Studying the Stars

Last night’s full moon was in Aries. The constellation is an actual place in the sky, so “full moon in Aries” just means that’s where the moon is located in the sky for the next week or so. Full moons are significant scientifically because the moon’s gravitational force is greatest at this time, affecting the ocean tides more than any other time.

The fact that the moon rules the ocean tides amazes me. How can that be? How can the moon pull the ocean waves around? The moon has its own gravity is the short answer. The long answer is like higher math, incomprehensible but also beautiful, at least to me. For a long time, I used science facts about the moon to defend my reading of the stars.

These days, I don’t try to convince anybody that astrology has merit. It’s the same with reading the tarot. I interpret tarot and astrology because divination is in my blood. My great-grandmother read the cards and tea leaves. During the Great Depression, her readings kept her large family fed. That impresses me. Having been a single mom, I know how hard it is to raise a family on a woman’s wage.

The taboo against astrology began with the advent of the One God. Astrology was a pagan tool from ancient times, which is why believers in the One God were schooled not to look to the heavens, not to look to the stars, for answers about the meaning of life, for predictions about what happens next, for a clue about which path to follow. Not looking to the stars seems ironic, because the One God is in heaven, right?

I use tarot and astrology to spark ideas. They’re starting points for me, and they’re about possibilities more than predictions. The more esoteric meanings of a full moon in Aries engages passion, energy and courage. It’s a time to take action, break chains that would hold us back, and savor the freedom and confidence that ensues.

This moon may see a sudden and drastic change in your life. Or maybe not. What I like to do is be ready. Just in case. So far, I’ve not had any sudden or drastic change in my situation, but I will keep you posted if it happens. ūüôā

In general, full moons, and the two weeks after, are times of change. When events reach the fullness of their manifestation. Maybe what this full moon means for me is having the courage to lay some of my private inner practices out here on the page.

New Year, New Spirit

Happy new year! I went to the bookstore yesterday looking for motivation. I need to move more. I’m not as active as my body likes here in Michigan during the winter months. I found a book (I always find a book) but it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for…then I remembered an email I’d received from Cassie Steele about esoteric spiritual practices. Cassie writes for the website Backpack Universe¬†and she sent me a link to an article on on using Tarot to deepen understanding of our life path.

I have been reading Tarot for many years and knew I could use Tarot to unlock the secret of motivating myself to move, but before I even got out the cards, I realized the universe had already taken care of me. I’ll be leaving Michigan for warmer climes later this month, to my new home in Florida, where exercise is effortless because I simply live differently there. I don’t hibernate. I do much more purposeful walking there and I dance more there, too. I eat more healthfully. I engage more with physical life in general. Until then I resolve to do some gentle yoga by the fire every day. Just a couple of asanas listening to “Here Comes The Sun” will work.

I’m a true believer in diving deep into self-awareness. I’ve read about everything in the bookstore on my particular favorites which have led to a greater understanding of my own strengths and weaknesses. I’ve had psychic readings, religiously read Astrology Zone every month, Astrobarry every week, and of course, read Tarot as a guide, and, more lately, a portal to my intuition. I recently did a day of reading other people’s cards in a Facebook group and found I didn’t need to consult any of my (many) Tarot books. I saw the symbolism of each card immediately and intuitively. Several of those I read for connected right away with my take on where their life is at and what they can do to improve it.

I also follow the phases of the moon. Kate Surgery, a psychic who did a reading for me a few years ago, writes a lovely essay on the phases of the moon every so often. We have a super full moon today so I’ll be checking out what Kate has to say about it. Susan at Astrology Zone worried that the full moon would intensify the already wild energies spent on New Year’s Eve. It didn’t happen that way for me. I had a single glass of champagne and was tucked in bed reading well before midnight. Perhaps due to the moon, I was more restless than usual and ended up awake anyway to see in the new year.

If, like me, you’re looking in the bookstore for a quick start kick off to a resolution, you might check out some of these less traveled paths to deepen your connection to body and soul in 2018.


Telling My Own Fortune

When I finished my crime novel, I wrote a few short stories. No new book idea had popped into my head, which is the way it usually works. As I wrote those stories, I was finding my way into my next novel. The stories were okay just on their own, but even better, after I finished the second one, I saw them as backstory for two or three characters in a new novel. I loved my main character.

I already had the setting, St. Pete in Florida. My husband and I bought a condo there as an escape from Michigan winters, and since my job is portable and his is not, I was down there on my  own for a couple of months. It was an amazing experience. Not knocking my husband, I love him dearly and am looking forward to his retirement in a few years.

But being on my own making a new home, I had an independence I had not ever in my 62 years experienced before. I’d been independent before, but never in a financially stable way. It felt really good. Marriage is about interdependence (at least mine is) which means endless compromises, again and again. While in Florida, after Al flew home to his job in Michigan, every day and every decision was my ¬†own.

Today I read my cards (I am a long time student of the tarot) and what was reflected back to me consolidated and cheered on my direction with the new novel. Also, I think there’s going to be a fortune teller in this book.

Star Woman

Photo on 4-17-17 at 11.35 AMMy great-grandmother read the tarot to feed her large family during the Great Depression. It is thought that she had carried this knowledge with her from the old country. Some family stories whisper that she was born a gypsy. Thus, reading Tarot comes naturally to me. While my mother used regular playing cards to read my fortune when I was a girl, I started on my own with a dedicated tarot deck bought from the bookstore.

The first thing I noticed is that there are 22 cards in a tarot deck that are not in your normal deck of modern cards. These major arcana are such a big deal in reading tarot that I’m unsure how my mother ever produced a reading without them. Mom gave up reading the cards long ago, and apart from saying she forgets, she’s been quiet on the subject.

IMG_3720In fact, Sallie Nichols, author of Jung and Tarot: An Archetypal Journey, only explores the 22 major arcana. She explains that these cards, with their overt symbology, are projections of our unconscious. She also says, as the title of her almost 400 page book suggests, that the cards follow a journey or life path. They are really all we need to point us in the direction we need to go whenever we seek guidance.

I hadn’t thought about Tarot for awhile when I came across this cool post by my friend Autumn. She suggests one card, or just a few cards, can be enough of a spread to enlighten a particular area of difficulty. So this morning I unearthed a set of cards and went about trying to figure how to make a card “fall” from the deck as Autumn suggests.


IMG_3721This happened in its own unique way as I first separated out the major arcana, somehow between writing this post, shuffling the cards, and reading Nichols, Star Woman appeared at the top of my deck. The problem I’ve been dealing with has to do with the humbling of my public image. Where I thought I was doing good work on behalf of an organization I volunteer for, I heard elsewhere that I wasn’t pleasing everyone. At least one person was spreading unkind rumors about me. If you notice Star Woman is naked, well, this is how it feels to be exposed in such a way. It’s humiliatng. Yet Star Woman appears humble. The little bird sings her praises as she becomes one with the elements of earth and sky and water. There is no fire of indignation about her. She has dropped her stance of feeling hurt, feeling betrayed, and stands naked in the starlight. She has nothing to hide, she is at peace, as the elements of the conscious mind and the unconscious knowing come together to create a more aware and integrated woman.