Mars Retrograde ♂ Summer 2018

Mars in Capricorn: Mar 17 – May 15

Mars in Aquarius: May 15 – June 26

Mars Retrograde in Aquarius: June 26 – Aug 12

Mars Retrograde in Capricorn: Aug 12 – 27

Mars in Capricorn: Aug 27 – Sep 10

Mars in Aquarius: Sep 10 – Nov 15

Planets in retrograde are not actually spinning backwards – it is entirely 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.

Mars turns retrograde once every two years for about two months. We last experienced this from Apr 17 – June 29, 2016. This next retrograde falls first in earthen Capricorn, then airy Aquarius. Mars initially enters Capricorn on Mar 17, then Aquarius on May 15. The retrograde period begins June 26, but we will start to feel the effects of this cycle as soon as May 12. Mars Retrograde ends Aug 27 in the constellation of Capricorn. We will feel back to normal about a month after Mars has re-entered Aquarius, around Oct 8. Mars will then continue to hang out in Aquarius until Nov 15 before finally resting his bones in Pisces.

Lots of information, but I’ll break it down for you. First – Mars in Capricorn, and what the first two months of spring hold for us, and how this will be revisited in August for two weeks when Mars retrogrades all the way back to Capricorn. With Mars in Capricorn, there is a strong compulsion to be productive. Capricorn is associated with work, structure, foundation, direction, utility and application. He takes everything very seriously. We will gravitate towards a routine, a set framework. I visualize Capricorn as a punctilious office; a functional government; a family farm; a stern grandfather; a prodigious workforce. Likely topics of conversation will involve work, finance or organization.

Pay very close attention to what goes on around you at work. Watch for rancorous power struggles. Think back to Sep-Nov 2016, when Mars last transited Capricorn. At this time I was in a brand new work situation, beginning to notice cracks and fissures in what was ostensibly a happy place. It didn’t end well, but maybe it would have, had I listened more closely to the sea goat’s wizened voice creaking from the tree hollow. No matter what happens, work-related issues that initially surface in the spring will be resolved or at least revisited in August.

Capricorn is a stoic observer. His mantra: I use. Usefulness of the body as it climbs and sweats, puffing dusky chill. The sea goat belongs to the earth element, and he can certainly be heavy and resistant. With Mars in Capricorn, we may feel stuck, lethargic. Rigidity steals flexibility from the soul-joints. As this happens, the ego pressurizes the spirit, demanding more production, demanding more, and the tired spirit falls into deep trenches of self-criticism and stress. Forget the head trip, curl up with a good book and sink into your bones. Chopping wood is an excellent way to channel Mars in Capricorn. I recommend eating light meals, going to sleep early and exercising upon waking.

Let’s talk about Mars in Aquarius, where most of the retrograde will take place. Mars in Aquarius is comparably light and unemotional, at once a social butterfly and a diehard individualist: brilliant, forthright and defiant. We will have the divine opportunity to approach emotionally-charged issues with a calm, cool mind. In remaining detached, we free ourselves from anger and sadness.

The Aquarian retrograde will expand and rearrange our social circles. Aquarius sources energy from the collective. Ironically, we will demand total independence. You may intentionally shock others with unusual or outlandish new behavior. Aquarius is (often) the most erratic, unorganized brother in the zodiac. His mind and tongue are way ahead of his body. We must make a concerted effort to stay focused. Mars in Aquarius can also be lazy, but it’s certainly not energy he lacks – he just doesn’t want to do anything.

The purpose of Mars Retrograde is emotional and spiritual cleansing via bodily channels. Mars Retrograde means serious bodily recalibration. Diet, sleep, exercise, health and wellness, meditation, yoga, weight – all of these and more may be thrown off. We must digest all of these changes and maintain a healthy routine. Lingering imbalances in the body will demand to be known. Anything that has not been properly healed will unearth itself so ferociously that you will be forced to finally address it, and perhaps more importantly, acknowledge its non-physical origins. The physical body is the last stop. Disturbances in the outer, subtle bodies percolate down to the bodily level in a cry for attention. The most vulnerable areas of the body during this time include the bones and joints (especially knees and teeth), as well as the lower legs and Achilles.

Mars Retrograde also asks us to meditate on sexuality, body image and intimacy. Consider bodily perception, consider sexuality imbued in the act of gazing. On this subject, a certain viciousness dares to arise as we clamor, hot flesh brushed by spiked words.

Mars Retrograde is active in nature. Master your lessons by moving and climbing, and in so doing, resurrect the body as the most powerful means to engage the psyche. Mars Retrograde can be a confusing time. Time will feel as though it has frozen, but this is fortuitous. Just before it all ends, we will be downloaded with profound insight. But even after the retrograde period has come to a close, sit very still. Wait until you are completely settled before deciding on a direction.

For stability during the Capricorn retrograde, try Capricorn Yoga. For an influx of fresh energy during the Aquarius retrograde, try Aquarius Yoga. To find your personal Mars sign and see whether this planet was retrograde when you were born, click here.

Mantra: resurrection

Uranus in Taurus ♅ 2018-2026

May 15, 2018 – Apr 26, 2026

Uranus is all about freedom. Uranus defies tradition and embraces eccentricity. He is innovative and future-minded, ruling areas of life like intellectual enlightenment and scientific discovery. Uranus is the spark which catalyzes unorthodox trajectories and upends societal norms. Uranus now enters Taurus for the first time since 1942. I will talk about that more in a moment. First, a recap of the most recent Uranian cycle in Aries, starting in May 2010. Before this, Uranus was last in Aries during the Great Depression, from the late 1920s to early 1930s.

Uranus in Aries manifested as pandemic unrest. This is what happens when the fiery ram ignites Uranus, god of Awakening. Aries, as the first sign in the zodiac, demands rebirth. Uranus in Aries taught us to be insubordinate and independent. This transit uprooted careers, relationships, perspectives and behaviors that had calcified over time and no longer represented our obligation to challenge the status quo.

Over the last eight years, systematic violence and oppression were forcibly brought to our attention. Corruption and scandal at the highest level were unearthed like shrieking harpies. As I type, archaic conventional ideologies crumble beneath the feet of peaceful warriors marching the streets, screaming truth to power. Destruction and transformation blossom together exponentially, like yin-yang wands twisting toward the stars. Outdated political, financial and social institutions must meet the progressive demands of radical young minds if they are to survive at all.

With Uranus in Aries, life was extreme and uncomfortable, but new levels of conscious awareness were rapidly attained. Remember the potency of 2012 alone. This cycle exhumed incendiary, insurrectionary spirits, pulsing with rebellion, writhing in magma, begging to be liberated. Here is our message: we will no longer tolerate being patronized, exploited or underestimated. 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.

Now Uranus in Taurus. The bull belongs to the earth element and is associated primarily with home and money. Uranus in Taurus will fundamentally change the way we think about and participate in the economy. Some astrologers predict that crypto-currencies like bitcoins will skyrocket under the influence of Uranus in Taurus. Remember, however, that Uranus does not promote security or consistency, but rather serves to shock humanity with the unforeseen. In other words, these next eight years may not necessarily herald financial boons; Uranus in Taurus will empty the rich man’s vault and fill it with something totally different, something we’ve never seen before.

I predict that large financial institutions like banks and stock markets will experience unprecedented volatility. Obsolete industries, such as those reliant on fossil fuels, will perform miserably. The wise will invest in renewable energy or newly discovered material resources. We are moving forward, away from failing systems, away from old-fashioned financial models which exacerbate socioeconomic divisions. May this be the end of our dependence on non-renewable energy. May this be the end of all ideologies which pollute earth and mind.

As an archetype, Uranus is very social and collective in nature. Uranus in Taurus will encourage us to pool our capital. Wealth shall no longer belong to the individual, but to the community. This will also be true in the realm of cohabitation. I predict that we will live together more and more, sharing land and dwellings with open arms. Meditate on practicality. Let’s take what we already have and maximize its potential. Take existing assets and use them more efficiently. Let’s be more resourceful. It is time to stop seeking and accumulating. Together we have everything we need!

Uranus is hardly alone in these visionary fiscal endeavors. The skies are ripe with earthen energy. For starters, Uranus will join the Sun in Taurus, as well as Mercury. Jupiter has been in Scorpio since Oct 2017, and this is a perfect complimentary influence. Scorpio is actually Taurus’ opposite constellation, but they have some important things in common, namely emphasis on wealth and inheritance. Jupiter will be in Scorpio only until November, so this first year of Uranus in Taurus is going to be especially potent. Saturn just entered Capricorn in Dec 2017. Capricorn is an earth constellation like Taurus, and Saturn rules Capricorn, so he is “at home” in Capricorn, which is very auspicious. And then there is Pluto, also in Capricorn. Such synergy in the outer planets comes rarely. This is a divine opportunity, an ideal time to build, invest, put down roots, start your dream career – anything which increases your material/financial stability in some way. You can do it! The planets are with you!

Immediately after Uranus enters Taurus, he squares Mars in Aquarius on May 16. This might bring unpleasant surprises in the form of an accident, injury or explosive confrontation – be very careful and avoid traveling. June 14 and June 30 also look troublesome, the first date involving unexpected interpersonal conflict, and the latter issues with communication, travel or technological difficulties. The interpersonal stress of June 14 will resolve itself by July 11. From Nov 6 to Mar 6, 2019, Uranus will actually backtrack to Aries, so we’ll get to revisit all of the exciting fiery things I described in the first half of this post.

With Uranus in Taurus, we will plant seeds, dig in the dirt and create a safe haven where all are welcome. Let’s reimagine what it means to be rich. Let’s learn how to better allocate our resources. Together we will revolutionize the global economy. Celebrate this transit with Taurus Yoga. To find your Uranus sign, click here.

Mantra:  abundance

New Moon in Taurus 🐮 May 15, 2018

Tuesday, May 15 at 4.49am PST

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, and sometimes this conjunction creates a solar eclipse. The new moon can land at any point during the solar cycle. For many months now, the new moon has fallen at the end of the solar cycle, as it does now for the New Moon in Taurus. This is the bull’s sweet goodbye, her earthy kiss, two hearts beating as one.

Taurus radiates profound peace and warmth. See a dwelling deep in the woods: leafy green vegetation, brilliant fruits, a cacophony of birdsong. Tranquil bodies, rosy inhalation; heart, mind and spirit interwoven. Be grateful for what is. Gratitude is the highest manifestation of the fixed modality: gratitude for the plenitude, springing endlessly and perfectly from the center of centers.

The Aries cycle asked us to envision what we want the coming year to look like. Consciously or not, we have chosen a direction. Look inside yourself before you start walking. If you’re feeling impatient, wondering when things will pick up, insatiable restlessness in the seat of your soul – these are signs that you need to move, and move quickly. Earth energy is heavy indeed; once the broad-shouldered bull collapses with a mighty sigh, good luck getting her up again. If you’re feeling that weight already, clear out and start over. To those who need colossal shift: FEAR NOT.

New moons make us feel unusually tired, and this is especially true with Taurus. The bull holds us close in familiar landscapes. Cats, home-cooked meals, flowers all around, yet something stagnant lingers, a humdrum, small circles eddying out, nowhere to go. You may feel trapped, denied some glory of which you do not even know the name. Wait patiently and you’ll be off again, on to the next adventure, better than ever.

Taureans are either quiet and plodding, or materialistic, demanding, obstinate, selfish. The bull is a pleasure-seeking beast who loves to lounge. To overcome greed, Taureans must learn to live off the fruit of inner abundance. May there be no seeking or yearning or longing. May we locate our home and wealth within. If we seek happiness and comfort in the external world, we inevitably discover that all we sense is a reflection of Self. From the great poet Rumi: “Don’t worry about transient things. Think how the animals live.”

The only aspect at this new moon is a loose trine to Pluto Retrograde in Capricorn – should be a very powerful day! It is important that we stay grounded. Go outside. Get some dirt under your nails, lots of it. Take long walks, lay in the grass, watch the clouds. Bask in the bright, full feeling that only the bull can give you. In yoga and meditation, focus on the head, neck and throat chakra. I recommend wearing blue or earth tones. Savor life with deep breaths and Taurus Yoga. To find your personal moon sign, click here.

Mantra: my home is within

Mercury in Taurus ☿ May 13 – 29

May 13 – 29, 2018

Mercury is a mental 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 all of this into account, the first week of this transit should be the most synergistic as the sun will also be in Taurus at this time.

Mercury Retrograde was surprisingly forgiving. Aries showed us how to move forward with a smile, and how to better appreciate who we are. Bed the tongue now in the gardens of Taurus. Mercury the Messenger rides the bull, and humorously bold statements abound, all according to the script of Taurean reality. Taurus is self-assured, direct, candid. The bull lives in the basics. When in doubt, keep it simple. Light social interactions are meaningless to the bull, and it’s true that such things are counter to her innate pragmatism. Taureans reject superficial encounters with real irritability as this is a “waste” of their time.

Standing in her shadow, Taurus can be too complacent or unnecessarily argumentative. The bull speaks with conviction, but sometimes her straightforward demeanor is unreasonably severe, intransigent, unforgiving or judgmental. The mired bull does not extend her patience to others, the same patience she so unfailingly expects to receive from everyone else. She is content as long as her surroundings are peaceful, at least in outward appearance. Taurus is often not willing or able to look beyond the purely physical details of external reality. In her most evolved expression, Taurus is a minimalist and essentialist, detached from the illusory comforts of luxury and material possessions. The self-aware bull eliminates the unimportant to see what is important.

Many Taureans struggle to maintain spiritual practices because it is difficult for them to ground in the unknown. This is required of all who walk the spiritual path. Taurus, more than any other zodiac creature, does not like the unknown. She outright fears it and may actively avoid life’s complexities. Taurus is more interested in sustaining and maintaining what is already known, what already exists in her world. The bull must moved beyond this block – she must ask with genuine curiosity, what lies beneath the surface, beyond what I can touch and see? However, Taurus is not completely misguided. She inherently understands something important about the spiritual path. And here is that truth, so often denied, buried beneath the fluff: warmth, comfort and security go a long way.

The bull is unabashedly sensual and passionate, though not always emotionally profound, precisely because she prefers not to address issues originating in the subconscious realm. She is well equipped to handle arduous and elaborate missions so as long as they are rooted in the terrestrial scape, so long as they may be managed by the senses alone.

Animals associated with Mercury include the rooster, ram, goat and tortoise. In Taurus, the tortoise blinks sleepily from Mercury’s breast. Though you may feel restless and cagey, it is wise to root in one place and just be there, especially for the first week. Sit and meditate. Taurus is a static creature who demands stillness, so take your time. It’s all about patience baby. Though it never comes to her quickly, resolution gives the bull deep satisfaction. Feel it rising from deep within the earth. May you neither seek nor desire, but sink into the wildflowers with a happy sigh.

Two hours before Mercury enters Taurus, he forms a quick conjunction to Uranus – expect the first day of this cycle to be full of the unexpected. May 15 is a gold star day – we have a new moon in Taurus and Uranus joins the Taurus party too for the first time since 1942. On May 18, Mercury forms a friendly angle to Saturn Retrograde in Capricorn – should be a very productive day. On May 21 we have a quarter moon in sister earth constellation Virgo, so another day favoring work and productivity. May 22 will be a difficult day; Mercury opposes Jupiter Retrograde in Scorpio. Lastly, on May 25 Mercury forms a friendly angle to Pluto Retrograde in Capricorn, and though there will be another benevolent influence with Jupiter and Neptune as well, an unsavory influence will also be at play between Saturn and Venus, so expect a day of mixed outcomes. The last day of Mercury in Taurus is a full moon!

In meditation, focus on the throat chakra. Wear blue or earth tones. Give special attention to your head and neck. Rest your mind with long walks and Taurus Yoga. If you were born with Mercury in Taurus, these two weeks are your Mercury Return. To find your personal Mercury sign, click here.

Mantra:  I mean what I say

Last Quarter Moon in Aquarius ☾ May 7, 2018

Original artwork by Ren E.T.

Monday, May 7 at 7.11pm PST

At the last quarter, the moon rises at midnight, peaks at dawn and sets at noon.

The electric moon in Aquarius squares the Sun in Taurus. Quarter moons are crossroads or decision points. In astrology, squares prompt change. The purpose of last quarter moons is clearing out in preparation for the new moon / new lunar cycle.

A wild Aquarian tornado is brewing in the sky. Taurus, snorting, digs her hooves into the dirt and resolves to bring us back down to earth. Taurus teaches us the value of home and stability; Aquarius teaches us to be adaptable and open-minded. Aquarius is the zodiac’s rebel, speeding through life with quicksilver legs and no fucks given. The water bearer is associated with knowledge or ideas that are so old they become new again, like dinosaur bones uncovered in an archaeological dig, or new age philosophers studying ancient systems of astrology.

If you have the urge to go out and have fun, do it! But let’s be clear: the quarter moon in Aquarius is completely unexpected in nature. Nothing pans out the way we think it will. Neither good nor bad, it just is. This is the nature of Aquarius: to shock, to upend our expectations.

This quarter moon fell on my birthday last year. I decided to hike by myself along the ocean. As I was driving back home, I felt something biting my armpit, and sure enough, there was a small black tick. On a curvy mountain road with nowhere to pull over, I frantically tried to look under my armpit and remove the tick while I snaked through crazy California backwoods. At last I got the tick out, and in that exact moment, I came around a bend and saw a cop parked diagonally in the middle of the road, lights flashing. In the same moment I saw a smashed truck, then the police officer, pointing his gun into the downward sloping forest, screaming at someone who was apparently on the run. Needless to say, I was stunned. Time seemed to stop. I wondered for the first time in my life if I would be killed by a stray bullet. Finally I made eye contact with the officer and he urged me to drive around his vehicle if I could, and I was able, so I left that bizarre scene, stupefied and shaking in my seat.

Like I said…expect the unexpected. We’re on the road to find out, as Cat Stevens sings. No one knows what will happen next! There is always something new, something unforeseen, something just around the bend.

Some very difficult planetary aspects coincide with this quarter moon. In the wee hours of May 7, Mercury in Aries squares Pluto Retrograde in Capricorn. Later that afternoon, Venus in Gemini squares Neptune. On top of all this, the moon herself squares Jupiter Retrograde in Scorpio. The only saving grace is that the moon will also form a friendly trine to Venus. To say the least, this day looks like it is going to be quite challenging. Do not ignore red flags in the social or financial realm. Be careful with whom and in what you invest. Solitude and meditation are perfect antidotes. Fuel the unusually active mind with creative, musical or spiritual acts.

Give love to your lower legs and calf muscles. Wear blue or metallic tones. In meditation, focus on the third eye and crown chakra. Practice inverted yoga postures with Aquarius Yoga. To find your personal moon sign, click here.

Mantra:  ready for anything

Full Moon in Scorpio ♏ Apr 29, 2018

Sunday, Apr 29 at 5.59pm PST

This full moon is called the Flower Moon or, according to The Farmer’s Almanac, “Mother’s Moon, Milk Moon, and Corn Planting Moon, mark[ing] a time of increasing fertility with temperatures warm enough for safely bearing young, a near end to late frosts, and plants in bloom.” The moon will rise at sunset, peak at midnight and set at sunrise.

Luna seethes, roils and snarls at the Full Moon in Scorpio. With sun and moon in opposition between Taurus and Scorpio, this is the axis of all that can be seen, versus all that cannot. Together these two constellations narrate tangibles and intangibles, form and dissolution of form, conscious thought and subconscious desire, straight paths and winding staircases.

This full moon is also about quality of life. Both the bull and the scorpion crave skin-to-skin, soul-to-soul living. Scorpio is the force within which overcomes all fear, the tidal wave which rips our psychological complexes out by the roots and then carries us, screaming and naked and bewildered, over a waterfall of change and joy and more change. Taurus is simpler. She nurtures our bodies and the local environs. Taurus is here to work and beautify, to eat and make love, to relax and sigh deeply into her mountain of pillows and blankets and cats.

Scorpio is the infamous plumber of the lower chakras, like a submarine from the sea of mystery. She slinks through total darkness, through tombs and invisible oceans. She is an agent of inquiry, manipulation and lust. She is a winged creature, clawing her way out of a chrysalis that has become much too small. But she can become trapped here, in the past, in obsessions and fears.

The lessons of this full moon emanate from ancient recesses of the psyche. Issues of power and control may arise, though not necessarily from without. At its heart, this phase teaches us to employ better self-control. The scorpion journey is so inescapable and irreversible that it often feels like a part of us has died in the process. This is part of the great shift, the great transformation of the ugly inner voice, the inner child holding on for dear life, the habit or addiction you can’t break. This is another celestial opportunity, another turning point, another chance.

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. This full moon should be very interesting. Something else  auspicious is happening: the Sun in Taurus forms a friendly trine to Saturn Retrograde in Capricorn. This is a time to embrace responsibility, self-discipline, method and respect for process. I think this aspect will help enormously in balancing out the intensity of this full moon.

Scorpio is often bedraggled by deep suspicions, but it is herself whom she must learn to trust. Push through it, trust yourself, shadow and all. Emerge from your cocoon fearlessly with Scorpio Yoga. To find your personal moon sign, click here.

Mantra:  I surrender

Venus in Gemini ⚢ Apr 24 – May 19

Apr 24 – May 19, 2018

Gemini is the sign of twins and social connectivity. When Venus intersects Gemini, cerebral and creative energies soar. Gemini is associated with the throat chakra. This transit brings more opportunities to meet new brothers and sisters and expand your inner circle. In general there will be more conversation, more buzz and excitement in the air. This is also a great time to hone your writing skills. Games, puzzles or vocal activities like singing or chanting are highly encouraged.

Gemini is busy-bubbly, curious, flirtatious, insatiable. His influence is fleeting yet powerful, like a passing smile from an attractive stranger. With Venus in Gemini, life moves quickly. See the barefoot gypsy, running to catch the train, sunbeams shining in his hair. He knows that the more we share and co-create, the more we expand.

In astrology, Venus is associated with the heart. In Gemini, she turns our heart into a dandelion puff, floating in the breeze. The Gemini heart demands connection and detachment. Gemini is just as secretive and calculating as he is gregarious. Intimacy is fine by Gemini as long as he may keep himself shrouded, protected by his words and stories. This is his paradox, the contradiction he must endure. The karmic purpose behind incarnation as a Gemini is to find peace within. Remember: do not judge, assume or deceive. Step out of your head.

Those born with Venus in Gemini can be very tricky individuals; knowing this, I advise caution. One moment these natives are incredibly charming and affable – someone you can trust, someone who laughs at your jokes and invites you readily into their home – and the next moment they are enigmatic to the point of being impenetrable, withdrawn, completely vacant. Gemini’s greatest liability is to himself. I say this because, as undoubtedly frustrating such behavior is to witness, it incurs the most damage to the Gemini individual, tossed about by his own unpredictable winds day after day. How to please both twins at once – the introvert and extrovert, the artist and the warrior, the recluse and the clown – that is the question.

Gemini is the sign of duality, not equilibrium. Many Gemini types agree that they seek relationships in which they feel either totally superior or totally inferior to the other person. The friend or partner is idolized, revered, elevated to superhuman status, and the Gemini individual (briefly) centers their entire life around this person. Or, they take someone under their wing and become that person’s “teacher,” constantly proselytizing their own deep life philosophies, and thus making themselves someone else’s central figure or idol. Gemini can be extreme in this way. His social and romantic life fluctuate between dominating and being dominated. Gemini does not know how to maintain equilibrium in a relationship, or even what that feels like. To be equal is boring to him. Of course there’s nothing boring about being equal, but Gemini must learn to overcome whatever prevents him from seeing this, whatever perpetuates this unhealthy cycle of abandoning his soul to another, then feverishly reclaiming it, again and again.

May 7 looks like it is going to be a challenging day. Three inauspicious angles will form in the sky: Venus squares Neptune, Mercury in Aries squares Pluto Retrograde, and there is also a quarter moon, which is itself a square (90 degree angle) between the sun, moon and earth (imagined as vertices). Since this is a post about Venus, I will talk mostly about the square between Venus and Neptune, but let it suffice to say that these other planetary angles will not do us any favors.

Neptune is in Pisces, the constellation she rules, and operating in full force. Neptune/Pisces rule delusion, confusion and deception. When Venus, planet of interpersonal relations, forms a hard angle to Neptune, there can be confusion and deception in relationships. Whether it is you who is deceiving yourself or someone else trying to deceive you, be cautious. Not everyone is as sensitive or well-intentioned as the moon children! We may be taken advantage of, or try to unsuccessfully “save” someone we perceive to be in need, someone unable to receive our love. This might extend to our financial life, as Venus rules money and domestic concerns as well. Do not ignore red flags in the social or financial realm. Be careful with whom and in what you invest. Take off the rose-tinted glasses. Unfailing idealism and optimism serve us most, but not all, of the time. The challenge lies in separating Neptune’s dreamlike influence from reality. Solitude and meditation are perfect antidotes. Fuel the unusually active imagination with creative, musical or spiritual acts.

While Venus is in Gemini, she is an evening star, setting just after the sun each night. Nourish your brain with writing, long conversations with close friends and Gemini Yoga. If you were born with Venus in Gemini, this is your Venus Return! To find your personal Venus sign, click here.

Mantra:  I listen

First Quarter Moon in Leo ☽ Apr 22, 2018

Sunday, Apr 22 at 2.46pm PST

The Sun in Taurus squares the moon in Leo. The moon will rise at noon, peak at dusk and set at midnight. Quarter moons prompt definitive change. They represent a turning point or moment of truth.

Taurus is the earth mother of the zodiac, Leo her radiant prince, addicted to leisure. Together these two create a fountain of abundance. When the moon dances in Leo we are playful and childlike, or sarcastic, judgmental, aggressive, with heat in the body. The body is prone to inflammation at this time. Avoid pitta aggravating foods like nightshades, cayenne, red meat and alcohol. Creative expression is the best outlet for any anger or ego issues that arise.

The greatest challenge with this moon phase is resisting the impulse to indulge. Taurus and Leo both like to spend money, go out to eat, stay in nice places, etc. Indulging in this way will make us feel heavy and lethargic. You may find that you are eating or sleeping more than usual. Don’t eat too late at night; avoid inflammatory foods, including wheat and dairy; go to bed early and wake up early; move as soon as you wake up; spend time outside, especially in the sun.

There is always the question of sympathy and antipathy in astrology. If we know that a heavy, sleepy day is coming, do we work with it or against it? I say work with it, use sympathetic methods. Move slowly, get good sleep, nourish your body – just remember that you could get stuck if you stop moving completely.

Sekhmet of ancient Egypt was goddess of fire, war and healing, and a powerful symbol of lioness energy. She happens to be associated with Hathor, a goddess who is much like Taurus. With human body and lioness head, Sekhmet is depicted either naked, robed in red, or with rosettas circling her breasts. Festivals dedicated to Sekhmet were massive and boisterous. Wine was drunk freely to appease the lioness goddess, to calm her bloodlust, to soothe her hot desert winds.

Leo’s origin story actually comes from the Nemean lion of ancient Greece. So it goes, the lion’s fur was impenetrable, impervious to all weapons. Neither skilled warriors nor elemental energies could pierce its hide. Only the lion’s claws could do this. This is the metaphor to remember; only we injure ourselves. I know a Leo who has tattooed on his ribs: I am my only opponent.

This moon phase forms a loose square to Uranus. Generally this means expect the unexpected, and with a difficult angle like a square, the surprise is usually unpleasant. This is not a good day to spend money or take any financial risks. Also keep in mind that we will still be in the “shadow period” of Mercury Retrograde at this point. Wait until Apr 24 at the very least to move forward with work or financial projects. The moon is waxing, gathering momentum for fullness. We will begin to feel the full moon late in the evening of Apr 28. It’s going to be a yummy one.

Bed down with the bull and the lion in their quiet, fire-lit cave, so warm and familiar. Concentrate your will power, resist the urge to indulge. Sing, draw, create, go outside. This is a time of laid-back celebration, true generosity and gratitude. Surround yourself with happy people. A brilliant future is rising rapidly, shimmering just below the tree-line. Feed your inner child with playful wrestling and Leo Yoga. To find your personal moon sign, click here.

Mantra:  I have everything I need

Pluto Retrograde 🐐 Apr 22 – Sep 30

Apr 22 – Sep 30, 2018

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.

Pluto rules Scorpio, as well as transformation, fear, trust, integrity, power and control. When we make life-altering decisions, Pluto is present. Pluto represents shift. It is through Pluto that the psyche is symbolically demolished and renewed.

Since November 2008, Pluto has been in Capricorn. The sea goat is the patriarch of the zodiac, ruler of all things structural, institutional and societal. The purpose of Pluto in Capricorn is to reorganize society so that we may live in true harmony with the natural cycles of our planet and the greater Universe. This means complete overhaul of global governments and economics. Pluto in Capricorn exposes rampant hypocrisy, corruption and greed embedded in the framework of our failing systems. The media reports so regularly on heretofore hidden, quasi-governmental scandals that we have nearly become desensitized to their veracity. This cycle undermines blind trust in institutions. Most importantly, Pluto in Capricorn examines the great imbalance between masculine and feminine energy on our planet. I am confident that by the end of this transit, we will return to ancient wisdom as a way of life.

Pluto turns retrograde 5 months out of the year. Normally Pluto unearths darkness in the public sphere. When retrograde, he brings massive change to our personal lives. This next journey comes from deep within the soul, and you already know it very well. Pluto Retrograde advances from the inside out, intensely pressurizing the ego until a completely new you bursts forth. This transit brings us closer, year after year, to who we must become.

Pluto Retrograde is the ultimate evolutionary. This transit purges the psychic underworld, extracting grief and fear embedded in unconscious memories. External change is directly proportional to internal change. Do the work and you will heal. To heal is to be reborn.

By the end of this cycle you will be in a very different stage of life, at least internally. Meditate on struggles which have persisted over your entire lifetime. The destination has already been set in motion, so what is more important (but less obvious) is how we react to what we encounter along the way. Change is inevitable and it’s rising quickly, but we can all direct its course.

Pluto Retrograde starts off with a powerful day. On April 26, Pluto lands on the same degree as Mars in Capricorn. Together Mars and Pluto take the archetype of the scorpion and intensify it to an unbelievable degree. The highest manifestation looks like this: spiritual and bodily healing. We have the power, if we wish, if we are ready, to transform beyond the scorpion and become the eagle, flying far overhead. Our fate is not confined to the lower chakras. Our fate is not confined to the raging fires of ego, ruled by Mars. Our destiny is to transcend, to become the white scorpion. I will emphasize however that this aspect is one of the most potent in the entire realm of astrology. Be extremely careful on this day as we can, if we wish, destroy ourselves and others with ease.

May 7 is going to be a difficult day – it’s the quarter moon, plus Pluto squares Mercury in Aries, and Venus squares Neptune. (June 23 will be nearly identical to May 7 – pay attention.) On May 11, Pluto forms a beautiful angle to the Sun. We will see this again on Sep 11 when the Sun is in Virgo. May 25 will be a mixed day. Pluto and Mercury find resolution, as do Neptune and Jupiter Retrograde in Scorpio, but a difficult angle persists between Venus and Saturn Retrograde. (More harmony between Pluto and Mercury comes again on Sep 15.) June 5 is another mixed day, with Pluto opposite Venus, but some harmony coming from a conjunction between the Sun and Mercury. On the solar eclipse of July 12, Pluto opposes the Sun – watch out!! The lunar eclipse of July 27 will be much better – Pluto forms an auspicious angle to Venus. However the full moon of August 26 also looks difficult with Pluto squaring Venus. (This day will feel much like June 5 – look back to this day to prepare.)

Celebrate Pluto Retrograde with Capricorn Yoga. I was born with Pluto retrograde. To find your Pluto sign and whether he was direct or retrograde when you were born, click here.

Mantra:  change is good

Sun in Taurus ☼ Apr 19 – May 20

Apr 19 – May 20, 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 my fellow bulls!

At the beginning of the the zodiac wheel, the first seedlings are popping from the soul’s freshly burned forest floor. Lay on the cool earth, bursting with nutrients, and let your heartbeat take you down, your breath down, down into the pungent soil. All is still, tranquil. A giant, silky cow ambles through a sun-streaked meadow. Climb on Taurus’ broad back. Plant her strength and resilience in your heart, and feel the bull’s warmth and power blossom from within. Take solace in verdant leaves, in the squirming-buzzing-jangling of birds, worms and humans emerging from winter’s cold shell.

Taurus is all about home and feeling at home. Meditate on wabi sabi. Wabi sabi is a Japanese concept best translated as internal peace which arises from feelings of balance with external surroundings. It is synonymous with divine simplicity and natural beauty. Wabi sabi is like drinking tea with a friend in silence, or watching a bear scratch its back on a misty mountainside.

Taurus can be graceful like a tender young branch, but she’s not naturally flexible. In Ayurvedic medicine we know Taurus as kapha. The bull’s soul is a geometric assemblage of rough edges. Life to her is short, uncomplicated and harsh. Taurus puts her roots down prematurely or in the wrong spot if she is too obstinate to try harder, to explore, to consider other options. But the bull who resists laziness carries her weight uphill with expertise. She climbs on, though her pack grows heavy. She refuses to settle, even when it would be “easier.” Taurus is indulgent, even hedonistic, but she helps us mold and shape life if we are diligent.

This cycle starts with a big weekend. April 22 is the first day of Pluto Retrograde and the first quarter moon in Leo. Could be volatile with anger or ego issues surfacing. On the full moon of April 29, the sun forms a beautiful angle to Saturn Retrograde. We will see this same aspect again on August 25 when the Sun is in Virgo. These are good days to embrace responsibility and self-discipline.

May 7 brings an exceptionally turbulent quarter moon. On the following day, May 8, the sun opposes Jupiter Retrograde in Scorpio. Be very careful on these two days. On May 11 the sun forms a harmonious angle to Pluto. This will be a healing, cathartic day. May 15 is one of the most dynamic days of 2018. Early in the morning we have the new moon in Taurus. A few hours later, Uranus moves into Taurus too. This is a big deal – Uranus moves so slowly that he spends about 7 years in each constellation. More to come on that soon. And then, late that night, Mars enters Aquarius, the constellation ruled by Uranus. Expect the unexpected!

Not all of our plans may pan out the way we want, and that’s ok. Taurus teaches patience as she meanders sweetly through each day. Some call her picky or intransigent, but she is just udderly particular. The first rays of springtime wash over the earth. Feast on sunshine, on new grasses and powdery pollens dotting bee legs and petals here, there, and now your nose, wrinkling with joy. Be the bull with long walks outside and Taurus Yoga.

Mantra:  I am home

Saturn Retrograde in Capricorn ♄ Apr 17 – Sep 6

Apr 17 – Sep 6, 2018

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.

Saturn is a realist with no patience for complacency or inaction. Saturn demands discipline and minimalism. For about 4.5 months out of the year, Saturn is retrograde. When this happens, our collective quest becomes an individual journey. Whatever we’re working on personally will be amplified to extreme proportions.

During Saturn Retrograde last year, I intensely questioned my place in the Western world. Ancient and new age concepts beckon to be known. Who are we really in the midst of these books and theories? Did you successfully become it, live it, be it?

Saturn moves slowly and deliberately, especially when retrograde. His lessons are necessary evolutionary catalysts, but not necessarily enjoyable as they concern the inevitable. Saturn Retrograde demonstrates that nothing is worth having if it is does not take time and work.

This retrograde falls in Capricorn. Saturn just entered Capricorn in December 2017. Saturn rules Capricorn, so he is said to be “at home” here. From this position, he operates in full force. This is Saturn at his most quintessential, moving through his own castle, his domain.

I think we have all felt pressured since the beginning of this cycle to get rooted and cultivate a stronger foundation in our lives. Now we must face and define internal blocks concerning work, money or stability in general. We will be placed in circumstances where we must discern with utmost prudence which foundation is the most solid and reliable. This is the perfect time to take a class, get certified in a new trade or do anything which builds your professional credentials. Saturn loves regulated, officious environments like school. Watch for the continued arrival of stalwart mentors.

Capricorn represents the ancient conflict between head and heart. He is at once rational and irrational, extremely critical and exceptionally lenient. He works relentlessly, then sleeps for days. He moves and organizes with impressive speed, then lounges in catatonic stillness. He focuses his energy on what is useful and practical, then loses himself in whirlwinds of emotion, namely regret and guilt.

This retrograde will give us an opportunity to stay in one place and do the good work, the hard work, the physical work. We will learn the value of stability and security in all senses. We will learn how to take care of our own material and financial needs. We will learn to see structure, discipline and self-control as necessary tools in the evolution of humankind.

Saturn Retrograde pushes us to be the highest version of ourselves. This the point at which we see what we are really supposed to be learning, the true purpose of any planetary transit. The retrograde is the work, the work we have to do before devouring Capricorn’s bountiful crop. Saturn is the architect of the solar system. Saturn in Capricorn builds and uses. Meditate on practicality, applicability, resourcefulness. Create a blueprint; an outline; a savings account for the future.

On April 25, Saturn squares Mercury in Aries. This will be a difficult day – treat it as you would Mercury Retrograde – no travel, investing or risk-taking of any kind. On the full moon of April 29, Saturn forms a friendly angle the to the sun. This should be an exceptionally good day. We’ll see this again on August 25 when the Sun is in Virgo. These are days when we will embrace responsibility, self-discipline, method and respect for process.

Saturn and Mercury find resolution on May 18. Saturn proves to be a very rigid dude to work with, so Mercury defers to him, helping us outline plans which are clear and realistic. We may be rather obsessed with planning. The mind races with potentialities and vivid simulations before a decision is reached. May 25 is going to be a really interesting day. Two auspicious aspects will form between Mercury and Pluto, and between Jupiter Retrograde in Scorpio and Neptune. This may be enough sparkle dust to overcome the unpleasant opposition between Saturn and Venus. This aspect suggests interpersonal conflict, especially in work or professional spheres.

On June 15, Saturn and Mercury face off again in an opposition. The energetic signature of this day will be pretty identical to April 25, so think back to that time. Once again, treat this day as you would Mercury Retrograde. We may find ourselves in awkward social circumstances. Words, when they do fly out, may be misunderstood. All communication will be strained and uncomfortable. Ferocious defense mechanisms spring from a pit of insecurity. Those who portend to be confident are wilting none too slowly on the inside. Spend this day alone, if possible.

On the full moon of June 27, Saturn opposes the Sun. This aspect is characterized by poor self-control, over-analysis and feelings of inadequacy or self-consciousness. We might knowingly choose the hardest possible path or deny ourselves pleasure. When Saturn interacts with the Sun, ruler of the ego, self-censoring happens and we become obsessed with how we are perceived. Remember that standards are self-created.

On July 13, Venus and Saturn find resolution. This should be a lovely day interpersonally speaking, especially on the professional front. Alas, just as soon as they find peace, they face off again. On August 9 Saturn squares Venus. The challenges of this day will be nearly identical to those of May 25, so think back to that day to prepare.

Collectively, as a generation, those born with Saturn in Capricorn tend to be more concerned with status and profession. Saturn expects perfection from his students, but not self-abuse or self-criticism. It’s true, there is something steely and prickly about Saturn. But stop talking down to yourself and lighten up a little bit, goat people. Good luck with the rest of your Saturn Return! Celebrate Saturn with lists, vision boards and Capricorn Yoga. I was born when Saturn was retrograde. To find your Saturn sign and wee whether he was direct or retrograde when you were born, click here.

Mantra:  I am rooted

New Moon in Aries 🍒 Apr 15, 2018

Sunday, Apr 15 at 6.59pm PST

Happy new moon everyone!!! Last month we had a new moon in Pisces, one of the lowest energy points of the entire astrological year. This new moon is one of the year’s highest energy points. This is the rebirth we have been waiting for since last spring. It’s time for new projects, new trajectories and all things NEW.

The Aries new moon has a demolishing effect. Whatever was flimsy or false or unhealthy will now be flattened. Ignore external expectations which interfere with your basic spiritual needs. Trust in third eye whispers. Meditate on defiance; fearlessness; independence; risk. This is not the time to obey or conform. Life begins when we get up and move, and when we take chances. Nothing will ever teach you how to live quite like living will.

Two years ago I traveled to India. One week before this new moon, a Vedic astrologer recommended a ceremony to release past-life karma from my body. On new moon’s eve, I hopped on the back of his moped and rode more than an hour in falling dusk, looping along jungle roads speckled with wild elephant dung until we reached Haridwar, one of the seven holiest cities in India, located along the banks of the Ganges in the foothills of the Himalayas.

At the temple, another woman and I sat and twirled and chanted. The priests wove rice, flowers, colored powders, candles and water from the Ganges in a ceremony lasting more than an hour. Afterward, I was given the water used in the ceremony and instructed to bathe with it every day. Outside on the temple steps, I asked the other woman for a ride home. I was exhausted, head pounding, but feeling mischievous because I had skipped class to be there, and marveling at the entirely unspoken bond I had with this woman. Less than ten minutes into our journey back, the storm began.

My new friend and driver had a helmet, but I was defenseless, and the rain fell so heavily that it cut my face as we zipped through twisting lanes of traffic. In India, the streets churn night and day in a wriggling rainbow millipede of humans, cows, mopeds, rickshaws and trucks. Potholes are deep and numerous. In the near darkness, my dear driver did not see one of these gaping holes, and I was so jolted that I almost fell off into oncoming traffic. Violet lightning arced intermittently across the sky and thunder cracked with such force that we found ourselves screaming.

Once home and dismounting the moped, I discovered that I could barely move. My arms and legs were leaden and aching from gripping the moped with all of my strength. I walked home smiling, relishing my throbbing muscles, dripping clothes, squeaky, waterlogged sandals and feeling utterly, incandescently alive.

This new moon will be just two degrees from Uranus, so we must expect the unexpected. Mercury retrograde technically ends on the morning of April 15, but his effects will definitely still be palpable as well. In any case, this new moon is infused with the magic of uncertainty. We may be incredibly excited one moment, then suddenly aloof. No matter what, this day will likely be very social. Uranian energy is sincere, humanitarian and original. It will be difficult to stay in one place or follow one trajectory. Everything must be done on everyone’s own terms and in their own time, when the moment is right. And once it starts to flow, it will really really flow.

We will need a lot of stimulation. Some stimulation we can draw and create from our social circle by starting interesting conversations. When an existing protocol mandates how to do something, we will question or reject this. There is nothing fake or pretentious about this new moon. Uranian energy is erratic, so it may be difficult to finish what we have started. Engage in creative/intellectual projects and see them through. Be a warrior with martial arts or Aries Yoga. To find your personal moon sign, click here.

Mantra:  REBIRTH

Last Quarter Moon in Capricorn ☾ Apr 8, 2018

Sunday, Apr 8 at 12.21am PST

At the last quarter, the moon rises at midnight, peaks at dawn and sets at noon.

The earthen moon in Capricorn squares the Sun in Aries. Third quarter moons are crossroads. Their purpose is to clear us out in preparation for the new moon / new lunar cycle. Squares prompt change.

Earth and fire, smoky jingle glow, rich black earthworm heaven. Lumps of lava sprout from humid fumes. Gold nuggets crystallize instantly, turn to honeyed quartz, then sink back, gurgling softly. The ram, red eyes cooled, descends the desert mountain to meet the shaggy sea-goat. At the base of the ocean cliffs they sit silently in the tide pool, horns locked.

The purpose of this quarter moon is internal/external restructuring. Capricorn, like our skeleton, is resistant to change. Aries teaches Capricorn that sometimes the best structure is a brand new one. He encourages us to break away from existing structures and strike out on our own.

Quarters moons can make us feel unusually tired, and this is especially true with moon phases in Capricorn. Earth is, by nature, heavy and drowsy. In Capricorn the moon is strained as the moon is in her “detriment” in Capricorn, opposite the sign she rules, which would be Cancer. A planet is weakest in detriment. Watch for unusually low energy. Your inclination to stay home and meditate is perfectly natural.

This kind of moon phase is powerful enough to melt away the entire winter. It’s like being pushed off, afloat the unknown, all on your own, just you and the fire on your breath, and it is fucking marvelous. Whatever structural reconfigurations take place will be inherently supportive.

The most prominent aspect of this quarter moon is a conjunction with Pluto. This colors the day with emotional intensity. Pluto is about sex, trust and control dynamics. Pluto’s influence brings whatever is hidden to the surface. This is a day of psychoanalysis, intuition and deep healing. Whatever we encounter externally is a direct reflection of what we need to work on internally. It is time to purge the psyche of compulsions and insecurities, especially those related to fear of loss, betrayal or conflict with the mother. Art and music are the best outlets.

My notes from this quarter moon two years ago, at school in India:

How to breathe !

1. puraka: inhalation in yogic (controlled) way

2. kumbhaka: retention

3. rechaka: exhalation

Puraka: expand the chest front to back, side to side, bottom to top to increase volume. The diaphragm moves down with inhale and pushes abdomen and visceral organs out and down. To resist abdominal bulging, keep abdominal muscles under control and engage mula bandha (root lock) slightly. Keep awareness of speed, force and nature of contraction of bandhas (binds): mild mula bandha at inhalation.

Kumbhaka: increase mula bandha and contraction of abdominal wall. Keep everything under control, no suffocating! Too much contraction can unlock the jalandhara (throat lock).

Rechaka: release jalandhara and then intensify mula bandha and uddiyana bandha (lower abdomen pulls down and in) to exhale more, as in two exhalations. Always controlled!

Celebrate this quarter moon with Capricorn Yoga. To find your personal moon sign, click here.

Mantra:  I am in flux

Blue Moon in Libra ♎ Mar 31, 2018

Saturday, Mar 31 at 5.37am PST

This full moon is known as the Full Pink Moon, because, according to The Farmer’s Almanac, it “heralds the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox—one of the first spring flowers. It is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon.” This full moon is also a blue moon, which is not really that rare or cool because it just means two full moons in one calendar month. The moon will rise at sunset, peak at midnight and set at sunrise.

The Sun and Moon in total opposition between Aries and Libra, or the axis of relationships. Libra asks whether we are meeting the needs of all, including ourselves, and gauges the general health of our relationships. Meditate on your relationships and see how they are a reflection of you and your own health. Though conflict may appear to stem from without, it is really a reflection of turmoil within. Distance yourself from toxic relationships, professional or otherwise – this is the best course of action.

I say distance not disengage or destroy because my feelings towards astrology go like this: when we know what’s coming, we don’t avoid certain things, we just go in prepared, knowing anything could happen. This full moon delivers excellent but challenging opportunities to work on things ruled by Libra, including communication and community-making. Don’t run away, stay and see what happens. Just be smart and remember what kind of karmic seeds are hatching right now. We are entering into new soul contracts, and each one will teach us something very important. Don’t forget to maintain distance: this is crucial. Remain comfortably detached. Observe as Libra does, listening attentively, waiting patiently for the right moment to speak, to act. But let me be clear: Libra always wins. Locking yourself into unhealthy relationships will result in work later. No matter, these conflicts direct us where we need to go.

Libra comes from the goddess Themis, a soothsayer of ancient Greece and founder of the Oracle of Delphi. Disregarding Themis incurred the wrath of Nemesis, goddess of retribution. Nemesis’ arrival indicated that hubris had been committed. To disobey Libra suggested that you believed yourself superior to the deities and their wisdom, such as was given in Themis’ visions of the future. In English we use the word nemesis to describe someone who is an enemy. How interesting that those we consider problematic are, in theory, sent to us because we have not heeded the advice of demiurges such as Libra/Themis. Intuition is a huge part of this full moon. You know exactly which relationships are going to be challenging. There is no mystery here. Be direct in your thinking. See things as they are. Call them by their name.

This full moon looks like it’s going to be difficult. Luna opposes Mercury Retrograde in Aries, for starters. She forms two additional squares to Saturn in Capricorn and Mars in Capricorn. Mar 10, Mar 24 and Mar 29 are important days leading up to this contentious full moon – pay very close attention to what happens and be prepared to confront the same things again on the full moon. We’ll see a continuation of all this on Apr 4 and Apr 5. By the new moon of April 15, Mercury retrograde will be over and we should feel more balanced.

Full moons can be felt for days before and after they arrive. They heighten our emotions and intuition. In particular, full moons during Aries season can make us angry, impatient or restless. Nothing seems to come fast enough. Do you accept this challenge, this relationship? Do you enter with your head held high, sword at your side? Do you love yourself enough to fight for your right to speak and be heard? Celebrate Libra with good posture and Libra Yoga. To find your personal moon sign, click here.

Mantra:  we are

Venus in Taurus ⚢ Mar 30 – Apr 24

Mar 30 – Apr 24, 2018

Venus rules Taurus and Libra in classic astrology, so she is “at home” here in Taurus. Resist the urge to act on impulse as Venus is a lavish, materialistic goddess in her bull pen. Indulgence, Venus and Taurus are all synonymous.

Taurus is simple and familiar, representing basic human needs like touch, home, comfort, space, warmth, food and raw materials. Earth energy sits honey-dappled, sweet and heavy, juicy and ripe. Taurus lives in the body’s warm weight, wrapped in blankets; full bellies; passionate melodies; rich food; hot mugs of tea on cold nights; caresses; art, and all things savory, luscious and aromatic.

In Taurus, the heart is as sensual as she is stubborn. When young lovers embrace, Taurus’ heartbeat can be heard. Taurus is unabashedly tactile, and chronically starved for physical connection. She may easily confuse love and sex, as these are interchangeable to her.

As a Taurus, I can attest that it is a constant struggle to overcome lust and desire for material comforts. We are stingy, lazy and gluttonous. We languor in self-satisfaction and complacency. We are lethargic, possessive and greedy. But we are also generous, sincere and straightforward. We have no interest in drama, superficiality or roundabout communication.

The inner child is alive and well with Venus in Taurus. Just as children are oblivious to anything outside their own world, simultaneously selfish and innocent, the bull lollops along unawares. The fixed, heavy energy of Taurus tends to calcify as the years pass. Older bulls often settle or give up, like rocks lodged upright in the river of evolution. We all have an obligation to be accountable and self-aware, to become.

A Taurus friend told me once that she doesn’t “like to think about outer space.” This statement reveals much about the bull, her need for control and her attitude toward the terrestrial world. The karmic purpose behind incarnation as a bull is to learn the ultimate unimportance of the material world. What we see is only one sliver in an infinite spectrum of dimensions.

When this transit begins, we’ll be in the thick of Mercury Retrograde. On Mar 31 we have a full moon, another blue moon. The following weekend more good things are happening. On Apr 7, Venus forms a harmonious trine to Saturn in Capricorn. This is an excellent day for all things related to interpersonal or professional life. Even better, see where these spheres overlap. For example, you may meet someone who offers you work. You may grow closer to co-workers. Whatever happens, it will be auspicious. The following day, Apr 8, is the quarter moon in Capricorn, building on this theme of work and new professional directions.

Apr 10 looks mixed. Venus forms a beautiful angle to Mars in Capricorn late that night, but the Sun in Aries squares Pluto a couple hours before. Apr 15 will be a joyous day, however. This is the last day of Mercury Retrograde and the new moon. The following day won’t be quite as lovely. Venus opposes Jupiter Retrograde in Scorpio. Whenever we talk about hard or difficult squares with Venus, what we’re really talking about is interpersonal challenges. And when those angles involve Jupiter, planet of luck and optimism, the social challenge here involves promising or expecting too much.

On the following day, Apr 17, Venus forms a powerful trine to Pluto. Together, Venus and Pluto gift us with exceptional intuition, charisma, passion, devotion, sincerity, abundance and comfort. We will be able to truly feel what others are feeling and help them recognize their own worth and value. With this aspect, we gravitate toward relationships which are transformative, meaningful and potentially intense. Love is something we will both appreciate and understand on this day. We will learn that love is joyful, but also requires much responsibility. Making art with someone else would be the perfect activity on this day.

The sun finally meets up with Venus in Taurus on Apr 19. Due to his retrograde antics, Mercury won’t join the Sun and Venus in Taurus this year. Keep in mind that Mercury Retrograde can be quite disruptive – deep breaths!

Channel the bull with nature walks and Taurus Yoga. Listen to “Venus, Bringer of Peace” from Gustav Holt’s planetary suite. If you were born with Venus in Taurus, this is your Venus Return! To find your personal Venus sign, click here.

Mantra:  I have everything I need