September 01, 2018

Painting the Zodiac Signs

By Shanti Isla

I painted these in 2016 when Venus was transiting Capricorn. I was inspired by the Llewelyn astrology calendars. I buy them every year. I used acrylic paint on 8" x 10" canvas. I am self-taught.








I only painted seven signs because at that time I was taking care of the baby of my sister. When baby was asleep, I would paint. Then my feelings changed and I wanted to paint something else.

(Editor's note: Taurus and Virgo were painted after the initial set of seven. They have been added to this post.)

Self portrait by Shanti Isla
Shanti is a Capricorn. She is organized, responsible and hardworking. Her rising sign is Aquarius. Smart, passionate and crazy in love because Leo is in her house of relationships. She was the chef and owner of Bliss Cafe, a vegetarian restaurant in Baguio City.

August 01, 2018

Venus in retrograde

By Luanne Manlapaz

Venus and Earth.
Photo from WikiCommons.

I'm stuck with being in love with you
at least for the next 31 days-
Venus is in the peak of her retrograde
and there is nothing I can do but give in,
helplessly drink what the cosmos bring,
succumb to the planets, without a clue-
I'm never strong enough not to

and the pull is so strong
that one night of being with you
will never be enough
at least not until the end
of this Venus month

and we don't even have to touch
(well, maybe hold hands
just like the last time-
the innocent gesture
of a dangerous crime)

But really, in reality,
because I rarely get to see you
maybe merely looking at you will do-

I'm intoxicated by your presence alone;
and I crave the sound of your voice
carrying your priceless thoughts
to my soul-
a need so raw;
I'm infatuated, addicted
feeling helpless and medicated

I've chanted the mantra
of mind over matter,
emptied my mind with deep breathing,
did everything by the book,
but nothing is helping
I remind myself that in a month
as always, this will be over,
no need to be afraid,
(at least until the next retrograde)
but of course, it doesn't help.

and although this bout of fever isn't new
time made the last one obscure:
I lost details to this blur of
did it or did it not happen?

breathing life to moments
I've completely forgotten

mechanics are complete
but I lost the name of the game
memories reduced to a scent
familiar only by it's name

like the shadows
of what was once adolescent hysteria-
I remember the faces
Though I lost the nostalgia

But now my brain is itching
and I can't stop this incessant scratching

so I wake up early
so I can work non-stop the whole day,
so I can sleep early
so I can wake up in the middle of night
and think of you without distraction
and write you silly poems
that you'll never read

31 days left -

and until then I have the comfort
of having the cosmos to blame

until time dilutes this deluded phase-
and I go back to feeling sane-

and she will be there
shining in a faultless distance:

floating with cruel abandon in space,
Gracefully back in her proper place
Moving direct in her glorious path
Oblivious to her retrograde's aftermath

Dancing and twinkling on her merry way,
Drifting further and farther away

As I remain
awaiting the return of reason-
at least until the next retrograde season.

Luanne Manlapaz also writes at Filstrology.

June 16, 2018

How Saturn Made Me Take a Crash Course in Astrology

By Kaye Domingo

Having had several sessions with astrologer Resti Santiago, including some where I received warnings from him, I realized that astrologers can give you a blueprint of your fate.

this will have an impact on you once you realize that you have  experienced these significant events mentioned in your readings. There will be a greater impact after you realize that what was predicted in your readings have actually come to pass.

rom September 2015 to December 2017,  Saturn was in Sagittarius. I have a Sagittarius ascendant and sun sign. The past two years took me by surprise. It was as if I got run over by a train, especially towards mid-2017 until the end of that year. I won't go into details; I lost everything I worked for in the last 10 years – family, house, kids, money, my sanity – all in one day.

From that day on, I have taken the liberty to study the external factors of my fate. And I took this as the moment when I could start studying astrology. I have been asked by Resti to edit or proofread his work, and with all these things happening all at the same time, Resti was there to guide me through it all. 

I found myself immersed in studying astrology all day and all night for the following reasons: 1. To cope with the loneliness and trauma; 2. Not think about my problem all the time and have something else to focus on; 3. To answer the question, “What the hell happened?”

Every night, I f
ound myself obsessed. I was studying sun signs, ascendants, planets, houses, and how the interplay of all these worked; learning what the good combinations and bad combinations are; figuring out how to work around the bad effects and how to maximize the happy effects. 

I fell down on my seat when I studied my ex’
s chart. If I had knowledge of astrology when we were not married yet, I would have had my doubts confirmed then. But combining his chart with mine, it appears that what happened to me was really my fate. With our marriage chart, one could see Saturn scathing in the 5th house. So my fate was etched in the stars!

And there I saw my life, the things I did in the past coming back at me – with Saturn lecturing me like a tough auntie telling me to
go where I should be and not to go where I think it will be more challenging because challenges are exhausting. From my chart, Saturn seems to be telling me: “I am here to make you sit down, slow down, think things over, work out the consequences and then I will give you your rewards. But achieving those rewards are not easy.”

Every day, every night
, I kept reading books and articles and watching videos on astrology. I kept on, reading other people’s charts – until I see their faces light up, realizing that I flicked some switch of clarity. After six months or so, I can read a chart decently with enough details for another person to be satisfied. And that was the beginning.

Yes, astrology helped me cope, at the same time, astrology helped me accept my fate. I was angry most of the time since the moon
-in-Virgo me had done everything possible to keep things together. But living with someone with Mars and Saturn in the 7th house was just too crazy to endure. It was not his fault entirely; but the freedom-loving Sagittarius felt too stifled and could not express her true feelings. That was our fate, we were doomed to part.

Until now, I have difficulties coping since astrology is not the answer to my problems. It just helped me
understand some questions which led me to clarify things

If I get stumped
, I would analyze different chart types. You can learn that people are fated to meet but are also fated to part. One indication that that will happen is if there is a Mars in the house of romance on the day that they met.

The point is, if you are serious about learning astrology, study the significant events in your life. You can only know the real meanings of the planets, and their corresponding aspects and combinations, if you experience it. The fate of astrology still lives because we know it works.

March 16, 2018

Astrology and me

By Allyssa Ashley Apple Lim

My interest in astrology started when I was in elementary school. Yung mama ko kasi, pag may free time sa office, she would always read about zodiac signs and would apply it to me. Whenever we talked, she would randomly say, "that's so Sagittarius."

My curiosity deepened when I entered high school and I would find out and still remember the birthdays of each and everyone in my class (including teachers). I was really addicted in sharing my knowledge with my friends. Sometimes I would give them short description of their traits according to their zodiac signs. Some were happy and some just gave an "I don't care" look, but what I discovered about people is that they always wanted to hear something about themselves, especially if other people did so for them.

I was in grade seven that time and, yes, immature in a word. I don't know if this is coincidence but I fought with 5 Virgos in my whole junior year. Since I'm so impulsive and all, every time there would be a Virgo pal that would try to befriend my Sag ass, I would back off, thinking that we would not be compatible. This attitude of mine continued until I got into sophomore year. 

I can definitely say that I improved a little that time but I was still stuck on sun signs. That year was the most unlucky year for me because my scorpio adviser has this hatred towards me that affected my grades entirely and I felt so rebellious at that time with my aquarius bestie, who was supposed to be on my side ( btw, she's also into  the "study of the universe"). 

I did get back at my solar return chart that time and though I might not have fully known how to read the chart yet, I could see that I was quite restricted and hated by authorities. Luckily, I escaped unscathed that schoolyear and entered the next one.

That one was a different kind of hell. The teachers had a soft heart for me. That was the year when I got the information I wanted: I saw a post in tumblr that talked about certain planets in different houses. I opened the account of the owner and saw that she had a guide on how to get a birth chart. I was so intrigued that I searched throughout my house just to find my birth certificate.

As I saw my chart, my heart was pounding. People don't know how determined a Sagittarius can be when it comes to education. With the help of Google, I searched each and every planetary placement I had and I felt so fulfilled. Now my knowledge just keeps on improving, but not as much as I want to because astrology is a life-long learning adventure.

(Allyssa Ashley Apple Lim is a new member of the Astrology Friends Philippines group)

November 08, 2017

Effects of Jupiter in Scorpio on Your Zodiac Sign

By Monica Gamboa

Image from

October 10, 2017. This is the day Jupiter bids farewell to the lovely Libra and enters the formidable Scorpio. Every 12 to 13 years, Jupiter shifts to a new sign, teaching us to expand according to the ways of that sign. This growth cycle helps us gain a different perspective to help us realize our potential and leave behind those that no longer serve us.

The signs are the way by which the planet expresses itself- the how in a situation. Scorpio’s way is the way of transformation and of healing. This is no easy sign because Scorpio, ruled by Mars and Pluto, governs death and action. She cuts to the chase and gets to the heart of the matter. She is the detective, the hypnotist, in love with the mysterious. With Jupiter in this sign, no secret will go unexplored. It is time to face our darkness and awaken from the illusions that have blinded us.

Jupiter in Scorpio: October 10, 2017- November 8, 2018

The horoscope applies to both your sun and rising sign so check both when reading. I hope you find wisdom in these readings. Feel free to take what serves you and leave the rest behind.

Hello, Aries! The projects you’ve been slaving on are finally coming to fruition for you eager beavers. It is time to get out there and prove your worth, as your work is being valued now more than ever. The spotlight is on You and Your desires but remember never to let impatience get the best of you. Diplomacy is key here. As Jupiter transits Scorpio, focus on abundance in finances but at the same time - the importance of giving. Capitalism undervalues your gifts so you must learn to reclaim your power by creating abundance through partnerships that align with your goals. During this transit, you will be a money magnet! Your dreams will be funded, you will be supported. Take action and grab the opportunity when it presents itself. Actually, scrap that. Hunt for them because during this transit, the stars are in your favor.

Hi Taurus, at this transit of Jupiter, your lesson is to expand your understanding of partnerships, of collaboration, and of love. You will begin to take on a more public role, making it an auspicious time to begin a project or start a new routine. Jupiter in Scorpio will teach you a lot about commitment and wants you to heal the parts of yourself that you have often neglected or perhaps denied. Open up, dive into the unknown, and stretch your capacity to grow through connection. Do away with the distorted perceptions of the love you think you deserve. It is time to break those walls and connect with the other. Find a community and partnerships that resonate with your goals and fill up space for them as you achieve your dreams right now.

Hello, dear Gemini. This transit of Jupiter to Scorpio puts emphasis on the roles you inhabit at work and on your health. You may very well be in demand in your profession lately, perhaps waiting to be promoted or you just were! Your lesson for this transit is to explore ways in which you go about your work. Why do you do what do you? Can it be done differently? More creatively or effectively? Allow yourself to dream, to envision, to imagine. Make a dream board, write, doodle. You will be able to manifest these realities if only you allow yourself to visualize. Silence the inner critic that tells you it isn’t good enough; that you aren’t good enough, because you are. This transit will help you take up more space in your life, help you feel better in your body, and understand the importance of self-care.  Go out there and exercise! The fitness gods are in your favor.

Hello there, Cancer. The journey of Jupiter through Scorpio focuses on your creativity. Like the Fool, the the Tarot deck, you are called to embark on a new area of life that sparks your passion even if it is the road less travelled. It is your time to be the path finder, the trailblazer. Jupiter in Scorpio pushes you to create and to deepen your relationship with your desires to be able to express yourself and your art. Respect your mood swings; there is power to the ebbs and flows of your emotions. In fact, amazing things happen when you can learn to trust and follow your intuition. Simply allow your creations to come to you. Make extra space for these in your home, allow them to be nurtured. In terms of love, you are most likely to find lasting romance or to deepen your already existing relationship. Travel and make memories. Be out, be generous, be open. Give others a chance.

Hello, Leo! This Jupiter in Scorpio shines through your home. At this transit, home will really be where your Leo heart is. You will be receiving support from family and friends and may be drawn to the comforts of home more than ever. Party’s over for a while. Now is the time to reflect and to look back at your roots. This is a good time to grow in understanding of how your family and history has both helped and hindered your growth. What can you do to make your situation better? In this transit, stay with those that give you safety and belonging. You have the right to build your own definition of family as your heal the parts of you that were broken in the past.

Hi Virgo! The Jupiter transit in Scorpio will urge you to speak up and use the power of your words. Use this transit as a platform to express your thoughts and have them well received. You have a depth of influence at this time, and the opportunity to develop more courage and drive. It is an auspicious time to learn more about what interests you the most. Work on writing, editing, speaking. Seek education to polish your skills that will help you become a more persuasive communicator. As you are well received by most at this time, it is good to heal your relationships with friends or family. You will realize this energy will come back to you and help you achieve your goals.

Hi Libra! Well wasn’t that a good run? The spotlight was on you since September 9 of last year and now it’s time to step down from the throne. With Jupiter being in your sign, you experienced a transit of abundance, not only on opportunities but on criticism as well. Now, Jupiter in Scorpio challenges you financially. This transit will bring about abundance financially but you need to keep up with this abundance with the same effort. It will be a test of stamina. Now is the time to grow your professional dreams. You have been so busy planting the seeds when Jupiter in your sign, you don’t even realize that you’re entering a new phase. It is time to show your work to the world and get paid the money you deserve. This Jupiter transit will test your stamina, teach you through experience to be able to live a more productive life. You lesson is to develop the discipline and find the motivation to give your projects and relationships all you have to give. Passion and love for your job will make you a success. Now is the perfect time to design your life the way you want it. You deserve it, Libra!

This is your time to shine, Scorpio! As of Oct 10, you will be the celestial favorite until November 2018. This Jupiter transit brings you abundance in love and romance and new contacts who will want to help you and further your causes. Life changes for the better. Your lesson for this transit is to devote yourself to growth: acknowledging both the light and dark parts of yourself, the entire you, the loving you. You will be pushed to expand. It is important that you set clear goals at the beginning of this transit. Know what you want to achieve, and do whatever it takes to get to where you want to be. Grit and ingenuity are your secret ingredients. Spend time writing and speaking about the growth you want to develop in your life. What are you committing yourself to deepening? What are you going to let go off? Manifest what you desire and stay committed to fulfilling your end of the bargain. You’ll have one of the best years yet!

Hi Sagittarius! The journey of Jupiter through Scorpio focuses on your inner life and healing. It is a great time to get help in understanding old wounds and psychological baggage that have been weighing you down. Strengthen to connect with your inner compass by setting aside time for reflection, being alone, and learning to meditate. Confirmations from your unconscious may help bring you abundance in the material world. You are older and wiser now and as you grow in maturity, you may notice a change in your priorities. You are now ready to take on greater things. Work on developing greater self-awareness and self-love. Creative energy and intuition run high in this transit so it might be beneficial to work on your craft alone to allow for greater concentration. By the end of next year, November 8, the planet of luck will be in Sagittarius. The best way to gear up for it is by deleting elements in your life that aren’t serving you and to make space for what lies ahead. The best is yet to come.


Hi Capricorn! Jupiter transiting into Scorpio focuses on your growth through social situations. It’s time to stop working so hard and start smelling the roses. In this transit, it’s not what you know but WHO you know that will make all the difference. Have fun, get out more, and make people your priority. Strengthen bonds with those who have always supported you and believe that you can make your dreams a reality. It is the time to strip yourself from anything that is holding you back and to speak your truth. Find people who are truth seekers and grow with them. Use the power of metaphors, symbols, and art to express your vision for the future. You are now the messenger for healing and advancement for the future.

Hey there Water Bearer! This transiting Jupiter in Scorpio brings luck for you in your career and influence in the world.  You will be of value for any work that you choose and will be rewarded for your contributions. This is the perfect time to lay the foundations of your dreams. The things you build during this transit will grow if you stay with it and trust in the process. Let go of the need to control and demand. Let this be a journey of blessings that unfold in its own time.

Hey there, Pisces! Jupiter in Scorpio has come to teach you the valuable lesson of having faith. What does having faith mean? It doesn’t mean we believe we get what we want the first time but that we trust in the process and wait for life to unfold. It is in life’s difficulties that we are called to rise up and be the people we aspire to be - to bring  more kindness, peace, and justice into this world. During this transit, you will feel called to have more faith in humanity. Travel, study, teach, go out into the world. Gather information that speaks to your soul. Think more deeply about how to solve problems in society. Imagine being able to reach and explore the nooks and crannies, the places and spaces, in your sensitive heart. During this transit, think bigger and broader. Possibility is in the air.

Monica Gamoba also writes at

July 30, 2017

How to Give a Short Natal Chart Interpretation

By Roy George Santos Plazo

If you're interested in astrology and tried to learn through the Internet, then I'm 99% sure Google led you to a "birth chart interpretation tutorial" page. I don't know about you, but this only bored me due to the redundancy of the topic. What I wanted was to deepen my knowledge. I'm not suggesting that natal charts are for "n00bs" and these natal chart tutorials have no use-- remember that this article is about birth charts! But instead of helping you choose which natal chart calculator you should use or which astrological book is the "best," I will share with you my techniques of doing the most difficult thing a beginner in astrology will encounter: organizing and giving a brief birth chart interpretation.

As a beginner in the field of astrology, the best way to practice my skills is to give free delineations to my friends. However, based on my experience, no one likes hearing an unorganized "oracle" about themselves. To smoothen my interpretations, whether done face-to-face or sent through Facebook, I made a checklist of what to look for in a chart.
To guide you through the list, let's suppose Zayn Malik is my good friend and he wants me to give him a brief interpretation of his birth chart.

Start with the planets

Personally, I'd start with their Sun sign, Moon, and their Ascendant (not a planet but I reveal this to people earlier in a reading). What's better than hooking their attention with delineations that resonates the most with them? Try to start with their Sun, mostly because it's what they know the most.

Most of the time, you would be giving adjectives, so try to give around 3 of them.

"Zayn, so you know you're a Capricorn, which means you're career-oriented, practical, and prefers control over things. Your Moon is in Virgo, so you prefer logic, particularly how you organize your environment. Your ascending sign is Pisces, so you may come off to people as dreamy, idealistic, and soulful. Mercury is also in Capricorn (which means Zayn is skeptical towards astrology, hahaha!), along with your Uranus and Neptune, so you think and speak with professionalism, combined with innovation of traditions and idealism with "groundedness".

Mars in Cancer makes your expression of assertiveness considerate to feelings but you're explosive if emotionally triggered. You also have great talents in arts, though most people cannot fully appreciate it immediately because Mars is retrograde.

Venus is in Pisces, which makes you extremely romantic and sensitive to music.

You're a natural diplomat, which makes you good at mediating conflicts, due to Jupiter in Libra. Saturn in Libra gives you anxiety, particularly in a very large group of unknown people (it is known that Zayn experiences/d anxiety)..."


Look for chart patterns

If at first glance you notice a chart configuration (such as grand trines, T-squares, splash, etc.), include it in your interpretation. Also observe if planets populate a certain hemisphere (upper, lower, left, right).

"...You have a stellium in your Capricornian eleventh house, which gives you comfort around friends and people and most of the time overpowers your anxiety from your Saturn..."

Interpret the houses

If you know your querent, start on a house which would interest them the most (tenth house if they're career-oriented, seventh house if they're a natural romantic, etc.); if you don't, I recommend you go in an ascending order, though you could start with the angulars, then with the succedents, and then with the cadents.

"...Your Pisces-ruled first house has your Venus, which explains why you're insanely attractive. You own aesthetic things which suits you much, like your fabulous fashion, because of your Taurean second house. You can express yourself well with words
because of your third house Gemini, but you rarely do and only to your family because Mercury is in the stellium and fourth house is also Gemini. Mars in Cancer plus fifth house tells me you're good in bed; as good as your creativity.You're care much about your daily work and treat it critically, as what your sixth house and its ruler tells me. You're very analytical in partnerships but both Jupiter and Moon in it tells me you treat them with utmost respect, whether romantic or business. Eight house with Scorpio suggests suspiciousness to passed on wealth, so you do a lot of investigation before receiving them. Sagittarian ninth house makes you adventurous, literally and metaphorically-- you like to explore places and philosophies. Sagittarian tenth house means you are benevolent in your career and you want people to see you in different fields of your specialty. You are willing to sacrifice as long as it is practical, according to your twelfth house..."

Connect the details with the aspects

Tie down everything you said about the planets and the houses with the aspects. This will give the querent a clearer picture of why certain parts of their personality go together or produce conflict.

Since you want to give only a short interpretation, only consider the major aspects.

"...Like I've said earlier, with your Sun in conjunct with both of your Mercury, Uranus and Neptune, at the same time in trine with your Moon, these characteristics already paint a colorful personality and a good worker of details. Mars in opposition with your Sun, your will and goals in a group and your creative drive often clash together, though-- this might be the reason why you had problems when you were still in One Direction. But I think if your surroundings and mood overpower this factor, your creative juices would just pour out-- your Moon ties up the previous conflicting opposition with Her harmonious trine with your stellium and a coaxing sextile with Mars. Another thing to add to this peculiar orientation: your Jupiter is squaring both ends at the center, so if your 'business self' is given enough resources and a good challenge, you'd make monumental works (check Zayn's "Mind of Mine"-- it's amazing. I sounds weird at first though because of his creative yet retrograde Mars but it'll help you know him better if you're interested.) Venus in trine with Mars: what you like, you put a ring on it, after taking them to bed. Even though your environment contradicts your desired image you want to show the world, you know how to sacrifice for the sake of business and character, according to Moon square MC, Saturn trine Jupiter, and Saturn sextile MC..."

Finish everything with a summary

After you poured your efforts of interpretation, it would be good if you state your perspective about fate and destiny. This way, your querent would know how you treat your interpretations and in turn, treat these interpretation with how you prefer they should treat it. On the astrologer's side, since you basically have the person's personality blueprint, try analizing what ways you should deliver information to the querent. In Zayn's case, I delivered it along with the astrological jargons to show his skeptical Capricornian Moon that I am serious with my delineations.

I know I did not 100% follow the list since I mentioned several houses and related important aspects at the beginjing of the interpretation, but doing this is perfectly fine. It is still your goal to deliver an organized and cohesive interpretations, and if to do such you'd need to break the rules a little, go ahead. After all, it is still up to you if you'd even try this list.

To end my interpretations of Zayn's chart, I would probably explain that how he manages himself is still one of the greatest factors of a human's journey. Positive traits I have told could become negative; and negative traits, positive. But I won't write it down here since I am not really talking to him and I believe that these interpretation summaries are pretty personal and spur-of-the-moment things.

One last thing before this article ends: if a querent disagrees about a thing you said, whether because they did not like it or just plain misinterpretation, accept it with an open heart. The axiom "learn from mistakes" is still applicable when learning astrology. Take these criticisms so you'd grow into a much better astrologer!

May the heavens be in your favor, everyone!

Zayn Malik's image source:


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