venus retrograde diaries [#StarsAndSymbols]

one way of differentiating a retrograde planet from a planet moving in its regular direct motion is to consider the ‘re’ prefix. words such as review, revisit, and revise come to mind. different planets, when retrograde, might warrant different ‘re’ verbs. for example, the energy of venus revolves around individual values, so we may find ourselves forced to re-evaluate some aspect of our lives when venus is retrograde.

blac-chyna-money.gif

venus happens to be retrograde now, actually, and i can attest to this cosmic re-evaluation, as I am experiencing my own version of it. most noticeably i am re-evaluating my own home. now that i think about it, this particular venus retrograde [from the mid degrees of aries back to the last few degrees of pisces] is traversing my 4th house, which is related to home and the innermost private life away from the public eye, so it is no wonder i looking at my living space with new eyes.

long story short, i love where i live now. it took me about 2 years, give or take a few months, to arrive at this conclusion, but i am enamored with altadena. for those who have never heard of it, or know little about it, altadena is just north of pasadena in los angeles county, right outside the city. located  in the foothills of the san gabriel mountains, altadena is like a quaint, green, mountainous refuge high up and away from the rest of the city of angels. initially, when i first moved here from the suburbs of atlantic city, new jersey, this distance i speak of was the exact problem i perceived.

altadena was too far removed for me to feel like i was getting the true LA experience. people familiar with the area were quick to correct me if i made the mistake of saying i lived in LA (“that’s not LA”), and i know it’s not (technically), but it’s easier sometimes to say LA and keep it casual in superficial “small talk”-type conversations. as someone who is drawn to big cities, i wanted desperately to be in the thick of things, especially since my job is in the middle of hollywood. since i have no car here, my commute from altadena to hollywood (which warrants its own article) is what some would call a “super-commute”, and it took a lot of time to get used to it. speaking of having no car, it can be tedious to enjoy a social life in a city that is as sprawling and widespread as los angeles. nightlife, in particular, has been a hassle, because the metro is virtually nonexistent after midnight, and uber/lyft rides add up if used immoderately. these are some of the reasons i wasn’t completely satisfied living in altadena. until now, that is.

40e20d79776b2ff0b991120a7d75bf28.jpg

i don’t know quite what elicited the shift, but i know that i appreciate altadena so much more than i used to, especially since venus has been retrograde. here are 8 of my favorite things (in no particular order) about this small town, which i am now referring to as my LA safe haven:

  1. racial diversity
    i love the fact that i see black and latino families walking out of these big, beautiful homes to tend to their lawns, sit on their porches, etc. as young person of color, this is both inspirational and aspirational.
  2. real estate
    speaking of big, beautiful homes… there are some big, beautiful homes here. i often find myself walking paths that i wouldn’t normally walk because i’ve spotted a gorgeous piece of property.
  3. nature
    LA is notorious for its smog, but the air up in altadena seems fresher than the rest of the city. maybe it’s all the trees, this town is located directly below the angeles national forest. my street in particular (santa rosa ave) is lined with hundreds of cedar deodar trees.
  4. christmas tree lane
    so my street, with all the cedar trees, is nicknamed christmas tree lane, and since 1920, it has been a popular holiday destination. every december, the trees are decorated with christmas lights, and people drive from all over to see it with their families. it goes until the new year, and i can see it all from my kitchen window/front yard.
  5. hiking trails
    thanks to some of the aforementioned treasures, i take regular walks around my neighborhood, and if i walked far enough uphill, i run into some cool trails, most recently the altadena crest trail, which i found by accident last time my curiosity drove me from my house to the northernmost edge of my path. there’s also eaton canyon to the east of me, and that trail is distinguished by oasis-like waterfall that you will meet at the finish line.11109022_1613614442231154_7239981195780805647_n.jpg
  6. local eats
    my appetite is surprisingly big for such a skinny guy, and thankfully, i don’t have to go too far for good food. around the corner from me, just above the intersection of lake & mariposa, are two of my go-to eateries: park bench grill (an intimate black-owned soul food establishment with especially good sandwiches) and el patron (a small, but solid Mexican restaurant with affordable ways to get drunk).
  7. altadena library district
    i live directly across from the altadena library, which means i have access to a wealth of information, not to mention a wealth of people circulating in and out of my immediate environment. when i’m not reading/writing/loitering on the computer inside of the library (especially since my laptop stopped working), i am sitting on my front porch, observing the locals with whom i share this area.
  8. theosophical society
    right up the street from my house, on the corner of santa rosa and mariposa, is the theosophical society international headquarters. i know very little of theosophy, but i know it’s occult-oriented, and i’m sure they chose altadena for a reason. i just wonder what it is…

Continue reading

beyoncé, as a goddess: oshún [#StarsAndSymbols]

here at shady sun, we believe that, whether they are conscious of it or not, the most enduringly successful pop cultural icons enrich their work with the symbolism of an acutely deliberate variety. drawing from the rich [and often intersecting] archetypes of astrology, numerology, mythology, tarot, etc, the themes and motifs of these “stars” seem to parallel certain legends that live immortalized in the collective unconscious. the existence of the famous figure bears a striking resemblance to something we’ve seen all before, at some point, in another dimension maybe, but it’s unique enough to keep us engaged as if we haven’t already seen unfold this story.

beyonce-makeup-9-500x500.jpg

when we reconnect with our roots, we see the world with new eyes. as i study ifa, santería and voodoo, my lens to the outside world, particularly pop culture, has a fresh filter. just as i did, many others who are and have been familiar with this way of life are claiming a connection between lemonade, beyoncé’s latest offering, and the spirit of the afro-cuban deity oshún.

f764a20e0e6d9f637907de235fdecad6.jpg

oshún is an orisha. to give praise where it’s due, she is one of the most celebrated orishas. for those of us who have never encountered them by name, the orishas are divine forces of nature that are revered, channeled, followed and praised for their supernatural powers and graceful guardianship. 2db94430e52a262324a0e3ccaf819ba1

if we all come from africa, one would posit that the greco-roman pantheon of gods is a derivative of this african ensemble of supernatural entities. if so, oshún would be foremother of aphrodite/venus, goddess of love and luxury. in that vein, oshún is regarded as the sweetest and most beautiful of all the orishas, the one we turn to when we wish to attract life’s treasures and indulge in romance.

she is also sought out for relief from harsh conditions, such as when she lightened her skin and hair to accompany the west africans who were brought to caribbean as slaves. under catholic rule on the island of cuba, yoruba’s oshún was syncretized to our lady of charity, the saint who was called upon to aid the newly enslaved prisoners.

img_Our_Ladyof_Charity071011.jpg

it is because of oshún’s affinity for the finer things, as well as her ability to circulate and arouse love, she knows more than anyone else how it feels to live through oppressive circumstances such as poverty, oppression, rejection, neglect, and heartache. enter beyoncé.

beyonce-new-album21.gif

Continue reading

scorpio full moon 2016 [#StarsAndSymbols]

Full Moon in Scorpio
April 22, 2016 at 1:24 am EST

___

Numerology:
8

[4/22/2016 = 4+2+2+2+0+1+6 = 17 = 1 + 7  = 8]

What goes around comes around is the idea behind the number 8. Just like the symbol of infinity, this number embodies endlessness. 8 can be the gift that keeps on giving, or it can represent the shackles of bondage to an oppressive circumstance. The result of the 8 energy depends on how its power is wielded. The get back is only as strong as the put out, sort of like karma. Or exactly like karma. If every action has an equal and opposite reaction, then whoever reads this better act accordingly, or else.

Once this personal responsibility is assumed, 8 can elevate ordinary individuals to executive heights. 8 is related to the archetype of the boss, one who has self-control and well as power of the circumstances of subordinates. Ambition, business, and corporation all fall under the rule of this authoritative number. Not so positively, the number 8 may be cumbersome and sensitive to the pressures of this gravitational existence, so people who identify with this vibration must often fight through fatalism. With discipline and balance, 8 can achieve greatness.

___

Tarot: Death

bigstock-hand-drawn-tarot-deck-major-a-29085833-300x468.jpg

Perhaps the most terrifying card in the deck, Death always elicits extreme reactions when it is pulled. For most people it calls to mind the end of life and the physical body’s inevitable decay, a rude reminder of immortality. When interpreted not-so-literally, however, Death is the truth of transformation and the never-ending cycles of evolution. Just as the snake sheds its skin and the feathers of the bird fly off into the wind, everyone must occasionally begin again. But in order for something to be reborn, it must first die. This is the end of an era.

Some say that energy never dies, though, so maybe this is more of a shift from one form to the next.

___

Astrology:

The Full Moon is the monthly separation of the Sun [ego, identity, expression] and Moon [empathy, intuition, emotion], as they assume their most distant positions in opposite signs. This great space between our luminary bodies allows for a more comprehensive awareness of the energy that has been building, as the moon is illuminated to maximum capacity, revealing momentarily the mysteries of the creation cycle that once were [and will be again] concealed behind the nocturnal veil. Just as visibility increases to supernatural proportions, the emotional atmosphere is heightened prompting what seem to be unusual experiences and outbursts. The earthly realm becomes a mirror image of this cosmic standoff. Holistic awareness and dynamic self-expression are the blessings of the full moon, but a long overdue confrontation could be the prerequisite roadblock that makes it challenging to receive them. The goal is to recognize hidden facets of self instead of projecting dark revelations onto partners/opponents. Then and only then will personal balance be made possible, and thus all else is resolved. In the meantime, as the opposition builds, be prepared to go back and forth.

As the Sun is in Taurus, the Moon is challenged to fullness by its shift into opposite sign Scorpio. Why is Scorpio considered the opposite of easygoing, pleasure-oriented Taurus?
Continue reading

AshéOracle: Week of 4/3/2016 [#StarsAndSymbols]

Week of 4/3/2016

Numerology:
7

Astrology:
Venus enters Aries | [on 4/5/2016 @ 12:50 PM EST until 4/29/2016]
Venus in Aries is rough around the edges where it is “supposed” to be soft and sultry. The dainty allure that is normally attributed to Venus might take a backseat to the fast-paced pursuit of what is found appealing, but is the rush held in higher esteem than the first place prize? Hmm, probably not, because there’s no greater feeling than winning when Venus is in Aries, whether it’s a friendly competition or a heated argument. Still, there’s something so sexy about the chase.

Mercury enters Taurus | [on 4/5/2016 @ 7:09 pm EST until 6/12/2016]
What Mercury in Taurus lacks in swiftness and excitement, it makes up for in common sense. Words and thoughts have the potential to manifest physically with this placement more than any other. Because of this verbal gravity, it is best to speak deliberately, with the intention to say only what is meant. The superficial stimulation of a sensationalized story is fine, but why go out of the way to say what sounds good if the statement isn’t completely organic? A phrase is always more beautiful when it is naturally inspired and spoken with rhythmic intelligence. Logic is grounded in reality, so it is best to base decisions on the facts found in the earthly realm of tangible information. After all, isn’t everything easier [and a lot more profitable] when let the five senses are allowed lead the way?

Sun [in Aries] square Pluto [in Capricorn] | [on 4/6/2016 @ 4:13 pm EST]

New Moon in Aries | [on 4/7/2016 @ 7:24 am EST]

Sun [in Aries] conjunct Uranus [in Aries] | [on 4/9/2016 @ 5:27 pm EST]

image

When an ordinary existence isn’t enough, some of us seek to find the heightened reality of a religious experience. Those who dive a bit deeper into the belief that there is a better way might be surprised to find that when certain elements are brought together, specific effects are elicited, and those effects could be exactly what we wished. Imagine what could happen if we devoted ourselves to studying these forces and practicing the art of arranging them in accordance with our intentions, as well as the natural reverence they so require.

Continue reading

daily 4cast: 10/25/2015 [#StarsAndSymbols]

Sunday
10/25/2015
Starring:
Mercury [in Libra] opposite Uranus [in Aries]
Venus [in Virgo] conjunct Jupiter [in Virgo]
Co-Starring:
Moon [in Pisces] sextile Ceres [in Capricorn]
Moon [in Aries] conjunct Vesta [in Aries]
Moon [in Aries] opposite North Node [in Libra]
Moon [in Aries] trine Saturn [in Sagittarius]
Moon [in Aries] square Pluto [in Capricorn]

Wittner_metronome

Inhale to find inspiration in a breath of fresh air. Motivated by an unconventional conversation, respiration seems to have a purpose once more. If you exhale at the right moment, you might just sync your pulse with the biorhythmic metronome of another, despite the fact that your basslines will probably be syncopated by the time you both notice.

Continue reading

venus retrograde: bitch better have my money [#StarsAndSymbols]

when the word ‘retrograde’ comes to mind, most of us are used to hearing it associated with the planet mercury. maybe that’s why as i’ve been mentioning venus retrograde [Jul 25 – Sep 6, 2015] to people, i’ve received such a curious response. venus goes retrograde less frequently than quick-moving mercury, but it always comes right on time to help us process all of our venusian intake.

art. love. money. just some quick keywords that fall under the domain of venus, mythical goddess of all things beautiful.

Venus_John_Deare

in astrology, venus is all those seemingly unrelated keywords, except they are all super related. our appreciation for art is related to our love interest is related to our capacity to circulate money. how? value. it’s all based on what we value and what we esteem to be worth it, including our own self-esteem. in short, we attract [venus keyword] into our lives the people, places, and things that we value, and what we attract has everything to do with our self-worth or lack thereof.

Continue reading

daily 4cast: 7/1/2015 – capricorn full moon [#StarsAndSymbols]

Wednesday
7/1/2015
Starring:
Capricorn Full Moon [Sun in Cancer opposite Moon in Capricorn]
Sun [in Cancer] trine Neptune [in Pisces]
Venus [in Leo] conjunct Jupiter [in Leo]
Mars [in Cancer] square North Node [in Libra]
Co-Starring:
Moon [in Capricorn] opposite Mars [in Cancer]
Moon [in Capricorn] trine Juno [in Virgo]
Moon [in Capricorn] square Vesta [in Aries], North Node [in Libra]
Moon [in Capricorn] sextile Neptune [in Pisces]

julian_bialowas-defy_your_limitations-web

If there’s any sort of struggle today, it’s between your goal of achieving the impossible and the limitations that have held you back for so long. Where you have obeyed boundaries before you are willing to push against them. If an objective were beyond the realm of realization, why then would God allow you imagine it so vividly?

As if it weren’t enough trying to overcome self-imposed blockages, you may be confronted by external doubt, as The Ones around you may find it more appropriate to brace you with all the reasons it won’t work than to be supportive. Let today be a lesson in encouragement: it won’t always be there for you to receive. Continue reading

RHOA NeNe – So Nasty, So SHREWD [#StarsAndSymbols]

Real Housewives of Atlanta’s NENE LEAKES – So Nasty, So SHREWD

nene-leakes-wig

Say what you will about our favorite [?] “very rich bitch” Nene Leakes, but I believe she is a branding genius. Of course the Stars & Symbols have EVERYTHING to do with it.

Continue reading

daily 4cast: 4/7/2015 [#StarsAndSymbols]

Tuesday
4/7/2015
Starring:
Mercury [in Aries] square Pluto [in Capricorn]
Mars [in Taurus] square Juno [in Leo]
Co-Starring:
Moon [in Scorpio] opposite Venus [in Taurus]
Moon [in Scorpio] trine Chiron [in Pisces]

Gone are the days when you would allow an outside source take control of your affairs. You have your own voice and you are no longer afraid to use it. In all actuality, you don’t have to say much at all to get your point across. The poise you exude, which is both regal and fierce, speaks volumes. If there is work to be done, you are more than capable of calling the shots and handling your business.

confidence

If you were known previously as someone who was more passive than aggressive, The Others may be inclined to challenge, mock, or react defiantly against your attempts to assert yourself more directly. Conflicts may arise in your most intimate relationships, as you are evolving beyond the person you used to be. This evolution could pose a threat to the foundation of your partnership, as you have now outgrown the role you initially agreed to play. Allow not these interferences to deter you from expressing yourself freely, as this process is beneficial in the most therapeutic way.

Continue reading

daily 4cast: 3/8/2015 [#StarsAndSymbols]]

Sunday
3/8/2015
Starring:
Moon [in Libra] opposite Venus/Uranus [in Aries]
Moon [in Libra] trine Mercury/Vesta [in Aquarius]
Moon [in Libra] sextile Jupiter [in Leo], Pallas [in Sagittarius]
Moon [in Libra] square Pluto/Ceres [in Capricorn]

They say it takes two, but sometimes the second half of that equation chooses the autonomy of division over the coexistence of addition. It can be puzzling when you make yourself so easy to love, but The Others don’t seem to notice your pleasant gestures. Or maybe it’s that they just don’t care, a concept even more challenging than the first. Perhaps you’re the one who values your independence, and the people around you are pushing for more together time.

clingy_by_tarelelenar-d5unpig

Despite today’s  interpersonal dichotomy, there is an undeniable attraction between you and The Ones who oppose your preferences. Sure, you will fight for dominance, but the sooner you realize that not everyone wants to be dominated, the sooner you will be able to create an opportunity that is mutually beneficially and pleasurable to both parties Continue reading