Thursday, January 30, 2014

Alice in Quantumland

Some adventures later, Alice meets the Little Mermaid, from who she learns about the theory of many worlds:

“As you know,” she began in a liquid, musical voice, “I am a creature of two worlds. I live in the sea and am equally at home upon the land. But this is as nothing compared with the number of worlds which we all inhabit, for we are all citizens of many worlds — many, many worlds. . . . 
The quantum rules … apply to the whole world, to everything. There is no limit to the idea of the superposition of states. When an observer looks at a superposition of quantum states you would expect him or her to see all of the effects that are appropriate to the selection of states present. This is what does happen; one observer does see all the results, or rather the observer also is in a superposition of different states, and each state of the observer has seen the result that goes with one of the states, in the original mixture. Each state is simply extended to include the observer in the act of seeing that particular state. 
This is not the way that it seems to us, but that is because the different states of the observer are not aware of one another. When an electron passes through a screen with two slits in it, then it might pass through to the left or to the right. What you observe to happen is pure chance. You might see that the electron has gone to the left, but there will be another you that will have seen the electron go to the right. At the point at which you observe the electron, you split into two versions of yourself, one to see each possible result. If these two versions never get together again, then each remains totally unaware of the other’s existence. The world has split into two worlds with slightly different versions of you in them. . . .”

You can read the rest of this mind blowing article from Brain Pickings here.

A PDF of the book can be found here.

Cosmic News - M. Kelley Hunter


Image: Red Tara, oil painting by author.

NEW MOON on January 30 at 11 AQUARIUS, 4:38pm EST, 1:38pm PST, 9:38pm GMT

This is the second New Moon of the month. The January 1st New Moon was at 11 degrees Capricorn and this one is at 11 degrees Aquarius (we round up), giving us the magic 11:11 gateway number full of serendipity. Consider this as the February New Moon as there is no room for one in that shorter month. Again in March we will have two New Moons.

The first New Moon after the Sun enters Aquarius marks Chinese New Year. This is it! We gallop onward across the prairies into the wild new territory. The Horse embodies teacher energy, with the natural instinct to find the best trail and move fast.

AQUARIUS expands our attention to the larger social context after a down-to-business month that required attention on shoring up and maintaining our own situations in the face of major systemic changes. Revolutionary Uranus, considered the ruler of Aquarius, is engaged and active in Aries. This New Moon is in excellent alignment with this electrically-charged, technologically-inventive planet. Uranus in dynamic interaction with Pluto drives the overarching transformational agenda of our times. Other planets—Venus, Mars and Jupiter—have extended interactions with these two outer planets the first half of this year. The 2014 Horse will ride like the wind through the wild weather.

Largely influenced by the weighty internal agenda of VENUS retrograde in earth sign Capricorn this first month of 2014, we have been re-evaluating our lives on many levels to make them not only workable for the foreseeable future, but to be much more emotionally satisfying. Emotional satisfaction is a proper standard. According to the U.S. Declaration of Independence, as well as Venus, the pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right.

High and brilliant in the pre-dawn sky, Morning Star Venus is turning to direct motion on the 31st, seeking to empower and manifest collective values to include joy, wellbeing and beauty as essential aspects of our redesign of how we are living. We take stock of how well we are claiming our emotional self-sufficiency and repositioning ourselves to invite and welcome inevitable change—for the better. In life we rely firstly on ourselves. No one else can live our lives for us. Venus as the money planet has also clearly been focusing attention on the seriousness of the economic restructuring. There is no choice but to step up and deal with it. As we are grounded and centered in our own base, we have more to contribute. As Venus turns forward, we, too, move forward, with increased emotional self-sufficiency and a more promising game plan. In this Moon cycle we seek alignment with like-minded people with whom we can accomplish worthy projects.

Venus, in its slow pivot from backward to forward motion, holds steady with Pluto for a good week on either side of this date, driving home her point about economic renewal. There is a lot going on behind the scenes globally. We experience significant shifts in our own lives in relation to love and money, and our sense of satisfaction (or not). Practical considerations impact our choices and decisions. Venus-Pluto in Capricorn is a powerful goddess of rebirth, who demonstrates her volcanic power by turning the Earth inside out, further disrupting systems that are no longer viable, as well as crafting and empowering new life forms through her guardianship of the Nature hierarchies. Imagine your personal image of this authoritative Crone Goddess energy—is it Kali, Lilith, the ancient Mountain Mother? Think of Galadriel, Elven Queen of Lothlorien in the LORD OF THE RINGS (Cate Blanchett's character in the movie).

Another appropriate and authoritative image of the cosmic feminine divine is Ceres, Nature Goddess and also a Horse Goddess. As a planetary energy in the asteroid belt, Ceres is like a protective shepherdess, who fosters wellbeing in all realms of Nature. She has a lot to say these days about our human responsibility as stewards of Planet Earth. Ceres is activated during this New Moon and in this next week, moving from Libra to Scorpio, into the transformational path of destiny as indicated by the Nodes of the Moon. I believe the Earth will be responding this coming month to the scientifically-confirmed polar magnetic shift of the Sun, incoming rays from the Galactic Center and the increasing light field of the interstellar cloud into which our solar system is moving.

Another key factor in this New Moon pattern, big planet JUPITER is in a close face-off with the transformational Pluto-Venus, putting a powerful ringed forefinger squarely on big cultural issues. This is one of the key planetary interactions that push this year into overdrive in terms of change. Some of our belief systems are severely challenged. This is hard for some; glorious for others, as we awaken to possibilities beyond our past experience. Religious issues are front page, some of the headlines linking religion and economics. Needs of the people must be addressed, and may be in some beneficial ways, from local to national to global, with a new game plan for 2014. heading west.

An increasing sense of altered reality permeates the fields with Mercury entering Pisces, also on the 31st. As it merges with Neptune, be aware of possible undercurrents of anxiety or a sense of things off-kilter. This mood sends us into a February rather like Alice when she went down the rabbit hole. Though more than a bit disconcerting, that story ended well, didn't it? We can always change the ending, which is one of the storylines for February. Take what time you need to fine tune your energy field. PAUSE and take a second look around to zero in on the most beautiful aspect in your field that will raise the vibrational resonance.

Mercury pauses and turns retrograde on February 6th, remaining so for the rest of the month. We may start out with a plan, but it's up for constant review as old ways dissolve and disintegrate, opening space for new options. We may even forget what the plan was, as our take on reality gets fuzzy. Mercury, the thinking planet, turns backwards in watery Pisces, sign of the elusive, fluid Fishes. Reality is equally elusive and fluid. It might feel like we are losing our minds at times, but not all sense of reality is lost. We are challenged to change our minds about what version of reality is "real." Make up your own. Is your life feeling like a reality TV show? There is some basic truth to that. Find a good sound track for your life.

An appropriate affirmation as a motto for the month is the shamanic saying, "The world is as we dream it." Don't be at the mercy of what is going on around you and don't be a martyr to anyone else's cause. Disengage from any vibration that brings you down. Change any "channel" you don't like, and direct your own reality show. This is an intriguing thought, isn't it? With Neptune in Pisces we are all re-imagining, re-creating the Big Dream we want to be living, along with Gaia, the Earth herself, and "all our relations," as we "think" more with our opening hearts than our heads.

Compassion frees us. The best of this really extraordinary Neptunian Mercury retrograde is its plasticity. Situations are very changeable, offering multiple perspectives—think kaleidoscopes, glass eyes, magnifying glasses and fun house mirrors. "Curiouser and curiouser," remarked Alice through the Looking Glass. There are lots of YouTubes and documentaries out there these days that have a mind-bending effect. How much alternative reality can you encompass? Some intriguing movies may come out this month.

Spiritual practices, including body-centering ones, may be essential. This Piscean energy offers a rare opportunity to deepen meditation and other means of spiritual communion. BE KIND to yourself and others. Resting and naps allow the mind its needed "time-outs." Self-medicating in addictive ways are only a temporary fix that skew reality even more. Let's not dwell on the negative. This month can be incredibly inspirational and spiritually uplifting if we aren't expecting too much of ourselves (or others).

On the 13th, Mercury, still retrograde, shifts back into Aquarius for a breather, like a dolphin coming up for air. We step back for a better look and see where we were "out to lunch" for a while. We can adjust the picture, like getting the camera lens in focus to retake a photo that got blurry. Let's see what awesome possibilities have bubbled up by that time, and clarify the best on offer under the light of February's Full Moon rising on Valentine's Day. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Natural Beauty - Caspian Tern

Caspian terns build a type of nest known as a scrape. It's typically a shallow depression lined with stones, shells and vegetation.  (text and image from MNN)
I love that image of the nest - it would be something I would make in a shallow bowl and put on my coffee table!

(Image from here)

The Caspian Tern is the largest of all terns and can be found in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Africa.  Cornell's bird site has some more pictures along with the sound of this tern - you can find that here. Cornell's site is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in birds.

This book was one of my favorite finds when I was at summer camp in Nova Scotia as a teenager - it was and still is one of the cleverest things!  And, of course, the tern makes an appearance.

Click on any of the images to enlarge them.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Getting ready for Year of the Wood Horse

Karen Abler Carrasco ~ 2014 – The Year of the Yang Wood Horse

There might not be a bigger shift of energies in the entire 60 year wheel of Chinese astrology than this one coming up–the shift from two Water years of deep introspection to the fast-paced spurt of extroverted forward propulsion that the Wood Horse brings.  Hold on to your hats, folks, and realize that you won’t be able to, nor will you want to, slow your horses in the New Year ahead!
This will be a promethean year, the Beginning of all beginnings, arriving around January 31st to February 4th, 2014.  Full of uplift, optimism and compelling inspiration, we will be guided into purposeful action of the most elegantly simple and powerfully fruitful kind.  After two years of feeling every revelation of corruption in the dark as if it was scouring our subconscious insides and wringing us dry of watery emotion, we are READY for this change!  Light, hope and clarity of vision gallop in. Emerge from your cocoons, everybody, here we goooooo!
Because this will be such a big change of energetic experience for us, it will help to review here how the cycle of the sacred Five Elements, or Phases, have set us up for this shift.  In that cycle, Wood feeds Fire, Fire’s ash creates Earth, Earth’s compression reveals gems of Metal, and Metal collects and holds Water, which nourishes the Wood to start the cycle all over again. The natural laws of these five elements are actually working in multiple ways throughout Nature, our bodies, our psychologies and the energetic movements of all things here on this planet.  In these movements, there are cycles within cycles, one of which is the cycle of birth, growth, disintegration and death, or the void that comes after old life and before new life.
We have just been traveling through that void, in two Water years, which immersed us in a descending place of degeneration, dissolution and chaos, a time when our internal world of formless spirit and emotions held total sway over every attempt at external control or order.  For most of us, it was an unsettling time of letting go of many things, either voluntarily or forcefully, a time of deep soul searching, with gradual or sudden destabilization in many areas of family and livelihood.  There was a profound search for a return to a spiritual basis for daily living.  This all had the effect of highlighting an individual’s isolation and powerlessness within a seemingly random and careless society.  Not that outright rebellion and outcry didn’t happen, globally as well as internally.  The 2012 Yang Water Dragon year saw to that, with its critical promptings of social responsibility and heroism, and this Yin Water Snake year that followed delved even deeper into the most hidden caves of stagnant dysfunctionality and corruption on all levels.
The good and great news is that we have completed 5 years of the degenerative part of the cycles–that of the harvested, decomposing Earth, compressing and eliminative Metal, and dissolving, settling out, cleansing Water.  We now emerge into the generative cycles–powerful, bursting buds of Wood’s new growth fueling the joyful outreach and passions of Fire and the beginnings of Earth’s fruitful harvests.
So, that’s the Wood part of what’s coming.  Now to turn our gaze to the animal symbol of Horse. This sprouting upward rush of Wood energy will find its perfect release into the impulsive and passionate nature of the Yang Horse, whose native element is Fire.  The Horse energy inspires powerful INTUITION and an indomitable surge towards freedom in every aspect of life. This is a year to follow your inner voice like never before, for it will have a universal cosmic ch’i within it.  Higher guidance is with us every step of the way.  Reach for the sky, call up your vision, fuel your plans with vision boards and creativity, find a fresh path and pace yourself well.  This yang Horse year has the potential to channel the powerful new upthrust of Wood’s Ch’i through the Horse’s Heart energy of Fire and into every project we start, every desire we reach for.  It will keep our eager plans from being dominated by too much “head” and not enough “heart.”
It may be quite challenging to trust that we have this absolutely new, purified and hopeful energy to build on now.  Our hearts have had to endure a gauntlet of deconstruction through two Metal and two Water years, but the fiery Horse is about to change all of that.  Within the extroverted “Green Horse” year, we will not only branch out with new growth, but we will be able to stoke the Fire element of love in every area of life.  Follow your intuition fearlessly, as it is both the horse’s main attribute which preserves its freedom and powerful health and it is Wood’s primary talent for stretching into the unknown future.  Reach out with irrepressible faith to a new level of social communion and mutual support.  Trust every impulse to embrace a revitalized and renewed sensitivity for the pleasures this earthly dimension has to offer.
Step up and out of any old clutter, stored memories, should-have-dones or regrets.  The time to deal with that is over for now.  Untangle your thoughts quickly and get clear on what it is that you truly desire in this lifetime.  Your trusty steed is here, full of vibrant health and tremendous stamina.  It should be quite a fast ride, so grab a fistful of mane, hang on to the reins, cast your old cares to the wind and let out a whoop of delight–Yeeehaaw! Upward and onward we thrive!  May we all be blest abundantly as we hold each other closer in the circle of health and new life the Wood Horse year brings.
Article reblogged from here.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


I have decided that this is the kind of home I want to live in...

You can read about them here.

Image from same article.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Kolo - A Community of Healing

For some time, I have been interested in learning more about the Slavic part
of my lineage.  Every now and then, I run into something that
really touches me and this video is one of those things.

You can read more about The Kolo Collaboration here.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Natural Beauty - Birds of Paradise

I didn't know that there are 39 species of these birds.

They're pretty spectacular - watch how they dance and display!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Gongbi Silk Painting

I found this over at Jackie Morris's blog and thought I'd share it here, too.

Return to the Temple - Zola Dubnikova

Artemisia Gentileschi - artist

Judith Slaying Holofernes 
One of the most famous and skilled painters of the Baroque era, Artemisia Gentileschi was centuries ahead of her time. Among the first women artists to achieve success in the 17th century, she brought to her work an electric sense of narrative drama and a unique perspective that both celebrated and humanized strong women characters. Rediscovered by feminist art historians in the past few decades, Gentileschi has inspired a spate of books, both scholarly and popular, and a number of films. But it is the sensational painting Judith Slaying Holofernes (c. 1620) that epitomizes her career. The Art Institute of Chicago, in collaboration with the Foundation for Italian Art and Culture (FIAC), is thrilled to present this stunning work, an exceptional loan from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, for its first display in Chicago.
The daughter of painter Orazio Gentileschi, Artemisia trained in her father’s workshop and quickly earned acclaim, completing her first signed painting, a dramatic yet sensitive rendering of Susanna and the Elders, when she was just 17. Her style bears some resemblance to that of her father, who was a follower of Caravaggio, but Artemisia’s paintings stand out for their theatricality—the raw emotional intensity of a few figures daringly arranged. The younger Gentileschi’s work is also distinctive in its focus on powerful heroines, capturing both their vulnerability and strength, a feature many attribute to events in Gentileschi’s own life. At the age of 18, she was raped by one of her father’s colleagues, Agostino Tassi. He was convicted in a trial a year later after Artemisia was tortured to “confirm” her testimony, but Tassi was never punished. Within months of the conclusion of the trial, Artemisia was quickly married and moved to Florence with her new husband.
The brutal depiction in the monumental Judith Slaying Holofernes is often interpreted as a painted revenge for the rape. Unlike other artists who focused on the ideals of beauty and courage evoked by the Jewish heroine Judith, Gentileschi chose to paint the biblical story’s gruesome climax, producing a picture that is nothing short of terrifying. As the heroine decapitates Holofernes, the general of King Nebuchadnezzar, to save the Jewish people, her brow is furrowed in concentration, her forearms are tensed, and blood spurts wildly from her victim’s neck. The startling naturalism of the scene owes much to the influence of Caravaggio; Artemisia followed his technique of painting directly from life and employing sharp contrasts of light and dark. The power of the scene, however, is all her own, and the painting endures as a masterpiece of Baroque art.
Violence and Virtue and its accompanying catalogue explore Gentileschi’s painting in the context of her remarkable career and the complex responses of Renaissance and Baroque artists to the story of Judith. The exhibition draws on the rich holdings of the Art Institute as well as a private collection in Chicago, putting Artemisia Gentileschi’s extraordinary work together with paintings and works on paper by such artists as Lucas Cranach, Jan Sanders van Hemessen, Jacopo de’ Barbari, and Felice Ficherelli, thereby enhancing a rare presentation of this truly pioneering and compelling artist.
Virtue and Violence: Artemisia Gentileschi’s “Judith Slaying Holofernes” is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago in collaboration with the Foundation for Italian Art and Culture.
The exhibition is underwritten by the Old Masters Society of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Contributions were generously provided by John and Judy Bross; Scott, Lynda, Jonathan, and Lindsey Canel; and April and Jim Schink.
Artemisia Gentileschi. Judith Slaying Holofernes, c. 1620. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, inv. 1567.
Text is from The Art Institute of Chicago which just finished exhibiting this work.

Note:  Artemisia was tortured using thumbscrews as a means of "confirming" her testimony of her rape by Agostino Tassi.

There is a historical fiction of her by Andrea Vreeland entitled The Passion of Artemisia, which sounds like it would be an interesting read - I do love historical fiction.  I discovered its existence when I read this article about Artemisia.  And apparently, there is a movie about her, too, along with a couple of plays.

So much I don't know - so much fun learning!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Natural Beauty - Owl

(Image from here via FB)

“The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.”

~Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs, Ph.D

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Natural Beauty - Lady Amherst Pheasant

(Image from Google search)

Isn't he handsome??  Those colors are astonishing!

You can read more about this beautiful bird here.

Evelyn de Morgan - artist

I enjoyed that little FB exercise with artists last week and decided to post artists I've never heard of on Wednesdays.  I'm sure that this will be a lifetime endeavor!

Meet Evelyn de Morgan.  There are many of her works on Google, but this one jumped out at me.  This is called Luna and it speaks to me about woman's inextricable link to the Moon - how our bodies change with the Moon and like the Moon.

You can see more of her work in this YouTube, which, unfortunately, is not embeddable.


Evelyn Pickering, who was born in London the daughter of upper-middle class parents and the niece of Rodhamn Spencer-Stanhope, was a painter within the circle of later Pre-Raphaelites who took their inspiration from the more romantic paintings of Rossetti and Burne-Jones. Her early ambition to paint was discouraged by her parents but later she was permitted to become a student at the Slade School and in due course to study in Italy, in Rome and in Florence. As a young woman she exhibited Ariadne in Naxos at the first Exhibition of the Grosvenor Gallery in 1877.
Her mature style, which is distinguished by a precision of detail and a fondness for mythological subjects, was derived in part from her first artistic mentor, Roddam Spencer- Stanhope, with whom she frequently painted and visited with following his permanent departure for Tuscany in 1880. She was also profoundly influenced by Edward Burne-Jones who was a close friend. Her painting was admired by a circle of fellow-artists. William Blake Richmond said of her: 'Her industry was astonishing, and the amount which she achieved was surprising, especially considering the infinite care with which she studied every detail . . . " George Frederic Watts pronounced her 'the first woman-artist of the day -- if not of all time. Evelyn Pickering married the potter William De Morgan in 1887 and lived with him in London until his death in 1917. She died two years later. 
~Christopher Newall

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Polar vortex....

When I got up this morning and checked the temperature, it was 5 degrees and the wind chill factor made it feel like minus 16.

It's now warmed up to 10 degrees with a windchill reading of minus 9.

Perfect for Mama Bear and Baby Bear!

Polar Vortex?  Click here to read about it.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Tao of Cats?

(Images from here)

The Naming Of Cats 
by T. S. Eliot

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.

First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey--
All of them sensible everyday names.

There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter--
But all of them sensible everyday names.

But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?

Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.

But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover--
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.

When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Heavenly Messages by Melissa - January, 2014

Heavenly Messages by Melissa
Aegipan - the Sea Goat by Lynnette Shelley
Aegipan – the Sea Goat by
Lynnette Shelley

Happy New Year Friends!

Here we are at the dawn of another year and well entrenched into another century too. Interesting to consider 13 year olds have never personally known the 20th century, isn’t it?! The astrology patterns at the beginning of this new year are very interesting as well. New Year’s Day arrives on a New Moon, last time this happened was 19 years ago. There is a 2nd New Moon in January too, on 1/30. The 2nd  New Moon in one calendar month is known as a “Black Moon” versus “Blue Moon” which is a 2nd Full Moon in one month. Capricorn, you need to know about this month’s astro energies for sure. Libra and Taurus get your cosmic dose too. Read about it all below and in your Individual Messages too.

Every New Year’s Day January’s Sun shines in Capricorn, a worldly, ambitious earth sign ruled by Lord of Discipline Saturn. When born with Sun in Capricorn you are here to master the material realm and to learn the value of perseverance against all odds. Capricorn natives often struggle in their early lives, yet when they look back they realize they gained strength beyond their years which enabled them to achieve more than most. When Capricorn reaches their own peak, they realize it was worth every step.
Capricorn is one of only 2 zodiac signs which has more than one symbol (the other is Scorpio). The more recognized Capricorn symbol is the Mountain Goat representing nimble ability to set high goals and reach them. In case you have never seen a Mountain Goat in action, check out these amazing photos!

The other symbol is the Sea Goat, a mystical creature with goat’s head and front hooves but with a mer-tail to swim to depths few others reach. When Capricorn reaches their material peak they realize this is only a plateau, and many choose to dive into artistic and spiritual depths represented by the Sea Goat. Capricorn’s ruler Saturn is currently traveling in the deep waters of Scorpio, so the Sea Goat symbol is one to contemplate now.
The quotes I chose of famous Sun in Capricorn people below reflect this combined quality.

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream. ~ Edgar Allen Poe
In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth. ~ Patti Smith

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask ourselves this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn’t, it is of no use. ~ Carlos Castaneda

I want to wish each one of you a personal Happy New Year! This is the 17th year I have been writing Heavenly Messages every month and I do if for YOU, my dear readers. To all of you Bright Blessings for 2014 and beyond!

Heavenly Messages for January 2014

Your handy Astro Facts: The New Moon (11° Capricorn) is on at 1/1 at 6:14a. The Full Moon (26° Cancer) is on 1/15 at 11:52p and there is a second New Moon this month (11° Aquarius) on 1/30 at 4:38p. The Sun enters Aquarius on 1/19 at 10:51p and Venus goes direct on 1/31. All times are ET – Read January’s individual signs HERE

2014 begins with a powerful cosmic connection. On 1/1 the New Moon joins the Sun and Pluto all at the exact degree of  11° Capricorn, with Mercury at 12° Cap only one degree away. This forms a tight ball of heavenly energy! Transformer Pluto has been in Capricorn for 6 years already,  slowly but surely doing the intense work of changing the world as we knew it. The fact that our solar luminaries – Moon and Sun – form this exact conjunction with Pluto on New Year’s Day foreshadows deep changes coming in 2014. Communicator Mercury is part of this important conference and is moving ahead to spread the word about how this transformation is unfolding.

You might have seen the idea of this being a “Super Moon” which is usually associated with a huge Full Moon awesome and glowing on the horizon. Apparently a New Moon can be considered “Super” too – here is a site with a good explanation.  And I liked this article by astrologer Ananur Forma  “It’s a wake up shake up call for all humanity!!!!” 

The Moon is a cyclical being and since human eyes first cast their gaze upon her, our beautiful Moon has always been associated with the changing cycles of the natural world. In astrology Moon represents emotions at both personal and public levels and indicates changing emotional rhythms experienced personally and collectively. A New Moon phase is a time of initiation; a time to plant seeds to harvest at another cycle whether that be soon – the next Full Moon perhaps, or later – larger themes in life you hope to fulfill in the ripeness of time. This makes New Year’s Day 2014 one of the best times ever to plant the seeds of your future goals!

Moon in capable, earthy Capricorn is a grown-up Moon with a mature way of viewing and experiencing life. Capricorn is governed by “Lord of Time” Saturn, ruler of form, function and discipline. A Capricorn Moon innately understands underlying structure better than any other Moon. The fact that a New Moon in Capricorn is part of this powerful conjunction on New Year’s Day indicates very important seeds are being planted for 2014 – seeds of undeniable transformation. This Capricorn conjunction says: “The world is firmly rooted into the 21st century now.” The past is rapidly receding even if many don’t want to embrace this reality.

Venus, the planet who always has your back, is in Capricorn on 1/1 too, retrograding at 26° Cap. She went into reverse on the Solstice – 12/21/13 slowing down in the heavens with fore-knowledge of this powerful Capricorn conjunction arriving 11 days later. Venus is the epitome of grace and when retro in Capricorn is an elegant cosmic star dancing backward in high heels. In other words she may not get the credit of her masculine leading men, but she is in fact much more talented and knows it! Think of Venus re-connecting with this powerful group, as an emissary coming back to make sure everyone has what they need to get their job done well. Messenger Mercury meets Venus on 1/8 to deliver a progress report, so she will be well informed. Venus moves direct again on 1/31 but will remain in Capricorn until 3/5 continuing to help everyone stay steady and calm. Call upon her if you need more peace in your life.

Speaking of leading men, Mars the very planet equated with masculinity is also at 11° on New Year’s Day - in Libra, which forms an exact square to Moon-Sun-Pluto. (In astrology when these configurations called “aspects” are in the exact degree they are considered very potent.) Squares represent challenges and once again this square is a repeat of the Cardinal Cross prevalent in the heavens for many years.
Mars in Libra, which is ruled by Venus, is not in an overly testosterony mood. Mars/Libra is more of a peace lover and excels at diplomacy. Mars entered Libra on 12/7/13 and this diplomatic style became evident a few weeks later on 12/18 when the bickering US Congress finally passed a budget compromise, which President Obama just signed into law a few days ago on 12/26.

Opposing diplomatic Mars stands wiley Uranus – planet of revolution, who travels in very testosterony, militant fire sign Aries (at 8°). With upraised fist, wild eyed Uranus/Aries stands in opposition to Mars/Libra and also forms a pretty tight square to the Capricorn gang of Moon-Sun-Pluto-Mercury. All together this forms a T-Square, an aspect like a hangman’s platform from which we all swing.

I wrote about this T-Square in my Solstice issue which sums it up: “This uneasy configuration re-emphasizes challenges between forces who want to maintain the status quo at any cost (ex: Assad in Syria) and the forces of change be they covert (ex: NSA leaker Snowden) or overt (ex: Ukrainian protesters).” Read the full article here Winter Solstice 2013

Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn, maintains his powerful Scorpio transit on 1/1 and remains in Scorpio throughout 2014 (except for a few days at the end of Dec.) Water sign Scorpio works well with earth sign Capricorn, so although Saturn is not part of the powerful conjunction on 1/1 he lends his nod of approval. Saturn in Scorpio is about as powerful as you can get – so this approval is important! Saturn/Scorpio also continues to work well with mighty Jupiter who continues his travels in water sign Cancer for the first 6 months of 2014. At the moment Jupiter is in the midst of his long winter’s retrograde nap and won’t wake up until 3/6. When Jupiter turns around and wakes up everyone notices! Stay tuned.

Meanwhile a major component of the Sea Goat energy in the heavens pours from Neptune and Chiron swimming through the spiritual waters of Pisces. On 1/1 they are off floating by themselves in a sea of tranquility, inviting everyone to join them. “Come with us and be healed.” they call, “Here is a new world, a veritable new dimension of peace and prosperity for all.” Apparently only a few hear their call since most people seem intent on aggressively “getting ahead” and competition at all costs, including revenge, and willingness to stomp enemies into the ground even if it means blowing up adversaries be they adults or tiny children. (Beyond the ongoing horror in Syria, sad recent examples are 2 suicide bomber explosions in Moscow which killed 31 people and wounded dozens more.) This beautiful Piscean message may be garbled and even misunderstood now, but as the year moves on it will get louder and clearer, let us hope more will be able to tune into this wavelength then.

As always “As Above, So Below” applies not only to world events, but to your own world as well. Read your individual messages for more personal insight. And in general here is the best way to navigate this heavenly stream of energy as 2014 dawns: No matter your chronological age, learn to honor your own adult, more mature self. Make a resolution to tame your inner brat who wants to spit on anyone who challenges you, and affirm the side of you which knows that taking a walk in the other person’s shoes always gives you a better more balanced perspective. Plant positive seeds to create wonderful future structures. Remember to make time to feed your soul and nourish your inner angels. Do this and outer angels begin to appear in your life when you need them for encouragement, or simply to uplift your heart in wonder and awe and what an amazing universe surrounds you!

I hope your universe rings in joy as this New Year begins and throughout 2014!

IMAGE NOTE: This charming painting of one of the Capricorn symbols – the Sea Goat is one I’ve saved for years because ever since I first saw it I thought it was one of the most vibrant Sea Goats I had ever seen – it almost jumps (or swims) off the page to greet you!  It is the creation of artist Lynnette Shelley featured at her Redbubble page. I am now a big fan of all her work! Here is Lynnette’s website with bio and her Etsy Shop  Curious Creatures has a wonderful selection  too.


NOTE: To get the most out of your Heavenly Messages read the message for your Rising sign (ascendant) along with your Sun sign.

CAPRICORN  December 21 – January 19 Happy Birthday Sea Goats! As your personal new year begins Venus is making a reverse sweep through Capricorn and will remain in Cap until March 5th. To have the sweet energy of this love goddess grace your sign 4 times longer than usual is a rare birthday treat. Here is how to take advantage: polish your charm offensive, bring out your devastating style and master every situation with your “Who is the adult in the room? I am!” attitude, and you’ll be amazed at the respect you receive. Mars maintains his travels in your worldly arena bringing extra energy to career issues. If you want true success it’s important to find a good balance between your professional ambitions and all other aspects of your life. Your sea goat self gets plenty of liquid to swish around in this year with ruler Saturn in water sign Scorpio. Saturn urges you to to reach out and network with friends, old and new, business associates and others in your community with mutual goals.  In fact it is one of the best times in your lifetime to connect with like-minded others. There may be a challenge on the home front. Perhaps it has to do with the idea of balance again – your homies want more of your time, but so does your boss. If this happens, remember to call on Venus! It’s hard to refuse you now…bring out the charm, charm, charm. On New Year’s Day the New Moon in Capricorn lines up with Sun, Pluto and Mercury – that’s a big Cappie Vibe! It’s a perfect time to set clear intentions for the year ahead and beyond. What do you want your life to be like 5 years from now? See it clearly and it shall manifest!

AQUARIUS  January 20 – February 19 Dear Aquarius, 2014 begins with a blend of laser clarity – you know your direction much more clearly, but mysterious rustling behind the scenes catches your attention too – what’s up back there? The clarity comes from ruler Uranus marching forward in adventurous Aries carrying your own cutting edge banner. Mars opposite Uranus brings your ideas further forward while Saturn maintains an important presence in your career zone, so people are more ready to hear you than ever before. The rustling in the background comes from a major Capricorn contingent comprised of Sun, Pluto, Mercury and Venus (joined by the Moon on 1/1). This group is making important preparations which will manifest later. Listening to their conference requires tuning into a different wavelength. To accomplish this you must have time away from your usual routines. Take every chance you can to meditate, do yoga, tai chi, walk in the winter woods, dance, listen to music, whatever works best for you to connect with your inner/higher spiritual guidance. This is where all the true action is now! Good advice is to do this first before hoisting your banner of truth. Then everyone will see your flag flying high! There is a Black Moon (2nd New Moon) this month on 1/30 – in Aquarius. A magical day to reaffirm your intentions!

PISCES  February 20 – March 20 Dear Pisces, The New Year rings in with very supportive energy for you. On 1/1 a major confluence of 5 heavenly bodies lines up in your “achieving goals with others” zone. Your community of like-minded folks from friends to business connections offers excellent advice on the next steps leading you exactly where you want to be. With all the misty Neptunian energy around lately, you’re going to appreciate some concrete advice! To tap this practical vein you have to shake off your “I just wanna stay home in my jammies” self and put on your dancing shoes! If your significant others aren’t on board and try to pull you back down on the couch, learn to resist them when your instincts tell you otherwise. And that is the challenge. It’s way too easy to get puddly and end up chasing your fishy tail around in circles when the world is calling you outside to play!

ARIES  March 21 – April 21 Dear Aries, The Wide World calls for you in 2014! As the new year begins Uranus moves forward in Aries carrying your banner with renewed revolutionary zeal. Ruler Mars is at the other end of the parade texting about the progress he sees from his end, while a major contingent of 5 heavenly bodies boldly marches front and center in your outer world zone. This group includes Venus who is marching back through the crowd with encouraging comments to keep up the momentum. Meanwhile jolly old Jupiter works with Colonel Saturn to keep the home camp well occupied. Many others are looking to you to make a choice and get moving already, so your current task is to determine exactly what path to take. Your impulse is to jump first and ask directions later, but the energy around now urges practical, well thought out concrete plans. It definitely pays to do this and Mars helps out by introducing a measured, balanced perspective from those whose opinion you trust. The challenge is, will you slow down enough to listen to them? You should.

TAURUS  April 22 – May 20 Dear Bulls, 2014 begins with ruler Venus heading backward. Sometimes when Venus goes into reverse mode it spells trouble for you but this time Venus is in compatible earth sign Capricorn and travels in a nice place – along your higher mind path. This is also the zone of travel, education and legal affairs so if things seem delayed in any of these areas, not to worry. In fact on 1/1, 3 other planets (Pluto, Moon and Mercury) join the Capricorn Sun in this same terrain which puts emphasis on forward momentum. Think of Venus as an emissary coming back to make sure everyone has what they need to get their job done well. Meanwhile Mars is feeling mellow in Venus-ruled Libra where he activates your work zone in positive ways – if you relax and go with the flow more. That’s a big IF because you stubborn bulls can be your own worst enemy by bellowing at the wrong time and/or charging at the wrong person. (Classic misdirected energy.) Here’s how you avoid this: follow Venus’ lead and back off enough to see the larger picture. She goes direct on 1/31 so bide your time this month until you know the lay of the land.

GEMINI  May 21 – June 20 Dear Gemini, The New Year rings in for you with creative high notes blended with deeper melodies. Ruler Mercury travels in productive and serious Capricorn and on 1/1 joins the New Moon, Pluto and the Sun to form an important heavenly configuration in your deepest relationship space. Sweet Venus is here too moving backward to meet this Capricorn crowd with wise and practical advice. Will you hear it too? Mars in airy Libra energizes your creative side tapping your genius self to uplift and inspire. This is balanced against wiley Uranus in your friends/network/community zone tempting you to get your crazy on. You’re a Gemini after all, so you should get a bit crazy from time to time, however now is not the time. Best advice is to follow Mercury’s new year resolution which is to be more strategic. Ask your partners in life what their input is and weigh this against your own concepts. Do this and you’ll sort out any wacky notes and end up with a perfect melody.

CANCER  June 21 – July 20 Dear Cancer, 2014 beings on a New Moon so you Moon children feel the power! This new Moon is in Capricorn and on 1/1 joins the Sun, Pluto and Mercury to form a singular heavenly configuration shining in your relationship space – an auspicious sign for the new year! Venus travels here too, moving in reverse all month. She’ll be sweet talking her way back into your good graces which may be a good thing, or not so much.  A lot depends on whether you’ve been practicing the better boundaries you need to build. Uranus moves forward again in your career space, so demands at work pull you out into the world more. If you trust your partners to have your back it’s all good. If not keep that boundary construction going. To accomplish goals you’ve set remember to keep a good balance in all areas of your life and your year will be off to a brilliant start!

LEO  July 20 – August 22 Dear Leo – Something is on your mind as the New Year begins. It probably involves your job, whether that’s running your household or your country, because 4 heavenly bodies converge in your work/daily agenda zone on 1/1 setting the pace for 2014. The New Moon in Capricorn joins the Sun, Pluto and Mercury all conversing about concrete steps to build a better future. Venus is close by and in fact returns to make sure you heard her valuable insight. The challenge to this resolution comes from Mars in Libra activating your mental zone and on the other end unpredictable Uranus in war-like Aries just waiting to pull on some rug or another. Mars/Libra is wonderful for coming up with diplomatic solutions, but can also push you to second guess yourself and worry too much about what others think. The best plan for 2014 is the best plan always for Leo. Be true to yourself! If the rug gets pulled out from underneath you, get up and stand your ground. If others question your judgment roar to remind them you are the king/queen of beasts – and they’d better follow your lead!

VIRGO  August 23 – September 22 Dear Virgo, Your talents shine in 2014! On 1/1 ruler Mercury has a major meeting with the New Moon in Capricorn, along with Pluto and the Sun. This significant group converges in your creativity zone helping form concrete plans for the future. Venus is here too, returning to make sure everyone has the same agenda so things don’t go astray. You are the glue holding the plan together so it’s important to stay focused. Saturn maintains his position in your mental sphere which helps give you the focused structure you need. A challenge comes from Mars in your income zone opposite Uranus in your shared resources space. Partners either push you faster than you know is smart, or lag behind making you crazy. It might help to bring others in for a different perspective. A wise friend, family member or consultant might tip the situation into better balance.

LIBRA  September 23 – October 23 Dear Libra, 2014 chimes with many different notes for you. On 1/1 the New Moon in Capricorn, along with Pluto, the Sun and Mercury all converge in your family zone holding you close to home. At the same time Mars glides across the Libra dance floor keeping attention focused on you – like it or not. Your ruler Venus is in another part of the ball room dancing backward in high heels. Wiley Uranus is feeling feisty in your relationship space and jovial Jupiter is taking a long winter’s nap in your career zone. How are you supposed to pull all these pieces onto a nice balanced middle ground? Here’s an interesting resolution -  just let go, relax and trust that everything will fall into place perfectly. Venus is doing a pretty good back-step and has meetings planned with all involved. So just let her do her dance and when she moves forward again on 1/31 creative solutions will become obvious.

SCORPIO  October 24 – November 22 Dear Scorpio, The New Years arrives with helpful energy for you. Four heavenly bodies, the New Moon, Sun, your ruler Pluto and Mercury line up together in Capricorn in your mental and communication zone. They help bring concrete plans into focus for the future. Venus is here too, moving backward but still bestowing good earthy advice and mature counsel. Co-ruler Mars in Libra is prompting you to hold the faith and trust that your plans will unfold at the perfect time. Unpredictable Uranus moves forward again in your everyday work space  so a job opportunity could pop up at any moment. The rub here is to make sure you don’t jump into something unsuitable just because you believe you have to grab onto anything to stay afloat. Remember that Saturn in Scorpio has put his mantle of authority on you and have the courage to hold out for what you truly want. It’s coming your way Scorpio – trust!

SAGITTARIUS  November 23 – December 20 Dear Sagittarius, 2014 is a “financial focus” year for you. On 1/1 the New Moon in Capricorn, Sun and Mercury align with transformer Pluto in your income zone. Pluto has been here for the last 5 years urging (demanding!) you to patch any leaks and get a new handle for your income bucket. Helpmate Venus travels here too, backing up now to make sure everyone got the message. Some of you already heard it loud and clear and are well on your way to a better financial future. If you are still struggling, the current energy will give you a concrete step up. When Venus turns direct on 1/31 more study steps should manifest and it’s nice to know she remains to sweeten your wallet for a much longer time than usual (thru 3/5). The challenge to this sturdy platform is a typical Saggie one – riding off into the sunset to find the next adventure before you’ve thought things through. Other energies around now – Mars activating your friendship/community zone, Uranus peppering your creative/fun space – can help or hinder. If your friends give good balanced advice and help you tune into positive creative ideas for better income flow, well that’s great! If folks you hang with are leading you to spend money you don’t have or worse yet leeching off you, then it’s a good year to get into a higher vibration community.

Melissa Stratton
Astrology, Tarot and Dream Analysis