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    Botched Transits and Progressions

    Botched Transits and Progressions

    I got a great question from a client a few weeks ago. I felt it was rich enough territory for a newsletter. Let me open with her words:

    “When you have come through a major transit or progression and totally fail to get it right, what does the high road look like from there? In practical terms, we often just have to live with whatever consequences that may become a non-negotiable part of our lives after a less-than-optimal response. Life goes on, the stars continue to spin, new challenges await. But is it worthwhile to ask if any of the higher potentials of a "botched" transit/progression are actively recoverable? Or is it simply a time to assess, acknowledge the loss and the lesson, and move on?  Is it all, you know. . . starlight under the bridge once a transit is over?”

    Let me get rolling here with a question that has become a cliché: is there really any such thing as a mistake?  I’m a Capricorn, so my answer is pretty simple: yes indeed – mistakes are part of life. The word serves a useful purpose and we need it in our vocabularies. And when we do make mistakes, there is always a price to pay.

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    Goodbye Tem

    Goodbye Tem

    Tem Tarriktar, the beloved publisher of The Mountain Astrologer magazine, passed away last July 8th. He had thyroid cancer. In the Age of Facebook and Instagram, most of you reading this probably knew of his illness and his heroic battle against it over the past many months. Likely, you knew of his passing within hours as well.  Astrology is a small world, and at times such as this, our field and all of us who comprise it feel like a family. Death draws us all a little closer to the ancient hearth-fire.

    All the standard things one might say in the face of such a loss remain true, even though familiarity might weaken them to the point that they sound like cliches: Tem will be sorely missed. Our hearts go out to those he left behind. We will always remember him. We know he lives on in spirit and in his legacy of great work.

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    Mercury Goes Retrograde July 2019

    Mercury Goes Retrograde July 2019

    by Steven Forrest

    Beware! Beware! Mercury will be retrograde from July 7 through the last day of the month! I’ve found that Mercury doesn’t even have to be retrograde for it to be blamed for every minor misfortune, miscalculation, and misunderstanding that might arise.  Say “Venus retrograde” or “Jupiter retrograde,” and you get a blank look. But utter the fearful words, “Mercury is retrograde” and the blood drains from people’s faces."

    For some reason, this little piece of technical astrology has lately entered the popular imagination just as deeply knowing that you are a Gemini or a Taurus. And, to people who only know a little bit about astrology, Mercury retrograde spells trouble.

    Ask any experienced astrologer, at least one who does not require mood stabilizers, and you are likely to hear a more nuanced attitude: “Mercury retrograde is a real phenomenon – but don’t sell your earthly possessions and join a doomsday cult because of it.”

    Keep some perspective, in other words.

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    My 12th House Progressed Moon

    My 12th House Progressed Moon

    Saturn is transiting over my natal Sun, so I am trying to walk my talk – working like a maniac, in other words, trying to keep my eye on the prize.

    At the same time, my progressed Moon is passing through the twelfth house. True to form, I don’t know exactly what I am doing.

    It is a strange astrological combo-platter, as you can plainly see.

    At times such as these, my appreciation of astrology really goes through the roof. I look into that bright mirror in the sky and, among other benefits, I feel a whole lot less crazy than I might feel without astrology.

    I bet that you feel that way too, or you wouldn’t be tuning into my monthly astrological ramble.

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    Spiritual But Not Religious

    Spiritual But Not Religious

    by Steven Forrest

    There is a growing group of humans on the earth who have turned their backs on religion while maintaining a personal connection with the divine. Sociologists label them “spiritual but not religious,” which seems like a fair enough term. The category is an emerging one since there has not been much precedent for it in history – as with so many truly new things, you first have to believe it before you can see it.

    For a long while, in other words, there was no “spiritual but not religious” box to check on anyone’s survey.  It was strictly, are you a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew, or a None of the Above?

    Behind this cultural development, there is a lot of astrology. And it is the kind that suggests a lasting sea-change rather than a passing fashion.

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    The Shadow Dance Between Pluto and the South Node

    The Shadow Dance Between Pluto and the South Node

    by Steven Forrest

    On March 28, 2019, Pluto and the lunar south node formed a conjunction. Since they both move slowly, the date itself is not terribly important. At the beginning of March, the two points were already separated by less than 2°. And on the last day of April, their separation will only be 1° 55'.

    The Pluto-node interaction is ongoing, in other words, and we are all very much in the stew.

    There’s more: we can expect an intensification of these complicated energies around the middle of this month. The all-powerful Sun squares the nodes on April 12th and squares Pluto the next day. That promises to be a colorful week.

    Another date to circle on your calendar: April 24. When a planet turns from going retrograde to direct motion, or vice versa, there is also a great focusing of its energies – a turning of the tide, so to speak. On April 24, Pluto makes such a “station,” so that will mark yet another crossroads. As we mentioned a few lines ago, when that Station happens, the separation between Pluto and the South node will be less than 2° – still a very solid conjunction.

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    The Book of Fire: The Life-Givers
    … or Trying to Walk My Talk

    The Book of Fire: The Life-Givers<br /><em>… or Trying to Walk My Talk</em>

    by Steven Forrest

    Let me start by getting the obvious stuff out of the way. The long-awaited Book of Fire by best-selling author Steven Forrest is now available! Act Now! Act Now! These savings won’t last! Be the first on your block . . . etc.

    I know you’ve heard it all before. And of course I would like for you to buy the book, but only if you think you might find it helpful. So far as I know, Linda Goodman, who wrote Sun Signs back in the 1960s, is the only astrological writer who ever wound up wealthy for her efforts. For most of us . . . well, it reminds me of the old joke about how to make a million dollars playing jazz: just make sure that you start with two million dollars.

    Astrological writing is a labor of love, in other words. In all honesty, even though I’m probably among the more successful astrological authors, most of the profits from my books have come in the form of spinoffs: readers getting inspired to come to me for consultations, invitations to lecture and teach – things like that.

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    Remember What You’ve Already Said…
    or What Mars Is Up to in February

    Remember What You’ve Already Said…<br /><em>or What Mars Is Up to in February</em>

    by Steven Forrest

    Facing any kind of crisis or heartbreak in life, most of us would find an eye-to-eye session with a living astrologer to be more satisfying than a computer screen offering us pre-packaged nuggets about our current transits or progressions. There are a lot of reasons for that, most of them rather obvious at the human level. People and machines may be developing an interesting symbiosis, but when the emotional chips are down, human-to-human, heart-to-heart, interactions are still the most appealing option for most of us.

    Beyond the obvious touchy-feely realities, there is another level to this distinction, something more intellectual, something that goes beyond empathy and a hug. The human mind can do something that no machine can do. It can meld all of the symbols together into one clear, coherent, emotionally connected package. Developments in artificial intelligence may change all that someday, but for now the human heart is still the premier instrument when it comes to pulling the diverse messages of many planets into a meaningful, coherent statement.

    When I am teaching the more advanced kinds of astrological interpretation, I constantly beat this drum: integration, integration, integration. One day I realized that I could boil this critical skill down to one single pithy statement: always remember what you have already said. So simple to say, but it really encapsulates all the critical integrative principles.

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    This Month's Big Lunar Eclipse

    This Month's Big Lunar Eclipse

    by Steven Forrest

    If you live in North or South America, the sky will put on a very fine show on the night of January 20/21. Lunar eclipses are not rare, but ones that coincide with a so–called "Super Moon" are a lot more unusual. And that's exactly what you will be seeing, provided that no clouds get in the way: a particularly big Full Moon going dark, maybe even turning coppery–red in the process.

    Caveat: absolutely guaranteed, the media is going to oversell it, leading to lots of disappointment among people who've been jaded by special effects in movies. I can see the hyperbolic Yahoo! headlines now: GIGANTIC MEGA-MOON ECLIPSES ENTIRE SKY! And of course somebody somewhere will have their fifteen minutes of fame by proclaiming some grand governmental conspiracy to conceal the fact that the Moon will collide with the Earth, probably due to some alleged malfeasance on the part of Hillary Clinton.

    Ignore the hyperbole, but please, if you possibly can, have a look at this sky–show! Just keep your expectations somewhere south of seeing a real–life Star Wars up there that night.

    Lunar Eclipses are languorous affairs, to be savored like long, slow winter sunsets or your last piece of chocolate. Totality, for example – the period of total lunar eclipse – lasts about an hour. Compare that with the frantic few minutes of a total solar eclipse. That's an entirely different beast, and admittedly a lot more spectacular. January's Moon–show, from the first, nearly–unnoticeable "penumbral" contact of the outer edges of Earth's shadow with the Moon to the final " not–with–a–bang–but–a–whimper" end of it all, runs about five hours.

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    Jupiter Entering Sagittarius

    Jupiter Entering Sagittarius

    by Steven Forrest

    Jupiter is in Sagittarius now and it will stay there until December 2, 2019. Since Jupiter “rules” that sign – and also famously has dominion over Lady Luck – there’s a pervasive tendency among astrologers to view this as an innately wondrous thing, as if all of us can expect an avalanche of winning lottery numbers, true love, and weight loss. 

    Fear not:  we are not going to say the opposite! But this big Jupiter event does offer us a chance to think some deeper thoughts about what it means for any planet, and Jupiter in particular, to be “in its own sign.”

    Here’s the simplest way to say it:  when a planet passes through a sign that it rules, it does not become “better;” it just becomes stronger.  The good or bad of it depends, as ever, on how you use that energy rather than on the configuration itself. In that rulership situation, it is as if you are cutting a piece of wood with a hand saw. When you are cutting across the grain, it’s hard work. When you are cutting along the natural lines of the grain, it’s much easier.  The lay of the grain and the direction of your efforts are in alignment. 

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