Posts

What gets you out of bed in the morning? No, I don’t mean the soul-destroying sound of an alarm clock. I mean, what are you so passionate about that you can’t wait to start the day?

Astrologically, we look to our natal Mars for the style and nature of our passions. It’s all very well as an adult utilising this energy, but what if, like me, you have Mars in the third house? How was this expressed in early childhood? Apparently, my dad used to think I was really cute…until I learnt to stand with my hands on hips, stamp my foot, and say ‘no!’

veronikaandheidi39northroad

Me at about three years of age with my sister Heidi.

 

mars

My Mars in the third house of communication is active on a daily basis as I make my living as a writer, author, journalist, novelist and ceremony writer. As a young child, I learnt to spell words quickly. Before that, though, before words became my playthings with which to write stories and poems, I exercised my Mars in other ways that, looking back, were clearly emphasising its placement in house three.

 

Writer

My mother regularly sent me to the neighbours’ houses (local community, 3rd house) because I talked so much. She reckons her ears needed a rest, so off I went and visited the housewives close by. I chatted. For hours.

I had no interest in playing dolls or wearing pretty pink dresses. I was booted out of ballet class, me and my stupid frilly tutu, for not being able to touch my toes. Mars had other plans anyway. My days were spent playing with Matchbox ™ cars. I built cities in the dirt (I have Sun and Mercury in Capricorn) and drove my cars along the roads I made (3rd house).

 

matchboxcars

In my local community, Mars spoke up. Ably supported by my friendly Sagittarius ascendant, I’d stand at the front gate every afternoon to say hello to the people walking by.

And then we left suburbia and moved rurally to 700 acres.

trees

My childhood home: 700 hundred acres in rural Australia.

 

Our nearest neighbours were miles away! Never mind. I learnt to talk to myself. I’d spend hours up pepperina trees and climbing eucalyptus trees, jabbering away and ‘creating’ characters to interact with me.

 

creek

This is the spring-fed creek I played in throughout childhood.

 

By the time I was 11 years old, though, I had four younger siblings, three of whom are boys. Needless to say, their company kept my Mars alive. (The third house covers communication, information, books, early childhood, siblings, media, magazines, driving locally, etc.)

 

homefromabove

So many trees to climb!

 

As parents, it’s helpful to understand our child’s Mars placement, not just so we can guide them through the toddler years of their first Mars return, without permanently stunting their expression, but so we can help to ensure the energy is adequately expressed. A frustrated Mars (in any part of the natal chart) always leads to trouble. Giving our children effective ‘weaponry’, according to their house placement and sign, can make the world of difference in how they go through life.

I was blessed in childhood to have a mother who filled my bookshelves with all manner of interesting books about past lives, souls, fairies and so on. During my school years, I’d haul bags of books home from the library. My appetite for reading was voracious. My mother also used to play ‘games’ with me, where we’d write creative sentences together. She’d pick two words, and I’d construct descriptive sentences around them.

My little legs learnt to walk the miles that separated us from our nearest neighbours. Oh what adventures awaited me! In rural Australia, my travels would include coming face to face with dingoes, foxes, snakes and goannas. Despite my fear, Mars ensured I kept walking. Kept moving. Kept soldiering on.

My natal Mars found it endlessly fascinating to be inside my neighbours’ houses and to see what they ate, and how they spoke to each other, and in what ways they decorated (or didn’t, as was the case) their homes.

If the third house represents early schooling, how did my Mars fare? Simple: I hated school! I’d feign illness so I could come home, or I’d take off from school and head down to the local river for a swim. It wasn’t that I was stupid or incapable of learning (Mars in Aquarius in the 3rd house is pretty bright, let me assure you), but that I hated having to sit still (Mars doesn’t ‘do’ still) and discuss things that weren’t remotely interesting to me. When I had to give a class talk, my topic was reincarnation. Aquarius. Always that bit different!

Looking back, I’m grateful for the circumstances of my childhood, my siblings, some of my teachers, my enlightened mother, and that I was able to express my need to communicate.

 

typewriter

 

Mars is like our inner battery charger. It allows us to make our way in this world fearlessly and with purpose.

 

Veronika Robinson is a second-generation astrologer, and has a worldwide clientele. She is available by Skype, or in person at her home in Cumbria, for astrology readings. She is available for one-hour readings, or astro-mentoring: 10 weeks of half-hour sessions.
http://veronikarobinson.com/astrologer/

Each night, when my body is fast asleep, there’s a whole cinematic thing going on in my head. Sometimes I swear I’m busier at night than I am in the entire day. One of last night’s dreams really spoke to me, though it clearly didn’t feel comfortable at the time.

I was somewhere between Cumbria and Yorkshire, standing in a small village, and I was completely naked. I had no idea how I got there, and I didn’t know where my husband was. I had no phone to make contact with him to bring me clothing.

People were looking at me, and men were grabbing my breasts. Even the women were looking me up and down. I asked around for some clothing to wrap around me. Eventually I had a small tablecloth that I could stretch around my waist. It was a little wider than Eve’s fig leaf!

fat

 

Nakedness is interesting, on many levels. It’s a taboo in our culture, unless of course you’re some scantily clad thing on a trashy tabloid newspaper whose thong choice leaves little to the imagination.

Clothing separates us from others. It may be used for fashion, though in my case it’s nearly always used for warmth!

As a cook, I adore naked food: produce fresh from the garden. Meals made from scratch. I can’t abide soup from a tin, for example. In my food choices, I seek out ‘real’. I want to know every last ingredient in the meals I eat.

20150630_180311

 

My dream clarified something for me: that as much as I walk a path with the goal of being authentic (naked), there will always be those who will try to cover up people like me. Why? Because our nakedness causes others to question their coverings. In fact, cover up actually means ‘shut up’. We do this with clothing, but we also do it to babies every time we shove a dummy in their mouths. We don’t want to hear them.

I mean, imagine this: you’re in town, doing your shopping, and you see Jane Smith. She comes wandering out of a shop wearing…well, nothing. Starkers, she is.

 

waist

And you? You’re in your knee-high black boots, and that gorgeous cashmere cardigan. Jane is delighted to see you and starts to chat. But where do you look? At the sky? At the brass band busking over by the delicatessen? You can’t look at her waist, or between her legs. Jeez, of course not! And what about her breasts? That would be a bit, well, creepy, right? Breasts are only for selling cars, real estate, coffee, shopping malls, and diamonds.

breast

 

The truth is, you’re both coming from a different place. Can you, in all honesty, look at Jane—look at all of Jane—and be comfortable? It’s highly unlikely (apart from the small detail that someone would have had her arrested before you came along). Ours is a culture of shame, blame, fear, dishonesty.

I watch Jeremy Corbyn take centre stage in British politics right now and want to yell: “LOVE YOUR NAKEDNESS, JEREMY!”

He’s being authentic. He’s speaking his truth. Interesting how quickly MPs scuttled away when his voice was starting to really be heard. They didn’t want to be associated with that naked man! And how fascinating is it to see the ‘true colours’ of politicians like David Cameron become almost neon-like as they flash their distaste.

 

one

The truth is we’re unlikely to become a culture that gives people the right to be naked. But what about the other ways in which we can be naked? We don’t need culture’s approval to be authentic. We might be shamed, or legally bullied, into wearing clothes, but no one can force us to cover our true nature.

 

i want to be your friend

When we come to love who we are, and to value our place on this earth, then we won’t even bother with a fig leaf; not for ourselves, and not to protect others.

costumes

Our values, our beliefs, our passions ~ they don’t need hiding. They do, however, need honouring. I read a lovely quote the other day. It was something like ‘self-esteem is the reputation you have of yourself’. Wow! What does this say about the majority of people? Few people have a healthy self-esteem (please don’t confuse someone’s arrogance or bullish behaviour as high self-esteem; it’s quite the opposite).

If you had a great reputation (of yourself), you would have no need to ‘dress’.

We wear ‘psychological’ garments every time we hide our truth, regardless of whether it’s over a small issue or something that’s hugely important to us. Living a life of compromise means that we start to have ‘emotional’ leakages somewhere. Generally, such leakages end up causing disease as the physical body tries to process what the mind and emotions have been denied. A really good example of this is when someone we love dies. Our culture is not set up for grief. Yes, you can have a few days off work, but by heck when you get back for God’s sake don’t cry in front of anyone. The grief of losing someone can take years to process. Imagine what it does to us when we’re forced to contain that pain so we don’t upset others (with our nakedness). Our body pays the price.

In what ways are you covering up? Do you keep a fig leaf (or banana leaf) nearby so that others don’t have to see who you really are?

#my500words

 

naked

I never imagined (ha!) that I could be a fiction writer. With a background in journalism, and a dozen or so (I keep losing count) non-fiction books under my publishing belt, I was clear that, as a writer, my work was always going to stay that way.

And then I wrote my first novel, Mosaic. It was an amazing experience for me to create worlds where previously unknown characters came to life and had stories to tell. After I wrote it, I was sure: there were no more fiction books inside me. Back to my non-fiction world I went.

mosaic

One evening as I was cooking dinner, the entirety of my second novel, Bluey’s Café, came to me in the space of half an hour. It was like the Universe downloaded it into my brain while I was cooking. I spent the next five days typing it up like a crazy woman. A woman who neglected her family, her home, and every other aspect of her life. And even after that book, I was clear: no more fiction books inside me.

bc

A couple of summers ago, I wrote five romance novels in the space of that one season. I don’t know if they’ll ever see the light of day but what they did do was show me how much I loved the realm of the imagination. From that Summer with ridiculously early morning writing stints, came the growing realisation that I wanted—needed, in fact—to be a fiction writer. Crap! What would this mean? I had spent the best part of twelve years working as a magazine editor, and writing non-fiction parenting and holistic living books alongside that job as well as a being a mother to two home-educated daughters. And now all I wanted to do was write fiction?

I turned life as I knew it upside down to make this dream come true. Unlike non-fiction, I require a completely different writing space and working environment for writing novels. My main requirement is perfect quiet. No husband chatting about sport. No children asking ‘what’s for dinner?’ a few minutes after we’ve had breakfast. And no cat. Although I’m a cat person, I can’t bear the cat being in the room when I write. All that snoring and dreaming of mice just unsettles me.

So, now I’ve created a life where I can write fiction to my heart’s content, and lo and bloody behold, there are non-fiction books screaming to come out. What’s my lesson? I’m a writer, and it is best not to categorise myself too rigidly. Of course, it’s a pain in the butt when it comes to marketing one’s self. Am I novelist? Er, yes. Am I a recipe-book writer? Yes. Do I write books for holistic parents? Yes. Do I write astrology articles? Yes.
I’m a straddler!

 

20150630_190920

 

dellarticle

 

Dellmagazineoctober

 

 

As I straddle the worlds of information and pleasure, I trust that the loyal readership I built up through years of my non-fiction work will be just as happy to straddle over to my fiction books and enjoy what I have to offer. And likewise, those readers who have discovered me through my novels, I trust will take a peek at my non-fiction world and try my other books out.

 

novelspromo

It is my nature to communicate and impart information. As long as non-fiction books ‘ask’ to come out of me, I shall write them. I have, however, found my spiritual home writing novels.

 

shelfie

Tomorrow I am officially launching my third novel, Sisters of the Silver Moon. I might be an Aussie girl in England, but it seems pretty appropriate to give birth to my literary baby on Independence Day.

authortour1

 

Being an independent author means freedom, but it also means taking responsibility for everything to do with your work. Responsibility is one of those heavily loaded words that often has people running for the hills, and yet if we embrace it then it changes its hold on us. We become the captain of our ship, rather than a hapless passenger at the mercy of the nautical conditions. We don’t have the luxury of waiting for someone to rescue us. It’s sail or sink.

As an independent author, you’re not just a writer, but a business person. Most writers would agree that all we want to do is write…but the truth is simple: if you want to be an independent author you have to do more than show up at the laptop. You have to do mind-numbing jobs like annual accounts or deal with the tax office regarding overseas royalties on foreign translations. Independence means building an author platform, and not relying on a marketing team to get your work into the hands of would-be readers. To thrive on being an indie author means you live your life outside of any boxes. You aren’t confined, unless you choose to be. It’s not a job for the weak of mind.

One of the most powerful things my dad ever said to me (he was an atheist), was that he believed in himself.

If, like me, you don’t want the limelight for yourself but for your work, then putting yourself ‘out there’ can feel like a daily chore. If you’re an author, you must promote yourself as an author/novelist/writer as equally and as passionately as you do any of your literary work. You MUST believe in yourself. Without that conviction, you may as well give up. Readers tune into authors. If you believe in yourself, and your writing, then readers will be drawn to you. (You still have to market yourself!) To understand your target audience means understanding yourself.

Who are you?

What has meaning to you?

What are your passions?

Who are you when no one is watching?

Do you live authentically?

 

Whether you like it or not, who you are is energetically imprinted into everything you put out into the world. If you don’t like yourself, change. Change now. Change every day. You have the power to be the best you can be.

One of my favourite quotes of all time is: “Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”

 

sisterslowres3d

 

Independence means you have the pleasure and pain of choosing the right image for your book. A picture paints a thousand words and you want to be sure the image on your book says as much as it possibly can about what is inside. It must be heartbreaking to write a great book only to have a publisher slap a generic or bland cover on the front. My pet hate is when I’ve picked up a romance novel and the guy on the front doesn’t remotely match the description the author has given. This would NEVER happen with an indie author.

novelspromo

Beautiful artwork painted by Sara Simon www.sarasimon.co.uk

The publishing world is changing with astonishing speed in ways we would never have once imagined. Even big-name authors are leaving traditional publishing houses in exchange for self-publishing and marketing themselves. That speaks volumes!

And while, for the average person on the street, the idea of being accepted by a big publisher means you’re a ‘real writer’, for those of us who work independently we have come to know and cherish all the benefits of autonomy even if our books aren’t sold in every bookstore chain.

One of my guiding beliefs (for my fiction and non-fiction writing) is that the right readers will find my publications. I know that most of my books have proved life-changing for many people, and so I trust (yet I still do the leg work) that books will always find their way into the hands of those who will appreciate them.

Writing is often described as a lonely business. I’m not someone who gets lonely. And, I love being alone. A lot. However, as an independent author it means that I need to step out of the writing room (or garden!) and ‘meet’ my readers. I thrive on solitude, and it is this rich inner world that lends itself so perfectly to the writing life.

 

meandElizaLOWRES

With my daughter, the novelist Eliza Serena Robinson

 

books-promo

Eliza’s trilogy

My author tour starts this Saturday with a book launch right here in my reading room (aka The Barn). The following weekend I’ll be reading and speaking in Lincolnshire and Harrogate. There’ll be other venues throughout the Summer, too. I’m really looking forward to sharing my new novel, and also meeting my devoted readers as well as meeting new readers.

IMG_1811

At my desk

 

My writing style is evolving, but the themes which are important to me will always remain regardless of whether I write fiction or non-fiction: Nature, friendships, love, family, food, home, symbolism, metaphysics and so on. Being an independent author means I get to explore and experiment with my voice and my passions without censure. I value freedom, as much as learning from my ‘mistakes’ and seeing how I can improve.

On Twitter the other day, a reader said to me: “Your books are unlike any others I’ve read in terms of themes and references.” I really must paste that onto the notice board in my writing room. It truly made my day. Why? Because when I’ve approached traditional publishers in the past they’ve wanted to know which writer my writing was like. I wanted to yell: I’m not like other writers! Don’t box me in.

So, here’s to Independence Day, and tomorrow I’ll be sipping champagne and eating chocolate-dipped strawberries with friends as my new novel, Sisters of the Silver Moon, is officially launched. Here’s to freedom! Available in paperback and Kindle. Amazon, other online retailers, good bookshops, UK libraries, and signed copies www.veronikarobinson.com

 

photo

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the many ways my parents acted as positive role models for me and my siblings. When my dad built our home on 700 acres of land, he included a lounge room for himself and a room for my mother. This was in addition to their bedroom.

 

My childhood home in Freestone, Darling Downs, Australia

My childhood home in Freestone, Darling Downs, Australia

 

 

 

I’m one of eight children, and although we didn’t all live at home together at the same time, there were generally about five of us at home at any given point. We shared bedrooms.

My dad’s lounge was huge, and could have easily been converted into three children’s bedrooms. I still remember the orange carpet! That aside, the views out across the fields and eucalyptus-covered mountains were nourishing. The room had a glass sliding door which opened out onto the courtyard: a wonderful oasis of freesias, bananas and pawpaws (papaya). In this room, my dad wrote letters, dreamed big dreams, and played his accordion. This was his sanctuary. When he wasn’t away overseas working, he made use of this room every day.

Eventually we got a piano which was kept in this room and I was allowed in there to play, but that was all!

 

Freestone, Australia

Freestone, Australia

My father’s room, his writing bureau, his accordion, and his artefacts from excursions to Papua and New Guinea (for work), were all off-limits to us children.

My mother did the vast majority of her creative work in full sight of the family, whether it was sewing beautiful dresses, building wooden castles, growing a paradisiacal garden or creating wonderful meals. Her room was a sacred space in which she studied astrology and Eastern religions. This space was strictly taboo. Yes, of course I looked inside! Curiosity is my middle name, after all.

Most people can’t afford the luxury of having a private room for themselves as well as a bedroom. We can, however, carve out little niches around the home which are strictly for us: little altars, or a space to do our creative play.

Maybe your space is in the garden or in a garden shed. Perhaps there is space under the stairs that you can claim for your own? (I used to have our space under the stairs for storing our Suma ( bulk wholefoods) order. I’m so proud of my husband for owning that space and making it into a professional recording studio. It’s not often that he puts himself first.

What I learnt from my parents is that, no matter what, you have to honour your passions and the creative fountain of life which streams from within you regardless of your responsibilities and the number of children under your feet.

I may share my writing space with my husband and teenage daughter, but I also know that if I get up early enough (easier to do in Winter) I can have a few precious hours to myself in which to let the fire of creativity burn. In those stolen tranches of time, I exist in a room of my own. I am free to play, to create, to dream, to explore.

Where do you do your creative work? Do you have a designated space? I’d love to hear!

SL5png

Would you like to write for Starflower Living magazine?

Issue 6 themes for the New Moon in Sagittarius (due date, November 2nd): optimism, faith, adventure, freedom, truth, travel, publishing, horses, expansion, higher learning, Nature, conscience, friendliness, universities, philosophy. Health: thighs, sciatica, liver, hips.

Issue 7 themes for the New Moon in Capricorn (due date, December 1st): self-discipline, commitment, public image, aging, success, reaching goals, financial security, ambition, respect, fathers, and tradition. Health: knees, skin, bones, joints, gall bladder/stones, arthritis.

We are looking for articles which make people think, and that will inspire, take them out of their comfort zone.

Love, Veronika

 

 

 

 

 

SLpromopng

Do you like to read romance novels? You can find the first chapter or two of the five contemporary romance novels I wrote last Summer here on Wattpad. Pop on over. They’re free to read! http://www.wattpad.com/VeronikaRobinson

You can find my first two novels on my website www.veronikarobinson.com, Amazon, good bookshops or www.starflowerpress.com Bluey’s Cafe is also available on Kindle.

 

My second novel, set in Australia.

My second novel, set in Australia.

 

 

My first novel, Mosaic.

My first novel, Mosaic.

 

 

Invitation for Submissions, 2014

Starflower Living (digital magazine) is now seeking submissions for issue 2, publishing July 26th. Due date for articles, photographs or art, July 10th. Please send to: office (at) starflowerpress (dot) com or veronika (no space) robinson (at) hotmail (dot) com

 

StarflowerLivingcover-1-3D-rendered

Themes sought for our New Moon in Leo issue include: the heart, courage, pride, fierce determination, fire, passion, love and romance, playfulness, creativity and celebration. (Health-related topics: back and spine, heart, exhaustion, inflammations.)

We seek articles that are original, and haven’t been published (or submitted) elsewhere in print or digitally. Please ensure the work is your own, and is of a professional standard. If submitting art or photographs, please make sure you have written permission from the owner.

Issue 3 themes for the New Moon in Virgo (due date August 8th): healing, healers, helpfulness, service, mentoring, diet/exercise, perfectionism, discrimination, efficiency, weight management, mind/body/soul, alternative health care. Health: solar plexus, bowels and intestines, digestion.

Issue 4 themes for the New Moon in Libra (due date, September 6th): Love, partnership, marriage, kindness, balance, fairness, co-dependency, harmony, beauty, counselling, peace, décor, diplomacy, companionship, grace, luxury and elegance. Health: kidneys, adrenals, sugar imbalance.

Issue 5 themes for the New Moon in Scorpio (due date, October 4th): soul mates, sexuality, transformation, empowerment, letting go, old baggage, psychology, secrets, depth of character, compulsions, deep emotional connections, debt, inheritance, jealousy, abandonment. Health: sexual organs, organs of elimination, menstrual cycle, sexual diseases.

Issue 6 themes for the New Moon in Sagittarius (due date, November 2nd): optimism, faith, adventure, freedom, truth, travel, publishing, horses, expansion, higher learning, Nature, conscience, friendliness, universities, philosophy. Health: thighs, sciatica, liver, hips.

Issue 7 themes for the New Moon in Capricorn (due date, December 1st): self-discipline, commitment, public image, aging, success, reaching goals, financial security, ambition, respect, fathers, and tradition. Health: knees, skin, bones, joints, gall bladder/stones, arthritis.

Starflower is also known as borage. Borage comes from the Celtic word borrach which means courage. Starflower Living is a publication dedicated to holistic and courageous living. www.starflowerpress.com