Monday, June 21, 2010

Perrie’s Planetarium – Summer Solstice 2010

 Midlife Sky Hints with Astrologer Joyce Mason

Welcome to Perrie’s Planetarium! We meet quarterly in this feature to stargaze at the changes of seasons. It’s a great chance to see how we’re interconnected with everything and everyone under the stars. The view is awesome!

For more on how Perrie’s Planetarium works, visit the original Planetarium post from Winter Solstice 2009, especially if this is your first visit. For a sense of continuity from the last season (after all, each one morphs gradually into the next), check out Spring Equinox 2010, especially the outlook for your sign.

Summer.  It’s the Growing Season in the Northern Hemisphere. Summer starts on June 21 with the Sun’s move into the water sign of Cancer. No wonder we head for the beaches, lakes and pools this time of year!

If you planted seeds of intention at Spring Equinox in your mind or jotted them down in some way as a reflection, it’s time to see which ones are taking off.   Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year—time to “expose to thelight” all you want to grow and thrive for the next few months.  Want some rituals to celebrate summer? Read Astrologize! Jump Over the Summer Solstice Flame in a Spirited Dance of Life!

General Sky: Summer Solstice -  2010

To seize the opportunities each season presents, we need to identify them.  Here are summer’s most significant messages in the sky:

Aspect Pattern of the Year and Beyond: The Cardinal T-Square. This configuration was introduced to you late last year in the Winter Outlook and expanded in Spring. I won’t repeat what I’ve said so far on the subject (those curious can click back). However, I’m still giving it a lot of attention, as we seldom have anything this big going on in the sky. It’s important to understand what it means individually and collectively.

Now that Jupiter has joined the party, four planets are part of the Cardinal T-Square, an astrological pattern of great power: Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter and Uranus. All these planets are positioned in or approaching the first degrees of the Cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. We’ll be influenced all year by the tension of these planets “squaring off,” but the energy reaches its peak in July. I call the current sky pattern The Big Change Transits. To add to the excitement, on June 26, there is a lunar eclipse right on the Grand Cross. It aligns with Pluto, and I expect fireworks of some kind to be a result. Do your best to participate in the show—to roll with it. As Terra Wolfe, another astrologer I admire says, “We are all restructuring. We are creating a new normal.” The most important thing you can do is whatever helps you personally avoid being pulled into fear and negative emotions. (For me, it’s yoga, walking, gardening and inspirational reading.)

The influence of an eclipse can last for months and often brings big news. Lunar eclipses speak to relationship wants and needs. Because the eclipse occurs while the Full Moon is in Capricorn, the polarity of home and career is where it will be most felt—finding that balance between home and public life. Those with personal planets in early Cardinal signs will notice the effects. (This is a great time for anyone to have their chart done to know their personal influences under these big change announcements in the sky.)

The human fear of change is remarkably strong and often unwarranted. Our craving for excitement and variety is a desire for change. On the other hand, our dread of getting rid of what’s already dead in our lives defies logic. If “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know,” by midlife, it’s time to let such thinking go back to the devil! In the case of the current sky, the changes on tap involve not just getting rid of structures (banking system, health care) that don’t work. With Pluto in the mix, they are likely to die off for something that works powerfully better. Even though the process may be difficult at times, the result is worth it.

Not just people but countries and leaders have horoscopes. (The USA is a Cancer Sun country, for example, “born” with the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.)* Anyone and everything with planets in the aforementioned Cardinal Signs or even late Mutable Signs (last degrees of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces) will be most affected by this rock ‘n’ roll show. Mother Earth is morphing, and we have the option of trusting our nurturing mom to get us on track to where we need to go next—or living in fear. The last time Uranus and Pluto, in particular, were in close alignment brought us the Sixties. They were conjunct in the “unassuming” sign of Virgo, and you saw what happened then. Imagine this pairing as part of the Cardinal T-Square in go-for-it, impatient Aries. As the Beatles tune goes, we’re being invited to an Evolution Revolution.

After all that, the other cycles may seem like small potatoes, but here are two you’ll want to know about:

Total Solar Eclipse: This occurs July 11 at 19 degrees Cancer, affecting mid-Cancers and the mid-Cardinal signs (also Libra, Capricorn, and Aries). Cancer rules family, personal property, women’s issues, our roots and heritage, as well as emotions. The eclipse brings new beginnings in these matters, and that new opening can often be felt for up to six months or more.  Our deepest needs and the support of family—and our family of friends—will be up for examining, including how we value their help.

Mercury Retrograde.  Mercury remains direct till August 20 when the next Mercury Retro cycle begins and continues until September 12. Communications and the equipment that carries them tend to go haywire. The best thing you can bring to this temporary condition is a sense of humor. (See Gear Down and Jest Humor Mercury Retrograde.) Avoid signing contracts or starting new ventures (marriage, business) and be careful on short trips.  (Exceptions noted in the Gear Down article.) Car repairs often come up (be proactive with a routine vehicle service), and you may be minor traffic accident-prone. Mercury also rules the mind as well as the tongue. Be sure you get regular summer pedicures so “foot in mouth” disease is less distasteful.

Your Spring Outlook

Here’s what’s Up for your sign this season:

Cancer, the Crab or Moon Child (June 21 – July 21).  Happy Birthday, Midlife Moonies! Hang onto your socks. With that Lunar Eclipse of June 26 opposing your Sun along with Pluto, your relationship needs will be up for reckoning, especially if they conflict with career or your work in the world. Permission to vent granted. For the first week of summer, Mars can help you channel your anger to request the exact behavior changes needed from others, even in the heat of discussion. Thanks to help from Jupiter and Uranus, there is a touch of genius to tap and blessings available in your extreme makeover. Don’t forget to play in the water this summer. It’s your medium and your tranquilizer! You’ll need it to cool down from the sparks of change.

Mid-sign will feel the Solar Eclipse on your Sun, especially those with birthdays on or within a couple of days of the July 11 event. You’ll find yourself focused on
new beginnings in matters of home, hearth, and people and things that support you.  See the General Sky, above, for more details on what this showy sky signature may bring you. As we get toward Autumn Equinox, you’ll have friendly aspects from Mercury, Mars and Venus to look forward to. Preview: You’ll be on a roll with communications, sex appeal, and romance early next season. Get in shape for it this summer!

Late Cancers: You remain under the influence of Chiron and Neptune, inviting you to make adjustments that involve healing, the arts, addictions, psychological states, intuition, and vocation. If you’re open to it, you can receive vital information for a tune-up in your life through your dreams. It would be a great time to check out my dream primer on my website. Saturn gives folks with birthdays in the last week—and especially the last days of the sign—an opportunity to restructure the way you are perceived by others. You can command more respect and take your position as a sage. You may find yourself ready to embrace the crone stage of life, knowing you don’t have to do it in your grandmother’s way, but in your own inimitable style.

Summer-y for Cancers: Happy Birthday! It’s your season, and time to come out of your shell and greet whatever growth awaits you, balanced with fun in the sun and play in the water.

Leo (July 22 – August 21).  Early Leos luck out twice in a row with a pleasant planetary influence to kick off the season. You’re influenced by Venus, the relationship sign, so don’t be surprised if romance is in the air! Venus also rules money, so things may be looking up in your corner of the economy. Jupiter and Uranus trine your Sun, which can bring unexpected blessings, travel, or learning opportunities. It’s also a combo that can expand you right out of a stable relationship into something more exciting. Let your midlife smarts co-navigate with your heart.

Mid-Leos also get a love potion from Venus, but during the week of June 26-July 3. Mercury is in good aspect as the summer season opens; just seize opportunities to make your ideas heard, including your suggestions for summer fun. During the first week of July, Mercury crosses over your Sun, which could mean short trips, especially to visit siblings.

Late Leos continue a relatively long influence from Neptune and Chiron that carries over from winter and spring. How are you doing on those boundary issues? In taking off your rose colored glasses? You might see the parts of yourself that beg to be healed or parts that aren’t working well. Those antiquated parts of self are dissolving. It feels strange, at first, but it’s really you—the new you you’re becoming.

Summer-y for Leo: Happy Birthday, Lions! Most of you will enjoy a playful and light summer. Even those who are reviewing their qualities of a too-open heart can enjoy the drama of resolving it. Leos love “the stage!”

Virgo (August 22 – September 21).  Early Virgos: As summer opens, you’re peaking on a transit of Mars over your Sun. This can be very energizing and provide the juice to accomplish even more than your normal overdo.  Since Mars can also pique in another form—spark hurt, resentment, or wounded pride—try not to read the negative into encounters. You’re temporarily more defensive than usual. Promise yourself an early seasonal rest, a word I know you barely can hear. What if I called it your homework? Chiron opposing your Sun gives old pain an opportunity to bubble up for work on yourself. Virgos are born healers. Healer, heal thyself! At summer’s end, a Mars/Venus conjunction in friendly aspect will make you very desirable. If you’re looking for love, work it!

Mid-sign: You’ll feel Mars over your Sun for the first week of July, so the Mars portion of Early Virgo will apply to you next (above paragraph). Plan ahead for Mercury Retrograde! When Mercury shifts into reverse on August 20, it will be backing over the territory in Gemini that squares your Sun. You might find yourself more affected than most by Murky’s tricks like computer and communications glitches.  The more major action you can avoid in Mercury’s mental, short trips and communications territory—the better off you’ll be. Also, take a page from Early Virgo’s outlook. Play as homework!

Late Virgos: You’ve been a lightning rod for the part of the Cardinal T-Square that pits Uranus and Jupiter opposite Saturn on your Sun. As a late Virgo myself, I can tell you I feel the pull between expressing my creativity and being brought down to earth by obligations and the need to create more solid structures in my life. The Anything Can Happen and erratic behavior aspects of Uranus are still in play. One thing I didn’t mention. You might be wired! Transits of Uranus can leave us feeling as if we’ve had too many double cappuccinos. However, Virgo is lucky as an Earth Sign. We have the capacity to ground the high voltage energy Uranus brings. Lastly, Chiron and Neptune ask for readjustments to those with birthdays on the last few days of Virgo.** Examine if habits have become compulsions and how you can transform an area of your life where you’ve overcome pain into a gift you give back to the world.

Summer-y for Virgos: Happy Birthday to the last of the cake and candles trio! Play is Virgo’s work this summer, in-between self-reflection and learning how to deal with changes in energy flow.

Libra, The Scales (September 22 – October 22).  Early Libras are really feeling the effects of the Big Change Transits. The eclipse at the Summer Solstice is likely to bring relationship issues to the breaking point. I know that’s the last thing a Libra wants to hear, but don’t assume this is a bad thing. At the same time, you’ll have a nice sextile from Venus that could help you spin conflict into some great make-up action if you take advantage of it—a counterbalancing influence that could actually help you resolve conflicts in the positive. The Spring advice holds. Be concerned about grounding during these times you’re being tossed on the winds of personal growth. “Being in your body” through sports and summer activities is an ideal prescription.

Mid-sign: Like all the mid-signs this season, your Sun isn’t as affected by the Big Change transits, but no telling about the rest of your chart unless you know it. Even if you lack other Cardinal planets, you can’t help but feel the change in the air all around you. After all, Libra is both an air sign and the sign of The Other. Use Mercury Retrograde (August 20 - September 15) for one of its most potent applications—review, reconsider, and reflect on how you might take on others’ desires and suffering needlessly. This Mercury Retro is in the air sign of Gemini, which complements your Libra make-up. It can clear the cobwebs out of your head for greater self-awareness, particularly the knowledge of your own needs.

Later Libras: As the Moon crosses your Sun at Summer Solstice, you’ll feel the shift in season like a gust of warm wind. You retain your positive connection with Neptune and Chiron, now for a third season. With that lunar opening for your sector of the sign, it’s time for me to remind you again—your intuition is hotter than ever! Last season we talked about Uranus as your cosmic chiropractor, helping you see where you need to make adjustments in your life. Now that Uranus has joined up with Jupiter, there are chances for big adjustments. Some areas of life include philosophy, higher education, and spiritual seeking. Uranus itself will encourage sudden breakthroughs and changes, the need for freedom, and breaking out of convention on all levels. There will rarely be a better time for you to expand your thinking—to believe in and act on your insights and personal revelations.

Summer-y for Libras: Be in your body (play and exercise) but be willing to change your mind, the first step toward changing your life.

Scorpio, the Scorpion  (October 23 – November 21).  Early Scorps: Have you taken advantage yet of Pluto’s call to transformation? The long transit of Pluto sextile your Sun continues, offering opportunities for deep, organic change. But you have to take the pill or have the therapy. Don’t sit this out. It won’t happen again in your lifetime. On the lighter side, you start the season with a friendly Mars transit. Seize it! Mars is action, conflict, and sexuality—quite a package of plusses and sometimes minuses. Before Pluto was discovered, Mars was considered Scorpio’s ruler. It’s one of the signs that has dual rulership, an “ancient” and modern one. Google “astrology Mars” and “astrology Pluto.” Find out more about your sign’s co-rulers in this exercise of self-discovery.  With Jupiter and Uranus nudging your for improvements, it’s a great time to learn new things that bring those cosmic aha’s.

Mid-Scorps: You’re one of the Sun-sign sectors that can get a gift from Mercury Retrograde (August 20 - September 12). If you’re willing, you can achieve self-mastery in certain aspects of your life. Mercury Retrograde is meant to be introspective. Consider how you think and communicate. Does the Scorpio sensor for the dark side in others overtake your mental processes? How ‘bout that stinger? Does it really serve you to stun or almost annihilate your listeners just to make a point? Where does personal power fit into your life? Have you morphed from abusing it to using it to its optimal potential? When you’re not working on that project, head for the beach. As another water sign, you’ll be in your element—and possibly “click” on the answers to some of the questions above in the soothing waters.

Late sign: You have a golden opportunity for tackling issues of discipline, structure, time-management, matters of practicality and realizing your own wisdom. This is Saturn’s influence, often recognized by the public in his Father Time persona. There’s nothing more effective than a midlife wise woman paired with Saturn’s energy. While many people find Saturn a tough taskmaster, by our age, we know him to lay the foundation for a life that really ticks. Spring’s report on Neptune and Chiron’s nudge to change still applies. Time to cut through any protective mechanisms and explore psycho-spiritual issues for healing and insight. Don’t wait! Jupiter and Uranus offer luck and breakthroughs in the process.

Summer-y for Scorpio: The time is ripe to go for change. Working on yourself is where the Scorpio quality of tenaciousness excels to your advantage! You, too, need time in or near water as you “process.”

Sagittarius, the Archer (November 22 – December 20).  Lucky early Sag! Like Leo, you’ve got a love aspect going into summer with Venus trine your Sun. Mars, on the other hand, squares it—so don’t try to get physical too soon or risk tripping up your summer romance. (We talked about the Sag propensity for tripping last time.) Your relationship to the Big Change Transits is mostly positive. As Saturn inches back from its retro position in Virgo to the Cardinal point at 1 Aries the third week in July, your have an opportunity to get down to business about business itself or any number of responsibilities and structures in your life. While play is your natural wiring, all play and no work makes Jill a broke girl—in more ways than one! Now that Uranus has been joined by your Sun’s ruler, Jupiter, in early Aries, you have other nearly unstoppable opportunities—for learning, growth, travel, and sudden change. Since every Sag loves a good journey, you’ll come out bigger and better than ever before. That’s another thing you Archers love. Doing things up BIG! But watch your diet. That bigger part can also apply to your hips if there’s too much eating and drinking on this expedition in self-development.

Mid-sign: Venus will be trining your Sun in mid-July, bringing romantic and moneymaking opportunities. Pay special attention this Mercury Retrograde (August 20 – September 15). Mercury will reverse over territory in Gemini that opposes your Sun. You might get more than your share of the Murky Retro Glitches. More importantly, it’s a chance to re-examination how you communicate. If the shoe fits, rethink some the interactive styles Sag is famous for—being a know-it-all and a “blowhard” (overly boastful and talkative). How ‘bout tendencies toward excess and exSaggeration? You might find toning it down will improve your relationships more than you’d imagined.

Late sign: Uranus and Jupiter are squaring off with your Sun, pressuring you for big breakthroughs and new points of view. As a Sag, you know how important an integrated philosophy is to you, whether religious, spiritual, or ethical. What needs to change in this regard? As summer fades into fall, the Moon will join Jupiter and Uranus to bring a big wave of feeling you must “get it,” if you haven’t during summer. Pluto isn’t far off from your Sun position, reminding you that if you ignore the call to major self-renewal, life will bring you situations that demand it. Saturn is in the wings, ready to lay a new foundation for your personal reorganization.

Summer-y for Sagittarius: Change calls. How will you answer? It’s a journey, so bring your cell phone.

Capricorn, the Goat (December 21 – January 18).  Dear early Goats: I’d love to tell you things have let up as far as the impact of the Big Change Transits on you, but with Jupiter added to the mix and all the planets being in the early Cardinal signs, you’re still playing ball with no seventh inning stretch in sight. Still, there are peanuts, Cracker Jack, fun and friends at the old ball game. Take heed of last season’s discussion about personal power. By midlife, most of us are learning that being powerful means being completely ourselves in a grounded way with no holds barred except for common courtesy to others.  The Solstice Lunar Eclipse right on your Sun may bring big life events and the final juice you need to make the leap into hyperspace with this transformation you’re undergoing. Be brave, and remember, your sign is the mountain goat that sees the world from a higher perspective. You’re simply being asked at this time to own that in its wise and wonderful entirety.

Mid-sign: Enjoy the flow of ambitious Mars in relationship to your Sun during the first week or so of July. You’ll feel sexy and full of energy to “go for it,” whatever “it” is for you. It’s also a perfect time for an athletic event or getting back to the gym. Think that old song, I want to get physical! The last two weeks of July, you get another set of good vibrations from Venus. July’s your month for playing with these energies. Caps, along with Virgos, are one of the signs that tend to be workaholics. If you recognize yourself in this description, a vacation and time off during July is ideal. Come August 20 through the first few days of September, Mercury Retrograde will be calling you to make readjustments. Here’s your chance to learn the value of having a Plan B—maybe even a Plan C.

Late Caps: Saturn’s on your side, helping you restructure anything that needs fixing in your persona and approach toward life. As your Sun ruler, this is a perfect time for making gains without pain. There’s help from Jupiter and Uranus, too, on the side of insights, spirituality, and adopting points of view that are more progressive. You’ll feel this most acutely toward the end of summer, especially just as the Moon joins Jupiter and Uranus at the Autumn Equinox. Ponder these things, be willing to change, and as summer ends, you’re likely to have the process punctuated with some intuitions and insights that tie it all together for you in a package of grand take-aways.

Summer-y for Capricorns:  You’re all straddling the work/play axis in your own way. Take play breaks and ride the waves of change, whether choppy or smooth.

Aquarius, the Water Bearer (January 19 – February 17).  The recent hook-up of Jupiter and Uranus brings you opportunities for sudden expansion. If most Perrie readers weren’t of a certain age, I’d tell you to watch your birth control; instead, I’ll suggest watching your diet for waist expansion. Now that those concerns are out of the way, this is a chance for unique personal insights and flexing your own brilliance. Uranus is the ruler of Aquarius. It’s like having your cosmic coach recommend you for the all-star team. You’ve made the tryouts. Now, if you apply yourself, and seize the unexpected and new awakenings, the sky’s the limit. There will be a lot of luck, benevolence, and blessings in this process, but you have to step up to the plate.

Mid-sign: Yours is one of the zodiac sectors that will benefit from introspection this Mercury Retrograde (August 20 – September 12). When Mercury reverses in Gemini, it trines your Sun, a positive energy flow. But Mercury asks us to do “re” things in return for reaping its rewards—rethink, renegotiate, reconsider—and so on. You might even find that some of Mercury Retro’s typical snafus benefit you in some way. For example, your cell phone goes out just when you’re being tele-stalked by someone you’re trying to avoid. Or a package you sent to Aunt Tillie gets misdelivered a block away to an old high school friend who recognizes your name and a much welcome reunion results. You’ll enjoy telling the stories, too.

Late sign: Neptune has retrograded back into the late degrees of Aquarius and will be affecting most people born during the last week of the sign. Chiron will follow suit, not far behind. They both go direct again in November, so here’s your opportunity for healing more of those inner hurts that keep you from moving forward. It’s also perfect for looking at whether you’re kidding yourself about yourself on any level. Who are you really? Are there issues on the polarity of addiction to spirituality that need tending? This introspection usually results in expansion that will require new boundaries to contain your expanding. Saturn is in a pattern to provide you with the roots you need to make it safe to spread your new wings.

Summer-y for Aquarians: You have many opportunities now that involve the need for both inner work (reflection) and stepping up to the plate (both in the real world and in the psycho-spiritual work force). Seize the season!

Pisces, the Fish (February 18 – March 19) Early Pisces: How has Chiron’s initial visit to your sign been since it arrived on April 20? If old hurtful situations have come up for healing, don’t be surprised. The beauty is that Chiron can also lead you to discovering your true vocation. Whatever territory of life you’ve been assigned to have a “sore” in, learning to make lemonade out of those lemons can often lead to your life’s work. One of my favorite soldiers on the Lemonade Trail is Michael J. Fox, who has taken on fundraising for Parkinson’s as his job and fun-raising for anyone challenged, telling us, I’m still me! His books are humorous and inspiring. Chiron is about the overcoming spirit and sharing it with your community for group learning. Early Fish still have a nice aspect from Pluto, inviting organic change from the inside out. This combo is awesome for your personal evolution and empowers you to shake past pain for future power. You’ll feel that Solstice Lunar Eclipse, too, but it will bring opportunities. With your strong, natural intuition, go with your first “hit” on what to do with them. 

Mid-sign: Mercury Retro alert! Your sign’s one that’s squared by Mercury as it retros in mid-Gemini. My recommendation is always to take seriously, in those cases, the introspection this cycle asks for. From August 20 to September 12, make time to look at what’s going on in your life, especially in the areas of communication, thinking, and siblings. Are you on the “outs” with a brother or sister? Are you communicating your needs clearly to others? Has a generalized negative attitude started to seep in? Preview: Come early fall, you’ll have a lovely Mars and Venus aspect that will play out even better if you’ve done this review in Mercury’s area of influence, finding out how you can relate better to others and to yourself by harboring the most positive and life-affirming thoughts.

Late Pisces: Even though they have moved onto Aries, you’re still likely to feel the pull of Jupiter and Uranus as they hover near your Sun. This will be truer as summer moves on and they both retrograde back into late Pisces and are back to influencing you more directly. This pair of energies has many adjectives: unusual, dynamic, disruptive, expansive, and unpredictable. As I mentioned in the General Sky, Jupiter/Uranus has a history of radical and unruly social and political shifts. “Shift happens” could be your personal motto. You may find yourself a different breed of Fish these days, as I mentioned in Spring—an electric eel. Take good care of your physical vehicle during this process. Use your considerable Piscean intuition to know that you’re going to make it to the other end of this process renewed and refined.

Summer-y for Pisces:  You’re in many ways a Fish out of water, exploring inner depths and new ways of being. Don’t make that literal. As another Water Sign, water is your salvation in this process and brings you back to feeling in the flow. Go swimming to stay in the swim.

Aries, the Ram (March 20 – April 18)Early Aries: There’s no let-up so far in your rebirth process, but as I mentioned last time, you’re not a change-resistant sign. I’ve seen the Aries I know take on every kind of challenge with a gumption that would make a Taurus or Capricorn envious.  With Jupiter now added to the Cardinal T-Square, you’re even finding the blessings in the sudden readjustments life has demanded. For example, one Aries friend lost her job and sees it as an opportunity to reorganize her side business, which may increase its chances of supporting her full-time. Another Aries had break-ins to her home, very disturbing, but leveraged the crisis into a new and better home in short order—and to a serious review of her personal issues with security. The Lunar Eclipse at the Solstice will bring more news and growth opportunities. Venus trine your Sun in at the Summer Solstice adds a short window of good news in areas of love and money. Every Aries has the potential to be Rambunctious in an impressive way during the Big Changes. Do what you do best. Go for it!

Mid-sign Rams get an opportunity for mental readjustment during this summer’s Mercury Retrograde, especially during the last week of the August 20 – September 12 cycle. How can you communicate better? Is your thinking positive, upbeat, and life affirming? As Mercury appears to be going in reverse in the sky, it’s time for Aries to become acquainted with that particular gear. Most of you live on overdrive! Reconsider how downshifting a few times a year can actually benefit your overall performance. Of all the signs, Aries fits most the metaphor that your body and being are your “personal vehicle.” You may require an occasional shift into lower gears or you’ll end up spending time in the shop.

Later-sign Rams: You remain under the influence of Neptune and Chiron. You have an opportunity to let dissolve those parts of you that no longer work in the positive and to heal longstanding pains from your past. It’s a time for working with spiritual and intuitive tools and to discover your own gifts in these areas. Saturn asks for readjustment from the latest birthdays in the sign, offering you a new structure for holding you during these sensitive times of self-discovery—and the extra protection you need while opening yourself up to psychic information, dreams, and healing.

Summer-y for Aries: Go for it—or rest from it—in your usual fiery style! Spend time in the summer sun to recharge your batteries.

Taurus, the Bull (April 19 – May 19).  Bulls are getting Pluto’s call to personal transformation in a kinder, gentler way, which fits your sign to a T. While you’ll feel the Lunar Eclipse at the Solstice, it’s likely to bring opportunities that enhance your brand of slower but certain personal evolution. You are probably also sensing a chance for healing and sensitizing from the Chiron/Neptune pairing in positive aspect to your Sun. There’s a synergy to these patterns that allow for a kind of growth spurt that has been building slow but suddenly blooms. Mars trine your Sun in early summer energizes you, so get out there and enjoy some summer exercise. Even if you move slowly—walking, yoga, t’ai chi—it’s a great time to keep moving, both inner and outer.

Mid-sign Tauruses are likely to have supportive opportunities, because of the July 11 Solar Eclipse. Hold family and friends close, and read more about the Total Solar Eclipse under General Sky near the top of the Planetarium report. 

Late-sign Bulls are still feeling the square from Chiron and Neptune, who are by now insistent on the topics of healing and spirituality as well as questioning your right vocation and artistic contributions.  Saturn is supportive with a flowing aspect to hold you while you rebirth yourself.

Summer-y for Tauruses: Most of you love to garden, and you’re the garden this summer! Let friendship, family, and supportive astrological energies form a firm flowerbed as you expand and bloom.

Gemini, the Twins (May 20-June 20).  Early Gems: You’re probably all fired up by the changes on tap offered by Uranus and Jupiter in aspect to your Sun. You like variety and change, and there’s nothing more changeable than Uranus and Jupiter together! Try to keep some grounding—always a Gemini challenge—as you ping off the walls of your mind with new opportunities and ideas. Enjoy a nice Venus aspect to your Sun, making you even more attractive than usual, around the Summer Solstice, but don’t forget to answer Chiron and Neptune’s call. For all this fun you’re having with the other planets, these guys want you to pay attention to your interior—to what needs to be healed and what has to go in your psyche to support your next leg of your personal journey in the most positive way. They’re willing to make it easy with a flowing trine to your Sun.

Mid-Gems: Pay attention to Mercury Retrograde August 20 – September 12. Mercury “backs up” right over your Sun, and if you don’t want to feel like you’ve been run over by a truck, do what it asks. Reconsider, review, revamp—relax and use this inner time for a personal tune-up. I often find errors during this cycle that prevent big problems later on, like a math mistake in my checkbook. That’s the purpose of Mercury Retrograde—to slow down and hopefully avoid slipping up.

Late Gemini: You retain that Neptune/Chiron square Sun aspect that can have the very amping up effect on your energy that I mentioned last time from the side of Uranus.  I know you’re unstoppable with creativity right now, but it’s very important to ground this energy. Unlike some of the other signs, Gemini does not feel its feet on the ground easily. You are an air sign. You like to fly! With Chiron presenting opportunities to heal lingering past hurts, you can either slow down and look for what needs to be done in this regard—or the universe will make you face it in more unpleasant ways, like recreating a scenario similar to one in the past that brought you a lot of grief. Chiron is a teacher, and you get to choose whether you want to learn the hard way. Saturn may already be slowing you down as it tries to reel you in from your current trip to the stratosphere. You don’t have to go as high as you can, just because you can. It’s crucial to add some gear shifting to your current flight to the creative realms. If you do, you will have not just mastered these transits; you’ll have learned a crucial lesson for all Geminis. Regardless of our astrological elemental make-up (in your case, Air) we live on the ground. We cannot fly without frequent trips back to earth for refueling.

Summer-y for Gemini: Grounding is a bigger issue than ever for you this summer. Play in dirt. It’s the element you need! Garden a little this summer to appreciate how lovely it can be to come down to earth.

See you at Autumn Equinox for our next show at the Planetarium! 


Joyce Mason has been an astrologer for 22 years and a writer ever since she could hold a pencil. Learn more about Joyce, her two blogs, and her library of articles on topics from A to Zzz (astrology to dreamwork) on her Joyce Mason website. Check out Personal Consultations on Joyce’s website for information about her “astrology plus” practice, Inner Growth Work. She welcomes hearing from you:


* The “correct” chart of the USA and when to consider its “birth” is hotly contested among astrologers. Most use the July 4, 1776 chart with Sagittarius Rising, known as the Sibley chart after Ebenezer Sibley, the 18th century astrologer and freemason who first proposed it.

** The dates given for each sign in parenthesis next to each sign are not exact every year because the Sun varies in when it shifts signs. Those born on the first or last day of a Sun sign need to have a chart run for their exact birth time to know for sure which sign they were born under. The time of shift can vary from a few hours to a full day. For example, my birthday is September 22. My Sun is in Virgo and the Sun did not shift into Libra at year until eight hours after I was born.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Menopause and Heart Disease

by Staness Jonekos

Heart disease is the number one killer of women today. Dr. Chrisandra Shufelt, assistant director of the Women’s Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, shares valuable information about heart disease during menopause.

Interview with Chrisandra Shufelt, M.D.
Assistant Director of the Women’s Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.

1. Question: How can women approaching or experiencing menopause protect themselves from heart disease?

Chrisandra Shufelt, M.D.: The best protection is in knowing your heart health numbers. By that I mean you should know your blood pressure, LDL and HDL cholesterol, weight, body mass index (BMI) and fasting blood sugar level. If your numbers are out of whack, see your doctor, start exercising, change your eating habits, lose weight if you need to and stop smoking. You also need to be aware of your family medical history. Women who have a first-degree relative diagnosed with heart disease at an early age are at an increased risk of developing heart disease themselves. Heart disease is the number one killer of women so the first step in preventing it is to know your numbers.

2. Question: Does a woman’s heart disease risk increase during menopause?

Dr. Shufelt: One in seven premenopausal women die of heart disease compared to one in three postmenopausal women. We know that blood cholesterol levels can often change for the worse within six months to a year from the onset of menopause, which on average is the age of 51. The risk of high blood pressure triples with menopause; after the age of 55, more women have high blood pressure.

3. Question: Does hormone therapy increase a woman’s risk of developing heart disease?

Dr. Shufelt: Hormone therapy may be an effective way of controlling the moderate to severe night sweats, hot flashes and other menopause symptoms that can wreak havoc in a woman’s life. Start by seeking a certified menopause specialist who can weigh the risks and benefits for each patient. If your doctor considers hormone therapy safe for you, be sure to reevaluate annually. Starting hormone therapy many years after a woman has gone through menopause does increase the risk of heart disease. Women who are not good candidates for hormone therapy do not need to suffer in silence. There are many nonhormonal options to treat menopause symptoms.

4. Question: Are women who take oral contraceptives at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease?

Dr. Shufelt: Oral contraceptives are the most commonly prescribe hormones with approximately 80 percent of women in the U.S. using them at some point. In healthy younger women – young than 35 and nonsmokers – oral contraceptives do not increase a woman’s risk for heart disease. And we know that birth control pills can be helpful in controlling symptoms around perimenopause. That’s why you should re-read my answer to the first question and get to know your heart health numbers!

5. Question: Is it possible to treat menopause symptoms while simultaneously preventing heart disease?

Dr. Shufelt: Yes. That is exactly what we do at the Women’s Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. And it’s why menopause transition is such an important time for all women. I want women to know that when they reach menopause, it’s time to take stock of their health and their individual risk factors. Because when we know a patient’s numbers, we can help her assess the side effects and risks that come with all treatments and also help ensure that the second act of her life can be just as vibrant and active as the first.

6. Question: Does estrogen provide heart protection?

Dr. Shufelt: No, estrogen is not prescribed to prevent heart disease.

7. Question: What else should women know about heart disease?

Dr. Shufelt: When it comes to heart disease, women need to recognize that often, our symptoms are different from men’s heart disease symptoms. In addition to chest pain, women are more likely to have shortness of breath as a first sign of heart disease. Women more commonly experience extreme fatigue and persistent chest pain. Unlike men, women generally have major arteries that are clear of plaque, but the smaller coronary blood vessels cease to constrict and dilate properly, creating the lack of blood flow and oxygen to the heart.
Staness Jonekos is the co-author of The Menopause Makeover, speaker, advocate for women's health. For more information about Staness Jonekos visit You can also follow her on