Friday, August 9, 2019

Completion


Love and Life Cycles




©2019 by Joyce Mason



The zodiac, with its predictable cycles, teaches us the power of completion, as does life itself. When it comes to relationships, there is one rule for fulfillment. Let it go its course and grow into what it is or isn’t. Anything less haunts us.
- Joyce Mason

My husband died on June 15, 2019.  Radical Readers during my days of frequent posts know that I was Tim’s primary caregiver since early 2015 when he lost his mobility due to his muscular dystrophy.  From then on, I was taxed beyond anything I could have ever imagined—physically, emotionally—but at least not spiritually. We were utterly devoted to one another, and I could not have loved, or been loved, better. While I miss his physical presence terribly, by the end, death came as a blessing. Tim was miserable as his lungs shut down after two rounds of pneumonia close together. I always knew how our story would end; it was just a matter of how long I’d be lucky to have him (22 years). I married Tim knowing his diagnosis because we were reunited childhood sweethearts. Soulmates. The chance to complete this relationship—to let it become all it was supposed to be—was the second chance of a lifetime.

Joyce and Tim at her 8th grade graduation party.
We were denied continuation of our first chance when his mother forced him to break up with me after two years, a month before we both turned 14. She worried we were too serious and too young. My own parents were 19 and 20 when they eloped, and Tim’s mom saw the writing on the wall. She was also worried about pregnancy. And for her information in the Great Beyond, I didn’t lose my virginity until I was almost 19. Although, I suspect it would have been a lot more difficult to keep my knees together, as I was taught in Catholic school, for many years longer, especially with the guy I loved so deeply. And in equal fairness to Tim’s mom, her concerns sprang from promising Tim’s father, on his deathbed, that Tim would go to college. She saw me as the obstacle to keeping that promise.

We were reunited at age 49 and married at 50 (Chiron Return). Born only 10
1997: 1st Valentine's Day back together.
days apart, Tim and I led parallel lives in the same incarnation. No stranger to reconnection for completion, I had previously found my birth families, another man that followed Tim in my life who left a path of devastating and destructive “loose ends,” in his own words. I found a dear friend, my first pen pal. Then I was sitting at my computer on Thanksgiving weekend in 1996, feeling a divine pull toward finding someone again. I raised my eyes to Heaven and asked, “Who on Earth do you want me to find now?” Not hearing an immediate answer, I rolled it around in my mind and asked myself who I always wondered about. The answer was Tim. I had no news of him beyond high school, which worried me for many years that he might have died in action in Viet Nam. (Turns out he was never even in the military.)

Once I knew who, I remembered a really startling dream I had about Tim the previous March that I had written down in detail because it was so powerful. I called it Finding Tim. (I learned in a dream workshop that titling dreams helps unlock the meaning.) Here’s a shortened version.

The Dream. I am at a social event.  Feels like a singles get-together. The name Tim Schoos comes up out of nowhere about a book he has written on relationships. I am anxious to find a copy to see if he mentions me, since it’s all about his love life and what he has learned from it. 

I finally get to see a paper copy—a beautiful, hardbound book.  I never figured Tim for a writer. It is done up beautifully by a reputable, big publishing firm.  He honors me in the sweetest way through the book.  He has coined “Joycisms” into his language and relationship terms, from things I did or said that he found endearing, like “Just Joyce it.”  (It meant do it in your own unique way.) It’s obvious that Tim loves women in the best possible way. It’s not clear whether or not he has ever been married.He shows up for a book signing.

He looks wonderful.  Reminds me of the actor, Tim Robbins.  And he is very glad to see me.  It’s a little awkward because he’s the center of attention, but we exchange hugs and quick life updates, and phone numbers for later. 
I walk away from the encounter glowing with hope of spend time together.  Who knows?  Maybe we can rekindle the romance if we still click in present day.

Of course, there are more details and a lot of code in this dream that only I would understand. Example: Tim looked like Tim Robbins, reflecting my feelings of “Tim robbin’,” being robbed of my relationship with him. In waking reality, I wasn’t sure if this was destined to be a romance or friendship. I missed his friendship most of all. I was open to either (and got both). The message to reconnect with him was obvious. Thus began our new cycle together that we would finally be able to complete.

Astro-Thoughts.  This type of completion typically reflects a milestone within a cycle in our natal charts or relationship charts. Tim passed 60 years (second Saturn Return) from the time we first met at in 1959 at age 12. Saturn was in Capricorn once more. In my chart when he crossed over, T-Saturn and Pluto were in Capricorn in the 9th House. T-Saturn was quincunx my natal Saturn in Leo to the exact degree in the 4th. I have found myself publishing/being very public about my experience on Facebook of losing my closest family during 2018-19, including my Uncle Mike and two brothers-in-law. T-Chiron opposed my Venus, and as such a Chironic person this is not surprising. (Tim was Chiron in my life.)

The Path Forward. Tim very much wanted me to get back to writing once he was gone. He felt terrible that his care and support meant big delays to my new career in fiction, almost as soon as I launched my first novel, The Crystal Ball. There were times when I wondered if my creative juices could ever be pumped up to that level of outflow again, but I doubt it less every day. I wrote his obituary, which isn’t an easy thing for a wife to do, but it certainly helped that I’m a “wordmonger,” the front-end of one of my email addresses. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback on it, which reminded me how expressing emotions in writing comes easy for me. It also affirmed how memoir seems to be my best medium.

The medium is the message in this case. I am being called to re-do my long finished memoir with a different focus than the original draft, in a way that focuses on how important it is to bring relationships full-circle. The new title is My Life in the Lost & Found: The Power of Completion.

It will be an expansion of the stories about finding my lost loves summarized in this post, including how intuition, dreams, inklings, “signs” and synchronicity guided me all the way to the finish line. There will be many more details of what I have learned on this amazing odyssey. The “coincidences” alone still leave me breathless.

If you want to know more, watch this space. I don’t know how long it will take to get to publication, given all I have to do and digest in the early days of widowhood and my many responsibilities. But I do know that My Cosmic Tractor Beam is pulling me strongly to share my story with a larger audience. I am told often, both on and off Facebook, how much Tim’s and my love inspires my friends—and how I have modeled acceptance in my response to his passing. Although I live to inspire (and to entertain whenever possible in the process), the main reason I have been unable to launch a memoir up to now is my discomfort with the level of public exposure required. It seems I didn’t even realize I was practicing with my FB friends for opening my life to even more readers.  And the cosmic hints to write this memoir border on nagging.

And if you have any feedback, suggestions or comments for me about where I’m headed, including specific things you hope I’ll cover in this book, I would love to hear from you.

~~~

Opening photo: I call this “Tim’s Heaven,” as it shows him completing a run in his young, athletic body. You’re free, honey! 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Pisces into Aries: A Spring Equinox Poem


Poem © 2019 by Joyce Mason


The winter knot in my stomach:
A tight bulb
putting out shoots as the rains come.
The weather is seductive,
flaunting bursts of sun and shirtsleeves.
Spring is alluring in the final days
of the Dark of Winter.
A tease.

I begin to see green things in my dreams
sprouting from my eyes, ears and other openings.
Sometimes they dare to bud and laugh at me.
I hide under my down comforter in a flash frozen moment,
teeth chattering in tempo with the gauzy sights and maniacal sounds.

As Pisces peaks
I crave music and meditation
but like Aries itself, I cannot muster patience
even from Bliss.
Want. Spring. Now.

And while I’m distracted
trying to figure out my overactive night movies,
Spring dashes in from behind,
nearly Equi-obnoxious,
soon racing far out front.
I am left in a wake of stardust,
post-morning coffee eyes
and Get Up and Go.

Now that’s awakening.

~~~

Photo Credit: © Nadiaforkosh | Dreamstime.com




Thursday, March 7, 2019

Poem: Chiron in Aries

Dear Radical Readers,

Happy Chiron Return to all our fiftyish readers. This is a gift to you and a mantra for the rest of us to explore for the current cycle of Chiron in Aries. I see it expressing the potential for healing as we reel from a time of bullying, harshness and the need to cut through some pretty cruel crap and in-fighting so we can protect what we call wholly. This is one of 12 poems in my ebook, Poems to Heal the Healer: The 12 Chiron Signs. You can purchase via the link just cited or in the sidebar for $4.99. It makes a great gift for people who speak astrology and especially those in the healing arts. It's a condensed course in understanding the Chiron signs. Feel free to share this poem with attribution.

With hope for a sweeter world,
Joyce







Swords pierce and define me:

Nightmares of bullies
violent beginnings
softening
protecting the softened

I, hero, heal
in the world of physicality

Derring-do:
T’ai chi,
kick box
head butt

Ebb and flow
put out fires

Discover myself
my vocation
somewhere
in my own heartbeat

Blood racing to compete the circuit
my warrior quest:
Who Am I?

In helping and healing the bruised     
I find the real competition:

bursting the tape at the finish line
of wholeness

in my own time

not necessarily first.


© 2010 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved
www.radicalvirgo.com





Thursday, November 29, 2018

Prelude to Winter


Poem © 2018 by Joyce Mason

I have felt you in my bones
shivering in darkness
the lights-off trial run
after turning back the clocks.

You warn in a stage whisper,
Do not turn your back on me.
Don’t hide from the black tunnel.
It is the rebirth canal.

And so we draw ourselves in
working up our courage and energy
to put a toe in the bleak chute.

There we must live on the faint sound of carols,
on memories of flickering candles.
Faith is our sustenance,
our light at the end of the tunnel,
the spring that always follows winter
like clockwork
regardless of daylight savings time.

~~~

Photo Credit: Wallpapers app

Monday, September 17, 2018

Autumn/Fall Seesaw




Poem ©2018 by Joyce Mason

Wiping the sweat of Virgo off my brow,
I flash back to summer: fast growth, Sun and Moon rulers chasing their unruly children into new experiences on life’s playground.

I stop, breathe in all the blues and blessings of the last season.
Sit for me on the other side of Libra’s Scale.
Balance with me, the ups and downs of this teeter-totter life.
Watch your growth whiz by in the replay.

Take a deep breath, exhale and make room for what’s to come:
autumn, such beauty it borders on pain.
The heart-expanding Season of Gratitude melting into the Rebirth of Light.

This seesaw, Zodiac Circle always perfect if we have the eyes
to see what we saw.

~~~

Photo Credit:  © Prazis Images - Fotolia.com

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Wheel of Heal



Chiron, Scorpio, Band-Aids, Bactine and Antibiotics

© 2018 by Joyce Mason



Healing is the process of becoming sound or whole again.

From a fusion of definitions on healing


We are all part of the Great Wheel of Heal. Life itself, as depicted by the seasons and the zodiac, is the Constant Wheel of Change. It isn’t forever spring and summer. There is autumn, where at the peak of beauty and bounty, we “lose our leaves” and begin fading into winter, a time of dormancy and pseudo-death.

Wellness—even joy—come from being in sync with these seasons of change, not just surrendering to them but celebrating them. And I don’t just mean the literal seasons. I mean changes in every moment of every day. In Chinese medicine, wellness is all about energy flow, the movement of chi. This supports the idea that to be well and whole is to move with the energy of the moment. As Eckhart Tolle calls it in his seminal book, it’s the Power of Now. And that power heals—makes whole again—or finally. It is about being hospitable to what is.


One of the most healing statements we make that has become a popular saying nowadays when dealing with a difficult situation expresses the healing gold standard: “It is what it is.”



There is a lot to this idea of healing, acceptance and energy flow, but I think it’s easiest to start with a visual of people in a park doing t’ai chi or qigong. They are learning to bend to the flow of their energy, to let it flow through them and awaken them. I have gotten as much healing from a qigong session as an acupuncture treatment. These centuries-old healing modalities are steeped in wisdom and the reality of what works.

To bring astrology and its cousin mythology into it, let’s talk a bit about Chiron.

Chiron: Surgeon and Vocational Counselor

Some people might find Chiron’s jobs on Mt. Pelion in ancient Greece to be a bit of an odd combination. He was a surgeon, herbalist and mentor of heroes. As a hero maker, he honed the special skills of each of his mythical charges. He prepared them to use those talents in the world to help themselves and others. Chiron was quite literally a vocational counselor.

For instance, Hercules had strength and Asclepius had medical skills. Forget the dough in do what you love and the money will follow. Chiron knew that doing what you love is the real gold, the key to wholeness for both individual and community. Doing what you love and are good at is simply another way of going with the flow. You are who you are, and you are simply being yourself. Interesting how difficult it is for most human beings to fathom that being yourself is not only enough; it’s the one thing you can do to feel at one with yourself and everyone else. If you’ve had the experience of those magic moments where you’re “on,” being 100% you, you know there’s nothing in the world like that feeling. It is electrifying. No circuits are jammed, no energy flow is constrained. You are a pure expression of universal spirit humming in your own skin.


         The Lemonade Stand.  Perhaps of all the keywords that unlock Chiron, my favorite phrase is, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Wholeness asks one simple thing from us. Accept what-is and find the good in it, the life flow. There are many things in life we can have considerable influence molding. And then there are the monkey wrenches, the unexpected slings and arrows that, at first blush, look like they are derailing our plans and direction. Often they are giving us a side trip to bigger more important lessons. They come with those “difficult” transits. They are invitations to your next level of mastery. Sometimes they demand that we put everything aside that mattered to us in order to focus on something we didn’t even know we needed to learn or do. In that sense they are shocking. (Do you smell outer planets here?) Your energy is full-boar in one direction and bam! Roadblock, detour—construction zone.

         Surgeon. Mythology is one of the main sources for interpreting astrological meanings. Why would Chiron be a surgeon? Sometimes energy flow is blocked, backs up and gets obstructed. At times the only cure is to remove the block or diseased tissue, bone, cells—whatever—in order to make the body whole again. Surgery comes in when other methods fail to restore the flow. This is the part of Chiron’s work that was Scorpio-tinged and why Chiron is connected with holistic medicine. Natural methods, when woven with man-made technology, help to achieve optimal wellness. Another Chiron key phrase comes to mind: It’s not either/or. It’s both/and.

         Herbalist. Similarly, why was Chiron a natural pharmacist? We are surrounded with substances
for the picking that contribute to harmonious energy flow. I had the most interesting conversation this past week with a woman in her 70s who has had multiple medical conditions since the 1970s, including epilepsy and lupus. She was supposed to be gone long ago, but here she is, still full of spirit. Our conversation was about how marijuana has helped her enormously and how many people in California are now accessing the cannabis pharmacies since it became legal. “It grows everywhere on Earth,” she said. “God put it here to help us heal.” It makes sense to me along with countless other herbs, often gentler in their natural state than drugs derived from them that must be modified to be patented. Yet we don’t want to ignore modern pharmaceuticals because they are sometimes the thing that restores energy flow better than others. It’s all about balance—and a balance constantly moves before it reaches a point of temporary stasis. 

Community: Your Personal Wheel of Heal

During recent years, both my husband and I have had major healing crises. I like to observe how healing works when I’m not calling the Fire Department or an ambulance, having a surgery, or putting on Band-Aids and Bactine. Lately Transiting Chiron has been opposite my Sun. I believe oppositions help us have clear views of planetary energies because they are right across the table from us where we can see them best and how they operate.

One of my major communities is Facebook. I talk about Facebook wisdom—inspiring sayings and posts—and I love the ability to reach out to others to share both joyful and stressful times. I saw a fascinating article about the role of Facebook in helping people grieve. Here are some other articles on social media and grief—but social media friends also are a balm for healing from medical conditions, surgeries, broken hearts and all kinds of other dis-ease. For those who are isolated or somewhat so, forums like this provide a connection that is essential to becoming whole again.
Back to Chiron for a moment, while he provided plenty of one-on-one mentoring and instruction, his heroes in training were at a coming-of-age boot camp on Mt. Pelion. Just like any other troopers about to take on life, they must have bonded deeply with their “platoon” and found support in their special school for growing heroes. And do the rest of us life warriors.

“Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger.” When we interrupt someone’s isolation during a major life challenge to share or own similar stories, both the teller and listener heal. This is the essence of healing—to eradicate a sense of aloneness. The original dis-ease is feeling disconnected from Source. It is our fear that Source—God/Goddess, All That Is, however you see Higher Power—has abandoned us. With others to share the journey of healing, the Source in others is the light that heals. Many people sharing this light at a time of crisis is as sacred and comforting as a full installation of votive candles in any church. 

Chiron and Prometheus. After 30 years of studying Chiron, I am still learning new things about the part of the Chiron myth where the centaur-healer trade places with Prometheus. Promie was chained to a rock for eternity for having the gall to steal fire from the gods. Every night an eagle pecked out Prometheus’s liver, a painful suffering. Every morning, it had grown back for a vicious cycle of misery.

Chiron offered to trade places with Prometheus, since he was suffering himself anyway with his incurable wound. What does that mean? Are we really supposed to suffer for other people?
I have come to see this more as a reminder that your suffering is mine and mine is yours. We all suffer. It’s about compassion and when I was in your shoes, chained to your rock. Pain is universal. In sharing our experiences with suffering, we are lifted up, we divide our sorrow. The gods were so impressed with Chiron’s generosity in pinch hitting for Prometheus, after three days they lifted Chiron up to the sky in a constellation, breaking his bonds of immortality and ending his pain. We lift up others by sharing painful or scary experiences. We want to relieve the pain because it’s human suffering—a piece of all our pain.

Compassion: Feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, along with a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

In astrology Prometheus is the mythical character most often associated with the planet Uranus and society. The rebellion that Uranians are famous for is often the spark of genius that moves us forward as a civilization. Unfortunately, those that want to keep the status quo and their place in the existing power structure often punish those living on the leading edge. They could be the people behind the next cancer breakthrough or the newest application of machines to healing. Others may have at one time thought them crazy or criminals, but the great healer Chiron knew they were the leaven in the loaf, the essential ingredient to make new ways of healing rise up. They had to be free to be themselves, too.

We can’t leave others on the block to suffer alone because we are too busy to get involved. Being part of the Wheel of Heal, whether the community is our neighborhood, social media networks or family, is a ritual reenactment of our own suffering that redeems us. (Do you hear a Christian parallel here?) Remember that Chiron volunteered, as did Jesus. As we must.


May compassion and lightening the load of all suffering eventually be as easy for you as all other ways of being there for others—in sickness and in health.

~~~

Photo Credits: Healing Circle of Hands, © BillionPhotos.com; Group Practicing T'ai Chi, © ulza, Source Fotolia.com; Balance Scales,  ©  | Dreamstime.com.



Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Flowering: A Summer Solstice Poem




© 2018 by Joyce Mason

The Sun
stops what it's doing,
poses before moving onto
give birth to the blooms, 
a selfie capturing the turning point.

We gather at Summer Solstice,
the pause that reinvigorates us
before bursting into full flower.

Cusp of Cancer:
the beat before
the final push
to be fully alive.

~~~

Photo Credit: © zphoto83 - Fotolia.com