Astrological Updates


An eclectic mystic and student of the esoteric, as well as a professional astrologer, Tasha Halpert began studying astrology over thirty years ago and has written for several astrological publications in the past as well as done radio astrological forecasting. Her primary focus is on how best to use the energies represented by the planetary movements. She sees the dance of the spheres as reflecting currents of energy which may be ridden or made use of rather than battering us around. She is happy to answer questions on the subject of astrology. Drop her an email at


May 2017

Provided by Tasha Halpert

I'm sure you will all be happy to hear that from an astrological standpoint, May looks pretty easy going and pleasant. Mercury finishes up its retrograde motion in initiating Aries on the 3rd turning direct mid day. Beginnings of all sorts will go better now. On the 16th it moves into Taurus, and our thoughts and discussions turn in more materialistic directions. The Sun begins the month in steady Taurus, fine for continuing with what has already been begun and moves to Gemini on the 20th, providing airy bounce after the groundedness of earthy Taurus.

Venus is in showy Aries all month; expect stores to present fashion innovations and new colors for the season. Our choices will tend toward acquiring what is new and trendy rather than what is tried and true. Mars is in facile Gemini all month. Innovations and developments in communication may be emphasized. Activity around anything involving communication or transportation might also be highlighted. Jupiter remains retrograde in Libra: legal matters could be slowed. Saturn is still retrograde in Sagittarius; educational matters could be also.

Uranus is direct in Aries and Neptune is direct in Pisces. Neither makes any strong aspects with other heavy planets this month. Pluto is retrograde in Capricorn still, however there is not much importance to that except that it might slow the effects of change on politics and business. There is a lot of foot dragging in those areas as it is. However, as the saying goes: the mills of the gods grind slowly but they grind exceedingly fine. August may be an interesting month because for part of the month four of the five "heavies" will be retrograde along with Mercury.

The Full Moon in Scorpio takes place on the 10th, and the day before the sun trines Pluto and early that day Mercury conjuncts Uranus. Mars squares Neptune on the 11th. There could be some interesting events or occurrences in the days surrounding the 10th. For the two weeks after the full Moon eliminating and concluding are featured. For the two weeks after the new Moon on the 25th , initiatory actions and accumulation are featured.

Special days to be used well: the 3rd with Mercury direct, the 9th with Sun/Pluto trine, 10th with Uranus/Mercury conjunct, the 11th with Mercury/Saturn trine, the 12th with Mars/Jupiter trine, the 18th and 19th with Saturn/Uranus trine, the 31st with Mercury/Pluto trine. Be especially mindful on these days: the 11th with Mars/Neptune square, the 25th with Venus/Pluto square, the 29th with Mars/Saturn opposition. You can check my website for particulars on the best use of the energy at on these or other days according to which sign the Moon is in.


April 2017

Provided by Tasha Halpert

The dance of the heavens this month is active. Besides the Aries Sun's segue into Taurus on the 19th, Mercury, Mars, and Venus all change signs. Then on the 9th Mercury, on the 6th, Saturn and Pluto on the 20th all turn retrograde. Retrograde Venus now turns direct on the 15th. With Pluto at a virtual standstill all month, change and upheaval may be mostly below the surface. With Mercury in retrograde much will come up for review, retooling and return. At that time I often hear from people I haven't heard from for a while.

Beginning the month in Aries, the Sun oversees innovation and startups. In Taurus work begun continues, practicality is in the air. Mercury begins in earthy Taurus then backs into innovative Aries on the 20th for a review of what has been begun. Venus, retrograde in gentle Pisces seeks connections with the past, continues in direct motion to find mystical connections then on the 28th dances into April and craves newness. Saturn slows into retrograde the 5th, urging greater care with structure, while Pluto slows change and renewal all month.

So while April is a month for beginnings, they are likely to be of a different nature, more about affirming direction, chasing details to solidify what has been begun, and allowing for a slow but steady building toward a climax that could come as late as the fall—possibly around the equinox. This is not to say that nothing will happen, of course, only that the sum of the parts may be delayed. Meanwhile it is vital to practice redoing, restoring, reviewing, reforming, replacing, revising and so forth during the retrograde period, ending May 3. Needless to say this is a poor time to purchase anything you do not actually need if you can possibly avoid it.

The Full Moon in Libra shines on Passover, on the 11th of April. The following two weeks will be good times to beautify your surroundings by removing whatever obscures that beauty and instead revealing what has been hidden. The New Moon in Taurus shines on the 26th, when it will be your opportunity to initiate music lessons, new craft projects, garden plans and refurbishments, and polish up your jewelry. Major aspects are few this month, so the emphasis on any one—especially the ones involving Pluto or Uranus may be greater.

Days to be mindful of a potential for stress include the 6th when Saturn turns retrograde, 7th and 8th a Venus/Saturn Square, 9th when Mercury turns retrograde, 20th Pluto turns retrograde, 21st Venus/Saturn square. Days to enjoy good vibrations include the 5th and 6th Mars/Pluto Trine, 7th Sun/Jupiter opposition, 14th Sun/Uranus conjunction—great for surprises! The 16th Venus/Mars sextile, 16/17 Mercury trine Saturn, 28th Mercury/Uranus Conjunction invent something!


March 2017

Provided by Tasha Halpert

There's an unusual focus on Mercury aspects in March. Pisces Mercury at the start focuses on winding up communications, conversations, discussions. On the 4th conjunct Neptune makes for a potentially confusing day, on the 6th, conjunct the Sun, a bright cheerful day; on the 8th sextile Pluto, revelations or mysteries surface or are solved; on the 12th, squared by Saturn a serious day with a potential for obstacles.

On the 13th Mercury enters Aries and focus is on all things new and trendy. On the 18th Mercury Venus conjunct makes a felicitous day for proposals. On the 23rd, square Pluto could mean bad weather, bad news or both. On the 24th opposing Jupiter: truth or lies revealed; on the 26th, conjunct Uranus potential explosions! on the 29th trine Saturn, responsible reactions, and on the 31st, Mercury enters Taurus for a steady, strong journey forward.

Venus in Aries all month turns retrograde on the 9th, we may be rethinking choices, redoing wardrobes: going over jewelry and clothing to see what we want to keep and what we what to get rid of. Venus is all about choices, for or against. Some decisions may come up for review and perhaps revision, especially if made impulsively, with Venus in Aries this is always a possibility. Sun conjunct Venus on the 25th makes for a very sweet day.

Mars changes signs this month, beginning the month in Aries, good for initiating action, then on the 9th moving into Taurus, which helps continue what we have begun. Projects begun during Aries Mars , especially if they are innovative or inventive get a good boost. On the other hand when Mars is in Aries it is easier to be careless or impulsive, so be mindful on the road or when handling sharp tools. On the 5th Mars trines Saturn making for a great day for accomplishment.

The Sun begins the month in Pisces. This is the finishing up time of year so that we can be ready for the initiation of a new season as well as a new Solar year. Wind up any projects, clear out debris and be ready when the Sun moves into Aries for the Equinox on the 20th, ushering in spring. This is just the beginning, though; we can't expect the warmth of it for a while. At least the days will be of equal length. The hours of daylight advance from that date on until Midsummer in June.

The Full Moon in Virgo on the 12th is shadowed by a Mercury Saturn square. This could either cramp her expansive style, or enhance the sense of duty and responsibility Virgo brings to the table. The New Moon on the 26th is preceded by a Mercury Uranus conjunction the day before. This makes me wonder if there will be some unusual or mind blowing news, revelations or activity around transportation or communication over the next day or two.


February 2017

Provided by Tasha Halpert

Besides the Sun's normal move between Aquarius and Pisces on the 18th, only Mercury and Venus change signs this month. Mercury begins the month in organized, ambitious Capricorn helping us with good, spot on focus. On the 7th it enters original, out-of-the box Aquarius helping with inventions, clever solutions and altruistic ideas. Venus is briefly in compassionate Pisces and on the 3rd enters Fashion loving Aries, urging us to seek out what is new and original.

Mars in Aries all month encourages startups, new ways of doing, and beginnings of all kinds. Saturn still in Sagittarius may bring out pressure and structure on generosity. We begin February with no planets in retrograde motion. On the 6th Jupiter makes its station and turns retrograde indicating delayed rewards and/or the retracing of past relationships. The two eclipses this month are probably the most significant of the astrological events in February.

The Lunar Eclipse of the Full Moon in Leo takes place on the 10th, suggesting that we review and dispense with any outgrown love relationships or excessively egoic attitudes we may have developed. Examine attitudes toward children or those whom you may parent or treat like your children and assess your generosity—are you over-giving or manipulative in your attitudes? Do you give more than you receive and need to re-balance or reassess the relationship?

For the Solar eclipse of the New Mon in Pisces on the 26th, note that it is accompanied by a conjunction of Mars with Uranus and might be an explosive day. Check any bridges you are tempted to burn and postpone that action for a day or so to be quite sure it is appropriate. On the other hand there is wonderful energy now for any new, compassionate, generous, spiritually oriented project you may wish to begin. If there are karmic issues of which you are aware, address them with positive action.

Days to be mindful include the 2nd, with a Mercury/Jupiter square saying beware of exaggeration or even lies. On the 21st and 22nd an explosive Mars/Pluto square in forceful Aries/Capricorn might be useful if you wish to make difficult or stressful changes. This is a break-through aspect. Be flexible; if you encounter stress with resistance you may not fare well. On the 26th with the Solar Eclipse, Mars is conjunct Uranus in Aries. For best effect, this heavily loaded energy needs to be focused or channeled into something new and unusual.

Days to push your luck include opportunity sextiles on the 9th with Sun/Uranus, the 14th with Sun/Saturn, the 16th with Mercury/Mars, the 20th with Mercury/Uranus. Try new or different solutions and explore new potential. On the 10th and 11th a Sun/Jupiter trine brings a nice day to get married or just have fun. For the 21st Mercury/Jupiter trine plan traveling, meetings or discussions.


January 2017

Provided by Tasha Halpert

Full Moon on the 12th in Cancer shines on hospitality, families, and loving care. New Moon on the 27th in Aquarius initiates an altruistic path and brings the potential for new friendships. Mercury turns direct on the 8th, signaling the go ahead for beginnings. Briefly in philosophical Sagittarius from the 4th to the 12th, it continues in practical Capricorn. Venus into mystical Pisces on the 3rd, softens Aquarian eccentricity, making for sweeter choices. Sun in ambitious Capricorn gives way to altruistic Aquarius on the 19th. Mars in compassionate Pisces until the 28th, goes into aggressive Aries, sharpening the prevailing energy.

From an astrological standpoint January appears rather uneventful. Pluto is not in aspect to Uranus, none of the heavy planets will be making a station and then turning in either direction: retrograde or direct. Mars in Pisces has pulled ahead of Venus in Pisces, assuring the planet of choice that she can take her time making decisions; Saturn is in pleasant aspect to Jupiter. The planets provide a variety of potential for us all this month with opportunities to make progress.

Sextiles are opportunity aspects. The 3rd has Mercury sextile Venus, useful to communicate wants and needs. The 10th and 11th has Mars sextile Pluto, an opportunity to make changes with small effort; the 20th Venus sextiles Pluto, allows us to review and revise choices that could need changing; the 23rd holds a Mercury sextile Neptune bringing an opportunity to look more closely at the real truth of any situation that could be presenting itself; taken together that's giving us all a weekly chance to make use of planetary energy to help us do better.

Squares present us with lessons and chances to turn stumbling blocks into stepping-stones. Sun square Uranus on the 10th suggests you might act without thinking, however if you slow down you'll learn something. The 11th with sun square Jupiter you could be given to excess; if you are mindful you could save yourself from discomfort. The 19th Mars squares Jupiter suggesting if you push, as you might be tempted to do, you could lose out but if you are patient you stand to gain. The 31st Mercury square Uranus implies a need for taking time to think rather than speaking too soon and messing up. The day before any aspect can also be energetically active in this way.

Conjunctions combine the energies of two planets to make an impact. On the 1st, Mars conjuncts Neptune: beware being misled by what appears before us and acting too quickly. Alcohol, drugs or desire can blind us to the truth. On the 6th and 7th, Sun conjuncts Pluto: a strong day to create important or deep changes. On the 12th, Venus conjunct Neptune brings a strong psychic energy to the day. Clarity regarding choices is also featured. On the 29th Mercury conjuncts Pluto. Important communications are featured and could have a strong impact. It might be important to be mindful of one's words and even one's thoughts.


December 2016

Provided by Tasha Halpert

The month of December looks rather benign. We will have Mercury turning retrograde shortly before the Solstice, however, when properly used the energy of Retrograde Mercury can be helpful in many ways. I find that at that time I often hear from friends I have not seen in a while. Perhaps this is because I have an 11th house (home of hopes friends and wishes) Mercury. Look to your own chart if you have one and see where Mercury falls in it. You can predict much of the effect of any planetary transit by examining where it is placed in a chart.

Besides the Sun as usual, Mercury, Venus, and Mars all change signs this month. Both Mercury and Uranus change direction. Mercury leaves philosophical Sagittarius for practical Capricorn on the 2nd. Venus leaves calculating Capricorn for inventive Aquarius on the 7th, and Mars eaves unpredictable Aquarius for compassionate Pisces on the 19th, the same day Mercury turns Retrograde. Expect the unexpected that day. It is best not to plan anything too complicated or vigorous for the 19th.

For the entire month Jupiter is in Libra, bringing opportunities to learn more about marriage, relationships and the law. Saturn is in Sagittarius, creating responsibilities for teachers, philosophers, social workers, and religious organizations. Uranus is in Aries, turning direct on the 29th, and unexpected startups, beginnings, and innovations are highlighted. Neptune is in Pisces and we are either easily mislead by our illusions or have the opportunity to see through them. Pluto is in Capricorn bringing pressure for change to bear on politics, business, and organizations that oversee these.

The Full Moon takes place on the 13th, in Gemini, highlighting communication. This is an opportunity to assess with whom we communicate and eliminate what may no longer be a good way to do so. Perhaps too there we can purge our emails of unwanted mail, or go through old correspondence to see if it is useful or needs to be discarded. The New Moon in Capricorn takes place the day Uranus turns direct and could be an interesting day for sure. New Moons are good for new beginnings, however since Mercury will be retrograde we may wish to resurrect what we formerly began and see how it works now.

Significant days for accomplishment are the 1st, with Mars/Jupiter trine, 6th with mars/Uranus opportunity sextile, the 10th with a sSun/Saturn conjunction, the 24th with a Saturn/Uranus trine, the 25th with a venus/Jupiter trine, the 28th with a Sun/Mercury conjunction and a Mercury/Mars sextile. Be alert and mindful on the 19t when Mercury goes retrograde, the 26th with a Jupiter/Uranus opposition fueling a potential for odd surprises, and the 29th with Uranus turning Direct and possibly bringing more peculiar behaviors and or surprises to the New Moon.


November 2016

Provided by Tasha Halpert

During November the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars all change signs. This signals a brisk turnover in energy as progress is made, for instance in the case of Mercury, planet of communication and thought, from a steady motion in Scorpio to a more back and forth movement in Sagittarius. This can be observed in the media as well as in our own day to day communications. Scorpio progress is deeper and more penetrating and Sagittarius energy embraces education, which requires a broader focus. The same is true for the Sun's entry into Sagittarius, when the energy will lighten up and people will feel less stressed and more hospitable toward new ideas and ways of doing.

Venus, planet of acquisition and choices, moves from philosophical, generous Sagittarius to goal oriented, practical Capricorn. Mars, planet of activity and action goes from dogged, hard working Capricorn to quirky, erratic Aquarius. The Sun, symbolizing the overall daily energy goes from deep, passionate Scorpio to expansive, jovial Sagittarius. Neptune, planet of nebulous impressions and self deception, the only currently retrograde planet, goes direct. By the last third of the month, there will be no planets in retrograde motion thus we need not go back and redo whatever we thought we were done with.

November 1st begins shortly after the October 30th New Moon in Scorpio, making the two weeks following ideal for enhancing growth toward rebirth or progress on healing. The 14th Full Moon in Gemini helps enhance communication over the next two weeks. We can employ the energy to better our communication skills. The New Moon on the 29th in Sagittarius brings us potential for new ways to learn and grow as well as expand on our education. We can make a list of goals for that at the New Moon to be worked on for the next two weeks. Taking advantage of he energy represented by the new and full Moons can be helpful.

This month the energy has lightened up considerably and there is not a whole lot going on that seems stressful or problematic. Jupiter will be squaring Pluto on Thanksgiving, however all that will most likely do is enhance the increase of whatever might be driven out from under the rug. Family secrets could be revealed. The few stressful aspects to be found are relatively insignificant compared with last month, and we will probably find ourselves with much to be thankful for at Thanksgiving.

Days to be mindful include the 18th to be wary of deception, self or other, the 29th and 30th when it is wise to abstain from sudden, irrational choices or decisions as well as something that that looks too good to be true and probably is. Days to push your luck include the 4th and 5th, the 23rd, 24th, when travel can go smoothly and the 25th and 26th, when black Friday and follow up Saturday shoppers will probably really have a fun time.


October 2016

Provided by Tasha Halpert

October appears "interesting" due to the activity of Mars and Pluto in Capricorn throughout the second half of the month. Stressful aspects beginning on the 7th, continuing on the 13th through the 19th and beyond, present opportunities to those who see them as such, and potential difficulties to those who take a different view. Stumbling blocks can be stepping-stones once the rough edges are smoothed off. However, our vision may be clouded if we are too busy saying "ouch" instead of looking to see what can be done to work on those edges.

Mercury zips along in three signs. In the news and other communications with Mercury in Virgo we can expect a focus on health, details and diligence. As it enters Libra mid month we can expect a similar focus on fairness and the arts, possibly news of conflict and war. As it moves into Scorpio the24th we can expect the news to focus on crime, revelation of secrets, and even bitter attacks. Venus begins in Scorpio, emphasizing passionate choices, and then segues into Sagittarius where she helps us make choices philosophically

Full Moon in Aries shines for us on the 16th of the month. What has been begun in the spring with the New Moon in Aries may now be coming to fruition. Whatever seeds you planted then can ripen and nourish you now. The New Moon is on the 30th in Scorpio. Think about the changes you wish to make. How can you transform what needs to be transformed, or renew what has lost its luster? Make a list and find ways to implement it. This month because it begins and ends with them there are two opportunities to utilize the Moon in Libra and the Moon in Scorpio. As well, the balancing and rebirthing energy of these two signs is vital to the changing of the seasons as we move deeper into fall.

Opportunities for a spiritual experience may be found on the 1st, the 4th brings chances to build good structure. The 5th brings an evening of potential passion and possible excess. On the 7th Sun squaring Pluto begins a strenuous series of opportunity squares for 3 weeks of revelations and restructuring. The 10th and 11th are good for expanding knowledge. Be mindful in motion on the 12th and 13th, work to communicate well and be rewarded on the 14th, on the 15th stay out of quarrels and conflict.

On the 18th and 19th emphasize change and healing. The 19th and 20th may bring clarity through inspiration. On the 25th be mindful of potential deception; meditate instead. The 26th could be helpful for enjoyable shopping or inventive creativity, The 27th is ideal for travel and communication. The 28th and 29th may bring surprises or disruption, By evening, Saturn's stability brings understanding and clarity. The 29th and 30th Neptune/Mercury trine with the New Moon may bring spiritual guidance. However, avoid self-deception.


September 2016

Provided by Tasha Halpert

The month begins with a strong Solar eclipse, ringing in the potential for changes of all sorts. This is a powerful New Moon in health conscious Virgo, making it a good time for a reality check. If you need to change direction, maybe you can recalculate and or recalibrate and get healthier. The Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Pisces on the 16th brings another opportunity to make changes, this time by eliminating what is no longer ireful or viable In your life. There is a second New Moon this month on the 30th, in Libra, bringing another chance to smooth out the wrinkles in our day to day existence by acknowledging and working on the consciously.

The first three weeks, Mercury Retrograde makes it a great month for all those “re” things we need to do: repair, restore, restock, revise, report, restructure, review etc.. It’s a good time to withdraw a little and study, meditate or contemplate. Mercury is all about communication; I hear from folks I haven’t heard from for ages at this time. With the slowdown do check and recheck all directions and arrangements so as to avoid confusion. Case in point, two people meeting at the appointed hour standing on opposite corners of a busy street waiting for each other!

Being first retrograde then on the 22nd direct, Mercury, is in Virgo all month, Venus, however goes from elegant Libra to intense Scorpio two thirds of the way through. Mars leaves energetic Sagittarius for diligent Capricorn on the 23rd. Jupiter enters liberal Libra on the 9th. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are all still retrograde, although Pluto turns direct on the 27th. The Sun starts the month in quality control Virgo and gentles into Libra on the 2322nd with the equinox, bringing a change of pace from diligent to laid back.

Be mindful also on the 23rd with a Sun/Saturn Square not to miss a hidden opportunity. A Saturn/Neptune square on the 10th cautions about deception, Venus/Pluto squared on the 10th/ 11th indicates a potential for disruptive choices. Mercury Mars square the 12th warns to avoid quarrels, controversy. Sun/Mars square the 13th says don’t overdo. On the other hand, encouraging aspects begin with a Mercury/Jupiter conjunction on the 2nd, promoting enthusiasm, on the 6th and 7th a Sun/Pluto trine means good energy for changes.

The Sun/Mercury conjunction on the 12th helps boost communication, on the16th and 17th Mars/Uranus trine brings inventive solutions, performances, and the 17th and 18th Venus/Uranus opposition could have us choosing between two opposing directions. The Mercury/Pluto trine on the 20th can bring good ideas and plans for change, the 23rd Mercury trines Pluto again, reinforcing what came about earlier. The 25th and 26th Sun/Jupiter conjunction enhances fun and pleasure.


August 2016

Provided by Tasha Halpert

This Leo/Virgo month begins with Mercury in practical Virgo, inspiring down to earth thinking and communication. It dwindles down in speed all month as it prepares to turn retrograde on the 30th. This may inspire us to rethink opinions or decisions or return to old ways of procedure. Venus begins the month in romantic Leo and soon enters persnickety Virgo inspiring practical desires and choices.  After its lengthy stay in Scorpio Mars enters Sagittarius just before 2 PM on the 2nd. Educational and charitable energy now goes toward progress in education, social justice, athletics, and other Jupiterian work.

Virgo hosts the planet Jupiter for the entire month, emphasizing health and other Virgoan concerns. Next month this planet of benefit and benevolence will move on to Libra. Saturn, still in Sagittarius for some time begins the month in retrograde motion suggesting we use delays to solidify or revise. It turns direct on the 13th, when its forward movement will help break logjams and bring delayed rewards or punishment as is appropriate. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are all retrograde all month. They have more to do with major movements than individual processes, except when there are aspects to planets in individual charts or on days they turn one way or another.

The New Moon in Leo takes place on August 2, an important day known as Lughnasadh for the agrarian god Lugh, or Lammas, signifying first harvest. It seems to me that a New Moon on this date is especially significant as it is an important time to celebrate the beginning of the harvest and that applies to all forms of harvest, not just agricultural. It was also considered the first day of fall in the Celtic calendar.  From now until November 1 in the Northern Hemisphere,  gather in and acknowledge what has grown since May 1, the onset of summer. As you think about your New Moon wishes and projections, keep this in mind.

The Full Moon in Aquarius takes place on the 18th with an eclipse as well. This will be an important time to prune or eliminate what is unnecessary or no longer viable from your life and/or your belongings. The eclipse adds an extra emphasis to this opportunity.  In certain respects this eclipse is like opening the windows and airing out your mind so that new ideas can find a home there. Uranus, the power behind Aquarius is symbolic of the higher mind, our connection to divine inspiration as well as esoteric wisdom.

Days to be mindful include the 5th, for obstacles, the 6th,for poor choices, the 7th, for confusion, the 13th, for disappointment, the 23rd and 24th for push/pull energy, the 25th and 26th, for illusions and delusions, and the 30th when Mercury turns retrograde. Days to press on or push your luck include the 1st, a great day for inventive thinking and action, the 10th for travel and progress, the 16th for innovation and unique opportunity, and the 27th for good luck.    


July 2016

Provided by Tasha Halpert

The long hot days of summer are upon us, it's time to kick back and enjoy life to the fullest. Venus in Cancer chooses tender caring for loved ones until the 12th, when she glides into Leo sparking playful pleasure and romance for the remainder of the month. Mercury too begins in Cancer then on the 13th whisks into Leo for more fun and games, dancing with Venus. Mars is still in serious Scorpio, always very effective in the sign it shares with Pluto and happily direct again. Jupiter is still in Virgo, expanding good fortune for that sign. Saturn still moving back in Sagittarius; those with that sign prominent need to take care to dot all "i's and cross all t's."

The Sun begins the month in Cancer and enters Leo on the 22nd. Thematically we move from nurturing, caring Cancer to playful, romantic Leo. The New Moon in Cancer falls on the 4th of July. Projects featuring hospitality, nurturing of friends and family, and food are all appropriate for the next two weeks. The Full Moon in Capricorn takes place on the 19th. After that and for the next two weeks it's time to attend to business, toss what's no longer useful, find ways to turn trash into cash, and make other efforts to be efficient as well as effective in your everyday life. Remember the two weeks following the New Moon are good for increase, and following the Full Moon, for decrease.

Only Uranus changes direction this month, turning retrograde on the 29th. The first few days of July are generally uneventful until the New Moon on the 4th. Pay attention to dreams the night of the 4th and morning of the 5th when Mercury trines Neptune, also a good time for meditation and spiritual practices. The 6th is a great energy day, Venus trines Mars and the Sun conjuncts Mercury indicating high creativity. The 7th is equally exciting and perhaps more brisk with a Venus Uranus square, and both Mercury and the Sun opposing Pluto. The 15th might hold surprises. Be mindful on the 16th another high energy day, with Mercury embracing Venus and the Sun trining Mars. A great day for an adventure. Plan something fun.

On the 19th a Full Moon is enhanced by a verging Venus trine Saturn, great for stabilizing relationships along with the wisps of the Mercury trine same earlier. On the 22nd the Sun prances into Leo and the energy we all feel expands to fit the image. The 26th and 27th are influenced by Mercury trining Uranus an excellent indication of creativity and inventiveness. Plan a project involving fun and art. On the 29th be very mindful whether driving or using machinery, almost simultaneously Mercury squares Mars and Uranus makes its station to turn retrograde. The afternoon could be a very energetic time, so be aware of surprise moves or unusual energies coming out of the blue. Duck if you can. The month ends with Mercury moving into Virgo on the 30th, and generally speaking we all feel more practical and better focused.


June 2016

Provided by Tasha Halpert

All aboard for the summer signs: This month Gemini segues us into summer as Cancer and next month Leo bring warmth and lazy days to the Northern Hemisphere. June begins with a Gemini Sun paired with a Taurus Mercury and Gemini Venus. Communications and business connections are featured. Mars still Retrograde in Scorpio goes direct on the 29th of June. Action rather than reaction then prevails. Mercury speeds along all month, joining the Sun in Gemini on the 12th and in Cancer on the 29th. Venus enters Cancer the 17th, preceding the Summer Solstice Cancer Sun at the 20th, midpoint of the Solar year.

Jupiter continues the month in Virgo, enhancing the fortunes and smoothing the paths of those with Virgo Sun and Virgo Rising as well as Taurus and Capricorn Sun and Ascendant. Saturn continues to be retrograde in Sagittarius. Those with that sign or with it rising can employ that energy to resolve stumbling blocks, and turn them into stepping stones. This will be true for most of the summer until Saturn goes Direct in mid August. Uranus continues in Aries, Neptune in Pisces turns retrograde mid month, and Pluto is retrograde in Capricorn until late September, with lots of political skullduggery yet to emerge.

The New Moon on the 4th in Gemini suggests we focus for the following two weeks on building and enhancing communication. Get to know your neighbors, connect to siblings, pick out new fiction to read or explore a new neighborhood, whether mental or physical. The Full Moon in Sagittarius on the 20th makes for an even more powerful Solstice energy. Plan to do something adventurous or philanthropic over the three days, the 19th, 20th, and 21st of this Full Moon period. Something significant for the USA may blossom at that time, though it could create confusion at first, or else some earlier chicanery could come to light.

June 1st, a Sun/Neptune square might indicate a confusing day. The 2nd and 3rd with a Venus/Neptune square and a Sun Saturn opposition could extend that. Look carefully into any proposals or bargains and examine whatever responsibilities you are asked to take on. A Venus/Saturn opposition on the 3rd continues this cautionary note. The New Moon on the 4th with a Sun/Jupiter square and a Venus /Jupiter square tempts us to “let it all hang out” and over-indulge, so be mindful of consequences and go slow if you can. The 6th brings a lovely Sun/Venus conjunction and everyone feels good now. The 9th, Mercury/Mars opposition could indicate a climate for quarrels--think peace.

Sun/Uranus sextile the 13th and 14th suggests inventive innovations and resolutions. The Saturn/Neptune 17th square indicates deception or confusion. The 20th Full Moon is bracketed by Mercury/Saturn opposition, and a Mercury /Neptune square punctuated by the Solstice. This powerful day may well indicate some newsworthy event, of either a revealing or concealing nature, affecting this country in some way. A Mercury/Jupiter square on the 22nd suggests examining communications carefully for exaggeration or hyperbole, the 26th Jupiter/Pluto trine could bring a benefit or energize one. Mars stationary energy on the 29th can be useful to start or promote a project. Use the 30th Venus/Pluto opposition to make a helpful choice regarding change.


May 2016

Provided by Tasha Halpert

The month of May begins with a total of 5 planets retrograde. Matters relevant to the planets involved tend to be delayed, confused, reviewed or repeated, or put on the back burner. Pluto in Capricorn symbolizes the current political scene as certainly oddly reminiscent of campaigns from long ago. Retrograde Mars suggests a replay of the various wars in the Middle East, retrograde Saturn of issues over delays in education, social security and similar programs. Retrograde Mercury presents opportunities for review, replay, repair, restoration, etc., Retrograde Jupiter delays benefits to Virgos.

Jupiter turns direct on the 9th; rewards that have been delayed may now materialize. Mercury turns direct on the 22nd. Delay new purchases except for replacements until then. Besides the Sun, only Venus and Mars will change signs. On the 27th Retrograde Mars retraces its steps into Scorpio, bringing a chance to check over past activities involving investments, taxes, and insurance, as well as reviewing healing techniques. On the 24th, Venus will enter Gemini, giving a boost to communication and neighborhood and brother/sister relationships. This could be a good time to purchase a car or other form of transportation.

The New Moon in Taurus is on the 5th. Write your New Moon checks and make lists of your intentions for the next two weeks--time to check finances, go through possessions to see what needs replacing, review mental attitudes and opinions you may have to see what is working well for you. The Full Moon in Sagittarius is on the 21st, bringing a time to check on whatever educational books and programs that are no longer useful you may wish to eliminate. The Full Moon illuminates dreams; watch to see if any reflect truth or prophecy.

This is a rather quiet month astrologically. Days to be optimistic and put effort into achieving include the 7th, 9th, 10th,12th,13th, 22nd, and 30th. Days to be a bit more mindful include the 21st, 24th, 25th, and 26th. However there are no major disruptive aspects this month. However, it is best to be mindful of the ongoing Retrograde Mercury that will be in force from the 1st to the 22nd. It is wise to postpone major purchases, especially of machinery, unless you are replacing something and it is necessary to your functioning. Also be sure to check directions, instructions, and information of all kinds.

The month begins in Taurus, an earth sign powered by Venus, traditionally a time for planting, tending to the garden, checking over possessions and whatever else you have. This can include habits, ideas, prejudices both positive and negative, predispositions and opinions. The Air sign Gemini, a common or mutable sign begins on the 20th and the focus shifts to Mercury and communication, transportation, and siblings. Time to revive any lapsed family connections, or reinforce them, as well as the get in touch with friends.


April 2016

Provided by Tasha Halpert

We begin April with go-getting Sun in Aries, changing to laid back, steady Taurus on the 19th. Mercury begins in Aries--innovative communications, changing to Taurus on the 5th, the same day Venus segues from Pisces into Aries when bright, newly adorned store windows will beckon. Mars is in Sagittarius, an athletic place for Mars, and an expansive one. Good for travel and athletics. Jupiter is still retrograde in Virgo, blessing organization and cleanliness. Saturn is retrograde in Sagittarius, affecting teachers' and social workers' responsibilities.

By the end of this month, three planets turn retrograde.. Mars for several months on the 17th, Pluto for many months on the 18th. Mars backward motion brings opportunities to restructure, repair or reconstruct projects. Pluto signifies change and renewal. Its retrograde motion bring opportunities to change course or to take a different approach to what is already set in motion. Mercury begins its second 3 week retrograde of the year on the 28th; get stock up ahead and use the retrograde time to reorganize, refine, restore and repair.

New moon in Aries is on the 7th. For the next two weeks choose to focus on beginning new projects or courses of action. Aries is about beginnings, and brings opportunities to initiate. Full Moon in Scorpio is on the 22nd. Choose over the next two weeks to eliminate old lovers, old loves and what once worked for you, yet now has lost its ability to do so. If you are in doubt as to what that might be, perhaps you can meditate on this question and find out.

Not much of importance happens until the 5th when Sun/Saturn trine provides good energy for accomplishment; Venus moves into Aries and Mercury into Taurus--good for accounting and all things mercantile. On the 6th, Sun/Pluto square could indicate issues with adjustments; secrets of an unfortunate nature may emerge. On the 9th with a Sun/Uranus conjunction there are bound to be surprises. For the 12th, Venus/Mars trine: anything you build can go smoothly.

On the 14th Mercury/Jupiter Trine brings a great day for communication, travel, or teaching. The16th and 17th Mercury/Pluto Tine suggests mysteries revealed, secrets uncovered. Also Mars is stationary retrograde: Hold up action today, instead observe, inspect or plan. The 18th Pluto turns stationary retrograde: possible severe weather impactful activity. Venus/Saturn Trine suggests make choices for the long term. The 19th Sun enters Taurus, Venus/Pluto square suggests that a choice could be shattering or perhaps lead to unwanted changes.

Full Moon in Scorpio brings passion to the day. Venus/Uranus conjunct suggests unexpected results from choices. The 28th Mercury turns retrograde--time for everything "re." The 29th Venus into Taurus for happy but lazy sensuousness.


March 2016

Provided by Tasha Halpert

Mercury is especially active this month, the media will reflect this I'm sure. Then besides the Sun, three planets change signs this month, one twice! Busy Mercury swoops from inspired Aquarius to kind Pisces the first week, then into energetic Aries, for a little more than the last week. Venus leaves altruistic Aquarius for compassionate Pisces on the 12th, while Mars leaves diligent Scorpio for expansive Sagittarius as the second week begins. In addition, Saturn turns retrograde on the 25th, an opportunity to check facts and lately built structure.

The Sun and Moon each present an eclipse. The 8th Pisces New Moon brings a powerful Solar Eclipse, the death of the old, the birth or rebirth of helpful and innovative, especially for those with limitations or afflictions. The Libra Moon lunar Eclipse invokes a need for balance; eliminate whatever is unbalanced. Watch to see changes in the electoral scene during the two weeks between.

Jupiter is still Retrograde; if a reward or an expected benefit is delayed, you might profit in the long run. Be patient, wait to see what happens. Saturn turns Retrograde in Sagittarius until August. One his important roles is as Father Time, scythe and all. In the days when agriculture ruled the seasons, he brought in the harvest. His turning retrograde brings an opportunity for whatever is growing to have additional time to do so. Patience is important.

The month begins with a Venus/Uranus opportunity sextile on the 2nd, the 4th and 5th watch your tongue; avoid conflict with a Mercury/Mars square. The 5th is energetically bright: Mercury changes signs AM and Mars PM. Late on the 5th and on the 6th frustration may arise with a Sun/Saturn square delay or obstruction. A Sun/Pluto opportunity sextile may point to the necessary changes for success. A 7th and 8th Sun/Jupiter opposition indicates adjustment that a benefit may occur. New Moon Solar Eclipse says time to begin anew. The 11th Mercury/Neptune conjunction warns of deception. The 14th, Mercury/Saturn square and Venus/Mars square say stop, look, wait.

On the 16th a Jupiter/Pluto trine means good timing for a beneficial change. The 20th Venus/Neptune conjunction indicates a choice between illusion and spiritual blessing. The 23rd, Jupiter/Saturn square warns excess can lead to clampdown. Mercury/Sun conjunction indicates clarity. Full Moon eclipse means change. The 24th Mercury/Pluto trine means prayers for positive change succeed. The 25th Saturn stationary Retrograde impacts education, religion and social benefits, Venus/Jupiter opposition indicates adjustment in benefits, and Venus/Saturn
squared, karmic choices. The 25th and 26th have a Sun/Mars trine, good for getting stuff done, aided by a Venus/Pluto sextile. The 29th sees a helpful Mercury/Saturn Trine, beware the Mercury/Pluto square on the 30th, foot in mouth time! The 31st Mercury/Uranus conjunction brings creative thinking.



An Alternative View of Astrology by Tasha Halpert

When I was growing up, I didn’t think much of astrology. My mother would read her horoscope in the newspapers and invariably if something bad happened, in her mind it was and still is due to the activity of the stars. This struck me as silly, and I shrugged off astrology as “something my mother was interested in.”. I grew up, got married, had five children. Then, because I was a stay-at-home mom with little to no mental stimulation, for a lark I decided to look into astrology and see if there was anything to it. I took a mail order course, and after a year or so, offered to do charts for free. Responses to my first attempts were positive and I continued to study and learn. Now many years later I find astrology a useful tool that I use consistently to help me in my own life as well as to help others in theirs.

The signs and planets are connected with energies associated with or represented by the Gods and Goddesses, giving wonderful clues to the effects of the signs and planets. However, they are only a part of the story. The positions of the signs and their relationships, as well as their movements through the sky are also important in the scheme of things. In addition to the signs the Sun may travel through, attention to those that the Moon traverses monthly can be extremely helpful, as any farmer or gardener will tell you, in planning ones activities—whether on the farm or in business. Former President Reagan’s success was said to be due in large part to the advice of his personal astrologer. Yet many folk still believe it is a lot of bunk and make fun of those who believe in it. This is not surprising, given the prevailing attitudes of the media and of those who presume to know how things work. I believe that the reasons for the ridicule of these folk is based on the language used in astrology.

This is a metaphor for what I think happens: If you came from outer space and had never seen the traffic pattern of a city street you might infer that rather than the drivers making the cars stop and go, it is the traffic lights that accomplish that. So it is with astrology: The fault lies in its language, which makes it appear that we are being influenced by the movement of the stars rather than that their patterns reflect our movements.

Astrologers of ancient times probably believed that this was true. They also believed in a very black and white world: Saturn was “bad” or malefic, as was Mars, while Jupiter and Venus were benefic. Planets “ruled” signs and folk were ruled by their sign, invariably seen to be succumbing to its difficulties or triumphing over them. Unfortunately, many astrologers and astrology books seem still to be mired in these old ways of seeing and being.

From my perspective, the movement of the stars reflects our movements or actions or our potential for that. Another way of stating this theory is "As above, so below." We can see astrological patterns in terms of reflection rather than in terms of direction. For instance, when we watch the weather report, we see patterns of wind, tide, heat and gravity. To the interpreter, these reflect weather. The patterns are not the weather. They are a representation of the potential for what will become windy, rainy, hot, cold, cloudy or sunny days.

Before the invention of scientific instruments, weather reports were read from omens: patterns of insect or animal behavior, or the flight of birds. An omen is a symbolic message concerning the potential for what is or will be happening. Omens were also taken before kings and chieftains planned their war campaigns or made their important decisions. In days gone by, the planets and signs of astrology were read for omens as once the entrails of sacrificial animals were—it was believed that they conveyed a picture of an irrevocable fate. Now that we have evolved beyond blood sacrifice as a means to reading the future, perhaps it's time to update our approach to astrology.

In the past, the language of astrology and astrologers has made it appear that we are irrevocably influenced by the planets and their placement. This has caused the scientifically minded to cry "hoax" and "charlatan" and amuse themselves at the expense of astrology. If this suits them, that’s fine with me. Those who are firmly convinced that astrology is bunk will not be convinced otherwise. That is their belief and I don’t argue with that. It’s pointless to argue with anyone’s belief because it’s not logical or rational. However, those that take a more open minded approach can learn to use astrology to help themselves to a happier life and an easier one. This is done by learning a little about how it works and applying its principles to their own lives. I have been doing this for a long time now and I appreciate how helpful astrology is to me.

How It All Begins
We ourselves create our own destiny. We do this not so much as a result of what happens to us in our lives, but rather from how we accept and deal with what happens to us. For instance, I could have chosen to stay with my first husband. He ridiculed everything I believed in or tried to do to improve myself. He insisted I give up the pursuit of my own happiness and spend all my time and energy on the family and their happiness. I could have stayed with him and become ill in mind and body or, as I chose to do, I could leave and pursue that happiness elsewhere. The potential for both was delineated in my astrological chart. I chose to follow my bliss and it has led me in wonderful places. I could also be seriously depressed, on medication and still enmeshed in my former husband’s plans for my life. I chose to follow my positive potential rather than my negative one.

We all know people in similar circumstances who have responded differently to circumstances that have doomed others. As Shakespeare said “Our fault lies not in our stars but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Or, “The wise man (or woman) rules his or her stars, the fool is ruled by them.” We are given the star patterns as a guideline with which to view our overall potential for any given lifetime. The pattern of the stars at the moment of our first breath upon the physical plane sets up as a matrix that represents our potential for this life as we have chosen it before we were born. The moment when we become independent of the mother's body could be said to be the first true moment of life as who we are and are to be. With the help of teachers and texts we can learn how to interpret our charts as well as to take advantage of what we have learned about ourselves from them.

Theory and Practice
Although there are theories about its origins, we not know who really invented astrology nor is that important. It is a tool that can be used to time events as well as assess both career and relationship compatibility. Using astrological charts, educators and parents as well as personnel directors and counselors can assess potential or both positive and negative results. Wherever this has been done on a small scale it has been helpful. People who use astrology to plan business meetings, weddings, family gatherings, even parties, can pick times propitious to the desired result. This is the same as consulting a weather report before planning a picnic.



An Alternative View of Astrology, By Tasha Halpert

The symbols of astrology are a kind of shorthand or “glyph” that conveys information. It helps to learn these in order to be able to follow the movements of the planets in their signs. They are not difficult to learn, especially if you associate them with their relatively simple meanings. The following descriptions tell you the chief characteristics that make up the basis for each sign and the planets that power them.

Astrological signs are chiefly characterized in three ways: according to Element, to Quality, and to Polarity. A sign’s element is either Earth, Air, Fire, or Water. Its Quality—Cardinal, Fixed, or Common or Mutable, is its chief thrust or movement. The Qualities are analogous to the progress of the seasons or the phases of the Moon: Cardinal represents the first or initial month of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter; Fixed characterizes the second month of each and Common or Mutible the last. Each sign is characterized by a quality, and element, and also a polarity,

Polarity can be defined as Masculine or Feminine, Yin or Yang, Active or Passive, Alternating or Direct--one of two halves that form opposite poles. In addition each sign has at least one and sometimes two planets assigned to it. The planet represents the thrust behind as well as the character of the sign's energy, including the direction it may take.

In the past, planets have been said to "rule" the signs. I prefer to think of them as the power or powers within it. Finally, each sign is said to symbolize a part of the body, from head to toe. Taken together, Element, Quality, Polarity, Power, and Body Part make up the basic picture of each sign. They form the essential information that guides the interpretation the signs, as well as the way a planet in that sign is clothed.

Aries, the Ram, has a ram's horns for his symbol. Cardinal, the first sign of Spring, a Fire sign, powered by Mars, god of competition and conflict, he represents initiative energy. His part of the body is the head, a reflection of Aries’ desire to lead. He enjoys athletics and physical movement, as symbolized by the mountain climbing abilities of the ram.

Taurus, the bull, has a bull's head for a symbol. Fixed, the second sign of Spring, an Earth sign, powered by Venus, goddess of love, she is here concerned with the energy of maintenance and fertility. Her part of the body is the throat and neck. Music is her province, as symbolized by the voice.

Gemini, the twins has the sign for two for his glyph. . He is Mutable or Common, the go-between, the last sign of Spring, and provides the energy to move into the summer. He is an Air sign, powered by Mercury the messenger of the gods in its airy aspect. His part of the body is the arms and shoulders, symbolizing dexterity, but being a messenger he also symbolizes communication and by definition, speech as well as intellect and thought.

Cancer is symbolized by the crab, her glyph shows the two eyes peering out from the shell. Cardinal, she is the first sign of Summer, and Water is her element. She is powered by the Moon, and because it waxes and wanes she can be expected to be moody. Her part of the body is the breast and the stomach, emphasizing her parental, nurturing makeup.

Leo is symbolized by the lion, and his glyph looks like a lion's tail. Fixed Fire, like the steady Sun that powers him, he is the middle sign of summer. His part of the body is the heart and the spine, symbolizing the romantic, as well as the stubborn nature of Leo. He is sunny, generous, and playful by disposition for the sun shines on all with equal benevolence. Like the powerful sun standing alone in the sky or the king of beasts, he is willful and given to willfulness.

Virgo is symbolized by the virgin goddess, answering to no man. She is Common or Mutable, the third sign of Summer, the go-between to Fall. She symbolizes the harvest as yet unreaped. Powered by Mercury in its earthy aspect,. Her glyph is three feminine curves. She is the caregiver of the zodiac, tending with the hands symbolized by Mercury. Her part of the body is the digestive tract. A Virgo can be expected to break everything down into its parts and then assimilate them for practical use.

Libra as shown in his glyph, is symbolized by the scales.  He is Cardinal Air, beginning Fall. Powered by Venus in her air aspect, he symbolizes the arts, as well as connections between people, such as marriage or contracts of any kind, as well as the legal profession. His body part is the kidneys without which the body cannot balance itself.

Scorpio is symbolized by a scorpion with a sting in its tail, shown in her glyph as the arrow pointing upward. A Fixed Water sign, as characterized by ice, she is the second sign of Fall. She is powered by two planets: the original Mars in a passive or patient mode symbolizing Scorpio's ability to hold on, especially in relationships, and Pluto, planet of transformation, symbolizing her ability to regenerate and rise again.  Her part of the body is the sex organs and she is said to be sexual in nature.

Sagittarius is symbolized by an arrow in a glyph pointing skyward. His is Common or Mutible Fire, blazing in the eyes and heart of the adventurer who yearns to wander the earth, the third sign of Fall. The archer behind the arrow is Chiron the Centaur who was a philosopher and teacher. Jupiter is the power behind the sign and symbolizes the educational process by which we are carried forward. His body part is the thighs, moving him forward, whether on foot or gripping a mount.

Capricorn is symbolized by a glyph representing a goat's horns and tail. . Cardinal, with Earth for her element she is the first sign of Winter. The most businesslike sign of the zodiac, with politics as part of her executive nature, like the goat of her glyph, she is liable to butt heads with you. She is powered by stalwart, structured Saturn, sometimes known as Father Time. Her part of the body is the knees, signifying her ability to leap over obstacles and perch on the heights, but also when necessary to win by bending.

Aquarius is symbolized by a glyph of two wavy lines, Fixed Air, a seeming anomaly. Yet the currents of the winds are fixed, and so is the electrical energy symbolized by Uranus, his power planet. Originally powered by Saturn, this eccentric second sign of Winter can be surprisingly conservative--another Saturnian trait. His body part is the ankles, signifying the ability of the sign to swivel this way and that while remaining planted in one place.

Pisces, Common or Mutable Water is the last sign of Winter. In her role as go-between she moves us toward Spring. Symbolized by a glyph of two joined fish she is powered by Neptune, which symbolizes her ability to immerse herself completely in any situation. Once powered only by Jupiter, now included, she is therefore generously open hearted. The most charitable of the signs, she lacks the more philosophical detachment of the Sagittarian. Her body part is the feet, said to be the most spiritual part of the body, perhaps because they are the means whereby we walk through this life on our way to achieving wholeness.



An Alternative View of Astrology, By Tasha Halpert

The process of our enlightenment really gains strength when we recognize that we ourselves create our own destiny. We accomplish this not so much as a result of what happens to us in our lives, but rather from how we accept and deal with what happens to us. While not everyone has the strength to make the right moves for themselves immediately, sooner or later, if we get uncomfortable enough and if it is in us to do so, we will take action.

For instance, despite many indications to the contrary, I could have chosen to stay with my first husband. He ridiculed everything I believed in or tried to do to improve myself. He insisted I give up the pursuit of my own happiness and spend all my time and energy on the family and their happiness. I could have stayed with him and become ill in mind and body or, as I chose to do, I could leave and pursue that happiness elsewhere.

The potential for both was delineated in my astrological chart. I chose to leave a situation that was slowly making me ill, and that choice has led me in wonderful directions. I could have remained, become seriously depressed, on medication and still be enmeshed in my former husband’s plans for my life—certainly if that were the case I would not be writing this column.

I chose to follow my positive potential rather than my negative one. Before I had become an astrologer, I went to one. She told me in no uncertain terms that “I was married to the wrong man.” Later, after I had left him, another predicted, despite my protests, that I would marry again. She also described my present husband and our life together. Gradually I came to feel more and more confident of the value of astrological predictions.

We all know people who have swum positively in circumstances that have submerged others. As Shakespeare said “Our fault lies not in our stars but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Or, “The wise man (or woman) rules his or her stars, the fool is ruled by them.” We are given the star patterns as a guideline with which to view our overall potential for any given lifetime.

Although there are many theories about its origins, we not know who really invented astrology. However, it is simply a tool; do we care who invented the hammer? the scythe? It can be used to time events as well as to assess both career and relationship compatibility. Using astrological charts, educators and parents as well as personnel directors and counselors can discover both positive and negative potential. People who use astrology to plan business meetings, weddings, family gatherings, even parties, can pick times propitious to the desired result. This could be said to be the same as consulting a weather report before planning a picnic. It is possible that much of former President Reagan's success could be partly a result of the timing of his meetings and other significant activities which thanks to his wife Nancy were suggested and possibly directed by her astrologer.

One day we may understand the laws of spiritual dynamics--that tendency of energy currents to become outward and visible in the form of the movements of nature. The interpretation of those movements, or the science of reading omens or significant symbols of energy currents, is an inherent ability of human beings. It could be said to be an extension of the wolf's ability to sniff the wind and from it detect the whereabouts of other animals, or a bird's ability to direct its course by following the magnetic currents of the earth's surface.

Astrology is a useful tool, and like any other, if one is inclined to dependency it can become a crutch to lean on rather than a lantern to see by. Yet with a little detachment, astrology can be a valuable aid to charting one's course in life as well as a means for better understanding why circumstances may play out as they may have, might do, or are doing at the time.

One regular planetary occurrence that is easy to make use of is a phenomenon known as Retrograde Mercury. The planet Mercury is symbolic of movement, commerce, communication and dexterity. Mercury is also another name for the trickster God, Hermes. This planet symbolizes the flow of matters relating to the passage of time and energy. Because the astrological system we use is geocentric—patterns are observed from the standpoint of the planet earth, three times a year, Mercury appears to go backward. Symbolically, this heralds a time when communications and commerce get held up, confused, or take a backward step.

What this boils down to is that three times a year for around three weeks at a time, if you are able to, there are certain things it is best to avoid doing. This is not a good time to initiate action, purchase automobiles, machinery of any kind, or computers or buy things because they are on sale. However, if you absolutely need to do any of these things, and then you will probably be just fine. In other words, the world doesn’t have to stop just because Mercury is retrograde. It does, however seem to slow down. It is vital to allow extra time for everything, to get to the airport early, to be able to extend deadlines. Mercury retrograde is a wonderful experience in learning to be patient.

There are also certain things you can plan to do then that go very well indeed. One general rule is that activities that begin with “re” can often be done more efficiently during a retrograde Mercury: repairs, restructuring, repeating, reflecting, reorganizing, reviewing, and so forth. I often save up things to do then because I find it to be an easier and more efficient time to go through my file drawers, closets, collections, and so forth. That stack of papers will get filed with little effort; my to-do list for sorting and discarding what is no longer needed goes down to nothing.

You can make good use of this time to improve certain skills. You can become more accurate and clearer when you give directions, more thorough when you design or read over contracts. You can practice meditating and improve your skills. This is an excellent time to reflect upon life and to review plans and opportunities. All those projects you’ve been meaning to finish up can now be completed. Best of all, you will likely hear from friends and acquaintances you haven’t seen in a long time. For me, this is one of the nicest aspects of this astrological experience.

The days of Retrograde Mercury are excellent ones to mindfully apply my will power and make good use of what could otherwise be a disturbing energy pattern. I am thankful for these energy diagrams or astrological patterns that help me plan and guide my activities. By learning to use the energy of the planets to help me take appropriate action I reinforce my innate ability to claim my own destiny and steer my life in positive directions.


Abundance Checks
Provided by Tasha Halpert

Abundance checks are a tool we can use to create more abundance in our lives.They are written within 24 hours after a New Moon.

Surprisingly, you really don't even need to believe that the check will work when you write it. You will however be amazed at the results, as you will see increased abundance in your life, in some life area. It is not always financial, but certainly in an area that you need.

There is a traditional manner, which has been handed down, that must be followed. If you do not have a checking account you can draw a check on a piece of paper and fill it out the same way - the results will be the same, more abundance for you.

Here’s how to do them:

When: Each new Moon:

  1. Within 24 hours after a New Moon, take a check from your check book. Where it says "Pay to," write your name.
  2. In the little box on the same line where you would fill in a dollar amount write "Paid in full."
  3. On the line underneath your name, where you would write out a dollar amount, write "Paid in full." [I find it works better if you don't add the squiggly line.]
  4. Sign the check: "The Law of Abundance."


Do not put a date on the check. Do not write a specific dollar amount in the check. Put it in a safe place and forget about it. The Universe will take it from there.

Many people are skeptical about trying this until they do it. After the first time they realize the power of these checks and do them routinely every month! Try it yourself and see!