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.

Beltane with Sensual Taurus

Art, Design, Events, Poetry

To: the birds chirping from nests every morning

To: the bees gathering pollen from hidden plants

To: the petals of flowers that made it through storms

To: the underground creatures coming out to play

To: the tenderness shared between friends at a distance

To: the orgasms of release, had and to come

To: the vulnerability it takes to tend to basic needs

To: the awe of resilience in communities and at home


To: the commitment to keep going in hope and in faith

To: all you stunning creatures out there, everyday but ✨especially✨ today…

IMAGE: The Gender Spectrum Collection


We hope your experience of life on Earth is colorful, fresh, fun, weird, and blessed with good health 💛

In sweet, sweet queer-love,
The Starsdance Mystery School Team

composed by Aurora Dawning

Queering the Planets

astrology, Events, Services, starsdance astrology

The new moon is here again, friends! Which means that the Starsdance Astrology Online Mystery School team is thrilled to announce that registration is open for our next online course!

DATES: May 22 – August 14th
DURATION: Three months
COST: Monthly subscription =  $20 – $30 ← OR → Just this course = $90 – $120 (sliding scale)

The Godds of astrology – the planets and celestial bodies – are the teachers, guides, and companions to knowing our truest selves. Authenticity is queer.

“Queerness isn’t about who you love, it is about daring to love who you love.”

Donald Engstrom-Reese

Queerness lives in contrast to dominant culture, daring to question and challenge messages that keep us smaller and disconnected. Queerness challenges assumptions about gender, about worthiness, about cultural values. Queerness challenges internalized systems of oppression. The planets are here for that!

In this class we will deepen relationship with the planets and queer our understanding of who they are and what they tell us about who we are. We will spend one week on each celestial traveler: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

SECTION #1: Gifts from the Godds — retelling our stories with Tere Parsley Starnes

This section of the workbook relates the stories of the planetary Godds through the lens of healing and liberation. What are the stories of oppression we have inherited? What gifts do the Godds offer for repair? This section offers:

★ Myth and lore
★ An understanding of each planet from the perspective of Queer astrology
★ Personal reflection about the planet

SECTION #2: A Sensual Encounter — Invoking the Planets with Aurora Dawning

This section of the workbook is intentionally designed to sift into our daily lives through experiential exercises. We will explore the qualities of each Planetary Godd through our sensory bodies in co-creative ways:

★ Lists of traditional and queer magical correlations PDF
★ Playlists via Spotify
★ Questions and exercises to investigate our daily interactions with the planets
★ Evocative digital art

The best part? You don’t have to choose which section you want to do! Both are included with the price of the course. They can be done simultaneously in a supportive online community OR do one now and save one for later.


Our experiences have things to teach us– and the Planets are already engaging with us! By the end of this course, you will have intimately encountered each Godd at some level and cultivated your own ability to connect with Them in a way that best works for you and your lifestyle.

In Prayer to Aries

astrology, Mundane Magic, Poetry
Hail and welcome: Aries Sun
Spirit of Bold Risks
Rays of Essential Growth and Change.

You have arrived again
to Fuel our Collective Will,
Open our eyes to Potential,
and our hearts to the Unifying Power
of Conflict.

May your Essence inspire us
to Act Now and hesitate later
for fear only helps
the sprout crack the seed.

May all of our Souls be on fire
with Resilience

Against
the
Odds.

This Choice is as natural
as the worms
rising up.

May we endure
in ways we cannot even conceive yet.

May we be reminded
of just how Worthy
we are of Vitality and Life.”

Dreams Made Manifest

astrology, Events, Services
When you think of a “Mystery School” what comes to mind?

A common interpretation is “exclusivity”: a Hogwarts-style of admission that selects students based on how elite (or better) they are in one form of another. We, the facilitators of Starsdance Astrology online mystery school, do not consent to those minimizing and oppressive practices.

Mystery is NOT for the select, chosen few who are more destined for Wisdom, Right-Sized Pride and Power-From-Within than everyone else. Every single person living on this planet has the right to tapping into these energies, and if you want to be a part of our community: we want you with us.

This online mystery school is a collaborative effort. Tere and I have shared this dream for years, but this is the year that we have chosen to launch this grand experiment. We are not without help, though! Our team is growing before classes have even begun: Juniper Caldera as our spread-sheet wizard of a registrar and Cabra as our lightning-fast tech gremlin to guide all Discord n00bs. I am grateful to call these witches my cyber-circle that will help invoke this online academy of Queer Astrology.

We will be teaching five classes online during our first year, which will include: pages of our printer-friendly PDF workbook, at least one webinar per course, facilitated online discussion via Discord and limitless opportunities for introspection using this sacred science. You do not have to be an expert or even experienced in the realms of astrology or magic: just willing to explore, assess, learn and listen. We hope to reveal the complexity of astrology through simple, yet meaningful astrological concepts.

It is our intention to make this school as radically inclusive as possible. Our tuition options offers sliding scale prices as well as multiple tiers of involvement. If the prices that we have listed do not work for your budget, but you are still feeling called to join us in this deep, meaningful work: please contact our registrar at: starsdance.mysteryschool@gmail.com to discuss further options.

As astrologers, we know the risk of initiating registration during a retrograde. However, we feel that the refinement of our dream and spreading word of the Work that we have been doing for years. We do acknowledge and Respect the Will of Hermes (ie: Mercury) during this time of necessary pause, offering this prayer as we begin to collect our classroom:

“Hermes, be gentle with us as we are craft the beginning of a grand dream and experiment! May our efforts honor You and the other planetary godds who take such a curious interest in these human lives.”

Tere Parsley Starnes

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?