The Precipice

Funny how when things go wrong, we’re quick to blame anyone or anything, including Mercury in Retrograde. I’ll admit, it is true that retrograde Mercury slows things down and even ensures that certain carefully orchestrated plans and connections go awry.

But I’m also willing to guess this occurs for good reason.

Today, Mercury in Leo turns retrograde (appears to back-paddle through the sky) and by mid-month, he will slip back into Cancer. 

The Precipice

Try this now:

Imagine you’re on the edge of the Grand Canyon, looking over the precipice into a deep gorge. If you’re feeling somehow small and insignificant in the face of the grander scheme, that’s quite natural. Yet at the same time, you wonder how it is that your life seems to have been fairly smooth sailing for some time. It’s also quite natural for you to assume this will continue if not forever, at least for awhile.

But the reality is quite different and by the time retrograde Mercury does slip into Cancer, it might well already have become apparent that you’re becoming increasingly trapped between rock and a hard spot. Like the rock formations in the Grand Canyon, without your even noticing it some situation in your life will have quietly developed until it has reached the point where you no longer can go on as before.

Now the question becomes whether you’re willing to jump into the brave new world – the void cracking opening before your very eyes. Or will you retreat back from the edge of the precipice and find an alternative route. Only you can decide and in regards to your decision, only time will tell whether it was right or wrong.

  • How do you explain this to yourself?
  • What are the possibilities here?
  • How will you pull it all together?

Charmingly Committed

In Gemini, Venus was charmed with conversation. Now she’s in Cancer she’s charmed with commitment.

Astrologically, Venus symbolises how we attract and seduce others, but do you need to attract or seduce someone who is already by your side? With Venus in Cancer, the net that reels in the beloved is alternatively tightened and loosened. This is the dance of love and one at which Venus in Cancer excels.

Some of her favourite ways to tighten her net is through typical Cancerian interests like cooking.

The trick with dealing with energy  is to avoid going over the top. When the net is pulled too tight, the natives will start to get restless, right? One of the best ways to manage this is through increased self-awareness. It’s all about recognising when you’re experiencing an emotion or feeling, putting a label on it, and then choosing how best to deal with it to ensure the best interests of all involved.

Try this right now:

Think of a situation where you had a strong emotional reaction to something. Now, work out what that emotion was and how in impacted both your thoughts and behaviour. Will you do the same again or instead, actively work to change your response in the future?

Eclipse of the Day

Today (2 July 2019) we will experience a powerful solar eclipse. It will occur at 19:24 (GMT not BST) at 10 Cancer 42. The moon comes between the earth and the sun and quite literally, the ‘lights go out’.

phases of an eclipse

This eclipse will fall someplace in everyone’s chart but if it effects a sensitive natal aspect (planet or midpoint) or falls on your angles (i.e. the cusps of the 1st, 4th, 7th, or 10th houses), you’ll really feel it.

The eclipse will function like a power surge, provoking a crisis of some sort, something with which you’ll be forced to deal.

Remember that with a solar eclipse the conscious (Sun) is obscured by the unconscious (Moon) in such a way that you can expect your true feelings about something – or someone – to come through loud and clear. In addition, a solar eclipse always occurs on a new moon so if this eclipse impacts you powerfully, take it as a fantastic opportunity to use this information to commence a whole new 19-year cycle. If you cold use some help in this regard, consider astrological coaching!

The effects of an eclipse can be felt as much as six months prior to the actual date and up to one year later.

Do you have natal planets that are between 8-12 degrees of Cancer, Libra, Capricorn, or Aries? If so, check out the following carefully:

  • Sun: You were born to be the hero of your life story – but sometimes from fear or false modesty, you delegate this role to another. When an eclipse makes an aspect to your natal Sun, you can no longer avoid assuming the starring role in your life. Expect issues with authority figures like parents or bosses, all those to whom in the past, you’ve abdicated your personal power.
  • Moon: Throughout life, you seek the security and safety that you enjoyed in your mother’s womb. You feather your nest, stock the pantry with yummy foods, and surround yourself with all that which makes you feel comfortable. But when an eclipse makes aspects your natal Moon, something – a new living situation, a change in health – will leave you feeling exposed.
  • Mercury: You define yourself through your names, rank , and serial number – your position in the pecking order at home, school, or in the workplace. When eclipses aspect natal Mercury, prepare for a changes in the way in which you define yourself.  Mercury is the storyteller. It’s time start writing your life story from a different perspective.
  • Venus: Wouldn’t you just love it if you’d been born with self-confidence, great relationships, fabulous looks – not to mention oodles of cash?! Eclipse aspects to Venus remind you that you don’t always get that which you might think that you deserve. This realisation usually comes through financial challenges, relationship transitions, or flagging self-esteem.
  • Mars: Mars operates as your personal guard dog – protecting your home, your reputation, your family, defining your boundaries. When an eclipse makes an aspect to your natal Mars, the watch dog is stirred up and straining at his leash; take what’s yours, but just make sure no one gets hurt.
  • Jupiter: Do you love an adventure? Taking a chance, making a gamble, an exotic trip to somewhere you’ve never before been? When an eclipse makes an aspect to your natal Jupiter, you’re revved up to have a go, take that chance, do whatever you think is needed to get your life back on track.
  • Saturn: When an eclipse makes an aspect to your Saturn, you may feel worn out and/or discouraged. Maybe you’ve your outgrown your present life  it or maybe you’re still playing by outdated rules? Just remember that you’ll never get anywhere by blaming others for your difficult situation. Regardless of how things got this way, only you can take the positive action needed to make your life better.
  • Uranus: When an eclipse makes an aspect to your natal Uranus, you may feel like a misfit, a clown, a scapegoat – and, well…let’s be honest –  that hurts. Recognising who are and are not your friends, is a key challenge now. Identify only with groups that allow you be yourself.
  • Neptune: Now is the time to examine your blind spots, examine your faith, and dispute that which you’ve always believed was indisputable. If you’ve been fooling yourself  – hiding away from reality, then expect a wakeup call.
  • Pluto: We all have a darker side; feelings of rage, jealousy, and/or fear. These make us weaker, slaves to our emotions, not to mention allowing those who are self-possessed to further manipulate us. When an eclipse makes an aspect to your natal Pluto, expect to confront the dark side – either in yourself or in those you’ve allowed to embody it for you. Power struggles are the order of the day.

Ready for a Challenge?

Mars is now in Leo, where on and off it will flirt with Mercury (also in Leo) until mid-month. 

The potential for accomplishing your goals now is real, but only if you do it right. The problem is that with Mercury/Mars in Leo together, it will be very difficult to find the right balance between rightful self-assertion and being annoyingly pushy. Even worse, with this energy, most folks will be on edge. So even your best intended overtures may be interpreted as fighting words.

How to avoid a potential clash?

Ready for a challenge?

  • As party to any confrontation, you need to be very clear about your intended goals. In turn, this requires you to have a firm grasp on your personal values, or the core principles that give meaning to your life (i.e. honest or integrity or dignity or commitment).
  • Next, you need to be ready to understand the values of the other person(s) involved and respect them as valid even if they should conflict with your own.
  • Regularly, we come into contact with people whose values are different from our own and we deal with it. That’s because prior experience tells us that more often than not, we will find some middle ground.
  • With Mars/Mercury in Leo, you may need to put in a bit more effort than usual to accomplish this. 

Think Tank

Today, Mercury moves into Leo where he remains until mid-July.

During this period,  you can expect communication to be warmly encompassing and encouraging as folks self-confidently and authoritatively air their views and ideas. 

Think Tank

BEWARE: Chances are that no one will probably have heard much of what was actually discussed. This isn’t so much because they weren’t interested but more because they were preoccupied with what they wished to say. 

This energy favours neither what is logical nor practical, much less what will benefit the group as a whole. The focus is only on possibilities that will further the ego concerns of the speaker. This is visionary – big-picture – stuff. Don’t sweat the details (at least not until Mercury moves in to Virgo). 

Should you believe that you’re exempt from getting caught up in this energy, think again.

  • What do you choose to do with this information?
  • Who is in control and who decides?
  • What would your hero or heroine do in this situation?

The Hidden Benefits of Magical Thinking

Professor Bruce Hood (Bristol University) is an experimental psychologist specialising in developmental cognitive neuroscience. His major research projects focus on discovering what’s behind adult magical thinking.

According to Hood, we humans are hard-wired to develop beliefs as a way to make sense of our world and these beliefs carry with them manifest consequences. We’re also hard-wired to impose structure and order in our lives by developing rituals or practices around those beliefs (touch on wood). 

One of the most intriguing rituals involves what Hood calls sympathetic magic – or the belief in naturally occurring correspondences (or sympathies) between such diverse things as food, colours, animals, gem stones, fabrics, plants, and days of the week.

Imagine two violins. Sympathetic vibration occurs when two strings are tuned to the same pitch. When one is plucked, the other sings out ‘in sympathy’.

The implications of Hood’s work for coaching are intriguing:

  1. When someone believes that she cannot do XYZ, then at least until she changes her belief, she probably can’t do. Likewise, if she believes that she can do ABC, then, it’s a pretty good bet that she will. 
  2. One of the primary goals of coaching is to eliminate (or strengthen) such beliefs as needed and this is why a good coach focuses less on asking ‘why’ but instead on ‘what’. For example, if I ask my client ‘why’ she feels so terrible, then in answering she is only reinforcing her negative beliefs about herself. But in responding to the question ‘what’ situations make her feel terrible and what do they share in common, she achieves a genuine opportunity to examine the causes and triggers of her beliefs.
  3. Let’s face it, change is hard work. If it weren’t then New Year resolutions would stand a better chance of success. But if my client creates a ritual or talisman that can be relied upon in times of stress to remind her of what she’s chosen to change, then she’s in a stronger position. 
  4. Even better, if her rituals and talismans are in line with long-established sympathies and correspondences, they draw on strong energies already in existence.
  5. For example, if she has an important meeting or interview set for a Thursday, she might choose to tap into the ‘luck’ traditionally associated with Jupiter, the planetary ruler of Thursday. 

Who knows but that boost of confidence gained by wearing a royal blue dress or suit or maybe a piece of amethyst jewellery, (all associated with Jupiter), might be enough to secure her success.

Professor Hood would not be surprised if it did.

Would you?

If you’d like to find out more how ‘magical thinking’ can help you, book now for a 30 minute chat!

Sex & Lies

Ever wonder why certain relationship patterns keep repeating over and over? 

When the queen asks her magic mirror, who is the ‘fairest’ of them all, the reflection of Snow White appears rather than her own. Instantly, the queen is overcome with jealousy and vows to destroy Snow White, her rival.

Such is the stuff of fairy tales and compulsive relationships.

Whilst it is true that each and every one of our relationships is a mirror in which we see ourselves, compulsive relationships are special. At the base of every compulsive relationships is a deeply buried archetypal pattern that is demanding attention and it will continue to do so until we ‘get the picture’.

This queen cannot deal with the insecurities, which the pretty face of Snow White stirs up and so, predictably, she projects her anger onto Snow White. This plunges them both into an archetypal dynamic of destruction and renewal. It is interesting to note that in the original (unsanitized) tale, the queen was not the step-mother of Snow White but her real mother, who intended to eat her daughter’s heart to boost her own power.

Her mother’s treachery serves as Snow White’s initiation to adulthood (her father being noticeably absent). When Snow White gives in to the temptation to eat the apple (fruit of the tree of knowledge and sacred symbol of Venus, Goddess of Love), her child ‘self’ dies and there is a period of dormancy and mourning before she can move forward in life again.

By the end of the story (in the original version), Snow White marries a prince and as the new queen, behaves as badly as her mother. We have come full circle as the new queen forces the old queen to dance herself to death wearing re-hot iron shoes.

Some years ago, I was trapped in a compulsive relationship with an older woman. She was my boss. Her Chiron was in close contact with my Mar/Venus conjunction and set off my Moon square Mars; we ‘enjoyed’ mutual Mars/Uranus synastry contacts. My passion was aroused; such desires I’ve never known before or after. Scared, I took the moral high ground and played Snow White to her Wicked Witch.

At last, it dawned on me that we were acting just like me and my mother. But this time, no longer a child, I made my escape straight from the pan into the fire. 

Although this relationship with my boss had put me in touch with my long suppressed anger and thwarted ambition ( a holdover from my relationship with my mother), another woman, (my new boss) came along and made it clear to me that I had, as yet, no idea how to use it. 

If you could use some help getting to grips with your compulsive relationship patterns, book a complimentary ½ hour slot in my calendar to explore how we might work together.

Summer Solstice / The Portal of Mortals

As markers of the seasons, the solstices have long been the subject of magic and myth.  Even in our scientifically oriented times, these ancient ideas can inform much about our relationship with our world.

Summer Solstice

In a letter to a wealthy patron, a renowned Renaissance philosopher and astrologer addressed the esoteric significance of the summer solstice, which marks the sun’s entrance into the zodiac sign of Cancer:

“Ancient theologians said that souls go into lower things through Cancer, the domicile of Luna. For since by a disposition to generation they come into a region subject to generation, appropriately they were thought to make their way through the zone of Luna which favours generation. Therefore the ancients called Cancer the gateway of mortals.”

Marsilio Ficino

According to the ancients, it’s through the portal of the summer solstice that heavenly souls incarnate into the earth plane.   Indeed, the sign of Cancer is still associated with lunar functions like mothering and nurturing the tender and young.

Kabbalistically, the moon is associated with Yesod, the ninth sephira , which corresponds to the organs of reproduction. 

Because of its central position in the Kabblistic Tree, Yesod participates simultaneously in – and bridges the gap between – the worlds of body and spirit.

But because Yesod is also associated with the concept of Maya or illusion, it is a place where we can easily go astray. 

For this reason, at the summer solstice not everything is as it seems.  At this sacred time, we easily see that the light force is at its strongest.  Yet how many of us also see that within this bright moment lies the seed of decay?

So today, take time to honour not only the sun’s zenith, but the entirety of its cycle.  In doing so, you take a conscious step toward making the most of your incarnation through this portal of mortals, which has both a beginning and an end.

Question your lessons

As the master of illusion, Neptune works in mysterious ways.

When he’s direct (moving forward in the sky), he’s subtle – even sneaky – but when he stations and turns retrograde (stops and reverses direction), it’s time to move out from the shadows and face the (proverbial) music.

What is the lesson?

From 21 June until 27 November, Neptune is powering backwards through the sky in Pisces and so you’ll be revisiting some of your most cherished illusions and taking a reality check. 

There are lessons to be learnt and wisdom to be imparted.

Equally, there are questions to be asked and covert agendas to be uncovered. You know very well that all that glitters is not gold but how often do you fool yourself into believing that all you read or hear is true and what you and your’s say is gospel?

Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher.


Both spiritually and emotionally, this may prove to be a challenging time not least because you’ll lose your blinkers and one-eyed attitudes. 

  • Imagine your spiritual master is helping you to grow by facing a very personal challenge. What is it?
  • If that’s the solution then what exactly is the problem?
  • What if the opposite were true?

Get fired up

At 8:32 (GMT not BST) on 17 June, we will enjoy the full moon in Sagittarius.

Full moons bring things to fruition. Expect this one to fire you up about that which absolutely needs to be said. This may not be easy, but if it’s honestly important to you, it will prove worthwhile. The possibilities are endless. Take a chance and make it happen now.

Stand up and fight for that in which you believe, shout it from the rooftops, and mean what you say. 

If you have leadership potential, now is the time to demonstrate it regardless whether those whom you seek to impress seem to notice or care. Simply being willing to be ‘out there’ – ‘up front’ – ‘in the line of fire’ – carries its own tangible rewards.

Just don’t get defensive, fanatical, or violent. That’s not what this is about.

Not the glittering weapon fights the fight, but rather the hero’s heart.


BEWARE: Some folks will try to shoot the messenger if they don’t like the message delivered. Even though you’re speaking from the courage of your convictions, stay safe and know when to back off.

  • What would make you feel most empowered in this situation?
  • Do you honestly believe what you’re about to say?
  • What does this situation tell you about yourself?