Venus and Mercury Direct: Money, Values & Thinking Begin to Straighten Out


Venus is now direct in the sky. She is not completely out of the woods though, as she starts her forward journey square Saturn ( also retrograde) and moving away from that planet of limitations and budgets, will conjoin the fixed star Sheat (unhappy surprises and accidents) at 29 Pisces before diving back into Aries, her least favourite place in the whole zodiac!

When Venus is in Aries, She can express in a self-centred, thoughtless and even violent way. We are likely to feel irritated without really understanding why. She finally reaches Taurus’s safe shores on 06 June.

Mercury will follow suit on the 4th of May. Once Mercury slows up, stops and begins to move forward again, he finds himself besieged by Eris on one side and by Uranus on the other. It is best to drag our feet a bit regarding major purchases. Get everything in writing and check, then check again!

By 09 June both Venus and Mercury are happily transiting their signs of rulership and that means better money flow and better communications for the rest of us. 

Thanks to Mercury and Venus we are going to see things easing a bit, but that Old Devil Saturn makes us wait for a substantial improvement to money flow until he stations direct on 25 August at 21 Sagittarius. Anyone with angles and personal planets from 21 through 27 degrees of mutable signs is in for a rocky summer. We can use this time to discover and sharpen our inner discipline and self-reliance.

picture from wikipedia commons project  - "672px-Poussin_Nicolas_-_Venus_and_Mercury_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg"

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Venus as Morning Star - Inanna / Ishtar Rises From the Dead

Ishtar's Decent

Ishtar's Decent into the Underworld is a myth often linked to today's inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun.  On 25 March 2017, Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun and so disappears from the sky.  She moves from being a Evening Star to , in a few days, as she emerges from oblivion,  she will reign as the Morning Star.  

There has been some fascinating new research by Adam Gainsburg and Gary P. Caton, on the link between Venus as Morning Star vs Venus as Evening Star and the quality of Venus as She expresses in the Natal chart.

“The solar feminine is, literally, our ‘light body’. She’s the one inside each of us who leaves nothing uncovered, nothing unfelt. We experience the full range of our actual feelings as her body.” Yet the Sun is expressive, so this is about being moved to take creative action.  The symbology is the intervention of Venus between our earthly existence and the Sun. Venus is the intermediary that takes our requests for love and happiness to the solar deity and translates them back to us.  Astrological Venus represents our values and the way we view the world as well as our ability to love and connect with others, and the Transit of Venus can only happen when Venus is traveling retrograde. The sense here for me is that we are being called to re-evaluate our values and the things in our lives that are most important."

In his excellent article at, Michael Meyer states "The inferior conjunction, equivalent to the New Moon phase of the lunation cycle, occurs when Venus is in the middle of its retrograde cycle and moving quite slowly across the zodiac. It is then nearest to the Earth and, from our point of view, dark. Rising before the Sun, Venus appears in the pre-dawn sky about a week after the inferior conjunction, when the Sun and Venus are about ten degrees apart. As a herald of the new day, Venus is called Phosphorus and Lucifer, the latter name meaning "light bearer."  Venus turns direct about three weeks after the inferior conjunction (15 April ). Thirty-six days after the inferior conjunction (1 April ), Venus is most brilliant in the morning sky. Thirty-six days more ( 6 May ), Venus reaches its maximum distance from the Sun. At this time, Venus is moving through the zodiac at the same speed as the Sun, and gaining."

So how can we best use this Retrograde Venus period?  This is a great time to take a hard look at our own value sets and see where they may need re-ordering or reevaluating.  On a physical level this is a super time to declutter and eliminate things no longer having value to us - which might offer real value to others. Do not be surprised to have old friends and even lovers, appear from the past.

As Venus brightens in the morning sky, we will notice a tendency to use less reflection before acting, so with gratitude for life and for the things and people we love as our rudder,  we can take a breath with the Universe, and THEN choose - hopefully more wisely.

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Spring Comes to Halifax

equinox chartAt 07:29 on Monday 20 March, the Sun reaches tropical ZERO ARIES, also known as the Aries Ingress. In Halifax, the Sun appears in the twelfth house of secrets and deception. It is also the house of the values of the government (second from the eleventh). The last solar eclipse landed at 8 Pisces, also in this area of life and Neptune is at 12 Pisces now, indicating a high risk of misplaced idealism.

Venus, one of two planets offering indications of finances, is deeply unhappy in her detriment by sign and house as well as exactly 30 degrees from the eclipse point. We are to suffer a bit of a shock this year, in terms of our values clashing with those of the ruling party. The other money planet, Mercury is close by – looking as though all the eggs are being (unwisely) placed in a single basket.

The Moon (public focus and opinion) is in the ninth house of higher philosophy and justice and conjoined by Saturn, which places a sort of mental straightjacket on the building unrest and anger at poor value judgments by elected representatives.

The Moon rules the fourth house which is weather, among other things, so we may well be in for a warmer, wetter and ( because the Moon is up in Sagittarius) windier spring than we expect.

With Vesta in play, we have a Grand Cross with some heavy outer giants. Anyone with planets or angles at 20 degrees of a cardinal sign ( Aries, Libra, Capricorn, or Cancer) will find big changes coming and not as they hoped or feared. For the Maritimes, the areas affected will be: The People, the Government, the Opposition to the Government and anger over international treaties and disputes. With Pluto in the Tenth, the ruling classes may be surprised to find that the power upon which they have come to rely may not be there when they go to reach for it. 

The main theme this year is a stripping away of old deceptions and the related loss of power which is its natural accompaniment. The challenge is for the will of the people to remain steady and calm, when the indications are more pointing toward some form of eruption. Thank goodness we are sensible Maritimers!


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The February 2017 Solar Eclipse - What is In Store for Nova Scotia?

SolarEclipseAs you will remember, the last eclipse fell at 22 degrees of Leo and Aquarius. This is in the present Eclipse’s TENTH and FOURTH houses. This means the government vs the people are still very much the focus of the local energy.  You may remember I said that everything would be smooth as long as the government behaved in a “fair play” kind of way as the populace was scrutinizing their behavior and wanted to see “fair play” and the “good Maritime win-win” attitude. So, with this new legislation in place, there is a promise in that chart for a backlash of explosive proportions.

What does this chart say? Does it shed any light?  At first glance you could be forgiven for missing the connection: after all the eclipse is at 8 Pisces and the Uranus/Jupiter opposition is way over at 22 of the fixed signs.  BUT – the world is not flat like an astrology chart – it is in fact a sphere…. So in latitude ( aka DECLINATION ) there is quite a conversation going on between the SUN MOON NEPTUNE and MARS.  The Sun is the government, the Moon is the people and their emotional state, Neptune is the GREAT DECEIVER. So where does Mars fit in?  In mundane terms, Mars is aggression, violence, war and soldiers. Well here in the Maritimes we consider swear words and loud music a kind of violence, so I think the explosion will be somewhat tempered by our native horse sense.  Nevertheless the anger is going to be directed at the ELEVENTH HOUSE of elected parliaments, local government and legislation.   The people are tired of a government which does not behave the way they themselves would in the same situation.  It may be time for a change.


There are two other rather interesting declination pairs, that of Saturn and the Rising Degree (Ascendant) in contra parallel at -22°05 and +22°21 respectively, also  that of Pluto (COMPLETE DO OVER) and the Point of Fortune (LUCK) at -21°12 and +21°55 (OPPOSING/ CONTRAPARALLEL) respectively. Saturn will weaken the self image of the province – the people will be feeling embarrassed or disillusioned with the behaviour of their leaders, but in some way feeling impotent to make any positive changes at this time. This is like a pot on the boil with the lid on too tight and steam will start to build up! In terms of Pluto and the Point of Fortune, those bodies are also in a QUINCUNX (150°) aspect (AWKWARD CONVERSATION). This is a rough go for Nova Scotia in that power plays and power games (PLUTO) are likely losing us money and positive influence in the areas of multi-national trade (EIGHTH HOUSE) and behind the scenes decision-makers (TWELFTH HOUSE). All in all, this month is not the greatest in terms of both our money prospects and our international reputation. 

In terms of the world, these outer aspects were reflected in the sky when we had the French Revolution and in terms of Uranus – it was last in Aries when Hitler came to power. As Canadians, we are luckier than most, with our strong adherence to peace order and good government.  Yet we are feeling at the moment that we have not got good government… so let us look forward to the Spring Equinox (The Astrological `New Year') to see what changes might be coming to us in 2017. Can we influence things? Can we make a positive difference? Of COURSE we can!  -- We show kindness and compassion one small act at a time and we hold our elected members to a proper standard.  And we take care of one another. There is a reason people are looking to Canada in these difficult times.

NB - Join us 19 March 12h30 to 16h30 at the Halifax Central Library for a celebration of International Astrology Day!

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Lucky Skies in February ~ The Lunar Eclipse

EclipseLook up tonight and you will see the Moon go dark!  It will happen at 8:33pm Atlantic time. When I took a look at the local chart, I noticed that because of the Midheaven at 26 Gemini, our eclipse is going to be way cooler than the same event situated elsewhere.  Can you see how it makes that lovely Star of David because of the MC at the top of the chart? (Look around the 12 o'clock point - that's the Mid Heaven at 26 degrees of Gemini)

There is a lot happening in this chart. First of all we have TWO grand trines ( everyone else has only one -- we Maritimers are special! ) The one we share with everyone else is The Moon, Saturn And Uranus.  The Moon is at Her showy best in Leo in the Eleventh House of Elected Office and government. it is in harmony with Uranus (shock and upset) in the Seventh House of disputes and treaties and also in harmony with the Third House  Saturn, (the strict administration or suppression of education,  propaganda and the media) So I guess we will not be having the teachers' strike we were expecting this lunar cycle.  

The second Grand Trine is in Air   ( Gemini, Libra and Aquarius ) and features The MC ( the ruling class) , Jupiter ( again the upper classes)  and the Sun ( the centre of authority).  All this leadership is taking place in the houses of the aspirations of the people (10th),  the self image of the people(1st)  and the arts, leisure and our children (5th)  so the pressure is on the ruling parties to act in a manner in keeping with the Maritime way of doing business whilst protecting our young people. As this is a trine, it would appear they will keep their shirts tucked in, at least for the duration of this cycle.

In both cases we have a Righteousness Rectangle tucked inside those happy-looking trines. This is an indication that while we have smooth sailing on the surface, there is a great deal more tension in government under the covers than we are privy to understand.  If tensions are not carefully and respectfully managed, those who are ruled could well “blow a gasket” before the lunar cycle is complete.

If you have planets, especially the Sun or the Moon, at 22 degrees of Fire or Air, this will be a bit of a whirlwind time for you. Have fun by all means, but remember this is a cycle and it will pass. Before making any long-term decisions, maybe find a friend with nothing at 22 degrees of anything and see if they agree with you!

With Jupiter now headed backwards in the sky and Venus soon to follow, this is a great time to count our blessings and to reach out and support others who are less fortunate.  Retrograde motion may frustrate the “high fliers” but to those who are on the soul’s journey they are gifts of space and time to reflect.

NB: the lovely wheel image comes from the ONLY Canadian Astrology program MASTRO

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What Is An Astrologer Doing at a Wedding Show?

wedding astrologyI was invited to the Atlantic Wedding Showcase recently.  It was beautifully set up at the Cunard centre a great venue in and of itself. I really enjoyed  chatting with all the soon-to-be brides and grooms I met, but was asked more than once: "What is an Astrologer doing at a wedding show?"

It is at times like this that I am presented with the bald truth that not everyone is as passionate about the "starry science" as I am. So it is reasonable that they will not be aware that - not very long ago, nothing wedding-related was undertaken without first consulting a qualified Astrologer, including choosing the partner! Indeed in many areas of the world this is still very true!  In the Canadian context, bride / groom choosing  has had its day, yet I would like to offer a few thoughts on how a modern Astrologer can be of use to the happy couple.

Pick the Perfect Wedding Date 

I describe this in terms of surfing. My job as the astrologer is not to teach you to surf. It is my job to find you the perfect wave so that you can have the ride of your life. In terms of marriage - we pick our own  partners here in Canada, and there is much to be said for that. Through the correct application of Astrology, I can zero in on the best possible date and time from a range of dates you give me. 

One lovely bride-to-be asked an excellent question: "But I have my heart set on an evening wedding  what if our luckiest time is two in the afternoon?" The wedding chart is elected for the "last irrevocable act"  so in the case of a Canadian wedding, that is the signing of the legal documents.  Since that can happen at any time, there is no need to change the date and time of the celebration -- only the paperwork!  

Pick the Perfect Wedding Location

For those who might like a destination wedding, LOCATIONAL Astrology looks at the charts of the couple and finds the luckiest place to marry as well as the date and time.  All of these of course are chosen out of a list offered by the soon-to-be bride and groom.

Own And Delight in Your Differences 

Even when two people have been living together, it does not hurt to have a look-see at the two charts to pinpoint areas of joy as well as those things that be start to irritate over time.  it is so much easier to iron out a middle ground BEFORE the trouble begins to brew!  Astrology offers this foresight, as well as ways to get to Yes together. Also, there is a third chart called the Composite, which accurately describes how the two will work as a couple.

If you or someone you know is thinking of marriage, I offer these services as gift items as well.  

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Is the 30 September New Moon a Black Moon?

Libra New MoonThe Black Moon

Social media is insisting ( I guess the way to make something true is to say it over and over ) that the second new moon in a month is a Black Moon or Dark moon.  I guess folks have the right to call it whatever they want, but to then place it in the sign of Scorpio..... when the new moon is tonight at 8 degrees of Libra, well, I`m sorry, I call shenanigans!

What IS in Scorpio Then?

That would be the Dark Moon Lilith. The glyph used for Lilith is a black Moon, as opposed to that used for the real Moon. From that wonderful site,  we read that Lilith always refers to the second focal point of the Lunar orbit, or to the Lunar apogee, which both are on the same axis and at the same position of the zodiac, from a geocentric viewpoint. The terms 'dark moon' and 'black moon' are both used for the same mathematical point. They even have a helpful diagram:

Black MoonThey explain that "The Dark Moon has also been defined as the apogee (farthest point from Earth) of the Moon's orbit. Both these points, the apogee and the second focal point, lie on the long axis of the orbital ellipse, the line of apsides. Seen from the Earth, they lie in the same direction, and therefore occupy the same place in the zodiac."  Because the orbit of the Moon continually shifts forward in space, the Dark Moon moves along the zodiac at about 40° per year. A complete revolution takes 8 years and 10 months."

The true position of Lilith bounces around quite a bit, because the Moon's orbit is somewhat wobbly.  Often you will see the Mean position of Lilith calculated.  To help you choose between them, i recommend an excellent article by Leah Whitehorse.  They can differ by up to 2 degrees, so if you keep careful notes, you should soon see which one holds true for you.

  lilithHere is the glyph of the Dark Moon Lilith

Lilith gets SUCH a bad rap!  She supposedly was Adam's first wife, who got sick of her man being a whiny misogynist so she hopped the wall (Garden of Eden Wall arguably) and went "home to Mum". She has lots of lovely names like Night Hag and such, basically Judaism and then Christianity stuck her "in the basement" at it were, with everything else they were unable to subjugate or control. 

Lilith is definitely a mitt-full, but she isn’t the evil Mata Hari she is made out to be.  Where you have Lilith, you have an overwhelming urge to colour outside the lines, to free your inner muse, to scratch the burning creative itch. Just be careful how it comes across to others -- Lilith is really not the sort to make the right impression at the debutantes' Ball!

Is there an Asteroid Called Lilith?

Why yes, yes there is!  Her Glyph looks like:

   and she is not used a lot in western astrological practice.  Even the Dark Moon Lilith is found more in French and European practices, although she is gaining popularity here in the West.

So... About That New Moon then...?samhain

A Libra Moon is a cry for balance and peace in our world. That's not easy with the OOB ( Out of Bounds) Mars still running around and causing trouble.  True he has left the sign of the zealot ( Sagittarius ) for a more sensible one ( Capricorn ), but it just means he will get better at planning and carrying out his plan!  Mars is part of a huge Learning Triangle with Jupiter and Ceres -- we still have so far to go to learn the lesson of compassion and the open heart we need to show each other ( the Buddhists call it bodhicitta ) 

Where the dark moon Lilith comes into play is that Venus "disposits" the new moon in Libra and Lilith is only 5 degrees away from her – so while our Identities (Sun) and Feelings ( Moon) crave peace with others, Lilith will make darn sure that it is not at the cost of our deeply held values or our inner wild child.

Mars comes back into the fold on 06 November - just in time for the Celtic New Year. Here we can see that the Sun has caught up with Lilith while the Moon has just zipped past the incoming Mars -- almost like a kind of"welcome home" -- so this Celtic New Year we can ( thankfully! ) renew our striving for peace.

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Thanksgiving Skies

tsquare  thgvgIt is hard to be thankful when everything seems to be getting under your skin. And for many of us, with planets, especially the Sun and Moon at or around 15 to 20 degrees, this is a tough time, especially this weekend, when the sun and moon form a tension figure ( t-square) with Uranus (and Eris - not pictured here) Everything feels more intense and more stress inducing than it otherwise might. For those with key points in Aries, Libra, Capricorn or Cancer especially, i would suggest allowing yourself decompression time when with family -- walk the dog, go to the car for something you forgot - whatever it takes to get a bit of head space. Fixed signs are not immune, Leo Scorpio Aquarius and Taurus, folks with key points near 15-20 degrees, you are coming at this configuration from a Quincunx ( also known as an Inconjunct ) perspective, meaning that it will be a bit too easy to take things to heart -- even when the words were not aimed in your direction! The best bet is to repeat the mantra "It's not all about me... it's not all about me!"  On a positive note, Venus Trine Chiron gives a chance for old wounds to have a chance to come to the surface and heal.  Be kind to each other and have a loving Thanksgiving xxx. 

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What Has Math Got To Do With Astrology?

stressSo I'm really enjoying teaching my NCGR Level 1 class at Parks and Recreation here in Halifax. Everyone has been having fun, they have gotten really good at finding the personality in the chart, ( we just did "can you guess who..." - Muhammad Ali - this evening) they can do basic time checks and even draw the chart by hand! 

But last week and this week we had to finally knuckle down and do the MATH. 

It was hard watching the light go out in their eyes, watch the frustration and the head scratching....  this is not the easiest stuff in the world! Indeed, many would say we are all wasting our time, that computers do it all now and we don't have to bother.... and at times I am almost swayed by that idea....

But  then I consider how critical it is for us as astrologers to be able to viscerally grasp the steps to a chart erection, to have a clear understanding of why we do each step and to spot ( and correct) any errors in the resulting chart.  Computers, you know, are a smart as toast! If we type garbage in, we get garbage out. So those of us who have run the gauntlet of chart calculation are much better placed to spot and correct errors.

We don't want our professional credentials to be outdated and inappropriate, but I am making the case here that requiring knowledge of  Celestial Math and Geocentric Astronomy of our up and coming young professionals is a case of being cruel to be kind. They need the breadth of understanding this discipline offers, because at some point they in turn will need to explain it to the next generation. If we water it down now, then who will carry the torch forward?

It is hard work, more than a bit confusing, but my money is on my students: we will get there - and just like Everest, the view will be fabulous!

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The 8 March Eclipse - Eris - and You.... What is in Store?

What do eclipses do to your birth chart? On March 8th  at 9:59 Atlantic time we will experience a total eclipse of the Sun at 18:55 degrees of Pisces.  Let's take a look at what this eclipse is all about and how you can find out where and how it will impact your life for the next 6 months.

Have you heard of Eris ?Eris If not, please allow me to make the introductions. Eris is one of three so-called dwarf planets which also includes Ceres and the mighty Pluto.  The mythology around Eris is one of chaos, revenge, feeling excluded or shunned and the dispensing of instant Karma. Basically she is the cosmic equivalent of lancing a boil

What has this to do with the March 8th Eclipse you may well ask? Well quite a bit as it turns out. I took a look at the discovery chart of Eris, which for your records is 5 January 2005 at 11:20 am at the Palomar Observatory in California USA.

This chart has a Sun at 15 degrees of Capricorn a Jupiter at 17 degrees of Libra, a rising sign of 13 Aries and the position of Eris herself is at 19 degrees of Aries.

When you apply these positions to the March 8th Eclipse chart, you see that Eris's Sun is right on Pluto (chaotic transformation) Eris herself is exactly on top of present-day Uranus (unexpected retribution), and the AC of the discovery chart falls just inside the 6th house of the Eclipse chart, with opposing Jupiter in the 12th of the eclipse chart (environmental challenges and issues, things like weather and air and water borne diseases)

The big indicators in the 8 March 2016 eclipse speak to cleaning house stripping away false mythologies and facing uncomfortable truths. If we go back in history to the point where Eris was at 18 degrees of Pisces (our eclipse point) we are looking around 1888 and 1889. In that decade we see the largest recorded snow storm in history (March 1888) on the eastern seaboard of the United States. We also see an economic panic concerned with the stock market which destabilizes the financial landscape and leads in the long to depression. On a positive note, we see an exciting new sources of energy in the first practical application of electricity in the form of Christmas lights.

Whereas Astrology is a statistical science, we want to see indications confirmed in more than one way. Let's check in with the fixed stars active in this configuration.  
~ Denebola,at 21°38 Virgo can indicate mental illness, happiness turning to despair, diseases, natural disasters, catastrophes. This is on the North Node of the eclipse chart.
~ Sabik at 17°58 Sagittarius conjoins the eclipse Saturn and can indicate perverted morals, lack of care, and success in evil deeds.
~ Achernar at 15°19 Pisces is tucked into the conjunction of Ceres, Sun, Moon and Chiron and can indicate religious benefits, sudden successes and the possibility of increased access to another realm.

So the evidence of fixed stars also points to upsets, shocks, weather troubles and political instability... but Achernar hints that we may find a way to move our whole mindset up to a higher octave.

The placement of Eris at 18 degrees of Aries is exactly 30 degrees from the eclipse point at 18 Pisces and conjoining Uranus This indicates that it is reasonable to expect a year where we find out uncomfortable truths, especially about the economic situation, and where we suffer extremes of weather and in unusual places.

This eclipse sits on Canada's (0:00 1 july 1867 Ottawa) south node so this will not be a great time for Canada - some outside influence will hold her back from achieving the far-reaching changes she is overdue to make.

So, what about you and me? What can we expect of the upcoming eclipse?  We all can expect to have to 'get real' where we have any planets or angles at 18-19 degrees. For example, if that degree is in your second house, you may need to get real about money. If it is in the seventh house, you might need to rewrite contracts or get honest about how much are are putting into your relationship, Wherever it is, expect to find yourself having to tear away illusion in some critical way - 'uncloaking' some hidden aspect of yourself, which, while initially terrifying, will subsequently allow you to be a more joyful you and let your life flow forward in a cleaner and more authentic way.

SPECIAL NOTE: If you were born in 1996 through 1998, your own Eris is within one degree range of this point, so you will notice the effects more than others.

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