New Moon in Gemini: When the Twilights Turn Long and Blue

--In certain latitudes there comes a span of time approaching and following the summer solstice, some weeks in all, when the twilights turn long and blue. --Joan Didion
 

As we approach the solstice, the astrological weather this month speaks to the new moon in Gemini, Venus just entering fiery Leo and an approaching Mars in Retrograde. Gemini has me remembering the late 90’s when I started working at an independent bookstore in a small, university town. My first few months in the bookstore were uncomfortable in that almost everyone that entered through the door had an inquiry—a question. Most generally these bookstore goers wanted to know about a certain book, or if we could find a book, or if we could recommend a book for a certain mood, or friend or cousin’s daughter. For some reason in these first few months I thought I needed to have all this knowledge stored away in my brain. I discovered that I felt shame when I didn’t know the answer to an inquiry. Why I felt shame for not knowing most likely had a logical set of reasons extending back into my upbringing and personal expectations. This job, did, however bring me face to face with this question of knowing. What do I know? What should I know? When can I admit that I don’t know? What is my relationship to not knowing? It was clear that I had over identified with being someone who knew and that knowing was something my ego took pride in. I set out facing this little pocket of shame by practicing, over and over again, how to look someone in the eye and say, I don’t know. 

In The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion speaks of how little she knew when it came down to grieving and dealing with life and death. We come to think that the pillars of truth we construct never evolve, never change. Gemini, helps us stay fluid with these substrates of knowledge so that we are able to move around when the time comes, to admit at any given time that we have MORE to learn, willing to see life more often as a teaching moment rather than a opportunity to parade what we already know. 

...you find yourself swimming in the color blue: the actual light is blue, and over the course of an hour or so this blue deepens, becomes more intense even as it darkens and fades, approximates finally the blue of the glass on a clear day at Chartres...

Gemini New Moon Journaling


On this long twilight night as we approach the magical beginning of summer, bring pen and paper outside with a glass of cold water, find a tree. Sit next to that tree. Think about these questions. 

1. Is it easy or difficult for you to admit when you don't know something?
2. Is there a place in your life right now where you can afford to live without the answer, to keep living the question so to speak?
3. What is your sincerest inquiry today? See that inquiry as a seed that you plant, track, and bring to fruition at the next full moon.
4. Is there a part of your personal story you are ready to write down, think about, tell someone? 
5. What are your sources of news and information? Are you happy with these sources? Do you need an information fast or a switch to a new source?  

New Moon + Uranus in Taurus: Let's Break this Down

It is the new moon in Taurus today and I have spent the last week trying to figure out what to write about. Today is extra special because Uranus is starting its first day in Taurus after having been away for 80 years! Many of my clients and friends already know about this. All you have to do is google Uranus in Taurus and you will get a wealth of information on this significant, astrological event.  I promised to deliver a message to your door every new moon this year and so I've been rushing to my computer only to stare at the screen unable to find words, feeling tired, wanting to sleep. When a planet reaches what astrologers call its critical point at 29 degrees (which is where Uranus was yesterday and today), right before it changes over to another sign (in this case from Aries to Taurus) you actually MAY feel it. Think about it, Uranus is going from 8 years in FIRE to a new relationship with EARTH. I have had to laugh, like I kept backfiring, trying to fire back up and then just falling sleep.  The only thing I wanted to talk to you about was whether or not you were feeling it too? 
 
One thing to remember with this new and significant event is that it has just started. It is exciting in a new way, however it has 8 years to reveal itself. We will be talking about it for a while. What seems important right now is how to bear its initiation. Fire and Earth are so different. Aries, initiating, Taurus, stabilizing.
 
Taurus, the sign of the bull, ruled by Venus and an earth sign, who watches over my money, my resources and what I value is in a brand new relationship with Uranus, the planet of CHANGE. So we might say that Uranus wants to bring change and revitalize things that Taurus tends to care about:
 
My Money
My Resources
Food and Food Sources
Women and Women’s Bodies
Women and the Beauty Industry
Women in General
Farming
Animal Husbandry
Restaurants
Shelter
Gardening
Marriage
Romance
The Beauty Industry
Banks
Value Systems (Money Systems)
The Meaning of Security
Creative Expression
Trends in Beauty
Quantity over Quality
 
And why might these two have some trouble getting used to each other?  Well think about it. Does Taurus change easily? Its very nature is one of reliability and stability. Think about this in relationship to our money systems, housing trends, food and shelter. With Uranus in a feminine sign now that is ruled by Venus I think we will see a major change in standards of beauty and women’s bodies. We already see this from high school girls calling out dress codes for being sexist or Kristen Stewart taking off her high heels at the Canne Film Festival to rebel against a rule that prohibits women from wearing flat shoes.
 
So, on this day of the New Moon in Taurus and the first blush of Uranus in Taurus, how do you want to play? Given what Taurus represents, where do you want your change to come? Would you rather be in control of that change rather than shocked into it? What is your current relationship to your resources, your money, and your value system? Do you know where your food comes from? Do you grow a garden or take part in a CSA? Are you willing to expand your view of beauty? Do you ever let the role of security dictate your chance at risk taking or adventure?
 
 Taurus New Moon Journaling:  

  1. What is your relationship to money?
  2. Are you willing to unravel your current definition of beauty?  What is beautiful to you?
  3. Where can you step out of your comfort zone?
  4. What is your relationship to sharing? Bartering?
  5. Does your relationship to security and stability further your happiness or hinder it?  

Aries New Moon: My Aries Story

Rarely do I divulge much of my Natal Chart or spend time in this newsletter delving into my own celestial thumbprint. Does it stand to reason that on the morning of an Aries New Moon (with Mercury in Aries turning direct) that I feel compelled to write about something personal? I would like to tell you a story about my own relationship to Aries. I have Saturn, the North Node AND Chiron in Aries holding court in my 7th House. For many of my clients, who use their charts regularly you have an inkling of what this might mean. Let’s break it down in keywords.
 
Aries: bold, individualistic, self-reliant, confrontational, self-driven even selfish, fiery, unafraid of anger, able to fulfill their wants and desires.   

Seventh House: relationship-oriented, harmonious, acting for the two rather than the one, selfless, balanced, fair.  
 
What should I do about the wild and the tame? The wild heart that wants to be free, and the tame heart that wants to come home. I want to be held. I don't want you to come too close. I want you to scoop me up and bring me home at nights. I don't want to tell you where I am. I want to keep a place among the rocks where no one can find me. I want to be with you.  --Jeanette Winterson
 
If there is a place in my life where I have fought countless battles it is on the battleground of relationships. I would say I have failed, many, many times. There has been carnage, but there has been great learning, even evolution. I have continued to ask my close relationships to show me how to deal with anger (oftentimes in unfair ways). Anger and Aries (the god of war) have been so buried in my shadow that I didn’t know how to work with such fiery and seemingly uncontrollable emotions. I remember it was this emotion that my father could show us, although now as he’s grown older he has been able to show more compassion and nuanced emotion. I think it might be fiery anger that I equated with so-called masculinity as Aries has been traditionally called a masculine sign. I grew up in a world where I was taught to reject seemingly confrontational traits, ironically the traits that dance all over my 7th House. I didn’t learn how to stand up for myself by using confrontation and directness. I didn’t know that it was an honorable right, to stand up for myself. I didn’t learn how to use anger in the right ways. I didn’t know that anger could be the very thing that keeps us within our rights and boundaries. Believe me I do know the destructive qualities of anger and that many of us are angry at many things, the world, politics, and government. Right now I am talking about how to use anger in the right ways. How do we use anger in ways that help us take right action? And how do we deal with the contradictions that show up in our lives, and reflected in our charts?
 
I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life. I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish… You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger. --Simone de Beauvoir
 
When is anger working for us? What do we fear? What do we cower from? When do we recognize that we must fight for our right to be human? How much have we let shame direct our choices because we didn’t know our rights? When have we stood up for another person at a high cost to ourselves?  When is it time to take action? What is right action? Do we abuse anger?
 
I suspected, as I’ve lived this part of my chart that there was something for me in the way of living with contradiction. My own pull to relate was at odds with my desire to be free. I wanted to keep all my relationships harmonious and yet was driven to stand up for myself even if it ruffled the proverbial feathers. Anger, or even simple confrontation was difficult. In this contradiction though I recognized the special tension these traits created and demanded of me. I have not fully learned how to dance this contradiction but know that this IS the stuff of life. As Rilke says I must take [my} practiced powers and stretch them out until they span the chasm between two contradictions...
 
As once the winged energy of delight
carried you over childhood's dark abysses,
now beyond your own life build the great
arch of unimagined bridges...


New Moon Journaling
 
In Aries mode find a time for a moment of solitude. Practice the breath of fire for a few moments. Light a candle and practice Trataka (the art of staring at a single point, in this case a flame, for the benefit of inner seeing).  Let breath and pointed seeing allow the fire to spread through your body juicing up places in your body that haven’t been seen lately, or noticed. Let the heat work on you. Open your journal to lined, squared, un-lined, blank pages or pull out a blank canvass. Write or paint with the prompts below: 
 

  1. Where is Mars in your chart, or Aries? How does this help you understand your relationship to anger, or your relationship to desire or getting what you want?
  2. What is your relationship to anger?
  3. What do you fear and how can you speak your truth?
  4. What do you recognize as your rights as a human on the planet? Do you defend yourself when those rights are violated?
  5. What kinds of obstacles get in the way of you showing the world your authenticity?
  6. Is there a situation where you need to confront rather than cower?

New Moon in Pisces: A Wrinkle in Time

The New Moon rolls around this month in transcendent Pisces with some resonating influence from Jupiter in Scorpio. We will all be tempted to dissect the unknowable, define the ineffable, plunge into our day dreams for answers and to visit our night dreams for questions. Are you thinking about your dreams this very morning? I’ve been thinking about other forms of dreams and imagination as I recently re-read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle in preparation for the film.  I read this book when I was young and remember thinking that it was so weirdly wonderful—perfectly, unexplainable. In the book the main character, Meg essentially took a long ride through the universe to re-discover herself. Her father and mother had developed a way to tesser or transport themselves through time and space.
 

Tessering, so Pisces in my book, has me thinking about our modes of transcendence as we pursue things larger than ourselves. What does it mean to transcend or to feel a transcendent moment? How does this differ from escape? When are we escaping and when are we consciously retreating? What are we addicted to? When are we using Piscean things for true pleasure or to escape from pain? Pisces rules many mediums that can be used for pleasure or for pain: music, film, dance, drugs, alcohol, dreams, retreats, yoga, soul, past lives, religion, poetry, ocean, silence, meditation, creativity. How do we come to soulfully take part in dancing with the universe without withdrawing from reality? When is it important to withdraw from real life, to retreat for refill? 
 
..she was moving in glory among the stars, and for a moment she, too, felt that the words Darkness and Light had no meaning, and only this melody was real.

Pisces New Moon Writing Exercises: This month please don't get bogged down in the minutia. Stay with the big picture, the tumbling, endless, universal connection to the big picture. Lay down a spiritual picnic this evening, with talismans down on altars: Rose quartz, jade, selenium. Take a graphed notebook, and charcoal and spell out your goals for this month. Try and see if these writing prompts help you. 

1. Write about something in your daily life that you use as an escape. Nights with Netflix?  Retreats to your bedroom? Write about how you can transform an escape into a retreat? What would a daily ritual retreat look like? Silent time, mediation. a walk, reading at night etc. 
2. Write about something you continue to dream about.  What does this day or night dream want to say to you? What are you not listening to?
3. Write about a character in a film you relate to. Why? What does the projection of that character tell you about yourself? 

New Moon in Aquarius: The Shock of the New

First of all I would be remiss not to send all of you a Valentine's greeting on this national day of love. Wishing you all a vase of flowers, dark sea-salty-chocolate, and warm steamy water. 

Recently I started working with a Structural Integration bodyworker.  I’ve committed to work that focuses on realigning the body's center of gravity. If my body, metaphorically speaking, was in Picasso’s blue period, it is now well into the Cubist phase. This new fascia movement and energy manipulation have me seeing the landscape of the body differently--experiencing new thoughts, feeling and emotions. Being in an avant garde phase with my body has me thinking about all of you. What is new for you? What is shockingly new for you?

 
New needs need new techniques, Jackson Pollock said.  But how do we get there when our universe is full of ruts, confines and habits? How do we get to seeing the bucket of paint as the catalyst for a new kind of beauty?
 
As I work with my own center of gravity I think of the catalyst that set Marcel Proust on the road to writing Swann’s Way:
 
Many years had elapsed during which nothing of Combray, save what was comprised in the theatre and the drama of my going to bed there, had any existence for me when one day in winter, on my return home, my mother, seeing that I was cold, offered me some tea, a thing I did not ordinarily take. I declined at first, and then, for no particular reason, changed my mind. She sent for one of those squat, plump little cakes called “petites madeleines,” which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. And soon, mechanically, dispirited after a dreary day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake.
 
No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusorythis new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, contingent, mortal.

 
New Moon Contemplations: 

Around this new moon I challenge you to wake up at an hour you do not normally wake. Perhaps just one hour earlier than normal. Brew a cup of stimulating tea or rich coffee. Look around you. Ask for new eyes. See if this time might offer you an insight that you couldn’t find in the bright light of day.  Take out your journal and consider these themes and questions:
 
Where have I become complacent? What is holding me back from seeing with new eyes? What area of my life do I need a healthy dose of innovation and experimentation? Which area of my life do I feel alienated? Why? What shocks me, and why? What feelings do I have at this unexpected hour of the morning?

 
Write about a time when you felt on fire with new life, innovation, experimentation and excitement. 

So, for me I tried to bring some innovation to my website. I have a new offering I am calling the Astro Poem.  You can order an astro poem based on your current transiting chart. These make great gifts. You can order one that can be sent to you via text, email or snail mail. Check our more details here: http://www.sharizollinger.com/custom-astrology-poetry/

New Moon in Capricorn: Dedication and Devotion

Drawn to yet an older headstone, I note the word Devouement carved diagonally on the border. I ask Alain what it means.
                                    --Devotion, he answers, smiling

I have returned part-time to the book world, taking a position at our local bookstore. My hybrid interests have me dividing my time between the penned and the planetary. Patti Smith’s new book Devotion came into the bookstore recently and I immediately bought it and read it in an evening. Implicit in the book is the question of why she writes. Patti Smith in my mind, a committed writer soars beyond the literary into the realm of devoted artist. In astrological terms there is a conversation building around devotiondedication and commitment. If the seeds of our labors have held a measure of integrity we may start to see our efforts gain steam and pay off. Conversely, if we’ve sown seeds of non-integrity we may be experiencing a little proverbial bite in the ass or finding ourselves taking responsibility for shoddy life choices.
 
It is time to consider our paths of devotion. We are now looking to the long haul, the messy business of living day to day toward a goal, the building of ground and roots, and the forming of bonds that matter. Where do you want to devote your time? What can you let go? What has become superfluous? If you only had a certain bandwidth, where would you make cuts, and where would you focus? Think of Capricorn as the proverbial crucible, burning off impurities to bring our intentions to firm ground. Shadow side of Capricorn tends to reveal where we feel stuck. Where we have overcommitted.  Where we feel trapped and what feels sluggish in our bodies and minds. 

Consider this New Moon Mantra: Find a quiet space, pull out your journal, take to your back porch, garden, hallway, chaise lounge (bring the sexiest pen you own). Brew a cup of grounding tea. Shake out the burrs of obligation. Let them fall to the ground as food for the earth. They are not needed by you anymore. Choose solitude for an hour and meditate on the following statements and questions: 

I am committed to ____________ even when it feels difficult. This measure of devotion requires this set of tools __________________.  What is my relationship to time? How do I recognize success? Which commitments am I ready to let go? Do I know the difference between commitment and obligation? Which obligation am I ready send down the road?

Jupiter in Scorpio: Intimacy Intensified

We are a day away from Jupiter ending its yearlong journey in Libra and moving into Scorpio for its commensurate yearlong stay. Collectively we’ve been in relationship territory, taking on more than one type of collaboration. Pushing off from Libra, we now move into the deeper part of relationships, intimacy. Jupiter, the great amplifier of the Zodiac will be expanding Scorpio's favorite subject in varying aspects of our lives. When we achieve intimacy with someone or something we are asking to understand, empathize and know more deeply. What lies at the heart of intimacy is risk, and at the heart of risk, vulnerability. Brené Brown, a noted vulnerability expert has this to say: 
 
To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. But, I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude and grace.  –Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Jeannette Winterson in The Passion said, you play, you win, you play, you lose. You play. It’s the playing that’s irresistible. Dicing from one year to the next with the things you love, what you risk reveals what you value

When we dare intimacy we may come up against our own blocks and fears. It may not always be easy, may be painful, but it will expose our courage. This might be the time to ask for help, seek counseling, ask for support, allow the stickier elements of our fear an exit into the light. This time period gives us a chance to finally tell someone how we really feel, to find the pure joy in something or with someone, even to risk showing someone how much love we actually have to give even if they can't meet us there. 

When we consult our astrological charts we can ask this question:  Where would a deeper sense of intimacy benefit me this year? Which area of my life? Which house or houses will Jupiter be transiting during its yearlong stay? 

Many of you know your charts and how to figure this out. Look to see where Jupiter is transiting by house and then consult below to see what that house represents. If you don't know how to find out where Jupiter is transiting in your chart please email me. I can tell you. If you would like a personalized one page written letter ( $30 ) on how this aspect is working in your chart please click here: http://www.sharizollinger.com/services-2/   
 
Jupiter in Scorpio by House
 
1st House: Self, Identity, Self-Evolution
2nd House: My Money, Resources. Values
3rd House: Communication, Domestic Travel, Siblings, Neighbors, Learning
4th House: Home, Roots, Ancestry, Personal Life
5th House: Creativity, Children, Play, Recreation
6th House: Work, Health
7th House: Relationships, Bosses, Best Friends
8th House: Other Peoples Resources, Investments, Mysticism, Life, Death and Rebirth
9th House: Foreign Travel, Higher Learning/Education
10th House: Life Calling, Career, Public Life
11th House: Ideals, Goals, Community Involvement, Groups
12th House: Spirituality, The Subconscious, Dreams, Soul 

The Great American Eclipse: A Survival Guide

Can you imagine what it must have felt like for the ancients when the sun, giver of life, went dark when it wasn’t supposed to? In traditional astrology eclipses have generally symbolized omens and have been known to portend impending doom. As we have now evolved through the age of enlightenment we know so much more about how eclipses actually happen but are still fascinated, especially when they happen in our own backyard. It's quite extraordinary, America is gearing up to focus on something NOT political, which in my book sounds like a reprieve! 

As I have been contemplating this eclipse and reading up on all the material the aspect that resonates most for me is this: Eclipses, metaphorically can be seen as small rocket blasters propelling us forward in the direction we want to go. If we KNOW which direction we want to go we can use this energy to get a leg or two of the journey under our feet. If we don’t we may find ourselves moving toward meltdown. We get to have some control over where we want to shine, whom we want to shine with, IF we want to shine, and for what purpose. Getting clear pre-eclipse is the key. It occurred to me that WHERE we see the eclipse is just one part of the experience. How we use the eclipse can be the other part of that equation--using the propelling energy to secure a direction or intention.
 
Eclipses come in pairs so today we usher in the lunar eclipse in Aquarius and of course see its partner in crime, the total solar eclipse in Leo on August 21st. I like to see this set of eclipses as the Wizard of Oz and Dorothy, respectively. We may start this month hidden behind the curtain, observing, taking the long game but come August 21st and for some months beyond, we are set to go full Dorothy, making friends, locating the proverbial yellow brick road, picking up what we need along the way and blowing off to Kansas because that is where we want to be! Okay, so Kansas may not be where we all want to be but you get the picture right? Click those heels, and set the course. Where do you want to go?
 
If you have any Leo or Aquarius in your chart chances are you are feeling this eclipse more acutely. Look at your chart and see if you can see any planets in the sign of Leo or Aquarius? Are you a Sun, Leo? Moon in Leo? Venus in Leo like me? Let me know if I can help you interpret. An entire session on how to use this eclipse to chart your direction is very appropriate. 
 
The Great American Eclipse Survival Guide:

  1. Get your cool eclipse glasses, of course.
  2. Keep the sunscreen around, both literally and figuratively. You may find yourself exposed both by sun and by experience.  
  3. Cool Down! Keep an abundance of ice around both for the heat AND for your personal temper-ature gage. These next few months could get pretty hot under the collar. Have an exit plan of you feel you’re going to blow.
  4. Check your ego in at the door unless it has some really fun and creative (inclusive) play plans.
  5. Embody what you know. Be proud of what you’ve done to earn a level of authority on a subject. Acknowledge that part of yourself.
  6. Eat popsicles.
  7. Drink especially delicious beverages.
  8. Play!
  9. Create! Let go of creative projects that are going nowhere and start something new.
  10. Get a brand new hairstyle.
  11. Go to the theatre. 
  12. Acknowledge the things in your life you are most proud of. If this list includes people, tell them.
  13. Find a swing set and swing your heart out.
  14. If you find that you are not getting enough sun, find a way to get more. If you are in a place where there is too much sun, lie like a lizard in the shade.
  15. This is a time of uber impulsiveness and the a sparky time to  ignite new businesses and projects. Instead of spreading yourself thin, hone your energy for the projects you are most passionate about. 
  16. Focus.
  17. Play music.
  18. Play the fool.
  19. Laugh.
  20. Let the world see your special, one-of-a-kind self. 

Manifesto: Marina Abramovic and the Final Months of Saturn in Sagittarius

I have just returned from a trip to the West Coast, and spent most of my driving hours, to and from Los Angeles, listening to Marina Abramovic’s memoir Walk Through Walls. In this case listening to the book on Audible was a good choice as I got to listen to her read her memoir in her deep, rich Yugoslavian accent. It read like a meditation. Abramovic is a Yugoslavian-born performance artist who came of age in the 80’s and 90’s, Europe. She is most famous for her 3-month long-duration performance at the MoMa in New York City called, The Artist is Present.
 
Many folks know her and have been following her artistic path and even using what she has termed her Abramovic Method that includes a deliberate mix of art, magic, spirituality and body/mind control/restraint.
 
As we enter the final phase of Saturn in Sagittarius (December 20th, final day), it seems fitting to ask poignant questions. Abramovic, a Sagittarius who was born on November 30th, 1946 had one of her first authentic existential moments while reading a book of letters between Rainer Maria Rilke, Boris Pasternak and Marina Tsvetayeva entitled Letters Summer 1926. Synchronistically, it was Rilke, also a Sagittarius who said this:
 
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
 
This book of letters seemed to induct Abramovic not only into the realm of artist but also, into the realm of seeker. She found in these artists perhaps the right questions, authentic question, authentic curiosity and the desire to go looking for answers.   
 
What is your set of right questions? What do you seek?  Are you willing to wait for the answers? Do you find yourself excepting answers that don’t make sense only because the real answers have not yet arrived? What would be, if you could have some time to think, your new set of questions?
 
As Marina evolved (in that one word I skip ahead so profoundly that its feels obscene) she lived with the questions and lived her life intensely, rightly, wrongly, awkwardly, painfully, joyfully, tragically, violently, magically. She was wounded and healed, wounded and healed, wounded and then healed over and over again.
 
She evolved enough to look at her life and pen a manifesto that referenced the beloved silence that Rilke spoke of. I think her manifesto, although written to artists transcends that word to include all seekers. She put down rules that included not stealing another’s art or falling in love with another artist. She stressed the importance of solitude and  to be away (even if for just a minute) from home, studio, family and friends. To listen to silence.

She says this:
 
An artist should stay for long periods of time at waterfalls.
An artist should stay for long periods of time at exploding volcanoes.
An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at fast-running rivers.
An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at the horizon where the ocean and sky meet.
An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at the stars in the night sky. 
 
What would your manifesto be if you could spend the time making one?
 
When I returned from the city back to the desert, a rainstorm welcomed me. I recognized in that rainstorm one part of my own manifesto: to try and see what was directly in front of me with presence and what Abramovic would call, tenderness. To see what was in front of me without romance or projection. See it. Feel it. Taste it. Even, to ask it questions. 
 
So I met the rain with tenderness and saw it for what it was. 
It took a long time to come here.
Hours, days and years of standing where I didn’t belong.

The Moon as Embedded Desire

Quietly while you were asleep
The moon and I were talking...

With the new moon today in Gemini I feel inspired to share more about our relationship to the moon and to our respective natal moon signs. Some of us with moon-heavy charts can relate to being emotionally sensitive, history-obsessed and intensely nostalgic. Each one of us HAS a moon placement in our natal birth charts and each one of us has a moon sign that can reveal among other things what makes us feel secure and emotionally met. 

The moon in classic archetypal astrology is interpreted in simple terms as the symbol of our emotional landscape. Our natal moon sign is literally an informational map that helps us understand our personal emotional nuance. In the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairly tale, the Princess and the Pea we learn from the story that the true princess is revealed because she could feel and identify the reason she couldn’t sleep the night through. This meant she was sensitive enough to feel a pea hidden down below layers of mattresses. Of course fairly tales can have many interpretations but I see our emotional wellspring as that of the pea, hidden and embedded. To reveal what makes us authentic and able to rest well and sleep we need to name the thing/things that cause us unrest (insecurity), or rather name the things/things that GIVE us rest (security).

We all have a history full of reasons we don’t feel secure or can't seem to get our emotional needs met. Understanding our natal moon sign can help us find markers and information along the way. What might your moon sign reveal about what makes you feel secure/insecure? What might your moon sign reveal about what set of needs you have or value? What special moon-coat do you wear that makes you a different emotional creature than your partner, lover, friend, mother, father, sibling, and employer? What would it mean to know yourself a little better, emotionally so that you can help your friends and family interpret the unique emotional language you speak?

I will never forget the day I received a  full astrological reading and my astrologer told me that my moon was in Gemini. She said the moon represented my emotional landscape, and Gemini was the communicator of the Zodiac. You have a deep desire to communicate your feelings or to talk them out, she said. I was quite struck by this, as I do NEED to talk to make sense of my emotions (as many of my friends and family will attest). But not everyone does NEED to talk. Another person may have the need to spend time alone, or to dance it out, write it out, pound it out, sleep it out…
 
I encourage you to run and get your chart! Where is your moon? What sign is it in? What house is it in? An Aries Moon might begin a search for the proverbial pea through the word, self-sufficiency. A Taurus Moon might start with the word security itself and how that word changes over time and the role it plays in decision-making. A Gemini Moonwill have to contend with all things communication and Cancer Moon won’t leave the conversation until she fully understands what it means to nurture and be nurtured. Leo Moon’s will have to ponder when and where to release their bright light without feeling under or overexposed and Virgo Moons pound the pavement looking for recipients who honor their drive to work and serve. Libra Moon's are great collaborators and take the mediation role seriously, whereas Scorpio Moon's measure the universe by its layers of truth and intensity. The Sagittarius Moon will be confronted with what they know to be true and how they might actively defend that knowing. Capricorn Moon's will have to undress their deep-seated desire to control and when controlling is apropos and when it is not. The Aquarius Moon will always feel an impulse to do things differently from the masses, and this will sometimes be the key to success or at other times lead to a feeling of being outside the tribe. Finally the Pisces Moon will encounter sensitivity itself and how to work with this kind of sensitivity as a path to deepening the soul.

Venus RX: Owning our Too-Muchness

Perhaps all our loves are merely hints and symbols; vagabond-language scrawled on gate-posts and paving-stones along the weary road that others have tramped before us; perhaps you and I are types and this sadness which sometimes falls between us springs from disappointment in our search, each straining through and beyond the other, snatching a glimpse now and then of the shadow which turns the corner always a pace or two ahead of us.

Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
 
Have you been waxing nostalgic over the last couple of weeks? Have you discovered something profoundly new about yourself? Has anyone from your past arrived unexpectedly on your doorstep?
 
Welcome to the current 40-day Venus Retrograde that started on March 4th and ends April 15th.  Venus, the planet of love and relationships is making her descent into the underworld for 40 days to connect with dark goddesses like Hecate, Lilith, Persephone and Kali.

Kali in particular has gotten my attention.  

In the past I have deliberately pushed her out of my mind, unable to bear her gaze. I have paid a price for this ignorance in my relationships, deliberately disowning the shadow I'd cast. Kali is typically shown with her red tongue out dancing with her right foot on Shiva’s chest.  Her visage has typically made me uncomfortable. Yet, when I’ve looked back over my relationships I've seen STRONG Scorpio themes (hence Kali themes) as she is typically associated with Scorpio and Pluto. Look to your charts to see if you have any prevalent Scorpio or Pluto!  I can see that I have had my share of relationship carnage and am finally coming to understand what it means to find and own this shadow. 
 
How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also If I am to be whole.

--
C.G. Jung

Some of my clients have been asking questions around intensity and relationships. When we find that we are too intense for the world we turn that intensity upon ourselves. We punish ourselves for having too much passion, too much darkness, too much love, too much curiosity. We feel shame for being too earnest. Kali is the goddess of the TOO MUCH.
 
I asked too much of you. I knew it all along. Really. Only God can give you that sort of love. 
 
--Sebastian Flyte: Brideshead Revisited.
 
We all know when we’ve had this reflected back to us. We all know what its like when we are rejected, judged, and asked to relax.  Kali teaches us how to own our intensity. This IS NOT an easy task.  She teaches us how to bear the darkness and how to transmute our deepest fears into genuine pearls of light. She helps us BEAR our intensity. The more we honor the representative of shadow the more we own the destruction we create around us. She helps us recognize our hunger and to see hunger as human and to feel no shame for it. She is not going to make it easy for us, or stroke our heads and whisper endearments. Conversely she is the loyal bad ass who approves of our righteous rage. She tells us to stand up and fight for ourselves, to love unabashedly, fully and rightly. She asks us to be less afraid of the dark.

I encourage you to contemplate this kind of strength during Venus Retrograde. What would it feel like to radically approve of yourself? What does it mean to own your shadow? Where have you gotten in trouble in relationships because you haven't owned parts of yourself? 

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
 
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
 
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
 
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
 
--Love After Love by Derek Walcott

New Moon in Aquarius: Seeing With New Eyes

I am writing this missive on the morning of the New Moon in Aquarius with a feeling that we’ve awoken to a different world than we had a month ago. These days I've had to pull myself away from a stream of media delivering their various shocks and surprises. Admittedly, I've even noticed the shock of the news providing a strange, perverse kind of entertainment. There is indeed a great deal of Aquarius in the air, hence a whole lot of Uranus (who rules Aquarius) spinning a sense of chaos, upheaval, and surprise.
 
The Aquarius archetype speaks of the unususal and comprises words like original, experimental, left field, inventive, ahead of the times, modern, state-of-the-art, trend-setting, pioneering, progressive, Bohemian, groundbreaking, trailblazing, revolutionary, unfamiliar, unorthodox, unconventional, offbeat, way-out and yes, shocking. 
 
Today, I am drawn to think of those who have exhibited true trend-setting lives and have led us from our old ways of thinking into the new--mavericks who went ahead, thought ahead, dared to offer images or inspirations that liberated us from the status quo.

In 1917 (100 years ago this year), socialite and salon-maven, Mable Dodge Luhan left New York City and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico ultimately settling in Taos. In her 40-year stay she invited the world to her table, the likes of C.G. Jung, D.H. Lawerence, Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams, Willa Cather and Aldous Huxley. In her search for a brave new world, she moved to a place where she said, we have to go in order to create again. We have to see with new eyes. In her memoir, Edge of Taos Desert, Dodge remembered her sojourn in New Mexico as a turning point in her life. I wanted a vacation. I got it. My life broke in two right then, and I entered into the second half, a new world that replaced all the ways that I had known with others, more strange and terrible and sweet then any I had ever been able to imagine.
 
It feels like right now we are being forced to see with new eyes. What we do with that knowledge is up to us. Today, Mars goes into its home sign of Aries as well so we may see more action rather than less. What do you want to do with your new eyes? What does it mean for our lives to break open? In the midst of upheaval, how are we taking care of the circumfrence of our personal lives, our homes, our friends, family, our bodies and our relationships? How do we keep looking and seeing while enacting change and solidarity with those we see similarly? What are we NOT seeing. 

I ask you all today to pull away from the media of shock and awe and as true Aquarians, establish a small purchase of distance, maybe even a birds-eye view so you will know what to do, how to act, when to act if you see something you wish to change or reaffirm. I ask you to bolster faith in your own intuition and faith in your own personal sight.  

Radical Kindness

I hope this letter finds you well and enjoying the array of your traditions throughout this holiday season. If you are where there is snow I wish you warm beverages and slow burning fires, and if you are where it is warm I wish you iced drinks with delicious fruits.
 
As Mercury currently retrogrades through Capricorn it skirts the opposing archetype/sign of Cancer and has me thinking about radical kindness.
 
Radical kindness is the social reciprocity theory that basically states that we treat others as we are treated. But what is kindess? Is it being nice? No, I would say that niceness is without the gorgeous boundary-nutrition of Capricorn and may look like the sacrifice of self for others to be happy. Radical kindness attempts to fold the self back into the equation paying equal attention to self and other. In this way radical acts of kindness are abundantly possible. Strong-boundaried Capricorn helps us understand where our borders lie while soft, empathy-rich Cancer delivers wonderful and meaningful gifts of love.
 
The Dalai Lama (a beautiful Cancerian) says it this way: This is my simple religion. NO need for temples NO need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kidness. 

Can we forgive when we never thought we would, ourselves or others? Do we have that one extra ounce of energy to help another because we have taken care of our own needs? When we whisper I love you to a loved one do we offer the same sentiment to ourselves in return? Where can we offer radical acceptance in a way that changes the course of our lives and disrupts age-old ways of doing things. In a world where virtual likes are our dopamine, what does true friendliness look like? Are we as interested in a smile to our friend who is in front of us as the smile emoji coming in from our screen? What is it like to be human with human needs in a world where the virtual reality seems safer? Where can we feel the simple love of human contact in our everyday lives? 
 
I found a list of kindness-clues online (web-words of Jeff Haden): 

We are: 
 
Generous with praise
Generous with patience
Generous with privacy
Generous with opportunities
Generous with the truth
Generous with love
Generous with independence
Generous with respect

Dear loved ones. As I travel through this holiday season I will be looking for a view of my own humanity in its simplest forms and trying my hand at kindness in a whole new way. I hope this for you too.

Eris: Soul Warrior and Fierce Goddess

I went to Los Angeles last month to attend the ISAR Astrology Conference. As always while in L.A. I breathed in the palm air and fell in love with the light. A friend had me eating small baguettes at Proof Bakery in Atwater Village and I finally got to see the Rain Room at LACMA.
 
While at the conference I learned about the 10th planet Eris discovered in 2005 (dear friends of the Moab Zodiac Salon this information will be very familiar to you so please excuse the repetition). Named after the Greek goddess of chaos and discord, Eris takes 556 years to orbit the Sun and is currently in the sign of Aries and has been since the 1920’s.  
.
Eris’ Mythic Story
 
The story goes that Eris was NOT invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. Feeling miffed she tossed a golden apple into the wedding party with the inscription for the most beautiful one. The goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite all laid claim to the apple and the title. They insisted that Zeus choose the one most deserving and Zeus quickly passed the responsibility to Paris, prince of Troy. Paris chose Aphrodite (because she promised him Helen of Troy) and so began the Trojan War.
 
The Causes of Eris

  • Soul Warrior
  • When fierce is warranted
  • Abiding discord when there is survival at stake
  • No holds barred fight for existence
  • Exhibiting the power of action and choice
  • How to stay in ones power, especially as a woman
  • Sister of Ares (God of War)
  • Female struggle for survival
  • Soul level commitment
  • Empowerment
  • Disempowerment
  • Right rage; when anger is warranted
  • Taking action when necessary
  • Knowing when to take a side
  • Standing up for yourself and others
  • Commanding your space rather than defending it
  • When mediation is and isn’t warranted

New Moon in Libra: Value, Self Love and Soul Return

This morning on threshold of the new moon in  Libra I had a friend remind me of how it felt to return to oneself, to forgive oneself, and to feel the that rush of self-love light up the heart. Hearing her words I felt a wave of light and love for all of us when we achieve a momentarily feeling of deep rightness.
 
This experience reminded me of a chapter in Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ Women Who Run With Wolves entitled Homing: Returning to Oneself.
 
Estes tells the mythic story of the Seal Maiden or Selkie who, being both seal and woman would dance with her sisters in human form at night on the rocky crags at waters edge, laying down their sealskins, like suede coats.  One night while she danced a lonely hunter stole her skin and asked her to stay with him for 7 years which she did even when she told him that she could not be a wife, for I am of the other, the ones who live temeqvanek, beneath. But she agrees to stay and slowly dries out, loses her luster and eyesight. She has a child with the man, and it is the child who finds her skin, gives it back to her and offers her a path back to the sea, back to her skin, back to her rightness.
 
We lose the soulskin by becoming too involved with ego, by being too exacting, perfectionist, or unnecessarily martyred, or driven by a blind ambition or by being dissatisfied—about self, family, community, culture, world—and not saying or doing anything about it, or by pretending we are an unending source for others, or by not doing all we can to help ourselves. Oh there are as many ways to lose the soulskin as there are women in the world. 
 
The only way to hold on to this essential souslkin is to retain an exquisitely pristine consciousness about its value and uses. 
 
VALUE OUR RESOURCES
 
We so often underestimate how valuable our time actually is. Who are we giving our time to? What are we giving our time to? The world is lonely for comfort…and we want to respond. We want to support and love and help. And yet, what is this support costing us? This Libra new moon asks us to recalibrate. Nurture equilibrium. Support others AND ourselves in ways that show us that we honor and respect our time and our brand of love. This Libra new moon also asks us to dare the act of self-forgiveness for all the times we have stayed too long in places that don’t support, nurture and enrich our lives.
 
It is not exactly the rightness of a person or thing or its wrongness that causes the theft of our soulskins, it is the COST of these thing to us. It is what it costs us in time, energy, observation, attention, hovering, prompting, instructing, teaching, training. These motions of the psyche are like cash withdrawals form the psychic savings account. 
 
ON this Libra new moon I challenge you to take a look at your psychic bank account. Do you have a savings? Are you overdrawn? Are you living check to check. Are you in debt?
 
If we find ourselves at the depleted end of this spectrum I challenge you this month to start making deposits. There are thousands of ways to do this and you will know what this looks like to you but may include: Nutritious alone time, saying no to someone or something, finally working on a creative project, gym time, writing time, time with friends that support and love us, powering off our phones for the evening, making time to cook a nutritious meal, letting our children know that we need time to ourselves to refuel, taking a walk, a hike, making room for love, making love, meditation and play.
 
This new moon intention may work in tandem with next months new moon in Scorpio.  What we intend today will have a chance to deepen and take root next month. Scorpio likes to take things in, deepen and integrate.  
 

 
 
The Journey
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
thou the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you ahd to do
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
thought their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voice behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and
deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life that you could
save. 

Goethe's Final Words, More Light: Jupiter In Libra

 

This morning Jupiter changes signs after having spent a full year in the sign of Virgo. I keep imagining Jupiter, after a long hermitage in heady Virgo saying that it is time to lighten up.

Jupiter the great expander seeks to enhance Libra and what Libra rules: beauty, relationships, values, balance, symmetry, support and love. We will want to check our charts for planetary points in Libra for specific information about how Jupiter in Libra will work for us individually. 

This foray into Libra will have us cruising a Dionysian playground. Life is good is the motto. We will drink well, live well, spend well. Luxury is a Libra staple. Venus (Ruler of Libra) wants to make love to beauty in all its forms.

Getting lost in surface beauty is not all Libra, however. In the words of miss Emily D: there's a certain slant of light.

Libra-light propels us toward balance and symmetry. Light becomes the metaphor. To bend toward the light is to bend toward something real. Chris Stevens from the early 90's T.V. show Northern Exposure said it this way: 

Goethe's final words: "More light." Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime, that's been our unifying cry: "More light." Sunlight. Torchlight. Candlight. Neon. Incandescent. Lights that banish the darkness from our caves, to illuminate our roads, the insides of our refrigerators. Big floods for the night games at Soldier's field. Little tiny flashlight for those books we read under the covers when we're supposed to be asleep. Light is more than watts and footcandles. Light is metaphor. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom Lead Thou me on! The night is dark, and I am far from home- Lead Thou me on! Arise, shine, for thy light has come. Light is knowledge. Light is life. Light is light.

Questions for you: In what way's can you create more light in your life? What lights you up? Who lights you up? Where are you thinking too darkly? If you could lighten up in some area of your life that would prove nutritious for you what would it be? Where are you lighting the way for others? Who lights the way for you? 

Words Were Her Redemption: Virgo New Moon and Eclipse

I have been knee-deep in the past trolling for people and images to dust off, make fresh, and polish for my contemporary readers. We are working with potent Virgo energy today with the new moon, solar eclipse in Virgo. Two famous Virgo’s appeared as poster children for this month’s newsletter, H.D. and D.H. Doolittle/Lawrence respectively.

Hilda Doolittle: Imagist poet and bi-sexual beauty with a chart full of Mercury (ruling planet of Virgo). D.H. Lawrence: Wordsmith, author extraordinaire-Virgo who once said, we need not feel ashamed of flirting with the zodiac. The zodiac is well worth flirting with. I have fallen in love with both of these words-lovers at different periods in my life.

Mercury through a Virgo lens has me thinking about a recent campfire conversation I had with lovely Virgo friend and word-weaver, Allisa Cherry. Her relationship to words seem to both save and frustrate her. She searches continually for a perfect communion and once she’s done it, perfected the sentence until it is exactly as she feels she wonders how in the hell she’ll ever do it again. How could it be that perfect again? The brave thing to do here is also the medicine-message of Virgo/Mercury: LET THE WORDS COME AND GO. They deliver the message, drop it at our door, and will return when we are meant to commune again. There is no end to the curiosity. No end to the courting. What message must we deliver? What message are we meant to hear? How can we use the medicine that is words to save ourselves this month? How can we relieve ourselves of agonizing perfection for the pure neutrality of the message? 
 
On a lighter note: Virgo also has us researching, puttering about the house, canning beets, sorting socks, mending fences, delivering food to friends, reading by candlelight, brewing kombucha, fermenting, fomenting, organizing apps, and serving up delicious dinners.  

The Mysteries Remain
 
The mysteries remain,
I keep the same
cycle of seed-time
and of sun and rain;
Demeter in the grass,
I multiply,
renew and bless
Bacchus in the vine;
I hold the law,
I keep the mysteries true,
the first of these
to name the living, dead;
I am the wine and bread.
I keep the law,
I hold the mysteries true,
I am the vine,
the branches, you
and you.


--H.D.

The French Trio: Mars on the Move

I recently fell in love with this story and was excited to share it with you. In the late summer of 1938 three young, French nationals, Genevieve and Bernard de Colmont and Antoine de Seynes arrived in the U.S. to take their kayaks down the Green and Colorado Rivers (a feat that had never been done before). This French Trio brought with them state-of-the-art kayaks, cameras, camping gear and because they didn't trust American water--all the beer they could muster. This was no small feat as they would have to row down 900 miles of sometimes very rough water.  Last night I attended a screening of the documentary film (Voyagers Without Trace)  about this extra ordinary story at the John Wesley Powell Museum in Green River, Utah. What inspires a trio living in Paris, France to not only think up an idea, but prepare, dream, prepare, dream and then to actually make it happen?

This newsletter comes to you fresh off a new moon in Leo, and with Mars now at zero degrees Sagittarius barely out of its long foray and retrograde in Scorpio. Okay, I am just going to say it. Have any of you been eddying out the last few months? I mean seriously eddying out, feeling like you're  going downstream only to find yourself caught in a swirl that literally sends you back up the river only to catch a rapid down stream thinking that NOW youre moving only to, yes, catch the current back up making progress frustratingly annoying? Yep, me too. Now with Mars FINALLY on its way and moving we can gain some momentum.
 
What are your tools? It is time to make up for lost ground. What’s your proverbial kayak, camera, sleeping bag? Be prepared this month to find yourself in bigger water than you're used to but consider this a good thing,
 
My own thoughts go to Geneieve de Colmont who turned 22 years old on this adventure. A strong woman, fearless, rowing her own boat and not a passenger in her own life. And, once she put in there was literally no where to go but downstream. Prepare, point the boat down river, and dear friends let yourself go. 

New Moon in Cancer: The Search for Belonging

When the famous artist Georgia O’Keeffe set out once and for all to live out West in the Northern New Mexican desert the impulse had something to do with belonging. When I got to New Mexico, she says that was mine. As soon as I saw it that was my country. I’d never seen anything like it before, but it fitted to me exactly. It’s something that’s in the air, it’s different. The sky is different, the wind is different. I shouldn’t say too much about it because other people may be interested and I don’t want them interested.
 
Today the new moon in Cancer speaks quietly yet directly about our definition of belonging and what it is that fits us exactly. What does belonging mean to you? What are you held by? Do you require a certain landscape, tree, desert, ocean or mountain to feel at home? Do you feel belonging with your friends or in the intimate center of the family you’ve created. Do you belong to a certain set of memories, those that you can return to over and over for comfort? Do you belong to a book, the one book that seems to tell your story like no other? What brings you comfort?

O’Keeffe went to New Mexico for the first time under the advice of infamous socialite Mable Dodge Luhan who had established an artist colony in Taos. For O'Keeffe who had spent many summers at Lake George in  New York the New Mexican desert was a welcome contrast to all the dripping greenery.  She found belonging in wide open spaces that offered nutritious austerity. 
 
The poet David Whyte says, there is no house like the house of belonging.
 
On this Cancer new moon I ask you inquire about what you indeed belong to. And, in turn, what you do not belong to. Sometimes we hang on far too long in spaces where we did not inherently belong. It may surprise you how easily it is to let go when we view it from this perspective. 

Solstice Greetings: Gift from the Sea

I was in the Moonflower natural food store in Moab, Utah last week and walked by the free bin and found that it was quite full that day. In the bin was a used copy of Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift form the Sea. I reached for the book without hesitation and took it home for a refresher on its contents, as I hadn’t read it in years. The book begins this way:
 
The beach is not the place to work; to read, write or think. I should have remembered that from other years. Too warm, too damp too soft for any real mental discipline or sharp flights of spirit. One never learns. Hopefully, one carries down the faded straw bag, lumpy with books, clean paper, long over-due unanswered letters, freshly sharpened pencils lists and good intentions. The books remain unread, the pencils break their points, and the pads rest smooth and unblemished as the cloudless sky. No reading, no writing, no thoughts even—at least, not at first. 
 
The current Saturn/Neptune square continues to teach us the dance between dissolution and discipline. Dissolution has us going to the proverbial beach in our minds, in our hearts, our souls. We long for transcendence, for relief. We long for the folding in of time and space. To not have to work that hard. For the thing to come on us like a wave. To live within a poem, to meditate all day, to listen to music all night, to just keep watching Netflix until we fall asleep and dream.
 
At first the tired body takes over completely. As on a shipboard, one descends into the deck-chair apathy. One is forced against one’s mind, against all tidy resolutions, back into the primeval rhythms of the seashore. Rollers on the beach, wind in the pines, the slow flapping of herons across sand dunes, drown out the hectic rhythms of city and suburb, time tables and schedules. One falls under their spell, relaxes, stretches out prone. One becomes, in fact, like the element on which one lies, flattened by the sea; bare, open empty as he beach, erased by today’s tides of all yesterday’s scribblings. 
 
In the back of our minds there is the reality of Saturn: our backbone and tool box. But we know we cannot push, prod or MAKE things happen. Saturn tells us to lie in wait for the right timing and then to proceed. 
 
And then, some morning in the second week, the mind wakes , comes to life again. Not in a city sense—no –but beach –wise. It begins to drift, to play, to turn over in gentle careless rolls like those lazy waves on the beach. One never knows what chance treasure these easy unconscious rollers may toss up, on the smooth white sand of the conscious mind; what perfectly rounded stone, what rare shell from the ocean floor. Perhaps a channeled whelk, a moon shell, or even an argonaut. 
 
But it must not be sought for or—heaven forbid—dug for. No, no dredging of the sea bottom here. That would defeat one’s purpose. The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach, waiting for a gift from the sea. 

ne should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach, waiting for a gift from the sea. And perhaps the discipline is in the waiting, listening, and recognizing the treasures that lie at our feet, that were actually there all along. What are the treasure at your feet that you've taken for granted? 

On this second Sag Full Moon Solstice I ask you to play with the magical seashore where our dreams meet reality, where our longing for escape meets our desire for success. How will we manage both of these impulses? How will we harness this tension into something fortifying and nutritious? 

I am thinking of all of you today. Wondering what you're doing, thinking, dreaming. What special moments are you sharing with your family and loved ones. What intentions are yours. What thoughts are you thinking in your most quiet moments. I can only hope that part of your day today brings a smile of kind gratefulness for the treasures that have been yours all along.