astrology insights

Saturn Return- The Start of a New Chapter

Saturn Return- The Start of a New Chapter

When a transiting planet comes back to the same degree it was at the time of your birth, it opens a new chapter in your life. A cycle begins, with fresh growth opportunities and new life lessons to experience. The nature of that planet determines what those will be; the movement of the planet determines the length of that cycle.

Think about your birthday. Each year has a certain vibe, and often the events that unfold around your birthday can establish the main themes of the following 365 days. This is your Solar Return, and it happens every year, as it takes the Sun 365 days to return to the degree it was at the time of your birth.

The personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars) move more quickly and make their returns sooner than Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The Moon returns once a month, the Sun once a year, Mercury and Venus a little less than a year, and Mars every two years. The more distant planets orbit the sun more slowly. As a result, these planetary returns can mean big changes in your life. At times, they may even feel like crisis points, as you close one chapter and start a new one. They can also mark significant turning points in your life.

The Saturn Return happens every 29.5 years, and it is one of the most significant planetary returns. The choices you make during your Saturn Return year will have lasting consequences, for better or worse, for years to come.

Sun in Virgo - August 23 - September 23

Sun in Virgo - August 23 - September 23

When you think of the sign of Virgo, think of the Vestal Virgins who dedicated themselves to the goddess Vesta. These women were the only ones of the time who were agents of their own lives. They didn’t belong to a husband or father; they had more choices than other women of the time.

Because of this association, Virgo is aligned with ritual and rite. They often incorporate purification rituals into their day-to-day lives, like exfoliating their face with specific products or washing their hands a certain way before eating.

Virgo can choose, and she does. Some might call Virgo picky, but really, Virgo is a sign of discernment. It can seem perfectionistic at times because it has a refined sense of order and high standards. It separates the wheat from the chaff. Virgo doesn’t like to waste time or energy.

Mercury, as the ruling planet, gives Earth-sign Virgo a more mental quality than other earth signs (Taurus and Capricorn). Virgo has analytical abilities but can become stuck as a result.

Virgo seeks order and organization. This helps them have a sense of control in their lives. Even messy Virgo’s will have one or two pristine areas of the home.

Virgo rules health and alternative healing, food manufacturing, and wellness.

Virgo is an earth sign, which makes them quite practical. You can count on a Virgo to stay on schedule or organize a lunch date.

Aquarius Full Moon - August 15, 2019

Aquarius Full Moon - August 15, 2019

The Moon in Aquarius encourages us to think way outside of the box to solve any issues that come up in our lives. Aquarius is inventive, and you might come up with new ideas or see aspects of your life from a different perspective. Aquarius is also the sign of community and friendships. You could discover ways to become more involved. 

The Sun, Venus, Mercury and Mars are all in the sign of Leo during this Full Moon. The Sun is conjunct Venus, and this influence encourages social interactions and fun! It is a creative influence, one that could inspire you. The influence of these Leo planets suggests you might decide to take a break and enjoy the day or gather a group of friends for a night out.  

Because all of these planets are in fixed signs, along with asteroid Vesta (which is in a t-square with the Sun and Moon), it’s important to keep an open mind and remain flexible, especially if difficult conversations arise. One of the best ways to do that is to lead with curiosity, rather than focusing on absolute rights and wrongs. 

Vesta’s influence suggests you could feel the pressure of your responsibilities and obligations, despite your urge to relax and have fun. Because of this, you might feel as if you need to make some sort of sacrifice, or you could feel pressured to make a compromise. Leo encourages you to follow your heart and express your desires, but do so in manner considerate to others. 

Mercury Retrograde July 2019

Mercury Retrograde July 2019

It's that time again when Mercury begins to slow down and start its retrograde cycle. This phenomenon happens three or four times a year, and each retrograde cycle emphasizes different themes, depending on Mercury's sign and aspects to other planets. This time, it comes to a standstill in the sign of Leo and shifts back into Cancer on July 19 before stationing direct on July 31. Let's discuss the themes of this Mercury retrograde and tips for how to make the most of this time, sign by sign. 

Mercury Retrograde, in General

Mercury retrograde is an optical illusion that happens three or four times a year when Mercury appears to be moving backward in the heavens from our vantage point on earth. When Mercury is retrograde, we have a chance to prioritize and focus on all things Mercury, including communication and communication devices, thoughts, ideas, contracts, learning, teaching, transportation, travel, and the details of everyday life. It's a time to finish business, but you could experience delays. 

During Mercury retrograde periods, we look back on our lives, reflecting on the past. We encounter individuals who played significant roles in our lives, and we revisit those relationships. 

Mercury retrograde is usually not a great time to sign contracts unless you've been in negotiations for a long time. In those cases, it could be a time for closure and completion. 

You may discover things about yourself, your past, or others, and gain clarity about life circumstances. You could also work through your fears and limiting beliefs, the ones that hold you back from living your most purposeful life. In this respect, Mercury retrograde is a time for healing and for clearing obstacles along your path. It's a time to go deep, and you may feel more intuitive and sensitive to energy than usual.  

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

When we celebrate the Summer Solstice, we celebrate the sun, its light and warmth— its power. It’s the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the point in the year when we have access to the sun’s full energy. It’s a celebration of abundance and also a time to be patient with anything still in progress and growing.

The Solstice is a fertile time, when the Earth shares her bounty. Like our ancestors, we can use this feast as a way to honor and thank the Earth for all she provides.

What seeds have you planted in your life? This is a time of illumination, when the sun has prominence in the sky, and you can see your path more clearly, including opportunities and potential challenges. It also represents a culmination of energy and a climax of sorts in your present storyline. It’s a fertile time in your life, too, and a time for the most creative expression of yourself.

At the Summer Solstice, the Sun moves into the sign of Cancer and marks the beginning of a new season. Cancer is one of four cardinal signs (along with Aries, Libra, and Capricorn), and cardinal signs emphasize initiating action and taking a step forward with intention. For the sign of Cancer, it’s taking action on behalf of whom or what you love, like a mother would do almost anything for her child. It’s this nurturing, compassionate, and protective love that compels our action during this season. No matter what sign under which you’re born, you’ll feel the Cancer vibe this season, and these themes will be prominent for you, too.

Because the North Node is in Cancer, our attention is already focused toward those themes: Family, nurturance, emotional connections, protecting what’s dear, and home. Remember, too, the Earth is home for all of us, and the Summer Solstice is a time to connect and align with the Earth.

For your Summer Solstice Ritual, keep reading…

July's Eclipses

July's Eclipses

Eclipses happen when the sun, moon, and earth line up with the lunar nodes, which are astrological destiny points. 

The North Node symbolizes where we are focusing our attention, what matters to us, and where we’re reaching toward as a collective. The South Node symbolizes where we’re moving from, our past, our history, as well as any old or outdated ideas and beliefs. The transiting North Node signifies what we must integrate into our collective awareness if we are to grow as a society. 

This year, the North Node is in the sign of Cancer, which relates to the home, family, security, mothering, emotions, and the divine feminine. These are themes you might see up in news, pop culture, social media, or in your own life.

The South Node is always exactly opposite the North Node. This year, it’s in Capricorn, the sign associated with authority, ambition, government, career, patriarchal ideals, and public life.

The eclipses punctuate those themes and the tension between the two. 

Eclipses are like extra powerful full and new moons. Solar eclipses happen when the sun blocks the moon, and they occur during new moon phases. Lunar ones happen during full moon phases when the moon passes through the earth’s shadow. 

During eclipses, things feel more intense, and that two weeks between the solar and lunar eclipse, that energy is palpable. I call this the eclipse tunnel because often, that’s how it feels- like you’re in this compressed period of time when all emotions, senses, your intuition, and awareness is heightened.

Solar eclipses can catalyze external change. There’s a shift of some kind in your life. Often, though, it takes time to manifest. It can be a sudden bang, but you’re more likely to see the full manifestation of that change evolve over several months. That time depends on how long the eclipse is visible and what factors in your natal chart are involved. 

During a solar eclipse, you might have more restless energy, more momentum, and even some frustration. All of that energy is necessary because it motivates you to make changes in your life. 

During a lunar eclipse, the shifts are generally internal and focus on your personal life, emotions, relationships, and family. You feel things internally, and you can become aware of aspects of your life that aren’t working for you. Because the nodes are involved, the eclipses offer you the chance to face some of your biggest fears and access the courage you need to take a step forward toward fulfilling your purpose and reaching your destiny.

During a lunar eclipse, you may have the realization you need to make a career or relationship change. Don’t feel as if you need to drop a bomb or make a sudden move. Instead, see the awareness as a first step in an unfolding process. One mistake I see people making is acting on that first impulse during an eclipse because things do feel more intense and you want to do something about it. You can do something- pay attention! Look for guidance in your dreams, in conversations with friends, or through connecting with a healer, therapist, or astrologer. 

Realize, too, not all eclipses will affect you equally. So much of it depends on how the eclipse involves your chart. 

Now, let’s talk about the two July eclipses.

Pluto Retrograde April 24 - October 2, 2019

When the outer planets go retrograde, we usually feel the influence on a collective level more than a personal one. The Pluto retrograde cycle lasts five months, from April - October.

Whenever inner planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars) go retrograde, we tend to experience the influence in our day-to-day lives. The outer planets present general themes we look at as a collective. They bring us full-circle in many ways or help shift our consciousness about matters related to that planet. For Pluto, those are matters of power, desire, the unconscious aspects of the self, transmutation, and regenerative process.

Pluto retrograde is a time to reevaluate the power dynamics in your relationships. If you have been involved in a relationship that has an element of control or possessiveness, you could find ways to free yourself from those patterns, if not the relationship, itself. If you have been obsessing about a person or a past situation, Pluto invites you to surrender and let go. 

 Pluto helps reveal what has been hidden or to bring subconscious matters into the light. So, you could recall memories from childhood that left an imprint and still affect your relationships today. Retrograde cycles allow us to press the “rewind” button on our lives, and we get the chance to revisit the past. Sometimes, you might even have the opportunity to remake a decision, doing things differently this time around.  

This is a time to heal. I advise working with a therapist or healer to face your inner demons or unpack your deepest relationship fears.   

If you have been keeping a secret from your partner and it’s eating you up inside, you will feel freer coming clean during this retrograde cycle. Likewise, if you feel suspicious about anything your partner has said or done, try not to jump to conclusions. You could be picking up on something, but it might not be what it seems. Lead with curiosity, and ask questions to find out more.  

This particular Pluto retrograde cycle will hopefully help us call out corruption on every level. Because Pluto is in Capricorn, we will likely see some restructuring of institutions, especially ones based on outdated patriarchal ideals. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t see more scandals coming to light over the next five months. This retrograde period feels like another time to clean house in many ways.

If you have planets around 19˚ - 23˚ of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, you will feel this influence more intensely than others.

Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

It’s that time again; Mercury is retrograde. It stations retrograde at 10:19 am on March 5th at 29˚39 Pisces. This one will be a doozy! I’ll give you a little insight about what it could mean for you as well as offer a few tips to help you gracefully move through these three weeks.

When the planet of communication appears to come to a standstill and begin to move backward, it steals the celestial show. It commands attention, and in doing so, it calls us all to look at our Mercury-related stuff. How are you communicating with others? Do you hold back for fear of conflict? Do others perceive you to be too abrasive? Do you get a little passive aggressive from time to time? Circumstances in your life could show up to help you remedy some of these behaviors, and you won’t have a choice. You will have to face some fears, feel some doubts, and consider changing your ways.

With this one, in particular, we have to be real with ourselves and others. If you have been authentic in any way, you might have to come clean and reveal the truth about yourself. In that, you will liberate yourself and detox your psyche. It takes a lot of psychic energy to keep a secret or hold a lie. It is also energetically draining to sense intuitively when someone close to you holds back. Be brave in asking for the truth from others. Secrets can also be toxic to your system.

Communication devices may go haywire. You could spill water on your keyboard, for example, or drop your phone in the toilet. Mercury can be a little trickster, and so it tends to get your attention in not-so-subtle ways. If something like this happens, know there is a deeper significance, and thank Mercury for the heads-up! For example, if you have needed a break from work, your computer might break. Or if you have been feeling disconnected from others, your wifi might glitch. After all, nothing makes you appreciate your connections than being off the grid for a brief time! If water spills on your keyboard, ask: Am I afraid to express my emotions? Or: Have I sent an email in the heat of the moment when I could have waited a few minutes to cool down?


Before it stations retrograde, Mercury moves closer to Chiron, the little dwarf planet of the wounded healer. In the days leading up to Mercury retrograde, you might start to feel pangs of hurt, sadness, grief, or other emotions. You might have memories of times when someone from the past hurt you or traumatic events in your life. You might also feel remorse for times in which you hurt others.

During Mercury retrograde cycles, we have a chance to go inward and reflect on your life. In doing so, we can gain perspective to help forgive ourselves and others. It’s especially important to reframe your victim stories to see yourself as a powerful person. Sometimes, just giving voice to your story is enough. At other times, only therapeutic processes can help.

This is a healing time. A clearing time.

Dazed and Confused

This month, you could feel as if you’re walking through a haze, unclear about situations in your life or your direction. Relationships could feel off, and you could question the big decisions you’ve made throughout your life. Try not to take it all too seriously or make bold moves, like quitting your job on a whim or leaving your partner in the heat of an argument. Also, try not to obsess or ruminate about small things, or make more of a situation than it is.

It’s a cycle, and it, too, shall pass.

Guilt, regret, remorse, and shame have to rise to the surface so you can clear them from your energy field once and for all. If you feel any of these emotions, journal, talk to a therapist or good friend, or see a healer. You don’t need to hold on to the past; let it go.

Tips for Each Sign

Here are some Mercury retrograde survival tips for you!

Cancer North Node 2018

“There’s no place like home.” This may be our mantra over the next 18 months as the nodal axis shifts from Leo/Aquarius to Cancer/Capricorn. The North Node will be right at home in the sign of Cancer. The North Node symbolizes our point of focus for the next 18 months. It’s like our “North Star” as a collective, but being that, we could be pushed beyond our comfort zones with regard to anything Cancer related in our lives. More on that in a minute.

What is the North Node? The Lunar Nodes (North and South) are invisible points at which the moon’s orbital path crosses the Sun’s path on the celestial sphere (the ecliptic). Therefore, the nodes are the connecting points between the expressive, yang energies of the sun with the receptive, yin energies of the moon. The balance between yin and yang makes these magical points where you can experience absolute creative potentiality and the manifestation of desire. When triggered by a transiting planet or eclipse (the eclipse cycles happen in conjunction with the nodes), 

So, the Nodes are powerful, and you have them your natal chart. In your natal chart, they represent your destiny. The South Node symbolizes where you came from and what feels familiar and comfortable. The North Node represents your point of destiny in this lifetime and where you find fulfillment through growth. It’s that point right beyond your comfort zone that feels uncomfortable but brings your soul a level of satisfaction beyond the ego’s desires. 

Your nodal axis in your birth chart represents this as a tug-of-war in your life. You may move back and forth along that axis throughout your life. You swing out wide, take a risk, and move into North Node territory, and then you contract back to the familiarity of the South Node. And repeat. (Depending on other factors in your chart, of course.) 

When the nodes change signs, though, we all have a chance to focus our collective attention on the tension between the two signs on that axis line. Starting November 7, the tension will be between Capricorn and Cancer.

We are turning away from Capricorn, which is the sign of professional ambition, industry, public reputation, rules, structure, and the father. We could even say it’s the sign most closely associated with patriarchy. And we are turning toward Cancer. 

Cancer themes include home, family, emotions, intuition, receptivity, protection of the tribe, security, and nurturance. We will see our priorities as a culture shift toward community and connection. We will have more emphasis on emotions and intuition. 

We could experience a rise in the gender-related tension that has already been up for us as patriarchal structures and ideals lose power and people wake up to the injustice of the abuse of power inherent in those institutions of government, religion, and even family. 

When the nodes change signs, our eclipse cycles run along those axis lines as well. Therefore, if you are a Cancer, Capricorn, Libra, or Aries, watch for the eclipses from now until early 2020.


Fire and Water: The Astrology of November 6-11 and the CA Fires

Fire and Water: The Astrology of November 6-11 and the CA Fires

As I write this, the Woolsey Fire is still blazing in Los Angeles County, sending waves of destruction over more than 90,000 acres. My heart has been broken for days thinking of the losses. This fire hits home for me because I’ve recently bought a house in a neighboring community, and for the past several months, we’ve been driving up and down streets in the same neighborhoods involved in the fire. It has been intense to watch the fire spread so quickly and erratically knowing that our new home is just a few miles away.

Several people have asked me about the astrology of these wildfires. I’ve written up a brief overview of some of the most significant transits of that day. These are just preliminary thoughts, but I’ll be adding more in the future as I take time to do more research.

What I found so far can shed some light and also offer a note of caution as we head into 2019.

Mars Retrograde

Mars Retrograde

On June 26, Mars stations retrograde, a time during which Mars appears to move backward in the heavens. Not only that, Mars is closer to the earth and all things Mars will be prominent themes until it stations direct on August 28.

It’s time for us all to take a step (or two…or three) back, review life goals and revisit unfinished business. The Mars influence drives us to defend our perspective and fight if necessary.However, your ego is quite activated, and your view might be skewed by unconscious motives. Therefore, you could become caught up in the drama of a no-win conflictual situation if you’re not careful. It’s important to keep your ego in check and try to see a bigger picture, realizing you might need to raise the white flag of surrender from time to time

Uranus in Taurus 2018 - 2025

Uranus in Taurus 2018 - 2025

Every 7 or 8 years, Uranus moves into a new sign, and it’s a significant astrological event. Today, Uranus moves from Aries to Taurus. This transition will stir societal shifts as well as changes in your life over the next several years.

When an outer planet changes signs, it’s a big deal because it happens infrequently. Inner planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars change signs frequently, with Mercury and Venus about once a month. The outer planets revolve around the sun slower. Uranus takes 84 years to make one full rotation, and it transits through each sign about every 7 years. 

Uranus is the planet of change, and its placement helps us identify where we will see changes taking place in our lives. 

Astrology for Weight Loss

Astrology for Weight Loss

If you’re like many people, you have probably tried diet and exercise routines to lose weight. Food cravings can make those diets seem impossible to maintain. Did you know astrology can help you stay on track and achieve your health and wellness goals? 

It’s true! Astrology is a symbolic language that can help us recognize connections between our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. You have every planet represented in your birth chart, each one representing an aspect of your body, mind, and spirit. In addition, every category of food (and thus every craving, from meat to cookies) has an astrological correspondence. Sometimes, when a planetary energy shifts out of balance, you crave corresponding foods. 

When you understand the link between your food cravings and the planets, you can tap into a mind/body connection happening in real time. Then, you can assess whether the needs are emotional or physical. This can be super helpful if you’re trying to lose weight.