Birthday Gift From The Unvierse

My birthday is on New Year’s Day, and it’s the time of year when I feel closest to the rest of the solar-calendar world in thought. Most people look back over the past year at this time, evaluate what they’ve accomplished, and set intentions for what’s to come next. As a Capricorn, I do that nearly all the time, with the critical voice of Saturn, Capricorn’s ruler, in my head.  Have I done enough, is the work worthy (that might be the voice of Pluto in Virgo in my 1st house), and how do I get to that next summit?

For many years, I’ve felt that I could get much more done if I only had more time, more energy, more money. I desperately wanted clones, or to be consciously living 12 incarnations at once, so I could get all the work done I want to do in this lifetime. I used to say it, “oh, if only I had 12 of myself, I could accomplish something real, something lasting and good.”

Over the past 1.5 years, I’ve been building a metaphysical community.  I met a man who runs a restaurant called Café Aquarius, who for some reason trusted me enough to use his building as the venue for a center we call the Café Aquarius Astrology Center, or the CAAC.  I had huge visions for this center, but found I had to start small, and grow it slowly. But grown it has done, and it’s now attracting many people. We have 10 readers, an amazing organizer/front desk wonderwoman, and myself.

Recently I was reading one of my staff’s monthly e-zine articles and suddenly came to a profound realization: I’d been given the 12 incarnations I’d always wanted. Instead of me doing all the work I’d meant to do—professional readings, blog and e-zine articles, workshops, lectures, teaching, studying, consulting—here are people of like mind, of even better talents, of wonderful spirit, doing that which I, on my own, never could get off the ground in the proper way. My wish for clones has been granted, but in a much, much better way than I had imagined.  12 of me would’ve gotten some stuff done, but not in the way that the CAAC angels are doing it. It’s so, so much better to have a tribe of wonderful people than 12 copies of oneself! All the different perspectives, talents, abilities, social networks, etc that they bring to the mix is amazing.

There have been so many lessons I’ve learned in building and running this center. Lessons about personal power, about (yet again) the fact that not everyone thinks exactly like I do, lessons about the joy of community, about knowing that the fulfillment of doing one’s work in the world has little to do with the money one earns, and lessons of patience and perseverance.  Also lessons about letting go, especially of control. I recently had some huge personal issues that kept me from attending a CAAC event, and voila! It went off just fine without me. The CAAC staff so enjoys being together, they are willing to put in time, energy, and effort to make our events happen, and to bring their services to the public.  And because I trust them so, to forward the vision of the center, to run events without me, we can now grow even more. We plan to have more events per month than I’ll be able to personally supervise, and they will happen in fine form, because my “spiritual family” is in charge.

What a wonderful, awesome, immensely blessed gift they all are! So this posting is a huge thank you, for the past year, for the lessons learned, for the growth and evolution of our center and its community. Most especially, this is a deep bow of gratitude for the knowledge that the Universe will give us what we want and need; we just have to recognize the form it takes when the gift arrives.

May you, too, find your wishes granted, your joys manifest, and your energies ready to achieve the New Year’s goals.  Happiest of holidays to everyone!

Wallpapers-Photos planet

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Magical Times

Today is the 12th of December, 2012, or 12-12-12. Twelve is a magical number in many cultures/religions: ancient Greeks had 12 Olympians in their pantheon, there are 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva, Jacob had 12 sons who created the 12 tribes of Israel, Jesus had twelve disciples, and in some forms of Islam, there are 12 successors of Muhammad.  King Arthur had twelve knights, and Christmas has 12 days. In Western cultures, there are 12 hours to the day and 12 hours to the night, and 12 months to the year. And as we know, there are 12 signs to the Zodiac, 12 houses to an astrological chart. So today, the day of 12, is a magical day.

12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva

olympians from History of Olympus blog

12 Greek Olympians

The Last Supper Restored, Leonardo Da Vinic

12 Disciples of Jesus

In the Tarot, 12 is the Hanged Man. This is the card that shows us we must turn ourselves upside-down to break out of our limiting habits of perception, to escape from that which has been holding us back. With the rebellious planet Uranus in a long series of tense aspects to the lord of the Underworld Pluto, this reworking of our deepest realities is absolutely happening, on both collective and personal levels.

#12 Hanged Man Tarot Card

We are now just shy of the infamous Winter Solstice of 2012. On December 21, the Solstice becomes exact. Many people have asked me about this upcoming magical, predicted day.  This is the day when Mayan calendars made thousands of years ago come to the end of a huge cycle. This is a day when Jupiter, king of the gods in Greek mythology, sits across the sky from the Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus and Saturn, almost all of the planets that are visible to the human eye (Mars is a bit outside of that range.)

Chart for Dec 21, 2012

So, are we going to have a huge evolutionary shift? Will we humans realize that we are all connected—to each other, to other life, to the divine? One can but hope. Will it be the end of the world? If the evolutionary shift I just mentioned happened, then yes, the world as we know it will end, and we will be working on a higher plane. Will there be disasters and planetary/worldwide events that cause everything to die? (I hope not. I have to drive to work that day.)   But hey, it never hurts to be ready, right? To tell everyone that you love them, to realize what good work you’ve done with your life, to ask forgiveness for the wrongs you’ve done, to forgive those who’ve hurt you. Why not go ahead and do all this, just in case, eh? And maybe that alone will be the beginning of our new age.

My dearest wish is that our new age focuses more on the collective than on the personal, but in a good way. There are cultures, of insects and animals, and even humans that are collectively motivated. Ants, bees, some Eastern human cultures, and the imaginary Borg come to mind.  There have been problems with some of these—repression of the natural sense of self, the perception that a single life is dispensable, as long as the whole is maintained—but I believe we can evolve to balance these out.  With both Neptune (connected to Spirit) and Chiron (teacher of compassion and healing) in the sign of Pisces (the collective of the Divine), the time is right. The time is magical.

bees

Bees live collectively

In Western Astrology, the 12th house is the house of Pisces, the house of full evolution of a lifetime cycle. It’s the place where the individual needs and desires are dissipated in the all-encompassing realm of the collective.  It’s the Heaven before one is born again, the place of fully feeling connected before entering a new cycle of individuality lessons. Perhaps that is where our magical 12-oriented time has us now, in the 12th house of human evolution. Perhaps we will enter a time of understanding our connectedness, and our world as we know it will change.

May it be so! Will this happen overnight, on the 21st of December, 2012? I don’t know. Given my current perspective and experience, I cannot quite imagine it. Will it happen over the course of a number of generations, gradually morphing the way humans think about themselves, each other, other life on our planet, and the Earth itself?  Will something magical happen that brings us all together, something akin to an outerspace alien invasion or new inventions that bring Star Trek like realities of plentiful resources well-distributed? We don’t know. But if we put our minds and hearts to the latter, we can make some magic happen. This is a magical time, and we can use it to the fullness.

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2012 Time of Pisces

The year is 2012. The month is February. The Sun is in the sign of Pisces. So are the Moon, Mercury, Neptune and Chiron. I’m setting down these facts because the energy of Pisces is foggy and ethereal. Things like facts, borders, boundaries, and structure tend to drift away. Case in point: I meant to write this post on Tuesday, when the New Moon was sitting almost exactly between Chiron and Neptune. But somehow the week floated past me, and the Moon has moved on a few degrees past that exact placement.

We all know that 2012 is a big year. You may already have felt the pace of life picking up, the intensity spiraling upwards. This time of Pisces in 2012 is full of rare and important astrological events. First, Chiron is in Pisces. He’s been there a full year now. Chiron represents energy of compassion and healing, of becoming aware of and understanding psychological wounds, and having the ability to forgive and move on. Chiron was in Pisces during the 1960s, and I believe it was that healing energy that saved the world from falling into complete rebellious anarchy. The flower children hippies who wanted to stop war and start rebuilding society were channeling that healing energy. (See articles by Eric Francis for an in-depth look at Chiron in the sixties.) Now Chiron is back in Pisces, and we need his energy there just as much as we did four decades ago.  There are still wars to stop and societies to rebuild.

We Can Still Use the Flower Power of the 1960s

Neptune has recently joined Chiron in Pisces. Neptune is the planet of inspiration and connection to the Heavens, of altered states and spiritual striving. He can also represent loss and grieving, deception (the lying to oneself or saying what others want to hear type of deception), and dysfunction. Pisces is Neptune’s sign. It’s a collective sign, where the illusion of separateness is dispersed, and where we get the awareness that we are all one, all fingers on the hand of the Creator. It’s a watery sign, with the double fishes showing the polarity that emotions and spirit can manifest. When Neptune, the ruler of Pisces, is home for 14 years, we get the strongest Pisces energy. Since it takes Neptune 164 years to circle through the Zodiac, these years of his dwelling at home are rare and important.

Today, the Sun is sitting right between Chiron and Neptune, close enough to be considered in conjunction with them both. That means that the Sun is lighting up their energies, further brightening the sparkling Piscean mist.

Mercury, too, is zipping through Pisces, so it’s a perfect time to communicate about Pisces energy (Mercury is the god of communication).  So now that I’ve told you the facts of the planetary placements, what is it that I want to communicate about Pisces? It’s hard to get a grip on concepts or put into words what Pisces energy is about. Even with this extra special year of Pisces, the poetry begins to appear and then fades back into the fog.

Pisces Time of Blurred Boundaries

I guess I can start with the fact that many astrologers are wary of Neptune in Pisces.  Last year, when Neptune was readying to step briefly into Pisces, the huge tsunami hit Japan. Some astrologers worry that the fogginess of Pisces and the deception of Neptune can combine to create populations who are like sheep being led to the slaughter, believing in fantasies our leaders put out, not able or willing to question and rebel. I, personally, think that the Uranus squares to Pluto we’ll be experiencing this year will counterbalance that energy.

I’ve heard from many people who’ve lost loved ones and feel disoriented, unable to define themselves without their usual markers. Many people seem to be experiencing the familiar structures of their lives dissolving. Even within larger entities like governments and corporations, reorganizations and mergers are changing the rules by which we used to work.

Who Am I? Where are my defining boundaries?

With Pluto in Capricorn already crumbling many large institutions, and our trust in things like banks and world markets severely damaged (when was the last time you heard the phrase “You can take that to the bank” as a metaphor for solidity?), having a good idea of the structure of the future would be comforting. But with all this Piscean energy, we don’t have a clear path. We have misty, foggy, cloudiness, with nobody really knowing what comes next or what direction to turn.

But there’s another side to Pisces. As with every planet and sign, there is an entire spectrum of energies. My favorite part of this mystical, spiritual sign is the dissolution of identities. In the ocean of Pisces, we are not white people and black people, or Jews and Christians, or Americans and Europeans, or even men and women. We are people. Like Sting said in his song, If The Russians Love Their Children, Too, “…we share the same biology, regardless of ideology…” And we share biology, not only with humans, but with every living thing on the Earth. When we exhale, we give a gift of carbon dioxide to the trees and plants. When they exhale, they provide us with the oxygen we need to survive. Our world is an intricate web of symbiosis, so vast and mostly unseen, that we tend to forget its nature. The energy of Pisces, especially with Neptune in Pisces, can bring us back to the feeling, the knowing, that we are all connected.

It’s this deep, internal wisdom that Neptune in Pisces can bring us. With Chiron also in Pisces, I believe we can come to a place where we feel ourselves part of the larger whole, and overcome our superficial differences. We need to do this, to save our beautiful planet, and the other beings that make up our ecosystem. This is an enchanted time, when the collective identity can help us evolve to a higher level. May the mists of Pisces dissolve our separateness, and bring us the common goal of saving and evolving life on Earth.

The Spiritual Side of Pisces Can Bring Us Together

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September Offerings at the CAAC

Wow, the second posting in two days—energy is moving!

As you know if you’ve been following this blog, most of my time this year has been spent designing, opening, and growing the Café Aquarius Astrology Center here in Northern California.  It’s been very much more than opening a business; it’s been a journey that’s caused me to examine and (hopefully!) improve myself as well. Step by step, on I go…

The road of consciousness goes ever on...

One of the very interesting things, to me anyway, about the CAAC, is that it changes all the time. I have a lot of fixed energy in my chart, which means I usually get an idea in my head, and work hard, steadily, and even stubbornly to make it happen. But with this business that depends on the public coming and engaging, things change. How many people show up changes, and who those people are is always different. What format we use to make everyone’s CAAC experience the best it can be also seems to morph each month.

I’ve been extremely fortunate in that our staff, customers and clients have been willing to participate in this experiment with us. We’ve gotten suggestions on how to run events, how to charge for them, how to market them, and how to pay for them. We’ve implemented some of those changes, and I can safely say that everything we’ve changed so far has been an improvement. So while I’m still the organizer, leader person, I feel like the CAAC has become everyone’s business.  We’re all building and growing it together, and that feels great.

So, for those of you in the SF Bay Area, here’s what’s on offer in September at the Café Aquarius Astrology Center. You can find more info and RSVP for events on our MeetUp site.

Intro Night: Tastes of Sweets & Soul   Wednesday, 7 September

This month we have a new reader, who works with a system called Destiny Cards.  Using a combination of Numerology and regular playing cards, Suzanne can tell you a lot about yourself with your birth date and the cards. Really, Suzanne read for me and I was astounded to see how much she knew about me, and what’s coming up this year.

There are so many systems and models for looking at ourselves, and our world.  It’s fascinating to see the accuracy and insight we can tap into. So come taste a number of different metaphysical readers’ tools with our mini-readings, and then sign up for a full reading to happen next week on Readings Night.

Intro Night where people get mini-readings from all of our experts.

Beginning Astrology Course: 9 weeks

We’ll start with the basics of Astrology—the planets, the Zodiac signs, and the houses—and learn how to read the symbols and interpret the planetary placements. All this is done from an archetypal, or psychological point of view. And since the archetypes in modern Psychology stem from the ancient myths and religious traditions, our discussions will be filled with gods and goddesses, with heroes and heavens, with shadows and light. Which is exactly what looking at the stars and planets give you, a way to understand the shadows and lights in your own life.

Medieval Zodiac Wheel

Each class is 2 hours, and by the end of the 9 weeks, you’ll be able to read and interpret birth charts. You’ll also be much more aware of your own psyche, your gifts and your challenges, and the ways you move through the world and respond to life.

Readings Night  Wednesday 14 September

On Readings Night folks come in and get a full reading from one of our experts. Full can mean anything from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the Reader and what you want and need. People who came to Intro Night sign up for readings on Readings Night, so our Readers keep a schedule for the evening. If you couldn’t make it to Intro Night but still want to sign up in advance, you can contact us at ca.astrologycenter@gmail.com. We recommend that you do come to Intro Night or make an appointment in advance, so that you don’t have to wait when you come to the CAAC for Readings Night.  We try to make your time with us pleasant and useful, so if you do have to wait, there are Astrology books and magazines available, and a display table where you can study the offerings of all of our Readers, too.

Astrologer Community Night  Wednesday 21 September

Astrologers will get together to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox. With the Sun entering Libra, we’ll talk about balance and equality—how can we balance the varying needs of our lives, how can we help rather than compete with each other, etc.  Bring your own chart, or those of a person in the public domain, and we can chat about them as well.

Libra, sign of balance and equality

Some folks have asked me why there’s a charge for this group meeting, so let me explain briefly here. All of the events at the CAAC take a lot of time, energy, and money to produce. We’re still in the beginning stages of our business, and as anyone who’s ever built a business knows, it costs a lot to fund a new enterprise. So we’re charging for all events right now.  Our vision is to expand and grow (with the help of our patron planet Jupiter) to the point where we can offer some services for free. But we’re not there yet.

I understand that it’s difficult to come up with extra money right now, even for something as valuable as communing with your tribe and learning more about Astrology.  We’ve had pretty low attendance for this event so far (unlike the other ones).  We’ll keep trying this Astrologer Community Night in the months of September and October. If it just isn’t happening, then we’ll scale back from providing this forum for astrologers to socialize and enjoy time together.

Lecture Night: How To Attract Clients You Love by Allison Bliss  Wednesday, 28 September

Allison Bliss (in pink) during one of her famous walking meetings

Allison Bliss is a hugely successful director of an Oakland marketing agency.  She’s taken all her experience and knowledge, and put together a presentation to show us how we can attract clients that are not only more profitable to us, but clients that are more satisfying to work with. Having those kinds of clients can truly stabilize our businesses and make it easier to achieve our business goals, and Allison is going to tell us just how to get them. She’ll take us on a vision quest to examine and refine 4 critical tactics of running our businesses.

Allison’s talk applies not only to astrologers and metaphysical business owners, but also to any hardworking entrepreneur who is trying to provide a product or service. With fascinating information and interactive exercises, Allison will teach us how to better market our businesses, and even how to enjoy doing it.  This is a talk that cannot be missed, so mark your calendars now!

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Returning to Good Fortune–Jupiter Retrograde in Taurus

It’s September. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re in the last stages of Summer. The weather (except for hurricanes) is usually gorgeous. It’s back-to-school time, too. Which is perfect this year, as Jupiter is in Taurus. Back to the basics as the god of learning and teaching rides through the sign of understanding the world via the senses of the body. Good things come from learning and knowing, from experiencing the world and discovering meaning and creating philosophies based on that knowledge.

Jupiter, King of the gods, represents expansion, meaning, generosity, and good fortune

Jupiter has just turned retrograde in Taurus, meaning he looks like he’s going backwards in the sky. There are many interpretations of retrograde motion: some say the energy that the planet represents becomes weakened, others say it turns inward. Most astrologers believe that when a planet retraces the area of the sky it’s just come through, you, too, will tend to retrace what you’ve just been and done. You get a second chance, and this time, you can travel that territory with more conscious awareness about it.

For me, this has been a wonderful time in many ways. I opened the Café Aquarius Astrology Center (CAAC) on the day Jupiter entered Taurus. It’s the perfect combo for the king of the gods in the sign of Earthly pleasures: Astrology and food. We think of Jupiter as our patron planet, and always say a prayer of gratitude and honor when we open the center. Jupiter has been good to us. The CAAC has grown in the past few months, and we’ve gotten lots of good feedback. We have lots of folks who come to our events, who like us on FaceBook, who connect on MeetUp, and who are expanding their knowledge about themselves and others via our metaphysical services.

CAAC Poster showing the combo of tasting and learning

For us at the CAAC, having Jupiter retrograde is just fine. We’re happy to retrace our steps, to expand, to think bigger, to grow and serve more. Jupiter will stay in Taurus during this retrograde; he’s not going all the way back to Aries. So it’s more good fortune and growth for us, but with a bit more meaning behind it. Now that we’re past our first phase, we can look back and see how all the work to bring the CAAC together helped us grow. I, personally, have been through some massive internal transformations that were brought about by starting this business, dealing with people, and realizing my own trips about power, organization, perfection, leadership, centeredness, relaxation, and confidence. I’ve gone back over childhood incidents that informed patterns of my behavior, things that I’m only just now recognizing and learning to let go of. I’ve met wonderful people, and tried to learn from them how to view life differently, more positively (Jupiter is the king of upfullness.)

Simple, colorful ingredients shine like the Summer Sun

I’ve noticed that many other metaphysical places are starting to connect food with consciousness. I’ve seen bookstores bring in salsa salesmen, social event planners focus on astrological dinners, and even a new brand of Zodiac beverages being sold at Café Aquarius.

At first I was uptight, thinking “hey, this is my idea, you can’t steal my thunder!” But then, and I’m happy to say, rather quickly, I let all that go. Jupiter’s in Taurus for everyone; we’re all on the same wavelength. Let’s get together and have a banquet, learn how to help each other with our businesses. We’ll collaborate instead of compete. That’s true Jupiter spirit, right there.

Appetizers blossom during Jupiter in Taurus

Vegetable mandala--the bounty of Summer with the spirituality of Jupiter

So I’m happy to live through this Jupiter retrograde. For me, and for us at the CAAC, it means another four months of our founding energy of grounded, simple, sensual expansion. We’re opening our minds, growing our connections, and munching on cosmically delicious food that helps us keep our feet on the ground. What could be better?

Next post: CAAC offerings for September.

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Part 2: Walking the Talk

When last I posted, my plan was to write Part 2 the next day. Just goes to show you what can happen to plans. Running a business more or less on my own makes for very, very busy times. So the next day turned out to be three weeks later. This is part of my lesson, I’m sure, learning to let go of plans, preconceptions, and perfections, and just go with the flow. Not easy for someone with as much fixed energy in their chart as I have, but I’m working on it.

Upcoming Lecture at the CAAC

And that’s what Part 2 is about, other things that I’m working on. In the Busy as the Summer Bees post I told you about the new Café Aquarius Astrology Center I’ve brought into bee-ing (okay, bad pun, but really, would you have passed it up?) Part of the CAAC’s offerings is a Lecture Night once a month, with talks on astrological topics. Tomorrow, on 27 July, I will be opening the series with a lecture titled Heading into 2012, Or What To Expect For The Rest of 2011.

Heading into 2012 Lecture at the CAAC on 27 July 2011 at 7:00pm

Basically, I’m going to go over some of the more important transits (where the planets are and will be, and what geometric aspects they make to each other in the sky). I’ll tell you about the energies associated with those planetary placements, and how they might affect your life, and the world in general. Not exactly a 5-month horoscope, but kinda, sorta, something like that.

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area and would like to attend this lecture, you can do these things:

  • Visit our MeetUp site and RSVP for the event. I’d appreciate that as it helps me know how many guests to set up the room for.
  • Contact me at ca.astrologyceneter@gmail.com for more information.
  • Come to the lecture at the Café Aquarius Astrology Center, 1298 65th St, Emeryville, CA 94608. At 7:00pm on Wednesday the 27th of July. There are free shuttles to within one block from the MacArthur BART and other locations. There is also free parking in the garage across the street from Café Aquarius.

Public Speaking

I’ve been asked by a number of people when and where I’ll be speaking. I’m just now starting to work on a public speaking schedule; the setting up of the café put all that on hold for a while. But I’m back at it, and will soon be available. I’ll be presenting on a number of topics from now until the end of the year.  If you’d like to consider having me come to your group, school, workshop, meeting, etc, then please feel free to contact me at ca.astrologyceneter@gmail.com.

Public speaking dates to come

Public Teaching

Another project I’m heavily into right now is teaching Astrology. I have two main courses that I’ll be teaching, starting in September:

  • Introduction to Psychological Astrology: a 9-week course in which you’ll learn the fundamentals of Astrology, and how to use the ancient myths and psychological archetypes in your chart interpretations. By the end of the course, even if you’ve never seen an astrological chart before, you’ll be able to understand the symbols and know how to interpret them.  If you’re already familiar with Astrology, this course focuses on the psychological component, which can broaden your ideas and give new meaning to the way you read charts.  This course will be held on Monday nights at the Café Aquarius Astrology Center, 1298 65th St, Emeryville, CA 94608.

Course on Beginning Psychological Astrology coming this September

  • San Francisco Astrological Society Intermediate Satellite Course: small, informal groups that focus on a specific theme. This year we have three themes: the Saturn Cycle, Outer Planet Transits, and Venus and Relationships. Each topic will have 3, once-a-month classes to go over the topic, and look at our charts in relationship to that topic. The groups will meet on the 2nd Thursday of each month.  You can check San Francisco Astrological Society for more information or contact Fabienne Lopez at flopez4799@aol.com.

Intermediate Satellite Groups coming this September

So, yes, still busy, sharing  models of the world that bring new insight, information that helps with inner and outer work, and working to aid the rise in consciousness that our entry into the Age of Aquarius has begun. Walking the talk, as best I can, with only one body in this incarnation…

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Busy as the Summer Bees

{This is the first of a two-part blog posting.}

Here in the northern hemisphere, we’re in the midst of Summer. All those things that germinated last Winter, and poked their heads up in the Spring, are now blossoming in their fullness.

Brilliant bougenvilla

That is also true of my new projects.  And of me. I’ve been through some intense transformations. I’ve got a Capricorn Sun, and Pluto, the planet of transformation, is in my sign and heading straight for my Sun. That, along with Jupiter in my Moon sign of Taurus, has expanded my world, and my work. I am busy as the Summer bees, hopping from one project to the next, building hives and making honey. Like the bees, I was struck with an epidemic illness, but am on the mend and working again.

Here’s what’s happening these days (first project):

Café Aquarius Astrology Center  (1298 65th Street, Emeryville, CA)

Café Aquarius Asrology Center poster

Intro Nights

We opened the CAAC back in June, and were actually rather successful. Our very first event, June’s Intro Night: Tastes of Sweets & Soul, brought in quite a few people. It was wonderful. People found new guidance, met old friends, supported each other, and the atmosphere was fun and friendly.

Folks in line at Intro Night

As with all new things, this event also showed us some gaps in our structure and processes (more Pluto in Capricorn). We’ve been working to improve things, and here’s what we’ve come up with.

Intro Nights at the CAAC now have a new format. When you come in, you’ll get a ticket with a number on it. The first 5 or 6 people (depending on the number of Readers) will be seated with a Reader. The rest will wait in the front area, enjoying the refreshments, checking out the Readers’ information at the Display table, and chatting with other folks. When it’s your turn, you’ll get to talk to a Reader for 5 minutes—hear about their tools & practice, and maybe even get a very brief little mini-reading. Then a timer will ding, and our Timekeeper will announce that it’s time to switch. You’ll get up and go sit with the next Reader in the circuit, and get 5 minutes with them. By the time you’re done, you’ll have visited every Reader. You’ll know a bit about how their Astrology, or Numerology, or Graphology works. You’ll have had your fingerprints and your Tarot cards read.

This is a wonderful way to shop around for a metaphysical reading. If you’re looking for guidance about issues in your life, or just interested in yourself and your future, you can see which of the Readers and tools you resonate with the most. You can schedule appointments for a longer, more in-depth reading next week, when we do our Readings Nights.

Readings Nights

Our June Readings Nights also went very well. Some folks preregistered for appointments and came in to see their Reader. Others just dropped by the café to see who was available, and chose from the buffet of metaphysical experts to get a reading. We had people of all ages come, and everyone enjoyed themselves and the atmosphere.

Readers and Clients at the CAAC

This month, Readings Night is on the Wednesday the 13th.

A bit of personal intensity for me came between Intro Night and Readings Night in June. I got very sick. By the time Readings Night happened, I was spacey and coughing and extremely tired. I thought at first that I was simply exhausted from the effort of putting the CAAC together, promoting it, and my stage fright during the first events. But it turns out that I had actually succumbed to a whooping cough epidemic that was going on here. Succumbed is the right word. I was very, very ill. I could do nothing, had no energy, and even breathing was an effort. It required total surrender, to the point of cancelling some of our first events, and me needing to stay in bed.

This illness was part of an intense internal transformation that I’ve been going through; I think it was the turning point. There was nothing I could do other than turn inwards and deal with my issues. Now that I’m on the mend, I still notice that whenever I become too stressed, I immediately get fatigued. Huge transformations don’t happen overnight; they take time and energy, and mine are still in progress. The fatigue reminds me to stop, breathe, and understand that stressing out is one of the things I need to let go of.

So I’m happily, and calmly, continuing on with the CAAC events.

Astrologer Community Group Nights

We had to cancel June’s Astrologer Group Night, but we’re doing one in July, on the 20th. Astrologers are coming together, to meet each other, to share stories and experiences, to create community. We’ll spend the first few meetings deciding on how to organize ourselves and what we want to do with our time together. One thing I’m setting up is a mentoring program. I’m going to gather together a number of seasoned astrologers who are willing and able to help fledgling folks who are interested in learning and expanding their own practices. So if you’re an astrologer and in the San Francisco Bay Area, please come join us!

Lecture Night

We had to cancel our first lecture last month, too, but that’s okay, because it was going to be me who spoke, and I couldn’t talk for more than a minute without severe coughing. But now I can, and will, on the 27th of July.  I’ll be talking about the planetary placements for the rest of the year, what we can expect as we head into the infamous year of 2012.   There’s a lot going on, so come hear things from the perspective of a psychological astrologer. We’ll be offering delicious desserts from Café Aquarius, so it will be another combination of cosmic information and earthy delights.

You can find out more about the Café Aquarius Astrology Center, and RSVP for all the events there, on our MeetUp site. And you can visit us on FaceBook. Please like our page there; it will help us get in with the Groupon folks.

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New Light, New Projects

This post is an announcement of the new projects I have going on, most of which you are welcome to join and participate in, no matter where you are, and some of which are in brick & mortar (literally) locations.

If you’d told me a couple of months ago that I’d be working from dawn ‘til midnight on new Astrology projects, I would’ve wished that you were a true fortune teller, but I might not have believed you. Back then I couldn’t do anything but worry about who I was and where I might end up going.  Today I’m extremely thankful to be back where I’m most comfortable—working hard on things that I feel true passion for. It’s a joy, and one I want to share with everyone.

So here’s what’s happening:

Café Aquarius Astrology Center

1298 65th Street, Emeryville, CA

Poster for Café Aquarius Astrology Center in Emeryville, CA

This is the big new project I’m launching. I’ve always wanted a place where I could teach, have lectures, and bring astrologers together to do readings and to hang out together. My path happened to cross with Patrick Feehan, the owner of Café Aquarius in Emeryville, CA, USA. Patrick is an astrologer, but as with most restaurant owners, his life is taken up with his duties in the world of food. Still, he wanted to somehow make the café a resource for astrologers. When we met and realized that we had complimentary talents and assets, and the same desire to be a hub for the astrological community, we decided to work together. And so the Café Aquarius Astrology Center was born. You just can’t beat this combination for feeding your body and soul.

The vision is to have monthly events, in the evening hours, after the café is done with food service for the day:

Intro Nights “Tastes of Sweets & Soul”: if you’re interested in Astrology and/or other metaphysical disciplines, you can come in on the first Wednesday of each month (except in June 2011, which starts on the 2nd Wed) for a taste of the café’s delicious pastries and a very short session (just a taste) with the readers.  There will be astrologers of various flavors, such as Western, Psychological, Spiritual, Vedic, Chinese, etc. There will also be readers who use other metaphysical tools, such as Tarot, Hand Analysis, Handwriting Analysis, Dowsing, etc. A single price gets you tastes of the cosmos, and some cosmically awesome desserts. You can decide if you’d like to sign up for an actual reading with one or more of the readers next week on the Reading Night.

If you’re an astrologer/reader and would like the opportunity to meet potential clients, market your particular craft, and meet with other readers, then this event is for you, too!  We’ll be switching it up each month, so that different astrologers and readers can have a chance to participate.

Reading Nights: if you’d like to get a reading from one of our “resident” astrologers or other metaphysical readers, you can sign up for Reading nights. Each astrologer practices a particular kind of Astrology, and there are other metaphysical readers here, with tools such as Tarot, Hand Analysis, Handwriting Analysis, Dowsing, etc, so you have much to choose from.

If you’re an astrologer/reader and would like the opportunity to meet potential clients, market your particular craft, and meet with other readers, then this event is for you, too! We’ll be switching it up each month, so that different astrologers and readers can have a chance to participate.

Astrologer Community Nights: open to all astrologers, these meetings are to get together and discuss all kinds of astro things, such as how to run a successful business, how to help each other instead of competing, the ethics of certain situations astrologers often encounter, group chart meetings, study groups, etc.

Astrology Classes: if you’re interested in Astrology and would like to learn more, you can take classes in Psychological Astrology. Even if you already practice another form of the craft, learning about the fusion of Archetypal Psychology and modern Astrology can help expand your awareness and your ability to interpret charts. Beginning and intermediate classes will be offered.

Astrology Lectures: we’ll have talks on various astrological topics, so keep an eye out for our lecture nights. Open to anyone interested in Astrology.

The combination of Heavenly topics and Earthy delights in the form of the café’s desserts is something not to be missed. So come feed your curiosity and sense of community, as well as your mouth and body. It’s all good.

We ask that you join us on our MeetUp, and RSVP for any of the scheduled events that you’d like to attend. This will give us an idea of how many pastries to order. They are absolutely cosmic, and you don’t want to miss out on them, so do sign up in advance. You don’t have to pay until you come to the event, so signing up doesn’t cost you a thing.

If you don’t happen to be in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can still join the MeetUp and participate in discussions and the online community there.

The OptiMystics Triple Guidance Group

The OptiMystics: a triple guidance group

Another business I’m helping to build from the ground up is a partnership with two other metaphysical readers. Isabelle Choiniere-Correa is a deeply insightful, intuitive Tarot reader/numerologist. Sandra Edwards is a an extremely skilled, certified Hand Analyst.  We all three come together to give what we call “triple guidance readings.” Sandra interprets the lines in your hands and your fingerprints. Isabelle uses your birth date to compute your lifetime number and interprets the Tarot card symbols associated with that number. I, of course, interpret your natal astrological chart.

The fascinating thing is that the key facets of your life come through strongly in all three of our tools, so you get an instant idea of what is most important.  What Sandra sees in your hand as your life purpose will often be exactly the same as the card that Isabelle shows you and the part of your chart that I would choose to focus on.  These triple readings give you an incredibly deep dimension to the information you receive.

We do these readings in person and via Skype. (If you’re not within our current traveling distance, we will set you up to send Sandra your hand and fingerprints in advance.) We also do classes, events and retreats in powerful places all over the world. Please check out our FaceBook page, or contact us at Optimystics3@gmail.com.

Astrology Classes

I will be teaching my beginning and intermediate Psychological Astrology courses at the Café Aquarius Astrology Center sometime this Summer.  I hope to be recording these courses and producing a complete online webinar out of them in the near future. If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area and want to participate in the classes and maybe even show up in the videos, please let me know of your interest, and RSVP through the MeetUp.  I will announce the availability of the videos and webinars when they are completed.

My Private Practice

Oneness Astrology With Ki: using the planets to find yourself

Although my calendar is filling up, I do still have openings for astrological chart readings at my private office. We can do these readings in person, via Skype, or on the phone. Please visit my website for a list of my services, fees, etc.

Written Horoscopes

If you are interested in receiving 12-sign written horoscopes for your website, newspaper, magazine or other publication, please contact me at renee@emf.net for a job quote. I can provide daily, weekly, monthly and yearly horoscopes.

If you are interested in receiving single-sign horoscopes for your personal use, or to send as a gift, please contact me at renee@emf.net for a job quote. I can provide daily, weekly, monthly and yearly horoscopes.

You can see why I’m working all day and night. And every single one of these projects is about Astrology. My prayers were answered, and I’m on exactly the right path. That feels so-o good.  Ahhhhh.

I do hope this sharing of my own journey through darkness and back up into the light has been helpful, or at least interesting. As with everything else, this blog is organic and flexible, and I don’t really know what the next posting will be. But it’s bound to be about Astrology, if nothing else.   🙂

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When Trite Can Be True

In my last posting I talked about what it’s like to be a Saturn-ruled gal, used to doing, getting stuff accomplished, manifesting, and then suddenly be struck with the paralysis of inaction and doubt. I said that Saturn is the god of Time and Karma, that he rewards you if you do the hard work. Well, folks, hard work is exactly what I’ve been doing. How did I come from depression and inability to move forward to working from early morning until midnight on various projects? I’ll tell you, but first, I have to digress just a bit.

You know how every stereotype has a grain of truth in it? Maybe a tiny grain that’s been outrageously exaggerated, but there nonetheless.  The same can be true for really trite situations and results. For instance, how many times have you been advised to follow your bliss, and to surrender to higher powers (whatever you might call them/it) to get what you want?  It’s been around so long, in so many different forms and formats, that it’s just plain trite to hear it. And I personally always wondered just how one goes about surrendering. I don’t have a lot of warrior energy in my chart, but I do need to be in control, and the very word “surrender” just turns me off.  Where’s the empowerment in that?

So, back to the conundrum of needing and wanting to control my life, of being willing to work really hard to do so, and feeling totally unable to move during a Saturn square Sun transit. I said that everyone goes through these transits, and that it was hard work that would get you through it. Well, what do you do if you can’t work hard? That’s where I was at, knowing I needed to work hard, but unable to do it. It’s bad for some folks to lose the ability to move forward, but think about what it’s like for those of us whose entire lives are built around our work, our projects, our getting out there and doing stuff. The very god that gives me that gift of perseverance and tenacity, of step-by-step planning and visions of structure was the one that was striking me still.

I got to a point where I could only pray. And because I had no vision of the future, no idea of who I was going to be or how I was going to make it, and me, happen, all I could do was pray for the one thing I did know that I wanted: to do Astrology. I didn’t know what form that might take—doing readings, writing books, teaching classes, whatever—but I did know that I wanted my day to revolve around Astrology. Not around doing work for someone else, not around technical issues in corporate scenes, just around Astrology.  So I surrendered any ideas I might have of how that could happen. I let go of trying to picture it, to come up with specific wishes, to imagine different scenes with myself at the successful center. All I wanted was to be able to move again, to do something, and have that something be Astrology.

It really did feel like surrender, too, in all the ways I’d thought about it. It wasn’t pleasant. All the trite stuff about the freedom you get from giving in to a higher power didn’t feel good to me. It’s not in my nature to be the follower, the uke (faller) in the martial arts practice. I usually lead, I’m the nage (thrower), the one in control, especially when it comes to my own identity.

Koichi Tohei Sensei, founder of Shin-Shin Toitsu Aikido, as nage (thrower)

To give that up, to bow on my knees and say “Okay, I’m ready. Whatever needs to happen, I’m ready, just let it happen in the world of Astrology and I’ll go with it. I’ll follow your vision, your plan for me, just please, make it happen,” that was tough. Maybe the toughest thing I’ve ever done.

And then, just as I mentioned, the energies began to shift. Suddenly, I realized I was looking at new opportunities. And voila! They were opportunities to do Astrology. Multiple, different, new ways of doing things, of spending my time and energy, and they were all revolving around Astrology. I’d done what I considered to be two trite things: I’d surrendered to higher powers, and I’d followed my heart. To my immense relief, and to be honest, utter astonishment, both of those things worked.

In the next posting, I’ll go into the new projects that have come out of this intense transition. You’ll see that from darkness, depression and doubt, I’ve come into a new light, one that I’m spreading as far as I can. And oh, does it feel so good to be working again, to be doing exactly what Sensei Saturn requires.  I got up from my bow, and I’m on the mat. It’s my lifetime black belt test, and I’m dancing my way through it.

So if you’re feeling the crushing pressure of having to change who you are and how you move through the world, may my story help you. Most of all, may it help you realize that those trite, self-help ideas of surrender and following your heart actually can work. They can work for you. You, a normal person, who isn’t a famous life coach or therapist, just a normal person going through a life transformation. So when you’re ready, give it up, and follow your bliss, and go for what you truly desire.

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Missing–Inaction: Transiting Saturn Square the Sun

This is a different kind of blog article than I usually post. For one thing, I haven’t posted in two months, so it’s something of an apology. I didn’t actually promise to write every week or every month, but I had meant to be a bit more consistent. For another thing, this article is mostly about me, which is not the way I usually write. Still, here goes.

I am not the type of person who can read or watch the news every day. I simply don’t have the psychic armor necessary to deal with watching man’s inhumanity to man, or with witnessing Nature’s lack of fairness as dramatized in the media. So I don’t want to be the type of astrologer who blogs only about current events, analyzing the news and seeing how what’s happening on Earth is reflected in the Heavens. I do exactly that at times; I think it’s important and useful information, but I don’t want it to be the only thing I write about.  I also don’t want to be the kind of astrologer who whines about my personal transits, and blames the planetary placements for my own mistakes and circumstances. A couple of months ago I read an article by an astrologer who said that the breakup of both his first and second marriages were because the outer planets were transiting his relationship houses, so neither he nor his wives could be faithful. Gak! That is NOT what Astrology is for—a convenient way to blame the planets for our lives, and the choices we make—no, no.  So, okay, so I’m pretty clear about what kind of astroblogger I don’t want to be; what kind do I want to be?

That, my friends, is a perfect question for someone undergoing a transit called “Saturn square the Sun”. The Sun in our charts is who we are, what parts of ourselves we identify with, our confidence and ability to stride forward on the path of our life.

Pendant depicting Helios, ancient Greek Sun god

Saturn is the great sensei of the sky, the teacher/taskmaster, the one with the big homework assignments and the big stick.

O-Sensei (Great Teacher), the founder of Aikdio

He can bring heaviness and blockages, feelings of inadequacy and doubt, but he rewards hard work and doing things properly.  The transit called a square (90º placement between the two planets) is one that brings tension and unease, in order to bring change and improvement. Saturn squares help us see what’s working and what isn’t, usually by showing us what isn’t.  So when Saturn squares our Sun, we doubt ourselves, we feel heavy and negative, and we wonder if we’re on the right path.

And that’s what’s been happening to me. I’ve been undergoing a Saturn square Sun transit, and all those questions have come to the forefront. Do I want to continue with my old way of life—the old career, the old patterns of relationships, the old ways of looking at myself? Which of those are working and which aren’t? This very blog is a sign of my new career, my new focus of my intense work energies. As you can tell from what I’ve said above, I’ve gotten some clarity on what I don’t want, and what isn’t working. But I was completely stuck as to what I do want, and what will work. I felt paralyzed, knowing the past would no longer work for me, but having absolutely zero idea about what the future would bring.

I couldn’t motivate myself to do anything—not work with clients, market my business, put my next class together, nor even write in this blog. I couldn’t write anything at all. I wandered around, wondering, when night fell, just where the day had gotten to. I’m a doing type of person. My days are usually filled to the brim with activities, lists of tasks, social interactions, and energy. There were areas of my life that definitely needed attention, and the spell of dazed inaction and paralysis I seemed to be under was only making those things worse. I knew that, and yet I couldn’t do anything about it. Somewhere in the back of my mind I began marking the symptoms of depression, noticing how many of them I was displaying. Fear and panic roiled just under the surface, and there were days when I had to just go hike in the hills until I was completely exhausted in order to keep a total freakout at bay.

Am I blaming Saturn squaring my Sun for this? No. I’m realizing that Astrology works, and that what is happening in the sky reflects what is happening in my life. As above, so below. I am recognizing the energies and making my own choices about what to do.  I’ve been advised by many people to write about this, to share it in order to help others know what it feels like, and how to get through it. Saturn takes 28 years to go around the Sun, so we all go through this transit multiple times in our lives (assuming a “normal” life span).  If you’re feeling this kind of heaviness, depression, doubt, anxiety, fear, etc, it could be that transiting Saturn in squaring your Sun. So what do you do about that?

The first thing to realize is that it happens to all of us at one time or another. Just knowing that, and seeing that others have survived it, can give you a little room to breathe easier. Secondly, while Saturn moves slowly, it does move. That means the square will not last forever. Depending on retrogrades and other things, within a year or two, things will ease up. And it won’t feel so hard and impossible every day that the square is in effect, either. Some days you’ll be able to carry on as normal, with the doubts and questions remaining mostly in the background. Other times the intensity will be right in your face, and you will have to deal with your issues. Life is always like that, but when Saturn is testing us we see it in more black & white tones. So go ahead, ask yourself the hard questions about your identity, about your path, about your goals. See what’s working for you and what isn’t. If you’ve realized that parts of your identity no longer fit, then be willing to let them go. Even if you have no idea of who you are going to become. That is one of the hardest things to do in life, but it’s necessary. And how often do you take time from your life to think about and do these things? Well, under a Saturn square Sun transit is definitely the time for it. It’s hard work, but it’s the work of life, of learning the lessons and moving up, notch by notch, on that great Wheel of Samsara. And that is just the kind of hard work that Saturn, god of Time and Karma, rewards.

Because one day, or little by little, you’ll notice that the energy is different. If you’ve done your homework, if you’ve faced your doubts and fears, if you’ve worked on who you were, who you are, and who you want to be, you’ll notice the change. Saturn does bring rewards, he does grant black belts for those who have passed the rank test. You’ll have insights into yourself, and maybe even a glimpse as to where you’re going. All the answers may not be there at once, but the heaviness begins to lift, and you’re able to make decisions about the next direction to take.  You may still encounter setbacks or obstacles, but you’re able to deal with them in a stronger, more confident fashion.

Many, many astrologers have written about Saturn transits, and about transiting Saturn square the Sun. I’m no expert. I’m just at the halfway point of my own experience of it, this time. But I finally got to the point of thinking that it might be helpful if I shared it with you. I sure hope it is, and that I’m not just the whining astroblogger I so wanted to avoid being.  (See, the doubts are still here somewhat.) Accordion Astrology is what’s happening—out from the cosmos, in to the individual life, then back out again. The song is playing. Time to get up and dance.

So please, keep checking this blog, because there are new things coming, things I began working on when the energies started to shift. Some of them are just about ready to be born, and with them you’ll see a bit of the new me, where my struggles with identity and path have lead. Just the fact that I made it through might inspire some of you, and hopefully my Sun of identity will shine through on its new path and show you how light returns after tough times.

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