astrology of mid-life chiron & what jupiter rx really wants

A note on Aries season, which we are now in, coupled with the Jupiter retrograde in Scorpio: The best example of Aries in action is currently seen across media… the young women who are survivors of mass school shooting speaking fiercely, honestly, and holding accountable the entire country, in front of an audience of thousands of activists and protesters. It’s so Aries in action to watch, it’s breathtaking… children holding our culture and lazy apathy accountable. Righteous anger peppered with ferocity, married to an inflamed emotional seed, leading a charge.

The Jupiter retrograde in Scorpio plays a part too. Jupiter is a planet that makes everything it touches or passes through, bigger. Jupiter through Scorpio (coupled with Mars which finally left the sign) is what gave us #metoo and the deluge of finally illuminated truth-tellings and stories of assaults perpetrated by scores of high profile men last year. It’s given us people speaking and living their truth and excising it from shadowy places, finally. Scorpio is liminal, where painful secrets, hurt, and anger reside; what we try to hide and deny as a culture and as individuals.

Think back to November of last year when the Sun was also in Scorpio. How much did we learn about those around us and our own truth? What was brought to light that had previously been just a resonant subtext? Jupiter in Scorpio, still, continues to pluck that string in a big way and on a grand scale. What have we changed since then? Jupiter’s current retrograde in Scorpio says that we aren’t done yet, facing what’s true, unpleasant, difficult, and desperately needing to be addressed, both personally and culturally. Whether #metoo or shooting survivors or our own realizations about our ability to look at our own emotional shadows , Jupiter is saying, ‘Yeah not so fast. I’m not leaving here until I’m sure you can’t deny this any longer. This is a dialogue now. You can’t unsee.’

Look to your chart to see which houses Scorpio and Aries populate (once you get the chart here, go to the setting button and choose house system : whole sign then look for Aries,  ♈, and Scorpio ♏). You might currently be seeing themes from these areas cropping up. (I’m currently using a Western Tropical system instead of sidereal and for good reason and after several realizations through research not that sidereal isn’t a useful system, but that’s a longer essay. If you need help pulling your chart, hit me up! Looking at charts is a joy.)

A note about the 12th house — I’ve been asked by a few friends recently to explain the mysterious 12th house. It’s hard to explain! It’s been called the ‘house of suffering,’ ‘house of self-undoing,’ ‘house of subconscious,’ house of death.’ It’s the house where we face ourselves, whether we want to or not and whether we are aware of it or not — where we are our own worst enemies or create narratives about ourselves and our lives that we cling to, even when they are outdated, preventing our own real happiness and growth, sort of like emotional and psychic security blankets. Comfy, same or similar, safe choices that ultimately work against us. No matter what sign is in this house, trying to understand it will probably feel like trying to grab at fistfuls of fog. What the 12th house wants you to know is likely functioning like a rider on the other running themes in your life, asking to be addressed by the choices that we actively make towards our fulfillment and wholeness instead of our stagnation and undoing.

pablo neruda.

A lot about Chiron returns after the clicky click

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the hounds of love

Friend Sarah sent me updates from the finish line of the Iditarod. And she sent this (link below), which I’m posting in part to come back to and also to share this work, which I’m curious to read. It’s a thrilling interview.

a.k.a. the empath

My second cause in life was dogs, after worries about dwindling farm subsidies (which I used to lay in bed and cry about when I was small). I’ve learned so much about people by being a dog steward to rescue dogs or dumped dogs, and volunteering in the olden days at Anti-Cruelty Society. As a highly sensitive person and survivor of trauma, I’ve incredibly identified with dogs — their primary confusion at our coarse, human actions and behaviors, and their purely earnest responses and feelings.

It surprises me not at all that justice among dogs is something we can learn, and learn from. I was just listening to a Carolyn Casey talk where she relays a story about how chimpanzees exhibit and model non-violent revolution. In it, a studied, exiled chimp from a chimp community found a tin can and started rolling it and making beats and percussion. The other chimps were so impressed, they eventually made that chimp the leader. Almost all of the models and answers we need are in nature already.

It’s no cultural secret that we vilify not only certain dog breeds (and often the wrong ones — German Shepherds, associated with law enforcement are the cause of most human attacks… funny how that escapes the mass consciousness) but their human stewards by extension. An image that always sticks with me year after year is that of the rescued dog fight dogs at Anti-Cruelty Society, those just above so far gone that they were given a chance at rehab. They would be shortly tethered near a highly trained volunteer — usually an African American male — with a chalk circle drawn around them, letting us underlings know to stay away from the perimeter.

Day after day the dogs would just sit in the circle, noses pointed down, peering up, supremely skeptical and holding themselves in a muscular half-brace, ready in case anyone or anything suddenly started toward them. I always wondered how many were actually able to be rehabbed. I have at times identified with both the dogs and the handlers. Those dogs and their partnership with the volunteers are of course reflections of many of our life experiences.

The canine / volunteer relationship becomes an exchange of energy about risk in trust, love, and healing; if we can love ourselves and trust enough to greet change, if we can risk vulnerability to another, and if we accept the new programming that ushers a new experience and life. The primal nature of the instincts, in all animals, only makes it easier to see how binary our choices can feel, when in actuality it’s the day after day showing up of the volunteer and building the new patterns — or experimenting by trying new things… repeatedly rolling the tin can in new, interesting ways — that makes the difference.

a.k.a. me, but as a dog

As my own canine girl gets older, grayer at the muzzle and more grumbly, and my boy settles into adulthood with his epilepsy hopefully totally managed now, every night before bed I whisper to them, repeating: “good dog, you are such a good dog.” I do this in part because it’s a true expression, but also to create the pattern for the day that comes when I will have to hold them while they leave, and I will repeat it over and over while they pass, and hope that they know how much I mean it because I have said it so often… created that neural pattern. And most importantly, I will thank them for making me a better person and for loving me even on the days I wasn’t able to love myself — for being my stewards, as I am theirs.

What Dogs Can Teach Us About Justice: A Conversation with Colin Dayan


(editor’s note: Mercury Retrograde is on. Thinking of communicating a big decision? Making a large purchase? Signing important documents? Responding to messages from exes or approaching an old interest? Leave it be! Mercury is mucking up our works and thinking, and depending on the house it’s in, you might regret steps taken now. Mercury Rx doesn’t just frustrate daily communication, it mucks up communication between our hearts, heads, and intuition. On the other hand, it can make for really methodical and intricate communication, if what we are trying to communicate will benefit from parsing and understanding — slow communication that revisits existing topics and themes versus broad strokes. As usual, double check details, schedules, and facts… and leave the big decisions for later, especially those of y’all who are more energetically perceiving. Mercury Rx is a time to revisit, renew, reconsider, renergize. Don’t be dictated to by transits. Don’t let them bandy you about like a stray pebble in a clothes dryer. Use their energies to grow. We are still under the influence of the healing Pisces new moon, and for the next 6 mos. It’s one that is going to show us where and how we need to (and are now able to) heal… and it probably isn’t going to look anything like we think it should, or would. Have faith to let the next months unfold; change toward a more verdant, emotionally salubrious, and elemental life. Don’t grab or force decisions right now in order to feel a false sense of control. That’s a reactive human recipe for missing out on the far greater gifts we are being asked to receive and let unfold.

(More in depth, I really like this synthesis from embodied astrology. Especially if you are feeling this one more or wanting to understand how this is functioning in the sign of Aries.)




dreaming, during transit saturn

…conjunct natal Venus (which is opposite natal Saturn), square natal Pluto… It’s like noble Venus is being constantly hollered at in both ears by relentless drill-sergeant Saturn, and Pluto is shouting up: “Heeeey, I can just tear it all down if you want!”. Not helpful, Pluto, but I feel you.

The Moon through Pisces and Cancer was emotionally intense. And, so much is still in Pisces (Sun, Nept, Venus, Merc. and Chiron), all trampling over my natal Moon in Pisces, conjunct Jupiter (and both planets are square Neptune {which my north node sits in exact conjunction} in my stellium sign and house… yeah. Let that sink in, chart readers!). Even I was impressed by how much my subconscious self decided to shut down last month. After a cold, I developed some sort of extremely painful rib lining and sternum inflammation (?) I had never heard of, got a bunch of needles and rolfing which only slightly helped, and ended up staying home for over a week until I could breathe deeply and move my right side. It cleared up, but I can see now it created a strange pocket for me to totally check out. I just read, researched, and slept and played with my kid. That part was kind of a dream, minus the sparking white pain while breathing.

I probably shouldn’t grouse. A few days ago was a lovely, surprising dream. But Saturn is nearly conjunct Venus now… I’ll be deeply relieved when this transit eases and planets leave Pisces. We folk of the Pisces Moon are a very singular sort. A lot is written about us. Astrologers respond soberly when they find out. And, having so many planets though the sign is kind of our worst Piscean fear — like a spontaneous, gregarious party appears in your house and will not leave and will not allow you to leave.

3/4/18 – dream notes

living in or visiting an apartment in a neighborhood that reminded me a bit of Kensington, in London. I was walking at night and saw a house between two others had been demolished, debris cleared. In its place, like a full-scale placeholder, someone had built a house from rich black earth — stairs, stoop, second floor, columns and all. They even gave the facade a beveled art deco detail. It made me think of how beautiful it would be if everything started growing from it, but also, how it might be like a sand castle, but from earth. It was solid and gorgeous. I wanted to show you. I was sad I didn’t have a camera.  

I went back the next day, but it was gone. A new, boring building, a 3 story walk up trying to look authentically old, but super phoned in had been put up in the meantime. I was totally disappointed, but not surprised.

I went to an historic, indoor arcade which was supposed to be a local attraction, but it was super small… only 1 skee-ball alley, and 3 bumper cars that couldn’t get enough space to work up any speed. Some kids were trying to use them. There were 2 llamas outside that I could see through an open dutch door. The woman running it seemed like she had been doing it a long time. 

As I was leaving, I saw several felt feathers affixed to an interior column, like someone had made them and posted them up. I was drawn to the white one, but also a striking cobalt, and a rich rust. She told me I could take one. I put the white one in my pocket.

I started walking home. I thought to ask you if you had seen someone make the earthen buildings before, but knew I had no way. And then, my fingers fell off. I gathered them with my palms and put them in my coat, hoping I would later be able to get them back on. 

Screenshot 2018-03-05 23.57.01
Pisces miniature. Gaius Julius Hyginus, 64 BC – AD 17, NYPL.

journal notes 1/9/18

I write, Sitting in the Vietnamese Restaurant

an astrologer worked my chart. tapped: this, this improbable lattice, where does this much go, taps the moon, jupiter – it shrugs my shoulders

brushed or bashed in transits. a fly on the neptune, moth on your moon — the fine trembling resulting. a consequence along the wire, numen or flare.

*raises vow* all my dreams are and always have been buildings houses or water.

Do you have to have the dreams. I’ve kept them, some days I guess I will not ever tell you.

How to accept, Pluto, Pluto in my pets, in my health, in my daily routines.

A truck passes: Rental Repairs. Motto: “Our name says it all.”

Don’t ask for anything else.

A sublime sun, just after the winter cusp, white golding off glass. I’ve gone so long without my eyes water back at it, grow the lazing strobe. My corneas prism a holy pattern, seraphic.

I know one dream is the water, your hand pulling me. Another, blue moths pulse.

I count up every patron, study first dates, the friend dates, all of us at the solo table staring, shooting lit information at our faces. Crow-like risings, one after the other off a line, kiting our bodies on the day.

In my favorite poems, women walk outside and see every color. They are given the spectrum and immediately cast it.

I see this. My child’s face veiled clear emerald and plum, marbled yellow. My skin polychromatic, gone kaleidoscopic, all verdance and grow back, rhizomes splitting shoots and everything pressing out now now now.


super full eclipse blood blue

This eclipse was an echo of the solar eclipse last summer, both in Leo. I have the longest post about yesterday’s lunar eclipse extravaganza (because of course I do), but it will never see daylight because I just read this and sat back down and shut my mouth. Damn, that’s some writing. Gala Mukomolova is a heck of a poet and astrologer. I’m going to print this out so I have the joy of highlighting the whole thing. I mean, look at some of her sentences and diction. (also this makes feel very seen and called out in the best way possible. and I couldn’t take it and went though and bolded things because holy moly, that writing.) 

“…let the demons who dog you in your sleep and know your name eat your sorrow so that every living thing is fed.” -NYLON

…What precious parts of your life do you keep burning down and what do you refuse to hear so that you might keep that pattern going? Have you pushed away those who got too close so that you might not have to see yourself so clearly? Have you stood between yourself and your own promise, ditching deadlines, dreading intimacy, avoiding the inevitable knock of opportunity lest you are called to live up to your own potential? Own your disasters, your coping mechanisms, your bullshit. What served you once won’t serve you now. When you know it’s yours, you know how to let it go. The universe stays difficult, sweet one, it’s you who gets to learn when it’s time to lay a burden down.

Say you are wiser than you’ve ever been because life gave you teachers. Admit that some teachers give you books and some give you the kind of apples that show you what paradise can never be. Outside of the paradise, we are taught to imagine is the world we must learn to love and everything in it, where death presses tight against birth until there is no separation. This is how we move through grief, this is how we enter joy. Outside the paradise we imagine, our moon blushes red sliding close to the Earth and grows large as if struck with the eros of darkness. Remember the Solar Eclipse? The corona a gold ring, a vow. This Lunar Eclipse asks you back to the altar to renew your commitment. Surrender, and this afterglow is for you.

The illusion of control isn’t freedom, it’s alienation. Reacquaint yourself with yourself.

one day i’ll have a real camera, and take real pictures, like a real person, but it is not this day!

Let the Leo Full Moon teach you self-love the way only a Leo can. Make your room your temple. Put on whatever makes you feel beautiful, and if nothing makes you feel beautiful, then take everything off. Your mirror is a well to drink from, so stare into your own eyes longer than feels comfortable, let yourself feel vain, feel like Narcissus, but keep looking. All the planets of the universe, their dust and grace, live in your gaze. Welcome them home to your body, the bones and flesh of it, a body that protects the stars in you. You can touch yourself, you can touch yourself toward no destination, as if you’re waking to find yourself in bed with a lover you have been missing for months. Fan your fingers over your ribcage and thank it for protecting your heart, press your palm to your face because your face is precious, press your fingers to your lips and acknowledge their power. Your lips that open gently and break unbearable silences.”



Niblet from last year this time when I realized my body no longer had the ability to chemically differentiate.


i slit my length 

button to hollow 

search the shatter 

hotwire it right: 

excitement to excitement 

fear to fear

season of good work

I doubt I am the only person to get out of the car and upon seeing a small slug and a feather at my feet inhale an almost soundless exclamation, but I doubt there are many of us. It feels akin to finding a small personalized sign: ‘you’re on the damn right path okay now keep going.’

Nicely, randomly last week, I chanced upon a parliament of peacocks in someone’s front lawn and spilling in the street. It was pretty remarkable. There were many. I posted a photo and an old Portland resident said: Are those the ones that were ejected by the zoo? Huh, who knew? I don’t remember that story from 10 years ago, but apparently it was a thing. Chancing upon peacocks in your path is a pretty nice feeling.


I’ve been thinking about, and rereading, work by CD Wright, John Beer (specifically Lucinda), and Ocean Vuong. I’ve been trying to prep myself to re-collect and edit the manuscript, and change the name. It turns out something savage is the name of Dan Savage’s ig account, which leaves: asking for it. But I’m adding the Richard poems, which makes something savage the most correctly right name. So idk.

Looking at the book this round makes me appreciate again how difficult it must be for bands with one or two breakout hits to only ever be widely known for those. How hard it is to keep interested in something you made and in many ways, aged out of. I love the poems, they are important, I know certainly there are people who need them, but working there always feels like dressing in a uniform from a job you had a long time ago. Maybe it’s a lesson that my editing process should be a lot faster.

So far this year I have a draft for a children’s book, the beginning of a short story (modern gothic / metaphor), two shitty poems, one okay poem, twelve really amazing vignettes received in mediation I have no idea what to do with, and one long, rambling piece that might eventually be its own chapbook? And, about six essays sitting here that just need to be finished. I always feel slightly guilty making new work when I haven’t buttoned up old work in earnest. So many unfinished pieces and projects feels like a lot of half-dressed, neglected children milling about, growing feral.

And, I started a buzzfeedesque list, ranking all of the Mrs Meyer’s Clean Day soaps in order from pleasingly ideal, to suffering misery. If Iowa Pine (and wtf, Iowa Pine? Is Iowa really known for their aromatic pine?? Sweet corn, perhaps) isn’t in your top three, we aren’t on speaking terms. (Think of the sniffing research I’ve had to do in the grocery store… apparently this is what retired wine professionals do with their benched abilities.)

It’s a good time to discuss work because Saturn is in Capricorn (for a while so get comfy!) and so is the Sun, and depending on your system of choice, Mercury or the Moon. Saturn in Capricorn is a good thing. Saturn rules Capricorn and they can be like partners at an ethical, white hat law firm, like Strang and Buting, working within the systems, rules, and boundaries to make great things happen.

The only way to think of this time is how strong everything we are creating right now might be. If we don’t quit, and if vision is held, for work, for ourselves, for our process, growth, and evolution.

Trouvelot planet illustrations… TLA 🖤. He even made Saturn look good! (J/k… Saturn is a mofo, but he’s our mofo and a useful one at that.)

Saturn can be like a slightly nicer version of Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life; all business suits, mothballs, and prune juice. You can see how when Saturn is visiting a sign that wants to enthuse, expand, seek, and laugh (cough, Sag cough), Saturn can be pretty miserable and dampen Sagittarius’ natural gifts. But, Capricorn Gets. Shit. Done. It plans, makes systems, builds, and takes intelligent steps towards the star Sagittarius identified and  took aim at.

You can see how Saturn and Cap can get along peas-in-pod like. Capricorn: Let’s make a spreadsheet to inform our planning for this project. Saturn: Yes and add 8 more columns for really specific information that we may or may not need at some point. This is going to be the most thorough and successful lemonade stand, ever!

Capricorn accomplishes, creates strong foundations. The shadow side is, it can also excel at self-undoing — mire in the planning, self doubtful, fixed on past misses, mistrustful, exclusive. But together, Capricorn season lends us the clarity and focus for hard work, and Saturn’s presence provides paternal encouragement to parent ourselves, with love and a reminder to keep growing, actualize… slugs, feathers, and peacocks marking the path. What’s built now, during this new moon and Saturn’s transit, is of deepest foundations — built to endure.

The house where Capricorn resides in your natal chart is the area that will feel Saturn’s presence. This is my 10th house of career. I suspect there will be good, solid changes and strong foundations built, as long as I use the transit well, work hard, and don’t shy away from discomfort or change, seize opportunities and remember my worth. Or, if Capricorn is your 11th house, look to build strong, healthy friendships. Weed out what depletes or is not mutual. Overhaul and work toward your deepest hopes and dreams, update them for this point and definition of yourself.

If it’s your 5th house of romance, creative expression, pleasure, and joy, get ready to learn the lessons about strong foundations that feed these areas of life for the long run. The gifts of a well used Saturn transit are meaningful structure, self-control, healthy boundaries, useful rules, deeply fed growth. Basically, it’s like your dad or a dad-like-person just showed up, pointed to the area of your life Saturn is currently in and is like: ‘You need to clean all this up, and then make it great. Make me proud.’

And good news, astrologically there is a lot of emerald green ‘GO’ energy right now. A little work can go a looong way. No planets are retrograde (that changes in early March). It’s not totally uncommon for all planets to be progressing forward, but it is a valuable window for manifesting and making strides.

Additionally, the Chinese new year is just a month away. The year of the earth dog sounds so much better than last year – the year of the fire cock (rooster) 😐. Personally, my wood tiger does much, much better with dogs than roosters, and I’m hoping for overall more grounded, congenial, companionable energies, across the board.

When I read these transits, see the energy and nature of them and their equivalent in other natural manifestations, often the pressure to capitalize feels too intense. It’s the student in me. I want to get it “right.” But that’s not realistic. Work and school are satisfying to so many (and can be addictive) because it can be done “right;” accomplishment in a way that can be controlled. Perfected. But, that’s not nature or the natural world. And I suppose that’s where faith and joy come in — the spontaneity and vulnerability of being seen in our growing states, imperfect (and how perfect that can be). Showing up and being present and not knowing what comes next, but remaining available to it.

A bit on the new moon last night from vedic astrologer ayana astrology…

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