State of the Moon: New Moon April 7

State of the moon

This new moon is apparently a super moon. I’m not sure what that means – usually, a super moon appears to be 15-30% larger in the sky, but if it’s a new moon we won’t see that effect.

Suffice to say, the energy of the moon will be amplified.

This is a very fiery week for the stars – planets are moving into Aries, Taurus, AND Sagittarius. This fire is tempered by the energy of the upcoming new moon, a very introspective, dark, and possibly secretive energy. Now is the perfect time to do some serious thinking and planning.

This has been a powerful year. You might be feeling especially drained from the recent eclipses (I know I’m feeling the aftershocks). A new moon is a great time for introspection, for working out the lessons in the drama. This new moon continues to build on the theme of transformation, though this moon is all about taking the things you have learned and putting them in order.

Looking forward to later in the month, Mars will be going retrograde. This means that some of the things related to your career, to the public sphere in your life, to your fight will be less clear. Muddled. Mars will be retrograde from April 17 – June 29, which means that it will be very difficult to get things started in this time. Now is the time for initiative. We need to use this new moon energy to take stock of the situation, to understand these beginnings and what will nourish them moving forward.

Let’s dig deeper into the planetary alignments.

Tuesday had both the moon and Venus enter Aries. The presence of Venus suggests that love and relationships are entering the forefront. That we need to infuse what we’re doing, what we’re creating, with love. Don’t push forward with all of that impatient Aries energy unless it’s something you’re ready and willing to commit to. I think this also adds a bit of follow-through to the energy floating around now – make sure that whatever it is you’re falling in love with now, it’s something you want to continue to engage with in your life. You’re making a commitment. Make sure it’s a good one.

This new moon also features a trine with Saggittarius, perfect for setting long-term habits for success. And you want to be really deliberate about how you use this energy; again, we want to set up long term habits that nourish us, not deplete us.

One of the things I love about the new moons in particular is the sense of a pause. A pause from the cycle. A pause from the light. A time to explore the complexities and the hidden meanings beneath your journey. It’s a time of cleansing, of resting.

And this time around, resting feels just as powerful as movement. Resting is what we need. There is energy in this pause.

Do you feel it? What’s got you thinking, plotting, planning?

Get out that journal. Hash it out on paper. Get the details straight now, because it’s only going to get a hell of a lot more muddied once Mars hits retrograde. And that’s ok – retrograde isn’t all bad. It just means that it might be difficult to get things going and initiate for a period. But don’t get discouraged: there has been a whole lot of inventive and beginning energy floating around the eclipses. Chances are, you are moving past the beginning stages of your projects and into the time of development and action.

Ultimately: You have self-determination. Astrology only shows you a basic outline, some things to be aware of as you move forward. Mars in retrograde is telling you to be wary of sluggishness, of failure to commit.

So this new moon – it’s powerful.

What will I be doing on Thursday? I’ll be cleansing my tarot decks. I’ve been using them a lot, which is fantastic, but it also means that they could use some tlc.

I will also be doing a lot of journaling. So many things have come up in my life, and my career is really lighting on fire right now. I have lots of deep thinking.

State of the Moon is a semi-regular, bi-monthly check in with the universe.

 

Deck Spotlight on Cosmos: Tarot and Oracle Deck

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I love love LOVE this deck!

The basics: Cosmos is a tarot + oracle deck together. That in itself makes this special. On top of that, each card corresponds to a constellation. The oracle deck speaks of the influences of the planets and other major astronomical bodies in our reach. The cards of the Major Arcana have been paired with the zodiac and the ten major constellations, while the Minor Arcana get their own constellation pairings.

This is an absolutely fascinating deck to use to pair with astrological questions! One of my most memorable tarot readings lately was a full zodiac reading for a long-distance friend in NYC. This deck paired so beautifully.

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Another part of why I love this deck is the connection to my city. I’m based in Minneapolis, and this deck was a collaboration between 100 international artists and an art lab located here. One of those artists is someone I’ve met before (Trung Nguyen), and I love it when his art comes up in a reading. I feel a very personal connection to this deck.

Of course, each card being drawn by a different artist, and the artists each have their own distinct styles that somehow work together. Many of the cards feel inspired by comics, many of the cards feel like detailed fairy tale illustrations, and still others have a feel of a rich oil painting.

So … what is this playful, complicated deck here to teach me?

Tell me about yourself. 

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This is a very hopeful deck, interested in gains and sorting out the negative from the positive. This deck focuses on strengths and strategies for getting what you most need.

What are your strengths as a deck?

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… I see what you did there.

What are your limits as a deck?

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This deck is perhaps more practical – very helpful for readings that have to do with your external life, but internal life may be a bit shrouded. It is necessary to stare your darkest parts in the face when going through a renewal or transition, and this deck isn’t focused on those things.

What are you here to teach me?

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This deck is here to cut through the bullshit. Tone down the drama. Be effective. This deck will point out when you’re lacking initiative, and when you need to move on to new and better things.

How can I best collaborate with you?

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This deck will help me to see the inspiration and assistance I need to give. It will help me understand where I’m at in projects, and attack them like the steadfast and confident figure of Piscis Austrinus. This deck will help me to live out my duties with calm reserve.

What will characterize our journey together?

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We’re in it for the long haul! Together, we will reap the benefits of hard work and earn accomplishments.

On a personal note, the purchase of this deck marks the time when I started to get really serious about a daily practice. It’s a fairly sassy deck – I mean, strength, hello – but it’s also an absolutely beautiful deck. The personal connection, the connection between this deck and my hometown, the fact that I know some artists who contributed – all of that culminated in me beginning to get over my fear of incorporating tarot more into my life.

I haven’t read many other deck interviews, or seen much in the Tarotverse about this deck, so I’m very curious to hear from readers what you may be thinking about this deck! Let me know in the comments.

You can order your copy of the Cosmos Tarot + Oracle deck here.

Fueling Social Justice Work with Tarot

Tarot will only ever be a side-project for me. I may have mentioned that here before, but now I feel ready to talk about why.

I feel called to protect the environment. This is a deep calling, and one that I can remember feeling even as a child. And it’s more needed now than ever before – climate change is an imminent threat, and we need people who understand the science of the environment and who also understand the way policy is made to work for solutions. This is challenging work, and work I am extremely dedicated to.

Environmental activism is at an intriguing intersection. We all need clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, and a climate that supports our food system and our lives. Too often, communities of color and other marginalized people have to disproportionately bear the burden of pollution. To fight for the environment is to fight for a livable future. In my activism, I know it’s essential to dismantle the systems that perpetuate racism and poison our land and water.

And just like any justice work, it demands a lot of perseverance and strategy.

But why, if I have such an intense calling elsewhere, am I moving forward with this project?

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Image: The sun peeks through clouds over a beaver pond and the northwoods forest.

Tarot and my spiritual practice are essential tools for me to tap in to my spirit and keep fighting. Tarot has become an essential part of my self care, and I’m at a point in my practice where I want to share my knowledge with others.

When I am doing daily draws, I typically do two-card draws. Energy and Action. Energy helps me understand where I’m at, what lies within me that I need to understand to move through my day. Action tells me what actions I can take to tap into that inner energy if it’s positive, or how to turn it around if it’s negative.

How does this relate to my work for justice?

It helps me understand when my justice needs to be external and when it needs to be internal. What that means is that sometimes I feel like a star, shining bright and able to give energy to the fight. And sometimes the cards tell me to slow down, to replenish my internal energy so that I can continue to work.

Self-care is important for everyone, but I believe it’s especially important for people whose calling is to fight for a better world. When you’re putting your energy into fighting the inertia of injustice, you’re using a lot of yourself. And this is not an easy fight – especially if you’re in it for the long haul. And so it’s important to check in on yourself daily. It’s important to monitor that energy.

It’s important not to lose yourself in the fight.

Let your witchy rituals bring you back to yourself. Let your intuition guide you.

Sometimes, it’s not always clear what’s next on your path to justice. Sometimes, you need a little extra guidance – a message from your intuition. Sometimes you need a kick in the pants, or a sharp refocusing of your energy. I know my cards have given that to me many times over the years.

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Image: Taken at the 2013 Forward on Climate Rally, protesters congregate on the lawn of the Washington Monument in DC. Two hold up a banner that reads “Minnesotans for Climate Justice”

Sometimes when you’re in the movement, and you’re feeling stuck or uninspired or burned out, you need to look inward to find direction. Direction for your work. Direction for your campaign. Even just a sense of whether or not you’re on the right path, or need to change your strategy.

Tarot is here for that too.

Any time you have a question about your career, or about where you’re headed, tarot is here. You get out of it what you put in to it. Symbols matter, and our interpretation of these symbols is critical. It can reveal so much about us, where we are and where we want to go. And when you’re fighting against the system of oppression? When you’re not sure what a future looks like, only that you want it to be better? You need to harness all of the tools at your disposal.

This isn’t purely rational. This is a deep, gut feeling. And the tarot is here to help you figure out what your gut is telling you.

We need all the resources we’ve got to sustain this fight and win a better future. Why not tap into our intuition?

State of the Moon: Equinox Season

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This is a post of reaction. This is a post of looking at the energies that have been floating around, and sorting through the feelings of the last several weeks. There’s been a lot of energy floating around, and I can feel the transition happening within me – winter to spring, last eclipse season to this eclipse season, lots of things moving and shaking.

I’ve been feeling a lot of big emotions. Emotions about things I left behind last season. Emotions about what’s coming next. Feeling both gratitude for what I’ve been offered, and worry for what hasn’t been settled yet. I’ve got lots of work to do, and I’ve come a long way.

This eclipse season has almost felt like a sort of limbo – between the old and the new, taking time to recuperate before the next leg of the journey begins.

This is one of the first Big Deal things in the stars this year. But what does it really mean? And what does it mean to you?

There will be four eclipses in 2016. The first one happened on March 9 – a solar eclipse that was visible in the Southern Hemisphere up through the Pacific. The solar eclipse also happened to fall on a new moon. The next one will be on March 23, a full moon.

The influence of this eclipse season extends out for another 6 months. Basically, the idea behind this is that as the astronomical bodies move through the sky, it takes time for some of these influences to be felt fully, and once they are that energy reverberates until it is outshone by another energy. This season is also influenced by the Vernal Equinox – depending on where you are, it was either yesterday (3/19) or today (3/20). Coincidentally, this is also the weekend that Pisces changed to Aries, sparking a new astrological cycle (Pisces is at the end of the Zodiac, Aries at the beginning).

So – what does that mean?

LOTS of new things! A fresh start!  Spring equinox + new astrological year + eclipses? There’s a lot of energy floating around, and it looks like energies at the beginning.

Because the first eclipse was in Pisces, it was all about water – all about washing away the pain of something, all about letting go and moving on. I know that I’ve been feeling some intense emotions, feeling a lot around the losses of the last six months, feeling a lot of energy but grief, and needing even more time to myself to process than usual. Be gentle to yourselves.

This second eclipse happens right after the sun has entered Aries – an extremely driven fire sign and the first sign in the next phase of the zodiac. This already speaks to a powerful beginning to the next phase, given the close proximity to the equinox and the changing seasons, you’re probably already feeling this energy.

If you want to harness the power of this eclipse season, think about things to let go and what kind of creative energy you want to bring into your life. Personally, this feels very career-oriented: my studies and career are on fire, and I need to preserve my inner energy to make sure I can make it through and harness the power of this season.

Some ways to honor the season:

  • Plant something! This is a season of growth – find some soil and an herb or flower you love and plant it.
  • Make some healing tea. Tea can be lovely for both healing and meditation, so grab those herbs and make yourself a brew. There are a ton of great ideas out there, but check out this post from Autostraddle for simple teas, the Kitchen Wiccan for a huge directory of teas for every ailment, or grab some inspiration from Paige Z Tarot and Tea.
  • Take a walk in the woods. Look for buds. Look for flowers. Listen for the birds singing. Connect with the earth.
  • Light a bonfire. Dance. Ignite your passions.
  • Do a tarot reading, throw down some runes, read your tea leaves – now is a powerful time for divination for the next six months. Use these tools to help plan for the season.
  • Relax. Repeat to yourself: it will all be fine.
  • Rejoice! Celebrate all you’ve done to get where you are now, and all you plan to do in the near future!

 

Good luck with your own goals, star-friends! Keep your inner fire alive!

A Spring Equinox + Eclipse Season Tarot Reading

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I was buried deep in my reading for class last night, when I came up for air and decided to take a walk. Sometimes, walking helps me process what’s happening in my mind, and moving my body wakes me up. As I was turning a corner, I saw the moon in all her glory. There was a bright ring around the moon, and it shone bright through the city lights. Next to the moon in the sky, I could clearly see the outline of Orion.

And I knew that I couldn’t just go back to the books. I had a vision – immediately – for a tarot reading dedicated to this specific transition.

First, I took the meditative bath I’ve been meaning to. I filled the tub with hot water, added some epsom salts, and imagined all the tension of the last season draining away. I lit a candle – Balsam Fir – whose scent reminded me of the winter season, and the things that happened to me then. When I came upstairs to do the reading, I blew out the old candle and lit a new one: a vanilla/coffee candle a friend had given me. It represented the change to the new.

I knew it was time. I took my oldest deck – Arthurian Tarot – down from the shelf, and started to shuffle.

This is a very powerful reading, and it’s also very personal. I’m sharing it with you all now because this is important to me, and I hope that the structure of this reading – and the insights to be gained from it – can inspire you to create your own spreads.

This is a tarot reading in two parts: The first part, the part I did last night, was assessing where I’m at now (both internally and externally), and a mind/body/soul reading of what I’m leaving in the last season. This morning when I woke up, I finished the reading, by drawing three more cards in the early light of dawn: representing the mind/body/soul guidance I will feel in this coming season.

Cards 1 and 2: My internal and external faces

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Ten of Swords and King of Cups:

I have come to the end of a great struggle. It was a success, but hard won and I have made some sacrifices. Internally, I’m trying to pick up the pieces. Externally, I’m a reclusive but very caring leader.

Cards 3, 4, and 5: Mind/Body/Soul influences to release from the last season

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Mind: The Adder Reversed: Competition has gotten the best of me. There’s an adder in my mind that has lurked, a harbinger of deception.

Body: 8 of Spears: I have an unattainable vision. I’ve been plagued by low self-esteem and toxic thoughts about my body type. I need to leave this behind.

Soul: 3 of Spears: My soul has been urging me toward a new undertaking. I’ve begun the process – that beginning was in last season. I don’t need to see this as a beginning anymore – the ventures are now underway.

Cards 6, 7, and 8: Mind/Body/Soul influences to welcome this season

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Mind: Death: I will welcome a death of the old ways of thinking. I need to make way for a revolution of thought.

Body: 10 of Spears: The tremendous pressure of this season will be felt in my body. I feel the need to play by the rules of the game to succeed – which may lead to restrictions I place on how I present myself physically.

Spirit: King of Spears Reversed: I will learn to be more firm in my opinions. This is a time when my soul is focused on trying/striving for myself. This is a message to stay firm in my convictions, but to remember to stay grounded with others’ needs.


 

Overall, the reading is very spears – focused. Very focused on the mind, on intellect, and on success dependent on thought and thinking. This makes sense – I’m a graduate student, I work in public policy, a lot of my professional life is spent with my mind at the moment.

Particularly intriguing to me is the “body” portion of the reading. I may need to think of more readings to explore perceptions of my body. This could be a healing journey, and I haven’t thought of tarot as a way to check in with my body image or body positivity before, but it definitely reflected things back that I needed to hear.

I think it was very powerful to do part of the reading before bed, and part of the reading in the morning after I’ve slept. I’ve been tracking my dreams lately, so there’s some added magic to the night.

The Healing Power of Household Chores

It’s spring break! Which means that as a grad student I’m taking a deep breath and doing some much-needed self care. My boss even said that I could take most of the week off, so instead of my usual 60+, I’m only working 10!

It feels strange to take full days to just do whatever the hell I want. And it’s so needed.

I’m taking some time, as I outlined in my last post, to reinvigorate my spiritual practices. But it’s going to get busy again soon. And it’s times like these that I remind myself of something:

It doesn’t need to be a full on ritual to be a spiritual practice. It doesn’t need to be anything outside of your normal life to be a spiritual practice.

That’s why I’ve been drawn lately to “kitchen witchery.” A kitchen witch is someone who has a very grounding presence, who infuses their home and the mundane with love, and adds a little magic to the every day.

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Open windows! Rejoice!

 

And the thing that’s bringing me joy and peace this week? Spring cleaning.

Cleaning can be a stress reliever for me. When I’m really busy, I tend to let things slide – my environment reflects my cluttered mind, my bedside table becomes littered with books half-read and notes to self, clothes all over the floor (clean – they just never made it to their drawers and hangers), papers stacked a mile high, and just … clutter. Everywhere.

But then when I do get a break, it feels deeply cleansing to sort through it all. Because not only am I sorting through the crap that needs to be picked up, I’m sorting through my thoughts. My mind continues to reflect my surroundings – but this time, it’s clear.

If I’m feeling like I need to infuse even more meditation in my life, amp up my natural magic just a bit more, there are some things I’ll add to my cleaning ritual. They are:

  • Light candles! The fire of a candle, even if it hasn’t been blessed, helps me feel energized and passionate as I’m cleaning. It also makes me feel a little more special.
  • Burn some Frankincense and Myrrh incense. This scent is supposed to drive away negativity. But it doesn’t *have* to be this scent – whatever scent encourages you to be positive and to chase away the negativity.
  • Cleanse my crystals while I’m cleaning my room. I usually do this by holding my stones over a lit candle, then soaking them in water I have blessed.
  • Find beauty in nature to bring in to your space. These could be fresh picked wildflowers, driftwood, stones you’ve found, or any other found objects that caught your fancy.

And now, for some tarot! I’ve had a lot of just … stuff going on, and I feel like there’s a lot of emotions I’m dealing with right now around some endings and beginnings. I feel like I could use some help finding direction on what to continue to carry with me, and what to let go of. I used the Cosmos tarot deck, because it felt a bit more lighthearted – it was at the level I wanted to confront myself.

Here’s the “spring cleaning” spread, written by Beth Maiden. Check out the original post here at Little Red Tarot.

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(c) Beth Maiden, Little Red Tarot

1 + 2: You, now.

3 + 4: Clutter floating around to clear out

5 + 6 + 7: Redecoration! Fresh Ideas!

8: Ok, but really. Time to throw this one OUT.


This one came out a little weird – 5, 6, and 7 positions seemed to come out first for me, but after attempting to read the cards as drawn it was just … too weird. Especially when all of this makes more sense the way I ended up laying them.

1 + 2: Me, now:

2 of Earth crossed by the Hanged Man: Looks like this is a huge time for learning for me! Specifically, these cards together are about the importance of learning in the sciences, but also learning wisdom from within. I am just soaking everything up right now, and this is very affirming (learning and engaging with science, math, and economics are a huge part of my education at the moment).

3 + 4: Clutter floating around to clear out:

3 of Water Reversed and 4 of Fire Reversed: This is a pretty humbling combination. I think the cards here are telling me to chill out, that I don’t need to be the perfect one all the time, that I don’t always need to be the one at the epicenter of the action. I feel very insecure about where I’m at sometimes, and here the cards are telling me that I’m trying to overcompensate my insecurities by appearing overly confident. Just chill out.

5 + 6 + 7: Redecoration! Fresh ideas!

The Sun + 1 of Fire + Queen of Earth Reversed: This is all about passion and creativity. While I may not want to be the most attention-grabbing person now (remember: chill), but that I need to find ways to tap into my creativity. Sometimes I feel like I’m all go-go-go, and that I don’t have the space for creativity. I feel like I’m drowning, like Cassiopeia as depicted on the Queen of Earth card. But a way to remedy this feeling, as I’m constantly going and moving and changing and growing, is to find low-key ways to create things on my terms.

8: The thing I most need to throw out.

8 of Water: Hiding from judgement, insecurity. Hiding myself, and feeling like I can’t have any flaws. Perfectionism, being unwilling to show my quirks for fear of being judged incapable. This plays into the 4 + 5 cards well, because those cards are all about presenting a perfected image. This cuts to the core of that: I shouldn’t be ashamed of who I am, and I shouldn’t have to present a perfection. It’s ok to reveal my flaws. It’s ok to reveal myself.

Here’s to a week of self care and creativity!

Coming Up For Air, Reorienting My Practice

It feels like it’s been forever since I engaged on this project, and that makes me sad.

The reason for my somewhat extended absence has been my extremely busy schedule. I’m a graduate student, as I’ve mentioned here before, taking a very full coarseload and pushing myself academically in ways I never have before. I’m also the member of several organizations, taking on active roles as a leader. And I’ve been working 20 hours a week at a fairly stressful internship, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity for me to learn more and gain more contacts.

My life is blowing up with opportunities right now, and that means I’m getting very excited for my future.

It also means that, outside of this blog, I’ve been working 60-80 hours a week. 

In order to be fully present in my practice, to be able to listen to the cards and my intuition, I need to be there. And it takes energy. And energy is something that I’m lacking right now.

When I started this blog, it was because I had started reading for others, and had a lot of thoughts to share about that. Eventually, I would like to create a business of reading for others. But because of the immediate opportunities that came my way this semester, those plans are being pushed back.

And that’s ok.

For now, I want to find community. I want to share my journey as a witch with you, and I want to keep this blog running as a space to comment on what’s happening in the community. And I want to support myself in others in learning these intuitive skills.

I hope to be more present over the next week, and over the second half of this semester. But I’m here, and I’m committed, and tarot and intuitive things are becoming an essential part of my self care.

I hope to share more of this journey with you.

 

Tools of the Craft: A Review of “The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need”

I mentioned to a friend that I was interested in learning more about astrology, and she immediately said “I have a book you should look at.” That book was “The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need” by Joanna Martine Woolfolk. I started paging through it, and knew instantly that I needed to have my own copy and use it as a reference. For a while, it became the “coffee table” book for my roommates, who were both also fascinated with it.


In this post, I’ll review this book as a working tool, and tell you a little about what you can find in its pages. I don’t think this is the only astrology book you’ll ever need, but if you have a casual interest in astrology it is a good point to jump off from.

Like I said, this book is a great reference point. The author gives lots of information and context about the different signs, what the planets mean in the chart, the different astrological houses, rising signs, the importance of sun signs vs. rising signs vs. moon signs and all the rest. She includes charts of the planetary motions, so you can really easily draw your own chart or someone else’s chart.

Look at this pretty ascendant chart!

Here are some key features from the 21st-Century Edition:

  • Astrological tables for 1900 – 2100, including all the planets (but no Chiron, though that is a discussion for more advanced astrologers)
  • Specially designed rising sign tables (I found this a helpful revision from the older edition)
  • Sections on “astrology and love” and “astrology and health”
  • This is a great reference! It’s laid out in such a way that you can get more information from a section, or you can just use it as a general reference when drawing a chart or to remind yourself of certain astrological aspects.
  • This book really helps you to physically draw your chart, understand the astrology wheel, and figure out how to visually represent the information you’re gathering.

Here are some key drawbacks to using the 21st-Century Edition:

  • This book is only written for the northern hemisphere! It does not take into account planetary movements as they impact the southern hemisphere. This is especially clear in the rising sign tables – they only show rising signs at 30 and 40 degrees north.
  • This book is definitely written from the 1960s/70s New Age tradition, which feels a bit outdated to me. I definitely try to depart from this tradition.
  • Am I the only nerd that really wants historical charts? Probably. I bet there’s a different book for that.

I live in the northern hemisphere, so that first bullet isn’t a concern for me. I think this is an incredibly useful general tool to have in your toolbox, and has been a fabulous introduction to astrology for me.


This book left me thirsty for more. It’s pretty “traditional” (and by that, I mean very 1960s/70s New Age astrology), and increasingly that doesn’t jive with me.

I find the way that a lot of astrologers talk about romance and the signs to be problematic, or to not work well for my queer or polyamorous friends. “The Taurus Man” or “The Gemini Woman” seems very outdated to me. Yes, as a woman-who-likes-women I can read about the “gemini woman,” but my understanding of gender is that this is a spectrum. There can be biologically female people who exhibit masculine tendencies. There are people who are neither male nor female, but somewhere else on the spectrum – whether they are intersex or genderqueer.

I really want to read a book about astrology that takes into account a more modern understanding of gender and sexuality. Even if that means writing the gendered language out all together, that would be an interesting exercise.

But that’s not the purpose of “The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need.” The purpose of this book is to give you a reference.

This book makes a fantastic reference. This book is a jumping off point, or a book to keep on your shelf as a reference. It’s huge, fairly comprehensive, and you’ll at the very least learn the basics.

State of the Moon: February New Moon

State of the Moon is a semi-regular, bimonthly check in with the universe.

I have always been much more likely to follow the New Moon cycle than the Full Moon Cycle. My Wiccan training has taught me that the New Moon is all about intention setting and intuitive work, whereas the Full Moon is about manifestation and action.

I am an incredibly driven person, and can get so caught up in the doing I forget to pause. I personally find intention-setting to be the critical balance to all that doing. If I don’t take time and figure out myself, my intentions, I can get lost. I can get so enthusiastic about the doing that I forget the big picture. Small failures become huge, I beat myself up, and it’s overall No Good.

If the new moon is a time to meditate on our intentions and our goals, then the full moon is a time to send the energy behind those goals out into the universe to manifest. And friends: This one’s a doozy.

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Art: Mari Jackson 1979

So what does this new moon in Aquarius bring us?

Aquarius is the sign of innovation, of breaking down destructive systems and building them up in a new way. Aquarius is the sign of the visionary, of the future.

Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, which is the planet of change. On this new moon, there is a moon sextile Uranus – a powerful movement, made extra powerful because we are in Aquarius season and Uranus is tied to Aquarius. This means that the two influences of intuition and ambition are strong. There is a lot of energy in the air – this new moon is particularly innovative. The moon also squares Mars – bringing up volatile emotions and impulses, though this tension is balanced out by the moon conjunct sun, which brings more harmony to the situation. There is a push and a pull and a tug at the heartstrings.

This moon feels very external to me. It feels innovative, but in a public way. There’s a revolution stirring, friends. What does your revolution look like? What big changes do you want to manifest? How do the changes you seek benefit society as a whole?

This is a good time to evaluate the systems you are a part of, and how those systems impact society. This is a huge moment – there is so much at stake in the world, so many injustices to work against. This revolution of Aquarius is needed, and it’s needed now. We need to remember, on this new moon, that revolution is an emotional state. It’s ok to strive for something greater, but mourn the life you are upending, and take time to refocus.

I feel this with environmental justice issues. Outside of my witchcraft, I work on climate change and environmental policy. My work outside of this spirit life is so critical, and I feel an immense amount of pressure as the time to cut our carbon and greenhouse gas emissions comes to a close. My heart breaks for what’s happening in Flint, for nations who will soon be under water, for Syrian refugees displaced because of conflict over water and resources. These issues were created by a hegemony that wanted to increase their bottom line while making their system the most convenient.

As a white woman, I have benefited from this system. This is a system I am working to overthrow. And sometimes, I get tired. It would be easier for me not to fight, to ignore the injustices and live in my privileged bubble. I constantly need to check in with my intentions, and to be gentle with myself when I need to turn off my brain and watch junk tv. There’s a push and a pull and a tension. Revolution isn’t easy, revolution isn’t convenient. Recognize where you’re at emotionally, pause, and keep moving.

Take time to care for yourself. The new moon is a time to look into your shadow, to see the wounds you bear and take a night to heal.

Find power in this moon. Find focus in this moon. Let yourself feel your feelings, let yourself mourn your losses. But fight. Set your intention. Know that you can’t divorce the fight from your emotions. But guess what? They make you stronger. So feel them.

What draws your focus? What revolution are you fighting?  What futures do you dream?