Moving On From Here

It’s the last day of March, and I’m not gonna lie: the last three months have been rough. Physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, spiritually and all other categories have been engaged, thank you very much. I’d like to say I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’d like to say that spring is here and new beginnings abound.

But I can’t.

I’m in the midst of my second Saturn Return and completely undone. For anyone who knows astrology you’ll be shielding your eyes right now. For most of you who still read this blog, you’ll be puzzled by this statement. What is a second Saturn Return you ask? Every 29 years Saturn returns to the exact position that it was in at the moment of your birth in the natal chart. Think about what you and your world were like at 29 or 30, 59 or 60. And then you will understand the turmoil and transition to a new beginning, the burning off of old patterns depending on what sign and house your natal Saturn is in.

Saturn’s territory covers ambition, mastery, responsibility, duty, tradition, paying one’s dues, and the father. The second Saturn Return focuses on finishing up unfinished business from the first return, and acknowledging my mortality. In Capricorn which is Saturn’s ruler, the lessons are hard and long. I will get three chances to break the extremely strong patterns that hold a vice grip on my soul. The call to finish what I have come here to do are incessant and undeniable.

This astrological challenge plus the ten-year anniversary of this blog in 2009 has me reevaluating, questioning, and yes, even welcoming my life’s path moving onward. I will continue. I will persevere. With much help from the guides and friends who show up for me everyday, I will know love and support.

And that’s all that matters.

Shine On

Something happened during the last full “super” moon of the summer, with her extraordinary harvest light beaming down from the watery skies of Pisces, my birth sign. All that I’ve sown in the last few days, months and even years is coming to fruition. Now, I can replenish those empty coffers in my creative cache, confident that I will never lack again.

In cahoots, two days later, the moon in her wane summoned a fall-like front that cut through resistance’s last hazy gasps with cold vengeance, dumping wrath from Neptune in the streets, and washing away any doubts I’ve had about embarking on the beautiful new artistic path I’ve chosen.

Since those tides of change departed, the dreamy eye of the Fish remains upon me, watching from the bright seas of a freshly scrubbed sky.

Eleven and Beyond

11-11-11. Okay, I know. I’m jumping on the bandwagon, which is unusual for me. (Normally I’m trailing after another kind of wheeled cart involving beer.) However, I do believe that this is a momentous occasion for a variety of reasons, some not even woo-woo related.

For one thing, the combination above looks kinda cool. Ever catch the clock at 11:11? Better yet, did your heart skip a beat when the old-school digital timepieces (or car odometers for that matter) flipped their little flaps into single sticks? Then you know what I mean.

And then there’s the whole numerology romance with eleven as a master number symbolizing intuition and vision. The New Age websites are full of words like “vibration” and “rebirth.” Groups everywhere will be gathering for prayers, blessings, alignments and meditation. (There’s a global moment of silence at 11:11 a.m. going on.) After the horrendous news stories of the past few weeks, I’d settle for a little peace and quiet.

Which brings me to the habit in numerology of breaking numbers down by adding them together, like 11 as 1+1= 2. Twos invite companionship, unions and couples. Hence, the rash of weddings that will take place today. No doubt the bridal industry is grateful.

Along the lines of history, this numerological phenomenon coincides with Armistice, Remembrance and Veterans Day, not to mention the International Day of Peace. Merely coincidence? Perhaps not. If nothing else, this lucky number (at least in Blackjack) may cause buzzing humanity to pause in its building of worlds to note the passing of time and the power (creative or destructive) of our potential.

This is, after all, the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. We think.

Besides, I want to savor this moment before tackling the whole 12-12-12 debacle. Where are those Mayan mathematicians when you need ’em?

The State of My Union

Uh oh. Is that yellow snow I see?

This one’s personal, not political. I got to thinking earlier this week about the benefits of reviewing “the messes I get myself into,” otherwise known as my path. I believe it is prudent to be accountable every so often, to see whether life as I know it still works. For me and everyone else.

The Castle. Also called the Hair Palace. We’re down to a cat and a dog as our four-legged companions. (For the well-meaning — no, we do not want any more roommates right now, thank you.) With all my spare time and lovely empty space, you’d think the place would be spotless. Fail. I blame it on excessive shedding: mine, pets, and squirrels. Unfortunately, daily schedules don’t work for me. Only complete vacuum anarchy imposed by my spouse.

Mother Nature. Where others see only unemployment and stagnation, I’m digging the chance to stay home and watch the cold beauty of winter from my (relatively) warm kitchen. As long as I overlook all the yellow snow in the backyard. From the dog. (Why am I still hearing Zappa in my head?)

Art. Okay, those who know me, please don’t tell my mother. Yet. My mom and I have had a lifelong struggle over the making of art, to create or not to create. To keep or not to keep. She was an oil painter, I was a jack-of-all-trades, and guess what, my daughter lives and breathes art, starting from the moment she could hold a crayon. These days, I can only “do” art when it pleases me. And as long as I don’t become the pack mule of art supplies that I used to be, I’m happy to give it room on my plate. It may or may not appear on this blog in the future.

Hobbies. Dare I say it? A simpler life is opening the door to old pastimes. The new twist is that I can commit and be held accountable to online communities who encourage delicious projects in knitting, photography, writing and journaling. Maybe even cooking, but I could be pushing my luck there. Again, as long as I don’t rush out and buy the latest crafty gadget or gizmo, I can still be a minimalist and a hobbyist, mostly with what I already own. More on these in upcoming posts.

Facebook. It seems there’s been a lot of deleting and deactivating going on in the blogosphere. I’m keeping my account because a) it is private and b) less than 100 friends. And I know all of them, from one part of my life or another. I don’t chat. I don’t play games. (Sound like a lot of fun, don’t I?) I keep my wall posts down to one or less a day. And I’ve shut off most email notifications to control my clicking addiction.

Facebook (Again). For me, this social scene is worth every annoying privacy breach blocked, if only for the connections I’ve made with old friends who have been missing in action over the years. In some cases, we’ve reunited right before a major event in our lives, when we need each other the most. There will be follow-ups through phone calls, greeting cards and visits, but I can’t ignore the online synchronicities.

Astrology. I know, everybody’s been asking. If this is some astronomer’s idea of a joke, then I think they better revisit the whole Pluto debacle, too. My answer is that the shift in the constellations has been known since the first century and the old zodiac won’t work with 13 signs. I’m just amazed at how many folks who don’t believe in this stuff get all riled up when they aren’t Scorpios or other signs anymore. Maybe if Ophiuchus was the “football-bearer” instead of messing about with snakes, he would be better received.

That’s probably enough from my state of mind. If you’ve hung on this long, I thank you and promise fermented libations when you next see me. For those lost along the way, I can only hope they gleaned something useful and took it back to their own lives and communities.

Just remember: we’re all in this together.

Don’t Be Afraid of Mercury Retrograde

Warning: This post contains “woo woo.” But before all of you scientific, left-brained types depart, let me just say that regardless of the astrological packaging, the motivation behind this frustrating period of communication breakdown can be useful to all, skeptics and would-be wizards alike.

Okay, a little background first. I come by the paranormal genetically, at least that’s my excuse. (Have you noticed that I blame most of my foibles on my ancestral line?)

After feeling like the family freak for many years with my new age interests, I am informed well into my forties that the grandmother I never knew (from the old country) was extremely “superstitious.”

And, by the way, she read tea leaves. So did my great-grandmother. Seems they were pretty good at it.

Oh REALLY? Thanks for waiting so long to tell me. Left to my own devices with that bit of genealogy, I tried seeing pictures in my tea cup and could only come up with disturbing rorschach impressions of my personal neuroses. Same with the coffee grounds.

And don’t even get me started on palm reading my own hand. Not so good. Either I’m already dead, will have 14 husbands, or I need to use a lot more moisturizer.

After all that, astrology seems like a piece of cake. I make more sense out of natal charts than I can navigating a street map. (Heavens help me.) And my little quirk comes in handy at parties, because even if I can’t remember your name, by golly I can recall your birth sign the way the rest of my family reminisces according to the stats of their favorite sports teams.

So, it goes without saying that I study the transits of the planets while my husband and daughter consult their college basketball lineups for the same reason: a glimpse into the future.

2010’s astrological forecast included a whopping four Mercury retrograde periods. What is a retrograde you ask? This cosmic phenomenon was concocted by ancients who observed planets going backward through the nightly zodiac for periods of time, due to an optical illusion with the earth’s orbital rotation. The planets weren’t really going backward, but hey, try telling that to civilizations who were already freaked out by solar eclipses.

And you say, excuse me — how does this matter to the modern suburbanite? So what if Mercury looks like it’s going backward, big deal.

Ah, but in astrology this little planet controls all types of communication, technology, travel and the way your mind works. (I was born during a Mercury retrograde which may explain why I take the long way when coming to the same conclusion as everyone else.)

When Mercury retrogrades, all of the cool stuff under the messenger’s watchful eye goes haywire. There are computer malfunctions, missed appointments, strep throat and/or laryngitis, worldwide hacking, car breakdowns, best-laid plans gone awry, whiteouts over half the country, metrodome cave-ins, and flight delays.

Alright, so the airline industry is in permanent Mercury retrograde, but it’s WORSE, if that’s possible.

Have I got your attention yet? Any of this strike a chord with those of you waiting on your train/dentist/snowplow/cable guy/mechanic/geek friend/voodoo priestess to rescue you from solitary confinement? Or is it merely coincidence?

Let me see, so far this retrograde my Internet has gone out four times in a week (once including phone service), our car stopped dead in an intersection after just getting a new battery (in futile retrograde preparation), and some friends and I had to abort in the middle of a holiday outing due to more snow accumulation than expected (thank you weather forecasters).

Which leads me FINALLY to the gist of this post. The antidote to all the dropped calls, lost emails, botched up contracts, road slide-offs and website crashes is TO SLOW DOWN. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are forced to abandon our routines as human doings and embrace the joys of lounging. You may sit in bus terminals or the pull-out couch of a neighbor, but this is still an opportunity to be inert and retrospective on the year.

If nothing else, it is a good time to cheat a little at board games by candlelight because the power is out. It is the gift of yourself when you can’t get to the stores to buy electronic gadgets that will be busted by New Year’s Eve anyway. It’s the chance to finally lay to rest an old family grudge because you’re all stuck in the house together without the usual distractions.

Yep, even the winged messenger to the Roman gods has to take a breather sometimes. (Although the florists do try to keep him busy.)

By the way, this particular Mercury retrograde we’re in lasts from December 10th through the 30th. Even if you don’t believe in all the hocus-pocus, you have my permission to use the retrograde bit as a pass when life becomes too much during the next couple of weeks.

Go ahead — hit pause to enjoy the holidays. Take your time.