Nourishing Hope

Art, astrology, Events, Mundane Magic, Services, Tarot

Well… we’re in it, folx. We have speculated, wondered, had concerns, prophesied, read the theories and waited for THE event that would begin The Unraveling of structures and societies as a whole: but now it’s here.

We have already endured so much trauma: continents on fire, unarmed citizens of color being murdered in the streets by police, super-storms destroying entire islands, the election of a sociopathic rapist in a prime leadership role, countless wars, multiple economic travesties, immigrant children being locked in cages and more. Being alive has felt bleak for so long.

However, we are now enduring the fall out of a very contagious disease that threatens every single human on this planet. This is the moment where we look back and say to ourselves “that’s when everything really fell apart.”

Image: 9 of Swords tarot card with rolls of toilet paper

I know it’s a lot. I know we’ve all been inside for too long: nervously coping as best we can. I have found myself sitting a lot, packing my guts with sugar to get myself through this mass-trauma. I stay as informed as I’m able and open my heart just as often. It. Is. Rough. Right. Now. And the future? After I stop wearing slippers more than shoes and (hopefully) get back to work after being laid off? It’s taken two months of being quarantined to my home to even begin considering what the next month, three months, year and even few years might look like after Covid-19.

Right now, I’m grateful for the ability to detach enough from my chronic fight-flight-freeze-fold responses to look to the astrology of our situation: checking in with the stars and cycles of things. I wish I could say that this is the worst of it… That we’ll just have to make sure to wear a mask in public places, wash our hands more than we’re used to and get on with living like we aren’t confined to our homes. But this is the beginning of a mass-transition of power, ideals, community-living, and sustainability that is coming in a rough package.

Image: Judgement tarot card among outdoor debris next to a human skull wearing a mask

One of the current transits that I have been thinking about lately is the shift of the Nodes from Cancer and Capricorn to Gemini and Sagittarius. If you aren’t familiar with the Lunar Nodes of astrology, I like to think of them as our collective invitation to evolve based on poles of archetypal energy. These are the arenas of life that are ripe and ready for us to change: and if we really dive into the signs of the zodiac, we find that the way to remedy these situations is almost laughably obvious. Like caricatures that emphasize what we love and hate about ourselves, the South Node (our collective baggage) and North Node (how we can heal this baggage, together) are key to growing as human beings on earth at this time.

We have been experiencing the karma of Capricorn/Cancer nodes since November 6, 2018. Since then, the south node (baggage) of Capricorn has unearthed cold-heartedness, overly prioritizing work, and abuses of power: revealing the shadow nature of this sign that can only be remedied with the care, prioritization of home-life and commitment to doing everything we can to take care of each other: all things that a North Node (healing) in Cancer brings to the table. Now, since the signs shifted on May 5th, we get to explore the space between a South Node in Sagittarius and North Node in Gemini.

Image: 7 of Swords tarot card in the center of an opened Bible

What is the baggage of Sagittarius (The Storyteller)?

Beliefs super-ceding reality. Propaganda. Limits of education and religion. “Teachers” and cult-leaders telling irresponsible and dangerous stories.

How can we heal with Gemini (The Researcher)?

Doing accurate research. Informing ourselves and each other. Thinking things all the way through. Paying attention to and embracing facts.

That’s right: Plandemic came out right as soon as we entered this healing cycle and there is a lot more of that coming in the next year and a half. These “theories” are coming when we are most vulnerable and their impact could be devastating if we are not prepared to verify their accuracy and ground ourselves in reality. Is the spectrum coming alive yet?

The thing about Gemini is that Gemini is THE most anxious personality of the zodiac. This mutable energy is restless, impulsive, relentless, quite chatty and constantly changing on a good day…. And we are supposed to savor this flavor of healing at this time? How can we possibly take on MORE anxiety? Choices? Thoughts? Current-event conversations? Reading? Possibilities? Politely informing our misinformed neighbors? Over and over?

Image: 3 of Swords tarot card surrounded by broken glass

Like it or not, Gemini is here to nurse our collective belief systems in the coming year. Serving as:

1. a North Node of evolutionary potential
2. the source of vital energy in June when the sun cycles out of Taurus
3. our experience of art, beauty and relationships when Venus does an extended residency in this sign come May 13th

If we are to steward the change that is truly needed at this time, we must adapt our lifestyles to Gemini’s reality-checks.

We need to earn our knowledge and learn from each other, which means giving our brains as much support as possible.

Anyone interested in a super power readily at our disposal for this work? THE INTERNET. Our ability to check Snopes, assess the validity of Facebook “news” stories, or even do a quick type-click-and-search to get instant results (another vice of Gemini: immediacy) is one tool that often gets taken for granted.

This gift is something we need to responsibly embrace as individuals with agency during this era of karmic healing: access to limitless information at our fingertips. Does anyone remember the energy it once required to ask a question, use a card catalogue, open more than one book, compare sources and devote an entire afternoon to a trip to the library?

Image: Queen of Swords alongside many non-fiction books

Gemini is STIMULATING, which means as we do this work, we must also remember that spending so much time in our heads takes a toll on our physical bodies: figuring out ways to diffuse this often intense energy is crucial… especially when reading often invokes trauma to our nervous systems as we figure out how to move forward with our lives right now.

I am not sure about anyone else, but I have noticed an almost Pavlovian response when I read the news: with each word, I brace myself. I hold my breath. I skim ahead, hoping that reading just some of the data will give me less emotional responses, but enough information to get the jist of what the writer is trying to say (big no-no’s with Sagittarius baggage ripening before our very eyes.) I need to figure out how to take care of myself while also doing The Big Work.

I have decided that if I am going to even pretend to have hope, courage, joy, faith and a willingness to undergo these changes, I need to also feed myself sensory pleasures that fuel my body and soul.

I need embodied practices that bring me back to my physical-self, give me mental-breaks when I become exhausted, initiate the energetic boosts that are necessary to get back to the facts of life and even enjoy myself every once in a while. I cannot expect myself to perform at my highest potential without rest, relaxation and reminders that this work is only a part of the importance of being alive right now.

Image: Strength tarot card resting gently on my sweet sleeping cat

If any of the above has resonated for you and you’re interested in joining me in this work, here are a few options:

#venusretrogradechallenge2020 : on Monday, May 11th, I will reveal on Instagram my challenge to myself (and you!) for the 40 days that Venus dances backwards through Gemini for the purposes of rest, release and reflection. This endeavor will use this social media platform to call back the creative energy that we have already put out into the Universe that no longer serves us or the world. We will reclaim the threads of ourselves that we so desperately need at a perpetually exhausting time. The best part? It’s free. More details to come! Be sure to follow me for further instructions and guidelines: auroradawning

Queering the Planets : beginning on May 22, Tere Parsley Starnes and I will co-facilitate our second online course on the planets of astrology. My section will focus on the embodiment of each Planetary Godd within our lives as they are now, using methods and practices that titillate our senses: music, digital art, and daily contemplation that embraces both the traditional foundations of astrology AND fresh, queer associations that have been overlooked. This class is three months long, takes place on Discord and is $liding $cale. We would love to taste the visceral flavors of Mars, catch a whiff of uplifting Jupiter and feel the tendrils of Mercury’s wisdom tingling our scalp with you! Registration is open until May 21.

Readings : as always, I am available for tarot and natal chart readings at a safe, convenient distance over the internet. Check out my tarot and astrology pages for more info!

Image: The Star tarot card in the center of a chalk-drawn seven pointed star on concrete

I’ll admit my heightened interest in this cycle of healing: my Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Uranus are in Sagittarius, all of which oppose my moon in Gemini. I simultaneously understand the need to trust people at their word (Gemini) and also love a good theory that illuminates “The Greater Meaning” of things (Sagittarius).

I know that Change beyond what I can even comprehend is on the way, but right now: tending to my needs means nourishing hope for the future. I need this change to be worth the devastation that it’s causing and I intend to do my best to serve the dawn of that vision.

Invocation Preparation

astrology, Events, Mundane Magic

I am finding myself thinking about preparedness more than usual. With the sun and half of the planets above in Capricorn right now (the sign of structure, long-term planning, responsibility and preparation) it feels like a worthy theme to explore.

In a world that is rapidly shifting shape: as a magician, what are my strategies to prepare for whatever comes next?

In the short-term, my magic is based on the moment: I notice what’s happening in my body without judgement so that I can feed it with what is actually needed (Do I need an extra hour of rest? A vegetable-centered meal? A treat that pleases my senses?) I reflect back on my actions from where I am now to make sure that I am living in line with my Truth (Am I taking care of my emotional needs? Do I need to make amends with someone? Have I been working too hard?) I choose to make authentic decisions that serve as reflections of my values (chatting with stranger to cultivate a friendly neighborhood, regularly showing up on time to maintain the trust of my employer, allowing my friend to vent without trying to manage their situation.) The only true power we have is in the moment, which is where the most potent magic is available to us.

Long-term strategies are more difficult. Our social, political and environmental landscapes are changing form: my five-year goals may not be options within the next six months, cause and effect seem less predictable, the practical planning that I was taught and have become used to might not be enough… I am a witch and my power is real but attempting to tailor the outcome of the future to my liking as one human being is not only unreasonable, but unmanageable. However, techniques are available to those who choose to utilize them.

There is invigorating magic that can be done to help prepare us for What’s Coming.

Astrologers are like meteorologists of the Higher Skies. For the same reasons that we might check a weather app before choosing an outfit or making plans for a picnic, astrology allows us to forecast how the interaction of the planets Above might impact our conversations, creativity, mood (or weather) of our day, week, month or year.

I use the sacred science of astrology as a mapping system. Each year on my birthday I treat myself to a transit reading with Tere Parsley Starnes, which helps me identify how the movements of the stars in the coming year might impact me personally based on my birth chart. An act of divination, counseling and numerical calculations of geometry, this reading reveals: when the best dates to start a new health-centered routine will occur, time periods that support radical self-expression, opportunities to heal old wounds, events that strive to inspire courage within us and so much more.

After the reading, I use the information discussed to influence my doings each month: observing each movement that was recorded then figuring out the best way to physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually approach it. These considerations (grounded by my short-term preparation magic of self care) help me to march my Capricorn hooves up the mountain toward my goals while remaining true to my Self and my needs. Even if the exact location of that goal changes or the parameters of the goal shifts, I know that I did my best to achieve it and have faith that it’s evolution is in unison with the pulse of our galaxy’s heartbeat.

Forecasts show me how I can make the most of the energy that Our Universe is providing for me to grow. It also serves as a reminder to release the temptation for me to try and dominate the happenings of my life or assert control over The Mysteries of being alive.

Many astrologers can help create customized calendars for their clients and translate the symbols into an arc of energy for the year. Good astrologers use these same skills to show their clients how they might make the most of the energy that’s on the way. Great astrologers empower their clients to explore what these transits might mean for them before they occur and inspire them to conjure the magic that works best for their lifestyle, while still surfing those same waves of energy.

I will be co-hosting a forecast webinar for 2020 with Tere Parsley Starnes this Sunday, January 5th from 5:00pm – 7:00pm EST. While this event will not serve as a custom made guide of how this year’s astro-weather will impact each attendee, it will serve as a general guide to the significant planetary movements in 2020, what those movements might mean for us and ideas for magic that support our individual and collective endeavors.

If this approach and evening appeals to you, make sure to register to save your spot!

We are being challenged to change as an initiation into the next era of life on this planet: how will you answer that call this year?

Seats of Power: Pluto’s Challenge to Authority

astrology, Events

As Pluto, Saturn, and the South Node of the Moon approach each other in Capricorn, we look at the compelling story of Power-Over and power within our systems of leadership and authority. We seek to develop personal relationship with these qualities, which some call godds.* The heavens are swirling with potentiality during this transit.

Our Intention: “We dare to cultivate relationship with the planet Pluto—keeper of our shadows and our power— to transform toxic systems of leadership that oppress us.”


In April, Pluto and Saturn will be as close as they get in 2019, before their important conjunction occuring in January 2020. They reach this point while stationing retrograde only five days apart at the end of April. The south node of the Moon, positioned in between Pluto and Saturn adds a karmic, transformational influence. (Don’t worry, we will explain all this and why it is important.)

The exploration begins via Facebook in the weeks leading up to this transit on the Aries New Moon on April 5, and culminates with a webinar on April 28 from 6:00pm CDT – 8:30pm CDT.

With registration, you will receive:

★ Teri’s forecasts for the Aries lunar cycle, which will be centered on our intention
★ Access to a secret Facebook group, where you will be able to reflect on questions around shadow and power
★ Pertinent astrology about Pluto, Saturn, and the nodes of the Moon via group or email
★ Admission to Seats of Power Webinar: part ritual of intention and part teaching about Pluto
★ A video recording of Seats of Power Webinar

For an additional $10, you can purchase a brief, customized analysis of Pluto in your natal chart by Aurora: revealing the nature of your deepest transformations in this lifetime. If interested, please contact Aurora / select “Pluto Analysis” from her drop down menu / include all necessary birth information in message box / add the $10 to your total at checkout. (You must have an accurate birth date, place and time to purchase this option.)

No previous astrological experience is necessary to participate. This class/webinar is part of Teri and Aurora’s intention to combine astrological wisdom with world-changing magic. Both of us are queer Reclaiming Tradition Witches, which means our magical focus is radical, personal, and political.

Price of this event is $40 – $75 sliding scale. Space is limited and capped at 40 participants, register today to save your spot!

Registration Deadline:  Thursday, April 4th at 11:59 pm CST

*Gender-fluid beings of mystery.  

Casting Signs: Online Moon Magic Class

Events

NEWIG advertisement for Casting Signs

Casting Signs: A Magical Online Course following the Moon through the Zodiac

Our intention for this course: Understanding the frame of the zodiac and the phases of the Moon, we anchor our journeys and our magic in the natural cycles of the year and the month.

A Witch pays attention. A Witch works with natural cycles and crafts Magic in relationship to the Earth. Witches have always had a natural affinity with the Moon. The Moon is core to our Magic. The Moon guides the way into magical and spiritual relationship with life.

This online course provides the opportunity to pay attention and form deeper relationship to Earth and Sky through following the Moon through two lunar cycles. The first cycle, we pay attention to each sign of the zodiac as the Moon moves through that sign for 2 ½ days. The following lunar cycle we will set intention and be guided by the Moon as our intention evolves through the wisdom provided by the 8 phases of the Moon.

Through these practices, participants will acquire a deeper understanding of the framework of the zodiac and the power of the lunar cycle for setting and manifesting intention. Magic requires intention. Intention requires action. Astrology’s framework helps us to align our actions with the energy present in the moment. Guided by the Moon we become aware of deeper patterns in our souls and deeper desires for our journeys. This framework helps us become part of the web of interconnection.
We join with rather than fight against the things life offers us.

As a participant you will receive:

Twelve documents timed to arrive via email to you when the Moon enters a new sign. Each document will give you an overview of the sign—both the gifts and challenges—and questions to help guide you in noticing how the Moon moves through that sign.

In the second month, you will receive 8 documents with information about each lunar phase and ways to explore your intention through the frame of the Moon cycle.

A place to share insights and ask questions through a private Facebook group.

Three opportunities to connect via online conferencing to ritualize our intentions and practices and to set the magic for the two months of learning and magic.

DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION: March 20. Register here: https://tinyurl.com/castingsignsregistration


Teacher Bios:
TERI PARSLEY STARNES. Witchcraft and astrology found their way to me at the same time. It was the mid-80s and my recent involvement with feminist, Earth-based spirituality led me to my first astrology class. I wanted to know what astrology could teach me about the elements: air, fire, water, and earth. As it turns out, there was a lot that astrology could teach about the elements and a lot more too, like observing and engaging with natural cycles and intentionally working with energy for personal growth and magic. I practice an astrology that stays connected to the Earth and to our power to choose and influence reality. Magic has been defined in many ways. For me, magic is accepting that it matters what I choose and that my choices influence the web of connection that shapes worlds. Magic is consciously engaging with this connection. It is about relationship.

My study and fascination with astrology led me to becoming a professional astrologer in 1996. I love talking to people about their lives through the language of astrology. Every single consultation reminds me of the wonder that the sky holds. I don’t even know why astrology works but I continue to be delighted when it does. Astrology connects us to deeper meaning. It is an amazing tool of self-reflection. I consult with clients, teach astrology and magic, and write about the Moon’s cycles. You can find my lunar-based forecast, Follow the Moon, on my website at www.starsdanceastrology.com and on my Starsdance Astrology Facebook page.

I am excited to be working with Vasalisa on this class. We hope to create a container that will help participants deepen knowledge, be an opportunity to practice mindful attention, and increase our skills at following magical intention.

VASALISA THE WITCH. I am a methodical witch that is driven by a fierce love of knowledge. I believe that communication is the key to connection, which I embody as a writer and professional tarot reader. As resident at the Arts and Crafts Botanica, I empower my clients to talk about the challenges that are presenting themselves without judgement. Our conversation serves as a bridge between deep wisdom and conscious awareness: every idea an adventure. I also value unique self-expression, embracing the bizarre and the beautiful through my work as a custom jewelry maker, photographer and Reclaiming witchcamp ritualist. Six years of tarot study and a daily magical practice have taught me a great deal about myself, but it is astrology that has given me the language to put it into words.

My field of experience is in Evolutionary Astrology, a discipline that pairs well with witchcraft. Natal Charts contextualize one’s personal journey and development: coupled with the witch’s personal will, intent and responsibility, Natal Charts can be potent maps for transformation. I owe my gratitude to Steven Forrest and Teri Parsley Starnes for their guidance in helping create my astrological foundations.

It is my honor as a teacher to help students personalize their magic so that every day becomes a ritual. For up to date information about my workshops, classes and ReclaimingPGH’s magical happenings, visit my website: www.vasalisathewitch.com/events