Ask Aphrodite

Ask Aphrodite

Dear Aphrodite, I’ve had 4 chronic years of unstable employment, (year long gaps between jobs). Nothing comes through. I feel like I’m being tested. In my entire life, I never wanted to do anything other than write, not even to be published, but just have time to activate my imagination. Time to daydream. That’s all. All I ever wanted was just a day-job where I could have enough time to write privately on the side. I never questioned it until now. Sometimes I just wonder if I’m wasting my own time?  How can I know which path is the right path to go in so muddied a road? I just want to be free. -Amy

Dear Amy, With your Rising, Sun and Moon in Mercury-ruled signs, these and a handful of other signatures indicating a calling for self-expression, are written all over your birth chart. Yet you are experiencing your Saturn Return (which happens at around ages 28-30), an often discouraging time when our faith is tested. And it is happening in your third house of, you guessed it, communication. I encourage you to take the long view and keep at it. Nothing in life happens easily for a Sun-Saturn born person (you have a natal opposition), or for that matter, a writer! But if you feel this is your calling, as I suspect you do, it will be worth moving mountains, persisting through financial droughts, honing your craft over and over again, if, for no other reason than because *not writing* is the equivalent of not being alive.

It is not unrealistic to get a job that allows you to write on the side. If you can swing it, look at your year-long gaps between jobs are writing times. Many writers would give their left arm (or, the one that’s not needed for writing!) to be in those shoes. But unless you’re independently wealthy, you probably need to work.

So let’s get some inspiration going. There was once a writer who had stories to write but she was poor. So she took jobs teaching, sewing and caretaking- jobs she disliked immensely. She only lasted a month a nursing, as she almost died from the typhoid pneumonia she contracted during that time.  Bedridden, at home, half deranged by Mercury poisoning (ironically, the planet of writers shares a name with the very medicine of that time that had the potential to drive people to madness), she produced short vignettes. Casting her self as a stalwart character and writing about the patients, their stories and travels, she’d met during her time in service, she sent them to her local paper. To her own surprise, “Hospital Sketches” became immensely popular. Her name? Louisa May Alcott.

The moral of the story here is: she used what she had to do -work, service she wasn’t crazy about but needed to take on in order to survive – to create art. There are many similar stories out there about authors (JK Rowling, for instance) and many, many more untold ones. For artists, as it was for Louisa May Alcott, life is the inspiration. It’s all right here: rich, dark mulch for your work. The struggle, the difficulty, the persevering through hardship, is the fuel for great art.

Your Saturn Return struggle is that rich, dark mulch. It’s all right here.  During this period, commit to doing what you have to do to create something great and you will be rewarded. Focus less on the daydreaming side of your fantasy and more on taking action. The hard work we do during Saturn transits always pay off.

Jessica Shepherd | Astrologer & Author | Health Coach

About Jessica Shepherd

Jessica Shepherd is a writer, astrologer and health coach who has studied and practiced modern astrology since 1992. She is the author of A Love Alchemist’s Notebook: Magical Secrets For Drawing Your True Love Into Your Life (Llewellyn, 2010) and the books Venus Signs: Discover Your Erotic Gifts and Secret Desires Through Astrology
(Llewellyn, 2015) and Karmic Dates and Momentary Mates: The Astrology of the Fifth House (Moonkissd, 2014). She has written for print and online publications (,, WellBeing Magazine AU, Llewellyn's Moon Signs Book) and publishes an astrology blog called Moonkissd. With a private astrology practice, Jessica lives and works from a funky pink cottage in Fairfax, CA with her husband, three step-daughters and five four three two one chicken.