Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Faces of the Universe

The Astral Sleep; by Jeroeon van
Valkenburg, 1998; Wikimedia
I really believe (and I don’t believe in very much) that there is a benevolent force within the universe that genuinely wants us to live happy and meaningful lives. This force beckons us daily. Even when we aren’t living a happy and meaningful life, this benevolent force of the universe is always throwing us a sort of cosmic life raft if only we are mindful enough to notice it. Often, this life raft comes to us through other people, or sudden and unforeseen changes of circumstance that can sometimes be painful, even challenging to endure, but that ultimately seeks to break us free of our attachment to suffering.

I equally believe that there is an opposing, entropic force within the universe, one that seeks to further a state of unconsciousness and existential passivity. Paralyzed by fear, we slip deeper into unknowing and forgetfulness, forgetting our true purpose and the power of free will. But I think that ultimately, both forces (and the gradients in between) are bound or cradled by a completely neutral and indifferent force—the true face of god who’s only intention is to maintain homeostasis within the universe.

Remember that whichever path you choose in life, whatever experience you unconsciously generate, you are perhaps helping the universe to maintain its existence. Every choice you make is a confirmation of conscious experience. And every conscious experience an illusion manifested by the universe to come to know itself, but to ultimately gain consciousness. Carl G. Jung believed that the desire to achieve consciousness of oneself, to illuminate the vast and abysmal psyche, was more powerful than the desire for sex.

And then like sex, life is a ruse for the acquisition of consciousness. Perhaps every experience, choice, and decision that we make is a trick to get us to wake up. And then sometimes we have to fall asleep, slip into unconscious passivity to realize what we really truly exist for. We exist to confirm our existence and ultimately the existence of the universe. Does the universe really exist? Perhaps it exists only because we choose it to be so. And then perhaps the universe is really a trickster, and the faces of god, merely its pawns in a game that has no purpose but to exist for the sake of existence.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Flow of Love: New Moon in Taurus 2015

Venus, sitting on a rainbow, with her devotees who offer
their hearts to her; artist anonymous, 15th Century. 
New Moon @ 26 Taurus 55'
May 17, 2015
9:13 PM Pacific
May 18, 2015
12:13 AM Eastern

Just before Mercury turns stationary retrograde, the Sun and Moon conjoin in the tropical sign of Taurus. Taurus invites you to get into your body and feel your way through all of this. Most of the time, our decisions are based on some complex mental process influenced by conditioning, early imprinting, belief systems and ideas, but with Mercury’s retrograde cycle and the highly palpable nature of Taurus, you are encouraged to listen to what your body is saying and what it actually needs with this New Moon.

Venus in Cancer, the ruler of Taurus, is applying to an opposition to Pluto. This brings up some deep issues around intimacy and trust. Over the next few days, Venus and Pluto will highlight the need for emotional honesty and vulnerability in your relations with others. Direct eye contact and intimate confrontation may be a part of that.

The body and the mind are ultimately inseparable; they are but perceived fragments of the psyche and self. Venus in Cancer is ultimately seeking love, a kind of unconditional love that transcends the biological simulacrum fueled by oxytocin, vasopressin and endogenous opiate receptors. The biological experience of love may ultimately be but a filtered down expression of a vaster, universal force that possibly binds the universe, a force that flows into your life freely and spontaneously.

Pluto may prompt you to explore how you are allowing the flow of love to enter your life. An assessment of boundaries may be necessary. Too many walls constructed by rigid thoughts, beliefs, and theoretical ideas can often block the vastness of love that seeks to fill your body and ultimately your life. Conversely, too much openness and compassion can leave you vulnerable to predators that can feed on the love emanating from the body and soul.

How do we find the balance? This is the ultimate evolutionary struggle. Often, love can deceive us. Sometimes our compassion and empathy can lead us into dangerous territory. But, for most of us, it is these very qualities that make us unique as human beings. We have the ability to move beyond our primal instincts and into a higher vibration of consciousness that ultimately transcends the body.

And thus, love may be a residuum of a higher density, a density we may only experience as a glimpse predicated on the body’s interpretation. We can imagine that life is an expression of love—a creative impulse that is the ultimate architect of existence. So, love is powerful force. And like anything powerful, it can create and it can destroy. Consider that over the next few days. It implicates immense responsibility. And with Mercury retrograde you have time to think and feel it through.

For personal readings and consultations, please contact me directly by e-mail at

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

An Ongoing Process of Discovery: Mercury Retrograde in Gemini 2015

A road cutting a wilderness landscape in Pernambuco, Brazil; photo by
Leo Benini, August 2014. 

May 18- June 11, 2015

This month the planet Mercury turns retrograde in the sign of Gemini—its home sign, a place where it’s rather quite comfortable. In traditional astrology, planets in their own signs (the signs they rule) are seen as positive omens that give the planet a certain power and upper hand. A planet in its own sign is at ease and is free to express itself without inhibition.

From an evolutionary perspective, that can also be a bad thing. Too much freedom of expression without the proper objectivity can be disastrous, especially for those in contact with people exhibiting these qualities. So, while Mercury in Gemini is certainly a favorable placement for a lot of things, we need to be wary of becoming too subjective and mentally focused which can keep us from seeing the bigger picture.

 On the other hand, the fact that this cycle is occurring now, indicates that, perhaps, an intense focus and subjective viewpoint is needed for you. Perhaps you’ve been too distracted or are spreading yourself too thin. But then again, Gemini is the flightiest and most distractible of signs.

 At the heart of Gemini, and at its highest vibration, is a restless curiosity and an openness to alternate viewpoints. Gemini needs to ponder and it needs to consider things from various angles. Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, moving backward in its own sign, is a perfect opportunity to see things differently and to absorb as much alternative information as you can. This is an opportunity for extra fact checking and for making sure that you have all the information you need.

You may change your mind this retrograde—in fact, that might happen a few times. There may be several revisions. Most importantly, keep your mind loose, open and flexible this cycle. If there is a retrograde that calls for an open mind and a bit of humility it will be this one. Admit to yourself that you don’t know everything there is to know. Admit to yourself that life is an ongoing process of discovery.

If you go in with that attitude, you'll be on the right track. Gemini, the sign of communication and information gathering, will likely dredge up old, unresolved communication threads as well as bits of information that you somehow lost track of. Along with that, and during every Mercury retrograde cycle, you need to be mindful of what you say and what you commit to. Reiterate directions, plans, and intentions thoroughly to make sure that the message is clear and fully considered.

So, what about contracts and starting new things? Typically, Mercury retrograde is a time to go over things and to exercise caution when it comes to making hasty decisions or pushing forward with something big (things that could be costly if they fail), but this is certainly not a rigid rule. Whatever you’ve been working on needs to be revised, and it’s best to hold off on implementing some things, especially when you feel that certain pieces may be missing.

However, Mercury retrograde cycles can often open up new doors and possibilities which can lead us into new environments or experiences that we were not expecting, thus changing our course or direction. Most of all, go with the flow. If things aren’t moving forward or as fast as you would like, take it as a sign that you need to step back and go over some things and then try again when the cycle is complete.

With Mercury moving through its home sign, we can anticipate all that the usual communicative foibles will be particularly pronounced. We know that Mercury retrograde is notorious for throwing certain setbacks, challenges and technical frustrations onto our path. Sometimes, however, with the proper perspective, we can see these “setbacks” as happy accidents that can allow us to see the holes in our current strategies which will ultimately help us find ways to improve them. Again, go with the flow and take your time. You'll be grateful that you did.

Mercury Retrograde Logistics

Mercury entered the first shadow phase of its retrograde cycle on May 4. This is the beginning of the retrograde and it often foreshadows certain issues that we may be dealing with during the retrograde process itself. We may also begin to notice the “effects” of Mercury retrograde at this time as well.

Mercury turns stationary retrograde on May 18. It will turn stationary direct on June 11. Technical, mechanical, and communicative issues are typically more pronounced around these dates, so be prepared for potential delays, setbacks, and complications on the days of and surrounding these days more so than usual.

Mercury will enter the final shadow phase on June 11 and will leave the shadow on June 26. This is the finalizing stage of the retrograde cycle where we may find ourselves tying up loose ends, putting on finishing touches, and rebuilding whatever may have been dismantled during the retrograde process itself.

During the retrograde process (when Mercury appears to be moving backward), it will make contact with several planets. On May 27, Mercury will conjoin Mars in Gemini. Be wary of combativeness in your communications as it may stir up arguments and misunderstandings. Thinking before you speak will be especially important as you may regret what was said later on.

This is an excellent time to focus on some mental task that requires intense concentration and channel it towards revising things or acquiring more information. This may also be a good time to make adjustments to a fitness routine, although be very cautious about pushing yourself too far or past your current physical level.

Mercury will square Neptune on May 29. Again, be cautious of misunderstandings and jumping to conclusions around this time. You may not have all the information that you need, or you may not be seeing things as clearly as you otherwise would. This is a time to step back and retreat, perhaps take some time to self-reflect to gain insight intuitively. Creative work or meditation will be especially favorable under this aspect.

Mercury will conjoin the Sun on May 30. This is the midpoint of the retrograde cycle, where you may find yourself beginning to wrap up a revision process and slowly recover from any setbacks or delays you may have encountered. It is also a good day to keep a look out for important information that may be coming your way.

Mercury will make a sextile to Venus on June 10, just before turning stationary direct. This soft aspect may help to mend any misunderstandings that may have occurred during the retrograde cycle, as well as rekindle a connection or two from the past. Keep in mind, however, that as Mercury begins to station direct, there may be more technical issues than usual, although Mercury’s soft aspect to Venus may help to soften the blow. This is a time to take it easy and process things. Plan on spending some time with someone you really trust and feel comfortable with.

For personal readings and consultations, please contact me directly by e-mail at

Friday, May 1, 2015

Trusting Desire: Full Moon in Scorpio 2015

Juno and Jupiter by Gavin Hamilton;
unknown date.
Full Moon @ 13 Scorpio 23'
May 3, 2015
11:42 PM Eastern
8:42 PM Pacific

The current lunar cycle culminates in the tropical sign of Scorpio. As always, the seeds that were planted at the New Moon two weeks ago come to fruition in some obvious or subtle way.  In Scorpio, the Full Moon brings to your awareness the need for honesty and realism, as well as certain fears and vulnerabilities you may be concealing.

Scorpio is a sign that deals with issues surrounding trust—though that may not be so obvious. We associate Scorpio with uncomfortable truths, death, transformation, intimacy and often sex. Those are touchy subjects in and of themselves (culturally speaking), but at the heart of Scorpio is the ability to trust that nature, the engine of our natural, primal urges, knows what it’s doing. We can’t successfully experience such things unless we have cultivated enough trust to let down our guard and surrender to them.

The traditional ruler of Scorpio is Mars, a planet that in evolutionary astrology we associate with the drive to fulfill desire, desires which fundamentally and hypothetically belong to some “higher” aspect of the self we call the soul. According to Buddhist and even Hindu philosophies, we are souls bound by desire and attachment; life is essentially a process through which the soul attempts to exhaust its desires to ultimately be freed of attachment and thus suffering.

I have a mantra that seems to work for me, but it is certainly not devoid of controversy. It goes something like this: “Follow every desire, even if it tries to kill you.” Now, in my reality, I feel that one should do as they will as long as it doesn’t interfere with the free will of another person. In other words, if your desire is to control, manipulate, dominate or coerce another person, then you are playing a very different game, and one in which your desire can lead to disaster (but then again, who am I to judge?) You may also be a sociopath, but that’s a whole other topic, and I doubt you would be reading my blog.

Our desires may involve other people, but the process through which we fulfill them should include a conscious collaboration as well as full disclosure of intentions and consent from all those involved. That usually refers to sexual desires, but can be applied to many different things. The key to living a successful, vibrant and fulfilling life seems to lie in the skill of mastering one's will (amongst a lot of other things. I don’t have all the answers).

This is different from trying to control or dominate the will, or worse, trying to deny or suppress desire. Mastery of one’s will is the skill of being able to openly acknowledge and compromise between what you desire and the ability to direct it consciously toward right action—that is to say, action that is right for you and your unique spiritual path.  Sometimes my desires have gotten me into trouble; sometimes they have seemingly led me astray, to the edge of a precipice where I glimpsed my inevitable death.

Those were eye-opening experiences, to say the least. Those moments, while terrifying and uncomfortable, seem to be the very experiences that had the most impact on me as a person. They cut to the bone, to the soul level. They showed me who I really was and what I was made of. In those moments, I somehow survived. I didn’t die, but death is always there, stalking us, waiting for us. 

When you actually face death, when you look it in the eye, you can’t help but be transformed by such an experience. It is a frightening and yet beautiful experience. So, to master one’s will successfully, one must learn to trust one's desires which may lead us to some uncomfortable places, but ultimately, it's for our own good.

This is certainly not a perfect mantra exempt from debate regarding its actual efficaciousness, but for me, it speaks of an uncomfortable truth: life isn’t about avoiding pain; it’s about surrendering to the inevitable hurt that we will encounter on our journey through life, and to ultimately allow our pain to transform us. In our openness to embrace the love of the universe, we must be open and trusting that every moment has a potential meaning, and within each moment there is an essential purpose and intention that is guiding us toward a greater purpose than our own individual life.

The ancients understood this well. As depicted in the myths of the sacrificed savior/god/deity such as Jesus, Prometheus, Osiris, Mithra, Dionysus, etc., we essentially come to Earth to ultimately get torn apart. That’s a rather raw and graphic way of describing the root of our existential human condition, which is rather Scorpionic, is it not? As I’ve shared before, sometimes the poison is the medicine.

This was a brilliant insight my most cherished therapist once told me when analyzing my dream involving a venomous spider. The poison is sometimes the medicine. What might be “bad” for us, what might seem negative based on certain preconditioned moralistic principles, may actually turn out to be our savior and thus our saving grace. It is also the root idea underlining allopathic medicine.

Jupiter conjunct Juno in Leo squares the Full Moon axis. Here we have a profound statement about the need to trust desire and take a risk, a leap of faith. Perhaps this involves a relationship with someone else (Juno). Perhaps it involves some other kind of relationship or commitment you are currently considering. The Full Moon illuminating Scorpio, filling the void of the unconscious with light and awareness, points to the necessity of seeing things honestly and realistically without losing sight of the need to play and be spontaneous.

It requires a kind of openness and an ability to accept vulnerability. It may require direct, eye contact. It may require an open discussion about what you really want or desire. It may be a prelude to a conflict if you’re not careful, but when we come from a place of love, love rooted in openness and a trusting nature; we can look into that void knowing that life appears to know what it’s doing. And while sometimes serious, life is also a game, and it can be fun; our desires will show us the way.

P.S. Mercury turns retrograde this month! Don't panic though. Mercury retrograde is a great time to take it easy and to take more time to do things. The universe will support you in that. Stay tuned for my next article on this month's Mercury retrograde cycle. 

Mercury enters shadow May 4, 2015
Mercury turns stationary retrograde May 18, 2015
Mercury turns stationary direct June 11, 2015
Mercury leaves shadow June 26, 2015

For personal readings and consultations, please e-mail me directly at