YOUR TOTAL GUIDE TO THE 2019 RETROGRADE CYCLES

As Mercury stations retro for the first time this year, savor the slow down with Rebecca Farrar‘s total guide to ALL the 2019 retrograde cycles …

Photo: Hugo Alexandre

Ever wish you could enter a time machine for a do-over?

Every planet in our solar system—except for the Sun and Moon—spends time “in retrograde.” These periods each bring powerful opportunities for collective and individual slow down and renewal, calling us to bring awareness to situations we may have glossed over or rushed past.

Mercury Retrograde has gotten a pretty bad name! But rather than harbingers of doom and gloom, all retrograde transits are opportunities to choose free will over fear.

When a planet is retrograde, it appears to move backwards in the sky, an illusion caused by the Earth passing by these slower moving planets. As these shifts occur, it’s up to us to decide how we’ll handle the themes they reveal.

With awareness of a planet’s areas of influence, we can notice how those energies move through us and can uncover new ways of relating to them. For example, if we tend to be non-committal, a Saturn retrograde transit may help us understand where more effort and hard work is needed. If we over-identify with our intellect, Mercury retrograde can reconnect us to our intuition.

Since January 6, 2019 all of the major planets have been in their forward motion. This ends on March 5, when Mercury stations in the last degree of Pisces before retrograding for most of March. As retrograde season 2019 begins, use the guide below to embrace these times of deep transformation, growth, and healing …

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Mercury // March 5—March 28 (retrograde in Pisces); July 7—July 31 (retrograde in Leo); October 31—November 20 (retrograde in Scorpio)
When the planet of communication and linear thinking moves backwards, our minds may feel a bit fuzzy, especially since this year’s first Mercury retro occurs in the imaginative and intuitive Pisces. Take this time to:

  • Complete old writing projects, revise your resume, reignite a journaling practice.
  • Edit and review emails more closely to make sure you are articulating what you want to say as clearly as possible.
  • Reorganize closets, drawers, and cabinets, as Mercury likes to keep things in order.

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Ceres // April 9—July 17 (retrograde in Sagittarius)
When the largest asteroid in our solar system is in retrograde, we may become more familiar with all of the places we need to up our self-care regime. Ceres’ 2019 retrograde cycle helps us contact our inner nurturer and recover our self-parenting tools. Utilize this retrograde for revisiting what you need to feel your best, both emotionally and physically. Use Ceres retrograde to:

  • Try out new recipes or new healthy eating habits and take care of your own needs before helping others.
  • Focus on the many ways to practice self-care, from salt baths to voicing your emotions.
  • Read books on attachment theory and emotional support such as Attached by Amir Levine, David Richo’s How to be An Adult, and the work of Rachel Heller.

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Jupiter // April 10—August 11 (retrograde in Sagittarius)
The largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter’s slow down often reveals new visions. This year, Jupiter will be stationing in its own sign of Sagittarius, and this backward motion may evoke a sense of contraction or constriction. Use this time to:

  • Plan a trip or mini-adventure somewhere you’ve never been or revisit a favorite place—Jupiter loves to travel.
  • Notice places of over-indulgence and how you can cut back on waste, perhaps bring your reusable cup to the coffee shop or carry around bamboo silverware.
  • Take an honest look at the vision for your life and values, and write it down this time to make it feel more real.

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Pluto // April 24—October 3 (retrograde in Capricorn)
Pluto brings us closer to the domain of shadow and the underworld, asking us to take a closer look at the “un-pretty” aspects of ourselves and to confront discomfort. When in retrograde, it helps us uncover places where we haven’t gone deep enough before. This year’s retrograde occurs as Pluto moves through Capricorn, along with Saturn, and asks important questions about power structures. Use Pluto retrograde to:

  • Dive into shadow work with a therapist or guide, or take a long hard look at the things you are annoyed and angry about, as the shadow shows up the most in our projections.
  • Get caught up on taxes or get your will in order; Pluto wants to prepare for the inevitabilities of taxes or death, as well as topics that may be uncomfortable to talk about.
  • Read up on the occult and mystical traditions that intrigue you, or pull out the Tarot deck you haven’t used in a while.
Photo: Felix Mittermeier

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Saturn // April 29—September 18 (retrograde in Capricorn)
Similar to Jupiter, Saturn spends a third of the year in retrograde and offers clues about where we may need to re-commit or become more disciplined. In 2019, Saturn retrogrades in Capricorn, alongside Pluto, and can help us reclaim our sense of authority and responsibility where we may have avoided it in the past. Saturn represents the longer cycles of time and existence and when in retrograde, it can take us back in time to clean up old pain. Use this transit to:

  • Look for places to slow down and practice more discipline, whether it be at work or in relationships.
  • Rethink your long-term goals from the standpoint of the legacy you want to leave, write a 10-year plan, or even 40-year plan.
  • Contemplate your priorities over the next several months and discern where and with whom to focus your energy.

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Neptune // June 21—November 27 (retrograde in Pisces)
When dreamy Neptune moves into retrograde, it brings a time to examine our illusions and fantasies. This planet connects us to our spiritual side and the myriad ways to feel in tune with the divine essence of who we are. The 2019 Neptune retrograde cycle occurs with Neptune in its favorite sign of Pisces, so projections may be at an all-time high. Use this cycle to balance fantasy with reality.

  • Resume a creative project, especially if it is related to a flow state such as photography, film, or painting.
  • Start up a meditation practice, or restart an old one, as Neptune desires a connection to the divine.
  • Take a break from substances that contribute to altered states of consciousness or disassociation.

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Chiron // July 8—December 12 (retrograde in Aries)
Chiron is a bridge between different parts of ourselves, and helps us identify what still needs healing. During its retrograde phase, we can rely on this planetary body to help us rewire or release old painful patterns, as well as help us regain our sense of wholeness. Chiron’s 2019 retrograde moves through Aries, allowing for old confrontations to be addressed and an inner understanding of our anger. Use this transit to:

  • Take a class or receive a session of reiki or massage therapy (Chiron comes from the word for “hand”) to understand the power of hands-on healing.
  • Boost your self-esteem by making a list of your strengths and keeping them nearby.
  • Reorient to yourself by making a list of situations where you put others first, or a list of your non-negotiable needs for relating.

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Uranus // August 11—January 10, 2020 (retrograde in Taurus)
This year’s Uranus retrograde transitions us from 2019 into 2020 with opportunities to rethink our creativity and uncover new ways of doing things. As Uranus re-enters Taurus on March 7, the retrograde occurs in the same sign and may revisit themes from things that occurred in May 2018. Use Uranus retrograde to:

  • Join a new community (IRL preferably) or attend group events you may have thought were not for you, as Uranus encourages us to try new things and also meet new people.
  • Activate your inner activist by recommitting to causes that mean something to you.
  • Update your technology or reread your smart phone manual—Uranus loves the future and feels at home with technology.

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Vesta // September 23—December 29 (retrograde in Taurus)
Baby planet Vesta bridges heaven and Earth through ritual and devotion to personal ceremonies, and brings magic to the mundane through feeding our sacred flame. During its retrograde cycle, we may find ourselves pulled more deeply into our sacred practices, and during this year’s Vesta retro in Taurus, we’re asked to cultivate the sacredness of pleasure. Use this cycle to:

  • Explore sacred sex rituals such as Tantra or Kama Sutra, or create your own sex magic ritual.
  • Take a human sexuality class or write a sexual autobiography to understand more of how this sexual flame moves through you.
  • Create a new ritual for the moon cycles or even in your own daily routine, as a reminder of the many ways to connect to the sacred in everyday life.

WHAT’S YOUR ASTEROID GODDESS SIGN?

Want to harness your full feminine force through the stars? Activate some serious girl power with your asteroid goddess sign, says Rebecca Farrar. 

With the Sun traveling through Virgo, the only female figure in the zodiac, it’s the perfect moment to harness the power of the zodiac’s feminine archetypes.

Just as modern women often face a limited expression of the feminine, traditional Western astrology often relegates us to either the mother (Moon) or lover (Venus).

Luckily, the four asteroid goddesses (Ceres, Vesta, Pallas, and Juno) open up a world beyond traditional roles of wife and mother, and lead us into a deeper exploration of our feminine complexity.

By diving into both the “positive” and challenging aspects of these placements in our charts, we can heal limiting dichotomies and make space for the re-emergence of a fuller expression of our feminine force …

Below, your guide to navigating and activating these placements in your chart. **New to your birthchart? Discover your asteroid signs by looking at your birth year and month HERE.

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:: CERES :: Roman Goddess of Agriculture, Grain, Fertility, and Mother-Daughter Relationships  
Ceres energy recognizes the paradox roles we inhabit as both our own parent and child. It also teaches us where we easily provide nurturance, love, and care to ourselves and others.

Illuminated Expressions: Self-parenting, nurturing self and others, acceptance of cycles of birth and death, caregiving

Shadow Expressions: Intense attachment to mother, projection of our unmet needs onto others, eating disorders

Placement by Sign: Unveils our deepest needs and reinforces our self-care priorities.

  • Ceres in Fire Signs: Nurturing and nourishment through movement (Aries), exploration (Sagittarius), and self-expression (Leo). *Make time for having mini-adventures, or celebrating your need for independence and dominance through traveling or starting your own side business.
  • Ceres in Earth Signs: Feels cared for with sensuality (Taurus), stability (Virgo), and commitment (Capricorn). *Connect with nature by taking a guided nature walk, learning more about the native plants or animals where you live, or spending time outside barefoot.
  • Ceres in Air Signs: Communication (Gemini), cooperation (Libra), and individuality (Aquarius) are places to foster nurturance. *Educate yourself on social justice and equality through taking classes or participating in activist groups, or explore art and design.
  • Ceres in Water Signs: Offer yourself and others nurturance by appreciating your need for feeling loved (Cancer), deep emotional bonding (Scorpio), or connection to spirit (Pisces). *Make time for seeing a therapist or being in groups where vulnerability and emotional expression is honored. Or volunteer your time doing something connects you to compassion for others.

:: VESTA :: Roman Goddess of Hearth and Home  
The second largest asteroid reminds us of our devotion and how we can commit to a spiritual path and guard our inner sacred flame. It also indicates how our sexuality unfolds or develops with time.

Illuminated Expressions: Connecting to spirit through ritual, dedication to personal ceremonies or spiritual path, desire to bring magic into human experience, sacred sexuality

Shadow Expressions: Unrealized sexual potential, fear or denial of sexuality and passion, self-alienation

Placement by Sign: Reveals what we ritualize or desire to make sacred

  • Vesta in a Fire sign: Energy and drive becomes channeled through ambition (Aries), creativity (Leo), or idealism (Sagittarius). *With this placement, sexuality may become alienated through so much self-focus. Notice how you may use your sexual energy as self-fulfillment or to dominate others instead of sustaining supportive, ongoing relationships.
  • Vesta in Earth Signs: Comfort (Taurus), service to others (Virgo), and hard work (Capricorn) are the touchstones for focusing passion. *Explore practices such as Tantric sexuality that unite the sacred aspects of Vesta with the down-to-Earth qualities of connecting.
  • Vesta in Air Signs: Find ways to dedicate yourself to knowledge (Gemini), balance (Libra), and change (Aquarius). *In an air sign, Vesta craves ideas and shifting perspectives. Take classes on human sexuality or write out your own sexual biography as a way of noticing patterns in your own evolution and process.
  • Vesta in Water Signs: Devotion to ones’ feelings (Cancer), explorations of the taboo (Scorpio), or spiritual practice (Pisces) take on more importance. *The fiery nature of Vesta and the water sign placement soften the focus and call for sexual healing. Understand your energetic boundaries with sexuality and steer clear of spaces or situations where they may not be honored.

:: PALLAS ATHENE (ATHENA) :: Greek Goddess of Wisdom, Craft, Poetry, and War 
Named after Athena, who honors the prophecy and oracle in us all, Pallas holds the key to our hidden genius.

Illuminated Expressions: Wisdom as integration of intuition and intellect, pattern recognition, strategic thinking, artistic expression

Shadow Expressions: Over identification with intellect, rejection of the inner feminine, black and white thinking

Placement by Sign: Shows us where we have intuitive gifts or creative intelligence.

  • Pallas in Fire Signs: Harness your unique genius by initiating (Aries), creating (Leo), or larger-than-life visioning (Sagittarius). *Try martial arts such as kung fu or t’ai chi, or fencing, to harness the innate warrior intelligence. Pallas in Leo and Sag may want to channel the fiery nature into creativity with arts and crafts, or take up chess where pattern recognition and playfulness meet.
  • Pallas in Earth Signs: Creative intelligence could be well suited for art (Taurus), woodworking (Virgo), or architecture (Capricorn). *Pallas here wants foundational or practical skills. Use a hands-on approach for finding a creative outlet that allows for your own clarity of touch and intentionality.
  • Pallas in Air Signs: Explore your gifts in debate or speech class (Gemini), mediation (Libra), or activism (Aquarius). *Pallas in air utilizes her keen sense of wisdom, perception, and the power of words. Become an advocate for change and the breath of fresh air it brings to your mind.
  • Pallas in Water Signs: Notice patterns of emotion (Cancer), intensity (Scorpio), or dream interpretation (Pisces) *Pallas’ intuitive gifts become more obvious here and perception turns towards the feeling realm. Use your skills in music, film, psychotherapy, or photography.

:: JUNO :: Roman Goddess of Marriage and the Queen of the Gods
Juno presides over marriage and business partnerships, and often indicates the type of person we marry or find it easy to commit to. She helps us differentiate between being attracted to someone versus what is a good long-term fit for us.

Illuminated Expressions: Balanced partnership that honors both individual purpose and connection through commitment, equality, and loyalty

Shadow Expressions: Attachment patterns, power struggles and jealousy in relationships, fears and manipulation, controlling expressions of the feminine that detach us from personal needs and selfhood

Placement by Sign: Understanding what motivates us to be in partnership, and how we can create both togetherness and individuality

  • Juno in Fire Signs: Relationships with excitement that also involve independence (Aries), admiration (Leo), and unified vision (Sagittarius) are all main motivators for partnerships. Keep an eye on passion that leads too far into drama or becomes destructive. *Look for potential partners at the gym or places where you can expand your horizons.
  • Juno in Earth Signs: Keeps an eye out for stability in relationship and looks for physical security (Taurus), day-to-day support (Virgo), and dependability (Capricorn). *Ideal long-term partners could include people you meet at work, or in more traditional ways such as friends of friends, or even a matchmaker.
  • Juno in Air Signs: Seeks mental stimulation (Gemini), equality (Libra), or freedom (Aquarius) in partnership. Honor the air element by honing communication skills in relationships and staying open to something more non-traditional. *Locations for cosmic connections could include school or community events.
  • Juno in Water Signs: Juno appreciates nurturing (Cancer), intimate bonding (Scorpio), and spiritual connection (Pisces). Juno here may also be prone to not see things clearly, so keep away from manipulation, power struggles, or fantasy. *Karmic partnerships may form at church, through family friends, or even at intense bastions of sexuality like strip clubs!
Rebecca, aka The Wild Witch of the West

Before becoming an astrologer more than seven years ago, “Wild Witch of the West” Rebecca Farrar was a huge skeptic. Now, she can’t imagine doing anything else! When not staring at her transits, she can be found wandering Ocean Beach, curled up with a good book, or “force” cuddling her kitty Freyja. For more cosmic musings, follow her on Instagram and Facebook. 

A SENSORY GUIDE TO VIRGO SEASON 2017

Virgo season 2017 is a time to lay claim to your most pristine values, and show up with utmost integrity says Bess Matassa. PLUS a solo wedding celebration for each Vesta sign … Homepage art: Lexi Kendall

Lay out your laciest lingerie, private dancers. The zodiac’s mystic mami of self-possessed sexuality invites us to bow down at the altar of our beautiful bodies in all their intricate integrity, and to delight in the divine essence of our own, solitary unfolding.

This unmarried siren of self-containment lives with fierce fealty to her internal code, and simply will not give it away for free. As she sifts, assesses, and refines, the zodiac’s everyday alchemist moves in rhythm with the world that surrounds her, working her mettle to transform her metal into 24-karat gold.

It’s a season for deciding exactly what you will stand for, and what you won’t fall for anymore, vestal vixens. Descend into your very own witchy desert land, and marry yourself to the wind and the night and the shifting sand. Wed yourself to the wildest, untamable places inside yourself. Pledge allegiance for life.

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The keyword: Integrity

The song lyrics: “I’m starting with the man in the mirror/I’m asking him to change his ways/If you want to make the world a better place/Take a look at yourself and then make a change”—Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”

Check out BessVirgo Season Playlist, complete with witchy women, singular anthems, and ladies of the canyon.

Erdem AW17

The color palette: 1970s land art and film noir: tumbled stone silvers, cameo creams, copper wheatfields, and herringbone patterns.

The style: Georgia O’Keefe’s open-air Santa Fe atelier meets Elizabethan regality—high ruffled necks, gilded patterning, buttons on sleeves, impeccable tailoring, open-toed sandals, and broad-brimmed hats.

The scents and flavors: careful concoctions, earth goddess essences, and sovereign tastes. Baguettes and subtly spiced soups, herbaceous pestos, harvest grains, dried apricots, frisée, strained labneh, and lavendar pillows.

The healing: everyday alchemy, considered corporeality, and self-governing sexuality. Food and beverage pairings, lingerie shopping, ayurveda, ritual baths, ant farms, and herb gardening.

Image: Lonely Lingerie

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Sensuous Invitation of the Month: Solo Wedding Ceremonies for Your Vesta Sign

The zodiac’s unwed woman is inherently tied to asteroid Vesta, whose streamlined acts of devotion teach us how to activate singular focus and creative containment.

This month, marry yourself to exactly what lives inside of you with a solo wedding ceremony fit for a badass bride …

New to your birthchart? Discover your Vesta sign by looking at your birth year and month HERE.

Vesta in Aries
Virgo season invites you to temper some of your usual no-holds-barred aggression with more calculated maneuvers. Wedding Party: Tossing the bouquet. Strategize your leaps as you catch petals with both ease and assessment. Wedding Anthem:You Shook Me All Night Long,” AC/DC.

Vesta in Taurus
Virgo season invites you to let your work in the world feel both pragmatic and pleasurable. Wedding Party: Cutting the cake. Let determining the contours of your feast fully fuel your self-sufficiency. Wedding Anthem: “Let’s Get it On,” Marvin Gaye.

Vesta in Gemini
Virgo season invites you to release into body knowledge and speak straight from your gut. Wedding Party: Toasting. Carefully planned words meet instinctual, emotive sharing of what lives in your heart. Wedding Anthem:Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours),” Stevie Wonder.

Vesta in Cancer
Virgo season invites you to let your own past lives lead you home to your core beliefs. Wedding Party: Photo booth. Delight in candid, historical snaps that capture the nostalgia of this very moment. Wedding Anthem:December 1963 (Oh What a Night),” The Four Seasons.

Vesta in Leo
Virgo season invites you to assess your creative contribution so you can fully ignite your eternal flame. Wedding Party: Conga line. Hone some structured dance moves without losing one bit of the party. Wedding Anthem:Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” Cyndi Lauper.

Vesta in Virgo
Virgo season invites you to soften your inner-critic without surrendering your high-quality standards. Wedding Party: Tailoring the gown. Cloak yourself in careful couture that’s both intricately crafted and drop-dead gorgeous. Wedding Anthem:Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” Beyoncé.

Vesta in Libra
Virgo season invites you to romance yourself fully without needing a partner, and fall back in love with your private dreams. Wedding Party: The honeymoon. Re-up your faith in fairytale fantasies and endlessly unfolding beauty. Wedding Anthem:Wonderful Tonight,” Eric Clapton.

Vesta in Scorpio
Virgo season invites you to let your intensity inform your integrity as you unapologetically claim your power in the world. Wedding Party: Bachelorette Weekend. Channel the stripped-down wilding of a “don’t ask don’t tell” weekend in Vegas. Wedding Anthem:Lady in Red,” Chris De Burgh.

Vesta in Sagittarius
Virgo season invites you to wed yourself to pure wildness and channel your intrepid inner voyager who knows no bounds. Wedding Party: Destination wedding. Channel the wide-open spaces of solo tripping. Wedding Anthem:Footlose” Kenny Loggins.

Vesta in Capricorn
Virgo season invites you to unabashedly celebrate your desire for structures that endure. Wedding Party: White wedding. Channel long-standing traditions and regal ritual. Wedding Anthem:At Last,” Etta James.

Vesta in Aquarius
Virgo season invites you to crack open the status quo and re-envision what it means to be committed to your cause. Wedding Party: Civil ceremony. Draw clear boundaries between church and state as you birth your humanitarian visions into being. Wedding Anthem:Respect,” Aretha Franklin

Vesta in Pisces
Virgo season invites you to revel in your need for retreat as you get in touch with your own secret touchy-feelies. Wedding Party: Elopement. Pull a delicious disappearing act and relax into checking out. Wedding Anthem:I’ve Had the Time of My Life,” Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes.

Bess Matassa is available for private readings and astro-themed events. Connect with her at Mojaverising.com