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:


Mothers, Expectations & Relationships

Astrology is an amazing study, a symbolic language.  As we look at a person’s horoscope, each symbol leads us deeper and deeper into who this person is.  When we truly understand who a person is, at their core, there is not a lot of space for judgment, and even less room for self righteousness.
When I work with a chart I go through a bit of a ritual, taking time to look at this piece, then that, always in the same order with every chart.  The routine helps to maintain order in my thinking.
As I go through this process there comes a moment, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, when I suddenly feel that I can touch the reality of the person.  In that moment, on some existential level, I feel like I “get” them.
I remember the day, many years ago, when I was looking at my mother’s chart.  It must have been the first time I looked into it deeply, examining each piece in turn, awaiting that moment of understanding.  When it came, it came suddenly and felt like a blow to the chest, I was astonished!  I realized that my mother was not the woman I had thought she was all these years!  Being the youngest child, I was very close to my mother and I believed that I knew her well.
This was a very disturbing experience.  The woman I believed my mother to be was very clearly shown in my own chart.  My experience of her had little to do with her and almost everything to do with whom I believed her to be.
This realization brought much confusion to my thinking about all human relationships.  If I did not know my mother, whom I had spent more time with than any other person on the planet, how could I imagine that I knew anyone?  …  or that anyone knew, or ever would, know me?
To test my thinking, on this mother issue, I called each of my siblings and spoke to them (with their horoscopes in hand) basically interviewed them, about their (our) mother.  It was very clear through the conversations that even though the same woman gave birth and raised all five children in my family, we each had a very different mother.  Our experience of her was reflected in our charts.
Our relationships with our parents are pivotal in the development of the patterns that rule our adult significant relationships.  There is much that can be seen about our parents and our relationships with our parents within our own horoscopes.
Each of us comes into our lives with, an expectation, and idea, an archetype of the “mother” we will encounter.  Whatever woman gives birth to us or raises us will be fit into our picture.
If we expect (reflected in our chart through aspects to the Moon) a kind and gentle mother we will be acutely aware of all times when she is kind, loving and attentive.  We will put blinders on or make excuses when she is harsh or distant.  We will interact with our mother in ways that will bring out the best of her nurturing instincts; we will behave as a happy and content child.  If we come into the world with the expectation of a harsh or cruel mother, we will interpret her expressions and her actions with that filter.  We will be less apt to notice her kindness and will interact with her in ways that will be more difficult for her to respond to with kindness.
If we are able to look at our patterns, our expectations and all our relationships with curiosity and open awareness we will likely notice how we know of the reality of the people closest to us.  We may notice how we find people to fit our patterns and our expectations.
If your parents are still alive, take into consideration the next time you see them that you may not know them very well at all.  After all, how well do you think they know you?
The same principle functions in reverse and in our other relationships as well.
Call – or email – me to set up a time to look at some of these patterns in your own life.  Awareness can start the process of transforming the difficult patterns in our relationships.

The Past Meets The Future!

Saturn and Uranus face off in opposition today, the 3rd in a series of 5.
(24 degrees Virgo – Pisces)

With the first of this series of oppositions happening on November 4th, 2008, Barack Obama was elected President of the United States.  The second, during February  of 2009, demanded that we face the unfolding disaster of our economic system.

We watch now to see what the rest of this series of oppositions will bring. Curently we have the Health Care Reform to watch, the potential conflict with China and many other political and social instabilities in every corner of our planet.

Let us think about what an opposition means and what it calls forth in us, what it requires from us, personally and collectively.

Many years ago, I read (I don’t remember the author) a metaphor for an opposition that has stuck in my mind.  Let us imagine ourselves standing in our home – hearing a knock at the front and back door at the same time.  How do we make the decision of which door to answer?  Do we ignore the back door bell because we only want to see the person we think is at the front door?  Do we answer the back door because it is closer to where we are standing and then forget that there was a knock on the front door?  Do we ignore both and hide in our room because we imagine there will be conflict that we don’t want to deal with?  What if we go to each door, one at a time and invite each guest to sit at the table together?  What if we approach the situation with open curiosity, no matter how confrontational our guests may be?

This particular opposition between Saturn and Uranus happens every 42 to 45 years.  It is important that we not underestimate the importance of this occurrence to each of us individually and as a human family!
The last time this occurred was from1964 through 1967.  These were amazingly significant and intense years.  What are the similarities now to this last Saturn – Uranus opposition?  The sparring of the conservative and the liberal factions of the culture were certainly as intense then as they are now.  The issues of militarization, social issues, human rights issues, are parallel in 2009 to what they were in 1966 and in some inexplicable way, there is a ‘feeling’, a sense of being, which is amazingly similar!  Certainly there were other astrological factors involved at that time (as there are now), but the Opposition between Saturn and Uranus were a huge part of the experience of the 1960’s.

Once again, we watch as the culture polarizes.  Change has been pushing on the status quo with ever increasing intensity.  It is hard to remember what the world was like even two years ago.

It is easy to jump on the band wagon, the one that naturally aligns with our thinking, to be passionately committed to that one side.  We forget that there is an equal humanity on the other side, even though we may not understand their values and ideals.  It seems to be human nature to make ‘the others’, those we do not agree with, into the enemy. We preach to the choir, we become self righteous, we know our side in the conflict is right and the other side is wrong!  I wonder however, about the wisdom of negating the side we most naturally disagree with.

To grow, to move forward we must look at each side in any confrontation, we must invite both guests to the table and listen to what each is saying.  We must, in turn, look each other in the eye and find a way to acknowledge where we are in agreement and look deeply for an understanding and acceptance of the areas where we are in total disagreement.

We must come to an understanding of the humanity behind the issues, to understand that each side holds a separate part of human understanding and the human condition, really just opposite sides of the same coin, of the same issue.  Each side is equally afraid of losing something that is dear and important to their survival and the survival of those they love.

Respect must be given to both the wisdom of stability and the necessity of change.  We must listen, understand, respect and continue to move forward.

Fear is a powerful force that keeps us all stuck, unable to move forward.
The new versus the old, it is all about fear, fear of losing security (Saturn), and fear of change (Uranus).

We must come to understand where we stand, in our culture and in our personal lives.  As Saturn and Uranus oppose we must accept that what was, is no longer.  We have no choice but to change.  No matter how frightening it may be, the past is left behind.  Uranus is the principle that blasts open doors no matter how hard we may try to hold back the force.  It is the blinding flash of electrical power that leaves the past in shatters.  There really is no looking back, no going back.  Everything now must be rebuilt anew.

Saturn represents the Old (the past, stability), Uranus represents the New (the future, change), as such Uranus ultimately has to win – it is the energy that brings the future into being.  However, we must not underestimate the resistance, within the culture or within ourselves.

The dates of this occurrence this time around (note that the first was on the US election day!):
* November 4, 2008 – 18 degrees mutable
* February 5, 2009 – 20 degrees mutable
* September 15, 2009 – 24 degrees mutable
* April 27, 2010 – 28 degrees mutable
* July 26, 2010 – 0 degrees cardinal
If you are going through major changes in your own life that fit the archetypes of these planets, there is a good change that this opposition is occurring in connection with personal planets or angles in your own horoscope.

Are you at a crossroad, feeling the need for major change and yet experiencing great resistance externally or internally?  Are you looking for a new perspective? Are you struggling to accept your life or do you need to find the strength to make radical changes?

Let the Universe Support Your Growth

Call or write to me to set up a consultation!

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