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Marlena Applebaum

M.A. in Counseling Psychology

Astrological Counseling

 
photo 12.38.34 PM.JPG

 

“My evenings are taken up very largely with astrology. I make horoscopic calculations in order to find a clue to the core of psychological truth. Some remarkable things have turned up which will certainly appear incredible to you.”

~Carl Jung in a letter to Sigmund Freud (June 12, 1911)

 

Astrological Counseling

I offer astrological counseling for psycho-spiritual exploration, understanding, and transformation. Astrology utilized in this way can be a missing key for deep inner work and can shed light on the path towards greater harmony with the natural rhythms and cycles of one’s life journey. My approach to astrology is to share the potentials and opportunities I see while exploring how the symbols and archetypes are manifesting uniquely for each individual. Astrology is a wonderful tool for self-knowledge and a help in times of challenge or transition. It can facilitate tremendous insight and peace, as well as provide timelines for certain archetypal or energetic influences reflected in our lives and inner states of being. Consultations available for birth chart exploration, current influences, relationship dynamics, and timing for important events. 

 

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February 4, 2020

Making Friends with the Planets

 
Art-by-Kagaya.jpg

 

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After a long/semi-permanent hiatus from social media — for the purpose of spending more time outside in nature and less time at my computer — I had an inspiration to write the attached article. I hope you like it. Please let me know. My learning and practice of astrology hasn’t stopped even though I am not posting much online. Much love...

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When the planets in the sky interact with our birth charts, especially the longer term transits from the heavy hitters like Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, each transit can last from several months to a few years, and these transits usually correlate with the most growth-inducing times in our lives.

 

For anyone who is paying attention to these transits and anticipating which ones are imminent, it’s helpful to have a way to hold this knowledge without a sense of fear and dread. Otherwise it’s easy to get caught up in negative anticipation as these heavy transits keep unfolding over the years. We certainly get times of respite, but sometimes it can be one challenging transit after another. 

 

So, I have been contemplating how to make friends with these planets. I take inspiration from the Indian/Vedic tradition of literally worshipping the planets in the hopes of gaining their mercy or graces. And I have great respect for those who feel called to do ceremonies or rituals in honor of the planets. For me, however, creating a relationship with each planetary archetype and finding a way to honor that archetype in myself and in my life is what feels more natural and is what I am focusing on in this article. So I thought I would share some of my ideas for how to do this with regard to each of these heavy hitters/great lords in the sky. Tuning into their presence in our lives, through the seemingly magical synchronicity that is astrology, offers one way to get an inkling of the perfection of Divine Intelligence.

 

Saturn

Everyone seems to know about the Saturn Return these days, when Saturn in the sky returns to the same position it was in at the time of your birth, at the age of 29 or so. And in Indian astrology there is the Sade Sati, or the 7½ year period when transiting Saturn goes through three consecutive signs: the sign before your Moon sign, the sign of your Moon, and the sign after your Moon sign. These are usually life-changing years in our lives. How can we propitiate Saturn and flow more harmoniously with these transits? I believe it is by actively incorporating, welcoming, and expressing Saturn principles as much as possible during these periods. Here are a few general ideas for how to do so:

  • Be responsible, reliable, hard-working, and disciplined. 
  • Say no to frivolous things that don’t serve your long-term goals.
  • Spend time in solitude/Be a hermit for awhile/Overcome the fear of being alone (“Seclusion is the price of greatness.” ~Paramahansa Yogananda) 
  • Be frugal and get serious about planning for the future.
  • Contemplate and prepare for the inevitability of your own death and the deaths of your loved ones.
  • Allow deep or chronic sorrow to rise to the surface. It is emerging now because the time is right for revisiting it, reparenting yourself, and moving further along on your healing journey.
  • Accept and take pleasure in the tedious, monotonous, and mundane chores of life. 
  • Think structure: Get structured about your time, create structures in your life that you can count on, and let structured support help you cope.
  • Embrace humbling and ego-annihilating moments and events. Trust these moments are serving you even though it might feel like torture. 
  • Enjoy, respect, and learn from the elders in your life. 
  • Behold the wisdom and backbone that develops in you as a gift from Lord Saturn. 

Uranus

Uranus is the god of radical or shocking change, revolution, freedom, new technology, eccentricity, and electricity. Everyone has a Uranus opposition in their early 40s, which can be understood as part of the so called mid-life crisis, where the typical challenge is to express a more authentic self. But one can have a major Uranus transit at any time depending on one’s chart. Now, as Uranus recently entered Taurus, those of us with more planets or angles in the fixed signs of Taurus, Scorpio, Leo, and Aquarius are currently having or will soon have some serious Uranus energy to contend with over the next 6 years, depending on the degree of those placements. Here are a few ideas for how to play with Uranus:

  • Be open to the possibility of making a seemingly wild or crazy change — one that fulfills a longing that you have been craving for awhile. It may require a significant upheaval in your life (usually it will be in the area related to where Uranus is transiting in your chart or what it is triggering). At the same time, consider any changes made during a Uranus transit as experimental. If possible try to avoid making any permanent decisions just yet as you may end up changing your mind again before Uranus is done with you, or after the transit is complete. And then you might have terrible regret to live with if you threw the baby out with the bathwater as you were creating your more authentic life.
  • Alternatively, go with creative ways to incorporate more freedom, space, and newness into the current structures of your life. This way the major upheaval is circumvented, yet the need for change and freedom is still honored. 
  • Be willing to let go of structures you built under Lord Saturn’s rule. The changes that happen may come to you from the outside, from unexpected events or initiated by others. These changes may appear to be against your wishes, yet Uranus deems change and disruption is needed to free you from attachments, stagnancy, or old concepts that are holding you back.
  • In general: Speak your truth, live out loud, and no more people pleasing if it isn’t coming from an authentic place. In the end, everyone will benefit from any healthy changes you make (even if they resist the changes at first).
  • Receive glimpses from Uranus. Inspiration can strike you. Be open to tiny sparkling glints that reveal an alternate way of seeing things, especially with regard to old beliefs that were once keeping you alive but are now no longer needed. 
  • At times, change for the sake of change can be a good thing in that it shakes you out of self-imposed or confining patterns, and it introduces more flexibility into your being. 
  • Behold your limiting walls crumbling when Lord Uranus gazes upon you.

Neptune

Neptune is the god of oceanic oneness and unity, dreams, visions, and mysticism, but also illusions, addictions, delusions, and escapism. What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been is an apt title for a Neptune transit. Here are a few ideas for how to merge with Neptune constructively:

  • Focus on your spiritual path, whatever that means to you. 
  • Immerse yourself in activities or environments that help you tune into and feel connected with that which is greater than yourself, your greater self, and the greater whole, the cosmos, God, or whatever it is for you… Things like meditation, prayer, being in nature, being in or near large bodies of water, and engaging in creative or movement practices that get you in the zone. 
  • Even though certain things may usually seem black and white, it could be beneficial to contemplate the grey areas at this time. Something transcendent might emerge from the edge of that grey.
  • Try to hear and discern the quiet voice of intuition within.
  • We all have imaginative scenarios that come up from the unconscious, almost unnoticed. Catching one of those is like catching a fish, a little treasure from the deep. To assimilate that content can contribute to a significant internal realization.
  • Be aware that information you receive from others may be lacking in clarity or reality. Conversely, do some self-inquiry about whether you yourself are painting a picture that is somewhat misrepresentative.
  • Be especially mindful about pharmaceutical drugs and other chemical exposures, which you may become more sensitive to during a Neptune transit. 
  • Behold! Out of the vagueness of the oceanic currents Lord Neptune confers your divine destined wholeness.  

Pluto

Pluto is in Capricorn from 2008 to 2024. Where you have Capricorn in your chart — that area of your life is currently going through a slow, sometimes imperceptible, but utterly thorough and complete makeover. It may not be clear now, but in retrospect it will be awe-inspiring to see the fullness of the transformation. When Pluto connects with a specific planet or angle in your chart the transformation process peaks for a couple of years. Here are a few ideas for how to be on friendly terms with the god of the Underworld: 

  • Have the willingness and courage to face parts of yourself you may have disowned, denied, or never encountered before. These previously unconscious parts may initially become known to you through external forces in the form of other people or events, yet in the largest sense, it is all in you. Forces that initially threaten to overpower you impel you to undergo shifts that result in self-empowerment. 
  • Contemplate forgiveness of self and others. I mention forgiveness because sometimes Pluto transits correlate with events that stir up an abyss of pain, resentment, or guilt. If you can begin the process of seeing these events as instrumental for your growth and regeneration, a glimpse of being able to forgive may knock on the door of your heart. (For clarification, I see forgiveness as being able to have understanding, insight, and empathy around something that was harmful or hurtful, but it is not the same as condoning that thing.)       
  • Engage in some type of therapy to begin to process all that gets stirred up. Pluto requires us to see and touch the very depths of our being that we don’t normally contact. We may not have conscious cognizance of all that is being worked out within the psyche as this is happening, yet the transmutation that occurs will be seen more fully at a later time. 
  • Allow yourself to experience a symbolic or psychological death — such as the death of a cherished ideal, self-image, or life plan — that you were attached to but that needs to be let go of now. Though this ending can be painful, scary, or simply revelatory, a rebirth is on the other side of this experience. 
  • Behold the phoenix that rises from the ashes of the old you after lord Pluto pays you a visit.

I hope these ideas for how to connect with these divine archetypes are helpful. For those of you who have any of these planets prominently placed in your birth chart, the ideas above may apply for that particular archetype in a longer term way or in a more global manner for you. The lists above are not exhaustive by any means. I would love to hear your ideas or experiences with how you survived and thrived during transits from these game-changing planets. 

 

See my older post on Astrological Rites of Passage for more about the timing of the Saturn return, Pluto square, Neptune square, and Uranus opposition, etc: http://www.marlenaapplebaum.com/blog/3675

 

(Art by Kagaya)


October 22, 2016

Question about Synastry (relationship analysis)

 

 

I received this question from someone, and I think it’s such an interesting topic that I decided to post about it. 

 

Question (paraphrased):
My boyfriend’s Moon and Venus fall into my 7th house, but my planets do not fall into his 7th house. Will I be the only one stimulated by this? Will he feel the familiarity too? Does it go both ways?

 

My answer:
I have observed and thought about this many times. In the context of a significant relationship, when a person’s planets, especially their Sun, Moon, or Ascendant, fall or overlay into your 7th house (the part of the chart representing partnership), yes it does mean that they embody in a big way whatever it is that you need in a partner, so you may feel strongly drawn to them. They balance you and complete you in a sense. This can apply to a romantic, friendship, business, or any other significant partnership. 

 

So how does this affect the person whose planets or Ascendant fall into your 7th house? In my experience, it is not the same dynamic, but the connection and attraction is still mutual. The person whose planets or Ascendant fall into your 7th house feels called and inspired to be your partner. It feels natural to them to be what you want and need in a partner. This happens on a relatively subliminal level. Some authors say the attraction is stronger for the person whose 7th house is being over-layed by the partner’s planets, as opposed to the partner, but I have not found that to be the case. Your 7th house (i.e. the partnership) provides for them an area and a context for vital expression of part of themselves.


May 28, 2015

Saturn in Synastry

 

 

Saturn is often considered a challenging planet associated with obstacles and hardships. However, especially in connection to a synastry analysis (how two birth charts interact together) and particularly between a parent and child, I have been noticing an interesting theme with regard to Saturn. It is one that contrasts with the common Saturnian stereotype of difficulties, obstacles, and hardships. Saturn aspects between a parent and child often turn up in harmonious relationships. In these cases the parent is indeed in an archetypal parental role, taking responsible and reliable care of the child, and being ultra motherly or fatherly. As well, the parent is experienced by the child as the authority. And that initial dynamic between them often continues, even after the child is fully an adult. In relationships like this I have repeatedly seen the parent’s Saturn tightly conjunct a significant point in the child’s chart, especially the child’s Sun, Moon, or Ascendant. This is not surprising, as Saturn is known as “the wise old elder.” And it is commonly said that Saturn is almost always notably placed in the synastry of any long-term relationship (such as family).

 

In non-parent/child relationships, even in the case of hard aspects, such as an opposition, for instance, from one spouse’s Saturn to the other spouse’s personal planet such as the Moon or Venus, the Saturn person may simply take on a responsible, mature, and perhaps a directive role in the relationship. Depending on the other person’s internal relationship with these Saturnian qualities, the person receiving the Saturn energy may be harmonious with this dynamic or not. In any case, a Saturn configuration between two people in a committed relationship is commonly present and is indicative of a tone of accountability, reliability, and practicality within the structure of the relationship.


November 20, 2014

Squares to Neptune = up in the clouds

 

 

Venus squared Neptune earlier today (Nov 20), the Sun squares Neptune on Nov 26, and Mercury squares Neptune on Nov 30. It could be challenging to stay grounded during these times. Fantasies, daydreams, idealism, mental distractions, and atmospheric disturbances may abound with these aspects. Yet intuitive, non-rational, inspirational, and mystical revelations of truth are also more available with these connections to Neptune. The challenge is to have discernment and discrimination. What is real? What is my psyche vs. someone else’s psyche? Boundaries are more blurred, which can be challenging but also a wonderful opportunity to access other dimensions and surrender to Divine intelligence. In the middle of these aspects, Mercury also conjuncts Saturn on Nov 25. This will encourage the capacity to focus the mind and take steps to manifest into tangible reality the perceptions that sift down during the squares to Neptune.


November 10, 2012

Neptune ♆ stationing direct

 

 

In honor of Neptune stationing direct early Sunday morning, here is a short excerpt from a description of a near death experience. Neptune is the planet of Merging with the Love, Light, and Oneness of all that is. When a planet is stationary, the archetypal energies it symbolizes have a stronger influence on us. Read more...


September 28, 2014

Unraveling the mysteries

 

 

In my experience, the deepest and most meaningful learning about astrology comes from experiential observation and involvement. Book learning is essential of course, but for instance, to truly understand the intensity of a transit from a slow moving planet to your birth chart, living through it or watching someone close to you live through it, is entirely different than reading about it. The theory you studied suddenly becomes tangible and is clearly manifesting before your eyes, and yet at the same time it is infinitely more complex and varied in its expression than you could have imagined. The same goes for truly understanding another human being, let alone yourself. It is a lifetime study. As an astrological counselor, I can study a natal chart for hours and hours, days, and weeks, but it would still take time to truly and comprehensively know the native (the owner of the chart). I may be able to quickly speculate about trends in character, predispositions, challenges, gifts, themes of the past and future, and various timelines of various archetypal influences affecting the individual, etc. And all of this can be immensely helpful for people in terms of inspiring self-understanding, self-permission to be who one is, as well as to give encouragement, patience, and strength with one’s life situation. Read more...


June 4, 2012

The recent eclipses, the transit of Venus, and more...

 

 

Eclipses shift things dramatically, bring change, and remove stagnation — all to clear space for the new. Two weeks ago on 5/20 we had a Solar eclipse, which is like a super charged New Moon. The New Moon signifies a new cycle beginning, but because it was conjunct the South node, it was a time to release a negative pattern from the past… This morning on 6/4 we had a Lunar eclipse, which is like a super charged Full Moon. The Full Moon is the climax and culmination of the lunar cycle, bringing clarity and vision. But because it is conjunct the North node, it suggests moving towards one’s growth edge and imbibing something new, even if it is unfamiliar or uncomfortable… Read more...


April 30, 2014

Compassionate communication and Mars retrograde in Libra

 

 

Today I am beginning an 8 week course in Compassionate Communication (also known as Nonviolent Communication). This is something I’ve wanted to pursue a serious study of for awhile after reading books and trying to practice on my own (which proved difficult!). Everything lined up for me with this endeavor now while Mars is retrograde in Libra. How perfect! Why is the period when Mars is retrograde in Libra perfect for focusing on compassionate/non-violent communication? Firstly, because Libra rules the art of listening and speaking skillfully, diplomatically, and most importantly empathically — balancing awareness and sensitivity between self and other. This is challenging, to say the least, especially when strong emotions are triggered. Secondly, Mars rules self-assertion, leadership, and frankness, but also aggression and violence on the shadow side (every archetype has a shadow side). Mars retrograde on the other hand, supports holding aggression back, turning it within, contemplating it, and transmuting it. We all feel anger and aggression sometimes, which is often a surface layer over suppressed hurt or fear. To be able to express those deeper feelings and in a way that inspires giving and receiving from the heart, as opposed to creating more hurt feelings, anger, defensiveness, and chronic unmet needs in our relationships, is a great way to utilize the energy of Mars retrograde in Libra. I am happy for this opportunity. 


February 5, 2012

Neptune entered Pisces ♓

 

 

On Feb 3rd, after going back and forth over the cusp in 2011, Neptune entered Pisces ♓ to stay for approximately 14 years (Neptune hasn’t been in Pisces since 1848-1862). Neptune and Pisces, sometimes referred to as “the 12th principle” in astrology, (i.e., Pisces is the 12th sign) share many of the same archetypal significances: numinous dreams, mysticism, unconditional love, and the melting away of boundaries between self, other, and the Divine into an oceanic Oneness. This is a beautiful, cosmic experience. Yet Neptune and Pisces both also correspond with challenges such as confusion, unending nebulousness, delusion, deception, addiction, and difficulty separating fact from fiction. With Neptune and Pisces together like this, I imagine this archetype will be strengthened and emphasized in a quantum way. It will be interesting to watch how the felt experience of it will unfold over time, individually and collectively. 


October 6, 2013

When interpreting relationships, natal indications prevail over compatibility indications

 

 

Exploration of compatibility for partnership or marriage between two individual’s natal charts is one of my favorite uses of astrology. In analyzing compatibility, however, it is important to remember that no matter how many significant connections or marriage indicators there are between two people, one must first acknowledge the predispositions regarding partnership within each natal chart. If the natal chart shows stressful aspects or placements to planets in the 7th (partnership) house, and most importantly to the ruler of the 7th house, as well as the condition of Venus, who presides over love and relationships, for instance, then no matter how strong a connection is or how compatible the charts looks with another person’s chart, the experience in partnership is going to be geared towards major growth (i.e. full of challenges) for that person. And likewise, if a natal chart suggests more harmonious aspects and placements regarding partnership for the individual, then less compatibility with someone else’s chart may still correlate with a relationship experience that is mostly enjoyable for the individual with more harmonious natal placements.


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