astrology explained

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. )

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"?

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.


Uranus: the psychological “eject” button…

Uranus eject buttonThat little psychological "eject" button we got, commonly symbolized by Uranus, is one of the most useful tools in our whole arsenal!
Nothing is quite as sensitively committed to the detection of broken records. Nothing guards us from lying to ourselves quite as fiercely as that Uranus-function does.
In the determination to live a truly authentic life, as we define it, we ourselves pull the threadbare rugs from under our feet. Comfort and habit, at some point in time, must give way to that urge to be REAL, so when you realize you're playing an internal broken record, make friends with Uranus, take a deep breath, say yes to change, and press "eject".
Happy transits!


No, there is NO 13th sign of the zodiac. Here’s why:

There is no 13th sign of the zodiac, because Western Astrology is not even dependent on the constellations. Silly rumor, debunked!

There is no 13th sign of the zodiac, because Western Astrology is not even dependent on the constellations. Silly rumor, debunked!

I'd like to address the recycled rumor that astrology is somehow out of sync, and/or has a 13th sign within it- there are many articles out there claiming as such. And they are all operating under some serious misconceptions.

Here's what they all miss:  Western Tropical Astrology (the one most references of astrology refer to, unless stated otherwise, or you're in India, China or maybe Ireland) is a branch which is synchronized to the Solstices and Equinoxes, which, as you may have noticed, alter each year (according to our stubborn modern calendar system) to correspond with the actual cycles of day/night/seasons/Earth-Sun rotation, and honoring the subconscious patterning which can be observed/linked with the progress of the seasons.

This branch of Astrology is not dependent in any way on the Sun's journey through the constellations for which the signs are named.
In fact, the signs of the zodiac have nothing practical to do with the constellations themselves, save for having names which correspond to them (this has to do with their once being aligned with the seasons in a specific manner, drawing inspiration for naming the symbol). This misunderstanding is what seems to be behind the odd hype of the "misalignment" and "13th sign" newsflash (which gets recycled in the media every few years, since the rise of the internet. Seems they're out of creative article ideas?!)

The branches of Astrology which DO use the constellations, such as sidereal/Vedic Astrology, are much more rare in the West, and have been keenly aware of, and continuously adjusting for, this shift for centuries (though somehow it has been "newly discovered by science" pretty recently?! Hmm... )
Western Astrology (the kind most of you reading this know) is then actually based on the archetypal nature and characteristics of the seasons on planet Earth (particularly in the west, hence, "Western" Astrology), rather than constellations "out there" - being offspring of Nature the same way birds or trees are, we too are synced up to the seasons in our own, vastly complex ways.

And though the seasons are shifting with global warming, and vary depending on where you live, the general cycle of life remains as it is, and the collective unconscious has thousands of years' worth of seasonal imprints, from which to draw archetypes and relate personalities to.

And there is no call for a 13th sign, within this archetypal progression.

Hope this brought a little clarity to the subject. 😉
Happy transits, folks!


Mercury Retrograde s̶u̶r̶v̶i̶v̶a̶l THRIVAL Guide

Mercury Rx bulbAhh, the Mercury Retrograde, a topsy-turvy time often given a bad name, viewed with annoyance and trepidation by anyone stuck in traffic, or experiencing “unexpected” technical difficulties with their communication tools. :-p But really, a Mercury Retrograde isn’t so bad. It’s just a little misunderstood.  To help you make the best of this period, I’ve come up with a quick guide to get you though with a smile.       1- Rushing won’t work. Accept that. In a society built around moving ahead, accomplishment and a “time is money” mentality, it’s no wonder that a period of reflection isn’t always wholly welcomed. But that period is here, review is needed, and either way it ain’t over before it’s over, so you might as well work with it. Who knows, you might just have some fun along the way. 😉 Either way, give yourself extra time now. You’ll be glad you did.
  • Set your alarm clocks early.
  • Leave well ahead of time.
  • Have a plan B for transportation ideas.
  • Give yourself time to think about things carefully before you speak or act on important stuff.
  • If you’re writing anything during this time (e-mails, reports, essays or whatnot), write a first draft (and SAVE IT, often), and give yourself time to RE-READ the final copy before you send it off into the world.
  • Don’t be in a hurry to act upon any new ideas; let them ripen in your mind first.
2- Use a review time to catch up on things, and (surprise surprise) review! Ironically enough, a Mercury Retrograde, and all it entails, is an important part of a productive lifestyle.  You know all that stuff you’ve had piling up for a while, which you’ve been meaning to get to but haven’t had the time. This is the time. Get to it! During a Mercury Retrograde, stuff that WILL flow is the stuff that didn’t flow well before! Now’s the time to…
  • Answer unanswered e-mails
  • De-clutter your inbox or mail bin, and sort other piles of papers gathering dust.
  • Have talks which you’ve been putting off.
  • Write essays or reports which you’ve procrastinated.
  • Read books, reports, e-mails etc. which you’ve put off till later.
  • Catch up with old friends, especially if you’ve wondered for a while how they are.
  • Take a trip you’ve rain-checked.
  • Study (as in, review what you’ve learned), especially if you’re enrolled in any formal education.
  • Ponder whatever’s been on your mind lately. You might see new angles you’ve never noticed till now.
  • If you’ve failed an exam before, now’s the time to try taking it again!
  • Consider your ways of thinking and speaking, and if they’re really working for you. Let go of old ideas that don’t work for you, drop negative or disempowering self-talk, and think about how to speak your truth, and understand/be understood better by others.
  • Try meditating—either to quiet your mind or to explore it more, whatever works for you.
See how this is about trying it again, not trying something you’ve never done? that’s an important difference right now. 3- If it ain’t broke, don’t replace it. If it needs upgrading, upgrade it. If it seems to break, don’t throw it out yet…   One thing about the Mercury Retrograde period which can seem tricky is the technological issues which are more common than usual during this time. Sadly, there’s no trick that can safeguard you against strange cellphone reception signals (or lack thereof), or an unexpected flat tire, but, the above rules of thumb are good to consider during this time. Basically…
  • If you don’t need to get your new Cellphone, car or bike right now, then don’t. Postpone till afterwards. Mercury retrogrades are on average about 3 weeks long. Not the end of the world. Use this time to compare prices and research differences between models.  Pick it out afterwards. This also applies to the period BEFORE a Mercury retrograde—2 weeks ahead or so, things can already start to get wonky. This is not a rule, but it is an observable astrological trend. Why risk it if you don’t have to?!
  • If a vehicle or communication device has been awaiting an upgrade for a while, this is the time when it’s more likely to “remind” you that such an upgrade is really needed. Don’t fight it—it needs upgrading anyway, and if it’s just not functioning how you’d like right now, you might as well…
  • If such a device or vehicle DOES break, especially if it’s one of those mysterious “it just won’t work” scenarios, don’t throw it out just yet. Give it up to a month after the Mercury retrograde has passed, and then check it again. You’d be surprised how sometimes these things just “fix themselves” afterwards. Strange, but, true story! Same goes for similarly uncharacteristic malfunctions—if it doesn’t need immediate replacing and you can live without it or borrow  a replacement until about a month after the Rx ends, try that. Sometimes it literally seems to “fix itself”. Go figure.
Of course, like everything else in the intricate system of astrology, how exactly each Mercury retrograde affects you personally can only be figured out by studying your personal chart, but this should be a great general guide for just about anyone during the 60 or so days of the year when the winged messenger planet demands reviewing of its’ themes. Those most likely to be strongly affected during any such period, are people with Virgo or Gemini rising, and/or other strong emphasis in those signs. In many cases, strong emphasis in your 3rd astrological house will do it too. Either way, remember that any time is only as good or as bad as you make it. Hope reading this helped you make it a good one. Happy transits, folks. © Bella V. Vid You're welcome to share and distribute this article however it feels right to. To keep the integrity of it intact, please link it back to About the Author: Bella V. Vid has been practicing Astrology for over 16 years. She specializes in one-on-one counseling, with a clarifying, supportive, enriching and empowering tone to all she offers. To book a private reading with her, please connect via the Contact Page.  

Chiron’s move into Pisces, and what it means…

Chiron, asteroid in charge of our collective (and individual) wounds and healing, shifted into the sign of Pisces February 9th, 2011. Don’t give me the “who cares?” just yet, you wanna hear this! As a relatively slow-moving little bugger, it’s staying there until April 2018… and that means, it’s gonna be playing/indicating a major part in the events we are about to see coming about in the world. Ahh, got your attention now, haven’t I?! 
All this talk of 2012 (no, the world isn’t ending! Cut it out you melodramatics!) has a lot of us wondering about what’s to come. Myself included (except, ya know, as an astrologer, I have the perks of just looking up the themes and not wondering anymore :-p) Well, here’s one of the key themes, coming to the fore: Chiron’s energy filtered into Pisces allows us (collectively, notwithstanding how it’d act in each individual’s personal chart) to heal ourselves and others via practicing transcendence, deep compassion, and creativity, which expands our awareness beyond the ego’s reach. All this, while navigating around a tendency to play (or become) the victim or martyr, or engage in unhealthy escapism (especially via substance abuse… a bigger no-no then usual these days). Chiron in Pisces can do WONDERS in terms of healing the spirit and reconnecting with the greater whole. Chiron’s transit of Pisces can draw out the compassionate nature of our society and breach many of the divides that apathy and ego have built up. People and societal branches that most rely on such apathy to continue their ways of life, are very likely to get a wake-up call or 10. There is no disconnecting from the greater whole, from the fact that what we do affects others, and Chiron in Pisces is likely to serve up some major reminders of this over the next 7 years. That’s where the possible themes of victim-hood, martyrdom or escapist can come into play and be especially troublesome. Acute sensitivity (shame, guilt, pain) is not something one can hide from, and wearing your own suffering as a cloak only keeps you suffering longer. The keys to our own healing, which Chiron in Pisces tries to make us aware of enough to grasp, is TRANSCENDENCE! As Ghandi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”. Whatever you feel you lack, try giving to another… you’ll find that you always have more then you thought you did. Just make extra sure that whatever compassionate service to others is being undertaken, it does not go overboard and turn you into one of the victims as well… as they say, throw a drowning person a rope, but do not jump in where you will also drown. Within these next 7 years, whatever happens, consider adapting this quote as your personal mantra: “I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do something I can do.” - Helen Keller There is nothing to fear, only things to understand. About the Author: Bella V. Vid has been practicing Astrology for over 16 years. She specializes in one-on-one counseling, with a clarifying, supportive and empowering tone to all she offers. To book a private reading with her via Skype, please see the contact page above.