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A Buzz of Emotion

April 22, 2014

We are now inside of the Grand Cross as of about two hours ago. Without intending to, I happened to sit for a quick meditation right at that time. Instantly, I fell deep into the abyss.

After I pulled myself back to Earth, and as a result of a strong connection with a neighbor’s dog, I became overwrought with emotion. It took quite some effort to keep from crying.

It was then that I checked in with the planets and discovered that Mars Retrograde in Libra had just made his exact square to Jupiter in Cancer kicking off the Grand Cross.

The intensity has been ramping up for weeks and is now releasing. And I still think it’s all for the greater good.

After my bout of emotion, I sat in the sun to regain my balance and a sweet little honey bee lit on my leg. I knew there was a message in the exchange. After the honey bee flew off, I looked it up and indeed received a special gift.

Bee as a totem indicates abundance and the ability to accomplish seemingly impossible goals.

Hang in there if you’re feeling all of the intensity. I’m right there with you.

Astro-Gemometry Elegance

April 16, 2014

A part of appreciating the elegance of Astrology is beholding the beautiful geometry it creates. Just as with an eclipse, observing it is half the magic!

This morning, the gibbous moon momentarily resurrects the Grand Trine and Kite of last year and elegantly lays them on top of the Grand Square.

4-16.2014Speaking of the eclipse: I missed the whole thing. The Pacific fog obscured it entirely for me. But alas, all is not lost. Pictures like these on Alan Dyer‘s blog gave me a glimpse of what I missed: Amazing Sky.

And although Mother Nature was a day late, last night I got to see the moon and Mars clear as day all night! I woke in the middle of the night with moonshine lighting up the bedroom.

A Sensual Counterpoint

April 14, 2014

The headline for today is a Full Moon lunar eclipse…and for all month it is the Grand Cardinal Cross. [See Lunar Eclipse:  (Re)Balancing Thoughts and Feelings.] But we do have other aspects worth mentioning.

In Astrology, adjacent signs are most contrasting. Signs that lie 180 degrees across from each other seem to be complete opposites, but dig a bit and you will find that they have common roots.

The Grand Cross this month is not rooted in a single sign or element. It is, however, rooted in a single cardinality. There are three cardinalities; intriguingly, they resemble three of the elements:

  • Cardinal is initiating and resembles fire.
  • Mutable is adaptable and resembles air.
  • Fixed is stable and resembles earth.

The first three signs of the Zodiac pair a cardinality with its most similar element:

  • Aries: Cardinal Fire
  • Taurus: Fixed Earth
  • Gemini: Mutable Air

Given the full Cardinal Cross, which contains Mars and Uranus, if I had to assign it a single flavor, I would choose Cardinal Fire and thus Aries. Furthermore, we have the sun and Mercury in Aries, further stoking the fire.

The two signs most contrasting Aries are Pisces and Taurus, the signs on either side. Not much is happening in Taurus right now, but plenty is happening in Pisces.

As many of you know, Neptune and Chiron are adrift in Pisces. They are slow movers, have been there for more than three years, and will remain there for a number of years to come. The news is that Venus has recently joined one, and is soon to join the other. She is treading the nine degrees of water that lie between them.

Again, Pisces energy is most contrasting to Aries. Aries is active, fiery, and male. It is a single note played a cappella ed accentato (unaccompanied and with emphasis)! With Pisces, a full orchestra forms alternating dissonant and harmonious chords that flow into and out of each other. The emotions conjured are muted, blended, and can be confusing. Aries may very well be the most straightforward energy in the Zodiac, and Pisces, the most unclear and hard to sort out.

In practical terms, Pisces provides plenty of sensation, but requires us to tune into our feeling centers. Here, the head without the heart just will not suffice.

Venus—who is activating Neptune and Chiron—plays counterpoint to Mars—who is igniting the final flames of the Cardinal Grand Cross. Venus is like a soft sensual pedal played beneath a vibrant crescendo.

The peak of this contrast occurs on April 17th; that is when Venus begins moving through the 14th degree of Pisces and thus aspects, with some degree of harmony, Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto: each of which will be moving through the 14th degree of Cancer, Aries, and Capricorn respectively at that time. Mars will still be two degrees and four days from peak within the Grand Cardinal Cross.

To me, Venus is opening a window of opportunity. It is illuminating a detour allowing one to bypass a thunderstorm. If you do, in fact, experience a building of tension between Monday 4/14 and Monday 4/21, look for subtle, creative solutions on or around Thursday 4/17. Even if you don’t see them, feel for them. Take a chance. Reach out across a battlefield and offer a truce. Use empathy to bridge the gap.

With any Astrological aspect, we can always assume the role of one planet. Choose Jupiter in Cancer. Even if you are not in the midst of the conflict, you can nurture those who are. You can bring lightness, joy, and humor to the situation. You can be bigger than the conflict.

In all likelihood, Chiron will be designated as the modern ruler of Virgo some day. Neptune is already the modern ruler of Pisces. These two planets…like the signs they rule…seem different but have common roots. The chemistry word solution, which is of Neptune’s domain, very closely aligns with healing, which is Chiron’s domain. They are synonymous in certain contexts. Elixirs can be used as cures.

Venus, the queen of love, beauty, and art, is the giver of solution and healing…if asked. She is ever-present in the sky, even in those brief moments when we cannot see her. And she is our closest neighbor planet more often than not.

Solutions that are the offspring of love are always within reach. To find them, we may be required to delve into the well of our feelings (Pisces) before expressing our individual perspective (Aries).

Love is always an option. It is that constant, subtle pedal is that is often overlooked, but becomes clear when all of the noise is silenced.

If life is taxing you this month, schedule some time for yourself on or around Thursday. If nothing else, intend to give yourself a break from worry as much as possible. Don’t try to solve your problems at that time. Instead, take notice of the beauty that surrounds you. If you don’t find blue sky, warm sun, and birds chirping, find the beauty in the clouds, the wind, and the beating rain.

Some of the most talented poets and songwriters find inspiration through pain and loss, then transform that darkness into the most beautiful sentiments that touch the hearts of the many. They probably don’t even try to do that. I would imagine that their main goal is simply to find solace for themselves…a cathartic release of pain. The beauty just seems to pour out of the integrity of one fully accepting and expressing their plight.

While working on the first draft of this post, a particular song came to mind called Sun Rising Up. The lyrics at the start of it are poetically dark…so much so, they bring tears to my eyes. I know that some of us have felt this kind of pain. About halfway through, the mood shifts and rises out of the darkness, building towards joy.

Not hours later, Sun Rising Up played when shuffling the songs on my iPod. I took that as a sign to share the lyrics here:

Life has been fading into grey
All over my place, all over my heart, all over my life
No signs showing me a way out
Or telling my soul
How to get out of this never-ending hole of darkness surrounding my life

The absence of a tear has been the only moment of happiness I’ve ever had
Could not believe in me.
Unable to see how many things I have to give
Even to myself
I was waiting for nothing, for no one, for the end…

Before you came and showed me the reason why
You came running through rows of bright light and shining stars
Riding rows of silver horses

You came sailing through oceans of love
Sliding through cascades of rainbows
Built by sparkling maidens
Your the reason why all these rays of light fill into my place
Your the reason why the sun is rising up even when it’s twelve at night
Your the reason why I think I’m falling in love…

Eclipses act out a descent into darkness, but they also remind us that the light does assuredly return. The energy of a Grand Cardinal Cross can feel like rope pulling all four of your limbs out from the center. You may wonder how long you can hold on, but then out of the darkness, the sun rises up, the light returns, and the storm quiets.


My talk at The Center for Sacred Studies [] in Guerneville, CA—originally scheduled for tonight—has been moved to Monday, April 28th from 7:00-9:00 pm. I’ll now be doing readings and energy work on Tuesday 4/29/2014 there.

Lunar Eclipse: (Re)Balancing Thoughts and Feelings

April 11, 2014

On March 30th just before noon California time, the Aries New Moon lit a fuse initiating a week of activity. One could also say it started the lunar zodiacal year 2014. Now we’re approaching the other half of the lunar month, which sparks another bout of activity.

The Full Moon is not when we normally think of beginnings. Rather, it typically marks a turning point toward resolution. However, this Full Moon initiates the eclipse season for the first half of 2014. Monday, April 14th at about 10:00 pm PDT, the moon will slip into the Earth’s shadow and just after midnight will peak. By then, it ought to be pink! Hopefully, the Pacific fog will not keep me from seeing it.

Although the eclipse does not start until late Monday evening my local time, by then, a full day of astro-activity will have occurred. You see, Monday 4/14/14 is a dress rehearsal of the Grand Cardinal Cross.

In general, the element of Fire may very well be considered the most significant. To me, Fire represents spirit and action. When one is fired up, their intent is strong enough to move mountains.

However, in our current stage of evolution, much emphasis is placed on the element of Air. In the modern world, we prefer to plan everything. We use analysis to quell our fears and if not eliminate, at least minimize surprise.

Well, Mercury is here to answer the call. Before Mars completes the Grand Cross the following week, Mercury will aspect each corner. It will first square Jupiter, then join Uranus, then square Pluto.

I think if we really pay attention to thoughts and communications on 4/14, we’ll have a good idea of what the following week will bring. Arguments on Monday may very well play out with actions the following Monday. If you sit back and observe, you may be able to see things escalate over the course of the week.

Or, if you wish to be more creative and less reactive, keep in mind that Mercury is joining Uranus. These two pairing up could spark ingenious ideas for solution. Given the full cross, you might have a hard time figuring out how to put the idea into a plan, but worry not; there will be time for that later.

Much of Metaphysical Manifestation is about sorting through what is wanted and then aligning with it, not figuring out how to make it happen. [Yeah, I know that 99 % of the world doesn’t think that way, but we’ve all experienced it if we’re paying attention.]

Monday 4/14/14 is interesting enough, but there’s more! Mercury’s timing is oh so serendipitous. Less than an hour after Mercury joins Uranus, Pluto stations retrograde. Mercury squares Pluto less than an hour before the eclipse starts and opposes Mars less than an hour after it ends.

Clearly, there is a plan at work here. Since both Mercury and the moon are a part of the plan I had to look up the time for when the Libra moon exactly opposes Mercury in Aires. Check this out! It occurs at 11:59 pm—one minute before the start of 4/14/2014 (California time).

Here’s a full rundown of the astro-activity:

—Sunday 4/13/2014—

  • 11:59 pm – Moon opposite Mercury

—Monday 4/14/2014—

  • 1:33 am – Moon square Jupiter
  • 2:16 am – Moon opposite Uranus
  • 3:04 am – Moon square Pluto
  • 8:56 am – Moon conjunct Mars
  • 11:31 am – Mercury square Jupiter
  • 4:14 pm – Mercury conjunct Uranus
  • 4:48 pm – Pluto station Retrograde
  • 9:12 pm – Mercury square Pluto
  • 9:56 pm – Moon enters Earth’s shadow

—Tuesday 4/15/2014—

  • 12:45 am – Lunar Eclipse peaks
  • 3:37 am – Moon leaves Earth’s shadow
  • 4:14 am – Mercury opposite Mars

I added in the times when the moon aspects the Grand Cross too. You’ll notice it all occurs early Monday morning before Mercury gets started. So the moon touches each of the four corners just before Mercury does, and from the opposite sign.

We have already discussed how Mars Retrograde is about retracing one’s steps to potentially find a better path forward. [See Full Mars for more details.] And this occurs within the background of our collective evolution pushed and prodded by the Pluto-Uranus Square. Jupiter in Cancer adds an emotional perspective and brings with it all of the (feeling) experience gained in last year’s water trine.

With the moon and Mercury doing their dance, we get to compare and contrast what we think and what we feel. People will be expressing their thoughts through communication, but will also be expressing their feelings through their emotions. In some cases, what one says and what one emotes will not agree, providing an education for all involved.

Last but not least, the moon will pass through Earth’s shadow, exposing aspects previously hidden.

All I can say is: “Pay attention Monday!” Listen to the words that come out of your mouth. Notice the emotions as they well up. Tune in to what people say and what they express, then see if you can discern where the greater truth lies.

Then watch as the non-physical thoughts and feelings coalesce into physical actions and changes.

Monday 4/14/2014 will be the first day of the rest of your life…as always…but this time, that statement could hold more meaning than on an average day.


If you find yourself anywhere close to Guerneville, CA on Monday, April 28th, come by The Center for Sacred Studies [], I’ll be giving a talk from 7:00-9:00 pm. I’ll also be doing readings and energy work on Tuesday 4/29/2014 all day. [Note: these dates have been updated!]

Full Mars

April 7, 2014

Tomorrow is 4/8/14, which happens to be my big sis’ birthday. It is also Full Mars.

Every other year, the earth passes directly between Mars and the sun. Mars thus rises at sunset and sets at sunrise. This always occurs while Mars is retrograde because it is when the faster moving Earth overtakes its nearest outer neighbor.

As we already know, Mars will be a key corner in the Grand Cardinal Cross. Although we are still two weeks from the peak, there’s plenty of excitement going on.

For example, from April 1st to April 3rd, the sun moved through the Cardinal T-Square. It squared Jupiter, then conjoined Uranus, then squared Pluto. And since the New Moon in Aires happened on March 30th while the sun and moon were in orb of the T-Square, we had nearly a full week of spark.

For much of that time, I was on the road working my way from Central Texas to Northern 3

One event that certainly caught my notice along the way occurred the day before the New Moon. We were driving on a California freeway when the bustling traffic stopped on a dime. Consulting Google Maps, I found out that three separate accidents had occurred along the mile stretch ahead of us. We only needed to go a half-mile before getting off and saw two of the accidents. Intriguingly, in both cases, an auto sat facing backward on the shoulder. How odd that two separate accidents would occur so close and be so 2

Yesterday afternoon, while hiking among the Redwoods, I was inspired with insight.

During Mars retrograde, there can be an impetuous to go back…to retrace ones steps for a while to see if there is a better path to take that may have been overlooked earlier.

This trip is doing that for me. I am back in Northern California, which I left in 1999. Clearly I’m not undoing the past 15 years. However, being here has allowed me to observe the recent past from a different vantage. It is like walking around a statue mid-carving to take full inventory of the progress. To be honest, I have already gained much appreciation for what Austin has brought into my life as a result.

So Mars Retrograde may have us retracing steps, but this time, it coincides with a Cardinal T-Square to form a full blown Grand Cross. Well, that’s the accident! Those unfortunate motorists were driving along, likely at full speed, when a stroke of fate spun them around 180 degrees.

Is there anything in your life that resembles either of these stories? Have you made a conscious decision to go back or move to the side to take inventory of your life? Or have you got hit unexpectedly, then found yourself staring directly at the place you passed some time ago?

In general, the toughest part about this Grand Cross is that is comes with so much energy. The sun is in Aries: the most energized sign and when Spring Fever hits the hardest. AND this year it comes after a long, rough winter, which is still holding on a bit longer here and there.

All of that alone would make it challenging enough, but then we’ve got three outer planets (two huge and one intense little guy) really ramping it up.

When journalist/astrologer Eric Francis talks about the Pluto-Uranus square, he uses the phrase: “the political is personal.” In other words, Pluto and Uranus, being way-out planets, affects politics in big ways, but while they are squaring each other, the politics hit home more than otherwise.

I tend to think of it a bit differently. I see our personal growth entangled with our collective evolution. For example, social media has become a huge part of our daily life and personal life lessons often bubble up from the uber-connectedness. It is easier than ever to spy on others, and this can cause emotions to bubble up from within us…jealousy, envy, anger, depression, and even trauma. I for one have to scroll through Facebook and news sites rather quickly because it is too often that a picture of animal abuse or an ugly accident flashes by bringing on a nasty empathic sting.

But I’m drifting off topic. For today, I want to stay focused on sun opposite Mars. Astronomically, Mars is easiest to view now. It is closer to the earth, which makes it bigger and brighter. Symbolically, this could mean that the traveling part of our journeying is more conspicuous right now. It ought to be clear where we are headed and how fast we are going. It’s probably just as clear how we feel about it. Mars rules action, but also passion and desire.

Today, tomorrow, and the next day, ask yourself how you feel about where you’re going. Is your passion and desire aligned with your efforts? Many are overworked right now, but if you are working hard for something you desire, that’s one thing. If you’re overworked and don’t even know why you’re doing it, then it’s time for reevaluation.

Mars energizes us, and pushes us. From this, it’s too easy to end up in a rat race. If you feel that you are knee deep in the race, now is a good time to put your nose to the sky and confirm that you are headed toward the cheese. It’s also a good time to check in with your taste buds to make sure you do indeed still enjoy cheese. It won’t be very fun to work your tail off to get a wedge that turns your stomach when you eat it.

Astrology gives us numerous opportunities to make course corrections. During straining times like now, gather the information that comes in and give it to your heart. You’ll know what to do when the real opportunities show up! Don’t wait until you’re in a bunch of pain to make some much-needed adjustments.

[For the record, the outer planets do not have phases from our vantage—only the moon, Mercury, and Venus.]

How the Grand Cross is ALREADY Affecting Me

March 26, 2014

I wanted to share this with y’all. After publishing How the Grand Cross Might Affect YOU, I called one of my best friends for a chat. It had been about two or three weeks since we last talked.

Halfway through the conversation, I said this to her: “Although a lot of things have shifted and changed around me, my life hasn’t changed much.”

She then said back to me, “Sometimes we only notice all of the things that change around us, but then later see that we too have changed.”

If you look back at my previous post, you will see that these sentiments describe the two themes that apply to me. A Mutable sign ought to notice the changes in their environment. They should be able to see how they had a hand in it. And I do. I have been a participant in the changes around me…have helped others with their “stuff” (very 8th house). Yet clearly, the Fixed rising sign part of me didn’t notice (maybe still doesn’t see) the changes within me. When my friend said her part, it then hit me. Applying my post to me, I see how both the Mutable theme and the Fixed them are active! If my environment is changing as much as it has, it must mean that I’m changing too! Good!

The Grand Cross completes in April, but it is already in play. (Three corners are already in orb.) I’m sure there’s more to come…


How the Grand Cross Might Affect YOU

March 26, 2014

A Grand Cross (or Grand Square) consists of four planets, each 90 degrees from the next. As such, the corners sit in every third sign, which means they share cardinality. In the latter half of April, the Grand Cross we’ll experience is a Cardinal Cross since each corner will occupy one of the four Cardinal signs.

For horoscope purposes, there are three basic views of this cross.

  1. Cardinal [Aries, Cancer, Libra, & Capricorn] – Houses 1, 4, 7, 10
  2. Mutable [Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, & Pisces] – Houses 2, 5, 8, 11
  3. Fixed [Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, & Aquarius] – Houses 3, 6, 9, 12

From these three basic views, we can derive three basic themes.

Theme for Cardinal Signs:2014-04-20.CardinalSigns

  • 1 = self identity
  • 4 = home, foundation, mother(?)
  • 7 = partner, relationship
  • 10 = Our public presence, how we are seen by others, father(?)

These houses represent the horizontal and vertical axes in the chart. In my opinion, these are the most relational houses: me-to-me, me-to-you, me-to-my childhood family, me-to-everyone I affect

Notice the interplay between opposing houses.

  • 1-7 The better my relationship to myself, the better I can relate to others. What pains me on one side will pain me on the other.
  • 4-10 If I was nurtured in my childhood, then I will be able to nurture others in that same way. What I lacked in my childhood, I’ll have a harder time giving to others.

The Cardinal cross will affect the Cardinal signs more directly and specifically in their inter-personal relationships.

Theme for Mutable Signs:2014-04-20.MutableSigns

  • 2 = values, money
  • 5 = creations, progeny
  • 8 = other people’s stuff, sex
  • 11 = peers, hopes

These houses feel the most external and reflective. They are what’s outside of ourselves that is created from what’s inside of ourselves.

  • 2-8 We experience (and inherit) the “value system” of others via the 8th house and naturally contrast and compare that to our own (2nd house). In sex, it is our most valued possession that is used: (my body versus your body).
  • 5-11 5th house is what we explicitly create, be it art or children. 11th house is what we create in more subtle ways. The more we evolve, the more explicitly we create (choose) our hopes, fears, and peers.

The Mutable signs, by nature, tend to go with the flow. However, they must learn to direct their energies to create what they want in order to grow; thus their “creative” houses are Cardinal.

The Cardinal Cross will shift, evolve, and emphasize the Mutable signs’ creating, creation, and creativity.

Theme for Fixed Signs:2014-04-20.FixedSigns

  • 3 = mental constructs, short trips, siblings, and neighbors.
  • 6 = jobs, service
  • 9 = philosophies, long trips
  • 12 = unseen influences, karma

These houses are the most abstract.

  • 3-6 This pole contrasts our little home (the physical and non-physical neighborhood that surrounds us) to our big home (the world).
  • 6-12 This pole contrasts the energy we send out into the world (our service) to the energy that presses upon us. One may see cause and effect here, but there is also a chicken and egg here too.

The gift of the Fixed signs is stability. They are the stones in the river. They, by definition, resist change. There is no judgment here because we want good things to stick around. Unfortunately, our fixity can make progress and evolution a bit slow. It only makes sense that the Fixed signs would have cardinal signs in these subtle houses, where the effect is not easily seen and thus less resisted.

In my mind, the Cardinal Cross will affect the Fixed signs in the most subtle ways…or at least in the most intangible ways. However, in the end, the Fixed signs might be the ones most changed by it.

In closing:

Keep in mind that you have one cardinality for your sun sign, but might have a different one for your rising sign. Many of us will experience two of the above themes. For example, I am a Gemini (Mutable Air) but my rising is Leo (Fixed Fire), so I must consider both the Mutable and Fixed themes.

  • If you are a Cardinal sign—pay attention to your interpersonal relationships. Notice how you have changed, and how the other has changed. If you can, try and slow down interactions just enough to see the dynamic with a bit more presence.
  • If you are a Mutable sign—pay attention to your environment. Notice how it has changed, and how your feelings toward it have changed. Your environment is a reflection of you. If you want it to change more or faster, then you have to get it started.
  • If you are a Fixed sign—pay attention to your intuition. The best way to see the subtle, is to feel it with that sixth sense. You might not be able to see anything happening over this next month or so, but if you make a note to compare today with two months from today, you just might see what happened within you…in hindsight.

If you haven’t seen my person reflection on this post, check it out here: How the Grand Cross is ALREADY Affecting Me



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