If you know me in real life, you probably know I am fairly obsessed with astrology. To those that know me well, you might even describe that as *the understatement of the new year*. Growing up with various astrology books littered around the home I would often pick one up, read about the sun of my family members, myself - studying up on on the elements, qualities, houses, assessing compatibilities and incompatibilities, areas for growth, and on and on. This grew into a solid (and sometimes compulsive) practice of learning about the charts of my friends, extended family, and often times whomever I had a crush on at the time.
The more I learned the more astrology became a solid tool and structure for understanding the people in my life. It gave me clear sight for the strengths and challenges of my friends, and more than anything - it became a means of self-reflection, self-transformation, and self-care. As with palmistry, tarot, numerology, etc. - it can be a lot easier to to turn the gaze back upon yourself, your life, your past present future - if you are looking at cards, your palm, or, in this case - a natal chart. And for this reason I think, even if you don't believe, astrology can be a powerful tool for reflection, transformation, and a bit of clarity. As you learn about the various components of yourself - your hidden drives, the way you present yourself to the world, your work style - you assess whether those resonate, certain descriptions may strike a chord and others might not - but in that process you're turning inward, you're looking at yourself and your behavior objectively - and these, even brief, glimpses of self-awareness can be the beginnings in a larger transformation. As long as it's not relied upon too heavily, and still taken with a grain of salt, astrology can be a much easier means to your own therapy. Or as my friend Paul, a psychotherapist by day and an astrology student by night joked, "It's a lot easier to blame something on a person's Leo moon, than their childhood issues with their grandmother."
For those of you only know astrology as newspaper horoscopes and cheesy blurbs about your sun sign - there is so much more to it than that. When you were born the sun, moon, mars, saturn, venus, etcetera were all in one of the astrological constellations - giving you a completely unique star-chart - a celestial blueprint that is all your own. And within that structure there exists layers upon layers of information - the play between the planets in each sign, the houses, the qualities, the aspects the planets can have with each other, and so much more. In my loose study of 15 years, I'm still learning about new parts of my chart.
A common complaint with astrology is that it implies this fated idea that our personalities are predetermined and then forever marked in stone, or almost as an excuse to behave a certain way - which is why I like the idea of using astrology as a tool for transformation. Astrology gives us a language and a basic structure for our baseline personalities which we can pick apart, taking that awareness to be further transformed, strengthened, shaped, and elevated with just a bit of intentionality. As each person has varying levels of each element, and a predominance in a couple of signs - one can become aware of the weaknesses of those elements, and their sign and seek to balance it.
For example as an earth sign (capricorn, taurus, virgo) I can become caught up in the world of the physical, slowly reasoning myself out of my own feelings and transferring them into my work. In order to balance this I would seek out the qualities of water (cancer, scorpio, pisces) - a flowing force -water is mostly raw feelings, with no concept of status and only a pure and unconditional love. Water softens the earth and gives it's work meaning and life. And then in return, a water sign, which can often become overwhelmed with feelings, has a difficult time creating any lasting success in this world and is benefitted from the solid reason and structure of the earth sign. And this balancing works the same with air (aquarius, libra, gemini) and fire (leo, aries, sagitarius). Fire warmly encourages air to quit talking about it and just DO it, and in return air encourages fire to consider before the impulsively act - allowing fire to become more changeable and air to become directly active.
One of my resolutions for this year was to become more publicly open about some of these more esoteric sides of my personality, because even if it means some of you lose complete faith in my reasoning abilities - it is a big part of my life and mind and practice - and hey, maybe I'll get some other astrology nerds over here on my side.
So anyway, on any given pie-making day - one these aspects of my own chart will likely run through my mind. These four components of a chart - sun, moon, rising, and mars are a pretty good place to start in your own self-reflection process. Each sign comes with it's own strengths and weaknesses and sometimes I like to think of it as your moon with it's subconscious motivators bubbling up into your sun which further bubbles up into your rising, or how you share that all with the world around you.
Woodland Keep - a Pie Maker's Astrological Portrait
Capricorn Sun - while the sun is not everything it is the core of your nature. Others' likely won't even recognize your sun until getting to you know you a bit. Capricorns are a cardinal earth sign - meaning they are the most self-directed of the solid earth signs. While I often think Capricorns are misrepresented as overly ambitious, opportunistic workhorses (some are) many are just thoughtful and sensitive quiet ones who enjoy their time alone and often enjoy spending time in nature. The oldest of the earth signs they are generally fairly philosophical and at their best they can possess a grounded wisdom, while still being softly charming. At their worst they can become stagnant and overly pensive, sometimes falling into melancholy ruts that can only be amended by a bit of time and space. As a mountain goat (or sea goat) they are known for steadily moving upwards towards their hopes and dreams. This whole business has been percolating in journals and daydreams for years now. The simple vision of a quiet place where I can bake and work on creative whims has been that motivating force, and on my best days Woodland Keep happily holds that core nature of a home-oriented, earthy sea-goat with a slow and (mostly) solid work ethic.
Leo Moon - The moon makes up your subconscious drives and your hidden emotional world. Your moon often represents how you handle your emotions and only those who know you best get a chance to see it. A fixed Fire sign - the Leo moon really throws a wrench in that whole earthy grounded thing. A Leo moon has a lot of feelings and if they're left unprocessed they can become pretty loud. It is driven by fun, security, creative expression, and receiving recognition. It is that part of Woodland Keep that acts on creative whims, impulsively travels, and charges on without worry. Fiercely loyal and loving, the Leo moon's occasional laziness and the at-times-unchecked-ego is often made up for by their youthful charm and their warm generosity to those they love. This moon is usually what keeps me going on the grey days, it's the true fuel and spark for the creative projects and it's the part that gets really excited when any of you guys reaches out, inspired by what's happening over here. It is also likely the driving force for anyone doing an astrological portrait on themselves...... . . . . ha! oh well....
Aquarius Rising - Your rising sign is the mask you wear to the world. It is the first thing people notice about you, how people describe you, and what you're attracted to. It is generally why people feel they don't resonate entirely with their sun sign. An aquarius rising would give someone the appearance of being curious, idealistic, and first and foremost an individual. They have a strong independent streak that desires to both stand off by itself, while still being surrounded and supported by a vibrant community. Very friendly, the aquarius rising will give the appearance of being spacy and eccentric, while still managing to find friendships and acquaintances wherever they go. An aquarius rising is maybe what would compel someone to move to a small island off the coast of Washington to ultimately see where the wind blows them. Always a humanitarian, it is what propels the desire for using as many local and organic ingredients as possible, as well as interacting with local farmers and engaging in small winter markets. It is also likely the part that is attracted to astrology, small communities, and creative pie-making - oh and also sharing it all with you guys --- heyyy community.
Mars in Taurus - Mars represents how you work and the driving force behind your work. Under the fixed earth of Taurus - this mars is basically the face of Woodland Keep. Slow and earthy, fixed and plodding, Taurus mars is motivated by material comforts and sweet indulgences. It works and moves slowly, with many breaks in between, and makes sure that each move is one towards the gradual perfection of their work. Each act is well considered, motivated by creating a solid product, and building up a solid and steady home.
So, all of these various opposing and compatible energies come together in different levels to create what's happening over here- they make up my personality and my own slow acquaintance with them has been a key part on my own journey.
If anyone is interested in finding out their own natal chart - this website is my favorite resource. And please feel free to comment with your own astrological insights! It is probably one of my favorite things to talk about so please share your charts if you feel inclined! <3 <3