Astrology Cafe Winter 2017

“There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This is a season about becoming.”  -Shauna Niequist

December is jam-packed with holiday preparations and parties, followed by the excitement and anticipation of New Year’s Eve. But the month of January unfolds quietly; still new, timid, the year in embryo, filled with both uncertainty and unlimited potential. The cold, crisp air and long nights draw us hearthside and bring us closer. Around the fire, candles flicker as friendships unfold; a time of deep thoughts and honest conversations. This is a month to come back to ourselves, to what is real but also what is possible.     

Here in the far north, the snow falls gently on the meadows and fields, covering trees, rooftops and steeples with its frozen lace. The sound of sleigh bells ring out into the night as the horses make their way over thickly packed snow and down at the pond skaters glide effortlessly across the ice under the luminous Full Moon. Winter is filled with its own magic, silent and deep as the night, as private as the owl perched among the hemlocks; it is a learning time, a listening time.

If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…If you are a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in! –Shel Silverstein (Where the Sidewalk Ends)

Welcome back to Astrology Café, dear friend; you have been missed. Come in from the cold and make yourself comfortable. There are medieval chants playing on the stereo, a fire blazing in the old stone fireplace and the aroma of vanilla, butter, apples, cinnamon and cloves fills the air. On the counter are trays piled high with warm Spiced Chai Bundt Cake, Pistachio Cardamom Butter Cookies, Salted Carmel Chocolate Tarts, and Sour Cream Apple Pie. There are thick, creamy soups (Velvety Tomato with Grilled Cheese Croutons, White Bean and Kale, Miso with Soba Noodles and Fresh Pear Shoots, or Tai Curry Lentil and Sweet Potato) as well as a variety of goat and sheep cheese along with freshly baked bread still warm from the oven. Perhaps you’d like some Hot Buttered Rum, warm Apple Cider, a glass of Malbec, or maybe a big mug of tea; Earl Grey with Rose Petals, Chamomile with Citrus, or Pomegranate White.   

Take your time and when you’re ready, follow me up the stairs, through the library (watch out for the cats), down a narrow corridor, under an arch, then up a few steps to the tower room where our friend, the crone, the wise woman waits for us. She has been waiting all along.

Our friend is sitting at her round wood table wrapped in her midnight blue velvet cloak. The Full Snow Goose Moon shines through the bay window, candles illuminate the sacred statues and Kwan Yins that are placed around the room and the air is perfumed with the scent of jasmine and rose. Outside the wind howls but in here it is warm and safe; time seems to stand still. Can you feel it? Our friend smiles warmly and gestures for us to join her at the table. Let the conversation begin. We are at the beginning of the year; an ideal time to consult the Oracle. On the table before us are Runes, cards, crystals and sacred stones. She reaches into her velvet pouch and picks a Rune. It is Odin, The Unknowable, The Blank Rune.

    “Blank is the end, blank is the beginning. This is the Rune of total trust and should be taken as exciting evidence of your most immediate contact with your own true destiny which, time and time again rises like the phoenix from the ashes of what we call fate.

    Odin can portend a death. But that death is usually symbolic, and may relate to any part of your life as you are living it now. Relinquishing control is the ultimate challenge for the Spiritual Warrior.

    Here the Unknowable informs you that it is in motion in your life. In that blankness is held undiluted potential. At the same time both pregnant and empty, it comprehends the totality of being, all that is to be actualized.

    Drawing the Blank Rune brings to the surface your deepest fears. Will I fail? Will I be abandoned? Will it all be taken away? And yet your highest good, your truest possibilities and all  your fertile dreams are held within that blankness.

    Willingness and permitting are what this Rune requires, for how can you exercise control over what is not yet in form? And what is coming to be can never arise from the known. Once again, this Rune often calls for no less an act of courage than the empty-handed leap into the void. Drawing it is a direct test of fate.

    Whenever you draw the Blank Rune, take heart: Know that the work of shelf-change is progressing in your life.” (Ralph Blum, The Book of Runes)

The Cancer Full Moon – January 12, 2017

The Cherokee call this the Snow Goose Full Moon. It is also known as the Old Moon, Wolf Moon

Look outside tonight and you will see a frosty winter Moon glowing in an inky blue-black sky. According to the Cherokee this is the Snow Goose Full Moon and it initiates a time of creative expression and tangible blessings to those who align with its energy. The Sun is in practical and ambitious Capricorn; the sign of the father. The Moon is in intuitive and compassionate Cancer, the Great Mother. Capricorn is a practical earth sign and values action in the outer world. Cancer is a water sign motivated by emotion rather than logic; it thrives through inner work. This Full Moon reminds us that authentic power and security comes when we honor our feelings and our feminine nature. Where are you out of balance? Is there too much focus in the outer world or not enough? This Full Moon is an opportunity to integrate these two energies.

No Ordinary Full Moon, No Ordinary Time

Full Moons are naturally passionate and emotional but this one is especially potent and extremely unpredictable. Those two game-changers, rebellious Uranus and intense Pluto, dominate this lunation. Pluto in controlling Capricorn is conjunct the Sun and opposite the Moon. Uranus, in fiery Aries, along with Ceres and Eris, makes a challenging square to both Sun and Moon. And just to intensify and exaggerate the situation, bigger-is-better Jupiter in Libra joins the party – creating a cardinal grand cross. The energy is edgy, rebellious and impulsive and can trigger reckless action and bad judgement. Just look at the news this past week. This affects all of us but especially those of you with planets (of angles) in 17-22 degrees of Aries, Libra, Cancer and Capricorn. Can we use this energy for something constructive? Absolutely.

First of all, slow down. You have more control when you take your time. Remember, direction is more important than speed. You don’t need to be at the center of the action right now; pull back and observe. Speak less and listen more. Don’t make hasty decisions or send thoughtless texts. It’s easy to blame or project on others right now. We’ve seen a lot of that in played out on social media. Pluto’s involvement asks us to look deeply and honestly at our own darks side and take responsibility. Uranus asks us to shift our perspective to see beyond our prejudice and intolerance. Jupiter challenges us to deepen our faith. Tough-love Saturn makes a hard square to Mars and Chiron bringing to the surface our childhood fears and wounds. Yet genuine healing and transformation is possible. The tender Cancer Moon makes a supportive trine to forgiving Chiron in Pisces. Venus (love) and Neptune (divine love) conjunct in compassionate Pisces send a message of healing and hope.

There’s a lot of energy out there right now – don’t waste it fighting against something – fight for something. Find something positive to be obsessed about! Get in touch with a cause you feel passionate about, a dream or goal you want to manifest. Perhaps there’s an old grievance or addiction that you are ready to let go of. There’s never been a better time.

“May you live in interesting times.” –Chinese curse

A lot of us are feeling traumatized by what is going on in the world right now. Honor your feelings but keep moving forward. As Marianne Williamson has said “We have to get over ourselves.” We’re all waking up. It’s no longer enough to be spiritual students; we must become spiritual warriors, fierce and conscious light workers. We’ve been transforming and working on ourselves; now it’s time to transform the world. We cannot look to the leaders for the answers; we must look within. We are in uncharted territory, making it up as we go along. The rules have changed. There are no rules. Stay engaged. Do what you can. Be true to yourself, to those you love and respect, and to the values you hold dear.

“We are an ancient sort of resilient. Made for the falling and the rising. Made for the burning down and rebuilding from ashes. Made for the holy wonder of beginning again.”
~ Terry Tempest Williams.

What is your special word for 2017?

One of my favorite January rituals is finding a word (or phrase) that will be my talisman or mantra for the year. I don’t like resolutions; they feel too militant and never seem to last. But a simple word or phrase has magic and meaning; it doesn’t demand; it inspires, motivates. Over the years I’ve chosen words like Manifest, Yes, and Forgiveness. Consider phrases like Happy for No Reason, Slow Down, Daring Greatly, Radical Good Health, Love Yourself, Outrageous Abundance, or Big Magic. There are no rules; you can change it any time you want or have more than one. Play with it, have fun, create a collage or painting with your word or phrase; make it your own. This year I’m thinking about the word, Permission. Permission to be happy, to say yes, or no, to do what I want, and be all that I am.

Dear Friend, It is getting late here in the tower above the Astrology Café. The old owl has appeared on the Alder tree outside. The candles have all burned down. The room is filled with your divine presence. Thank you for visiting. Go gently into this New Year. Let it unfold naturally. Find your own rhythm. Above all, have patience with yourself and with the world. Beginnings are fragile and life is not about perfection; it’s about wholeness. All is well, you are loved, Virginia

It is your turn now,
You waited, you were patient.
The time has come for us to polish you.
We will transform your inner pearl
into a house of fire.
You’re a gold mind.
Did you know that,
hidden in the dirt of the earth?
It is your turn now,
to be placed in fire.
Let us cremate your impurities.


My new book, Midlife is Not a Crisis: Using Astrology to Thrive in the Second Half of Life (published by Red Wheel / Weiser) will be out in April. Click here to pre-order it on Amazon.