by Steven Forrest
I ate a jellyfish. I did it in order to redeem the dignity I had lost when I could not bring myself to eat a frog. Many of you have probably guessed already that I am talking about my recent trip to China. Mars was transiting over my 9th House Pluto when I left, so I was a little nervous about the trip. Also a very skilled Vedic astrologer had warned me of various dangers during that same period. I try not to be astro-paranoid, but I admit I was edgy. All in all, it felt like a dumb move to go to China under those kinds of astrological energies.
Something I really appreciate about my career as an astrologer is the way it lets me see the world. I like traveling and I am willing to go pretty much anywhere. When the opportunity to teach in Shanghai appeared, I was . . .interested. Not excited really. Like most Americans, I had internalized a lot of negativity about the People’s Republic and some fear as well. I imagined a nation of dutiful, uniformed “worker bees.” I envisioned myself followed everywhere by a government “minder.” I expected to find a nation full of people afraid to express any opinion that might trigger official reprisals. I anticipated drab, Brutalist communist architecture everywhere. I was careful to remove the words “Dalai Lama” from my vocabulary, and I imagined a nation in which any kind of spiritual practice would raise eyebrows. I even had some concern about being imprisoned - astrology had only recently emerged into legality there. And I imagined myself at dinner, being presented with plates of frogs and jellyfish.
I've been thinking about the increase in revolutionary activity and social tension in the world, which as we know exists in resonance with the current planetary alignments. And I’m feeling excited about what this means for astrologers because it just might be that people are perfectly primed to take in what we have to say.
Take some time to enjoy Steven's thoughts in this newsletter, and then talk about these ideas with friends. People know something is happening - they can feel it in their bones. This is a perfect time to share with them what you know astrology can do. There is relevance in the heavens right now that’s truly hard to ignore when you understand how to interpret the planetary archetypes.
I'm going to keep my words brief this month, because Steven has some important thought to share with you about Pluto.
I appreciate all of the positive feedback we've been getting about the newsletter, and I'm glad you're enjoying it!
I'm feeling the buzz of back-to-school energy that is always stimulating this time of year. And now that I think of it, this Fall energy that I associate now with school probably has an echo from an earlier time when we were more in sync with nature's rhythm and the time of the harvest was at hand.
So with that, I wish you all a fruitful Fall harvest! Warm wishes,
As I write this, Steven has just arrived in Australia for his annual Apprenticeship program. He always looks forward to his trips "down under" because he loves the unique vibe of the group there and really appreciates the privilege of getting to teach in diverse locations.
And also as I write this, Mercury is exactly opposite Neptune, so I'll be spacing out frequently as I type and making sure to spell check at least 3 times before sending! If you've been feeling like the upcoming Mercury Retrograde in Virgo cycle started ahead of schedule, you're likely noticing the effects of Mercury opposite Neptune, which is exact today, July 31.
As I sit here contemplating the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Cancer July 1st, I'm struck by images of threats to our collective security circulating via fears of nuclear meltdown in the U.S. I'm also saddened by they ways in which our insecurities lead us to treat each other without care and tenderness as reports circulate of grandmothers and small children receiving inappropriate treatment by airport TSA staff. With the energy of Cancer in the air, it's time for some care and healing, and a return to a right relationship with our mothering instinct, our care for children and respect for our matriarchs.
Whether our fears of nuclear meltdown are warranted or not (see this article if you want a more reassuring take on the matter), our fears have indeed been triggered, not in small part by the recent events in Japan. And rightly so. Nuclear energy is neither safe, nor secure. Our fears are compelling us to face that truth.
Nothing against Aries - really! I mean, I started a LOT of projects last month. But I'm truly enjoying having our faster-moving friends Venus, Mars and Mercury all in Taurus now as we near the end of May. I've just arrived home from Steven's Southern California AP Program which is held twice a year in the hills just east of San Diego, CA. And what a great program it was! With a title like "Dreaming the Volcano" I'd expect nothing less...
Steven is up to some really great and timely work with the Dreaming the Volcano presentations, which feature a focus on the personal meaning of the upcoming Pluto + Uranus Squares of the next few years. Steven gave us some wonderful guidance about how to work with clients and friends during this time, which calls simultaneously for healing and breakthrough. If you missed out on this program, you can catch it again at the next Calistoga program. And the program was so rich, he's going to continue it when he returns to the Southern California AP in November.
As I write this today, the sun has just passed into Taurus. Phew! Several planets continue their brisk march through Aries, but I have my eye set on the rest that will come as they plow headlong into Taurus very soon, giving us a much needed respite from the flurry of activity they've been stirring up!
In personal news, my time this month has been spent fast at work capturing Steven's new Moon Intensive workshop on film, as well as filming some brand new material recorded just for the website. I can't wait to share it with you. Perhaps I should stop writing and get back to the editing room!