Friday, August 27, 2010

10th Letter: the Cardinal Cross and 2012~

Dear Isabelle~

Now you have me worried! What are you looking at in your chart? Is it that cardinal cross?  It was so special that you sent me your chart and a copy of your personal journal, but what changes are you seeing there that send you "out of your head and up to the art studio?" 

I know that the Cardinal Cross--with Saturn in Libra, Pluto in Capricorn, and Uranus in Aries is coming into formation as we head towards 2012. And from what I've read, it's both an ending and a beginning--and a challenge to face the realities of our lives or stay stuck--what do you think Carl Jung would say about holding the tension of this cross? Would he say that Uranus in Aries would be about radical new beginnings? It could bring an unexpected rising of a third, more "numinous Way"---a way for the tension of the cross to be released? I hope we are ready for this....

With love,


Private Journal, August 26

Private Journal, August 26, 2010

This language of astrology has become a voice for me. But it’s strange how ambivalent I feel about it! I hate cocktail-talk astrology, and just don’t do it. And when I called Kendra after the last letter about her miscarriage, I certainly didn’t want to “talk astrology” but the language of the heart.

Just remembered that it was today, Aug 26th, 1920 that women got the right to vote--those suffragettes struggled to have a "voice" and we each still struggle to find our true voice and express it....why am I so reluctant at times?

When I told Kendra that I feel like a “reluctant astrologer” she asked me what this meant--and I couldn’t find the words! So now as I sit here writing in this journal I’m going to try to “think it out” and find my voice that is so often reluctant and ambivalent about astrology….

First there’s the good: this language has given me a voice so that I can speak and counsel others without pathologizing, blaming or shaming. It’s short term therapy—and all therapies—seem to me to me to be the same at the core. Different techniques, yes, and some better at different times, but doesn’t it all come down to: LOVE heals & INSIGHT heals. That’s the heart of it: understanding, catharsis/crying, and love. Love heals.

When astrology “normalizes” experience, as in “yes, that’s one of the ways that a Saturn Return will play out in your life” there’s comfort there, as one can feel connected to a larger sense of meaning and patterns—even a God—something that is not all about random chaos, and luck or the lack of it—or will power and the lack of it.

And when an astrologer listens well—there can be a sense of loving connection between them as well as this connection to a larger pattern of things—even if it’s only to sacred wounds we all carry.

There are times when astrology is “eerily” on target—when what I say and the details of the story of their life synchronize strangely. How could I know those things if astrology wasn’t at least partially true? How could I know that the key to a Pluto transit is about letting go and surrender, whereas the key to a Jupiter transit is “be careful what you wish for, as you may get it?” Hmm… Jupiter transits sound like a coaching session---“do you know what you really want?” whereas a Neptune focused session might be more like: “No, you’re not losing your mind or getting Alzheimer’s, but you just need to let it be OK to “not know” right now…and don’t sign on the dotted line either till this transit passes…!”

So….what’s the problem then….with astrology? With me? Bottom line: there is no way I or anyone else can say how a particular sign or aspect or transit will be played out. Too much variation; no tight foretelling or “signatures” for events. So when a planet, like Saturn, crosses the 4th house cusp, I can see that one's going to start thinking about moving, or at the least, about radical re-modeling a home—because there's a correspondence between your inner sense of home and the outer physical home--yes, there’s a change coming in remaking this foundation, but no way of knowing how it will be acted out.

I wonder if it doesn’t all come down to the fact that we have free will being separate Souls making different choices….and astrology being more like a weather forecast than a fortune teller’s prediction. I think if a fortune teller or psychic is right, it’s more likely that a person is in their default habitual pattern of doing things, and not aware of all their possibilities. I guess that’s what astrology should do….make us aware of these opportunities and challenges so that we make the best choices.

But still…I remain reluctant. What happens when we see multiple aspects that are challenging all at the same time? Like what I am facing in the next few years…I wonder if it plants a seed of anxiety? But maybe that’s not bad? I get to sense my mortality, so my decisions might be better. The Buddhists seem to think that meditating upon impermanence is a good idea. I’m not sure…. I think I'm going to go to my studio and paint--get out of my head for awhile, and then maybe send Kendra some of these ponderings....

Friday, August 20, 2010

Letter #9: Astro-Jargon and the Language of the Heart

Dear Kendra~

Last night I was sitting at dinner between two astrologers who were talking voraciously about their techniques--the rightness of the Placidus or Koch house systems, their views on declinations, mid-points, and orbs, and the disparity between Vedic and Western astrology. I found myself in a strangely quiet mood. They seemed like two jewelers exclaiming the beauty of their gems, the profundity of their skills—and their suspicious interplay left me hungry. I listened to their astro-jargon, thinking all the while that they were like bees gathering no nectar. By the time we got to the dessert, I finally found space in the conversation—and was aggravated enough to offer a different opinion.

" We need to know how to translate astro-jargon into plain English--we need to go deeper than this, and find profound useful insights for our clients!"  I challenged them-- "We need to understand the basics better--because what we need to know is there--but only if we go deep enough! For example, I asked them what they would say to seeing Neptune squaring Mars in a chart and how they would explain that without insulting a client. Well, they said, rather shyly, it would depend....and indeed it would. It would depend on how the rest of the chart looked. This aspect can be weak willed and prone towards sleazy or victim-type behavior or a mark of a highly spiritual person who backs up their actions with deep considerations. Hm....the word "considerations" literally means "with pondering of the stars" or seeing the larger picture.

 And so I mentioned the simple “rule of three” where one looks to see if a psychological pattern is repeated three times in order to gage its importance. And finally I asked them if they knew that the Nodes have a way of pulling the whole chart together—they didn’t know that. The South Node is the underlying magnet of the client's karmic inheritance, and the North Node is its "homeopathic remedy." It is a person's North Star. I guess by the time we finished our cappucino's I was talking more than them.....ah....hope it wasn't eot, but I do fear that astrologers get lost in the confusion of techniques...and paradoxes. We need to go to the basics--and then go deeper into them.

Perhaps I was not in a mood for astro-jargon because I was thinking about how to reply to your heartfelt letter. There wasn’t going to be any quick astrological answers or astro-jargon that would make it better—other than the reflection you gave about the Moon and Pluto, and your feeling that the resonance between what happened and the astrological symbolism made you feel that you were part of a whole, and you had been through a sacred wounding known to many women. It was a wise letter.

So just now, instead of talking Saturn Returns and astrological aspects, I’d rather share with you these feelings that came up as I was having my morning coffee—this is what I wrote in my journal:

“When someone deeply listens to you, the fist-muscle of the heart relaxes and opens, in sweet surprise. When someone deeply listens to you, you begin to breathe. The heart extends itself like a child’s up-reaching hand and is held. It’s as if a cup that was half-empty now fills with waters of unexpected grace, and the touch of their eyes on your Soul opens the floodgates to healing tears. When someone holds you in their heart, listening deeply with words both said and unsaid, the heart rejoices… and you come to know yourself for the first time as worthy, whole and holy. In this sacred moment of time, there is love.”

I hope I have listened to you this way. I hold you in my heart….and this is what I send to you this morning, Kendra~


Thursday, August 19, 2010

8th Letter: Miscarriage, Abortion, Mother Problems: Pluto Aspects to Moon

Dear Isabelle~

I lost the baby last night. The bleeding started slowly yesterday morning, and—since you know I wasn’t far along in this pregnancy—I thought it might just stop. Well it didn’t, and close to midnight I was in pain and going out of my mind—like the worst case of PMS and cramps—and then a final letting go…it all came out of me.

The good news is that I didn’t have to make a decision whether to keep the baby or have an abortion. I hadn’t decided—I couldn’t seem to….instead I just kept talking to this little Soul who was choosing to come through me and asking it if this was the right time, and explaining the situation, and then I’d begin crying and raging at this baby's father for everything—blaming and shaming myself as well as him. Well, I guess this little Soul decided to wait for another opportunity to come through me, or else….who knows? A mystery….

This morning I was looking at it all with astrological eyes. I saw the Moon was aspecting Pluto and I looked it up in my books—and sure enough, Moon coupled with Pluto in hard aspect can signify miscarriage, abortion, and all kinds of “mother” problems. Pluto reflects change we can’t control, only surrender to, and it often transforms a situation through a death—either literal or symbolic. I know you always tell me that most of these “deaths” are metaphorical and that Pluto comes in strong, but leaves like a glowing phoenix. But it all takes so much time. Ah…and the Moon—how synchronistic and symbolic it was—the Moon signifying mother, moods, the feminine, the womb, and all things lunar—including feeling like a lunatic!

Now, I’m trying to accept these Pluto endings—my relationship, the pregnancy, and the void I feel…..trying to trust that the process that my life is unfolding as it’s meant to—that's what I think astrology gives us. We are tuned into a larger symbolic process, and somehow seeing that makes me feel that I can believe there is a God—a Higher Power, or some pattern of Sacred Mystery that we are deeply interconnected with.

So, seeing the astrological symbolism of Pluto and Moon, and knowing that I’m in my Saturn Return as well,  makes me feel as if these changes are normal, though hard (!) and the only response I can think of is acceptance. Very sobering, but somehow I feel spiritually connected to a greater story that’s unfolding as it’s meant to….I don’t like it or understand it, but these powerful transits--these life cycles—I’m in awe of these patterns that are moving in the heavens and somehow inside me as well… somehow knowing I’m in this connection to a larger story there is peace. Do you know what I mean? I hope when I meet “Mr Right” someday, that this little Soul who tried to come through me, will choose to come through me again. Who knows?

Pluto plus Moon=tears, and remembrance of things past, especially with my mother. I think I cried for her too... Ooh…! Strange how I just remembered that today is actually the day she died, five years ago... today. I'm grateful to have you in my life now.

New Phoenix-like beginnings? I guess….but first I need to go inside and grieve….



Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Seventh Letter~Isabelle's Chart

Dear Kendra~

     You asked me to send you my chart, so here it is! Libra Sun, conjunct Neptune and Venus with an Aries Moon, and Aries Rising. The North Node in Taurus in the 2nd house is the only earth planet, and the South Node in Scorpio is conjunct Jupiter in the 8th house.

As you can see, I have a lot of planetary energy in the 5th, 6th, and 7th houses. Do you remember that they are about creativity, work and relationships? That's the simple answer. The Libra Stellium would be "weak" with all that Venus energy ruling it, except that Mars rules Aries, and that puts fire and determination into the crucible~

The Cardinal Cross-- that big topic for astrologers now (!) and for all those interested in this 2012 phenomena--will be hitting my personal planets, so it will be strong for me. Saturn will be conjuncting the Sun, Pluto conjuncting the MC and Uranus the Ascendant. However, the meaning of those transiting planets are for later letters... I just wanted to send you this so that you could ponder it a bit and get a better sense of who I am...of course, with any chart, one never knows how the Soul will play it out---all the possibilities and energies contained with it--this could be the chart of a "Saint or Sinner" depending on how it's lived out.

Enough for the moment. I'm concerned about you. I know I'm supposed to be "mentoring" you, but honestly I'm concerned about your upcoming decisions more than anything--how are you?? Please write soon...yes, I'm losing sleep.

With love,


Friday, August 13, 2010

Abortion, Venus in Scorpio, Venus/Pluto Relationships

Dearest Kendra~

Ah…I’m so sorry to hear about this man! I think relationships are truly the “hardest yoga.” But the good news is that at least you see this about him now, at your Saturn Return, and you know that in the future you won’t accept this kind of coldness in a partnership.

You told me he has Venus in Scorpio—well, Venus in Scorpio and Venus in hard aspect to Pluto can reflect an ambivalence to fully commit to a relationship. When they do commit to a relationship, they will intensely work at making it the best they can, but the first impulse is often to hide, flee, or escape. This is a hard way to enter your Saturn Return, and this lingering situation with an uncommitted relationship is now brought to a head by your pregnancy.

Try to trust the process of things unfolding as they should. Although the relationship between the Soul and the fetus is ultimately a mystery, have you ever thought that sometimes a Soul chooses the parents, and if there isn’t a Soul agreement all around, it sometimes doesn’t come to fruition? The question is whether you want this Soul to come through you now, with this man, at this time of your life?

I believe the Soul doesn’t actually come into the body until the exact moment of birth, which is why we make the birth time so important in astrology. From ancient times, the Soul’s journey as shown on the birth chart has always been marked by the birth time, day and place. It’s not an accident that that is the moment chosen to create the birth chart….and whether the baby is born early, or by caesarian section it doesn’t matter—the time, day, year and place matter, as this is when the Soul enters in, and the story begins.

Ah….and as for your man, what can I say? People who have strong Pluto/Venus in their birth chart or even in a couples combined chart—well, it can be like a cauldron: so transformative and so threatening at times—there’s a vulnerability and woundedness with this aspect that can cause a recoiling because of the responsibilities involved in committed intimacy. Venus in Scorpio or Venus in hard aspect to Pluto worries about being "taken over” by the perceived power of the other person. So these Venusian Scorpios need both intense closeness at times, and then lots of independent breathing room and space, and not everyone is comfortable with the rhythms of closeness and separateness this seems to call for. It can feel to their partners like they're there one minute and then gone the next.

But this isn't to say that it has to be this way...the high end of this aspect is to be able to go into the fire of the relationship and stand commit to making it better. And many with Venus/Pluto will do this.

And--once committed, a Venus/Pluto person will work at making a true relationship strong and lasting, as long as there is a balance between the intimate intensity and some spacious independent time. This is needed for them in order to ponder and reflect on the transformational process of what's happening. They often feel unworthy of true love and may have never seen it! And so they need to have both closeness and space, and compassion.

This is why Plutonian relationships and people sometimes want to "take flight" away from things when they get to a certain point. The hard news is that some Venus/Pluto people will shy away from real relationships, and I’m sure when you said you were pregnant, it scared him away. Once he has a chance to think it over, he may come back or not…and then you’re left with a big decision about him and your pregnancy. Ahh….no easy answers.

With love~


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fifth Letter: North Node, South Node

Dear Isabelle~

I was reading your book last night about the Nodes, and when I read what you wrote in it about Leo North Node, my dear boyfriend said it was all “magical thinking.” Well, you know what? I don’t care, because what you wrote about the Nodes, destiny, fate, and especially my South Node in Aquarius it really touched something deep inside me and it felt right…very right. I also haven’t told you something. Not just about the fortune-tellers prediction…

OK—this is what happened: I was re-reading about my Nodes—my life direction and soul purpose as you say—and it was so synchronistic that you used Joni Mitchell as an example of this North Node Leo pattern! You said it was “time to come in from the cold.” Did you know that’s a line from one of her songs? And—I was listening to that song at the exact moment of reading your words about North Node Leo/ South Node Aquarius --talk about synchronicity! Aquarius' downside is coolness, isn't it? Feeling the exile, and feeling misunderstood.

You said: “ The soul purpose here is to create loving connections with others in order to heal a sense of being the outsider or the persecuted one. By leaving behind harsh judgments of myself or others, the idea now in this life is to ‘come in from the cold’ and become one of us. Your need is to open your heart, and make your presence felt—dare to shine and step forward…be effective and compelling rather than being concerned about being right.”

Then you said that the “shadow with these Nodes is an entrenched fear that entices one to be controlling, inflexible or stubborn…but that having a sense of humor shows that one knows or can contain the pain of life, and can accept the drama of it all as well.”

OK, well here it is. I’m pregnant. And that astrologer was predicting that my relationship was going to break up when transiting Saturn reached my “Seventh House” next winter—and he was also saying that unless I change something in me, I’ll never have a relationship! And then he started saying Scorpio Sun and Leo North Node was too controlling, that we’re drama queens, and yet I feel like an exile, not a queen! I feel “out of the circle” as it is, different and alienated, and that’s my fear…that I don’t know how to love and be loved. That’s the South Node Aquarius that I coming from and can’t seem to leave behind.

Well, as I was reading this, my boyfriend acted really bored--he actually yawned! Then he got up and walked away from me into the kitchen. That's when I lost it.  I told him if he didn’t care for me and how I feel inside, then what were we about? I tried to point to his Nodes in your book, "North Node Astrology" but he didn’t even want to look.

It got worse—I showed him our letters--and about my Moon in Cancer. This led to talking about children, and he said he didn’t want children. Period. And I said, guess what? I’m pregnant! Yes, it’s true. I cried, and apologized, and said it was all a big mistake, and he said—get an abortion. Nothing about how it was his “mistake” too. Nothing about feelings or possibilities. Then my rage turned black, and I said yes I would—I’d get an abortion right now! I’m aborting you right now! I screamed. And I threw him out the door.

OK, some drama, I know. But with my back against the door, I started crying and then the tears stopped, and I felt and a certain coolness came over me. I’m angry at my own stupidity for choosing such a cold man, and that it had to come to this. Maybe I do need to dare (with my Aries rising) and to be open-hearted (Leo) and to stop holding it all inside and being secretive (my planets in Scorpio.) You once told me that “the exiled heretic must take a stand and make a Presence in the world”—do something big—well I made a big mistake with him. And now I have to decide what I really will do.

So this is the Saturn Return. So tell me what you think, and send me a copy of your chart too, if you don’t mind. Somehow studying astrology and spirituality while I’m dealing with all this feels like the only good thing happening right now.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Private Journal

Journal, August 3rd, 2010

"Once upon a time there was a woman, who wasn't as young as she used to be, who sat at her table to write. It was very early morning and she had just awoken from a night full of terrible dreams. In every dream she was lost and no one could hear or help her. After each dream she awoke, and thought it was over--but it wasn't--there was yet another bad dream, and then another.

She wasn't totally unprepared for this to happen, for she had seens signs of it coming. Not only was Saturn preparing to conjunct her Sun, Pluto would soon be squaring it, and Uranus opposing it. This is the cardinal T-square, and it was hitting major spots in her astrology chart. And the flood last week, with the waters rising in the basement had permeated her psyche like the mold that was beginning to grow on the walls, and the soggy destruction of her old books and photographs wasn't a good sign. The slow undertow of tears she had forced back in her waking life now began to arise, and she could see that she was indeed entering upon "a dark wood."

Morning Memory

As I lie in bed this morning
loosely pondering the motivation
to awake or remain motionless...
I float between worlds, wandering lightly
amid some nuance of a half forgotten dream
rising from that other world.

I am the beach. It is hot.
The ocean rolls over me
I don’t think I remember how to swim.

I am no longer in that other world
I am instead in this familiar dream
I call my life.
It shouldn’t be so easy to get lost here.
or drown.

The fragments of my life
strewn around the room—
sweaters thrown in corners
shoes tossed
beside the bed
white sheets of paper slithering
across the desk
precipitously close to the edge.

Then the unbidden voices
of uncertainty, critique and obligation
crash in upon me—
beads of water across my forehead.

I rise in the gray twilight
of this August morning
and wonder--
What will I find today?
A lost ring among the sweaters?
A forgotten place to go among the shoes?
A lost syllable of my life
dropped among the papers?
What forgotten piece of my true nature
—what Zen particle—
Might I find under the stack of books?

I step outside
the kitchen door
to meet another world--
where the gently moving
morning air caresses my skin
and the chatter of birdsong
quiets the night’s fear.

Here the world prepares itself
fresh for a new day
stirring my Soul
with such kind remembrances
of a softer life—
distracting and seducing it
from its long night-journey home.

Here in the garden,
the grasses and flowers
hold no grievance
nor tell troubled tales of what
transpired during the night:
the deer that wandered through the yard
the nesting creatures that tunneled
through the earth—

Here there is no worry
whether sun or rain
will shorten life
or what wild weed is taking over.

The nostalgia of the Iris
And the mystery
Of the wide-leafed weed
Dissolve this morning’s melancholy
Like amber tea
Brewing in the teapot…
Its pungent fragrance awakening
Deeper wells of memory.

The night dreams have passed.
I will not drown.
As the morning mist lifts
the quiet sorrow
that steeped my Soul
in shades of gray
gives way
to this pearly dawn
I rejoice
as night dreams
become day dreams
and I choose again
which story
I’ll live today.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Fourth Letter: Moon aspecting Pluto, Moon in Cancer!

Dear Kendra~

There's a thunder and lighning storm raging outside, as I sit in my cozy room...the amber stained glass light on my desk warms the pages of my old journal as I write. I'm thinking about your Cancer Moon in the "4th house" --the fourth house always relates to your family of origin and how you frame the personal mythology of your life. It has to do with the 3 H's: home, heart and heart. Because you have the sign Cancer here, there's a lot happening in your Soul about your mother, mothering, and feeling secure financially and emotionally. Only you know how changeable and moody you can be--like the storm outside now vs the calmness in this room. Cancer, ruled by the ever changing phases of the Moon, can be crying and cleaning out her closets in the morning, and by evening, dancing with joy by the light of the full moon...

And...I see that your Moon is square to Pluto, the mythological god of the Underworld, hinting that your maternal family karmic inheritance has strongly impacted you. I wonder if you know that having a Moon in Cancer, plus the Pluto square your Moon, tells me that you probably have "unfinished business" at this Saturn Return that relates to your Mother.

Of course, there's your real mother, but behind her is the Archetypal Mother--and so whoever your mother is or isn't, we just know that she's a powerful person for you and that you've probably taken on some of her characteristics--the good and the not-so-good! And--you're going to need to understand her better--the family lineage she came from--and why she is the way she is, to see if you can forgive her for the negative impact on your life. If Pluto wasn't there squaring, or challenging that Cancer Moon it might be less challenging, but sometimes there's a bit of the "missing the mother" if Pluto is in hard aspect to the Moon.

Moon in Cancer, Cancer Sun or Cancer Rising all have a significant relationship with "Mother" and mothering. You haven't told me about her yet. But because of the contact with Pluto I know there's some deep influences and projections here. I hope that you'll forgive the humanness of her...I guess we all want the "Good Mother" archetypal Mother, and yet what we get is a very human mother; hopefully she was a "good enough Mother."

So what the Saturn Return will do is to stir the pot on any unfinished business with the mother or the father, and we finally come into being truly ourselves--taking on the responsibility of our life, and hopefully not living out the unfinished business of the parent that gets projected onto the child. have your Sun in Scorpio with Moon in Cancer--both water signs that tend to have psychic receptivity and a keen intuition. Both can be overly dramatic at times. Moody. Prone to phobias, until the unconscious fears are accepted and brought to consciousness. I wonder if there is a fear of pregnancy or a strong desire to have a child? It can work both ways with Moon in Cancer....or many planets in Cancer.

Enough for now. How are you my dear?