Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Listen to The Radical Virgo on Transformation Talk Radio ... and a Surprize

I talked with Silver Gaia radio host Dr. Brie Gibbs on October 4 about astrology, metaphysics and mysteries. In case you missed it, here's the link for our fun hour together. Enjoy!

And while we're on news bits, The Radical Virgo was recently chosen by a panel on Feedspot as one of their Top 100 astrology blogs. Check out the medallion on the sidebar. After more than 7 years and 450 posts, I think I deserve a medal, even if just for endurance, all Virgo modesty aside. Meanwhile ...

Happy Autumn, All!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Munchies for Astro-Thought: Elemental School

© 2016 Joyce Mason

The four elements are a very basic way of looking at your energy and approach to life—also, how life is currently approaching you. For starters, there’s the elemental balance you were born with, reflected in your natal chart. In most astrology programs, there is a report option that sorts it all out for you. Using my own horoscope as an example, I am primarily Earth/Air (6 points each), followed by Water (3) and Fire (2).

Yet, I have to tell you, I have often felt very watery, technically my weakest element. On the other hand, many people perceive me as fiery. There are things that modify the natal chart balance such as aspects to Neptune for feeling more water logged or Uranus for buzz, brilliance and feeling like the odd (wo)man out. A prominence of any planet (close aspects or many aspects) can shift the elemental balance in practical terms. Each planet has a characteristic type of juice that affects the equation. The outers can have a lot of influence. How they feel to me: Neptune adds water, Uranus—air/fire. Pluto, water/fire and Chiron an earth/fire combo. I experienced Jupiter as generically fiery, even though my own is in the water element.

On top of that, there are times in life where transits and necessity tip the balance of the four elements and create a stew that may not feel familiar. You might feel like you’re not yourself. Indeed, you’re not.

Is the goal elemental balance? I think it’s OK to be who you are, elementally, but it’s important to be able to beef up an element in the mix when you can really use a specific dose of earth, air, fire or water. Certain times in our lives emphasize specific elements. For instance, going to college is a very airy time. Caring for a loved one is both watery and very earthy. Competing for a new job or working to get ahead? Fire. And fire is play and fun, too—vacations, creative projects that are more fun that work.
This munchie is simple. Take a look at the elemental balance in your natal chart. Now assess your primary activities in this phase of your life—by element. This will give you both your elemental orientation and your current elemental climate. Adjust your activities for more balance, if needed.

You can look at the elemental nature of your transits, of course, but I find that perhaps a bit too airy—unless, of course, Air is a weak element for you—then by all means. For the most part, I’m looking for a visceral more experiential approach to elemental awareness and adjustment, if you find you have too much or too little of one of the four, leaving you to feel as wobbly as a three-legged stool. If you discover that you’re short some juice on any one of them or too long on others, here are some ideas on what you can do to increase or decrease the needed element or rebalance your energy blend for the time being. To increase the element, do more of these activities. To decrease, do less of them.


  • Physical work, especially work with your hands
  • Gardening
  • Exercise
  • Sex
  • Spending time in nature
  • Eating, especially heavier foods like meat and starches
  • Grounding activities like deep breathing and visualizations that “root” you
  • Drink coffee, if it has a grounding effect on you


  • Read
  • Study
  • Fly somewhere
  • Go on carnival rides that fly you through the air
  • Get involved in online groups to discuss issues important to you
  • Dive into politics
  • Take a class
  • Find a brain exercise website, such as Lumosity, and do some mental gymnastics
  • Get an app or join a group for games of strategy. (Mine’s Scrabble. Chess may be the headiest of all.)
  • Blog or post in social media on complex subjects. Get conversations going.
  • Communicate and upgrade your communications equipment 
  • Share ideas without getting emotional


  • Athletics and sports
  • Playing with children
  • Having fun in any form
  • Energizing forms of yoga
  • Spending time in sunshine
  • Activities around fire such as a fireplace, campfire or barbecue
  • Competitions of any kind, aiming to win or come in first
  • Creative pursuits
  • Doing things that excite you/fire you up
  • Gambling or games of chance

  • Watch schmaltzy movies
  • Do yoga or flowing martial arts such as t’ai chi or qigong
  • Swim, sauna or use a whirlpool
  • Meditate, emphasizing a release into the Cosmic One
  • Feed yourself and/or others nurturing foods
  • Visit hospital patients
  • Give to or volunteer for a charity such as feeding the homeless
  • Participate in world peace meditations or activities that work on the spiritual plane for uniting people
  • Do artwork, music or any soul-expressive creativity

Mastering your elemental mix is a simple and broad approach to toward activating your personal energy resources to meet what’s happening now. The simplicity of adjusting activities by element can ease feeling of out of sorts. If you try it, let us know how it works for you in the Comments.


Photo Credit: Andrey_Arkusha –

Monday, October 10, 2016

Munchies for Astro-Thought: Makeover for Old Planets and Signs

© 2016 by Joyce Mason

When the Sun is in Libra, it’s the perfect time to equalize your patterned response to your astrology chart. The idea is that we have glommed onto certain keywords, phrases or ideas about our planets and signs that may be limited and habitual. Our vision of them may not always give us the most possibilities for expressing ourselves. Sometimes a makeover is due, especially when the Sun is in a sign of beauty and balance. On the other hand, sometimes we have overdone the positive view of a planet, sign or aspect to the point of missing its darker side that we also need to learn from.

Try this exercise to look at life (and your chart) from both sides now, as in the old Joni Mitchell song:

1.   Take your favorite planet. Maybe it’s the Sun, Venus or Jupiter—or Uranus because you love being a unicorn. Write down the best and worst things you normally think of about this planet and its sign. You can also add its aspects to other planets in your chart, though it may be easier to keep it simple with planet and sign on the first go-round.

a.   Next, get quiet and meditative. Let pop into mind whatever comes to you about the configuration. Don’t critique your subconscious or worry whether its message contains accurate astrology, accurate fact or even a sane perspective. Our psyche speaks in metaphors and symbols, and it will likely mean something to you sooner or later. Just write it down afterwards.

b.   Now go to your favorite search engine and enter the name of the configuration. For instance, I’d probably enter Venus conjunct Sun and Neptune. This will bring up not just articles where your chart parts are mentioned but also comments people have made in discussions about them. Anything stand out as a new way of seeing or expressing your old planets?

c.    Optional: Hit your favorite astrology books, those you have on hand, to reacquaint yourself with your favorite astrologers’ ideas. Or ask an astrology-speaking friend what they think of when they see this blend of planetary poetry. As always, write it down. You might want to even create a special journal for your astrological explorations on your computer or in a special notebook.

2.    Spend the next week or so thinking about this exercise and notice how this planetary combo works in the laboratory of your life. What do you discover that's news to you? Write it down.

At the end of Part 2, what have you learned or changed about your impression of your favorite planet, sign (or aspect if you do them)? This exercise can be repeated over time with every planet, sign and aspect in your chart.

Please share, if you do the exercise, what you’ve learned from it. May it keep you well-rounded and open-minded, two of the best qualities we can have as stargazers on the Journey.


Photo Credit: © vladimirfloyd

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Joyce Mason Radio Interview October 4--Astrology, Metaphysics and Mystery

Save the Date/Time: Tuesday, Oct. 4 @ 3:00 pm PDT. I'll be talking about astrology, mystery and the mysteries of life on The Silver Gaia Show. Click the Radio tab for all the ways you can listen, including over the internet.

Learn more about The Crystal Ball and the Micki Michaels mystery series, my future writing plans, and what I've learned on my personal Metaphysical Mystery Tour since 1977.

Episode Giveaways: 2 e-book copies (PDF, kindle or Nook format) of The Crystal Ball, #1 in the Micki Michaels metaphysical mystery series , 2 e-book copies of Chiron and Wholeness: A Primer. This is an introduction to the centaur planet and the parts of yourself you have disowned for one reason or another--with lots of hints on how to reclaim them to become all you can be, Grand Prize: paperback copy of The Crystal Ball signed by the author 

Hugs from The Radical Virgo,

PS - Please share freely! 


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pluto: The Cosmic Reset Button

© 2016 by Joyce Mason

Happy Pluto Direct! The Lord of the Underworld stationed and moved forward on September 26 after more than five months of traveling “in reverse” from 17 Capricorn 29 to 14 Capricorn 55. One thing common to retrograde periods is the opportunity to reflect on and reassess the topics that planet symbolizes. (See Insights and Metaphors for Retrogrades.)

Some of the subjects in Pluto's learn-by-burn curriculum are:

  • Fundamental transformation
  • Permanent change
  • Personal relationship to world events
  • Regeneration
  • Inheritance
  • Death and rebirth
  • Beginnings and endings
  • Will
  • Subconscious forces

Of course, this is just a sampler of the immense turf Lord Pluto covers. Plutonian by birth, I have in recent years been held to the fire by transiting Pluto in my Cardinal-prominent chart. Now that I’m the oldest I’ve ever been, with many decades of dealing with this force under my belt, I feel like I’m finally “getting” Pluto.

Fixity and the Reset Button

Pluto rules the fixed sign of Scorpio, and I think it shows us where we’re stuck and where we dig in our heels. (Another Plutonian keyword is compulsion and I am guilty of that endless loop big time!) “Letting go” is such an important prescription for Pluto, but Pluto often asks us to give up what we love most. Surrender is hardest when the stakes are high.

Many of you know that in February 2015, my husband lost his mobility. (He has a form of muscular dystrophy). Along with the logistics of wheelchair transfers and living in a home not designed for wheelchair access, there were other health complications. Tim’s condition catapulted me overnight into 24/7 caregiving. This is not what I had in mind! I was still in launch mode as a new novelist, and I could see from the onset that my next novel would have to be put on hold for now, along with most of my other writing. (May as well ask me not to breathe.)

From the beginning of this very challenging assignment to be wife, nurse, companion and the doer of most everything, I knew that the only way this would work is if I took it a moment at a time, saw the humor in every disastrous part of the job (especially the untrained nurse flubs), and believed the Universe knows what he/she/it is doing. I’d tried the other way, going kicking and screaming to change, and this did not go well for me. (How ‘bout you?)

I had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for the first year-and-a-half, although I didn’t realize it at the time. My physical resources had never been so taxed, starting with helping a 200-lb. man in and out of his wheelchair and in and out of the car. I was so drained by the end of every day; I wondered how I’d go onto the next, much less have the extra oomph to get a house we’ve lived in 18 years ready for market. But I kept on keeping on. From an emotional perspective, I finally had to surrender to depression medication, which has actually been so effective for me; I’m sorry I didn’t do it sooner. At some point, I began to realize that Tim’s healing was my healing, too. That I had been stuck in lots of ruts in my life (that old fixity) and I had been given work to do that would force me to relinquish what didn’t work anymore and to appreciate the gifts of my next life within a life. (My brother once described the marriage of two relatives, both very fixed by element in their charts, this way: “They aren’t just in a rut; they’ve dug a deep trench for themselves.” I didn’t know I had veered off course into a ditch.)

Recently, I got a Uranian flash about how a Pluto transit is tantamount to hitting the reset button on your computer. You do the same things over and over; it’s all locked up. Nothing you try works anymore, and it’s getting worse. There was usually an earlier warning. There is no moving forward. All you can do is reboot and hope that starting over clears all the glitches.

We talk about Pluto as a big end and new beginning, an energy that resurrects and renews us. We come out of “lockup” not only working again, but working in new ways that are healthier and better for us, fitting with the next leg of life.

Balance and Silver Linings

I would have never believed on Valentine’s Day 2015 when all this started that I would see so much good in what is probably the most difficult thing that I’ve ever done. Yes, it’s confining, but I know the worst of it is temporary. Once we move to more wheelchair friendly digs in spring and get a large cash influx from the sale of our home, we’ll be able to hire more help. We can get a van equipped with an electronic ramp. Then Tim can zip up the ramp in his power chair. I’ll get to retire from assembling and disassembling the manual chair for every trip (mostly medical appointments) and spend more time writing than at the chiropractor and physical therapist. We’re not kids anymore, and I have my share of arthritis and flexibility issues. Plus I’m short, which makes all this navigation nothing short of hilarious at times, while I try to steer Tim’s chair, leaning way left and  then way right behind it, teeter tottering to see around him because I’m too vertically challenged to see over him. Let’s just say I don’t have a good relationship with doorframes and medical personnel cringe when they see me coming--and leave me a wide berth.

You can’t imagine how hard we’ve learned to laugh during the course of this adventure. (Thank God for gallows humor and two Jupiters in Scorpio.) What this era of my life has brought me is balance, which my Taurus Rising, Venus-ruled chart and three planets in Libra are gulping like water found in the desert after a long, dry thirst. I used to think my mission was to share my experiences in the world, to touch as many lives as I could. This left me sometimes not doing all I could for my small family, and that realization is painful. I am making up for lost time.

Reflecting on how this came to happen, I was single for most of my adult life, married eight years to my first husband but otherwise not partnered till Tim and I got back together (childhood sweethearts) the year of our Chiron Returns. I was used to making the world my family and as an Outerplanetary Person, this orientation was natural. While relationship was what I craved, I also realized that my Chironic wound involved a lot of fear of abandonment. Therefore, I never surrendered completely to a relationship, even with Tim, knowing I’d likely lose him first—especially a guy with significant health issues. I’m now “in” 100%, although a day doesn’t go by that I don’t realize tomorrow isn’t given. This was underscored by my niece’s recent loss of her chronically ill husband. No one, not even his doctor, expected it to happen so soon. Talk about hitting close to home.

Family, in fact, has become the most important thing to me—which it always has been, even when I didn’t act like it. My Uranian sense of not fitting in was just another defense mechanism. When I really analyzed it, rejection wasn’t there. As an adopted person, I know more than anyone that you can love people who are essentially different from you. I got lots of little hints in the last year that my family loves me much more than I gave them credit for, even if their worldviews don’t match mine, just as it was with my parents. (They didn't always understand me, but they loved me without question.)

Getting Off the Merry-Go-Round

Another metaphor I like about my Pluto metamorphosis is realizing that it took something BIG to get me off the merry-go-round of how I usually did things. Caring for Tim forced me to slow down, living on the fumes of my last drop of energy. From that wasteland of get-up-and-go, I finally started seeing that I was not apportioning my time and juice in keeping with my personal ideals and goals. (Personal energy management has always been a huge issue for me.) I wondered many times if I’d ever have my old zip back. I’m happy to report it’s slowly returning and that I have learned: the only way you can successfully care for another is to care rabidly for yourself as the caregiver. You are the grid for the electricity in your lives, and you cannot afford brownouts or power outages. My “alone time” has become more sacrosanct than ever, and I have been happy to learn at caregiver support events that I score high on self-care for someone in my shoes (nurse’s clogs).

In the Western world, we don’t slow down often enough, which is what retrogrades call for. Only when the world stops spinning can we reorient ourselves and see from the new perspective of stillness and thoughtfulness. How do we make good decisions, going in circles, always dizzy?

Arriving Is the Fun, Even if Getting There Isn’t

The hardest part of a Pluto transit is getting through to the other side of it. There’s no dodging, ditching (see above about digging ditches) or postponing it. This reminds me of the title of a very helpful book Tim read when he was grappling with depression. It’s by Douglas Bloch, an Astro-savvy man who has also written astrology books with Demetra George.  It’s called When Going Through Hell ... Don't Stop!

Non-resistance is essential. It hurts too much if we don’t align our little will with the Big Will represented by Pluto. On the other side (a metaphor for heaven), you meet a New You and a New Life.

Or at least that’s what I have to report so far. One of my high school friends is the mother-in-law of Joe Henderson, a writer and producer who has written several episodes for the TV show, Lucifer. Lucifer Morningstar (yeah, Pluto Himself) takes a vacation from Hell to visit LA and experience hanging around with humans. Tom Ellis plays him as a real charmer, and among other things, Lucifer sidles up to a young detective, Chloe Decker, played by Laura German, and inserts himself into her murder investigations. He wants the right person to be punished. (How devilish.) While I’m early into watching the series on Hulu, hanging out with humans is already starting to change the Prince of Darkness …

… as I believe hanging out with Pluto changes us. Inspector Decker is already starting to give into Lucifer’s pressure to help her solve crimes.

For many of us stagnation is the biggest crime of all. Release, relent, reinvent—renew.


Photo Credit: tashatuvango -

The Radical Virgo would love to hear about your takeaways from Pluto natal aspects or Pluto transits. You’re encouraged to comment.

More on The Radical Virgo about Pluto: