Your Cancer Full Moon Ritual

gif credit: zolloc

gif credit: zolloc

This full moon cancer is giving us a space to proceed with actions from our hearts. This is a time of empathy, care and creativity. I’ll say this: retreat if you have to. Moon in its domicile can promote vulnerability or “emo” feels but remember, vulnerability doesn’t always equate to extreme crying or an emotional breakdown. Being vulnerable is allowing openness that feels most comfortable to you. 


For this full moon, my ritual is quite easy. I always value simplicity. For one, I’m not heavily embossed in spirituality but I am an advocate for change. This full moon is our last full moon of the year and it’s in retrospect Cancer. The past is gonna take a center point. For this ritual, reflect back onto the year but don’t get too stressed out with details or over process this information. This is a time where you want to be present with your emotions and your body. 


Next, take a piece of paper and pen. Write down attitudes, behaviors, or people that don’t offer any effectiveness in your life. This can be a long list or a very short list—the length is up to you! Next, be honest with yourself. What can you give up? What can you let go of? Not everyone can let go of everything on their list. And that’s OK. If there is something that is doable then take a different color pen and scribble it out. Completely shade over it so you are aware and you make that intention that you will separate yourself from that list item.  


To the things that are not that easy to let go of: make a plan. Again, don’t make this super complicated. Take another piece of paper or make a separate column devoted to an item that is probably the worst and hardest to let go of. Write down three steps that you can take in the next couple of weeks to alleviate it. I say three steps because you don’t want to put too much stress on your mind during this transit. But three steps is enough to give you a sense of direction. 


Then, put the lists away. Don’t look at it until after the full moon. 


Finally, light a candle or an incense. The winter solstice has traditionally been celebrated by those close to us, finding warmth and light during the shortest days of the year. Be thankful you’re here, whether it’s with others or by yourself. Next, repeat this mantra: 


“I will release the responsibility to fix people and situations that don’t concern me. 


I will release ineffective behaviors and attitudes. 


I will release the people and situations that have tainted my personal space. 


I will release the need to explain and validate my actions to others. 


I will embrace love, kindness, and support from those I consider close with. 


I will embrace my emotions, and the tender parts of me. 


I will embrace my body, for it is fragile and the closest to my being. 


I will embrace my soul’s needs and listen to them more often. 


I will embrace my past and allow these events to inform me of the decisions I will make in the future. 


I will embrace and only work towards reciprocity between me and others.”


For the rest of the night, devote time to yourself. Find love in who you are and the people around you. What makes us immobile is self hatred. So for this full moon, be self accepting. And how we do that is curating a personal space that makes us comfortable, and happy. Let your heart guide you. Let your feelings give you an opening to self awareness so you can act. 


Hope this helps and have a blessed full moon my bbies <3



Book Recommendations For Astrology

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It's finally here!! I've been asked multiple times of good astrology sources so I wanted to make a master list. Keep in mind these sources range from mostly intermediate to advanced; however, I'll add a few beginner sources! 

  • The Integrated Astrological Guide to Self-Empowerment, Vol. 1: The Chalice of Arcturus by Edmond H. Wollman - intermediate
  • Healing Pluto Problems by Donna Cunningham - intermediate
  • Planets in Therapy: Predictive Techniques and the Art of Counseling by Greg Bogart - advanced
  • An Astrological Guide to Self Awareness by Donna Cunningham - intermediate
  • The Only Way to Learn about Relationships: Synastry Techniques by Marion D. March and Joan McEvers- beginner/intermediate 
  • Aspects in Astrology by Sue Tompkins - beginner/intermediate (highly recommend this as one of the definite sources for everything aspects) 
  • Aspects and Personality by Karen Hamaker - intermediate (ANOTHER GOOD SOURCE FOR ASPECTS) 
  • Astrology and your Health by Jeanne Avery - intermediate/advanced
  • Planets in Transit by Robert Hand - intermediate (a must have) 
  • Saturn: A New Look at the Old Devil by Liz Greene - intermediate/advanced
  • Dynamics of Aspect Analysis by Bill Tierney - advanced
  • Astrology for Yourself by Douglas Block and Demetra George - beginner (this is a great beginners source I would start here!) 

Your Guide to Synastry: Overview, Examples and Techniques

source: futuretage on tumblr

source: futuretage on tumblr

One of the most asked questions any astrologer can receive is the “am I compatible with this person if my sun is in ____ and their sun is in ____.” It can be quite infuriating because compatibility analyses extend beyond placements, especially sun placements—its nuanced and even just receiving a compatibility analyses isn’t the end all be all. When assessing compatibility I typically use the handy method of synastry. Some will recommend composite because under composite the relationship is seen as one entity while synastry is assessing how one person’s energy can mesh with other(s). However, while relationships can solidify as one unit our values and perspectives are still individualized. Synastry is really helpful when getting to the crux of conflicts and where exactly they can arise. So how does synastry work? It typically consists of having an inner wheel and one or more outer wheels. The inner and outer wheel(s) are separate charts to correspond to all the parties involved in the relationship. Having the charts on top of one another allows us to visually see where someone’s planets fall into their partner(s) houses and the aspects that are being made to each other. Get comfortable looking at a synastry overlay:

 

source: google images

source: google images

This synastry example includes the standard inner and outer wheel. Typically the color differentiation is meant for reading along purposes and to tell who’s is who. So, what are the main things to look out for in a synastry? And more importantly, how do we determine red flags? Well first, I want to brief you with this: not all squares or oppositions are bad. The most fulfilling relationships are the ones that offer obstacle and tension, while also providing directive energy (usually in the form of trines and sextiles). Working with synastry requires working with symbolism and knowing the manifestations aspected planets can bring.

 

Indications of a “good” synastry

I use “good” very loosely because the assessment of a good synastry is more multilayered but from previous client work, I noticed fulfilling synastries have a focus within the 5th and 7th houses. The fifth house is all about pleasure; things that make us feel good. When planets are placed here, people can unlock the creative potential, optimism, and heightened expressions of their partner(s). There is a child-like energy shared between the parties that when it comes to hanging out with each other it feels more lively and natural. The seventh house is a typical focus of synastry because this is the house of partnerships and romance. It’s the house of relatability.  Planets placed in the 7th house will show a connection and the motivations behind those connections. For example, if person A’s moon was placed in person B’s seventh house then this could indicate that person A’s connection to person B is heavily motivated by an emotional connection, one that is very intimate and vulnerable. If Mars was placed here, then it would reveal that the connection is based on pushing the other, wanting to claim ownership of the other or motivate the other. Looking at the chart example above, Person B (red) has several planets falling in Person’s A (blue) seventh house. These planets include Mars, Saturn, and Pluto. Person B’s Mars is also conjuncting to Person’s A Venus. Mars and Venus conjunctions are usually positive indicators in synastry, especially within the seventh house because Mars is drive and conviction--its very physical while Venus is social fulfillment and values. When blended it produces almost an automatic attraction especially in sign of Leo where shyness is not very emphasized. So, interpreting a Mars and Venus conjunct in the seventh house in Leo would be: an immediate attraction that’s very straight forward and bold. However, we can’t stop right there because we have other planetary forces falling into this house. Pluto and Saturn in the seventh house is usually interpreted as “cautionary tales.” However, Saturn is disciplinary and also binding in synastry. There’s a purpose behind this relationship, particularly the Saturn person has a purpose or lesson to give to the house person

and this can be very tricky. Remember, Saturn is reality and it often is able to dictate the reality of others. The Saturn person can either positively or negatively define the house person’s reality. Positively, the house person will grow within in a particular area. Negatively, the house person will be psychologically impotent (March&McEvers, p.117). Looking back at our example, Person’s B Saturn seems to be conjuncting Person’s A Venus. So in translation: Person B can teach Person A social adaptation, and the realism behind romance that abandons aesthetics and fairytales. With Saturn  conjunction Mercury, Person B can teach Person A a more rigorous and trained reasoning system and give them structure that can be applied through their day to day lives. Pluto in synastry is also binding but unlike Saturn contacts, Pluto runs deep. Person’s B’s Pluto falling into Person A’s seventh house would suggest Person B has an innate understanding of Person A which allows them to get closer and vulnerable with each other. However, Pluto contacts in synastry is very similar to Saturn contacts in synastry which is: they can be tricky. While these planets can solidify relationships in certain areas they can also make them fall apart. Most outer planet contacts in synastry can be unpleasant because they make you work for the relationship. Both Saturn and Pluto can be overly dictatorial and exhausting.

Besides the fifth and seventh houses, I typically find that overlays with the 1st and 4th tend to also be really promising. Person A has a few planets falling into Person B’s first house, including the sun. Sun overlay in the first house is always a good indication of being comfortable with each other which tends to formulate into a very expressive and authentic relationship. Put it this way: you both get a really good sense of each other’s personality and it creates a familiarity. Familiarity is also a common theme behind fourth house overlays. Person A and Person B have a Moon conjunction Venus in the fourth house which I would interpret this as two people who are able to cultivate a non-discriminate space for each other which can lead to very fulfilling and authentic conversations with one another. Positive (directive) contacts with moon and venus typically manifest as each person within the relationship providing a good support system for the other(s) involved. I also find these to be quite prominent in platonic relationships as well.

 

“Red Flags” in Synastry

Let me just say: red flags are completely subjective. However, I wanted to provide a bit of a roadmap, interpretations from my own insights and what you can potentially look out for when conducting your own synastry analyses.

 

Harsh Mercury Aspects

Mercury isn’t as sexy as Venus by any means but as our communication energy Mercury is by far one of the most important. Harsh mercury aspects in a relationship can easily erupt in disagreements, heavy arguments, and poor communication skills. Certain aspects can make communication dry such as conversations that don’t go anywhere or a lack of honesty that makes such a relationship insincere. For example, having a mercury square to another person’s mercury can make the task of listening difficult. Mercury is strongly attached to our egos, it’s where we want people to hear us and with both mercuries squaring each individual in the relationship is trying to be heard but no one is making the effort to listen. Mercury that harshly aspect to an outer planet can also create volatile confrontations or trouble grasping the other person’s viewpoint. For example, someone’s mercury that squares to another person’s Jupiter or Neptune can create issues with understanding the reality of the situation: either details are ignored or they’re diluted. Be aware of this because gaslighting can occur.

 

Venus Square Mars

Most would assume Venus-Mars adds a lot of attraction and sexuality into the relationship; however, the disharmony between venus and mars can create an overwhelming turbulence in a relationship. With aspects like these, neither planet is overpowering the other but rather its a tug of war situation. Venus is concerned about social cues, presenting an image that’s peaceful and filled with little to no controversies. Mars, on the other hand, wants an authentic relationship--it wants rawness, honesty and most importantly, its very straight forward. Working with previous clients, I notice that the Venus person often rejects the Mars person as they are too forward or brute to fit into a curated image of a relationship. In some ways, the Mars person can be too “awkward” or not compromising enough to worry about social standards; therefore, there’s a complete misalignment with values. Venus often sends Mars packing but Mars wants more and they can be rather combative with this task. Now, this is not to say every harsh Venus and Mars aspect will result in ashes but its important when having this in a synastry that the people involved establish boundaries and by doing that it requires disputes. More than likely Venus does not show full rage in front of Mars especially when Martian range can completely over power but by doing this you get an idea how your anger might match up to someone else’s. Lessons needed to be learned: Venus needs to accommodate its own accommodations while Mars needs to embody boundaries that are set within the relationship.

 

Harsh Uranus and Neptune aspects

Between Uranus and Neptune I’m not sure which can cause a bigger havoc in a relationship but it’s important to be critical of when someone’s personal planet aspects another’s Uranus or Neptune. Too much focus on these two planets creates a nerve-wrecking energy in a relationship that can be almost explosive. There is always an imbalance of reciprocity with these two planets. Uranus typically creates a dissonance with intimacy. Uranus wants freedom and to be itself. It can view relationships as incompatible with that liberation. Ultimately, Uranus will view relationships as fun and exciting but when it gets “too” personal it often wants out. Also, Uranus in synastry often accounts structures that can be very off center from the norm. For example, if there was a Venus conjunct Uranus in synastry this would mean that the structures of the relationship is very different and therefore, it requires different accommodations, such as different communication styles or even sex. Sometimes, this “different” factor in a relationship can be too much to explore or society at large can work against it. Usually the Venus-Uranus aspect in astrology can relate to relationships that don’t neatly fit into society’s definition of what composes such relationships; ones that are not monogamous or cis-heteronormative. Neptune, on the other hand, dilutes these structures. Love is still seen as non-personal so it creates a lot of disruptions around healthy intimacy. Neptune in synastry focuses on our romanticization and projections of love that is unattainable and worse, deceptive. Neptune in synastry can also tell us where we are conflict avoidant and so, we don’t go through that necessary step of crafting boundaries because we aren’t allowing ourselves to get angry.  Neptune lacks social adaptation so it often refuses to follow with the norms set in place and love seen through Neptune’s eyes is very porous and transcendent. Therefore, we might find Neptune aspects to be places of “hurt feelings” that weren’t necessarily intentional but nonetheless, there still needs to be accountability. Let’s use an example: suppose a synastry between two people had a Moon-Neptune aspect. These two planets working either together or against each other tend to absorb energies which means the relationship tends to be ill structured so boundaries are constantly invaded and there is also a lack of commitment. Additionally, the moon person has certain needs that the Neptune person can unintentionally ignore which creates a potential manifestation of volatility in the relationship

 

Nodes + Soulmates

Nodes in synastry are quite a big topic when it comes to soulmate identification. Let me start by saying this: soulmates are not singular and they are not always the most pleasant experiences. Soulmates have largely been romanticized and bolstered as this big hurrah in one’s romantic journey and there seems to be no separation after that but clearly….that’s not the case. Soulmates can loosely be identified in astrology but if someone were to be your potential soulmate it’s important to not use that as an excuse to be in an unhealthy environments. Yes, it’s true that certain soulmates are not good for us but to grasp this fact we need to dissociate from this romanticization of soulmates. Also, let me say this: soulmates are not abusive. Abusive relationships are not lessons. Point blank. Now, soulmates don’t always work out as nicely as we plan and there is usually a lesson behind these difficult (though, not ABUSIVE) relationships. They make us grow. They make us rediscover what we’ve been trying to uncover this whole time. I’ve noticed that the soulmates we must grow away from are ones that have ties to our south node and Saturn. When we think of the south node we think of the toxins left behind as the north node is the clear air we need to recenter. South node aspects in synastry are not always pleasant. They certainly start off beautifully but as time progresses the relationship doesn’t move anywhere and you might start to think there is more opportunities out there. While north node aspects are the more ideal as they signify growth in relationships the trick is that it requires a lot of work. The relationship may take time to really unfold and it must require dedication and willingness from everyone involved. Relationships like these may feel very vulnerable to breaking apart but it’s forcing to reassess and most of all, revise. Again, these types of conversations don’t include abusive relationships. The concept needs to be treated with sensitivity as the nodes in synastry could defend the containment of abusive relationships and power imbalances. Relationships are meant to be difficult but distinctions between difficult and abusive needs to be rigidly defined.

 

Be Happy.

The temptation of looking up your synastry with someone else is always in the linger but it’s best to wait off. From my own personal experience, computing synastries often leads to projecting personality traits onto someone who can possibly be very complex and it can also lead to entitlement. What I mean by that, if you notice that your synastry with someone else is “good” and you like them dearly you may feel as if you are entitled to a second chance or better closure. You can get egotistical and feel as if you own this person’s time. So advice would be to follow what your heart says and see how the relationship unfolds. I typically use synastry analyses as last resort options or where there is a fickle in a relationship that needs some sort of guidance. It’s a good tool to see where the conflicts have been made and what the next step can be.

 

article sources: "The Only Way to Learn about Relationships: Synastry Techniques" (1991) by Marion D. March, Joan McEvers

How Can I Understand Air Moons?

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gif source

Out of all the questions I receive in my curiouscat or email, one in particular keeps popping up: How can I understand an air moon? They seem soooo complicated? I can tell you from my own experience, living with two air moons in one household is definitely complicated and part of this is because air is not comfortable to the moon. AT ALL. Moon is most delicate in waters, or comfortable in an earthy ground. The commonality is: the moon needs a steadiness. See, the element of air is far from steady, it wants to move, it wants to be elevated and immerse itself practically everywhere. Air is free-flowing and very far from tangibility. This scares the moon because it doesn’t have that comfort and air, in itself, is just so complex. Studying astrology for years I still find myself having difficulty synthesizing air signs or any placement within an air element. It’s just tricky but it requires you to have an openness with it—which is very air-like. So air moons. They require someone around them, even though they may protest an air moon works best having someone there. They are very people-oriented and they have very complex approaches to certain things. Emotions of air moons are often not felt singularly. Meaning, moon signs like Libra and Aquarius often feel emotion from different sources rather than their own being. This creates A LOT of complicatedness. Now, gemini moons are a bit different because they are a personal sign and in astrology, personal signs mean just that—personal; to themselves. Gemini moons can often feel their own being but they try and solve their lunar issues through a mercurian approach: their mind. So, rather than just feeling themselves get upset or sit with the emotion of being upset, they tend to articulate a story around how they feel. This is done to provide some narrative to ground themselves. But sometimes the action of this leads to stress, over thinking and then more stress. Something to equally denote is that air has an affinity to society. It understands the social nuances which allows them to be really great with understanding how people work..which if you know any person, having this skill is a massive responsibility. Very much so, all air moons tend to really fluctuate between emotions and so it’s very funny when people like to point air moons as being emotionless. 


Say it with me: all of us are emotional, thats why we have a moon sign. 

This fluctuation is in part because of two things: 1. The environment that the air moon is situated in and 2. They are internally air therefore, there’s no steadiness whatsoever. The goal of all air moons is to somehow ground themselves and pick apart their emotions and that of the emotions of other people. Now, I won’t say air moons should separate themselves completely from other people because we all need someone to vent to, to understand with, and connect but sometimes we often put these connections above our own wellness. And to air moons: stabilize yourself. Even if its in your nature to be erratic, find ground in the ungrounded. 

Neptune Retrograde and What To Do With It

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art permission given by sionevada

The “retrograde” has often signaled a lot of interest due to the elusive but yet popular mercury retrograde and with popularity comes a lot of inspection—what does a retrograde mean? And what you may be asking: what does it mean specifically for me? The thing is, the question can’t be easily answered, especially when we are dealing with outer planet retrogrades because its not meant to affect us individually. In astrology, we have our luminaries (sun and moon), personal (mercury-mars), and higher octave (uranus-pluto). For me, Jupiter and Saturn are in limbo but that’s a discussion for a different day. Our higher octave, or “generational” planets are meant to be applied to forces beyond us, thats why terminology for Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are so deep and complex. The energies of these planets are dealing with structures and truth in its own special way. Uranus’ truth is through collective shifts, Pluto’s truth is through transformation and Neptune’s truth is through isolation. Yes, to work with Neptune it requires introspection, which requires some alone time. We learn more of ourselves when we detach from the materials, from intimacy, possessions, etc. This is where we see that punishment and sacrificial aspect being punched onto Neptune. But by all means do not see this punishment as bad, see it as a necessity for a higher growth. This is not to say you can’t eat your favorite foods or buy your favorite brands but it’s calling to see where you stand separate from the material world. It’s a call for singularity. 

 

Neptune’s goal is to ultimately be in a higher spiritual octave along with the rest of the world. It wants to spread beauty, compassion and charity within the structures of our world. In order to complete this, in order to complete any spiritual growth it requires an assessment and a strengthening of our inner force. But remember, no matter how scary people make Neptune sound remember this: there is always a good. ALWAYS A GOOD. Can Neptune be deceptive? Yes. It literally rules the house of our enemies but also remember that Neptune is reflective. It likes to reflect the bad, the bad parts of yourself, of our ego, of our world onto us and tells us to sit with it. Reflect on it. 

 

With Neptune in retrograde, I know an immediate thought is…DREAMS. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR OUR DREAMS? Dreams is an oversimplified part of Neptune. It’s valid. But oversimplified. Remember, that dreams can or cannot be affected but ultimately they might be a bit weird because that is your unconscious trying to speak with you. The goal of the Neptune Retrograde is to integrate with your psyche. To see the structures as nothing more than muddled and really sit with ourselves. The goal is to extend but not over extend. You don’t want to make sacrifices for the wrong reasons. A lot of past wounds will open up, especially with the Mercury-Jupiter-Neptune Grand Trine in Water it just screams “FACE THE MUSIC!” You can’t escape forever and that simply is the message behind Neptune Retrograde. It doesn’t want you to escape, it wants you to sit, grow and then do something about it. This retrograde also calls for sensibility. With Neptune immediately entering into retrograde we received news about the tender age camps, of young children being held captive and its discussions has brought into question to what and where our morals lie, and to extend our compassions toward the situation. But the rx has also brought the question of our structures and how events like this proves that our structures simply don’t matter because it hasn’t done any good for us and this moment, to hold children and infants in confined spaces on top of the many other occurrences such as cop violence, the sympathy of abusers rather than sympathy for victims, show structures haven’t done anything. And this is where everything dissolves and we are pestered with so much bad that it can be a lot to handle. It can be severely unhealthy, especially when bombarded with it. So this is Neptune telling us to retreat and solidify our own inner and moral strength. To get good we have to detach from the bad. We have to see ourselves outside all the messiness of the world. But important note: this doesn’t mean get comfortable. Neptune rx is WORK. Its creating the muscle work needed so we can offer service for the needed. And as I said previously, there is always a light. Neptune rules the 12th house where there is no light so we are focused on our unconscious expression and once we pick up on the emotional nuances, we enter the light—we enter back to our most conscious expression (the ascendant) and we can apply what we learned to what matters most. 

 

Be patient with Neptune Retrograde because its not easy to master and sometimes, it not all about us.