New Insights on Retrogrades in Astrology

The core symbolism of retrogrades is that the energy that planet symbolizes doesn’t flow with social norms. It’s not going in the same direction as the norm.

We can develop a new understanding of the significance of retrogrades in astrology by regarding them in the context of life itself. At the most fundamental level, incarnation refers to a relationship between a spirit/soul and a body in which it resides for the duration of the incarnation (life). In this context, retrogrades invite us to look at that area of life (the house in which the retrograde planet sits) from a detached, spiritual point of view.

Alternatively, if the spirit/body/incarnation metaphor doesn’t work for you, let’s say instead that you have different perspectives at different stages of life. Imagine yourself old, and remember how you saw life when you were 20, 40, etc. You are looking at your life, evaluating, and remembering things you tried and their results. The reflective space that we just created can help you understand retrogrades at a different level.

Since the energy from planets in retrograde motion doesn’t work the same way as “society’s” expression of that energy, it confronts us with being original, with breaking our own paths. The friction we experience in our younger years invites us to learn and develop some detachment from it. Here’s how to do it. Continue reading “New Insights on Retrogrades in Astrology”

Chiron Opposition Nadir and Conjunct Midheaven

glyph-ChironChiron opposition Nadir indicates wounding around your sense of self and pain around your experience of being nurtured and sheltered. It indicates a lack of nurturing and caring love as well as possible lack of material nurturing and neglect. You may have experienced these wounds materially, emotionally, or perhaps spiritually. These wounds, however, carry clues for healing. Continue reading “Chiron Opposition Nadir and Conjunct Midheaven”

Chiron’s Wound and Healing Process

glyph-ChironChiron was officially discovered in 1977, so its use in astrology is relatively new—and breakthrough. I have experienced its transformational power in my own life and observed it in clients’. To work with Chiron’s energy, to touch its magic, we need to suspend several cultural norms, so I will touch on these here after briefly describing “the Chironic Process,” which begins with an “innocent bystander” wound that one can transform into healing and gratitude. Continue reading “Chiron’s Wound and Healing Process”


Did you know that pain can diminish you, or add to you, and its effect is totally based on how you experience it?

How do you bear pain?

For me, if I experience pain from an Ego place, I feel anger or self pity (“Fuck you! Why me?”).

If I experience pain from Spirit, I feel gratitude (“Wow, I can feel this pain, but I need not take it personally; what can I learn?”).

In the first case, I feel that pain takes something from me. In the second, it adds to me.

This feels so weird to say, but I experience that pain I experience from a Spirit place is a kind of ecstasy (tears, sobs).

Yes, ‘tis true for me.

Why are sadness, pain, and ecstasy so close to each other?

I imagine it’s because pain comes from Ego, realizing that he really has no consequence, and joy comes from Spirit who rejoices in the wholeness and connection of all.

So, Ego is truly an illusion, a wonderful temporary illusion. So Ego is diminished in pain, but Spirit feels no pain because it is the whole. It knows pain doesn’t really exist.

So, experiencing them both, in stereo, is exquisite.

USA Natal Chart


A country creates itself through its unique combination of character, resulting abilities, and actions, much as a person does. Countries are vibrations whose spiritual meaning and direction can be described in their natal charts.

The USA is building up to a turning point in its life. The country is in a deepening crisis in 2020, and this crisis will continue to build as USA experiences its first Pluto return, in three parts, in 2022. I will use this natal chart to interpret the Pluto returns; they can give us guidance on the best way to work with the energies of the returns, so we can participate in USA’s development; even more actionable, though, we can understand its development as a large part of the context of our external lives (people who live here).

  • Saturn returns mark life-changing turning points for people. Saturn symbolizes structure at all levels, and lives are built with structure, so when Saturn cycles end and begin, life changes. I think that Pluto returns represent analogous events for countries, only deeper and broader: Saturn changes structure, but Pluto transforms beyond structure, Pluto is meta.

Pluto is arguably the dominant planet in USA’s natal chart, so USA’s first Pluto return affects the country, and its people and relationships, at every level. The power of transformation is key to USA’s self-image and ego, and comparison with other countries and ideologies is often the mechanism for creating its experience of itself. USA is prone to provoking strong rivalries and power struggles.

USA is perpetually restless, but it is not aware of this. It unconsciously invites and creates crises in order to grow, and sometimes for the (unconscious) thrill of it. It derives deep emotional satisfaction from overcoming crisis, but it is largely unaware of this.

USA prizes independence and prefers to improvise during crises, so the country struggles when it must collaborate with other countries to solve global problems. Its normal approach is to throw money or energy at problems, but it’s often not committed for the long term. It is fortunate and grows during crisis, always landing on its feet.

  • Problems like environmental calamity challenge USA because they require prolonged give and take with other countries over the long term; one cannot “innovate one’s way” out of such problems, so USA’s improvisational approach and success carries a false lesson for these pernicious “slow boil” problems.

Continue reading “USA Natal Chart”

Cancer New Moon [Astro Weather]

Astro Weather: Snapshot

newmoon-cancer2020Get ready for a reflective and healing month: this year’s Cancer New Moon is all about nurturing human relationships at all levels, but it also has its share of dangers:

  • This month is super-emotional, so be ready for people to act on their emotions rather than their thoughts. People who prefer “rationality” will probably feel uncomfortable with all the emotion. It is the vibe this month, so lean into it as much as you can; people will be grateful to you when you do.
  • This month is a gift for healing wounds suffered by human community at all levels. People everywhere will start talking about their lives and wounds due to the life changes they’ve had imposed on them by governments due to corona virus.
  • In a similar vein, people with whom you have close relationships (romantic, business, professional) will be reflecting on your relationship, and they (and you) may decide to end the relationship if it no longer serves you or the other person. Or you may decide to make changes. Be open to this if you want to keep the relationship.
  • In business, don’t be surprised when many of your colleagues talk about their communities, families, and home lives. Cancer is focused on family and close community. Try to accommodate them.
  • This month is a turning point for governments and authorities at all levels. People will be questioning authority and talking about their individual, family, and community lives. People have experienced pain, and this is not always going to come out “gracefully.” Expressing pain is the first step to healing, so this month is an opportunity for businesses and governments to build trust with people. Accommodate them when they say things that may feel uncomfortable to you or the organization.

Read on for your guide to nurturing and healing your relationships at all levels.

Continue reading “Cancer New Moon [Astro Weather]”

Decoding Septiles [Astrological Aspects]

Septiles are another one of those astrological aspects that have been overlooked by most astrologers for centuries, and this omission is actually an element of their character! Septiles, the family of aspects that results by dividing the circle by 7, are special in many ways, and very revealing.

I am forever indebted to Dane Rudhyar for helping me discover septiles. His “Less Familiar Aspects” addresses all aspects, including common and uncommon aspects (“contacts”). One element of his genius is seeing things holistically, putting things in context. If you want to understand aspects at a totally new level, I highly recommend it. The aspect wheel below is based on Rudhyar’s discussion.

Septiles Are Mysterious

To approach septiles, it is best to put oneself into a detached space because they are like Neptune; they indicate links to non-earthly reality. Of course, one may divide the circle by any prime number, but 7 is the only number that does not divide the circle evenly; it results in an irrational number (one that doesn’t repeat and goes on to infinity). It shares this trait with other mystical numbers like π (pi), and the Golden Ratio.

Rudhyar interprets this irrationality as signifying that septiles cannot be “completed” in earthly terms; they cannot be understood in terms of earthly words, thoughts, or “rationality.” As when considering Neptune, one has to decouple from earthly grounding. I promise, I won’t do that here, but I just wanted to give you a background for how to work with them in astrological charts. Continue reading “Decoding Septiles [Astrological Aspects]”

Aries New Moon [Astro Weather]

Astro Weather: Snapshot

The lunar cycle is a kind of astrological return that people have lived by for millennia, and each cycle tells a story. Astro Weather reveals the story, and its issues and theme, so you can be present and harmonize with its planetary energies.


Aries New Moon signifies the start of the new year, spring, and 2020’s is a doozy. This month will be very concerned with healing from wounds we received that weren’t our “fault” but which we could not avoid. These wounds tend to be to the core identity, the body, the face, one’s sense of self.

The silver lining in this is that wounds give us the opportunity to heal, and healing is growing.

This wounding and healing thread is very strong this month, so however it shows up in your life, know that it’s giving you the opportunity to grow, to heal yourself and help people around you.

This said, Aries is all about action, with thinking as an afterthought, if at all. New Moon’s aspects (angles) to other planets will confront people’s impulses and instincts, which are focused on action, to slow down and do some deep thinking. This inherent conflict will emerge in many ways, but you can take it in stride by being aware of it.

Don’t be surprised if you encounter impatient or irritable people (including you ;^). That’s part of this New Moon’s energy. Aries doesn’t like being limited, and it faces many limits this month.

You can be graceful this month by giving people space and time to take things in, to reflect, and to say what’s on their minds—even if you feel impatient. This works the other way, too. If you encounter people who feel pushy and impatient, understand that the Aries energy is affecting them.

The home and a strong nesting instinct is likely. If you encounter this, lean into it; it will tend to be fruitful. Read on to dive into the details. Continue reading “Aries New Moon [Astro Weather]”

Pluto Opposition Chiron

This is an astrological black queen, and when you are dealt it, you have a lot in your hand.

Each of these bodies signifies an explicit process: Pluto’s transformation and Chiron’s healing encapsulate several phases, so the opposition carries myriad variations. Pluto’s process starts with the pressure to release, to let die, and when the native resists, it destroys. Then comes the process of regeneration. Chiron’s process starts with an unwarranted wound, a series of realizations and attempts to heal, acceptance of the inability to heal it completely, wisdom/gratitude in ideal cases, and the desire to help others heal. This opposition puts these bodies in a polarity. These facts are the basis of how it works. Continue reading “Pluto Opposition Chiron”