Venus on the Halfshell

If you’ve been with me for a while, it is probably no surprise to you that I love astrology.

Botticelli’s Venus is just one of the many appropriate symbols for our current position on the solar cycle. The sun is in Cancer (June 22nd-ish to July 22nd-ish)…the crab, the scarab, the lobster, the feminine cycles of the moon, the tender vulnerable heart of compassion, enclosed within an exoskeleton.

I have hesitated to bring too much astro content to this blog, since the other thing you have probably figured out about me is that 1. I am not woo woo and 2. That I have a grounded practice of being a practical mystic. That means I like my stories to be accessible, so that you find yourself connecting to universal truth and beauty without needing to figure out what planets are trining your Neptune.

Creating a beach day shrine. This particular crab was not so lucky against the beak of a hungry seagull.

However, astrology permeates my every waking moment. I have been self-studying it for so long (20 years…woah) that it is thickly woven into the tapestry on my personal loom. It is a major part of my frame of reference, so much so that I often don’t notice it, until I make a point to.

Check out the intensity of this kid’s artistic expression. Fully engaged.

Recently, an opportunity for an astrology apprenticeship came on my radar, and I took several days to consider if it was something I wanted to pursue. It will be a considerable commitment, time wise. While my daughter is not a baby anymore and thus I am now stepping into a new phase of motherhood that permits more self-time, I really have only climbed out of the schlumpy, exhausted pit of early childhood like, 5 minutes ago. Can I handle taking on a training?

She has the best hair. What I wouldn’t give…

This apprenticeship is specifically designed for going pro. It consists of a two-month advanced class, followed by a practicum with clients in a group setting, individual supervision from the teacher and a client-load that gets to follow me when I am done.

I have teetered on the edge of being an advanced astrologer for almost 5 years, but a funny thing happened when Fern was born. All those mommy hormones completely obliterated my access to the part of my brain that could sail into the stars. It is partly this that created hesitation for me in jumping into an advanced class…would I just feel so behind and lost?

My daughter’s rising sign, by the way, is Cancer. Your rising sign is the mask you wear to the world. Sometimes this can influence your face shape. Cancer risings often have round faces, like the full moon. I am Sagittarius rising, and I have a long, narrow face, like a horse. (Sag is the Centaur).

Lucky for me, the teacher for this course could not be a better fit. We interviewed over the phone, and I explained my misgivings. Turns out, not only did she completely understand, but she has experienced it herself, being the mother of a toddler. She knows the territory, and I am invited to show up authentically, to be here now.

In those few days I took to weigh my decision, I noticed how intensely astrology shows up in my life. In case you haven’t guessed, I am CONSTANTLY pondering Life. Current astrological positions, my birth chart (or the chart of others), archetypes, elements (earth, air, fire, water) and the cosmic dance are the board members of my habitual philosophizing. As well, when I am sitting with clients, not only is astro information piping up in the background for me, but THEY frequently bring in their curiosity about astrology and how it applies to their problems. Sometimes I offer insight, but more often I keep it under my hat of expertise insecurity.

I am ready to step over the threshold.

Be still my heart.

Since I like to teach what I need to learn, you bet you can expect the astrological quotient on this blog to increase. Are you interested? Maybe an ongoing series, explaining different aspects of the birth chart, how to work with the elements and archetypes and some theoretical background? Maybe…just maybe…I will also be putting out a call for volunteers who would like to use their charts as guinea pigs.


How about you? Are you into astrology, or do you think it’s a bunch of horsefeathers? Or something in-between?


14 thoughts on “Venus on the Halfshell

  1. That is awesome. It’s as simple as “do what you love”. And I would volunteer myself as a guinea pig, if you choose to do that. I am so intrigued by astrology. I think it might explain a lot of my crazy.

  2. Dear Mary, How interesting that this particular avenue came into your life now….I recall in the not too distance past, you questioning your “place” (other than partner, friend and mother). I so recall those moments myself and looked forward to seeing how things progressed for you…and here you are on a new/old path….timing, timing, timing. Please feel free to call upon me for another guinea pig chart. I will admit I’m not of your generation but oh, so many things are the same both in the now and in my past. Is it gender, is it lifestyle, is it education or not or is it one of so many things….or is it “just being in the moment”…being P R E S E N T. I so wish you the best experience throughout all of your learning and teaching……Judith

  3. YEEEESSSS, I am very much interested! Both in more astrological content here and in being your guinea pig. I’ve never had my chart done so I have no idea what’s rising and what’s not, but I would love to, and wouldn’t mind one little bit if it were made public – only in this space, though. I feel safe here.

    I love that this is happening for you. Congratulations!

  4. I used to be really into it when I was younger, but not so much now. I’m surrounded by skeptics and that makes it hard to express any interest. My boyfriend is a hardcore atheist! I guess I fall somewhere in between. When I read about the characteristics of signs, they are just so spot on, I can’t deny the validity of it. But I don’t even know what a birth chart is, let alone know how to read one. I would totally offer up my birth chart to be read!

  5. What a wonderful idea! I think you would be a perfect astrology interpreter for people, given your background in it and your intuitive, empathic nature.

    Like other fields at the intersection of human psychology, the natural world and the spiritual, I perceive astrology as a useful tool to access some of the things we need to make progress along our path… Some of the information gained through a competent, intuitive practitioner can help us untangle knots, address some questions, and relativize some of our issues.

    I am fairly certain that planets and the moon (and the sun) influence our moods and attitudes, although of course all the girls born in the same place at the same time end up with different personalities – our birth chart is one element among others.

    So it is all the more helpful for you to have a general picture of it all, as is the case 🙂

    I take this opportunity to say how much I am impressed by the harmony and radiance in Fern’s beautiful, round features: even through pouting or marshmallow rejoicing, and particularly in this post!

  6. wow! what an amazing opportunity. I have been wanting to deepen my knowledge of herbs, tarot and astrology and begin exploring palmistry but I don’t know of any resources in Seattle. So wonderful! I hope you do it. and yeah, yr gal has THE BEST hair!! xo m

  7. baby it ain’t no mystery you are being summoned.

    that to me sounds super exciting.

    my astro-experience is limited to an assortment of library books, “the only astrology book you’ll ever need” being my favorite, and i’ve been known to geek out a few times and make charts for different crushes.

    and to this day there is great debate amongst my time of birth, so i am either a aries rising or a pisces rising… ??????????? (both, maybe… 😉 )

    but i cling to my sag-moon roots, my holy of holies.

    i’m always droppin’ astro references…but around many of the people i congregate with it’s instant illegitimization (<—-is this not a word?????)
    so mucho i refrain. (shadow!!!)

    continue to continue…this is nothing and everything of continuing your wise journeys.

    (is that stinson in the photos? fern looks so grown up and lovely. i was at bolinas lagoon yesterday, thinking of you. ppppfffffffftthhh, add bolinas to another day dream cottage area of my heart.)


  8. I’ve always loved your blog because of your passion for all things nature – astrology is just another aspect of that . I know only a few of the basics from reading (years ago) Secrets From A Stargazer’s Notebook by Debbi Kempton-Smith (written for the lay person), but it really helped to understand myself and those around me. I’ve always been intrigued by her information about the void of course moon and I still check the moon tables if I’m planning to do something that’s important to me. I think it would be a great addition and would also love to volunteer, if you decide to do that. I have a Scorpio sun, Taurus moon and Aries rising . Also re your post a week ago about the children’s books at the Redding Goodwill: if you haven’t been to the Friends of the Library bookstore inside the Redding Library you should check it out. They have comparable prices and I’ve found a lot of treasures there. But I’m so glad Goodwill finally made it to Redding – one of my favorite places to shop! No matter what you do, please keep writing – I always look forward to your posts and photos.

    1. Hi Carol! So you are a Redding local? Lucky lady. Such a special place to live and be. And that is a great tip about the library. We’ll be up there this weekend and will have to check it out. Thank you for saying hi and please keep in touch!

      1. Not sure when you’ll be up but tomorrow, the 4th, is everything 1/2 off at the Goodwill, including books! I’ve expected to run into you sometime when you’re up as we frequent so many of the same places! Be ready for the heat – it’s 103 right now and expected to reach 113 by this afternoon. Tomorrow may reach 109. I’m a little shy about commenting in a public forum which is why I haven’t responded before now, and something I admire about you – so willing to bare your soul and put yourself out there.

  9. yes! isn’t it wild and crazy how we put out a single thought or intention or curiosity, and it comes back to us tenfold? i feel that it is the universe listening, honoring, and reflecting. my tasks are to listen, honor, and reflect back.

    i’m so excited for you and your new adventure! congratulations! and i’m looking forward to your updates!

  10. Loved your post! I grew up with a Mom and Aunt who were always into Astrology, so have its made sense to me. I’ve been wanting to start learning more about it again. Looking forward to hearing more about your journey 🙂 And learning more from you! I’d love to be a guinea pig for you. Would be such fun!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s