Lauren Buckingham Over

Art + The Unconscious Mind:  Pictures & Words | Astrology & Tarot | Hypnosis (2021)

During my MFA program, which I completed in 2015, I had such a perspective-altering and healing experience with Hypnosis, that I nearly left my graduate studies to focus on Hypnotherapy myself. In hindsight, I'm glad I saw my MFA through to the end! But ever since, I've been waiting for the right time and program in which to revisit it. I'm excited to announce that I've finally decided to begin my studies in Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy in March of 2021!

I'll update my website and possibly create an additional one for this purpose. Just as the content of my visual art has gravitated toward the ethereal, memory, the subconscious and collective consciousness, it's my goal to use aspects of the creative process -like imaginative visualization- during Hypnosis. I hope to develop an awareness of and focus on the areas of overlap between Art and the Psyche. Stay tuned for descriptions of the services I plan to offer this Spring! 

I'm truly grateful to Heidi Hornbacher's PageCraft for interviewing me on its Hearthside Salons podcast! It was such a delight to talk with her. Check it out and all of Heidi's wonderful creative work:

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-xst6k-f00a9b

"Visual artist and illustrator Lauren Over has always been interested in synchronicity, connection, and in the Rorschach-test-like effect an image can have on a viewer. Working steadily on movie posters and commercial client work, she’s mixed pen and ink and watercolor to produce an astro-botanical deck of tarot cards that reinterpret traditional symbology with birds, animals, traditional herb use, and historical figures. We'll talk about finding a path with art. We talk about the Myers Briggs test, Enola Holmes, and the Language of Flowers. She designed movie posters and illustrations for Can You Dig This, and the upcoming Good Vibrations. We also talk about previous Hearthside Salon with Sesame Street Puppeteer Liz Hara.

Purchase Earthstar Tarot:
www.sacredinfinite.com

More on PageCraft screenwriting courses and coaching: www.pagecraftwriting.com

9/1/20
On the day of the Pisces full moon (10:22pm PST),I'm honored and excited to share my interview on
Sacred Infinite's blog!

Later in September, Earthstar: An Astro-Botanical Tarot book + deck combo will be available exclusively through their website. The first 50 sets will be signed and come with extra goodies. Until then, the book and deck can still be purchased separately from two different sources (links are on my products page), but it's less convenient and cost-effective. I'd hold out if you're interested in having a pair- and this way you'll also support a unique creative platform for metaphysically inclined artists! Please enjoy looking through Sacred Infinite's other treasures. They share a spirit of exploring the limitlessness of our minds, our world, their beauty, sensuality, and fascinating interconnections!

8/17/20
We're on the eve of a new moon at 26-27 degrees of theatrical fire sign Leo. At this passionate, dramatic zodiac point, where the sun and moon join to begin a fresh lunar (emotional) cycle, communicative and expressive Mercury is also right there. This trio makes a trine aspect, a 120 degree angle, to determined Mars in his home fire sign of pioneering Aries. As the element of fire is synonmous with spirit and inspiration, and Leo is also our heart, I think we'll be experiencing a large dose of courageous impulse and a new confidence in pursuing what we love and makes us feel alive, playful, adventurous. Leo energy supports risk taking, romance, sport and leadership.

We've been living in underlying/overwhelming amounts of weighty, restrictive Capricorn energy, with Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn all here- which won't be changing until December of 2020. At that time, Jupiter and Saturn both enter the social, futuristic air sign of Aquarius. 

This teaming up of Mars with the sun, moon and Mercury provide the most significant counter affect to the Capricorn earth energy that we've seen in quite a while. The new moon cluster makes an exact aspect called an inconjunct or quincunx (150 degrees apart) with Saturn in Capricorn. This relationship is of a kind of mutual exclusivity. On one hand they don't blend well, but on the other it could give us a welcomed distraction and break from Saturn and Pluto's glacially slow sense of danger and duty. It's almost as if we'll be able to kind of forget about our now routine limitations for a while. 

I suggest to take full advantage of a feeling of personal autonomy and faster creative progress, the remainder of this week. Now through the 22nd, when the sun follows Mercury into pragmatic, earthy Virgo (Mercury enters on the 19th), is the time to fan the flames of your love of self, others and life, building that life force energy. Fall in love with the world, with the mystery, the potential of this existence on Earth. Feed yourself on your favorite art, film, books, poetry, fantasy, music; remind yoursself of the power of Creative Expression. This is what we really live for, and it's always available to set our souls on fire again!

The new moon also makes a sextile (60 degree) aspect to our collective North Node of Destiny in Gemini, and a trine (120 degree) aspect to our South Node in Sagittarius. The themes linked to these points represent the two areas of life we're trying to bring into balance in order to feel like we're progressing in the direction we desire to explore and grow. The north node is the area that feels more novel and uncharted, which most attracts our sense of curiosity, wonder and longing to (as well as some terpidation around) trying to learn and master. The south node is an area that comes very naturally and already has a sense of having been learned very well. Since the new moon makes aspects to both that are considered pleasurable, it seems we'll be able to relatively effortlessly activate both our existing skill sets and find opportnities to practice new ones, seamlessless mixing the two together. 

By the time Virgo season sets in this weekend, it's likely that we'll be finding more of a rhythym in how we work and serve in the world, act selflessly in service of others and find a sense of provision and security in it, too. So for now, embrace this more child-like and playful Leo mode, where being focused on yourself and what interests you most is exactly what's needed!


8/10/20
I'm beginning to post videos on Youtube to share my artwork, and what I learn during studies of Astrology, Tarot, Herbalism, Hypnotherapy, Reiki, and so on! In the beginning, it will probably mostly be astrological updates and card pulls from my deck, Earthstar: An Astro-Botanical Tarot. Feel free to subscribe to be notified of posts!

Starting daily 10 Minute Tarot videos on Youtube, using Earthstar Tarot!

The most potent Cancer period in recent memory.

7/21/20
We're finally about to exit possibly the most potent Cancer/Lunar season we've experienced in quite a long time:

1. We had not one, but two new moons in Cancer this month (One different zodiac sign each year has the extra new moon).

2. Cancer is the sign that's ruled by the moon, so this is where the moon is most powerful!

3. The first of these new moons, on June 21st, was a total solar eclipse- said to be about three times as influential as a regular new moon.

4. The Full moon lunar eclipse in Capricorn on July 4th/5th occured opposite the sun in Cancer, and was the last in an 18 month series of Cancer/Capricorn eclipses. The moon's nodes have now entered Gemini/Sagittarius. Eclipses occur in the two opposing signs where the moon's nodes are travelling. This changes each year and a half.

5. Mercury had entered its retrograde shadow (the area it will backtrack over) in Cancer on June 2nd and will exit its shadow zone July 26th.

On this last day of the sun in Cancer, we may very well experience Cancer themes quite strongly. With the sun being at the last, 29th degree of Cancer, called a critical degree, some of the more challenging aspects of the sign can arise to be processed one last time. 

So what are some of these topics that may have been featuring prominently? Water, our intuition, most pure and deep emotions, memories of our roots, families, parents (especially mothers), and early life. It is subconscious content and programming. What is home to us, literally and metaphorically, and what role does it currently play? Cancer can bring up a lot of sentiment, nostalgia, thoughts of the past and previous relationships of all kinds. Are they enriching, or holding us back? Strengthening or limiting?

Cancer is also linked to our feelings of security, protection and nourishment. Issues around shelter and food (emotional eating, whether or not our food is safe and healthy, whether we can afford home and quality food) can arise in this sign.

Additionally, the matter of how emotionally intelligent, sensitive and compassionate we are, first to ourselves and then to others, surfaces for review.

I think it's likely that a return to more stringent Safer at Home restrictions could be announced today in states being hit the hardest by cases of Covid-19.

I believe one of the opportunities this time has provided, is the chance to be still and reflect enough on our internal worlds and sensations, that we're clearer on what feels right now and moving forward. We're practicing an enhanced skill of navigating decisions by our hearts as much as, if not more than logic and pragmatism. We're exercising more empathy toward others. We're taking initiative to better care for ourselves and treating people more as extended family.

I also think during this magnified Cancer season, we've been able to look back over the most meaningful relationships in our lives in a deeper way. We've renewed our embrace of the love components that feel good- what these relationships have contributed to our souls- while releasing the views of attachments that feel sorrowful. 

We now understand how memories of our pasts do not need to be seen as lost. They can be recognized as healthy, living parts of ourselves and our present. We can rewrite our pasts from the now moment. No matter what our circumstances are, the current time is where our power and agency is.

The image above is a drawing I made of a place my family used to visit during summers, with my grandparents. My dad and grandfather grew up going there, too. I have a very strong emotional attachment to it, and identify myself, my childhood and my family with it. In 2017 and 2018, my grandarents passed. We haven't been back since, and it felt like maybe we wouldn't continue to go without them. But as of this week, I've started talking with my parents and Uncle about arranging to go back next summer, and researching rentals in the area. 

I've also begun creating a children's book on color, deep memories and summertime (Cencer season)!
I've been reconsidering studying hypnosis, and also working with children as an art teacher.

I'd love to hear how Cancer-themes have showed up in your lives!

On the shore of Lake Erie in Linwood Park, Vermillon, OH. Watercolor for my grandparents. 2018.

A watercolor I made of Lake Erie, my mom and grandfather gathering treasures in the beach (from an old photograph taken in the early 80's). 2003?

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

June 26, 2020

I pulled a tarot card for us all today, from Earthstar Tarot to see what it brings up.

♠️5 of Air (spades, swords, the mind/thoughts).
This card is associated with the first third of Aquarius on the zodiac wheel, where heavyweight champion Saturn is currently retrograde. What is Saturn activating? I think tomorrow night through Sunday, and all of next week we might be in for a lot of new data or ideas rushing onto the scene.

I get the image of being at the top of a hill on a rollercoaster, and there’s that little pause before it releases, barreling down while gaining speed. Do you have the feeling of anticipation, like something’s about to take another significant turn, but it hasn’t quite come out, yet? Saturday night Saturn makes a ‘grand air trine’ with Venus in Gemini and the moon in Libra. Air moves fast, is information, is social and very changeable. Plus Saturn and the moon will be at the critical 0 degree point of these signs, which holds a strong charge of new potential. A couple hours later, Mars exits foggy and dreamy Pisces for its own fiery, full speed ahead sign of Aries. It’s starting a fresh cycle around the zodiac wheel, reborn and filled with drive for its own vision.

All of this occurs during the end of June/start of July (a shift in the Numerological vibration) and a build up to the third and final eclipse we’ll be experiencing this summer- a full moon lunar eclipse in Capricorn. This is a potent ‘out with the old’ energy- outdated attitudes and rules, flawed systems, conservative ways of being that are not protecting us as a whole, but are stunting our growth. With the eclipse happening on the birthday of the United States, and the only one of our three that is visible from the US this summer, this one is setting the stage for another wave of emotion-fueled release and demands from the people. With the sun in security-conscious Cancer, however, life is becoming more complicated again, with a growing need to be vigilant around increasing cases of the virus. Mercury stays retrograde until July 12th, so try to accept how in-flux circumstances will be until the end of July.


Try to enjoy the ride, glean inspiration from the sense of anything being possible, and stay engaged with positive-minded, supportive people. It’s a time to be open with what we’re going through, seek any help we need, dialogue and also show that we’re really listening to/hearing/available to others. 

How To Walk on Water

June 17, 2020

Anyone with a lot of water element in their Astrology chart (you can generate yours at www.astro-charts.com)- that's Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces- can probably attest to an altered sense of reality (and yes- that's beyond the chaos the collective is already swimming in). Add a creeping suspicion that something even more bizarre and unforeseen is waiting for the perfect timing to float in.

Not only are we three days from a total Solar eclipse in Cancer this Saturday night/Sunday morning, June 20th-21st, which perfects on Summer Solstice and Father's day (synchonistic, as Cancer is associated with parents/family, home, deep, possibly subconscious memories and formative experiences of childhood)...

Mercury is simultaneously stationing retrograde in the same sign of Cancer, while Venus is still retrograde in Mercury's home sign of Gemini. This Cancer Mercury retrograde seems to mix together all three of astrological phenonmena and their significance.

Last but not least, Neptune, King of the Sea, is ALSO about to retrograde in not only another water sign, but his home sign of Pisces, where his influence is especially pure. This will bring the total number of retrograde planets to six, for a window of a few days, until Venus turns direct on June 24th. Even then, she'll be in her 'retrograde shadow' zone- the area she's backtracking over- until the end of Cancer season late July. 

Swirl in that Mars is conjunct Neptune in Pisces, where he can feel very much like a fish out of water. More accurately, he's a ram IN the water, without the physical equipment to even tread, let alone swim, let alone move at the speeds and with the confidence and clarity that's Mars' signature MO.

What on Earth does all of this mean for us? 
My interpretation is that we're finding ourselves in an environment where we feel more pressure than ever to take control of our at least our own worlds- and as much as we're capable of, the wider world- yet larger factors are turning our energies outside-in. The universe is soliciting yet more reflection, rest, taking stock, dreaming of possiblilites. It's asking us STILL to stay home, to learn how to better nuture ourselves and one another, to honor and heed our emotions, to surrender to Love and have faith in the evolution of the grand scheme. 

People and places from our pasts + lessons that have been recurring our whole lives make their continuing prescences known, even as we conjure futures we can feel free in and be proud of. It's like one of those dreams where you're churning your legs as fast as you can to run from some shadowy foe, to find it's like you've lost all muscle power, or that the weight of gravity has suddenly tripled. As uncomfortable as it may be, we're meant to face exactly where we are (or aren't) right now.

What's the best way to navigate this increasingly surreal-ity?

1. The Serenity Prayer:

Accept the things I cannot change; Have courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Further investigate spirituality and increase dialogue with your version of greater benevolent forces.

2. Reconnect with people in your life: your family- both chosen and given- who have been there for the duration and help remind you of where you come from and who you are. We could all use more emotional support and sense of security.

3. Remember that your value has nothing to do with the material resources currently available to you, nor does your identity necessarily have anything to do with your job/title or lack thereof. You're encouraged to reinvent yourself according to the the most updated version of you that you can tune into.

4. Feed your imagination and soul with art, music, books and films that let you escape and also inspire you to come back!

5. Exercize, but don't push it too hard. Calming types of workouts may be best this summer, even if you're normally a weightlifter or HIIT (high intensity interval training) fan like myself! Shift gears and try more yoga, walking, swimming or stretching. Doubling workouts as a form of meditation is very supported. Drink more water than usual, and try to consume nutrient-dense foods and allow but moderate intake of comfort food.

5. Last but not least, find somewhere to volunteer some time, money or both, that will get your mind off of your personal worries, generate new relationships, and juice up your sense of purpose and the ability to make a posituve difference in your community.

This Sunday through Wednesday (the 21st through the 24th, when Venus stations direct) is going to be an optimal time for consciously (and unconsciously) reimagining your life. Generally, there's more energy behind those thoughts and the feelings you elist to accompany them, than there will be again until December. 

Harue Koga, c. 1929

The United States' First Pluto Return

June 10, 2020

Using the birthday of July 4th, 1776, the United States' birthchart has Pluto at 27'30" of Capricorn. Its moon is at 27'10" of Aquarius. Pluto takes 248 years to orbit the sun and return to where it was at the time of birth. The United States is having their first Pluto return on February 20, 2022. At the same time Pluto exactly returns to ths place, Saturn will be on the United States' Aquarius moon. 


As Pluto moves this slowly, and is said to be very powerful in its influence, we're already seeing the effects of the 2022 Pluto return. Pluto symbolizes total breakdown, destruction and rebuilding. It's deep and total transformation, like a caterpillar liquifying before reforming and rebirthing as a butterfly. The results are always in the name of improvement and evolvution, but they can be intense, unsettling and challenging. 

The return of any planet, in itself, is associated with the start of a brand new cycle regarding that planet's themes. In Capricorn, the sign of physical, governmental and economic rules and structures, in the 2nd house of money, resources and what we find valuable, the long term recreation that's occuring is obviously centering around our country's political, financial and law enforcement systems. Pluto is also linked to the exposure of what's been hidden and suppressed, ultimately leading to liberation.

Saturn, which is associated with cause and effect (karma) and reaping what is sewn, being on the US's Aquarius moon at the same moment, strongly suggests that the dark parts of both our history and present, that are which we likely feel shame or fear around, will be brought to light in a way that demands not only acknowledgement, but repayment and major change. Since Aquarian topics include social justice, humanitarianism, the wellbeing of the collective, and progressive mentalities, the events unfolding will certainly relate to establishing long-needed balance and equality in these dimensions of our culture.

Pluto and Scorpio (the sign Pluto rules) are associated with not only the scorpion, but the serpent, eagle and phoenix. It represents our animal survival insticts (sexual impulse, hunting/gathering, fight or flight), becoming conscious of subconscious programming, and rising above unaware behavior, taking control of creating reality through conscious intention.

The best way to navigate Plutonic energy is to be honest with ourselves and one another, be willing to look at what is frightening and uncomfortable, bring it into the open air, and talk about it. The more we take responsibility for our mindsets and habits, the more ability we gain to alter them. It's also imperative with Plutonic and Saturnine energy to accept and adapt to the consequences and movement that occurs. The more we try to resist, hide or cling to old ways, the more painful the life experience will become. We can minimize the hardship we experience by being as mutable, openminded and faithful in the greater good of what is unfolding, as we can be. 

One of my hand-painted jackets, created Easter weekend of 2020. 'Rise/Vitam Aeternum= Eternal Life'

The Gemini and Sagittarius Axis

June 5, 2020

Today we have a full moon, partial lunar eclipse with the sun at 16 degrees of Gemini and moon at 16 degrees of Sagittarius. Full moons always occur when the sun and moon face each other exactly across the zodiac wheel. Opposite signs are sometimes referred to as partner signs, complimentary. For the last 18 months we've had our eclipses in the signs of Cancer and Capricorn, and the next two that we'll have (June 21 and July 5) will wrap up that cycle of eclipses, which bring up Cancer and Capricorn's themes:

Cancer: home, family, security, memory, feelings, intuition, sensitivity, emotional intelligence, how we give and recieve nurturing, food & drink

Capricorn: career, work life, ambitions, strategy, long term goals, time, mortality, physical limitations and supports, structure, pragmatism, authority and law, consequences/rewards (karma), parental figures, government, how we're viewed in the public world, title/reputation

This is the first eclipse in the next 18 month cycle of eclipses in Gemini and Sagittarius. The next will be November 30th and December 14th. So, the topics that are going be arising in a more focused and prolonged way for us to make adjustments to and fine tune are...

Gemini: local community and travel, networking, primary education, curiosity, research and learning, siblings and cousins, writing/communications, the way that we think, technological devices/internet, medicine

Saggitarius: global community and travel, higher education, philosophy and belief systems, spirituality, religion, wisdom, the human family, adventure and exploration, leisurely sports, hunting, dogs and horses, healing

These are the areas that are going to be coming up for us to find the right balance of in our lives over the next year and a half. We'll be experimenting with the right types and amounts of each of these polarities, creating the perfect formula for ourselves. However, with the northnode in Gemini, that will be the side that is more associated with our future and evolution, where as the southnode sign of Saggitarius is where we'll likely find areas that need more releasing and editing- though it will differ for each person depending on their unique birthchart. I think that will definitely be the case with the full moon in Sag this time around. 

I think with the recent developments of the Covid-19 pandemic and the world wide protests around George Floyd's death, we're already seeing the interplay of Gem/Sag themes:

Less global travel, the need to stay within and support our local communities, and yet also having more sense of interconnection with the entire world (think globally act locally). Commerce and education has been disrupted, but are transforming toward online prescences and the use of new technologies. Near and far don't exist online. We're being saturated with news and media, and having to learn to be more objective and mindful, able to see both sides. We'll need to be more considerate of what we ourselves feel the need to contribute, and whether we believe what we're told by media or not. We'll have to be discerning with what we both absorb and share, and be careful to avoid gossiping, inaccurate information and preaching or judgemental attitudes. It's going to become a prime time for us to be students of DIY methods, and decide to teach ourselves versus depending on other teachers.

What other issues do you see elevating through our current events?

Illustrations by Takeo Takei, from the 1927 children's book, 'Animal Village' (動物の村).

Retrograde Time Travel

May 28, 2020

We're moving deeper into what Astrologers sometimes refer to as 'retrograde season,' with four planets already retrograde (Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto), and Mercury about to retrograde on June 17th/18th, 2020. We'll be in its retrograde 'shadow' period from June 2nd to July 26th. It's fairly rare to have five planets retrograde at once.

Retrogrades indicate a time when it's ideal to slow down and be more reflective rather than charging full speed ahead. Retrogrades are optical illusions of the planet's backward motion. They occur when planets come as close as they can to Earth in their orbit. Because of this peak proximity, the influences associated with the retrograde planet are said to be at their maxiumum upon Earth and its inhabitants. This is similar to the way the tides are at their highest and lowest when our moon phase is new or full.

It makes sense to me that when a planet's influence peaks, it takes longer to process the effects of its particular energy. It's like an information overload in that planet's symbolic areas of our lives. It takes more focus and perspective to integrate the lessons that arise.

Another association with retrograde planets is material coming up from our past. For example, with a Venus retrograde, it's common to hear that relationships from previous eras may surface again. Maybe there's still something left unfinished (or something new?) to discuss, to learn. Maybe there's more thorough closure to be attained, or maybe this person was meant to come back to us from time to time to contribute something important to our evolution. Possibly, a different iteration of that relationship has an updated place in your life.

Recently I've been thinking more about time and how we fit into it. I listened to an old Art Bell hosted Coast to Coast AM radio show on the topic, and watched H.G. Wells' The Time Machine movie (as well as its 2002 remake with Guy Pierce!). I've been trying to visualize modern Physics' theory that linear time doesn't exist. As impossible as it is for me to comprehend, it still somehow feels true that past, present and future all are simultaneous, and we only view them chronologically through the construction of our human brains' lens.

How does this relate to retrograde planets and their seeming ability to resurrect past life components? I'm speculating that instead of retrograde planets being specifically linked to our pasts- since they're not actually moving backwards, but are just closer and more potent to us- their effect is to dissolve our linear glasses in regard to their area of that planet's rulership. To continue using Venus as an example: perhaps the enhanced power of her vibrations during retrograde allow her themes of relationships, money, beauty and creativity to transcend their usual confinements to our chronology. Maybe we're more likely to ponder, encounter and adjust these subjects as they relate to our past, present AND future!

Could it be that during a planet's retrograde, we're liberated from the mental/physical structure of time as we 'progress' through it, in order to have a more overarching picture of and access to work with the topics that planet brings up?

As H.G. Wells puts it in The Time Machine, in relation to that planet's themes, 'freedom to move in the 4th dimension?'

Adolf Hoffmeister, 1959 illustration for Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne.

Gemini- the Quadruplets?!

May 24, 2020


As I write, we're two days post a new moon in Gemini (5/22/20 10:39am PST) at 2 degrees of Gemini! That Friday morning, the moon joined not only the sun in Gemini, but also retrograde Venus, Mercury (the planet said to 'rule' Gemini), and the north node of the moon (or 'north node of destiny'). The latter freshly began an 18 month road trip through Gemini on May 5th. Mercury remains in its home sign a handful of days, until May 28th, while Venus travels this first air sign through August 7th. This is a spacious portion of Gemini/air/mutable energy- all drawing our focus to Gemini themes: communication, commerce, information exchange, siblings/cousins, local travel, curiosity and exploration, education and the power of our minds to define reality. Gemini also is connected to medicine, the nervous system, lungs and hands.

I was born with Mars in Gemini in the 1st house, and the sun in Gemini in my natal chart. I also have a close Mercury and Venus conjunction in the 3rd house -the zone that Gemini governs- making Mercury a fairly strong influence on me- so its themes are ones I've given a good bit of thought to over the years!

This period is an excellent time for researching, taking classes, writing, and being more thoughtful, careful and thorough in our communications with others. Remember to slow down and look more closely at what comes up, before moving on to the next topic like quicksilver!

It seems fitting that while Venus, who represents women, amongst other subjects, is retrograde (and the most powerful in her effect on us) in Gemini, I learn that the twin brothers, Castor & Pollux, who represent the constellation of Gemini, were not the only twins born to parents Zeus and Leda. There was also a pair of female twins born with them (Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra), expanding the symbolism of Gemini even further! Gemini is not only a pair, but a pair of pairs. It's not only males, but females. It's both celestial and terrestrial. Clytemnestra and Castor were fathered by Leda's human husband, Tyndareus, while Pollux and Helen had godly origins in Zeus.

Mercury, the planet of Gemini, is said to be androgenous. So, it makes sense this part of Mercury's story would be comprised of both masculine and feminine, mortal and immortal characters. I also recently learned that the number four is linked with Gemini! Could this be why? Mercury's tale tells our experience of dualilty. Mercury, or Hermes, is the only messenger between the underworld and the heavens. Subconscious and conscious. The brain itself, associated with Mercury, is comprised of two hemispheres with distinct modes of funtioning: sympathetic and parasympathetic, instinctive and logical, visual and verbal, artistic and mathematical, abstract and concrete. 

Why would the sisters of Castor and Polux be less featured in this quadrant of Gemini siblings? What is the symbolism behind womens' presences being less spoken of in history? 

I have a simple theory that I'm sure has been discussed. Masculinity is associated with the rational brain (the prefrontal cortex), which is a more recent evolutionary development. Basically put, could it be that because it's newer, it's generally assumed superior to the emotion-based navigational system -which is also viewed as feminine? In modern Western culture, we more highly value self-control. Maybe more accurately, we're more comfortable with it. It seems stronger, safer and more responsible. The subconscious and the feelings are sometimes feared. It's partly because we can't fully know and comprehend them- and largely because, since they came earlier in our evolution, they're more deeply established. It is actually emotion that has more influence over our actions. Enter the practices of Psychoanalysis and Hypnotherapy.

The movement toward reason/logic (linked to the sun and light) is an attempt to rule ourselves and our world, rather than collaborate with it. If we can accept a certain amount of unknown (connected to the moon and darkness), the power and will of our hearts and of the living universe; if we can have faith and trust in what is beyond our mental forces, instead of wanting to dominate it, I think we'll experience a surge in wholeness, peace and creativity.

I believe the lesson of Mercury and Gemini is, that the place we're heading in our collective understanding- sometimes labeled as the Age of Aquarius,* a sign ruled by Uranus, the 'higher octave of Mercury,' or the higher mind/superconscious- is a universal return to the wisdom that always existed in various times and places on Earth. Neither mode- masuline or feminine, intuitive or logical- is to be shown preference. They'll be seen as equally necessary tools for optimal functioning. 

I think that as we accept and learn to draw upon and utilize both aspects of ourselves in greater balance and harmony, we'll find more ability to design the lives we desire out of love, joy, agency and freedom.

*Aquarius is also an androgenous archetype.

Helen of Troy (2003): Katie Blake as Clytemnestra & Sienna Guillory as Helen

Tarot With Plants

May 18, 2020

♉️ As an experiment in communication with plants, which will be the theme of my next project, I requested the jade plants to help choose a card for this week: May 18-24, 2020. The High Priestess came out! This card is associated with strong intuition, the moon and the sign of Taurus.

Jade is a symbol for wealth, prosperity and nourishment, which are associated with Taurus and the moon respectively! We’re in the final two days of the sun in this earth sign of Taurus, the sign most synonymous with Mother Nature. The sun will join Mercury and the north node of the moon in quick, breezy Gemini early Wednesday morning. The moon will be floating through Taurus Tuesday evening through Friday's dawn, lingering where she's 'exalted,' where her energy blends most harmoniously.

Both jade and the mallow depicted on this card are plump with water, and after the lovely rain I woke to this morning, it's clear earth + water elements are being emphasized. They’re both about slowing down, resting and paying attention to our bodies and emotions. It’s a good time to ‘try’ less and allow more: relaxation, calming ourselves with music, nutritious/delicious food, time in the water, meditating. The more tranquil we are, the more ideas and creativity can flow through us. So even if it sounds a little ‘lazy,’ it’s actually working smarter, not harder. The few days approaching a new moon, which happens Friday, May 22nd at 10:38am PST, we’re said to be in the ‘dark of the moon.’ It’s told to be a time of lower, more internalized energy, of going deeper within to gain insight about what we want to generate next.

Elsie Wheeler, who’s face is illustrated on this card, was a medium who channeled the Sabian Symbols: short visual descriptions to accompany each of the 360 degrees of the zodiac wheel. You can look up each at sabiansymbols.com! It's a fascinating, poetic, additional layer of meaning that can be attributed to where each of your planets are in your astrological birthchart.

For those who don't have a birth (or natal) chart, you can have one calculated for free at astro.com. On an ending note, remember to stay hydrated! This affects our mood and all bodily functions more than we tend to realize. 🍀

From my recently completed deck, Earthstar: An Astro-Botanical Tarot