Monday, April 28, 2014

April 29, 2014, New Moon in Taurus With Partial Solar Eclipse – “Your Moment in the Sun”

We come to the end of April (some of us will say thankfully)
From Kris Waldherr's "Goddess Tarot"© come
The Empress, tarot's card for Venus.
Venus rules the sign of Taurus
knowing our strengths as well as our weaknesses.  This is great information to have heading into May and as a reward for the energetic travails of April, the universal calendar has dropped us into a New Moon in Taurus.  The sound you hear in a global sigh of relief.  The Moon is exalted in Taurus.  This means the projected energy is strong, stable and emotionally, grounded – a gift we can all use right now.

#5, Juno in "The Goddess Tarot"© represent's
The Hierophant (belief systems)
tarot's card for Taurus
A Taurian Moon is trustworthy.  It projects energy we can use to set the tempo for the next lunar cycle.  As with Mercury in Taurus, our thoughts turn to matters of safety, security and financial well-being.  This is a Moon for contemplating what those things mean to you and arriving at decisions that support your goals.  You’ll find yourself wanting to gather more information on how those goal might be met.  That’s good, because Taurus’ influence will not allow you to jump into a void and see where you drift. Again, as with Mercury in Taurus, the down side is that hallmark stubborn streak.  A decision made is a decision followed to the letter heedless of the counsel of others. Don’t charge blindly at the gate simply because that’s the direction you chose to go.  Wise counsel is always worth listening to even when it runs counter to your own opinions.

April 29th’s New Moon is a moon for artists and romantics.
Look for inspiration in both of those areas because Venus rules the sign of the bull and it’s here that the goddess of love turns earthy, connecting us to our natural talents and our sensuous nature.  Taurus feels through the senses.  Tread carefully though, and don’t allow self-esteem issues, either high or low, inhibit your creative, or loving nature.

There’s an extra power kick with this New Moon that supports
The Zorya from Kris Waldherr's
"Goddess Tarot"© beautifully represents
the power of #19, The Sun
deep meditations and transformation.  It comes from ( April 28, 2014 at 8:53 PDST) a partial solar eclipse.  This annular eclipse is in keeping with April’s theme of powerful configurations and events. It is a rare and remarkable gift for all of us.  The April 28th solar eclipse is called a non-central annular eclipse.  That means that the antumbra, or Moon’s shadow just grazes the Earth, its core, or center missing us.  That severely limits visibility of this solar event.  Okay, that doesn’t sound so unusual until you consider these facts.  During the last 5000 years there have been 3956 annular eclipses.  Only 68, or 1.7% of them have been non-central.  

Think about it. Every person on this planet, regardless of where and how they live has ended up here at this particular point in time to witness, whether they are aware of it or not, an occurrence that has a probability factor of 1.7%.  This annular solar eclipse is a cosmic life lesson and it should be viewed as such. At the very least this eclipse is a statement about taking a chance to fulfill your dreams no matter how great the odds against success appear to be.  It reminds us that brilliant discoveries occur at any time and that upon reflection, there are no ordinary moments.  You’ve been given a wonderful opportunity during this New Moon cycle to consider the meaning of random chance, odds and the significance of your own place in the Universe.  Don’t waste it.  


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mercury in Taurus, April 23rd to May 6th – “A Practical Mindset With Keen Insights”

The Magician, conscious, directed thought, is
Mercury's tarot association.  Seen here in Corrine
Kenner and John J. Blumen's, "Wizard's Tarot"©
Mercury in Taurus is a mind that knows itself and is highly resourceful.  During the next couple of weeks, to varying degrees and according to our birth charts, we will all have the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of a focused and practical mind.  Taurus takes to Mercury’s visit like strawberries take to champagne and chocolate.  Taurus appreciates the finer things in life and that includes mental acuity.  

The next couple of weeks is an excellent time to review and make decisions about matters dealing with your financial security and the material world because Mercury in Taurus has a knack for handling money.  Where Taurus likes to try the new and the different, Mercury’s analytical influence helps us see past the razzle dazzle to determine what actual value a project or investment strategy holds for us.  Once you’ve reached your decision, however, don’t be surprised if you feel a touch of Taurus’ legendary stubbornness and an automatic resistance to listening to anyone else’s concerns or opinions.  Be careful not to alienation those closest to you by refusing to hear them out.

The Hierophant, tarot's card for Taurus
effectively represents the deep, spiritual energy of
Taurus. From Ciro Marchetti's "Legacy of
the Divine Tarot" ©
Our powers of perception increase during Mercury in Taurus making us more keenly aware of the world around us.  We often take on the role of observer during unfamiliar social situations rather than rush headlong into new friendships.  A Taurian mindset is circumspect about who it allows close.  It also likes to indulge in learning new things as well as deepening its understanding of familiar subjects.  Experience is a great teacher to Mercury in Taurus, so don’t be surprised to find yourself willing to try new things that appear a little out of character for you.

Mercury in Taurus is an easy frame of mind and frankly, we need it after dealing with the complex energy patterns of this month.  This transit gives us the opportunity to consider and effectively deal with material concerns before we head into the summer season, so let your mind rest easy.  If you don’t know all the answers, relax.  Realizing you don’t know everything is the beginning of true


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pluto Retrograde April 14th through September 23rd – Cosmic Checks and Balance System

Periodically, Earth’s orbit overtakes the orbit of another planet.  When this happens an optical illusion occurs making it appear as if the planet that Earth passed paused in its orbital path and started to move backwards. We call this effect a planetary retrograde.  Every planet has one except us, of course, because we observe the solar system strictly from our own perspective. The most notorious retrograde cycle belongs to the planet Mercury.  Our verbal communications can be easily misunderstood at Mercury Retrograde.  Glitches occur in electronic and mechanical devices and travel plans become snarled. During the eclipse and Full Pink Moon mania earlier this week Pluto quietly turned retrograde.  Well, perhaps not so quietly as we think.  What happens when the planet of transformation, the one featured so prominently in the Cardinal Grand Cross configuration this month, turns retrograde? A better question might be, "Are we having fun yet?"

Pluto takes 248 years to complete one orbit of the Sun. 
#20, Judgment is the tarot association for Pluto
From Kris Waldherr's "The Goddess Tarot"©
When you’re the slowest body on the solar system race track you get use to other planets lapping you and kicking cosmic dirt in your face.  Controversial Pluto was discovered in the 1930s, given planetary status, only to be demoted to an ice ball in recent years.  Still, Pluto remains, at least in astrological terms, one of the group of outer planet called transpersonal planets.  These guys deal with the forces outside of the self – universal connections and destiny.  Also, because its orbit takes so long to complete, Pluto is called a generational planet – its position in a birth sign guiding an entire generation.  Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008 and will remain there until 2023, influencing all children born during this time in a particular way.

Ciro Marchetti's vision of #13, Death
This is the tarot association for Scorpio,
which is ruled by Pluto.
From "Legacy of the Divine Tarot"©
Pluto governs the eighth house of the zodiac, Scorpion territory, where matters of death, transformation, sexuality and shared resources are stored (environmental issues).  When Pluto is direct its influence is felt in the changes you experience in life and how they transform you.  Those changes can be as subtle as spring cleaning, or as groundbreaking as starting an entirely new career.  The planet of transformation brings you moments of stark insight that allow you to see your life clearly and make changes accordingly. Pluto is known for bringing hidden matters to light – sort of ripping off the bandaid so the wound can be properly cleaned and healed. Note that once Pluto begins transforming your life there’s no going back. Your end results are generally positive even though the journey might have been bumpy. 

During its retrograde cycle, which occurs five months out of
A new cycle means the beginning of a
new journey. The Fool, seen here from
Marchetti's "Legacy of the Divine Tarot"©
is Divinely protected on his new quest.
each year, Pluto makes us pause in our lives and take stock of what we are doing.  Are we helping our species and our home planet advance in a positive manner, or are we focused on self and making gains that simply gratify us as individuals?  These are the tough questions – no doubt about it – but there has to be a system of cosmic checks and balances for humanity's sake and Pluto Retrograde is a significant part of that system. Not only you, but an entire generation of children born with you during Pluto’s fifteen year reign in a particular sign will look with keen introspection on similar issues during a Plutonian retrograde, all for the collective good.   If that’s not a powerful, positive force, what is?

In a couple of days the Cardinal Grand Cross goes exact.  The notorious Uranus/Pluto Square goes exact as well.  Our strength during this time comes from the review process of Pluto’s retrograde cycle. Who are we?  Where are we going?  Ask yourself the tough questions this month and demand honest answers, because one thing is for sure, where ever we’re going, we’re going there together.


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Friday, April 11, 2014

Full Pink Moon in Libra, April 15th, 2014 – “Blood on the Moon, or Miss Scarlet in the Conservatory With A Candlestick”

Blood on the Moon.  Again. Predictions about this month’s Full Moon with eclipse vary from multiple natural disasters to a full-blown apocalypse.  If any of you saw the 2011 movie, “Red Riding Hood,” you know that catastrophic events are supposed to occur when the Moon turns red.  Must be – I mean, did anyone else read the reviews for that movie? Talk about a career killer. There’s no doubt this is a powerful, yet touchy Full Moon cycle coming up – not going to lie about that. However, the edginess we’ll feel during the eclipse is more likely to have us seeing red rather than foretelling certain doom.  

The Full Pink Moon occurs at 12:42 a.m., PDT on April 15th, in twenty-six degrees of the sign, Libra. Lunar eclipses occur when the Moon passes through the Earth’s shadow.  When this happens, the Sun’s light disburses through the Earth’s atmosphere before reaching the Moon. The higher spectrum lights, such as violet, blue and green fade out and the colors left are orange and red. This is the same effect that gives us big, orange Harvest Moons and pearly, pink Moons during moonrise. There’s no way to actually determine how red the eclipsing Moon will get. It could be anything from a bashful blush to a deep crimson. In either case, the effect only lasts a few minutes, so watch closely. The eclipse begins at 10:58 p.m. on April 14th and reaches its climax at 1:07 a.m. on the 15th.  

Even the most upbeat astrologers suggest that we pay close
attention to the world around us during this volatile month.  On the outset, our Full Pink Moon in Libra is a partnership moon filled with charm and social grace. There’s a naturally empathic element that comes with Libra and this instinctual connection with people lends itself to greater success in relationships. In our personal lives, Libra likes close, balanced partnerships where everybody wins. Expect a boost to your people skills during this Full Moon cycle. However, this Full Moon can also make you feel needy, or as if your partner is sucking all the air out of the room. Relax. It’s a temporary effect brought on by the energetic ebb and flow of Lady Moon.

Eclipses act as an energy reboots for the entire planet, setting the tone of our planetary energy field for the next six months. During the eclipse cycle you frequently feel charges of energy coursing through you, almost more than you can handle. This effect is most intense two days prior to the eclipse and for the three days following it. Channel these high voltage surges into productive, positive actions. Focus on releasing any feelings of pressure that have built up in you this month.  Remember your positive mantra.  If you don’t have one, write one.  You are unique, you are enough and you are love. Pull in and use the energy from the stars of fortune and glory, Arcturus and Spica.  These guys are contributing their energy patterns to the lunar eclipse mix.  Arcturus is the stronger influence, combining good fortune with a powerful need for justice.  Use directed, conscious thought to set positive intentions (#1, The Magician) Again, stay grounded and don’t let chips form on your shoulders because someone will knock them off.

While a Full Moon lunar eclipse is already a powerful
Typical Grand Cross configuration
energetic force, this particular eclipse also heralds the exact squaring of that rare astrological event that’s been hovering over us, the Cardinal Grand Cross.  Remember that a Grand Cross forms when two sets of planets, in opposition (at an aspect of 180 degrees to one another) form two squares (aspects of ninety degrees).  ( See blog : "Cardinal Grand Cross"  )The planets involved in this Cardinal Grand Cross are: Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto.  The word, ‘cardinal’ simply refers to the type of signs each of these planets currently occupies, or in this case, Libra, Cancer, Aires and Capricorn, respectively. Cardinal signs are the signs at the beginning of each season.

"Osho Zen Tarot"© reminds us to seek
the silence with ourselves to achieve balance
Cardinal Grand Crosses carry very unsettled and challenging energy.  Uranus and Pluto want to sweep all the chess pieces off the board, even if they create wreckage along the way.  Jupiter in Cancer wants to help you rebuild with glorious results, while Mars in Libra wants to charm people into his way of thinking – the quintessential smooth operator. This is great energy, however, don’t hang onto things that no longer serve you, because this energy can metaphorically pull your arms from their sockets if you do. Also, watch out for Jupiter in Cancer’s expansion giving you too much of a good thing while Mars puts those he can’t sway to the sword.

As with any astrological patterns there are highs and lows. You simply need to make adjustments for working with this month’s power flow. Proceed mindfully, stay grounded and you will be brilliant.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

ZWCC and The Sloth Center – Saving the World One Animal at a Time

Meet Fenway, one of the sloth ambassadors
for ZWCC's Ed-zoocation Station program
Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center, or ZWCC is a facility in rural Columbia County Oregon that’s home to a surprisingly diverse cross section of endangered wildlife.  Last month, while on a freelance assignment for our local paper I was fortunate enough to spend several hours there.  As a natural tree-hugger, it was an experience that altered me in ways I never expected.  

ZWCC operates out of the same location as The Sloth Center, a successful captive breeding program for two-fingered sloths.  Three-fingered sloths don’t survive captivity. There are three colonies of sloths at The Sloth Center including an ambassador colony who, by virtue of their tolerance of man, serve to educate those of us who are fortunate enough to visit them.  These facilities are not public zoos for entertainment purposes, nor are they rescues centers.  Everything that happens here is for the sole benefit of the wild residents and because of that philosophy they thrive.

Staff of The Sloth Center and ZWCC quietly go about the job
Fenway being admired
of saving the refuges from wide scale deforestation one animal at a time.  They’ve been doing this for two generations, working long hours at physically demanding jobs.  With little to no notice, they are called to jump on a plane and head for Central, or South America to save animals from an area before the forest is cleared.  I learned frightening statistics from these people such as ninety percent of Madagascar’s forests are gone and that there are at least sixty species and subspecies of lemurs who won’t survive.

Louisa is a black and white, ruffed lemur from Madagascar,
 saved from being put down at another facility
ZWCC’s educational center hosts a program called, “Ed-zoo-cation Station.” Here visitors learn about the rapidly disappearing environments of the ZWCC residents.  You can watch all the Animal Planet shows and undersea exploration documentaries you want, but no matter how engaged and educated you become it’s quite different to have to look these guys in the face and know that owl monkeys are used for eye research, that penguins  constantly run afoul of plastic garage drifting in our oceans and that there is only one wolf pack allowed to exist in the state of Oregon.  These guys aren’t cute, animated depictions of wildlife in crisis – they are the real thing.

The Sloth Center fields an average of three to five calls per
a mata mata turtle, or 'side-necked turtle'
Not cute and furry perhaps, but every bit as endangered
day regarding sloths.  Unfortunately, most of these calls are from people who want to know where and how they can obtain one as a household pet.  Staff at the center is very blunt on this point.  Try having a sloth for a pet and the animal will die. Sloths have very tricky digestive systems, their natural bacteria has to be carefully balanced and their acceptable food is very limited. No, they don’t eat melons and bananas, nor should they.  They eat very specific vegetation, though they can eat chopped zucchini and other approved substances. They move so slowly because their bodies have virtually no body fat and their food intake isn’t stored.  Facility workers monitor the colonies daily to make certain they are healthy.  

Alejandro, an adult male arctic tundra wolf is a wolf ambassador.
He is affectionate and loves a good cuddle.  He can also
crash a skull in a single bite – hence the loose muzzle and cables.
Still wild, folks.
To be clear, there is only one colony of sloths that you are able to visit and then only under strictly controlled circumstances.  Sloths don’t tolerate humans well.  They get nervous.  We are loud and we move too quickly and there are simply too many of us. Sloths are gentle creatures with very poor eyesight.  Lemurs on the other hand have boundless energy and often tremble with excitement longing to set off to explore the world around them.  ZWCC is the first place I’ve ever seen wolves that don’t pace back and forth is a small enclosure.  They roam in a large compound, bounding and playing.  

When you see all of these animals up close you can’t help
Buttan is a malaysian fishing cat.  Here he's sitting in a large
tub of water batting at pinecones. He's the size of a mid-size dog
being saddened by their plight and the lack of responsibility of those who have so much in life and who choose not to share with those less fortunate.  After all, nations that are actively practicing deforestation of natural habitats and displacement of their wildlife are not doing so because they are mean and vicious.  They do so to take care of their citizens.  In the battle to feed a village, or save wildlife, wildlife is going to lose.  It’s past time to look seriously for alternatives to assist nations who struggle to support their populations. In the meantime, places like ZWCC and The Sloth Center will continue saving small corners of the world as best they can.

NOTE: While these animals are in areas of a general compound, they are not caged.  


Here are links to ZWCC and The Sloth Center.  Yes, you can visit, but reservations are required. Check out their sponsorship page and the sleepover camps with the wolf pack or sloth colony! Support these guys!

Alejandro, just before he leapt on me, covered me in wolf kisses and tried to take my hat.
He is amazing and so filled with love and curiosity. Again, he's in a compound, not a cage, where he
and his pack are very happy together.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

“Double Eclipse With A Grand Cross Chaser” – Astrological Trends for April 2014

The cosmic fuse sparked to life with a New Moon in Aires last
In Kris Waldherr's remarkable archetype
tarot deck, "The Goddess Tarot"©,
Estsanatlehi represents the Empress,
Venus' card.
week making many of us view April with equal parts excitement and trepidation.  That’s understandable.  April carries lots of complex, volatile energy and there’s been a considerable amount of speculation by astrologers about what two, count ‘em, two eclipses and a Cardinal Grand Cross involving the notorious Uranus/Pluto square signifies.  Let’s start by looking at some of the companion pieces for this month’s astrological profile.

Venus takes us on a sentimental journey when she moves into Pisces on April 5th.  The sign of the fish has us using more of our intuition and ability to empathize in our relationships.  We are more imaginative and creative in how we express our affections for others and we also crave their affection in return.  Venus in Pisces is not always steadfast, however.  There’s a degree of insecurity that accompanies the goddess of love in Pisces and this can make us a little fickle after our initial burst of attraction to someone new.  Pisces also woos our wallet and can encourage us to spend a little too freely for those we care about, so double think those expenditures.

On April 7th Mercury visits Aires and will remain there until
Isis is Waldherr's "Magician" - focused thought
direct intention. From "The Goddess Tarot"©
The Magician is tarot's card for Mercury
April 23rd.  This is great energy.  Mercury in Aires carries an aggressively brilliant intelligence filled with wit and original thinking.  Mercury brings mental flexibility and the capacity to make lightening-quick responses.  Communications, both written and spoken, will be highly effective and when we combine the power of this transit with a carefully laid out strategy we will be incredibly successful.  You may have caught the caveat it that last sentence, but let me point it out once more for the kids in the back.  Use foresight and planning during this transit because Mercury in Aires, while filled with mental acuity, wants to leap before looking. Impulse control here, folks.  

#20, Judgement is the card for Pluto
from Waldherr's "The Goddess Tarot"©
Pluto turns retrograde on April 14th, one day before our Full Moon in Libra and our first eclipse of the month.  Pluto is thought provoking when direct, but during retrograde that dialogue focuses on inner beliefs. “Who am I?” “Am I using my life to its fullest potential?” “Am I part of the greater good, or am I stuck on the couch watching reruns of “Amish Mafia” and “Honey Boo-Boo?”  Yup, Pluto retrograde asks the tough questions, but it also works well with Mercury in Aires.  Expect to receive powerful, sudden insights into your life and help make some terrific resolutions (‘r’ word ) for moving your life forward.

Speaking of power, the Full Moon in Libra with accompanying full lunar eclipse is an energetic Super Moon.  Don’t take this one lightly. There’s lots of great stuff coming with this Full Moon, but it’s also important to do into the period from April 12th to April 18th very balanced.  Eat a healthy, balanced diet, get extra rest, exercise and of course, meditate.  This is good advise any time, but it is essential here if you want to effectively work with the lunar energy flow.  Eclipses are planetary reboots and right on the heels of this eclipse we go straight into a Cardinal Grand Cross (see blogs: "New Moon in Libra" and "January 2014" ) with a highly active Uranus/Pluto square.  Remember in the movie “Jurassic Park” when they shut down the electrical grid to reboot the computer systems?  Well, we’ve got to keep an eye on that velociraptor compound.  Ground yourself, keep the space around you energetically clear and make your home a sanctuary from other people’s chaos.

I’ll have more later on the Full Moon in Libra eclipse, the
Sarasvati is Waldherr's excellent choice for
The High Priestess, tarot's card for Lady Moon.

Cardinal Grand Cross, Mercury’s swing into Taurus and the amazing annular solar eclipse that occurs during the New Moon at the end of the month.  Whew!  We’re going somewhere this month, guys, so be brilliant.


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