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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Today, write your own horoscope — for the past month (in other words, as if you’d written it October 1st).

sun eclipse

Mercury is about learning, so, while it cruises through this intellectually brilliant zone it will not be able to abide stupidity and will seek to enlighten other minds through dispersing knowledge. Jupiter ruling here will stress the importance of higher learning. Of course, the superficial people will stand out like a shiny star and Mars’ energy is felt as anger surges in the extreme while trying to keep you from slapping someone silly.  Just imagining taking action will not be enough and you must try to use your powers for good and not for violence.

If you slip-up during the Solar Eclipse, no one will see you, so don’t worry about it.

During this retrograde journey, all we have to really pay attention to is the combustion phase which is described in greater detail in the Sun conjunct Mercury Oct 13 – 20.  Illusions are that; this time highlights sensitivity to environment and awareness of the false nature of fake prophets.  (See the effect of desiring to pat someone on the head. With a desk. Many times.)  In the case of Mercury, the old thought patterns and mental scripts that no longer serve us – are consumed and destroyed.  We know what is good for us and what is toxic and we simply have no more patience for the fakers and the haters.

And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake

So, Shake Shake It Off.

Mercury Retrograde stalls in Libra, the true judge of the Zodiac.  Weighing the pros and cons, it is a reminder to never, ever, ever underestimate a two-faced air sign, even if they look like Barbie. A lot of them will play dumb deliberately…  Of course, you will also meet the ones who have no idea that they are playing. or dumb. or don’t really look like Barbie. Humor them.  This is Venus conjunct Selfie. If you look very carefully, you can see the star formation Narcissist in the sky.

Those with Mercury conflicted in their chart are constructing a façade to push through their own agendas and will surprise you by showing how much they can get away with in this time period.  This is the position of the famous Arc of Enron, the celestial embezzler.

The influence of this time period is a reminder to slow down and take three deep breaths when electronics fail, communication stalls, and you lose the TV remote.  You are able to see the truths of the past and realize that updating to iOs 8 will simply cause more friction in your life.

[Some of these specific ideas were from actual astrological concepts at

Thanks to those of you with a sense of humor.


“I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”        

—– Augusten Burroughs


goldfish in a leaking bag

When people come together, we speak of that which we must do, the time it will take and the need to achieve or complete something. Each person wants to be useful and productive in some way.

Sometimes we share a long conversation or only brief comments in passing. But, the true nature of a person is evident in observable behavior, the few words he shares, and how he says them. While speaking with someone whom I respect, he said that he had a call to make that could easily take him half an hour to complete. I thought for a moment and asked him “Why? Because you would have to be nice and ask how they are?”

‘Yes,” he said, ‘It is a flaw.’

I have seen this person show so much compassion to others. He is someone who considers others’ feelings and knows that when there aren’t enough words, a comforting hug is an act of kindness.

I don’t know why he felt as he did that day. Perhaps, he was tired, and trying to conserve his mental or physical energy. Perhaps someone had said something to him that caused him to rethink how he thought of himself or his attitude.

But I could never be sorry to observe his warmth and empathy.

I lowered my voice to him with conspiratorial trust, and a rueful smile, and said “Then, I would rather be flawed.”



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My long ago crush and friendship began when I was 13 years old.  I began ninth grade away from home and was not too happy in the house where I would be staying.  The environment was stifling, religiously rigid, and left little room for fun.

He was a senior and I was a freshman. Dating was completely frowned upon, but we might run into each other if I walked past the house where he was boarding.  Sometimes, if somehow a message could be squirreled to me, we would meet at the park to talk.  Always, a healthy distance was kept, but I felt my young girl crush grow.

After that year, we both left for other schools.  He went off to study internationally and I headed to New England.  We wrote for a time; those lovely blue onion skin letters folding in poetic words, longing, Jane Austen dreams of romance, and enhanced feelings of understanding.  In that limited space, each letter was a gift and a wave of deep and intense complexity.

Within two years, we had lost touch.  As I considered my next steps in life, and waited for the dearth of intelligent conversation to end, I sent him a letter.  In fact, I had sent him several over the period of time we were not in touch.

Our daily interactions were no more, but a young teenage crush has broad imagination and magical thinking.  It clung to my heart all those years.

One day, at 17, I got a letter from him.  How did it find him after all this time? Apparently, I had the wrong street name of his address.  The first letter was off. One of those times, instead of ending up in a dead letter pile, a knowing postman had delivered it.  It must be fate!  He asked if he could come to see me and I said Yes!  He arrived at my home in an orange VW that he had driven many hours from the Midwest.  We went to a diner for a cup of coffee and ended up speaking for the next six hours.  Luckily, it was a 24 hour diner!

What I remember from that time was a picnic in a warm sunny meadow, verdant with yellow flowers and weeds.  James Taylor music played his greatest hits over and over.  Too many topics to cover in too little time.  We were leaving and it was time for me to move again in less than a month.  We spoke of the passing of his father and how he would have to strike out on his own to make his way into a future.

He came to visit once more when my family had moved. Yet again, great distance held great promise and enhanced and suffused memory with the golden blurring of time and flaws.  I thought I could marry him and dreamed of having found my one true soul mate.  But, somehow with the distances drawn again, and college, we drifted apart.

The last time I saw him was in New York.  This time, he seemed too short, his hair too long, and far removed from my own view of myself.  This time, he shared that his mother had died of cancer. This kind young man, orphaned at a young age, kept his smile and deep brown eyes.  The words between us were halting and superficial.  This was someone that I had loved.  How could that fade into the past? My thoughts of that time are always kind, but lost in the enhanced microscope of memory.  On one side, things look so large and detailed. On the other, objects are smaller than they appear and their hold and pull miniscule in the personal history I was creating.  My teenage years gave everything so much permanence and intensity.  We felt so adult at the time, but in hindsight, there were too many more years needed to mature and curve to the demanding changes in our lives.

Thirty years have passed since I last saw him.  I have not used Google or any other way to look for him.  I left the memories in the past as part of adolescence.

I hope that he found someone to love him and give him a family and that he is no longer alone. He was gentle and I hope that he found a career that allowed him to retain that part of him.  Would he be a therapist? Veterinarian? College professor?  In 1979, he wore brown suede moccasins, like the hippie vibe that existed back then.  While I know that I am not as naïve, thin, or poetic in this fast forward to middle age, I hope that he would recognize the empathy.  Hopefully his heart would understand that mine was not ready to settle down, after all, but he was always meant to remain in my fond youthful meanderings.

Eric Tonningsen stirs the mind and spirit by connecting it to intellect and emotion. Honest, thoughtful and endeavoring to improve others’ situations, it is no wonder that I find his words inspiring and empathetic.

Eric Tonningsen's Awakening to Awareness


“One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.” ~ James Earl Jones

I recently lunched with three friends. We enjoyed a casual conversation that, at one point, meandered into various thoughts and experiences about courage. The things no one else is doing. The things that scare you. The things that define you and that make a difference between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous outcomes.

It got a little deeper. We generally agreed that hard things are the easiest to avoid; to pretend they don’t apply to you. The sense that ordinary people (like us) accomplish great things because they often do the hard things; the things that take courage. Being the demure one among we four, I decided to ask the others what the hardest thing was that they ever had to do. Truly, the most gut wrenching act…

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