Gurbet (Homesickness)

Last Thursday, July 12, was a new moon eclipse in Cancer, sign of nurturing and home comforts on the upside, defensive protection and contraction on the low side. The Moon is ruled by Cancer, and the Moon changes its "mood" more than any other planet, via its phases and closeness to Earth. Connectedness to deep feelings on the one hand, overblown reactivity to them on the other. It can be hard to remember "this too shall pass," especially if something feels horrible. 

Last week my husband and I were on Cape Cod driving to an early morning whale watch, breeze blowing through the windows past the bluffs and sand, and we turned up "Gurbet" by Ozdemir Erdogan, loud. The original lyrics are in Turkish, but the meaning in translation felt particularly poignant as well:

To whom should I tell my sorrow, clouds?
People who we regard as brothers hurt us deeply
And what’s more there is homesickness which hurts the most
Tell me is there news from the homeland
Or are these rains tears of my love?

I am burnt inside
My wound is so deep
Give me the news from my love, please

Clouds, say hello to my love
Say that the day of union is very close
If fate make us separate
What can I do abroad all alone
Tell me whether living far away from love is possible.

I am burnt inside
My wound is so deep
Give me the news from my love, please
— Ozdemir Erdogan, "Gurbet"

The Cancer (homeland) eclipse was in the 5th house of children and creativity, opposite Pluto in Capricorn. We have been waiting for my husband's green card and we wanted to visit his family in Turkey this summer, but have to keep waiting, as there's no guarantee the government would let him back into the US if we left without the green card. Also, this summer I barely see my daughter in July, so I feel fragile with her absence. And all of the family separations enforced by the US government at the borders of this country are a harsh example of the cruelty and coldness in power that Pluto in Capricorn opposite a sensitive Cancer moon can represent.

The first whale we encountered out at sea was known as "Diablo"; she was a 36-year-old female who had given birth to 8 children, and migrated with each one of them the summer after they were born from the Caribbean to Massachusetts. I was touched by Diablo not only for sharing a view of her amazing, strong tail as she pushed down to eat, but because that morning I had chosen the "Devil" tarot card as my subconsious feeling card. It pointed out how essential the need is to access deep sea feelings, even when uncomfortable, because they bring out creativity through our "blow hole" (breathing). And how we don't really have/can't just have one external home. It has to be internal/via connectedness.

Chiron Enters Aries

 How does it hurt? How does it heal?

How does it hurt? How does it heal?

The woman in the 8 of Swords has on a blindfold and she’s tied up, but not down. She could walk away from a crappy situation, in life or in the mind.

Chiron said goodbye to Pisces and entered Aries yesterday for the first time since 1968. Now’s the time to step away from a self-narrative of victimization, and take back the power of healing yourself. This is a new energy that will play out over the next eight years as Chiron moves along its elliptical orbit between Saturn and Uranus. There will be a different flavour to both the collective energy, as well as to how/where you feel the wounding and healing in your personal astrology chart. How will that look in 2018 vs. 1969, baby?

When we feel squeezed, there’s a tendency for the mind to become small. We feel miserable, like a victim, like a pathetic, hopeless case. So believe it or not, at that moment of hassle or bewilderment or embarrassment, our minds could become bigger. Instead of taking what’s occurred as a statement of personal weakness or someone else’s power, instead of feeling we are stupid or someone else is unkind, we could drop all the complaints about ourselves and others. We could be there, feeling off guard, not knowing what to do, just hanging out there with the raw and tender energy of the moment...The next time there’s no ground to stand on, don’t consider it an obstacle. Consider it a remarkable stroke of luck. We have no ground to stand on, and at the same time it could soften us and inspire us.
— Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart

No Doubt, Sauerkraut


Anyone want to spend all your money on that one and only cabbage before the store goes out of business?

This weekend's aspects might feel like life is saying, "There's just one store. Choose from our wide selection of limitations." The Moon has been opposite Saturn and Mars, and the Sun has been square Saturn and Mars, and those angles can be friction-filled moments when everything feels wrong internally and/or externally and goading you to react, often in a way that isn't in your best interests because you feel like the world is against you. Why is everything a challenge? Plus, Mercury retrograde in Aries feels like a wild horse ending up in a harness. Like the gun violence protests this weekend, one way to make it through this limitation energy is putting practical energy into building something you want to see in the world, step by step.

Although it might feel pretty sucky right now, take heed it will pass soon, and there will be so much beyond that one cabbage. 

Dorothy as the Little Engine That Could

 Mantra: There's no place like home/I think I can...

Mantra: There's no place like home/I think I can...

This drink is called the Siren's Call. What is She calling you to do? The call could come in an instant, or cause waves of irritation over time that make you work to develop a pearl.

After midnight tonight, on December 18, 2017, at 1:30 AM EST to be exact, there is a new moon at 26 degrees of Sagittarius, which also happens to be the Galactic Center, as in the rotational center of the Milky Way Galaxy. This particular spot is marked by a black hole and is considered a portal of strong psychic energy, and when planets make their way over it, there can be a cleansing of energy and a shift in consciousness.

The pearl development might not come simply from the Little Engine's mental mantra "I think I can," but the uphill work required may become more of a flow and rhythm after the knock of the call and the commitment has been made. As we know, by the end of the Wizard of Oz Dorothy doesn't need to get picked up by a tornado to be transported home, but just click her heels. "There's no place like home" is whatever makes you feel at home in yourself. That could be certain activities, places, or people that make you feel grounded and connected within yourself, and give you hints on how to live and create.  

The Moon is flanked by Venus, retrograding Mercury, and Saturn, as well as a trine to Uranus, lending support to your trusting any flash of intuition facing the direction of love and commitment in your life. That may not feel easy at all with the Moon's square to Chiron, which asks you to find hope despite a possible inability to envision a future without suffering. In addition, the information that is coming to you now is especially charged, as Saturn is finishing up his 2.5-year journey in Sag and ready to head us into some heavy Capricorn karma and getting real on Tuesday. Try to finish up old things now or let them go, and whatever's coming up will be seeding new beginnings for several years. Try to direct the energy best you can, or at least be a conscious witness to it, because it will be your new work. Being in the dark will lead to the light--it is the solstice this week after all. 

Cocktail from Apotheke. Maybe a bit too Neptunian for this post. Ingredients: Ford's Gin, roasted seaweed, cucumber, squid ink, fresh ginger, black smoked sea salt rim. 

If you forgot that Mike + the Mechanics song, it's ok.



This weekend the Halloween vibes get ramped up with Scorpio’s modern ruler, Pluto, combining powers with a square to Venus and a sextile to Mercury, and joining the Sun and Jupiter in Scorpio. 

Time to shake loose ancient psychological detritus and shift perspective. You might wanna control the situation, but make use of the weekend’s Moon in Aquarius’s bird’s-eye view to just be honest, stand up for yourself and step away to avoid conflict. 

You may find yourself digging and exploring mysteries to find the truth in relationship. Here’s to integrity in communication, which can bring insights on a particular project or person this weekend.

Venus Square Saturn Handbag Analogy

 ...the Moon in Taurus hunkered down with the protection of a trine in fire.

...the Moon in Taurus hunkered down with the protection of a trine in fire.

This weekend there are tense vibes around relationship and money/love and how to get there. The dream balloon of love may feel like a leaking whoopie cushion. Venus and Mars have been squaring Saturn, causing discomfort and tendencies toward pissy thoughts and words about not having enough or feeling thwarted.

Today might be one of those days when your hand cream squirts all over your bag, covering everything with a greasy layer of old crumbs, crushed up leaves, and sand that's been collecting in there. You might get down in the dumps when you think about how not only do you not want to clean this garbage, but that you want a new bag altogether. But the urgency gets you to sort through and clean out all that stuff at the bottom, and before you know it, suddenly you're out of your bag and into your refrigerator, cleaning with gusto and effortlessly seeing the path forward to get your next new handbag.

Before that, it's all gonna feel crappy and personal, and Saturn square Venus hurts. At the same time though, Saturn in Sag is trining the North Node in Leo and Eris/Uranus in Aries. Today you might be in the sad bag, but these planets are a combo that can promise that if you let yourself feel the hurt that comes, and do the work you can now, you'll get the grime cleaned away for the long haul, and have clear, open windows to see and climb through.


Cat in Box

 Yes, that's a caracal in a cardboard box.

Yes, that's a caracal in a cardboard box.


Today's opposition between Jupiter and Uranus can make you feel like a wild cat in a small box. All cats (house and wild) like to sit in small boxes: it can be comforting to feel contained. But today is not one of those days! The box may be feeling way too small. 

Uranus in Aries opposing Jupiter in Libra brings up questions of independence vs. interdependence. Jupiter in Libra wants to expand relationships at all costs, and butts heads with Uranus, who can equate freedom with being alone, and bust out in a blaze of glory to prove it.

What do you need to be your authentic self within partnership?

If that's a hard question to answer today, you can move through it by taking some deep breaths, dancing to some choice rhythms, taking a brisk walk, or having a good, wet cry to release the anger/fire.

And hell, Pluto is stationing to go direct today, making things all the more intense! People are pissed and looking like Halloween characters. Energy is stopped and sluggish today, but soon Pluto's movement forward will gain momentum, so think about how to best channel power toward your goals.

J'ai Honte

 "I'm ashamed."

"I'm ashamed."

The next planet was inhabited by a tippler. This was a very short visit, but it plunged the little prince into deep dejection.
“What are you doing there?” he said to the tippler, whom he found settled down in silence before a collection of empty bottles and also a collection of full bottles.
“I am drinking,” replied the tippler, with a lugubrious air.
“Why are you drinking?” demanded the little prince.
“So that I may forget,” replied the tippler.
“Forget what?” inquired the little prince, who already was sorry for him.
“Forget that I am ashamed,” the tippler confessed, hanging his head.
“Ashamed of what?” insisted the little prince, who wanted to help him.
“Ashamed of drinking!” The tippler brought his speech to an end, and shut himself up in an impregnable silence.
And the little prince went away, puzzled.
”The grown-ups are certainly very, very odd,” he said to himself, as he continued on his journey.
— The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Tippler's reasoning leads to ongoing self-deception and isolation. Some of this week's energy might make you feel like the Tippler, so let's take a look.

Last week the Sun and New Moon in Virgo made an opposition to Chiron. Chiron is a small, powerful planet that is an archetype of the wounded healer. Aspects to Chiron activate your soul's wound: the area in your life that may always feel vulnerable and painful, but has the potential to become a source of strength and healing to yourself and others.

Today Mars, planet of action and will, is opposite Neptune; and later this week, Venus, planet of love and relatedness, will trace the same path. Neptune, whether you decide to go high or low, is the planet of either compassion and spiritual communion, or illusion, delusion, addiction, and anxiety. 

This week, the combination of these planets in opposition may promote despair, disappointment, and a lack of confidence. Another underlying transit that may join in to raise the irritation level is Saturn square Chiron, which has been going on for all of 2017. Their square is playing a similar uncomfortable tune, and may leave you feeling not competent to meet your responsibilities.

If you feel despondent, try to plug into creative outlets like music, movement, or writing to process the energy. At the most basic level, it is important to acknowledge and remember your original wounds. If Neptune encourages cloudiness, these strategies will help you find some clarity until the energy passes through this week. Responsibilities may make us "grown up," but unlike the Tippler, don't choose to "forget" what has wounded you; instead try to stay with and nurture your "little" self. Like the Little Prince, try to be a childlike observer of yourself, so that you may see bad habits or self-criticism not as "normal" but as "odd" instead.

Transmissions of Virgo

 Demeter/Ceres Virgo archetype holding grain in Norma Kamali window, W. 56th St., NYC

Demeter/Ceres Virgo archetype holding grain in Norma Kamali window, W. 56th St., NYC

Happy Autumnal Equinox, end of summer, entry of the Sun into Libra, when night and day are equal in length...Libra's balance is a hoped-for outcome which the purification process of Virgo makes possible. This process is still in full effect, as this week there was a New Moon in Virgo, and Mercury, Mars, and Venus are all in Virgo for the time being.

Virgo uses love as food for transmutation and healing (as opposed to food as love, which might be the Taurean approach). For example, Demeter/Ceres is both goddess of the harvest, as well as goddess of the cycle of birth and death. Virgo distills the boundless One Love essence of its opposite, Pisces, and is able to contain it on earth through discretion, focus, precision. Virgo brings analysis to Piscean confusion, and grounds its endless fluidity and spaciness through hygiene, routine, habit, and technique. 

Virgo's bad wrap has to do with its best characteristics on steroids: compartmentalizing and OCD, perfectionism, criticism. Virgo in its top form can bring the sensuality of physical body together with mind and spirit. The archetype of the self-contained temple priestess is an example of how Virgo is not a sexual virgin at all, but can make sexual healing a spiritual service. To experience an integrated devotion to self and other, the love as food has to be used not only to heal others, but to know and heal the self as well. When that is the case, we can know both partners are on board when Marvin Gaye sings, "I can't wait for you to operate."

Summer Eclipses in Aquarius and Leo: The IC Grill

 Going down to go up.

Going down to go up.

If you stand right fronting and face to face to a fact, you will see the sun glimmer on both its surfaces, as if it were a cimeter, and feel its sweet edge dividing you through the heart and marrow, and so you will happily conclude your mortal career. Be it life or death, we crave only reality.
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

On August 7 there is a Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius, and on August 21 there is a Solar Eclipse in Leo. The Leo/Aquarius axis are two sides of the same coin. They are opposite each other in the astrology chart and have very different characteristics, but they need each other to balance, like a see saw needs two kids to be any fun. 

As part of my subway commute, I transfer to the 7 train at Court Square. As the escalator ascends, I catch a peek of a cafe out on the street through the steel elevated subway columns that I can only discern as "The IC Grill." In astrology, the IC (or "Imum coeli," Latin for "bottom of the sky") is the angle of the natal astrology chart that correlates to childhood, what brings you comfort, or somehow answers what is "home" for you, including emotionally how you come to feel at home. It is the place to find your soul.

Aquarius learns best through experience, so what experiences have "fed" you over the years? What do you truly enjoy, what makes you feel good or bad? Lunar eclipses can be about feeling, acknowledging, bringing awareness, endings, and completion.

So, for this Aquarius Lunar Eclipse on August 7, bring an awareness to those things you know about yourself and cook them on the "IC Grill"; use the ingredients you like the best, and get rid of the ones you never liked, or know now that you don't.

The IC has some similarity in meaning to the Moon and the South Node, so the ability to feel and work with these characteristics within yourself is very strong during this particular Eclipse season.

The Leo Solar Eclipse on August 21 is conjunct the North Node, and opposite the South Node. This intensifies the energy of your Sun/life purpose. The Sun and heart are ruled by Leo. What brings you joy? Where can you take a risk to express yourself?

You can clear space with the Lunar Eclipse, revisit what makes your soul feel cozy, and use the things that ground you (or grew you) to move into exhilarating, uncharted territory.