Strange Heavens by Philip J. Imbrogno is a love letter to the sky. This book looks at the historical, physiological, psychological, and psychic connections civilizations have had with the sky over time. In essence, this is a biography of the celestial heavens. The author makes no effort to hide his investigative work into UFOs so this is also discussed throughout which needs to be included if this is meant to be a complete story about the sky. I enjoyed a deeper look at the constellations, and a deeper look at the mythologies and fascination with Sirius, the Pleiades, Orion, the luminaries, and comets. The book ended a little abruptly and I presume this is because it isn’t finished, so I would look forward to reading a conclusion. If you are someone who had stared up at the starry expanse of the sky wondering what’s up there, surely Strange Heavens will be able to answer many of your questions.
The Stars Within You by Juliana McCarthy is a quick and easy guide on Astrology. Basic enough for beginners and concise enough for advanced Astrologers, this guide is for anyone no matter where they are on their Astrological journey. This is not an in depth exploration of Astrology, but rather, a simple manual on how to piece archetypes together. For example, what does having the Moon in Pisces in the 10th house conjunct Mars denote? These are the fundamentals of Astrology- piecing together seemingly separate symbols until they form a complete cosmic picture, not unlike the starry sky above.
A brief look at the history of Astrology was discussed along with a real life example of an Astrological chart. What I especially loved was that Juliana included the mythology of the 12 zodiac signs which I haven’t seen in many other basic Astrology guides. This is important to include because the mythologies contain plenty of secrets and clues as to why the Zodiac signs behave as they do. I also liked the explanation of the hemispheres in the chart and how this offers plenty of insight into an individual (a lot of Astrologers skip over this part). The beautiful black and white images created by Alejandro Cardenas help to denote the raw essences of Astrology that can be meditated upon for further insights as recommended by the author. What made this book a “modern” Astrology guide was that there was an emphasis throughout about how we are not bound by our Astrological placements. We can view our planetary positions as opportunities for inner work and self-awareness as opposed to restrictions and limitations. What I felt was missing from this book were instructions on how to decode a natal chart using Astro.com. For example, how would a beginner know how to use the aspects grid? Also, it would have been nice if a different celebrity example was used instead of the one presented in the book. Someone more modern and relevant would appeal to a wider audience.
I hope that Juliana McCarthy will follow up the The Stars Within You with another Astrology guide that will perhaps look at other facets of Astrology using her simple and easy explanations, ie; the Asteroids, Solar Return Charts, Secondary Progressions etc. As an Astrologer, I appreciated the trip down memory lane of Astrological fundamentals and I highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking to empower themselves using the great celestial map of the universe.
The triptych of this summer’s eclipses brings us to the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius. This will be the longest eclipse of this century, lasting 1 hour and 23 minutes. It will be visible everywhere except North America. Since it is the longest eclipse in 100 years, this speaks of very long-lasting changes coming to those parts of the world, which is in effect for the next 6 months. Even if you do not see the eclipse, you will still feel its energies.
This particular eclipse will be a total lunar eclipse because the South Node of the Moon which is currently at 5 degrees Aquarius will be conjunct the Moon at 4 degrees Aquarius making this a super tight conjunction. If it were a farther apart conjunction as we saw with the solar eclipse in Cancer a couple of weeks ago, it would have been a partial eclipse.
A full moon eclipse is a full moon on steroids. It speaks of major cycles wrapping up which also begin important new cycles. Eclipses are portals that accelerate us to where we need to be. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly behind Earth. This is about grounding important new energetic waves into our lives. It’s less about spiritual downloads and more about our tangible experiences being tested and transformed.
This particular full moon will also be a blood moon due to the reddish tinge that will cover the moon as its passing behind Earth’s shadow. Blood Moons have a long history with being connected to important biblical and world events, and I would recommend googling this for further information. This particular Blood Moon is ironic considering it will be a Martian lunar eclipse. I think of Blood Moons as frequencies that change the DNA of our karmic experiences. They are sort of like flabotumists who extract some of our blood for analysis. The Blood Moon is a way to deliver some brand new experiences on our karmic journeys that have waited for a specific divine time to do so. Remember, Mars has been conjunct the South Node of the Moon all summer. This conjunction has been about burning away the old and purging. The Blood Moon is now the time to welcome in the new. A new blood supply is coming.
A Boiling Water Vessel- The Aspects
Moon Conjunct Mars- You will feel more passionate, angry, irritable, motivated, determined, and impatient
Mars Retrograde- Click here to read my detailed analysis of this aspect
Moon Square Uranus- Impatient, spontaneous, feeling restricted
Moon Semi-Sextile Saturn- Feeling committed to what it dear to your heart
Mars Square Uranus- Breakthroughs
Saturn Trine Uranus- Reset
I call these aspects “boiling the water vessel” because this is the symbol of Aquarius. The water bearer holds a massive vessel about to pour its cleansing waters on humanity. This is why Aquarius is associated with enlightenment & humanitarianism. With the super tight conjunction with Mars, it’s as though the water in the vessel is coming to a boil. The vessel is a kettle at this eclipse. The cleansing waters are cooking something new for all of us.
Aquarius is about doing things your own way. It’s about owning your individuality so you can be of better service to humanity. It’s the reset we need in order to be able to take the next big leap in our evolution. We can’t forget that the North Node of the Moon is in Leo, so the message is clear. We can’t continue to do things the old way anymore. It’s time to put on your crown.
The difficult aspects between Mars and Uranus can give the tendency to be reckless and foolish, so anything that you can do to calm yourself down will be extremely helpful at this time.
The most challenging aspect of this Lunar Eclipse is that we are being cosmically pushed to finally do what it is that we need to do. Look to see where Aquarius falls in your natal chart because this will give you clues as to what needs to be accomplished.
The Kozminksy symbol for this eclipse is:
4º Aquarius: A beautiful fountain throwing upwards delicate sprays of yellow-tinted water, a jeweled crown showing in the mists.
Denotes one of refined mind who is destined to advance and gain power and influence over others. He will bring relief to many a thirsty soul, and many will bless him as he passes by the way. He is humanitarian, sincere, romantic, and harmonious. The life is not free from danger until after the thirtieth year has passed. Thence his way is elevation and peace. It is a symbol of Defending.
This symbol is about defending your kingdom (Aquarius). We have the soldier Mars who is armed and ready to do whatever it takes to fulfill his orders from the Moon, Sun, & Nodes. He will assist us in winning our destiny. He will fight to the death. The glory is there just beyond the steam of the boiling water vessel.
Treat this Lunar Eclipse as a hot soothing bath that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. It might sting a little at first, and you certainly don’t want to spend too much time in the tub for obvious health reasons, but after a while you get used to it, and it feels good. You drop in a bath bomb and the hot water activates it, unleashing its pretty goodness. Heat is healing, and this Lunar Eclipse has a lot of heat. Mars will drop his bomb in your hot bath with this eclipse. Be prepared for a multi-layered explosion of colour and fizz…. and how Aquarian is that.
Astrology is a complex science that can be scary for many people. The scariness comes from the idea that you have no control over your life and that free will is non-existent. That’s a whole different blog post (coming soon), but I wanted to address the idea and fact that the planets don’t control us, rather, we influence their movements.
If you think about it, if we choose what kind of life we are going to incarnate into, then that must mean, the planets have to acommodate this, by aligning a certain precise way the moment we are born, and continue to play their cosmic chess game in the sky.
I believe it is our range of consciousness that determines the movements of the planets. The intensity we experience here on earth directly affects the heavenly bodies up above. I don’t believe the planets force us to experience certain events in our lives, but rather, as we evolve the planets help to facilitate this. I’ve noticed when I have gone through hard times in my life, the cosmic energies at the time were very gentle and soft. Of course when we’re ready to experience struggle- the planets will make it happen up there too.
Everything is a mirror of us. The further people have moved away from source, the higher the cancer rates (people are literally rotting away). The more fiery people are, the hotter the weather. The more open people have been about taboos, the more naked society has become (the rise of nudity). The more we search for meaning in our lives, the more awakened we have become (the rise of mainstream spirituality).
Next time you dread that planetary alignment or “bad” transit, pay attention to what you’re thinking because that is the magnet to the planets.
And so it is.
In honour of International Astrology Day, I thought I would share a story about my Astrology journey.
Wearing a crown of stars, peering through a telescope up at the majestic night sky, and jotting down my observations in a dusty tattered book in my esoteric library. This is how I picture myself, but to most people I am known as the crazy girl who seems to remember everyone’s birthdays, blaming the planets on every fortune, misfortune, and event in the world. Yes, I do believe that the planets and stars are the magicians of the universe, putting on a show for those with the sight to see. I believe that we all have the ability to witness this show, some of us have front row tickets, and some are lined up outside the theatre, with not a clue as to what they’re missing. This is the reality of astrology, some of us get it, and some of us don’t. But even if you don’t understand it, the magic is still there, adding a sprinkle of cosmic dust to each of us, affecting us in magical ways. We all have a ticket to see the show, but few will be privileged enough to see it backstage.
My journey with astrology began when I was around eight or nine years old. My mother had a stack of large dusty Astrology books in her closet that she consulted on many occasions. I remember spending countless afternoons perusing those books, while the rays of summer light shone through the lacy curtains illuminating the pages of astrological illustrations, a centaur for Sagittarius, fish for Pisces, crab for Cancer and so on. I was mesmerized and so began my journey with the planets. The next day I visited my local craft shop looking for some paints for a project I was working on, when I serendipitously came across a fortune teller’s kit for kids, in it, a guide on palmistry, a magic 8 ball, mini tarot cards, and a small book on Astrology. I gasped, I knew it was a sign, as just the day before I had spent the afternoon absorbed in my mother’s Astrology collection. The magic had cast its spell on me.
Throughout my childhood I would constantly read up on Astrology, whether it was in pre-teen magazines in which I would automatically flip to the back to read up on the commercialized horoscopes, or spend countless hours on Astrology websites. The big turning point came when I was in high school. At this point, after reading very generic astrological books, something was no longer sitting right with me. I would read up on my sun sign but feel very disconnected from it. I am an Aries sun, but only a 2 degrees Aries sun, born on March 22. Technically, I was born right at the beginning of Aries. This conundrum was frustrating. I fall on the Pisces-Aries cusp, but could never wholly identify with being an Aries. This is when I began searching online for answers. I came across websites which would generate your natal chart with interpretations of the configurations. Upon doing this, I learned that I have a Pisces Moon and Pisces stellium in my chart, and am a Cancer rising. Knowing the characteristics of those signs, it made perfect sense to me. I am not your typical Aries, rather I am a more docile, sensitive, psychic version. Not only was this a huge a-ha moment for me, but it reinvigorated my passion for this cosmic science. Ever since learning about the different houses, planets, and transits, what once seemed like an occult hobby, turned into a starry exploration of the psyche, heart, and soul.
Studying Astrology full time as a hobby has been my life for as long as I can remember. While other people in their twenties are out partying and rebelling, I sit at home reading up on astrological news, interpreting charts for friends and family, and researching other Astrological systems such as Babylonian, Egyptian, and Vedic Astrology. When I see friends going on job interviews during Mercury Retrograde, I cringe. When I hear people brag about all the wonderful things happening to them, without them knowing they’re experiencing their Jupiter Return, I smile to myself. When a close acquaintance is forever lamenting on her struggle with finding the “one” I have to gently remind her that Saturn in the 7th House makes it a little more challenging…. much to her chagrin. Once you delve into the galactic abyss of Astrology, it can be consuming, life changing, and a little scary. I believe that anyone who studies Astrology, or enjoys Astrology will at some point in time be faced with its paradox. Do the planets control every aspect of our lives? Every breath we take? Every person we meet? Is there such thing as free will? Do we have any control? Regardless, the planets need Astrologers as much as Astrologers need the planets. I’m sure it must be a little frustrating for them up there, watching millions of people working against their energy every day. Every opposition, trine, square, and conjunction, contains lessons and learning opportunities for us. Without knowing what these energies have to offer to us, life can become very difficult.
It is my goal to take Astrological courses and become a professional Astrologer in the near future. When I look at my chart as whole as an entire system I can see quite clearly that this is my destiny. Astrology always runs the risk of being a little choppy, this planet means this, therefore this will happen. We have to remember that it is a system, a map, and we as astrologers are the cartographers, drawing connections between opposing and complementary energies, creating a navigational tool for people to use. We are yesterday’s astronomers, today’s astrologers, and tomorrow’s psychologists.
One of the first questions I ask when I meet someone is “when is your birthday?” If they refuse to answer, then I enjoy trying to figure out their ascendant. If I know they’re time of birth, even better. So maybe I am the crazy girl who remembers everyone’s birthdays, but I still like to think of myself as the girl wearing a crown of stars decoding the cosmos, who just happens to have a backstage pass to the greatest show there is…….Astrology.
As I stood in contemplation of the garden of the wonders of space, I had the feeling that I was looking into the ultimate depths, the most secret regions of my own being; and I smiled, because it had never occurred to me that I could be so pure, so great, so fair! My heart burst into singing with the song of grace of the universe. All these constellations are yours, they exist, in you; outside your love they have no reality! How terrible the world seems to those who do not know themselves! When you felt so alone and abandoned in the presence of the sea, imagine what solitude the waters must have felt in the night, or the nights own solitude in a universe without end!
O. V. de Milosz