Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tarot Tuesday: SOTA 2017 Feedback and SOTA 2018

So a number of you have asked me how the presentation at SOTA 2017 went back in October. At the time I felt it had gone pretty well overall, but no matter good you feel at the time, you always wait until you hear back from the organizer and see how the evaluations came back. 

The feedback was especially important to me this year because I did a lecture at a lunch, and I hadn’t ever really done a lecture structured this way. What’s more is that people paid extra to attend this lecture, and I was thrilled that I sold out, but disappointed that not everyone who wanted to see me could do so. 

The total time for the lunch lecture is 1 hour and 15 minutes, but I was told that the lunch, which was catered, would arrive at some point in the first 20 minutes. I asked about the room structure and there were two tables of 6-7 people each, so I knew that a traditional lecture style wouldn’t work this time.  

What I came up with was an activity that lasted about 45 minutes. Lunch arrived promptly and I allowed 30 minutes for participants to eat and get to know one another. Once people were finished eating, each table was one group and I gave each group a tarot card for brainstorming. Then I asked the groups to come up with movies that would represent the card they had, since the presentation was on learning the tarot through pop culture. I gave the groups about 15 minutes to come up with movies. 

The two cards that I gave out were the Empress and the Emperor, and the participants came up with some fantastic ideas that fit into the archetypes of the cards. We went over the answers and had some great discussion about other films that might fit the cards as well. Everyone seemed to have a good time and walk away with some knowledge, and that to me is what counts.  

I’m thrilled to report that I’ve been asked back to speak at SOTA 2018! The feedback was excellent, and people were really happy and asked for more time with me. So I’ll have an hour-long slot in the main conference next fall, and my topic will be “Telling Time with Tarot.” 

The even better news came along last week. Traditionally, speakers at SOTA prefer to talk on astrology and not on other metaphysical topics, and I can understand that. The conference is an astrology conference, after all, and is branching out into other areas. The conference organizer, Donna Van Toen, said that she’d like to give me a two-hour slot in 2019 if there’s enough interest. Please understand that normally those slots are reserved for astrology speakers, so it’s an incredible honor that I’m even being considered for it. 

I mention this because a number of you are interested in astrology as well as other metaphysical topics. Even though SOTA 2018 isn’t until next October, I’d like you to consider joining us if you have an interest. The conference speakers are fantastic, and what’s more...it’s a small conference where you can interact with the speakers. I’ve had drinks and meals with many of them, and I always come home having learned a ton.  

Finally, if you do come to SOTA and decide to drop in on “Telling Time with Tarot”, it will reinforce the need for additional metaphysical topics in the conference, which will only benefit the attendees. I’ve had a number of students attend and we always have a good time. If you play your cards right, I might even organize a night trip to Niagara Falls, less than 30 minutes from the hotel. In short, if you want more information, please ask. You can also check out the SOTA Web site for all the details. 

Thanks to all of you for your support. I’m blessed to have a loyal following among my clients and students. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Astrology by Tara's Full Moon Forecast

Full Moon in Gemini
December 3, 2018
10:47am, Washington, DC

Greetings Sky Watchers,

This full Moon is the only super full moon of 2017. The term “super moon” describes the distance of the moon to the earth; as such, it appears larger than normal in our sky.

Full Moons represent a time of peak energy. As usual, we must balance the opposing forces of our physical body and vitality (Sun) and our spiritual and emotional reactions (Moon).

This month the Sun is in fiery and playful Sagittarius, and the full Moon will be in the opposing sign of cerebral Gemini.

With the Sun in vivacious and serendipitous Sagittarius in the 10th house, we can expect our focus to be on career and public image while stepping out in style for some holiday fun. Sagittarius is the sign of the world traveler, the eternal partier, the linguist, the comedian, the philosopher, and the archer who always has his eye on the horizon, bow aimed high at his dreams. Sagittarians literally shoot for the stars.

This month, the Archer will be at odds with his emotional self, which can rock the boat of stability. The full Moon will be located in the 4th house, representing early life, family, and property. In Gemini, she addresses topics that include local travel, communication, our siblings, and our early learning. 

At this time, we will be driven by family needs and self-expression. Our families can provoke a highly emotional response, which is at odds with our focus and goals. 

To complicate matters this time around, Mercury, Gemini's ruler, will arrive at his retrograde station at 29 Sagittarius. 
Mercury retrogrades three or four times per year and lasts for several weeks. 

Planets in retrograde cause us to pause, reflect, review, and reassess how the energy is expressing itself. Retrograde also causes us to internalize the energy of the planet, which can make the energy feel much more personal.

With Mercury in retrograde during the full Moon, and the Moon sitting in a Mercury-ruled sign (Gemini), there is a much higher than average possibility of being a lot of miscommunicated energy released during this full Moon.

Another factor in this chart is Mercury’s relationship to other planets and the house it occupies. Mercury is conjunct Saturn in Sagittarius and sextiles Mars in Libra, while it is trine Uranus in Aries. There is a lot of power being offered to the planet of communication during this lunar phase, and much of it brings a bit of elemental fire.

With Mercury and Saturn in the 11th house of groups, community, friendships and the Internet, verbal outbursts may occur more easily at seasonal functions. Alcohol at these events could add more fuel to the fire, so please imbibe responsibly and tread carefully. Finally, Mars and Uranus oppose each other as well, which can contribute to accidents, so it’s incredibly important now to watch your words and actions.

Knowing that there is the potential for there to be serious miscommunication in interactions with family and friends this full Moon enables us the opportunity to be more diligent in how we behave towards people, helping us avoid disputes and misunderstandings.

Neptune squares both luminaries, forming a T-square. This chart has an empty 7th house, so we are forced to at 11 Virgo in the 7th house to find balance. It reinforces the need for us to be mindful of all the dynamics of all of our interpersonal relationships. Just know that you can clearly state how you feel without being harsh or aggressive. 

If you are a person with a lot of planets near 11 degrees of any mutable sign—Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, or Pisces—you may feel exceptionally emotional during this full Moon; therefore, it’s even more vital for you to take the time to choose your words wisely. 

“Say what you mean; mean what you say” serves as the catch phrase of this full Moon.

Full Moon blessings to one and all!


Friday, December 1, 2017

The View from Saturn: Restating the Rules

A very pleasant good evening to one and all. 

Those of you who know me well know that I rarely show my emotions on the surface. I prefer it that way, and my feelings--few as they may be--are a private matter for no one else. 

But I come before you, dear friends, with a sense of the most profound disappointment. 

I spend precious little time on frivolities, such as entertainment, television, and the Internet and the social media circus that it has become. I barely know how to use any sort of technology, preferring the beautiful scraping of the sharpened #2 pencil on paper to any of that nonsense. And even though Mercury will be turning retrograde shortly and generally is an unreliable planet, I do thank him for the postal service through which I can send John my many epistles.

[As a side note, for those of you hoping for more news about Mercury and his usual thrice-yearly retrograde nonsense, I'm sure John will be writing about it any moment now to stoke your anxieties and give you something to blame besides your own insignificant efforts.]

To be frank, "mail" was just fine before it was "electronic", although many of you have forgotten the fine art of putting pen to paper in the literal sense. Many of you might say "IRL" in this context, but since I have plenty of sharpened writing instruments and have placed my work "smartphone" in a small locker where it has no power and no way to receive or transmit a signal, I lack a need for such...modern writing conventions. And I have never understood why the concept of writing letters is now associated with assorted shelled gastropods, and its modern electronic cousin with ground, shaped pork and ham in a can of all things, but I digress. 

Even in my deliberately sheltered world of bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, I can no longer remain silent about the news that has repeatedly reached my ears since Jupiter, the horniest bastard of them all, has moved into sexual Scorpio: That some humans possessed of a Y chromosome feel the need to routinely violate the boundaries other human beings, mainly those with two X chromosomes.

Frankly, I am deeply offended that I even have to repeat these rules of behavior, but since it has become necessary to reiterate them, I will try to express them as simply as I can: 

1) The only person that you have the right to touch is yourself. Anyone else requires consent, and ideally, an invitation or other indication that said individual welcomes that contact.

2) Your desire to have contact with another person does not under any circumstances negate the other person's right to refuse that contact. Your intentions for initiating said contact are completely irrelevant.

3) No matter what your position in any hierarchy, no matter the size of the organization, your power, authority, position, influence, or other marks of status do not entitle you to touch any person without their consent.

SPECIAL NOTE: "Any person" also includes any unborn fetus gestating inside a female's body. In that case, the female carrying the fetus may choose to give you consent to touch her stomach. You are not, however, entitled to do so; a child in utero is NOT considered community property. Would you want your offspring contaminated with the germs of the unwashed hands of strangers? I should say not!

4) A person's attire, age, race, culture, gender, sexuality, sexual preference, religion, marital status, or hierarchical position in relationship to you does not entitle you to touch them. None of the aforementioned factors are considered an invitation for any contact whatsoever unless the individual's consent is given.

5) If one party in a two-person situation cannot for some reason consent, then it is the obligation of the second person to cease and desist the activity immediately if it is in progress, or to delay initiation of said activity, until the other party does give consent.

True leadership comes with many obligations. One of the main duties of any leader is to put aside his or her personal desires in favor of those in his or her charge and the organization as a whole. Any leader who takes advantage of his or her position to pursue their own agenda with someone for whom s/he is responsible is absolutely unworthy of the title and should face immediate consequences, not the least of which should be the loss of a leadership position and a tarnishing of their reputation. This, of course, does not preclude the possibility of civil or criminal prosecution, and continual repetition of the offender's crimes on the Internet through text, video, and news reporting. It is a small price to pay for the humiliation, shame, and degradation that your activity has visited upon another human being!

You should know that in under three weeks now, I will be entering Capricorn, one of my most favored signs. Let me also remind you that I am the planet of karma. I shouldn't need to warn you of the consequences of violating the aforementioned boundaries, but it seemed like a clear reminder of what is at stake is necessary for some of you. I am also a big fan of repeating important messages until retention occurs.

John has allowed me to detail my activities for the next year, but those will come at a later date. I've requested for my thoughts to appear on the solstice, but John will make the final decision. 

For now, heed my warning carefully and respect the boundaries of all people.   

If you think things are serious now, just wait a few weeks. I'm coming back to Capricorn after a long hiatus and will set things right. There are a million things I haven't done. Just you wait; just you wait!



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tarot Tuesday: Tarot Reading Frequency

I’m often asked how often you should get a tarot reading. Of course, the answer is “it depends”, but let’s dive in a little deeper. 

One way to consider it is almost like you’re seeing a doctor. If you’re in generally good health, twice a year is probably good enough. Similarly, if things seem to be progressing well in your life, then twice a year is enough to talk about some general themes to consider. 

If something comes up, however, then having a reading on a specific topic or subject area isn’t ever a bad idea. If I were to use insurance lingo I might say a “qualifying life event” is a good reason for a tarot reading. If a relationship takes a turn for the better or worse, for example, or there is a significant job change or job opportunity, then I’d consider it strongly if you need some clarity. 

As a reader, I’m always cautious about reading people too often, especially if it’s on the same topic. You find this out very quickly when you read for yourself. I’ve found this to be especially true when people are concerned about their love life, but it can happen with any topic. Eventually, you start getting conflicting answers, which can often be explained by things changing. But this is also the universe’s way of saying, “Objection! Asked and answered!” 

I understand why people read on the same topic over and over again. If it’s good news you want reassurance and confirmation that it’s really good news. If the tarot says it’s going to suck, you want to see if and when it changes to something more positive, or how badly it truly is going to suck when it happens. It’s called being a human being.

So how about you? How often do you have a reading?

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Holiday Greetings from Jupiter!

Greetings everyone! I hope you are feeling expansive these days. Considering the amount of food many of you consumed in the past week I’d say you probably are. That’s OK! You only live once and no one’s really going to notice you moving back down a notch on that belt. 

This is a HUGE shout out to my Archers! Time to get out there and show everyone how to have a good time. Seriously people...you’ve gotta loosen up, because life is really too short. 

So you’ve probably noticed there’s been a lot of sexual stuff in the news lately. I moved into Scorpio a few weeks ago and I just can’t seem to get enough sex these days. I mean holy shit...I don’t know how you Scorpio sun, moon, or rising sign people can be like this all the time. And now that I’ve arrived, it’s sex everyplace you look. I’ll be in Scorpio for about a year, so hope you get used to it. This shit is not going away.

By the way, I’m also the planet of publishing, so expect lots of sex books this year too. Woo hoo! Time to get our freak on!

Now of course there’s more to being in Scorpio than sex...not much, I’ll admit, but a little more. Scorpio is a very deep sign so expect lots of potential for spiritual and intuitive development. I’m the spiritual planet of this motley crew, although Neptune does some of that shit, the crazy drunk bastard, but a lot of that stuff falls to me. Is your spiritual path serving you? This would be an excellent time to ask yourself that question. 

If your desire for spiritual or personal development leads you toward tarot or astrology, I certainly hope you’ll consider asking John for a hand. He’s always looking to help people out, and no matter what Saturn says about him I think he’s amazing. You know there’s someone in your life that needs a tarot reading or a chart, and this would be a great time to hit him up. No, he didn’t ask me to say that, but unlike some astrological planets, I’m always trying to help the man out, you know? He may work like Saturn, but he parties like me!

Thanks for hanging out with me, people. Remember to thank an Archer today! They’re usually willing to say the shit that no one else will, and for that, they’re amazing. But they have feelings, too, so I suggest you watch what you say or they will fill you with arrows. If you happen to be dealing with a Sag sun person and a Scorpio moon or rising, consider those arrows coated with venom and extra sharp. You have been warned.  

So remember...”too much” is a relative term!


Jupiter, the anti-Saturn

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tarot Tuesday: Festival of Light, Berkeley Springs, WV

Welcome back to Tarot Tuesdays, dear readers! Things have been sort of nuts on this end, so I apologize for the hiatus. 

One of the many things I've been doing is my most recent psychic fair, Festival of Light in Berkeley Springs, WV. It's held once a year and it's the largest collection of healers and psychics I've ever been involved with to date. It happens once a year, in the fall, and it's a full weekend.

I did both tarot readings and astrology mini-readings last weekend, and there were plenty of tarot readers to choose from. At my count, there were at least 30 of us. If tarot wasn't your thing, there were animal intuitives, rune casters, and pretty much any kind of psychic you could want. 

What I found interesting was that I actually did more astrology readings than tarot that weekend. I shouldn't have been surprised because there was a lot more "competition" for tarot than astrology. I think I was one of two astrologers at the fair. 

One question that I have for people who attend events like this is simple: How do you decide who to have a reading from? In this case, this was my first time at this fair, so while I knew one or two people--one of my customers from the Wheeling fair in September showed up, and one of my old customers from Occoquan also came--it seemed like most people gravitated toward psychics they already knew. But if you don't know anyone and you're faced with 30+ tarot readers, how do you pick one?

I'm very curious to hear your answers to this one if you feel like you can put it into words. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Venus vs. Mars: What I Hate About You

[aggressive knocking]

Mars: I'm coming! Cut the guy a break...it's Sunday afternoon! [opens door] OH SHIT! Venus!

Venus: You've been ditching my calls and texts!

Mars: I've been sort of busy. But if you're here to give me my Yule present early, I could make time for that...

Venus: [shocked] YOU PIG! You know why I'm here! 

Mars: Well, then why don't you come in so we can fight properly? Let's get it on!

Venus: Thank you!

[Mars closes door]

Venus: Are you going to offer to take my coat?

Mars: Fuck no. Chuck it right there on the couch like everyone else does. Since you came all the way over here to yell at me I'm not in the mood to be...[thinks hard]

Venus: [eye roll] "Chivalrous" is likely what you're looking for. 

Mars: Yeah. That's it...nice and manly and shit, right?

Venus: [gently places coat on couch] You really do want to do this the hard way, Mars. I hate that about you. You could do your thing and take a lady's coat but you have to push my buttons.

Mars: You have lost your fucking mind, Venus! You walk in here without telling me you're coming in the middle of NFL Sunday to scream at me. That's some bullshit right there. And since when is taking your coat "my thing"?!

Venus: Have you been watching anything other than sports for the last six weeks?

Mars: For fuck's sake, Venus, I've seen what's going on. Jupiter moving into Scorpio has really fucked some shit up.

Venus: That's one way of putting it. Women are pissed! They're tired of men groping them and sexually harassing them. They've just had it. 

Mars: And women have a right to be pissed. And so do men! And what I hate about you is that you're so angry about women being angry that you don't even think about what men are feeling! 

Venus: [deep breath]  I didn't want to come over here to confront you, but I felt like I had to.

Mars: We did this over the summer, too, Venus. And just like the last time, it's going to be a total waste of time! Just watch.

Venus: I hate that I'm the one who has to bring this up, and I hate that you don't seem to care at all!

Mars: That's where you're wrong, Venus. I do care. I'm just not good at talking about what I'm feeling, OK? And because I suck at it, I don't DO it. It's much more simple than you think. AND I don't think people are gonna like what I have to say.

Venus: I'm a good listener, Mars. So instead of making me goad you until I make you made enough for you to shout at me, why don't you just--

Mars: FINE! I'm angry, OK? I'm angry that we have to have this discussion! I'm angry that you think you're better than I am because men can act like assholes and women are held to a different standard! I'm angry that even while you want men to evolve you still want us to do shit like hang up your fucking jacket and hold the fucking door! I'm angry that many women hate us! I'm angry that the shit that men do to women is the main REASON why women hate us! And I'm supremely fucking pissed that I'm bombarded in the news by men who have done despicable things to women that I feel like I have to evaluate every fucking word I've ever said to a woman and wonder if I was out of line, even when I've done nothing wrong! Because what's real right now? My penis proves that I'm fucking wrong, even when I'm innocent, and because I have a dick I'm guilty, and that's how it is these days! OH and let me not forget that YOU, as the astrological planetary representative of vaginas, are going to barge into my home on fucking Sunday afternoon and interrupt my favorite day of the week and fucking emasculate me! THERE! HAPPY NOW?! [breathing heavily]

Venus: [smiles] Feel better?

Mars: [catching breath] Yeah, I guess so. That was a lot.

Venus: Yes, it was. 

Mars: Listen...

Venus: You have nothing to apologize for, Mars. You're feelings are legitimate and they deserve to be heard. I hate the way you express your feelings, but I'm glad you said them just the same. [stands up] It's obvious that we still have a lot of work to do, Mars. And when I say "we", I really do mean you AND me. 

Mars: True. And for what it's worth, Venus, women need to keep standing up to men who act like dirtbags. It's time for them to fight back. But treating all men like we're out to disrespect or grope or sexually harass women, well...that's not gonna work, and you fucking know it.

Venus: [picks up coat off the couch] For what it's worth, I hate to fight with you. 

Mars: [gets up and opens the door]  I hate that I love to fight with you, Venus. And I hate having to do this on Sunday afternoon. You're lucky I have DVR so I didn't miss any of the game!

Venus: Text me later? After the game?

Mars: Yes, after the game. Now get lost. Nicely. [smiles]

Friday, November 17, 2017

Astrology by Tara's New Moon in Scorpio Forecast

Astrology by Tara
New Moon in Scorpio @ 26 Scorpio
November 18, 2017

Greetings Sky Watchers,

As we have discussed before, planets are more effective in certain zodiac signs than in others. Astrologers use the term essential dignity to describe the planet’s ability to function well or poorly. Immediately, we notice that the Moon is in fall in Scorpio. When a planet is in fall, it has difficulty expressing its energy through that particular zodiac sign.

With the Moon—our emotional body—in fall, we can expect intense emotional responses where we feel a bit overwhelmed by how we are feeling and possibly incapable of processing the raw power behind our emotions. Think of a rushing river that constantly threatens to spill over its banks, refusing to be controlled; that’s a great image for the Moon in Scorpio.

At the time of the New Moon, the Sun and Moon will be on the eastern horizon, sharing the sign of Scorpio with the Ascendant, Venus, and Jupiter. Having Scorpio rising and four planetary bodies in the rising sign during the New Moon creates very intense Scorpio energy that fuels the entire chart. Scorpio is the fixed water sign and its energy is powerful, passionate, determined, seductive, intuitive, manipulative, and lethal.

Having the Sun and Moon both conjunct the ascendant means that the physical body and first house of self will be a focus of this New Moon. The Scorpio Sun asks where you’re headed and urges you to transform dreams into reality. The Scorpio Moon (in Fall) reminds you of the constant struggle within to deal with our intense emotional body.

This Scorpio Moon in the first house is going to force you to FEEL what’s going on around you, and you would be wise to find a productive way to express yourself and use the energy in a positive way. It’s important to deal with your emotions constructively and not ignore them. This is especially true since Scorpio rules the 12th house, 1st house and the Ascendant in this chart.

The 12th house rules the unconscious mind, the secrets we keep, our karmic ties to past lives, and often what needs to be released. It represents the darkness before the dawn. The ascendant represents the birth of physical body, while the 1st house represents the primal self. With Scorpio ruling the 12th house, the ascendant, and the first house we need to look at how the Scorpio energy is moving through all three aspects of our lives to serve our higher purpose.

With Scorpio on the Ascendant, it’s important for us to look at the planets that rule Scorpio, which would be Mars (classical) and Pluto (ruler). Both can be considered “chart rulers” and square each other in this New Moon chart; it's an adversarial relationship. Mars represents our vitality and passion, while Pluto represents transformation and change. During the new moon we have Mars in Libra (relationships) in the sociable 11th house of friends, hope, and dreams. Pluto is located in Capricorn (title / career) in the 2nd house of money, values, possessions, and physical and emotional security. What’s more is that both Pluto and Mars have a relationship (aspect) to Venus in Scorpio in the 12th, which creates a new dynamic of energy.

In astrology, Venus represents two major areas of our life: Love and money. Venus is in detriment in Scorpio, which means that she has to work twice as hard to accomplish small things in this intensely emotional water sign. Venus’ aspects to both Pluto and Mars are helpful in this case; the exchange of energy helps them function better than they normally would. Pluto is located in the 2nd house, a house that Venus naturally rules through Taurus. Pluto is also sextile Venus, providing opportunities for positive interactions. Here we see the ability for the planets to draw energy from each other to improve the situation slightly, despite the difficulty they may be experiencing through its essential dignity or house placement.

Lastly, we have Jupiter conjunct Venus in Scorpio. Jupiter receives an accidental dignity as the classical ruler of the 12th house. Jupiter and Venus also trine to, or blend with, Neptune in Pisces. Neptune is the modern ruler of the 12th house, and Pisces is the natural ruler of the 12th house by the natural zodiac. Neptune’s complimentary aspect to Venus and Jupiter in the 12th house indicates that there will be a highly spiritual energy resonating through the planet’s energy exchanges.

This New Moon asks us to reevaluate our emotional, spiritual, and physical ties to others, and calls on us to acknowledge ourselves and constructively find a way to address our emotional, spiritual, financial, and physical needs in a healthy manner. This may require intense discipline and sacrifice for self-transformation, and to dissolve unhealthy relationships within and without. It can also strengthen positive relationships with purposeful, passionate, and transformative behavior.

Ultimately everything begins and ends within us. We can choose to ignore what we really feel inside and constantly point fingers elsewhere, or we can take responsibility for our own lives and own it. This New Moon is calling us to release what no longer serves our higher good and diligently focus on fixing what requires our attention.

In short, it’s time to GET REAL. So set your New Moon intentions wisely!

Brightest Blessings



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Holding Court: Wands Royalty Redux

[knocking on door]

King of Wands: [booming voice] Come on, Jennifer. We know you're in there!

[sound of feet coming down stairs]

Queen of Wands: Please open the door, great lady! We have brought you a pumpkin chai to start your day!

Jen [behind door]: Oh shit.

[Door opens a small amount]

Jen: John's not here. 

Queen of Wands: And you're on your way to pottery class, right? We know you love it! And so do we!

Jen: [confused] Yes, I am, and I do. And the Ren Faire is OVER! [Pause] I don't know what came over me but I apologize for being rude.

King of Wands: We have that effect on people, Jennifer, but that's OK. We love you without that speech filter. 

[King gestures to Jen holding a venti pumpkin chai. Jen opens door, comes onto steps, and takes it.]

Jen: So if you're not heading to a ren faire...[mouth drops open in shock]. Well damn...I suspect I know who you must be now. 

King of Wands: [inclines head] Excellent. We're here to talk about your husband!

Jen: So you want me to talk to two...archetypes...about my human husband? OK, so he's weird and I debate his normalcy sometimes. But I'm not in the mood to share, and I've got shit to do. [shakes head and mumbles] Weird talking without a filter!

King of Wands: Well we won't take much of your time...

Jen: Your Highness, you may think you're only competing with pottery, but you're also competing with custom orders, National Novel Writing Month...and the new Assassin's Creed Origins! Shit to DO. 

Queen of Wands: We're here because we're concerned about John. Two Tarot Tuesdays have gone by with no blogs and we're just making sure he's OK...

Jen: I can tell you how he won't be OK, Lady. He won't be OK if he doesn't have clothes to wear on his trip this weekend to Midwest School of Astrology. So unless you two want to carry down some laundry from upstairs...

King of Wands: So he's OK then?

Jen: Yes, he's fine! He's already at work, the crazy early morning bastard, and sometimes he gets up even earlier to work out. So physically he's great.  

Queen of Wands: [relieved] Oh, we're so glad to hear it!

King of Wands: Yes, we want to make sure that his public affairs remain at the forefront of his mind. 

Jen: He'll be happy he missed you. [Pause] Shit! Sorry. Is there something else before I say something truly embarrassing?

Queen of Wands: Aren't you John's artist? We were led to understand that there's a book about us coming next...

Jen: Oh, I see where this is going now. When John actually finishes WRITING that book then we'll talk. But that conversation won't be today. Thanks for the chai, but if you please, nicely fuck off! Royally even!

[Jen slams door]

Queen of Wands: Well, that was somewhat embarrassing...

King of Wands: [pulls out smartphone] Yes, somewhat, my dear. Let's repair to our Uber. It's the only way to escape an embarrassing situation in style!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Reporting from SOTA 2017

Sun: Good evening, everyone! I've called this meeting to get a report on the State of the Art (SOTA) Conference for 2017.

Moon: Sir, no one has had time to send in written documentation, so we'll have to go with verbal only reports. [Frowns] I'm guessing people had...other matters to attend to?

Sun: I'm sure you're right, Lady Moon. Verbal reports it is. Pluto, can we start with you?

Pluto: Well, there was a lot of lumping me in with the Hippie and Sir Breaks-A-Lot over there...

Saturn: Your astrological role is somewhat constricted, Pluto, due to your very long cycle. And you scare people. 

Pluto: You've got no right to say anything, saggy ass! People spend half their lives worrying about what you'll do next.

Neptune: It's OK, Pluto...we're all trying to inspire people. Saturn has to do it in his own way. And what does it matter if you're with Urnie and I?

Pluto: That's where you're wrong, you lying sack of shit! And I'm stunned you're actually HERE on time. Where's your mind right now? 

Saturn: Pluto, there's no need to cast aspersions. I was disappointed that Jessica Lanyadoo wasn't able to come, but Ellen Bourn definitely had the right idea about me. 

Uranus: It was an astrology conference. I was having a fantastic time. Donna van Toen once again captured my essence, as usual. And there was an excellent social media presence for the conference as well.

Neptune: Creativity was everywhere! Inspiration! And alcohol!

Sun: Uranus and Neptune, I'm glad you enjoyed yourselves. 

Uranus: MJ Patterson's presentation on genius in the astrological chart was also a big hit. She's not one of mine, but still...

Sun: She's one of mine, Urnie, and she's earned that honor. Great leader, too, if I may say so. Definitely on the rise. 

Moon: The latest information I have, sir, is that people felt comfortable together and really connected. 

Sun: That's important, Lady Moon. Mercury?

Mercury: That Gary Caton REALLY gets me. He totally seems to understand what I'm all about. Lots and lots of astrological communication all weekend. The air was filled with it!

Mars: I bet it pissed other people off to have all these weird people speaking in tongues. I mean, I'm all for passion but dude these people don't quit. I can barely get it, even when they're talking about me! At least most of the other people around were there for HOCKEY!

Saturn: They weren't talking about you much, Mars. When was the last time you heard someone talk about a Mars return?

Sun: People do talk about their Mars return, Saturn. And I doubt they dread it like many people do yours. And that's not a disparaging comment...it's just a fact.

Venus: Old Man, you do your job too well sometimes. 

Saturn: Perhaps, Lady Venus. Perhaps. But although I am reluctant to say it, I heard no one disparage me. 

Sun: You're very important, Saturn. All of you are. When is the conference over?

Mercury: Tomorrow are the post-conference sessions, sir, so many people went home today. 

Mars: What about our boy?

Saturn: By "our boy", Mars, you really mean my boy, John, right?

Mars: Earth to Mr. Geritol...you can remember all kinds of stupid shit but I'm his almuten, remember?

Sun: As weird as it is to say this, point taken, Mars. Merc?

Mercury: As I understand it, he presented today and the feedback we have is that it went well. Nothing on paper...we only have verbal reporting.

Saturn: [SIGH] Once again, he does that ridiculous thing with cards instead of spending his time doing astrology lectures. When will that boy learn?

Neptune: His work is divinely inspired, Saturn. Give the man time to blossom!

Mars: Yeah, dude. Where the fuck are you going? You got plenty of time! And did you see John in the gym? I was fucking thrilled he was there! Good on him!

Venus: John met a number of new people and renewed some friendships. He had a wonderful time, sir. 

Sun: Any word on his return home, Mercury?

Mercury: The latest I have is that he has an early morning tomorrow to drive home. He shouldn't face any challenging weather. 

Jupiter: You've said THAT before, Mr. Intel.

Mercury: I have a fantastic track record, Jupiter, and unlike you, I have real data, not propaganda. But sometimes information is incorrect. Nobody's perfect.

Moon: I know John misses his home and family, sir, so it's good that he's heading out tomorrow. I know he'll be a little sad to say goodbye to his friends, but hopefully he'll see them next year. 

Sun: Thanks, everyone. Any alibis?

[Mercury's phone goes off]

Sun: Mercury...what have I said about your phone? For the planet of memory I'm very surprised.

Mars: Maybe it's one of his bitches!

[Venus kicks Mars]

Mars: OW! Bitch that hurt!

Mercury: [shuts phone off] Sorry, sir. It won't happen again.

Saturn: [SIGH]

Sun: I think we're done here, folks. Thank you as always.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Astrology by Tara’s New Moon Forecast

New Moon
October 19 2017


The New Moon will occur at approximately 3:11 pm, Thursday, October 19th here in Washington DC.

The Sun represents our vitality, our life force, and at times our ego. In contrast, the Moon represents our emotional responses and our soul. 

Once per month the two luminaries meet by astrological degree and sign and form a conjunction. This blending of energy is what is known as the New Moon.

Whenever any planetary body contacts the Sun it receives an energy boost and is reborn. The Moon is the fastest of all the heavenly bodies and as such it becomes reborn or renewed every 28 days when it meets the Sun during a New Moon.

The ascendant is one of the most sensitive points in a chart, which indicates how the world sees us. Aquarius is rising in this New Moon, which makes the chart ruler Uranus by modern astrology, or Saturn if you use classical dignities. Uranus and Saturn have more influence over the chart.

Also, at the New Moon the lunar nodes are across the 1st house/7th house axis. The south node is in the 1st house of self, and the north node will be in the 7th house of our interpersonal relationships with others. This indicates that one of the themes of this New Moon is focusing on self vs others.

The New Moon itself will occur at 26 Libra which adds focus to the Libra themes: relationships, compassion, fairness, and balance. In this New Moon chart, the sign Libra is locked or intercepted in the 8th house of what we share with others: sex, taxes, values, the metaphysical, and death. The 8th house is where we let go of the things or people who don’t serve our higher purpose.

The Sun and Moon are accompanied by four other planets in the 8th house, creating a strong energy focus called a stellium; this represents an abundance of energy or an emphasis placed on that house or sign. So the Sun, Moon, all three of the personal planets—Mercury, Venus, and Mars—and Jupiter are all bringing our focus to 8th house matters.

As I explained earlier two other planets carry significant importance in this New Moon, they are Saturn and Uranus. They both can be considered to be the New Moon chart rulers. As such, their energy exchange with any planets affects the entirety of the New Moon chart.

Saturn is sextile the New Moon, as the two bodies are approximately 60 degrees apart. This is a complimentary aspect which provides ease and reassurance to any decision making which has to occur and will help to stabilize the 8th house New Moon. It provides a sense of knowing that what you are releasing is for your own higher good.

Now let’s look at the other chart ruler, Uranus, a slow-moving planet that takes approximately 84 years to return, or make a complete revolution around the Sun. Uranus spends an average of 7 years in each of the zodiac signs as it makes it way around the zodiac. Uranus is the planet of shock, sudden change, and significant shifts of consciousness.

When Uranus makes hard aspects—opposes or squares—to other planets, it can bring about chaotic change, which often can feel overwhelming but usually pushes us toward our own spiritual evolution. Uranus is sitting at 26 Aries, in direct opposition to the New Moon. During the New Moon, Uranus sits in the 2nd house of what we value: movable possessions, money, stability, and security. Uranus’ energy breaks through and breaks away from anything no longer needed. It’s an awakening.

With Uranus in Aries—the sign of self—opposed the new Moon in Libra—the sign of partnerships—we going to have to evaluate what is important in our lives and our relationships with others. Uranus will also break through our own ego, pushing us take a long hard look at ourselves and how we are part of the equation.

With so many personal planets in the 8th house of release, don’t be surprised if this New Moon opposed Uranus is a kind of cosmic house cleaning. It’s the perfect time to toss what no longer serves your greater good and begin with a clean slate. With Saturn anchoring the Ascendant and sextile the New Moon, more than likely the purposeful changes you make at this New Moon have staying power. It’s time to set your intentions and make them positive!

Until the full Moon,

Bright Blessings


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tarot Tuesday: How Long Does It Take To Learn Tarot?

This sounds like a loaded question, doesn’t it?

I hate the answer, but it’s the only one that works: It depends. How long that takes is really up to you.

If you’re a tarot student, the task can seem very daunting. 78 cards, double that if you’re reading reversals, is a lot to learn. But don’t let the numbers discourage you.

I started reading cards in 1989. Many of you reading this weren’t even born yet, so I know how crazy that must sound. I was heading off to college and decided it was time to spread my wings. But I started off reading like everyone else: With that little white book that came with the deck.

I did my first few readings for some friends and when I opened that little book, I was disappointed. One card I remember in particular was the Six of Wands. It said, “Furlough for a military man” and I thought “What the fuck is this shit?” Someone was asking me about how they were going to perform academically, so that was not helpful at all.

Me being me, I improvised. I started thinking of the cards as “good”, “bad”, or “somewhere in between” and interpreted from there. Yes, it was frustrating, but it helped push me forward on my path.

28 years later, I remember very well what it took to develop my skills: Time, books, classes, and contemplation. I’m more of a deep thinker, and it takes me a while to assimilate new ideas. But once I do, I don’t forget them.

The point here is that we all learn differently. One question to ask yourself is what kind of learner you are. There are plenty of online tests and resources to help you figure it out, but I’d suggest digging a little more deeply into how you learn. Doing so will accelerate the process.

The other main factor is your intuitive ability. If that skill comes naturally to you, it can help facilitate your studies. My niece Yvonne, for example, is much more naturally intuitive than I am, and it shows in her tarot work. She won’t have to work as hard as I did to develop it, and as such she’s already very skilled working with the tarot.

So the real answer to learning the tarot is to develop both your knowledge of the tarot and your intuitive ability.

What you learn along your journey is much more important than some arbitrary number, isn’t it?

Friday, October 6, 2017

A Total Solar Eclipse?

Moon: Sol, I need your notes for our next meeting. [PAUSE] This is the third time I've asked for them, and you told me you'd have them done today.

Sun: I'm just not feeling it, Luna. It seems like the earth has gone mad. It makes me heartsick to see everything that's going on.

Moon: Me too, Sol. But people look to you for leadership. You're up there shining every single day, whether your on center stage or behind the clouds. People take comfort in your presence. And clearly you're...off.

Sun: Some days I struggle to do my job. I go out there and shine down on a world that I don't recognize anymore and I don't know what to do about it. 

Moon: You are pretty powerful, but to be fair, there's nothing you can do about it except going out there. Life goes on...and it's because of you that those people have life at all. I know this sounds hoky, but what do you think hiding your light is going to do?

Sun: [irritated] That's just it, Luna! I don't KNOW WHAT TO DO.

Moon: [softly] You don't need to do anything except feel what you're going to feel, embrace it, and release it so you can move forward. It's going to take some time to do that, so during that time you need to make sure you're taking good care of yourself. Clearly, you're not doing that, so I took some steps. 

Sun: [looking up] Excuse me?

[knock on the Sun's office door]

Moon: Come in, Venus!

Venus: [opens door and enters] Good afternoon, Lady Moon, and to you, sir!

Moon: I had a feeling you might drop by, Venus. [Embraces her]. 

Sun: What exactly is going on here, ladies?

Venus: Lady Moon asked me to make some arrangements for you, sir. Looks like you're going away for a few days.

Sun: [looks at his online calendar] Wait...what happened to all my appointments for this week and next week?

Luna: I've taken the liberty of clearing it for you, sir. And you'll find that there are some new entries.

Sun: Yes, I'm seeing it. Why am I on a flight to Phoenix in...holy shit...about three hours? 

Luna: So you can take care of yourself and not worry about everyone else. You're not particularly good at that, you know. And the work is starting to wear on you. 

Sun: Hmmm. Sounds interesting, but I'd have liked to choose to go. 

Venus: I've made a few calls. You'll be very happy we took care of things once you get to the resort. [hands the Sun a folder]

Sun: [looks over paperwork] Hot rocks? They're going to pelt me with hot rocks? How is that relaxing?

Venus: It's a hot stone treatment, sir. Extremely relaxing. And you will have nothing to do except show up. They will take care of you. 

Moon: You need some pampering, Sol. And you're not good at asking for help.

Sun: But Luna, have you thought about...

Moon: [holds up one hand] Let me guess...you want to know if we can afford this, right?

Venus: Good call, Lady Moon. [to the Sun] Sir, they gave me special deals for everything. The money is not a problem. And no, your paperwork doesn't list the prices. My contacts would not want anyone knowing what fantastic discounts we got, so you got a copy without them.

Moon: Any other objections, Sol?

Sun: [SIGH] Well I guess I've got time to get my laptop and...wait a second. My computer is not working...diagnostics? What bullshit! We're not supposed to be running these during the day. Get Mercury on the phone!

Luna: Mercury has already been here, sir. He just can't seem to figure out what's wrong with it. So you'd better leave it here so he can work on it. [winks at Venus] Besides, you won't need it anyway, although you can take your phone. You will find, however, that your work email won't arrive on your phone right now. That's a curious problem, but again, I'm sure once you return Mercury will be able to figure out what's up. 

[Mercury pokes his head into the office] 

Mercury: Sir, your Uber has arrived.

[Luna opens the closet and hands the Sun a suitcase]

Luna: Time to go, Sol. I guarantee you'll shine a lot brighter when you get back. I've packed you enough sunflower seeds to feed you for a month, as well as all your comfy clothes. 

Sun: I...I'm not sure about this, Luna. 

Luna: You will be when you get back. [gently] I don't want you miss your plane, Sol. Have a great trip!

Sun: [confused] Thanks...I think. 

Mercury: Come on, sir. I'll make sure you find your car. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Astrology By Tara: The Full Moon in Aries!


Welcome back for this month’s discussion on October’s full moon. According to folklore, the full moon after the fall equinox is known as the “Harvest Moon”. The fall equinox was on September 22, 2017, and as such the aptly titled harvest moon’s light allows for farmers and gardeners to glean the last of their crop as we in the northern hemisphere prepare for the cooler months which lie ahead. October’s full moon zenith will occur during daylight hours in the continental United States, at approximately 2:40 pm in Washington, DC.

The full moon is a time in the lunar cycle when the Moon is opposed the Sun. Oppositions by nature are the second strongest aspect between two planetary bodies. When two planets are opposed to each other, there is roughly 180 degrees between them. Oppositions require purposeful adjustment to navigate the probability of extremes. This is especially true with oppositions between the Sun and Moon. The Moon represents our emotional responses and the Sun represents our vitality and growth when these two personal planets are opposed it has the potential to create difficulty in our responses to life situations and our own direction in life.

One important note about the full Moon is that she is always in the sign opposite the Sun. She travels so much more quickly than the Sun does that she easily catches him about every 28 days, but the full moon represents the halfway point in the Sun-Moon monthly cycle. If you have trouble remembering the Moon’s sign—which changes every two and a half days—just remember that the full Moon sign will always be opposite that of the Sun. When the Sun is in Aries, for example, the full Moon will always be in Libra. This little trick can also be helpful if you’re looking for a full Moon in a particular sign for spiritual reasons.

For this Harvest Moon, the Moon will be at 12 Aries, the cardinal fire sign, while the Sun will be at 12 Libra. Aries by nature is bold and passionate and is the natural ruler of the 1st house and the self, Aries Moon reacts quickly, speaks with a purpose, and does not mince words.

This lunation has a T-square pattern: Two planets are opposed each other and a third planet is square to them both. Unlike a Grand Cross, which has 4 planets exchanging energy with each other by opposition and squares, t-squares do not have the benefit of the grand cross balance. One planet is on the receiving end of challenging square energy from two planets. The apex point is the planet squared to two that are opposed. Often the apex planet is where the energy and activity are expressed. In this full Moon's T-square, the apex planet is Pluto.

In addition, this particular T-square will be in the cardinal signs of Aries, Libra, and Capricorn. Cardinal signs are the initiators, and they bring change. In the natural zodiac: Aries rules the self; Libra rules our relationships; Capricorn rules our career. During the full Moon, the three planets involved in the T-square are Sun (self), Moon (emotions), and Pluto (transformation and change). When analyzing the T-square it’s important to look at the oppositions first. We have the Aries Moon representing passionate strong emotions opposed to the Libra Sun representing the balance needed for a healthy relationship. These energies are already opposed which means adjustment is required to avoid further issues.

Things become more complex when you consider the transformative power of Pluto next to (conjunct) the Ascendant, one of the most important positions in an astrological chart. With Pluto on the ascendant change will happen, it’s just a matter of when. This is especially true as Pluto is no longer in retrograde, as Pluto returns to full speed we can expect abundant and purposeful changes to color our world and our nation.

Pluto in Capricorn represents a change in business, military leadership, politics, banks, our private careers and government. The last time Pluto was in Capricorn approximately 1762-1778 our nation was being founded. You’ve got it folks; we as a nation are experiencing our Pluto return. During the 1700’s Pluto in Capricorn heralded in several new heads of state, successful government revolutions, and significant changes in world commerce.

This full moon has a plethora of powerful planetary energy exchange. Every planet is sharing a relationship of energy with another planet. In a way, this creates great possibility for change and powerful potential. This full moon is asking us to examine who we are, the values we hold as true, what we feel, and to remove the people or activities in our lives which will limit our ability to reach our fullest potential. The full moon is activating similar energies on the world stage as well.

This is a time of serious evaluation. Many of us feel as though we have to make choices and some of those choices aren’t comfortable for us however they are necessary. This is the harvest moon, the gleaming. This is your opportunity to reap the harvest of your own lives by choosing who and what you will keep for yourself and who or what will not make the final harvest. A good farmer knows that leaving some behind is not inherently bad; often what we leave behind will once again yield in years to come just not in this harvest.

Brightest Blessings,