Jupiter and the joy of the changing elements

Jupiter and the joy of the changing elements

Well it’s the last day of Jupiter in Cancer today.

Yesterday my little son was tapping out tunes on the tablet keyboard…  and played a few renditions of  ‘Ode to Joy’ which he knows by the name of the composer but not the message of the music! And he knows nothing about planet movements and astrological cycles either. It’s always wonderful to see how spontaneously this Jupiter energy arises.

So, tomorrow at just after 12.30pm (here ..11.31am UK) the joy bringer comes to the sign of Leo!  No doubt all our individual and collective planets in Leo will rise in glory to Jupiter’s expansive and enthusiastic energy.

The water signs were nicely charged in a grand trine though (technical term for classic shaped harmonious triangle connection between planets) over the past year with Jupiter in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces.

PL in the river


Felt to me like a beautifully set dance floor that just invited the inner dancing queen to put on her very best dancing shoes and get moving ….. but it turned out to be much more of an inner journey that I’d counted on.

True to Cancer style, I’ve been at home most of the year.  Last year when Jupiter was in Gemini I was up and down to Lausanne almost every month, in and out of Geneva and Toulouse airports and working as a proofreader. That all calmed completed as of last August and I’ve almost been climbing the walls at being in the same place, working from my little room at home virtually all year!! It wasn’t planned that way at all .. just the natural rhythm of the universe I guess…  This year already I’ve had a request to go and ‘play’ with the kids at our primary school under the umbrella of teaching them English so for the first time in a long time (12 years … funnily enough) I’ll be employed by someone other than myself and I’ll need to be creative about it.  There’s also a chance I’ll be bringing teenagers to London on Language trips as a part of a new travel – language – teaching – learning entrepreneurial incentive!

We had a family gathering that got miraculously organised during the month of Jupiter in Cancer and we met up for a reunion which saw my own three children in the same room for the first time ever and the first time that all of us had been together since my daughter’s wedding in 2003, before the arrival of all the extra little people… so it was very magical. And even the new baby who, at the time had just had her first photo (12 week scan style) taken ended up to be a Cancer moon baby when she arrived in May.  She  also reincarnated the christian name of our mum Rita who died 20 years ago this month.  Already we have one little girl, Lilly (Ann) who carries her middle name Lillian, and this little one has brought the rest.  We have a lot of Cancer influences in our family with our generations all completely mixed up in ages.  The eldest of the ‘grandchildren’ , my daughter, is 34 this week and the littlest one is just a couple of months old, so huge age gap! but I do think that’s this part of the family circle finally completed.



Bonne Fête Valentine

Bonne Fête Valentine

Ah, it’s le Saint Valentine.

In France there’s a Saint day everyday.  Yesterday it was the Saint Beatrice, so anyone named Beatrice may well have been wished a ‘bonne fête‘.  It’s the name of my little boy’s theatre class teacher, so even though he didn’t see her he sent the wishes through the universe anyway.

It reminded me of my first year here in France.  It was a quiet Sunday morning,       I was in my little apartment all alone and there was a knock a the door.  I opened it to find the old lady from across the road standing there with a huge smile on her face and a red rose in her hand.  She just said  ‘bonne fête Julie’. It was April 8th, le Saint Julie. I knew nothing about the Saint’s days or the customs in France.  I can not tell you how much that warmed my heart! That was 13 years ago, it happened only that one time, but the memories are still as good as if it was yesterday.
So for today, to all the Valentines and Valentinas, bonne fête’.

Tomorrow it’s Claude’s turn to get the good wishes!

And now, it’s coming up to the love filled Leo full moon …and the skies are full of people wishing love wishes and thinking love thoughts!

Here’s mine… “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with”.

Goddess for a Day

Goddess for a Day

I was talking to a very lovely lady on a Skype call the other day (one of the total surprises I got from being on her mailing list by the way..) and we were talking Goddesses.

I could almost hear the squeals of delight as my own Goddess amulets started partying in the velvet bag at the thought of coming out and sharing their wisdom, with me and with you!!!

So first Sacred moment, deep breath, and the Labrys Goddess appeared.  She carries the symbol of the doubled bladed axe of the Amazon tribes of Asia, North Africa, Anatolia and the area around the Black Sea.  These tribes were of women who lived together, celebrating the feminine in all her aspects and fought to preserve their culture against invading forces.

Recently I’ve been aware of a sense of this fighting force that innate warriors tend to use, and it’s a theme I feel strangely uncomfortable with.

In certain tantric practices and rituals there are these similar fighting forces, which I try my best not to visualise.  I love chod practice, the practice for offering of the body, of slicing through the ego by making offerings of what we find most precious to us. The point being to help diminish the sense of clinging we have to our version of reality.

In this goddess I can see that maybe, like it or not, I have old fighting imprints which have caused me suffering in the past and am reluctant to embody this warrior aspect again.  So instead of cutting away what I don’t need I’ve been inadvertently cutting away the source of what I need to accept.

It brought me back to the time in my life when I was separating from my husband and the family was falling apart.  I had to fight a custody battle early on, the court case was set and it was a date that was impossible for me to make.  No choice but to stay home, hundreds of miles away, leaving the whole process in the hands of my lawyer who needed to state my case – without very much knowledge of me personally or my family situation.  My own battle was on the inside, letting go.  I’d said my prayers and pleaded to all the unseen ones who I hoped could hear me to come up with the best result for us all.  I put the radio on.  ‘When I find myself in times of trouble …. mother Mary comes to me … ‘ I could still cry now at the memory of that moment when I dropped to my knees in surrender and just tried to ‘Let it Be’.

Now I think of it, my battle then was just this one, fighting off the invading patriarchal forces. Not because my husband was particularly patriarchal, it was more that I had the opportunity to raise my drawbridge and create a safe goddess home for my scared heart, knowing that the journey would only just be beginning for us all as we untied and broke apart the family life we’d known up to then before creating new lives for ourselves in new places.

There have been many times in my life when I’ve lost my trust. My trust in myself because of my seeming limitations, and my trust in others, and in what I don’t understand,  about those times when things seem crazily and ‘unjustly’ wrong for me or for those around me. I could feel it happening again.

This Goddess is about trust, trust in the process, trust in the truth of our own experience.  When ever we don’t know what to do, if we think we can, if we believe we can’t, in the end we will do something, even if that something feels like not doing anything at all. And that will be our experience. And when we arrive at that place in time again, we will have something to pull on, to guide us, from inside ourselves. And this experience is what we can share. Our experience will touch someone, just at that very moment when they’re losing faith and need a hand to lift them up.

Each decision we make makes the difference.

Nancy Blair, in her Amulets of the Goddess book says ‘You know that your decisions, not your conditions, shape your destiny’.


Sometimes I wonder if the reason we have these hard and painful experiences is not because we’re bad and have somehow got bad karma, but because this is our path, and everything we don’t yet know how to handle comes because we’re still training in our chosen life subject.









Scorpio Full Moon ~ shedding skin

Scorpio Full Moon ~ shedding skin

Just as I was getting the ideas together for this post I had to go and pick up my son from school for lunch.  Usually I don’t have the radio turned on, no idea why it was on today, but luckily it was.

Seal ~ Love’s Divine was on .. a powerful reminder of what happens if ever we lose the thread, the reason why, the belief in our own life in all its glory with all its potential and a broken open expanded heart…


heart tara edit tsok Yeshe Lama

Art work : from my son                Green Tara                            Offerings to the Lama


When I got home I had a different feeling about what I wanted to write and had the idea instead to offer a special Scorpio Moon full moon De~clutter your Mind planet consultation.

..  more of that I think!


Owning up, coming out.

Owning up, coming out.

Today is my day for paying homage to the lineage, so to speak.

Twitter has #FollowFriday where people say thanks to those who’ve followed them or inspired them in some way. But as it’s the condensed version in 140 characters, this week it won’t do, at all!

Today I want to show my total, down on my knees, appreciation for some of the people who’ve made this journey possible. There are women who’ve I’ve worked with closely over the past couple of months and who have become precious mentors for me, and there’s one special person who sits high up on my own special Refuge Tree.

My recent posts have been a bit about my journey and experience, I’ve been writing to let you know a bit about who I am, what type of life I live, what interests me and how I work.

But I have to own up to something….

I was not getting it. I was missing an essential ingredient and without it I couldn’t tell what I was really doing. I couldn’t tell for myself and I couldn’t tell others in a nutshell sentence what I do.

And it was getting more and more painful, I felt my life force being drained, I was getting exhausted and feeling bankrupt in body, mind and in my bank account. The thing is, I always say I don’t really care about money, but care about it or not, at this point in the journey if there’s no money flowing it’s a MASSIVE SHOUT from the universe that something is wrong!

So, without realising that was what it was, I had my very own private *AA meeting this morning. (*I’m thinking of naming my version Avoidance Anonymous)

Finally I stood up in my little studio, and said out loud, to myself ..

Hello, my name’s Julie and I’m an astrologer!

Can you believe that after more than 25 years as a student, a consultant, owner of an astrology shop and personal guide, that I would never ever really say with my hand on my heart that ‘I’m an Astrologer ‘!  I wonder if I was cast out for being a witch or an astrologer in a past life? who knows. I had this little voice in my head reminding me that in the past, astrologers were held in esteem by the King and the Palace, they weren’t at all marginal or weird. They didn’t have to prove where the planets were in the sky or why we could use them to follow our destiny. They were trusted and respected and, even considered essential as the key holders to the way out of samsaric existence.

Funnily enough, in my family being an astrologer is nothing special. It’s more normal than anything else . My great auntie Florrie was a secret mystic who would reading anything she could get her hands on, although mostly she used playing cards and tea leaves. My mum came from a family of women with strong spiritual potential. She herself wouldn’t use her healing powers outwardly and she kept her magic for those closest to her, those who wouldn’t burn her in flames for speaking her truth.

So I guess I was looking for what else I might be, turning my back on what everyone else in the family did, as stroppy miserable teenagers tend to do!

During the Clarity session I had with Ann Brown a few weeks ago I was struggling with something that wasn’t fitting with how I was trying to put my working woman hat back on but still integrate my spiritual life.  I was attracted to her site because of her name. A big ‘walk this way’ signpost from the universe if ever there was one to get to closer to the inner me. My full birth name is Julie Ann Brown.  I blurted out a description of me that I had as a Wild Yogini, and she absolutely heard what I was saying. Now I think of it, this reminds me of that Not the Nine O’ Clock news sketch about the Gerald the Gorilla. The one where Mel Smith (bless him) talks of finding a wild Gorilla, and then Rowan Atkinson chimes up with that classic line; Wild, I was bloody livid!  My Wild Yogini was just that. Livid. Livid that I wouldn’t recognise her, or own her, or bring her out into the open.

So I stood up again, ‘ My name’s Julie and I’m a Yogini!

It all really started on Monday. I finally got round to having my monthly call with Nicola, only just in time for the month of March, so much else has been going on. I wanted to asked some techy questions about the new gallery style website I’m trying to make for my artist partner. We were talking about how to get ourselves to where the people who are looking to work us can actually ‘hire’ us. This week as a result of one link she suggested I follow, she ‘dared’ me to put the real me out in the world. I hadn’t even realised that’s what she’d done and I even wonder if she knew herself! It just naturally comes from working well at what we both have in common I guess.

She sent me to superpower astrologer Lissa Boles’ Soul Map website. I looked around and when I’d finished what I was watching there, I noticed a face that’s become familiar lately, Danielle La Porte. There was the video of the webcast that she gave back in December last year for the launch of the Desire Map. There’s a point where she asks you to ask yourself ‘why you want what you want’. It helps to show you where your motivation is for one! She used the example of someone wanting to earn six figures, ‘to make my mum happy…., keep going, why … and ‘ so I can get the love/approval I always wanted from my mum.’

One thing is for sure, I know in my bones that I have always had my mum’s love and approval. She told us always to go out there and live life full on, find our greatest potential, value ourselves well and always believe in miracles. She wouldn’t have been the slightest bit impressed if I showed up with 6 figures in my bank account, well maybe a little bit.

She would however love this  :  ‘My name’s Julie and I’m a Wild Astrology Yogini’.

Tomorrow would have been her 76th birthday. (April 5th). She died 20 years ago, when she was only 56. Tomorrow is also my daughter’s 11th Wedding anniversary. She chose her Nanny’s birthday as her wedding day and then got married the next year because it fell on a Saturday! My daughter knows too, I hope, that she will always have my love and approval for whoever she is and whatever she does. That’s really our family lineage now.

We’re always told that Yogini is a secret thing. My inner journey is my own private secret business, this my beautiful dakini sister reminded me of this week.. Thank you Sangye Lhamo. So if that means I have to not be doing this for a living, a way of earning money, then I’ll happily go and work in a coffee shop and let it go there.  But if this energy is about transformation and liberation, and it is, it has to be found in the outside world somewhere.  I’m not the first person to work that out, obviously …just about a billionth in-line I’d say….

So you know what, I’ll get out of the way, because I’m betting that the Wild Astrology Yogini has ideas of her own…

The Shifting Ground

The Shifting Ground

Do you ever find that the ground shifts while you’re away and you can’t ever come back to where you were before you left???

I spent these last school holidays away, staying close to the Alps, Hautes-Alpes de Provence, at my late father-in-law’s home.  He died recently and this was the first chance we’d had to go there to organise putting the property up for sale and cleaning up the grounds a little bit.

So now, I’m back home, well back in my own house and back where I live, but something has definitely changed. The place in my mind where this new experience didn’t yet exist has gone now and I’m working from a different ground.

I’m asking myself if what I experienced there was a really big clue, an opening about a new project to take on, there?

I’m checking to see if it was a great introduction to something that I want to develop but couldn’t have found the inspiration where I was?
And, of course I’m also wondering, was it something that showed me that there is always going to be something new, a new idea or ground that will always tempt me away from where I am?

Some very beautiful friends, who know me well, took the time to give me their thoughts and feelings about what they saw …

One said that she felt that maybe I didn’t really appreciate how much what I am already doing is helping so much. That I give what I give, but can’t possibly be aware of the results and the way it deeply benefits the life of the person I’m working with. And that can lead to a sense of hollowness which leads the heart and soul to start looking for something which maybe more useful ‘out there’..

One noticed that there was a clear gaping hole between the wide open inspired richness that seemed possible there, which I was comparing to a poorer and lesser quality of being than I experience when I’m in my home village. She suggested I look at my deeper motivation. Heartfelt advice.

By coincidence ?! Nicola posted a question about ‘why’ you do what you do, I think in the vein of helping us to identify a quality that we had not yet named and something that we could use to help visitors to our sites feel like they’d hit on the right place for them. It sent me off sideways as the first thought that came to my mind was that the reason why I do what I do is that ‘it’s the best thing I can do because I can’t do what I really want to do!’  A clear saboteur thought, as that is so not true, but an archetype that throws a spanner in the works is always a great way to get some perspective on where we are at any given moment..!

It’s often what we use to help our clients and friends and those who consult us that is the last thing we’ll see for our own journey. I had looked at the local space lines of my chart between Labastide and Sisteron and of course was bowled over by the fact that my Venus line went almost through the town itself. ‘A sign, it must be the sign, I will be sooo in tune with my life plan if I go there’. That was the kind of chatting going on.

But when I’m working with people on their local space charts we have to go further and deeper than that. We have to check out what surrounds the awakening that is being revealed, question if it’s a passing phase that will end up not really bringing anything new, or is it a call from the depths to embrace a real talent or quality.
SO I tried taking myself on as a client. Tried to look closer into what the experience might have otherwise been for, what did I not really want to see or what I might have completely missed.

Of course I can never do just exactly what I found there because it was the energy and the potential of that particular place that presented itself. And even if I could develop some of the ideas that I found there in some other way, what would never really be repeated is the uniqueness of what’s energetically there. It reminded me of trips abroad, when I was on a pilgrimage without knowing what that really was that I was doing. New images and feelings and experiences arise and we have some kind of awakening that we bring with us inside us from then on, wherever we go. No matter how I hard I try I just don’t naturally see the appearances of deities and mandalas that appear in my mind that I did in certain places, Israel, Nepal, anywhere where the Lama is teaching; for sure Sacred Places are Sacred places for a reason, they’re not meant to be the same as our ordinary life.

PL in the riverThis, though, was a place where I had been invited to be. When my father-in-law visited in November last year, for the first time he spoke about the ‘kids’ doing the visiting, as if he finally realised that he’d wanted always to be the visitor and not the visited! He said he’d recently read somewhere that it was good for the parent to visit one time and then three months later the kids to pay the return visit. “Oh so it’s us who can finally come to your place in 3 months’ time then?”  He smiled, and you know when you can feel it,  I just knew we’d be there.  I didn’t know that he wouldn’t.  It really feels like a Sacred place.

Now I think about it, my mum’s words of wisdom were along a similar theme. She always said that it takes the universe, guardian angels, whoever is in control, three months to set up the changes, so that everyone in the chain as it were, can hear the message and to get themselves moving on the inside.

I remembered that I’d pulled the ‘Courage’ Buddha card for the theme of the new wooden horse year, along with Surrender, amongst others.

This story is clearly not finished, not by a long shot. I’m going to keep going and see where it leads.

Maras in pyjamas and the gift of Losar

Maras in pyjamas and the gift of Losar

Who would have thought it. Lovely gentle Pisces new moon.  Funny thing is that being an astrology coach I’m assuming that on days like new moons, it’s important to write about events just as they’re happening, nice fresh hot off the press information about the planetary sky to share, the kind of  “this gives us all the chance to get into our dreams, beyond our limits” guidance ..

This weekend as well as it was Losar, the Tibetan New Year and start of the year of the wood horse, it would be the perfect time to be inspired and poetic about the year ahead. Yes!

Only I didn’t really take account of what it might mean for me until it was right on me and the impact was strong!  We’d already had the start of the wood horse year in the Chinese calendar, and already things had changed, my wood horse partner had finally managed to get a new project – well a garage workshop built-in the back garden that had been sitting around in pieces since last autumn, and in its idea form had been hanging around unfinished for about 2 years!

Yesterday though it was my turn.  My Buddhist lineage must have put me fair and square in harmony with this new year, if you can call harmony the word! Something inside was raging and I can only put it down to the last hours of transformation that were coming from the female snake year on her way out.

I checked inside at all the ‘little things’ that were bothering me and really had to check if I was being overly demanding, unreasonable to want things my way, you know the kind of nonsense we sometimes have in believing that being a nice person means that we never get angry or we never do something where we might end up hurting or offending someone else.
AND then I got it.  All the people who I’ve unwittingly hurt in the past appeared in front of my eyes! Well probably not all of them, but I saw where I’d let down those closest to me all along. What I can’t change from the past but I can do something about not taking that into to the future. This was exactly my transformation end of snake year snake bite!  The part of the training where you get to take an exam in full-on ‘delivered straight to the door’ mode’.  My own growing pains of shedding a skin and having the courage of my path, to understand that what has held me back time and time again.

I’d had a ‘clarity session’ earlier in the week, an exchange for doing some research with a lovely lady coach, Ann Brown, who was going a bit deeper into her business research about how to find her right clients. I was surprised with what I found lurking in the depths of my belief system. Confusion and doubt about what being a spiritual person, and ‘committed’ Buddhist practitioner really ‘is’ and truthfully what it was meaning to me.  I got a glimpse of where I was stuck. And with her insight she gave me just the space I needed to see why. I did say to her at the time that the image of doing my driving test came to my head. It felt like maybe I’d mistaken the ‘demon’ for just the process of growing through my deeply held belief about who I was or should be. I guess it’s a classic part of the archetypal journey.

In the archetypal Buddhist journey, there’s the part where disillusioned Siddhartha leaves his home in the middle of the night and is faced with all kinds of obstacle makers on his path. The Maras. The frightening demons and the beautiful goddesses, symbolic of what temps us to stay where we are promising dream come true and all desires met.

And I could feel it, the road heading away from my castle, heading away from the moat walls that were ‘protecting’ me from the outside world in some way.  It’s not the first time I’ve been brave and walked away, from situations, people, towns, jobs, life styles. But somehow something was different. I wasn’t walking away, I’m walking towards where I want to be.  There isn’t really something scary on the outside that is blocking me either.

Maras in pyjamasMy Maras were wearing fluffy pink pyjamas.  They were showing me my comfort zone, where maybe I could stay a little longer, and where maybe I would stay forever. And it wouldn’t have been so bad.  After all, seems I have everything that I need?

Yeah, except that sense of fulfilling the ‘why’ that I’m even in this lifetime! Ha, that was scary.

No-one else can do this for me, no one else can reach inside and find my passion to live my highest potential out here in the world.

It always takes courage, always a little bit more than you have right there on that day.
Even at my age there’s still a part of me ‘leaving home’ everyday, in fact it’s almost happening every minute. And I’ve stopped thinking I need somehow to always work this out by myself. It’s not a journey with an end and I’ve rediscovered the joy of being where others are as well.  For dharma practitioners there’s the sangha, those walking the same path to awakening.  There comes a time where the sangha are least where you’re expecting to find them!

There’s always another step to take and someone there with just the words of wisdom to help take it.
As I was finishing writing this post the latest mail from Danielle LaPorte arrived in my in-box.  She bought herself a hot tub. I just bought myself some new purple tights!

A bit about marbles and Saturn and courage

I woke this morning to a discussion going on in the living room about a marble. Apparently one little lad at school really wants, but want, wants, wants, the one my son won the other day .. so much so that if he doesn’t get it then he’s going to get physical. Playground aggression, 8-year-old style.

So what were the options:  So far these were on the table…  next to the tiny round ball of glass.

1. Takes the marble to school, but gently declines the offer to exchange, and risks a punch in the face.

2 and 3. Doesn’t take the marble to school, either  ‘forgot’ it, or because and he can use these very words… ‘papa says he’s not up for his son being menaced’ so he had to leave it at home.

4. Takes it to school and exchanges it .. knowing it will make his ‘friend’ happy, but worried that thinking his threats won the day, the situation will just comes round again.

Then something came to my mind. I remembered reading about a Lama who was asked to give advice about something similar, and advice from a Lama rarely follows logic and reasoning!  I recalled the story ..the advice, in short ..was for the man asking the question to go and apologise to his angry and aggressive neighbour! “’Tell him you’re sorry for having upset him, and take him a present!”

Option 5. Maybe just give him the marble? Don’t say anything, little kids wouldn’t get the point of the apology and the karmic explanation. Or would they?

Deep breath, a moment’s reflection .. ah of course …the Scorpio moon, and even more-so, a Scorpio moon heading towards Saturn. Ouch! And guess what.. both boys are Scorpios! Power struggle.. or chance to get some insight into going beyond fear.

Well he’s gone to school with the marble, so options 2 and 3 are out. As he went out the door he was swinging between option 5 and option 4.  Bless him. We’ll see what he chose later.

This is SO NOT about marbles!

New Moon, New Wooden Horse year

New Moon, New Wooden Horse year

Today I pulled out my little Buddha card deck. I haven’t used it for a long time but just recently I got it out again. I usually just take one card for the day, but as I was shuffling the pack I noticed that there were seven cards that were turned in the opposite direction to the rest.  I took them all. As it’s a new moon cycle as well as a new year cycle I can only imagine these will be the theme for the next month but also maybe the year ahead.

So first up it seems, is Surrender. Let see what that brings …….!

7 cards