January 28, 2021 – Full Moon in Leo

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Our first Full Moon of 2021 is in the sign of Leo. Aquarius, the sign that opposes Leo, is currently hosting the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn. With all those planets in Aquarius, the see-saw is definitely weighted in favor of air sign energy. How do we reconcile the emotional drama and creative power of the Leo Moon with all that focused (Sun), chatty (Mercury), expansive (Jupiter), mindful (Saturn) activity in Aquarius?

Simple. We make room for everyone on the stage. We let the Leo Moon be the excited, committed director and producer of a visionary, innovative show about human nature featuring the comic clever stylings of Mercury, the hearty ebullient wit of Jupiter, the wry wisdom of Saturn and the booming presence of the Sun. The Leo Moon encourages all these planets to show & celebrate their strengths while in Aquarius – that’s just in its nature.

Moon in Leo

I’m always pleased when it’s a Full Moon in Leo – mostly because it’s either my birthday or it’s coming up very soon! Leo is a very celebratory sign, whether it’s about feting others or oneself. A friend of mine once joked that Leos make sure you know when their birthday is coming up – and as a Leo Moon, I can attest to this. (My birthday is February 8.) As soon as the Sun moves into Aquarius I begin talking about my birthday, I start the process of treating myself to presents, and I don’t stop until the end of February. This year, however, I am celebrating a big birthday, and because of the pandemic affecting any plans I would normally make to have parties with friends, I’m working that Leo Moon energy and make it a year-long celebration.

But enough about me – let’s talk more about the Moon and fixed signs. When the Moon is in a fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius), it takes on the qualities we see in fixed signs: determination, reliability, stability, and loyalty. These signs commit to their goals and follow through on them, even if it takes a long time. When we combine the fixed fire of Leo with the Moon, we may see dramatic emotional displays, grand gestures, and burning with passion for whatever – or whomever – they feel drawn to.

I’ve written in previous posts about oppositions in astrology, and how opposing signs want the same things but take different approaches to getting them. With fixed signs, we have two oppositions: Taurus-Scorpio and Aquarius-Leo. These 4 signs may not agree on everything, but because they share a desire to follow through on achieving their goals, they divide up the labor based on their area of expertise and know that as a team, the world is theirs for the taking. Makes sense, then, that fixed signs are symbolized on the World card in Tarot: Taurus the Bull, Leo the Lion, Scorpio the Eagle, and Aquarius the Man.

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Flashback to August 2020

Take your mind back to August 18, 2020, when there was a New Moon in Leo. What did you call forth at that time? Did you focus your intentions on opening your heart, expressing your creative energies, or finding that place where your leadership abilities reside?

Now that the Moon is Full in Leo, it’s a good time to review any writings or readings you did during that Leo New Moon and see what has sprouted from those seeds you planted. If those intentions have borne fruit, then it’s time to say thanks to the universe for what you were able to achieve. Something still in progress? Use this Full Moon to work on manifesting movement toward those goals.

Crystals for the Leo Full Moon

You can place these crystals on your altar, if you have one, or in a prominent place in your home for 2-3 nights during the Leo Full Moon.

      • Citrine
      • Labradorite
      • Rose Quartz
      • Tiger’s Eye

In the true spirit of my Leo Moon, I wish you a year of abundance and happiness, and may your shine never fade away!

New Moon Tarot Spread

This New Moon Tarot Spread is one I began using in early 2020 during my new moon rituals. It is designed to help you discover the seeds that need planting at the time of the new moon.

Shuffle the cards and cut the deck as many times as you feel you need. As you shuffle, take several deep breaths and center your thoughts on yourself and your desire for deeper knowledge and foresight.

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Lay out the cards in rows of 3 cards each.

1. Where you are right now
2. What influences you
3. What you have released since the last new moon
4. What “seeds” (your goals and plans) need to be planted
5. How you can nurture the growth of these seeds (your goals and plans)
6. Other resources that are available to you during this cycle

Tips on Making the Most of Your Reading
  • Write it down. I like to record my readings in my journal, adding any notes or interpretations on the reading in a contrasting ink color. Before I begin the reading, I write down my current state of mind.
  • Take your time. Schedule a time to do your reading when you won’t be disturbed. I find that my new moon readings can be done within 24-48 hours of the new moon being exact and I still get a very insightful reading.
  • Focus your energy. Turn off your phone, music, TV, etc. Sit silently for several minutes before you do your reading. If you do any other ritual work with moon cycles, include the reading as part of your practice.

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November 15, 2020 – New Moon in Scorpio

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I’m writing this late on Sunday evening, and while I debated over whether or not to post anything for the New Moon in Scorpio, my weekend was so emotionally rich I knew it was important to write about this cosmic energy and its impact on all of us.

Moon in Scorpio

At the end of October, I wrote about Moon placements and the positions of dignity, detriment, exaltation and fall. When the Moon is in Scorpio, it’s considered to be in its fall, meaning that the Moon is challenged in the sign. Rather than wearing the silvery, flowing, soft clothes of Cancer, the Moon dresses in black trenchcoats and fedoras in Scorpio. Its job is to find all the clues that will solve the mysteries of the soul.

Sound intense? It definitely can be. My weekend was punctuated by personal breakthroughs and discoveries that had me sobbing on Saturday morning and shedding tears of joy by Saturday night. Over the course of 48+ hours, I had several experiences & conversations that provided me with profound clarity on what I needed to transform in my work life – and all because of the New Moon in Scorpio falling in my natal 6th house of service and work. New Moons are a time when we’re emotionally primed to do some deep cleaning on a cellular level: the universe doles out the lesson plans on where we need to let go of all the old thought patterns and resulting behaviors and asks us to consider what we’d really like to do next.

But where does this happen, exactly? If you know your rising sign, here’s a rundown of what aspects of life the New Moon in Scorpio would have been transforming:

  • Aries Rising – regeneration, transformation, death
  • Taurus Rising – relationships and partnerships
  • Gemini Rising – work and work environment, service, health
  • Cancer Rising – creativity & creative pursuits, children, where you find & seek pleasure
  • Leo Rising – home, family life, your past, ancestors
  • Virgo Rising – communication skills & tools for communicating with others, sibling relationships, short trips
  • Libra Rising – finances, material possessions, self-esteem
  • Scorpio Rising – physical appearance, self-awareness
  • Sagittarius Rising – subconscious thoughts & feelings, karmic debts
  • Capricorn Rising – friends and social groups, hopes, goals
  • Aquarius Rising – career, fame, reputation
  • Pisces Rising – personal philosophy, spirituality and beliefs; higher education

You can also read that list for your Sun sign, which would also be impacted, though maybe not as strongly. (Not sure about your rising sign? Visit Chani Nicholas’s website to generate your natal chart for free.)

Some questions to consider over the next couple of days:

  • Where are you in need of transformation?
  • Did anything happen in your life between November 13-15, 2020 that brought about a personal revelation or breakthrough? How did those events make you feel?
  • Did you witness the end to a cycle or pattern in your life? Was that experience positive or negative, or perhaps both?
  • What do you plan on doing to further the transformative process?

You may find it helpful to journal about these questions, or perhaps use them as a starting point for a Tarot or oracle card reading. Whatever you decide to do next, I wish you much success on your transformational journey!

Try out my New Moon Tarot Spread here.

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August 18, 2020 – New Moon in Leo and New Moon Tarot Spread

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Today marks a New Moon in Leo. New Moons are “no moon,” meaning that it is not visible because of its alignment with the Sun. Yet despite its cloaked nature, this moon phase is associated with the power of a fresh start. Farmers who follow moon phases for planting use the New Moon to plant annual flowers or fruits and vegetables that grow above ground, such as corn, tomatoes, squashes and melons.

We can use this same energy in our personal development by using the New Moon to plant seeds that we wish to grow. Determining what we’ll plant depends on the zodiac sign in which the New Moon happens, as the Moon will be Full in this same sign in six months’ time, when we harvest what we planted.

Moon in Leo

When the Moon is in Leo, it combines the emotional, intuitive, home-loving characteristics of the Moon with Leo’s loyalty, creativity and sense of drama. Whoever coined the phrase “go big or go home” may well have been a Leo Moon. This placement wants love and comfort, but also wants a controlled, organized environment in which they are in charge. Prepare to hear the lunar lion roar when it’s happy, excited, amused or feeling playful. But when a Leo Moon feels badly hurt, it may not do much at all.

When I was a kid, my mom often said to me, “If someone hurts your feelings, say ‘ouch.’” She wasn’t a student of astrology, but it was good advice for me, as I have a Leo Moon. There have been many times I’ve felt hurt or betrayed by someone’s behavior, but will come home to lick my wounds rather than publicly call out the person. Above all else, a Leo Moon has pride, and unless circumstances force the issue, they will exhibit a controlled emotional response.

This New Moon in Leo encourages us to plant seeds in the areas of:
• Creative pursuits
• Emotional vulnerability
• Leading with heart, not head
• Acknowledging our gifts, talents and skills

With this in mind, try out my New Moon Tarot Spread to gain clarity and insight in these aspects of your life.

New Moon Tarot Spread

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This New Moon Tarot Spread is one I began using earlier this year during my new moon rituals. It is designed to help you discover the seeds that need planting at this point in time, so that when the full moon in Leo occurs on January 28, 2021, you can reap a bounteous harvest.

Shuffle the cards and cut the deck as many times as you feel you need. As you shuffle, take several deep breaths and center your thoughts on yourself and your desire for deeper knowledge and foresight.

Lay out the cards in rows of 3 cards each.

1. Where you are right now
2. What influences you
3. What you have released since the last new moon
4. What “seeds” (your goals and plans) need to be planted
5. How you can nurture the growth of your goals and plans
6. Other resources that are available to you during this cycle

Tips on Making the Most of Your Reading
  • Write it down. I like to record my readings in my journal, adding any notes or interpretations on the reading in a contrasting ink color. Before I begin the reading, I write down my current state of mind.
  • Take your time. Schedule a time to do your reading when you won’t be disturbed. I find that my new moon readings can be done within 24-48 hours of the new moon being exact and I still get a very insightful reading.
  • Focus your energy. Turn off your phone, music, TV, etc. Sit silently for several minutes before you do your reading. If you do any other ritual work with moon cycles, include the reading as part of your practice.
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August 3, 2020 – Full Moon in Aquarius & Full Moon Tarot Spread

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Today there is a Full Moon in Aquarius, but what does that mean? Here on Earth, when we look up at the full moon, it appears to be shining brightly because of where the Moon is positioned in relationship to the Sun and the Earth. A full moon marks the end of a cycle. The zodiac sign where the full moon occurs provides insight into the aspects of life illuminated by that bright full moon. After a period of living in the shadows, those aspects have gradually moved into the light.

Moon in Aquarius

When the Moon is in Aquarius, there can be emotional objectivity and detachment. The Moon wants to explore feelings and emotions, which requires a deep dive into our experiences, beliefs and attitudes and how we feel about them. Aquarius is focused on truth and objectivity, which requires ascending into the heavens to see humanity from a global perspective. At first glance, a student of astrology might think the Moon in Aquarius is a frosty, emotionally detached placement.

However, if we keep in mind that everyone has feelings, but has different ways of showing and managing those feelings, then it’s a little easier to understand how the Moon’s focus on emotional response can extract Aquarius’s desire for truth. For example, the Moon may ask Aquarius, “How do you REALLY feel about injustice?” and Aquarius replies with “I am AGAINST it!” The Moon encourages Aquarius to show those feelings in the ways Aquarius feels most comfortable. The Moon says to Aquarius, “show, don’t tell.”

The ways an Aquarius Moon could show its feelings include:

  • writing a letter to local officials about an issue in the community
  • signing and circulating petitions
  • advocating for justice & equality through participating in demonstrations and protests
  • educating others through sharing articles & resources

Full Moon Tarot Spread

A full moon is a perfect time to reflect upon the lessons learned since the last full moon, and what you wish to call forth for the next cycle. I developed this Full Moon Tarot Spread several years ago and use it at every full moon. This spread shines a light on the shadows of the cycle that has ended and casts its glow into what is to come.

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Full Moon Tarot Spread

Shuffle the cards and cut the deck as many times as you feel you need. As you shuffle, take several deep breaths and center your thoughts on yourself and your desire for deeper knowledge and foresight.
Lay out the cards in the pattern shown, or in rows of 3 cards each – whatever works easier for you.

  1. Where you are right now
  2. What influences you
  3. What you have learned since the last full moon
  4. What you are learning now
  5. What you take with you into the next cycle
  6. What you leave behind
  7. Advice
  8. What comes of following advice
  9. What to expect at the next full moon
Tips on Making the Most of Your Reading
  • Write it down. I like to record my full moon readings in my journal, adding any notes or interpretations on the reading in a contrasting ink color. Before I begin the reading, I write down my current state of mind.
  • Take your time. Schedule a time to do your reading when you won’t be disturbed. I find that my full moon readings can be done within 24-48 hours of the full moon being exact and I still get a very insightful reading.
  • Focus your energy. Turn off your phone, music, TV, etc. Sit silently for several minutes before you do your reading. If you do any other ritual work with moon cycles, include the reading as part of your practice.

 

Moxie and the Mighty ‘Mo

Several years ago I wrote this post about being in need of a ‘mo, also known as a homosexual friend. Brief recap: I had been encouraged to find a ‘mo by someone I met at a college alumni gathering, the idea being that this ‘mo would impart wisdom and be there to support me when I’m having a meltdown at 3 a.m. I didn’t try all that hard to find one while living in SoCal, which may explain some of my poor choices in relationships and footwear.

Nearly 7 years later, I am very happy to report that I have found a ‘mo: my neighbor, Steve.* He moved in a few months ago along with his dog, Daisy*. I liked Steve the minute I met him, and the fact that we were able to have friendly, positive conversations right from the start – even when it had to do with Daisy’s barking (she’s since quieted down and has become a canine pal to me and my cats – well, Ippie, anyway) – was surely a good sign.

The more we talked the more I felt like Steve could be my ‘mo. We would have long text message conversations where we bitched about the Clydesdales, a.k.a. the women who live in the corner apartment and clomp by our apartments at all hours like it’s a runway and they are in heavy platform shoes. We talked about Steve’s decision to go vegan and I told him about a few locals I know who are big on the vegan scene. Lots of fun gossip, lots of potential bonding.

But I didn’t want to rush anything. “I think I have a ‘mo now,” I told Giles. “That’s awesome!” he said. I don’t know that he really understood my need for a ‘mo, but he is an empathetic kind of guy, so he says things like this.

Last weekend Steve & I went for coffee and I decided to pop the question.

“So, a long time ago I wrote this blog post about being in need of a ‘mo.” I started.

“What’s a ‘mo?” said Steve. I was concerned this did not bode well, but I pressed on.

“It’s a homosexual friend who will impart wisdom,” I said, quoting directly from the original post.

“I have never heard that term before,” said Steve.

“Apparently it’s a thing in SoCal.”

“Well, I’d be happy to be your ‘mo, but just to forewarn you, I am not the stereotypical homosexual.”

I jumped up and down. “That’s fine. You just need to impart wisdom. Can you do that?”

“I think so.”

Since then there’s been more gossiping, discussion about the hotness of actors in Magic Mike, the beauty of Matt Bomer, Sacramento life, and food. But my favorite conversation so far was talking a little about Tarot.

“What’s your favorite card?” said Steve.

“The Magician.” It’s all about manifestation and owning your power, so I dig it. “What’s yours?”

“The King of Pentacles.” Great choice – he’s all about practicality, wealth, stability.

I smiled. “I’d like a King of Pentacles.”

He laughed. “Girl, me too!”

Yeah, Steve is the best ‘mo ever.

 

Joe Manganiello (2nd from right), you can be my King of Pentacles anytime.

Everybody Should Play the Fool

One of the neat things about Mercury retrograde is that sometimes you get an opportunity to reconnect with someone from your past. Recently I e-mailed the blog link to Sparky, one of my childhood friends, and as a result we had a great conversation tonight.

Talking to Sparky brought back all these memories of hanging out at her house in the summer. She’d call me up in the morning and ask if I wanted to come with her and her mom to collect the money from the videogames they had bought & placed at a local arcade. They would pick me up and we’d head off to the arcade. I felt super-cool to be with them while they pulled the silver bin from the belly of the Frogger or QBert machines and emptied out the quarters. Often Sparky’s mom would give us a bunch of the quarters and we’d run off to play games for a while. If it wasn’t for the Ms. Pacman they had in their basement, I would have never learned how to get past the banana board.

Sparky had a pool where we spent a lot of hours. We would try to figure out the best way to keep our masks from fogging up while we were underwater, and we’d play Star Wars and other games. Sometimes her older sister and her current boyfriend would be at the pool with us – we frequently acted even more outrageous than usual just to get attention.

Since VCRs had just become popular, Sparky’s mom would take us to the video store and we’d pick out a few things to watch while we feasted on chicken patties and chocolate pudding. We watched movies like The Dark Crystal and Legend and Krull – and I turned Sparky on to Xanadu. We were big into fantastical stories.

Sparky was goddamn genius level. She could read at an extremely advanced level and was an incredibly skilled artist. She wrote elaborate stories about worlds in the 4th dimension and drew pictures of the creatures that lived there. She created a cartoon called “Oh for Dragon’s Sake!” that was actually published in a local paper. Sparky’s creativity was boundless and she was the one that encouraged me to write my own stories. Because of her influence, I started writing a story called “Unicorn Island” about a man stranded on an island that was inhabited by unicorns, and another story called “The World’s Greatest Wimp” about a muse who helps a geeky guy become a total hunk. She drew covers for my books-in-progress – I think they might still be somewhere in my parents’ attic.

When we were about 13 or 14, her family moved to the West Coast. I was devastated, but we had already started morphing into teenagers and weren’t so concerned with expressing our creativity.

Tonight, Sparky and I chatted via instant message. We talked a bit about writing, and how it seems so difficult to find the time to create. She actually hadn’t written or drawn much in recent years, and was actively working to get back into the habit. I told her how much I had always enjoyed her writing and drawings. She said, “One thing I’m trying to do now, with writing and drawing, is recapture the fearlessness I had when I was 12 and younger. It wasn’t till 12 that I learned to hide being creative.” After she said that, I instantly realized why we had reconnected at this point in time…and I thought about the Fool.

The Fool card in Tarot comes at the very beginning of the Major Arcana. The card depicts a brightly dressed young man who is gazing at the sky and is about to fall off a cliff – nearby, his small dog is barking and jumping. What’s interesting about this card is that the man looks happy, and the dog doesn’t seem to be alarmed. Based on this interpretation, it makes you ask: is the Fool falling, or is he leaping?

Very young children have no experience of the world as being scary or frightening. Someone has to tell them to not touch the stove or to look both ways before crossing the street. Like a child, the Fool is devoid of experience that tells him to be afraid of the unexpected. He stands at the edge of the cliff because he doesn’t know any different. When the Fool comes up in a Tarot reading, he is telling us to “drop the knowing.” When we no longer look to our fears to dictate how we behave in the present, we become the Fool: trusting that if we leap, we will not fall.

Sparky and I were fearlessly creative as kids. We took the leap into our imagination over and over again, and never felt bad or wrong for it. Then something shifted and we took on the belief that it wasn’t okay to be creative. Now as adults, seeking something beyond our everyday existence, we’re playing the Fool. We’re dropping all of our fears and taking the leap back into our creativity and fantasy, completely trusting that we will not fall.

Making It So: Manifestation, the Magician, and the Movies


Last night I went to see The Prestige with some friends from my Tarot Meetup group. If you haven’t heard about this film, it’s about the rivalry between 2 magicians, played by Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, and the lengths they will go to in order to be the better, more successful magician. Scarlett Johansson, Michael Caine, and David Bowie also have roles in the film.

Having just come from a meeting on Tarot, I watched this movie thinking about The Magician card. It’s part of the major arcana, which consists of 22 cards that represent archetypes. The major arcana also represent situations and psychological states of being. One of the most well-known cards in the major arcana is the Death card, which symbolizes transition, transformation, and letting go of the old so that the new can come forth.

The Magician card in Tarot represents manifestation. It’s about applying your will to a situation and calling forth what you want. In many Tarot decks, the Magician card shows a man standing in front of a table that has several tools on it. He’s got one hand raised to the heavens and one hand pointing downward, as if to say “As above, so below.” Whenever this card comes up in a Tarot reading, it’s an indication that you have the tools at your disposal to create whatever you want – you just have to make the choice as to what you desire, ask the universe or God for it, and then allow it to unfold. There’s a shadow side to this card, though: you can also use magic and manifesting to manipulate or trick others. If you lack confidence in your ability to actively create what you experience, you may end up in situations that are less than ideal.

The movie illustrated both the light and the shadow side of the Magician card. The desire to be the greatest magician was so strong for Jackman’s character, Robert Angier, that he could not listen to reason. While he was loved, talented, and well-respected, Angier was so consumed with knowing how his rival, Alfred Borden (played by Bale), performed a certain illusion, that he manipulated and tricked others into helping him find out Borden’s secret. In the end, he learned the secret, but not without first manifesting a lot of pain and suffering for himself and those around him. While Borden wasn’t exactly a saint either, he released his desire to be better and focused instead on making a better life for his child.

Michael Caine’s character, Cutter, stated the 3 parts of a magic trick at the beginning and the end of the film:

The first act is called the pledge. The magician shows you something
ordinary—but of course, it probably isn’t.
The second act is called the turn. The magician makes his ordinary something do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret, but you won’t find it.
That’s why there’s a third act called the prestige. This is the part with twists and turns, where lives hang in the balance, and you see something shocking you’ve never seen before.

When I relate this structure to the Magician card, I think the 3 parts go like this:

The pledge is the vow you make. You want to create something new, better, or different in your life.
The turn is where you turn over the pledge to a higher power and say “If this is for my greatest good, make it so.”
The prestige is the part where your pledge is made manifest. Be careful what you wish for, though, because the vow will be taken very literally, and if you leave out important pieces, the prestige may not turn out exactly as you had pictured it.

I can tell you from personal experience that this method works. Try it out yourself with something small, like getting a great parking spot at the grocery store or shopping mall, and see what happens. I’ll be waiting to hear from you.