When I think about my birth story, I think about my word for 2020...trust. Trust that I was strong enough to go all natural and trust that my body would tell me otherwise.
I’m a planner and I like to do my research. During this pregnancy, I read books and other inspiring birth stories that made me feel that going natural was my way to go. I felt confident in my decision and even more confident that switching from an Obgyn to a midwife (shout out to the amazing midwife team at Avista Women’s Care) was the best choice to ensure I felt supported along this journey.
And that’s exactly how I approached giving birth, as a transformational journey. A journey asking for me to surrender. To trust. To be with what is and what will be.
I never knew just how much pregnancy was a test of patience. You wait to get pregnant, you wait 12 weeks to feel secure in your pregnancy, and you wait for your little one to be placed in your arms. That’s where we were at, almost 41 weeks and anticipating her arrival.
Then, just after midnight on August 3rd, I began having contractions and called my midwife. She said to monitor the progress and call her back when they become consistent. Both my husband and I got really excited ‘It’s happening!’ We started timing them and waited for progress. Then they went away?! What was that about? Confused and tired, I fell back asleep.
When I woke up later that morning I had a feeling to call my midwife back and let her know I was concerned about our baby’s movement. She wasn’t being as responsive as I’d like and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t over analyzing it and everything was okay. They told me to come into the office and check her out.
So, my husband and I packed up our bags (just in case) and headed in. Once we got there, they hooked me up to fetal monitors, gave me juice, and we waited once more. It seemed that she was really sleepy so we then moved to an ultrasound. That’s when my midwife said my amniotic fluid levels were borderline low and based on her responsiveness it was best we induce.
Hello lesson in surrender! Pitocin was not what I wanted but I needed to surrender to what is best for her. So, as the moon was becoming full in Aquarius, we headed to the hospital and got ready for the next phase of this journey.
At around Noon, the contractions began again and this time they were consistent and intentional. They started off like bad period cramps but as time went on they became more and more intense. Even though I had to be induced, I was still determined to do this without pain medication.
When we got to the hospital I was already 3cm dilated and 80% effaced. My body had started the process and now it was time to trust it can finish it.
With my very supportive husband by my side and the best care from my midwife and nurses, I continued along my journey to bring this little angel earth side.
As the day turned into night, the contractions increased in frequency and intensity. With each one, I was riding the waves of pain with my breath and squeezing the heck out of my husband’s hand. At some point we made our way to the spa room tub and I found some relief in the healing water and lavender scent (oh and the sound of some 90’s R&B...I remember singing Babyface at one point)
Once back in our room, the contractions came on stronger. At this point I was lying on my left side with the peanut ball between my legs to open up my hips and give this girl some room to make her way down.
As we approached the 12-hour mark, I started to feel my body shut down. I was shaking all over and could barely make it back to my bed from the bathroom without curling over in pain. My breathing became more vocal and the grip on my husband’s hand got tighter.
My midwife came in to check me and I was only at 5cm. I remember looking up at my husband and crying. I was crying not only because of the pain but because I knew my body needed rest. I was being stubborn and not surrendering. I wanted to do this without intervention and that mindset was holding me back from progressing.
So, I made the decision to trust what my body was telling me and I asked for a walking epidural. It would be just enough relief from the pain but without the restriction of the full epidural. I still wanted the ability to move around and have the choice of my birth position.
They administered the walking epidural and minus the initial drop in my blood pressure that caused me to get really sick, it worked! I was able to fall asleep for 2 hours (or so my sweet husband who stayed awake the whole time by my side told me). My body needed those 2 hours, because when I woke up and got checked I was 9cm!!!
The pain was back and it was time for the final stretch of the journey. And damn was that the hardest part. Knowing you are so close but not yet there.
Those next few hours were a blur until the moment I started to feel the need to push at about 7:00am which also happened to be the time for shift change. With a new nurse and midwife by my side (along with my husband) I started pushing. It took me a minute to find my strength but once I did, there was no stopping me! Well, maybe a little blockage that needed clearing (I’ll spare the details) but after that was taken care of my pushing became very effective.
At 7:48am little Skylar Rae made her way through the birth canal and took her first breath of air. She was immediately placed on my chest and it was love at first sight.
But birth was not yet over. It was time to remove the placenta. My umbilical cord was only two vessels and therefore pretty thin and somehow detached from the placenta. My badass midwife took charge and went elbow deep into my uterus to remove the placenta so that I didn’t have to have surgery. I am beyond grateful she did (may not have looked like it in the moment though).
Finally, birth was over. Skylar Rae was here and my motherhood journey was just beginning.
Ready to dive into the connection between astrology and fertility? In part one of this blog series, I mentioned that looking at my birth chart gave me the foundation to make changes to my diet and start tracking my ovulation cycle alongside the lunar cycle and planetary transits. But how did I know what to look for?
Back in the day, I’m talking 2200 BC, astrology and medicine were used together. Ancient astrologers found that certain planetary points within the birth chart corresponded to an individual's overall health and wellbeing and that understanding what lies within someone's birth chart could provide helpful information that was used to heal or prevent illness.
How does this relate to fertility? One of the strongest correlations found was the connection between the Moon and a woman's ability to conceive.
The Moon in your birth chart
In astrology, the Moon represents the body-soul connection. Because the Moon is the closest to Earth, it is said to have the strongest connection to the human body and therefore to your health. The Moon is the queen, conception, and the body. 1
Each of you have the Moon in a certain sign, house, and phase at birth. Looking at these within your birth chart helps lay the foundation of your fertility profile.
For example, when looking at your Moon sign at birth we would want to see a zodiac sign that is considered to be more fertile such as a water sign (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces). If we found that your Moon was in a less fertile sign, such as Virgo, we would dive into its placement and phase to give us more details as to how we can help it out.
The Moon phases and fertility
Every month the Moon travels through eight different phases as it orbits around Earth. These phases are:
From the New Moon to the Full Moon (which typically last about 2 weeks), the Moon is gaining light (waxing) and is a period of growth. From the Full Moon to the New Moon (the following 2 weeks), the Moon is losing light (waning) and is a period of reduced growth.
When the Moon is gaining light or has more light it is said to be more fertile versus when the Moon is losing light or is dark. So we can use this information for both your birth Moon phase and the monthly cycles of the Moon.
Let’s go back to our Moon in Virgo example. Let’s say this individual was born during the Full Moon phase. This would help add some fertile energy to her less fertile Moon sign.
The fertility house in astrology
The 12 houses of the birth chart correlate to different areas of your life. When it comes to your fertility, there is one house in particular that we focus on...the 5th house. The sign, planetary ruler, and the planets that reside within this house all play a role in your fertility.
For example, if our Virgo Moon individual has Pisces on the cusp of her 5th house. This would indicate a fertile 5th house ruling sign and a beneficial 5th house ruling planet (Jupiter). She might not have any planets residing in that house, but looking to her natal Jupiter would tell us more of her fertility story.
Putting it all together
When it comes to your fertility profile it is important to look at all aspects of your birth chart, specifically the ones highlighted in this post. When working with clients, these provide the foundation to astro fertility coaching and allow me the opportunity to dive deeper into what may or may not be influencing their ability to conceive. The next step would be to look at the upcoming transits that would help that client boost their natural fertility.
This is the work I love and personally used on my own journey to conceive. It is important that I share this with others.
If you are interested in learning more about astro fertility, please email me at email@example.com as I offer individual sessions along with special astro fertility coaching programs.
love & fertile light,
1. Vettius Valens, Anthology, I. 1.
Ever wonder why for some people getting pregnant seems to be so easy and for others it may be a longer process or even take medical intervention? I know I did as soon as my husband and I started trying for a baby.
Unprotected sex = a baby right? That is what they teach us in sex education. Should be simple. Boy (or girl) were we wrong! There is sooooo much that has to line up just right for a woman to become pregnant.
Last April, my husband and I decided to pull the goalie and go for it. We tried for months, tracking ovulation and timing sex to fit within the tiny window of opportunity the app said I had. Then one day we found out we were pregnant. We were over the moon excited and ready to start the journey of parenthood. Or so we thought.
The sperm fertilizing the egg is one part, the next part is making sure the zygote implants in the right place and the uterus is able to support it. For us, that wasn’t the case. It somehow didn’t make its way to where it needed to be and we had a failed pregnancy. We were devastated and questioning what went wrong.
When talking to other women out there, I found out it is common to try for months and even more surprising, it was common to experience at least one failed pregnancy (miscarriage, ectopic, etc.) during the process. I was truly shocked. I spent 36 years of my life trying not to get pregnant because they made it sound so easy. Why is no one talking about how hard it can actually be for some women?!
When you ask doctors about trying to conceive, they give you the blanket statement of "try for six months and then if nothing happens let's start running tests". Six months?! That is a long time, especially for someone in their mid-thirties or just naturally impatient, like myself. There must be another way to find out more information about my natural ability to conceive. So, I started thinking. Could astrology give me some answers?
I had been a practicing astrologer for over three years at this point but never thought about the connection between a birth chart and fertility. Yes, I knew the Moon cycles were connected to the female menstruation cycle and certain lunar phases were more auspicious for conceiving, but that was it.
I began researching ancient astrological techniques that connected our physical body, wellness, fertility, and more to our personal astrological birth chart. I was hooked and down the rabbit hole of learning I went. When I came up for air, I felt like I had found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I needed to test this out on myself!
So, I pulled up my birth chart and started looking at all the planetary points that corresponded to my fertility. Based on this information, I then made changes to my diet, started tracking the lunar cycle in relation to my ovulation cycle, and mapped out my most fertile transits for the next few months. I felt empowered. Like I understood what I was working with and how I could make changes that suited my body.
On November 13th 2019 just after the Full Moon and a lucky Jupiter transit, I took a pregnancy test and got a positive! It felt different. It felt good. This was the beginning of our parenthood journey.
I write this article to let you know there is more to the fertility story and it can be found in your birth chart. I will be posting part two with more information on how astrology can help you on your conception journey. AND a little something myself and fertility coach, Kate Potvin have in the works. Stay tuned…
Make sure to read part two of this blog series.
love & light,
It is simple and free to go online and generate your own birth chart. I have created a step-by-step guide on how to do so.
Follow these steps to get your free birth chart:
4. Enter your birth data. Make sure this data is as accurate as possible. If you do not know your exact birth time, please use this resource list to help you find that information.
5. Your birth chart (aka natal chart) will be generated with the option to print or download the pdf. I recommend creating a profile to save your data, so you can easily pull up your chart in the future.
Below is a sample chart with details on how to read it.
If you want to learn more about your birth chart and how it influences your daily life, schedule an astrology session with Ashley.
On Saturday, May 4th the Moon begins a new cycle of transformation in the sign of Taurus. This marks the rebirthing of the Moon, your soul, and the collective unconscious. Right before, the Moon in Taurus crosses over Uranus in Taurus which highlights the theme for you this cycle.
Uranus in Taurus is all about awakening the connection between your human nature and your spiritual nature. This transit began earlier this year and will last until 2026. So what comes up for you during this time is a glimpse into your path of awakening.
As the Moon aligns with Uranus in the sign of Taurus, what you feel is deeply rooted in your subconscious and takes practice to be rewired. In psychology, the subconscious mind rules our daily life as our minds are driven more by emotional reaction than consciousness. The key to shifting into consciousness is dedication and consistent action in order to reprogram your neuropathways.
That determination is heightened with all this Taurus energy as it is a fixed Earth sign. Some might call Taurus stubborn, but Taurus knows how to produce results and truly ground thoughts, desires, and emotions into reality.
Back to this New Moon in Taurus, all New Moon’s mark the beginning of a new cycle, not only for the next 28 days but also over the next year. From now until the Full Moon in Taurus on November 12th, the focus will be on setting your intentions and taking action. Really grounding into what comes up for you.
There is an opportunity to make something real. To transform something you have been afraid to dive into. To integrate and to heal what no longer aligns with your values or serves your mind, body, and soul.
New Moon in Taurus Ritual
This ritual is best is practiced from May 4th until May 11th. Chose the time that feels right to you and give yourself the space to dive inward.
Start by cleansing your space and yourself with your sage, palo santo or incense. As you cleanse speak or think the following affirmation:
“I cleanse and release the past. The hurt, the pain, the worry, and the emotional trauma I have endured. They are all cleansed and released from my body, my mind, and my soul. All that no longer serves me is taken away and all that remains is light, love, and my truth. Thank you.”
Do this same cleansing ritual to your space and use the following affirmation:
“I cleanse and release the negative energies of this space. The energy that surrounds me is only that of light and love. Thank you.”
Then find a comfortable position and take about 10 minutes to listen to this amazing (free) meditation by Sarah Blondin on Insight Timer.
Next, prepare a bath using your oils, flowers, salt, and crystals. If you do not have a bath, you can prepare this in a large jug and poor it over yourself in the shower (just hold the crystals). As you sit in your bath or shower, focus on the smell of the oils, the sensation of the flowers, the feel of the crystals and the beauty that surrounds you. Find comfort in the present moment and bring love into your body. Relax and enjoy this moment of pure bliss.
When you are done, apply your favorite lotion or oil (I love H2a Botanicals Vetiver Oil). Really focus on the spots that you typically hold tension and give those some extra love.
As you finish up, choose your intention for this New Moon in Taurus. What is calling your attention? What small steps can you take to ground into your intention? To make it real.
With love, light, and moon magic,
The language of astrology speaks in planets, signs, and houses. In this post we will explore the 12 signs of the zodiac.
Where do the zodiac signs come from?
The 12 signs are derived from the constellations that mark out the Earth's path of orbit around the Sun. (see image below) As the planets orbit the Sun, they move through these constellations at various speeds. This is what creates the changing of the signs.
For example, the Moon moves through all 12 constellations in less than 29 days, changing signs every 2 days while Mars will travel through the 12 constellations in 2 years, changing signs every 6-7 weeks. These specific orbits create a picture of the planets' positions in relationship to the background of the zodiac constellations which is known as a birth chart. This creates the language we use in astrology of Sun in Libra or Mars in Virgo.
Each of the zodiac constellations is associated with a particular archetypal energy which forms the basis of the characteristics of the 12 zodiac signs.
What do the signs represent?
Zodiac signs represent the HOW in astrology. Basically, they provide personality traits for the planets that occupy them.
HOW are the 12 zodiac signs expressed?
Each zodiac sign is associated with an elemental property (earth, water, air, fire), a fundamental quality/mode (cardinal, mutable, fixed), and a planetary ruler. The combination of these provide the basis for exploration of HOW the planets express themselves in your life.
Below is an overview of the 12 signs in relation to their element and mode/quality.
The 12 signs based on Mode/Element:
Wednesday, March 20th is a powerhouse day as we kick off the astrological new year with the Sun entering the sign of Aries. Sun at 0° Aries marks the start of a new journey for the Sun and the Northern Equinox (Vernal Equinox).
No matter where you live, the Sun will be starting its new yearly cycle around the zodiac. The planetary arrangement in the cosmos at this time will set the tone for the next 12 months. So let’s review what we've got going on:
Full Moon at 0° Libra will be one of the most potent Full Moon’s of the year as 0° is the degree of “anything is possible”. Having both the Sun and Moon at 0°, signals some type of action must be taken. If you start something at this time, you will be motivated to get it off the ground. The key will be how you create a balanced (Libra) and sustainable approach to its manifestation.
Libra, ruler of the 7th house, is all about relationships, specifically the relationship between yourself and others. It represents the line between independence and dependence that must be drawn in order to find balance.
What is illuminated for you at this time will be where there is imbalance in your life. Where you are sacrificing yourself for someone or something. Where you are giving too much or not asking for enough.
*In order to find out exactly where this Full Moon will occur in your life, look to your birth chart to find which house 0° Libra is located.
In addition to the Full Moon, we have a major planetary aspect occuring that will set the tone for the year ahead. The Sun in Aries joins forces with Chiron in Aries in a very tight conjunction (alignment). Chiron is our path to wholistic healing. It is how we become whole after being broken open.
Chiron is not actually a planet but an asteroid that orbits between Saturn and Uranus. It is the bridge between our physical realm and the spiritual realm. It is one of my favorite points to look at in a personal astrology reading as it represents your transformation from the wounded healer to the masterful teacher. It is the key to discovering YOUR GREATEST GIFT.
As Chiron aligns with the Northern Equinox, each of us have the chance to heal our wounds. As individuals and as a collective, we will ALL experience this healing journey. Now, I am not saying it is going to be all rainbows and unicorns, it is going to take work. It is going to take dedication to YOUR journey to find balance and become whole again.
Take that first step on Wednesday...maybe you find your own masterful teacher to help guide you. Maybe you try your first ever energy healing session or start your yoga teacher training. Whatever it may be, don’t be afraid to embrace what opens up for you.
with love, spirit, and passion
We kick-off the first week of March with Mercury going retrograde in the sign of Pisces on March 5th. Now before you go running for the hills, let's chat about what this might look like for you.
Mercury (the planet of the conscious mind and communication) will be slowing down a bit and slipping into dreamy Pisces for three weeks of rest and reflection. Many of you have been going non-stop trying to achieve your new year goals for the past two months. Now, you are being asked to take a step back from the hustle and reassess the connection, delivery and approach to your 2019 goals.
Mercury in Pisces is all about surrendering to something greater than yourself. To your purpose, to your path, and to your soul. Take time to calm the mind and communicate with your soul during this transit. Find out the direction YOU want you to take! Not what you "should" be doing or what everyone else is doing. BUT what your soul is calling you to do.
Want to find out more about how to successfully survive this Mercury retrograde, check out my article on the MINDBODY blog.
On the following day, March 6th, we have Uranus moving into the sign of Taurus AND a New Moon in Pisces.
Uranus is the gateway planet to the spiritual realm. It is the first of the transpersonal (outer) planets that correlate with that which is outside of your everyday reality. It is the planet of sudden change and awakening.
Uranus will be entering Taurus for a seven-year transit that is sure to spark change in your life. Taurus is an Earth sign that embodies your physical realm, specifically how you nourish yourself. So, as a collective, we will experience a shift in how we connect with and fuel our body. How we embrace it. How we use it for a soul-centered purpose.
I want to share some wise words from a very special soul, Soshy Adelstein, coach and owner of Embody Nutrition, about how to best nourish your body:
“Start by tuning out all of the messages you’ve received about what you should and should not be eating so you can tune in to what feels right for your body. Generally, it’s best to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up because your digestion is highest in the morning and slows down as the day moves on. Continue to eat every 2-3 hours with adequate meals and snacks. This ensures that you don’t wait too long to eat because if you do this, you’re much more likely to overeat. Set aside time during your day to sit down and eat without distractions. It’s important to create a space where your body can relax without stress and digest food properly. Sitting while you’re eating also helps prevent mindless eating. Last, get rid of the guilt associated with eating certain foods. Guilt takes us out of our bodies and keeps us trapped in our minds which does not help to change unwanted habits with food. The best thing you can do is forgive yourself and do it differently next time.”
To dive deeper into how Uranus in Taurus will be experienced in your life, look up your birth chart and see in which house contains Taurus.
If you're an:
Aries Ascendant, Uranus moves into your 2nd house.
Taurus ascendant, Uranus moves in your 1st house.
Gemini ascendant, Uranus moves into your 12th house.
Cancer ascendant, Uranus moves into your 11th house.
Leo ascendant, Uranus moves into your 10th house.
Virgo ascendant, Uranus moves into your 9th house.
Libra ascendant, Uranus moves into your 8th house.
Scorpio ascendant, Uranus moves into your 7th house.
Sagittarius ascendant, Uranus moves into your 6th house.
Capricorn ascendant, Uranus moves into your 5th house.
Aquarius ascendant, Uranus moves into your 4th house.
Pisces ascendant, Uranus moves into your 3rd house.
*Note- if your ascendant is in the later degree (27-29 degree) of a sign, your placement may shift one house forward.
Here is a link to my Astro Quick Guide on the Houses to give you a general meaning of what each house represents.
The New Moon in Pisces will be adding an extra soulful twist on March 6th. This lunar initiation phase emphasizes a new beginning as it aligns with Uranus entering Taurus. A change is on the horizon.
This change is deeply connected to spirit as the New Moon is conjunct Neptune (the planet of intuition). Neptune is a dreamy planet and the natural ruler of this Pisces New Moon, so that is a double dose of soul!
To help ground your visions for the future, is a harmonious aspect (sextile) between the New Moon and Saturn (the planet of structure and responsibility). In addition, Mars (the planet of action) is harmonizing with this New Moon to provide the much-needed push out of illusionary tendencies that can sometimes afflict Pisces/Neptune.
Overall, I am loving this week. I don’t know about you, but I could use some time to rest and reflect so that I can move forward more aligned with my soul’s purpose. That is what this week (and the whole month) is about.
Don’t freak out that Mercury is retrograde, or Uranus is moving into the sign of security, focus on allowing change to come into your life so that spirit can show you where you are meant to go. Take the time to listen to yourself, your body, and your intuition.
Below you will find the 2019 Moon Phase Calendar with Moon signs and Void-of-Course times. Please note all times are in EST/EDT time.
Resource: Cafe Astrology
The Moon makes a complete circle through the twelve signs every 28.5 days and spends approximately 2.5 days in each sign.
There is a time, however, when this connection is not complete and it "float" between signs. This is the time we call the void-of-course Moon. It starts after the Moon has made its last major aspect (conjunction, trine, square, opposition, or sextile) to the Sun or another planet and it has yet to change signs. So the Moon is considered void-of-course until it enters the next sign.
The Moon goes void-of-course every two days or so, and this can last anywhere from a few minutes to a day or two. Most commonly seen is the void-of-course Moon lasting several hours.
What does that mean for you?
There is a certain quality to the energy during a void-of-course Moon. It is as if everything slows down and the ability to make a clear decision is at a halt. Think of it as if you are floating in space just like the Moon. You are not yet ready to commit to a sign and need more time to feel it out. Apply that thought to the moments when the Moon is void-of-course.
Examples of things to avoid (if possible) during the Void-of-Course Moon:
Examples of ways to use the Void-of-Course Moon to your advantage:
Here is an example of the lunar cycle for February 2019 from Mountain Astrologer magazine. You would read it as follows:
On January 31st the Moon enters Capricorn at 4:47pm (Pacific time). It will then square Uranus before going void-of-course on February 3rd at 2:53am (Pacific time). It will remain void-of-course until it enters (ingresses) into Aquarius on February 3rd at 5:03am (Pacific time). So in this instance, the Moon would be void-of-course for a total of 2 hours and 10 minutes.
Ashley Tracey, MS RYT