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





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 |