Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014, New Moon in Virgo – “A Fresh Start and Self-Determination”

This Monday morning, at 7:13 a.m., we birthed a New Moon
The Hermit represents Virgo, living
its truth. This card from "Steampunk
Tarot"© by Barbara Moore and Aly Fell
in Virgo.  ( You may have felt that ol’  dark of the Moon last night - I did. See blog:
 “I Feel a Dark Moon Rising” )  New Moons establish a new tempo for the lunar cycle ahead. They provide a fresh start and this one says clear the clutter.  New Moon in Virgo gives us an opportunity to sort out what serves us in life, to cast off what doesn’t, and to put our remaining resources to work for us. Virgo Moons move us forward because they like practical application and routines becomes our happy place.

The Moon represents the emotional component in our lives and Virgo does a nice job of balancing that energy with analytical thinking because Virgo thinks through feelings. It analyses events and people, particularly now while Mars is conjunct (same place, same time) with Saturn in Scorpio. Conjunctions are about new planetary cycles and this one works well with New Moon in Virgo. Saturn in Scorpio analyses people, then runs a mental checklist to determine if they fit in the resource, or the recycle category.  The decision is not arbitrary. Saturn in Scorpio is also insightful and where Mars in Scorpio is a goal-driven warrior style of energy, Saturn in Scorpio in more circumspect. 

The High Priestess represents
Lady Moon - this is the US Games®
RWSC version
This New Moon in Virgo is an excellent time to start a new project, whether it’s work related, or simply something creative and fun.  Neptune opposes our Virgo Moon and softens Virgo’s obsession with nit-picky details and perfection.  Neptune’s dreamy influence also eases the Virgo Moon’s tendency towards fretting.  

This New Moon directs us to set things in motion.  It’s a great kickstart as we wrap up the summer and prepare to return to our more formal autumn schedules.  Think about what serves you, what you wish to take with you on the next leg of this year’s journey, and what you would be wise to leave behind.


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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mercury in Virgo, August 15th to September 1st – An Organized and Well-Oiled Machine

Mercury's guiding tarot card, The Magician from
"Wizard's Tarot"© by corrine Kenner
and John J. Blumen
On August 15th, Mercury began it’s trek across i-dotting, t-crossing Virgo.  This is great energy to help us wind down the summer.  Believe it or not, it’s time to gear up for Labor Day weekend and the transition into fall.  Mercury in Virgo gives us the organizational boost to re-pack that tent and get the camping gear ready to go for one last summer time hoorah. 

Mercury in Virgo is an efficient mind.  Everything is examined and systematically sorted.   Flow charts and lists become our new friends.  People with Mercury in Virgo in their birth chart can often give Martha Stewart a run for her money.  They plan wonderful parties, or large scale events where everyone feels welcome and included. They are highly creative people.  Who knew pop can tops could be turned into tech-metal garland for an urban industrial-themed picnic? Who ever knew people would attend an urban industrial-themed picnic for that matter? Mercury in Virgo, naturally.  

Virgo's card, The Hermit - self-contained
and living their truth - yup, makes sense
From "Steampunk Tarot" by Barbara Moore
and Aly Fell
All of us can enjoy the benefits of Mercury’s energy during this transit whether we’re readying for the trip back to college, starting a new project at work, or breaking out the glass jars to prepare for pickling. We understand cause and effect much more clearly right now and we also can discern patterns, whether they’re in behaviors, or in chemical analysis. Expect some emotional distance right now, either from yourself, or from others. While Mercury is the planet of communications, it is primarily the planet of the mind and we are more comfortable during the next two weeks with our own thoughts and theories than with emotion. Pay attention to the suit of swords in your tarot readings, particularly the ace. Aces are alway good news because they mean something new is beginning and nothing makes things happen like an organized and creative mind.  


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tarot Reading at Public Events – Keep Calm and Think of Monty Python

The perfect mindset for public tarot
reading! From "OSHO Zen Tarot"©
 by Deva Padma

You’ve picked your reading venue, run your ads, packed up your table cloth and your favorite decks. You show up to your event twenty to thirty minutes early so you can clear your space, ground and acclimate your cards. It’s show time and you are ready. You’ve thought of everything. Business cards, notepads, a gift for your event host – now all you need is a querent. You sit at your table with an open and welcoming smile as you greet passersby.  Then the unexpected happens. A couple strolls towards you. One of them looks rather upset, points a finger at you and yells, “I know what you’re doing. I know what’s really going on here! You’re a witch! Witch!” Sounds completely over the top, doesn’t it, accept that it actually happened to me during a public reading event at a bookstore. I looked around half expecting Michael Palin to suggest they build a bridge out of me, or at the very least, Terry Jones wanting to see if my weight was equal to that of a duck’s.

 Public reading events aren’t every reader’s cup of tea. You can try to prepare for every contingency, but when you choose to read for the general public weird stuff happens and you have to learn how to roll with it. How calm you remain and how quickly you can think on your feet determines the success or failure of your reading event. In my case, the witch denouncer backed out of the shop, taking their friend with them as they continued to condemn my mystical proclivities.  I looked at the people around me who were nervously awaiting my reaction. I grinned at them and responded, “Was it something I said?” People started to laugh and before I knew it, everything was back on track. The truth is that the majority of people out there want you to succeed. They came to watch you succeed. However, they take their cue from you at an event, so it becomes very important to put their comfort above your own, because to varying degrees, they have already put their faith in you as a reader simply by showing up. 

Stay in the moment
another great reminder from "OSHO Zen
Tarot"© by Deva Padma
Most readers have expectations of a venue host. Usually they are completely reasonable – a discreet reading area, the ability to display your business cards, posters, someone to help steer querent traffic, etc.  However, some also impose their own bias on the people they serve.  Some refuse to read for children, claiming their energy is too chaotic. Seriously? Children are charming to read for – all wonder and excitement. Others won’t read someone who’s consumed any alcohol whatsoever. What are you going to do? Have them fill out a questionnaire first? Some of the most successful and joyful events involve reading for children.  Restaurants with full-service bars are another good venue selection.  It comes down to trusting your host to support you while you support their clientele to the best of your ability.  It serves no purpose to offend a business’s clientele with high-minded principles. Don’t confront customers about their belief systems. You’re not there to win an argument, you’re there to entertain and no matter how difficult it may be, never let your audience see you stressed.  Yes, you heard right, entertain and audience, because believe it or not, your readings are a performance.  

There are tarot readers who take issue with being likened to
Don't forget to enjoy yourself. it's
your party! From "OSHO Zen Tarot"©
by Deva Padma
an entertainer.  They are welcome to because that’s all the more venues for me.  Liberace once stated in an interview that, “Good piano players are a dime a dozen.” So ask yourself what makes you stand out?  “My readings are clear and I’m honest with my querents,” you say. “I work to enlighten them while I respect their feelings. I have integrity.” So do the majority of readers.  What makes you so special?  Simple answer – you do, your presentation, the personae you project.  You have ten seconds or less to engage a potential client.  Within that time they will judge you on appearance, perceptions about your attitude and whether, or not, their inner guidance system believes you to be ‘safe.’ Be aware, be present and don’t use their reading to seek validation.

The reader sets the tone at an event. It is their responsibility to put people at ease. Do it with style, do it with grace, but most importantly, do it in a manner authentic to you as a person. I use humor and when that fails, I pull out the Paula Dean brownies. I have no mercy.  


Thursday, August 7, 2014

August 10, 2014, Full Moon in Aquarius – “You Could Be Swinging on a Star”

"Would you like to swing on a star?
 Carry moonbeams home in a jar?
 You'd be better off than you are –
 you could be swinging on a star...."

"Swinging on a Star" by Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke

August’s Full Sturgeon Moon occurs in eighteen degrees and
The Star is tarot's card for Aquarius
from "Legacy of the Divine Tarot"©
by Ciro Marchetti
two minutes of Aquarius. It is a Moon that showcases our uniqueness ( more so if you have Aquarius, or Moon in Aquarius in your birth chart) and celebrates our ability to become more than we have ever dreamed possible.  this Full Moon it's time to explore the road less traveled – to find joy by proclaiming your individuality and stepping to your own music.  Our Moon is high-functioning in Aquarius, which means it takes the best of Aquarian traits (See blog: 
Aquarius - Independent and Artistic, or Divaand couples them with the Moon's magical, mystical energy.  

August 10th brings us a ‘Super Moon,’ one of three this summer season that places Lady Moon uncommonly close to Earth while on her orbital path. When she travels so close, as she does four to six times every year, we say the Moon is at perigee.  ( See blog: "Full Strawberry Moon at Perigee") When she travels at the farthest point of her orbital path, we say the Moon is at apogee.  Naturally, when the Moon is at perigee the tides are higher, the pull of the lunar energy is stronger and the astrological effects are a little more significant.  

Full Moon in Aquarius is a well-balanced Moon made for discovering the new and different while maintaining a rational foothold.  This is not an overly emotional Moon.  It's a good thing too, because not only is the Moon at perigee, but it is also square with Saturn, our hall monitor planet.  Explore yourself, but stay grounded and don't go throwing common sense out the window.  Moderation is always a wise policy when stepping out into virgin territory.  

Rome Choi's High Priestess
is swinging on The Moon, but you
get the idea. From "Dreaming Way Tarot"© 
This will be a social Moon, friendly, although slightly reserved.  There's an inborn shyness in Moon in Aquarius that makes us want to hang back a little and take in what's happening before jumping into the pool. Trust your intuition when it comes to people, places and events. If it feels like a poor choice, it probably is.

We’ve been blessed with a steady flow of creative juice this summer and the August Full Moon keeps that flow coming.  Full Moons are about culminations, bringing the hard work from the past month into fruition.  By using Full Moon in Aquarius to find your spark, you'll push past you self-imposed boundaries and discover that you can be more than you ever thought you could. Loosen the reins and explore.


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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Herbalism Integrates With Consciousness

"Meadsweet" from "The Druid Plant Oracle"©
by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm

There’s an herbal apothecary shop in Astoria Oregon called, “A Gypsy’s Whimsy.®” Great name, isn’t it?  They sell all manner of exotic trinkets and it has been one of my favorite ports of call for years. They carry wonderful soaps, incense and herbal tea blends for people, like myself, who enjoy the idea of herbal remedies, but lack the skills necessary to effectively combine the ingredients. I’ve always enjoyed listening to the conversations that spring up when herbalists stop by the shop to pick up an ingredient or two. Their knowledge fascinates me almost as much as the jars of dried herbs and bottles of essential oil. However, it took a series of recurring, but relatively minor health issues to give me the final push towards the study of herbalism.

A baby herbal study starts to grow and
with it, my awareness of what
makes up the world
The idea of homemade anything has always appealed to me. My mother, a British war-bride, knew every work around and substitute ingredient known to man. From her I learned that salt can be baked in the oven, poured into a cloth bag and used for as a highly effective hot compress. It holds heat for hours. I took what she taught me about pickling and preserving with me when I moved to the granola belt of the Pacific Northwest, Eugene, Oregon. Everybody made their own yogurt in Eugene – that was a given. Making your own sprouts was required as was having a good whole wheat pie crust recipe. Heck, my friends and I made our own crackers and marshmallows (the campfire kind, not the herb kind). Weird, I know, but what are you going to do when you can’t macramé to save your life. In short, my newly discovered love of herbalism was predestined.

I’ve spent the past three months reading, gathering equipment and herbs and creating my work space/resource room. As is the case with things that are meant to be, I discovered that during the years I’d collected many things that ‘looked cool’ such a copper and ceramic double boiler (for chocolate), various antique beakers, infusers, cobalt-colored bottles and sundry items that could be used in herbal work. Also, the Universe has made certain I was in the right place at the right time to find free bookcases, cabinets and resource material.

The wonderful thing about any new endeavor and the creation
"The Restorers" from "The Druid Plant Oracle"©
by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm
Sigh...a rather nice image for inspiration

of new space in your world is that you focus on life’s possibilities – what will come, as opposed to, what do I have to overcome. There’s an excitement and a freshness to each day and a wish to stay present in every moment. I spend a lot more time noticing the plants that grow wild around me and it’s true what the philosophers say. Something is always happening around you and your awareness of everything is entirely a matter of focus. In my back yard I discovered plantains, dandelions and lemon balm. All have medicinal properties, but previously they were simply weeds to be pulled from the garden. A walk across a field can bring the opportunity to collect chamomile, cleaver and blackberry leaves, as well as the opportunity to notice the abundance and variety of life around you.  

We are an adaptive species and it is never too late to change our perspective and learn something new. I may never hang out a shingle as an herbal apothecary, but what I learn about our planet, the bounty it provides and my relationship to it all will serve me well for the rest of my life.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Mercury in Leo, July 31st to August 14th - "An Eloquent Mind"

Tarot's card for Leo (of course) comes from
"Steampunk Tarot"© by
Barbara Moore and Aly Fell
Mercury in Leo is an eloquent mind, so pay attention, my friends, because this is an important transit for moving your life forward. Mercury’s intellect and communications skills combine with the lion’s charismatic leadership, making us virtually unstoppable. There’s a boldness, a passion and a natural presumption of success accompanying this transit. Mercury foregoes pure analytical thought to go with gut instinct. Idealism is our friend and we seek each and every one of our opportunities with a dramatic zest for living.

Leo loves center stage and Mercury in Leo is the consummate performer. People born with this transit prominently in their chart have a pleasing personality, effortlessly drawing people to their side. The next two weeks is an optimal time for presenting yourself if a favorable way. Schedule appointments with those tough clients you’ve been avoiding. Send out your resume. Dust off your portfolio and get your presentation ready. You have the answers to people’s dilemmas so get out in front of them with your knowledge and your creative approach. Persuasion is your middle name right now, so what are you waiting for?

As with everything, there is a yin to this yang and Mercury in
The Magician represents Mercury. Shown
here from "Wizard's Tarot" by Corrine Kenner
and John J. Blumen
Leo can influence us towards arrogance if we are operating a little left or right of center. Leo’s ‘performer’ gene can cause us to become opinionated and devalue the contributions of other members of our family or team. We have lots of planetary influences in Leo currently (Sun, Jupiter, Mercury, Lilith See blog: Sun in Leo), so guard against Leo’s confidence mutating into less desirable attitudes such as arrogance, or egocentricity. We all live on this planet together and no single person or group of people is the ‘whole show,’ regardless of their opinion on the matter.

Mercury’s transit of Leo it an excellent time to push your goals to the next level. Think of it as that summer growth spurt before things start bearing fruit for autumn’s harvest. Opportunities are what you make of them and when properly used, transits like this one give substance to your hopes and dreams.