The New Darkness of Jupiter

Gustav Holst's Jupiter from The Planets

Hip, Hip, Hooray! Jupiter, the planet of optimism, expansion, knowledge, and luck, has moved into…Scorpio. At first glance, this seems like odd territory for such a grandiose, buoyant planet to find itself, Scorpio being the sign of darkness, sexuality, death, power, and intuition, but I’m optimistic for Jupiter’s transit through the sign of Scorpio this coming year.

Signs are how things happen, coloring planets and points, so Jupiter entering the sign of Scorpio means this usually upbeat, glass half full, largest planet will take on a darker, more intuitive, controlling, secretive demeanor over the next year. What does this mean for you? Scorpio is ruled by the planets Mars and Pluto, power planets that control war, physicality, and all aggressive action; and, the secretive, unseen, crystalline underworld dimensions, respectively. Jupiter always encourages you, gleefully, to expand, learn, and gallop forward, but this year, Jupiter being in Scorpio will demand, viscerally, that you make the hard, necessary changes required for you to truly rise. This is the terrain, to use Freudian language, of the Id. What is your body demanding of you that you’re not giving it? Denying your body and mind what it wants creates cognitive dissonance with the other parts of your psyche. Not all desires and wants should be acted upon, but they must be at the minimum considered, acknowledged, and dealt with to relieve tension. Acknowledging this darker, hidden part of yourself will allow your deepest, truest desires to emerge and subsequently to be grappled with. In fact, though these desires might be necessarily rejected by the ego after years of conditioning maintained through the superego, to use more Freudian language, they are in fact screaming out for love.

One of the most moving images recently to come through our computers is the image of Pluto’s broken heart, the modern ruler of Scorpio. All Pluto asks is that you deal with the depths of your soul and make the hard, necessary changes that need to be made to live the life you truly want, the big, expansive, Jupiterian life. But all too often you discard these instinctual feelings to do “the right thing” or what you think you “should be doing.”


Pluto's moving broken heart.

Fear not! Jupiter is here for the next year, and matters that are traditionally the harsh terrain of Scorpio, namely sex, death, inheritance, other people’s money and motivations, and investments, will be much easier this coming year if you heed the lesson of Jupiter and have a positive mindset, all while keeping the aggressive and controlling energy of Scorpio in mind and in check. What does this mean throughout the signs? Read on below.


Aries: This is an extremely powerful transit for you, as Jupiter will be transiting through your sector ruling sex, other people’s money, and transformations. As an already physical sign, being the ram, you might be so exuberant that you run yourself into the ground, one of your natural inclinations as an Aries. But Jupiter transiting through your eighth house, the natural house of Scorpio, asks you to stop and think about your pulsing, physical undulations and where they are perpetually leading you, but, ponder where you really, truly, deeply want to go and not simply act on physical impulse.


Taurus: Jupiter moving into Scorpio is a great chance for you to put your earthly, Taurean pleasures and gifts towards relations with partners, whether in business or marriage, and even adversaries. Taurus, you are gifted with the roots and flowers of the earth, and are often content within yourself. While this can be good, too much solipsism will drop the value of your possessions and materials, so put your value to work in relation to others and see yourself expand greatly.


Gemini: This is interesting, as it usually is with you, curious, communicative Gemini. All about flying and ideas, Jupiter in Scorpio in your work and service area this year asks you to apply, somewhat more soberly, all your flighty machinations. This may take some discipline, but your work will pay off dearly.


Cancer: Usually content to emote and feel from within, Jupiter asks you to express and dramatize your gifts of feeling and emotion this year. You don’t have to give up your self-protection and care, but if you’re being honest, you do want others to hear your song, and they want to hear it too, so invite them into your fold.


Leo: Usually you are the great, warm, dramatist, but Jupiter asks you to devote some more time at home this year and with family. Without a home base, all your creative, golden, warmth won’t mean as much if you don’t take care of your family and home sector of your chart. Plus, you have a big heart anyways, so give it to those who matter most.


Virgo: Heady Virgo, you can drop the analysis and burdens this year. You needn’t worry, rather put all that you’ve reaped, analyzed, and organized into action through commerce and communication. Open yourself up to where the work you slave over could take you, and Jupiter will help get you there, but you need to watch your martyrdom complex if you desire to expand and grow.


Libra: Jupiter just left your sign, but this is not a bad thing. The past year has been about making judgments and balancing the fruits that have come your way. Now the chips are down, and it’s time to possess that which you truly value and take only what’s necessarily. You’ll find it’s all you ever wanted in the first place instead of endlessly deliberating over what you think you may want.


Scorpio: Bam! This is a very powerful year for you, not unlike Aries, with whom you share a rulership in Mars. As harnessing and controlling your power is a perpetual issue for you, Jupiter can help, ironically, tame you, as you step into your power in more expansive, joyous modalities. It doesn’t all have to be darkness, doom, and gloom.


Sagittarius: One might be tempted to say that Jupiter in your house of dreams and the unconscious plane is a bad thing, but this may be an area for you that is yet untapped. Your ruler is Jupiter, and your MO is to know and seek, so allowing some unexpected unknowns to fortuitously appear will do you well. In other words, joyously embrace the mystery!


Capricorn: Jupiter moves through your house of friends, hopes, wishes, and larger groups. Here is a chance for you to get outside of your self-oriented, success driven nature and get out amongst the multitudes. It can’t be all work and no play, and you’ll be surprised how your new social networks and friends in fact drive and help your career from unexpected places.


Aquarius: While your futuristic visions are the necessary idealism we all in the greater society require, you do well during Jupiter’s visit to your area of career and public recognition to work on yourself and a more conservative path forward, a slow ascent to greater success rather than relying on the visions that live with your head in the clouds.


Pisces: Jupiter is your original ancient ruler, but this coming year, Jupiter visits your area of learning, knowledge, and travel. Usually content to live in your watery, dreamy, formless world, try to attain some hard knowledge with Jupiter this time around. Take a class, write, and/or go on an educational expedition rather than relying on more esoteric forms of knowing that are your natural realms.


Dan is a spiritual consultant, astrologer, and writer based out of New Orleans, LA. To explore the themes expressed above in your own spirit, and more, book an appointment by writing to or calling 504-313-8706.



Packenham's, and Pisces', Demise

Obelisk at Chalmette National Park

Obelisk at Chalmette National Park

My sister-in-law and I visited the site of the Battle of New Orleans at the old Chalmette plantation, five miles outside of New Orleans. As a logical Virgo with an inquisitive Gemini moon, I found myself wondering why Andrew Jackson, the ranking general, later to become president, won the battle and why the British General Edward Pakenham lost. There are always many analyses for why one loses a battle, but character is destiny, so I decided to look up General Pakenham’s chart to see if I could find some clues as to what spiritual traits caused his demise that fateful day.

Edward Packenham's birth chart, time unknown, natural houses. Astrograph Software. 

Edward Packenham's birth chart, time unknown, natural houses. Astrograph Software. 

Interestingly, both General Pakenham and General Jackson were both Pisces Decan 3, the third Decan of Pisces being ruled by Mars. Jackson employed secret tactics, such as blowing up a British stronghold in the dead of night, much to the consternation of Pakenham’s European sensibilities. Yet Pakenham also issued his own "Secret Orders." This seemed to be a clue as to who would win. Who would win the race to the bottom of the Piscean self-undoing? Who could manage secrets and mishaps? Who could win a dance of Mars and Neptune as ruling planets?

General Pakenham felt that this war should not have been adjudicated in the first place, Piscean intuition, but it seems that fate, and his lot of fortune and Neptune in Virgo, was working against his higher mine and strategy, regardless. General Packenham would be the masthead, with Mars in Aries trining Jupiter in Leo, the king as the ram, expanding beyond his earlier successes in the Napoleonic Wars. Many communication mishaps occurred during Pakenham’s Battle of New Orleans, high tech artillery that failed, orders misunderstood, as his weaker waning moon in Sagittarius opposes an eccentric Uranus in Gemini, requiring perhaps the nurturance of Ceres in Gemini to give better commands and lend itself to more creative, thoughtful strategy. Devilish and magical Mercury in Pisces doesn’t help either, squaring off against Uranus in Gemini.

General Pakenham was last seen galloping towards Jackson’s line, switching horses in vain, Mars in Aries conjunct Chiron in Pisces, painfully never able to escape the dissolving waters of his planets in Pisces, especially Venus, an unrequited love left unabated due to his long military career that finally ended on the fields of Chalmette.  

To learn more about your own character, nature, and Inner Makeup, contact me here.

Poetry of the Night

New Orleans is a decadent city, of this there is no doubt. So how is it that I’ve fallen in love with gods and monsters without worshipping at the altar of Dionysus? To check myself, I follow what I call the Truman Capote rule, one that he didn’t follow at the end of his life. The rule holds that one can’t write if he’s been drinking. This rule applies to any activity that requires a sober amount of concentration. I sort of followed that rule this past Saturday night whereby I started out at a party, ended up at a party at a Catholic church, and was saved by a poet in the street. The party at the Catholic church, I think, was a benefit party, complete with pralines and champagne. I could feel the drumbeat of Dionysus in the church, pagan undulations that grind us into each other and back to nature --- sugar and wine, people and music.

So, I left, guided by a Gemini who was able to communicate to me the labyrinthine mystery of New Orleans streets, and in turn, the path back to my car. Dionysus rules New Orleans, but in the midst of the decadence in the bars and the streets, I found a poet, Mixson Lovejoy, crouched on the street offering his services, typewriter armed and ready. I began to recite to him, with a few drinks pulsing through my veins, some lines from an Emily Dickinson poem: The Soul Selects her Own Society, then – shuts the door; to her divine majority, present, no more. He asked me who that was, and I responded it was Emily Dickinson, and he told me jokingly nobody had heard of her. He then self-deprecatingly admitted that he wasn’t good at memorizing or reciting poems to which I replied, “it’s ok, Guttenberg has been around for some time.”

I only had a couple of bucks on me, but I asked him to write a poem about the waning moon’s crisis of consciousness, the last quarter of the lunar cycle where the moon wanes down to an invisible black moon, and one must shed old patterns and dead leaves to make way for what’s to come. He said it would take a few minutes to write the poem and that I might want to go into the bar to get a drink; I told him I’d like to stay with him. While he chipped away at his poem on his typewriter, I wrote one as well on my smartphone. When he was finished, he asked if I’d like him to read it to me to which I replied, “yes.” I asked if I could hold his hand while he read. We took each other’s hand, and he began to read. He miffed the first couple of lines, apologized, and asked to restart. I reassured him that it was ok, I loved feeling the connection to his creative impulse. And this is what he read: 

Mixson's Poem

Mixson's Poem

I loved the poem; it was such a contrast to what I had just written. It was soft, dark, and resonant. Not driving, sadistic, and grandiose like what I had written alongside him:  

The waning moon

Is a crisis of consciousness

Trumpets and horns blare

Destroying all the rest


The sounds of words

In the mind

Fight valiantly against

The Screams of the sands of time


What will the ears hear?

And allow into consciousness?

Time will tell, enslaving us

Under deep duress


The poet laughed at “deep duress” which I appreciated. I had found New Orleans and my philosophy, saturnian strokes on a Saturday evening, words that express the height of the mind and the senses, against the decadence of the night.


Dan Beck is a spiritual consultant, writer, and astrologer based in New Orleans. To explore themes like those expressed above, and more, in your own life, contact him at or call 504-313-8706.





The Season of the Virgin!

Relief of Ares and Hermes, now embodied in the planets Mars and Mercury.

Relief of Ares and Hermes, now embodied in the planets Mars and Mercury.

This Season of the Virgin!

Mercury Joins Mars at the Head

Mind and Body United

Standing in Good Stead


But Looking far ahead

Is a dangerous game

Rushing out of the moment

One’s physiology, never the same


Best to listen to the virgins,

Vesta, Juno, and Ceres,

Guard your hearth, relationships, and nurturance,

Then we’ll gain entrance to the underworld’s ferry


As the virgin makes her way,

If she’s collected, separated, and reaped,

That wheat we all crave,

For survival, we must eat


If the task is incomplete,

Then pray for us all,

A dark, cold winter shall we find

A most deadly fall


There’s intense forward motion as Mercury has recently moved direct and joined up with visceral Mars; however, listening to the feminine goddesses will help us get to where we want to go without getting carried away with such strong energy. Call 504-313-8706 or e-mail to personally explore these spiritual themes and more with an Inner Makeup session.


The Mind's Eye


The Mind’s Eye

Burns So Very Bright

Searching and Seeking

Though Nature is Blind


Inquiry and Desire

Are Dangerous Flames

Once Invoked

The Cosmos, Never the Same


The Moon Blocks the Sun

Every so Often

She Moves Out of Her Darkness

Crawls Out of Her Coffin


Looking is Deadly

As Oedipus Would Tell

Be Careful Where You Gaze

And You’ll Always Be Well

Be safe during this eclipse, as there are many eyes on the sun and moon. 

Roaring Ahead?

For those of you who missed this weeks Inner Makeup meetup in NOLA, here's what's happening in the stars! Mars, planet of action, carnal strength, and war, has moved into Leo. Many of you rejoice, as this fiery planet feels more comfortable with the lion than the clinging, clawing, doting crab, Cancer. However, this is such a very powerful lunation, proceed with caution. As Arthur C. Clarke said, it is not power, derived from the Latin, potestas, but its application that matters. The power of Mars is best expressed in a jumpstart, a seed that breaks through concrete, a rocket blasting off, but be careful not to engage in ill-advised dalliances such as adjudicating a land war in Russia.

With the Sun in Leo, he has found his home sign and his rulership. Bask in the warm, glimmering, golden tones of Leo, and seek athletic powerful grace as the lion, skillfully utilizing the abundant power of conjoined Mars without the need to even try too hard. However, don’t spend too much time in the mirror or in the sun.

While the previous planetary bodies have moved into their comfortable territory of Leo, Venus has shifted into watery Cancer, diving from the airy, chattering, communicative sign of Gemini. This is very interesting, as often we see Venus as an unattainable, beautiful, other in the sky, whereas recent research by Arielle Guttmann has pointed us to look and feel Venus from the inside. What is our inner beauty, purpose, the way that we might see the Golden Section in nature or the Venus star in the sky, in fact, on our inside? Instead of thinking about Venus socially, think about her in the retractive, introverted, emotive sign of Cancer.

Moon is waxing through Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Capricorn this week, an intense ride that asks us to hold our tongue and fire, or else be prepared to suffer the consequences of provocation, but we ultimately rise in Sagittarius and Capricorn.

Scholar of early astrology, Antoine Borrut, has identified the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction as an indicator of emperors who rise. Jupiter and Saturn rule Sagittarius and Capricorn, asking us to be cautiously optimistic. This is how we rise, through knowledge, belief, and as we bask now in the radiance of the sun, through the lion’s heart.

Lastly, Mercury goes retrograde on the 12th of August, asking us to slow down, look backwards, and radiate through the warmth of Leo.



Floating Into Cancer

We’re about to enter into the sign of Cancer, and in astrology, a sign is defined as the character of the season that that sign occupies. If you happen to be born in Cancer, your astrological or Inner Makeup will feature an orientation that is emotive, protective, and familial. If you have a friend or family member born in Cancer, they will exhibit these tendencies as well. A sign can also be used descriptively, for example, if you’re referring to someone or something that is very family-oriented and likely to hold onto the past, you might say, “That’s so Cancerian.”

Cancer is preceded by Gemini, and I’m jumping the gun a bit (we’re still in Gemini) by prematurely writing about Cancer. If Gemini are the communicative, curious, mercurial, creative, outgoing twins of the zodiac, Cancer is their foil, the mature, protective, deep-hearted, and emotional mother. Cancer is the crab, the ancient crustacean that can hang on better than any sign. The crab goddess was a powerful symbol in antiquity for cultures like ancient Egypt where the terrain was deadly, the only respite being the flooding of the Nile, the crab emblematic of the tenacity needed for survival.

Image taken from Erich Neumann's The Great Mother

Image taken from Erich Neumann's The Great Mother

What can we learn from Cancer, and how can we best utilize the energy of Cancer season? Cancers have an incredible ability to understand the long game of life. Ruled by the moon, Cancer feels the lunar month, whereas the rest of us are on a more hastened time cycle. Therefore, Cancers know how to love, protect, and hold onto things that need nurturance, care, and time. They can intuit the future and the past, looking towards the stars, but never forgetting the journey that brought them to the present. Conversely, Cancers can be crabby and have a hard time letting go when they need to.

We’ll be discussing moving into Cancer this evening at the New Orleans Inner Makeup meetup. We look forward to seeing you there. In the meantime, who are the Cancers in your life? What do you learn from them?

Balanced Sign Blend = Nice Group

Sign listing pictured from left to right. Leo is the photographer. 

Sign listing pictured from left to right. Leo is the photographer. 

Our Inner Makeup meetup group is growing! We were fortunate to have a blend of sign types, in other words, signs that are more flexible, signs that are in between, and signs that are more fixed in their ways. This type of texture can blend harmoniously, as this week's group did, yin and yang so to speak, but if the factions become tribal, it can become contentious. Are you ever at a party and wonder what sign blend is on tap for the evening? We look forward to seeing you next week. You can RSVP here

Thanks to Everyone Who Attended Last Evening's Meetup!

We had a great turnout for last evening's Inner Makeup meet up. We missed you if you didn't attend, but you can RSVP next week here. The conversation that emerged focused beautifully around some questions, as we're in the most inquisitive, communicating of all signs, Gemini, regarding astrology and each sign's ruler. Did you know your sign has a ruler? Each sign has a planetary ruler; Gemini happens to be ruled by Mercury, and rulerships are also disputed and even change over the years. However, in the spirit of the season of Gemini, I suggest to not so much seek the answer to the question that emerges from Gemini, the mercurial, fast, twins, but, as the poet Rilke said, "...beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves." In other words, appreciate what the question has itself to say, and ultimately file that into the realm of Gemini's opposite, knowledge-seeking Saggitarius. So, it's not what is right or wrong, rather, that a question is asked at all, and that there might not necessarily be an answer, and the spirit of the question is what is paramount. What is the spirit of Gemini? June is busting out all over (a song from the musical, Carousel), school is out for summer, and the longest days of the year are enjoyed. Yet, as I suggested before, curiosity and inquisition can kill the cat, as much fun as they can be in Gemini, the youthful twins of the zodiac. So enjoy the emerging, flightly beginning of summer, but don't lose your wits about yourself! 

Welcome to NOLA!

The front door to our duplex and the Inner Makeup Studio.

The front door to our duplex and the Inner Makeup Studio.

Dear Friends and Family, Colleagues and Clients,

As many of you have heard, I, James, Jackie, and Inner Makeup have relocated to the Crescent City, New Orleans. How synchronistic that the moon shape reflected upon us right now is that of a waxing crescent moon, the moon phase where, symbolically, a flower is just beginning to grapple with its surroundings. Indeed, this is New Orleans in a nutshell, or crescent. Sitting below sea level, and much closer to the earth, one finds himself surrounded by gigantic roots that burst through the concrete of sidewalks, intoxicated by blooming white flowers, and thrown back in time by the multitudinous structures, artifacts, and traditions that are not always easy to navigate. I wouldn’t be anywhere else. But…

As arresting and colorful as the spirit of nature is in NOLA, one can easily find himself arrested by the Dionysian ecstasies of New Orleans. That is why I am grateful to have found such a peaceful, protected edifice in which to live and work, a former Masonic Temple. Cory Walsh suggested as much that I would require the type of solid structuring in such a decadent city so as not to lose myself. In fact this building, 620 Opelousas, is a Cancer, the sign of love and protection, finished on June 28, 1925. The Masons themselves have always valued order, logic, and structure above all else. I’m in good spiritual company, and I look forward to seeing you in the Crescent City!



The astrology of this building is quite interesting. More on that at a later date. 

The astrology of this building is quite interesting. More on that at a later date. 

Two Virgos in Pisces Season and a Crazy Storm on its Way!

Every Monday at 11 AM, the word Monday itself meaning "Moon Day," Inner Makeup holds a weekly gathering at Manjares in Westville. Generally we focus on matters of an emotional nature, as Sunday is better to set the top on the week, the sun being the much more present, aware, planetary body, and the moon is the governing body of mystery, emotion, and that which is not always clear and present. 

How fitting that it was two Virgos, myself and Desiree, grappling with the madness of Pisces season, much to our consternation. Virgo and Pisces are opposites and occupy two sides of a coin, two peas in a pod, or, oppose each other in fits of Dionysian, dreamy madness and flighty, mercurial, Godspeed thoughts, as Virgo is ruled by Mercury, the winged-messenger, Hermes. Out of all the signs, Virgo, judgmental, critical Virgo, finds Pisces confounding, that Pisces is able to live in her dream world, whereas Virgo, with a chip on her shoulder, usually must slave away to make that kind of Piscean magic happen.

Desiree and I discussed how she might strategize, a very Virgoan word, and deal with this season. Her astrology features many beautiful planets in Leo on her ascendant, with a strongly placed Sun in Virgo, and a Moon in Taurus. They key for Desiree is possessing those emotions, the domain of the moon, that serve her interests, while letting the others go, not an easy task for someone with a strong moon in Taurus. In fact, this is a similar dynamic for what a Virgo must do in Pisces: let it go. The most formless, dreamy, of all the seasons is not the time to take control, rather ride out the Neptunian storm through which we ultimately rise again, as Jupiter is the original ruling planet of Pisces. Join us at the weekly Inner Makeup gathering and/or get in touch to book your Inner Makeup session.



Two Pisces and a Virgo

Whaddaya know? I found myself surrounded by two Pisces at this morning's Inner Makeup Meetup. Pisces and Virgo blend well together when Pisces accepts Virgo's analytical, thoughtful, and sometimes judgmental nature, and Virgo accepts Pisces' magical, dreamy, sometimes formless nature that can irritate Virgo. Thanks, Sekou, for your insights into the Abrahamic religions, King Solomon, and imagery, and best of luck, Wesley, as you continue to pursue your studies towards becoming a psychiatrist. Thanks for helping start off Mercury's direct motion on the right foot!