Lucky Moons for 2018

An important part of doing magic is being in touch with the flow of energy as it expresses itself through the universe, especially through the cycles of the stars, the sun and the moon. Keeping track of these cycles is easy if you have any one of the popular calendars which list the moon sign like the WeMoon Almanac or the Pocket Astrologer or the Moon Phases card.

During every lunar cycle (or moonth, the term Donna Henes uses to remind us of the root of the word month), the moon passes through your astrological sun sign. This is often a time of personal power, when you feel truly in sync with your personality. Helen Farias noted that wishes (prayers, affirmations, spells) expressed on the day the moon was in her sun sign were usually granted. If you know your moon sign, you may also notice a shift of energy when the moon moves through this sign, which will also happen once every lunar cycle. Often this is a time when you are sensitive and aware of your feelings.

You also have several other moon power points during the year. The moon will be new in your sun sign once a year and full in your sun sign once a year. The New Moon, when the moon is dark or invisible is a seed point, a time for going deep within and attuning with spirit. Since it always happens near your birthday, you can use it as a time for setting an intention for the upcoming year. The full moon in your sign is more likely to be the time for a party (too bad it’s half a year away from your birthday), a time for going out into the world, connecting with other people and expressing yourself creatively.

The moon will pass through all of its phases in your sign during the year. You might also want to note when it is in your sign in the first quarter and the last quarter. The first quarter moon in your sun sign would be a good time for initiating a project or casting a spell, planning or going on a vision quest. The last quarter moon is a time for reflecting on your achievements, evaluating your experiences and grieving your losses (perhaps with a ritual of letting go).

Now that you know the principles, you can also pay attention to these power points when they fall in the same sign as your natal moon or the sign of your Ascendant. Each one can be occasion for a ritual.

Charting Your Moon Power Points
The chart below can help you identify your Moon Power Points for the coming year. Dates are taken from Jim Maynard’s 2018 Pocket Astrologer for Pacific Time. Lucky Virgos get two chances to start a new project with two first quarter moons, while Libras get two chances to wrap things up or let go of what’s not working with two last quarter moons, one at the start of the year and one at the end. Leo and Aquarius are experiencing multiple eclipses. For a great description of how eclipses affect you, see this article by Susan Miller.

Moon Phase New Full First Quarter Last Quarter
Seed point,
make wish
Celebrate Initiate a project,
state intentions
Reflect, evaluate,
let go, banish
Aries Apr 15 Sep 24, harvest moon Jan 13, 2019 Jul 6
Taurus May 15 Oct 24 Jan 24 Aug 4
Gemini Jun 13 Nov 22 Feb 23 Sep 2
Cancer Jul 12, eclipse Dec 22 Mar 24 Oct 2
Leo Aug 11, eclipse Jan 31, eclipse Apr 22 Oct 31
Virgo Sep 9 Mar 1 May 21, Jun 20 Nov 29
Libra Oct 8 Mar 31 Jul 19 Jan 8, Dec 29,
Scorpio Nov 7 Apr 29 Aug 18 Feb 7
Sagittarius Dec 6 May 29 Sep 16 Mar 9
Capricorn Jan 16 Jun 27 Oct 16 Apr 8
Aquarius Feb 15 eclipse Jul 27 eclipse Nov 15 May 7
Pisces Mar 17 Aug 26 Dec 15 Jun 6

This article first appeared in the Winter 1998 issue of The Beltane Papers: A Journal of Womens Mysteries.

Farias, Helen was the founding mother of The Beltane Papers. Until her untimely death in 1994, her wisdom and scholarship could be found in every issue. She frequently wrote about calendar customs and working with lunar and solar energies.

Henes, Donna, Celestially Auspicious Occasions: Seasons, Cycles & Celebrations, Perigee/Berkley 1996

Ask about these calendars at your local bookstore. If you can’t find them there, contact the publisher directly.
Pocket Astrologer is a handy guide created by Jim Maynard containing detailed astrological information for the year. It is available in a wall calendar, an engagement calendar, or, my favorite, the little pocket-sized book, for either Eastern or Pacific time. Order it from Quicksilver Productions.
Lunar Phases card: A simple tool for tracking the moon’s cycles, a one page card on stiff paper which can be ordered from Snake and Snake Production
WeMoon Almanac, a lovely engagement calendar, featuring original art, good writing and astrological lore, published by Mother Tongue Inc. For more information, go here.  Their theme for 2018 is La Luna.

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Winter Solstice Full Moon Lunar Eclipse

A dear friend of mine, who hails from Northern climes, starts to freak out right after Summer Solstice, bemoaning the fact that the days are getting shorter. He counts the days until Winter Solstice when he knows the light will return and he can be sure that summer will come around once again. He’s probably not alone in his primal response to the cycle of light waxing and waning throughout the year.

Humans have been observing, experiencing, erecting monuments to, and performing rituals around this cycle of light since the very beginning of us walking upright.

Today, with our astronomical insights, we understand technically what’s going on to create these cycles of light to dark and back to light again. The Earth leans slightly on its axis, exactly 23 degrees and 27 minutes off the perpendicular to her plane of orbit, around the life-giving Sun. This miraculous tilt is what causes climate variation, seasons, and the length of day and night. Even though we understand the science of what’s happening it still boggles the mind to note that ancient cultures knew, tracked, and created precise rituals for these events.

The Winter Solstice, meaning “standing-still-sun”, is the moment in the yearly cycle when your hemisphere is leaning farthest away from the Sun. Daylight is shortest. The sun is in his lowest arc in the sky. And just like that, at solstice, the earth turns and begins to move towards the Summer Solstice when the days are longest and the sun is at his highest arc in the sky.

Centuries before Stonehenge and the Pyramids were built the Celts created Newgrange, an astounding monolith that at dawn on Winter Solstice receives a shaft of sunlight deep in its central chamber illuminating a stone basin sitting below intricate stone carvings of spirals, eyes, and solar discs. Go to the Candlegrove web site to read more about ancient cultures and their connection to the solstice.

Hidden away in our cozy, warm homes, so many of us are painfully disconnected to any form of ritual unless it involves shopping and organized religious practices, much which have lost meaning. The Winter Solstice is a time to honor the magical, miraculous planet we inhabit through lighting of candles, being in joyous celebration with others, and acknowledging that all is well, the light is, indeed, returning.

This year the Winter Solstice occurs as the Sun enters the constellation Capricorn. This year it will occur at exactly 6:59pm EST on 21 December 2010. Adjust for your time zone. The Winter Solstice occurs a few hours after a powerful Full Moon lunar eclipse.  Eclipses are times when the electromagnetic forces from the Sun and the Moon are interrupted, creating potent opportunity for shifting thought forms and consciousness. Old thought forms more easily dissolve, making way for new thought forms much better fitted for ushering in the new.

As this Full Moon (Moon in Gemini, Sun in Sagittarius) is the third of five full moons occurring at the last degrees of a sign, opportunity for transformation is amplified. We incorporate what we learned of the sign just passing, Gemini, and move into learning and mastering the next sign, Cancer.

Many planets are involved and affect this Full Moon eclipse and the solstice. Both chaos-maker Uranus and expansive Jupiter square the eclipse. Best to expect the unexpected and go with the excitement of accelerated flow as things are rapidly changing. Hanging onto the life raft of Faith and Trust with all the joy you can muster will greatly enhance your ride on this wild river of transformation and change we are on. Stay flexible and deal with WHAT IS, not what you wish would be, while still holding fast to your visions of possibility. I know, it’s  a delicate balance, for sure!

The Moon opposes Navy Seal dwarf planet Pluto, who with laser-like precision, cutting to the core of your fears and attachments, facilitates your release from these binding thought forms, like fear.

Fear is a thought form. It exists only in your mind. To release fear, replace with love.

Dispel fear through releasing your attachment to expectation and outcome. Focus entirely on raising your vibrational frequency, filling your thoughts with love. Do something extraordinarily generous for someone else (preferably anonymously) and stop cursing the darkness.

It’s Winter Solstice! Light a candle, preferably with others. Keep that flame glowing in your home and your heart until the fear subsides, replaced by the peace of connecting to all that is, all that ever was, and all that ever will be. When peace is securely anchored in your heart the magical transformation can occur.

And we all really could use that right about now!

Cindy Morris, MSW, is the talk show host of Priestess Entrepreneur: Kitchen Table Conversations (, author of Priestess Entrepreneur: Success is an Inside Job, and astrologer-at-large. You can reach Cindy through her web site, Priestess Astrology, or by phone at 720. 480. 9322.

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Divine Timing

by Cindy Morris

I hear a lot about Divine Timing these days and how one must surrender to it, be aligned with it, accept it, and be in the flow of it. I have struggled to really get what Divine Timing is and how I may effectively do all of the above without losing my mind. As I was walking the dogs through the crunchy autumn leaves covering the streets this evening I realized that I have known all along what Divine Timing is: it is all in understanding cycles. Astrology is the observation and corroboration of cycles.

Summer flows into autumn and autumn into winter and then, of a sudden, it is spring and summer. Day turns to night and back again. The moon glides from new to full to new each month. These cycles are easy to see and easy to follow. We naturally surrender to their ebb and flow, perhaps even planning our lives to coincide with them.

We accept that this is how it is on Planet Earth and we rejoice in the endless movement of one thing changing into another and back again into itself. We know that this is Divine Timing, beyond anything we could control, or change. No matter how much we might want the days to get longer rather than shorter as we approach the winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere, we have not a single iota of control over that. We surrender to it and accept that this is the way it is, as is the lengthening of the days after midnight December 21st. Like clockwork. Never has been any different as long back as any humans can recall.

Astrology instructs us as to the many cycles that are influencing us every single day. Planets, asteroids, the moon, and the Sun–each has a cycle that affects us here on Planet Earth, since we are an integral part of the dynamic mobile that is our solar system. The more we understand those cycles, and how they influence us, the more we can surrender to the big picture, the Divine plan running on Divine Timing.

Let’s take the Pluto cycle. Pluto has an extremely elliptic orbit around the Earth, returning to each constellation about every 238 years. In the winter of 2008 Pluto entered the constellation Capricorn, after 15 years going wild and extreme in every possible way in the previous sign-Sagittarius. Like clockwork, as Pluto moved into Capricorn the proverbial caca started to hit the fan. It began to be revealed in no way we could deny: our dysfunctional banking system, our relationship with oil, our souls being managed and controlled by corporations. Pluto always initiates a breakdown in the first years it enters a sign. Capricorn rules the systems and structures that make up our society so no surprise there.

Abduction of Persephone (by Pluto) by Albrecht Durer

Astrologers would expect this as Pluto entered Capricorn. The last time Pluto was in Capricorn the American and French Revolutions were spawned. And indeed here it is all over again. We even have our own Tea Party, frightening as that may be. The revolutionary urge is upon us and there is no turning back. We just have no way of knowing how it will turn out, just that all the systems are up for overhaul and restructuring, born of the frustration and anger of the people. Heads have rolled and no doubt there will be many more before all is said and done.

The revolution in consciousness is breaking through as well, the revolution that empowers the individual to consciously create one’s own reality. Letting the unconscious create reality is not a very good idea. It’s already been done and look where it has landed us.

With Uranus and Jupiter both entering Aries, the sign of the warrior, we have all the signatures of a perfect storm of cyclic overlap that demands releasing fear and standing forth to take action to claim the new divine order, that we each co-create from our own consciousnesses. Jupiter last entered Aries 12 years ago in 1998. Uranus last was in Aries 84 years ago in 1926.

In 1588 when Phillip of Spain sent the Spanish armada to England to destroy the British monarchy and instill Catholicism in the British Isles, Elizabeth consulted her trusted astrologer (every monarch had a trusted astrologer) as to what he saw. He told her he saw the downfall of a great monarchy. When she asked him which one, England or Spain, he told her that the choice was hers. Free will. Hers and her people’s.

Elizabeth must have peed her pants when she heard that. She confronted her own near paralyzing fear and chose to stand at the head of her troops to defend England and all she believed in, with everything she and her people had. The rest is history. It was written in Elizabeth’s stars to be the fierce warrior/protector that she was born to be.

What history will you write in these momentous times of transformation and change? Will you confront your fears and inertia and stand for what you believe? Terrified as I may be of things I can barely get my brain around I know I will. I know I will because it is written in my stars.

What is written in yours?

Cindy Morris, MSW, is the talk show host of Priestess Entrepreneur: Kitchen Table Conversations (, author of Priestess Entrepreneur: Success is an Inside Job, and astrologer-at-large.

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Love Affair with the Moon

by Cindy Morris

Songs, poems, odes, reveries. The Moon has been the subject of endless adoration since the beginning of time. Mysterious and changeable, sometimes occulted by clouds or (gasp!) the Earth itself, our satellite, our iridescent child, the Moon floats suspended in the sky, enticing us to dream, to wonder, to reflect. To garden in the moonlight, to walk in the woods with the moon shining through foliage or bare branches, whenever we have the chance to have her silvery light embrace us we know we are being touched by the hand of the divine feminine and we are blessed.

The Moon changes signs (constellations) about every 2 and half days. The Moon is moody; she rules the sign of Cancer. If you know anyone who has a strong Cancerian influence in their chart (Sun or Moon in Cancer, a Cancer ascendant, or lots of planets, especially the Sun, in the 4th house) you can expect that person to be moody! As the Moon moves into a sign the emotional timbre of that sign is amplified. A Full Moon always brings more emergency room activity but a full Moon in Scorpio will make that activity all the more intense!

It’s good to keep track and to know what phase of the moon we are in. Our behaviors and emotional responses directly correlate to the Moon’s lunation phases. When we coordinate our activities with the lunar energies we can really maximize their influence. And we can use all the help we can get, right?

Plant seeds, ideas, visions at the New Moon. Weed, cull, and remove the unnecessary at the Full Moon. The Sun and Moon are in the same sign at the New Moon, intensifying the planting energy and influences inherent in that sign’s qualities. At the Full Moon the Sun and Moon are in opposite signs, challenging you to confront polarities in yourself where these energies play out, asking you to strive for balance.

When you know the sign that the Moon sits in your own birth chart you will be able to understand your own moods and how you are affected by the moon’s movement through the skies. Let’s take a look at what the energies feel like when the Moon moves through a particular sign:

Moon in Aries: dynamic, impulsive, full of energy, aggressive, risk-taking

Moon in Taurus: pleasure-loving, indulgent, restful, stubborn, acquisitive

Moon in Gemini: chatty, talkative, social, engaging, communicative

Moon in Cancer: sensitive, moody, nesting, nurturing

Moon in Leo: dramatic, generous, showy, proud, grand, bossy

Moon in Virgo: organized, practical, attention to detail, fussy, judgmental

Moon in Libra: harmony-loving, open to compromise, desire to be just and fair

Moon in Scorpio: intense, passionate, secretive, mysterious, controlling

Moon in Sagittarius: gregarious, philosophical, optimistic, big vision

Moon in Capricorn: executive, can take on challenge, sober, serious, capable

Moon in Aquarius: visionary, humanitarian, innovative, rebellious

Moon in Pisces: dreamy, intuitive, lacking boundaries, compassionate

Do you recognize your own emotional nature in any of these descriptions? You very well could have the Moon in that sign in your chart.  The more you know your chart the better you are able to navigate the often choppy waters of life on Earth!

So whether you’re sailing down Moon River or giving a good howl, take a good look at the Moon, guidepost to the monthly cycle of your life.

Cindy Morris, MSW, is the talk show host of Priestess Entrepreneur: Kitchen Table Conversations (, author of Priestess Entrepreneur: Success is an Inside Job, and astrologer-at-large.

If you want to learn more about your moon sign, you can reach Cindy through her web site, Priestess Astrology, or by phone at 720. 480. 9322.

Photo of this September’s Harvest Moon by Catherine Kerr of Beyond the Fields we Know.

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Mining the Magic of Mercury Retrograde

by Cindy Morris, Priestess Astrologer

It feels like Mercury is always going retrograde these days. Things going wrong. Endless juggling of different sized balls. Life generally askew. Every time Mercury goes retrograde (which is three times a year for three weeks at a time) a collective groan can be heard and mournful sighs of: “Wasn’t Mercury JUST retrograde?”

Well, it can certainly feel like that, especially in these mercurial times where communications have speeded up to a point where we can hardly keep up, causing things to crash all about us. Cars break down. Motors need to be replaced. Belts in washing machines need tightening. Everything needs to be re-written (I mean EVERYTHING) and cell phones might as well be flushed down the toilet for all their mess-ups. You can do pretty much do anything on your cell phones these days but hear the person on the other end.

Mercury retrograde periods happen three to four times a year as Mercury appears to be going backward in the skies. These are times for regrouping, reorganizing, re-doing, reconfiguring, and reconsidering. That’s why it can feel like you are going over things you have already done. You are!

Mercury retrograde periods are not so great for signing contracts but if you have to, triple check the fine print. Also not such a great times to purchase appliances or large mechanical items. If you must, save the receipts as you just might be returning them.

Depending on the time of year Mercury will move retrograde in different constellations. From August 20 through September 12, 2010 Mercury will be moving retrograde in the sign of Virgo. Virgo happens to be one of the signs that Mercury rules (he also rules Gemini) so this should be somewhat of an easier retrograde period than when Mercury moves through a sign whose nature does not at all resonate with that of our fleet-footed friend.

Mercury retrograde in Virgo gives you a nice three week period to go back and dot the “i”s of what you have already created, revisit ideas and plans that need tightening and tidying, and re-organize your thoughts and paperwork.

Mercury is a bit of a trickster, a magician, and likes to keep a whole lot of balls juggling in the air. The best thing to do during Mercury retrograde, which is challenging at best, is to tap into the magic inherent in this part of the Mercury cycle and find new ways to flow with the flow that’s already flowing. In other words stop trying to make things happen. Tune in to what is already happening and go with that. Mmmmm. Interesting concept. And so not easy to do.

When Mercury is retrograde magic is afoot so loosen the reins a little and let the magic flow! Miracles are waiting everywhere to be welcomed into your life. Couldn’t we all use some miracles right now?

Cindy Morris, MSW, is the talk show host of Priestess Entrepreneur: Kitchen Table Conversations (,

author of Priestess Entrepreneur: Success is an Inside Job, and astrologer-at-large.

If you want to know where transiting Mercury will fall in your chart, schedule a session with Cindy to take a look-see. She can be reached through her web site, Priestess Astrology, or by phone at 720. 480. 9322

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New Moon in Pisces

by M. Kelley Hunter

Yet another boat-rocking NEW MOON opens a unexpected doorway to surprising new perceptions and perspectives on the Ides of March, the high tides of March, that’s March 15 at 5:01pm EDT (10:01pm GMT). Invisible sparkling energy is vibrating in the aethers and the flow of change is reaching the river rapids. “Things” are likely to go in unexpected directions, as the turning point continues to pivot. We ourselves leaning with the movement to maintain our balance. No one is going to finish this moon cycle unchanged.

JUPITER leads the way in Pisces at 14 degrees, strong in its rulership sign. The New Moon in Pisces is at 26 degrees, with MERCURY and URANUS right next door at 27 degrees. Lots of water is surging and flowing—in tides, storms, underground streams, ice melting, ocean rising, and in our emotional bodies. Go for the ecstasy, as Uranus lights up your psychic sensitivity. Don’t look around and get caught in the chaos. Look up and in, look down and deep into your heart. Are you feeling the vulnerability, the fragility of life as you row row row your boat down the stream that has become a rushing river? Scientists say we lost a milli-second of our day in the Chilean earthquake, but doesn’t it feel like we lost more time than that?

Let’s look at the Sabian symbols for these two Pisces degrees. There is bound to be a storyline.
New Moon at 26 Pisces:
So appropriate! This IS a New Moon we are watching here. We’re in the dark of it until the crescent shows, probably on Wednesday, accompanied by reborn VENUS fresh from her sabbatical with the Sun. She reappeared just in the last few weeks. Have you seen her yet? This would be a good time. Venus with the New Moon crescent is such a celestial treat. Venus is the lovers. Jupiter is the philosopher, first to rise in the morning, first to set at night. We are learning so much under the waxing rays of this Moon.

Mercury and Uranus (communications from higher mind via feeling flow)
at 27 Pisces:
This image takes us down under, where the southern hemisphere is soon approaching autumn equinox. It also calls our attention to the blossoming Full Moon on March 29-30 that reveals the meaning of this New Moon. By Moon’s fullness the Sun will have moved across the Aries equinox threshold to initiate a new scene in the transformational drama playing on the world stage now. That Full Moon will plug directly into the Saturn-Pluto dialogue that is moving us inexorably further into Earth-changing events.

Speaking of earth, there isn’t much in this New Moon. Only PLUTO is presently in an earth sign, digging deeper and deeper into Capricorn for the next 15 years, insisting that we restructure our reality. This new monthly cycle is not about practical realities. It’s about new vision, the Big Dream. Haven’t you had one? A dream that you feel is about more than just you, it’s about our shared Story. We are all crackling with electricity with the New Dream that is opening up. Your role may change beyond your current recognition. Uranus and Jupiter move into Aries in the month of Gemini, May and June. All sorts of new options open up. This month the wagon trains prepare to head out. The scouts go beforehand to find the best route. The bold and courageous are rewarded.

This New Moon in Pisces highlights the subtle realms of NEPTUNE, the Dreamer. Neptune and Jupiter both rule the sign of The Fishes. Jupiter brings out the greater meaning of the times and expands our learning curve. Neptune opens us to mystical melting, spiritual upliftment and compassionate service; yet can also bring storm clouds of confusion, illusion, delusion and anxiety. It’s up to you to fine tune your frequency to the channel you want to be listening to.

Neptune is in an extended conjunction with CHIRON, the Shaman, for this whole year, suggesting a critical moment of potential healing. In Aquarius we need to beware of our techno-addictions and dependencies. The electrical fields are charged up, affecting all systems, hard-wired and otherwise. That includes our nerve wirings and the way the winds blow through our bodies to keep us fresh and alert. Keep breathing! Let the prana, the life force, fan your vitality and creative fires. inspire and delight you.

The BLACK MOON LILITH is coming in to add her ineffable influence, like a miraculous Black Madonna. This vortex point, intimately aligned with the Earth-Moon system. Black Moon will align even more closely with Neptune as we head into June, the same time that Chiron takes a brief dive into the seas of Pisces. Ever more subtle energies in the aetheric field, charging the Aquarian air waves and the Piscean ocean waves.

The planetary pace is picking up swiftly. Await the signal for your turn to enter the game. Tune in to the flow as the context of your life shifts. The dominoes start to fall forward. People move around, coming and going in our lives. The world is changing and so are we.

Kelley Hunter, Ph.D., C.A.P., is an internationally-known astrologer and mythologist. Her psycho-spiritual approach to astrology is supported by studies in Depth Psychology and interdisciplinary doctoral studies in Philosophy, Cosmology and Myth. She appears on John Edward’s new web channel and is a columnist for The International Astrologer. Kelley is astrologer for the Self Centre at Caneel Bay Resort in St. John, Virgin Islands. Living in the Caribbean, she tells star stories under the tropical night sky. Her free Cosmic News e-letter goes around the world on new and full Moons. She is the author of Living Lilith: Four Dimensions of the Cosmic Feminine and the upcoming expanded version of Black Moon Lilith. Visit her website at

The photo is of dancer, Jacqui Lalita is a goddess in motion. The photo blurred when increasing size, very appropriate for this New Moon energy. Be inspired at

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New Moon in Libra: Comparisons are Odious

by April Elliott Kent

There is a popular expression that warns, “Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides,” and it’s particularly good advice for this Libra New Moon season. [The new moon of October 16 was in Libra.] Libra, as the relationship sign, symbolizes a keen awareness of others that can work to our advantage in relationships and in certain careers, too. But that same awareness can become a liability when it leads us to draw comparisons between ourselves and others – comparisons that can damage self-esteem and breed envy.

All aggression comes from comparison. The Dalai Lama

We humans are social animals, and we take our cues about what to do and be and desire from watching the people around us. The problem is that we rarely have access to the full story behind their outward appearances. We may envy a man for driving a new, expensive vehicle, yet for all we know he may park that car in front of a dumpy apartment building each night. Most of us admire the sleek figure of a supermodel, but is there a healthy, happy woman inside that beautiful body? Possibly not, if rumors about eating disorders in the modeling business are to be believed.

Born with the Moon in the seventh house – the house associated with Libra – I confess that I spend a lot more time and energy than I should comparing myself with other people. This friend has a more graceful home; that one has a sweeter personality; the other, more clients. All that energy wasted on anxiety, envy, and guilt! It’s as disempowering as when I used to leaf through fashion magazines in my twenties and compare myself to their unrealistic images of feminine beauty.

I wasn’t always this way, though. Years ago, before I became an astrologer, I was a musician. I never recall looking over my shoulder to figure out which musicians were better or more successful than I was; all I cared about was expressing myself exactly the way I wanted to. But as I developed more musical skill, I occasionally dealt with fellow musicians who were envious of me. I always wondered: why were they so focused on what I was doing instead of simply concentrating on sharpening their own abilities?

Now that I’ve moved on to a career that is less suited to rugged individualism and much more Libran in its emphasis on counseling and salesmanship, I understand envy a bit better. It’s all good and well to become skilled at the technical parts of my job, but it’s not enough; to make a living, an astrologer has to become skilled at reading people, not just their charts, and to market herself in a way others find appealing. Somehow I’ve gotten it into my head that my colleagues have figured this stuff out in a way that I haven’t, and I can’t seem to stop comparing my achievements with theirs. Are their websites more popular than mine, their mailing lists larger, their resumes more impressive? What do they know that I don’t?

Being ruled by comparisons is odious. But is it ever a good thing, a healthy thing to cultivate a heightened awareness of other people? Of course. Being sensitive to others is the basis of a society’s laws and rules of etiquette. Growing up, we learn social skills by comparing ourselves to our parents, our brothers and sisters, and our playmates, who show us how to behave and let us know when we’ve stepped out of line. In astrology, this civilizing process is symbolized by Libra. How attuned are we to the needs of others? How adept at blending into society, at least to the extent necessary to stay out of jail and enjoy the occasional dinner party?

Looking back at my musician days, it’s clear that while I didn’t suffer the pain of constant comparisons and envy, my lack of social grace made me an insensitive and ineffective collaborator. I often made tactless comments, insisted on having my own way, and generally played poorly with others. Had I made a career in music, I’m not sure I’d have developed any social skills at all; I might well have ended up with success in my work but none at all in my personal life.

When you spend too much time looking through another's eyes, it can be all too easy to lose track of your own truth.

Becoming an astrologer has civilized me a bit, even if (and perhaps because) it has made me more vulnerable to criticism and comparisons. To be of any value as an astrologer I’ve had to nurture the promise of my seventh house Moon, with its ability to get inside another’s skin and see the world through their eyes. But developing a heightened awareness of others can be a difficult skill to switch off at the end of the day. When you spend too much time looking through another’s eyes, it can be all too easy to lose track of your own truth.

As the (very Libran) adage goes, “Moderation is best in all things.” Marching to the beat of your own drum, Aries-style, is vitally important, but so, too, is knowing how to appeal to your audience and how to connect with other people in an effective way. Most of us are a little more comfortable at one end of the spectrum than the other, but each of us can learn to navigate the balancing act more deftly.

The Full Moon in Aries earlier this month offered valuable preparation for this New Moon season by reminding us to love what we are, pursue our dreams, and let our individual lights shine. A strong self of self makes us less vulnerable to Libra’s shadow side of envy and of comparing our insides to other people’s outsides. At this New Moon, let the Libra spirit add the polish of sensitivity and balance to your Aries self-confidence – a lovely lampshade that needn’t obscure your individual light in order to soften it to a warm, inviting glow.

scalesApril Elliott Kent has been a professional astrologer since 1990 and is a longtime member of both ISAR and NCGR. A regular contributor to Llewellyn’s Moon Sign Book and The Mountain Astrologer magazine, she has also contributed articles to the websites,, and AOL Horoscopes. Her first book, Star Guide to Weddings, was published in 2008 by Llewellyn Worldwide. April lives in San Diego with her husband of 15 years and their two cats. She can be reached by email; enjoy her web site Big Sky Astrology.

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A Rare Conjunction

by Sheila Belanger

This summer brings us a rare and unusual dance of three interesting celestial characters: Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron. All three are turning retrograde during a three week period at the start of the summer: Neptune on May 28, Chiron on May 30 and Jupiter on June 15. They are all in the sign of Aquarius and hovering close to about 26 degrees of Aquarius.

When a planet goes retrograde, it looks like its stopping and backing up. Planets don’t really move backwards, but they seem to stop and hover in a particular place in the star wheel from our perspective on earth. This action calls our attention to the place in the star wheel where they are shifting.

When planets are in Aquarius, they activate the role of the rebel, the one who is authentic, unique, alternative. Aquarius encourages us to think outside of the box. It’s about the collective and the tribe.

When planets are in Aquarius, they activate the role of the rebel, the one who is authentic, unique, alternative. Aquarius encourages us to think outside of the box. It’s about the collective and the tribe. Aquarius is an altruistic sign, in the true meaning of the word altruistic: orienting to others. Yet it also calls us to be true to ourselves as individuals, to be unique members of a collective.

So how do these three planetary characters play with the Aquarius energy?
Jupiter is a big gassy planet: it asks us to expand and open up. Jupiter in Aquarius says “I want to support your expanding your sense of the collective and the community. I want to help you take your place in your tribe.”

Chiron is a comet that represents the shaman or wounded healer. Chiron points out where you need healing. In Aquarius, the wound that needs healing is marginalizing yourself, judging yourself, putting yourself outside of the group because you feel you don’t belong.

Neptune’s gift is the ability to dream and vision. In Aquarius, Neptune can help us envision a new way to work together. The negative side of Neptune is a feeling of helplessness. “I can’t make a difference so why bother?”

The conjunction of these three planets is rare. The last time it happened was in September of 1945, at the end of World War II. Before that, it was in 1881. Chiron has a very unusual orbital period around the sun: sometimes short and sometimes long. Jupiter and Neptune come together every 12 to 13 years. Jupiter and Chiron come together every 13 to 20 years. Chiron and Neptune come together every 57 to 80 years. So this conjunction offers us an amazing opportunity.

It is a call to healing, a chance to change our vision in terms of the collective, to move away from a sense of helplessness.

It is a call to healing, a chance to change our vision in terms of the collective, to move away from a sense of helplessness. We saw this during the campaign and the election of President Obama. In a sense, this was his campaign message: yes we can, we can make a difference. And the economic crisis is encouraging more of the same attitude. We see that we need to make a change. And we understand that we all in this together.

These three celestial characters will go back and forth connecting with each other throughout the whole year. Jupiter (the teacher, the expanded one) conjoins Chiron (the healer) three times on May 23, July 22 and December 7.

Jupiter connects with Neptune, expanding our ability to dream, our intuitive, spiritual and psychic selves (as well as our victim and overwhelmed selves) on May 27, July 10 and December 21.

You may feel the call from your inner teacher (Jupiter) to come out of the fog (Neptune) and attend to some old pattern (Chiron), particularly a wound having to do with dissociation and escapism (Neptune). The healing can come from the positive qualities of Aquarius: staying true to your self, and the unique gifts you bring to the world.

When you feel angst about your addictions, when you feel overwhelmed or victimized, say a prayer for your ancestors who felt the same way. Offer them love. Offer them light. It’s a way you can shift the pattern for yourself.

Chiron has a link with healing the ancestors. So the wound may not be (just) a personal wound.  Many of our ancestors struggled with addiction, found ways to escape from the pain in their lives, had to give up aspects of themselves just to survive.

One way to heal an ancestral pattern is to ask for help. You can call on your healed ancestors, ten, twenty generations back, before there was a wound. Ask them to help you, to stand at your back. You can also use Neptunian tools like prayer, meditation and sending compassion to your ancestors.

When you feel angst about your addictions, when you feel overwhelmed or victimized, say a prayer for your ancestors who felt the same way. Offer them love. Offer them light. It’s a way you can shift the pattern for yourself.

Aquarius is connected with technology because it’s about progressive, alternative ways of doing things. Because of the Internet and television, we are now connected to people all over the world. But the shadow side of technology and Aquarius can be too much information. There’s a psychic, emotional component to all of the information, especially the bad news, we are being bombarded with.

Aquarius tends to be a mental sign and that can lead to dissociation. We just shut down. When Aquarius energy is stressed, it tends to want to escape, to check out, to run away. How the hell to I get out of here?

One solution can be found in the compassionate nature of Neptune. Ask yourself: How do I keep my heart open in a way that doesn’t overwhelm me? How do I stay open and sensitive to the collective without losing myself?

Transcribed from a talk Sheila gave at East/West Bookshop on March 26, 2009. The complete tape which covers many other astrological cycles for Spring and early Summer can be purchased at

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