Yes, We Need Winter!

OK I have been hearing it all winter – it is cold, it is snowy, it is……….. I know I have heard it before and I am sorry I do think some people bitch about winter because it is fashionable. Society programs us to moan when it is cold outside (mostly it is from annoying television weather people who chant, “When is spring coming?” Spring is perky and they are nothing but perky!) Seriously, we are a society constantly on the move, constantly distracted, always looking to do something – anything. Winter is not a time for that.
We all have our favorite season and mine is winter but I don’t walk around in a shroud when it is summer time! I hate the heat and intense Sun but I plant my garden and participate in season. I still know that summer brings many wonderful elements with it! We need to participate in all of the seasons of the year.
So now, we are in winter. Yes, a cold and snowy winter but there let us not look at the value it brings. On a very basic level, we need winter snow to water our lawns and gardens in summer. When we have cold winters, we have few disease carrying insects to torment us in the summer.  
On a spiritual level, winter is, of course, a time of hibernation. We should NOT be racing around before the Christmas holidays shopping like crazy people but using this dark time to embrace rest and inner study!  In winter, nature rests and that is what we should do as well. Rest, reflect, and build our reserves of energy for the rebirth of spring.
Nature is relentlessly cyclical – rest and restoration in the winter, sowing in spring, ripening and growth in summer and harvest in the fall. When we do not live in the alignment with that cycle, we disconnect with the energy of the universe.

You don’t have to love winter but take a minute please to honor its place in the cycle of life – the unending cycle of the universe. I went out this morning and remembered the words “When the valley is hushed and white with snow.” There is a reason it is “hushed” – Nature is using this time to rejuvenate and plan for the bursting of spring. We should be doing the same.

February – Retrograded Mercury – The Winter Season of the Planetary Cycle.

 OK I am telling you now and I don’t want to hear the complaints – remember, one, it isn’t my fault and two; there are benefits to a retrograde. Nothing in the universe is all good or all bad – there are gifts in every placement.

 Mercury is going retrograde on February 6 while it is still in Pisces and does not get out until February 28thwhen it is in Aquarius.  Yes, it is the entire freaking month but again I didn’t do it!

Before the freaking out ensues over missed messages, screwed up computers, phones that go wack-a-doodle, travel plans disintegrate, remember there is a benefit to that retrograded or backwards energy.  When Mercury is in retrograde, it is a time that we must slowdown in order to prevent disaster. What is wrong with that?

Mercury in retrograde is a time when we can rethink situations – old habits, old response mechanisms.  In this day of instant communication and immediate responses – what is wrong with a bit of introspection? Use the “backward time” of Mercury to reassess old through patterns and responses to learn where you can improve.

While this may seem counter-intuitive, think of this retrograde period as a great time to restart a stalled project. Is your closet half-organized and half-frightening disaster area? Fix it now.  Do you still have holiday cards from 2012 to complete?  Dive in.

In a society that looks only forward and insists on relentless pushing forward there is really nothing wrong with slowing down and going through some checklists. Think of a retrograde of the winter season of a planet. Winter is a time when we are supposed to hibernate, rest and prepare for the rebirth of spring. We don’t do that anymore. We live in the same speed all of the time – it isn’t healthy.

If you are having a “bad” retrograde period, take a breath and figure out where you are pushing too hard. That is the area you need to reassess – pull back and clean up before you charge ahead later.

OK I Can Tell You Now – Jupiter is in Retrograde.

I know I have been telling you that the big invisible guys, Neptune, Pluto, Uranus and the asteroid Juno are finally going direct and all will be out of retrograde around the beginning of the year.  I didn’t lie – don’t come after me with pitchforks. However, I may have sort of let’s say – neglected to tell you about Jupiter. Yes, Jupiter is heading backwards – well it is already there  – yes Jupiter will be retrograded in Cancer until mid March 2014.

But wait there is good news. Jupiter is the planet of expansion and moving up and out and forward – constant growth and movement. However, we are headed into the time when we should be going inwards. The days are getting shorter, on December 21 we will experience the shortest, darkest day of the year. You know it is insane that we race around in November and December, shopping and doing – we should be coming in from the cold and nesting not racing to Toys R U at 1 in the morning!

Since Jupiter is in the sign of Cancer, of home and hearth what better time for it to be in retrograde? It is telling us to slow down, assess where we need to work out any issues at home. Appreciate the beauty of a roaring firing and maybe making gifts for people instead of buying something. Spend some time learning how to be inwardly expansive as the days go away and be reading to burst forth in spring. How better to follow the pattern of the seasons. Let Jupiter be your guide on your inward journey.

The Astrological Dinner Party: A Great Holiday Gift and Fun Way to Kick Off the New Year

What better way to spice up your parties than by adding a little bit of stardust? Star the New Year off with a new way to entertain; the astrological dinner party. It is a wonderful new way to do a potluck that will not only assure a great variety of foods but hours of conversation as guests compare their choices with their chart signs. Invite some friends over and ask them to bring a dish that epitomizes their Sun sign*. They do not have to be astrological wizards. Everyone knows their sun signs and knows something about the energy they emit. Have them bring the food in a brown bag, with no outside markings. No one is to peek at anyone else’s’ offerings. Invite your guests to have some wine and snacks in the other room while you get the dinner ready. Remove the food from the original plates and place them in your own service. This will eliminate people knowing who brought what by recognizing someone’s china. Once you serve the dishes, have everyone guess who brought what. That healthy quinoa salad has to be from the Virgo while the Capricorn probably came armed with a chicken potpie or something else of great substance. If there are two people of the same Sun sign it is no problem. There are many traits exhibited by each sign and it will be interesting to see how they express in each person. Of course, I would encourage you to have my cookbook on hand to answer any astrological questions that might arise. If you prefer to cook the food yourself and surprise your friends with their own personalized Sun-sign dishes, you can prepare any number of meals from my cookbook. There are at least ten recipes for each astrological signs “In Signs of the Tines.” For your Libra friend create a surf-and-turf to keep them in balance. For the Aries, the warrior inspired Mongolian Hot Pot. If you are stuck with the age-old question, what should I buy for everyone this Holiday season, why not prepare an astrological meal? It is fun, personalized and something they will always remember. What greater gift can you give then to prepare a dish just for them handpicked by the stars? *For the more astro-savvy crowd ask them to cook for their rising sign! That will really spark discussions. “Signs of the Tines: The Ultimate Astrological Cookbook” is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and For chart readings me Joan at Download my podcast Astrological Cooking at

There Is Still Time to Give “The Most Personalized Gift Under the Sun”

Not sure what to give this Holiday Season? Give an Astrological Chart Interpretation – or make it even more special with a Astrological Gift Basket!

No basket is the same because no one’s chart is the same. The baskets are beautifully crafted by C and C Unique Gift Baskets where they “think outside the basket!”  Order today for Christmas delivery!

Astrological Basket

For an interpretation alone without the basket order at my blog

Happy Holidays

Solstice Time

I love winter Solstice  – it is a time of rebirth in the midst of stillness and “death” and is the ultimate of optimistic universal events. This year the Solstice will actually take place around 12:30 AM on the 22nd of December. That is when the Sun moves into 0 degrees Capricorn.  Looking at the Solstice chart I am seeing alot of unsettled energy around Uranus and Pluto (which will be hugging the Sun for at least the first week into the Solstice.)

Now I tend to be a wee more pessimistic than some – that is the Scorpio Sun in me. I had a discussion with another astrologer today who sees this chart as some kind of awakening where people come together and put aside some differences in a Christmas week sing around the Christmas tree like a bunch of Whos.  He actually said politicians may come together and do something good for America! Silly boy.

I see it is something “big” happening between the 26th and 29th – some group or person pushing the limits so much that more than just the “Occupiers” will want to do something. I see the Uranus square Sun/Pluto as a real explosive energy and the Neptune, Vesta, Chiron conjunction in Aquarius being the “birth” of a new cooperative energy but from the ground up not the top down.

So sit tight and see who eats crow just before the new year.

Happy Holidays ALL!!