Friday, May 5, 2017

How Long Can You Go Without Checking Your Transits—and Why Try It?

© 2017 by Joyce Mason

Astrologers have debated for centuries whether our art/science reflects a set destiny or if we humans have control over what happens to us. Most modern astrologers quote the catchy phrase, “The stars impel but they don’t compel.” This adage is often attributed to Dane Rudhyar, but Rudhyar actually said something different in his essay Must You Be the Victim of Your Stars? [1] Perhaps to oversimplify, Rudhyar says our real freedom is to embrace our destiny—to not try to be something we aren’t. It’s a fascinating and recommended read.

How do we tackle this impel/compel thing in our daily lives? Compel is the root word for compulsion. It is only during my current near hiatus from astrology that I’ve gotten a new angle on this old debate. For me compulsion is the problem.

Most astrologers and star students obsessively check their transits (and often progressions and other Tools for What’s Happening Now). That’s where we easily slip into comments about how Saturn is doing this or that to us or the latest communication fiascos were due to Mercury Retrograde. We stop taking any charge of our lives or even letting life simply unfold. We have a posse of planets who “make us do it,” relegating them to the role of the Devil. It’s not that they do it; it’s what we do with it, the energetic pattern.

Worse, we live in anxiety of what upcoming transits might mean. Sure, it’s good to be prepared but how much does worry about the future attract more negative manifestations of the energy potential of any transit? Thanks to an Astrodrama I participated in a few years ago, I became aware for the first time just how much anxiety I have always dealt with my whole life. A fairly high level of apprehension was my norm, and frankly, it was so natural for me, I didn’t see how unusual my heighted emotional state might be compared to others’. I simply coped with it and compensated for it. (For those who wonder, the astrological reflection is Moon square Mercury, Neptune and Venus.)

Since I became my disabled husband’s caregiver in 2015, I’ve had more on my plate than I’ve ever had—and I’m an overeater both in the literal and figurative senses. That state of overwhelm forced me to curtail many of my normal activities. It also demanded that I find tools other than astrology to cope with my new life. I started to realize that if I kept looking at my transits and got into the litany of what-ifs, I became more worried and anxious. Transit stalking did not help me when my energy was taxed to the max in my arduous labor of love. It just added to the anxiety load.

I decided to limit myself to peeking at my transits only once a month or so … abstaining for as long as I could stand it. (Being very curious by nature, I could only not know for so long.)

Instead, I started using the tools of Mindful Self-Compassion, meditating on average twice a day for at least 20 minutes total and learning to have supportive inner dialogue with myself. MSC is designed for living in the now. As Eckhart Tolle’s book title suggests, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, the present is where power lies. There is a place for looking back and looking ahead, but in the main, I’m finding I’m happiest in the gift of the present. There’s also a large element in MSC of what Rudhyar was saying. We’re taught to acknowledge our suffering as part of the human experience and to be there for ourselves. The practices encourage us not to fight what’s happening or to spend a lot of energy wishing it was otherwise but to do our best in supporting ourselves to deal with any situation that comes up in the most positive way. To build skills and confidence in our ability to handle come-what-may.

Truth to tell, I’ve been steeped in Pluto transits these past few years or other ones considered traditionally icky by most star watchers. I refuse to dwell on the possibilities because I want to save my energy for handling whatever is. (Oh, the life force I’ve wasted on worries that never materialized!) I want to set an energetic intention that the best interpretation of the stars aligning is equally as possible as all hell breaking loose. Next step: Let it go and let it unfold in its own organic way.

I won’t come back to frequent star tracking until I can do it from a more emotionally neutral place. Why not try a transit fast for at least a month? See what it does for you.

For me it has opened a whole new world of accepting the energies of the present moment, staying centered due to meditation and other soothing practices and realizing that “worry is a waste of creativity,” another saying I love.

Final saying: “As above, so below,” is attributed to Hermes. This means Heaven and Earth parallel the same general, energetic patterns but the specifics—and how we respond to them—contain the greatest creative potential and sometimes the biggest surprises. Some element of surprise is the hallmark of the mystery and wonder of life.

I don’t want to live without that mystique. How about you?


Photo Credit: © Giulio_Fornasar -



Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Birth Day Twins

© 2017 by Joyce Mason

At least 20 years ago, when I used AOL as my internet provider, I searched the member directory to find other people who shared my exact date of birth. I wanted to do some experiential, personal research on my chart. I only ended up having a depth conversation with one of the handful of respondents, and our life parallels were interesting indeed. Since I was born late in the day on September 22, 1947, I have a Cap Moon and my “twin” was born enough earlier in the day to be a Sagi-Moon-ius. Seeing my chart acted out with the difference in lunar flavor was interesting indeed. While I can’t remember her name to save my soul, it was a bit unusual but not unheard of and started with a W. (No relation to former President W.) With her Sag Moon, love of travel and things foreign were more prominent in our otherwise near-identical charts. She was a diplomat who had been stationed over the years in several different countries overseas. I saw a lot of our shared Libran emphasis, too, in matters of justice and saving the tails of Americans abroad when they got into trouble.

Perhaps the most startling thing about our compared notes was this. She had married her first husband twice—divorced and remarried him later, just as I had. I almost felt eerie. On top of that, she outdid me! She married, divorced and remarried both of her husbands. Who knew that our particular Venus in Libra experienced coupling and mind-changing so seamlessly; we applied it to matrimonial do-overs.

My next encounter with a birthday twin was totally unexpected. I don’t have the most common day, much less day and year of birth. I’ve been attending an amazing class on Mindful Self-Compassion. I can remember joking beforehand that the class would have to be custom-made for a Virgo, much less a Radical Virgo. With Mercury as our Sun ruler (mind and mental emphasis) and self-deprecation one of our worst potholes on the road of life, I felt I was Home Sweet Home even before I even got to the first class.

There I met W2. (It’s tax season so I can’t help myself, but honestly, her first name begins with a W., too.) We were sitting next to each other in the first class and got to talking about how we were both turning 70 this year. I have long given up accosting people for their birth information on the first “date,” and I consciously chose not to take it further. We had an affinity, and that was warm and fuzzy enough. The biggest wow we discovered in our first encounter: I was given up for adoption and she had to give a baby up for adoption when she was quite young. We’d both had positive mother-and-child reunions.

The next time I saw W2, it came up again. I asked her what month she was turning 70, and she said September. When I asked her what day and she said the 22nd, I almost fell off my chair. “OMG, we’re birth twins!” You think I might have guessed by the fact that she had such a “similar story,” to quote her, and that she loves my former therapist, an author of an amazing book about the psychology and ramifications of adoption.

My friends may call me The Queen of Synchronicity, but I hadn’t had this level of meaningful coincidence in a long time. Conditions haven’t been right again until lately for me to be so in the flow of the Cosmic Tractor Beam. I’ve had way too much on my plate adjusting to being a caregiver and other life changes. The class is giving me tools that are bringing me back to my old self, which this “chance” encounter underscores. W2 is hunting down her birth certificate, but since she knows hers was an early morning birth to my evening, she’s surely a Sagi-moon-ius, too, like W1.

What is the value of finding a birth twin? Affirmation for one. W2 was sharing how hard it is for her to give her honest opinion, fearing push back and an inability to defend herself. She could have taken that sentence right out of my thought cloud where it frequently resides. 

There’s also the possibility of seeing new ways of “doing” your chart. Everyone plays the Astro-cards they’re dealt in slightly different ways, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can learn from W2 in that regard—and vice versa, I’m sure.

We have a lot of tools for finding people nowadays. If you’re on social media, a simple post or tweet saying you’d like to do some astrological research on people who share your birthday. State the date and see who connects with you.

I would love to hear your experiences and what value you’ve found in getting to know your cosmic twin.


Photo Credit: Elena Scheweitzer - Fotolia

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Poem for Spring Equinox 2017: “Light Drawings”

 © 2017 by Joyce Mason

Thick autumn, winter
Swirling politics and fears
Emotional twisters.
My inner child screams,
“Lighten up!”

Spring Equinox
Growing light
When I’m frustrated
I draw daisies.
“There, there, Inner Child.”

Nature is drawing



Photo Credit: © Gulsen Gunel –

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Sacred America, Sacred World by Stephen Dinan


© 2017 by Joyce Mason

Recently I had the pleasure of hearing a presentation in Sacramento by Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network, a leading global provider of online transformational courses and trainings. Stephen talked about the principles in his book, Sacred America, Sacred World. This book is an introduction to how spirituality and politics can merge to go beyond partisanship and benefit all. His vision is not just for the USA, but could trigger a divine domino effect of a better way across the globe.

To point out how Stephen is not just metaphysical but Astro-savvy, he quoted a humorous take he heard from astrologer Caroline Casey on the origin of the word protest (pro-testes, how Marsy) and ovation (same root as ovulation, the Venussy counterbalance for cheering instead of jeering). Like all dualities, these forces counterbalance each other. On the cusp of the return of the feminine, long overdue as a dominant rather than domineering force, the work of the conscious human is to evolve from winners and losers to winners all. Cooperation is the heart of the yin principle. If you don’t already know Caroline’s work (I was so tickled when he mentioned her), treat yourself to her expertise on how to weave astrology into this socio-political equation with plenty of humor and outrageousness.

I consider Sacred America, Sacred World a must-read introduction to the idea of transpartisanship and viewing the spiritual evolution of the USA. There has been no time more important than now to take a step back, put on your climbing gear and head up the mountain for an eagle’s eye view. We are currently so focused on outrage, fear and the line in the sand between left and right and red and blue; we forget that great quote from The Desiderata, “No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” Stephen’s work will give you hope and perspective that what we’re seeing is just a stage we have to pass through, leading to greater evolution.

To Stephen Dinan, “sacred is a term that recognizes the dignity, divinity and wholeness in literally everyone and everything.” Bringing sacred and America together is “a call to reach our highest destiny as a country.”

One of the major premises of the book—and I’ll leave you the joy of discovering the rest—is Stephen’s view of the USA “operating system.” From America’s founding in 1776-87 and the Articles of Confederation (America 1.0), we’ve passed through The Constitution/Bill of Rights (2.0), the abolishment of slavery (3.0), women’s voting rights (4.0), the New Deal expanding government’s role to provide safety nets (5.0), and the civil rights and women’s movements toward full inclusion of citizens (6.0). Since 2000,  we’ve been in operating system 7.0, a global era affecting Internet, trade, travel and financial movement.

This book is about what American is, as a nation, and what it has the potential to become. Stephen shares his own challenges with setting aside his biases and learning to see the central commonality between opposing views and how healing conversations between polarized people have to come about one person and step at a time. Of all the things America is and always has been, Stephen cites its pioneering spirit as perhaps its most central quality. That quality screams Aries, although the only Aries planet in the USA chart is Chiron. That makes so much sense! Give me your tired, your poor ... your oppressed, your wounded. How will Chiron's next Return in April 2024 affect the emerging operating system? Not to mention transiting Uranus now conjunct the USA's natal Chiron?

Meanwhile, planetary pioneers, hitch your wagons to being the change and Upward Ho. I rarely do reviews on The Radical Virgo, but I believe this book is so important; it deserves your attention as love radicals in action.

If you’ve already read it or when you do, I would love to hear your impressions in the Comments.


Friday, January 6, 2017

All Planets Direct: A Month-Long Window for Manifestation

Jan. 7 – Feb. 6, 2017

© 2017 by Joyce Mason

A Radical Virgo Vision in Action Post

Here’s an article I invite you to consider on the website The Usual Routine (T.U.R.). It states that the ancients saw all planets moving in direct motion as opportune times of great fortune. It’s tantamount to the entire cosmos shouting as we journey through space, “All systems go!” All planets on deck and the people on them!

This cosmic event is the perfect time to kick off my first Radical Vision in Action post. The two levels where we can help ourselves and the world condition are on the inner plane and in the outer world. For this first Radical Vision/Action post, I’d like to focus on the inner plane or the energy field surrounding all living things.

From here on out, I’ll refer to it simply as “the field.” Most people underestimate the power of the thoughts and feelings we pump into the field. I like this paragraph from Noetic Balancing on how this all fits together:

“The energy field surrounding living things is difficult or impossible to measure using current scientific techniques. However, science and spirituality are on a convergent course. Eventually, we will have instruments that can reflect an individual’s state of balance. When we turn the corner from science, we must consider the universal characteristics of energy. Quantum physics states that energy and matter are interchangeable and the String Theory suggests that differences in physical matter are simply variations in energy vibrations. In a similar fashion, each human is composed the divine energy of the Soul in the form of body, thought, and spirit. Energy does not emanate or reflect from a person, the energy is the person, the core. This understanding is fundamental to maintaining your energy field and body in harmony. Since the body is a manifestation of human energy, dis-harmony in the energy field will cause dis-ease in the body. If the human energy field is out of balance, the body will be out of balance.”

The same goes, of course, for collective bodies like families, political parties, countries—and indeed, the world. To help yourself balance and heal yourself, to take advantage of a period where you can surf the cosmic waves easily helps not only you but the entire universe.

What is this world coming to?

If you find yourself thinking or articulating some variation of this phrase, know you have the power to help change it on the inner, in the field, especially during this month-long window of opportunity.

For the next 30 days, I invite you to participate in a Radical experiment. Here are my suggested game rules:

1.   Do not feed your fears.
2.   Envision the world as you want it to be.
3.   In your visions, do no harm to others or yourself.
4.   Participate in collective meditations affirming peace and wisdom in our world, such as Rare Astrology: All Planets Direct Synchronized Meditation or The Liberty Bell Minute Meditation. (For the latter, after affirming May Wisdom Prevail in the United States of America I affirm three times: May Wisdom Prevail in the World. There’s no reason why those living in another country can’t do this meditation and substitute your own country's name. While the Liberty Bell is a US symbol, it’s also a universal one. The desire for Liberty is a value most people on Earth share. It’s a great rallying concept.)
5.   Note any changes that happen as a result of these practices. (I’d love you to share them in the Comments.)

Feeding Fear, the Mortal Sin

Apologies to those who were also raised Catholic, but the metaphor is too spot-on to overlook. I first saw Please Don’t Feed the Fears on Facebook as a sign, a play on “Please don’t feed the bears.” If you feed the fears, they’ll feed on you. You’ll find yourself an entrĂ©e to all your demons. You’ll fill the field with fear and more fear. Fear energy and thoughts are highly contagious. You not only hurt yourself; you hurt everyone else.

For those worried about the results of the US election, Brexit and any number of terrorist and scary events happening worldwide; this is for your consideration. The way the world works, things manifest from the inside out. The more people who focus on the world as they want it to be, the more their vision will become “matter” in the real world. I’m not talking about rose-colored glasses but rather a refusal to buy into doom and gloom, no matter how things look on the outside. If we buy into “what we see is what we get,” that’s what we’ll get. There’s no change possible.

What we see on Earth now is part of a process—one we can contribute to by how we think, feel and act. Certainly, act on what you do not accept. Write letters, protest, elect officials who support what you believe is life-affirming. But the most important thing we can do is an inner job to hold ourselves to spreading love, not fear. I know that isn’t easy, to assess what is an imminent threat opposed to identifying and letting go of worst-case maybes. (We have an inner alarm system for a reason.) The other important mental picture to hold: Any current chaos is the precursor to knowing what on Earth is going on. Confusion precedes new creation and clarity.

Time Well Spent

At the beginning of this month where the planets all are direct, consider working from the inside out to accomplish whatever you want for yourself and others. After that, you might want to keep going—stoking positive visions and letting go of fear.

Together, we might just change the world.


Photo Credits: Planets – blueringmedia –; Don’t Feed Fears Sign -; Quote by Suzuki on Confusion – Art by Orna Pascal -

Happy Epiphany on Jan. 6, The Coming of the Three Astrologers