Venus Retrograde Fridays

How’s everyone doing? Did you lose your mind after the first 30 days of stay-at-home orders or are you holding on to those last few brain cells? I have my good days and not-so-good days. This week has been really weird, with energy spikes and then 24-hour cycles of I-don’t-give-a-f**k.

But I have one thing I’ve been looking forward to every week since May 13: Venus Retrograde Fridays. I was inspired by Chani Nicholas’s workshops with a special section on Venus retrograde. Chani is a freakin’ brilliant astrologer who explains everything so clearly and with a focus on personal growth. If you’re not following her on social media, and you have even a passing interest in astrology, go follow her now and sign up for her mailing list. I’ll wait.

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A brief primer on Venus retrograde, taken from Café Astrology:

Occasionally, Venus appears to be moving backward in the sky. “Appears” is the key word here, because, technically speaking, no planet actually moves backward in their orbits around the Sun. In fact, they don’t even slow down. Retrograde-station-direct cycles are essentially illusions that result from our point of view from Earth, simply because the Earth is also orbiting the Sun at a different speed than the other planets. Venus is Retrograde approximately 40-43 days every 18 months.

Venus went retrograde in the sign of Gemini on May 13 and will station direct on June 25.

Why should you care? Well, Venus is the planet of beauty and aesthetics. She rules what we value, what makes us happy, and what creative pursuits we enjoy. She is all about sensory experiences: delicious food and drink, leisurely activities, delightful scents and sights. She also rules relationships – surprise, surprise.

So what happens when Venus is retrograde? Retrograde periods of any planet in astrology are a time when the areas ruled by that planet seem to go backwards or sideways. We have to reassess, reflect, re-do, rewrite, rethink; things might not move forward as fast or as easily as we’d like. Since Venus rules love, affection, beauty, values, aesthetics and relationships, that means these are the areas where we need to reconsider what we’re doing and where we want to be during a Venus retrograde cycle. You may start considering a new hairstyle or makeup palette. You might want to clean out your closet and reinvent your look. A romance that was already on shaky ground may end, or past loves may pop up and get you thinking about how that relationship helped or hindered your growth.

Most astrologers will advise you not to make any major changes during a retrograde period. During Venus retrograde, you shouldn’t cut your own hair or sell off your investment portfolio. I tend to agree with that, but I would also add: if you’re able to test out a change in a way that you can reverse it with minimal consequences, it might be worth trying.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about Venus Retrograde Fridays. Venus rules Friday, so Chani Nicholas recommends using this day to focus on Venusian activities. After nearly 8 months of intense client work and dealing with personal issues, I am all about taking better care of me while work is not as crazy busy. I’ve now had two Venus Retrograde Fridays and really enjoyed them, and figured I owed it to the last few regular readers of my blog to share how this works and ways you can honor Venus during this retrograde period.

Here’s a list of possible activities for Venus Retrograde Friday.

    • Lounge in bed for as long as you want.
    • Wear comfy clothes.
    • Play “closet” where you go through your clothes and try out new looks.
    • Reorganize your closet or dresser: by color, by type, by season, by outfit, by whatever.
    • Play “jewelry box” where you go through your baubles (as my fabulously fashionable friend Beth calls them) and put on all of them or try new combinations.
    • Put clean sheets on the bed and fresh linens in the bathroom.
    • Take a long soak in the tub with your favorite scents – bubbles, bath bomb or salts optional (bonus points if you have a glass of your favorite beverage nearby, or you eat a cupcake while in the tub).
    • Deep condition your hair.
    • Put on your favorite perfume or scented lotion.
    • Give yourself a mani/pedi or a facial (YouTube has tons of great tutorials).
    • Teach yourself a new updo for your hair (again, YouTube tutorials are the way to go).
    • Take a nap.
    • Bake your favorite treats and eat them slowly so you can enjoy every bite.
    • Make yourself a fabulous dinner and pair it with your favorite beverage – or order that meal for pickup/delivery.
    • Write a love letter to yourself to open after July 29 (when Venus ends its shadow period).
    • Write out affirmations focusing on loving yourself more, then read them aloud. Some good ones:
      • I am perfectly content to be me.
      • I am good enough just as I am.
      • I love and approve of myself.
      • I choose to love myself unconditionally.
    • Read love poems, a romance novel, chick lit, or erotica.
    • Watch a favorite rom-com.
    • Take a virtual tour of an art museum or historic residence/palace (my personal favorite is Versailles).
    • Write letters and cards to people you care about – or send happy mail to people who need encouragement and/or support. (Here’s a great site to start with if you’d like to write something semi-anonymous to someone in need. Here’s another one.)

While you don’t have to do this on Fridays, it will certainly kick off the weekend on a positive note. And if you can only do one thing you really love on Friday, that’s still good. Venus Retrograde Fridays are all about loving on yourself the best way possible. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Moxie!

Yep, that’s right, kids, it’s my birthday. And since I did this for Momcat and Pops, I might as well keep up the tradition and do a list of some of my favorite things. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’re probably already familiar with some of these things. For the Moxie neophytes, take notes. There will be a test later.

I have been studying astrology and Tarot for 8 years. I find both disciplines to be incredibly fascinating and a great tool for self-awareness. I love analyzing astrology charts for other people, as well as reading Tarot cards for them. Anyone who’s into Tarot will tell you that there are tons of Tarot card and oracle decks on the market, and that it’s very tempting to just keep accruing decks. I have four oracle decks and four Tarot decks – and yes, I want more. Sue me.

I grew up in a very diverse town and went to school with a number of Indian kids. As such, I attended parties at the homes of my Indian classmates and had my fair share of curries, raita, mango chutney, and other classic Indian dishes. Nowadays I consider an Indian brunch buffet to be a smorgasbord of comfort food. Bring on the vegetarian samosas and the chicken tikka masala!

I admit it, I love this movie. Yes, yes, it’s got a stupid plot and lame dialogue, but dear god, it’s Olivia Newton-John! She’s a muse and she’s inspiring the guy with the ugly hair to go be creative! You have to believe we are magic! You just have to!

I have this weird addiction to office supplies. Paper, pens, notebooks, clips, day planners, binders, Post-It notes, folders…it all makes me drool with delight. Walking through Staples or Office Depot is therapeutic to me. Aunt Gigi has a similar office supply addiction, and as a result she has given me some of the funkiest, coolest file folders, notepads, and pens. My favorite thing so far is the file folder that says “It’s Good to Be the Queen.” Hell yeah!

Featured on TLC’s “Miami Ink,” Chris Nunez is part owner of a tattoo shop and a bar in Miami. When I see him on TV, I get slack-jawed and giggly and stupid. Just writing about him makes me feel a little loopy. I love the dark, mysterious-looking guys, which as we now know can be my Achilles heel.

Karaoke is another form of therapy for me. I love attention, so it’s only fitting that I love to get up in front of people and do something, anything, to make them look at me. Fortunately I have a decent enough voice that I can belt out “Lady Marmalade” and not have people pay me to shut up. While I have yet to buy my own karaoke CDs, I do have a spreadsheet on my Palm TX with all the songs I like to sing, broken down by venue and/or karaoke DJ. God bless technology.

Mercury Retrograde in Cancer (June 2007)

Better late than never…here is the Mercury retrograde update for the current cycle.

Mercury went retrograde at 12 degrees Cancer on June 15, 2007, and will go direct at 2 degrees Cancer on July 9, 2007.
A brief recap on what Mercury retrograde means:  Mercury (a.k.a. Hermes) was the messenger of the gods in Greek & Roman mythology. He had a wicked sense of humor and loved to play tricks. In astrology, the planet Mercury rules all forms of communication. This includes e-mail, faxes, Internet, cell phones, text messages, and snail mail. Transportation, short trips, and cars are also ruled by Mercury. Other random things ruled by Mercury: bees and beekeepers; bad breath; coupons; eyesight; idiots and imbeciles; needles; licorice; schools; sewing; the color violet; Wednesday.Retrograde means that a planet appears to be moving backwards through the signs of the zodiac. When Mercury is retrograde, communication can get all screwed up. Your Internet access might crap out suddenly. Phone calls get disconnected or don’t go through at all. Travel can be screwy as well: traffic might be much worse on the freeway, flights are delayed or cancelled, and you might have car problems. Attempting to execute any sort of plan during this time might be more difficult than usual.
While this can be annoying, Mercury retrograde is also a great “do-over” period. For about 4 weeks, all sorts of things can happen. Old classmates e-mail you out of the blue (this actually happened to me last week – a guy from my high school sent me a message about our upcoming reunion). A former lover calls you to chat. And unresolved issues finally get closure. Because of this, many astrologers recommend using this period as a time to review, reflect, revise, and re-do, rather than starting new projects.

Crazy things tend to happen during Mercury retrograde because to Mercury, it’s funny. He has a pretty twisted sense of humor. And while I appreciate weirdness in people, planets, and androgynous mythological characters, I also like my e-mails and text messages to go through. I have learned, though, that if I laugh with Mercury, and not at him, things have a way of flowing more smoothly.

Cancer is the sign that rules motherhood, the home, patriotism, and sentimentality. It also rules women, water, food, and the stomach. In July 2006, Mercury was retrograde in Cancer; what I wrote then still applies now:

Cancer is the sign that rules emotion, home, and family – its main focus is on nurturing. Cancer is represented by the crab. The crab’s claws serve a dual purpose: nurturing, in that the crab uses its claws to grab food; or hurtful, in that the crab uses the claws to protect itself from predators. During Mercury retrograde in Cancer, it’s a time to review our emotional process. Are we pulling people and ideas close to us in order to nurture them, as well as ourselves? Or are we snapping our emotional claws in an attempt to defend ourselves? Mercury in Cancer says, “Hey, look at what you’re feeling and be with it. Don’t make yourself wrong, but don’t make others wrong, either. You just feel what you feel. But if you want to feel better, see what thoughts, concepts, and beliefs are underneath all those emotions.”

To put it simply, be good to yourself over the next 2 weeks. Don’t make any rash decisions based on how you’re feeling right now, because come July 10, you might feel completely different. Take time to relax, and if you need someone to bitch to about Mercury’s bullshit, give me a shout at girlwithmoxie at gmail.com.

The Basics Behind Astrology, or, Why Doesn’t My Horoscope Ever Make Sense?

When I tell people that I study astrology, quite often I hear, “I used to read my horoscope in the paper, but it never applied to me and I got fed up.” I can completely relate, because for years I had the same experience. It made me wonder why people bothered to ask someone’s sign.

Then I bought my first astrology book on the recommendation of a friend, and suddenly everything made perfect sense. I’ll try to break it down here in very simple terms.

Remember learning about the 10 planets in the solar system when you were a kid? Well, all 10 of those planets play a role in astrology. However, most horoscopes in magazines and newspapers are based on your Sun sign, or the month and day that you were born. For example, my birthday is February 8, and the Sun was in the sign of Aquarius on that day, so that makes my Sun sign Aquarius. (Determining a Sun sign might be tricky if you are born between the 19th and 23rd of any month, because the Sun is moving into the next sign. This is called “being on the cusp.”)

The 12 signs of the zodiac represent what we do, and the 10 planets tell us how we do it. My Sun sign is in Aquarius, so that means the Sun, which represents the self, is interested in Aquarian pursuits: humanitarian efforts, inventiveness, originality, and even rebelliousness.

“That’s all fine and good, Moxie,” I hear you saying, “but that still doesn’t tell me jack.” Okay, okay, keep your pants on.

We’ve got the Sun representing the self, but a key component of the human experience is how we feel about people, other situations, and ourselves. The Moon symbolizes emotions in astrology. The Moon has a 28-day cycle, so even if you and your best friend have birthdays within a few days of each other, you might be drastically different in how you express anger, fear, or happiness. That’s because the Moon changes signs every couple of days or so.

My Moon is in the sign of Leo. Leo energy is dramatic, childlike, and loves getting attention and affection. And believe me, I love being the star of the show. I met another Leo Moon person this past weekend and he said, “Everyone knows that Leo is the best sign to have the Moon in!” That statement pretty much sums up what the energy is like.

Let’s say you know your Sun and Moon signs, but something still seems off. This is where your ascendant, also known as the rising sign, comes in. The rising sign is based on the position of the Sun in the sky at the time of your birth. An astrologer can calculate your rising sign based on the month, day, year, time, and location of your birth. (If you don’t know the exact time of your birth, some astrologers can still figure out your rising sign with a reasonable degree of certainty.) The rising sign is the first impression you make on people; it’s like your opening handshake. My rising sign is Gemini. Gemini is versatile, restless, quick-witted, and chatty: all of these qualities describe me very well.

To sum it all up:
The Sun sign is based on your birth month and day and represents the self.
The Moon sign is based on your birth month, day, and year, and represents your emotional experience.
The Ascendant, or Rising Sign, is based on your birth month, day, year, time, and location, and represents the first impression you make on others.

When I do someone’s astrological chart, I suggest they start reading the daily horoscopes for all 3 signs (in some cases, people have the same placement for all 3, or they have 2 in the same sign). This process gives a much more comprehensive horoscope than just reading the Sun sign.

Any other questions? Want to get your chart done? Email me at girlwithmoxie at gmail dot com.