destiny’s obscurity: moon/north node conjunct [#StarsAndSymbols]

Women have played a major role in my life. Not just one woman, but women… plural. My parents weren’t together when I was born so my mother raised me as a single parent, and for the greater duration of the first decade of my life we lived with various relatives. My most impressionable years were molded by the women who surrounded me, older women to be more specific. It was like a community of mothers, each one with something unique to offer my childhood self. There were men around, uncles and whatnot, but interactions with male figures were never as affirming for me as the matriarchal exchanges.

Naturally, my interests aligned with what most people categorize as “girl stuff” when I was growing up. I loved Destiny’s Child and Disney films like The Little Mermaid. The majority of my friends were girls, especially the ones closest to me. I was a boy, and I had guy friends, but I was never one of the boys. As I made my way through primary school, I faced my fair share of judgment from people who didn’t understand or agree with the way I expressed myself in accordance with my gender, and there were times where I judged myself for not being manly enough. At this point in my life, I still have to make a conscious effort to silence the voice of gender policeman that I allowed to invade my headspace, but everyday I learn to embrace my femininity more than before. Despite whoever has disagreed with my lifestyle, I know now that there is nothing wrong with the way I am, and I believe that my childhood conditioning was meant to prepare me for greatness. Allow me to explain myself…

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There is an aspect in my natal chart that clues me into the grand scheme of who I am in regards to my resonance with the feminine influence. I have a moon/north node conjunction! The conjunction is an astrological aspect that is equivalent to a union and it occurs when two celestial bodies and/or astronomical points come together as one amplified, integrated force. In other words, two separate energies blend and work as one. So what exactly does a conjunction between the moon and the imply that could possibly explain my lifelong interest in the alluring, creative, nurturing essence of opposite sex?

******* FUN FACT: the moon and the north node are currently conjunct in libra as I type… how appropriate! *******

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late 2 the rap show: mercury retrograde [#StarsAndSymbols]

prompted by my coworker’s reminder, i purchased last minute tickets to the kanye west show. when new dates were added to the yeezus tour, i suggested we buy tickets for the night of february 22nd, at atlantic city‘s boardwalk hall. we left it at that, or least i did. “seeing papa north west in the flesh would be cool and all,” i thought, but i wasn’t pressed and he didn’t seem to be either. fast forward a month or 2, and we are interested again. so, i invited my dear friend from college, and we bought tickets the night before.

after being surrounded by increasing hostility all week at work, balancing as best as possible in the midst of other people’s feuds, i was relieved to clock out on saturday and get my evening started. my coworker couldn’t find the discounted tickets he was looking for and lost interest again, but my friend from school arrived right after my shift ended. we grabbed a bite to eat at a restaurant called lugo, situated across from my job, on the revel casino floor. we took our time catching up over dinner, since we had not seen each other since right before the new year, trusting that divo-turned-daddy would be late to hit the stage.

turns out we were the late ones. by the time i stopped making wrong turns in my own city and found free parking as an alternative to the $20 casino garage, we made our way to the venue. i swore i heard his voice blaring from the stage as we passed by the concession stands and overpriced paraphernalia, but we concluded it was studio version of his song playing to get the crowd warm and whetted, and so we took the opportunity to empty our bladders. as i walked out of the bathroom, i was encountered by my cousin, an employee of boardwalk hall, and he informed me that the show had already begun. surprised, my friend and i rushed to section 111 row bb to claim our seats, wondering how much of the show we had missed, much to the chagrin of the height-challenged hypebeasts seated behind us.

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1 year & counting… [#SpaDayDiaries]

If you would’ve asked me a year ago today if I would have made it this long at The Spa, I would’ve looked at you with the deranged eyeballs of an overwhelmed fatalist. There was just so much being thrown at me, plus I was still reeling from the bad breakup I had with my college. it was an emotional flux indeed, but I knew I had no choice but to begin paying my own way back to school, so I began looking for a job. with no retrograde planet in sight, the stars aligned last February during my application process, and the 19th of this minuscule month in the year 2013 happened to be my first day of training. 365 days later, I’m still here.

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I’m still here, yes, but I’m not the same. I’ve grown and I’ve gone so many places. To have taken this opportunity and endured the highs and lows has been more rewarding than I ever anticipated. Profound is the effect The Spa has had on my life. I’ve learned how to heal, as well as how to sell. I’ve developed patience, and a good dose of urgency. I’ve been shown the benefits of detachment, while at the same time becoming a family unit with my coworkers and clients. They have given me the opportunity to express myself as Swami, not just as Nick who answers the phones and books appointments, as evidenced by the fact that I was booked to host 5 Stars & Symbols Spa Parties.

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Although our prices are relatively affordable compared to the more expensive casinos, The Spa ignited my ever-increasing indulgence in the more luxurious side of life and I have realized that it’s okay to treat myself, a lesson that is still reinforced by my second job selling high-end suits at Hugo Boss. I look at everything as an investment, and if I don’t invest in myself, who else will? I have never felt so valuable in my life.

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(some of my coworkers and i at ashley and stefanie’s baby shower last sunday)

How much longer I will be at The Spa I cannot say. All I know is I appreciate my stay and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Some days have been horrible, but most have been great. It’s amazing the difference a day makes, but a year is most definitely worth the wait. Thank you Hand & Stone.

venus retrograde: artFLOP or SMARTpop? [#StarsAndSymbols]

For those who are not aware, I am emotionally invested in pop culture. I was raised by Disney films, Nickelodeon, and early 90s R&B radio. Most of my perception of reality is a byproduct of mass media programming. A lot of my interests are superficial in this way. This is my truth.

However superficial, I’ve learned with the help of my own imagination to find the philosophical depth in the realm of the popular. All things considered, I believe the performers of the mainstream are much too valuable a commodity to the political agendas of the industry not to be aligned in their careers with the occult. Working with the cycles of nature [astrology, numerology, etc.] serves to maximize the success of potential energies at the perfect, most divinely ordered moments in time. Even if the entertainers themselves are not aware of the rituals to which they are subject, I believe the corporations revere the magick of metaphysics.

Of course, some of these entertainers are actually artists, who appear to be more than conscious of the spells they cast. These magicians work with their iconography, not for it. One that comes to mind is Lady Gaga, who I laud for what I perceive to be her lucidity, which to me is what differentiates her for most of her peers. As an artist, I admire her because she seems to play on the question of “Who is watching whom?”, as the audience unknowingly reveals more about itself in its responses than does she in her creative expression. Or does she?

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pluto direct: stranger danger [#StarsAndSymbols]

What a morning. Like a hangover, I didn’t feel the intoxicating effects of the Full Moon in Pisces until today. Glad to finally be home after a night at Union Transfer in Philadelphia [a Scorpio city] seeing the Washed Out show. It was quite the experience.

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In other news, I think it’s time for me to acquire a new phone. Whatever I intended to prove by going without has been proven, I believe, and now it’s becoming a slight inconvenience to be so disconnected. Allow me to explain.

As most of us know, concerts always take longer than expected. By the time the show ended last night, I had missed my train back to Atlantic City, and I’d have no ride home if I took the next one. I decided then to stay the night at my friend’s house, although I was reluctant because I would have to wake up at 7 AM with her as she left for work. I had little choice, so that’s what I did. Boy, did I take having a car for granted when I had one.

After we said our goodbyes and she rode off into the distance on her bike, I decided to walk all the way from her North Philly home downtown to 30th Street Station. As I mentioned in a previous post, I love walking (especially in big cities), plus I had time to kill, so I had no problem walking and saving bus fare. Little did I know I would be walking for 3/4 of the daylight hours. I got lost in the awesomeness of City Hall, missed my Market Street turn, and ended up walking all the way to South Street before I admitted to myself that I should ask for directions. After an hour and a half of walking, I finally made it to the train station.

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Being completely candid, I’m having a “too soon” moment so I’d rather not finish recounting this story in its vivid entirety (believe me, I can get vivid). Let’s just say I arrived in New Jersey with no ride to my house, and with no prospects for a taxi or bus (and no phone to find one), I was stranded in suburbia for 4 hours. After walking aimlessly from the train station, I ended up sitting hopelessly in Five Guys for an entirely too long 2 hours. After being treated to free fries and cold water, my mom finally rescued me on her way to work. I was able to call her 2 hours prior at the local dollar store.

I have asked many people to use their phones since losing mine back in April, and it is always interesting to see how they will react, as I am literally putting myself out there to be rejected. Most people have phones, and I think have sense enough to know who does and who doesn’t before I approach anyone, but who is willing to share definitely depends on their impression of me and my intentions.

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rideshare with a spider: saturn (direct) in scorpio [astroloco]

Remember how I said I was afraid of bugs? Today I came face to face with one of my biggest conceivable fears. Years ago my cousin told me about the time she was driving her car and along came a spider crawling across her windshield. She too is scared of insects, and she nearly crashed her car at the mere sight and proximity of the arachnid. I know it is irrational to react like that, but I feared this scenario because I had no clue how I would handle myself while operating a vehicle, although I was way too young to drive when I heard this story. As you all know, I am now a driving man, and earlier I found myself in a similar situation.

After running errands for my upcoming 5th annual family cookout (barbecue if you’re confused), I hopped back the whip (my mom’s Honda Pilot) and drove off. I was so ready to be back home so I could make myself a quick smoothie before I indulged in enough Skinny Pop to offend a Monsanto cornfield.

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(Here’s the smoothie I made yesterday. I swear it tastes better than it looks.)

They say it’s healthier to eat fruits and fibrous veggies first, for digestion and shit like that. As I pulled out of the shopping center parking lot, I caught a peripheral glimpse of tiny terror; there was a spider on my sun visor (aka my personal vanity).

Although the spider was small, my nervous system went into immediate and dangerous overdrive. Since I was literally driving, I planned to pull over as soon as I could, as I did not want this spider descending down onto my forehead or my lap or any other part of my body while I was operating the vehicle. Of course if I pulled over, I’d either have to wait for the creature to crawl out or physically remove it from the premises, neither of which I had time for (Skinny Pop, remember?). After being forced to endure this discomfort for a few seconds, I got the vibe that the spider was just as stricken. She was still and so was I. I decided to keep driving.

Black spider in my car, white spots

After being retrograde since February, Saturn has finally resumed direct motion in Scorpio. Where Saturn goes our caution follows, and when Saturn is in Scorpio, the darkest of our fears are confronted in an intensely psychological way. Saturn’s nearly 5 month-long backtrack saw us re-examining our power structures. We were forced to get real about wasting resources, using more discipline, and harnessing the mutually transformative, creative potential of synergy.

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a “relaxing” spa day: mercury retrograde [astroloco]

Mercury went retrograde last week, but I didn’t feel it until today. Mercury, for those who don’t remember, Mercury rules communication, cognition, and commerce. Signals that we receive from our immediate environment as we talk and travel and make transactions are ruled by Mercury, as well as technology and media. Basically, Mercury is the transmission of messages.

When a planet retrogrades, those messages don’t transmit as easily as usual. Astronomically, the planet in question appears to slow down and start moving backward in its orbit. Planets don’t actually go backward, but the optical illusion is tremendously symbolic. A retrograde is a period of review. Since the energy is expressed inwardly instead of outwardly, external events may not go as planned. Mercury retrograde is especially chaotic, as reasoning becomes a challenge, and our rational minds seem to cause us more problems than a broken computer.

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uranus/pluto square [astroloco]

URANUS SQUARE PLUTO
(May 20, 2013 @ 6 PM)

A rude awakening or a conscious evolution? This is the 3rd Uranus/Pluto square of 7 [2012-2015], and we are transcending with each trigger. Release whatever is keeping you vibrating at a low frequency in order to connect to your highest self.

This square [challenging aspect] in particular is exact at 11 degrees Aries [Uranus] and Capricorn [Pluto]. If you remember our numerology lesson, 11 is a master number with a intuitively spiritual vibration. Some people make a wish when they see 11:11, and whether or not they know it, seeing this number sequences signifies a shift in consciousness. It is no coincidence that these planets are squaring each other in 11 degrees of their respective signs. We are being upgraded.

Although the square is the main attraction, there are other, more favorable aspects involved. Uranus in Aries is sextile Mercury and Venus in Gemini. The newfound self-awareness  that we are experiencing [Uranus in Aries] is shifting the way we think and communicate [Mercury], as well as what we appreciate and value in our exchanges with other people [Venus]. Pluto in Capricorn is sextile Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces. The powerful occult understanding of shadowy societal structures that we are unearthing [Pluto in Capricorn] is transforming our perception of reality [Saturn] and fantasy [Neptune]. Despite the frightening amount of commotion this square is causing, it is making some exciting (and necessary) aspects.

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When we are conscious of this energy and the symbolic planetary relationships, it is easy to see we are evolving. We can embrace this energy by paying attention to where the overwhelming feeling of frustration manifests in our lives, because that is where this square is being played out. To varying degrees, we are all being deprogrammed and reprogrammed to live in alignment with our truest selves. It seems hard, as change usually is, but it doesn’t have to be.

It’s easy to be pushed when we’re standing still, so why not make the first move? This is a new age! All you have to do is turn the page.

a talk with the taskmaster of tough love: saturn in scorpio [astroloco]

If you need some structure in your life, now’s the time for a one-on-one session with Saturn himself. He’s in Scorpio for the next couple years, slowing us down in order to teach us the most economic way to manage our power. He went retrograde in February [suggesting some sort of thorough internal regeneration]. He will continue his apparent “backward” movement until July, when he will resume direct motion once again.

Saturn is the closest he will be to Earth all year [as he is opposing the Sun in Taurus], so don’t be afraid to reach out and communicate with him. He is tough, but he expects nothing less than the best of you. Isn’t that thoughtful?

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doing vs. being: mars in aries [astroloco]

Is there a difference between doing and being? If so, what is it and what does that mean to you?

I searched to The Free Dictionary and looked at the first definition of both verbs.

Do
1.
a. To perform or execute: do one’s assigned task; do a series of business deals.
b. To fulfill the requirements of: did my duty at all times.
c. To carry out; commit: a crime that had been done on purpose.

Be
1. To exist in actuality; have life or reality: I think, therefore I am.

Verbs are action words. Action is the zeitgeist of the next month or so now that Mars is in Aries, which is one of the two signs that it rules. This transit is one of great physical energy, impulse, and vigor. You will MOVE. You will GO. You will feel more MOTIVATED than usual,  and take the INITIATIVE to WIN the object of your DESIRE.

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If this excites you, wait until Aries Season officially begins! Once the Sun, Mercury, and Venus join Mars [and slow-moving Uranus] in an Aries stellium, the urge to act will be even stronger. How you act, though, could be altered by your vocabulary and the way in which you manipulate language.

Words are spells that can get us in a bind if we don’t know how to use them. When you talk, it is imperative to realize what you are saying. Are you setting yourself up for failure with what you speak? If not, keep on talkin’ that talk!

What words do you avoid, if any? Please share them and let me know why! Speaking of words, Mercury [in Pisces] is now direct after its first retrograde of the year. If you’ve been mentally lost in the abyss, look forward to some much-needed clarity and a lot less confusion.