This month's guest is Courtney Weber, a Wiccan priestess, writer, and tarot adviser living in New York City. She's the creatrix of the fascinating Tarot of the Boroughs deck, and her book, Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess, will be released by Weisier this February.She's also an advocate: most recently, she's been fighting for eco-justice by rallying against fracking and gathering signatures in support of wind power to send to Governor Cuomo. And, on top of all that, she is a fabulous breakfast partner: I had the pleasure of meeting her in person just a few weeks ago, and was struck by her kind spirit and quick wit. Does this woman ever stop!? Let's hope not!
1. What's your favorite part of your birth chart (if you had to choose?)
My Sun, Moon, and Rising crack me up. Sun Sign: Cancer. Moon Sign: Scorpio. Rising: Libra. I spend my life trying to balance all things and make sure all people get along—that’s the Libra. Sun Sign Cancer means I put the most friendly, comforting face forward to all the world. But my Moon Sign, Scorpio, means I desperately want to Rule Them All. Having the pinchers of the Crab and the stinger of the Scorpion also means that once I grab a hold of something, particularly a challenging something, means there’s no stopping how many times I’ll stab-sting it until I conquer it. But the Libra Rising means I’ll do the conquer thing with the utmost diplomacy. My second favorite thing might be the Mercury in Gemini—it makes me a pretty efficient communicator.
2. Is there a part of your chart that you find particularly challenging? If so, how do you make it work to your benefit?
I’ve had a lot of struggle with my Mars in Gemini. It makes it hard for me to focus on one specific thing to undertake. I think I have to spend more time asking myself if how I’m spending my time is truly in line with my highest endeavors as I think I get off-track more easily than the average person. A Mars in Gemini also means I can use my words to hurt—as more than one ex would probably attest. Mars in Gemini is serious fodder for using words as weapons. I have to make a conscious effort not to use that weapon during minor interpersonal conflict. It’s about as necessary using a bazooka on a mole-hill. I try to save that Mars in Gemini when I need to drive a point across in regards to my activist endeavors.
3. Next month, lucky Jupiter will cross over your Midheaven. What part of your work are you most excited to see expand and grow in the coming year?
My first book, for one! “Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick” will be released by Weiser in February, but I am working on the promotions, now. I’ve just finished teaching a series of classes and so I’ll have a little more time to find places to read the book and work on fundraising for the tour. I’m also coordinating a major letter-writing campaign to Governor Cuomo urging more permits for upstate and off-shore wind power in New York State. This is an important time to call attention to the work as it’s an election year and he’d very much like to keep his job, I do believe! A bit of Jupiter for me, a bit of Jupiter for my community. Keep it in balance, like a good Libra-Rising!
4. How does your knowledge of astrology inform your work as a Wiccan priestess?
In the fishbowl that is NYC, experiences are contagious. The Mars Retrograde of this past spring exposed raw nerves and revealed hidden enemies to people. When the planets are playing extreme sports with the People of Earth, it’s easy for individuals (at least, in my community) to wonder if the Gods are punishing them, or if they’ve “done something bad” either in this life time or a previous one to incite so much drama and stress in their lives. Having a good, solid basis of Astrology and being able to provide some sort of planetary explanation as to why things might be extra-challenging is helpful to people in navigating their troubles. It also allows for a sense of impermanence. If struggles can at least be partially explained by Astrology, it’s a helpful reminder that there will be an end to the troubles—one day.
5. What part does astrology play in your personal practices, both everyday and spiritual?
I don’t yet do daily or even weekly readings. My partner and I keep an Astrology calendar in our kitchen and monitor the transits. I pay attention to transits when doing my Full and New Moon rituals. I am pulling another example from this past Mars Retrograde, but it was so powerful and so recent it’s a prime example! One of the things I noticed during the Mars Retrograde was that nasty closet-skeletons of previously popular or seemingly trustworthy people came flying out into the public eye. When the Full Moon in April came about, I infused a number of candles with “Uncovering” energy, so that if at another time in the year if I wanted to help uncover a hidden culprit, I could draw from that Mars-Ret-Expose time. A few weeks later, the horrendous story of the Nigerian girls’ kidnapping came to light. I lit one of those candles to aid in finding them. I don’t know how much my energy helped, but I believe it was one more drop of world-wide intention to find the girls. I still have some of those candles and I keep them handy in case any other problems come popping up!