Yearly Archives: 2012

Weekly Forecast November 19: Sun Enters Sagittarius, Mars Square Uranus

Pallas and Centaur, Sandro Botticelli, c. 1482

We’re in something of a twilight zone this week, between eclipses and with Mercury retrograde in secretive Scorpio. Certainly some of the news headlines have been surreal.

But we do get out of deep, dark Scorpio territory just a little bit with the Sun’s entry in Sagittarius – not that the party sign doesn’t have its dark side, too.

The constellation Sagittarius as a centaur with a bow and arrow is very old, dating at least as far back as ancient Mesopotamia. Babylonian astrologers depicted him as a centaur-like god with wings and two heads, one of a man and the other of a panther. You could say he had a third “head,” a very prominent male member. In any case, this image symbolized the dual nature of humans. We’re capable of being civilized, wise, and consciously evolved, but deep within us lies a primal, animal nature – the shadow side. Interestingly, the Mesopotamian centaur figure has a Scorpion’s tail.

In Greek mythology, the centaurs were a savage race known for getting drunk and going on wild rampages. So the story goes, they were invited to a wedding and immediately proceeded to drink too much, rape the female guests, and carry off the bride. In retribution, they were slain by Theseus of Minotaur fame, who, fortunately for the bride’s father, was among the wedding guests.

Now, you’re going to love this: One of the rapacious centaurs at the wedding was named Petraios, whose name in Latin is Petraeus – he of the rocks. Or maybe, we should say, “on the rocks.” I mean, how much of a synchronicity is this? Among the hottest news in the past two weeks was the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus, forced to step down following the exposure of an extramarital affair with his buff biographer, Paula Broadwell. Prior to becoming head of the nation’s top spy agency, Petraeus, a four-star general, led rampages in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dual nature of humanity, indeed. As if facing Mrs. Petraeus isn’t punishment enough, Congress is grilling him about his apparent lies and cover-up of what really happened in Benghazi, which by some accounts was a CIA base disguised as a consulate. Fat chance we’ll get the truth on that. Then again, with Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius and Scorpio, perhaps the truth will “accidentally” slip out after Mercury turns direct on November 26.

Another bit of trivia: Petraeus and Broadwell are both Scorpios, with birthdays less than a week before the solar eclipse on November 13. Frankly, I think these two are soul mates. Even without their birth times, their charts tell me that they were destined to cross paths, and their “fall from grace” may have implications for the collective beyond the sordid media soap opera. At the very least, it speaks to our liminal state.

The Sun enters Sagittarius on Wednesday, with Venus entering Scorpio a few hours later. As I was saying, we’re still on the Dark Side. The love nature of Venus and the obsessed, extreme nature of Pluto aren’t a happy combination. Think jealousy, crimes of passion, and fatal attraction. Of course, Venus in Scorpio also has her very sexy side. But it’s sexy in part because it’s so dangerous. Like James Bond women. Throughout the week, Venus approaches conjunction with Saturn. More about that in a minute…

On Thursday, Thanksgiving in the United States, the Sun and Venus aspect Neptune. I have a feeling these two aspects are going to cancel each other out, so that the Sun-Neptune square won’t be so discouraging and the Venus-Neptune trine won’t be as dreamy. Do keep in mind, though, that with Mercury retrograde, misunderstandings happen more than usual, and Neptune represents confusion – in this case, probably due to too much wine with dinner. Plan ahead by having some engaging DVDs on hand. If you decide to go to a movie at the theater, I highly recommend Cloud Atlas. I saw it last week and was deeply moved. My only explanation for why it got savaged by critics is that they didn’t get it.

On Friday, Mars squares Uranus. This configuration alone can be explosive, but with Uranus in Mars-ruled Aries, in a square with Pluto and conjunct the Moon, it’s hide-under-the-bed time. Or is it? Mars also is sextile Saturn, with Venus approaching conjunction. Moreover, Saturn and Pluto are in mutual reception. This seems to me to be a major game-changer – how, exactly, it’s hard to say, because we’ve never experienced this configuration in our lifetime. I have some thoughts about this, but I’m going to save them for next week, when the alignments are exact.

Both Venus and Mars form soft aspects to Chiron from Friday through Sunday. Chiron was also a centaur. He overcame his savage nature and went on to become a wise healer and mentor to Greek heroes, but suffered greatly, in life and in death. With Venus and Mars in aspect to Chiron over the weekend, we have an opening to see our fundamental wounds with clarity and compassion, and to adopt the courage and discipline to move forward, even though we might fear that our wounds leave us vulnerable.

The day after Thanksgiving is also known as Black Friday, when retailers make up for slow sales during the rest of the year. With Saturn and Pluto in mutual reception and Jupiter retrograde, I think they’re going to be disappointed. Anyway, if you use astrology as a tool for timing, you know better than to shop for large-ticket items while Mercury is retrograde. I’d wait for the January sales. With Jupiter returning direct at the end of January, we may find some exceptionally good bargains.

Much love and courage to all,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Weekly Forecast November 12: Solar Eclipse in Scorpio, Mars Enters Capricorn

Total eclipse of the sun on July 11, 1991. Image credit: Steve Albers, Boulder, CO; Dennis DiCicco, Sky and Telescope; Gary Emerson, E. E. Barnard Observatory.

It really does feel like something has shifted, even before Tuesday’s eclipse. Eclipses can be like that. We can feel the really powerful ones up to six months before and after.

The elections are over in the United States, with surprisingly few complications, given Mercury’s station retrograde just as the polls were closing on the East Coast (then, delayed effects are always possible). President Obama’s re-election wasn’t a surprise, but other results were: more women than ever in the Senate, the defeat of candidates with outdated views about women, initiatives to legalize gay marriage, and the legalization of pot in Colorado and Washington. This isn’t small change.

We’re in a period of intense change, with the Uranus-Pluto square, recently amplified by Saturn in Scorpio, the mutual reception between Saturn and Pluto, and now the new series of eclipses in Scorpio and Taurus. The keywords for Scorpio are death, transformation, and rebirth. I have to think that the grand trine between Saturn, Neptune, and Ceres also has been a major influence in the 2012 elections. Neptune rules mind-altering substances, Ceres seems to have an association with plant life, and Saturn is the planet of rules and regulations. There you have it.

While it’s possible that our “big eclipse event” is already behind us, it’s hard to imagine that there won’t be more to come, especially as the Scorpio-Taurus series unfolds over the next two years. A lot can be accomplished in this time, if we put our minds to it, and given the intense nature of Saturn and Pluto, all of our courage and ingenuity will be needed to meet the tests still to come. This applies individually and collectively.

As I wrote in last week’s forecast, “For years, astrologers have spoken of this time period as a critical point in human development, during which we go through a collective transformation. The time of testing is here, with Saturn, lord of time and karma, and the lunar North Node, symbol of destiny, both in Scorpio. We’re in the thick of it now. Lessons we learned over the past two years – since the cardinal T-square of 2010 – will be invaluable as we go through this dark and confusing rebirthing process.”

Looking at the details of this New Moon Eclipse, both Sun and Moon are at 21°57′ Scorpio, not far from the lunar North Node at 26 degrees Scorpio, which gives us a total eclipse. The Sun and Moon make no close aspects with other planets. Of course, the ongoing Uranus-Pluto features prominently in the eclipse chart. Other aspects are a near-exact square from Mercury to Neptune and inconjunct between Saturn and Uranus. We’re still in a period with a high risk of lies, confusion, and distortion. Certainly, the losing party is in serious confusion. According to some press reports, Republicans were so sure of a big victory that they couldn’t believe the results. It’s not unreasonable, given these aspects, that we eventually could learn of some election fraud. The Saturn-Uranus aspect highlights the vast gulf between those who want to preserve the status quo and forces for change.

Solar Eclipse in Scorpio

Click on image to enlarge

Astrologers disagree on the meaning of eclipses. It gets a bit tricky when you’re dealing with unseen forces we don’t yet understand – or with symbolism. Some astrologers say eclipses are a sort of collective reboot. According to others, they are like supercharged New Moons and Full Moons, representing endings and radical new beginnings. Some say an eclipse has no effect at all if you can’t see it from your location. This eclipse will be at its maximum over the Pacific Ocean and will be most visible in northern Australia.

In my observation, eclipses have a great deal of meaning in your personal life, whether or not you can see them. The house position of the eclipses indicates which areas of your life are most subject to fast change. When doing consultations, one of the first things I look for is where the eclipses are falling in a client’s chart. Nine times out of then, the issues causing them the most stress are associated with the houses where the eclipses fall. Incidentally, we have two eclipses left in the Sagittarius-Gemini sign pair. One will be a lunar eclipse on November 28, and the last will be a dramatic lunar eclipse on May 25, 2013 – not a total eclipse, but with a powerful planetary alignment.

Looking at the rest of the week, Mercury re-enters Scorpio on Wednesday. I have a feeling that things will calm down a bit afterwards, as Mercury no longer will be in mutual reception with retrograde Jupiter in Gemini. The Sun and Mercury conjoin on Saturday, which could manifest as light being shed on deep secrets.

On a personal note, since retrograde Mercury didn’t wreak the predicted havoc on the U.S. elections, I guess that means I can take personally all the havoc he wreaked in my life over the past week. It started before he even officially went retrograde, which is often the case, according to the feedback I’ve received over the years from readers and clients. There’s a pre-retrograde “shadow” period in which Mercury passes through the degrees that will be activated during his retrograde phase, and often this can feel like the retrograde itself. For me, it has been classic, with frustrating delays, miscommunications, and no communications at all. The producer who was considering taking on my documentary project has fallen off the face of the earth. To top it all off, the county elections board rejected the signature on my ballot, a snafu that took three days to correct. As a result, I’m way behind on reports.

Aside from the eclipse and Mercury retrograde, the other big news this week is Friday’s ingress of Mars in Capricorn, sign of his exaltation. As long as Uranus is in Mars-ruled Aries – another six years or so – the position of Mars takes on additional significance. In Capricorn, Mars deposits to Saturn, “feeding” the mutual reception between Saturn and Pluto. It will be interesting to watch this relationship unfold. The square between Uranus and Pluto represents conflict between forces for revolutionary change and resistance by authoritarian control. With Mars in Capricorn, rebel forces could be co-opted rather than confronted by military might. Likewise, rebel leaders might seek backroom deals with those in power. There might even be a discreet back door into the halls of power for those seeking major change. Mars in Capricorn represents the military, so watch the headlines for unusual developments in war and military spending. The proverbial dirt hits the fan when Mars and Pluto conjoin at the lunar eclipse on November 28.

On Saturday, Mars sextiles Neptune. Among other things, this seems to be a perfect planetary configuration for severe winter storms. I write that with the caveat that I’m not schooled in astrological weather forecasting, so you can take that with a grain of salt … or a truckload for icy roads.

Much love and courage to all,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Pluto, Mars and the Inner Journey of Scorpio, Part II

Detail from Hercules, by John Singer Sargent, 1921.

In Part I, we discussed how material desires, fear, cruelty and other destructive emotions are distractions that keep us from fulfilling our life’s purpose.

We can see how such obsessions keep us from our spiritual path, and how evident they are as dominating factors in our current world age. It is a misuse of our divine energy. While we are lost in the pursuit of these activities, we remain unaware of our spiritual nature.

In The Labours of Hercules, by Alice Bailey, the ninth labor, in which Hercules enters a stagnant swamp to battle a nine-headed Hydra, is symbolic of this battle in Scorpio. Whenever Hercules cut off one of the heads of the Hydra, another would grow in its place. The only way Hercules triumphed was by lifting the Hydra above ground, into the light, whereupon it withered and died. This symbolizes our struggle with the desires of the personality which have control over us for as long as they remain in the dark, unseen.

The relentless activity of Mars magnifies these desires to the degree we can no longer ignore them, and then the activity of Pluto brings them into the light of our awareness. We cannot change what we cannot see. Once we see and fully understand the nature of desire, and the source of the struggle, it is transformed. The struggle itself lies in our trying to hold onto something which needs to change.

This is similar to the symbolism of the lotus. A lotus usually grows in a filthy, stagnant swamp. The symbology is that, just like the battle of Hercules with the hydra, our own spiritual essence blossoms as a result of our inner struggles. Interestingly, in addition to being known as the lord of the underworld, the mythological figure of Pluto was also known in some traditions as a lord of abundance, riches, or wealth. The symbolism here is the spiritual wealth that arises when we emerge victorious from our struggle with our own underworld (our lower nature).

Soft conquers hard,

weak conquers strong.

The flexible is always superior to the immovable.

This is the principle of controlling things

By bringing oneself into tune with them,

The principle of mastery through harmony.

~ Lao Tzu

Once Pluto and Mars have done their work at personality level, by revealing this darkness to not be our true nature but a result of the misdirection of our mind and energy, we are now receptive to a higher octave of Mars which transforms passion into spiritual energy through awareness, thus revealing our true divine nature. When Mars has conditioned the passions at personality level and Pluto has brought illumination, Mars at soul level reveals knowledge through awareness.

At soul level, Mars brings the higher consciousness that is pure awareness beyond the five senses. From this perspective, it becomes clear that all our darkness is the result of our misinterpretation of energetic influences as perceived by our five senses and misinterpreted through our ignorant, fearful and confused lower mind. With the illumination of Pluto, we are then able to use this higher wisdom of Mars to perceive through our senses our own divine energy and that of others. Once this happens, we naturally correct any excesses and misapplications of our energy, and use the power of our mind to direct our energy to the highest good.

The sage avoids excesses, extremes, and complacency.

~ Lao Tzu

In Esoteric Astrology, the Tibetan refers to Scorpio as a sign of discipleship. The word disciple and discipline come from the same root, which means learning or knowledge. With the knowledge gained through these tests in Scorpio, we acquire deep wisdom and understanding of our role as a spiritual being. We are ready to renounce worldly pursuits, those activities that misuse our spiritual energy, and dedicate our lives to our spiritual path and purpose. As the soul develops through the 12 zodiac signs, the first four signs are signs of preparation, the middle four are signs of crisis and challenge (for the purpose of growth and learning), and the final four signs are the signs of service to humanity. Scorpio is the last of the signs of challenge.

The self-indulgence which was initiated in Taurus gives way in Scorpio to the selfless attitude of the disciple; ambition gives place to the executive quality of the soul, whilst attachment to personality desires, likes and dislikes is transmuted into the tenacity of soul purpose. The hidden powers of the soul nature – misused because misunderstood and misapplied and, therefore, misdirected – are superseded by … the practical understanding of the energies.

~ The Tibetan, Esoteric Astrology

Due to the revelatory action of Mars and Pluto, we will all sooner or later undergo these trials and tribulations in Scorpio, as we continue our soul’s journey. The soul’s purpose in Scorpio is to transform darkness into light. The activity of Mars and Pluto elevates and illuminates, lifting our collective “Hydra” to the light so we can see that we are not our darkness, and that we truly are an emanation of divine love and light.

Ruth

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Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

Weekly Forecast November 5: Mercury Retrograde, Neptune Direct

The Burney Relief, Mesopotamia c. 1800-1750 BCE.

What can you say about a week when New York got knocked to its knees and 20 million people experienced a breakdown in civilization, even if for some of them it was only a few hours?

Astrologically, last week’s Full Moon was difficult in many ways, and for the past few days I’ve been pondering what the next two weeks will look like as we head into a double station of Mercury retrograde and Neptune direct, less than a week before a total eclipse of the Sun in Scorpio. I was reminded that eclipses don’t always manifest within the normal period of the New Moon – usually plus or minus three days – but that events linked to powerful eclipses can occur as long as six months in advance. Certainly two weeks before, at a Full Moon in the opposite sign of the eclipse, counts as an eclipse event.

My tentative conclusion is that for many of us, the big news related to the eclipse may already have happened. Of course it’s hard to know, but for a hint, have a look at your natal chart and ask yourself whether you’ve recently experienced an upset or radical change in one or more of the areas of life ruled by the house where next week’s eclipse will fall. If so, then your transformation-rebirth process has already started. I was going to save these thoughts until next week, but in fact, we’re already in the eclipse period.

If you haven’t read Ruth’s Scorpio article, which I posted yesterday, check it out. She has presented some profound insight into the transformation process, including the observation that some people sink into a depression while the transformation is happening. It’s as though part of you is hibernating in order to shut down and let the process happen. Now, I’m not talking about clinical depression, bipolar disorder, or serious medical conditions, but rather a process that humans have experienced since before history began. We know, because some of the first stories ever recorded in cuneiform writing deal with this theme.

For years, astrologers have spoken of this time period as a critical point in human development, during which we go through a collective transformation. The time of testing is here, with Saturn, lord of time and karma, and the lunar North Node, symbol of destiny, both in Scorpio. We’re in the thick of it now. Lessons we learned over the past two years – since the cardinal T-square of 2010 – will be invaluable as we go through this dark and confusing rebirthing process.

A telling image from last week’s storm coverage was the photo of President Barak Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who temporarily dropped their political differences to find solutions for the millions of people affected by Hurricane Sandy. Sure, there’s political calculation and self-serving motives, but it was still an important symbol of what transformation is all about – the unification of polarized forces within ourselves. Jung saw it as a union of the conscious and unconscious.

Given last week’s dramatic events, this week may be anticlimactic, despite the significant astrological signatures. Mercury turns retrograde at 6:03 p.m. EST on Tuesday, with the polls still open in many states. Add to that logistical problems in some areas affected by Sandy, and it’s virtually guaranteed that this election is going to be fraught with difficulties – if not on the presidential level, then in congressional and local races. My computer already is acting up, and I’ve been backing up files while I write – three hours so far. Also make sure you set your clocks back last night. If you haven’t started your holiday shopping yet, put it off until after Thanksgiving. Although you can save hassles by shopping now and avoiding the crowds, you may end up paying more in money and frustration with products that don’t work right, aren’t what you ordered, or are missing key accessories. I’ve had to buy electronics while Mercury was in reverse, but everything that could go wrong did go wrong. With Jupiter retrograde in Mercury ruled Gemini, things that go wrong will do so in a big way.

Speaking of the Big Guy, Jupiter and Venus are in a harmonious trine on Friday, which could signify a bit of a break. Both planets are in air signs, which govern intellect, rational thought, and ideas, and both are signs of unified duality, each in its own way. Since Jupiter and Mercury are both retrograde, an old idea may turn out to be the one that works for you.

On Sunday, Neptune turns direct. I always get really sleepy when Neptune is slowing down, but this also is a great time to explore dreams and do past-life regression therapy. It’s also not a bad time to sleep, especially since we just went off daylight saving time and it gets dark early. With so much stress and anxiety, many of us aren’t sleeping well, which leads to more stress and anxiety.

The not-so-positive side of Neptune “stopped” is that we’re in a period when deceit and dishonesty flourish. Part of the cycle here is that we’re easily led to believe what we want to believe and to ignore facts, rational arguments, and our own alarm bells. Neptune also rules drugs, alcohol, and escapist behavior – although anyone would be forgiven for diving into the complete collection of X-Files on Blu-ray and tuning out the insanity.

UPDATE 11/04/12: In the original post, I had it backwards and had Neptune turning retrograde instead of direct. So, first of all, apologies for that, and thanks to those of you who wrote alerting me to the error. Mercury’s not even retrograde yet, but we’re well into the shadow, and this is exactly the kind of embarrassing errors that happen. I suppose this serves as a caution to everyone. Mercury is stationed almost exactly on my Ascendant – this is classic. Not only did I make an error in my post, but when I opened the Word document to fix it, the text was entirely in red with lines through it and all the changes of previous rewrites underlined! I never use that feature of Word. Is this weird or what? As it happens, though, the effect of Neptune stationing are pretty much the same whether he’s going retrograde or direct, so the essence of what I wrote is still valid.

Wishing you all much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Pluto, Mars and the Inner Journey of Scorpio, Part I

Detail from Hercules, by John Singer Sargent, 1921.

Scorpio season is upon us once again, bringing with it another opportunity to look more deeply into our own psyche than we have ever done before. The enigmatic sign of Scorpio is associated with such intense themes as sex, death, cruelty, rebirth, power, regeneration, money, and the deepest darkest depths of our own minds. Jolly good fun!

Scorpio goes where angels fear to tread and for this reason is also the sign of priests and psychologists. All seven so-called “deadly sins” can be explored in Scorpio, with a couple more thrown in for good measure.

So what is it all about? It is time to take courage, dive deeply, and understand the spiritual significance of this vitally important sign and the deepest mysteries of existence. The following information applies to everyone, not just people with planets in Scorpio. This is an important stage in the evolution of humanity, and it concerns every one of us.

Following the journey of the soul through the 12 signs of the zodiac, after the point of balance between body and soul has been reached in Libra, the final struggle takes place in Scorpio. This is a kind of birthing and, just like the contractions in physical childbirth, this spiritual rebirth happens in waves. As the personality gradually comes under the command of the soul, there are waves of depression where the personality feels as though it is being squashed, followed by waves of rebellion where it fights back. The personality doesn’t give up easily without a fight! The personality isn’t being squashed, however; it is being gradually assimilated, as more spiritual energy is able to enter into the being. The end result of this struggle is total fusion of soul and personality, body and soul. The personality is the interface, the meeting place between the body, with all its animal urges and instinctive impulses, and the finer energies and ethereal vibrations of the soul.

Three planetary rulers, or space-holders, are the guardians of this birthing process, which is vital for the evolution of humanity from an animalistic being into a fully awakened soul-centered being. Both Mars and Pluto are guardians of this process at personality level, while Mars is the guardian at soul level. In Esoteric Astrology, Mars is considered a great beneficent planet, not malefic as is thought in some astrological systems. It is through the activity of Mars that this final struggle between personality and soul is fought and won, with the fully integrated (fused) soul emerging victorious. Triumph and victory are keywords with Scorpio, and it is important to remember this especially when the going gets tough. Mercury is the planetary ruler at hierarchical level, which we won’t explore here except to notice that this again hints at the vital importance of Scorpio for the spiritual evolution of humanity.

It is in Scorpio that the preponderance of the spiritual energy is
imposed upon the lower personal forces

~ The Tibetan, Esoteric Astrology.

The combined effect of Mars and Pluto at personality level serve to bring awareness to the potency of desire working through the form nature and that, although we experience desire, it is not fundamental to our nature and can be brought under control through illumination. At this level Mars governs life-force energy: stirs the blood, agitates and activates our animal instinct, and arouses the passions. It is the fuel that feeds the fire of desire.

Pluto, at personality level, brings somatic awareness, the instinctual felt-sense in the body. Otherwise known as the great revealer, Pluto is able to hold our animal urges up to the light for healing and understanding. While in the dark they have control and power over us. Once they are brought to light, the soul has victory. It is this dual effect of Mars and Pluto that brings about both the tests and the triumph in Scorpio.

The tests in Scorpio and the activity of Mars are potent to arouse the entire lower nature and bring about its final rebellion and the last stand, so to speak, of the personality against the soul.
~ The Tibetan, Esoteric Astrology

The tests in Scorpio are the temptations of desire that keep our attention trapped in the cycles of materialistic existence. In Esoteric Astrology they are listed as nine, in three groups. The first test is appetite which relates to sex, physical comfort and money; the second is desire and relates to fear, hatred and ambition; and the third test is of the lower mind and relates to pride, separativeness and cruelty.

When explored deeply with the light of awareness, these tests – which Christian theologians called the seven deadly sins and in Buddhism are known as the destructive emotions, or kleshas – can clearly be seen to be faults of attention, or discipline, and are not inherent in our nature. They are distractions which sway us from our path. We can see that it is not the activities themselves that cause problems, but the tendency within our own psyche to become attached, obsessed and addicted to them. Then we make the mistake of identifying with them and not recognizing our true spiritual nature.

In Part II, we’ll explore the roles of Mars and Pluto in bringing awareness to the unconscious tendencies that divert us from the spiritual path.


Ruth

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Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

Weekly Forecast October 29: Full Moon in Taurus, Venus Square Pluto

© Liudmila Gridina for Dreamstime.com

At this time of year, the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. It’s not hard to imagine how this phenomenon gave rise to All Hollow’s Eve, the Day of the Dead, All-Saints Day, and other traditions involving ghosts and goblins.

These days, though, when we talk about the thinning of the veil, it’s not just about Halloween but often is in the context of what some people refer to as past lives. I call them “other lives,” in acknowledgement that “past” depends on the illusion of linear time. As more people have these memories, we begin to understand how everything is connected and how relationships can survive across many lifetimes. However, it’s one thing to say we’re all connected, but quite another to feel it deeply in our bones.

If you’re having these memories or thinking along these lines, this week’s Full Moon in Taurus may bring up new and important information. The popular notion of “karma” is that we did something terrible in a past life and have to pay for it this one. Given the violent history of humankind, it’s possible and even likely that many of us did do something horrendous, and as we begin accessing these other lifetimes, we may recall situations that are hard to face.

However, it’s also possible that what bubbles up into our consciousness, while distressing, isn’t our fault. I recently had a client who was freaking out because he thought he murdered his girlfriend in a previous lifetime. With some digging, I uncovered an alternative explanation in which both of them contributed to her demise by having an illicit romance in an era when adulterous wives of nobility were put to death. Did he kill her? We can imagine that, at the time, a man in those circumstances would have thought so and felt crushing guilt in addition to the grief of losing his beloved.

These kinds of memories are so powerful that they can survive physical death. Another theory is that trauma registers in our DNA, and the memories are from ancestors. We don’t know exactly how this recall works, but it’s my theory that when we have a traumatic experience, it registers in our energy field and ripples across dimensions of time and space to other incarnations – and not necessarily in a one-way direction. The psychic underworld, where these events are registered, falls within the realm of Pluto and Scorpio. There are many ways of looking at Saturn and Pluto in mutual reception, not the least of which is collective financial reckoning. However, it’s also a perfect setup for karmic reckoning, and there’s no more fitting time for full disclosure than the Full Moon.

Full Moon in Taurus

Click on image to enlarge

The chart for this Full Moon isn’t an easy one, with Saturn closely conjunct the Sun in Scorpio and opposite the Moon in Taurus. Painful endings and being forced to let go will be themes for many. The good news is that both Sun and Moon are in favorable aspect with Pluto, Scorpio’s ruler and planet of transformation and rebirth. The old cliché “an ending is but a new beginning” definitely applies. With Pluto in favorable aspect, there’s also a good possibility that accessing other dimensions will help access and release negative karma. The close trine from the Sun and Saturn to Neptune and Ceres provides additional support for recognizing the cyclical nature of life and for approaching difficult memories with compassion and acceptance.

There are several oppositions and squares in the Full Moon chart, including the Uranus-Pluto square, the defining aspect of our time. Ceres opposes Pluto and forms a cardinal T-square (you can’t see it in the chart, because I’m not able to isolate aspects to Ceres in Kepler software). Once again, we may revisit issues that dominated our lives in the summer of 2010. From Wednesday to Friday, Venus in early Libra forms a fourth leg, turning the T-square into a grand cross. At the peak of the cardinal T-square in August 2010, Mars and Saturn were conjunct in early Libra. Venus rules Libra and is a much gentler energy, so it’s possible that we can make further progress in the new directions that many of us began taking back then, especially within our closest relationships. With Uranus in the mix, there’s still an element of volatility and unpredictability, but that also means the door is wide open to revolutionary change.

The fourth opposition in the Full Moon chart involves Mars in Sagittarius and Jupiter retrograde in Gemini. This is not an inherently “bad” opposition and can represent a burning quest for knowledge. The downside is that it’s a classic setup for war and aggression, with a tendency to overreach.

We also have a square between Neptune and Mercury, who enters Sagittarius earlier on Monday. Blurting out the truth and confused thinking – not a good combination, especially if you happen to be running for political office. Then, who knows? Maybe one of the candidates in their sleep-deprived end-of-campaign state will accidentally tell the truth. This is the first of three squares between Mercury and Neptune between now and the middle of December, due to the Messenger’s retrograde phase. Mercury is moving in slow motion this week as he approaches retrograde on November 6. We’re well into the pre-retrograde shadow period, so be sure to wrap up projects, sign important contracts, and back up computer data early this week. Don’t wait!

So, here we are, heading into the darkest days of winter, with a stressful Full Moon and, on top of that, a potentially catastrophic storm heading for the East Coast of the United States. Meteorologists have commented that the gravitational force of the Full Moon threatens to make the storm worse. With the addition of a difficult astrological chart, it does look like a perfect storm. To all of my dear friends and clients in harm’s way, please take measures to stay safe.

Wishing you all much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Weekly Forecast October 22: Sun Enters Scorpio, Venus Enters Libra

Holotropic States. © Pat Paquette, 2012.

What is transformation? We talk about it a lot, but what does it mean to transform? How does it happen?

Many of us will have transformational experiences in the next few weeks as we move deeper into the realm of Scorpio, the sign of death, transformation, and rebirth. Saturn entered Scorpio on October 5 for the first time in nearly 30 years, and for the first time in more than 230 years is in mutual reception with Pluto, the ruler of Scorpio in modern Western astrology. When the Sun enters Scorpio on Monday, the individual and collective transformation process intensifies (after all, what is the collective but a “collection” of individuals?).

As part of the research for my documentary, I’ve been familiarizing myself with the work of Stan Grof, a psychiatrist best known for his experiments with LSD in the 1970s, when medical use was legal. A friend lent me Grof’s latest book, When the Impossible Happens: Adventures in Non-Ordinary Realities. It’s the first time I’ve read accounts of Grof’s own sessions with LSD. In some of these sessions, he had past-life memories, and in some cases, these memories triggered deep healing in his personal relationships. His accounts validated my own experiences, which I had without the use of psychedelics.

In fact, in my astrology work, I’ve observed that an increasing number of people are having such memories, which I prefer to call “other lives,” because I believe they aren’t happening in chronological succession according to human perception of time. Grof came to the same conclusion – and he’s a Ph.D. psychiatrist who never believed in past lives. Incidentally, as he ventured further into non-ordinary states of consciousness, he also came to accept the validity of astrology.

In his work, Grof observed time and again the transformation that occurred in patients as a result of entering what he calls the “holotropic state of consciousness” – a state of mind in which we can heal past wounds, whether from early childhood, the birth process itself, or events prior to birth in this incarnation. While in this state, some patients had other-life experiences that explained fears and anxieties that previously had no name and no known source. Some of them also discovered karmic relationships that helped explain their current relationship difficulties. Once LSD was outlawed, he worked with breathing techniques to achieve an altered state of consciousness. Of course there are other ways to do it, too, which he readily acknowledges.

Once Grof began working with LSD, it didn’t take long for him to realize that conventional “modern” psychiatry and psychology was inadequate. It couldn’t address spiritual experiences, and it completely ignored human consciousness. In the mid-60s – right around the time of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction – Grof got together with some colleagues and laid the foundation for transpersonal psychology. It’s still not entirely in the mainstream, but with Uranus and Pluto now in a square, it’s making inroads in one form or another and is the way of the future for psychology. The profession is being transformed, and that means people who seek therapy for mental health issues also have an increased chance of being transformed.

In the meantime, though, many people are going through spontaneous transformation, and from what I’m seeing, a lot of it is related to a growing awareness of other lives – in particular, of relationships that exist beyond this incarnation. Often, meeting another person with whom one has karmic ties is the trigger for those memories. I don’t believe it’s any coincidence that the increase in the number of people having these experiences is happening now. This is quite possibly the Apocalypse – not doom and destruction, but a lifting of the veil to higher consciousness and the resulting transformation of society that by definition must happen when enough people understand that the energy patterns underlying the material world are inextricably linked to physical reality.

Anyone who has had Pluto transit their Ascendant has a good idea of what transformation is and how it works. It’s usually a slow process, even if a sudden event triggers it, and that’s good. For transformation to take place, a part of us must die, and that part usually is the ego – the structures that your mind has developed to survive in your environment and circumstances. Breaking down isn’t pretty. For some people, it might even mean a literal mental breakdown that has to occur before their body/mind can be reassembled in wholeness. Sometimes, other-life memories or sudden realizations can be so foreign to what they “know” that the breakdown happens all by itself. That said, with Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn, it’s time to take responsibility for our healing and transformation.

The human race as a whole is going through a major change, and we’re seeing it as breakdowns in whole societies. These changes are well under way, so whether we’ll see more of them during this intensive Scorpio period or whether more people will just become aware of what’s happening, I can’t say – maybe some of both.

Part of what makes transformation so hard is that it usually requires going back to the source of a wound. That in itself has been hard, because until we recognize that some wounds are in our energy field and may have been imprinted before our birth in this incarnation, we can’t address the source, even if we want to. Past-life regression therapy has been around for a while, and although there weren’t a lot of controls in the early days, the field is attempting to police itself and weed out unqualified and unethical practitioners.

Looking at this week, the Sun enters Scorpio at 8:14 p.m. EDT on Monday, and immediately trines Neptune on Tuesday and conjoins Saturn on Thursday. Sun-Saturn aspects can be intimidating, but I see this three-way aspect between the Sun and Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces as a huge opening for taking responsibility for your own transformation. With Neptune in Pisces, we don’t even need the LSD but can go into altered states through meditation and occult practices such as working with the Tarot. Of course, sex is always an avenue, too, as long as you’re aware of what you’re doing. As with all things Scorpio, the portal is your own fear. What are you most afraid of? And how is that fear self-limiting? Do you even know? I’d suggest that if you’re in therapy already, you might want to do some extra work with your therapist. If you’re not in therapy but think you could benefit, this is a great time to do the heavy lifting. As an added bonus (um, right) there’s a trine from the Sun to Chiron on Saturday. I know, opening an old wound may be incredibly uncomfortable, but the pain is temporary, and with Saturn in Scorpio, we can bite the bullet.

Also on Thursday, Mercury in Scorpio sextiles Venus in Virgo – a great time to get to the bottom of issues in your love life. Do take some care in how you approach the subject. Finding fault or being overly critical isn’t the way to get heard. Better still, wait a couple of days, until Venus enters her own sign of Libra. This is much better energy for give-and-take, compromise, and accommodation. Just don’t be so willing to avoid conflict at any cost that you don’t say what you’ve got to say.

Ten minutes before Venus enters Libra on Sunday, Mars in Sagittarius opposes Jupiter in Gemini. This is about big ideas and adventurous thinking, to hell with the details for now. It’s time for back-of-the-envelope calculations and taking phone numbers to get together for further discussion.

Speaking of big ideas, if you’d like to know more about Stan Grof’s work, he has a substantial article archive on his website.

Wishing you all much love and the courage to heal,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Weekly Forecast October 15: New Moon in Libra

New Moon Over the Sea. © Algol for Dreamstime.com

Generally speaking, this week should be more serene, with plenty of opportunities to get new and existing projects off the ground.

Monday starts right out with the New Moon at 22 degrees Libra, the sign of balance and harmony. For many of us, finding balance has been a struggle for the better part of the past two years as our lives took unexpected new directions. For me and for many clients, it has felt like being carried along on a current that’s way too fast and too turbulent for comfort. All we’ve been able to do is to hang on and do our best to remain open to new possibilities. It has been exhausting.

This New Moon is a reminder to try to restore some semblance of balance, even if it’s brief. If you allow yourself a little time for rest, relaxation, or fun activities, your body/mind will suck it right up and nourish the parts of you most in need of care. With Saturn and the lunar North Node in Scorpio, we’re heavy into the transformation process, where breakdowns are accelerating to provide energy for new growth. I’ve been through this process several times in my life, including the breakdown that had to occur to transform me from a reporter into an astrologer. If you’ve never been through this before, it can be a terrifying process. But I’m here to tell you that the cycle is just that – a cycle. And it has been written about ever since writing was first invented. The difference now is that we’re going through it together as a collective.

In the chart for the New Moon, Saturn is still in a close trine with Neptune, which I see as a positive sign that we can turn dreams to reality. The key here is to find the balance between these very different energies. Neptunian dreams can be empty fantasy, but they also can be so creative and imaginative that they only seem impossible to people with no vision. Saturn’s influence helps supply the discipline to turn the vision into a solid plan to make it happen. Filmmaking is an excellent example, and there couldn’t be a better sign of the times than Cloud Atlas, the new Wachowski blockbuster about to hit theaters. This was a film the industry said could never be made. Not only did they make it happen, but the film got a ten-minute standing ovation last month at the Toronto Film Festival … and Larry Wachowski is now Lana.

As with filmmaking, millions of people have great ideas, but making them happen takes planning, hard work, skill, and collaboration (a nice Libra word). Saturn and Neptune are great for combining vision with discipline, and the New Moon in Libra is a good time to start.

Yet another reason I feel so optimistic about this week is the trine on Monday from Uranus to Mars in Sagittarius, which provides an outlet from the stress of the Uranus-Pluto square. This is an action-oriented aspect, an energetic combination favoring taking risks and doing something unconventional. This can apply (and likely will) to revolutionary movements and to individuals, as well, and the definition of “revolutionary” is broad. One bold move can produce a radical change in your life. Thursday is a particularly good day for action, when the Moon conjoins Mars.

New Moon in Libra

Click on image to enlarge

Libra’s ruler is Venus, who is in aspect with Mercury and Jupiter in the New Moon chart, with Mercury and Jupiter in an edgy quincunx. Venus is in Virgo so not quite “herself,” and Jupiter is in his detriment as well. This combination is sort of like going into a big housecleaning job and suddenly becoming obsessed with polishing the silver. There’s no harm in it, and details do matter. But if a job needs to be done, you might have to keep kicking yourself in the behind to stay focused on the big picture and take care of the details in order of priority.

Mercury, meanwhile, is in deeply intuitive Scorpio, where he turns up small details like where the bodies are buried. Mercury and Venus in soft aspect suggest that criticism can be useful and should be encouraged. Put another way, identifying flaws and weaknesses in a project or relationship can save you headaches and heartaches further down the road. If you need a competent critique to help strengthen your work, ask for it this week from someone you can trust. You might need a double-rum punch or a brownie sundae afterwards, but go ahead. Then get to work.

If you’d like to know where all the action is happening in your chart, check out the StarGuide Fall 2012 forecast, now 20 percent off.

Next week, life gets even more intense with the Sun’s entry into Scorpio – all the more reason to enjoy this week, count your blessings, and take advantage of new opportunities, however great or small, that come your way.

Wishing you all much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Weekly Forecast October 8: Saturn Trine Neptune

Preparing to sail. © Tom D for Dreamstime.com

This week, we’re in the last-quarter Moon, coming off a difficult Full Moon on September 29. What’s no longer serving us continues to break down, fall apart, or fade away, with circumstances that may relate in some way to major life events during the summer of 2010.

That’s not necessarily bad news, although letting go is hard, and some people – especially those with a lot of fixed energy in their charts – have a tough time making wholesale changes. The good news is that this week’s aspects are for the most part favorable as we head into a promising New Moon in Libra on October 15.

Last week, Saturn entered Scorpio, one of the biggest astrological events of 2012. His first aspect in Scorpio (other than fleeting lunar transits) is a trine with Neptune, which occurs on Wednesday. This heavyweight pair came within a hair of forming a trine in February, but then Saturn turned retrograde and Neptune moved into Pisces. They’ll meet again next June and July, so we’ve got more than six months of a constructive outer planetary cycle occurring simultaneously with the destructive Uranus-Pluto square.

This week’s trine is part of a cycle that began when Saturn and Neptune conjoined in Capricorn in 1989. The Berlin Wall fell four days before the conjunction was exact, with Uranus also in a wide conjunction in Capricorn. The first trine of this cycle occurred in 2001. However, rather than dissecting that aspect, I went back to the previous cycle, which began in 1952 with Saturn and Neptune in Libra. The first trine in that cycle occurred in 1965, which also coincided with the Uranus-Pluto conjunction – the beginning of the cycle of our current Uranus-Pluto square. So, that is the trine I want to explore for clues about what this one might bring.

In 1965, the United States was embroiled in the Vietnam War, and society was going through a complete cultural breakdown, with protests against the war, civil rights marches, and the counterculture movement. But in the middle of all this chaos, space exploration expanded, and President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the “War on Poverty.” New legislation established the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Dreams for a better future were alive and well, but so was escape through turning on and tuning out – all the hallmarks of Neptune, which was the astrological “out” of the harder aspects via the trine from Saturn. I can just hear the 5th Dimension singing “Up, Up and Away” …

The 2012-2013 Saturn-Neptune trine doesn’t connect to the Uranus-Pluto square by angle, but it does connect via mutual reception between Saturn and Pluto. So I think we’re going to see many similarities between this era and 1965-66, not only in terms of popular culture – a trend astrologers have been talking about for some time – but also in repeating world events. For example, in 1965, there was Medicare. Now there’s Obamacare. And if these astrological similarities are any indication, it won’t be repealed. That said, I think there will be a parallel social and political backlash at the next Saturn-Neptune conjunction in 2025, when more conservative, monolithic forces take over.

Saturn and Neptune are very different energies. Saturn is about structure, while Neptune is about a total lack of structure and boundaries. Combined, they can represent efforts that fail to get off the ground, in part due to unrealistic ambition. But when the best of both worlds are put together, you get the discipline and sacrifice necessary to turn big dreams into a reality. Neptune offers the imagination and creativity that Saturn lacks, while Saturn supplies the structure and practical application that evades Neptune. Have a look at where these two fall in your chart to get some idea of how these energies might apply to you. (How do I know where Saturn and Neptune fall in my chart?)

Taking the week chronologically, the Sun trines Jupiter on Tuesday. Even though Jupiter is now retrograde, these are positive, optimistic energies that combine well for advancing your personal goals. Less than an hour later, Mercury trines Chiron. With Mercury in penetrating Scorpio, it’s possible to see through to the source of hurt feelings and old wounds, whether in this lifetime or on another plane of existence. You can’t begin to release old karma until you know what you’re dealing with. Take some time late Monday or early Tuesday to write in your journal or just stare out the window and see what bubbles to the surface of your consciousness. Mercury also forms a quincunx with Uranus, so some of what comes up could surprise or shock you. This process continues into Wednesday, when Mercury sextiles Pluto. At the collective level, secrets may be revealed that allow healing to take place on a broader scale.

Also on Tuesday, Venus trines Pluto in earthy Virgo and Capricorn. The conventional interpretation of this pair is usually about sex. With the trine, wild desires can lead to passion that transforms and cleanses, rather than the more obsessive side of this combination. Still, obsession and compulsion may be lurking in the shadows and barely under control, so don’t discount their influence. You’ll feel this aspect more acutely than others if you have either of these planets in the first, fifth, seventh, or eighth houses.

On Sunday, Mars squares Chiron. This is where wounds get cut out by the knife. With Mars in Sagittarius and Chiron in Pisces, the wounds we’re talking about are most likely in the collective psyche, and they have to do with religious and philosophical beliefs and the organizations founded upon them.

Next week is the New Moon in Libra, which will bring in a breath of fresh air. So hang in there this week and count the blessings that do come your way.

Wishing much love and courage to all,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Venus, Uranus, and the Inner Journey of Libra, Part II

White Buffalo Calf Woman, original artwork by Seattle artist Karen MacKenzie. See end of article for more info.

To make progress on our spiritual path, we need a degree of stability in our ordinary life. If we have a chaotic life where we are constantly in turmoil meeting our daily needs, we will have no inclination to pursue a spiritual path.

The action of Venus in Libra plays a vital role in balancing and stabilizing our mundane “ordinary” lives, ensuring we live simply, in alignment with natural law, so that our energy is free for transformation, and our being is open and receptive to our spiritual development. The action of Venus in Libra harmonizes, balances, and stabilizes our personality, and thereby our mundane world. When the light in Libra has “come to rest,” we are then open to receiving the subtle energy of Uranus, which transforms consciousness.

Uranus is the energy of rebellion. Not rebellion for the sake of trouble-making, but rebellion because it is necessary to evolve and align with Divine Law. In Greek mythology, Uranus is the sky, vastness, space. The primordial being from which all other beings arise. He is the father of the gods who begat all the gods on Mount Olympus and their rivals, the Titans. Primordial consciousness. Uranus is a planet of transformation who has the power to transform consciousness in particular. When we have been touched by Uranus our lives are never the same. There is no going back.

He who has penetrated to the limits of thought, dares to take the leap into the Great Emptiness,
the primordial ground of his own boundless being.
~ Lama Anagarika Govinda

Sometimes in mundane astrology, Uranus is referred to as a revolutionary, but it is important to make a distinction between a rebel and a revolutionary, if we are to fully understand the spiritual purpose of this rebellious energy of Uranus and his ability to transform consciousness. A succinct explanation of this distinction comes from the Indian mystic OSHO, who says:

The rebel … brings into the world a change of consciousness – and if the consciousness changes, then the structure of the society is bound to follow it … No revolution has yet succeeded in changing man; but it seems man is not aware of the fact. He still goes on thinking in terms of revolution, of changing society, of changing the government, of changing the bureaucracy, of changing laws, political systems. Feudalism, capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism – they are all in their own way revolutionary. They all have failed, and failed utterly, because man has remained the same … The rebel is a spiritual phenomenon. His approach is absolutely individual. His vision is that if we want to change the society, we have to change the individual.”

The revolutionary has the same consciousness as the society in which he arose. He may overthrow a dictator and then himself become the new dictator. He is just the other side of the same coin. There has been a change in name, but not a change of consciousness. The energy of Uranus is not revolutionary, it is rebellion. It transforms consciousness. The rebel brings inner change, a change of consciousness within the individual. The rebellion is not “against” anything but, like a flower blossoming, is a natural unfoldment into the next stage of evolution. Where Uranus is concerned, it can be a complete quantum leap that bears no resemblance to what has gone before.

Once Venus has done her job of opening the heart, then the individual is open to receive the touch of Uranus – to allow inspiration to move them and break free from the limitations of the lower mind. Venus initially brings desire, attraction, animal magnetism. Through the experiences of Venus, the individual experiences the beginnings of love, but this lower consciousness love has a price: it comes with conditions. There is a possessiveness to it. Once Venus has softened the heart, Uranus is able to bring in expansiveness. The expansiveness of space, of being, and the individual is never the same again. They are made anew. Passion can now make a quantum leap into higher love and then further again, into limitless compassion.

Love is Higher Thought about someone.” ~ Anya Sophia Mann, Visionary Intuitive

We are evolving from instinct, through intellect, to intuition. In this process, Venus initially opens our hearts and minds, opening us up to shift from instinct to intellect. Then Uranus catapults us from intellect to intuition. Uranus brings inspiration, clarity, intuition and vast, clear space. Boundless sky untouched by clouds. Initiating, catalyzing the evolution from intellect to intuition. Unexpected, because how can we know what to expect from a level of consciousness which we have not yet experienced? Under the influence of Uranus, without the limitation of intellect, Libra is capable of leaping through “octaves” of higher mind to higher love.

Reason, the highest property of the intellect, is what guides purposive thought. Purposes, however, are limited; and therefore reason can operate only in what is limited.

Wisdom alone can accept and intuitively realize the unlimited, the timeless and the infinite, by renouncing explanations and by recognizing the mystery, which can only be felt, experienced, and finally realized in life – and which can never be defined. ~ Lama Anagarika Govinda

If you have Sun, Moon and especially Rising Sign in Libra, you are here to go beyond your own limitations and become an expression of higher love in the world. You will do this through right relationship between yourself and other. When you lean too far toward the Aries end of the spectrum, there is too much emphasis on self; when you lean too far toward the Libra end of the spectrum, there is too much emphasis on others. When you come to rest at the center, the balance-point, you are in perfect harmony, and this creates the window through which the energy of Uranus can enter to transform consciousness.


Ruth

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Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

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About the artist: This oil painting, the seventh in the Empowered Feminine Zodiac series by Seattle artist Karen MacKenzie, envisions Libra as White Buffalo Calf Woman, who brought a message of peace to the Lakota people two centuries ago. For more information about the symbolism in this print and to view other works in her ongoing series, check out her website, Karen MacKenzie Art (her prints are very affordable).