Saturday, January 21, 2023

Synchronicity: Cosmic Hints and Divine Report Cards



Post © 2023 by Joyce Mason

 

The longer I live, the more meaningful coincidences I have. They offer everything from a blinking red light that hollers follow me to reminders for my to-do list.

While I’m not 100% sure of all the ins and outs of how synchronicity works, I am certain of two things.

Synchronicity requires being in the flow of life and recognizing that everything is interconnected.

The world only appears random. It actually operates in an order we can’t even begin to fathom. On the Mr. Don’t Bee side of things, don’t be so preoccupied or stressed that you can’t hear the universe tapping you on the back or it may have to hit you upside the head to get your attention. I have experienced everything from dramatic, life-changing interventions from synchronicities to comical Godwinks, as one Hallmark movie series calls them.

Dramatic: In the mid-1980s, I was minding my own business when the subject of adoption started popping up everywhere. I am adopted and had never felt drawn to finding my birth families. There was another adopted woman in my prayer breakfast group who was seeking to meet her birth father she had never known. Suddenly, a new magazine sprung up in the window of the local bookseller that was basically an ad exchange for adoptees and birth parents who were looking for each other. Back to prayer breakfast, another woman in the group began experiencing adoption-related issues in her family. By the time the third omen hit, I found myself crying in my eggs. “Alright already,” I told the Universe. I get it. I’m supposed to do that thing I never thought I wanted to do. I was stunned, but I could not ignore the obvious. Also, concurrently, I was having dreams about happy reunions.

There are many more stories I will save for the memoir I’m writing, but on the comic side, I have noticed that the Gods of Sync are getting ever more creative in how they ask me to be a message carrier. I belong to a Facebook group for people who want to learn more Yiddish, one of my favorite languages. A woman was looking for a name for her female dog that might have a nice Jewish ring to it. I kept hearing the name Sadie in my mind. I offered it, as did some others in the large group. When I went to Christmas dinner at the home of one of my nieces, I found out that her family had just gotten a dog. The pooch’s original name did not fit her, they felt, and they starting to call her Sadie. If they didn’t get the same cosmic message I would have brought it to them. They were astonished at the mind meld. (They are still getting used to some of my woo-woo ways.)

My favorite thing of late is how TV commercials and other day-to-day occurrences act as reminders to me. For example, a laundry detergent ad jogged my memory that I needed to order some. This is starting to happen a lot, which is a real blessing considering I’m of a certain age where I forget things more often. Today, out of the blue, my cousin sent me a photo she found online of my investment broker in New York. That reminded me I had some forms I had signed but had not yet sent to him.

When synchronicities heat up, I know I am in tune with the cosmos and the path I am being gently nudged to take. Once I can see and hear them, they are like breadcrumbs taking me to the next place I have to go. This is the report card aspect. The more I follow the bread trail with full faith, the more hints/markers I find. It’s like the stars we got on our foreheads when I was a kid for a good performance at school.

Boy, that memory makes me feel I old. I hope whenever my time comes, I go out in a blaze of breadcrumbs.

~~~

 

Photo Credit:  © Ganna Biletska Dreamstime.com

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Astrology: How Deep?

 

Webb Telescope's First Deep Field Photos, Wikipedia



Post © 2023 by Joyce Mason


We all know them: people so fluent in astrology, we can barely believe that they aren’t doing readings or aren’t on the programs of astrology conferences. I am here to defend their right to refuse to go there. I have become one of them.

Astrology is a tool and a language. How much we use or talk shop about that tool depends on our circumstances and how much we’re drawn to do so. For many people, being a perpetual astrology student is a lot more comfortable than becoming a pro. Receiving money for astrological services requires a certain self-confidence that many people just can't conjure. It’s a field of ever expanding knowledge. It’s easy to feel like you don’t know enough. Even among those who leap that hurdle, it’s a growth curve for many to become comfortable with monetizing their guidance, even with the considerable cost of astrological education. Most people who have done it know that building a practice to the level of full-time income takes time and is often never achieved. The amount of astrological consulting many good astrologers can do depends on back-up resources and whether or not they have to earn that money themselves. There’s only so much time and energy.

Speaking of energy, consultations demand an abundance of it, especially for those who do it in an intuitive way. It can become overwhelming. And there’s the challenge of keeping firm boundaries and intentions. I never want to become responsible for someone’s decisions and karma. I only want to present what the stars have to say about what a certain time and cycle is good for-- and how it asks a person to learn and grow. Often clients don’t see it that way, and when I did readings professionally, I was sure to make my literature and discussions included the fact that I don’t do predictions. Each individual has the freedom to make choices within realm of astrological influences. I never want to take away or impede the growth that comes from exercising free will and feeling the personal power that comes from grappling with decisions. Yet there are still many people who think that predicting the future is the only reason to see an astrologer. I have been asked how many of my predictions come true. None because I don’t make them. The feedback I get runs along the lines of being on target about what people have to consider, face and/or have an opening to go for. My favorite compliment was, “You’re the real deal.”  Did I ever get it wrong? I’m sure. Everyone has off days.

For a larger personal context, I am embarrassed to admit that I actually verbalized as a young college student my desire to save the world. How naïve. I was taught that if you have gifts, you share them. I never considered that I had any say as to what degree.

I started learning astrology to know myself and others. To understand my own dilemmas and tendencies, especially those which seemed to be repetitive cycles that left me going in circles, getting nowhere. Seeing clients broadened my experience. Ironically, my trademark was “going deep.” I see the heart of situations. People open up to me.

I never became a full-time astrologer because I had an excellent government job with benefits that people nowadays can only dream of. It was a no-brainer to stay the course until retirement. Many days I would have rather been writing or doing astrology. (I figured out a way to do as much as possible at my “regular” job. I always gravitated toward jobs that involved my writing skills, and once people know you’re an astrologer, the star talk is frequent.) I stuck it out. It was the best decision I ever made. I just had inklings back then but the medical benefits and pension would turn out to be lifesavers.

When my husband’s muscular dystrophy advanced to the stage where he lost his mobility and I became his caregiver, I willingly gave up many things I had held dear up to that point, including my astrology practice. The full stop was like using Mercury Retrograde for one of its high-yield activities—pausing to reconsider.

I am a very mental person often to my own detriment. I was about to be thrown into extremely physical work left little time to look at charts in my mind or on my devices, much less to do the mental gymnastics of interpreting their geometry. Full-time caregiving is taxing beyond belief, especially when help is expensive and resources are limited—and when a small woman is caring for a full-size man. Frankly, I was in survival mode for the next four years until my husband passed, wondering every day how I’d just get through it. At one time, astrology and analyzing my life, thoughts and feelings according to astrological cycles fed me. In this new situation, it did nothing for me. I sometimes wondered how I could go from living and breathing astrology to setting it aside.

As someone with a lot of Libra in my chart, I finally came to the conclusion that like anything else, many people’s relationship with astrology goes through periods of changing balance. It has seasons. I no longer like to analyze every little thing through a figurative telescope. I like to look at bigger cycles and to check in on my chart, or that of my loved ones, when it feels like it would be helpful. I started using other tools more, just because they felt timely. Many of my friends who know less astrology often know more about what’s going on in the sky than I do.

I never wanted to climb the ladder in my government career either. The thought of being a manager made me cringe. I was on a business trip with a male colleague and friend. We were having lunch at a restaurant one day about the time the manager test had been announced. He was encouraging me to apply. When I said I wasn’t interested, he balked. “But you’d be so good at it.” I told him, perhaps a little too loudly, “Just because I’m good at sex doesn’t mean I want to be a prostitute.” We laughed about that one-liner for years and how blurting it out turned some heads at the café. Obviously I gave myself permission to limit myself to what felt right in one of my careers. A big consideration was that I couldn’t write or do astrology if I had more responsibility on my day job. It took me years to understand that I did not owe all of my life’s blood to any of my work—and giving my all in my marriage so completely showed me the consequences. Finally I got to the place where I started saving myself first. What a concept!

Now I only feel like using astrology for myself and my close friends and family—or writing about it when the spirit moves. I just want to share what I have learned about life, which the stars often illustrate so eloquently. I don't want to predict or control my life, just to understand how to get the best out of what I've got. I relish the role of being an elder in my family. I learned much just living life and vicariously with my clients. Now I like to share those insights with those dear when the opportunity comes up. When it comes to astrological information, they usually seek it from me. I seldom offer.

The irony? My favorite class as an astrology student was Family Astrology. We compared charts of close relatives and the patterns were astonishing. This is one of the earliest classes I ever took circa 1982. Now I have come full circle.

“Family astrology” is still my favorite class. Maybe this was all deeper than I realized. Maybe part of my life’s purpose was simply to get to this point where astrology is not an active pursuit but a part of me that pops out to help heal my tribe as needed.

~~~

 

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Mercury Retrograde: Disappearing Acts, Mistakes and Misperceptions

 

Article © 2023 by Joyce Mason

 

There’s one thing I like a lot about Mercury Retrograde. I affectionately call the goof reveal factor. It’s a time where I uncover mistakes in my checking account, errors in thinking, or out-and-out misperceptions.

Yesterday’s reveal cracked me up. A couple of months ago, a favorite restaurant at a strip mall I frequent disappeared and was replaced by an AT&T store. No warning. No explanation. Nothing. I texted my niece Dawn to commiserate. She also loves this place. We ate there together often.

What was really weird about it? When I went to Trader Joe’s a about a month later, the restaurant was back. Huh?

To me nothing was odder than a store closing and reopening in the same place or the disappearance of a popular electronics store virtually overnight. I contemplated the possibilities and almost thought it to death before I finally let it go.

Yesterday I went to the strip mall from a different direction than usual and saw the AT&T sign from a distance. (Wait. It’s back?) That was my first clue that I had perhaps been “seeing things.” Driving into the mall with new eyes, I realized that the AT&T store is by Michael’s craft store and Zupas, the restaurant, is in the next nook over across from Trader Joe’s. I must have been at Michael’s thinking it was the site of Zupas when I perceived it as having disappeared. It never left. I just had the wrong location in my mind. I laughed at myself.

I was almost afraid to tell Dawn for fear she’d put me in a “home.” She mercifully reminded me that the two little cul-de-sacs housing both of those anchor stores look almost identical, not to mention being next to each other off the main access road.  Add the fact that I have lived back in Chicago less than two years and am still becoming familiar with my suburban area. While I felt a little less crazy from my niece’s reassurance that I had made a mistake that was easy to make, it made me contemplate how much we might miss in life or hurt ourselves by misperceptions. This was a little one that had virtually no effect but to send me to another restaurant on a couple of occasions. That turned out to be a great detour and gave me another good choice for lunch while shopping in that area.

However, we build our lives and attitudes on how we perceive things. Sometimes we are just off. For instance, almost every personal conflict I have had with a significant other is based on misunderstanding and/or misperception. So what could be more important?

One of the reasons people resist change so much is that our lives are built on ideas formed by our perceptions. Pulling out a key perception can make a whole stack of our life’s building blocks tumble like the tower in a game of Jenga.  We may have built our life on that structure, and the thought of starting from Square or Block 1 is overwhelming. Not to mention feeling foolish for never seeing the error of our ways.

Consider using Mercury Retro’s goof reveal factor to your advantage. If you have important finances, decisions or relationships that feel like they might need going over with a fine tooth comb, use the retrograde cycle to review and relook--and where ever possible, view it from a different angle. Also, just be aware that this is a time where such revelations may occur spontaneously like the missing restaurant did for me. Watch for them.

~~~

Photo Credit: Photo 101961894 / Magician Hat Rabbit © Gearstd | Dreamstime.com

 

Saturday, December 31, 2022

For the Love of Cusps: New Year’s Eve 2022

 

 



Post © 2022 by Joyce Mason

I love cusps. I know I have mentioned before that my parents and I were born on three cusps in a row: Leo/Virgo (Dad, August 23); Virgo/Libra (Me, September 22; and Libra/Scorpio (Mom, October 23). I joke that we are a tricuspid family. We were each born on the last degree of our Sun signs.

Perhaps this fact of life and birth makes me even more sensitive to endbeginnings, a wonderful term I learned in a Yoga Journal article many years ago. There are so many in our lives. As a celebrant of the solstices and equinoxes since 1988, I have discovered just how sacred life is on the edge of change. As winter wanes and waxes into spring, spring into summer and so on, there is a kind of comfort and amazement at these markers. Life keeps going on and we just keep learning more about love and living. Cusps help us look back and review our progress.

Burning Bowl Plus

In my Solsisters ritual group, which I co-facilitate, we do the ever popular Burning Bowl ritual at Winter Solstice where you write down what you want to get rid of on your life, whether it’s weight, a certain fear, a communication pattern that does not serve—whatever causes your life not run optimally. Our papers can be burned in a fireplace, buried, trashed or whatever form of letting go suits you.

After doing this for a number of years, I realized we were missing a complementary ritual. I call it the Ceremony of Recognition. Yes, there are things we all want to release. But what accomplishments do we want to recognizes ourselves for? We need to pat ourselves on the back but most of all, to see how far we have come since we last did this a year ago.

Those accomplishments and evidence of growth are our keepers. These are the things we want to carry forward and weave into the next phase of life. We do this ritual first, before the burning bowl.

Why not try it? As I am posting this past midday on New Year’s Eve, I should mention that it doesn’t matter if you do it today, tomorrow or next week. It’s within the zone of an endbeginning and the sacred time of reevaluations.

Twenty twenty-two was a difficult year for many of us. May you carry forward all you learned and your best keepers. May 2023 bring your more personal recognitions and fewer things to burn. Happy New Year!

~~~

 Photo Credit: © Tatiana Sviridova | Dreamstime.com


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Night Light

 A Winter Solstice Poem

© 2022 by Joyce Mason
















We are light:
universal energy
flickering Godstuff
illuminating the Path to Love.

Ink sky reflects light:
the cusp of winter
the Darkest Night.

Against this backdrop
light pops: the irony of contrasts,
the Yin and Yang of Life.

“You are the Light,”
said Jesus and other wise men.
Once we grasp this, we are Magi.

All the winter celebrations
full of candles, strung with lights:
love spelled out in carols, votives, menorahs,
the Christmas Star and in the Light of Laughter.

When the circuit connects
at the socket of the heart
joined flames have the power to heal
even at the speed of light.



~~~

Photo Credit: ©  Dreamstime.com


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Ripe

















An Autumn Equinox Poem

© 2022 by Joyce Mason

 

I fall off the tree

full of myself

so ripe my essence overflows

oozes back to Earth.

I cannot dam my seeping vitality.

I am the chasing arrows of cosmic creation.

 

I am fullness bearing my own fruit.

I am the autumn of my life,

the autumn of every life cycle,

I am the juice of my own potential.

I will not miss this bloated moment,

fullness over-the-top.

To miss it is to rot,

to cycle without harvest

to stifle everything I can be:

a magical explosion of me-a-tivity.

 

~~~

Photo  Credit: © Raul Garcia Herrera - Dreamstime.com


Thursday, June 9, 2022

Summer Run

 A Summer Solstice Poem

Poem © Joyce Mason 2022 










Slithering like a snake after rain

Summer hisses its heat and bawdy flowers.

We romp and run in the blazing rays.

 

We are racing prisoners who got out of jail free.

The blur of beauty scarcely catches our eye.

We sprint, tails afire, through the hot freedom

seeking water.

 

Maximum light and childlike joy:

We barely hear our mothers calling us for dinner.

Summer Solstice, cusp of Cancer,

Mother knows best.

Feed yourself

fuel for more adventures.

Rest a while.

Bring back the beauty from the blur.

Have it for dessert.

 

~~~

Photo credit: © Famveldman | Dreamstime.com