New Moon in Sagittarius – Embracing Life’s Battles

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”  – Albert Einstein

The New Moon is at 7 degrees of Sagittarius on November 29th. It forms an exact conjunction with asteroid Juno, and a square with Neptune and the Lunar Nodes. In Sagittarius, the combined influence of the luminaries with Juno highlights partnerships and unions based on higher values, nurturing of the intellect, respect for each other’s differences and a passionate search for truth. Its dark side, especially in stressful aspects involving Neptune entails self-righteousness, religious and/or political fanaticism, inappropriate or misguided self-sacrifice, deception and victimization.

Neptune has been a year-long influence due to a square by Saturn in Sagittarius since August 2015, now fading in effect. The Neptunian themes of delusion, confusion, psychic pain and past life review are not over however, as Saturn and Chiron, the Wounded Healer in Pisces move into a square to be fully activated in the new year of 2017. The wounds that were not healed, the debris that was not discarded, the lies that were only partially uncovered and the memories that were stirred this past year are drawn up yet again with this New Moon and in the weeks ahead.

Venus in Capricorn forms a square with Uranus and Ceres in Aries. This and along with the four planets (Sun, Moon, Saturn, Mercury) in Sagittarius calls for radical honesty and a heavy price to pay for deceit. Much of this has already been going down in the political arena and the dominoes will continue to fall over the next few months. Intense conflicts and opposing views can cause separations and loss on a grand scale.

Sagittarius favors culture and expanded education. Like all fire signs, this one does not shrink away from challenge but embraces it wholeheartedly. Whenever this sign is emphasized, more of us dare to think and do things that were previously not known or comfortable. What is something you have long wanted to do that you’ve been afraid of initiating?

Every now and then the words of one of my great-grandmothers resounds in my memory:

“Life is constant battle!” she would exclaim after telling a story, particularly in relation to surviving the Armenian genocide…


…but I remember her as a happy little lady, ever-so-loving and grateful for all that life had blessed her with. As I grew older, I began to truly understand her words more clearly and adopted them as a sort of mantra, especially in situations that seemed extremely bad or good. This mantra reminds me that things can always be a lot worse, not to rest on my laurels, never to settle for less than what I deem as worthy and just, and that if life’s not a “bitch” in some way, shape or form I must be overlooking or doing something wrong.

Contrary to New Age belief, people don’t automatically change their reality by ignoring what’s ugly and only reciting positive happy affirmations to themselves (as if they are trying super hard to drill them into their thick skulls). Believe me, I tried all that as a teen and it didn’t work. It began to feel like a form of denial and it eventually became evident that denial only leads to escapism, addiction and self-pity. What did work was accepting this life as battle, putting on my armor, picking up my spear and going forward full tilt.

I’m not sharing any of this as gospel, but just as my own personal philosophy and experience. It also seems relevant to the Times. When one acknowledges life’s battles for what they are, there is no more room for complaining. There is only choice in how to engage or give up. Accepting the reality of battle, of hardship and of hell on Earth was actually liberating for me. It meant that I no longer held onto false promises or waited for approval and rewards from others. I gave up hope for “lollipops”, pats on the back, gold stars and Nirvana. Suddenly, so much came into focus.

Whatever principles one adheres to ultimately shape life’s experiences for better or worse. These principles can be positive or negative, religious or not, inclusive or exclusive. What really matters is what results they produce both internally and externally. Do these results weigh on the side of healing or destruction? Enlightenment or ignorance? Dishonor or valour?

“Stand for something or you will fall for anything.”

Some more questions to ask during this Sagittarius New Moon (there are no Right or Wrong answers – just food for thought):

What are you seeking for and why?

What are you fighting for and why?

What are you holding on to and why?

Whose thoughts are you thinking? Why?


November Horoscopes

as published in Sonoma County’s Upbeat Times…184_upbeattimesnov2016-_coverAries (March 19th – April 19th)

This is a fortunate time for you financially. Although you might still have to work for and toward them, many of the places you have wanted to go, and the products and services you have long waited to invest in are now within your reach. You’re so close! A relationship with someone in power could help elevate your own status and position in the world or your significant other might even become a success and inspiration to you in some way.

Taurus (April 19th – May 20th)

There is so much love or at least energy welling up inside you right now. Where to direct it – how to express it all? Your  main focus in the weeks ahead might be on someone special in your life as well as a shared creation of some sort. While you’re doing what you so passionately love to do you could suddenly attract some very unusual person/people into your orbit that either irritate you to no end or inspire you to new heights.

Gemini (May 20th – June 20th)

This month you may be presented with the opportunity to simplify, size down, and review what has gone awry in your life for the past couple of years in order to release severe stress and improve communications. Check for areas of accumulation or complication – not just physical but mental ones. This is not about judgment but making things easier and more efficient. An increased interest in healing subjects may be highlighted.

Cancer (June 20th – July 22nd)          

Home conditions have slowly improved since summer and will continue to show some upgrades through the holiday season. It took awhile to weed out what was really causing problems in your living situation , whether this revolved around family issues, environmental toxins, a clutter, a lack of confidence, or a bit of all of the above. As a result of doing so much personal homework, your love life is likely to spice up too.

Leo (July 22st – August 22nd)

How many of us get to do what we love and love what we do for a living? This is what you could be bound and determined to actualize during the holiday season. In addition you may receive recognition or for it. Any opposition that you feel or experience could just be a distraction to your productivity, so remember what it is you’re working toward and why for best results. A powerful ally could show up for you when you least expect it.

Virgo (August 22nd – September 22nd)

This is an optimal time to invest in yourself, a business or new enterprise of some kind that brings you and others great joy. You could still be in the planning  phase but making important connections that will help prepare you for success in the new year, especially around spring. Exercise or dietary adjustments may need to be made to accommodate other shifts. Love and romantic encounters are more fun than they’ve been in awhile.

Libra (September 22nd – October 22nd)

At this end of harvest season you are likely to find yourself honing in deeper on projects begun over the summer. Your inner life is highlighted more than outer now, giving you a bit of space from recent hectic activities. Money flow could be increasing or you might receive it in the form of a gift or inheritance. Something you have been seeking to accomplish in the field of communication could become more successful toward the month’s end.

Scorpio (October 22nd – November 21st)

A renewal of an important relationship is possible this month, which could be centered around romance, business or some other purpose. It’s important to speak your mind and heart more clearly and to be authentic in your manners of relating in general because your words and actions have greater impact than usual at this time of year. You may also be given a fresh clean slate – a chance to start over where you thought it was too late.

Sagittarius (November 21st – December 21st)

Although the month might not start off with bells and whistles, it gradually gets better as the days go by and shows signs of big improvement with the New Moon in your sign late November. It would do you well stay busy on the tasks at hand rather than looking too far ahead, because whatever you’re working on will help lead you to the next step. In other words, don’t try to skip steps. The work will pay off and you’ll soon have plenty to celebrate.

Capricorn (December 21st – January 20th)

Your passions are heightened now, for better or worse (but most likely in some kind of sexy way!) which can be great for moving mountains and making many desired changes. Lonely feelings of the past year fade away as new relationships take shape and your powers of attraction increase. Success might not come easy but sometimes what seems the hardest to accomplish is ultimately discovered to be well worth the effort – more than imagined.

Aquarius (January 20th – February 18th)

There will be moments of radical turning inward and moments of profound outward expansion this month that you may have to adapt to, but that you will probably be just fine with…knowing how much you thrive on change and the unexpected! A certain relationship could be a stormy and intense, or it could be that you are finding yourself as the stormy influence. In any case, there are likely to be opportunities for reflection and adjustment as needed.

Pisces (February 18th – March 19th)

Your charm and magnetism is increasing lately, enabling you to communicate with people on subjects you might not normally feel comfortable with. It is a great time to make yourself heard and known by way of a speech, presentation, publication or other method. You are likely to attract others of the opposite sex as well as to receive praise for something you have previously contributed or created that went unseen for a time.

Full Moon in Taurus

“Satan always sends error into the world in pairs that are opposites. His great hope is that you will get so upset about one of his errors that you’ll react into the opposite one, and he’s got you.” – C.S. Lewis

pomiThe Full Moon at 22 degrees Taurus on November 13th/14th opposite the Black Moon Lilith is ripe like a red pomegranate freshly picked from the garden of Eden, ready to burst into a billion pieces and scatter itself across the universe. The current tensions between desire and aversion, fear and trust, love and hate seem powerful enough to destroy this world from the inside out.

The Full Moon’s semi-sextile to Uranus and Eris in Aries is no minor aspect in this case, as the influence of the Dark Goddess has full sway in post-election madness. Uranus in combination with the planet named after the goddess of discord and strife has been ringing in massive uprising this year and it’s far from over. Eris’s (aka Discordia) pain is that of being left out, demonized, marginalized and trampled upon. She may represent those who have been treated unfairly based on color, sex or class. But before anyone assumes who or what I am referring to, let’s not forget the manipulations used to confuse and misguide the masses like lemmings off a cliff.

We stand in the midst of an ancient religious rite – or more accurately, a riot. The customs and traditions of this riot have become so habitual and unconscious that tremendous measures would have to be taken to lift them into collective awareness. Humanity’s resistance to change is as mighty and terrible as God himself. But…as sure as the sun sets, as sure as the ocean waves crash upon the shore, and as sure as flesh dissolves into dust, change occurs.

Taurus is generally not “crazy about” change. Security and stability are worked for and often achieved under the influence of this sign. Drama tends to be avoided. The good things in life are savored. The bigger the change to occur the more Taurus may initially resist it. Eventually the change may be welcomed, adapted to, and even directed rather than shunned, but by that time it is no longer change per se but a person, thing or state of being that has been accepted as part of oneself.

One of the greatest troubles being experienced at this time of radical change is that of disillusionment. False security is being shattered on several levels post-mutable-Saturn square Neptune. That which appeared as trustworthy and benevolent is revealing its true colors. That which appeared as most awful, dull or mean is showing surprising new facets . All throughout 2016 the South Node in Pisces has been dredging up buried memories, trauma and forgotten gifts with a conjunction to Chiron during first half of the year and conjunction to Neptune (slowing down to turn Direct on November 19th) that began to peak during the Scorpio New Moon at Halloween. Talk about skeletons coming out the closet…

And the skeletons will continue to find their way out of hiding for the next several weeks leading into 2017. With Mercury in a separating conjunction to asteroid Juno in Sagittarius and sextile to Mars in Aquarius speech has been very relationship and group oriented over the past few days with a deep urgency to break free of hang-ups, censorship and other constraints.  The trickster planet will be slowing down on December 1st to turn Retrograde on the 19th in Capricorn. It will station Direct in Sagittarius on January 7th. Here comes the Grand Finale – are you ready for this!? This tops off this #9 year full of loss, endings, disappointment and Retrogradation in a major way. This won’t necessarily be bad but it will be a chance to review how far we’ve come, how much we’ve learned, and how much we are still holding onto that no longer serves us.

If there is any public stance I will take on the results of the US elections it is this: Violence does not solve anything. Street protests in general, threats, vandalism and other obnoxious crimes are a disturbance to the whole of society. Self-defense is one thing – a temper tantrum is another. Anger can be a catalyst for positive change or be painfully misdirected and accomplish nothing but destruction. Some people will undoubtedly be pissed at such a non-partisan statement and make false assumptions about it – that’s what people do.

Right now I’m more interested in what people do than what they say, including my own actions. I am watching our political leaders like a hawk watches its prey. What if more of us could watch our own reactions to it all? The Taurus Full Moon is a cosmic nudge for us to slow down and take inventory. What if more of us allowed our feelings to come and go and choose to take responsibility for what comes up for us personally as we witness both the ugliness and miracles unfolding? I imagine that then solutions to long-standing problems that far exceeded our expectations would begin to appear. There is always hope. That was the deal with Pandora’s box.

The Full Moon’s sextile to Chiron could help shed light on a few things that have become too muddy and complicated. It could bring some compassion where it has been sorely lacking.

Here are a few little tips that might be useful this holiday season. They are Taurus-friendly too:

Simplify. Get rid of junk but don’t try too hard. Just get comfortable, at least more comfortable than before. Not in the usual comfort-zone, stuck-in-a-rut way. But really – get situated somehow. Get favorite treats, candles, flowers, lace curtains, logs for a fire, whatever can enhance a state of wellbeing and enjoyment. Tell someone you love them. Pretend that there is no electricity sometimes – go without it for a night (no TV/computer/artificial lights/cellphones). Pay attention to sensations. Pay attention to breath. Eat dessert in the dark. Make Solstice greeting cards or presents to give away.

“Wherever you go, there you are”

New Moon in Scorpio – Buried Treasure

“Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.”
Mary Oliver, Thirst

The New Moon at 7 degrees Scorpio on October 30th is a kind of beckon inward. It is an invitation to the Underworld or the Other Side – the side of life not normally seen, acknowledged or visited. For each person this Other Side will be experienced quite differently, according to personal values as well as tendencies and patterns that stem from the distant past. The veils are thin and our ancestors are more easily seen and heard now than at other times of year. Depending on numerous factors, the realm each of us enters may seem like a jeweled paradise, a blazing hell, or a rabbit hole that drops down to a land full of riddles. Perhaps it will morph and shift from one state to another.

A trine is formed to Neptune in Pisces and the South Node, further indicating that this New Moon highlights the incorporeal and strange rather than what seems obvious, tangible, and ordinary. The very close proximity to Mercury in Scorpio brings up as many new questions as it answers old ones. Tongues might be sharp and words may penetrate deeply. The etymology of words, their numerology, letter vibrations and other occult aspects hold special significance now. Dreams and visions may become quite vivid and reveal more than usual about what is going on beneath the surface of things.

Also attention-grabbing is what’s missing, what’s not showing up, and what’s not being said and expressed – especially things that are not so easy to hold onto or maintain because they are not solid and can’t be packed into bags and boxes. Some of the non-material things that are so desperately needed in today’s world are positivity, healing, kindness, love, and joy. There are many who enjoy and generously share these facets of life. There are even more to claim to but who fail to recognize that…

ignoring the “Negative” does not make it disappear.

The lace and flowers of the Victorian era could not eradicate disease by decoration alone, no matter how noble the attempts.  For some, it’s easier to just look the other way with a devil-may-care attitude, thinking “it’s not my problem and it doesn’t affect me so I’m not going to worry about it”. Others more empathic, vulnerable, or humanitarian might be motivated to do some spiritual homework to counteract the challenges they both face and witness.

A modern day emphasis on “White Light” has become a quick, New-Age cure-all for everything perceived as negative,  evil, and unpleasant in life. I’m not saying I’m against flowers, decoration or the power of White Light. I’m saying that to purposefully ignore something dark and malignant – at least in my own personal observations and experience has never made it go away. In fact the more I tried to ignore or cover it up in an effort to “look on the bright side”, the stronger it got. Wallowing in my misery never did any good either.

How fitting that asteroid Pandora now makes her way out of a conjunction to Jupiter in Libra that unleashed all sorts of crazy stuff into the air in October, but preserved a bit of Hope…that invisible something that sometimes makes all the difference in the world.

Here in America there is a great deal of tension about who will be elected as president (November 8) and it’s probably safe to say that overall – for the first time in the history of this country a great percentage of the population is extremely agitated by both candidates. We’ll see how it all pans out soon enough, but regardless of what happens in the weeks ahead, it’s a huge wake-up call that’s been a long time coming. That is because many people of this country are beginning to recognize the monsters that they have helped to create and are deciding that’s not what they want to do anymore.

In traveling the dark corridors of the Underworld or the Other Side, one must remember that many things are not even what they seem to be…but then again one could be walking in broad daylight on This Side and the same would be true! With this Scorpio New Moon, there are surely some surprises in store regarding perceived reality.

9b2ab780252648f4095d2080545512cbSo often there is fear and resistance against exploring the darkness. The very worst is expected and yet for those who are willing brave its depths, a whole world of possibility opens up. In the darkness certain treasures may be discovered that would never be revealed in the brightness of white light.

The journey may seem formidable and spooky, but in battling poltergeists and moving through cobwebs or murky waters we may have become more clear about the things we like and dislike –  and we may just have found gold. Our next task may be to disentangle from all of those things long enough to become aware of emotional reactions we have to what is not going our way and to what we feel is going against us.

In this undertaking there are different kinds and levels of resistance – both conscious and unconscious. It is often unconscious or subconscious resistance to what is that strengthens the problems, the lack, and the disappointment experienced along whatever path that is taken. When made conscious, resistance may automatically become transmuted into an energetic force for positive change, growth, and expansion.

All of this has been a roundabout way of saying that the days ahead may be filled with magic and mystery, intrigue and inspiration. Many things are not what they seem, and that might come as a relief or it might cause a riot. Allowing whatever comes up in thoughts and feelings in an uncensored way (but not necessarily spouting it all out randomly to whoever is there) will likely provide enormous insights that may be used to improve life circumstances.

Wishing all a blessed Samhain New Moon. May those who seek discover the precious jewels and timeless treasures in their Souls.

Holistic Counseling vs. Predictive Readings

painting by Stanley Mouse
painting by Stanley Mouse

This topic is a vast one that I won’t even attempt to cover in a single blog post, but it is one that I would like to share some thoughts about. There are many types of readings for many types of people, two of the most widely practiced being Tarot and Astrology. Readings can be done for entertainment or for serious counsel. Some readings focus on the timing of events, others upon current circumstances or abstract notions.

A reading is a rather intimate encounter with someone, whether or psychic or not, who has the potential to help or hinder the person who seeks guidance. In most cases a reading is best given upon request rather than imposed, and when the person who receives is capable of taking the information they are given and using it responsibility, weeding out the not-useful from the useful and actually applying some effort to change things they have the ability to change with their thoughts and actions.

Just as a person gets the most out of a visit to a doctor or healer by being prepared with issues or questions and the willingness to make adjustments in their life, a person gets the most out of a visit to a reader when approached with this sort of attitude. Check out the book The Timeless Counselor  by June Ahern for some great tips on how to approach a reader of your choice and get the most out of a reading.

One would do well to achieve a certain level of discernment in choosing a reader that they feel compatible with, and not to divulge their secrets to or seek advice from any glamorous reader or charlatan who claims to read the future or locate one’s soul mate. I’ve met plenty of good and bad readers out there, and over time I have mostly realized what not to do in a reading. I have observed words that I found to be hurtful, pointless, and offbase by quite a few. Some readers I’ve met are absolutely amazing, and I’ve had the fortune of considering a few of them friends.

See…words are often a key aspect of readings, and they have the power to manifest things, sometimes very rapidly. A reading can be an act of creation in some cases if the person receiving is very open to suggestion. With this knowledge, a reader carries a very great responsibility in their delivery of certain key words and interpretations of perceived reality.

I do not consider myself a “fortune teller” by any means, but a growing number of people have come back to me during the past couple of years expressing that the readings I gave them proved to be highly accurate in terms of life circumstances and outcomes of situations they previously struggled with. I have heard things like “Exactly what you said would happen happened, exactly when you said it would!”

I don’t advertize as a predictive astrologer or reader, but a major part of what I do is observe the direction of energy currents and offer solution-oriented ideas based on this. My disclaimer is that I am never 100% correct (nor is any other reader) and if someone does not like the direction things are taking, there are usually things that can be done to prevent or change them.

Just as it can be far more useful for a healing practitioner to take the whole person into consideration rather than zero in on just one body part, it can be hugely effective to take the whole person into consideration during a reading and not just one part of a person or what is visible and obvious (DUH!). This means taking into consideration body, mind, and spirit, past, present, future, the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, or whatever else decides to make itself known, and to reflect these things back to someone in a clear, non-biased, compassionate way. It’s up to each person to do with the information what they choose, and as a reader I would rather help to influence someone in a positive and empowering way rather than instill a fear in them of what will happen if they don’t do the “right thing”, whatever that is. Ultimately, that must be decided upon by the querent.

Lastly, I don’t say “never” and I don’t say “definitely” in a private reading context (at least I make it a point not to) because these words tend to be frightening for most people – the opposite of empowering. Contrary to popular belief, this is not “sugar-coating” or “leaving things out”. This is what I call respect for a person’s ability to make up their own mind and carve their own destiny.

All of that being said, it’s that time of year again as the holidays approach and things get even crazier than they are for a lot of us…so I offer more reading Specials for those who are seeking for some clarity and a bit of peace of mind. From now until October 31st I am offering 25% off of 1 hour readings. Gift certificates are also available. You can contact me via blog or email

Post Full Moon in Aries Conjunct Uranus

Sometimes what happens just after a full moon is just as surprising as what happens right before or during. This just past (October 15th) Full Moon 23 degrees Aries conjunct Uranus would be one of those moons. Aries is the sign of initiation and Uranus is the planet of change. There is a lot we have recently left behind, whether by force or conscious choice. These combinations have produced do-or-die type situations and sensations in which the only way is through – there is no turning back. Things that were once identified with as real and true are revealing themselves as phantoms and crumbling like the dead leaves of late autumn. I previously used the scene of Andy’s Escape from the movie Shawshank Redemption as a visual example of an emotional current coinciding with this Full Moon:

Aries’ ruling planet Mars is moving into a conjunction to Pluto in Capricorn as they trine the North Node in Virgo, exact on October 19th. This is an aspect that “takes no prisoners” and is about getting a job done and getting it done right, no matter the cost or hard work that is entailed. It is time to recognize the myriad lies and stories we have collected and been taught about ourselves and our world through the ages as just that – lies and stories,  and to step forward as the writers of our own scripts and builders of new foundations. This might seem like doing the impossible, but that’s what makes it so liberating.

(artist unknown)
(artist unknown)

The Dark Goddess and all aspects of feminine power and rage has also been strongly featured with this Full Moon that was in conjunction with Eris. Some have experienced her energy in beautiful, inspiring ways and others in soul wrenching ways. The archetype of Lyssa came to mind, as the Greek goddess of mad frenzy and rage, daughter of the night goddess Nyx, sprung from the blood of Uranus. She who causes insanity in humans and rabies in animals is yet another expression of the demonized Feminine.

The Full Moon was also conjunct asteroid Ceres along with Uranus, encouraging self-nurturing individuality and a do-it-yourself approach in general. As this polarized with Libra, many relationships have been taking on new notes and expressions of freedom, versus ownership and possessiveness over the past several days.

There is no way to fully predict the outcome of aspects highlighted by Uranus. Prejudices, false beliefs, and many old attachments must be released, lest they be ruthlessly torn away. It is a time of awakening and rebirth. At this time of year (in the Northern hemisphere) the veils thin and become lifted. Our spiritual eyes become opened and alert to that which is not normally visible.

Venus enters Sagittarius on the 18th, which may come as a relief as the focus shifts from intense interactions and broiling feelings to playfulness and adventure.