Something about coping mechanisms….


How are you coping?

More importantly, how are your coping mechanisms coping?

Have you identified yours, or are you still in the foetal position wondering when it’s all going to end.

The reality is, it is, at the moment, what it needs to be- or rather what the Universe tells us it needs to be. What we do, how we respond, whether we retreat into the worst of our shadow or the best of our Sun, is up to us. And yes, I say that in full awareness of the fact that things will be happening to each of us, as well as within us.

The trigger for you could be authority, an issue with feeling trapped, held back, controlled (or all of the above). It could be frustration that you’re not moving ahead as fast as you want to. It could be a feeling that things are changing faster than you can keep up with. It could be an attempt to hang onto an idea of the way things were or should be. It could be that things appear to be crumbling around you and things that you felt were sure now feel uncertain. You could have so much in your brain, that it feels as if your head will explode from the pressure. It could be all of these things. I don’t know about you, but the pic at the top is seeming just a tad too appropriate right now.

Mercury has now moved into Aries, so the perception that this is all about you will be heightened somewhat. Astrologically speaking, it can be a little like transit poker. Don’t know it? It goes a little like: I’ll take your Pluto square Mars and raise it with a Uranus- Ascendant conjunction. You think that’s tough? Try having a t square smack on this cardinal thingie.

The point is, we all have transits all of the time. Just now, it all feels hard and it all feels supremely personal- and those of you with squares and oppositions being activated? Yep, you’re feeling it, but you also have one of the best opportunities in recent history to make the potential in your chart come alive.

The Moon, after a supportive and serious get real talking to by Saturn (I’m pretty he sure he said something about taking a good dose of concrete and hardening the f$%^ up to me), is now void.

Under a void Moon, it’s a good idea not to start anything new. Things tend not to happen. This means that for a few hours at least, you might feel as though the pressure is off a tad.

A void Moon in Cancer can go either of two ways- retreat back into the shell for a good forage through the fridge (personally, I’m fighting a mac cheese craving) or full on protective Mum- over whatever it is that needs protecting from the world, or a little extra nurturing.

Again, that’s up to you.

In the background, an opposition between the Sun and Mars is building, so if you get a respite today, take full advantage of it.

Oh, the forecast…cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. The comfort food danger rating remains high.

How Does She Do It?

Despite being located in Indonesia, the official religion in Bali is Hinduism- but a different sort of Hinduism to what is practised in India. I won’t get into details here (mainly because I’ll probably get them wrong!), but is has to do with what the Balinese worship in addition to Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. They also worship (with thanks and credit to Lonely Planet) ancestral gods, village founders, gods of the earth, fire, mountains and water; gods of fertility, rice, technology and books; and the demons who live in the world beneath the oceans.

Being Hindu, the cow is revered in Bali. On my last trip to Bali I asked our driver why this was so. He explained that the cow is the mother- it is the source of milk for babies and the giver of life. He said the cow was identified with the mother of gods.

The concept of mother is seen also in Gunung Agung- Bali’s highest mountain (and volcano) and the temple Pura Besakih 1000m up the mountain. The mountain is said to be the “mother” and the temple the “mother temple”. In any case, it is the spiritual centre of Bali, with the peak thought to house ancestral spirits. The mountain harnesses the rain from the west to provide nourishment for crops.

As for the volcano herself? She is usually shrouded in clouds and rarely seen. This too is about “mother”- you know she’s there, her presence is comforting, sometimes (as in the case of an eruption) fearful, and sometimes a great big guilt block in the road of the stuff you want to do, but do you ever really “see” her? Do you ever really know what’s going on inside of her?

With this many references to “mother” and “ancestry”, I can only be talking about the Cancer Moon. Specifically, the Full Moon in Cancer- which is what we will have Friday evening (Sydney time) at 9.21pm.

The Full Moon in Cancer casts the spotlight very clearly on the struggle between the competing themes of Cancer (home, family, food, sensitivity, nurturing, history) with Capricorn (work, goals, achievement, authority, experience, respect).

As with all signs, Cancer has more in common with her opposite Capricorn than you might think. Cancer is not always the shy, mothering type. There are not always apple pies on the table and a warm hug. Cancer can also be one tough mother, so to speak, with the whole concept of “you’ll thank me for this one day” or “I’m doing this for your own good.” And, sometimes, tough love is what is required.

Cancer has the same ability as Capricorn to dig deep in times of hardship and provide nourishment and security for her family (think metaphorically here…). Despite the pain of her lessons, Cancer provides support and structure within which we can grow and then leave to function independently.

Cancer can be as ruthlessly ambitious and no nonsense as Capricorn- it is just that the motivation may be different. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this either.

Capricorn, on the other hand, runs into her shadow when she loses track of goals and wallows in a mire of “what could have been” or “poor me.” Capricorn can fear success in the same way that Cancer fears emotional vulnerability.

Both the sunshine and the shadow become important at the Full Moon. For every achievement there must be something sacrificed. In the case of Cancer/Capricorn, what have you sacrificed in terms of home, family, emotional ties, whatever in order to achieve, progress, attain your goals? What is the cost of your hard work? What are the rewards? Are they worth it? What has been the impact to your emotional health?

Think about the premise in the movie I Don’t Know How She Does It. (As an aside, I preferred the book, but regardless of this, still enjoyed the movie…). The character of Kate represents this dichotomy beautifully. She is a mother. She is also ambitious. She has the same protective instincts towards her job as she does towards her children. Every day is a question of balance. Investment in one area means payback in the other. Sacrifices in one, bring rewards in the other.  It is a constant and exhausting see-saw. Outwardly she has it all together, but at what cost? At what point does it all fall apart?

Look at your own chart- where does 7 Cancer/Capricorn fall? This is the area of life under the spotlight for you. Do you have any planets or chart points between, say, 5-9 Cancer, Capricorn, Aries, Libra? These points will be especially sensitive.

Pluto aligns with the Sun, so an element of emotional de-toxing will be required. Think seriously about any habits that need purging, any people that are no longer helping you and any ego attachments that need to be eliminated…and do it.

Uranus is at the apex of a T square, so whatever happens now, whatever decisions you make, ensure that authenticity is at the heart of them. You must be true to yourself.

In any Tsquare, we look for the point of release- a planet that is in easy aspect to one of the 3 points. In this case, that planet is Saturn. You will be well served to make the changes required under stable structures, and with measured, focused intent.

What about you? Where is this playing out in your life?

What needs to be nurtured more? Do you need to step back from work a little and re-connect with your family? Do you need to stop using your family or your past as an excuse for not achieving in the present? How vulnerable are you prepared to make yourself? Do you fear success in this area and are tempted to crawl back into your shell and wallow in self pity and seethe with resentments or do you have someone in your life with enough tough love to kick you up the butt and push you out of your nest/ off the couch/ away from your comfort zone? Is it possible to find balance? Can you really have it all? How many question marks can go into this post?


would you could you on a rock?

Port Macquarie Breakwater. Pic by me.
Port Macquarie Breakwater. Pic by me.

Over the weekend I thought a lot about messages.

Hubby and I had left the mansion and dependents in the capable hands of the palace guards and choofed off up the coast to Port Macquarie. With the Moon in Gemini, it was a perfect couple of days for catching up- something that has been difficult with both of our schedules this year. Hubby has his natal Moon in Gemini, so was well in tune with the chatty vibe.

On Saturday afternoon we went for a wander with my camera down to the beach and along the breakwater. On the breakwater we read messages that had been left on the rocks. Messages of love, of loss, of friendship, of messy nights and memorable holidays.

On the beach I wrote messages in the sand that would be taken away by the tide within a few hours. Much less permanent than the messages on the rocks, but no less meaningful- just writing it made it real to me.

Port Macquarie Breakwater. Pic by me.
Port Macquarie Breakwater. Pic by me.

That was Gemini Moon energy. La Luna has now moved into Cancer and things may feel very different over the next couple of days. Emotions seem somehow closer to the surface and possibly even under threat.

If you are a Lunar type or find yourself unable or unwilling to deal with whatever gets brought up for you at this time, you may find yourself indulging in a little emotional eating. If this is you (and you know yourself best) take some pre-emptive actions:

  • If you are the snacky type, keep a stock of relatively guilt free snacks in the fridge/cupboard. And yes, I know that sometimes the healthy stuff just doesn’t cut it, but natural yoghurt with berries or vegie crudites with some macadamia or other nut paste (just make sure it’s sugar free) will have that creaminess that you may be craving.
  • Build up a “bank” of calories at the gym first- the benefit may be that you work the emotion out in the sweat. Now this isn’t something that I recommend for all the time (what am I talking about? I am sooo the worlds biggest “do what I say not what I do” hypocrite), but when you just know that there are danger signs ahead, a little extra credit in the sweat bank allows a little lunar indulgence without the subsequent beat yourself up sessions.
  • Think about comfort foods which nourish and warm the belly- broths, spicy Asian warm salads (for some reason I find I can’t eat anything cold at this time), poached chicken, and teas made with the warmth of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and other spices

If that doesn’t work, write it down. If you are a journaller whose habit has slipped, pull that tattered moleskine back out. If you have never tried, let your imagination (and emotions) run free. But with Mars in Virgo, take care not to edit yourself- that isn’t what this is about.

that would be telling... pic by me.
that would be telling... pic by me.

Daily Planets: Neptune Retrograde, Cancer Moon & Crumble Recipes

My HipstaPrint 0

Neptune is now retrograde- and as usual, that has taken me by surprise. But then again, I am naturally illusional & delusional…. say nothing!

For some reason I almost miss the Neptune retrograde every year- which is weird given that Neptune is the modern ruler of Pisces, so (with Jupiter) jointly rules my chart. Anyway, Neptune is currently stationary and will be retrograde until the beginning of November.

But what does this mean? Key words we associate with Neptune are intuitive, deceptive, fantasy, dreamy, highly sensitised, escapist and delusional. Yep Pisces characteristics all wrapped up in a single planet.

During the retrograde period, Neptune becomes more Neptunian. Your intuition will be heightened and you may suddenly get insights into something you have been struggling with. Seeing things clearer, you may no longer be able to deny truths that you have been…well, denying- something that I personally do an awful lot of. Sometimes it can be hard to listen to what we need to listen to- and that is where the escapist nature of Neptune may also come into play. During the retrograde period you may be more inclined to run away into whatever is your favourite way of escaping. Not a great idea- you will have to emerge from the self induced alcoholic haze (or is that just me) at some point & see reality for what it is.

Who is affected? Pisces, Pisces, Pisces. Anyone with a Pisces Sun, Moon or Ascendant will become even more essentially Piscean. At this point I should issue a general warning for anyone & everyone who knows me! Also impacted are anyone with lots of planets in the 12th house and especially people with planets at around 29-24 degrees of Aquarius, Leo, Taurus and Scorpio.

The Moon is currently in Cancer- a time of the month where Moon types (in particular, and others to a lesser degree) turn their attention to the comforts of their home & the fullness of their tummy.

In line with that sentiment, rather than going out tonight the neighbours & us are doing one of our special pantry combo dinners. Essentially this is where none of us can be faffed going out or even to the grocery store, so we have the mother of all invention tests.

My contribution is my fabulous fruit crumble- which I can only eat the fruit bit of at present, but thems the breaks!

Anyways, here is the recipe:

For the fruit:

I use about 455g of mixed fruit- whatever is in the freezer eg frozen berries, & usually a few chopped apples. I toss through a touch of lemon juice & some cinnamon. As long as berries are in the mix, any extra sugar is overkill.

I don’t cook it off at all, but rather just throw it in the bottom of my favourite crumble pot.

For the crumble:

225g plain flour/traditional oats- any combo of the two

115g chopped cold butter

90g soft brown sugar

Pulse the crumble mix together in a food processor & spoon on top. Cook in a pre-heated 200C oven for about 30 minutes or until it is all golden brown & bubbly.