The Pluto Return of the United States

We are approaching the exact Pluto Return of the United States on February 22, 2022. I thought it might be helpful to share the astrological perspective on what we are currently living through and the message the cosmos is giving us for how to get through it.

If this context is helpful for you, great!  If not, carry on without it.

Remember that astrology is the study of the correlation of the movements of the planets with what happens here on earth.  The planets are not controlling what happens to us.  Astrology is just describing what the cosmic landscape says about the themes at play here on earth.  We have free will to operate within that landscape and choose our own path.

What is a Pluto Return?

In astrology, a planetary “return” means that a planet is “returning” to the same place in the sky where it was when someone or something was born.  A “return” symbolizes the end of one cycle and the start of another.  The theme of the cycle is determined by the theme of the planet.  You may have heard of a “Saturn Return” which starts a new cycle of responsibility and maturity (~ every 30 years).  We also have “Jupiter Returns” which start new cycles of growth and development (every ~12 years).

It takes Pluto over 240 years to make one full cycle, so humans don’t have Pluto Returns, but nations do.

Pluto’s signature theme is complete transformation through death and re-birth.  It’s definitely the most intense cycle of them all.

Pluto Returns have been associated with the fall of empires. Not all empires fall when they go through their Pluto Return, but they all go through some type of “considerable upheaval”. (Ray Grasse)

This year, Pluto will return to EXACTLY where it was when the United States was “born” in 1776, but Pluto transformations take a long time.  We kicked the process off in 2008 when Pluto first re-entered the sign of Capricorn (which, not coincidentally, was when we elected our first black president), and we won’t be on the other side of it until Pluto moves into Aquarius in 2024.  (sorry!)

FYI –  Our Pluto Return will be “exact” (at 27 degrees and 33 minutes of Capricorn) three times this year. The first time on February 22nd.  It retrogrades back over the same spot on July 11th and makes its final hit on December 28th.  These dates use the assumption that the US was “born” when the declaration of independence was signed on July 4th, 1776.  The birth of a nation is kind of hard to pin down so don’t take the exact dates too literally.  Net net – we are in it.

As mentioned, Pluto’s signature theme is intense transformation through death and re-birth. All planets have light and dark sides to their themes.  The light side of Pluto is the capacity within all of us to transform into something better.  The potential for growth and evolution is a good thing!

The dark side of Pluto is the stuff that needs to be transformed – the shadow side of human nature: crime, deception, racism, manipulation, abuse of power, sexual abuse, megalomania.  Pluto stuff also includes the dark feelings that drive us to act in shady ways: shame, resentment, jealousy, obsession, phobias, taboos, addiction.

Pluto transformations often start by revealing the “demons” that have been hiding in the shadows. This might be about subconscious feelings becoming conscious or dark secrets being revealed.  Then we have to face those feelings and actions, deal with them, and make transformational changes in our lives. This often involves a death – the death of an identity, a perspective, or a part of your life.

If we face and “kill” the demons, we can move forward as a better more evolved person/nation.  If we resist facing the demons (deny the truth, avoid the feelings) and don’t change our behavior on our own, something or someone will intervene and make that transformation for us…which is a much harder path.  Don’t resist facing the demons!

Facing the demons is HARD.  You have to be vulnerable, admit where you went wrong, forgive yourself, and forgive others in order to release and heal.  That is the opportunity we are presented with when Pluto comes around.

As mentioned, people don’t have Pluto returns, but Pluto can interact with other planets in your birth chart.  When that happens, you will likely have some kind of death/rebirth/transformation in your life.

Pluto transits are often described as a “dark night of the soul” or the “hero’s journey”.

What Does the Pluto Return Mean for the United States of America?

As Pluto revisits the place it was when our country was born, all of the shadows related to the founding of our nation are coming up to be revisited.  We are being reminded, in a painful way, that we have not made as much progress as we thought.

We are being asked to face the darkness and heal it so we can move forward as a better nation in this next cycle.

Pluto is returning to the sign of Capricorn, so our biggest transformation themes are around Capricorn stuff like financial systems, government, power, and law.  Since Capricorn is an earth sign, issues related to the environment are also in play.  (This might remind you of the Pluto/Saturn conjunction in January 2020 because Saturn and Capricorn have similar themes and Pluto is at the center of all of it.  It’s all just one big, long, transformation we are going through.)

What are some examples of Capricorn shadowy stuff that needs to be confronted and transformed? Hmm….

    • Our country was founded by rich, white men who set up a government that only they could participate in.
    • We stole lands from indigenous people, built wealth on the backs of African slaves, and continue to exploit the land we live on.
    • We were founded on ideals of freedom and independence, but many have taken those ideas to the extreme and value individualism over the wellbeing of all.
    • Our financial and political systems have created a huge economic divide that continues to grow and breeds corruption.

I am sure I don’t need to illustrate how Pluto is revealing our darkness to us, but I will list a few examples:

    • We are in the middle of an intense culture war that is being fueled by dark, shadowy people for profit and power.
    • School boards are dealing with irate parents who don’t want any discussion of racism, equity, the holocaust, diversity, or inclusion taught in schools. (File under…resisting the demons.)
    • Anti-Semitism is at historically high levels. Terrifying.
    • We are seeing more extreme weather and natural disasters as a result of the “exploiting the land” stuff. (aka Climate Change)
    • A global pandemic might be nature’s way of revealing more of our darkness AND pushing us to transform and find new ways of living. (File under…the harder path we did not choose to take on our own.)

I read an article in the NY Times this week titled The Dissenters Trying to Save Evangelicalism From Itself which had a great passage about the shadows we are fighting (not just in the Evangelical world):

“The age of the autonomous individual, the age of the narcissistic self, the age of consumerism and moral drift has left us with bitterness and division, a surging mental health crisis and people just being nasty to one another.”

“The proximate cause of all this disruption is Trump. But that is not the deepest cause. Trump is merely the embodiment of many of the raw wounds that already existed in parts of the white evangelical world: misogyny, racism, racial obliviousness, celebrity worship, resentment and the willingness to sacrifice principle for power.

Politically, we are in a very dangerous place.  Recent events go far beyond the normal ego, power-seeking stuff we always see in politics:

    • Our last president fired anyone who didn’t agree with him, attempted to overturn a legitimate election with lies (or delusions), incited political violence, and illegally destroyed government documents by eating them or flushing them down the toilet (wtf!!???).
    • The Republican National Committee just declared a violent insurrection “legitimate political discourse” so they can appeal to their base and stay in power.
    • Half of the senate has said they plan to block EVERYTHING for the next three years.
    • An extraordinary number of restrictive voting laws were passed in 2021.
    • It is very possible that this morally corrupt man, who embodies our raw wounds, will be president again.

In 2020, the United States was downgraded from a democracy to an anocracy – “a political system which is neither fully democratic nor fully autocratic and is inherently unstable.” ( The Biden administration restored us to a democracy in 2021, but we are still on thin ice.

From the Minnesota Post:

“Full democracies rarely have civil wars. And full autocracies rarely have civil wars. It’s the ones that are in between that are particularly at risk.”

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace talks about the dangers of the polarization we see today:

“The United States is the only advanced Western democracy to have faced such intense polarization for such an extended period. The United States is in uncharted and very dangerous territory”

“Within the broader pool of perniciously polarized democracies…..a plurality have descended into authoritarianism, and even those that depolarize face significant risks of repolarizing in the future.”

We are, no doubt, in a dark night of the soul.

Is it a coincidence that things are escalating to levels unseen in our lifetime while we are still reeling from the extraordinary planetary alignments of 2020 and at the exact time of the Pluto Return of the United States? Or is Astrology real?  (See why I can’t quit it!)

Other Astrological Themes of the Moment

At the end of 2020, The Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter brought hope of a new era of disciplined (Saturn) growth (Jupiter) around ideas, communication, and social connections (Air sign themes).  These first 20 years the growth are supposed to be in Aquarian themes of freedom, innovation, science, technology, facts, and humanitarianism.  (Sounds lovely, right?)

But there is a dark side of Aquarius we were hoping we do not slip into – extremism and revolution without critical thinking behind it and mad scientists who are so sure they are right that they lose track of the humanity behind their ideas and become opinionated, selfish, and erratic. (Not so lovely.)

We are starting to see glimmers of growth in Aquarian themes around us (light and dark), but for the past year, we have been stuck in this tension of a Saturn/Uranus square which astrologers say is keeping us from making a lot of progress in any direction.

Some astrologers describe this tension as a battle between old versus new – conservative ideas (Saturn) of keeping things the same versus progressive ideas of making change for something better (Uranus).  Others focus on the battle between being “overly worried” about staying safe (Saturn) versus individual freedom (Uranus).  The planetary themes can be interpreted in many ways, and there are astrologers on both ends of the political spectrum.

Any way you look at it, this tension is manifesting in extreme polarization around the world. (These are global planetary happenings.)  This specific Saturn/Uranus tension stays with us through the end of the year and gets especially heated for our US mid-term elections. (Buckle up, stay engaged, and vote!)

How Do We Get Through This?

These are big, complicated problems that will take many, many years to resolve.  Astrology can’t tell us what will happen.  We have free will to choose our own path.  But the message Pluto brings is that we must transform to survive.

The threat for survival is matched with the opportunity for reform, redemption and rebirth. We must be willing to make sacrifices and reforms to protect ourselves and assure the existence and status of the world’s greatest democracy in history. We have to surrender the ego, dissolve the threats to one another, forgive ourselves and one another, and then reform and rebuildRaymond Merriman, 2022 Forecast

But how exactly do we do that?

One of the most helpful things I have heard from astrologers is guidance on how to best resolve these Saturn/Uranus square tensions we are living through now – our extreme polarization (old vs new, safety vs freedom, etc.).

When two planets are in a tense angle with conflicting, seemingly opposite themes, the answer is not to get pulled completely into one side or another.

The magic is in the balance between the themes/perspectives. We need to find the best expressions of each and build something completely new – something so new, we can’t even imagine it today.

We have to let go of the idea that everything we believe is right and the other side is 100% wrong.  We have to listen to each other more, stop yelling at each other, and be open to finding a path down the middle.  We all have to be willing to experience the “death” of what we believe to be true or who we believe we are before we can be reborn into something new.

(We still need to take down the corrupt, manipulators who have been consumed by their own darkness – unless they read my blog post and decide to face their shadow and transform!)

Another helpful thing that I was reminded of by the amazing Richard Tarnas on the latest episode of the Astrology Hub Podcast (which I HIGHLY recommend you watch or listen to if you are into Astrology in any way.)

It feels like we have so little control over these issues that are so big and systematic. If you are reading my blog post, you are probably not a member of congress, the President of the United States, a television news anchor, the CEO of a huge corporation, or Oprah.

But we are all an equal part of this big, interconnected cosmos.  Every interaction we have makes a difference (even our thoughts!).  The conversations you have with people in your life, the work you do on your own shadow “stuff”, what you post on social media, the information you choose to consume that might shift your perspective, the way you treat your neighbors, cuddles with your kids… all have an impact on the broader consciousness.

None of us can save the world on our own.  But we are all in this together and we all have a role to play.

In Tarnas’ words, every step we take to live more consciously, compassionately, and courageously will help us ALL evolve to a better place.

If you would like to read more about the Pluto Return of the United States or the Astrology of 2022 in general. These were my favorite sources:

Changing of the Gods

There is a 10-part astrology documentary series being released on 2/2/2022 that explores the question: Is there a correlation between human history and the movement of the planets?

If this is your thing, check it out and sign up to watch FREE at

They are releasing one episode per day that is available to watch for 24 hours before the next one is released.  I heard there will be a marathon over a weekend before the last episode is released and a way to pay to purchase the series and watch it later at your leisure (those details are NOT on the website so TBD on that!)

The Astrology of 2021

I kicked this series off by explaining why 2020 was an unprecedented year in astrology.  There were an unusual number of rare planetary alignments that correlated with hard times in history. Astrologers knew it would be crazy and intense, even if they didn’t know exactly how, and it was.  We experienced a global pandemic, racial injustice protests, extreme political polarization, conspiracy theories that went mainstream, massive unemployment, deception, corruption, delusion, grief, loneliness, and anxiety.  Some people managed to pull off amazing, positive life transformations while many others have been suffering.

The calendar year of 2020 is coming to a close, but the astrological intensity we felt in 2020 is not quite over yet. None of what happened in 2020 has been resolved, but we are starting to move out of the muck.

We began the year with a Saturn-Pluto conjunction that accelerated the unearthing of darkness that needs to be transformed to heal the world (especially here in the US).  At the end of the year, we kicked off a new 200-year cycle of socio-political growth focused on ideas, communication, and social connection.   The Great Conjunction was a symbolic shift that brings hope of new things, but it can take years for change to really kick-in.  Most of that change we won’t even see in our lifetime.  We have to figure out what we want to bring with us into the future and what we need to leave behind.  And we are very far from agreeing on what to pack, exactly where we are going, and how to get there.

In 2021 we will see glimmers of hope, while still working through all of the unpleasant stuff from the old cycle.  Astrologers are saying that it will be a bit of a bumpy ride, especially in this first year of the new cycle.  But we won’t have as many intense things happening like we did in 2020. Yay!!

The Big Picture

January and February of 2021 will still feel a lot like 2020, but by the end of February or beginning of March we will feel like we turned a corner.  After February, we are back to the normal number and intensity of planetary happenings that we are used to here on earth (except for some Uranian jolts I will get in to).

If you recall, the intensity of 2020 was primarily focused on our biggest planets of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto hanging out and bumping into each other in Capricorn (with Mars heating things up for a while).  Most of those planets are out of Capricorn (structures, government, responsibility, business) making moves in Aquarius (freedom, new ideas, humanity) EXCEPT Pluto.  Pluto will be hanging out in Capricorn until 2024 continuing to transform the structures of our society.  AND the United States is approaching its Pluto Return in February 2022 which is like a healing crisis for our country – a metaphorical (hopefully) death and re-birth.  You might be thinking, didn’t we just go through that?  Can’t we be re-born now?  Pluto moves very slowly so what we have been through IS part of that, but we are not done with it yet! Sorry!

The Battle of Old vs New

The biggest theme of 2021 is a battle of old vs new.  There are planets and signs that want change and new ideas and there are planets and signs that like to keep things they way they are.  There are planets and signs that like to move carefully and cautiously and there are planets and signs that want things to happen NOW and will cause chaos to force change.  These are the main energies battling it out in 2021.

The big kick off of the year will happen right around inauguration day (there have been a lot of big planetary events related to our election calendar this year.  Coincidence?)

On January 17th, Jupiter will “square” Uranus.  Jupiter expands what it touches and makes it bigger and in the sign of Aquarius, it wants to expand things like freedom, humanitarianism, and new ideas.  (Seems like a good vibe for swearing in a new president!).   But on the other side of the square is Uranus in Taurus (remember squares cause tension between planet/sign combos that want different things).  Uranus also likes big changes and loves to shake things up (Uranus and Aquarius are on the same page!) BUT Uranus is in the sign of Taurus which really doesn’t like change.  Taurus is the stubborn bull who likes to lounge in the shade.  If you can convince Taurus it will be worth it to get up, it will (and once it’s up it is a force to be reckoned with) but it would much rather just chill.  So on January 17th, we have Uranus totally on board with Jupiter and Aquarius to bring some big, bold, fast change, but Taurus is hard to budge.

A few days later, on January 20th (Inauguration day), Mars joins the party with Uranus to heat up the chaos.  Mars will also be in Taurus which means it’s harder to get that Mars energy going, but once it does, watch out for the angry bull!

This conjunction is a spark that heats up this battle we are already in between the forces who want to get going and make change, and the forces who don’t want to move.  We never know what Donald Trump will do (he has Uranus, the planet of chaos, conjunct his Sun which represents his ego in his birth chart – you are probably not surprised to hear) and his supporters are fired up (and many are also delusional).  This astrology lines up with Trump not bowing out gracefully and a huge MAGA march (“the biggest you have ever seen”) on January 20th.  But some astrologers still think Trump might be president or some other crazy thing might happen, so who knows!  Its not going to be a chill time, no matter what Taurus would prefer.

Also note that this planetary line up is very similar to what we had in March of 2020 when COVID hit the US and our stock market tanked (Taurus rules money). There is a high likelihood of a lot of financial market turmoil this year and the next few years (and maybe in January).  I personally am getting my asset allocation in order and have been keeping a bit more in cash, just in case.

The Battle Continues – Saturn Square Uranus

The January action might cool down a bit at the start of February but then the battle continues when Saturn squares Uranus on February 17th.   This is similar to January, but with this square, we swap out the big, expansive, hopeful energy of Jupiter with the more disciplined, cautious, and serious energy of Saturn.  Saturn is working in Aquarius, to make careful, disciplined changes that will lead to freedom and equality for the good of humanity.  But Saturn will still have that tension with Uranus who is continuing to push for fast change if it can get Taurus to get up off the comfy old couch.  (Mars will have moved on at this point to do other things).

This Saturn-Uranus square will happen twice more on June 14th, and December 23rd. This seems to say that we will have a lot of conflict, frustration, and protests throughout the year that could potentially get out of hand.  We had a taste of this last year when Saturn dipped into Aquarius from March to July, but this year Uranus is in an “exact” square with Saturn so the astrology says that we can expect the social unrest to be more intense.  The birth chart of the US does not have a planetary line up that indicates a civil war, but there are other countries where this could be possible. Buckle up and keep an eye out for conflict and chaos especially around February 17th, June 14th, and December 23rd.

What does this mean for you personally?

The astrology impacts us all differently depending on where in your personal birth chart it is all going down.  You can use the instructions in this post to get your own birth chart from Chani Nicholas. The house where you have Aquarius is the place where you are starting a cycle of growth for the next 20 years (that is your Great Conjunction spot).  The house where you have Taurus is where Uranus might be causing some chaos and trying to make change (its been there since 2018 and will be there until 2025).  This year, that Uranus / Saturn / Jupiter squares  will be causing tension that my force changes in the structures of these two areas of your chart.  These are two big parts of your life being “stimulated” this year.  (Chani has a new app you can use to follow your astrology all year long or you can buy her course The Year Ahead for Your Sign.)

What About the Rest of The Year?

At least one astrologer predicts that society will “open up more” by late Spring/early summer (which aligns with what scientists say could happen if we get enough people vaccinated and behaving like responsible humans.)  In general, the astrology seems to say that the Spring and will feel better.  We may not be back to life like it was before 2020 but compared to where we are now, it will be better.  Jupiter will dip into Pisces for a couple of months which brings a romantic, artistic, dreamy, feel good times (it will be there all of 2022!). It won’t all be roses and rainbows, but the astrology says we might be able to have some fun.

The energy of the fall is more intense (but not 2020 intense).  There is a lot of dark Pluto, Scorpio, Mars energy apparently which could lead to more conflict or perhaps a financial crisis.

Summary (and my Political Forecast)

There is a ton of other astrology in 2021 that I am not getting in to.  There is always more astrology because the planets always keep moving in cycles as we evolve.  I have personally spent many days this year refreshing Twitter obsessively waiting to see what would happen on the exact day some big astrology was happening and ended up disappointed that no wild news hit on that day.   But when I step back and look at the big picture, 2020 delivered the big themes that the planets said it would.

I am still dubious of Astrology at times, but I do get comfort from this idea that we are moving into a new age that is focused on community, new ideas, and humanitarianism.  I am biased, but that feels to me like the liberal, progressive ideas will win this battle with the conservatives fighting hard to hold on old ways and traditions, but ultimately losing the fight. There may also be battles between the extreme progressives and centrists if the progressives don’t feel that change is happening fast enough. I am not naïve enough to think only one side is corrupt or that one side has all of the right solutions.  In the age of new ideas, there will be new solutions we can’t see yet and we have to work together to find them.

There is a lot of pressure on Biden to manage this all very carefully so we don’t implode. I hope he is the healer we need. His astrology says he could be, but it also says he also might be hiding some dark secrets or have some health problems coming up.  I wonder if he has an astrologer?  Kamala’s astrology is incredibly rare and powerful showing a high sense of purpose and the ability to do great things.  Maybe Biden does have an astrologer who helped him with that pick!

I will leave you with this bonus read from Raymond Merriman, who I got a lot of my 2021 intel from .  He sends out a free weekly newsletter and this week he did a Q&A on what is next for Trump, the financial markets, and the world.   I highly recommend his 2021 forecast book if you want to go deep on the astrology of 2021 (or sign up for his free weekly newsletter!)

Happy New Year and may the astrology of 2021 support you in having a better year than you did in 2020 OR if your year was amazing, continuing on that journey.  You have free will to use the energy of the planets and stars in any way you choose.

PS: The image for this post is a painting done by my friend Leslie Howett!  She makes beautiful things. You can find her here.  2021 does not feel like a falling star having fun yet, but I am hopeful that more fun is on the way at some point in 2021.

The Great Conjunction of 2020

You have probably been hearing about the Great Conjunction that happens tomorrow, December 21st, when Saturn and Jupiter will meet together in the sky for the first time in about 20 years. Or you might remember that I wrote about it in the third installment of my “Unpacking the Astrology of 2020” series this summer.  A lot has happened since then but what I wrote still holds up, even with new context (go me!) I am repeating a lot of that post here, with a few additional insights I have gathered since then.

Before we get into The Great Conjunction, a reminder of the big astrological themes of this year.

Our three big, heavy planets Pluto, Saturn, and Jupiter have all been dancing close together in the sky for most of this year in the sign of CapricornPluto has been bringing the dark side of Capricorn out in to the open – including abuse of power in our governments and businesses and extreme conservatism at the expense of others (sexism, racism, xenophobia, nationalism).  Saturn is teaching us hard lessons around responsibility and which structures are working or not working (in our personal lives and in the collective) but also giving us the patience and fortitude to keeping working through it. And Jupiter has just been expanding all of that hard stuff. It’s been fun!

This week, we got a breath of fresh air, when Jupiter and Saturn both moved into Aquarius.  When these huge planets move into a new sign, the general vibe changes.  We are moving out of Capricorn energy (building a solid foundation, doing the right thing, being conservative, working hard) into Aquarian energy (freedom, new ideas, change).  See why it might feel a little lighter?  On a recent Astrology Hub podcast episode, Rick Levine described 2020 in Capricorn like being stuck in Groundhog Day.  We have been trying to move forward all year, but we kept getting sucked back in to the muck by Capricorn over and over again to do more work.  When two of those three big planets shifted into Aquarius, we finally started moving into something new.  Yay!!!

Unfortunately, Pluto will stay in Capricorn until January 2024 so the work of exposing the dark stuff in our governments and societal structures (and our own personal structures) is not done.  It will continue to be in the background of everything for a few more years, but Saturn and Jupiter will be helping us find new solutions.

This brings us to The Great Conjunction when Jupiter and Saturn come together in the sky, which happens about every 20 years.  This is happening tomorrow, December 21st. (The last time it happened was May 2000)  Great Conjunctions usually indicate new cycles of socio-political growth and change.  Some say they mark the rise and fall of empires. (queue ominous music)

This specific Great Conjunction is extra special because this is (almost) the first time in 200 years that it is happening in an air sign (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) instead of an earth sign (Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo). And it is happening in the very first degree of that air sign AND its happening on the Solstice which both make it more powerful astrologically (just trust me on that).

(Technically, we had a preview of a great conjunction in an air sign in 1980 when they met in Libra, but then in 2000 they met in earth again.  This time they will be in air for good, for the next 200 years so this is really the big shift.)

Jupiter is the planet that wants us to grow and expand and pursue our highest ideals.  Saturn helps us put structures and discipline in place so we can achieve that growth.  If they are working together in a positive way, they can get A LOT of good stuff done.  On the flip side, if we take Jupiter too far and cross into its darkness (greed, overindulgence, extreme ideology), Saturn brings out the discipline and restricts Jupiter to reign it back in.  (Hence the “rise and fall of empires”)  We humans go through cycles of expanding and contracting and finding a balance between the two.  The sign the planets are in, gives the theme of those cycles.

Saturn and Jupiter have been coming together in earth signs (Taurus, Capricorn, and Virgo) for the past 200 years.  Earth signs are about material things that we can see and touch and practical solutions rooted in common sense (food, shelter, money, the actual earth, our bodies, systems, structure, rules, caution, responsibility).  For 200 years we have been going through cycles of growth and excess around themes of government, hierarchies, laws, capitalism, making stuff, buying stuff, building stuff, growing stuff, using earth’s resources, and our physical health.  We have placed a high value on wealth, status, beauty, and power.

We used that earthy Saturn-Jupiter energy to lay a solid foundation in our societies and build some great stuff, but we also took some things too far.  Global warming, the economic divide, growing authoritarianism, etc.  As the end of this cycle approaches, Saturn is reigning things back in with its tough love, and Pluto and all of the other planets are joining in to help.

The Great Conjunction is bringing us the opportunity to re-build things differently.  As we kick off our next 200-year cycle of socio-political (and individual) growth in air signs (Aquarius, Libra, Gemini) that all have themes involving ideas, communication, and social connections.

The first 20-year air cycle is in the sign of Aquarius.  The themes of Aquarius are freedom, innovation, science, technology, facts, and humanitarianism (and astrology!).  Aquarians want to try new ideas and to fix things to make the world a better place.  They want freedom and revolution.  But, at their worst, Aquarians can be detached, like mad scientists, and lose track of the humanity behind their ideas.  They can play god and get fanatical, opinionated, selfish, and erratic.  They can also fall in to group think (like the Borgs on Star Trek that have “hive minds”)  (Watch out for the dark Aquarians!)

For the next 20 years, we can expect to see growth and changes in our socio-political systems based on Aquarian themes.  This will bring lots of new ideas, new ways of thinking, and advances in technology and science (perhaps space travel).  We will (hopefully) build new societal structures that are better for humanity and less hierarchical that shift more power into the hands of the people. We are being asked to completely re-think everything from the bottom up, instead of top down.

We will, of course, have to watch out for the dark side of Aquarius which could include extremism and revolution based on herd mentality without critical thinking behind it.  And, our freedoms may continue be constricted by Saturn, until we prove that we are responsible enough to be set free. Astro Butterfly explains it like this

“Saturn will ask Aquarius to ‘uplevel’ and transform from a rebellious and spoiled adolescent into a responsible, society’s-interests-first citizen of the future.”

The balance of Saturn and Aquarius is about setting up the right structures that support all of humanity equally and allowing us all to have personal freedom, that does not come at the expense of others. Jupiter is in the mix  asking us to look at our higher ideals as we explore those structures and freedoms.

The Great Conjunction kicks-off  this Aquarian 20-year cycle on December 21st, but Saturn and Jupiter don’t stay in Aquarius for 20 years.  We get the big bang in the beginning and then this theme lingers in the background, mixing with lots of other themes and happenings in the cosmos in the years to come.  Life is so complex!

Saturn and Jupiter are both in Aquarius for most of 2021 which will give us an extra boost to start re-building things in new ways (like a Super Mario  power up !) Pluto has been exposing, for all of us, the dark stuff in our structures that need to change. Perhaps things have been revealed in your own life that are not working (a relationship, a job, a living situation, your health).  Maybe you have started to make changes already or maybe you are still resisting.  (Unfortunately, in our US politics, there are different ideas about what the dark stuff is and there is certainly a lot of resistance.)  We have been in this energy for six months and we will feel it all through 2021 so its not all about this ONE DAY.  This next year, should give us all that extra “power up” to help us re-build what is not working in new ways. (For those not familiar with the Super Mario video game, the mushroom image I used for this post is the most famous Super Mario power up, The Super Mushroom, that gives him special powers!)

Everyone has been asking me what 2021 looks like and I will talk more about 2021 in another post, but from what I understand, we are not really done with the energy of 2020 until the end of February 2021. (Sorry!). 2020 had an unprecedented number of rare planetary cycles all happening together in the same year which correlated (as predicted) with a lot of intensity here on earth.  In 2021, we are back to a normal level of planetary action which should correlate to less intensity (if astrology is real). Hang in there and if you can see Saturn and Jupiter in the sky enjoy it!!

Here are a few of other interesting facts about Great Conjunctions if you are not tired of reading this really long post yet:

    1. In the United States, eight presidents have died in office. Seven of those presidential deaths happened when the election or inauguration year was the year of a Great Conjunction (which I learned from Jessica Lanyadoo)
    2. During the presidential terms that started with the last two Great Conjunctions (1980 and 2000), there were presidential assassination attempts (Reagan and Bush) that were not successful
    3. It is believed that the Star of Bethlehem was also a Great Conjunction and the first in a 200-year cycle of Pisces
    4. The Great Conjunction is NOT starting the Age of Aquarius. We are getting closer but ages are based on the precession of the equinox  not planetary alignments.  I am told we will enter the Age of Aquarius around 2160. But ages are over 2000 years long so we may start to feel their vibes about 200 years before they start, which explains why we are starting to feel that Aquarian vibe!

The Donald Trump Eclipse of 2020

There is a pretty big eclipse happening tomorrow, December 14th, 2020. It also happens to be the day the electoral college votes here in the United States and it’s a big astrological event for Donald Trump, personally.  Let’s do a deep dive on eclipses in general and why this one is a big deal.

What is an Eclipse?

Eclipses happen when the sun, moon, and earth are lined up in the sky.  During a lunar eclipse, the earth is blocking the sun’s light from the moon so it is in shadow and we can’t see it (the moon is eclipsed).  During a solar eclipse, the moon is between the sun and the earth so we can’t see the sun (the sun is eclipsed).  FYI – The moon is always full during a lunar eclipse and new during a solar eclipse.

In astrology, the sun and moon represent the biggest parts of who we are.  The sun represents our ego, sense of purpose, and who we are right now.  The moon represents our emotions and sense of security and our past. When the biggest parts of who we are line up in the sky (with the earth) and start obscuring each other, it’s kind of a big deal.  The “planets” are inviting us (or often forcing us) to look at what’s going on with our emotions and our ego.  Things might come up from our past (moon) that need to be resolved or we might be faced with challenges to our ego or questions about who we are (sun).

As you can imagine, this might make us feel especially triggered, or agitated, or exhausted.  We might have trouble sleeping. Feelings may erupt suddenly or things may suddenly become clear.  Pay attention to what is coming up for you because it’s probably a message about something that needs to change for you to evolve.  You may be pushed into a change whether you like it or not.  The change could be amazing and wonderful, or it could be hard and not so fun (but usually, for your greatest and highest good).  Eclipses can bring about sudden, dramatic shifts or they may trigger something that is not revealed until later.  We usually start to feel them before things line up exactly in the sky and we can feel their impact for 6-18 months.

Everything happening in the sky will not impact us all in the same way.  Some eclipses you might feel because they are also lining up with planets in your personal birth chart (the map of your soul in this lifetime) an others not so much.  An eclipse might not directly impact YOU (because you have your shit miraculously, completely all together OR this eclipse is just not meant for you), but it might be impacting other people around you and likely lots of other people in the collective. (I know, that’s a lot of variables.  I can’t convince you it’s real. If you feel something and its helpful to know it might be part of something bigger, cool.)

When I say “in the specific area of your life where the eclipse is happening” I am referring to house in your birth chart that lines up to the eclipse.  The eclipse happening tomorrow, on December 14th, is happening at 23 degrees of Sagittarius.  Find 23 degrees of Sagittarius in your birth chart.  (I explained how to get your birth chart in this post).  The house where 23 degrees of Sagittarius lives is where you might feel the eclipse in your life (family, relationships, career, etc>).   And if there are planets close to that 23 degrees OR at 23 degrees anywhere else in your chart, that amplifies the impact on YOU in its own unique way.

Why is This Eclipse a Big Deal?

This particular eclipse is an especially big deal for a few reasons.

    1. It is a total solar eclipse making it more powerful
    2. Mars (the planet of aggression and anger) and Neptune (confusion) are involved (in specific angles to the Sun and Moon)
    3. The eclipse is happening in the sign of Sagittarius which is a fire sign (fire, as you know, is hot and explosive)
    4. It is happening during this crazy time with a ton of other stuff going on and we are ALREADY tired and agitated and stressed
    5. It is happening on the day of the electoral college vote here in the US where our president has launched a massive disinformation campaign (with no evidence) that the election was stolen from him and he refuses to concede
    6. It is happening directly on President Trump’s moon which happens to be right next to his south moon node and he is having a nodal return. Let’s unpack that…
How Does this Eclipse Impact Donald Trump?

When an eclipse happens at the exact same spot as the moon or sun in YOUR birth chart, its likely to be pretty intense for YOU.  Tomorrow’s eclipse is a solar eclipse which means the moon (emotions, the past) will be blocking the sun (ego).  This is happening for Donald Trump right on top of his personal moon (emotions, the past) which makes it pretty powerful for him and extra emotional.  Is he getting a sign that he should be letting go of some stuff from his past?  Is he getting a sign that his ego needs to be put in check?  Is his pubic persona going to be blocked? Will he snap out of his delusion that he won the election?

Also, Donald Trump (sometimes called the Mad King) was born on a full moon eclipse making him. It is said that “kings are born and die on eclipses” (because they often do).  I will just leave that here.

Not only is this eclipse happening on top of Trump’s moon, it is also happening on top of his south moon node. You might recall that the south moon node represents the karma you brought into this lifetime.  This is your comfort zone and the stuff you are good at but if you get stuck here it can can keep you from evolving. Trump’s south moon node is in Sagittarius.  Sagittarius likes things BIG.  They like to have fun and be optimistic and go on adventures and expand their horizons.  They can also be dogmatic, think the know all of the answers, wear rose colored glasses, over-indulge, be judgmental, and exaggerate.  What is being illuminated for Donald about his karma and what he needs to get unstuck from?

Finally, Donald is having a nodal return.  That means that his south moon node and his north moon node (which represent his karma and his destiny) are returning to where they were when he was born.   A nodal return (which happens to everyone about every 18.5 years) is a time when you can step into your destiny OR get sucked back into your karma.  As with all things astrology, this can play out in many ways.  Is it Donald Trump’s destiny to pull off a second term through chaos, corruption, and lies OR will he have a huge shift in his life (perhaps because he can’t escape his karma) and move out of the white house on to whatever is next for him? (I am clearly biased and hoping for the latter.)

In Summary

Net net, on the day of our electoral college vote we have an eclipse that could cause sudden, explosive things to happen in our lives or in the collective that is also hitting our president’s chart in a HUGE way.  Maybe its already played out for him with the Supreme Court rejection or maybe there is more to come.  It seems likely that the eruption will involve more protests (Mars in Aries) from the people who are holding the illusion (Neptune in Pisces) that this election was stolen from Trump (both planets in prominent angles to the eclipse).  The astrology says it’s not likely smooth sailing for us all just yet.

The mix of planets and signs are making this eclipse especially intense and overwhelming for everyone (not just Trump).  Pay attention to what you are feeling and what signs the universe is sending you about your own life.  Journal, meditate, and take some quiet time to yourself if you are feeling it.  The good news is that is will pass!!!  The planets always keep moving.

And there is better energy on the way!!!  Our big planets are starting to move out of Capricorn and in to Aquarius which is a whole new vibe.  Then we have the Great Conjunction next week (which I wrote about at the end of this post in July).  I hope to get into it more with the additional insights I have gathered from various astrologers before it happens.  But for now, stay safe out there, be nice to each other, and if you live in a place where you can see stars (and you stay up later than I do), check out the Geminids Meteor Shower.

Photo by Jongsun Lee on Unsplash

Mars is Heating Things Up! What Does this Mean for You?

In my last post (Unpacking the Astrology of 2020: Part 3), I mentioned that Mars in Aries was going to heat things up this fall.  The extra heat is already  kicking into gear so I thought this might be a good time to get more specific about dates and what this might feel like.  I will also explain how you can figure out where you might be feeling all of this in YOUR life and how to use this heat to your advantage.

Quick reminder that we have those three really big, powerful planets (Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto) that are all hanging out in Capricorn, the sign of authority, government, structures, integrity, and social ambition.  They are coming together at various times this year, which they RARELY do, and they are bumping into other planets along the way.  This is the stuff that is putting pressure on our systems and structures to tear down what is not working and support us to start building something new.  Mars has rejoined the party which is turning up the heat.

Mars is the engine in your car and the fire in your belly. It is the planet that represents what lights you up and makes you want to DO things. It is also the energy that makes you want to fight. You may fight for what you believe in, for what you want, or to protect yourself or people you love. You may fight from a healthy place and be strategic in the way you use your energy (good trouble). OR you may lash out from a place of insecurity, hurt, or fear and make a lot of noise, waste a lot of energy, not get anywhere productive, and/or take things too far and hurt other people (bad trouble).  When Mars is in Aries, it is super charged and as you might recall, Mars is in Aries for over six months this year, which is a big deal.

Mars kicked off a cycle with those three powerful planets last March in the sign of Capricorn.  That was right around the time the pandemic really started going global.  You could say that the energy of Mars lit a fire under the virus and basically started escalating the process of tearing things down in the world.  Most of our lives have changed, drastically.

Mars then got super charged in Aries at the end of June and will now meet up with those planets again three times in the next six months, at an angle called a square.  A square causes so much tension that you have to take action. It’s like someone pushing you to do something really scary but for your own good.  This series of squares is a STRONG PUSH for us to make changes that need to be made in the structures of our lives and our world. We are actually in the middle of the first set of squares now.  You might be feeling it!

In my last post, I focused on how this is all impacting the world. Personally, it plays out like this.  You built the structures in your life at one point because they were what you needed or wanted at the time.  Those “structures” include where you live, your relationships, your job, the things you have, your daily habits, etc…  Do you still love these things?  What does your heart want now? What needs to change in your life to follow what your heart wants now?  Things have probably bubbled to the surface since March about what is REALLY important to you and what might need to change.  Don’t ignore those messages.  Now is the time to act, but it will probably not be smooth sailing.  Here is why:

    • When Mars squares Jupiter, our intense Mars energy is expanded, for better or worse. We could over-extend ourselves or what is inside us may explode in something like jubilation or rage. (the Beruit explosion happened on August 4th which is the first time Mars Squared Jupiter in this cycle. That was a “for worse” example.)
    • When Mars Squares Pluto you may feel that Mars energy even more intensely (it’s a war vibe) or things may be revealed to you (probably not fun things) that were hidden that now need to be dealt with.
    • When Mars Squares Saturn you may hit some obstacles. You are moving along at warp speed with your excited, ambitious Mars energy, following your heart, and you literally run in to a Saturn wall.  Or you are ignoring the messages inside yourself to follow your heart’s path and you get hit over the head to get you to pay attention. If you are not on the right path or you are doing something that is not for your greatest and highest good, Saturn will knock you down to send you a message to get you to adjust or rethink how to take action in a better way.

So what can you do to make the most of this energy?  This is what the point of astrology is!  Astrology helps you understand the energy that is happening around you (and inside of you) so you can use it in the best way possible to live YOUR best life.

You may already know exactly what needs to change in your life or maybe everything is awesome, so you don’t have to make any changes.  (If that is the case, congrats on kicking ass at your life.)  If you are curious about where in your life astrology says you might need to change your structures and/or focus your Mars energy, I wrote up some instructions to help you figure that out.

Keep in mind that whenever you get a simple astrology answer on the internet, it can’t take in to account the specific details of YOUR birth chart.  We don’t all feel everything that is happening in the sky in the same way. We each have our own path and our own timing.  So you might dig in with my instructions below and it won’t make sense and you will decide its all bull shit OR you might nod your head because it’s spot on OR it might trigger you think about something you weren’t aware of yet.  If its helpful, use it, if not, don’t.

How to Check Your Birth Chart

    1. You need to know exactly where and what time you were born, to the minute. This is probably on your birth certificate but sometimes it’s not. You can google how to possibly get a long form birth certificate or find and astrologer who might be able to back into it for you, but you need the exact time and place to understand the “where” in your life part of Astrology.
    2. Go to Chani Nicholas web site and plug that information in to display your birth chart. There are lots of sites you can use, but this is the clearest one I found for this purpose.  When she asks for the house system, select Whole Sign. (Astrologers do use different house systems which is a tricky subject that I am not going to get in to here!)
    3. What you are looking at is a map of exactly where the planets were in the sky at the moment and location of your birth. Mine looks like this chart below. This is a map of your potential in this lifetime which is pretty cool, but at the moment, we are just going to focus on where you might be feeling this restructuring and Mars energy.
    4. This circle is divided in to 12 sections of the sky called “houses”. Each house represents a different area of your life (it may be your inner life or your outer life).  In the middle of the chart, you can see the number of each house.
      • The house labeled Capricorn, is the area of your life where the “structures” are being transformed.  Make a note of what that number is.
      • The house labeled Aries, is the area of your life where Mars is hanging out for MANY months and giving you a TON of energy to take action that will likely support that transformation in the Capricorn area. Make a note of what that number is.
    5. Check this page on Café Astrology for definitions of the houses and which areas of life they represent. (Ignore the stuff about the ruler and cusps. Focus on the name of the house and the last paragraph that lists the topics for each house).
    6. If you have planets in the Aries or Capricorn houses (those are the mysterious symbols you see under the zodiac names, you may feel the impact more strongly because this is an area of your life where you have some specific lessons. (It’s much more complicated than that, but we are keeping it simple for internet self service.)
    7. One last note – depending on your specific chart, if you use a different house system, the impact may be over TWO areas of your life because the signs span multiple houses. If the first two life areas seem WAY off base, you can go back and run your chart again on Chani’s site using Placidus house system.  Now your Capricorn and Aries might span TWO houses.  Maybe one of the second houses might be where you are feeling the impact in your life?  (Astrology is not an exact science)

If you have questions about this shoot me a note (if you know me) or leave a comment.  I am still learning astrology myself but  I will do my best to help you!

  1. When is all of This Mars Restructuring Stuff Happening?

Now you have some clues about where in your life your structures may need to be transformed and where you have Aries energy behind you to take action that will may help you transform those structures.

Here is a summary of the dates when Mars will be causing extra tension to push you to take action in the Aries and Capricorn parts of your life. Mark your calendars! (And remember these planets are big so we feel things before and after these exact dates!)

    • Aug 4th – 24th The First Pass – We are in the middle of this now. You are starting to really get a nudge to do something. Things are being revealed. You may not know exactly what to do or where you need to end up, but start making a plan and start moving in some direction if you can.
      • August 4th – Mars Squared Jupiter (Expansion)
      • August 13th – Mars Squared Pluto (Intensity/Big Reveal)
      • August 24th – Mars Squares Saturn (Blocks) – Chani says that Mars and Saturn stay close until the second pass so this might last a month. Good times.
    • Sep 9thMars goes retrograde and its harder to DO stuff and we will get frustrated.
    • Sep 29th – Oct 18th Second Pass – We are TRYING to move full steam ahead but it’s probably not going great. More is revealed and we may need to shift gears and change course.
      • Sep 29th – Mars Squares Saturn (Blocks)
      • Oct 9th  – Mars Squared Pluto (Intensity/Big Reveal)
      • Oct 18th – Mars Squares Jupiter (Expansion)
    • Nov 13th – Mars goes direct so we are (hopefully) less frustrated (phew!) (And hopefully we will know who our next president is!)
    • Dec 21st – The Great Conjunction – Saturn and Jupiter meet in Aquarius to start a new age of growth around ideas! (Read my last post to remind you what is up with that and we can regroup on it when its closer)
    • Dec 23rd – Jan 22nd 2021 Third Pass – by the time we get here, lots will have changed in our lives and the world so this stuff we are working on should be clearer. We can make some final adjustments before we move forward into something new.  We are less frustrated.  The Great Conjunction has happened! Planets are moving into new signs and out of this heavy Capricorn.
      • Dec 23rd – Mars Squares Pluto (Intensity/Big Reveal) still in Aries/Capricorn
      • Jan 13th – Mars Squares Saturn (Blocks) – BUT now Mars and Saturn have moved on to new signs (Taurus and Aquarius) so this will feel different than the Aries/Capricorn vibe (we can discuss that when we get there)
      • Jan 22nd – Mars Squares Jupiter (Expansion)– also in new signs of Taurus/Aquarius

New Moon in Leo

I rushed to get this post out because another VIP date in our astrology right now is the New Moon in Leo which is happening TONIGHT, August 18th at 10:41PM New York time.  New Moons are usually a good time to set intentions but apparently this is an exceptionally good time to do so.  With all of this harder stuff coming up (frustration, tension, change, “war energy”, obstacles) and this PUSH to take action, this is a REALLY good time to go deep and think about what you heart wants.  (Leo is all about the heart!!!)  Take out a piece of paper on Tuesday, August 18th (or Wednesday or Thursday are ok, too, I am told) and write down what you want for yourself.  What changes do you want to make in your life?  What do you want the Universe to work with you to you create for yourself and the world? Let it spill out of your heart.  (If you are woo woo, get out your crystals and light some candles.  But this is not necessary. All you need is your heart, a pen and paper, and some quiet space.)

Wrap Up

I will leave you with some final advice about Mars inspired by the many podcasts I have consumed recently. I am sure you feel that Mars energy rising up inside of you (and all around you) already and remember that you can use it in many different ways.  Don’t fight useless battles that you can not win.  Focus that energy on things you have the power to change in your life and in the world.  Don’t get tangled up in heated fights with people who won’t listen because they are stuck in an angry place of insecurity, resentment, or fear.  They are on their own healing path. Wish them well, and don’t feed their negative energy.  Direct your Mars energy at solutions that will make the world a better place for you, and for everyone else.  Think about what is important to you, and fight for that, in a strategic and productive way.  THAT is how we can best us this Mars energy. You don’t have to save the WHOLE world, focus your energy on where YOU can make YOUR life better and that will help change the world.  And if it is in your heart’s path to put that energy directly towards solutions that will help everyone, do that, because the world is in need all of the positive energy and solutions that we can get!

Michelle Obama said it beautifully last night in her speech at the opening night of the Democratic National Convention (and I’ll bet she didn’t even realize she was talking about using our positive Mars energy!)

“When others are going so low, does going high still really work?” My answer: going high is the only thing that works, because when we go low, when we use those same tactics of degrading and dehumanizing others, we just become part of the ugly noise that’s drowning out everything else. We degrade ourselves. We degrade the very causes for which we fight. But let’s be clear: going high does not mean putting on a smile and saying nice things when confronted by viciousness and cruelty. Going high means taking the harder path. It means scraping and clawing our way to that mountain top. Going high means standing fierce against hatred while remembering that we are one nation under God, and if we want to survive, we’ve got to find a way to live together and work together across our differences.” 

Happy New Moon in Leo!! Set your hearts intentions in the next couple of days, channel your Mars energy to co-create them with the Universe, and try your hardest to fight for good and for a better life for yourself and the people you love!

PS: Here is some additional listening/reading on this topic where I learned a lot of what I shared with you:

Photo credit:

Unpacking The Astrology of 2020: Part 3

This is the final chapter of my compelling, three part series that breaks down the biggest astrology of 2020.  (Go back and read Part 1 and Part 2, if you haven’t yet!)

When we left off at the end of Part 2, I was explaining that things would heat up in July.  Enter the planet of war in the sign of war….

Mars in Aries (June 27th – Jan 7th 2021) 

Mars is about ambition, action, aggression, violence, and anger.  Mars is what gets us to DO things and it is also the planet of war.  On June 27th, Mars moves in to the sign of Aries.  Aries is ruled by Mars which means they have the same themes that will be SUPER SIZED during this time.  People will feel extra ambitious and driven to get things done, but they might also be extra pissed off. Mars usually only stays in one sign for 1-2 months.  But this year, Mars is in Aries for six+ months.  I think you would agree that things have been pretty heated this year already, and Mars is not even in Aries yet.


Once we get through the eclipse on July 5th, things seem to be relatively chill for July and August???   There is nothing astrologically NEW and HUGE added to the mix.  We will still have the Saturn/Pluto/Jupiter vibes that are with us all year (destroying structures, exposing the darkness that needs to be transformed, spreading Coronavirus) AND Mars in Aries firing us up.  BUT MAYBE we will be in a steady state so we can adjust to the “new normal” and get our bearings before things heat up more in the fall.

A lot of the powerful planets (Saturn, Pluto, Jupiter and Neptune) are also retrograde for most of the summer, which feels like it MIGHT be a time to regroup and reflect (because they are not doing their thing full force, they are kind of puttering around in the dark) OR everything will continue to be a non-stop shit show.  Honestly, I have no idea. (My astrology sources are not saying much about this time.  I am hoping no news is good news.)

Whatever the rest of the summer feels like, it WILL be even more intense in the fall.  So in your moments of possible relaxation, make the absolute most of it, AND get your house in order for the wide ride ahead.

Mars Retrograde (Sep 9th – Nov 13th)

On September 9th, Mars goes retrograde.  When Mars is retrograde, you might get especially frustrated because you are trying to take action and things keep getting in the way.  Or your ambition might be stifled so you don’t feel like doing anything.  People may get really irritable and snap at each other.  And this retrograde is double trouble in the sign of Aries.  All of that super sized energy will get quadruple sized.

What makes this retrograde important collectively, is that Mars will have some tense interactions with those planets bringing us all of the hard stuff this year.  Mars will “but heads” with Saturn, Pluto AND Jupiter during this time.  While Saturn/Pluto/Jupiter are working their (not so fun) magic, a retrograde, frustrated Mars is trying to pick a fight with them.  AND Mercury will be retrograde again (Oct 13 – Nov 3) during this Mars retrograde which is kind of a big deal.  Our communication might be all messed up while we are dealing with anger and frustration.  There will be power struggles (Pluto), miscommunications (Mercury), fighting (Mars), obstacles (Saturn) and we might be overextending ourselves (Jupiter). Everything will be coming to a boil during this time.  (This is why we need to rest and prepare this summer?)

Lesson Plan for Mars Retrograde: How can we work through conflict in an effective way so we come out the other side in a better place?  (You are going to really want to have your meditation practice going before we get here!)

Deep breaths…

Mars will be retrograde leading up to, and until right after, our election in the United States on November 3rd. We will be making a REALLY big decision that will impact the structures of our government and society for the next four years, at least.  AND Mercury Retrograde will be ending ON election day.  The last time Mercury was retrograde during an election was the 2008 chad situation in Florida when we had a contested election.

All of this energy sounds scary but there is always a potential up side with astrology.  This energy could put extra pressure on us to take action and do everything we can to make sure this election turns out for the greatest and highest good of all. 

There are actually astrological reasons, for why this is all hitting the United States extra hard.  We are coming up on something called our Pluto return in February 2022. This means Pluto is coming back to exactly where it was when our nation was born.  Think super sized destroy/transform/rebuild energy directed at the US.  We are facing the shadows that our nation was built on (you know what those are).  This is already in the air now. You can read more about the Pluto Return of the US here if you are interested.

The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn (December 21st)

This is the FINAL piece of big astrology for 2020 and what we are working towards all year (Thanks for sticking with me this long!).  On December 21st, Jupiter and Saturn will come together for  The Great Conjunction, which happens every 20 years.  When Jupiter and Saturn come together, they kick-off a new cycle of growth.  This impacts us all individually in different ways, but collectively, these are cycles of socio-political growth and change.

This specific Great Conjunction is extra special because this is the first time in 200 years that it is happening in an air sign (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) instead of an earth sign (Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo).

Jupiter is the planet that wants us to grow and expand and pursue our highest ideals.  Saturn helps us put structures and discipline in place so we can achieve that growth.  If they are working together in a positive way, they can get A LOT of good stuff done.  On the flip side, if we take Jupiter too far and cross in to its darkness (greed, overindulgence, extreme ideology), Saturn brings out the discipline and restricts Jupiter to reign it back in.

Saturn and Jupiter have been coming together in earth signs (Taurus, Capricorn, and Virgo) for the past 200 years.  Earth signs are about material things that we can see and touch and practical solutions rooted in common sense (food, shelter, money, the actual earth, our bodies, systems, structure, rules, caution, responsibility).  For 200 years we have been going through cycles of growth and excess around themes of government, hierarchies, laws, capitalism, making stuff, buying stuff, building stuff, growing stuff, using earth’s resources, and our physical health.  We have placed a high value on wealth, status, beauty, and power.

We used that earthy Saturn-Jupiter energy to lay a solid foundation in our societies and build some great stuff, but we also took some things too far.  Global warming, the economic divide, growing authoritarianism, etc.  As the end of this cycle approaches, Saturn is reigning things back in with its tough love, and Pluto and all of the other planets are joining in to help.

The Great Conjunction is bringing us the opportunity to re-build things differently.  On December 21st, we will kick off our next 200 year cycle of socio-political (and individual) growth in air signs (Aquarius, Libra, Gemini) that all have themes involving ideas, communication, and social connections.

The first 20 year air sign cycle is in Aquarius.  The themes of Aquarius are freedom, innovation, science, technology, facts, and humanitarianism (and astrology!).  Aquarians want to try new ideas and to fix things to make the world a better place.  They want freedom and revolution.  But, at their worst, Aquarians can be detached, like mad scientists, and lose track of the humanity behind their ideas.  They can play god and get fanatical, opinionated, selfish, and erratic.  (Watch out for the dark Aquarians!)

For the next 20 years, we can expect to see growth and changes in our socio-political systems based on Aquarian themes.  This will bring lots of new ideas, new ways of thinking, and advances in technology and science (space travel will be big, is what I am hearing).  Power and decision making will shift from organizations and hierarchical structures, in to the hands of the people. We are being asked to completely re-think everything from the bottom up, instead of top down.

We will, of course, have to watch out for the dark side of Aquarius which could include extremism and revolution based on herd mentality without critical thinking behind it.  And, our freedoms may continue be constricted by Saturn, until we prove that we are responsible enough to be set free. Astro Butterfly explains it like this

“Saturn will ask Aquarius to ‘uplevel’ and transform from a rebellious and spoiled adolescent into a responsible, society’s-interests-first citizen of the future.”

Saturn has been giving us a preview of how it works with Aquarius from March 23rd to July 2nd.  During this time you may have noticed that majority of the world had their freedoms (Aquarius) taken away (Saturn), we are having massive protests (Aquarius) related to the societal structures of police and criminal justice (Saturn), we are balancing isolation (Saturn) with connection through technology  (Aquarius) and debating restrictions (Saturn) vs freedoms (Aquarius) of information and facts (Aquarius).

Saturn will move back in to Capricorn on July 2nd where it will resume its focus on lessons about our governments, authority figures, business, and all societal and financial structures, until it moves in to Aquarius for the Great Conjunction in December, where it will stay for 2.5 years.

As we move in to this new astrological era, people who are feeling secure with the status, wealth, power, and the current structures (earth themes) will not let go without a fight. They will continue to dig in their heels and play out the dark side of their own personalities to hold on to their safety and power. Everyone is learning their own lessons and is on their own path. It may not only be people “at the top” or people who have risen to power by not acting in integrity who are digging in their heels.  Anyone who feels safe in the current structures or is uncomfortable with change or new ways of thinking will have a lot of adjustments to make as we move in to a whole new world (I put myself in this category!)

(You might be wondering, is this the beginning of the Age of Aquarius?  No one knows for sure!  There are many theories on this and we may not know until we can look back on it.  Some say yes!  A topic for another post, perhaps)


The planets are aligning in the sky in ways that have not been seen for  hundreds of years.  The line up of the cosmos in the second half of 2020 is heavy, and it will be hard, but it is also leading us in to a time of great change and possibility for something better.  Many people believe that our souls chose to come to earth at this time because we all have a part to play in this transformation. We are all being asked to look at the cracks in our lives and in the world as part of our life lessons.  The seals we have been filling them in with won’t hold any more.  We have to tear things down and rebuild in new ways.  If we ignore this mission, we will just keep getting hit over the head with it even harder.  I don’t want to keep getting hit over the head with it, do you?

There will always be a mix of light and dark in the world (and inside of each of us), we are just WAY out of balance right now.  So how do we re-balance and bring more light in to the world?  Because WE make up the cosmos, we have to start by getting OURSELVES in to balance.  Really, the only thing we CAN control is ourselves.  Be your BEST you and work your ass off doing that.  If that catches on and enough of us lean in to our light, we WILL get through this and build a better world. This will look different for everyone.  Some of that work is out in the world.  Some of that work is at home and in our families.  And everyone has work to do on themselves.

Your “best you” gets information from may sources, keeps an open mind, listens more, and has compassionate conversations.  Your “best you” does what lights you up, as much as possible.  Your “best you” works through conflict effectively and fights (constructively) for what you believe in.  Your “best you” lets go of what is not working for you any more and replaces it with something better.  Your “best you” lets love in and asks for help when you need it. Your “best you” remembers that we are all part of a larger community working together. Your “best you” takes care of YOU. Your “best you” takes time to get quiet and pay attention to what your heart is telling you.

That’s all I got.  Be your best you, for yourself, for everyone you love, and for our planet.  Help others be their best selves when you can.  Fight for the light in your own life and in the collective.  The stakes have never been higher in our lifetime (no pressure).  Love will literally save the earth.  Love yourself.  Love everyone around you.  Meet fear and anger with love and compassion. I believe that the cosmos has our backs if we pay attention to what it is asking of us.  Pay attention. Stay woke.

PS: Your individual birth chart will show you where all of these huge things are impacting YOU this year and the areas of your life where YOU are being asked to be more curious (Gemini), take action (Mars/Aries), release and let go (Eclipses), destroy and transform (Saturn/Pluto) and start a new cycle of growth (Saturn/Jupiter).  I may attempt to explain that in a future post OR you can book a reading with an astrologer (let me know if you want help finding one) OR you can check out Chani Nicholas’s course (The Year Ahead for your Sign).  Every year, she gives the high-level themes for everyone in the same “rising sign” and where in your life they might be playing out. (And it might go on sale if you wait until July and the year is half over!)

PSS: This is a great Astrology University podcast episode with one of my favorite astrologers Jessica Lanyadoo about How to Be Present with – and Respect – Your Fear Under Saturn-Pluto.  One of our big lessons this year is to learn how to work with our fear!

Photo credit: ME! These are the zodiac signs on the ceiling of Grand Central station taken with my amazing Iphone skills on one of my recent corona-walk in NYC.

Unpacking The Astrology of 2020: Part 2

The world has gotten even crazier since I wrote Unpacking The Astrology of 2020: Part 1  (if you have not yet read Part 1, go catch up before you continue).  We are tired and overwhelmed and have no idea what is coming next.  The astrology says that we are going through a HUGE transformation here on planet earth, so our lessons this year are HARD.  (Transformation is no joke.)

We are moving in to a new astrological age at the end of 2020 (yes, this is huge).  Everything happening now, is leading up to this.  All of the upheaval and chaos is happening to wake us up, get rid of what is not working, and get us moving in a new direction.  Every planet and sign has themes that can play out in the light or the dark, and the result depends on us.  The more we know about the themes coming our way, the better choices we can make.  This is why I have felt compelled to learn as much as I can about this and share it with all of you.  

I will focus on the biggest astrology that impacts all of us collectively for the rest of 2020.  It’s not everything, but it’s still a lot!  I decided it was too much for one post, so there will be a Part 3.  It has been hard to focus on this with everything going on in the world, so this Part 2 astrology has started to kick in already. 

Let me catch you up….

Astrology of the Racial Injustice Protests

The back drop of everything this year is the Saturn/Pluto conjunction that kicked us off in January (See Part 1 ). The vibes of “destroy structures that are not working in government/business/society so we can rebuild them in a better way” will be with us through November.  Three times this year, Jupiter, the planet that expands everything (and also has a theme of social justice!), bumps in to Pluto (destroy/transform) to add fuel to the fire.

I mentioned in Part 1 that Uranus, the planet that brings unexpected chaos to encourage change, is also in the mix. Uranus is hanging out at an uncomfortable angle in the sky (called a square) across from the Saturn/Pluto/Jupiter situation and this is randomly bringing in bursts of chaos to shake things up.  If you have been wondering what the astrology is that caused everyone  to “suddenly” have racial injustice brought to the front of their consciousness and for a global revolution to rise up and start to bring change that some people (#blacklivesmatter) have been working on for years with little traction – meet Uranus dancing with Saturn, Pluto, and Jupiter.  AND this all erupted right at the start of eclipse season AND Saturn is giving us a preview of what it can do in Aquarius AND Venus Retrograde was involved! I will get in to all of that in a bit.

Let’s take a step back….

Nodes of the Moon Shift from Cancer/Capricorn to Gemini/Sagittarius (May 5th)

On May 5th , the nodes of the moon shifted out of Cancer/Capricorn in to Gemini/Sagittarius. The south node of the moon shows us the patterns and habits that it is time for us to let go of.  The north node of the moon shows us behaviors we need to embrace more to move towards our destiny.  Every 18 months, the nodes of the moon shift in to a different pair of zodiac signs, urging us to focus on a new set of themes as part of our lesson plan. (FYI – you also have a north and south node in your personal birth chart that are a huge part of your personal life lesson plan.)

For the last 18 months (Nov 2018 – May 2020), the nodes were in Cancer  and Capricorn.  One of the themes of Cancer/Capricorn is to let go of working SO hard and striving for success out in the world (south node in Capricorn) and focus more on nourishing and taking care of our emotional selves and focusing on family and home (north node in Cancer).  Near the end of the 18 month Cancer/Capricorn cycle, you may have noticed that the universe shut down a lot of workplaces and/or took away jobs (Capricorn) so people would HAVE to stay home, face their emotions, and focus more on themselves and their families (Cancer).  I assume that the universe really wanted us to learn that lesson to prepare us for what comes next.  (FYI – In the fall of 2018, astrologer Eugenia Crock  called out that a “plague” might happen during the Cancer/Capricorn time because several plagues have happened historically during Cancer/Capricorn nodal placements!! I think she blew her own mind at how spot on that was!  She has a lot of great insights on the nodes of the moon and 2020 in general.  Check her out.)

In May, the north node  shifted in to Gemini and south node shifted in to Sagittarius.  One of the main themes of the Gemini/Sagittarius nodes is to embrace the curiosity of the Gemini (north node) and not get stuck in the “dark” side of the Sagittarius  (south node) which can be dogmatic, judgmental, and opinionated, and can get easily sucked in to propaganda.  Gemini’s pay attention to details, listen, and ask lots of questions.  The lesson plan: don’t just accept what you hear/read as truth. Be curious. Ask questions and don’t get so wrapped up in any ideology that you close your mind to other points of view.

I think we can all agree that the dark side of Sagittarius is taking hold. We have huge divisions here in the US that are being fueled by access to so much information.  It’s getting harder for people to know what is true, and some people are blatantly distorting the truth for their own agenda.  The judgement and dogma are fueling hate, which will continue to pull us in to the dark. We need to question everything and listen more.  We have to stay informed and think critically to make our own decisions.  Instead of un-following and de-friending, keep people in your circle who have different views.  Have compassionate conversations.  Get inputs from many sources (not just the ones that align with your beliefs).  Question the intentions of the people you are getting your information from.  Stay open minded and curiousThis article from Rolling Stone has suggestions for being careful about what you consume on social media.  

Also, Gemini (our destiny) is about neighborhoods and local travel, versus Sagittarius who likes to explore far away lands and new cultures.  Probably not a surprise, but we might not be travelling too far from home for the next 18 months or so.

Venus Retrograde (May 13th – June 25th)

Venus is more of a personal planet and not as tied to global/society events, but it is a big astrological event that might be impacting YOU (and we do make up society), so I decided to include it.  When Venus retrogrades  (which means is looks like it is moving backwards in the sky) Venus “things” may not be functioning properly.  Venus themes include how we love and connect to other people (relationships) and what we value (material objects, beauty, art). The advice during a retrograde is to not take any BIG actions in the areas related to the retrograding planet. For Venus that means don’t get married, buy luxury items, or cut your bangs,  During this time you can reassess Venus “stuff” and think bout what may need to change and what actions you might want to take later, when it starts moving forward again (June 26th).  Things that might SEEM like a good idea during a retrograde, might be Venus messing with you (sorry I did not warn you sooner).  Venus retrograde will not start issues in a relationship, but if it already has some cracks in it, it could fall apart at this time.  Astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo did a podcast episode on Venus and Venus Retrograde if you want to have a listen.

After I published this post, I learned that Venus Retrogrades have been tied to Civil Rights movements in history.  So, I was flat out wrong about Venus not being as tied to global/society events.  Still learning!

Eclipse Season (June 5th – July 5th)

We have three eclipses this summer.  The first eclipse happened on June 5th (on a full moon, but we started feeling in with the new moon in Gemini on May 20th.  The next one will be on June 20th/21st (the date depends on where you live.  This is on the solstice which makes it very powerful) and the last on July 5th.  A series of eclipses happen twice a year.  We usually only have two eclipses in a season, but 2020 is special so we get THREE this summer.  The moon’s themes are about our emotions and our past.  The sun’s themes are about our identity and our purpose.  When the earth and the sun and the moon start getting in each other’s way, it stirs things up around your emotions and your identity and purpose.

Eclipse season can be intense and emotions can run high. Eclipses can bring things out in to the open that we haven’t been paying attention to that need to be resolved or released.  (For example, hundreds of years of racial injustice).  Things may happen suddenly or new information may be revealed that we will work through over a longer period of time.  These things may happen collectively on a larger scale but they also happen to us individually. (How they impact YOU depends on your own personal birth chart.)  A lot of people could be going through some intense shifts personally during this time AND/OR some big stuff could be revealed to all of us (yes, on top of everything else). You can read more about these eclipses here.

PSA: The last two eclipses will happen during a Mercury retrograde (June 17th – July 12th).  While you are juggling intense emotional/identify stuff,  Mercury themes may not work properly (communication, ideas, and travel).  Be extra careful and pay attention to what comes up because it might be special lesson for you.

Part 3 Coming Soon

You are all caught up with the biggest things that are happening through the end of June.  We will tackle the second half of the year in Part 3 and I will wrap it up with my advice on how we can best get through this (for what it is worth).  As a heads up, things will heat up in July (I know!! It’s already so hot!) and even more in the fall (deep breaths), and then we will hit the BIGGEST astrology of the year, The Great Conjunction in December.  Stay tuned, be careful out there, and be kind to each other!

Photo credit: James Lee 

Unpacking The Astrology of 2020: Part 1

At the end of 2019, astrologers started talking about the wild astrology that was coming in 2020.  (They have actually been talking about it for YEARS, but I was just catching up).  At an astrology conference I attended in November, I learned that WORLD JUDGEMENT was coming in January 2020 (See my Instagram story here from November 23rd, 2019)

I took detailed notes at the conference and listened to a few podcasts, but didn’t think too much more about it. Truth be told, I wasn’t completely sold on the fact that astrologers can make predictions.

Then as the astrological events started to kick in, with an eclipse on January 10th and the Saturn-Pluto conjunction on January 12th, and I noticed things were starting to get crazy around me.  One friend was diagnosed with cancer, another friend had an attempted suicide in her family, relationships around me were getting explosive, and there was an unusual level of drama at work.

When things got even CRAZIER in the world, I started to pay more attention to the information coming in from astrologers.  I am definitely more convinced that astrologers who know what they are doing, are on to something.  It took me forever to research and write this post, but I wanted to share this with my non-astrologically minded friends who might be curious. If that’s not you, feel free to abort!

So how DO astrologers make predictions about what might happen in the world? I talked a little bit about how astrology works in your individual life when I explained How I Became Obsessed with Astrology.  Those same general principals apply to all of us, collectively, too!

Astrology is the study of correlations between the movement of the planets (and other celestial bodies) and our lives here on earth. Astrologers don’t believe that the planets are controlling what happens to us, but they believe that we are interconnected with the cosmos in a mysterious way that is far beyond our understanding.  They believe this because they have observed that similar things play out, over and over again, when planets are “aligned” the same way.

So why can’t astrologers tell us exactly what will happen?

Each planet has its own “themes” that it brings to the table.  (Saturn has an entirely different vibe than Venus, for example.)   The themes of each planet have a “harmonious” and “shadow” side and either side can play out in many different ways.  The actions we take, also influence how those themes play out.  It’s a two way street.  The planets do not decide our fate, we work together with them to co-create our futures.  Astrologers can not tell you exactly what will happen, they can only interpret the themes and lay out the range of possibilities for how they might play out.

Everything in nature moves in cycles, including the planets. When the planets line up in the sky, the same way as they have in the past, similar things have been observed to happen here on earth. But we are evolving and changing, so the general themes are the same in each cycle, but the experience will be different.  If you were supposed to learn a specific lesson, and you didn’t, you may get hit harder with it the next time.  If you were paying attention and learned a lesson and grew from the experience, you may get a new lesson OR it may be smooth sailing.  Astrologers don’t know what the mystery is of the interconnection, but they all agree that we are here on earth to learn lessons and to evolve and the planets are showing us the lesson plan.

Let’s get in to our lesson plans for 2020.  There is A LOT going on in the cosmos this year, so I am going to focus on the biggest astrology to date  and save the rest for a future post.

I mentioned earlier that on January 12th, we had a SaturnPluto conjunction.  (A “conjunction” means the planets were right on top of each other) This was HUGE.  These specific planets, only come together like this every 30+ years.  And when they do, wild stuff happens (not usually good wild, unfortunately)

Saturn represents the structures we put in place and the especially hard lessons we need to learn in order to grow – our karmic lessons. When Saturn is hanging around, we feel things like responsibility, discipline, patience, security, restrictions, scarcity, reality, fear,  isolation, and depression.

Pluto wants to destroy things so they can be reborn in a better way.  It asks us to go deep to find the darkness under the surface and bring it to light so it can be transformed and transmuted in to something better.  It’s intense and it ALSO magnifies the themes of the planets it comes in contact with.

When these two planets come together, the combined theme is that  Pluto wants us to destroy the structures that are not working for our greatest and highest good and rebuild them in a better way.  It asks us to look at the darkness that has been lurking underneath our societies and societal structures.  What is the reality (Saturn theme) of the consequences of our actions? If the structures we have built can not hold up to the pressure that Pluto is putting on them, they will implode.  Karma.

Pluto is also adding intensity to the themes of Saturn, which I mentioned include restrictions and isolation.  Saturn restricts us and takes things away from us to help us learn lessons (kind of like getting grounded).  Pluto+Saturn = Quarantine (a BIG grounding of millions of people).

In the past when these planets have come together, some big stuff happened including World War I, World War II, the AIDS epidemic, and the bubonic plague.  The last time they were across from each other in the sky (which also causes some un-fun stuff) was right around 9/11.  Now you see why astrologers have been talking about 2020 for a long time.  Some actually predicted a pandemic and others predicted war and others overall  world judgement (time to pay the piper).

Saturn and Pluto are spending most of this year together in the sign of Capricorn.  The sign where planets meet in the sky, gives us more information about how the planetary themes will play out.  Capricorn rules over governments, authority figures, business, and all societal and financial structures.  These are the areas where can expect destruction and transformation in to something better.  These planets haven’t met in Capricorn since 1518 which aligned closely with the Protestant Reformation.

These are the themes everyone has been talking about around the pandemic and our governments, but most of those people know nothing about astrology.  Isn’t it fascinating that the planets are saying the same things they are? #astrologyisreal

This sounds scary and hard. (And now we are living it,  so we know how scary and hard it is).  But remember, that every planet brings positive and negative energies to the table.  Saturn brings hard lessons but it also gives us the strength to do the work that is needed (responsibility, discipline) to learn our lessons and grow.  Pluto tears everything down, but it also heals and puts things back together in a better way.

Saturn and Pluto started coming together in 2018, were right next to each other on January 12th of this year, and they will stay very close until November.  So these strong Saturn-Pluto vibes will be with us for most of this year.  Then the planets will start moving apart again (which dilutes the strength of their combined energy) but these themes will stay with us until they meet again in 30+ years.

If you are still with me, there is more.

Jupiter is the planet of expansion. It expands everything it touches, either good or bad.  Jupiter is dancing with Pluto this year which is making the destruction and transformation EVEN BIGGER.  More global.  More dramatic.

AND Uranus, which brings change through chaos and fast, unexpected changes, is also in the mix this year, which is likely contributing to the instability in the financial markets. Cuz Capricorn rules business and financial structures.


That is a lot of stuff.  And it’s heavy. But the planets always keep moving and changing formation.  It’s an un-fun cycle we are in, but change is constant.  Nothing lasts forever. Good or bad.  Unfortunately, there is more intense astrology this year, so we are not out of the woods anytime soon. I plan to get in to that more in Part 2, but be aware there is more coming. (The  astrology agrees with the people who say the virus may calm down in the summer and be back again in the fall.)

My advice…. take good care of yourself physically, emotionally, and financially.  Get your house in order so you can ride this out for a while.  Take deep breaths. Rest when you can. Start meditating.  If you have some extra energy, think about what your role might be in this big transformation that’s happening.  We each have our own role to play.  Some of us are saving lives or keeping people fed or collecting garbage or governing.  Some of us are learning a lot more about our roles in our families and relationships. Some people are creating art. Some are ramping up their activism. Some are learning how to sit still and listen to their hearts.  (Some are watching The Bachelor: Listen To Your Heart)  Some are secretly loving quarantine and don’t want it to end. Many are just trying to keep their heads above water.

Richard Tarnas, a very famous astrologer who wrote a very famous book about the connection between us and the cosmos (which is currently sold out almost everywhere FYI) gave an amazing talk in April titled What’s Happening in the Stars Right Now (highly recommend for my friends who ARE in to astrology).  His advice for each of us is to find what lights you up and do that.  What makes you feel amazing, whatever that is, is what you are supposed to contribute to this transformation.  (It might be hard to find anything that makes you feel amazing right now, but keep an eye out for it.) He also advises to look for signs and pay attention to random synchronicities.  These signs will help point you towards what the cosmos is asking of you during this time.

Hopefully, I will get to the rest of the Astrology of 2020 before 2020 is over!

I Went Retrograde in 2019

It’s been a minute, I know.  I once again fell off the face of the earth but I am making another come back! I have committed to write 12 blog posts this year and now that I have officially shared that with the handful of people who will read this post, we are in this together and I will make it happen!

It’s always so hard to re-start after a break.  I know that I want to start writing again but I am not entirely sure what I want to say.  I struggle with how much to share and why I am sharing anything at all.  My perfectionist self wants every post to be amazing and insightful.  Especially after a long break.  I am not sure I can muster up “amazing and insightful” right now, but I want to get this rolling again (and I am continuously working on letting go of my perfectionism) so here we go.

To start, I am not an astrologer yet!!! (surprise!)  I still love Astrology. I have acquired many more astrology books. I listen to Astrology podcasts weekly. I follow a zillion astrologers on Instagram. I went to an astrology conference in the fall. I think in the language of astrology. I post Instagram stories about the moon and astrological events that move me. I have done some mini readings for friends.  But I haven’t been able to invest the time to take it to the next level and I am not sure exactly HOW to take it to the next level. (I don’t think I can get a master’s degree in Astrology?)  It’s still a passion. I am pretty sure its part of my life’s purpose in some way. I just have to figure out what to do next. More on that to come!

Speaking of the language of astrology, I feel like I went retrograde at the end of 2019.  The official definition of retrograde is to “move backward”.  Planets go retrograde, but they don’t technically move backward.  They appear to be moving backward because the earth and the planet are moving at different speeds in different orbits.  (This video explains the astronomy of it, or just trust me).  When planets go retrograde, astrologers have observed that things can go a little haywire down here on earth.  Astrology says that the disorder retrogrades can cause is trying to show us something – to force us to pay attention or see things from a new perspective.  We don’t usually make changes when everything feels good in our lives.  We humans usually need challenges to push us to evolve.  It’s kind of the whole reason we are here.

There were some great moments in 2019, but there were a lot of challenges too, and things devolved for me as the year went on.  I started out in Hawaii, then got to celebrate my birthday with people I love, and followed that with an amazing trip to Ireland.  But I also had multiple health issues, went through some crazy family drama, got attacked by a dog, and worked a lot. By the end of the year, I found myself right back where I always end up, working around the clock with no time for myself, or anyone else in my life.  Things culminated into a work tornado of stress that was unlike anything I have ever experienced.  (I know I have had a lot of work stress in my life so, I kind of feel like Chris Harrison on the Bachelor who insists that every season is the most dramatic one yet!  But really, it was the craziest yet! The Universe could give those reality show producers a run for their money.)

(Side note: My Year of Creativity kind of fizzled. Unless you count spreadsheets as creative?)

Everything could have been so much worse, and I am grateful that it wasn’t. My health issues were not life-threatening, the dog “bite” did not break the skin, my family is (mostly) holding it together, and I did not lose my job.  But there were messages being sent, and I was listening!

Universe to me:  Hello!!! I thought we were moving in the direction of our life’s purpose?  What are you doing?  You are not taking care of your heart! You are not taking care of your body! You are not feeding your soul!  OK, I am going to throw some stuff at you to make you pay attention!!

It was not fun.

In January, the smoke cleared. Things lightened up at work in a way that was definitely for my greatest and highest good, but there were some hard lessons in there about my ego and letting go, and about paying attention to where I put my energy, that helped me shift my perspective. (Nice work Universe!)

At the end of a retrograde, after a planet goes “direct” again, there is a shadow period (called a “retroshade”) as the planet is adjusting to the shift in direction (or the illusion of the shift in direction, I guess.)  January was my retroshade period.  Things were still a little weird and then I took some downtime to regroup and recover.  When February started, I was ready to go “direct”.

To get the energy flowing back in the right direction, I decided to bring “New Things” officially back in to my life!  I don’t have a specific number new things I want to do this year, I am just going to try to get out and do new stuff and hopefully, write about it!  I managed to knock out five new things in two weeks, so I am off to a good start!  You can find the list on my lists page!

Happy (very) belated new year!! It feels good to be “direct” again, and on the right path, and to have this 2019 wrap up post complete so I can really get started with 2020.

PS: Ironically, as I was writing this post, Mercury went retrograde and will be retrograde until March 9th, 2020.  Metaphorically, I am “direct” but in reality, we are all now experiencing Mercury retrograde which may cause some disruptions in communication, perception, and thinking (which are all related to the energy of the planet Mercury).  Be careful out there.

How I Became Obsessed with Astrology

If you have had any contact with me in the past year, you probably know that I have become obsessed with astrology. This is the story of how and why that happened.

Last year, when I was on a pilgrimage to the UK, there was an astrologer with us on our trip and I asked her how I could be a Pisces and not be a fan of baths, hot tubs, swimming or boats. Pisces is a fish (two fish, actually)! How could I not like water? (For some reason, this was the only astrological question I had at the time.)

She instructed me to enter the date, time, and place of my birth into a website to pull up something called a “birth chart”.

What happened next blew my mind. From looking at a bunch of cryptic symbols on a wheel divided in to 12 “houses”, this woman I had just met started saying some very accurate and profound things about me and my life. She also said that this wheel contained some guidance about what I was supposed to be doing with my life!!! How had I never heard about this beautiful, mysterious, magical wheel????

[Before I go on (because I am sure you are dying to know), being a Pisces is not really about actual, physical water. Each sign is associated with an element (fire, water, air, earth) that represents one of four personality temperaments. Water is the “feelings” temperament. Pisces don’t necessarily want to take baths all the time, but they do feel things very deeply. I have a lot of feelings. Mystery solved.]

So how does this crazy, magical wheel (aka birth chart or natal chart) have all of this information about who we are and what is happening in our lives?

Hang on now, because this gets a little woo woo.

First, you need to be open to the possibility that you have a soul and that this soul has lived many lifetimes with the purpose of learning and growing. (Souls love to learn and grow.) What’s the end game? I like to imagine that after you have conquered all of the hard things (without creating any new shitty karma) you can do cool stuff like relax on a hammock all day, look out at the universe, drink margaritas, and never get hungover. Some might call it… enlightenment.

In order to get to this relaxing hammock in the universe, you have to learn A LOT of stuff. To help you get there, each lifetime is perfectly crafted so you have the POTENTIAL to learn your next set of lessons. You might not successfully master all of the lessons, but your life is set up to give you the opportunity to do so. (It’s like a choose your own adventure book!) My astrology teacher believes that each of us has a soul advisor that we meet with before each lifetime to discuss the lessons we want to learn. Or it might make more sense to you that there is a divine being that sets this all up because she has a bigger plan.

Once the lesson plans are decided, your soul advisor (or the divine being) selects the exact time, place, and family you will be born in to, to give you the opportunity to learn those lessons. The location of the planets (and other celestial bodies) in the sky at the exact time and place of your birth, is your natal birth chart. Think of it as a map to your soul’s purpose in this lifetime. And this map is somehow coordinated with the maps of a bunch of other souls that you are supposed to interact with in this lifetime so you can learn some lessons together. (This soul advisor/divine being is super smart.)

But how did anyone get the idea that the planets in the sky would have anything to do with what happens in our lifetime?

A long, long time ago (before electricity and television and Instagram), people had A LOT of time to look up at the sky. They paid very close attention (because they had nothing else to do, but survive) and noticed patterns between the locations of the stars and planets in the sky and people’s personalities, behaviors, and the events that happened in their lives (and in societies and on the earth overall!) For thousands of years, astrologers have been observing, confirming, refining and expanding on these observations and they prove to be true, over and over again.

This sounds crazy, I know, until YOU get an natal chart reading and you are blown away by what the position of those planets says about you.

This map (or lesson plan) is not like Google Maps which gives you specific routes to get you where you need to go and tells you how long each route will take. It’s more like a very complicated puzzle that has to be decoded. And it’s not like a jigsaw puzzle that can only be put together one way. Each symbol can be brought to life by different people in different ways. And the relationships between the planets create even more options. And the map might actually say something different later in your life as the planets continue to move through the sky and as you take different paths on your “chosen” adventure which will provide new contexts. Souls are complicated. Life on this planet is complicated. Unpacking all of that with astrology is complicated.

So you may be thinking, “If there are so many ways to put the pieces together, how do I know my astrologer is putting it together the right way?”

Excellent question. Even the BEST astrologer can’t tell you EXACTLY what will happen to you in your lifetime. If they have a lot of experience (and intuition) they can pick out the pieces that fit best with who you are and they work with you to put it all together. But only YOU will know in your gut if it feels right to you. I have only started to dabble in telling people what their charts say (and I know just enough to be dangerous) but so far I have a lot of peeps nodding their heads when I tell them what the planets and stars have to say about them.

Worst case, you dismiss it as nonsense and go on with your life. Best case, something really important becomes clear to you that you had never thought of before. Or something is unlocked inside you that you didn’t know was there. Or it brings you comfort to you to believe that there is a plan and all of the hard things you have been through (or are still going through) are lessons that you created for yourself and it might actually make sense! And it MIGHT be fun to believe that when you finally conquer your lessons, you can relax and drink margaritas ALL DAY with no repercussions!

All of this “best case” stuff is what happened to me! Learning about my own chart made me so curious that I took an astrology class, started reading astrology books, and have been viewing everything in my own life (and in the lives of everyone around me) through an astrology lens.

I mentioned above that my chart has some guidance about what my life’s purpose might be. I will spare you the play-by-play of my chart analysis (for now), but the net-net is that it appears my destiny might be to use astrology to help people. As much as I love understanding my own chart, I really want to help other people figure out what their lessons are so they can get through them and on to the next level of their own enlightenment (which may or may not involve a Universe hammock and margaritas.) The planets and stars (and my astrology teacher and dear friend Kim) keep telling me that I was born to do this.

I have a lot to learn before can hang up my shingle and call myself an astrologer. It takes many years to really learn astrology and I do have a full-time job that I need to keep to support my new astrology book habit. So if I have your birth deets and I have not yet given you the full analysis of your chart, be patient! It feels right in my heart that this is what I am supposed to do, so I will get to it! I also plan to write a lot more about astrology, so hopefully, I have piqued your interest enough to keep you tuned in.

You may be wondering about the picture above. My amazingly talented mother drew this beautiful picture of me as a baby surrounded by my Pisces fish with a few astrological symbols in the mix. I have always loved this picture. Maybe it was because I knew deep down that it represented my destiny.

Full disclosure, she also drew a similar and equally beautiful picture of my brother who is, so far, not super interested in astrology. But he is a Leo so he is doing his own thing.