It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holidays have descended!
Here’s an idea for all of your gift-giving needs, something so unusual it will be discussed long after the Donald Trump Halloween masks have been burnt or the Christmas tree has been hauled out to the curb.
What do you give the man or woman who seeks something more meaningful in the New Year than a power tool, kitchen gadget or pet turtle? Why their own horoscope, of course!
Here’s the great news: Until January 15th of 2018, I’m offering a 20% discount off of my usual initial session fee — to new clients and friends.
The sixty-minute session (over phone or Skype) includes birth chart interpretation along with a detailed transit and progression overview for the new year. Imagine the joy! The thrills! The mind-bending insights!
Arranging for your gift is easy with the secure form below. I mean, it takes all of 15 seconds, with emailed instructions for your gift arriving in a flash.
And thank you to all of my ongoing clients, students, and friends — near and far — for another great year of working together. You’re all wonderful!
Blessings uninterrupted in 2018!
Charles Dickens pulled off a literary first when he gave a detailed account of the aftereffects of spontaneous human combustion in his epic novel Bleak House. The recounting went like this: While sitting and dozing in his cluttered room, Mr. Krook — a grizzled, alcohol-steeped rag merchant — abruptly burst into flames, leaving just a rancid smell and a gruesome pile of skeletal ash in his wake.
Dickens, a writer of keen detail and authenticity was always taken at his word by the public. And so one of the most horrifying images from the 19th Century claimed a spot in the collective imagination.
Even today, tales of spontaneous combustion continue to flare up (sorry) in the tabloids. And if those are not genuine, still, the impression of a human being inadvertently bursting into flames is a striking symbol — both mythic and alchemic.
I recalled Dickens and Mr. Krook while contemplating an illustration to mark Saturn’s entry into Capricorn on December 19. The image is fitting while Saturn closes in behind Pluto’s smoldering trail; a path that appeared like a flash fire after the tiny dynamo entered Capricorn in 2008.
The two planets will conjoin in January of 2020. Take this as an alert from the solar system’s public warning system.
Actually, why wait until 2020 when the world is poised to shift — radically — in just a few days? WINTER IS COMING. And we’re all invited to what is the equivalent of a wedding between Shiva and Father Time. Or One Wedding and a Funeral.
Through A Lens Darkly
The solstice horoscope for 2017 is dreary — sobering. Just as the Sun seems to halt (sol = Sun — sistere = to make stand), the solar stillness is permeated with Saturn’s zero-degree presence in Capricorn, having just entered the sign the evening before.
The life-giving radiance of the Sun merged with Saturn’s leaden pall imparts a somber hue to the start of the New Year. Saturn’s ‘moment in the Sun’ is a preparatory exercise for a shoring up of resolve as we move towards 2020.
Ponder this: As the planet astrologers associate with the reality principle blends with Pluto — the solar system’s black hole generator — what kind of altered consciousness might this tease out from the depths?
True. The promise is both unnerving and exciting — sort of like the surge of energy one experiences right before purging whatever has been hoarded throughout a lifetime. And that’s always a good thing, after the fact. Yes?
We haven’t experienced Saturn making a conjunction with one of the outer planets — Uranus, Neptune and Pluto — in close to thirty years. The last time was in 1988 when Saturn touched off Uranus in Sagittarius and the Soviet Union collapsed. An event that seemed to materialize out of nowhere (a very Uranian theme).
But where Uranus accelerates and shatters, Pluto slowly dematerializes until a flash point is struck — sending everything over an event horizon.
Something to consider: Will Saturn’s upcoming meeting with Pluto burnoff the hallucinogenic fugue that’s defined the global culture since 2008? The solstice chart hints at the start of this process.
On the somatic level, Earthlings experience Saturn like this: “Here! Stop. Look at this event in slow motion. Study this until you’ve aged a bit.” In other words, time suspended allows us to look deeply, to become absorbed within the field that is the Capricorn matrix — that is to say — our collective experience of reality — the goatfish being the most pragmatic sign in the Zodiac.
Because modern Western culture lives primarily from what Gurdjieff called the ‘head center’ — a limited, intellectualized perspective that distances us from the world of feeling — both emotional and physical — the pressure to face facts, to engage in a heartfelt way with the world can seem brutal.
Saturn, with persistence (and constant wake-up calls), ultimately, paves the way for the crown of wisdom. This is doubly so while transiting Capricorn, a sign the planet melds easily with. But the ‘arriving’ of the wisdom can feel one step removed. Delay: One of Saturn’s most grinding tests.
But who wants to see that deeply and clearly? Wouldn’t it be easier to keep reading online op-eds or watching televised talking heads that ‘explain everything’ to us?
When you put the demand to awaken against the fuzzy stupor we’ve lived through since 2008, the perspectival switch is startling. Suddenly the peripheral is emphatically in front of us — and in a high-def way: Depleted bank accounts or life savings that have evaporated, health insurance uncertainties, ‘entitlements’ from the government on the chopping block, trickle-down economics that defy gravity and float back into the wealthiest’s wallets.
Both Capricorn and Saturn tangle us into the corporeal realm of finances — the reality of frugality and austerity; two words that seem anti-American. A bore. Read more
It was an honor to have my new book Skywriter: Notes on Modern Astrology reveiwed by Mary Plumb, The Mountain Astrologer‘s resident book maven. Please consider ordering a subscription to TMA this Christmas season — for yourself or as a gift for someone special. Here is Mary’s review:
“I have been a fan of Frederick Woodruff since I found his Astroinquiry website. This eBook, subtitled The Best of Astroinquiry.com, Vol. 1, is a collection of some of his most popular essays from the past ten years.
Woodruff is a longtime astrologer — practicing “what would be considered psychological-spiritual astrology” — and although he identifies himself as a “skeptical mystic,” my best attempt at defining his style is that he writes as a post-intellectual, post-conceptual, back-to-the-precious-human-body, direct-personal-experience kind of guy.
Effectively communicating with clients, he says “doesn’t need a lot of highfalutin intellectualizing or contemplation or meditation. All you need do is sense yourself, your am-ness, your first-personal giveness and there you are.” His integration of the teachings that he has studied — e.g., Gurdjieff, Chogyam Trungpa, Carl Jung — informs his work and a subtext to self-inquiry or self-awareness (and humor) runs quite naturally throughout these essays.
The essays herein include “Create Your Own Archetype and Call it You,” “Pluto in Capricorn: Death is the New Black,” “Make Facebook Your Slave — Some Tips,” “Depression and Solar Consciousness,” and “Outer Planets and the Nostalgia for Samsara.”
Woodruff’s advice to aspiring astrological writers is spot-on and funny as can be: “Please consider how you employ the words ‘transformation,’ ‘changes,’ ‘challenging’ and ‘archetype’ in your prose. Changes and challenging transformations have been going down on the planet since the first cavewoman read Clan of the Cave Bear, so saying that a transit is going to bring ‘big changes’ or ‘challenge’ me is like telling me that I will finish half a bottle of wine with dinner tonight. This is not news.”
He includes select words of poets, teachers, and mystics. About one such entry, he writes: “Rumi composed a small eruption of a poem…” Frederick Woodruff does something similar with many moments in his writing, as he takes readers through passages and thoughts that provoke and inform.”
— Mary Plumb
When I launched AstroInquiry ten years ago I took an aim that I would create content that had substance, offered insights and had meat on the bone.
If you’re a reader who has grown bored with the vague, go-nowhere nature of most astrological scribing — New Age jargon cloaked in astrological cliches — then my new book — a collection of some of the most popular essays from AstroInquiry, will interest you.
• Would you like a better understanding of Mercury retrograde — both the astronomical phenomenon and the astrological interpretations of this annual event? Then you’ll enjoy the chapter The Truth About Mercury Retrograde. Find new ways to harness the rich imaginal realm within your unconscious, images that are heightened during the Mercury retrograde cycle. Who cares about lost car keys when the heart of your creative nature beckons?
• How about love? Without question, relationships — especially romance-based — offer great potential for psychological maturity. To understand love is to foster compassion and generosity as well as the excitement of deeper intimacy and sexual communion. You’ll find much to explore in the chapter Secrets of the Heart: Love is an Action Not A Feeling. The chapter opens with one of Rumi’s most beguiling poems and then moves forward from that literary close reading into the mysteries of human relating. A must for the intrepid Hero and Heroine of the Heart. Read more
The Hunger Games captured our imagination because everyone watching the film was thinking, somewhere in the cellar of his unconscious: “Jesus, that could be me.”
Such is the economic climate of the times. Especially for creative souls — which is to say all of us, because we all create something in order to survive.
Unlike Katniss, artists have been slowly inculcated — over the past twenty years — to fight for eyeballs, the Internet culture’s new currency: ‘Likes’, ‘followers’, clicks.
What would have passed as a simple ‘help wanted’ query ten years ago — listing a job description and how much you’d be paid — is now a promise that if you work for free perhaps a lot of people will see what you are doing and ‘like’ your Facebook page.
Up-and-coming actress Paris Berelc could only compete for a recent audtion after she confirmed to the producers that she had over 1-million followers on Instagram.
And no one’s exempt, not even acrobats. Force of nature Rovela answered a call for talent from Oprah and balked when she was told she’d be paid with ‘exposure.’ “Fuck that,” she declared (sorta), on her blog, to much fanfare and clicking on the Internet. Read more