Full Moon February 2017: Leo, Penumbral Eclipse, and Comet 45

Full Moon February 2017: Leo, Penumbral Eclipse, and Comet 45

Article and Photography by Rachel Leah Gerson at Doorway to Self

The mighty roar of Leo will be softened this full moon, and we might expect more of a cuddle from mama lioness rather than the call to show off our manes from papa lion.

That is because a penumbral lunar eclipse– when the earth’s outer shadow blocks the rays of the sun from hitting parts of the moon, making the moon look a little darker than usual- will bring a bit of shade to this full moon. And, with it still being early on in this “1” year (read more about what that means, here), our baby Magician selves might be craving and welcoming of some coddling.

Mama Leo-ness is here to do just that; to comfort us; to show us the love that dwells in our shade. The latter part of 2016 held space for us as a society to shed lots of skin and delve deep into the shadows. And while it held space for us to do the work, it did it very quickly in a short span of time without the additional time and space to be able to process it all.

This full moon on Friday 10 February will provide us with the opportunity to reflect and do some of the processing that we were not able to complete before. Perhaps the processing will bring with it a lot of gratitude, and maybe even a bought of sadness, and that is okay. You are allowed to feel sadness that comes with processing the loss or anger or fear or resentment or anxiety that you may have experienced during the last few months of last year.

It is really like a slow clearing out of an old closet: ridding yourself of things, but spending some last minutes understanding why these items were in your life and how they served you, mourning each item, and showing gratitude for all that the item has brought you in life, or how it has changed you, before delicately placing them in the discard bag.

Hold yourself through this, and allow others to hold you through this, as well!

This moon might also be a great time to gather with close friends or family for a chill-out evening by the fire in your sweatpants or pajamas. Just a general comforting, hanging out, and being in the presence of loved ones.

While the pique of the eclipse will be at 7:43 pm EST, there is also another major event to follow:

Comet 45 will be closest to the earth and visible (with binoculars or a telescope) in the east in the constellation of Hercules on Saturday at 3am EST, according to NASA. They say to “Watch for a bright blue-green ‘head’ with a tail” (USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2017/02/07/penumbral-lunar-eclipse-snow-moon-comet/97593778/).

So what does this mean? Comets are a combination of all of the elements: ice (water), the fire from the sun, debris (earth), and gasses (air), which makes them especially powerful balls of energy! It is said that comets can be helpful in aiding in the release of emotions, as well as the release of a collective fear.

The latter bit of that could prove quite helpful for those of us on this earth at the moment, especially those of us paying attention to politics or global trade. But the comet, overall, will serve as a strong emphasis on the release that this moon and lunar eclipse will provide us with.

And, of course, this comet will be passing through on 11 February, 11 being the portal number, representing the doorway between this earthly plane and the astral one. Basically, this is another added energy to be able to fully clean and clear everything out that you need to in every dimension! It will present a platform in which you will be able to see your life from many different perspectives, and look fondly back on any struggles you may have had to work through in the last 6 months.

So that’s all, my lovelies! Enjoy your lunar release, gratitude, and comfort. Much love and psychic snuggles!


xx D2S ❤


12 January 2017 Full Moon and the Grand Cross it Forms! (Extremely Rare!!)

12 January 2017 Full Moon and the Grand Cross it Forms! (Extremely Rare!!)

Article and Photography by Rachel Leah Gerson

This month’s full moon falls tomorrow (12 Jan 17) in Cancer, right after today’s lovely portal day of 11/1, bringing us into a state of emotional cleansing and release to expand the feelings of freshness this new year has brought on- not a bad way to kick it off, eh? We can emerge into the rest of our year refreshed and renewed, feeling much like you just got out of the shower and took a deep breath of the steam that lingers in the bathroom. And as the moon’s fullness passes, that sigh out of that steam can follow, leaving you feeling rejuvenated, leaving the past behind and the new you and the new adventures of the year standing in the mirror in front of you, and leaving you ready to embark on your next life “assignment”.

However, because Universe would not be Universe if it made everything easy, the full moon will make up the fourth point of what is astrologically known as the “Grand Cross”. The Grand Cross is formed when 4 or more planets and/or the sun and moon are directly across from one another in a position that forms a cross. This is one of the rarer star formations to occur in our night sky, and it adds an interesting load of energy to this month’s full moon.

The four opposing planets this time are the sun and moon forming one line of the cross, (since the moon is full, it is naturally going to be opposite the sun) and Jupiter and Uranus will form the other. As I mentioned above, we are used to the sun and moon opposing each other- it happens once a month when the moon is full. To have this coincide with the opposition of Jupiter and Uranus, however, and with all four objects in different signs is extremely rare and will result in an effect of alignment vs. tension.

The first point of the cross is the sun- our personalities. Thankfully, the sun is in the more grounded sign of Capricorn, and this will probably be the lesser of shadows that arises out of this astrological masterpiece, but, of course, that will vary person-to-person. The piece that we want to make sure of is that our egos are in-check throughout this time, and it is quite likely that they will be tested.

Because Jupiter is in charge of finance and business sector, where Uranus heads up the general idea of “progression” (more specifically in the areas of technology, personal and communal advance, discovery, invention, etc.), there is likely to be a big push-pull feeling surrounding whether or not you want to move forward in your business, job, career, etc., or in regards to your feelings about money: giving it, receiving it, asking for it, pricing, budgeting, etc. There could also be a push-pull in moving forward in business, in general- “Which career path am I going to choose next? Do I even want to move jobs?” Or, if you’re staying in your job, “Why am I here? What is my next step? Do I really want to take the next step that I’ve planned?”

Then, because the moon (which rules emotions) is right in between these two planets (forming the 3rd point of the cross), it can be a very emotionally intense decision making process. And oh- but of COURSE this would all happen when the moon is in the most sensitive of all of the signs. Check in with yourself to make sure that you are not getting too emotionally overwhelmed (especially if you have your sun, moon, or ascendant in Cancer- this is likely to affect you a bit more than others). Also keep in mind that if you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed by a business decision (or anything else, really), that it will pass; you will get through it!

To make things more interesting, Pluto will be at 20 degrees of Aries, the moon at 22 degrees of Cancer, the sun at 22 degrees of Capricorn, and Jupiter will be at 22 degrees of Libra, meaning that these aspects are well-into the transit of the signs they are occupying, letting these energies fully seep into us- heightened and intense! I also had to laugh at the fact that three of the four aspects are at 22 degrees transit of their signs- gotta love Universe and his antics! 22 is also the Master number for business gurus, which that business bit even more of a focal point. Master Numbers also sometimes bring about more or bigger lessons for us than other numbers might.

Another potent piece of information is the fact that it forms a cross. While, yes, within the cross there is the actual act of two lines (four aspects) “crossing” each other, signifying dissonance, there are also different ways of looking at it. The number 4- like the 4 points on a cross- is the number of balance. So though there might be dissonance, there is a balance in the energy that it is born within that dissonance. There is a groundedness to any fears, anxieties, or frustrations that might be felt during this time. In addition, the number 4 is of the elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, which is mimicked in the alignment of any Grand Cross, with ours specifically carrying the Sun in Earth (Capricorn), Jupiter in Air (Libra), Uranus in Fire (Aries), and the Moon in Water (Cancer).

Lastly, the image of the cross in Paganism and in Christianity symbolise love, trust, and faith. So even though some hardships- or “differences”, as I’ve been calling them- might present themselves to you in this time, remember that they are being presented to you with love, trust, and with a faith that you will get through it. Perhaps it would be helpful to have that same love, trust, and faith back towards our dearest Cross. The Grand Cross also resembles the letter X, which also happens to be the same image as the Runic symbol Gyfu, which translates to “Gift”. This is such an Important Reminder:


Every lesson that we receive- no matter how harsh, how painful, how scary- is ALWAYS a gift. Yes, every. Single. One.


Enjoy this Grand Cross and all of the Gifts it may bring. Happy first Full Moon of the New 2017 Year! I hope that it is as fruitful for you as it has been for me thus far- creativity and self-care have been through the roof!


So, so, so much love,


xx RLG ❤

2017: What To Look Forward To, What it Means, and Important Astrological Events Calendar

2017: What To Look Forward To, What it Means, and Important Astrological Events Calendar

Article Written by Rachel Leah Gerson, Magician Tarot Card I from Le Tarot de Marseille

Wow! 2016 was, well, a “doosy”, to say the least. I’ll refrain from recapping all of the differences (or difficulties, however your prefer to look at it) that the planets and the sun and moon have thrown at us like the unorthodox American election season, strange world events like the Dakota Pipeline ordeal, and the rapidity of over-evolving technological advance- we all know what’s happened. What’s gone on. (Though if you aren’t familiar with the planet or election bit, you can click here to read about it..)

As I’ve explained in prior articles, 2016 is a 9 year (2+0+1+6= 9), which means that we have been in a year of endings. The potential ending of Great Britain being part of the EU, endings of many lives of those nearest and dearest to us, endings of countless relationships, of jobs, of careers, of marriages, endings of ignoring ourselves and our thoughts and needs and feelings, endings of politicians as US presidents and of shadows being left to hide in the darkness- everything has been brought to light. So, naturally, in a year of endings, most of us are probably feeling preeeeetty done with it- I know I am. So… the next big question is, what does 2017 hold in store for us?

Well, 2017 is a 1 year (2+0+1+7= 10, 1+0= 1). 1, as it sounds, is the very beginning. We can expect to start anew. In Tarot, the 1 in the Major Arcana (the first 22 cards of the tarot deck) is the Magician. He represents creation, working through and solving problems for the first time, experimentation, art, and creativity. Think of a baby at 1 year’s old: They problem solve. Everything is new for them. They crawl around- or even try to walk around- and explore absolutely everything! The image I get, specifically is of a baby putting its tiny little hand in the air and grabbing at it- exploring; feeling; wondering; maybe even creating. We are those babies right now. The world is that baby right now.

We have been running and running and stirring and stirring and gallivanting around aimlessly to get here and there and for what purpose we don’t know and on and on and on… like chickens with their heads cut off for the entirety of 2016. Think about it- billions of chickens running around with their heads cut off. From aerial view. If Martians exist, they were having a good laugh at us last year.

But this year (oof, it feels good to type that) will be different. This year we will be able to stop and breathe for a minute. Take things slow. Explore. Explore ourselves, the world, the people around us, our skills, our abilities, our appetites… Many of us who quit jobs this last year will be looking into our passions; looking into what sparks us; what feeds us; what we yearn for- our purpose. We will become explorers of our own universes on every level- on the level of the Self, of interpersonal relationships, of communities, of countries, of the world, of the galaxy, of Universe; of Spirit. We will be crawling on all fours, eyes wide in wonder, jaws dropped in the efforts of excursion and drooling in the eyes of Entity.

This last year of 2016 has given many of us a special appreciation for what we have. For the earth. for our bodies, for boundaries, for our own power as individuals. As Warriors of Life. After all of our perceived hardships, we are less likely to take things for granted than we are to be grateful. And so we enter 2017 looking in awe towards the beauty of it all. We have opened the doors to 2017 to find Magick like we have never found it before. Our appreciation will skyrocket. Every littlest tiniest thing will be reason to stop and say thank you. Will be reason to take the time to appreciate. Every simplest meekest thing that we might have upturned our nostrils at in years prior will be met with shiny-eyed wonder and feed us, in turn, with inspiration. This coming year is here to gather information so that we can build, but in a way that we can feel comfortable waiting to build it all later. Because this year will allot us the time and space to be able to Just. Be. And Do. And Explore. And Enjoy- with joy and gratitude.

We left so much of ourselves behind this year.

It is time to fill ourselves back up-

and we might as well

take the time

to slow



enjoy it

while we can;

while we’re at it.

While we are given the


and time

to feel invigorated.


Some people believe that the 1 year commences as soon as the clock strikes midnight on 1 January. Some people believe that it does not actually begin until the astrological new year starts on the first day of Aries, in April. Some believe that it’s a bit of both- it starts on the 1st but does not change with the simple tick of the clock. It starts, but has a four and a half month grace period to truly set in when Aries begins. I am of the last belief, but you can flow with whatever flows with you. If you are feeling the last way jives with you, then the slowing down theme will really be present in the next four months as we are wiggling through, trying to find our way into this new year and these new bodies. Trying to open our eyes for what it seems is the first time. Or trying to look through newly opened eyes. In these new selves; in this new spirit; in these transformed societies.


Other energies to expect this year:

While, yes, 2017 will be a much smoother ride than 2016 was, we will still be asked, by the planets, to consider our shadows and keep them in our peripheries. Just because we took the time to do the work this year does not mean that we can forget the work that we did or why we did it. The bumps will be evened out with bliss this time, though, so we definitely have a lot to look forward to!

It seems like most of the months in 2017 are pretty smooth sailing, but the ones that are a little nittier and grittier are very much nittier and gritter. There is a lot of work jam-packed in the months we are supposed to take an extra look at ourselves.


Smoothest months: January, May, June, July, September, October, November.

Months where we might be doing a tad more work: February, April, August, the first 3 weeks of December.


Important Astrological Events in 2017


  8: Mercury goes direct. Communication will become clearer and technology will become easier to use. Don’t forget to bring all of the lessons that Mercury taught you through this retrograde cycle along the way or Mercury will be sure to make you relearn it the next time he lags behind our sphere!

28: Mars enters Aries. This is important because Mars is “governed” by the sign of Aries. In other words, if there is conflict, the energy is definitely there to be able to “hash it out” when the need comes around. And because Mercury has gone direct at this point, communication should be in tip top shape- it’s a great seguey, really!



  6: Jupiter Retrograde until 9 June. Keep a tight eye on your check books- are they balanced? Are you making sure that you are keeping your bank account up to date and in check (no pun intended)? This is not a great time to make investments, nor is it a great time for thrifty spending.

10: Full Lunar Eclipse in Leo. Remember all of those eclipses from last year, and how they made you take a look at your shadows? Well, there are many of them again, this year. But this year they come in a “new light”, so-to-speak. This year it is more about facing your fears. Becoming the version of yourself that is so powerful and inter-connected to your highest self that you are afraid to reach up and grasp it because you are afraid of your own wonder. This is especially true for this Lunar eclipse in Leo. What boldness and ferocity are you afraid to see in yourself because it is just that awesome, and you cannot bring yourself to believe that you could, in fact, just be that great?

26: Full Solar Eclipse and New Moon in Pisces. Solar Eclipses can only happen on a New Moon, so that part is nothing special or new- I was only noting it. The sun is fire, and Pisces in water. This eclipse will allow us to fully immerse ourselves in our emotions. To really float alongside them and exam them, or maybe even dive deep- just make sure not to stay too deep for too long. Remember that you need to come up for air, every once in a while!



4: Venus Retrograde until 15 April. Relationships come into question. Sexuality comes into question. Libido may fluctuate, or the relation of emotions and sex might become different.



6: Saturn Retrograde until 25 August. In these 4 and a half months that Saturn is retrograde you will be given the opportunity to reflect on your Highest Self- what is holding you back from reaching it, and what could you do to move that block? This goes back to the theme that this year of 2017 is seeming to hold: Exploring the spiritual Self and the Self in general, and working through the patterns to be able to determine how to reach your most authentic Self in your highest vibration. However, for those of you who might be in your Saturn return (more on this in an article to follow at some point in time), you will actually be given a break from all of your intense workings on this topic during this time. Enjoy these few months off, because once they are over it’s back to the spiritual exploration grind!

9: Mercury Retrograde until 3 May. Refer to these articles here and here for information on Mercury Retrograde. This will be the second one of four in the 2017 year, though this is the only one that will occur for the entire period while Saturn is also retrograde. It will lead more to a different outlook on communication with the Self- an intrapersonal communication- as opposed to different communication with others, unless the communication with other illuminates certain aspects of the Self that you might not otherwise want to peak into.

15: Venus goes Direct. Thankfully, a few days after Mercury begins its mayhem, Venus continues direct and pulls us through the rest of the year in newly found love within ourselves and with others, as well as a healthy sexual appetite and expression. Creativity might overtake you in the best way around the time that this takes place.

20: Pluto Retrograde until 28 September. Pluto rules generations. Pluto enters the next consecutive time every time that a new generation is born, staying in each sign for 14-30 years. When Pluto goes retrograde, it is possible for the generational gap to become even more noticeable. Or, perhaps, every generation will have its own task to face in growing closer to their Highest Selves. Or maybe both. We’ll see what happens!



3: Mercury goes Direct. We can experience some better communication with our wiser more understanding selves until August.



9: Jupiter goes Direct. If you have a little extra to spend and are eyeing that new TV set, this would be a much better time to purchase it than anytime from February until this point. As long as you kept your finances in check during that period, you should be golden to carry on!

16: Neptune Retrograde until 22 November. Perhaps you might be dealing with your guilt or conscious in this period of time. Your spiritual beliefs also might be challenged or flipped a little topsy turvy. It’s only a different view of things. I’m not sensing that it will be anything too challenging. Rather, it might be interesting and stimulating in a way that it really makes you stop and think- back to that whole “Self Exploration” theme this year!



Nothing big to keep your eye out for 😉 Enjoy!



3: Uranus Retrograde until 2 January 2018. Your knack for creativity or invention might be put to a test. Don’t let this fool you- you still got it!

7: Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius. Once again the Universe is putting you in the position of being able to explore the shadows surrounding your spirituality. What is it that makes you fly? What is it that holds you back?

12: Mercury Retrograde until 5 September. This is the third of four Mercury Retrogrades this year. The one that preempts this one happens completely within the same time frame as when Saturn is retrograde, while this one will occur with half of the retrograde coinciding with that of Saturn Retrograde, and the other half will continue after Saturn goes direct. This could potentially be the most fruitful of the Mercury Retrogrades this year, as the first half will create the container for working within the shadows of the Self, and the second half will be a fluid motion towards working within the shadows of our closest interpersonal relationships, as well as relationship to community, to society, and to the rest of the globe.

21: Solar Eclipse in Leo. In February we had a Lunar Eclipse in Leo. While the Lunar Eclipse helps us to focus more on our emotional shadows surrounding our ferocity, bravery, showmanship, and ego, the Solar Eclipse will help us to zero in on the shadows surrounding our personalities in these areas, rather than the sole emotions. We will be given the room to look at ourselves as a whole personality, and how we relate to others- how do they see us? How do we see ourselves? How do we want to be seen?

25: Saturn Direct. Spirit is back on track and out of (as much) question as it may have been since it went retrograde a few months prior. Get ready to astral travel and celebrate it! Those of you in your Saturn Return, get ready to get back to the grind of your soular work, and good luck, loves!



5: Mercury Direct. Communication is nice and clear for a few months- enjoy it! This is your nice break.

28: Pluto Direct. Generational gaps may once again start to close. Spirituality will start to be more aligned amongst the human race as a whole. We will have worked through a lot of our lessons in the area of spirit and will be feeling a lot freer and more willing to speak through our wants and needs in this area with others.



Nothing to mind 😉



22: Neptune goes direct. After Pluto went direct in September, Neptune is next to follow in opening the spiritual floodgates once again. Keep reaching for your Higher Self and basking in it. Some huge weights will have been lifted off of your shoulders between these two events, and you will begin to feel a lot clearer in your purpose on this planet, as well as more solid in your morals, your belief system, and your spirituality.



  3: Mercury Retrograde until 22 December. You know the drill. This is the last of the four MR’s this year- make of it what you can. Slow down. Breathe. Feel into your environment. Be mindful. Be compassionate towards yourself and others.

22: Mercury Direct. Home free! The rest of the year is smooth sailing from here, and the tension will also start to part more and more as we get closer to 2018 when Uranus will go Direct on the 2nd of January.


*Please remember that this is solely an outline of the year, and my own intuition on the year. When it comes to you and your life, your intuition is much more important than mine, just like my intuition is much more important to my life than yours is. If you feel that something I wrote does not ring true for you, then it probably doesn’t. Just because I have a career in this type of thing does not give me precedence or word over your intuition. Listen to your gut and do what you need to do!


Sending so much love and luck in this New Year of 2017!! May it be fruitful and joyous, and may you be surrounded by love. May your path guide you through many journeys to be able to fully explore the Magician, the Child, and the Fresh Start in you.


As Always,

xx RLG ❤

When Mr.Mercury Comes to Visit and Goes Retro.. Plus, a Tidbit on the New Moon in Capricorn

When Mr.Mercury Comes to Visit and Goes Retro.. Plus, a Tidbit on the New Moon in Capricorn


Article and Photography by Rachel Leah Gerson

So, some of us can only laugh at this point. After everything else the planets have done this year, Mercury decided to end 2016 with a bang. The planet Mercury started retrograde last week on 19 December 2016, and will not go direct until 8 January 2017. And what better timing? Mercury in retrograde has marched through to trudge that last bit of hidden darkness up into the open light so that we will bring the year 2016 out with a brilliant close, and the new year of 2017 will fizzle in under that same brilliance.


For those of you who are unfamiliar, Mercury Retrograde is when gravity affects the rotation of the planet Mercury in relation to the planet earth. The pull makes it so that Mercury’s rotation “slows down”, (at least from our point of view on earth,) and thus makes it look and feel as though it is going backwards in rotation behind earth around the sun for a few weeks. Because the planet Mercury affects both technology and communication, the effects of its retrograde are that we can experience lots of miscommunications with people (which make it real fun during the holidays with family and friends, doesn’t it??) and difficulties or breakdowns in technology, i.e. car troubles, phone whacking out, water spilled on laptop, internet outages, etc. I’m not saying that this stuff has to happen during MR, I’m just saying that they are more likely to occur during this time.


But the magick of the universe lies within its teachings. Many people are prone to blame Mercury for our misfortunes during this time period, but really, we should be looking to Captain Mercury with grace and gratitude. Mercury is not here to f things up, so-to-speak. It is here- just like the eclipses we discussed and the black moons and etc.- to bring our shadows into the light to be recognised, and perhaps even understood.


So you’re car breaks down and you’re already late for work and you’re like, what the hell how am I supposed to explain this to my boss this is my 6th time late this month. You could be angry with Mercury. Or you could look at the situation and say, “What am I supposed to learn from this? What is Mercury trying to teach me?” Perhaps you are supposed to be made aware that you need to work harder to get to the office on time so that if your car ever breaks down, your boss will be more likely to let you off a bit easier. Or maybe you are supposed to quit your job. Maybe you really hate your job so much that you’ve been subconsciously showing up late because you just don’t want to be there. Or maybe you need to have the excuse to take a chill out moment. Maybe while you’re waiting for the tow truck or for your friend to give you a ride you can take that 20 minutes to sit there and breathe and use the misfortune to take a peaceful moment to yourself out of the hustle and bustle?


As for arguments with loved ones, the planet’s effects are merely and clearly bringing about to the surface what needs to be hashed out. I, for one, am a tad nervous to be cooped up in a house with 10 family members for the next week and a half all during this period. I know that there are a lot of underlying factors that could come out- differences in personality, in beliefs, in ways of going about daily life. While I tend to be the type of person who just lets Universe take over and guide me through my day, many of my family members tend to be extremely controlling Type A personalities who love to plan by the minute 6 weeks in advance. This can sometimes cause problems when Mercury is direct, so it might even be more-so during this period of retrograde, especially in close quarters.


But the thing is that Mercury is one of those planets that forces us to be mindful. We are forced, during this period of time, to really be understanding of other peoples’ needs and wants and ways of being, just as we are to do with ourselves as individuals. We are made to watch ourselves in action- what are we saying, how are we controlling ourselves or not, are we saying things that we know will bring confrontation to the surface, are we being passive aggressive- the list goes on. So it make us really pay attention to what we are doing and saying and how we are interacting not only with other individuals, but with ourselves.


It can also provide helpful clues about what you might dislike about yourself. In other words, you’re arguing with cousin Louie about how he’s always judging people on their physical appearances, which, maybe Louie is guilty of, but you’re really upset with yourself for doing the same thing when Aunt Margaret walked in the room wearing that awful furry red coat. You are upset with Louie because he is reminding you of what you dislike in yourself. He is mirroring you. He is showing you your greatest guilts and shames about your personality.


So maybe Mercury has come around in this fashion (no pun intended) because you are supposed to step away from the argument and think about what might have triggered it; because you’re supposed to realise that you’re seeing yourself in your cousin Louie’s actions. Because you are upset with that aspect of yourself and you want to change it. And what better a time to be faced with what you want to change and renew in yourself than at the new year? Mr. M went retro at a pretty genius time, this year. Not only so that we can change in such a timely matter, but also because we are more likely to be surrounded by those close to us (even if “those close” is only yourself, because you are the closest a person can get to you) at this time of the year, and more things that need to be illuminated will therefore be drawn to the surface.


But then the question comes- if Mercury went retrograde a week ago, why is Doorway to Self only bothering to post about it, now? The answer is that honestly with this holiday season it’s been hectic, and I haven’t had much time. But I also found that with tomorrow’s new moon in Capricorn, the coinciding of events might better allow for this information to sink in.


29 December’s New Moon in Capricorn will present us with a beautiful balancing and grounding energy where we will be able to internalise all of the towers that have tumbled over the last year, while at the same time making it possible to look toward the future and begin comprehending how we might rebuild our lives in a way that serves us as newly awakened being after months of eye-opening events. So, in the past, it might have been easier to read an article like this and say, “What bull. This isn’t gonna work”- and perhaps some of us still will look at it that way. But after all of the astrological and numerological events that have flipped our pockets inside out so that we were forced to jingle loose whatever we were holding onto that wasn’t necessary, or whatever we were hiding from ourselves or from others, we might be more likely in our strong light to look at this Mercury retrograde cycle as one of opportunity for growth, comprehension, reminiscing, and achievement. It will be easier to look at it and say, “Okay. What, dear Mercury, do you have to teach me, this time?” instead of, “What, freaking Mercury, do you have to mess up?”


There are two ways you can go about life when Mercury goes retro: 1) You can say, “Oh, fuck. Mercury is Retrograde. I’m so screwed on everything. Nothing is going to go right”, or, 2) You can say, “Okay. Mercury is Retrograde. Time to pay extra attention to my actions and words, and to try not to take too much offence at those of others'” AKA, pay attention to your attitude during this process. Maybe your phone keeps quitting out Instagram because you’re manifesting that process and creating the effects that Mercury retrograde might otherwise be responsible for creating just because you are expecting them to happen. While the planets do affect us, you are still ultimately responsible for your own thoughts and how they might play out during this time period.


Merc in retrograde can either be trying, or it can be a time that we take to slow down and truly be mindful and intentional about all of our actions. If you know what you want and what you’re doing, you’ll be fine. And even if you don’t, Mercury will bring it to find you, and you can ask for whatever the lesson is to be really smooth… The sheets on our beds can only be smooth if we take the time to pull on the corners and rub out the wrinkles. Time, patience, and attention to detail. Tedious? Definitely. Worth it? Much.


If you’re interested in some basic ideas on how to best get through any Mercury retrograde, you can click this link to check out this next article for more tips on how to avoid issues and float smoothly through Mercury retrograde!


Here’s to a gorgeous New Moon, a smooth and wisdom-inducing retrograde, and a lovely introspection to bring about understanding, growth, and the greatest of change.


xx RLG ❤

How to Best Compose Yourself and Avoid Conflict During Mercury Retrograde

How to Best Compose Yourself and Avoid Conflict During Mercury Retrograde

Article and Photography by Rachel Leah Gerson

Been having issues with communication or technology during this retrograde cycle? Here are some tips for how to best conduct yourself when you find yourself amidst a Mercury retrograde!

  1. Before you speak, at all, to anyone, before you even open your mouth, be EXTREMELY conscious and mindful of what you are saying. Take the time to work out what you need to say in your head before you say it.


  1. Before having big conversations with people, explain to them what’s going on in our solar system right now. Some people might laugh at you or think you’re cooky, but a) you shouldn’t care because you’re being true to yourself, your beliefs, and the universe, b) you are right, and c) you are probably better off than they are for actually understanding our solar system and how it works. Thankfully, there will also be many people who won’t laugh in your face, and who might actually be very grateful to you for the information, especially because it might very well explain what’s been going on in their own lives, and why! Afterall, if Snapchat can include a special upload tag for “Mercury Retrograde”, it has to be something that a good percentage of the the younger population accepts as reality.


  1. Own up to your own responsibilities. If you are at fault for something, don’t try to kid yourself, or anyone else, that you’re not! Own up, and human up! (This is true for life outside of MR, as well, obviously).


  1. If you are feeling frustrated with someone, directly confront them about it. Do not bottle it up and use it to fuel angry comments or energies towards them. However, when you confront them, do it in a loving way. Choose your words carefully. Come from your heart and your Higher Self, not your ego!


When doing these things, it’s never completely about you and your feelings– it’s also about helping the other person to understand what they did “wrong” in your eyes, and how they might be able to improve as a human being. When doing this portion, it is vital, though, to make it a suggestion, instead of a demand. Otherwise it can put them on the defense and make them uncomfortable that you are trying to control them.


And before confrontation, ask yourself: is this bothering me because it is actually something THEY need to work on, or am I having an issue with this because I don’t have control over their decisions? Or maybe it’s something that I’m seeing in them that I also dislike in myself? Confronting an issue in the right way, out of love, is vital (again, also important outside of MR).


  1. Change your MR thought pattern! (Probably the most important one)

So you wake up in the morning and you think, “Crap. I wonder what the hell is gonna go wrong today. Stupid Mercury retrograde is going to mess with something- I just don’t know what it is.

Congratulations. You just set yourself up for MR failure!! MR won’t mess with anything if you don’t let it! YOU are responsible for your life and your thoughts and your actions and your results. While the planets might help to *move some things along*, or get you to *shift your perspective* to deal with issues you haven’t yet noticed, it is up to you how you actually handle them.

Instead, you could wake up in the morning and say, “I’m going to have great communication today. All of my electronics are going to work just fine.” And guess what? If you REALLY, TRULY believe that (be honest with yourself… And it might take some getting used to), they will!

  1. If, somehow, #5 doesn’t work, it is most-likely because either a) there a lesson for you to learn in there, so you can meditate on the issue and find out what it is, or b) you were, in fact, letting some of those negative MR thoughts slip in and take you over, in which case, the deal is still part “a”, as your lesson could be to stop thinking so negatively.

Don’t let Mr. Mercury and his topsy turvy lifestyle win!!

This is YOUR life, and YOU have full control over YOUR life!

Hope this helps, fellow humans! Sending you luck, love, and hugs in this *different* time.

xx RLG ❤

Winter Solstice 2016: It is okay to feel.

Winter Solstice 2016: It is okay to feel.

Article and Photography by Rachel Leah Gerson

At 05:44 EST tomorrow, the winter solstice will be upon us to bring about both the shortest day and longest night of the year. It is at this time in the calendar year that many people feel some sort of longing, or an innate sadness. I’ve found that it has been exponentially so in this year we’ve been calling “2016”- the year that has given us the gift of hardship so that we might face our shadows, and step into the light of our newest selves. This year has been tough for a lot of us- myself included- although as a good friend and client of mine put it, maybe it’s not necessarily “tough”, but “different”. This year has just been a different year, a year we hadn’t expected, a year that many of us were not prepared for, and so, yes, indeed, if you were looking at 2016 through the same lens as you had 2015 or 2014, then perhaps it was a difficult year. But it has also been a year that has brought much growth. Sometimes it takes the “different” times (or the difficult times- however you choose to look at it) to wake us up, to make us moult, and to force us out of our sheds and into our new skins. Whether it’s the feeling of not wanting to let go, or fear of the unknown, or the feelings of confusion and uncomfortability in navigating your newest body, sometimes a sadness or anxiety or depression can set on, and that’s okay.

It is OKAY to feel SAD. It is OKAY to feel DEPRESSED. It is OKAY to feel ANXIOUS or SCARED or BEWILDERED or CONFUSED or ANGRY or FRUSTRATED or any of the other emotions that we try to force ourselves to push down just because someone told us it was not okay to feel them. Because of all of the years that society has made us feel like it is not okay to feel them. Because we have been told to, “get over it” or “move on” or “grow up” or “just be happy”. We have been told that these emotions only hold negative content; negative connotation; negative outcome. That there is no place for them in our lives other than to poison us and promote our self-destruction.

But that is simply not true.

We have these emotions for a reason.

These emotions are here to help us to transform.

They are here to help guide us to our next selves; our next steps; our next possibilities and realities and greatnesses.

They are how we process things.

They are how we grow.

These emotions can sometimes onset when we are intentionally trying to change. When we wake up that morning and realise, “Wow… I really don’t like this aspect of myself”, and we do the work to try and change that aspect; to maybe even be rid of it in its entirety. This is necessary for growth; for self-love; for self-care; for self-compassion- and that’s wonderful and amazing and encouraged. It also means that we are still losing a part of ourselves, whether or not it’s for the good.

And so we can feel a sadness or a confusion or an anger or whatever else, because we are dealing with a death of a part of ourselves.

We are dealing with loss.

With Grief.

Anytime there is a loss or a change- be it, perhaps, a positive change- there is still some rearranging to do inside ourselves. And with that rearranging can come so many emotions.

I feel like the whole world is changing right now- both together as a unit and also as many individuals- and it is happening so rapidly. And because we are all feeling these emotions of change and then grief or confusion or anger, or etc. at the same time, it is making it even more difficult for some of us to separate “what is MY emotion” versus, “what is John Smith’s or Jane Doe’s emotion”.

All of our threads are so inter-connected, like there’s just one big web we’ve spun suddenly, and we’re all walking on each other’s threads and feeling and feeling and feeling, and people who were never Empaths before- or could never recognise that they were- are Empaths now because the feeling is just too strong and breaks through the barriers, no matter who you are.

People who are Empaths have a particularly “different” time with this process, as they are feeling the emotions from their own change, as well as the emotions from other people’s processes. It is possible to protect against this by grounding yourself (see video for more information), meditating, asking the Universe or Source or whatever you believe in- or your own Intuition or Higher Self- if this is really your emotion or if it’s someone else’s, and, lastly, really being familiar with what YOU feel like, i.e., what is your own personal energy?

(SIDE: For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “Empath”, it is a psychic quality that allows for one person to be able to feel another person’s emotions and/or physicality. For example, John Smith is an empathy. He is in a terrible mood until he is standing in line next to Jane Doe when he suddenly starts feeling really cheery. When Jane gets up to the front of the line and begins joking around with the cashier and being really happy, he realises that the cheerfulness is hers. Another example would be that Jane Doe is an Empath, and her shoulder starts randomly hurting when she is standing next to John Smith. She later finds out that John fell off a ladder onto his shoulder and badly bruised it earlier this morning. Any emotion- whether on the spectrum of happiness or sadness- can be felt by an Empath, as can physical pain or health.)

So we’re all in this explosive web of change- combusting change. And as more and more people are waking up to themselves, more and more chain reactions are being stirred up. People are feeling “feelings” on a whole new level. It has been intense, to say the least. We have all been made to grow and change at a rapid rate. I feel, personally, almost as if I’ve been put into some sort of weird intensive course about myself and my relation to others. It is not something that I am unused to doing- growing, changing, facing my shadows- but it all feels so much larger, this time.

This torrent of change has brought on so much overwhelm and anger and confusion for many of us, but that has only led to the activation of our next and newest versions of ourselves.

So it is OKAY to feel SAD. It is OKAY to feel DEPRESSED. It is OKAY to feel ANXIOUS or SCARED or BEWILDERED or CONFUSED or ANGRY or FRUSTRATED or any of the other emotions that we try to force ourselves to push down because they are what help us to realise what is to come.

They are how we cope.

They are how we eventually push through- unless we get stuck in them.

And if we get stuck in them, that is when it can become self-destructive. I want to lay the line down- the important line:

Yes, it is okay to feel these emotions! You shouldn’t have to shut them out. You shouldn’t feel the need to feel happy all of the time, or even just as fast as you can, because these emotions are important to go through. They really help to mould us, and to mould that new progression of our inner paths, and the new and exciting experiences that are to come out of that change and that moulding.

So the line is that, yes, we should feel those things- those “negative” emotions- and we should grow to love them because, after all, we would not know happiness without sadness, or, at least, maybe we would not appreciate it as much. But at the same time, it is IMPORTANT not to DWELL in them.

There is a difference between FEELING sad, or FEELING angry, and DWELLING in those things. If you FEEL it, you go through the steps:

You know you’re going to come out of it. You know that, “yes I am going to feel this now”, but that you will emerge on the other side and you will take care of yourself during the process of feeling these stickier emotions. Going through these emotions, it’s not hard. It’s just different. It’s not tough- it’s necessary.

As soon as we label these experiences with words like “hard” or “tough”, we’re setting ourselves up to make it that way, and we’re pushing ourselves into more of a hole of overwhelm. And in that hole- well, holes can be “dwellings”. When you dwell in your emotions- when you dwell in self-pity- that’s when it gets harmful.

So how do you know which one you’re doing? Are you acknowledging and coaching your own emotions, or are you dwelling in self-pity? If you’re constantly finding reminders or reasons as to why you should be feeling these “different” emotions and you’re looking for those reasons, then you’re dwelling. You’re not letting yourself escape from the emotions. You’re forcing yourself to feel them, even if you’re being is done feeling them and they have already played their principal role.

However, if something comes up out of the blue and tends to remind you of what you were feeling by chance- perhaps it’s even as close together every couple of minutes, or as far as every couple of years- then you aren’t forcing yourself to feel it and you are still working through whatever growth process that emotion has in store for you. If it’s naturally coming up and you’re simply allowing these emotions to come through you, then you’re not dwelling in it. You’re merely “emotion coaching” yourself- allowing yourself to feel these emotions as they come up with provided self-compassion- you are not dwelling in self-pity or in the emotion itself.

So why is this the theme of a Winter Solstice article? It is also the darkest time of the year, and with all of these compounding hurricanes of emotions, we also have nature’s darkest hours amidst us. Bare branches swaying in the 5 o’clock sunset to cradle us in their arms in the dusk.

Our personal shadows have coincided nicely with those of the Earth, thus making it that much more intense, but also giving us that much more room to knead into the process. Something I read, lately, in an article written by Allie Theiss, is that “Gentle exposure to sunlight stimulates the flow of your own energy. Some lower vibrations cannot exist with exposure to bright light.” The light of the sun is cleansing for us, and can help us to release emotions in a different way as it energises our bodies. We are lacking in that gift as the days have grown shorter and shorter, and the sun appears and disappears in such a short time span, if even at all with a thanks to cloudy skies. But after tomorrow, things are looking up.

The days will once again grow longer- slowly but surely- and little by little we will have that much more sunshine to let the old emotions- and other people’s emotions- filter through us in a much more fluid way.

Until then, let’s revel in our darknesses. Let’s revel in our mysteries and our emotions and our growths and our confusions. Let’s revel in the candle we hold to ourselves to light the way.

Happy holidays and much love,

xx RLG ❤