Venus Retrograde in Leo love yourself

Venus Retrograde in Leo: Worry About Yourself

City lights

the sky was so purple last night I had to try to catch it

I don’t know about you guys, but this Venus Retrograde has been kicking my ass. I’ve tried to write about it a dozen times hoping I’d be able to locate some light in this hall of fun house mirrors, but no dice. Venus is the planet of love and relationships, so whenever she goes retrograde (about every year and a half) the traditional advice is to pay attention to your relationships and work it out. This time she’s going through Leo, though, so that advice is squared by a factor of about ten.

This is because Leo is the sign ruled by the Sun, so wherever it falls in your chart is the source of whatever light you have to shine. With Venus Retrograding in Leo it’s time for us to square our core mission and intention in life with those we love. If Leo or the Sun in your chart is well placed then this period is likely to be a pretty good time for you, with maybe a few bumps along the way while you adjust your ability to translate your enthusiasms to other people. But ultimately this is the time when the people you care about most will notice your shiny beautiful self and embrace it.

Congratulations! You’re like mini avatars of self evolution and becoming. Now kindly fuck off. Oh, don’t take it that way, I don’t mean it. But the truth is you’re probably not even reading this, you’re too busy cuddling with your lover, because, like I said, FUCK OFF. For reals, this post is really for the rest of us.

Venus Retrograde Jazz hands

I was inspired to make a self portrait but first I had to take some test shots of my invisible hand

Because for the rest of us… well, there’s a reason “this summer has been like Christmas on steroids to divorce lawyers in Hollywood.” It’s because for a lot us locating that place where we shine doesn’t come so easy, and more often than not it’s wrapped up in all sorts of heavy baggage that looks like co-dependency, projection, and buried resentments. It’s that last one that will get you right now, though, because Venus retrograding through Leo is like a giant heart shaped shovel unearthing every last word you’ve kept bottled up for however long you’ve been doing it.

And Mars joining Venus in Leo two weeks ago raised the stakes significantly. Now is no time to be pretending you don’t care whether your significant other makes jokes at your expense, forgets your birthday, or simply doesn’t exist because you’ve been single for that long. Now is no time to shove your head underground pretending you don’t care. You care, all right. And no one is ever going to love what you love the way you do, so trying to get someone else to do it when you can’t even do it yourself is a very tough sell.

Venus Retrograde in Leo love yourself

What this time is good for is getting to the heart of what really matters to you. Who you are for you when no one else is listening. And then for shouting it to the rooftops. Or that person or people in your life who don’t seem to see it the way you need them too, whether it’s your boss, your sister, your father, your kid, your best friend, your business partner, the PTA, or your lover.

Now, they may not listen, and that’s ok. I know it doesn’t seem so, but you have to trust me on this. It really is ok. You’re not telling them how great you are for them. You’re not sharing your light with them to change them, fix them, or diminish them. You’re sharing your light with the world by way of them. This person, place, or thing that isn’t listening and doesn’t see you isn’t the obstacle here. The obstacle isn’t that anyone else can’t see the light you shine. It’s that you, yourself are getting in the way of shining your brightest by attracting people, attitudes, and ways of being that actively diminish your starshine.

This is your chance to change all that.

Will you lose people who want to see you one way and find your self-assertion disruptive? Maybe. I encourage you to think of those losses as dead weight. Necessary dead weight you’ve been carrying too long that it would be super awesome to let go of. Will you lose outdated attitudes about yourself and who you are that are not serving you? LET US HOPE SO. For the love of the Gods, make it so.

Venus Retrograde in Leo cannot delete

When I was taking all these pictures at my window last night I went through them to delete the ones I didn’t like. When I came to the one above I found that it was saved it on my camera as a “protected” image, meaning that I couldn’t delete it until I changed the protection on it.

Because I was thinking about all this stuff at the time, the image really struck me. The rawness of my core belief that I will never be loved by someone who stays with me is really potent and every time I get in there to delete it there’s some tiny sliver of it I find really tough to get out. But what if this sliver in my paw was the grain of sand in my oyster heart? What if, instead of backing away from the pain of it, from the agony of it, I chose to embrace it instead? What if it was the key to my kingdom rather than the locked door of it?

Pema Chödrön talks about this heart wisdom eloquently:

“When I was about six years old I received the essential bodhichitta teaching from an old woman sitting in the sun. I was walking by her house one day feeling lonely, unloved and mad, kicking anything I could find. Laughing, she said to me, “Little girl, don’t you go letting life harden your heart.”

Right there, I received this pith instruction: we can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us. We always have this choice.

Venus Retrograde in Leo

So I don’t know about you, my little Chickadees, but I’m going to ride out the remainder of this Venus Retrograde through Leo determined to open up every time my instincts tell me to shut down. Leo doesn’t ask us to hide. Leo asks us to shine. It’s the least we can do.

And as of yesterday Venus has emerged from inside the disk of the Sun. If you go out in the early predawn hours tomorrow you will see her hanging in the sky above the horizon in her guise as the Morning Star. It’s now that she begins her journey towards a self-loving healing, turning her attention to what serves her own purposes best. Don’t fight it, consider that she knows better than you do.

And if that’s not enough to convince you, well, with Mars and Venus heading up to a conjunction at the end of August we may not have much of a choice in the matter. Things will come to a head then, no joke, so whatever and whoever you’re struggling with be prepared to surrender to it in a big way then. It’s no time to back down, my dumplings, don’t let the planets do all the work for you, get in there and work that shovel yourselves. I promise it’s easier that way.

For the record, as I discovered studying Gary Caton’s excellent article on the cycles of Venus and Mars in The Ascendent, it’s the first time Venus and Mars have conjoined in Leo since June of 1991, so if you can remember that far back you might check in with the younger version of yourself to see what lessons you learned then you’re having to re-remember now. Let’s put paid to them this time!

And if you need some help working out which direction to dig don’t forget I’m available for one on one consultations to strategize how to have that conversation with the person in your life you’re practicing these hardcore life/love lessons with.

Book a Heart to Heart with Wonder

Best of luck, Precious Treasures! I will see you on the other side!

Libra Eclipse

Eclipse Yourself: What’s UP with October’s eclipses

Libra Eclipse

Driving home from the conference in AZ Jenn and I stopped to get gas. RIGHT NEXT TO A BUNCH OF DINOSAURS. Clearly, this was a sign. So we got out of the car and went in for a closer look.

Libra Eclipse

The pictures I took that afternoon have stayed with me, keeping me company this past week. I know I’m not alone in feeling that the past couple weeks have been very intense, and ancient REALLY BIG monsters have been rearing their heads in the lives of more people than I can count.

Astrologically this links up with the Capricorn Venus cycle, which started last fall, and which Adam Gainsburg so beautifully explains here, and then with the Mars retrograde in Libra this spring, which I KNOW for a DAMNED FACT I’m not the only one to have suffered from, but suffer I did. Between that and the Cardinal Cross everything this year has been about confronting fears in relationship and diving in despite them.

Looking back on it, and collecting the stories of those around me, it’s clear that many of us (those of us with planets in the Cardinal signs especially, ie; Aries, Cancer, Libra, & Capricorn) have been dealing with old fears around relationship and working out how to get our needs met when we are responsible for also meeting the needs of others.

Libra Eclipse
We’ve been struggling to make friends with needs we can no longer ignore. We’ve been working to express those needs to others with varying degrees of success. It’s not been easy and it’s hardly over. Obviously, it won’t really be over until we’re all dead and buried, but I can’t help but feel like a fever broke this past week. The lunar eclipse in Aries on Wednesday saw to that.

I went to Venice Beach Wednesday at five am to catch the last rays of the eclipse and perform a lunar eclipse ritual. Traditionally full moons are about letting go of things, so it’s a good time to formalize your intentions around releasing whatever holds you back, and a lunar eclipse is just a full moon squared, so I headed down to the shoreline to do just that. Release and let go.

It was still dark when I got there and the Moon was huge, hanging in the sky over the Pacific, throwing a shine onto the water that ran for miles. I sat there, huddling under the wrap I brought, wishing I’d worn jeans because the wind was whipping about me. I clutched my pen and wrote out all the things I wanted to let go of and release under this Lunar Eclipse. It was a LONG ASS list, I can tell you, because for the aforementioned reasons, this year has been one peak and valley after another.

staring down an eclipse

And as I sat there, watching the Moon set and scribbling in my journal waiting for my girl, Beth to arrive, I thought about how this whole year has been about relationships and pushing past our known limits and stretching into some very new territory. I thought about my Libra Moon friend who finally met the man of his dreams only to discover that he wasn’t comfortable being happy, since it’s not a story he’s ever lived before. His journey this year has been electric and tough and scary, but it’s the one I keep in front of me because I WISH I had his problems. I thought about the Venus in Libra client I have who has been more successful this year than any other and the toll it’s taken on her family. I thought about the other Venus in Libra client I have who has had to cut people out of her life left and right all year. And the Mars in Libra client who has come to terms with who she really is in her fight for love.

I thought about all my Libra friends who have been struggling with relationships they want/don’t want all year long. The eclipse on Wednesday required us to identify what we wanted for ourselves apart from what we wanted from a relationship. It’s time for us to stop seeking external validation, let go of our need for a partnership that fills all the holes, start filling them ourselves. Stop allowing energy suckers into our lives, stop being energy suckers.

Astrology is a funny business, you know. You stare at your chart for hours, you look at the ephemeris ahead of time, you plot and you plan and you scheme and you try to direct your life in accordance with the flow you see rushing towards you, but at the end of the day life isn’t for calculating, it’s for living. Nothing replaces the experience of being in the swim of things, not resisting, or trying to control it, but just letting go and being with it, with your people, with your experiences. You know, LIVING.

Libra Eclipse

Facing your monsters and your demons and, hopefully, learning to dance with them.

Beth showed up just as the Sun began to rise. There was this exquisite moment there, when the Moon was setting and the Sun was rising and the night was fading and the day was dawning and everything seemed to hang in the balance. I understood in my bones, finally, why the full moon is about letting go of things. It’s because there is no other celestial phenomena that illustrates so beautifully what it is to die and to be reborn.

We sat across from each other, Beth facing the setting Moon and me facing the rising Sun. We held our slips of paper over the lighter until the flames took them over and we had to drop them into the pot Beth brought to hold the fire they made. We watched until the flames burned out and there was only ash left.

By then the Moon was gone and the Sun was firmly above the horizon, the light was gold and soft and the water beckoned. Beth grabbed her surfboard and I threw off my dress. We ran into the surf together and paddled out a ways before separating. The water was warm and the waves, though big, weren’t terrifying. In fact, they seemed to catch me at every turn.

Lunar Eclipse

There’s a Solar Eclipse still coming our way, barreling down the pike in another week and a half on the 23rd. It’s gonna be in the early degrees of Scorpio, emphasizing the degree Mercury stationed at last week. It’s time to delve even deeper, get to the source of our desire, independent of anyone else, root it out and name it. It’s been calling to us, it’s time we called back. Yes. We’ve still got our work cut out for us, and some new twists and turns coming.

Let’s be ready, Precious Treasures. Let’s prepare for the unpreparable. Let us let go of what’s holding us back so we can start anew.

Let’s dance.

The “13th Sign” – Science or Science-Fiction?

I’m still getting anxious texts and Facebook messages from people asking me about the “new zodiac” and whether they’re still an Aquarian, or gulp, God forbid, a Capricorn.  Clearly this is a veeerrry urgent concern, so this post is for all of my little radishes out there who do not want to be any other sign than the sign they thought they were!

In short: fear not, Little Radishes!  You are still Radishes!  Or Aquarians, or whatever it was you were before this “new discovery.”  In fact, neither the Precession of the Equinox (which incidentally is the phenomena responsible for the idea of the Age of Aquarius) nor the constellation Ophiuchus are new discoveries, least of all to astrologers.  Knowledge of both dates back over two thousand years ago to a time when the terms astrology and astronomy were synonymous, so the fact is, the discoveries were very likely made by someone who also practiced divination.   Neither of them affects our craft because our craft is actually not (despite widespread popular belief) based on the constellations.

I can understand that this sounds absurd when it’s common astrological lore to talk about the double-faced Gemini “twins,” and the unforgiving sting of the Scorpio “scorpion.”  Never the less, it’s true.  Western astrology is based on the relationship of the earth to the sun and moon, or the seasons, not on the relationship of the earth to the constellations.  In other words, 0 degree Aries is the beginning of the western zodiac and it always coincides with the spring equinox, NOT 0 degree Aries the constellation.  It’s been this way since Ptolemy in 200 AD, and although no one knows exactly why the ancient Greeks decided to abandon a sidereal zodiac (based on constellations) for the tropical (based on seasons) they did, and it fits in nicely with the Greek obsession for the ideal, the perfect. The western zodiac is simply the circle divided into 12 equal portions all balancing each other out – it’s very yin and yang, and the Greeks conceived it as a perfect representation of a perfect, ordered world.

Hence a sign is simply a 30 degree division of a 360 degree circle, with no relation to a constellation.  Therefore the proposal of a “13th sign” is irrelevant.  Since the signs are not based on constellations, the fact that there are more than 12 constellations has no bearing on anything.

However, modern astronomers are naturally prone to error in their assumptions about astrology, and periodically they like to pose both these astronomical facts as “proof” that astrologers are ignorant of the astronomy behind their craft and hence that astrology is bunk.  This time, for whatever reason, the internets caught hold of the canard and the whole thing went viral.

For more information on zodiac symbols and why astrologers continue to use them to describe signs, stay tuned to this space – I’m working on another article to explain this further!

For more about the 13th constellation and how that isn’t the same thing as the 13th sign please check these articles:

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/13/no-your-zodiac-sign-hasnt-changed/

http://horoscopicastrologyblog.com/2011/01/28/the-tropical-sidereal-and-constellational-zodiacs/

Just Blame Astrology!

I have been feeling all manner of Apocalyptic lately.

But I remind myself that with Pluto transiting my Venus right now and Saturn approaching my Moon, it’s only natural that I should be feeling so full of death and fear of destruction.  Which brings me to my point:  although you can’t blame astrology for any impending apocalypse  if you hate your life for any reason, chances are you can blame astrology for it!  After all, astrology is very simply a measurement of time and how it affects us, so it always serves as a useful reminder that everything, good and bad, shall pass.  Except your human nature, and astrology can help you there too, by describing your human nature and telling you to just deal with it.  Sometimes, in some ways, you just suck.  It’s OK.  The only thing worse than sucking at being human is pretending you don’t suck at being human.  Stop fighting yourself.

It’s like how I used to be seriously uptight.  All. The. Time.  And then I started getting stoned, which made me really super paranoid, but then I could just tell myself, “hey, Wonder, relax, you’re just stoned!”  and then later when I was sober and started to feel paranoid, I found myself telling myself, “hey, Wonder, relax, you’re just uptight and paranoid!”  Saved my life.  Now when I’m freaking out about this or that I just check my transits and tell myself, “Dude, relax, it’s just Mars rocking your Descendant!  It’ll pass!”

Obviously, this isn’t going to work for everybody.  Some people prefer Jesus, or Buddha, or a nice warm gun.  But I take the long range view.  The planets have been here awhile – since way before Jesus or Buddha – and they’ll probably be here a lot longer than any of us here now.  They’re real, they’re visible, and they couldn’t care less about my death wish or whether I’ve gained a few pounds.  Very comforting, that.  Especially that last part.  Excuse me while I go check my transits to see if I can blame astrology when I go visit Yogurtland for the sixth time in four days…

Astrology, Apocalypse & 2012

You guys, I can’t stop thinking about the obvious impending APOCALYPSE that is CLEARLY about to befall us.  It doesn’t help that the news is reporting 2010 is the most natural disaster ridden year “in more than a generation. More people were killed worldwide by natural disasters this year than have been killed in terrorism attacks in the past 40 years combined.”

It also doesn’t help that people are all the time asking me what I think of 2012 and the Mayan prophecy that it’s the end times…  It sort of keeps the idea fresh in my head.  At times like those I like to remind myself of all the hours I spent at Kepler reading about how astrologers for millenia have been predicting the end of the world.  My professor Nick Campion laid forth some very convincing arguments (some of which you can read in his book Astrology, History and the Apocalypse) that the much vaunted “Age of Aquarius” is just the newest version of apocalyptic doom and gloom we’ve been predicting for centuries and we really have to choose how much we want to be ruled by these myths.  The conclusion I drew then, and struggle constantly to draw again and again, is that humans just have an undeniable, insatiable (and seriously arrogant) death wish and it’s just very hard for us to really contemplate anyone or anything carrying on without our precious selves to watch over them/it.  So logically I really do agree with my fellow Kepler classmate, Chris Brennan, when he says that everyone who is freaking out about 2012 is stupid, but unfortunately, being human, and a gloomy Capricorn to boot, in my heart of hearts on a down day I really do believe WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE.  SCREAMING.

That’s usually when I check my transits, though, ’cause although astrologers are widely supposed to be predicting the apocalypse, well, even if that were true some astrologers have been predicting it for centuries to no avail thus far.  The good news is, however, you can still blame astrology for any death wish you might be going through, ’cause nine’ll get you ten you’ve got Saturn riding your Moon for a year, or Pluto squaring your Sun for two years, or, if you’re really lucky, Mars making a mockery of your Mercury for just a couple of days.  On the other hand, it could just be something you ate.  Only time will tell…