Mercury Retrograde 17 September 2015: A Change Is Gonna Come



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'i want change' Author m.a.r.c. from Berlin Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

‘i want change’
Author m.a.r.c. from Berlin Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

I’ve always found the point at which a planet representing major energies begins apparent retrograde motion as important in terms of the ‘statement’ this seems to make about what we can expect during the retrograde period itself. The relationship to other bodies appears to speak reliably of what we will see during the symbolic (that sometimes feels literal!) withdrawal of related impetus and momentum. It’s not so much like the retrograde builds a dam holding back the energetic waters, but like a large boulder falls into the stream of a narrow, rushing river; the energy is still flowing, but is suddenly forced to find another path. Of course, a new course can feel a great deal like denial and can foster frustration at a lack of expected progress–but that’s just it, our expectations failed to take note of the subtle shift that was building. Knowing where and when a body will retrograde gives us a preview of where and in what manner that forward push may stall.

The more I do these ‘moment of retrograde charts’, the more I see the bodies as interconnected; it’s not just the turnaround of one planet, but a shift in every single relationship this body has. It tells a bit of a story; here’s the one I see for the Mercury retrograde at 15 Libra 55 at 11:10 AM Pacific time on September 17th.

Mercury is turning around in Air, asking us to review what we think, especially about relationships. But, we have a bit of a surprise if we have been thinking we’ll come up with something definitive during this period. We instead may have our attention taken away from direct scrutiny of both love and money (Merc was within one degree of perfecting a sextile to Venus). Ambitions and desires, too, will take a back seat (Merc was near conjunction with asteroid Zeus). Our ideas in these areas will change; we may feel successes or bonding with another slip away after appearing to be inevitable. We’ll be asking ourselves in all things Libra, as well as in the subjects of the House in the natal chart where the retro happens: ‘What do I think about that?’ And we may not form an answer right away–though we may get a feeling (the first body to aspect Mercury will be the Moon, by sextile). So what will occupy us?

On the surface it may appear that we are still in relationship territory, or reviewing finances or cooperative efforts, but we may actually be taking a trip into mental darkness, an exploratory into the depths that will allow not just for relationship examination but demolition, refurbishing, or complete transformation. (A square to Pluto is the first aspect retro Merc will make to another body.) It all starts because we’ll be thinking about what’s fair. We’ll be vetting and tidying up what already seems more or less as we want it, or we may see talk or thought as the big reformer in relationships and over money (Merc is in Air) but we’ll soon find that it’s really the structure of our interactions, those things we’ve ‘invested’ in, the current parameters of relationship, the restrictions and unspoken warnings and ‘Do Not Touch!’ signs that we normally negotiate and play along with which will disintegrate, reconfigure, and regenerate in an entirely new shape, with entirely new rules  (Capricorn).

Look for the strongest effects, of course, in the House of the natal chart where the turnaround occurs; the matters of this House will likely be the starting point for examination and change. Though I characterized this period as one of “mental darkness”, I don’t mean depression, anger, recriminations, sadness or madness–I mean a kind of seriousness that will actually be more below the surface than it will be conscious, with the majority of the change in perception and thought happening, iceberg-like, out of our sight and awareness. The darkness will still the mind long enough for what we really desire to make itself heard.

What will be the result? Anything that doesn’t offer passion of one kind or another could be destroyed–or, current affections could be ignited into something truly exciting, as each person discovers depths in the other they’d never seen before. Shared material matters and finances might also move in the direction of passion (in the form of volatility or excitement about new ideas and plans), and our review will likely take into account alterations in aesthetics that we experimented with during Venus retro–we may decide by the end of Merc retro that that style or image or enhancement we toyed with is just what we need to build into the life, to make, for now, permanent.

‘We Are All Vessels: Vesta in the Natal Chart’ comes out tomorrow.


Solar Eclipse 12 September 2015: Through Our Skin



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'Deva and Gryphon', by Gustave Moreau {{PD}}

‘Deva and Gryphon’, by Gustave Moreau {{PD}}

Eclipses change things; we’ve got a Solar one (so, a New Moon) on September 12th at 11:41 PM Pacific time, at 20 Virgo 10. Everyone is stressed (Saturn at 29 Scorpio has no mercy, dredging up what we fear, dread, have carefully hidden from ourselves and others, threatening to bring it all into our reality, and so announce it to others, broadcasting our secrets far and wide–that last is the anticipation of the Old Man’s move into Sagittarius); everyone believes, consciously or not so, that this eclipse will wipe out that tension. I don’t think it will–but it may make things seem quite a bit different–and we will definitely gain.

Keeping our orbs tight, as always, we see that the New Moon is opposed Chiron–that is, Chiron is still within conjunction of the Earth. The NM also glances by quincunx off Uranus in Aries–and unless we stretch our orb to more than 3.5+ degrees, we get nothing else. But, that’s how we keep our eclipse picture sharp–and what this says is that NM beginnings may arise out of inconvenience or accident, out of needing to adjust to the group or to something new or modern, and out of this we come to understand something important–and this opens us to healing some area where we have been too critical, too immersed in detail, so that we have lost the true breadth of the situation (with the subject particular to the House in the natal chart where the eclipse falls for you).

I don’t want to muddy the eclipse picture by making the orbs too big, but there are two things that seem worthy of note, if only by their symmetry and proximity to the eclipse degree. One is the Earth Grand Trine involving Juno-Sedna-Ceres (and if we are generous, the New Moon eclipse)=this promises a certain balance within the natural world that offers empowerment to those who ‘tune in’. Being in sync with the elements (and the elementals) may be the way the understanding we reach at the New Moon is made known to us. We may feel or sense it, absorb it from the very air or through our skin–we ‘know’ with a certainty the mind just can’t offer.

John Atkinson Grimshaw {{PD}}

John Atkinson Grimshaw {{PD}}

The second related body is the wide square from Pallas in Sagittarius to the eclipse point. If we cling to what we think is wise, if we rely on the mind and things we’ve learned or been told, we may be in for a shock; that is the very kind of knowledge that could get blown out of the water with the eclipse. We are being shown a picture where the senses are more accurate than the mind–believe what you feel, not what you are told, or think.

The Sabian Symbol for the eclipse is, ‘A Girls’ Basketball Team’. This is a modern symbol for anima energies working together. We see this hinted at with the inclusion of Uranus (the group or team), in the location of the event in Virgo (the sign of cooperative effort that brings results, ‘the harvest’), and in the way so many goddess energies are lingering just outside the eclipse orb: Juno, Sedna, Ceres, Pallas, bringing skill, instinct, personal authority, and wisdom to what the eclipse reveals.

Expect ‘Vesta’ any minute–and by ‘minute’, I mean day :)

Solar Eclipse 12 September 2015

Leading up to the Solar Eclipse: the Sun Burns



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"Sam and the Perfect World (640)" by David Lenz David Lenz - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

“Sam and the Perfect World (640)” by David Lenz David Lenz – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

I was down by the sound this morning, looking for a little escape before returning to work, and came upon a place where there had been a small beach fire. I had no camera or phone so couldn’t capture it for you. All that was left was half of a drawn placard that showed a brilliant orange and yellow sun with curling rays like tendrils and a rough ash edge. That seemed the perfect symbol for the coming week; so many of us are already behaving as if we’re burning in the crucible of the upcoming Solar Eclipse. Matters of identity and purpose, temper and pique, flood our attention–and this week promises to shine a light on those places in our lives that burn, and must be answered.

Tomorrow, the 8th, we question our own wisdom–our attention burns on the possibility that we are unskilled and behaving poorly–but is that true? What we may really be questioning are our off-the-cuff spontaneous actions and the values we declared to the social sphere; both may make us reconsider our past choices. We’ll know what to do, what to change and what to leave the same, if we can unite our minds with our instincts. Usually we want to separate the two, so we can tell thoughts from true, natural prompts, but in this case it’s the separation that’s causing a feeling that we’re drifting from what we know to be smart. Look to trusted others for feedback, and take a ‘clean slate’ approach to mental activity, rather than trying to sort through and accommodate ideas that may be stale or outmoded already, anyway.

Friedrich-Ebert-Straße_9_(Lichtenfels-Schney).Seitenportal.D-4-78-139-253.ajbValues and ambitions are right in line with each other, even though material circumstances don’t support getting what we want on the 9th. We have a deep mental resistance to change that’s acting as a stumbling block and manifesting in contrary material issues; once we figure out we’re in our own way, obstacles disappear.

The 10th is a black-out, of sorts, a living meditation when few demands are made on our attention. It’s as if, after staring at the sun, we’ve looked away, and find a kind of relief in the sheer lack of intensity.

Surroundings may wound, or may hold the key to healing; on the 11th what you put in the spotlight determines whether you see the environment as hostile or as a warm, receptive, sunny place.

I’ll post again for the eclipses. Vesta still has a lot of editing for me to do; I clearly underestimated my own workload. The good thing is that, unlike in years past, there’s no chance I’ll stop at this point, since it’s virtually done! Have a great week, everyone!

Credit for door photo: © Ajepbah / Wikimedia Commons / Lizenz: CC-BY-SA-3.0 DE

Your Weekend 4-7 September 2015: A Kind of Gravity



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Kuroda Seiki  Title 読書 (Woman Reading) circa 1890 {{PD}}

Kuroda Seiki
Title 読書 (Woman Reading)
circa 1890 {{PD}}

Truth be told, I shouldn’t even be here now, I should be at work on the final edit for the Vesta book, which is going swimmingly, despite being my own editor–a grueling job that requires I re-check every statement I made about a chart, so using the same old eyes, I could still get something wrong, right?–but I thought I should at least pop in for a few words on the weekend. Friday the 4th we may find ourselves subject to a mysterious pull, a kind of gravity that turns us toward the future and fills us with equal parts dread, excitement, and surprise at the things we discover–but those surprises will probably go well, as our thinking is aligned with our highest values and goals, and so takes us without strenuous effort in the direction we want to go. Assistance from the group and true originality may also be on the agenda.

Saturday the 5th we see an opportunity to achieve balance among our own empowerment urges, Nature and authorities, and those things we may not currently be aware of, but that will surface in the process. It’s all about Power, and thoughts are likely on goals and desires, aided by instincts, and that’s all good; however, when it comes to others, believe what they do, not what they say. Stick with that and you won’t be the victim of anyone else’s power-play.

Sunday the 6th we may see a lot of discord: instincts and forgotten or hidden matters bedevil us, and to follow prompts means we must abandon values and ideals–and no one wants to do that. Ambitions can be realized through material means, but higher mind concepts must be left for another day–the atmosphere is too competitive to allow us to advance without losing our way.

Venus goes direct 1:30 AM of the 6th, just before backing herself into apex to a Finger of God with base of Pluto-Earth–and that’s a good thing, probably, because it prevents us from going too far with those retro Venus experiments and changes–they would’ve gone destructive, if we’d continued in the direction we’ve taken–this way we back off and re-group before making any vital decisions. The first aspect our Lady of Love makes when direct is a trine to Pallas. This says what occurs to us upon direction is probably wise, born of accumulated Venusian experience. We’re back from the brink, with nowhere to go but forward!

Monday the 7th we may be skittish, worried about being wounded if we assert ourselves, and plagued by cliched thoughts and old mental tropes we thought we’d freed ourselves of long ago. Things really aren’t as bleak as they seem; we’re simply re-aligning our discernment and perceptual faculties with the now-direct Venus environment. Once we get our bearings, things go well. Hint: use a material means, an exercise or ritual or project, to help you re-orient to your usual way of seeing and assessing.

And have a great week! My Vesta book will be available at some point in this four-day period, likely Monday, though subscribers who are expecting the book will be the first to receive it, before it’s available for sale.

Full Moon in Pisces August 2015: A Dream-Like Perception



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Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida - 'Barcas en la Playa' 1909 {{PD}}

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida – ‘Barcas en la Playa’ 1909 {{PD}}

The Full Moon occurs at 11:35 AM PDT on the 29th of August at 6 Pisces 06, and it makes us work to find its meaning; though it’s quick to tell us that our previous optimistic efforts, our openness, what we’ve shared publicly and with the social circle, our beliefs and faith (all through a waning opposition of the Moon-Earth to Jupiter), and that our ideals, creative efforts, inspirations or delusions (conjunction to Neptune) contribute to the Full Moon results we see now, it offers us no other major indicators of what may transpire. We could, then, conclude that we are getting feedback on our attitude toward or efforts to acquire bounty, to expand our world, to learn something new, to teach, or to interact socially, to assess an ideal, to create or avoid (through Neptunian delusion)–but that would only be part of the story. We may need to use a dream-like perception, a lens that allows the unconscious, the Collective, or the creative faculties to make leaps and connections we wouldn’t make based solely on facts (Jupiter).

The Pisces Full Moon makes two other, minor aspects: a semi-square to Uranus, and a novile to Ceres. The contact to Uranus suggests there is something unanticipated, surprising or unexpected that tosses a monkey wrench into the works, possibly resulting in an abruptly changing viewpoint or need to adapt spontaneously, and the contact to Ceres says there is an element of ‘Natural Genius’ about the revelations of the Full Moon, its endings or conclusions, and the results that come about based on our need to improvise and respond quickly.

Fortuitous outcomes are ours if we refuse to take the initial feedback as definitive. We may see the end of a dream or creative project, a stripping away of illusion, we may get feedback on a fantasy or ideal (Neptune and Pisces placement), and should we then process it by a critical analysis of what we’ve learned (Jupiter and Sun in Virgo) we may shut off the flow of further reverberations and implications. In the Houses of the natal chart that hold the Full Moon, the House that follows, and the House two Houses before (for example, if the FM falls in your 5th, as it does in the general chart for Seattle, the other two Houses involved will be the 6th and the 3rd), we find the areas to watch for potential surprises, revelations, changes in viewpoint, and ‘happy accidents’.

The Sabian Symbol for the Full Moon is, ‘Illumined By A Shaft Of Light, A Large Cross Lies On Rocks Surrounded By Sea’. No matter what faith we embrace, we can’t help but take this as a religiously-oriented scenario; we see ‘fallen faith’, a religious outlook that couldn’t stand up to true spiritual illumination, that falls in the light of new awareness. So, this isn’t about religion at all, it’s about something we ‘had faith’ in that is made obsolete by a dawning understanding, a new insight we are gaining by Full Moon events, and we should expect stirred up emotions (the Sea) because of it.

We always look at the Sun for a Full Moon, as source of the ‘energy’ we experience; it is, ‘A Harem’. Really! The symbolic implication is that there is a stable of valuable, attractive assets available to us–and we should draw on that. These are likely talents, energy, or understanding that we ‘horde’ a bit, hiding them away–now is the time to take them from our internal ‘harem’ and show them to the world! The Jupiter symbol is also worth a look, as the surface outcome will be directly tied to it: ‘Black And White Children Play Together Happily’. Ostensibly, a harmony is reached–look beyond that, for the real gifts.

See my books here, and have a wonderful weekend!

Full Moon in Pisces August 2015


The Divinity of Our Astrological ‘Face’



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"Bird of god 1861" by Joanna Mary Boyce -, 2009-08-07. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

“Bird of god 1861” by Joanna Mary Boyce –, 2009-08-07. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Though we often speak of the Ascendant as representing our ‘face,’ that personality with which we meet the world, this is only partially true; even as we put our Ascendant characteristics forward on first meeting (and as a byproduct insist that others respect and respond to this ‘face’), we must remember that the Ascendant is a result of the interaction of the innate, Soul expressive characteristics and the environment in which we find ourselves as we are developing, and so does not exist when we are born, but comes to be with a combination of time and influences (both in the sense of timing, of entering the Earthly existence at a precise moment and place, and in the sense of the passing of time and how it changes things). It helps to think of the Ascendant as the result of a chemical reaction, the combining of two distinct elements to create a third that is itself distinct. All this is by way of saying that the concept of our ‘face’ in astrology is much more complex than just the Ascendant; let’s look at exactly what the concept of ‘the face’ signifies, and how we might pinpoint this astrologically.

The one thing about our own physical face that is uniformly true for each of us is that we will never be able to observe our own face directly, and this is true of the astrological ‘face’ as well. We need a mirror or reflective surface to observe our face in the physical world, and we need the reactions of others to us, and the reactions of the Universe (seen in events and situations) in order to derive an idea of what it is that we are presenting. Our entire reality is reflecting back to us our own essence, which is embodied in the spiritual equivalent of the face, the Soul.

In many traditions, the essence of God is equated to His face, which is consistently described as something that we cannot look upon directly. We see this in the Bible, where in Exodus God is reported to have said, “Thou canst not see my face: for no man shall see my face and live,” and this same concept is repeated in many writings, such as when St. John declares that “no man hath seen God at any time,” and Jewish tradition describes the face only in plural, punim, signifying the ‘greater than’ concept of Being. Since we are considered in multiple traditions to have been made in the image of God, then it’s reasonable to believe that directly observing our own face would be akin to directly observing God’s, which we cannot do in life. We even see this idea in the practice of not looking directly into the face of those who are considered chosen by God (such as the emperors of China); to gaze into the face of a divine Being was to show disrespect and to do that, we are told repeatedly in many traditions, is not possible while we live.

But, different facets of our own reality that reveal our ‘face’ will be reflected back to us in different ways, symbolized by certain astrological bodies, points, and interactions. For instance, our Moon, and any aspects it makes, will be reflecting our emotional reality as it is ‘thrown out’ into the World, and by studying these aspects, we can learn something about our emotional face, something which we cannot know without this interaction. So, we may indeed relate to our Pisces Moon, feeling emotionally imaginative, connected to the Universe, and open; but it’s in our Moon’s opposition to Saturn that we see bits of our emotional ‘face’ as it really exists, as we may find emotional security is gained with a sturdy or rule-centered world, that we are threatened by the idea of putting down roots, that we find physical labor untenable emotionally, or that we respond to those who offer us boundaries for our free-floating emotional nature. These are just some of the possibilities, and each allows us a glimpse of our own ‘face’ that we cannot see by direct observation.

Celtic culture has the concept of ‘face-price,’ which can have various applications, from a dowry to the price paid by the family of a murderer to his or her victim’s family, and this definition introduces the idea of value or cost (Venus) to the concept of ‘face.’ Venus and its aspects can tell us in what way we will engage in exchanges of one kind or another, what these will bring us, and what they will cost. Caroline Myss speaks of the ‘inner prostitute,’ and Venus in this sense is akin to the idea of the ways we will bargain for our survival.

For instance, a woman with Venus in Virgo might value her literal virginity quite highly (or might carry very high standards in some related area); but, we see by this Venus’ trine to Mars in Capricorn that the partner she would accept (as well as the nature of the actions she requires of herself) is serious, stable, and offers security–this is the price one must pay to be with her, and these standards may cost her someone she finds attractive but who cannot or will not provide the essential thing for which she will exchange her Venus (love). If, on the other hand, this woman had Mars in Gemini square her Venus, she might both idealize a glib, social, quick-thinking man and at the same time find she is unwilling to be with him (the square)–we see this typically with a ‘can’t live with him, can’t live without him’ scenario–and of course she would be at odds in a very real sense with her own way of acting in the world. Of course, there are many possible manifestations–the important thing is that all of them will reveal a little something more about our very personal essence, our own divine ‘face.’

This is a re-print of a piece that originally appeared on my blog at Yahoo360 pre-2008

The forecast for Thursday and Friday August 27th and 28th is here and my books are here

27-28 August 2015: Considered Action



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We may be carrying baggage we don't need; these two days let us put that burden down. By Morley, Photo by Bedside Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported

We may be carrying baggage we don’t need; these two days let us put that burden down. By Morley, Photo by Bedside Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported

On the 27th we are ready to choose or take action based on our highest values and goals, and fortune smiles upon us, poised to heap on the rewards, as long as we follow a few simple precepts: don’t allow yourself to be dragged back into past ways of thinking or to past situations, especially in relationships or in relation to values; don’t ignore or deny any part of the reality picture–all must be considered; and treat everyone fairly and as an equal. With this latter idea, we sometimes approach it as, ‘I grant you the right to be considered equal to me’. No no no no–any high-handedness will come back as a b*tch slap to the ego–a review of what true humility entails will be in order for some, before those actions and choices will really be effective.

By the 28th, though our minds are on the future, we could see our efforts hit a brick wall, often in subtle ways that are hard to pin down. The reasons are either financial, or due to relationship facets we aren’t acknowledging–and what’s new to us isn’t easily integrated into the reality picture. With Saturn currently major body of latest degree, we may feel inexplicably shut down. The only answer that will get things moving may be to take a radical (for each individual) tack, to try something previously untried, or to act atypically for our usual character and responses. This doesn’t have to be negative or earth-shaking; it does need to let us see things in a new way.

See my books here–

26 August 2015: Optimism Abounds



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Charles Courtney Curran, 1915 - 'Sunshine and Haze' {{PD}}

Charles Courtney Curran, 1915 – ‘Sunshine and Haze’ {{PD}}

Thinking is positive, constructive, steady, with hints of brilliance, and communications can solidify plans and set deals in stone. Even if we don’t like what we hear, it doesn’t hurt us, and optimism abounds. What could go wrong? We could overdo–but there are worse things, right? Shine, let others know who you are and what you can do, go Big, or just hang around–in any case, share the Love, share the essence of who you are, and watch things happen, most of them very good.

‘Vesta in the Natal Chart’ should debut next week! At more than 50,000 words, it offers profiles of Vesta in action in the charts of well-known individuals, definitions of the asteroid in aspect to the other energies and in the Houses, and a personal workbook to help you pinpoint your Vestal priorities. Watch here for the release!

25 August 2015: Accept It



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'Still Life with Roses' Giovanni Boldini {{PD}}

‘Still Life with Roses’ Giovanni Boldini {{PD}}

What’s really driving everyone today is hidden; as long as we accept that, we’ll see that empowerment or understanding can’t be aimed for, it’s just something we’ll have to stumble into, if it’s attained at all. That’s freeing, in its own way, and could help us to allow experiences, thoughts, or approaches we would normally turn away from, and so give results something fresh and unanticipated.

Don’t let anybody tell you that relationships formed online aren’t real. Yesterday I learned of the passing of a long-time client, and I mourn her. The funny thing is that from my point of view, all of you, readers and clients, are a group; I expect this to affect you, too, even though it’s unlikely you know this woman. Someone dear, funny, smart, and aligned with a mystical point of view has left the Collective; together, we can’t help but feel the loss of such a spirit. I like to think that now her questions will be answered and the mysteries that plagued her will be solved at last. Sending you love on your journey, Claire–we’ll miss you!


24 August 2015: Bat-Like Sensitivity



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Here's something you don't see every day. 'Fairy Hordes Attacking A Bat' by John Anster Fitzgerald, before 1923 {{PD}}

Here’s something you don’t see every day. ‘Fairy Hordes Attacking A Bat’ by John Anster Fitzgerald, before 1923 {{PD}}

Why is it that those with whom we expect to be in harmony, especially partners, are bringing up all those things we’d rather ignore? Why does everything that’s communicated feel so hurtful, even when it’s clearly not intended as such? We’re stronger than ever, especially mentally, with a number of recent positive steps forward supporting our current healthy approach, so what gives? It’s something about going forward, about ambitions and the way we’re seeing them, that is unbalancing things. Too much attention is on, ‘I Want’, and the mere weight of our own Self-interest is making cooperation or collaboration feel like a demanding burden; Self-focus is endowing us with a bat-like sensitivity that’s picking up every micro-shift in the air and magnifying our own feelings in response–no wonder it feels like interacting hurts! The good news is that this reveals precisely how and where we are overly sensitive, where we may be carrying hurts that would be long healed if not for our insistence on nurturing them. Let them go, and proceed through the day freely–that personal power you feel right now? That’s the ability to make things happen.

There’s a nice, long Void today, beginning just after 3 PM Pacific for the Sagittarius Moon, not ending until entry into Capricorn at 9:21 PM PDT. Don’t try to push forward at this time, and anything started now, or commitments made, may end abruptly and prematurely, or just may not go anywhere at all. Plan on a little adventure, maybe outdoors, for the last hours of the Moon in Sag–


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