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Love, Listen, Connect: Practical Tips

Whether you’re in like or in love, words, intentions and gestures get misinterpreted. You’re certain that you’re being clear and the other person looks at you as if you’re speaking Na’ Vi. At that point, there’s disconnection.

We all want to connect. That’s a Venus need. We all want to be understood. That’s a Mercury need. Try out these time-tested tips on how to stay connected and clear. Use ’em–they work!

Breathe! Inhale deeply and slowly through your nose. Exhale mindfully and slowly through your mouth. This is especially helpful if you’re feeling agitated, or you’re tempted to simply give a frustrated blart.

Be mindful: notice how you are in the moment—for example, “I notice that I’m going fast right now.  I’m agitated with my friend/partner because I can’t reach or feel him/her.  I think I’ll stop for a minute and give him/her a hug.”

Appreciate: If your pal or honey is bugging you, start thinking about something you appreciate about him/her.  Then notice how your energy  shifts.

Listen from Your Heart: Don’t interrupt the other person, stay present.

a) One person at a time takes a turn speaking while the other one listens.

b) Each person speaks without being interrupted.

c) Speak from your own truth—don’t generalize about or assume anything about what’s true for the other person.

d) Speak from your own perspective (this is a Mercury function).

e) Own your feelings (the Moon).  When you have an opinion about what the other person has said or done, begin your sentence with, “I feel (this way) when you do/say (this thing).”

It is irrelevant whether or not you agree or disagree with what someone is saying. What matters is that you listen carefully and accept what is being said as his or her reality.

Curiosity – If you sense that something is going on with your mate but they’re not saying anything about it, gently ask them if something’s going on for them.  And come from a place of curiosity, not being right or wrong.  If they’re feeling sensitive or insecure, they’ll respond to this loving approach much more readily. (A Mercury function)

I’ve tried this within my own relationships and it really works. It takes some discipline (Saturn) and faith (Jupiter). So if you’re having problems getting on the same page, give it a shot.

Jupiter in Pisces: Telling Your Truth, Dreaming Your Dreams

Mark Twain once said, “If you tell the truth, you never have to remember anything.” What he didn’t add was, “and it won’t always win you popularity contests.”

To ignore truth is dangerous. Politeness can be toxic. I often encourage clients to speak their feelings at the time they feel them, even if they’re not totally clear. It’s okay to begin a sentence with, “I’m sensing something here,” or “What’s true for me is…,” or “What you said just hurt me/made me sad/angry.”

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve participated in groups. They have been my bliss and my folly. Why? Because I didn’t know how to maintain my autonomy within them. Instead I would shut up, agree when I really disagreed and keep my ideas and opinions to myself. Inevitably one of two things would happen: I’d leave, feeling hurt, misunderstood and excluded. Or what I’d kept caged would fly out of my mouth like a wild beast on the rampage.

These days I try to say what I’m feeling when I feel it. I have opinions. I set boundaries. As the community leader of the Northern California Steven Forrest Apprenticeship Program http://www.gossamerrings.com/forrest.php that’s an essential part of the job. Someone inevitably disagrees. I don’t win all of the popularity contests. But I do sleep better at night.

On January 17, 2010 Jupiter, the planet of possibilities and expansion, moved into Pisces. Jupiter is generous. Whatever sign it’s in, wherever it is in your chart, is where you can expand your horizons. If it’s moving through your career sector, you have a better chance to get that dream job. If you’re looking for love, Jupiter opens the hallowed doorway and says, “Look for the best of the best. You don’t have to settle.” In Pisces, Jupiter heralds a time of seeking truth through connection with the divine. Piscean energy brings an awareness of the unity of all things and beings. Pisces is mystical, magical and inspirational.

But here is the shadow of Jupiter in Pisces: you hit the bottle. Lose yourself in romantic fantasy. While away the time with petty distractions (think whipping out the credit card and charging madly away in a delirium of excess). There is the danger of merging rather than emerging as an individual within the whole. Life can turn nightmarish, fraught with bigger-than-life illusions and delusions.

The voice of the sacred speaks differently to each of us. Trust your own interpretation of what you intuit. Jupiter seeks truth and meaning. It breathes this need into the Piscean state, where time becomes irrelevant: music sweeps you away. You stare out at the ocean, mesmerized. You become one with God-force. Poetry, meditation, sleep…they will take you there. Surrender consciously to this state of pure unconsciousness and generous Jupiter doubles your luck. Then healing happens and truth flows into you. And, when you speak out, you share that truth with others. And all are healed.

So trust the intuitive process. Enter into altered states of experience in order to access your highest potential. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day—but it was built on a dream. Therefore, trust your dreams…and dream big.

Want to know more about Jupiter? Check it out at  http://joycevanhorn.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/making-jupiter-work-for-you To find out where your Jupiter is and how to make the most of it, come in for a private session https://joycevanhornsf.com/service.php and I’ll tell you all about it.

Astrological Food for Thought: A Recipe for the New Year

We experienced a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse this last New Year’s Eve. The Sun (our physical energy) was in structured Capricorn, which rules the knees, joints and skeletal system. The Moon was in the opposite sign of sensitive, nurturing Cancer, which rules the stomach and digestive system.  An opposition between two heavenly bodies offers up the chance for them to be integrated. This doesn’t always happen, but compromise is possible.

Often we end up partying during the holidays, staying up late, drinking and eating foods that don’t have an ounce of real nutrition. So when we wake up to a new year, it’s good to give our bodies something to shore us up. Here’s an “astrological” recipe which will fed you in the following ways:

Capricorn, ruling the skeletal system, needs calcium. Cancer, aware of the sensitivity of the stomach, needs food which is digestible and nourishing. To that end, following is a recipe that everyone can enjoy and that your bones and belly will benefit from. I’ve tried it several times, although at first I was relatively suspicious–but the flavor and consistency were nothing short of divine. This can also help to deter “post-holiday” illnesses as well as helping to boost your spirits.

I’d like to thank Sonya White, a knock-down chef and nutritionist here in San Francisco, for sharing the following recipe with me. You can reach her at <sonya_white@sbcglobal.net>.

Crispy BBQ Kale Chips by raw chef Alyssa Cox

1 Big bunch Kale, washed, dried, and torn into large pieces (collards work fine too).
2 TBs Extra virgin olive oil
1 TB Apple cider vinegar
1 TB Agave nectar

Spice Mixture
4 TBs Nutritional Yeast
1/4 tsp. Garlic granules
1 tsp. Onion granules
1/2 tsp. Chipotle chili powder
1/4 tsp. Smoked paprika
3/4 tsp. Sea salt

1. Place torn kale leaves in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle on olive oil, agave nectar, and apple cider vinegar. Toss well to coat.

2. In a small bowl place all dry spice ingredients. Whisk well to combine. Slowly and evenly add dry spice mixture to the kale in the large mixing bowl, using your hands all the while to keep the mixture moving to evenly coat the greens.

3. For Dehydrator: Set dehydrator at 115 degrees. Place kale leaves on mesh sheets, allowing enough room for them to dry, not letting them overlap. Dehydrate up to 12 hours, until crispy and dry.

4. For Oven: Preheat oven to 350F. Place kale on lightly oiled or non-stick cookie sheets, making an even layer. Bake for 10-15 minutes, flipping once halfway through until crisp but not browned. Keep an eye on them as they can burn easily. Let cool and serve!

Crispy BBQ Kale Chips by raw chef Alyssa Cox

1 Big bunch Kale, washed, dried, and torn into large pieces (collards work fine too).
2 TBs Extra virgin olive oil
1 TB Apple cider vinegar
1 TB Agave nectar

Spice Mixture
4 TBs Nutritional Yeast
1/4 tsp. Garlic granules
1 tsp. Onion granules
1/2 tsp. Chipotle chili powder
1/4 tsp. Smoked paprika
3/4 tsp. Sea salt

1. Place torn kale leaves in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle on olive oil, agave nectar, and apple cider vinegar. Toss well to coat.

2. In a small bowl place all dry spice ingredients. Whisk well to combine. Slowly and evenly add dry spice mixture to the kale in the large mixing bowl, using your hands all the while to keep the mixture moving to evenly coat the greens.

3. For Dehydrator: Set dehydrator at 115 degrees. Place kale leaves on mesh sheets, allowing enough room for them to dry, not letting them overlap. Dehydrate up to 12 hours, until crispy and dry.

4. For Oven: Preheat oven to 350F. Place kale on lightly oiled or non-stick cookie sheets, making an even layer. Bake for 10-15 minutes, flipping once halfway through until crisp but not browned. Keep an eye on them as they can burn easily. Let cool and serve!

Evolutionary Astrology Classes January & March in San Francisco, CA

Evolutionary Astrology offers another profound layer of information that is unique to this system. I offer what I know to you from direct study with Steven Forrest since 1998. I teach beginning and intermediate classes, which are 8 consecutive weeks in an intimate group of no more than 8 students. The work is experiential, practical and eye-opening. It can help you prepare you to be a professional Evolutionary Astrologer and will fine-tune what you know (or what you will learn) in order to attend a Steven Forrest Apprenticeship Program http://www.gossamerrings.com California’s wine country, Calistoga, California.

Teleclasses are scheduled to begin on specific topics in late spring. Please stay tuned for more information.

Intermediate classes begin on Saturday, January 9th, 2010. One of my continuing students had to move right before class began (she had a final hit of Uranus to her IC or Nadir), so there’s room for one more person (is it you?). If you can’t make the first class and need to come in late–for example, by the second class–I will record the session for you so that you don’t lose any of the teaching.

Beginning classes start on Wednesday, March 17 from 6:30-9:00 PM for eight weekly meetings, ending on 5/5/10. You need no prior astrological knowledge, but it does help to come with curiosity and commitment.

Check my “Becoming an Astrologer” link at https://joycevanhornsf.com/becoming%20an%20astrologer.php for details on both courses as to when, where, and how much.

Please join us. Astrology is a growing career and Evolutionary Astrology is the cutting edge. Get on board now!

Saturn looks back at where it’s been: How to develop your dreams

Saturn goes retrograde in Libra on Wednesday, 1/13/10 at 7:56 AM. Saturn is the planetary workhorse, CEO and leader. In Libra, we now go into a time of honestly, thoroughly and ethically examining our relationships, values investments (both in time and money). Some people will decide that staying together is a better option than breaking up due to financial or family obligations–and that there are solutions that are workable. Artistically, what has proven to endure over time becomes more precious. What do the old masters have to say that we now value still more?

Saturn moves back into analytic Virgo on 4/22/10, demanding that we get things right–that we find solutions for our needs. Think of this as a time of healthy criticism that can clear the way for when Saturn goes direct for the final time on 5/30/10, moving back into Libra once and for all on 7/21/10…when you can use what you’ve learned (if you’ve been discriminating and practical) relationally, creatively, aesthetically and practically. Hang in there–it’ll be worth it.

Winter Reflections: Beneath the Surface

In the midst of holiday celebrations also come endings-of yet another year. What is “outside of us” appears to be dead. Trees have gone barren and plants sleep, buried deeply beneath the surface of the earth.  We, too, need to go to sleep-to take the time to explore our inner realms. We round an astrological corner on 12/21 at 9:47 AM PST, leaving capricious Sagittarius as the Sun enters time-conscious Capricorn. This is particularly emphasized when the Sun catches up to psychological Pluto on Christmas Eve, where a deeply honest review of 2009 can be rewarding.

Questions to ask yourself as 2009 comes to a close – what have I done that’s make me proud? What lessons did I learn from the mistakes that I made that will prove to be useful in 2010? What do I know about myself now that I didn’t know at the beginning of 2009?

Keep your reflections on a positive note because they fertilize the soil of 2010, in which you will plant the seeds of your intentions.

Mercury Retrograde: What’s to Love?

Here it is again…like taxes and death–Mercury goes retrograde. Everyone groans and shudders in horror, hoping that flights aren’t canceled or delayed,  that their computer doesn’t have a breakdown or there won’t be a communication glitch with their sweetheart or co-worker. Mercury sure does get a bad rap when it takes a powder from business-as-usual.

But whether you like it or not, it goes retro 3 times a year, 3 weeks at a time. And when the cosmic traffic cop isn’t doing his normal job directing the flow of information, he’s chillin’. We should be, too.

During Mercury retrograde it’s time to slow down. To rethink, revise, reinvent, and recreate. Off-duty Mercury is a reminder to stop initiating and begin looking backwards at what we’ve already accomplished. Refine and redefine. Relax. I figure Mercury must be French, because it’s a requirement in that country to take time off.  Once it goes direct, it’s back in action, and you can “direct” your actions by initiating what you’ve been reflecting on during the retrograde phase: buy that new car or computer, have that important talk, sign the contract. If you’ve done your retrograde work, this can be a very rich and rewarding time.

If you want to know how Mercury retrograde can help you, get in touch and make an date for an Evolutionary Astrology reading. Meanwhile, following are the retro dates for 2010.

Mercury retrograde times for the rest of 2010:

8/20 (at 19 degrees Virgo, 4 minutes-9/12 (at 5 degrees Virgo 22 minutes)

12/10 (at 5 degrees Capricorn, 56 minutes)-12/29/10 (19 degrees Sagittarius 37 minutes)

Where is Home, Sweet Home? Relocational Astrology

I had such an amazing time in Zihuatanejo, Mexico  (sister to Ixtapa, a tourist city built by the Mexican government)–and got so charged up by its simple values, love of  the land, sense of abundance–that I decided to pretend that I’d been born there and see how that changed my natal birthchart. This is done by “relocating” where you were born and seeing what planetary energies were dominant. The result was fascinating!

If I’d come bouncing into the world just one hour earlier (I was born in Alexandria, VA at 12:30 PM EST), as would have been the case if I’d been born in Zihuatanejo, I’d be a different me with certain abilities emphasized and a radically different way of presenting myself  and/or relating (the rising sign or ascendant).

Instead of having a chameleon-like Pisces rising, I’d have a rebellious, “I am born to be weird & like it and who cares what you think?” Aquarius rising. In Zihuatanejo, the 10th house of career goes full-tilt-boogie with both the Sun (self-image) and Mercury (voice)  in adventurous, philosophical Sagittarius. I could be destined for glory there, right?

…but it might help if I first achieved fluency in Spanish. This would optimize relocated Juptiter (possibilities, faith and expansion) in my 3rd house (communication, ideas, language).  While visiting, I wrote endlessly in my journal (3rd house) and had lengthy, meaningful conversations (Jupiter). The locals were curious (3rd house) and generous (Jupiter) despite my broken Spanish, encouraging me (Jupiter) to continue my studies.

A Plutonian influence energetically dominates me in San Francisco, my home for 25+ years. Pluto has brought me to my knees more than once–but I inevitably learn by default or choice.  Superficiality fails itself and truth triumphs…but it’s not easy. If I am unfailingly honest, both to myself and others, Pluto takes me unapologetically to higher realms. As a result, I am empowered.

How about you? What’s your story? Do you feel “at home?” Or are you longing to put down roots? If so, give me a shout. We can demystify and clarify…and help you find “home.” It might be right around the corner…or halfway across the world. And everyone, sometime, needs to feel as if they’ve landed…as if they’ve arrived home.

Signs, Omens & Synchroniticites: The Breadcrumbs on the Path

Recently I did a reading for Glen, whose catastrophe of a relationship had just detonated. It had been tempestuous from the start, punctuated by Jenna’s coldness, extreme mood swings and unsubstantiated accusations. Her exaggerated jealousy had alienated Glen from his friends. Even his grown children saw little of him.

Her demands on Glen were relentless: she wanted more time, money, energy and love. Marriage came up with abrasive regularity. Worn down, Glen finally agreed and bought her a DeBeers engagement ring. it wasn’t good enough for Jenna and she exchanged it for a more expensive one. She went on a $10,000 shopping spree at Barney’s and he paid the bill.  Glen missed a doctor’s appointment because his fiancee had taken his new BMW 750i Sedan out for a spin.

Glen was in an active Mercury time. When we’re engaged with  Mercury, omens, signs and synchronicities flood our lives. Why? Because Mercury is the Messenger. Mercury directs information flow, sometimes in weird ways, giving us clues and hints, answers to the questions that we seek.

And Glen’s life was overflowing with them. Jenna complained that he hadn’t replied to her emails–but he had mysteriously never received them. While waiting in a Starbucks line, he noticed a man reading “Why Is It Always About You?” a self-help book about narcissism. Days before before they split up, Glen dreamt that he was trapped in an iceberg surrounded by wilting roses with thorns the size of crocodile teeth. He woke up in a cold sweat. If he had paid attention to these Mercury prompts, he might have saved himself a world of trouble.

After the break up, he heard from a friend he hadn’t spoken to in years. She invited him to  dinner with she and her husband that weekend—another Mercury clue . Glen accepted. Venus, the planet of relationships, was also giving him the high sign to accept this sorely needed support.

Next time you’re uncertain of what step to take next, turn to Mercury. Look for clues. They’re swarming about you constantly, and not just during a Mercury time. Stop, listen, look and learn. It doesn’t take detective work. Just be curious and alert. Have an open mind. As you surf the seas of information, pay attention. Then it’s a pretty safe bet that you won’t get swept away.

Want to know what signs to look for so that you can point yourself in the right direction? Check in with your Mercury and the rest of the cosmos with me in an Evolutionary Astrology reading.