Articles and Podcasts Index

Astrology 101 – Outer Planets, How we integrate their meaning 

Astrology of the Soul – Golden Rose Psychic Radio podcast

Astrology Overview for 2015  Golden Rose Psychic Radio podcast 

Aspects Defined

Auto Astrology –  Finding your perfect car in the stars

Autumn Equinox 2017   ***NEW***

Autumn Equinox 2016 

Autumn Equinox 2015

Autumn Equinox  2014

Autumn Equinox 2013

Cosmic Week! And My Upcoming Event

Dream Work Made Easy – Golden Rose Psychic Radio Show 10/14/15   

Dreamweavers – Dream Interpretation Information

Eclipse – Radio Show – and the Progressed Chart

Galactic Center 26-27 Degrees Sagittarius ***NEW***

Golden Rose Psychic Radio Podcast: An Evening with Astrologer and Tarot Master Melissa Stratton Interview only Full show link

Golden Rose Psychic Radio Podcast:  Dream a Little Dream of Me – Dream Analysis part 2

Golden Rose Psychic Radio Interview  Podcast: Dream Analysis Part 1

Golden Rose Psychic Radio Interview  Podcast  Spiritual Astrology: Those Heavenly Messages

Houses of the Birth Chart 

Jupiter in Libra 2016-17 

Jupiter in Virgo August 11, 2015 through September 9, 2016

Jupiter Enters Leo July 16, 2014

Mercury Retrograde

Merry Solstice Orbs

Modes in Astrology: Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable

Moon Signs

Neptune in Pisces – 19th and 21st Century Transits

Regaining Balance – Making sense of the Election 

Rising Sign – what it reveals in your birth chart

Saturn in Scorpio

Solar Eclipse, Solar Flares, Spring Equinox March 20, 2015

Spring Equinox 2017

Spring Equinox 2016

Spring Equinox 2014

Summer Solstice 2017

Summer Solstice 2016

Summer Solstice 2015

Summer Solstice 2014

Summer Solstice 2013

US Presidential Election 2016 – Astrology at Work

Venus in Aries  

Venus Retrograde 2017

Venus Retrograde 2015 

Venus Transits of the 19th Century

Winter Solstice 2016

Winter Solstice 2015

Winter Solstice 2014

Winter Solstice 2013

Year of the Black Water Snake




Autumn Equinox 2017

Autumn Lady Illustration by Eleanor Abbot


The Autumn Equinox this year,  Spring in the Southern Hemisphere,  arrives on Friday 9/22  at 4:02p EDT, 1:22p  PDT and  20:02 UT.  Earthsky has good info on the Equinox  and Farmer’s Almanac does too.

The Equinox marks the beginning of a new season and the chart for the Equinox reveals the season’s astrological trends. The Autumn Equinox is the exact moment the Sun enters  Libra each year.

In this year’s Equinox chart asteroid Vesta is close to the Sun adding her lovely flame to the Libra vibration and majestic Jupiter remains in Libra too. The Moon is in steamy Scorpio, foreshadowing Jupiter’s entrance into Scorpio soon to come on 10/10. Venus, Mars and Mercury are all in Virgo, Saturn continues his journey in Sagittarius while the outer planets – Uranus, Neptune and Pluto along with Chiron  remain in the signs they have been in for years: Uranus in Aries, Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, and Pluto in Capricorn.


Autumn Equinox 2017


In last’s year’s Equinox chart, which occurred a few weeks before the contentious US presidential election, the planets lined up to form major stressful aspects which played out in the tense election and aftermath.  Equinox 2017’s chart is much calmer with several nice planetary connections and few challenging ones.

The Moon, reflecting public attitude, is in intense Scorpio which indicates people are not in the mood to take any shit and if it were ill aspected could mean deep trouble brewing. However the equinox Moon basically stands alone with only a nice sextile to Venus in Virgo and no negative connection to any other planet. Venus as the ruler of Libra is significant in the Equinox chart and this gentle sextile to the Moon brings potential for pragmatic, thoughtful Virgo vibes to calm Scorpio’s stingy tail tendency. 

Mars is in Virgo too adding his energy to  more intelligent decision making. Venus = Women and Mars = Men, so this also bodes well for better rapport between the sexes. At macro levels this aids major governmental decision makers, and up close in your own family and relationship life it helps you make calmer more rational choices.

Communicator Mercury is also in Virgo, happy to be in a sign he rules, and forms a favorable trine to Pluto in Capricorn. This earth sign trine increases the potential for smart choices versus off the cuff reactions, and also helps Pluto continue his transformation in more harmonious ways.

Saturn forms a trine to Uranus as he has most of this year (looser now, but still active) and they both plug into the karmic North Node in Leo, so we have the Grand Fire Trine which has been blazing in the heavens for months. This dynamic connection continues the undeniable force for change in worldly structures and gives access to more creative solutions, and at the personal level helps you tap into your own creative drive too.

Jupiter in peace and love Libra forms an opposition  (like a see-saw) to Uranus in might makes right  Aries, indicating the back and forth swing between those who urge diplomatic solutions, versus those who press for combative action. Jupiter forms a trine to the karmic South Node in Aquarius, so there is help if those willing to think outside the box speak up. But Jupiter, mighty though he is,  struggles to match the fire power of a Uranus/Saturn trine.  So in spite of the nice dynamics in the Equinox chart militant voices are likely to be the loudest.

There is another opposition in the Equinox chart – Mars in Virgo is opposite Neptune in Pisces. Mars in Virgo is controlled, intelligent, focused and fact driven. If he can’t see it, touch it, taste it, Mars in Virgo won’t buy it.  Neptune in Pisces, the sign he rules, is a beautiful thing bringing greater spiritual awareness and helping spread more love and kindness. The downside to Neptune/Pisces is delusion with head in the sand denial of any facts contradicting cherished beliefs.

Picture this see-saw Mars/Neptune opposition as the scientist trying to explain how climate change creates more intense hurricanes versus someone who either thinks it’s a government conspiracy or the wrath of God, and you get the idea.  Another more positive take on this opposition is the disheartened victim of any of the current hurricanes, earthquakes or wildfires being comforted by an aid agency person who encourages them to know they have practical help available so their basic needs will be met.

There is one major challenge in the Equinox chart, coming from a square of Saturn in Sagittarius to Chiron in Pisces. Like the fire trines so active all year, this square has also been active throughout 2017. Saturn in Sagittarius wants to hurry up and change worldly structures even if it means burning them down. While wounded healer Chiron in Pisces is extremely sensitive and wants to slow things down to allow enough time for everyone to integrate changes so they won’t be confused or in pain.

This kind of mutable square challenge can be resolved by bringing greater awareness to the situation and opening up lines of communicate so solutions can be found.  One example of this square in action is white supremacists vowing to protect civil war statues versus those who see them as monuments to a racially intolerant, painful past. If people could get beyond their fear and bias to create a dialog looking at possible solutions, resolution might be found. Take the statues out of public venues and put them in museums for example. It’s obviously difficult, therein lies the challenge, and here in the Equinox chart this looks to continue. Is resolution to this and other challenges possible? Perhaps so, but first there must be willingness to admit that dialog is possible and take steps to create it.

In your personal life it’s important to be willing to create dialog with those you disagree with too. If you stubbornly refuse to leave your own corner you miss the opportunity to learn and grow. Also remember to take advantag of the all the Virgo energy this season. All the quick moving planets in Virgo connect to transformer Pluto, meaning when you take action the results will be more powerful,  So it’s a great time to ‘harvest’-  clear out and clean up the clutter in your home and personal possessions. Root out your closet and donate clothes, shoes etc. you no longer use.  Organize your garage, attic, basement wherever you store your stuff and generally create an environment that promotes calmness and clarity.  You’ll be glad you did!

Wishing you a wonderful new season!






Summer Solstice 2017

Mermaid Rock by Ashlee Ray

IMAGE NOTE:  I found this art by Ashlee Ray and knew it was perfect for this year’s Solstice post.  Mermaids always resonate to the Sun entering watery Cancer and this mermaid has attitude too! She’s out of the water, and as her bright colors and sayings suggest, she’s tapping into the type of fire sign energy at the Solstice. You can find more of Ashlee’s work at ArtbyAshleeRay

Summer Solstice arrives this year arrives on June 20th at 9:24 p, Pacific time, and on June 21st at 12:24 a Eastern time, 4:24 a UT  – Winter Solstice for those in the Southern Hemisphere arrives on June 21st at 2:24 p AET.


The June Solstice is the moment each year when the Sun enters Cancer and is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. EarthSky always has good Solstice info as does Farmer’s Almanac. And here’s a slide show of Summer Solstice celebrations around the world in case you’d like to join in.


Summer Solstice at Stonehenge


A bit of astrology 101: when you cast an event chart like the Solstice, the planets will always be at the exact same degrees no matter where you live, but the Rising Sign/Ascendant shifts according to the location. For example the Solstice chart for London has the ascendant at 24* Gemini, and for San Francisco it is 13* Capricorn.

I cast the Solstice cast for Washington DC, the foggy bottom capital city of the US,  because it’s foggier than usual, and at the Solstice moment misty Pisces is rising in the DC chart along with nebulous Neptune very near the ascendant and Wounded Healer Chiron not far behind. This means we can count on more obscure murkiness oozing out of the US political scene over the Summer.


Summer Solstice 2017


The Solstice chart is the birth chart for this new season and indicates trends we can expect. As always the solstice moment is the exact time the Sun enters Cancer every year.  This year Mars also travels in Cancer swimming like Michael Phelps churning through this watery sign. Last year Mars was retrograde in steamy Scorpio stirring up deep angry waters, while Cancerian waters are loving and healing. A nice shift!

At the Solstice Mars reaches out to satellite dish Neptune trying to tune into Neptune’s Piscean message of One Love, but since Neptune is retrograde now, all Mars gets is Neptunian fuzz. The USA, born on July 4th has Sun, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter in Cancer all of which are triggered by Mars in the Solstice chart so expect the US to be a center of confused messaging this Summer.

Adding to the confused message concept is communicator Mercury at the very last degree of air sign Gemini, the sign he rules.  Last degrees are considered ‘charged’ and Mercury is charged up with all the news whirling around lately. The recent mixed-message election in the UK, political run-offs imminent in the US, members of Congress get shot at playing baseball, while President Trump unleashes more Twitter tirades (Mercury and Gemini rule Twitter btw). Mercury must be dizzy from it all! Since he is at this potent degree at the Solstice and forms a tense square to Chiron, expect more off balanced messages (and Trump Twitter Twirling) throughout the season.

Moon in the Solstice chart equates to the public’s mood, while Venus indicates social values. The Solstice Moon is in earthy Taurus the sign in which she is exalted. Venus rules Taurus and Venus herself is in Taurus traveling next to the exalted Moon. This lovely and loving duo reach out to transformer Pluto in fellow earth sign Capricorn. Venus and the Moon represent feminine energy and this welcoming hand to Pluto indicates their willingness to help transform in positive ways.

The movie Wonder Woman was recently released and reaches many European countries a few days before the Solstice and is archetypal of this Venus/Moon to Pluto connection. The movie portrays incredibly powerful female role models, especially Wonder Woman herself, and the film set records for the biggest domestic opening for a female director (Patty Jenkins) too.  Frankly it blew me away! Definitely one for the big screen. I was heartened by the idea that so many younger girls and women who see it will have these powerful females as role models. I see this as Venus and the Moon in action! It’s no cosmic coincidence that Wonder Woman is a summer blockbuster this year. Even Mars in Cancer now, which rules women and children, plays into this theme. P.S. if you see the movie, remember that Mars the god of war, is known as Ares in Greek mythology.


Huge Jupiter who recently turned direct maintains his position in airy Libra, the other sign ruled by Venus. Libra rules peace, love and diplomacy, qualities which seem elusive in our current contentious times, and in fact both Mars and Pluto form a T-square to Jupiter, rather like a hangman’s gallows where Jupiter swings helpless to act. However, you can never count Jupiter out, with his mighty strength he could swing up to the top of the T and take the whole platform with him! Will peace and love still save the day?! (Ask Wonder Woman what she thinks about that.)

Saturn in fiery Sagittarius is still near the Galactic Center in the Solstice chart and change-agent Uranus is in fellow fire sign Aries sending a sparky beam to Saturn attempting to light up the connection to the GC.  It’s difficult now because Saturn is moving in reverse, but that’s not keeping Uranus from trying.  At the same time Uranus forms another angle to the karmic North Node in the 3rd fire sign of Leo and together with Saturn they form a powerful Grand Fire Trine. That’s one of the reasons I choose the Mermaid image for this Solstice issue.  This mermaid may be a creature of the water, but she’s got some fire in her too!

Saturn turns direct later in the season (on 8/25) just after the total Solar Eclipse of August 21st at 28* Leo which vibrates directly to this Grand Fire Trine at the Solstice. When Saturn wakes up, he’ll remember the message Uranus was sending and once again lead us toward restructuring the world from a higher dimensional perspective, and if we use this energy well we’ll be building a new and better future on the best platform ever in human history. May it be so!

What does this mean for you personally? The most positive use of the Solstice energies is to let the fiery energy inspire you to be more creative in everything you do, whether it’s sweeping the floor or painting your masterpiece, and have more fearless fun too! The airy energy plays well with fire and helps communication stay on track, especially when you remember to stay focused. This easier to do when you blend in the grounded, sweet earth element.  The watery energy is a beautiful healing force, so schedule some bodywork sessions while you’re at the beach. Just be aware not to steam up the fire by taking things too personally, especially when it involves family.

So the outside world may be dizzy, confused and too hot to handle this season, but if you use the Solstice energy well your personal world will be full of fun, healing energy with practical solutions at hand to help you transform your own life in positive ways. Here’s wishing you all that and more. Happy Solstice everyone!




2017 is a Galactic Center year!

The Galactic Center 26-27 Degrees Sagittarius

The Milky Way

I’m writing this on April 5, 2017 as Saturn is stationed at 27 degrees Sagittarius.  This is the degree known as the Galactic Center at the center of our home galaxy – the Milky Way.  Saturn has been at the Galactic Center since late February and turns retrograde today to stay at this degree until the end of May, then returns in mid November 2017 and is at or close to the Galactic Center until December 19, 2017. Saturn is the 2nd largest planet in the solar system, so his movements affect everyone. Saturn governs worldly authority structures and only returns to this Galactic Center degree once every 30 years.  So we are in the midst of a very galactic year! Can you feel it?

Astronomers discuss the center of the Milky Way in scientific terms, but metaphysically inclined astrologers point to the Galactic Center as a seat or portal which connects to multi-universes. A powerful place! I first came across the idea from the book Pleiadian Agenda by  Barbara Hand Clow and immediately resonated with the concept. It interested me so much that I began to study it in relationship to the birth charts of my clients and others I knew who had Sun or other major planets at or near 26* Sagittarius. I soon realized these people did stand out from the ordinary, especially when it was their ascendant degree. The folks I studied who have the Galactic Center as their rising sign degree were so original as to be in a category of their own!

One of these days I’ll write an article about the GC, but following Saturn’s lead I wanted my readers to know how significant this time is. So here is an article I’ve had in my files for years about the Galactic Center by Paul O. Hewitt, and I also included  several other links about the G.C at the end of the article. I’d love to hear from any of you who have this degree prominent in your own birth chart.


Saturn looking cosmic at the G.C.



by Paul O. Hewitt

The Center of our Milky Way Galaxy is proving to be a fascinating and practical addition to my clients’ charts. Having studied it for 12 years now, my observations would indicate that it is probably the second strongest spot in any astrology chart, following the Sun. It is a stunning source of energy, motivation, and aspiration. The Galactic Center is the Sun of our Sun. It is the source of most of the gravitational energy present in our galaxy, and probably the source of most of the energy in any chart, transformed through our own Sun.

In 1932, Karl Jansky, a Bell Telephone Laboratories engineer, was searching for the source of static affecting overseas telephone lines. To find the source he built the first 95 foot movable radio- telescope to detect it. Part of the static turned out to be created by the center of our Galaxy at 26 degrees of Sagittarius. Astronomers paid little attention to the discovery, but to the astrology of consciousness, this discovery should rank right up there with the discovery of Pluto in 1930.

In the late 1960’s, astronomers finally honed in on the GC (Galactic Center) with radio and infrared instruments. They were astounded by the immense energies to be found there. A huge Black Hole is thought to be at the center, about the size of a large star, but containing the mass of four million suns. The staggering amount of material being drawn into the black hole radiates energy at many frequencies.

According to “Astrophysical Directions” by Michael and Margaret Erlewine, energy emerges from the GC over 2 entire degrees of longitude near the last degrees of Sagittarius. Perhaps it is even more than that.

Some interesting observations have come to light about the late degrees of Sagittarius. Horary astrologer William Lilly is the source of our observations on the Void-of-Course Moon. He observed that the Moon is not really Void-of-Course in late Sagittarius. Prior to the discovery of the Galactic Center, no astrologer would have known why.

A good measurement of the GC is 26sa10 (26 degrees, 10 minutes of Sagittarius) in 1950. According to standard rates of precession, that would have been 25sa28 in 1900, and will be 26sa52 in the year 2000.

Facts about the Milky Way Galaxy

· Age 13-15 Billion years

· Number of Stars 100 billion

· Diameter 100,000 light years

· Diameter of the central bulge 25,000 light years

· Distance of our sun from the GC 27,000 light years

· Orbital velocity of our Sun around the GC 135 miles per second

· Time for the Sun to orbit around the GC 250 million years

The GC is so active that astrologers could think of it in planetary terms, since that is what astrologers seem most comfortable with. I look at the GC by house position in every chart, and the Sagittarian theme works well. Solar arcs and transits to this spot in every chart bring up travel, educational, spiritual and philosophical themes in client discussions. One of the most

devastating times for a client has been Solar Arc Pluto square the natal GC. A profound crises of faith and belief occurs almost every time.

Another very curious impact of personal planets in aspect to the GC is the “other worldly” psychological impact these aspects seem to create. Some clients with aspects to the GC speak of

not feeling 100 percent human, or not feeling they have had human ancestory. Their inner dynamic is centered around feeling as if they have come to this planet from some other place. They describe thinking like a galactic ambassador, and feeling as if they are here representing

energies, knowledge and civilizations that are extraterrestrial in origin. One client with 26 degrees Sag rising, related nightly dreams in many different alien bodies.

As a career counselor, I am always looking for the most energized planets in a chart. Planets in aspect to the Galactic Center are certainly energized, and can be among the strongest planets in the chart. A search of the Galactic Center is built into my Career Report.

To illustrate planetary aspects with the GC, here are a few example charts, drawn from my files

· Alfred Adler, psychologist and psychiatrist, who in his analysis of individual development, stressed the sense of inferiority rather than sexual drives, as the motivating force in human life. He named this psychological feeling an “inferiority complex”. His Saturn (the planet of inferiority) is 25 Sagittarius, while his Mars is 25 Aquarius.

· Napoleon Bonaparte (Emperor of France, born Aug 15th, 1769) with his helio Mars at 23 Virgo, and Sun at 22 Leo. The GC in the late 1700’s was 23 Sagittarius.

· President George H. Bush with conservative Saturn at 25 Libra, Node at 26 Leo, and his Mars at 25 Aquarius.

· Prince Charles of England with his 29 Sagittarius Jupiter (the royal aristocratic planet) conjunct the GC. Mars is at 20 Sagittarius.

· President Bill Clinton, with his Sun at 26 Leo, Jupiter at 23 Libra and Athena (the lawyer, social policy expert) at 27 Sagittarius.

· Hillary Clinton with innovative, break-the-mold Uranus at 25 Gemini, Moon at 29 Pisces, and Juno (wife of) at 29 Sagittarius.

· Princess Diana with Moon at 25 Aquarius, Athena at 25 Pisces, Juno at 26 Pisces, Uranus at 23 Leo and the mean Node at 28 Leo.

· Bob Dylan with Mercury (great lyrics) at 27 Gemini, and Neptune at 24 Virgo.

· Queen Elizabeth II of England with her Jupiter at 22 Aquarius, Uranus at 27 Pisces, and Neptune at 22 Leo.

As these few examples illustrate, the psychology, personality and sometimes the career choice of an individual, can be indicated by planets in aspect to the Galactic Center. In late December of 1995 Jupiter conjuncted the Galactic Center once again. Perhaps with this new cycle, it is time for most astrologers to begin adding the Galactic Center to their clients’ charts. Collectively we can then all expand our horizons beyond the solar system, and begin to study the Sun of our Sun.

Copyright © 1996 JustUs & Associates,Paul O. Hewit

More Galactic center information:

Core of the Milky Way by Eric Francis

The Galactic Center and the Centaurs by Zane B. Stein

Me and My Galactic Center, Astrology Weekly article by Nic Gaudette



Rising Sign – what it reveals in your birth chart.

The Rising Sign or Ascendant is determined from the exact moment of birth and sets your own personal zodiac wheel in position. It is associated with physical body type and general appearance and also indicates energy patters at the time of birth.  The rising sign reveals your personality, your persona, your mask. It reveals how others see you as compared to how your sense yourself, which has more to do with the Moon and Sun Signs.

The rising sign indicates ego formation and generally is the face you present to the world – the image you cast, how you ‘dawn’ upon other when you walk into a room.  Because the rising sign is associated with personality it tends to become more obvious in childhood and teen years, as compared to the Moon sign which is usually evident from infancy.

Short descriptions:

Aries Rising Direct, aggressive, goal oriented, fiery personality. Can be perceived as selfish or preoccupied with their issues only; often have an ‘in your face’ attitude. Sought out to be leaders and big idea generators.

Ex: Lena Horn, Morgan Freeman, Shakira

Taurus Rising Kind, sweet, good natured, stubborn personality. Perceived as practical ‘like a rock’, with a down to earth attitude that can be trusted. Known for their gentle nature, which becomes bull-headed and can explode unexpectedly if pushed too far. Sought out for practical solutions.

Ex: Toni Morrison, David Beckham, Miley Cyrus

Gemini Rising Social, versatile, flighty and fun personality. Excellent communicators. May be perceived as undependable, “butterfly types”. Sought out for their bright minds and ability to produce information almost magically.

Ex: Julia Child, Bruce Springsteen, Nick Cannon

Cancer Rising Nurturing, caring, loving, smothering personality. Perceived as the friend whose shoulder you can cry on, the one who will always be there for you. Can be needy ‘forever children’ who refuse to grow up. Sought out for their healing energy and sympathetic nature.

Ex: Dalai Lama, Pope Francis, Liv Tyler

Leo Rising Creative, bright, generous, ego-centric personality. The “golden ones”. Perceived as the best one to manage things, always chosen to ‘head-up’ things. Known for being bossy – “my way or no way” types. Sought out when something needs to be done “right”.

Ex: Meryl Streep, Malala Yousafzai, Justin Timberlake

Virgo Rising Analytical, intelligent, classy and obsessive personality. Perceived as the smartest one. Are often overly critical and perfection oriented, sometimes neurotic. Sought out for problem solving advice and intelligent insight.

Ex: Florence Nightingale, Steve Jobs, Emma Watson

Libra Rising Lovely, charming, gracious, wishy-washy personality. Perceived as talented, well balanced and socially adept. Their beauty and charm attracts; their inability to make up their minds, and/or devil’s advocate style repels. Sought out for charming presence and diplomatic ability.

Ex:  John F. Kennedy, Denzel Washington,  Katy Perry

Scorpio Rising Intense, powerful, sexy, perverse personality. Perceived as much more intense and powerful than they may sense themselves to be. This can lead to scape-goating/projecting behavior from others. Most powerful of all rising signs – an “old soul”. Also considered the sexiest. Sought out for their focused attention and ability to get to the bottom of things.

Ex: Vladimer Putin, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Rafael Nadal

Sagittarius Rising Playful, exuberant, full of themselves, outrageous personality. Perceived as wild-child, adventurous types, who will go anywhere, do anything at a moment’s notice. The Sage philosopher. Can have trouble focusing on one thing at a time, and may act unintentionally arrogant. Sought out to have fun with!

Ex: Bob Marley, Ellen Degeneres, Ophra

Capricorn Rising Motivated, smart, structured, cool personality. Perceived as intelligent, capable, dependable and the one to get the job done.  Often appear colder than they really are.  Sought out for their reliability and dry sense of humor.

Ex: Anthony Hopkins, Dylan McDermott, Zooey Deschanel

Aquarius Rising Unique, creative, inventive, weird personality. Perceived as rebels, fighters for causes, interesting and unusual.  Are known for stubbornly refusing to believe in any ideas but their own. Sought our for their originality and ahead-of-times concepts

Ex: H.G. Wells, Barack Obama, Jennifer Lawrence

Pisces Rising Spiritual, artistic, sensitive, moody personality. Perceived as flexible, creative, empathetic, dreamy and spacey. Known for always forgetting something. Sought out for their ability to tap into other states of being and their effortless creativity.

Ex: John Coltrane, Deepak Chopra, Gwyneth Paltrow.

I like this “First Impressions” of the rising sign by Starheal Astrology

Rising sign snaphots from Starheal Astrology


Spring Equinox 2017

Spring Sylphs Dancing


Spring Equinox 2017 arrives March 20th

at 6:29a  EDT,  3:39a PDT and 10:29 UT


This year’s Spring Equinox – Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere – arrives on 3/20/17.  EarthSky has “All you need to know” about the Equinox, and  Farmer’s Almanac  offers a live telescope show  of the Equinox’s arrival.

If you live in the Northeast US and Canada it doesn’t look much like Spring now with a dense snow cover (we just got 30 + inches here in NE PA- yikes!) and other northern and mountain areas are still snow covered too. In fact the entire US is experiencing lower temperatures, with frost killing temps in GA and FL damaging fruit crops. After the mild early Springs over the last few years, changeable Mother Nature reminds us to stay on our collective toes!

Each year at this March Equinox the astrological  wheel begins afresh when the Sun leaves the last degree of the zodiac to enter the first degree – 0* Aries.   The chart for the Equinox indicates trends for this new season.

Spring Equinox 2017 Chart


The Equinox chart maintains the Aries energy which has been strong all year long.  As always at the Spring Equinox the Sun is at 0* Aries and this year is joined by Venus retrograde, Mercury and Uranus in Aries too.  Fire sign Aries is a sign of restless movement, always pushing forward like its symbol the Ram. The Sun shines well in vibrant Aries and meets with wayward Venus from 3/24-26. The Sun reminds Venus about her kick-ass Aries red boots, and encourages her to put them on and go dancing! (Be careful because this might encourage kicking someone’s ass too!)

Mercury is moving quickly ahead of the Equinox Sun so they miss communing, but since Mercury meets the Aries Sun more than any other planet he knows the Sun’s Aries  message well. “Hear ye, Hear ye!” cries Mercury, “Change is here  – make yourselves ready!” The Sun does connect with wild-eyed Uranus this Spring from 4/12-4/16. Change agent Uranus in Aries is a defining energy for the current times, and when the Sun joins him everyone feels the changing vibrations, like it or not!

Mars is the ruler of Aries and is in earth sign Taurus at the Equinox. Mars in Taurus helps ground the innovative ideas of Aries which is very helpful when those ideas are well informed, but stubborn Taurus also gives solid energy for narcissist hot-heads chomping at the bit to do their will. North Korea’s Kim Jong-un comes to mind, whose own birth chart vibrates to this Equinox chart. With the missile rattling North Korea is doing at the moment, that’s not surprising! Transformer Pluto just crossed Kim Jong-un’s Sun in January and will again this September.  Pluto takes almost 250 years to go around the zodiac wheel, so this is a rare connection. What will Pluto transform for Kim Jong-un and the country he rules with a deadly hand? Here’s a hint, Pluto is relentless and is named after the old god of Hell.

The Moon at the Equinox moment is at 27* Sagittarius exactly joined with Saturn in the same degree very close to the Galactic Center  The Moon represents the mood of the public and Saturn in Sag. indicates large, quickly moving structural change. Both at this potent GC degree add more energy to the Equinox Aries push forward motion.


Energy of the Galactic Center

Mighty Jupiter is in Libra the sign opposite Aries, which could help bring things into better balance, but Jupiter is moving backward now so doesn’t offer much help. On top of that Pluto forms a tense square to Jupiter on the Equinox.  This square repeats the long-term conflict between those who want change at any cost, versus those who resist change no matter the cost.

Mystical Neptune maintains his long term presence in Pisces in the Equinox chart and in fact just moved to 12* Pisces for the first time in our lifetime. Healer Chiron is still in Pisces too continuing the Pisces/Aries blend prevalent since the Winter Solstice. It’s fortunate the softer loving energy of watery Pisces is present now because without it the Aries war-mongers would have more sway. To put things in perspective, the last time Uranus was in Aries was during the years when Hitler became the Dictator of Germany and began the relentless push toward WWII.

So how do the Equinox energies affect you at the personal level?  With 6 planets in active fire signs you’ll feel bursts of motivating energy, and Mars in productive Taurus helps bring motivation into actual results. It’s a wonderful time to follow through on plans which were simmering on the back burner. Huge Jupiter in Libra, even moving backward, demands more beauty and grace in life and with the flowing creativity of Pisces lapping around you’ll be more able to tap intuitive, creative inspiration. Top this off with the Galactic Center influence and the skies have no limits!

Use this energy positively (versus letting simmering emotional outbursts boil over) and you will have a wonderful new season! Maya Angelou born with Sun in Aries and whose own birth chart has many similarities to this Equinox chart has wonderful advice for the energies of ‘now’. Hear her words:

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style. ~ Maya Angelou

Act on her wonderful advice and you will have a beautiful new season!










Moon Signs

Moon – Your Emotional Expression

Your Sun sign is easy to know from the date you were born. For example anyone born on March 15th will always have their Sun in Pisces, But the Moon changes signs every 2 and 1/2 days, so you have to look up your Moon sign in an astrological calendar called an Ephemeris for the day and year you were born.  If you don’t know your Moon sign you can find it at MyAstrology

In astrology the Moon signifies your emotional nature – how you feel and express your feelings. The Moon indicates the emotional strengths you have to draw upon as well as your deep subconscious urges/ needs/ compulsions. The Moon indicates how you get your emotional needs met, and represents habitual behaviors – your “comfort zone”. Traditionally the Moon is associated with Mother, how you are nurtured when young, and your genetic heritage.

Your Moon sign colors and defines your emotional expression.



Aries – Need is to trust natural aggressive instinct and acknowledge desire to lead and be first. Comfort zone is to always be on the move!  Aries is the Feisty Moon.

Examples: Bill Gates, Salma Hayek, Bernie Sanders


TaurusNeed is to draw upon intuitive connection to material plane – Mother Earth, and to recognize need for peace and stability. Taurus Moon is the original “comfort zone” Moon. Happiest when they feel settled and comfortable.   Taurus is the Solid as a Rock Moon.

Examples: Mother Teresa, Hugh Grant, Nora Jones


GeminiNeed is to focus many talents/ideas/concepts and acknowledge desire to be recognized for knowledge and wit. Comfort zone is multitasking and sharing with others. Gemini is the Versatile Moon.

Examples: Barack Obama, Kristen Wiig, Jim Carrey


CancerNeed is to nurture, and to recognize own need for security and to be loved and nurtured. Comfort zone is caring for others and feeling acknowledged for it.  Cancer is the Healing Moon.

Examples: Claude Monet, Eleanor Roosevelt, Taylor Swift


LeoNeed is to fully engage their creativity and share it generously, and to acknowledge desire to be the center of attention. Comfort zone is having fun! Leo is the Dramatic Moon.

Examples: Tom Hanks, Queen Latifah, Venus Williams


VirgoNeed is to rely on innate sense of perfection and ability to integrate /assimilate, and to recognize the internal critic. Comfort zone is being prepared. Virgo is the Smart Moon.

Examples: The Dalai Lama, Stephen Hawking, J.K. Rowling


LibraNeed is to rely on natural graciousness and diplomacy and to acknowledge need for harmony and social acceptance. Comfort zone is knowing they are loved.  Libra is the Lovers Moon.

Examples: Maya Angelou, Justin Bieber, Alicia Keyes


ScorpioNeed is to trust own power and emotional depth, and to acknowledge urge to manipulate and control. Comfort zone is ability to go deeper than anyone else. Scorpio is the Intense Moon.

Examples: Nelson Mandela, Mark Zuckerberg, Lady Gaga


SagittariusNeed is to rely on trust and optimism, and recognize desire to always be on the move in mind, spirit and body. Comfort zone is freedom to roam. Sagittarius is the Optimistic (Outrageous!) Moon.

Examples: Yoko Ono, Ophra Winfrey, Charlie Sheen


Capricorn Need is to depend on innate sense of time and structure, and to recognize need to control from fear based emotions. Comfort zone is feeling in control of emotions.  Capricorn is the Cool and Collected Moon.

Examples: George Clooney, Melania Trump, Dwayne Johnson “The Rock”


AquariusNeed is to rely on own unique understanding/ vision/ insight and to acknowledge desire to ‘change the world’. Comfort zone is feeling awake and aware.  Aquarius is the Original Moon.

Examples: Pope Francis, John Lennon, Ashley Judd


PiscesNeed is to tap into compassion and spirituality, and to recognize their great sensitivity. Comfort zone is feeling sweet connection to all that is. Pisces is the Mystical Moon.

Examples: Michelangelo, Saint Thérèse, Leonard Cohen


Moon Tattoo

This person loved the Moon so much he/she? got a tattoo of it. Wonder what Moon sign this person was born under?


Venus Retrograde



Venus is retrograde from March 4 through April 15, 2017

In her travels Venus weaves an amazing pattern in the heavens. From Earth it is seen as a beautiful mandala with a 5 pointed star – a pentagram – at the center, as if a cosmic artist wanted to show us an image of her perfection and grace.

Venus Orbital Cycle

Retrograde means the apparent backward motion of a planet from our vantage point on Earth. Venus only goes retrograde around 18-20 months and travels backward for around 40 days. Venus goes retrorade less often that all other planets except Mars who goes retro every 2 years.  Venus is very positive, so her retro phase is not noted for tricky stuff like Mercury retrograde.

In this current 2017 phase Venus turns retrograde on 3/4 at 13* Aries, returns to Pisces on 4/2, then goes direct at 27* Pisces on 4/15, stays in Pisces until 4/28 when she re-enters Aries to stay until 6/6/17.

Here’s the general background:

Planet Venus is named after the goddess of love and harmony.  In astrology Venus represents the attracting/magnetic principle and indicates social values and your overall value system in general, and rules relationships and all heart-related affairs. She also governs cultural affairs, things which add grace and beauty to life – the arts, music, dance, theater, etc. In general Venus stands for peace, love, beauty, harmony and governs issues of concern to women and LGBT rights too.  Venus is the ruler of both Taurus and Libra so these signs tend to be more affected by Venus retro.

In Taurus, Venus reflects high values, a peaceful tolerant, kind nature, and is also Mother Nature herself connected to the Earth’s natural resources  and rules financial resources too. The Bull is the symbol for Taurus and the stock market too!


In her Libra garb Venus rules all relationships, specifically love and marriage, along with fair play for all and cultural refinement – things like art, theater, fashion, etc.  Venus in Libra, whose symbol is the balanced scale  is the ultimate peace maker, “Make Love not War” her never-ending cry.



Venus represents the most classically feminine energy in the heavens, alluring and magnetic she attracts what she needs by calling it to her and allowing it to come. In your personal birth chart Venus reveals your own day-to-day value system, and how you give and receive love. The sign your Venus is in colors this expression. Wherever Venus resides in your chart,  she tends to sweeten things and make that part of your life easier and more delightful.

Here’s the retrograde info:

Retrograde planets in the birth chart generally indicate an internalization of that planet’s mode, and also timing factors in life.

People born with Venus retrograde in their birth chart can be late bloomers when it come to love and are sometimes confused about issues around sexuality and relationships in general. Parents may have held them back with rigid rules (no dating, no hanging with friends) or their own self-worth issues got in the way and they felt socially awkward. A birth chart Venus retro can also mean they had other goals in life and simply chose to put matters of the heart on the back-burner. Whatever the cause they usually figure it out at just the right time, and can have beautiful relationships when their Venus nature finally blooms in full.

Venus, as the ruler of earthy  Taurus is connected to Nature so when Venus retrogrades there might be less emphasis or setbacks in ecological initiatives and on the environment in general. Taurus rules the earth’s resources and is connected to banking and financial systems. (The symbol of Taurus is the Bull, so it is no accident that the bull is a Wall St. symbol too!) Generally when Venus goes retro we might expect a slow down in money markets, or some sort of fluctuation though it does not necessarily mean long term negative affects.

At the personal level, during a Venus retrograde period it makes sense to handle your own finances with prudence.  You may want to redecorate your house, or spend for that lavish vacation, but think twice. Be smart enough to look at your overall budget and if necessary, be willing to hold back and wait for your financial fountain to flow again, holding faith that it will happen at the ideal time.

Venus as the ruler of airy  Libra, governs affairs of the heart. When Venus does her backward dance relationship issues come up for review.  Old loves drift back into your thoughts, dreams or even into your living arms! Relationships you felt totally secure about might start to unravel or reveal another side. Relationships where you’re sitting safely on the sidelines, suddenly pull you down into the midst of the hot and sweaty game!  If you have been taking your mate for granted, things might suddenly be in your face. Venus will not be denied when she’s in this mode! If you ignore Venus’ urgings she will seductively find ways to fling issues of the heart in your face. (Beware of Facebook when Venus is retro! The stories Venus could tell you…)

This can and does include family relations, relationships on the job, and with friends as well. It is much more advantageous to warmly embrace Venus during this time. Honor her by paying heed to your own heart’s song, and by creating more love and beauty in your life.  Love yourself and others well during her extended visit and she will reward you beautifully!

Here’s an article by Tara Greene with good Venus retro info Venus Retrograde Speaks

Venus Sends a Kiss


Venus in Aries 2017

Venus in Aries

Venus usually travels  around 3 + weeks  in each sign and she entered Aries on February 3, 2017. This year because Venus begins her retrograde phase on March 4th she remains in Aries much longer – around 13 weeks.  More about Venus in Aries below, But first some background.

Venus looking lovely

Planet Venus is named after the Roman goddess of love and harmony. In astrology Venus represents the attracting/magnetic principle, indicates social values in general and rules relationships and all heart-related affairs. She also governs cultural affairs, things which add grace and beauty to life – the arts, music, dance, theater, fashion etc. In general Venus stands for peace, love, beauty, harmony and governs issues of concern to women.

Venus represents the most classically feminine energy in the heavens, alluring and magnetic she attracts what she needs by calling it to her and allowing it to come. In your personal birth chart Venus reveals your own day-to-day value system, and how you give and receive love. Wherever Venus resides in your chart, she tends to sweeten things and make that part of your life easier and more delightful.

Venus rules both Taurus and Libra. In earth sign Taurus Venus reflects high values, a peaceful tolerant, kind nature and is also connected to resources like finances and is the protector of Mother Nature herself.  In her air sign Libra garb, Venus rules all relationships, specifically love and marriage, along with fair play and cultural refinement. Peace, Beauty and Harmony for all! Is the banner Venus in Libra holds high.

Venus usually travels  around 3 + weeks  in each sign. Venus entered Aries on 2/3 and because Venus  begins her retrograde phase on 3/4 she remains in Aries much longer – around 13 weeks. Venus turns retrograde only once every 18 month, less often than any other planet except Mars.  I’ll be writing more about Venus Retrograde in March’s issue,  but for now let’s explore Venus in Aries.

Shakira – Born with Venus in Aries

Aries is a fire sign ruled by Mars planet of aggression, so you might think Venus is not happy to be clothed in Mars’ warrior garb. In fact in traditional astrology Venus is said to be in ‘detriment’ when she is in Aries. However over the years of my own research and experience with clients and friends who have Venus in Aries I’ve found Venus in Aries to be very positive.

Aries is the first sign in the zodiac wheel and noted for its highly focused energy, drive, courage and passionate style. Aries is raw, untamed energy filled with bright promise and rippling with individualism. Aries has pioneering spirit and helps carry others to places they would not reach alone. Aries is the big idea generator and many movers and shakers in each generation born with Aries energy in their birth charts are ahead of the curve carving out paths to new territories. Aries acts from pure passion and when the magnetic allure of Venus is coupled with the passionate sign of Aries a dynamic energy is formed!

Venus in Aries can be very laid back and easy going in general, but when she sees something she desires, Venus/Aries goes after it like a hound for a hare! No goal is unattainable, nothing stands in the way of Venus/Aries! If you’ve watched the TV series The Vikings you’ve seen those Venus in Aries warrior women in action! Yes, Venus/Aries can be too passionate and enthusiastic and bowl over more introverted types, and if you are her lover and cheat on her or wound her pride – look out! But generally Venus/Aries is inspiring and delightful.

Shakira pictured above is a classic example of Venus/Aries who had her debut album when she was only 13 years old. So typical of ‘straight out of the chute’ Aries. And her sensual musical style is certainly passionate and ‘in your face’ Aries too. Here are some other famous people also born with Venus in Aries: Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Renee Zelllweger,  Lady Gaga, Keira Knightly (Venus/Aries loves to be a pirate!), Rhianna. And here are some men with Venus in Aries: Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Jack Nicholson, Bob Marley, George Clooney, Chris Martin.

When Venus travels in Aries we all feel energized in a positive way.  Goals seem reachable and you feel more enthused about life in general. Aries is a very physical sign too and Venus loves to dance, sing and move more when she is in Aries. Think of all the people born with Venus in Aries listed above and here’s another one – Pharrell Williams whose song Happy was nominated for an Academy Award, which says “Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof / (Because I’m happy) / Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth…” This is pure positive Venus in Aries.

So it’s the time to be happy folks!  Venus will grace you with more joy when you play well with her.

Wishing you joyful times,


Melissa Stratton
Personal Relations Counselor
Astrology, Tarot, Dream Analysis

Winter Solstice 2016

Ice circle on Flathead River
photo by Tammie Lee


Solstice Greetings to All!

2016 Winter Solstice (Summer in the Southern Hemisphere) arrives on December 21 at 10:44 Universal Time at 5:45a Eastern Time and 2:45a Pacific Time.

For more information on the science of the Solstice visit Earth Sky and for interesting Winter Solstice traditions around the world, check out Crystalinks

There is comfort in the fact the Winter Solstice arrives as it has since the dawn of time. The yin-yang cycle of the return of the light is here as the days gradually begin to lengthen.  This is the day when the Sun enters Capricorn and marks the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest in the Southern –  the exact moment when the wheel of the seasons turns which is why I chose Tammie Lee’s photo, a wonderful representation of this cycle of the natural world.

The chart for the exact moment of the Solstice gives insight into patterns and trends emerging for this new season.


Solstice chart


At every December’s solstice the Sun is stationed at O degrees Capricorn.  Capricorn is  a solid, stable, mature earth sign ruled by Saturn. This year Mercury is in Capricorn too, but is moving backward and stationed only 2 degrees away from Pluto in his long term Capricorn journey. Capricorn is the sign most closely connected to ‘real world’ affairs of State and corporate power. Mercury = communication and his retrograde phase so near potent transformation agent Pluto at the Solstice is an accurate indication of how the powers that be in the world are  hesitating (stunned!)  and backing up to take stock of the unexpected change in the balance of power resulting from Donald Trump’s election win. Another brick knocked down by Pluto’s relentless scourge of worldly power structures as they scramble to decipher what this all means.

Saturn, ruler of Capricorn, is in high-spirited fire sign Sagittarius as if trying to lighten up ‘so very serious’ Capricorn. Saturn in Sagittarius says change is good and if we don’t get the hell out of Dodge periodically we become stagnate stone statues. Saturn is entering the last year of his Sagittarius visit and in the Solstice chart reaches out with an exact trine to change agent Uranus in fellow fire sign Aries. Trines = ease and flow, and this active trine speeds up structural transformation to the max. Uranus is retro at the Solstice but turns direct on 12/29 to take the solstice message from Saturn and run with it!  Mighty Jupiter in airy Venus-ruled Libra is tightly opposite Uranus and forms a tense T-Square to Pluto and Mercury challenging us all to maintain balance in the face of this rapid change. This T-Square also repeats the Cardinal squares which were majorly active over the last few years.

The Moon relects the mood of the public and the Solstice Moon is in Libra too and also forms a square – hers challenges the Capricorn Sun. Libra is the sign of balance and a Libra Moon square Capricorn Sun at the Solstice indicates how out of balance people feel now in the midst of such major structural upheaval.  Helping out is Venus in Aquarius who beams out nicely to Jupiter with an airy trine. Venus always has our back and in Aquarius the sign most capable of rising to the 20K perspective she says, “Stay calm and take care of your own personal vibration which ultimately helps the world make more positive change. ” We should all listen to her advice!

Mars = action and is in early degrees of watery, laid-back Pisces at the Solstice. Mars in Pisces easily swims through all the swirling cosmic currents in the river of life which helps us here below navigate change more gracefully too. Mars in Pisces will meet up with mystical Neptune as 2017 begins and will create a major challenge to Saturn (more about this in January’s issue) but in the Solstice chart drifts lazily along inviting us to relax more too.

Wounded healer Chiron has something to say in the Solstice chart as he forms an exact 90 degree square to Saturn. Chiron’s symbol looks just like a key, appropriate to Chiron’s function as a healing key opening up to higher dimensions. Chiron is in Pisces now and his square to Saturn in Sagittarius invites us to rise to the challenge of these rapidly changing times by slowing down to follow the Piscean path of trust and faith in spiritual currents, which may be unseen, but are leading us toward a more perfect world. Sounds like a good plan.

Overall the challenges in the Solstice chart are not heavy ‘squish you under the boot’ ones as was the case in other years, in fact they can be easily managed to become positive strengths.  The main idea is to avoid getting caught up in the belief that the worldly changes so visible to all are negative and taking us down the wrong road. The Solstice chart invites you to relax more, like settling into a yoga pose, and when you do the tensions ease, the toxins release and you are more able to rise to a higher vibration where you realize all is as it’s meant to be.  We are all connected on our beautiful blue planet and as one person shifts from fearful beliefs to love based ones, it helps shift our entire reality. To repeat the advice Venus in Aquarius wants us to follow,”take care of your own personal vibration which ultimately helps the world make more positive change”.  Carlos Castaneda born a few days after the Winter Solstice himself sums up well the energies of this Solstice when he said, “The aim is to balance the terror of being alive with the wonder of being alive.”

Wishing you bright Solstice Blessings filled with the wonder of being alive!

IMAGE NOTE:  The wonderful ice circle photo was taken by my friend Tammie Lee at the north fork of the Flathead River in Montana. I was so pleased she let me use it! It’s such a perfect image for the Solstice and I love the overlapping orbs too. Here is what Tammie said about it,  “This circle of ice was circling, such a wonderful thing to see and watch.” Tammie said there was a river otter hanging out in the circle too. She didn’t get a photo of the otter in the circle, but she got this amazing one. You can view and purchase more of Tammie’s photos at spirithelpers.net

Here is that river otter!

River Otter
photo by Tammie Lee