Relationships and the Saturn Return

Charles W. Hawthorne – ‘Young Man and Woman’ 1914 {{PD}}

I’ve had a pair of comments/ questions from the lovely Nina; I’ll put the bodies of both messages below, then my own commentary.

Hi! My first Saturn return is coming up at the end of this year. I have this feeling that someone who I had a brief, but intense karmic relationship with ten years ago will be a part of my life again during this time. Our past encounter ultimately ended badly and I don’t feel like I’ve ever really had closure, nor has my attraction to this person ceased, despite being in a six year relationship with a different person (which recently ended).

My question is not “is this person my soul mate” or “will I end up with this person?” (I read the guidelines for submitting questions!) What I’m wondering is, what is your take on this? My intuition is telling me that we will date during this time and that it would bring us each closure and immense healing. I have a bit of astrology knowledge and I think we have some aspects that support this. But, I haven’t been able to find anything online about the idea of love or relationships specifically during a Saturn return. I am so curious for the take of an objective, experienced astrologer on this!

And then this:

Hi, it’s Nina, I submitted a question a few days ago involving love/relationship during a Saturn return.

As I have been thinking my question over, wondering if you’ll find the topic interesting, wondering if I explained myself well enough, I realized that I may have glossed over a relevant piece of information in pursuit of being concise.

So, I explained how I had a tumultuous “relationship” (we were never officially dating, but fought intensely and hooked up) with person A. This took place during our freshman year of college, specifically October 2007 through April 2008. It ended when he simultaneously stopped talking to me and started dating a close friend of mine the day after we had sex for the first time.

Fast forward about four years and I start my first real relationship with person B, who had become my best friend after meeting at the same college freshman year. He is also a best friend of person A. This is the relationship I was in for nearly six years. Person B had been secretly harboring feelings for me since the first time we met. our relationship was healthy for about a year and then turned sour for the remainder. We’ve recently given ourselves space and there is a significant part of me that hopes he will be the person I end up with, once we have each had time to grow as individuals. (That is to say, I hold out hope that we may start a new relationship after our Saturn return.)

We also make music together as our profession, so we are still very much a part of each others’ life. (In fact, we still live together! But, we are going to change this this summer or fall.)

So, the question I asked you in the first place was what are your thoughts on a relationship during a Saturn return. I want to date person A during my Saturn return, and then start a new and hopefully permanent relationship with Person B. It occurred to me that this love triangle was almost certainly important context for my question.

(It maybe be relevant to mention that I have no intent to hurt Person B by dating Person A. It was a mutual decision for Person B and I to break up, but it was he who was not sure if he was attracted to/loved me anymore. I don’t know if Person B would necessarily know about my potential relationship with Person A. But, I wanted to make sure to explicitly state that this is not any sort of revenge or malicious intent. I never got over Person A and I feel overwhelming drawn to him. (And, yes–I noticed out Black Moon Lilith/Venus conjunction!))

You seem to be something of an expert in dissecting relationships via astrology. And, I think love triangles might be something of an intriguing topic to people? I do apologize for submitting my question in such a fragmented way.

Hi Nina,

Since material presented on this blog is centered in analysis that can be useful to others, I’ll be addressing your first issue concerning the implications of dating during the Saturn Return, as that’s a good subject that I’ve never seen addressed myself. Then I’ll talk briefly about the more personal issues for you.

The Saturn Return, for those who are not aware of this, occurs at roughly (dependent on the retro-direct cycle at the time of birth) 29.5 years, when the planet returns to its position at birth. Leading up to the first Return we have three bursts of major, hard contact between transiting and natal Saturn, a square at approximately 7 years old (considered ‘The Age of Reason’, when the individual first sees their responsibility for their own behavior and becomes aware of potential consequences), an opposition at 14 (another turning point, one where the first big steps away from childhood are taken), and at 21 (a complete coming-of-age that leaves the individual solely responsible for her or his own life and actions). Each of these hard contacts of transiting to natal Saturn typically brings more responsibility, and in a certain way, more freedom, as the individual is asked to take on more, to follow the rules, and thereby gain autonomy and reach a new stage of maturity.

But, by the time the Return arrives, we’ve been out in the world for awhile. We feel we’ve got something of a handle on things, that we understand how the world works, and that we’ve found at least some avenues of expression and ways of creating security. As Saturn nears its natal position, though, we begin to Self-assess, to consider what it is that we’ve actually built. This period of consideration occurs even in those who have non-material goals, or an outlook that isn’t trained on establishing authority, joining an established hierarchy, or meeting professional benchmarks. It’s about seeing how far you’ve come, and judging that progress by your own particular standards–and for some, especially those who see themselves as rootless, as craving the unconventional experience, it may be the revelation that they have goals at all, ones they’ve never admitted even to themselves.

If you’ve been telling yourself you want one thing out of life, but actually want another, you’ll realize it now. Stability may become more important to you, as may a sense of ‘moving up’ or ‘moving on’, especially if there are personal milestones you’ve always assumed you’d meet, such as getting married, having children, or attaining a particular professional status. We judge our own life accomplishments at the Return for what they may mean in a larger sense; what have we contributed to society, and what do we want to contribute in the future? What do we want our roles to be? How do we want to make our mark, be remembered, have an impact?

So, we can see that this is an appropriately Self-focused period, one where we are taking our own measure, assessing just how, where, and how well we fit into the social order–and that means that dating at this time won’t really be about the other person, but about fulfilling our own needs. That sounds harsh, and it’s not like we can’t fall in love at this time; it’s just that we are much more likely to spend our time seeking partners or others who will help us fulfill our own aims. The more conscious we are of those aims, of course, the more deliberate our decisions, and the more likely we are to fulfill our Saturnian needs for status, security, and order (and we all have these, know it or not).

Dating during this period can take on a certain quality of mission, of seriousness of purpose–and that almost always translates into establishing a more permanent situation either professionally or personally, through marriage or partnership of some kind, even if that commitment is to oneself, initiating a kind of marriage to an achievement or goal. Now, be aware, all this usually happens without excessive conscious intent; we don’t realize, necessarily, that we’re assessing our lives, judging our choices up to now (though we may become overwhelmingly aware of our own discontent), but we are, and that means that dating takes on an almost predatory tone: we are looking for a mate, or we are looking to meet certain life goals such as those involving reproduction and the parental experience–and if we’re not, we’re usually bent on throwing our energy into some other area of accomplishment–and so not dating at all.

I hope that sets the Saturn Return stage for dating–it’s not to be taken lightly, in fact, you can’t take it lightly, even when you believe you can, as there’s a part of you that will persistently wonder where it’s all leading. So now, Nina, you must be wondering what I’ll say about your situation?

Dear Nina, You may be very disappointed with what I have to say here, and I apologize for that. I want to offer you the same feedback I would offer any client who provided me with the details you’ve supplied–and please forgive me if I’ve misunderstood what you’ve conveyed, but you are speaking as if you have the ultimate say in having a relationship with either of these men–but you yourself say that each has broken things off, implying the break wasn’t in your hands.

I also want to ask you this: if you were Person B, how would you feel if your prospective partner wanted to date someone else (your best friend!) but then had plans to ‘settle down’ with you after? I know you have no intention of hurting either man–that’s absolutely not in question–but I do think you’re feeling a kind of Saturn pressure, and that it may be overpowering your respect for the feelings of these men, both of whom have created distance that they may or may not want to continue.

So I would counsel that you get clear both on what you actually want, and how much of creating that is actually within your power (sometimes, all you can do is know what you want, and offer yourself). As I’m sure you’re aware, your Saturn Return hasn’t actually kicked in yet–doesn’t even begin to enter orb until this November–so you may be anticipating something before you really know how it feels or will manifest. Your current focus on Saturn, though, may be a manifestation of your Solar Arc Sun within orb of conjoining your natal Saturn–in essence creating all the same considerations that the Saturn Return brings. Add to that the SA Sun is also conjoined natal Uranus, ruler of the Whole Sign 12th, and you may find the unconscious is at the steering wheel, no matter how much you try to be conscious of your choices. The effect may be you are driven, in any number of ways (some of which you will feel are Karmic or fated–such is the influence of the 12th), with the actual results only visible roughly two years down the road. With so much on your own plate, the astrology of interaction with either of these men is a moot point, at least until you sort out your own wants and intentions definitively, and taking into account the wants and wishes of these men, as well. And though you didn’t ask, with transiting Saturn in your 10th, it’s no wonder you’re focused on your status–but rather than in relationship, the place to put your effort might be the career, as this could be a high point period, if approached with maximum dedication.

Wishing you all the best,


See more on personal dedication of energy, and relationships, here–

And more on relationship interaction is available here–

You might like this ebook on Saturn, too–(not by me, but by the lovely Wisestars)





The Path, and How to Walk It

Ernest Ponthier de Chamaillard {{PD}}
Ernest Ponthier de Chamaillard {{PD}}

Dear Julie,

I hope this question fairs better than your recently published questions just as I hope others will be interested in the answer. Let me start with the general broad questions and then give you my specifics in case you want them.

Okay, Tora, that sounds good. The easiest way to do this might be for me to just put my answers within your letter. Though this is primarily a relationship blog, I think our relationship with ourselves is the primary one–unless that’s good, how can we be with someone else?

What advice do you have for those who have “messed up” pivotal transits? I don’t mean simply missing opportunities that transits can give but more like making the “wrong” choice. Like if someone fails to handle Saturn well during their first Return, the next 28 years aren’t necessarily gonna suck the whole time, right? Neptune oppositions, Uranus oppositions, Progressed Sun changing signs, etc.

First, I just don’t believe there’s any such thing as the ‘wrong’ choice. Are we capable of making bad choices? Of course, we can make the worst choices possible, but that doesn’t make them wrong, that makes them our choice! I think you’re missing the point: having choice is having freedom–it’s up to the individual to decide, and even if we make a choice we know is not the best, it’s still our choice–that is, it came from us, from within, from our unique viewpoint. And no matter how disastrous or poorly realized the consequences, those were, most definitely, the result of our thinking, impulses, beliefs, and so an expression of who we are.

And in what ways, astrologically speaking, can they work on these wrong choices and failed lessons? Will other transits and progressions simply provide similar lessons? Or is it down to the next step of the failed transit, ie failed Saturn Return helped by the next Saturn Square or the next Saturn-Natal planet aspect?

What I have found is that individuals typically deal with three or four major ‘themes’ throughout life, and these take ever-new (and sometimes ever-repeating) forms, and with attention and effort, these will evolve and open the way to new understanding, and so new ways of being (and of course, that means new ways of making decisions, of choosing). We can’t work on things, as you say, “astrologically speaking”–we work on our lives, not our transits, and you are definitely misunderstanding astrology if you see the transit (or natal placement, or progression, and so on) as ‘coming first’, that is, as dictating when and how we are able to address things.

For the specifics, I was born (data removed to maintain privacy).

I’ve definitely failed to heed my Saturn Return and the call of Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus. When my mother passed away on May 7, 2011 my moon had a Uranus square, Neptune trine, and Pluto opposition. Now Neptune is at 11 degree Pisces which is a big degree in my chart; it’s squaring my Sun/AC and Uranus while trining Saturn/Mars and sextiling Jupiter.

I’ll try to summarize where I am and have been in the last few years. I’ve been depressed for over 8 years, long before my mother passed. I failed to empty the hoarder-type apartment we shared until February 2015, well after Saturn left its natal Scorpio.

I didn’t work from summer 2013 to summer 2015 and I currently have a low-paying retail job I hate; it barely makes enough to make a dent in my $3000 credit card/student debt. I’ve been living with family for two years and that won’t change in the foreseeable future.

I went to college for 10 years and I’m still short of a Bachelor’s degree by 19 units. I can’t see going back to school any time soon either; I failed at least one class every other semester in the last 4 years because of my issues.

I don’t even know what I want for a career anymore either. I was a psychology major with the intention of becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist but in August 2012 I started to have dreams of becoming a fantasy writer. 4 years later and I haven’t written anything, I haven’t tried anything on that front.

That’s a lot of information isn’t it? But you can see how multiple areas of my life are messed up because of my procrastination, inaction, fear. I’ve even been meaning to ask you this since February! And now I’m finally doing it after the sun has moved into my 12th house and I failed to do any New Moon wishing as it moved through Aries and my 11th house.

I threw my hands up and said screw it, I’m going back to California the first week of May instead of waiting until July when my dad and stepmom sell their house. I don’t even know if my car will make it back or what’s the situation with my California registration since they never sent my stickers. My cat has no place to live in Cali so I might have to give her away. So Saturday night was the first time I’ve contemplated suicide. Not for that night but rather the steps I need to take, the storage unit to go through, which things I want particular people to have, the best available option I have to do it, etc. I cried off and on for 2 days thinking about it. Now it’s trying not to think about it and considering antidepressants.

Astrology has been one way for me to understand myself, another psychological tool at my disposal. But I don’t have the experience with transits and secondary progressions that I do with a natal chart (or at least my natal chart). So any thoughts you can give on the general questions, how to “fix” past transits or change the direction of a bad path, would be very much appreciated.


What I see here are a lot of statements, declarations of the state of the life, which tells me you know where you are. What I don’t see are any intentions to change the state of things. As anyone would, you want them to change, but are remarkably passive in the way you are approaching that change. I think you may have the misconception that you must already have an end-point in mind before you take your first step, but that’s not so–in fact, to be truly open to the Universe, to the flow of life and to those things that can assist you, you must be willing to take a first step and then listen, rather than stepping right in to the next move. You are in the perfect position right now to take that first step in a direction you deem positive, and without an end point in mind, you are then free to respond to what comes.

In the past it doesn’t sound like you’ve made wrong choices, it sounds like you have made first choices and then refused to make a second one that might make the first one work. I do think you may need a therapist or counselor, and possibly anti-depressants, as the combination of talk and meds can be very effective in helping people like you (you are not alone!) become ‘un-stuck’ from the unproductive pattern that has been pursued so far. I strongly encourage this, because you have everything else: intelligence, energy, creativity, eloquence, that can create a wonderful future for you–but first you must learn to deal with the present.

Don’t despair–it seems to me you need to learn something very basic which is holding you back: you need to learn how to effectively address life. This is not as uncommon as you think, so you were quite correct in believing others may benefit from your letter. And believe me, you have put a lot of energy into preventing your life from working in any coherent way, though that’s never what you intended. You’ll need to honestly answer the question, ‘What have my ‘bad’ choices allowed me to do, that I wouldn’t have dared do otherwise?’ Within the answer to that lies a whole lot about why you have made the choices you have, and acknowledging that there are reasons you have created what you have is important, in fact it’s the only way to begin to turn it around, because those choices gave you something you needed–and your job is to find out how to provide that to yourself in a form that will also bring you personal peace and a reasonable feeling of security.

As to the astrology involved, it makes me think of a recent commercial that you may have seen. Two much older women are in the living room of one; she has covered one wall with photos and notes, and is using social media terms in talking about them (posting and sharing, for instance). Her visitor objects, saying she doesn’t understand, and the woman says, ‘I unfriend you,’ and the other woman stands up and says, ‘That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works’. It seems this is similar to your understanding of astrology: you have much of the mechanics, and the lingo, down, but you are misunderstanding the essence of it: without acknowledging that we are the arbiters of and creators of our own Fate, all the study of transits and progressions in the world is useless. Your characterization of having made ‘wrong’ choices is the heart of it; as I explained, if you don’t understand there are no wrong choices (but there are bad ones), then you will continue to believe that a ‘wrong’ choice negates the effects of a transit, meaning you have ‘missed’ what it could offer–and that is just plain wrong in itself.  Even study of the natal chart is limited in its application until we realize that it is descriptive, not determinative–and that means that though it may help us choose most effectively, the choices are still ours alone to make.

So, I won’t be addressing the astrology involved (I did mention on the question submission page that’s a possibility), because honestly, I don’t think that will help you; in fact, I think it is a distraction from what you really need now: someone to help you sort it out, along with the understanding that you are the only one who can change things (which is a concept I don’t think you’ve entirely realized, yet), and that you don’t have to wait for any particular transit (nor are you condemned to negative results after ‘missing’ one) for you to make the most of things.

I wish you the very best, Tora. I truly hope you’re not too disappointed with my answer, but from my viewpoint this is the best information I can offer. Experience tells me this is what you need; I could be wrong. My sense is that you have a great deal to offer the world, and that you can build a very satisfying life, if you’re willing. Much good luck, jd


Mixin’ It Up With Juno and Venus

Don't get ahead of yourself--just because Venus and Juno are touching cross-chart doesn't mean wedding bells. 'Wedding March' 1919 Edmund Blair Leighton {{PD}}
Don’t get ahead of yourself–just because Venus and Juno are touching cross-chart doesn’t mean wedding bells. ‘Wedding March’ 1919 Edmund Blair Leighton {{PD}}

Hello jd!

I read your Juno article and found it to be very telling with a current prospect. The interesting thing is that both of our Venuses are conjuncting each others Junos. I was delighted in the interpretation for the man’s point of view, however, I was wondering what kind of perspective you might have on this interesting dynamic? A basic overview would be fabulous. I don’t have her specific birth time, but I know from what contacts her planets make with mine are favourable. I haven’t gotten as far as to ask her what time she was born, but I was hoping you could shed some light on this situation for me (maybe before I ask?).

Best regards,

Hello Steve!

I’ve got to say, I really enjoyed receiving such a cheerful note–it seems you have a great attitude–what girl wouldn’t like that? (Not sure what Juno article he’s referring to, but it could be the series here). But, you’ve not given me any birth data, and the problem with that concerning Juno is that, if the two of you are close in age, the contact to Venus in each chart might not mean much at all. That is, people nearly the same age will often share a lot of contacts–but those contacts tell us very little about the interaction, because they’re so alike to begin with; it’s in the natal contrasts and true harmonies (that is, contacts that are unique cross-chart) that we find the relationship itself. So, with no birth data there’s not much specific to your situation that I can safely say (and I have only your word for it that all the other contacts are favorable–no offense, but that doesn’t tell me anything either, simply because soft aspects like trines and sextiles can be detrimental under some conditions, just as hard ones can be very positive).

Sign for a Budapest perfume shop featuring Juno. Image by Jakob Warschag {{PD}}
Sign for a Budapest perfume shop featuring Juno. Image by Jakob Warschag {{PD}}

Though some people like to label Juno ‘The Marriage Asteroid’, it rarely indicates that kind of union at all; it’s more often an indicator of, cross-chart, a sense of partnership. We tend to expect cooperation from the other person when something important in their chart touches our Juno. We may assume a sort of yoked-togetherness that the other person may or may not also feel (depending on what’s contacted). We can also feel like a victim of this person, should he or she not respect us and our position; this reflects the goddess Juno’s decision to remain united with the philandering Zeus in order to retain her position on Olympus and her status as Queen of the Gods. And yes, all those things can be part of a sense of one’s marriage–though they’re certainly not the only things.

What I can say is that cross-chart aspects between Juno and Venus can be quite nice. In soft or direct (conjoined) contact, if Juno belongs to the man, then he likely regards the female’s ideal of herself as excellent mate material–I say ‘likely’ as a single aspect alone rarely gives us the whole story–and if the Juno is hers and the Venus his, she may feel very strong and capable in his company, ‘approved of’, in a sense, because she fits his ideal of what a female should be, at least in terms of how she chooses her empowerment and the status she aims for. More than that I can’t really venture. Readers, let this be a reminder: when you submit a question, please read and follow the instructions–we’re all guaranteed to get a lot more out of it that way.

Thank you, Steve, and much good luck with your lady!


What You’re Asking: Thieves, Moonlight, and Those With Elf Proclivities

'Cupid the Honey Thief' by Albrecht Durer 1514 {{PD-Art}}
‘Cupid the Honey Thief’ by Albrecht Durer 1514 {{PD-Art}}

‘What You’re Asking’ is gleaned from Search Terms that lead readers to this blog and to Julie Demboski’s Astrology.

the unhappy Venus quincunx Chiron

My immediate thought was that this was someone very Self-aware, pinpointing a cross-chart (between the charts of two individuals) connection that she suspected was the explanation of her ennui (for I believed this must be a woman asking, with her Venus in the equation to a man’s Chiron)–and if so, I think she’s right. Venus stands for a woman’s sense of herself in an ideal form, and when this is in harsh contact to one or more placements in a partner’s chart, it can be hard for the woman to feel loved. supported, or even approved of. In the case of a woman’s Venus quincunx a man’s Chiron, his own primal wound may insist her sense of herself as a woman adjust to his sensitivities–she may be required to treat him as if he is the more tender or delicate of the pair, or as if his sensibilities are far greater than hers, which is likely contrary to her image of herself within a heterosexual relationship, since a greater softness and receptivity is usual for the anima dominant partner. (I believe the same sort of division of the energies occurs in same-sex relationships as well–remember, we’re talking energy, not genitals!)

On the other hand, her Venus could insist he put his wounds aside to honor some aspect of her role as a woman, or her financial or relationship expectations–again, not a happy interaction for either party. And if the Venus belongs to a man, and the Chiron to a woman, we may see a conflict between wounds on her part and his anima or his attitudes toward finances, relationships, or beauty. In this case it might manifest as a man who worships beauty who pairs with a woman who has a wound involving her looks; or, we could see a woman who never has ‘enough’ married to someone who does not want to spend assets the way she does.

If this aspect is within an individual’s chart, one’s own deep wounding may interfere with expression of one’s role as a woman (for a woman), with one’s anima and so in one’s relationships to women, and/ or possibly in sexual behaviors (for a man), with the possibility of dissonance in the concepts of Love, money, or both for either sex. This is a wound that is uncomfortable with Venusian concepts and requires them to change, to accommodate the injury, while it also suggests that one’s sense of Love, relationships, and assets/ money requires the wound to accommodate it–not an easy formula to work out.

Mars in Aquarius and anger

This is a very interesting topic, as those with Mars in Aquarius have the tendency to believe they don’t get mad, that they can handle aggression and ego urges through the intellect, and that the ego is highly inventive and original–and they are likely somewhat mistaken on all counts. Having such a basic physical and ‘I am’ urge in a sign that prides itself on its mental prowess can create a lot of confusion, and can make for some highly contradictory behavior, until the individual understands that she or he has a call to blend action with thought, to synchronize them for harmonious expression. Until this is clear, the urges often work at cross-purposes, prompting aggression dressed up as reasoned choice and a highly competitive ego that seeks to one-up others as a matter of being that’s not specific to any particular contest.Once successfully integrated Mars in Aquarius can make an excellent activist, may in any walk of life personify the ‘well-educated general’, and can be an intellectual leader who doesn’t dwell in the Ivory Tower but takes new and avant-garde ideas into the streets.

path of earth retrograde from Venus

I know that it takes time to learn basic astrological meanings and principles; I’m not faulting the individual on that, but it’s impossible to ask a cogent question without a true understanding of what you’re asking about. I expect someone seeking a specific answer to grasp the concept behind what they’re asking–otherwise the whole search makes no sense. Maybe it’s the phrase “retrograde from”, as this signifies (if we accept the syntax) that Earth is moving away from Venus–and of course, astrology is from our point of view here on Earth (though Heliocentric concepts place the observation point on the Sun, looking out from there–but that’s a whole other thing), so as we see it, Venus moves relative to us–Earth is never retrograde to an Earthling! Did this person want to know where and how Earth would travel if we were seeing it from Venus? I doubt it, but it’s possible. In the end, I really wasn’t sure what this person wanted to know; this search phrase only serves to emphasize how carefully we must state our astro questions–and that to ask about something without understanding what you’re saying amounts to nonsense, as well as guarantees the answer won’t have meaning, either.

Sagittarius fantasy art

Since Sagittarius is the sign of large animals, the first thing I thought of was My Little Pony dancing on a rainbow, or maybe a flying elephant, a la Dumbo. Certainly the person who conceived of Pegasus, the winged horse of myth, must’ve been a Sag–or maybe there’s no animal involved at all, maybe it would apply to long distance means of transportation (ocean liners, trains), religious icons or academic heroes (like Sagittarius Moon-Pisces Sun Albert Einstein), pronouncements that ‘get the word out’, perhaps in bubble-gum colors and Yellow Submarine graphics. Something like the movie ‘Avatar’, creation of Sagittarius Mars-probable Pisces Moon James Cameron, might fit the bill. Or were they looking for what fantasies would appeal to a Sag? Now I’m thinking a teacher-pupil scenario, or holy being and acolyte, or some fantasy of excess, in honor of ruler Jupiter. Hmmm.

moonlight effects on humans

If we are to believe what we are told about werewolves . . . that’s not really my area, so I’ll leave that to the experts. And of course there’s the idea that moonlight can affect us at a biological level, especially in terms of ovulation and human cycles, biorhythms . . . but again, not my field. Non-astrologically we can talk about romance, and maybe mystery. So what can we say astrologically about the effect of moonlight on humans? Perhaps that the phase of the Moon at birth suggests things about the emotional attitude and the approach to life, the way we process intuition and feeling. There’s also the idea of human response to whatever Moon phase is in effect day-to-day. Since the Moon symbolizes the movement of affairs forward, the passage of time and development of situations, it almost has the nature of a clock, one that affects mood and responsiveness, which certainly shows in the way the Void of Course Moon monkeys with new starts, commitment (essentially wiping it out), and predictability of outcomes (typically, not what is expected), and some mention the pull of the Full Moon as the time when things (and by that I mean people!) go crazy, as observed by emergency room personnel, and others, and . . . we’re back to werewolves.

astrology identity theft

This was a new and fascinating idea to me–can we ‘steal’ an identity, perhaps by giving out false birth info? I’ve certainly thought it of celebrities at times–Lance Armstrong is the perfect example of someone who has kept specific birth info locked down tight–and considering what he’s going through now, I can see why–and I’ve long observed that those who find astrology a powerful tool and who want, in some way, to hide will often be very unclear about birth data, especially the time (which is the easiest thing to ‘not know’). I know someone from China who gave me a down-to-the-minute birth time, but in doing her chart I discovered this was exactly two minutes into a new Chinese New Year–and had to wonder if the time had been fudged to avoid being born in what was considered by her culture of origin a less auspicious year. The ultimate astrology identity theft might just be finding the data of someone you admire (or whose life, luck, or attitude you want) and calling it your own–but thieves be warned, it always ‘seems’ wonky to the astrologer, as there are usually glaring inconsistencies among the chart, reported experience, and observed behavior–and in the end, it doesn’t give you the other person’s vibe–instead it just brings out the ‘sneaky factor’ in your own.

significant elf proclivities

This could mean a lot of things–are we talking Santa’s elves, or those tall graceful beings from ‘Lord of the Rings’? Was the person searching this phrase wondering about someone else, a friend who wears green all the time, builds toys, and whose favorite flavor is peppermint–and is this some kind of problem, an ‘elf problem’? It seems to me elf proclivities fall into two categories: the above green-wearing, cheerful, productive kind, and the gentle, intelligent, ‘we’re in charge here’, good-looking kind (LOTR)–so, your choice.

My blog is here

Hekate in the Natal Chart: A Little Background + An Example

This is Rossetti’s depiction of Astarte (akin to a comibnation of Venus and Pallas), though the 3 faces and torches suggest Hekate

A long-term client and subscriber, after reading a recent ECLIPSE which touched on the role of Hecate/ Hekate as an indicator of connection to the darkness and ‘thinning of the Veil’ this time of year, wrote to ask what her prominent (conjunct the Ascendant) Hekate may suggest; she has graciously allowed me to do the analysis publicly. We’ll cover a little more about the history and evolution of this Dark Goddess figure, and we’ll look at the picture Hekate paints in my client’s natal chart. (Spelling with either a ‘c’ or a ‘k’ is acceptable, and I tend to go back and forth).

Originating in Asia Minor, Hekate began as a powerful ‘Mother Goddess,’ but she steadily gained a narrower field of responsibility with each culture she entered. In many instances, figures such as Hathor and Demeter/ Ceres took on many of Hekate’s early characteristics (and of course, she was known by other names before the Greeks bestowed the one we call her by today), with Hekate carrying fewer and fewer of the ‘mother and nurture’ traits; if we combine this narrowing of responsibilities with the later influence of Christian elements on the scenarios of the gods and goddesses, we see that Hekate became a figure who carried unflattering and unwanted projections about the dark and ‘dangerous’ qualities of women. In Greek and Roman myth Hekate was demoted to be under Ceres’/ Demeter’s command, and was sent to accompany Persephone/ Proserpina on her journeys back and forth to the Underworld. Eventually Hekate was deemed ruler of witchcraft (in its most negative definitions), sorcery, demonic activity, and the darkness. This was a simple response of the patriarchy to the female connection to life-giving energy and the female alignment with the rhythms and cycles of the Universe: gestation and childbirth, a woman’s receptive sexual energy (which through the years has been portrayed as evil by its ‘seductive’–another word for receptive–nature) and a determination to keep women as powerless within the social set-up as possible, all contributing to the negative ‘stash’ Hekate has been assigned to carry.

Hekate’s true nature is as a way-shower, in all the many guises this can take. She stands at crossroads both literal and figurative, straddles the border between conscious and unconscious, light and dark, life and death, and translates energy between the two. She is said to be present at crime scenes, to guide travelers on their way, and to be present during the Dark of the Moon, with the Dark period association a good example of the narrowing that has occurred over time–originally Hekate was a Moon goddess, not confined to the Dark phase. It also makes sense that her connection to all forms of darkness would make her a conduit for the unconscious, and so her prominence in the chart or in relation to a particular energy or life area can alert us to the presence of unconscious material in that particular expression or venue. She echoes Pallas as well, as both a wise guide and a guardian–specifically of gateways and other points of ingress or egress (and both goddesses share similarity to Moon goddess Artemis/ Diana, the Huntress, in terms of all three having a martial/ guardian quality). And her characterization as a Crone makes sense when we consider that, ideally, with age comes wisdom–and that should tell us that we can learn from Hekate as well as be guided by or protected by her.

Hekate’s wisdom has unfortunately been trivialized, quite literally; she is the goddess of trivia! This comes from the retired Roman soldiers who were stationed about the city and at crossroads, available to answer questions concerning the area and what lay down each road. Hekate as a way-shower naturally came to be seen as the goddess of these question-answerers, and due to the spoke-like pattern of many Roman via connections there were often at least three roads leading from one point, thus tri three, via road or way, came to be associated with being able to answer any question presented. It’s important to see this as simply reminiscent of Hekate’s store of knowledge having a great span, a span that covers light and dark, and that reaches not just the into the profound life and death arenas but that also includes the minutiae of culture, tradition, and occurrences and changes of the past and present.

One Example

We’ll call my client ‘Miss K’–she has a 21 Virgo Ascendant with Hekate just inside the 1st at 23 Virgo. Right away we realize that Hekate may be a big part of the persona, even an Archetypal mask that K dons at will–or, if Hekate’s unconscious connection in this chart is strong, this may be something others see upon meeting K, and K may not be aware of this. So, we should look at what might be held in the repository of the unconscious–and for that we go to the 12th. Here we find a Leo cusp, linking unconscious content strongly to identity and purpose (the Sun), and we see Earth in Leo, and Zeus and Pluto in Virgo, and all three conjunct. This suggests that Hekate may project for K an earthy, purposeful, intense, ambitious, and powerful image, a much larger and more dynamic image than K might realize–it could be something quite formidable, which might scare lesser beings away! And it’s true that Miss K has been looking for love; this might say that it could be difficult for her to find someone who can handle, and appreciate, her natural intensity. I know Miss K through our work together as a lovely, gracious, and sensitive woman, so her strong Hekate could be held largely unconsciously–or more likely, Miss K could recognize the strength of her own character, but not know the extent to which she gives a Hekate-sized impression to others!

Ruler of Hekate, Mercury, sits in Pisces in the 6th, and rules 1st and 10th, meaning Hekate is an everyday available energy that touches the Collective (most likely by being sensitive to it) and is very visible in K to those who see her in person. In this regard we might add that, with Juno, indicator of her own empowerment and her willingness to partner and what she might seek within a relationship in Libra in the 2nd, Miss K undoubtedly seeks a co-operative partnership in life–it is part of her Self-image fulfillment–but, with Juno conjunct Pallas, and these opposed by Sedna in Aries, the message might be that, even if Miss K finds the appropriate man (who would exhibit Aries traits, since the sign opposing a woman’s Juno describes what kind of man she is likely to want to partner with) she will be unable to recognize him (the obscuring quality of Sedna)–a tough situation indeed.

Miss K’s Hekate also enjoys a sextile to Ceres, only reinforcing the strength of the placement and adding a natural authority, and a possibly intimidating ‘command’ of nature, as part of the package; a semi-square to Neptune, ruler of the 7th, suggesting another facet to that obscuring effect in recognizing a partner–and also suggesting that the Hekate qualities, with some difficulty, can be hidden or cloaked in other personality garb–which is good for attracting that partner who might be overwhelmed, but then, indications are ‘good’ ones might not be recognized anyway! So when to apply that Neptunian obscuring? There’s a puzzle.

Hekate is also opposed Venus in Pisces in the 7th, perhaps implying a sense within Miss K that there is some conflict between acting as her ideal Self as a woman and acting as a powerful goddess in her own right–and this internal conflict could be acted out, maybe even with Miss K feeling that she can’t be womanly and still be powerful in a relationship, with her perhaps assigning that attitude toward the partner–this would allow her to somewhat reconcile the two urges, if she could say, ‘He finds my strength manly (or unwomanly)!’ and of course, in the modern age, that’s an unacceptable attitude in a man. There could be a strong belief, perhaps a cultural one, that to be a real woman one must be in relationship–and as we know, being your ideal Self as a woman in reality can be done in or out of a relationship, that having a mate does not put the final stamp on being a woman–but it’s not uncommon to harbor any number of beliefs about life that can hang us up on one idea or another. And that brings us to Hekate’s square to Miss K’s Gemini Moon in the 10th, just inside the Midheaven. The Moon rules the 11th of what Miss K possesses that she will give to the world–and fittingly, what she has learned emotionally, as well as development of her intuitive abilities, all slated to be communicated (Gemini) via a public role (10th House placement), could be a big part of Miss K’s Hekate ‘package’ (and all this could easily hark back to the Venus/ Hekate quandary, and all that may be learned through that experience)

There are two quincunxes of Hekate, one to Sedna and one to Chiron. With Hekate as the apex of the Finger of God, Miss K may find a true role of way-shower and powerful goddess manifesting with healing of the Chirotic wound and discovery and use of the Chirotic skill, and yet these must happen without any guiding feedback or conscious application! This may be a recipe where a kind of faith, a determination to accept the wound as healed no matter what you may think of its state and to employ the Chirotic gift whether you are sure of what it is, or whether it’s adequately developed or not, could be the key to a substantial and impressive role as Hekate in some form. This could be a big goal in life development for Miss K; as a woman who has already shown herself to be informed, warm, and wise, I would not be surprised if she carries Hekate as an Archetype in later life, becoming a guide and adviser to others.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to check out Julie Demboski’s Astrology

‘What You’re Asking: Bad Neptune, the Skinny on Synastry, and Gettin’ Busy with Aquarius and Pisces’

15th Century French from a Book of Hours

Here’s another tasty sampling of your searches:

I was fired Mercury Retrograde

I’m very sorry to hear this; losing a job is one of the most stressful experiences there is. I’m assuming you’re asking if it makes any difference that you were fired during the Mercury Retrograde–and my answer would be that it could. There are a number of possibilities: the boss could regret his or her actions; the firing could be illegal, incomplete, or in some way invalid; the paperwork to authorize or make official the firing could be lost, delayed, or improperly prepared, and so possibly negate the firing; you could have *gasp* misunderstood, and not be fired at all (admittedly, that’s unlikely); there could be a reversal of the decision, probably after Mercury’s direction; your firing could have been a simple mistake; or (and this is my favorite) you could discover something after Merc’s direction that means you’re glad to be out of there. The only thing we can be sure of is that all parties to the firing are probably ill-informed about some aspect of the circumstances or persons involved–and that opens the door on a vast number of potentials.

Do you want the job back? Or do you think this might be a blessing in disguise, either removing you from an undesirable environment or putting you on the path to something better? Answering these questions honestly will help you sort it out–and if you’d like to file an appeal or petition a higher-up to reconsider, do it now, before Mercury goes direct on April 23rd, when both you and your former employer may lose interest in reviewing your options with each other.

Are Pisces and Aquarius promiscuous?

The Fish and the Waterbearer are no more promiscuous than any other sign–though it does make me wonder that you’re asking about these two. Have you perhaps confused the spacey, dreamy, unengaged manner of Pisces in relationship for a lack of caring, or a wandering eye (or heart, or other body part)? And does Aquarius seem too cold and distant, appearing as if she or he couldn’t care less about a relationship with you? These assumptions are common mistakes people make when in a relationship with Pisces or Aquarius–those traits that seemed so attractive at first make us insecure and hurt when they are viewed up close, one-on-one. Don’t assume that just because Aquarius or Pisces doesn’t relate as you do that they’re fooling around; in fact, both are generally on the more dedicated end of the relationship spectrum, with Aquarius up for a quick encounter but taking the interaction very very seriously (think of Aquarius’ ancient ruler Saturn in this regard) and Pisces seeming to want to drift from love fest to love fest, but actually focused on finding the idealized ‘One’–so in either case, the cool or carefree exterior hides the true intent.

Nodes forming Mystic Rectangle synastry

This is an interesting cross-chart configuration, suggesting that each person may offer extraordinary support to the other on the life Path. This doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that you are destined to be together, or even in each other’s lives for long–this is a contact that says the two together, in whatever context, create an almost magically strong dynamic supporting the destined direction of life development for each of them–and this may not appear to be positive–that can be a love affair that doesn’t work out, one person in charge of the other and making major decisions, or a brief but important encounter like a car accident, as much as it might be finding the life partner and living happily ever after. The remainder of the chart contacts likely tell a complete interaction story.

September 23rd Soul/ slice of space-time September 23

I loved the approach of this person; she or he didn’t just want to know about someone born on that date, they wanted to know about the Soul of someone who would choose to enter this plane on that date–a big distinction, in my view. This seemed to me to be a sincere seeker, using google for the one kind of information it is least equipped to adequately supply. I wish this individual much luck in their search; the only thing I can suggest is to get off the computer and take a very long look at whomever they’re investigating, observing without personal biases or filters–a willingness to truly see the individual might best reveal the Soul within. And if I could get my hands on a slice of space-time, I’d serve it right up.

Why is Neptune so bad in astrology?

Neptune is not bad! Like every other energy, Neptune represents some impulses that we find less-than-desirable–but in no way does Neptune force this expression on us–we must be susceptible, too willing to believe the lie or the illusion, too easily deceived or willing to deceive, too quick to abdicate responsibility to confusion or ineptitude. These are all ways we interpret the energy, not the energy itself. The way we choose to respond and deal with Neptunian (or any) energies tells us where our strengths (in this case, creativity, the ability to dream, the sense of compassion and Oneness) and our weaknesses may lie. So, an energy shows us our talents and faults, rather than imposing them on us.

the skinny on synastry

In my view, synastry (the meaningful interpretation of contact between placements of the natal charts of two individuals) is an extremely accurate way to gauge the possible success of a relationship. The interaction is laid out in very direct terms, with conjunctions typically figuring as the strongest interaction facets of the relationship. A skilled astrologer can outline the possibilities for you–it’s really not a DIY kind of reading, as it’s relatively complex. But, my book, THE ASTROLOGY OF INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP provides not just explanations, but questions in a workbook format that you and your SO can use to better understand your needs and motivations in relationships–so, it’s the next best thing to a synthesis of the two charts by an experienced astrologer.

How is Saturn butterfly born?

With a lot of hard work and persistence, probably from a concrete cocoon–but oh, what a sturdy butterfly that would be!

born with Aries Point on the Ascendant/ Descendant axis

If the Aries Point touches the Ascendant by conjunction, you might be the kind of person who seems to instigate a great many things–a kind of magnetic personality that serves to launch, to borrow a phrase, a thousand ships. If the Aries Point rests on the Descendant, it might be a matter of events and action swirling around you–the calm eye of the storm. This could also indicate exceptional talents at manifesting or creating, with the placement of Mars providing hints as to the arena (by House) and nature (by sign) of the abilities.

astrological irritability

Somehow I don’t think it’s astrology that causes irritability 🙂

Fairness, and All That

Why is fairness such a prominent topic–or maybe I should say, Why is the concept of fairness at the heart of everything being negotiated (and by that I mean, discussed, meted out, measured, determined)? It seems we’re in the midst of a period where we’re assessing our needs, especially socially (Jupiter square Pluto) and re-negotiating the alignment between what we want and value, and what’s smart (Venus conj Pallas). Saturn in Libra urges us to establish the rules in partnership, in our creative/ artistic outlets, in our reality, and it urges us to make fairness a part of the material reality fabric. Authority and Mother Nature sit in the ‘blind spot’ (Ceres square Sedna), making our negotiations largely unconscious, but also offering to free us from our usual awareness of authority’s position and how they might respond to our changes; the aspect releases us from a worry that’s usually ever-present, and aligns us with our natural impulses–so what we choose, advocate for, and broadcast now is highly characteristic of who we are at our core (Jupiter in Aries) and the natural way we seek empowerment (Juno trine Venus/ Pallas). What others are showing you now is what they really want from you, and it’s the same for you: you’re showing them your wisdom, your morals, your beliefs (Jupiter, Pallas). Relationships (in the personal and societal sense) and finances will be the proving ground for these influences–changes made here reflect deep changes within–do your best to understand what’s motivating you, and be fearlessly honest while at the same time vowing to cause no harm–this is the magic formula for dealing successfully.