Greetings everyone, and welcome to my second blog post. The last one described the astrological energies at play on Samhain, October 31, 2020, the start of the new year for witches. If you read it, or even if you didn’t, you know that there are some powerful astrological energies at work right now, ones we all have to interact with in our personal lives.

But what’s the best way to work with these energies? While you don’t have too much control over how they play out nationally, can you consciously use these same energies to power the transformations you’d like to make in your own life? My experience has been that yes, you can. To do this, the first step is to know your own astrological birth chart. This means much more than just knowing that you’re an Aries or a Virgo. A full astrological chart tells you so much more – it shows where all 10 planets, 12 signs and 12 and areas of life (also known as houses) are. I often say it’s like having the blueprint to your self, because, in the same way that a blueprint illustrates the potential of a building, the astrological chart shows the potentials within yourself. The choices that you make about how to use those energies determine a lot about how you experience your life. In addition, it can help you understand what choices you can make about how you’re impacted by the still-moving energies of those planets and signs. A good analogy is knowing what the weather or traffic is going to be like, so you can choose what to wear, or how soon to leave and what route to take so that you won’t be late (and stressed out). Let me give you a couple of examples, and then we can discuss how to work with them.

Probably the easiest example is the moon. Most people are familiar with the fact that, during a full moon, people in general tend to act more emotionally, less rationally, than at other times. In astrology, the moon’s energy represents our emotional nature, our emotional needs, and the way we nurture, and need to be nurtured. As I described in my last blog, the moon was full, and in the sign of Taurus, on Samhain (October 31st). Taurus is a sign which also represents a need for security and stability; but, the planet that represents the virtual opposite type of energy, Uranus, is also in Taurus, and close enough to impact the energy of that moon. I had a number of friends who felt like the energy of this Samhain was energetically unsafe, and chose not to celebrate the holiday in their usual ways, so that they could feel safer. Knowing this kind of thing in advance can allow us to make more conscious choices like these.

Here’s another example: Mercury retrograde. Many people who know very little about astrology have heard of this and experienced the challenges that this period can bring. Mercury is the planet that represents communication, ideas, intellect, short trips, and the written and spoken word. Every year, three times a year, for around three weeks, this planet appears to go backwards in the sky. This is an illusion, it only appears that way from where we’re standing because of the relative orbits of it and the earth. But it does have an effect in how its energy interacts with ours. During Mercury retrograde, many people experience more than the average number of problems with communication – e-mails go missing, people misunderstand what was said or meant, travel plans go awry, etcetera. Recently a company I know of installed its new cloud based internet system so that it “went live” on the very same day Mercury entered retrograde. From what I heard, it was not a smooth transition, and problems are still popping up, months later.

What I tell my friends and clients is, in order to work with this Mercury retrograde energy , be prepared. If you do important work on the computer, do you back up your work frequently? Have you got firewall security? If you make travel plans for during the period of Mercury retrograde, do you have travel insurance? Have you planned for possible traffic on the way to the airport? For me, in general, those answers are usually “no.” I’m not much of a planner. But when I know Mercury is going to be retrograde, I definitely make an exception.

Those are just two small examples of how knowing a little astrology can help us get through life more comfortably. But with more knowledge of our charts, and the astrological energies around us, we can make even more informed choices and we can even influence the energies themselves. Here are some ways I do this, and if anyone has more examples you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments section.

Talk to the energies:

It’s been my experience that when you reach out to energy, it will respond back to you. There’s many ways of doing this, but this technique is actually not all that different from what psychotherapists call “the empty chair technique,” in which you envision whoever it is you have issues with, ie your parent or your ex, in that chair, and you have a conversation with them to gain insight into the envisioned person’s perspective so that you can react differently. Here’s a description of how I first adapted this technique to work with the astrological energies:

In 2008, the planet Pluto moved into the sign of Capricorn and within a few months it formed an angle with the Mars in my astrological chart called an opposition. Pluto is the planet that represents transformation; Mars is the planet of instinctual drives, which also represents courage and confidence. It is associated with physical health and well-being. In my chart, Mars is in the sign of Cancer, which is very emotional in nature, so my Mars was very connected to my emotional well-being, too. Basically the Pluto energy was forcing my Mars energy to transform in some way. The Pluto “transform now!” energy I experienced was taking the form of a relatively rapid decline in my overall well-being, including my physical and emotional states. I had pain in my joints, low energy,weight gain, and depression, most of which I’d never experienced before. I was spending a lot of time at doctor’s offices looking for ways to feel better again, without a lot of luck. I felt like I had to do something different. Then one day,reading one of the magazines in a doctor’s office, I happened upon a story of how “the empty chair technique” had helped a woman address some issues with her mother, even though her mother was dead. It gave me an idea.

That evening, I sat down, got myself into a light meditative state, and pictured my Mars energy as a person, and asked if we could talk. Immediately I got a clear image of a man sitting across from me, which startled me a little bit; it was much more like a real person than I’d expected it to be. At first he was rather surly and unpleasant to me, demanding to know what I wanted to talk about. I’m not someone who enjoys confrontation, and was more than a little dismayed, but I persevered. I (deferentially) asked why he was angry at me, and whether or not this anger was causing my symptoms. My Mars told me he was angry and resentful because I blamed him – my male energy – for not taking better care of me. He told me that it wasn’t his fault his energy was causing these symptoms – it was my own fault for not allowing him any other expression of his nature, which is fire. I was confused, and asked him to tell me more, so I could understand.

He told me that I suppressed and thwarted him at every turn, and if I wanted him to take care of me, I had to LET him do so. To do this I would have to allow the freer, fuller expression into my life of his qualities of action, and daring, and instinctual protection. Things like exercise (I very seldom exercised); trying new things (daring), and to listen to my gut instincts  about dangers. Dangers included allowing people into my emotional life that my instincts told me I couldn’t trust, and physical dangers like junk food, which can cause weight gain and inflammation, which can lead to heart disease and cancer. He also said, quite vehemently, that if I kept it up,“ that bastard Pluto” was going to do more than give me pain in my joints and some low grade depression.

In other words, he let me know Pluto was forcing a change in how the energy of my Mars was expressed. My choice was the form that change took: more pain and ill health, or returned vigor.

I was a little bowled over by the immediacy and vehemence of the response I’d gotten to my exercise in talking to the energy of Mars. It seemed much more real than I’d expected, and carried with it the ring of truth and a sense of urgency. I’d known I needed to exercise and eat better for awhile, of course, but could never seem to motivate myself. But this “interview” somehow did it for me. I told him I would take steps immediately to change my ways, and asked for his forgiveness and his help. He seemed skeptical, but agreed, and I ended the meditation.

I followed through and took action in all those areas, and in this way, I essentially harnessed the energy of Pluto (forcing a change) and my own chart’s Mars – fiery energy of health. Now, more than ten years later, my health is great. I have energy and strength I absolutely didn’t have before that talk with Mars. And that is an example of the difference between consciously working with the energies of your planets, and just being unconsciously subject to them.

Meditate and /or focus energy on the associated chakras:

I have found it hugely helpful when I meditate on my chakras – just running energy through them for even 10 minutes a day can do wonders. But even more dynamic and effective can be identifying the chakras associated with the planets you may be having challenges with and running energy – soothing, healing, balancing, energizing – whatever you need – to each one separately and then between them. You can do this by yourself, or have a reiki practitioner or other energy healer do this for you. I’ve seen amazing things happen, for myself and others. The most dramatic example of this was a friend I had who, after being diagnosed with stage four cancer, seemed to be quickly fading, despite aggressive medical intervention over a period of months. But after a reiki practitioner, who did not know about the cancer, focused energy on the two chakras related to the areas of his body where it originated (and which corresponded to the areas in his astrological chart that indicated he was undergoing a forced transformation, just as I’d experienced with my Mars), my friend’s health was remarkably changed within a few days. He went from barely being able to walk, to being up and active, and with a healthy appetite – it was absolutely miraculous! He got an extra two years of happy, active life that he would not have had without this treatment. I’ve often wondered what would have happened had he had repeated treatments, but for his own reasons he chose not to do so.

Incorporate your astrological chart into your ritual work.

Use flower and plant vibrational medicine (Bach flower essences, for example), essential oils, gemstones/minerals, colored candles, etc., that are associated with the planets, signs and houses in your rituals. Also, if you work with deities or the Fae or spirit animals – learn what planets and signs their energies relate to, and involve them to align yourself with the energy of your astrological chart and the current astrological energy. For example, Pluto energy is closely associated with Osiris, and both connect to sign of Scorpio and the 8th house of your astrological chart.

Here are some of the resources I use:

The Master Book of Herbalism, by Paul Beyerl

Love is in the Earth, by Melody (a very comprehensive book about crystals and their uses, including associations with the planets and signs).

To learn about your astrological chart, here’s some free or low cost astrological chart resources:

My astrological services are available for a fee on a limited basis; you may e-mail me at

I hope you’ve found this information helpful. Bright blessings to us all!

Carol Shannon

Working with the Astrological Energies

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