Friday, September 19, 2014

Gorge-us: An Autumn Equinox Poem

© 2014 by Joyce Mason

Trees so stuffed
they spit acorns
at my innocent bystander house.
Squirrels hit the jackpot,
gather their winnings
for winter feasts in hidden dreys.

Oaks aren’t the half of it.
Maples scream red-oranges.
Quaking aspens strike so much gold;
they quiver.

I worry, long after Virgo,
that I’ll never be able
to sort or digest
such blazing beauty--
colors, food, richness
busting out all over--
to find its nugget of truth.

Yet in my basket
from the farmer’s market
lies evidence of miracles.
Just seeds in spring,
 no other analysis needed.

I look to my own life
boggled by six months' growth
with all of autumn
still to gorge on.


Photo Credit: © pilipphoto -

Want my outlook for Autumn? Read Autumn 2014: The Heart of Beauty on the Harmonic Concordance Blog.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thrival Kits for the PUNC Planets: Uranus

  Article © 2014 by Joyce Mason

Author’s Note: See the introductory post, Thrival Kits for the PUNC Planets, for background on this four-part series.

I chose the photo for this Uranus Thrival Kit because it reminds me of Michelangelo’s painting in the Sistine Chapel, the Creation of Adam. The fresco illustrates the story in Genesis where God breathes life into the first man. [1]

Uranus is the God-spark, transmitted to human beings, zapping them with divine electricity or electric divinity. It is the spark of life.

Uranian people and transits are transmission lines for the Divine Juice. Uranus drafts you as a grid for distributing light. It takes some shoring up for most human nervous systems to handle the high voltage. But make no mistake—transmissions are involved and jolts that sometimes shock us into new realities.

If you’re like me, Uranian by birth (Uranus square Sun in my case), you have an addiction to excitement and probably to caffeine. These things are Uranian, along with low boredom threshold. If these characteristics “aren’t you,” you might develop them during these transits. Another thing to be aware of so the change doesn’t alarm you: Uranus transits can lead to insomnia because of the excitement factor. You might have to negotiate with your nervous system about exchanging some of your caffeine for zzz’s.

What Uranus Asks of You

The opening pictures are so powerful because they represent what Uranus wants—to spark and inject you with light. Uranus wants your body. Your choice is to resist and have a very miserable experience—I hate to say it, but it would be akin to rape because it’s going to happen either way. Choice B: You can find the reasons to love this God of Life and to relish his overtures of intimacy. (Goddess, if you prefer her advances. Uranus is androgynous.) Those come-ons may be unpredictable, foreign, shocking and render you feeling so unique and isolated; you’re the cheese who stands alone in the nursery rhyme, The Farmer in the Dell. On the upside, they are exhilarating, stimulating and thrilling as you get major glimpses of the big picture of where you’re going and where humanity itself is heading. Hang onto your socks and decide to enjoy the ride.

Uranus asks you to take risks, to be willing to feel alone at times in your unique perspective on the leading edge. It also asks you to relish the role of catalyst and to know that long-term progress is worth some short-term discomfort.

What You May Be Resisting

Uranus is progress. It's Change with a Capital C. We all resist change. It’s only human to grip onto what’s normal, regular and routine, because all of life is change. What doesn’t change very much or very quickly is an oasis in this chronic, underlying shake-up.  Gripping the familiar is like using a hand rail on stairs, a seat belt in your car, or a net if you’re an aerial acrobat. Giving up these grounding rituals and the safety implied in them is difficult, especially during Big Change Times.

Like all the outer planets, Uranus tests our trust. For a while, we have to ride our bikes and let go of the handle bars. (“Look, Ma! No hands!”) As children, we relished these moments of pure freedom
that Uranus brings. As adults, we have slowly let more fear creep into our bodies and beings until we barely know how to mix in a little risk to have the thrill of the ride.

Sometimes we don’t want even a glimpse of what’s ahead. We have talked ourselves into thinking it’s too scary. I have had clients and friends who don’t want to look, and they are adamant about it. (Not even a peek.) I have always felt there is more power in knowing where I’m headed, even if I don’t know the details of the journey. Digging your heels into the present and/or past is, of course, your option. Unfortunately, the result is that Uranus will have to send more volts of shock and disruption to awaken you to the next steps on your path. To me, that’s much scarier.

The Shift Needed to Thrive

What we need to bring to Uranus transits is something we actually learn from Chiron, namely, that things don’t have to be either/or. They can be both/and. In other words, you won’t lose the best of the past or present. You can take it with you into the future.  Here's a great exercise to do during a Uranus transit:

Pack an imaginary suitcase of what you most love in your past and present and take it with you into the future. You will figure out, with the help of Uranus, how to update these treasures to fit into where your life is headed next. However, make it a small carry-on, not a trunk. If you can’t carry it easily, you can expect it to pop open and all that’s truly unnecessary will fall out. 

If taking the blessings of past love and learning into the future weren’t possible and, in fact, highly recommended, there would be no wisdom. We learn by experience. Uranus asks us to be open to new ones and to integrate these new experiences withwhat we already know.

To thrive: Be willing to see the big picture of your life and how life itself is directing you to your next chapters.

How to Dance with Uranus’s Change of Tune

This is a time where it’s not only OK; it’s advisable for you to be future-oriented, oddball, extra insightful, brilliant and to voice your personal genius and apply it to your own issues and to those in the communities you’re part of. The dance of Uranus is rock ‘n’ roll—sporadic, jerky, individualistic, and done with partners but while doing your own thing in tandem.

It’s probably easier for you to do the dance if you have a big dose of Uranus natally. If you don’t, consult your Uranian friends about feeling Uranian for a season and ask how they deal with some of these issues on an ongoing basis. They have had time to get used to channeling this wild and crazy energy. You are morphing, and PUNC people in general—those with plenty of outerplanetary energy in their natal charts—make good companions for finding your way and maximizing your experience. Not to mention PUNCs rock!

Take your cue from that Uranian music, rock ‘n’ roll: Do your own thing with others and see what kind of interesting Improv comes out of all that shaking and self-expression in close proximity to each other.

Now for some resources:

  • Astrology readings – Any outerplanetary transit is a great time for a reading, but since many people consider Uranus the modern ruler of astrology, it seems especially apropos. Not only that, but astrologers are Uranian by nature and represent those high-voltage people who can relate to you in your quickened state. Your astrologer will probably have plenty of tools and clinical experience to supplement your understanding and toolkit for thriving during this transit. He or she may also be a vehicle for any Uranian flash insights that you need to hear.
  •  Energy work – Uranus transits ask you to amp up your capacity for receiving divine/cosmic transmissions. Thus, it’s a fantastic time to do bodywork that’s energy related. Here’s an article on Five Types of Energy Healing for Holistic Health, including Reiki, Polarity Therapy, Qigong, Shiatsu and Matrix Energetics. Explore more deeply what resonates, and if none do, let this lead you to other experiments with Dr. Google, Bing—or your favorite search engineer. “Experiment” is a Uranian word, and it’s a great time to try something that would normally seem offbeat to you.
  •  Structural bodywork – Back to the electrical grid analogy: the higher the voltage you are running in your system during Uranian events, the more you need to have your network in great working order to handle the load. The spine is central to our nervous system. It’s a good time to focus on this crucial structure. Consider chiropractic, especially chiropractic and other therapies that center on the neurological relationship to spinal alignment. And how hard would regular massage be to take during this transit? From an energetic standpoint, your physical vehicle is on overload. Pamper yourself as much as possible.
  • Medical and mental health issues – We are talking about a transit that affects your nervous system and a time when you could be more overactive in your neurological and mental faculties. Nervousness, hyper-excitement, and medical conditions related to these systems are possibilities—but note, not probabilities. If you have any symptoms along these lines, please follow-up with an appropriate practitioner, if you feel like something’s “off,” getting a bit out of control, or if those around you think so.

    The latter point is especially important. During a Uranus transit—and when we have a lot of Uranian energy natally—we are very independent and can’t imagine anyone else knows our unique selves better than we do. Guess again. Sometimes this is far from the truth, as we are off on our cloud anticipating and creating the future. We may not be well grounded in our bodies. Our closest intimates may see better than we do when we’re in danger of system overload.
  • Friendly herbs – A Uranus transit is a great time to consider help from an herbalist. According to The Mountain Rose Blog: “Nervines are herbs that specifically support the nervous system. Their effects range from tonics like Skullcap and Oat Tops, to mildly calming herbs like Catnip and Chamomile, to strongly sedative ones like Valerian and Hops.”  
  • Grounding – Big electrical loads require adequate grounding. Grounding activities are especially important during these transits or if you have a large natal load of Uranian energy. Examples: meditation, walking; walking barefoot, especially in dirt, sand or grass; spending time in nature and with the Earth element. Eating can be grounding, so eat heavier foods, if your Uranian buzz increases—meat, carbs and root vegetables. Get enough sleep. Don’t hang out just with other Uranian geniuses. (You are one, temporarily or permanently!) Be sure your most salt-of-the-earth friends are in the mix during this high resonating transit period. The most down-to-earth people who make you laugh and bring you from the future into the present moment are your best bet. Back to not either/or but both/and: Don’t throw out all your routines, only the ones that beg for change. A little ritual will help you cope with a lot of changes.

    Minimize things that are ungrounding by nature: flying (literally being up in the air), fasting (see above), and exposure to too much wind. These are overdoses of the air element. I love what my friends who have studied Ayurveda call this condition, vatta deranged. You can be prone to enough “derangement” when Uranus calls. Don’t add to the load by aggravating the air element in your life.
  •  Sexuality.  Sexuality may or may not qualify as a “resource,” but I can recommend a book about it that definitely does. It’s easy to argue that any outerplanetary transit can awaken sexuality, but if you’re persuaded by Barbara Hand Clow’s theory of the association between Uranus and rising Kundalini, it’s especially true during Uranian transits. See Liquid Light of Sex: Kundalini, Astrology, and the Key Life Transitions. This book offers insights into the “midlife crisis” transit, around age 40, when Uranus opposes its natal position. The increased Kundalini principle applies to any transit of Uranus. Sexuality can be either grounding or “deranging,” with the megavolt variety more prone to the latter. I think it’s important to be aware that hyper sexuality can be part of this transit and wisdom dictates remembering its acute context during transits. Since “experimental” is also a Uranian word, some people become more sexually adventurous.  It can either be fun while it lasts or open doors that lead to more permanent new ways of being in this area of your life.

Music and Entertainment Tips

Anything futuristic or with themes of being misfit, before your time, a messenger from the future, or of someone shocked into new truths or realities are excellent choices during a Uranus transit. Since Uranus is experimental, try something new and even completely different from your normal fare.

Music.  Naturally, rock and experimental music are great during these transits. But Uranus would never want you to limit yourself. It’s always fun to listen to Holst’s The Planets to see what his interpretation of Uranus does for you. A wonderful tome I recommend is The Healing Energies of Music by Hal A. Lingerman. He has an entire section devoted to what astrological energies come through various classical composers. (What a find!) Given that genius is Uranian, it’s not surprising that Lingerman has found plenty Aquarian/Air, therefore Uranian pulses, among the greats: Mozart, Schubert, and Mendelssohn among them.

TV/Movies.  There’s more than one reason to watch E.T. again during a Uranus transit. First, you’ll feel like—a stranger in your own land, even skin. Second, coming full-circle to the beginning of this article, Elliott and ET touch fingers in strong resemblance to the fingers of God and Adam in Michelangelo’s Creation of Man. They exchange the spark of life and each other’s knowledge. Imagine you’re ET as you watch, and see what comes up for you in relation to your Uranus transit.

Wikipedia has quite a comprehensive list of Films Set in the Future that span from the 1950s to the present. Some of the diverse mentions include 2001: A Space Odyssey, the Planet of the Apes franchise, Dr. Who, Space Balls and Star Trek. In other words, everything from the sublime to the ridiculous and from the serious to the hilarious. I recommend watching these films to see what lights up about fears of the future and, at the other extreme, excitement about embracing it.

Moviecus, a movie search engine, lists 152 movies with themes about misfits. Here’s another opportunity to watch, be entertained and to explore the pains and triumphs of feeling like the odd (wo)man out.

During a Uranus transit, you might especially enjoy movies with a surprise ending or plot twist. Of course, you can only watch ones you haven’t already seen or have forgotten how they end.  Some ideas from Great Twists:

  • Clue (1985)
  • Color of Night (1994)
  •  The Conversation (1974)
  • The Crying Game (1992, UK)
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

Invoking Uranus

I offer this adapted excerpt from my Blessing for an Astrology meeting:

Uranus, God of Change!

May you keep us excited, engaged, a-buzz and alive.

More Reading

The ultimate don’t-miss on the subject is Prometheus the Awakener: an Essay on the Archetypal Meaning of the Planet Uranus (Dunquin Series 21) by Richard Tarnas. I highly recommend this brilliant, game-changing read. Here’s a search string for books on Uranus from Amazon—too many great possibilities! Set aside some time to see which ones “resonate,” another key Uranian word and concept.


Thanks for sharing in the Comments any tools that have made your transits and natal experiences with Uranus easier.

Parting Quotes

From the sublime to the ridiculous:

I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again. ~ Anäis Nin

“Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.” ~ Mae West


Photo Credits
  •  Energy Transmission - © roadrunner –
  • Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam, Public Domain, Wikipedia Commons
  • Look Ma, No Hands - © John Takai –
  • Dancing Men Silhouettes - © Sylwia Nowik –


[1] Wikipedia, The Creation of Adam:

Disclaimer: This article does not mean to imply any recommendation or certification of any healing methods, individuals or companies mentioned. It is provided purely for informational purposes. Please make your own determination about the quality of the services and products discussed. This article and the others referenced are not meant to constitute advice, nor are they meant to replace medical or psychological treatment.  

Want my outlook for Autumn? Read Autumn 2014: The Heart of Beauty on the Harmonic Concordance Blog.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Thrival Kits for the PUNC Planets: Chiron

 Article © 2014 by Joyce Mason

Author’s Note: See the introductory post, Thrival Kits for the PUNC Planets, for background on this four-part series.

Bear with me while I “toy” with you for a while. The stick horse has long been a traditional American toy, especially enjoyed when we were kids by those of us past our Chiron Returns. There’s the stick version and also the hobby horse or rocking horse. In honor of mythical Chiron’s lower horse half, I want to talk about how this archetype permeates our consciousness from the time we can barely walk.

We enjoy being on top of a horse and letting it be our bottom from a very early age. Part of the thrill is the freedom the horse represents, the galloping motion—a pleasure in and of itself—and the adventures to which these gallops atop a steed take us, real or imaginary. What kid doesn’t love a pony ride? Whether wooden, plastic or an actual horse, kids love horseback. “Play horsey, Daddy!”

How this relates to Chiron: Chiron was a great teacher and mentor of heroes. The heroes in Greek mythology were the ultimate adventurers. Chiron oriented his heroes in training by helping them build skills for the quest, and that’s my goal in the Thrival Kit series. Cowboys on horses are the American version of Chiron’s students, a far cry and distance from Hercules, Jason and Asclepius. Unfortunately, except for the child’s tendency to love to play doctor and play with doctor kits, there isn’t a healer link to Western heroes or a prep school for the Wild West in us. The horse/human merger idea is there, but the dots aren’t connected to all Chiron is or was in his full archetypal meaning.

Imagine if they were! Our instincts for adventure and riding with the wind in our hair are absolutely right on. What we need is a little shamanic orientation, to bring in the sacred healing dimension to our wildness, rather than killing the natives or taming the wisdom and talent out of them. Imagine the town Doc confabbing on a regular basis with the local tribe’s medicine man—that your walk on the Wild West side would have the tenor of the realized Chiron archetype itself, an opportunity to develop your embodied spirit.

What Chiron Asks of You

It’s no news that I think Chiron requires a sense of humor, but taking the hobby horse image a step further: Chiron asks your childlike trust and excitement. There’s nothing like seeing a wide-eyed child encounter an experience for the first time, whether it’s taking his or her first step, blowing bubbles, or witnessing rain. After all, Chiron’s students were children on the cusp of adulthood. Like the composite centaur being he was, Chiron taught people in their transitional state, morphing from one era of life (childhood) to another (adulthood).

The hero’s journey is a coming of age story. Chiron asks us you to grow up in more ways than one.

We never want to lose the gifts of one state to the other but to bring along the best of the past and incorporate it into our present—which quickly evolves into our future. That’s why Chiron, the planet, orbits between Saturn (Old) and Uranus (New). Chiron’s teachings are best learned with the eyes of a child and the heart of an adventurer.

Chiron asks you to trust discomfort as your teacher and stuckness as a hint: You can go no further until you get through this barrier.

If you’ve got images of your Chiron’s horse half jumping over hurdles like a well-trained circus performer, think again. This isn’t a trick horse. It’s not about jumping the barrier but getting through it. That means getting smack into the middle of it where you’ll find both its gifts and the medicine to minimize the pain.

What You May Be Resisting

Who likes pain? (Don’t all raise your hands at once.) We hate it so much, we avoid it at all costs—but, unfortunately, in this case, that’s the wrong answer. The pain is an attention-getting mechanism. It tells you what repeating themes in life need your attention, what has to be resolved for you to get on with your journey to wholeness. The more you sweep pain under the rug, the larger the pile mounts until it is unbearable. (Do you really want to hold out until the pain is excruciating? Isn’t it better to deal with it and relieve it sooner?)

What’s behind some of those pains are incidents and feelings that are often hard to face, but the way this treasure hunt is set up, you will keep being sent back to them until you open Pandora’s pain box and face her squarely. Get help, if needed, to handle whatever jumps out. Help may be another thing you resist. Again, take a page from a child’s book. You fall. You hurt yourself. You take yourself and your boo-boo to your mama for nursing and comfort. You still get to do that as a grown-up, only the helpers come in other various shapes and sizes: friends, family, therapists, healers.

Being stuck is often pain in disguise. You don’t want to feel it, so your subconscious sets up roadblocks. No progress until you go back to the pain and work on its source and how to release its hold on you.

The Shift Needed to Thrive

Refuse to live a life in agony or in suspended animation. Refuse to let the stuck place rule you from your subconscious. Find out what needs to be faced and face it, so you can finally move on. Cue from a child: Pitch a fit. It wasn’t until I had screaming conversations with All That Is, refusing continued misery that the heavens opened and beamed in help from all directions. This is the ultimate ask for help.

How to Dance with Chiron’s Change of Tune

Chironic wounds often need opening, cleaning and dressing in order to heal. This amounts to “medicine” in a lot of different forms. Some healing practices, particularly related to Chiron that may help you during Chiron transits or natal aching include:

  • Astrology readings – Chiron was the first astrologer and surely used natal charts to help his students find their talents and needs for further learning.
  •  Tarot readings – The technical term for tarot reading is chiromancy, a word that shares the same root as Chiron, referring to the hands. Tarot is a form of hands-on healing, as the energy transmitted between reader and client are carried through both pairs of their hands and the cards they handle together.
  •  Acupressure Acupuncture – See Chiron and Chi for details.
  •  Qigong or T’ai Chi - See Chiron and Chi for details.
  •  Flower essences – See Astrology and Flower Essences and Flower Essences for Practicing Astrologers (guest post by Donna Cunningham)
  •  Shamanic healing – See Society for Shamanic Practitioners for information and referrals

Music and Entertainment Tips

Here’s a section where I can use your Comments, as we all watch and hear different things and find planetary themes in them. I’m sure there are many more than my list, but here goes:

Music.  Songs about pain and healing are naturals for Chironic times. An important phase of healing is first feeling and allowing the pain to express itself and to share its messages with you. This is different from long-term wallowing. It’s a step in a process, not a destination.

As I started to explore this topic, I realized there were lists out there that encompass far more than my own taste in music. For instance, 10 Best Songs About Pain and Entertainment Weekly’s 50 Most Heartbreaking Songs of All Time. When I look back on being single in my twenties, my love life was one heartbreak after another, because I was too young to know what I was doing in a new world that suddenly offered a lot of freedom and optional responsibilities.

I knew even less how to handle then-current Pluto/Uranus conjunction in Virgo and its personal effects on me. One of my theme songs about the men I seemed to encounter was You're So Vain by Carly Simon. (I have natal Chiron conjunct the Descendant.) Much of the music of the ‘70s echoed my angst in relationships and worries about the planet going to pot (not the kind you smoke). Then there was an entire album about what it was like for me to be female during this painful decade, Dory Previn’s Live at Carnegie Hall. Thankfully, I no longer resonate to these songs. (Not only is there hope for pain recovery; it would be interesting to track Chiron transits by musical taste.) Whatever anthem describes your suffering, you may find enormous comfort during a Chiron transit in someone’s words and music who has shared your grief. Just remember: You’re passing through. Pain is not your destination. If you find yourself getting stuck, call for help. A book my husband discovered when he was stuck in depression advises just that: When Going Through Hell... Don't Stop! A Survivor's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety and Clinical Depression by Douglas Bloch. (Douglas Bloch, by the way, has co-authored Astrology for Yourself: How to Understand And Interpret Your Own Birth Chart with Demetra George.) Meanwhile, sing along to the blues with the best of them.

On the healing side of the musical equation, The Guardian’s Readers Recommend: Songs about Healing is a composite playlist created by those in need of psychological triage. put together a playlist in honor of nurse’s week, Songs for Healing. I have some wonderful New Age instrumentals on this topic in my own collection, but my all-time fave is The Healer’s Touch by Max Highstein. The original is only available in cassette, but he reworked it into a CD on the album Stars. It contains the two-part Healer’s Touch, and Stars is my other favorite track.

Healing songs can be any song that makes you happy and ready to embrace life fully once more. I’d love to hear about the ones that do their mending magic for you.

TV/Movies.  Two come immediately to mind, the offbeat and oddly Chironic character Gregory House in House, M.D., can still be seen in reruns on the USA network and likely elsewhere in the world. As for movies, the original Star Wars was released in 1977, very close to Chiron’s discovery date. Chironic themes and beings permeate it, including one of my favorite Chironic characters, Yoda. Watch these when Chiron is transiting and simply absorb yourself in the stories. See what happens.

Another gem, if you approach it lightheartedly and not as “serious literature” is Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Chiron is a literal character, played by Pierce Brosnan, in this tale of how teenagers fare being half-breeds (theme obvious?), children of mortal fathers and human mothers. All the outerplanetary Greek pantheon is there and a few other gods and goddesses to spare. It’s wacky in parts and offbeat. I loved it.

Art. Insert "Chiron art" into your search engine or use this link to my Google search. Take some time to contemplate these amazing images of mythical Chiron expressed in various art media. Forget what you already know about Chiron for a moment. View the images and ask yourself, What do I see in Chiron? Next, ask yourself of those qualities you see, which are simpatico with you and which are not. Jot these down for further exploration, contemplation or possible journaling. If you find an image of Chiron you especially like, place it on your altar or somewhere you can see it often during your Chiron transit or when dealing with Chiron in your natal chart. How does it speak to you over time?

Invoking Chiron

Invoke Chiron’s healing kindness with A Prayer to Chiron. You might also enjoy A Native American Healing Prayer.

More Reading

Start here on The Radical Virgo by popping Chiron into the search box in the sidebar. There are dozens of articles on Chiron as the main topic and many more with Chiron as one topic among many. My Chiron primer, Chiron and Wholeness, is a five-star best seller in Kindle on Amazon and is also available in the sidebar in PDF. My newest Chiron book, Keywords to Unlock Chiron, also in PDF, can be purchase here, too.


Let’s make the Thrival Kit a community effort! Thanks for sharing tools and ideas that have helped you through your Chiron transits and tensions in the Comments.

Parting Quote

This is, so far, my favorite Chironic quote:

 “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi

If you’ve got quotes or short blurbs on healing concepts, thanks for sharing.


Photo Credits: Toy horses © grgroup –

The education of the young Achilles by the Centaur Chiron painting by an Unknown Belgian artist - 17th century. WikiCommons,

Disclaimer: This article does not mean to imply any recommendation or certification of any healing methods, individuals or companies mentioned. It is provided purely for informational purposes. Please make your own determination about the quality of the services and products discussed. This article and the others referenced are not meant to constitute advice, nor are they meant to replace medical or psychological treatment.  

NEXT: Thrival Kit for Uranus, Sept. 16.