The Healing Power of Imagery
Have you ever heard of a technique called creative visualization? It is a powerful source of healing and it can help you face your demons and vanquish them. You know what it is to fantasize, right? You can close your eyes and picture yourself making love with a movie star or wearing a much smaller size or willing the lottery. That's pretty basic stuff that just about anyone can do-and something we all do in idle moments. A creative visualization is similar to a fantasy in that you close your eyes and envision certain pictures. The only difference is that your mind doesn't roam randomly nor is it idle fantasy. With this technique someone else creates a scene for you and guides you into it. Then certain things happen in your mind which are quite exciting.
You know those interactive video games in which you supply some energy and the video seemingly has a mind of its own to interact with you? This is a similar situation. In this case I create a scene, guide you into it and prompt you to notice certain things. I have used this technique many times with other people and all sorts of useful results can be had. You can confront someone to whom you need to say things, you can release old tensions, face and release lurking fears, and recreate a sense of calmness and general well being. You can also face situations that you yourself are creating.
For example, I did a visualization once with someone who wanted more success than she was having. In the image she was at the door she needed to enter, but it was impossible to open because of a wall of cinderblocks in front of the door. Quite literally, she had a block! The visualization helped her uncover the block and take responsibility for the fact that she was causing the stall in her success rather than that the universe was denying her what she wanted.
The best way to participate is to have a friend read the visualization to you and for you to close your eyes and go with the flow. There are several sessions to follow and you might want to do only one at a time. Then take some time to just be, in the moment, alive and breathing in your body. It is best to sit up in a comfortable position while doing this, and to be not so tired that you're likely to drift off to sleep.
This first session is to tune up your energy, restore your spirits and balance any of your chakras that are out of whack. (A chakra is an energy center in the body.) Please note as you do it if any of the colors mentioned do not come in brightly for you. Remember any colors you have trouble seeing. Then review my notes at the end of the visualization to understand areas in which you have issues.
Remember to instruct the person reading to you to wait until you're ready to move forward before continuing. That's the purpose of telling you to nod when you're ready. Your reader should wait patiently while you're doing the inner work and he or she should sit calmly, peacefully, and not fidget or make noise. If the person knows how to send energy, doing so can enhance your experience.
Settle down calmly into your seat. Be calm in your body. Breathe deeply with me. And breathe. Feel the breath flow into your body, down through your nose, down into your chest, down all the way past your stomach. Breathe deeply. You are safe and you can be calm. Your eyes remain peacefully closed.
As you breathe, feel the air flowing into your body. It is clear and clean. Now envision a giant ball of red, luminous light, bright like the red of Christmas, glowing like the sun. Feel yourself enveloped in the red light. Breathe the red into your body. Let the color red flow into and out of your body. Keep breathing into the red energy, pulling it into yourself until you feel all filled up with red. You may feel a tingling at the base of your spine. That is just fine. Take your time and nod when you're ready to continue.
Envision a giant ball of orange, just like the fruit, but huge and luminous and glowing. Feel yourself enveloped in the orange light. Breathe the orange into your body. Let the color orange flow into and out of your body. Feel yourself flow into the orange light, as it flows into you. Keep breathing into the orange light, pulling it deep into yourself until you feel all filled up with orange. You may feel a tingling at your belly button area. Good! Take your time and nod when you're ready to continue.
Envision a giant ball of yellow, as bright as the sun, as yellow as a crayon, but bright and glowing like neon. Feel the yellow light all around you, bright and luminous. Breathe in the yellow, pull it all into your body. Flow into the yellow and let the yellow flow into you. It's okay to smile while you do this. It is a good feeling to have this yellow light fill you up and cause a tingling at your solar plexus. Keep going for as long as you need to until you're all filled up with yellow. Take your time and nod when you're ready to continue.
Now envision a giant ball of green, bright like the grass, glowing and luminous. Feel the green all around you. Be for a moment in the green, revel in the brightness and healing properties of the green ball of light. Breathe deeply. You are just fine. Breathe in the green light, pulling it all the way into your body, all the way up to your scalp and down to your toes. Feel yourself floating in a ball of green. Breathe in the green light, let it fill you up and breath in some more until you're really glowing with green. Feel your heart beating strongly, with health and vigor. Take your time and nod when you're ready to continue.
Envision a luminous ball of blue light, the color of sapphire, deep blue and glowing like the sky at twilight. Breathe in the light and let it flow all through your body. Flow out into the blue and back into your body, all the while breathing more blue into yourself, all the blue in the world, flowing into you. Your throat may be tingling, and that's just fine. Keep breathing for as long as you can feel the blue flowing into your body. Take your time and nod when you're ready to continue.
Envision a ball of shimmering purple light, the deepest amethyst, but glowing and radiant. Breathe in some of the purple light, inhaling it deeply and letting it all flow into you. Keep breathing in the light, slowly and peacefully and feel the power of this energy. Flow out into the purple ball of energy and let it flow back into you. Feel the tingling between your eyes. Breathe. Take your time and nod when you're ready to continue.
Now envision a glowing ball of lavender light, a pale purple that glows and radiates energy toward you. The light is shimmering and clean. Breathe in some of the lavender light, pull it deeply into your being. Flow out into the shimmering ball of light and then back into yourself, all the while pulling that lavender essence into your body. Feel the tingle at your scalp. Breathe some more. Take your time and nod when you're ready to continue.
Envision a ball of white light, a soft as an angel's wing, filled with glinting specs of other colors yet pure and white none the less. It glows and shimmers and you can feels the peaceful energy radiating right into your heart, your whole body and your soul. Breathe in the white light. Flow out into it and back into yourself again. Breathe in the white light. Breathe deeply. You are part of the light and the light is part of you. Feel the love in the light. Be in the light, be one with the light. Be. Take your time. Breathe deeply. Be calm. There is love. There is peace. They are in you and flowing into you from the universe. Breathe. Take your time. It is your light. Be there as long as you need to. Breathe.
Flow out into the white light and be there in light. Breathe. Feel a ball of silver energy surround you and surround the white light in which you are floating. Breathe in some of the silver. Let it flow all through you. Feel yourself glow silver and shining. Stay in the white light. Breathe in the white light. Let it shimmer inside you, let yourself float out into it and stay in the white light. And feel a ball of gold light, majestical, pure, metallic yet shimmering with light. Let the gold flow through you, around you, into you, everywhere you are. Be in the gold. Breathe it into yourself.
And remain in the white light. You are in the light. The light is in you. You are the light. Breathe. Smile. Love. Light. It is yours. Take your time.
And when you're ready open your eyes.
That first visualization is a good warm up exercise and you can combine it with any other visualization. If you meditate, it's a good way to start a meditation as it can lead you out of your body and into the universal light. It can calm you. It is a good way to focus, and it helps you get into the place you need to be to begin your meditation. It's also a good way to diffuse stress and tension and general worries. It is a tune up for your body and spirit, so do it often.
If you had trouble envisioning or flowing out or into any of the colors, please work on these issues: Red: creativity, sex, passion, self-expression. Orange: relationships. Yellow: your ego, your life's work, your identity. Green: love, your health, your heart, personal strength. Blue: communication. Purple: spiritual truths, religion. Lavender: your connection with the spirit world, trust. White: God, the universe, your desire to belong to more than worldly things. Silver: movement, change, growth on a spiritual level. Gold: gifts, offerings, accepting universal beneficence.
This next visualization will help you confront some of your issues directly. You may see nasty things, or feel scary emotions. Don't worry, you are safe. You are being guided and you will remain safe. When you finish the visualization you will come out on the other side of the pain and you will feel a sense of healing.
Settle down calmly into your seat. Be calm in your body. Breathe deeply with me. And breathe. Feel the breath flow into your body, down through your nose, down into your chest, down all the way past your stomach. Breathe deeply. You are safe and you can be calm. Your eyes remain peacefully closed.
Envision yourself in a closed room. You stand in the middle of the room. It is empty. It is relatively dark, yet you are safe and you feel peaceful. In the corner of the room, there is a spotlight. It is the only brightly part of the room. In the lit up corner is a bubble, like Cinderella's glass carriage. It is just the size of your body. It is a protective bubble, like a suit of armor. It is there for you. It will be there in every room you enter. It can immediately be placed over your body, to shield you, should you need it. If you see something scary, snap your fingers or blink your eyes or just think-ok bubble-and you will be immediately placed inside the bubble. You are safe and you probably won't need the bubble, but if you need it, use it.
Now breathe with me. Breathe deeply. Keep your eyes closed. When you look it is with the eyes of your mind. See a door in front of you. Walk toward the door. It can be any color you like. It leads to a hallway. Open the door and walk into the hallway. First notice the sounds in the hallway, like noisy static, a raging, keep walking and hear the noise increase. It is the thundering of a waterfall, it is the sound of what is bothering you, of something simmering in your mind that you need to confront. Be in the noisy hallway for a while. Feel the noise and the vibration. Breathe it in-it may feel like chaos and it is. That's okay.
As you walk along this hallway ask yourself, what is all this noise? What am I hearing? Take your time. Listen for the answer. Consider what you hear. If you get an answer, great. You know what's bothering you. If not, don't worry, you're still fine. Take your time. Breathe. Let the information resonate through you.
As you come to the end of the hallway, there is a door. Push it open. Go ahead, you can do it. If it sticks, there may be a lock, but you do have the key. It's right in your pocket. If not, it's hanging on a hook by the door. You can open the door. Go ahead and open it. Walk into the room beyond.
The room is lit subtly, but there in the corner is your bubble, so you're fine. All the walls are lined with floor to ceiling drapes. What color are they? How do you feel about the color you're seeing? About being in a room of that color? Take your time. Be willing to open up to the answers. Breathe.
Walk to the first wall that interests you. In the corner is a pull chain. Pull it and the curtains will open. There on the wall are images. There can be pictures of people, things, situations, or even the three-dimensional people, scenes or situations themselves. This is what is bothering you. What do you see? Take your time and take it all in. Notice each element in the scene before you.
Let happen whatever is happening. If someone is speaking to you, hear what they are saying. If you want to answer back, say okay it's my turn now. And speak up. They are required to listen to you, to hear what you say. They can not leave or ignore you. Go ahead and take your time and say what's on your mind. If there's a situation represented, ask what it means and what you're supposed to learn. Ask why it is bothering you. Take your time and get the whole message. Ask what you need to do to fix it. Continue this way until everything you are seeing has been addressed. If you need to stop to cry, go ahead and do so. Take your time. If you are angry and want to strike someone, go ahead and do so, but be warned it may make you feel worse. If you are very angry and need to keep hitting, look to the other corner. There is a punching bag. Go ahead and give it as many wallops as necessary. Do what is necessary. It is all right. Take your time. Ask what everything means. Ask what you must do to release it. Ask any demons what they want. You have more power than they do, so know you can release them once you've dealt with the problem. Just keep at it until you have done everything necessary.
When you have finished with everything you've seen on that wall, watch the images. They are beginning to fade. Nobody is yelling any more. You are not being threatened. You have dealt with it all. Look down at your feet. There lies a coiled hose. Pick it up, turn it on and send a blast of water along the wall. Watch as everything melts into a pile of colors. Under the scenes is a big, picture window. It faces a garden. See the pretty garden and the flowers and the trees.
Now turn to the next wall and repeat the same process. Take your time. What do you see there? What must be done? Do it. Do it all. Take your time. And then hose down that wall. Continue until you have opened all the curtains, have dealt with all the issues, have cleaned off all the crap. Take your time. And when you're ready to continue, nod your head.
Take a moment to breathe now. Let everything you saw and felt radiate through you. Breathe it in. Feel those feelings, even if they are painful. Think those thoughts, even if they contain hurt, anger, betrayal. Just be with the pain for a moment.
Now look in front of you. There is a door. It is a bright, shiny blue door. Open it. It leads to the garden outside. Walk through the door out onto the grass. Feel the grass under your toes. Look up. There is a gentle breeze and the trees are rustling in the wind. Breathe in the clean air. The sky is blue and there are birds singing from every tree.
Directly in front of you is a waterfall. Step under it. Let the waterfall flow through your body. The water is clean, pure, white. It can flow over your skin and all through your body like light. Watch your feet. All sorts of murky, swirling colors are flowing out of you, down your body, out through your toes and down the drain, where they are being purified. Notice the colors. They contain the negativity that you need to release. What are you releasing now? Anger? Hatred? Resentment? Let your mind fill in the blanks. Take your time. Breathe. Remain under the waterfall until the colors run clear, until you know you have released it all. Take your time. When you're ready, nod your head.
Now step out onto the grass. Look around you. This is your garden, your place of cleansing. You can come here any time you like. Lie on the grass, feel the sun beam down on your skin. Absorb the warmth and the light. Take all the time you need. Hold up your hand. Look at the sky. Look and see a bluebird gently floating down to land on your hand. He is the blue bird of happiness. He has a message for you. A message of hope for the future. A message of love and peace and happiness. What does he have to say?
Be there in the garden. Listen to the blue bird. Take your time. Enjoy the sun and the breeze. And when you're ready, open your eyes and return to your life, happy, healed and at peace.
That was a visualization you can do any number of times, and you will be able to clear away more and more. This final visualization is to help you release old attachments and to attract new love into your life. Don't worry about doing some of the exercises; this will not harm your ex. It will just remove him or her from your life.
Settle down calmly into your seat. Be calm in your body. Breathe deeply with me. And breathe. Feel the breath flow into your body, down through your nose, down into your chest, down all the way past your stomach. Breathe deeply. You are safe and you can be calm. Your eyes remain peacefully closed.
Envision yourself outdoors, walking along a path. It is a sunny day and the air is clean and fresh. There are flowers and you can smell the sweet scent. Birds fly overhead and you can hear their songs. Feel the light of the sun shine on you. It is warm but not too hot. The breeze is cool. Keep walking until you come to a gate. It is an iron gate, shaped like a big heart. Push on the heart and see it open. Walk into the garden that lies beyond.
Feel the grass beneath your feet. Breathe in the clean, cool air. Feel the warm sun on your skin. In front of you is a pool of water that is clean and calm. Step into the water. Let it flow into you. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. You are safe. Trust that you are safe. Feel the calming effects of the water. Let all the negativity inside you flow out into the water. If it becomes murky, reach to the magic rock at the side of the pool and press it. The water will flush away and immediately be clear and clean again. Do this as many times as you need to until you have release all fear and all murkiness. When you're ready nod your head.
Step out of the pool and wrap yourself in a comfy robe. Walk along in the garden and you will come to a hill. It is steep but you can easily climb it. Climb the hill, breathing in the clean air. At the top of the hill is a cliff. You can look over the edge. The bottom is far, far down, but you are safe. You are not standing at the edge.
Look to your right. There is a line of people forming. Look more closely. They are people from your past. Lovers who have left you, disappointed or heart broken. Lovers you have left, perhaps with guilt. Lovers with whom it just didn't work out, for whatever reason. They are neatly lining up, no matter how many there are. There is even that one special person you know you want but also know you can never have. Perhaps he or she is the subject of an obsession that you have never yet released. He or she is at the very end of the line.
Raise your hand, smile and summon the first person in the line toward you. Greet your ex lover. Does he or she have something to say to you? Go ahead and listen. Now say whatever you want to say to him or her. Take your time. Get it just right and don't leave anything out. Now say you're sorry it didn't work out, no matter whose fault it was. It's over, and it's important to say that too. Say, "this is goodbye forever." If you want to, give the person a hug or a kiss.
Now reach in your pocket. There is a magic laser gun there. It is very powerful, but completely safe to use. Point to the cliff. Watch your ex walk to the very edge, watch him or her step off. He or she floats there in space, perfectly safe. Hold up your laser gun and point it at your ex. Pull the trigger. Watch him or her dematerialize. You ex will start to fade away, molecule by molecule, until there is nothing there but light. This person is gone from your life.
Take your time. Gesture to the next person in the line. Talk to him or her, hug, kiss or do whatever is necessary. Take your time. When the exchange is complete, point toward the cliff, watch him or her hover there until you dematerialize this ex with your gun. Watch until he or she has completely faded away.
Continue doing this until everyone in the line is gone. Take your time. Do everything necessary. Wait until the air clears from one lover before you work with the next. And breathe. When you are finished and the line is gone, nod your head.
Step back from the cliff. Nobody is there any more. Take a breath. Feel the air flow down into your body. Feel your heart, clear and empty. Now walk back toward the garden. As you walk, notice ahead of you a field of flowers. Reach down and touch the flowers, one by one. Each flower will have a little message for you about what you need from love. Listen carefully and thank the flower. Keep going until you've heard every message.
Walk forward and stand on the grass in the center of the garden. Look around you. In the distance is the soulmate you've been waiting for. If he or she is already in your life, you can see the face. If you haven't yet met, the face will be blurry. Smile and wave. Watch as your soulmate walks toward you. Don't worry if you can't recognize him or her, just feel the love. Walk into your soulmate's arms. Be in the embrace. Breathe. Breathe in the love that you share, the love that is available to you, right now, every day. Hold your true love in your arms and breathe. Know that love is coming to you.
Still in a cocoon of love, even if your soulmate has temporarily disappeared from the picture, continue breathing. Feel the sensation of love, as though you are wrapped in a cotton candy cloud that reaches in all the way to your heart. Think of the people you love right now today. They can be lovers, parents, children, friends, pets, whoever. Smile. See yourself holding each one in your arms. Wrap each one in your arms for a long, close hug. See each person wrapped in that same cotton candy cloud. Breathe. Take your time. Give each person you love a hug. You can also send some love to people at whom you're angry or upset. Or to people who are ill or lonely. Send some love to someone you know needs it, whether they're in your life or not.
Feel the love all around you. Feel the force that is love. Feel the love inside of you. You are ready, open your eyes, stand up, and give your reader a hug.
Cupid Takes Aim
Cupid Takes Aim--His
During the course of my long career as an astrologer, I've read for thousands of people and during that time I've developed some philosophies that are so true they reach right to the heart of the matter. There are a number of truisms I like to impart to my clients, most of whom are consulting me over love and its ills. The most important truth is deceptively simple, yet so comforting, so undeniable, so meaningful. Here it is: Men! Can't live with 'em, can't move a couch without 'em.
When confronted with this ineffable truth, most women smile serenely and nod. Great truths speak for themselves. An occasional female of the spunky variety will counter back to me: "I can move my couch," she crows. But I always have the last laugh. "Not onto a truck," I say. Then, spunky or not, she nods. My great truth has sunk in and we bond over our mutual womanness.
Once I was chatting with a guy friend and, in a moment of weakness, I forgot to whom I was talking. I shared my truism with him. I waited hopefully, expecting him to bow his head in shame (or flex his splendid biceps) and nod, accepting the inevitability of the truth I'd just uttered. But his comeback surprised me and changed my life.
"I don't move couches," he sneered, "I call movers."
GASP! The realization hit me like a ton of barbells. I have a phone line! I have a modem line! I have a cel phone! I can call movers too!
So what was left but to rewrite my interpretation of the deepest truth ever told about love: Men! Can't live with 'em….
Okay, we agree that's a given, so what's the next step? Hie thee to a convent? Sometimes it seems like the only alternative. But for those of you who know you can't live with 'em but still want to try, here's some inside information that will help you cope with that hunka hunka burning love.
Your Aries Guy is single-minded where love is concerned. He comes to the relationship already madly in love-with himself! His approach is simply to recruit you as a member of his fan club. He comes first, second and third in all his plans and if you want to be with him, you'll have to be willing to do what he wants, agree with what he thinks, and let him take the lead.
Your fondest memories will be of the first date you shared, in which he wooed you so assertively, so determinedly with non-stop tales about the person he admires most-himself. It didn't even matter that your lips were clenched from just having had root canal because the only word he let you utter was "Umm…."
Most women complain that men sit on the couch in front of the television clutching the remote control and never relinquishing it. One would think that your Aries guy is just that sort of person, and in fact he is, except for the fact that he rarely has time to watch TV. He's too busy clutching the stick shift of his racing car, the poles of his skis, or a surfboard. This macho man is outdoorsy, athletic and action-oriented and he doesn't mind at all if you come along on his outings. Somebody has to have the manual dexterity to unwrap the bandages-and that's you!
He's self-centered, deeply involved with himself and his priorities involve activities that leave lesser men requiring round the clock medical care. So why do you love him? Because his inner child is not only alive and well, but a sweet and tender being who never stops being filled with the wonders of life. His outlook is often innocent and trusting. His smile is enough to send shivers down your spine. And he's your only chance to feel as Scarlett O'Hara did when Rhett swept her up those stairs for a night of uncontrollable passion.
Your Taurus Guy is wealthy beyond belief. God knows you can't believe it-you see no sign he has a dime because he refuses to spend any of it. This is a man who knows for sure that a penny saved is a penny earned, because he's saved every cent he's ever earned. All those home cooked dinners at your house that he appreciates so much? They combine his two favorite pursuits-eating good food someone else pays for.
It's nice to be with someone very sensual. Other people have televisions, computers and stereos for entertainment. Your Taurus guy is too smart for them. Why does he need gadgets when letting you rub his feet by candlelight is so much more romantic? Yes, those rumors of marathon lovemaking sessions are true. What else can you do after dark when he's too cheap to spring for electricity?
Your Taurus guy is cheap, slow and stubborn, so why do you love him? He's stable-this is the one guy in the Zodiac who can make a commitment at age three and still be there at ninety-three. He loves to make love and will keep at it until you're really, really satisfied. And he doesn't mind if you're a bit overweight. Skinny women are too hard to lasso from the confines of an armchair. Plus you know that there'll be plenty of money in your old age-not that you'll be allowed to spend it, but maybe someday you can get his power of attorney after he's senile.
Your Gemini Guy is quite a talker. Perhaps that's why you're currently huddled in the bathroom trying to read this article while he stands outside the door chattering. Yes, that tape you made of yourself saying "Uh-huh, yes dear, and hahaha, that's a good one," was necessary and you need not feel guilty.
This is a man who is flexible, up to the moment and intellectually aware. He'd never bore you with the same old sentiments or insist you remain in a rut. He didn't do that with any of his five other wives and he isn't doing it to you. He does like to keep up with current events, and the droning of his voice as he reads the newspaper aloud is an invaluable aid when you want to make that jump to alpha waves in meditation.
This guy is quite a traveler. Yes, he did leave his last wife when he met you on his honeymoon, but that was a freak occurrence. It's fun to go on all those trips, and that tracking bracelet you bought him takes away a lot of the stress of wondering if he will reappear after a day at the dog track.
Your Gemini guy is a non-stop talker, he has a roving eye and he sometimes gets bored in the middle of lovemaking, so why do you love him? He's smart. It's nice to be with a man who has ideas of his own and he has a way with words that keeps you laughing. His natural intellectual curiosity keeps you surrounded by people who are interesting and your life is never dull. He's willing to try pretty much anything and he never complains about coming home to find your pals there.
Your Cancer Guy is capable of deep tenderness and complete devotion. If not for his mother, perhaps he'd lavish some of those sentiments on you. At least you know where he is-sitting in a rocker next to mom while you get a much-needed cardio workout hauling that hundred-pound bag of fertilizer from the car. This is a sensitive guy, who's not afraid to cry or show his emotions. That's probably because the only emotions to which he's sensitive are his own. When it comes to your feelings, he's as clueless as an Aries.
It's nice to be with a man who's even more sentimental than you are. It's endless hours of good fun to pore over his grammar school scrapbooks. Who could get enough of that sort of activity? Plus, since he saves absolutely everything, you know that whatever you might need-it's still right there in the attic. It's comforting for the children to visit all dad's old toys, even if they're not allowed to touch them.
Family security is always his number one priority and it's hard not to admire a man who keeps up with even his most distant cousins. It's not so bad having them camped out in the garage and once their still is repaired and they return home, you'll miss them-badly. Look at all the work he did building that extra bedroom with spa onto the house. If you ask really nicely, perhaps your mother-in-law will let you try it.
Your Cancer guy is awash in his own emotional turmoil, in love with his mother and an ice cream addict, so why do you love him? He's a guy with whom you can build a family, he loves children and knows how to snuggle when the lights go out. If you're sick, he'll take care of you, and when you're old, he'll remain loyal. He has decades of experience loving an old hag, so you know he won't leave you when you wrinkle.
Your Leo Guy is the most splendid fellow on earth-just ask him. Go ahead and lie naked on the bed and say in your most sultry voice-"Someone's burning with sexiness tonight." He'll look away from the mirror long enough to beam and say "Thanks for noticing." He's hard to resist with all that thick, luxurious hair. It's remarkable how it grows all the way around his bald spot, across his neck, down his back, right to the bottoms of his feet! He's as furry as your cat, without the bother of a litter box.
This guy knows how to live the good life and he expects you to look as good as he does. It's fun to receive all those luxurious presents. Who else has chains that look like they were recovered from a sunken treasure ship? Yes, jewelry like that is heavy, but he'll hire a personal trainer to teach you to hold your head erect. If you can manage to do the same with your cleavage and posterior, so much the better. Being a glamour girl is the right approach with this mate. His motto is there is no such thing as too much make up, too much jewelry or too much pleasure.
In fact, the words too and much are not part of his vocabulary. More is simply better. Nobody is better at maxxing out a credit card, and if they're yours, so what. Before he came along did you really know how many ways caviar can be eaten, how many places diamonds can be worn and how many outfits a person really needs?
Your Leo guy is vain, a spendthrift and his taste is excessive, so why do you love him? He's gorgeous, first of all, and he constantly works at remaining attractive. Other guys sit around swilling beer in tacky undershirts. He sits swilling champagne in a silk dressing gown. He loves elegance, makes you feel like the most beautiful woman on earth and has a generous spirit as big as the sky. It's a larger than life existence with this guy, so why not enjoy it!
Your Virgo Guy is neat, precise and practical, and once he knows you a little longer, he'll probably stop making love wearing protective hospital gloves. You have to admire the way he organizes everything in the house. Who knew underwear could be alphabetized? A lot of novice astrologers say that Virgos have to have everything perfect but your guy is too smart for them. He's made it perfectly clear that no matter how you try you'll never get it quite right, and he accepts you for the useless, flawed being you are. And one you come to realize he's a saint, things will go much more smoothly.
He is modest, cautious and health conscious. It's inspiring to be with a man who rises well before the chickens and begins his daily workout after cheerfully consuming a tasteless granola bar. But don't worry, dear, that guilt management workshop will help you deal with the feelings of inadequacy he inspires. Life really makes more sense when you look inside his closet. There in some precise order, comprehensible only to him, are arranged a dozen pair of identical, ultra conservative khaki pants and neutral button-down shirts. Yes, he is still a boyscout!
Your Virgo Guy is picky, persnickety and has to have everything done in his own perfect way, so why do you love him? This is a guy who never bounces a check, can change a tire without cursing or getting a smudge on him, is an excellent cook, and who will help you work through any crisis in your life and have you sorted out without blinking an eye. He is selfless and giving and so skilled in many areas that you feel like you're on constant vacation. And because he's such a perfectionist, he will try, try again in bed until you are his happy, smiling love slave.
Your Libra Guy is a real ladies' man. He just loves women, and you shouldn't be jealous of his seventeen female best friends; he's probably been linked romantically with only sixteen of them. It's fun to be involved with a guy who's more romantic than you are, one who actually enjoys shopping with you for dainties and lipstick, and as long as he doesn't try them on, you're probably okay.
Most guys want to spend their time watching sporting events, belching, scratching and crawling under cars. Until he came along, you thought men were some sort of primitive sub-species. This guy wants to spend time dancing, attending cultural events and crawling into your heart. So what if he talks constantly about the million women he sees. At least you know he has outside interests. He makes it perfectly clear that he wants a relationship and the fact that he has said that to nearly every woman in town shouldn't be such a drawback. It's proof he's serious.
He's a great companion, but is a guy really supposed to ooze charm instead of sweat? It's fun to engage this mate in an argument. Conflicts make him uncomfortable and you can win while he's pretending to practice his cha-cha. Yes, he does make you feel a bit like a clod, but is it your fault that he's daintier than you are?
Your Libra guy is a woman chaser, he doesn't have a macho bone in his body and he smells better than you do, so why do you love him? He is the heart and soul of romance and he restores your spirit of magic. He makes you feel that love is alive and well and something you can enjoy again. He inspires you to buy new clothes, he leads you on a whirlwind of good fun, and no romantic sentiment is too gooey for him to share.
Your Scorpio Guy isn't really that secretive. He just refuses to let you in on what he's thinking, feeling and doing. Except for that, he's an open book. Don't assume those rumors that he's an alien are true; there are good reasons why no record of his past exists-he doesn't want "them" to have access to his private life.
This guy has one hobby-sex-but don't worry-it really is safe to have that many orgasms a day, and no it doesn't make you a nympho-just a lucky girl. You can confirm this fact with any of his past lovers, once you get the CIA to locate them. It's nice to be with someone who's a comfy homebody; just insist that he unchain you from the bed long enough to get some laundry done.
There's something comforting about sharing all your secrets with him. You can look into his eyes and tell him all the shocking things you'd never dared reveal before. And it's okay to do so because chances are he will never use them against you except when he's really, really angry. At least he is capable of great emotional depth, and that's why he's so adept at understanding your feelings. Who else has manipulated you with such finesse?
Your Scorpio guy is a secretive, bossy sex addict who always has to rule the roost, so why do you love him? The sex addict part alone is enough to sell him, but he's also intensely passionate, emotionally liberating, and you feel as though your connection with him will last a lifetime-at least. Loving him is like flying without a net, and it's intoxicatingly exhilarating.
Your Sagittarius Guy loves dogs and horses and is most at home when in the company of animals. That's because his furry friends don't mind the fact that he owns only one pair of raggedy jeans and two torn T-shirts. Like Peter Pan, he's a playful sprite who enjoys a frolicking good time. This is one guy who will never expect you to put him through medical school; doctors actually have to work for a living.
Thankfully, his prejudice about signing onto a lifetime of career complications doesn't extend to you. He is ready, willing and enthusiastic about offering you all the kudos you need while building your own career. Go ahead and work those long hours; this is a liberated guy who won't feel demeaned by your decision to support him. He's also willing to compromise about your living situation. He was perfectly content camping out on his buddies' couches till you came along. He doesn't need that big place you work so hard to afford, but considerately, he will live there with you. Other men might resent being put on an allowance, but he doesn't mind at all, as long as it's enough to cover the stable bills for his horses.
Your Sagittarius guy is a boy who never grows up, he rarely makes a dime and bathes only on demand, so why do you love him? His point of view is irresistibly honest, he see the important truths of life and is unspoiled, unartificial and a fun-loving good time. Because he's so complacent and accepting of life, chances are he has a shot of bypassing the heart attack years and actually being around to share your old age.
Your Capricorn Guy looks, acts, and seems like a banker, whether he is or not. Ultra-conservative, this workaholic has only one priority; too bad it's never you. Don't worry that you have to contact his secretary to make an appointment for a date. His mother and children have to do the same thing. Working is his reason for living, his favorite pastime and his full-time preoccupation. This is one guy you may never see out of his three-piece suit.
This fellow has strong, traditional values. He believes in the sanctity of the family and plans to establish one of his own-just as soon as he can hire a suitable bride. Everything about him is so traditional that his taste is so long out of style he may actually be fashionable again. He certainly doesn't expect you to indulge in the whims of fashion. He wears the same clothes until they are so worn out they fall off his body and so should you. Don't worry-he will be too busy working to notice that you're naked.
Money and financial security are very important to this mate. After all, he has absolutely no vices and no thrill-seeking tendencies, so chances are he will outlive his entire generation. Surviving that long requires a nest egg. There's no chance that you will one day be able to wrest from him his fortune. He'll outlive even you. Not that he'll retire, but he'll outlive you.
Your Capricorn Guy is a penny-pinching, competitive workaholic who has no need of a personal life, so why do you love him? He's ambitious, loyal, and you can pretty well assume he won't cheat on you, except with a calculator. He is witty and can keep you laughing. He's a stand up guy you can trust to remain that way. And he's a hard worker, so when he takes time off for your annual conjugal tryst, he will try to please you.
Your Aquarius Guy has a personality that's so quirky you prepare for your dates by reading Jane Goodall's groundbreaking research on apes. He may not be Simian, but you can't quite determine what species he is. Unquestionably brilliant, he has points of view that are so outrageous they have no relevance to life anywhere on this planet. He doesn't mind being off center; it's fun for him to challenge the thinking of the people around him with his shocking remarks. But honey, don't feel badly. Your great aunt Alice had the heart condition long before you introduced him at that ill-fated family gathering.
This guy loves technology and can do anything with electrical gadgets. Perhaps you can't fathom why he's interconnected his computer, the fridge and your vibrator but he has a plan and you should respect him for it. It's interesting to live in his absent-minded professor-like world. It's abundantly clear that he's forgotten more than you ever knew. Never mind that you don't want to know that stuff, it's still an accomplishment.
This mate loves to befriend the whole world. Those people around him may look like a raggedy collection of reprobates, felons and terrorists to you, but to him they're just the guys. Yes, it's true that you've been dating for twelve years and he still introduces you as his casual friend whatsername, but that's just his boyish charm. He understands gadgets intimately, but inexplicably, he can't hear your biological clock ticking?
Your Aquarius guy is distant, detached and seems to hail from a planet in another galaxy, so why do you love him? He's smart, really very smart and it's always amusing to hear his outrageous ideas. Perhaps one day he really will save the world. It's nice to be with someone who absolutely won't make a commitment, because then you don't have to deal with your own fear of closeness. This is a man who dances to his own drummer and if you can understand each other, it's fun to be surprised every day of your life by the clever things he says.
Your Pisces Guy is more sensitive than a twelve-year-old virgin. He doesn't mind crying and he isn't ashamed to let you see his tears. That box of cereal was once a living organism and it deserves to be loved, not just eaten. He's willing to listen to your problems and will always lend you a shoulder to lean on. Yes, he will too, once he's finished listening to the problems of every one else on the planet, all of whom have targeted him for their dumping ground.
It's nice to be with someone who has artistic sensibilities. It's unfair of you to ask him to go out to work. Watching endless hours of television reruns of The Brady Bunch is an important cultural pursuit. He supports you in your career goals, doesn't he? How can you be so insensitive where his choices are concerned? This is a man with feelings-and everything has to be balanced for him to function properly. Chances are there will be a day or two in the next decade when he absolutely does feel balanced, so in the meantime, cut him some slack, will you?
You never have to feel weak or ashamed of your irrational emotions with this mate. There is nothing outrageous that you could feel to which he hasn't already succumbed. No matter how miserable, how depressed, how slobby you get in your chocolate-stained bathrobe, he will still accept and love you. Unfortunately he has the same standards for everyone else. Just take a number and wait in the den along with the rest of the world.
Your Pisces guy is a distracted, whiney, emotional wreck, so why do you love him? He is tender and loving and although he's that way to everyone, you know that his feelings for you are truly unique. He is a special person who has deep feelings and he really pulls hard for the underdog. You never have to feel that you're going to be overwhelmed by a macho man. In fact, if you want to, you can probably overwhelm him!
Cupid Takes Aim--Hers
Some years back I received a humorous e-mail that proved to be very telling. It contained an anecdote about a fictional couple, Roger and Elaine. They were driving in the car when Elaine mentioned that they'd been seeing each other for six months. That prompted Roger to think that yes, it had been six months, because that was about the time he had last taken his car to that thieving weisel, the mechanic. As Roger went over the situation with the car in his mind, Elaine fretted silently about the relationship and Roger's reaction to her statement.
What did his silence mean? Had her comments put Roger ill at ease? Was he angry at her? Did he think she was being too pushy, that she was asking for a commitment? What was Roger thinking? Elaine couldn't let the matter go. She began to get teary, but hastily controlled herself. It must be something serious, something ominous, and perhaps their relationship was not on shaky ground. Roger knew something was up, but he didn't know what. He was pretty sure he hadn't missed one of Elaine's remarks but it seemed like he had. What did it all mean? Something must have flown over his head-oh well, he would survive. Roger drove Elaine home and she promptly put in an emergency call to her girlfriend so they could obsess together over the situation. Roger went home and promptly fell into a sound sleep.
Roger and Elaine were not on the same page. But how could they be? Men and women love each other, they share lives and marry, but so often you guys regard us as creatures more exotic and incomprehensible than the ones at the zoo. Although women are referred to as the weaker sex, you guys live in terror of us, wondering what you dare say, think and feel and knowing that women are simply beyond your comprehension.
When Henry Higgins complained, "Why can't a woman be more like a man," he echoed sentiments shared by all mankind. You men say what you mean and if someone doesn't understand what you're saying, you rarely weep, whine or sneer, "Well if you don't know, I'm not telling you." When someone gives you a present, you say, "Wow what a nifty set of screwdrivers." You don't tear up and wail, "Screwdrivers? Is that your idea of something personal?" Or, "So you think my fingers are too fat and I need to screwdrive some weight off?"
You're a guy! Of course you'd never think to behave that way. If something upsets you, you roll with the punches, you go with the flow, you smash a hole in the wall with your fists. Isn't that the sane way to live?
Being a woman myself, I am not quite on your side, but I do have sympathy for you, so here are some bits of information that could help you win the battle of the sexes.
Your Aries Gal challenges that complaint made above by Henry Higgins. She's a lot like a guy and is one tough broad. She can change her own oil, race go-karts faster than a testosterone-poisoned teen, and if you annoy her, she isn't shy about applying those useful techniques taught in her karate class. This is a woman who knows what she wants and who isn't afraid to say so. If you get stuck with her on a desert island, she will have you following her plans and obeying her orders. She can't help it-this is not one of those females who regards herself as a delicate flower.
This mate is someone who has her own agenda and if you want to be in her life, don't expect her to join your team. Expect to join hers. She enjoys good conversation, as long as she's at the center of it, and as long as you don't expect her to listen to your tales of woe. She was not put on this earth to coddle you or anyone else. If you get sick, she's just as likely to sneer and say, "Get up off your lazy butt," as she is to squeeze you an orange.
Your Aries Gal is self-centered, macho beyond belief and you're a little afraid of coming up against her in a dark alley. So why do you love her? She's lots of fun, she loves sports and outdoors activities and she's a challenge in any competition. It's almost like dating a guy pal instead of a gal pal. And she almost never dissolves in tears at incomprehensible moments.
Your Taurus Gal is sexy and indolent. She loves to recline on the couch and munch on gourmet treats. If ever there was a mate for whom a gladiator kneeled and peeled a grape, it's this pleasure-loving woman. She seems to have no agenda at all, and she's relaxed and relaxing to be around. Plus there's the money. You've heard amazing rumors about all the money she has in the bank, and even if you never see a dime of it (don't worry, you won't) it's comforting to be involved with a woman who could buy and sell you. She doesn't buy much and chances are she won't sell you as long as you keep popping those bon bons into her mouth.
This mate loves to be wined and dined and as long as you're paying, she's happy to share the most ultra-deluxe meals with you. Does it seem that we're spending a lot of time talking about food? The way to her heart is definitely through her stomach. And despite her own wealth, this lady appreciates a gentleman caller with his own sizable bank balance. She is not the sort to dally with a gigolo-well not for more than an hour a day, that is. Yes, she does love to make love. After all, she's usually lying down anyway, so why not include some recreation with that posture?
Your Taurus Gal is lazy, probably a bit overweight, and she never lavishes a cent of her fortune on you, so why do you love her? She's sensual and she reminds you of those old paintings of women reclining on a divan surrounded by angels and baskets of fruit. She is very womanly and she makes you feel even more masculine by contrast. And you know that once she gives you her heart, it's yours forever.
Your Gemini Gal is a multi-tasker. Who knew a woman could keep up a running monologue while reading a book and watching the television? She always has something to say and no, that's not why you bought those earmuffs and the radio headset. It's inspiring to be with someone who is so well-informed. How would you know every detail of your neighbor's lives without her? Who else would tell you the blow by blow of Grandma's hysterectomy?
The great thing about this woman is her many interests. Okay she has the attention span of a gnat, but at least you get to try new things. It's not as upsetting as one might think to hear about all the men to whom she was engaged, since after all, most of those involvements lasted only as long as a talk show. You used to feel like a very smart guy until she came along. She can fill in all the blanks of the crossword puzzle, use ten-dollar words and feel at home reading any gibberish-filled book.
She's ditsy, uncommitted and talks nonstop-so why do you love her? She's smart and interesting. And she gives you your space. Other women are determined to rope you in and tie you down. This mate is too busy enjoying life and other people to worry about whether or not you'll be around tomorrow. It keeps you on your toes!
Your Cancer Gal is sentimental about everything. No, that's not just a pile of clutter in every corner-they are treasures and if you say one more word, she'll be crying again, and we all know whose fault it will be. This is one sensitive woman, and weeping seems to be her favorite pastime. C'mon buddy, everybody needs a hobby. In fact, she's a one-woman circus with a new emotion every twenty seconds. You just never know what you're going to come home to. A werewolf has less scary moods.
This mate loves children and having a family is her main priority. Other people discuss the weather on a first date; she had you choosing names for the children. It's not hard to know what sort of mother she will be because she is so attached to her own mother, you have to drag the old biddy along wherever you go. It's sweet to know that you will never have to be alone-her mother will be right there between the two of you until you finally give up and drop dead.
Your Cancer Gal is an emotional wreck, she's clingy and she has never thrown away a single thing in her entire life. Her mother will always be more important to her than you are-so why do you love her? She's sweet and tender and nurturing and you know she will always take care of you. She loves to snuggle and she really cares about your welfare. Nobody is a better mom or better able to create a happy home.
Your Leo Gal is a natural beauty queen, and the sooner you can afford to buy her that diamond-encrusted tiara, the higher the esteem in which she will hold you. Other women go to ruin; she goes to the gym and the mall. Some men come home and listen to their wives complain they didn't know what to make for dinner. This will never be your problem. Your mate always knows what to make-reservations-and she has no reservations about telling you so. If you wanted a Suzy homemaker type, you should have chosen a Cancer.
Leo is the sign of royalty, so remain prepared to pay court. She is always supposed to be the center of attention and you must always remain her loyal servant. Of course that doesn't mean she won't also need a maid, a chauffeur, and a cook. Living the good life is the Leo raison d'être and you might as well surrender. This is not a woman who wants to spend time in cutoff jeans or gardening gloves. And if you have some sort of tuxedo allergy, better call it quits right now.
Your Leo Gal is a vain spendthrift who wants to party till dawn every night of the year. She needs a closet the size of a football field and her fingernails are so long she's virtually unable to do so much as scratch her own butt-not that she would ever stoop to such a tacky gesture. So why do you love her? She's gorgeous and sexy and you're the envy of all the guys in your circle because she's yours. She's sunny and warm hearted and she makes you feel good about being you. Life is fun in her company and you enjoy yourself more when you're with her than when you're alone.
Your Virgo Gal is so pristine and organized that she makes you feel like a big, hairy, useless slob. It's comforting to know that she loves you anyway despite all the many shortcomings you never realized you had until you met her. In fact, she's kind enough to help you work through your problems and in short order, she will have you feeling organized and safe again. It's sort of like joining the army but a lot more pleasant. That's the benefit of being in love with a woman who is just like Mary Poppins-practically perfect in every way.
She has her schedule to follow, but don't worry, she will give you an appointment for sex as soon as you've done your chores. She's not the sort of woman who wants to be tossed onto the kitchen table. She can't make love to the sound of stuff dripping onto the floor. This is a woman who has a lot of requirements and rules about everything-that's why she's known as picky.
Your Virgo Gal is an order freak, she's never been wrong in your entire relationship (meaning you've never been right) and she sees germs in places other people don't even know are there, so why do you love her? She puts your needs ahead of her own, she goes out of her way to make you happy and she keeps your world humming. Other people see her as a girl scout but to you she's a perfect, passionate goddess.
Your Libra Gal is the social butterfly of all time, but you don't really mind lining up to have a conversation with her-everyone else does it. It's all the black tie events, the concerts, the ballroom dancing lessons. She seems to live her entire life by candlelight and you wonder if your eyes will ever adjust to daylight again. Other women do inhabit the real world occasionally but this woman seems to float through a fog of violin music.
She's so sweet and seems to expect so much of you that you don't really mind trying so hard to please her, even if you do suspect that all this meaningless romance will kill you. Yes, you've maxxed out your credit card on the endless bouquets of flowers she seems to expect and somewhere an activist group is forming to save endangered posies from groves denuded at your behest. But that's love isn't it? There are so many other guys seeking her company that you have to give it your all.
Your Libra gal lives in a world too rarified for a real guy like yourself, she's surrounded by people too good for you and looks aghast if you should so much as belch, so why do you love her? She's sweet and pretty and you feel that she changes your life for the better, gives you some class and makes you feel that the world is indeed a pretty place.
Your Scorpio Gal is a woman, not a girl. In fact, you're a little scared of her because you feel that you could easily become her love slave and you're pretty sure she held onto that collar after Rover passed on. She unleashes a might flood of passion in your direction and you want to make sure you remain unleashed as well. This is a woman who knows what she wants, but she only reveals to you as much as she wants you to know. You can't help wondering about what she's not telling you, but hey, since most women talk too much about stuff you never wanted to know, her secretiveness is almost a pleasure-almost. On the days when you're nearly positive that she's not plotting your demise, you don't prod her.
This mate inspires you to reach deep inside yourself and to reveal those old secrets you never told anyone else. See seems pretty trustworthy and since you see no sign she's keeping a dossier on you, it's nice to share more intimacy than you have in the past. And of course, there's the sex. Who knew you'd ever find a woman who wanted more sex than you do? Of course it doesn't make you a wimp when you sigh, cross your aching legs and plead, "Not tonight dear, I have a headache." You survived the military, didn't you, and she's only slightly more exacting than that.
Your Scorpio gal is an intense, sexually demanding dominatrix, so why do you love her? Who can go wrong with an intense, sexually demanding dominatrix?
Your Sagittarius Gal is a regular Daisy Mae Clampett. She's sweet and outdoorsy and you can probably hose her down before you introduce her to your parents. They'll appreciate the fact that she's honest and unspoiled and even if she doesn't own a dress, know which fork to use, and calls the symphony a hoe-down, she's still your true love. The folks'll learn to accept that mangy, flea-bitten-er beloved-dog who goes everywhere she does. If you can sleep with it, they can at least set a place at the table for it.
It's nice to be with a woman who is unpretentious and uncomplicated and some day you can build a new room out of all the stacked up pizza boxes. She's willing to compromise-just let her know which fast food place you prefer and she'll grab dinner for both of you. So what if your last girlfriend laughed at your fishing equipment, refused to go to sporting events and made you bathe daily. This girl has her own tent and will teach you a thing or two about camping. And if you're afraid of big bugs, don't worry. She'll just catch them and set them free outdoors.
Your Sagittarius gal is not terribly feminine, she regards your mother as someone from an alien culture and she has never been on time a day in her life, so why do you love her? She's warm and friendly, rarely makes demands on you, supports you in everything you do and she has interesting ideas about how to live a happy, uncomplicated life. Plus she has all that sporting equipment.
Your Capricorn Gal is a good person to know. She shows you what you might have achieved if you weren't such a lazy, sniveling loser. Yes, she's too busy to waste time dating and will expect to see your family tree and your financial statement before agreeing to so much as a pre-date phone call, but at least you know where you stand-just like the other applicants in her life. If you manage to land her as a wife, you can rely on her to keep the home in order (she hires great people), the children well cared for (she hires great people) and the marriage long lasting-assuming you don't mess things up on the fifteen minutes per day you see her, the marriage could last your whole life.
This is a no-nonsense woman and she's not interested in seduction or in frivolity. So what if the word lingerie isn't in her vocabulary. It's not really in yours either, is it? It's nice to be with someone who decides she needs sex, calls you on the phone and asks if you can spare some time at lunch. You can cuddle with your guy pals over beers after work. You understand what it's like to be building a killer career, amassing a fortune and being a huge success. If only you could manage to do those things yourself, you wouldn't feel so inferior to her.
Your Capricorn gal is a strict, demanding workaholic who is more successful than you are, so why do you love her? An overachiever since birth, she can spring you from jail if you make a misstep, introduce you to the right people or bankroll your internet business. Her values are solid and traditional and she doesn't have time to notice if you're spending too much time with the guys.
Your Aquarius Gal wants you to be her friend. You don't mind that at all but you'd sure like to know if she also wants you for a lover or a husband, but unfortunately she's never too clear in that regard. She has so many people in her life-and frankly they all seem so peculiar-that you are basically clueless about your relationship with her. That's ok, she'd be clueless too except she's too busy saving the world to worry about something as frivolous as romance.
It's nice to be with a woman who is smarter than you are and it's also nice finally to learn how to program your VCR, but what does it all really mean? She sends you ten e-mails a day, but you feel a little let down when each one contains jokes about stupid things men do. You know you're stupid, but hey does she have to remind you of it constantly? When she said she was going to take care of your cookies, you thought hey, she's going to come over in an apron and bake a treat and that means she cares, but all she did was fiddle with the files on your computer.
Your Aquarius gal is impossible to understand, never acts demure or romantic and makes you feel inept around anything electric, so why do you love her? She's smart and interesting, she cares about the rest of the world and she never falls apart like silly women do. She's capable and competent and she makes you feel glad you know her, even if you don't know what you're doing together.
Your Pisces Gal is as tender as a well-aged piece of prime rib, though don't you let her hear you comparing her to a piece of meat. You know how Paul Newman fared when his Pisces wife heard him compare her to steak! This is a sensitive and emotional woman, and no you will never, ever understand her. What you can do is offer her your hankie when she begins weeping uncontrollably. She has the weight of the world on her shoulders and she can't help feeling the pain of just about everyone and everything and that includes you. In fact she feels your pain more deeply than you do, but don't let her make you feel like a clod for not responding with tears to your own situation. She'll cry for you.
Don't expect to monopolize her time. She loves you but doesn't like to be hemmed in. She has too many people who want to share their tales of woe with her and the word no is seldom in her vocabulary. Likewise don't be mad when she can't balance the checkbook-or can't even find it. This woman isn't practical-she has you for those mundane tasks. She is ethereal, an angel who came to fill your life with music (and wayward derelicts in need of some TLC) so be appreciative.
Your Pisces gal is too busy feeling ever to think, she has never been able to explain a single decision she's ever made nor has she been on time once in thirty years. So why do you love her? She makes you feel big and strong and you can't help wanting to protect her from everything out there in the cold, cruel world. She reminds you of what's good about life, and what's sweet in heaven and even though you know you have no clue about what makes her tick, you enjoy the music that plays in your heart whenever you think of her cute, helpless ways.
The Rest of Your Life
All astrology enthusiasts know to approach with trepidation-and respect-two of life's most serious transits. They are the Saturn return at age 28 and the Uranus-Uranus opposition, which generally encourages the mid-life crisis at 43. After considering those bits of energy, we generally zone out a bit and drift into the future with fewer expectations of crisis. We all certainly know that the Saturn return appears again at about 56, but I've rarely heard people stress over that transit as much. Perhaps it's because I'm only 52, and that is an ordeal yet to come, and perhaps it's because most of the people I counsel are in their 20s, 30s and 40s, but somehow those transits that hit after 43 seem less daunting, less difficult to confront, and in general kinder. It may just be that my nature is generally cheerful and I'm always expecting something wonderful to happen, but hey I felt that way when I was young too, and despite the disasters that have befallen me, I keep looking for the silver lining.
A better way to look at the situation of aging is to say that perhaps because age also bestows wisdom, that even the most daunting planetary configuration unleashed upon us will cause less trauma in middle-age than in youth only because we have the life experience to sit back, relax and to handle it with aplomb. Maybe. Or perhaps we just don't expect all that much to happen to people beyond middle age. This may not be true, but it does seem to be the expectation. I'm a movie buff and I find more and more that movies are being made about kids-surely a sign of my approaching dotage. The people my age in the film are the parents, comfortably ensconced in whatever reality suits the plot and they play supporting roles to the twenty-something actors who carry the story. There just aren't that many stories about spunky sixty year olds, I guess.
But it seems to me that just as much happens in the middle of your life as happens at the start. It must, mustn't it-or what would be the point? Whereas in youth we have a multiplicity of events and so many beginnings, in the middle things are perking along, humming in the background, and perhaps instead of all those life-bending events, we have thoughts, feelings, impressions, and life wisdom generated through them. In other words, by the time you're 45, you shouldn't need to be whacked over the head with a baseball bat to make sense of your reality and to grow as a person. Age is no guarantee of wisdom, however, and I see many middle-age people in disastrous life situations, and it seems to me it all comes down to whether you're paying attention or not. The more thought and introspection you apply to your own reality, the greater wisdom you will achieve, and thus there will be fewer life crises.
I took some time this week to make a list of the stressful transit that can befall a person after forty, and it was very interesting. No matter how long we live, or to what elevated age we sustain our life, there is always a boot coming from the universe to nudge us in different and hopefully better, happier directions. From birth to death, there will always be opportunities for growth, change and self-awareness and we can hear these clicks on our own time lines by noting the various planetary aspects. As each of the outer planets makes hard aspects to itself, that forms a checkpoint in your life. Pluto hitting your natal Pluto, Neptune hitting your natal Neptune, and so on will give you those larger than life nudges in the right direction.
First let's take a moment to consider the planetary energies and how they function in any chart. Then we can go decade by decade and look at what you can expect as you march into the future.
Saturn is the planet of Karma and earthly life lessons and here is where you get your report card. A Saturn transit helps you see how well you've been doing and what parts of your modus operandi need revision. Saturn provides the tune ups in your life and helps you make the most of your opportunities. Uranus is the planet of eccentricity, innovation and sudden change. When you've been clinging to a rut for far too long, Uranus will step in and generate the upheaval you need. Although you may feel its energy is disruptive, Uranus helps you move forward in your life and it gives you the courage to try new things. Neptune is the planet of spirituality, illusion and delusion, and it provides a kind of yearning for more as it transits your horoscope. Here is where your imagination gets free rein, where you dream of the best of all possible futures and where you envision what you might do if only…. With Neptune you are prodded to aim higher, try for something better and to create more magic in your life. Chasing after the magical rainbows that Neptune helps you envision doesn't always lead to capturing that pot of gold, but it does provide a rewarding feeling that life can be wonderful, if only you'd believe. Pluto, the planet of birth and death and extreme transformation, is always about change. It helps you release old energy, people and behavior patterns in your life. Hidden things emerge and must be dealt with thanks to Pluto's insistence. This is the energy that brings the many rebirths that occur in any lifetime.
Now, let's look at your life, decade by decade and see what to expect when.
Because my mother is a marvel at 87, I used her chart to look back and see just when those hits occurred in her long life. The exact year in question may be slightly different for you or for me, depending upon your own natal placements, retrogrades and so on. But these are the approximate ages at which these energy patterns will affect your life.
I always like to joke that the first Saturn return is like an astrological bar mitzvah. Not until you've passed this landmark are you truly an adult. The thirties are about building a suitable adult life. Just as the Saturn return provides a marking post between your life as a child, much of which was created by other people and the circumstances in which you lived, the thirties represent the life you're building for yourself, according to your own choices.
By the time you've reached the big Four-O, you have to face a terrible truth. You're not young any more. Not only are you an adult, but you're middle-aged. Your youth is over-or it should be over. One thing becomes increasingly clear-you can't go back to the womb-or the malt shop-or the football field-and ultimately you will die. At forty we all face our own mortality, and that is the cause of the mid-life crisis.
The first transit that hits in this decade is Neptune square Neptune. It hits somewhere around forty to forty-two. Just as the realizations you might have while dead drunk seem profound at the moment and ludicrous in afterthought, Neptune casts a hazy film over your mind to cloud your current reality just enough to nudge you to think in different ways. This is a time of yearning for magic and deeper truths, for starrier ideals and happier moments. You want the ideal now, and because the illusion of Neptune is prodding you to cast aside all logic, you may feel you have found it, just like one business mogul I know who ditched his marriage, his New York co-op and ran off to an commune in Denver at this time.
If we think back to the old days, forty was a ripe old age. Most people died in the old West at the fateful age of 28-the Saturn return. So if you made it to forty, it was time to cast your mind over your life and to seek some spiritual redemption, to find inner peace-and perhaps God, as you prepared for the end of your life. For those who dread the milestone that is forty, it puts life in perspective to remember back to those times, less than two centuries past, when forty was a time to prepare to meet your maker. If that doesn't make you feel young at forty, nothing will!
One thing this transit can do, is bring more spirituality and trust into your life and encourage you to apply that trust and hope to the future, and that would be a very good use of this energy. Say to yourself, whatever befalls me, I will be fine and there will always be a good and true place for me here in the universe. Try to find the good and the beauty in your daily life, and if there is too little of it, enrich your life by giving of yourself to other people.
The classic mid-life crisis transit is the Uranus-Uranus opposition, occurring at about 41. This is the one that breaks up marriages, ends careers, sends men to Corvette dealers and women to plastic surgeons. Clearly this is the transit in which we bemoan lost youth, confront death and try to run screaming back into the womb. Does it work? Ask all the newly single, balding studs with candy cane spines lined up at the chiropractor hoping to get a back crack after squeezing their paunches into all those teensy sports cars!
Although many people react to this energy by trying to experience the unlived fantasies of their youth, (think of the character played by the amazing Kevin Spacey in the riveting movie, American Beauty), the true purpose of this transit is to allow you time to reflect on yourself and your own choices. Have you built a life that allows your inner lights to shine? Have you chosen a lifestyle that brings happiness and radiance to your every day existence? Are you still interested in the future and flexible enough to allow it to happen? These are the questions you must ask now and if the answer is no, it will be time to break apart the structures in your life in order to find an existence that reflects who you truly are, deep inside.
The final big hit of the forties is the Saturn-Saturn opposition. This is either a time of reward or a call for rebuilding. If you've been working hard, profitably and happily at the lifestyle begun after the first Saturn return, then you will feel firmly entrenched in the good life. You will receive the respect of your peers and your superiors will reward you. But if things go badly now-you get fired or dumped from a relationship, it's a sign that you have made a choice that suits you badly and that it's in your best interest to look in other directions and to rebuild your life differently. Although most people regard such possibilities with gloom, and of course it's normal to feel badly if you've been dumped or fired, a good outlook would be one of joy because it means you've won a reprieve, been given another chance and this time you can find the happiness you deserve.
The forties provide us all with a chance to reflect on our life and with the assurance that it's not too late to begin again if we're not happy. It's a time for reflection, confrontation and enhanced confidence or change and renewal. Although at forty we know we're not young, most of us still feel and look young. By the time fifty hits, there are changes that are physical and mental and we begin to feel older. This isn't such a bad thing because it takes a lot of the pressure off. Somewhere during our forties, we get our crap together and stop worrying so much about peer approval; we confront our childhood and become true adults. But by fifty, people around us are younger. Your doctor may look like a kid, your children may inflict grandchildren on you, and those up and coming, determined underlings in your wake at work want something from you-your job. It means one and only one thing-you need different things than you did a short time ago. At this point you are truly in the middle and you realize there will very likely be fewer beginnings now-this is the time to continue, not to start afresh.
The first transit of the fifties is the Saturn square Saturn which hits at about 50. There is a sense of frailty-you know you're not as young as you used to be and you realize that if you haven't been health conscious before, you should certainly start now. This is when you start thinking about your future, about financial security, about eventual retirement and the things you want to do for yourself. The question you ask is whether or not the structures you've built into your life will sustain the life you will want to lead ten years from now. You look back over your life and decide if in your own eyes you're a success or a failure. You measure yourself against the image of what you hoped to become and wonder if there's still time enough left for you to get there if you haven't already done so. Time goes faster now and you realize that you'll be sixty in the blink of an eye. Despite these worries, you also realize how skilled you are and how much good experience is under your belt. No matter what the kids coming up now know that you never thought possible, their high tech knowledge is no substitute for your decades of experience. If you do need more skills or knowledge, this is the time to get it.
At 54 or so, Neptune trines Neptune, and although it's not a hard transit, it's worth considering since Neptune (and Pluto) move so slowly that a trine is significant. This is a good time for reflecting on your choices and the life you have lived. Maybe you haven't achieved all you thought you would in the material realm, but it's quite possible that with some honest reflection, you will see that you have grown so much in a spiritual, Karmic, emotional sense that you can look at your life and yourself and rejoice. You realize now that you're not King Tut and you can't take it with you materially, but what you've achieved in terms of life lessons will be on your spiritual resume eternally and your efforts to give love and make the world a better place make you a better person and a stronger spirit.
By 57 or so, your second Saturn return hits and it's time to reflect on the life you've lived so far. If you've worked for decades at a job that provided little more than financial sustenance, you will probably grab that gold watch and get the hell onto a golf course somewhere. But if you've been on a path that has rewarded you, it will feel wonderful to look back over all you've achieved and to think about where you want to go next. The reaction of other people to you and your life's work is meaningful. This can be your chance to accept awards or to mentor someone else. Or it can be a new beginning of a different phase of your life, one in which you head in different directions. You realize that life is short and you want to make the most of it in every way you can. You're not willing to linger in a meaningless status quo because you realize this is it and that you have to think about tomorrow.
Pluto trines Pluto at 58 and this, of course, is a call for new beginnings. The idea that life is short is very important in this transit as well as in the Saturn transit above. Conflicts always arise because of Pluto transits because we tend to bury the stuff we don't want to confront-who can blame us? Then Pluto comes along to unearth whatever prickly emotional issues we haven't wanted to face and that forces us to gain some emotional perspective and the much-dreaded life lessons that are unpleasant but so necessary are inflicted upon us. If you're ready to retire, you'll have to confront the death of your accustomed status quo and to find a way to build a new routine. Perhaps you have a mate who wants one sort of retirement while you prefer a different lifestyle. And maybe you will have to confront the fact that you've grown a bit detached from each other and some open combat will help you both learn who you are all over again.
The fifties are about reviewing your life, taking stock of where you stand and what you've accomplished, sort of like inspecting the balance in your checking account before going on a spending spree. This is where you look to see what sort of foundation you've built for yourself and how it will hold up for you in your old age. There's a distinct awareness of the need for security because there is a sense that you can't work forever and that someday you will be old. There's also a sense of hope for the future because as you approach the sixties, there's a feeling that soon there will be time for yourself, that you deserve some fun, some freedom and the ability to invest yourself in the joy of living and after many years of being a worker bee, that you should now have some peace and pleasure. The fifties are sort of a bridge between the difficult working world of your youth and the leisure retirement time of old age-sort of like a period in which you anticipate loosening your belt or removing a girdle.
At about 63, Uranus squares Uranus and this is a time of change and reorientation. Although one of the manifestations of this energy could be enforced retirement, another one is a joyous new beginning of the fun life you know you deserve. Certainly there will be changes now. Your life is moving forward, and it's up to you to choose in what direction. If you cling to the status quo of going to a job simply because you can envision no other activities in your daily routine, that enforced retirement is a possibility, simply because it's important for you to think about who you are and to allow your external life to become a reflection of your inner truths. Another feeling that goes along with this energy is the sense that you've worked all your life, dammit, and now is the time for you to do what you please, time to concentrate on yourself and your own interests, whatever they are. It's time to attempt that hobby you always wanted to try, to travel, to learn new things and meet new people. It's time for a second childhood, shared with your grandchildren.
Also around this time, Saturn squares Saturn and it's certainly a time in which you consider if you really want to be working. Perhaps you want to work at something different, more challenging or less stressful. Perhaps you discover that you've accomplished everything you set out to do when you first tried to conquer your world. Whatever you conclude, it's a time for revisions in your game plan, for endings and tidying up the strings of the life you lived before so you can live a less demanding life as a senior. Perhaps you want to scale down by selling a large residence and moving into a smaller one. This is another one of those gold watch transits, and it's up to you to create a future that is just as full as your past, only one that suits the person you are now rather than the person you were decades ago.
By about 69, Pluto inconjuncts Pluto and this is a time for creative change. If there are issues from your childhood, it's much easier to confront them now, because you have the wisdom of experience and the ability to look back over your life and recognize all your previous foibles and frailties-and yes, your successes and triumphs too. The things that used to bother you so much bother you less now because you're wiser and more mellow and more inclined to live and let live. If you're one of those crotchety old people, this could lead to some confrontations with youthful members of your family in which you try to get them to cut their hair, or whatever seems right to you. Chances are they won't want to follow your rules at all, and this is your chance to see that love is a better choice than being an enforcer of silly rules. Live and let live and see the good and truth in all things and you will be happy and well loved.
The sixties are a time of acceptance of yourself and of planning for a future of peace. Chances are you won't have fulfilled all the dreams you had as a child when you were planning your future. Unless you're a millionaire astronaut ballerina married to a movie star with your own line of sportswear and a profile by Barbara Walters, you've probably lived a smaller life than the one you imagined at eleven. But you've also lived a life filled with small moments of richness, of love and tenderness, of memories that make you weep and smile, details that as a child you could never have imagined. And more importantly than that, you've grown so much as a person that you can look back on that starry eyed child and smile in amusement. Small lives are the norm, but they can be very rich and very beautiful. By your sixties, you're in touch with the wealth of complexity and pleasure in your own.
Saturn opposes Saturn again at about 71. This is the sort of transit that leads to one of those five generations in the same family photos in the newspaper. You've lived a long time, watched people come and go and this is what you have to leave behind-a group of people who wear your face and share your expectations of life. It can also be a period in which you focus on health issues, on financial security for your family by examining your estate and on what you need in your old age. Perhaps you are widowed and don't want to live alone any more. Perhaps you're the life of the party at your retirement community. Whatever physical manifestation of this energy appears in your own life, it's a time of reflection and of looking back at all you experienced. It's fun to review those scrapbooks, to dust off the favorite knickknacks or trophies and to say, well hey, I was quite something, and to realize that whatever you were, you still are right now, deep inside.
By about 78 or so, Saturn trines Saturn and brings you the concerns of aging. Is your body strong enough and healthy enough for you to do all you want to do or do those aches and pains require a lot more rest than you expected. It can be hard to reach this age, because you watch friends and loved ones leave this world, but you realize that well, ok, life moves on, but I'm still here and that can be a rather triumphant feeling. Look to the young people around you now, because they need your advice, your wisdom and your willingness to give them time and attention and love. You are someone valuable and everyone will see this about you if you let them.
It's a real landmark to reach your eighties. It means that you've been around for most of a century and can look back over times far different than the current day. It also means you're made of good stock, are sturdy physically and have the sort of even temperament that lets things slide without ruffling your feathers too badly.
At 82, Neptune opposes Neptune again, and surely that is a time of religious and spiritual awareness. You spend time reviewing your life, thinking about the deep truths of your existence and what it all meant to you. It's also a time to grow closer to God and to spirit, if you're so inclined. It can also signify that you've grown a bit dotty as they used to say in the old days and that you can't remember things as well as you should. It seems to me that becoming a fanciful old person filled with memories that never happened and goofy ideas could be rather enjoyable or at least charmingly whimsical. It can also indicate an increased need for medical attention.
Also at about this time Uranus conjoins Uranus and that is another period of rebellion, of breaking down structures and trying new things. If you've lived on your own all this time, you might opt to go live with a child, and at this age you could have a child who is by now widowed and in need of your company and emotional support. What you don't want to do is to be saddled with the cares of everyday life. You've grown old and now you want to do whatever you please, and that usually doesn't include doing chores. You like watching your television shows, finding amusement in the antics of the younger people around you and in thinking about life and how amazing it can be. If you're one of those rigid old people, you might learn that it's better to be a bit freer and less rule oriented and a much younger person could come into your life to point the way. High technology is a marvel now, and even if you can't fathom how anyone can work the new gadgets that have overrun life, it's fun to see them in action.
At about 85, your third Saturn return arrives and the people in your life throw a party for you. It's a great feat to have lived so long and everyone is proud of your stamina and derring do. Children frolic at your feet and can't imagine the million years that have passed since you were as small as they are. And you look over the people who are coming up behind you, struggling as you have struggled and you shake your head at the mystery that is life on this planet. Who would have thought you could make it so far or so long? To you it seems like a minute has passed since you went to your first dance, yet it also seems like forever since you first fell in love. Life is a whole panorama that lies before you and you have the right to be impressed with yourself and all you've experienced. You're a person with gusto and you deserve some praise.
There are always patterns all through life. There is time for visions and revisions, as the poet T.S. Eliot wrote in "The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock." While we're living it, life seems like an unbroken line, day after day, but really it's more like chapters in a book, with confrontations, upheavals and restructuring. That is the basic pattern of the transits of the outer planets. Life is our choice and as we live it there is always time to review, accept or change, abandon one course in favor of another and to begin again anew. That way we have the full opportunity to be the person we are, deep inside, to express the self that existed at the moment of our birth, the self continuously refined through life's adventures and to become the self we hoped to be when we chose to incarnate in the first place.
If you live beyond 85, you shouldn't have to worry about transits. Just take life one day at a time and enjoy it all, just like my great grandfather, a Maryland farmer whose goal was to make it to 100. He hit 99 somewhere in the 1960s and was a marvel for his day.
Transits to the Sun and Moon
I’ve never been one of those astrologers who looks for shortcuts. To say this or this or this is the one and only be-all and end-all in a horoscope seems to me to be lazy. To say that you should always look first, or look primarily at one particular element in your chart is to do a disservice to astrology. If you want it to be easy, make a cake mix. If you want it to be good, do it right! There’s no question that the full story is revealed by taking into account each and every element in a horoscope, though it’s also true that the same message is repeated more than once throughout any chart.
That said, it’s also true that two of the very most essential energies in any horoscope are the Sun and Moon. Taken together, they provide a very clear roadmap to the personality and character of any individual. What do you need, what do you expect, how will you proceed, and how will you react? Much of this information is divulged in your horoscope via your Sun and Moon, not just their signs of course, but the houses in which they reside and the aspects made to them.
Even if you had none of the full astrological data, but you did have the signs of the Sun and Moon, you would know a lot about a person. They are what’s called the lights of the chart, for literal reasons. They are the two elements in any horoscope which are not planets but rather a star, and an orb whose light reflects that star’s.
There’s a lot of heavy, transiting energy out there now, or maybe there’s no more than usual, but it’s just on my mind because so much of it seems to be hitting me. Like all astrologically in the know, I do spend too much time considering what might happen when this or that contacts my chart. Many of us now speak in shorthand—we say “Oyy this is hitting my that,” or “Oyy that is hitting my this.” The only thing we all have in common is that “Oyy” invariably begins the sentence. How many times have you heard someone say, “Whoopee, this is hitting my that?” I can’t think of any!
It’s human nature to worry about what’s coming, and let’s face it, most people have become astrologers as a sort of insurance policy, thinking that if we know what’s coming we can stop it. Yeah, well forget it. We can’t stop it, we can just get through it, sometimes with humor. That’s pretty much my solution to everything, humor and cookies, made from scratch.
But the real question here is, what actually happens when something hits the lights in your chart, and what is the difference between a transit to the Sun and one to the Moon? Let’s consider that.
Everyone knows their Sun sign. It’s right there in the newspaper, can be bought on jewelry items in department stores, and volumes have been sold about who we are based on this basic birthdate information. But what does it mean?
Your Sun sign—or just plain sign as most people think of it—really describes who you are and what you’re like. Amazingly, it’s true. We are like our signs, and those of us with the same sign have many similarities. I’m more like other Virgos than like Aries, though during arguments I’ve been accused of being the latter, something I chalk up to being a New Yorker with moxxy.
More than your personality, your sign describes your basic task in this lifetime. Every sign has a basic essence, and you are expressing yours, without even trying. Everything you do has some connection to your Sun sign. Plus it’s expressed out in the world. Your efforts to succeed on your own terms and express yourself via building some sort of concrete life with a foundation of your own making come under the heading of your Sun sign.
It’s said that the Sun also represents the father—and men—in your horoscope. That makes sense in a way although those lines may be blurring. In past generations it totally made sense because Dad went out into the world and worked, making a living and securing the family’s place in the community. If your dad did a good job, you had plenty of everything in your childhood and felt secure. Whether you were happy is another matter. Now of course more families have double bread winners, so it could be Mom who has the big career.
There’s no question that the house holding your Sun will make a difference. Mine is in the tenth house of career, so it makes sense that a lot of my identity is focused within my career. But still the Sun is how you define yourself. Even if you have a much more fun fifth house Sun, living in the house of pleasure, romance, and amusement, you’ll still define yourself via your Sun. Maybe you’ll be a championship runner, or a pleasure golfer who has a different career, but you still see yourself as a golfer. Or maybe you’ll teach school and shepherd children into successful adulthood—making that your goal as well as your identity.
There are many ways to define a human being, but astrology is rich with possibilities—another reason I’m not such a fan of shortcuts. However you do define yourself, it will no doubt match your Sun sign in some way.
Walk into a room and interact with the people around you. On some level they will feel your Sun sign’s presence, although they may also sense your Ascendant, for the rising sign does make itself known immediately. But the rising sign is more of an immediate buzz. The Sun sign will be pervasive energy, and your behavior will reflect it.
The Moon is very different. The Moon is all about emotions, sensitivity, and often things that lie below the surface. Most people don’t immediately reveal these things to other people, unless those others are savvy and rather psychic, and then if so, the revelation is not really intentional but rather something peeked into by an observant companion.
The Moon can be both the Achilles’ heel and the saving grace of any horoscope. It shows how well we feel about ourselves and how readily we handle adversity. Are you naturally cheerful or optimistic, or do you tend to worry too much and expect dire consequences at every turn? Look at your Moon! If you have a nicely placed Moon, life can whack you and you might be down, but you probably won’t be out. Somehow you will recover because you’ll pick yourself up and try again, hoping once more for the best.
Sometimes I wonder about animals. Look at the squirrels—always cheerful, always friendly, out for a meal and working to make a nest. They don’t worry, they don’t fret, and hey they’re really small and there are cars all over the place ready to turn them into road kill. They just go about their day, doing their best and accepting life as it comes. That’s the way to be! I don’t know about the horoscopes of squirrels and assume they have as many good and bad things as humans do, but at least they make the most of life. For a human to do that, a good Moon would be necessary.
That’s not to say that anyone with challenges to their Moon will fail at life. A person can be a success in many ways with a difficult Moon. Maybe they’ll overcome early adversities to make a ton of money. But on some level, they’ll be anxious, nervous, or always worried it could all be yanked away. A sense of security is definitely the domain of the Moon.
Besides emotions, the Moon shows how you feel about women in your life, whether they’re beloved companions or arch enemies you’d rather avoid. The Moon is rich in symbolism. It’s domestic and it shows just how much you like to make a home, work in your kitchen, put a nice meal on the table. For certain Moons life is a thrill when it includes cooking and taking care of other people. For others, domestic matters are a royal pain in the neck always to be avoided. There’s no judgment here. We all get our pleasure—and our sense of security—in different ways, ways defined by the Moon in our horoscopes.
The Moon also represents Mother, the symbol of nurturing and unconditional love. Two children in the same family can have vastly different Moons, describing the same mother, a woman who was different to each of them. It sounds odd, but is it really? We’re all different to everyone who meets us, and how we seem in some ways is a reflection of the person doing the observing. That would be a Libra way to look at life for in Libra we understand ourselves through the mirror of other people.
Often our greatest joys and deepest fears can simultaneously be represented by the Moon. If you were an iceberg, your Sun would be the part above the water readily visible, but your Moon would be the much larger chunk beneath the surface, out of view. Does that mean the Moon is more important? Of course not, just that it’s more complicated and harder to see.
Transits represent the changing energy in the sky and when that energy makes a geometrically significant connection to some planet or point in your horoscope, it’s called a transit. Or, “Oyy look at what’s hitting me.” Transits to the Sun or Moon are among the most significant energy we can experience as we navigate the stream of our lifetimes. They define periods of time that are either good or bad, challenges to confront, and sometimes blessings to enjoy.
One of the best things about being an astrologer is not so much the ability to circumvent life’s aggravations, but the ability to read an ephemeris and thus to know when it will subside. You can say ok the spring will be unpleasant, but by fall life should feel better and in knowing that, you can get past the times of crisis with both a better attitude and the comfort that current energy isn’t permanent.
A transit to the Sun can be a make or break situation, if it’s an intense one. New people can come into your life to challenge you and you can rise to that challenge—or maybe not. Your place within your own specific universe can come under review and everything that you’ve considered the status quo might change. It could lead to a new job, opportunities for growth, or the need to dip a little then recoup somehow. Sometimes a solar transit brings a cosmic report card and you learn how well you’re doing. Other times it nudges—or thrusts—you out of a rut and moves you forward onto a totally new path, just as characters are moved along by well-constructed plotlines in a movie. Transits are usually when we make big changes, whether through our own design or through force. Sometimes if you’re flexible, you can make your own choices because you get out of a situation that isn’t working before push comes to shove. The inflexible types require the push to shove them into a new reality rather than independently forging their own.
Many different things can occur as a result of a solar transit, and we’ll talk about them specifically in a moment. But the thing to remember is that your place in the world, and sometimes even how you see yourself, will be changed by a transit to the Sun.
A transit to the Moon can be traumatic or enjoyable, depending on your nature. You might end up moving to a completely new residence, or sprucing up the place you already have. You could have trouble with the women in your life, or you could grow closer to them and feel that you’re blessed to be surrounded by love.
Some transits to the Sun can affect your health, but transits to the Moon more often do so. If you deconstruct the word disease, you see it as dis-ease, a lack of ease, and that is what the Moon is all about—engendering ease and comfort—or its opposite—in your daily life. When life is fraught with stress, emotional pain, or insecurity, anything from a cold to a serious disease can creep in. It’s at times like this that meditation and other New Age healing techniques can come in handy, to restore emotional balance and aid you in handling whatever crisis may come.
Lunar transits can be much scarier to expect because we all cling to our expectation of a secure status quo. Nobody likes the idea that something can threaten our way of life out of the blue or that which we’ve come to rely upon could be wrenched away, or even just changed. These transits affect us internally and bring back the sensation of being a child again, and nobody wants to be a child under someone else’s control, even when their actual childhoods were lovely.
Transits to the Sun and Moon can also be reflected in the lives of those close to you. Your Sun can be transited and your son, brother, or father could have a problem, one you might be required to solve. Likewise could the women in your life manifest an issue when the transit is to your Moon. That’s not to say that their own charts aren’t also being transited because it’s likely they will be.
How pleasant, compatible, or downright awful a transit will be depends in part on which planet is hitting, but also on the angle of the hit. The hard aspects (conjunction—0 degrees, square—90 degrees, opposition—180 degrees) will usually produce more profound effects than the easier aspects, generally considered to bring happier energy (sextile—60 degrees, trine—120 degrees and sometimes the quincunx—150 degrees). Whether hard or easy, the planet doing the aspecting will always create events in keeping with its own energy.
Mercury, the planet of communication, can aspect but only for a day or so, and it will bring more talk and social interaction. When it hits your Sun you might spend more time discussing matters at work, whether in person or on the phone, or you might have to do some writing or fill out forms. Mercury is also travel, so you might end up on a business trip. When Mercury hits your Moon, it still brings conversation, but it can be of the deeper, sharing intimate details variety. You might write, or read more creative writing, such as that trashy novel or silly love story.
Venus, the planet of love and beauty, is also among the faster moving planets and its aspects are fleeting as well. Venus brings pleasure and it’s pretty hard to envision a negative Venus aspect because most people rarely complain about too much of a good thing. When Venus hits your Sun, nice things happen. People at work invite you to lunch, or you dress up and network at a special event. You host a gathering, feel attractive and expect others to respond positively to you—which they usually do. Your creativity is enhanced and you enjoy expressing yourself in new ways. Maybe you buy some colored stickers and embellish your office files.
Venus hitting your Moon is equally wonderful. You enjoy shopping, eating with loved ones, and life seems somehow sweeter, perhaps because you’re swallowing more cookies and candy. It’s the perfect time to entertain at home, or to redecorate a little. A cozy nest feels important now and you enjoy creating one. The people you love are more important and you want them near you. It’s also fun to give your image a little re-do, whether at the hair salon or your favorite boutique.
Mars, the last of the personal planets, is all about ego and action, and it’s one of the strongest transits when combined with any of the outer planets. If you can imagine one of those domino guys who spend months setting up a room with a domino maze, and then with one whack it all sequentially comes tumbling, well Mars is the whack. When Mars transits your Sun, you feel active, vital, or sometimes like an egomaniac. It’s easy to get carried away on your own desires and to go get precisely what you want, no matter the inconvenience or aggravation to someone else. If by nature you’re rather meek, this energy can be a Godsend because it gives you the oomph you need to move forward. If you’re rather assertive already, it can turn you into a bombastic pig—if you let it!
The good thing about a Mars transit to the Sun literally is action. You don’t sit around waiting, you get up and do. Or you might get up and go because sometimes Mars brings travel. Something you’ve been waiting to move on, well, now you move. You may also find that you encounter other people who are more action oriented and they may nudge you to be the same. That could mean company softball teams or bowling leagues, or a greater sense of competition at work.
Mars to the Moon can feel like a bit of an assault. You get worked up more easily and don’t mind flinging your emotions in the face of other people, whether or not they’re truly at fault. This is one aspect of the temper tantrum, quarrel, or just a general sense of agida as they say in the song. It can bring energy, however, and that can result in a whirlwind of domestic activity, such as closet cleaning, renovations, or the desire to move to a new place. You might also encounter cranky types who demand your attention or favors when you’d rather be left to your own devices. At least with Mars on your Moon, you won’t mind saying no.
Between May 09 and May 10, Mars moves between Aries and Leo, so people in the first five signs will definitely feel a Mars boost of energy. Use it wisely!
The outer planets begin with Jupiter and Saturn, considered societal planets, and which were the last planets ancient astrologers could spy with the naked eye. They each move more slowly and spend much longer in any sign and will thus affect you more intensely by transit.
Jupiter, like Venus, pretty much always brings good, and isn’t considered the planet of luck for nothing. A Jupiter transit brings health, wealth, and happiness, although to what degree depends on many factors. Jupiter is the planet of expansion and it can help your career and your life quite a bit when it transits your Sun. New people who are jolly and cheerful come along, decide you’re fantastic, and try to help you move forward toward grand new things. It’s great. You may also encounter people or things you never expected to, such as foreigners and a chance to experience another culture via travel. Jupiter stirs your sense of ethics and you want to help other people and the world. You believe in justice now and may get a chance to help someone get what they deserve.
A Jupiter transit to your Moon is just as nice, although you might gain some weight, but it won’t be because you’re choosing food as your drug of choice but rather because life is fun and a lot of the fun includes eating. You feel cheerful and optimistic and the people who come along now appreciate your special qualities, which somehow seem magnified at this time. And you like them too and spend hours chuckling over inside jokes. It’s the perfect time to find a nicer home or to expand the one you have. Focus on the good life during a Jupiter transit and you will enjoy each moment a little more.
Between May 09 and 10, Jupiter moves between 17 degrees Aquarius and 29 degrees Pisces. It enters Aries on June 6th, 2010. People with planets in the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) will feel Jupiter very strongly while it’s in Aquarius. Air signs Gemini and Libra will get a pleasant boost but nothing quite as strong. While in Pisces, the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and of course Pisces) will feel its energy most strongly, and water signs Cancer and Scorpio will feel it to a lesser degree. The Jupiter energy will be even stronger in late Aquarius when it conjoins Neptune on May 27, July 10, and December 21st, 09. It will be somewhat diminished in late May, 2010, as it is opposed by Saturn.
Saturn transits are among the most feared and unpleasant. Anything you’ve done wrong will be thrown in your face when Saturn hits you, but on the flip side, which people often fail to mention, when you’ve done well, Saturn can bring advancement, though it’s not the carefree, happy burst of growth that comes from Jupiter. Instead it’s something you’ve worked hard for, have proven your ability, and a new change to dig in your heels and produce even more—albeit slowly—comes along. Saturn is the planet of Karma, and as you sow, so shall you reap, in this life or any collection of them.
When Saturn hits your Sun, life can feel like quite an uphill battle. You give a thousand percent and receive about twenty. Like Sisyphus, who in mythology was forced to roll a giant boulder up a hill, only to see it roll back down again, forcing him to repeat his efforts throughout eternity, Saturn transits often call for a re-do. Even if you got it almost right, you will have to return to the scene of the crime and fix what you didn’t get perfect.
Sometimes Saturn transits bring endings to things in your life, although usually it doesn’t feel quite like that. You might lose a job and say well you know what, I hated that line of work. And then you’d be forced to find another method of earning a living. There is always method to the madness, for Saturn never does anything without a reason, and if something ends, it usually means that you were on the wrong path and need a different direction to fulfill your life purpose. Of course if you’ve screwed up in a colossal way and something ends in a genuine punishment, such as you being carted off to jail, well that’s about your life purpose too, but it’s also a huge warning from the universe—and society—to get your priorities in order. Endings that are as a result of squandered trust are sad but their message is clear.
It’s also possible that you will begin something new now, which isn’t always the best idea, but sometimes it’s the only possibility. If so, it won’t be easy. You’ll have to give more and be patient, knowing that success will take time. And you might have to pitch in and help other people, those who have had a hard time or are simply incompetent and who require you to fix their messes. This is the time to strengthen your resolve, be willing to work long hours and do what’s necessary to make it all work out.
Saturn can be a difficult health transit, whether it hits Sun or Moon. Because Saturn is often synonymous with work, you find yourself exhaustively putting in the hours and leaving too little for yourself. You get run down. And all that unending pressure can lead to strains on the heart. So remember that when you’re working like a maniac, part of your job is also to take care of yourself.
A Saturn-Moon transit is even more worrisome because it can cause all sorts of health issues. The easiest to remedy is dental. Get your teeth looked at before Saturn hits your Moon. This is not the time to have dental surgery. Once on a Saturn transit, I had a wisdom tooth pulled, resulting in what they call a dry socket, not enough blood, and boy was it painful. Likewise women should have gynecological issues checked in advance and those with digestive problems should work to improve their diet. On a positive note, Saturn-Moon transits can cause you to lose weight, hopefully because you’re on a good diet and working out as a result of a new sense of the need to take care of your physical being.
Saturn can cause your domestic situation to be restrictive. Perhaps an elderly female needs to move into your already overcrowded domicile. Maybe you will have to care for a parent and will have little time for yourself. Responsibilities to loved ones are more intensive now, and attending to them with a good spirit is the best approach. One day it could be you needing the care, so give with love.
Although sudden changes in your living situation are more in the province of Uranus, Saturn can bring about a move. It can make relations colder between you and pivotal females in your life. You need more love and they give less. Children can move away from you, or become more distant as they endeavor to grow up.
The upshot of a Saturn transit to your Moon is you must learn that there is one person on whom you should always be able to rely—yourself. This is the time to get serious about taking care ofyourself. Think about your future and make plans that will secure the foundation of your life. Have faith in yourself and don’t feel guilty for taking care of number one along with anyone else who is relying upon you.
Between May, 2009 and May, 2010, Saturn moves between 14 degrees Virgo and 4 degrees Libra. It enters Libra on October 29, 2009, but then backtracks into Virgo again for a while. Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) with planets in the second half of the sign will feel this energy quite intently. Earth signs Taurus and Capricorn will also feel it. When Saturn is in Libra, the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) with planets early in the sign will feel it intently, and the Air signs Gemini and Aquarius will also feel it somewhat. The Saturn energy has been particularly strong—yet peculiar—because of its ongoing opposition to Uranus, which repeats at the end of the signs Virgo/Pisces on September 15, 2009 and April 26, 2010.
Another challenge coming from Saturn will be when it is squared by Pluto on November 15, 2009 and January 31, 2010. Planets in the early degrees of Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) will be much affected and can expect some big changes. Careers can end totally, enforced retirements can come, and people in your life may move in other directions, away from you.
Uranus’ energy is often about change, which many people enjoy. That the change is unpredictable and not under our own control is less fun. Uranus is like some crazy person opening a door and leaping out, yelling “Surprise!” when you’re grubby and lazing on the couch in your rattiest PJ’s, expecting to be left alone with your fudge pop. It’s a shock and you feel like an idiot.
Uranus is definitely there to heave us all out of our ruts, and for most people the known—i.e. rut like, is comfortable, even if it isn’t working that well. If you tolerate excitement well and enjoy not exactly being able to know what tomorrow will bring, look forward to Uranus transits, because they seldom disappoint. Uranus hitting your Sun can change your entire life. Something you never imagined happens and suddenly your life is on a completely different course. You see a cat about to run into the street, dash in, grab it and save its life. The old lady who loves the cat takes you to her heart and sets you up in deluxe digs next door and you feel blessed. Except she drops in on you constantly and you feel smothered. She dies and you’re stuck with the cat, to whom you’re allergic and with the task of cleaning out her residence. Her relative comes along and turns out to be the love of your life. See where I’m going with this? It’s exciting, never dull, and it feels like a comedy in which you’re the butt of most of the jokes.
Uranus can also bring career opportunities, in a high tech sort of field, which can be great. It can inspire you to change your life deliberately, which is a better use of the energy. Attachments that were so essential to you before can now be cast aside and you don’t mind at all. Maybe you’ve studied for years to be a doctor and suddenly decide you want to be a D.J. That’s life—and it’s Uranus.
Uranus hitting your Moon can be equally upsetting. You might move. I moved cross country on this transit, but it was by design, though based on nothing that made sense. I’m still here though and as the transit comes again I wonder what it will bring. If you don’t move by design, you might be forced to relocate because of circumstances not under your control. People around you, on whom you count, could move, leaving you feeling lonely. New people can come along and shake your world, not always in a good way. And the women in your life may act in ways you consider a little or a lot wacky.
The only way to handle Uranus transits just to shrug and say whatever will be, will be. Fixed types will tell you that change comes with Uranus and then when it’s done everything returns to the way it was. For some people that’s true—those wedded to the status quo. But if you’re looking for escape from anything, plot to make the change on a Uranus transit. Just don’t assume all those dominoes you lined up in a row will topple precisely as you’ve envisioned because there will always be surprises.
Between May, 2009, and May, 2010, Uranus finishes its long tour of Pisces, where it’s not even remotely at home, and enters Aries, where it can really shake things up. Uranus enters Aries on May 27, 2010. Because it has been traveling for a while in opposition to Saturn, its effects will be felt by some of the same people mentioned above, namely the mutable signs with planets at late degrees. Water signs Cancer and Scorpio are also feeling this energy. A lot has been written about the Saturn-Uranus opposition, and it’s been our chance to knock down outworn systems of order and to find a unique and creative way to rebuild. It’s a good idea, but not so much fun in your own life.
Neptune is the planet of spirituality, which sounds sweet and comfy, and sometimes it is, but it’s also about illusion and delusion, which isn’t so much fun. Neptune transits can make you happy, joyous, and creative, but they can also make you lose your mind. With a Neptune hit, you could cling to a brave new idea and do your utmost to force it to materialize, never realizing that it’s the wrong plan from every possible angle.
Neptune hitting your Sun can bring many changes into your life, the first one being the desire to nap a lot of the time. You feel tired, and you don’t mind the idea of lying around daydreaming because that’s almost as good as sleeping. If you do this at your desk, beware. A supervisor could walk in and catch you. Once years ago on a Neptune transit, before I became an astrologer, I closed the door to my office and lay behind my desk, desperately needing a nap. In walked my supervisor and asked what was I doing. Ever the quick thinker, I said sit-ups, thinking that wouldn’t sound as bad as confessing to napping. Did she fire me? Worse! She insisted I come to her newly-started after-work exercise group, about the last thing on earth that appealed to me but what with my admitted need to do spontaneous sit-ups, how could I decline? Such is Neptune! Being a good liar can help you but it still might not get you what you want.
Neptune hitting your Sun can bring more creativity into your life. You might get the chance to express your talents in new ways, or your film career could finally take off. Or you could become one of those religiously insane people who joins a cult and gives up your real life. The key to how badly a Neptune transit will hit you is in how solid you are to begin with, but maybe I’m showing my own conservatism because for some giving up the world could be their idea of a good thing. To me, if you’re in the world, you can’t give it up.
Neptune on your Moon is equally disorienting. Everything that used to make sense no longer does. You want changes and you don’t know how to make them happen, but somehow oddballs find you and offer innovative suggestions, which under normal circumstances you’d be wise to avoid. You might decide to move—closer to a body of water—or to begin chanting. You might duck into the movies daily as a way of avoiding the conflict in your life. Women may be hard for you to understand—or easier—depending on your openness to the psychic visions and acuity that also come withNeptune.
If you can find the more spiritual side of your nature yet not abandon the practical side of your life, then you’re coping well with a Neptune transit. If you can be open to new things without losing sight of what has always mattered and without changing your basic self too much then, go for it. Just don’t assume that everything you did before was crap and only now do you have a clue. That’s pretty much a sign that you’ve gone too far off the deep end.
Between May, 2009 and May, 2010, Neptune, between 23 and 28 degrees, remains at the end of Aquarius, where it has uncomfortably visited for some years already. Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and of course Aquarius) with planets in the later degrees feel its energy profoundly. Air signs Gemini and Libra also have a more Neptunian energy now.
Pluto, the planet of birth, death, and extreme transformation, is now in Capricorn, where pretty much everyone agrees it’s playing havoc with the business and financial community. Many people believe that Pluto changes are final, and in a way they are because there’s usually a sense of completion when you’ve finished one. You should have had whatever transformation was necessary during the course of the transit.
Pluto transiting your Sun can certainly change your life. Jobs can end, people can leave you, and you might decide that you’re done with all this and really want that. Pluto always gives a sense of urgency—it’s now or never—although its transits are so slow that in fact there’s usually lots of time to learn Pluto’s lessons. But we are not immortals, and unlike with squirrels or other blithe but self-preserving animals, the specter of death is always lurking somewhere in our consciousness. So we want to hurry and make changes when they have that Plutonian urgency because it feels like a matter of life and death.
Often the changes that Pluto brings are unwelcome. If your company goes out of business, it doesn’t matter that you were their star employee, but it might matter to your next boss. If a parent hauls you to a new community, well you don’t like it, but as a child you have no say-so. Pluto feels as though you’re in the grips of something stronger and more powerful than you are and it’s true—you are. Sometimes that results in a powerful person coming into your life and boosting you in a particular direction, whether you want it or not, such as when Gramps entrusted you with the running of his business, which never interested you but took up half your life. Sometimes you must confront a person who is challenging you and by standing up for yourself, you gain a sense of personal power. Or the person could be unsavory and not wanting to sink to their level, you lose and move in another direction. Your own conduct is always at issue with a Pluto transit, and that is the one thing totally up to you.
Pluto crossing your Moon is even scarier. You worry someone will die, although they may not, but some changes that are quite final may come. Best gal pals might pick a fight and end the friendship, and you feel that nothing that happened made sense but you accept it and try to move on. Health issues can be serious and you have to rely on professionals who act all-knowing but you’re never sure if they’re smart or just egomaniacs. Here’s where having the nerve to seek additional opinions is useful. Your home could require extensive repairs, plumbing could fail, foundations crack, life as you know it could change. If this happens, it’s a sure sign that you really need to make some changes of your own, for whatever reasons most apply to you. Nothing happens for nothing. It’s all to push you forward toward your destiny, help you learn life lessons and be a better person. But if the termites eat you out of house and home, you’ll hardly say, well gee, that was a blessing—until you find a better place to live which you’d never have encountered if not for the change.
Pluto moves very slowly and between May of 2009 and 2010, it travels between 0 and 5 degrees Capricorn. Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and of course Capricorn) with planets early in the sign will certainly feel this energy profoundly. Everything in your life could change, but it doesn’t mean you will be vanquished. You might be liberated from something you never wanted at all—Gramps’ business, a home in a neighborhood you despise, or a life that doesn’t suit your personality. If so, embrace the change. Earth signs Taurus and Virgo will also feel this energy but not as intently. New opportunities you never thought you could have might come knocking. Just make sure there’s no downside to saying yes.
Life is a precarious proposition, but also very much fun. We are not trees who are rooted to one reality, but creatures who grow, change, and are subject to the winds of change. What makes the difference in all of it is how we handle it. A positive attitude, a sense of self-confidence, and the faith that we matter enough to survive any challenge can be the necessary tools to greet any transit—and to survive—even vanquish—it.
Life comes at us like those balls being hurled by a tennis machine, but we always have the freedom to hold up the racquet and whack the ball or to duck to the side and avoid it now and then. That’s where astrology comes in handy. It helps us know when to be on our best game and when to wear a helmet.
My grand-mother lived with us at the end of her life and I’d often come in and find her watching television with my mother. Their soap operas were over for the day and it wasn’t yet time to make dinner, so they were amusing themselves watching the first television cook I ever saw, Graham Kerr. I remember him vividly. He’d boil something in butter, add a little more butter, douse it with booze, set it aflame, add some butter for good measure and sit down to an elegant table with a glass of wine. In between there’d be butter, tales from his military days, and a couple of pratfalls.
In those days nobody was a foodie; we were just hungry for dinner. Even though Kerr was cooking, it was never about the food. My mother was a homemaker and I don’t think I ever arrived from school to find her absent, but to my mother cooking was more of a chore than a pleasure, although she was happy to bake. Her pound cake was her signature dish and it was on the table at every gathering and every holiday. Never did she assume well, those people have already sampled my pound cake—let’s serve something different. If she did come upon an interesting new recipe, she’d try it but the pound cake was like a religious artifact upon an altar—beloved and essential. She owned maybe five cookbooks and she had a brown wooden box that contained her personal recipes, pretty much the norm in every kitchen in America.
At that time there were probably four television channels and then a new one came along and played mostly westerns. Television went off the air by midnight or one a.m., so if you were a night owl then, you needed a flashlight and a book. Nobody was cooking on TV until Julia Child became PBS’ first star. Although Julia was on the air before Graham Kerr, I don’t think I ever saw her until much later as an adult when her shows were already vintage. I’ve loved to cook all my life and unlike my mother, everything that comes out of my kitchen is freshly made from scratch. In my sizable and beloved collection of cookbooks are several from Julia which I’ve enjoyed using—my quiche is her quiche; she taught me to make soufflés and even foccacia, but in truth I never really enjoyed watching her cook. The woman is a saint, an icon, and more beloved than Mother Theresa but gosh she’s sloppy. Viewers like that about Julia because it makes them feel more confident and I admit not to being the world’s neatest cook but I’d rather watch cooks who are. Or maybe it’s just that the videotape has degraded and everything looks murky brown.
Despite all this, I love Julia and it’s because of her that we as a nation began to change our approach to food. I remember her doing a show about how to make lasagna and suggesting that the home cook use cottage cheese. That’s because the American supermarket didn’t have ricotta in those days. Now, walk into your market and you can buy foodstuffs from a variety of international cuisines. You don’t eat the omnipresent Wonder Bread of my childhood because there are so many better choices available. You can buy a baguette, a pugliese, naan, pita, or some freshly baked croissants. Or you can make them. It’s not exotic, it’s all part of your gustatory repertoire. Despite the fact that we are a nation of people from other countries, it took Julia Child to begin the process of opening us up to what it can be to dine.
I’ve lived my life on one coast or another, in big cities, so the melting pot is a normal approach to cuisine to me. But in the more rural middle of the country, there are few cute little bistros with impassioned chefs at the helm. There are chain restaurants and they serve food that is mostly prefab. Supermarkets there are only beginning to offer the variety that city cooks take for granted and the reason is that people are currently more open to new ways to cook, thanks to what they see on television. It’s one thing to collect cookbooks and read them cover to cover as I do. I got my first Emeril cookbook in the 1980’s having had no idea who he was because he wasn’t even on television yet, but New Orleans fare sounded interesting. People now see chefs like Emeril on TV and watch them cook and it makes it all seem more real and more accessible—more doable at home.
How long has it been since the Food Network has been on the air? Nineteen years! It’s been the advent of cable television that is directly responsible for a new approach to food, and because there are so many channels, any interest you may have can be explored.
The fact that everyone is watching so many different cooks on television has influenced not just what we eat, but how we live. Go look at a newly built house or condo. The floor plan is open. The kitchen is at the end of the living room, or den if it’s a big house, separated by an island. You could easily bring in a camera crew and record your own cooking show, or you can entertain and guests can talk with you as you cook. People who rebuild their homes steal space from other areas to enhance the kitchens. Cooking has become theater.
After Heidi Klum brought her celebrated (and often copied) Project Runway to the air, a new format was born. And it’s this format that is the foundation of every competition on TV. Even though Heidi left Bravo, that format is still alive and well on all of the Top Chef shows.
It’s funny, isn’t it? We have television, not smellovision, yet we can watch someone cook and know it’s good or bad food. We can’t touch or taste it, but we know we like it—or we don’t. We can watch cooking competitions and root for a certain chef, somewhat based on personality, but also based on food. To me, that’s a sign that we as a nation have become more sophisticated about food. We know what something is just by looking at it because we understand food better than ever before, and that should be a good thing, right?
Or is it a sign that we’ve become lazy, self-indulgent gluttons? Hmm...thinking...thinking…. There’s no question that as a nation we’re all too fat. Well most of us. Even my cat’s waistline exceeds Scarlett’s O’Hara’s infamous sixteen inches. But it seems to me that our current national obsession with food is the antidote to obesity, not the cause. If you think back to pioneer days, something was shot, tossed in a pot along with anything scrounged from the garden and food was eaten. If there was money, perhaps there was wheat or even sugar and baking was done. All the work to produce this food burned off the calories. Then the techno age arrived and mom opened a can or later popped something into the microwave. A TV sitcom mom comes in with a fast food bag and says, “I made dinner.” Now that we’re all foodies, we’re back to the pioneer days, making fresh food—but making it better—and the people who inspire us to do this are the new celebrities—TV chefs. Watching great food being created is the first step toward making your own great food. And if you’re like me, you probably choose your TV cooks based on what they cook and if they’re good company while doing it.
It was very exciting when the first Top Chef Masters competition aired a couple seasons ago. The regular competition features less successful, perhaps younger chefs on the way up and there’s much negativity and some obnoxious behavior. This is drama producers want but I do not. In the Masters competition there is more a sense of camaraderie and although the battle is always fierce, there is also more humor, more helpfulness, and better manners. Nobody exemplifies these positive traits more profoundly than Chicago chef and restaurateur Rick Bayless, the first Top Chef Master.
Born on November 23, 1953 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at 8:42 A.M., Rick is the chef everyone thinks of when it comes to Mexican cooking. Articulate and well educated, Rick is a scholar of the culture, history, and traditions that have made Mexican cuisine what it is. To him it’s not just about the food, although it’s clear he’s passionate about the pure yumminess of what he’s eating, but it’s about the total experience, the lifestyle and what contributes to it. In short, he’s the perfect tourist, taking away from a place the heart and soul of what makes it a unique cultural phenomenon. He’s about something most of the typical American Mexican restaurants lack—fine dining with the best of Mexican cuisine, the way it’s been done for centuries and the best of how it’s being evolved today.
When I decided to make tamales for the first time for a pumpkin festival my daughter hosted annually, I couldn’t just follow the recipe but wanted to add pumpkin to it, but was uncertain should it be fresh, shredded, canned, or roasted chunks. Rick was kind enough on Twitter to answer my many questions and it was his help that made that dish a big success, or as my former son in law said, “A revelation.” I’m not sure what my tamales revealed but they were delicious and the sauce from Rick’s cookbook was as authentic as that made by the tiny genuine Mexican restaurant favored by the kids. It was a big adventure to make those chicken tamales with pumpkin, and more recently I made the corn tamales stuffed with roasted peppers and cheese. Rick is a great Twitter resource and often gives advice on cooking, generously shares photos of dishes being created for his constantly updated menus, and enjoys seeing the pictures of his recipes being prepared by fans. He loves what he does and it shows.
Rick is a double Sagittarius with Moon in Cancer. You don’t always expect someone with Sun in the twelfth house to be on television—that’s a shy placement, and a sensitive one. Writers often have Sun in the twelfth and like fictional Walter Mitty, have an active fantasy life. The Sun is very widely trined by Uranus, the planet of sudden change and high technology, giving a tinge of individuality and a little spirit of rebellion. It’s also square Pluto, creating a need to overcome power struggles. Although he was born into a restaurant family, he rebelled a little when choosing Mexican cuisine as the outgrowth of his college studies.
The Moon (emotions), in sensitive Cancer, is all about family, and often we see both Rick’s wife and daughter on his shows, where he’s usually touring Mexico then cooking at home. It’s kind of a family operation because he started his restaurants with his wife and she shares a by-line on his books. One of the great things about having Moon in the seventh house of partnerships is the ability to collaborate well with other people, and he gave ample credit to the chefs who worked alongside him on Top Chef Masters, always treating them with respect and trust. The Moon, which certainly is the planet of food and nurturing, is well connected in his chart. It makes a trine to all three of the Scorpio planets, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn. Taken all together, it produces communication from the heart, the ability to share technical ideas (Saturn) and make them accessible via a verbal finesse (Mercury plus Venus). It’s also relevant to note that Saturn trining the Moon gives order within a restaurant and the sense of how to make a food oriented business run effectively. In addition, the Moon is square Mars, which can produce some quarrels with Mom. As Mars (action) is in the tenth house of career, it provides motivation and assertiveness and the desire to be independent professionally, but with the square, it creates a sense that conflict is sometimes necessary and can be survived.
This is an interesting picture. We have the shy Sun boosted by Uranus and Pluto and the sensitive Moon tweaked by Mars. Look at Mars—it’s in Libra, the most indecisive sign in which it can reside, a place that practically demands compromise, which goes against the very nature of the planet. But the square to the Moon along with the Square to the Sun from Pluto are saving graces despite being considered technically negative aspects. They require Rick to stand up for himself, to know that sometimes there will be problems and that he must not back down or things won’t work out. Mars also receives a very wide square from temperamental Uranus, which can give good reflexes and a bad temper. It’s possible that all that yoga he does so famously is the reason for his ability to neutralize these fractious elements in his horoscope. I suspect that what really happens is that Rick chooses consciously to express himself diplomatically rather than allowing anything simmering below the surface to erupt. Certainly he displays grace under pressure during a competition and that’s admirable. It’s important to remember, though, that in every horoscope there will always be sign placements and aspects we consider technically negative and often they are the key to the life of that person. Without them it would be all sugar and no chipotle, all Jell-O and no prime rib.
Also in the seventh house of partnership is Jupiter, the planet of expansion, and that is another big plus when working side by side with other people. It attracts congenial sorts who want to see him do well. Jupiter makes a trine to both Neptune, the planet of illusion, delusion, and spirituality and to Saturn (limitations). Rick’s cultural and spiritual bent is easily explained by the Jupiter-Neptune trine and Neptune in the tenth house; the Saturn connection just helps produce stability. Really these three planets together describe Rick’s career as an ambassador to another country and the teacher for us all about what’s great therein.
If we ask what’s at the essence of this horoscope, we could say it’s to realize that Rick has the right to express his heart, to pursue what is most meaningful to him and that in so doing he can succeed—on his own terms—that life will provide conflicts but it’s how they’re handled that matters—and that nice guys do finish first. It seems to me that Karmically he comes in from a perspective of too much niceness, of being too conciliatory and needing to learn that friction isn’t always a bad thing, nor is it fatal, nor does he have to abandon his conscience to deal with other people. He’s learning that a little grit makes a clay stronger.
Visit rickbayless.com to learn about his show, Mexico—One Plate at a Time, to check out his cookbooks, or to choose among his restaurants in Chicago or the newer Red O in Los Angeles.
I’d never seen The Next Food Network Star until one summer when there was a lull in my TV schedule and they were running back to back the entire competition. That was how I discovered Melissa D’Arabian. Although the competition was populated by trained chefs, Melissa, my big favorite, out cooked them all. A mom and expert home cook with a business education and a career completely uninvolved with food, Melissa was confident that she could make a success of cooking on TV, and she was right. Smart, capable, logical and organized, she had at the ready an arsenal of recipes that were just great. In fact, it was Melissa who gave me a new culinary fave. She makes a terrific Cilantro pesto (and I’ve made many different pestos over the years) but she takes a little dab of it and uses it as a marinade for raw shrimp. Then a little sizzle in the pan and you have fantastically delicious sautéed shrimp.
Her show Ten Dollar Dinners isn’t just about good food, it’s about good food on a budget and Melissa has tons of interesting tips about how to stretch your food dollar. Melissa teaches viewers how to sate the appetite without starving the wallet. She’s like the mom next door, someone you’d coffee klatch with, lunch with, or have over for a barbecue and never mind the fancy M.B.A. She’s Martha—lite.
Melissa D’Arabian was born October 1, 1968 at 7:08 P.M. in Tucson, Arizona. She’s a Libra with Moon in Aquarius and Taurus rising. Her Sun is in the sixth house of work, which also can relate to food, and conjoins Uranus, making her a little quirky and a true individual. Sun-Uranus connections are good for a career in television because Uranus is the planet of high technology and does rule TV. The Sun is also trine the Moon, indicating congenial relationships. Melissa is happily married to a man she met while working in France, someone she calls her “favorite person,” which is pretty sweet after quite a few years and four little girls.
Moon (emotions) in the tenth house can relate to a culinary career as well, although clearly everyone with that Moon (including Harrison Ford) isn’t chopping carrots for a living, although Ford does have a son who’s a chef. Melissa’s Moon is square both Venus and Neptune. Moon-Venus ties amplify affection, a desire for pleasure and the good life, and do provide an appreciation for the culinary arts. With both Venus and Neptune aspecting, there can be a too-pronounced love of sweets or even alcohol, although she hasn’t mentioned being a Cookie Monster. Moon-Neptune can be a psychic aspect, but it can also describe the absence of or problems with her mother, who took her own life when Melissa was in college.
Both Venus and Neptune lie in the seventh house of partnerships, and that’s sort of a mixed blessing. It’s often true that with Neptune there the tendency is to attract partners who require some sort of rescue, are drinkers or druggies, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in Melissa’s marriage, however Neptune does have ties to faraway places, so maybe marrying a French man fulfills the Neptune. Venus in seven is lovely, bringing romance and happiness to partnerships. It also helps with collaboration. On the show, Melissa was an excellent team player unlike some of her competitors, one of whom actually lied in a showdown. Mercury conjoins Venus, giving an ease with communication and verbal charm. It’s an aspect she shares with Rick Bayless, one I like to call sweet talk—the ability to say or write sweet things which provide a pleasant resonance for other people. She rather quickly got a three cookbook deal and soon you’ll be able to buy her first volume.
Saturn, the planet of Karma and earthly life lessons, lies close to the Ascendant. With a strong Saturn like this, there’s always going to be the opportunity to work, particularly with the Sun in six. I always say it’s a Karmic position, as are all planets placed at the Ascendant. It means there’s a need to learn the value of that particular planet’s energy and to experience it in this lifetime on a constant basis. People with Saturn here work all the time and doing so feels normal to them. Saturn is widely opposite Mercury and that could indicate the business emphasis. Melissa is articulate and her writing flows nicely, so although it may feel more like work to her than fun, she certainly can do it.
Mars (action) is in the fifth house of children and sports along with Jupiter (expansion) and Pluto (transformation). This is not just the house of children, but also of creativity and fun, so there’s much energy here for having a good time, although I suppose with Pluto there one or more of the kids could eventually be a bit of a problem, perhaps becoming someone domineering like a Gordon Ramsay type chef—or a lawyer. I also wonder if the reason a career woman has so many kids (and that Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in five is excellent for creative fertility) is because of this packed fifth house and a sense that the answer to her own childhood is to build a strong and stable family of her own.
Strength and stability are emphasized in this chart. The Airy Sun and Moon take an intellectual approach and are practical enough to make it in a man’s world, but are also feminine enough to function well in the girly side of life. There’s a strong sense here about what it is to be an adult, what the meaning of responsibility is, and how it’s the foundation upon which to build a good life. Saturn is in a Yod configuration with Neptune and Jupiter-Pluto (being quincunx from both of them) and it sort of guarantees that she will be the rock of stability for everyone around her. Melissa is a woman of substance and that’s a good vibe to give off if you want to become a big success. Visit foodnetwork.com to review Melissa’s recipes or check the schedule for her show Ten Dollar Dinners.
Napa is California’s Garden of Eatin’ and it’s this paradise where chef and vintner Michael Chiarello continues the generations-old family tradition of producing the best of Italian cuisine. In his blog, Michael pondered his motivations for appearing on Top Chef Masters and The Next Iron Chef—he was worried he’d come off as an ass. I confess that when he went toe to toe with Rick Bayless, I thought maybe he was too bombastic, but by Iron Chef he’d redeemed himself and came across as a warm, supportive, interesting chef who makes great food. His Emmy winning show, Easy Entertaining airs on Food Network’s sister Cooking Channel daily.
I lived in Italy for a while in the 1970’s and nowhere could you dine badly. Italian and Chinese are my two favorite cuisines and if I ever make it north to Napa, Michael’s Bottega is my first stop. His menu reflects traditional Italian flavors amped up a bit with modern innovation, the essence of what’s exciting about cooking today, roots in the past and soaring imagination that makes it contemporary.
Michael Chiarello was born January 26, 1962 at 12:01 A.M. in Red Bluff, California. An Aquarius with Moon and Ascendant in Libra, he has an Aquarius stellium (cluster of planets) in the fourth house of home and mother—how appropriate for someone carrying on family traditions revolving around food and the good life. What we have here is basically a bunch of interconnected dominoes starting at Mars (action) and going all the way to the Sun (identity). Certainly this is good for focus and uniformity of purpose. The stellium is rounded out by the couplet of Jupiter and Mercury.
The Sun tightly conjoins Venus, an aspect of charm and generosity, as well as Saturn, bringing seriousness, hard work, and a focus on achieving success. Mars, out of sign in assertive and determined Capricorn, adds that extra macho touch that we saw on Top Chef Masters. This is an interesting combination, a melding of what might seem like incompatible flavors. The soft sweetness of the Sun-Venus combo is made serious and practical by the addition of Saturn. Of course Mars in Capricorn already has a Saturn tinge, as Saturn rules Capricorn. This is a controlled Mars, not a flagrant or flashy one as it might be in Aries, and the conjunction of Saturn makes it even more all about business. It almost says, go ahead and express your talents but make sure you get it right—there’s no room here for screwups. A Mercury-Jupiter aspect is a nice one, for it makes communication flow and provides a cheerful approach to sharing ideas as well as a sense of humor. Basically what we have so far is a very yang personality who has a sense of who he is and an imperative to do a good job with his life, almost from a need to make the family proud.
Then we notice what—Neptune, in the first house and making a square to everything in Aquarius. As I said earlier, first house planets are there to bring that planet’s vibration into better focus in this lifetime, energy that may have been less integrated in other lifetimes. In the first house, Neptune is good for acting and can be spiritual but can also bring confusion and insecurity. Here it produces a square which technically doesn’t hit Mars or Saturn but does contact the Sun, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury. And because Saturn so tightly conjoins Venus, I really feel it affects Saturn too.
This much Neptune can bring crises of confidence, and in that blog in which Michael ponders his own motivations for joining those TV cooking competitions, you can see and hear it. He said “my competitive streak got the best of me,” and “why do I want to take the risk, when it sometimes feels like I’m trying out for high school football all over again? … I wanted to prove to myself – and the people watching – that my skills haven’t been put out to pasture.”
I admire people who take the time to look deep inside themselves and this is a frank assessment on Michael’s part. It’s clear when you watch him cook that he’s a great chef, but a Neptune like this will always nudge him, always demand that he prove over and over that he hasn’t lost it. In a way it’s a motivational tool in his horoscope.
Neptune also squares Mercury-Jupiter and that brings a potential to spin a yarn, and we saw Michael’s good imagination on Top Chef Masters when his dish had to tell a story. Mercury is opposed by Uranus, creating a tendency to argue sometimes if annoyed by someone perceived as dumb, because his mind is quick and he comes to easily reached conclusions. We wouldn’t say that there’s a t-square involving Neptune however, because there are too many degrees between it and Uranus.
The Moon (emotions), in convivial Libra, is hidden in the twelfth house of the unconscious. His emotional side seeks a social outlet but he’s also rather shy. Both lights are in emotional houses, four and twelve, and that’s a shy picture. But in Libra the Moon wants company, someone to reflect emotions back. It makes a nice trine to Sun-Venus-Saturn, indicating an expectation of harmony within relationships and probably parents who got along happily. It feels to me as though he comes from a tightly knit, harmonious family, people he admires, who connect subliminally without words, and with whom he wants to fit in.
This is not a portrait of a rebel, but rather of someone who enjoys the feeling of being immersed in something that was there before he was born. He’s not a person who would ever resent carrying on traditions but rather a man who sees the beauty and value in what’s gone before, and finds it something that provides the meaning and framework for the life he wants to live. Unlike those children who seek a means of breaking away from the parental hold, of forging a completely new path that defines and represents who they are, he sees in the past the best part of himself, a shading of what has been and what still should be, something for him to uphold and nurture and pass along to future generations. Visit michaelchiarello.com to learn about Michael’s restaurant, wine business, cookbooks, or television schedule.
Competing in The Next Iron Chef alongside Michael Chiarello was Canada’s Prince Charming with a whisk, Chuck Hughes. As much a moveable feast as Hemingway’s Paris, Chuck is covered with tattoos of his favorite foods, but with his chiseled movie star looks and a smile that could heal nuclear winter, I think he’s poised to become the next culinary superstar. This successful Montreal restaurateur brings charm, wit, and amazing food to his show Chuck’s Day Off, airing daily on the Cooking Channel.
There’s something thrilling about watching someone doing precisely what he was meant to do. Chuck shares many of the essential details that other TV chefs overlook, and he does it casually, so ingrained within him are the details of cooking. He’ll put something on the fire, say let that go for about three minutes, then move on to the next task seamlessly. He gives amounts, cooking times, and demonstrates with great finesse even complicated cooking techniques, all the while expressing his personality and making the show fun to watch. He’s the perfect TV chef—a great teacher and a fun companion. I love watching him do the final plating because although his food is natural and unfussy, he always adds little flourishes and his eye is unfailingly artistic, making his plates beautiful yet never prissy.
Chuck Hughes was born on December 31, 1976 at 6:30 P.M. in Montreal, Canada. He’s a Capricorn with Moon in Taurus and Leo rising. With Sun in Capricorn in the fifth house of children and creativity, Chuck’s happy personality makes sense, but if he were born even five minutes earlier, that Sun would be in the sixth house of work, which makes more sense to me. The Sun is sextile Uranus, giving him quirkiness that in a relaxed way allows him to be a true individual, and square Pluto, indicating some power struggles. I’ve seen no sign that Chuck is anything but sweet and congenial—it’s pretty much a requirement for being Canadian—but he does have an intense side. Ever see him take a pan and whack a ball of dough into a tortilla? Pretty intimidating! The Sun also makes a wide trine to the Moon in earthy Taurus. Chuck’s parents are divorced but he was raised by an involved loving mom and an equally present step-dad, so he has plenty of family support, and with that trine an expectation of harmony within relationships.
Moon in Taurus is great for food lovers—it’s all about sustenance—and in the tenth house of career, it’s well placed for someone running two highly successful restaurants. The conjunction of Jupiter is another plus, granting optimism and humor. The planet of expansion in the house of career always brings good things. Both Moon and Jupiter trine Mercury, and Chuck shares his ideas and feelings with sensitivity and finesse—and some very killer wit. It’s natural for him to be playful with all that Jupiter, and to display good humor and good cheer. Venus (affection) squares, and that’s another hallmark of good times, deep love, and a nurturing spirit. The Moon in Chuck’s chart is quite busy, with many contacts, and that makes him more emotional and deep.
A difficult aspect is the square of the Moon from Saturn and a very wide opposition from Uranus. This aspect would describe a turbulent childhood and some emotional insecurity. He’s said that his dad was rather absentee, and it might make sense to reverse the houses, consider ten as the house of his mom and four of his dad as she was more his role model and the one who provided his early security. A Moon-Uranus aspect tends to make someone back away from intimacy, either through leaving relationships or attracting partners who can’t be counted upon. I don’t know if this materialized in Chuck’s past, but he is happily paired now for a number of years with a live-in girlfriend and talks about having children soon. The Saturn aspect brings some insecurity and the need to cling, the sense that it’s important to hold on or he could lose something he really needs. It also speaks of a mother who is an authority figure. It’s fun to see Chuck cook with his mom, because she always reminds him she’s the boss. We usually consider astrological aspects and the serious way they play out, but there are also minor ways too. Here he is, arms covered with tattoos (which admittedly is part of the norm in his peer group of young chefs) and projecting a bad boy image, but he’ll readily admit that although he’s admired bikers, he’s just not tough. That’s the Uranus-Saturn jockeying for dominance with the Moon.
So what we have here is a t-square focalized out through Saturn in the first house. This is a call for personal stability. It’s a Karmic quest for Chuck to build his own life and by doing so create his own security. No matter how much love he attracts from people close to him, there still must be something he does for himself that provides a sense of confidence in his future. And it’s a need to work hard, just as we saw in the chart of Melissa D’Arabian. You can’t have a prominent Saturn like this without being required to become a hard worker. That’s another reason I suspect Chuck was actually born a little before 6:30. I’m not calling this t-square a Grand Cross with the addition of Venus because it’s too far out of aspect with Saturn and Uranus.
Mars is in Sagittarius in the fifth, where it’s quite playful. Chuck loves hockey and his world travels to sample different cuisines. On a recent special series , Chuck’s Week Off, he toured Mexico, cooked with some locals, was a good sport in the wrestling ring, and leapt far down into a giant sink hole of water. Along with Mars in five is Neptune, and I often say people who have the planet of illusion, delusion, and spirituality in five tend to consider drinking a hobby. Chuck’s confessed to a drinking problem and in the past to being a lost weekend type of partier but I wonder if that was more of a display of youthful frivolity than anything which would endure.
There’s a strong need for balance in this chart. He can be an individual, he can play and express joy and good cheer, but at the bottom of it all, there must be seriousness, a personal solidity that takes him out of the realm of a good time Charley. In a way you could say the life lesson here is no matter how many people he nurtures via food, nor how many love him in return, he’ll always have to learn to be his own best friend. There’s the sense that life can be filled with humor, pleasure, and fun, but without necessary weight it won’t add up to enough to be satisfying. Fun people work hard too. I always say that Capricorns work hard to the detriment of fun, but Chuck seems to be a fun guy who brings a cheerful spirit to the task of working and when you do what you’re meant to do—something you love—work is as much fun as play. That is the lesson he’s learning in this lifetime. Visit his website, chuckhughes.ca/, for information about his Montreal restaurants, or go to cookingchannel.com for some of his wonderful recipes.