Preparing for the Classroom of 2017

Mar 2nd, 2017 Posted in General, Moon Goddess Journeys, The Tribal Beat, Thirteen Moons | Click to comment »

Thirteen Moons

Dearest Tribe:

As 2016 takes its last breaths, we can honestly say that this year has left its mark on everyone. Every year has a unique energy and vibration to it and turns out 2016 translates into a universal nine which equates completion. While the page on the calendar may feel very predictable, on 1/1/2017 we will be entering a year of the universal one so the classroom we walk into will hold assignments aligned with new beginnings.

The last quarter of this year was so challenging and tense, and for many reactivating past trauma, it’s difficult to remember all that occurred throughout the entire year. To assimilate the deeper meaning of the experiences, it can be useful to review this walk around the Sun in its fullness. The timing of this Mercury retrograde cycle helps us with this assignment, as does its companion, the tiny but mighty planet of Pluto which is traveling along side Mercury to make sure all of the unspoken or hidden undigested aspects of this year be brought to the surface so nothing is taken with us into 2017 without our consent. As we learn over and over again, we cannot control what occurs in much of life but we can take control over how we react and dance with it.

Like many of you, I woke up on 11/9/16 afraid to put my feet on the floor only to find out that the ground had moved – it felt like a natural disaster had happened and the world would never be the same. What helps me the most and I suspect some of you, was knowing that my family, my sisterhood, those I looked to reflect my reality and share my primal confusion, was right where I left them – next to me. Together we have processed the shock, the fear and the outrage. As I look to the Sun and Moon as gatekeepers of each day, they never disappoint – with each Sun comes a mini new beginning and with this simple Earth honoring wisdom, I take heart and find hope. If any part of me was asleep, I am awake now.

This New Moon on 12/29/16 offers a perfect moment to release that which your true self needs to separate from – empty out the pockets and the drawers within the psyche and the heart – so we can step into this completely new nine year cycle open to the curiosity of possibility rather than a continuation of a new version of the same lessons. Engage in any rituals that offer self reflection minus judgment or doubt and collaborate with the energies of true source love and wisdom to help you detach, release, dissolve and forgive anything that obstructs the vision of this new emerging life-scape. Allow yourself to invite one intention to reveal itself for the New Year so you can be open to what you discover as a co-creator rather than put too many demands to have it all figured out. This year our vision boards might be more powerful if they held one phrase – show up and trust your knowing. Once we get realigned and vibe with our soul GPS, we will guide ourselves in the direction that will be in greatest alignment with our higher truth.

When trying to sort out some navigational tools for this very uncertain time the political climate has placed us in, I remembered a story told that passes around the circle fires as it always offers a powerful message:

Long ago, a village in need of rain invited a powerful medicine woman to invoke the thunder and lightning spirits and make it rain. When she arrived she asked for a hut to sit in. Days went by and nothing happened, it remained dry as a bone and then suddenly she emerged. As she came out of the hut, the sky turned dark and the rain came down with intensity. The village chief was thrilled and asked the woman what she did. She simply replied, “nothing, the village was so out of balance that I became out of balance and so I had to meditate. As I got into balance, the village came back into balance and the rain came.”

(Photo courtesy of Sarah Drew.)

What ever created the imbalances of our world, and there are many over many years, we are now all out of balance. The only way we can be of service to this collective moment is not to continue to stay in shock and confusion but rather to restore balance within. Just like the medicine woman, it is through that individual recovery of harmony and rhythm, we can approach life with authentic loving strength and begin to be influencers and change makers within our communities dedicated to that which enhances a renewal of hope and enrichment of life.

As this new energy is upon us, the programming at Everyday Medicine Woman will be reflecting this inspired call to action via new seminars and completion of that which has grown to its fullest form. Our beloved Thirteen Moons will be starting its Thirteenth Year so while 2017 offers a new cycle it holds the span of another one that is coming to completion in its current form. We consider you a vital part of our community just by opening our emails and treasure your unique expression of self-evolution as a powerful reminder that in sharing our journey with one another we are all stronger together.

Deepest heartfelt wishes for love, abundance and joy as we walk on this bridge to 2017 together,

Susan

Written by: Susan Lipshutz, LCSW, Founder

Feeling inspired to share your own Thirteen Moons story, art, poetry, etc.? Click here for our guidelines.

For more information about Thirteen Moons, our monthly seminar series honoring the spiritual life cycle of a woman, please visit our website

Astrology: The 2013 Winter Solstice

Dec 21st, 2013 Posted in Astrology Aspects, General | Click to comment »

Star
We are in a very beautiful arc of the winter holy days from the December 17th Full Moon to the January 1st New Moon in 2014. The Winter Solstice on December 21st, 2013 brings us to a profound annual moment, a time when we realize the need for sunlight in our lives amid the backdrop of enhanced darkness. All cultural holidays include some sort of candle lighting, stories of miracles and celebration of birth and collective family.

This Winter Solstice packs a much stronger auspicious punch as Venus goes retrograde on the same day until January 31, 2014. Venus is often associated with an Aphrodite kind of sensual, romantic vibe. She is really a powerful goddess that holds our commitment to elegance, kindness, equality, beauty, balance and values. Some astrologers speak of this retrograde cycle as a time when Venus takes her rose colored glasses off and gets to the heart of the matter.

Some may remember the rare and beautiful Venus retrograde cycle in early June, 2012 when she transited the Sun in the sign Gemini – the oracle. This time, she is doing her 40-day boot camp training in Capricorn. So her attention will be on what is in and out of balance in our relationships, core values, and ability to manifest our visions and see if they are in harmony with our soul. The first half of this period 12/21- 1/11 will be more of a revelation period and the last half will be a time to draw the new map for enhanced personal well being, as well as a time to find a more balanced inner and outer life.

I recommend taking this Venus retrograde very seriously and collaborating with this beautiful cosmic guide by starting a 40-day daily practice where you identify an aspect that seems out of balance or in need of a Venusian tune up and work with it through out this period. See what and who she brings into your life (people from the past often appear) and pay attention to dreams and visions. You can write, draw, work with divination tools, such as the tarot or runes. Allow for this process to be supported with consciousness and wonder.

12/21/2013 – Winter Solstice, Venus retrogrades in earth-sign Capricorn

1/1/2014 – New Moon in cardinal earth sign Capricorn

1/15/2014 – Full Moon in watery, maternal Cancer

1/30/2014 – New Moon in Aquarius, fixed air sign

1/31/2014 – Venus goes direct

2013: The Year of Learning to See in the Dark

Dec 20th, 2013 Posted in General, The Tribal Beat, Thirteen Moons | Click to comment »

winding_roadWhen I sat down to write this last newsletter of the year, I had to face that I had only written two others this entire year. I had written the others psychically but those didn’t make it this far to reach the actual paper. I had a year of losing and finding myself; threading in and out of my practical left brain while being pulled into the cosmic void of mystery. Some of this was a means of coping, some a result of my progressed astrology chart and a good deal of it was the result of the bigger impact of being launched out of the cosmic cannon of 2012.

Moving into the Golden Era or Fifth Sun was not all rainbows and gardens but more of a perpetual state similar to the anti-climactic feel after achieving a long awaited and very important event, like graduating school or getting married. No matter how unsettling the energies of 2012 were, those of us spirit seekers were in it together. Even the skeptics and doomsday folks, everyone was curious and in conversation about what might happen as we approached and arrived at the end of the Mayan Calendar on 12/21/2012. There were gatherings, meditations, celebrations and conferences throughout the year and on that auspicious day. Most of us would agree that last year offered much intense change, including shifts and initiations in subtle and monumental ways.

Yet what was less talked about was the next phase, which I believe was the far more difficult one: 2013. The year of the water snake took us for a ride into the hidden facets of our human side. Like a teacher that believed in us so fiercely that they were going to push us to the limit, 2013 revealed what blind spots we hold as a world and as individuals that block lasting change. By forcing us to face our individual shadows, wounds, fears and truths, we were required to re-dedicate ourselves to our greater spiritual understandings and clean up the internal conflict that was mirrored by or reflected back from the fractured world state of affairs. The motivational phrase, “be the change you wish to see in the world,” pushed us to change what is wounded in the world in ourselves – our relationships, our work, our health – all aspects of our lives were under the microscope for intuitive diagnosis and psychic surgery.

The planetary alchemists all converged to support this deep cleansing of our internal and inherited toxins by putting us on a big Pluto, Saturn, Scorpio detox and it did the trick. Then Uranus sent Aries-influenced lightening bolts and we all began to feel the combination of change waves from the inner and outer layers. By mid 2013, almost everyone I knew had serious or sudden shifts, losses, disruptions or changes happening. The year of Saturn in Scorpio was putting on the black light 3-D glasses and moving through all our favorite hiding places. This was necessary to support of our constant prayers that we be filled with love in our hearts, peace in our minds and have bodies emanating light.

While thinking about a theme for this end-of-year summary, the phrase that really came to me was Sera Beak’s saying: “#truth bomb”. The most liberating, compassionate action I could engage in during this year and what I really worked on with my clients was having the courage to speak and own our truthful experiences in a non-judgmental way. I feel this why Brené Brown has such a universal appeal. She has the courage to be authentic and dare bravely. She sets all of us free to make mistakes, heal, release and connect so we can find and be the truth of who we really are. As the year progressed, I saw so many heavy-hearted folks who felt lost and alone or terrified that the intuitive feelings surfacing from their core would mean the life they had could be at risk. This was the year of the rise of the feminine divine, the staff of power shifting from masculine to feminine, yet we all felt somewhat powerless.

The turning point of this year came for me when I cleared my schedule and went to a conference on sacred feminine leadership in October that as hosted by mega-goddess Chantal Pierrat and her kick butt team at Emerging Women Live. I was shaken to my core and jolted back to life by the likes of Brené Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, Nancy Levin, Tami Simon, Christine Kane, Sera Beak and our contemporary Kali Ma: Eve Ensler. They all shared their deep truths about marriage, bodies and careers that had crumbled and had to be taken down by the cosmic shaman Pluto so that the authentic emergence of the real soul of the goddess and calling could happen. I knew at that moment that everything I had gone through was necessary, even the profoundly painful stripping down of my heart walls, in order for me to realize a lineage blind spot that had caused my soul GPS to malfunction, causing me to drive in circles.

The biggest reason I couldn’t find a writing voice this year was my own truth bomb: I was living through an 18-month period of having my 18-year marriage end in a way that was unimaginable to me. I was oscillating between states of frozen fear and frantic movement but was simultaneously offered the most beautiful moments of complete grace, profound demonstrations of kindness, love, tenderness and miracles by family, friends, my village of healers and new angels in my life. I often found myself breathless from the beauty. I now feel more vulnerable and accessible and am approaching a new understanding of fearlessness.

When I think about this year, I recall this Rumi quote:

“It is your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you,

But no one can walk it for you.”

My world cracked open about 19 months ago when Venus went retrograde in Gemini. I faced hosting our lakefront Venus transit celebration while in shock as my own personal Venus transit was just under way. Now, I write this as a Full Moon in Gemini shines her light on me and I prepare to close this era of my life with Venus once again retrograding on the Solstice in my sun sign Capricorn. It’s with a sense of excitement that I begin a new era, holding my hand on the karmic wheel of fortune once again.

I realize that my description of this year may sound grim and dark but every journey, rightly seen, has its beauty and purpose. I’ve had many book ideas float in and out of my consciousness for two decades but it just came to me that it is this journey of my Venus return that I need to share. So I think that 2014, the year of the green wood horse, will be delivering more correspondence from me.

This winter solstice (December 21st, 2013), the day Venus goes retrograde, I invite you to take pen to paper and ask yourself to reflect on the year:   

~What was your truth bomb?

~Have you discovered a blind spot that was leaking your power, happiness or ability to manifest what you deeply wish for yourself?

~How did this revelation/truth bomb activate the real healing and life changes you couldn’t get to on your own?

~Do you have the courage to love yourself enough to take ownership of your own journey without knowing the outcome?

We have one more month of the water snake, so let’s shed the last layer of any self sabotage and bring our entire energy to the passionate cause of living the truth of who we are and loving it!

“There are no guarantees. From the viewpoint of fear none are enough. From the viewpoint of love none are necessary.”

– Emmanuel with Pat Rodegast

May we walk through the doorway of 2014 with a renewed sense of optimism, ease and wonder about what liberation from personal suffering can bring.

Becoming Our Own Heroes

Feb 13th, 2013 Posted in General | Click to comment »

Photo: National News Post

During the first week of 2013, I realized that the energy felt completely different. While all of the aspects of life, positive and challenging alike are still present, the cumulative effect of 2012, its intensification of the polarities of light and dark, beauty and tragedy began to take its toll on everyone.

When I reflect on December, let alone the entire twelve-month cycle, it is truly stunning how much changed for so many people I know, myself included. Throughout the 365 days of change, it seemed like a series of cosmic explosions and alarms set by our higher selves in a realm out of time started rolling out an avalanche aimed at dismantling illusions, unconscious patterns, old myths and stagnation that hindered our individual and collective evolution. Eventually, this momentum caught up with us on an institutional, cultural and personal level, breaking apart and shattering the blocks so we could see into the areas in need of change. Simultaneously, the amount of love flowing from the heavens and through one another, the support from seen and unseen realms, and the wisdom awakening within that attunes us to accessible cosmic intelligence continues to be stunning in it’s beauty and bounty.

I believe this is a year where we must begin to do something with the profound lessons of this past era and lay the foundation for a new way of living. That begins with the acceptance that we are building on fresh terrain that is informed by a New Era – a New Earth.

As the water dragon year of 2012 is ending its tutorial on how to be our own heroes, it seems fitting that we are now being provided with a cosmic guide to assist us in learning how to move in this unknown landscape. This creature of the heavens is about to deliver us from the expansive vision of possibility to meet the primal steward of the earth herself: the snake.

What is even more fascinating is that both of these power allies of the Chinese zodiac are in the rare from of holding the dual elements of water. This element dissolves, flows and purifies. This awareness brought me back to thinking about the number 13 as a vibration tone to inform this year. One of the signatures of The Mayan cosmo vision is that it translates numbers into vibrational tones that imbue an energy into time. If we apply the description of this tone 13 to the year, the features include:

~Bridge

~Pure creator energy

~Ascension

~Spark of understanding

~Source connection

~Remembering

“The energy of thirteen propels the effort to try something new or to try again. Tone thirteen provides an energetic connection between what has been and what is to come. It is the bridge from the now into the next “now”. Thirteen frequency is Divine. It watches and loves and allows. The foundation for each of other twelve; sometimes referred to as cosmic glue. Tone 13 has a gentle and subtle energetic signature and is worth every effort to invite into your life.” – www.xzone.com.au

If 12/21/2012 was the ending of an era, bringing humanity to a place it has never been before, then it would make perfect sense to be supported with this vibrational tone of thirteen as the landscape for us as we wander and wonder about how to create our own paths. This description so beautifully reflects the task we are being asked to bring our efforts to as co-creators of our journey. It has been said that once the Hebrew slaves were freed from the oppressive bonds of the Pharaoh, there was a 40 year period when a generation wandered in the desert, not knowing how to self direct after being denied a hand in their destiny or personal vision for so many years.

While the circumstances of our contemporary culture are very different, we are witnessing and experiencing aspects of our systems, structures, personality characteristics and coping strategies breaking down with the compelling and powerful force generated by a primal desire for liberation and transformation into the next level of growth.

Remembering that we are conscious beings connected to our natural wisdom, the yearly lunar cycles offer us the guidance and perspective to gaze into a rear view mirror while we continue to move forward. From this point of view, January 2013 was a reflective moment. Now that we are approaching the New Moon in Aquarius, a sign known for it’s dedication to the individualist, visionary genius and humanitarian rights with a detachment from the emotional webbing of relationships, we can plant our luminous seeds for this year.

There are special instructions and intentions for these units of growth. You must be committed to them. The saying, “be careful what you wish for” could never be more pertinent then in our current situation as we hold our future in the palm of our hands. To make it more interesting, this continues to be played out in the cosmic classroom of mystery – as few really know what is going on with all the uncertainty in our midst.

Great Mystery is offering us one of the most amazing guardians and guides to stalk our destiny – the water snake or as I prefer to refer to this master ally, the Rainbow Serpent. In all mystical spiritual traditions, the serpent is a teacher to revere rather than a creature to fear. Right away the challenge to choose knowledge over fear is staring right at us.

“Each of the archetypal animals exudes a different flavor of energy. The serpent symbolizes knowledge, sexuality, and healing. Perhaps the most universal archetype, serpent has always represented the healing power of nature. The Western symbol of medicine is formed by two serpents intertwined around a rod. Moses carried a serpent staff when he led the Israelites through the desert. In Western mythology, a serpent brought us the fruit of the tree of knowledge. In the East, it is the coiled snake of the Kundalini energy. Serpents represents the primeval connection to the feminine and thus a symbol of fertility and sexuality. This symbolizes the essential life force that seeks union and creation. When I work with a person who has lost their passion for life, who has exhausted energy and enthusiasm, I connect them with the spirit of the serpent. I know that this will rekindle a longing for life.” – Alberto Villoldo.

This ally not only offers countless remedies to detach from our pain and suffering by shedding these old parts of self like it’s skin to be mulched by the Earth Mother, it also travels via our personal rainbow bridge of heaven and earth via the chakra system. In this case, taking the wisdom lessons of 2012 and using them as the root for manifestation at a three dimensional level is possible with the vibrations of the number 13 and the rainbow serpent forces accessible to us.

As soul level astrologer, Mark Borax, so powerfully states, “dancing with the snake is dancing with desire, fear, sexuality and the power to claim your greater role in the scheme of things. When the human heart and mind awaken and line up with the awakening power within, we harness the force to change the world.”

This requires us to trust our own instinctive knowing, the GPS of our own heart and become our own heroes. So sisters, put on the jingle belts and brothers take off your shoes. We are preparing to go on an adventure to make something meaningful out of this beautiful chaos of change. But first we need to recharge, renew and as the Hopi prophecy says, remember we are the ones we have been waiting for.

Upcoming Astrology Aspects 

Another cosmic weather point of interest is that two planets are going into retrograde cycles, a time to renew, review, restore and revisit. Saturn is going retrograde on 2/18 until 7/8. Saturn has been in Scorpio since 10/5 and if we track a lot of the intense activations in 2012, many find the Venus transit of 6/4 and the beginning of Saturn moving into Scorpio on 10/5 to be two key points that correlate with major change. When this planet reverses, it will go back over the terrain of this last quarter of 2012, for one more look at what got revealed, unraveled and exposed. It will be a time for more complete understanding in support of building the new structures that truly support the core values and fundamental truths for authentic living.

Our friendly oracle Mercury is also going retrograde from 2/23 to 3/17 in the watery sign of Pisces, where several other planets have floated, creating a sea of dreamy, poetic and philosophical energeries that can help dissolve the fears that have opposed growth or offer a means to get lost in destructive addictive cycles that distract from taking action. It’s up to you to lean into waters that can not be controlled but can move through places we could not get to on our own. More cosmic fun!

 2/10/13 New Moon In Aquarius

2/18/13 Sun moves into Pisces; Saturn goes retrograde until 7/8

2/23 Mercury goes retrograde in Pisces until 3/17

2/25 Full Moon in Virgo

3/11 New Moon in Pisces 

 

 

Honoring Our Mothers

May 19th, 2012 Posted in General | 2 Comments »

Everyone is touched by Mother’s Day because everyone has a mother. No matter what your ongoing relationship is to the person connected with filling the maternal shoes in your childhood, when the second Sunday in May arrives, it shines light on those who have served a profound and unique role in our lives. This day may have been created with good intentions but it often results in an annual mixture of sweet reunions, confused expectations, hurt feelings and uncomfortable interactions. These encounters can be complicated by a history of life experiences that have never been sorted through into a current and complete understanding. For those who have lost their mothers from a literal or symbolic death, abandonment, addiction or trauma, it can be a time when some aspect of grief or longing is re-animated.

Yet nothing touches the heart like mother love. It is one of the most powerful forces in the world. We can see this not only in humanity but also among animals who raise other species as their own or when dogs risk their lives to save their human companions in times of crisis. Many of us struggle with the paradox of seeking oneness with divine love while struggling with a self-imposed shield intended to protect our hearts from the person who brought us into life. So how do we accept, honor and make peace with our exquisitely human mothers while still remaining true to our own journey?

Photo via Wade Franklin

I was given this very task almost ten years ago after having just moved into a new workshop space. I was deep in my “mother phase” of life, busily  weaving nests for many forms of community including four women’s medicine circles. One of the processes I used to access guidance and direction for our work was to consult a spiritual council of elders in meditation and prayer. As I asked about what would be the most meaningful work I could invite the women to move into as we blessed this new space, I heard: “you need to honor your mothers”. I found this rather surprising as I had done so much “mother work” personally and we had all done intentional healing around our “mother issues”,  including clearing old patterns, cutting dysfunctional cords, releasing toxic emotions, stepping outside of the shadow of our relationships with this tremendously important person in our lives. I meditated and meditated on this but nothing came from my invisible guides.

Finally I got it: we were so busy looking at our journeys from our self-centered point of view that we chasing our collective tail. If we wanted to be free of the restrictive imprint of our mothers’ impact in our lives, we needed to understand our mothers lives! Further, walking a path of the sacred feminine requires that we break the spells of the cultural myths that put mothers on a wobbly pedestal that neither supports or accurately portrays the intense demands put on one person to do the job that requires a village. We needed to somehow be willing to hear our mothers’ stories in a fuller way.

So, that is exactly what we did. These brave and open sisters surrendered the hold that the past had on their point of view and stalked their mothers’ stories. Each month, three women were assigned to share their mothers’ stories with the circle. The daughter needed to tell this story starting from birth and filling in the facts sequentially with pieces found from photos, remarks, interviews with other family members, personal memories and intuitive awareness. Each story was unique but held similar qualities of a generation of women who were expected to squeeze their multi-faceted potential into a one-size-fits-all container. The emotions and reactions ranged from laughter and tenderness to outrage over the difficulties these women suffered through in their lives. We all came to feel compassion, forgiveness and true empathy for each of our mothers as individuals in a full and deep way. We could finally see them as women who had textured lives and we were able to see their wounds, triumphs, disappointments and achievements on their terms, instead of ours. We looked forward to witnessing not only the stories but the creative way each sister chose to bring her mother to life. One of the most heart breaking and touching moments was the song one sister played to recreate the essence of her mom’s journey.

Everyone felt and experienced some degree of transformation and peace as a result of doing this extraordinary personal piece of sharing and witnessing our mother’s stories. Since I was in four circles and we subsequently offered this opportunity in several weekend workshops, I have told my mother’s story many times and it is never quite the same. As I get older I find another nuance to her behavior or decision that comes to light. As I grow and change, so does she.  As I face new challenges in my life, hidden dimensions of my mother, aunts and grandmothers all get illuminated as well. Most recently, I was diagnosed with a condition that my grandmother had; and realized that my mother and aunt had passed away before they had reached their wisdom years. It was an “aha” moment of being humbled by the power of our lineage strains while charting a path with no generational groove to follow except the one in the stars.

Take a moment to contemplate your mother’s journey; the light and the dark. This appreciation for her experience does not bind you to her pain, knot you into her expectations or require you to alter your truth for self care and strong boundaries. It simply loosens the grip of fear and provides an opportunity for self acceptance, allowing the human and spirit parts of the self to be re-balanced and re-woven into the greater web of life.

2012 Spring Equinox: Growing Golden Seeds for a New Humanity

Mar 8th, 2012 Posted in Astrology Aspects, General, The Tribal Beat | Click to comment »

Photo via Catinatree

There is a saying, “we are what we perpetually do”. This spring offers us a chance to commit to what we say we want for ourselves by giving us rich and fertile ground to plant our intentions for this special transformational year. On March 8, 2012, there is a full moon in Virgo that will illuminate what we need to bring into balance in the domain of daily habits; especially as it pertains to work and health. Virgo is one of those signs that cares about the details and making the dream into reality. No matter what we think or wish for our lives, if we don’t make it real through mindful action; it has limited value. One of my first teachers in Andean spiritual traditions, Alberto Villoldo, used to refer to this teaching from the earth-honoring tradition. He would say that you had to be able to manifest what you believed in; or “grow corn” from your ideal concepts, otherwise, you were not truly practicing what you preached.

This call to align philosophy with regular embodied practice is one of the reasons why activities such as meditation, yoga, gardening, cooking, cleaning and caring for others all ritualize life into a series of actions. Some habits support our growth and well-being and some support our suffering and dysfunction. Once again, it is what we think or the attitudes we hold about life that inform HOW we show up to these tasks. If we believe we can’t change, then we usually don’t change, unless something pushes us out of our mental box of limitations so we can take a risk.

In years past, our world has supported the stance of ‘status quo’ as the preferred vibrational tone with the black sheep or rebels of the culture (formerly thought of as most of us reading this piece:-) stepping on the path less taken. With the galactic wrecking ball moving through just about all of our cultural cornerstones; the shake up has been brutal but we can see through the illusions and limitations of the old rule-books. The instant karma of those clinging to old models of power and control over others as a means to maintain personal gain can be seen every day. Most of us are recreating or inventing some part of our lives as the result of these changes. This gives us a chance to focus the need to establish new patterns with our core values.

So how do we clarify our truths and summon the courage to act on them? This 2012 Spring Equinox energy is sure to assist us in using our energies in a meaningful way. Right after a full moon in Virgo on March 8th, Mercury (the messenger) goes retrograde in the youthful sign of Aries from March 12th until April 4th. As most of us know, when Mercury goes retrograde it is a time to remember, reflect and renew rather than start new projects, sign contracts or generally hurry through anything. In addition to this regular 119 day cycle, Mars is also retrograde with this Full Moon in Virgo. Aries is a very catalytic energy that bolts us into the beginning of the astrological new year around midnight on March 19th. This is the day of equality; the Spring Equinox is a traditional time to plant the seeds for the year’s crops. With the new moon just a couple of days later on March 22nd, the energy for power planting is even stronger. It can be helpful to note that Mars rules Aries, so this phase is more concerned with understanding and using our energy in a way that supports our daily life rather then barreling through it. This could create some frustration and irritability as primal energies are diverted into a more ordered process.

Another way to illustrate how special this cosmic energy might support our future is to reflect on how many of us are thinking about what is in our food and water and how we can help preserve and restore the purity of soil, seeds and streams. Each of us embodies the interconnected web of life; we cannot become healthier without caring for what sustains us at the most basic level. This invites us to take more ownership over what inhabits our inner and outer self. This also extends past our physical body into our emotional, mental and psychic aspects as well. During these retrograde cycles, it is a perfect time to embrace the changes our lives and the world is requesting of us. Focus on channeling the fiery and potent spring fever into steps that make a staircase to our higher self and a better world.

Take some time over the next few weeks to think about what you really value and hold precious and the areas you would like to see improve in your life. Then reflect on what you sense contributes and opposes enhancing and cultivating growth. Imagine you hold three golden seeds in your hand – seeds that hold the origin and potential for the most beautiful, abundant and fulfilling growth cycle. One seed is for you, one for your family or closer community and one for humanity/planetary family. You will be planting these luminous seeds in your three centers: divine will, higher heart and wisdom mind. See how being the soil for these seeds impact how you care for your self and interact with others, remembering they are carrying not only their golden seeds but your future is being influenced by their actions as well. Once we are out of these reorganizing cycles, the new imprint of our intentions will be assimilated into our 2012 action plan for taking responsibility of our own backyards as well as being co-creative stewards of our collective gardens just in time for Earth Day!

Upcoming Astrology Aspects

We are moving into a super cell spring season that can be tapped into to break old habits that do not serve and to energize innovative growth and expansion of projects that have seemed stalled. Until the upcoming retrograde cycles are complete in mid-April (except Saturn’s cycle which goes direct on June 25th), it’s best not to launch big new projects.

March 8, 2012: Full Moon in Virgo
International Women’s Day -Thank a woman you admire for sharing her gifts with the world; support organizational efforts that protect and enhance the rights of women for fair and equal opportunities and demanding safe environments for girls and women to live and work. Please visit our web site to view some of the organizations we love that serve girls and women throughout the world.

March 12, 2012: Mercury goes retrograde in Aries until April 4, 2012, hitting its mid-cycle at the new moon on March 22, 2012.


March 13/14, 2012
: Venus in Taurus joins up with Pluto in Capricorn and Mars in Virgo to create a strong and vibrant grand earth trine that astrologer Simone Butler describes as “a magical alignment is a rare opportunity to realize and stabilize our dreams- especially financial” and recommends we invoke Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of abundance to bless our prayers and visions.

March 19/20, 2012: The Sun moves into Aries to launch the 2012 Spring Equinox – The new year day of the zodiac, first day of spring when light and dark equalize, making it a beautiful day to ritualize intentions to bring our lives into balance.

March 22, 2012: New moon in Aries offers the most potent time to set intentions for the next six months. Because Mercury is retrograde in Aries, this auspicious new moon opens up a slightly bigger window of several days to work on visioning our dreams into form as well as rededicating ourselves to the practical (Virgo in Mars) steps necessary to take us to these inspired dreams.

 

Occupy Your Heart

Feb 7th, 2012 Posted in Astrology Aspects, General, The Tribal Beat | 1 Comment »

February has the theme of heart medicine written all over it. It is National Heart Awareness Month, with special attention being given to educating women on warning signs unique to our gender. As the Celtic goddess Brighid lit the fire of inspiration and regeneration on Imbolc to honor the stirring of an approaching Spring, the golden gates of the Chinese New Year got blasted open with a 15 day celebration to honor the Year of the Water Dragon. We will have a glorious Full Moon in Leo on February 7, 2012; the same day that Saturn goes retrograde in Libra. And of course we have Valentine’s Day on February 14th, which can either offer a playful moment for sharing our love or a means to sink into self judgment or drift into longing about relationships. It might even take us back to our schooldays when we had a shoebox filled with valentines containing mixed messages and confusing feelings about the word “love”.

Occupy Your Heart

Photo: Pixie_Bebe

Saturn, the planet that takes a magnifying glass to the structure and patterning of our lives, rotates through each zodiac sign for 2 and 1/2 years. Having taken up residence in Libra for the last two years, it has been helping us understand and improve the Libra qualities of our lives: balance, justice, fairness, beauty and yes, one-on-one relationships. As Saturn is ending its relentless tour of duty on October 5; the retrograde process offers the final inspection for these areas so we can take responsibility for meaningful change in how we show up and interact in the world of relationships.

This full moon in Leo offers us a bright communal flame to re-light our own inner fire. Leo rules the heart and features integrity, leadership and creativity. This energy encourages us to put our “heart” into whatever we do, inviting us to examine the health and wholeness of our heart functioning. We often refer to the heart as a driving force motivating our actions, thoughts and feelings, yet this vital engine is fueled by beliefs; just like any other dimension of our human experience. Each of us interprets the sensations we associate with the heart. It may serve as a place of peace and wellspring of love or it may reinforce the shadow behaviors that contribute to leaking precious energy or wasting our time on people, places and things that are not serving our higher selves.

Wisdom teachings of all traditions tell us that it is the spiritual heart that offers the internal compass for guidance towards what is best for us. The soul and heart are interchangeable terms that refer to the essential core within us that holds understanding of our true needs for personal growth and manifestation of our potential. The animating energy for this spiritual heart is love and the generator is passion. It is good to keep in mind that the energetic heart is a complex vessel that has many facets and dimensions within that need to be cleansed, energized and connected so that the soul can hold court in this golden chamber of divine love and light. Just like the box of valentines from our childhood, the heart can store the mixed messages of delight and hurtful memories of our life experiences. This fear and false protection can turn into resistance, constriction and numbness in the heart center. These energetic blocks can be just as dangerous as the physical ones for our health and well being.

This full moon phase holds the remedy we need to take back ownership of our heart. By aligning with the energy of optimism fueled by a divine fire, we can re-ignite our passion without the drama of old perceptions and attachments. Puran and Susanna Bair, founders of Heart Rhythm Meditation offer clear and deep methods for healing the heart in their book, Energize Your Heart: “When your heart is energized, the world becomes a much more beautiful place. Do not be concerned about protecting your open heart. What comes out of your heart has more impact upon you than what comes toward your heart.” Building a bridge from the will to the heart requires courage, faith and forgiveness.

Just like the activists who have found strength in their outrage over the imbalance of power that shuts out full access to resources, we need to break through the resistance and occupy our hearts!

Here is a simple visualization/meditation that utilizes the energies of the full moon combined with the Saturn and Mars retrograde to reclaim ownership of the heart center:

In a quiet setting allow breaths to deepen and lengthen. Balancing inhales and exhalations, allow the breath to drop down into the center of your chest. Imagine the sphere of the full moon encasing the heart center so that the depth, range and wholeness of the heart center can be rejuvenated with this nourishing sense of fullness. Continue breathing with a shift of focus to the crown of the head, connecting with the energy of the sun, which is connected with the heart and Leo. Allow the strength, vitality, power and warmth of the sun’s rays to flow into each in breath, washing the walls and interior sections of the heart. Allow any trapped memories and associated fears; emotions and mindsets to be burned off like the morning fog and cleared with each exhale. Finally, remembering that the sun is a star, let the bright positive magic of your North Star reanimate the passion, love and buoyancy of your healthy heart, returning to its natural rhythm, beating a strong and stable heartbeat. Finally, anchor your intentions into the sacred chamber within the heart center so your soul is back in charge of the epicenter of your life, emanating courage and optimism.

As Leo also focuses on creativity and the needs of the inner child, you may want to make a Valentine’s Day box decorated with images that symbolize what makes your heart happy and joyful. Fill it with little notes of prayers, dreams and wishes for yourself, family, community and our beloved planet so we can make 2012 the year of the Happy Heart~

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