Ask Aphrodite-July 4, 2016

Dear Aphrodite, I love a guy very much; he knows my feelings for him, but he just keeps saying “I like you” and “I don’t want to lose you.” His changeable attitude towards me confuses me; he always calls me if he needs advice or help, or someone to understand him, but he has a girlfriend. I don’t understand what to do. The times we spend together are some of the happiest moments in my life. Maya

Dear Maya, Oh, dear. We all have fallen into this unfortunate rabbit hole from time to time (can I get a hear, hear?!). Unreciprocated love has got to be one of the cruelest love lessons we grow through as humans. I think what makes it infinitely more cruel than it has to be is that we tend to think they don’t love us because there is something inherently wrong with us. This isn’t the case! But our psyche just goes there, maybe at first out of boredom, or simply trying to understand the unfathomable, but if we let that subconscious thought linger too long it communicates something deeper about our (low) self-esteem.

I don’t know if this is something that is keeping you hooked and hanging around a relationship that’s clearly not going anywhere, but it’s a wormy little thing lurking in many a woman’s mind and heart, a fear that because this one person doesn’t love you, others probably won’t, either. I want to tell you: That’s such baloney. One of my favorite phrases about this phase of relationship, dating, I lifted from a marketing/sales guy: “It’s not about rejection, it’s about selection.” Because, really, who can control who they fall in love with, or who they don’t (think about it a moment: Have you ever been able to simply choose who you fall in love with? If you haven’t, why do you think he should be able to do that?)?

I suspect that if you weren’t caught in this misunderstanding you’d already have moved on from this guy, because deep down we all know that it is far more juicy to be loved in the way we want to be loved – or be in hot pursuit of the promise of that all-encompassing, mutual love – than hanging around someone who can only offer crumbs of affection. Put this mantra on your mirror, right after you say goodbye to Mr. Crumbs: “I want to be with someone who feels as deliciously wild and crazy about me as I do about him.” If you still need a compelling (astrological) reason to do so: Because, you have Venus in Libra, and for you, love must be a give and take, a two-way street. When you find someone who truly deserves to be placed so high on your pedestal, you’ll know it — they will do the same for you.

Jessica Shepherd | Astrologer & Author | Health Coach

Ask Luna-June 20, 2016

Dear Luna, For the past seven or so years I have grown to really have a problem with organized religion, especially Christianity. It all seems like a bunch of fear-based BS used to control people who don’t have a mind of their own. And no matter how hard I try I just do NOT understand how a guy dying on a cross somehow saves my soul or takes away my sins!?! My family attended a Christian church while I was growing up but nothing much sank in…except for the “fear of god” stuff. Six years ago I married a man who calls himself a “follower of the teaching of Jesus because the word ‘Christian’ has too many negative connotations.” I would love to know the “astrological reason” behind my anger toward religion and any guidance about how to handle it. It has created a huge rift in my relationship and a constant gnawing within me! I know it’s a huge deal for me and no accident that I married this man. I just don’t know how best to deal with it. I commit to showing kindness to someone who needs it AND working on forgiving my husband who I feel HAS wronged me in recent conversations. Thanks so much, Kimmie

Dear Kimmie, As I suspected, your chart shows many past lives as a priestess and healer. And, you were persecuted for this during the times when Christianity took over and stamped out worship of the Goddess. So that explains your innate fury at these teachings. With Sun conjunct Mercury in Libra (justice) in the 9th house of higher teachings, you are meant to become a voice for the Goddess once more. And, with Moon, Mars, Pluto and Jupiter in Virgo in the 8th house of sexuality, to reclaim your sexual priestess power however you see fit. You also have Venus conjunct Neptune in Scorpio, the signature of a powerful priestess. There is much beauty in the teachings of Jesus, though the Bible was heavily edited in the 6th Century AD to omit his marriage to priestess Mary Magdalen and brand her as a harlot. Read the Magdalen Manuscript to find out what their relationship was really like. And, start communing with the Moon especially when she is full, to forgive the past and reclaim your deepest priestess powers. Many blessings, Luna (Simone Butler)

Ask Flora-June 4, 2016

Dear Flora, What I am I best suited to do in my career that will fulfill me in all ways? The doors to the past seem closed.  I can’t see clearly and don’t know how to proceed.  I wish I could find the right path, seize the opportunity, and secure a job.  I am willing to study and continue educational development. Thank you, Geraldine

Warmest greetings, Geraldine, Recognizing “the doors to the past seem (or ‘are’) closed” means you are already on track for beginning anew.  You now have the benefit of a blank slate, and an opportunity to invest yourself in the present rather than attempting to return to the past when it is already history!

When you say you’d like a “career that will fulfill you in all ways,” I imagine what you mean by that is that you’d like to align yourself with work that gives your life meaning and purpose.  If so, then this is the perfect time for you to receive the support of Wild Oat flower essence which is indicated for those who are experiencing a lack of clarity, commitment, or focus with regard to their life direction and work.  Wild Oat aids in deepening one’s relationship with their life purpose and with work that is in alignment with their inner calling.  As you deepen into relationship with Wild Oat, notice what your life experiences bring your way, and how those experiences may be pointing your way forward.

You added, “I can’t see clearly, and don’t know how to proceed.  I wish I could find the right path, seize the opportunity, and secure a job.”  Although it can feel very unsettling, it is okay, Geraldine, if you are currently not able to see clearly.  See this lack of clarity as an invitation to try something new.  Try this–try relaxing into the blur.  I know, it may sound odd, but if you are willing, give it a try.  This means allowing yourself to be okay with not seeing clearly for now, and trusting that clarity will come, and with absolute perfect timing.  You also don’t have to know how to proceed, nor do you need to find the right path.  Instead, practice letting go of the need to “know” and to find the “right path.”  Remind yourself you are already on “your” path, and that is the best and only path for you!  This is simply a time in-between two chapters.  One has ended, and the new one is still forming.  This is a time of questioning, of listening, and of exploration.  Give yourself permission to be in this in-between time with curiosity.  Consider “living with” the following questions and seeing what life presents in response to your inquiring within:

What inspires you?

What awakens your heart? 

What brings you joy? 

What feels playful? 

If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do? 

What enables you to serve others in a way the gives your own life meaning and purpose?

Giving yourself permission to experiment with multiple ideas will allow you the breathing room for recognizing your next steps, including the possibility of studying and continuing your educational development.

Be sure to give your relationship with Wild Oat ample time to facilitate a shift.  If you are willing to commit to four full months of receiving this essence, I trust you will feel a new direction beginning to form.  Given the proper space and time, and through focused and committed creative exploration, you will find a career with meaning and purpose, Geraldine.  How fulfilling that will be for you, and for those you will be serving through your new vocation!

Blessing to you during this essential “in-between” time!

Ask Aphrodite-May 21, 2016

Dear Aphrodite, I’ve experienced some grievous losses recently and am despairing of ever enjoying any sort of deep love or relationship again, or even feeling real joy. Transiting Saturn is squaring my natal Venus, which goes right along with the uncomfortable way I feel about a most of my relationships right now, and my fears about love. Do you see anything in my chart that might help me to feel more optimistic about what seems like a bleak future regarding romantic love?-Spica

Dear Spica, I’m so sorry for your losses. I’m concerned that you’re limiting your self in terms of how you approach love. Romantic love is only one form of love, and though it’s the most popular and coveted, by thinking purely in terms of romantic love we limit our selves from experiencing other forms of love available to us.

According to Plato there are many forms of love; there’s phileo, a tender, warm “platonic” love that inspires affection and loyalty, as you might feel for some friends you want to have in your life. There’s storge, the love that we feel when we are bonded to someone. It has an unconditional feeling to it- like the love you feel for a pet, best friend or partner. It is a primarily safe and accepting love.  There’s eros, of course, the grand passion comprised of raw sexuality and emotions. Then there’s my personal favourite, agape love, the love you feel for your fellow human beings. You don’t have to know or even like them to experience agape.  This love surpasses all conditions, faults and shortcomings. It’s the kind of love you feel when you’re standing in line at the supermarket, feeling utterly alone in your plight and with pain heavy in your heart, and you have the sudden awareness that every other human is feeling their own version of what you’re feeling and that realization inspires a wellspring of connection in your heart to all the other hearts beating around you. Agape has supreme healing grace in it. It offers resilience and buoyancy in times of darkness.

Grief is a difficult but natural part of life and has its own timeline; we just don’t know how long this tunnel will be. All the more reason to expand your ability to receive love in all of its ways and means. Has a painting or work of art ever moved you to laughter? Has a walk in nature ever given you to a powerful sense of connection? Have those precious animal videos always circulating on social media ever opened your heart on a sleepless, lonely night? These are the secret teachings of Aphrodite/Venus, too, about how to receive love, joy and connection –no matter what season of life you find yourself in. You have Venus in Virgo opposed by Jupiter in Pisces in your natal chart, so I have a feeling I’m speaking your language. Don’t underestimate the power of your Venus to offer you these seemingly small experiences that are meant to expand your capacity to appreciate and receive the love, joy and connection in all of its forms. Plus, you do know your loved ones would want you to enjoy your time here, right? People who’ve had NDE (near death experiences) or life-between-life regressions, all report the same thing: Earth’s chocolate and gardens, afternoon champagne dates with friends and shoe shopping is unparalleled!

Ask Luna-May 6, 2016

Dear Luna, At 58 yrs of age, is it too late to learn how not to worry about things that are not in my control, i.e daily news events and things? Are you able to offer me guidance in how to achieve this? Thank you, Robert

Dear Robert, It’s natural that you’d be questioning matters of faith at this time, with your Saturn return in Sagittarius coloring this entire year.  In fact, finding a sense of faith in life despite appearances is your major work in this lifetime. So no it’s certainly not too late to learn not to worry about things you can’t control, but it will require doing some soul-searching on what you believe.  You must be a spiritual person or you wouldn’t be visiting this website. So, commit to the spiritual principles that you know to be true and realize that life is what you make it. Rev. Michael Beckwith says that watching the news is only good for identifying our “prayer requests” for the day. So, why not begin praying for the people and situations that trouble you? Science of Mind’s spiritual mind treatment is a particularly effective form of prayer (google it).  Say an affirmative prayer every time you start to worry. And if you choose to keep watching the news, please don’t do so at night just before bed, when negative stuff can disturb your sleep. Many blessings to you, Luna (Simone Butler)

Ask Flora-April 22, 2016

Dear Flora, I have been invited to tour Europe, to assist in opening the Magdalene energies there. A part of me is holding back, fearful that it is TOO MUCH for me physically and emotionally. What is at the CRUX of the matter? Thank you, Rose

Hello, dear Rose, The first observation I had when reading your submission is that you said “I have been ‘invited’ to . . .” with no mention of actually wanting to go.  So, I am inspired to ask you, in hopes of inspiring you to ask yourself as well:

  • What did the “invitation” mean to you?
  • Is there any part of you that wants to go?
  • Are you comfortable saying “no” to an invitation if you are not sincerely inspired by it?

Knowing the answer to these questions will rouse your energy, and help you begin to move from fear toward self-awareness and self-empowerment.

Your question was clear and direct, “What is at the CRUX of the matter?”  My sense is that trust and spontaneity are the antidote to the fear you are experiencing.

What did you feel as you read that sentence, Rose?  Did the fear present itself again?  Did you notice a feeling of relief in having clear and direct language for what has been troubling you?  How did you feel when you read the words trust and spontaneity?  Did they bring you comfort?  Did they stir the fear living inside you?  Or, did you feel a bit of all of the above?

If what I’ve shared thus far is ringing true for you, the following two flower essences may serve you well:

Cerato—this tiny, five-petaled, sky-blue flower addresses the topic of trust.   It is indicated when we rely too heavily on the advice of others, or when we doubt or invalidate our own sense of knowing what is right for us.  For example:  Do you already know that making this trip to Europe is “TOO MUCH for you physically and emotionally?”  Cerato assists us in finding our way through feelings of uncertainty or self-doubt.  Receiving this flower essence, when appropriate, builds self-confidence and the ability to trust in our own knowing, enriching relationship with our inner-authority.

Larch—this essence is made from the flower of the Larch tree, and addresses fear—fear of taking risks, fear of making a mistake, fear of being judged.  Larch is indicated when we are being called to face the fear of failure, encouraging spontaneity and the willingness to take risks and to make mistakes.  Relationship with Larch nourishes self-confidence.  Rose, I’m going to present the question again, within the presence of Larch:  Is making this trip to Europe “TOO MUCH for you physically and emotionally?”  If so, then, is it fear of failure, fear of being judged, or fear of making a mistake that prevents you from honoring yourself?  OR, is it these same fears that are preventing you from taking a risk, trying to convince you that the trip would be “TOO MUCH” for you?  Only you will be able to answer these questions.

Trust is the antidote to fear.  Cerato and Larch are the perfect team to help you take risks and build trust.

Trust yourself, Rose, and practice spontaneity!  Whatever you decide will be absolutely perfect for your personal development and evolution. Flower Essences Blessings to you! Warmly, Jane


Ask Aphrodite-April 7, 2016

Dear Aphrodite, My relationship has just ended, a relationship that I deeply believed would be a lifelong partnership. Our connection felt very unique and singular, but we neglected the third body, our relationship. He left me for someone he had just met.  Is there any insight you can give into why this pattern of being left, either through infidelity or seeing your partner fall in love with someone else, has repeated for me? -Anna

Dear Anna, I don’t believe a birth chart can tell us whether we are vulnerable to patterns of infidelity, however, it does illuminate blind spots and areas of growth with others.

Astrologically, you were born during a full moon phase which consistently draws you toward relationship to learn about your self. Partners are your greatest teachers. With Gemini Moon on your seventh house cusp, ongoing dialogue, being present to and involved with the daily life of the partnership, staying in touch and most importantly really listening to what’s being communicated (or not), are vital to an engaged, balanced relationship. Your third house Pisces South Node (ruled by Sun-Neptune conjunction in the twelfth house) suggests you can become overly absorbed in your own dreamy inner world and processes. When you get too relaxed into the daily patterns of partnership you can miss out on the nuances of information available to you, from your partner. Being curious about the other’s perceptions, present, making daily efforts to check in about work, life, each other’s satisfaction levels, desires and needs from the relationship are ways of staying engaged.

With your natal Venus and Uranus conjunct in Scorpio, intimacy involves compassionate emotional honesty, transparency, sexual empowerment and deep loyalty. Unfortunately this pinnacle of intimacy often arises only after “fierce grace” type experiences with others. I’m so sorry you have experienced betrayal, and I think this is important to say: It is not your fault. Experiencing the complexity of feeling around betrayal, grief and entering into process the healing of emotional trust and forgiveness is high Venus in Scorpio work. Honor this Venus work as part of your sacred feminine journey.

Here are some more practical tips:

We always attract from our Venus sign, so if you’re not drawing in the higher expression you may be attracting from your Venus shadow. For you, unreliable partners who may hold a piece of their self separate/dissociated from the relationship (Uranus) and who are not totally honest with you (Venus in Scorpio) are pointing you toward areas to look at, in yourself. Commit to embodying your Venus’ need to have a fiercely honest, healed, and rich relationship to your self, to others, to life.

Also, with such a clear pattern established, if you haven’t already, take a look at your primary relationship model: your parents. Journal about the model they set for you. Include their secrets, longings, unmet needs, dreams. If you don’t know what those were, imagine what they might have been (kids are really good at picking up on what was not voiced or expressed).

It’s rich territory to discover patterns occurring in our relationship life, even though the process leading us to awareness is painful. Yet if you consider every single relationship as a precious teacher, use those lessons learned as stepping stones toward greater authenticity and connection with your self, you get closer to finding, and keeping, the love you dearly desire.  –Jessica

March 23, 2016-Ask Luna

Dear Luna, Please enlighten me on my life’s direction. I have taught in the past but now feel I am blocked by where I live. I have put out postings to teach in a group setting, but maybe I need a new avenue.

Dear Esther, It’s no wonder you’re longing for a new direction—restless Uranus is activating your Mars in Aries, your career point and your Moon through early next year. It’s time to take a risk, and that likely involves moving. With natal Uranus and Pluto conjunct in your second house of money, you came here to shake up the status quo and earn money doing it. You do have excellent communication and financial skills, with Mercury, Sun and Jupiter conjunct in your tenth house of career. You’d make a terrific spokesperson for a cause you believe in, likely involving the Earth. Perhaps it’s time to join up with a non-profit (you’d be great at fund-raising), and put your very public-oriented chart to good use broadcasting a message.

You’ll always be a teacher – just brainstorm ways you can expand that role to benefit more people. Uranus wants action, though the next three months (April thru June) is best spent figuring out options, preparing, researching and perhaps visiting places you might want to live (action planet Mars will be retrograde). You’ll know when you’ve hit on the right place or project – it’ll make your whole body sing! Best of luck to you, Luna (Simone Butler)

Ask Flora-March 8, 2016

Goddess Flora, my husband and I are in a state of transition, between severing an old life and starting anew. We are happy, excited and committed to progressing, but have an anchor that prevents us from fully moving forward. I sometimes feel as if a spell has been cast on the selling of our home, preventing the right person from finding it and buying it, and allowing the cycle to continue to flow. Please help me to know that our new season of change will be able to be fulfilled. Thank you, Yellowbird.

Dear Yellowbird–what a lovely name you have!

“Starting anew”—picture a seed breaking open within the Earth just as all the necessary conditions come together—moisture, temperature, sunshine, and so on. Did you know the first shoot emerging from the seed moves downward, not upward? Its innate wisdom knows to first “anchor” this new life so that it can then support the next movement, which will be to send a shoot upward to break new ground. This dance continues with each step of the growth process. The lower shoot spreads out rootlets in the Earth for nourishment followed by the upper shoot developing and spreading its first set of leaves to reach for the nourishment of the light, and so on. This lovely example offers you a visual understanding of the rhythm—the dance—you are being invited to practice as you anchor your intentions in the fertile soil of faith and trust in the process, honoring the natural impulse for each next step or movement.

My “flower essence radar” has a few recommendations for you and your husband to consider as well.

The flower essence clearly indicated for your “state of transition; severing an old life and starting anew; and season of change” is Walnut. This broadly applied essence assists us during all times of transition including birth, death, career changes, ending or beginning relationships (relationships with people, places, things, patterns, habits, or beliefs).

You mentioned you “have an anchor that prevents you from fully moving forward” and thata spell has been cast on the selling of your home.” If you are inspired, invite your husband to join you in quieting yourselves during the energy of this potent New Moon, slowing your pace enough to experience the movement occurring deep within—that organic movement born of wisdom, right timing, and infinite trust. Walnut is also a “letting go” essence. Call upon it to assist you in scanning your inner life to make sure you and your husband have let go of ties to your past and any attachments you have (conscious or unconscious) that may be preventing you from releasing your home. New Moons signal new beginnings. On this New Moon, enter relationship with Walnut flower essence, and see what tomorrow brings!

Add Impatiens flower essence and Rock Water essence to Walnut to address your stated desire/intention of “allowing the cycle to continue to flow” and to “help your season of change be fulfilled.” Impatiens flower essence addresses the urge to force the timing and unfolding of things, and encourages us, instead, to be in the here and now—in the moment—and in this way, we are able to respond to what life is presenting.

Rock Water essence is one of my absolute favorites and can be viewed as a “toner” in any combination of essences with its greatest gift being to teach us to go with the flow, to be fluid and flexible, and to be yielding and receptive.

Yellowbird, this is, indeed, an exciting time for you and your husband. Receive the support of this trio of blessed essences, and be the “seed,” allowing your innate wisdom to guide each movement—down, then up, then further down and outward followed by further up and outward, and so on. You know the way!

Joyful blessings on your new life, and remember to clear the old to make way for the new! Warmly, Jane


Ask Aphrodite-February 22, 2016

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