Favorite Books


New Moon in Taurus, April 21, 2012

© Ruth Sanderson

A small oasis of calm will descend on the New Moon at 01° 35′ Taurus on 21 April 2012, 12:18 AM PDT. This will be a very welcome change for anyone left feeling bashed about by Mars and Mercury stationing direct recently.

Enhancing Taurus New Moon’s naturally fertile, earthy nature is a conjunction with Ceres in Taurus, making this coming weekend the perfect time to schedule a visit to your favorite spa. Get a lovely massage, take nature walks or just hang out by the pool sipping soothing drinks. In touchy feely Taurus, Ceres loves to express nurturance through touch. I mean who doesn’t love getting a nice foot massage! The trine from Mars in Virgo stimulates the healing energy of Ceres and the New Moon because Virgo is noted for caring for the health and well being of others.

A sextile to the New Moon from Neptune in Pisces will help smooth any rough edges and allow us to gently slip sideways away from harsh realities, if only briefly. Music is a wonderful way to set the mood for relaxation of the mind and body along with a well chosen fragrance.

Saturn in Libra widely opposes the New Moon and helps reinforce the need to play well with others. Venus ruled Taurus generally appreciates Libra’s tact and both share a deep love of beauty. Saturn’s fondness for structure meets with Taurus’s approval because Taurus does like to keep surprises to a minimum.

Even though Venus in Gemini is a little too changeable for Taurus’s taste, it is semi-sextile to genial Jupiter in Taurus. This combination favors both having fun and making a little money, something we can all get behind.

Neptune blurs the edges of Mars in Virgo via an opposition and softens the aggressive tone of Mercury conjunct Uranus in Aries. We may have more than one reason to be thankful to Neptune because Mars is inconjunct Mercury, making tempers short because it insists on going over ALL the details.

Thankfully we aren’t quite to the point when Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries will start actively taking pot shots at one another . . . that will begin in earnest in late May and June. *sigh* For now, Pluto’s sextile to Chiron in Pisces continues aiding us in figuring out the reasons behind the unreasonable expectations we have for ourselves and others in our lives. I came across this wonderful quote from astrologer Liz Greene on Chiron apropos to the Pluto-Chiron sextile:

“The healing process can only begin when we disengage from our belief that life ought to fit a certain model. It is our worldview that is being challenged by Chiron, so that the place to begin is with the holes and fissures in our belief system”.

For those of us who feel stretched thin from the Mercury-Mars retrograde overlap and just want some rest and relaxation, this New Moon in Taurus has the potential to deliver it. It’s simple . . . tune out and ignore all the hyper-inflated Mercury conjunct Uranus in Aries rhetoric and tune in on your bliss. Politely but firmly stir the conversation away from inflammatory subjects or quietly walk away. As always, chose to practice kindness and tolerance!

On a personal note: The New Moon conjoins the cusp of my sixth house and is the reason why I feel a strong desire for peaceful routines in my daily life. When one’s Aries husband’s Sun has Uranus in Aries crossing it, last minute changes have been the rule rather than the exception.

Neptune continues to square my Venus as does Mars, not the most energizing combination. It takes more conscious effort to get going under this influence. Maybe it’s a good thing I have an Aries bouncing around keeping me motivated!

Venus in Gemini conjoins my seventh house North Node and sweetens my relationships via improved communications on her way past for the first time. She’ll be spending the better part of her retrograde period in my seventh house eighth houses and it will be interesting to see how that goes.


New Moon in Taurus, May 2-3, 2011

© Diane Lang

Despite the fact there are five planets in Aries, the overriding feel of the New Moon at 12° 31′ Taurus on May 2, 2011 11:50 PM PDT is deeply, powerfully feminine  – as in the ancient fertility goddesses one crossed at their own peril. This is a stately New Moon encouraging everyone to move through life with grace and dignity, a nice change from all the pushing and shoving to be first in line.

Ceres, goddess of agriculture and fertility, is in Pisces and forms a sextile to the Sun and Moon in fruitful Taurus, making this New Moon an excellent time to tend to one’s garden. Here in the northern latitudes Taurus is usually planting season when the soil has warmed enough for seeds to sprout, and with the added blessings from Ceres, this is a very promising time for seeding all types of new projects.

Something to always keep in mind about Ceres is how powerful she is, especially now when she is celebrating her daughter’s return from the underworld. Pisces suits Ceres and brings out her nurturing, loving side rather than the angry, determined mother who successfully backed Pluto/Hades into a corner and forced him to share her daughter, Persephone/Proserpina equally. She is blessing those with planets and Angles in the water and earth signs (Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces) in need a nice motherly kiss or two after being run over by the Aries train.

The Yod formed with Saturn in Libra at the apex and Ceres sextile the New Moon as the base is an important configuration in this chart. As Yods go this one is not so bad if we keep in mind Saturn is exalted in Libra and is comfortable with the slow, steady pace being set by Ceres sextile the New Moon in stately Taurus. Those feeling the impatience of the Aries planets the strongest will strain against this slowdown while those of us who are feeling wrung out and exhausted will LOVE it!

Poor Venus in Aries is heavily chaperoned now between the waning opposition from Saturn in Libra and the exact semi-sextile to Ceres in Pisces. Could be suffering the repercussions of listening to that wild man, Uranus in Aries, or perhaps due to pitching a jealous fit after obsessive Pluto whispered in her ear. In any case, she is behaving much more circumspectly for now but she has one more mad cap fling in her when she conjoins Jupiter at 24° Aries on May 11.

Mercury is direct and part of a waxing conjunction to Venus in Aries, exact on May 9. This is a great aspect for finding the right words to charm and amuse an audience, particularly one’s lover. Venus is a far better partner for Mercury than Mars or Jupiter who don’t necessarily bring out Mercury’s better qualities, at least in this Libra’s opinion. *grin*

We do have plenty of heat provided by a conjunction of Mars and Jupiter in Aries . . . maybe a bit too much in some cases. However, if you feel the need to make your case and push through some difficult issues, being able to draw on this exuberant, enthusiastic combination may just do the trick!

I’m just as happy Uranus in Aries, Neptune in Pisces and Pluto in Capricorn are out of orb this lunation. Don’t worry; they’ll be back meddling in our lives again.

Take time to get outdoors and commune with the natural world if possible on this New Moon. Go for a walk in the closest park or visit a plant nursery and enjoy the diversity of beautiful plants to be found there. If you can take a drive through the countryside, then keep an eye out for four-footed babies – lambs, calves and foals bouncing about. Relax already!

On a personal note: Ceres in Pisces is conjoining my IC and the New Moon in Taurus is making its self at home in my sixth house, with the Mercury-Venus conjunction in Aries opposing my Libra Moon. Not bad at all! I’m busy these days carting my tomato and pepper plants inside at night and outside during the day to harden them off for transplanting after it finally stops freezing at night. Our chicks are growing quickly and they too need tending to twice a day, cleaning their temporary home in a stock tank and making sure they have food and fresh water. We can’t rush any of these processes either . . . very much in keeping with this New Moon’s theme.

As of this writing, the Taurus grandson is still holding out and driving his very pregnant Gemini mom to the brink waiting for him to make his entrance. Any day now! :D


Saturday Archives: Another Perspective on Ceres – Natural Cycles

The doorway behind the liliesIn honor of the potent New Moon in Virgo, I dug out this article on Ceres, mother of Persephone and mother-in-law of Pluto.

Ceres is traditionally associated with hard work, mothering of older children, nurturing, food – especially fruits and vegetables, farming/gardening and other earthy matters.

However, a recent article in The Mountain Astrologer by Carrie Megginson, “Asteroid Goddesses and Birth Order”, shows Ceres in a different light. She suggests Ceres is far more pragmatic and bent on selecting and refining the characteristics of the external world to meet her needs and moods. The Moon is the place to look for endless warmth and nurturing. I found her idea of relating Ceres to the ever returning cycles of the farming year very sound: cycles of plenty and want, growth and death, preparation and consumption. It’s this awareness of natural cycles that I had in mind when looking at the charts of people I know to see the part Ceres played.

Ceres Aspecting Personal Planets

The first thing I looked for was Ceres forming any type of aspect to a personal planet (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars). Since I have no real sense of how powerful Ceres is I didn’t use an orb of more than three degrees at most. What I found was the type of aspect, either major or minor, didn’t seem to make that much difference; it was the connection that mattered. If there was no close aspect, then it appeared that Ceres was not particularly active in their charts or in their lives.

What emerged was those people with Ceres in aspect to their personal planets have an interest in and an awareness of the cycles of Nature. If they were farmers like my husband and father, then they were very in touch with the weather, the changing of the seasons and how that would affect the crops they were growing. My brother has been involved in research into the ebb and flow of the Arctic ice – very much related to the larger cycles! Others of us have a deep reverence and appreciation for this planet we live on and are always aware of what’s happening out-of-doors. There are lots of gardeners in this group of the sort who need to have some kind of green, growing things around them at all times – inside and outside. There are several people who could be considered pagan in their belief system.

Ceres in the Houses

When I looked to see what house Ceres fell in another interesting pattern emerged. I will stipulate that I only noted the house if I was sure of the birth time.

Two people had Ceres in their first house. One of those is my husband who has his Moon conjunct Ceres and his whole identity revolves around growing crops of one kind or another. He reads National Geographic magazine cover to cover and insists we sit and watch the local weather report together if possible. This is an individual deeply attuned to the rhythms of the Natural World. The other person is our beloved tseka who told us others see her slender self as an “Earth Mother” figure and whose paintings show a profound relationship with cycles, seasons and nature. For both of these individuals the face they show the world is one of a deep connection to Nature.

There were four of us with Ceres in the third house. Of those four, three of us use either photos we’ve taken or carefully selected pictures to illustrate the point we’re seeking to make in regards to the cycles of the world around us. The fourth person is a wordsmith who uses words to evoke the images. All of us are devoted to communicating our deep interest and awareness of Nature and her cycles.

The people with Ceres in their fourth house or on the cusp of the fourth house have sought to reconnect to the old ways in one form or another. Two of them are a gay couple who have a life style based on Wicca belief systems and honor those beliefs as their roots. Another makes the trip every July to the Black Hills in South Dakota to take part in the Sun Dance of the Sioux peoples even though as far as I know he’s not Native American in ancestry. By the way, that’s a very, very grueling way to celebrate the connection to Gaia . . .

The sixth house group is in the health-care field one way or another. My Scorpio sister has spent the better part of her adult life caring for elderly people in their homes, seeing that they have decent food and care and easing the way as their lives draw to a close. She has a strong sense of the cycles of growth and death. Another individual is determined to make changes to our broken health care system from the inside and she’s on her way to becoming a hospital administrator. And we are all familiar with Joe’s deep knowledge of healthy lifestyle and foods.

The two people with a twelfth house Ceres I don’t know well enough to get more than a sense that these are the ones who hold the dream of best possible dance of Gaia, possibly the most important ones of all even if they are not aware of it yet.

In conclusion, I wish to make a further distinction between those individuals that have a “green thumb” and those with an active Ceres. As a person with both, as well as a Virgo Midheaven, from my perspective Ceres energy concerns itself with the big picture, the larger cycles as well as the day-to-day cultivating of growing things, etc. From all the people whose charts I’ve noted, I get the sense they have an awareness of the necessity and importance of connecting to the deep rhythms of this planet we live on. How they apply that awareness is shown by the house Ceres is posited in.

I would love to hear from others on Ceres in their charts too!

Libra seeks balanceposted by Neith . . .

Image: This photo was taken in July, mid-summer where I live – so green and lovely before the August heat drains the colors.


A Tale of Pluto & Mars – Cycles in Nature

(Caution! If reading about killing of animals bothers you, don’t read any further.)

As winter deepens here in the Northwest and the world outside slips more deeply into the cycle of hidden renewal, we have to deal with a man-created imbalance in Nature. We have a major problem with deer coming into our yard and garden and eating all the new growth from this past year off our trees and shrubs. This means we will have a much smaller crop next year because of the loss of the fruiting canes and branches. We have a wealthy neighbor who feeds the deer thus drawing a much larger population into this area than it would naturally sustain. A typical scenario without this type of intervention would see many deer dying during the winter due to starvation thus maintaining the population at the level decreed by Nature.

My Aries SO, who has Mars in Scorpio in the 8th House squared by Pluto, is deeply aware of the need for Nature’s cycle of death and rebirth. If we do not have loss thru death, we literally will not have the possibility of rebirth. Pluto demands his due. So my Aries is shooting the deer and leaving the carcasses where the local scavengers can feed and clean them up. We now have a three legged coyote in residence, looking sleek and healthy because he’s getting enough to eat. The coyote in turn, marks his territory helping keep the deer away. If the deer population was been thinned due to winter kill, the coyote would also have plenty to eat and balance would be restored once again.

So many people now live insulated from these natural cycles, they have forgotten the reasons for them. As a person with Ceres in the 3rd House, it feels important for me to communicate about the Natural cycle of Life and how fragile the layer of insulation between people and Nature truly is. Remember what happened to New Orleans when Katrina blew through. So whether you agree or disagree on this subject, Nature (Gaia) will have her way and us puny humans would do well to remember that.

Winter has arrived with lots of snow and cold! This photo was taken looking northwest from my drive after the last heavy snowfall.


Cycles – Moon Nodes, Ceres & Juno

We held the memorial service for my mother yesterday which went off quite well. Today I’m exhausted but feeling some internal shifts have been resolved. A good thing . . . . When I looked at my chart to see what was going on, three different aspects jumped out.

First, the transiting Nodes have just completed squaring my natal Nodes – basically forming a Grand Cross on the Angles. It just makes sense that resolving issues surrounding my mother’s death, the deepening relationship with my father and my self-image undergoing yet another metamorphosis all come into play. There are many facets of this that will most likely emerge over the coming months, especially with the Mercury in Cancer Rx in my 8th House. Not to mention Saturn continuing to bear down on my Mars, Mercury & ASC.

Ceres is currently forming an exact opposition to my Sun and conjuncting the cusp of my 6th House. The timing of this transit speaks to me of the need to nurture myself and allow the healing to begin by embracing the summer season, eating lots & lots of fruits and vegetables as they ripen to promote a better sense of health and well-being. Ceres will be moving into Taurus shortly encouraging me to slow down and stay in the moment and by aspecting my Scorpio 12th House planets, allowing the dreams and deep, slow thoughts to emerge from the subconscious. Now how to do that while completing all the tasks that wait at my day job and the usual “stuff” around home, I haven’t really figured out yet!

An interesting transit that I just noticed was Juno having gone Rx on my Sun in Libra on February 14, 2007 and is now turning Direct on the Mid-point between my Moon & Neptune at the time of the memorial service for my mother. Obviously this relates to my relationship with my mother and how I see myself as a partner in a long-term relationship but as I just noticed it, I’m going to have to turn this one over in my mind for awhile.

Following transits of the asteroids and the Moon Nodes, it is easy to see how they are very useful in helping define cycles in our lives – even if I haven’t worked out all the details yet. Losing a parent is a MAJOR cyclical event in one’s life and its well worth noting what’s going on in the Heavens during that time. I apologize for the current lack of clarity but that too will pass as all this gets processed. Right now I’m still suffering from an overload of Family . . . :-)

This photo was when the Moon was still in Scorpio and approaching Full . . . I felt lucky it came out as good as it did!