An Interesting Holiday Indeed! 2009

We approach the holiday season with much excitement & expectation. However, we know that this is a difficult season for many. Think of your friends, family, neighbors, even your co-workers who are struggling through this time All too many of them/us have absorbed unrealistic images and ideals of what the holiday season should be.
In our minds, we have such beautiful pictures of the perfect holiday!
  • Our perfect home is always clean and beautifully decorated, inside and out!
  • Our perfect family always treats each other with love and respect in every moment!
  • Our perfect temperament has no stress about time, family dynamics or how to pay the bills when they come due!

In our sweet imagination we bake cookies with our children, our moms and grandmas, sit around a warm fire, sing carols and kiss our perfect partner under the mistletoe!

Our imagination holds limitless bliss!
It is difficult to avoid the thought that we have somehow failed our families and ourselves when the reality of our lives do not match up to this ideal fantasy!

The Astrological transits, the issues, intensity, energies and how we are affected by them vary each year.

The one constant is the Sun – each year the Sun moves from Sagittarius into Capricorn on December 21st or 22nd. This coincides with our shift from having fun with holiday preparation to serious stress about what we HAVE to get done in just a few short days! After beginning the preparation in late November with joyful expectations we now realize that there are limits on our time, our finances, our patience and our energy. With Capricorn comes the concern that we have spent too much money and yet have not done as much as we ‘should‘! Our stress builds as we approach this self imposed finish line!
The year 2009 exists with the heavy background of Saturn squaring Pluto, which demands transformation of, that which we have considered, the steady grounding forces in our lives. The earth has shaken and we know the process is not yet over.

Jupiter & Neptune are together for a bit longer after spending most of the year side by side. With this combination we sense hope and acceptance of something larger than ourselves at work in this process. Keep this energy close to you as you deal with the more challenging elements of your family this holiday season.
Expand your acceptance. This is your family, your clan, chosen or not!
It is what it is – they are who they are, just as you are.
Keep your heart open!
Jupiter and Neptune side by side in Aquarius will help immeasurably!
The combination of Saturn square Pluto, and Jupiter conjunct Neptune speaks of the futility of attempting to gain or maintain any level of control over the actions of others or over the course of many aspects of our existence. Acceptance will open the heart and heal a lot of wounds.
This week with the Sun approaching conjunction with Pluto (exact on Thursday, December 24, 2009) our attention turns toward very serious issues. Ask yourself what you have to offer that is of deep and abiding significance. What do you have to offer to your loved ones, your community, your world? Step away from the stress of this holiday season – take a deep look at your personal values. What is the value you have to offer? How are you able to put this value into action now? Perhaps your growing dissatisfaction and frustration would resolve itself if you were to find that answer and begin the steps to put it into action.
The energy of transiting Mars (retrograde) is turned inward, offering us the opportunity to slow down and work below the surface, to sit quietly and find what is real & true for ourselves. Watch the quality of our communications and our tendencies toward frustration, anger and aggression.
Many of us are spending time with families during these holidays. It is a great time to practice being in relationship, without addenda. Take the time, make the effort to observe ourselves and those we are in relationship with.

Take time to allow the act of observation to slow down the need to respond.

Family dynamics often bring up reactions we may later regret. During the retrograde cycle of Mars, please understand that any acts of aggression, whether physical or verbal, will end badly for the aggressor. Observation is not necessarily a passive act! Observation is an act that will serve you well in many difficult and uncomfortable situations. As your skills of observation deepen you will realize how the ability to observe rather than react will enable you to chose actions that you will not need to later regret – you will also learn much that will surprise you about yourself!
Transiting Mercury also turns retrograde on Saturday December 26th reminding us to also slow down our mental activity and pay careful attention to our communications as well.

This is indeed an interesting holiday season! As you spend time with family and loved ones watch your communications, your tendencies toward anger, frustrations and aggression. Develop skills of observation and skills of patience. Be patient with yourself and others, observe your behavior and learn from it.

Breathe deeply and bring understanding and love to the table. Find your gifts and share them with love.

Today is the Day!

Saturn square Pluto is exact, right now, today! We have felt it building for weeks. Now it is time to face the areas of life where deep & lasting change are being demanded. You know what they are! Perhaps you have not wanted to look too deeply at these issues, likely, they are painful. It seems so much easier to keep the status quo, not rock the boat. Consider the boat rocked; there is no going back! We can no longer avoid what we now see – on a universal level, a cultural level or a personal level. Today our emotions and values are further demanding that we look deeply and cut through the walls that we erected, thinking they would protect us from the transformation we are now facing. There is confusion and a layer of fog over our afternoon, however we are blessed with Mercury moving into Sagittarius this evening providing us with the ability to face the future optimistically. Embrace the knowledge that we can move forward joyfully, no matter what Saturn and Pluto demand of us! Do what needs to be done.

Symbols of Transformation

“A crisis is a moment in which the past has the least hold on the present and the present has a maximum hold on the future “
~ Robert Hand (astrologer)
There is, understandably, a great deal of concern regarding the Square forming between Saturn and Pluto that will be exact on November 15, 2009, January 31, 2010 & August 21, 2010.
These are difficult energies to combine and there is much I would like to say regarding these issues. I will find time to write more as we get deeper into this but for now I wanted to drop something here to think about.
Please do not buy into all the panic you hear about these coming times. Do not spend a lot of energy being overly concerned; do not waste your thoughts on worry. We need to use our energy to prepare for the work ahead.
Astrology is a symbolic language. Under each symbol, there are many layers. Pluto is a symbol that brings transformation. That transformation will come. There will likely be destruction, but, please, remember that the phoenix rises out of the ashes. Without destruction, there is no space for what needs to be born anew.
Keep your eyes open, stay curious with thoughts steady, develop strength of character, keep yourself strong and healthy.
Think about the layers beneath these symbols and the layers of our lives. Individual, family, community, humanity, all that lives, all the cosmos…
First, on an individual level, you – as one, will be transformed. Pan out, just a little, your core family –partners, children, yourself – will be transformed. Again, Pan out further, gain more perspective, include your birth family, your community – will be transformed. Continue moving out, the larger community, humanity – will be transformed.
…and so on. Fascinating to contemplate the possibilities.
We are living in interesting times. There is much unknown ahead. We need to prepare ourselves to do what work there is for us to do.

Sun Signs & the Differences Between Us!

Hi, Everyone!  I will not be writing a post for this week.  I am moving this weekend, I am headed out to the country.  I apologize for the lack of a post.  Over at Astrolore’s Facebook, I will be posting the daily transits.


The following post is from the Archives!  It’s a short breakdown of Sun signs and my family, including old candid photos.  I hope you like it!  Thank you for all your support!



Sun Signs, Family, and the Differences Between Us.

What is it that makes it so difficult to understand the deep level of diversity that exists in humanity? Diversity is certainly what makes life interesting. It also makes life confusing and complicated. We grow up in these little bodies, we look around and see others who look a great deal like we do. They have a face with two eyes, a mouth, two legs, and walk upright… they must be like we are.



So, we wonder: why don’t others act the way we think they should act? Why don’t they think the way we think? Why don’t they take the advice we give them? It worked for us, didn’t it? Perhaps, we finally conclude, they just are not that smart!


Astrology opened my eyes to the shockingly huge diversity of humanity! It is what has brought me back again and again to this incredible, symbolic language with its layers upon layers of meaning. Within these layers, we see how different we are from others. We see why they do not behave as we do!


We learn to understand and appreciate how different they all are! Being able to allow your eyes to open to the true depth of human diversity is truly a gift. Before I began this study, I had deep judgments of the other humans around me. I just could not understand how they could be the way they were.


At approximately age 12, I discovered Sun Sign astrology. Even with just that one piece of astrological information, I was able to develop some understanding of the different members of my family.   Their Sun Signs are as follows:



Father – Virgo

Mother – Pisces

Brother Michael – Sagittarius

Sister Jo – Scorpio                    (Originally, we thought she was a Libra!)

Sister Gail – Leo

Brother Mark – Aquarius

Myself, the youngest – Leo.



Well, okay that understanding did help! It eased my impatience within this crazy family that I grew up in, my family of origin.


I learned to be more tolerant of Dad’s insistence that our bedrooms be precise and orderly every Saturday morning. It seemed he was running the family as a small military camp. We literally stood at attention as he inspected our rooms those Saturday mornings. I am grateful today for the amazing work ethic that he taught us in those years.


I developed a bit more compassion for my Mom’s dreamy, passive nature. Watching her feed the chickadees from her hand, as she stood motionless for hours in the snow, suddenly seemed less crazy and more surreal, whimsical, and even poetic.


Michael, the oldest sibling was certainly careless, boisterous, and opinionated! To this day, I do not know what more to say about Michael! Think about the Sun & Jupiter conjunct the Sagittarius Ascendent! This is a person with a personality so large it is hard to imagine it being contained in the body of a small child!


Jo never seemed to fit what I read about Libra, I chocked that up to her many years of serious illness as a child. She was born moments after the Sun moved into Scorpio with Pluto conjunct the Ascendent as well. It is no surprise that what I read about Libra didn’t fit her. When I discovered,years later, that her Sun was not in Libra but in Scorpio, it made so much more sense. Her years of illness as an infant had given her much power and control within the family. There was always a mysterious, private depth to her.


Gail had such vitality. She was so exuberant and expressive! There was no question that the Leo archetype fits her well. Her waist length, bright, red hair along with her natural generosity and charisma kept her at the center of all social situations. In many ways, we all revolved around the sincerity and warmth of that Leo Sun.


My brother, Mark, certainly was aloof and independent. He followed no one’s rules and refused to engage in drama. The detachment of Aquarius was clearly strong in his personality. I will never forget the day Dad forced him to throw away his patched, hippy, bell-bottom blue jeans! No matter what, Mark would never cry when provoked and would never give in. He got the pants out of the trash the next day and boldly wore them. No word about it was mentioned. I think ultimately our father knew what he was up against in Mark was not a battle that could be won.

As for myself, it was hard for me to show up with the amount of Leo energy that I was blessed with (6 Leo planets, Aries Moon). It seemed that brother Michael and sister Gail had as much fire as the family could handle. As the youngest in the family, I had the opportunity to observe the family, to see what worked and what didn’t work.


I was able to see how the family responded to Michael and Gail’s expression of Fire and I chose to keep the extent of my Leo/Aries nature under wraps. My Virgo Ascendent allowed me to keep it hidden fairly well. As an adult, I still struggle to find healthy ways to express all that Fire. The entire family, my siblings and my own adult life would have been very different had the dramatic beauty of Fire been celebrated and encouraged rather than restrained and controlled.


That amount of understanding came with the just the simplest understanding of the Sun signs. As I read and began to see that there was so much more involved in this study of Astrology I became hooked! I saw that this was a tool, a symbolic language that could open a window of understanding that would enable me to love and appreciate people in all the infinite variety that human beings come in.


Astrology Students! Speak Out!

Number One Tip for Astrology Students!
Speak Out!

The most important thing you will do in your learning is to learn to speak aloud what you learn, as you learn it!

Think about this! How do people successfully learn a new language? What language would you try to learn with your head quietly stuffed in a book?
You would not! You speak it – over and over again… repeat after me!
There are things to think about when you decide to learn a new language. Consider carefully your true level of motivation, your interest and passion for the language you have chosen and what you intend to do with it.

Think about the process of learning a language!
Let’s say you decide to learn Spanish. You buy the books, you read, you write and if you work at it long enough, you may even begin to think in Spanish.
Now, imagine yourself waking up one morning to find your self in a coffee shop in Madrid. You order your favorite frappuccino, or out on the street, you ask a local person for directions. They look at you with an expression that you recognize as a combination of pity and disgust. Ugh, suddenly you realize that your skills of reading, writing or thinking in Spanish will not assist you in communication with the people who use and live with this language every day!
Now what?!
Now you must go back and relearn what you have ingrained in the pathways of your mind. You have the symbols and the meaning behind the symbols in your thinking! It is a tough blow to realize that you can not communicate with what you have learned!
How much easier would it have been to speak the language right from the beginning?
The best way to learn any language is to have a teacher, to have someone there to correct your pronunciation and to talk with you over and over until the words and the symbols connect in such a way that you can communicate easily. Without a teacher at least spend the time speaking aloud what you are learning, every day, even if you are alone in front of the mirror!
This is the first thing I tell my students!
Talk to your friends (if they will listen), talk to your cat, talk to yourself – aloud! Whatever you do, speak the words! Develop that connection between the symbols and the words.
It is great to look at a horoscope and understand the story that it speaks. Please, understand how little use it is to understand the story, if you are unable to share what you see in any meaningful way.
If you make this connection – the words to the symbols, the symbols to the words your ability to share and articulate your understanding will truly be of use to yourself and others!
I began my study of astrology with my first introduction to the language in 1968. I began earnestly teaching myself with my first serious astrology book “Your Sun Sign as a Spiritual Guide” (by J. Donald Walters) in 1976. I began a more formal study with my first correspondence astrology course (School of Planetary Studies with Mark Learner) in 1987. I was afraid of the criticism and judgment of the people in my life during those years and astrology became a very private, solitary study for me. I read everything that I could get my hands on. I learned how to cast charts by hand in the late 70’s and by 1989 I had my first computer program that would cast charts for me.
I was thrilled with all that I had learned and what I was able to understand when I looked at a horoscope. I loved how it helped me to understand and appreciate people in ways I would never have been able to otherwise.

It was a deep disappointment to realize that I was unable to do much with my knowledge. When I finally felt ready to share my knowledge I discovered that I had not learned to attach the spoken words to the symbols I knew so well!
I survived this difficulty, I learned from it. I understood that my knowledge was not worth very much if I kept it closed up within my own mind. I began to speak, I had to go back and relearn so much. It took some years to catch up with myself! I tell myself that perhaps my understanding is deeper because of this process that I struggled through.
However, if I could go back to those early years and give myself one piece of advice it would be this:

Are you at a crossroad in your life? Are your circumstances other than what you expected?

We can meet for an individual consultations (Burlington, Vermont), by telephone, or on SKYPE!

Life Transitions Require New Perspectives!

It is my goal to empower you in the exploration of the past, present and future of your life.

Let's talk. There is so much to learn and understand.

~ Laurie