Taoist healing sound meditation for the burning temple of Jupiter

Happy Solstice, everyone! Though the Sun is scheduled to enter Capricorn in just a bit, marking the longest night here in the northern hemisphere and the official entrance into winter season, we should also note the exaggerated Mercury-Jupiter conjunction in Sagittarius occurring on fixed star Antares [happening now]. What an apppropriate way to close Sagittarius season! Whether you're a parent to a toddler or teenager, depend on emotional flow for magickal practice, or find yourself stressed out over the rush of holiday season, you might find it useful to engage in the lesser known meditative technique known as the Taoist healing sounds if you happen to be touched by today's planetary configuration. 

Jupiter is, among other things, a planet of expansion, abundance, fortune, blessings, spiritual learning, long journeys, foreign places/people/and experiences, sagacious teachers, and judicial matters (law).

Jupiter has been home in Sagittarius already for a little over a month, so you likely have a good idea of what themes Jupiter will be activating in your life for the next year, but today's energy can feel very over the top!

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Ashley OteroComment
Parenting as an astrologer

Last week, I had the pleasure of being a guest—along with astrologer Patrick Watson— on Chris Brennan’s show, The Astrology Podcast, to discuss the unique position of being an astrologer and a parent. I was really excited to have the opportunity to finally speak with other astrologers about this as I knew that other parent astrologers had to have similar thoughts and questions about this interesting role we play in our children’s’ lives. What makes our role interesting (in my opinion) is the literacy of a divination tool like astrology. Conceptually, we wield a powerful tool that has the ability to predict the probabilities that lie in our children’s future. That’s a bold concept. Bold as it may be. It’s real. But just because it’s real doesn’t mean we [as astrologers] are always able to accurately or clearly anticipate exactly how events in our child’s life will unfold.

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Ashley OteroComment
Why I’m not investing my child’s imagination in Santa Claus

I honestly can’t remember at what age I knew that Santa Claus didn’t exist. Being the introvert that I’ve always been, I tended to quietly observe rather than bombard with questions and my mom never really made a big thing of Santa story-telling. In fact, I can only remember pretending that I thought Santa was real and that the extra gifts labeled “from Santa” was just something to play along with. These memories go back to at least the age of 6. Of course, every year it was the same. Presents gradually found themselves joined by more presents under the tree weeks before Christmas day arrived. Santa was supposed to arrive the night before Christmas… and those stockings were always stuffed days before that morning! My mom even caught me red-handed once—standing on top of a chair peeking into one of them. The mystery of it all killed me! I had to know what was in there!

But I can recall no threats of not being visited by Santa for naughty behavior or insistent lies of his existence. In fact, the day my mother broke the news to me that good ol’ St. Nick didn’t really exist never came. At least not that I recall. I suppose it was an understood truth or that my mom knew that I knew better. I enjoyed the fantasy of it a little. But I had much greater sense of fantasy and imagination to entertain me than the bestselling myths of Santa.

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Ashley OteroComment
Full Moon in Taurus 2018

Anyone else feeling the palpably tense Scorpio energy in the air, yet? The Sun just entered Scorpio early this morning and we’re already building up to a physically and emotionally moving Full Moon in Taurus, which is due to culminate on the 24 (12:45 PM EDT). Ruled by Venus and conjoined to Uranus in Taurus, this lunation reflects significant shifts around relationships, value, and social contracts. What we share, expect, and long for is up for evaluation as partnerships, friendships, and exchanges continue to morph during this Venus retrograde period.

If you have personal points or angles near 0-3 of the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, or Aquarius) or if you’re in a Venus profection year, you’d be wise to allow yourself a little time and space to process the emotional interchanges arising from the depths. Trying to bury feelings, ignore, or pretend relational issues are less significant than they are could blow up in your face when the Moon spends time with Uranus this week.

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Astrology of October 9-10

The story line of last night’s New Moon in Libra will become more develop over the next several days as the upcoming planetary configurations point to an intensely palpable energy surrounding give and take dynamics. Today, messenger Mercury dips into the psychic river of Scorpio where our thoughts and communication will be colored with deeper curiosity, introspection, and caution for the remainder of the month. Though the fixity of Mercury in Scorpio lends more decisiveness, as well as an ability to concentrate profoundly, it’s vital to remain cognizant of the tendency to become obsessed with or paranoid about the subject of our focus. There’s a greater potential for critical thinking and perceptive foresight while Mercury wades through this area of the sky; but equanimity of the mind is central to averting the pitfalls of extremism and other breeds of mental corruption.

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Ashley Otero
New Moon in Libra 2018

New Moon in Libra

This week begins with an especially dark and provocative tone as the New Moon in Libra culminates Monday night. Not only has the ruler of this lunation (Venus) just stationed retrograde, but She is also in the sign of her detriment (in Scorpio). Venus in Scorpio burns with fervent desires, seeking a full spectrum of experiences with Her lover or object of passion: The euphoric enchantment of adoration, the horrid and the ugly. Venus in Scorpio compromises the New Moon in Libra’s agenda for balance, composure, and equity by doing exactly what Libra typically seeks to avoid. That is, to rock the boat.

Relaxing and enjoying the pleasures that life has to offer is much easier done without falling into the sticky bodies of emotion, which is why Venus is “in her detriment” in Scorpio. The sign Scorpio— is ruled by Mars—a planet that symbolizes separation, strife, and confrontation. Venus seeks unity and harmony. Though varied in their methods and preferences, the two often share similar desires; together they are the swaying motion of the entangled lovers.

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On the Value of Astrology Part 2

Considering Venus’ retrograde station is right around the corner (this Friday), it feels appropriate to follow up on the Value of Astrology episode astrologers Annabel, Elodie, and I recorded back on September 15. We had a lengthy and stimulating discussion about the value of astrology, including perspectives on:

  1. How much is an astrology reading worth?

  2. Where astrology fits in to the growing self-help industry

  3. Capitalism, millennials, and the potentials and limitations of the market

That said, the episode was structured to share important perspectives from two seasoned professionals in the field. But I realized afterward that I unintentionally left out where I stand on this topic and I thought it only makes sense to offer a bit of follow up on how I do business and why I charge what I do.

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Astrology of October 1-7, 2018

Happy 1st of October everyone! The leaves have already begun to turn red and fall from the trees here in New England and the grocery stores give an intoxicating smell of cinnamon and spice as soon as you enter the doors. Ahhhh— brooms, baked apple, crisp leaves, and cool air. It’s an enchanting season.

If I’m being honest, summer is actually my favorite season because I love the Sun and warmth. But fall is a close second and this is my first fall in about 15 years that I get to actually experience the gorgeous autumn foliage that’s featured in photography. Plus, who doesn’t appreciate the witchiest season of all? …especially when you live so close to Salem, MA! If there is one thing special about this area it’s the power of herstory that haunts the land, trees, and charmingly old buildings.

October’s atmosphere speaks of this power as it begins on an appropriately dark note this year with two planetary aspects dominating the first week of the month, before the New Moon in Libra.

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Full Moon in Aries 2018

A child can teach an adult three things… To be happy for no reason. To always be busy with something. And to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.

~Paulo Coelho

The Moon is still waxing for the next few hours until her culmination, just before 11:00 PM Est— so here I am writing my contribution to this full moon in true Aries style… last minute! …Or rather, rushing in at the last minute (Aries is usually the first to the party, but they're also often in a rush because fast is how they roll!). To be fair, my boss [baby] released me from work late today! And technically, I’m just on a short break!

Under the sign of Aries, tonight’s lunation speaks to the child within each of us. Aries is hailed as the infant of the zodiac. Cheerful, cheeky, and impulsive. Brimming with fire and innocence alike. Ambitious, confident, and unapologetic, Aries ignites and inspires everyone around them.

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The Value of Astrology

I’ve been interested in having this conversation (not just with the astrological community), but especially with the public, for the last three years after attending my first astrology conference (which was NORWAC 2015) and meeting several other astrologers in real life.

At that time, I had been consulting clients in astrology for two years, and had a very clear idea of how challenging it can be to make a solid living off of consults as a professional astrologer. What’s interesting is that many of the people I speak with (friends and new acquaintances) seem to voice the common held notion that astrologers are banking and making a killing from their craft. While I certainly know there are some doing very well for themselves and certainly there are professionals who are able to sustain themselves from a full time practice or by consulting as well as teaching and writing, most working astrologers that I know hold at least one other occupation in order to pay the bills.

So is there a general price range that astrological services should have? While some astrologers book out months in advance and some consult billionaires in financial and business matters which you’d expected to charge high prices to reflect that--should all astrologers being aiming to charge the same?

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Happy Equinox Earthlings!

Today the Sun enters the Scales of Libra marking the shift of seasons and an equal length in day and night; a ceremonious exchange between yin and yang as daylight takes a bow and recedes for the seasons where star-speckled darkness reigns.

Here, the Sun centers our attention on social affairs, fairness, and relationships. Libra is the sign of grace, diplomacy, and modesty and the Sun in Libra places higher importance on making sure that we recognize the need for balance. Traditionally, the Sun is said to be in its fall while in Libra. Astrologically, the Sun symbolizes one’s identity, self-sovereignty, and one's willpower. But keeping the desires and needs of others in mind is of utmost importance for those particularly touched by the Sun's dance through Libra, which often makes asserting the self more difficult because the self (Sun) revolves around others.

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Herstory: The Night I Met Lucas

Friday, September 15th, 2017: 6:45 AM

39 weeks 5 days

This isn’t a drill

It’s been about a week since we’ve arrived in Dallas to stay with Wil’s aunt and uncle, waiting for Hurricane Irma’s rage to calm and the storm to pass.

Wil wakes me up to have breakfast and start getting ready so we can pack the cars and begin our drive back home to FL. I struggle to keep my eyes open and fall in and out of sleep as I try to rise. But it doesn’t take long for my focus to shift as I start feeling concentrated tension in my center (before I’ve even attempted to rise from my stack of 6 pillows). As they continue to return every few minutes, I agree to let Wil time them with my contraction tracker app. Though he didn’t seem too convinced there was a pattern, I’m convinced he was too tired to see the consistency when they first began.

Although my contractions were coming at 5 minutes apart, Wil didn’t seem to notice a pattern since the duration of each varied.  He thought it was a “false” start. But I could feel it wasn’t.

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Someone's Mother

The First Revolution

My heart is light with love and excitement, but I notice an occasional quiver in my breath. I takes nothing less than 110% of my effort to stay in the present, but still I often fail and find my thoughts far beyond me, romanticizing the beginning and imagining what's yet to come. It feels like witnessing the explosive creation of our Universe and then watching the phenomenon of time and space unfold-- knowing that with the passing of generations, the sky and universe expand and the brilliant stars that were once so close slip further into the distance. 

We stand at a precipice between the flood of the emotional life transformation marked by infancy and the quickly flowing river of time ready to carry us into the season of toddler-hood. Today marks little Luke's first solar return. His first birthday. A celebration of spirit, life, and growth. It also marks my birth day. A deifying wrinkle in time defined by the molting of my maiden identity, cathartic purification, and the admonition that life is fleeting.

Time flies, but we are rightly reminded that though the days feel like years, sooner than later the years feel like days.

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