Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Announcement: Coming Soon--Solar Return Astrological Forecasts!

So here's my big announcement: I'm branching out in my astrology practice and will now be offering solar return charts to interested clients!

Some of you may not know what the hell I'm talking about, so here's the deal. When you go to an astrologer to have your "chart" done, typically people mean the natal (birth) chart. I take the date, place, and time of your birth and give you insight into your astrological strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, and the like. It's a very revealing, and I recommend that everyone have it done. 

Your natal chart, however, is NOT a predictive tool. It will tell you about you and where your tendencies are, don't get me wrong...but it won't tell you about what's going to happen in the year ahead, for example. The heavens keep moving and there are always changes on the horizon. 

Your solar return is that exact moment when the sun is in the precise location it was in when you were born, and it typically happens within hours of your actual birth date and time. We use the sun's point as the start, and then we check out where the rest of the planets are and what they're doing. This gives us a picture of how your next year will turn out. 

In the solar return, I also look at your natal chart. If I see patterns between the natal chart and the solar return for this year--if you have Saturn opposing Neptune, like me, and Saturn and Neptune also are having some form of connection during the solar return--those are particularly significant. 

Some patterns do repeat in the solar return. For example, every 8 years Venus will return to the place it was when you were born. Why do you think when Venus comes back a second time we celebrate Sweet 16 parties? Bet you didn't know about that one. :)

I'm reading a great book on it right now by Lee Lehman called Classical Solar Returns. I had no idea this technique existed before a few months ago, and I'm truly excited about it. In fact, since I've been talking about it pretty much non-stop since then, I'm sure my beloved is ready to shiv me if I try to talk to her about it one more time.

Anyway, beginning this fall I'll be offering the solar return to customers. At the moment, I'm still working out the final report format and honing my skills, thanks to the generosity of my family members and an old friend or two; they'll be my guinea pigs.

The price for the solar return chart is $80, and unlike some of my other offerings, this one won't include a consultation. I'll email completed reports to you so you have them immediately. Part of the reason I'm doing the prototypes on non-astrologers is to ensure that they are understandable and user-friendly. My beloved gets this confused look on her face when I start rambling on about classical vs. modern planetary dignities, malefics and benefics, and fertile vs. non-fertile signs, so it's important to me that people can read and understand it. 

Usually the solar return is done not more than one month before your birthday, and will show you what your next year will look like. 

If you're interested, give me a shout at hierophant@cox.net. If I've never done a natal chart for you, send me the date, place, and time--as close as you can, please--of your birth so I can compare it to your solar return. 

Shameless marketing completed. Thanks in advance for your patronage, and for listening in. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Ass, Mercury Retrograde!

Finally, Mercury went direct yesterday. AND THERE WAS MUCH REJOICING! YAAAAAAAY!

There was so much Mercury fuckery I don't even know where to begin. I have heard from a number of people, and it seems like this retrograde period has been a real and total bitch; evidently it wasn't just me.

The capstone to this lovely period for me came Thursday. I dropped my car off at the dealership for some warranty maintenance, and had them drop me at the subway. That afternoon, the heat index was 110 degrees--thanks to all the humidity--so as I was heading toward my stop I called up the dealership for a ride back to pick up my car. I called them 10 times and no one picked up until the last try; then the lady transfers me, and the connection goes bye-bye. I call back and they say they'll send someone out. The dealership is perhaps 10 minutes from the station, and 30 minutes later someone finally gets there. I was in the shade at least, but there was no relief from the heat and humidity. The gentleman finally shows up to pick me up, with blissful HIGH AC in the van and an extra soda, which he kindly offered to me. It sort of made up for the fact that I probably sat out there an extra 5 minutes because he had to stop on the way to get me for said refreshment. 

Fortunately, what needed to be done is more of a nuisance than anything else and doesn't affect the performance of the car. Unfortunately, in the tradition of Mercury retrograde's "re-do" attitude, they didn't have the part and will have to order it. So it looks like one more trip over there. 

We're not out of the woods yet, folks. Mercury is still in its storm for another few days. Hang on until July 26 and we should be OK. But I honestly will be glad to see Mercury go direct and get back up to full speed. TOO MUCH FUCKERY. 

If you have some stories I can share, please send them in and I'll post them here. 

Stay tuned for a big announcement in the next few days!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Mercury Poem: "Really, Mercury retrograde? REALLY?"

Dear Mercury,

Please excuse me if I don't sound particularly happy these days with you in retrograde. Honestly, it hasn't been an easy few weeks, and you're one of the reasons for the fuckery. 

Anyway, I'm going to use a Mercury-Neptune combination with tonight's entry, not that Neptune will notice since he's already drunk as a lord. It should adequately describe some of what I'm feeling toward you and your retrograde period right now. 

A is for anarchy, and it's what you sow
When it's backwards in the sky that you choose to go

B is for bollocks; I've just had enough
This retrograde period's been mighty rough

C, communication...when you're out for a walk,
People can't seem to just fucking talk!

D is for dervish--when the coast seems clear
And then out of nowhere you suddenly appear!

E for electronics; our gadgets get blitzed
And everything seems to be on the fritz

F is for fizzle, that's my social life
Plans getting cancelled causes me such strife!

G is for godawful, gobbledygook, and ghastly, let's say
These words all describe writing I see these days!

H is for homework; the one saving grace
Is right now I have none, so I can save face

I is for me, the one you've been screwing,
The one whose fun you recently have ruined

J is for Jen; she's Mercury ruled
She's handling this well, but I'm getting schooled

K is for the way I wish things could be;
It's sure not the best, but it's OK by me!

L is for lame, and your retrograde is
And some books call you the technology whiz!

M is for misfortune, that's while you're on vacation,
And I can't wait until you reach your direct station

N is for network, and you're such a louse
My extender stopped helping with calls in my house!

O is for Oh no! because that's what I hear
When people find out that Merc Retro is near

P is for patient; it's what we're supposed to be
But your fuckups right now are anathema to me

Q is for queer, in the sense of bizarre,
Weird electronic things happen both near and far

R is for re-do, re-task, re-write, and re-play;
It seems like four weeks of fucking Groundhog Day!

S is for stable, and your energy's not
So at the end of my rope I will just tie a knot!

T is for technical; to save wear and tear, 
I backed my shit up before you became a bear

U is for Uncle, and that's what I cry
I really don't want to give you another try

V is for victory, and there's not one for us
Until the calendar says that it's time for August

W is for wicked, you naughty boy
Why can't you stop taunting me now, huh? OY!

X marks the spot, the one that I can see...
Why did my GPS just make one dot into...THREE?

Y is the question, because is the answer
With you we're always trying to avert disaster

Z is for zenith, that point has now past,
I can't wait to see retro door hit you on the ass. 

If it's any consolation, I will wax rhapsodic about your virtues when you return to direct motion in a few weeks. But until then, you're really pissing me off.



PS: Thanks for at least keeping my physical body in good snap. The hospital SUCKED last summer and I'm not doing that again. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Book Review: "The Tarot Activity Book" by Andy Matzner

The Tarot Activity Book by Andy Matzner
Self-Published, andymatzner.com
$12.99, Amazon.com

As much as I love tarot—and I do—there are just some times when I need to put down those cards for a while. You know exactly what I’m talking about; you may be at a point in your tarot practice where you’re stuck in that proverbial rut, and it seems like the only way out is to leave the cards alone for a while.

But after you’ve taken the break that you need, or before you get to your breaking point, you’ll want to pick up The Tarot Activity Book, flip through it, and get ready to be shaken up. It’s got a whole host of activities for you to work through and try.

One of the reasons this book is a great find is because of the “curse of knowledge”. If you’ve been doing tarot for a while, you already know what the cards mean to you. Sure, you’ll tweak your knowledge as time goes on, but likely you know how you feel about each card. This book was designed for people who have no understanding of tarot at all, so the questions in each exercise will force you to re-evaluate what you know, think, and feel about the cards. Your subconscious mind will get a complete workout here.

As you pick the cards for each exercise, you’ll do it solely on the appearance of the card, but I agree with Matzner when he says that tarotists will get even more out of the exercises because of their knowledge of tarot. The author does provide a list of some basic tarot books for reference in the introduction, however, for those newbies who would like to know more; most of these were already on my bookshelf, so I take that as a good sign.

Matzner’s background as a licensed clinical counselor really makes this book an excellent addition to any tarot bookshelf. He has been using these techniques with his own clients, and has found them to be extremely effective. Consequently, many of the activities are dealing with psychological/counseling topics. If you’ve done any kind of “shadow” work with the tarot, or if you’re ready to do so, this book is an excellent place to start.

Tactile learners and people who enjoy doing crafts will have a field day with this work. One idea that wasn’t mentioned, however, is scanning the tarot deck of your choice to use as you go through these exercises. Crafts are not my forte, and I’d rather not have to buy seven copies of the miniature RWS because I kept messing up. Also, if you like tarot journaling, many of the activities have at least a small written portion. So you’ll want to have a journal you can dedicate to these exercises as well.

The only possible drawback for this book for me is that there are no illustrations, but it’s easy to make a case for why they aren’t present: If you give people a picture, they’ll use it as a “diagram” and follow it in hopes of doing the activity “the right way”. So the lack of imagery forces the reader to use their own creativity and imagination. 

The Tarot Activity Book in some ways reminds me of The Science Tarot; the latter was billed as a self-development tool. While Matzner’s book certainly is that, it’s also a great way to look at the tarot from a different perspective.