1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Molly Hall



Follow me on:

Eclipse Zaps to Planets, Houses - What's the Forecast?

Thursday April 17, 2014

We're in the eclipse zone, since they come in pairs, and are a one-two punch. Because they often fall in nearly opposite houses or signs, there's a complimentary rhythm to the sequel. Here in April, the first was at 25 degrees Libra -- a Total Lunar Eclipse. The next eclipse event is at 9 degrees Taurus -- an Annular (the Moon doesn't block the Sun completely) Solar Eclipse.

Even though they're not in opposite Zodiac signs, for me they fall in opposite houses on the birth chart -- the eighth and second. Here's an explanation of how to find an eclipse in your chart, with reader comments.

Looking at the Eclipses and what they zap opens up associations, what to have a ponder about. What comes to mind? For example, the first eclipse at 25 Libra was a close hit to my Mars in the eighth. And it's curious that I've thought quite a bit about my motivation -- how to act on what awakens my outrage, particularly to do with what I perceive as out of whack. But it is too soon to draw conclusions.

To place the Eclipses on your birth chart, put your data in the chart generator. Use the numbers around the wheel to find 25 Libra and 9 Taurus. Eclipses are very significant Full Moons or New Moons, with extra spice, and a chance to muse, or set attention and intention.

What's the Forecast?

Venus + Jupiter = Big Love

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Here's an image of the week to illustrate the Venus-Jupiter soiree Thursday at 9:19 pm EDT. Jupiter's big dreams meets Venus' true loves. This is the second Venus (Pisces) Aspect at 12 degrees to help us keep the faith in drastic times.

This could be one of the most enchanting days of the year. A day to spend with your muse, or conjure a future love, while putting the "how" and "when" in the hands of mystery.

Venus (Pisces) is a love mood of subtle seduction, a look or thoughtful action that says it all. There could be some memorable over-the-top (Jupiter Cancer) scenes -- extraordinary compassion for a stranger, sweet serendipity or a freeing act of forgiveness.

Colin Anderson/Getty Images

Jupiter in the Cardinal Cross: Breaking Social Isolation

Tuesday April 15, 2014

This morning I looked at the dayplanner and nearly every day to the end of April has a stand out event. I've resisted the temptation to create screaming headlines, and posted some wise words from others, when my own clarity has flown out the window. I'm definitely in the cauldron here, with everything squaring-conjuncting-opposing my everything.

With Pluto on the move back to 13 Capricorn, the planets are moving toward their spots in the cardinal Grand Cross or Square. It peaks around April 21st to 23rd, but the angles are already within orb now, and creating that restless friction.

In his SkyScraping Ezine, astrologer Philip Sedgwick points out we've seen all of these aspects in the last few years, "just not all at the same time." I can't post it here, but look for his tips for each cosmic player in the Grand Square and "What can you do individually?"

Just a teaser sample is one of the suggestions for Jupiter Cancer: "Approach all goal-oriented relationships with the attitude that you are building an extended family."

This got me thinking about the great social isolation that many feel. And that a risk to grow (Jupiter) could involve risking emotional vulnerability, to make more real-life connections. With its opposition to Pluto, there could be something to unearth in the emotional past, some personal or ancestral inheritance. Jupiter opposes Pluto; squares Mars and Uranus. Here are some other possibilities for Jupiter Cancer in the Grand Cross:

  • Exaggerating what's universal and way to build social bridges -- the longing to belong, to feel safe, to have nourishing food and a secure shelter.
  • Creative works of big feeling.
  • Valuing a sense of place, having strong roots, building familiarity over time.
  • Tending to the child inside with compassion, taking serious his/her need to cry, nap, play or be heard by someone.

Read also Jupiter Cancer in the Houses I'll get to Mars, Pluto and Uranus in the days ahead.

Pluto Retrograde on Eve of Eclipse

Monday April 14, 2014

I've noticed the last few years this relentless pressure to do something, but at the same time the demand to act strategically -- to be patient for the right timing. I wonder if others feel in a waiting game, sensing that the earth, "economies" and paradigms are on the move. And there's the knowing, too, that inner change has to happen, before taking a particular leap.

Now Pluto (in Capricorn) turns retrograde (April 14th), as it does every year for about six months. This could concentrate the (creative) energies of breakdown/purging. It helps in breaking through false bottoms, to get to something really fertile, authentic. On Pluto's retrograde, astrologer Melody Scott Zindell writes, "This energy draws us inward to reflect on how and where we must do things in our own way, or we become stagnant."

Melody continues (in her newsletter), "Pluto is retrograde at 11 - 13 degrees of Capricorn, part of the 13 degree Grand Square. Mars, the lower octave of Pluto is also retrograde, so the power of change is not discharging as quickly or cleanly as we may like. It can burn us up inside! We are forced to reflect consciously on our process, the impulsive Mars energy being tamer than we may like. Lots of loving may help!"

Mars (Libra) and Pluto (Capricorn), both in retrograde, forming a square (tension) in the upcoming big event. A Mars-Pluto square is highly charged, with instinctive earth-wise knowing (Capricorn) meeting the ability to weigh and act on options (Libra). It's righteous rage, that could be used for good, to re-balance things, starting with your own life. It could involve being willing to get your hands dirty, to dig into the hidden potential that's accessible when you're really and truly grounded. Some energy (and personal power) becomes available, when you consider creative alternatives.

Here are some other tips for that angle in April's Grand Cross/Square (21-23rd). Share your suggestions in the comments below.

  • Clear up relationship debris - forgive, let go, undergo that change (that death) from moving on.
  • Actions to re-orient to a more balanced, natural life, in synch with the body and Earth.
  • Resolve old injustices or make amends.
Getty Images

Cardinal Cross Sampler: A Good Read

Saturday April 12, 2014

Mystic Mama put together a stellar sampler on April's cardinal cross -- Astral Insights. The four featured astrologers are Katie Sweetman, Cinzia Meneghello, Sarah Vargas and Robert Wilkinson.

This gem comes from Sarah Vargas, "Whatever we've been avoiding lately we can't avoid it now so we may as well give up that particular fight and open ourselves to the possibility that the aspects of our being we've been so eager to deny may just be the 'pearl of great price' we never thought we'd find."

Some real wisdom here, that describes energies -- and soul metamorphoses -- personal changes that are hard to put into words.

Getty Images

Venus and Neptune: God(dess) in Everything

Friday April 11, 2014

A cow is a poem of compassion. (Gandhi)

Where I used to live, I took a walk every night along a country road with cows, donkeys and horses. One time, we saw a half dozen cows, huddled around a calf lying on the ground. The Mama cow was in obvious distress, running back and forth across the field. Something was wrong with the calf, and the other cows formed a ring of protection around it.

It was so moving. Around that time, I did a walk to raise money for Farm Sanctuary. And had a dream that felt real (you know the kind) -- a cow came up to me and touched its head to mine. A gesture of kinship -- and that word that comes up with Neptune and Pisces, oneness.

Today's Venus-Neptune swirl in Pisces is the first of several Venus Pisces aspects in April. Enchantment, fairy-tale romance, a mystical serendipity, a moment of pure bliss -- all possible.

Pisces is a sign that sees the aliveness and subtle energies in everything. Neptune is Pisces' ruler, and a planet that relates to empathy, spiritual sight, compassion. That's why I thought of the cow story -- oneness can be with other species, plants or the whole pulsing, living world. A great day to fall in love with life!

Molly Hall for About.com

Sun as Healer

Thursday April 10, 2014

I read somewhere that eclipses can sometimes be felt days or weeks ahead. This Tuesday's total eclipse in Libra has me already stewing in the cosmic crockpot of change.

I've been doing a Spring detox, and with it sometimes things get worse physically, before it gets better. And I sense something energetically happening along those lines, too. Though I'm not feeling so hot, I trust it's about change -- the mysterious process of integration, soul, psyche and body

After some dreary days, I know it's time to get out into the Healing Sun Rays. The Sun is a natural healer, and a welcome sight as the days grow warmer.

Getty Images

Blood Moon & Astrotheology

Wednesday April 9, 2014

There's a blood Moon rising on the cover of the 2014 Astrotheology Calendar. And that's the theme, to note that there are four blood Moon eclipses or "Tetrads" in 2014 and 2015. Will Christians see prophecy here, "when the Moon turns to blood" (Joel 2:13). D.M. Murdock looks at the Christian Astrotheology in What is the Blood Moon? Will Jesus Return?

What is astrotheology? This is from the calendar: "In ancient times, many thousands of years ago, people were so fascinated by the heavens that they created carvings, petroglyphs, stone monuments (like Stonehenge) and elaborate myths and symbols about them. This fact is important because, as it turns out, astrotheology is intrinsically interwoven into the origins of many popular religions today." A calendar, author D.M. Murdock, also known as Acharya S. writes, is a way to see "ancient astrotheology in action."

And to me, it's a legacy of knowledge that begins to untangle the seasonal tradition-mishmash that's happened with the overlay of the modern religions. So many holidays are in synch with the Sun's clock, the solstices and equinoxes.

The calendar's text uses the base of sidereal astrology, with the exact astronomical position of the stars now. It's a visual feast, with something new to learn with each turn of the page (and month).

(c) Stellar House Publishing

Mercury into Aries: Moving Messages

Monday April 7, 2014

What a long, strange trip it's been with Mercury Pisces, that included a warpy retrograde.

It's time for burning off the fog, with Mercury into cardinal fire Aries to April 23rd. Though there's wisdom in the Pisces way of seeing, it's not always easy to translate to words or action. Mercury Aries is vigorous and direct expression -- burning impressions, fighting words and boldly stating what others fear to say.

Here's some curious timing -- Aries' ruler Mars is at perigee (its closest point to Earth) on April 14th. Watch your inbox for the 2014 edition of the Close Encounter with Mars Hoax.

But what's fascinating is that's the day -- April 14th -- that Mercury takes on the cardinal grand cross. It's also the eve of the Libra Full Moon and total lunar eclipse (April 15th). It could be a day of mercurial drama -- revelations, demands, threats, declarations, ultimatums or freeing breakthroughs in perception.

Mercury begins a new cycle with Aries, and will glance off Uranus, its higher octave and amplifier that day (April 14th). So what's realized or expressed can speed things up, and cause a chain-reaction. A strong beam shines on all that's been muddled, and distorted. It's a Mercury (Aries) for seeing with clarity, and focusing attention in a concentrated (undiluted) way.

Jomblang cave is a vertical cave with dense ancient forest below. A 300 meter alley with its beautiful natural ornament will bring you to the edge of Gua Grubug (Grubug Cave), Yogyakarta -- Indonesia -- a place where you can see light from heaven. Image: Barry Kutsuma/Getty Images

Venus in Pisces: "Better Angels of Our Nature"

Sunday April 6, 2014

Like with reality TV, the high conflict-drama of April's cardinal grand cross has gotten all the attention. But as I wrote in The Sacred Four post, all four elements are in play -- fire, earth, air and water.

And from the chart, we see that water is dominant -- there's fluidity and fluency with emotional response, the intuition and how things flow generally. There are five planets in water in April -- Venus, Jupiter, Chiron, Saturn and Neptune. And at points along the way, they trine each other, like canal locks opening at the right time. Or a surprise wave, that we're able to catch that brings with it reminders that people are good at heart.

Venus is in Pisces now to May 3rd (2014), for spiritualized love, empathy and patience with life as it is. There's a constellation of planets in Pisces, the last sign that encompasses all the energies of the Zodiac. Here are some of the moving tidal highlights.

  • (April 11th) Venus conjunct Neptune: A potent elixir for artistic creation. High romance, an atmosphere for love and creative expression to save the day.
  • (April 17th) Venus trine Jupiter: Outbursts of rare and beautiful compassion. A creative adventure, travel to a sacred place with personal meaning. Going big with what's calling the artistic soul, and is an organic next step in your journey.
  • (April 20th) Venus conjunct Chiron: The heartbreaking poignancy of the times. The veneration of the instinct to share, creative express what's hurt us, and the medicine we've gained from the experience.
  • (April 24th): Venus trine Saturn (Scorpio): The bonding experience of moving through ordeals together. Daring to be more authentic, and reveal our true face in relationships. Healing each other with our presence, without judging.

The water element is sometimes thought of as passive, because it's receptive. But if many of the currents around us are pulling toward the conflicted or base, the intent to swim in fine currents is active. Sometimes if means going against the cultural flow. This month, with whatever happens, there are waves to ride in sync with the highest values (love, beauty, compassion, forgiveness). It takes a kind of emotional-psychic fortitude (Saturn), and gives us faith to keep going (Jupiter).

All these aspects of higher calling made me think of this quote from Abraham Lincoln (Aquarian (Sun) with Mercury, Pluto and Jupiter in Pisces): "Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

Dougal Waters/Getty Images

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.