Monday, July 18, 2016

The Astrology of Peace: A Mars, Chiron, Sun/Grand Water Trine Moment



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© 2016 by Joyce Mason


As I sat down to write this post, there was a tight Grand Water Trine in the sky: Mars in Scorpio, trine Chiron in Pisces, and finally trine Sun in Cancer. I can’t image anything that speaks more to our collective tears over global violence and the need to take heartfelt action for peace and healing.

I have been contemplating this invitation for several days—asking you to join me in a moment of meditation every noon, including a healing visualization to send love to our world in upheaval. Many lightworkers use the noon moment to pray for world peace, so we’ll only be adding to the burst of love already happening as the Big Light (Sun) appears overhead in each time zone.



By meditating together, we’ll be creating what I call a divine domino effect.


But before I share more about my daily mind meld for peace, a few words about the the power of now to borrow from The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle. Even the most optimistic of astrologers knew the current times would be prone to upheaval. I’d invite you to consider a metaphor.

You are in front of a window with the stream of current events is passing by like a long parade. All you can see in the moment is the part of the parade that’s within your field of vision. You cannot see the finale or the effects it has on all the people who are part of the parade, whether you’re a direct participant or just a spectator. I’d ask you not to judge what’s going on strictly by the snapshot in time you’re seeing from your window.

For those of you who haven’t already seen this superb video on YouTube, 2016 Election Predictions by psychic Danielle Egnew, here’s something to put the current political circus in perspective for you with liberal healing humor. Hint: It’s way bigger than the race for President.

Working with Chiron as my Astro-specialty for nearly 30 years and events in my own life have taught me: Wounds cannot be healed without coming to the surface for cleansing and cauterization—or they just fester and create more infection. The good news behind the violence and hateful political rhetoric we’re seeing all over the world? Those who are angry and hurting, who feel disenfranchised or cheated, are making their feelings known, even if their methods are often horrible to watch and hell to cope with. The healing needs now have our attention. The heavy racial content is not surprising, for the dark/light metaphor follows us throughout our lives on earth as the archetypal symbol of the duality on the earth plane—at least until we learn to see the higher view. (See Chiron in Pisces: Integration and Integrity.)

Chiron in Pisces is asking us once more to know that we are each other—to be the healing and to mentor each others' spark of light to set off a bonfire of enlightenment. How can we do this nowadays without drowning in sorrow, sympathy or the temptation to believe the world is going to hell in a hand basket? Knowing that all thoughts lead to action and that joined minds in prayer and healing are more powerful than we dare to imagine, I suggest the following:

We can merge in peace and healing by dedicating just a few minutes each day to this cause. Here’s my proposal:

Healing Noon Heart and Mind-Meld Meditation

1.   Set your phone or other alarm to go off at noon every day for your moment of peace. Doesn’t matter if you’re busy doing something. As you get to know the ritual, you can do it in a minute or less and still effectively help whip up the light.

2.   Take 3 deep breaths to quiet your mind chatter and let go into The One. Then envision your heart connected by a single thread of light to the goodness in the hearts and higher selves of all people on Earth. The more of these chords of connection you can see, the more powerful the meditation. Remember, this will not tap into the darkness of those who are “acting out,” because you are connecting with their Original Good, not their darkness.

3.   Choose a mantra that works to summarize your wish to the world. It can be as simple as: Peace, love, healing—fairness and joy to all.

4.   As you wrap up your healing moment, envision Sky and Earth and everyone on the planet buffered by the explosion of light you have helped create, as if a million twinkling holiday lights have created an aura of connected hearts, continuing to support each other long past these moments of meditation.


If you choose to participate, I’d love for you to share your experiences in the Comments. These acts of peace will change us all.


Namaste,
Joyce

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Radical Repost: The Summer Signs

Cancer, Leo and Virgo

  
Article © 2014 -2016 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved




In late 2012, I wrote about the Winter Signs. The winter triplets Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces are associated with the most contemplative, quiet time of year in the Northern Hemisphere, ushered in by the Winter Solstice. Now it’s time for the other Solstice to get its due—Summer.

Revisiting the trio of signs that make up any season helps understand the quarter of the year we’re entering and how to make the most of it. Welcome to the cusp of summerwinter’s complement and the extroverted time of year.

I love that two out of three of the summer signs are ruled by the Lights, the Sun and the Moon. The third sign, Virgo, is ruled by Mercury. Together, the summer trio’s rulers are first three bodies in the orderly line-up of planetary objects from our vantage point on earth. This third of the zodiac is concerned with how we shine (Sun), what we reflect (Moon) and how we reflect in another way—how we think and process information (Mercury).

Cancer

While spring kicks off with fiery Aries action, summer starts with water and our relationship to the Moon: emotions, mother, nurturing, food, home and roots. Instinctively during this time of year, we return to the Mother of Us All, the Earth, for nurture and play. We spend more time outdoors. We revert to childhood. We sense what we should do by way of that very Cancerian, inner GPS we all own, the Moon in our astrology charts.

I found some fascinating Associations with Cancer, that I thought you’d enjoy—and I’ll add associations for the signs that follow, too. Each of these association pages on Signs of the Zodiac, Myths and Wisdom are an at-a-glance of many factoids about each sign, some obscure. For instance, I always suspected that turtles were associated with Cancer, as well as the crab, but I’d have never guessed the sphinx. Cancer’s alchemical purpose—dissolution—seems both ironic and right-on. It’s the opposite of the classical image of the Cancer mom who would kill to keep her home and family together.

That’s what transformation is about. We start out clinging to mother—or her to us—or both. To grow up, we have to dissolve that bond alchemically and create a new type of relationship with her. You’ll enjoy learning things from this list like Cancer’s tarot card, The Chariot, and her tree—the pear. (What’s that partridge doing in a pear tree in that winter holiday song?) I especially got a kick out of Cancer’s “weapon of choice,” a furnace. (A Cancer gone amok will kill you with burnt/bad cooking or incinerate you on the spot. We now know the Sun sign of the witch in the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale. Aside from the fact that she wants to eat them, that Cancerian major pastime, the witch also wants to bake them in her oven/furnace.) Our fairy tales are replete with astrological imagery, archetypes as old as human history.


Summer synthesis: This is the time of year we venture away from family or with family to new places, in both literal and figurative ways. As a result, we change our relationship with them in some way. We dissolve our usual patterns to reform new ones. We often do it through play.


Kids go to camp away from Mom and Dad. Mom and Dad take the kids on a summer vacation. We miss each other or meet each other in a new way, either way. We play in Cancer’s element, water. Water dissolves.

No wonder we love summer. It starts with the sign of birth and nurturing and rebirth and replenishing. And yet something in us knows that childhood is not forever. We must defy our mothers, even a little, to begin the process of maturation and personal evolution. This never stops being true, as we always carry our mom or main nurturer in our heads.

What will you do this summer to defy Mom or Dad and claim a new piece of your freedom?

Ironic, isn’t it, that the USA—a Cancer country—celebrates Independence Day as its annual birthday party.


Leo

After we’ve tried our wings a little, extending ourselves beyond the reach of home, hearth and parents—literal or internalized—we are ready for the sign that celebrates our Me-ness, Leo. Ruled by the Sun itself, Leo is the middle sign of summer and at the center of its bell curve through time. No wonder it is yellow-orange, sunny and full of self-expression. It peaks in the season of heat and play.

We have to break the spell and the umbilical cord to some degree in order to be Free to Be You and Me, the name of that wonderful, classic children’s book by Marlo Thomas. In order to be full of ourselves, we’ve got to be a little less full of our parents’ influence. Thus Cancer’s alchemy of dissolving parental ties prepares us for Leo selfhood.

One of the funniest Leo lines in movies comes from Mel Brooks in his History of the World, Part 1. He says, “It’s good to be the king,” especially when he’s doing anything that no one else could get away with. In a sense, Leo time is about getting away with things, about letting ourselves be king or queen in some way, just as Leo is king of the jungle. I always enjoy when an older movie produced by MGM includes the roaring lion. He’s a big scary version of our house cats, yet everyone knows that in most cases, his roar is bigger than his bite or scratch—unless you mess with him or his family, something Cancer and Leo have in common. I think of them as the cosmic parents.

According to the Leo associations, Leo’s alchemy involves digestion. That sounded more Virgo to me, at first, until I thought it through. Leo is ruled by the Sun, the source of life itself on our planet. Without our Sun, we’d all die. What a responsibility. There’s something within Leo that has to stand back at some point and take in his enormous kingdom. He rules it all and his ruling Sun makes or breaks it all. That would be a lot for anyone to digest.

We have to take in the Shining Orb of Us and determine how we will shine and nurture the life around us that we have taken on in this incarnation as our “kingdom.” Digestion involves absorption. When someone acts “too Leo,” we say he or she is too “self-absorbed.”   A purely archetypal Sun Leo would be looking to find the right balance between being too self-absorbed, but proud and strong enough to be the Light around which others revolve.

During summer, each of us gets a bit of Solar Leo to remind us of this pure sunny archetype. We worship that Sun in our outdoor play, back to the beginning of human spirituality. Of course, each of us “does the Sun” in the style of our own Sun sign. Yet all of us have to meet these challenges of self-expression and leadership, of making sure we have absorbed both our own solar power and keep our light a shining beacon for us—and others.

Leo time is a time to strut, roar and eat/digest some great foods cooked on the fire. Again, our instincts are right on zodiacal cue.



Virgo

Even though I’m a Virgo Sun (the Radical Virgo, even), it has taken me many years to own that my Sun sign is part of summer. I was born eight hours from the autumn equinox, and being a planner who tends to lean into the future, I have always considered myself an autumn person. I am actually a late summer person, nearly as late as you can get. (I thank Chinese medicine and acupuncture for convincing me, finally, that I have the chronic physical strengths and weaknesses the of the Late Summer constitution.)

During the month of Virgo, many people go back to work or school and generally buy into the idea that summer’s over on Labor Day, the first Monday in September. Like me, the whole world seems to hurry autumn, when summer is not officially over until September 22 or 23.

You’d think when summer is so much fun, we’d want to cling to it rather than rush headlong into the harvest. I think we’re just avoiding the next alchemical step of summer associated with Virgo—distillation. This idea, covered in Virgo’s associations, is all about synthesizing for future use what we got out of summer. My first spiritual teacher called summer the inner growing season. No matter how big we are, in order to really grow, we have to go home and write that report, What I Did on My Summer Vacation. And if what we did in school is a proper analogy (of course, it’s proper—it’s Virgo!), we need to share our experience with others.

I think we often would rather bury ourselves back in work or school than face the meaning of, and often our feelings about, our summer romance or what happened to us out there in that freer time of the year where our inner child had its heyday. Instead of mourning the freedom we lost, we can celebrate the insights we’ve gained. That takes some alone time and often comes best out of writing or journaling to distill the essence of our personal growing season. That’s why our wise teachers asked us to write those experiential equivalents of a book report. (And if you did any summer beach reading, your teacher might add that assignment, too.)

Play, be yourself, and report what you learned are the three simple steps for making the most out of summer.

May your summer be full of freedom, creativity and meaning.

~~~
 
Photo Credits: Sun and Moon and Zodiac Signs © goccedicolore - Fotolia.com

Experiential playwork: Explore the Associations lists in this article. See what jumps out at you as new or just catches your eye strongly. What do you learn new about the summer signs? Thanks for sharing your ahas in the Comments.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Sun



Poem © 2016 by Joyce Mason














The genetic dice rolled darkness,
a sensitive artsy raw-nerve daughter.
But Nature, abhorring a vacuum,
drenched me with sunlight to balance
a tendency to brood:
My Father, My Sun.

Reborn three weeks later
in the courthouse,
You and Mom petitioned to be
my parents:
Sun, Moon and Neptune conjunct
in Libra
Symbols of the scales of balance
everywhere:
My Father, My Sun.

You won the draw of the straw.
You gave me all my names.
“I love your name because it has joy in it.”
My husband, like my father, with their Leo Lights:
My Father and Husband, My Sun.

I still tend to live with drapes closed
and love the night.
He loves skylights and curtainless windows.
My Husband, shades of My Father, My Sun.

My Husband, no better father to our fur children
even looks like My Father.
One gone, one remains bringing Sun to my days.
I am even starting to love the dawn.
My Father, My Husband, My Sun.

~~~



Photo Credit: © majivecka - Fotolia.com




Monday, May 30, 2016

Insights and Metaphors for Retrogrades








If there’s not one retrograde lately, there’s a handful. The current trio is Mars, Saturn and Pluto. (Mercury’s most recent retro ended on May 22.) During the course of 2016, six planets are, have been or will be retrograde. I love the recap on Astrology King by Jamie Partridge with pictures, short names for each Retro, and their dates. You can click for in-depth analysis of each cycle, as well.

Two metaphors keep coming to mind as my friends and I have coped with this combined energy, an energy that seems to push us two steps backwards before the next step forward. Sometimes it feels like trying to jog, knee-deep in mud.

The first metaphor is about seeds. Like plants, trees and flowers, our manifestations grow from seeds of desire and intention. In a sometimes painful parallel, you don’t see much going on at the surface for a long time. It takes literal or figurative spring before sprouts break through the top of the soil and there’s any evidence that the seeds, desires or intentions are beginning to manifest. Once you get a green glimmer, you can visualize the sprouts turning into plants, flowers, trees, projects, a new or improved relationship--or change of habit. It’s when you’re looking at nothing for long periods of time that gets old. Enormous faith in the cycles of life is required to keep from driving yourself crazy with how long our intentions can sometimes take to “cook.” We have to believe what we’ve sown will sprout in its own time. If it doesn’t, the seed may be a dud. Maybe we have to rethink whether it’s still the right plant for us or if we need to replant it—perfect activities for Mercury and Mars Retrograde. (The next Mercury Retrograde is August 30 – September 22.)


“Consider that in astrology Aries is that spark in each of us that gets our engines running. But like the Hare in Aesop's fable, "The Tortoise and the Hare", Aries loves the race but can be easily distracted, Aries is not about winning or the prize, it's about starting. And that's why we need Taurus. Taurus, like the Tortoise, lacks the spark at the beginning, but has endurance and always keeps his eyes on the prize.”


~ Patricia Lanz, examiner.com


The second metaphor is the Tortoise and Hare fable. I wondered if anyone had seen the astrological implications that I saw in it. When I searched, I found the wonderful article cited above by Patricia Lanz. She’s a favorite Astro-writer of mine, and I encourage you to read it and get to know her, if you don’t already. Western culture is very Aries, even if you don’t have a single planet in the sign. (See God is Not an Aries.) Manifestation, however, takes time. In the long-run, it’s the Tortoise who wins—not the Hare. Though as Patricia points out, you need that shot of Aries to get started. No one understands that better than me with Taurus Rising. If I don’t get that cup of leaded, I’ll never get going and spend the entire day in a fog. Coffee stokes my Aries fire.

What does this mean as we all slog through thick energy that feels like it’s pulling us backwards?

Retrogrades are a time to hone your faith in the process of life. The repetition and surety of cycles is what astrology is all about. They are also times to re-examine about how we fit into that process.

Growing up Catholic in the 1950s provided me incredible training for life, even though some of the things the nuns taught back then seem ridiculous to me in 2016. (Example: Only Catholics go to Heaven. Apparently they had Donald Trump’s idea before his time of an unscalable wall for souls of other faiths.) What I learned that isn’t the least bit ridiculous is about having faith itself—especially to have faith in the cycles of life. The Catholic calendar is full of repetitive feasts and celebrations, just the like the trusty sky patterns that bring us the equinoxes and solstices and everything in-between. You can count on every Lent, Easter, Pentecost, All Soul’s Day, Advent and Christmas coming at or around the same time every year. Isn’t it interesting that so much faith depends on ritual? Repetitive acts at intervals in a never ending cycle. These observances graduate to the level of spirituality by celebrating their higher meaning without ceasing.

The religious feasts ask us to re-examine our faith and forward movement, and retrogrades do the same. They pop up, now, at a time of such tremendous change planet-wide; it’s good to consider where you’re going and why, instead of just rushing to get there, like the Aries Hare. Like the Hare, we get distracted and Retro Times give us an opportunity to “course correct,” if needed. The current Retros ask us to examine how we act (Mars), how we structure, organize or learn by experience (Saturn) and what we have to let go of or transform completely (Pluto).

The wisdom of saging, my word for cool aging, is learning to go with the flow of life. This is my favorite popular expression: It is what it is. The more we accept what is, the happier we are. This doesn’t mean we don’t stand up for injustices or try to right what doesn’t work, but knowing what we can’t change is in the Serenity Prayer for a reason. We can’t change the stars or the cycles of life. There is a word for those who buck the cosmic tide, disaster (against the stars).

Accepting that Retrograde Times aren’t exactly conducive to quick forward movement will help you win the “race” by taking small, faith-filled steps that accumulate to meet your goal. Your metaphorical garden will be gorgeous, too. Let chipping away at “getting there” it be your ritual.

~~~

Photo Credit: © fiore26 – Fotolia.com