The waxing crescent Moon is in Libra today, moving into a conjunction with Venus, which you should be able to see for a brief while in the western sky tonight, just after sunset, and above Venus and the Moon, Jupiter! When these three are close together, it's really a beautiful thing to see, so don't miss it. You'll also be able to see Saturn and Mars in the eastern sky tonight, so it's going to be quite a lineup.
Meanwhile, Jupiter is closing in on a trine to Neptune, perfecting over the weekend.
Here is what to watch for:
* The waxing crescent Moon in Libra reflects budding relationships, friendships, or business agreements, negotiations, compromise, and harmony, as well as finding general agreement, help, or allies. This is an empowered Venus right now, in her own domicile, and so she is ready to give her assistance to a young or new cause (reflected by the young Moon in Libra).
* A waxing crescent Moon with a conjunction to Venus in her own sign represents a very auspicious development in the journey of the month ahead. There is an aura of help, ease, refinement, grace, beauty, agreement, and harmony available today. I do not often talk about fast-moving, daily lunar connections, but they are sometimes very strong and can be incredibly important when tracking daily astrological changes. Today's conjunction suggests that whatever you might be working on or in the early stages of development with will find some strong form of help or confirmation.
* Of course, this does not make the transit inherently "good," in a spiritual sense because, as we know, "bad people" find success in this world all the time, and "good people" often build their egos on "good deeds."
* Similarly, one of the main reasons we study astrology, one of the main benefits of tracking the transits or seeing the planets reflected in any kind of event, however moral or immoral, minor or major, public or private, is that it reminds us that there is a greater universal intelligence guiding and directing everything. It reminds us that nothing escapes the vision and direction of the divine. So, seeing astrology reflected in the day to day events, it should not further entangle us in the drama and gossip, or the idle spectacles of the world, but rather astrology helps us to see everything in the divine and the divine in everything. If we do this carefully, in the right mood and spirit, then astrology may actually help us to gain some healthy distance from the streaming tickers and dramas of the world and return to a life lived in service to the divine whole, of which we are a unique part.
* If we take this insight and bring it back to the astrology of the day, described above, then we are left with a simple idea. As things are developing, and there is some Venusian agreement, help, or support to be found under this early waxing moon, then we might ask ourselves one question, "How can I use whatever support is presenting itself right now to serve the divine source of which I am a part?" Or, "have I taken a moment to recognize and thank the divine source for whatever support I am receiving since nothing really belongs to me?" Either question, if we dare to ask it sincerely, may lead us to slowly learning how to use the planetary transits in service to our original divine source, which can only enhance and deepen our spiritual lives.
Prayer: May we use whatever momentary good fortune that comes our way for your service. May we learn to feel the excitement of giving back to you, directly, from whatever we are given!
Mars has left Aquarius and entered Capricorn through its retrograde, meanwhile, Saturn and Uranus are in a tight trine with each other.
A few things to watch for:
* The sudden emphasis on "earth" is notable, especially as Leo season is now winding down and Virgo season is upon us.
*Because Virgo season marks the preparation for the harvest and the entry into the yin/dark half of the year, it is a good time for making many nuts and bolts changes, checking items off the "to-do" list, and essentially readying ourselves for larger or more sweeping and systematic changes we'd like to make to close out the year.
* Think of cleaning, preparing, organizing, and the gradual implementation of an entirely new structure.
* Saturn and Uranus together in a trine feature both conservative and progressive, even defiant, tendencies coming together, for good or bad.
* For example, Saturn and Uranus reinforcing the worst in one another can lead to hard clashes of ideology that result in stalemates, fingerpointing, and rhetoric cage matches, or, reinforcing the best in one another might lead to nuts and bolts, systematic changes that help create or implement an important new way of doing something or being in the world.
* Saturn and Uranus is about conservative empowerment, where the word "conservative" is an energetic and highly flexible word prior to it ever being a political word.
* How do we maximize our output, gains, or results, for example, while conserving our energy, time, or resources? Or, how do we build the structure to sustain or support a creative enterprise that may also suffer from too much rigidity, control, or structure?
* With Mars retrograde in Capricorn right now, Mars is back to its exaltation, signifying that there is more constructive Mars energy to be found right now. However, with Mars retrograde, we are still being asked to surrender, revise, reflect, or endure a period of prolonged waiting or delays, frustration or prohibition, at least temporarily until just after the Full Moon.
* Considering that Mercury also turns direct on August 20th, we can expect that late August, and most of Virgo season, will be a prime time to begin implementing the changes that have been building over the summer.
* For more on these energies, check out today's video blog on my youtube channel. Link in the comments section!
Prayer: Help us to create the kinds of material changes that will reflect and enhance the changes we've been experiencing on the inside.
Happy Solar Eclipse!
The solar eclipse in Leo just took place early this morning, eastern time, and was only visible from "most of Asian, far northern Europe, Iceland and Greenland, as well as a slice of northern and eastern Canada."
If you missed my discussion of the solar eclipse on my video blog, be sure to check it out on the home page. Just scroll down a few posts and you'll see it!
Meanwhile, here are some things to remember/watch for:
* Eclipses in Leo are essentially about solar things. In modern astrology, we tend to identify with our Sun signs more than any other planet in the birth chart. The Sun represents action, ambition, and an inborn sense of destiny or purpose that we each have. The Sun is like the plot of a good movie or the core motivations or desires of the protagonist in a novel. We are each compelled by a sense that we live our lives for a reason or a purpose, even if we fail to find or fulfill that sense of destiny or purpose, or even if we somehow define our purpose as an anti-purpose. Nobody can avoid taking action in the world, and even various forms of renunciation still involve "action." Of course, the Indian word for this concept is "karma." And so, you can think of today's eclipse as a "karmic" eclipse insofar as the Sun is a planet of action, destiny, and ambition. A solar eclipse in the Sun's sign suggests a shift of purpose or direction, or the end of one way of acting and being in the world and the introduction of an entirely new way of being in the world.
* The Sun can also easily step in and play the role of the "ego." What makes a good ego? Simply that the ego recognizes its nature as a servant to the unborn, undying soul, and in turn the soul's relationship to the divine source of which it is a part. When the ego's first question becomes, how might I serve my higher nature and the source, then our lives take on the effulgence of the Sun: a halo of light grows around us like the mane of the Celestial Lion. So, beware of all temptations to become bigger, more successful, famous, visible, powerful, authoritative, etc., and remember that all of these forms of success will eventually fall apart if we are not serving. Legacies in this world are born and then they die, but the legacy of that which is eternal is never born and never dies.
* The Sun is also about individuation. It is a joy to discover more of who we are as a spirit/soul. The more we discover who we are the more we will be filled with a spirit of generosity. Because the more we know who we are the more we are in touch with the wellspring of the divine, at which point our lives become the overflow of that knowledge, bliss, and eternality. The natural bi-products of real self-knowledge is generosity, tolerance, and humility. Though these qualities may seem "weak" to some, they actually find their perfection in the image of the cosmic Lion.
* Today's eclipse falls at around the 18th degree of Leo and is the last of the eclipses happening in Leo and Aquarius before the nodes change signs to Cancer/Capricorn in November. Be sure to check the house/topics of Leo in your chart, or planets or points near the 18th degree of Leo, or the fixed signs.
* If you want a sneak preview of where changes are coming next, just look at the Cancer/Capricorn axis of your birth chart. Eclipses will start falling in these houses regularly starting this winter!
Prayer: May we hear the roar of your mighty love today, pounding open the steel doors of our hearts!
There are SO many planets in retrograde motion right now. Does it mean something? What does it mean, exactly? This explains everything I'm going through, right?! I mean, RIGHT!?
Every day I receive questions about the daily astrological "weather," and every day I see people posting things about astrology. Lately, there has been a lot of commentary surrounding the fact that there are currently six planets retrograde (Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto). So today I thought I would take a moment to address this phenomenon and whether or not it means anything.
Things to consider:
* First, the sky is a mirror more than it is a causal agent. Or you could say that the sky symbolically reflects the ongoing decisions or judgments of the gods, regarding all different levels of karma simultaneously. So from this standpoint, nothing is messing you up and nothing is happening to you but the repercussions of your own karma and the karma of innumerable other beings. Have you ever been inside a crowded coffee shop where everyone is waiting patiently in line while one customer is flipping out about the wait, saying, "What is going on here? Oh my GOD!" And this person assumes that everyone else is just as stressed and irate as they are that their coffee isn't coming quicker? Then they say, "the service is really bad at this place," rather than simply recognizing that there's a long line and that they are rushed and hence projecting their own urgency onto the situation. Everyone has had an experience like this before, and sometimes we are even that very person throwing the Starbucks tantrum! In astrology, when we project the same feeling of being out of control, urgent, anxious, stressed out, etc., into the coffee shop of the cosmos, we generally say things like, "It's all those darn retrogrades! This is absurd!" And then we throw up our hands, create the most sarcastic and "#I'msofabulouslystressed" social media meme we can think of, blaming all of the planets in retrograde. All the while, we usually don't know what retrogrades mean, or how to interpret them, let alone how to interpret several planets being retrograde at once.
* If we looked in our mirrors at home and flipped out like this, people might call us overly dramatic, at best, but they could easily charge us with worse! So what to speak of looking at the divinely infused mirror of the sky and creating such a spectacle?
* The mirror of the sky, whatever it may say and however it may say it, should cause to become self-reflective rather than reactive. We should be taking our metaphorical sandals off and approaching the oracle of the sky with just a little more humility and reverence. One of the reasons we have objectified the cosmos and tend to think of the planets solely in terms of "influences" is that we like to think of ourselves as ultimately in control but CONTENDING with forces that are constantly trying to thwart us. So, like Toad's wild ride, we throttle around our lives, topsy-turvy, with all the symptoms of madness, clinging to self-effacing humor and sarcasm as the most socially acceptable forms of sanity. "I'm coping and just fabulously wrecked! Curse all these retrogrades!"
* So the question is, are planetary retrogrades really causing these so-called meltdowns or do people who melt down a lot tend to blame retrogrades, or maybe some combination of both?
* First, again, meltdowns are caused by people's own karma or an interaction of karmas that is complex beyond what we can comprehend or easily explain. Blaming retrogrades is not helpful.
* Second, even if retrogrades may adequately describe a loss of control, a flipped script, an upside down plot, or reversals of fortune that are maddening or frustrating, the key thing to remember is that they are "describing" them, not causing them.
* Third, our reactions to reversals, delays, blocks, breakdowns, or crowded coffee shops (cosmic or otherwise!) is where we have some free will to use. With practices that help us to steady the mind, we can begin to see these events as opportunities for correction, learning, and increased discernment. In retrograde symbolism, there is often an opportunity to see the limits of our own will or control over a situation (as planets that were once moving forward are now moving backward), and hence, because each event is divinely orchestrated, we can recognize the loss of control we experience as an invitation to take our seats again in the cosmic classroom. We may begin to hear the voice of our spiritual guidance system once more (Hermes, the guide of souls, we may recall, is the quintessential lord of retrogrades).
* When we do not react to the breakdowns, delays, and reversals that retrogrades describe, we may become a servant rather than a cosmically frustrated consumer raging inside the circle that never ends.
* More than so many planets being retrograde right now, the frustration of multiple planets in retrograde motion may be easily mistaken for the frustration that is typical of Mars being retrograde. Nobody really loves the god of war and will being retrograde because it often coincides with a more acute sense of having lost control.
* Because Mars retrogrades for a very long period of time, and because Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto retrograde for very long periods of time each year, it is not uncommon to see many of them retrograde at once when Mars is retrograde.
* Mercury is also retrograde at least three times, sometimes four, per year. It's not uncommon when Mars OR Venus turns retrograde for a long period of time for it to coincide for a period of time with a Mercury retrograde.
* Notice that nobody says, "Oh my god, there are so many planets in DIRECT motion right now. Of course, that explains everything!" Just like I observe in my practice each and every day that when there is any sign of promising financial or professional development in someone's chart the reaction is, "It's DESTINY!" but if there is any indication of a health challenge or relationship stress, the response is more frequently, "So how do I change that? That's negotiable right? I'm not a fatalist!" But to the extent that we mistake our whims for our freedom, we are all fatalists.
* We like being in control, and we like subjectively satisfying things. We don't like losing control, and we don't like subjectively dissatisfying things. In many ways, this is the most simple and profound message that astrology keeps predicting for us each and every day, year in and year out, inviting us each new Moon, each eclipse, and each bumper car derby of retrogrades, to try a different approach to finding happiness.
* So, are so many retrogrades to blame? Life is full of reversals. What goes up eventually comes down. What is young, eventually becomes old. What is exciting eventually becomes dull. Retrogrades frequently describe the come down that we don't like as much, but who exactly is causing us to suffer this situation, and why exactly is this realm filled with this pattern? If we start asking these questions more frequently, we will quickly discover an entirely different sense of ourselves, a spirit/soul just begging us for more quality time and attention, and we will once more hear the sound of something shimmering within and beyond these maddening cycles, singing us home again.
Prayer: Be our sacred syllable, Om, the beginning, middle, and end. Cool our frustrated minds with the white lotus of your patience.
Mercury will be cazimi by this evening, and the Moon in Cancer is creating a grand water trine between today and tomorrow with Jupiter in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces.
A Meditation on heart and soul:
* Mercury at the heart of the Sun by this evening presents a powerful moment of rebirth, regeneration, and empowerment for Mercury related things, while the grand water trine is opening a soulful opportunity for healing, growth, and greater emotional intelligence. It's a great day to share, speak, and live from the heart, with a spirit of generosity and from the desire to share what you have, and who you are, with others.
All too often we are calculated about what we have, what we need to feel safe or protected, and what we do or don't owe others or what others owe us. We regularly justify the need to stay stuck in our own "special case" rather than working to see who others are, what they are dealing with, and what they may need from us on the level of the heart. Instead of looking to connect with people from the heart, we regularly think of "objective" ways that we can temporarily satisfy others, and this, in turn, satisfies us, temporarily. We say, "Well I did what you wanted, or I gave you what you need, objectively, so what else is there? What else do you need from me?"
Underlying this mentality is an inability to distinguish between material and spiritual substance. For example, sometimes children are raised and given everything they need; they are given the right instructions for how to be productive or successful, they are disciplined or trained up to be successful, they may even live in wealth or may not want for anything, but they aren't truly loved or even really seen. In fact, they may be treated as though they are an emotional inconvenience at any time that they request or need something emotional.
These same children will go forward in life thinking that meaning or value is measured by material merit, by measurable outcomes or exchanges, and by meeting or failing to meet "objective expectations."
This is an anxious way to live, a survival mechanism underlying the feeling of having been ignored, unseen or unheard.
And yet, because it is so rare to truly love and be loved, because loving requires presence and presence is so anxiety producing when you've been taught to fear it, we try to satisfy ourselves and others with check-lists of "things."
I remember when I was a kid, sitting in the pew and listening to my father preach from the pulpit on Sundays. He would often tell people who came to church every week, often fueled by guilt, fear, and inner turmoil, that tithing to the church out of their paycheck wasn't the way to find meaningful liberation from existential anxiety. Yes, it's important to tithe, but the real investment is an investment of your heart, and its sum is the total of who you are. The real investment, in time, asks us for everything, and it keeps doing so until we say "yes." We may not be ready to give everything, but we shouldn't pretend that throwing pennies at the divine will stave off its infinite hunger for our complete and undivided attention.
Prayer: Surprise us with the grace you have in store for us when we learn to give more and to say a full-throated "yes."
For those who requested a written version of my recent talk on the astrology of children, parents and parenting, and family Karma....for the full version, check out the video blog posted in the comments section!
A few hours before my wife delivered our daughter last week, I turned to our doula and said, "Can you get the time for me when the baby comes?" She said, "I'll do my best, yes!" Then, when the baby finally came, she turned to me and announced the time. For a moment I was dumbfounded. Why was she announcing the time? In the beauty and intensity of the moment, I had forgotten that I was an astrologer, that the heavens were turning in circles somewhere high above our midwives' birthing center in the hospital, and that my newborn daughter might be one rising sign or another, one Moon sign or another. It was honestly the last thing on my mind at that moment, and so it took me a second to compute what she was saying to me. "Oh, right," I said, laughing. "Thank you! Awesome."
The doula later asked me, "Are you excited to cast the chart?" I said, "Actually, no. I waited for a full year with Virginia to cast her chart, and I'm going to wait a full year with baby Summer, as well."
"Oh wow," she said, smiling. I didn't have to say or explain anything to her. At that moment, there was no explanation necessary. Stars come later, love comes first. Not just in the dumbfounded moment of literal birth, but as a practice, to come, for the next year, a full trip around the Sun before I want anything from the stars or my professional work as an astrologer to color my mind in relation to my daughter.
So why do I do this? Here are the notes and an overview of what I said in the recent talk I gave on the Astrology of Children, Parents and Parenting...
I wait to look at my own kids' charts because...
* The soul, not the body, is what is eternally real. To get to know the soul requires love and affection.
* The birth chart describes the temporary material designations of our karma and destiny in this body and this material world which we are temporarily inhabiting. It's not that the body or material world is bad or evil, and it's not that the birth chart can't give us useful information for understanding our lives, but the simple truth is that we are not our birth charts, and to really get to know someone you have to get to know the unspeakable, eternal nature of the soul, which the birth chart cannot reach. As Heraclitus once wrote, "The soul is explored forever, to a depth beyond report."
* At its worst, astrology MAY encourage us to see ourselves as our temporary material designations, "I'm a Leo, I'm a Cancer," or "I am my psychology, I am my fortune or material destiny in this lifetime, etc."
* A child coming into this world is already going to be inundated by the idea that what they are worth is based on what they produce, what they achieve, or what does or doesn't happen to them or around them, how one uses one's free will to create a good or bad outcome, etc. We are so rarely told that we are loved and can love just because we are (as Mr. Rogers liked to say!). Astrology, at it's worst, actually participates in all of this as it encourages us to get wrapped up in the "outcomes" of our lives, which are in turn wrapped up in our desires and expectations, fears and worries. In fact, ancient astrologers often titled their great works "Apotelesmatics," which meant "the study of outcomes." There are wonderful spiritual reasons for using astrology, but there are also many ways in which astrology can become just one more distraction to knowing ourselves, and knowing others, as we really are...divine, eternal, sentient, beings, part and parcel of our original, divine source.
* We can easily use the knowledge of a child's chart to justify the anxiety we have about our children, about their safety and well being, or about our own karma in relation to our children. But consider this...even though astrology CAN be very useful in helping us parent, or helping us heal family karmic patterns, the best and easiest remedy for any anxiety we feel in life, about ourselves, about our children, or our families, is love. Loving and being loved...just because we are, and just as we are. If astrology isn't paired with this insight, then it is as bankrupt as a gardener's knowledge without an actual garden or without rain.
* We need to stop using possessive pronouns so much with astrology, "My Venus, my mars, my sun, etc." Why? First of all, to ancient astrologers, this likely would have been an offense. The planets were thought of as the stars of the gods, or the gods themselves. Their positions reflect their judgments within a kind of cosmic courtroom...the stars at the time of our birth speak a kind of verdict about the life we are going to live this time around. We are not our stars any more than we are the gods themselves. Similarly, when we obsess over the charts of our children we reinforce the idea that they are "their Venus, their Jupiter, their Saturn," just like that. We planetize our children and then wish HARD that they rise to overcome or maximize the "potential" of the very things we have projected onto them...damned if you do, damned if you don't. If your kid can't overcome their stars, that's because they are getting "beat up" by that difficult Venus/Saturn situation, if they rise to great heights, it's because they are really OWNING that Zeus/Jupiter in the midheaven. All of this is hubris when we consider, once more, that we are loved and may love just because we are.
* So for these, and other reasons, I don't look at my kids' charts for the first year, to reinforce to me that to know this little soul is something far more grand and mysterious than knowing the ins and outs of their psychology, personality, or material destiny. All of these things will come in time...maybe sooner than I'd like, but for now, don't want to know, don't care, I want to love my child just because they are.
* Okay, so those are the reasons why I DON'T look at my kids' charts for the first year. But eventually I DO look at their charts, and I do find value in astrology, and value in astrology for children, so how do I understand the value of astrology as a parent? When I finally look at my kids' charts, what do I learn and what am I looking for?
* I look for their inherent personality traits, gifts, talents, and natural interests or dispositions so that I can try to support them the best I can...first and foremost by understanding the personality "suit" they are wearing as a spirit/soul. I will try to fix less and allow so much more to just BE when I have some insight into the personality, temperament, and constitution of my kids. So astrology can be very useful in this regard. If I know my daughter's ascendant ruler is in the 5th house in an earth sign and I notice she takes an interest in technical/artistic/performative skills, I can easily support those interests rather than projecting my own interests onto her!
* I look for stressful transits so that I can be prepared when I know my kids might be struggling with something. For example, last year my daughter had Saturn on her Sun and struggled with constipation. The astrology of Saturn on the Sun easily described the situation: bearing down, blocked, frustrated, struggling with control issues, etc. AS much as my wife and I did all the "things" one should do, I also inherently trusted that when Saturn moved off her Sun things might lighten up again, and sure enough, they did. No medical intervention of any kind, however natural, did much good (as far as we could tell). One day, not long after Saturn got off her Sun, she just got "regular" again. So having some knowledge about stressful transits, as a parent, can help me prepare and can reduce my anxiety when dealing with my kids challenging seasons. For some, this approach may induce more anxiety than anything else, so it's not an approach I take with my clients unless they ask for it!
* I look to understand how my wife and I show up in our kids' lives. Maybe there are some things I can work on or change, maybe not, but by seeking to understand my role in my daughters'' lives, I am also committing myself to be reflective about my relationship to them as it grows and matures through the events of destiny.
* It's easy to obsess about family karma, family healing, childhood wounds, etc. I always remind myself that the purpose of doing this kind of work isn't to finally resolve something from the past...this isn't possible when considering the cyclic view of time that ancient astrologers had (material family drama's don't go away here, they only repeat through light and dark cycles!). The purpose of any kind of healing work is to get back to forgiveness, which is like the reflection of light on the waters of love.
* I also look to understand relationships with siblings. This can also be very useful, but it's also important not to form biases about conflicts that we can't fully understand from our current karmic position. We must ask ourselves, "Do I really even understand the nature of all of my own conflicts and relationships and why they are what they?" If we're honest, the answer is "no," so just because we see certain kinds of struggles in a child's birth chart doesn't mean we should try to prevent or tamper with anything. We sometimes need to be less "struggle averse," overall. Struggle in this material life is inevitable...HOW we struggle is what matters. Experiences of any kind become soulful, become conscious, and loving, when we stay awake for them. So, the question becomes, how can I take what I'm seeing in the birth chart and use it to help my child stay awake to love in the midst of their destiny path, WHATEVER their destiny might be?
* Finally, whatever knowledge of our children's charts we have, its useless knowledge unless we are also creating an environment of love that reinforces the simple fact: my sweet child...you are an unborn and undying eternal being; your true nature is blissful, loving, and intelligent.
Prayer: Teach us to be as children in the arms our eternal source. Teach us to use the stars as lamps, lighting our paths, and always leading us home.
ENJOY READING THESE DAILY FORECASTS?
Adam Elenbaas is a professional astrologer and the founder of the Nightlight Astrology School. Adam holds an MA and MFA in English and Creative Writing and is one of the founding writers at RealitySandwich. To learn more about Adam, click here.