Fall Astrology Café 2016

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. – L. M. Montgomery

Once again we are in that magical in-between season; the sweetness of summer lingers on with its sunny days and gentle breezes while autumn tugs at us with its cool nights, the intoxicating scent of ripe apples, and the sight of hillsides splashed with a rustic palate of crimson, gold and bronze. Stacks of wood begin to appear on porches and above the steeples and rooftops of our hamlet, curls of smoke rise up from the chimneys. For a few weeks we are seduced by the best of both summer and fall. Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower. –Albert Camus

Here at the Astrology, people gather outside around the fountain or sit on the stone benches under the old apple trees, sipping wine or warm, spicy chai. Gaily colored lights hang from the trellis above. It is dusk now and the deep blue sky is streaked with apricot and mauve. Inside the café there is music and laughter, delicious food and stimulating conversations. Welcome back dear friend. It has been too long and you’ve been missed.

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)

The café is decorated with autumn flowers; Goldenrod, Russian Sage and Sunflowers. The candles on the tables and wall sconces have just been lit and the room is bathed in a warm glow. The aroma of cinnamon, cardamom, butter and maple syrup fill the air. There are old friends and new, good wine, smooth jazz, and time to talk.  Make yourself comfortable while I bring you a glass of wine, a cup of tea or perhaps some velvety hot chocolate with fresh whipped cream. If you’re hungry we have hearty soups (creamy tomato with homemade croutons, minestrone, French onion or pureed butternut squash with toasted pumpkin seeds and a dollop of sour cream,). There are casseroles and quiches, freshly baked bread and scones and a lovely selection of goat and sheep cheese. For dessert we have a pear tart with ginger cream, shortbread cookies, baked apples with dried cranberries, or flourless chocolate cake with crème fraiche.   

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.

Mistress of the night, guardian of secrets, and the keeper of the keys, our friend sits at her round oak table with her Runes, Medicine Cards, stones, and crystals spread out before her. Around the room sacred statues of Kwan Yin, Mary and Buddha glow in the candle light. There is a faint scent of jasmine and rose in the air and behind her, through the big bay window, the Hunter’s Moon rises in the night sky. She smiles warmly and invites us to join her. Sit down my friend; the night is young, magic is in the air and there is much to discuss.

Our wise friend takes her purple velvet bag filled with Runes and chooses one. It is Perth, the Rune of Initiation, Something Hidden, A Secret Matter. Listen closely; perhaps there is a message for you.   

    This Rune is on the side of Heaven, the Unknowable, and has associations with the phoenix, that mystical bird that consumes itself in the fire and then rises from its own ashes. Its ways are secret and hidden. Powerful forces of change are at work here. Yet what is achieved is not easily or readily shared. After all, becoming whole, the means of it, is a profound secret.

On the side of the earthly or mundane, there may well be surprises; unexpected gains are not unlikely. On the side of human nature, this Rune is symbolized by the flight of the eagle; soaring flight, free from entanglement, lifting you above the endless ebb and flow of ordinary life to acquire a broader vision. This is the Rune of questing.

Another of the Cycle Runes, Perth stands at the heart of initiation. Nothing external matters here, except as it shows you its inner reflection. This Rune is concerned with the deepest stratum of being, with the bedrock on which your fate is founded. For some, Perth means experiencing a psychic death. If need be, let go of everything, no exception, no exclusions. Nothing less than renewal of the Spirit is at stake. -Ralph Bloom (The Book of Runes)

The Aries Full Moon – October 15-16

Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, and a Super Moon

The Full Moon is an opposition of the Sun and Moon and a culmination of what began at the New Moon. The Sun is in diplomatic Libra, the sign of beauty, balance and harmony; the Moon is in self-directed Aries, the sign of action and aggression. Ruled by Venus, Libra values partnerships and strives to bond. Mars ruled Aries is the lone wolf who blaze new trails and values independence. The Aries/Libra axis is about relationship; to others and to ourselves. This Full Moon encourages us to examine the areas in our life where we are out of balance and bring them into alignment.   

The Moon of Truth / The Moon of Consequences

Not only is the Sun in Libra, intelligent Mercury and expansive Jupiter are also in this refined and elegant sign stressing the need to respect each other and at the same time honor our own needs. The Moon in fiery Aries is conjunct (fused with) freedom-loving Uranus, the planet of disruption, genius and change along with Eris. Named after the Greek goddess of Discord and Strife, Eris is the dwarf planet that was discovered in 2006; the one that changed the rules about what constitutes a planet, thus causing Pluto to be demoted. In mythology Eris was the sister and constant companion of Ares (the god of war) and was the one who tossed the apple at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis which lead to the Trojan War. You don’t mess with Eris! The combination of Uranus and Eris in red-hot Aries is electric at best and dangerous at worse. Uranus and Eris, conjunct the emotional Moon and oppose the Sun, ignite the need for independence, reform and revolution while the Libra planets asks us to honor all people, religions and nationalities. Can we do it? Can we become compassionate and conscious warriors, courageous and audacious peacemakers?

Mars, the ancient ruler of Scorpio, and Pluto, the current ruler, are conjunct in demanding Capricorn. Together they make a formidable twosome. They are in a confrontational square with Mercury in political Libra, the sign of justice. Information that was previously buried or hidden comes to view in unexpected ways. This aspect can also deepen our thinking and bring about honest exchanges. Mercury will oppose Uranus on October 20. Mars makes a square to Uranus on October 28

This is the last Full Moon before the election. The energy is restless and unpredictable. It’s not bad but it’s powerful and edgy. Use it to manifest something positive in your life. Find something to focus on and make it happen. Guard against crazy schemes and sudden urges. Stay grounded. This Full Moon can shake us up or wake us up.

Real courage is risking something that might force you to rethink your thoughts and suffer change and stretch consciousness, real courage is risking ones clichés. –Tony Robbins

Lately it seems as if the world is spinning out of control and at the same time standing still. Everything feels so intense and dramatic; the election, the media, the world, our lives – yet nothing appears to be moving forward. Are we all stuck in some kind of collective dream? These last few weeks I’ve felt fragile, raw, close to tears and watching far too many animal videos on Facebook. I found myself thinking, “What a relief it will be when the election is over, when the problems and pressures I’m dealing with are resolved; when things get calm again, and back to normal.”

Then it hit me and I had a good laugh. “Who am I kidding? There is no “back to normal” – this is life, accept it, embrace it, and see what you can learn from it,” I told myself. To label what’s going on (in the world and in our life) as negative is disempowering; to stand outside it and hope that something will change renders us helpless and ineffective. I realized (once again) how important it is to simply allow it and “lean in” rather than struggling against it. Once I did that the tension seemed to dissolve and I could more forward, albeit slowly, but with some degree of grace and self-love. Daily, I remind myself, don’t shut down, don’t fight against the chaos, become comfortable in it; learn to navigate the unknown, enjoy the process – even the problems. Life is both messy and marvelous and why should it be any other way? On the surface nothing has changed but everything feels different, more open, and filled with possibility.

Life is a very good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way we like to dream about it. The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation in which we don’t get caught and we open our hearts and minds beyond limit. It’s a very tender, nonaggressive, open ended state of affairs. –Pema Chodron

What helps me during these tender times, is connecting to the things that inspire and ground me. Astrology helps to give me a context for what is going on. Pema Chodron’s book, When Things Fall Apart, never fails. John O’Donohue’s compassionate and generous view of the world is like a breath of fresh air; so is the poetry of Mary Oliver and David Whyte, certain pieces of music, and dear friends. Or like last week, hearing Marianne Williamson’s talk at Marble Collegiant Church with my friend, Judy. That is when I can exhale, soften and come back to myself. What brings you back, what grounds you and heals your spirit? Take time over the next few weeks to treat yourself exceptionally well.

Look, I want to love this world

as though it’s the last chance I’m ever going to get

to be alive

and know it.

–Mary Oliver (October)

It is getting late here in the tower above the café. The Hunter’s Moon has risen in the night sky and hangs suspended, full and luminous. The candles have burned down. The air is still and filled with your divine presence.

Dearest Friends, It’s been a while but I’m so glad to back in the Astrology Café with you. Thank you for visiting. These last several months I’ve been working on my book project (Midlife is Not a Crisis: Using Astrology to Thrive in the Second Half of Life) which will be released next spring by Red Wheel / Weiser). This is why I’ve haven’t been writing my newsletters. But you will be hearing more from me now that it’s finished. Enjoy this special season; get outside, walk in the woods or in a park. Give yourself some down time, soul time. Eat delicious food. Rest. Take care of yourself and those close to you. All is well, you are loved, Virginia 

There isn’t a fixed date for Indian Summer. It comes in the fall, and that’s about as close as anyone can come. Sometimes it comes in October, sometimes November; sometimes it waits for the first hard frost – the black frost, as some would call it – and sometimes it just appears over the hilltop and settles down while October is young and innocent. True, there are partisans who will insist that Indian Summer never can come early; but even they can’t set an arbitrary date. It isn’t a calendar season. It makes its own rules. –Hal Borland