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.

Lisa Shoemaker

Venus Envy

Venus Envy is a portrait series featuring people I meet who have a way of connecting, loving, and/or expressing beauty in ways that inspire me to do it better or come at it from an angle new to me. I will be featuring longer interviews with my subjects and more photo’s in the months ahead, but for now, here’s a taster:

Leslie Jordan

Scorpio Rising, Aries Venus sextile Mars in Gemini

I took these photographs of Leslie at his home in Los Angeles. Leslie is an Emmy award winning actor and writer currently touring the world performing his one man show detailing his love affairs with young straight men he’s known. It’s called “Cheese, My Love Affair with the Camera.”

“You know, I think we need to be surrounded by beauty ‘cause there’s so much ugliness in the world (laughs) there’s just so much ugliness in the world. My dream, my ultimate dream is to buy a pony farm. There’s an island of the coast of Virginia, Chincoteague Island, and they don’t know if a Spanish galleon sunk in the 1700’s or what, but these horses swam to this island and for 89 years the fire department has swum over and culled the herd and swims them to the mainland and gentles them and sells them at the big pony auction. But then people ride them and stuff and I want to return them to the wild, I want to buy land in Tennessee, and wherever and I want to have a pony farm (chuckles) with wild Chincoteague horses, they’re gorgeous!

Take something like that and return it to the wild – return things to the way they are. You know, leaving things, letting things be as they are.”

Alyce Bonura

Leo Venus opposite Saturn in Aquarius, Libra Rising

I took this photograph of Alyce for the book cover of her memoir, “Mother Rabbit” about her time as a den mother to Playboy Bunnies in the 1960’s. Alyce currently owns a thriving business as a tax accountant.

“I get up in the morning and I don’t want to go to work, I say, “Ok, I gotta go to work, and I say, first things first let me start something. I never let a day go by even if I don’t feel good. What’s that got to do with anything? (laughs) Anything? This morning I got up and I didn’t want to do anything and I wasn’t feeling that great, and I sat down and I figured it out and I said, “well, I better get going,” and I do. And then I do the whole day. I get by that. Every day I get by that. I can feel, “oh my god, somebody’s let me down, Oh my god look what’s happening, Oh this is a disaster, I want to go back to bed,” but I don’t. I just plod on.”

Mary Passmore

Scorpio Venus opposite Taurus Moon in the 10th house

I took this photo of my mother, Mary, sitting at the window watching the sun rise in the Himalayan mountains when she took me there in 2012.

“I’m very forceful, and bossy, but people sort of like that. (laughs) because people really like having someone who has an idea, “let’s do something!” with enthusiasm, which I have a lot of. Because I like engaging in the world in a whole lot of different ways. How I actually connect with people, is that we’re going to do something together, I’ve been a central figure in getting people to do stuff, you know, “let’s go to the ocean” in the middle of the night, and… (laughs) stuff like that, …I think I always was a core person for getting people to do things, because I’m a doer, I do stuff. I just really enjoy life.”

Lisa Shoemaker

Libra Venus in the 10th house

I took this photo of Lisa relaxing in the evening on vacation in Topanga Canyon. Lisa is a Singer and Actress currently starring in the Broadway hit “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”

“When I think about what is beautiful it’s always nature, being amongst trees, being with nature makes me feel grounded and whole in a way that nothing else does. When I’m in the city for too long I don’t feel very grounded, I don’t feel very close to myself, my heart feels – you know, when I get into nature it just makes me feel, it’s just so beautiful in my mind, you know, being near the ocean, or being on a mountain top, there’s just something about that, because it’s made by God. Man made things can be very beautiful, but something that’s just, you know, imperfect, it’s the imperfections that make it so beautiful. No two trees are the same, no two waves are the same, and that’s what makes things beautiful.

Even though you can look at a person that has a perfectly symmetrical face and think that it’s beautiful, for me that’s not what I’m drawn to, even in people, it’s people with more quirky characteristics that I think are more interesting, but then I critique myself and want myself to be that idea of beautiful that it’s never going to be, but it’s like I can’t see my own imperfection as being beautiful, but that’s how I view others, which is very strange. I mean, I can also appreciate beautiful people that are societies idea of beautiful people, like models or actresses, I get it, but I don’t think it’s what I’m, like, when I’m just sitting on the subway in New York and I’m people watching, there’s so much beauty in people, who are unaware that they’re being watched and they’re just kind of being, I love that. I love watching people just being. You know what it is? It’s people that are authentic, people that are just true to themselves. I think the most unattractive thing to me is when someone is just trying too hard to be something.

It’s really unattractive. It’s a lesson. No matter how much you think you may be imperfect, it’s those imperfections that people find interesting and attractive in you.”

Jenn Zahrt and Wonder Bright

Synastic Snaps! Crackle! & POP!

Jenn Zahrt and Wonder Bright

I’m so excited, you guys, I barely slept a WINK last night. Which is no good, because today is a big day, today is the day that my bestie, Dr. Jenn Zarht and I launch our pop-up photobooth project, Synastic Snaps, in which we encourage people to have fun and play together in front of the camera with their friends to celebrate a special occasion.

And we couldn’t pick a better more special occasion for our inaugural launch, because we’re here in Arizona at the fabulous Wild Horse Pass Resort for ISAR’s 2014 astrology conference, “Stepping Into the Circle.” So we’re here with our tribe, a pack of astrologers running wild together under one roof and we feel right at home. There are open arms everywhere. It’s like a Hogwart’s reunion.

Jenn holds all the glyphs

We’ve got glyph sticks galore and more fun than you could shake any of those sticks at, and we are excited to share our project with everyone.

So I can’t really care that my website isn’t quite ready for its relaunch, or that there are broken links in it like stairs leading to nowhere or that I’ve never used strobes with my camera before or that I haven’t promoted this properly. If there’s anything writing on my blog every day (my remedial measure for my Mars) taught me this year it’s this: you are never ready, and that’s not the point.

The joy lies in the action, in the experience of becoming.

So come along with me and Dr Z, my little sweet potatoes! We’ll be putting out pix as we go on our Twitter feeds, (Jenn’s at @zahrtillery and you can find me at @starsofwonder) or you can follow along using the hashtag #synsnaps.

I’ll see you on the other side!

UPDATE: if you were one of the people I took a photograph of today and you took my card, but couldn’t remember the site to get the photo’s from, here’s the link again: & thanks so much for all the fun and for sharing yourselves so generously with me today! If you post to FB or Twitter, please consider giving me some link love and linking back to this post or to the Synastic Snaps page. Bless!


The Secret Lives of Astrologers

Jingling I love my astro tribe. I feel more at home in a group of astrologers than any other group I’ve ever been a part of. There are a lot of reasons for that, but at the core it’s because astrologers as a group are deeply invested in questions about what it means to be human, and those are my favorite kinds of questions.

We don’t always get the answers right, or even the questions, but as a group, on the whole, we are engaged. It’s the only non-secular community I’ve ever been involved with that concerns itself with these matters, and we come from a particular angle that is so mind-bendingly strange that it excites all my witchy senses and reassures me about all of the all of everything.

Nicola SmutsThat angle, of course, is the connection between the planets in our solar system and life here on earth. And once you start making connections that grand the connections between those of us here on the ground and our connection to all life is just a foregone conclusion. I certainly don’t claim that every astrologer is making that connection or even that I make it all the time myself. We’re as human and diverse as anyone else, and astrologers may be even more prone than most to mistaking our beloved craft for the end result rather than the beginning of the journey.

There is something so beguiling about being able to see the connection between time and events, between otherwise apparently random circumstances that it’s easy to become more attached to the method by which we found that connection than the connection itself. It’s like arriving at a great big shiny portal and being so fascinated and awestruck by the portal that you don’t actually pass through it.

Nick Dagan Best & Dr Jenn ZahrtRob Hand calls this “the reality game,” whereby we get stuck in the circumstances of our lives and rather than learning from history or our charts we take it as a sort of proof that this is the way it’s supposed to be, as if we were doomed to repeat over and over the circumstances of our lives rather than liberate ourselves from them.

But it really is a marvelous portal, this astrology door thingee. And the people I’ve met at the crossroads here in the heart of it are some of my favorite people on the planet and some of my best friends, too. I’m so deeply grateful for all the laughter, the play, and the delicious, constant chatter about life and living and being a human bean.

I created this photobooth project to collect pictures of my people and to share my joy and my passion for this tribe, which calls on ancestors going back for millenia, and which is in the middle of a massive fantastic renaissance. I’m so grateful to be here, at ISAR’s 2014 Conference, sharing our lives and connecting as we hurtle through the universe spinning about on this beautiful blue marble we call home.

Thanks to everyone who participated yesterday! The link to the shots I took then is here, and I will update this post tonight with the pictures I take today. I will be at the tradeshow from ten am until I can’t do it anymore (probably a little after the lunch break).

Shine ON, bright stars!


UPDATE: The pix from today are up! You can find them here and download the ones you want at

Barbie in Capricorn

Barbie in Capricorn

kissing Barbie

At the writing workshop I attended a month or so back Steve Almond gave us a prompt to write about an obsession. I wrote about my childhood obsession with Barbie:

Barbie is beautiful. She’s clean and shiny and smiling and perfect. She has everything she wants and no one can tell her what to do and everyone loves her and wants to be her.
She wears gauzy beautiful dresses like that woman that’s friends with my aunt and high heels and make up and everything in her world is right. She has a handsome boyfriend in uniform and they like to hump outside under the tree together. He’s a stormtrooper and his uniform doesn’t come off but she likes it like that.
Barbie has this way about her where it doesn’t matter what’s going on, she just always looks put together and happy. It’s not just her eyes or her hair or all her clothes – or the way she looks good in everything, it’s the way that it doesn’t matter what happens, she still keeps smiling.
A gopher can steal her head and run off with it down the gopher hole when you play Barbie Visits the Caves and she’s still smiling. At least I think she is, I never found her head, but I bet she’s still smiling.
She didn’t bleed when it happened, she didn’t let out so much as a yelp or a moan or a whimper, she just took it.
I didn’t. I was shocked when it happened. Outraged. I wanted revenge. It didn’t help that my mum couldn’t stop laughing. She felt bad about it, but she couldn’t stop laughing.
It was a struggle to get my clog wearing no makeup mum to ever buy me a Barbie, she constantly pointed out to me that women don’t have proportions like that, that women aren’t made with teeny tiny hands and feet and a waist the size of their wrists.
But I persisted. I begged and begged for Self-tanning Barbie and wept and wept when Mum got it for me for Christmas only to change her mind when I opened the box and it smelled “chemical.” She let me get a different Barbie in exchange, but I don’t remember that Barbie, I only remember the one that got away.


After I’d finished reading the piece aloud Steve leaned forward and said, “there is more around the circumstances with the mother and the imperviousness of Barbie that could be unpacked.” I said, “you mean, this mother right here?” gesturing to my mum who was sitting beside me all red in the face ’cause she hates attention. The room broke into laughter and Steve’s face broke open in surprise. Steve asked my mum if she wanted to read anything about me in response. More laughter.

Oh my dear dear mum. I’m so glad now that she insisted Barbie wasn’t natural or even desirable. And not even for all the feminist, obvious things. But because of what Steve caught in the way I described her that I never noticed before.

Barbie is impervious. Nothing gets to her. She is always the same, blessed with a preternatural way of always being exactly happy with everything that happens to her. She appealed to my Capricorn Venus, (no surprise there, of course, her Saturn is in Capricorn conjunct my Venus!) she’s resilient and unbending. She’s self-contained and doesn’t need anyone else in order to have a perfect home and a perfect life.

I’ve said it before, but Venus isn’t really friends with Saturn. Saturn is all about limits and boundaries and Venus is all about inclusion. A Capricorn or Aquarius Venus experiences a certain amount of distance between the object of her affections and the receipt of them. It makes for an uneasy alliance.

For the first time I share the revulsion my mum always felt for Barbie. I never got it before. The clothes were just play, the hair, the nails, the high heels, all of that was just for fun. The real heart of the matter was always that she couldn’t be hurt.

And of course, that’s ridiculous. I’ll bet Barbie wasn’t at ALL happy to be dragged down that gopher hole! I’ll bet she wanted to kick and scream and tear that damned gopher’s eyes out. She just couldn’t. She was so used to faking it that she just kept smiling, and the farther he dragged her down the hole and the dirtier her hair got, the less it all mattered, because she had to just keep smiling that dumb ass smile the whole time.

I just googled “Sad Barbie” and now I’m really sad. I found some cool pix, but man, people are SAD. The one above will lead you to a tumblr about self-harming if you click on it. You’ve been warned.




i'm the evil

Maleficent and the Crisis of Fury

you know the tale

I took my nephew to see Maleficent Wednesday. Of course, T, being only four and a half, found it a little hard to follow. With his little feet just reaching the edge of the seat he kept turning to me, saying things like, “why is she crying?” and when I told him, a follow up of, “why did he cut off her wings?” and then much later, at the end, his hand stuffed into his Raisinet box digging for the last ones, “why are you crying, Auntie?”

Because I seriously cried so hard! I didn’t expect to, it surprised me. But it was really moving, and not just because it was lyrical and Angelina Jolie took my heart by storm, but because it was redemptive and I believed it. I wanted to.

I needed a redemptive Mars tale.

there is evil in this world 3

This Mars in Libra transit has been a doozy for me. When Mars stationed direct squaring my Sun last month I swear to the Gods something crawled out from under my 12th house rock that I thought I’d slaughtered years ago. A great big ugly, sloppy, mean spirited beast that looked suspiciously like ME! ugh. In a fit of night terror I ripped apart the fragile threads between me and that guy I mentioned a couple months back. It only took seconds but the damage was done.

Of course, there’s loads more to the story, but the important thing, the thing I want to share here is, that a.) Mars sucks don’t play, b.) the 12th house can bite my ass isn’t something you ever get to sell or move out of. And that c.) you can run, but if it’s yourself you’re running from then there really isn’t anywhere you can hide. Like, ever.

There’s a scene towards the beginning of the film where Maleficent’s sidekick brings her the news that her former love, the man who viciously betrayed her, has had a child. Jolie plays it perfectly. Her eyes reflect such deep pain at the news that I quietly gasped in sympathy, but if you’d looked down at your popcorn even for a moment you’d have missed it. She looks away briefly and when she raises her head again her face has transformed into a grim smile, animated purely by malice. It’s pitch perfect, her transformation from grief to rage.

i'm the evil

You can feel the relief of it, the shiny fabulous weight that is lifted in the way Jolie sheds her sorrow and embraces the purifying rage sweeping through her, clearing away all doubt, all sadness, just washing it away, replacing it with clarity and purpose.

It’s a perfect Mars moment. Liberation from victimhood, catalyzing your grief into rage. A wild, dangerous freedom that will trap you just as surely as martyrdom if you’re not careful.

Sigh. I remember feeling like that. Not recently, but long ago. Mean, hateful, vengeful. I haven’t felt it in so long, but you don’t forget. When the pain runs so deep the only way out is annihilation, of yourself or the person who caused it and that moment when it gets crystal clear it’s not gonna be you. This is Mars at its core. The molten lava pouring out of you in that moment is a profound aspect of creation, but it’s the devil to harness and it will turn on you. It will cut a bitch, and if you’re not careful, the bitch it cuts might actually be the one wielding it.

The way I felt last month when I snapped and crossed over wasn’t even close to how ugly I’ve been in the past, but it revealed to me some hurt left there still lurking in the shadows. It revealed what I have yet left to do. Because the true gift of Mars isn’t the vengeance, or the fury, it isn’t even the liberation from victimhood, but the purpose. The real gift of Mars is the battle it reveals you must fight and the worth of fighting it.

now I have lost you 1

I’ve quoted Rob Hand talking about Mars before, but his take on Mars is so perfectly depicted in Maleficent that it bears repeating here. Hand says that the real worth of Mars isn’t in fighting against things, it’s in fighting for things. Belonging to the nocturnal sect, the sect of the Moon, Mars demands unconditional commitment, it requires tests of will power and stamina. It belongs to warriors and athletes, to people who do impossible things, simply because they said they would. It’s a raw wild power that defies ration or logic, and bows only to the force of feeling.

Angelina Jolie projects this quality perfectly. She was born to play Maleficent. She isn’t just perfect for the part, her chart is perfect for the part. She was born with Mars conjunct the Moon on the midheaven. For better or worse she embodies the qualities of Mars and always has. Like me she was born during the day, so Mars doesn’t naturally act in her favor, it took something for her to overcome the darker side of the energy. She is notorious for her destructive tendencies as a young woman, for her drug use, knife play, depression and anger. Things only changed for her when she got involved with humanitarian causes in 2001.

After that her focus switched. She stopped obsessing on her own misery and became focused on others and what she could do to affect change. I think she understands both sides of the coin Mars offers, because she’s lived through it. She could tell the story of Maleficent because at heart her story is real to her. It’s real and it matters.

I swear no harm will come

So what I loved about Maleficent is how it tells the story of the evolution of Mars, from the shadow side of it, the ugly, angry, wrathful, must-make-things-bleed experience, to the powerfully redemptive glory of it. Because Mars is also that part of us that gives us backbone, gives us courage, makes us stand up for the things we believe in. It shows us where we need to face our fears.

Maleficent is a wonderful retelling of Sleeping Beauty because in this version it isn’t the princess that wakes up from a death like slumber. In this version it’s the villain who wakes up, it’s the villain who saves the girl and in saving the girl, she saves herself. Now that’s a fairy tale for our time. That’s a myth we need, a story to tell our children. A story to tell ourselves.

I’ve been in a terrible stew for the past month, wrestling with my demons. Every time you let yourself down there is a hangover afterwards. Time was I ignored it, ignored what it was telling me, but I’ve learned now, I’ve learned that you can’t ignore it, you can’t leave it, it won’t go away on its own. The only thing for it is to face it head on.

Because the only good thing about seeing that you’ve made a terrible mistake is that you are no longer blind to your failing. It grants you choice. It’s a great and terrible thing, because it means waking up, and waking up isn’t always easy, but there is power in it. Raw, latent, gorgeous power.

I can feel it flexing in me now, shiny and dark, unfolding like wings. I don’t know where it’s taking me but I trust it. It won’t let me down. It won’t falter.

Leaving the theater my nephew grabbed my hand, pleading, “hold my hand, Auntie!” We walked past a kiosk with a young woman blowing bubbles and T ran after them for a bit. When he asked if we could get one I said yes, of course, because I’m a complete and total sucker. We spent the rest of the morning creating little iridescent worlds, chasing them, popping them, and then making some more.

He didn’t have to ask why I was crying again because I didn’t. I might have squeezed him a little too hard once or twice, but he didn’t seem to mind. After all, there were bubbles to blow.

how to do your first Saturn square

Dang. I’m in love with this kid. Our first Saturn square is all about consolidating the rules, understanding your place in them, and learning to use them to your advantage with your peers. At this age we also begin to display more advanced motor skills. For most children it’s all about learning to play more complicated games at recess like kick the can or square ball or learning how to write a paragraph. This kid, however, has clearly got bigger fish to fry.

Love. Her.

Via The Daily What

Saturn's Bitches

Solar Eclipse in Taurus

My girl Chani and I are up to it again. This time we’re looking at the Solar Eclipse happening in Taurus tomorrow night, April 28th, at 11:03 pm PST. What does this New Moon Eclipse have in store for us, my little chickadees?

Will we be pretty? Will we be rich? The future may or may not be entirely ours to see, but one thing’s for sure, this is a damned good time to be asking those questions.  Watch the video to find out why!

When we started to make the video we realized we wanted to talk about eclipses in more depth, to explore what they mean to us and how we see them working in our lives and our clients lives, so we made a second video to do just that and here it is.

Eclipses are a potent time for us to make connections between who we dream of being and who we actually are, watch the video to find out why.

That’s it for me, Precious Treasures! I’m going to go back to ground, go to seed, germinate and LOVE WHAT I HAVE!! May you do the same. & May you be happy

Saturn's Bitches

Saturn’s Bitches Take on the Cardinal Cross

My girl Chani and I sat down Friday night to have a little chat about this month, because April is HOT HOT HOT. Truly, you guys, April is full of SERIOUS astrology. And Chani and I had some stuff to get off our chests because we are of the opinion that the only way out is through and we wanted to give you a heads up on how to deal with it.

We spend the first half talking a bit about the actual astronomical configurations that go into making this month one to remember but if you’re not interested in all that and you just want to know the skinny or the takeaway, then tune in around the 6:40 mark, ’cause that’s when we start to talk about what you can expect and how to frame the experience to get the most out of it.

Somewhere in there I mention that the Uranus Pluto Square forms for the last time next May, but it’s not May, it’s next March, so don’t worry, Precious Treasures, this revolutionary energy won’t last THAT much longer. We can do it.

…& yes, Chani and I will be producing a video every month from now on and no, we are not going to change our name, we really are Saturn’s Bitches, because we swear like sailors, we’re stern and terribly hard on ourselves, we often wear black, we’re late bloomers, and we’re very very very serious you guys. Seriously. Except when we’re not, but you might not know until Chani makes me start laughing and mess up the audio. Which is bound to happen at least once every time we shoot one of these damned things. Sorry about that, but it can’t be helped.

Peace out, my darlings! Good luck this month and may Saturn be with you! <3