Libra season 2019’s tough balancing act

Well, here we are, the Autumnal Equinox and the Sun's shift into Libra. For such a classically temperate archetype, this year's "Libra season" comes packed chalk-full of some rather tough questions to ask ourselves.

The classic themes of Libra are all there in its' ingression chart  of this year (which happened 3:50a.m. this morning) - balance within ourselves, balance with others, relating and relationships, fairness, diplomacy, mentally weighing what's on our minds and seeking "conflict" resolution, inside and out.

This year, however, we have some specific, and much more unique variables to weigh on our scales.

For starters, this year's Libra Sun, during its' ingression, points to themes of personal value and self-worth, inviting an interesting consideration and weighing of personal and interpersonal values of a unique sort- Do we know our worth in our relationships? Do we act on it or stand on others' treating us accordingly? Do we value those we're in various relationships with? Do we take anything or anyone for granted? What does it show us about our own values when it comes to that complex yet beautiful life arena of interpersonal relating?

What's more, Libra's ruler, Venus, is forming a powerful and tricky configuration with the Nodes of the Moon, which each have its' current-sign's rulers conjoining them.
All this results in a very serious questioning of, who's relating values & agenda have we been carrying?
The Saturn in Capricorn on the South Node implies there are behavior patterns in our relationships which were formed out of fear (in many cases, inherited fears, which weren't even ours) and are either keeping us from being seen and fully appreciated, and/or create a demand for attention which we either project out onto others, and/or hold for ourselves as a self-interest that may have become unhealthily self-centered.

Many of us feeling this pattern most fully may be realizing you're staying in your relationship patterns for one of those 2 main reasons (whether the pattern is to stick in a relationship that's more hierarchical than fair, to feed your commitment-phobias and keep on running from connections where you can see and be seen by the other, or some other variation).

Meanwhile, the Cancer Moon during the ingression moment, conjunct the North Node, points us towards greater caring, emotional nourishment and the comfort and security needs to belong, sensitizing us to collective opinion around what certain relating "containers"(or lacks thereof) should look and feel like- all the while, challenging Venus (and Mercury) in Libra and potentially wanting to dampen the Libra'esque call for examining our relating patterns and values for the fairness they do or do not contain, and whether or not they encourage or discourage a greater sense of inner balance and an exploration of our own worth and how to live from our values when interacting with others (not always an easy feat), rather than settle for what's comfortable, but less than fair to all.

The invitation is to consider and communicate (Venus & Mercury in the 3rd house), about who feels what, needs what, fears what - even if you're just quietly pondering it to yourself - and to listen and seek to understand others, and know we deserve to be heard in our turn.

By doing so, we are likely to be reminded, that our own feelings and concerns, boundaries and fears, are utterly relatable - as are others'. If nothing else, this is a healing truth to come back to, one that opens the  doors to deeper compassion and more authentic relating, and the possibility of further solidifying those connections where a mutual sense of witnessing each other feeds and validates each of the people involved.

In some cases, people might be feeling like, in a way, they have "become their relationships" (or their lone-wolf-ness), and that somehow their worth is tied to either having, or not having, human relating of a certain kind in their life.

This isn't limited to romantic relationships, either. Libra is concerned with all kinds of one-on-one relating, and all of the above could be showing up in your life with a good friend, with a business associate as well as a romantic other. The questions to ask yourself are all the same though- how do I express what I value, to or within those interactions? Is there fairness, listening, on both sides? Can compromises be found that address what each person brings to the table, and is each person willing to seek a middle-ground?

And, perhaps the hardest of all, seeing as the Libra Sun is opposing a Chiron Retrograde in Aries- can you find the courage to tread a new path in relating with others, even/especially when you feel vulnerable? Do you have the courage, to acknowledge the loneliness at the heart of the human condition, and let that be the ironic bridge that connects us in our separateness?
And, if not (or if the other cannot meet you on that bridge- cannot find the courage or self-honesty, and/or is responding with defensiveness, or aggression), can you embrace your alone-ness, and make space in your life, for relating that's more fair to all involved?

I'd imagine many of us might be facing (or considering) changing statuses in our primary relationships this coming month, with themes like these upon us, but whether you're married, single, or anything in between, it's a powerful time to do the soul-searching related to how we view, create and maintain our own worth, and honor the worth of another we're in communion with, in a balance which serves both, equally.

Happy transits, from Nurture Astrology!

P.S.- As always, how exactly these themes show up for you personally, and which areas of your life and personality they'll touch most, is specific to your personal chart's interaction with these themes. For a closer look and some extra support with how all this is showing up for you, and how to make the most of it, please contact me to book a personal reading.

As Saturn prepares to go direct…

It's time to get to work on living from our truest values!

Are you feeling that crackling undercurrent in the air? The feeling of our old excuses and limitations just not cutting it anymore?

As Saturn wraps up its' 4.5 month retrograde, preparing to switch gears into forward motion on Sept 18th, the few days prior can feel like the deep-breath, rolling-up-our-sleeves moment before we get down to work.

The chart for this moment of Saturn's gear-switch (4:46a.m. EDT), has much clarifying wisdom to share, pointing the way forward; more on that in a bit.

First, let's recap what this Saturn Retrograde was about in the first place, so you can get your bearings and know where you stand, and look ahead with a sense of realistic perspective:
Saturn, in general, is about the mature, realistic life's-work we're here to do. No airy-fairy energy in this one- Saturn stands for the tough questions, for our boundaries and limitations (both healthy and not), and for the work needed to turn the unhealthy ones from a weakness, to a strength, with persistence and time.

It gets a bad rap in certain old-fashioned branches of Astrology, and even here at Nurture Astrology, where we embrace our life's work and nurture our best potentials with a realistic view of our deeper selves, Saturn's no picnic. But it is a part of a healthy life, of knowing who we are, what we stand for, and what our true inner work is, with which we build and maintain our best lives and selves.

Saturn retrogrades (when it appears to go backwards over old terrain) happen every 8 months, for 4-5 months at a time,  and each one invites us to introspect long and hard about how our boundaries are, and aren't, serving us. Each one is different in focus and themes, symbolized by the planets and points it connects with, both in transit (current events), your chart personally, and the charts of the very beginning and very end of the Retrograde itself.

What this past Saturn Retrograde (April 29- Sept 18th, 2019) had to share, was largely about really examining, and in many ways sloughing off the old limitations we've inherited, from our culture, our family, our history, and anywhere else we may have dredged them up from and dragged them along. And the absolutely most relevant and important of those, to have looked at with brutal (yet loving) self-honesty, is the ones we've internalized. How have we given over the authority over our lives? Played small? Pushed our power away?
How has our relationship with responsibility for ourselves and others, served, or dis-served us?  Is it still doing so now?
How have we been hard on ourselves, or others, to the detriment of honoring our emotional needs?
Those, were the questions quietly whispering in the background of our lives these past 4.5 months, and if you still don't have the clear-cut answers, don't worry, it isn't like you can't ponder these things now.

However, with Saturn readying to turn direct on the 18th, the energy contained in these questions, is becoming available more fully again, for each of us to experience and bring forth to the more external living of life.
It's "apply what we've learned" time;  bring-it-into-our-daily-practices-and-lives time; throw it at the wall and see what sticks (and tweak till it does) time.

And with the chart this Saturn Direct station has, it really is about giving shape, and practical action, to what we've figured out about where our boundaries do, and do not, belong.
If you've decided you've outgrown your work, put action to it and seek out what's next; if you've realized the self-doubting voice in your head sounds like your mother and it's been long enough (too long!) that you've let it sabotage you, seek out some confidence-boosting or mental-pattern-reprogramming tools ; if you've realized you've been chasing success so hard it's burned you out too much to enjoy it, see if you can cut back on the juggling you do for others' approval and add in some non-negotiable feel-good soul-food habits into your routines to balance you out. 
Whatever "it" is for you; whether you've let your fears keep you small,  got caught up in things that miss the mark, maintained a life structure that doesn't nourish you and yours... or just needed to get clear on how to tweak what works, to work even better, Saturn going direct is announcing, it's time to address that now. This isn't about getting obsessive about the details, or worrying yourself over what isn't perfect, though. This, is about taking a realistic view of where you're at, where (and who!) you want to be, and start building in that direction, with actionable plans, with routine-adjusting/creating, and time-allocation, towards what really matters to you- your core values, your ideals, your need to follow your heart and own your best self, and let those be seen by, and extended to, the world (however that looks to you!) - not just for your own sake, but for those who'd be served and benefit from your vision coming alive.
As each of us who's willing to heed the call, begin transforming our personal life structures to hold and sustain more caring, more self-respect, more compassion, we step into our integrity in ever-more-powerful ways. This, lived out by millions combined, becomes a vote for a kinder world, with the practical action and daily practice to back it up and solidify it into our reality more permanently. This, is how individuals living in personal integrity in a real way, creates waves that ultimately change the world.
In this way, we get to be both humble, and more properly appreciating that who we are, matters. 
And to think that some Astrologers typecast Saturn as only the "bad guy"?!! 😉

Happy transits, folks!

(And of course, if you need some help making the most of these shifting times and learning how they apply in your uniquely individual case, Nurture Astrology's here for you, with supportive readings to clarify and enrich where you're at. )
 

Mars’ full steam ahead

O.M.G., what a huge breath of fresh air this Mars-out-of-retrograde-shadow is, particularly to Mars-centric folks like myself.

We have all been dealing with Mars' retrograde themes since Mid-May, when it entered this stretch of the zodiac that it then tripled-back over, forward, retrograding, and then forward again. 

During that time, our drive, passions, courage, willpower, sense of momentum and energy, our sexuality, our  ability to take decisive action forward, our very sense of vitality, have been under review and critique.

We had many opportunities to examine and rewire our reactions to social and global events, to consider the effectiveness of our will in helping to create and change realities for ourselves and our world, to become more conscious of what our desires to fit into and/or stand out of the crowd were about.
We may have been pushed back to the drawing boards of our ambitions again and again, considering and reconsidering our action plans and what truly drives and inspires  us to feel truly alive and motivated (and what doesn't).
Any fears we had about any of that, got brought to the forefront of our awareness so that we could really consider how we go about going after what we want (or defending against what we do not).
And through it all, our attempts to actually apply and experience that sense of vitality and momentum towards anything any forward actions and any new terrain, were feeling limp and unsupported. Until now!

As of this afternoon (EDT), it's Mars is finally, FINALLY outta that stretch!

And I for one can feel the difference as thoroughly as a switch being flipped back on. I have drive I can feel again. I have passion I can access again! I have some forward momentum again!
 

Whew! This one was quite the ride on this end!
How about on your end?

 

Not everybody would have had this Mars cycle activating key parts of their charts,
and obviously not everyone has strong Mars themes in their charts/personalities/lives (those who do, would have felt this period, and any other Mars activity more intensely) ; we've also each had this Mars transit moving through different areas of our charts and lives, activating different themes.
Either way, I'd love to hear about your experiences with this Mars retrograde cycle(Mid-May till now). Are you feeling this shift today?

Why Astrology doesn’t run on belief

People sometimes ask me, why I "believe" in Astrology. That question amuses me with its' underlying assumptions; that it's a question of (presumably blind) faith, or reading or being told something which you then believe to be true.

That is not how my path into Astrology went, at all;
When I was first exposed to something minorly astrological in my early teens, I had no real preconceptions on anything like it, no faith (religious, spiritual, or any other I can think of in the classic sense), and, to boot, I had an active suspicious distaste for being in any way manipulated.
But I was simultaneously a curious, open-minded, analytical sort, with intuition and a penchant for digging for answers to make up my own mind.
So I went digging online, to test some minor basic astrological thing at the time. And it clicked. So I looked up info on other archetypes, to see if that knowledge offered anything truly useful and insightful. And it did.
Then I learned about other planets having a relevance and symbolism. Looked that up, tested those with some relevant examples- they made sense. On and on it went- aspects, houses, thematic correlations, predictional, vocational, relational, spiritual, psychological... I took nothing on blind faith. I heard of a thing, I tested it through application to the personal and extrapersonal, and I kept it in my repertoire of tools if it passed my testing, discarding those I found lacking in either usefulness or personal sense to me as I went.

9 years and dozens of expert astrology textbooks and workshops later, and my tool-kit full, I started offering its' use to others with my first readings. Another 10 years later, and here we are.
So, do I "believe" in Astrology?
Do you believe that a mirror shows you a reflection of what you look like? Or did you make faces into it as a baby and had proof that it does? 😉

Perhaps what we should be asking is, why do some people believe Astrology requires being taken on faith, and whether they've done any personal testing of it for themselves, in any open, unbiased ways?
Perhaps, it is the societal bias of "nothing but the physical world can hold testable truths, so dismiss anything else outright lest you be thought a fool.", that we should really be asking people, if they "believe"?

Saturn’s Rx in Sagittarius: the seeking of healthy boundaries

Saturn SagWith Saturn’s beginning of its’ 5-month retrograde in Sagittarius last Friday (March 25th, 2016 EDT), we are each of us exploring our relationships to boundaries- social, and personal, and how the two marry.

With social-activist unrest going on in the world these days (which I wrote about here), let's start with the social and transition it to the personal (you'll see how it's all connected, I promise) :
There is a concept important to get, of people in recovery from any form of oppression, abuse or pain, needing time of healing, away from the group most-responsible in oppressing them, and wanting safe sacred spaces devoid of that group, available to them for those reasons.
It can be an hour, a day, a month or a year, a one-time experience or a regular setup.

Unfortunately,while this stuff is well-explored in some activist and spiritual circles, so much of society doesn't yet have the language or the conscious concept of this practice, and may not realize right away that this is an important part of what they want to create-
they may experience their unconscious boundaries crossed (even by well-meaning people), feel unsafe and angry, and lash out.
It’s understandable, yet it isn’t fair to the well-meaning individuals going in blindly into territory they do not know is off-limits.
By all means, let us support and create safe spaces wherever they're needed- but there is a way to set it up, and draw those boundaries consciously, in a healthy manner and ahead of time.
That does take time and practice to learn to request, set up and uphold. Yet, without boundaries being consciously spoken/requested/clarified, it isn't always easy to tell when we may be crossing over one.

With Saturn's retrograde though Sagittarius, this is something we as a society need to relearn, individually and collectively; redefine and clarify our boundaries, to give the world a chance to respect them better.
Unfortunately, that same concept can also be distorted in defense of ill-intending (and/or ignorant) perpetrators (claiming what they did was ok because they weren't told "No" clearly enough etc.), so methinks we must also teach/learn to ask for clarity in the boundaries of others, ahead of time, and enter others' space with that manner of respect.

It’s challenging on both ends- for the oppressed party to learn to
A. Explore their ideas of boundaries, and clarify them for themselves. (extra-challenging when boundaries were never considered, explored or respected in their past experiences, as is often the case for various abused/oppressed parties).
B. Develop the self-worth necessary to take a stand that their boundaries are important, and seek to enforce and uphold them.
C. Develop enough trust towards the group most-responsible for the previous offenses, to let one’s boundaries be clearly known, and request that they be respected.

And that’s just the set-up of safe spaces and boundaries, and doesn’t even touch on the healing journey one begins once within this safe space (whether it’s just within the psyche, a physical space, mental space or all of the above).

For the other party- the alleys, those belonging to groups some members of which have done wrong  (and, isn’t that all of us too? Unfortunately, there are very few groups of people left, some members of whom have never been the perpetrators of SOME manner of problematic behavior, in some way- Oh, for a world that is otherwise! Let us build a world that is otherwise!!),
the journey holds other challenges- Developing the sensitivity and the practice of asking those we interact with, to clarify their boundaries and inform us of them, so that we may tread upon our path minimizing any harm we may do.

Of course, it is impossible to please everyone, yet there is a difference between seeking to please/appease everyone, and showing respect to the specific person/people we are surrounded by. (Worse-case scenario, is leaving the company of some people, if their boundaries of safety and comfort clash with your own, and seeking new groups of/individual people to connect with, who’s boundaries match yours more naturally).
Pleasing others may in some cases involve crossing our OWN boundaries, and this can be an internalization of harm - and is just stuffing the problem inwards/martyring ourselves for the sake of others. Not a healthy option!
Respecting others, however, is choosing to honor their boundaries while also honoring our own. Not always easy either, but, imo, highly necessary to learn to seek a balance of, especially at this time.

In a world struggling with the concept of boundaries, I hope this Saturn retrograde, and my musings on the subject, help to open up the dialogue.

Happy transits, folks.

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Social injustice, and the road to reform & healing

Black moon lilithFor a good chunk of today(March 24th, 2016), the transiting Moon joined forces (conjoined) with Black-Moon-Lilith, the voice of the wounded, angry feminine, in a sign of Libra, well-known for its' connection with the scales of justice.
For fellow Ontario residents, who's eyes are open, we certainly saw those themes activated today. :-/ And I am certain this was by no means only in Ontario!
In so many ways, the world these days is crying out for greater fairness, and a legal system which we can have faith in to point the moral compass true. (Saturn in Sagittarius)

With Chiron (the wounded healer) conjoining Ceres (the feminine nurturance principle) and south node (old outdated attitudes and traditions) in Pisces (deceptive, emotional, victim/martyr archetype) , it's easier than usual to lose the urge to improve things, heal things and change things for the better (North node in Virgo), when it still seems the past has a painful hold on the very things which wounded us to begin with.

And with Pallas (asteroid of feminine warrior power) in Aquarius (social justice archetype) positively working with this Moon/Lilith combo, the natural response to injustice seems to be social activism and ripple-making- which is thoroughly appropriate.

And yet, lest we turn this into ungrounded action, the growth that must occur- that North Node in Virgo asks for- is steady, consistent effort towards improvement and healing, for those who have been wronged and wounded, as well as that which needs to change socially to dismantle corrupt power dynamics (Pluto in Capricorn) and bring real healing to personal and social levels.

It's easier than usual to slide into dejection, depression or victim/martyr states at this state of affairs in the world... and heightened compassion, its' healthier sister, is certainly vitally needed-
and through compassion, we can come back to what may prove to be most important of all: the steady ground-work for change-agency, starting from within, and the willingness to turn outbursts of activist/social outrage, into lasting workings towards change, and healing.

To borrow a rather popular quote these days- "all men(people) must serve". Serve the change we wish to see, that is. Each in our own way. But serve we must. And serve, we shall. Let our frustrations, and our sadness, breed compassion- and let compassion light the way.
Happy transits, folks.

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In the wake of the Mercury Retrograde…

As old things rot, new ones grow from the wreckage.Oh, would you look at that- anyone else noticed how the social systems are showing even MORE cracks in their foundations of integrity this week?

It's not really in direct scandals.It isn't always right there in the open with all its' facts, but there are all these stories coming up lately, of things which give you pause, which make you wonder what's REALLY going on beneath it all.

That is Pluto's way- Pluto's "voice" you're hearing echo. And the Mercury Retrograde we've all trudged our way through (January 5th-25th, 2016), started and ended fused (and is now "in cohoots")  with that Pluto in Capricorn I've been talking about since 2008 (when it moved there).

It's kinda like the journalist (Mercury) who went undercover as a crime boss' (Pluto) lackey, and now has the scoop, which it's starting to leak to the presses.
Mercury got our conscious minds in touch with some of that dirt underneath it all... and it's blowing the whistle as much as it can now.

From where I'm sitting, it's like watching a train-wreck, that you know will lead to repair of the whole of the desperately-rusty train-tracks.
Can see it coming, can decipher its' timings and themes, and can't look away for morbid fascination; but also can neither stop it, nor truly wish to- because the change is needed. Oh, so very needed!

The systems are showing their cracks, and being called-out for it more and more.
(Big Pharma, Politics, big oil, Monsanto... I could go on.)
And they're GOING to have to purge their corruption, or crumble (Pluto's slow-building effect, which nothing can escape from).
And, as trust in "the system" (Capricorn) wanes, the grassroots businesses (Cancer, it's polar opposite) and solutions are going to be more and more needed, to step up and support the world. From the heart (Cancer) , with integrity (Capricorn), balancing the two polarities for all our sakes . Everything missing those two key components, will ultimately fall. Will never get past Pluto's slow-building transformational energy.

So what can we do? well, for me,  my goal is to work with it, not against it. By tapping into the best of Pluto's healing transformations, and accepting that vital need for a slow purging reform in our systems, my wish is to work with people directly. To "minimize the wreckage", and support the process from the solution side of things.
Through the readings I offer, and through applying all I can offer to myself as well, my aim, is to spread clarity- to minimize the quiet panic in the hearts of those feeling the changes slowly coming-  and be there for anyone I can help support, in figuring out and adjusting their own lives, to personally be more in-sync with their hearts, their, truths, their emotional integrity.
As we become part of the solution- are leading our own, conscious, personal transformations and lives- we become paragons. Quiet leaders of a new way of being, living, and organizing reality.
The very grass-roots the world would need, more and more, as we keep on truckin' on.

As we strip away thick layers of social-system rot, we will find the healthier, and most vital parts of society... and of ourselves.
And we will breathe all the better for it.

Happy transits, folks.

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The alignment in the sky, debunked.

So, by now, many of you have seen some reference to the "rare way 5 planets are lining up in the

sky", starting today.
This seems to have caused some confusion, so I'd like to assure you all- this is NOT an Astrological phenomenon. The planets are movin' along, business as usual, in their Astrological journeys, and while some of them are making powerful alignments together, they are not astrologically lined up, single-file, the way they appear to be in the articles circulated about.
Seems like an Astronomical phenomenon, which the media has take up to create a buzz. Sadly, even on a clear sky, this alignment is unlikely to be easily noticeable... though it is undoubtedly cool, in its' own way.
Astrologically, alignments are going on in whole other ways. You may not see them all bright-n-lined

Media confusion.

Media confusion.

up in the sky, but you WILL feel them, in unique and powerful ways Nurture Astrology is happy to help you clarify and make the most of.

For now, let's use this unrelated phenomenon for its' metaphorical value, and aim to line up with our visions and goals, aligning ourselves to a course which excites and fulfills us.

Happy transits, folks.

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The Virgo/Pisces oppositions- the emotional perspective

It's tempting to reject and push away depressive apathy when it somehow stealthily finds its way in, chalking it up to just a negative side effect of Virgo season which must be transmuted. But, then again, perhaps the true inspiration and compassionately creative genius in life, is found through this feeling, and out the other side.
It's one thing to be positive in a blind sort of way. It's another story entirely, when we see the imperfection, see the pain, see the challenge, and yet still know that despite, yet intricately connected to this, it is a vulnerably strong, and beautifully flawed world. It is a whole other story entirely, to let that knowledge move us, into the sacred service which may make it all a little more worthwhile.
The Virgo-Pisces themes, and the Neptune/Jupiter, and Sun/Chiron oppositions within them, are playing out deep within us all.
How are you holding up?
 
With love,
Bella V. Vid of Nurture Astrology