Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Perfect Gift - Tools for Self-Knowledge

Why not order an astrology report for someone you love this Christmas? Or better yet a Day Watch Calendar which will show the transits in relation to their unique natal chart. UNTIL THE END OF 2009. Order a Day Watch Calendar and receive one of the following reports FREE - Opportunities, The Sky Within, or Asteroid Report.

Order by clicking the buttons in the side bar where you pay through PayPal. I will send you the report via email.

Mars Retrograde - Streetcar Named Desire

On Sunday, December 20, 2009, Mars goes retrograde in Leo. Since the cycle of Mars is around 2 years, it usually remains in any sign around 2 months. Mars goes retrograde every other year. The complete retrograde cycle, including stationing points and 'shadow' periods, makes it so that Mars will stay in the sign of Leo for around 8 months. Mars went into Leo on October 16, 2009 and will stay in Leo until June 6, 2010.

Mars represents the archetype of action, the instinct to become and go after what we want in life. In western astrology, Mars is the god of war, although in mythology, Mars never killed anyone.

The sign of Aries, ruled by Mars is a fire sign that has an instinct to act and speak without thinking. Like a child, Aries is pure, no ulterior motives. Aries people need a lot of physical activity and have a hard time staying still. They need to move and because of their impulsive nature, can be accident prone, especially when out of balance.

Mars/Aries needs complete freedom to be who it wants to be and shape its own reality. This is increased when in Leo, another fire sign.

Mars in Leo has an incredible urge for creative self-expression. There is a need to be the center of attention, no matter what the consequences. By any means necessary... so that the person may resort to clowning or acting out, just to get the attention that is craved. The behavior is without malice however, and the person who blurts out the secret they promised to keep, did so naively, not wanting to cause harm, just wanting to have something to say or to be noticed.

Retrograde... all this external expression is frustrated... stopped even. Depending on the person, this bottled-up energy could become toxic if there are not ways to let it out. For those who have a regular exercise routine or spiritual practice, there will be an increase of energy to channel and work with.

In general, retrograde periods are times to review, reflect, revise and I would add, rest and restore. Thankfully, this retrograde is occurring in the winter when most people are not as active anyway. The weather and the holidays tend to keep people indoors. It is very important that we find suitable outlets for the pent-up energy or we may find ourselves in conflict with others over minor issues.

This is a good time to do some strategic planning for projects to be launched in late spring/early summer.

In Evolutionary Astrology, Mars represents conscious desire, while Pluto represents unconscious desire. There are two directions for the manifestation of these desires - one is separation from Source (manifestation on the Earth plane), the other returning to Source. This is part of our nature and the cycle of Creation. We are supposed to separate fully, then return. Only when we have satisfied all separating desires, can we be ready to return.

This is one of the major problems faced in religion and spiritual groups. There is a tendency to discredit and even demonize earthly existence. People want to transcend this level of existence in favor of 'higher' dimensions, reunion with God, bliss. But the whole intent of Creation is that you BE HERE NOW! You were born to have a human life which includes relationships, work, emotions, etc. There is a purpose to this, even if we cannot see it. You cannot pray away your separating desires, you must exhaust them. Which means, they must be acted upon and expressed and... the results must be faced as well. All of it: the good, the bad and the ugly. This is part of natural law. At our current level, things appear to be divided into polarities that we call 'good' and 'bad'. This is the level of manifestation on the Earth plane. The more we try to deny it or ignore it... the longer it will take to complete and harder to accept.

Just look at all the so-called spiritual and religious leaders who end up in prison (or who should end up in prison). The natural expression of sexuality if repressed becomes evil, toxic and criminal. The natural expression of the desire for material possessions, if denied, becomes embezzlement, theft.

So during this long period of Mars retrograde, deliberate and well-thought out action - while slower - will be well-rewarded. Take the time to think about what you really want to create for the rest of your life.

For many of us baby boomers, this Mars retrograde in Leo will conjunct, at some time in the next 8 months, our natal Pluto. At that point, unconscious desires may become conscious. Some of you may be surprised and shocked at what you find out about yourself.

Take these revelations as gifts. Your unconscious, which usually manifests itself in dreams, will be more available to you during this period. This can be very helpful, because you may find out that, in fact, you have competing desires. Part of you wants success in the world while the other part wants to be hidden in a monastery. Part may desire wealth, whereas the other part took a vow of poverty. This will be a time to re-evaluate then, possibly, take new vows. But remember, you always get what you want - eventually. The trouble is that we have not yet mastered time and space and so... when the thing we wanted comes along....the timing is wrong. Or, more often, we did not ask for enough. When you are broke, 10,000 seems like a lot. But 10 years later when you get a windfall, it is not enough. It would be better to want prosperity, which, of course, is relative.

We tend to 'want' specific things. During this time it is can be useful to think about how you want to feel - this need not be dependent on circumstances. Believe it or not, you can 'feel' gratitude any time... all the time, no matter what.

This may be a time to release some of the separating desires... to see that we really don't want to party all night anymore. We are really done with that. And it is okay. Or to see that we have gotten into habits due to the circumstances we are in and that certain things just do not fit anymore. When we are in social relationships, we may find it difficult to change because of the expectations of others. But...using the courage of Mars...the adventuring spirit of Mars...what do we have to lose to find out? Maybe the other person/persons want a change too. We have to have courage to be ourselves, even if that means we are alone.

One of the aspects of Leo is the need to be loved and admired by others. Fearing rejection, we conceal our true nature. A life spent like that, is a life not lived. It is a life controlled and owned by others. No one should be the author/authority of your life but you. Don't worry about who will love you. Who will you love? Love yourself first.

"This above all: to thine own self be true,/And it must follow, as the night the day,/Thou cans't not be false to any man" from Hamlet by Shakespeare. You know Hamlet, he's the one who said, "to be or not to be, that is the question." Indeed, that is the question. Do you want to live your life or not and how do you want to live it?

If you want be loving, honest, compassionate, forgiving - start with yourself. How can you be honest with others if you lie to yourself? Living someone else's life... saying you are doing it to keep the peace or whatever the reason, is the act of a coward. Blaming others for your cowardice is (to me) a crime of the spirit. It takes courage to live your own life, but if you do, it is worth it. Remember the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz? He wanted courage. He wanted to know that no matter what, he was loved. But he had to take a chance in order to find what he really wanted. There are no guarantees.

Take this time to slow down and look inside to find out what you really want. When Mars turns direct at 0 Leo on March 10, it will be time to begin to act. Mars will be completely out of the shadow May 17, 2010 and you should be launching your new life at that time.

For an astrological reading, contact me by leaving your email in the comment section. I will not publish it.

To learn more about Evolutionary Astrology click here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lighten Your Load, Enlighten Your Soul - New Moon December 16, 2009

The upcoming New Moon in Sagittarius at 24°39' on December 16, 2009, is conjunct the current location of the Galactic Center at 26°55'.

An enormous Black Hole was discovered at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy through the huge amounts of electromagnetic energy pouring out from it. Gamma, x-ray, infrared and radio waves coming out of the Galactic Center affect the electromagnetic fields of Earth and all its inhabitants.

This upcoming New Moon (conjunction of Sun and Moon) is conjunct the Galactic Center. Occurring just 5 days before the Solstice on December 21, I believe this is a very significant New Moon for seeding our intention for the next several years.

In general, New Moons represent new beginnings. A time to set your intention for the coming month. In many cultures, the month begins with the New Moon. The New Moon is actually the first sighting of the Moon after 2/3 days of Dark Moon - not being able to see the Moon at all.

Since we are only 3 years from December 21, 2012, I plan to set my intention on this New Moon because it is conjunct the Galactic Center and, significantly for me, conjunct my natal Jupiter and opposing my natal Uranus. This New Moon seeds my life for the next three years.

In my last long post on my 2012 blog, I wrote about the importance of focus. Interestingly, Stephanie Austin in her article in the current issue of The Mountain Astrologer, reiterates that theme saying "This New Moon in Sagittarius urges us to look deeply at our lives and the choices we are making. It reminds us of the power of focus -- just as a laser can do much more than a scattered beam of light, so our consciousness is vastly more powerful when we concentrate on our life purpose and what really matters."

Sagittarius, the ninth sign in the astrological cycle is represented by a man with the body of a horse. He holds a bow and aims his arrow high, seeking the answers to the BIG QUESTIONS.... What is the meaning of life? Why am I here? What is my purpose? Where did I come from? Where am I going?

While many people content themselves with job, family, home and recreation, some of us (like me) have been motivated to seek the answers to these questions. Since I have been on Facebook, I have been reuniting with many old friends and lovers. I was curious to see "how they turned out." They did the usual things... married, got jobs, had children, bought a house.

I have sought none of those things. Instead, I have been studying, traveling, sitting at the feet of spiritual teachers, meditating and contemplating the meaning of life, for as long as I can remember. Learning that my natal Jupiter conjuncts the Galactic Center and my natal Uranus opposes the GC, have helped me understand why I was so driven. Although we all have the GC at the same degree of Sagittarius in our natal charts, we vary in our house placements and planetary aspects. For a Galactic Center reading, please contact me.

The GC is located in my 4th house, which represents 'where you are coming from'. This can mean your home and family background, cultural conditioning, traditions you grew up with. I can also mean your soul's origin, the place you came from... in the larger sense. By contrast, the 10th house is who you will be in the world - your 'career' and what you will achieve while on planet Earth. You are born from the 4th house, you mature into the 10th and when you die, you return to the 4th.

With my Sun and Uranus in Gemini in the 10th house and Ascendant in Virgo, I see that part of my 'reason for being here' is to serve as a spokesperson for this time of cycle ending. Only after my many years of study, my travels and my experiences am I able to fulfill my mission.

I see my mission as twofold: 1) teaching the writing system so people can read what the ancient Maya said or did not say. 2) assisting people during this challenging time of transformation/transition through plant-based modalities such as flower essences and aromatherapy.

I teach courses on Maya Hieroglyphs, the Calendar and 2012, so, I read whatever I can find on these topics. As you can imagine, the quantity of material is increasing as we approach the date of December 21, 2012, the end of a cycle of 5125 years. There is very little that is original. Most is a rearranging of what others have said. I admit, it is difficult to have original ideas about this, because the 'data' is so limited. By data, I am referring to what the ancient Maya actually wrote. What we mostly have is New Age interpretation of the meaning of this upcoming event.

From time to time, I find something in this perusal of the literature that I believe can help people navigate this time period. Two concepts are crucial at this time and one might consider them especially during this New Moon.

The first is that of releasing and letting go. Lately many of us are being 'forced' to let go. Our lives may be more about loss than anything else right now. The secret then is to be okay with it. Mourn and grieve for a time, but move on. See yourself as on a journey where holding on weighs you down. You need to be free to move forward. Like refugees who start out with huge packs on their backs, then shed them as they go, leaving piles of stuff along the road, drop your baggage. It is weighing you down and where you are going, you won't need it. There is no way to fully prepare for what is coming so don't encumber yourself with packets of food or extra clothes.

The second is focus your attention and intention on the light up ahead. Make yourself into a laser beam which will connect you to the Light that is being directed towards us at this time. The more concentrated your light, the faster and easier it will be for you to move.

The word 'focus' is from Latin and it means 'hearth, cooking fire'. Traditionally, this was the center of a home or community. It later became symbolized as the place where the sacred fire was kept - an altar.

Mayan Cosmology, as reflected in the sky, posits the 'hearth of heaven', the 'three stone place' as composed of three stars, while the hearth of Earth is the traditional cooking fire in the home. The 'three stone place' is the place of creation. It is marked by Alnitak (one of the three stars in the belt of Orion), Saiph and Rigel)(Alnitak is in the position which corresponds to the Great Pyramid at Giza.) At the center of this triangular 'hearth' sits the M42 nebula which often appears 'smoky' due to clouds. One might ask themselves how the Maya could see this with unaided vision.

Sufis see the heart as the center of the human being. Cultivating the fire in the heart has to do with compassion, acceptance, forgiveness - Love. Many of the spiritual practices of Sufism have to do with removing the rust that coats the heart and prevents us from truly seeing each other as the sparks of the Divine that we truly are. Our hearts have become armored through betrayal, disappointment, and fear. Our job is purify ourselves by letting go of the pain - dropping our burden. We don't have to hang on to it. We need to move forward in Trust that all our needs will be taken care of. Lighten your load, enlighten your soul.

Now is the time to begin. Each moment offers another opportunity to begin again. The more times you begin the more chance you have of continuing. It is significant that this New Moon occurs the day before the Urs of Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi (Urs means the reunion with the Beloved, the wedding day - death.) One of his poems says:

Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.
It doesn't matter.

Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow
a thousand times.
Come, yet again, come, come.

~Inscribed on Rumi's Shrine in Konya, Turkey

Four years ago at this time, I was there along with pilgrims from all over the world. Another saying written in his tomb is: "Do not look for me in the tomb. I am not there. I am in the hearts of the Believers."