Mars in Scorpio & the Instinctual Self

I love to read as much as I love to write, and I’m constantly collecting new information… in a very gemini-esque fashion. Meaning, when I’m at my computer I have 20+ browser tabs open with various articles – none of which I can read beginning to end without switching to several more articles while reading. I sometimes do it without noticing. I read a paragraph of one article, switch to the next, and do the same, and then again… finally circling back to the article at which I started reading.

Similarly, I have numerous books on the go at once in multiple forms – hard-copy books, Kindle books, library books, and audio books.

But to be perfectly honest, especially now that I am no longer in University, I rarely actually finish any of them. I read a chapter there, another chapter somewhere else… I spend my life hauling library books back and forth and maxing out on the number of books I’m allowed, and paying fines… and yet I’m lucky if I make a dent in the stack.

Ha, it feels like an addiction sometimes. Damn you Amazon, with your easy e-books and that 1-click purchase button!

I have a Gemini Moon, and my Mercury (in Pisces) squares an Uranus-Mars conjunction in Sag. I suppose I come by this erratic, ineffective and overly-ambitious reading habit naturally… (can any other Gemini-types relate to this??)

HOWEVER. I made a commitment this year to tackle a significantly big book, and read it cover to cover – sustaining the journey without getting distracted.

Last December 2016, I purchased the long-standing bestseller: “Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype”, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

500+ pages, small print and meaningful, multi-layered stories that required my full engagement… It was a daunting choice for my cover-to-cover goal, but it has crossed my path continuously since I first heard of it. I gradually worked my way through it, picking up speed slightly as I incorporated it into my morning routine along with my coffee, but I was still only reading a few pages at a time.

This slow, consistent approach worked out well. It is a book so rich with delicious flavour and meaning, that it is best digested and savoured in small morsels.

I finished the book last Sunday, December 10th, a year later – appropriate timing for this Mercury Retrograde/ Saturn in Sag wrap-up period. It has become my much-underlined bible and it has supported me well this year.

In a broader, more general sense, this endeavor has reminded me that solid progress can be made with patient, consistent, step-by-step (Saturnian) effort, rather than my typical, overly-ambitious, aim sky-high and then crash/burn-out approach.

I share this story to: 1) share/brag about this personal achievement of which I am very proud, 2) to offer a glowing recommendation of this gorgeous book (which I suspect many of you have heard of or read already), 3) to offer encouragement to other gemini-esque readers that it is possible to persevere with reading books cover-to-cover, and 4) to bring up the concept of “instincts”, which Estes writes quite a bit about.

Instincts always remind me of Mars in Scorpio. Mars recently entered Scorpio last Saturday and will be there until January 26th. Mars was last in Scorpio 2 years ago: January 3rd – March 5th, 2016, if you want to make any comparisons.


What are they, really?! I’ve come across a number of definitions, a number of arguments for where instincts originate from within the body, and I’ve seen the word “instinct” used interchangeably with “reflexes”, “intuition”, “soul”, and to reference Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ term, our “wildish nature”.

Wikipedia tells me that “any behavior is instinctive if it is performed without being based upon prior experience (that is, in the absence of learning), and is therefore an expression of innate biological factors”.

How does a spider know to start spinning a web? How does a caterpillar know how to make a cocoon? How does a beaver know to make a beaver dam? How do birds figure out how to build a nest, or when and why to fly south?

They certainly never went to school for it.

Instincts. Magical instincts.

Other words that are used to describe instincts include: primal actions, hardwired impulses, inborn tendencies and inclinations, compulsions, gut feelings, biologically-based needs and automatic physical responses to external stimuli…

Some have argued that humans don’t have instincts in the same way that animals  do – that most of our behavior is “learned behavior” (with the addition of some bodily “reflexes”).

However, Estes would argue that we are instinctual creatures through and through. She indicates that the aim of her writing is to “de-pathologize the integral instinctual nature, and to demonstrate its soulful and essential psychic ties to the natural world.”

The entire book of hers, is a summoning to return to our natural innate instincts – our wildish selves. To remember who we truly are.

She suggests readers ask themselves the following questions:

“What has happened to my soul-voice? What are the buried bones of my life? In what condition is my relationship to the instinctual Self? When was the last time I ran free? How do I make life come alive again?

These strike me as Mars in Scorpio questions.

Mars symbolizes our will, our primal desires, how we assert ourselves, protect ourselves, and get what we need and want. Perhaps one could say that astrologically, Mars symbolizes our instinctual selves…

In Scorpio, Mars’ power is amplified. Its appetite is voracious. Its methods are cunningly strategic, stealthy, and determined. Its expression sizzles with intensity and passion… and sometimes pain.

Scorpio is, after all, a doorway to our deepest vulnerabilities.

Will we use this transit to peel back the layers to awaken our sacred instincts, our birthright? Or will we respond by running and hiding, and redirecting that relentless, pulsating, yearning for liberation toward cheap fulfillment?

Assuming that as human beings, members of the Animal Kingdom, we do indeed possess instinctual drives, what purpose do our instincts serve?

• Instincts seek to ensure our survival – individually, and arguably collectively – by getting our basic needs met.

• Instincts keep us safe by prompting protective and defensive action.

• Instincts warn us of danger and propel us away from pain and suffering.

• Instincts direct us toward pleasure, love and connection.

And according to Estes, instincts beckon us forward toward freedom, truth, wholeness, and fulfillment.

However, in our complicated society, which no longer resembles the Stone Age, how do these instincts express themselves?

The problem is that for many of us, we’ve inherited and absorbed stories from our environments that have rerouted our instincts and rewired our neurobiology. We have been traumatized, imprinted, and conditioned, to associate certain stimuli with pain, pleasure, love and fulfillment based on past experiences that may no longer be relevant or beneficial.

The voice of our instinctive, wildish selves, often reaches us like a faint whisper over a static phone line.

What is a genuine “gut feeling”, an intuitive knowing… and what feels like an intuitive instinctual response, but is actually a response based on warped messages we have learned, inherited, and absorbed throughout our life? Sometimes we have to untangle crossed wires before the voice of our instinct comes through loud and clear.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes believes that we are “born with all instinct intact.” She writes for those seeking to recover the trail of the instinctual self in order to retrieve their vital essence that has been domesticated, captured, or injured.

“The repair of injured instinct begins with acknowledging that a capture has taken place, that a soul-famine has followed, that usual boundaries of insight and protection have been disturbed… When the instincts are injured, humans will “normalize” assault after assault, acts of injustice and destruction toward themselves, their offspring, their loved ones, their lands, and even their Gods.” (~Clarissa Pinkola Estes)

What would it mean to recover our instinctual selves?

“Within us is the old one who collects bones. Within us there are the soul-bones of this wild Self. Within us is the potential to be fleshed out again as the creature we once were. Within us are the bones to change ourselves and our world. Within us is the breath and our truths and our longings – together they are the song, the creation hymn we have been yearning to sing.” (~Clarissa Pinkola Estes)

And how might we find our wildish selves?

I’ll tell you right now, the doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.” (~Clarissa Pinkola Estes)

Lilith (and her “rebellion” from captivity) is an archetypal figure of the instinctual self. For me, Lilith, as an astrological point in my chart and the mythic narrative and symbolism it references, has been a door.

Perhaps Mars’ transit through the dark waters of Scorpio is another door to the wild Self?

I’ll conclude with the advice of Friedrich Nietzsche…

“Being human is a complicated gig. So give that ol’ dark night of the soul a hug. Howl the eternal yes!

Pssst… for additional and more frequent cosmic weather updates, follow Lilith Rebellion on Instagram and Facebook. To receive a weekly cosmic weather overview by email, subscribe to Lilith Rebellion email updates. The week’s cosmic weather forecast will be published on the blog every Monday, with periodic additional posts to mark important cosmic events.

The Saturn-Mercury Conjunction of the Last Two Weeks :: How is it Showing Up in Your Life?

In my last post I said that Mercury hates going slowly. That was an exaggeration. However, I think it could be true to say that the symbolism of Mercury – as an archetypal projection of our current societyvalues fast and devalues slow.

Mercury Retrogrades harness the gifts of Slowness. They provide us with an opportunity to shift into another way of thinking, processing, and communicating. I always find Mercury Retrogrades magical, even when they are at their most difficult. New insights emerge, important conversations occur, synchronicity abounds, and breakthroughs happen. The past whispers into the present, re-weaving life threads together in new ways.

When you are first beginning to learn astrology, interpreting the way a global transit is interacting with your natal chart and showing up in your life, can be confusing at times. Since everyone has a unique natal chart, transits will show up differently for different people.

Identifying the astrological HOUSE(S) that are being activated by a transit in a natal chart, is a key interpretive factor that can be used to narrow in on what a transit’s expression might be for an individual. Each of the 12 themed houses in every astrological natal chart encompasses a particular chunk of a person’s life territory.

(if you have never accessed your birth chart before, check out my instructions on how to do so)

In this post I provide FIVE very tangible examples of how the recent Saturn-Mercury conjunction has been expressing itself in my own life, and in the lives of people around me, based on what house this transit is activating within their natal chart.

The examples from my friends’ lives focus primarily on obvious, external events. However, I am sure that there is also meaningful internal processing accompany these external changes and events, of which I am unaware. Transits (and especially Mercury Retrogrades) can express both externally, and internally.

First, here again, are the Key Dates for this transit:

  • Saturn and Mercury have been conjoined within a few degrees of each other in Sagittarius for about two weeks (since ~November 24th they’ve both been between 25-29 degrees of Sag).
  • Saturn and Mercury had their first exact conjunction (when both planets were at the exact same degree) on November 28th (Tues) at 27 Sag.
  • Mercury turned Retrograde on December 3rd (last Sunday) at 29 Sag.
  • Mercury then headed back toward Saturn and there was a second exact conjunction on Dec. 6th (last Wed) at 28 Sag.

It is noteworthy for a quick-moving, visible planet like Mercury (referred to as a “personal planet”), to spend such a prolonged time close to a slower-moving, outer planet like Saturn.

The expression of both planets are typically quite noticeable; Saturn because it can be very serious and harsh, and Mercury because its symbolism is woven deeply into our minute-by-minute lives.

Therefore, as the energies of both planets co-mingle for an extended period of time, you’d likely be feeling this one.

I’m going to break this down for anyone who is still figuring out the astro basics. Before I get to the examples, here are the symbolic keywords and concepts for Mercury and Saturn:

MERCURY (the messenger): Information processing and the concept of “practical exchanges” are key to understanding Mercury. Think of life content that has a “back and forth”, or “give and take” motion to it, such as: an exchange of information through written and verbal communication; the exchange of time and effort for the development of a new skill; collecting knowledge and then sharing it with others in conversation; the act of exchanging money for desired items; trading goods for other goods; bartering; short-distance or short-term travel to some location… and then returning back home; technology that does stuff in exchange for the input you give it (especially communication devices).

Mercury also symbolizes siblings, cousins, and sometimes peers, friends, neighbors and acquaintances – i.e. people with whom you learn the art of give and take. And possibly pets? I’m still exploring this correlation (let me know if you have any thoughts on this or know of any asteroids associated with pets!).

SATURN (the teacher): The harsh realities of living as a mortal human being in a time and space-bound world. Some of these harsh realities include: time, aging, decay, death, gravity, physical limits, delays, obstacles, fear, guilt, rules and regulations, isolation, loneliness, existential anguish and responsibility, and the consequences of our actions. Saturn also symbolizes long-term goals; tangible outcomes; serious tests and tasks; commitments and big decisions; contracts; following-through and completing what we’ve started; doing that which is not fun but necessary and important; being responsible; ambition; working hard; endurance; focus; patience; wisdom that comes through lived experiences; authenticity; firm foundations; boundaries; father-figures and authority figures; leadership; maturity; self-sufficiency.

Now here are the FIVE examples to help you put together the puzzle pieces…

EXAMPLE #1 of a friend with the Saturn-Mercury conjunction transiting her 2ND HOUSE, which encompasses the life domain of: income, material and skill-based assets and possessions, values and self-worth…

On the day of the first conjunction she returned from a trip away to a busy stressful week of catching up on work (she runs two businesses). During that week she had a meeting with a company that agreed to take care of doing all her business taxes. It is a service she had to pay for, but one that will take away a lot of stress. She signed a contract with this company and put a down payment on the service. This is very apt since Saturn correlates with taking care of not-fun stuff, being responsible, big commitments, decisions and contract signing, while Mercury is about practical exchanges and information processing.

Then a few days later on Sunday, when Mercury turned Retrograde, her and her partner decided to take care of a chore they had been delaying (Saturn). They embarked on a short road trip (Mercury) in order to close up and winterized the cottage-trailer they own. Mercury Retrograde often sends us back to the past, or brings the past into the future, in order to gain new insight or closure on something. In this sense, “returning” to a summer location to winterize their trailer – a 2nd house “asset” – aligns well with the Retrograde occurring on the same day.

EXAMPLE #2 of a friend with the Saturn-Mercury conjunction transiting her 4TH HOUSE, which encompasses the life domain of: one’s physical home; one’s history, roots and childhood; internal foundations; inner psyche and emotional realm; the desire for a stable, secure and safe home – both externally and internally; the cultivation of a sense of “belonging”…

Recently she relocated to another country (very appropriate for a Sag stellium in the 4th house). The Saturn-Mercury conjunction correlated with her moving into a new apartment, which better suited her needs (a Saturnian commitment to a new home). This conjunction also marked a time of trying to figure out how and when to apply for a different visa, which would enable her to work in her new country (i.e. this is related to trying to establish a secure sense of home in a new country through obtaining access to jobs, which highlights the 4th House – 10th House axis).

Just before the Mercury Retrograde began, she booked a visa application appointment for early next year (i.e. evoking Saturn themes of government, regulation, rules, along with Mercury’s themes of information-processing and paperwork).

In the remainder of the Mercury Retrograde period she will be hosting a friend from her original home city who is coming to visit (i.e. Mercury symbolizes friends and travel; Mercury Retrogrades often bring old friends back into your life; Saturn symbolizes the role of being a responsible host; and with the conjunction occurring in her 4th House, of course the theme of home is emphasized again).

EXAMPLE #3 of a friend with the Saturn-Mercury conjunction in the 7TH HOUSE, which encompasses the life domain of: close friendships; romantic partnerships; business partnerships; contracts, agreements and commitments with/to another person; as well as open enemies and litigation…

During the period of this transit, this person has become very aware that a friendship in their life has become imbalanced. He knows he needs to assert boundaries and deliver some difficult news. He is rallying the courage to address this issue (i.e. Saturn often brings us face to face with the harsh reality of life and together with the planet of communication, Saturn + Mercury can be the bearers of hard news).

He also found a study-buddy partner last week for an important upcoming exam. They met to figure out what their study “plan” would be and made an agreement to meet up regularly (i.e. this is a 7th house agreement and partnership between two people; Mercury represents learning and communication while Saturn often speaks to deadlines as well as difficult tasks – together this symbolism correlates with him studying for an exam with another person).

EXAMPLE #4 of a friend with the Saturn-Mercury conjunction in the 8TH HOUSE, which encompasses the life domain of: death and rebirth processes; surrendering control and power to discover a more infinitely valuable resource and strength; learning surrender through trust, sexual and emotional intimacy, and the merging of resources; learning to balance responsibility, control, trust and surrender through receiving unearned income and/or addressing debt, loans and shared finances; exposing hidden truths; facing one’s shadow and deepest fears in order to grow and transform; deep healing and liberation; death, illness, disease, and disability; being confronted with (and learning how to accept) the element of chaos and uncertainty in life that we are all vulnerable to…

Throughout the period of this Saturn-Mercury conjunction in her 8th House this friend has been in the process of moving in with her partner and unpacking her boxes as they completely merged resources – right down to the flours and spices (Mercury can be very detail-oriented)! This is a significant external event which mirrors the internal development of increased commitment, trust, and intimacy.

EXAMPLE #5 – My turn!

Saturn is conjunct Mercury in my 5TH HOUSE, squaring my natal Sun and Mercury in the 8TH HOUSE.

In terms of 8TH HOUSE themes, on the day of the first Saturn- Mercury conjunction I finally went to my family doctor to address something I was putting off because doctors sometimes make me anxious (i.e. being responsible in a Saturnian way and facing an 8th house fear of vulnerability). In the days that followed, I created an Excel sheet of all my financial accounts and spending (very Mercurial)… and was confronted with how painfully in debt I am (i.e. Saturn’s harsh reality, and the debt themes of the 8th House). I also caught up on my journaling (Mercury), which is a form of therapy for me (8th House).

The major initiation for me though, in regards to this transit, has definitely been a 5TH HOUSE matter, which encompasses the life domain of: acts of creation; creative projects – which includes children as well as new romantic exchanges; passion, play and present-moment human pleasure; authentic self-expression; identity, confidence and self-esteem; discovering and celebrating the special way we can contribute to the world as unique individuals; being “seen” by others and having our unique identities, contributions and creative projects received, valued and appreciated…

Since the beginning of Mercury’s pre-shadow period, the idea for a creative writing project has been brewing and I’ve also been really motivated to get back into making mosaics and stained glass work.

The day that Saturn first conjoined Mercury was actually the same day my Progressed Mercury left the last degree of Pisces and entered into Aries at 0 degrees (this is a once in a lifetime transit that I have been waiting for, forever!). This Progressed Mercury in Aries felt like a good omen – especially since Aries rules my 9th House, which is associated with publications. And of course Mercury symbolizes communication and writing, while Saturn is about getting down to business, committing, and DOING THE THING.

I started working on the project that day.

My motivation waned during that weird Gemini Full Moon weekend when Mercury turned Retrograde, followed by Chiron turning Direct. Chiron has been grinding down on my Sun/Mercury for a couple years now as my identity and self-worth have been completely challenged, leveled and rebuilt (as my Sun and Mercury have simultaneously been also squared by Saturn during my Saturn Return).

I was struck with waves of doubt.

On the day of the second Saturn-Mercury conjunction (last Wednesday), I reached the 1000 follower mark on Instagram. This struck me as very appropriate for the transit since Lilith Rebellion is an important creative (writing) project I birthed this year, and Saturn appreciates tangible, obvious outcomes measures.

It actually made me nervous though, to be honest, even though 1000 is a humble number in the IG realm…but what would happen, I wondered, if Lilith Rebellion kept growing and reaching a wider audience? How would that change it? I have been blessed with incredible connections through this IG account – would I attract online trolls and negative comments?

In many ways, I have retreated from the public world for almost two years now, and yet I am at the brink of midwifing new creative life projects into the light. Can I pursue my passions? Can I fully unlock and cultivate my creative impulses? Can I make a living income through various forms of creative self-expression? What’s stopping me?

Saturn, transiting my 5th House of creative projects and self-expression, symbolizes ambition, goals, high standards, tangible outcomes, and fear. I’ve been realizing that it is not so much that I fear failure, as much as I fear success – although the two are closely linked.

The internal processing work of my Mercury Retrograde is compelling me to reflect deeply on my resistance and to face my fears in this area.

I recently read a 2-part series of thought-provoking articles related to the Fear of Success. If this resonates with you, you can check out them here and here.


EDIT to my last post – in addition to Ronan Farrow, journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey were also responsible for publicly bringing the Weinstein allegations out into the open through a New York Times article. I apologize for my ignorance of this fact!

Pssst… for additional and more frequent cosmic weather updates, follow Lilith Rebellion on Instagram and Facebook. To receive a weekly cosmic weather overview by email, subscribe to Lilith Rebellion email updates. The week’s cosmic weather forecast will be published on the blog every Monday, with periodic additional posts to mark important cosmic events.

Full Moon in Taurus Series :: Regulate your Emotions & Nervous System through your SENSES

This is a series of 3 posts I published on Instagram for the Taurus Full Moon (November 3rd-4th).

Taurus Full Moon Post #1 out of 3:
Playing Trigger Detective

We are a few hours away from the Full Moon in Taurus reaching its peak (2:22 am ADT, November 4th – see my weekly forecast for further details).

This is a lunation that asks you to find your ground, to find goodness through your senses, and to rest in your resources – both internal and external.

And yet, at the same time this Full Moon brings some disruption. The Saturn-Chiron square of yesterday is still strong, pointing out wounds to be healed. Venus, the ruler of this Full Moon, is opposing the shocking Uranus, bestowing unexpected surprises in our midst. And while the Moon may be in Taurus, it opposes the Sun in Scorpio.

Scorpio reminds us of the pain we have yet to transform. Taurus reminds us that it is possible to cultivate a delicious sense of safety deep within our flesh and bones.

For most of us in this wild world, for various reasons, our bodies are always on high-alert, constantly scanning for threats. Or, exhausted of maintaining this hyper-vigilance, perhaps they are falling into a state of numb collapse.

What would it be like to truly experience a deep-rooted sense of safety… all the time? A world where all bodies can allow themselves to relax into a Taurean visceral sense of safety, is one that I long for. Continue reading “Full Moon in Taurus Series :: Regulate your Emotions & Nervous System through your SENSES”

Connect with your Healing Resources :: Cosmic Weather Forecast for October 30th – November 5th

We are a week into Scorpio Season! How’s it feeling so far?

So far, I’ve found it to be pretty emotionally and energetically dense, intense, and heavy. As expected, I suppose. I am personally experiencing my Progressed 1st Quarter Moon phase (exact yesterday) and a Sun-Pluto conjunction today. So that may just be my perspective, but if you feel similarly, keeeep swimming!

Today (MONDAY), Mercury in Scorpio squared the Nodal Axis (North Node in Leo and South Node in Aquarius). Mercury in Scorpio, our poor little messenger of communication and thought, is standing at the intersection looking one way, and then the other. Which way should it turn? Toward the familiar and comfortable (symbolized by the South Node in Aquarius)? Or toward continued personal growth and evolution (symbolized by the North Node in Leo)?

Decisions, decisions. Continue reading “Connect with your Healing Resources :: Cosmic Weather Forecast for October 30th – November 5th”

Weaving ‘Story Interrupters’ into Your Life’s Narrative using Astrology’s Symbolism

Life has many obvious cause and effect patterns. Just like gravity causes an apple to fall from a tree, we can work with cause and effect – within the physical, material Saturnian/Capricornian world of time and space – to achieve the outcome we are looking for.

But life is just as much chaos, as it is cause and effect.

We make sense of our life through creating internal stories of our life journeys. Story interrupters are those chaotic curveballs that come out of nowhere. The events that derail us. The circumstances that pull apart the threads of the story tapestry we are weaving.

When our life stories are unexpectedly interrupted, our sense of coherent meaning, purpose and identity can fly out the window. We may find ourselves flailing in chaos.

A few examples…

  • Perceived cause and effect: Jeff works tirelessly toward his goal of fulfilling his heart’s desire of being a full-time musician, grounding himself in the belief that hard work = goals achieved.
  • Chaos, a story interrupter: Just as his hard work is beginning to pay off, he ends up in a car accident that inhibits his ability to use his limbs and play the guitar.


  • Perceived cause and effect: Kate has been with her partner now for 5 years. The couple just bought a house, a dog, and got engaged. They talk of children. The story of how they fell in love could be made into a movie. The #couplegoals hashtag stalks their online media presence. Since clearly they are soulmates (with amazing astrological synastry), they will be together forever.
  • Chaos, a story interrupter: Kate finds out her partner has been having an affair with her best friend. A volatile break up ensues.

We will ALL experience story interrupters of some sort. We typically dread them. We dread the unraveling. We dread the chaos that reveals how little we can really control in life.

But life is just as much chaos, as it is cause and effect.

Healthy people get cancer. Unexpected breakups occur. People die. Careers hit a dead-end. Abuse and crimes are committed. Stuff gets stolen. Money runs out. Conflict happens. Horrific tragedies take place.

And we ask, why?

As we grapple with our broken, interrupted life stories that no longer make sense, depression and anxiety have been known to sneak in through the story’s cracks.

How can we find our way again? After investing so much emotional energy, so much of our identity formation, so much time and money, into our previous life stories, how can we develop the resiliency to keep going? How can we cultivate meaning, purpose, and hope at times when the broken shards of our life stories swirl around us?

It is a Scorpionic truth that from the primordial soup of chaos, new stories are born.

Through the use of astrology, we can often anticipate story interrupters, or see our present-day chaos, reflected in the sky.

Hard aspects (i.e. opposition, square, conjunction) from outer planets and asteroids (i.e. Chiron, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) to personal planets or points (i.e. Sun, Moon, Ascendant, Mercury, Venus, Mars), often correlate with difficult challenges in our lives that can destabilize our well-established life stories.

Hard aspects from Chiron correspond with story interrupters that stop us in our tracks as we are brought face-to-face with childhood wounding and deep insecurities that we thought we had dealt with years ago. ->There is the potentiality for healing and greater self-awareness.

Hard aspects from Saturn reflect a story interrupter that deconstructs our foundational sense of security and our faith in our life direction (i.e. the infamous ~2 year Saturn Return ~ age 30). ->There is the potentiality for establishing a greater sense of identity and worth, and shifting course toward a direction that truly resonates with one’s soul.

Hard aspects from Uranus synchronize with story interrupters that shock us and change everything in an instant. Uranian story interrupters have our lives moving so fast that our attempts to create a story, to create meaning of what is happening, often cannot keep up with the blur of change and motion. –>There is the potentiality to get unstuck, to step out of an old rut and discover opportunities that you would never otherwise have encountered.

Hard aspects from Neptune correlate with story interrupters that dissolve what we thought was firm and solid, and confuse what we thought was clear. –>There is the potentiality to gain greater clarity and insight into life content that you took for granted, and to consciously re-evaluate and re-adjust your boundaries.

Hard aspects from Pluto align with story interrupters that relentlessly burn everything to the ground in order to make us face the repressed origins and the consequences of our deepest pain, traumas, and shadow material that has been, often unbeknownst to us, shaping the direction of our life story – a continued legacy and testimony to our buried wounds. ->There is the potentiality of accessing the courage to look at the Truth directly in the face; to withstand touching one’s most raw and painful inner wounds with compassion; and to then utterly transform into someone with profound fearlessness, spiritual insight, resilience and healing capabilities.

I don’t believe planets cause shit to happen, but I do believe the movements of the celestial bodies reflect, correlate, and synchronistically align, with what occurs on Earth. The freewill vs. fate debate is one I have been wrestling with for quite a while now (especially since getting back into astrology), but my current position is that…

a) life is a mysterious, complex mixture of both freewill and fate that are impossible to disentangle, so we might as well move forward acting on our assumed freewill;


b) time and space are an illusion and thus from a vantage point beyond time the past, present, and future exist simultaneously at once – therefore, the movements of the planets could, in some almost inconceivable way, be aligned with the choices we have made (are making, and will make) using our freewill, as well as reflecting back to us the chaotic interruptions.

At any rate, while I am aware the practice of astrology has the unfortunate capacity to instill fear in people (and has a history of doing so); it can also be a profound tool of healing, validation and liberation. Astrology is laden with rich, evocative symbolism, and through accessing this symbolism, we can craft new stories in our lives and renew our sense of meaning, purpose and hope.

Astrology is an amazing gift that can help us integrate story interrupters as new threads within the life tapestry we weave; as new characters and plot lines within the life stories we write.

For example, in my own life, the last few years have been full of major life story interrupters, and yet astrology’s symbolism has been a lifeline. Yes, I can see tough transits interacting with my natal chart – one of which is my Saturn Return (a major life story interrupter). The current transits validate the frustration I am currently feeling – and the validation itself, as my chart reflects my life back to me, provides reassuring comfort. However, I can also embrace the hopeful, transformative potential inherent in astrology’s symbolism and “lean in” to the possibilities on the horizon.

It has been interesting analyzing the results of the survey I launched a few weeks ago. In response to my question about what type of consultation people would be interested in, I did not anticipate so many respondents to rank the option: “making meaning of past events using astrology”, so highly. It shouldn’t surprise me though, really. Humans are meaning-making creatures. Certainly for myself, retracing my life’s history through the lens of astrological transits, has been incredibly grounding.

Caveat #1 – Using astrology to make meaning out of chaos does not mean necessarily accepting the belief that “all bad things happen for a reason”. This saying reflects a desire to believe in a logical, orderly, cause and effect world. Scorpio asks us to leave room in our worldview for chaos, for the mysterious, for the inconceivable, for the irrational, for the nonsensical. And yet, as we emerge from the darkness of a life story rupture, Scorpio’s symbolism reminds us that that there is no experience, which cannot somehow be redeemed and transformed. Every thread can find its way back into our life’s tapestry.

Caveat #2 – Making meaning out of an awful story interruption and weaving it into our story, does not mean blind passive acceptance. There is chaos and injustices that we are called to fight against (individually and globally), and this too, we can see reflected in the sky. Arguably many story interrupters that appear as random and chaotic at an individual level are, at a global level, part of a clear cause and effect response that needs intervention (e.g. natural disasters occurring in response to climate change).

Caveat #3 – When you’ve experienced a major story interruption, do not rush to make sense of your experience. Do not try to force a story reconstruction. You may limit the options, you may limit potential growth. Sometimes we have to sit with the chaos. Sometimes we have to stay in the liminal breach of a story interruption before we are able to see the possibilities and opportunities that exist. It can be excruciating to be present with the shredding of a life story, but trust the process. Trust that amidst the chaos, a new story is taking its first breath.

Its formation may be gradual. Its first steps may be vulnerable. But there is a pulse.

Life->Death & Chaos->Transformation->Rebirth. You can see this cycle occurring over and over again in nature. Trust that you too, belong to this infinite, sacred rhythm.

Einstein coined a beautiful Scorpionic quote: “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another”.

The energetic legacy of your old stories, will be transmuted and reborn as a new story to carry you forward.

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What does your Natal Mercury Placement say about your Communication Style?

I originally posted this on Instagram on Tuesday night, just before the New Moon in Virgo (occurring opposite Chiron). I believe this is the only time I have ever posted a series of astro “cookbook” style descriptions for each sign – and it might be the last time I do it! However, on Instagram, it became less about the post and more about the dialogue in the comments I think.

For those of you who are reading this post for the first time here, I’ll offer a disclaimer: For the same reasons I can’t bring myself to provide regular sign-by-sign horoscopes, most of the time I’m extremely reticent to offer sign by sign, planet by planet, generic piecemeal type interpretations because an individual’s natal chart holds an immense amount of information that is intricately woven together. A single placement can express itself in a dramatically different way then anticipated – which will make perfect sense once it is interpreted in light of the entire chart’s beautiful complexity. However, piecemeal descriptions are obviously really accessible, they can be fun to read, and they do often contain a seed of truth. I’ll let you decide for yourself though! Continue reading “What does your Natal Mercury Placement say about your Communication Style?”

Uncomfortable Emotions are not Pathological :: Sun Trine Pluto & the Full Moon in Pisces

While it’s true that emotions can be catalysts, prompting actions that can be beneficial  or destructive, and while it’s true that sometimes the natural flow and balance of emotions can become stuck or disturbed for a variety of reasons, I believe that emotions in and of themselves, cannot be pathological. Emotions are an integral part of the embodied human experience and they serve a vital role in our efforts to survive and thrive.

The meaning that we cognitively assign to our emotions and the way we process and act on them, may cause us unnecessary suffering, but I do believe…

Your grief is not a virus. Your anger is not a sin. Your sadness is not a disease. Your fear is not a dysfunction. Continue reading “Uncomfortable Emotions are not Pathological :: Sun Trine Pluto & the Full Moon in Pisces”

Mercury Stations Direct :: Reflective Prompts for Mercury’s Post-Retrograde Shadow Period

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Early this morning, three successive significant cosmic events occurred. The Sun in Virgo opposed Neptune in Pisces, Mars left Leo to enter Virgo, and Mercury has recently pivoted and turned Direct on the Eclipse Degree at 28 degrees Leo.

How are you feeling?

Take an inventory of what has transpired in your life between late Julythe beginning of Eclipse Season and the beginning of Mercury’s Pre-Retrograde Shadow period and today; the end of Mercury’s Retrograde and the end of an Eclipse Season which included a very potent Solar New Moon Total Eclipse in Leo on August 21st.

Take a moment to reflect on any changes or new developments that have occurred in the internal or external landscape of your life in the past month. Continue reading “Mercury Stations Direct :: Reflective Prompts for Mercury’s Post-Retrograde Shadow Period”

The Ouroboros & The Total Solar Eclipse

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Well. Here we are. On the brink of one of the most anticipated, most talked about, astrological and astronomical events of the year.

And I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling bone weary. Exhausted; soul, body and mind. This dying Balsamic Moon has been pulling me under like a rip current the last few days.

The Solar Eclipse will be occurring in my first house, within a couple degrees of my Leo Ascendant. The Ascendant symbolizes the Eastern horizon at the time of your birth. It speaks to how you emerged from the womb to first greet the world. The sign (and planets) on the Ascendant in your natal chart describe both how others see you (the personality you exude, your physical appearance), and how you perceive others, your environment, and this life that you have found yourself in –  it colours the lens through which you see the world. The degree of your Ascendant is the intersection between you and the world. It is active and dynamic – a point of constant becoming. Continue reading “The Ouroboros & The Total Solar Eclipse”

Astrological Autoethnography: My Saturn Return & Chiron Rx

There are over 7 billion people on this planet. Can global planetary transits really be correlated with the daily lives of each one of them? On any given day there are people experiencing horrific tragedies, and others who are riding waves of blissful happiness.

The skeptic would look at me incredulously, but I would argue… yes, global transits are globally correlated to daily (monthly and yearly) life on Earth. Mundane astrologers, who apply an astro lens to international world events, political and economic developments, would also agree.

Of course, it is complex. Global planetary transits interact with a person’s natal chart and their individual circumstances in widely diverse and unique ways. And yet I would argue that the archetypal energy of a transit, its inherent symbolism, will still show up for everyone. I would also argue that it depends on which transit is making “the most noise” in your life/chart. Some transits will activate many of your chart’s hot spots and will be correlated with major events and shifts in your life, whereas others will make a much more subtle appearance. Some transits breeze easily through your natal chart, leaving only a quickly vanishing whisper in their wake. Some transits will show up externally, while others will be expressed more internally.

At an individual level and case-by-case basis, an astrologer is able to weave together the various multiple transits to provide a more accurate depiction of what might be occurring in a person’s life.

I try to consider the broad range of transit manifestations when I write forecasts and I always hope that bits and pieces at least, will be applicable to readers. I would hope that by centering on certain keywords and descriptive phrases you would be able to pick up on the “vibe” of the day and notice where this is appearing in your life.

But the honest truth is every astrological forecast written for over 7 billion people will inevitably be generic and only partially relevant at best. This does not make general forecasts worthless whatsoever. General astro forecasts can still provide inspiration and guidance, but they always run the risk of becoming stale.

Astrologer April Elliot Kent wrote a wonderful article in 2005 called “Putting the Self Back in Astrology”. She calls for a revitalization of astrology through autoethnography; a qualitative research method that originated in the field of anthropology. It involves the researcher reflecting deeply on their own personal experiences with a sharply analytical eye, while connecting their autobiographical narrative to broader (e.g. cultural, social, political, symbolic, astrological) meanings and understandings. Subjectivity and researcher vulnerability are embraced in autoethnography.

It’s basically a fancy research-based term for sharing one’s story, but I love the idea of “astrological autoethnography“, probably because anthropology forms a significant part of my academic background and because it involves intentionally contextualizing personal individual experiences within broader systems of meaning (such as astrology).

Here are some excerpts from April’s article:

“How can we re-imagine astrology, keep it fresh, and ensure its ongoing relevance, without including our real-life observations? When we maintain an artificial separation between astrology and our daily lives, astrology suffers. And when we astrologers use astrological knowledge to maintain a separation between us and our readers, our writing suffers — and so, quite possibly, does our astrological research.”

“…At best, generic, cookbook-style interpretations provide a framework for stimulating creative interpretation of individual chart factors. But honest, astrologically sound, and well-written accounts of an astrologer’s unique experiences with astrology can provide the same kind of stimulus — and are fun to read as well.”

“…We can never present an interpretation of astrology that will be completely meaningful for all of the people all of the time… But by writing about our own experiences as honestly and richly as possible, we can at least attempt to present an accurate account of one person’s astrological experience.”

…As astrologers, we are in a unique position to observe life with unparalleled perspective. By engaging in an ethnographic approach to astrology, we are invited to participate in the astrological journey with our readers and clients instead of simply observing it, to embrace our own humanity instead of standing apart as omniscient interpreters of texts. Perhaps the greatest contribution we can make to astrology is simply to write about it — honestly, with enthusiasm, and from our individual experiences.” – Read the full article by April Elliot Kent here, first published in The Mountain Astrologer, April 2005. 

So on that note, here is an excerpt from my astro transit journal; a piece of astrological autoethnography about the transits and symbolism of Chiron and Saturn in my recent life history… [Click below for the rest of the post] Continue reading “Astrological Autoethnography: My Saturn Return & Chiron Rx”