Tag Archives: Steven Forrest Apprenticeship Program

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

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

Higher & Higher: Neptune in Pisces

Admit it. Lately, haven’t you been  seeing something out of the corner of your eye-only there’s nothing there? Sensing someone nearby even though you’re alone? Hearing things-or imagining that you’re hearing things?

Welcome to the new state of normal-altered states of consciousness. You’re being flooded by the mystical waves of Neptune as it merges with its own sign of Pisces, the dreamer, on February 3, 2012 at 11:03 AM PST.

Don’t fight it or you’ll be in over your head (which isn’t working so well anymore). Go with the flow. Let yourself be absorbed into expanded depths of consciousness. Kick logic out of the driver’s seat and put intuition at the wheel-then you’ll never lose your way. Listen to what the angels are whispering in your ear.

Neptune in Pisces will dissolve barriers-between races, cultures, languages (do take a minute to listen to your cat. You might have an inspirational conversation with her that is utterly impossible yet quite real). Ponder where you need to let go of cynicism and surrender to faith.

As the dividing line between the five physical senses and God/Goddess thins, you’re invited to become a channel for cosmic intelligence. Holy portals are opening. Be swept off your feet and enter therein. Ecstasy? Or madness? The choice is up to you.

With a shimmy & a shimmer,

Joyce

 

 

It’s Cool to Go Retro: 4 Planets Say So!

Expect delays. Four planets out of ten are retrograding. When a planet goes retrograde, you’ve gotta look backwards. Reflect. Reorient. Reassess. Re-energize.

Y’see, we’re all flaming balls of energy. So are the planets. Human beings need a break. So do the planets. When you’re off the job, it’s a good idea to turn off your cell and put off finishing that project. You need to recharge, refuel, rethink, reconsider, take a time out. Sip the nectar of r&r.

Sweet Venus reviews the love scene beginning October 8 until November 18. Make nice and smooth out the wrinkles. That  fog on the road is thanks to Neptune in Aquarius. Recycle worn-out dreams so that new ones arise when it goes direct on 11/6/10. Let the headlights of truth from Uranus shine into the mists of imagination as it goes back into visionary Pisces until  12/5/10. Jupiter, the planet of all Things Good and Great and Possible, also looks backwards. You’ll win big at the tables of  luck if your bets are more restrained until 11/18/10.

So settle on in for a spell. Let your head nod and drift off into dreamland. Morning comes, you’ll be bright as a shiny penny and rarin’ to go. But for now bide your time. Freshen up when you’re tired. Wiggle toes liberated of shoes. Take in some sun. Take in some shade. Ponder where you’re headed and what it’ll feel like when you’re there. Jot down a few thoughts. It doesn’t have to be hard. Consider what a wise man once said “When you get to the end of all the light you know and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.” Edward Teller

So you know more now than ever before. And the planets are inviting you to hang with them in a state of chill. And when you’re still, when you take time to re-read that passage, to re-work that plan, you come out ahead. And that always feels pretty damned good.

April/May 2010 Astrological News

Here’s April/May astrological news, just part of what you’ll find in my monthly newsletter. To subscribe, tweet, FB or email me with your contact info at joyce@partnersinhealing.com and you’ll get the next one due out mid-May.  Enjoy!

“For everything, there is a season…” I sit here gazing out at my garden, ocean winds untangling poplar tree leaves. The poplar itself, which itself stands a story above my 2-story Victorian, doesn’t mind: the winds shake debris from the branches and lightens its leaves, which chatter like castanets.

The winds of change persist in our lives, sometimes in gusts of fear, at other times in whispers of faith. Brace against them and your branches might fracture. Move with them and you learn to bend, flex and release. Trust the strength of your roots to hold you steady. As Ram Dass said, “Be here now.”

Following are tips to help you stay fluid and grounded:

Mercury, the planet of communication, is moving backwards (retrograding) from April 17-May 11. In slow-moving, practical Taurus, the key is to think cat: don’t hurry, enjoy simple pleasures, relax. It’s best to not begin (or buy anything electronic or sign contracts) during this time, so chill out. Get into your garden. Get a massage. Go for a hike. Really taste each mouthful of food. For more details on Mercury retrograde, check out this link http://joycevanhorn.wordpress.com/2009/12/12/mercury-retrograde-whats-to-love/

Disciplinary Saturn did an about face (retrograded) for the last time into analytic Virgo on April 7th. Avoid emotional and professional potholes by lending a critical eye to what you implemented before this period. You’ll be better able to catch and clean up discrepancies you may not have otherwise noticed. On May 30, Saturn goes direct. If you’ve done your homework (which Saturn will always reward), you’ll have worked the kinks out of projects and goals so that they can manifest smoothly and successfully.

On April 19th, the Sun lazes into earthy, sensual Taurus until May 20th. This, too, is a cycle that smiles lazily and says, “Give yourself a break.” Eat a peach so ripe with juice that it spills down your chin. Roll down a green, grassy hill and don’t worry about grass stains. You have a body–enjoy it!

Rule-abiding Saturn and rule-breaking Uranus lock horns for the last time beginning April 26th. This can result in power struggles, both with other people and within yourself. Stop and ask yourself what you’re fighting for. Is it really so important? Is a victory necessary? Compromise is optimum, but it won’t always work-you may have to simply walk away. Not all battles need to be won. Remain objective and you’ll come away with a clearer awareness of what power truly means for you. For more details, go to http://joycevanhorn.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/freedom-rules-uranus-vs-saturn

Let the winds of change clear out what’s extraneous, whether gale-force winds or soft breezes. Trust that their currents are guiding you to exactly where is best for you. Go make interesting mistakes-and don’t apologize for them. You are part of nature…and you’re a force of it as well. Never lose faith. There’s always another adventure on the horizon.

Love and laughter,

Joyce


Evolutionary Astrology: What Makes It So Different?

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why do I keep on doing that thing that I do?” Y’know, the scenarios that you find yourself in again and again? They’re different for each person, and they’re hard to stop repeating. Could be that you keep dating the same type of person who’s wrong for you. Or having trouble making up your mind (picture this: the kid in the ice cream store who is the last one to order because there are too many choices to pick from). Finding yourself in deadend jobs (or working for the reincarnation of Attila the Hun). It’s a knee-jerk reaction that is both familiar and unconscious and doesn’t help you grow. This can, of course, drive you into the welcoming arms of therapists or taking a pill to “fix” you, but that doesn’t always work.

Want to know why you continue to do trip over your own feet in a specific way? Enter Doc Cosmos, cheerfully toting his Evolutionary Astrology bag of tricks. Grinning hugely (which, initially, bugs the hell out of you), he opens his bag and announces, “I have just the prescription for you.” You roll your eyes; after all, you’ve heard that one before. But with a sleight of hand and a twinkle in his eye, the show begins. This time, it’s the real deal.

And it began before you were born. Yes, when you were someone else whose name you don’t remember, in a time you don’t recall, in a place you may never have visited in this lifetime. Through the lens of Evolutionary Astrology, when you took your last breath, your soul consciousness, or emotional memory of that lifetime, broke free. It started looking around for a child getting ready to be born under optimum circumstances that would allow this soul consciousness to evolve. Otherwise, it could simply repeat the same old, same old (if you’ve ever had to repeat a class or stay back a grade, you know the feeling). But when it became one with that child (who is now you), it didn’t know anything more than what it had experienced in its last lifetime. So it started doing it by rote. The idea is, as you get a little older, a little wiser, you’re so frustrated by this habit, you’re ready to kick it.

I have a client I’ll call Tony, who, from the time he was 2,  knew things about Buddhism that were impossible for him to know without any training. He assumed complex yoga positions, spoke about Buddhist rituals, recognized objects sacred to revered monks. Tony could easily “trance out,” as Buddhist monks do while in deep meditation. As a person, Tony grew up to be charismatic, clever, kind, creative, socially adept, well-educated and successful. Many perceived him as golden, untouchable, throwing him up on a pedestal (a terrible place to be, because eventually you move a muscle and off you topple). He “showed” well, but hid a motherlode of pain and insecurity. Throughout his “ideal” life, he’d been taunted, envied and degraded. His well-meaning parents had taught him that, even when someone was being cruel, he should be nice in return. He didn’t allowed himself to get angry, disagree or stand up for himself.

We explored his past lifetime together through the lens of Evolutionary Astrology, and here’s the story that emerged: He had been a revered monk, the apple in the eye of his community. People looked up to him as the embodiment of what was good and holy. Children of that era must have been told  to respect and honor him. Of course, he was denied “earthly pleasures.” But he had needs-a body and desires. He wanted to know pleasure. To eat foods that he denied himself. To taste wine. To touch a woman and experience the sweet release of orgasm. These were forbidden to him by both position and religion.

But, being human, he couldn’t withstand these temptations. Surreptitiously, he sought out these “guilty” pleasures. Tony has a memory of being caught by righteous authority, incarcerated and sentenced to death. Unable to face the ridicule and shame of his public execution, he went into deep meditation  before he was to be hanged-and, the following morning, he was found dead. He had meditated himself right out of his body.

In this lifetime, Tony experienced a multitude of undiagnosable physical ailments. Certain foods that tasted good gave him severe abdominal cramping and swelling. He underwent endless, sometimes excrutiating tests to see what ailed him. His diet became very restricted, his body enemy territory. Shame and guilt from this past lifetime haunted him. In our series of meetings, Tony apologized endlessly for nothing that I felt needed an apology. These very emotions left him prey to people who would happily take advantage of his low self-esteem.

As a result of our astrological work together, he found a therapist open to reincarnation. She referred him to a bodyworker who helped him release some of the deep-seated emotions trapped in his body. This was several years ago, and Tony’s life has undergone a 360. He’s since married a wonderful woman and is about to become a father. His stomach and digestion problems are virtually non-existent. He eats pretty much anything he wants to without a subsequent physical battle.

Evolutionary Astrology helps you understand where you’ve been-and how to not be held hostage by the riptide of the past.  It gives you specific “driving instructions” on how to move forward, breaking free from limiting beliefs and habits.  It helps you “get on with things” and to be as alive, vital and authentic as you can be.

This astrological approach has helped more people than I can begin to name or number. It informs, it transforms, it heals. It is the medicine of the planets, and the planets love us. Ready for a breakthrough? To realize your potential? Maybe you just might want to give it a try.

With passion and in peace,

Joyce

 

Stepping up to the Plate: Being in Leadership

I was returning to my cabin at Mountain Home Ranch http://mountainhomeranch.com in the wee hours, breathing in sharp winter, I was startled to a stop by the night sky. Hail and rain had polished each facet of it to a crystal brilliantine.  As my breath made an awestruck comment, I thanked the cosmos for its beauty, its wisdom and for guiding me into my work as an Evolutionary Astrologer.

I never believed, as a child, that I could be whatever I wanted. Rather, I got the message that I’d better get used to being whatever “they” wanted me to be. I was born in 1952, so the world was still dominated by the notion that men were smarter than women. Although I’ve had a couple of meaningful  careers as actress and radio announcer, the belief that I would “never make it” gnawed at my self-confidence.

I’ve been a professional astrologer since 1984, although I wasn’t sure of what I was doing for the first couple of years. Like artists, however, astrologers have often bought into the myth that you’ll starve if you do what you love.

For years I struggled. I heard the echo of someone else’s reality urging me to quit this nonsense and get a “real job.” At some point, even when things were tough and the phone never seemed to ring, I realized that I was simply too old to change my evil ways. What I loved best and knew how to do best was astrology.

That’s when I realized that I’d been buying into an outdated concept, encouraged by my father and other authority figures. Perhaps they meant well, but they were dead wrong.  I’d been giving my power away.

I run two Steven Forrest Evolutionary Astrology Apprenticeship Retreats http://www.gossamerrings.com/forrest.php in Calistoga, California twice yearly. I’ve never run one alone, however, until this last retreat.  I simply couldn’t think about failure. It wasn’t an option. I could only think of it with love: the people, the place, the astrological system.

I discovered what power is for me: I set boundaries so that I could be in my heart. I learned to love the word “no” when I spoke from my heart, so that I could open up more fully, to be more vulnerable. I wasn’t always steady on my feet, but I moved forward with a courage I didn’t know that I had. And, as Jerry Garcia once sang, “We had a real good time.”

My power purrs, has long, lean muscles, and a throaty growl when threatened. I use it wisely and with great respect.

Your dreams can thrive. They can be realized. You are worthy, man or woman, of achieving what you most want. Just imagine. It can come true.

Love and laughter,

Joyce

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.