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Simple Pleasures October 7, 2009

Filed under: Planets,Uncategorized — wisestars @ 5:03 am
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A number of other excellent astrologers have been blogging lately about the upcoming planetary transitions which take place this month, as many of the inner planets move out of earth and water signs and into the more active realm of air and fire (Mercury and Venus into Libra and Mars into Leo). Mercury, the planet of communication,  is also poised to fly free of it’s retrograde “shadow” phase and away from a conjunction from serious Saturn, while Jupiter, the planet of expansion and opportunity, is readying to move direct on October 13th after a four month retrograde period.

It’s looking like the curtains are ready to rise on a whole lot of action this Fall, as stuck places loosen up and wheels start to turn. Many of you may be waiting with baited breath now, wanting to get going already, put your hands on the reigns and ride free, finally, (without all those damn restraints), towards the future.

My Mars in Sagittarius and Moon in Aquarius are right there with you, ready to embark on whatever adventures await as the seasons of the skies change once more. But my Sun in Virgo and Venus in Cancer is experiencing a wistful sort of tug, remembering the sweetness of the slow and steady routines that make up the weave of life. Though I’m ready for change, eager for it even, the Moon in Taurus today has encouraged me to meditate on some of the more simple pleasures, the ones that already exist in this present moment.

So I wanted to invite  those of you who might appreciate it, to take some time before the pace of this cosmic game of musical chairs picks up,  to look around you. Observe all the things that are in your life right now that bring you  small moments of appreciation, those simple, but sweet times, that fill up the spaces  between the big events.

In my garden I’m noticing: the sweet smell of the last roses of summer, the tomato plant that never quite got going and only now is growing a small green fruit, the pink jasmine that hasn’t bloomed but that I hope will this Fall. I’m appreciating: my dog’s little dinner dance and my lover’s ability to always make me laugh, the Mayberry on acid vibe that permeates Fairfax and the golden haze that the light brings with it now.

I’m almost ready for that show of planetary fireworks ahead, but it may find me in the kitchen, indulging my very own Venus in Cancer as I finally try that recipe for Lemon Poppyseed Cake I’ve been waiting to make all summer. At least I’ll have something to serve at the party that is sure to accompany Venus as it transits into Libra and Mars as it roars into Leo (ready to party for a looong eight months, but that is a whole other blog….)


Planetary Characters November 30, 2008

Filed under: Planets — wisestars @ 11:53 pm
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I’ve really been enjoying reading Mary Greer’s tarot blog lately. For the uninitated, Greer is a long-time tarot practitioner, writer and teacher, who I’ve had many a reading with over the years and from whose wisdom I’ve benefitted greatly.

Greer not only has an interesting analysis on the “Love, Jobs and 401 k’s” article that’s been making the rounds amongst many of us professional intuitive practioners, she also has many fun tips and tools about the tarot to learn from.

Drawing inspiration from her site, I wanted to offer blog readers some of my own processes for approaching astrology. In my astrology classes and readings, I like to give students and clients fun, easy and accessible ways to work with their charts.

Here’s a version of a game I play in my classes:

Planetary Characters

Pick a planet

(Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto are the ones we work with in astrology, regardless of who says their planets or not….)

You may want to choose a planet that you particularly like, or one that you feel challenged by. But just pick one to start with.

Develop a character for this planet based on what you know of it’s astrological nature

If you know nothing about your planets astrological nature, read up a bit first at a site like astro.com

or read about the myths associated with your planet in Greek mythology. Wikipedia is a great resource for this…..

Then come up with a name, profession, hobby, mate, ideal home environment, etc. for your chosen planet. Imagine your planet as a person come to life.

Observe the people around you to see if anyone you encounter reminds you of this planet

What can you learn from this person about the planet’s nature? How do they express the more challenging (ie negative), or positive qualities of your planet?

How do you react to this person? Do you react to their qualities in the same way you might the influence of the planet in your life? (by transit or in your chart)

Use your first planetary exploration as a jumping board to explore the rest of the planets, until you have created your own collection of planetary characters.


Planetary Musical Chairs November 16, 2008


It’s a Sagittarius and Capricorn party, as several planets transition into one or both of these signs during the later part of November.

The new planetary positions are:


Venus moved in on November 13, Pluto enters Capricorn on November 28th.


Mars moves in on November 17th, the Sun on November 22nd, and Mercury is next on November 24th.

This puts every planet except for Saturn, Uranus and Neptune into the signs of either Sagittarius or Capricorn. That’s a lot of movement in a relatively short period of time, so expect to feel a change of pace in the next couple of weeks as the planets play musical chairs and get comfortable in their new roles.

The energetic influence of Sagittarius and Capricorn brings us a greater awareness of our place in the collective story.
Sagittarius encourages us to grow beyond our limited understanding of our daily lives towards a more expansive and multi-faceted approach to the world around us. Now we are much more interested in and also open to, new ideas and belief system. During this next month we may want to travel, explore and have adventures, broadening our perspectives and personal paradigms.
Capricorn asks us to focus and plan for the future, incorporating a long-range view into our perspective on life. We may be much more interested in reality and the bare bones of life now.
How can we practically take care of ourselves and invest in the next phase of our journey? Who are we responsible to and for?

The combination of Sagittarian and Capricornian energies encourages us to dream and explore with a solid foundation and plan in hand.
This is a trip that needs to follow an itinerary whether we are exploring in the jungle or embarking on a new course of study. Without some kind of structure or form for our hope and idealism, we may become overconfident, foolhardy and appear to be more excited talk than concrete action. If we can draw on the gifts of both of these signs, benefiting from the buoyant confidence of Sagittarius and the grounded pragmatism of Capricorn, we may find that our holiday season is one of joy and wonder balanced by healthy limits and boundaries.


Planetary Weather September and October September 18, 2008

Greetings! After an August hiatus, I’m back and ready to navigate the stars scene once more. This is the month that everything starts to shift in the planetary landscape. Both Pluto and Jupiter have gone direct, Mercury is poised to go retrograde, and Saturn begins its slow and steady drift towards a growing opposition to Uranus.

What does this look like for humans here on earth?

Something like a start, stop, start again, motion. Pluto and Jupiter’s movement forward gets us moving again, after a summer where a lot may have seemed on hold. Mercury going retrograde next week has us slowing down once more, giving us a three week opportunity to refine and think deeply about exactly how we want to move forward and where we want to go.

When Mercury goes direct in Mid-October, the Saturn/Uranus opposition will just be getting started and we will begin to become familiar with the paradoxical nature of this upcoming planetary configuration.

Signs most effected:

Mutables Virgo, Pisces, Gemini, Sagittarius

Uranus/Saturn opposition- mutable planets between 16-21 degrees

Cardinals Cancer, Capricorn, Aries, Libra

Pluto transiting into Capricorn-cardinal planets between 0-3 degrees (you can read more about the transition from Pluto in Sagittarius and into Capricorn in my blog post: Pluto in Sagittarius

and in Seven Generations: Pluto in Capricorn

Jupiter going direct-cardinal planets between 12-20 degrees

Mercury going retrograde on September 24 and direct on October 15th (remember the shadow until October 30th)-cardinal signs between 7-25 degrees)

More soon on the Uranus/Saturn opposition and the election chart.

Stay up to date by attending the Monthly Moon Gab! Join in by Skype or in person for a great planetary weather forecast. Next one is in October, contact me to sign up now…..

Interested in a reading or a printed report?

Contact me at: fern@wisestars.net or see my website at: www.wisestars.net


Mercury Retrograde and Blackberry February 12, 2008

Filed under: mercury,Planets — wisestars @ 12:52 am

Mercury retrograde again! This one is a doozie, with Mercury retrograde in Aquarius, the sign ruling computers and new technology. So many of our communications now are shaped by the on-line world that we may be noticing this retrograde more than most. A few days after Mercury went retrograde (on January 28th) at 23 degrees of Aquarius, internet connections broke down all over Asia. Today (Monday, February 11), as the Sun in Aquarius progressed to that same 23 degrees, the news was reported that Black Berry, one of the largest networks of handheld devices is having a widespread service breakdown.
Though I’m sure Blackberry users aren’t finding this very amusing, those of you who track the astrological weather will likely appreciate a certain irony in this turn of events.

In the spirit of keeping spirits up, I’d like to offer my Wisestars remedies for not just surviving, but thriving during Mercury Retrograde periods. This particular one lasts until February 20th when the planet turns direct, but give it a week or so to get out of it’s “shadow” period to really start forging full speed ahead back towards that old Western Civilization thing…..

(For those of you who may just be joining us on this Mercury in Retrograde track, see below the Survive/Thrive section for my summation of this phenomena)


Back up your computer

Double check directions and appointment times carefully

Think carefully about word choice
And topic when having difficult

Slow down and drive more carefully

Read the fine print two or three times
before signing contracts or other important documents

Postpone buying major appliances until
Mercury goes direct


Research new computer equipment or software. Maximize time away from the computer.

Reschedule important meetings and appointments for after the Mercury retrograde period.

Rethink your position and be willing to admit your mistakes and apologize when having difficult conversations. Or try to forgive and forget more readily.

Refrain from rudeness and instead kill other drivers with kindness, or minimize driving and ride your bike and walk

Renegotiate current contracts that you want changed and postpone signing new important documents until Mercury goes direct

Repair and fix items that are broken

Remember: Retrograde starts with “re”, so incorporate “re” activities during retrograde periods.

Some Wisestars Words on the Mercury Retrograde Experience

Mercury, the planet of communication (which includes phones, computers, talking, listening, learning, teaching and also all forms of traveling), goes retrograde four times a year for three weeks each time. During this period, we will often notice that communications go awry, that our phones stop working, that computers freeze and travel plans hit snags. Despite all evidence to the contrary, the Mercury retrograde was not designed to make you suffer.

If you allow it to, Mercury retrograde periods can be a time to slow down and take a little break from the high impact, fast and furious information heavy world we live in. Think of it as a three week vacation from the communication of words and thoughts. This is a time when communication of spirit, body and emotion take precedence. Try saying what you need to with tools besides words, using body or sign language, eye contact and dream messages to communicate your meaning. The more you try to force other types of communications now, the more frustrated you might end up……….

ps the very fine mercury image up there is from Mark Defrates jewelry http://www.markdefrates.com/


Seven Generations: Pluto in Capricorn January 9, 2008

Filed under: Planets — wisestars @ 10:25 pm
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Have you ever found yourself surprised and delighted, when, after a great deal of frustration and struggle with authorities or institutions, you encounter that one person who is more interested in being human than in upholding rules and regulations?

Perhaps you’ve spent hours on the phone listening to obnoxious “muzak”, and being asked again, and again and again, ad nauseum, to “please hold for a customer service representative”. You’ve waited impatiently, muttering to yourself about corporate greed, ready to go postal with the phone, at the end of your rope, when finally, amazingly, a human voice comes on, and actually offers you a bit of kindness, a joke and an apology, and most wonderfully, a little “bending” of the rules in your favor.

Remember your gratitude and relief as you received this offering? Recognizing that what this person was giving you was some small piece of courage and empathy as they broke through that stone wall of rigidity and protocol to offer you compassion and human connection.

So often the natural and most humane act is also the one that most goes against the rules and regulations. This is the action that’s not covered by insurance or policy or protocol. Sometimes it’s us on the other side of the fence, wanting to allow just one rule or regulation to slide in order to hold onto our own sense of humanity, to feel generous and connected to those we share the planet with. We may struggle with these impulses, fearing the repercussions, the consequences when our boss, parent, spouse, children or some other “authority” find out about our transgression in the name of kindness.

Capricorn is the sign that stands for order, accountability, planning and protocol. Capricorn likes plans, and in order to have plans, there is a need for agreed upon actions, contracts and commitments that will be carried out. Capricorn is the sign of accountability without sentiment. What is said will be happen, will happen, regardless of the consequences, the feelings or the potential for loss.

We are moving now into a time when, as a culture, our agreed upon systems, policies and regulations are headed for a breakdown. Our Capricorn contract is up, ready for renewal. Pluto, the planet of deep transformation and piercing honesty enters the sign on January 26, 2008, poised for a ten year visit. This transition is introduced with a blowing of the trumpets and a bit of fanfare, as Jupiter moved into Capricorn in late December 2007 and the New Moon on January 8th all conspire to introduce Pluto to it’s new sign with intention and attention.

The good news in all of this, is that we may see the last of these maze-inspired, crazy making, computer generated voice mail systems, that do amazing things to our blood pressure rates. The bad news is, that if history is any kind of guide, we may experience a sort of cultural breakdown, as the last time this transit occurred was during the American Revolution in the late 1700’s.
Though many of the transitions we experience during this time may feel destabilizing and overwhelming, the underlying pulse of this planetary alignment is designed to have us reassess how we want to order society to maximize our survival and longetivity as a species.

At its best, Capricorn rules the part of humanity that excels at planning for the future. This is the sign of “Seven Generations”, as this Astro Goat always can see the top of the mountain, and can assess needs for the future in the present. Capricorn looks to see how it can offer protection and support over the long term, rather than only in the present moment. Capricorn is about helping big things grow over time.

Our culture currently has long term systems in place that only offer support and sustenance to a very few. Governmental systems like Social Security are broken and unworkable, and badly in need of renewal. Corporations, which besides government exist as another primary Capricorn body, act like out of control robots, existing without heart or humanity, and lacking a long term vision for sustaining the life force principle.

As we stand now, we have almost regulated and systemized ourselves out of connection with each other. It’s almost as if sometimes we have to check an instruction manual before we can have an interaction with another human being. It is these Capricornian tendencies that we can set an intention to release and let go of as we move through this Pluto cycle.

While we burn away these old forms of Capricornian structure, it is important that we simultaneously began to nurture a new vision of the long-term future. What do we want to see for our children’s children? How can we create systems that are planned with seven generations in mind? What do truly sustainable structures look and feel like? These questions will help to guide us through the rubble that falls from the old ways of being, allowing us to step into a new time with not only our humanity, but the future of our species taken care of.


Venus’ Retreat September 7, 2007

Filed under: Planets — wisestars @ 5:04 am
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Venus’ Retreat

Imagine Venus for a moment. Picture her as goddess, archetype, planet, or myth. See her peach gold hue, her rose kissed skin. Venus is sweet dusk haze, and pure morning light. Her voice speaks grace, and her words breath charm. Beauty, both inner and outer is her realm, and her magic: pure honey dust, sprinkled freely on lovers, artists and peacemakers alike. She dispenses her precarious sparkle of romance and pleasure with loving care and exquisite danger, uncaring of consequences, and blind to remorse. Yet Venus also thrives amongst peace and harmony, revels in the hush of the sated senses, and awakens wherever creativity lives.

In the astrological birth chart, Venus represents how we love, what we love, and often whom we love. She shows our style of receiving and giving pleasure, and she signifies what we find the deepest appreciation in or what we recognize as both beautiful and worthy of love. For this reason she also describes what we value, and at the most mundane level, what we purchase or own.

Her rulership of Taurus and Libra exemplifies her ability to express her essence in both the external, mundane and earthy world (Taurus) and her corresponding qualities in the internal, and more abstract domain (Libra).
In Taurus, she expresses her bounty in the pleasures of the flesh and the juiciness of the five senses. She is queen of pleasure, indulgence and comfort, wanting nothing more than to revel in the beauty of the earth.
In Libra, she rules as the consummate hostess, exuding charm and grace. Her realm is balance and equality, and here she creates justice, excelling in blending opposing forces into a harmonious web.

In the natal chart, the astrological sign Venus is in tells about how we love, our style of attraction and what brings us pleasure. Venus in air signs wants words and ideas shared and expressed to feel loved and appreciated. Venus in fire signs thrives on bravery, passion and action, Venus in water signs opens up to emotional and spiritual connection, and Venus in earth signs needs physical manifestations of affection to feel loved.

Currently Venus is poised to go retrograde (which means the planet looks like it’s moving backwards in the heavens), on July 27, 2007 (turning direct on September 8, 2007), in the sign of Virgo and moving backwards into Leo.

Venus retrograde allows the Venus principle a chance to rest, rejuvenate and revision the quality of her varying forms of expression. On a personal level, during the Venus retrograde, we have a chance to explore and deepen our relationship to Venusian themes and qualities. Retrograde periods slow down and often internalize the qualities of a planet that is (seemingly) going backwards. A retrograde time can also be experienced as a stoppage or constriction of energy or experience associated with the planet. For this reason, traditional astrologers consider Venus retrograde periods to be a challenging time for romantic relationships in particular, but also relationships in general. Finances, socializing and culture are also said to suffer at this time. During the month and a half or so of the Venus retrograde it is usually recommended that people postpone starting new relationships, hold off on buying luxury items, or clothes in particular, cut back on socializing and refrain from overspending. It is also strongly recommended that weddings are not held during this time.

While all these tips may indeed prove to be useful, and it can be interesting to experiment with consciously ignoring the Venus retrograde advice and seeing how that new relationship (or car, dress, etc.), holds up when the period passes, there is also another way to approach this time frame that can provide more lasting and rewarding benefits.
Viewed from the evolutionary astrological perspective, the slow and internal pace of the retrograde can be seen as an opportunity for growth rather than an unavoidable and fated negative experience. By matching our own energy to the flow of the planet, we can work with rather than against planetary movement, benefiting from this seemingly backward motion rather than fearing it. Venus retrograde then becomes a time of retreat and reflection, when we allow the Venus principle in our chart the space and freedom to rejuvenate and rejuice.

Most retreats involve periods of contemplation, reflection and rest. A retreat is a time to renew and review our relationships with ourselves and reconnect with our source energy. Retreating can also be associated with stepping back and away from highly charged or stressful encounters, creating space and room to rethink our approach. Sometimes a retreat can even be seen as a defeat, when we feel that we need to step away from an unrewarding or difficult situation that may be draining and discouraging.
If we choose to work with the energy of nature, and particularly the stars, planets and sky, we can maximize our experience of this Venus retrograde and retreat gracefully rather than be forced into retreat by external events.
As we embark on our own personal Venus retreat, it may be helpful to frame our experience with some key questions: Which of our relationships or relationship patterns need to be revised and transformed now? How do we approach comfort, art and beauty in our lives? What is our own particular expression of Venus and what needs to be adjusted or shifted here?

It’s possible that we already express Venus in our lives by creating beautiful bouquets from our gardens, or we arrange and order our possessions in pleasing ways. Perhaps we make art, hostess dinner parties, or model fierce and passionate love in our relationships. Maybe we excel in peacemaking, charming difficult people or decorating, adorning and enjoying our bodies. Or we revel in relaxing and soaking in the deep pleasure of our five senses, making time to rejoice in the sacred and sensual mysteries of our physical body. It’s possible that we celebrate and honor Venus in our lives in some or all of these ways on a regular basis, or, it’s possible that we don’t.

If we have anything to do with the rhythms of our culture, living, working and surviving in mainstream society, the chances are good that we often neglect the rich and juicy flows that course through the veins of the Venusian mysteries. Residing as we do in an environment that worships the triple gods of technology, consumption, and speed, it may be hard to nurture and maintain the heart and soul of Venus’s core. Venus tends to behave badly around this triple deity, showing only her most crass and shallow guise, developing in a warped mutation that prevents the full expression of her most pure essence. Hence the proliferation of the Paris Hilton’s and Britney Spears who carry our Venus reflection, mirroring back a face that can be quite ugly behind the mask.

The Venus retrograde gives us all an opportunity to look at these issues in our personal relationships and at a collective level. As we examine more closely how we approach Venus in our lives, we can reassess what we want our relationship with Venus to look like in the future. We may decide during the Venus Retrograde to dedicate ourselves more fully to awakening this archetype in her pure form, seeding our individual efforts into a collective wellspring of juicy Venus goodness.

Some practical ways to honor Venus during the retrograde period:
*Create an altar to honor Venus, putting items here that represent Venus in your sign and Venus in your life.
*Make peace with an old lover, offering apology or any resolutions that may be needed
*Find one way to integrate your spirituality and your sexuality
*Adorn yourself in a loving way with something beautiful, noticing what it feels like to dress or look this way.
*Rearrange your home in a way that is pleasing to you.
*Brainstorm all of your favorite ways to socialize and plan a party or event for when Venus goes direct.
*Write a personal history of Venus in your life, reflecting back on your past and your own unique expression of Venus qualities.
*Review your relationship with your partner, using this time to make any needed changes if necessary.