Kat Bula – Down to Earth Astrology

Practical, encouraging astrological consulting

Get a reading, give a book. (Actually, a lot of books.)

Book a reading by Monday, April 13th, and you’ll be sending free books to 40 people who need them, thanks to Bellingham Books To Prisoners!  We can troubleshoot what’s going on in your life and make a difference in the lives of people in trouble, all at the same time.

I have long been inspired by Bellingham Books To Prisoners‘ amazing work:

  • They send free books to people living isolated, at society’s margins, which inspires education and hope for the future.
  • They remind the rest of us that prisoners are people, and encourage us to engage with their humanity in a really easy way.

I recently saw a display of thank you notes from grateful book recipients at the downtown library. It brought tears to my eyes to realize what a profound gesture it can be to send someone a dictionary, a novel, or a book about science or starting a business.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it really easy to forget how many Americans are living in prisons, trying to figure out what to do with their lives, now that their options have narrowed. Whatever mistakes landed them there, my heart goes out to them. Sending them books they request seems like such a simple and cost-effective way to reach out and help them feel that their life still has meaning and possibility.

I just found out that an anonymous donor has agreed to match all donations they receive in the next week.  So I’ve decided to donate $50 from every full-length reading you purchase between now and Monday the 13th to Bellingham Books To Prisoners, which will then magically turn into a $100 donation thanks to the donor match.

That’s enough to send packages of books to 40 people!

Let’s do this.  Click here to purchase a reading for yourself or a friend by Monday the 13th.  (You can schedule the reading for any time within the next year.)

I’m so excited to meet with you, help you sort out your stuff, and help 40 other people at the same time!

The astrology of relationship–and why you might get along with Aries better than you think.

Regardless of “your sign,” this month’s all about relationships. As we navigate Libra season these first few weeks of October, our task is to work on our relationships so they function better for everyone involved. Being careful to take others into consideration will be comfortable for some signs (e.g. Libra, Cancer, Virgo) and perhaps less so for others (e.g. Aries, Leo, Sagittarius). But the challenge for everyone is to find balance—don’t sacrifice too many of your own needs as you go about accommodating others.

Even though we differ, each of us makes sense. In my mind, the whole point of astrology is its incredible power to help us see this. Our birth charts are maps of our internal logic, and as we learn to read them, we acquire a vocabulary to help us better understand and relate to each other. It even helps us acknowledge the gifts we’re lacking that others have, so we can learn from them.

This is why I want to scream whenever I hear a comment like “I try to avoid Aries people; they’re too selfish.” AGGGH!!!#@% (Avoiding unnecessary apoplexy in relatively benign situations is one of those gifts I’m still working to acquire, obviously.)

It ought to be self-evident that astrological signs don’t by themselves doom people to hate each other. Signs are just archetypes that refer to various approaches to life, which may or may not play easily together. Writing off everyone born within a certain month fixes nothing and is really a stupid response to conflict. It also encourages everyone around you to make fun of astrology.

Don’t be lazy. If a relationship is tense, or you see a toxic pattern in your life, you need to practice compassion. Learn to see where the other person’s coming from. Did you need an astrologer to tell you that? No; your first grade teacher probably covered it.

Astrology has tons of tools for helping you understand why certain people rub you the wrong way, and why you’re drawn to others. But compatibility is complicated—duh—and is not reducible to “I’m a Capricorn, she’s a Libra.”

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Virgo: Like a Virgin

Poor Virgo. It must be the most misunderstood sign in the zodiac.

As a tweenage proto-astrologer, I used to read the packages of zodiac jewelry and other assorted astrology-themed crap at the mall. Uniformly, their descriptions of Virgos would go something like this: “Detail oriented perfectionists. They like to keep everything tidy, and make good secretaries, accountants, and librarians.” Snooze. And then: “symbol: virgin.” Ha ha! Weirdos. Everyone else gets to be scorpions and rams and stuff, and these people are virgins.

Oh, but this is character assassination. Totally unfair.

So, okay. Let’s clarify. The whole virgin thing? It’s not about being innocent, or too boring to have fun. Think about nuns, monks, or the vestal virgins of ancient Rome. For these folks, chastity is about focus. It’s about not getting distracted by relationship, or (for women, traditionally) by the responsibilities of being owned by a man.

This, then is the core of Virgo: the quest to be complete by oneself, self-fulfilled and refined. From there, Virgo can—like those holy folks—be of genuine service to others. Genuine because, unlike most of the signs, Virgo gives freely, rather than as a ploy to receive something in return.

Guys, Virgo’s a really cool sign. You will find people with Virgo strong in their charts* in every kind of job, but they really shine in the helping professions. Virgos have probably saved your life a bunch of times.

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“Hey, baby, what’s your sign?”: what your sun sign tells you (and doesn’t)

Happy Leo season!  Since Leo is the sun’s home sign, this is as good a time as any to talk about the sun in astrology. You already know your sun’s sign: it’s the one you’ve been told is “your sign,” although really you have many astrological signs.

First of all, let’s clarify a few things that you should NOT expect from your sun sign: It doesn’t, by itself, do a very good job of summing up your complexity. Obviously. It doesn’t let you off the hook for working on hard stuff (logic, sharing, honesty, faithfulness, etc.) In most cases, it’s not something most people would be able to guess about you when they first meet you.

Ever notice how people who try to guess your (sun) sign usually guess it wrong?  Like, way wrong?  So you tell them your actual sign, and they’re all like, “oh, yeah . . . I guess I sort of see it . . . ” Here’s the deal: your sun sign describes an inner experience.  It’s your rising sign that speaks to your more-or-less conscious strategies for interacting with the world. So the rising sign is the one other people tune into.

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You’re not “a Taurus”: what your moon sign can tell you

Let’s be real: entertaining as they may be, most astrology columns come off as BS. Why? One reason is that astrology’s actually really complicated, so writers–myself included–have to dumb it down to fit the space available and not bore you. (The other reason is that many “astrology writers” are just making shit up.)

First off: you don’t have “a sign.”

Yeah, yeah, Seventeen magazine told you when you were eleven that you’re a Taurus or whatever. Well, they were just talking about where the sun was when you were born. But a sun sign is just one of a bazillion astrological descriptors of you. It’s just that, unlike the sun, most of the other points used in astrology aren’t in the same place on your birthday every year. So you have to actually look up your birth chart to know where they are. I give instructions for doing this (super easy) at downtoearthastrology.com/hot-tip.

Take the moon, for example. Go find your moon sign; I’ll wait.

If you know any white ladies with dreadlocks, you can probably guess some of the moon’s associations in astrology. Women, yep, and intuition, emotions, cycles, motherhood, etc.

Don’t get too hung up on the female thing, though. Gender’s not binary, blah blah, duh.

The moon represents the capacity to nurture and protect those you love, and the yearning for nourishment and safety. Everyone has these capacities and yearnings. They just tend to play out differently depending on gender, because most cultures are still stupid about what they permit in women vs. men.

Here are some quick thoughts about how to rock your moon sign during this month’s Cancer new moon cycle.

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Hot Tip: Read horoscopes for your Moon and Rising signs.

Who doesn’t enjoy reading their horoscope in newspapers or online from time to time?  It’s entertaining, even when they’re super vague (or, in some cases, totally made up by non-astrologers).

If you’re just dipping your toes into astrology and reading a quality column, you might notice that some editions resonate with you a lot more strongly than others.  This is partly due to an inaccuracy in how the dominant culture talks about astrology.

Everyone knows “their sign,” but the truth is that no one has just one sign.  When you say, for example, “I’m an Aries,” what you really mean is, “my Sun is in Aries.”  The sun sign is the only astrological placement you can know just from the month and day of your birth.*  But it only gives you information about a specific part of your personality–your basic set of assumptions about the world, and the stuff you need to do and experience in order to feel effective and fulfilled.  But there are other points in the chart that give a lot more information about how you feel and how people interact with you.

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On believing in astrology (or not)

I don’t “believe in” astrology, and you don’t have to either.

One of my favorite astrological writers, Liz Greene, once replied to a question about her “belief” in astrology: “It is like saying, ‘Do you believe in your car?’ No, I just drive it.” The point is that astrology isn’t a belief system. It’s a set of tools you take or leave based on whether you see that they work in a way that is useful to you.

It isn’t necessary to buy into the idea that the sun, moon, planets and other space objects are yanking us around or showering us with some not-yet-explained-by-science, cosmic soulstuff that makes us feel happy or sad, or gives us inheritances and brings back old lovers.

It’s not necessary to believe in past lives, or anything else you don’t feel comfortable with.

(If you do feel comfortable with those things, awesome! Personally, I don’t really. But I’m interested in hearing about your experiences and thoughts in these areas.)

You don’t need to set science aside to benefit from astrological insight.

You also don’t have to give up or compromise any religion or spiritual framework that is working for you.

Astrology works whether you “believe in” it or not.

So if it’s not a belief system, then what is it?

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