Aries: The Nighttime, Daytime, Multitasking, Take-Charge, Do-It-All Zodiac Sign

“Hi, my name is Jen M…”hellojen
My Aries brethren, in welcoming unison: “Hi, Jen.”
“…and I’m an Aries.”

Enter a deep sigh of relief. After all, acknowledging one has a problem is half the proverbial battle.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve said it to death: none of us are pure Sun signs. (Yes, that includes you.) We have Ascendants and Moons and planets — oh my! — all of which serve to modify our Sun in various ways, depending upon the respective zodiac signs by which each of those are ruled, their aspects to one another in the natal chart, and so on. But as my trusty Aquarian tree amigo likes to remind me, the Sun always shines, and for today at least, we’re gonna take a closer look at a Sun sign, save the effects of any other factors in the chart.

Why start with Aries? My reasons are twofold. Yes, I admit it: one reason is because I happen to have been born a Ram. But my second reason for beginning with Aries is because it also happens to be the first sign of the zodiac, so my bias is justified (as I keep telling myself. No worries, Bull folk: you’re second in line, so I’ll pick on y’all next. You’re welcome.)

ariestraitsFirst, let’s start with the basics of the sign of the Ram. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that if you know anything whatsoever about astrology, particularly Sun signs, you’re at least somewhat familiar with the traits of an Aries. If you are married to, friends with, in a relationship with, work with, gave birth to, were created by, or are an Aries, you undoubtedly have enough knowledge on this subject to write your own article (or horror story, as the case may be.) But I digress…

Aries is a fire sign. This statement should be self-explanatory, but just in case it’s got you scratching your head, asking, “what in fresh hell does that even mean?!”, allow me to briefly explain. There are four elements in astrology (fire, earth, air, and water), and each element holds sway over three signs. Each element brings with it its own qualities which it imparts into the Sun sign it governs. In the case of Aries’ ruler, fire, we see traits such as sudden bursts of energy, a quick temper (that, fortunately, subsides equally quickly), passion, and flashes of inspiration.

Aries is also a cardinal sign. There are three qualities associated with the zodiac signs: cardinal, mutable, and fixed. Each of these govern four signs, and Aries falls under the cardinal quality. This imparts additional traits including assertiveness and a stick-to-itiveness which means they’ll dig their heels in and persevere until they achieve their goals…and don’t even think about telling them they can’t do it. They will be more than happy to prove you wrong.

Some of the more common qualities associated with the sign of Aries include (but oh good lord, are certainly not limited to) the following:

  • impatience (oh, don’t I know it…)
  • jealousy — not necessarily as a result of low self-esteem, but more from a desire to be the center of attention
  • competitiveness…and I mean really, really competitive: Aries must be the best in everything they do
  • spontaneity and nearly-instantaneous decision-making
  • leadership; a need to be their own boss
  • extreme stubbornness and determination
  • complete, unshakable loyalty to friends and family
  • adventurous in the bedroom (you’ve been warned…)
  • a love of the outdoors and/or sports
  • generosity, sometimes to a fault (hint: just shut up and let Aries pick up the check. We want to.)
  • a tendency to get in a hurry and/or take unnecessary risks (drive too fast, jump out of perfectly good airplanes, etc.)skydiving
  • taking on many responsibilities at once
  • and way too many more to list here…

No, not every trait will apply across the board to every Aries on Earth (due to modifications of our Sun qualities by other aforementioned chart factors.) But stubborn Ram that I am, I assure you, these qualities will be present, to one degree or another, in just about every Aries with whom you cross paths.

Because I am an Aries (did I already mention that?), I’ll use my own personality traits as an example here (and try my damndest not to mention the modifying effects of my Pisces Ascendant and Aquarius Moon on my Aries Sun.) So here goes. If you are a fellow Ram or have one in your life, see if you can relate to some of my experiences. If so, I’d love it if you would share them in the comments section.(After all, we have to stick together!)

  • spongebob multitaskAt this time in my life, I am attending school (both online and on-campus) in pursuit of a degree in surgical technology and nursing by spring 2017. In addition to maintaining an A average, I answer astrological questions which my clients, as well as fellow astrologers, email to me, create and interpret natal charts for new clients, create flip-flops which are made-to-order (for more info/pics, shoot me an email at BornUnderABlondeSign@gmail.com), am a registered mystery shopper, produce video presentations for birthdays, anniversaries, memorial services, births, and just about any occasion imaginable (for info, please email me at the above address; to view some of my creations, visit my YouTube channel, to which there is a link at the top of this page), work as a publicist and editor for acclaimed up-and-coming author A.L. LaFleur and her amazing series of books which, of course, I highly recommend (you can follow her on Twitter and add her on Google+ as well, and be sure to check out her books on Amazon). All of this in addition to homework, daily workouts at Planet Fitness (for nearly two years now), traveling to Kansas on a semi-regular basis to help my lovely (if a bit disorganized) Libra mother-in-law and visit my awesome Sadge son and his amazing Leo fiancee, annual trips to West Virginia to visit my deceased ex-Cancer hubs’s family, and last but certainly not least, heading out to Arizona two to three times a year to visit my beautiful Scorpio daughter and her husband and family, including my nearly-8 year-old incredible Libra grandson and my
    My precious lil Pisces & Libra grandbabies

    My precious lil Pisces & Libra grandbabies

    relatively new, 7 month-old, perfectly gorgeous Pisces granddaughter. Whew! And I haven’t even mentioned gardening, spending time with my Cancer-Gemini cusp hubs, cooking, the daily household grind, and if you think for one second I’m going to miss an episode of anything involving Gordon Ramsay, you’re out of your mind. So yeah. Lotsa irons in the proverbial fire and endless multitasking for this Ram. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I thrive under pressure.

  • I have a terrible time letting anyone pick up a check when we are out on the town, be it a lunch date or in the club inhaling margaritas. However, because my video production “company” isn’t called Struggling Student Productions because it’s a catchy name, I’ve been able to relax a little bit with that lately…knowing that there will come a day when I will be able — and more than happy — to overspend on anyone who paid my way. My Aries pride will simply have it no other way.
  • lightningThere are few things I enjoy more than being outdoors (except for winter!) I love opening the windows on the first bright, warm spring day and letting the scents of budding life waft through my home, enjoying and chasing the severe storms/tornadoes which are a fact of life in my neck of the woods in the springtime. During the summer, my perfect day is spent poolside (or lakeside, feeling the indescribable bliss of the sun’s warmth on my skin in contrast to the cool water. And in autumn, I’m mesmerized by thefallleaves palette of nature’s earthy colors on the falling leaves, cool evenings snuggled up in a hoodie with a beer around a bonfire, and watching as my Sooners (almost) invariably annihilate whichever team in their conference against which they’re playing. BOOMER SOONER!boomersooner
  • My bucket list includes jumping out of that aforementioned perfectly good airplane, and the rumors are true: I have a lead foot. Damn Aries impatience…

Need I go on? Probably not.

But with all its foibles, the benefits of being born a Ram are pretty damn sweet. We’re tenacious, protective of those we love, the life of any party, and when one of us enters a room, you know it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.aries

In fact, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Some famous Aries include…

  • Lady Gaga

    Lady Gaga

    Lady Gaga

  • Emma Watson
  • Robert Downey, Jr.

    Robert Downey, Jr.

    Robert Downey, Jr.

  • Kourtney Kardashian
  • Peyton Manning
  • Jennifer Garner
  • Jim Parsons

    Jim Parsons

    Jim Parsons

  • Quentin Tarantino
  • Pharrell Williams
  • Akon
  • Mike Henry
  • David Letterman

 

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Lucky Star: Jupiter In The Signs

“Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight…
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have this wish I wish tonight.” ~ late nineteenth century nursery rhyme

You’ve probably heard that little ditty since you were knee high to a grasshopper. I’ll even go one further and venture a guess that more than likely, you’ve also wished it, upon seeing the first star appear in the night sky. (So have I.)

What you may or may not realize is that you weren’t wishing on a star at all. You were, in all likelihood, wishing on Venus. Furthermore, Venus isn’t even considered astrologically lucky. That distinction, dear follower, belongs to…wait for it…Jupiter.

Jupiter

Named for the Roman God Jupiter, it is an inhospitable gas giant, fifth planet from our Sun. With a mass of two and a half times all the other planets in our solar system combined, with a composition of mostly hydrogen and one-quarter helium, Jupiter is not only the largest planet in our solar system (to say the least) and the third brightest object in the night sky (after the Moon and Venus), but also, due to its sheer enormity and composition, some scientists believe it might even be a failed second Sun.

The Roman God Jupiter

The Roman God Jupiter

I don’t know about you, but none of that seems very “lucky” to me…

Nonetheless, in the astrological world, Jupiter is known as the planet of luck and things that come with great ease or favorable situations that seem to fall into your proverbial lap. It also governs long-distance travel. It rules the Sun sign of Sagittarius, a sign traditionally known for being, well, lucky. Someone with the good fortune of having Jupiter at “home” in Sagittarius in their chart would tend to notice an enhanced trend toward lucky breaks and finding themselves in the right place at the right time. Building on that premise, if they had Jupiter (planet of luck) in Sagittarius in the Second House of their natal chart (which represents money, possessions, and creature comforts), you just might see them being heralded as the latest Powerball Jackpot winner on the evening news…and wait a minute, what’s this? Not just the Powerball Jackpot winner, but the winner of the largest Powerball Jackpot in the history of the world! Furthermore, our uber-fortuitous Jupiter-Second-House-Sadge probably found the winning ticket on the floor of the bank where he was depositing his million-dollar inheritance check or something. (I know, I know. I hate him too.)

Make no mistake about it, Jupiter has its negative aspects as well: it can encourage laziness, weight gain, and lack of motivation.

To nutshell it, Jupiter makes “big” whatever it touches. Whatever the qualities of the sign Jupiter finds itself in, will be amplified on a grand scale.

So, I ask you: do you feel lucky? Well, do ya? (Yeah, cheesy, but come on, you knew that was coming!) Let’s see what your Jupiter placement means for you. If you don’t know where your Jupiter is, you can find out here.

JUPITER IN ARIES
Let’s take a look at Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Both do things in a big way. Huge families. Lotsa kids. Blockbuster movies.  Both are fancydinJupiter-Ariens. The sign of Aries already thrives on outdoing everyone else in every way; it really doesn’t need any help from Jupiter (I can say this because I am an Aries.) But ohhhh, when Jupiter’s expansiveness and luck combines with the Arien drive, impulsiveness, impatience, and generosity, you have the makings for someone who just can’t seem to put the brakes on anything, whether it’s taking on lots of extra responsibilities, work projects, lending money, you name it. If they take you out to dinner, don’t argue if your Jupiter-Ram dining companion tries to snatch the check away from you: just let go, sit back, smile, and shut up. Your money is no good here. Jupiter-Aries truly wants to pay your way — it’s an ego issue; they need to pay — and pay your way they will…at the finest restaurant in town, spare no expense, lest a Jupiter-Arien be outdone by someone else (perish the thought.) But the wait staff better make it snappy; Jupiter-Arien is also impatient on a grand scale, and when made to wait longer than they feel is necessary (the horror), they can throw a grand scale-sized tantrum.

JUPITER IN TAURUS
Taurus is the sign of comfort, home, and security. A Taurus is family-oriented, stable, and typically has one hell of a green thumb. Look inmoneyhoard the backyard of a Bull and take in vast array of blooms and herbs and a well-tended vegetable garden you wish you had. Now look in the backyard of a Jupiter-Taurean. It’s like the difference between sepia-toned Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz emerging through the door to Technicolor. The same virtual Garden of Eden you saw in the Bull’s backyard, but on a much grander scale. Taureans are geniuses when it comes to saving (*cough* hoarding *cough*) money as well as investing, so their bank accounts are sure to be quite comfortable, which Jupiter-Taurus appreciates. One caveat here is that Jupiter-Taurus is prone to overindulgence (in food, drink, spending, in pretty much everything) so they need to be mindful of this in order to keep their good fortune.

JUPITER IN GEMINI
sanfordsonThe airy sign of Gemini is a witty, free-spirited communicator. When we combine these traits with Jupiter’s “in a big way” lucky influence, we find someone who will probably find luck comes to them via communication in one form or another (speaking, writing, lecturing, teaching), and to do so in a way that instantly wins others over, making people comfortable. Energetic Gemini is a multitasking wizard; Jupiter’s influence will likely find a Twin enthusiastically saying “yes!” to every task asked of them, only to find themselves quickly becoming bored with one and jumping from project to project as each one fails to hold Jupiter-Gemini’s interest long enough to see any of them come to fruition. Take a gander around the house of a Jupiter-Twin. I’ll bet you my right arm you are going to see piles of projects that are still in the infancy stages (be it artsy things, or anything really: scrapbooking needing done, piles of papers about lord-knows-what collecting dust while waiting for flighty Jupiter-Gemini to organize it. Now go take a look outside; double or nothing says the yard could pass for Sanford & Son. (Incidentally, Jupiter-Librans are often similar to Jupiter-Geminians in this aspect.) See, the thing is, an airy, happy-go-lucky Jupiter-Gemini would rather spend its time communicating and engaging: talking, emailing, texting, visiting friends or family…for to be corralled inside a home with a metric frack ton of organizing needing to be done is entirely too overwhelming…the procrastination continues, and round and round we go. At least Jupiter-Gemini is having fun! They might consider hiring a Jupiter-Virgo for help in getting those piles of “to-do” projects in order once and for all…hyperorganized Jupiter-Virgo would love nothing more! It’s a win-win.

JUPITER IN CANCER
Cancer is an incredibly intuitive sign (as are the other two water signs, Scorpio & Pisces) and Jupiter’s influence only amplifies an already

Michelle Duggar is the poster child for Jupiter-Cancerians: 19 kids & a sprawling home!

Michelle Duggar is the poster child for Jupiter-Cancerians: 19 kids & a sprawling home!

uncanny ability. If a Jupiter-Cancerian can learn to trust their intuition to guide them, luck can come to them in droves. I’m not exaggerating. Too many of us try to rationalize our gut feelings, talking ourselves out of them. This is a mistake! We should all learn to heed our so-called sixth sense, particulary Jupiter-Cancerians. Good fortune will come to a Jupiter-Crab via their intuition if they can just learn to trust it. Additionally, the sign of Cancer is extremely home & family-oriented and highly sensitive, and they will likely find luck in any undertaking involving food (chef, catering) or nurturing (child care, nursing, hospice worker). Cancers are…how you say…thrifty? (okay, cheap!) and Jupiter’s influence here will allow a Crab all the more ability to accumulate a nice little nest egg, as financial security is verrrry important to this one. Yes, I know, it’s important to most people…but it’s re-he-heally important to a Crab. My eldest son is a Jupiter-Crab and let’s just say the shoe is a perfect fit. Tangible signs of a Jupiter-Cancerian might include a big, showy home and/or lots of kids (Cancer is the sign of hearth & home as well as family.) On that note, guess who is a Jupiter-Cancerian? That’s right: Michelle “19 Kids and Counting” Duggar (born 09/13/1966; check her birthdate for yourself here and then go here for her Jupiter sign. Now tell me astrology is “hokum,” Sheldon Cooper!) Her husband of 29 years, Jim Bob Duggar, is a Jupiter-Gemini…though his Sun is in Cancer.

JUPITER IN LEO
The Lion is already pretty much the showiest, most self-absorbed Sun sign we’ve got. When we add Jupiter’s own “do it up big” influence, watch out. Now we’ve got an individual who will not settle for less than being the star of the show, but one who won’t settle for less than being the biggest star in history of the biggest show in history: ladies and gentlemen, give it up for…JUPITER-LEO! Jupiter-Lions love to play and they do so on the grandest scale ever. They will throw ginormous holiday bashes, birthday parties, baby showers, backyard barbecues, mitzvahs, memorial services, weddings, and graduation parties that will blow. your. mind. Everything is over-the-top with this one. However, they are incredibly generous creatures (with affection as well as money) and they’ll shower you with both. This one talks a big game (read: exaggerates a great deal) but they are bursting with charisma and their outgoing natures seemingly effortlessly attract success and good fortune. Their presence can seem larger than life and at times it can even be overwhelming just to be in the same room with them, but they truly do have hearts of gold and people are drawn to their vivacity. Celebrities with Jupiter in Leo include Pink, Mick Jagger, Bill Gates, Bette Davis, Layne Staley, Whoopi Goldberg, and Robert DeNiro.

JUPITER IN VIRGO
Ah, the Virgo. Prudent, cautious, critical, cynical, and so meticulous it frequently borders on OCD. And it’s these very qualities that will likely bring Jupiter-Virgo the most luck in life, which they prefer to be as routine and simple as possible. I once had a neighbor with this Jupiter placement. He got off work every day at 5:30pm. And every day at 5:37pm, his white truck could be seen through my living room window, pulling into his parking space. You could set your watch by it. Likewise, every morning at 7:20am on the dot, while getting ready for work, I would hear his truck start up. I didn’t even need to look at a clock to know I had ten minutes to finish up and leave for work myself. But, I digress… The Virgin is an extremely hardworking, dependable creature and a Jupiter-Virgo is someone you definitely want in your corner when the stakes are high. They are sticklers for petty details and they will ponder every possible way out of any undesirable circumstance you can imagine. Their attention to the most minute details can work wonderfully in their favor or backfire tremendously, depending on the situation. My daughter has this Jupiter placement and it fits her to a tee. Furthermore, my creature of habit, simple life-loving Cancer-cusp other half is also Jupiter-Virgo and as much as he abhors the thought of  being “predictable,” let me just say now, I’m sorry, baby…but you and I both know you are.  And while it’s true they are highly critical, they are actually the most critical of themselves…but no worries, they’re almost as critical of you and they’re never shy about pointing out how you “shoulda” done this differently or you “coulda” done that better (both of which are the Jupiter-Virgo way, no doubt) and if you had, things “woulda” been more favorable. Hard as it might be to swallow (believe me, I know: I was born to a Jupiter-Virgo father), this really is their (albeit maddening) way of showing you they care about you. Yes, by reminding you on a regular basis what bad choices you’ve made and basically what a stellar fuck-up mess you’ve made of your life, that translates to “I love you” in Jupiter-Virgo. Yay. Can you imagine the things that would spew forth from their mouths if they hated you?

JUPITER IN LIBRA
Librans abhor injustice, confrontation, and all things unfair. When Jupiter has this placement, the individual will tend to find success in endeavors dealing with such things. Jupiter-Libra makes an incredibly fair, impartial judge or referee. The downside here, however, is that decision-making is absolute torture for Jupiter-Libra, and that process is even more excruciating for the rest of us to be forced to bear witness to. They hesitate…and vacillate…and hesitate some more. Then, when we all breathe a collective sigh of relief that they have finally come to a verdict — perhaps as to whether or not to choose paper or plastic in the checkout line — they second-guess themselves and they start trying to re-decide. Remember the 1987 movie “Planes Trains & Automobiles” with Steve Martin and John Candy? In the opening scene, Steve Martin’s character is sitting in a conference room impatiently waiting for a stuffy business associate who is agonizing over a marketing decision. That guy has Jupiter-Libra written all over him. But the positive thing about the Jupiter-Libra way of coming to a decision is that once they finally do get there (and they will, eventually) it’s almost always the right one.

JUPITER IN SCORPIO
Wow. Just…wow. If Jupiter’s influence is to expand and amplify everything it touches, and Scorpio is a highly intense, passionate, sexual sign…well, you can let your imagination take over from there. Sorry guys, this doesn’t imply that if you are a Jupiter-Scorpion that you’re hung like a horse (my apologies to you as well, ladies.) I’m talking about non-physical traits. But what it does indicate is that an individual with this Jupiter placement will very likely have a libido the likes of which you might have never before encountered. Unfortunately, Jupiter-Scorpio could also have a jealous streak the likes of which you might have never before encountered. In any event, Scorpio in general has a lot of creativity and Jupiter’s influence here indicates the native can find ample success in creative endeavors: interior decorating, the entertainment industry, writing, sculpting, architecture…the possibilities are limitless. For example, some famous (and infamous) Jupiter-Scorpions include Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, Charles Manson, Stephen King, Ted Bundy, Britney Spears, and River Phoenix. Now, if those aren’t intense, creative personalities, I don’t know who are.

JUPITER IN SAGITTARIUS
As I mentioned earlier in this post, Jupiter rules the don’t-fence-me-in sign of Sagittarius and because it’s at home here, their influences on one another are twofold. While Jupiter-Sadge can come across as a rather annoying know-it-all, they seem to attract good fortune through their outgoing personalities which makes it easy for them to become instant friends with nearly anyone they meet. Jupiter-Sadge is also big on travel, the further the distance and the greater the degree of spontanaeity, the better! Archers also have a tendency to blurt out the first thing on their mind, rarely stopping to think first whether it might be too brusque or cause some hurt feelings, though malice is rarely their intent.  My almost-six year-old Libra grandson is a Jupiter-Sadge and oh lord, this description fits him like an adorable little glove. Between their far and wide wanderlust adventures, always ready to jump into new experiences with both feet, and a knack for getting along with just about anyone, good fortune seems to fall into the Archer’s lap faster than you can say “let’s go for it!” Some celebrities with this Jupiter placement include Mila Kunis, Cameron Diaz, Prince Charles of Wales, Hillary Clinton, and of course, the blunt, feeling-hurtin’, arrogant son of a bitch we love to hate: Simon Cowell.

JUPITER IN CAPRICORN
Don’t let this one fool you. Jupiter-Capricorns often have a serious look on their face, a furrowed brow that makes you wonder just what in fuckville they are thinking so intently about. But the thing is, that’s just how they appear. These folks have naturally serious, sometimes even annoyed facial expressions. What you might not realize is that under that stoic surface, these are some of the funniest people you will ever meet (if their scary-sour expression doesn’t make you turn and walk the other way first!) They have very witty, very dry, and frequently very dark senses of humor and, better than nearly any other Jupiter placement, know how to make the best of a not-so-hot situation. They’re the one who will say things for shock value; they’ll crack a joke during a sensitive or otherwise serious situation in which no one else would dare…but those other folks will be glad for the fleeting comic relief, as it puts others at ease. (Besides, Jupiter-Cappy is only saying what everyone else was already thinking!) I happen to have this Jupiter placement and I can’t even begin to count the number of people over the years who have determined immediately upon seeing me (not meeting me, mind you – seeing me) that I’m a hateful, antisocial snob (thank you, Natural Facial Expression) and subsequently concluded, on the basis of that “information” alone, they did not like me. Books by covers… Anyway, moving on. Jupiter-Goats often find success through making lasting, good first impressions. The Goat has a formidable work ethic and is known for thinking outside the proverbial box, coming up with solid ideas. They are quite an organized people and along with Jupiter-Virgo, some of the hardest workers you will ever meet. They are incredibly resourceful and always seem to come up with ways to increase their bank balances. With Jupiter-Cappy, financial success is frequently a side-effect of diligent work and putting new moneymaking ideas in motion. Eminem, Charlie Chaplin, Katy Perry, Carmen Electra, and my youngest son are all Jupiter-Cappies (and yeah, the above description is pretty much a spot-on assessment of my say-anything-for-shock-value son.) Incidentally, Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein were both Jupiter-Goats (and aside from the obvious fact that they were both pure evil incarnate, they were pretty shocking, dark individuals…to say the least.)

JUPITER IN AQUARIUS
If Jupiter-Capricorn is skilled at thinking outside the proverbial box, then a Jupiter-Aquarian invented the box and mastered the fine art of thinking outside of it.  Though Jupiter-Water Bearers shudder at the thought of shouldering loads of serious responsibilities (they’ll still do it, they just don’t want to, and they will probably procrastinate as long as possible beforehand), they are full of some of the most offbeat, eccentric ideas you will ever be exposed to. However, they really don’t want to roll up their sleeves and get down to the nitty-gritty nuances or excruciating minutae of putting any of those fascinating brainstorms in motion (maybe they, too, should hire a Jupiter-Virgo to help out with that, who lives for mundane details.)  Jupiter-Water Bearers will rattle off one inventive, amazing idea after another all day long, but if it will ever be seen through to fruition, you can bet Jupiter-Aquarius won’t usually be the one doing the sweaty work to make it a reality. Jupiter-Aquarians love going in directions before which no one else dared to tread; to discover new ways of doing things, to learn as much as possible. Many Jupiter-Water Bearers find success in unorthodox fields such as controversial branches of medicine or science, cult leaders (you heard me), and inventors. Jupiter-Aquarius is a humanitarian like no other who wants to make the world a better place. They are somewhat lacking in self-discipline however, and they usually don’t accumulate much wealth over their lifetimes because they believe money was made to be spent and enjoyed, not hoarded…and this is the least materialistic Jupiter placement in the zodiac. Water Bearers treasure friendships like none other. They are incredibly popular without even trying to be, as their unconventional personalities and quick wit draws people to them like moths to a flame. I’ll bet you’re dying to know the names of some notable Jupiter-Aquarians. Well, no need to die; I’ll tell you: Albert Einstein, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Jim Carrey, Axl Rose, Hugh Hefner, and Britney Spears.

JUPITER IN PISCES
Few things warm the Piscean heart more than being of service to others. This empathetic, highly sensitive Fish is arguably among the most compassionate, tender-hearted folks in all the Land of the Zodiac, always standing at the ready to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Jupiter’s influence on Pisces is to amplify and expand upon those admirable qualities, and a Jupiter-Fish has much luck in career areas such as counseling, social work, the ministry, or even through volunteer work, particularly with organizations that benefit the hungry and/or the homeless, abused children, or animal shelters, for water signs have quite a soft spot for any animal or human in need. Stray animals need stray no further than Chez Jupiter-Pisces’ front door, for this is an individual who can’t say no to a creature in need of food and shelter, which the sensitive, empathetic Fish will cheerfully provide. A Jupiter-Fish is also one of the more psychic Jupiter placements, though like Jupiter-Cancer, they don’t always have enough confidence in their instincts to really let their abilities work in their favor. The negative aspects of Jupiter’s influence on Pisces, however, gives a marked tendency toward escapism. Pisceans wear rose-colored glasses, only seeing what they want to see, and Jupiter-Pisceans wear those really big, oversized novelty rose-colored glasses. Sometimes a Jupiter-Fish spends a bit too much time in their own version of reality and not infrequently, the line between fantasy and reality becomes blurred (hopefully those rose-colored glasses are sporting prescription lenses…) Folks with this watery Jupiter placement have a much greater likelihood of their escapism consisting of alcohol or drug abuse as well, even more so than just the plain ol’ Pisces Sun. But when a person has a Pisces Sun in addition to Jupiter in Pisces, that particular likelihood all but becomes a virtual certainty. This one is also especially prone toward depressive tendencies. That said, Pisces is an artist, poet, and dreamer…and Jupiter’s expansive influence allows Jupiter-Pisces to dream big. There’s nothing wrong with that! Vincent Van Gogh, Sigmund Freud, Frank Sinatra, Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Allen Poe, and “Mommie Dearest” herself: Joan Crawford.

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  • Topics coming soon to Born Under a Blonde Sign include Saturn in the signs, Uranus in the signs, Neptune in the signs, detailed descriptions of each Sun sign, Ascendant sign, and Moon sign, as well as in-depth articles on examining compatibility between the signs. 
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Behind Every Accident Lies An Intentional Act

worrying“Like tomorrow was a gift
And you got eternity to think about what you’d do with it…
An’ what did you do with it?
An’ what can I do with it?
An’ what would I do with it?
Skydiving, I went Rocky Mountain climbing…
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu…
And then I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
And I watched Blue Eagle as it was flyin’…
An’ he said someday, I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin’.” ~ Tim McGraw, “Live Like You Were Dyin'”

I’m a worrier. That’s just what I do, who I am, and always have been. No doubt due — at least in part — to a watery, depressive Pisces Ascendant and an overactive imagination brought to you in part by an Aquarius Moon. I remember one time in particular when I was just eight years old, my mom and stepdad hadn’t returned to pick me up from a relative’s house on time and there I was, a third grader, pacing the floor, convinced that they had succumbed to a fiery vehicular death. I wondered who would take care of me if they died? Needless to say, I was wrong. But when they finally arrived, I overheard my great-aunt chuckle to my mom, “I’ll tell you what, that little girl is something else. What a worry wart…she’s gonna give herself an ulcer!” That was the first time I’d ever heard the phrase “worry wart.”

And that’s just one example. In fact, I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t suffer from anxiety, to one degree or another. I don’t remember when, how, or why it began; I just know I’ve always been that way. Maybe it’s in my DNA. I have a very vivid memory of being three years old and having a tummy ache…and anxiously thinking, “I hope it’s not cancer!” Yes, you read that correctly: at the age of THREE. At that age, I hadn’t yet known anyone who had ever had cancer, let alone should I have known what cancer even was. But I had enough grasp of the concept to know it wasn’t good, and that it could kill you. An angst-ridden, hypochondriac toddler. Oh, I must have been a joy to be around.

Every human being on the planet worries, at least occasionally, and some more so than others. And usually, our fears are unfounded. When someone is running late, as I described in the example above, or we can’t reach them, we might begin to play out horrible possible scenarios in our minds that tragedy has befallen them. But about 99 percent of the time, we’re relieved when we learn everything is okay. The chest pains turn out to be muscular and not due to a massive heart attack; your child didn’t make it home from school not because he fell prey to a shady stranger luring him with candy from a windowless van, but because he stopped off at a friend’s house and forgot to call you; your excruciating headache is “only” a migraine, not a ruptured aneurysm…you get the idea. We’ve all had these or similar experiences.

So what about that remaining one percent of the time…when you’re worried something terrible has happened…except this time, your worst-case imagined scenario turns out to be very real?

“Mama put my guns in the ground…worry
I can’t shoot them anymore
That cold black cloud is comin’ down…
Feels like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door.” ~ Guns N Roses, “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”

I am in a long-term live-in relationship with a wonderful Cancer-Gemini cusp named Mike who is my polar opposite when it comes to worrying. Where I am wringing my hands, pacing the floor, imagining the worst, Mike is the rational, level-headed one who reassures me that whatever it is I’m freaking out about is going to be fine. In fact, at that point he’s likely going to offer me a beer and encourage me to relax. This is intriguing to me because Mike was born within four and a half hours after the Sun entered Cancer, but close enough to the Cancer-Gemini cusp that he tends to exhibit more Geminian traits than Cancer traits…although astrologically speaking, he has a Cancer Sun and because the Sun always shines, it’s a little unusual that many of his behaviors and tendencies are more Twin-influenced than Crab-influenced. That’s the long way of saying Cancers tend to be worriers, yet my Cancer man doesn’t seem to be one. However, I was married for several years to an easily stressed, somewhat-hypochondriac Cancer man who was born nowhere near the cusp, and he managed to singlehandedly turn worrying into a sport. I can’t count the number of times I remember him proclaiming “oh my God, I’m dying!”  I would dismiss him, saying, “No you’re not!” and he would become agitated, accusing me of not caring. He was a champion worrier. If worrying was an Olympic event, the man could have won the gold. Everything was an emergency, he always just “knew” something would go wrong, and although many times he was wrong, often he was right — though I always chalked it up to the intense worrying itself which had influenced his self-fulfilling prophecies, while he disagreed, insisting that no, he knew whatever it was he was stressing about would happen.

worry quote

Wednesday, December 19, 2012: Though he is scheduled to work until 6pm, Mike worked until around 10pm that evening because his good friend and coworker in the auto paint & body shop where he works, a Virgo workaholic named Jimmy, needed to get home to wrap up painting on an urgent side job he had going. Jimmy stuck his head in the door of the paint booth in which Mike was working and said, “Okay, you got this?” Mike told him he did, and added, “I’ll see ya in the mornin’, fucker” to which Jimmy replied, “Aite, see ya, fucker.” With that, Jimmy left the shop at 6:38pm, heading home in a 1933 Ford that had been converted into a hot rod which belonged to his banker, and which was scheduled to be his next side job.

Mike arrived home that evening around 10:25pm. He kissed me hello and headed to the fridge. As he grabbed a beer, popped it open, walked back into the living room and sat down in his chair, he told me, “So I guess Jimmy never made it home after work.” “Really?” I asked incredulously. He nodded. “Yeah, I know…it was the weirdest thing; I was locking up and when I went outside, his woman was sitting out there in her car and she honked…so I went over there and she asked me where Jimmy was. I was like, ‘uh, he left around 6:35-6:40…he’s not home yet?'” She replied that no, he hadn’t come home and he wasn’t answering his cell phone either. She was growing even more concerned now, upon learning that Jimmy had left over three and half hours earlier for what was routinely a 12 minute drive home.

Now, at this point even I knew something wasn’t right. From everything I’d heard about Jimmy, this was completely out of character for him, a totally devoted, hardworking Virgo who constantly touched base with his fiancee, Carla, throughout the day, every day. She was his life, his world, his everything. He had met her when they were five year-olds living in the same neighborhood, literally his childhood sweetheart, and he couldn’t wait to marry her.

I had a foreboding feeling in the pit of my stomach. “Wow, that’s not like him at all,” I shook my head. “Damn…I hope he’s okay…”

Mike agreed. “I know, right? He would never just not go home without letting her know what he was doing. That’s just not him. He’s never once said anything about going anywhere other than home; he doesn’t go hang out at buddys’ houses, he doesn’t go to bars. That just ain’t who he is. I hope nothing happened to him…” I could tell that my usually-rational Cancer cusp was somewhat unnerved by this.

Dismissing my own ominous feeling, rationalizing that surely Jimmy was fine and surely this must have been caused by something trivial, I chuckled, “I can’t wait to hear what happened tomorrow…she is gonna be pissed!” Mike laughed and agreed. “Oh yeah, me too.”

The next morning, Mike left for work before I woke up. I had an appointment with my eye doctor and was putting my shoes on, getting ready to leave. I had forgotten all about our conversation the night before when, at 8:15am, my cell phone rang. It was Mike.

“Hey, whassup?” I asked cheerfully.

“Hey, babe,” he responded solemnly. I then heard him take a deep breath. “Jimmy was killed last night.”

I felt the blood drain from my face. I couldn’t believe what I’d heard. My hands began shaking. I sat down on the edge of the bed, in shock. “Oh my God…what happened?”

“Well, he was driving that 1933 Ford he was about to paint for his banker…it’s got a 900 horsepower motor…it’s a race car. He was heading south on highway 4 on his way home and I guess he just couldn’t stand it…he had to push it…the cops said they think he was doing at least a hundred and maybe even 130…you know, those old cars aren’t aerodynamic like the ones today…I guess he lost control and rolled it…the thing was practically made out of glass… it just disintegrated…he was ejected…he was gone before 7:00…” That meant more than three hours had passed since the accident when Jimmy’s fiancee came looking for him at the shop, and nearly four hours by the time Mike and I were talking about it at home, hoping he was okay. Witnesses put the time of the accident at 6:46pm. Mike had been the last person to see him alive, just eight minutes earlier. Another witness who had been driving behind him stated they had seen his taillights ahead of them when suddenly the tail lights disappeared and then all they saw was “headlights over taillights over headlights over taillights” as the car rolled repeatedly.

Such a senseless death. A terrible waste. So unnecessary. Dammit! If he just would’ve resisted the urge to test this car’s limits the way he did; after all, he knew better than that! If he’d just stayed at work instead of going home early to work on that side job…yet behind this tragic accident, there was a single intentional act: a guy who lived and breathed race cars who found the temptation to see what this hot rod could do on a rural Oklahoma highway simply too irresistible to ignore. And that single intentional act led to an unintentional and unthinkable outcome, leaving in its wake a shattered fiancee and nine year-old daughter, not to mention numerous devastated family and friends.

Jimmy Dale Richardson   09/16/1972 - 12/19/2012

Jimmy Dale Richardson 09/16/1972 – 12/19/2012

Though I went to high school with Jimmy for a semester in ninth grade, I didn’t know him. I remember him, and he “kind of” remembered me. I kind of felt like I knew him vicariously through all of Mike’s work stories, which is why I was immediately concerned when I heard he hadn’t made it home; I knew enough to know that just wasn’t like him. But even not actually having known him, his death still hit me like a punch in the face. Not only because of the tragedy itself and knowing how deeply Mike was grieving the loss of his friend and coworker, but because it was a massive jolt to everything I’d always believed to be true. Here’s what I mean. As I said earlier, even when we worry about people or events and picture horrible outcomes, it’s safe to say that everything (almost) always turns out okay, and we come to rely on that. Although we might still worry, in the back of our minds, we’re reassured that statistically, everything is probably just fine.

This time was different. It was the first time in my 40 years that I could recall ever having been worried that something awful had happened…and been right. Not only was I right, it was the absolute worst possible scenario. Jimmy hadn’t just had a fender bender and suffered a few minor injuries, or been hauled off to jail for doing 130 mph down that road. It’s like we just skipped all of those unpleasant yet lesser of the evil scenarios and went straight to the worst outcome imaginable. It seemed so unfair, like the Universe had somehow cheated him. He couldn’t have just been a little banged up and ended up in the hospital, or pulled over and taken to jail for driving like that; he’s just dead? Just like that?

worry2

As a consequence of these events, my anxiety level immediately skyrocketed. I was reminded of the harsh reality that we are all but mere mortals and when our time is up, life can be ripped away in an instant without warning. None of us are infallible. What happened to Jimmy could happen to anyone, including the people I love, and including me. We truly never know when an innocent intentional act of ours, which might be so trivial that we wouldn’t think twice about it, could lead to something completely unintentional happening.  Something totally life-altering…or life-ending. Additionally, when I find myself worrying now, the feeling is much more frightening…because of the one time I worried…and the outcome I feared had happened, had happened.

It certainly didn’t help when just 13 days later, my Cancer ex-husband was killed…also in a single vehicle accident…also due to a single innocent, yet intentional act.

Living On The Edge: Understanding the Cusp

“‘Cause you’re hot then you’re cold, you’re yes then you’re no
You’re in then you’re out, you’re up then you’re down
You’re wrong when it’s right, it’s black and it’s white
We fight, we break up, we kiss, we make up
You, you don’t really want to stay, no
You, but you don’t really want to go…” ~ Katy Perry, “Hot and Cold”

For eight years, I was in a live-in relationship with the love of my life: an amazing Gemini man. Actually, I considered myself pretty darn lucky: he was born on June 21st, on the cusp of Cancer. Every ephemeris I had ever consulted, which admittedly wasn’t a staggering number, reassured me that my better half was indeed a Gemini. Good thing: my fiery Aries Sun is quite compatible with airy Gemini, but not so much with its watery  Cancer successor. And boy howdy, we got along beautifully, particularly – I believe – because my own natal chart is weighted in air which, among other positive similarities, means we’re both communicative. In fact, my cusp often chuckled that if there was a talking event in the Olympics, the two of us would bring home the gold.

Upon further investigation several months relationship postmortem, I uncovered the cold hard truth: he is, in fact, a Cancer. Turns out, on June 21st in his birth year, the Sun entered Cancer exactly four hours and twenty minutes before my eventual love made his appearance in the world.

Shit. My whole life has been a lie.

But seriously folks, although my oft-referred to “Cancer cusp” man is technically a crab, I’m having a difficult time grasping that fact (so is he.) While it could simply be that I so desperately want him to be a Gemini, the proverbial shoe just doesn’t quite fit. A wise Aquarian tree hippie friend of mine likes to remind me that “the Sun always shines.”  And while he’s not wrong about that, I take exception to this particular case. While he does possess a handful of notable Cancerian traits (i.e., devotion to home and family, a need to be in a relationship, a fondness for cooking, etc), he has far more twin qualities: extremely communicative, freedom-loving, active, a tendency toward aloofness, just to name a few. He certainly isn’t as jealous and possessive as your run-of-the-mill crab, which I had always attributed to the fact that he wasn’t a Cancer in the first place, but a Gemini.  So… what now?  I wonder aloud, looking upward, arms outreached in desperation.

When one is born on a cusp (which is generally defined as a five-day period on either side of the beginning/end of a Sun sign), they are usually influenced by the signs on either side of the cusp, with an emphasis on the sign in which their Sun actually is (hence, “the Sun always shines.”) Perhaps any jealous or possessive streak is simply modified by the Gemini cusp influence. In any event, since my Cancer cusp and I began dating again nearly a month ago, I have realized for the first time that the distinct “twin” personalities with which I’ve been familiar for nearly twenty years of knowing him are actually a Gemini personality and a Cancer personality intermingled. Ah…veddy interesting, yes?

Allow me to provide an example. In our numerous in-person chats, texts, and lengthy phone conversations, my Cancer cusp will often make Gemini-esque comments along the lines of “we’re not back together,” “I don’t want the whole ‘relationship’ thing,” etc. However, in these very same chats, texts, and phone calls he frequently makes Cancerian statements such as “I would love to go to sleep next to you and wake up next to you,” “how do you feel about us becoming exclusive?”(I excitedly jumped on that with an emphatic “yes!”), and “I can’t wait to be with you again.”

Another example: we decided to book a hotel room for the weekend so we could have our own little getaway, a “staycation” as it were. We made sure it was in an area near some good restaurants or other places we might want to check out. I reserved two nights, Friday and Saturday, but then my Cancer cusp remembered he had plans to see his daughter, who lives with her mother about 75 miles north of the city, so I canceled the second night. No sweat. Well, as luck would have it, his daughter bailed on their plans, leaving him free on Saturday after all. Did he ask me to go ahead and reserve Saturday night again? Nope. He told me, “Well, that works out, I guess; this way, I can still do my weekend thing with the cousins.” See, there it is: the freedom-loving Gemini, pulling him to do his own thing.

So what is a hopelessly devoted, impatient Aries chick to do? Which is it?

“I keep your picture upon the wall
It hides a nasty stain that’s lying there
So don’t you ask me to give it back
I know you know it doesn’t mean that much to me
I’m not in love, no no, it’s because…
Ooh you’ll wait a long time for me
Ooh you’ll wait a long time…” ~ 10cc, “I’m Not In Love”

Elementary, my dear follower: it’s both. As I force myself to step back from the situation and view it with as unbiased an eye as I can muster, it’s evident what he’s doing (and in all likelihood isn’t even conscious of it). His sentimental Cancer Sun is drawing him toward me, reveling in that feeling of familiarity, security, and commitment. But the minute his Gemini influence catches wind of this, it struggles to reel him back over to its noncommittal side of the cusp. Because the Sun always shines, however, his Cancer Sun inevitably wins the battle in the ongoing war with his emotions. This is even more so because his Venus is also in Cancer which, in a man’s chart, indicates not only the type of romantic partner to whom he is attracted, but also dictates how he approaches love and relationships: like a commitment-loving Cancer.

Bearing this in mind, I have the ability to better understand the emotional tug-of-war going on inside his Cancer cusp head. It allows me to be less confused by his mixed signals and statements, instead being more patient (no easy feat for an Aries). And this gives me an edge that it’s a shame more people don’t take advantage of: the knowledge of what makes their partner tick. Skeptics and naysayers say what you will, but have you ever made an effort to try it for yourself? If not, don’t knock it until you do. An individual’s natal chart is an invaluable tool to have on hand when you are trying to gain clarity into someone’s motivations and inner workings. It serves as an owner’s manual of sorts, and it’s available at your disposal. Many would say I must be insane to say that with a straight face, let alone actually do it. But folks who could benefit immensely from studying a loved one’s natal chart, yet don’t? I think that’s crazy.

In the meantime, I am having the time of my life becoming reacquainted with my Cancer cusp. I cherish every minute I am fortunate enough to be able to spend with both of them.

“I never dreamed that I’d meet somebody like you
I never dreamed that I’d lose somebody like you
No, I don’t wanna fall in love
No, I don’t wanna fall in love …with you
What a wicked game to play, to make me feel this way
What a wicked thing to do, to let me dream of you
What a wicked thing to say, you never felt this way
What a wicked thing to do, to make me dream of you
And I wanna fall in love
No, I wanna fall in love…with you.” ~ Chris Isaak, “Wicked Game”

Hanging By A Moment

Image“Your love is thick and it swallowed me whole
You’re so much braver than I gave you credit for
That’s not lip service
You’ve already won me over in spite of me
And don’t be alarmed if I fall head over feet
Don’t be surprised if I love you for all that you are
I couldn’t help it, it’s all your fault.” ~ Alanis Morrisette, “Head Over Feet”

Is this really happening? It seems almost too good to be true. Could I actually be lucky enough to have another shot?

If you follow my blog (for which I tip my hat to you, Super-Cool Person), you’re aware that I was in an eight-year live-in relationship with a Cancer cusp man with whom I had been close, platonic friends for a full decade prior. What he and I shared was so incredibly unique; the circumstances that brought us together in the first place so unusual, that it could never be duplicated. Literally. He was my best friend, my lover, my partner, my confidante, my everything. And when it was over, I was devastated.

Up until just four weeks ago, we hadn’t communicated in any way, shape, or form since one final nasty exchange on May 10, 2011. When we finally spoke again for the first time in nearly 15 months, the conversation was civil, consisting mostly of “clearing the air” – not overly friendly, yet not hateful. Abrupt; maybe that’s the word I’m looking for. It was a two-hour phone conversation, but at that time my standoffish Cancer cusp ex basically told me that although he was willing to be friends in the sense that if we needed to communicate we could do so without screaming and cussing, he didn’t want to be friendly friends, hang out, text or call one another all the time, or anything else friendly friends would ordinarily do. He informed me that he just wanted to live his life and be left alone. Sure, I was disappointed, but at the same time I was grateful that he was speaking to me at all and, eternally optimistic Aries chick that I am, hoped he might eventually have a change of heart. It wasn’t impossible; after all, I know this man like the back of my hand and I knew it was entirely possible, even probable, that he’d change his mind. Barely a Cancer, born within five hours of the Gemini cusp, he is easily one of the most indecisive folks in the land of the zodiac. I desperately grasped at any straw I could get my hands on.

“Don’t give up on us baby, we’re still worth one more try
I know we put the last one by, just for the rainy evening
When maybe stars are few
Don’t give up on us, I know
We can still come through.” ~ David Soul, “Don’t Give Up On Us”

Within less than two weeks, that’s exactly what happened. We quickly worked up to texting/talking on an almost-daily basis, and I could sense him gradually warming up to me, like the crab that represents his Cancer Sun, cautiously peering out of the safety of its shell. He began inviting me over on a fairly regular basis, where we would sit outside chain-smoking and having a few beers, and talking at length about what we had been up to in our extended absences. And now, just four weeks in, he has surprised me by proposing a “deal” which I was thrilled to accept. While we’re not actually back together (or as he puts it, “a thing”), we’re spending a lot of time together, texting, chatting, and having frequent, sweaty, steamy sex. So our deal is that if either of us finds ourselves in a situation in which the opportunity for a hookup arises with someone else and we want to go for it, we are free to do so…as long as we disclose anything we’ve done to the other prior to the two of us having sex again. That said, neither of us are actively looking for anyone else. Therefore, while we’re not in a relationship per se, we’re not single either. As my recently-updated Facebook relationship status attests, it’s complicated.

For the record, I am acutely aware of the potential ramifications of this situation. I had just begun to grieve the loss of our relationship, an excruciating process that I’d already managed to prolong. I realize I might one day discover I’ve shot myself in the foot and taken one giant leap backward by taking this chance. But the thing is, I don’t care. I simply love him too much not to risk it. Even the slightest possibility of rediscovering what we had together makes the gamble absolutely worth it. However, I know it’s not a sure thing. In fact, I have no idea where, or even if, this is going. But I do know I’m enjoying it. It’s such an amazing feeling holding him again after so long apart; to talk for hours on end and never run out of things to say, the indescribably wonderful feeling of knowing without a doubt that you’re with the one person who loves you with a depth no one ever has before.

“You can kiss me in the moonlight
On the rooftop under the sky, oh
You can kiss me with the windows open
While the rain comes pouring inside, oh
Kiss me in sweet slow motion, let’s let everything slide
You got me floating, you got me flyin’…
It’s the way you love me, it’s a feeling like this
It’s centrifugal motion, it’s perpetual bliss
It’s that pivotal moment, it’s subliminal
This kiss, this kiss…it’s criminal.” ~ Faith Hill, “This Kiss”

A few evenings ago, upon learning he would unexpectedly have the apartment to himself for the night, my Cancer cusp excitedly called and invited me over. I probably left a trail of smoke in my haste to take him up on the invitation. As usual, it was a blast. We have always genuinely enjoyed being in each other’s company: stimulating conversation, lots of laughs, and the Best Sex Ever. Exactly how things between us had always been. And as we lay holding one another in the darkness of his bedroom just before drifting off to sleep, I whispered, “You know, this just feels…right.” He agreed, responding softly, “Mmhmm…I think we’ve really been missing each other.” He slightly leaned his head in toward mine and wanted to know if he could ask me a question. “So…where do you see us? Where do you see this going?”

“I’m not sure,” I told him thoughtfully. “I think I’m just so grateful that we’re here together right now at all that I’m not focusing on what’s down the road. I’m too busy enjoying the now.”

Image“There’s nothing else to lose, there’s nothing else to find
There’s nothing in the world that can change my mind
There is nothing else…there is nothing else…there is nothing else
Desperate for changing, starving for truth
I’m closer to where I started, I’m chasing after you
I’m falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I’ve held on to
I’m standing here until you make me move
I’m hanging by a moment here with you
I’m living for the only thing I know
I’m running and not quite sure where to go
And I don’t know what I’m diving into
Just hanging by a moment here with you.” ~ Lifehouse, “Hanging By A Moment”

Red (Bull) Planet – Mars In The Signs

“Let’s go and see the stars
The milky way or even Mars
Where it could just be ours
Let’s fade into the sun
Let your spirit fly
Where we are one
Just for a little fun
Oh, oh, oh yeah!” ~ Lenny Kravitz, “Fly Away”

Fourth rock from the Sun, named for the Roman god of war, Mars in astrology represents masculinity, aggression, anger, action, and physical attraction. It rules the sign of Aries, which is notoriously impulsive, impatient, and quick-thinking. It governs our drive and motivation in all we do, from getting out of bed each morning to ascending Mount Everest.

Mars becomes retrograde for an 11 week period every few years, and this often causes difficulties to crop up during that time. Instead of directing energy outward to achieve goals, Mars in retrograde forces us to summon motivation from within.

The sign in which Mars appears in a woman’s chart is indicative of the type of partner she is attracted to. It spends a little over 57 days in each sign of the zodiac before moving into the next.

So gather ’round, grasshoppers. Today we’re going to explore the interpretations of Mars in each of the twelve signs. If you don’t know what your Mars sign is, you can easily find out.

Mars in Aries
As the natural ruler of Aries, Mars is right at home here, promoting a strong tendency toward impulsive activity, high energy levels, and being notorious for a lack of stick-to-itiveness. This one loves to charge full speed into a project with tremendous drive, only to quickly become bored and leave it unfinished. They also have quick tempers which pass relatively quickly.

Mars in Taurus
Unlike Mars Aries, a Mars Taurus has formidable staying power. They take a while to get moving but when they do, they plod along diligently toward their desired objective. This one hates to argue and why wouldn’t they anyway; their way is the way, bottom line, no need for further discussion. Theirs is a direct sexual approach and that aforementioned staying power applies in the bedroom as well.

Mars in Gemini
Gemini thrives on variety and a Mars Gemini individual demonstrates this by jumping restlessly from project to project and a lack of persistence. A woman with this Mars placement is drawn to talkative partners who tend to move around a lot. This one experiences sudden bursts of energy that come and go, and they often have several things going on at once. My Mars is in Gemini, and I can frequently be found pacing while talking on the phone or texting. A Leo girlfriend of mine often comments, “It’d just kill you to sit still, wouldn’t it!” Yeah, it probably would.

Mars in Cancer
Cancer is a sign with emotional depth and because Mars = energy and assertiveness, much of this person’s energy is directed toward the emotions. Because of this, a Mars Cancerian will tend to pick fights and be argumentative. If they can be kept otherwise occupied however, it directs this energy elsewhere and disputes can be minimized. My ex-husband has this placement, and I can attest to the fact that he expended a huge amount of time and energy making mountains out of molehills; everything was an emergency, constantly stressing over what-ifs. Not fun.

Mars in Leo
When this one argues, they do so on a grand scale and everyone in a half-mile radius will know about it. However, if Mars appears in the twelfth house (house of secrets, sorrow, and self-undoing), that might cause Mars Leo to hold in their frustration and anger (secrets.) I once dated a guy with this placement. He found it seemingly impossible to express his indignance – about anything, anywhere, at any time – using his indoor voice, and cared not a bit if he made a noisy public scene, causing me so much embarrassment that I would have loved to crawl into the nearest hole and hide.

Mars in Virgo
A woman with Mars in Virgo, a highly detail-oriented sign, has a tendency to nag and nit-pick their partner. Much energy is spent critiquing others as well as themselves. I have a Leo girlfriend with this placement. When I would visit and take a shower at her house, she complained that I opened the shower curtain from right to left rather than left to right. You heard me. It bugged the hell out of her. Really.

Mars in Libra
This one will drive you batty with their indecisiveness. Unless there is blatant injustice in a situation, they are almost incapable of sticking to one side of an argument. God help them during a presidential election year; they might not even make up their mind on a candidate until they’re at the polls and even after their vote has been cast, they’ll continue to examine their choice in their mind with the good ol’ shoulda-woulda-coulda thinking they are all too familiar with.

Mars in Scorpio
This one doesn’t know the meaning of moderation in disputes or battles. They either throw everything they’ve got into a fight or they do absolutely nothing. For example, let’s suppose an intruder breaks into Mars Scorpio’s house. They immediately break out their shotgun and shoot to kill. Or let’s say a mosquito is buzzing around their neck. They immediately break out their shotgun and shoot to kill.

Mars in Sagittarius
Sadge rules the legs and Mars is energy, so this one needs to walk or move frequently. (On that note, Scorpio rules the sex organs and Mars is energy, so you can draw your own conclusions on that one.) If a Mars Sadge finds a project interesting, they are capable of working tirelessly on it; however, if they find a project to be dull, they tire quickly and easily.

Mars in Capricorn
This one is a master at maintaining the stamina needed to complete a task thoroughly and correctly. They’re often the ones staying late on the job to finish something up long after coworkers have headed home. A woman with this placement is attracted to partners who are reliable, patient, and orderly.

Mars in Aquarius
Mars’s energy here is directed toward the intellect. Aquarius is an unpredictable, random sign and because Mars shows how we fight, this indicates a Mars Aquarian will come at you from unexpected angles. Women with this placement are drawn to intellectual, spontaneous partners and if they have jealous tendencies in their charts, such as a Cancer or Scorpio Sun or Venus, Mars in the detached, whatever’s-clever sign of Aquarius will blunt that tendency to some degree.

Mars in Pisces
Pisces is a poetic dreamer, so the Martian energy here is focused on the imagination. An Aquarius friend of mine has this placement. He is constantly coming up with witty, creative one-liners, jokes, comebacks, remarks, and cut-downs. And I do mean constantly. I don’t think his brain ever shuts off.

In Unloving Memory

“Make-believing we’re together,
That I’m sheltered by your heart.
But in and outside I’ve turned to water
Like a teardrop in your palm
And it’s a hard winter’s day, I dream away…
It must have been love, but it’s over now
It was all that I wanted, now I’m living without
It must have been love, but it’s over now
It’s where the water flows…it’s where the wind blows.” ~Roxette, “It Must Have Been Love”

It was definitely love. And it was everything I had ever hoped to have in a relationship…and more.

The relationship might be over now, but the love remains. At least it does for me. I can’t speak for him.

Of course, no relationship is perfect. We had great times, we had horrible times, and every shade of gray in between. I could ramble on for hours about all the fun we had and the dreams we shared. And when I reflect on what once was, that’s right where my mind goes: the good. Selective memory kicks in and I conveniently forget the bad and the ugly.

Why is it that we tend to focus solely on the happy memories after a breakup? Or, we do remember the bad, but play it down; after all, it wasn’t that terrible, right? (Is that my Pisces Ascendant putting the rose-colored glasses on me again?) It would be infinitely less painful to cope with the loss and get to the other side of the grieving process if our selective memories only recalled the negative. When I think of my eight-year relationship, I remember things like watching Animation Domination on Sunday nights, the way he’d bring home scratch-off crosswords for me just because, playing 9-ball on our pool table, cooking together and preparing “assembly line” dinners when the kids still lived at home, lying together in bed taking turn scratching one another’s backs, spontaneous weekend breakfasts at our local mom and pop restaurant…and believe you me, I could go on and on. But if you asked me about the dark side of life with Mr. Wonderful, it’s not so easy. Let’s see…he drank way too much which made him a hateful douche, but that was only because he was feeling neglected by me and that didn’t even become a problem until the last few months we were together…oh, and he could be really aloof which frustrated the bejesus out of me, but that wasn’t too often. (See, there I go again, rationalizing and downplaying. Drat!)

Maybe it’s because it somehow soothes us to recollect the positive. In fact, just now, as I recalled the good times, I found myself smiling. Conversely, as I thought about the bad aspects, I felt uncomfortable. It literally made me antsy to remember him stumbling around drunk after knocking out about a case of Natural Light. I could even hear the sound of the pop-top cans opening, one after another, and I felt the same dread; that oh-goody-here-we-go-again feeling I had when it was actually happening. Is it possible that blocking out the bad is some sort of primitive self-protection mechanism?

It’s akin to remembering a deceased friend or loved one. Think about it: when someone we care for passes away, we say things like, “I’ll miss Aunt Betty so much; she made the best apple pie” or “I can’t believe Uncle Fred is gone; he always made us laugh.” Nobody bothers to mention that Aunt Betty, with all her culinary talents, was a hateful bitch, and good ol’ Uncle Fred was so funny because he was a decrepit drunk. The fact that a person is dead in no way erases the reality of who they were or how they lived. We had no problem overlooking their uglier traits when they were alive; why does – or should – it change when they die? Like a departed friend, we seem to prefer to remember our dead relationships in a more flattering light.

I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. In any event, it’s evident that it’s what we are inclined to do. I have read countless “how to get over your ex” articles that recommend replacing our loving memories with ones that remind us why we’re no longer a couple in the first place. In the early weeks and months of our separation, I wasn’t as much sad (at least outwardly) as I was angry. For me, it was simply less painful to be mad at my estranged love than it was to acknowledge the hurt and properly mourn my loss (whatever that means). I would tell anyone who would listen what a worthless, miserable s.o.b. my ex was, and I was never at a loss for detailed examples to justify my feelings. It’s as if it was an attempt on my part to reinforce the anger so I could avoid feeling the sadness. Especially early on, I was a master of denial, always looking for a distraction so that I wouldn’t have to feel. But by doing so, I only delayed the inevitable…and I’m paying dearly for it now.

“I don’t need your loving arms around me
All I need is to be free
That’s what I keep telling myself
And I tell you, you don’t need me
I don’t need children in my old age
No more cluttered leaves around  the trees
And I don’t need you, baby
And I know you don’t need  me
We don’t need each other baby…we don’t need each other baby…
…or do we?” ~ Kenny Rogers, “I Don’t Need You”

Yeah Baby, She’s Got It: Venus In The Signs

“Goddess on the mountaintop, burning like a silver flame
The summit of beauty and love, and Venus was her name
She’s got it…yeah baby, she’s got it
I’m your Venus, I’m your fire at your desire.” ~Bananarama, “Venus”

Okay, yes I know; Bananarama didn’t originally sing that tune from the 1980s. But their bouncy cover version is how I hear it in my blonde head.

Most folks know their Sun sign. Fewer know their Moon sign, or that they even have one. Fewer still can tell you what their Ascendant is (they’re the ones reading this asking, “what the frack is an ‘ascendant’?” We’ll get more into that another time.) Gather ’round, kids: today we’re gonna talk about our planets (yes, each of our individual planets are in signs as well). Today’s planet of discussion? Venus.

“Venus, make her fair
A lovely girl with sunlight in her hair
And take the brightest stars up in the skies
And place them in her eyes for me
Venus, goddess of love that you are
Surely the things I ask
Can’t be too great a task
Venus, if you do
I promise that I always will be true
I’ll give her all the love I have to give
As long as we both shall live.” ~ Frankie Avalon, “Venus”

As dreamy as all that is, in astrology, Venus refers to the uninhabitable second rock from the Sun. It’s named for the aforementioned Roman goddess of love and in the astrological sense, represents beauty, love, creativity, money, possessions, and nurturing. Venus rules Taurus and Libra, both signs known to have particular affinities for objets d’art and all things aesthetically pleasing.

The sign in which Venus appears in a man’s natal chart represents the partner he desires. For example, a man with his Venus in Leo prefers an outgoing, confident partner he can proudly show off (traits of the sign of Leo.) In a woman’s chart, the planet Mars is indicative of what she seeks in a mate. (Another topic for another day.)

Because Venus orbits in relatively close proximity to the Sun, the sign in which it appears in your natal chart will always be either the same as your Sun, or no more than two signs either side of it. If you don’t already know where Venus is found in your chart, it’s easy to find out.

Venus In Aries
Watch out for this one. A Venus-Arien is impatient and will jump into a relationship impulsively, often living to regret their haste. Venus = love and Aries = action; therefore, this one will be quite affectionate. They get bored easily and require near-constant excitement in a relationship.

Venus in Taurus
Homebody Taurus thrives on domesticity and with Venus as its natural ruler, they go hand in hand. A Venus-Taurean wants to make a beautiful home for you and probably be an excellent cook as well. They love to touch and to be touched, so be prepared. Sweets are their downfall, so win them over with something gooey and fattening. Seriously.

Venus in Gemini
Can’t sit still, frequently pacing and probably talking to themselves if no one else is around to talk to (or even if there is). They need a chatty partner. Venus in Gemini enjoys variety in sex and relationships which is why this one is the philanderer of the Venus signs: they often have more than one lover, or tend to fall in love with more than one person at a time. (My Venus is in Gemini. And, as Forrest Gump remarked more than once, that’s all I have to say about that.)

Venus in Cancer
This one will mother you and wants the same in return. A Venus-Cancerian is often a moody martyr, enduring self-imposed suffering by seeking out unhealthy relationships. The Crab is suspicious and quite jealous. Think before you speak to this one as well: Venus-Cancer has delicate feelings that are easily hurt and frequently take offense where none was intended. My ex-husband has a Venus Crab placement. He tended to read too much into my words and I quickly discovered it didn’t take much to hurt his feelings…even with no intention of doing so. It was exhausting constantly trying to undo the damage I never meant to cause. And though I loved him dearly, there is a reason he’s my EX-husband.

Venus in Leo
A Venus-Leo won’t settle for anything less than the best. They demand attention. Constantly. You have to be ready to feed this one’s ego, whether it’s by stroking their lush mane and repeatedly describing to them in excruciatingly painful detail and depth just how amazing, intelligent, funny, or attractive you think they are (don’t worry about laying it on too thick; flattery gets you everywhere with a Venus-Leo) or by being their arm candy.

Venus in Virgo
Venus-Virgo relies on logic in matters of love rather than emotion. If this factor is present and that equation adds up, well then, they must be in love. This one can’t stand a slob so keep things clutter-free and well-organized or be prepared for incessant criticism regarding the error of your slovenly ways.

Venus in Libra
Venus is at home in Libra, which it rules. A Venus-Libran can be superficial, even a bit snobbish, but they are masters of not letting on about it. They prefer elegance and abhor what they perceive to be tasteless and unrefined. I dated a Venus-Libran. This is him to a tee.

Venus in Scorpio
A Venus-Scorpion takes sex and relationships very seriously. They are possessive, obsessive, jealous partners but also quite devoted and highly sexual creatures. But if things go south with this one, be careful. They don’t let go easily and, after all, they were voted most likely to boil your bunny in the zodiac yearbook.

Venus in Sagittarius
Venus-Sadge loves freedom. Any attempt to tie them down will backfire and they will look for the escape hatch. They tend to take love lightly but this doesn’t mean they’re a bad partner; it’s just that they don’t need all the PDA and mushiness someone else (say, a Venus-Cancerian) might need.

Venus in Capricorn
This one is a rock. Like Venus-Virgo, love must make sense for them to even consider it to be love. It has to add up. The Goat is tremendously dependable and sensible, but loves to point out what you’re doing wrong (not Venus-Capricorn’s way, in other words) and how you could do those things better (their way).

Venus in Aquarius
With this one, friends often become lovers, and vice versa. This humanitarian needs to be able to roam as well, as they have too much to share with the world at large to focus on one person all the time. This is the sign that is the least likely to marry, but it does happen. If you have a Venus-Aquarian in your sights, godspeed.

Venus in Pisces
This is a sensititive soul who just can’t grasp the concept of cruelty in the world. A Venus-Piscean also has an artistic bent and is quite creative.

That’s What Friends With Benefits Are For

“What exactly does that expression mean, ‘friends with benefits?’ Does he provide her with health insurance?”           ~ Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

Well, it doesn’t work quite like that, Dr. Cooper. Although it’d be tremendously helpful if it did; I could use a good medical plan.
Though it’s come to the forefront of American culture in only the last decade or so, the concept of friends with benefits (FWB) isn’t new. The human creature is a pack animal and craves physical closeness. But what if you don’t have someone to be physically close with on a regular basis? What about single/divorced/widowed folks?

Use your phone-a-friend option. But before you dial, consider a few noteworthy points:

• Do you become emotionally attached easily?
• Are you particularly jealous by nature?
• Is there a possibility you have romantic feelings for your friend – or vice versa?

If the answer to any of the above is yes, put down the phone. Now. Remove the battery if you have to. Take a cold shower. A FWB arrangement is probably not the best idea for you.

If you’re a subscriber or you know me personally, you’re already painfully aware I’m a textbook Aries. As such, I have a jealous streak – but it’s not one of the usual flavor. My jealousy doesn’t originate from a place of insecurity, but rather from a desire to be Number One. I want to be at the center of your attention – not her, not him, not them – me, me, me! However, I also have a Pisces Ascendant, a wistful water sign which is prone to jealousy, and to top it off, my Moon is in Aquarius, which is a detached, ain’t-no-thang air sign, one of the least inclined to jealousy in the zodiac. So what effect does this astrological train wreck have on a person?

The Moon rules the emotions and how we see ourselves. An Aquarius Moon reveals a lighthearted, take-it-or-leave-it attitude in matters of the heart…or so I’d like to think (self-image). The Ascendant is our public persona; how we appear to others. A Pisces Ascendant appears to be a sentimental dreamer (the bastard water sign cousin to Cancer) whose head is in the clouds and is easily hurt. But as my witty Aquarius friend likes to remind me, the Sun always shines. It is the essence of our character. Put ‘em all together, what do you get? A stubborn person who needs to stand out above the rest (Aries Sun), comes across as an overly-sensitive airhead (Pisces Ascendant), all the while telling myself it’s all good, I don’t need all that mushy-gushy lovey crap (Aquarius Moon). Translation: I’m more jealous and become attached more easily/quickly than I tend to believe. Finally, just for fun, let’s go ahead and throw in a Venus in Gemini, which indicates I’m rather aloof, flirty, and (allegedly) unfaithful in love (a whole ‘nother topic; we’ll delve into that another time). It boils down to basically not knowing what I want…and just when I think I’ve figured it out, I change my mind (props to my Moon and Venus air signs for that one.)

After moving to Hot Springs, Arkansas in 2011, I began a FWB arrangement with my oft-referred-to hippie Aquarius tree friend who shares my passion for astrology. While I can’t speak for him, it worked out beautifully on my end (no pun intended). I never felt the spark of a “relationship connection” with my friend (which surprised me, because he has qualities that I find wildly attractive: extreme intelligence, sharp wit, and a wicked sense of humor). But I did have a physical attraction to him…and well, I do like sex. So, as roommates, we shared a home, but as FWB we shared a bed and our bodies. Outside the bedroom, we went to movies, went out to eat, laughed, watched TV, had long conversations, argued incessantly over what does/doesn’t constitute a curb and whether it’s a “cue-pon” or a “coo-pon” (debates which are still in progress today), smoked weed, shopped, cooked – but as friends. And it was a blast! I had the best time being in the company of my quirky Aquarian friend. And as “just friends,” there was no hand-holding, no kissing, no hugging, no terms of endearment (unless you count “hooker” or “dumbass”), no displays of affection like you might witness with two people in a relationship. The only difference between us and any other pair of friends was, about once every week or two, give or take, as needed, we would provide, ahem, benefits for the other. For me, the main benefit was human (sexual) contact.

Alas, there comes a time in the life of every Aquarian tree genius when he feels he is ready and needs to move on. My Aquarian amigo was no different. One of his reasons being, as roommates/FWB, although we weren’t a committed couple, we didn’t sleep with other people during the time we were roommates/FWB because it wouldn’t have been right. “Bad juju,” he called it. At the same time, we both had close friends of the opposite sex to whom we spoke regularly, and neither of us thought anything of it. But when my free-spirited Aquarian friend moved out, taking the benefits with him, my reaction surprised even me: I was jealous!  I felt like I was going through a breakup and it stung. Knowing he had developed an interest in another woman, I was crushed. I cried, I (over)analyzed the situation, trying anything to figure out what was going on inside me. Major depression set in. But why? I didn’t think of him That Way. Or wait, did I, and hadn’t realized it until now? Even worse, had I – gulp – fallen in love with my friend? The unanswered questions constantly gnawed at me.                                            

With the benefit of hindsight (and industrial-strength antidepressants), I was able to pinpoint it. I was jealous; there’s no denying that. But why, and over someone with whom I wasn’t even interested in having a relationship? A few reasons, I discovered. First, I wasn’t Number One anymore. There was actually someone else he wanted to be around more than he did me. Secondly, I realized I had developed an emotional attachment – and quite a significant one at that. I understood that it had nothing to do with falling in love with my FWB. This wonderful, witty Aquarian had breezed into my life at a time when I had never felt more alone. He was my metaphorical crutch. He was there for me physically and emotionally when I really needed someone. He genuinely cared about me and about what happened to me during a very painful period in my life when it felt like no one else did. While the FWB situation had served my urges for human contact quite nicely, thank you very much, what I failed to recognize was that our hookups  had provided me with a physical closeness which helped me feel more emotionally secure given the frame of mind I was in – post-breakup of an eight-year relationship, recent long-distance move, and other major life changes. My Water Bearer had also distracted me from the grief I was attempting to keep at bay. With him out of the picture – well, out of the house, anyway – I no longer had the distraction, nor did I have the – albeit false – sense of emotional security. I was now, more or less, alone with my own thoughts, and way too many painful ones. I had too much time on my hands to think after he was gone. I felt naked, alone, and abandoned. And terrified.

Even so, I still believe I’m capable of being involved in another FWB situation. If I were to enter into another arrangement like that, however, I would have to be certain I was in a less vulnerable place in my life. I would have to be absolutely positive I was doing it solely for the sexual pleasure and not as a distraction or to fill an emotional void. None of this is meant to imply I was only using my Aquarian FWB; while it’s now clear I used him sexually for emotional support on a subconscious level, rather than for sexual pleasure, he was, and still is, one of my closest, most treasured friends.

That said, I’d be a liar if I said his impressive physical endowment hadn’t been a huge bonus. Pun intended.

Searching For The Silver Lining

“You say it’s over, I can sigh again, yeah
Why try to stay sober when I’m dying here
And I am aware now of how
Everything’s gonna be fine
One day, too late, I’m in hell
I am prepared now
Seems everyone’s gonna be fine
One day too late; just as well.” ~ “Fine Again,” Seether

Grief is a curious emotion. You can be awash in it, yet experience contentment, even happiness. At other times, often at the drop of a hat, you might feel helplessly consumed by it. It cleanses us, yet we may feel we are drowning in it. We reject it, yet we need it. It frees us to move forward, yet we feel imprisoned by it. To borrow a wise Aquarian friend’s observation, it is “an oxymoron wrapped in a conundrum.” While that might be true, the blunt reality is, I hate every second of grief’s intrusion into my thoughts, my dreams, my life.

My Leo girlfriend (left); with Yours Truly…gettin a lil tipsy

Yesterday, I felt pretty good. I was at least slightly optimistic about the future. I had a great night out, letting loose and just rolling with it. My insistent Leo girlfriend and I went to a club and there’s just no nice way to put it: we got trashed. My Cancer-cusp ex used to joke that I was a cheap date: just three or four beers and I was good to go. He wasn’t wrong. But I had fun. Flirting a little, not on a mission to find my next potential significant other, just enjoying myself, the people, the music, the beer. I enjoyed myself so much, in fact, that by the time we arrived back at the house, I surrendered to the inevitable before I could even reach the front porch, dropped to my knees, and puked like a drunk teenager right in the front yard. I passed out shortly thereafter. What a night. A night I needed.

and…drunk.

Today, however, is a different story.  Nothing has changed, nothing is different in any way from this same time yesterday. I’m not sure what I’m feeling, but the best way to describe it would be tired (goes without saying), a bit weepy, slightly pessimistic, a little wistful, highly unmotivated, and maybe somewhat overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by what; I’m not sure. Maybe by so many different emotions, or maybe because I know I still have a long road ahead of me in this journey. Some might say these emotions are a kind of hangover and while that’s plausible, I believe it goes beyond that. The aftereffects of alcohol probably have amplified whatever is lying beneath my surface. Regardless of the origin of these feelings, they sting.

And so the grieving continues. I want so badly to block it out, to distract myself, but I know better than that now. I spent over a year blocking and distracting, and I’m paying for it now. If I had allowed the process to occur naturally, I would surely be nearing the end of it or possibly even past it today. But by delaying the inevitable, I have only succeeded in prolonging the agony. I don’t want to feel this pain for one moment longer than necessary. So I take a deep breath and let it in. All of it. It’s as if I’ve extended an open invitation for grief to enter my life, announcing to it, “all right, come on in, painful feelings; let’s do this thing and get it over with.”

“Everything’ll be fine,” my perpetually upbeat Leo friend tells me. I know she’s right. I just hate waiting for everything to be fine again.