Friday, March 28, 2014

April Lunar Eclipse – One of Many

There will be four almost total eclipses of the Moon in 2014- 2015 and all will be visible from almost every place in the Northern Hemisphere. That is an amazing occurrence. The first will be on April 15, 2014, another on Oct. 8, 2014, the third on April 4, 2015, and finally on Sept. 28 2015.

In Astrology and eclipse is a wonderfully energetic time – it is a time to use that energy in the sky to start something new. Think of the movement of the eclipse - the Moon disappears and then returns anew. A Lunar Eclipse can only happen when the Moon is “full.” The Moon passes behind the Earth thus allowing the Earth to block the Sun’s rays. All three bodies, Earth, Sun, and Moon are in close alignment. It is a time to question alignments – and balance in your life.

The April 15, 2014 eclipse will be a part of this much talked about grand cross happening in the sky. It will be a cardinal eclipse, in the cardinal signs of Libra and Aries. Cardinal signs are energetic –they want to take action. The Aries Libra axis is known as the me to we axis. The question to be asked during this alignment is, am I in balance – am I giving enough to myself and to others – am I giving too much in either of these areas? 
This is a general graph of the eclipse over the Washington, D.C. area. Notice the cross made to the opposing Pluto – Jupiter. This is a time of tension between old and new spiritual beliefs. However, it is more important to look to the house the eclipse falls in your natal chart... Does the eclipse fall on a planet in your natal chart? This is the best way to use the energy of the eclipse.

Some people fear eclipses but I have to tell you I am so tired of fear driven Astrology. Yes, the grand cross will bring issues (Malaysia 370 for one.) Yes, eclipses are a time of shift and change – but we need change or we become stuck. Take the benefits of all of that cardinal energy to make real changes in your life.

Monday, March 24, 2014

We Need Spring!

We need the spring season. We haven't seen much of spring but it will arrive - eventually. While those who know me know that I am a cool weather gal we have to honor the beauty and necessity of spring.

Spring begins when the Sun moves into the constellation of Aries on the equinox. Aries is the typical sign of upward and outward movement - or masculine energy looking to change paths and lead a new way. How perfect! This is the time to clean away the old growth, sow the fields and make plans for the rebirth of late spring and early summer.

In Five Element Acupuncture, spring is the time of wood - also a planning time - when Yang energy begins to awaken from a long Yin winter.

Pastina and Pesto a spring dish from "Signs of the Tines: The Ultimate Astrological Cookbook."

The sign that follows Aries is Taurus, the most tactile sign, that which loves to feel and engage with the Earth. Taurus is considered the sign of the Ecology Movement. As the first flowers appear and the Earth is reborn we feel very close to Taurean energy.

I beg of my clients one thing - if you do nothing else with Astrology use it to be in cycle with nature. So use the Aries energy to clean away the cobwebs of winter - physically and emotionally - and then be like Taurus the Bull and run through the new grass and smell the new roses.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


March 20, 2014
12: 57 PM EDT

Happy Equinox all! This is the time when the Sun moves into the sign of Aries, the first sign of the Zodiac. It is no wonder that all of the major organized religions celebrate this time as a time of rebirth and renewal. Aries is the Baby of the Zodiac. It vibrates to the energy of the first house – the house of personality where we burst out and say hey world look at me. The Equinox brings forth the newness of spring – where we plant new seeds for change.

Plant the seeds now to burst forth with the person you want to be when the summer solstice comes around!

This year both Juno and Uranus in Aries are shadowing the Sun. This is great deal of volatile energy. Uranus in Aries is sending out energy that is almost daring us to be different. Juno, the goddess of loyalty, is conjuncting both Uranus and the Sun so we have no excuse – no excuse at all -- not to make important changes now.

Aries is Cardinal energy (leadership energy). We have the Sun, Juno, and Uranus all giving us the ability to initiate change in our life. Of course, someone still living in shadow and not working to become the best but looking to be negative can use this erratic energy to cause harm. I have spoken a lot about the Grand Cross and the negative energy that can come from it. However, if we are looking to harness the goodness of the universe to elevate ourselves – use the energy of these three powerhouses today.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Worm Moon and Updates on the Grand Cross.

On March 7, I wrote about the grand cross that will peak on April 20 -21:

Of course, there are elements who are prone to anger and attack. I personally think that these retrogrades will cause someone or some faction we are not expecting, to cause the biggest problem. Saturn and Mars retrograde are anger and aggression turned inward.

The next day the sad and still unfinished saga of Malaysia flight 370 began. The grand cross makes the buried anger out in sad ways. Now we watch the Ukraine but with this we must always expect the totally unexpected.

On a more uplifting topic, enjoy the Worm Moon today. No really, that is one of the names of this phase – the Worm Moon. It is a time in spring when the robins are to start pulling worms from the thawing ground. Of course, we are expecting six inches of snow in Washington, DC tonight. Hey – the unexpected!

This Moon is “full” when it is the furthest it can be from the Sun – and this one happens when the Sun is in Pisces and the Moon in Virgo. Pisces/Virgo is the victim – martyr axis. These signs are classic at being self-defeatist and self-deprecating to a fault. So take this time to find out where you are playing the “don’t worry about me” grandma in your life and find a little balance.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

President of the Month – James Madison

Reticent, bookish, small, James Madison was born to wealth in the Virginia Tidewater region. Like man “great people,” he has a birth chart that is so easy to read. First, his South Node in Gemini in the 7th house shows that he came from lives where he was a master at gathering and disseminating information. That is what Gemini does – keep communication, information flowing. Being in the 7th house – the house of the other person- he was someone who could mediate, communicate, and keep the knowledge moving.

What I love so much about his chart is how he “got into” his North Node – Sagittarius in the first house. Those of us (I too am a Gemini South Node) who are going to Sagittarius have to make an effort to stop gathering and moving information but honing in on our truth, our beliefs. It isn’t about quantity of information but quality. It is about focusing on information.

James Madison, using the discipline of Saturn that sits on his North Node, spent an entire summer – studying the great ancient civilizations –the Romans, the Greeks, etc. and learning what worked and what didn’t work. How Sagittarius North Node is that? He used this information in service to the United States Constitution and is one of the reasons he we call him the father of that document.

The ruler of his South Node, Gemini, is in Aquarius in the third house (the house of Gemini and communication.) It is also conjuncting the ruler of Aquarius, Uranus. His mind was like an electric bolt – oh, how I wish I could see it in action!
On a more fun note, with his Moon buried in the 12th house in the reticent sign of Scorpio but his Venus in fiery Aries we can see how he was both socially shy but attracted to the vivacious Dolley Madison.
Madison used the deck dealt him magnificently. Not bad for a little creature who looked like a strong wind could knock him over. Of course, all of his power was in his head!

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Saturn and Mars in Retrograde and the Grand Cross of April

It is all over the “Astrology world” that April – is going to be a terrible month. April does have a bad rap because of the ingress of the Sun into Aries, ruled by Mars, the warrior at the Vernal Equinox. Hitler was born in April, the Civil War started in April, there was Columbine, and the list goes on. Adding fuel to the fire is the Grand Cross that will be at its height during the week of April 20. 

A grand cross is when four planets are in opposition to each other. In this case, we will have retrograded Pluto in Capricorn opposing Jupiter in Cancer and Uranus in Aries opposing a retrograded Mars in Libra. These planets will be in cardinal signs. There are three kinds of signs, mutable, cardinal, and fixed. The mutable signs are easy going - go along and get along, the fixed signs have more stubborn in nature, and cardinals are the movers the shakers, the doers. Hence, the doom and gloom - the god of War, the god of expansion, the god of quick change and the god of slow change all pulling against each other and in cardinal signs - each grasping for their piece of the pie! Two of them in retrograde, meaning their energy is going inward – looking for an escape.

Saturn is not included in the cross but is sitting on the side and is in retrograde in Scorpio, a fixed and intense sign. Both Mars and Saturn have gone retrograde this week…just as Putin crossed into the Ukraine. Do you see why people are wary of the Cross?

I don’t buy into the total destruction scenarios. I mean there are people who are saying the EU will collapse, we will be in total war, and oh, here comes the bomb! Doom and gloom sells. This will be a difficult time but come on.

OK let’s do the bright side thing. You have Pluto and Jupiter together – that is a sign for spiritual growth. Yes, it is better when they are in conjunction and not in opposition but even in difficult times, we can have spiritual growth.  Uranus and Mars exhibit the most erratic energy and frankly the most frightening of this whole configuration. If there is violence, if there are wars it will be because of them. However, we can make the conscious decision to eliminate tensions – smooth over issues that could cause the spark – assess what is making us angry. We can overcome the grand cross.

Of course, there are elements who are prone to anger and attack. I personally think that these retrogrades will cause someone or some faction we are not expecting, to cause the biggest problem. Saturn and Mars retrograde are anger and aggression turned inward.

So yes, Putin can go crazy in the Ukraine – that is a very Mars-Saturn aspect. However, that retrograde could bring up someone feeling marginalized to go on the fritz. I would look out for some radical who is unhappy with the way his world is going – right wing terrorism.

Let’s keep in mind that there are positive aspects that we can use this time to feel what is irritating and correct it – take positive steps to stop anger from cropping up and to find what is blocking our spiritual growth.

The choice is always ours. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Yes, We Need Winter!

OK I have been hearing it all winter – it is cold, it is snowy, it is……….. I know I have heard it before and I am sorry I do think some people bitch about winter because it is fashionable. Society programs us to moan when it is cold outside (mostly it is from annoying television weather people who chant, “When is spring coming?” Spring is perky and they are nothing but perky!) Seriously, we are a society constantly on the move, constantly distracted, always looking to do something – anything. Winter is not a time for that.

We all have our favorite season and mine is winter but I don’t walk around in a shroud when it is summer time! I hate the heat and intense Sun but I plant my garden and participate in season. I still know that summer brings many wonderful elements with it! We need to participate in all of the seasons of the year.
So now, we are in winter. Yes, a cold and snowy winter but there let us not look at the value it brings. On a very basic level, we need winter snow to water our lawns and gardens in summer. When we have cold winters, we have few disease carrying insects to torment us in the summer.  

On a spiritual level, winter is, of course, a time of hibernation. We should NOT be racing around before the Christmas holidays shopping like crazy people but using this dark time to embrace rest and inner study!  In winter, nature rests and that is what we should do as well. Rest, reflect, and build our reserves of energy for the rebirth of spring.

Nature is relentlessly cyclical – rest and restoration in the winter, sowing in spring, ripening and growth in summer and harvest in the fall. When we do not live in the alignment with that cycle, we disconnect with the energy of the universe.

You don’t have to love winter but take a minute please to honor its place in the cycle of life – the unending cycle of the universe. I went out this morning and remembered the words “When the valley is hushed and white with snow.” There is a reason it is “hushed” – Nature is using this time to rejuvenate and plan for the bursting of spring. We should be doing the same.

Karmic Astrology by Joan's Fan Box