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Mercury Retrograde By Felissa Rose

Felissa Rose has sent me her great analysis of the fall Mercury Retrograde. Click here to contact Felissa directly.

Mercury retrograde2


The planet Mercury is retrograde about 4 times a year.   Often there’s an overlap between years, beginning the previous one and ending in the new one.  This occurs on December 19, 2016 and ends January 8, 2017.  But there’s one that starts before on August 30, 2016 at 9:05 am EDT in 29 degrees 3 minutes in the sign of Virgo.   Mercury goes out of retrograde at 1:32 am EDT on September 22, 2016 in 14 degrees 49 minutes of Virgo.

During this entire retrograde Mercury is moving through Virgo sign of details and minutia, occurring during one of the loveliest times of the year, the transition from summer to fall.  Focusing on the everyday beauty that’s around us, from a leaf changing color to a tasty pear or apple can be calming and centering. 

Virgo rules the things we tend to on a daily or regular basis, there can be some missteps here now but just allow more time for what you’re doing and it should work out.   Although Virgo is considered the sign that takes care of everyday matters there’s a great deal of flexibility in it as well as a need to help and be of assistance to others.  Pets are ruled by the sign of Virgo and many Virgos have a great love of animals.  If you’re considering getting one, it might be a good idea to wait, if possible until Mercury is no longer retrograde.  You’ll be clearer about what you want and more knowledgeable about any difficulties they might have.

Information takes longer to obtain and process during a Mercury retrograde.  So it’s likely you won’t have the full info on any major purchases you might make.  This especially relates to homes, cars and anything technical.  This applies to smaller things as well.  I know of some people who bought watches while Mercury was retrograde, which stopped working as soon as it went direct. 

In the body Virgo rules the pancreas, along with Scorpio the intestines and lower back.  Usually interested in health, Virgo tends to be careful about their diet.  The awareness and interest in healthy and organic pesticide free food developed during the 1960’s when Uranus, planet of revolutionary change, and Pluto, planet of transformation, moved through Virgo.   Blood sugar problems are linked to the sign of Virgo.   Have seen quite a few people, including my own father, born with Mars, planet denoting the way one takes action, there who developed diabetes.  Dad changed many of his dietary habits, changed from having an alcoholic drink from a daily occurrence to an occasional thing and lived another 28 years to the age of 87.  Mercury rules information, if possible in order to avoid confusion and mistakes, put off medical tests and procedures until Mercury is no longer retrograde.

Go over your past, things that have blocked you and let them go.  There’s a lot to learn and experience in life and keep what you value and let go of the other stuff. One doesn’t need old baggage that’s no longer relevant to who you are and who you want to become.   While Mercury is retrograde things appear to be moving at a slower pace so use the time to look inside and reflect.  As Lao Tzu wrote, “nature doesn’t hurry, but everything is accomplished.”

Horoscope for the Week of August 22, 2016

Amy winehouseFeel a rush of renewed energy this week as the Sun enters earthy Virgo and rubadubs Mercury, Venus and Jupiter. Gather your thoughts, actions, personal power and instincts for positive change. Are we ready? Bring it on!

(Amy WInehouse had Sun in Virgo)

Never miss your horoscope again -- free sign up here. Here is my favorite book on astrology and a "must" for anyone interested in learning more: Secrets from a Stargazer's Notebook: Making Astrology Work for You and here's a guide to the best books available this month. This column is (c) 2016 MADAM LICHTENSTEIN, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only. Madam Lichtenstein is the author of the best selling astrology book “HerScopes ” now in its 10th printing and available as an eBook

If you are beginning to feel at loose ends about your day to day job, expect things to change things on your own steam and efforts and for the better. Aries begin to hate the daily grind. Okay – so what are you gonna do about it? The next few weeks can be a time of consolidation, change and monetary kaching, when it ultimately all pays off. And it will.

Your usual entertainments and ways of having fun are in for a change now as your interests shift. Taureans are compelled to try something new and exciting, even if they don’t want to at first. But surprise surprise: Suddenly your tastes expand and you find amusements in all sorts of new zesty and intriguing diversions. Hmmm anyone we know…?

This is the time to continue to contemplate your home environment. Whether you move, redecorate or renovate, you find that the usual set up will no longer do. Of course, this can also be a time of great family upheaval where long held dictates and rules disintegrate and collapse. Happily you have been waiting for this for a long time. It is all for the best, Gemini.

Although you pride yourself on your scrupulous and carefully rehearsed communications, you may become more of a motor mouth for the foreseeable future. Welcome the change, Cancer, and rev up your mouthy engine into overdrive. It is time to change the landscape as well as a few stubborn minds. If not you, then who? If not now then when?

Your financial picture may go to the negative … and then back again Leo. Harness these ups and downs with sensible investments. Can you become the 1%’er mogul you were always meant to be? Use the next few weeks to consolidate your funds, avoid major risk and feather your nest for a cushy future. Then tell the boss where to get off.

Virgos can only begin to feel the power rise within themselves as the weeks progress. Suddenly you are able to transform the way you approach others, how you look to the world and who you impress. In fact, expect your very appearance to change. Will you appear to be wiser, motivated and more in charge? Let’s not expect miracles, but yes.

There may be a few hidden potholes on your personal highway now. Of course, Libras sometimes like it that way. Expect your life to be full of excitement and change where you find yourself on one path only to shift to another. It is all very exciting and energizing and surprising. Find ways to reduce stress so that you don’t totally burn out. Oh too late...

Scorpios dip a toe into many new social pools now. But don’t just float by the wet bar waiting for someone to bubble forth. Move, shake and bake. Use all your charms to expand your range of acquaintances and increase your influence. Who knows what (or who) waits for you in the wings. Whatever it is will take you soaring to new heights.

Expect more changes in the way you approach your future plans over the next few weeks. Sagittarians find that they boldly set off on one course only to dramatically change direction because of forces beyond their control. Change is good, or so I am told. The trick is to not lose your footing. Keep your eye on the ultimate prize. Yes, a cushy retirement.

Although you are happier at home or in familiar territory, this week not only tempts you into long, adventuresome jaunts, it practically compels you to do so. Expand your horizons and your tastes. Look for your bucket of gold at the end of the rainbow. Oh, there is no gold? Well there are certainly other riches there so don’t be dissuaded or discouraged, Capricorn.

A certain love entanglement may help grease your wheels to success. In fact, your sex life not only undergoes a dramatic change in taste, it also influences other areas of your life for the better. Does this mean that Aquarians should be particularly mercenary in their intimate liaisons for the next few weeks? Let’s hope not but why change a pattern?

There will be something transformative happening in any close relationship. Pisces might be expected to go out of their way or compromise their long strongly held beliefs for the sake of domestic harmony. Something, somewhere, at some time, will break. Don’t hold on to those who hold you down. Hold on to those who carry you up and over.



Lucky Numbers for the Week of August 19, 2016

Lottery ads tell us you only need a dollar and a dream. But it is also helpful to have a list of lucky numbers to help spur the good fortune ... or fortunes. So with that in mind, here are some lucky numbers that can be used in any helpful way. I gazed into a pool of water, Nostradamus-like, and contemplated the cosmos. Then I mixed the tarot cards and allowed the spirits to guide me to the cards that represent the lucky numbers for this week. Nothing is guaranteed but who knows ....?

I choose eight numbers because 8 is the number of wealth.

Here are the lucky numbers for the week of August 19-25, 2016:

5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26, 35

There are many ways to delve into your own consciousness to find luck and intuition. Try reading Dream Power/Improve Your Luck (Super Strength Series) and see if your dreams give you any clues and premonitions. Here's a guide to the best books available this month

LoveScope for the Week of August 17, 2016

LovescopesEven the dog days of August can’t dampen my enthusiasm. Our minds and communication are aching to go, go, go. Take off and run free.

Party hearty, Aries. You may find a delicious cherry in your dessert as life takes on a festive and carefree feel. Gobble it up or share it with a special you-will-know-who. Right now a passing fancy can become the stuff of life long dreams.

Your homelife can become a hot bed of activity through the week, Taurus. But I also see love by the water cooler at work for availa-bull Bulls. Well, maybe it’s just a splashy and shallow flirtation. What ever it is, don’t drip on your desk.

Speak out and make your opinions known this week, Gemini. You will be more effective if you sprinkle your words with sugar and diplomacy and charm a few charmers. Then put you can your tongue to better use than just flapping the air. Ahem!

Cancers happily eye the bottom line and are tempted to spend a little more than expected on home improvements. What the heck! Your mind is bursting with great ideas that need a creative outlet. You’ll never regret buying that red leather swirling couch.

Your innate charisma is heightened and makes you shine. Leos also have the gift of diplomatic gab. So what will you do with all of this potential greatness? Don’t waste this opportunity - go for the gold ring. Better still, go for the stud muffin.

Prophetic Virgos unleash their spiritual power and maybe even a bit of their ESP. Your box of secrets spill out into the cybershphere. Good thing too. You will be able to highlight your best attributes and wear them with style... or not wear them at all!

Friends play an important role in your passion play and may even stir up a few passions of their own. Plan a few cosy get togethers and bank on your considerable charms while you have the energy and the ability. Entertain your fan club now, Libra.

Focus on your deeply personal mission in life and see where you need to take it. Scorpios may get detoured by a temptation or two along the way. Be sure to pack a bag of breadcrumbs so you can find your way home. Oh do I see a flock of birds?

Fame is possible now, Sagittarius. Will you become the next big YouTube star? Plan your world takeover and domination from the comforts of home. At least this way your nude interview series will get greater coverage. Or do you just need a blanket?

Sizzly Capricorns want to wine and dine all over town. But you may need to check your appetite for love and lust and see if you are over-indulging. Your eyes may be too big for your sexy stomach. Ah but what a way to go!

Balance is everything now, Aquarius. So if you find yourself pulled in two or more directions try to stop, get centered and wait until all sides have settled down. Then you can upend the status quo, take control and rule the day. Heh, heh.

Conserve your energies this week, Pisces. Take time to mediate, maybe do some yoga and generally mellow out. The focus your attention on any long deferred project and tackle it once and for all. What will you do with all of this upcoming free time??

Never miss your horoscope again -- free sign up here. Here is my favorite book on astrology and a "must" for anyone interested in learning more: Secrets from a Stargazer's Notebook: Making Astrology Work for You and here's a guide to the best books available this month. This column is (c) 2016 MADAM LICHTENSTEIN, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only. Madam Lichtenstein is the author of the best selling astrology book “HerScopes ” now in its 8th printing and available as an eBook        



Why Tarot Readings Are More Effective than Therapy

I hope Natalie Rinn will forgive me if I post her article from Brooklyn in its entirety. That is because it speaks to me on a profound level as to the value of Tarot and the way tarot readings should be approached. As I always say in any tarot or astrology reading - we know the answers to our issues but we can't always see them clearly. Tarot is just a way to open up our eyes to see what we already know is best for us.

Small spells tarot


Last week, in a walk-up apartment in Williamsburg, I sat at a dining room table with Rachel Howe—artist, ceramicist, stick-and-poke tattooist, practitioner of reiki, and, most recently, author and illustrator of a brand new Tarot guide book and deck of cards, Small Spells, from Discipline Press. Her friend and Discipline Press founder, Tamara Santibañez, sat with us. I’d never had a Tarot reading before. Frankly, I didn’t know what Tarot was, or believe that it dealt with, well, reality. And yet: I was drawn to it. Things, generally, were not feeling pleasant, and standard approaches—talking to friends, stewing silently, going to therapy—weren’t doing much. So, Tarot? Why not.

I got especially excited to have a reading when a friend of mine told me about Howe, whose new hand-drawn deck of 78 Tarot cards eschews standard Tarot imagery, which is often heavy in male/female dichotomies. Instead, Howe drew aesthetic inspiration from her background in tattooing, and filled her cards with simple objects and animals that she happened to like. She translated each of those into the suits and major and minor Arcanas contained in a Tarot deck: each of the suits correspond to different parts of our lives, while the Arcanas hold separate secrets and mysteries, Howe explained.

Tarot decks emerged around the 15th century and, historically, readers had to keep their practice mum; the church condemned anything akin to divination. But the fact that Tarot cards kind of resembled regular playing cards meant they could pass, hidden, as games. And yet, while Tarot and its messages might seem to commune with the occult and mysteries impenetrable to most, readings are anchored in reality. More than predicting the future, the symbolism on Tarot cards are tools for thinking more effectively about our lives. If there is any magic involved, it is present in the intuition of the reader, who applies these tools—the cards and their meanings—to aid that which bums us out. Yes, the practice can get witchier; it can also employ things like crystals. But at its core, a Tarot reading is a straightforward activity; and, as I was about to experience, one that was also refreshingly more practical, and even more effective than therapy.

Growing up in New Jersey, Howe had always been interested in the the occult and supernatural. She went to art school at Parsons and, eventually, began making ceramics full time. But the upper echelons of the art world turned her off. Meantime, there were some bigger changes in her life that made her seek clarity from places other than therapy. “In therapy, you’re talking about something that happened years ago, or something that happened last week,” Howe tells me, sitting in her incredibly well-ordered, pared-down apartment, with her ceramics and crystals on a shelf behind us. “And I love talking and I love processing things and talking about emotions, but I think you hold on to so much when you’re constantly talking about it. I don’t think that’s actually helpful if you’re goal is healing, because healing is releasing things.”

Unlike therapists, Howe told me, Tarot readers are often healers and Shamans, so part of their work is to offer sympathy and empathy to their subjects—something therapists often do not or cannot offer. “Most readings I’ve gotten have been from healers, and so that is part of their agendas, to be extremely loving and generous, rather than: ‘here is information and now go on your way.’” Howe explained. “But it’s like: where is the love?”

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 12.08.57 PM

One of Howe’s first readings was from a healer who asked if she loved herself. The question was sparked by the way Howe had been talking about her troubles, before they even started looking at the cards. “And I was like, ‘I don’t know, I’ve never been asked that question before, I’ve never thought about it.” It was an injection of “really loving energy,” as she described it. It meant that, after the reading, she would be prepared to deal with the things that the reading brought up. “That’s how I structure Tarot readings, too,” she told me. “Half of it is giving them the support that they need rather than saying ’here is the problem’—which you already know—and then I’m going to tell you positive things about yourself, and I’m also going to tell you really positive things about how to move forward.”

So, it was time for us to get down to it. Howe knew I’d never done a reading before. She started, as her healer had asked her, by asking me to describe in a very general sense what ailed me. She wasn’t a psychic, she explained. She could not name specific people or places that correspond to my life. Instead, her powers lie in intuiting feelings and frustrations based on the context provided, “so that I know what I’m talking about,” she explained, as she reads the cards.

I presented a recap of those wondrous things, my issues: professional life, personal life, uncertainty about the future. I more explained what those feelings were than outlined the specific details within them. Because, after all, “We hold our problems, but we also hold the solutions to our problems inside of ourselves,” said Howe.

And therein lies the crux of Tarot readings: counterintuitively, they operate on the premise that we, more than anyone else, know exactly what is bothering us, and exactly what we need to do to fix those things. And yet, as with most of our issues in life, we’re unable to see the solutions to them on our own. Systems, methods of thought, and outside perspective, are usually required to make progress. Tarot provides that kind of mental apparatus, delivered to us through the intuition and insight of readers. Readings are like an espresso shot for the spirit: it wakes you up, and makes you see things with fresh, new eyes. “Something I really like about tarot reading or an astrology reading—it’s not like it feels like a surprise,” says Howe. “It’s just something you need to hear and you’re like: I know, I already know.”

To begin, Howe cut the deck in three. “Pick whichever deck is attracting you the most,” she prompted. This was not too radical of an idea, but it did force me to think about the cards as having energy. I went with the middle option. When she reached for it, one card moved a little more than the others. She placed that one face up on on the deck, then dealt six more cards in front of us. “In a spread, a card has a specific meaning,” Howe explained. “In a spread like this, it could be mind, body, spirit, present, and future. The idea is to let the cards override [individual meaning] if they need to. Whenever a card falls out or draws attention to itself, that’s wanting to be seen.” She was calm and focused as told me this. Twenty minutes earlier, if someone had told me a card had been speaking to her, I would would have said, “sure.” But sitting with Howe I was completely on board. I wanted to know what that card had to say.


And, in fact, that card was about “holding on to things, letting our thoughts rule and trap us,” Howe told me. “In all the things you were mentioning, there is lingering behind them an expectation that things should be different—how things do not match up with what that is and, therefore, things are bad. That is a thought causing damage just by its existence,” she summarized. Instead, I should be looking at things more objectively. “Objectively, if you haven’t figured out what you want, if you’re not holding on to things, you’re like, let’s just change things.”

Often, said Howe, images will appear to her as she does readings. This time she saw a frozen lake—which spoke to me right away because I’m from Minnesota, though she did not know this—and proceeded to paint a beautiful metaphor. Imagine, she said, that I am running across this lake, wanting desperately to get to the other side. After all, walking on frozen lakes isn’t fun. I’m consumed by reaching the far shore; it doesn’t occur to me to drill a hole in the ice along the way, explore what lies beneath.

And what if, said Howe, hypothetically, the entire surface—my whole life—was a frozen lake? I wouldn’t be so anxious to reach the other side. “You’d do things differently,” she countered. “You’d wanna explore more, you’d wanna go beneath the surface.” The sentence was a jolt to my brain. Already, these Tarot cards, and Howe’s interpretation of them, was working.


Howe pointed to two more cards that belonged to the suit called Cups. They had to do with our emotions. One card pictured a group of birds. “These birds are just flying around, they’re just enjoying being birds, because they’re able to share with each other,” she said. Then she created a little dialog. “I’m a bird, you’re a bird, we’re birds!” They were saying to each other, having a great time. Then she pointed to another card. It also pictured birds, but next to them was a cat. “This cat is like, ‘these birds are different than those birds,'” she said, acknowledging the cat looking at two birds who had separated from the group. “I don’t have those, I want those new exciting birds that I can’t get,” the cat was saying. In reality, if they just stopped flying, they’d look identical to all the others.

The lesson was clear: If I’m seeking that which I do not already have, I’m not gonna have that much fun. But if I share what I have already, and just hang out, being myself? Well, you know how that story ends. I’ll attract the same, all the good stuff, in others. “That is a more enjoyable way to be,” Howe concluded.

Quite frankly, I was flabbergasted. Everything was simple. After all, objectively, I have a good life. Objectively, I live where I want to live and do what I want to do and have a whole bunch of great friends and family. Objectively, I have the life I set out to have. Why do I think things should look different? What more do I think I need? More of what? This frozen lake I keep running across, it will go on forever, and eventually I’m gonna slip and fall hard, right on my butt. But if I stop, drill a little hole through that ice, check out all that glorious life that swims beneath? Now that sounded like a much better time.

“So,” I said, sitting back in my chair, adjacent to Howe, “Tarot readings are just kind of about accepting ourselves as we are, to speak in gross generalizations.”

“It’s a tool for healing,” Howe added. “We can all heal ourselves, but first we have to know ourselves in order to know how to heal ourselves, and to have access to that.

Small Spells Tarot Deck and Guidebook from Discipline Press are now available at the publisher’s website and directly from smallspells.com. See more from Discipline Press on Instagram here and Small Spells here.

Lead image by Levi Mandel.


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