Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…and a little buyers remorse

© Athos Boncompagni | Dreamstime.com
© Athos Boncompagni | Dreamstime.com

There’s this cute little trattoria in a suburb near me. It overlooks a bush valley with brightly coloured rosellas and king parrots darting through the gum trees in amazing flashes of colour. The restaurant itself is one of those real traditional Italian let us serve you styles.

This essentially means that there is no menu as such, but rather you are served a series of courses based around what is in season or what was available at the local farmers market that day. No decision required. This means that you can sit and talk, with interruptions only when something gorgeous is brought to the table. Perfect carbonara made with quail eggs, the lightest, airiest gnocchi ever made, paper thin slices of home cured salami. The food is always good, the service friendly and my husband hates it.

The whole idea of no menu means no decision, no deliberation, no umming and ahhing, no checking out what is coming out of the kitchen, no tasting what is on my plate, no triumph when he considers his choice is better than mine (he is a Scorpio after all), no endless guessing of what can possibly be on the plates at the table beside us, no debates over who gets to have the prawns because we both want them but I saw them on the menu first and we can’t possibly have the same thing, no arguments which begin with him trying to change my mind and end with me slamming the menu shut and demanding that he just make a flipping decision.

Clothes shopping ends in much the same way, as does the rare occurrence of an empty car park. . My husband has both Mercury and Venus in Libra. With Mercury in Pisces and Venus in Aries, I make my mind up quickly, but can change it just as quickly. I am a woman who is open to persuasion…and as I said, he is a Scorpio… and yes, that was very nearly going to be the title of this post.

I am sure that (most of the time) he doesn’t do it to piss me off (although I suspect that sometimes the temptation to do so is a tad too strong for him to resist- I am an easy target when I am hungry). Nor does he do it because he has problems with decisions- he holds down a senior and extremely stressful think on your feet and deal with lots of conflict sort of job.

He does it for balance. Knowing all the different points of difference and an awareness of all the information available helps him come to a decision. In the workplace it comes naturally, but in a restaurant he has the unpredictable nature of me to deal with J.

When he looks at a menu, he wants the outcome to be right. This means it needs to be finely balanced between what he thinks he wants to eat, what he thinks I might want to eat, how he thinks each of the courses will go together, whether he needs to choose something that will go with the wine I am drinking and so on. Apparently it isn’t as easy as just announcing ‘I’ll have the oysters and the fish please’ and continuing with whatever we were previously talking about.

Mercury in Libra is above all else fair, objective and diplomatic in his communication style- he knows that tact and balance is needed in order to bring people together…and connecting people with each other and with ideas is what Mercury in Libra is extremely good at.

Feedback is absolutely necessary- not just to ratify decisions, but to clarify and objectify thoughts and ideas. At its’ best, Mercury in Libra can quickly assess a situation and calm a disgruntled client- turning a complaint into an opportunity. At its’ worst, Mercury in Libra can turn a simple request for a coffee into a nightmare of indecision. This is one placement that can suffer buyers remorse at the McDonalds drive through- and not just for waistline related guilt.

Mercury in Libra looks for grace and decorum in communication- which I have to say, can cause more than a few ripples of discontent in our house, given that I have the ability to give Gordon Ramsay a run for his money in the swearing stakes when I am in full potty mouth mode. Not only should what you say be balanced, but it should be aesthetically pleasing. Hmmmm.

Nor does Mercury in Libra actively look for arguments- he will avoid conflict wherever possible, and use his talents instead to attempt to defuse a situation before it gets too far out of control. Having said that, his motivation is very firmly on the side of fairness and he will defend out of a need to see justice served. Naturally before venturing in, all potential outcomes and risks will have been assessed.

What else? Mercury in Libra is consultative rather than directatorial, relying on feedback and connections (and, in some cases, spin) to engage colleagues. As soon as he needs to dictate, he has lost.

Before posting this I did run it past Scorpio hubby (after all, he is a Scorpio). He agreed, but also took the opportunity to remind me that he could see the differences in our communication style by how I picked the snow peas I had brought home for tonights stir fry:

‘you just grabbled a handful, didn’t you?’

‘Yep, don’t I always?’

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps….

Making Your Mind Up

Aaah the serenity. Somewhere in the Pacific. Pic by me.
Aaah the serenity. Somewhere in the Pacific. Pic by me.

Last years Sun in Libra post…with a few minor updates

The Scene: Sydney Opera House for a performance of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)- Three guys, one dead playwright, and 37 plays, all in under two hours.

Actor Eric Thomson is loosening up and preparing for his personal big moment on the stage. His chest puffs out, his head goes back and the back of a hand is rested ever so dramatically against his brow. He is every inch a tortured Danish Prince.

‘To be,’ he pauses for effect, ‘or not to be,’ he turns and faces the audience, still with full dramatic poise. Lifting just one finger in a meaningful and indecisive way he continues, ‘that…is the question.’

At that exact moment a laugh escapes from the woman in the middle of the third row. Eric stands and looks at her. She composes herself while the Actor re-sets his position. From the third row there is some muffled giggling as the two women on either side of the culprit attempt to restrain themselves and their companion.

Hamlet adopts his pose again, puts his hand back to his forehead and starts again.

‘To be…or not to be….’

Another laugh escapes from the woman in Row 3. It is one of those laughs that escapes from a closed mouth.

Actor 2 comes on stage.

‘Eric,’ he says, ‘what is wrong? This is your big moment- you have been rehearsing this for months.’

‘I just can’t,’ wails Eric…’its those women there in row 3.’ He points to the 3 women now cackling uncontrollably.

‘Don’t worry about them,’  Actor 2 turns and peers into row 3. ‘They are just ignorant trollops…and probably had a second bottle at the Opera Bar before the show.’

More giggles as Eric resets. ‘To be, or not to be….that is the question.’

Indeed, it is the question, as is:

should I stay or should I go?

Latte or cappuccino?

The red dress or the blue?

Making your mind up is indeed the issue when you have the Sun in Libra. This isn’t the “break everything down into little pieces before I make a call” of Virgo. Nor is it that you are indecisive, or that you don’t know what you want. It is just that you want to make sure that the choice you make is the right one- not just for you, but for the people you are with…and you like to have people with you.

Libra is that point where the individual meets the other. Sounds pretty deep, but in essence it means that the Sun in Libra is motivated by harmony and balance and defines itself through relationships with others. All of this makes Libra social, fair, a born diplomat and just a tad (?) flirtatious. Libra generally does not like to be alone.

An Air sign, Libra Sun people have good brains, are able to see both sides of a story and come to an agreement between the two without necessarily anyone having to compromise their own beliefs. Ruled by Venus, Libra Sun people are also refined and love beauty, grace and gorgeousness in their surroundings.  Loud noises, clashing colours, unpleasantness and disharmony of any sort sends shivers up the spine of a Libran. Tastes, colours and music must be balanced. Libra at heart is also a little more conservative than you might think- and this again is down to her love of beauty and refinement: “To be or not to be” definitely has a much nicer ring than the modern equivalent of “can I really be faffed hanging around?”

It is this drive for balance, parity and relationship which is also Libra’s shadow. In keeping a relationship alive, it can be very easy to forget that 2 individual people come into a relationship- one of which is yourself. In smoothing the tides of discontent, your often hide your own needs and feelings. In finding balance and peace, you also need to practice moderation…or manipulation.

Which brings me to one part of the Libra shadow. Libra doesn’t like conflict- it is unseemly. Sometimes it can be far easier to have a word in the ear of your factional buddies  and watch as others take the cause up and rid you of the foul fiend. A well placed rumour or a deft aim with the back knives can allow you to outwardly keep the peace, get what you want and emerge with nary a broken nail. Pisces is another one who is good at this.

You may not look at it as manipulation, back-stabbing (both words are rather unsavoury) or whatever, but Aussies had a great view of it in June 2010. Regardless of your politics, what went down in that parliamentary party room was pure Libra- as was the new Prime Minister as she emerged with all hair perfectly in place.

Indecision is also the shadow of Libra- the risk that in delaying action, you may miss out on the action, so to speak…leading me nicely into this month’s sun sign song. It’s a truly corny one, but I couldn’t resist…even though it absolutely does not have the style that Libra is known for:

Don’t let your indecision take you from behind
trust your inner vision
don’t let others change your mind

Can you guess? Making Your Mind up by ‘80s English band Bucks Fizz.

…and that second bottle at the Opera Bar? Yep, fraid so… but I wasn’t the giggler!

Sore feet, personal triumphs and what happens when you don’t buy Italian.

About 12000 people ahead of me...
About 12000 people ahead of me...

I have really sore feet, in fact my feet are chock full of blisters (too much information?) and it isn’t because I had a moment of personal triumph on Sunday when I crossed the finish line of the Bridge Run.

Actually, there were a few moments of triumph attached to that one:

  • I actually started it- commitment isn’t one of my strong suits, (but I’m working on it)
  • Not only did I beat the cut-off time (my 2nd biggest fear) I came in almost exactly on the km split that I forecast (how professional runner does that sound?) and ran the bits I wanted to run and walked the bits I knew would completely knacker me, ie the hills
  • I powered across the finish line (ok, “powered” is perhaps a tad strong…I ran across the finish line…and collapsed on the other side of it…)
  • Not only did I not finish last (my biggest fear), but I beat about 4000 people…and yes I know there were about 12000 who finished in front of me, but that is beside the point
  • I took some cool photos in the middle of the Harbour Bridge (when I should have been running) and resolutely ignored the temptation to stop for more (when I did run)
  • I enjoyed it. And that, in itself, from someone who has never run before this challenge (which began foolhardedly over a bottle or two of New Zealand’s finest and a “how hard could it be?” comment back in April) is pretty mega.

So, if I pulled up fine (aside from a slightly janky hip and some shin splints), why are my feet so sore?

Indirectly it is because of the race. If I hadn’t signed up to do it, I wouldn’t have gone shopping with the friend I was doing it with on Saturday, which would mean I wouldn’t have bought the shoes which I wore today to work which have cut my feet to pieces and meant I have been walking like a gumpy. And with work in a million and one directions and my head like a portable post it note, there has been a lot of walking like a gumpy which means my feet get sorer. And sore feet mean a bad mood. The sort of bad mood that screams approach only with extreme caution. And all because I didn’t buy Italian…well, that’s what I will tell hubby anyway.

Anyways, with Mars in Leo, a little bit of over acting and dramatic license isn’t necessarily a bad thing…and yes I know I need to do a post on this.

So, how did you all cope with the Venus/Pluto square, Venus/Uranus opposition thing? Anything nasty and Scorpionic pop out of the closet to surprise you? Personally, I had the super supportive end of this aspect rather than the super stalking side and am super grateful for that. That’s what you get for surrounding yourself with Scorpios…or Scorpio Moons…and positive ones at that.

The Moon is at the tail end of Gemini and that usually means lots and lots of connect the dots type of stuff. Great if you are good at this, not so good if you aren’t of an airy nature that gets off on flitting from non related problem to non related problem. In my case it is from make good to salvage to whether a flipping printer will plug into a flipping port and what are we going to do with the spare light globes?

By the time Sydney is listening to the dawn chorus tomorrow La Luna will be in home territory, Cancer, and step away from the chocolate territory…which, for this blog, usually means a recipe. So, on that note, I had best go do some hunter gathering and slip these feet of mine into the comfort of sheepskin uggies. Aaaaaaaah.

Bridge Run 2011.
Bridge Run 2011.

Some stuff about karma, sunroofs and storm-clouds

© Indigocrow | Dreamstime.com
© Indigocrow | Dreamstime.com

There you are sailing down the freeway. The sun is shining through the sunroof, the ipod is plugged in and shuffling only good stuff. Life is good.

Then it happens. Some idiot has broken down and the traffic is piled up from here to eternity.

Venus didn’t get much of a smooth run through Libra before coming hard up against Uranus. Unexpectedly so. Unexpectedly hard.

All of a sudden the road ahead isn’t quite so rosy.

Uranus adds a little quirk, a little unexpected spark. Possibly a little shakeup. And in some cases, a little shaking can be what is required (or not)- especially in relationships. Sameness and perfection can be a little wearing. Check out my post Breaking Free for more on Venus/Uranus aspects.

So you clear the traffic snarl and get set for a clear run when up ahead you see the storm clouds brewing. These aren’t just any storm clouds. These are dark, heavy, all pervasive, low hanging storm clouds- and the sunroof appears to be stuck open… Yep, Venus has run hard into Pluto.

A few months ago I posted some stuff on Venus/Pluto connections. (Check out There’s a Fine Line Between Pleasure and Pain). This aspect can manifest itself as deeply exciting and intensely as a really strong connection- positive power.

Or it can be a subversive, manipulative, obsessive, stalkingly intrusive and downright pitiable attempt to control or possess. With Venus in Libra, the rather nastier intentions may be wrapped up in hearts and flowers and a veneer of gentleness, but with Pluto in the mix, the real intentions are very different-exceedingly selfish and often more about power than love.

One of the most common sets of questions I have coming through as search words begin with “how can I get a (insert appropriate sign here, but the most common one is Aries) man to fall in love with me” or how can I keep my (insert appropriate sign here, but the most common one is Aries) man?” This is Venus/Pluto at play.

This particular Venus/Pluto square is especially potent. Pluto has just come out of months of hibernation where all of his deepest desires and general loathing and petty jealousies have been allowed to bubble and ferment within him. Check out my post It’s a Metamorphosis for the most critical degrees of this transit.

All of this can be used for powerful healing and transformation, but sadly, it is more often the opposite.

Venus in Libra doesn’t like to get her hands dirty or break a nail, and will prefer to get what she wants in an indirect or hidden way. Better yet is to have someone else do your dirty work. Pluto also likes to be subversive wherever possible- together, the combination is downright threatening.

Whichever way you may be tempted to use (or abuse) your power, when it comes to Venus/Pluto squares remember the laws of karma:

Do as you will so long as you hurt no one else, or impede the free will of someone else…and expect whatever you give out to come back threefold…

It’s a Metamorphosis

photo-31

When we were in NZ the other week, my friend showed us this really cool website that demonstrated the earthquakes in Christchurch as they were happening. It showed in timelapse the quakes in real-ish time.

Quakes are, of course, a very Pluto phenomenon- ultimate destruction from deep below the surface of the Earth. Power at its’ absolute uncontrollable ultimate level.

In astrological terms, Pluto is a big hitter. The equivalent of the boss who draws a great big red line through the white paper you have spent countless hours of unpaid overtime on with the words “a few suggested changes” or the Building Inspector who decides that the entire house is not compliant with regulations because you encroached 2cm into a boundary and therefore the whole thing needs to be torn down.

Pluto is currently stationed ready to go direct. And he isn’t happy. All of his rage and loathing has been building and turned within for the last however many months he has been retrograde and now it is ready to spew out. Delightful.

If you happen to have a natal planet or chart point at or around 3-5 Capricorn, Libra, Cancer or Aries or even in Taurus, Virgo, Pisces or Scorpio, you may be looking down the barrel at enormous change or, as the Pet Shop Boys term it, a metamorphosis: it’s all about change, it’s a metamorphosis.

OK, in the case of that song, it is about coming out, but in Pluto terms, there may be incredible and powerful, all encompassing, absolutely complete and inescapable personal change.

Every astrologer has war stories about Pluto stations and direct hits. Great big scary and hairy war stories. It doesn’t need to be that scary and hairy. Depending on the relationship you have with Pluto natally, or the relationship you have with the planet Pluto is hitting, will depend on how you cope with the change.

As an example, a few years ago I had (amongst other stuff) Pluto squaring my natal Moon. All sorts of really manky stuff was supposed to happen (if I had been studying astro at the time, I may have been more concerned). And yes, some painful emotional brown stuff did hit the proverbial fan. But it wasn’t as bad as t could have been. Why? Because I live with a hard Pluto/Moon aspect every day of my life. I have integrated Pluto.

The harder aspect was when Pluto crossed into Capricorn and squared Saturn. OMG- walls came tumbling down. Saturn is the least aspected and worst integrated of planets in my chart. Get the idea?

Also, not every transformation or metamorphosis has to be shitty. Think of the wisteria in my photo. One minute it’s bare branch, the next, simply gorgeous. Think also of the Strawberry Cloud Cake (Annabel Langbein’s recipe from The Free Range Cook) I made tonight for my weekend visitors. Who would think that 2 egg whites, some sugar and a punnet of strawberries could transform into something so light and completely delectable as it does?

photo-27

Now don’t get me wrong, Pluto transits, especially at the station need to be taken notice of, in fact, you ignore these at your own peril. Obsession, manipulation, power struggles and control issues are absolutely the order of the day. This is one of those times where therapy and coaching can be really worthwhile.  A heavy Pluto influence may have you emerging as a different person. But is that necessarily something to run from?

Pluto pushes us towards our souls purpose- whatever that happens to be. And anything that happens under a Pluto transit happens for a reason. Pluto only kicks down that which is not right and pure and integral to the fulfilment we are seeking…or not. That isn’t to say that we should be all sado masochistic and get off on the pain of it all, but rather that we consider why.

On a personal note, Pluto is station direct trine my progressed Sun and north node, and is tracking through the 10th house in my chart. Even I know that my lifes’ purpose and career is being tweaked with here. Power will come and go, I will attempt to control the uncontrollable- that is just what I do. But at the end of the day, if Pluto wants to kick something over, that is exactly what he will do.

All I can hope is at the end I get something gorgeously purple like the wisteria from the deadness or gloriously pink and fluffy and sweet like the cloud cake. It’s all about change- it’s a metamorphosis.

photo-28

Every Streets a Catwalk When You’re Looking Like That…

Penelope Pitstop
Penelope Pitstop

Walking down the street feeling like she is complete
She’s got her Gucci, Prada, Louis, Saba
Isn’t that neat?
She thinks that everyone is looking as she’s passing them by
And everything looks better with heels three inches high

Fashion!
Step back
Every street’s a catwalk when you’re looking like that

Venus in Libra is at her most beautiful, most charming, most diplomatic and most social.  In Libra, where she has rulership, she is like the fashion plate in the glossy magazine, just a little aloof, intriguing, totally alluring and untouchable…yet with style by the truckload.

Libra is an air sign, and, as with all air signs, can be a little detached and appear cold. So, the idea and ideal of relationship is perhaps more real to her than the down and dirty sexual nature of love.  As a result, this is not a particularly passionate placement for Venus. As long as there is no conflict and everyone is being nice to each other, Venus in Libra may not care so much if the passion has gone.

Social acceptability and reputation and appearance are important. Quite conventional when it comes to roles within relationships, Venus in Libra values the commitment made in a partnership. This is perhaps one of the reasons why Saturn is exalted in Libra- tradition and structure matters a great deal.

Social acceptability is a big thing for Venus in Libra. Venus in Libra likes to look the part. Things have to look good on the surface. And women with Venus in Libra usually look very good- the archetype of cool femininity. She loves clothes, loves fashion and needs to be well and appropriately dressed. While she has a love of high fashion, she tends towards a quiet, expensive yet timeless quality, rather than flashing brand logos on every available surface. Venus in Libra would certainly not be seen slopping around the house in track pants and flip flops as her opposite Venus in Aries would (yep…guilty…).

Walking down the street with her new man no-one’s seen
She’s laughing, joking, smiling hoping everyone sees
She’s got the perfect guy to match her image alright
She loves it when she sees the girls have envious eyes

She also likes her partner to look the part. Usually attracted to partners who tick all the boxes, she likes someone who will please her, be nice to her, admire her and complete her. She is looking for her “other half”. To be blunt, she is drawn to partners with both style and smarts who will make her look even better.  In partnership this is truly a scenario when 1 + 1 equals more than 2.

Venus in Libra isn’t just a pretty package. Nor is she an empty package. Quite sentimental at heart, she is a definite romantic and really truly wants to make those around her feel good and comfortable and…nice. Venus in Libra creates a beautiful and peaceful home environment. In fact, harmony in relationships can be a driving motivation for those who have Venus in Libra- even if they have their Sun in Scorpio.

Venus in Libra likes to bring people together- whether it is for romantic, business, political or networking purposes. She is the adroit hostess with the mostest who can introduce people to each other with ease before ducking off because she simply must talk to so and so. Witty, tactful and clear headed, she has the ability to make others feel special.

With her motivation being partnership, balance and equity, she has a flair for diplomacy which may extend to a talent for languages and policy making. In the workplace Venus in Libra has the ability to make the sale before handing over to someone else to deal with the fine print. This placement is at its best when collaborating with someone else- if you have Venus in Libra, don’t even think about going it alone!

Venus in Libra also has the ability to have others do her dirty work for her so that whatever decision has been made, she will come out smelling of roses without a hair or a fingernail out of place.

She dislikes arrogance, rudeness, bad manners and is turned off by “ist” people, ie anyone who is racist, sexist, ageist, homophobic, or who display any other type of intolerance. She will stand up of injustice and inequality and will actively look for the balance and compromise in opposing views.

Men who have Venus in Libra are attracted to women who display the qualities of Libra. They prefer someone who is sort of high maintenance when it comes to grooming and expectations- a little hard to please, perhaps. The type of woman who yells abuse from the crowd at the football and yells and screams and throws things during an argument need not apply. She must be a “lady”, have great manners and able to smoothly move through different social circles. Above all, she must have style.

Fashion!
It’s so cool
When life is like a video and magazine shoot

Lyrics from “Fashion”, by the Rogue Traders.

Feel like you can identify with this? You are likely to if you are a Libra woman or have Venus in the 7th house…as long as is isn’t aspected nastily by Saturn…

Dim Sum, things organised neatly & the Pisces Full Moon

photo-26

We have talked about Virgos issues with house work on this blog a number of times recently. I have also made mention that Scorpio, and in particular the Scorpio Moon, is generally more concerned with the extreme nature of everything in its place.

A few years ago I had a Scorpio cleaner who insisted on re-grouping the ornaments which I had on the sideboard. Instead of disparate groupings in odd numbers (I don’t like even numbers of things), she would dust and then re-arrange them into neatly centred pairs. I would come home from work, curse and move it all back the way I like it, only to have the whole dance repeated the following fortnight.

Thankfully (or not) I think I married one of the few Scorpios who doesn’t feel the need to exert power and control over his environment to the level where any stray leaf is immediately swept away before it can even settle on the ground. I say thankfully because I do tend to live in semi chaos and he has long acknowledged that there isn’t a lot he can do about that save doing it himself. I say “or not” because our backyard is currently at the embarrassing stage, and fit only for a herd of small goats- and the less said about the state of the pool, the better.

In any case, I yesterday afternoon attempting to appease the Virgo Gods of my Pisces opposite by cleaning out my study, filing pieces of paper, opening a months worth of mail and paying bills. I have even sent off two birthday cards a week before the birthday. I have written up a shopping list for next week and planned evening meals (complete with calorie counts) for the next 4 days. I don’t expect it to last.

I even found this really cool site Things Organised Neatly which I offer up to afore-mentioned Virgo Gods in appeasement for another 12 months. And appeasement is necessary given that Mondays Full Moon (at 19Pisces 17) falls conjunct my Sun.

The Pisces Moon looks to escape into the dream world of the imagination. Virgo Sun looks to reality and practicalities and efficiency. Virgo Sun reminds us that there is a huge list of everyday things that have to be done…but under the Pisces Full Moon we ask whether it needs to be done now, or whether it can wait until after the Wallabies win.

Venus and Mars are doing a little dance in the signs of their respective fall. Venus isn’t comfortable in Virgo and Mars is as soggy as all hell in Cancer- which is possibly why when I nagged about the pool this morning, hubby made muffins- low-ish fat berry muffins at that.

In any case, a Venus/Mars kissy fest always adds a little extra spice and zing to proceedings. With the sextile aspect though, you will have to take advantage of it, perhaps say yes to some fun and no to the ironing…just saying…

Whatever happens, take it easy- where possible- be a little laid back, listen to your intuition and allow yourself to have fun. Whatever has to be done will still be there tomorrow if it doesn’t absolutely need to be done today…which is why I spent today at a cooking class learning how to make dim sum (chinese dumplings) instead of pulling out weeds. And more shockingly, we even deep fried some of them- little golden rugby balls containing a juicy porky, herby, mushroom filling- oh the horror of the calories…

photo-25

And on that farm he had a …

dreamstime_2804691

As I write, Mercury has moved into Virgo. This is good news on a couple of fronts:

  • Mercury is at his strongest in Virgo
  • it means that Mercury has re-traced his steps completely following the retrograde period. He is now out of the shadow period, so all things mercurial should be now well & truly back on track.

Anyhow, here is the link to the post on Mercury in Virgo…