Evolutionary Astrologer & Life Coach

Venus (Love) & Saturn (Endings): A Story of Two Miracles

This is a story of two miracles.

Anger having cooled, outrage quiet, I woke to a fresh-faced January morning last year with a curious sense of peace. It might have been acceptance wed to sorrow after my father’s death. For a miracle moment, I understood that I had cursed enough, cried enough, railed at the gods enough. I felt a tug of curiosity about what might come next. There is no script for grief.

Later that day, I saw my friend Robert, a fellow Sagittarian, for acupuncture. We go back over 20 years and always had an easy camaraderie. He was married to Val, an outspoken Leo, for nearly 50 years; they met in Vietnam as 19-year-old marines. I’d always been closer to Robert than Val, and not just because I saw him more frequently. As long as I’d known her, she made me nervous: the permanent line between her brows, hands often clenched, the defensive swagger of a sailor. We’d socialized a few times but never gotten close. In reflection, she was my doppleganger, although I wore makeup and heels and she did not.

Robert had just been declared clean after a fierce bout of cancer with complications. “What are you going to do now?” I’d asked last November. “Well, I’ll probably semi-retire in about 4 years when I’m 70. I’ll spend more time at our place with Val.” A healthy few acres of land in Shasta County, it suited their respective rough-hued individualism.

It was just six days after my dad died that I called Robert to make an appointment. I asked him how he was, as friends do.

His reply came after a long pause. “Well, Val’s in the hospital. She just had a brain tumor removed.”

I stuttered to shocked silence, which Robert filled with calm explanation: “It started as uterine cancer and metastasized to the brain.”

“Is she terminal?” I blurted.

With a bitter bark of a laugh, he answered: “We’re all terminal.”

Val was sleeping in the other room when I arrived at his office. An hour later, off the table and dressed, I asked if I could see her.

“I think she’d probably like that,” said Robert.

The door to the other room opened and Val, a bit coltish on her feet, rose from a futon and into the main office. “Want to see my scar?” she asked with an impish grin. Without waiting for my answer, she turned to show me the ragged tattoo arcing across the right side of her skull, evidence that she had won this first round.

“Pretty impressive,” I commented gently. With balletic grace, she sat. “That’s as far as I can get.” “That’s pretty impressive, too,” I said.

For about ten minutes I sat with her. I felt as if I were in the presence of all that was holy and whole. Val, no longer defiant. Val, weaponry cast off, vulnerable. She was beautiful and I told her so. She nodded, eyes shining, not because it’s polite to take a compliment, but because it was true.

“I have people praying for me everywhere,” she said, delighted. “Doing ritual. People I haven’t even met.” She closed her eyes, tuning into a voice only she could hear. “I can feel the love.”

The words that I’d said to my dying dad I now said again to her: “Yes, it’s always about love. Love is all there is.” I basked in her aliveness, her wholeness, the holiness of the moment.

The ultimate truth and power of that simple sentence, which never grows stale, hung between us. Then she laughed. “Yes,” she said, glowing, “that’s all there is.”

What I saw in Val was what I’d also seen in my father’s dying eyes: the Universe issuing a playful invitation to live now, love now, be now. For whatever time she, or you, or I, have left, this message is the most powerful I have ever been privileged to receive.

Two miracles in two weeks. Life is good, and so is death.

Magic & Love in Winter (Neptune in Pisces & a Dash of Jupiter in Virgo)

Magic happens (Neptune in Pisces). It happens all the time, right under our noses. It is awkward and messy. It goes toe-to-toe with strategy, structure and details (Jupiter in Virgo).

Recently Magic and I had a chance encounter. It skated in on the rain, kissing windowpanes with unabandoned mischief. Magic teased me into the Westfield Mall, a towering holiday dollhouse of shops in San Francisco’s chic downtown.  Holiday shoppers swarmed, frantic with obligation and desire.  It swept me into the arms of my nieces, whom I love with fierce devotion.

Rebecca, the eldest, is as neat and tidy as the proverbial pin. She is a Scorpio, born on her mother’s birthday 20 years ago. In her own words, she is rational, balanced and psychologically intact. “Everyone comes to me with their problems,” she assured me. “It’s because I am the sanest person that I know.” Her pure essence is that of clean linen sheets, pressed into obedient folds and ready to put on a bed. Her gaze is steady and unwavering, as is her body.

Natalie, nearly 18, is chaotic and rebellious, outspoken curls pulled back so that they don’t offend. She is a Capricorn, but four planets in Aquarius add a twist of renegade.

Natalie and her mother have locked horns many times. Rebecca, a junior attending a prestigious college in Canada, was only occasionally contentious as a teenager. It never occurred to her to throw a temper tantrum. Natalie is famous for hers. “How are things with you and your mom?” I asked Natalie. Her reply: “Better. She pretty much lets me do what I want.”

“I heard that you got grounded for life.” “Which time?” she asked, lightly. “You were housesitting, had a party and left the place a mess.” It took her a minute to remember.  “Oh, yeah. That time.” “Pause. “I’ll sure never do that again.” This was not spoken with apology, but rather with a certain thoughtful wisdom.

When we parted ways, Magic followed me home, warming the damp underground train. It rained all day, gloriously and without apology. At dusk, a dozen carolers migrated down to our home, stopping to warble “A Partridge in a Pear Tree.” Magic and I careened down the 28 stairs to the street. I wore only fake Uggs and long silk underwear and clutched a bottle of champagne.

A woman with tangles of wavy hair and eyes like dark stars shining sang and laughed when I clumsily thrust the bottle at her. She took it without missing a note, as if she were expecting it. I sang off-key to the familiar refrain and then scrambled upstairs. I ran to an open window, howling off-key with joy. The woman waved the champagne at me as we finished the last bars of the song.

A minute later, she was not to be seen, nor were her fellow carolers. Magic had tucked them under an invisible wing. All was quiet, tucked in, well-behaved. A man and his two terriers briskly moved through the rain and then they, too, vanished.

Magic is always present, but we do not stop to acknowledge it. Yet it runs through us, like blood, like air, like the pulse of life. Love is the same. Magic and love are synonymous. They are forever lovers.

Now go out and cast a spell. Then just wait, be quite, quite still. The answer is sure to come in ways you may not expect. But come they will.

Love & mischief,

Joyce

The Language of Love: Saturn in Sagittarius

I visited Paris fresh out of high school, smitten by her unapologetic passion and confidence. All I could offer her was my clumsily accented French and youthful naivete. Her perfume lingers still, a faintly remembered pleasure.

How about if we just focus on the best outcome possible concerning what has recently gone down in Paris? What if we orient ourselves towards peace, love, understanding? I believe it to be possible. I believe that we can all join hearts, look at one another and accept that we are human and stand as one. Perhaps we can stop attacking one another, whether through physical violence or judgment. Perhaps we can come together in our mutual woundedness and reach a compromise. What if we are not enemies to one another, but rather brothers and sisters (and who has ever had a sibling with whom they didn’t argue?).

Maybe it’s just about a really good conversation-a peaceful one-where everyone gets to say what’s on their mind. I don’t condone the attacks, but I sense that there is a deeper reason-disconnect. If we disconnect from one another, we disconnect from that which our souls know to be true-from that which might be called god/dess. Let’s get together and discuss rather than debate. It’s all about love. All about love. There is nothing, nothing, nothing more than love, or more powerful or more healing. It is the life blood coursing through our veins, through the consciousness of our planet. I believe that there is a great teaching in this event that can lead us to higher ground-that which is more sacred and authentic.

In wild celebration of that which is possible,

Joyce

The Progressed Moon: Your Emotional Barometer

I’m a moody critter. So are you. Minute by minute, day by day, every single person on the planet goes through a myriad of emotions. If you wake up in a boo-hoo mood, there it is, plain and simple. Sure, you can consciously change that…but there’s the undeniable truth of how you first felt when you opened your eyes. Feelings are here to stay.

In astrology, the Moon is the heart, or the emotional barometer. It tracks unconscious longings and desires-your moods. As you progress through different times in your life, certain moods prevail for as little as 1-1/2 years or as long as 3 or 4 years.

To stay happy, to be attuned to the Moon’s need for irrational joy, being true to your heart is key. My progressed moon just entered the area of one-on-one relationships (the 7th house, house of “we”) in the sign of discriminating, puzzle-solving Virgo. I feel the desire to connect with others. To have conversations that are information-rich (Virgo) and benefit each person equally (7th). Case in point, I just met with a man who offered me a shared business proposition. As we discussed the details (Virgo), there was true rapport. it was a comfortable (7th house) yet stimulating (Virgo) exchange of ideas. It felt really, really good-and utterly natural. My Moon was grinning.

The Moon needs to be fed the kind of mood food that keeps it healthy. Have you ever done something that you really didn’t want to do? For other people, for show, because a job dictates that you must? Maybe with a smile pasted on your face that says (cartoon box, please), “I’m enjoying myself.” But your heart knows better…and it’s sad/p.o.’ed/bored, etc. You know when you’re happy-your heart soars. No effort needed.

For example, if your progressed Moon is entering the 9th house of adventure, travel, meaning and learning-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, book a trip. You’ll benefit from culture shock. Sign up for an experiential class that will widen your horizons. Then watch your happiness quotient soar.

There are 12 houses in astrology, or areas of experience, as well as 12 signs. The Moon is always coupled with a sign or, sometimes, 2 signs, as it moves through a house. It takes about 28 years for the progressed moon to sweep through all of these houses and signs. If you’re true to your heart (the Moon), you’re happy. If not, a kind of discontent and dreary expectation of never getting your needs met dominates.

Where are you in your emotional journey? It’s easy enough to find out. Book an appointment with an experienced astrologer (me). You’ll learn about the timing, what “soul” (Moon) food will satiate your hunger and how to optimally respond to the emotional wisdom always available to you.

It’s an inside job, kids. Hope to see y’all soon.

Love & mischief,

Joyce

 

Finding the Right Relationship through Astrology

“I have Saturn in the 7th house,” moaned one of my clients. “I looked online and that means I’ll never get married.” A woman of 41, she’d been dating for years with no success.

“The 7th house is actually the house of friendship,” I said gently. “It’s where we establish rapport with another person. Saturn represents that type of person.”

“I don’t want a friend,” she wailed. “I want a husband!”

Leaning into my counseling table, I replied, “Just imagine this: how important is it for a 92-year-old to have sex 3 times a week? Probably not very. At that point in life, what matters is the connection, the friendship, the common values. A planet in the 7th house represents the kind of person we can optimally relate to. This is bedrock for deeper intimacy.”

“Saturn represents both fear and commitment. In the 7th house of one-on-one relationships, you might initially experience emotional lockdown. It’s scary to be vulnerable. Saturn instructs you to hang in there. To do 7th house negotiations with dignity. To have integrity. A healthy Saturn person is reliable, accountable, responsible and-this is funny, but true-someone who tends to be on time.”

Becca furrowed her brows. “But I don’t want to have sex with my friends. What about the One?”

“Look to the 8th house of the horoscope. It’s deep, intense, sexual, stripped down to basic truths-birth, sex, death, partnership. Intimacy requires courage. It’s not always easy or romantic. Sometimes we wake up in the morning and don’t much like the person next to us even if we love them. Even in the happiest of marriages, someone usually dies first-and so we’re alone again. Intimacy transforms us. It’s emotional alchemy.”

“I have Jupiter in the 8th,” Becca puzzled. “It’s supposed to be lucky. It sure hasn’t been lucky for me.”

“Wherever Jupiter lies is where we tend to underestimate ourselves. It’s the planet connected to faith. It’s expansive. Jupiter tells us to bet the house, go for broke. Say you meet a guy who’s bigger than life? Philosophical? Adventurous? Generous? That’s Jupiter in the 8th. There’s also the dark side of Jupiter-if you can’t believe that someone of a positive Jupiterian nature is out there, you might find yourself instead in a relationship with a pompous, overbearing, preachy type.”

Becca took the session to heart. Within 6 months, she realized that she was having deeper feelings for a man she’d been friends with for a dozen years. Drew had seen her through dating and relationship crises, had held her hand, stood by her side, made her laugh. They’d even traveled together internationally-expanding their horizons (a Jupiter theme).

No planet is good. No planet is bad. Each one has two sides. They’ll happily instruct you on how to reach your goals, whether personal or professional. Astrology shows you not only who your people are or who your person is…it also whispers into your heart where you might meet your significant other…and when.

I’m happy to share with you the qualities of your mate and the most auspicious timing to find them. Love is glorious, and, truly, it’s there in abundance.

 

Joyce Van Horn is an Evolutionary Astrologer and Life Coach. She lives in San Francisco, loves to sing to her cats, smile at strangers, and live life with wonderful irreverence.

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