The sky is on fire. The moon is pregnant. Baby ducklings are everywhere, and we just had our first tropical storm of the season down here in New Orleans.
With Sun, Venus, Jupiter and Neptune all in water signs, I'm thinking we might be in for a wet summer. Wet and dreamy... perfect for napping and making art and reading fiction. Not so great for making rational choices based solely on data & intellect. But that's exactly what the last solar eclipse was about... honing our instincts and opening that third eye. Trusting what we know without knowing, what we feel without seeing. Listening to our bodies, to nature, and to the stars.
We are, after all, stardust.
Here's to the beautiful bounty of the season. May you all be inspired to create new paradigms for living, to widen your perspectives and embody truth.
I graduated from massage school 22 years ago with no intention of becoming a lifer. Initially it was a trade that I hoped would give me flexibility and bartering ability, which it definitely has. I didn’t know that after ten years of having my own downtown office, with a big lobby and off street parking (omg such luxuries) I’d go to working out of my kitchen in a New Orleans shotgun.
Or that I’d enter the spa business and experience what it’s like to be exploited... but also learn some truly valuable tools and lessons (and people).
I didn’t know that after 20 years, I’d be diagnosed with an auto immune disease that caused peripheral nerve pain and numbness in my hands, causing me to quit said job at spa and really consider my skill sets and options.
I never ever anticipated a global pandemic that would afford me time to re-evaluate my life at the exact same time that menopause settled in (which was an unexpected blessing). And finally, I wouldn’t have believed you if you’d told me that at the age of 50 I’d be coaching clients through the mediums of Tarot and astrology or hired by a psychologist to join a practice of BIPOC witches.
But hey, y’all that’s the beauty of not being tethered to a capitalist model rooted in patriarchy.
Please follow me on Instagram @temple.blacksnake for astrology updates and philosophical ramblings about the collapse of Patriarchy.
In the last month, life has been consumed with projects that have nothing to do with business and everything to do with healing. ⠀
I initially thought I would use this time to write more blog posts and share more resources with you, but as the internet became flooded with information I took it as a sign that I could step away and hold the space IRL. ⠀
Everyone is doing such a lovely job of offering their gifts right now. I'm so impressed and in awe of my professional healing circle, and it warms my heart to see more generosity than entrepreneurialism flowing through my social media feeds. Because what we need more than anything right now is permission to be vulnerable, to both give and receive, and to care for each other. (Or at least that's what the North Node in Cancer is telling me.)⠀
Please know that I miss you all. Today marks 40 days of no physical contact- as soon as it's safe for me to work again, my hands will be so happy. Sun moves into Taurus today so we may all be missing a lack of physical connection. I recommend hugging trees, gardening, trying new recipes, working with clay or paper mache. Also self-massage, lymphatic skin brushing, and humming... yes HUMMING... are soothing to the nervous system. Anything that feeds the senses and nurtures the body is under Taurus' rule.
Despite a slump in socially recognized "productivity," I have found joy in service and creativity as we all navigate this incredible, once in a lifetime astrology together.
It is natural to prioritize in times of intense emotional and mental stress, the same way our bodies prioritize in times of physical stress. When we sense danger the last thing we want is to stop and take a bathroom break. Our sympathetic nervous system automatically shuts down what is least necessary and utilizes energy so that we can handle the crisis.
Our social nervous system also goes through an elimination process, and in my own personal experience I've been taking note of what has shifted for me in terms of importance. Creating new paths of security while letting go of old habits has been the biggest work. Coincidentally this has all been reflected in the astrology leading up to now and the energies currently at play.
Whenever Pluto has strong aspects to other planets, we can expect profound and unrelenting transition in the areas of life those planets represent. In the last six months Pluto has been transited by the South Node, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars. I think we can all agree that we are living through some of the most intense astrological cycles of our present lifetime, and as always, how we respond, move through, and learn from these cycles will determine our future success as individuals and as a society.
You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour,
now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.
And there are things to be considered . . .
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift
that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore.
They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore,
push off into the middle of the river,
keep our eyes open, and our heads above water.
And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves.
For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time for the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we've been waiting for.
There was a New Moon earlier this week with some pretty powerful aspects to Chiron and the North and South Nodes, but I don’t feel like hiding behind astrology right now. I want to talk about feelings.⠀
These times are unprecedented, bringing up so much, and the fact that we have social media to see what’s happening all over the world makes it that much more real. Where are you at today... right now?⠀
I’ll tell you where I’m at. After using every one of my coping tools from recovery (and even from childhood) I have finally, thankfully, come into some submission.
I’m letting the grief in.⠀
Grief is a lot of things. It can be about what’s to come, what’s already happened, or what didn't happen. Staying busy keeps it at bay for a while. Having a sense of humor helps soften the blow. But at the end if the day, it’s there. And this morning it woke up next to me.⠀
My grief feels like a loss of innocence- knowing that things will never be quite the same, for better or worse. It’s my proof that the world is ruptured and that the illusion of security is just that... an illusion. That despite all acts of charity and good will, there is going to be loss.
I also grieve the ways of living that we’ve adopted as “normal” and that it’s taken a pandemic to slow most of us (not all) down. And if I’m honest, I’m afraid of things going back... it’s just not sustainable.
Thank you for holding my grief with me. Otherwise it would be too much to bear. And no amount of memes or inspirational jibber jab is gonna make it go away. I just have to be still and let it do it’s job. ⠀
And that’s the astrology this week, as the New Moon in Aries was conjunct Chiron and square the Nodes. A time to stop, listen to the wound, and reflect on how we can take action to be part of this GREAT HEALING.
This weekend I did the one thing you’re never supposed to do when baking dessert for a dinner party- I tried out a new recipe. And not just any recipe but a rather ambitious one, all things considered.
I basically attempted to recreate the staple of Carnival season- the almighty King Cake. Every restaurant and bakery has a signature version of it, the more decadent the better. You can expect to find at least one or two at every gathering you attend between 12th Night and Fat Tuesday. It replaces donuts at the office and takes over display cases at the grocery store. So when I say ambitious, I mean it.
If you're lost, allow me to explain. King Cake isn't a batter cake, it's a giant ring of bread-like dough stuffed with anything from cinnamon to cream cheese (and everything in between) and sprinkled in yellow, purple and green sugar. After it's baked, a plastic baby is stuffed into the bottom, and whoever gets the piece with the baby has to bring the next cake. Everyone has a favorite King Cake, and people actually argue over which is better... Dong Phuong, Manny Randazzo's etc.
Three years ago I gave up eating white flour and sugar which makes living in New Orleans a bit of a challenge around certain "seasons", this being no exception. King Cake is more of a cultural institution than anything, and wanting to fit in can be tough when you're the only person who's not eating it. My dad used to joke, "Never trust a man who doesn't drink" and a similar theme can be applied here.
So that afternoon, only three hours before the party, I destroyed my kitchen baking a gluten / dairy / and sugar-free king cake. Having researched several recipes and finally settling on one from a paleo website (huge mistake) I committed to rising yeast and grinding my own powdered sugar from dried coconut nectar. The process was deeply satisfying and beyond anything I have ever attempted, but it was doomed to fail because you basically need certain ingredients to make a thing taste like a thing and I'm still learning those tricks. (Truth be told, I have yet to taste a gluten free version of anything that's even close.)
The minute I pulled it out of the oven, I knew. I could tell by eyeing the crust that it wasn't even close to real king cake. Too dry, too crumbly, zero fluff, etc.
But I brought it to the party anyway (because g-dammit I'd put my heart into this thing) and feigned good humor. “If you don’t expect king cake you won’t be disappointed” I laughed, and “that’s what I get for thinking I could cheat Mardi Gras.” To make things worse I’d posted all these process pics on my IG and FB stories, and even though no one else knew the end result, I KNEW. I felt like a fraud. Like my cake was shit, an absolute disaster which made me an absolute disaster by proxy. Like if Donald Trump was in the room he'd be puckering his mouth and pointing at me, "It's a hoax!! Fake cake! Lock her up."
Only a few people at the party tried the damn thing, and I winced every time I saw the crumbling crust fall apart in their fingers. Needless to say I came home with 2/3's of a cake. The hostess was gracious enough, asked me to leave her a slice, but everyone else was avoiding eye contact as I wrapped it up and did the cakewalk of shame.
(In case you're feeling sorry for me, don't. I don't need your pity, I need humor. I need someone to say "Oh my God, yes!" because they understand how insidious our perfection-obsessed culture can be and how ridiculous this story is. I need someone to laugh with me because otherwise, it's rather sad isn't it?)
But then something wonderful happened... an unexpected twist.
The next day I absent-mindedly pulled a piece of the crust off and while letting it dissolve in my mouth I realized that I'd actually baked a giant scone! A perfect, delicious, gluten free, low carb, apple, cinnamon and maple pecan stuffed scone that wouldn’t put my body into inflammatory shock. I hadn't enjoyed a scone in years, and so I immediately brewed a cup of strong English tea and after that, everything changed. EVERYTHING.
It occurred to me that so often in life we confuse failure with invention. We rush to reach an end product and thereby devalue the process. We fail to see that our mistakes can be discoveries, that it's about the journey AND the destination.
And sometimes we even miss our true calling because we're blind sighted by something else. Like Lauryn Hill sang, "Don't be a hard rock when you really are a gem, baby girl..."
This all happens to be the perfect analogy for the astrology this week. Keep an open mind. Expect answers and solutions to come from unexpected sources. And don't throw the baby out with the bathwater! Great innovation comes from trial and error.
Tomorrow’s lunar eclipse in Cancer gives us pause to reflect on our relationship to family, home, and mothering / being mothered. Some of us are building tribes based on spiritual lineage- changing the face of what conventional family looks like. Others are healing generational wounds through self parenting.
Change is bumpy. Change takes time. And the change we’re seeing now is all part of the great shift from patriarchy to a more egalitarian society.
With the eclipsed moon opposing the Pluto Saturn conjunction, expect decomposition and rebuilding in all Cancerian areas of life: mothering, ancestry, home, self care, parenting & reparenting, and literally our relationship to the GREAT MOTHER 🌊 Yemaya.
It bears mentioning that Uranus is stationing direct the same day as the eclipse. Whatever house is ruled by Taurus in your natal chart is where you’re reinventing yourself and can expect breakthroughs over the next 6 years. And lastly , pay attention to any information or insight that comes in unexpectedly as Mercury opposes the Moon and is conjunct the Sun.
Immediately following we have one more big transit, as Pluto and Saturn conjoin at 22° Capricorn. Pluto wants us to reclaim our inherent power while Saturn wants us to be responsible with that power. Time to reign it in.
My intention for 2019 was to move from surviving to thriving. I knew it would be challenging, as every year has it’s ups and downs, but I didn’t anticipate any of the events that would come to pass.
Sudden death of a friend, unexpected illness, job loss, moving, breakups, oral surgery, and a serious family crisis all marked the year. And yet here we are at the close, and all I can think of is how grateful I am. For every tool, every breakthrough, every helper, and every bit of grace and insight that taught me how to live life on life’s terms.
The phrase "One day at a time" (sometimes one breath at a time) has never felt as meaningful. I’ve been able to stay curious and open; to find shelter in unexpected places, and to thrive- not in spite of but because of these challenges.
The current astrology encourages you to find the lesson, the reward, the wisdom in the muck. The first lunar eclipse of 2020 is on Jan 10th followed by Pluto & Saturn’s conjunction on the 12th. Both will require our full presence, so tits up!
I'm still booking new year's readings. To schedule yours (or any other service), use the contact page, and have a happy & prosperous 2020.
Good morning and congratulations. If you're breathing right now, you're a raging success.
Some of us are doing the work of generations. Some of us get sick during the process. Some of us don't meet the status quo because this work is all-consuming. Whatever you were taught to believe about success, healing, and love... let it go. Embrace the idea that you're exactly where and who you're meant to be.
This blog is unpaid and ad free. Your readership means the world, but if you would like to support my work in a more substantial way you can donate anytime with Paypal or Venmo me @Isabelle_LaFleur