The Venus and Mercury Retro Rag

THE VENUS AND MERCURY RETROGRADE RAG
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The Venus Retrograde Rag: How to Love and Let Live

Venus is the goddess of love-rosy, soft, beckoning-right?

Relationships: They’re all about the birds, bees and perfumed flowers-in Disney flicks.

When Venus is direct, she’s the Cosmic Prom Queen at her best. However, she’s been retracing hasty steps back through impulsive Aries since 3/4.

People (yes, you and me included) seem overly sensitive or just plain cranky. Irritation is as thick as spring pollen. Venus is naturally polite, but without her glow n she can tend towards laziness or indecision.

(Hint: give that friend who hasn’t firmed up plans yet a break-or go without him.)

Here’s your Venus retro mantra: Reengage. Reflect. Renegotiate.

Slow down. Prevent heart-to-heart combat with the balm of patience. Breathe.

The Relationship Road straightens out on 4/15, when Venus goes direct…and there are fewer emotional speedbumps.


Mercury Retrograde Can Be a Step Backwards-in the Right Direction

During Mercury retrograde, rethink, realign, revise and revitalize. Check everything twice. You’ll catch mistakes that you might have otherwise overlooked.

Resist the desire to buy that new home audio system during Mercury retro-it’s likely to give you subsequent problems if you do. Postpone signing contracts. Wait to launch your new website until it goes direct on 5/3 at 9:33 AM PDT. You’ll sidestep potential nasty glitches or delays.

The next Mercury retro is scheduled for 4/9-5/3 in two different signs.

From 4/9-4/21, Mercury saunters backwards through Taurus. Simplify, relax and review.

From 4/21-5/3, it bolts back into Aries. Sharp words or fast moves can blow a misunderstanding into grandstanding. Hang loose, think twice, reconsider what you’re going to do or say.

Mercury retrograde teaches the value of reassessing and revamping.

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ASTROBITES: Coming Soon!

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You’ll soon have a chance to sign up for Astrobites, which you’ll receive Monday-Friday. They’re short, succinct, sometimes sassy and always useful.

Trump: Disillusionment & Deception-or Divine Intervention?

Neptune the illusionist…Neptune the inspirer. It is simultaneously smoke and mirrors and the high, holy possibility of something good this way comes. He casts his spell upon us now, summoning up that which we might not have anticipated.

I did not cast my vote for Trump. I drank and ate things I normally wouldn’t consume as I watched the election. My heart startled awake with disbelief and fear when I heard “President Elect Trump.”

However, this is a new beginning. Trump is one man. We are many. And, in our souls, in our true selves, we are love. Just that one simple word. Even Trump.

How can we possibly define someone as evil and someone as divine? It’s impossible. So now the road we didn’t expect to take is the one we are compelled to travel. I am putting on my hiking boots and packing the essentials: Faith, love, the expectancy of the best of each moment.

Each time a cat reaches his paw out to say, “I adore you,” I am awash in that. When I take in the glory of the day, the nature abounding, the friends I hold dear, the clients I am so blessed to see, the cosmos that guides me so unfailingly…I am inspired to even greater compassion, to remember that I am blessed with a sense of humor and a gift for speaking the truth as I see it.

Which way do you wish to turn? You can’t go back. So take my hand, and then the next person’s hand, and let’s dance. Feel the blood pumping through your veins, the pulse of aliveness. This isn’t a war to be won. It’s a time to cultivate inner peace and appreciation.

Neptune whispers, “Dream. Imagine. Inspire. Let go.” I let my eyes blur and watch the landscape soften. And I sense, I know, that it’s all okay. That what seems like a dirty trick that pulled the rug out from under my feet is actually a harbinger of positive change and healing.

Thank you, Neptune, for gifting us with this time of weird magic. Thank you, Neptune, for helping me see through the eyes of my heart. Thank you, humanity, for the embrace I feel from each human being who is hurting, confused or angered.

We’re all together now, even if it feels as if we’re not. One final word from Neptune: “Yield. Just be. Breathe.” And that’s when the healing begins.

Disillusionment or Inspiration?
Disillusionment or Inspiration?

When Venus Changes SIgns, So Do Your Relationships & Values

Kick ass Venus in Aries Docs
Kick ass Venus in Aries Docs

At heart, we’re tribal critters. Even if you live on the edge of nowhere, there’s likely to be someone else with whom you share space. At birth, the planet Venus and the sign it’s in signify what you need in relationships, as well as what you value and what you experience as beautiful. But it doesn’t remain in that sign-it progresses or evolves into the next sign at some point during your lifetime. A progression is generally experienced as a feeling. Certain relationships may no longer interest you. Or the clothes in your closet aren’t right for you anymore. You might grow bored with a musical artist or genre that you’ve listened to for years. This is all Venus territory.

I was born with Venus in conservative Capricorn, a devoted Baptist with traditional values; my playmates were of like social status. At the age of ten, Venus broke free, entering rebellious Aquarius. Sounds cool, huh? Not for a minute. I withdrew into awkward isolation, becoming a stuttering, too-shy-to-meet-your-eyes exile-the shadow of Aquarius. In August 1988, when Venus glided into psychedelic Pisces, I began exploring altered states of consciousness in order to review my relationships with myself, others and god/dess.

On June 6, 2016, my Venus, done with drifting and dreaming, blazed to life in hot-blooded “me first,” Aries. She is wild, abandoned, fiery-yet keenly aware of her impact on others. Blazing new trails, she gently kicks butt in sturdy Doc Martens embroidered with red roses. She is teaching me much about courage: the courage to go for what I want, to initiate new relationships and boldly deepen existing ones. I’ve invested in an edgy new Venus in Aries look-sexy and outspoken. I hunger for impassioned conversation, elegance, music that fires me up and has me dancing.

Where is your Venus now? Even if she’s not moving into a new sign, she’s always up to something. Isn’t it time that you checked in with her? Venus invites. Venus allures. Venus suggests that something even more beautiful than you could ever have imagined is on your personal horizon, whether in the form of a person, a place, an object or a sunrise. She’ll whisper her wisdom to you if only you ask.

 

 

 

Reflections & Directions: Planetary Redirections

One of my rescue cats, Buddy, needs to retreat to his Man Cat Cave (often under the bed) on a regular basis. If his humans pester him, he scowls and withdraws. An animal psychic told us not to bother him; he’s reflecting. She was right. Given time, he gets his mojo back and is out purring and showing belly again.

We humans can learn from such behavior when the planets go retrograde-and then direct. When retrograde, a planet needs to retreat. It pulls its energy back and and begins retracing its former path. During a retrograde time, it’s like reviewing for an exam you’ve already taken. Maybe you did okay, but this gives you a chance to really get the lesson plan down. Once it goes direct, that planet wakes up from its cosmic catnap and is ready to go. Try and ignore the retrograde? You might find yourself going ’round and ’round in frustrating circles.

In April, 3 planets go retrograde. In May, 2 planets go direct. Read on for helpful hints on how to jump on this wild merry-go-round and have the time of your life.

What Planet Goes Retro or Direct & When?

Mars turns up the heat as it retrogrades in Sagittarius on 4/17.
Take a step back from the game of “I’m right, you’re wrong.” Everyone has a right to believe what they want to believe. Take a chill pill and that slow emotional burn goes up in a puff of smoke.

On 4/18, Pluto does an about-face in nose-to-the-grindstone Capricorn. What reality needs to be re-examined and transformed? Where in your psyche have psychological termites been gnawing? It’s time to exterminate! Hire a coach, see a shrink, get down with the truth. When you come clean, Pluto rewards you with power.

On 4/28, mouthy Mercury in Taurus goes retro. Taurus is big on simple pleasures, so indulge. Relax. Eat more ice cream.  Rethink and rehash. Renegotiate a mutual decision instead of butting heads. Don’t push-no sign is more set in its ways than Taurus.

Jupiter in Virgo kicks into high gear when it goes direct on May 9.
What does your inner pirate long to explore?  The map you’ve been re-designing since 1/7 is now ready to lead you into high adventure. Using the compass of your heart, you’re ready to set sail for uncharted shores.

Mercury turns direct in Taurus on 5/22, waking up with a yawn.  Recharged,  grounded and present, you’re better able to tie up pesky loose ends and get down to business. New ideas come winding around your ankles like a contented cat.

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That Thing Called Love: Who, When, Where?    

This reading focuses only on relationships, helping you identify where to look for true love, when to find it and what qualities to look for in soulmates (this could mean platonic friends, too). If you’d like insight into other areas of your life as well, please choose “What’s on the Horizon.” Through 5/7, enjoy a special savings of $10 on a 60 minute “Love” reading or $20 on a 90 minute reading. Prepay through Paypal or pay through debit/credit at the time of the reading via Square (cash and checks are, of course, always welcome).

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Prosper, think big, spring forward with hope, joy and have magnificent inspirations. It’s all possible, whatever you want, even if it arrives on your doorstep packaged way differently than you’d thought it would.

Magic & mischief,

Joyce

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.

 

Grand Cardinal Crossroads 4/22/2014

The other day, rain-bruised clouds muscled their way into San Francisco. The air grew taut. The fur on the cats was wiry with static. Manic winds taunted the garden and potted plants trembled, trying in vain to furl their blossoms against the onslaught. Then the storm detonated: madcap lightning lacerated the clouds and rain made a frantic break for freedom, followed by a bellow of mutinous thunder.

When the storm wore itself out, the City let out a collective sigh of relief. In its wake blossomed clear skies flaunting blue belly. Flowers, raucously stained with spring, straightened their spines. The air tasted like the first, crisp bite of a Gaia apple. There was a sense of easy camaraderie on the rain-stripped streets. People met each other’s eyes, smiling, knowing that we’d been witness to, and subtly charged, with the weird and wild magic of that event. We’re all in this together, was the unspoken thought. We are tribe.

Just like this storm, April’s Grand Cardinal Cross is building and intensifying and peaking on the 22nd. Four compelling cosmic forces-Uranus, Pluto, Jupiter and Mars-are escorting you to a crossroads. Certain things in your life are reaching the peak of tension, seeking resolution and release. It’s time to make certain critical choices. Respond rather than react. Make an appointment with your inner shrink and keep it. Be honest about those feelings you’ve been swatting away. Stop avoiding or putting off what needs to get done or be resolved. Break free of those obligatory ties and make space for bona fide relationships with people who love you just as you are. Get your hands into the rain-soaked earth and pull up the weeds of denial, excuses and procrastination. Put yourself in the other guy’s shoes, but don’t forget to step back into your own and stand your ground. Practice diplomacy, patience and kindness-first and foremost to yourself.

This configuration brings everything to the surface, for good or ill. No one’s psychological undies are spotless. That’s because we’re human. Celebrate your humanness as well as that of others. Have the courage to step into the eye of the storm. If someone pulls the trigger of blame or shame, don’t fire back. No blood needs to be shed. Let it pump fiercely through your veins and into  your good, strong heart. That’s where the power ultimately is. After the peak, these energies start to abate until the skies are clear, once again, in June.

Be authentically who you are and never apologize for what you’re not. You’re more than enough. You are golden. 

In my heart,

Joyce

Evolutionary Astrologer

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