East and West

At both equinoxes, the Sun rises due east and sets due west, no matter where in the world you are. Since Friday is the Autumn Equinox, head outside to mark this primary direction on your local, personal horizon. If you are an early riser, check out the sunrise, which occurs due east if you observe right on the equinox. For most of us, viewing the sunset is easier to manage, but the principal is the same: The Sun will set due west no matter your geographical location. Stroll outside for one or both of these events on Friday, and make a note of these 2 primary directions on your personal viewing space. Sunrise SunsetThis is how you bring sky and earth together!

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Maximizing Income with Jupiter in Taurus

Now that Jupiter, planet of abundance and expansion, is moving through the highly magnetic sign Taurus, (believe me, this doesn’t have anything to do with the imminent termination of my unemployment benefits), I’ve been thinking about ways to increase and maximize income. We’ve got a little window here, until June 2012, to intentionally activate the flow of resources and money. And this is not the royal “we,” by the way. Anyone can take advantage of this temporary opportunity.

What are some ways we might amplify our income? Here’s a short list of suggestions, just a beginning really, because I’m sure you’ve got some ideas to add, too.

Repurpose old content. Dig out some of the work you did 5, 10 or 20 years ago. No one’s seen it in a long time, and there could be some value in it you’ve forgotten. There’s a whole new audience available now; digitalizing and distributing your previous efforts can give your voice and passion a whole new life, not to mention a new revenue stream.

Personalize it, if possible. Not all work lends itself to one-off products, but it was a conversation about this very subject that got my mind started down this track. Many years ago, a friend of mine wrote an astrology report, designed to be individualized. Clients go online, purchase the report, enter their birth information, and she creates the report either digitally or in a printed version, which costs extra, and sends it to them. She’s made a lot of money on it over the years. She mentioned how glad she is now that she made that choice early on: she could have put it all in a book, she said, and earned a few thousand dollars from it if she got lucky. Instead, she’s earned many times that amount, with no end in sight, thanks to an increasingly digitized and expanding audience.

Break it down into smaller pieces. Break down your work into smaller, more accessible units. This is one thing I can easily do, and plan to. I’ve carefully recorded all the classes I’ve taught and make that information available to people who want the information but are too far away or for whatever reason can’t come to the class. That has worked well. Now, I’m planning to make modules out of the class information, so that if a person only wants to learn about, say, progressions, they’ll purchase just that class. Your profits will be smaller per sale, but there will be more sales, and also this is a great way to track what people are interested in and willing to pay for.

Use it in more than one place.  One of the hallmarks of a good idea is that it is flexible.  Perhaps a solution that works in one place in your life might also be effective in another area. Or, there can be more than one way to apply your knowledge or ideas. This step is an exercise in creativity and requires an ability to visualize and not be constrained by tradition. It’s one of the main ways you can use one idea to develop more than one revenue stream.

Direct exchange of services. While this may not generate actual income, it is a time-honored way of exchanging goods and services and does save you money out of pocket. Naturally this is also a great way to expand your contacts and to get – and give — more referrals.

Expand your perception of what has value and worth. Find pleasure and satisfaction in simple things. A good meal, a stroll shared with a friend, family time, the feel of sunshine on your back. Jupiter in Taurus wants us to rejoice in the physical world, to savor sensation and take pleasure in our bodies. Happily, none of that requires money. Simplify and enjoy all in your life that is already rich.

Posted in Planets in Action | 3 Comments

Politically Liberal Astrologers

I read an article in the NYT yesterday which piqued my interest because it reminded me ever so much of the field of astrology. The article was called Social Scientist Sees Bias Within and it discussed the incredibly high and statistically impossible percentage of psychologists who claim, at least in public, to be politically liberal. “Social psychologists are a ‘tribal-moral community’ united by ‘sacred values’ that hinder research and damage their credibility — and blind them to the hostile climate they’ve created for non-liberals,” says University of Virginia professor Jonathan Haidt. Although I’m not quite sure what a “tribal-moral community” is, I am very sure that this statement applies equally well to astrologers as a group.

Maybe it’s because I live in the liberal bubble called San Francisco, but I can’t think of one local astrologer who is politically conservative, and most of us, me included, are so progressive we are practically falling off the left side of the continuum. Which, of course, leads to the other side of it – but that’s another story! Even at astrology conferences, however, I’ve observed that the vast majority of astrologers are left-leaning. This must be incredibly uncomfortable for conservative astrologers. Haidt noted that politically conservative psychology students stated that they “hid their feelings when colleagues made political small talk and jokes predicated on the assumption that everyone was a liberal.” I cannot help but wonder how many of my conservative colleagues also hide their true sentiments in the face of similar assumptions when astrologers gather.

Haidt notes that the social sciences (psychology, sociology, anthropology) tend to attract liberals to begin with, but that the problem became more entrenched after the 1960s. This created a blind spot within the community, resulting in the near-systematic suppression of any idea that challenged these assumptions. He notes “If a group circles around sacred values, they will evolve into a tribal-moral community,” he said. “They’ll embrace science whenever it supports their sacred values, but they’ll ditch it or distort it as soon as it threatens a sacred value.” Now, I’m not someone who thinks that astrology can or should be “proven” by science, a field which is its own tribal-moral community. However, I recognize in myself the fear, quickly masked by anger, when yet another scientific study “disproves” astrology, and the thrill I catch when some new scientific thesis seems to support it. So I’m participating in this tribal-moral dynamic without being aware of it, at least until now.

Prayer for the day: May my blind spots be revealed to me.

I’m very interested in hearing others’ ideas and experiences on this subject. Shine a light for us!

Posted in The Astrology Community | 5 Comments