5 Beginner Astrology Books To Help You Get Started

When I was first getting started on my astrology journey I was around 12 years old. AOL CDs coming in the mail were still a thing and I didn’t have a job;all I had was a school metrocard and two local libraries to visit freely. Despite this, I had a ton of fun researching online with slow dial up and spending hours on library floors reading whatever astrology related books I could get my hands on. It’s been a long time since then, and while this is  not a list of my most-loved books as a learner/beginner below you will find a short list which should be helpful to anyone who is beginning their astrology journey.

 

The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfolk

This book won’t turn you into an astrologer overnight but it’s a great place to start if you’re looking to get the lay of the land. I remember picking this one up every time I would wander into a book store. Joanna covers the signs, planets, houses, rising signs and even has a few useful moon and ascendant tables. The book also includes famous people from each sign and a ton of beautiful artwork. This is a great coffee table book or one to keep near your bed when you want to casually learn a few things about astrology.

 

Sun Sign Astrology by Linda Goodman

Linda Goodman may be one of the most well known astrologers because of this particular book. Again, it will not turn you into an astrologer, but it will definitely make you laugh and nod your head at how perfectly (and perhaps shadily) she describes each of the sun signs, their motivations, their strengths and imperfections with a generous sense of humor and compassion. Linda also wrote another fabulous book called Love Signs where she matches the 12 signs into romantic pairings. Again neither of these books are comprehensive in terms of reading astrology charts but it’s a wonderful starting place to warm up to the study itself.

 

Astrology For The Soul by Jan Spiller

Definitely one of my favorite astrology books, but the focus is less on sun signs or even the houses and planets. Jan instead focuses on the nodes of the moon & delves deeply into each karmic lesson the north and south nodes bring while in each of the 12 signs and houses of the zodiac. Don’t know where your nodes are? Not to worry, tables are included to help you find your nodes and the nodes of your friends & loved ones. Be warned you may feel a little bit exposed after reading – , just know it’s all for your highest good!

 

The Inner Sky by Steven Forrest

Ready to go a little bit deeper? Excellent! Steven & Jodie Forrest are a husband and wife astrology team who’ve dedicated themselves to writing and educating others on astrology. The Inner Sky recently joined my bookshelf and quickly became one of my favorites. Steven breaks down the signs, planets, houses, angles in such a poetic fashion that pushes you to think about astrology with nuance and complexity,outlining the connection between the earth, heavens and humanity. Steven goes beyond keywords and into actual storytelling to convey the messages behind astrology charts.

 

More book suggestions to come! If you use the links provided to purchase these books I get a few nickels too!

5 Ways To Enjoy Valentine’s Day 2016

The sky on Valentine’s Day looks grumpy this year with a irritable, cranky T-Square taking place between the Moon in sensual Taurus opposing passionate Mars in Scorpio both squared to the independent Sun in Aquarius. All 3 of these signs are FIXED meaning they’re not easily moved to change their minds and want their own way. If we’re not careful this could mean heated arguments with no clear winners but many hurt feelings.
Venus the goddess of love and romance is also feeling pressure from Uranus who is making us feeling like we need a change in scenery or a new lover altogether. I would vote to not make any sudden changes to your relationships during this holiday. You may want to put break ups or deeper commitments like engagements or marriages on hold until the skies are calmer, unless you’re into relationships that thrive on the aggressive and unexpected. As they say, some like it hot!
For those of us who are splendidly single this Valentine’s Day, this is a great night to enjoy love and affection with close friends. Valentine’s Day falls during Aquarius season which isn’t a sign known for being especially romantic, that’s more Pisces domain. However Aquarius does value the love that arises from community especially when it’s with those who support us in fulfilling our wishes and dreams. So don’t let the hearts and roses keep you away from enjoying the day with people who love you!

Here are some tips to celebrate the day successfully

Practical As Sexy 

Much like Christmas, with Jupiter in Virgo ruling much of the sky, go for practical yet meaningful gifts. The sky will be earthy with Venus in Capricorn and the Moon in Taurus craving tangible, sensible expressions of affection.
Find ways to show affection in useful ways. What does your loved one NEED?
Can you pay my bills, can you you pay my telephone bills? A paid bill can be just as sexy as a bouquet of roses or an expensive bottle of wine. Nothing says “I love you” like a oil change or a monthly metrocard or even running errands for your over scheduled love. Remember with Earth signs, it can be the little things that add up to something more. Showing love isn’t always about grand romantic gestures, it can also be making sure the dishes are washed and the apartment is cleaned. If you can’t think of anything, simply ask your partner what would make their life easier and see if you can deliver a valentine’s day miracle for them.

Sensual Healing

With so much Earth in the sky and a sensual Taurus moon, consider a healing date whether as a couple, solo or with friends. I personally love spa days, a day spent at the sauna in herbal hot baths, deep tissue massages, the works! If you really want to take advantage of the healing energy being provided by Mars in Scorpio opposite the Moon you can go as deep as a colonic (Jupiter in Virgo would probably appreciate it, but that kind of cleaning is best saved for spring) Other options include energy work like reiki, acupuncture or even sound healings. Anything that brings balance to the physical and spiritual bodies will be a bonus this Valentine’s Day

Indulge in the 5 senses
If you absolutely must have a traditional romantic Valentine’s celebration then there can be no half stepping. The energy of the sky demands that the five senses be pleased to the highest extent. Indulge the Moon with the finest of wines and chocolates, the best live music, the most exquisite dining experience, wear your best outfit and prepare to be physically expressive. With Venus in Capricorn ruling the Moon keeping the style of the night extra old school and traditional will work in your favor.  If you can’t do this out on the town, recreate it at home. Jupiter, Venus and the Moon will appreciate the planned effort as a sign of love.

Sweat It Out
With such tense energy circulating between the Sun, Moon and Mars one of the best ways to diffuse the energy is to burn it off physically. We tend to feel prickly and argumentative when Mars picks a fight with the lights. Instead of bickering and fussing with your partner, point the energy into something physical. Go to an all night dance party where you’re guaranteed to sweat. Get physically creative, go toward Leo creative expression to help balance the tense T-Square energy. Arts and crafts like pottery, painting or even going to a play or ballet can be a great date to share together. If all else fails good old fashion love making will satisfy. Be mindful that this chart is especially fertile, so if babies aren’t on your radar, prepare accordingly!

Make A Plan For The Future
Not interested in blowing money on one day this year? That’s cool, this chart leaves room for deeper expressions of love like long term planning. Earth energy loves to seed itself by investing in a vision for the future. While you cuddle up with your lover talk about what your vision is for your journey together. Make it tangible by writing it down and signing both of your names on the dotted line with love. Check back next Valentine’s Day to see how your vision manifested.

 

How are you planning to spend your Valentine’s Day this year? Leave a comment below!

Make The Best of The New Moon In Capricorn

As New Year celebrations go we find ourselves entering 2016 on a surprisingly muted note. You can thank Jupiter in Virgo who guides the majority of the heavens as we enter the new year. We may find ourselves asking what’s the point of making resolutions if we never commit to them? If you’ve made New Year’s resolutions or intentions that seem to feel hollow do not fret, thankfully we have a serious yet creativity inspiring Capricorn New Moon approaching on the evening of January 9th to help recalibrate our compasses on our destined north star.

 

After the festivities of the holidays have faded away, we look at the New Year with as much hope as we do pessimism. Once the newness of 2016 wears off will we fall back into the same patterns we’ve resolved to leave behind because they’re familiar? Do we even know what our hearts want from us anymore? Do our ambitions really fill us up with personal joy, or are we doing them for the sake of doing them because it’s the expectation?

 

What do you really want for yourself?

 

Throw out some keywords about the sign of Capricorn and usually the first you’ll hear are: ambition, status, conservative, powerful & ruthless. Those can easily describe Capricorn’s shadow if she’s not careful about why she seeks glory. Rarely heard is Capricorn’s true guiding light: Integrity.

 

Under this coming New Moon, find your integrity. Put to rest what you think you should want for yourself under the watchful eyes of family, friends & society at large. Instead connect to what you & you alone desire in your deepest of hearts. If you can, do this alone to keep your energy clear of the desires of others around you. Connect fully to your own heart rhythm and listen to what she says.

 

Carve out some time as the moon wanes to make this an enjoyable process.

The New Moon will join Pluto & Mercury in the 5th house of pleasure & joys. What makes you happy? Typically seeking happiness is what drives us in our ambition to succeed. It’s the expectation that in achieving what we desire that we will find happiness. But in reality its the reverse. Achieve happiness first and success quickly follows.

Take this opportunity to sit in solitude while doing (or not doing) activities that give you happiness. Align with yourself sense of integrity (and no one else’s) Color, dance, play music, meditatie, draw tarot cards, watch your favorite films & see how deeply you can align to the resonant chord of your soul and then start setting your intentions.

 

With 80% of planets below the horizon, shrouded in darkness and Mercury & Jupiter retrograde this new moon will be particularly introspective. Our minds will be turned inward as well as our sense of faith. Trust that even though the outward expressions of change aren’t visible, things are happening deep beneath the surface. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge what no longer works, be brave in discarding what isn’t in alignment anymore.

 

Jupiter in Virgo is also tied to North Node of Destiny, asking us to put serious faith in the path that we’re taking. Get serious about your purpose here on earth, know that the only way to get better at what you want to do is with practice. Stay in integrity with your heart as you set your intentions.

 

Try this out for size while writing ( or drawing, dancing, singing, or meditating) out your intentions:

 

It is my intention to ____________ because it fills me with feelings of _____________ and those feelings keep me aligned to my integrity.

 

If you need more structure in your intention setting, draft a blueprint of what actualizing your intention would look like from the ground up. Start from the base of the mountain by drafting simple steps you can do on a daily basis to achieve your vision. Infuse it with something fun to give yourself steam to keep chugging along.

 

Above all pace yourself, if there’s one lesson Capricorn teaches us, it’s patience. If you can dream it you can be it. Allow it to unfurl joyously for you. Enjoy each step on your way to the mountain top.

 

Wishing You New Year & New Moon Success

Janelle

3 Chinese Medicine Tips To Survive The Winter

Many of us are dreading the new season because: Cold. Dark. White Walkers . But personally I think winter can be a beautiful time of year that’s perfect for rejuvenating ourselves quietly while we prepare for the spring season. That being said, winter is a perfect time to get sick, mainly because most of us resist changing our routine to accommodate the season’s demands like slowing down and getting more rest.
As I type this I’m sniffling because I broke one of the rules of staying well during this time of year, I knew better but I couldn’t resist stepping outside without a coat during the randomly balmy 60 degree weather day in the middle of December. One of the first things we learned in acupuncture school was to follow the guidelines of nature, going against the flow will usually land you underneath a mountain of kleenex tissues. So here are some really simple common sense tips to keep you healthy this winter season.

Dress Sensibly, (Yeah I’m Talking To You!)

Seems like a given right? If it’s chilly outside common sense says that you’ll wear clothing to keep you warm, right? Surprisingly not everyone abides by this very simple rule. I can’t tell you how many people I pass on the street wearing t-shirts, shorts, skirts without leggings or tights, thin jackets, no jackets, no scarves or hats when the thermometer is well below 70 degrees. Understandably when the weather behaves unusually it’s easy to become confused about how to dress. General rule of thumb:Wear layers and if it becomes too warm you can simply remove them as needed. Why? From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective your body works best in relation to the natural world around it. Even though the weather may say “Spring” the season is still Autumn/Winter underneath. Dress for the season of the month rather than the temperature of the day.

Protect Ya Neck!
No seriously. As the temperature continues to fall and the winds pick up always keep your neck covered especially the back of your neck. The 6 External Evils love to slip into the body at a sensitive point on the back of the neck we call Dàzhuī or Great Vertebra (DU 14). You’ve probably experienced wind & cold slipping into this point before. It usually starts out when you’re exposed to cold air (yes, even air conditioning) and you get the initial chill down your spine. Within a few hours you start to feel alternating chills & fever across your entire body, maybe with some other symptoms like a low grade fever, headache or cough if it’s allowed to go deeper into the body. That’s a wind invasion. The alternating chills & fever you feel is your body attempting to push the wind & cold back out. Luckily there’s a really simple formula you can use to help it fight it off.
(Pro Tip: no matter the time of year, always carry a scarf with you to protect your neck.)

Know Your Healing Herbs
The beauty of herbal medicine is that a good portion of it is common foods we can find in our local marketplaces. Common things like garlic, scallions orange peels and cinnamon can produce powerful healing results if you know when and how to use them. In the case of heading off the common cold or flu, there’s a great herbal formula we use called Gui Zhi Tang.
Its ingredients: Cinnamon Twigs, Fresh Ginger, White Peony Root, Jujube Dates and Honey Fried Licorice Root
Chances are you may not have white peony root, dates or licorice lying around your kitchen, but I’ve found that the paired down version of this formula is just as effective in a pinch. If you have some fresh ginger root and a few cinnamon sticks in your cabinets throw them into a pot with 2 cups of water, bring it to a boil then let it simmer until the decoction reduces by half, it should be a nice dark brown color. Pour it into a mug, get under the covers and drink it while it’s still hot. You want to drink it until you start to sweat, once you start sweating stop drinking. The sweating shows that the muscle layer where the wind or cold slipped in has opened up to expel the pathogen and that’s all that’s needed to start feeling better. Relax, rest in bed and wake up feeling a lot better in the morning!

Need some extra TLC? Book an acupuncture appointment with me or your local acupuncturist & herbalist, we’re trained to get you back into balance!

I hope these tips prove helpful this winter season. What are your go to remedies for the season? Share them in the comment section!

New Moon In Sagittarius: Climbing Every Mountain

Such an inspired New Moon above us. When studying this chart I got the distinct vision of Maria from the Sound of Music up in the Austrian Alps singing. Weird, I know! However the song playing in my head was from Mother Superior’s Climb Every Mountain.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Sound of Music it’s a little bit of hero’s journey as most stories are. Maria, the main character doesn’t quite fit into her current environment, so she’s sent out to discover herself out in the world. When the reality of who she is and what she really wants becomes too real for Maria, she attempts to run back home to the safety of the abbey.

Owning the dream she used to sing about while getting lost in the alps was too real to handle. Dreams are often fine while they’re intangible, they fill us with a seductive longing when our current lives aren’t satisfying, though when faced with the possibility of dream life coming true we often run away.
Mother Superior recognized the jig Maria was playing and told her to go back out there and climb the mountain of her dream. She wouldn’t stand by and allow her to punk out at the last minute.

That’s where this New Moon in Sagittarius finds us, with the Sun – Moon conjunction in the first house of I AM, asking us to renew our sense of who we are with optimism and a greater faith.

Align yourself more fully with your purpose. New Moons represent an alignment of Yin (Moon) and Yang (Sun) energy. There’s a sense of focus, single mindedness and direction moving you forward. New Moons present opportunities to not only start fresh, but to take control of your fate. This is why we set intentions under the New Moon, we shift from talking about this vision to actually showing up with intention to fulfill it.

Events may start coming down hard and fast with the chart ruler Mars in Libra being in direct opposition to Uranus in Aries. Things can happen very quickly when the energy is ripe for it. This the exciting or terrifying elements of Fate, but with the Sun & Moon in Sagittarius go for the excitement. Sagittarius is known for its sense of humor. If things get too hectic, take a break and laugh at all the synchronicity, you did ask for this might as well go along for the ride!

“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky” – Buddha 

Mercury has finished up his time in Sagittarius to enter the empire building sign of Capricorn until February. (Mercury will retrograde at the beginning of January 2016) Our minds are starting to put definite lines and strategies together concerning our dream. From the top of the mountain our minds can see the steps needed to reach the next peak.
Jupiter the ruler of Sagittarius is in Virgo until next summer, Sagittarius’ energy is more focused and quiet in its pursuit of its destiny. We’re being taught how to keep faith while we also deal with the multitude of everyday details. Have faith that even without knowing how every detail will work out, everything is fitting into the larger picture.
Not knowing how the details would work out was what pushed Maria to run away to begin with.

She was a nun
He was a widower
She was about to take her vows and commit herself to Christ
He was engaged to be married to someone else
She was only supposed to be the family governess.
He his children were falling in love with her

Often the details are messy, but its courage and faith that keeps us steady enough to follow through. So this New Moon commit to you. The you you were always dreaming of being. Allow the details to work themselves out as you plan to go for the dream.

Spoiler alert: Ultimately Maria realizes the truth about herself. She’s not meant to be locked away in the abbey, her soul was crying out for a different experience, when she followed through she was rewarded with a sense of fulfilled purpose.

On this journey called life, there is no “making it” there’s never a point of completion. When one peak is reached, another appears in its place. You are unfolding always. Go forth and climb your mountain.

Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
‘Till you find your dream.

A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life
For as long as you live.

What mountain are you daring to climb with this New Moon energy? Leave a comment below!