Astrological Dance Parties

By Amanda Moreno

I’m fresh off of four days at the Northwest Astrological Conference (NORWAC), feeling grateful, inspired, mindblown, soul fed and somewhat delirious thanks to late nights full of chatter and dancing and quite a hearty dose of overstimulation.

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

It’s hard not to give in to the overstimulation part. NORWAC is quite the tribal affair, and the sense of community is pretty incredible, even for people like myself who can be quite shy and often awkward.

I’m fully aware that I tend to do better with one-on-one situations, but the temptation to vibe along with everyone into the late hours after long days of lectures and workshops can be compelling. In particular, I am fond of astrologer dance parties. There is something so enchanting to me about dance parties with people who are typically quite comfortable in their difference — they’re not afraid to move however they want to. It’s the perfect synthesis for my Aquarian and Leo parts.

Both the NORWAC community and the astrological community as a whole — be that astrologers or those who are just into astrology — are striking examples of what Richard Tarnas referred to as a heroic community in his keynote lecture (at least my experience of it is). I wholeheartedly agree that what the world needs now are heroic communities: groups of individuals who are connected to a higher vision of the true and the good that fundamentally challenges the framework of mainstream society.

In a world in which the linear-consciousness-oriented self (‘solar’ self) has developed in a way that has annihilated any sense of connection in the universe, we’ve paid a price in the form of disenchantment and extremes of objectification; in turn, that has led to the epic botching up of our biosphere and unprecedented damage to the Earth’s ecological system. As Mr. Tarnas said, we have never before pursued an experiment in which an entire culture can go for centuries as if nothing is sacred — everything can be exploited.

I suppose the current mutable grand cross, and the longer-term Saturn-Neptune square, could facilitate the transformation of consciousness that is necessary to correct our hyper-association with the linear mind. Lynn Bell treated the conference to two mutable-cross-centered lectures, both of which emphasized the necessity of wandering and the strengths and challenges of the mutable cross.

One of the many revelatory ah-ha moments I had during the conference came when Ms. Bell pointed out that throughout Saturn/Neptune transits, the little “never could happens” and “that just sounds impossibles” tend to come into form, for better or worse.

For me, this insight hit heavier on the negative side. I’ve noticed the feeling of surreality amping up, particularly as I recognize that Donald Trump has somehow become a candidate for the presidency. I keep thinking it’s impossible for him to win, and yet…it’s as if there are no longer any impossibilities. What a fertile field that recognition creates; further motivation to be very aware of the collective capacity to manifest fear-based dreams into reality.

The level of academic rigor that comes through at this conference is pretty astounding, as is a more recent opening to diversity — of people, cultures, astrological schools, sexuality and ways of knowing. As I attempt to process and synthesize everything that happened, I’m reminded of one of the major points of Alan Oken’s opening keynote lecture: that the evolution of the soul and energetic alignment take place through the process of synthesis.

This idea runs counter to my own belief, at least at the surface, which is that evolution occurs through the emotional body. But I love coming across ideas that make me question and contemplate and shift. Which is, perhaps, one of the thrusts of the mutable grand cross.

I think he was speaking more of the problem of polarization and the ‘sin’ of the illusion of separateness — and that part of what we have to attempt right now is to move from polarized individuality to synthesized individuation. It’s an idea that I write about here so often: that the most powerful thing we can do is to get in touch with our own soul’s calling and choose to actualize that, to evolve our patterns and our karma. And I suppose evolution might just be another one of those complicated processes. Go figure!

Other snippets I learned that might somehow speak to your heart or synthesizing mind include:

● Darkness is a quality of light; when we’re aligned with our soul we can move through that darkness without fear (and astrology is a great tool for those navigations)

● Astrology communicates energetic alignment into a structured system, therefore making it uniquely valuable to a culture trying to find its way back into meaning

● There are people looking at where privilege lives in the astrological community and in astrological processes, and the ways it communicates that privilege — and that I want to be part of that movement

● The myth of Hercules and the Nemean Lyon is an incredible allegory for Leo, and we all have narcissistic structures within us that deserve to be met with compassion, and which can be understood through the Cancer/Leo/Virgo progression and development of personality

● One of the things our civilization is coming to realize/remember is that the Sun has to set — when solar consciousness encompasses everything, blocking out the luminosity of the night, there is bound to be a fall

● The astrological community needs to enact both solar and lunar roles — serving as a nourishing community to itself while remaining aware of the shadow potentials of being cult-like, uncritical, uniform, dogmatic — and that it needs to be a matrix of individuation that builds bridges to outside communities; because we do, after all, have an understanding of a uniquely powerful tool that provides a cosmological container for personal and collective change

● Part of the magic of the Pisces/Virgo axis is that it reminds us that part of the purpose of the divine is to veil the truth so it can be discovered

● Dane Rudhyar viewed the nodal axes as parabolas of planetary motion that were more important than planetary placement, because it symbolizes planetary motion — where the planet came from and where it is going

● I’d love to learn about Esoteric Astrology but most people advise me not to

● Experiential understanding of my own chart is far more impactful than having someone tell me what something means — and there are a plethora of people in this community (myself included) who are engaging with experiential practices in astrology for ourselves and our clients

● Taking a tour through the zodiac with different, non Greco-Roman, non-male-centric myths is an obvious step for me, but absolutely groundbreaking for others

There was so much to learn. So much to be shared. But really, in light of the idea of nurturing heroic communities, which Planet Waves most certainly qualifies as in and of itself, what I want to leave you with is a slew of questions that came out of Lynn Bell’s lecture entitled “The Saturn Neptune Cycle: Honey and Ashes.”

These questions might be of use to you for this weekend’s Gemini New Moon. If you’re so inclined, or need some help simplifying, maybe you can make the questions more specific by focusing on the area of your chart the New Moon falls within. And all of these questions could be asked at the personal and collective levels:

What are you dreaming now?
What are you being asked to let go of now?
What is the dream you’re being asked to let go of?
What in your own life is no longer moving you forward that you always thought would see you through?
What dreams are you mourning?
What is being invited to emerge from within you?
What is the fuel for that emergence?

Feel free to post your responses or additional questions in the comments.


Curious about what the epic Uranus-Eris conjunction means for you? Intrigued by the dance of Neptune and Chiron in Pisces? In our exciting new class with Eric Francis, The Astrology of Now, your questions will receive thoughtful and insightful answers — and you’ll have lots of fun in the process. You may sign up here.

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About Amanda Moreno

Amanda is an astrologer, soul worker and paradigm buster based in Seattle. Her adventures in these forms of ‘practical woo’ are geared towards helping people to heal themselves and the world. She can be found in the virtual world at

9 thoughts on “Astrological Dance Parties

  1. KittyJ

    I’d love to learn about Esoteric Astrology but most people advise me not to

    I never planned to get involved with astrology. I never sat down one day and thought out the pros and cons of studying astrology, because it has never entered my mind that I’d be interested in it. One day — March 23, 1980, if I recall correctly — I got bored at work, left the office and wandered down to Canal Street (I was living in New Orleans at the time.) I wandered aimlessly along, until I reached a little bookstore I’d never been in before; the Doubleday bookstore, I think it was called. I wandered into the store and moseyed along the aisles. I remember some of the shelves being rather bare, as if they were having a going out of business sale. Toward the back of the store, my eye fell on a paperback book entitled “Write Your Own Horoscope”. Hmmm, I thought, and bought it, for no apparent reason except whim.

    Inside the book there were a basic ephemeris and a simplified method for estimating your own natal chart. That was the night I discovered that in addition to my Sag Sun, I have a Taurus Moon, Pisces rising, and Mars in Libra. I thought, hmmm. This is interesting . I wonder how I can find out more? So I looked in the phone book and discovered a little metaphysical bookshop in town. (For those of you who knew New Orleans in the 1980s and ’90s, that was the wonderful Golden Leaves Bookstore, which for 2 decades was like a central meeting place for the NOLA metaphysical community.)

    I read books, I learned how to construct a chart from scratch, I took classes. Not just in astrology, but in Tarot, I Ching, Taoism, Buddhism, Jungian psychology, Gestalt, meditation, all sorts of “New Age” and alternative spirituality things. One thing led to another. For me, astrology turned out to be a doorway. I opened the pages of “Write Your Own Horoscope”, and I dove in; without knowing it, I was diving into a whole new way of being and living and seeing. When I decided to leave the office and go wandering that March day, I remember feeling a tad guilty about playing hooky from work. Little did I know, it was a life-changing decision. What developed from that unplanned moment completely changed my life, and still does, to this day.

    From the beginning, Esoteric Astrology (specifically Alice Bailey’s form of it, as well as “esoteric” generally meaning soul-centered) was an integral part of my astrological study. I never said, “I think I’ll study Esoteric Astrology now.” I just dove in, followed my desires and interests, and did it. Like, it was all a big deal, my studying (and living!) astrology and metaphysics; but then again it was no big deal. No need to figure out what to do or why. Just do it. 😉

      1. KittyJ

        Thanks, Amanda. I think I must have needed to remind myself of this now, at another (of so many!) crossroads. I get so busy trying to plan things out, and all the while, what’s important does itself.

    1. pam

      What an amazing story. Kitty I imagine you looked at the chart for 23 March 1980? I wonder what aspects represented your wandering aimlessly to your life portal?

      I had a look at the chart when I ‘landed’ similarly and it is amazing and heartening – so thank you so much!

      For any whose lives are so difficult right now I’d like to offer the energy of Altjira:

      Go within and check into your heart, that’s where you’ll find your direction.


      Relationships with people and money are nonsensical just now, shifting so far from the known that we are lost without a compass. Cherish each other. Connect with the truth of the earth and nature. We are creating a new world, with some help from Altjira the emu-footed Sky God.

      both from


      Clearly write down your hopes, dreams, and desires. Read them over just before you go to sleep and then ask Altjira to help you. He will send you a messages and guidance. If you aren’t sure what his messages mean, ask him again the following night. He will work closely with you as long as you are willing. You spend a third of you life sleeping, and he is a a powerful teacher of the Dreamtime

      from the original link of

      And. Thank you so much Kitty!

      1. KittyJ

        I looked at the transits for that day, a long time later. Many aspects to my natal planets, but the biggest one was Neptune within a couple of degrees approaching my Sun. Really amazing how all of this works.

        1. pam

          yes – for me it was so many of my weak points met (I see) with bracing support – so even the stuff I didn’t find ‘evident’ is in that context?! Such a gift and release.

  2. Glen Young

    So saddened to hear that Vulcan is not there between the Sun and Mercury.
    The esoteric ruler of Taurus.
    More like a point where time and space loses their identity, because of the
    Sun’s intense energy?

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