name='keywords'/> Dance of the Phoenix: December 2013

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Cardinal Grand Cross

The Cardinal Grand Cross has been in full force this holiday week.  Jupiter is in Cancer, representing joy, expansiveness, and opportunity and has been opposing Pluto in Capricorn, representing transformation and empowerment.  Then we have Mars in Libra, representing self-confidence and ambition, opposing Uranus in Aries, which symbolizes change and liberation.  And Pluto and Jupiter are squaring Mars and Uranus.  This has been one wild ride!  Let’s not forget that Mars in Libra is activating the Uranus/Pluto square which will continue through 2015.  These two are irrevocably intertwined.  The next date of the Uranus/Pluto square being exact is April 21, 2014 and the Cardinal Grand Cross will be exact on April 22-23, 2014. 

What are the themes of a cardinal grand cross?  We need to take appropriate action and either change or cease the way we go after things.  The key to understanding the cardinal energy is the knowledge that all four of these signs like to take action. Tension, volatility, blow-ups, relationship issues, power struggles breakdowns in shaky structures and feeling repressed and bullied all feature prominently.  Overreaction is common, courtesy of Jupiter in Cancer’s propensity for blowing things out of proportion.  How can we deal with this—step back and detach as much as possible, take a time out, count to ten, do  whatever it takes to breathe and chill out!

On Christmas Eve Mercury entered the sign of Capricorn, which only added to the cardinal mix, along with the Sun and the other four planets involved.   And on Christmas Day Mars in Libra directly opposed Uranus in Aries.  I find it difficult to believe that anyone escaped this holiday without some conflict. Long-term resentments probably reared their ugly heads in many families.  The solution to surviving this energy is the ability to be flexible, which comes naturally to the mutable signs of Pisces, Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius.  It can be a lot rougher on those of us who have a lot of fixed energy in our charts: my fellow Scorpios, as well as Taurus, Leo and Aquarius.

On December 29th the Sun and Mercury in Capricorn will be squaring Uranus in 9 degrees of Aries.  How will this play out?  There will be attachment to old goals those conflicts with new needs.  It is important to remember to LET GO!  Letting go may pave the way for surprising new solutions to appear.  On December 30th Mars in Libra will be squaring Pluto in Capricorn.  This one definitely pulls a big punch—it is pure energy with strong forces at work.  Ambitions may be thwarted or resisted.  Frustration builds.  It can be an accident prone time and violence may erupt.    And on New Year’s Eve, December 31st, Mars in Libra will be squaring the Sun, Mercury in addition to Pluto.  Watch what you say and do and don’t get too attached to a big over the top celebration on New Year’s Eve.  This is one year where small and low-key may be the safest, wisest and happiest way to ring in 2014.

The year 2014 starts off with a supercharged new moon in 10 degrees and 57 minutes of Capricorn.  It continues the theme of the cardinal grand cross by reinforcing the theme of taking the initiative to change.  Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, so it is a good time to develop discipline, set goals, do your due diligence and be methodical.  This is not the time for shortcuts!

If you have procrastinated in buying someone a holiday gift, I would like to remind you that I am offering a 20% discount on all of my services through the remainder of December. You still have few days to take advantage of this offer.   An astrological reading is a thoughtful, unique gift and the insight it imparts can keep giving throughout the coming year.  Please review my Services Offered page and go to this link to learn more about this special offer. 

You will need to contact me directly by email at or call me at 617-304-2205 to receive this special discount.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Venus Retrograde in Capricorn: A Time for Second Chances

Here we go again.  Last week it was Mars in Libra and now we have Venus in Capricorn retrograde.  This is in addition to this week’s full moon and Uranus going direct on December 17th.  With both of these planets being retrograde, especially with Mars in the partnership sign of Libra, of course this will be about relationships, but with Venus in the business sign of Capricorn it will entail taking love seriously like a business proposition.  Ironically, Venus was all set to go into the sign of Aquarius when it stationed retrograde at 29 degrees of Capricorn on December 21st.  So there will be no Venus in Aquarius until March 5th.  Am I as worried about Venus retrograde as I tend to be about Mars, Saturn or Mercury retrograde?  Surprisingly, no.  Why—well, as the old Maybelline slogan went, “Maybe she was born with it.” Yes, folks, I was born with Venus retrograde, so it is not a huge stretch out of my comfort zone.   My Venus retrograde is not in Capricorn, but in the detrimental sign of Scorpio. 

What does Venus retrograde feel like?  Well, I can tell you from personal experience that Venus retrograde internalizes hurts and experiences difficulty in finding fulfillment in relationships.  Generally it feels like there is a lack of love in life.  If you have Venus retrograde natally, you tend to have difficulty expressing love due to an inherent reserve, reticence and shyness.  You can literally feel unloved, unappreciated and disappointed if you are in a committed relationship.  Venus retrograde also has a tendency to delay marriage or the development of relationships.  Venus retrograde is literally a “late bloomer” in the relationship department of life.

Past relationships will figure prominently in this transit; don’t be surprised if ex-lovers show up during this Venus retrograde, but when Venus goes direct you may also remember why you broke up with them in the first place! This Venus retrograde transit will force us to face our past and either let it go or claim it once and for all.  It can be about second chances to commit to love.  But the trick is not to expect instant progress.  This can be an excellent time to learn whom you can really trust.  It can also be a good time to determine what you can tolerate in a relationship and understand the differences between you and your partner. Whatever you do, don’t get engaged or married during Venus retrograde because you will probably see the relationship in a completely different light when Venus goes direct.  It’s probably not a good idea to break up with anyone either, because you may be setting the stage for an on-again, off again type of relationship.  Things will be much clearer when Venus goes direct and when it enters the sign of Aquarius there will be an enhanced sense of perception and detachment.

Venus retrograde is also about revising approaches to financial matters.  Venus rules finances and values, so it is not a good time to purchase luxury items.  I don’t think that retailers want to hear that with Christmas approaching.  There could be more returns than usual this year.  Ironically, it is a good time to purchase antiques and second hand goods, so feel free to hit the antique shops and auctions.

As for me, I have some pretty interesting transits coming up with this Venus retrograde. Venus will be conjuncting my natal Chiron.  I am viewing it as an opportunity to release some blockages from old wounds and unresolved issues and trust in the healing process.  I can reprioritize my spiritual values and let the creative juices flow. Venus will also be opposing my natal Uranus, which could bring sudden changes in agreement and erratic actions on the part of others.  If I am craving excitement, I probably won’t be bored with this transit.  And since I have a natal Jupiter/Uranus conjunction, Venus will also be opposing Jupiter, so I am definitely going to be in the mood for pleasure.  I just have to be careful not to overindulge and go easy on the after-Christmas sales.

Christmas is just a few days away and I would like to remind you that I am offering a 20% discount on all of my services during the month of December.   An astrological reading is a thoughtful, unique gift and the insight it imparts can keep giving throughout the coming year.  Please review my Services Offered page and go to this link to learn more about this special offer. 

You will need to contact me directly by email at or call me at 617-304-2205 to receive this special discount.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mars in Libra - Relationship Assessment Time

Mars entered the sign of Libra on December 7th, the 72nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor.  While we are not under direct attack (Mars was in the sign of Aries back in December 1941), we may be in for quite a different kind of siege until Mars enters the sign of Scorpio on July 26, 2014.  That’s right—we have Mars going retrograde on March 1st at 28 degrees of Libra to thank for this extended transit.

What can we expect with Mars in Libra for eight months?  Well, first of all, Mars is considered to be in detriment in the sign of Libra, which means it is not in a good place.  Mars rules Aries and Scorpio and is much stronger in those signs.  Mars is very comfortable in fire signs because they are direct, but very uncomfortable in air signs.  I have my natal Mars in Aquarius, another air sign and I can attest to that discomfort.  I have frequently lamented that my Mars in Aquarius is the bane of my existence, squaring my Sun and Saturn in Scorpio.  But it also forms a grand trine in air with my Libra ascendant and Gemini moon, so it has its good points.

The main theme of this transit may play out in lots of passive-aggressive behavior and manipulation. Relationship assessment will definitely be in order.  Mars in Libra is also all about outraged ego and wounded pride; it shows Mars at its absolute worst.  Libra does symbolize relationship harmony, but passive aggressive behavior tends to be rampant when Mars is in Libra.  Perhaps the greatest lesson we can learn from this Mars in Libra transit is to cultivate our shadow awareness.  If we find ourselves becoming upset or angry by someone else’s actions it can indicate that we are reacting to our own unexpressed anger or repressed aggression.  We need to be mindful of what pushes our buttons. Another productive way of utilizing this energy is finding a crusade to fight for justice (the symbol for Libra is the scales of justice) or to do something creative.  Former President Bill Clinton has Mars in 6 degrees of Libra conjunct his Libra ascendant at 5 degrees.  He is probably already feeling the effects of this transit. Mars in Libra can be socially active and a clever strategist while drawn to romance and complicated relationships. 

Mars in Libra is currently in my 12th house until January 10,,, 2014 and this is not a fun transit. It can literally make you feel paranoid and that you have secret enemies out there.   It is at times emotionally upsetting and I am finding that I need to confront myself about self-defeating behaviors that I have.  On the plus side, with Libra rising I am not naturally a confrontational person, so it is far easier for me to confront myself than others.  But it is still difficult to put my ego aside.  While Mars will enter my 1st house in January, due to the retrograde, it will wind up back in my 12th house in mid-April through late June 2014.  Mars resumes direct motion on May 9, 2014 at 9 degrees of Libra.

I am trying to focus on the positive side of the Mars transit to my ascendant, which will occur on January 10th, April 15th and June 23rd of 2014.  This will be more energizing and I should feel more ready to take action and promote my personal agenda.  I anticipate feeling more competitive, able to focus more easily and finding it easier to be more direct and intense in my approach to others.  I just need to be careful because Mars on the ascendant can also be accident prone.

Transiting Mars in Libra will also be conjunct my natal Neptune in Libra on February 10th and July 17th and that is a whole other kettle of fish.  This one could cancel out the energizing effects of Mars on my ascendant if I am not careful because Mars conjuncting Neptune usually indicates lowered physical energy and the danger of being deceived by others.  But creative endeavors can be a source of redemption because Neptune is about spirituality and creativity.

But I think that this extended stay of Mars in Libra will be a wild ride, especially over the holidays.  Mars will be in direct opposition to Uranus in 9 degrees of Aries on Christmas day. This can lead to impatience, explosive tempers, and impulsive behavior.  What fun!  And on December 29th, Mars in Libra will be squaring Pluto in 11 degrees of Capricorn.  How will this play out?  Power struggles, control issues and compulsive behaviors will be the order of the day.  So there can definitely be some relationship assessment going on as we end 2013.

As we prepare for the holidays, I would like to remind you that I am offering a 20% discount on all of my services during the month of December.   An astrological reading is a thoughtful, unique gift and the insight it imparts can keep giving throughout the coming year.  Please review my Services Offered page and go to this link to learn more about this special offer. 

You will need to contact me directly by email at or call me at 617-304-2205 to receive this special discount.


Friday, December 6, 2013

New Moon in Sagittarius

We had a new moon in 11 degrees of Sagittarius on Monday, December 2nd and I had been eagerly anticipating it.  Sagittarius is well-known for its qualities of optimism, honesty, sense of humor and search for knowledge and wisdom.  I was looking forward to seeing the bigger picture after weeks of all that heavy Scorpio energy, courtesy of the north node of the moon, Saturn, and Mercury in Scorpio.  And let’s not forget that solar eclipse on November 3rd.    I was also hoping that it would amplify my sense of humor. 

But the day just did not pan out that way.  It simply was not a feel-good day for me.   I discovered that I needed a new prescription for my eyeglasses at my routine eye exam, which was an unanticipated expense.  I had sensed the possibility of that because it has been getting more difficult to read but obviously on some level I was in denial.   Thank you, moon square Neptune!  The result was that I needed a stronger reading prescription. And I was told that I still had to come back in six months to monitor my risk for glaucoma.   In order to see the bigger picture, I would need to shell out more money.  I failed to see the humor in that one.  OK, I have to admit that this new moon was in my 2nd house opposing my natal moon in the 8th house of shared resources.  It appeared that the only thing being expanded was my expenses, not my income! I was definitely feeling the effects of that new moon squaring Mars in Virgo by being upset about finances.  The fact that this new moon also squared both Neptune and Chiron in Pisces triggered my victim mode even more by opening up old wounds and insecurities regarding my health and finances.

The next day I received an email that I would need to attend a hearing to resolve a financial legal matter that I had been dealing with privately for the past three months.  It was scheduled for December 19th, which would be two days after the full moon in Gemini in my 9th house.  As an astrologer, I should have been better prepared for the anything can happen energy of a Sagittarius new moon.  But more importantly, I was nearing a resolution in a matter pertaining to my finances and that was the purpose of this new moon’s influence on my chart. Ironically, I had to reschedule a doctor’s appointment for my annual physical that conflicted with the hearing.

But I did have a couple of a-ha moments.  Michael Lutin made me laugh again when I read his site on December 5th urging us to stay in the light of the new moon in Sag and resist the urge to fall into deep pessimism, which is pretty much my natural state of mind as a Scorpio.  I swear that my moon in Gemini keeps me laughing and alive during the worst of times. His site even featured a photo of Gene Kelly from the movie Singin’ in the Rain.  As Michael so aptly stated, in true Sagittarian fashion, you can remain focused, face the music, and still dance in the rain.

I also started thinking about the concept of planets in mutual reception.  While Saturn and Pluto are not known for being astrological “lightweights” (structure and transformation) , they are considered to be in “mutual reception” these days because Saturn rules the sign of Capricorn, where Pluto will be residing until 2023 and Pluto rules Scorpio, where Saturn will be for roughly another year before it enters Sagittarius on Christmas Eve of 2014.  Basically, mutual reception means that the two planets that are in each other’s signs of rulership will have their energies strengthened and provide assistance to each other.  

I thought back to my first Saturn Return when Pluto was in Libra and that was not the case.  While I cannot honestly say that I enjoyed my second Saturn Return this past year, I will confess that my first Saturn Return was far more difficult.  Until my early 50’s, I referred to my first Saturn Return as the worst year of my adult life.  So I realized that this week’s new moon in Sagittarius was in mutual reception with Jupiter in Cancer.  The moon rules Cancer and Jupiter rules Sagittarius, so it looks like hope can spring eternal! And Saturn in Scorpio is trining Jupiter in Cancer, which is a good thing because restriction and expansion don’t play well together if they are making harsh aspects. It’s like having the icing on the cake with Saturn trining Jupiter and Saturn in mutual reception with Pluto.  I didn’t miss out on that optimistic Sagittarian new moon energy after all.

As I prepare for the holidays—I even bought some Christmas cards this week on sale, I would like to remind you that I am offering a 20% discount on all of my services during the month of December.   An astrological reading is a thoughtful, unique gift and the insight it imparts can keep giving throughout the coming year.  Please review my Services Offered page and go to this link to learn more about this special offer. 

You will need to contact me directly by email at or call me at 617-304-2205 to receive this special discount.