Thursday, July 20, 2017

New Moon on Zero Leo: Go Fly a Kite!

A beautiful customer in her beautiful Weeping Willow Design - and it looks fabulous with her tattoo!

We're currently moving to a zero-degree New Moon in fiery and fantastic Leo on July 23 (2:46 a.m. PDT). This New Moon will be conjunct blazing Mars, which is transiting Leo as of this morning. 

The Mars effect on this zero-degree New Moon amps up what will already be a smokin' hot lunar cycle within a smokin' hot summer of 2017. (Literally and figuratively where I'm from - we're experiencing way above normal temperatures as well as terrible forest fires.)

I know the astro scene is buzzing about the second Leo New Moon this summer - a total solar eclipse at 28 degrees Leo on August 21 - and it has been for a while now.

But! We can't look at any astrological event as an isolated thing. Nothing exists in a bubble.

The energy around the 28-degree Leo New Moon eclipse on August 21 (11:30 a.m.) is very, very juicy, to be certain. But the entire summer of 2017 is very juicy! We can't put too much focus on a single event, lest we lose sight of the big picture and the ripe opportunities that are opening right in front of our faces. 

This zero-degree Leo New Moon conjunct Mars is the opener. It's the motivator. It initiates situations, connections, and turns-of-event that take us into the full-on social and creative splendour indicated by the astrological aspects of the summer.

This zero-degree New Moon may appear more low-key and small-scale, a little less impressive than the Total Solar Eclipse Leo New Moon!!! in August. But underestimating the creative potential of this one would be a mistake. Skipping the social event, passing on the show, holding back on the release of your own creative output or expression - this would all be a crying shame under the powerful initiatory energy of this New Moon conjunct Mars on the very first degree of creative powerhouse Leo.

Small, creative connections, low-key bits of fun, entertainment or art produced to a little less fanfare, some everyday glam, some everyday style, the injection of a little humour or playfulness - these are all seeds to be sown now, in the immediate, right where you stand. Keep it a little more small-scale, sure, but don't hold back. Don't focus all your mojo on that eclipse just because you know it's up ahead. Doing that generally has a bit of a build-it-up effect followed by a let-down, not to mention - eclipses are often quite karmic with a bit of an edge or a bite to them. Trying to make something happen in alignment with an eclipse may have unexpected results - the universe has a mind of its own!

This zero-degree Leo New Moon conjunct Mars certainly opens us (in a more low-key and perhaps accessible way) into the juiciest part of the summer of 2017, and oh boy, is this summer juicy!

For all the details, I've covered these juicy-as-a-perfectly-ripe-raspberry astrological aspects in this patron article, which includes the broader context of the North Node in Leo transit: "The North Node Enters Shiny, Happy Leo, and There's Almost Too Much Goodness to Contain in One Article!"

We have Grand Fire Trine configurations forming all summer with the personal planets (conjunct the North Node of the Moon) in Leo, Saturn in Sagittarius, and Uranus in Aries. 

Jupiter in Libra will then make the Grand Fire Trines into dynamic kite formations in August and September, forming an opposition to Uranus in Aries and sextile aspects to Saturn in Sagittarius and the personal planets in Leo. The 28-degree Leo New Moon total solar eclipse on August 21 activates one of these kite formations, kicking off a very powerful lunar month for creativity and social connection.

The involvement of Jupiter in an air sign (Libra) provides dynamism and friction for the Grand Fire Trine formations, increasing their energy and productivity, especially socially and within relationships. The kite formations indicate that we are building and developing the social fabric in highly beneficial ways this summer, particularly in August and September. There is an emphasis on teamwork, mutuality, common ground, and finding ways that work for all involved.

Air (intellectual, social) and fire (creative, passionate) elements will be feeding each other and playing off each other this summer, boosting energy, creativity, inspiration, and action. In short, good things will be happening! It shouldn't be arduous to get things moving, especially when plans involve other people. The air is ripe for creative and social flowering.

The zero-degree Leo New Moon on July 23, conjunct Mars, occurs with communication planet Mercury in Leo in Grand Fire Trine formation with Saturn in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries. (Jupiter is not yet within range of the kite.) This flowing Mercurial influence at the time of the New Moon indicates a month of beneficial networking - "being seen," making connections, and sharing ideas in ways that lead into the full creative and social blaze indicated in August and September. 

This summer is a great time for creative self-expression of any kind - art, speech, writing, media, social media, humour, style, fashion, comedy - and it can all be done in an everyday way, bringing some Leo glam and colour into the scene.

The Sun in Leo will follow Mercury through these dynamic and high-spirited aspects, activating the first kite formation August 10 - 20. 

Action and direction planet Mars in Leo will activate the kite formation yet again August 20 - September 2. There will be a huge amount of energy coursing through this kite as we close out August and begin September. We'll have to watch the dick-swinging egos a little here, as well as any unintentional slights or insults. Hurt pride is a strong possibility when energy and personalities are running this high. 

Lesser Benefic love planet Venus is in Leo as of August 26 and moves into kite formation September 12 - 17. At the time, Greater Benefic Jupiter in Libra will be forming the final conjunctions to highly fortunate fixed stars Spica and Arcturus. Venus and the Moon - the two feminine planets of the zodiac - will also form a potent and creative conjunction at 27 degrees Leo on September 17, within kite formation. 

All kinds of good stuff going on mid-September...

Just remember, though - with Jupiter transiting the Via Combusta (protected September 5 - 16 by the fixed stars), there is also a potential edge to our social scenes and relationships. Things can become socially combustible quite quickly under these heightened and colourful energies, and we'll have to draw on the full social wisdom, knowledge, and grace we've gathered during the Jupiter in Libra transit (since September 2016) to maintain peace and harmony.

There are strong cultural influences involved with these aspects, also, particularly artistry that is drawn from our ancestry. Artistic pursuits are one way that we can bridge cultural and social divides, as the appreciation of art, music, and beauty knows no particular nationality or race. Whether it be painting, carving, pottery, song, dance, drumming, writing, beading, quilting, weaving, leather work, the spiritual arts like astrology, tarot, or tea leaves - every culture has its own rich artistic history. Many of these artistic traditions overlap, even without the cultures having come into physical contact with each other. Acknowledging and appreciating this shared human artistic history connects us at the hearts across time, space, location, and cultural background.  

Taking back our own artistic pursuits and our own artistic heritage, as well as the shared enjoyment of these things, rather than accepting the pre-packaged versions spit out for us by the multi-billion dollar "entertainment industry," could prove very healing and joyful this summer.  

The period between June solstice and September equinox 2017, involving Grand Fire Trines as well as air/fire kite formations, appears to be a very socially beneficial time with plenty of creative inspiration and strong potential for collaborations. Things should be coming together in some pretty wonderful ways. 

And all this gets its initiatory boost as we move through the zero-degree Leo New Moon conjunct Mars on July 23.

If there's one thing all these juicy astrological aspects want us to keep in mind, it's this: celebrate who you are, exactly who you are, and do it right now, right where you're standing!

Put yourself out there a little in small-but-satisfactory ways. Smile. Crack a little joke. Dress up a bit. Don't wait for an audience. Don't wait for the spotlight to swing your way. Don't wait for that souped-up (yet likely over-hyped) eclipse next month. Start now. Create and encourage the things that make your heart sing, and, with Jupiter in Libra strongly involved, this includes lovely social dynamics, mannerly exchanges, and productive teamwork. 

Shine on, fire spirits! Inspire us with your fun and fierce selves. The light of your blaze leads the way.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Push for Standardized Astrological Education As a Pluto in Capricorn-Era Control Mechanism

I only recently learned, after 10 years as a professional astrologer, that intuitive astrology is looked down upon by the astrology establishment.

Honestly, this explains a lot.

I've always known that I did not fit in with this particular crowd for some reason.

All the astrology conferences and courses and schools and lectures - it all costs money I don't have to spend and is therefore inaccessible to me and to any other poor or working class astrologer or student. But even that didn't tell the whole story. There was just something off about me even attempting to interact in that world.

And now I know.

Self-taught astrologers, intuitive astrologers, astrologers who haven't jumped through the particular hoops set out by this astrological establishment, are considered secondary - possibly (possibly) serviceable at what they do, but not among the best and brightest, not members of the Big Deal Astrologers club.

OK, good. Glad to have that clarified.

I don't really mind being considered a second class citizen or being snubbed by the astrology establishment. The thing that bugs me is when I'm treated that way without fully understanding the underlying motivation or reason.

From early on as an astrologer, I picked up on the push for standardized astrological education for practising astrologers. (I'm intuitive, right? You can't get a control mechanism past me.)

Many of the current astrological associations and groups have been built around this push for standardized education. In other words, in order to call yourself a professional astrologer, you have to have certain certifications, take certain approved courses of study, and be tested on your knowledge by certain other establishment-approved astrologers. (And again, this all takes $$$, so it's a pretty middle and upper-middle class-dominated scheme.)

If you don't jump through these particular hoops and learn these particular pre-approved brands of astrology, receiving the piece(s) of paper that says you're a legit professional in the minds of these establishment astrologers, you pretty well aren't welcome in their clubs. You're shut out of "the scene," as well as the many opportunities for professional advancement enjoyed by those in these particular (quite insular) clubs.

Well, to be honest, they can have it.

I don't think any of my regular readers, patrons, or readings customers would argue when I say I'm a professional astrologer, and I'm very skilled at what I do. I would place my own body of astrological work against any astrologer's body of work, no problem.

I like astrology that is wild, untamed, soulful, intuitive, anarchistic, willing to call a spade a spade, willing to go into "controversial" territory. This is the astrology that speaks to me, and this is the astrology I practise. And to be honest, for those with the oldest of souls, this is often the only kind of astrology that does the trick. The lighter or more standardized stuff doesn't cut it.

I can't write to fit anyone else's standards, and I can't practise astrology that way, either. I never have been able to. It would exhaust me to even try. It just doesn't work that way.

I don't want professional astrology being put in a little box with dimensions pre-determined by certain select astrologers (who are generally from a more mainstream perspective and from a more materially-comfortable class).

The push to standardize astrology and to make it mainstream is also a push, in my opinion, to homogenize it, to sanitize it, to "weed out" the true individuals, the cutting edge astrologers, the spiritual artists. The astrologers like me.

Unless of course, those astrologers agree to submit to this pre-set programme for learning and practising astrology.

The groups using their public platforms to push for standardized astrological education subtly (and not-so-subtly) de-legitimize the type of astrology I practise. They marginalize intuitive astrologers, making them a fringe element of the more "respectable" astrological scene, setting them up firmly in the category of "Other." And I don't appreciate that one little bit.  

I don't believe astrology is a hard science. I believe it's a spiritual art.

Do all artists now need to graduate from pre-approved art schools in order to call themselves professional artists?

I mean, does imposing that on everyone not go against the entire spirit of art and the organic nature of the creative process?

There are many ways to learn, including outside standardized educational channels, and I'm a perfect example of this.

(In fact, after I got a university degree in journalism, I thought to myself, if they had the right textbooks, people could teach themselves all this stuff and skip the massive student loan debt...)

The push for standardized astrological education is a true Pluto in Capricorn-era symbol - another control mechanism designed to force people into a pre-set way of being and a pre-set way of doing business that is easier for the mainstream to digest (including mainstream astrologers). It puts everyone in a nice, neat, little pecking order according to how many designatory letters they list behind their names and what Super Impressive Astrologers they have studied under.

And you know what? Sure. You take your courses and get your accreditations and go to your conferences and collect astrology lectures from Big Name Astrologers like notches on your bedpost.

But hands off my sacred art. Hands off my practise of astrology, which has helped so many people by being wild and untamed and controversial and intuitive and honest and raw.

You can run your scene according to these pre-set rules and requirements. But don't believe you have the right to impose them on all astrologers. Don't believe you have the right to impose them on me.

You don't. 

I answer to a higher power than the likes of you.

To be honest, the fact that people think they can impose their ways on a precious and sacred art like astrology is narcissistic to me, if not a little crazy.

Not jumping through these standardized hoops certainly leaves me (and others) on the outside looking in. It shuts us out of certain professional advancement, watching opportunities go to less-deserving astrologers with less potent bodies of work via cronyism.

But I'd rather do things the way I know is right and suffer the consequences.

Isn't that the way? To do what you know is right even when it won't "get you ahead?" Even when you have to watch as the hoop-jumpers reinforce more hoop-jumpers and the monied reinforce more monied?

C'est la vie. 

This is an article excerpt from way back in 2009, just 18 months after I started the blog. The writing was on the wall then as far as this push for forced standardized education in astrology, and it has been outlined in Sharpie since then...

From October 19, 2009, "DIY Astrologers Vs. Standardized Astrological Education":

"So I'm a self-taught astrologer. It's been a relatively short but (sometimes brutally) intensive course of study/practise.

Books, internet, astrology message boards, practising on people (sorry people!), and daily observation of transiting planets were the main avenues I took.

The ideas and techniques of other astrologers have certainly influenced the development of my own astrological take (as I've influenced others), but there is no one who can take credit for my personal astrological analysis or perspective. I worked hard for it, and it's mine.

I haven't learned from any one astrologer or any one course of study and didn't take formal courses or classes from other astrologers - not necessarily because I didn't want to (at least in the beginning). I was open to the idea. It was more so that it just wasn't in my stars, so to speak, to learn that way. Initially, I didn't have the money to take classes or courses, so I learned on my own. Then I realized this was the way for me to go - choosing my own course of study, bit-by-bit, and letting my particular practise of astrology come into existence on its own terms.

I think for people who are meant to access it, astrology is inherent in a lot of ways. One day you start to read it or hear about it and it just means something to you. From there, a process is triggered by which it is drawn to the surface, into conscious, day-to-day life. But it feels as if you've always had the knowledge inside. It just takes a while to develop the language used to access and express it.

I think a do-it-yourself (DIY) style is fairly common among astrologers. At the same time, it's also fairly common to take a specific course of study under specific astrologers as teachers.

My view is that it depends entirely upon the individual which way of learning is preferable. To each his/her own. I wouldn't suggest one way of learning astrology is better than another or makes a person more of an astrologer. A mix of formal classes and self-study would be a potent way to learn, but again, it depends on the case and the means available. It depends what's in the stars. It depends what you have access to and whether you have the expendable fiat currency to throw down for it. (The demand for standardized education for astrologers has a really strong classist reek to it, and I would bet money it's coming from middle and upper-middle class astrologers...)

There is a push in some astrology circles these days (including in Calgary) for standardized astrological education. I'm, of course, opposed to this because I feel this is not necessary across the board, and I think it would be quite stifling to the creative side of astrology - the spiritual art aspect - to have this imposed.

I understand that people who want standardized education want to weed out the fakes. They wish to make astrology more accepted in the mainstream by making it necessary for astrologers to have a certain standardized education before practising professionally.

I just don't think this is the way to go, for aforementioned reasons, but also, I've never been a mainstream-accepted kind of gal, and I don't think mainstream acceptance is something we should demand all astrologers strive for.

Mainstream acceptance, if it comes about, should be based on the stellar work of astrologers impressing people to such an extent that they say, "Hmm...there might be something to this." Acceptance and respect in the mainstream could naturally come about as a byproduct of excellent astrological work, but just as I found out that it wasn't in my best interests to try to get in with the popular kids in high school, I think making mainstream acceptance an across-the-board goal is not a good idea.

I think this push is biased to the scientific/psychological side of things. I don't consider astrology a hard science and I don't consider myself a psychologist, so again, this is not something I can personally get behind.

And let's be honest - this also has to do with money and the desire for a broader clientele. There's nothing wrong with that. I just don't think imposing standardized astrological education on everyone is the way to go to achieve that. (A little control freak-y, no?)

Yes, there is a basic system of astrology, and to call yourself an astrologer, you need to know and use that system.

But even what that basic system is depends on whom you ask.

I was shocked when I first found out that some astrologers don't use signs or houses! They use only aspects between/among the planets in their analysis. Other astrologers don't use the outer planets at all - meaning no Uranus, Neptune or Pluto. Then there is the choice between tropical and sidereal (the two major branches), the choice of house system (there are many - and again, some astrologers don't use any!), what planets/bodies you consider important enough to include in your analysis, and then the variations in interpretation among astrologers.

There are so many choices to make over the course of developing one's practise of astrology. I really feel that there are as many ways of practising astrology as there are astrologers.

And yeah, that leaves astrology open to watered-down versions practised by people who have not really put the time and effort into it. People who practise "soft" astrology and deal in textbook generalities or who water astrology down with a lot of other concepts to the point where it's more of a token kind of thing. This bugs the hell out of me, too, at times. I totally get that...

It's irritating as fuck when you've personally put the time and effort into something, really committed to it, lived it, and then people latch onto the label of "astrology" or "astrologer" in a very watered-down sense to sell a few more readings. 

[I've personally come into contact with that phenomenon on more than one occasion. The Insta-Astrologer.]

This definitely could be damaging to the credibility of astrology in the mainstream. But I can't personally stop people from selling watered-down astro-babble, as long as they're keeping it legal. All I can hope is that the proof will be in the pudding and these shortcut-takers will eventually reap what they sow.

The other side of the coin is enforced standardized astrological education, which bugs me just as much. Because who determines what the "standardized" astrological education is? Who determines what we all "have to know," how we must come to know it and how much we must pay to learn it? Who determines what is important to teach and what isn't? Which astrologers have their work included and which don't? Which versions of astrology are the accepted ones? And which ones aren't? From whose perspective is it taught?

Outside the very, very basics, it's up for debate.

I couldn't promote a standardized way of learning astrology. What I can get behind is - do what's right for you. Follow your passion and what interests you at the time. Certain areas will draw you in and just make sense, and there's your personal track. This is how people get to the astrology that pours out of their souls. This is how they get to the astrology only they can practise, from the perspective only they can bring."

And this is the perspective of your unaffiliated anarchist astro-reporter, Willow. My techniques, writing, and interpretations would not make it into those standardized astrology textbooks and classes. Thank-you for reading. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Saturn in Capricorn: An Astrological Overview for Long-Term Strategic Planning

Zucchini plants getting ready to produce in the hedge garden

This 6,800+-word document is an astrological overview of the three-year Saturn in Capricorn transit and is being released under the Full Moon in Capricorn (exact tomorrow night). It is available to Willow's Web Astrology patrons, or it can be purchased by email money transfer or through PayPal for $11.25.

Included in the article:

- detailed interpretation of the three-year transit of Saturn through Capricorn

- Chiron ingress of Aries

- Uranus ingress of Taurus 

This will be my major offering for the transit. 

Remember: you can become a WWA patron for as little as $35 Canadian per year, and you will receive the current patron article, as well as all other patron articles for the following year (or as long as your patronage is up-to-date). 

We are currently moving to a Full Moon at 17 degrees Capricorn (exact at 9:07 p.m. PDT on July 8), tightly conjunct Lord of the Underworld Pluto Rx at 18 degrees.

Issues of institutional power, control, and violence (Pluto in Capricorn) in relation to the public (Moon) are coming to a head.

This includes overt physical violence, but it also includes more hidden and insidious (Pluto) forms, including the intentional economic violence being brought down that is hurting and killing people en masse on Planet Earth. 

The G20 Summit - the closed-door meeting of the facade leaders of the wealthiest countries on the planet - is occurring in Hamburg, Germany this weekend (July 7 - 8), just as the Moon reaches its peak, conjunct Pluto.

It's very doubtful that this is a coincidence.

The G20 Summit held June 26 - 27, 2010 in and around Toronto, Canada was also planned to coincide with a Capricorn Full Moon conjunct Pluto. That particular Plutonic Full Moon was a partial lunar eclipse, falling within a remarkably potent cardinal t-square (Jupiter-Uranus in Aries, Sun-Mercury-Juno-South Node in Cancer, Moon-Pluto-North Node in Capricorn). Saturn in late Virgo made the blisteringly powerful formation a Grand Cross. From March 23, 2010, "Summer 2010 Eclipse Season: G8, G20 and Martial Law A-Plenty."

In the days preceding the meetings, there was both an earthquake (extremely rare) and a tornado that hit close to the lake country where the Global Governors were staying at the time. From June 24, 2010, "Cardinal T-Square Eclipse: Dicey at Best." This indicated some geoengineering hijinx, as well.

The astrological framework laid out in the patron article is, without doubt, being tapped and utilized by the current powers-that-be. (And I would certainly hate to carry the soulmark of being a hired astrologer helping these yahoos to plot their vicious schemes...)

The epic police-state force of 20,000 officers - all with various weapons at their disposal - has been unleashed on the estimated 100,000 protesters in Germany. The police set a highly aggressive tone right off the jump, unloading a water cannon on a peaceful dance party on July 5, injuring five people. Water cannons may sound fairly innocuous. They aren't. They can severely injure people, picking them up and throwing them many feet. They can also put people's eyes out and have in the past. 

They are trying to normalize these headlines: "Police Use Water Cannon to Break Up Protest."

But this should never become normal to us.  

In the days following, it has been reported that 160 police officers have been injured in clashes with protesters. I'm certainly very sorry to hear this, and I truly hate to see anyone being injured. But I do have to ask: how many protesters have been injured by police? Why are those numbers not as important to report in mainstream media channels? And how many of these "clashes" could have been avoided with less aggressive policing tactics/stances?

Remember, at this moment, it is still legal to assemble and protest.

The focus continues to be on "Black Bloc" protesters, who generally have an agenda to create property damage, not human injuries.

These groups often throw bottles and stones to try to drive police out of the area of the protests. (Generally, police are in full riot gear with shields and are protected from this barrage.)

It is also well-known that police forces embed agents provocateur into protests and into groups like the Black Bloc in order to incite more violence and illegal acts. An instance where police were caught red-handed on this front occurred in Montebello, Quebec in 2007. Police officer agents provocateur implanted to stir the shit were captured on video by legitimate protesters at the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) meetings involving Stephen Harper, George Bush, and Felipe Calderon. The agents provocateur were picking up rocks and being aggressive. They were called out by protesters and then dove into the police line. At that point, it was visible that the aggressive "protesters" are wearing police boots - the same boots worn by the police officers. The Quebec police even admitted to the incident.

If you have ever been to one of these protests, you would know that only a small percentage of protesters are non-peaceful, and again, most of that non-peaceful element is intent on a display of anti-capitalist property damage, not human injury.

But because of the aggressive tactics of the Black Bloc (some of whom are undoubtedly plants), the media is now able to paint all protesters - all 100,000 of them - as potentially armed thugs, which then justifies excessive police force and brutality against protesters in the minds of the public.

"Well, if they weren't doing anything wrong, they wouldn't get sprayed/gassed/injured/locked up."

This is very dangerous (and false) thinking, but it is the type of thinking being manufactured in the minds of the public by the current media narrative.

I can provide a firsthand account that peaceful protesters who are doing nothing wrong are gassed, pepper sprayed, and sprayed with water cannons for no legitimate reason. This has become a regular occurrence. And again, this has become a normalized thing in the minds of many, and that sets a very dangerous stage. 

These major summit protests have been going on since the 90s, but there has been an inching forward in the increase of force and weaponry used by police each year. 

I've written about this in previous articles, including this one from the G20 protests in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 2010:

I've also written about the escalation of weaponry - including energy weapons - being brought in to use against (predominantly peaceful) protesters:

All Willow's Web Astrology G20 articles can be found here

Suffice it to say, this Full Moon in the sign of its detriment conjunct laying-shit-bare Pluto is not exactly sugar and spice and all things nice. But its energy can certainly be used to position ourselves successfully from a strategic perspective, bringing us into control of our emotional and psychological domains.  

Stay safe, friends. But don't turn a blind eye to the unjustified violence being brought down upon us during these times. This is both overt physical violence and insidious economic and money-related violence. There are very good reasons for the 100,000 people protesting in the streets of Hamburg right now. They represent hundreds of millions more voices of dissent, opposed to the violent and inhumane schemes being orchestrated from behind those closed doors.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

WWA Etsy Sale

Until July 4, use the coupon code VENUSIAN2017 to take 20% off your order at the Willow's Web Astrology Etsy shop.