating: The larger, big-picture version of the Aries full moon. It’s on its way out but this lunation pulls it back in to highlight the Venus-Mars conversation.

And now for something more lyrical in the style of Libra:

As we can see there is a lot of relating going on here. Venus-ruled Libra always wants to know “what’s going on with us?” Libra has a difficult time answering questions without knowing what it’s in relation to; and whatever it is relating to, the goal will always be the creation of harmony between this and that, you and me.

Harmony is a beautiful thing, except when it’s not.  Like anything, harmony and equanimity can be overdone. When a lovely exterior or one too many compromises are chosen at the expense of addressing uncomfortable, difficult or downright ugly feelings, all that pretty loses its charm.

I don’t love the way this Mars-ruled Aries moon looks (especially square a freshly stationed Pluto- direct motion). I don’t like the look of an emotionally reactive moon in the sign of “the infant” and war, square the planet of power and upheaval. It’s not pretty. I don’t think the Sun/Mercury in Libra is a match for it. Moon in Aries is too fast. But we'd be foolish to think that Libra won’t try to charm, intellectualize, and talk their way into a win. Libra is Venusian and beautiful and all that, but it is still cardinal, it takes action. What will we try to balance with our intelligence, conversation, and desire to make things fair? Will it be enough given the rampant inequity in the world? And if there are grave inequities in our personal lives, those will be felt as well.

I’m hoping by this point you see how the concurrent Mars-Venus in Virgo conjunction has such a strange and sonorous echo for this full moon. Instead of Mars and Venus being opposed, the rulers of Aries and Libra are conjoined in the sign of Virgo. This is sacred sex.  They want to be together and start a new relationship. We have that available to us as well (especially if you have planets in mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) in the later degrees (18-23). Think back a couple of weeks to what your new moon Virgo intention was; here is your full moon Aries baby.


So let’s extinguish the fire of Aries for a moment and reflect on other aspects of Aries at our disposal.

On the other side of that obliviousness is innocence and honesty. Aries usually means well and wants to be courageous. Because it’s so immersed in its own being, it forgets to look around. It doesn’t know how to complicate its pure directive with so many different motives, worldviews, and agendas. It simply aches to be.

Can we all find ways to be brave enough to be naked with our wants, but still try to do relationship with each other and the world? It’ll take guts to get through some of these difficult encounters and conversations. But that’s where Aries shines.

For all you Paul Westerberg fans:

Achin’ To Be

Well she's kind of like an artist
Sittin' on the floor
Never finishes, she abandons
Never shows a soul

And she's kind of like a movie
Everyone rushes to see
And no one understands it
Sittin' in their seats

She opens her mouth to speak and
What comes out's a mystery
Thought about, not understood
She's achin' to be

Well she dances alone in nightclubs
Every other day of the week
People look right through her
Baby doll, check your cheek

And she's kind of like a poet
Who finds it hard to speak
Poems come so slowly
Like the colors down a sheet

She opens her mouth to speak and
What comes out's a mystery
Thought about, not understood
She's achin' to be

I've been achin' for a while now, friend
I've been achin' hard for years

Well she's kind of like an artist
Who uses paints no more
You never show me what you're doing
Never show a soul

Well, I saw one of your pictures
There was nothin' that I could see
If no one's on your canvas
Well, I'm achin' to be

She closes her mouth to speak and
Closes her eyes to see
Thought about an' only loved
She's achin' to be
Just like me

Monday, September 18, 2017

Virgo New Moon. 9/20/17 Critical-Care (Perfection Paradox redux)

Medicine Woman Tarot Deck by Carol Bridges
Where do we draw the line between criticism and care? Or, how about fixing and care?

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard a Virgo-type lament, “how come I’m the only one who cares enough to get it right?!” “Good thing I care so much about_____, otherwise everything would fall apart.”  “I’m only on his/her/their case because I care about their welfare, and they need my help to fix their problem.”

Well, I’d have a shit-ton of nickels.

This new moon brings us not one, not two, but all 3 personal planets (Mars, Venus, Mercury, in addition to the sun-moon conjunction) in Virgo. That’s a lot of analysis, purification, service, work, and, yes, care. This new moon opposes Chiron in Pisces. During this lunation we can think of Chiron as a wound (physical, psychic, emotional) that hasn’t quite healed yet, or maybe a recent incident pulled a scab off and here it is exposed. This is sure to get Virgo’s attention.

Virgo needs to be of service and practical use in the world. It needs to create systems of high efficiency for the utmost quality, free from filler. Where it senses illness it aims to restore health…and no one is better at this. When Virgo goes off the rails, due to an imbalance (like the 5 planet pile-up we have in the works), we can be headed for nit picking, anxiety, and creating problems so that there is something to fix. This can be directed at others or ourselves.

Even though it has become a cure-all-catch –phrase, the idea of self-care is wonderful. What could be a more solid foundation for doing all this important work that’s needed out there…in the world? Hope we’re all, at some point getting out there. During this time it may be too easy to fall down the self-care rabbit hole of obsessing over every perceived flaw or problem we encounter: nursing the belief that we can’t move forward until all is perfect. And, perfect according to what and whom?  We are on the receiving end of a lot of conditioning about what is acceptable: “care for yourself until you feel like this, look like this. Work on your relationships, your sex life, your career, your children until it produces this, performs like that.”  Fix everything until it’s perfect. It is self-care after all, you deserve to indulge in all your fault-finding, and there are a million products and systems that you can subscribe to to help you, all for a low low price. (Can we say “capitalism” ?)

This is a side of narcissism and egotism that is often over looked, but is still egocentric nonetheless. Shyness and self-criticism can be just as egotistical and attention seeking.

Keywords for Virgo are criticism, critical, and crisis. In order to DO Virgo, we DO the words in this family that all involve preparing for a turning point by analyzing what works and what doesn’t. Therefore it’s very important to be clear about our standards; how we measure what’s “good or bad.”  We need to use the Virgoan discernment to understand if the yardsticks we’re using for measurement have anything to do with the actual quality and health of a situation, product, or person.  Have we adopted sets of arbitrary standards of quality from our early environments, authority figures, or popular culture? When we edit out “the bad parts” of something/someone according to rules that don’t really apply, we might be editing out crucial bits of humanity and authenticity as well. These are Virgo key words too. When we measure ourselves against ideals that we had no part in creating, and make efforts and sacrifices to obtain them we’re left with a hollow perfectionism. (Can we all say “patriarchy”?)


I have this client who has a Virgo-heavy chart (a handful of you do, so this could apply to any of you). They’ve been super-diligent for a major chunk of their lives in all-forms of self-study, therapy, and self-improvement. There has been this eternal quest to kill ALL the demons…to become so clean, and so extraordinary at all they do so they can finally achieve peace. They courageously set up challenges, and knock them down on this relentless pursuit to be pure. This person is approaching their golden years. I had to ask, “Is this what your life is about?” “At what point will you be perfect enough to allow yourself to just live your life?”

We all go to the grave in some state of “incomplete.” We will all go to the grave leaving something unfinished. How perfect do you have to be to do what’s important to you right now? We don’t have all the time in the world. Any Virgo worth their salt would tell you to prioritize and make decisions about what to cut.

I suggested that instead of dedicating the rest of their lives to working at deserving the right to feel good about themselves, they do the work to accept themselves as they are.
This is hardest of work of all. It’s the work that needs to be done if you ever want to have a shot at joining the rest of humanity and being of service…which will inadvertently heal you from any sense of separation.

Care for yourself this season by being kind to yourself…all of yourself. Bring that self to all you do for others. Let's think of self-care as listening to what we need, all the places that experience pain and shame and healing them by including them as we move forward into life.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Pisces Full Moon 9/6/17 Perfection Paradox/True Info

This lunation is loaded:
(I consider a full moon “in effect” 3 days before and after its peak)

Mercury Rx conjunct Mars on the eclipse point September 3,              Sun opposite Neptune September 5,
Mars ingress Virgo Sept 5, Mercury stations direct on the eclipse point Sept 5, Full moon Pisces conjunct Neptune Sept 6
If this lunation doesn’t hit you square in the soft and vulnerable parts, or drive you to drink (or watch too much TV or sleep too much, choose your favorite escape hatch), consider yourself more sturdy than most. If a game-changing piece of info isn’t unveiled I’d be surprised, but not outrageously so. You could miss it. Information coming to us now is hard to decipher—it could be deeply felt, but we might have an especially difficult time trying to identify it in any concrete way.

We have a full moon in Pisces conjunct Neptune (Pisces' ruler). This is as spaced out, blissed out, and fogged up as it gets. It’s also as sensitive, imaginative, and healing as they come. Pick your elixir or poison. Neptune/moon Pisces is about the erosion of barriers to feeling. Pisces dissolves what’s in the way so it can all get in. It’s overwhelming.

In the throes of Piscean overwhelm our most natural inclination might be to find the closest numbing solution and apply liberally. We can do that, or we can take advantage of what is meant to be a growth opportunity and feel as much as we can by listening. There’s some emotional gold in the information bubbling up now; clues about how to heal, where to soften, and what to let go of.

I know that’s some pretty soft talk for the middle of Virgo season. Virgo’s excited to get back into the office after a very sloppy summer. Virgo’s ready to fix everything this summer broke, reorganize what summer dismantled. This Pisces full moon says, “hey Virgo, I wanna have another swim, another drink, another nap. Let’s feel our way into fall. TECHNICALLY IT'S STILL SUMMER!” This oppostional energy might have you feeling at odds with yourself. Try to remember that Pisces and Virgo are two poles on the axis of perfection. They’re actually trying to achieve the same end. Pisces tries to achieve this by way of wholeness. When we talk about a “perfect” circle, we’re talking about perfection in terms of completion, totality, the all-encompassing. Virgo’s pursuit of perfection is about the essential. It’s constantly discerning what is integral from the dross. Virgo is the master editor. Virgo keeps it lean.

We are encouraged to work both ends of the spectrum at full moon time. But, what does “full moon time” mean? Quite simply, there are times that are loaded and times that are more neutral. This lunation is loaded. That’s it. Sorry to burst any mystic bubbles, but one of the reasons I counsel and teach is to demystify. I actually DO intend to poke some holes in some cherished enchantments. Ironically when we extinguish some fantasies---some illusions, we get some real magic. How’s that for a paradoxical Piscean paragraph? The Pisces symbol is two fish swimming in opposite directions. Pisces leaves the earthly plane to come home.

Some examples of how you can work this Pisces/Virgo paradox:

Be disciplined about letting go. Work hard at experiencing without judgment. Channel deep sensitivities and surreal imaginings into precise words, images, or sounds. It’s a wonderful time to be in the painting, writing, or dance studio, get behind the camera, see your Jungian dream analyst, be in a flotation tank, or sauna. You could also sleep, drink, or binge Netflix through this full moon, but we’re more susceptible to toxins right now (remember, no boundaries), expect a nasty hangover. And yes, binging on mental and emotional crap can give you a kind of “hangover.”


And now for something completely different. As we swim in a sea of illuminating yet murky emotional info, Mercury stations direct on the Leo eclipse point after it conjuncts Mars. This energy, along with Mars freshly in Virgo can be spiky, hypercritical, and quarrelsome. It will be around for the rest of the month. The Pisces moon actually softens the blow of this a bit.

The eclipse point is still hot and will be reactivated. When Mercury stations direct we can experience important info coming to light, info that could help us move forward. It’s happening in Leo, so it could be dramatic. It’s happening on the eclipse point, so it could be life altering. It’s conjunct Mars so it could be aggressive, or at the very least spur you to action.

Some of us will be dealing more with Pisces activity, others with eclipse-y/Virgo. Some of us will have the joy of interacting with both, making for a possibly schizophrenic time. But, here is where astrology becomes useful; see if during the course of the next two weeks you can identify what you’re working with. Are you fired up or floating away? Making active decisions about the way you engage with and name what life throws at you can help you to feel considerably more sane.

One thing that these two disparate modes of activity have in common is information crossing the threshold from unknown to known.  It might bubble up from the deep recesses of your heart, it could be a piece of gossip you overhear, and yeah, the time is ripe for skeletons to tumble out of closets. The truth, however it comes out, is nothing to fear. And, it’s a VERY important time to define for ourselves how we know what’s true (shout out to Aaron Dias for bringing this up in my last yoga class).

When something that’s been suppressed sees the light of day it gives us something to work with. I think that’s something we’re all hungry for; something that feels true within ourselves, the sense that we have access to the info necessary to make decisions, and trust the people we surround ourselves with to share information that effects us.  

A lot may come up and out right now. With the Piscean influence, some of it may be cryptic, hazy, or just plain confusing. With the Leo/Mars influence it might be overblown or defensive. Let’s see how much we can take in, and rest when we need to. We’re being called to take it all in so we can feel it…but, once felt, we don’t have to keep it. Think of it as emotional hygiene.