Archive for Timeless Articles

Michelle Obama on “Becoming” through Saturn and Pisces

Kate with her Daughters taken during Michelle’s visit to Montreal

by Kate Rusko

It’s a relief when the true essence of Saturn as wisdom keeper and guide has the opportunity to express itself. And when this essence is expressed through a powerful woman who is also of colour, and has not yet reached her second Saturn return, you know that something big is shifting.

Michelle Obama is currently wrapping up a 34 city tour promoting her book, “Becoming”, released 13 days (November 13, 2018) after the beginning of her 7th Venus return on November 1st, lasting until June 9, 2020. It became the year’s best seller after only two weeks, and may be the best selling memoir ever. Certainly her publisher checked her chart.

Her book describes her path towards becoming a dynamic and concerned elder, willing to share her trials and triumphs for the benefit for the next generations. Her leadership is not the “do this” variety, but rather the “wow – you just never know where life is going to take you” kind (that amazing Saturn/Capricorn and Neptune/ Pisces combination). She is low on gloss, and very frank about the challenges that life can present.

Michelle Obama on her Book Tour

I don’t know if there could be a better title than “Becoming” for the autobiography of a woman with a Saturn complex to her Venus in Pisces. It’s even quite fitting that we don’t know her ascendant, her ‘becoming’ (there is no birth time).

With Neptune and Saturn currently in their resonant signs of Pisces and Capricorn, she’s an inspiring example of how these two energies can works together to create a smart and compassionate being, who understands that we must value the future generations, considering it hers (and all of ours) duty to lead by example.
On top of that, she  is genuinely optimistic and feels that it is her responsibility to be so. As she told Oprah Winfrey in an interview: “Fear is the coward’s way of leadership”.
Her early years though were about responsibility to achieve. My own natal Saturn complex to Venus was put on high alert with the opening sentence of her book: “I spent much of my childhood listening to the sound of striving”. And she is not saying this as a complaint.
The striving came from her aunt’s piano students in the apartment below. And of course she duly joined them (Saturn), then tried to outperform them (Saturn) and was of course met with resistance and push back (Saturn).
Don’t worry, it didn’t crush her drive… at all.
Until her mid-20s, it reads as though Michelle and Saturn were as one, a powerful symbiosis to fuel her “lockstep march towards success, the direct arrow shot trajectory from Princeton to Harvard to (her) desk (at a law office) on the 47th floor”.
I know what you are thinking: Venus in Pisces? Don’t worry- she gets there.
When the final brass ring is attained – the coveted job with the showcase car, she realizes that she is unfulfilled and unhappy: “Somehow, in all my years of schooling, I hadn’t managed to think through my own passions and how they might match up with the work I found meaningful. As a young person, I’d explored exactly nothing.” (pg. 132).



This is a Noon Chart because there is no known birth time so the angles of the chart are arbitrary…and she could be Moon in Aquarius if she was born an hour or more earlier that day.

She’d been too busy, in her own words, ticking off the boxes. It happens.

My experience of Saturn in my early years was the same: a firm structure designed to strive and thrive. It’s later that it becomes problematic, especially when Pisces is the progressive part of the chart (like it is for me). The switch can hit hard with overwhelm and inner confusion.
I had my own Michelle moment when I was asked why I had pursued an economic degree and all could answer was “It was the 80s”. Saturn creates such a strong drive and the rewards seem tantalizing close if you just follow their program, but, as Daniel Giamario puts it, it is a “box canyon”.
Pisces moreover can create the illusion of progress, the next step never being clear, but creating the hope that it is there. Of course the catch is that it’s never “out there” with Saturn or Neptune.
So Michelle Obama had her mid-life crisis….in her mid-20s. She had to do the hard work of figuring out how to achieve fulfillment on her own terms. The beginning of this process was triggered by a conjunction, both of planetary and human bodies.
In 1989, Saturn and Neptune were exactly conjunct TWICE on her South Node. I can’t imagine a more powerful re-wiring (or un-wiring) to propel someone into her future. This was also when she was assigned to mentor a guy called Barack.
Barack Obama was already so self-assured and committed to being of service. There is a hilarious story in the book of her waking up one night to find him in deep contemplation over what she assumed was their relationship, but was actually over income inequality.
Not long after, Michelle found herself thinking “What kind of person do I want to be? How do I want to contribute to the world?” Ah, finally, Pisces!
She was also afraid that Barack’s strong sense of direction (Mars in Virgo) could overwhelm her lack of one. Ultimately though, she was tapping into the fundamental dilemma of how to reconcile Saturn when “who you are” is in a constant process of unfoldment? When you are always “becoming”?
Her Saturn return brought her to her rightful place: she was asked to start up an organization that helped fund young people to work on social issues in non-profits and government groups (of course, she set fundraising records). She finally felt happy. Her Saturn return was not a crushing wake-up call: it was a liberation.
Born in the Scorpio overtone to her natal Venus in Pisces, the overtone has now shifted to a Libra overlay. Would you be surprised to hear that her live event had a Libra format? She was interviewed by her former boss/best friend who also went to work at the White House. It was an almost casual conversation, between longtime friends, in a living room-like setting.
At 15,000 capacity, the venue was the largest she spoke at, which is saying something, as a predominately French speaking province. Her mother apparently said “You’re in Montreal? Who wants to hear you talk there?” Thanks, mom (well, someone has to trigger her Saturn complex).
Mrs Robinson did accept Michelle’s invitation to watch her speak a couple of times, but she declined to go again. And then wondered why Michelle’s friends wanted to go back.
To Mrs Robinson’s credit, she did play an essential and indispensable role in raising the Obama children, never mind Michelle. It’s pretty cool that during the Obama administration, three generations of Robinson women lived at the white house. That must have done something for the juju while it lasted.
Michelle’s conversation constantly referenced the future generations: her White House stories always included children, either her own, or those she was trying to reach through her initiatives as First Lady. This vital connection is the crux of her message.
This is not Cancer as doting mother. It’s fully Pisces as in “creating a safe space for someone to have their experience, no matter what it is” (Shamanic Astrology Handbook). She may have created a garden for children at the White House, while suggesting in her book she is not the one doing the cooking. She is here for all children, and is only concerned that they have the space and time to flourish in their own way and time.
During the evening, she urged parents and elders to be transparent with the younger generations about their challenges. It is about ‘keeping it real’, recognizing that empowerment comes from giving them the full picture, rather than the social media gloss-over.
She warned young couples, especially those with families, to expect periods where they won’t like each other. At all. For Years. Her message was to persevere through the difficulties, so that the cycle has time to play out and you come out the other side.
Michelle has clearly integrated the Pisces teachings of her chart. She knows that life is a process, not an achievement. It’s to be taken step by step because you never really know where it will take you.
And the wonder she feels at where her own life has taken her has not worn off. She meets the most famous people in the world and it’s still “Wow! Can you imagine? I am meeting so and so. Amazing!”
On the flip side, she also admits to feeling very vulnerable. But the voyage through the vulnerability, especially as a Venus in Pisces married to a man with a maximum allotment of freedom in the regressive part of his chart (Gemini Moon with a 1st house South Node), is what has given her her strength and her deep trust in life. And she certainly promotes life itself well!!
I’d totally want to hang out with her!
As if this Venus return wasn’t enough of a flowering, Michelle is headed towards a Nodal return from oct 24, 2019 to Jan 17, 2020, still within the window of the return. Shortly after her 56th birthday on January 17th of 2020, she will begin a Saturn initiation to her Sun.

 So, What Exactly Makes it Shamanic? – Part Two

The archetype of shamanism and its expression in Western humans

By Beau Taylor

I recently came across some brilliant material by a woman who, like many of us in the Shamanic Astrology (SA) paradigm, is often asked in her work to explain what she means by the term shamanic. I’ll introduce you to her in a moment. But first, let’s set the stage by way of a quick recap.

As you may recall, in the March newsletter we took a peek into the divination aspect of SA and how the astrologer’s relationship with, and openness to, the living energies present at the precise time and place of a chart consultation is essentially (and intentionally) shamanic in nature.  As expressed by Daniel Giamario, astrology is a living, breathing mandala made up of the union of astrologer, client, and the planetary essences present, as well as anything else that shows up at that moment. As Shamanic Astrologers, if we are truly willing to meet another in these energies as a conduit to help shine light on the person’s situational and developmental experiences as a whole human being, then we cannot know with any certainty what will transpire in a session. Read More

So, What Exactly Makes it ‘Shamanic’?

Revealing the Magic of the Astrologer-Client Relationship

~ By Beau Taylor February, 2019

If you want to get Shamanic Astrology paradigm founder Daniel Giamario revved up, ask him this question in a Q & A: “So, what exactly makes this form of astrology shamanic?” And then watch and listen to what happens next!

I had the pleasure of doing so – listening to the answer, not asking the question – in a recent Shamanic Astrology Mystery School (SAMS) members’ cross-quarter call, hosted by the Air Quadrant at the end of January. While I’ve heard Daniel address this question numerous times over the nearly thirty years I’ve been listening to him talk about the paradigm, I’ve never heard the exact same answer twice.

This time, I’m sure I ingested aspects I’ve never quite heard him say before. It occurred to me to write these down – at least, my interpretation of them – while the thoughts are still fresh. I’m wondering, if I haven’t heard these things before, have others?  Read More

The Evolutionary Path of the Modalities

Culture Bearers, Self-Exploration, In Service to Spirit, Oh My!

by Viola Goodwin

A unique feature of Shamanic Astrology renames and redefines the modalities from Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable to three new categories that help us better understand these archetypes. In Shamanic Astrology refers to the Cardinal signs as Culture-Bearer or Householder, the Fixed signs as Self-Exploration, and the Mutable Signs as In Service to Spirit Signs.

While these renamed categories are still associated with the seasons as in more mainstream astrology,  these categories give insights into the nature of the 12 core archetypal characteristics we each carry, in a nearly infinite array of possible combinations, to better understand ourselves and others. Read More

Tribute to Marion Woodman

A Personal Tribute
by Barbara Taylor

Born August 15, 1928 at 2:30 pm in London, Ontario, Canada
Died at age 89 on July 9, 2018

When I learned of Marion’s passing this week, a deep wave of sadness surged through me. I knew she’d had struggles with cancer in the mid-1990’s, but that she was carrying on. In a beautiful stroke of synchronicity, last week I found and purchased online the audio version of her 1998 Sitting By the Well: Bringing the Feminine to Consciousness Through Language, Dreams, and Metaphor, a book of hers I hadn’t yet read.

Even though the generative font of her guiding wisdom is no longer with us in physical form, I will savor my own, quiet tribute to her memory and extraordinary contribution in the coming weeks as I listen to her voice, lifting off from the digital pages. Read More