Thursday, March 25, 2010

Two for the Price of One—A Heal of a Deal!

Dear Radical Readers,

Continued positive input rolls in on my e-book, Chiron and Wholeness: A Primer. To encourage those of you who haven’t yet purchased it to take the leap, I’m offering a bonus from now through the month of April. Anyone who buys Chiron and Wholeness through April 30 will receive, in addition, a copy of my fiction e-book, The Training Tape. I think you’ll find them a remarkably complementary pair, and you’ll save $3.50 on the second e-book, too!

To purchase, see New E-Book on Chiron and the Chiron and Wholeness book cover on the sidebar. Both books will be delivered to you by e-mail as PDF attachments.

Hope you’re enjoying the season of wild creativity!

Blessings all,

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It’s Spring! Let’s Get Seedy

© 2010 by Joyce Mason

Spring arrives in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20 this year. We call it Spring Equinox, because it’s a time of equal light and darkness. From here on out, we have longer hours of light until the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Spring is the natural New Year, the time to plant both literal and figurative seeds for growth.

The parallels between the cycles of human and plant growth abound and can be seen clearly in the cycle of the 12 astrological signs. (See the series, High Signs: Living on the Upside of the Zodiac.) Spring begins with Aries, the sign that “goes for it” with abandon and wants to run out and do new things in a hurry. Nature simply bursts forth as winter turns spring. It’s almost like fireworks in buds and birds and streaming sunshine.

Best Time for Your New Year’s Resolutions

We write our New Year’s Resolutions at the wrong time of year—the beginning of the calendar year. Our Gregorian calendars are off-cycle with the natural world. Winter is for rest and recuperation, not for big ideas that require a lot of energy. Take it from the bears. In winter, we’re supposed to be hibernating. No wonder so many of our resolutions die on the vine. Have you ever tried to plant something in the cold of winter in a frosty climate?

Spring is the “natural” New Year. If you write your resolutions in spring instead, they have the full support of nature and the Aries oomph to bloom where they are planted. Each resolution is a seed of manifestation. Some plants will be ready to harvest by autumn; some will need more cycles to come to full fruition. But to harvest, you’ve got to plant. Take time to identify and plant your metaphorical seeds.

Seed Meditation

To help you craft your resolutions or seeds of manifestation, here’s a guided meditation to help you focus your inner gardening. Play some soothing music in the background. George Winston's Winter into Spring would be ideal! Stop between each bullet to reflect and write:

• Scan your life for what’s important to you. Don’t think too hard. Write what’s on the top of your head.

• Considering what matters to you, which areas of life could use improvement? Choose the three most important. Write them down.

• Now that you have the Top Three, start with #1. What do you want to change in this area of your life? What does it look like? Imagine you have already created it. What does it feel like? Now, write an affirmation as though you have already planted, grown, and harvested this seed in your life. Example: I have a happy, playful, and amiable relationship with my partner—one of shared responsibilities and joy. Or: I have more than enough money to meet my needs—plenty to cover most of my wants and to share my wealth.

• Continue your affirmations in Area 1. It’s OK to write a lot, but remember you may not harvest everything this year.

• Write your affirmations in Area 2.

• Write your affirmations in Area 3.

• Continue to write in additional areas, if wanted.

To take maximum advantage of the power of its threshold, I recommend doing this exercise and writing your resolution seeds as close to the actual equinox as possible. That’s 10:32 AM on March 20 from the perspective of my US Pacific time zone; adjust for yours, if different.

After the Meditation

Write your “seed” affirmations somewhere you can refer to them—and say them, either aloud or to yourself—often. Write a reminder in your calendar or computer to revisit your “seeds” at least once a month. Watch how they grow with the seasons through summer. Do you need to thin them out? Water or tend to them more? Keep only the ones that are rooting? At autumn, which ones are ready for harvest? Which ones have you manifested? You can “move” the seeds to next year’s Seed List for 2011 if it needs more time.

The Importance of Visualization, Affirmation

Seeds contain the complete DNA of the flower they bloom, just like an embryo is coded with the fullness of our unique humanity.

When we’re working with mental substance, we have to create the equivalent of DNA. We need to think, see, and feel the pattern from idea to manifestation in order to “code” it so it comes out the way we have in mind. That’s why visualization is so important. Affirmation is part of the process of growth. In the human body, the magnificence of Creator and creation is reflected in the amazing growth code in our bodies that works on autopilot. When we work with invisible substance, we have to create a growth mechanism, too. Returning to the vision and supporting it with booster shots of the same thought forms that created it—that provides the mechanism for growth.

This Spring, the Cardinal T-Square

Much will be written on these and other pages in the coming months and years about the Cardinal T-Square in the sky through 2012. It’s in orb this Spring Equinox, even if Uranus hasn’t quite made it to the 1 Aries Cardinal threshold: Uranus (26 Pisces), Pluto (5 Capricorn), and Saturn (1 Libra). In a two-word nutshell, the consensus, so far, is big changes. With Uranus just a few degrees from the Aries cusp, we’ll feel these energies beginning to build as a cultural and personal influence. Uranus is likely to bring upheavals and breakthroughs. We’re already seeing Pluto transform our global economy, and for many, the ride has been scary; others know resurrection is the light at the end of the dark tunnel. Saturn in its current sign offers us the opportunity to change how we relate, not just to each other, but to those Libran issues of equality, justice, and peace.

Use your spring meditation to let ideas bubble up from your subconscious about what you can do in your life to make the most out of this build-up of Cardinal energy. All seasons start with a Cardinal sign: Aries (Spring), Cancer (Summer), Libra (Autumn) and Capricorn (Winter). I’ve never heard the description of a Cardinal sign stated better and more simply on Ken Ward’s Astrology Pages: Cardinal comes from the French word “cardo,” meaning hinge on which something turns.

Every spring is a turning-point. This spring is a big one. Seed accordingly. The quality of your life hinges on it.


Photo credit: FINANCIAL PLANTING © Summerrobi...

A Note to My Soul:  This beautiful poem on one of my favorite blogs, Joy Frequencies, is a perfect prayer for the Spring Equinox--for going out and seeding good things for ourselves and others.  Thanks to author Susannah who shares her joyous take on life to our collective benefit.

CELEBRATE! Spring Equinox marks the 1st birthday of The Radical Virgo blog. The first full-length launch post and birth data of this blog: March 21, 2009 at 8:58:40 PDT, Rocklin, CA – USA. (See chart.) Thank you for your continuing, heartening support! The Radical Virgo regularly ranks in the top 20 (sometimes the top 10!) of the 100 astrology blogs followed on PostRank.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sleepless in America—What’s Pluto Got to Do with It?

A confidential report from Ivory Phoenix, C.I. (Chronic Insomniac)

Note: This is a pre-publication excerpt from Ivory’s forthcoming book, Living with Insomnia: What to Do when Your Sleep Number is Up. She’s not sure yet what publisher it’s forthcoming from, but Ivory is an intrepid optimist.

In the past several years—since the planet Pluto went into Capricorn—statistics on sleep disturbances have soared.

According to CNN, sleep problems are estimated to be the #1 health-related problem in America. Almost 74% of all Americans don’t get enough sleep each night. 

It seems like half the commercials on television are for sleeping pills and Sleep Number beds. (The other half is about pills for E.D., still another problem related to Pluto.)

As a long-time insomniac and an aficionado of astrology, I’ve been convinced for ages that Pluto is the planet most associated with sleeplessness. Over the years, I’ve noticed that whenever Pluto is stationary, half the people I know complain that they haven’t slept in weeks. Of course, since I mainly hang out with fellow Plutonians, that’s not exactly a random sample.

Not that I’m much given to scientific inquiry. I’m more of an observer of myself and the people around me, a collector of anecdotal evidence and direct experiences. I just know what I know….and maybe a few of my observations and theories will strike a chord in you. I’ll also share a few tips for getting to sleep if you’re struggling.

I believe that Pluto is the #1 cause of psychologically-based insomnia. Well, naturally, Pluto doesn’t CAUSE anything in and of itself. If it did, we could send a rocket to blow the little bugger up, and the money we’d save on sleep aids each year would feed a 3rd world country. The correct thing to say is that in the birth chart, it gives us clues to things that happened to us that left emotional scars.

How Plutonian Experiences Contribute to Sleep Disturbances

People with a strong Pluto natally have often been through childhood or adult experiences like physical or sexual abuse where their trust was betrayed or where they witnessed abuse to a loved one. While psychotherapy and other forms of healing help in their recovery, fears related to events like these remain in the body memory at a cellular level. If something occurs to activate the fear, even when they’re not consciously aware of it, they’re afraid to go to sleep. At a certain very childlike level, sleep can represent death to them.

Sleep may also represent death to the acutely bereaved. Burying a loved one can be a way the sleep = death fear gets triggered. Grief often carries insomnia with it, the kind where you wake up around 3:00 AM and are swamped with it. It’s also part biochemical—acupuncturists find the lung/large intestine meridian disturbed, and acupuncture can help relieve it.

With all the losses people have had in the past couple of years, there’s an epidemic of grief in the world at large at this time. There are a number of important homeopathic remedies for the grieving, but the main thing that helps you work through grief is to grieve, for as long and as much as you need. Don’t let people pressure you to get over it, because shortcutting it can leave you chronically downhearted for no apparent reason.

There is a Saturn type of sleeplessness as well, caused by major depression, and commercials warn you that two in three people who are on antidepressants still have symptoms. For that they want to give you second antidepressant and maybe a sleeping pill or an anti-anxiety drug as well.

No pill is going to fix what’s wrong with our society. No pill can get your job back or pay the medical bills now that you’re no longer insured or bring your son or daughter back from fighting in the Mideast.

Since Pluto went into Capricorn and especially now that Saturn is squaring it, people have been scared, plain and simple, afraid that they’ll lose their homes, their jobs, their savings….afraid of terrorists, of earth changes due to global warning, of natural disasters, and of flu pandemics.

What Keeps Plutonians Up at Night

I’ll share the sorts of things that keep me awake, only because you might see yourself in them. You may get some insights into what’s bothering you when your eyes refuse to shut in the wee hours of the morning. And the tips about what helps me might also help you.

As a card-carrying Plutonian, I notice that I’m wide-eyed awake for hours after a disturbing newscast or tv show—like when Oprah has a sexual predator on—or if I encounter someone creepy during the day or if I read a gory murder mystery in the evening.

I can’t sleep after seeing horrifying aliens killing humans in a movie, especially with the special effects they have now. In these acute instances, what helps if I remember it is to stir some Rescue Remedy from a health food store into a tall glass of water and sip it.

I always have trouble sleeping if someone’s in the room with me, at least until I get used to them. It happened with each new lover, and it happens at conventions where I have a roommate, even one who’s a friend. I lie awake for most of the night. Other people need the comfort of a warm body to calm the fears, even if it’s just a pet. Being a SUAD (Single Urban Apartment Dweller), I have an imaginary golden retriever puppy who hops up on the bed when I am restless.

A lot of Plutonian tossing and turning happens when I’m furious at someone but didn’t feel like I could tell them. Some people would call that sort of nocturnal stew brooding; I call it processing. What helps is to go to my meditation spot and read something inspirational, like Thich Nhat Hanh’s Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames. I finish with a passage or two from A Course in Miracles—like the one that says, “Every decision you make is a choice between a grievance and a miracle.” Then I do a gratitude prayer, thanking God for my many blessings individually, and soon I’m nodding off.

I’ve had major surgery three times in my adult life, and each time, it took me months afterwards to be able to go to sleep. The trauma of having my body invaded that way while unconscious from the anesthetic raised my fear of sleep = death to unbearable levels. In each case, it was a homeopathic remedy from a naturopath that finally relieved the insomnia. 9/11 and flashbacks to the burning Twin Towers brought it back for a while.

More Sleep Tips from a Veteran Insomniac

I should start with the obligatory disclaimer. I’m not a doctor and thus not qualified to diagnose, prescribe, treat…or to do colonoscopies either, for that matter, even though there are plenty of congressmen I’d love to give them to.

And there are lots and lots of purely physical causes for insomnia, like chronic pain, overactive bladder, after effects of a head injury, middle of the night hypoglycemia, yadda, yadda. So do have your board certified and state licensed MD check you out for medical problems.

I’d wager good money that he’s going to decide you have sleep apnea and need to go to bed with a machine that blows air up your nose all night. Doctors love medical machinery and other shiny new gadgets, but very few of them have ever tried sleeping with a contraption like that. In my utterly unqualified and admittedly cranky opinion, a diagnosis of sleep apnea is a crock at least half the time! Sorry, ignore that rant. They’ll probably delete it from this blog anyway, so just pretend I never said it.

Besides the Rescue Remedy, I regularly use a mild homeopathic sleep aid called Calms Forte and herbs that soothe the nervous system like Skullcap and Avena, as well as Vitamin B compounds. When I’ve been working too hard mentally, I take a cell salt called Kali Phos to soothe the overstim—but that’s more of a brain food to calm a Uranus type of wakefulness.

I seem to be phasing caffeine out, much as I love it, and that helps. I don’t eat red meat at night because it keeps me awake. I taper down on the fluids after supper, as that cuts down on the middle of the night bathroom breaks. When I go to bed, I do deep breathing and try to blank my mind out. Keeping the room a little cold helps, but if my feet get cold, I can’t go to sleep, so I wear socks.

I don’t know if my tips can help you or not. But, hey, I’m no doctor, so please don’t think I’m diagnosing or prescribing, I’m just reporting what works for me. If you want to read what an expert has to say, see The Insomnia Blog by Sleep Doctor Michael Breus, Ph.D .... also has a Sleep Disorders Health Center online with a wealth of articles.

I could use some new tips myself! What about you, Reader? What works for you when you have trouble getting to sleep? Let us hear about it in the comment section.


What Ivory Phoenix says about herself: I’m a professional amateur, so I don’t have a website of my own yet. If I got just a smidgeon of encouragement, I’d start a blog for rants like these. I’d call it Ivory’s Ebony Inklings: The Dark Side of the New Age. Meantime, see more of my writing here: Ivory's Other Articles.

Photo Credit: Girl wide awake © Qwasyx

Cartoons from Ivory’s private clip art collection

This article is featured in Pluto Problems Got You Perplexed? Here’s What Helps! published by Skywriter as Part of the 2010 International Astrology Day Blogathon. The purpose of this web-based event is to create a permanent library of articles about how to deal with the stresses of the Cardinal T-Square of Pluto, Saturn and Uranus. The main page for the Blogathon collections is at The Cardinal T-Square of 2010: Saturn, Uranus, Pluto.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Flower Essences for Pluto and Resilience—"Don’t Worry, Be Happy"

© 2010 by Joyce Mason

Common descriptions of tough Pluto Transits are:

• Going through hell

• The rug pulled out from under you

• Being knocked on your butt

When we fall, tensed muscles and rigidity cause us to hurt ourselves. People who don’t see the fall coming are relaxed and barely skin their knees. On a trip to Greece, I took a hard, graceless pratfall on an ice-smooth ancient courtyard. When I got up and dusted myself off, I hadn’t hurt a hair on my head. I had just gotten a “chiro-pratt-ic” adjustment, thanks to the Greek God of Cobblestones.

Adjustment is what Pluto insists on for us, and when we vow to cooperate with the master plan, there is less pain in the transformation and an easier rebirth.

Modern Folklore—Medicine in Music

There is often great wisdom in homespun remedies, and music often transmits similar folksy advice. Here are some songs that popped into my mind about Pluto and resilience, matched with the flower essences that popped in right behind them. (To hear these songs mentioned in this article, click the links on the song titles.) If you’re new to flower essences, visit Vibration Magazine’s Frequently Asked Questions for a quick orientation.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

As I contemplated this article, Bobby McFerrin’s, Don’t Worry, Be Happy would not stop ringing in my ears. I started thinking about the worry and depression we often feel as Pluto comes into orb, especially when it brings losses, loneliness, a sense of devastation, and disorientation. Inner guidance led me to create this

Don’t Worry Be Happy Blend:

Mimulus (Bach, Healing Herbs) – The ultimate remedy for known worries or fears, the “don’t worry” half of the brew. Mimulus is for specific fears, and you probably have a litany of them as Pluto approaches and embraces you in its clench demanding major growth. Mimulus will keep you attentive to what you can do or change now in your situation, not worrying about what’s ahead on the transformation track.

Zinnia (FES) – During these transits, we often lose our sense of humor and balance to the Dark Side. In my own Plutonian times, I’ve even lost my sense of connection with Spirit. Zinnia brings back our childlike, playful self to add levity to our trials and the “be happy” part of the equation. I’m not suggesting we can laugh pain away—we must walk through it—but we certainly walk better when we take breaks for play and comic relief.

This essence puts you in touch with your Inner Child. Kids have limited experience with time and tend to live in the eternal now. Living there means you aren’t compounding your pain by counting every minute of your transit.

Self Heal (FES) — This essence often acts as a binder that synergizes with other essences to make them work better together. Self-Heal helps activate your inner healing forces, giving you the confidence that you will overcome these trials and triumph.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy blend can be taken solo or in combination with up to two more essences. I don’t recommend 5-flower blends if you’re a novice at taking flower remedies, or you may end up with healing crisis and feel like you just reinforced the worst of your transit. If you have taken large numbers of essences in combination with no problem, go with what works for you.

I Feel the Earth Move

One of my all time favorite tunes is I Feel the Earth Move by Carole King, at the link above. If your Pluto transit involves a love affair, you will need some support once you’ve peeled yourself off the pavement from being mowed down by the Mack Truck of Love. Try:

Holly (Bach, Healing Herbs) – Supports you in releasing jealousy, envy, resentment and co-dependence. Restores a sense of freedom and unconditional love.

Willow (Bach, Healing Herbs) – Promotes forgiveness, acceptance, taking responsibility for your own life, and helps you “go with the flow.”

Bleeding Heart (FES) – Helps you let go of a lost love, whether through death or estrangement. Promotes healthy mourning in your fragile state as loss opens and expands your heart.

You’ll Never Walk Alone

You’ll Never Walk Alone was written in 1945 by Rodgers & Hammerstein for the musical Carousel. It has never stopped being relevant. Many artists have recorded it, including Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley. It speaks to how lost we feel when we’re trying to navigate a scary, disorienting event or a deep loss.

Even though I felt disconnected from Spirit in some of my own trips to the underworld, this song reminds us it’s an illusion—we’re never without the support of the Ultimate Love in the invisible. We may, however, need flower essence friends to lean on as we batten the hatches against the furies. Here are remedies that help:

Borage (FES) – For a heavy heart, discouragement, or grief. Brings buoyancy and courage.

Star of Bethlehem (FES) – Heals shocks and deeply restores your equilibrium after any trauma. It’s healing, soothing qualities help put you back in touch with your inner divinity.

Pluto Cycles (Desert Alchemy) is one of my favorite balms for all the usual suspects in a meet-up with the God of the Underworld: death and rebirth, regeneration, and deep psychological changes. It contains Arroyo Willow, Buffalo Gourd, White Pond Lily.

Make Your Own Kind of Music

I love this Mama Cass song. If songs pop into your head like they do mine, they are visiting your mind for a reason. There might be a treasure in that tune for you, and if you listen to the themes in it, words in the lyrics will suggest needed remedies. A song that gets stuck in your head is called an earworm. Let healing worm its way into your head and heart. At the end of your Pluto purgatory, you’ll be revitalized by deeply distilled changes.

Pluto transits teach us deep trust, not only in an ultimately loving universe, but in the process of growth and the many disguises and detours we take along the way. Even the House of Horrors at the carnival is time-limited. When you come out into the light on the moving tram, you know it was “just a ride.” In a bad dream or nightmare, there can be hilarious insights about the incongruities and insane moments that are part of the human journey to wholeness. The ultimate lesson of Pluto is being comfortable in your own power.

After Pluto—especially after meeting Pluto with as much resiliency as possible—it’s a new day, one you’ll see with different eyes because your entire body, mind, and spirit have been born again.


Photo Credit: Happy woman listening to music © Mircea Bezergheanu |

Joyce Mason is an astrologer, writer and blogger on The Radical Virgo. Her astrological specialties are Chiron, revisioning the sign of Virgo, and living on the upside of the zodiac. The Radical Virgo motto is, “Become the best you.” In relation to Pluto, you might find helpful Chiron and Pluto: The Comet Brothers, which compares the similar energies of both astrological archetypes and contrasts their differences. In The Depths of Change, Joyce distills insights from a tough Pluto/Chiron transit. She welcomes contact:

This article is featured in A Collection of Articles about How to Combine Astrology with Flower Essences published by Vibration Magazine as Part of the 2010 International Astrology Day Blogathon. The purpose of this web-based event is to create a permanent library of articles about how to deal with the stresses of the Cardinal T-Square of Pluto, Saturn and Uranus. The main page for the Blogathon collections is at The Cardinal T-Square of 2010: Saturn, Uranus, Pluto.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Boundaries 101 ~ A Course for Neptunians

© 2010 by Joyce Mason

This post is timely, now that both Jupiter and the Sun are in Pisces, the sign ruled by Neptune. The subject of this post isn’t just boundaries, a topic most Neptunians need to learn more about; it’s about boundaries and humor (Jupiter).

I have the blessing/curse of a strong Neptune. If you have several planets in Pisces, the 12th house, or numerous aspects to Neptune—come to my class! While I relish my intuitive abilities, artistic eye, and think compassion is one of my best characteristics, there’s the downside.

At times in my life, I really knew how to spell victim (J-o-y-c-e). Since I also have a fairly large dose of Pluto, you can only imagine the high drama that was my daily fare until I matured enough to handle this astrological load.

All Dreams Are Neptunian … But This One Takes the Fog

Recently I had a dream that almost made my hair stand on end. Without going into all the gory details, here’s the short version.

I was given the bum’s rush by a man I met at my dad’s dentist office. “Mr. Rush” followed us home and was acting too familiar with me from the moment he crossed the threshold—where I would have stopped him in waking life. After 24 hours of being charmed, I was alarmed when he crossed my invisible line--blatantly. I told him, “Too much, too fast, too soon.” There was much more to it, including a later scene where I learned he had a hidden identity. He was not what he seemed at all, and he was stalking me. In the finale, he made an actual attempt to harm me physically. He set me up by “fogging” my house with dry ice, like people do when they’re making a Halloween spook house. I ran to the nearest (I thought) safe place where he was lying in wait, weapon in hand.

Although it ended well (my brother arrived, ran to call the police, and I knew I’d be saved), this dream scared me into a review of where I stand with boundary issues.

In all honesty, I can only give myself a C+/B-. I’ve gotten much better with chronic offenders and their behavior I usually let go on too long without calling them on crossing the line. My tolerance time is shorter, and I’m more attuned to things not “feeling right.” When I state my boundaries clearly and people continue to cross them, I sever the relationship. It takes too much life force to fight “energy theft” which goes on under the table, when the other person is either in denial or oblivious to the transaction. These encounters remind me of a line from The Desiderata: Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

Aggression is not always loud. It is sometimes quiet and so subtle, it slips all notice until you are in a state of advanced vexation. I do not deserve to be vexed by people who bite my neck and suck my energy. Neither do you.

Close Encounters of the Icky Kind

The same morning I woke up with this dream, I had a close encounter of the negative Neptunian kind, although it was a much milder one compared to my dramatic dream. These are one-act plays in real life. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to handle them.

It happened at the grocery store. The bag clerk was a young woman who made some teasing remarks that didn’t sit right with me. I didn’t think her banter was funny. Anyone who has ever encountered a bully knows that teasing can be cruel. It is only sweet if done with great affection, care, and knowledge of the recipient.

Teasing humor is only appropriate between intimates. To kid somebody without hurting them, you have to know their buttons, touch them, but love them enough not to push.

I didn’t know this kid in the grocery store from Adam. I figure, to allow entrée for that kind of ribbing, I should at least know her name. She could have tromped all over my buttons and left me bloody. On an energetic level, I felt like I’d just been slimed.

When the older checkout clerk picked up that her sidekick’s remarks didn’t land well, she said, “She’s just messin’ with ya.”

“Whatever,” I said, not sweetly.

“In the best possible way,” the older, wiser one tried to intervene.

Intervention should have not been necessary. This young woman’s mother, sister, teacher—someone should have taught her that certain kinds of humor are not for strangers you just met in the grocery store. Or am I being too Virgo/ hypersensitive? I don’t think any regular reader of this blog would question that I have a sense of humor.

One of the ironies in this encounter is that I did not hear completely what the young woman said to me, but I definitely got the vibe. The older woman’s comment that her workmate was “messin’ with me” confirmed that my radar was working even if the noise level blurred some of the particulars. I’m relieved that I’ve stopped doubting my intuition in these instances. I can’t count the times in the past I have been fogged and convinced myself “it was just me.” Later, after unwitting participation in prolonged, anguished, and underground game-playing, I’d discover that I’d read the situation clearly in the first place. I just buried the truth in self-doubt.

I find the assumption of instant intimacy to be very passive-aggressive. There used to be a euphemism for unwanted sexual advances—getting too familiar. Presumed intimacy, whether sexual or psychic, feels like a violation.

There’s a woman I encounter regularly who got off on the wrong foot with me by this kind of joking from the first day I met her. I watch her do it to others and wince. I can barely stand to be around her and avoid her like the plague. She also does the other thing I can’t abide that I consider so passive-aggressive. She “tells on you.” If there’s something you do that annoys her, she’ll be sure to announce it with thinly veiled sarcastic humor, only when she has an audience. Of course, she can always claim—and usually does, that she was “just kidding.”

Apparently you don’t know how to kid properly. We aren’t both laughing. ~Ellen DeGeneres

Let’s Hear Your Tips on Busting Negative Neptune

I am really at a loss how to deal with some of these folks. Do I have to be willing to make a scene? “Be snotty,” that thing my Mom couldn’t stand in me when I was a mouthy kid who didn’t know any better? The possibility of being utterly honest reminds me of a tagline for a long defunct Sacramento-area weekly newspaper.

Tell the truth and shame the devil. ~ Slogan, Suttertown News

Maybe I just have to state my truth politely. If bad feelings follow, join the party. I already feel bad! I hate to risk a confrontation in the grocery store or at a meeting. Is there a more elegant way? Is it worth the potential discomfort with a stranger or mere acquaintance?

In the same way I don’t know some of these women well enough for their teasing “humor;” I wonder if I know them well enough to tell them how much their behavior offends me. If I did, would it fall on deaf ears and cost me a large, worrying energy expenditure that would, once again, leave me feeling sucked dry?

Living in integrity is not as easy as it sounds. Neither is living with a chunk of chalk where you have to keep drawing your line, especially in the nebulous, intuitive, energy realms.

Neptunian types, by our very nature, are more open at subtle energy levels and draw “inappropriate advances.” For our own mental health, we simply have to learn how to identify and deflect them.

A coda to the story: Before I took offense to the bag clerk, we had a conversation about my bring-along bags and how the insulated one was great for all frozen foods or those that need refrigeration. After I had drawn my line, she put all those kinds of items in the flimsiest, non-insulated bag I had brought. I laughed internally but chose not to react. More accurately, I was rolling my eyes to myself but refused take the bait. If only I had been quick enough on the uptake to do that the first time—or had heard that great line by Ellen DeGeneres before, instead of after this encounter. Ellen showed me yet another option—fight Jupiter with Jupiter, "humor" with humor.

The Radical Virgo knows there’s no “right” answer on this one, but she welcomes a conversation in the Comments about how you handle boundaries and interactions that go too far into your psychic space without permission. Together, we can create the class—and with our synergy, maybe we’ll come up with some classy solutions.



Friday, March 5, 2010

More Saturn in Libra Exercises to Understand Your Relationships

Part 2 of 2

©2010 by Joyce Mason

In the previous article, Saturn in Libra: “Form” Your Love Life, Chart Your Relationship History, we began creating a timeline of past relationships. My inspiration was an exercise on charting times of personal transformation, based on the book, Living Deeply by Marilyn Mandala Schlitz et al. One of the exercises the authors invite readers to do: make a chart of your life in seven-year cycles. Of course, that’s the Saturn cycle with its seven-year increments!

The idea behind this worthwhile effort is to observe the way your current relationship issues mirror those of seven years ago and often, other previous cycles of seven, even back to your earliest pre-teen or teen relationships. Sometimes the same themes repeat throughout the seven-year cycles and offer us new opportunities, on each occasion, to greet and resolve them with more maturity.

Why? Every seven years, Saturn is making a major aspect to its natal position. Your planets linked to Saturn by natal aspect are getting an extra boost of Saturn’s influence. You can almost think of it as a double dose—Saturn by birth and temporarily, by transit. Since Saturn is both the planet of commitment and long-lived fears and resistance, most of us can benefit by looking at where we live on the fear-to-commitment continuum. The book I’m reading by popular author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) is a great example of the author’s struggle on that continuum. You can tell by the title, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage.

I have done several such exercises, creating timelines about various facets of my life and/or astrological influences. For example, since Chiron is my astrological specialty, I took the dates of my key Chiron cycles and wrote the major points of what happened during each of Chiron’s transits to itself. By the way, Chiron a lot trickier and less straightforward than working with Saturn because of Chiron’s wildly erratic orbit. For example, an individual’s first square of Chiron to itself can happen anytime between ages 5.5 and 23! It’s not neatly predictable like the seven-year Saturn pattern that’s virtually the same for everyone. To find your key Chiron transit dates, you’d need help from astrology software and/or an astrologer, if you aren’t one yourself. (Read Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets by Barbara Hand Clow for an introduction to charting your Chiron cycles.) Since Chiron is the bridge between Saturn and the outer planets, let’s go back over the bridge, back to Saturn, especially now that I’ve explained why this Saturn cycle exercise is going to be a piece of cake by comparison!

Saturn and Form

This relationship cycles exercise takes advantage of Saturn’s affinity for form. (Here’s a literal Word form you can use to do the exercise.) It’s a disciplined, structured, practical, organized approach—very Saturnian--to making sense out of your life’s drama to date when it comes to love. What can you hope to gain from it?

Those relationship patterns are likely to jump off the paper and invite you to take a grounded inventory of whether you’ve been living a soap opera, a heavy drama, a romantic comedy, or something in-between. The idea is to get out of yourself and to become an objective observer of your own life patterns when it comes to love.

The hope? To glean the best intelligence about how you’ve done relationship up to now, and if you don’t like this movie, apply some positive Saturn characteristics to change the picture: wisdom, realism, grounding, work, and discipline.

Bonus Exercise

Back to astrology: Now that you’ve done the Libra half in Part 1 of these two posts—examined the content of your relationship history—you’ve already done a bonus exercise that you can focus on next. Since you’ve recorded your relationship history in seven-year Saturn Cycles, you can see how Saturn affects your love life. At the end of every 7 years, you have gone through a quarter of the full 28-year cycle of square, opposition, square and conjunction to your natal Saturn.

The first return to your natal position, commonly known as the Saturn Return, happens at age 28-30. For the fun of it, you can write on the upper right of each page the where you are at in the Saturn cycle at the end of each age range, e.g. 0-7 (square), 8-14 (opposition), 15-21 (square), 22-28 (conjunction/return), and so on to your current-age page. (Don’t worry if your Saturn Return happens at 29 or 30, since there are slight variations in the cycle. For the sake of simplicity, just put it on the page that ends with 28. If you don’t see anything significant that happened in relationship for you that year, your next page will show them at 29 or 30—and you are now signaled on the previous page to look for them there!)

Of course, you could use any issue in the body of this format. Erase “Relationship History” and do another one for Job History to learn how Saturn has affected your career. But since Saturn’s in Libra, now’s the time to focus on your love life—and whether you want to restructure anything in this area of life that doesn’t work.

Some people may not need this adventure in introspection, but if you’re struggling with why your relationships haven’t worked in the past or are still longing for the right one, I think you’ll find this method to be eye-opening, mind- and heart-changing.

For those that make this journey of putting love into form, I would love to hear about your experiences in the Comments.


Note: This article is featured in Saturn in Libra and Relationships, published on Sasstrology as Part of the 2010 International Astrology Day Blogathon. The purpose of this web-based event is to create a permanent library of articles about how to deal with the stresses of the Cardinal T-Square of Pluto, Saturn and Uranus. The main page for the Blogathon collections is at The Cardinal T-Square of 2010: Saturn, Uranus, Pluto.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Saturn in Libra: "Form" Your Love Life, Chart Your Relationship History

Part 1 of 2

© 2010 by Joyce Mason

“Mature” relationship, by the very use of the adjective mature involves making peace with Saturn. There is a good reason why Saturn is exalted—best placed—in the sign of Libra. We all want relationships that endure, relationships that are “there for us.” We want love that’s steady and reliable, a love that creates just enough boundaries so we can feel safe to be ourselves, even when we push the envelope. (If we can’t push the envelope in a relationship, we can’t grow and the partnership withers.)

Regardless of where Saturn is placed in our natal charts, while it’s passing through the sign of Libra, Saturn’s relationship to relationship is highlighted for our common consideration.

I admire Donna Cunningham for stating publicly an opinion I share with her in a post on her outstanding blog, SkyWriter. Success in relationship has much more to do with personal history than the contents of our astrological make-up bag. This doesn’t mean we can’t learn from our natal charts and transits, but I think it means we have to look, first, at our own life stories. Our history tells us how we have played the astrological energies to date, whether we were conscious of them or not. (I was not conscious of mine before my first astrology class.) The way we explore our love history is by keeping an ongoing journal or creating a relationship timeline.

Of course, if you haven’t kept a journal your entire life, you don’t have your relationship history recorded. That is the case for most people. Even if you did, how would you ever mine anything out of all that scribbling? This calls for a different kind of exercise.

The Relationship Timeline

Recently, I joined a study group based on the book, Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life (Schlitz, Vieten, and Amorok). I can’t recommend this book enough for all spiritual travelers. One of the exercises the authors invite readers to do: make a chart of your life in seven-year cycles (Saturn cycles!). On the chart, you note when you had major changes of consciousness. They could be a tragic, joyful, or inspiring life events that led you to see your part in the cosmic whole or anything that seriously altered your worldview. I did it. What a revelation.

You could do the same thing with your relationship history. Make three columns, one skinny one for Dates and two wider ones for Relationship Events and Feelings About Events. (See Illustration. Here’s a link to download a blank Relationship History Form.)

Your first page is age 0-7 with the year below your age to help jog your memory. Second page is age 8-14, and so on. (Warning: The exercise takes longer the longer you’ve lived, but it's worth every minute of your time.) Quietly contemplate what was going on with you in relationships on each of those pages and time spans. Something wonderful about the memory. It will retain what’s important. I call that appearing in yellow highlighter in your mind. You don’t need to remember an event every year. What’s important will bubble up. Write it down.

While "romantic" relationships are the focus, don't limit yourself to them on the form. Especially in early life, your relationship to your parents and siblings impact the quality of subsequent ties. Include major ups-and-downs with family.

Once you’ve filled in the form (it’ll take an hour or two, depending on your age), scan the pages for patterns. What jumps out at you about your relationships? What were the key experiences and the feelings that went with them? Did you have similar reactions to like events?

How did you get into relationships? How did you get out of them? Was it graceful or always devastating? Do you recall the context?
For example, by doing a lot of memoir writing myself, I began to understand that I got into relationships that were wrong for me at my most vulnerable points of personal transition. A big one was between high school and college, my first “coming of age” step away from the parental nest and mom’s apron strings. That’s when I met a young man who had such an impact on me; it took me decades to get over him.

Another transition was when I moved to California—alone. For the first time, I stood wobbly on my own two feet. In this new place so far from home and roots, I had to create my own life. That’s when I met and married my first husband, an adventure in learning I’m grateful to have behind me, even while appreciating its gifts. I’m not sure I would have entered either of these relationships if I hadn’t encountered these men when I was exceptionally vulnerable and felt there wasn’t much Saturn stability in sight.

That’s when I tended—and am sure a lot of other people do, too—to grab the first person to hold onto without doing a thorough background check. I’ve since realized I do the same thing in friendships, another kind of relationship.


Next: More Saturn in Libra Exercises to Understand your Relationships (Part 2 of 2)

For more tips on relationship and how to manifest it, including flower essences that can help the process, read Finding Love in Later Life—Spirited Edition.

This article is featured in Saturn in Libra and Relationships, published on Sasstrology as Part of the 2010 International Astrology Day Blogathon. The purpose of this web-based event is to create a permanent library of articles about how to deal with the stresses of the Cardinal T-Square of Pluto, Saturn and Uranus. The main page for the Blogathon collections is at The Cardinal T-Square of 2010: Saturn, Uranus, Pluto.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

St. Patrick’s Day Quotes for the Signs

Here’s a little combined wisdom and blarney for the whole Tribe of Twelve! This time, Pisces gets a pair from my Mercury in Libra that can’t choose between equal goodies.

A toast with green beer to all,

Aries ~ Irish Blessing: May you live to be a hundred years, with one extra year to repent.

Taurus ~ May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night.

Gemini ~ Irish Proverb: It is not a secret if it is known by three people.

Cancer ~ Walls for the wind,

And a roof for the rain,

And drinks beside the fire -

Laughter to cheer you

And those you love near you,

And all that your heart may desire!

Leo ~ In order to find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God. ~ Stephen Braveheart

Virgo ~ Never iron a four-leaf clover, because you don't want to press your luck. ~Author Unknown

Bonus for All Signs: There are only two kinds of people in the world, The Irish and those who wish they were.

Libra ~ Irish Proverb: Two shorten the road.

Scorpio ~ Irish Toast: May you die in bed at ninety-five years, shot by a jealous husband (or wife).

Sagittarius ~ If you're enough lucky to be Irish, you're lucky enough! ~Irish Saying

Capricorn ~ Irish Toast: It is better to spend money like there's no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there's no money!

Aquarius ~ May the Lord keep you in His hand and never close His fist too tight.

Pisces ~ An Irishman is never drunk as long as he can hold onto one blade of grass to keep from falling off the earth. ~Irish Saying

Many an opportunity is lost because a man is out looking for four-leaf clovers. ~Author Unknown


Photo credit: AND I QUOTE © Zitramon, decked out for St. Paddys Day by Joyce and her clip art.

More Quotes for the Signs. Quotes for the Signs #1, Quotes #2, Quotes #3, and Quotes #4. Don't forget Auntie Joyce’s Astro-Aphorisms.

Week #4 Comment Contest Winner is Sarah Green  of Boston, MA, who commented on the post, Where Does Your Love Live? Sarah won a mini-reading with Joyce.
Thanks to all of you who have played! I love an interactive blog, and I hope you had so much fun, you’ll be back often. The real prize is the new people you’ll meet, ideas you’ll share, and tips you’ll find on using astrology as a tool for full-tilt living.