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Elizabeth Michaud

“Aha!” Moments

The Aquarius New Moon is today, February 4th, at 4:04 p.m. EST; setting the emotional tone for the lunar month ahead. And this one is feeling energized, charged with excitability and initiative. Aquarius is the sign of the individual, and during this waxing cycle we’re challenged to act boldly with the knowledge of who that uniquely REAL person is beneath all the layers of our social identity.

We shape our lives to fill certain expectations– some defined by our own choices from the past, and others imposed upon us from external sources like family, job, and community. At this time of the year, as the Sun transits Aquarius, we are called to honor the idea of self, and to touch base with the core direction of our lives. The past is part of us, but does not dictate our future. And sometimes the life we’ve built needs to be revived, realigned with that inner spark of who we truly are, freed from the prior behaviors that have defined our outer personality.

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A January sunset over the marsh in Salisbury, MA

Mercury represents the functions of the mind to perceive, process, and communicate. As it weaves through the zodiac, it generates insight– and sometimes we allow that information in, sometimes we don’t. No one has a completely open mind. Humans are naturally biased by our own systems of belief, and we tend to resist new ideas if they don’t easily fit in with our concepts. Mercury in Aquarius forms 60 degree angles with Mars and Uranus this week, signaling surprises or instability in the realm of news, ideas, and information. New knowledge may offer us the ability to break free in some way, or at least serve to get our brains stimulated with intriguing thoughts.

But as always, the effort comes from within. Mental interest, in and of itself, will not be enough to create meaningful change in our patterns, or advancement in our plans. Mars, the Warrior planet, is moving to a conjunction with Uranus in Aries, an aspect that will be enhanced by the Moon’s passage over both planets ahead of their union. We can expect increased levels of emotional urgency from February 9-13, which means that we need to have a constructive outlet for that heat. This is a positive time to implement a new solo project– something that challenges you or piques your curiosity. Otherwise the physical body can feel restless, nervous, and prone to erratic flares of power. Be aware of that so you can funnel that power into something that will benefit you, rather than attracting accidents and fights.

Waning Crescent Moon and Venus in Sagittarius Jan 31, 2019

Venus and the Waning Crescent Moon over my backyard

The atmosphere diverges quite a bit as we get closer to the culmination of the waxing cycle– the Virgo Supermoon on February 19th. The Sun moves into water sign Pisces just ahead of the Mercury/Neptune conjunction in the same sign. This is a lot of Pisces energy, soothing and sensitizing our intellect. Receptivity and understanding will become somewhat easier right before the Moon reaches full phase, helping us to reconnect with anyone we may have felt alienated from during Aquarius season.

But the danger will be softening too much and reversing progress that has been made. Unconditional love is a gift of this influx of Pisces, but the danger is escapism or martyrdom.  A Venus/Saturn conjunction in Capricorn on the same day means that we need to maintain these autonomous values that we’ve cultivated, rather than sacrificing them completely in the name of love. The Aquarius New Moon begins a cycle of mastering love of self, because it’s only then that we can really love others with a free and honest heart, no strings attached.

The Affirmation of 2019

We begin the first lunar cycle of 2019 with the New Moon in Capricorn on Saturday night at 8:28 EST, signaling a sort of “new foot forward” feeling in the atmosphere. This is an opportune moment to reconnect with those resolutions that seemed foolish or a waste of time on New Year’s Eve, when the Moon was in darkness, ending its waning cycle. Trying to set new intentions during the waning phase is a challenge because the lunar light is fading. But after the New Moon, when the Moon has been renewed in the dynamic energy of the Sun in Capricorn—our intentions are infused with a sense of mission and commitment to ourselves, geared to prove discipline and competence.

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Today’s Sun (and Moon, invisible in the light) rising over Salisbury Beach.

There’s a growing need to improve on our feeling of accomplishment.  That’s the key this new year, and this new lunar phase. To strengthen where we think we may be underachieving or failing, and to apply patience and maturity in dealing with something that we think is hard. As the Waxing Crescent Moon moves into the First Quarter Moon, the Sun and Mercury meet up with power-hungry Pluto, raising serious concerns about security, which can confuse us into thinking material satisfaction will comfort our fears.

Be aware of Capricorn’s shadow area of being Scrooge-like and callous. In order for our ambitions to be sustainable in this atmosphere, we need to pay some attention to what would genuinely be worthwhile, rather than cutting corners to make things easy in the short-term. This blueprint for 2019 needs to address any weak points, so that we can look forward into our future with more realism and empowerment. Capricorn is the adult of the zodiac, and it’s calling us to grow up and take the reins.

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Just before dawn.

Venus is about to join Jupiter in Sagittarius, increasing the high-spirited and impulsive energy in the environment. These planets are hopeful, passionate about life, and prone to risk-taking, which makes this result-oriented Capricorn pressure a little more volatile. Clearly there’s a tension here, as these clashing forces of Capricorn realism and Sagittarius optimism fuel our experiences. Going too far out on a limb for what we want can be a danger here, clouding the line between external, materialistic gratification and authentic feelings of self-assurance and worth.

But that doesn’t mean to harden to the daily grind either, where all we focus on is our own strategy and mission. We have a long winter ahead, and all of 2019 stretched before us. The message in this astrology is self-respect fueled by self-love, in the hope that we can build a year to be proud of.

To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places– and there are so many– where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.

Howard Zinn

Taking Flight

Mercury completes its retrograde phase today, on the eve of the Sagittarius New Moon (exact Friday morning at 2:20), lending an added sense of forward motion to this Sagittarius-ruled astrology. This waxing lunar cycle is bound to be full of enthusiasm and self-expression, leading us toward the end-of-year festivities with renewed vigor and vision for the new beginnings ahead.


Mercury in Scorpio this morning over Salisbury Beach, ahead of the Sagittarius Sun.

New Moons symbolize new beginnings. A new seed is planted in our consciousness (the Sun), and fertilized by our soul (the Moon)– and as the Balsamic Moon joins the Sun in her monthly cycle, we are moved to nurture that seed, trying to bring it into fruition. And no sign is as hopeful as Sagittarius! We are intuitively drawn to dream, however unrealistically, about what could fill our tomorrow. The positive side of that, of course, is simply being in a good mood. Optimism is a great catalyst: it lessens pettiness and invites generosity, which can create a ripple effect outwards as people are cheered up by the energy.

But part of having a lot of hope is dealing with a lot of disappointment. Sagittarius is not the most pragmatic or realistic sign, and Jupiter (ruling planet of Sagittarius) is in here with the Sun and Moon, too, exaggerating the hearty, adventurous, passionate environment.

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Storm waves of confusion and emotion are flooding this New Moon from water sign Pisces, where Mars and Neptune are fused together. The imagination is a rich outlet now, making this is an amazing time for creative, meditative, or spiritual activity, and just having fun with other people. But our longing nature is a powerful force, casting a spell over perspective. Be careful of headstrong, impulsive responses. Or spaced out, disconnected action. While constructive daydreaming is useful in helping us imagine solutions and improvements, we can be in danger of thoroughly overdoing anything that soothes our appetite, or distracts our minds.

And this feeling continues to grow as Mercury picks up speed in forward motion and returns to Sagittarius again on December 12th, heading toward another meeting with Jupiter on the last day of this waxing lunar phase, December 21st. Mercury is used to working with logic and facts, but in Sagittarius, Mercury must deal with intuitive knowledge and gut instincts. As we approach the Winter Solstice, listen to your inner dialogue more closely. Something has crystallized and grown rigid in our lives, trapping us in a limited form. This Sagittarius New Moon asks you to think about what restricts you from being open and free.

A little business news:


One of the things I often hear from clients about my natal chart and transit/progression readings is that they’re meaningful and poignant in getting a grasp of the bigger picture, a sense of the greater purpose of their lives, but it can be challenging to integrate all of that information into an everyday form of guidance. And from an astrological perspective, it’s difficult for me to pinpoint the smaller details affecting the natal chart when I’m explaining such a large scope of time. The passing influences, which may have a huge impact on what your day or week FEELS like to you, gets lost in the broader scheme when I’m describing an entire year or two of your evolutionary journey.

So… in order to bring astrology into a more primal, visceral role in your life, I’m implementing this new membership service for $35 per month (no contract, no cancellation fees). Each member will receive a personal transit reading covering the planetary aspects from one New Moon to the next, following the lunar cycle through waxing and waning phases. This is an incredible way to learn about the craft of astrology, while also supporting your alignment with the natural rhythms of the Moon.

The monthly reading will be digitally recorded and emailed to your inbox on the eve of the New Moon. Each reading will be approximately 30-45 minutes in length, and will be accompanied by a monthly members-only coupon for significant savings on products, full readings, and special events.

The first monthly readings will be delivered on the eve of the Capricorn New Moon, January 4th. Start 2019 off right– with some guidance from the universe! I’ll need your birth information (date, town or city of birth, and as close to the exact time as possible) in order to work with your natal chart. Email me at roottoriseremedies@gmail.com with any questions, or  sign up for Moonrise Horoscope here!

Know Better

I did then what I knew how to do.

Now that I know better, I do better.

-Maya Angelou

I’m writing this blog post at 3 p.m. on the day of the 2018 Midterm Elections in the United States, without knowing the outcome of this volatile political season. I wanted to write this first, to try to unpack the changes in the cosmic scenery during this Scorpio New Moon (exact at 11:02 a.m. on Wednesday, November 7), without trying to integrate that astrology with the headlines that will start rolling in after polls close tonight.

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Old Town Hill, Newbury, MA

The message is clear; we need to restore our vitality, to practice a higher standard of care for ourselves and our neighbors. The world is depleted, and this planetary shift signals a need for spiritual healing and repairing our ideals. Let’s look at some important themes in the sky, focusing on 4 big aspects that will be affecting us immediately.

  • Jupiter enters Sagittarius on November 9
  • Uranus retrograde re-enters Aries on November 6
  • Nodes of the Moon shift signs on November 15
  • Venus stations direct; Mercury stations retrograde on November 16

Jupiter’s entry into Sagittarius fires up the heat in our expansive side– bringing with it the potential for renewed enthusiasm and the expression of pent-up energy, like the wild horse finally being let out of confinement to run free. While Jupiter transited the deep waters of Scorpio (since October 2017), the penetrating and scrutinizing nature of Scorpio has been blown up by Jupiter’s enhancing effect, creating a mood of suspicion, with complex emotional motivations coming to the surface in extreme ways. It was necessary for us to purge secrets hidden in our unconscious– heavy, serious stuff we didn’t want to deal with before. And Scorpio gave us the depth to deal. Now we’ll begin to feel a need to stretch, to move beyond what we’ve been wrestling with for so long, to let the brightness of Sagittarius warm the shadowy areas we’ve been prodding through.

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Old Town Hill, Newbury, MA

Jupiter is the planetary ruler of Sagittarius– so this is a strong energy to harness in your own life. Dreaming up your future, traveling, learning from foreign people, moving beyond what is familiar, experiencing the extraordinary, breaking from routine… all of these are under the Jupiter/Sagittarius umbrella. Where is your soul desperate to say ‘yes’, desperate to break free from emotional restraints and old patterns of fear? This is where Jupiter can help instill faith, optimism, and the unflinching belief that life is worth living.

Astrological Disclaimer: Jupiter in Sagittarius is full of hot air!

Of course, it’s always important to remember the shadow side of Sagittarius: FOOLISHNESS and HASTE. Jupiter in Sagittarius is hungry for knowledge and understanding, meaning that we are all going to want to feel more sure of ourselves. In human terms, that means we get more swept up in our own opinions and philosophies, and less willing to listen to the perceptions of others, especially if their views contradict our own. This will be especially true while Mercury is retrograde later this month in Sagittarius (more on that later), but take any grand plans with a grain of salt– get advice from trustworthy, rational sources and use this energy to refuel your imagination and inspiration, rather than taking unnecessary risks and wasting valuable effort. Explore and engage, but don’t bet the house.

Moving on to the next planetary transition: Uranus retrogrades back into Aries for the next 4 months, turning direct again in January and eventually completing an almost 8-year transit of Aries in March 2019. The slow-moving planets are subtle in their overall emotional impact, but shockingly emblematic of historical phases that we experience on earth. During its cycle in Aries since 2011, Uranus has brought fierce independence, radical breaks from suppression, unexpected reactivity, nationalism, and explosive violence to the forefront of consciousness.


November Trees

We have a final push of this energy through the upcoming winter, and an opportunity to make significant changes based on the trauma we’ve endured. Aries is the warrior, symbolized by the ram. Be brave, not aggressive. Wherever you were feeling your courage weaken, reclaim it and defend your right to be different from how you were before. Change is here. Live it in your own life.

And now we add in some self-care reminders. The North and South Node of the Moon are points in the sky that reflect karmic lessons we are here to learn. In our natal chart, the Nodes represent our own karmic story, and the details of the symbols weave together to point to your soul’s purpose– a blueprint towards greater self-awareness, and a tool for achieving a sense of fulfillment. But in the ever-changing sky above, the Nodes of the Moon change signs every 18 months, and we’re about to experience one of these shifts in the astrological landscape. On the First Quarter Moon next Thursday, November 15, the South Node will move into Capricorn, and the North Node will move into Cancer.

We need to take better care of ourselves. Cancer is the sign of the Great Mother, and the North Node shines a guiding light toward what we seek for healing. Our hearts and families, our earth and our spirits need some nurturing. It’s exhausting to continue on, alone, stoic, and hardened to the callous anger we’ve endured for so long. The South Node is beating the gong that’s already been ringing from Saturn and Pluto in this reality-based earth sign, Capricorn. All the garbage of Capricorn is coming up for reconciliation– patriarchy, greed, pollution, sexism, abuse of power, institutional corruption– but in order to rip up the roots, we need to tend a new garden. Build with care, and nourish yourself and your body. It’s time to stop proving our toughness, and instead be proud of our ability to care for our own needs.

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Old Town Hill, Newbury, MA

And how’s this for a double whammy? Venus ends its 40-day retrograde cycle on Friday morning, November 16, at 5:50 a.m. EST. And later that day, at 8:33 p.m., Mercury stations retrograde for the following 3 weeks, until December 6. It’s like they’re handing off batons in some bizarre planetary relay race. This Mercury retrograde is a wild one because it’s also out of bounds, an astrological condition that means that it’s out of the normal path of the planets– it has reached a point in latitude out in space that is out of the Sun’s reach.

Mercury is retrograde, out of bounds, in the extroverted sign Sagittarius, and in a square with Neptune, god of the ocean. We’re not on solid ground during this phase, which is strongest from November 9 – 22. It’s intuitively ingenious, artistically creative, and unexpectedly fun. But confusion and wishful thinking is fogging up the atmosphere. Venus retrograde has really re-oriented our values in relationship issues. Things are tender here, where we’ve dealt with some self-scrutiny and the dissection of close personal bonds and attitudes. Now we’re getting a Mercury-induced mental storm of “what if’s” and “could be’s” that can get us so far off track that we end the year way behind where we wanted to be.

My advice is to think extravagantly and act humbly. We deserve to go into the holiday season with a cheery heart, but this astrology can get us so worked up and over-extended that we forget where our priorities are.

Bravado is a danger, as Jupiter excites us with possibility and exaggerates our reach. Impatience is high with Jupiter and Mercury (retrograde and out of bounds) in Sagittarius. Uranus is back in the sign of the warrior, stirring up self-righteous defenses. Jupiter, Uranus, and Mercury are all in fire signs, creating a self-expressive vibe in the  population. It can be hard to reel it all back in once this energy is released– this is a charged scene, where firecrackers will likely be easy to light.

At a fundamental karmic level, we all need to care for our own sensitivity, which we may likely be denying. The chronic need to be “tough enough” has run its course. Fierce action will distort our intentions, making us come across to others as misguided or unhinged. The noble path right now is toward self-care, softness, and sensitivity, which will guide us to a better way of being and doing. Re-invent your vision of your future, and take care of the inner harsh critics that need to lighten up their mood.

Get imaginative and restore your hope.

Know, and do, better.

Interested in an astrology reading? Read more here!




The Healing Power of Humility

Humans have survived many major crises throughout history. In an effort not to over-dramatize the times we’re living in, I want to remind us all of the resiliency of the human spirit. It’s easy, right now, to feed off the disgust, despair, and blame circulating in the atmosphere. But we need to recognize that truth, accountability, and decency do matter– and it’s up to us to live in our strength, not in our hatred.

The Sun is in earth sign Virgo, and Mercury just joined it here this week. Mercury is the ruling planet of Virgo, so the planet is especially strong here– meaning that words, thoughts, and perceptions are sharp. Information is flying quickly because Mercury, the fastest planet in the zodiac, is moving at top speed again. It will pass through the entire sign of Virgo in just over two weeks, signalling a rapid-fire process of verbal and mental exchange. This Virgo energy is naturally inclined to improvement and clarity– the energy strives for an ideal of perfection, while getting down to work in the physical reality. We are sorting through the mess and identifying the flaws. The shadow area here is that fault-finding and debilitating self-criticism can overwhelm the nervous system, closing us in to a box of fear and anxiety where we don’t feel strong enough to help, don’t feel competent, and don’t feel like there’s hope that things will get better.DSC03352 (2)

Two larger aspects occur over the next two weeks, during this waxing lunar cycle as we go from Sunday’s New Moon in Virgo to the next Full Moon on September 24th. Jupiter forms a sextile (a 60 degree angle) with Pluto on the 12th, and Mars makes its final of three squares to Uranus on the 18th. The volcanic eruptions seem to be detonating everywhere, in small personal ways and in the larger picture. We have a choice in this astrology: we can run away, returning to the same ways we have dealt with challenge in the past OR we can run toward the problem, resolving to admit what we’re afraid of and to ask for help. Pride and jealousy are major forces churning up activity. To fight against that wave, we need to look to the high road of Virgo– in a word, HUMILITY.

We are more capable than we think we are. Count on that. I found a great article about humility in The New York Times, written in 2013 by Tony Schwartz. In it, he discusses the mistake we make when we confuse ‘humility’ with ‘humiliation’. Schwartz writes, “But genuine humility is a reflection of neither weakness nor insecurity. Instead, it implies a respectful appreciation of the strengths of others, a lack of personal pretension and a more relaxed sense of confidence that doesn’t require external recognition. In a complex world that so plainly and painfully defies answers, humility is also an antidote to overconfidence. It gives leaders permission to accept and acknowledge their limitations, to learn from them and continue to grow and evolve… I don’t need to say out loud that I value confidence and strength. I do need to demonstrate that I also value humility and vulnerability– to embrace these opposites. In the end, the less time we spend protecting our own value, the more time we can spend creating value in the world.”

The more that we can drop old pretenses of false strength, the more we can work to improve our lives.  The opportunity offered here is to radically shift from old patterns of self-defense which may be blocking our way forward. We can actually help each other by asking for help ourselves.


Plug into the Power Source

Webster’s Dictionary defines the word ‘depleted’ as “lessened markedly in quantity, content, power, or value.” The pressure of 2018 is dynamic, but it’s also exhausting– and the energy is wearing all of us down. Saturn and Jupiter are serious influences operating in the background, churning up damaged goods from our past and forcing us to take responsibility for what the outer shape of our lives looks like. And then Mars retrograde has us battling within ourselves, struggling with desires, defenses, and attachments that keep us trapped in something we’ve outgrown. There’s a lot to prove to ourselves this year, and that lends a certain heaviness to the atmosphere.

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We all need a break! This week’s Leo New Moon (exact on Saturday morning at 5:58) is a moment of celebration– a reminder of the generosity of spirit that resides in the human heart. Leo embodies the energy of the sun– the heat-giving, life-affirming, magnanimous archetype that shines its light simply because it feels good to do so. Leo is known as the sign of the performer because when someone performs, they risk vulnerability in order to share themselves with an audience. Whenever I talk about Leo during an astrology reading, I relate it to the stand-up comedian who may seem nervous and awkward as they first take the stage. This isn’t egomania or self-absorption– it’s a calling to give their creativity to others, to make the contents of their mind visible for the world to see. So when the comedian cracks the first joke and it’s received and appreciated, the entire room is uplifted– because we love to be entertained and we hold up the people who are willing to do it. DSC03188

The astrology of this new lunar cycle supports us as we recharge our batteries, inviting us to go after joy while the summer sun is still shining. Venus just moved into its home sign Libra, where it loves to be. Beautiful scenes and meaningful connections are pure gold to Libra, who seeks to release tension by finding harmony in relationships and aesthetic pleasure in its environment. Libra and Leo love each other because each sign facilitates enjoyment. And as the Moon joins the Sun in Leo over the weekend, we’re invited to be lifted up by fun, warmth, and laughter. Remind yourself of what you love, and embrace it. We can be bigger than the problems that plague us, especially when we are in it together.


Mercury is retrograde in Leo, and will make its second of three squares to Jupiter on this New Moon. If a blockage or issue presented itself in your life about a month ago, this weekend may allow a different perspective in, like seeds being planted in a mental garden. Mercury retrograde means that our internal dialogue is louder than normal– and we have the ability to hear creative, generous, vibrant Leo voices that we missed before. Taking the high road is supported by the sheer heat and positive spirit of this fiery nature. Leo the Lion is expansive and brave, and supports inner confidence, allowing us to overcome the minor annoyances that may have stood in our way.


As the New Moon begins to wax larger in the sky, it will move into Virgo and form an easy trine with Saturn and Uranus, all in earth signs. Next week is relatively quiet, with no major outer planet aspects. And then the Sun shifts into Virgo on August 23, immediately repeating this earth trine with Saturn and Uranus. This is an empowering energy, bringing with it a simple, sweet feeling of effectiveness. The gift of shifting from fire to earth signs is endurance and quality, reminding us that we are capable, competent, and worthy. Overall, this waxing lunar cycle brings a respite from the turmoil, and a time to renew ourselves in the fire of life so that we can feel our feet on solid ground.

Save Our Souls

Being sensitive is risky business these days. As human beings we simply want to feel good, but it’s difficult to do that in light of what is happening on the world stage. How do we restore happiness in the face of life’s darkness? Our basic human values of freedom and family are under attack by insidious forces and we can’t seem to agree who the enemy is. All that we know is that something out there is threatening what is precious to us.

The Sun and Moon meet in Cancer Thursday night at 10:48, marking the New Moon in the cardinal water sign. The term ‘cardinal’ refers to an initiative energy– cardinal signs are the signs of the zodiac that signal a change in seasons. Cancer is incredibly sensitive, seeking to protect and defend the inner privacy it needs to listen to its own feelings. Emotions are one of the most powerful inspirations to action, and Cancer is symbolic of the fiercely protective and endlessly nurturing energy of the Great Mother archetype. By taking care of what is innocent and weak, Cancer fuels its own desire to create a safe space. By taking care of what is in need, Cancer builds a secure nest to tend to. The United States was born under this sign (July 4th birthday), and our country has long been known as a defender of humanitarian rights.


Artwork by Juliane Harkjær

New Moons are a point in the lunar cycle that support setting intentions, planting metaphorical seeds that we nurture throughout the month. And no other New Moon is as safety-oriented as Cancer. Feeling vulnerable and introverted is natural here as we go inward to figure out what we need. As the Great Mother, Cancer provides us with depth of emotion and a strong sense of the bonds we care about.

But this New Moon is opposed by Pluto in Capricorn, reinforcing fears and overwhelming despair. Pluto represents all the toxic material that must come into the light of consciousness in order to be healed. Its long, slow passage of Capricorn since 2008 has been churning up all that is corrupt in our institutions, particularly government and corporate business. You don’t have to look too far to see examples of this abuse of power rearing its ugly head in our world, especially when it comes to women and families:  immigrant children locked in cages, breastfeeding denigrated by conservative politicians, and abortion rights being threatened by the potential new Supreme Court appointment. The Great Mother (Cancer) is being challenged by the dark face of Pluto, the unconscious greed, racism, and sexism of the patriarchy.

To be fair, the extreme conservative side of the aisle is also feeling this astrology. In their eyes, the dark face of Pluto is represented by other symbols: the increasing number of  minorities in our population, the growing power of the #MeToo movement, and the Mueller investigation. The preservation of the status quo is under threat in their eyes, so the instinctive reaction is to protect and conserve what is precious to them: their power. In order to do that, women and immigrants have to be controlled so that white men feel safe. Astrology reflects universal themes, and the one thing that we can all agree on is that there’s something dangerous “out there” threatening our way of life.

The remedy for fear is brave action. Mars represents how we become brave– and Mars is in the midst of a transformation. It is retrograde and “out of bounds”, meaning that it has reached a point in declination where it’s beyond the Sun’s reach. Mars is closer to the Earth than it has been in 60,000 years. These are powerful astronomical factors that reinforce these themes in our astrology:  we need to engage with what scares us in order to bring light to the darkness. That means standing up to bigotry and harassment, calling out bullies and cheaters. It’s easier to look the other way, to steer clear of trouble. But ask Germans what it felt like right before Hitler took power, and they will tell you they regret being passive. All it takes is indifference, apathy, and self-preservation, and we are on our way to oppression.


Mother and child confronting Scott Pruitt.

The heroes are within us, and they are ready to march. Think of the woman (with a baby on her arm!) who confronted EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, telling him he should be ashamed of himself for his environmental policies. That takes courage to do that publicly, face to face. The woman who climbed the base of the Statue of Liberty to bring attention to the immigration crisis, literally risking her own life to get into the headlines. The Arkansas mothers who were arrested on Capitol Hill for protesting family separation. All of them– heroes. And so are we, every time we refuse to sit back and look the other way. We need to do this now, in our own families and communities, and we need to continue doing it all the way to the voting booths in November.

We all embody the Great Mother at this New Moon, and instead of running from the darkness, we need to run toward it. If you feel fear in your life, this is the time to claim your power back. We only get braver by facing what scares us. And we’re getting an added boost of support this month as Venus moves into a trine with Saturn and Uranus. A trine is basically a triangle, and it represents an easy, stable flow of energy. This trine involves all three earth signs– Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Earth energy can build things in the material plane. Earth signs are pragmatic, realistic, and diligent; reinforcing our ability to get down to business, stand our ground, and make a tangible difference.Screenshot 2018-07-12 09.55.59

Simply stated, all we need to do is act and speak from our conscience. Stay engaged, stay supportive, and listen to our conscience. We need to save our children and our earth from the darkness that looms. Every small step we take in our microcosm of life affects the greater whole, even if it doesn’t seem to relate. Maybe it isn’t marching in a protest or calling a senator– maybe it’s a quiet action, like not laughing at the office clown telling racist jokes. Speaking up when the loudmouth bully trashes female politicians. Let’s prove that integrity can’t be suppressed. Just keep caring, and keep showing it.

Conscience is the voice of the soul.  (Polish proverb)

Up Close and Personal with Mars

There’s a lot going on in the sky these days, just like here on Earth. As above, so below, as the saying goes.

For starters, today is the start of a new lunar cycle, as the Moon meets up with the Gemini Sun in the zodiac. And this New Moon feels charged with activity, since we’re also on the brink of the summer solstice– when the Sun moves into the sensitive waters of Cancer, which occurs June 21st. This time of year is symbolic of a “high tide” sensation, where nature seems supportive and people are out and about. The gift of Cancer is the ability to get in touch with our own needs, tuning into how we can care for our sense of connection to our lives. Self-care and time for enjoyment are primal to summer because the Cancer Sun shines its light on our need for a healthy heart, to feed the inner child. We recharge through contact with others, renewing ourselves outdoors in the sun and fresh air.

The 2018 summer season will be colored by Mars retrograde, which is exact from June 26th through August 27th. Mars goes retrograde every two years, but this time it’s unique. While retrograde, Mars will also be in a condition called ‘out of bounds’, meaning that it has reached a point of latitude out in space where it is symbolically out of the reach of the Sun. In essence, it has gone into the wild, where it is unbound by constraint. And added to that is the fact that Mars will be as close to Earth as it has gotten in 60,000 years (except once in 2003). We will actually be able to see Mars rise in the east at sunset this summer, shining its red light in the night sky.

This is a supercharged Mars that will be impacting our lives for the next few months, as it retrogrades from Aquarius to Capricorn. And the fact that we can witness it with our eyes seems to heighten the power in the collective consciousness. Mars is the planet of self-assertion. It teaches us courage– and we can’t become braver without facing things that scare us. Stress, fear, apprehension, laziness, self-indulgence: all serve to hold us back, in stillness. Mars gives us the power to engage, to act, to initiate. But as it moves retrograde, the usual outward momentum of Mars is turned inward. It may feel frustrating, especially if we feel resistance against us as we enforce our will. But the purpose of the retrograde cycle is to become aware of what we’re defending ourselves from. Questioning our conditioning, what we define as ‘normal’, and how we express and defend our power is the healing work here.

Because Mars is conjoining the Moon’s South Node, the karmic past is coming up for healing. The shadow of Aquarius is detachment and intellectual superiority. We need to watch out for where we are just walking away, disengaging from social groups and friends. There can be good reason to withdraw with Mars retrograde– like redefining strategies for personal happiness and healing the shadow of guilt, shame, and anger. Stepping back to observe our instinctual reactions to intense emotions, impatience, and aggression is healthy. But doing it with apathy and judgment is the danger here, so be aware of behavioral patterns that are actually just outdated defense mechanisms. This summer is a powerful time of healing the inner warrior, freeing up space from past battles that may or may not have been fought.





When the Earth Shakes

People say that nothing shocks them anymore, but I doubt that’s true. Even the most adventurous and liberated among us have a fundamental need to feel grounded in their lives, with a tiny bit of understanding of what’s going on and what to expect from their daily routines. And then we have cycles of history like the one we’re currently experiencing, where the wild, bizarre, and often explosively violent waves keep crashing relentlessly against the shore of the collective culture. We are just so conditioned to live in this state of frantic stress that we’ve lost the ability to stop and stand still. And that, somehow, is eroding our sense of actual time and place. IMG_1349 (2)

The Sun is moving into the last stretch of Taurus territory, awaiting its monthly date with the Moon. The Taurus New Moon occurs at 7:48 on Tuesday morning, May 15th. This energy involves security and maintaining solid ground– all of those things that are seemingly so difficult to get a handle on these days. Getting in touch with financial and emotional self-worth issues are vital here because Taurus wants to feel comfortable, steady, and serene.  This New Moon is a powerful time to consider where inner confidence is lacking, which can sometimes be related to money and sex– as they reflect how worthy we feel of earning and maintaining what we desire. It’s a fresh cycle, a moment of intention where something can be born out of our intuitive function, planting new seeds that involve healing how good we feel about who we are and what we have.

But a larger cycle of change also begins on the Taurus New Moon; and that’s the shift of the planet Uranus. Uranus is far away from the Sun, which means that it moves slowly through the zodiac, taking about 7 years to transit one sign. Uranus represents the innovative and radical element of life that shakes up the status quo and forces humanity toward the next level of evolution. Uranus was discovered in 1781, and 60 years later Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla were born, who would invent electricity—the technological breakthrough that ushered in the Industrial Revolution. The entire world paradigm changed with electricity—and so did all the problems that global progress and technology brought with it. (Coincidentally, Frankenstein was also written during this era, in 1817– based on the idea of man’s technological invention becoming an out-of-control monster.)

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Uranus is the rebel of the zodiac, the Great Awakener, that shocks us out of our comfort zones. But it also liberates us from the conformity of just going along with tradition. There’s a genius streak that may be weird and volatile, but challenges us to liberate beyond the need to fit in with the normal way of doing things. It entered Aries back on March 11, 2011. That was the day that a massive earthquake hit Japan, causing a tsunami that destroyed the nuclear power plant Fukushima. During these past 7 years of its transit of Aries, we’ve seen both the high and low roads of expression of this astrology. Aries is the warrior energy—characterized by asserting the self, meeting obstacles head-on in a forceful and brave way. Conquering fear. But the shadow side of the courage is extreme anger and belligerent violence, where “might makes right.”

On May 15th, Uranus movies into security-oriented Taurus. The sign that needs calm, serenity, and peace. So we’re entering a new phase of innovation. It’s a time of rebellion against conforming—especially when it comes to our bodies, and redefining our reality in all that makes us safe and comfortable. It’s time to challenge the routine ways we care for our body and our self-worth. This is the beginning of a seven year revolution regarding how we feel sustained by the physical world around us and the skin we wear.

And on a larger scale, humanity will be forced into a new paradigm as far as the sustainability of the earth. Conservation efforts, corporate pollution, fracking, plastic in the ocean—all of these things must be faced, and hopefully we’ll see some of that “Uranian” ingenuity on larger scale. (Interesting that Kim Jung-Un and Trump are scheduled to meet just as Uranus is switching signs. I have a feeling it has more to do with personal wealth than world peace, though.) Whatever the case, we will not be able to continue on in the way we have been, because the planet Uranus always shakes us out of our former way of looking at things.