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The Fool

Posted on August 2, 2016 at 12:20 AM

I bought myself a necklace for my birthday. I saw a picture of it at the shop and decided that if it was still there on my birthday, I would buy it.


It’s a handcrafted piece done by a local artist who has put tarot cards on a pendant. Since I first learned the tarot, the Fool has been one of my favorite cards. But I got special insight into WHY this weekend.


I wore the necklace on a trip. As our whole family was sitting at the airport, one of my daughter’s asked me about the picture. I told her about the Fool… how most often the fool is taken for an idiot, someone who doesn’t know much or whose ideas are so strange that people think they make no sense. And sometimes, that is true. But the Fool can also be the shadow side of Wisdom. Ancient texts talk about the wisdom of fools… and partly this paradox is why I love the fool card so much.


But try explaining this to a young child. So I tried to go even more concrete…. Because young children relate to the concrete world first – then get to abstractions from there. So we looked at the number 0 at the top. It doesn’t fit with the rest of the cards that are Roman numerals, it doesn’t fit with the court cards that have suits. It’s all by itself. It’s an exception. The digit ‘0’ is an odd thing. It means nothing. But it occupies a VERY important space. In fact, it holds space. It’s a place holder that is absolutely necessary in our numeric system in order for us to represent much larger numbers.


And therein lies the wisdom of the fool. A fool holds space. Quite often in the king’s court, the fool was actually very influential. Although the wise men and counselors had the king’s ear, most kings became very familiar with how even the most wise could be politically influenced by power or money… or how they could become mere ‘yes’ men. A great fool for a king was one who could speak the truth to the king in nonsensical ways – ways that would not make the king look bad but that would also point out another perspective or truth that the king might not have seen otherwise. Thus, the best court fools were also some of the most intelligent people in the room. A placeholder… a holder of space.


Although my daughter may not have gotten all of those abstract ideas from asking her question and listening to the story I told, I know that I will never look at the 0 the same way again. And I fell just a little more deeply in love with the Fool.

 Postscript:  Just to make the learning fun, we got out the tarot deck and looked through each card to see if we could find the 'match'.  My preschooler greatly enjoyed this game with all of the fun pictures.  She eagerly took in each picture to see if it matched mommy's necklace.  When it came down to it though, she made a VERY important discovery.  "Mommy, it doesn't match.  This sun is orange, and this sun is yellow."  Ah, the wisdom!

More Than the Sun

Posted on December 6, 2015 at 1:55 AM

Have you read your horoscope today?

How accurate was it?

Not very? Not surprising.

The horoscope is a generic reading for the placement of one heavenly body in the sky, the Sun, for every person born during a certain period of time. We are all familiar with the speed of the Sun through the path it makes in our sky. (It takes the Earth one year to orbit around the Sun… making it about 30 days for the Sun to go through each 30 degree segment named after a constellation in the zodiac.)

This is the glyph that appears in a natal chart to represent the Sun. It’s easy to remember because the Sun is at the center of our solar system.

The Sun is powerful. It gives heat and light that support life on the 3rd planet in orbit. But it’s not the whole solar system.

Any beings looking at our solar system from other locations in the universe will see our star first, Sol.

So it is with our Sun sign. The sign itself influences how the ‘Sun’ of your personality shines. It’s how we show up when others look at us.

I don’t need to go through every single Zodiac sign – most of us have a basic idea of what the different Sun sign personalities are like – or at least we know their reputations.

However, to say that one person’s Sun sign description completely describes them is basically committing astrological profiling. It’s turning what is supposed to be a flexible guiding archetype into a literal, categorical stereotype.

There is more to a person than their Sun sign. Specifically, there are 9 other ‘planets’ to include in an astrological chart profile. [This includes Moon sign, and the sign where Pluto resides, because even though neither of them are considered ‘planets’ scientifically, they are ‘sky-wanderers’ in the astrological interpretation tradition.]

I hope over the next few days that you will follow me as we use those same Zodiac understandings for other parts of our being besides personality. Symbolism is a powerful part of interpretation in astrology. If you have the ability to think in images, to interpret symbols liberally, then approach any interpretation of any planet in any sign with an open mind to the powerful symbols the planet and the sign represent.

After the Sun sign, it’s best to investigate your Rising Sign and your Moon Sign. These are the next two strongest points in a natal chart.

From there we will look into the signs containing Mercury, Venus and Mars; then, Jupiter and Saturn; finally, the outer planets (discovered during the contemporary age of astrology) Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

I hope you will join me.


Astrology Orientation

Posted on March 9, 2015 at 12:05 AM

A few principles to keep in mind when viewing an astrological chart or reading or consulting with an astrologer:

The planets are like gauges. Their unique placements in your natal chart are indicators of certain energy patterns that are present in your life force.

Because the planets are archetypal representations of your energy, they do NOT determine your life for you. You make choices every day on how you interact with every circumstance and energy. The planets are only indicators of what types of energy you may encounter and how your method of handling them may work or not.

The subject of the birth chart is best able to tell the story of their chart whether they understand the symbolism of the planets or not. Any astrologer who gets dogmatic about specific interpretations is not open to all that the universe can say through its variety of energy. Specifically they are not open to what YOU have to say about how that energy is working through you.

A computer CAN generate chart placements and generic interpretations for the majority of people. However, for any details or discrepancies, consult with a trusted astrologer.

Also, a few warnings about common pitfalls most people fall into when using astrology:  WARNING: and this may be redundant but it can’t be stated often enough… do NOT treat a reading as if it was a horoscope. You have the capability to make your own choices no matter what kind of circumstances are coming. You navigate the energy – do not let it dictate to you.

Also, beware of the tendency to seize on one negative or even several negative statements – that is actually an indicator of a fear you have. Navigate it by acknowledging the fear as well as the presence of that energy in your life without passing judgment on it (if you can). It’s been my experience that if something in a reading resonates with my fear I can often end up keeping that one thing in my focus and miss all the strengths and tools that the reading has offered to help me through the challenge.


Finally, An OFFER:

I would be happy to help you with any questions you may have regarding your chart, your interpretation report, or the implications of either.  Contact me to inquire about scheduling a reading.


Mother: Role vs. Identity

Posted on February 1, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Each person is the embodiment of a unique signature of energies.  Whether we interact with that idea as 'personality', 'behavior', or purely in the physical realm of the senses, there is no denying that each individual is unique.


No one person is defined by one particular role.  Although we all start off as infants, we move through other identities and roles throughout our lives.  These ideas (from observed identities and roles) fill out the symbolic language that make up our communication, stories, dreams and thoughts. 


Although we all start out as infants, the infant is not self-aware to make its own existence the first archetype in its symbolic alphabet.  The strongest archetype and initial one that most identify with is the Mother. 


For women, this can be particularly challenging as most, if not all, have some sort of struggle with separating from the mother, choosing whether or not to be a mother, making peace or not with their mother, etc.


But it is the Mother archetype herself that I would like to explore today as we interact with it.  The mothering role can be performed by either men or women.  Mothering is a nurturing function.  Plenty of familes have a father who is more of a nurturer and a mother who provides structure and livelihood for the family.  The association with traditionally defined roles is not what we are discussing here.  Instead let's look at the way an individual identifies herself with the role of mother. 


Many people have identified so strongly with their ability to nurture and care that when the time comes for the mother/child dynamic to come to its natural conclusion (the releasing of the child into adulthood), the nurturing individual goes through a kind of identity crisis.  Being a mother is not an identity.  It is a role.   Anyone can play this role, but it is a role that has a definite beginning and an end.


To identify too strongly with any archetypal role is to become a flat character in a story.  We are made to be much more complex both in our personalities and in our interactions with others.  The mother whose child has grown up must navigate the change in relationship or risk becoming codependent with the child - looking for any way to still nurture and feel as though she is 'being a good mother'.  When in reality, there is so much more for her to explore in her own energetic growth.


One cycle of feminity notes the progression of womanhood from Maiden to Mother to Crone.  Our society currently resists old age - rejecting the value of age and wisdom because it is perceived as a loss of beauty and vitality.  Elders in our society are not often viewed as beautiful, wise, or desirable.  It is a challenge for us as beholders to fight this trend. Instead, we hold the key to our own progress just by viewing graying hair, experience, and the natural slowing of our bodies as valuable for what they symbolize in life experience.  And for those of us without as much experience and longevity - these symbols indicate people who may have a lot of insight and wisdom to offer.


In the popular Disney film "Tangled", the villain Mother Gothel epitomizes this struggle to remain as close to Maiden-hood as possible by clinging desperately to the role of Mother.  Mother Gothel refuses to let go of 'her' child by keeping Rapunzel closeted in the tower. She tightly controls the youthful power that the Maiden inherently holds.  The Maiden, in turn, yields to the Mother's perception of her own youth.  In releasing the Maiden from her clutches, this clinging view of Mother must face moving into the archetype of Crone.  Since Mother Gothel fears old age, seeing no value in the wisdom of old age but only death at the end, she resists letting go of Rapunzel refusing her any kind of independence. 


Although the story is a gross exaggeration of the dynamic, it is a helpful exercise for all of us, mothers and fathers alike, to face our own shadow fears of releasing children to independence and the acknowledgement of our own growth and moving towards the independence of an empty nest and all that it entails.  This is healthy development.  Because development of any life progression must include the return to nothingness. "For we brought nothing into this world and we can take nothing out of it."




Building a Life

Posted on January 31, 2015 at 5:55 PM

When an infant first opens its eyes, it takes in information.  It is the task of the mind to sort through this information and make sense of it.  On a fundamental level, there is no language in the brain for the child to associate with what it is understanding.  Memories, although able to be retrieved at a later time in life, are not reviewed consciously.  Interactions are repetitive and kept to simple, basic needs: food, elimination, sleep.  For most infants these needs are met by one caregiver.  By societal tradition, these needs are most often met by the mother.  Therefore when we speak of a mother archetypally, she symbolizes the meeting of these basic needs.  She symbolizes the nurturing function both in society and for the individual.  But for the individual, these needs may have been met by more than just the biological mother. 

In astrology, the moon is the archetypal symbol of the mother and mothering needs.  Emotions are wrapped into this symbology as well, because it is emotionally that an infant communicates.  The infant has no words yet, no other way of communicating their needs other than by expressing themselves emotionally.  The moon in a natal chart also indicates the individual's emotional expression and needs.  The nurturer of the child pays attention to the crying of the child, because it is an indication that something needs to change.  Many times the mother anticipates the needs before the child expresses them.  In these ways, there is both an influence by the mother on the way a child perceives their own emotional expression as well as a predisposition for how the child perceives how their emotional needs will be met. 


For adults who have moved into competent independence, an understanding of their moon sign can help them understand their own emotional needs, how they are comfortable expressing and interacting with emotions, as well as how they will most often need to be cared for or be able to receive care from someone else.