New Moon in Virgo ♍ Sep 9, 2018

Sunday, Sep 9 at 11.02am PST

New moons are new beginnings. Every month the new moon falls in the same sign as the sun, wherever he happens to be. This lunar-solar conjunction is what we call a new moon. Sometimes this conjunction creates a solar eclipse, but not every month. The last new moon, however, was a partial solar eclipse. This solar eclipse was in Leo, lolling like summer’s endless golden days. Turn your head now toward the farmhand ambling into view. Pick up your tools and follow him.

We are but humble yet rhapsodized farmers, scurrying across the soil, burning like a bonfire in newfound delirium. Seeds pop in the sun, now heavy with violet globes, ripe and prophesied.

We cannot replant, nor can we waste. At the hour of harvest, what is on the vine is what we receive. All karmic deliveries come without warranty. So we bow to the earth and pull from her tenderly the fruits of our sewing.

Silhouetted by the waning August sun, the new moon in Virgo calls our name. Enjoy this dwindling, evanescent freedom, for I feel her coming, footsteps growing louder in the hall. One more intoxicating moonlit dance, then we have to work. It is time to gaze profoundly into the nature of your work, the people with whom you work and your most honest feelings about your work.

Virgo’s mantra: I analyze. The New Moon in Virgo teaches pragmatism, not wistfulness, as she moves quickly, so you must decide at a moment’s notice what you will do, how you will manage, what will go where, etc.

This is a good time to make lists, plans and schedules of all kinds as there shall be no mystery, delusion or distraction for the coming month. Virgo’s mind is clear enough to see through: whitest crystal, gurgling in the sunset. Play and childhood are over for now. Now it is nectarine dawn, sure feet toward the garden gate, breath hanging in the chill, and deep peace in your heart, wrapped in blue woolen love.

At the time of the new moon, Mercury (ruler of Virgo) will also be in Virgo. This makes the new moon that much more potent. Additionally, this new moon forms a strong trine to Pluto Retrograde in Capricorn – this signifies that it is an excellent time for all things related to home, money, property or investments, as well as deep psychological plumbing and emotional catharsis. This new moon also coincides with the first day of Venus in Scorpio so I think it will be especially juicy and powerful. Hours later, the moon moves into Libra. On Sep 14, the moon enters Sagittarius, marking the end of the new moon period and beginning of the quarter moon phase.

Power gemstones for Virgo include amazonite, jasper, magnetite and moss agate. Power herbs are fennel, caraway and mint, as well as dried & harvested fruits and grains. The Virgo power flower is morning glory. Virgo rules the digestive system and sympathetic nervous system, so make sure to eat well and not too late at night. Meals should be light yet frequent. Though it will be a busy time, make sure to continue practicing yoga and meditation. Focus on the abdomen/solar plexus. Wear white or earth tones tones and green gems. Calm the mind with deep breaths and Virgo Yoga. Meditate in the grass beneath a tree. To find your personal moon sign, click here.

Mantra:  I harvest

Venus Retrograde ♀ Fall 2018

Venus in Libra: Aug 6 – Sep 9

Venus in Scorpio: Sep 9 – Oct 5

Venus Retrograde in Scorpio: Oct 5-31

Venus Retrograde in Libra: Oct 31 – Nov 16

Venus in Libra: Nov 16 – Dec 2

Venus in Scorpio: Dec 2 – Jan 7, 2019

Planets in retrograde are not actually spinning backwards – it is an optical illusion as seen from Earth. Backwards motion appears to happen when Earth passes slower moving planets in the outer solar system. In astrology, this illusion manifests as a “backwards” functioning of the planetary roles. Click here to learn more about retrograde.

Venus turns retrograde once every 18 months for six weeks. We last experienced Venus Retrograde from Mar 4 – Apr 15, 2017. During this time, you may move to a new place, experience a change in a significant relationship or intensely question whether you’re in the right place. Though Venus is primarily concerned with outward and interpersonal aspects of life, this retrograde, like the others, takes us within. Venus Retrograde builds and expands our inner home. Having said that – haircuts, tattoos, piercings or any changes to personal appearance are not advised at this time.

Venus first enters Libra on Aug 6. In fact, Venus rules Libra, so I suspect that this transit (and ensuing retrograde) will be quite visceral. From Aug 9 – Sep 6, Venus inspects our relationships. Then, when she retrogrades back to Libra from Halloween to Nov 16, these relationship issues will be sharply revisited. Venus in Libra is a mighty judge of whether our relationships are truly harmonious. It is critically important to remain clear and open in communication. Stand close to those who make you feel golden and tranquil.

Libra is not unlike her brothers and sisters in the zodiac, for she makes us work until we cry. Libra digs directly into the ravines of the soul, the crevasses we hoped she’d miss. Do not evade or try to deceive her, or she will hunt you down in the middle of the night. Libra helps us overcome communication blockages. Though confrontation can be awkward and stressful, internalizing is even more uncomfortable. Yes, Venus in Libra is a bitter pill that will burn the lining of your soul, but it’s the best you’ve ever had. Listen and you will hear yourself say: finally, I should have done this a long time ago…

Libra hates when we rush and makes us pay for it dearly, so be slow, be honest, but not submissive or insecure. We enter into toxic environments/relationships because we have a toxic relationship with ourselves, truth be told. If you don’t honor your needs and ditch the toxicity, Libra will do it for you, and she can be quite forceful! Walk away with your head held high; the goddess is right behind you.

From Sep 9 – Oct 31, and Dec 2 – Jan 7, 2019, Venus spins with lusty vigor through Scorpio. Here is when we realize that the passion we sought in relationships was really intended for fierce self-love. Unstable relationships will suffer at this time. A profusion of sexual/emotional energy conjures complexity.

With Venus Retrograde in Scorpio, it is time to remove malevolent sexual energies from the root chakra. A romantic partner can be of great help, but this is not necessary. Scorpio is bewitched, stopping at nothing to get her fix, churning in a gigantic supernatural whirlpool, a hot-blooded kiss on the lips, fervent, vehement, chasing her prey relentlessly. Hers is the wounded heart, compulsive, fearful of losing power. Drunk on sheer intensity, wants become needs. Twist inward, penetrate to the core, ask yourself what is the meaning? Just as Shiva rebuilds the world from utter ruin, so too can the scorpion. She teaches that we must break down before we break through.

The Goddess of Night wants to shock you, so watch her dance from the darkness, gleaming in the light of her cauldron, bubbling with potent medicine for the blistered soul. Watch Scorpio cling with mad singularity from beneath the floorboards, the psyche’s rotten well, the locked basement. Blackest black gives way to light. This is the scorpion’s goal, to find the edge and careen into the abyss: renewal through obliteration. Though she’d never admit it, Scorpio desires vulnerability more than anything, soul stripped naked, nothing left between her and truth.

Venus Retrograde is the perfect opportunity to set boundaries where there were none. The feeling here is “all things fated.” We no longer have a choice; life unfolds as it must, regardless of attachment or not feeling ready. The most quintessential theme of Venus Retrograde is social malfunction. Conversation may be stilted, awkward, off-key. Unexpected delays or cancellations are common. Take this opportunity to be solitary. One peculiar thing will start happening to you, however. Against all odds, deep in your ravine of solitude, you will be contacted by people you haven’t seen or talked to in years. Maybe it will be a message, a phone call, or maybe you will run into them while you are searching for the perfect snack to complement your solitude. They will be lovers or old friends, someone with whom you shared an intimate connection, the kind of connection that, even when left for many years, quietly, like a letter in its yellowing envelope, suddenly comes back to life with such force and emotion that you willingly fall back into it, awash all over again in its profound impact upon you, moved by the sweet revelation that it never left, resurrected instantaneously as it were, as though it were just yesterday that you strolled side by side, merciless in your youth.

Dates worth mentioning: Aug 7 (harmonious), Aug 9 (challenging) & Aug 26 (challenging)

Sep 8 (challenging) & Sep 12 (challenging)

Oct 10 (challenging), Oct 15 (harmonious) & Oct 26 (harmonious)

Nov 9 (harmonious) & Nov 30 (challenging)

Dec 21 (harmonious)

Stay balanced with Libra Yoga; go deep with Scorpio Yoga. To find your personal Venus sign, click here.

Mantra:  I love myself

Mercury in Virgo ☿ Sep 5-21

Sep 5–21, 2018

In the central plaza of ancient Rome stood gilt statues of gods and goddesses. Mercury and his father Jupiter were both depicted. Mercury is the cosmic patron of economics, travel, communication, perception and the human mind. He is also an orator, poet, soothsayer, healer, lucky star and underworld guide. With magical caduceus in hand, Mercury led freshly discorporated souls from the lower to the upper worlds.

Think of Mercury as a support beam for the sun and Venus. When Mercury joins the sun and/or Venus in the same constellation, the mind (Mercury) aligns with outward manifestation (sun) and the heart (Venus). Taking this into account, the whole transit should be lovely as the sun will also be in Virgo at this time. Venus, however, will already be ahead in Libra and Scorpio.

Mercury rules Virgo, so he is “at home” here, humming an ode to worker bees. Virgo rules facets of life such as cleanliness, health and nutrition. Virgo is attentive, regimented, objective, precise, productive. This is how she accomplishes everything that she does, lulling herself into a trance with hypnotic, repetitive motions, immersed in her body and hands as they work and cut, pull and harvest, chaff and sew.

Mercury channels each constellation directly into the mental process, and in Virgo this manifests as constant surveillance. Mercury in Virgo is a bird peering with sharp eyes, a spiral caving noiselessly in an endless brain-loop. When long, silvery antennae grow from the pit of your gut, don’t be alarmed. This new perceptivity is not designed to distract you with petty hypotheticals, but help you be more efficient and organized. If we stay busy, we can avoid typical Virgo pitfalls like paranoia. Virgo is always in analytical overdrive, constantly thinking yet expressing very little. You’ll know if you don’t have enough to do because your mind will instantly wander to the most trifling of concerns. Mercury in Virgo is best tempered through selfless service – by giving time and energy to others, we keep our troubles in perspective.

This transit starts off on a great note. On Sep 6, Saturn Retrograde ends. One day later, Mercury forms a harmonious angle to both Saturn and Uranus Retrograde in Taurus. This means we have a grand trine between Uranus, Mercury and Saturn in their respective earth signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn). This is an excellent day for all things related to home, money and work. However, on the same day, the sun in Virgo opposes Neptune Retrograde. Expect mixed outcomes.

Sep 9 is the new moon and the first day of Venus in Scorpio. To the best of your ability, do as little as possible on this day. New moons are quite, reflective times. One day later, Mars moves back into Aquarius. On Sep 13, Mercury forms his own opposition to Neptune. Treat this day as you would Mercury Retrograde. Higher likelihood for disappointment due to unrealistic expectations. On Sep 15, Mercury forms a powerful trine to Pluto Retrograde in Capricorn. This influence equates to deep psychological plumbing and emotional catharsis. The following day is a quarter moon.

On the last full day of Mercury in Virgo, the sun finally catches up to Mercury. When they are at the same degree (in the same place in the sky, as seen from Earth), this is called conjunction. I suspect that this will be the best day of the entire transit, as well as Sep 15.

Drone on, little bees, and don’t stop, there will be time later to smell the flowers. You might feel a bit robotic, but this is normal. Watch for increased criticism of self and others. One major challenge for Virgo is learning how to let things be as they are. Not everything can or needs to be fixed!

Hop on a bicycle or try Virgo Yoga. Give special attention to your stomach and digestion. In meditation, focus on the solar plexus. Wear comfortable earth tones. If you were born with Mercury in Virgo, these couple weeks are your Mercury Return. To find your personal Mercury sign, click here.

Mantra:  I analyze

Last Quarter Moon in Gemini ☾ Sep 2, 2018

Sunday, Sep 2 at 7.39pm PST

At the last quarter, the moon rises at midnight, peaks at dawn and sets at noon. If you view the moon at midnight, the Sun will be positioned directly beneath your feet. Staring at the moon during this time will align you so that you are looking right out (approximately) along the forward path of Earth’s orbit around the Sun ^__^

Solar beams from Virgo square the moon in Gemini. Looking down from above, imagine the earth as a vertex of a 90 degree angle. At one end of this angle is the moon, and on the other is the sun. This is the geometric configuration of a quarter moon, happening twice a month between the new moon and full moon. At the new moon, the moon is sandwiched between the earth and sun. Together these three points form a 180 degree line. At the full moon, the earth is sandwiched between the moon and the sun, and these three points once again form a 180 degree line, as seen from above. The new moon always falls in the same sign as the sun, wherever he happens to be; the full moon always falls in the opposing constellation of the sun; and quarter moons always fall on the squaring constellations (for example, each year when the Sun is in Virgo, the new moon will always be in Virgo; the first quarter will always be in Sagittarius; the full moon will always be in Pisces; and the last quarter moon will always be in Gemini, as these geometric relationships are fixed and unchanging in the sky).

On the Virgo path, an airy encounter with the twins. Both Gemini and Virgo are ruled by the planet Mercury. The purpose of this first quarter moon is examination (Mercury) of our communication and mental processes (Gemini).

With the Sun stewing in the pit of the stomach and the moon racing between the clouds with the wind spirits, we are careening through space faster than ever. This is evolution, growing pains, new bones forming in the spiritual skeleton. Pay close attention.

Say no if you want to say no – that is the message of this quarter moon. Keep your mental health intact. The key is presence. Learn from Virgo: exercise ruthless practicality and stay grounded in reality. Virgo demands duty and discipline; Gemini demands absolute freedom to change anything and everything. Virgo helps the twins get out of the mind and back to the body, back to work, back to the land.

The quarter moon in Gemini doles out gritty lessons. Gemini is an agent of change and motion, a breeze that lifts then drops us somewhere else to root, but only for a short while. And it feels good at first, it feels great until you realize you’ve been complicit with the breeze, fleeing from your responsibilities. Listen to the small voices instead. Immerse yourself in the glory of work and routine.

The moon initially moves into Gemini the night before the quarter moon. The moon stays in each constellation for approximately 60 hours. After cruising through Gemini, the moon will spend 60 hours in Cancer, then Leo, and so on. When the moon is in Gemini it is a good time to eat, plant and harvest flowers. It is also a good time to catch up on communications, take short trips, write, read and sing. On Sep 8, the moon moves into Virgo, marking the end of the quarter moon period and beginning of the new moon. Quarter moons clear the way for the new moon / new lunar cycle.

Luna’s waning light gives way to shimmering veils of silence and solitude. Gradual descent into darkness: a return to the womb. As available energy decreases, you may feel more tired than usual. Wear loose, blue clothing. In meditation, focus on the throat chakra. This moon phase will be so busy that you might not have time to practice yoga or meditation, but these will be especially helpful in focusing the mind. The sympathetic nervous system will likely be in overdrive. On such mercurial phases, it is important to slow down and breathe deeply. Clear your mind with Gemini Yoga. To find your personal moon sign, click here.

Mantra:  I am present

Full Moon in Pisces ♓ Aug 26, 2018

Sunday, Aug 26 at 4.58am PST

Sun and moon oppose one another in Virgo and Pisces: finite vs infinite. The Algonquins called this full moon the Harvest Moon, Corn Moon or Barley Moon. The moon will rise at sunset, peak at midnight and set at sunrise.

Here we are, one foot on earth and the other quickly turning translucent, pulled by an unseen force to the farthest star. What is the connection between the mundane and the extraordinary? In yoga, day-to-day observances such as cleaning are just as important as the poses. Simple yet fundamental acts illuminate that our bodies and the spaces they inhabit are one and the same.

Virgo is tied to the earth, endlessly busy with tasks. Pisces lives in bottomless REM cycles. In human form, she is like a fish out of water. Her dreams take her so far away that when she is suddenly drawn back here to confront something, she would rather die. Pisces yearns to leave this world and go back to her Neptunian bliss, her otherworldly homeland where time and space are unknown. Does Virgo realize that her work pulls her to the same placeless place, so divine it cannot be named? Virgo encourages pragmatism and organization, but these are mere means to an end, a bridge to body-spirit union.

The Full Moon in Pisces can either hypnotize or release the spirit. To be mesmerized is to be unconscious, in a way, but a true release of the spirit is a totally conscious moment. Pisces oscillates between these two modes: at one moment awake and alive in the cosmos, and the next ensorcelled by mirages, deceptions, tricks. Pisces is the sign of denial and delusion, and she lies so well that she can lie to herself without realizing. Do not mistake illusions for dreams – swim toward the light.

Full moons are high energy and felt not just the day of, but for days before and after. They heighten emotions and intuition, such as women experience before menstruation. During the full moon, we are more likely to overreact.

In our feet the fishes glide in a ring of perpetuity, urging us toward the ocean’s rocky depths. I see a swimmer suspended in holy water, detached from terrestrial limitations: flowing, folding, flowering, reemerging again and again. Once I spent this full moon with three other women. We swallowed the diamond sky and slithered naked like mermaids between mighty boulders of the Yuba river, dazzled by the sun. I laughed until I cried. I sang. I sat high on a bridge above the rocks. I walked barefoot and reveled in it all.

Fill your days with divine service, yoga, meditation, proper diet and dreams of what comes next. Too much Pisces makes us trip out, but too much Virgo makes us mechanical and insensitive, and this is far more dangerous in a world so starved for spiritual water. Let your dreams gush out into moonlit streets. Wear cool or white tones. In meditation, focus on the third eye and crown chakra. Give yourself a foot massage and try Pisces Yoga. To find your personal moon sign, click here.

Mantra:  I surrender / ishvara pranidhana

Sun in Virgo ☼ Aug 22 – Sep 22

Aug 22 – Sep 22, 2018 (Fall Equinox)

The Sun sign is a much-celebrated astrological element, usually given more significance than it deserves. Remember – the Sun is just one planet in your star-soup.

Happy birthday Virgos!

Virgo, goddess of harvest, showers us with celestial perks when we work, thresh, clear, humming between rows of towering plants. Be outside to really understand this constellation. Virgo lives in verdure, in the rasp of sun and wind, in dry rustling grasses and dawn footsteps crunching to the creek. Do not forget to feed your inner animal. Gnaw the root, weave the straw, paint your body with the colors of autumn-cometh. Make your home beneath tree and star. Wash your face and shirt in the singing river. Catch the fruits as they fall. Unhook the mushroom from its earthen post.

Virgo life is fast and constantly changing. Expect that it will be, as always, insanely busy. Virgo is ruled by Mercury, the fleet-footed messenger god. You may move or get a job, go to school, break up, dig deeper – you know your mission. There is no respite, no repose, no languor here. Virgo can become so consumed by her work that she forgets to breathe or rest. You’ll feel a seed sprouting in your stomach, an excitement aching in your phalanges, a stinging, mercurial anticipation.

This transit is about practice, devotion and perspicacity. Virgo has signature agency over her body and crisp boundaries. She lives to maintain, monitor, sort, categorize. Virgo demands continual and discernible improvement within and without. Now is the best time to (re)commit to regular exercise and healthy eating. Virgo increases awareness toward the body and what we put into it.

Some Virgos are quite reserved, others exceptionally chatty. The Virgo mind is an intricate puzzle. Virgo does not find her interior world interesting because she is used to its lightning rhythms and abundant quirks. The rest of us are fascinated by this chaotic-yet-orderly whirlwind.

It is wise to flow with Virgo’s swift current, not stiffen up or morph into a control freak when changes arise. Autumn billows and fades, polar winds howl across the fields, and Virgo watches her crops wither and bow beneath frosted crystal. She will return and start from the beginning the following year, as will you, as will I. We all return. Nothing is lost.

Create as much space and flexibility in your life as possible. Allow for migration and fluctuation. Remember that Virgo thrives on constant movement. Commit yourself only through the Virgo cycle, for the autumn equinox will bring a whole new host of opportunities and challenges. I’m not saying we should be flaky – under the influence of hardworking, dependable Virgo, this is highly unlikely – just be prepared to adapt.

Lastly, Virgo calls to us from the doorway of our body to come back, come inside. What does it mean? For some it is natural, to feel at home in the body. For others it is the work of a lifetime, or many many. At its most basic and yet most profound, coming back to the body is a revolutionary reclamation, an undoing, in which the denial of bodily power, the denial of the body as it burns through space, is righteously rectified.

The first weekend of Virgo, we have a full moon (Aug 26), and one day later Mars Retrograde finally ends. Mercury (ruler of Virgo) joins the sun in Virgo on Sep 5, and Saturn Retrograde ends one day later. Sep 7 may be a challenging day, as the sun will oppose Neptune Retrograde. Two of the best days come on Sep 11, when the sun forms a harmonious trine to Pluto Retrograde, and Sep 20, Mercury’s last full day in Virgo. Twist your body to align with the stars; try Virgo Yoga.

Mantra:  my body is sacred

First Quarter Moon in Scorpio ☽ Aug 18, 2018

Saturday, Aug 18 at 12.49am PST

The Sun in Leo squares the moon in Scorpio. The moon will rise at noon, peak at dusk and set at midnight. Quarter moons represent a turning point or crossroads. The moon is waxing, gathering momentum for fullness. This quarter moon marks the last day of Mercury Retrograde – yay!

Here we are on the lion path: a sexy encounter with Scorpio. This quarter moon addresses trust and control. A powerful emotion grips the root chakra, then the moon pokes through to sunny Sagittarius a few hours later, and we open once more to summer’s fire. The moon initially enters Scorpio in the wee hours of Aug 16, so we will start to feel the quarter moon at this point. On the morning of Aug 17, the moon will be conjunct Jupiter in Scorpio. This marks one of the luckiest days of the month.

Paradoxically and unintentionally, we often fall deeper into the ego as a reaction to its arrival. Together, Scorpio and Leo render transformation of the ego. These archetypes have little in common besides their doggedly fixed nature. Leo is the radiant prince of the zodiac, and Scorpio the brooding realist with dwindling faith in humanity. Scorpio is not naturally lighthearted. She fears little except being powerless, and the art she masters is that of letting go. A high vibration relationship to the lion and scorpion looks something like: self-confidence (Leo) and self-empowerment (Scorpio).

Leo is ruled by the Sun, the center of our solar system, and Scorpio by Pluto, the planet farthest from center. Imagine the Sun and Pluto stretching their arms out into the vastness, intertwining in some remote asteroid belt. Within you there is an equally vast distance which must be overcome. The center of centers reaches out to the extremes. This is what we must collate and reconcile. We are all undergoing constant metamorphosis.

Scorpio is the sign of joint wealth and inheritance. You may receive unexpected gifts or accommodations. What we want and what we receive may appear to be different, but in actuality they are not. The physical mind is not designed to understand this. Only the higher mind can.

Connect with water and other humans. Visualize abundance, comfort and tranquility. Find a cool, quiet place to rest. Sit by the river late at night. Resist the urge to judge or dwell. Embrace uncertainty; trust in the unseen. It is neither our privilege nor our burden to know what comes next. Assume nothing! May your weaknesses become kindling for self-realization! Rise above with Scorpio Yoga. In meditation focus on the root and sacral chakra. To find your personal moon sign, click here.

Mantra:  OM

Solar Eclipse in Leo 🔥 Aug 11, 2018

Saturday, Aug 11 at 2.59am PST

Happy new moon and happy solar eclipse! Eclipses represent rebirth and the dawning of a new age. We just had a solar eclipse in July, and a momentous full moon lunar eclipse on July 27. Now another solar eclipse in Leo, just like the epic solar eclipse of August 2017. Think back to Leo season of last year (and especially the eclipse) to get an idea of what’s coming next. This eclipse is partial, not full, and will only be visible to viewers near the arctic circle in Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia and northeastern Russia.

Certain manifestations of leonine energy are quite unbecoming. Willful, forceful behavior is one of them. Leo is ruled by the sun, and just as the planets of our solar system revolve around the sun, Leo tends to think of himself as the center of all, and deserving of all. In the age of social media and extreme selfie narcissism, the distinction between pride and self-love vs. fantasy and delusion is crumbling. The lion may operate from a place of anger, expecting much and giving little (if anything) in return. This is the ego in its most basic form.

Pressurized into awakening, the ego lifts its head, teeth glowing, very alive. The inner child has surfaced, both the tyrant and the angel. Words laced with acid, and the impulse to argue or correct scorching on the tongue, provoked at the slightest. The wildfire within proves impervious to all tonics and coolants.

It is very easy at this time to get cranky or lose our temper over practically nothing. Have patience with others. Take time away from people/places when you need. At this time last year I was confronted by a powerful anger within myself that I didn’t realize was still there, all triggered by a very sweet and innocent person. I was absolutely engulfed with rage for no reason. This friend of mine did nothing wrong, yet I projected everything onto her and treated her like a child. Really I was the child, unable to see beyond my own fiery ego.

This kind of rage arises when we haven’t worked through something. Acknowledging personal faults is not Leo’s strength. The entire archetype of Leo is about identity and personal narrative. It is both uncomfortable and absolutely necessary to gaze within and dissect our narrative about who we are, what happened to us, what we do, and on and on.

I went to the enormous eclipse festival in Oregon last summer. Looking back, I still don’t know what to think. Yes, watching the eclipse with 40,000 people was life-changing, and I don’t know if I will ever have words for that, but the rest of the festival brought something out of me, something I wish I could stuff back inside, hide away. Naked bodies and drugs and hot sunshine, dust and long lines for the bathroom, screaming and drinking and drums pounding. Everything coalesced into one giant thumping bass note and I felt like I was 18 in Boston again, getting sucked into the sidewalk, the bars, the city lights.

I learned, again, not to compromise my values for a momentary thrill. Be kind and gentle. Be grateful for the love in your life. Be a good friend, neighbor and partner. As always, release through art, music, dance and maybe some primal screaming. At this time, we must enact the most truthful, authentic version of who we are and what we will into existence. Whatever does not make you feel proud of who you are must be forsaken.

Ever since Mercury entered Leo a few weeks ago, these leonine themes are returning for me all over again. I’ve been more stubborn and judgmental with my partner, and yet very complacent when it comes to myself. The ego is incredibly protective. As time passes, these walls and blinders become thicker and harder to destroy. Mercury will still be retrograde in Leo at this eclipse, which further intensifies the fire. Mars will also still be retrograde.

The good news is that toxic masculinity is transmuting on our planet. These eclipses are forcing all of us to recognize that within every man there is a woman, and within every a woman a man. This fire is remembering itself as a flower wreathing Shakti’s breast. Incubate fire and water, fan their alchemical destiny. See the moon swallow the sun whole, see the wild lioness reclaim her throne.

Few archetypes are as colorful, celebratory or social as Leo. Drive and confidence soar under these celestial fires. Express yourself with Leo Yoga. To find your personal moon sign, click here.

Mantra:  I LOVE

Uranus Retrograde ♅ Aug 7 – Jan 6

Uranus Retrograde in Taurus: Aug 7 – Nov 6

Uranus Retrograde in Aries: Nov 6 – Jan 6, 2019

Uranus in Aries: Jan 6 – Mar 6, 2019

Planets in retrograde are not actually spinning backwards – it is an optical illusion as seen from Earth. Backwards motion appears to happen when Earth passes slower moving planets in the outer solar system. In astrology, this illusion manifests as a “backwards” functioning of the planetary roles. Click here to learn more about retrograde.

Uranus turns retrograde for five months every year. Uranus recently entered Taurus for the first time since 1942. This retrograde period will begin in Taurus but end in Aries, plunging us back into long-term themes that predominated from 2010 onward.

From Aug 7 – Nov 6, Uranus is retrograde in Taurus. The bull represents home, money and material resources. We are moving forward, away from failing systems, away from old-fashioned models which exacerbate socioeconomic divisions. So far Uranus in Taurus has manifested most obviously in the form of an exponentially growing resistance to single-use plastic. Obsolete industries, such as those reliant on fossil fuels like petroleum, will perform miserably during this retrograde. Invest in renewable energy or newly discovered material resources.

As an archetype, Uranus is very social and collective in nature. With Uranus Retrograde in Taurus, it is time to pool our capital. Wealth shall no longer belong to the individual, but to the community. This is true also of cohabitation. We will live together more and more, sharing land and dwellings in the name of practicality. With proper allocation, we have everything we need! Let’s create a safe haven where all are welcome. Let’s reimagine what it means to be rich.

Retrograde cycles uproot jobs, relationships, perspectives and behaviors which have calcified over time and no longer represent our highest vibration. You may feel more restless during the coming months, but certainly not lost. New levels of conscious awareness are rapidly attained under such conditions. Uranus Retrograde systematically peels everything away until we are finely honed, independent badasses.

Uranus Retrograde lifts long-forgotten veils, dusty drapes concealing incendiary, insurrectionary spirits, oh how they pulse and quiver, how they line our veins and beg to be set free. There is nothing comfortable about this. Internal change comes before external change, so the inner rebel steps down to reflect. This is typical for retrograde periods as they are pensive in nature. When planets are retrograde, we rest and prepare for more energetic, uninhibited times ahead. When the moon draws in her tides, the mind and body grow quiet. So it is with the other planets. Retrograde cycles are the ebb and flow of life. Essentially we are reviewing every single day of Uranus in Taurus so far, and even reaching into the last fiery embers of Aries to review whatever else needs attention in that realm. From Nov 6 to Mar 6, 2019, Uranus is in Aries for the very last time this century!

From 2010 to 2018, Uranus in Aries manifested as pandemic unrest. Uranus in Aries taught us to be insubordinate. During this upcoming retrograde in Aries, more violence and systemic oppression will be forcibly brought to our attention. Even deeper corruption will be unearthed. Archaic conventional ideologies will crumble as destruction and transformation blossom together. With Uranus Retrograde in Aries, life on earth is extreme. Remember the potency of 2012 alone. If you haven’t already, take this primeval fire and become the fucking badass that you are. Collapse the cage, unfurl your wings, unchain your voice, release the wild women, tipple these raptured flames.

Dates worth mentioning: Sep 7 (harmonious), Sep 12 (challenging) & Sep 18 (challenging)

Oct 10 (challenging), Oct 23 (challenging) & Oct 31 (challenging)

Nov 30 (challenging) & Dec 20 (harmonious)

Be a warrior with Aries Yoga; stay rooted with Taurus Yoga. I was born with Uranus Retrograde. To find your Uranus sign and whether he was direct or retrograde at the time of your birth, click here.

Mantra:  I am the change

Last Quarter Moon in Taurus ☾ Aug 4, 2018

Saturday, Aug 4 at 11.19am PST

At the last quarter, the moon rises at midnight, peaks at dawn and sets at noon. If you view the moon at midnight, the Sun will be positioned directly beneath your feet. Staring at the moon during this time will align you so that you are looking right out (approximately) along the forward path of Earth’s orbit around the Sun ^__^

The clomping moon in Taurus squares the fiery Sun in Leo. Together Taurus and Leo are like a bountiful feast in a warm, familiar home. Imagine friends gathered beneath sun and moon, laughing late into the night. Taurus and Leo twinkle radiantly from on high, oozing leisure and pleasure. Be playful and childlike, feel this heat in your body. Climb a tree, walk barefoot, dig in the dirt. The highest manifestation of Taurus and Leo is to be fixed snugly in one place, rejoicing in solid foundations.

This quarter moon is about indulgence. Inhale rich aromas, colors and comforts. Under Leo’s extravagant influence, we spend more money than usual, especially on luxuries. Leo and Taurus relish the finer things in life, but it’s Leo who acts enthusiastically on impulse. Taurus is more inclined to save, to meter.

When Taurus is in the house, we nod to quality of life. As Taurus is an earth sign, it is a good time to eat root vegetables, work in a garden, sing/chant, clean/beautify your living space and invite friends over for dinner. This quarter moon is celebratory! Whether you make it or let it happen, something’s coming, some inner dismantling, vital threshing of the floor. Walk through this new archway. You’ll know when all is right because it’s easy and joyful – and when it’s not, don’t be afraid! Change is your friend!

This quarter moon forms an opposition to Jupiter in Scorpio. Jupiter is associated with sparkly, happy aspects of life. Even when opposed by other planets, he is not a vicious influence. At most, this opposition leads to disappointment due to misguided expectations. We may feel especially restless. It is wise to have something to do, something planned. It is also wise to maintain realistic expectations, even if someone has promised more. However, I want to emphasize that Jupiter is a gentle opponent. Despite this hard angle, we will still feel lighthearted and generous. Per usual, the answer is within. My teacher in India used to say that expectations are ok, attachments are not.

Quarter moons clear the way for the new moon / new lunar cycle. On Aug 10, the moon moves into Leo, marking the end of the quarter moon period and the beginning of the NEW MOON SOLAR ECLIPSE IN LEO! Luna’s waning light gives way to shimmering veils of silence and solitude. As available energy decreases, you may feel tired. Wear comfortable earth tones. In meditation, focus on the throat chakra. Taurus rules the throat region in the body. Watch for sore throats or insect bites along the neck. I recommend imbibing lightly. Inflammation and fatigue are more likely at this time. Stay rooted and healthy with Taurus Yoga. To find your personal moon sign, click here.

Mantra:  I have everything I need

Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius ♒ July 27, 2018

Photo by Jimmy Westlake

Friday, July 27 at 1.22 pm PST

This Full Moon Lunar Eclipse marks Lunar Lammas, halfway between the summer solstice and fall equinox. Lammastide is celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere on the first harvest of the year. In the Great Lakes region, this full moon is called the Sturgeon Moon as it coincides with abundant fish catches. The moon will rise at sunset, peak at midnight and set at sunrise.

Sun and moon careen through Leo and Aquarius at this lunar eclipse. Leo-Aquarius junctures are like the corpus callosum, uniting right and left brain. A dose of Aquarian rationale suffuses Leo’s impulsive heart. Aquarius weaves the yarn of consciousness upon a great cosmic loom. Threaded and pressed, individual colors fade blissfully into the rainbow.

The Leo sun represents ego and self-expression. The full moon in Aquarius is a rebel and nonconformist, emanating from the analytical frontal cortex, the moon’s ultimate ally/perpetual opponent. Both Leo and Aquarius can be flagrantly egotistical. This fixed opposition often summons proud, forceful reactions. At its highest expression, the passion aroused by this lunar eclipse becomes a vehicle of empowerment, a liberation.

Under the influence of this starscape, we may fill with poisonous judgment as we struggle to understand others. Leo and Aquarius always need to be right. These archetypes insist, incise, incinerate. Leo believes firmly in himself, his generosity, his intentions, his narrative. The water bearer lurches from the pulpit, demanding justice for the abused and innocent, convinced he will revolutionize the world. Aquarius is notoriously merciless when his freedom feels threatened, hallmark altruism rapidly replaced by piercing shades of anger disguised as logic/objectivity/intellect. Indeed, the insalubrious Aquarian is indistinguishable from his leonine brother.

Inculcation rages in tongues of starlight licking city pavements, constipated royals stretch with self-satisfaction in glass boxes, and some of us wander in human bodies with minds on other planets, other times. It is time to contemplate boundaries between me and we. Consider boundaries from a perspective of health, not division or exclusion. Aquarius is synonymous with movement and freedom. He is the emancipator, the martyr, the uprising. Aquarius eradicates psychological captors, evaporating binds, bonds and tethers with a wink of his magic turquoise eyes.

In my excitement I completely neglected to notice that this eclipse will be conjunct Mars Retrograde in Aquarius – this is going to be such an intense full moon. Mars is the warrior planet of actions and vitality. Cozied up next to the moon, but directly opposing the sun, this full moon lunar eclipse promises not to be boring. Please exercise caution and prepare for anger/ego flare ups.

Eclipses can be full or partial depending on where they land. The earth’s shadow consists of two parts. The shadow cast directly behind the earth is called the umbra, and the fainter, fan-like shadow surrounding the umbra is the penumbra. This is a total umbral eclipse, meaning that the moon will pass directly through the center of the earth’s shadow for first time since June 2011! And this will be the longest total eclipse of the century!! The moon will turn red as she passes into the shadow (which is why total eclipses are called “blood moons”).

Bummer news: we won’t be able to see the eclipse here in North America. However, all you lovely folks in Europe, Africa, Asia and down under will have a magnificent view. To learn more about when and where to see the eclipse, check out this information from EarthSky. This website is an amazing resource. We should all have working knowledge about our beloved sun, moon and earth.

Even though we won’t see the eclipse here, we will certainly feel it. Part of my spirit will be sitting next to you in the desert on the other side of our glittering globe. Celebrate with ample moon gazing and Aquarius Yoga! To find your personal moon sign, click here.

Mantra:  I am humble

Mercury Retrograde ☿ Summer 2018

June 28: Mercury enters Leo

July 25: Mercury Retrograde begins

Aug 18: Mercury Retrograde ends

Planets in retrograde are not actually spinning backwards – it is an optical illusion as seen from Earth. Backwards motion appears to happen when Earth passes slower moving planets in the outer solar system. In astrology, this illusion manifests as a “backwards” functioning of the planetary roles. Click here to learn more about retrograde.

Mercury turns retrograde three times a year, more frequently than any other planet. From EarthSky:

On Mercury, for example, the Sun sometimes moves in retrograde! As the planet speeds through its closest approach with the sun, its orbital speed overtakes its rotational speed. An astronaut on the surface would see the sun partially rise, then dip back below the horizon, then rise again before resuming its east-to-west trek across the sky. Once a year, Mercury gets two sunrises on the same day!

Mercury represents communication, travel and technology. These realms are particularly affected during Mercury Retrograde. Expect delays, cancellations and sudden changes; technological failures, especially cell phones, laptops or automobiles; miscommunication; lost/stolen items; general malfunction and wtf moments. I do not recommend starting a new job, buying a car, moving to a new place or signing any contracts/documents. This is not a good time for travel, life-altering commitments or investments.

We last experienced Mercury Retrograde in Leo one year ago, from Aug 31 – Sep 5, 2017. Now Mercury rewinds in Leo again. He first enters Leo on June 28, and we will begin to feel the effects of the retrograde as early as July 7. Life will be back to normal by Sep 1. Mercury will remain in Leo until Sep 5.

Mercury Retrograde in Leo is one hell of a lesson. It is time to face ourselves, our identity, our narrative. In popular astrology, Leo is synonymous with megalomaniacal behavior. Regardless of the veracity of this association, we will actually be quite painfully aware of our imperfections during this cycle as we confront the consequences of egotistical behavior. Are you sabotaging love in the fires of unruly self-interest?

Leo lives forever shackled to his savage heart. He has the heart of a child, plays like a child, lives like a child. By all means, embrace your playful inner child, but not the inner boy-king who insists he knows everything. Leo’s golden heart drums the beat for glistening romance, a grandiose life of laughter and fleeting pleasures, where words are painted with bright, broad strokes in the air. But is this real love? Is this self-love? Or is this love of desire, love of power, love of control?

Words and actions have extraordinary power during this cycle. Stay true to yourself and don’t give in to impulse so easily. Channel your passion into creative projects and gratitude for what you already have. Mercury Retrograde in Leo teaches exactly this: appreciation for what we already have, especially the love in our lives.

Blinded by greed, we hurt ourselves and others. We chase and grab like mindless children. We cannot or will not see beyond the gluttonous glory of self-satisfaction until it is too late, until we are apologizing, weeping like a child. But we are not children! Leo rises to his full height with merciless eyes. Will you find a way to loosen your creative and sexual energies, a way to loosen the tongue, free the mind, awaken the heart, without destroying what you already have? Burn away the impurities, emerge crisp as a daffodil bobbing in the sun.

Dates worth mentioning before the retrograde starts: on June 30, Mercury squares Uranus in Taurus – treat this day as you would Mercury Retrograde and avoid travel – expect the unexpected! Also avoid travel and hold off on important conversations on July 5 and July 9 – Mercury first squares Mars Retrograde in Aquarius, then Jupiter Retrograde in Scorpio.

Open your heart with music, laughter and Leo Yoga. In meditation, focus on the heart chakra and sit in the sun. If you were born with Mercury in Leo, you’re in for an exciting Mercury Return. To find your Mercury sign and whether he was direct or retrograde at the time of your birth, click here.

Mantra:  change is good

Sun in Leo ☼ July 22 – Aug 22

July 22 – Aug 22, 2018

The Sun sign is a much-celebrated astrological element, usually given more significance than it deserves. Remember – the Sun is just one planet in your star-soup.

Happy birthday fuzzy cats!

Heart-deep in the astrological year, we arrive at Leo, king of the zodiac. Leo is ruled by the sun, so the sun is “at home” for this cycle. This is auspicious. Everyone loves Leo season. Due to the literal centrality of the ruling planet, Leo does think about himself a lot. Nonetheless, the lion holds himself to very high standards and can be quite self-conscious.

Like all members of the zodiac, Leo has many faces. One face of Leo is the playful child. This is the lion at his most innocent. Sometimes Leo is the Sun King, ruling with respect and compassion. Leo is also driven and hardworking, though this may be difficult to imagine if you catch him in lazy cat mode. Leo fantasizes about a life of total leisure and luxury. And then there’s Leo the tyrant, temperamental child, ego run amuck.

We have to be on guard against certain things during every solar cycle. In Leo, watch for anger and egotistical behavior. The lion does not like to be wrong and will enter into arguments just to win them. It’s impossible to avoid conflict entirely – energy rolls in from every corner of the starscape and here we are, soaking it all up. Not to mention that challenge means evolution so we should never retreat from it. What we can do is learn how to channel celestial energy into its purest form instead of squandering it on impulse. This is one of astrology’s greatest gifts. The more we learn about ourselves and the natural rhythms of the universe, the better we understand optimal conditions for their operation. With Leo, for example, the best way to channel his smoldering fire is through dancing, music, art and laughing. Distract yourself as you would a child.

Let’s talk about Leo’s most magical attribute: will power. For some, will power is not an issue and never has been, and you may very well be a Leo. A major karmic purpose behind incarnation as a Leo is to teach others the secrets of will. Will power is beautiful not just because it propels us into action, but in so doing, it erases our pain and leads us to understand that pain exists precisely so that it may be overcome.

Important: Mercury Retrograde begins on the evening of July 25, three days into Leo season. Early that same day, the Leo sun squares Uranus in Taurus, planet of the unexpected. Be VERY careful on this day. I do not recommend travel, investments or risk-taking of any kind. One day later on July 26, the Leo sun opposes Mars Retrograde in Aquarius. Watch for anger, accidents or explosions, emotional or otherwise. This will be a volatile day, but when properly channeled, an excellent opportunity to harness increased physical and sexual energy. And then on Friday July 27 we have a lunar eclipse! Those three days (Weds-Fri) are going to be intense and exciting.

On Aug 6 the Leo sun squares Jupiter in Scorpio – not an auspicious day. But two days later, on Aug 8, Mercury Retrograde backtracks all the way to the same degree as the sun. This is great! When the Sun and Mercury Retrograde share the same degree, the sun smoothes over the challenging aspects of the retrograde. In other words, if you need to travel or sign something important, do it on this day – it is almost as though the effects of the retrograde are suspended on this day, thanks to the fiery, manifesting influence of the sun. On Aug 11, we have a solar eclipse. The following weekend, on Aug 18, Mercury Retrograde ends!

Earthlings, whether you’re feeling elated or disappointed, manic or belligerent, smash it all together and set it free, get it out, sing it out. This cycle is about manifestation. What doesn’t come out will sit inside of you and turn gross and rotten (as does bottled anger) or restless (like brilliant ideas being ignored). We stay where we are because we are comfortable, we like things calm and familiar, and we fear what our tongues and hands will do if given permission to shake loose their fetters. Who are you to hide from the world? Express yourself with hoots, hollers and Leo Yoga.

Mantra:  I will

First Quarter Moon in Libra ☽ July 19, 2018

Thursday, July 19 at 12.53pm PST

The Sun in Cancer squares the moon in Libra. The moon will rise at noon, peak at dusk and set at midnight. Quarter moons prompt definitive change. They represent a turning point.

Libra is the sign of scales, representing equality, balance, compromise and true love. It is Libra who transforms us from angry, headstrong individuals to peaceful diplomats. Moon phases in Libra speak to our social life. This usually, but not always, involves romantic partnerships. If you’re single, this means friends, classmates or co-workers. As the heart bobs and dips in a supernatural ocean, seek comfort. Spend time with those who make you feel at home. Exhale into the sweetness of intimacy. Take shelter from uncertainty, for this is not where Libra’s treasure lies.

At this quarter moon, Cancer and Libra stir our emotional anatomy, cultivating seeds of love in delicate places. I see reunion and tender tears of joy. I see humans embracing. Reconnect with old friends and family. See them as an enchanted mirror, reflecting your own sparkles. Speak with starry eyes, communicate your plans, dreams and feelings. May your loved ones listen sincerely, then offer precious grains of wisdom. May they remind you of who you are, and in so doing, illuminate your needs. Let yourself be guided. Relax into the music of familiar voices, the chirps and warbles which lulled you in childhood, or wherever you felt safe and loved.

Some notes from my journal a few years ago: Start at the beginning – with kindness – and go from there. Don’t complain about lack of connection; you can always find one. Meet where you are, grow love here, see if you can ascend together to the next level.

Luna enters Scorpio on the same day, late at night. The moon is waxing, gathering momentum for fullness. This quarter moon is building toward a big lunar eclipse on July 27. Between these two phases, Leo season and Mercury Retrograde will begin! The lunar eclipse is going to be electric, full of the unexpected.

When the moon is in Libra, it is a good time to plant, eat and pick flowers. In yoga, try balancing poses. Focus on the sacral chakra in meditation. Libra is known for her excellent style, so put on your finest. Create a cozy atmosphere with art, music, libations and a meal for everyone to share. Revel in the glory of laughter and storytelling! Give and receive with an open heart! And I’ll see you on the dance floor! Keep the connection burning bright with healthy conversation and Libra Yoga. To find your personal moon sign, click here.

Mantra:  one family

Solar Eclipse in Cancer ♋ July 12, 2018

Thursday, July 12 at 7.49pm PST

Happy new moon and happy solar eclipse!! Eclipses represent rebirth and the dawning of a new age. They take us from light to darkness back to light again. They suggest, by virtue of their potency, a radical shift. Something is subsumed, transmuted. This is all happening in Cancer, the constellation ruled by the moon herself. At this new moon solar eclipse, Luna silently carves our path in perfect darkness, sizzling in midsummer heat. This eclipse is partial, not full, and will only be visible to viewers in the very southern regions of Australia and New Zealand – most of the eclipse takes place over open water.

This solar eclipse will be exceptionally powerful because the moon and sun will be exactly opposite Pluto Retrograde. This opposition suggests intense, passionate feelings. The moon and sun confront Pluto in a squall of fear, envy, manipulation, mistrust, guilt and identity/existential crises. It is important that we share our feelings lest these energies erupt in a volatile fountain of rage, or linger in the form of depression or self-destructive behavior. Find a happy medium between internalizing and exploding. Let the ultimate goal be peace, and let your comportment reflect this intention. If you are feeling stuck, meditate on the golden eagle or the phoenix. Get up, create something with this profound energy, be productive.

At the bottom of Pluto’s frozen seas we find only ourselves and our own fears, and though they loom large, that’s all they are. Advocate for yourself and your right to expression. Remember that not all feedback is criticism, and not everyone is trying to exploit you. Look for the good in others. Pluto is the best teacher in the zodiac because he categorically denies entrance to all who are not yet ready for change. Fear of change means stagnation, so kiss your darkness, kiss your loony soul, accept your whole self. It’s just like the solar eclipse: light and darkness merge. No union is real or complete without both. It is time to embody the most truthful, authentic version of ourselves.

This journey through the tides is undeniably magical. In every pool a sonorous resonance, a low song for the weary and the tender. Are you fantasizing about starting over? Swimming in Cancer’s ocean, gripped by childlike thoughts and patterns, devastatingly sensitive? It’s time to let go. Stargazers, fear not, just let go, let go, let go. Let go, no matter what you’ve been told, no matter how frightening the thought of letting go may be.

This eclipse, unlike many others, is a settling, riveting force. If you’re not happy, make a change. Vacate the premises, quit your miserable job, leave your not-so-perfect lover, whatever. Of course change can be made whenever, but the longer we wait, the more complicated life becomes, and eclipses provide the perfect window for change. You’re making the right decision if your heart feels lighter. Do not ignore your intuition – ever!

See sun and moon together. Incubate fire and water, fan their alchemical destiny. See the moon swallow the sun whole, see the wild wolf woman reclaim her throne. Welcome this vision of the new earth. A flood is rising, and though it threatens to wash us away, we will ride it out. The moon’s waters come thrashing and moaning in tidal waves of love. We die inside of her and rise, reborn, with the certainty that whatever comes next is more glorious than whatever we leave behind.

The moon enters Leo the day after the eclipse. On July 17, the moon enters Libra, marking the end of the new moon solar eclipse period and beginning of the quarter moon station. When the moon is in Cancer, it is a good time to plant and eat dark leafy greens. Cancer rules the digestive system in the body. Under her influence, our bodies require fresh, nutritious food. Avoid sugar, red meat, dairy and alcohol. Love yourself with heart-centered meditations and Cancer Yoga. To find your personal moon sign, click here.

Mantra:  I am free