Monday, September 29, 2014

Autumn: Meditation on Wild Gratitude

Meditation © 2014 by Joyce Mason 

"Gratitude is heaven itself. " ~ William Blake

 As regular readers of the Radical Virgo know, I do ceremonies with a group of women called the Solsisters each Solstice and Equinox. Along with my partner in facilitating these events, we draw from a variety of sources from multiple traditions. In doing my research for this Autumn Equinox, I stumbled upon Wild Gratitude, the website of Shamanic Practitioner Stacey Couch. What a wonderful site—and concept. The idea of “wild gratitude” inspired me to create the following meditation for autumn. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


This meditation is in three parts. To give you the most quiet during your contemplation, I’ll explain in advance the idea and steps—then give you minimal cues to use during your meditation itself.
   We’re going to look at three kinds of gratitude. First, what are you wildly grateful for? These are often the things you hold most near and dear, like family and health—or avoiding a disaster.

   Next, we’re going to think about the everyday things we take for granted, those things that are so easy to forget to say thanks for—the sunrise and sunset, someone’s smile that makes our day.
   Lastly, we’re going to open to one of my favorite Native American practices: giving thanks, also, for blessings yet to come. 

   Get comfortable and take three deep, cleansing breaths. Drink in the feeling of autumn and all its gifts of harvest and plenty.   

1.    What are you wildly grateful for …

What everyday, smaller things are you grateful for?
    3.    How will you open to blessings yet to come?

I also shared three affirmations I heard that fit both the theme of wild gratitude and abundance, hallmarks of fall:

  • I am safe
  • I am loved.
  • I am a magnet for miracles.
Do this meditation as often as it feels right during autumn--or anytime. 

A blessed Autumn from The Radical Virgo …


Photo Credit:  © Шпорт Олександр

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.