Back to the Future; Mercury goes Retrograde in Aquarius

Philosopher William James first coined the phrase “stream of consciousness” to describe the full range of thoughts that we can be aware of at any given time. He called it a stream, observing that thoughts tended to flow from one to another and another.

Here we are at the end of the first month of 2021, and Mercury, the god of thought, is decidedly reversing the stream’s current, in Aquarius, the sign of awareness, foresight and future.

Are we going back to the future?

In a sense, maybe.

As we go about our days we are immersed in many droplets of rich subjective life. Moments when something speaks to us, moments when we feel good or bad, moments that we share, moments that we rush, moments that we savor.

With winged-sandals, Mercury, God of thought swiftly weaves facts out of these moments. Facts that may be recalled in the future about what happened in the past. The facts are what survives, the feelings are fleeting, and disappear like the Moon. Facts weave and connect into the mysterious network of memory. Awaiting a reason to resurface, and be reflected on. Once reflected on, feelings may arise again, and feel like those original feelings, but they are still new, and based on these facts.

As Mercury moves retrograde, the stream of consciousness goes back on itself. It’s like using one of those now obsolete microfiche machines in libraries, where newspapers can be flashed through in search of that pertinent piece of information. Thought goes back on itself, in search of something.

Mercury has been in Aquarius since the beginning of the year leaving many Aquarian-esque facts weaved into our neural networks. Aquarian-esque; existential, pertaining to future, off the beaten path and in question of some basic assumptions.

You found something in these weavings, what was it?

Maybe you will find a fact worthy of reflection. By reflecting on these resurfaced facts, perhaps you will better shape your future! Time flows just like the trickster. Maybe you can manage to go back to the future!

Mercury will be retrograde for the rest of Aquarius Season. The Trickster God will go direct on February 20th, two days after the start of Pisces Season, and remain in Aquarius until March 15th.

Happy Astro Pondering!

Astro art by Johnnie Day Durand.

https://www.happyastropondering.com/

Hindsight and Foresight, A Full Moon on a Cold Night!

Metaphorcast 12/28/20- 1/3/21

The Mohawk Native Americans would call this week’s Full Cancer Moon, the Full Cold Moon, falling in the cold month of December.  A New Year will find us before the weekend, allowing for the phrase Hindsight is 2020 to not only be a viral meme, but also a re-wakened dream.  If myth’s are indeed, as Joseph Campbell said, public dreams (as opposed to dreams being private myths) there is indeed a pertinent myth to reflect as the new twenties gain their stride.  That is the myth of Prometheus and Epimetheus.  Foresight and Hindsight.

It was both Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus who sculpted all living creatures with clay.  Epimetheus sculpted the various animals and beasts, with their horns, scales, wings, feathers, teeth and fur.  But it was Prometheus that sculpted the humans last.  He had no special gift to give them, as Epimetheus had already given these specialties to the animals, so Prometheus decided to make human beings walk upright like the Gods, and he gave them fire.

Epimetheus, in hindsight, can see the deep seated desire of the tiger, with his sharp teeth and powerful reflexes.  In hindsight he can see the spacial craving of the bird, with it’s delicate and aeordynamic wing.  He can see the swamp king’s alpha dream in the crocodiles scales teeth and giant jaw.  But what of the human?

Prometheus made the human, not in hindsight, but in foresight.  The human, with no horn, wing, or giant jaw, no beak or fur or retratctable claw, no antlers, scales or stinging tails, nothing special here to see, except that speical quality, of vision and fire, from eyes heart and mind, we can be in two different places at the same time.

The past and the future, who’s dividing line is so slight, it makes each tiny moment it’s own fire to ignite.

As Albert Camus said, “With rebellion, awareness is born.”

Tuesday night we will see the Cold Moon, December’s Full Moon, in Cancer during this Capricorn Season.  A Cancer Full Moon is the Moon at it’s Moonest.  Whatever the Moon does for you, it does it more on the Cold Moon, the Full Cancer Moon, in this start of the Winter Season.  

To have foresight is also to have hindsight. To grasp a future is to understand it’s roots.  In the Cold Moonlight of the Ocean of Memory, that forms an endless chain back to the place of myths themselves, can you feel your reality in it’s full mythic sense? Your own private myth of dreams, and your resonance to certain public dreams of myth? What would an Epimethean set of glasses tell you about yourself.  And when Prometheus hands you that burning fennel stalk, in which way would you point it?  What would you hope to illuminate?  

As the Cold Moon begins to wane, it will still be bright and beautiful, weather permitting for New Years Eve, in the sign of Leo, the quintessential party animal.  Though parties will be at a minimum this year, the Leo Moon lights any stage with a healthy dose of drama.  A realistic re-rendering of any setting, living room, hallway, sidewalk, kitchen, as the stage that dramatically swaps out an old year for a new one.  

The newfound Aquarian energy in the sky, with the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, is a giant twinkly wink from Prometheus and his gift of foresight.

Foresight can make way for important paradigm shifts, like the one that happened in the 16th century, when the Ptolemic Earth-centered model of the universe was replace by the Copernican Sun-centered one.

There is a very interesting article written by astrophysicist Peter D Usher that sees Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a dramatization of this paradigm shift. Hamlet symbolizes the awakening to a new infinite and Sun-centered universe. He is ultimately responsible for the death of the old king, Claudius, who shares Ptolemy’s first name.

Portrait of an Astronomer (Nicolaus Copernicus?) Marco Basaiti
Date 1512 (funny that he also looks like Shakespeare!)

The sky during this time in history shared a key characteristic as it does now, as Jupiter and Saturn go into what’s known as a “grand mutation”, shifting from 200 years of Earth conjunctions to a new 200 years of Air conjunctions. These Jupiter Saturn conjunctions are known as trigons. The full trigon cycle is 800 years, as it passes through each of the four elements.

In Shakespeare’s time the shift was from Water to Fire, and the fire of the Sun indeed became the new center.

Now it is from Earth to Air, as the Aquarian Age truly begins.

Hindight may be 2020, but that’s old news.  Another year over and a new one just begun.  Will we see another paradigm shift in 2021?

Happy New Year all the same!  

And Happy Astro Pondering!

https://www.happyastropondering.com/

Metaphorcast 12/14-20, 2020

What a week we have in store, with a Solar Eclipse and so much more.  The New Moon Sagittarius Solar Eclipse kicks of the beginning of the week with a burst of spirited horsepower.  For the people in Chile it will really be a treat- as the Full light of the Sun will it’s opposite meet, in the darkness of daylight the insects will pause their applause, the  temperature drops along with thousands of jaws.  Parts of Argentina will see this as well, but alas, not here in the NorthEast of the U.S.  

Yet even though en masse, our heads won’t be up, this event invites us to still get revved up, and feel united in a moment when time seems to disengage-  Silent and in sight of, a brilliant New Age.

As Existentialist writer and philosopher, Rollo May said, “Human freedom involves our capacity to pause, to choose the one response toward which we wish to throw our weight.”

Saturn, the old SeaGoat of Time and Order, is at last committing to it’s forward journey into Aquarius on Thursday, the 17th. Back in late March, Saturn tested these strange Aquarian waters, but retrograded back into Capricorn by the beginning of July.  This time, he advances with out looking back, and to make matters ever the more exciting, he will be joined by our Seasonal spirited horse, Jupiter, who will as well move into Aquarius on Saturday, the 19th.  Saturn will continue in Aquarius until 2023, and Jupiter, until the end of next year.  By the year 2023, big and powerful Pluto will step into this future as well, and be in the sign of Man until the year 2043.

It could be said, quite naturally, that the Aquarian Age is officially here.  Aquarius, the sign of Freedom, Future, Evolution and Awareness.  The Age of Aquarius is the age in which we become dynamically aware of our own Evolution.  

Freedom, and the capacity to pause to choose a worthy response.  A great cause for a pause.   

As Mark Twain said, “the right word may be effective; but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”

A worthy response reflects your true values. Little bells that ring like wind chimes inside and integrate a strong resonance of self.  To become aware of our evolution is to become aware of the truly important values, for one and for all.  A global wind chime with a resonance so strong, it is sensed in the present as a place we belong.  

The future lives strong in the open space of a pause. 

Speaking of open spaces, we are in the last week of Sagittarius, the sign of the horse, who’s affinity for open spaces is surpassed by none.  The heart of the Sun and the mind of Mercury are already galavanting in the open green, and they will be joined on Tuesday by the gorgeous goddess of love.  She charges forth with spirit, inspired by the previous day’s New Moon Eclipse.    

The Goddess of Love knows all about the pause, as others might call it a rest.  It is her sacred space, her negatively charged grace, like a waterfall under a Full Moon, or the aftermath of a rainy afternoon- she will applause the pause as one of nature’s best laws.  

Mars deep in Aries, standing tall like Michelangelo’s The David, demonstrating courage in a most powerful and mature way as he comes into square with Pluto in Capricorn.  His power coming from a  sense of readiness.  A mature and powerful readiness, to choose the right response to which he throws his weight.

Uranus in Taurus- Conscious evolution strengthening the all in tandem with strengthening the self- as Teilhard de Chardin wrote, “No evolutionary future awaits man except in association with all other men.”

Neptune in Pisces- Imagine all the people living for today

The Moon

After the phenomenon of Mondays New Moon Eclipse, she will grow with sturdiness, as into Capricorn she slips.  Tuesday and Wednesday will be excellent times, to reel in your energies and hear those wind chimes.

Expect strong breezes on Thursday, as she grows in Aquarius, the same day that Saturn takes that bold first step into the reality of the Water Bearer.  We bearers of water, holding shape-shifts of responses, with awareness is birthed many new rennaisances! Celebrate the coming of a new age today, in the Season of the Horse, indulge in some full-hearted faith in the future.

The weekend welcomes a growing Pisces Moon and the atmosphere takes on a dreamy dimension, just in time for Jupiter’s entrance into Aquarius, where optimism meets the reality of future.  Mercury will also be conjunct the Sun, integrating the life of the mind with the centrality of the heart.   Limitless mind and centering heart, both which operate on through the powers of connection.  To value these powers is to know our direction.  

In the wake of this week’s New Moon Solar Eclipse, 

when into obscurity, the Sun itself slips,

And people react with their oohs and ahs

Remember the revolution

Of a well placed

Pause.  

As Always, happy astro pondering!

Metaphorcast 11/23-29, 2020

Over the weekend we had a Seasonal shift, from Scorpio’s realm to Sagittarius’ lift.  What did we learn in the profound outerbounds, in the deep zone of our bones where truth hangs around?  What comes next?  After an encounter with such mystery?

French surrealist artist Yves Klein said, “At first there is nothing, then there is a profound nothingness, after that a blue profundity.”

At the age of 19 Klein and his two friends, the artist Arman and composer Claude Pascal, lay on a beach in Southern France.  They decided to divide the world between themselves.  Pascal chose words, Arman chose the Earth, and Klein chose the sky.  

What ensued was a life-long obsession and devotion to the color blue.  Signing the sky with his hand, he committed to a quest to reach the far side of the infinite.  He saw that unlike other colors that arouse specific associative ideas, blue at most suggests the sea and sky, and thus is “beyond dimension.”

Sagittarius Season celebrates this sense of blue.  Beyond dimension.  A place to dream, and feel a full sense of vitality.  Though it’s true that November is known more for it’s falling temperature, the horse insists on acknowledging this place of blue space; this high of open sky.

Goethe, in his theory of colors, saw the blue sky to be the darkness of space, lit up by the presence of sunlight in our atmosphere.  The deep space of beyond lit up before our eyes, with each waking day under the blue of the skies.  But what of the deep space that exists from within, does it too become lightened,  a blue sky built-in?

An inner blue sky, lightened with optimism, hope and acknowledgment.  Beyond just a knowing, a showing of knowing. 

You know the music is good, from the depths of the dark, but nodding your head acknowledges this spark.  That joke is funny says the depths of you, but laughing acknowledges this fact to be true!  Darkness made light, in the truth of the blue.  From knowledge to acknowledgment, a major breakthrough!

With Thanksgiving on thursday, acknowledgment will rise, with appreciation to those we have loved for so long.  The spirit of appreciation, the sweetest of songs. William James saw the craving of appreciation to be the deepest principle of human nature.  Be generous with it in this skyward Season.  

The planets are short on air this week.  Social and connected air.  Holidays for most will be celebrated remote.  With both Mercury and Venus in Scorpio, communication and relating is not short on depth.  Over the phone or online, connection is primed, to make up for these distances of space and timezone, with a sense of belonging, Scorpio’s powerful lodestone.  And even if no socialization occurs, tune into a place, that makes your blood stir. Earth magic abounds from its depths and yours too, from a profound nothingness to the profundity of blue! 

Venus will oppose the great awakener Uranus in the bountiful earth of Taurus.  William Blakes thankful receiver who “bears a plentiful harvest.”

Mars moving onward from the middle of Aries, no other direction better for such energy.  Must be the Season of the horse, with those wide open plains, the galvanized Will grips gladly the reigns!  

Ready to check him are Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn, who continue in Capricorn a most hyper-real pattern.  Empowered hope and strong practicality, looming threats and good news in the same actuality.  As Robert Frost said, “the best way out is always through.”

Neptune in Pisces, the sea-chariot that navigates a blue inner-sky.

The Moon

The Moon begins the week waxing gibbous in the later degrees of Pisces.  Saturated with imaginative potential, be open to nuance, suggestion and subtlety- new roads of dreams are paved with discovery!

On Tuesday, original day of Mars, she will grow into Aries by mid morning.  In the Season of Blue skies, a redness bursts forth.  The connection of action to a home-base of hearth.  As Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, “All the soarings of my mind begin in my blood.”

This kindred fire of Moonlight grows through most of Thanksgiving day.  Big and bold this Aries Moon, singing in red a mysterious tune; of memory, family, belonging and desire.  Towards what does your wolf-like yearning aspire?  Joyce Carol Oates called the blood “memory without language.”

By Friday as Venus receives her strongest electric wave from Uranus, the Moon, moving into luxurious Taurus, wants in on the act.  A sensual relaxing yet altogether lively signature, much like the way Goethe described the color blue.  In his words, “This color has a peculiar and almost indescribable effect on the eye.  As a hue it is powerful- but it is on the negative side, and in its highest purity is, as it were, a stimulating negation.  Its appearance, then, is a kind of contradiction between excitement and repose.”

Perhaps it is this blue energy that prompts Neptune to finally station to move direct, on Saturday, after nearly 5 months of retrograde.  The stimulating negation, the effortless creation, of a dream.

By Sunday midday she waxes extremely gibbous in Gemini, and there is at last, air in the planetary line-up.  Perspective and ease of rationality, a lightness perhaps or just some good old fashioned fresh air.  She moves towards being not only a Full Moon, but a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse, in sparkling Gemini, the dance of the Twins.  This event will be exact the following Monday, at 4 am, so both nights will be excellent opportunities to view it.  

As a Lunar Eclipse, the earth will be in between the Sagittarian Sun and the Gemini Moon, casting an earth Shadow, darkening the light, likely casting a coppery-red tone.  In the Season of lightened darkness, we have a darkened brightness.  The Twins laugh with delight.   Use the youthful energy of Gemini Moonbeams, to acknowledge possibilities that are yet to be seen.  Shine the light on just one and create something new.  And Gemini loves words, especially the ones that need to be heard.  Acknowledge another, with a kind-hearted word, it may kindle music from happiness’ blue bird.  

From granted to gracious, life gets more spacious.  

Yves Klein wrote his name on the sky, painting monochrome surfaces to see with his own eyes- an “absolute freedom”  (his words exact).  For the horse, it’s a wide open space that attracts.

As always, happy astro pondering

https://www.happyastropondering.com/

Must Be the Season of the Witch

Do you hear the rattle of the leaves in the trees and the ground?  Do you also hear the rattle of the Shaman that lives within, beckoning you to awaken to your misplaced power?

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The Shaman’s rattle mimics the sound of rain.  Rain that washes over us and purifies by renewing our psychic energies. 

This is the Season that encourages us to wake up from our own self-imposed hypnosis.  Scorpio is ruled by Mars, just like Aries is.  But part of Scorpio’s make-up is that it is hidden.  Mars it the great motivator, in Scorpio, these motivations are hidden.  We are both the hypnotist and the hypnotized.

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Have you let yourself get too sleepy??

Witches, goblins, night creatures all serve a wonderful purpose of cutting through our comfort zones.  A little fright to ignite where we feel real, and alive.  Such emotions give an opportunity to reacquaint with an aspect of the Self that may have been pushed away.  Living in secrecy.

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Scared? Where do you feel it?  Allowing fear to be felt and moving forward in any way is a sure way to build courage. 

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The maiden Kore was terrified when she was abducted by Hades, Lord of the Underworld.  Her transformation into his Queen, with equal rulership introduced her to a deep and powerful aspect that her psyche she never even knew was missing!  Her name changed to Persephone, meaning “she who is to be feared”.  Far cry from daisy picking… 

This is the Season to be your own gumshoe in a misty film noir.  Where the fog and the sexy soundtrack reveal more and more of a mystery personal to you.  In your stillness, in your contemplation, you start to put the pieces together.  And you do so with impeccable style.

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Robert Mitchum in the 1947 classic Out of the Past.  

Scorpio Season asks you to swim deeper into your own waters.  Let yourself explore your feelings with a ruthless honesty.  Purify them by releasing what isn’t true and honoring what is.  Nourish the truthful currents.  Emerge with a clearer understanding of yourself that is more ready to share intimately with others.

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Not everyone’s favorite thing to do, but sure feels good afterwards! 

Enjoy the labyrinth of the Season of the Witch.  Thank the jack o’lanterns for the kindly metaphorical service of waking us out of self-imposed sleeps.  Listen for the shaman’s rattle in the leaves!

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‘Tis the Season baby!

Everything in Motion and Creative Tension

A little over a month ago we were blessed with some premium celestial entertainment with the 2015 Blood Moon Eclipse.  People broke out the fine cameras, hung out on the lawn, or down by the river like me.  The drama was compelling as that bright Moon steadily disappeared into nothing and then became— something else.

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Is that you Mother Moon?

Curious Australians gaze upwards at transforming Moon.

Some of us may be perfectly clear on how an eclipse happens but for those of us that aren’t..

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We, the Earth, basically block the Moon entirely from the Sun’s light.

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This NASA photo shows a lunar eclipse from the perspective of sitting on the Moon (left). The light that is peaking out from around the circumference absorbs much of the Earth’s atmosphere and casts that spooky red shadow on the Moon (right).

The briefness of the Moon looking this way is a good reminder of how we are in constant MOTION.  When practicing astrology it is all too easy for us to forget this fact.  We can fall into the trap of seeing the Sun, Moon and planets as static entities, with no background or direction to them.

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But the truth is- all matter in the universe is in constant motion

Say for example, you have your Sun in Aries.  Pick up any astrology book and you will likely find a description of an independent and self-willed pioneer that does and goes where they want!

Clint Eastwood in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Yeah… like this.

But here’s the next question.  Why Aries?  ..anyone?

.. Bueller?

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The answer is this- too much Pisces.

Pisces when in balance is an imaginative and emotionally sensitive sign that is quite in tune with nature’s subtleties.  But when taken to excess, Pisces can seek to ESCAPE the reality from which it is so sensitively attuned to, like the case above.

So, Aries (strong-willed independence) swoops in to attempt to RESOLVE the issues of an overblown Pisces (hazy confusion and lack of direction).  The signs RESOLVE the continuous issues of life as the Sun, Moon and planets “REVOLVE” around the Earth (geocentrically speaking).

Each sign has a past, see? And a future for that matter.

The importance of the reality that everything is in constant motion leads me to have to introduce two very special spots on the birth chart.  Those of the Lunar Nodes.

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They aren’t planets they are INTERSECTIONS. Intersections of path of the Moon around the Earth and the apparent path of the Sun and planets (the ecliptic).  Eclipses only occur near these Nodal points.

So what’s this?  The path (motion) of the Sun is not the same path as the Moon?  EXCEPT in these two little spots where they intertwine?  It’s almost like the physical spot of the marriage of the Sun and Moon that the alchemists praised.

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The Lunar Nodes are where the paths of Father Sun and Mother Moon connect.

This is no small thing symbolically!!  We know what happens when father and mother meet—baby!  Or life in other words.  The Lunar Nodes are very tied into LIFE symbolically speaking.

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Life: Day one- Let’s do this!

And each life has it’s own themes.  In my experience, a glance at the Nodes in the birth chart is the quickest way to connect with the broad stroke themes of a person’s life.

With the North Node, the Moon begins her ASCENT over the ecliptic.  Therefore we can see the North Node as a point in which we seek to CLIMB.  Where we can be LIFTED in life.  Embracing the North Node might have tension- as we seek to go against the pull of gravity- but this tension generally feels good and healthy.

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Remember this feeling? A nice combination of “I can do it!” and “I can see things that I couldn’t before”. North Node territory.

By contrast the South Node is where the Moon begins her DESCENT below the ecliptic.  At this point the pull of gravity is upon us, perhaps weighing us down with issues that won’t go away.  This is where we can SINK instead of swim, and the sinking generally feels bad.

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The world can quickly go out of focus when we sink into our South Node issues and feel powerless against change.

Of course this does NOT mean that the South Node is bad and the North Node is good, even though it may seem that way.  The South node is just what is EASIER and more FAMILIAR.  It can be a very positive thing when kept in proper tension with the North Node to balance it from taking over like quicksand.

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The ancients called the North Node the “Dragons Head” where life must be INGESTED verses the South Node “Dragon’s Tail” where the nourishment must be EXCRETED. But of course, the excrement is what fertilizes new growth. Nothing is to waste!

Therefore the “been there done that’s” of YOUR life may serve as helpful gifts to others, like the Dragon’s fertilizing doo-doo, but they really don’t serve YOU anymore.  That’s why we have the North Node, like our own personal North Stars to look up to and feel that creative tension of life within us.

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A pearl is formed as the mollusk’s defense mechanism towards irritants that make their way into the shell. Mucous is secreted over the irritant to make it smoother on the living creature. Over time the end result is the beautiful pearl, a glowing example of creative tension.

For example let’s say your South Node is in Cancer and in the 3rd.  You are going to want to look at this in a way that spots the SHADOW behavior of this placement, so you can recognize how it might attempt to SINK you.  Shadow Cancer would be over-emotional and over-protective somehow.  Shadow 3rd house brings in themes of being too much in your own head and not having enough experiences to break up your own perception of things.

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North Node to the rescue!

The North Node would be in Capricorn and in the 9th, directly opposite (as always) and offering some much needed balance.  Capricorn reminds Cancer that sometimes it needs to put the emotions aside in order to get to where it needs to be.  The 9th house welcomes foreign experiences and ideas from other people to break up our stuck-in-the-mud mindset.  With these themes introduced we can naturally use our Cancerian 3rd house gifts (an ease with kindness and a good way in communicating it) without letting them swallow us!

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Back back South Node!!

Depending on the sign and house placement of your Nodes some very interesting questions can arise.

What do your Nodes say about your life themes?  Please feel free to share your experiences in the comment section!