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Venus’ Retreat in Aries March 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — wisestars @ 10:18 pm

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 March 6, 2009 (turning direct on April 17, 2009 with the “shadow” period continuing until May 21), in the sign of Aries and moving backwards into Pisces.

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.


Pisces Season: Dreaming the dream awake February 21, 2009

Filed under: 13499152,Uncategorized — wisestars @ 2:37 am

piscesSun in Pisces

February 18-March 20

This is the dreaming season, where we have the opportunity to let go of everything we’ve attached ourselves to for the last year, and dissolve,  drift and allow.

Pisces asks us to be willing to let spirit take the lead, and encourages us to put our ego and personality  in the back seat to rest and rejuvenate. This time is like the  finishing school of the gods, where we learn to release everything we think is  important  and necessary and focus instead on what we are offered in the moment.  With Pisces in the spotlight now,  we are more likely to be open to receiving the gifts that spirit brings, the ones that we didn’t expect, or even necessarily ask for.

Uranus currently transiting through Pisces and Neptune making such a nice mutual reception in Aquarius, makes this normally rather gentle Piscean energy is filled with even more shocks and suprises than we might have expected

“Wake up to the mystery!” The planets are whispering, or maybe even shouting. “Stay alert to the divine”. “Listen to your deepest voice and dream your most impossible dream”.

Can you hear them calling? If not, clear your schedule, cancel some appointments and set aside  time to daydream, muse without purpose, drift without agenda and create without hope of perfection.

Pisces speaks the language of the soul, the mysterious, beautiful words which may not be precise, but are always truthful.


Pluto in Capricorn and the new “Do it Yourself” Economy December 2, 2008

Filed under: pluto in capricorn — wisestars @ 3:23 am
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Pluto moved into Capricorn on Thanksgiving day, introducing a new flavor to our collective stew. Pluto is a planet that represents breakdown, death and endings, but also transformation, power and rebirth. As a planet associated with the mythical beast, the Phoenix, Pluto’s highest energies are capable of rising from the ashes of the past and introducing the magic and possibility of the future. In every ending, there is a beginning, and as Pluto transited through the last degrees of Sagittarius this last year or so, we saw many endings of institutions and structures that we have grown used to. But did we also notice the flickerings of beginnings arise in these losses?

The music industry has made a steady decline in the last several years, with sales of CD’s dropping and record labels folding left and right.
The movie industry is another arena that seems to be dying a not so pretty death, as are publishing and financial institutions. Overall, corporations in general seem ready to be put on life support, as we head further into the growing economic collapse of the Capitalistic structure.
So where is the hope in this fire of destruction? The new life coming from the flames? If we look carefully, we can observe the tiniest flickerings of new birth amongst the wreckage that still has not fully settled. The DIY movement grew out of a punk rock philosophy that espoused doing it for yourself rather than relying on corporations or other large institutions to do it for you. Sew your own clothes, make your own food, publish your own zine, book or record. Why let someone else do for you what you could do better for yourself? Within this is a corresponding belief that quality attracts quality. If I make amazing honey from my beehives, and you create fabulous dresses, why not trade our products, knowing we’ve both gotten a better deal than if we patronized some big bargain mart for the same thing.

The DIY movement cuts out the middle man, and allows the creator of a product direct communication and accountability with those who desire and partake in what they create.
As this cultural meme has grown amongst the collective mindset, we’ve witnessed new markets developing based on this premise. A perfect example of this is Radiohead’s release of their new album as a download only, buy it direct from the artist, pay what you want, offering. We’re also seeing the rise of self-published books, and in create your own tv aka You-Tube. All of these forms of entertainment that are free and produced by the masses. Even beyond this though there is a growing trend towards producing food in our own backyards (check out San Francisco’s Victory Garden program), and creating regionally based systems of health-care and transportation. Even solar power is a way to break away from centrally located power systems and companies and generate power from our own homes and the sun.

As the control of managers, systems and authorities who create structures breaks down, all more negative expressions of Capricorn, we can simultaneously see the more positive attributes of Capricorn arise: self-reliance, perseverance and accountability.
All qualities that support a “do it yourself” mindset. So as we settle more firmly into this Pluto in Capricorn terrain, searching to find our way, and looking to navigate the changing landscape it can be helpful to ask ourselves where in our lives we can “do it for ourselves?”

Because Pluto is a collective planet, this question is not necessarily about self-reliance as individuals, but more about relying on ourselves within our own communities and circles of connection.
Capricorn too is a community sign, and is responsible for building institututions and systems for the collective. As we undertake this Plutonion transformation in the Capricorn realm, it will be our work as individuals to figure out what our roles are in the collective story.
Those of us who are used to relying on or who benefit from large institutions, corporations and organizations may need to find ways to transition to a more do it yourself mindset. We may need to look at how we can remove the middle man from the service we provide, and look for ways to take it directly to those we want to serve. Because we are at the beginning of the cycle of Pluto in Capricorn, we can start doing this in small ways, experimenting with different forms of presenting what we offer to others. For example, if you are a doctor working for a large hospital, now might be a time to cut back on your hours at the hospital and consider offering your skills as part of a trade or barter system in your community. If you are a writer looking for a publishing contract, now might be a time to consider self-publishing. If you sell things for others, now could be a time to think of what you can sell for yourself.

Together we will be undertaking an enormous cultural shift, one that we have not encountered since Pluto last transited through Capricorn, around the time of the American Revolution.
Hopefully we can learn from the lessons of past cycles and proactively create and participate in the change that is already happening, rather than let it happen to us.

And though the DIY mentality is a good one, I endorse it, like all things in moderation. DIY lasik surgery just might be taking things a little too far……


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.


Beaver Moon aka Full Moon in Taurus November 11, 2008


Everything in nature seems to be moving, falling and changing now, as we enter more deeply into the time of Scorpio. Scorpio is the sign of bottomless depth, mystery and transformation: birth and death and birth again. Now we turn inward, circling closer to ourselves and each other, and moving forward into the growing darkness of winter.

The Full Moon tomorrow is in Taurus, and it serves as a reminder to nurture our bodies and anything pertaining to the physical realm.
This moon was named the “Beaver Moon” by the Algonquin, and signaled a time to set beaver traps to prepare furs for winter. In the modern world, this moon can similarly be a reminder to get busy as beavers and make sure we have all that we need to sustain us through the cold and dark. Are we practically prepared for winter? Will  we be warm, fed and sheltered?

At the same time, the mystery of Scorpio is calling us to go deeper into the dark cave of night, asking us to wander in our own depths, and reminding us of adventures of the spirit. The Scorpio Sun asks us who we really are? What gives our life meaning? If we were to die tomorrow, what would we spend our time doing NOW?

This Full Moon challenges us to find a balance between our Taurus need for physical comfort and sustenance, and Scorpio’s desire for spiritual and emotional quests. Look to the houses in your astrological chart that the full moon falls in for more clues as to how this full moon may manifest in your life. (for a free chart go to: astro.com)

The Taurus Full Moon is also squared by Neptune in Aquarius which went direct on November 1st.
This aspect indicates that our personal journey is currently directly influenced and effected by the ongoing collective story. In the last several years, as Neptune has transited through Aquarius we have been learning about our illusions and fantasies in relation to the qualities of freedom, technology and independence. Neptune is approaching a conjunction with the Moon of the chart of the United States, offering us the opportunity to let go of our deceptions and self-defeating behaviors as a country.

The year-long Saturn and Uranus opposition, and also transiting Jupiter in Capricorn make harmonious aspects to this moon, offering support in undergoing dynamic change and transformation. We may find these transitions unsettling to the fixed nature of our Scorpio and Taurus selves, but ultimately, we will arrive at a place that is new, juicy and full of life. The earth trine formed by the Moon in Taurus, Jupiter in Capricorn and Saturn in Virgo offers us some practical and grounded tools for moving forward towards the future.

At the Full Moon we also have the opportunity to get a first look at any seeds we might have planted at the Scorpio New Moon on October 28th.
Though it may not yet be time to harvest these seeds, we can gather clues about the state of their growth. What new projects or relationships did you begin at the New Moon? What has grown or changed with these projects since that time? The coming dark moon on November 26 may bring a greater sense of resolution to these new beginnings, but now is a time to assess and witness your unfolding journey.


Michelle Obama and the Little Red Dress, A Venus in Sagittarius Story? November 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — wisestars @ 10:39 pm
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By now I was hoping I would come up with some kind of really pithy, savvy and wise astrological analysis of the recent election. But I have to be honest, all I can think about is that red dress that Michelle Obama wore on election night. I mean wow! Is this Venus in Sagittarius square Uranus and Saturn or what?!

There were a flurry of interesting astrological aspects taking place on the day of the election, from the Moon void of course, to Mercury’s placement, to Mars square Neptune. Many astrologers focused on the Uranus and Saturn opposition, looking at McCain as representing stodgy, boring Saturn, and Obama as a symbol of the wave of the future, the iconclast, and the rebel known as Uranus. Somehow Venus in Sagittarius making a tight square to both of these big players has mostly been missed…(Except, I have to say, by my esteemed, and fellow, Venus ruled colleague Jessica Shepherd, who writes all about it on her new blog on Venus matters).

So fancy that, leaving the feminine out of the equation, when she’s really in the starring role……

What exactly am I talking about you might be wondering? How does Michelle Obama’s red dress have anything at all to do with the planets or astrology, and why should you care?

Well…… it’s all about Venus, baby…

Venus, which is currently transiting through the sign of Sagittarius showcases the feminine at her bold, fiery, optimistic, expansive best. Sagittarius is a sign that thrives on cultural diversity and building bridges between people. This is a sign that wants to explore, grow and live life large. Venus also symbolizes fashion, adornment and beauty. Put the two together and you get a bright red dress worn on a night few will forget.
But there’s more…………..On the day of and the day after the election, transiting Venus in Sagittarius was in an exact square to both Uranus and Saturn. The dress was not just bright and fiery, it was also unexpected, a little suprising and shook up the traditions and fashion “rules” of the past. This is Saturn and Uranus facing off in their ongoing year-long opposition, trying to make sense of each other and Venus.

As odd as it might seem to some, this red dress is a symbol we can work with over the course of the Obama presidency. How will the Venusian qualities of diplomacy, peacemaking, relating, art and beauty express themselves in the White House in the Sagittarius fashion of expansion, growth, cultural diversity, education and mass media? How will these things shake up (Uranus), electrify, and revolutionize our culture? How will they challenge(Saturn), confront and interact with the past , with tradition, with roots and the foundations of our country?

Though Michelle Obama may not be the actual individual who carries the Venus in Sagittarius mantle throughout the coming years, her red dress is an awakening, a flag waving, and a heads up. This is a call to pay attention to Venus, to the feminine, and to the powers of attraction, receptivity and peace. These energies aren’t coming in quietly, this is a bold Sagittarian hurrah, blunt, to the point and obvious. It will be hard to ignore, and hard to squash, even if we wanted to.