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Cows in the Graveyard, Cows in the Park

The road trips of my youth were made possible by the game, Cows in the Graveyard. If it hadn't been for the calming, attentive and alternately exhilarating and devastating practice of counting, accumulating and losing cows I whizzed past in the endless stream of fields and graveyards along the highways of the Midwest, fidgety I would surely have died of ennui.

From my sixty mile an hour perspective, cows seemed to me a slow and placid bunch, forever standing in and munching on grass, barely moving beyond the flick of a tail. What I "knew" of these creatures was this fleeting and distant impression of their apparent docility, that they possessed great swinging udders that seemed to me much abused by our culture, and the fact that they chew not only grass, but also regurgitated bits of food called cud, all of which is processed through a four-chambered stomach before moving on to their intestines and eventually returning to the green earth as nourishing manure. From those observations, the symbology of these creatures seemed to revolve around rumination and nourishment.

Many Bay Area parks I now hike in are homes to herds of cows, which has afforded me the privilege of some close encounters with these great creatures. Perspective changes everything, and thus I've discovered that cows are not docile creatures when you walk in their midst. They give off a threatening air as they bellow, glare and lunge at you. They are also undeniably LARGE, which gives clout to their threats and commands respect, despite their endless chewing. Cows are much less still and slow than I had thought. A running cow reminds me of the way a freight train moves - quickly shifting from stillness to a great and unstoppable speed that could easily crush anything unlucky enough to be in its path. And lastly, their great weight deeply impresses their hoof prints into the earth. Thus, to our cow symbology of rumination and nourishment, let us also add mass, and therefore gravity.

Cow medicine is your tonic for this solar month. This does not mean it's time to drink milk. Instead, ruminate on your experiences, nourish yourself well in every way possible, and notice what people, activities, and places have the kind of mass that gets you to gravitate to them. Also note what gets the kinds of people and experiences you most enjoy gravitating towards you.

Sun in Taurus: 4/19/16 - 5/20/16

When the sun rolls through the sign of the bull, it's time to dig our feet and hands into the earth a bit. This can literally mean working in your actual garden, but it also means cultivation in general. In last month's blast through Aries, we got moving. Now it's time to settle into the motion, and maybe slow it down a touch so you can connect more deeply with the elements of your life that matter most to you. Of course, in order to do that, you need to know what matters most to you, and that's just what we are reassessing right now.

Octaves of Desire: Mars & Pluto station Retrograde

Mars just stationed retrograde on the morning of April 17th (scroll down in the link for further insight into that influence), so our energy and momentum is currently lower than usual for springtime. In fact, we are bombarded with many planets "stationing," which means they are slowing down before changing their apparent direction. Pluto stations retrograde on 4/18/16 (until 9/26/16). It's significant that these two planets that are considered to be different "octaves" of our experiences of survival and desire station retrograde less than a day apart.

What compels you to act, to speak, to create, to destroy, to love, to take a firm stance?

Tensions: T-square & Full Scorpio Moon

We are now under the tense yet changeable influence of a mutable T-square. In the last several years, we've been forced to initiate and act while thinking on your feet under the influence of various cardinal T-squares, but the mutable T-square of this spring will force you into periods of adjustment, with some attendant confusion and ambivalence. Most of the planets in this T-square are retrograde, so even though you may be making changes in your outer life, the real work is within.

And then there's the monthly tension of the full moon, this time in early Scorpio on 4/21/16 at 10:24 PM PDT. Full moons are good times to release - either to let things go because they no longer fit, or to let things out into the world to become more public.

What can you let go of or let die that will help initiate a process of rebirth?

What can you release into the world with passion, intensity and charisma?

Mercury Retrograde in Taurus: 4/28/16 - 5/22/16

This is the longest of the four (there are usually only three) Mercury retrograde cycles this year, which fits nicely with our cud-chewing, four-chambered stomach digestion process for the month.

The general rules of thumb for Mercury retrogrades are, at least a few days before Mercury stations retrograde (4/28), do the following things:

1, Back up your computers, phones & other communication devices

2, Fix, tune up, and clarify any outstanding issues in your transportation vehicles and travel plans

While Mercury is retrograding, leave flexibility in your plans, slow down, and keep your mind, ears, eyes, and heart open so you can learn some new perspectives you've been missing. Our brains run more efficiently by maintaining assumptions and "speed reading" through life, rather than actually perceiving things as they are. The older we get, the more assumptions we accumulate, and the more we "speed read" our environments, conversations, relationships, and situations. Mercury retrogrades shed light on some of the things we're missing through those perceptual assumptions. Let that Mercurial light shine into those shady places.

Specifically for this Mercury retrograde, consider...

What do you value most? Make a list, and prioritize it.

Are you somewhere on that list? If not, why not?

If so, how far down are you? Is that where you belong?

How do differences in values play into your disagreements and miscommunications with others?

Super new moon in Taurus: 5/6/16 at 12:30 PM PDT

The 5/6 new moon in Taurus is the last of the spring "super moons," and occurs in conjunction with a grand earth trine and a four-planet stellium in Taurus. Translation: Take some time out this afternoon and/or evening to clear your mind, and make some intentional wishes because this influence gives us an opportunity to plant the seeds for successful future manifestations. Please note the difference between "intentional wishes" and intentions. A wish actively invites magic, mystery, and heretofore unknown and unforeseen assistance and unfoldings - the creative play of Nature.

Ruminations for this moon:

What can you manifest that honors both your beliefs and your values?

What systems can you set in place that would support those manifestations (e.g. time management, daily practices, boundaries)?

What's a risk that's worth taking?

Jupiter stations direct in Virgo: 5/9/16

Jupiter offers us benefit and opportunity through taking risks on those things we most believe in. This month, Jupiter's influence is particularly potent because it is the only planet involved in both of the current major configurations (the mutable T-square and the grand earth trine), and, Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, is stationing direct after retrograding for the past five months (since 1/7/16). Even though the overall energy of this time is sludgy, you will start to feel a new ability to organize and implement some practical changes in your life, especially in regards to the following issues:

How have your beliefs changed around your health?

How do you want to adjust the order/chaos ratio of your life?

What skills and practices will most support the creation of an inspiring future for you, and depending on your bent, for your community?

Next month...

Mercury stations direct, Neptune stations retrograde, Mars retreats into the depths of Scorpio, and Venus transforms the mutable T-square into a grand cross. Never a dull moment in the heavens, my friends. Thanks for reading, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments, and may you find yourself well nourished, and deep in rich and fruitful thought. Peace,


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