Cancer New Moon: Listen to Your Fairy Godmother

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According to a recent study, there are now more obese than underweight people in the world. Thirty years ago, it was just the reverse. We can blame this on fast-food living, sedentary lifestyles or the fat-free craze, but the truth is that many of us use food as a substitute for something we’re not getting – like affection, approval or relaxation. We eat to compensate, to reward ourselves, but we usually don’t listen to what the urge to overeat is telling us.

As emotional overeating coach Sarah Jenks explains, “Overeating isn’t just a bad habit, it’s a soul, a spirit, an energy like anything else. The soul of overeating is like a boisterous, tell-it-like-it-is fairy godmother who swoops down and says, “WAKE UP! YOU NEED TO TAKE A HARD LOOK AT WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND MAKE SOME CHANGES.” But we don’t, she adds, because we’re taught that overeating is a weakness. Instead we hide out and try to control it, as we plan our next ill-fated diet.

I know I’m guilty of this; perhaps you are, too. It can be scary to take the necessary steps to create a more authentic, fulfilling life – especially in these changing times, with so many things falling apart to make way for a better world.

Like a nurturing mom, cuddly kitten or delectable piece of apple pie, the Cancer New Moon has arrived to soothe your soul however you choose. The Sun and Moon will embrace in sensitive, patriotic Cancer on Independence Day (July 4, 4:01 a.m. PDT).  Neptune trines the New Moon, lending an aura of sweetness and love. With six planets plus Chiron in water signs, however, it’s important to honor whatever you’re feeling. Surround yourself with those you love and eat that buttery corn on the cob or whatever else you crave, but do it consciously, with gratitude. You may also want to set a place for those who are no longer with you.

During the first half of July, Venus, Mercury, and the Sun in Cancer square off with uncompromising Uranus and Pluto, calling us to take a hard look at our feelings and family life. This might include the deeper reasons behind any overeating or other bad habits. Sit down and quietly ask: What is my fairy godmother trying to tell me? What am I really hungering for? How well am I caring for my deeper self’s needs?

If you need help, call on your ancestors. Check out this Cancer New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. You’ll also find a short video at the bottom of the page on how to work with the Family gua to improve relations with family members or better meet your own needs.

 

Gemini New Moon : Star-Crossed Love

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Of all the quirky, beautiful items I inherited from my dad, this Alberto Vargas print of Scheherazade is my favorite. The legendary storyteller has a place of honor opposite my desk, where she inspires me as I write.

So I was recently thrilled to discover a gorgeous film from 2000 based on her story. In this movingly told tale of the Arabian Nights, clever Scheherazade marries a vengeful sultan who’s bent on destroying her, and spins mesmerizing tales that lift him out of darkness to love again. The accomplished young woman, who had loved the sultan since they were children, not only saved her own life with storytelling, but healed the sultan’s hardened heart and inspired him to become the wise ruler he was born to be. Theirs was truly a star-crossed love.

Stories can heal and nourish our souls. Aren’t there books and movies you return to again and again when you need a dose of their special medicine? I have a whole collection of them.

Whatever medicine you need right now, you’re apt to find it at the Gemini New Moon (Sat. June 4, 8 pm PDT). The Sun and Moon in clever Gemini join lovely Venus, bringing healing balm and inspiration as they launch a new nine-month cycle (until the next Sun-Venus conjunction) for love and creativity. Because Venus is an evening star at this time, the new cycle is deep and introspective, rich with symbolic meaning and a hint of danger.

Those with planets at mid-degrees of Gemini will be particularly impacted by this New Moon. For all of us, though, creativity and love will be at the forefront, for better or for worse. Since the Sun and Venus oppose Saturn and square Neptune, there is a star-crossed quality to this New Moon. Though magic is definitely afoot, make sure that any big decisions are well thought-out, and that you’re prepared to take on new responsibilities and work through obstacles. Mars is still retrograde through the end of June, so forward motion may not be favored quite yet in whichever house Mars is transiting for you. Be like Scheherazade and keep spinning the tale, steering it in the direction of the highest, best outcome for all concerned.

If you need help charting your course, here’s a Gemini New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. You’ll also discover how to activate your Knowledge gua for inspiration and clarity.

Taurus New Moon: Slow and Steady

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On a stroll in the neighborhood, I turned the corner to see a large tortoise striding toward me. Hello! His guardian gave me a bemused smile; she’s used to the shocked expressions when people see her pet walking the streets.

Welcome to the season of Taurus, a fixed earth sign. The tortoise is one of my favorite Taurus symbols. Steady and determined, this charming creature gets where she wants to go, no matter how long it takes. The Sun, Venus, Mercury, and (soon) the Moon are in that slow, sensual sign, so it’s time to make like a tortoise. With five planets in retrograde, including Mercury and Mars, that means slowing down, revisiting old territory and finishing up the past. Greener pastures may beckon, but it’s probably better to bloom where you’re planted right now.

The New Moon in Taurus (May 6, 12:30 p.m. PDT) features a lovely Grand Trine to Pluto in Capricorn and Jupiter in Virgo. This suggests positive developments with existing projects, especially in earthly realms like finances, home and health – as long as we know what we want and are willing to stick with it. Jupiter turns direct two days after the New Moon, boosting health and work-related matters, especially those that have been stalled since early in the year. Just be cautious and patient, as quick, impulsive moves are bound to backfire this month.

Since Taurus rules money, this is a good time to get real about your needs. Exactly how much prosperity do you require right now? What form would you like it to take? Once you’re clear, write it down. Then fix up your home to accommodate that reality. Need beautiful new clothes? Give away the ones you never wear and make room in the closet. Need a specific amount of cash? Add at least one of the following to your Wealth gua (furthest left corner as you walk in the front door). Light a purple or green candle at the New Moon, giving thanks that the amount is yours.

  • A healthy green plant – especially a jade or lucky bamboo plant
  • A picture or statue of Lakshmi, or a golden Buddha
  • A bowl of coins or “treasure chest” with jewelry spilling out of it
  • A chunk of purple amethyst or green malachite
  • A hundred dollar bill

For additional help with prosperity, check out the Taurus New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. And watch the mini-video on that page showing how I helped one woman transform her bathroom to increase her wealth.

 

A Magic Carpet Ride at the Aries New Moon

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Recently I bought a magic carpet, covered in beautiful mandala-like designs. My cat Nora thinks it’s magical too – she likes to sit at the very center and survey her domain. The carpet hasn’t yet taken us on any mystical flights, at least in the literal sense.  But it lights up the living room with a sense of possibility and promise, and I swear it has stimulated my creative process with the book I’m writing.

So I was thrilled to see the Sabian Symbol for the upcoming Aries New Moon (April 7, 4:24 a.m. PDT): “The magic carpet of oriental imagery; the use of creative imagination.” The New Moon is stimulating “flights of imagination and super-physical perception”  which can help us rise above daily strife and see the bigger picture. The only catch is, we have to avoid “hectic involvement in social competition” to receive this transcendent understanding.

This message certainly fits April’s astrological theme. The Aries New Moon conjuncts stimulating Uranus and squares transformative Pluto, fostering an atmosphere of radical change within our hearts and the world at large. This is the first New Moon of the astrological New Year, traditionally considered a great time to sally forth and make your mark. Yet only ten days later, on April 17, Mars (Aries’ ruler) turns retrograde through the end of June.  So yes, there may be fun and fireworks at this Super Moon (the second of six this year), but the retrograde of Mars in Sagittarius warns us to think things through before acting and be patient as matters unfold.

Do you remember the magic carpet ride of Disney’s Aladdin? Flying high over Agrabah, Aladdin and the Sultan’s beautiful daughter Jasmine begin to sense the magical bond between them.  The carpet leads Aladdin and his trusty monkey (his wits and primal instincts) into a cave full of riches, and ultimately helps him win Jasmine’s heart. Since we recently entered the Year of the Monkey, let’s allow Aladdin to be our guide to an ingenious and enriching month ahead. Even if it may be a bit of a wild ride!

If you need help pumping up your life force for the journey, check out this Aries New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life.  You’ll also find a short video there on transforming and enhancing your Career gua (around the front door and porch) to make your mark on the world.

Pisces Solar Eclipse: The Power of No

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Living in L.A. in the 1980s, I often visited the Ojai Foundation in Ventura County for a dose of spirituality and nature. At that time, the gifted artist Beatrice Wood was still throwing pots in her enchanted studio not far from the Foundation. We’d bring her chocolates as an offering, and she’d hold forth about life and love.

Sometimes Beato would tell us about her adventures as the “Mama of Dada” (a protest art movement of the 1920s and 30s), hanging with the likes of Marcel Duchamp and Isadora Duncan. A dreamy, imaginative Pisces, she’d developed her own process for glazing ceramics that yielded a magical, luminescent effect. She’d also had a string of unfulfilling relationships with men.

Sitting regally in her chair one day, wearing her signature sari and bold bracelets, her silver hair in a chignon, she fixed a serious gaze on the women gathered at her feet.

“What is the most important word in the English language?” she demanded.

“Love?” asked one. Beato shook her head.

“Beauty?” ventured another.

With a dramatic pause backed by 90-odd years of hard-won wisdom, Beato announced: “The most important word in the English language is No.”

I thought of this recently while considering the upcoming Pisces total solar eclipse square boundary-setting Saturn. The first of three SuperMoons in a row, this New Moon eclipse also happens with the Moon at perigee (the closest approach in its monthly orbit around the Earth), which intensifies its impact on tides, tectonic plates and human beings. In fact, some astrologers conjecture that there could be some major earth changes around this eclipse (March 8, 5:54 p.m. PST).

Fear-mongering is definitely not my thing; I’m more interested in the effects on our psyches. Because the New Moon in spiritual, otherworldly Pisces is conjunct Wounded Healer Chiron, opposite growth-oriented Jupiter and square decisive Saturn, it certainly can symbolize a big ending and a new beginning. This is a pivotal opportunity to eclipse whatever isn’t serving us anymore, and ask the Divine to bring in a whole new level of healing and service.

With the fresh, exciting energy of the Spring Equinox due on March 19-20, we naturally want to take risks and say Yes to life this month. But sometimes Yes begins with No. As we sort and filter the new beginnings flooding in, we’re carving out a new pathway for ourselves. It may be excruciating to say No to whatever is no longer working for you or to those who want a piece of your action, but doing so can set you free.

If you need help tuning in to the Divine Forces, check out this Pisces New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. You’ll also find a mini-video showing how I helped one couple transform their Health gua, which corresponds with Pisces (as well as Virgo).

It’s Time for a Little Monkey Business!

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Consummate Trickster Groucho Marx once noted, “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” And how about this one, which he uttered as he left a dinner party: “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”

Tricksters have a unique perspective. According to astrologer Caroline Casey, Trickster (aka Coyote) is daring, curious and unpredictable. Those who embody this archetype, she says, are in league with nature’s guiding genius. She also states that everyone’s inner Trickster needs to come out and play at this time of “dire beauty.” The kinship of Trickster souls, Casey asserts, is the only thing that will save the world. “Coyote wants to come alive in us,” she said recently in her Way of the Trickster training. “And the Trickster within loves ‘against all odds,’ so now is the time.”

In myth, Trickster is often depicted as a fox, crow, coyote or monkey – a crafty character who punctures pomposity to playfully expose the truth. Sometimes Trickster achieves justice by defeating enemies twice his size. But at heart he is no con artist – rather, he’s creativity incarnate. Like the impish monkey, he hangs upside down, staring bug-eyed at this crazy world, a half-eaten banana hanging from his mouth.

Welcome to the Year of the Monkey – and the Trickster! On Monday, February 8, the Yang Fire Monkey bursts on the scene as we bid farewell to the more passive Yin Wood Sheep. It’s time to pump up those muscles and raise the rooftops! This means using our wit and creativity to scoop up opportunities – and borrow the Monkey’s bravery and beginner’s mind to find unconventional solutions to long-standing problems.

An auspicious year for new beginnings, the heart-centered Yang Fire Monkey is passionate and generous. Now our heartfelt desires move to the forefront, and we join with others to create friendships, groups and movements that benefit ourselves and the collective. Those who dare to be different will win out while the monkey reigns.

What sign is best known for daring to be different? Aquarius, of course!  With retrograde Mercury (another well-known Trickster) doing his backwards thing throughout most of January, Feb. 8 becomes the real new year (Feb. 8, 6:39 a.m. PST).

This New Moon catalyzes our most ingenious and socially-oriented selves to take action on what means most to us. A square from passionate Mars in Scorpio to the Sun and Moon in clever Aquarius gets our hearts pumping and feet moving. So beat a path to a new meet-up group or rally, or find other ways to strengthen your circle of friends.

To bring more Helpful People into your life and get the angels on your team, check out this Aquarius New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. And be sure to watch the mini-video on that page showing how to make over and maximize your Helpful People gua.

Capricorn New Moon: Do Your Best, Bless the Rest

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Remember that awful fitness rule from the 80s, “No pain, no gain?” We’ve come a long way since then. Now most of us realize that torture is not the way to achieve our goals, fitness or otherwise. If we’re not loving and forgiving ourselves along the way, we may never get there – or if we do, the stress will eventually ruin us.

With that said, however, how many of us welcome change and the discomfort it inevitably brings? Achieving a goal usually involves some level of pain that takes us out of our comfort zone. Most people fail to achieve their New Year’s goals because they’re unwilling to live with discomfort – or they try too hard at first and then give up.

After spending a week eating unsalted raw vegetables, drinking green juices and exercising twice a day, I’ve definitely ventured out of my comfort zone. But my main goal for 2016 is TOTAL HEALTH, so it was worth it to feel so much better. Now I’m trying to keep the momentum going. I bought a fantastic Omega juicer and am using it every day. Most of what I’m eating is raw. The day I broke down and had a latte and a piece of quiche yielded such unpleasant results that I got back on track with no complaints.

At Optimum Health Institute, they have a saying: Do your best and bless the rest. We’d all do well to adopt this motto, especially now. Our tricky friend Mercury just went retrograde and backsliding is inevitable for the next three weeks. So rather than fight it, just accept that it’s likely to be “two steps forward, one step back” for a while. In fact, we may as well consider February to be the real start of the New Year, and save any super ambitious activities – like starting a new business or launching a web site – until then.

January is for reviewing the past, making adjustments and continuing on our path, as well as resting, rejuvenating and being kind to ourselves. That doesn’t mean that a bit of discomfort won’t be required – we’re in the Capricorn timeframe, after all! Capricorn and its symbol, the mountain goat, represent the self-reliance and fortitude that come from dealing with difficulties yet forging on up the mountain, one step at a time.

You couldn’t ask for a more Capricornian New Moon than the one that’s coming up on Jan. 9 at 5:30 p.m. PST. The Sun and Moon join powerful Pluto in the sign of the goat, reactivating the unpredictable, breakthrough-oriented Uranus-Pluto square. Mercury retrogrades back into Capricorn, where it remains thru mid-Feb. And, Venus joins Saturn (the Capricorn ruler), cautioning us to move slowly, choose wisely, and keep our resolutions in sight. Also, Jupiter turns retrograde on Jan. 7. Mercury rules everyday activities and Jupiter rules higher thought, so with both planets turning backward, we’d be wise to deal with lingering issues around health, negative thinking or inefficiency – and rethink our priorities if we haven’t already done so at the New Year.

Spiritual maturity is within our grasp this month. We may need to move through a bit of pain or revisit old lessons to reach this new level of mastery, but it will be so worth it. For inspiration, check out this Capricorn New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. On that page, you can also view a mini-makeover showing how I helped one couple transform their Fame gua – with amazing results!

Sagittarius New Moon: 30-Day Challenge

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We all know the importance of physical fitness. But how much attention do you pay to your mental fitness? In a recent issue of Science of Mind magazine, Mitch Horowitz mentions a passage from a 1931 book called Body, Mind and Spirit. In it, a prominent (but unnamed) scientist describes how he transformed his life through undertaking a one-month thought experiment.

“Up to my 50th year,” says the scientist, “I was unhappy, ineffective and obscure. I had read some New Thought literature on directing one’s attention to what is good and useful and ignoring the rest. Such ideas seemed like bunk, but feeling that life was intolerable, I determined to subject them to a month-long test.” During this time, he resolved to impose certain restrictions on his thoughts. “In thinking of the past, I will dwell only on its pleasing incidents. In thinking of the present, I will direct attention to its desirable elements. In thinking of the future, I will regard every worthy and possible ambition as within reach.”

Our intrepid hero threw himself into the experiment, and soon felt happier than ever before. And, to his astonishment, he soon received an offer to become the assistant of a man he deeply admired. The scientist went on to publish many books and enjoy cooperation from his all colleagues. “It seems,” he concluded, “that I stumbled upon a path of life and set forces working for me which were previously working against me.”

When Horowitz suggested that we repeat this experiment, I was intrigued. But could my monkey mind sustain a positive focus for 30 days? I decided to find out. As luck would have it, the perfect start date is at hand: Friday’s New Moon in Sagittarius (Dec. 11, 2:29 am PST). Not only is the Archer associated with the higher mind and goal-setting, but this New Moon squares expansive Jupiter and trines free-thinking Uranus. Plus, nearly all the planets are in forward motion. You couldn’t ask for a more auspicious date on which to begin turning your mind – and life – around.

Want to join me? At the New Moon, write down the following: “I dedicate myself on this day, Dec. 11 2015, to focus on all that is nourishing, advancing and promising for 30 days.” Sign it, and place it somewhere where you’ll be reminded of your commitment. Don’t get discouraged when you become aware of distressing or unkind thoughts; just gently release them without judgment. Then focus instead on something pleasing, or at least neutral.

I want to know how your experiment goes! Email your results to Simone@AstroAlchemy.com and I’ll report on the outcome in a future essay.

One great way to get into a positive space is to make a Treasure Map for the New Moon. For tips on making one, check out this Sagittarius New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life.

Sex and Money? Bring ’em on!

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At first glance, this young Eve in the garden might seem offensive – even pornographic. Or at least anti-wealth. Granted, we may not want to be selling our bodies for money. Yet there’s nothing inherently dirty or degrading here, just a lovely young woman brandishing a symbol of prosperity. It’s only our interpretation that can make the image seem tawdry. It’s time to reclaim the sacredness of our bodies – and the green stuff that makes our world go ’round.

I was recently surprised to discover in a guided visualization that I see money as dead and dirty. So I took a pile of cash and spread it in a circle around a healthy green plant. As I held a leaf between my fingers and sent it appreciation, I felt the green fire pulsing into my veins. Then, I transmitted this energy into the money until it glowed with aliveness. Since I’ve begun to spend that cash, things are popping. I’ve even been contacted by a publisher to write a book! (more on that later).

Sex, money and power are Scorpio’s domain. The Scorpio New Moon (Wed. Nov. 11, 9:47 a.m. PST) puts that power at our fingertips. Beneficent Jupiter in earthy Virgo sextiles the Sun and Moon as they join, which helps us recognize and draw forth the good fortune all around us, and plant it in fertile ground. Mercury in Scorpio conjuncts the New Moon, lending insight, awareness and problem-solving abilities, while Chiron trines it, helping us heal any old wounds or attitudes that may stand in the way of greater wealth.

November is a potent month. Perhaps your fortunes will take a turn for the better.  Or you’ll finally understand something that has given you grief for years. Although change has been brewing beneath the surface for months, only now are you ready to let that relationship go, quit that job and launch your own business, or check yourself into that detox center. You’ve reached the point of no return.

Near the end of the month, Saturn begins its square to Neptune that lasts through next September – a siren call to cut through the fog, “face reality” and manifest an important dream. If you haven’t already heard the November Cosmic Download in which I talk about this transit, check it out.

And, here’s a Scorpio New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life, to help you bury the past. There’s also mini-video at the bottom of that page on how to enhance your Wealth sector.

Here’s to your prosperity and happiness!

Libra New Moon: Mirror, Mirror

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“A true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.”  –Elizabeth Gilbert

Every year when the Sun moves through Libra, I get a lot of calls from folks determined to find their soulmate. Some have been single for ages, while others long to be swept away by love – but can’t face disentangling themselves from marriages that have grown stale. We all hope to see our glory reflected in that special person’s eyes, to be told how much we’re loved and valued. Yet many of us aren’t loving ourselves very much. We work way too hard, pay little attention to the simple pleasures that make life worth living, and try to do everything alone.

No wonder we’re so unhappy! In our culture that celebrates the power of the individual, we’ve been brainwashed into believing that we’re weak or inept if we can’t master our lives by ourselves. So we struggle along, not asking for help, secretly hoping to be rescued by love. Women, in particular, are relational beings who need support from other women to come into the fullness of our power.

Since I joined Hera Hub, a collective workspace for women where we collaborate and share our talents, I’ve been inspired to forge new connections. One of these is my new “study buddy” Christine. Both of us had recently taken Jean Houston’s mind-expanding e-course, Awakening to Your Life Purpose, and now we’re meeting weekly to review the lessons. The first evening we shared our greatest desires and stumbling blocks, and are supporting each other in staying on track by texting at the end of each day.

There is something so motivating about being held accountable. Christine and I are mirroring each other’s potential as we strive to behave in ways that are consistent with what we’re committed to creating. Right now we’re focused on finding, as Jean calls it, “intimations of joy” throughout each day and writing them down in a Joy Journal at night. This is similar to a gratitude practice. It trains the brain to look for things to appreciate – from cooler weather to a stranger’s smile to a wonderful client session. Even on melancholy or difficult days, the very process of searching for hints of joy uplifts my spirits.

The sign of Libra teaches us that the entire world is a mirror, reflecting us back to ourselves. At the upcoming Libra New Moon (Monday Oct. 12, 5:06 p.m. PDT), awakener Uranus in action-packed Aries opposes the Sun and Moon in relational Libra. It’s time to move forward with ties and projects that spark your potential – especially since Mercury will be out of retrograde by Oct. 9. On the other hand, you may feel like kicking someone to the curb. Maybe it’s time…but before you do anything rash, consider that your angry boss or unaffectionate husband may simply be mirroring the inner frustration or lack of self-love you need to face.

There’s a beautiful trine from Jupiter in Virgo to Pluto in Capricorn this month, culminating with Venus and Mars uniting in earthy Virgo at month’s end. The stage is set for manifestation! Ready for your soulmate? It could happen. Launching a new aspect of your business into the world? You couldn’t find a better time.

If you need help feeling the love, check out this New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life. And, watch my astounding makeover of one woman’s bedroom at the bottom of that page.

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