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  • Neptune in Pisces (and Retrograde Shadow Work)

    Neptune In astrology, Neptune represents dreams, intuition, and the subconscious, symbolizing the realms of imagination, spirituality, and illusion. Neptune governs our capacity for empathy, creativity, and connection to the divine or mystical aspects of life. This planet encourages us to transcend the material world and explore our inner landscapes, often inspiring artistic expression and spiritual growth. However, Neptune's influence can also lead to confusion, deception, and escapism if not grounded in reality. The lessons of Neptune involve learning to balance our dreams and ideals with practical considerations, embracing our intuition and creativity while remaining mindful of potential illusions and the need for clarity and discernment in our perceptions. The Major Arcana Card that corresponds with Neptune is The Hanged Man The Hanged Man tarot card symbolizes surrender, perspective, and the power of letting go. Depicting a figure suspended upside down, this card suggests a voluntary pause or sacrifice to gain a new outlook or deeper insight. It teaches us the importance of patience, surrendering control, and viewing situations from different angles to achieve enlightenment. Corresponding with the planet Neptune, The Hanged Man emphasizes themes of spirituality, intuition, and the dissolution of boundaries. Neptune's influence enhances the card's message of embracing the unknown and trusting in the flow of life. The lessons of The Hanged Man encourage us to release our rigid expectations, open ourselves to new perspectives, and find wisdom in stillness and contemplation, ultimately leading to greater spiritual awareness and personal transformation. Neptune in Pisces Neptune first entered Pisces on April 4, 2011. This has been a long journey with Pisces, and now in the anaeretic degree, Neptune may begin to become louder and more intense (as opposed to the usual subtle and quiet nature) Neptune in Pisces through these past 13 years has amplified our capability to dream and imagine. This has amplified our creativity, but it has also amplified our tendency to get wrapped up in delusions and fears. The part of us that can dream and visualize happy outcomes is the same part of us that can visualize worst-case scenarios and generate fears and paranoia. The lesson here is in awareness of your psyche - know your fears so that you can identify them without being controlled by them. Know your fantasies and dreams, but keep an anchor in reality so you don't get swept up in delusion. Know the power of your imagination, so you can apply your dreams to your realistic goals in a way that is practical. Neptune in Pisces has opened us to very deep spiritual experiences. Know the true value of these experiences comes in how we can apply this wisdom to reality. We aren't meant to exist in the liminal - just to make short visits there to relieve guidance. We can open the crown chakra, but we won't be able to apply those visions to our life in meaningful or healthy ways if we don't connect back down to our root chakra. Neptune's slow transit through Pisces has been like a portal opening up a deeper connection with our subconscious realms.  Many have likened this 15 year transit to a collective Spiritual Awakening as well as a time of confusion and delusion.  Neptune is very comfortable in Pisces and returns to this sign approximately every 165 years.  This current transit of Neptune in Pisces began in February of 2011 and ends in January of 2026 when Neptune enters Aries. Neptune has influence over collective ideologies and beliefs, but it operates from a rather subtle or unseen realm; dealing with our fears, dreams, imagination, and subconscious realms.  From the subconscious and spiritual Neptunian experiences we have, we develop beliefs and ideas about our reality.  Each person has their own Relative Truth that is constantly in flux - developing and changing based on these deeper spiritual and subconscious experiences that we have.   Neptune rules over dreams, fears, delusions, spirituality, and religion - all connected to a deep emotional tide that drives us to seek out higher meaning.  Pisces rules over these areas too - operating as the part of the chart that deals with hidden things; secrets and mysteries that we seek to understand and gain mastery of.  Pisces also relates to the spread of ideas, a subconscious or conscious desire to share what we find in the shadows with our collective community.  (While Scorpio also deals with these secrets, it is more related to keeping them.)  Pisces wants to take these secrets and mysteries out into the open, to "flood the earth" with a desired purpose of collective transcendence.  There is a beauty here, but also a danger.  Neptunian "truth" is subjective and while it may feel profoundly Spiritual, it can be deeply entwined with Fear and Delusion.  (The Major Arcana Tarot Card of The Moon corresponds with the sign of Pisces)  Past transits of Neptune through Pisces can be connected to massive shifts in collective ideology.  It brings creativity and expansion of the arts, as well as changes in how we communicate ideas to larger audiences or over great distances. ( The last time Neptune entered Pisces, 1848 - the Associated Press  was founded,(relating to the spread of ideas and information)  But Neptune in Pisces also heralds times of confusion and ideological shifts or changes in religious power - often related to revolts, religious wars, and spiritual or political crusades. ( 1848 also is the year Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto  - relating to the spread of ideological shifts related to people's hopes and fears)  This seems related to the way that Neptune in Pisces takes ideas and spreads them or shares them, which then results in a collective shift in beliefs and values - often connected to some kind of underlying fear in the human psyche that is amplified and then echoed by others.  Neptune in Pisces can lend to the conflict that arises when certain groups feel that their Relative Truth is an Ultimate Truth  - and therefore they are energized to fight for their Ideology as if it is " The Word of God"  or the "Will of a Higher Power".   Neptune at the 29th degree of Pisces The 29th degree of any sign is known as the anaeretic degree, and is considered to be a very potent or critical placement for a planet. This degree is also known as the degree of Karma, the degree of Fate, the degree of Mastery, and the degree of Completion. The planet in this degree is amplifying its lessons, as it is completing its mission and work in this sign before moving to the next sign. It is giving out its final tests and lessons, and reviewing your progress to give you a final grade in the class. Concepts of Karma, Fate, and Destiny are connected to this degree because what's done is done, this is a time when you don't have any time left to study or turn in extra credit or finish those missed assignments. You will either get a passing grade with the final exam or you won't. However, it's not all negative and with faith and luck, sometimes fate can be changed. This is the degree of Mastery - perhaps you didn't understand the lesson until sh*t got real, and with the pressure of the class ending you had something click and you finally got it! Perhaps you perform better under the pressure of a deadline, and the planet in the final degree of a sign is applying pressure, teaching with passion and excitement because they really want you to get this message before they move on to the next lesson. Neptune is now in the 29th degree of Pisces. It's not the only time that Neptune will be at this anaeretic degree before it moves into Aries next year, but this is the beginning of a very intense Neptune year. Neptune will be at 29° Pisces from May 3 - Sept 2, 2024. On September 2, Neptune in retrograde returns to the 28th degree (and eventually the 27th degree) Neptune will turn direct again on December 7, and return to the 29th degree on March 3 of 2025  It will first leave Pisces to enter Aries on March 30 of 2025, and retrograde back into Pisces later that year, returning to Aries again in January of 2026, this time staying in Aries until 2038. Neptune Retrograde July 2 - December 7, 2024 Neptune is already a subtle planet that works on the subconscious level, so a retrograde of Neptune doesn't feel much different than a direct Neptune. It might intensify some of its lessons, but usually these will be related to aspects that Neptune makes with other planets: both in transit or to the birth chart. You will want to be aware of Neptune aspects because this can increase fears, delusions, fantasy, and disconnection from reality. During this retrograde period, Neptune will make conjunction with any planets in the late degree of Pisces - especially the last 5 degrees of Pisces. Check your birth chart for any planets in the last decan of Pisces. Neptune will make opposition to any planets in the late degrees of Virgo, especially the last 5 degrees of Virgo. Neptune will form square aspects with any planets in the late degrees of Gemini and Sagittarius, especially the last 5 degrees of those signs. Neptune will also form a Trine aspect with any planets in the late degrees of Cancer or Scorpio. With both Saturn and Neptune Retrograde in Pisces for the next few months, we will likely be facing some kind of Shadow Work related to Pisces lessons. Some Pisces Shadow Work: Pisces is the sign of Imagination, Compassion, and Spirituality.  Within the “Ocean” of the subconscious, we feel connected to all humanity and beyond - a connection with the planet, the universe, the Divine.  This Pisces sense of “All Are One” is a source of empathy and compassion - as what happens to one of us happens to all of us.  At the same time, this connectedness can also be a source of grief, fear, and delusion. This all boils down to the Pisces key phrase of “I believe”.  What we believe about the reality we live in is what we will experience - and Pisces teaches us the power of our subconscious beliefs, our imagination, and our dreams. The Shadow side of Pisces is place where our imagination turns into nightmares, where our impulses turn into addictions, where our beliefs turn into delusions.  There is a quote from Joseph Campbell that I think sums up Pisces energy really well: "The mystic swims in the same waters which the mad man drowns."  This quote illustrates how the place of mysticism and spiritual enlightenment are the same place in which you encounter insanity.  One has to tread carefully here so you don't lose your mind. The dual nature of Pisces is not often spoken of - but here we need to remember that the glyph of the two fish is illustrated with two fish swimming in opposite directions.  In one direction is spiritual bliss, and in the other direction is insanity and depression.  In the realm of Pisces, you might be hearing the voices of the Divine, or you might be experiencing psychosis. The Shadow Work of Pisces is - how can you tell the difference between your intuition and your imagination?  At what point does your imagination cease to serve your spiritual experiences and become a blockage to true spiritual experience? How can you keep enough of yourself anchored in reality so that you can tell the difference between a spiritual experience and your imagination? While it can be beneficial to turn to our spiritual advisors for life advice through tarot, astrology, or psychic readings, this can also become addictive or lead to dependency.  I love Astrology as a tool for self awareness, but I caution my clients about leaning too heavily on the charts and transits for making their big life decisions. There have always been rules in spiritual traditions, and usually some kind of "gatekeeping" was set in place to protect the practitioner as well as the spiritual or magical community from harm.  Lately, "gatekeeping" has become a bad word, but what I am talking about is like this;Before you are given a bicycle, you are probably given a bike with training wheels, right?  You have an experienced adult helping you learn bike safety and monitoring your progress, and that adult usually decides when you are ready to take off the training wheels. In most spiritual practices or magical traditions, you need to learn some basics before you are ready to jump into more advanced practices.  This is true for yoga, meditation, divination, and many kinds of spell-craft.  A good solid spiritual training will help you be able to know the difference between the voices of your ancestors, your Higher Self, your deities, and the voices of your imagination.  A solid spiritual training will help you become self aware to know your personal limitations, the signs of mental illness, and teach some good self care practices. If you skip over some steps in your spiritual growth, this can sometimes be called Spiritual Bypassing.  In the time of the internet, this is really easy to happen - there is no one really telling you when you are ready for the next bit of information.  No one judging your progress and helping you decide when to move to the next "level" in your study.  And so often - if someone online does try to offer this type of guidance, they are attacked and told off.  "Don't be a gatekeeper!" the angry mobs shout.  No one likes to be told what to do, and a stranger on the internet isn't really the best judge of what you are ready for or not!  But the fact still remains, Spiritual Bypassing happens a lot.  And then we have an end result of a lot of people then "teaching" other people, but leaving out some critical lessons, or even putting people in harm's way by ignoring signs of mental illness or emotional crisis. ------------------ Neptune in Pisces is primarily reminding us that our emotions, intuition, empathy, and compassion are beautiful gifts that we should not ignore. But we do not want to ONLY listen to these parts of ourselves, we also have a brain that is good at logic and figuring out practical matters for day to day life. In all things there must be balance. With each sign, there is good and bad. Generally we can balance out the challenging bits of any sign with the lessons of the opposite sign. In this case, when the Pisces lessons get confusing or overwhelming, we need to turn to the lessons of Virgo. The axis of Pisces and Virgo can give us the balance that is required to work through the shadow work of having both Neptune and Saturn retrograde in Pisces the next few months. Subscribe, Follow, and Share! Contact me to schedule your personal Astrology Reading!

  • Vesta in Leo: Renewing Devotion to Self-Confidence

    Vesta in Leo: June 19 - Aug 24, 2024 The Asteroid Vesta in Astrology represents The Goddess Vesta (counterpart of the Greek Goddess Hestia). Vesta is the Goddess of the Sacred Flame; representing Purity, Devotion, Service, and Sacrifice. In modern astrology, the Asteroid of Vesta can represent a place of devotion and dedication in the chart - it is where we are tending an inner Sacred Fire. Fire needs tending, care, and mindfulness so that it doesn't burn out; or burn too hot and get out of control. We give offerings of fuel (service, time, energy) in order to keep the fire lit. We must practice care and dedication, paying close attention to this fire so it does not go out. The transits of Vesta can show us an area of life which we are feeling called to direct more care, devotion, and service. The sign that Vesta is transiting through represents the archetype or energy that is asking for more dedication, focus, and devotion. Vesta also embodies the archetype of service and self-sacrifice. It suggests a willingness to dedicate oneself to the service of others or to a higher calling, even at personal cost. We can look to the transit of Vesta to receive guidance as to what aspects of life we should direct some extra dedication, devotion, and service to. Think of the Asteroid Vesta as a Sacred Fire that helps us connect with something Sacred in each sign that it visits. When we discover something sacred, we recognize that we have a responsibility to protect, preserve, and serve that sacred thing. Vesta in the sign of Leo is showing us the Sacredness of Creativity, Self-Expression, Pleasure, Fun, Enjoyment of Life and tending to the Inner Child. The Vesta Sacred Fire also serves the purpose of cleansing a purification - it burns away the old debris and purifies or cleanses. Vesta in the sign of Leo is going to help us burn away the shame or guilt associated with pleasure, or the need to be a people-pleaser and put the pleasure of others before your own. Art: Leo by Kirisy on DeviantArt - https://www.deviantart.com/kirisy/art/Leo-831011248 Vesta in Leo: June 19 - August 24 Domestic Focus:  When Vesta transits through Leo, there is a heightened focus on Children and Youth, Creativity and Play. If you have a home with children in it, this will be a great time to focus on any cleaning, organizing, repair or redecoration of the children's rooms and play areas. If you do not have children in the home, you can consider decoration or organization in the home that helps your Inner Child have a safe place to play - do you have an arts and crafts area. or a game room that you can refurbish or spruce up? Do you have a music or art collection that you want to display or show off? Is there any way you can breathe new life into your home environment to help it feel more vibrant and reflect your creativity and passions? Devotion to Self Expression: While Vesta is in Leo, it is a good time to consider your own self-expression. You are a sacred and unique individual, with gifts and talents that only you bring to the world. How can you allow yourself to express your individuality with more freedom and autonomy? Perhaps you will want to change up your wardrobe or fashion, get a new hairstyle, or try some unique fashion statement. Or perhaps it is less about your appearance and more about speaking up, sharing your passions, promoting your art. You are allowed to take up space in this world and be seen for who you are! Sacred Creativity: Your creativity is Sacred and Special. While sometimes we express our creativity to create a product to sell or something to please an audience, Vesta in Leo asks us to refocus on creating out of Divine Inspiration or a sense of Sacredness. What do you create because it feels like a Divine Calling, something that your Spirit longs for, or that you in some way feel like God or Goddess is asking you to create? If you take away the need to please an audience or sell something, what do you Create because your Spirit is starving if you don't do it? Finding Your True Audience: There are people out there who align with your values and identify with you as a unique individual. While Vesta is in Leo you can set an intention to connect with your true Sacred Audience or Spiritual Community. When you start expressing your true authentic self and create for the sake of creation, you will attract the attention of those who align with your energy. There may be some "haters" or critics who want something different from you, but Vesta in Leo can show us the joy in autonomy, and the empowerment to do things our own way. Healing the "People Pleaser": The truth is, Leo as an archetype craves Validation from others. While Vesta is in Leo we may find our own shadows about self-acceptance rising up, and come face to face with our deep need for external validation. We want others to experience joy and pleasure, and we never want to be the source of someone's discomfort or unhappiness - and this can lead to being a people pleaser. It is noble and pure to tend to the comfort and needs of others, but how much are you sacrificing your own comfort and needs in the process? Are you only getting that validation when you sacrifice your own pleasure and abandon your own autonomy or self-expression? Vesta in Leo can have a lot to teach us about holding boundaries. We can still serve others, but only when it is what we truly WANT to do, and it gives us as much pleasure to serve as it does the people we are serving. We achieve this by knowing what gives us pleasure, and strengthening our boundaries and the ability to say NO when something is sapping our life of pleasure and enjoyment. When you are committing to something you need to ask yourself if you are doing this out of a true desire to help, or out of fear-based need for approval and acceptance? There should be balance and equality between "This makes someone else happy" and "this makes me happy". Devotion to Autonomy leads to More Pleasure: When you discover true autonomy and liberation, and you begin to do things for your own pleasure and your own satisfaction rather than only serving the needs of others, you may experience deeper levels of pleasure, fun, and indulgence. Vesta in Leo gives us a sense of understanding the Purity in pleasure - how pleasure is a sacred thing, and we can develop a stronger commitment to prioritize pleasure and joy in our lives. Be careful not to over-indulge, and remember your safety and health - but Vesta in Leo can help you overcome feelings of shame or guilt related to pleasure and enjoyment. Healing Low Self Esteem: Leo Wounds often relate to low self-esteem or low value of self. Many of these wounds come from a time when someone we looked up to or loved told us that we were "too much"; too loud, too bright, too big, too needy, too emotional, etc. Or sometimes it is the opposite, we were told that we were not enough, and in some way lacking. Vesta offers Her Sacred Fire for purposes of cleansing, purification, rest, and regeneration. Sometimes it takes a period of solitude or seclusion, when we re-focus on tending to our own needs instead of tending to what other people want from us, in order to rediscover our own inner power. Listen to music and dance by yourself, create some art that you show to no one, take yourself out on a date, and practice affirming and uplifting yourself. It sounds cliche, but don't underestimate the power of looking at your won reflection in the mirror and giving yourself compliments. It is nice to have validation and compliments from others, but the goal is to liberate ourselves from an addiction to those words from others - to shift to being nourished and uplifted from within, so that we aren't dependent on others to give us that validation. The goal is that when we do get uplifted and validated from others, this is a bonus, but we aren't depending on it for our survival. This won't be easy or quick, and will probably take more time than the five weeks that Vesta is in Leo - but this five weeks is an excellent time to get started on this inner healing! You can also greatly benefit from the guidance of a therapist or counsellor and I encourage you to connect with mental health professionals to help you with this work. Look to your birth chart to see what HOUSE is ruled by Leo. This house can give you additional clues to the area of life that Vesta is encouraging more devotion to right now. If you have Vesta in Leo in your Birth Chart, you are having a Vesta Return! These themes come naturally to you and are likely a focus through your whole life. Let me know in comments if you have Vesta in Leo and how you feel about the above description of this placement. If you don't know where Vesta is in your birth chart, contact me to schedule an Astrology Session and I can help you find Vesta as well as interpret other parts of your chart.

  • Mars in Taurus: Energy and Advice for June 8 - July 20

    Mars entered the sign of Taurus on June 8, 2024 Mars will transit through Taurus for about 6 weeks, leaving the sign on July 20, 2024 Taurus is a Receptive Fixed Earth sign, ruled by Venus. The archetype of Taurus relates to sensuality, physical enjoyment and pleasure, and the preservation or stabilization of access to pleasure. Taurus relates to stability and security - and the drive to work hard so we can have continued stable access to the resources which support our survival - and our pleasure. Mars is a planet of Action and Passion - competitive, aggressive, protective, and motivated. Mars rules over Aries and Scorpio, and it is exalted in Capricorn; in these signs we can understand that there is some benefit to the competitive, motivated, courageous energy, and often even a benefit to the aggression or combativeness that Mars brings to the picture. Mars is hot, sharp, and fast - and like any tools we use, the benefit is best when we wield those tools safely. No matter what sign Mars is in, we want to apply caution when applying this energy. We need proper training to learn to use weapons and tools, and we need some mindfulness and emotional regulation skills to help us best utilize the blessings of Mars.Mars is in detriment in Taurus - the sign that is opposite to its Domicile in Scorpio. A planet in detriment has less ease in expressing itself - it is as if it is in a foreign land where no one is speaking the same language and the customs are unfamiliar. While in the sign of Aries, Scorpio, or Capricorn, the natural traits of Mars are appreciated - and even celebrated. But here, in the realm of Venus, these natural traits of Mars are frowned upon, discouraged, and even forbidden. Taurus doesn't want conflict or battle, because these do not bring pleasure and comfort. Taurus craves stability, and Mars is active, quick moving, loud and disruptive. It's quite literally like the bull in the china shop; Mars is better at being destructive and isn't really great at handling the delicate keepsakes that have been carefully kept safe for decades! Some things need the softer touch of Venus! This is not to say that Mars' presence in Taurus will be completely negative. There are benefits to be found by bringing this action and passion of Mars to the realm of Taurus. The stability that Taurus craves does require some hard work - and this requires energy, passion, and motivation. In fact, the drive and motivation of Mars is something that sometimes Taurus energy can be lacking, so the presence of Mars in this sign can help give a much needed push to the big projects that we have been procrastinating or avoiding. Mars is not afraid of a challenge - in fact it loves a challenge, so if we can intentionally direct that competitive and aggressive nature towards our most daunting tasks, there can be great benefit!You will need to remind yourself to rest and take breaks for self care, because Mars in Taurus can become so focused on finishing the job that you lose sight of all else. Mars can be a bit single-minded when there is a challenge set out before it, but Taurus understands the concept of "Slow and Steady Wins The Race". Mars in Taurus is great for stamina and drive for the long term projects, as long as you remember to take care of your basic needs so that you don't hit burn out or over-exert yourself. Other Challenges: Mars Square Pluto Immediately when Mars enters Taurus it will be in a Square aspect with Pluto in Aquarius. Mars transits relate to our ambitions, our drive and motivation, and what we are feeling defensive or protective of in our lives. Pluto transits relate to Power, Intensity, Obsession, Underworld Journeys, Shadow Work, and Transformation. When Mars and Pluto connect through a square aspect, there is likely to be some kind of power struggle or power imbalance that seems to require a battle or a fight to restore appropriate power. If there are power imbalances in your life or issues related to control or dominance, the Mars-Pluto square will likely force some kind of confrontation. Pluto's connection with Mars can also bring intensify and amplify the ambition of Mars. Pluto is an amplifier and the determination of Mars can be turned all the way up to 10 - which can be problematic if not managed appropriately. Remain mindful that this ambition can turn into obsession with winning, compulsiveness, and being overly-competitive. While winning is great, be mindful of the long term cost of being overly ambitious - it will be lonely in first place if you have lost all your friends and self-respect along the way. This aspect will be especially strong from June 8 - 12, but the influence may be felt all the way through June 24. Mars Conjunct Uranus Toward the end of Mars' journey through Taurus, it will come into conjunction with Uranus. This will be especially strong for the last 10 days of Mars in Taurus, July 10 - 20 (but this influence of Mars joining Uranus might be noticed as early as July 1) Uranus is a planet of innovation, unexpected changes, and breaking free from expectation. As such, Uranus transits are often unpredictable, as they bring unexpected events or unusual occurrences. When combined with the energy of Mars, these unexpected events can also be related to violence, aggression, accidents, anger, warfare, or themes of ambition, high energy, and motivation. The combination of Mars and Uranus is often described as "Disruptive" or "Shocking". It may be beneficial at this time to "Expect the Unexpected" and review your emergency preparedness plans. Even if an emergency doesn't happen to you, this transit is a good reminder to be prepared, because emergencies and accidents can occur at any time, to any of us. This powerful conjunction in the sign of Taurus is reminding us of the importance of building resilience. How do you tend to your mental health to build resilience during times of high stress? Even when things do not impact us directly, just hearing about trauma on the news can trigger a trauma response within your nervous system. It is not selfish or weak to give yourself some tenderness and compassion and rest when you have been hearing about the atrocities of genocide in Palestine and other upsetting horrors around the world or in your own country and city. Resilience refers to both the process and the outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, it is the skills required to be able to bounce back, heal, and grow after challenges or trauma. Resilience relates to having the mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and ability to adjust to both internal and external demands brought on by stress or a crisis. One of the greatest benefits of Mars in Taurus is the ability to build resilience. I recommend reading up on the topic from some experts. You can start with this article: What Is Resilience? Your Guide to Facing Life's Challenges Personal Transits: It can help to have awareness of what House(s) Mars is moving through. Check your birth chart to see what House(s) contain Taurus, and then see what area of life is related to that House. Mars may be energizing, activating, or bringing challenges to that area of your life. Mars transits are especially potent for people who have Sun, Moon or Rising Signs of Aries or Scorpio. If you have planets in your birth chart in any of the Fixed signs, Mars will be making challenging aspects to these planets over the next 6 weeks. Mars will make conjunction with natal placements in Taurus, it will make opposition to natal placements in Scorpio, and it will make square aspects with any natal placements in Leo or Aquarius. Check with your personal astrologer if you want more insights into these transits, especially if Mars is a prominent planet for you. Overall advice for Mars in Taurus: The best way to navigate this time period of Mars in Taurus is to channel Mars' courageous and motivational energy into your long term goals and projects that require stamina. Remember to listen to your body's needs for basic care like rest, food, and hydration. Break up the large projects into smaller projects (Mars works best in short, focused bursts of energy) and give yourself rest and rewards in between each step. This way you will reduce chances of burnout, and keep yourself feeling motivated because you have acknowledged, celebrated, and rewarded each victory no matter how small! Practice caution and safety. Take your time and do not rush things. Taurus energy flourishes when applied at a slow but steady pace. Think of your goals as a Marathon, not a Sprint. Practice mindfulness and direct some of that Mars energy into building stabilizing, grounding daily routines. Mars wants to have a goal, and Taurus favors physical stability, so this is a great time to establish a regular routine with embodiment practices such as yoga, meditation, tai-chi, or a daily workout routine. Stay in your own lane and try not to worry about things that don't impact you directly. Taurus energy can be very self-righteous, and with Mars here there is temptation to direct that self-righteousness in very aggressive ways. Check yourself and make sure you are directing your energy in ways that are helpful or productive rather than tearing others down just to soothe your own ego. Breathe and focus on building up the resilience of your own community.

  • Hestia in Virgo: June 1 - Sept 3

    "Hestia, in the high dwellings of all, both deathless gods and men who walk on earth, you have gained an everlasting abode and highest honor: glorious is your portion and your right.  For without you mortals hold no banquet, —where one does not duly pour sweet wine in offering to Hestia both first and last. "[Homeric Hymn to Hestia] Asteroid Hestia Asteroid 46, Hestia.  While Hestia is not considered one of the main Goddess Asteroids that people often look at, I find value in following her transits.  I often look to both asteroid Hestia and Vesta together, seeing them as "sisters" or different aspects of the same energetic signature. Hestia brings a sense of comfort and devotion to whatever sign she is moving through.  We find a warmth by her fire that we wish to continue, so we find ways to help keep that fire lit.  We may also experience themes of self-sacrifice or rejection - but these serve to help us identify and strengthen our own sovereign willpower and sense of purpose. When looking at the asteroid Hestia in transits or in a birth chart, you can consider it to have influence over themes of: Home and Hearth: Hestia represents the concept of home, both as a physical space and as a symbol of inner sanctuary. Its placement in a chart can indicate one's relationship with their home environment, their sense of security and stability within it, and their ability to create a nurturing space for themselves and others. Emotional Security: Hestia's influence extends beyond the physical home to encompass emotional security and inner peace. Its placement may indicate how an individual finds comfort, solace, and emotional nourishment, whether through solitude, domestic routines, or connections with loved ones. Spiritual and Sacred Space: In ancient Greece, Hestia was also revered as the guardian of sacred spaces, such as temples and altars. Astrologically, Hestia may symbolize one's connection to spirituality, devotion, and rituals that provide a sense of meaning and transcendence in life. Personal Boundaries: Hestia's archetype emphasizes the importance of personal boundaries and creating a safe haven where one can retreat and recharge. Its placement in the birth chart can indicate how an individual establishes and maintains boundaries in relationships, as well as their need for privacy and autonomy. Domestic Responsibilities: Hestia's influence includes domestic responsibilities and the duties associated with maintaining a household. Its placement may reflect one's approach to homemaking, caregiving, and domestic tasks, as well as their attitudes towards traditional gender roles and societal expectations related to family life. Inner Peace and Balance: Ultimately, Hestia encourages individuals to cultivate inner peace, balance, and harmony within themselves and their surroundings. Its placement in the birth chart may highlight areas where one seeks to create a sense of equilibrium and tranquility, whether through domestic bliss, spiritual practices, or nurturing relationships. Hestia in Virgo in 2024, the Asteroid Hestia will be in the sign of Virgo from June 1 - Sept 3 Virgo is a sign of Service, Purity, Devotion, and Health. The Archetype of Virgo teaches us about caring for ourselves and others with routines and attention to detail. The Archetype of "The Virgin" relates to the purification of wheat to turn grain into flour - sometimes in life we need to separate out the small ingredients to make something new. We grow wheat, but the wheat must be processed and turned into flour, and then backed into bread. Virgo represents this kind of attention to detail and following procedures - but all with the intention of service and helping others. This is not the large machine processing bread for a profit - this is the neighbor or friend baking a fresh loaf of bread at home to share with guests or bring to the sick family member. Part of the lessons of Virgo are that one must also care for themselves if they want to be able to care for others. If you leave out your own self care, you could spread illness to those who you wished to care for. Or, you just become too tired and burned out and then you are unable to do the basic tasks of caring for others or even yourself! Some Key words of Virgo: Analytical, Detail-oriented, Practical, Organized, Service-oriented, Diligent, Health-conscious, Perfectionist, Methodical The Asteroid Hestia in the sign of Virgo for all of June, July, and August tells me there will be big themes of Service to others, and the Importance of Self Care emphasized through this summer. There will be great benefit found in applying practical organization in the home environment and seeking out new healthy daily routines. It will likely feel very sacred to tend to your home and your health - and finding ways to make the mundane daily tasks into Sacred Rituals will be very rewarding at this time! Some themes that might be relevant to Hestia in Virgo: Home Improvement Projects: During a transit of Hestia in Virgo, there may be a focus on home improvement projects, organization, and decluttering. It's a favorable time for attending to practical tasks around the house and creating a more efficient and harmonious living space. Health and Wellness Initiatives: This transit can also highlight the importance of health and wellness routines. It's a good time to focus on self-care practices, dietary adjustments, and establishing healthy habits within the home environment. Service-Oriented Activities: Hestia's transit through Virgo may inspire a desire to engage in service-oriented activities within the community or to provide support and assistance to family members in practical ways. Rituals and Routines: This transit encourages the establishment of rituals and routines that promote productivity, well-being, and a sense of groundedness. It's a favorable time for implementing new habits and schedules that contribute to a sense of order and stability in daily life. Attention to Detail: Virgo's influence during this transit emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the details, whether it's in household tasks, communication with family members, or planning for the future. Taking a methodical approach can lead to greater efficiency and satisfaction in domestic matters. A Prayer to Hestia: "Beloved Hestia,You who are both First and Last,Keeper of the Sacred Flame,Guardian of Home and Hearth,Gentle Goddess of warmth, purity, and compassion.I honor you and thank you for all your blessings.I call upon you for your wisdom.May your Light guide me and bless my home!Io Hestia!"

  • Shared Ideals - The Fool's Journey through Gemini Season

    A Continuation of The Fool's Journey Through the Wheel of The Year. We last met our hero as they learned about Pleasure and Preservation during Taurus season from The Empress and The Hierophant. Now, it is Gemini Season. Astrologically it is the end of Spring (in the northern hemisphere), and we collectively feel and see the mutable energy shift from spring towards summer. Gemini is the Mutable Air sign, ruled by Mercury and with the key phrase "I THINK". The Fool has (perhaps reluctantly) departed from the kingdom of The Empress, because they know that there is more for them to learn and discover. Perhaps it is the Fool's curious nature that drove them onward . . . seeking more knowledge without even knowing exactly what it was they would learn. Simply to process of saying "I want to know more" shows an open-mindedness - and through this open-minded attitude, our Fool finally meets The Magician. The Magician is a teacher of many subjects, and an eternal student who is constantly learning more about the world through experimentation. He sees something of himself in The Fool, and invites them to be his apprentice for a time. "What will you teach me?" asks The Fool. "The power of your own mind and thoughts", replies The Magician. "How will I learn that?" the Fool asks. "By asking questions and thinking and talking, of course!" laughs The Magician. The Magician has many tools, and many ingredients he uses for his alchemy and spells. But he teaches that the tools are only useful if one knows how and when to use them. The tools alone are just objects, it is the mind and intention of the one who wields the tool that creates an effect. In this way, the truth is revealed that all magic and change starts in the mind, and then must be applied to the physical world. "As above, So Below" is a favorite phrase of The Magician to help demonstrate the concept of thoughts and ideas manifesting into physical form. the Fool and the Magician spend hours and days talking theory, reading books and discussing together what they have read, and exploring the world around them. The Fool learns new languages and many practical skills, as well as developing a deeper appreciation for the art of conversation. The time seems to fly by, and The Fool has learned a lot, yet they still feel like something is missing. "There are still so many things that I do not understand! Why is this? How can I still feel so empty, like I am yet still just half a person?" the Fool muses. The Magician chuckles, "Ah, well. . . there are some things you just can't learn by yourself. Sometimes you need another to be like a mirror, for you to see the world in a different way." The Fool frowns and cocks their head to one side... "Isn't that what you are? As my teacher and I your student, aren't you showing me how to see the world in a different way?" The Magician cocks an eyebrow and tries to hold back a laugh. "Um, not quite like that", he says. "You need to experience the equality of partnership. Someone whom teaches you, and you teach them, through shared experience of equal desire. Something you can't get from me, I'm afraid." The Fool blushes, because they suddenly understand what The Magician is implying. "Oh, there is someone . . . I think maybe? When I go in town to the library there is someone I often meet there who seems to like the same books and subjects as I. We enjoy each other's company and I think there is some . . . attraction." The Magician laughs again, "yes, you young fool, this is what I mean. A partner that you can learn with, and enjoy talking to just for the sake of sharing. Someone you want to know as intimately as you know yourself, who can teach you things that no Teacher or Guru can show you! What is the point of learning all this magic and knowledge if you do not find someone to SHARE it with?" And, with the encouragement of their Mentor, the Fool ventures out to find their friend and seek a new kind of Partnership. There are things we can only learn about ourselves through the mirror that is held up by an equal partner. Some applications of knowledge that can only be tested in partnership, and some truth that is not spoken or written down - but only found through openness with a deep connection to another person. “It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” ― John Joseph Powell, The Secret of Staying in Love Gemini is the sign of The Twins; representing someone who is an equal partner - someone who is like us yet separate from us and unique. Someone who is different, and yet the same. We often think of the twins as siblings, but the energy of Gemini also reflects non-sibling partnerships. It is a sign of ultimate curiosity - and what are we more curious about than the minds and hearts of others? In relationships we learn to share our thoughts and ideas. If we are lucky, we find someone who shares our ideals and goals, yet is different enough to challenge us and keep us growing. The Lovers card of the Tarot is the card of Gemini - the ultimate purpose of communication reflected in a desire to know and understand others, and for others to know and understand us. Gemini is ruled by the planet Mercury - planet of the Mind, Thoughts, Ideas, Communication, Movement, Travel, Trade. Commerce, and Sharing. In the Tarot, The Magician is related to the Planet Mercury; reminding us that everything we manifest starts with our thoughts and ideas, and with knowledge of proper tools and how to use them. "As above, So Below" is a reminder that WE are each a twin reflection of the grand divine whole of the Universe. Our partnerships with others are a reflection of the state of our partnership with the Divine, and with ourselves. Another aspect of The Lover's Card is Choices and Consequences - in learning how to see ourselves in others, we realize that what we do unto others is what we do to ourselves. Our choices not only affect us, but they also affect the people around us - and we truly begin to understand selflessness and life is a shared experience, not an individual one. The Fool's journey through Gemini season is an opportunity for us to learn from these cards. Are we constantly learning and using our tools and resources to the best of our ability? Are we learning from our partnerships and finding satisfaction in sharing our ideals and ideas with someone we see as an equal?

  • Jupiter in Gemini: 8 of Swords

    Podcast Episode 31: The 8 of Swords - Jupiter and Gemini - Astrology Tarot Devotional Recorded on May 27, 2024 © Hestia's Muse, Lilliana Blackstar. Below is not a word for word transcript, but it is the notes and my written blog post that I refer to in the podcast. Gemini Basics Gemini is often associated with duality, communication, and versatility. Represented by the symbol of the Twins, this archetype embodies the complexity of human nature and the interplay of contrasting forces within us. Gemini teaches us about the power of communication and the exchange of ideas. Those influenced by this archetype are often quick-witted, curious, and adaptable. They thrive on intellectual stimulation and are adept at processing information from multiple perspectives. Gemini encourages us to embrace our curiosity, engage in meaningful dialogue, and remain open to new experiences. The duality of Gemini also highlights the importance of balance. Just as the Twins represent two sides of the same coin, individuals under this sign may struggle with indecision or inconsistency. Learning to integrate opposing qualities within ourselves is a key lesson of Gemini, as it teaches us to find harmony between our rational and emotional selves. The First Decan of Gemini - Sub-Ruled by Jupiter Each sign is ruled by a planet, and then each decan is also ruled by a planet - you can think of this as a sub-ruler or "Shift Manager".  The entire sign of Gemini is ruled by Mercury, and the first ten degrees of Gemini are also sub-ruled by Jupiter - you can think of this section of the Zodiac as Jupiterian in nature. JUPITER: Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and symbolizes expansion, abundance, and the principle of growth. Often referred to as the "Great Benefic," Jupiter exudes an optimistic and generous energy. It rules over the higher mind, philosophy, and beliefs, encouraging individuals to seek wisdom and a broader understanding of life. Jupiter's influence is associated with luck, opportunities, and a sense of abundance, inspiring individuals to reach for higher goals and embrace a more expansive view of the world. In an astrological chart, Jupiter's placement is seen as a source of enthusiasm, optimism, and a desire for meaningful experiences. It encourages a spirit of exploration, both intellectually and experientially, fostering a sense of purpose and an openness to the possibilities that life has to offer.  Overall, Jupiter embodies the principle of abundance, inspiring individuals to reach for their highest aspirations and explore the boundless possibilities that the universe has to offer. Jupiter in Gemini: May 25, 2024 - May 9, 2025 When Jupiter, the planet of expansion and growth, transits through Gemini, the influence is complex due to the contrasting energies at play. Gemini, ruled by Mercury, embodies qualities of intellect, agility, adaptability, curiosity, and communication. However, Jupiter's presence in this sign is considered to be in detriment, meaning its expansive nature may face challenges in expressing itself fully. Jupiter is in DETRIMENT in the sign of Gemini, meaning that it is somewhat uncomfortable or restricted in this sign that is opposite to it's home rulership sign of Sagittarius. A planet that is in detriment has less ease in expressing itself - it is as if it is in a foreign land where no one is speaking the same language and the customs are unfamiliar. In this case, Jupiter is still a benefic planet that offers blessings, but it is as if the blessings are caught up behind some red tape and do not flow to us as easily. During this transit, Jupiter's influence amplifies Gemini's intellectual curiosity and thirst for knowledge. Individuals may feel compelled to explore diverse subjects, philosophies, and belief systems, seeking to broaden their understanding of the world. However, there can also be a tendency towards superficiality or scattering of energy, as Jupiter's expansive energy clashes with Gemini's penchant for variety and change. The open-mindedness of Gemini can become too open and unfocused; the attention is spread thin because it is on too many things, or it only touches the surface of the topic before moving on to the next big thing. There can be a sensation of being overwhelmed - reaching decision fatigue or decision paralysis because there are just too many opinions to take into account, and too many options.On a spiritual level, Jupiter in Gemini encourages a broad-minded approach to faith and belief systems. It fosters a curious exploration of philosophical and theological concepts, inviting individuals to expand or change their understanding of universal laws governing humanity. However, there may be a need to guard against intellectual arrogance or dogmatism, as the expansive nature of Jupiter can sometimes lead to overconfidence in one's beliefs. In matters of justice, law, honor, and truth, Jupiter in Gemini may prompt a reevaluation of societal norms and ethical principles, encouraging a more flexible and adaptable approach to these concepts. This re-evaluation may be beneficial and necessary as the world changes, but Jupiter can bring a rather dogmatic or over-confident approach in which people can feel so sure that they are "right" that they become unwilling to see things from another perspective or become unwilling to allow more information into their view. Gemini's curiosity and attention to detail can be difficult to navigate when Jupiter is urging a more expansive approach. The mind is conflicted; which is more important - the details or the big picture? What should I focus on? The Higher Philosophical Truth, or the Truth that directly impacts me and the people around me? One way to explore the influence of Jupiter in Gemini is to look at the tarot card, the 8 of Swords. This is the minor arcana card that corresponds with the first decan of Gemini, or with the energy of Jupiter in Gemini. 8 of Swords Key Words and Concepts: Blindness or uncertainty Decision Paralysis Fear Helplessness Isolation or feeling alone Information Overload Limitation or restriction Mental entrapment Negative thinking Self-imposed barriers Trapped or feeling Stuck Victim mentality The 8 of Swords General meaning; The 8 of Swords tarot card generally symbolizes a sense of entrapment and restriction, often rooted in one's own thoughts and perceptions. It depicts a figure who is bound and blindfolded, surrounded by swords, illustrating feelings of helplessness and being stuck in a difficult situation. This card suggests that the barriers and limitations one faces are often self-imposed, resulting from negative thinking and fear. The message of the 8 of Swords is about recognizing these mental constraints and understanding that they can be overcome. It encourages breaking free from limiting beliefs, gaining clarity, and taking steps towards liberation and empowerment. It can be hard at first to see how this is a Jupiter card! Jupiter is fortune, wisdom, luck, growth and it is most often associated with optimism and joy. This card certainly doesn't seem to be bringing a very uplifting or happy message, so what's the deal? How is this a Jupiter card? Well it begins to make sense with the context of Jupiter's detriment in Gemini. Jupiter will have the tendency to expand whatever concept it touches, and Gemini is truly the sign of Curiosity. Jupiter's expansion of Curiosity doesn't really create more answers or any kind of definitive truth as much as it just creates more questions. So the nature of Jupiter is to seek the truth, and this combined with Gemini's curiosity we just find that there are more answers which need more questions. Gemini's duplicity helps us see that "More than one thing can be true at once", and while this can be freeing in some circumstances - with Jupiter it just becomes overwhelming. Instead of finding one objectively true answer to life's questions, we find that subjectively every person's truth is their own. Once we see that this is a card of Jupiter in Gemini, we can clearly see how this is a card of Jupiter's detriment. There is a decision paralysis or a feeling of decision fatigue here - the figure in the card has been presented with too many choices and it feels impossible to make a choice. In our own lives when we face this decision paralysis it is often because we have too many options, and also because we are feeling exhausted from having to make too many choices on a regular basis. We sometimes need to simplify, narrow down our choices so we only have to decide between one or two things. I often remind my partner that it is easier for me to decide what I want to eat when he offers me two or three specific options rather than just asking me "what do you want to eat for dinner?" Decision Fatigue can happen when someone is responsible for making all the big choices in their day to day life and the ability to make choices gradually worsens throughout the day or over a period of time. We are less likely to make rational choices when we are tired, over-worked, overwhelmed, or have not had time to relax. After a long day of work when we have been making a series of important choices for ourselves and others, it can suddenly feel impossible at the end of the day to make even a simple choice like "what should I watch on Netflix before bed?" We can also experience something called "Information Overload" or "Information fatigue" ; this is when we are constantly receiving new information which we do not have time to fully process or examine before we are receiving more new information. We often feel this way because of the way that the internet and social media are designed to be constantly stimulating us with new information in order to keep us engaged and using the platforms - but this is resulting in us constantly feeling this sort of decision paralysis ora sense of helplessness, hopelessness, and being trapped or overwhelmed. When we are constantly being updated about terrible or frightening things in the world, we feel as if there is nothing we can do to change the world, and then we feel stuck or helpless. People who are engaged in activism often report feeling this activism fatigue; despite all that they have been doing to fight for their cause and make a difference in the world, the bad news keeps piling in with new updates and they begin to feel like they have not made a difference at all. In truth they HAVE been making a difference, but the access to this big-picture information coming in from all over the world has made it nearly impossible to see the small difference that we make as individuals. This seems very Jupiter-in Gemini to me as the expansion of information causes us to lose the context of details, and then feel as if we are the helpless figure in the 8 of Swords card. Jupiter is concerned with seeking out the Truth (like a big Capitol T "Truth", and Gemini by nature will pick apart every detail of anything that is presented as Truth. Gemini holds the energy of undying curiosity and here we find there is always someone playing the Devil's advocate and asking uncomfortable questions about whatever conclusions have been made. Jupiter's main function is to help us define our ethics and morals - what we believe to be Good or bad and Right or Wrong will then define what laws we make and what we believe about Justice. However, Life is not so simple that it can be described in definitive terms of Black and White or Right and Wrong, and this certainly complicates the process of "Unveiling The Truth" that might be more straightforward of a process for Jupiter in other signs. Gemini will gladly point out that there are always exceptions to a rule, and that no solution will work in all circumstances. Jupiter's blind faith and optimistic beliefs in Justice combined with Gemini's attention to detail and constant curiosity has got us into quite a complicated bind! Knowing that the suit of Swords mostly represents our thoughts and ideas - it is clear we are in a some kind of bind when this card comes up, but the card is really showing us how many of our problems or restrictions are due to our own beliefs about ourselves or the world. We have literally over-thought ourselves into some kind of situation where we now feel trapped. Perhaps we made a lot of declarative statements about what we believed to be right and wrong, and now we find that we cannot act without contradicting ourselves or breaking some kind of rule that we have set for ourselves. Yeah, thats gonna sting when we have to admit that we were wrong, or when we are forced to do something that we once harshly judged someone else for doing. Or perhaps the solution to our problem is obvious, but we have wrapped it up in so much red tape with our own over-analysis of "right and wrong" that it is now impossible to see the solution that is right there. I'm reminded of the TV show "The Good Place". In this show which is a comedy about moral philosophy - we find that it is nearly impossible for a human to get into heaven because the rules of good and bad are so complicated that no one could possibly make all the right choices. In the show, we meet the one person on earth who is on track to get into The Good Place - and he basically over-thinks every single action that he takes. He has moved into the woods to live off the grid and grow his own food in order to avoid participating in any aspect of capitalism and consumerism that is possibly unethical. He has essentially cut himself off from all of life in order to be "good". I think this is the conundrum of the 8 of Swords - Jupiter in Gemini can get so caught up in the details of Justice and Truth and idealistic perfection that we trap and bind ourselves. What about the positives of Jupiter in Gemini? It can be easy to focus on the negatives of a detrimental transit, or the negative aspects of a card like the 8 of Swords. But this doesn't mean that there is no positive experience to be gained from this card or this transit! So let's look at some of the positives Improved Communication: This card can show you the need to communicate your feelings and thoughts more effectively, leading to better relationships and support systems. Jupiter does bring blessings and fortune - and in Gemini these blessings come to our communication. Jupiter may be able to help us put our more complicated thoughts and feelings into words, and really express ourselves! It's going to be an excellent year for writing a book, teaching classes, giving lectures, or just sharing your thoughts and ideas with your friends. Expanded Social Circles:  Gemini is a truly social sign and loves to have social gatherings and community time. Jupiter can really bless our social gatherings as well as help us make new friends or expand our social circles. It can be a good time to branch out and meet new people that share similar interests. Discovering Inner Strength:  Looking at the 8 of Swords we can see that the restriction is something caused by our own mind or beliefs, and therefore the solution is also within our own mind and beliefs. When we actively deconstruct our own restrictive beliefs, we discover the power of our own mind and develop better self confidence as well as better problem solving skills. Better Self-Awareness: Recognizing and acknowledging self-imposed limitations can be the first step toward personal growth and empowerment. When we realize that our state of mind is powerful enough to make us feel so trapped and overwhelmed, we decide to develop better mindfulness habits and more self-awareness so we can avoid these internal trappings of the mind. More Mental Clarity: Confronting fears and negative thoughts can lead to greater mental clarity and understanding of your situation. When you know what you are afraid of or what makes you feel overwhelmed, you can work to resolve or confront these fears before they become overwhelming.

  • Vesta in Cancer: March 31 - June 19, 2024

    The Asteroid Vesta in Astrology represents The Goddess Vesta (counterpart of the Greek Goddess Hestia). Vesta is the Goddess of the Sacred Flame; representing Purity, Devotion, Service, and Sacrifice. In modern astrology, the Asteroid of Vesta can represent a place of devotion and dedication in the chart - it is where we are tending an inner Sacred Fire. Fire needs tending, care, and mindfulness so that it doesn't burn out; or burn too hot and get out of control. We give offerings of fuel (service, time, energy) in order to keep the fire lit. We must practice care and dedication, paying close attention to this fire so it does not go out. The transits of Vesta can show us an area of life which we are feeling called to direct more care, devotion, and service. The sign that Vesta is transiting through represents the archetype or energy that is asking for more dedication, focus, and devotion. Vesta also embodies the archetype of service and self-sacrifice. It suggests a willingness to dedicate oneself to the service of others or to a higher calling, even at personal cost. We can look to the transit of Vesta to receive guidance as to what aspects of life we should direct some extra dedication, devotion, and service to. Think of the Asteroid Vesta as a Sacred Fire that helps us connect with something Sacred in each sign that it visits. When we discover something sacred, we recognize that we have a responsibility to protect, preserve, and serve that sacred thing. Vesta in the sign of Cancer is showing us the Sacredness of Emotions and Feelings, how nurturing ourselves and others is a Sacred Act, and how our home is a Sacred place. The Sacred Fire also serves the purpose of cleansing a purification - it burns away the old debris and purifies or cleanses. Vesta in the sign of Cancer is going to help us burn away the emotional debris and clutter, helping us to find the root of the emotion or feeling. Then we can nurture and heal the root emotion rather than wasting our time tending to distractions or deflections. Vesta in Cancer: March 31 - June 19, 2024 Domestic Focus:  When Vesta transits through Cancer, there is a heightened emphasis on matters related to home, family, and emotional security. You may feel compelled to devote more time and energy to nurturing your loved ones and creating a supportive home environment. Emotional Healing: This transit can facilitate deep emotional healing and inner work, as individuals are encouraged to confront and address any unresolved issues or emotional wounds from the past. It's a favorable time for seeking support from loved ones or engaging in therapeutic practices that promote healing and self-awareness. Nurturing Service: Vesta's themes of dedication and service take on a nurturing and caretaking quality during this transit. You may feel called to support others in a more emotional or nurturing capacity, offering comfort, empathy, and reassurance to those in need. Family Bonds: Relationships with family members, particularly parents and children, may become a focal point during this transit. It's a favorable time for strengthening familial bonds, resolving conflicts, and creating deeper emotional connections with loved ones. Emotional Sensitivity: The combination of Vesta's focus and Cancer's emotional sensitivity can heighten feelings of vulnerability and empathy during this transit. People may find themselves more emotionally attuned to the needs of others and may be drawn to acts of kindness and compassion. Are you feeling the call of Vesta in Cancer? Have you been feeling drawn to dedicate more time to your family, or creating a nurturing and secure home environment? Whether you have noticed this energy or not, try seeing how you can give more service to these areas of your life over the next month. Create comfortable and cozy places in your home for yourself or your family to feel comforted and nurtured. Cook some nourishing foods to share with others. Prioritize spending time with your family members or chosen loved ones that you cherish. Look to your birth chart to see what HOUSE is ruled by Cancer. This house can give you additional clues to the area of life that Vesta is encouraging more devotion to right now. If you have Vesta in Cancer in your Birth Chart, you are having a Vesta Return! These themes come naturally to you and are likely a focus through your whole life. Let me know in comments if you have Vesta in Cancer and how you feel about the above description of this placement. If you don't know where Vesta is in your birth chart, contact me to schedule an Astrology Session and I can help you find Vesta as well as interpret other parts of your chart. I have previously written a different blog post about Vesta in Cancer - you can find it here: Vesta in Cancer - Devotion to Emotion

  • Astrology Update: Sept 2 - 12, 2023

    The Second Decan of Virgo Season: Sun moves from 10° Virgo through 19° Virgo. Virgo is ruled by Mercury, and the 2nd Decan of Virgo is sub-ruled by Venus. (Each sign is ruled by a planet, and then each decan is also ruled by a planet - you can think of this as a sub-ruler or "Shift Manager".) You can think of this period of Virgo season to be both Mercurial and Venusian in nature. Overall, the transits and lessons of both Mercury and Venus will be very important right now - and students of astrology could benefit from studying both at this time. Mercury: Mercury in astrology signifies communication, thought processes, and intellectual expression. It governs how we gather, process, and share information, impacting our reasoning, decision-making, and interaction styles. Mercury's position in the birth chart and its transits influence our learning tendencies, language skills, and the way we convey ideas to others. Mercury is currently in the sign of Virgo, and it began its retrograde on August 23. Read more about the Mercury Retrograde in Virgo here: Mercury Retrograde in Virgo 2023 Venus: Venus in astrology represents love, beauty, relationships, and pleasure. It governs our affections, attractions, and aesthetic preferences, influencing how we form connections, express affection, and appreciate art and beauty in all its forms. In astrological transits, Venus's movement across the sky brings shifts in matters of love, relationships, and aesthetics. Depending on the aspects it forms with other planets, Venus transits can spark romantic opportunities, enhance social interactions, or prompt reevaluations of our values and desires. These transits influence our approach to love, beauty, and harmony, inviting us to explore new connections or deepen existing bonds. As Venus is the sub-ruler of this Decan that the sun is currently moving through, we can consider that the current transit of Venus will be very important for us at this time. Venus is ending its Retrograde this week, once again resuming direct motion in Leo starting on September 4. What beautiful timing! After the retrograde, Venus will remain in the post-shadow phase until October 6 and leave Leo to enter Virgo on October 9. Venus in the post-retrograde Shadow is now evaluating the changes that were made during the retrograde, facing the consequences of choices made during the retrograde, and gradually returning to the more fun and carefree glow of Venus in Leo. Venus in Leo brings light, enthusiasm and pleasure to all - certainly helping to balance out the other focused, serious energies of the middle of Virgo season. Venus in Leo is optimistic and helps us see the bright side in life. Venus in this sign helps us feel more confident, adventurous, and, and outgoing. It can also bring out a strong sense of pride and even an inflated ego in some circumstances. But overall Venus in Leo is loyal, friendly, and supportive. The shadow side of Venus in Leo relates to being overly dependent on attention or compliments from others. If you have self-esteem issues, the Venus retrograde likely made you confront those issues - but your work isn't done yet! Now that the retrograde is over, it is time to engage with this Venus in Leo Direct energy - in new ways that you were somehow blocked from before the retrograde. It may seem counter-intuitive to consider the middle of Virgo season to be a place of honor for Venus - because Venus is Fallen in the sign of Virgo - the sign opposite from Pisces where Venus is Exalted. It is true that Venus can struggle in this Mercurial sign - where the focus is not on pleasure but on service, healing, and getting work done in the most effective way. However- in the very middle of Virgo I think that Venus can start to find her footing here; finding the pleasure in the work, finding the joy in serving or helping others, and finding the beauty of seeing things come together through attention to detail. Any makeup artist, seamstress, or fashion designer likely knows this kind of Virgo-Venus pleasure - finding that the attention to tiny details made all the difference in creating a beautiful look. That taking time to really bring the look together took great care and effort, but it was so worth it in the end. Tarot Card of the Decan: 9 of Pentacles Each of the tarot cards are in some way associated with an astrological sign, decan, season, or planet. The 9 of Pentacles is associated with the second decan of Virgo or with the energy of Venus in Virgo. The 9 of Pentacles in tarot signifies a sense of self-sufficiency, luxury, and accomplishment. It reflects a stage where you are enjoying the rewards of your efforts, basking in personal freedom and material comfort. This card suggests a period of appreciating the fruits of your labor and relishing in the pleasures of a well-deserved respite. I think it is perfect that this card represents Venus energy, and Venus will be ending it's retrograde now. What a perfect time to really experience the feeling of enjoying the rewards of your hard work, and experiencing a period of comfort. If you have done the shadow work that Venus retrograde encouraged, you certainly have a lot to be proud of now, and you can enjoy your life in ways that you weren't able to before. You can study this card and it's meaning in your life through the period of Sept 2 through 12. Patreon subscribers will soon have a more detailed post about this card and it's relation to the second decan of Virgo. You may also find a new podcast episode about this card coming soon! Astrological Events of Sept 2 - 12: Sept 2 - Moon in Aries Sept 3 - Moon enters Taurus 7:59 am PDT. Venus stationing Direct. Jupiter Stationing Retrograde. Mercury in Virgo trine Jupiter in Taurus. Sept 4 - Moon in Taurus. Venus Retrograde Ends. Sept 5 - Moon in Taurus. Jupiter Retrograde Begins. Moon enters Gemini 1:06 pm PDT. Sept 6 - Moon in Gemini. Mercury Cazimi. Last Quarter Moon Sept 7 - Moon in Gemini. Waning Balsamic Moon Phase Begins. Moon enters Cancer 9:59 pm PDT. Sept 8 - Moon in Cancer. Sun in Virgo trine Jupiter in Taurus. Sept 9 - Moon in Cancer. Sept 10 - Moon enters Leo 9:36 am PDT. Sept 11 - Moon in Leo. Sept 12 - Moon in Leo. Dark Waning Moon. Astrology Updates: More details for the upcoming transits Waning Gibbous Moon Phase; Aug 31 - Sept 6 The Week of August 31 through Sept 6 is a Waning Gibbous Moon Phase. Although still radiant in the night sky, the moon's illumination is gradually diminishing each night. Notice how it rises later each evening, and stays up longer each morning, lending more and more of its time above the horizon to daylight hours. During this phase, it's a time of integration and reflection. Take a moment to contemplate the lessons learned during the full moon and integrate them into your goals. As you witness the fruits of your labor from the waxing moon period, embrace the spirit of harvest and gratitude. Now is the perfect opportunity to review the past, correct mistakes, and make amends. Settle any disputes that may hinder your progress. Embrace this phase as a chance to let go of bad habits, release addictions, and embark on a dietary journey by removing certain foods from your lifestyle and engaging in detoxification. Focus on removing obstacles, nurturing healing, banishing negativity, and freeing yourself from negative influences. The waning moon invites you to shift your focus towards removing anything that hinders your progress. Take this time to re-evaluate your path. If you're facing difficulties in achieving your goal, be honest with yourself about the underlying reasons. It's also acceptable to release a goal if you discover it no longer aligns with your true desires or if there are other priorities that require your attention first. Embrace self-forgiveness and accept the situation for what it is. In this week's Waning Gibbous moon phase, the moon will journey through Pisces, Aries, Taurus, and Gemini- infusing each day with its unique energy. This moon phase ends with the Last Quarter Moon in Gemini on September 6. Venus Retrograde Ending Venus will be stationing on September 2 and 3rd, and then beginning direct movement again on September 4. Venus Retrograde in Leo has brought up a lot of shadow work for many people - forcing us to confront our desires and have a good hard look at what is not pleasant in our life. The work here has been discerning whether or not our lack of pleasure or enjoyment is temporary - or if it is showing us something that needs a drastic change. Some people may have ended relationships, quit jobs, or just stopped engaging with a part of life that wasn't bringing joy. Some people worked on changing how they appear, or how they see themselves - working on issues of self esteem and acceptance. Now that Venus is turning direct again, we get to take a clear look at the consequences or those changes. Venus remains in the post-shadow zone of the retrograde through October 6. The Post-Shadow period is the third time that a planet moves through a specific section of the zodiac. Venus came through this section early in the summer, slowed down (stationed) and then appeared to transit backwards through this section, stationed again and now moves forward through these degrees. I often think of a retrograde planet as a teacher offering an advanced and detailed course on a specific subject for a limited time. In this case, Venus has been giving us an advanced course on the second and third decan of Leo since around June 19, 2023. The most intensive part of the course was the retrograde, and as this ends we have more ease and pleasure in the subject. There may still be manifestations of lessons, an occasional pop-quiz, and of course we get the consequences of choices we made during the retrograde shown to us - in the same way a student might receive grades or feedback from their teacher. It is good to revisit the basic meaning of Venus in Leo and work to re-align yourself with feeling all the goodness that Venus can offer us in this sign. The planet of Beauty and Desire, can really enjoy herself in the sign of Leo - a place of Passion, creativity, fun, pride, self-expression, romance, and sexuality. Especially as the Sun travels through the second decan of Virgo, where Venus is a sub-ruler. (See the earlier paragraph on Venus at the top of this post) Mercury Trine Jupiter When Mercury, the planet of communication and intellect, forms a harmonious trine aspect with Jupiter, the planet of expansion and wisdom, the energies of both planets combine in a highly positive and (usually) beneficial way. We experienced this aspect last month, around August 9 - before the Mercury Retrograde began. Now we experience it again while Mercury is retrograde, so it is not quite the same. Additionally, Jupiter is stationing - meaning is is moving very slowly and preparing for it's own retrograde. Remember - Jupiter expands whatever it touches, and in this case it is expanding the influence of Mercury retrograde. The trine aspect between Mercury in Virgo and Jupiter in Taurus enhances our desire to communicate and express our ideas with confidence - though we might struggle to do so in an effective way at this time. It brings about a sense of optimism and a deep thirst for knowledge, encouraging us to seek wisdom and broaden our understanding of the world - though the retrograde is also enhancing our distraction and making it hard to focus on any one thing for very long. Jupiter Retrograde Sept 4 - Dec 30 Jupiter Retrograde indicates a period when the expansive and benevolent energies of Jupiter turn inward. It's a time for reflection, review, and introspection regarding matters of growth, opportunities, and wisdom. During this phase, you might revisit your beliefs, educational pursuits, and philosophical outlook, seeking a deeper understanding and potentially making adjustments to your path. Jupiter Retrograde invites you to internalize its influence before moving forward with renewed clarity and expanded perspectives. Jupiter Retrograde in the Fixed Earth sign of Taurus emphasizes a reassessment of values, material pursuits, and stability. This period encourages you to reflect on your approach to abundance, financial matters, and personal resources. It's a time to reconsider your beliefs around security and how you cultivate a sense of worth. Jupiter's introspective influence in Taurus prompts you to align your aspirations with practicality and to ensure that your endeavors lead to sustained growth and tangible rewards. Jupiter is the planet most often associated with Luck or Good Fortune - when it is retrograde it is less apt to give blessings freely - as any "Good Fortune" you have now is more likely to be reward for hard work or come after you have made some internal shift in your beliefs through your introspections. Since Taurus rules over all of our basic physical needs like food and shelter and comfort - these things might feel a bit harder to obtain, or seem more distant while Jupiter is in Retrograde; a good reminder to not take things for granted and to work harder to build systems that are fair and just when it comes to helping everyone have access to basic needs and stability. Mercury Combust / Cazimi A Combustion relates to the nature of any planet coming into close conjunction with the sun. The sun's bright rays outshine the planet - the planet becomes invisible to us. The planet is considered "burned" or "scorched" by coming too close to the sun - it cannot share a throne and therefore the combust planet loses influence. A planet is considered Combust when it is within 18° of either side of the sun. (Though some consider the combustion to only count when it is within 10 or 12 degrees of the sun - but generally a planet will be invisible unless it is more than 18° away from the Sun) While Mercury is combust, the "job" of Mercury (Communication, Commerce, Trade, Travel, Critical Thinking & Problem Solving) becomes the job of the Sun; all of the realm of Mercury is now appropriated by the Sun. Mercury is no longer a separate entity with it's own agency to rule the mind - The Sun now rules the heart and the mind. This relates to some of the confusion and chaos of a Mercury Retrograde - Mercury isn't always retrograde when it is combust, but it is always Combust when it is retrograde. At the middle of the Combust period - an exception to the rule occurs. For a short period, while a planet is very exactly conjunct the sun - it does actually take the throne of the sun. This period is called Cazimi - and the roles are reversed. When Mercury is Cazimi - it takes back its own power and appropriates the power of the Sun. Mercury will be Cazimi in Virgo through the early morning hours of September 6 This makes it a time when Mercury has actually taken over the throne of the Sun - some people find a temporary relief from the Retrograde during this time, as Mercury is finally able to come through and help us clear up any communication troubles. Many people would say that a period of Mercury cazimi during a retrograde might be the best time to petition Mercury or Hermes for help, or to do any Mercury based planetary magic. Your window of opportunity is very small however, as the cazimi only lasts for several hours. In general, the rules of Mercury retrograde will still apply - in some cases, the Mercury Retrograde lessons might intensify, as Mercury energy is amplified and if problems already exist or are not tended to properly - they are magnified. LAST QUARTER MOON - Sept 6 The half way point between the full moon and the new moon, the moon appears half-lit in the night sky. Moon also begins to set earlier in the night, and rise earlier in the morning, spending less time illuminating the night sky. The last quarter moon marks the transition from Gibbous Waning Moon Phase, to Balsamic Waning Moon Phase. The Third Quarter / Last Quarter moon is exact during its square aspect to the sun. As the moon forms a square to the sun, there is a challenge or "dispute" between the sign that the sun is shining from, and the sign the moon is reflecting from. (The moon also squares the sun when it is at the first quarter waxing moon - that was the first major challenge in the moon cycle) With the waning moon, this square is very often felt internally rather than externally. It is a time of inner reflection as you harvest and preserve the growth from whatever you planted at the new moon 3 weeks ago. This part of the moon cycle offers deeper lessons for what you need to forgive and release. As moon moves into the darkness of the balsamic phase, we can begin to let go of past desires, find gratitude for what we have, and continue to clear away internal clutter. This last quarter moon is the Square aspect between Virgo and Gemini. Our Virgo goals are being challenged in some way by Gemini energy, and there is a need to find a compromise between the two energies. Bothe Gemini and Virgo are ruled by Mercury, but here in this square we can really feel the duality between the two sides of Mercury. The Gemini side of Mercury is a Projective, Mutable Air sign energy that is curious and flexible, but non-committal and distractable. The Virgo side of Mercury is a Receptive, Mutable Earth sign energy that is determined and focused, committed and self-sacrificing. Both these energies have strengths and weaknesses, benefits and flaws. The square between moon and sun, with Mercury Retrograde in conjunction with the sun and also squaring the Moon in Gemini - is really bringing to focus our need to find a way to honor BOTH of these energies within. Waning Balsamic Moon September 7 - 14 We're in the final week of the waning cycle, which lasts from about 7 days before the next new moon until the new moon itself. This phase begins right after the Last Quarter Moon square to the sun, when the moon starts closing the gap between itself and the sun through the last quarter of its cycle. During this phase, our focus remains on releasing and letting go. Take some time to reflect on the inner and outer processes of releasing that you started a week ago. You can continue with the banishing work you've initiated or delve into deeper, more intentional processes of banishment. It's important to remove yourself from unwanted situations or relationships that no longer serve your greater good. Let go of obligations that aren't benefiting you, and release any expectations or desires that are not coming to fruition. If a particular goal hasn't produced the desired results, it's time to release it. In gardening terms, this phase represents the final harvest. Preserve what you can, and then trim back the dead leaves, pull up dying plants, and place anything rotten or spoiled into the compost heap. This moon phase is an ideal time for working on releasing bad habits, detoxing, and dieting. If there's a specific food you want to remove from your diet, now is a good time to let it go. Detoxing and fasting can yield positive results during this phase. During this Waning Moon phase, the moon will move through Gemini, Cancer, Leo, and into Virgo where the New Moon will signal the beginning of the next Lunar Cycle. Sun in Virgo Trine Jupiter in Taurus - Sept 8 Sun trine Jupiter, especially as an Earth trine, signifies a harmonious alignment between personal expression (Sun) and expansion (Jupiter). This aspect indicates a favorable period for growth, optimism, and self-assuredness. As an Earth trine, this energy is grounded and practical, allowing for the manifestation of opportunities and achievements through consistent effort and a balanced approach. It's a time when your confidence and enthusiasm can lead to tangible success, especially in areas related to your goals, resources, and material pursuits. When this aspect occurs with Jupiter in retrograde, the energy takes on a more introspective tone. This combination suggests that the opportunities for growth and expansion may arise from within, encouraging you to review and reassess your beliefs, philosophies, and personal values. It's a time to tap into your inner wisdom and seek expansion through self-discovery and inner alignment. The Earth trine aspect further emphasizes the practical potential of these insights, indicating that the changes you make during this period have the potential to manifest in your material world once Jupiter turns direct. Dark Moon - September 12 & 13 The "dark moon" is an integral part of the waning crescent/balsamic moon phase. It refers to the final day or two just before the New Moon, when the moon is completely invisible in the night sky, appearing only as a small crescent near the sun. During this time, the nights are devoid of moonlight. Typically, I consider the Dark Moon to encompass the last 30 degrees of the balsamic phase, leading up to the moon and sun conjunction. At this conjunction, the moon transitions from waning to waxing, marking the beginning of its brightening phase. The Dark Moon signifies a time of conclusion and the culmination of the moon cycle. It invites us to embrace deep rest, reflection, meditation, divination, and shadow work. In the wheel of the year analogy, this period corresponds to the final weeks of winter before the arrival of the spring equinox. In gardening terms, it's a time for composting and preparing the soil for future planting. As we reflect and rest in this darkness, preceding our rebirth into a new moon cycle, our inner work allows us to refine the goals we will set with the new moon. Please note that some people consider the Dark Moon and New Moon to be the same entity. They can be viewed as interconnected phases, with the moon still "dark" or invisible during the New Moon. I personally distinguish between the waning part of the Dark Moon and the waxing part of the Dark Moon by referring to the former as the Dark Moon (before the conjunction) and the latter as the New Moon (including the conjunction and immediately after). To me, it aligns with the concept of birth—when a baby is in the birth canal, we don't consider it born yet. It is only born once it emerges from the birth canal and exists outside of the mother's body. Waning Dark Moon will be in the sign of Leo on September 12, and in the sign of Virgo on September 13, with the New Moon in Virgo on September 14 Patreon Subscribers of $10/month or more - watch for your Dark Moon Shadow Work post coming out! If you're not a subscriber and want access to this exclusive post for some Shadow Work Prompts - sign up today! Patreon subscribers also get access to the monthly Lunar calendar, and written versions of the Tarot Decan devotionals that are found on my podcast! www.patreon.com/hestiasmuse

  • Planetary Basics - MERCURY

    MERCURY Basics: "The Light of the Messenger" Mercury in Astrology represents the mind: thoughts, ideas, general consciousness/awareness, communication, language, learning style and basic education, Commerce and Trade, Exchange of goods or information, and Day to Day Travel. As Mercury travels through the signs of the zodiac wheel, it influences our state of mind, our focus, our communication, and what we are interested in or curious about. Mercury in any particular sign can show us how ideas and goods are being shared or moved around in the collective. Each person will individually have the influence of Mercury in their natal chart but will also feel and be influenced by the current movements of Mercury. Mercury Key Concepts: Thought, reason, logic, problem solving education, learning style, intellectual interests, and memory Communication and Language. Written and spoken words. Trade, Commerce, and exchange. The movement of goods or ideas from one to another. Mercury Key Words: Agility, Awareness, Barter, Brain-Power, Communication, Connection, Commerce, Cunning, Dexterity, Exchange, Expressiveness, Ideas, Information, Intellect, Intelligence, Knowledge, Learning, Learning Style, Logic, Memory, Messages, Messenger, Mental Faculties, Mind, Mindfulness, Perception, Problem-Solving, Rationality, Speech, Thinking, Thoughts, Trade, Travel, Trickster, Wit, Writing, Youthfulness Mercury's Condition in a Chart: Domicile / Rulership in Gemini or Virgo Exalted in Virgo Detriment in Sagittarius or Pisces Fallen in Pisces Rejoices in the 1st House Nocturnal/Diurnal (Both, flexible) Mercury is not considered to be Nocturnal or Diurnal (a Night or Day planet) - but is both and either - depending on the sign it is in and whether it is an evening star or a morning star in the birth chart. While some planets are considered to be either Nocturnal and strong in a night chart, or Diurnal and strong in a Day Chart, Mercury is flexible and can find strength in either a Day or Night Chart. In this same way, Mercury is not considered to be either Projective (Masculine) or Receptive (Feminine) but it is a planet considered to be Nonbinary or Gender-Neutral! Mercury-ruled occupations: Postal Work, Delivery, Messengers. Writers, Authors and Editors. Public Speakers. All Teachers - but especially Elementary School teachers, Language Teachers. Clerks, Cashiers, Secretaries, Accountants, Merchants and Shopkeepers. (just a few examples but Mercury occupations are not limited to this list) Mercury-ruled physiology and anatomy: The nervous system and the various functions of the nerves are ruled by Mercury. Thyroid glands, vocal cords, bronchial tubes, lungs and respiration. Hands, Dexterity, and reflexes. Sight and Hearing - or the general ways in which we receive information. Mercury governs the human child's age of 5 to 14 - the period of a youthful and curious mind. Deities associated with the planet Mercury: Greek: Hermes - messenger of the gods, fleet-footed (swift) traveler, and a psychopomp (able to travel to and from the Underworld). Great orator, speaker, and teacher. God of Travel, Commerce, Messages, Thieves, Trickery, Knowledge, Language, Astrology and more. Roman: Mercurius/Mercury - same attributes as Hermes Egypt: Thoth - God of Language, Books, and Knowledge Hindu: Hanuman - Monkey-God of Wisdom and great feats, son of the Wind God for whom travel to all places is possible. Norse: Odin - The All Father who is the most wise, keeper of knowledge and the great teacher of the runes (language, writing) Buddha - a title for one who has been enlightened by divine wisdom (not a complete list) Frequent Combustion - Tied to The Sun A Combustion relates to the nature of any planet coming into close conjunction with the sun. The sun's bright rays outshine the planet - the planet becomes invisible to us. The planet is considered "burned" or "scorched" by coming too close to the sun - it cannot share a throne and therefore the combust planet loses influence. A planet is considered Combust when it is within 18° of either side of the sun. (Though some consider the combustion to only count when it is within 10 or 12 degrees of the sun - but generally a planet will be invisible unless it is more than 18° away from the Sun) While Mercury is Combust, the "job" of Mercury (Communication, Commerce, Trade, Travel, Critical Thinking & Problem Solving) becomes a job that is shared by the Sun; some would say that all of the realm of Mercury's job is now appropriated by the Sun. Mercury is no longer a separate entity with its own agency to rule the mind - The Sun now rules both the heart and the mind. Most planets come into combustion just once a year, but Mercury is in combustion range multiple times a year, spending more than half of its time in close proximity to the sun. For this reason, some astrologers might argue that Combustion isn't a detrimental point for Mercury; "It's not a bug, it's a feature". While others say that it is a detriment, and that Mercury just frequently loses its autonomy and yields to the sun on a regular basis. Either way, you can see that Mercury and the Sun have a unique relationship. Mercury and Sun are intertwined and deeply connected - Mercury will never be more than 28 degrees away from the Sun in the zodiac wheel. 18 of those 28 degrees are in combustion range, leaving only 10 degrees where Mercury escapes combustion and is a visible star, seen only right after sunset or just before sunrise. Mercury's elusive nature - sometimes visible and then disappearing for weeks at a time before re-appearing are what earned this star its reputation as a traveler, a messenger of the gods, a psychopomp, and a trickster. At one point it was believed by the Ancient Greeks that the star that sometimes appeared at night was a different star than the one sometimes seen in early mornings; they called the morning star Apollo as it preceded the rising sun, while the evening star was named Mercury. Eventually they realized this was the same star - but being mistaken for Apollo seems to align with Mercury's close relationship with the Sun and how the sun often shares the traits of Mercury. The Sun in astrology symbolizes our vitality, our self-expression, and sense of identity - and these concepts of selfhood and awareness are deeply connected to our mind and our thoughts. "I think, therefore I am" - if the Sun is "I AM" and Mercury is "I THINK" - then these two parts of selfhood and consciousness are intrinsically tied together. It is also worth noting that gaining new knowledge is also referred to as "shining a light on something", and attaining great knowledge is called "enlightenment". The Sun is often attributed to Alertness, Awareness, and Awakening - and those are also things that we attribute to brain activity and thought processes. Could one even be capable of self-awareness without having thoughts and some level of intellect? For all of these reasons, I would encourage interpretation of Mercury to be synthesized with interpretation of the Sun - rather than seeing them as two separate entities to interpret individually, notice how together they make two parts of Human Consciousness and our general sense of self awareness and self-identity. Mercury Retrograde Another unique trait of Mercury is that it has three retrograde periods per year. (These take place while Mercury is Combust - though sometimes Mercury can be combust while it is not in retrograde) Mercury Retrograde is a time of REview, RElapse, REst, REalign, REpurpose, ReVisit, and Re-Do. Mercury appears to travel backwards through the part of the zodiac that it already moved through. (Yes, this is an optical illusion as planets do not reverse direction and move backwards, but astrology relates to the apparent motion of planets from our perspective here on earth, which is also in motion - so sometimes the planets appear to go backwards and then forward again) In general, during a Mercury Retrograde we tend to notice the realms of communication, trade, travel, and technology can get a little bumpy and chaotic. Things don't go as smoothly as we had hoped, and there are delays, mishaps, communication failures, etc. Again, if we think of Mercury's Combustion as a time when the Sun is taking on the Duties of Mercury, we can see how some problems may arise. The Sun may have good intentions - it leads with the heart and through sheer willpower. But how many times in life have you made choices with good intentions based only on your heart or your will and things just didn't quite turnout right? With Mercury we analyze and dissect, we use discernment or logic to calculate the right movement, speed, velocity. With Mercury Retrograde, the planet is appearing to move backwards and then, *poof* - disappears and hands the reins over to The Sun with a sly wink. That Trickster!! Remember - Mercury Retrograde doesn't create problems - it points out existing problems so they can be dealt with. The planets are like teachers, and when we engage with Astrology, we are opening ourselves up to the teachings and lessons of the planets. Mercury is the teacher of all things related to our minds, thoughts, and communication. Travel, commerce and trade are included in Mercury's realm because the process of moving goods or people from one place to another is something that involves thought and communication. When we speak, we are moving our thoughts from inside our head, into another person's head. When we sell or trade goods, we are moving a product from one person's possession to another person's possession. When we travel, we are moving our physical bodies from one place to another place. And when we use technology such as computers and phones or automobiles, we are using tools that have been designed to help with communication, trade, or travel. When Mercury goes retrograde - there is a tendency for these things to malfunction. It is like a teacher giving us a pop quiz to see if we were paying attention. Do you know how to deal with travel delays when your guide goes missing? Do you know how to deal with communication issues when your language teacher / translator is taking a vacation? Do you know how to analyze and organize information in the classroom even if the teacher is not there? It is easy to take on a victim mindset around Mercury Retrograde - "oh why is this happening to me?" - but I find it much more rewarding to take a different approach. When things are going wrong - think of this as an opportunity to learn. Travel Delays? Maybe you need to slow down, pay attention, take a different route, or remember to enjoy the journey. Communication issues? Maybe your communication skills need an upgrade, and you needed a reminder to listen more, ask more questions to clarify things, stop making assumptions, and speak your mind or share your truth. Technology issues? Maybe this is a reminder to be less dependent on technology, or to be more grateful for our technology and remember to take care of it instead of taking it for granted. --------------------------- I hope you have enjoyed this post all about the Astrology of Mercury! I am hoping this can serve as a helpful tool or guide for your studies. Additional Resources: The Astrology Podcast - Mercury in Astrology https://youtu.be/iST16Ijajag Cameron Allen EA Zoom - Mercury Retrograde https://youtu.be/wfuJioID7sw ------------------------------- If you would like a personal astrology chart reading, please feel free to email me at hestiasmuse@gmail.com to schedule your session! Check out my current special offers - I have a Mercury Retrograde Reading special available for December of 2022! --------------------------------- NEWS - I am honored to announce that I will be the VESSEL OF HERMES for Spring Mysteries Festival, 2023! Come join us April 6 - 9 for a weekend of ritual exploration of Greek Mythology www.springmysteries.com use code HERMES10 for 10% off your registration fee!

  • The Astrology of Generations - Pluto in Virgo (Part 2)

    People love to talk about Generations - and I love to find the Astrological Correspondences of the Generations. In my previous post, I pointed out that the "Baby Boomer" generation could be divided in half - the first half (born from 1946 - 1956) have Pluto in Leo and Neptune in Libra. Read Part 1 - Pluto in Leo After 1956/1957 - Pluto moves into Virgo and Neptune moves into Scorpio - and therefor astrologically, these are a different breed of Baby Boomers. (Remember there is some crossover and the outer planets often go back and forth between a sign because of retrogrades, so for a person born in the year that a planet changes signs - check the birth chart to be sure which sign it is in) Baby Boom Round 2: 1956 - 1965. In 1956 it has been over a decade since WWII ended (1945). There is still a population boom happening in the USA, but it is different than the boom that happened right after the War. As discussed in the previous post, The Pluto in Leo babies were a result of a sense of celebration and victory - the war heroes came home and set to making a family, restoring the post-war economy, and living the "American Dream". Ten years later this sense of victory and confidence isn't what is driving the population growth anymore. There is still population growth - but we've been in a Cold War for some time now - the threat of another world war and Nuclear attack looms at the front of the American mind and media. We are just starting the Space Race (1955), and the conflict in Vietnam has also just began in 1955. The American Mindset around having children in the second half of the Boomer Era is more about preservation and uncertainty, along with a certain sense of Duty and Sacrifice. Early Generation X: 1965 - 1972 This is the Last 5 years of the Pluto in Virgo Transit. These people were born during the height of the Vietnam War - some even had a parent who was drafted and sent to war while they were just a baby. The Cold War and Space Race are strongly a part of the Collective Consciousness - and these people are young children at the time of the first Moon Landing in 1969 (or born in the 3 years after the moon landing). Astrologically, these people have more in common with the Younger Baby Boomers as described above. (Though I know, you've been culturally indoctrinated to hiss and cringe at the thought of being grouped in with the Baby Boomers - don't come at me! I'm pointing out the difference between the older Boomers and the younger ones - Pluto in Virgo is NOT the same as Pluto in Leo!) * Pluto In Virgo; 1956 - 1972 Pluto is in Virgo for 15 years - it is moving a little faster now compared to the 19 years it was in Leo. (Pluto moves faster through each sign as it approaches Scorpio - the sign that it spends the least amount of time in.) The Baby Boomer Generation is considered to be ending in 1965, when Generation X begins. However, keep in mind the Generations are decided by population trends in the United States - it is very much a USA Cultural definition of population groups and demographics. I know that quite a few Gen X people would scoff at the idea of being called similar to Baby Boomers - but the Astrological Generation of Pluto in Virgo is quite distinct. In 2022, the people who were born under Pluto in Virgo are between the ages of 66 and 50 years old. Pluto - while a small and distant Dwarf Planet - astrologically relates to great power to bring change. Pluto in astrology relates to the archetypes of Power, Intensity, Death & Rebirth, Suffering, Transformation, Depth, Energy, and Explosiveness. It brings this intensity and transformation to our conscious experience through whatever sign it is moving through. People born under a common Pluto sign share an energetic signature as a "generation" of people who will collectively continue to bring Pluto's Intensity, Depth and transformative power in a specific way or through a specific expression of energy. Virgo is Analytical, Discerning, A Perfectionist, Grounded, Critical, Detail Orientated, Logical, Bright, Obsessive, Fussy, and Intelligent. As Pluto expresses Power and Transformation through Virgo, it is changing our collective views on Work, Service, Daily Routine, Health, Sexuality, and just how we THINK in general. You can see the difference in the collective culture and a shift as Pluto moves solidly into Virgo, and then the difference that the people who were born under this Pluto sign carry into life with them beyond this time period. Pluto in Virgo brought a new age of computing and mathematics and science - leading to incredible feats such as the Moon Landing. It is also notable that from 1961 to 1969, Uranus was also in Virgo. Uranus is the planet of Rebellion and Revolution, known as "The Awakener". Uranus has a way of turning a sign upside down, or "corrupting" it - Virgo is a sign associated with Purity, hard Work, and Service to others and Uranus in this sign brought a sexual revolution, a rebellion against working for "the man" or the government, and an art and music scene that was "shocking". Uranus brings a stronger element of change to the Realm of Virgo during this time period, joining with Pluto to revolutionize the collective daily life and attitudes about health, sex, service, knowledge, and information sharing. A large chunk of this "second phase Boomer" Generation has both Pluto and Uranus in Virgo These are the Baby Boomers who were in their teens to mid 20's in the 1980's - entering the work force just as Computers begin to change the workforce and how we collect and store data or information. These are the people who are in their 20's as the "War on Drugs" is launched, and as the AIDS epidemic begins to sweep the nation. The last 5 years of the Pluto in Virgo Generation are still young children in the 80's - but those born between 1965 and 1972 are considered Generation X. - but astrologically I would argue that they are part of the same Generation. Neptune in Scorpio: 1956 - 1970 This is a 14 year transit which mostly coincides with Pluto in Virgo. Neptune - astrologically this planet relates to the Subconscious - the Dream World of Human experience. Therefore it relates to a Search for Higher Meaning, Spirituality, Dreaminess, a Search for Unity, Self Sacrifice, Inclusiveness, Sympathy, Illusions, Fantasy, Artistic Expression, and Delusions. As another distant and slow moving planet, we generally see the influences of this planet emerge in the collective through pop culture, social spiritual movements, and collective beliefs (or collective fantasies and delusions) Scorpio relates to themes and energies of Death and Rebirth, Violence and Fears, Sex and Sexuality, Occultism and Mysticism, and life's Secret or Hidden things. Neptune in Scorpio marks a time where the search for harmony and bliss was manifest by people losing themselves in drugs, music and sex. The ideals of free love and drug experimentation and music festivals were seen as "Ultimate Freedom" for the youth of the 1960's - when Pluto and Uranus were also pushing for change and rebellion against the Virgo norms of Society. Generally it is acknowledged that the early idealism of this period ended towards 1970, as Neptune left Scorpio, where the consequences of multiple partners, sexual diseases and hard drugs came to crash the party. The people born under the influence of Neptune in Scorpio have to face the sometimes dark consequences of self-gratification, while being drawn to discover and experience the hidden, taboo side of life. Growing up in the Cold War and Vietnam War, and the Civil Rights movement era also had these people thinking about Fear, Death, and Violence from a very young age - creating a generation that had a very young loss of innocence and being people who "grew up" very fast. Celebrities born with Pluto in Virgo and Neptune in Scorpio: (Baby Boomers) Michael Jackson Madonna Barak Obama Michelle Obama Princess Diana Brad Pitt George Clooney Tom Cruise Jim Carrey Whitney Houston Ellen DeGeneres Demi Moore (Gen X) Bjork Jennifer Lopez Nicole Kidman Jennifer Anniston Kurt Cobain Julia Roberts Will Smith Gwen Stefani *I don't know about you, but I feel like the Boomers vs Gen X on this list have more in common with each other than the Boomers on this list vs the Boomers of the Pluto in Leo Generation. It is one reason that I feel like there is a strong difference between the two kinds of "Baby Boomers". The Pluto Generations make a more distinct division in my eyes - whereas the cultural "generations" are simply decided by American population trends. This is why I think we argue about when certain generations end and begin, because we can instinctively feel that the generation divide doesn't accurately show the cultural differences. Whereas the Pluto and Neptune generations give us a clearer picture of time periods and collective consciousness.

  • The Astrology of Generations - Pluto in Leo (part 1)

    People love to talk about the Generations - an assigned classification of personality type based on when a person was born. Hey wait, that sounds an awful lot like ASTROLOGY! There is some overlap and similarities between the Cultural Generations (generally assigned by pop-culture trends and demographics relating to an age group) and Astrological Generations (Generally assigned by the sign of Pluto and Neptune at the time of birth). I made this graphic above as a simple way of seeing the astrological generations and cultural generations overlaid on a timeline. Keep in mind that the labels such as "Baby Boomers" and "Generation X" or "Millennials" was terminology related to the demographics and popular culture trends that were happening in the USA. As such, I am mostly talking about historic events and cultural mindsets of people living in the USA with the Astrological generations also - I speak from this perspective because it is what I know, but the astrology is not limited to the cultural impacts of the USA. I'm not a historian, though I enjoy learning about history and I find it fascinating to interpret through as astrological perspective! However there are others who are much more knowledgeable about these topics than I am. Think of this more like a personal project that I am undertaking, and I am sharing my findings and musings with you as I study. Baby Boomers - 1946 - 1964 An 18 year time period. Generally the Baby Boomer Generation relates to the Population Boom in the United States after WWII. A period of confidence in which America saw itself as a nation of Heroes - these are the Children of WWII Veterans and other young adults who had just lived through the biggest war the world had ever seen. These parents instilled their children with this national confidence, and the dream of wanting the Children to inherit a world that was better than ever before. "Baby Boomers" was a label relating to the United States cultural response to the end of War - a baby boom. Other countries did not have the same population boom or cultural confidence that America did - but the generation of children born during this time period all had some other shared cultural experiences - like Rock 'N Roll, television, the Cold War, and rapid shifts in technology and society. People born during these years were born into a vastly different world than what their parents had grown up in. Astrologically, this generation could be split in half - between the Pluto in Leo generation and the Pluto in Virgo generation. Pluto - while a small and distant Dwarf Planet - astrologically relates to great power to bring change. Pluto in astrology relates to the archetypes of Power, Intensity, Death & Rebirth, Suffering, Transformation, Depth, Energy, and Explosiveness. It brings this intensity and transformation to our conscious experience through whatever sign it is moving through. People born under a common Pluto sign share an energetic signature as a "generation" of people who will collectively continue to bring Pluto's Intensity, Depth and transformative power in a specific way or through a specific expression of energy. Pluto in Leo expresses all this transformative power through the expression of the Leo archetype by being Energetic, Dramatic, A Leader, Powerful, Egotistical, Vain, Generous, Noble, Creative, Talented. Pluto in Leo: 1937 - 1956 A 19 year time period. These are people who were either very young children when WWII was happening (1939 - 1945), or they were born within the decade after WWII ended. They were likely very susceptible to any Nationalist Propaganda they were exposed to at such a young age - such as news broadcasts proclaiming how "great" the USA was, and that it was the greatest country in the world. They had a childhood filled with images of atomic bombs, and the beginning of the Cold War. However - when these people were teenagers entering the workforce, they found an abundance of jobs, and an economy that was doing very well compared to the Great Depression and the two world wars that their parents had lived through. Pop Culture and Capitalism responded to this young, confident, entitled workforce by creating more products for individual consumerism. This was the first generation to have music that was made just for them rather than for the whole family - Bands made records knowing that the young adults of Pluto in Leo had their own stereo systems to listen to their own music (rather than a whole family gathered around a stereo to listen together). Young, unmarried people bought cars for themselves - not as a family car but as a personal vehicle. Television began to create programs just for the demographic of this very large generation, etc One can easily see how Pluto in Leo was influencing the culture and personalities of the people born at this time. Leo is about Personal Self Expression, Personal Confidence, Boldness, and Creative Expression. As they entered the workforce and began to influence the world, the Pluto in Leo generation brought a strong focus on Personal Power and Individualism, with a Bold Creativity that changed music, pop culture, television, technology, etc. Their inventions and creations were focused on Marketing this personal power with items of "personal conveniences" and loud, bold individualism. These are now the very oldest of the "Baby Boomers Generation", and in 2022 - the Baby Boomers who have natal Pluto in Leo are 76 - 66 years old. (Older than 76 are Pluto in Leo but are classified as "The Greatest Generation") This older half of the Baby Boomer Generation also shares a Neptune Placement. Neptune in Libra; 1942 - 1957 This 15 year period overlaps with the majority of the Pluto in Leo time period, so it can be hard to tell what aspects of this time relate to Pluto and which relate to Neptune. Neptune - astrologically this planet relates to the Subconscious - the Dream World of Human experience. Therefore it relates to a Search for Higher Meaning, Spirituality, Dreaminess, a Search for Unity, Self Sacrifice, Inclusiveness, Sympathy, Illusions, Fantasy, Artistic Expression, and Delusions. As another distant and slow moving planet, we generally see the influences of this planet emerge in the collective through pop culture, social spiritual movements, and collective beliefs (or collective fantasies and delusions) When Neptune moves through the sign of Libra, we will see its Dreamy, Spiritual, Imagination manifest and express itself through realms of Relationships, Diplomacy, Style and Clothing, Art or Aesthetic movements, and cultural belief in the need for Balance, Beauty, and Cooperation. The people born with Neptune in Libra are Indecisive, Balancing, Judging, Beautiful, Charismatic people. The Years of Neptune in Libra we saw a cultural push for the "Nuclear Family" and "Traditional Family Roles", and yet the children of this era were more likely to Divorce than prior generations. As this generation got older, they had a strong influence on the art and music scenes - "Can't we all just get along" and "let's give peace a chance" and "Free Love" - these people were the teens and young adults of the Hippie counter-culture movement in the 1960's to 1970's. The Neptune in Libra generation are romantics at heart - and their romantic idealistic dream of everyone getting along applies not only to their relationships - but in their view of the world, politics, and the workforce as well. When people don't get along, and this romantic idealism is let down or betrayed, the explosive nature of Pluto in Leo comes out - blowing up the relationship and returning to an extreme individualism and the search for Personal Power once again. Artists, Musicians, and Performers with Pluto in Leo and Neptune in Libra: Bob Marley Jim Morrison (The Doors) David Bowie Freddie Mercury (Queen) Meryl Streep Robin Williams Arnold Schwarzenegger Jimmi Hendrix Cher George Harrison Elton John Other notable famous personalities with both Pluto in Leo and Neptune in Libra: Stephen King Angela Merkel George W Bush Prince Charles Tom Hanks Bruce Willis Oprah Winfrey Donald Trump Joe Biden Ted Bundy Sharon Tate Bill Gates Vladmir Putin

  • J is for Joys

    Welcome Back! The Astrology A to Z series continues! Next up we have the Letter J. There are surprisingly very few Astrology words or terms that start with the letter J, and I am going to save "Jupiter" for another time. Today we will discuss the Planetary Joys. Planetary Joys refers to a concept from ancient Hellenistic Astrology where the planets were said to "rejoice" in certain houses. This is different from a planet being in Rulership or Exalted - because that relates to what SIGN a planet is in, regardless of what HOUSE it is in. The Joys refer to a HOUSE in which a planet is "strong" or "happy" and "at home", no matter what sign it is in. The Planetary Joys: Sun - 9th House Moon - 3rd House Mercury - 1st House Venus - 5th House Mars - 6th House Jupiter - 11th House Saturn - 12th House As you can see, this does not include the Outer Planets - Neptune, Uranus, or Pluto. This method only applies to the planets that can be seen with the naked eye, as they were the known planets at the time that Astrology was being developed. For this reason, houses 2, 4, 7, 8, and 10 do not have a Planetary Joy. We do know that the planets joys in certain houses have certainly influenced the meaning of each house. In fact, the Planetary Joys are one of the main arguments AGAINST using the "Natural Rulership" system of Modern Astrology. (Also known as the 12 Letter Alphabet) If you would like help in deconstructing your associations with the 12 Letter Alphabet, learning about the Planetary Joys is a good place to start. Interested in why more and more astrologers are abandoning the concept of Natural Rulership and the 12 Letter Alphabet? You can also read more here: https://www.astro.com/astrology/in_twelveletter_e.htm (NOTE - I was also trained with the 12 Letter Alphabet, and have probably even mentioned it in some way in my past blogs. I am not judging those who use it, but I am offering additional information. Personally I have started moving away from the 12 Letter Alphabet system after what I have learned, though I still see why many others would find value in it) Here is another example of the meanings of the Houses, with the Planetary Joys included. You can see how the Planets in these houses would be symbolically "Rejoicing". The place of Joy for a planet does not always mean that it is a good or pleasant place for the client. For example, Mars rejoices in the 6th House because the 6th House represents where we have to work hard. It is also the house of Injuries - and Mars rules over things like injuries and accidents. A Phrase to remember is "What is good for the Planet is not always good for the Native". This relates to the way that sometimes, a planet can have a lot of Natural Dignity - it might be exalted or in rulership or in its house of joy - and that just means the PLANET is having an easy time expressing itself. Mars being empowered to be more Mars-like is not necessarily something that is good for the person under the influence of that chart! However, it does mean that Mars themes might be more prominent in that person's life. When a planet is in it's house of Joy - it is seen as more potent and easily expresses itself. This the benefic planets are more benefic, but the malefic planets are more malefic. Do you have any planets in your birth chart in their House of Joy? Can you think of how this planet has been found to be "Rejoicing" throughout your life? If you want to l earn more about the Planetary Joys - this is an excellent pdf file. The Planetary Joys and the Origins of the Significations of the Houses and Triplicities by Chris Brennan

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