It hit me that I was now living in Hawaii. I mean, it finally hit me. I literally thought, “What have I done?” It wasn’t the move itself; the move was an external result of years of inner change. I was keening from changes that had been slowly happening over the years. Gone, friendships, community, teachers I have loved…and now my former residence of twenty years. All that loneliness I’d been feeling lately… grief.
The floodgates opened. Oh god. I felt so unanchored in this purgatory world-between, between the old life that used to be and the new one that has yet to reveal itself.
In that moment, I needed something that I realized I’d been denying myself all along.
I needed the creature comforts of physical life and identity. Things to touch, look at, hold.
I needed pictures of my family around me. Pictures of loved ones, because I came from these people and because love transcends all (even the problematic issues). I needed to get my books out of the moving boxes and onto my bookshelf, books I no longer identified with and would rarely consult again, since my relationship to practically everything I once studied has since changed. Once, if someone had asked me what items I’d take were my house burning down I’d say, “my favorite books”. Books reminded me of me.
I needed to open that old box of written letters and blank cards, to leave them laid out on the dining room table for far too long (so long that my husband asks, Soooo…tell me, again. How long are these going to be living here?). A little longer, I replied. I needed to see them, touch them, smell them. I needed to cry over the fact that no one writes letters or cards anymore, and that since my Great Aunt died this year (during the same week we moved to Hawaii) there’s finally no one left to receive my handwritten cards.
I’d been giving up, letting go, nomadically adapting to change, living in a state of constant tumult, pushing aside basic things that others’ seem to need: the fruits of connection to things, to stuff, to the past, even to one’s past self. Turns out I need those, too. No one can live on bread and water alone.
In the spiritual community it’s easy to unconsciously ingest the belief that one can live off of thin air. Stuff? Nah, I’m good. Material things? Bah! I’m a spiritual consciousness. The tendency to minimize the value of physical things, of money, identity, body and pleasure can go too far. Non-attachment can become dissociation. We can go without any of that. That doesn’t mean we should.
And sometimes, despite all of our gluten and sugar food sensitivities, we need to eat pie.
My pup Magnus has a habit of visiting our neighbor. Prancing through the open door of her walk-up, he’ll stop by after our daily walk for a quick treat. The other day, when he didn’t return I got worried. I walked up to her house, the smell of fresh baking pies wafted through the air, she came to her door in her apron, and explained that Magnus had made himself comfortable on the kitchen floor and they were keeping each other company. I understood. That boy only thinks with his stomach. Likewise, when I went to leave, he stubbornly refused to heed my command. He had spied a fresh pie sitting on the foyer table, and was up on his hind legs like a circus dog, dancing for it. We laughed. “Would you like a piece of pie?” she asked me. Oh, no, I couldn’t, I said (YES PLEASE!!! said my body). Of course, she couldn’t find the right cutting utensil, so she ended up giving us the whole mixed berry pie.
That pie brought me back to life this week. Magnus is my new pie wingman.
During Taurus season, we come back into the body. The breath needs lungs to breathe it. The spirit needs the body– its constant companion. So we ask, what does my inner creature/animal want? What am I hungry for? What bodily instinct have I been denying or repressing? What material resources might help me get where I’m going? What pleasure or beauty am I keeping at arms’ length? Venus, Taurus’ ruler, knows: pleasure has tremendous intelligence in it.
Frazzled nervous systems need gentle soothing. The reassurance of hugs, books, pictures, homemade pie, connection, touch… I’ve been spontaneously doing self Reiki, for the first time ever. Gentle touch, without agenda, desire to diagnose or figure anything out, has calming, healing power. Taurus season reminds us to turn to the simplicity of what feels good to the body, because that will always deepen our connection to our True Self. Ground control to Major Tom… Taurus reminds us to come back down to Earth.
To not overthink it, to simply go with what feels right,because what intuitively feels good is also what’s true for us,is a radical shift from Uranus’ passage thru Aries, where we have been in our heads, working with retraining the Ego and uncovering some of the more troubling ways of thinking keeping us from inhabiting our True Self (programming like, I’m pure consciousness, I can live off of bread and water.) While Uranus is in Taurus (till 11/5/18, re-enters 3/6/19), our progress as individuals and as a collective is inextricably tied to the body, the earth, material and physical life. To the simplicity of trusting what feels good and peaceful to our physical being as our rudder — our truest north.
No fancy agendas. No complexity required. The simpler, the better. Definitely some pie, too.
I went for a hike in the rainforest yesterday. It was a rare, rain-free morning, the sun shining on the shimmering jewels of palm leaves and red ginger flowers. I had been stressed over a hard decision I needed to make. I asked my heart for honesty and it had spoken; I knew what I had to do. Yet that clarity argued with mental objections so strongly rooted in past conditioning that I couldn’t decisively move forward without first unraveling what was keeping me standing still.
The rainforest offered its green sanctuary, wrapping itself around me like a beautiful blanket of light. I felt protected, free from pressure, distractions, and connected all things. I could hear my mind saying,
If you break a commitment, people will think you don’t care, maybe you’ll die. Your mother broke so many commitments, and that threatened your survival as a child.
If you say No, someone will get angry or stressed then you’ll have to feel their energies.
You are supposed to be flexible, to find a compromise, negotiate.
With each step I climbed higher, my heart pounding not just from the hike but the survival energies being activated, till I reached the summit: an awe-inspiring view of sunny, sparkling Honolulu and the ocean beyond. I sat down on a bench, 360 degrees of lush green holding me, when the voice of wisdom spoke, “The only commitment you ever need to make is to staying in alignment with you. You know how to do this. After all, your commitment to your own alignment, led you here, to Hawaii.”
It was true. My refusal to stay in an environment that felt wrong for me was a decision I had to make in the solitude of my soul, knowing that I’d meet objections from loved ones at every turn. Even though it caused temporary stress and discomfort, it certainly led to long-term happiness and peace. Empowered by this reminder about what I’d already done, and all the good it created, I could move forward.
As I walked down the path, the survival energies dissipated. The scales began to tip toward my truth, not social correctness, or childhood survival strategies, but what felt entirely right and true for me. Even though I didn’t like feeling them, I decided I could stand feeling others’ short-term anger or disappointment in exchange for my long term peace. I could let go of the way I held onto commitments as though holding onto the wheel of a car going over the edge of a cliff. It was all old training.
My journey reminded me of Scorpio’s transformation, that uncomfortable process of letting go of what is no longer good for us – because we’ve changed, matured, and are ready to live more true to our essence. What old skin are you shedding at this Full Moon? Where are you releasing old patterns rooted in conditioning, perhaps wounded responses? With Mars still hovering near Pluto, in the sign of Capricorn, your personal space, boundaries need honoring. Capricorn is the sign of commitments, vows. How many of us have been socialized to stay in a relationship or situation that feels bad out of guilt, obligation? Truly, the only commitment we ever need to make is to staying in alignment with who we are.
As I kept addressing each objection I was feeling with a deeper truth, something inside me shifted, an ancient boulder, an old foundational identity structure, rolled out of my path. The old patterns of over-accommodation… to abandon myself… The shift felt so, well, BIG. Then I experienced that eerily peaceful and cool sensation you sometimes get after doing powerful inner work, the sensation of “thy will is done”, and that the only thing left to do is breathe and blink.
Breathe and blink. I imagined myself as a chartreuse gecko lizard, which Hawaii has in abundance. In harmony with her nature, the world doesn’t ask her to accommodate it. Ask the lizard to be a dog, chicken or do cat tricks, and it will sit there and blink, “Hmmm. That’s interesting. But I’m a lizard.”
Humans try to override their instinct, but not animals. Taurus energies ask us to remember that we each have our own creature nature, with instincts and preferences unique to us. We could take a cue. The more honest and even stubborn we can be about what our creature self needs, the better we fare.
So…No more cat tricks for this lizard! May you experience your own empowered full moon awakening.
This Aries Mercury retrograde period has had me engaging old habits, ones I thought I’d moved on from… but as the saying goes, “old habits die hard.” A project I’d taken on has several components that I’m not totally aligned with, and I found myself, on numerous occasions, trying to override my “me not likey” instinct.
I can make this work, I thought. But the harder I tried to like it, the more funky I felt.
Not liking something is a boundary. It’s clear, direct information from the Soul (So is trying; the energy of trying to do always invites struggle, not peace.)
The biggest, loudest, “energetic” arguments I have are the ones where my Ego doesn’t want to hear what my Soul is saying. Which is often as simple as “this activity, project, person isn’t aligned with me”. When I’m not acknowledging the honest truth of my Higher Self, or Soul, I experience sleepless nights, inner tension and indecision. Plus, when I’m in this state of dissonance and misalignment, I make myself vulnerable to picking up icky external energies that aren’t mine.
After spending a good amount of mental activity futilely trying to find loopholes (I can do it this way… I’ll change that…), I realized I’ve been down this same road many times before. I was attempting to argue with a Soul boundary about who I AM– which I know, from past experiences, is non-negotiable. Acknowledging that truth felt good, until the drama kicked up. I thought: Now I’ll have to cancel the whole thing! That’s when I knew it was my Ego talking. Ego loves making the thing it perceives as troubling or uncomfortable into the object of its salvation or annihilation. Do or die. Ego thinks, this (_) will kill or save me.
Soul never speaks that way. Your Soul never turns anything into your enemy or savior. It only wants honest acknowledgement. Then, with that awareness, you discover the freedom to go about your business, now informed by your Soul’s truth.
Here’s some other signs you are speaking with Soul:
-The answers, or voice you hear, feel peaceful.
-You are firmly in present time, not the future or the past (which creates anxiety).
-You are thinking in terms of solutions, not problems. Whereas the Ego sees only problems, the Soul thinks in terms of solutions, so finds them.
Usually when we are experiencing acute mental conflict, no decisions need to be made, only shifts of perception.
I realized that while certain parts of this project really aren’t my thing, and I will probably feel funky and out of sorts about these pieces because they aren’t aligned with me, I’m not trying to change my Soul’s core truth any longer. I can honor the boundary of my No and allow it to co-exist with the other Yes’s I’m feeling within this same project.
Has your Ego been arguing with your Soul’s truth? Is your mind, in its obsessing, trying to fix, or solve, overriding a deeper knowing? Are you tricking yourself into thinking you can outsmart what you know deep down to be true about, and just right for, you?
As Aries New Moon aligns with itchy Uranus, the Great Awakener, and Mercury in Aries moves direct this same day, the biggest shifts we may experience involve being awakened into deeper engagement with our Soul’s non-negotiable truth about who we are. Giving our selves permission to be the unique person we are is a beautifully liberating experience– and is the most potentially rewarding personal victory that Uranus in Aries can offer us. Yet the urgency of Aries energies also turns up the potential for mental conflict and stress.
To aid, it’s helpful to align with the energy of Soul. Slow down. Are you listening to your Ego, or your Soul? It is time to listen for your most authentic voice to emerge.
Some old habits really do die hard. Mercury RX has repeated and replayed old patterns to help us get a handle on what is ready to evolve. Be kind and gentle on your self, and if possible, playful. That will help ease the transition. All can be regarded as interesting self-discoveries about our self, not emergencies. Wherever you are ready to move into a healthier, more integrated, aligned reflection of the true you, this is the Moon to do it.
The sensual, physical world is your oyster while Venus transits the sign of Taurus (3/30-4/23 in 2018). Taurus is Venus’ home sign, which confers dignity upon all Venusian activities (art, pleasure, creativity, beauty, abundance, sensuality) undertaken during this time. Naturally, there are some sweet overlaps between Taurus and Venus –most of which revolve around relaxing, enjoying being in a physical body and appreciating this abundant, beautiful planet we call home.
To kick-off Venus’ precession into Taurus and help you make the most of it here are 9 ways to lift your pleasure quotient by at least a few hundred points (honestly, if you aren’t in bliss after trying these, I don’t know how to help you.;)
The way to a Taurus’ heart is through its belly. You may find your self hungrier during Taurus season (and a little lazier, so watch those carbs). Healthy, creamy and fatty, naturally sweet foods (think: milk of the bull/cow) will keep you from over-indulging in too many comfort foods -Taurean downfalls. Mangia!
Consciously engage your five senses. Tasting, smelling, touching… these are the pleasures of being in a human body. Can you sense, taste, touch, smell and hear it? If so, you’re feeding your Taurus energies.
3. Spend Time in the Garden
There are many ways to soak up your vitamin N- vitamin Nature. Create a cozy garden nook, plant a succulent garden, read a book in a hammock. Just get outdoors.
4. Visit Your Happy Place
We all have one: a relaxing, calming, happy place that always instills you with a feeling of bliss. Go there. If only in your mind…
Pebble Shore Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana
Komodo National Park, Indonesia
New Mexico moonlight
5. Nurture Your Empress Energy
In the Tarot, the High Priestess holds sway over the spiritual, inner world of the feminine, and the Empress, the physical, material and sensual world. Together, they are femininity embodied. To engage the Empress: do things you really and deeply enjoy, make sure you feel abundant, opulent and lavish, spend time with children and animals. Here’s a question to get you going: What activity are you doing when you feel your most beautiful and abundant? Start there.
Empress Winona in lush, natural beauty
The Empress connects with animals…
births children, creativity and gives life.
The Empress is Earth Goddess, Mother Nature, embodied.
6. Relax… Get Grounded… Listen to Your Bodily Hungers
In order to feel good and strong in our body, the Goddess of Pleasure requires that we slow down. Spring for a massage, bodywork or facial and you won’t be disappointed; during Venus in Taurus, the aesthetic, beauty, body, spa experiences we buy are pleasing. Relax and get grounded to gain congruence with what your body wants and needs.
Simply give your self space to chill-ax
Spooning leads to forking
7. Slow Down, Appreciate The Simple Things
Venus in Taurus is not fancy. Its elegance is its simplicity. This Venus’ willingness to be fully embodied, present…its easy appreciation of inner and outer beauty…creates rapport, ease, connection. Take the time to be really present to your environment and people.
“Nobody sees a flower, really -it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like having a friend takes time.” -Georgia O’Keefe
8. Listen to Music from Venus in Taurus Artists
Taurus rules the throat; Venus rules music. Is it any wonder that our favorite musicians were born with Venus in Taurus?
Lana del Rey
More Venus in Taurus musicians: Paul McCartney, Bono, Ariana Grande, Kanye West, Alanis Morissette, Ella Fitzgerald, Steve Tyler
9. Hug. Liberally.
For Taurus, the physical generosity of a hug heals and calms the body and psyche in ways that no other form of casual affection can. Don’t skimp on giving hugs –and be greedy when receiving them!
image source: all images were taken from Pinterest or Wikipedia
One of the most eye-opening, joy-inducing experiences of moving to a new location has been re-realizing what it feels like to be living in a just right resonant environment. In California, life had become unnecessarily hard. Even the littlest things, like going to the grocery and running errands, interacting with people too often left me covered in an invisible but palpable dense, difficult to clear, energy.
In my first days here, though, I noticed something different: after conversing with a half dozen people with different energy fields (always precarious for an energy sensitive) I felt light, clear, open, and oddly good. And I wanted to more deeply feel the easy vibes they were emitting.
For instance, a couple responding to an ad I placed on Craigslist wowed me with their light and joy. Their sweetness and generosity was palpable, and it was clear they lived their lives this way. As I gravitated towards their energy like a flower turning toward the Sun, something in my heart tugged and felt sad. By comparison, I felt a little shut down. Like I was outside a candy store, looking in, separated by a window of glass. I realized, Ooh, I really, really wanted what they had. Their light, joy, sense of play. Did I dare think I could have it?
You have a golden shadow. Much attention has been given the dark shadow — mostly because of the Ego’s misguided logic, “if I eliminate what’s wrong with me I’ll finally be okay.” But just as people who elicit a strong negative reaction can alert us to our unconscious character traits (or, equally possible, one who is dis-resonant for us), a strong positive response can be a sign that we are closer than we think to our own beauty and power. When we covet another’s beauty, talent, style, love, light… we glimpse our own golden shadow.
Our golden “other” holds positive unconscious traits we have yet to claim. Herein lays the potential for confusion. Because we can’t yet see this inside our self, it’s easy to give our golden light to another: We fall in love, become best friends, worship a teacher or guru, develop a fantasy love affair or crush… and, ultimately if we don’t allow this relationship to change our relationship to our self, our golden shadow walks away when they do.
When we think another has all the love/beauty/talent goodies, we are in touch with the golden shadow. I have a client who spent several decades gilding an image of her therapist, giving this woman, this relationship, all the positive attributes they longed for with another- particularly, a spiritual based connection to an unconditionally accepting, loving, feminine authority figure (she has natal Venus in Scorpio conjunct Neptune in the tenth house). Then, one day out of the blue the therapist fell off the pedestal. My client asked, “Now where am I going to put all this energy I’d been focusing on her?” “On your self?” I suggested. “What traits were you giving her?” A good rule of thumb with the (golden) shadow is: If you can see it in another, it’s yours. Then the practice becomes figuring out how to own and enact what is already yours.
And “the work” is as simple as the decision or intention to own it as yours.
Because, in this Divine reality, we are already everything and everyone.
I didn’t need to glom onto the couple I met; they had what was mine (which is why I wanted it so badly), but due to self-protection, been missing. Because I was used to encountering dis-resonant people in my dis-resonant environment, I’d been holding my Soul at arms length in everyday life. I had kept my sweet, silly, light side under wraps, reserving that only for my clients, so I only got to experience this part of myself when I was in service to others. Enough! I wanted to feel this for ME. When I set the intention to no longer hold my soul back – for light, joyful, sweet intimacy with all of life to return to me- I stepped into my golden light.
Libra Full Moon sheds light on relationship issues, issues that may be hard to clearly see without the light of this Moon. We can more easily see the projections we place onto others during Libra Full Moon –making this a perfect time to reclaim our golden shadow. Does someone in your live – friend, love interest, role model- possess or have what you most want? Are you giving away what you most want for your self, to them? Are your “you complete me” ideas about love or relating keeping you from precious intimacy with YOU?
Venus enters Taurus (on 3/30), perhaps the most self-possessed, embodied of Venus signs. Think of Botticelli’s Primavera, at home in the natural world, with her curvy body, within her self, the Goddess’ outstretched arm says, “This. This beauty is all mine…” It’s a wonderful attitude/posture to take, especially if you don’t even know how/where to begin to own your beauty, light, joy, talent, power. Set the intention to restore your golden shadow and access your full Goddess power. Start with what brings you joy and pleasure. This is an earthy, sensual Venus. Start with what makes your body hum with bliss & delight.
With Venus’ exaltation in Taurus, this Moon is a powerful time for manifesting Venus magic. Venus in Taurus invites us to value and reclaim what feels good, right and true for us. Particularly, if you find your self consistently looking to others, coveting some answer or goodie you think you don’t have, it is time for you to own what you already HAVE. Remember, if you can see it, and it feels good in your body and being, it is already yours!
This week, I had a day that devolved into an energetic reaction againstputting too much of my focus outside of myself. For the last many months, thanks to a tough Saturn-Mars square, I’d honed my capacity and newly discovered ability, for managing the details of mundane life with far more efficacy and far less anxiety than ever before. Which may’ve also had the side effect of increasing my confidence, ambition and output to irrational levels.
Pulling all the paperwork together for car and license registration in our new location, and getting it all done was big step. We are redecorating, too. A big furniture purchase last weekend, which I’m really excited about, also means there are subsequent items to be listed and sold to make space for the new.
In the midst of moving furniture and parts, John’s girls are coming for a visit next week. This is why we had spent the night prior buying a bed then putting together the frame and box spring in the spare room. It’s sparse in there — hardly welcoming yet, with furniture pieced together like a patchwork quilt (although soon to be remedied), and mismatched sheets, blankets, leftovers from our former life. Tiredly, I noticed, there is little I love less than putting together a piecemeal house and not feeling a sense of satisfaction in work completed.
No wonder I was now curled in the fetal position with aching body. Over-extension, joylessly overdoing it, causes Pisces to cry “foul”. I took to bed, that Pisces sanctuary of surrender that allows the Soul to still, listen inward.
From bed, I reflected on how easy it is to lose footing in pleasure-less tasks of energetic output for completion’s sake instead of soul satisfaction. I love what poet and diarist May Sarton, who documented her struggles to find a balance between mundane and creative life, said: “In the end what kills is not agony (for agony at least asks something of the soul) but everyday life.”
Some days, the clutter and duties of everyday life feels so beside the point (can you hear my sixth house Pisces talking?). But when I ask myself “Well, what is the point?” the question prompts reassurance in the way an existential truth can. Well, what is my point? How do I want to hold this experience? With ease and grace. With presence. Ahhh, Pisces. We each make our own meaning out of even the most meaningless of acts. All is fodder for kindness toward our self.
Pain, limitation and suffering, of any form, is always an invitation to gentleness and kindness (Or love. Or compassion. Whatever you wish). The way we hold our self is infinitely more important than what is happening to us. Pisces, the soul-stealing thief, will tell us the opposite is true. It will tell us to believe that the material reality of a situation is the truth -that three-dimensional “reality” of our limitations define and restrict us- yet that is furthest from it.
As Chiron conjoins this New Moon, we are invited to remember this. Here’s some inspiration. The extremely brilliant Stephen Hawking, surely a Chironian figure, died this past week. He once said, “Although I cannot move and I have to speak through a computer, in my mind I am free.” His miraculous life, and work, is an example that we are only as free as our perceptions allow us to be. We may not be chess master, but we are at least masters of our self, of our inner universe. We can at least be that.
To that end, whether we feel plagued by the grind of difficult emotions, energies or circumstances, there is only one choice to make: Decide how we want to hold the experience. Do we resist and struggle against? Or do we offer acceptance? Can we see that there is a choice – a kinder, gentler one?
To get a sense of this, ask the Divine Goddess to hold you. Feel her warm arms around you, unquestioningly accepting every uncomfortable feeling, physical discomfort, every single thing you don’t want to be experiencing or know what to do about. This is a palpable and real energy field. Just as the sea refuses no one, Pisces Moon generously accepts everything you are, as you are, without needing to know why. Ask her to absorb and accept what you cannot; she will relieve you.
The astrological new year, the Sun’s precession into Aries on March 20, is upon us. AsAries planets assert their desire for increased activity and energy output, we may need to be more intentional and vigilant about going gentle and easy on ourselves. With Mercury’s impending retrograde in Aries (3/22), we might rethink how our thoughts create a quality of energy in our body and being. Just as getting caught up in busyness can cause us to go into unconscious habits we don’t like, pushing and pressure create aggressive energy.
Happy astrological new year! How will you hold your self? A suggestion: Gently.
Venus and Chiron have been dancing together in the sky and this hasn’t been a make-out party. Because Pluto has been square my Chiron, my Venus-Chiron configuration has been dominating my awareness (Venus in Cancer, my chart ruler, is in the tenth house, square Chiron-Aries-Moon conjunct in the seventh house), I thought this might be a good time to write a bit about how Venus- Chiron manifests in our lives, and how I’m working to redeem the painful sensitivity we experience in the slings and arrows of relating/connection.
Firstly, those born with Chiron-Venus (and Chiron in the 7th):
are extremely sensitive to relationship disharmony
will often do anything we can to not feel aggression, pain, in loved ones, even at the expense of our own happiness and wholeness
feel our relationship life is different, somehow, from mainstream
have ongoing experiences of rejection, abandonment in relationship
form an unconscious expectation to being rejected or abandoned by others because we have been rejected, abandoned in the past
need to become self-aware, honest in relationship so as to not compulsively repeat/attract the pattern or person which has hurt us in the past
Because of this, we are gifted with:
copious sensitivity and empathy for the suffering of others, humankind
wisdom to the ways others are hurting, and, more importantly, how we hurt our selves for love + connection to others
sensitivity to those who are rejected for being different
the ability to value the flaws, scars, vulnerabilities, differences and imperfections that make a person, thing, art form more beautiful and interesting
a deep desire to heal misunderstandings in our perceptions about relationship, our self-worth and self-valuation
the strength to survive relationship adversity, and the ability to make our own pain and suffering meaningful, artful, beautiful
What follows is a personal account of transiting Pluto square my Chiron-Venus.
As transiting Pluto exactly squares my Chiron, I’ve felt: pain about past rejection, alienation, differentness from others -as a reflection of disconnection from my deeper self- and both futility and hope when it comes to relating. Relating, connecting has been such a source of painful sensitivity for several years, and I sense I’m clearing out all of the ways I’ve felt rejected, alone and abandoned. The main way I’m working with this is allowing the feelings when they come up.
I’ve been pondering the meaning of Chiron-Venus; looking for its redemptive qualities. Connections have been a source of pain. I’d like to bleed less.
Feeling low yet not wanting to wallow, I decided to repair some ceramic pots that were damaged on the ship’s voyage to Hawaii. As I started the process, I began to sense I was repairing myself, giving care and attention to my broken spots.
The process of repairing the pot reminded me of the Japanese art form of kintsugi, the art of repairing broken ceramics with beautiful gold filling. This movement began when a Japanese shogun sent a cracked tea bowl for repair and it was returned rather uncomely. Motivated to find an aesthetically pleasing way to fix it, a movement was born. The idea was philosophically inspired by several Japanese concepts like, wabi-sabi – the idea that something imperfect, damaged or scarred can be made more beautiful for it, mottainai – a regret of waste, and mushin – the acceptance of change.
I became inspired to turn that gorilla glue gash in the side of the lapis blue pot into a repair of copper gold- which I remembered I had in my painting kit. Ironically, while scraping off the foamy glue with a razor blade, I also accidentally cut myself, and bled. I thought about the meaning of this.
Here had been my morning process: After a weekend clouded by sensitivity over an interaction, and having regular talks with myself in which I repeated “I give zero f***s!” (what can I say, Moon in Aries- cursing clears energy), I had awakened feeling hopeful, refreshed, and wanting to do something nice for someone. But a few minutes into said project the thought began: They probably won’t appreciate it (and not respond, ie, reject me). Or, maybe they’ll think I’m weird! A cascade of thoughts began, about past rejections and anticipation of future ones. The only thing to do was witness the pain energetically (without adding the mind’s story about any of it). The pain was sharp at first, but soon crested like a wave and receded. After a few minutes, it became impossible to feel pain. I only felt peace. I wouldn’t say this pain is permanently gone, but when we allow energy to move through us we transmute it. Space opens up. For new life, peace. Hence, the feeling of hope.
As I repaired the pot, I realized this pot had made a journey across the sea and has been changed for that experience. And it is still here. I am still here. So is my grandmother’s hope chest. Hope. I recalled my grandmother’s wooden one hundred and forty years’ old chest, brought over on the ship, too, which also suffered yet another break in the same old vulnerable spot it has had for years. Just like me. I have a vulnerability in a certain area. I “break easily” here.
As I do the repair work on my self, on the pot, I perform kintsugi on myself, a Chironian surgery of sorts. I offer gentle care and attention to my tender spots. The desire to redeem something painful and turn into something beautiful has motivated my life and art for years now. I realized I am kin with the things of this Earth, because I am on an Earth journey. We break, have weaknesses, frailties, and our experiences do not leave us unscathed, unaltered.
This is the alchemy of Venus-Chiron; as we develop this capacity to deeply embrace the estranged parts of our self, we heal into new expressions for relating and expressing. We may kick and scream when we bleed and get hurt, but as we go into the personal and become so intimate with the cracks and brokenness, we see there is beauty in the loving attention we offer to all that is and has ever been broken, hurt, misunderstood, different, rejected, scarred by life’s experiences. We do not throw out our pain.Our loving attention is the gold.
Which is why, today, in spite of it all, I feel hopeful as the dawn, as fresh as our plumeria blossom littered lawn in the morning mist. This process of feeling the depths of rejection, differentness, abandonment, and releasing it, does not define me. This is important for Venus-Chiron to remember. I know that the feeling life does not have that kind of power; I know because I’ve survived the worst kinds of hell. I am more than the feelings of rejection and abandonment. Today, I am able to bask in the glorious golden tropical light. Today, I am still here.
“I know it sounds like I’m sticking my head in the sand, but I’ve stopped listening to the news, and I’m just doing what I enjoy…”
A client said this to me today, and I replied “good!” But why the self-admonition? Her statement reflected a consciousness circulating in the collective that reminds me of survivor guilt; after every tragedy, we feel guilty. In America, we feel guilty about feeling good when others are suffering. We feel guilty if we’re not reading the paper, if we’re white, if we’re not “doing something” effective (and we can’t name what that is). It’s Virgo Full Moon. Collective guilt and shame is UP.
(This shadowy consciousness especially preys on those of us who have been conditioned to be there for others — no matter the cost to our self.)
It’s as if we’re not on the front lines “making a difference” we are part of the problem. If we are not petitioning, angry, marching and participating in movements; if we are not reading the newspaper everyday in tears or anger, we are not upholding our role for healing humanity’s crisis. Yet, for most of us that energy only contributes to the dense energy field surrounding the “problem” (the painful growing pains of humanity’s evolving consciousness). We develop low level anxiety about things we know we wouldn’t normally feel anxious about. We feel unsafe. We feel afraid. Joyless. We start to feel like the world is an evil, bad place. We feel paranoid. We feel disconnected, from our goodness, from our Self.
Which is, incidentally, eerily similar to the way a “shooter” feels.
Einstein, a Pisces, once said, “You can’t solve a problem with the same energy that created it.” So, here we have it: by engaging this energy, we are attempting to solve the problem with the very same consciousness that created it. Our estrangement from Source cannot possibly solve being estranged from Source.
This is actually what is “wrong in the world.” Too many people estranged from their self, from their own heart and Soul, from their inherent goodness.
What to do? Pull back, and pull within. Unplug. Go for a walk in the mountains, to the beach, listen to music, sign up for a language class. Doing things we enjoy, in other words, lights us up and makes us feel connected to our Light and Good.
But… there’s a part of us who calls non-involvement with the external world’s problems, “burying my head in the sand.” Frankly, it insults our sweet Soul who stands for peace and love, firstly, within our selves.
I found myself wanting to go to the beach the other day, and thinking, no I can’t do that. Why not, I asked myself? Who makes these rules about what’s okay to do in the middle of a workweek on a clear and sunny afternoon – a perfectly good day for the beach? It begged me to ask the questions:
What’s wrong with feeling good?
What’s wrong with doing things we like, and not doing things we don’t enjoy?
What’s wrong with feeling okay?
In fact it’s ALL RIGHT.
When we feel good and peaceful we can only ever be a beacon for others’. Moreso, when we restore our selves to peace, we remind others how good it feels to take care of their selves –we remind the masses who are really confused about how to even begin to feel good in their minds and hearts!
“What can I do to help? What can I do to become a part of the solution?” Many kind, compassionate souls struggle with how to answer this question. The collective does need our help. It needs us to come home to our selves. It needs us to deprogram, to listen to inner messages we replay and deconstruct them.
For instance, “If you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem.” Let’s look at that statement. What is the solution – to gun control, war, greed, corruption? Jumping into the front line of war, fighting with words, being weepy for days? No, we perpetuate the problem. The opposite of violence of any kind is embodying the peace, care, healing and love we seek in the world.
What if WE are the solution? What if I feel peaceful and authentic and centered and deeply in touch with truth… then I share that with my client, who then shares that with her clients… and it all has a ripple effect? What if, someday someone on Capital Hill is signing a gun bill and feels a strange feeling in his heart, a foreign energy of love, and suddenly decides he will no longer stand for it?
What we are seeing right now with the movement of kids in Florida is something uniquely different, and definitely aligned with the solution, not the problem. They are sharing their feelings, their hearts, not perpetuating the same old arguing and rhetoric of the Ego. This is a Soul based movement. That’s why it will be successful. When one person comes home to their Divinity, everyone does.
This is Neptune in Pisces. The idea of the thousandth monkey– that there is a tipping point for consciousness which we help by doing activities that are inward, involve listening to and honoring our heart and Soul, and may even appear to be doing nothing at all from the outside. We may seem selfish to our family and friends when we insist on taking solo pleasure time instead of giving our peace to them. We may appear privileged with our beach day, while everyone else is working. But this stems from the idea of lack, that my good takes away from yours. It does not. My good can only ever create good for you. Why? We are all connected.
We know we are all connected.
We need to have faith in this humble process of coming home to ourselves. Whatever it takes, and whatever form that looks like that is just right for you.
Especially when that inner voice chides, “you’re not doing enough.”
No. You are enough. You are enough. YOU ARE ENOUGH. You are GOOD, you are OKAY (If the collective truly believed this, there would be no shooters).
Be apart of the solution: Come home to you, so your light can lead others home.
Not everyone is a born activist. Not everyone is on the front line of war, nor needs to be. One thing I’ve learned about myself as a healer is that I am not an activist. My currency is peace and love, not passion (although I’m passionate about love!).
If you are on the front line of a movement, I commend you. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. That’s why you feel good there. Even in the midst of chaos, hurt and healing, you will feel good, as in “I’m exactly where I need to be.”
But for those who are not in an immediate crisis, or some other area of direct influence, when we “go there” energetically only to discover it makes us existentially upset and joyless, it does not feel right or good BECAUSE we are not meant to be “there”. We are not helping to shift this particular consciousness. When no one is home for you, there’s no one to anchor peace for all.
We each have a role to play. Let’s stop feeling guilty about feeling okay and good, and instead have faith that when we do, we serve all. Let’s embrace joy, our need to follow our heart and trust its wise guidance. If we do, it might start a massive revolution. When enough of us feel good in our hearts, we could finally touch the people who need it right where they need to feel most– their heart.
It’s a gentle Sunday morning. The cuckoos coo, and the heavily Piscean energy invites lingering over coffee and puttering around the house all day long. Reading comics is a new habit I’ve adopted since moving here. It’s a gauge of how much lighter the energy is, here, how much lighter I am. I can laugh and be silly. Enlightenment literally translates to “lightening up”, which today means taking things less seriously. Not so long ago, a funny moment earned a dry snort. Now, watching a bulldog walk its owner, I double over in giggles, tears streaming down my face. This is success.
One of the comics depicted a smiling skateboarder, a Spicoli looking character similar to many I see on the beaches, here, asking his friend what’s been up to. Listing his many accomplishments, his friend then asks Spicoli, What about you? When are you going to stop goofing off and get serious? He replied, Can I ask you a question? Who’s the one grinning here? It reminded me of an attitude I’ve adopted lately. To every question: the beach. What should I do today? The beach. What’s my mission in life? The beach. The beach is always a good idea.
In my spiritual way, I’ve been a “producer” for most of my adult life. I affirmed and manifested that exact amount of money, spell-worked places to live and vision boarded soul mates. Because the Divine never denies a Soul need, when I align need with my Soul’s intention, magic happens.
Then, consciousness evolved. It was confusing for a long while, and I could hardly see it as an evolution, more like a dark night. The things I used to want – accomplishment, productivity, training, goals- tasted like sawdust. These things began to feel like an attempt to stave off the hungry machine of whatever I considered was keeping me from professional irrelevance and personal wholeness or happiness at the moment.
What did I want – really, want? Desire had always held a form, an aspirational thing. I realized now that all I only and ever wanted was an experience of my self. This was not dependent on any form -any relationship, goal, pursuit, accomplishment, conference invitation, project or book deal. I couldn’t define the form it would take. Still can’t. I only can tell you how I want to feel. Connected to truth. Creative. Filled with light. Joyful. I imagine light pouring out of me and extending to everyone and everything. I feel fulfilled, beautiful.
What I really want is an internal feeling state — connection to Oneness, to my Divine Self. Which, I realized, nothing external can offer me, not truly.
Even the tarot cards and runes I used to occasionally consult for Divine Guidance stopped resonating, as if to prove a point with a Divine exclamation mark!
All “signs” were pointing me to consult the guide within, The Feeler, The Intuit-er, The Divine Self… to directly commune with the Soul, not its intermediaries.
And to pay attention to the particulars – the when, where, who with and how – I felt connected to light, truth, beauty, effortless ease, wisdom, grace, presence. These became my new coordinates. Yes, please, said my Soul, yummy, let’s do more of that. Likewise, when I feel bad, misaligned, icky with off-energy that is information about what’s not for me.
Is feeling good, gravitating only toward lightness and ease, enough to base life decisions on? Don’t we need grids, graphs, vision boards, affirmations and goal sheets; to obey the voices that tell us to push ahead when we don’t feel like it, to listen to our mind and its analysis of all sides of the matter when really all we want to do is flow with what our Soul says?
No, I don’t think we do… And I’m counting on it. When I disregard the information I receive in connection and presence in favor of the mind’s opinions, I feel anywhere from off to awful -which is information. The beauty is, we get to define our own ideas of happiness.
During Pisces season, your feeling and intuition turn up so you can tune in. How are you feeling? What do you know? Is there an intuition that, were you to allow, could create grace in your life? Are you in old patterns of force and striving, when acceptance would bring gentle flow and ease?
As Pisces season raises our spiritual consciousness, Virgo Full Moon reminds us to be discerning. Aligning with your flow does not mean interpreting what crosses your path as a sign that it’s for you to engage just because it’s right in front of you (which is also really bad dating advice). Over the past year and a half, I’ve learned more about myself from what I don’t want, than what I do. Remember the self-help book, Year of Yes?, with it’s “feel the fear/pain and do it anyway” credo? This used to work. But in this new day, my book would be called Year of No. Paring down to the essential yes’s of your life means getting very clear and solid on your no’s – what you don’t love or like. A “No” from our gut or heart is solid guidance; we don’t even need to consult the mind, which at that point would only confuse the matter.
And when we don’t know what we want… when all we’ve got is a formless feeling … this is where faith comes in. It’s more than a feeling. Maybe it feels like a dream, perhaps a distant memory of who you truly are, but just maybe aligning with how you want to feel has the power to pull in exactly what your Soul desires, even when your mind has no idea how. It was Martin Luther King Jr. who uttered those soulful, light-filled words, “I have a dream…” Maybe that’s how we can shift the collective, so many minds in duality, by coming home to our heart.
Join me in lightening up. Let’s put faith in doing only what feels good, light and peaceful, and trust that by holding the light we will get exactly what our Soul needs. Let’s lighten up, together.
This morning the tropical rain comes down in deluges, pattering against the roof, made all the more loud for the fact that our house has jalousie windows- glass slats that never truly close, creating newfound intimacy with the outdoors. I look out from the high porch, watch the raindrops dance on the delicate white plumeria and purple orchids. My heart pitter patters, too. I am peace, all is well.
Yet I don’t entirely trust it. I am wary. I am healing. I am healing from years of living in hyper-vigilance. Never knowing when the Ego energies of fear, panic, aggression would sweep in, I learned to anticipate them. Like moving from a place that had frequent random, daily, weekly earthquakes to one that has few or none, I feel stable but have moments of unsettle. For many moons I slept with one eye open, often not fully surrendering even in sleep. When you live in a difficult situation for so long, how long does it take to let go, to heal?
Our past experiences condition and shape us, wearing grooves in our energy fields that can catch us by surprise. Yesterday, I walked into a New Age shop, excited by the thought of admiring and playing with treasures. But walking around, I felt defensive, distrustful. Some of my biggest rejections involve this kind of spiritual community, one that embraces differences, healing, spiritual consciousness, — all values I share. Yet spiritual communities are made of humans, and “spiritual” does not always equal conscious. I hurry out, wondering if I’ll ever have the lightness of heart I once had, with a tribe.
The only thing to do was sit with the feelings, acknowledge them, be with them. Then ask the question, Will I ever have that lightness of heart with friends, again? A friend I love comes to mind, then another. Of course, replies my Soul. Yes, yes.
Aquarius Moon holds learned conditioning from life experiences, and the truth-to-self energy required to release an emotional pattern. This Solar Eclipse puts us in touch with ways we have been hurt through rejection or betrayal from groups, tribes of “friends”, the ways we are different from others — and the emotional, energetic, cognitive habits we’ve developed as a result.
Sometimes we have to dissociate, or “turn off” our feelings, to cope with something prolonged, difficult and untenable. Emotional detachment allows us to function during hard times, at this, Aquarius Moon (and Moon-Uranus) excels. But later, when we find our selves going into patterns of distrust and fear that no longer match the people or situation in which we find our selves today, when we learned to detach from the depth of our pain and find we can’t feel depth of our joy… it is time to heal. Simply, sometimes our heart needs to thaw.
I listen to the rain and think of Oya, Goddess of Wind and Storms. I remember something my teacher said to me once, when I was working up the courage to tell my husband that, on no uncertain terms, we needed to move. She said, “There’s no force greater than the power of wind to stir up change.” When I took a deep breath and used my windpipes, I found the power to shift my reality entirely. Now I don’t need Oya’s strong wind, her thunderous lightening bolt of transformation, but her warm, gentle breezes, cleansing rain, grace.
I could never get warm in California. I was always unconsolably chilled, forever bundling up in layers. Here, I’m in my element: I am in a land of swaying palms, fragrant flowers, and smiling open faces. I wear less and feel more at ease in my body. John, ever the scientist, says my island girl gene mutation has started expressing.He jokes that, along with my now golden long-limbs, soon my lips will grow fuller, and I’ll develop high cheekbones.
But just because I’m in a new environment, and this is a new day, I remind myself, doesn’t mean I am here entirely. There’s more to release. I need long walks on the beach. I need to sit and journal for hours, alone. I need to feel. Like a soldier who has survived a long battle and finally come home after the war, I need to give myself the time, space, patience and compassion to do this.
This eclipse touches on parts of our self that have been out in the cold, far too long:trauma, rejection, betrayal, loss, a former way of life, of “surviving”. If, at this moment, you are feeling a little wary or shell-shocked, if you can’t quite sink into joy, or trust the hearty goodness and bounty of life, you are not alone. Now is the time to befriend your self. Be your own friend. Sit with your feelings, acknowledge and accept them. Light a candle. Grieve. Because life can be complex, sad, difficult and confusing. If you engage self-talk like, “I’ll never have (that positive feeling or thing) again…” help your self to question it, as a friend would. Go within, ask if it’s true, and listen for the real answer.
Because, friends, life is also good. May each of us be restored and healed.