Monthly Archives: August 2016

September 2016: Virgo, Mercury & Current Transits

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Category: Current Transits

by Barry Kerr

The Sun moved into Virgo on August 22.

Last month, with Sun in Leo, we honored our ego, celebrating our soul’s intention to shine our light through our personality. This month, in Virgo, the energy is focused on feedback, discernment, improvement and service.

People often use the terms “big” ego and “strong” ego, sometimes confusing the two meanings. It’s important to understand the difference. A big ego implies that a person is filled with self-love, is able to express her thoughts and feelings in big ways that demand or invite other’s attention. This can be warm, entertaining and delightful or brash, self-serving and boorish. Think Robin Williams versus Donald Trump. By contrast to them, the proverbial quiet, introverted librarian has a “small” ego.

A strong ego, on the other hand, is about a person’s ability to withstand criticism or rejection. The capacity for one to maintain self-love, self-worth, and belief in oneself is the measure of an ego’s strength. The quiet librarian might not command people’s attention with a bright personality, but might radiate warmth and not emotionally collapse in the face of harsh feedback from friends, colleagues or failures. Think of Rosa Parks, who humbly and lovingly refused to go to the back of the bus, fueling a wave of civil rights activities.

Williams and Trump both have large, but weak egos. The librarian and Parks have smaller, but stronger ego.

In any particular incarnation, we may choose a big ego or small, whichever serves our soul’s goal for that lifetime. The strength of our ego varies less and is a reflection of the ongoing work we’ve done over many lifetimes of soul evolvement.

All this talk of egos is important to understanding the role of your Mercury as it rules the sign of Virgo. It is through the Virgo qualities of your human experience that you take in, through your Mercurial rational mind, the observations and details of how your ego actually affects other people. This sometimes comes directly through feedback and criticism from others. More often, you begin to discern unspoken and repeating patterns of rejection or acceptance, failure or success, needs and desires met or not. If you are learning from this feedback and applying lessons to future choices of how you express your ego, then you build successful connections to others, relationships that satisfy your needs and validate your self-worth. If not, relationships tend to be difficult and you feel alone.

The key here is learning to embrace the feedback from people and the world, to value the information as clues to self-fulfillment. As you focus your attention on what others have to say about how they experience you, you can begin to relax your ego’s drive for self-assertion, incorporate other people’s feelings, thoughts and desires into your own values and thereby make choices that serve those to whom you wish to relate and love.

Mercury’s role in ruling Gemini was to sharpen mental awareness for connection to environment. Now in Virgo, Mercury uses those same attributes of logic and communication to create a practical approach toward connection to other beings. Success in this endeavor improves the ability of our Venus (the relationship planet), in the next sign of Libra, to create fulfilling one-to-one relationships with friends, lovers and even business partners.

Current Transits

The New Moon (Solar Eclipse) is on September 1.

Solar eclipses mark both endings and beginnings. Where this falls in your birth chart (9 degrees Virgo) indicates where you are reaching a completion or are ready to go to a next level. Because this New Moon eclipse forms an exact alignment with the ongoing Saturn-Neptune square transit affecting us all this past year, it heightens our attention to the dynamics in play between our Neptunian dream of an ideal life and world through our imagination and intuition and our Saturnian commitment to the rules of time, space and the physical world, which seemingly limit our choices and possibilities with “reality”. This Saturn-Neptune square will hit exactly for the third time on September 10. So, get ready for some intense times that challenge us to let go of dogmatism, blame, victimhood and take responsibility for giving away our power to fallacies and addictions. To integrate our Saturn with our Neptune, we must trust our own inner voice of truth and move away from fear-based beliefs and programming derived from our youth, culture, religion, education and media.

With so many planets in Virgo during this New Moon (Mercury, Jupiter, Sun, Moon, North Node), the main theme in this is our materialistic and mechanistic view of reality. It feeds the illusion of separation that fuels our fears. How can we honor both body and soul, equally?  

Full Moon Sept 2016

The Full Moon (lunar eclipse) is on September 16.

As a lunar eclipse, this Full Moon affects our self-perception through our subconscious, emotional levels, revealing motivations that are hidden. As we evolve our intention for balance of body and soul from the earlier New Moon, this Full Moon heightens our awarenss of the Pisces-Virgo duality. This calls for a healing between spirit and matter, feminine and masculine, heart and head. With Mars squaring this moon polarity, our personal will is challenged to bring greater awareness into decisions and actions.

Barry Kerr, a soul-based, evolutionary astrologer, has 35 years of experience with an international clientele. He and Kristine Gay, a licensed therapist, are owners/practitioners at Inner Essence Center in Madison. Both have extensive training in soul-guided healing of mind, body, heart and spiritual systems. Barry offers astrology, energy healing and transformational coaching by phone, Skype or in person in Madison, WI. Inquiries are welcome – free 15-minute consultation to explore if this is for you. Visit for more information or email Barry at

Working with the Four Elements

by Cathy Douglas

The first time I heard of the four classical elements, it was from a middle school chemistry teacher who was making fun of the whole idea. He said that modern concepts like atoms and the periodic table of the elements had made the division of things into earth, water, air and fire obsolete. For him, he two ways of looking at the world were a contrast between an older (ignorant) way of looking at nature and a modern (enlightened) one.

Which sort of made sense, until he then taught us everything in nature is divided into solid, liquid, gas and plasma/energy. Seemed like a pretty tight correspondence with the four elements to me!

But the time-tested idea of the elements isn’t just about abstract theories. The elements can form the basis of a system of correspondences, through which we can work with nature and her laws to improve our lives. Going even deeper, we can work with the four elements and their representatives, the elementals or elemental devas, to forge a deep connection between human and nature.

Air ElementWater ElementFire ElementEarth Element

Here are some ideas about how to do that:

Elements in your living space: Many people keep symbols of the four elements on their altar, or somewhere else in their living space. I have four mini-altars, one for each element, and also natural symbols like feathers and shells in the windowsills facing each direction. I feel this helps keep a good balance of energy in my home.

Meditation: There are many ways to meditate on the elements — focusing on them within your own body, immersing your mind in elemental images from nature, or meditating with associated crystals and other representative objects. One way to meditate on them in balance is to use a tree meditation below.

Tarot: The four tarot suits are based on the four elements. Traditionally, swords are associated with air, wands with fire, chalices with water, and pentacles with earth. In any tarot spread, considering the elemental implications of the cards is part of the reading — often a big part. For example, if you draw a five-card spread and four of the cards come from the chalices, the reading will most likely focus on emotions. This can be a great intuitive way to find out if something is out of balance or needs attention. And if tarot isn’t your thing, various oracle decks also use the elements.

Working with elementals: Elementals, sometimes called elemental devas, are spiritual personifications of the elements. The best place to find them is out in nature, where you may sense their presence or even see something out of the corner of your eye. Elementals of each type have places they prefer: Earth elementals are fond of caves, for example, and water elementals of natural springs. Working with spiritual beings always involves a certain suspension of disbelief, and some unlearning of simplistic images — time to let go of those garden gnomes and sexpot mermaids! Elementals are not gods, but rather beings that occupy a plane somewhere between gods and humans. They are powerful and a little wild, so take care in working with them. Be especially careful when asking for a favor: state your needs exactly, being careful not to request too much, lest you end up with more than you can handle. You’ll also want to mind your pleases and thankyous, and leave a small but appropriate token of appreciation.

As a Key to Understanding: Probably the basic way to use the elements is to simply use them as a way to understand the world. Elements are especially helpful in understanding personality. When you meet new people, reading their elemental make-up can give you a quick and effective way to know how to interact with them. For example, if a new boss has a strongly grounded earth personality, you’ll want to be extra careful to read the employee manual and meet all your deadlines; on the other hand, if you see more air in their personality, you may want to get ready for midnight brainstorming sessions! Either way, getting this kind of early “read” on the people around you can help you know what to expect.

These are just a few of the ways to interact the elements and benefit from their help. It’s something anyone can add to their spiritual practice and learn from. You may even wind up teaching your science teacher a thing or two!

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Aroma Reading for August 2016: Galbanum

Written by Mimosa
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By Christina Wilke-Burbach PhD, RMT, CA

The intuitive essential oil for the month of August is Galbanum (Ferula galbaniflua). Galbanum has a unique fresh, earthy, green smell that definitely reminds me of summertime. It is an herb in the parsley and carrot family that has a long history of use as an incense and sacred plant since ancient times. It is believed the Egyptians used the resin for embalming.  To obtain the essential oil, incisions are made in the stalk of the plant and a gum seeps out. The gum is hardened and forms a resin which is then steam distilled. Like other resins, Galbanum has skin healing, anti-inflammatory, and respiratory healing properties. I find it particularly useful for emotional, spiritual, and energetic healing. It can be used to assist in meditation, purification, grounding, and centering. Inhale the oil and pair it with affirmations and personal growth work to heal deep emotional wounds.  I focus on using it in integration. Integration is pulling all your energies together; your heart, emotions, soul, energy, physical body, etc and uniting all parts of you, making you whole and complete…all the pieces of the puzzle are put back together again. Great for when you feel scattered and pulled apart. I like to anoint the feet at the end of an energy healing session to integrate my clients and combine it with grounding and centering techniques.  

My Galbanum forecast for August 2016: Are you having troubles with concentrating? Do you feel confused and pulled in a million different directions right now? Are you having troubles making a decision? Are you at a crossroads in your life? Do you feel scattered? Galbanum is encouraging you to slow down, take a deep breath, and quiet the mind. Do not try so hard. Relax. Go with the flow. Do not try to control your situation. By letting go of the need to control, you will find your answer. Take some time to meditation and sit in silence. The universe is giving you your answer, you just need to listen and pay attention.   

Spiritual Powerhouse Blend

  • 3 drops Galbanum
  • 3 drops Frankincense
  • 3 drops Palo Santo
  • 3 drops Tulsi (Holy Basil)
  • 3 drops Elemi
  • 5 drops Lavender

Use in a diffuser, blend in one ounce of a vegetable oil and use for anointing, or add to one ounce of water to make a mist or spray.

(Special note: Although Mimosa carries quite a few essential oils, Galbadum is not one we stock. Christina recommends these sources: Nature’s Gift Stillpoint and  Mountain Rose Herbs.)

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Aroma Readings are a divination technique using essential oils developed by Dr. Christina Wilke-Burbach, a Holistic Health Psychologist, Certified Aromatherapist, Herbalist, and Reiki Master Teacher.  She offers individual Aroma Readings and spreads as well as teaches Aroma Readings in her level 2 ‘Holistic Healing with Aromatherapy’ certification series. Interested in learning more about herbs, aromatherapy and essential oils? Christina offers face to face and online aromatherapy and herbs classes and certifications. The next level 1 Holistic Healing with Aromatherapy series starts September 10, 2016 in Sheboygan WI area (north of Milwaukee) and a live online webinar series starts October 11, 2016. Visit Mind, Soul, and Self LLC for more info: