How To Love A Retrograde Venus

How To Love A Retrograde Venus

My natal Venus is retrograde.

I used to be ashamed to admit I’m an astrologer and I still didn’t get her. I knew she was the go-to planet to begin comprehending one’s relationship profile. In those days I would pass her by and look elsewhere in my chart for answers. I’d start at the 7th house to see what was happening there and what sign was on its house cusp. I’d ask myself. Where is its ruling planet? What sign is the planet in? Is it interacting with other planets or angles? Are those relationships easy and flowing or challenging and stressful? Is the 7th house occupied? If so what planets or angles are those planets engaging with? I was trying to figure out why my relationships were uncommunicative, unsatisfying, and a struggle. In staring at my chart I was looking at her but not seeing her. Mesmerized by a too close proximity to Pluto, the planet representing rebirth, I was unaware I was overlooking her closer conjoining with my Sun.

According to what I knew then her not being in direct motion wasn’t good. Adding to that, from a traditional astrological perspective she was further debilitated by being in Virgo. But conjunct to Pluto, the lord of death and transformation? Nothing about that could be good trumping any other considerations. I felt like Persephone before I knew who she was and what her myth meant. It became the overarching reason for why my relationships seemed to morph into some version of familiar hell.

Still early in my astrological education I comprehended what Pluto touches he transforms. Adjacent study of metaphysics supported that such a process was to be invited. In theory who doesn’t want to be enlightened? But for real, managing the emotional hits from “Pluto” learning experiences was, is hell. I seemed to have a reserved spot when it came to finances, esteem, and relationships. Add in frustration for not getting why I was unable to stop doing, being whatever was bringing the pain. I scapegoated Pluto while adding a nod begrudgingly to that infamous “some level” I supposed I was being helped. At some point in the internal war with him I just forgot about Venus. She slipped through the gaping chasms of my Pluto fear.

Time passed. It was easier connecting to the meaning of transiting retrogrades. They come and go. But when it’s encoded into your psychic DNA as in your astrological chart how do you identify it in your behavior? What good is all the information in the world if you don’t recognize it in who you are? You can know what something means but until you’ve lived it that’s description at best. I needed to go beyond concepts and theory to finding her in me. I hoped that day would come.

All the while I accumulated more understanding of her symbolism. Its representation of the feminine principal; what represents beauty to us; one’s aesthetic and personal values. I remember reading before somewhere a favorable aspect between Venus and Mars gave the ability to easily create what you want and supports the personal freedom to do what you will. Mine are both in Virgo but over fifteen degrees apart. I couldn’t help but feel abandonment for her. She was close yet so far from her champion.

Years later when my struggle to know receded to the background I heard my mentor respond to a question. When he casually mentioned that natal retrograde Venus indicated an inability to recognize one’s own beauty the mirror cracked. Something caved in internally. Times I’d be before the mirror looking for the person that had just been complimented for what I said, wrote or did; who I was or how I looked came flooding back to me. I didn’t hear what else was said. I was consumed by the feeling I always had when looking to see the one complimented in me and instead found her missing for me.

The opaque veil between us thinned. There was an empty space I hadn’t identified before. That was it! This was how a retrograde planet could be identified within you. It’s the emptiness. It’s the missing connection to what the planet represents in your sense of who you are. In Venus’s case the inability to experience the beauty in me and satisfaction in life was the blinking neon arrow hiding in plain sight. Vacant though it felt, it was she being as present as she could. How ironic that through my suffering misunderstood view of what I was missing I missed seeing she required from me what I was looking to others for.

Delving into this was a turning point. A retrograde planet requires you to give to yourself intentionally what it represents whether or not you think or feel you know what you are doing. You do it until you’ve established enough of a framework for you to feel connected to it. Then operate from what you have constructed within while adding to it.

Just as the first step to erect a new structure on the remains of an old one is to build a scaffold you do the same. The scaffold is the knowing and commitment to give the planet principle to you. The consistent doing so fills in the planet structure on the empty memory. When you have built out to where you can operate from, a natural shift occurs. At that point your structure is strong enough to dismantle the scaffold and support self-reliant expression.

Flash back. Long before that “aha” insight, Venus went direct by progression several weeks before I reached twenty-four. Thirteen years after that I remember noticing it when newly separated from my first husband. Deep in devastated disillusionment, I searched to find something in me that fit the descriptions of a retrograde Venus turned direct in motion. It was “déjà vu all over again” as Yogi Berra, the illustrious New York Yankee Manager, was known to say. I couldn’t.



Fast forward five years. I was taking another look. I recognized there had been a shift though in my grief it was imperceptible then. A few years after she progressed direct I went from not knowing I could have better relationships and feel better about myself to the revelation that I could choose to have exactly that.

How to make it so? Materializing that road took several more years even with teachers showing me the way via astrology and metaphysical understanding. I’ve been building that structure out one step at a time ever since.

How Juno Gets Jupiter In The End: The Charts

How Juno Gets Jupiter In The End: The Charts

Juno's mission to understand the origin and evolution of the gas giant Jupiter, how giant planets form and the role they play in creating the rest of the solar system gives our metaphorical Juno a once in a lifetime opportunity to allow her heart to heal around her relationship with Jupiter.

The sun in this chart is in Leo co-joined by Venus. Leaving Venus for the moment to honor the sun first, the identity, creative impulse and conscious choice of the mission and mythological Juno’s intent is to have a grand adventure of the heart and mind. With the sun located in the 10th house, the most public house in the chart her intentions are displayed before the world and the universe for all to see.

With sun at a 90 degree distance from Jupiter, in the challenging first quarter square aspect, this is a quest that has do or die meaning for her. She took this on to push the boundaries and habitual patterns of their relating, putting herself on the line, opting to hold nothing back so that a new way of being in relationship with her husband could be created.

With the Ascendant of the chart of Juno’s launch mid-way through Libra, the sign of relationship, we know we’re in the right territory when referring to the mythological goddess and her god. They have history. She has more learning ahead about him and her capacity to allow harmony within despite his behavior towards her.

Venus is Libra’s ruling planet. The sun represents the husband in a woman’s chart. In her approach to him mirroring her spacecraft’s approach to planet Jupiter, she is claiming her value and intention to join with him in a way that recognizes and satisfies her sense of selfworth. In the 10th house, the most public house in the chart, their reunion is being played out for all the world to see. That Venus is exactly 90 degrees, in a first quarter square position, to Jupiter tells us she is taking a stand for what she wants, balance and justice between them, consideration and respect from him.


Juno Launch Chart

Juno's Launch Chart

With Saturn exalted in Libra where he functions at his best and close to the Ascendant, this trip was a long time in the making, taking between 588 to 968 million miles to happen. That it is at an exact 60-degree beneficial sextile distance tells us the trip was blessed with good odds of success.

The asteroid Juno is located in the 12th house of the chart. This last area of life is a house operating at hidden subconscious levels. Among other meanings here is where we meet and atone for any past misuse of our abilities and choices. Planets in this house operate below the radar. What happens here seeds the next cycle of experience hiding the process until the seed is ready to sprout. Its reflecting her desire for resolution with the past in order to begin anew once she crosses over the Ascendant into the first house.

Complicating that goal is her involvement in a Cardinal Grand Cross configuration with Mars, Uranus and Pluto, three of the most energizing, challenging planet principles to exchange energy. A grand cross is when the four corners of a square have a planet occupying each corner. There is no outlet to let off steam. Instead an act of will to initiate action is needed to bring balance to the two see-sawing oppositions. It is a karmic opportunity to heal by meeting the cause of the pain and moving forward in the face of it.

Closest is an approaching square to Mars. She is initiating this action from the emotional desire to find peace and a new connection. Next closest is outer planet Uranus reflecting the internalized trauma from warring with her mate, the sense of being exiled from him and the intent to find the ability to set herself free. It’s also the innovative effort to make this possible in order to show us Jupiter’s secrets. Lastly, in a square to the furthest planet Pluto in the 3rd house, it’s about establishing new ground in cognitive awareness, communication and transforming her concrete knowledge in order to teach us what there is to learn.



With Mercury the planet of communication and education in the 11th house of long range plans at the very beginning of the sign Virgo this was clearly a journey requiring a lot of work and would not manifest results for quite a long time. New skills and know how was needed to achieve the goal represented by Neptune opposing her. At the last degree and minute of Aquarius this is the gathering of all experience learned, mastered or not into a vision of boundary breaking technical innovation; a new view of personal awakening and authenticity and dissolved barriers to higher self-awareness for Juno and for our understanding of our solar system neighborhood.

His opposition to Chiron, the wounded healer, requires cooperation with a maverick’s potential for innovation and visionary thinking rather than repeating the known. As Mercury is approaching a beneficial 120-degree trine aspect to Pluto, Juno shows us the willingness to take on this goal of planned transformation; to be forever joined with him, merged into the nature of his ecosystem; reclaiming her worth by going after what she wants and in the process ironically creating for herself the respect and consideration she has demanded from him.





How Juno Gets Jupiter In The End, The Backstory

How Juno Gets Jupiter In The End, The Backstory

Source: NASA, ESA, AND J. Nichols (University of Leicester)

Source: NASA, ESA, AND J. Nichols (University of Leicester)

On the evening of our Independence Day, July 4th, a significant step forward in planetary science was achieved. After a five year journey to reach the largest planet in our solar system NASA’s Juno probe entered Jupiter’s orbit.

Her mission, to understand the origin and evolution of the gas giant, how giant planets form and the role they play in creating the rest of our solar system.

This historic moment is a textbook example of how an event is reflected in its astrological chart. But before getting to the charts let’s have some fun with imagining NASA’s spacecraft is not just an impressive collection of science, solar panels and technology. Let’s imagine we are talking about Juno herself going to meet not just the most massive hugely gorgeous planet we can’t avoid looking at in our neck of space but the guy himself, Jupiter. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens when they meet. 


The back story

Jupiter is the Roman name for the king of the gods residing on Mount Olympus in Greek mythology. He had a thing for nymphs and beautiful young women and was renown for entrapping and impregnating them much to the chagrin of his wife Juno.

They had huge fights. Her fury was legendary. It stayed stoked by his serial infidelity, a situation many wives and girlfriends can relate to. Despite her scorn there was little she could do to change her husband’s behavior. Consider the dynamic. Though a high goddess and married to king of gods, when it came down to it as his wife and subject she had to submit to his will. For all her power and position she was in effect powerless to change his behavior or receive the fulfillment promised by her marriage. Being furious, taking revenge on those raped by her husband was about all she could safely do to vent her helplessness and retain her position.

The symbolism of Juno’s trip and successful insertion into Jupiter’s orbit tells us she is about to uncover information explaining why the big kahuna is the way he is. Revealing more of what makes him tick, she becomes informed divorced from her expectation for fulfillment.

Her moment was designed. She’s going for a physical proximity she doesn’t enjoy in the myth. As a spacecraft designed to collect, measure and record data she takes an objective, impersonal view. Symbolically taking her power back by withdrawing demands he be different, she asks for nothing but to observe him up close, neutralizing his ability to hurt her again.

We want to know what she can show us to increase our understanding of him, too. In his chasing after assorted nymphs and beauties he “fulfilled” many women creating lots of children but never with Juno. She was reduced to creating her own. Apparently Greek gods could do that.

She will orbit Jupiter closer and closer for a year and a half then end her mission February 20, 2018. That ending date gives her a predetermined agenda she’s intending to execute. In light of their history that is encouraging. It gives the possibility that unlike the past she is starting off from a place of integrity with intention.  




The charts

Memories Of Astrology & Seattle

Memories Of Astrology & Seattle

Just wanted to share some of the memorable experience I had attending the North West Astrology Conference (NORWAC) in the Seattle, Washington area and visiting Seattle with an old friend Memorial weekend.

I was invited to present through a colleague and previous faculty member, Samuel Reynolds. I had heard from my mentor, Steven Forrest, that the NORWAC community was like family. You get that clear sense from day one.


Vernon Robinson, Marie O’Neill, and me.

Through Sam’s connections two other astrologers of color who had studied with Steven also attended. I was very pleased to meet fellow faculty members, Marie O’Neill and Vernon Robinson. I’ve been attending astrological conferences around the country since the 1990’s and prior to this year’s NORWAC had only seen one person of color presenting. An important threshold has been crossed in our field and I am very proud to have been a part of it.

Celebrating Diversity

Sam Reynolds and the Diversity Scholarship winners

NORWAC committed to representing more diversity this conference through establishing a scholarship fund. The community stepped up in a big way and as a result underserved groups were provided assistance to attend this year. I couldn’t help being proud at how young black and brown astrologers embraced the opportunity and represented. The overall turnout of younger astrologers showed astrology’s broad appeal and its future will be advanced forward in diverse and relevant ways.

In addition to the scholarship and knowledge shared by astrologer heavy weights like Richard Tarnas, Robert Hand, Demetra George, Rick Levine, Lynn Bell, Philip Sedgwick, Alan Oken and well known astrologers like Hakan Kirkoglu, Frank C. Clifford, Mark Jones, Kelly Surtees; Samuel presented on The Astrology of Sherlock Holmes and Using Astrology To Survive Your Twenties, Marie presented on Marketing: Getting The Word Out and Vernon presented The Astrological Meaning Of The First Slave Ship In The U.S. Both were well received with Vernon’s presentation bringing deep insights and heartfelt awareness around the relevance of that event to our individual lives and cultural relationships today.

I presented on The Astrology of the N.R.A. Two years ago I made a note to research the organization after studying one of the most popular astrological charts for the United States. During those two years I did a few presentations based on that chart. In preparing those presentations I noticed an aspect in the chart that immediately brought the N.R.A. to mind. I would normally shy away from touching such a controversial subject and on the surface it may not strike one as interesting. But I felt compelled to understand who are the people who belong to this organization and support its mission. They are a reflection of our country and some aspect of each of us. They have, to my mind, an outsized impact on our national ability to heal the gun violence in our country. And as any astrologer will tell you if you want to know the what and why, the chart tells the story.

I was very happy with the response to my presentation. I will be developing the information further offering a post and publishing something more in depth soon and when the links are available will link to it here. I look forward to attending NORWAC again in the future.

But it wasn’t all stars and charts. I had a couple of days to be a tourist and catch up in person with my dear friend Victoria. Seattle was great. I loved the Pike Place market and the Pike Place New England Clam Chowder was kicking! If you’re a clam chowder fan its a must do. Sci fi freak that I am could not leave without seeing the Space Needle which was so cool. My two days didn’t leave time for the Sci-fi museum so you know I’m definitely going back.

What really amazed me, I mean jaw dropping amazement was visiting the Chihuly Gardens and Glass exhibit at the base of the Space Needle. I love glass sculpture but had never heard of Dale Chihuly before. All I can say is I am a huge fan now. What a gifted artist. His ability to use breath to turn fire and earth into stunningly beautiful glass that captures graceful movement whether evoking a lithe ballerina, flowing vegetation, Native American baskets or majestic sea creatures his artistry is a feast for the eyes. If you plan on visiting Seattle its not to be missed. I’ll be doing a post on his astrological chart in near future.

Astrology, Law of Attraction and Happiness

Astrology, Law of Attraction and Happiness


“Be mindful of intention. Intention is the seed that creates the future” –Gautama Buddha


Astrology is a uniquely relevant tool for personal growth. Anything that comes into being has a point of origin whether person, place, or thing. The astrological chart signifies where the planets, asteroids and stars were at that point in time. Their symbolic meaning is a map of your vibration’s frequency and indicates an impressive amount of useful information for achieving what personal fulfillment and self-realization is for you.

You are unique and you are no different from many that have come before you. You are individual and you are part of the ecosystem that is life. You are a spiritual being vibrating at your signature frequency and having an experience of yourself as solidly physical. You are both, and at the same time.

Consider what attracts you. What do you enjoy in life? Given two choices what can you learn about you from your preference? What makes you feel sad, sorry, happy, loved, angry? Each are feelings reflecting your vibration’s frequency. The answers begin to identify what resides in your vibration’s makeup and is reflected in your astrological chart. More than superficial descriptions of ancient symbols, it is your personal mandala able to give greater and deeper insights as you become ready to see them if you choose.



The map isn’t the journey and the chart isn’t you

Man Against Night SkyWhile your chart has the meaning it has it only does what maps do, point the way, show the terrain and suggest timings for key events. How you interpret it and reflect it is an ongoing work of self-awareness. An absolutely self-limiting way to think is that you are bound by it. An aware way is to use it in concert with the understanding of Law of Attraction.


Law of Attraction teaches vibrational awareness

The Law of Attraction is one of the unchanging Universal Laws that govern our lives. You will find them represented in the teachings of major belief systems, philosophies and cultures. Here are some sayings in how our culture shows an awareness of this law: What you put out you get back; What goes around comes around; It takes money to make money.

What you give attention to you attract. According to how this Law works that’s what its teaching us about ourselves and feelings are the bio-feedback sensors telling us if we’re getting it right. The astrological chart shows the beliefs that got us here. Those same symbols tell us how to take our game to a higher level.

So find reasons to feel good, light, joyful, gratitude, love – not to get something. Do it because it feels good to feel like you have what you want whether you do or not. That’s the Secret’s real secret. The irony is when we act like we have or are what we want then guess what? Law of Attraction can only match the signal we’re sending cause that’s how it works. Feeling good creates what you want to come in. It’s not about ignoring reality. It’s about not letting reality tell you what to think, feel or be. Isn’t it easier to grow a seedling into a mighty oak tree than to uproot an old one? The beliefs creating what you now call reality are the old oak. Give all attention to the seedling and grow something more to your liking.