Monday, August 18, 2014

The Harmonic Concordance Blog: A Metaphysical Meeting Place

A Concordance of Voices in Spirit

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For over a decade, I’ve had the honor of being part of something “bigger than the sky,” my favorite hyperbole—only in this case, I’m not exaggerating. I want to introduce you to a place in cyberspace that’s dear to my heart, one that I also hope will become dear to yours.

Some of you might already be familiar with the celestial configuration we’ve come to know as the Harmonic Concordance. This event, an amazing astrological point in time, took place November 9, 2003 at 1:13 AM, GMT. The key feature of the chart is a Star of David pattern, two interlocking trines all laced by sextiles on their outside edges. The first trine involves ASC/Jupiter, No. Node/Moon and Chiron—the second, Saturn, Sun/So.Node and Mars. 

But here’s the thing, and some of you may have experienced a similar phenomenon with this year’s Cardinal Grand Cross. Unusual geometric patterns in the sky rarely lead to dramatic changes the second they wax into their highest point of exactitude. They are seed patterns that represent a tipping point and are a call to our next point of evolution.

The Harmonic Concordance was discovered and promoted by astrologer Johnny Mirehiel who very much “got” that the Concordance was bigger than a moment in time. That’s why, a decade later in honor of the 10th anniversary of the Concordance, he assembled an eclectic team of spirited peacemakers to continue its call--for us to become humans co-creating with Spirit to make the world a better place. That assembly is The Harmonic Concordance Blog.

If you’re a regular reader of The Radical Virgo, you probably know that I’m a woman of action. It’s not just finding out what a cosmic hint means—it’s what we do, change or how we evolve because of it that’s the final step of completion, the one that makes the promises in the heavens materialize. When we take action, we’re leading truly radical lives, radical referring to its literal meaning, root

We take in the change required down to the bottom of our being and send out a taproot to solidify it like a giant oak or redwood tree. Roots normally grow in clumps, and it takes several of us “rooting together” and rooting for each other to pull it off. That’s the purpose of the Harmonic Concordance Blog, of which I am proud to be a writer, reader and rooter.

As Johnny likes to say, being human spirits and part of all Creation is a mission that has both a carrot and a promise: 

The more we accept and activate our partnership with the holy and sacred Spirit that animates the All That Is, the more clearly we will see that we ourselves are the Creators of this daily 3-D experience.

And further notes from Johnny from the Concordance Blog’s opening page:

“Universally speaking, however, the first and last key is to “know thyself,” for as it has been said that, “…to know thyself is to know the Gods.”  The Harmonic Concordance Blog is a clearing house for a select and diverse group of authors who are willing to share the insights and knowledge they have gained from their quests by offering their piece of the pie in service to what may be called our “Spiritual Literacy.” 

These “Conversations with Spirit” represent that which speaks to them and for them and their essays can be found on this blog, by author or by theme.  Additionally, newly featured “Conversations” will be introduced here each Monday…”

What will you find there more specifically? The diversity alone is a thrill with 24 topic areas (with more to be added as the months roll by), such as Alchemy Today, Animal Communication, The Ascended Life, The Breath, The Chakras, Crystal Wisdom, EFT and Spirit, Medicine Ways, The Sabians Speak—and that’s, literally, not the half of it. I write a quarterly post, Spirit at the Crossings, which offers interpretations of each seasonal change at the Cardinal crossing points along with rituals and activities to celebrate these changes. The changes of season, with their clockwork regularity, teach us how to process larger changes, always at work in our constant dialogue between Earth and Sky.

Some of the other writers include Lynda Hill (Sabians), Maria Kramer, Deborah Burton, James Dempsey, Elizabeth Tobin—and many more. There are now two Voices (featured writers and their posts) per week with plenty of inspiration to get you through even the toughest transits, not to mention those Moony mood swings.

The Harmonic Concordance began as an astrological signature in the sky. It continues as a vehicle for literally being the handwriting on the wall of the Hopi prophecy:

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Visit the Harmonic Concordance Blog and join us in being the change.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams (1951-2014): Cosmic Cancer Goes Home

 Article © 2014 by Joyce Mason on The Radical Virgo

By making the voices in his head so public, Robin Williams was the one human being who assured me that I’m not crazy … or if I am, it might just be a gift. He’s the first person I ever encountered whose mind works like my own and then some. A psychic once likened my mental energy to “a flea on a hot griddle.” Robin was a flea pinging off the griddle so fast and in so many directions; it was like watching a swarm of them on speed in mating season.

Robin would have held major real estate in my heart just for how much, hard and how often he made me laugh, but this secret link to my wild mind and imagination—one my Capricorn Moon keeps under wraps until I really trust someone—made him feel like my brother. With Sun, Vesta, Mars and Uranus all in Cancer, there was something familial about Robin. He felt very adoptable, very ours. Even though he was an international celebrity, he was such a treasure to our Cancer country; even President Obama eulogized him on the day of his death for all his contributions.

Even so, I think people the world over would want to claim him as theirs, too. In that respect, Robin was a cosmic Cancer, uniting the world, even if only for moments, as one happy family in the love of laughter. To gift someone with seeing life through the lens of humor is the most loving thing parents can do for their offspring. True to his Cancerian core, one of Robin’s most famous roles was in Mrs. Doubtfire, a movie where he plays a cross-dressing father so eager to spend time with his children after a divorce, he impersonates a nanny. He manages to get his ex to hire him, and we’re shown once more how far we’ll go and how many laughs often come out of what we’ll do for love.

Like many others, I am deeply affected by the loss of this great performer and human being. It has caused me to ponder many things. One of them is the expression about how there’s a fine line between genius and madness.

What people don’t talk about nearly as often, and what Robin’s suicide underscores, is that that cutting edge of genius/madness is often sharp with depression.

How many great artists, writers and performers who, like Robin, gave us the divine comedy as a direct channel … how many of them have struggled with depression and lost?

The internal chemical cocktail that is clinical depression leads to a hangover of heaviness that taking two aspirin and calling the doctor in the morning will not touch—nor will all the positive thinking in the world. It is one of the trickiest medical conditions on earth, and having lived through it with a spouse (who I’m happy to report lived through it himself); I have some idea of the agony it wreaks on the depressed person and everyone around him. I’ve also got my own overdose of sensitivity and my own experience with acute, short-term bouts with the bad blues. Frankly, knowing how painful that feels for a few days; I can understand why someone is unable to bear it when it persists without relief. We have so much more to learn about healing this plague for anyone who suffers from it, including saving the sensitives that make all our lives worth living for the beauty and laughter they share.

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Much will be said of Robin Williams’ chart over the next days and months, but what stands out for me is all happening in his 4th House with his Pisces planets. I attended a workshop with astrologer Maurice Fernandez recently, where he pointed out that though the signs of Cancer and Pisces are in trine, they are very different. Cancer loves personally in its own little nest. Pisces loves everyone in a home without borders, a more diffuse and impersonal love of all. Robin had strong expressions of both of these energies in his natal chart. This is probably why we’re hearing in various interviews that many people who actually knew Robin didn’t feel like they really knew him. In paradox, fans the world over who didn’t know him felt as though they did.

Maurice also talked about how it takes Pisces planets or a 12th house focus to be able to give yourself to the public as a performer, politician or anyone whose life is permanently onstage. Robin gave himself as if we were all family. We were his 4th House. His natal Chiron is at the Galactic Center, highlighting his mission to bring healing laughter from the heart of space, first landing in our consciousness and living rooms via an egg-like spaceship from another planet on Happy Days.

Robin died at a very Neptunian/Moon time, a time when the veil between Here and the Other Side is thin. He was waxing into a Lunar Return at the time of his death with Transiting Neptune approaching his Pisces Moon as well. Most evocative is nearby T-Chiron. Without eye witnesses, his death chart will never be exact. Even a completed autopsy will only provide an estimated time of death. Still, the closeness of transiting Chiron to Robin’s natal Ceres will be retained; whenever it is determined he passed between 10:30 pm on August 10, when he was last seen alive, and 11:45 am on August 11, when his body was discovered. At the death pronouncement moment, when his death became public, the T-Chiron to natal Ceres conjunction was within a second of arc.

It’s as though the shaman/healer Chiron brought Robin Williams to the cusp of the Ceres myth where one possible outcome was being abducted by his demons to the underworld, just as Pluto snatched Persephone while her mother Ceres wailed her loss. Another possibility was shamanic reassembly of the lost parts of his soul. Robin’s natal Ceres is the apex of a yod with Pluto and Neptune, so all the outerplanetary cast of characters were present for the turning-point moment.

For all these years, Robin Williams has given himself to us in spite of any personal pain (including addiction and depression) and like Chiron, Robin traded places with Prometheus (society), willing to offer up his suffering to make us laugh and lighten our load. In the Chiron myth, the gods are so impressed with Chiron’s altruism, they free him from the bonds of his immortality and allow him to die and leave his pain behind.

I know it’s a poetic rendering of a terribly sad passing. (Robin’s part in Dead Poet’s Society seems ironic in the middle of this thought.) I’d have loved to have decades more laughter with Robin Williams …

… but I am called to accept what-is with the hope that such a high profile ending will urge others to take depression seriously and to seek help.

Meanwhile, I will remain forever grateful for the whirlwind of energy that was Robin Williams and for the films and small screen footage that captured his work for our continued enjoyment.

To borrow from another movie he wasn’t in, combined with our wonderful first exposure to Robin as the alien Mork from Ork, our ET has gone Home.  

Photo Credit:  WikiCommons, Robin Williams at Happy Feet 2 premiere in Sydney

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pluto: Ravaged or Nurtured?

Reflections from the Rebirth Canal

© 2014 by Joyce Mason

 My Soul Collage Card, “Blind Trust”  [1]

My very wise astrologer friend, Linda Byrd [2], told me recently that she sees the outer planets as nurturing parents, nudging us to grow for our own good. I have to agree, but it has taken a lot of living to have experiences with Pluto less like I describe in The Depths of Change and more like my current process of morphing. Today’s encounters feel inside-out compared to previous Pluto transits.

Earlier in my life, especially when Pluto conjuncted my Sun on one occasion and later Chiron, the external upheaval in my life was horrible—abandonment, betrayal, and serious illness for starters. Because of the accompanying emotional turmoil, my interior felt like a kayak in tsunami.

This time ‘round as Pluto kissed my Moon and has squared Venus, Neptune and is heading toward its square with Mercury: the internal upheaval is far less and the outer evidence of growth much more. I’ve never been calmer. I share this for several reasons. I’d love to know others’ experiences with Pluto transits that aren’t textbook hell on earth. I’d also like to give you hope that all Pluto transits are not created equal. My current rendezvous with the P-planet, of course, also involves its square dancing partner, Uranus … and earlier this year I got the full fireworks of the Cardinal Grand Cross. You’d think with all that, I’d be leveled. I’m not just still standing. In many ways, I’m thriving—though I won’t kid you. Some parts of these transits are trying, others just weird.

I’m not a kid anymore, and what has changed about my Pluto transits is me. I no longer resist them with the might of a toddler in the Terrible Twos digging all digits into the nearest carpet, furniture or human while impersonating an army tank.

As a younger human, I did not “get” surrender and the idea that some things are too big to fight. Most of us would know better than to take on someone twice our size in a fist fight, yet some of us still are na├»ve enough to think we can take on universal energies tantamount to the Not So Jolly Green Giant. I thought I could will or “positive think” my way through anything. Stuff happens. How life works for us—or doesn’t—depends on how we respond to our current assignment in growing up even more.

The metaphor of the outer planets as parents works well for me, particularly because I have Pluto conjunct Saturn in the 4th House. Thinking in those terms, Pluto and Saturn have both nurtured me and provided my foundations. Since the 4th is the natural house associated with the Moon, the roots and solidarity this pair has provided (with Pluto as my outer planet parent) often involved being there for me through a lot of emotional chaos.  

Younger Me operated on the clinging, power-struggle side of Pluto. Older Me is learning much more about surrender, the polar and positive side of Pluto’s energetic continuum. I suspect this is why my current Pluto transits don’t hurt as much, large as they are (involving several personal planets).

But I did mention weird. The biggest thing I’m getting more familiar and comfortable with is being in what I call the Place Between. That’s where, in the process of morphing, you’re no longer a caterpillar, but you’re not yet a butterfly. Furthermore, in the goo state of formlessness, you can’t see what you’re becoming. I talked about this in The Depths of Change as transformational blindness.

It’s difficult be fully comfortable in this place, because in a lot of ways, it’s a no-place.  I try to view it like the empty mind we seek to achieve in meditation, creating a space for universal love to flow in and not just guide us—but to be us. Our interior becomes our own compass. We feel one with the cosmos.

My visualizations around the Place Between lately are more like a newly blind person going to mobility training, learning how to use her figurative white cane in this place of darkness and uncertainty. I feel less fear and more wonder. This will probably sound odd indeed, but every morning the word I wake up with in my mind is “wow.” Even when I’m greeted with one of my arthritic pains on rising, my response is “wow.”

"Wow” has become my mantra for greeting the day.

It’s not like me to avoid talking personal specifics about what I’m going through, but I want to minimize the details about my external events and ask you to fill in the blanks with your own challenges as you read about them. Mine involve my husband’s health, disability and mobility challenges. Because of his physical limitations, I have increasing responsibilities for the operation of our daily life together. Health issues affect every aspect of our existence from finances to housing. We need to move to a single-level home from our current bi-level, as Tim can barely do the interior stairs anymore. The idea, over the months ahead, of completely dismantling our home of 16+ years with limited help would almost be enough to do me in and send me into a Neptune-square-Moon state of complete, freeze-frame overwhelm. (I’m not moving so swiftly myself sometimes lately, thanks to stiffness from arthritis.) In the past it would have—and at first, this time, it did, too. The sale will help our finances enormously and meeting this milestone is clearly the light at the end of the tunnel. But first, the tunnel.

I realized that I am the hub of our operation. Without my functioning at an optimal level, our family and home life will fall apart. There are physical challenges, like giving Tim lift assistance out of chairs or if he falls, plus a boatload of mental and emotional ones. My husband is one of the most courageous people I’ve ever known, an exceptionally sweet and loving soul. He supports me to the max from an emotional perspective, and it’s not difficult to want to return the favor at every level. It takes a lot of heart and humor for us both at times to deal with our situation, but all in all, I think we are pushing an A in this course in the School of Life—and I’m a tough grader.

Our relationship is so clearly karmic as reunited childhood sweethearts, I kept coming ‘round to the idea that our challenges intersect (not to mention our astrology charts, born 10 days apart). Tim’s situation has finally made me see that I have to “train,” literally, for the next stage of my life. For both of us, at some level, the issues start with the physical.

Being a Triple Earth, you’d think that being in my body would be a cinch for me, that I’d love exercise, sports, etc. Well, until lately, think again. With an outer planet squaring each of my Big Three (Sun/Uranus, Moon/Neptune and ASC/Pluto), half of me is floating around in the stratosphere somewhere—why so many people mistake me for an Aquarius. I do have the earthy body type and love of food. Thanks to a gourmand mother, being a foodie is a genetic fact of life. I have a long history of struggling with my weight. However, I am not really what you would call a big woman at five-foot-nothing. Helping to lift a 200-pound man has taken its toll on my back, but on the plus side, it has finally helped me see that physical training is a major part of my preparation for what’s next.

Like a lot of people, I’ve never been able to sustain doing what’s good for me in terms of diet and exercise. While I lost nearly 30 lbs. at Weight Watchers in the early 1980s, I can’t count the times I’ve started and stopped the program since I regained those pounds—and then some—starting a few years later.

As you can imagine, there are a lot of stresses in my life. Tim had two hospitalizations last year alone that put me over the top. I’m a stress overeater, and Pluto’s current travels with Uranus brought the clear insight that taking care of myself on every level is the key to our happiness. Like a lot of “professional givers,” what I won’t get serious about doing for myself, I will often take on with gusto if it has to do with helping someone I love. (As I’ve grown in self-esteem, it’s now easier for me to do this for both of us.)

Fortunately, I’ve been doing Jazzercise for several years because my dear friend Dana is my instructor. (Again, without someone I love offering the classes, I’m not sure I’d get up and jump around several early mornings a week.) Her class is geared toward the 55+ crowd, and low-impact aerobic dance is perfect for me. While not being interested in sports, I love to dance. Since we use hand weights in a lot of our routines, I’ve even got budding biceps that help me when I’m doing those lift assists, not to mention heavy grocery bags.  Helping Tim without hurting myself has been a learning curve, and we use various adaptive equipment, including a back brace for me.

Speaking of backs, I’m back at Weight Watchers and have already lost 15 lbs. Different this time is my level of commitment. I realize that I have to own the Lifetime Member status I once gained (by loss!). Weight Watchers has to be a weigh of life for me. This time I have vowed not to quit no matter what, and I now regard it a lot like AA, one day at a time as long as I live. Even once I’m at goal weight, maintaining a weight loss involves constant awareness of my relationship with food. Luckily, it’s a program where moderation rules, and that’s what I have to learn. A foodie will never give up the occasional indulgence, why I like a live-it (as opposed to a die-it) that trains its users to navigate real life and its never-ending food festivities. Tim is also benefiting from following my new eating behavior, as he, too, has considerable weight to lose.

There are changes other than physical that my new leg of life requires me to accept. I’m in training on enduring and learning to embrace the Place Between, the place that still feels weird. The image of the woman in my Soul Collage card with a box over her head is where I live. Self-care involves a tremendous amount of time and putting so many things on hold; I have to force myself to “sit in the silence” often in my current blindness rather than get stuck in OMG loops. (“OMG! How/when will I get this writing or publishing project done, everything cleared out and cleaned up for house sale, blah-blah.”) I’m learning to trust that everything will fall into place in its own perfect timing. Because I have stretched myself to the breaking point for so many years, I have also had to accept a long period of rest and recovery. This is like a foreign land to a go-getter. I cannot tell you how strange it feels to sleep a lot, not push myself, not to live by the clock and to put myself first after so many years of helping others before anything else.

A huge positive to come out of my down time is realizing that I love having “white space” in my life. I never want to be that overcommitted and over-extended again. I have read 22 books so far this year, whereas I could barely eke out a few all year in the past. I am doing more yoga, qigong, meditation, and I've started taking hula lessons. I’m reconsidering everything I used to think I “had” to do. I’m allowing a clean mental slate for how I want to configure my new life, as it evolves.

My brain and body have slowed down enough that I can hear my inner voice and direction. I can now solve problems more quickly and creatively. In the end, doing less might be more time-and-results efficient than trying to do everything at once.

I’m learning to walk my talk about trusting the universe to guide me every step of the way. Collective creativity sometimes delivers us interesting icons in pop culture to support us, if we only have the eyes to see. Mine is Auggie Andersen on the TV show, Covert Affairs. Auggie was blinded in an explosion during a mission with Army Special Forces in Iraq. He is the most mobile “blind person” I’ve never met. He has an assortment of high tech gismos that help him navigate his life as Annie Walker (Piper Perabo)’s handler at the CIA. Of course, Chris Gorham who plays Auggie is not blind in real life, so there’s a serious suspension of disbelief required to appreciate his portrayal of a high-functioning blind man. What he does exude that’s authentic is a demeanor of relying on his intuition to tell him who’s worthy of trust to take his arm and keep him from bumping into a wall—or to keep him from getting killed in one of his forays with Annie into the field and the unprotected world outside Langley. I love this about him, as he remains feisty, vital—and a hot lover, by the way—despite living in the physical equivalent of my Place Between.[3]

In some ways, I feel like I’m heading toward graduation when it comes to Pluto. I respect Pluto, a respect that does not come from fear, as it once did. Now it comes from getting what Pluto is and does. Pluto is the force of change that’s bigger than the both of us and required for the personal and collective good. We’re all interconnected. My growth is yours, yours is mine, and that’s why sharing is so important to appreciate where we’re at in the process of personal and planetary evolution.

Pluto has saved me from situations that would have only brought me further pain and suffering. It has introduced me to principles that saved my life, literally and figuratively. These are conclusions one can only draw from enough living to look back on Pluto and see its dual role of protector and catalyst. Just like a good parent, Pluto protects to a point, yet nudges you out of the nest to fly on your own. Just like any good parent, we often do not like at the time what mom or dad “makes” us do.

When I was back home in Chicago a few years ago, I bought this wonderful t-shirt at the Museum of Science and Industry, commemorating the demotion of Pluto from planet to dwarf planet status in 2006.  I had been afraid, up to now to put it on for fear of evoking Pluto in his Darth Vader archetype or otherwise bringing unwanted, negative Plutonian experiences into my life.

I’ve been to Pluto. I bought the t-shirt. I’m ready to wear it.

I am no longer afraid.



[1] Soul Collage is an intuitive artwork process for allowing inner guidance to come through you by way of creating of collages of images that you’re drawn to. The “cards” you create are reflections of various aspects of yourself. Part of the process, when the card is finished, is to go inward and complete the sentence, I am the one who … The sentence for this card, created July 28, 2008, “Blind Trust” is: I am the one who leads you to shine and share your gifts, even when you feel completely in the dark.

[2] Allow me to introduce you to Linda, a multi-talented astrologer and metaphysical consultant. I endorse her heartily. Since I am no longer doing private consultations, please consider Linda when you feel a need for guidance:

Linda Kubota Byrd is a certified DREAM COACH and has used Astrology as a personal growth consultant for 20 years. She was a volunteer with the Aspire Foundation, using Transformational Astrology for 10 years and has earned a Level II Certificate in Evolutionary Astrology from Steven Forrest's Apprenticeship Program. She has studied with John Ruskell, Gavin Carruthers, Tom Lescher, Maurice Fernandez and many others. Facilitating workshops for 16 years, she combines Astrology, Energy Psychology, Handwriting Analysis, Conscious Creating, NLP, etc., to "untrain" conditioned patterns to empower authenticity and embrace the unique gifts in us all. Contact: Linda does long-distance readings via phone or Skype.

[3] There’s no doubt there’s a connection between my diagnosis of glaucoma and these “blind” metaphors I’m living. My condition is now stable with no discernible visual loss, I’m happy to report. That may have as much to do with my “new vision” about Pluto as my medication and other management regimes.