Monday, 14 November 2016

Up Close and Personal

Full Moon - November 2016 

On 14th November at 13h53 (GMT/UT) the moon’s surface is fully covered with the sun’s light just two hours after making her closest pass to the earth since 1948. She won’t come this close again until 2034. The effect of a perigee (when close to the earth) full moon is evident in the rise and fall of the spring tides and will probably intensify storms at sea.

The spring high tide will jump a little higher and the low tide will fall a little lower. I can’t help but think of the full moon’s effect on the human body, a body made up of between 50 – 75% of water (75% in infants dropping to 50% in old age). The older we get the dryer we become. I quickly reach for my bottle and take a giant swig of that moisturizing life-giving stuff that falls from the sky.

Surely this up-close and personal full moon will tug on all that human liquid. It is thought that emotional consciousness is immersed in the watery content of the brain and the heart (73% of these organs is water). Perhaps during the weeks prior to the full moon and also the weeks following it, our feelings will jump a little higher and fall a little lower than usual.

Inevitably the emotions that leap to an extraordinary height must fall to its equal and opposite point, that is, according to the laws that govern the swing of the pendulum. It may be that in the phase of influence of the super-duper full moon, feelings will soar, only to fall in later months. Perhaps during this time they will plummet and only soar later on. It is dependent on the choices of the individual.

The good news is that whilst so close, the full moon moves through Taurus on the zodiacal belt encircling us. She is exalted and does so love visiting this part of the belt.  Here she finds joy, pure bliss. She loves the Taurus qualities of stability and strength, the uncluttered responses and appreciation for life. She finds lost happiness, forgotten gaiety and abandoned pleasures.

She encourages us to appreciate nature and those simple delights experienced when in nature. We notice the scent of flowers, the softness of moss, rainbows of colour in a dew droplet and we remember to really listen to the wind in the trees.  She prompts a memory of the sensual pleasures in delicious food and music and making love. She helps us draw on inner strength and resilience to tackle the tough stuff.

We are reminded of emotional commitments and how to build on those commitments. We strive for financial and emotional security. Without effort we empathise with the unbearable pain of loss (financial or human) and have sympathy for those suffering misfortune. It is a time of sharing heartache and happiness.

In ourselves we sense the root cause of unhappiness and a lightning strike of understanding exposes answers to problems. We find the patience and determination to heal the damage they have caused. We see how emotional hang-ups make it impossible to trust – ourselves and others. It is only by stepping into the shoes of another to experience the situation from their perspective (built from their past experiences and understanding) that we have any hope of rebuilding broken trust.

Then out of the blue we have moments of feeling terribly clever and discover ingenious means to achieve emotional and material stability. A shock or sudden change of the status quo opens our thinking to unimaginable possibilities.

It is with images of the water inside my cells swishing back and forth in time to the rise and fall of the ocean’s spring tides that I end this blog.


Friday, 2 September 2016

Ring of Fire Eclipse
September 2016

Nothing like a Venus/Jupiter conjunction, a Mars/Saturn conjunction and a solar eclipse to get me out of blog hibernation. On Saturday evening, all I could do was gaze and gaze some more at the sky after sunset. Jupiter above Venus, close enough to touch and Mercury over on the left took my breath away. Here are a few of the thoughts that ran through my mind while I sat on my deck, darkness creeping close and starlight falling down.
As there is lots to tell, I thought I’d pace myself (a little out of practice) and split the blog into two parts:

1.     The Eclipse and its partners in influence, the Mars/Saturn conjunction and Mercury Retrograde (get all the tough stuff out of the way first).

2.     Venus/Jupiter conjunction.

Part One

The Annular Solar Eclipse, otherwise known as the Ring of Fire Eclipse at 09h08 (GMT/UT) on 1st September 2016 was visible over equatorial Africa. I shall not dwell on the technicalities of an Annular Eclipse because it is easier enough to Google, I’d rather dive straight into my interpretation of its astrological symbolism.

All eclipses, lunar and solar, as I have said many times before, perform two major functions:

·       Dunk us in the shadowland to confront our dark behaviour and harmful subconscious patterns.

·       Offer an opportunity to realign ourselves - with our choices, relationships, goals and life path. It is achieved by addressing the misalignments.

The September eclipse helps us to recognise specialist skills and abilities. We are to use them when confronting the shadow, or solving problems or getting back on track. These expert skills are particularly useful when pursuing personal goals and dreams. Fine attention to detail leads to the discovery of rare and obscure talent. Under the eclipse we are blessed temporarily with the super-power of observation, singling out mistakes or factors that are the root cause of efforts that fail repeatedly. These mistakes, once acknowledged are easily converted to success.

This super-power is immensely helpful for spotting opportunities that at other times may be missed. It helps to perceive improved ways of running our lives, our jobs or our businesses. The super-duper power of observation puts our daily lives under the microscope and we instantly see how to improve it with diet, exercise, better work habits, amended timetables and all that goes on in a day.

Or we slip around to the dark side of the moon where we find mean-spiritedness, ugly judgements and a lack of fairness due to getting stuck in one part of the story. Nerve endings scream and do nothing to help the distractions, chaos and lack of objectivity.

If I were to put the influence of this eclipse in a nutshell, I would have to say roll up your sleeves and get stuck into a thorough spring-clean. Sort out, fix up, make improvements, get systems up to date, chuck out unnecessary clutter and make space for new growth.

There is nothing complicated about a spring-clean but this eclipse has the Mars/Saturn conjunction making some tough demands. During the big cleanse emotions explode. Especially angry ones that have been harboured inside, ones that have slowly festered and become acrid with resentment.

There is a struggle to understand the difference between aggression and assertion and when repressed emotions untether with an unrestrained force, it gets messy. But after the purge there is a chance to regroup and find a controlled and effective way to express feelings and make intelligent decisions.

Neptune also tugs on the eclipse, wanting a say. It shies away from Mars-type explosions and we retreat into doubt and confusion. Misunderstandings and misgivings abound. Self-doubt invites the addictive parts of our personalities into the mix. Addiction to substances, to emotions, to chaos, to self-sabotage all prefer the route of avoidance. Pretending hard realities do not exist is a survival tool of sorts, I suppose, so good old fashioned denial is likely to be the shield against disappointments and betrayals or stuff that is unbearable.

The best way to navigate the Neptune territory is to sit still in the mist of doubt and confusion. In stillness we need not be inert, we can choose, if we wish to engage in creative activity. We ought to make something, build something, paint something or perhaps write something, all the while fantasizing about the ultimate outcome. Eventually the mist will clear and we’ll be left with something special.

Should fantasizing not come naturally, Mercury retrograde offers a different way to spend the quiet time. This little fellow says the next three weeks are best spent reassessing plans, re-reading contracts or reworking ideas. Take the mind back over past conversations. Observe errors and misjudgments. Think or discuss possible improvements. Get advice. Work out the details carefully and conservatively. Think now, act later.

So that concludes Part One. I shall be back in a week or two to chat about the pretty Venus/Jupiter conjunction.

With respect for the shadow, 

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
March 2016 

Eclipse month is never an easy one, often leaving us feeling jittery or out of sorts while subconscious thoughts and odd feelings percolate into consciousness.

The lunar eclipse on the 23rd March 2016 at 12h02 (GMT) is a penumbral and not a total eclipse. Only the outer shadow of the earth falls upon the moon and is barely visible.

There is not too much digging about in the dark shadowy regions of ourselves with this particular eclipse. However, we may be expected to confront reasons why we made choices to impress or please another (at personal expense) or why we gave up a position, yielded and gave in to the persuasions of another. We may reflect on how exactly we were too influenced by relationships and or surroundings. Restlessness is a sure indicator that we have been pulled off track by such influences. We could observe that we have been over-adaptable or changed something that should not have been changed. We observe over-eagerness that led to compromise, the bad kind.

We see how inner conflict transfers into an external circumstance as a problem demanding to be resolved. We observe how inner turmoil plays out in relationships because of compromises made in the past and exactly how much imbalance resulted. It is good to see though, that current planetary configurations inspire courage and confidence to overcome obstacles and rectify imbalance. We carefully and ever so slowly reposition ourselves in a personal situation or in a relationship. We move out of the line of fire and away from a polarized position.

Thoughts on the Sun’s Influence
The golden rays of sunlight shine on ways to improve a personal position, to build self-esteem and greater confidence. There is a strong need to prove ourselves through action. After a period of feeling uncertain or afraid (typical influence of the solar eclipse of two weeks ago), we feel bold and daring and take definite steps out of the muddle and confusion of the recent past. Self-assurance replaces reticence. Curiosity drives us towards the things we most desire. Ambition stirs.

Thoughts on the Moon’s Influence
Take a moment to gaze up at the enchanting full moon. You may well hear a whisper upon those silvery moonbeams encouraging a wish to take action, to move something along, to get something done. It pushes us out of inertia or a quagmire of procrastination. We break out of a reverie, we move out of paralysis or perhaps simply find direction after a period of drifting.

We make peace with what has gone wrong, simply through acceptance. We shall have to adjust to a different set of circumstance and fairly quickly as there is not much time for contemplating options.

The strongest message from this full moon is to keep trying, no matter what, to just keep trying. If we fail, we are not to give up but to try harder, again and yet again. We are to persevere, to push through doubt and fear. This kind of effort is sure to be rewarded not only with the achievement of goals but also with a feeling of peace and serenity and happiness. Well worth it.

With love for eclipses,

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Total Eclipse of the Sun
By the March Super New Moon

 Blog-break is over. And there is nothing better than an eclipse to get me out of hiding. The total eclipse of the Sun in Pisces on the 9th March at 01h54 (GMT) draws attention to particular feelings; an indefinable yearning for meaning, an ache for more than what we do every day, a longing to be greater than what is etched out by our personalities.

You know that feeling when you are perfectly in sync with everything and everyone in your world, when opportunities appear out of nowhere, when there are no glitches and everything runs smoothly? Well this eclipse marks a route to exactly that, to harmony and a creative way of living. It maps out a road of adventure and discovery. Understanding how to grow into more than we have ever been is possible during this grand celestial event. We look beyond the limitations previously set by our fears and insecurities.

This generous and big-hearted eclipse endorses heightened happiness and confidence and that kind of sheer delight we feel when we are on track or perfectly poised for the best possible outcome imaginable.

But first it has the tedious job of exposing the problems, patterns, habits and ways of behaving that sabotage the above-mentioned bliss. The very nature of an eclipse is to reveal the stuff in the shadows for the sole purpose of regaining balance and getting back on track. It is probably easier to view the various problems and behavioural patterns in a list format:  

·       addiction problems

·       self-delusion

·       deceit

·       extreme self-indulgence

·       self-undoing (own worst enemy)

·       absorption of negativity in environment

·       stuck in disappointment

·       self-sacrifice

·       falling into victim mode

·       allowing others to take advantage of personal talent

·       avoidance of harsh reality

·       denial

·       imbalance within relationships

·       choices made out of a need to please

·       choices made out of a need for acceptance

·       choices made out of a fear of rejection

·       choices made so as to be loved 

Feelings and actions of which we are ashamed, ones we have buried deep, will threaten to break surface. The bitter taste of disappointment for not meeting expectations, is vile. Should we attempt to further repress emotions and needs or continue to hide our shame, they could very well break out in illness or injury in the physical body.

The home is a sanctuary for the duration of time needed to cleanse and dissolve sabotaging behaviour. In this inner sanctity insights flourish and it is safe for the imagination to probe for solutions to the problems tossed in our way by the eclipse.

Once the problems on the bulleted list have been addressed, newfound strength emerges (obviously they won’t all apply but there is sure to be at least one that is personally relevant). Clear vision of exceptional personal talent is possible. Opportunities to master techniques necessary to make the most of these talents, abound. Some meaning is found and it is with trust and a smattering of serenity that we accept the vast mysterious unknown.

With love for eclipses,

Friday, 25 September 2015


Retrospective Action

Inspired by an Eclipse of a Super Moon

& Mercury Retrograde
The full moon of Monday 28th September 2015 at 02h48 (GMT) in Aries stands out as the most special of 2015, for three reasons:

1.     Harvest Moon

2.     Super Moon

3.     Total Eclipse of the Moon

 Harvest Moon:

This is the full moon that falls closest to the equinox on the 23rd September.

At this time of year, corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice—the chief Native American staples—are ready for gathering; and at the peak of the harvest, farmers could work into the night by the light of this full moon.

Most of the year, the moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the harvest moon, the moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the United States, and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe.’
Geoff Gaherty (

Super Moon:
On average the moon takes 29.5 days to orbit the earth. Because of it slightly irregular orbit there is one day when it passes close to the earth (perigee) and one day when it reaches its furthest point from the earth (apogee). On occasion the moon is full at the same time it is closest to the earth. In recent years this perigee full moon adopted the name ‘super moon’. See diagram (not to scale)
Total Lunar Eclipse:

A perfect alignment of the moon, earth and sun, where the shadow of the earth totally covers the moon. There are usually two lunar eclipses in a year. Not all are total as some are partial or penumbral eclipses. The September 2015 lunar eclipse is special because it is the last of four total eclipses in a row, known as a tetrad. An interesting fact is that during the 1900’s there was not a single tetrad, yet during the 21st century, according to NASA, there will be eight. The dates of the four total eclipses of the tetrad and their zodiacal sign positions are:

DATE                     MOON     SUN

April 15th 2014       Libra        Aries

October 8th 2014     Aries        Libra

April 4th 2015         Libra        Aries

Sept 28th 2015         Aries        Libra

Right, now that I have laid out the technical information, I shall do my best to interpret the astrological symbolism. All eclipses draw attention to two matters:

·       Confronting shadow qualities

·       Addressing that which is out of alignment

The four eclipses of the tetrad focus on imbalance & the state of relationships, specifically emphasising a personal position within all partnerships.

 Coinciding with the Sept 2015 lunar eclipse is Mercury’s retrograde phase through Libra. We retrace our steps through relationship territory all the way back to April 2014 examining the very moment we made a choice that led to imbalance or compromised a personal position. It may have been a conversation, an argument or the initiating of a course of action that took us off track. We are to go back over choices and decisions made during the past year-and-a-half that led to problems within relationships.

 During this eclipse phase of influence (approximately six weeks) and the Mercury retrograde period (until the 9th Oct 2015) we have the opportunity to take retrospective action to repair past damage, to restore balance within our relationships and to establish a better personal position. It’s a new chance really, an opportunity to start afresh. Renewed courage is available to confront the ostracised shadow qualities, to admit mistakes, take responsibility for them and move on.

 Naturally as with all eclipses, there will be periods of discomfort. Its dark side could cause us to impose our will on another without consideration for their needs or desires. This type of destructive behaviour is not dissimilar to that of a terrorist with absolutely no thought or concern for others. Other dark elements could emerge in the form of an unpredictable force over which we have little or no control. We are to be super aware of our actions and how they affect others and the world around us.

 During the inward journey we find the courage to confront personal failings and relationship dilemmas.

·       We address how we only validate ourselves with the approval of another.

·       We observe how impulsive action or hasty decisions led to imbalance and caused misalignment with personal needs.

·       We address unhealthy relationship behaviour.

·       We observe self-indulgence at the expense of another.

·       We notice obsessive self-involvement – our own or that of another.

·       We observe how and when we overextended ourselves (in the name of love) to personal detriment.

·       We see how sparks of anger gave us courage to assert a personal need.

·       We see how sparks of anger were destructive and harmful.

 Following the inward journey is a phase of constructive action. We overcome an emotional muddle and we start again. We pioneer a new way out of the confusion of the recent past. There is a surge of energy to stabilise wobbly life situations. We make adjustments to the positions we hold within all significant relationships. We put ideas into action.

There is a fine line to walk in the land of relationship, one that is situated somewhere between dictating selfish demands and yielding in total self-sacrifice. It is a balancing act in want of the talent of a tight-rope-walker. Perhaps this talent is to be found in the shadowy light of the September full moon? Perhaps it is in the brighter light of the super close super moon that we shall discover a way to resolve conflict, one that ditches the need for brutality and war in the world?  

It is in the light of the moon that we dream, that we believe in magic and come to know anything is possible.

With love for the stuff we find in the dark,

Friday, 31 July 2015

Retrograde Venus 

According to the original definition of a Blue Moon, the second full moon of July 2015 is not, in fact, a Blue Moon but I shan’t go into the details of the original definition as there is the important matter of Retrograde Venus  to discuss. What I will say is that some 70 years ago, the second Full Moon in a month was erroneously reported as a Blue Moon and people ran with it. However, two Full Moons in a month is fairly rare, occurring every 2½ years, giving the saying ‘once in a Blue Moon’ credibility.

When I drew up the chart for the Aquarian Full Moon at 10h44(GMT) on 31st July 2015, I was surprised to see that its dramatically unpredictable, exciting and radically over-the-top influences were dwarfed by the striking features of the Venus Retrograde period. A short paragraph would simply not do so the entire blog is dedicated to Venus’s apparent backward movement, apparent because it is an illusion of backward movement. The planets only ever move forward in their orbit around the Sun.

The retrograde phase is between 25th July 2015 and 6th September 2015 but some Venus-related matters (relationship, finances, self-esteem, values) will have made themselves known at about the time of the June Solstice on the 21st June 2015. These concerns are to be unpacked, examined and dealt with during the retrograde period.

I have chosen to concentrate on one Venus theme – relationships. The purpose of any retrograde phase is to retrace our steps to locate a point in time where we went wrong, made a poor decision, did something ineffectively, made a hasty choice or proceeded without sufficient information. With Venus, we travel back through relationship experiences mostly probing unsuitable behaviour as well as the health of our personal relationships.

The Goddess of Love is not without problems as she embarks on her retrograde journey. I shall look at how relationships are affected by each of the following points:

·       Venus turns retrograde on the zero degree of Virgo

·       Venus square Saturn

·       Venus conjunct Jupiter

 Venus Retrograde on the zero degree of Virgo
She could have chosen a better degree of the zodiacal belt upon which to turn on her symbolical heels. This degree of Virgo promotes harshly critical assessment, naturally for the purpose of improvement but for those of us who are overly sensitive (especially to criticism), or hate to be told we are wrong, or worse, in denial of our faults, this is going to be a rough retrograde ride. It is sure to throw problematic relationships into crises.
    You know how some people only see what is wrong with a situation or the faults of a partner, well they will come into their own under this influence.
    All the little problems within relationships that have been hidden under the carpet, because we didn’t have a clue how to resolve them, are going to be swept out during the thorough spring-cleaning of all personal relationships that Venus has in store for us.
    Fortunately whilst in the middle of the big clean-up we shall make astute observations (without unkind judgement) of attitudes that are dismissive, of a tone that hurts unnecessarily and of the self-sacrificing acts of the martyr. We comprehend the results of ineffectual behaviour.
    Then with some ease, a plan is constructed to heal the damaged parts of our important relationships. These are the positive features of Venus backtracking through relationship territory – going as far back as the end of 2013 or further in some cases.
    As you can see this is not the most romantic of Venus retrograde phases, it is all hard work, sorting out, cleaning up and fixing the broken bits. At all times we ought to strive to avoid being over-critical or harshly judgemental and most importantly to not cling desperately to one tiny detail, obsessing over it. We need to recognise it is just one small element of a bigger situation. The good news is that by the middle of November, we should all have squeaky-clean relationships.

Venus Square Saturn
This square is going to provoke a whole lot of tension in the relationships that are in bad shape. Saturn is not altogether a bad guy and is not being cruel when he looks down upon the agony caused by the difficulties he orchestrated. He is clear in his intentions; identify weakness, then get on with the restructuring work and keep at it until the relationship is strong again. He knows emphatically that Love deepens when supported by a true and stable framework. But if the partnership is impossible to save, it is his recommendation to call in the demolition crew.
    Good relationships built with integrity and honesty survive the challenges of the Square, growing more solid This is not to say those relationship are perfect, just that right from the start they were mostly built with good moral fibre. Relationships that have always been on shaky ground, the ones where secrets, barriers, mistrust and dishonesty featured during the forming of the relationships, may not survive this square.

Venus Conjunct Jupiter
Oh what joy to discover fun amidst all this hard work! Jupiter is sure to lift the mood. He brings warmth to the seemingly cold-hearted, fault-finding relationship assessment process. He reminds us of the power of love showered upon us by the exquisite Goddess of Love & Beauty. He helps us to see what is good and right in our relationships. He highlights the worth of the partner. He reminds us to avoid getting locked in the small details and to always keep one eye on the reason for being in the relationship in the first place. Also, to always appreciate its immense value. These two remind us that on occasion, we are able to achieve more in a partnership than slogging it out alone.
    One warning though, Jupiter’s job is to expand and enlarge, so yes, we feel the love filling our chests and catch our breath at the sheer loveliness of a single flower. But remember that every difficulty thrown at us by the Venus/Saturn Square will be amplified. The problems are specifically exaggerated for those of us in denial, or for those of us missing the point. Jupiter ensures we do not miss this special opportunity to strengthen our self-esteem, attract income and wealth, find love and build better relationships.

With love for spring-cleaning,

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Shifting Shape
July Full Moon
The job of July’s Full Moon is to get us to take a long, hard look at any weakness in the structures we built in the past to support:
·       projects - personal or business
·       relationships – mainly business but also family & personal

Out with the feather duster and away with the cobwebs of denial. There is no place for procrastination, pretence or time spent drifting blissfully in bubbles of delusion. Avoidance will squirm beneath the stern demeanour of the Capricorn Moon. Difficulties arise (usually painful ones) that deliberately expose whatever has gone wrong and whatever is no longer functioning efficiently. Structures too feeble to support and protect a personal position within our jobs, businesses or relationships are under scrutiny and could face demolition.

Brutal honesty (with ourselves and others) along with big kahunas are needed to confront problems (ones conveniently avoided in the past) that undermine the chance to achieve. Or it’s the kind of problem that threatens our basic sense of security. It could be an external problem resulting in necessary repair work or it could be an internal struggle with personal demons that undermines emotional stability.

It may feel like it is far too harsh and negative a sky to live under during July but the Capricorn influence is not innately negative. It does not dwell on failures and inadequacies. It does not condemn or point a disapproving finger. It exposes problems solely for the purpose of strengthening the weak stuff. It encourages the building of a supportive frame from good moral fibre that is dependable, trustworthy and responsible. Its aim is to instil a feeling of security, to make us strong from the inside out.

The good news is that there is an abundance of reassuring influences in the side-lines – an increase in vitality, a surge of courage, the desire to take action, resourcefulness, ambition and strength of character. It is up to us to put these qualities to good use.

It is not complicated, in fact, once we have admitted to a failing, everything is made easy. We are then in a position to fix the problem and get on with the job of building a more stable structure with which to proceed. What follows is good old fashioned hard work. It is a simple formula, really. Put in the ten thousand hours and skill & success is sure to follow. I guess the hindrance lies in the hesitancy to make a commitment. Once the commitment is made and backed up with focus, discipline and perseverance, the sweet taste of achievement is delicious.

The Lesson
However, there is one small hurdle. Added to the above-mentioned challenges is an important lesson. The lesson is activated by the Moon’s unnervingly close proximity to Pluto on the zodiacal band. It is likely that an incident, something that seems beyond our control, causes an emotional explosion or implosion.  

It is intense. It exposes vulnerability. It reveals true feelings.  It takes away perspective. It blasts disempowering modes of behaviour into view. It uncovers emotional manipulation (conscious or unconscious). It hurts.

The lesson has two parts:

·       release - let go

·       reshape - rebuild

The Moon/Pluto conjunction requires us to let go of the incident. It happened. It is done. No action can undo what has been done so we need to let it go. Not the whole matter, just the incident. We must let go of destructive feelings connected to the incident. We must let go of the unruly thoughts connected to the incident. We must let go of the need to change the incident.

Only when we release our emotional attachment to the painful incident are we open to learning something from it. This is when we experience the second part of the lesson - identify a repetitive pattern and admit its control over us. Then we sit down with pen and paper, scratch the head a little and re-design a new shape to replace the one that got damaged in the emotional explosion. We cannot change the incident but we can change the effect it has on us and we can change the shape of the structure that got damaged.

It is probably the structure of a project (business or personal) or the structure of a relationship (business or personal) that needs to be reshaped and rebuilt but my sense is that this Moon/Pluto conjunction could powerfully transform other areas of our lives too, not just the bits put under the microscope by the Capricorn Full Moon.

With love for a chance to shift an old shape,