Hi, I’m Laura. I’m a Gemini Sun, Sagittarius Moon, Cancer rising. In my role as astrologer, I see myself as a mixture of existential detective, planetary portrait painter and cosmic journalist. The latter is primarily who you will find here, as this is the space where I translate the goings-on above and below, and get to have fun with words, stories and archetypes. But natal astrology is my love language, and my consultation work my passion, so for this intro post, some thoughts on the birth chart and self-acceptance—
The thing I love about natal astrology is how it validates not only the parts of ourselves that we like, but also those parts that we find harder to like. Our charts can flatter of course, which feels good, but what I find much more useful is how they mirror to us our conflicts, our contradictions and our weirdness. Take mine, for instance: I have a Sun that is pulled in many directions, a rising sign that would rather not be rising, a muzzled Mars, a malefic party in my house of joy, and a majorly quirky Mercury. And I could go on!
If I didn’t know these things, I imagine I might often feel lost, confused, or unsure of myself. But because I am aware of the cards I was dealt, I can play them more consciously. With map and flashlight in hand, I can be on the lookout for the pitfalls and potholes in my own psyche (and in others’). I don’t feel any judgment toward those placements, only curiosity and (dare I say) fondness. I no longer feel the need to apologize for the things that make me me. And sure, you can get to that place without astrology, but it will probably take a lot longer.
There are no bad birth charts, only narrow, unimaginative interpretations. There are no perfect birth charts either, for that matter. So don’t lament your placements—the planets are teachers that already exist within us, so fighting them is like tilting at windmills. Instead, can we try to hear what the gods are saying to us, to see how they are living through us? Those challenging aspects, those afflicted planets, are a reflection of your complexity and your humanity. And through them lie your growth, your wisdom and your wholeness. So let’s give them a little extra love, which is what they likely need.
My approach is not about sugar coating or glossing over hard stuff; it is about looking for redemption and silver linings (fitting terms for my Moon-Neptune in Sag). To me, each birth chart is coat of many colors, and each reading is a search for the threads of the soul that are woven through the tapestry of space and time.
And so, forget the rules for just a minute, about hard aspects and malefics, detriment and dignity—what placements are you proud of? Which do you enjoy the most, from lived experience? If you don’t know, or are curious about what your chart holds, then I invite you to schedule a reading and to allow me to mirror back to you the beauty and uniqueness of your self and soul. Let’s make meaning together of your cosmic map.
April 26, 2021 // 7° Scorpio
According to the numerology of the tarot, this is the year of the Hierophant, the 5 card in the deck (2+0+2+1). Fives are said to represent turning points and breaking free, which feels strange juxtaposed with the card’s symbolism of received wisdom, entrenched hierarchy and the old ways. So it would seem the card—and by extension, these times—hold within them a curious paradox between tradition and change, between old and new.
So what does that mean for all of us? As the high priest card has an esoteric association with Taurus, I think we should, a quarter of the way through the year, and fully into the season of the bull, be beginning to see. We have already been feeling the cow-prodding, provoking effects of Uranus in Taurus, whose square to Saturn in Aquarius underpins all of 2021, and is awakening the dormant, recalcitrant energy of the four fixed signs. And now, the Sun, Mercury, Venus and the Black Moon Lilith also find themselves in Taurus, each receiving an injection of Uranian stimulant, each confronting the stern stare of the Saturnian pope in their own ways. And for the next few days, while the Moon travels through psychological Scorpio, it is bringing these themes further down to earth, and doing what it does best: making it all personal.
When I think of the fixed signs, of the Taurus-Scorpio dance, of a Taurus stellium, of the Moon, and of a lunation ruled by Mars in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn, two things that immediately come to mind are sustenance and survival. With space weather such as this, I would expect to see stories and memories of safety, security and resources (or the lack thereof) become activated in our lives and psyches. Stories of our own evolution as well: the ways we have survived as individuals, as families, as societies, and as a species.
So many of these scripts run in the unconscious, but the Moon can help us shine a light on them. This is a Moon that may bring up our earliest experiences with caregivers and the ways our attachment styles developed within our adult relationships; the ways we do or don’t feel safe in our bodies, in our homes, or in the world. This Moon has a tendency to touch nerves—when, if ever, did you experience a formative disruption to the nervous system, or a disturbance in the fabric of your earliest containers of family, matriarch, or mother? What ancestral trauma might have been passed down and born into your natal chart as a karmic lesson, or an opportunity for healing and cycle-breaking? And by the same token, when and by whom have you felt protected and nurtured, defended and loved?
The Moon in Scorpio happens to be in mutual and harmonious relationship with Mars in Cancer. Together, they remind us that anger is often a mask for fear and that power is not a zero-sum game. They encourage us to ask questions of ourselves, and to be honest in our answers; to learn to discern when we’re truly unsafe versus reacting from old, unconscious wounds; and to notice and take responsibility for our triggers.
Taurus season, meanwhile, asks us what keeps us grounded and in full possession of ourselves. It asks us to identify our desires and needs, and to move from surviving toward thriving. And zooming back out to this Hierophant year: for some, this turning point will feel like crisis, for others it will feel like liberation. But we can all be asking ourselves: how are the spiritual and the practical both necessary for getting through life? Where can I be a teacher or mentor, and transmit the knowledge that has served me thus far, thereby bolstering others’ resiliency? And which inherited traditions or ways of thinking will I choose to sustain and which will I allow to be left in the past?
April 23 - June 11, 2021
For much of 2020, our boy Mars had it pretty good. He started out the year with a trip through Capricorn, the sign that brings him strength, power and reputation. And then he spent the entire second half of the year in Aries, his home turf. There were great tests, of course—a retrograde initiation, battles with Saturn and Pluto—but Mars met them as a warrior would, in the way he knew best: as a call to adventure, and as a test of his mettle that he must not allow to keep him from his path. But now we have reached the point in the monomyth when the journey will test our hero in even deeper ways, and present him with his greatest challenge of all.
Since moving into Taurus in January, Mars has been wandering, as if blown off course, further into the unfamiliar, unpredictable territory of the Feminine, where the ways are foreign and frustrating. In Gemini, he learned valuable lessons about helpers, brotherhood, betrayal and soul contracts. And today, standing at the threshold of Cancer, he falls headlong into the uterine abyss. Here, he must go back in time and face the past, face the ghosts of the ancestors, and he must go it alone. In the Moon Mother’s sign, our hero is bewildered. His usual direct action is now subject to her whims and beholden to her tides. He is held under her sway, his feelings rerouted in her undercurrents. Tears can become tantrums, the breasts and stomach become armor, yang is grafted onto yin, and the drive to protect becomes intensely personal.
If he can make peace with memory, or find a channel for all of this swirling, swelling creative force, Mars will come out stronger and braver than before. If he can admit vulnerability while still retaining his pride, if he can use his hurt to help instead of harm, then he can experience transformation, even revelation, and be well on his way to kingship when he emerges into Leo this summer.
Navigating the waters of Cancer requires a kind of bravery that Mars is not used to, that is drawn from the mystical well of emotion and intuition, guarded by dragons of all sorts, and paradoxically, requires him to feel safe in order to access. Cancer, like Libra, Capricorn and Aries, shows us where in our charts the cardinal cross of new beginnings can be found in our lives. Mars may be in his fall here for the next seven weeks, but Mars, like Cancer, does love to initiate. Let us try to harness this opportunity, to use this blend of the Masculine and the Feminine, to alchemize a new path to healing the past, and finding both peace and strength. Let us see it as a divine mirror that shows us the battles we are fighting with ourselves. And finally, let us remember that the imagination is one of our greatest gifts—what are your dreamworlds, your fantasies, your mythic landscapes trying to tell you, and what new life is asking to be born?