Summer Solstice

The Sun enters the sign of Cancer on Friday the 21st at 1:04 am (Eastern Standard Time in the US), heralding a new summertime.  Lots of light and lots of sun are in store!

In astrological terms, Cancer represents our emotions, the mother, water, the home, and memory.  It likes a cozy home,  a family dinner, and caring for others.  As a Cardinal sign, it symbolizes new beginnings.

Mercury is also in Cancer right now, and Jupiter will join them toward the end of the month.  With all this watery, emotional energy about, what can you do to understand yourself a little better?  Can you find better ways to express your emotions or show someone that you care?  Jupiter can sometimes give us enough rope to hang ourselves with, and Mercury is known to be a bit of a chatterbox, so how will you wade through these charged waters?

For me, I like to remember that emotions are just messengers; we don’t have to BECOME them.  Just because I have an emotion, doesn’t mean I need to act on it or act it out.  I can just use it to understand myself better.

Happy Summer Solstice!

Solar Eclipse in Taurus

Tomorrow brings a Solar Eclipse in Taurus (at 8:28 pm here on the US East Coast).  In astronomy terms, a solar eclipse marks the spot where a New Moon conjuncts (lines up exactly with) a node of the moon.  And nodes are spots on the moon’s ecliptic (the path it follows).  Currently, the South Node of the Moon is in Taurus, and the North Node of the Moon is in Scorpio; Thursday’s eclipse lines up with the South Node.

The South Node represents our old karmic stuff that we might still be working through.  And since a Solar Eclipse tends to highlight stuff we need to deal with anyway, this Thursday is a good chance to clean out our emotional closet.

To understand how the eclipse will affect YOU specifically, you would need to know where Taurus is in your own chart.  (It’s 20 degrees Taurus, in case you do.)  But even if you don’t know that, you can still look at Taurean things in general:   self-esteem, our need for stability and security, our finances, and our “stuff.”  If you’ve been feeling restless and uncomfortable lately, you can use the eclipse energy to delve deeper and ask yourself some tough questions.

Are you hanging onto “stuff,” either literal or figurative?  Are you valuing the right things (whatever that may be to you)?  Are you valuing yourself?

Happy “House” Cleaning!

Approaching Fear

Someone once said, “Panic at the thought of doing a thing is a challenge to do it.”  I believe that fear, like any other emotion, is a messenger.  Our feelings and reactions are there to help us understand ourselves.

Now, I know that many people view their emotions as a guide:  I’m scared, so RUN!  My heart flutters, so he must be THE ONE!  But I’ve found that method often brings trouble.  Leaping before looking can lead to a concussion.  I’ve come to realize–for myself, anyway–that emotions are just messages from my unconscious.  These messages often need to be deciphered, but the task of unraveling the code brings the enlightenment.

Astrology can be helpful in putting together all the emotion puzzle pieces.  Fear and anger are two of the more challenging emotions to figure out, I think.  So we can look at Chiron and Mars in a natal chart to help us understand.

Astronomically speaking, Chiron is an asteroid, but it is officially designated as a planetoid.  It was discovered in 1977.  Astrologically speaking, Chiron is the “wounded healer” of the chart.  It tells where we have been wounded spiritually and where we feel “unhealable.”    By studying our own Chiron, we learn to work through our fears and our pain; in this way, we become spiritually transformed.

Mars, the Roman god of war, gives his name to the fiery red planet that symbolizes our aggression, our anger, and our will.  In karmic terms, Mars in a chart can symbolize where we’ve taken bold actions in past lives and thus hurt ourselves or others.  It can help us understand our fears and phobias in this way.  By working through these past conflicts, we can be free to let go of fears and anger in this life.

How do you deal with anger and fear?  What would happen if you stepped back from your feelings and viewed them as messengers, as puzzle pieces to a larger picture?  Could you interpret the symbols and move forward?



Spring has Sprung!

Happy Vernal Equinox!  Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the Vernal Equinox means that the Sun has moved into the constellation (sign) of Aries.  Fiery Aries represents new beginnings.  The Earth is waking up,  the trees are beginning to bud, and colorful flowers are peeking out!

There are lots of symbols associated with springtime, including rabbits, birds, and eggs.  And just about every culture had a Goddess of Fertility who was honored in Spring celebrations.  Here are a few Spring symbols and their meanings:

Robin:  new growth, creative life force (the powder blue color of robin’s eggs is associated with the throat chakra, suggesting that one should sing one’s song)

Wren:  resourcefulness, boldness; considered sacred to the Earth Gods and Goddesses

Rabbit:  fertility, new life (because young rabbits are able to be out on their own within a month of birth, rabbit is also associated with the moon)

And just for fun, why not make an Egg Cream to toast the arrival of Spring?!  Egg Creams do not actually contain eggs (or cream, for that matter), but it seems like a perfect drink for this time of year.  Simply combine 1 cup of seltzer water, 1/2 cup of milk, and 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup in a glass.  Stir and enjoy!



Uranus: The Puller of the Rug

On this date in 1781, William Hershel discovered Uranus.

There is an expression about getting the rug pulled out from under you.  We use this expression when our world is unexpectedly turned upside down.  In astrology, Uranus plays the part of the rug puller.

According to astrologer Kevin Burk, at this stage of human evolution we are living in a Saturn-ruled world (Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart, p. 38).  Saturn is a very structured, concrete, Earthbound sort of planet.  It represents the physical world that we can see and touch and hear.  Uranus, though, as the first of the so-called outer planets, symbolizes our first and often traumatic realization that there is more to the universe than we believed (39).

Uranus reminds us about our attachments.  It sends us messages, usually in the form of an unpredictable upset or a bolt from the blue, that cause us to re-examine the foundations of our lives.

The orbital cycle of Uranus is 84 years, and so it spends about 7 years in each sign.  Right now, Uranus is in the sign of Aries.  It was last in Aries during the Great Depression (1927-1935).  Aries is a fiery warrior who isn’t afraid to take chances and create new beginnings.  During the Great Depression, it took a pioneering spirit and a self-motivation to survive.

What structures could you re-examine in your life?  Where could you let loose your individual drive and release yourself from restrictions?  Some herald the Age of Aquarius as a boon time for humanity where we will all coexist peacefully in a harmonious “oneness,” but I think that we also need to remember that we are still unique individuals within that group.  Use the “eureka” energy of Uranus in Aries to find YOUR spark.



New Moon

It’s a New Moon in Pisces today.  New Moons traditionally represent a new beginning or a fresh start.  During the two weeks of the New Moon phase, then, it’s a good time to start new projects and put things into play.

The Sabian Symbol for this particular New Moon is “A prophet bringing down the new law from the mountain.”  Pisces is very concerned with spirituality, and so if we take the two meanings together, this is a good time to look at our spiritual beliefs and articles of faith.  Are they serving us well?  Is it time for a new law?

The next two weeks are a good time to ponder your connection to the Universe and your true self.





From Pisces to Aries

The execution of anything considerable implies in the first place previous persevering meditation.”  William Godwin

Right now, there are several planets in the sign of Pisces:  Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Neptune.  Pisces is a Water Sign, which means it symbolizes emotional things.  It deals with the imagination, mysticism, dreams, and even delusion.  Pisces also represents psychics and intuition.  Ultimately, it seeks union with the divine.

With so much Piscean energy about, we would do well to sit with and sort out our own emotions and feelings.  Poorly-aspected Pisces can be manipulative, deceptive, passive aggressive.  Because it is so very spiritual, Pisces can find reality very harsh, too harsh to deal with sometimes.  It can easily slip into victimhood or martyrdom if not properly grounded.

Soon, several planets will move into the sign of Aries, however.  Mars will shift on the 11th; the Sun heralds the coming of Spring on the 20th; and Venus changes on the 21st.  Aries is a Fire Sign, and therefore symbolizes action, energy, and movement.  It is confident, a risk-taker, and a self-starter.  Of course confidence can become arrogance and Fire can burn, so Aries needs to be learn patience too.

My favorite thing about astrology is how it reminds us to look at the big picture.  Pisces becomes Aries, Winter becomes Spring, internal becomes external, feeling becomes action.  The Wheel spins, and we have the chance to put into action the new spiritual and emotional lessons we’ve learned.

Sometimes it’s difficult to sit still and be patient and wait.  But, to everything there is a season, and the Universe reminds us of that if we pay attention to its symbols.  Have you been thinking and pondering?  What have you been meditating on?  Are you soon ready for action, ready to make changes?


Gardening by the Moon

For centuries, we lived according to the seasons and the rhythms of nature.  We observed Mother Nature and established our patterns accordingly.  Along the way, we discovered that the Moon, ruler of water and fertility, had certain effects upon the fruits of the land.  And so Lunar Gardening became the way. 

Here are a few principles to follow if you want to plant according to the Moon:

  1. During the period from New Moon to Full Moon, plant annuals that produce above the ground.  During the period from Full Moon to New Moon, plant biennials, perennials, bulbs, and root plants.
  2. In general, planting when the Moon is in Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces (the water signs) is best. 
  3. For root crops, try planting when the moon is in one of the Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn).
  4. When the Moon is in Libra, plant flowers.
  5. Use the times when the Moon is in Gemini, Aquarius, or a Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) to do your weeding, plowing, or tilling.

Happy Planting!

Imbolc: Part I

February 2nd is the ancient holiday of Imbolc.  This celebration has survived in several forms, including Candlemas, St. Brigid’s Day, and Groundhog Day. 

In the symbolism of the Old Ways, the Winter Solstice represented the end of the reign of the Holly King (the dark half of the year) and the coming of the Oak King (the light half of the year).  Additionally, the Goddess has given birth to the infant Sun; light and longer days are on the way!  Moving along the Wheel of Life and approaching Spring, then, Imbolc represents the fertility of the Goddess.  She continues to raise the infant Sun, while also sustaining the new life within her. 

At Imbolc, not only are we heralding the coming Spring and the accompanying growth, but we are also assessing our resources.  Traditionally, this was the time when food and supplies were running low.  Having survived the worst of the winter, we look forward to the coming of the Vernal Equinox and new growth.

We can continue to honor the meaning of Imbolc today by taking stock of ourselves.  Much like our ancestors who had to see what stores remained in the pantry after a long winter, we can assess our own life.  What has gone bad and needs to be tossed out?  What do we have that is still viable?

Consider writing out a list of all that no longer serves you, whether it’s bad habits or fruitless projects.  On February 2nd, remember Imbolc and burn the list, letting go of the old and welcoming the new.  Get ready for your new growth!

St. Brighid

Brighid, Celtic Goddess of Fire

(The information here was taken from “Llewellyn’s 2013 Sabbats Almanac,” available at

Quartz Crystals

Long before Stonehenge, man has felt connected to the rocks and stones of the Earth.  Symbolically speaking, the very density and durability of rocks implies that they are dependable containers of energy.  Quartz crystals have been used in spiritual ceremonies by Native Americans, Egyptians, Celts, and Australian Aboriginals (among others) since ancient times.  There are even legends about the inhabitants of Atlantis using quartz crystals for the creation of their incredible civilization.

Buddhists consider quartz to be one of the seven precious substances.  Romans used it to reduce fevers.  And in the Scottish Highlands it was thought to heal kidney disease if worn on the back.

Rose quartz, the lovely white-pink crystal, is the one that most will be familiar with.  Citrine (yellow) and amethyst (purple) are two other common examples.  Rose quartz is often associated with gentleness and love, and is thought to bring peace and calm to relationships.  Astrologically, it is connected to the signs of Taurus and Libra.  Citrine is said to enhance mental focus and communication, and is therefore related to the sign of Gemini.  Amethyst is a stone of spirituality and meditation.  It was often used on the breastplate of the high priest in ancient times and is associated with the sign of Pisces.

In my own astrology chart, I have a grand trine of the earth signs, so maybe I’m more attracted to rocks than the average bear.  Or maybe I just think they are pretty.  Whatever the explanation, I’ve got both citrine and amethyst crystals in my writing corner.  Ahhhhh. . . . . .  🙂


quartz crystals

Examples of quartz crystals