Archive for April, 2009

7 Habits of Highly Effective Taurus People (and One Bonus Habit)

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

No one is more effective than a Taurus sign type, once they get going.  No other sign’s promise is worth their weight in gold.  How do they do it?  And how can you do it too?

  • Follow through.  Finish.  Complete.  Sounds simple?  It is.  But arduous.  Just do it . . . until it’s done.  No matter what happens (distractions, crying babies, fire, flood, storm, etc.).  Be the last one standing, because the last one standing writes the history books.
  • Never waste your effort.  Pace yourself and use every scrap of energy for a purpose.  This way you can more quickly go back to being lazy (a Taurus’ chief occupation).
  • Set a high bar.  Have values—and use them.  Every Taurus type knows that they are offering a lot, so they expect a lot too.  It’s only fair.
  • Feed yourself first.  Build a solid base for yourself and make sure you have what you need and a little more.  Is this selfish?  I don’t think so.  It makes you more solid for those in your life who depend upon you.  As the flight attendants say, “Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.”
  • Be methodical.  Set up a method for what you are doing, then stick to that method.  Hone and refine it until it shines.  Use it over and over and over and over and over.  People will think of you as consistent, and that is your greatest asset.  They will also come to underestimate you and take you for granted.  They will decide you don’t have much imagination (not true!), which allows you to over-deliver and surprise them.  Can you say “fait accompli?”
  • Pay attention to your gut.  Your bodily intuition is a great gift and it will tell you much if you listen.  You’re a human animal and your animal instincts are feeding you information all the time.  Does one person ruffle your feathers, while another smoothes them out?  When your hackles are raised, shouldn’t you pay attention instead of telling yourself it means nothing?
  • Touch people.  A warm handshake, firm hug, or a solid back-pat establishes rapport and gives you contact.  People need that.  It gives them confidence in you and puts them at ease.  It also gives your intuition something to work with.
  • Bonus Habit:  Eat for mobility.  Don’t let your dinner weigh you down.  If the food you eat puts you in a torpor, it’s preventing you from having access to your animal self and your bodily intuition.  It may be delicious, but if it puts you off your game, is it worth it?  Not to mention the long-term health consequences of habitually eating badly, consequences which may be hidden until suddenly you’re down for the count.  Can you say “fait accompli?”

Watch for at least one more Taurus post in May. . .

Want to know more about your chart and your unique style?
Contact Jamie to schedule a reading.


Venus Goes Direct Today: Inanna’s Return To The Overworld

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Inanna has died and been reborn.  Today she leaves the underworld and returns to the sunlit world above.  If you did Inanna’s inner work, your capacity to love and be loved has grown from this period of self-examination.  Your ability to be in relationship is greater than it was before, because you have changed.

As you return from your relationship’s dark, scary, confronting territory, ask yourself:
“What areas of your relationship have you reclaimed?”
“What does your relationship look like now?”
“Who are you now, in your relationship?”
“Are you ready to go on from here?”

While Inanna was in the underworld, she died.  The messenger god sent her two angels to feed her the food and water of life.  Did you feed your relationship, your capacity to love, while it was helpless and had nothing to give back to you?  If it lives today, you probably did.  Good work.

Be Gentle With Yourself and Your Relationship
Inanna returns to the overworld, the world of the everyday, bringing love with her.  She also brings the souls of the peaceful dead, those who died gracefully.  I think this is no coincidence.  The souls of the dead represent qualities of your relationship that you thought were lost forever, that you had given up on and reconciled yourself to the loss of.  Watch for unexpected small delights to return to you as the next few weeks unfold.  Experience gratitude for what you have, instead of bitterness for what you don’t.

Venus may be direct again, but she is still moving slowly for the next few weeks.  Love returns to the sunlit world, but it is still fragile.  Be gentle on yourself, your heart and your relationship.  Don’t expect sudden or absolute change.  All will unfold in its right time.

This has been a series of blogposts about the recent Venus Retrograde period, from March 6 to April 17, 2009.  To read the whole thread, go here:
Venus Retrograde: Descent Into Love’s Darkness


I Need (To Be) A Hero!

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Everybody wants to be a hero somewhere in her life, but what area of life she wants to be heroic in differs from person to person.  Where do you want to be a hero?  To answer this question, you can look at the location of Mars in your birth chart.

The house your Mars is in represents an area where there is irritation, stress, strife and discord, as you learn (over the course of your lifetime) to go after what you want with appropriate force—not too much, nor too little.  You may have a tendency to see that area of life as a battleground.  It’s a great area for you to “fight the good fight” and be heroic.  Some of this stress may be self-created by you habitually approaching this area as if a battle is needed, when perhaps it is not.  Shifting your approach from that of a warrior to a hero can be the key to enjoying the stress as a worthy challenge and not being oppressed by it.

If you want to find out what house your Mars is in, you can order your own personal Astrology Chart Decoder.  This is a special tool I’ve invented that puts your chart’s details in English, instead of astrology symbols.  Your Decoder tells you where every planet in your chart is located:  the sign it’s in, the house it’s in and the exact degree it occupies.  When you’ve got your Decoder in front of you, you can easily see what house your Mars is in.

Where Do You Need To Be A Hero?
The First House is the domain of identity.  If your Mars is in the First House, you identify as a Warrior or as a Hero.  Your sense of yourself as a person, an individual, blossoms when you act decisively, heroically.  When you take actions out of impulse or anger and negative results happen, you tend to take it personally.  You just want to do the right thing and it hurts when you find your best efforts have missed the mark.  Let your life shape you towards right action.

If your Mars is in your Second House, you are a Hero of Protection.  Guarding and putting energy into the people and things you hold as your own is paramount.  You can become quite fierce when your security (or the security of someone you love) is threatened.  Ownership is the key to energy—when you feel listless and unmotivated, take an attitude of possession and ownership towards the thing you want to be motivated by, and your energy will rise.

If your Mars is in the Third House, you are a Hero of Words.  The pen may be mightier than the sword, but for you sometimes they are one and the same.  Words can be weapons, so watch to ensure you do not hurt people unintentionally with your sharp language.  You’ll learn, over the course of your lifetime, to curb your tongue and slow down your communication so that others can hear you—and so you can hear them too.  Pursue your avid curiosity, because learning gives you energy.

In the Fourth House, Mars bestows combativeness and challenges at home.  Mars is not very comfortable in the fourth house and can make it hard to feel settled and relaxed at home.  But Mars as Heroic Mama Bear can be quite fierce when it comes to defending your home, family and country.  Pour that drive and fierceness into real estate and you can do quite well providing yourself and others with housing.  Buy a fixer-upper to use up all your energy and make it exactly as you want it, for the pride and love of it.

In the Fifth House, you are a Creative Hero.  Your drive to bring the fruits of your creativity into the world are strong and you thrive on the attention it gets you, whether directly or vicariously.  Throw yourself into self-expression and beware of frittering away your energy on fun and entertainment, rather than channeling it into the creative directions that give you energy back.  Especially beware of gambling—it can be a powerful high in the moment, but its long-term effects can ultimately drain you.

When your Mars is in the Sixth House, you are a Hero of the Workplace.  You respond well to missions put to you by a strong, able boss and you can act independently at work.  Your boss needs to be someone you can respect, or you will strike out on your own, with varying results.  Your tendency to be fast and efficient makes you easily irritated with the slowness or obstructions of your workmates.  Take the time to make your work area organized so you can work in a streamlined way—that will give you drive.

In the Seventh House, Mars can make relationship a battleground.  You may be attracted to partner up (in both romance and business) with ultra-strong people so you can push on them and find your limits.  On the other hand, your frankness and honesty are appealing and in relationship, your Heroic Lover can be quite unabashed in pursuit of the partner you fix your sights on.  This I-Yam-What-I-Yam attitude is attractive to the right person and quickly sorts the receptive targets from the uninterested ones.

People who have Mars in the Eighth House tend to be strongly sexed and enjoy the pursuit and conquering games that are part of sexuality.  As a Sexual Hero, you may have a tendency to press others into further intimacy than they are ready for because of your impatience to get to the merging and connecting you desire.  Curb your tendency toward being a boundary-crosser and slow down your approaches and your “game” may improve.  Beware also of double-standards—no self-respecting partner will tolerate them.

In the Ninth House, you are an Adventure Hero.  Get out there and travel because your need to see the world and throw yourself into it is great.  Travel gives you juice, whether it’s external or internal, so pursue personal growth and ongoing education because your desire for self-improvement is strong.  You can ride on the energy of this by deliberately taking the attitude that “This is an adventure!!” towards anything you want to accomplish.

If your Mars is in the Tenth House, you have an ambitious streak.  You’re a Corporate Hero and the sky’s the limit as to how far you might advance.  Beware of alienating the higher-ups by your sometimes combative attitude—respectful soldiers get promoted but disrespectful ones get discharged.  Your energy and drive can’t fail to be noticed, but it’s up to you to make sure it’s noticed as a good thing.  A little generosity and thoughtfulness towards those above and below you will grease the tracks greatly.

With Mars in the Eleventh House, you’re a Hero With A Cause.  Driven by your ideals, you love to be the flag-bearer for your like-minded group.  You don’t mind taking one for the team and learning to play well with others is a valuable life-skill for you.  Watch that you don’t push your ideas onto others with too much force because you can be zealous about the ideas you believe in.  Develop your principles, because they are the source of your drive.  You are attracted to strong friends and enjoy leadership among them.

Your capacity to assert yourself may seem buried if you have Mars in the Twelfth House.  Most likely, when you were growing up, you felt that it wasn’t ok to assert yourself, be strong or hold strong boundaries in the home you grew up in.  You became sensitive about it and learned to hold your anger in until it sometimes exploded.  You were born to discover what it means to be a hero and how to properly express your force of personality on your path to becoming a Heroic Spiritual Master.

Want to know more about your Mars sign and your chart?
Contact Jamie to schedule a reading.


Venus Retrograde’s Intimate Journey: The Seventh Gate

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

From March 6th through April 17th, Venus is traveling retrograde (i.e. backwards) through our skies.  The Venus retrograde period is a time for reevaluating your relationships and your capacity for love.  While Venus is retrograde, notice the places where you are drawn into your relationships’ darkness and notice the ways you might find increased intimacy there.

The retrograde journey of Venus is depicted in the Mesopotamian tale of the descent of Inanna into the underworld.  It is the story of a journey into the dark places in relationship, an attempt to recover lost love.  During her descent, Inanna was stopped seven times, at seven gates.  Each time, she had to remove one item from her person and leave it behind so she could go on.  Any or all of these items might have symbolic meaning for your explorations during this Venus retrograde period.

At The Seventh Gate, the Gatekeeper Demands Inanna’s Raiment
Inanna’s raiment is her royal garments.  They are the mark of her dignity and self-possession.  They are the last thing that protects her.  Her identity is vested in them.  “But I’m a queen!” she cries, “These garments are mine by right!”

Without clothes, you are utterly naked and your dignity is no longer there for you to hide behind.  In removing them you are removing the last vestiges of a false self-esteem.  You are saying, “I need no embellishment; I am enough just as I am.”  Pretense is entirely gone.

The Gatekeeper Asks: 
Are you willing to be stripped, unembellished, before your partner?  Do you believe they will still love you in your nakedness?  Are you willing and able to love your partner as merely another human being, not the charming creature who first enticed you with their attractive exterior?  Do you have a deep, human connection with him/her that goes beyond surface attraction?  Can you be your real, ultimate self?

This is the final gate.  What purpose does your dignity serve you now?  It is the hard core of your resistance.  In stripping the raiment off you are saying, “I am merely human, like everybody else.  When you do so, you join the timeless community of everyone who was ever hurt by love.  It makes you human and brings you into the fold.  You are one of us, naked and in pain.  This is ok.  It happens to us all, sometimes.  And then, inexplicably, it passes.  We leave the darkness and re-emerge into the light.  This is how we grow and evolve.  It is natural, organic and right.  And no one is an exception.

For the whole story about Inanna’s journey and what happened at the other gates, look at Venus Retrograde: Descent Into Love’s Darkness.  This thread ends with Inanna’s return:  Venus goes direct on April 17.


What Is A “Sign Type?”

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Every month I’ve been writing about the personality traits associated with the current sun sign.  You may wonder why I bother to use the phrase “sign type” instead of just saying “sign.”  If what I mean is Pisces, why don’t I just say Pisces instead of “Pisces type” or “Neptune type?”  It’s because many things go into making a Pisces type and not every Pisces person actually is a Pisces type.  You may wonder also why I mention planets—why is a Pisces type a “child of Neptune?”  It could sound like so much New-Age silliness.  Hang on, dear reader—this article will explain all that.

Are you a Pisces who doesn’t feel like a Pisces?  Are you a Libra who feels much more like a Scorpio?  Not every person is true to the temperament of their sun sign, because your sun sign is not all you are.  It’s a strong part of who you are, but it only dominates your personality when supported by other factors.  If those other factors gather around a theme different from your sun sign, then you could easily identify as a very different sign.  Thus you could pick up a book about zodiac signs, read “your” chapter, reject it as bunk and decide that all of astrology is bunk because it doesn’t match your experience and because categorizing all of humanity into twelve flat types is ridiculous.  And you’re within your rights to draw that conclusion.

The situation is frustrating for astrologers, because we know that with a precise birth time we can read personality with uncanny accuracy and we can do it consistently.  So when we see a person who doesn’t feel the truth of their sun sign, we naturally feel the urge to search that person’s chart to discover which archetype calls to them the most.  And for many  many people there are two or even three archetypes blended together that call to them with equal loudness.

Practicing professional astrologers know better than to reduce a human being to a single flat type.  Each human being is a unique blend of at least a few sign types.  To determine sign dominance, an astrologer will sort through the masses of factors in a chart, matching like factors with like until a whole picture emerges of a human being made up of a few strong traits or themes that really pop out, supported by any number of weaker, more background ones.  A practiced astrologer does this very fast and can glance over a chart to determine the strongest 1-3 archetypes inside about 5 minutes.  A thorough analysis can take hours and have stronger results; this process is only part of what a professional does when preparing for a reading.

As an example, here are some things an astrologer might find in the chart of a “Libran type:”

  • They might have the Sun or the Moon in Libra, supported by at least one more planet in Libra.
  • They might have a “stellium” or grouping of at least 3 planets in Libra (without need for the Sun or Moon to be among them).
  • They might have Venus, Libra’s ruling planet, rising in the First House or culminating in the Tenth House.
  • They might have Venus connected with one of the charts four “angles” (Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven, Nadir)
  • They might have Venus placed prominently in their chart, either by connection to Sun or Moon.
  • The Seventh House is ruled by Venus, so they might have a very full Seventh House (i.e. having at least 3 planets in it).
  • They might have a see-saw type chart, where many planets are in opposition to each other, generating an overall Libra feel.

To really be a Libran type, you have to have not just one but several of the above.  Having an emphasis involving both the sign and planet strengthens the type considerably and in an article about a given sign I’ll frequently name the planet that rules it.  For example, in an article about Libra, you might catch me using the phrases “Libran type,” “Venusian type” or even “child of Venus” (can you stand it?) to convey the connection between this sign and its ruling planet.

If you have never felt a resonance with your own sign (i.e. your Sun sign), you could have an emphasis of planets in a different sign which might call to you more, if only you knew what it is.  To find out, you need to ask an astrologer.

Now, most of the criteria I listed above is stuff you don’t need to know about.  What you do need to know is that some Librans are more Libran than others, and that you don’t have to have the Sun in Libra to qualify, so some Libran types will not know they are.  When you become familiar with the archetypes, you’ll learn to spot the types.  Then you’ll want to find out if you were right by looking at the person’s chart.  Watch out because then you might become hooked on astrology.  Believe me, it can easily become a lifelong obsession.

I love astrology because of its endless complexity.  It is the only personality system equipped to describe the tremendous intricacies of being human.  And I am speaking as someone with great respect for Myers-Briggs and the enneagram.  But there’s nothing better than your accurate astrology chart to reflect you to yourself, in all your complexity and depth.  And your chart works not only today, but also tomorrow, next year and for the rest of your life, bringing fresh insight as your life unfolds and you move through its changes.

This is one of three related articles on the subject of why your Sun sign is not all that you are.  For more insight, see the other two.
What Is A “Sign Type?” posted 4/9/09
You Are Not Just Your “Sign” posted 4/4/07
What Makes a Strong Sign Type? posted 8/28/07


Aries: The Way of the Warrior

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Most cultures around the world have a warrior tradition.  The way of the warrior is seen as a respected path to glory, honor and self-discipline.  In astrology, the sign Aries exemplifies the archetype of Warrior and has much to teach us about his ways.

Act Decisively
When you act, make your action a clear one.  Don’t pussyfoot around.  Don’t muddy the waters with unclear actions, unfinished motions.  When you act, follow through immediately—it gives your actions force and power.  To take an action is to create momentum.  Let the momentum unroll its force and the action is supported.  To make one action and pretend another is to undermine one’s own force of personality and would never be done by a Warrior.

Draw The Line, Then Hold To It
Aries excels at boundaries.  The Warrior cares about territory and will respond with anger and affront when lines are crossed.  You can count on the Aries part of you to know where the lines are.  The Warrior will hold others responsible for crossing his line and will have respect for the lines of others—if they are held strongly.  A Warrior always knows another Warrior and knows when the enemy is weak.  Aries is naturally combative and may sometimes enjoy pushing the boundaries of others, simply to test them.

Be True
If you give your word, the Warrior would have you stand by it.  If you commit to a course of action, then damnit, follow through!  This is difficult for Aries, which tends to act in short bursts of energy and actually has a hard time sustaining beyond the initial burst.  But inside the Aries heart, there is pressure to hold to the principle of a thing once you’ve begun it.  It is the Warrior’s way to learn to channel aggression into guided action.

Be Honest
Aries loves honesty and directness, for two reasons.  One is that it is natural to Aries to be transparent and having to pretend is a lot of work.  The other is that because the Aries heart is not naturally duplicitous it doesn’t expect others to be that way either.  Aries has a naïve streak and feels affronted and surprised when deceived by others—even when it happens over and over again.

Cultivate Your Honor
The life of a warrior can be a lonely one.  As a Warrior, your relationship with yourself is the most intimate one you are likely to experience and being able to look at yourself in the mirror with dignity is crucial.  Knowing that you lived according to your principles matters greatly and is the source of self-esteem.  A code of honor is a covenant with yourself—when you promise to live by a code and then break that promise, what is broken is your connection with yourself and the ability to stand up proudly as an individual.  To break such a code is to de-individuate.  “Cultivate your honor,” says the Warrior, “because at the end of the day, it’s all you have.”

A Caution For Overzealous Warriors
The downfall of the Warrior is that he needs a war.  When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  It is the nature of Aries to be attracted to strife and conflict, perhaps even to create conflict where there is none.  Don’t let your Warrior nature make life harder than it has to be.

The Gift of Force
This simple-natured sign represents your forceful side, your ability to know what you want and to pursue it.  Force has a bad rap these days, but force is what you need to hold your own integrity and be an individual apart from other individuals.  When others push on you, you have to be able to push back.  The key here is “to be able to” push back.  When you can trust that you’ll be able to defend yourself if needed, you can let go of the need to force your will on others.  Individuals with true strength and self-esteem do not have to be fierce in order to establish selfhood and pursue desires.  To satisfy the Aries part of yourself is to become the best, most ethical Warrior you can, and thus to increase effectiveness, self-esteem and honor.

Here are more Aries posts.

Want to know more about your sun sign and your chart?
Contact Jamie to schedule a reading.


Venus Retrograde’s Intimate Journey: The Sixth Gate

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

From March 6th through April 17th, Venus is traveling retrograde (i.e. backwards) through our skies.  The Venus retrograde period is a time for reevaluating your relationships and your capacity for love.  While Venus is retrograde, notice the places where you are drawn into your relationships’ darkness and notice the ways you might find increased intimacy there.

The retrograde journey of Venus is depicted in the Mesopotamian tale of the descent of Inanna into the underworld.  It is the story of a journey into the dark places in relationship, an attempt to recover lost love.  During her descent, Inanna was stopped seven times, at seven gates.  Each time, she had to remove one item from her person and leave it behind so she could go on.  Any or all of these items might have symbolic meaning for your explorations during this Venus retrograde period.

At The Sixth Gate, the Gatekeeper Demands Inanna’s Breastplate
A breastplate is armor for the heart.  It is self-protection against life’s discomfort and pain.  The armored heart feels no pain, but it also feels no love.  Love cannot penetrate the hard exterior.

The human heart is meant to be soft and penetrable.  Relationship is not a battleground.

The Gatekeeper Asks: 
Are you ready to simply open your heart and share your true feelings with your partner?  Can you let their true feelings in?  Are you willing to be hurt?  Can you find yourself in the middle of battle, wake up and realize it’s not a battleground, then courageously take off the armor?

To truly share with a partner is to adventure into chaotic realms where control is no longer possible.  It is sometimes terrifying and sometimes exhilarating.  The breastplate is the ultimate armor.  It represents a simple refusal to open your heart, to feel, to be vulnerable.  On Inanna’s journey, it’s one of the last things to go.

For more about Inanna’s journey and what happened at the other gates, look at Venus Retrograde: Descent Into Love’s Darkness.  I’ll post about the seventh and last gate in about a week.


Aries is Here!

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

“I ought to go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and kicks off the solar year with a burst of energy in spring. The first day of Aries is the day of the equinox, when days and nights are of equal length. There is a sense of rebirth after the cold, dark winter. The lands have gone fallow and are waking up again from their sleep. The animals (including human animals) wake up too. From here the light increases, and there is a feeling of warmth and expansion, as the days grow longer into summer. Living things respond with mating and . . .

For the rest of this post, which is a repost, see Aries:  Sign of Spring and Renewal.

Want to know more about your sun sign and your chart?
Contact Jamie to schedule a reading.