A Lynn Bell workshop

Saturday May 21 and Sunday May 22, 2016

10 AM – 4 PM

The 11th and 12th housesThe Dark Angel

“The shadows of our own desires

 stand between us and our better angels,

and thus their brightness is eclipsed.”

– Charles Dickens

Astrological traditions about the 11th and 12 houses of the horoscope connect the native to the Daimons, or guiding spirits, of these houses.

The good Daimon, agathos daimon, belongs to the 11th house, the most fortunate houses of the chart, and moves us through ‘luck,’ in the form of inspired encounters, genial ideas, a whisper that tells us when to move and when to stay still.  This bonus daimon calls out the best in our chart, and is revealed through the sign and planets of the 11th house.

The difficult Daimon of the 12th House, the kakos daimon, is much more ambivalent and often acts in mysterious ways, taking the soul along paths that can involve suffering, loss and pain, leading us to places we would rather not go.  The separation experienced here can result in feeling disconnected, separate, cast out.  the sign and planets here may have a psychological preference for solitude and retreat, an inner sensed that often leads to the spiritual.

Bring your chart for a walk with mysterious energies!

Saturday May 21 and Sunday May 22, 2016

10 AM – 4 PM

13000 NW Old Germantown Road

Portland OR  97231

$275, non-refundable deposit of $75 due May 10, 2016

Limit 20 people

Payable to

Skydog Institute via PayPal

Carol Ferris by check or PayPal

Lynn will be available for

private readings 5/19-20 and 5/23-24

$225 hour/ $300/90 minutes


For more information contact: Claudia or Carol

Claudia Johnson, M.A.
Carol Ferris M.A.
3517 SW Santa Monica Court
Portland OR  97221
(503) 224-0011 (H) (503) 936-6092 (C)

The Neptune Retreat is closed to new registrations

This Event is closed to new registrations.  

Do let us know if you would like to hear about future classes and workshops.

Thank you–Claudia and Carol


NEPTUNE: An Ocean Retreat

with Astrologers

Claudia Johnson and Carol Ferris

September 19-20-21, 2014

Manzanita, Oregon

The amniotic waters are our first oceanic experience: the mother womb as source of all creation.  In ancient cultures, the great water-mothers like Tiamat in Sumerian culture, were the first creators, later joined by Neptune, or Poseidon, as he was known to the Greeks; Lir, the Celtic god of the sea; the native Australian dreamtime Ungambikulas; and old Pangu of China, to name but a few of our creative ancestors.  These creation myths describe our ground of being as rich, chaotic and fertile.

In the horoscope, Neptune’s placement is where we immerse ourselves in this creative stew. This retreat will look at the astrological and archetypal Neptune: in the rationalist context of self as separate, longing for unified Other; and as creative matrix.  We’ll look at Neptune in your individual horoscope, and in the larger life of the culture, including:

  • art: creativity and magic
  • the collective: glamour, celebrity and politics
  • personal relationships: separateness and union
  • psychology: conscious and unconscious
  • religion and redemption: sacrifice and making sacred

Because of the ineffable nature of Neptune, the retreat will emphasize writing, active imagination, collage art, and dream work.

Cost: $275

Deposit: $50 non-refundable by September 12, 2014

Mail check to Claudia Johnson/PO Box 223/Nehalem, Oregon 97131


PayPal is available at

Location:  Nehalem Community Recreation District (NCRD)

Time:  Fri evening 7-9; Saturday 10-4; Sunday 10-1

More Information re directions, lodging and meals furnished upon registration

Fyi–You will want to book lodging as soon as possible.

And of course we will need your Birth-data (time, date and place of birth)


Claudia and Carol

signature image for outlook mail small

Claudia Johnson, M.A.

39500 Northfork Rd. Box #223

Nehalem, Oregon 97131



Carol Ferris, M.A.

3517 SW Santa Monica Court
Portland OR  97221
503-224-0011 (H)
503-936-6092 (C)

Welcoming Astrologer Lynn Bell to Portland May 30-31, 2014

Very exciting news for Portland–Astrologer Lynn Bell will be in town!

A class not to be missed.

May 30-31, 2014

Who am I becoming? Finding the Self throughout our Life
A class with Astrologer Lynn Bell   Lynn Bell photo
Portland, Oregon May 30-31 2014

The identities we establish at certain times in our lives may be meant to fall away. We all know people who have stayed stuck in a role: the good daughter, the wild one, the college star. Life has moved on but they cannot.  When our lives feel too bound, too constrained, we may be caught in an identity that has become too small.  This signals time to expand our sense of self, to step into a new version of our lives.  Such a step can come gradually, when things have reached a natural ending and it is time to choose who we are all over again. We may have finished studies, our children have grown, or a parent has died. It can also be sudden, brought on by changes in relationships or work, or unexpected life events that can blow apart our sense of self.

At every moment of our lives, the self is trying to emerge, to live fully. While there is continuity between these different selves, on the deepest level, identity is something mysterious.

The fire houses carry a major part of the energy for the emerging self, the one we are seeking to become. The 9th house pulls us to an ideal, while the 5th is where we create. Play is a form of learning, and the self we invent here. can stay at a make believe stage or truly open us to life. We will look at the invented self and the ideal, way stations on the path of the true self, and how each version is anchored in the 1st house.

Introductory Lecture – Friday, May 30, 7 pm    $25

Workshop Saturday, May 31, 10 am – 4 pm    $150

13000 Old Germantown Road, Portland OR  97231-2773
To register:  Contact: Carol Ferris or Maryellen 

or fill in the form below and pay via the PayPal link below


PayPal Link

About Lynn Bell
A long time tutor for the CPA in London, Lynn Bell is greatly respected for her insightful, perceptive and innovative astrological teachings. She has taught  and spoken all over the world, most  recently in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Her original work into astrological family patterns can be found in her book Planetary Threads (Isis Press 2013). She also teaches for Carolyn Myss’s CMED Institute and for Wisdom University.

Guess what!…we’re not in Kansas anymore!

Guess what! ......we're not in Kansas anymore!
Original drawing by John R. Neill rendered as a full-color plate in The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904).

NAVIGATING 2014, 2015, 2016 and beyond – with Astrologers Claudia Johnson and Carol Ferris  

As these tumultuous year unfold, we invite you to schedule a Consultation and/or take part in the classes scheduled soon. 

 We will update this page as venues and plans materialize

 (July 2016-November 2016)

Consultant Astrologers

Claudia Johnson, M.A.

PO Box 223 Nehalem, Or 97131


Carol Ferris, M.A.


3517 SW Santa Monica Court Portland OR  97221 

The Crucible: Alchemy of Transformation

The Crucible:

The Alchemy of Transformation

Short courses on cooking in the Grand Cardinal Cross of April 2014

Flask by Contemporary Artist Vasily Kafanov – Paintings influenced by alchemy.

Crucible, crux and cross derive from the same root, cruce:

What is a recipe for being held in the crucible of time?

How does it apply to the collective and the individual?

2½ hour webinars offered by

Astrologers Carol Ferris and Claudia Johnson

Saturday March 15     10 – 12:30

Saturday March 15     2 – 4:30

Sunday March 16       10 – 12:30

Sunday March 16        2 – 4:30

$70 payable by PayPal Link  or check by Wednesday March 12, 2014 to reserve a spot.

Checks may be mailed to Claudia Johnson/PO Box 223/Nehalem, Oregon 97131

Classes limited to five people each

Email Carol Ferris: or

Claudia at Skydog Institute:

Stuck in Our Stories: The Astrological Narrative

A weekend workshop with astrologers

Carol Ferris and Claudia Johnson

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”              – Charles Dickens from A Tale of Two Cities

The master storyteller, Dickens could be talking about our story, these days. Our stories give us a place to be: a family, a culture, a language. But the stories that define us can also limit us.

“Stuck in Our Stories” will be a class about our stories: how they start, how they grow and change, how and when they resist change, and when they move. Using personal horoscopes and examples from the larger culture, Claudia and Carol will work with progressions and transits to illustrate how stories can — and do — come “unstuck”.

Please join us:

November 8-9-10

3517 SW Santa Monica Court

Portland, Oregon

Friday Nov. 8 Introduction 7pm

Saturday Nov 9 Lecture and examples 10am-4pm

Sunday Nov 10 Lecture and examples 10am-2pm

Seminar cost: $275

A non-refundable deposit of $50 is due by October 25th to hold your space

You may send a check to Claudia Johnson/PO Box 223/Nehalem, Oregon 97131 or via this PayPal link

The Jupiter Factor

 by Marcia Buchart

At my last physical exam my doc asked if I had any questions about my lab results.  I took a deep breath and bravely noted both that my total cholesterol was rather higher than what’s considered optimal, but that his own notes said nothing about it.  His eyes gleamed. “The devil is in the details,” he said and proceeded to point out my stellar HDL/LDL ratio and that my triglycerides were in the basement.  In short, he wasn’t concerned about the total, but of the factors that made it up.  And he was much more concerned about something else altogether: my low Vitamin D levels–I do live near soggy Seattle.                        Sun?                       What sun?

What does any of that have to do with the astrology of this year’s election?  I’ve had occasion to recall his attitude on listening to many of my astrological buddies gnashing their teeth about Mercury, which will station retrograde on election day.  Most are quick to point out that Mercury was retrograde in the storied election of 2000, and have expressed fears about similar confusion resulting from Mercury’s retrograde status on Election Day 2012.  There are two reasons to take that particular expectation with a pound of salt.

1) The “details” underlying Mercury’s retrograde status are completely different in 2000 and 2012 and
2) Mercury may have less to do with the outcome of U.S. elections than one might think.

Other than His retrograde status, the details of Mercury’s condition in the Election Day charts of 2000 and 2012 are verrrry different.  Mercury is no stolid, staid, predictable planet like Saturn; Mr. Flexibility is hugely affected by His particular celestial circumstances at any given moment.  The laundry list of those details is, I think, best saved for another post (it’s really geeky, folks).  And, like my doc’s concern with my Vitamin D levels, there is perhaps a more relevant astrological factor to be examined in the US elections.


 Say what??

Yup.  I was astounded in 2008 when Dr.Bernadette Brady published a Visual Astrology article which identified a cycle related to US elections of which I’d been completely clueless until that point.  She noted that any current US election—since they are held in November while the Sun is in Scorpio at four-year-intervals—has Venus as either Morning Star (rising before dawn) or Evening Star (setting after sunset).  The positions alternate with each election.  The correlation she noted was that since 1900, Venus—when in morning star position—favors the party in power in the White House keeping that power.

“Venus as Morning Star favours the one who holds the crown.”

In only two elections since 1900 has Venus as Morning Star ever failed to fulfill this.  The first was 1932, when Franklin D. Roosevelt won the presidency; the second was 1980 when Ronald Reagan did so.  So, on to the $64,000 question: is November 6 2012—with Venus as Morning Star—likely to produce such an upset?

On November 6, Venus is not only a Morning Star, She “radiates” (is near in the sky to) Saturn, a planet Babylonian astrologers correlated with the King (that is, the current administration).  If one bothers to drag one’s carcass out of bed at 6:00 am in Washington DC (and the sky is clear) you will see Venus fairly high up in the eastern sky and Saturn juuuuust above the horizon.

Note that I’m not considering such factors as the many US “birth charts” or the natal charts of any of the candidates.  I’m not even trying to take into account the purported “beginning” of election day.  Should it be at midnight, since the first “official” votes are cast at that time in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire?  Should it be at sunset before, as is customary in Jewish or Muslim (even ancient Christian) traditions?  Should it be at sunrise of Election Day itself?  Should it be when the polls open at the nation’s capitol? (And which capitol? Our first national capitol was <drum rollll> New York City <cymbal crash>.)  And how should we factor in the current practice of early voting which starts to trickle in at undetermined intervals from early October onward?  Heck, I mailed in my own ballot two weeks ago.

I am also not considering any of the astrological factors that other authors have brought to bear on the current situation, all those (wonderfully geeky) things that have become part of our modern practice:  rulerships, dignities and debilities, house placements, receptions, aspects, antiscia, midpoints, planetary pictures, directions, progressions, time lord systems, yatayatayata. Nope: I’m being completely old and outdated (I am 61, after all).  I am looking at the appearance of the predawn sky—around 6:00 am—on the officially declared election day itself: the first Tuesday in November in 1932, 1980 and 2012.  And I am doing so using the lens of some our concepts inherited from the Babylonians.

And it’s simple, really.  There is one factor that leaps out in the 1932 and 1980 “upset” sky pictures: Jupiter is a Morning Star, hanging in the eastern sky before dawn, radiated by a nearby Morning Star Venus.  In 1932, when Roosevelt took the White House from the Republicans, Morning Star Venus shared the eastern predawn sky with Jupiter alone. In 1980 there was a veritable traffic jam in the pre-dawn eastern sky: Venus, Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon, all clustered within a very small space. 

In 2012, Jupiter is still high in the sky at 6:00 am, but already well past the zenith and sinking toward the western horizon.

So if Venus is so important, what is the big deal about Jupiter?  Why does He matter?  Brady has argued that in Babylonian astrological omen texts Jupiter was often correlated with the “crown prince”, the contender for the throne.  If He was more powerfully placed in the sky than Saturn—the planet representing the current “King”—then that King had better watch his back during this period because there was a good chance he could be taken down.  And if Venus, as Morning Star, is radiating—sharing the sky with—the crown prince on election day before sunrise, good chance the crown prince could end up with the crown.  It’s not foolproof.  There were three elections where Morning Star Venus radiating a Morning Star Jupiter did not result in a shift in the party in power: 1908, 1956 and 2004 (all Republican administrations…hmmm).  The planet of the King (Saturn) was nowhere near the “action”, so to speak, at those times; Venus was not radiating the King at all in those elections.  So it would appear that a Morning Star crown prince, even with Venus nearby, does not always guarantee the coup d’etat (especially if the current “King” is Republican?).

This year, Venus is radiating the star of the King—Saturn—in the predawn sky.

So will the crown prince take the throne in 2012?

My take?

  Not.    This.   Time.

Chanticleer’s voice heralds sunrise

On Your Mark – Get Set—CROW  The New Moon is tomorrow October 15, 2012 at 5:04 AM PDT…the Sabian Symbol for this New Moon is: a “Chanticleer’s voice heralds sunrise”— a symbol of a proud announcement which is perfect for this New Moon. We have before us a fresh month of moons. This one will be in the zodiacal sign of Libra (if you can find 23 degrees of Libra in your chart—that can be said to be where the monthly intentions or beginnings will be focused).

Looking up?

Now–I love to go to the night sky to see where the joining will happen visually. I love to actually ‘see’ where I live and what it looks like–participate, if you will, with the cosmos.  Visual Astrology is what I resonate with the most profoundly–so I asked this morning about this New Moon.  Is it occurring near a particular constellation or star? And how can that inform me as I begin my Monthly Moon vigil. What story might unfold in the wee small hours that I can dance with, attune myself with—what is the story unfolding that if I pay attention, I can see unfolding for me in my life as well.

So I looked to see and – lo and behold– what to my wondering eyes did appear—no not reindeer or even a rooster –BUT the Sun and the Moon conjoined and visually in the wheat sheaf of The Goddess—they look as tho’ they are “in” the beautiful star SPICA—a star that is all about Gifts—being Gifted.

Here is what Dr. Bernadette Brady says about the star Spica in her program Starlight:



A gift, being gifted

As the star is seen as the wheat sheaf in the hand of the goddess, Spica was considered a symbol of her gifts to humankind. These gifts were originally of harvest and bountifulness. The wheat sheaf, therefore, symbolized human knowledge of cultivation, a gift from the goddess. In present times this type of knowledge is not venerated, so if Virgo was created in the 20th century, she might well be holding a silicon chip. Spica, the wheat sheaf, is the symbol of knowledge and insights which are respected. Spica is, therefore, not connected with any particular field or profession but rather shows the potential for brilliance in whatever it touches in your chart.

Spica is a gift of brilliance, a hidden or obvious talent, skill or ability which is out of the ordinary. The word ‘gifted’ applies to strong Spica people and whatever this star touches, it will illuminate in some way.
How have you been gifted, blessed? Really gifted—really blessed. Count the ways. Like really count them. Say them out loud. Write them down.

I like how Astrologer, Kelly Surtees talks about New Moon Wishing as a ritual.
She writes:Every New Moon represents a new beginning; an opportunity to start a fresh in a new area of life. As the Sun and Moon align, seeds are planted and new potentials begin to take form.

One of the most potent ways to connect with the power of a New Moon is through creative intention setting, through a process known as New Moon Wishing. Jan Spiller coined this phrase in her book ‘New Moon Astrology’ (2001 Bantam). She suggests making your wishes within 8 hours of the New Moon.

The Virgin Goddess (read INDEPENDENT WOMAN!!) in the earliest stories about her is revered and adored and bestows gifts to the people—she brings wheat—dinner—food.

Aha————We are gifted at this New Moon.

Note to self— I’m going with this interpretation and here is my question and ritual for this New Moon?

I’m making a list—all day today—and into tomorrow. Already have about 50 things on my list…I am writing down what blessings I can notice right now, right here in river city.


  • I am really blessed with fine women friends  CHECK
    • and am blessed to be having incredibly freeing and breakthrough conversations with many of them CHECK
  • blessed last night to be sitting in a theater where I played Auntie Mame (3000 years ago it seems) last night whoopin and clapping for very talented and good looking folks modeling hand-made outfits from recycled materials CHECK  (seats in the auditorium not so blessed :)) uncheck
  • blessed with French toast this morning for breakfast with my beloved CHECK
  • Living near a park on the Oregon coast where we can walk our sweet dogs AND search for mushrooms now that the rains have begun CHECK
  • Headed to see good theater at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival next week CHECK
  • Looking at pics of my friends and family from my trip down south-blessed with them CHECK
  • Making a little movie about the night sky stories for two dear friends from Asheville, NC CHECK
  • Finding time to read a really good book CHECK
  • Blessed with a really good wood stove and watching a fire CHECK

    my list is going on and on…and on…CHECK

    What about you?

How are blessings/gifts showing up in your life with the New Moon appearing to just be snuggling up with the beautiful star Spica?  Make a list…or herald the beginning of this next month of moons out loud.    Ready, set ————– go

 Footnote: I will be setting up a time for those who wish to explore 2013 and their own intentions using the stars are our guide soon for late November, or December. Small groups of no more than five. If you want to put together a small group with whom you would like to committedly shape and share your future, let me know. Online is fine. We can do that too.

In the meantime—know that I am gifted by YOU.

Thank you for being such a gift in my life.

Finding Your Truer North by Marcia Buchart

The day before the summer solstice, we had a new moon at 28 Gemini 43.  In my time zone it occurred 8:02 am PDT.  Fifteen minutes before it happened I was cruising Facebook, snorting coffee and found this poem.

While the Light
(Gemini New Moon 2)
19 June 2012

While the light
Singes forth
On we go
Truer north

North’s the song
From the star
In our core–
Never far

Far across
Mindful sky–
Center’s cool
Watchful eye

Eyes the dust
Of our tracks
Irksome lacks

Lacks of faith
Plagues of guile
Wanting truth
All the while

While the light
Singes forth
On we go
Truer north

by John Chinworth

This poem felt like a special gift from the Divine Hermes for me—and anyone else out there-with significant natal birth chart placements at 28-29 degrees of Gemini or Sagittarius.  This is our song.

After all the energetic drama surrounding the two recent eclipses (May 20 solar, Jun 4 lunar) and the Venus Transit (Jun 5)—not to mention the recent solar storms that have flung extra energy at the earth this past week—here is a magical still point.

This New Moon aligned with the Galactic Equator, just as the New Moon will near the Winter Solstice this year.  “Oh dear, is this more end-of-time rhetoric?”

Well…no.  What caught my attention was a recent article by Nicholas Mann posted in

“Many people are rushing around the planet this year doing ceremonies at remote sites.  But our guidance is to be especially peaceful and still at this time, to meditate and pray deeply, and to try to attune more meaningfully to your local environment…”

This echoed David Pond’s words that arrived in my inbox:

“So what’s the answer with all this accelerated energy, just go faster and faster to keep up with everything? The answer is to slow down and tune into your intuition…Intuition arises from the quiet heart.”

So, what is there in your local environment to draw your attention, give you insight?

Know that there are clues, whispers from your past that will help.  In the silence of your heart, think back to…1993.  Nineteen years ago the new moon occurred in this very place in the sky, on the very same day.  What did you begin then?  What came to you in your quiet heart that seeded something that is bearing fruit even now?  And nineteen years before that…1974 (and it was a solar eclipse, ta boot).  And nineteen years before that…1955.  And nineteen years before that…1936.  You get the idea.  You see, every nineteen years, a new moon takes place on the same day in the same degree in the sky.  If 28-29 Gemini or Sagittarius are meaningful degrees in your birth chart…as they are in mine…this one’s for you.

click to enlarge image

The coniunctio—the Sacred Marriage—happened in the sky even as I wrote.  It seemed too perfect that the poem that opens this post is by a local (Seattle) astrologer, John Chinworth.  There are magical synchronicities to be discerned that perhaps were unable to be heard above the din of the energies of the previous weeks.  What we have here is a moment of silence within a symphony.  It’s those silences that focus the attention most sharply on the musical theme that just finished—and the one that come next.

We can’t see this coniunctio as we can during a solar eclipse.  But we can—wonder of wonders!—actually see the owner of the villa where the Marriage was solemnized: Mercury, lord of the zodiac sign Gemini.  Go outside just after sunset tonight, especially if you live where the western horizon will be clear.  There, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Hermes, the Divine Messenger, actually hanging with the Divine Twins, Castor and Pollux in the constellation of Gemini.

Sunset at Oregon coast June 21 2012 Moon, Mercury, and the twins (click to enlarge image)

Now how cool is that?  Hermes lent out His home for His brother, Apollo’s, wedding and is enjoying a confab with the Twins while staying at the home of His brother’s bride (the Moon rules the zodiac sign Cancer).  The Sun and Moon conjoin in the Zodiac Sign Gemini, while the Lord of that sign inhabits the constellation Gemini.  A lovely piece of astronomical/astrological synchronicity, no?

So if you go out to catch sight of Hermes (Mercury) tonight, you can ask Him to ask His brother to send you a dream (Apollo was a god of prophecy who sent messages through dreams) if you feel in need of special guidance.  In the silence, you never know what special message you might pick up what note might be heard from the music that Apollo is playing.  Music?  Well…Hermes did create the lyre and gifted His brother with it as a peace offering.

Lyre of Orpheus Granger

So listen…and find your truer north.

Concert dedicated to John Cage. This video was chosen to the TOP 10 video on Classical Music on the WeShow Awards US Edition

Cage said “everything we do is music”

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