“I’m really torn,” Amber said. “I want to do something different for my wedding...but I also want some tradition, too. We aren’t religious, but we don’t want to just go to the courthouse either. Can we do a reading around this?”
I love it when people use psychic readings in their daily lives—and for planning life events. Psychic readings and intuitive guidance aren’t just for spiritual purposes! I assured Amber that this was a great idea, and we settled in for the reading.
After a moment, I saw her and a male figure standing in a grove of trees. They had a white cord wrapped around their clasped hands—clearly a hand-fasting. Every person at the ceremony was dressed in white, too, and there were dogs and plenty of children in the scene. I related what I saw to Amber.
“I love it!” Amber exclaimed. “Is there more?”
The reading unfolded just like a video of her wedding-to-be. There were several components of Pagan or Wiccan traditions present, and these turned out to be the perfect rituals for the unique yet meaningful celebration Amber wanted.
Pagan Wedding Traditions
Pagan wedding traditions are simple, elegant, and symbolic, as well as festive and group-oriented. Although Amber doesn’t identify as Pagan, she and her partner were inspired by the relaxed, nature-oriented feel of these traditions.
Hand-fasting is perhaps the most well-known Pagan tradition, and it’s what I saw first in the vision I had for Amber. Historically, this practice was used when communities and families made marriage matches based on land trades and other practical matters. The ritual uses special cords you can either buy or make. They can be any color or material that you like. Amber chose decorative white cording with jeweled tassels, making them herself and blessing them ahead of time with a simple ritual.
Your officiant, friends, or family will wrap your hands after you say your vows, symbolizing that you are now bound in loyalty to each other. If you are using rings (an ancient symbol and practice itself), you can exchange those before the cords are wrapped as well.
A Sacred Circle can be created for the couple to stand in. This may be marked out with candles at the four directions, a circle drawn in sand, or a circle of flower petals. The officiant will bless the space, and you may want to call in the elements, your spirit guides, angels, or ancestors. Amber and her fiance chose to call on departed family members as part of their sacred circle. Drawing a circle is particularly well-suited to weddings in outdoor locations where they may not be a defined place to stand.
Within the circle, you can place an altar holding a unity candle, the rings, or fresh flowers or fruit. Guests may be asked to contribute to the altar, or you may create it yourself. Amber thought this was a great job for her matron of honor and her two flower girls.
Unique Vows are often used, drawn from ancient traditions or created by the couple themselves. Your officiant may have suggestions or even have their own ceremonies they have written. Amber and her partner wrote poems for each other that incorporated their vows. Creating vows that are unique to you and your fiance is a great way to bring a modern feel to an ancient tradition.
The Maypole Dance is a springtime ritual which is a fun way to start off the reception. The pole can be crafted of any material and is usually 6-8 feet tall. Ribbons are affixed to the top, and as celebrants dance around the pole, they wrap the ribbons around it. The decorated pole can be “planted” in the earth at the couple’s home to symbolize fertility, abundance, and growth. It’s a great twist on the first dance at a reception that involves the whole gang. At Amber’s wedding, they danced around a live tree hung with ribbons. A Celtic harpist and fiddler played under the tree as the guests danced around it.
Other traditions—such as guests standing or sitting in a circle, ceremonial fires or candles, or multiple blessings from the guests—may be used, too. Wiccan weddings are typically outdoors, but if your date or geography makes this difficult, simply bring the outdoors to you with plants, trees, flowers, or by using a space with a great view of a natural setting.
Making It Your Own
Amber loved the vision I had for her. She asked all the guests to wear white and held the ceremony in a state park—making it clear that children and pets were invited! It was a delightful wedding; thoroughly original, as Amber had wanted, and yet still tethered to old traditions.
If you want to add these traditions to your wedding, I recommend finding a Pagan officiant to guide you. Often, psychics are able to legally marry people and have a wealth of knowledge about ancient traditions. State laws vary, so check what is legal in your area.
Though it’s important to respect these traditions, it is also great to remember that it’s your wedding, and there are lots of ways to create a wholly unique celebration which incorporates your personal interests. You may want to include some information on your ceremony in your invitations, just so your guests will know what to expect. Ultimately, Pagan traditions are simple, beautiful, and fun for everyone—not just the bride and groom. You can have a modern wedding with age-old traditions that are customized to fit your unique beliefs and desires.
Curious about Wiccan or Pagan traditions? Or looking for guidance about how to make your wedding extra special? Advisors on Keen can help—call today!
“I’ve got a big problem,” Trisha said. “I’ve met this great guy, Tom—well, actually I knew him already—and I’m falling in love.”
“So your problem is...?” I asked.
“He was my good friend’s boyfriend for two years. I mean, they are totally done, have been for months. We met again later and realized we were attracted to each other. But I also care for Melanie, his ex. What should I do?”
I find this is a common dilemma, especially among younger people for whom dating is more casual, and people often circulate through relationships within the same friend group. Trish is in her late twenties and was aware of her own intense need to finally partner and settle down—and this is why she wanted my assistance. Was her own desire blinding her to a potentially devastating situation?
Of course, dating a friend’s ex is going to be different in each circumstance. But there are some guidelines to follow, and getting a reading can help you understand if there is karma at play and clarify your own motivations.
Identify What’s At Stake
Many people have no difficulty dating casually within a larger peer group. Relationships may last a few months but rarely develop into anything more serious. This had been Trisha’s experience all through her early twenties, but now that she was getting older, this state of coming and going was not as easy to handle. We needed to determine what was actually at stake if she chose to date Tom.
Melanie and Tom had been together for a couple years, during which time they had lived together. Their breakup was traumatic and messy, and Trisha had been a major source of support for Melanie during the weeks after the split. Melanie’s healing process was well underway when Trisha ran into Tom at a party. Suddenly, she was able to admit feelings of attraction for him that she’d always had.
Because of the nature of the breakup, Trisha’s role to Melanie after it, and their continued closeness, it was clear that the stakes were high. An important friendship could be damaged or lost. When we did the reading, I kept having an image of Trisha sneakily taking candy from a jar. I asked her if this image resonated with her.
“Well...I guess I was always attracted to him. And we did make out one time at a party when he and Mel were still together. But he was hers—I never wanted to take him from her.”
We talked about it more. Was it possible that finally having the forbidden fruit was at the heart of the attraction? And would that experience really turn into love?
I also found a contract of healing that Trisha had with Melanie, so there was a karmic obligation that could be dissolved if she wanted. Trisha chose to release the compulsion created by the contract to “heal” her friend and to talk with Melanie about her feelings for Tom.
In some situations, there isn’t any feeling left between former partners; the breakup was clean, there has been forgiveness and healing, or enough time has passed that it won’t matter to a friend if you date her ex. More often, however, these elements are not in place, and your friendship may be strained or even destroyed by your actions. If your friend and her ex share children, financial obligations, or even pets, your getting involved will complicate things even more. Does this mean you should deny real feelings and attraction? No—but just realize what is at stake, and don’t expect your friend to necessarily be understanding.
Tell the Truth
Trisha’s conversation with Melanie wasn’t easy. There were tears, and Melanie felt betrayed by Trisha’s actions. But it was out in the open, and now both could decide how they wanted to deal with it. Trisha wanted to keep dating Tom, and Melanie decided that she couldn’t hang out with Trisha for a while. She needed more time to heal. That their friendship would not survive was a risk Trisha decided to take.
Talking to your friend—not the same as asking permission—is the first step you should take. If you are good friends, this may be harder than if you are merely acquainted or in the same friend group. But being honest is the best way to start. Let her know that you respect her feelings but will make your own decisions. Allow her to do the same.
For Trisha, her relationship with Tom did end, and her friendship with Melanie remains awkward. In a follow-up reading, Trisha told me that she wouldn’t make the same decision again if she had it to do over. Still, we found ways for her to take the experience and grow from it, and hopefully, Melanie can do so as well.
Trisha realized fear and insecurity were driving her attraction to Tom—powerful feelings when mixed with her real physical desire for him. Her goal is to date completely outside her friend group now, so there are no complicated previous alliances to worry about. This isn’t the only answer, but it’s one way to approach things.
There are no hard and fast rules for dating a friend’s ex. Sometimes groups of souls incarnate together and there are deep bonds and agreements. Other times, it’s just chance. Getting as clear as possible about what is at stake, your motivations, and any existing karma will help you assess the situation when you find you have feelings for a friend’s former partner. Most importantly, telling the truth and acting from the most informed place possible will assist you in making the best decision for you.
What’s the biggest issue for us ladies these days when it comes to relationships and dating? More than anything else, my friends and clients are grappling with commitment issues. Whether it’s their man or themselves, it seems like no one is really clear on when and how to commit—or even how to talk about it.
So what does it take to recognize and address commitment issues? Ultimately, a lot depends on your astrological background, your life experience, communication, and your degree of self-love.
Astrology and Commitment
I’m the first to say that you have to get your whole astrological chart done to really dive into any underlying commitment issues, but to get started, just knowing your Sun and Moon sign will help. Not every sign is naturally inclined to pair bond or even be monogamous, and these tendencies are super helpful to know so you can have realistic expectations of yourself and your partner.
The following categorizations are general, so don’t freak out if you don’t like what you see. Remember the Sun and Moon are places to start.
• Commitment-oriented signs: Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo, Cancer, Libra, Scorpio
• Variety-lovers (most comfortable in polyamorous arrangements or long-term playing the field): Gemini, Aquarius, Sagittarius, some Scorpios, Aries
• Serial monogamists (able to commit long-term but not necessarily to mate for life): Libra, Leo, Pisces, Aries, Scorpio
You’ll see repetition on some signs. For them, so much depends on their level of self-reliance (Libra), how they deal with jealousy issues (Scorpio), or if the relationship still serves them (Aries).
Of course, any sign can mate for life or be terminally single, but you will almost never find a Capricorn, for example, being a total poly player. The Sun sign will tell you a lot about inner essence and fundamental values, whereas the Moon will describe emotional inclinations and needs.
Self-Love is Key
The vast majority of relationships are co-dependent on some level. After all, society teaches us that the “I can’t live without you” type of love is the way to go. Although we’re better at conquering this trend than previous generations, it’s still a thought-plague in our culture, and I don’t know about you, but my mom totally modeled co-dependent relationships for me.
The antidote to co-dependency is self-reliance and self-love. This doesn’t mean you don’t need other people or want them in your life, but it does mean you are okay being alone, taking time away from relationships, and setting healthy boundaries. So many people want to rush into commitment because they are insecure. If you are a woman who has done that (and let’s face it, most of us have), it’s going to make most guys run. But at some point, it is appropriate to talk about commitment. If you have a deep sense of love within and about yourself, you are less likely to rush this conversation and more likely to deal with it maturely when the topic does come up.
To master commitment issues, you really have to communicate with self-awareness and maturity. Learning about yourself, your fears, subconscious hang-ups, and working through your childhood issues all leads to being more aware and being a better communicator. If you are too lazy or scared to work on yourself (listen up, dudes), then you may always find yourself running away—even if you are with someone you really love. Classically, women have more work to do around self-love/reliance and guys around self-awareness—both of which are necessary for handling a committed relationship and the adulting that accompanies it. Monogamy—or polyamory, even more—living together, pooling finances, or starting a family all require good communication to work even remotely well.
Let’s face it, some of us had better role models than others when it comes to relationships. I mentioned my mom; she and my dad divorced when I was about ten, and afterwards, she had one long-term guy after another. I didn’t suffer, but the message she gave me was that being alone was not okay. She even told me once that the most important thing for me to do was to “get a man.” I couldn’t believe it either—but her mom told her that, and her mom before her...so she didn’t even question it. I don’t subscribe to that belief consciously, but my issues around dating and relating were still formed by my parents, my peers, and my culture. You have to look at where you are coming from—and where your partner is coming from—in terms of life experience to begin to unpack commitment patterns, fears, and obstacles.
At the end of the day, each relationship is so unique that it’s impossible to give general advice around when to commit or why you/he/she can’t. This is where a spiritual advisor, counselor, or other mentor can help. But I will say that both people have to be willing to enter into the conversation, even if one might not feel ready to actually do anything in that moment. Is it appropriate on the first date? Uh—probably not. Is it cool on the fourth date? The tenth? The one-hundredth? Again, it depends on the couple.
If you have the self-love and self-awareness to know what you want and what you bring to the table—both positive and negative—then you will know when you are ready to think about making a commitment to someone. The only thing you can do is approach the discussion with honesty, openness, and vulnerability. If you know yourself, you can separate yourself from your fears, so you don’t have to be ruled by them. If you love yourself, you can set boundaries if you aren’t ready to commit or handle rejection if the other party isn’t. Unlike times past, we have so much freedom around how and when to marry or have kids—or whether to take these steps at all—so it pays to take the time to develop self-knowledge first. Commitment to yourself and your own personal growth is what it really takes to be ready to commit to another soul.
My friend, Jess, had moved back to town after a stint in the Peace Corps. She had been with the same boyfriend all through college, but they broke up when she went to Africa. It made sense; they wouldn’t see each other for two years, after all. But after being back for a year, she was still unable to find romantic success. She came over for dinner, and we talked about her situation.
“It’s like there isn’t anyone but Mattie,” she said. “I mean, I’m over him, and we’re even sort of in touch as friends, but I can’t get past him. Does that make sense?”
“I think so, but let’s draw a card, just to see.”
I had my Tarot deck out, and we were enjoying a glass of wine while the chicken was roasting. I pulled one card for her. It was the Five of Cups.
“Hmm...the card is suggesting there’s still some disappointment and sadness, something holding you back. What do you think?”
We talked about it a while longer, but she insisted she was over him. After dinner, she mentioned that she still had their romantic emails and cards, and even a high school class ring he’d given her.
“That could be it,” I said. “In your head, you’ve moved on. That’s real, but there’s something in your heart that’s still holding on to these old pieces of his love. Think about it.”
A couple days later, she called me. She had gotten the cards, the ring, and printed the emails out. Sure enough, there were still feelings attached to these objects. Since she was clear that she didn’t want to get back together with him, I suggested performing a simple ritual to cut the attachment. She was hesitant but decided to go for it. And (spoiler alert) it was a success!
Releasing Past Love
The steps are simple: find your sentimental objects (print them out if they’re digital), build a fire, release the objects to the flame, verbally release your old flame (couldn’t resist the pun), observe the objects as they are transformed, ask for new love (if you want), and then thank your guides (God, Goddesses, whoever), and douse the fire.
It was autumn, so I suggested that Jess build a little bonfire in her backyard to burn the emails and cards. You will want to be able to sit comfortably near your fire and prepare any other ritual items you desire, like a candle or sage. If you don’t have a good place for a fire pit, you can use a barbecue or burn barrel. Or, go to a campground where there are fire pits and make a weekend retreat out of it.
If you can’t be outside, use an indoor fireplace or wood stove. If that isn’t possible, you can burn just a small piece of your object in an appropriate container (like a cast iron pan or even just in a candle) with the intention that the small piece represents the whole. Metaphysical shops often sell mini-cauldrons that people use for burning resins and charcoal. Chances are you’ll use it again, so it’s an inexpensive investment. If there is simply no way to create flame safely where you live (or if you are uncomfortable with fire), you can visualize burning the objects. Fire is powerful because it transmutes objects from one state to another—but it isn’t as essential as your intention.
If there are items not appropriate to burn, like jewelry, you can give them away or even sell them with the intention of releasing the past. Jess sent the ring back to Mattie with a brief, friendly note (not an explanation). I had another friend with a family heirloom ring that she had no way of returning to the ex, but she sent it to his sister since she didn’t feel it was hers to sell or give away. Another client left a ring at a temple for Lakshmi. Be creative.
But to be clear: you must release the physical objects somehow for this to work.
Jess spoke a prayer as she gently placed her objects into the fire. Some people read poems, write their own verse, or use lines from a song. One friend even played the song on her guitar as her old beau’s shirt burned in her fire. Jess then watched the objects fall into ash and opened her heart in thanks for all that she had learned with Mattie. She cried—yep, we tend to—and then when the fire burned low, she thanked her guides and put the fire out. As the last of the smoke rose to the sky, she asked to receive a new love.
A month later, she met an amazing guy. Don’t you love it? And this works—I’ve experienced it myself and seen it happen with others.
Most people tend to keep mementos from past loves. But what I’ve found—and Jess and loads of other women have, too—is that holding onto these items holds us back. Objects hold energy, and though it might be positive energy, it’s still from the past. If you are brave enough to let love’s relics go, you may find that the space created will soon be filled by a new love.
Renee and Michael came to my studio for a joint astrology counseling session. I wondered how we’d get on, with Mercury retrograde and all, but we were all aware of the energy and trying hard to combat it. And then, like a bad TV show, it devolved.
Eye rolling. Crossed arms. Bad juju body language. He said, she said. Yelling.
It spiraled out fast—and we only got the whole situation calmed down when Michael stormed out for some fresh air. I wasn’t happy that I hadn’t kept the session under control (I’m still learning too!), but Renee assured me it wasn’t my fault.
“Our communication sucks, as you can see,” she said. “He just won’t talk like a civilized person. Everything ends in shouting.”
Communication is THE deal-breaker in relationships—second only to trust, perhaps. Good communication starts with us as individuals, then we need to look at the needs and methods of the other person. If you can’t communicate well, you won’t have healthy relationships. Period. So let’s take a look at ways couples can strengthen communication.
Astrology and Communication
Astrological knowledge helps couples (or anyone) work with themselves and each other more effectively. First, look at the basic Sun and Moon duo. These two planets describe the fundamentals by which you operate, often unconsciously (the Sun), and your emotional and safety needs (the Moon). For example, Renee’s Sun is in Aries and her Moon is in Leo. She is fiery, independent, and fundamentally self-referencing, so she’ll act from her perspective first (unlike Libra or Cancer, who will consider others first). She’s not afraid of being alone, yet deep down, she needs acknowledgment and praise. She has a natural relationship with anger, and her shadow Leo can make a drama out of anything.
Michael is a Capricorn Sun with an Aquarius Moon, so he’s pretty removed from his emotions. He wants order, practical solutions, and praise for his objective mind. His Moon needs to be alone when threatened (why he walked out during our session), and he doesn’t like dramatic scenes.
Next, look at Mercury, for this placement governs how you approach communication of all kinds. Renee’s Mercury is in Aries; Michael’s is in Aquarius. While the air/fire duo can be mutually inspiring, it also can cause disconnect as fire communicates through instinct and air through logic. Aquarius just doesn’t do anger, while Aries says, “Bring it!”
You can see how understanding these differences will create a foundation on which to start compromising. So...Michael needs to activate the curious, objective side of his Mercury in Aquarius to engage with Renee’s impulsive and fiery Aries. They have to agree to meet in the middle; Michael needs to not fear Renee’s emotions, and Renee needs to express some of her fire in other ways—not just “at” Michael. Sometimes she’s the one who needs to take a timeout.
Own Your Flaws
The biggest obstacle to good communication is projection and lack of self-awareness. As I worked with Renee, she reluctantly became aware that she was initiating most of the shouting. Michael—as his astrology showed—would go quiet and escape if he could. By blaming him for being argumentative, she didn’t have to own that it was really her pattern.
None of us want to look at how mean, passive-aggressive, or manipulative we can be. But until we own our flaws (with compassion), we will continue to project them onto our relationships. None of us are good, heroic, or selfless all the time—nor are we always mean or evil (can you tell I’ve been watching old episodes of Once Upon A Time?). Just accept that we’ve all got flaws. And then work on yours.
When you find yourself in the midst of an argument and you see your shadow self in action, stop. Own it. That doesn’t mean you are taking responsibility for the whole issue, just that you can be honest about where you are. Renee learned to say, “I’m feeling rage” and to give herself a timeout to beat some pillows. Michael learned to acknowledge that he’d checked out because things were too intense and to ask for a minute to come back to his body. For these two, learning to speak their truth in the moment was a game changer. Which leads me to...
Okay—you might not want to hear this, but to really excel at communication, you’ve got to be vulnerable. Sometimes it will go badly, but often when you are open, honest, and put your reality out there, the other person will meet you halfway. Maybe not the first time, but eventually they will (and if they don’t—well, they’ve got work to do).
Renee didn’t know how to be vulnerable. She had four brothers, and her Aries had served her well in this dynamic by making her brave, scrappy, and tenacious. Unfortunately, no one in her family did “soft” very well, let alone vulnerable. She practiced being vulnerable with me, then trusted friends, and finally Michael. She was blown away to find that his Capricorn was honored by her personal integrity and openness, which melted his defensive fear of losing control.
Communication is a vast and complicated topic which is at the core of many relationship issues. Refining your skills can be a life-long project, but a good place to start is with understanding your patterns (astrology is a great tool), owning your defenses, and taking the risk of being vulnerable. We all feel scared, insufficient, and afraid of abandonment or betrayal. Know that the other person is really just like you. Show them what you’d like to experience yourself, and you will be well on your way to real, masterful communication.
Advisors on Keen can guide you through tangled communication issues and help you find common ground. Get the support you need, and call today!
Mercury is a swift inner planet known for retrograde cycles that keep everybody jumpy around technology and worried about plans going awry. But after that, most of us tend to ignore this important planet. His transits through the heavens go quickly—too quick to really track and work with. Still, we could all benefit from understanding Mercury’s role in our birth charts.
Knowing your own Mercury sign can give you clues as to how you unconsciously communicate or react to situations. Likewise, if you know the Mercury sign of your partner or loved one, you can tailor communication to meet their needs or recognize when they are speaking out of a defensive or natural (but perhaps unknown to them) expression. I have seen many relationships saved once Mercury’s energy is clearly understood because, of course, good communication is a must for a successful union.
As always, we’re just discussing one aspect of the natal chart here. If you really want to dig deeply into your personal or relationship astrology, you should get a complete chart done and work with an astrologer to understand charts in comparison or composite.
Mercury in the Fire Signs
While fire Mercury will be listening with his ears, he will also be intuitively sensing body language and energetic cues. He will often surprise you with his gut-level understanding of what is behind the words.
Aries: Quick, to-the-point, self-referencing, spontaneous, may be brusque. When feeling defensive, Aries can skim the surface of emotional content, say “whatever,” and move on. To communicate with an Aries Mercury, just say what needs to be said and keep the drama out of it.
Leo: Self-referencing, stubborn, slower processor, may create a story or drama around emotions. When threatened, Leo may bluster or, less likely, retreat in a pout. To make progress with this Mercury, let them tell their side of the story, stay out of drama yourself, and acknowledge their feelings—you don’t have to agree, just acknowledge that you’ve heard them.
Sagittarius: Spontaneous, quick, philosophical, open to others’ ideas. In shadow, they will insist that they alone know the truth and that you need to change! To communicate best with Sag, join in the deeper discussion and take your time with the conversation. Understand that they need things to be meaningful and are inherently looking to grow.
Mercury in the Earth Signs
Earth Mercury is typically slower to process and must connect with the physical or material world. They are left-brained and relational, so wild theoretical ramblings will go right past them, as will meaningless small talk and gossip.
Capricorn: Quiet, listener, slower to process, follows the rules, creates a container for safe communication. If defensive, Cap will become cold and rigid. To communicate with this Mercury, relate topics to practical things, remain logical, and allow for conversational give and take.
Taurus: Ruminative, may need to ground a discussion with eating or some physical exercise. When defensive, they will refuse to hear what they don’t like and dig in with their famous stubbornness. To work with this energy, let conversations unfold over time and offer touch and connection during the conversation.
Virgo: Quick, logical, organized, aloof, interested in healing and finding solutions. When feeling unsafe, they will become their famously critical, nit-picky selves. To communicate with this Mercury, appreciate them and ask for help if you need it. Let them know you want to help them, too.
Mercury in the Air Signs
In these signs, Mercury is quick, objective, curious, left-brained, and focused on pure information, justice, and humanity.
Gemini: Quick, flighty, curious, and funny. They will want to explore all sides of an issue, though not deeply, and need short discussions infused with humor. If feeling defensive, they may talk over you, refuse to take things seriously, or actually bail on the conversation. Investigate the facts with them and provide boundaries for the conversation. Be patient with their flakiness, but don’t let it go on indefinitely.
Libra: Aware, balanced, objective, slower processors. If feeling unsafe, Mercury in Libra will refuse to decide or take action. To work with this energy, make sure they are expressing their needs too, and help them make decisions with you. They need time to talk and consider all sides.
Aquarius: Far-seeing, neutral, great listeners, articulate, aware. Their shadow qualities are becoming fixated on one idea and hogging the conversation. To communicate with Aquarius Mercury, stick to facts and ideas, as too much emotion can cause them to withdraw. They value intelligent discourse and a well-honed argument.
Mercury in the Water Signs
Another intuitive placement, Mercury in these signs is fluid, compassionate, passionate, right-brained, and receptive.
Cancer: Clairsentient, nurturing, easily slighted, slower processor, heart centered. When feeling threatened, they can be crabby or passive-aggressive. The best way to communicate with Cancer Mercury is to gently ask what they need, provide a safe container for their feelings, and allow them to nurture and be nurtured.
Scorpio: Clairvoyant, passionate, intense, strong-willed, fast processor. When in shadow, this Mercury can be manipulative, jealous, and paranoid. To communicate with this energy, stand in your own power and acknowledge their strength as well. They will meet you at whatever depth is necessary to transform a situation, however mundane.
Pisces: Claircognizant, devoted, spiritual, empathetic, compassionate. Pisces always has a filter of cosmic consciousness through which they receive information—whether they know it or not. In shadow, Pisces Mercury may become addicted, delusional, escapist, or martyred. It is important to help them create emotional boundaries and ground information in the physical. They need soft communication and don’t deal well with anger, hate, or cold intellectualism.
Understanding your own and another’s Mercury sign will help you communicate more successfully in all of your relationships. Take the time to learn about how you use this planet’s energy, and also observe your loved ones—how do you see their Mercury in action? Combined with knowledge about the Moon, Sun, and the rest of the chart, you will be well equipped to navigate any relationship challenges.
Are you curious about Mercury’s role in your life? Or how you might use this energy to have better communication? Contact an astrological advisor on Keen today!
You’re at the party or the bar, and you see him. He’s probably got a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Maybe he’s in the band. He’s got great hair, perfect hands, and thatvibe. He might not have a motorcycle and a leather jacket—or maybe he does?—but whatever, he’s just a little dangerous, a little scary...and as soon as your eyes meet, it’s all over. He’s got you.
You know the next part. The relationship is passionate; he’s so into you, like he wants to own you, and it feels great. He’s pushing your comfort zone, you tell your besties. And the sex...
But it always happens, doesn’t it? This next part, where he cheats on you or ditches you for his buddies. Or he lies or gets you into territory you aren’t sure you’re comfortable with. Worse—he hurts you. You fight. You make up. Eventually, it ends.
And if you are like my two wonderful friends, Sarah and Jessie, you rinse and repeat.
What is it with the bad boy thing? Why are we attracted to this archetype/stereotype, even when we know it’s not right? I think there are two main reasons why the bad guy keeps his allure and definite steps you can take if this is your go-to type.
(I want to be clear here: there are bad boys and there are abusive men. Sometimes the line is fuzzy, but if you are in a relationship with someone who is abusing you, that is a serious situation. Please get help—from a shelter, a trusted friend, counselor, or other professional.)
Search and Rescue
Jessie is a search and rescue expert. Not like the get-you-off-a-mountain type, but rather the search-for-the-tormented-soul-and-save-him variety. She’s had several tumultuous relationships with bad boys over the years, and her MO was to try to fix her relationship with her alcoholic dad by “saving” these men.
Each of her boyfriends was initially the tortured musician/writer/artist type, and they all had addiction problems. They were fascinating, compelling, hot guys to be sure, and she loved being lavished with their attention, loved being the special muse. But ultimately, she ended up in co-dependent situations where she was always going to be next in line after the addiction, then the art—and, if she was lucky, she was next after that.
Jessie isn’t into casual hookups, so she always got deeply involved with these guys, who were often older than her as well. She was always sure her love and devotion could save them from themselves. It was—and I say this with all love for her—delusional.
Eventually, she’d realize that the guy wasn’t going to put her first―ever—and that she couldn’t save him. She’d chastise herself, end it—or get dumped—and lick her wounds.
Then on to the next.
Now that she’s finally said NO to her urge to go bad and understands how the deep longing for her father’s love was driving her, she’s doing the healing and spiritual work to get healthy for a healthy man. She’s made a list of her “non-negotiables” in relationships and has vowed to stand by those. For example, “no addicts” is high on the list.
“I Don’t Deserve Love”
Sarah told me she’s just not attracted to nice guys—and she’s had a string of bad boys to prove it. Like Jessie, she’s had a few alcoholic boyfriends, a few with prison tats, and even one scary heroin addict who helped her break the habit long enough to ask herself what the hell she was doing.
She has this idea that these guys just need to be loved. No one has given them a chance, and just because they aren’t perfect...and so on. I’m all for empathy, compassion, and giving people a chance. We all make mistakes. But Sarah’s typical guy really wasn’t trying to transform his life, and it was, in fact, this “badness” that she liked.
After the scary heroin guy, she came to me for a reading. We got into some pretty emotional territory, and at one point, she started to cry, saying, “I just don’t deserve any better, you know? So why bother? Nice guys never want me.”
This was so not true. But it was what she felt inside.
Sarah, like Jessie, is now working on her inner self-love so she can meet a guy who can be there for her. She recently went to an AA meeting with a friend and met a guy there. Yes, he’s working on sobriety, but he’s trying and willing to grow. Sarah is cautiously getting to know this man. He’s not a bad boy, but rather a man who has made some bad choices and had some bad experiences that he’s trying to learn from. There’s a big difference.
Lack of self-love or a rescuer complex are the main issues I see going on with girls who want the bad guys. And, of course, our culture makes this archetype seem acceptable and desirable. But a film isn’t real life.
We all deserve to love and be loved, forgiven, given second chances, and to grow. And you know the difference between someone who is trying to make positive changes in their lives and a guy who just wants to drag you into his crazy-making.
In today’s hookup culture, we often get involved with people before we really have any idea who they are. But especially once you are past the age of twenty-five, you might be starting to look for something lasting and real. If bad guys are your kryptonite, get some support to understand why you are attracted to them and what you can change within yourself, for yourself, so you can have a healthy relationship with someone who treats you like an equal, valuable human being.
Are you stuck in relationship patterns? Find yourself never connecting with a real love? Our advisors can help you understand why. Call and get the support you need today.
I’ve told you about our women’s group, right? It’s informal and fun, but we also meet with an agenda to work on issues that affect us as Millennial women. We take turns introducing topics or activities. At our last meeting, my friend Shanti brought up the issue of claiming power in her relationship with her mom. It was a great topic, as we all feel we could stand up for ourselves more with someone in our lives.
For me, it’s about working with overpowering clients. For others, it was boyfriends, bosses, or housemates. Whatever the relationship, there are basic guidelines to help claim your own power without disempowering or overpowering the other person.
Spot the Give-Away
By definition, reclaiming power means you’ve given it away at some point. Learning to spot when you have or are about to give someone else your power is key to nipping these struggles in the bud.
For example, do you hear yourself saying, “I don’t know/care; you decide.” Or, “What do you want me to do?” Especially when accompanied by feelings of regret, resentment, or resignation, statements like these can be a sign you are giving power away.
Being passive, indecisive, or waiting for someone else to do something for you can be disempowering. Of course, any of these things may be appropriate and legitimate, too, depending on the situation. It’s subtle, so observe the situation carefully.
State the Facts
In a situation where you feel that you need to (or should have) stood up for yourself, get the facts straight. What actually is happening? With Shanti’s mom—who she lives with—arguments quickly got overblown with drama from past events. By getting a grip on what was going on in present time, Shanti was able to stay out of old patterns and away from past drama triangles. Both parties should take a time-out to get objective about what is happening.
Own Your Actions
The key to mastering communication and staying empowered is to own what you bring to the table. Spot your own shortcomings (without getting all victimy or judgy on yourself) and tell the other person—honestly. With one client, I have to own that I am triggered by negotiating my rates. I’m able to say, “When clients try to negotiate rates, it kicks up some survival issues, so that’s why I may get defensive.”
If your partner shames, belittles, or tries to “will-bend” you, staying strong by owning your feelings in the moment can help him see how his actions affect you—without pointing fingers. For example, “When I feel like someone is trying to make me do something, I get defensive and stubborn.”
Let Them Own Their Stuff Too
Often, the more aware person in a relationship will end up taking responsibility for a whole challenging situation because they are the ones who can own their stuff. But don’t let this happen! Ask your partner/mom/friend what they are feeling, what is going on with them, or what they need. You don’t have to give it to them, condone it, or like it—whatever “it” is. But give them a chance to own what they’re experiencing.
We aren’t responsible for other people’s feelings (yeah, I know, you’ve learned otherwise). That doesn’t mean you should be mean or don’t have to take responsibility for the consequences of what you say/do. But if you speak your truth as consciously as you can and someone doesn’t like it—well, ultimately, that is their problem.
In other words, don’t care-take other people’s feelings and reactions. Let them come up with their own “owning.” You giving them a list of the stuff you’d like them to do feels like finger-pointing and blame.
Often owning our power—especially when we are new at it—feels like a battle to win. It can get kinda competitive and aggressive if you don’t watch out. If that happens while you are learning to stand up for yourself, don’t beat yourself up. But do look at why it happened and how you’d like things to go differently. Creating boundaries is essential to feeling empowered, but it’s not necessary to build and defend a fortress.
Cultivate Compassion and Self-Love
Learning good communication and practicing empowerment come when we love ourselves and are compassionate about our weaknesses, foibles, and fears. That love and compassion can be extended to the other people in our lives, and we learn to give and take in ways that feel good for everyone. Understanding that whoever we’re interacting with has similar fears and flaws helps open the door to empathy. If you can model this sort of compassion, others may follow suit.
Claiming your power in difficult relationships or situations is a practice that takes time. You may feel fine with some people and terrified of others. That’s normal. You can reflect on the relationships where you feel empowered to understand what qualities you can bring to those where you don’t feel that way. And remember, we’re all works in progress. Have patience with yourself as you face fears, develop new skills, and learn ways to consciously and compassionately develop your own personal power.
Do you have tricky interactions with loved ones? Want to stand up for yourself more? Advisors on Keen can help you navigate relationship challenges with more ease. Call to get support today!
“So I finally met this amazing guy,” Mackenzie told me at the beginning of our reading, “but there are a couple of red flags...”
Mackenzie described her misgivings about this man—I’ll call him Andrew. She was very conflicted since she really liked him, and he sounded okay to me, too. But what wasn’t okay was that she had crossed a moral boundary for him. She had all kinds of rationalizations and really wanted me to tell her it would be fine if she let her own values slide. But I couldn’t.
It’s common for clients to call with these kinds of dating dilemmas. They’ve been in the game awhile, they finally meet someone great, but there is just this little something that isn’t right. And I’m not talking about “he’s too short” or “she’s twenty pounds overweight.” Usually, the biggest problems arise when the new love interest asks my client to do something they feel uncomfortable with. This can involve sexual activities, bringing in additional people to the relationship, lying, or even committing crimes!
I’ve heard it all. And there is almost never a time when you should compromise your own moral code for someone else.
Lies, Lies, Lies
Mackenzie’s situation was complicated. Andrew was separated from his wife, and he told Mackenzie that they had agreed to see other people. This wasn’t true, however, so when the couple ran into Andrew’s wife unexpectedly, he lied about who she was and asked Mackenzie to go along. She did—no big deal, right? But it didn’t make her feel good. They had a talk about it and moved on.
The next time Mackenzie had to lie for Andrew was when his wife brought by their daughter—again, unexpectedly—to his apartment. Mackenzie had spent the night and opened the door when they arrived. Andrew lied—probably ineffectively—to his 9-year old, telling her that Mackenzie was a cousin. He made Mackenzie leave—“bye, great to see you after all this time!”—and again asked her to play along with the deception.
Mackenzie was rationalizing like crazy in our session. “He’s so great—other than this.” She insisted.
“But how do you feel about the lying?” I asked.
“Well—obviously, it’s not cool. I mean, I pride myself on honesty. I don’t lie—especially to people I love!”
But she stayed in the relationship anyway, and when she called a month later, things had gotten worse.
Crimes of the Heart
Unbelievable as it may sound, by our second call, Mackenzie had stolen money from her sister for Andrew. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise: twice they had been out to dinner and Andrew had engineered ways to leave without paying, and he had also “borrowed” money from her which he had yet to repay.
“He’s having a hard time since the separation,” she said. “I get it. It takes a while to adjust to a single income.”
So, it made perfect sense for Mackenzie to steal for him, didn’t it?
At this point, Mackenzie was miserable and guilt-stricken. She was furious with herself for crossing her moral code time and again, but she was also in love with Andrew. “He just needs help. A little forgiveness. It’s a tough time,” she kept repeating.
In our reading, I saw that Andrew had multiple energetic cords with Mackenzie, so I gave her some techniques for removing them and for developing psychic protection. I told her that the transgressions would only continue now that he knew she would break the law for him. In addition, I drew two Tarot cards for the situation and wasn’t surprised to find the King of Swords reversed, alongside the Devil.
“You’ve got to look into your own fears here. Why are you willing to do this for him? Are you codependent with him? Unwilling to say what needs to be said—which is ‘no?’ How are you going to answer for this money you stole from your sister?”
I invited her to really take a look at her motivation for being with him.
Why is Morality Important?
Though many people don’t draw their sense of right and wrong from religion, there is a kind of universal code most of us follow. I have my own sense of morality based on the laws of karma—or cause and effect. If I don’t want to experience being lied to, I shouldn’t lie. If I don’t want to be stolen from, then it’s best I don’t steal.
Yet often, my clients feel that in order to find love or keep someone around, they have to compromise what they feel is right. They believe that little exceptions won’t matter, but this almost always leads to bigger ones. Mackenzie’s tale is extreme—most of my clients find themselves crossing sexual boundaries for another—but it’s not the only story I’ve heard.
Mackenzie finally drew the line with Andrew, and he dumped her. She was upset but also relieved and ready to take her power back. She returned her sister’s money and confessed about the situation—a brave and freeing step that was also the right thing to do.
You have a sense of right and wrong, an innate ability to know what is good for you and what isn’t. When you don’t honor your inner compass, you will create guilt, negative karma, and situations you’d rather not be in. We all make mistakes, but compromising your own values and morals won’t make you happy, and in the end, it won’t secure love.
Are you unsure about a new love or current relationship? An advisor on Keen can help. Call today to get the support you need.