Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fear & Love on the Spiritual Path

In her last new moon report, astrologer Anne Ortelee takes us back ten years to May of 2000, when transiting Saturn and Jupiter formed a conjunction and began a new cycle of growth and awareness of the forces of CONTRACTION and EXPANSION in our lives.

What was I beginning around May 2000?  Well, I graduated from college around that time.  That was a major completion...but what was beginning?  As I look back over the past ten years, I can see clearly what began to emerge at that time.  It was my own connection to SPIRIT.  I bought my first "spiritual" book, One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth, and I tried meditation for the first time.

Ten years ago, for all of us, there was a beginning, and now, as Jupiter opposes Saturn, there is the opportunity for clarity about what is blossoming after ten long years of exploration, learning, and growing.  What has the through-line been for you these past ten years?  What has grown up from a tiny sapling to now stand strong as a young Oak, brilliant and magnificent for all to see?

For me, it has been a deep spiritual journey.  It has been an ever cycling experience of EXPANSION and CONTRACTION.  Saturn is a symbol for contraction, fear, pessimism, separation, solitude.  Jupiter is a symbol of expansion, love, faith and optimism, unity in diversity, and inclusion.  Of all these qualities or states of being, it is a deeper intimacy with FEAR and LOVE that I feel the past ten years have gifted me.

I don't know about you, but I have become so aware of these two forces that dance with each other, in and through all experience.  Actually, what I have come to realize, is that LOVE simply remains as it is; open, present, free, always available, while FEAR plays its games with us.  They are not truly equal forces.  There is no war between fear and love.  For there to be a war, you must have at least two opposing forces.  Love does not oppose.  Love does not defend.  Love simply is.  Only fear fights to retain some illusion of being apart from love.

What am I getting at?

It seems we really have an opportunity now to SEE CLEARLY the FEAR and LOVE in our lives.  They appear to us to be in stark contrast, and we can watch these two forces at work in us and our world.  From moment to moment we can watch how fear begins in our thoughts and bodies, attempting to protect and defend our sense of EGO, when perhaps there really is no threat.  We can watch all those lies that fear cooks up about our unworthiness and shame.  We can really watch the mechanism at work when it rises up, placing walls between us and our loved ones, hardening our hearts, and tempting us into a pressurized dungeon of alone-ness.

And we can watch when we are BEING and BECOMING free of fear's grip.  We can see how the world looks to us in those moments when we are expressing from our true selves instead of our false selves.  In love, we allow and accept ALL OF THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE, which includes our own fear and overcoming of the fear.  When love comes a'knockin', we watch all the walls come down, and we bask in the miracle of life.  We feel at one with life.  We recognize our brothers and sisters for who they are.  We feel ourselves blessed to be spiritual beings having this experience, whatever it is, here and now.

Ten years ago, when I first began consciously on my spiritual path, I thought that I had to eradicate all fear and become perfect.  There was this ideal of what a spiritual person was supposed to look like.  Now, as this awareness blossoms inside of me, I see that I will never become that ideal, and that's okay.  That's one of fear's lies-that I must become something other than what I already am and what I am already becoming.  At anytime, I can see myself through the eyes of love and accept myself as I am; a child of the Universe, ever BEING, ever BECOMING something more.

As this new awareness opens for us, let's give ourselves plenty of room to expand and contract, to allow the in-breath and the out-breath, to accept the cycling periods of rest and activity, and to allow ourselves to have our fears and love them and ourselves anyway.

Let's look back and appreciate how much we've grown over these ten years and just how much we have learned to spite of the fear.

 Osho Zen Tarot

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Perfect Being...

This has been a strange week.  I've felt "off."  Low energy.  More sleep.  Foggy mind.  Juicy dreams.  A vague haze surrounding my day-to-day.

Has anyone been experiencing the same?

In the past, I used to get angry at myself for feeling "off," or I'd get angry at the world for continuing to expect the same performance from me.  I used to beat myself up and use the "off" symptoms as a way to prove that I was damaged goods, broken...that something was wrong with me.  And boy-oh-boy did I try to get in there an fix it!  This was an on-going cycle of self-denial and self-hate.

This week I could have given myself a little more acceptance, a little more room to snooze a little bit longer before rising to prepare for work.  I could have allowed myself more room to be "off," and taken more time for myself to simply slow down and be with myself.  Perhaps the slowing down would have lead me to taking a day OFF from work, and who knows where that would have lead...

But I can say that there is more room here, now, for whatever is expressing inside of me than there used to be.  This week I was able to acknowledge the ebb in energy and concentration.  Even though I chose to go out into the world and work-business as usual-I allowed myself to be low energy and lacking in concentration.  I didn't fight it.  I gave myself the permission to relax a little bit more in my chair and indulge in longer periods of doing nothing.  I let myself have the damn coffee, too!

Still, before leaving work for the day, I heard the quiet voice of Spirit nudging me to take some time for honor where I am and to nourish myself from within.

So, what did I do when I got home?  I lit a candle, rubbed some essential oil ("Purification" from Young Living Essential Oils) onto my body at the chakra points, selected some crystals to place at each chakra, began playing Buddha Nature by Deuter, and gave myself an hour long Reiki self-care session.

Ah...just what the doctor ordered.

During the session, I let my mind and energy wander wherever it needed to go.  On my journey there were partly cloudy skies morphing into and out of cotton candy-like shapes.  There were vast oceans, and there I was floating peacefully in their calm waters.  Vines grew up from the Earth and wrapped around my body, supporting me, anchoring me, and giving me strength.  Every now and then, I would see colors and energies coming into and going out of my body and energy field.  Every now and then, a deep breath of realignment would well up from nowhere and fall into nothingness...

And somewhere in there, these words bubbled up from the stillness -

"Perfect being...perfect becoming..."

After rising, I selected a tarot card from my Fifth Tarot deck:

A mini-song that I wrote long ago drifted back into my awareness...

"...I am a part of the Universe
The Universe inside of me
Every amazing little thing
Is a part of you, is a part of me
We are a part of each other..."

The Universe card was a perfect mirror for the harmony and balance I was experiencing in that moment.

This perfection of being and becoming that we are can be experienced anytime, whether we are still or in motion.  These "off" days can be the perfect opportunity to slow down, realign, and return to the peace and stillness at the center of being.

Peace and blessings from the center...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Epic Breakthrough!

This is an article that I wrote for a good friend and holistic health practitioner, Brenda McDaniel, and her friend and colleague, Donald Piranty.  In June, they are holding a 4-day practical holistic living workshop in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and they felt that getting attuned to the current astrological climate would help them and their workshop participants navigate this time of great change and renewal.

Spring 2010 – Astrological View (written 4/27/10)

~ Epic Breakthrough!

Everyone is familiar with the energy of Spring: new energy and vitality bursting forth, zest for life springing forward, and new possibilities erupting all around. This Spring is no different. We will feel this urgency to go forth and create something new in our lives, and this time, there is great potential for epic BREAKTHROUGH within and without! Life is calling us forward into a new paradigm of living. Although we will still be healing and transforming old patterns of habit and belief that no longer serve us, the coming CHANGE is imminent.

Osho Zen Tarot

On April 19th, Chiron, planet of healing, integration, and multi-dimensional awareness, moved into Pisces, the sign of transcendence and compassion. This shift is bringing a greater sensitivity to the work that must be done in order to heal and allow more of our soul potential to shine through in our day-to-day lives. We are now beginning to receive impulses to not only heal and transform what is divided within us, but to go forward expressing our new found wholeness and vision in the world. My sense is that there is a mounting force and momentum that we can ride into a new and improved mode of BEING and BECOMING. We may all experience ourselves feeling more alive than we have felt in a long time, as we manifest more of our true selves in our daily lives. Though this transformation and breakthrough may feel overwhelming at times, there is a great deal of energetic support to move through the changes with a new sense of trust, wholeness, and hope for the future.

This is also a time of PURIFICATION in our lives, as we release energy from the past so that we can express the new. The future of new possibilities and manifested vision is calling us forward out of our safe and familiar boxes. Look back at the last two years of your own life to see what relationships, habits, beliefs, and paths have become a thing of the past in order to make room for this NEW VISION. This Spring increases the purification and breakthrough-to-new-paradigm energy that we have been dealing with since November 4th of 2008, when Saturn opposed Uranus for the first time. For the 4th time in this cycle, on April 26th, these two planetary lights are polarizing again; Uranus is sending shock-waves of liberation through Saturn, inviting any outdated structures to give way to the new. Pluto, planet of empowerment and transformation, is also a part of the mix. He will be in a t-square configuration with Uranus and Saturn all Spring. For us, all of this energetic stimulation might manifest as periods of deep introspection and purification alternating with periods of feeling as if we are soaring and breaking through into new realms of possibility. As we launch ourselves into the new from the old structures that are dissolving, we are being asked to manage our resources wisely and stay grounded while we allow the shifts and changes within and around us.

This Spring continues the changes that have been ongoing for the past two years and introduces something new to the mix, as Uranus enters Aries on May 27th. This will bring an electric, expansive energy, and we are all likely to be swept up in the enthusiastic and courageous energy of Aries and the liberating expanded perceptions of Uranus. This energy is freeing us up to create anew. This is rebirth time! It appears that many potential seeds of creativity that have been gestating and growing in quiet will now be erupting into our awareness. Much deep cleansing will happen as this new energy begins to gain momentum, pulsing and flowing like a great river, carrying us ahead into the summer solstice on June 21st.

So, keywords for this Spring are PURIFICATION and BREAKTHROUGH. If we honor these energetic impulses, we may find ourselves nourishing our body-mind with healthier foods, committing to new ways of exercising and caring for our bodies, deepening our spiritual practices, and sharing our new sense of hope and vision with the world around us. This Spring, we say goodbye to the past and welcome new life!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Peace & Hope with the Taurus New Moon

Hello, everyone!  I feel like I've been away on a long hibernation.  I needed a break.  I needed to rest and renew.  Life is moving so fast these days, and my 2008 and 2009 were so full and rich.  And I needed time to process all that happened in such a short time.

All of us are CHANGING and moving through these great times of CHANGE.  I don't know about you, but I am excited!  There is so much to be thankful for.

Before I go into the energies of this NEW MOON in TAURUS, I want to share some music with you.  This is a song I sang with One Voice of Sacred Center New York last Spring.  It was the perfect gift as I said goodbye to New York, and the perfect beginning as I said hello to the unknown before me.  It says so much about the way I have always felt about life...the mystery...the gift...the experiences that we have that fill us to exploding sometimes...our very real human lives.  It helps me to feel my SOUL and remember that there is room for all of it.  THERE IS ROOM FOR ALL OF IT.  And I am so thankful for ALL of it!

"Esperanto" ~ (from Esperanca, which is Portuguese for "Hope")
Music by Vince Mendoza
Lyrics by Kurt Elling

There's a secret that never dies -
like a song of hidden meanings that we never apprehend.
There are questions just as old as time
and the answers that come never quite make amends.
Even so, when you look at time
you can get a subtle feeling of the way it ought to be.
Take a good look at your own real life
and you'll see if you want what you've gotten to be.
It's a hope, a sign, a measure of quiet rapture -
of love and what may come after.
It's let-ting go, and letting no answer be an answer.
How did smoke learn how to fly? - Where do birds go off to die?
Why does coal sleep in darkness? - Do dreams live in apart-ness?
Is a number forever? - Where's the soul of the water?
How old is old November? - No one here can remember.
If I die, where does time go? - Do the bees feel ver-ti-go?
To get love - is there potion? - Or is love on-ly mo-tion?
Holy lift, holy reading - holy gift, holy needing.
Holy sound, holy waiting - holy spark a-ni-ma-ting.
Holy food, holy breathing - holy light in-ter-wea-ving.
Holy night, holy hand-write - holy flight, holy in-sight.
Holy sun, holy brother - holy moon, holy mother.
Holy dream, holy vision - holy scheme, holy mission:
Holy one to a-no-ther - holy me, holy other.
Holy lives, holy blending - holy start, holy ending.
Sit back and listen to it, here.

May 13th
8:04 PM CDT
23 degrees of TAURUS

Within this tumultuous Spring energy, there is an opportunity to relax, to be at peace, and to touch your soul essence.  There is an opportunity for a deep letting go and a simple communion with BEING.  Be here with the body.  Be here with the mind.  Be here with all that is in the moment.  The serenity and peace of Taurus at rest in the field can be experienced.  This is a time when we can all feel deeply present in our bodies and connected to Mother Earth.  We can tune-in to the place inside us that is always at rest.  As new moons are times of beginnings and renewals, begin something that connects you to your deep peace...something that connects you to your own body and sense of sensuous presence in your life.  For me, this evening, it is listening to a song of HOPE...a soothing voice...and feeling the comforting vibrations of the Brazilian quartz blessed by "John of God" that I hold in my hand.  Let's take walks and feel the warm air on our skin.  Let's smell the flowers.  Let's hug someone for a real long time.  Let's gaze at the sunset.  Let's thank our bodies for doing so much for us that we rarely ever give thought to.  Let's take a moment to enjoy our peaceful center.

Take some time over the next few days to PAUSE and breathe deeply.  Ask your own soul to give you a message about the energy of this new moon and what it means for you.

One thing TAURUS teaches us is to TAKE IT EASY.  There is no hurry.  SLOW DOWN, and ask your soul to give you a deep experience of PEACE to help you connect to your own new beginnings.

The Fifth Tarot

When I first turned over this card, I thought of the depth and fullness of the ocean and how it reflects our own deep, ever ebbing and flowing feelings and emotions.  We may have a great deal of emotion bubbling up from our depths at this time.  We may need to find a quiet space away from it all in order to feel this deep peace within.  If we can sit with whatever is arising in our emotional bodies and just experience attachment...we can touch the center of our peace.

In the next few days of this new moon energy, I would love to hear about the PEACE you have touched within your own lives.  And so it is.