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

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