WELCOME BACK TRAVELERS! There is a part in the movie, An Affair To Remember when Deborah Kerr's character says, "And all I could say was hello." That is how I feel about the last few weeks. I don't even know what to say about them. Is there one word that could soak up all the swampiness and emotion? For now I turn to the current astrological weather since looking back feels too overwhelming. Mars is currently facing off with Uranus creating some rather unpleasant conditions. Possible indications are tension, verbal outbursts, full on fights and even literal explosions. Uranus stations on Christmas and the Full Moon to go direct after having been retrograde for several months. We may be feeling the effects of this planet's movement, as it slows to a halt and turns back over the territory it recently traversed, as soon as the 20th of December. Again, when Uranus is retrograde it tends to function more on an internal level, contributing to epiphanies moving minds over more literal kinds of sudden change. When it goes direct, we can also expect to see more direct or tangible results, perhaps actions will be taken based on epiphanies that were experienced when the planet was retrograde. Now on to a more detailed explanation of the current astrological weather based on the card I've pulled for this NEW MOON in SAGITTARIUS, the 9 OF SWORDS! But first...
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new moon in fire, tough as a tire, feelings inspire, situation looks dire, frequent flyer, quagmire, feeling shyer, a proud cryer, a sit and sigher, love lifts you higher, letting go, ho ho ho, way down low, the boat that i row, tied in a bow, a friend in tow, the seeds you sew, the things you know, to and fro, a regular pro, caw of the crow, yo yo yo, no more lawns to mow, putting on a show, stars above, push comes to shove, fits like a glove, lots of love,
9 OF SWORDS
The other day my mother and I were wondering the aisles of new thrift store discovery we had made not far from my parents’ new home in Tucson. A pop radio station was blasting all of “todays hits” through the speakers which for some reason, coupled with a customer wearing felt reindeer antlers, kicked up the spirit of the holidays more than the jingles of a seasonal radio station would have. As I was perusing the miscellaneous shelf in “housewares,” lifting an item or two to examine the bottom or top, trying to determine and mentally catalog its recommended use, a woman’s voice interrupted my concentration.
“How’s your life today?”
The DJ’s voice shot through a smile and the stores speakers. The question hung in the air even after she rushed into nervous laughter and the traffic report. She seemed uncomfortably aware that her question was perhaps too profound for a lazy afternoon on a pop music station.
I was reminded of the beginning of the podcast, “Serial” when the host, Sarah Koenig, attempted to demonstrate how hard it is to remember a day that seemed like any other day and happened so long ago. The only reason you would remember the mundane details of a particular day is if something remarkable happened that day, in the case of “Serial,” a murder. In the case of this moment at the thrift store with my mother, it was a just a question: How’s your LIFE today? How is your LIFE…TODAY?
The New Moon in Sagittarius, exact in the wee hours tomorrow morning, forming a square with Jupiter in Virgo, suggests we reflect on a similar relationship- between the mundane and the profound. Sagittarius is associated with the quest for meaning and truth. It is the sign of the philosopher. A good Sagittarius friend of mine is famous for saying, “But what does it all mean?!” The events (the ones that made headlines and the ones lining up in my own head) of the past few weeks have brought the present moment more vividly into my awareness. In a recent text message to the afore mentioned Sagittarius friend I said, “Just taking it all minute by minute. It’s kind of like eating pistachios. You break open the moment and put the shells aside when the moment has past.” “Are the moments fast and addictive?” she asked. “More slow because I find them hard nuts to crack” I replied. I can’t seem to skip ahead if I wanted to. I find myself wondering if I will need to remember this moment later. “Where were you on Thursday, December 10th, 2015?” Will I be a suspect or a witness? Maybe the meaning of life could be described as some sort of collection of attentive moments, a pile of pistachio shells.
Right now I’m in a library waiting for a friend to get out of a meeting on campus at San Diego State. It’s finals week and the library is packed with students. I’m here undercover, trying to blend in with a water bottle and a laptop. Snippets of conversation roll over to me like dropped pencils, “Where do you know that girl from?” “From Sea World. She’s from Ireland, she came all the way over here just to work!” They go in and out of speaking Spanish, my comprehension of which is rough and I only catch a few words. There is a connective current running through the air here and I remember so easily the feeling, the anxiety that bonded you to your classmates whether or not you had anything else in common. In college I used to study with these two girls who were old friends from a juvenile detention center. They thought I was funny because I was such a “good girl” and I could tell they enjoyed trying to shock me with stories of their past. We all laughed together and breathed deeply when we completed our final exam. I haven’t seen them since and I hadn’t thought about them in years, until this moment, in a college library listening to people whose lives may also disperse, rolling away from one another.
Sagittarius is the sign of synchronicity and luck, the way that lives or moments spontaneously aline. Typically Sagittarius, ruled by the planet Jupiter points to good luck and pleasant surprises, but the chart of this New Moon is full of challenges. How can we meet these challenges, moment to moment with optimism? We don’t have to ignore the difficulty, but we would do well to approach the knots from a philosophical perspective. What does it all mean? What is important? What is true? There is a Buddhist saying, “Real but not true,” which suggests that the emotions we experience around difficulty are real, but do not necessarily point to the truth.
The card I’ve pulled for this moon is the 9 of Swords a card reflecting typically “negative” emotions such as fear and anxiety. The 9 of Swords also reminds us that these feelings are real, but not necessarily true. And that the best way to slay these emotional dragons is simply to meet them one by one as they rear their ghastly heads. The results of your final exam in Sociology will not likely determine the course of your life, but your fears and anxieties could argue otherwise. A few weeks ago, during a workshop I participated in, group members were paired up and told to ask their partner repeatedly, “What do you love?” Many of the participants were collectively alarmed at how simple their individual tastes were. “I realized how much I loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” one man said. “And I realized I loved them because they saved my life when I was a kid.”
In addition to asking very often “what do you love?” perhaps we should also ask ourselves, “how is your life today?” because we know that the answers will likely change and that the question may, at times like these, have a relatively simple answer one which could be both profound and true.