Sinking into the Pleasures of Transformation

shutterstock_autumn leaves

Tonight the Moon is full in earthy Taurus, opposite the Sun in mysterious Scorpio.  Contemplating this interplay of stellar forces we might ask:  How do the regenerative powers of Scorpio combine with fertile Taurus? What Moon magic emerges—when transformation meets sensuality and pleasure?  Perhaps you’ll find a mysterious power in something routine and everyday—or maybe you’ll achieve a new level of comfort with a strange situation.  It’s a propitious moment to seek transformation.

The Sun has been in Scorpio since October 23. It’s time to dive to the hidden roots of things.  Notice the quiet joy of going inward—even if a clamoring world begs otherwise. The second month of autumn is an auspicious time for drawing closer to your inner self.  Like the turning fall leaves, something within us asks “What is changing in me?”  A desire flushes to the surface.  We discover a passion within.  Maybe we want to be happier or more successful.  We realize the way to proceed is by releasing something.  By solar month’s end, our psyche will drop its leaves, paring down to essentials.

My friend Susan just returned from a visit back East with her sisters.  She was thrilled with their recent successes. She was also aware that she didn’t have any to rival theirs, except that she’d changed.  She wasn’t the way she used to be, and that was good.  Still, she felt uneasy, unfinished somehow, and in the days following her trip, there was that persistent inner voice, complaining “I just want to be happy… but what is that?”

It’s easy to feel unsettled when entering Scorpio’s season.  This can happen after the prior Libra month, where we more readily see just how our lives are in—or out of—balance.  We want to get newly organized, make the right changes.  Autumn is the time to call back and re-organize the loose, outward-flowing patterns that flourished in the warmer months.  As the natural world draws its energy into the ground, we are likewise shifting our focus, to what matters at our roots.

As a fixed sign, Scorpio can help us to sustain effort. It aids our focus and determination.  It also tests our attachments, clarifying what needs eliminating.  Most transformations first require letting go of something we thought was important. Purge. Burn. Release. Years ago, when I was at the tail end of a painful divorce, I discovered  how powerful Scorpio’s purges can be.  One of the last gifts my husband had given me—a little desk terrarium—was inadvertently damaged by a co-worker.  I collapsed into such overwhelming grief, even I was surprised.  Wasn’t I done with this yet?  After so many months of anger, loneliness and tears, I was still holding on to the marriage.  With a friend as support and my shoulders shaking with grief, I performed a ritual of letting go:  I threw my ex-husband’s last gift into the parking lot dumpster.

From such small acts of release, our lives transform.  The next day was startling:  I met somebody new.  I fell in love!  I met the man who five years later would father my son.  Room for new futures is made whenever we let go.  The waning Moon invites us monthly to clear space and release attachments that no longer serve, but this work is especially significant throughout Scorpio’s season.  As the days shorten, the air cools, and the geese fly south; as we take ourselves indoors, wear warmer clothes, and eat heartier foods, we can resist or go willingly into nature’s plan for us–to go inward now and renew our souls, clearing the way for future joys.

For a quick and easy transformation meditation, check out my blog this month.

For more about living in harmony with natural time, check out my Moon Workshop.



Taurus Full Moon: The Money Fountain

Fountain Flower

This summer’s Venus retrograde delivered much needed slow down time -to enjoy the bounty and beauty of summer, to get firmly reacquainted with pleasure again- which, for me, also coincided with diminished clients, and therefore less money. Like others who run their own business, I’ve learned to ride the cyclical nature of cash flow like a surfer waiting for the next wave. There’s no point in fighting it, falling into abject depression over lack, when the next wave will eventually come. I use down time to realign my energies so the money can find me again. It is called flow, after all.

So I gardened. Inspired by a trip to a local Victorian house, circa the Great Gatsby era, where I saw a moon garden worthy of F. Scott and Zelda, I had to attempt to replicate my own version. A moon garden of silvery greens and white blooms designed just so that when the full moon shines, the garden lights up the shimmery moonscape, setting everything aglow in a silver-white cast. It took a little cash to create, but not much. A tour from the master gardener of the house yielded gifts of succulents, volcanic rock, and bags fresh redwood chips. “Ask and you shall receive” is more than a motto for my second house Neptune. So is “have faith”. Along with: “Isn’t this an utterly impractical way to pay the bills?” Over the years I’ve learned to dial down the anxiety and just trust my intuition.

Because every Cancer truly needs both a moon garden sanctuary and the sweet gurgle of moving water throughout the day, we built a fountain, too, decorating it with sea glass and shells I’d retained from a trip to Baja several years ago. I relaxed deeply into a new daily routine of twinkling water at my every turn. And several days later, a funny thing happened -people suddenly wanted to pay me money for my services again. After two months of finding my flow at a very slow drip, my hands were busied, and not with dirt, flowers and fountain assemblages – but with new clients.

What happened? I asked Google. Google told me that, according to Feng Shui, I had added the most powerful symbol of prosperity and abundance, a fountain, to my home. Not only that, I had placed it in the north, next to the front door. North rules the career and life path sector… and the door, well, people and their money were now walking through it. Coincidence? Magic.

Money is often a source of fear, insecurity and craving for humans; so many people in this world hunger for things and opportunities money allows. Yet we are provided for in endlessly creative ways, and in my experience, the Universe rewards our attempts at co-creativity. It may take work, but not too much. Taurus Moon wrote the lazy (wo)man’s guide to happiness. If there were such a book it would certainly read: To have more of what you want and need, start with what you enjoy. It’s a Venusian credo, to be sure, but for those who successfully practice bliss, joy, relaxation, creativity, enchantment… it’s not wishful thinking, but thinking from a more intelligent place. It’s what I call thinking with your Venus. 

Taurus has special resonance with abundance, the natural world of our senses, and the animal longings of our bodies. Like animals, we are each unique in the particular comforts that bring pleasure. From a twinkling fountain, to biting into a cold, crisp autumn apple; from the smell of homemade caramel bubbling on the stove, to a deep kiss from a lover or a lick on the nose from a pup, right now we can relax into simple pleasures.

Taurus Full Moon heightens our love for pleasure, creature comforts and abundance. This can bring up our longing for material security –and its lack. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, try taking inventory what you do have (for instance, I had a swath of unused land). Then, from a perspective of abundance, ask: What can I do with the resources I already have? Fix that broken clock you’ve been meaning to fix. Get your oil changed. Polish your silver. Appreciate the satisfaction these small fixes bring. With Venus and Mars in Virgo already lining up for a rendezvous on November 2, the God and Goddess of Small Miracles are standing by. Co-conspire with them…then watch how your garden grows.

Taurus Full Moon: The Sorcery of Benign Neglect

We visited a Taurus-rising friend in her Bay Area home last spring, and she treated us to a tour of her thriving garden. My husband and his Taurus Moon were especially taken with her “tater totes”—recycled tote bags, perfect for growing potatoes. But nothing impressed him more than her elaborate, three-section composting shed. While the two discussed, at length, its design, construction, and functionality, I (no planets in Taurus) wandered off to find the cat.

Plant some Taurus in a birth chart, and it will generally grow into a green thumb. My husband has stationed a cookie-jar sized container next to our kitchen sink to collect scraps for his own, cherished compost heap. And just this morning, my Sun in Taurus neighbor cheerfully described what a good time she’d had yesterday, working in her garden. She’d started out a little bit sad and out of sorts, she said, but a day of puttering around in the dirt had set her right.

Taurus has an instinct for cultivation. Its opposite sign, Scorpio, symbolizes the process of death and decay, the spent organic matter that’s thrown on the compost heap and the busy, helpful insects that break it down. The result, to most of us, looks like plain old dirt. But from across the horoscopic wheel, Taurus recognizes the resulting loam as beautiful, nourishing, and helpful, and knows just how to use it to encourage things to grow.

It’s not always gardening that engages Taurus’ talent for growing things. Some with this sign strong in their charts kill their house plants with alacrity but are brilliant at cultivating a thriving business, a stable organization, or a devoted cadre of friends. They’re geniuses at taking over a situation that has collapsed through mismanagement, malfeasance, or pure exhaustion, and restoring it to strength and health.

Taurus has a gift for nurturing, but it’s not the tender, sympathetic nurturing of, say, Cancer. Rather, Taurus’ style is a blend of hands-on labor and benign neglect. Plants, people, and organizations thrive under Taurus’ care because they receive the right amount of support, sustenance, and stability, without getting smothered. From the time we could walk, my Sun in Taurus mom taught us manners and supervised our chores, but gave us a pretty long leash when it came to playing in the mud and falling on our butts. She used to joke, “If my kids haven’t eaten a pound of dirt by the time they’re walking, I haven’t done my job!” We got into all sorts of scrapes, but after a quick inspection for real damage, she calmly dusted us off, slapped bandages on us, and distracted us from dramatic tears and temper tantrums with a brisk joke and a cookie.

There’s something reassuring about Taurus’ cheerful confidence and utter lack of drama. As kids, we’re haunted by nameless fears—of the dark, of losing our parents, of being bullied at school. We see creatures in the shadows and are terrified by vivid, scary dreams. We’re attuned to Scorpio’s invisible, magical world, and we’re drawn to horrific fairy tales that help us understand what we find there. As we grow into adults, we don’t need nightmares or the Brothers Grimm to scare us; life itself gives us plenty to worry about. Through it all, Taurus is the sensible, grounded voice that reassures us that everything will work out, that makes us feel better about things by refusing to make a big deal about them.

In the Scorpio season, the shadows grow longer and the days shorter. What was planted in spring and flourished in the summer is withering and exhausted. Our late autumn festivals celebrate the crops that have been harvested and the loved ones who have passed on. We acknowledge the mystery and necessity of death during Scorpio’s season.

But each of us, in our Taurus planets or house (don’t know how to find it? this post should help), possesses the sorcery of benign neglect. In some part of your life, you know how to make things grow, how to support life without smothering it, and to comfort those who are fearful. So at the Taurus Full Moon, gather up the compost of fears, failed dreams, and insecurities. Till them into the garden’s soil; then cover it up for the winter and let it rest. By spring, the soil will be strong and refreshed, and ready to nurture fresh, new, and abundant life.

Ask Flora-October 27, 2015

My life in general is happy with my husband and a 4 yr. old son. The two things that worry me is my lost career due to our relocation to the United States from Asia and suffering from a chronic disease. I tried really hard to get into a job IT Software which is my stream but in vain for the past 4 yrs. Even debating on a second issue given my medical condition we are not sure how it is going to work out. I request to kindly show some light and encouragement which heals my fear & lower self-confidence. Thanks, VS

Warmest greetings, VS, and thank you for reaching through to Flora for healing for your feelings of fear and low self-confidence.

Loss of your career, and living with a chronic illness are serving as your beloved life teachers now, inviting you to re-write, re-new, and re-focus your Self at this time in your life. Feelings of worry, fear, and low self-confidence—of suffering—often show up during times of transformation as we learn to surrender and to soften into the change life has set in motion, rather than trying to hold onto what has been outgrown and is falling away.

For flower essence support, receive the extraordinarily beautiful Explorer’s Gentian flower essence to address the weariness you must feel after “trying really hard to find a job” for the past four years; for feeling a loss of life purpose due to the loss of your career; and to address your chronic illness/health crisis. This blue, cup-shaped flower will stir and awaken within you a renewed strength for recognizing your life purpose and your spiritual destiny, and will support you in creating new opportunities for yourself.

Call upon these wonderful Explorer’s Gentian affirmations, written by Patricia Kaminski, the co-founder of the Flower Essence Society. They will encourage and facilitate the shift in energy you are wholeheartedly awaiting:

The beacon of life-destiny beckons me forward.

I step toward new goals despite impediments.

The stones in my path will become future stars.

I continue to create the fullest potential of who I AM.

If you are able—if you are willing–open yourself fully to these changes, VS, with all your splendid heart and soul. Practice listening for their voice through the sensations in your body. Cultivate relationship with them. Recognize they are your wise and generous teachers, offering you their support. Welcome their lessons, especially in your most vulnerable moments. Ask them what they want you to know, and respond with conviction to their teachings. Know they are guiding you straight into the next chapter of your life, and that they mean you no harm. They are only interested in serving you, and carrying you forward in the perfect way, and in the perfect timing.

Blessings on your journey, VS. Know I am holding you in my heart-thoughts, with loving support, warmly, Jane