The Week Ahead

3-4 August

With the Sun in Leo (hot-dry) and the Moon in Aquarius (hot-wet), the energy of today and tomorrow is Choleric/Sanguine.

Humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen. It’s all to do with the four blocks or ‘roots’ of the material world (Fire, Earth, Water, and Air) that manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments. Humoural theory underpinned much of Early Modern drama, and was extensively used by well-known playwrights of the period like Shakespeare and Ben Jonson.

Previously, we have experienced Choleric/Sanguine as linked to enthusiastic pleasantries and colourful drama, now the same could get you into big trouble. To understand how it works, let’s take a closer look at Jonson’s 17th century satire, Volpone.

Unlike Shakespeare, whose characters either balance (self-cancel) each other as with Falstaff and Prince Hal in Henry IV or fail to find balance as did Hamlet, Jonson’s characters find balance through outside forces. Nonetheless, the lessons to be learned remain the same.

As a Choleric, Volpone (‘sly fox’) is quick witted and bold; he is also given to jesting, mocking, and lying. Along with his servant, Mosca, Volpone plots a clever hoax to dupe those aspiring to inherit his fortunes because he glories ‘more in the cunning purchase of my wealth’ than it its ‘possession’.

When the clever hoax fails, Volpone loses his wealth and is sent to prison. In true Sanguine fashion – indifferent to both vice and virtue and the results they may bring – in his final address, Volpone says that for him ‘no suffering is due’ if the audience praises him – ‘clap your hands’.

Some key words for this energy include:

  • Amoral
  • Playful
  • Proud
  • Brash
  • Clever

Advice: Keep your wits about you and beware of your wit.


5-6 August

With the Sun in Leo (hot-dry) and the Moon in Pisces (cold-wet), the energy of today and tomorrow is Choleric/Phlegmatic.

Humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen. It’s all to do with the four blocks or ‘roots’ of the material world (Fire, Earth, Water, and Air) that manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments. Often, we experience various combinations of the four humours resulting in mixed temperaments – the less balance between them – the worse as we will soon discover.

Previously, we have experienced Choleric/Phlegmatic as associated with a cold shower on unbridled passions, now those passions never even get off the ground. Whilst Choleric energy is characterised as fiery and proud, Phlegmatic energy (as expressed in Pisces) is noted by John Harington in his 17th century Poems on Temperament, as ‘so dead their spirits, so dull their senses are’.  

This makes perfect sense when we remember that Leo and Pisces form a confusing quincunx (150 degree) aspect to each other. In psychological astrology, the quincunx is linked to a crisis or dilemma that defies solution not the least because it revolves around what appears to be equally unsatisfactory alternatives. Moving forward is more than likely to require a sacrifice of some sort.

This is rather bad news to the unbridled passions of the Choleric. Equally, it is bad news for the slow-paced deliberations of the self-contented Phlegmatic. Neither stand much chance of getting their way.

Some key words for this energy include:

  • Awkward
  • Clumsy
  • Incongruent
  • Worry
  • Self-sabotage

Advice: Nothing ventured, nothing gained but equally, nothing is lost – or is it?


7-9 August

With the Sun in Leo (hot-dry) and the Moon in Aries (hot-dry), the energy is Choleric.

Humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen. It’s all to do with the four blocks or ‘roots’ of the material world (Fire, Earth, Water, and Air) that manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments. Humoural theory underpinned much of Early Modern drama, and was extensively used by well-known playwrights of the period like Shakespeare and John Webster.

Previously, we have experienced Choleric as associated with the angry, ‘oft malicious’ Ferdinand in Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi and concluded this was his temperament about which nothing much could be done. But with today’s energy we ought to dig deeper.

Ferdinand intends to ‘purge’ his temper on his sister (a ‘notorious strumpet’). She has married not to his liking even whilst he has no problem that his brother, the Cardinal, keeps as his mistress, another man’s wife.

Might this be sexual libido gone wrong? It’s a reasonable suggestion what with all the knives and their phallic symbolism – Ferdinand does sneaks into his sister’s boudoir to surprise her with a knife. Arguably, Ferdinand seems to struggle to control his passions – consider his protestations about the effect on him of his sister’s body (‘Damn her, That body of hers’).

With this, the focus is no longer just on a choleric brother having a 17th century rant but on the sexual politics of the period. Might such politics still inform our own today?

Some key words for this energy include:

  • Fierce
  • Ambitious
  • Intolerant
  • Self-focused
  • Abrupt

Advice: Learn from literature if you want things better not worse.


The Week Ahead

27-28 July

With the Sun in Leo (hot-dry) and the Moon in Scorpio (cold-wet), the energy of today and tomorrow is Choleric/Phlegmatic.


Humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen. It’s all to do with the four blocks or ‘roots’ of the material world (Fire, Earth, Water, and Air) that manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments. Often, we experience various combinations of the four humours resulting in mixed temperaments – the less balance between them – the worse as we will soon discover.


Choleric energy is characterised as commanding and aggressive. It is a time of energetic enthusiasm that may lead to impulsive ‘hot-headedness’. Add to that the slow-paced deliberation of the self-contented Phlegmatic and we can expect an ‘eh’ couple of days.

This makes perfect sense when we remember that Leo and Scorpio are in a challenging square (90 degree) aspect to each other. In psychological astrology, the square aspect is linked to tension and conflict, which might be used for highly creative endeavours – but usually isn’t.

In his translation of Galen’s Art of Physick, the one good thing that Nicholas Culpeper says about the Choleric/Phlegmatic energy is that is less vicious than the pure Choleric. However, perhaps the reason he neglects to instruct us further on this point is because in effect, one delivers a nasty cold shower to the otherwise unsuspecting, unbridled passions of the other.

Some key words for this energy include:

  • Halting
  • Out of sync
  • Lethargic
  • Malicious
  • Reserved

Advice: All things in moderation but then again, maybe not. 


29-30 July

With the Sun in Leo (hot-dry) and the Moon in Sagittarius (hot-dry), the energy of today and tomorrow is Choleric.


Humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen. It’s all to do with the four blocks or ‘roots’ of the material world (Fire, Earth, Water, and Air) that manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments. Humoural theory underpins much of Early Modern drama and was extensively used by well-known playwrights of the period like Shakespeare.


We last addressed Choleric energy not long ago when both the Moon and the Sun were in Leo. This time is different. This is because the fire of Sagittarius is of a less intense, less personal nature than in Leo. Is also brings the benevolence of Jupiter, king of gods, to the table.

Whilst the effect of Leo/Leo is akin to well-tended hearth fire, over which the evening meal is cooked, the effect of Leo/Sagittarius of one of bright sparks of intuition marked with good humour and good fortune. 😉

For the table, sir, it shall be served in; for the meat, sir, it shall be covered; for your coming in to dinner, sir, why, let it be as humours and conceits shall govern. 

The Merchant of Venice, 3.5.22

Some key words for this energy include:

  • Enthusiastic
  • Jolly
  • Commanding
  • Generous
  • Hospitable

Advice: Like a fine wine, savour every little bit of luck!


30 July – 2 August

With the Sun in Leo (hot-dry) and the Moon in Capricorn (cold/dry), the energy of today and tomorrow is Choleric/Melancholic.

Humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen. It’s all to do with the four blocks or ‘roots’ of the material world (Fire, Earth, Water, and Air) that manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments. Humoural theory underpinned much of Early Modern drama, and was extensively used by well-known playwrights of the period like Shakespeare.

We have previously experienced the combination of Choleric/Melancholic as ambitious but self-cancelling; this time it may become your undoing. To understand how it works, let’s take a closer look at Shakespeare’s tragic character Hamlet.

Although a Choleric/Melancholic mix, Hamlet is prone the Melancholic. This becomes evident when Rosencrantz and Guildenstern arrive at court. Not only does Hamlet tell them that he has ‘lost all my mirth’ but also that he has ‘forgone all custom of exercises’. Later in the same scene he actually names his complaint – ‘my melancholy’. But regardless of how many times Rosencrantz reminds Hamlet of his ‘ambitions’ suggesting that Hamlet’s friend sees him as Choleric/Melancholic and hence having ambitions, Hamlet refuses to engage with the full range of his temperaments. He does not ‘strive’ to be ‘judicious’ but instead allows himself to wallow in melancholy’s ‘foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.’

Literature critic TS Eliot (Hamlet and His Problems) suggests it was this Melancholic wallowing that made Hamlet an ‘artistic failure’.  

Some key words for this energy include:

  • Shamefaced
  • Bashful
  • Sober
  • Fretful
  • Solitude

Advice: Rise above your troubles least they rise above you.


The Week Ahead

21 July

With the Sun in Cancer (cold-wet) and the Moon in Leo (hot/dry), the energy of today is Phlegmatic/Choleric.

Humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen. It’s all to do with the four blocks or ‘roots’ of the material world (Fire, Earth, Water, and Air) that manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments.

Phlegmatic/Choleric energy is combination of water and fire, which at best makes steam. In this instance, it’s not the type of steam that helpfully powers engines but instead that blows it’s top. This is because Cancer is ruled by the Moon and Leo, is ruled by the Sun and today, their relationship today is uncomfortably reversed.

  • Cancer takes the back seat = faithful, stable, lethargic, conservative.
  • Leo takes the front seat = boasting, enthusiastic, generous, impatient.

Some key words for this energy include:

  • Determined
  • Assertive
  • Touchy
  • Impulsive

Advice: It’s likely your planned parade will get rained upon; try not to take this personally.


22 July

With the Sun in Leo (hot-dry) and the Moon in Leo (hot-dry), today’s energy is Choleric.


Humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen. It’s all to do with the four blocks or ‘roots’ of the material world (Fire, Earth, Water, and Air) that manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments. Humoural theory underpinned much of Early Modern drama, and was extensively used by well-known playwrights of the period like Shakespeare and Webster.

For example, in John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, a close reading of the text in 2.5 where Ferdinand expounds ‘Rhubarb, O for rhubarb (t)o purge this choler’ may well leave us none the wiser. 

But when we know that in the early 17th century rhubarb was considered to medicinally ‘purge’ or cure ‘choler’, then a meaningful connection is made. More importantly, we can deal better with the Ferdinand-types in our lives when we understand that their ‘choler’ is not a fleeting state of mind, but their temperament and thus difficult to change. 

In John Harrington’s 1607 Poems on Temperament, we discover that a choleric like Ferdinand is not only angry, but he is ‘oft malicious’ and ‘all violent and fierce’. Not only that but ‘on little cause to anger’ a choleric like Ferdinand is ‘great inclin’d’. This understanding of the nature of his temperament presents a different picture than if we were to simply believe him to angry on a certain day.

Some key words for this energy include:

  • Aggressive
  • Proud
  • Bold
  • Boastful
  • Impatient

Advice: Learn from literature, it has much to offer. Failing that, well, then you’re on your own.


23-24 July

With the Sun in Leo (hot-dry) and the Moon in Virgo (cold-dry), the energy of today and tomorrow is Choleric/Melancholic.


Humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen. It’s all to do with the four blocks or ‘roots’ of the material world (Fire, Earth, Water, and Air) that manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments. Naturally no person could consist of a single temperament – as far back as Galan in the 2nd century it has been accepted that such ‘pure’ states are not possible in humans.

Because the four temperaments share certain qualities, combinations are to be expected; in his translation of Galen’s Art of Physick, Nicholas Culpeper helpfully includes descriptions of certain ‘compound’ temperaments.

The example a Choleric/Melancholic (sharing dryness) is one who not only dreams of ‘Murders’ and ‘Hurts’ proceeding from ‘fire, fighting, or anger’ but is also ‘quick Witted’ and ‘studious’; he is however more ‘suspicious’, ‘fretful’, and ‘solitary’ than Choleric men.

Because of this, on days characterised by Choleric/Melancholic energy, we are unlikely to achieve much. Those familiar with Shakespeare’s Henry IV might recognise this problem when by the end of 2 Henry IV the Choleric Hal (he has ambitions as he tells us from the start – ‘Yet herein will I imitate the sun, I.2, 186) and the Melancholic Falstaff (‘melancholy as a gib cat’ and ‘an old lion’) have sadly cancelled each other out.

Some key words for this energy include:

  • Self-absorbed
  • Failure to complete
  • Vindictive
  • Caught between past and future
  • Moody

Advice: Finish what you’ve started, before beginning something new. 


25-26 July

With the Sun in Leo (hot-dry) and the Moon in Libra (hot-wet), the energy of today and tomorrow is Choleric/Sanguine.


Humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen. It’s all to do with the four blocks or ‘roots’ of the material world (Fire, Earth, Water, and Air) that manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments. Often, we experience various combinations of the four humours resulting in mixed temperaments – the more balance between them, the better as we will soon discover.

Choleric energy is characterised as commanding and aggressive. It is a time of energetic enthusiasm that may lead to impulsive ‘hot-headedness’. But it’s also characterised by a friendly atmosphere of generosity that can help to smooth over any cracks. Add to that the sympathetic kindness and understanding of the Sanguine influence and we can expect a rather pleasant, albeit lively, couple of days.

This makes perfect sense when we remember that Leo and Libra are in a comfortable sextile (60 degree) aspect to each other. In psychological astrology, the sextile aspect is  linked to opportunities – perhaps because of associations with open communication and rational discourse.

This makes today and tomorrow an excellent time to seize the moment and sort out difficulties. As long as you’re actively seeking to understand viewpoints other than your own, you can expect real success.

Some key words for this energy include:

  • Beneficial
  • Bright
  • Rich
  • Colourful
  • Dramatic

Advice: Be firm yet friendly and show genuine interest in the other; always a recipe for success.


The Week Ahead

14-15 July

With the Sun in Cancer and the Moon in Taurus, the energy is akin to that of the tarot card the Nine of Cups

All is right with the world – or is it? 

In most tarot decks, the representation of the Nine of Cups is one of a mix of smug self-satisfaction about the present and unbearable anxiety regarding what comes next.

Art reflects life and life during the early 20th century was disjointed, not unlike life in our post COVID-19 world. Is it any wonder that early 20th century writers like Woolf, Eliot, and Forster, on the rebound from World War I, the first truly global conflict killing nearly 40 million, experimented with disjointed ideas of linear progression and calendar or clock time?

Our Western perception of the world remains based on ancient Greek notions of linearity as laid out Aristotle in his famous work, Poetics: drama (and by extension, life) must have a definable beginning, middle, and end – in that order. 

For Western man, disruption of linearity leads inextricably to angst and anxiety. This is precisely what Existentialists like Heidegger and writers like Woolf, Eliot, and Forster are trying to address.

For Heidegger, ‘time is no longer a reckonable sequence’ but instead ‘an inexhaustible inescapable presence’. In other words, real time, unlike clock time is primitive, primordial, and scary. It is the ‘dense medium’ – the messy reality – through which we must drag ourselves each day.

Yet when we insist upon seeing our lives as a linear sequence where the efforts of yesterday must pay off tomorrow, how could we ever be completely satisfied with today? 


16-18 July

With the Sun in Cancer and the Moon in Gemini, the energy is akin to that of the tarot card the Six of Cups.

Problems can be smoothed or deflected and relationships, shaped for ill or good. The decision is yours but it won’t be easy. Life never is. At times like this, why not turn to the existentialist philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard for help?

When faced with the impossible choice whether to break off his engagement with Regina Olsen, Kierkegaard refused to follow advice, ethics, or social norms.

Instead, he consulted his own conscience and so the broke off his engagement but not for reasons one might suspect. It was not that he considered himself unsuitable for marriage; indeed, in his writing Kierkegaard painted touching pictures of the joys that await any man, lucky enough to be happily lost in deep domesticity. It was not that he didn’t love Regina. She was the love of his life. Instead he concluded that losing Regina was akin to a sacrifice – the only choice possible – if he was to completely and honestly embrace who he was and his authentic life path.

Authenticity, choice, and personal responsibility are all important themes in 20th and 21st century Existentialism. As all the existentialists advise, such things are never easy to face much less to act upon.

But might it not be easier to bear if you consider this not as saying ‘no’ to something but instead, as did Kierkegaard, saying ‘yes’ to something else?


19-20 July

With the Sun in Cancer (cold-wet) and the Moon in Cancer (cold-wet), the new Moon energy of today and tomorrow is  Phlegmatic.


Humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen. It’s all to do with the four block or ‘roots’ of the material world (Fire, Earth, Water, and Air) that manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments. Humoural theory still figures into modern characterisation, such as with favourite personages in AA Milne’s classic children’s story, Winnie The Pooh.


Phlegmatic energy is pure water, which at best flows along briskly a cool, clear, fast-running stream. All this is making way for this new Moon which is perfect for planting seeds for your future. But if you’re not careful, you could end up not like happy Pooh, but more like sad Eeyore.

The new moon in Cancer is a good time to commit to those personal goals that not only honour your deepest, most intimate feelings but also support your personal security and safety. One thing that you can’t afford to do with this energy, however, is to sit by and just ‘let it happen’. That cool, clear, fast-running stream is heading someplace and if you don’t do some navigation, it is likely to take you someplace you don’t want to go.

Some key words for this energy include:

  • Conservative
  • Thoughtful
  • Cautious
  • Patient
  • Reflective

Advice: follow your dreams and get ready for a nice ride, at least it will be as long as you’ve done your homework and due-diligence. 


The Week Ahead

6-8 July

With the Sun in Cancer and the Moon in Aquarius, the energy of the next two and one/half days is akin to the tarot trump, The Star. 

The 18th century philosopher Kant said ‘two things fill me with admiration the starry sky above me and moral law within me.’ But it was the 17th century French physicist and mathematician, Pascal, who said, when speaking of the heavens that would later so enchant Kant, that the ‘silence of these infinite spaces frightens me’.  

Such is the dilemma of today’s energy: if unlike Kant, we fail to find faith in the future we surely will not be filled with admiration yet at the same time, the unknown of those infinite spaces that that so frightened Pascal are truly scary.

Worse, our brains are hard-wired to cling to tired assumptions and misperceptions about how the future will look based solely on the past. We each have a natural bias to ideas and suggestions that confirm, rather than contradict, what we already believe. 

There are ways to interrupt this pattern of unhelpful thinking but you first have to realise it is happening and identify it as such. Each morning, try jotting down a couple of things about how you expect the day to pan out and review them just before going to bed. Were you right or wrong or somewhere in between? After a few days, you’ll begin to see a trend.

Questioning your current situation in this way can open new paths to creative thinking  about possibilities may present themselves tomorrow and the next day after that.


9-10 July

With Sun in Cancer and the Moon in Pisces, the energy of the next two days is akin to the tarot trump, The Moon. The energy is dreamy and full of mystery but beware, everything looks different by moonlight then it does in the cold, harsh light of day.

This is the stuff of Greek tragedy, the themes of which still infuse contemporary Western literature, film, and drama. The existentialist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was convinced that a significant reason that Greek tragedy has been such a huge success is because it celebrates the Dionysian urge to life, the deep, dark primitive urges that men and animals share alike. But it is more than that, said Nietzsche. The primary appeal is that in Greek tragedy, the hero suffers and the audience enjoys the show.

The real problem here is that in ancient Greece, Dionysus was not just the God of Wine providing us with the means to have a good time, but a dangerous Olympian whose special power was to drive mortals insane. 

In the tarot, The Moon warns of similar dangers when we allow ourselves to make choices based not on how things are but instead of how we might want them to be. Remember that the hero in Greek tragedy suffers not just because he has a fatal flaw, but that he embraces it, willingly or otherwise.

Please, don’t do the same.


11-13 July

With the Sun in Cancer and the Moon in Aries, the energy is akin to the Knight of Cups. It’s a time to move confidently toward cherished goals and dreams powered by more passion than you might have felt in years.

The reality is that most of us assume that the future will be just like the past and in doing so, we’re almost certain to ensure that it will be. Even worse, we usually focus on that which isn’t working instead of what is working and in this way prove ourselves right about our assumptions.

Break this habit by using a technique inspired by phenomenology, a philosophical tradition launched in the first half of the 20th century by existentialist thinkers like Husserl and Heidegger.

Phenomenology asks us to set aside obfuscating preconceptions and let something reveal itself to us. This is not to be accomplished, as Nietzsche might suggest, by pushing, prodding, and/or exercising ‘power over’that something. Instead it’s about getting creatively descriptive about it in new ways.

As you read each of the following, jot down all the assumptions that automatically come to mind. These may include words, images, thoughts, colours, smells. Next, challenge your assumptions and jot down as many alternative meanings to each sentences as you can.

  • I’m fine.
  • She ran like hell.
  • Whatever you want.
  • I know exactly what you mean.
  • I bumped into him at the supermarket.

What have you noticed about the meanings that you automatically make in comparison with all the potential meanings that could be made? How might this help you to picture differently where you are today and what could be your tomorrow?


The Week Ahead

30 June –1 July

With Sun in Cancer and the Moon in Scorpio, the energy of the next two days is akin to the tarot Seven of Cups. Moods turn dark fast and there’s a tendency to fall just as quickly into the victim mode.

There are many reasons why this happens and if you’re interested in learning more, I highly recommend Barry Weinhold’s book, How to Break Free of the Drama Triangle & Victim Consciousness.

But for now, let’s accept that whenever we are busy playing the role of the victim, we’re probably not in a very happy or healthy truth and that’s something that needs to be fixed.

Here’s a personal example of how this works in practice:

A few weeks ago, Ms A kept pushing and pushing until I finally got angry and told her off. Then she played the victim, visibly hurt by my ‘inability’ (or unwillingness) to control my anger, leaving me to stew about whether it was me or her, who’d been wronged.

When things like this happen, accusations fly, blame ensues, and everyone feels worse for the encounter.

Because of the nature of our ongoing relationship, it was a given that I’d have to speak with Ms A again. I had to find a way to fix the rift, at least from my perspective. With helpful encouragement from my own personal coach using several highly effective techniques, I was able to see and accept the ‘truth’ about my own role in the episode. As the result, I was able to renew my relationship with Ms A based on new and more solid ground.


2-3 July

With Sun in Cancer and the Moon in Sagittarius, the energy of the next two days is akin to the tarot Three of Cups: opportunity and good fortune.

Perhaps the most amazing thing with this, however, is that rather than having these benefits magically bestowed upon you by your fairy god mother, you will have to work for them.

How to find happiness is a huge philosophical question, which throughout the centuries has been addressed by many a learned man and woman. The Dalai Lama, a modern expert on happiness, reminds us that the English word happy stems from the Icelandic word happ, meaning luck or chance. But that’s not how it really works in practice, he warns.

In reality, happiness requires training and discipline and it starts with the mind.

Name three good things that have happened to you today and why. Better yet, grab a pen and piece of paper and write this down and then read it back to yourself out loud. Not only is this little exercise likely to make you smile, it’s also the first step to reprogramming your brain. It focuses you on what’s right in your life rather than what’s wrong and it makes you think about what it is that you most value.

Don’t be surprised that if you do this exercise every day, more positive things will come your way as if, perhaps, by magic.


4-5 July

With Sun in Cancer and the Moon in Capricorn, the full-moon energy of the next two days is akin to the tarot trump, The Devil. With this, not unlike Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we come face-to-face with temptation.

To learn more about the problem, we turn to Goethe and his 18th century classic work Faust in which a despondent protagonist decides to cheer himself up and in doing so, sells his soul to the Devil. In Doctor Faustus, a 17th century work by Marlowe with a similar name, the protagonist does exactly the same. But strangely, whilst upon death Marlowe’s protagonist goes straight to hell, Goethe’s protagonist finds a contractual loophole and so ends up in heaven instead. Both these literary characters took a chance yet the results of their gamble is maddeningly left to luck.

The moral seems to there are no guarantees in life so when the stakes are high, why take that gamble? Instead, why not cover your bases in advance and develop some old fashioned self- discipline? Unfortunately, here again the plot thickens. Studies show we each have a limited supply of self-discipline and when it’s gone, it is gone – at least until enough time has passed for it to replenish.

The bad news is that whilst we’re waiting for that magic moment, temptation continues to stare us down and unless we’ve got something more upon which to rely, we’re on the slippery slope to giving in.

The good news is that Positive Psychology suggests that developing habits and rituals is an easy way to ensure that you’re prepared for whatever temptation may throw your way. More good news: developing those habits and rituals is easier with astrological coaching.

Enter Gemini

Doubtless, we can no longer afford to ignore the fact that anxiety, free floating fretting about that which might or might not happen, is a natural consequence of life. Doubtless, we can also no longer afford to ignore the fact that this anxiety is making us ill.

Fantasy

For years, existentialists like Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Martin Heidegger have been telling us this. For years, too many of us have failed to listen. At least in part, this is the reason that in the United States, anxiety is the most common mental illness, affecting more than 40 million adults each and every year.

These existentialists told us that as humans, we have freedom to make decisions every step of the way although, admittedly, this may not always seem to be the case. These existentialists also told us that like it or not, we must bear personal responsibility for our decisions, whether made consciously or by default through inaction. At least these existentialists did admit that if we constantly acknowledged this weighty ball and chain to which we remain forever shackled, we’d probably not be able to function.

At least in part, this is the reason why a recent study found that nearly 37% of workplace respondents reported symptoms of anxiety in the past year. At least in part, this is also the reason those existentialists warned us that in reality, our fantasy mind games will not save us – those fantasy mind games we play that make it appear as if constraints outside our control are running the show.

Reality

  • The alarm goes off.
  • You roll out of bed as if on auto pilot even though you know quite well that you could choose to turn it off, roll over, and go back to sleep. Yet without acknowledging your option to return to the ‘land of nod’, you down a cup of coffee half-heartedly grumbling about an early morning meeting and/or a long commute.
  • You then fill the rest of your day with urgent tasks that former US president Eisenhower (the Eisenhower Principle) would have decided weren’t important because if they had been important, they’d not have been urgent.
  • According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review (part of a 6-art series entitled Managing in an Anxious World), at the end of the day, more likely than not, you go back to bed exhausted, having allowed yourself to have been interrupted, on average, 50-60 times regarding matters, 80% of which were urgent but not important.

Complications

Doubtless, in the wake of the Covid-19, more people than ever will be afflicted with existential anxiety. Doubtless more decisions will be taken by not by design, but by default. Doubtless, the Sun now having moved from calm, collected Taurus to anxiety-prone, easily distracted Gemini, will only make matters worse.

Perhaps it’s time for you to get a grip on your anxiety before you also get ill?

Intentionality

For the next few weeks, we will have no fewer than four powerful planets (Venus, Saturn, Pluto, and Jupiter) in retrograde. Quite literally, the world as we knew it just a few months ago as fallen apart leaving us with the thrilling opportunity – and perhaps also an awesome responsibility – to do things differently.

With this line up of planets (apparently) moving backwards through the sky, it’s easier than usual to reflect upon and reappraise the way that we are in ‘in the world’ right now, today. In turn, this allows us to move forward into the ‘new normal’ of tomorrow with conscious ‘intentionality’.

Husserl

The concept of Intentionality comes from the work of the early 20th century existentialist philosopher, Edmund Husserl. His specialty was phenomenology, or the science of looking ‘to the things in themselves’.

He believed that intentionality dictates the way in which we interact with our world. Sadly, more often than not our intentionality is fueled by the willy-nilly meanings we’ve assigned to the people and things that comprise our world as if we were operating on auto-pilot.

He also believed that it is only when we are able to bracket – or suspend – our existing assumptions about these people and things that we can see the world as it truly is and as the result make conscious decisions about how we will be ‘in the world’.

Through the eyes of an artist

Basically, his approach requires us to take the 3rd party point of view or stance of an artist or novelist, whose job it is to depict the world by showing rather than telling – a process this is much harder to accomplish than it might sound.

I’m walking my little dog through the park when I catch sight of a tree just beginning turn autumnal colors. After letting my dog off her lead, I turn back to that tree and become absorbed with the way the sunlight plays off the orange-red leaves.

Following a shaft of sunlight, my attention is now drawn to the stream that my dog and I cross each morning. I’m amazed at how the light now makes the softly flowing water sparkle like diamonds. The fluidity, coolness and movement I’m experiencing infuses the stream with life, one that I am amazed to realize is as poignant as my own.

I’m also amazed at how in my usual haste to get dog-walking over and done with, I’ve missed so much and whisper a word of gratitude that at least in this moment, the blinkers have fallen from my eyes and I’m able to receive the wonders of the world .

Disconnect

By disconnecting from the meanings/assumptions/values I’d usually ascribe to a tree or water, these ‘things’ take on new meaning.

For example, rather than being the stream over which I must cross to finish my chores, this stream has become a source of mystery and magic. For just a moment, I’m able to relate to my world with a conscious intention that shows me how very different the world around me really is than as I usually assume.

As the result, I promise myself that on dog-walks in the future, I’ll be more attentive, more observant, and with that comes a whole new way for me of ‘being in the world’. The idea is that like an artist or a novelist, rather than forcing things to be this or that by mindlessly assigning them meanings, I choose to let those things reveal themselves to me.

Don’t be mislead into believing that by remaining blinkered, we can avoid intentionality; according to Husserl we can’t do that even if we tried. It is a given that we will ascribe meanings to the people/events/things that comprise our world. But we’ll be better off all around when we choose to be more conscious about how we each make meaning. This is because meaning fuels intentionality which it turn, fuels the way that we interact with the world.

In summary, we cannot purposefully and consciously interact with the world until we can see the world as it is rather than how we’ve grown to assume it to be.

Experiment

As you read each of the following, jot down all the assumptions that automatically come to mind. These may include words, images, thoughts, colors, smells – depending on how you usually ascribe meaning.

Next, challenge your assumptions and jot down as many alternative meanings to each sentences as you can. Try to put yourself into the shoes of that artist or novelist who uses the 3rd person point of view (i..e he/she did this or said that) in order to show rather than to tell.

  • I’m fine.
  • She ran like hell.
  • Whatever you want.
  • I know exactly what you mean.
  • I bumped into him at the supermarket.

What have you noticed about the meanings that you automatically make in comparison with all the potential meanings that could be made? How might what you’ve noticed help you to know more about how you are living in the world right now and how differently you might want to live into the world of tomorrow?

Buzzing with Brilliant Ideas

Dear Taurus:

  • Ready to shed that stereotype of being a placid, coach-potato?
  • Buzzing with brilliant ideas about simple, practical solutions to implementing change?
  • Can you imagine joining ranks with some of the amazing Taurus women who have come before you: Charlotte Bronte, Queen Elizabeth II, Catherine the Great?

Opportunity

Back in May 2018, Uranus, the planet of unexpected opportunity and radical change entered the zodiac sign of Taurus where he will remain until April 2026. This means that sometime between mid-2018 through mid-2026, each and every Taurus will enjoy up to 1-2 months of an extremely interesting ride when Uranus connects with her Sun by conjunction.

Breakthrough and Revolution

There’s never been a more perfect time to undertake astrological coaching!

To understand why, consider that Uranus was discovered by William Herschel (in Bath, England) around 1781 – a time of revolution – both for the United States and France. It was also the time of the Industrial Revolution – massive breakthrough in science, technology, as well as sense of community – huge evolutionary change – for better or worse.

Those who were in sync with such changes, fared well but those who weren’t, probably didn’t. So it’s probably also worth noting now that as a general rule, Taurus (fixed earth) is not keen on change but how else will you keep in step with the times?

Anticipation

  • Unexpected opportunities for change – maybe be new job, a new course of study, or even someone coming into your life to inspire you in completely different way?
  • Excitement and upheaval – how about moving to a new house, or eve a different city or country?
  • Restlessness – feeling bored and trapped by circumstances but hoping someone else will instigate the change for you?
  • Circumstances force a change in your relationship – with a significant man and/or authority figure in your life. Time to take control – you’re in charge now!

Ready to make best use of this spectacular time?

Exercises in Good Judgment

Consider yourself a good listener?  

If you are, then that’s very good news indeed.

Obviously, none of us can afford to exercise poor judgement – especially now – and research is clear that the exercise of good judgment requires good listening and communication skills. 

Unfortunately, even for those of us who are usually good listeners/communicators, the period 11-28 April 2020 will prove challenging and this could lead to exercises in poor judgment, the effects of which could be long-lasting and dire.

With Mercury in Aries, the tendency for will be toward fast, furious, ‘shoot from the hip’ thinking and communication. With Mars, the natural ruler of Aries, also in the sign of Aquarius, we’re more likely than usual to unconsciously filter the information we receive to ensure it conforms with our current beliefs and/or fail to be sufficiently critical of what we hear or read.

Research has shown that in terms of judgement this leads to overconfidence which in turn leads to poor judgment and decision-making. 

To combat this, remember that people who exercise good judgment are skeptical of information that doesn’t make sense. People who exercise good judgment also are active listeners picking up on both what is and what is NOT being said. People who exercise good judgment also know that when they are feeling bored and impatient, they’re much less likely to ask pertinent questions and check conclusions. When overwhelmed by information overload, people who exercise good judgment also focus on that part of communications that discuss questions and issues rather than those that summarize conclusions.