Turning Points

September 27 1995 started like many of my days that September. I woke with my heart in my throat, head full of wet cotton, a sense of impending doom and free-floating anxiety. I had thrown myself at a neighbor and he had to have a difficult conversation with me about how I was pretty much imagining more between us than there was (and I was) but not clearly enough to completely make me feel like he wasn’t that into me. I imagined there was some kind of interpersonal struggle that kept him from being emotionally available to me but didn’t stop to think about how I was a mobile raging dumpster fire skidding along mental/emotional/spiritual rock bottom, and how that might not be appealing to many men, including pothead underachievers.

I had been bumping along the bottom ever since Labor Day weekend where I didn’t leave the house before dark, smoked pot until I was straight again, but didn’t feel good, happy or even high.  I hadn’t felt deeply good in a long time, so I kept looking for fun at the best and oblivion at the very least.

Smoked a bowl before work, smoked while walking to work, smoked while at work.  The day went by, I don’t really remember details other than having a bad conversation with my neighbor on the phone and it hit me that he didn’t know how to blow me off so he was just being kind of a dick until I got the point.  I finally got the point.

It had rained so I walked home crying and stomping in the puddles and yelling into the void of the crowded New York City streets, “I AM NEVER FALLING FOR A SAGITTARIUS EVER AGAIN! NEVER! NEVER! NEVER!” all the way home alternately raging and plunging into despair.  I knew there was so much more wrong than whether or not Joe Blow liked me.

All was lost. I was toast. I knew I couldn’t go on the way I was going but had literally no idea how to live any other way. I felt trapped and started thinking about taking a Final Exit so I could just stop FEELING so horrible.  I was in a 12-Step Program for food and had a sponsor in that program who had been a great spiritual teacher to me for about 7 months so I called him and told him everything.  How I was heartbroken. How I felt fundamentally broken. I couldn’t live and I couldn’t kill myself and I didn’t know what to do.
He said, “There is another way.  There’s an AA meeting a block or two from your apartment that starts in 15 minutes – why don’t you check it out and see what you think and call me when you get home?”

I didn’t want to think I needed AA, I just needed HELP. He also told me it was full of creative types and hot guys with long hair and tattoos (did he know me or what?) and that I would feel right at home and should just go and then call him.

So I did.  WTF, I did.

I look back at that BRAVE messed up kid and am SO grateful to her. She was terrified but did it anyway. She didn’t want to change her whole life, she just wanted to stop hurting, but she went and changed her whole friggin life.  I know that God was working behind the scenes for me.  I know that a confluence of terrible things culminated in that one moment where I was hurting enough and desperate enough to do the unthinkable.

bottom chart

This is the astrology from that day — my chart is in the middle.  Looks like Transiting Chiron was exactly opposite my Natal Chiron.  Chiron – the wounded healer. Jupiter was exactly opposite my Sun. Uranus was opposite my Moon. Saturn was exactly opposite my Pluto.  Pluto was conjunct my Neptune.   Pluto was also exactly Square my Jupiter. Venus was opposite my North Node.

Holy crap, right?  I mean, it really could have gone either way. I could have gotten serious help or I could have peaced out.

September 27 1995 was my first AA meeting, but it is not my sobriety date.  I went to that meeting stoned, and smoked when I got home, but a seed had been planted. I woke up the next morning and decided that for just that day, I would not smoke weed, drink, or use any mind or mood altering drugs.  I had a week or so and then went to CT for a visit and when a joint came my way I didn’t say no, but I wish I had. Seconds after the high hit me and just heard myself thinking, “I want my head back, I want my head back” over and over.  I knew that I was truly done.  And I was also scared about how easily I slid, so I knew I had to take sobriety seriously if I were going to really heal.

On October 8th, I will have 24 years clean and sober.  I am beyond grateful. I’m grateful to my higher power, the rooms of AA, and I am very grateful for 27 year old messed up me.  She had NO IDEA how good her life was going to get eventually.  No clue. But she started swimming up towards the light from the bottom of the sea, terrified, but doing it anyway. All of us who reach out for help don’t feel brave and radical when we are doing it.  We feel chewed up, spit out, broken, hopeless. But brave we are and our tiny glimmering hopeful life force is what saves us.

What Great Ships Are Built For

I came across this amazing piece from Clarissa Pinkola Estes (a long favorite writer of mine) and it moved me deeply this morning.  Especially after spending all evening yesterday binge-watching “The Family” on Netflix. “The Family” is a documentary based on a book based on this article about a secret shadowy group of powerful men who do not claim to be Christian, but followers of JESUS. For decades this group has been working to establish a religious right-wing government – a theocracy – not just in the US but around the world.  They truly believe they are “chosen” and know better than the rest of us.  The Family, or the Fellowship Foundation, or whatever they call themselves behind closed doors are the total antithesis of why our country was founded in the first place. People came over here to practice the religion they wanted to practice, to no longer have the overwhelming government-sponsored religion shoved down their throats.  Our founding fathers made the separation of church and state and freedom of religion — and even freedom FROM religion — in the very DNA of the United States of America.

The Family would have hurt feelings to hear this and be the last to accept this, but they are Un-American, anti-democratic, and a friggin nightmare. They are the opposite of EVERYTHING Jesus of Nazareth came here to teach.

I might be a lapsed Lutheran but I clearly remember my Sunday School lessons. The “Jesus” they worship and glorify and allegedly do everything they do “in His name” is nothing like the Jesus in whom I was raised to believe.  This Jesus is not a Lamb of God, but a sword of God.  This is not a turn-the-other-cheek Jesus, but a back-room powerbroker Jesus – willing to entertain dictators to push his agenda. This Jesus is not a Jesus of the Beatitudes — “blessed are the meek, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers” — but some warped Son of the Most High who FAVORS the wealthy and powerful, the “broken vessels” who do God’s perfect work.

These men don’t even use the actual Bible as a reference.  They use a slim book of just the four Gospels and “Acts”.  However, they do dip back to the OT to use the story of David and Bathsheba to justify their shady behavior: David was a sinner but still favored by God, so it’s okay to be a cheating-lying-sexual predator-criminal, because if you’re chosen then you’re the “broken vessel” God works through, it’s all good.  What these men skip is that David was punished for his sin!  David’s son with Bathsheba died a week after he was born, the prophet Joab came and told David God was displeased and this would happen. David mourned and atoned.  David surrendered to God, he didn’t believe he was entitled to sin because he was chosen. He came back to God a broken man after the consequences of his sin. The members of The Family, or the Fellowship Foundation, or whatever name they call themselves seem to skip over that WHOLE PART.  They have cherry-picked things based on the word of God to justify their grab for power and their warped-Jesus imperialism.

What is one heartbroken woman to do in the face of this huge force of a weird psuedo-religious sect, the corporations and special interests who control our government — both parties, don’t be mistaken — who are hurting so many people and the planet in their quest for more and more wealth and control, damn the consequences and the collateral damage??

What can I do? I can love the people right in front of me. I can raise my vibration and help others to raise theirs. I can look over the prow of my own ship and see the masts of many, many other righteous souls on the waters with me.  My ship is a ship of loving-kindness and healing, and I offer this to whoever needs it, no matter what side of the political divide they fall on. All humans are my brothers and sisters and need love and healing just as much as any other human out here, humaning.

Sometimes I get tired and I want to bury my head in the sand, turn off the news, and cut myself off from this world until I hear the siren that the missiles are coming. Screw it, we’re all going to Hell in a hand basket might as well roll over and wait for my doom. There is so much darkness all around: violence, hatred, scorn, fear, pain.  Misogyny, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, repression of the “other” no matter what form the other takes while those in power claim that THEY are persecuted, raging and desperate to reassert the last gasp of privileges they deny they have. These ARE hard times.  But as Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, we were made for these times.

We who are in recovery, we seekers who follow the path of the heart and soul, we who have done the WORK, who have looked our own self-delusion and self-destruction right in the eye and said, “No, you will not have me” – we have resilience. We are survivors of a bout with heavy energies and have experience! Those who have lost much have a lot of compassion.  Those who have struggled know mercy.  Those of us who have grown up feeling unloved and “othered” know how to include those who desperately need to have a chair at the table.

This is the work of Chiron, the wounded healer:  we do not have to be fully healed ourselves in order to extend our hearts and hands to help those who can benefit from what healing we DO have that we can share.  Chiron is in Aries right now. This means it’s the natal Chiron return for those born after April 1 1968. Chiron retrograded back into Pisces on Oct 18 1968 and re-entered Aries on Jan 30 1969 and stayed in Aries until 1976/7.  What does this mean? It means that some of our old wounds about ourselves are coming back up to the surface for more healing.  Aries is the sign of the Self  – to have natal Chiron in Aries is to be wounded in the area of self-esteem, to doubt one’s abilities. Aries in Chiron folks are struggling with things like “the impostor syndrome” and fear of vulnerability.  It’s hard enough dealing with our SELVES let alone the fakata world right now, right?  It’s tempting to fret about our imperfections and feelings of inadequacy and stay right there in our navel trying to make it all better.  But we have a choice.

We can get out of our own way by focusing outward.  Rather than putting things off until we are “better people”, or waiting to love and accept ourselves before we go to the gym, write that book, ask that person out, get involved in local politics, march on Washington, start our healing practice, have that baby, let our selves TOTALLY SHINE FROM THE SOUL, Chiron says “Do it NOW. Do it broken.”  We can’t fix ourselves until we feel ready to take action…it’s by taking action that we fix ourselves.  If we wait until we feel ready, we will never be ready, because we will always find something “wrong” with us to work on or fix.  It’s getting caught up with trying to be better that becomes the trap.  We’re already there, perfectly imperfect with tools and skills and the heart and soul to live fully.  We were made for these times.  It is US who are the broken vessels for God’s perfect works. We can speak up for those who do not have a voice. We can donate money to the causes that speak to our hearts. We can rest when we need to and we can fight for the world where we want to live. We can be kind to the person right in front of us. We can hold space for the grieving. We can sign petitions and speak out truths.  We can let our souls shine from the decks of our ships.

We are not alone – we have each other – a hundred million ships in the sea. Stand on the deck, let your soul shine NOW, ready or not!  This world needs you.  Do not be afraid, you were built for this. WE were built for this.

“When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for” – Clarissa Pinkola Estes



Want to know what in what house Chiron falls in your chart? Want to know where Chiron is in your natal chart if you were born before 1968 or after 1977?Want to know how transiting Chiron is affecting your personal energies? Contact me for a natal chart reading or a transit reading, we can get into it.



Self-care is really, really hard for me.  I love how everybody is talking about it these days and advocating for it and showing us so many ways to practice it, it’s awesome. I wish I was a more active participant in the Self-Care movement, and I’m setting an intention here on this blog post that I am going to make it a priority.

About 22 years ago, when I first got sober through a 12-step group, one of my sponsors suggested I read a book called The Woman’s Book of Comfort  after she suggested that I “take good care” of myself and I admitted I had no idea how to do that.

It’s a great  book, and it has great suggestions, but since I read the book and didn’t actually practice any of its great suggestions, I still don’t really know how to take good care of myself. (I think I still have this book somewhere, I’m going home tonight and digging it up.)

It’s embarrassing to admit this, but I’ve spent so much of my life punishing and berating myself that it feels *wrong* to do nice things for myself. Any time I do anything like get a pedicure or massage, I feel DEFIANT, but I’m not sure who exactly I’m rebelling against by giving myself some TLC.  I think it’s against some ancient Protestant programming against the actual physical body (since we’re supposed to be “on the Earth, not OF the Earth” and to keep our treasure in Heaven) and against “self-indulgence” (since we’re supposed to be humble and self-sacrificing, like Jesus). I seemed to be okay with totally defiling myself with drugs and alcohol, but I feel weird if I ply myself with herbal tea and foot rubs?? If I examine myself in a fearless and searching way, I also think it has to do with self-esteem issues.  I’ve come a long way in the self-esteem department, I’ve had a lot of recovery and growth, but now I’m bumping up against a wall.  I want the idea of Self-Care to feel like a habit like breathing.

There’s been some half-assing on my part. I buy beautifully scented body oils and lotions, and don’t use them.  I sign up for a gym membership, but don’t go, and when I do go, I just do the utilitarian stuff and don’t sit in the hot tub or sauna or steam room even though I eye them with longing.  This extends beyond luxurious spa treatments or other physical indulgences.  I don’t eat enough dark green leafy things. I don’t drink enough water.  My poor body doesn’t get to move enough and rewards me with aches and pains that I know would go away if I had a regular exercise habit.  I’m inconsistent with medications and vitamins.  I’m inconsistent with everything.  I used to think I was lacking self-discipline, but I think it’s deeper than that. I think there’s a serious resistance to giving myself all the things that would help me to be healthy and happy.  My death-wish is less intense than it used to be, but it’s low-grade ruining things 😀

What’s a cranky chubby astrologer to do?  Well, first thing is I understand that with all this Pisces energy flowing around me squaring and opposing my Sun, Venus, Mars, ASC, Uranus, and Pluto, I’m feeling a lot of feelings and instead of wallowing in sorrow and shame about how badly I treat myself, I’m going to let myself cry (another indulgence, but necessary!) and then I’m going to tap into this amazing Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn to get to the bottom of this self-sabotage and work on setting up new habits for myself and claiming my right for good physical and mental health.

The FitBit needs to be recharged, MyFitnessPal needs to be fired up, and I have a big bottle of water on my desk at work.  I’ve added some flower essences to my water to help with this energy:  Self-Heal, Crab Apple, Mimulus, and Holly. I want to be flooded with the energy of loving my body, taking an active interest in my good health, courage to push past my comfort zone, and universal love to push out all the rage and hate I have for the gym.  I am also taking some 12-step advice with this undertaking: Easy Does It (but do it).  I can’t change a lifetime of bad programming and habits overnight, but I can make micro-movements in a positive direction.  I can be spiraling UP instead of down.

The Sun, Mercury, Venus, Neptune and Chiron are all in my 6th house of Health right now. Even though it’s in dreamy-squishy-indecisive Pisces, it’s also in creative, intuitive, and deeply spiritual Pisces.  Chiron – the Wounded Healer – tells us we don’t have to be healed ourselves in order to help others.  Yes, I’m a medicine woman/energy healer, but I’m also still healing.

Last week in my Shamanic Practitioner Training program, we practiced Power Animal retrievals for each other.  My classmate asked my what my intention was and I said commitment to a exercise program, and she said that what she was led to were Goat and Rabbit.  I shrugged when she told me, but when I looked them up, I was moved to tears.  Goat is all about sure-footedness when climbing up towards a goal, when moving outside of a comfort zone, when stretching one’s boundaries.  Rabbit was all about using one’s gut to know when it is the right time to face one’s fear and take a leap in addition to listening to and trusting one’s inner voice.

Of course I’m afraid. I’m afraid of failing and I’m afraid of succeeding.  I’m afraid of crushing my own hopes. I’m afraid of being “stuck” and never changing at all. I’m afraid of being judged at the gym even though considering that I have Type II Diabetes, I am probably the one that needs to be there most of all.  I’m afraid that I spend all this time working out and practicing other forms of self-care I won’t have time to lay around doing nothing and going to hell with myself…oh wait. I mean, I won’t have time for my creative pursuits!

However, what I know for sure is that when I do move my body, I’m always in a better mood, especially if I exercise first thing in the morning.  Plus if I do it in the morning, then I’m done for the day and can focus on other things without feeling like a huge slacker loser for blowing off the gym again.  I also know that I want some Michelle Obama arms and I won’t get them hitting “NEXT” on the remote.

I also know that this – along with any other changes I’ve made in my life – is really only happening one day at a time. I only have to worry about what I’m doing TODAY. The only power I really have is in THE NOW, so for TODAY I’m already a raging success because I hit the gym this morning.  AND I used a fancy organic sugar scrub in the shower.

What is your favorite form of self-care? Is it hard for you or are you ALL ABOUT that self-care life?  How are you feeling right now in general (asking because of all that Pisces surrounding us)??

It’s Pisces Season: A Tale of Two Fishies

Gemini may be the Twins, but they are not the only “Dual-Sign” in the Zodiac.  Pisces’ symbol can look like a fancy capital “h”, but they represent two fish, swimming in different directions:

Yin Yang Fishies

Pisces is always pulled between the here and now and their deep inner life.  They’re pulled between the highest of human nature and the lowest.  They are a Mutable Water sign meaning they are the WATERIEST of all water signs.  Adaptable, idealistic, emotional, empathetic (to the point of being empaths), intuitive (more psychics are born under the sign of Pisces than any other sign), altruistic, creative, and usually loyal, Pisces acting from a place of self-esteem and love are amazing human beings.  They can be very determined once they make up their minds.  Some of the most passionate activists are Pisces – they want to right wrongs and have no problem getting their hands dirty in order to help.

Pisces are natural healers, counselors, teachers, musicians and artists.  However Pisces often embodies the archetype of the “tortured artist”.  Pisces feels everything deeply and have a hard time fully expressing it in words, so they constantly feel misunderstood.  This can make them feel lonely, and Pisces is one sign that really doesn’t like to be alone.  It’s not that they need to be surrounded by people and action, they just really value their connections to others. They would prefer to have a handful of deep, true friends than a large circle of fun acquaintances.  Some of the more outgoing Pisces will have large circles of fun acquaintances, though — the bustle and noise can distract them from whatever may be bothering them. They can be very serious, but they can also be a ton of fun – that dual-nature in action.

Ruled by Neptune, Pisces biggest issue is their tendency towards escapism – and they’ll use anything: romantic obsession, alcohol, drugs, work (especially in caregiving functions), gambling – anything that takes them outside of themselves.  Some of them could probably use Al-Anon even if they’re aren’t any alcoholics in the family, because they wrap themselves up so much in other people they kind of lose the edge where they end and the other person begins.  Some Pisces will go as far as to let other people make decisions for them and just float along happily in their wake — it protects them from having to stand on their own two feet and make decisions for themselves, which scares them because deep down, they just don’t know what they want to do half the time.   Of course, not all Pisces are like this — you have the feisty independent ones that strike off on their own and are so focused on their ideals and calling they don’t care what ANYBODY thinks of them.  Pisces IS a sign of extremes.

Their highs are high and their lows are LOW, when Pisces is in the depths of depression it can make YOU depressed just hanging around them.  They would hate to hear that, though, because most Pisces people turn all of their heavy feelings inward and hate the idea of hurting anyone else unintentionally.  Pisces can be very defeatist and pessimistic, dwelling on the mistakes of the past and beating themselves up on how they could have done things differently.  Pisces doesn’t seem like it, but they are as big of a perfectionist as Virgo, except instead of using it to drive them to action like Virgos do, many give up before they even start because they know they won’t get it right.  Sometimes all they need is someone else to point out all the good they have in their life and BOOM, they can see it and it instantly lifts their hearts.  A daily gratitude list would go a long way in boosting Pisces’ mood and outlook on life.

Pisces is also the natural ruler of the 12th house which is the house of Karma, the occult, and it rules institutions: jails, hospitals, sanitariums and especially “things that are unseen” which also mean the underworld – shady subcultures and the darker side of the counter-culture, including organized crime.  I am NOT SAYING that Pisces are criminals or sociopaths – I’m saying that there is a dark streak in Pisces and that some are ATTRACTED to these things.  It could be as simple as being fascinated by serial killers and true crime books.  Some Pisces like to date “the bad boy”or girl and in some cases, they’re pretty bad. Pisces are close to death, the ultimate oblivion and the Other Side, and high risk lifestyles can turn them on.  Some Pisces are attracted to psychology or social work because they want to solve the puzzle of the criminal mind.  Some Pisces go into mortuary work. At any rate, while many Pisces come across as loving, gentle souls who only want to help, there’s this little dark streak in all of them, do not underestimate them.

Amethyst is the traditional birthstone for February and Aquamarine for March.  Both of these enhance Pisces energy as well as  Fluorite, Chrysoprase, Charorite, Labradorite, and Bloodstone.

Amethyst, Aquamarine, Fluorite, Chrysoprase, Chaorite, Labradorite, Bloostone

Our Pisces friends could use some Fire energy to infuse them with a little bravery and motivation and Air energy for logical thinking and perspective. Fire: Carnelian, Garnet Orange Calcite, Fire Agate, Sunstone.  Air: Apatite, Blue Calcite, Celestite, Selenite, Sodalite

Carnelian, Garnet, Orange Calcite, Fire Agate, Sunstone, Apatite, Blue Calcite, Selenite, Sodalite

Of course, we can’t forget our Grounding stones – Pisces needs more grounding than the other water signs because of their mutability.  Snowflake Obsidian will help them in particular because it helps ward of the negativity of other people and Pisces can use some solid emotional boundaries so they don’t take on other people’s feelings.  They have enough of their own.

Black Tourmaline, Obsidian, Hematite, Smoky Quartz, Snowflake Obsidian




To give you an example of the Two Sides of Pisces,  Jesus Christ was most likely a Pisces (seriously, he was NOT born on December 25th – the calendar has changed at least twice since his birth) and Kurt Cobain and Albert Einstein were Pisces.  So were Osama Bin Laden and John Wayne Gacy.


Previously posted on my old blog.