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It’s May 15, 2012. You and your main squeeze are waiting for dinner to be served at your favorite restaurant. You’re chatting about nothing special. This scenario is familiar, it’s comfortable, you’re happy enough.

Then s/he says, “There’s something we have to talk about.”

Your heart starts a manic drumbeat. Panicked, thoughts tumble into your mind: “What did I do wrong? Is there someone else? Is it over?”

But your sweetheart smiles, takes your hand, and adds, “It’s okay. I love you. But I think we’re taking each other for granted.”

Dinner arrives and you eat without tasting. The main course is kind but radical honesty. A review of where you’ve been. A reassessment. A revision of some of the ways you’ve been relating. How to improve on what you have together.

Venus retrograde: The great lady of relationships, values, connection, paused in her starry dance on May 15 to help you look backwards. Venus, speaking in the voice of curious Gemini, asks, “What have you gotten lazy about?” “Where did you make assumptions that were never discussed?” “Are your values the same as they once were?” “Are you playing fair with one another?”

Through June 27, 2012, when Venus again twirls into direct motion, you have the chance to renegotiate. To reveal what you’ve been holding back. To release old relationship patterns that get in your way. But you’ve gotta open your mouth and share what’s in your heart.  Be diligent about pruning and weeding out what prevents you from deeper intimacy during this 6-week period. Plant trust, truth and a commitment to talk things through as they come up. If you do, Venus then hits the reset button on June 27 and things are better than good. You’re bonded in a way that wasn’t possible before.

If you’re lazy, or shut down, stagnation can choke the life out of what you hold precious and dear. This doesn’t have to happen-but it’s up to  you.

Single and looking? Do research. Ask good friends about why they love and value you. Ask them to be honest and let you in on what they may have noticed about a past relationship that will help you make better decisions in the future. Reflect on what made you happy with a past paramour as well as what got in the way. As a result, you’ll gain a much clearer perspective (Gemini) on what you want–and don’t. Use this time to fertilize, compost, prepare the soil for the right relationship, one of give-and-take, one of compromise.

Express rather than repress what you must say, to your partner, a friend, anyone you truly cherish. Love is the blood in our emotional veins.  Love is all there is.

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We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams.
World-losers and world-forsakers,
Upon whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers,
Of the world forever, it seems.

“We are the Music-Makers” by Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessy

It’s late, that time of night when silence breathes and moonlight licks at shadows. Your mind yawns and quiets, eyes flickering with the first tug of sleep-but then they startle open. Something’s not quite right. You know-without knowing how you know- that you’re not dreaming. Your senses widen as you slip into an altered state of consciousness. You’re down the rabbit hole.

You’ve been swept away by Neptune in Pisces. In these misty realms dwell the divine and the mad. Where dreams coalesce and then shimmy apart. This is the land of Illusions, delusions and inspiration. It is here that ghosts and saints cross your path. Where the voices in your head are real. Surrender with grace and the sacred waters of knowledge may part before you.

On 4/11/11, Neptune moved into Pisces for the first time in over a century, when it held cosmic court between 1847 and 1861. During these magical years, impressionistic art streamed into the world. The gold rush brought dreams and delusions of wealth. The compassion of Neptune in Pisces inspired the underground railway, leading many slaves to freedom.

You must learn to walk between two worlds: one of the  gods and the other of demons. The siren song of pipe-dreams can distract you from the voice of the true muse (The 9 Muses were Greek goddesses fathered by Zeus, King of the gods, and provided inspiration to humans). Be amused and bemused by the absurdities of life. Meditate. Take space. Space out. Surrender to the ecstatic-but practice this daily mantra: “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” Casey Kasem

Neptune is caught in a retrograde riptide until 11/9/11. On 8/24, it skinny dips in Aquarian waters of truth for the final time. Let them wash away artifice and confusion. Dive deep to discover your pearl in the oyster–the seed of your authentic genuis. When Neptune flows back into dreams-can-come-true Pisces on 2/3/12, those who have called you crazy may now be your devotees.

Dream your dreams, live your truth. And never lose track of your passions.

Joyce

“Slow down/you move too fast/Got to make the morning last/Trippin’ down the cobblestones/lookin’ for fun & feelin’ groovy.”

Simon & Garfunkel, “Feelin’ Groovy”

Mercury does the retrograde rag from 3/30/11-4/23/11. Snorting with red-hot impatience, this wily witser  reverses along Aries Avenue. He careens past wild-eyed Uranus (who is orchestrating several revolutions simultaneously), and high-fives Jupiter, who is preaching fire-and-brimstone to anyone who will listen.

Accidents can happen, especially during the next 3 weeks. Be rash and you crash. The banana peel slips under your heel. Haste makes waste. So go to the gym or out for a swim. Break a sweat, pet, and slow your pace. You’ll get more done if you’re having fun.

The cardinal rules of this volatile Mercury retrograde? Think before you speak. Rein in your impulses. Otherwise, Aries bravado can backfire-and you’ll have plenty of time to hang out with you regrets.

During Mercury retrograde, make use of words beginning with “re.” Simon & Garfunkel’s  classic “Feelin’ Groovy”  stresses these “re” words: recreation and relaxation. So rejoice that it’s Mercury retrograde again…and rejuvenate.

 

Positive Jupiter in Aries: Faith in yourself, your truth, your actions. Negative Jupiter in Aries: Fear that supports the belief that only your truth is real. Who is to say which is right and which is wrong? Stand up for what you believe. If it feels right, then it is.

Jupiter holds the holy grail containing the alchemical ingredients of diversity, honesty and faith. Mix in the passion and assertiveness of Aries and this brew comes to full boil.

Jupiter entered territorial, warrior Aries on 1/22/11.  Passionate truth boils to the surface. Ask yourself if you want to act or react? There are more than 6.8 billion people living on earth, and swords are clashing–verbally, mentally, philosophically, physically.

But what is truth? It is in the eye of the beholder. Most wars are begun due to philosophical differences. Wake up in San Francisco, and two people of the same sex slow-dancing together won’t get a second glance. Place that same couple in Houston, and there might be trouble.

Can you take a stand without bloodletting? Can you imagine a peaceful outcome without giving up your position–and letting someone else having theirs? Mahatma Gandhi said, “Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.”

So is it really no pain, no gain? Or can you take a step backward, hold your tongue, loosen your fist, look your “enemy” in the eye and see their humanness? This is how war is won. How peace is made. And how, in these volatile and uncertain times, you can stand on opposite sides of the same fence and, even if you disagree, allow. Take this stance and you find freedom.

Today I had lunch with a friend of mine whose husband has cancer. He was diagnosed 3 years ago and is now in pain much of the time. Last year he entered his second Saturn return https://joycevanhorn.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/the-second-saturn-return-passage-to-wisdom which is earmarked by major events, both personal and professional, into life’s final chapter.

I was struck by my friend’s courage and love. In the face of challenge and the very real possibility of loss, she has the courage to face whatever may come with faith and openness. Very recently, friends, clients and community offered their support to her family. Part of her grace is the willingness to receive–to set aside pride and accept what others wish to give.

As Warrior Mars soars into meaningful action in Sagittarius until 12/7/10, ask yourself what it is that you must confront. What is the challenge to your balance? Where are your fears stored and how to you pray to them to show you the light? Mars likes to win. It needs to act. If you do nothing, you lose. Take the warrior’s stance and hit the open road. There is no map that to show you the way, so blunder well and wildly.  Keep an eye out for signs, omens and synchronicities , because information-bearing Mercury, also in Sag through 11/30/10, is leaving you clues and cues along the way. Learn as you go; there’s no better way to be prepared.

Sagittarius represents hope. It wants you to make a direct bull’s eye in the direction of your desires. Coupled with Mars, it encourages you to get messy and make good mistakes. Otherwise, there is a danger of collapsing into rhetoric, chasing your philosophical tail and wandering aimlessly off the trail.

Your blood is coursing now. You smell both danger and opportunity in the air. In Chinese, crisis translates into both opportunity and danger http://www.living-chinese-symbols.com/chinese-symbol-crisis.html Whuffle it up and get a move on. There are adventures to be had. Get started now!

See you on the road!

Joyce


Marriage. Kids. Commitment. Break-ups. Divorce. Family growing pains. Notice how there’s lots of this goin’ around ’bout now? Why? Labor-intensive Saturn in balanced Libra is demanding maturation and responsibility within relationships. This is a growth cycle that no one escapes–and it’s all about you, me and we.

It’s a mountain you’ve gotta climb. If not, good luck–you’ll find yourself stuck or sliding on silt. So put one foot after the other and look ahead, not back.  Saturn is at its best in relationship-driven Libra–but sometimes the scales tip too far one way or the other. You need to remember that you’re not alone and prove it.

Some of the stories I’ve heard lately: “I was thinking of riding my bike out into the street,” said one 13-year-old. “Mom moved in with us,” says a dutiful but distraught daughter of 38. “Now my husband sleeps on the sofa.” A marriage of nearly 30 years comes to a close, especially challenging because both husband and wife are in business together.

Saturn stares you grimly in the eye and says, “Get real, bro. Stand up for yourself, sister. This is about love. And family. And connecting. Prove it or things will get ugly.” Yep, there’s that boulder poised to fall on unsuspecting you as your girlfriend runs off with your best friend. Why, you plead? “You took me for granted for too long,” she says. You do a mental re-run of the past 6 months and realize you remember more about TV shows you’ve watched together than memories you’ve made.

It’s time for true grit, darlin’. No wimps allowed or you’ll fall off the mountain. After all, you don’t build emotional muscle without feelin’ the burn. Saturn doesn’t stand for  slackers or there are consequences. So do those crunches and pay attention. Otherwise you might find yourself all alone on a romantic moonlit night. Or feeling bored out of your skull by keeping company with someone you’ve simply gotten used to.

Saturn is the planetary CEO and has assigned you the job of honoring others as you would like to be honored, capiche? Libra gently reminds you that you have to bend to give, but not break your back.

So take some time to really see and hear your amour/partner/spouse/child/parent. Look deep into their eyes and ask them not only how they are but who they are. Through October 6, 2012, Saturn in Libra is the testing ground for love . And hey! If the world is really gonna end like some prophets claim, make the most out of it. After all, love is what makes the world go ’round.

Expect delays. Four planets out of ten are retrograding. When a planet goes retrograde, you’ve gotta look backwards. Reflect. Reorient. Reassess. Re-energize.

Y’see, we’re all flaming balls of energy. So are the planets. Human beings need a break. So do the planets. When you’re off the job, it’s a good idea to turn off your cell and put off finishing that project. You need to recharge, refuel, rethink, reconsider, take a time out. Sip the nectar of r&r.

Sweet Venus reviews the love scene beginning October 8 until November 18. Make nice and smooth out the wrinkles. That  fog on the road is thanks to Neptune in Aquarius. Recycle worn-out dreams so that new ones arise when it goes direct on 11/6/10. Let the headlights of truth from Uranus shine into the mists of imagination as it goes back into visionary Pisces until  12/5/10. Jupiter, the planet of all Things Good and Great and Possible, also looks backwards. You’ll win big at the tables of  luck if your bets are more restrained until 11/18/10.

So settle on in for a spell. Let your head nod and drift off into dreamland. Morning comes, you’ll be bright as a shiny penny and rarin’ to go. But for now bide your time. Freshen up when you’re tired. Wiggle toes liberated of shoes. Take in some sun. Take in some shade. Ponder where you’re headed and what it’ll feel like when you’re there. Jot down a few thoughts. It doesn’t have to be hard. Consider what a wise man once said “When you get to the end of all the light you know and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.” Edward Teller

So you know more now than ever before. And the planets are inviting you to hang with them in a state of chill. And when you’re still, when you take time to re-read that passage, to re-work that plan, you come out ahead. And that always feels pretty damned good.