Stage Set / Through the Houses

Stage Set / Through the Houses

Shakespeare once wrote that the entire world is a stage and all the men and women merely players. In a sense, one’s natal or birth chart is a metaphor for his or her personal play, complete with stage set, cast of characters, plot, or the story line, and of course both character growth arc and theme.


This post is about stage set ; astrologically there are twelve of them, known as ‘houses’. Each of these correspond to one of the twelve pie -like slices that divide up your natal chart. Just as with one of Shakespeare’s plays, each of the characters/planets act out their own part in the story these stage sets.

It goes without saying that those individual parts will be as greatly colored by the stage set (or house) inhabited as it is by the clothes/manners/customs each player brings to the stage, (determined by the Zodiac sign in which the planet is located). For example, Venus in Virgo will always dress and behave very differently than would Venus in Leo. But both will be challenged when play on a stage set run, for example, by Scorpio and it goes without saying that they will be challenged in different ways.

Also note that each of the player shares scenes with certain players but not others. In this sense, planets/players only interact with other planets/players when they form aspects with each other. If that Venus in Virgo makes an aspect to Mars in Taurus, then they have an opportunity to work together. But if Mars were in Libra, then chances are they’d pass each other without making contact, like ships in the night.

Sometimes, even when planets/players share the same stage/house they may not interact because they are not in aspect – for example Venus in Virgo stares off blankly into space whilst the remaining players including Mars in Virgo are engaged in a heated argument.

The twelve houses are divided up into four elements, which tell much about the nature of that stage set:

  • Fire Houses show us how we ‘show up’ in the world; how we format, express, and assert ourselves as separate individuals, different from the crowd.
  • It’s no accident that Fire Houses always follow Water Houses, where our personal identities have to some extent been compromised or even completely dissolved. In Fire Houses ,we ‘find’ ourselves again.
  • Fire Houses offer opportunities to expand ourselves, to be joyful and creative. Planets in Fire Houses provide important clues as to how we express our vitality, our vision of self and the world.
  • Planets in Fire Houses are always about potentiality although some are able to express this more easily than others. For example, Saturn in a Fire House may fear personal expression, thinking that his vision is not good enough, not worthy. Jupiter, on the other hand, is more likely to do better as is Mars although both might get carried away. If you know someone who is always ‘in your face’, then you’re probably experiencing this kind of fiery over-exuberance.
  • Finally, it’s worth remembering that planets in the Fire Houses tend to be idealistic, similar to planets in Air Houses. The primary distinction between planets in Fire Houses and Air Houses is that those former usually take physical action whilst those in the latter, tend to caught up in their heads.

  • Traditionally, planets in the Earth Houses show us how best to make money. From birth, we’re told the ‘sky is the limit’ but at some level we all suspect that might be true. But such understanding comes as absolutely no surprise for planets in Earth Houses; planets in Earth Houses are all about working tirelessly to produce results in the here and now.
  • It’s through the planetary energies in our Earth Houses that we give form and definition to our personal values and surprisingly, given all the societal hype to the contrary, we must do this for our own benefit, expecting (and receiving) thanks from none.
  • Similarly, planets in the Earth Houses are not concerned with giving form to the values of others. It’s nothing more than a happy coincidence if the outside world values our efforts.
  • Unlike planets in the Fire Houses, that are concerned with pure potential, planets in Earth Houses are both immediate and practical. Unlike with planets in the Water Houses, there is no connection to past or future. Similarly, unlike planets in Air Houses, planets in Earth Houses are not concerned with the ideal.
  • Finally, it’s worth remembering that in regards to the Earth Houses, values are not the same as morals or ethics. This may be difficult to comprehend for those with lots of Air in their charts, but in Earth Houses possession is prevailing ‘the law’; for planets in Earth Houses, there is no concept of ‘share’.

  • Astrological air is about discerning patterns as well as words and ideas.
  • In the Prologue to the Gospel of John, we learn that with the ‘word’, God created the universe from the formless dark, taming chaos through organization of matter according to the blueprint of His ‘idea’.
  • Words have power, as every good magician knows. Once something is named, it is identified as separate from us and can be controlled and manipulated accordingly.
  • Plato believed that timeless archetypal ‘ideas’ or ‘ideals’ format our everyday experience. Little wonder that planets in Air Houses are predisposed to to operate through ‘preconceived’ ideas of the ‘perfect’ world of Plato.
  • Little wonder then that planets in the Air Houses are involved with informing our ‘idea’ (i.e. blueprint) of the world as well as debating with others who fail to hold our same ‘idea’. Planets in the Air Houses (especially the 11th) are also involved in bringing our ‘ideas’ to a wider audience.
  • Finally, planets in Air Houses are often restless and discontented, and unless well controlled and focuses, act rather like the senseless ‘chatter’ you might expect from a group of adolescents on a school trip.

  • Water Houses always follow Air Houses, dissolving (or at least unsettling) our thoughts and ideas. Let’s face it – we all love to cling to our beliefs but at some point we realize they no longer serve us well.
  • Contrary to popular belief, planets in Water Houses are not unconscious so much as they feel ‘fated’. The problem isn’t so much lack of control over the energies represented by Water House planets but instead that we feel uncomfortable expressing them in the rational, everyday world.
  • ‘Fated’ does not necessarily mean that bad things will happen. What it does mean is that we will have to work harder than usual to ensure things go well.
  • Water House planets never operate alone; they are always about connections of some kind. In this regard, they represent our ‘inheritance’ – i.e. family background/patterns – and let’s face it not all of those are going to be nice.
  • Thus when dealing with Water House planets we must always remember that their energy is not our own. In this respect, it may be better to think of then as sacred gifts from another realm, gifts that if we fail to give they due respect and honor, they may well prove to be our undoing. This is especially the case with 8th house planets.
  • When dealing with Water House planets, look for compulsive behavior, impulses and urges that are extremely difficult to control.
  • Finally, Water House planets crave a creative outlet so ensure that you develop some sort of structure/or form for that creativity to express itself. Perhaps it’s time for painting or pottery classes or even a course in interior design.

HouseExplanationNatural ElementExampleZodiac Sign AffiliationQuadrant
1st / House of Self / Natural ruler is MarsIt's in this house that you find symbolised how you first met the world when you were born; this imprints on your entire life. Also how you present yourself to the world as the uniquely special individual that you are. Imagine the baby chick hatching from the egg and announcing his/her presence with his/her first chirps. Planets found in this house colour the first impression that you make on others, which may or may not be in keeping with the person that you ‘really’ are. Also the way that you INITIATE things. The natural planetary ruler of the zodiac sign on the cusp of this house determines your chart’s ‘ruler’ which in turn suggests much about how you’ll live your entire life as well as your physical appearance.fireThose with Mercury in their 1st house will present themselves as curious and how they satisfy that curiosity depends much on Mercury’s zodiac sign. Mercury in a water sign will approach the world through emotional connections whilst Mercury in an air sign would operate by expressing his/her ideas. Those with Saturn in their 1st house may be reluctant to approach life at all, cautiously venturing out expecting to be met with criticism. By contrast, Jupiter in the 1st house will arrive on the scene accompanied by fanfare and a drumroll. Mars in the 1st house may present themselves as angry and argumentative. Uranus in the 1st house may manifest as being highly original and inventive whilst Neptune in the first house may manifest as being dreamy, confused, and potentially gullible. ariesAwareness of Self - Cardinal
2nd / House of Resources / Natural ruler is VenusIt's in this house that you find symbolised your personal values - that which you find beautiful, desirable, and of worth. This is also where you'll get in touch with your special gifts & talents. You'll need to cultivate a good working relationship with your 2nd house these planets and the energies they represent. If you don't, they can turn against you, most probably by negatively effecting your bank account.EarthThose with Neptune in their 2nd house, may be perpetually perplexed as to why their money just seems to slip away. Those with Pluto here may need to their resources in more constructive ways. For them, money may be a way of wielding power over others and with this placement, eventually that will backfire. With the Moon in this house, the individual may struggle with fluctuating financial circumstances. By contrast, Jupiter in this placement may achieve significant wealth only to unexpectedly lose or give it away. Equally, they many find themselves constantly on the verge of financial disaster, relying on luck to save the day. The Sun in the 2nd house meets her financial situation with vitality and courage. Developing their personal talents and gifts may take on much more importance than the size of their bank account.TaurusAwareness of Self / Fixed
3rd / House of Exploration / Natural ruler is MercuryIt's in this house that you find symbolised how you explore your world and gather information about it that will format your ideas and beliefs. This house also symbolises the way you communicate your ideas/beliefs, especially with those who live nearby. Planets here benefit from a good education that provides exposure to multiple points of view.AirThose with the Moon in the 3rd house will explore their world through feeling what others are thinking. The problem is that the impression of that world and the people who populate it maybe have much more to do with their own emotional balance than what is really ‘out there’. Jupiter in the 3rd can quickly make a proverbial mountain out of a mole hill, blowing everything they find during their explorations out of proportion. This placement can also indicate someone who travelled or changed residence many time during childhood. With Pluto in this house, early education is a deeply transformative experience during which even a school trip to the museum turns into a murder mystery worthy of thorough investigation. Saturn here may leave the individual struggling to express themselves in a wqay that can be understood and Neptune might manifest it what appears to be confused and scattered thinking whilst at the time providing uncanny insight.GeminiAwareness of Self / Mutable
4th / House of Father & Fatherland / Natural ruler is the MoonIt's in this house that you confront your family inheritance, usually from your father's side. Planets here suggest how you can constructively deal with and build upon this inheritance. Dreams and memories may play a vital roll here. If you try to ignore the 'family ghosts' symbolised here, they will likely continue to haunt you with a vengeance.waterSome with Jupiter in the 4th house are born into aristocratic families or at least had a few well-known ancestors in their paternal blood line. Often there’s a significant influence of a foreign culture. Others might travel from country to country, trying to find their spiritual home. By contrast, those with Mars in their 4th house may struggle with an inherited anger at the world. Whilst those with Venus in their 4th house may enjoy a positive family inheritance, both psychological and material. Those with the Sun in the 4th house may struggle to avoid identifying too closely with their family inheritance whilst those with the Moon find refuge by ‘going back home’. This is not to suggest that this is easily achieved and sometimes those with this placement wander restlessly in search of someplace that feels like ‘home’. CancerIntegrating with Your Environment / Cardinal
5th / House of Creative Expression / Natural ruler is the SunIt’s in this house that you find symbolised how you take joy in life – in being who you uniquely are and sharing what you uniquely have to offer. Planets found in this house suggest the hobbies or similar activities in which you fine most pleasure. They also suggest what and how you need to be creative (i.e. painting, playing a musical instrument, or writing novels) in order to show self and others that you are special. This house is also associated with children and love affairs – both of which are often perceived as avenues of pride and personal expression. fireThose with the Sun in the 5th house will revel in creative self-expression, whether it be for professional purposes or just for fun. Romance is highlighted. Those with Saturn in this house also experience the urge for creative self-expression but often hesitate worrying if how they’re doing it is good enough. With the Moon in the 5th house, creative self-expression may feel effortless, innate, and natural. Often the creative potential of the 5th house Moon appeals to the general public. With Jupiter in the 5th house, creative self-expression is done with panache although it could become excessive. Pluto in this house adds an element of obsession whilst Uranus adds an air of unconventional.LeoIntegrating with Your Environment / Fixed
6th / House of Perfection / Natural ruler is MercuryIt's in this house that you find symbolised how you can best be of useful service to self and others by honing in on and refining your special gifts and talents through the symbolism of your 2nd house. Planets here suggest how best to accomplish this. It's also the house associated with health and everday routine.EarthThose with Venus in the 6th house take pleasure ensuring everything in her life is neat and tidy. It’s not good enough to simply do a job; that job must be beautifully done. Jupiter here may feel cramped when forced to settle down to a daily routine but he does add an air of honest pride in any job well-done. Mars might approach honing his skills and talents like the proverbial 7-day wonder, pushing herself hard to get the job done. With this placement, an exercise routine is essential; aggression that fails to find a satisfactory outlet can lead to headaches and/or other illness. Neptune here suggests a sensitive nervous and/or weak immune system that may well benefit from alterative medicines like homeopathy, whilst Saturn here prefers a more diet/exercise regime.VirgoIntegrating with Your Environment / Mutable
7th / House of Partnerhip / Natural ruler is VenusIt’s in this house that you find symbolised what you’re looking for in your partnerships with others, business or personal. It also suggests how, in your partnerships, you’re likely to behave. While the 1st house is all about ‘me’ and how ‘I’ related to the world, the 7th house is about ‘we’. Given that the 1st and 7th houses are in opposition to each other, it’s a given that ‘me’ and ‘we’ will not always agree. It’s for this reason that the 7th house is also knows as the house of ‘open enemies’; for there are bound to be times that the tension and conflict inherent in this house, fail to be satisfactorily resolved. The 7th house is always known as the house of marriage. AirThose with Mercury in the 7th house want their partners to be intellectually stimulating, albeit not necessarily faithful. By contrast Saturn in the 7th may attract controlling partners and then spend their time together complaining how their partner has tied them down. Pluto in the 7th may find their partnerships fraught with crisis and transition, although what they learn from these personal experience can often be translated in helping others in a similar position. Neptune in the 7th suggests some level of co-dependence as well as significant pain and disillusionment when their partner leaves or otherwise lets them down. Uranus in the 7th may find it difficult – if not impossible to commit. Equally, however, they may choose an unconventional partner of whom family and friends do not approve.LibraAwareness of Others / Cardinal
8th / the House of Shared Resources /Natural rulers are Mars & PlutoIt’s in this house that you find the natural extension of partnerships formed in the 7th house – shared resources and sex as well as the power both can wield. Like the 4th house, the 8th house is also associated with inheritances, albeit of a different kind. Sometimes these inheritances relate to financial assets. More often, however, they reflect the rewards and punishments that come as the result of family patterns operating over decades and even centuries. This is the stuff of Greek tragedy. It is also the stuff of what esoteric philosophers call the ‘astral plane’, where invisibe but powerful emotions collect and circulate often causing havoc here on earth. Finally, this house is often associated with death. Planets in this house might be taken literally to symbolise your physical death.waterThose with the Sun in the 8th house are tasked to connect with something greater than self. Money and possessions are merely at the surface level of what is shared with others. A desire for deeper intimacy is what the Sun in the placement confers whilst with the Moon in the 8th struggles with this kind of intimacy. It can be so overwhelming that it threatens the Moon’s sense of security, without which the individual cannot be happy. By contrast, Mercury here is keen to explore the mysteries of life reflected in the 8th house. Venus in the 8th places great value on the more intimate exchanges between people. She’s a natural in the bedroom and also has a flair for make good business deals. She is likely to do well financially from marriage/partnership. Likewise, Jupiter in the 8th often benefits financially from marriage although he’s much more likely than Venus to take good care of it.scorpioAwareness of Others / Fixed
9th / Natural ruler is Jupiter / The House of ExplorationIn this house you will find the natural progression from that which you’ve learned in the 7th and 8th houses; the 9th house offers light at the end of the tunnel if you’re experiences in the 7th and 8th were bleak. It also offers understanding through expanding your horizons either through travel, advanced schooling, or reading. You might even become the ‘teacher’ in the sense that you’ve got wisdom gained through your experiences to offer. Because the 9th house is a Fire House and the Fire Houses are a conduit for bringing joy and creativity into our lives, expect whatever you choose to make of planets in this house to make you at least somewhat happy. fireThose with the Sun in their 9th house may view their entire lives as a journey or pilgrimage; indeed they may never stay in one place for too long. Those with Venus in the 9th house may find great aesthetic beauty and value in all that which is foreign; likewise they may spend significant time contemplating the meaning of life. Mercury in the 9th may likewise travel or even study abroad and find his thinking and belief systems greatly affected by it. Uranus in the 9th is always looking for ‘truth’ and may hold progressive views on the nature of ‘truth’ and where it might best be found. Mars in the 9th may also be in pursuit of ‘truth’ and/or the meaning of life but may take a more personalised and perhaps aggressive approach.sagAwareness of Others / Mutable
10th / The House of Status / Natural ruler is SaturnIt's in this house that you find symbolised how you make your mark on the world and for what you will be remembered. The nature of this mark will be reflected by the zodiac sign on the cusp of this house as well as planets that inhabit it. It is also in this house that you’ll discover where and through what mechanism you seek public recognition, keeping in mind that this is not always the same thing as your personal achievements. The planets in this house are highly visible to the world at large and difficult to hide even should you wish to do so. It’s worth keeping in mind that which for you will be remembered is not always the same as that for which you would like to be remembered. EarthThose with Saturn in the 10th house will probably have to work hard to achieve the respect and status that the desire and it may take much longer than they could have imagined. Those with Jupiter in this house may appear larger than life and enjoy more than their fair of luck achieving their ambitions. With Mars in this house, ambition is strong and possibly even ruthlessly asserted, Likewise, with Pluto in this house. With Pluto in the 10th house, the individual be a serious power broker, albeit sometimes behind the scenes. Uranus in the 10th house needs to contribute some original and progressive to society. Whatever that might be, they are unlikely to be remembered as ordinary.capIntegrating with Others / Cardinal
11th / House of Shares Interests / Natural rulers are Saturn & UranusIt's in this house that you find symbolised how you come together in groups with otherswith whom you share common ideas and beliefs. Planets in this house describe how and why you come together in these groups as well as where you might need to compromise in decisions regarding your group's common ideals and beliefs.AirThose with Mercury in the 11th house, might be keen to join organizations that promote a common belief, concept or cause. With the Sun here, this cause, concept, or belief is likely to bring personal recognition, not the least because the individual identifies so strong with it. Mars in the 11th house brings with it deep passion for that cause, concept, or belief although this could well lead to disputes and arguments with other group members. Saturn in the 11th may similarly struggle fitting in; perhaps they are too black and white or insist on too much structure. By contrast, Neptune in the 11th is likely to identify so closely with the those causes, concepts, and beliefs, that she loses her sense of self. Venus in the 11th brings the ability to encourage a sense of co-operation amongst group members whilst Jupiter brings a sense of inspiration and well-being.AquariusIntegrating with Others / Fixed
12th / House of Seclusion / Natural rulers are Jupiter & NeptuneIt’s in this house that you find symbolised how you are in touch with that which you share with the rest of humanity. In Jungian terms, this is referred to as a collective unconscious. Being too closely connected with this energy (or in some instances, lost in) carries serious dangers. Hence this house is often referred to as the house of self-undoing. To avoid disaster, you must always remember your personal responsibility with working this power. Planets found in this house should be expressed not for personal benefit alone, but instead of the greater good. But at the same time, you should never help others when to do so causes damage to yourself. Likewise, you must also never allow yourself to play the role of the martyr. waterThose with the Moon in the 12th house may bind that like psychic vacuum cleaners, they ‘suck in’ whatever is in the atmosphere. They may think they are experiencing their own emotions when instead, they have absorbed those of another. The Moon in this placement might also suggest unfished emotional business from prior lives and/or a complicated relationship with their mother. Venus in this house suggests the love of that which is subtle hidden, or hard to grasp. In some cases, you may fall for someone who is not free and your love must necessarily remain hidden. Jupiter in this house may convey the sense of having guardian angel; the ‘get-out-of-jail’ card that shows up at just the right moment. It is also a placement oft-associated with gifted counsellors, psychics, and healers. Likewise, with Pluto in the 12th house although the energy involved will be more intense and in some cases, much darker.PiscesIntegrating with Others / Mutable

Lunar Needs

Lunar Needs

This is the second of a series of blog posts designed to help you to understand how your astrological Moon drives the ebbs and tides of your everyday life as well as your most intimate relationships. This post is about some basic astrological symbolism involving the lunar needs.

AriesNeeds to be constantly ‘doing’ – preoccupied with finding a worthy challenge or other avenue to self-gratification – tendency to be pushy, impulsive – even reckless – when threatened, likely to be provocative and argumentative. Potential place of sanctuary – a sports stadium, battlefield, or boxing match.
LeoNeeds to be noticed, admired, and appreciated – preoccupied with one-upsmanship (“I can do it better than you can”) – tendency to be generous and loyal – the ‘life of the party’ – when threatened, can quickly become the quintessential ‘drama queen’. Potential place of sanctuary – a party, playground, or theatre.
SagittariusNeeds everything to be light and lively – preoccupied with travel and finding adventure – tendency to teach/preach and share ideas – gregarious – when threatened can become arrogant and haughty. Potential place of sanctuary – a university, church, airport, or courthouse.
GeminiNeeds constant stimulation (chaotic and curious) – preoccupied with drawing conclusions and making connections – tendency to be a ‘jack of all trades and master of none’ – scattered – when threatened, can become gossipy (even traitorous) and cynical. Potential place of sanctuary – a classroom, newsroom, or bookstore.
LibraNeeds to be pleasing and harmonious – preoccupied with attractive surroundings – tendency to redress imbalances – play ‘devil’s advocate’ – when threatened can be critical and judgemental – especially when there appears there is no way to be ‘liked’. Potential place of sanctuary – an art gallery, interior design centre, or beauty salon.
AquariusNeeds to learn and discover – preoccupied with what makes people tick – tendency to spout own views and beliefs as ‘the truth’ – especially when it comes to politics – when threatened, likely to become disruptive and/or seek an abrupt change of scenery. Potential place of sanctuary – convention hall, conference room, political rally.
TaurusNeeds to feel physically safe and comfortable – preoccupied with retaining control – tendency toward possessiveness – ‘what’s yours is mine but not vice versa’ – when threatened, can become vengeful especially if feeling betrayed. Potential place of sanctuary – a restaurant, farm, or massage parlour.
VirgoNeeds to feel useful and productive – preoccupied with health and well-being – tendency to feel nervous or ill-at-ease when everything is not ‘just so’ – when threatened, can become supersensitive and highly critical. Potential place of sanctuary – the workplace, health clinic, lab, employment agency.
CapricornNeeds structure and boundaries – preoccupied with clear-cut guidelines and rules – tendency to feel responsible and do his/her duty – when threatened, takes up the drawbridge and retreats behind the castle walls. Potential place of sanctuary – the corporate boardroom, top of a mountain, or in a walled (well-tended) garden.
CancerNeeds to feel emotionally connected with everyone – like a chameleon, instinctively blends in to his environment – tendency to take up role of caretaker – “Here, have my homemade chicken soup.’ When threatened, clams up and/or gets seriously annoyed. Potential place of sanctuary – home or museum.
ScorpioNeeds to keep a close watch on the situation – like a sharp-eyed eagle, always on guard – tendency not to reveal underlying motivations but anxious to fully comprehend those of others – when threatened, can provoke ‘crisis’ as smokescreen. Potential place of sanctuary – a trauma centre, operating theatre, or brothel.
PiscesNeeds to be in a sympathetic, understanding environment – preoccupied with helping others – tendency to fantasize and day dream – when threatened, melts down and/or disappears. Potential place of sanctuary – rest home, bar, or spiritual retreat.

Healing Fictions in Your Most Intimate Relationships

Healing Fictions in Your Most Intimate Relationships

This is the first of a series of blog posts designed to help you to understand how your astrological Moon drives the ebbs and tides of your everyday life as well as your most intimate relationships. This post is about healing fictions.

Each and every ‘story’ that you relate to self and others is a ‘fiction’ – at least it is a ‘fiction’ in the sense that it is your personal interpretation of your experience of an external event or series of events which may or may not correspond to the interpretation of the same event(s) by others.

These stories or fictions are not only central to life but they are also essential to our sense of ‘self’

According to James Hillman, noted Jungian psychologist and author of the acclaimed (and amazingly accessible) book Healing Fiction, coming to grips with this process of ‘fiction-making’ is healing. Not only does it promote self-acceptance but also self-understanding. This in turn gives you the chance to assert conscious control over your affairs especially in respect of your most intimate relationships.

Astrologically, your Moon is the key to this process

In the Neoplatonist cosmos, the Moon stands at the gateway of your psyche and the material world. Thus your Moon not only mediates between events, experiences, and the meaning that you ascribe to them, but it also gives you a wealth of information about the archetypes, symbols, and metaphors that inform your (inner) world.

For example, my Moon is in Gemini. My stories – or ‘fictions’ – must be light and lively. It’s only to be expected that I will embellish and embroider the facts to make it so. If there were to be dark and/or seriously scary bits,  I’ll be obliged to ignore them. It’s a given that to the extent difficult emotions are involved, I’ll avoid them like the plague.

  • However, if my Moon were in Scorpio, the scary bits and difficult emotions would be just my cup of tea; they would probably even dominate my story.
  • If my Moon were in Capricorn, my story could take on a paternalistic, moralizing tone – don’t do that again, else bad things will happen.
  • With Moon in Pisces, my story would center on my (confused) emotional response to whatever has happened.
  • But with Moon in Leo my story would center on what most flatters me.  
  • With Moon in Aquarius, my story would center around talking about how I’m feeling about something in order to avoid actually feeling.
  • If my Moon were in Aries, I’d focus on the action of who did what to whom especially when it was the result of someone’s loss of temper.
  • With Moon in Taurus, I might focus my story on how things felt to my touch and/or tasted and how this contributed (or not) to the overall experience.
  • But with Moon in Virgo, I might focus on what went wrong and how, in the future, it could be fixed.
  • If my Moon were in Cancer, I might focus on how the overall experience either strengthened or weakened my emotional connection with others.
  • However, if my Moon were in Sagittarius, I’d probably focus on the importance of what I’ve personally learned from the experience.
  • Finally, if my Moon were in Libra, I might focus on how the experience was fair (or not) to those involved.

Not only does your Moon’s sign effect your fiction-making, but also its house placement

My Moon is in the 12th house. When I sense rejection or criticism, I clam up and slip away. By contrast, if my Moon were in the 1st house, I would be so self-focused  that I wouldn’t even care if you were listening; my overwhelming need is to dominate the situation.

Finally, the aspects your Moon makes to other planets in your chart necessarily also colour your perception. For example, I have Moon square (hard aspect) to Mars. My fiction-making is often peppered with anecdotes belying my anger and frustration. Everything that I experience isn’t quite right’ – if only, if only? But if my Moon were, say, in an easy aspect (trine or sextile) with Jupiter, my story would be warmly optimistic; my default perception is that all is ‘right with the world’. But if my Moon were in a difficult aspect (square or opposition) to Jupiter, my story would be wildly unrealistic; my default perception would be that when it comes to luck, I always draw the short straw.

Now, after paying close attention to my own stories, I’m more aware of how -without conscious intervention – I’m most likely to experience any event, especially in regards to my most intimate relationships.

Say, for example, that I have an argument with my husband

With my Gemini Moon, I will automatically avoid difficult emotions. With his Scorpio Moon, my husband will automatically interpret this as purposefully ignoring his feelings. The moment he expresses criticism in this regard, I will clam up and slip away. With his Moon in his 5th house, my husband might well take pleasure in this result. This leaves me to fuss and fume (anger/frustration) in private.

But if I can accept that regardless of how I’d like to perceive the event, difficult emotions are integral and inevitable. Now, at least I am able to acknowledge such emotions exist thus allowing my husband to feel that at last, he’s been heard re: his feelings. Hopefully, this will circumvent the rest of what was once an inevitable and ever-repeating cycle.

How best can you use your stories to improve your world and relationship?

Spend some time analyzing your stories

  • Notice which character you adopt as your narrator of the story? For example, do you tell the story through your own eyes & ears or instead through the eyes & ears of someone else involved in the event/experience?
  • Notice whether you are the subject or the object of the story. For example do you say ‘I did XYZ to him’ or instead, ‘he did ABC to me’?
  • Do you sound enthusiastic when you tell the story or are you more subdued or even unhappy?
  • Which verb tense do you choose to use? For example, is everything in the past tense or do you also introduce the future tense? ‘My boyfriend dumped me but I will get even.” Maybe the story remains 100% in the present tense – ‘My boyfriends dumps me and then I say…”
  • What important themes or motifs recur or are missing from your stories? For example, do you constantly throw in certain words but not others like failure, success, temptation, resistance or luck?
  • What labels recur (good, bad, nasty, nice) and to whom or what do they attach?

Consider how best to rewrite the story/fiction so that it serves you better both now and in the future

Interestingly, there’s lots of leeway here because although story line (plot) must move forward (cause and effect) in time, narrative does not. You can start at the end of your story and how you’d have liked it to end and work backwards in time like with a typical murder mystery where we start out knowing who got killed and maybe even who did it but we don’t know all the essential ‘why’ and ‘how’ until we track back though the crucial events from beginning to end. Your goal is to open up space for a new and different story to develop – giving yourself full opportunity to fill in the gaps and ambiguities or flesh our and develop certain characters and/or motives.

Cut bait or Continue?

Cut bait or Continue?


Today and tomorrow the Sun is in Sagittarius and the Moon is in Aries.

The energy favors those who are energetic, resourceful, pioneering, and adventurous.

This is because Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius, contributes to our sense of confidence and optimism as well as providing opportunities for expansion and growth.

In combination with Mars, the ruler of Aries, we adopt a ‘can-do’ attitude and actively and enthusiastically pursue ventures.

The problem comes when things don’t work out as planned.


This brings us to the more negative expression of Mars and Jupiter in combination.

Sure enough, you’re all fired up. This is precisely with Jupiter/Mars is all about. But because these planets currently form no aspect together (i.e. no communication/connection), its going to be really difficult knowing when to stop.

Anyone who has ever been involved with any project or relationship, be it business or personal, knows the story. What once started out as promising has now hit the rocks.

Yes, with a just a bit more money, time, and effort you might be able to turn things around. But then again, maybe, not.


Research shows that we often seem almost programmed into getting locked into a losing propositions. The question now becomes why on earth would sensible people like you and me do something as silly as that?

  • Information Bias – most of us have an uncanny ability to see only that which accords with our beliefs and so (unconsciously) turn a blind eye to any and all evidence that runs contrary to expectations.
  • Reinforcement theory – the more you perceive you’ve been rewarded in the past for sticking it out through hard times, the more likely you are to keep doing it again and again and again.
  • Self-justification – the more time and effort we’ve already expended in the project/relationship, the more likely we are to justify those expenditures by continuing to push forward.
  • Social pressure – no one wants to appear incompetent or foolish and so the more we’ve personally identified a positive outcome the more likely we are to continue to the bitter end. By the way, at least in the West we’re socially programmed to do this anyway – consider culturally embedded messages like ‘when the times get tough, the tough get going’.

The upshot is that when when faced with a decision whether to ‘cut bait’ or continue, ask yourself the following questions and if you get a ‘yes’ to one or more, you may consider getting some outside help:

  1. Would failure with this project/relationship radically change my self-esteem or self-image, the way that I think about myself?
  2. Am I honestly open to hearing the concerns of others about this project/relationship?
  3. Do I evaluate the competence of others and/or the strength of their commitment/friendship based on their continued support for my project/relationship?
  4. Do I sometimes feel that if this project/relationship ends, there will be no tomorrow?

Surviving Sagittarius

Surviving Sagittarius

Jupiter (Zeus) is the ruler of Sagittarius. Astrologically, this is where we feel rich, lucky, and blessed; with Jupiter we will always have enough, if perhaps, not a bit too much.

Mythologically, Jupiter is the consummate patriarchal archetype, the powerful king of the gods. Adept at strategy and forming useful alliances, he won at everything that he undertook. When it came to the ladies, Jupiter was equally successful although, in this regard, the success of his exploits came at a huge price. Jupiter fathered many children through numerous liaisons with divine and mortal women alike and his wife, the equally powerful goddess, Hera, was not best amused. Thus his marriage was a constant thorn in his side, his philandering the subject of many struggles and stories.

If you want to make a favorable impression on your Sagittarius boss, ensure you never lie, cheat, or otherwise indulge in what he or she would consider unfair play.

This may seem unfair in and of itself because, by contrast, Sagittarius feels that he or she is above the law, always free to follow his or her own star. Remember that in myth although Jupiter cheated on Hera, she never cheated on him. There’s a reason for this. Both Jupiter and Sagittarius demand complete and utter loyalty.

The good news is that unlike with Scorpio, if you make a mistake with Sagittarius, you always know where it is that you stand. Not prone to pussy foot around the proverbial bush, Sagittarius just says it like it is. Although some might find this habit of being rash and outspoken annoying, the good news is that Sagittarius is generous with rewards and praise.

Unlike Scorpio, Sagittarius will never stay angry for long and is oft quick to apologize, holding no hard feelings.

This brings us to yet another key point regarding the nature of Sagittarius. Think for a moment about the symbol for Sagittarius – the Centaur, half man and half horse. Mythologically, centaurs were a rowdy bunch, prone to drunken brawls and overindulgence. Yet at the same time, Chiron, the head of the centaurs was a revered teacher, healer, and lover of wisdom.

Likewise Sagittarius. The reason goes back to Jupiter being astrologically where we feel lucky, blessed. When times get rough, Sagittarius turns to a higher power, finding faith in his philosophy, his religion, his moral and ethical beliefs.

The great strength of Sagittarius lies in his or her vision.

As the king of the gods, Jupiter (Zeus) sat on Mount Olympus – at the top of the world. Thus he always enjoyed the biggest picture. Like Jupiter (Zeus), Sagittarius can thus see the potential in an idea or project and inspire others to follow in his lead. There are benefits to strategy and alliances.

If your love interest is Sagittarius, here are a few words of advice.

Regardless if the object of your passion is male or female, resist the temptation to fence him or her in; he or she will escape. Instead, be adventurous – eat, drink, and be merry – Sagittarius needs a lover, not a parent. The female of the species appreciates lovers who are both casual and flashy, as her mood suits. To win her heart, keep her guessing and make the whole process lots of fun.

Finally, if you have any doubts about what it takes to survive your relationship with a Sagittarius, consider, carefully, the following:

Great perils have this beauty, that they bring to light the fraternity of strangers.

Victor Hugo




With the Sun in Sagittarius and the Moon in Pisces, today and tomorrow may be tricky.

It’s one thing to daydream, building castles in the air but something entirely else to build them in reality, in the here and how.


Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius as well as the traditional ruler of Pisces. Add to the mix Neptune, the ‘new’ ruler of Pisces. Jupiter and Neptune in combination is the classic signature of the dreamer/visionary who harbors a foolhardy naivety about life and what it takes to get by.

Ironically, there is also a certain ‘magic’ with Neptune and Jupiter; positive thinking can work wonders, and the operative word here is ‘can’. At best this combination may get you something for nothing but at worst, you may gamble away the proverbial farm and be empty-handed.

So here’s the million dollar questions – what makes the difference?


We’ve all heard about the power of positive thinking; it’s the key tenant of excellence in 21st century self-management. Encouraged by employers, friends, and coaches alike, we cheerfully take on the ‘yes, we can’ mantra.

But recent research suggests that you probably can’t, at least not in the sense that positive thinking helps as much as we’d like to think. The bottom line is that – across the board – research shows that those who positively fantasize either make the same or even less progress in achieving their goals than those who don’t.

Key to understanding this is the vital difference between you ‘will succeed’ and you ‘will easily succeed’.

Only when you combine your positive attitude with an honest assessment of the challenges that await do you have an honest chance.

Don’t just visualize about success but instead visualize the steps necessary to achieve success and then start taking those steps little by little in real time.

Set a goal, sharpen your will power, and build your stamina. Consider this like going to an exercise class or visiting the gym – the mantra in the 1980’s was ‘no pain, no gain’ and well, I’ve come to appreciate there’s a whole lot of truth to it.

And, oh yes, please remember to ask for help along the way.

Even trainers need trainers and coaches need coaches.

I’ve got mine, you got yours?

When you wish upon a star…

When you wish upon a star…


With the Sun in Sagittarius and the Moon in Aquarius, today and tomorrow are days of The Star.

In the tarot, the 22 cards comprising the Major Arcana, of which The Star is number 17, are oft seen an archetypal pattern for the whole of our life journey, the opportunities and challenges, which, over time, we all will face.


The Star represents the challenge and opportunity inherent in possessing confidence. This is not an external ‘in your face’, extrovert kind of thing. True confidence is much more subtle.

In this respect, confidence is not wishing for a positive outcome but instead having an honest expectation of it and taking action appropriate to make it happen.

With confidence, you’ll be motivated to go the extra mile, to put in the time and effort to accomplish your goals. Without confidence, you’ll either give up too early or perhaps not get started at all.


To build and maintain confidence, avoid these common traps:

  1. Self-defeating beliefs – if you believe that you can’t do something, then you can’t, full stop. For example, if you think your chances of promotion are minimal to nonexistent, then they are because you’ll behave as if that were a foregone conclusion.
  2. Goal setting – you’ll get further by taking baby-steps instead of great leaps. Confidence comes from small wins occurring on a regular and constant basis. A five-year plan may be great – but to accomplish it requires doing something every single day.
  3. Declaring an early victory – consider the dieter’s dilemma: at long last, she’s lost a few pounds and feels so good about it that she rewards herself with some high calorie goodies. Imagine how bad she will then feel about herself when the pounds start to slip back on again. Being on a winning streak feels great but it can’t and won’t continue without continuous, applied effort.
  4. Going it alone – well, the honest truth is that you can’t, so stop acting as if you can. Every movie star needs a supporting cast behind her so get some folks on board and keep them strong and sweet.
  5. Blaming others – sure enough, someone has let you down and there’s nothing you can do change that – but you still do choice about what you will do next. Blame is an easy and popular game to play but it will never get you to the goal post.
  6. Over-confidence – know your strengths as well as your weaknesses and keep both in mind at all times. Confidence requires the right balance between despair and arrogance. Don’t allow yourself to tip into either.

Courage of Your Convictions

Courage of Your Convictions


With the Sun in Sagittarius (purpose) and the Moon in Capricorn (mastery), today and tomorrow are Seven of Wands days.

In the tarot, the Wands correspond to the element of fire and hence symbolize intuitive excellence and spiritual mastery. Faith in your future becomes unshakeable and, as is always the case with the number seven, success is assured when accompanied by appropriate effort.


On a Seven of Wands day, you should expect to be challenged to stand your ground, to defend that which needs to be defended. It is the heroine who, bolstered by the courage of her convictions, wins the day by facing her fears and moving forward despite them.

Nonetheless, not all convictions are created equal and, sadly, some of those to which we find ourselves most attached may be better off lost or, at the very least, reevaluated.


  1. Listen – when someone challenges your position, listen to their ideas and work toward understanding their position. Sometimes we refuse to listen to others because we’re afraid that by doing so, we appear weak, conciliatory. Yet in reality, listening is not the same as agreeing and it is the strong, not the weak, who can tolerate criticism. Instead, remember that if your position is worthy of defense, then you’ll be in a better position of defending it once you’ve mastered the entirety of the situation.
  2. Be flexible – sometimes we get stuck, stubbornly believing there is only one right course of action. Rarely, however, is this the case. Explore other alternatives offered with an open mind and if they really won’t work, articulate why with a calm, albeit determined manner. As the result, you’ll find yourself back where you started even stronger, and as a bonus, having gained some respect. If, however, another plan or idea might work equally well as yours, then its time to re-evaluate your position.
  3. What can you live with – hanging on to your convictions just for the sake of it is never good strategy. Again, not all convictions are created equal and sometimes we need to let some fall by the way side. Consider whether, in the longer term you will gain more by going along with something that is not your top choice whilst at the same time ensuring it is something with which you (honestly) can live.

Become a Wise, Old Owl

Become a Wise, Old Owl


Today, we will enjoy an optimistic, opportunistic new moon in Sagittarius, setting the scene for events to unfold from today until the full moon on 12 December.

Wide, open vistas combined with an active imagination fuel you to enthusiastically take up that which the universe has on offer and turn it into a bright, happy dream.


But first, you need an accurate picture of what it is that is actually on offer and because Sagittarius is involved, there’s a good chance that wishful thinking, rather than realistic appraisal, becomes the order of the day.

This risk is elevated by the fact that Mars is in opposition to Uranus, an energy that encourages hasty, impatient, impulsive action.

If you want to make the best of the next two and one-half weeks, take up the persona of a wise, old owl, silently and purposefully twisting your head full circle, taking in all that which others, less observant than you, will fail to see.


When assessing any situation, it will always be tricky to get the right mix of impulse and slow, careful deliberation.

This is because of the way that our brains work.

The closer scientists look, the clearer it becomes that we’re more like animals than we’d like to think. Yet equally, we can and do benefit from the human cortex, the part of our brains that plans and deliberates. Allow all parts of your brains to confer freely and openly and make better decisions. But when you allow only one part of your brain to function at the expense of the rest, it can go horribly wrong.

From an early age, we are told that cool heads prevail. We are warned that we ought never allow our emotions push the agenda. But research now suggests what we really need is a good working balance of both intellect and gut feelings.

To accomplish this, cultivate your emotional self-awareness; notice heightened feelings of both excitement and fear and pay close attention as to how they do or do not influence your behavior. Ask yourself questions such as ‘what caused these feelings’, ‘where might they come from’, and ‘in what context am I most likely to experience them’.

Later, reflect back on the decisions that were made as the result of such these feelings – did they pay off or not? Should they be repeated or avoided?

Hindsight is the best sight, and so use it.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out Gary Klein’s book, The Power of Intuition.