Looking for a Mind at Work

An attempt at the illusive work-life balance.

Satisfied from Hamilton

I picked the above song because I think it’s a good mix of Virgo and Capricorn – Angelica is in love with Hamilton, but instead hooks him up with her sister Eliza because she is hyper-aware of societal conventions, her expected role, and her sister’s love for him as well. Ambition and responsibility; analysis and self-sacrifice.

So in the song, the mix is pretty clear. Capricorn on the cusp of my 6th House, traditionally ruled by Virgo, is less clear. The 6th House is not a fun house (traditionally malefic) – it’s a house of responsibility, daily routine, work life, health and illness, service to others and those we serve – when something goes wrong here it can fuck up your whole chart.

I don’t have any planets in this house, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have experiences. Astrologically, that just puts more emphasis on the cusp ruler and that Sign’s ruler: Saturn in the 4th.

I’ve been chewing on this for a bit: Work (when I was young, it was school because I considered being a student my job) has always been important to me. I work hard, I put time into mastering my jobs, no matter what they are, and I feel responsible for them – with Saturn in the 4th, I can’t help it, it’s part of the core of who I am. I’m very critical of my work (Virgo) and I both love and hate recognition for it (Capricorn and Virgo respectively). It’s not really that I want to be rewarded for working hard or attaining mastery; that’s what I expect of myself, so a reward feels more like a participation trophy or pandering depending on the context. By recognition I really mean I want to be told what I’m doing well and where I can improve (as long as it’s not the manager training 2 things doing well for 1 thing that needs improvement), I want to be trusted to work autonomously, and I want to be pulled for bigger projects or new situations where my skills are needed. Put another way, the best way to reward me for working hard is to either give me more responsibility or to give me the freedom to work unfettered.

Not gonna lie, the typo is driving me nuts.

That’s a problem.

I’m never satisfied that I’m doing a good enough job. There’s always something I can do better or that I can work on. If there isn’t, I don’t believe that or I get bored. If there is, I focus on it.

The other thing that comes up is that my cusp’s planetary ruler is in the 4th House traditionally ruled by Cancer and the planet is in Scorpio. Cancer, like the moon, waxes and wanes and Scorpio transforms through sudden change. My work life, sometimes through no fault of my own, contains sudden ups and downs. I was active military for just over 4 years and, in that time, I did 2 deployments, was assigned to 2 duty stations, and did long term training at a 3rd. While moving a lot isn’t unusual in the military, that’s still a little high compared to a lot of the people I served with. I’ve worked in jobs where funding that had been there for years was suddenly pulled or contracts they were sure of weren’t awarded. And, of course, there was the latest fiasco. My resume has gotten to be quite long.

All in all, it has created an adaptability coupled with a certain amount of pessimism that I deal with in a practical, hard-working, unrealistic way: have too many jobs. You know, just in case. Right now, I’m working 3 and, even though I intended to quit the 1 I have the fewest hours and make the least amount of money at, I have only just today written my resignation (cuz I do that, even though this is a coffee shop job). And that resignation, in and off itself, is more of a step down, leaving in an option to use me as a back up or as a holiday worker. I can’t help but feel justified doing that, though, because the pressure has poured on at my primary job as of Friday to fix our contract’s timeliness problem or risk losing the contract and, consequently, our jobs. And it comes at a time when I’ve had an increase in expenses due to a sudden roommate issue.

That being said, I think that my Mars conjunct Uranus in Sagittarius probably thrives in this constantly changing landscape of employment. It digs the new environments and the required quick-to-catch-on mentality, the flying-by-the-seat-of-the-pants problem solving. It just freaks the Virgo/Capricorn/Home Stability portion of me out. I’m not afraid of working hard. I’m afraid of hardly working.

My goal as I work through this house is to worry less and make sure I make time to focus on my health, which is also under the auspices of this house. I want to find the time to take care of me and to find a work/life balance that I can sustain and not be critical of. Usually my approach to this is just to do more stuff. I don’t want to do that this time around. Instead, I want to focus on doing the right stuff to rejuvenate myself. Creating, meditating, getting good sleep, spending quality time with my son. All the things that sometimes fall by the wayside when I’m focused on getting stuff done. It will help me keep my mind at work.

Hopefully me this week


Faith and Judgment: Neptune-Jupiter Conjunction

I’m going to be honest here: This one is confusing af.

Still busy with some things so writing is taking forever aaaaanddd it is taking me a while to wrap my head around this combo, hence the delay in writing. Also, I’m going to have to slow down and take a lot longer on this than I was initially planning on. I should be about half way through my 6th House hanging out in Capricorn, but I just can’t move on with these outer planets and, really, the last planets in my chart unexplained. And so, I’ve decided to linger a bit and take on a couple of new angles in analysis.

My Neptune and Jupiter are conjunct, but in different signs. Conjunctions usually function as one planet, but when they are spread over two signs, things get a little weird. The integration isn’t as smooth. With Jupiter and Neptune that integration is even worse, because the planets are both expansive, they both pursue spirituality but from completely different viewpoints, and they magnify the best and worst qualities of each other. Not only that, but Jupiter rules the Fire sign of Sagittarius and Neptune rules the Water sign of Pisces; the two elements don’t play nicely and the signs themselves square each other, meaning, generally speaking, they don’t get along well.

Except that maybe they should. Traditionally, before the discovery of Neptune, Jupiter also ruled Pisces, which, as is true of other signs that share planets, they have things in common. Maybe they don’t get along because they are too much alike.

And that’s where the different signs might actually help me out. There is so much crap going on in my 5th House that it’s hard to figure out where to combine and what is ruling what. Here is everything, astrologically, that I am looking at for this conjunction:

  • Out of Sign Conjunction, Part I: There is disagreement in astrology on whether or not an Out-of-Sign conjunction means anything as some astrologers say that conjunctions can only happen in the same sign. However, for those astrologers who say conjunctions can happen in different signs, the slower moving planet holds influence over the quicker planet and the planet with the higher degree is considered more evolved than the planet in the lower degree. In both cases, for me, this is Neptune.
  • Out of Sign Conjunction, Part II: However, the quicker moving planet is moving away from my slower moving planet rather than approaching it, which means that the quicker planet is going to have a more Arien and, therefore, independent quality about it, less likely to integrate well and more likely to take action as a Cardinal sign. Add to that the fact the Jupiter is in Capricorn, also a Cardinal sign, and I’ve got a practical but, shall we say, run away Jupiter.
  • Neptune in Sagittarius: My slower, more evolved planet is in the sign ruled by Jupiter, which is also his traditional ruler. But it puts a watery, intuitive planet is in an active, fiery sign.
  • Jupiter in Capricorn: Capricorn is the sign that, supposedly, Jupiter does worst in (classically called “debilitated”). That being said, that also means it has the most opportunity for growth.
  • 5th House in Scorpio: Sagittarius is mutable, Capricorn is cardinal, but both of these are flavored by Scorpio, which is fixed. Fixed signs tend to override some of the other signs qualities. Add to this that 5th House is traditionally ruled by Leo, another fixed sign and that my Sun (ruling Leo) and Pluto (ruling Scorpio) are in strong positions, there’s a possibility that both these planets and what they represent have deeper connections with who I feel I am.
  • Jupiter-Neptune Aspects: They trine my Sun-Mercury conjunction, meaning there is easy energy flowing between them, more with my Jupiter than my Neptune, which makes sense, as Jupiter is more intellectual than Neptune. They square my Venus and my Moon, both feeling planets with Venus receiving the harder square from Neptune, meaning that there is conflict in what these represent. They both closely sextile my Pluto, which means there is the opportunity for my spirituality to have a lot of depth and bring me empowerment, which is reinforced by the strength of my Pluto as it is at 0° Scorpio and in my 4th House of Soul.
  • 12th House: Neptune rules the 12th House, so looking to the cusp of that House is Cancer, which connects Neptune to my Moon and 4th House. My Moon is in Libra and is the closest planet to my IC, which is at 15° of Libra (the very middle of a sign about balance), and the 4th House brings back in Pluto and Saturn, both in Scorpio.
  • 9th House: Jupiter rules the 9th House and I have Pisces on the cusp, which connects my Jupiter back to my Neptune, which is in Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, so there’s a loop there.

Personally, I see these two planets as interacting and interacting hard, though I don’t know that it works that way for everyone. If we (people who study astrology) see conjunctions as unions, then to that I reply some of us are better at unity than others. Maybe this is one of the places in astrology where, rather than looking at the majority of readings to determine if the assessment works or not, it makes more sense to look at the individual chart to determine how likely it is that this person is capable of seeing unity in disparate things and, therefore, how likely it is that an out of sign conjunction will have any bearing. Also, I feel that this out of sign conjunction is both less problematic as Neptune is about dissolving boundaries and Jupiter, as a planet, plays into that, and my Jupiter only just moved into the sign that is concerned with boundaries.

And this is where Jacques Derrida and deconstruction come in.


I don’t currently have the time or capacity to really get into a quality analysis and explanation of deconstruction, so it will have to suffice to say that, generally speaking, deconstruction takes a critical view of Truth as there is no such thing as “out of context.” Context is what creates truth. Our beliefs, our realities, these are all formed through the context of our lived experiences. This is a gross oversimplification, but it will have to do.

But, for better or worse, a lot of my beliefs and sense of the world and of myself operates within the understanding that truth is in context and contexts change. Everything is connected and everything changes. It makes expressing my truth difficult, because the concept of words, the false idea of their concreteness, don’t fit my concept of divinity, creativity, and Self. It is something I struggle with because I can simultaneously believe very much in religion (probably my Neptune in Sagittarius) and at the same time doubt it because it’s not concrete and is contextual (Jupiter in Capricorn); I recognize the power, comfort, and health benefits that a solid belief system brings (science supports this in numerous studies) while also not believing in one Truth. Jupiter believes in justice, Capricorn believes in Law, Neptune believes in universal Oneness, Sagittarius seeks out the foreign.

Integrating these planets and thought processes isn’t easy. The trine with my Sun-Mercury combination in Virgo in my 2nd House, gives me the practical reinforcement from both the earthy signs of Virgo and Taurus, and the expressive reinforcement of the Sun in a House ruled by Leo flowing to the traditional House of Leo. I can easily express the systems and doctrines and cultural contexts and even the individual – the data – that creates belief. I can see it and analyze it and build it. Because I can see it, I also sometimes have trouble with becoming judgmental about it. But that is only half the story.

shining a lightA large portion, probably the larger portion, of faith and spirituality concerns feeling. Which is interesting to me because feelings are both valid and illogical and, I have learned the hard way, just as important as thoughts – often influencing them before we have them and remaining long after they have passed. Also, we are not ever really taught how to deal with emotions – we are only taught how to control them (and that, poorly) or how it is (or more often isn’t) appropriate to express them.

With this combination and, especially, with this combination in the House that focuses on Creation in all its forms, there is a capacity for great compassion, love, oneness, and growth, but also a capacity for blind illusion, confusion, addiction, and pain. Sometimes these also overlap. I have had experiences and am currently having experiences that are causing me to question a lot of things. I’m having a hard time writing about them and so I have decided to break them up into audio clips. It will take me a little while to get all of them up, but here is the list, so far, of where I think this combination is at work in my life:

I’ll work on them and you can follow in any order you fit.

in medias res



The Crazy Train

Mars conjunct Uranus. The Daredevil Combination. Manic Energy. People with this combination include:  Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais, Robert Downy Jr., Johnny Depp, Clint Eastwood, Lucy Liu, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

For me, this combo is an endless source of pride and frustration. On the one hand, this combo gives me the passion and drive (Mars) to express (Leo House) my deepest thoughts and desires (Scorpio cusp) and philosophical standpoints (Sagittarius) and to own them without necessary imposing them on others (Uranus). I also attribute to this combo my ability to do things other people call brave without really thinking much about it, because I was in pursuit of something bigger – joining the Army during a time of war, joining the convoy security team and the QRF (Quick Reaction Force) team, studying abroad in Korea and bringing my 3-year-old son with me, walking alone at night (if I lost you there, that’s not really something women are supposed to do and many don’t). It’s probably also where I get my diverse taste in people and activities, including my sexual tastes (again Scorpio on the cusp and Sagittarius is known as the try-sexual sign).

On the other hand, some of the stuff above could be termed reckless. My Sun and Mercury are conjunct in Virgo in the 2nd House, which generally means I’m not into particularly risky things. I like to think things through and analyze the situation. But everything I described above didn’t feel reckless or risky when I was doing them. They felt natural.

I’ve mentioned before that maybe I don’t always make the best decisions in my love life. It probably comes down to impulse control. Funnily enough, I (generally) have pretty good impulse control in a lot of things: home, finances, work, shopping, homework…. but when it comes to school (and 5th House can represent your formal higher education – high school and early college), creative endeavors, and romance/sex…. I’m weird about that stuff. Both planets are energetic, independent, and somewhat impulsive.


butterfly pillow
It’s seen some wear and tear since 2010, but it’s still kicking. I used a suede pillow case and gold ribbon.

I will spend $50-100 at a craft or fabric store for supplies to make things I have every intention of making, usually by learning something I’ve never done before – it’ll sit in a bin forever or, maybe, I’ll do bits and pieces every so often. It took me years to complete a cross stitch butterfly and make it into a pillow. I did about 50% of it on the plane over to Kuwait my first deployment, picked it up now and again to do bits while deployed, let it sit in my packed up stuff for about 7 years, then finally finished it when I moved to La Crosse. I have a purse I’m crocheting for my best friend….. eventually. It’s about 2/3 done and I haven’t worked on it in almost a year. I have about 7 canvases waiting to be painted – I know what I want to paint, I have the stuff… just haven’t started… cuz, well, it’s work. And I want to get it right.

I have this amazing idea for personalized emergency spa kits for Christmas gifts…. I’ve had this idea for 3 years and the only reason I don’t have all the stuff for it is because I’ve managed to remind myself that I have about 6000 other projects and why would this one be any different? And I still have to stay out of certain aisles at Michael’s, so I don’t walk out with all the stuff. Seriously, last year I had a basket full of the supplies and I literally had to set it down and flee the store. I never do that – I always put back what I don’t intend to buy, but I knew if I didn’t leave right then, I would buy all the supplies at a time when I really couldn’t afford it.


Cut out pin up

Both Mars and Uranus are about putting yourself out there in different ways – Mars does it through physicality, either putting your body in harm’s way or pursuing what you desire; Uranus does it through mentality, specifically on a spiritual and collective level by, more or less, owning your weird. I am very likely to approach the people I am interested in and not to feel personally affronted if they aren’t into me that way. I am much less comfortable the other way around.

My sense of romance is off beat and detached. I’m not a flowers and jewelry kind of girl. The sexiest things you can do are 1) show me something you’re intensely interested in but makes you feel vulnerable sharing, and 2) bring things to my attention you think I would be interested in because you’ve taken the time to get to know me. Nothing ignites my passion faster. That being said, most of the time, my interest doesn’t last long. I’ve had more than a few times where I’ve had a really electric energy with someone and an intense curiosity and, once that has been explored a bit, it’s gone and I’m just done with the relationship or experience. More often than not, I become more detached through physical experiences. The only way to keep me interested is to keep my mind engaged.


Sooooo….. I have a bachelors. Not too impressive, except that I got it while raising a child as a single mother and working a lot at the same time. But I love to learn and to go deep with it (that freaking Scorpio and Sag combo again). I love higher learning, philosophy, psychology, sociology, history, politics (I also hate politics), languages, cultures, physiology, biology, scientific inquiry and systems.  I have a knack for spotting patterns and making connections between the different subjects I’m learning. I’m not super into math, but taking Statistics was interesting because it applied to philosophy (Normal is only normal because it’s average and everything averages out eventually – it’s actually a Law in math).  

Running inside a brainThe problem with this is I have too many interests, I can see how things are connected and so I want to learn all the tangential stuff, too, and I don’t have a lot of time. For most of my college career, I had a double major and a double minor, and I still took classes that didn’t apply to any of them. Like Introduction to Computer Programming (I already had the math credits and an overabundance on the language credits). The semester before I graduated, at a meeting to discuss Student Teaching, I realized I was not going to be able to finish the Eds portion of my degree due to money (not schooling itself – living expenses, travel expenses, and the fact that you really can’t work during student teaching, especially if you have other responsibilities).

I dealt with this (after an internal rant on socioeconomic status vs education – a nice Mars-Uranus blend actually, and a candid conversation with the Dean of the School of Education) by looking at my options, reminding myself that having the Education portion of my English Ed degree wasn’t imperative for teaching abroad, and realizing I could graduate next semester if I switched to English: Writing and Rhetoric. And it’s a good thing I did that, because even cutting my 2 semesters down to 1 semester, I graduated with 159 credits. Had I done things differently, I would be 1 credit off a Masters. Also, had I continued on my then educational path, I would have run up against the school’s 160 credit rule and my tuition would have gone way up. Funny that none of my advisers noticed this.

Driving Ms. Crazy:

All in all, I don’t know that this is something that I’ll ever really have under control. It’s not an “in-control” combination. But, that being said, I think I can work with it. Since I have a lot going on here and the planets have a lot going on, one of the suggestions for balancing this energy is to incorporate energy from the House opposite, in this case, the 11th House, ruled by Aquarius. I see this as looking at my self-expression and creativity in terms of community needs, not just my own. Fortunately, social justice is a passion of mine. I’m hoping here soon, when I tone down my work life, I can really start to get more involved in my community and turn my creative pursuits toward that.

Also, several astrologers recommended physical exercise, specifically yoga or martial arts. I’ve been wanting to do that for quite some time, so I want to get a regular class in one of those areas in my routine, which will be perfect to do as part of my 6th House – the House of Health and Daily Routine.

Other than that, I’ll keep you posted on any crazy developments.

Abundance Anxiety

I’ve been meaning to finish up a few posts on the 5th House, but having a hard time getting down how I want to write about it (the first draft was too dry, the second is too dramatic) and, really, this week has been CRAZY.

So, horoscopically, I was supposed to have a good week financially. Here’s what happened:


Literally 2 hours after I told my partner that I was having a difficult time not looking for a nice new couch because I needed to save my money for closing costs and rent for the next few months in case I can’t find a subleaser, my realtor texted me to ask if I’d be interested in a free couch – I would just need to pick it up today. As I could actually do that (a stroke of luck in and of itself), I said, yes, as long as I could put it in the garage at the new house, which was agreed upon.

I got a truck and ended up with a very nice, beautiful teal, cushy, large couch, a queen size bed with basic frame, and a twin size bed with a basic frame. The owners didn’t have room for them in their new place and the Salvation Army and Restore wouldn’t be able to get them for another week and a half. We took them to my new house and got to put them in the house because the Seller is almost out and it would just be easier (her words – I think she feels bad because she was supposed to be out already, but I’m totally fine with it.)

The Seller at my house stated she would need a little extension to be out (again not a problem for me) and asked to barter for it (apparently, after the initial closing date it costs her money to be there and, really, quite a lot of money). I had been hoping I would have enough cash to buy the lawnmower for $100, since I don’t have one and know I will need one. She is giving me the lawnmower, a nice ladder, some paint for the spare bedroom and bathroom (in case of any scuffs and such upon move in and for touch ups down the line), a bag of mulch for the garden (along with all the seed packets, so I know what is in it), a linen cupboard, and a large rug that probably cost between $70-80. And then her realtor offered me a nice lamp she was going to get rid of in a garage sale that she never ended up having.


I was offered the permanent position at my full time job, which means great benefits and more than a dollar an hour raise. It is also $3+/hour more than I was making at the job from October. I was very pleased to accept this offer.

I went to one of my part time jobs and got my first paycheck. I found out I’m making $2/hour more than I thought. Who knew?

I also talked with my mortgage lender and my closing costs had gone from a possible $800 I would need to pay on Friday to $377. I asked whether that was likely to change a lot in 2 days and was told ….eh, well, possibly, but hopefully will stay the same or go down. Hopefully. I sent out some quick good vibes and went back to work.


I received the final approval for my home loan. I got in touch with my mortgage lender to see what the final tally was on closing costs. $1787.00 was coming back to me. I had him repeat himself several times until he finally said, “Yes, they will be giving you a check for that amount tomorrow when you sign the paperwork.” Apparently, with proration and the Seller staying in the house the extra 3 weeks, it wiped out my closing costs and then some. I also found out my mortgage payments will be about $70 lower a month than I planned for and my first payment isn’t due until February 1st.


I signed all the paperwork to close on my house and they gave me a check for $1787.00. That covers, easily, all the rent I may have to pay through May, connection costs to get my new house up and running, and repaying my mom for the initial Earnest Money.

I also found out on Thursday that a plethora of good news causes me to almost have a panic attack. I don’t know if it’s my morbid Scorpio nature hanging out on the cusp of my house of Joy, the fact that the optimistic planet of Jupiter is in the most pessimistic sign, or if my sense of balance just got punched in the face, but I could not accept that all of these things in my life were going right at the same time.


These are big things. Also, my love life hasn’t gone to crap. So I couldn’t shake off the feeling that something was going to go horribly wrong. I was going to get to the signing and they were going to realize I owed the $1800. I would get all set up and then something huge was going to break (even with the insurance and home warranty, my imagination can come up with something to exceed both). I’m personally betting on my car finally going kaput, because, even with the extra cash, it’s not enough to rebuild the transmission or get a new car. There’s a worry whispering from the back about my grandma. Life, in general, doesn’t go this well. My life, in particular, does not go this well.

Truth be told, I’m kind of still in that zone, but I’m past the initial sense of dread and on to a cautious optimism. I mean, I have worked hard for these things… It’s just a really big change from 2 months ago. Part of me feels like maybe this is a reward from the Universe for being trusting and going through with the house and not letting depression stop me from interviewing right away after losing my job. Another part is arguing that the Universe is also probably laughing at me, watching my reaction to getting a bunch of stuff at once. These aren’t mutually exclusive, of course.

Crushing It

Sooooo, that’s been my week….. Abundant, like my 5th House. We’ll see how this goes in a couple weeks when I’m able to get in and start doing all my fixing and measuring – a very Virgo thing as I’m going into my Virgo House.

It’s been very difficult not to spend the money I just got and not all in bad ways, but I’ve noticed I’m swinging back and forth between really responsible and total shopping spree in my head. So far, I have put a month of rent and my first mortgage payment in my savings, I threw an extra $100 at one credit card and $50 at another, and I spent $150 at a new store in the mall for clothes that look fabulous on me, all work appropriate but still cute enough to wear on dates. I have to keep reminding myself that paying off all the credit cards doesn’t actually help the credit that much in the end and that I still have a ways to go with getting things set up and I need to take my time. There’s no reason not to leave that money right where it is. That being said, I am very relieved that I can buy Xmas presents this year. I wasn’t planning on being able to do much.

On another note, I think the panic set off one of the weird conjunctions in my 5th House. I have Mars and Uranus right next to each other. Some astrologist refer to it as the Daredevil Combo, but one of the combination qualities they site explained some weird stuff I’ve dealt with before: an abundance of electrical energy. The combination of Mars’s physicality and drive with Uranus’s crazy and electrical feeling creates a very electric feel to my energy and the tendency to get shocked or do the shocking. When I am in a state of high energy, I can and have shorted out electrical equipment. In the middle of some relationship trouble last year, I got an upsetting text and when I went back to my work computer, it promptly crashed and could not be fixed. Prior to that, just after I had a really big break through in therapy, it felt like I was defibrillating my own heart (yeah, that sucked). Thursday I started shorting out my phone.

Related to that, my energy gets heightened right before thunderstorms. During them is when I sleep the best, like the outside energy matching my inside energy is just really comforting. I have thunderstorm audio set as the background on my meditation app. I’ve been listening to it a lot over the last few days (when I’m not accidentally crashing it) and doing some deep breathing. The phone shorting out is calming down now that I am.

Because, even though this isn’t quite what happy feels like, I’m going to do my best to make the most of this sudden but inevitable betra- blessing. This blessing.



Lights, Camera – Oh, Wait, Let Me Dig into This….

This post has taken a while. With three jobs and home loan paperwork and holidays, things have piled up and, now that I’m heading into my 5th House as a topic, my most crowded house, I’ve been overwhelmed.

The 5th House is the house of creativity, romance, performance, politics, children….

Here is what I have in this house:

South Node – Represents the past and lessons that have been mastered. Where we are comfortable.

Mars – The planet of physicality, energy, passion, aggression, sexuality. It shows what the native desires, how they will fight, and what they will fight for. It is also a minor malefic planet (meaning it causes friction).

Uranus – The planet of independence, freedom, rebellion, unconventionality, restlessness, innovation, fame, politics, adaptation, universality, technology.

Neptune – The planet of oneness, health and healing, romance, unselfish love, creativity, inspiration, tolerance, serenity, idealism, sensitivity, empathy, intuition, longevity, escapism.

Jupiter – The planet of expansion, luck, spirituality, truth, justice, knowledge, judgment, higher learning. It is considered a benefic planet (gives support and help).

So maybe the best place to start is with the broad stuff.

The House is ruled by Scorpio. None of the planets are in Scorpio, so I see it as lending an intensity, passion, protection, and introspection to all the things this house rules. Perhaps it even lends an element of power and secrecy. It could also mean, as my South Node is here as well, that, while I may have many planets in this house, the experiences I have here might feel so natural to me (because the planets are in Sagittarius) that they are almost unconscious and mysterious.

In physical interaction (Mars), whether it’s exercise, combat, or sex, I’m intense. In terms of social issues and independence (Uranus), I’m intense. In terms of healing, creativity, and idealism (Neptune), I’m intense. In terms of spirituality, justice, and higher learning (Jupiter), I’m intense. In all of these aspects, I tend to be fairly direct with my views, unless I know it’s going to harm me, because I’m also very aware that people operate out of their own views and, especially in terms of work, that can have negative effects on my life – all Scorpio tendencies.

In addition, I think Scorpio probably flavors my taste in entertainment. I enjoy a variety of movie and TV genres (Sagittarius), but the kinds of entertainment I enjoy most are psychological thrillers, documentaries, mysteries, and anything that takes an interesting and unconventional view of the deep subjects like death, rebirth, power, the occult, and change. Also, I love heist and con movies, which probably has to do with secrets and exposing them.


The thing is Scorpio also flavors what I create. That’s not a bad thing, but with most of my planets in Sagittarius I have a desire to blend the light-hearted with the dark aspects and I have a hard time doing it on command. I spend a lot of time on details and research – I don’t think I’ve ever created an art piece or a story where I haven’t looked up something. When I was working on some noir drawings, I spent about 5 hours researching late 1940’s San Francisco. Reflecting on it, I think some of my best pieces have been done when I was on a time constraint or with very strict guidelines. It cuts out a lot of my tendency to overdo the background work.

Now, I don’t really have the time right now to actually do much creation. I’m working roughly 50-70 hours a week, leaving little time left over. However, I do want to adjust how I approach creating and, judging by the amount of crap I have in this house, it’s obvious that I need to create. So, I plan on doing little mini things. Still keeping to the deep, dark, and interesting, but in snippets as opposed to going down the well. There are several writing prompt threads on Tumblr I will be exploring to help with that. We’ll see where that gets me.

The other thing I need to look at is my approach to my son. I probably overshare a lot on the darker aspects of life with him and, in all honesty, I can’t blame his morbid curiosity on his own personality. It’s not that I want to get rid of having conversations with him about the tough stuff, but it might do for me to simplify some of the concepts. At least for now. It’s a difficult balance, but I think it’s something that will probably help with his understanding in the long run.

It’s something for me to think over.


Glow in the Dark

I’ve been sick for over a week, so this post has been a bit in coming and I am going to keep it brief. I think my foray into cemetery psychology went pretty well.

As a recap, I went to a cemetery at midnight on Halloween to meditate on the correlation between the fear of darkness and the fear of the unconscious self, those aspects of the self that we don’t like to look at too closely and that we hide. I cast my circle, lit a candle and some incense, made an offering of bread and alcohol, burned the slip of paper with a few qualities that I would like to see change, and sat in the dark with myself in a somber and tingly mood.

For the most part, it was quite peaceful. It was close enough to the full moon that I’m not sure it really qualified as meditating in darkness; it made the headstones almost glow. I breathed in the kinda freakin’ cold night air and enjoyed the solitude.

It bordered on boring.

However, there were some tense moments and one was illuminating. It wasn’t the moment when I almost burned myself on my less shining qualities. It wasn’t even the moment when something rustled and someone may have walked through causing me to hope I wasn’t about to be raped or have my throat slit. That was just standard reactionary fear, not entirely unfounded. It was actually the moment I left the car and donned my cloak, heading into a cemetery at midnight without any real knowledge of whether it was technically legal for me to be there or what I would say if I was stopped.

And, really, that correlates pretty well. I may not like all of my flaws and secrets and mistakes, but I am generally self-aware enough to know what they are and know that I am working toward a better me. I know that fear of my own darkness doesn’t help bring anything into the light. The fear comes in when I think someone might see me out of context and make a judgment based on misconceptions.

So, I’m back to things I can’t control. There would not have been much I could do if a cop came by or a group of kids traipsed through the cemetery. Maybe I would have been discounted as weird, maybe I would have been arrested. But I’m still glad I went. I can’t say it’s something I’m going to do every year, but it gave me some insight and, despite the fact that I couldn’t control the potential reactions, I am proud of myself for going anyway and not chickening out.

Fear Itself

Learning to pay attention to my emotions and heal my emotional body. And a Buffy episode synopsis – spoilers!

I’m a big Buffy, the Vampire Slayer fan. Indeed, a big fan of any of Joss Whedon’s mid-90’s to mid-2000’s work, actually. In addition to the exceptional ear for language that permeates his work, there is a talent for metaphor that reaches into the depths of what common experiences feel like, regardless of the actuality of the situation.

GachnarTucked away in Season Four’s inconsistent story telling (which I feel works for a season about Freshmen year at college) are several episode gems, including the Halloween episode “Fear Itself.” Essentially, one of the frat houses has the “awesome” idea to use this occult symbol from some old book on the floor of the attic for their annual haunted house party and, in a coincidental plot mechanism, some blood is sprayed on the symbol during a speaker repair that begins to activate it, creating a semi-portal for the Irish fear demon Gachnar, the Dark Lord of Nightmares.

Gachnar wreaks havoc on the house quite subtly at first, but as each character’s internal and deepest unconscious fears are drawn out, it begins to affect their reality until they become separated and are each forced to deal with their fears on their own. This episode departs from the Season One fear episode in which the lesson is to face your fears. Rather than the simplicity of punching a clown in the face who scared you at your birthday party, the fears center around the much harder to face feelings of invisibility, inadequacy, isolation, and loss of control. The kinds of fears that, when you start punching the people who make you feel them, the fears become reality.

The episode resolves comically and simply – Gachnar is (accidentally) brought physically into the dimension and turns out to be quite tiny, easily squished by the Slayer’s Red Riding Foot. We could say that by acknowledging the fear, it is defeated, however, in my opinion, they may have slayed the demon, but they do not deal with their fears. They blame it on the singular situation and those themes come back throughout the rest of the season: Oz does lose control of his inner beast leading to a painful breakup and departure from Sunnydale, while Willow, Xander, and Buffy drift farther apart until it takes only a few words from a known antagonist to have them fighting and off on their own. They hash out some things for the finale, temporarily putting those fears into remission. But they come back in various forms throughout the series – Willow becomes addicted to magic in order to deal, to “fix” things; Xander leaves Anya at the alter and struggles to find his niche; Buffy gets into an abusive relationship and shoulders ever more responsibility.

These fears are universal. They are insidious. And we often ignore them. We medicate or we “fix the problem.” Feeling lonely? Go out with friends, have a drink. Not sure what to do with your life? Try harder, work harder, network more. Something didn’t go your way? Do your damage control and control for it next time.

And sometimes this helps. Maybe for the short term, maybe for longer. If often depends on how deeply rooted the feelings are and whether we’ve addressed them in depth. And they are never truly overcome. We will feel them again and again, in various situations and iterations and intensities.

The key to getting through all this is a more healthy and connected state, achieved through vulnerability. I know this logically. I know this! But it is so easy to wall up or disconnect.

My challenge this week is to really sit with these feelings, to acknowledge them, to know the situations when they come up and what is triggering them, and to accept these feelings as they are without judging them or judging myself for having them. Just like telling someone with depression that they have so much to be happy about or that things could be so much worse doesn’t help and actually harms, I’m not going to tell myself that I shouldn’t feel isolated because I have so many people around me or that it’s really my fault I feel that way in the first place. It doesn’t help. It’s not productive. It isn’t actually true because that’s not how isolation operates. Instead I want to dwell in the concept of being there for my feelings, to allow them to express, listen patiently, and remind them I love them. Because they are part of being human, part of existence, and, though they may not feel pleasant, experiencing them in their fullness allows for healing and the opportunity to connect with others.

This is the heart of shadow integration.

One blogger that I follow mentioned an actually scary Halloween idea: go to a cemetery alone at midnight with a candle and a stick of incense, thank the spirits of the land, and pay attention to your relationship to the dark. Based on the principle of “as above, so below,” our relationship with actual darkness mirrors our relationship with our own darkness, our subconscious, and that needs to be addressed to be whole. In order to be whole, to be empowered, we cannot simply dissociate from the things we don’t like about ourselves. So, that’s my Halloween plan – I going to spend some time in the dark and figure out what is there, love it, work with it, start to pull it back in. I’m going to try letting go of control and discipline for a bit. I’ll keep you posted.

Blessed Be.

samhain integration