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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!

Want to know the climate of the day in just a sentence or two?

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.

Big Love: Jupiter in Cancer

No matter what sign Jupiter is in, its question is always the same: “How are you underestimating yourself? What leap of faith do you need to make in order to expand your horizons?” On 6/26/13, Jupiter moved into the sign of Cancer, the Great Mother.  The message is, “Trust what you feel. Let the wisdom of your heart show you the way. Seek the comfort of those with whom you feel safe. Those tribal members who are at your side when you hurt.” Like a flower in bud, you’re trembling with the impulse to open. You need others to help you do so. There are helping hands reaching out now to find yours. Clasp them gently and joyously and allow the happy tears of celebration to flow down your cheeks. Then, as you dive deeply into the waters of intimacy, Jupiter rewards your faith with the great gift of vulnerability.

With an open heart,

Joyce

Looking Ahead: The 2013 Planetary Dance

As you leave behind the dying embers of 2012, a flicker of flame illuminates the path ahead. Neptune in Pisces and Saturn in Scorpio stand sentinel at the 2013 gateway. The gateway arch is engraved with two words: “Faith” and “Surrender.” This is the mantra you must utter as you cross into the New Year. The fever of fear then breaks into the clean sweat of faith. Dreams swim into focus, ready to be realized.

Jupiter, the cosmic benefactor, goes direct in Gemini on January 30, gifting you with a preponderance of cues, clues and coincidences. Follow them, and disparate pieces of information begin to match up. Synchronistic meetings with like-minded people are also scheduled through 6/25/13. Put your heads and hearts together and the Information Road is flooded with ideas that breathe life into your collective ideal.

The Clash of the Titans continues. Uranus in Aries breathes the fire of truth, searing away Pluto in Capricorn‘s long-standing rigidity and control. New traditions will be birthed, emphasizing freedom and integrity. Whatever outmodted rules and regulations within your own personal operating system will be overhauled. Be authoritative (in your power) rather than authoritarian (overpowering). It’s time to forgive-yourself, others, circumstances, the past-even if you can’t forget.

Sink your roots deep down into loamy soil. Stretch towards the light of truth. Abandon yourself to the winds of change. Keep company with diversity. More powerfully than ever before, you have the chance to craft your life exactly as you wish it to be. Don’t look back. Don’t look ahead. Be in the present. Have no expectations. Then, when you least expect it, the impossible becomes possible.

May 2013 make you wiser, bring you great adventures, deep insights, laughter and love.

Joyce

Jupiter in Gemni: Lucky Synchronicities

Recently my luck started turning. I woke up feeling more alive than I had in a long time. The emotional barometric pressure had shifted. Clouds of confusion and despair (Neptune in Pisces) were finally lifting. There was undoubtedly a silver lining, but I wasn’t clear yet what it was. Most importantly, a tenuous faith (Jupiter in Gemini) had been restored.

That was the weekend that my partner, Kathy, and I had plans to leave for a business/pleasure retreat in Northern California’s wine country at Mountain Home Ranch Mountain Home Ranch Kathy, who  had been expecting a sizable check, wanted to fund this entirely, but it hadn’t yet arrived. The evening before our trip, we were sitting in the garden at dusk, discussing whether or not to go.

The First Sign: Suddenly, two hummingbirds, swooping and diving like circus acrobats, began to perform for us within arm’s length. We couldn’t help but laugh and forget our concerns for a few minutes. In indigenous Indian lore, hummingbird is the bringer of joy Hummingbird We were being shown a sign. There was no doubt that we were meant to go.

The Second Sign: The following morning, as we were preparing to leave, my cell chirped, reminding me to  check the on-line activity in my checking account. I was certain that I had enough to cover the basics, but that was it. However, when I logged in, three pending payments I’d forgotten about had been deposited. I did have a little extra to take on our trip, after all. It felt like a Christmas bonus.

The Third Sign: Upon arriving at Mountain Home, the owners, John and Suzanne (whom I’ve known for  years), seemed surprised to see us. Suzanne said, “I have you booked for a month from now.” John added, “And there’s not a single room or cabin available.” It was disheartening to think of turning around and heading back home. However, Suzanne shrugged her shoulders, grinned and said,  “Well, we’ll just have to put you in our corporate family house. Right now it’s empty. We never rent it out; it’s for our use only.”

The Fourth and Final Sign: After three wonderful days and nights, we were ready to check out and asked for the bill. “There isn’t one,” Suzanne explained, eyes twinkling. “We never charge for the family house anyway.”  Kathy and I were honored, touched to tears and, once again, amazed by our good luck. We came back with money to spare, feeling abundant and rejuvenated.

How You Can Get Luckier, Too: Jupiter, the planetary Santa, wants you to prosper. He provides bigger-than-life opportunities that are there for the taking-but you must have faith. In collaboration with Gemini the Messenger through June 25, 2013, their cosmic directive is this: follow coincidences, synchronicities, clues and cues, just like I did in the story I shared with you. Soon you’ll find yourself enjoying  inexplicable yet fortunate circumstances. People will ask, “How did you get so lucky?” Keep your mind open. You are in a state of magical intervention.

It’s been a long, stormy haul, but I’m getting clearer about that silver lining. Why don’t you start looking for yours, too? And beyond that, of course, is the rainbow.

With love,

Joyce

Venus Retrograde: Retracing the Steps of Love

Venus Retrograde: Retracing the Steps of Love

It’s May 15, 2012. You and your main squeeze are waiting for dinner to be served at your favorite restaurant. You’re chatting about nothing special. This scenario is familiar, it’s comfortable, you’re happy enough.

Then s/he says, “There’s something we have to talk about.”

Your heart starts a manic drumbeat. Panicked, thoughts tumble into your mind: “What did I do wrong? Is there someone else? Is it over?”

But your sweetheart smiles, takes your hand, and adds, “It’s okay. I love you. But I think we’re taking each other for granted.”

Dinner arrives and you eat without tasting. The main course is kind but radical honesty. A review of where you’ve been. A reassessment. A revision of some of the ways you’ve been relating. How to improve on what you have together.

Venus retrograde: The great lady of relationships, values, connection, paused in her starry dance on May 15 to help you look backwards. Venus, speaking in the voice of curious Gemini, asks, “What have you gotten lazy about?” “Where did you make assumptions that were never discussed?” “Are your values the same as they once were?” “Are you playing fair with one another?”

Through June 27, 2012, when Venus again twirls into direct motion, you have the chance to renegotiate. To reveal what you’ve been holding back. To release old relationship patterns that get in your way. But you’ve gotta open your mouth and share what’s in your heart.  Be diligent about pruning and weeding out what prevents you from deeper intimacy during this 6-week period. Plant trust, truth and a commitment to talk things through as they come up. If you do, Venus then hits the reset button on June 27 and things are better than good. You’re bonded in a way that wasn’t possible before.

If you’re lazy, or shut down, stagnation can choke the life out of what you hold precious and dear. This doesn’t have to happen-but it’s up to  you.

Single and looking? Do research. Ask good friends why they love and value you. Then ask them to tell you, straightforwardly, what they really thought about someone you’d once been involved with. This will help you make more self-aware relationship choices in the future. Personally, reflect on what made you happy with a past paramour as well as what got in the way. As a result, you’ll gain a much clearer perspective (Gemini) on what you want–and don’t. Use this time to fertilize, compost, prepare the soil for the right relationship, one of give-and-take, one of compromise.

Express rather than repress what you must say, to your partner, a friend, anyone you truly cherish. Love is the blood in our emotional veins.  Love is all there is.

Hard Heart Work: Saturn in Libra

Marriage. Kids. Commitment. Break-ups. Divorce. Family growing pains. Notice how there’s lots of this goin’ around ’bout now? Why? Labor-intensive Saturn in balanced Libra is demanding maturation and responsibility within relationships. This is a growth cycle that no one escapes–and it’s all about you, me and we.

It’s a mountain you’ve gotta climb. If not, good luck–you’ll find yourself stuck or sliding on silt. So put one foot after the other and look ahead, not back.  Saturn is at its best in relationship-driven Libra–but sometimes the scales tip too far one way or the other. You need to remember that you’re not alone and prove it.

Some of the stories I’ve heard lately: “I was thinking of riding my bike out into the street,” said one 13-year-old. “Mom moved in with us,” says a dutiful but distraught daughter of 38. “Now my husband sleeps on the sofa.” A marriage of nearly 30 years comes to a close, especially challenging because both husband and wife are in business together.

Saturn stares you grimly in the eye and says, “Get real, bro. Stand up for yourself, sister. This is about love. And family. And connecting. Prove it or things will get ugly.” Yep, there’s that boulder poised to fall on unsuspecting you as your girlfriend runs off with your best friend. Why, you plead? “You took me for granted for too long,” she says. You do a mental re-run of the past 6 months and realize you remember more about TV shows you’ve watched together than memories you’ve made.

It’s time for true grit, darlin’. No wimps allowed or you’ll fall off the mountain. After all, you don’t build emotional muscle without feelin’ the burn. Saturn doesn’t stand for  slackers or there are consequences. So do those crunches and pay attention. Otherwise you might find yourself all alone on a romantic moonlit night. Or feeling bored out of your skull by keeping company with someone you’ve simply gotten used to.

Saturn is the planetary CEO and has assigned you the job of honoring others as you would like to be honored, capiche? Libra gently reminds you that you have to bend to give, but not break your back.

So take some time to really see and hear your amour/partner/spouse/child/parent. Look deep into their eyes and ask them not only how they are but who they are. Through October 6, 2012, Saturn in Libra is the testing ground for love . And hey! If the world is really gonna end like some prophets claim, make the most out of it. After all, love is what makes the world go ’round.

Cardinal Crossroads of Change: What It Means for You

Okay, ladies and gents…we’re counting down the days till showtime. If you were born around the beginning of  Aries, Cancer, Capricorn or Libra (or have planets or angles in the early degrees of those signs), y’all have front row seats. The biggest lightning storm ever is a-brewin’. You’re breathing in raw tension just about now, pushing buttons and getting yours pushed. There’s an electric, pungent energy building. If you were a cat, you’d be arching your back. It’s the call to battle at dawn. What’s gotta go needs to get gone: relationships that don’t work, jobs that don’t matter, fibs that you’re supposed to believe.

Tense and intense strological energies are gathering, building up to peak pressure from June 26 to August 5 (and most potent on July 29th). Somethin’s gotta blow. It’ll be stinky, but it’ll also be a helluva relief.

Four planetary forces will be facing-off, forming a Grand Cardinal Cross http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_cross_(astrology)  Shamanic Pluto in exacting Capricorn summons forth a part of you that’s been banished in the shadows. Own it consciously and claim your power. Be in your truth, no matter who stands in judgment of you, as extremist Uranus in “me first” Aries gallops sidesaddle with Jupiter the Preacher.  Pioneering Mars in relational Libra impatiently taps the accelerator, while passenger Saturn gets focused on how to get where you need to be. Act with integrity and learn to love the word “no.” Lastly, acknowledge and release where you’ve been too tentative, sensitive or reactive (the South Node in Cancer) and focus on where you need to develop your inner authority (the North Node in Capricorn).

This may sound like a ten-car pile-up (and parts of it will be messy), but this is the kick-off point for positive change. Let’s be frank: what part of your life needs to be opened up and cleared out, like an attic suffocated by dust? Take the risk. Open the door. Be realistic–don’t horde what’s familiar but no longer has value. Dump what keeps you small or limits your aliveness. Shine the  light of awareness on forgotten treasures.  Be the judge of  your own truth, stick by it and don’t fail your dreams. You’re some kind of special. Admit it.

So go get ’em, ladies and gents. The curtain’s about to rise. And guess who the star is? You are, of course.

Storm a comin'
Big Storm a-brewin'

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.

Making Connections

A few years ago, my sweetheart and I were sitting by an ambitious little river in Northern Thailand watching oxen grazing on the opposite bank. Hesitantly, a thirsty calf strayed to the lip of the river. In the same moment, with a series of wildly joyous yips, a golden retriever threw itself into the currents.

Hastily, the calf retreated, legs buckling like soft green bamboo. Its firm but encouraging mother nuzzled it back to the river. It slid first one hoof, then the other, into the water and began to drink. The patient mother stood by her calf’s side until it had finished. Meanwhile, the retriever seemed to watch with quiet pride. We were strangely and powerfully moved by this sweet and simple scenario. Such is the unspoken mood of the town we couldn’t leave. It is the kind of place that you could drive right through if you weren’t paying attention.

This is a town that refuses to put on makeup. It whispers and bellows and laughs and chatters. It’s an amblin’ town, not efforting to make anything happen. Because of that, things do. It hasn’t outgrown its sense of community. Connections still happen, and they don’t have anything to do with business networking.

One morning a 6-week-old puppy, Vodka (so named because his person owns a bar), was hit by a truck. Everyone within earshot stopped to see if they could help. Two locals who practice Reiki (Ray-KEE) a form of energy work used for healing, scooped the squealing puppy into their arms and started giving him this channeled energy of universal love. After a couple of hours, Vodka began to squirm so they put him down. He danced off on four fat legs, whirligigging his tail in gratitude.

Certainly, the energy work helped. However, what was most striking was the obvious fact that Vodka was securely wrapped in a blanket of love and care by everyone involved. He knew it, they knew it, and a small but significant miracle occurred as a result. When we left town several days later, he was still being tended to by the community—and was frisking around the streets.

When was the last time that you slowed down long enough to ask someone “How are you, really?” and mean it? Connecting can be cool– really, really cool. It just takes a little courage and initiative. Like the young calf, if you’re thirsty for true connection, be willing to get your feet wet. And If you happen to fall in, a helping hand will pull you back to shore.