Archive for May, 2009

Gemini, Your God Is A Messenger

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

The Messenger God
The Mutable Air sign Gemini is ruled by Mercury, messenger of the gods.  Mercury’s nickname was Quicksilver, which is what we sometimes call the metal mercury.  If you’ve ever broken a thermometer and held a ball of mercury in your palm, you have experienced the mutability of Gemini—mercury is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature.  It is as impossible to grasp, hold and contain as Geminis themselves.  If you’ve ever dated a Gemini and become frustrated at their sheer evasiveness, believe me, it’s nothing to the frustration Geminis experience at their own selves.

The mythological Mercury had wings on his shoes and his hat, and carried a winged staff called a caduceus, which was wrapped with two serpents.  The caduceus has been adopted by the medical profession as a symbol (Mercury has historically been associated with medicine), and you can see a stylized version of it in the logo of the American Medical Association.

Mercury needed all the wings he could get because, as Olympian messenger, he was able to go to all 3 realms: heaven, earth and the underworld.  He could hang out on Olympus with the other gods, roam the earth disguised as a mortal, and he was the only being (besides Pluto himself) who could travel freely to and from the underworld.

Mercury As Psychopompos Or Guide To The Underworld
The underworld was the domain belonging to Pluto (Hades to the Greeks) and was a realm forbidden to all other beings, both earthly and divine.  To go there, you had to die, but not so for Mercury.  He often served as an official escort, assisting mortals and gods to return from the underworld once they had entered the land of the dead.  Examples of this include Orpheus’ attempted rescue of his beloved wife Eurydice and the descent of Inanna, the Mesopotamian Venus, to restore her dead love, both situations involving the messenger god in a critical role as helper/escort.  This role of Mercury as psychopompos (or as the OED puts it, “guide of the soul”) symbolizes the ability of the human mind to mediate between the physical world of our bodies and senses and the inner worlds of emotions and the collective unconscious.  I think individuals with Mercury retrograde in their natal charts have a special gift for guiding others on their inner journeys, perhaps from having so much familiarity with their own inner journeys.

The mind thus bridges three realms, transporting both the unknown mysteries of our darkest psychic corners and also the divine inspirations and aspirations of the ideal (Mt. Olympus) to earth, and making them relevant in the world of the everyday and mundane.  Did Mercury have a realm of his own?  Not that I know of.  It seems to me he just belonged wherever he was.

The Flexible Mind, a Mass of Messages
Mythology is deeply symbolic and the stories that have taken shape around Mercury symbolize the human experience of our own brain.  The ancients knew through their stories about Mercury that the human mind is nothing but a messenger service for carrying communications inside our bodies.  They also understood that the human mind has a marvelous capacity to deal with life on 3 levels: heavenly, earthly and underworldly.  Without the benefit of science or proof, their understanding was metaphorical but it served to give them all they needed to know about the mind, how it works and what it is capable of, allowing them to generate knowledge we still value today.

What Does This Mean About Gemini?
Geminis are pulled in many directions at once.  They need to keep moving.  They are mentally agile and quick.  Their minds go with equal facility from higher thought to lower thought.  They enjoy this duality and use polarity to understand a thing by contrasting it with its opposite.  This flexibility, this mutability and the need to keep the message moving is the heart of Gemini’s nature.  When a Gemini learns new information and passes it on to someone else, a winged god flying swiftly somewhere pauses to smile.

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



Rejoining The Beautiful & Loving Human Family

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

As you may know, Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter have met in the sky this month.  This triple conjunction is a powerhouse of meaning.  In my previous post I talked about what it means that Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter are in Aquarius.  That was a follow-up to my first post in this series, which talked about the meanings of these planets in themselves.  What follows is the third of the 3 posts and should serve to bring it all together.

What Do These Planets Want From You?
They want you to dream a big dream of community and togetherness.  They call for you to heal your community and yourself by taking up your full space in your public social arena and being visible.  They say there’s some part of you that you’ve been hiding, some place in you that feels split and has kept you participating only halfway in some communities.  They say that if you connect those communities you will not only make yourself whole but also make room for others who may have felt marginalized to express themselves.  They say that community can be a spiritual experience.

They say you should trust your intuition and they add that this time is a special opening in human consciousness—people are looking for answers.  People are disillusioned but ready to dream again.  People know that it all needs to be redreamed.  These 3 planets are telling you it’s time to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

Here’s some conversation overheard among Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter:
Neptune:  The human family seems to have become splintered.  I think they forgot how to love and accept each other.
Jupiter:  I’ve noticed that some human beings keep themselves pretty small in their lives.
Chiron:  Yeah.  I think it’s because they forgot their own power, maybe got caught up in their own broken places.
Neptune:  Everyone has broken places.  That’s what makes life so interesting.  That no one is perfect makes it all so . . . perfect.
Chiron:  Neptune, you’re full of paradox, aren’t you?
Neptune:  That I am.
Chiron:  I suspect that if people dove right into the most painful places, they would find the ways we are all connected.  Then they could stop isolating themselves and rejoin the human family.
Jupiter:  No one is an island, eh?  I subscribe to that belief.
Neptune:  Me too.  But it sounds uncomfortable.  A person would probably have to feel deeper alienation before the healing happened.
Chiron:  True.
Jupiter:  Do you think humanity is ready for that?
Chiron:  I’m not sure.  But I’ve noticed some pretty big dreamers among them.  Those few could open up the way to a wonderful new world.
Jupiter:  And there are a few crazies who are ready to hope again.
Neptune:  Let’s blast the planet with some cosmic energy & see what happens!
Chiron:  What will that do?
Neptune:  I’ll send each human being a beautiful vision of their ideal community. . .
Jupiter:  I’ll give each person the confidence to do something about that vision. . .
Chiron:  And I’ll break each person’s heart just a little, so there is a crack in the armor for the love to seep in by.
Jupiter:  Ok, let’s do it!
They huddle up and form a giant blast of energy, which they release at Earth.  Poof!  Green and gold sparkles everywhere.
Neptune:  Nice!
Jupiter:  Now let’s go get coffee.
Off they trot, arm in arm in arm.

What will the results of this triple conjunction be?  Only time will tell over the years to come.

To begin the thread you are in at the beginning, read this:
May’s Triple Conjunction of Neptune, Chiron & Jupiter

If you want to read other articles about 2009’s triple conjunction of Neptune, Chiron & Jupiter, look here:
Jupiter Conjuncts Neptune: Let Your Dreams Run Wild
Jupiter & Chiron Ask “Am I Too Big Or Not Big Enough?”
Neptune & Chiron Ask You To Bridge Heaven And Earth


What Does It Mean That The Triple Conjunction Is In Aquarius?

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

“The needs of the many outweigh needs of the few—or the one.”  -Spock

In my previous post I introduced the 3 characters in the present Triple conjunction in Aquarius:  Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune.  In this post I’ll talk about what it means that they are in Aquarius (see more posts on the nature of Aquarius here).

Aquarius Is About Change
This sign is associated with breakthrough, change and experimentation.  Aquarius is radical, progressive and drawn toward the cutting edge.  This Fixed Air sign loves ideas and abstract thought—a well-thought-out idea is valued for its own sake.  Aquarius is associated with breakthrough thinking and paradigm-shifting, giving access to the “Eureka!” experience—that moment of insight when the light bulb goes off over your head.

Aquarius Is About Science and Technology
Aquarius (and its ruler, Uranus) is the Scientist (sometimes the Mad Scientist!), the Brilliant One, the Nerd.  This sign is experimental, loving to step back and look at things objectively.  Aquarius is cool and collected, intellectual and logical.  Uranus rules electricity and networks and Aquarius loves the rapid changes and developments in the computer field.  Having to keep current with computer and software updates is a joy to Aquarius.  This sign is fascinated with all things scientific and technological.

Aquarius Is About Community and Networks
Let’s face it, Aquarius loves people—but at a distance.  Aquarius is the Humanitarian. the Social Activist, sometimes even the Scapegoat—willing to take the hit for the progress of the team. This is the sign of the Rebel or Revolutionary, the one who overthrows the King (Leo, Aquarius’ polar opposite) and decentralizes power, bringing it to the people.  But Aquarius has difficulty getting intimate with actual individuals in real time.  Connecting a little with a lot of people while keeping them at a cool distance is much more comfortable for this ultra-gregarious sign.

The Aquarian Dark Side
It’s easy to see how this sign, while associated with beautiful themes, can also go too far.  Aquarius can be overly analytical, cold, emotionally detached, preferring hard logic over feelings or even inhuman to the point of being a sociopath who does not feel a part of the rest of humanity.  Embracing social change can go too far, resulting in a radical who wants overthrow of the current order regardless of consequences or a social changer who wants their group’s agenda forwarded with no regard for the cost to others.  Aquarius is prone to groupthink, to loss of individualism within the group-mind.

What It Looks Like When Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter Act In Your Life Through The Medium Of Aquarius
Neptune, the Spiritual Awakener, acting through Aquarius will bring you into contact with groups of people for the purpose of spiritual growth.  Neptune in Aquarius says:  “I am the spinner of dreams and fantasies.  In Aquarius I’m dreaming of ideal communities, places where people can come together and feel a sense of universal connectedness in humanitarian causes.  Some of the visions I dream up may not work in material reality and may lead to disappointment, but I’ll dream them anyway.”  Neptune’s dark side expressed through Aquarius can bring you into contact with groups of deluded people who together subscribe to a shared point of view that alienates them from the rest of humanity, instead of connecting them to it.  This is the sort of place people end up when they crave acceptance and will do anything (or believe anything) to get it.

When Chiron, the Wounded Healer, is in Aquarius, the time is ripe for healing past experiences of groups.  Chiron in Aquarius says:  “I’m going to get you into situations where you feel like an outsider so you can deal with the sense of alienation and rejoin the human family.  I’ll also bring opportunities for joining groups that give you a sense of community in areas of your life where you may have not thought it possible.  If ultimately you come to the understanding that we’re all in this together, my work will be well done.”  The dark side of Chiron in Aquarius is the witch hunt, a situation where one person is cast out, misunderstood and the group is pitted against them.  A witch hunt is hard to distinguish from a intervention, where a group gathers to show an individual his own shadow, because they love him and want him to stop some destructive behavior.  Whether a situation is a witch hunt or an intervention often depends on your perspective and whether or not you take a victim stance.  It is possible to endure something you may at first call a witch hunt and ultimately to respond to it in a way that make you more whole, not more broken.

And last, but definitely not least, Jupiter in Aquarius will create opportunities for playful, growthful and expansive group experiences.  Jupiter says, “Go do a workshop, because your personal growth will go better with other people around.  Throw a party and have fun with like-minded folks.  Gain confidence in your ability to hang out and take up space with lots of people around.  Expand your social network and enjoy all the varieties of people you’ll meet.”  Jupiter’s Aquarian shadow side has to do with grabbing the group spotlight and puffing oneself up to be bigger than others.  Jupiter in Aquarius secretly thinks, “of course everyone is equal—but some are more equal than others,” and sees himself and his contribution to the group as superior.  This attitude can be leavened with a little humbleness to bring Jupiter back onto a level with his peers.

What is the mission of the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune conjunction?  How can we use it to make our lives better?  Tomorrow I’ll finish up this 3-post series by bringing it all together.  And maybe we’ll overhear a dialogue among these 3 planets.

To begin the thread you are in at the beginning, read this:
May’s Triple Conjunction of Neptune, Chiron & Jupiter

If you want to read other articles about 2009’s triple conjunction of Neptune, Chiron & Jupiter, look here:
Jupiter Conjuncts Neptune: Let Your Dreams Run Wild
Jupiter & Chiron Ask “Am I Too Big Or Not Big Enough?”
Neptune & Chiron Ask You To Bridge Heaven And Earth

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


May’s Triple Conjunction Of Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Here at the end of May of 2009 there is a momentous and extremely rare triple conjunction of Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter in 26 degrees of Aquarius.  This conjunction provides an unprecedented opportunity to re-experience your place in the human family in ways that bring growth and healing.  To understand what that means, we start by looking at what each of these archetypes is about, so let me introduce you to Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter . . .

Here’s Neptune.  Think of Neptune as the Dreamer or the Visionary.  She’s wearing a long, flowing dress that shimmers.  You look carefully, but you can’t tell whether it is made of stars, water or wind.  She is beyond lovely so that it actually hurts your heart to look at her.  She gazes at you with compassion, and restrains herself from showing you her full glory because she knows no mortal could take it.  Although her mouth doesn’t move, you hear her voice anyway, as if it’s coming from everywhere and nowhere at once.

She says:  “I am the weaver of dreams.  I bring you beautiful visions of what could be.  My gift is longing. Once you have seen my visions, you will be caught in the place between wanting and having because my visions are always of things that are to be or could be but are not now.  That is their nature.  A vision is a beacon.  It is not for having—it is for filling your heart with courage to pursue its beauty.

Next comes Chiron.  He’s a centaur, a strange creature who is half beast and half god.  You feel discomfort as you look at him, because you recognize his divinity but his beastliness is unattractive and it seems impossible the two could be blended in one being.  He’s a reminder that to be human is to be an uneasy union of the beastly and the divine, and that our job as human beings is to bridge gaps and make ourselves whole.

Chiron says:  “I’m the wounded healer.  I bring you an experience of irreconcilable differences, a duality within yourself so profound that it splits you in two.  Your job is to bridge those disconnected worlds within yourself and your life and thus to make yourself whole.  Wholeness can only come from accepting and truly healing the break between the side you judge beastly and the side you judge divine.  My work is shadow work and the wholeness that arises from it is my gift.”

And finally, Jupiter appears.  He’s a large, jolly fellow dressed in a flamboyant, flowing cloak in bright, fiery colors.  His coat swirls when he moves, lending grace to his large frame.  He is the Sage, the Storyteller, the Explorer and the Seeker, always on a quest.  His voice is just a little too loud for comfort, but it feels so good to be around him that you don’t really care.

Jupiter bellows:  “You must grow and expand!  Get out and try new things!  Life is an adventure!  You are capable of greatness—you owe it to yourself and others to pursue that greatness.”  While your mouth is hanging open at the sheer force of personality emanating from this deity, he deftly pours a liquid down your throat from a flask he wears.  Suddenly you are filled with exhilaration and confidence and the certainty that you can do anything you set your mind to.  “There you go—that’s my gift,” chuckles Jupiter.

These 3 deities have much to say to each other during their triple conjunction, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.  This post is post 1 of 3 coming up this week.  In my next post, I’ll talk about what it means that these 3 are in the sign of Aquarius.

Parts 2 & 3 of this thread are here:
What Does It Mean That The Triple Conjunction is in Aquarius?
Rejoining the Beautiful & Loving Human Family

If you want to read other articles about 2009’s triple conjunction of Neptune, Chiron & Jupiter, look here:
Jupiter Conjuncts Neptune: Let Your Dreams Run Wild
Jupiter & Chiron Ask “Am I Too Big Or Not Big Enough?”
Neptune & Chiron Ask You To Bridge Heaven And Earth


Obama’s Inauguration Chart, Part 2: Why The Do-Over Is Better Than The Original

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

In yesterday’s post I talked about the significance of redoing Barack Obama’s oath of office and the new chart that came of it.  Today I want to say a little more about the challenges in the noon chart and how the 7:30 pm chart overcomes them.  The noon chart had two main problems, one involving Mercury and the other involving the Moon.

The Mercury Problem
Firstly, the inauguration occurred while Mercury was retrograde.  Mercury retrograde is really not the best time for taking oaths, signing contracts, setting deadlines or making concrete agreements of any kind.  Such deadlines are often not met and such agreements usually end up seeming unfinished or cannot be fulfilled on.  But what can a nation do when a very important oath is scheduled during Mercury retrograde?

The solution to the don’t-sign-contracts rule lies in the nature of Mercury retrograde itself.  A Mercury retrograde period is a retrospective period.  It is a time when forward progress is more difficult but backward progress is facilitated.  The very best thing to do during a Mercury retrograde period is to go back and fix or complete something old or to take a retrospective look at something previously unfinished.  Since the first inauguration was an attempt to cement a new agreement, it’s a wonderful piece of luck and an astrological synchronicity that a mistake was made, a mistake large and clear enough to necessitate a do-over under constitutional law.  The very act of having a do-over satisfied Mercury retrograde’s need to fix the old rather than initiate the new.  The 7:30 PM chart IS a fix, merely by existing and replacing the noon chart.

I don’t believe that Mercury retrograde caused the mistake, but I do think that going ahead with the first chart would have been a bad idea and that doing it over not only enabled a better chart (one more suited to Obama’s vision for the United States) but also solved the issue of the presence of Mercury retrograde in the second chart.  Because the second chart was a “do-over,” Mercury had his nod and wink, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief that Mercury’s retrograde status will not prevent the administration from living up to its agreements.

The Moon Problem
The second problem with the original inauguration chart, a glaring one to astrologers, was the void-of-course Moon.  The Moon in a chart is called “void-of-course” when it occupies the end of a sign and will not make any more connections (“aspects”) to other planets before leaving that sign.  The Moon represents feelings in any chart and its placement is always an important factor.  To quote Jim Maynard’s Pocket Astrologer (a yearly planetary-motion publication every astrologer should have on them at all times), during a void-of-course Moon “it is wise to avoid making important decisions.  Judgment at this time is probably faulty.  New paths at this time are likely to be plagued with false starts, errors, and unexpected hassles.  Contracts, promises or new laws tend to bring on difficulties.  Delays and frustrations are common.”

The void-of-course Moon means that feelings are drifting, unable to connect to anything, kind of like free-floating anxiety.  It yields a sensation of emotional instability during which judgment is faulty, tending to result in bad decisions.  In an inauguration chart, the Moon represents the feelings or moods of the public and a void-of-course Moon suggests that under this administration the public mood would drift and be fickle, perhaps changing its mind and questioning its own judgment about having elected him.  This could disconnect Obama from the public, making it hard for his administration to satisfy the people, gain their respect and hold their support for the next 4 years.  A void-of-course Moon would have destabilized his administration, causing frustration for those in government and citizens alike–an administration from hell.

The second inauguration chart solves this problem entirely.  By the day after January 20th, the Moon had passed into the next sign and was receiving several aspects from other planets.  It was no longer void-of-course.  With this chart in place, Obama’s administration will be emotionally grounded and able to connect to the public mood.  The public will be satisfyable and he will be able to connect with them.

How did this happen?
How did Obama and the USA escape a chart/administration with such huge problems?  In a previous article I described Obama’s current Jupiter transit to his Ascendant.  With Jupiter moving through his first house, he is currently experiencing a period of fame and popularity.  Anyone having Jupiter in their first will basically be lucky as long as they make use of Jupiter’s influence by acting like a Sagittarian.  So the short answer to “how did this happen?” is:  Obama put himself in the right place at the right time and got lucky.

At the beginning of yesterday’s post I said this analysis would not be exhaustive.  I do not specialize in mundane (political) astrology and I have just picked out the pieces that are of interest to me.  There is much more to say on the subject, but I’ll leave that to the experts.


Obama’s Inauguration Chart, part 1: Why His Presidency Will Be Different

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Why Is An Inauguration Chart Worth Looking At?
Historically, when astrologers want to understand a monarch’s reign, they look at the chart of the coronation of that monarch.  Similarly, when astrologers want to understand the administration of a president, they look at the chart that began that president’s administration—the inauguration chart.  What follows is a brief, not exhaustive, look at why a change in schedule leading to a different inauguration chart could lead to a very different administration than we would have had.

Inauguration Charts Tend Towards Sameness
The United States government has developed a policy for when its inaugurations happen and how they are conducted.  This has resulted in inaugurations happening on January 20th at noon since the inauguration that began Franklin D. Roosevelt’s second term in 1947.  As a result, many of these inaugurations yield charts that have much in common.  Barack Obama’s original inauguration was scheduled for the usual day and time and would have yielded a chart that had the usual characteristics.  It also had some additional factors (linked to Mercury and to the Moon) that are unappealing in an administration and which no one would have chosen if they’d been given the opportunity.  When a mistake occurred during the oath and it was decided that a fresh oath was necessary, a very different chart was made possible.  Between January 20th at noon and January 21st at 7:30 PM there is a world of astrological difference.

Persistent Themes In The Usual Inauguration Charts
For sixty years, the inauguration charts have had Taurus rising, a Capricorn Midheaven and the Sun in Aquarius in the tenth house.  All other factors have varied, but these have been stable.

A Taurus rising suggests a stoic, peaceful exterior and a resistance to change, at least on the surface.  This resistance to change is contradicted by the Sun in Aquarius, which has as its very heart and center the desire for overthrow of the old and progress into the new that is so consummately American (arguably both our country’s greatest strength and greatest weakness).  There is an intellectual stubbornness about this Aquarian Sun, a tendency to hold to ideals long past their usefulness, which can be mitigated by other chart influences that change from one administration to the next.

The placement of the Sun in the tenth house adds a different note:  one of the acquisition and centralization of power.  A person with the Sun in the tenth house tends to be ambitious and hard-working, avidly climbing the ladder of success.  A country with this placement could be ruthless at times, merely driven at others.  This trait is underscored by the fact of Capricorn being on the Midheaven, showing that power, prestige and status are this entity’s goal and that showing a strong leadership face to the world is valued.  Basically, in the world theater, the USA wants to look good and garner respect.

What’s Different About the Do-Over Chart?
These themes change with Obama’s evening inauguration chart (not permanently, but for his first term only).  The Do-Over Chart (as I’m calling it) has the Aquarian Sun in the sixth house, not the tenth, and Virgo is rising, with a Taurus Midheaven.

The usual inauguration chart’s tenth house emphasis on government and its leaders shifts in the new chart towards a sixth house emphasis on the working class and “getting our house in order.”  This is accentuated and underscored by the 7:30 PM chart’s Virgo rising, which suggests an administration with an attitude of humbleness and service.  This could spell a shift from an entrenched, stubborn leadership style to a more flexible, service-oriented leadership style and a lessened emphasis on looking good and gaining power with a greater emphasis on what actually works and is effective.

This chart’s Rising sign (aka Ascendant) is Virgo, ruled by Mercury, which in this chart is retrograde.  This is a difficult thing to overcome and it needs to be overcome or else much of the value of the chart change could be lost.  In Part 2 of this article (coming out tomorrow) I’ll talk about the Mercury retrograde problem. . . and solution.


Epiphany Day Is Here!

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Mercury retrograde epiphany day is here—have you had your epiphany yet?

If you’ve read my blog much, you probably know by now that Mercury moves in cycles lasting four months, or three cycles a year.  Mercury moves retrograde (or backwards) for about three weeks of that cycle, and forward for the rest.  Twice during each cycle, Mercury crosses (conjuncts) the Sun, once while both are moving forward, the other while the Sun continues forward but Mercury is moving backward.  Those days when Mercury conjuncts the Sun are days of epiphany.

The Sun, by the way, is always moving forward, never backward.  If an astrologer ever tells you that you have the Sun retrograde, they are pulling your leg.

The Mercury cycle is great for working on projects.  It is a cycle of nature that has a flow that is good for various parts of a project; using the Mercury cycle can be like getting on a ride that helps your project get done.  Mercury’s retrograde period is a reflective period, during which it’s best to slow down and meditate on your project or do research, but to not expect to meet deadline or sign contracts.  It’s also a good time for cleaning up a project in anticipation of beginning a new one.  During Mercury retrograde, deep thought builds up pressure and insights can break through in the right timing.  The day Mercury conjuncts the Sun is a day when clarity has a good chance of descending on those who are watching for it.

Today is May 18, 2009.  Mercury is now retrograde, and crossed the Sun this morning around 3 am Pacific time:  today is Epiphany Day.  Maybe you’ve had your moment of clarity already; maybe there is more to come.  Ruminate on it, let it all come together in your mind.  Let the wave break and carry you to the end of the Mercury retrograde period and the fruition of your project.


10 Tips For Handling Deskwork During Mercury Retrograde

Monday, May 18th, 2009

As my readers well know, Mercury goes retrograde every 4 months for a period of about 3 weeks, sowing disorder most times it does so.  Here are some brief tips on how to handle things at your desk while the silver-tongued rascal is doing his backward jaunt:

  • Expect interruptions. Prepare for them by cleaning up your desk and your to-do lists whenever you have the opportunity to do so.  And when those interruptions come if you are already expecting them they don’t need to surprise you and knock you off-center.
  • Don’t panic. Panic makes everything worse and nothing better.
  • Hold your center. And when you lose hold of it (as will inevitably happen), return to it as soon as you can.  If you don’t know what it feels like to be centered, you can learn that from a martial art or meditation practice.
  • Ask yourself if this interruption is a true emergency.  Does it really need handling now?  Might it go away if ignored?  Can someone else handle it?  Develop a clear sense of what is (and what is not) truly urgent.
  • Clean up as you go. Regard any task as finished only after it has also been cleaned up and your desk surface is once again empty.
  • Close attention loops. When doing deskwork, it is normal to be interrupted in the middle of something you are doing.  You then have to finish Thing 2 in order to go back to, and finish, Thing 1.  During Mercury retrograde these attention loops can multiply until you suddenly find yourself inside the 6th nesting open loop, dying to finish it and get back to loops 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1.  Focus on closing loops as soon as possible and making interruptions wait until you don’t need to interrupt yourself to handle them.
  • Screen calls and don’t answer the phone unless you can really connect with the person on the other end.  Keep your tone of voice warm and relaxed.  If you can’t be warm and friendly, let the call go to voicemail and return it when you can be that way.
  • Stop to share love with those most important to you.  A five-minute concentrated petting session with your cat/dog, loving conversation with your partner or spouse or rough-and-tumble play with your child can save you hours of screaming anguish/recrimination/reproaches later.  End those loving interactions with the promise of more later.  Then keep that promise.
  • Take opportunities to clean up the past. During Mercury retrograde it is highly likely that some old past communication, miscommunication or noncommunication will come back to haunt you.  Recognize it when it arrives on your doorstep.  Do your best to handle it in a loving way, to yourself and the other person.
  • Forgive yourself if you fail at any of these suggestions.  Then get back into your center and try again.

Good luck!  For more about the current or upcoming Mercury retrograde period, look here.


Taurus and Appetite—Find the Middle Road

Friday, May 15th, 2009

The Taurus side of us needs to explore appetite, but in a balanced way.  The temptation for Taurus is to glut oneself but Taurus does best when avoiding overindulgence and instead finding the middle road between excess and restraint.

Feed Your Senses, Yes . . .
To Taurus, sensory life is important and it’s good to feed your senses—all of them: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch.  The more you give all your senses good things to feed on, the better the Taurus side of you feels and the better it serves you instead of making you a slave to your own appetites.

Taurus says:  enjoy, savor, let things simmer.  When you taste, give it all your attention.  Do not ignore what’s in your mouth.  Life is rich and delicious and being in your body and senses in the moment is the best way you can show your appreciation to the gods for the gift of your life.

Taurus reminds us that we can use appetite as motivation by letting desire pull us toward the things we want in life.  But this only works if you are willing and able to be satisfied.  If you cannot be satisfied and experience contentment then no amount of pleasure (sensory or otherwise) will be enough.

. . . But Don’t Overdo It
As an object-lesson in how our senses can run away with us, here’s the story of Tantalus:  Once upon a time, there was a king named Tantalus, who was loved and respected by the gods.  Their affection for him was so great that they invited him to dine at their own table, in their grand hall on Mount Olympus.  Tantalus went there and ate and drank the ambrosia and nectar of the gods.  However, he became overly proud of the gods’ acceptance of him, and stole some of the food and drink of the gods, which he gave to his own mortal friends, to show off his divine connections.

In his superiority, Tantalus decided the gods were not greater than he was after all.  He thought to himself that the gods would not know the difference between human and animal flesh and decided to test them.  He then threw a feast for the gods at his own home and Tantalus was so corrupt that he served them his own son, killed and cooked, as the test.

The arrogance of this act was beyond belief (because of course, the gods did know the difference) and the gods grew angry and punished Tantalus in a most fitting way.  To merely kill him and relegate him to the land of the dead was not enough.  In addition, they tied him up and placed him in a great pool of water, with a bunch of grapes hanging above his head.  They then caused him to be forever filled with hunger and thirst, but whenever Tantalus dipped his head to drink, the water receded.  Whenever he reached upward for the grapes, they were pulled up out of reach.  Tantalus remained there for the rest of eternity, consumed by appetite and unable to satisfy himself.  It is from him we get the word ‘tantalize.’

In the beginning of the story, Tantalus had it good—he was beloved by the gods and the recipient of their special favors.  But then he had to go and blow it out of arrogance and excessive appetite.  It seems that divine food awakened in him a sense of his own greatness that then ran amok.  Tantalus forgot to show appreciation to the gods for the gift of his life and instead took it for granted.  His story serves as a reminder to the Taurus in all of us to enjoy appetite, be open to satisfaction of it, but not to habitually glut ourselves.  Otherwise we face an endless existence of being forever tantalized and never satiated.

“Great,” You Say, “But What Do I Do With This Information?”
Elsewhere in my website I have talked about your astrology chart being, not just a description of yourself and your life, but a useful set of instructions on how to live your unique life in the most satisfying, powerful way.  The location of any zodiac sign in your chart (and planets placed in that sign) will benefit from an approach that fits that sign.  All parts of your chart that are connected with Taurus will benefit from this Taurean wisdom:  Enjoy your senses, be physical, slow down and get into your body in this area of your life.  But do not be a glutton.

If you are curious about how Taurus appears in your chart and what areas it affects, contact me for a reading to find out.  More Taurus posts here.

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


Why ‘Astrologer,’ Not ‘Astrologist’?

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

You may wonder why, in this whole website, I never use the word “astrologist.”  There’s a reason for that, but before writing this blogpost, even I didn’t know what it was.  Excuse me—I’m going to get a wee bit ranty now.

In 2007, I noticed that my accountant (whom I’m grateful to have, bless his helpful soul) showed my occupation on my tax forms as ‘astrologist.’  This irritated me and I didn’t know why it irritated me.  I skipped over the irritation and let my accountant know that my profession should be listed as ‘astrologer.’  He duly made the change.  But the interaction made me curious.  Why was my reaction one of irritation and why was his mistake so natural?

Other things pressed on my attention and I moved on, but sometime in 2008 the word came up again, so I finally decided to research the language a little.  I searched online for definitions of astrologer and astrologist and found, as is usually the case, that Wikipedia had the clearest answer.  According to Wikipedia, an astrologist was “a dabbler in astrology,” a sort of hobbyist, while a professional would be called an ‘astrologer.’  That definition satisfied me and explained my reaction.  I was happy with it and have passed it on to others ever since.

However, today (in 2009) I discovered that my definition is founded upon shifting sands.  Wikipedia has changed its mind and now defines astrologist as a synonym for astrologer. The entry for ‘astrologist’ now redirects to ‘astrology.’  I searched for ‘astrologist’ on the ‘astrology’ page and found that wikipedia now defines astrologist and astrologer as the same, saying ‘a practitioner of astrology is called an astrologer or an astrologist.’

Quite frankly, this left me confused.  Wikipedia is a work-in-progress and I’m aware it may change over time, but this definition had been altered from clear to unclear.  I sought out other online dictionaries and continued to find more muddy definitions.  Here are some examples:  in the Wiktionary, astrologist is defined as ‘one who practices astrology.’  There’s no mention of whether they do it professionally or as a hobby.  That should be no surprise, because Wictionary is related to Wikipedia.  According to, astrologist is synonymous with astrologer: ‘someone who predicts the future by the positions of the planets and sun and Moon.’ uses exactly the same definition as Princeton and merely points to Wikipedia.  And in the glossary on, astrologist is defined as ‘Non-professional who believes in or studies but does not necessarily practice astrology.’  Clearer, but I’m not familiar with (it looks a little hokey to me), so I’m not sure I can credit the source of that definition.

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me there’s some room for error here.

I really want a clear, authoritative definition, but I think part of the problem is that the definitions I’m finding are not written by people whose lives are steeped in astrology.  Every field of endeavor deserves its own lexicon and should be the authority for defining its own terms.  So I started looking in serious astrological sources.  I went to my bookshelf and took down the Astrology Encyclopedia, a hefty tome by James R. Lewis.  No entry for astrologist.  No mention of the word anywhere, not even in the index.  I began pulling other books off the shelf, by authors I respect and looked for the word astrologist in their indices.  Not there anywhere.  Hmm, the plot thickens.

Next I went back online, seeking serious practitioners of astrology to help me in my quest.  I found on that an astrologist is defined as ‘a non-professional who believes in or studies but does not necessarily practice astrology.’  This agrees with my sense of the word.  On I found astrologist defined as ‘believer in, or follower of, astrology – though not necessarily an actual astrologer.’  Aha—two sources in agreement!  My field apparently backs up this hobbyist vs. professional angle.

For a truly final word, I’ve just now gone to my Oxford English Dictionary to look up the word ‘astrologist.’  It’s not there.  Not anywhere: not in a listing of its own, and not under ‘astrologer’ or ‘astrology’ as a variant.  I then thought I’d try my American Heritage Dictionary, for the American point of view.  Once again, no ‘astrologist’ anywhere.  Nonexistent.

All this together serves to explain to me why I have always, in my 29 years of study, never encountered the word astrologist in a serious astrology book.  I’ve never heard a professional practitioner of astrology call themselves an astrologist.  Apparently the word astrologist has evolved recently and is not an official word in English.  It’s a word used by people who are not actual professionals.  Those who do practice professionally are called astrologers.  I’ll never again be able to speak or hear the word ‘astrologist’ with a straight face.

So, gentle reader, please go forth and let the world know:  there is no such thing as an ‘astrologist.’  It’s a made-up word, a mythical beast, and the right term is ‘astrologer.’

Ok, rant over.  ;-)