Thursday, August 17, 2017

Eclipse is A-comin'


www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/augustsolareclipse.jpg
Unless living in a cave or entirely off the grid in North America, you've seen scads of information on the solar eclipse coming in its totality to a region near you.

Amazon.com put out a recall on some suspect/useless eclipse glasses sold through their site. Anywhere on the path of near totality, remember to not look at the sun during the event without appropriate eye protection.

Many articles provide information from diverse sources, from NASA to religious views to channeled messages to advertising. It's a challenge to sift through them and decide what is accurate, what is opinion, what is bunk.

Some ancient peoples hid during the eclipse. There was fear that it was the end of the world as they knew it. Some traditions continue to support hiding or remaining indoors. Other ancients explored the event, allowing their curiosity free reign. Some experts believe one function of England's Stonehenge was to predict the coming of an eclipse.

Eclipses affect us whether we actually see them or not. They are major astral events and our system, our individual core selves, recognize that. There is a tremendous energy occurring around this one. Besides the solar eclipse itself, there is the Leo New Moon, Mercury in retrograde and visible during the eclipse along with Jupiter, Venus and Mars, AND all the people who are and will be traveling.

An event of this caliber creates a thinning of the veils between the worlds. Eclipses take us into the Dark at an untimely time. They also bring us out of that Dark and back into the Light. Though our minds may be prepared for it, our more subtle being experiences the strangeness of it. Even people who don't generally feel this can sense a push from every direction. For some, it feels like a weight or burden. Others express a weariness. Many feel a vague and inexplicable agitation.

This is a time to practice good self-care and self-awareness. Self-care may involve telling significant others what you're feeling, taking time to be alone, meditate, pray or do whatever spiritual practice you may have. Rituals ground us. Be gentle with yourself and with those you love.

What do you want to leave behind in the Dark? What do you want to see birthed into the Light? What is calling to be center stage in your life? How do you see your significant expression of who you are shifting?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Aquarius Full Moon 2017


This Aquarius Full Moon turns up the heat on the intensity of activity in astrological terms. This is the sign of our social conscience, our community self. This Full Moon is accompanied by a lunar eclipse only two weeks before the solar eclipse occurring at the coming New Moon. We are riding the lunar waves of change and challenge for our future.

Eclipses often bring change and shift in our lives. This can show up like the symbolic turning of a page, or beginning of a new chapter. We have all been experiencing this influence to greater or lesser degrees for days or even weeks prior to the eclipse. What we experience sets the tone for the next several months of our lives. Paying attention to how our entire system feels makes the most sense right now.

We also have the opportunity to open our hearts and trust the seismic movement that shakes us is uprooting the stuckness we have gotten ourselves into. This is a time to be gentle with ourselves and with others, to cultivate with care our close relationships.

There are deeper questions surfacing ~ about relationships to others and to our work. We are being called to be proactive rather than reactionary, to step into and use our power rather than to sit back and watch what others do before acting. With each of these callings, we are asked to respond with care, thoughtfulness and compassion.

Although eclipses are seen as times of darkness, they bring everything into sharpness and clarity no matter the emotions that clarity elicits. We experience the shadows differently. What we see in the dark presents us with a new sense of who we are, where we are and what we are here to do. The dark moment passes quickly enough, yet it leaves a lasting impression on our minds and psyches.

We are in a unique time to attend to our inner world and pull the outer world into alignment with the greater story we desire to bring into the Light. It's not often the heavenly bodies align to provide such strong motivation to unfold our own myths and to watch them form the connections we need.

One more awareness is that Mercury is on its way to retrograde (start: August 12th at 11° Virgo; end: September 5th at 28° Leo). My sense of Mercury retrograde is that it is the perfect time for information gathering, reflection, research and deep breaths. Many really deep breaths. Don't make major decisions. Or quick changes. Or spendy purchases. Breathe. Continue to do your behind-the-scenes work. Mercury retrograde is often blamed when we move too quickly to a new position on something. It's only the conduit of the energetic to pause, rest, reflect. Another moment or two ~ or week or two ~ of decision-making generally won't hurt the outcome. And if quick decisions are necessary, be sure to do whatever research possible and move forward.

Mercury retrograde will continue through the solar eclipse. More on that later. Just sayin'.

What relationship changes are necessary in your life? friends? colleagues? networks? other groups? What are these relationships teaching you? Have you learned your lessons? Are you caught in a collective space? Are you speaking your unique truth? What is ready to expand and move in your life? and in your relationships? What patterns of interaction no longer serve you? How can you change them?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Find Your Tribe


Yesterday, I wrote very briefly of the significance of our tribe ~ the people with whom we feel most comfortable. This motif has repeated itself recently, including bringing forth this image and quote.

Though we hear the call to live our passion, we don't always do that every moment of every day of every year. Many find ways to keep it alive within us even when expressing it is difficult.

The more important task is finding those who help kindle our passions and those who inspire our pursuit of them. These people comprise our tribe ~ the ones who call us on our laziness and support us through our dark moments.

Our tribe doesn't always reside in the same place. Sometimes those individuals we call part of our tribe don't like or even know each other. We aren't stagnant, single fixtures even with our passions. So our tribe may not be either.

Obviously, I write. Each person who reads my blogs is part of my tribe. By showing up and reading it, you encourage me to continue to write. Is that important? Yes. It fans my personal flames even when I feel discouraged.

I have other writing tribe members. Some are friends who've read my letters, blogs and stories over the years, encouraging me to continue. Writing course and group members who point out phrasing that strikes them in a positive or negative manner. Writers whose works I read and whose style I may in some way emulate or incorporate into my personal voice.

Beyond writing, I have tribal membership with spiritual groups. I have learned about different forms of divination, including tarot, dreams, astrology, shamanism ~ each of them calling forth their own tribes. These tribes sometimes overlap with each other as well as with my writing, family or work tribes.

Everywhere I go, in every form of passion I have, I find people who fan my flames. And whose flames I, in turn, also fan. Being part of a tribe is like that. It's as important to have others who provide you with true inspiration as it is to provide them with inspiration.

What tribes do you belong to? What passions are awake within you? Who fans the flame of those passions? How do you fan the flames of others' passions? What support do you need? How do you ask for it? What support are you willing to give others? Do you find yourself supporting others who do not support you? Do these relationships feel tribal to you?

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Capricorn Full Moon 2017


©2017 ML Monroe
If your favorite thing in to remain secluded at home, the Capricorn Full Moon may not be your best supporter. Even though the sun is in Cancer and home base is easily and completely the focus, Capricorn is going to tug you out for all the world to see.

Cancer is all about beginning; Capricorn is about the making it to the goal. Neglecting either of these will not work. The best path during this Full Moon would be to find a place of balance between the two. There's a strong flow of emotions between these two extremes and we are in the space to express our feelings and see where they lead. Something is about to be birthed.

This Full Moon is also called the Blessing Moon. Even though it may not herald a changing season, it is calling forth change. With July as the start of the second half of the year, that call for transformation is fitting. It's a good time to breathe deeply and look for every possible chance to express gratitude.

Alongside the Full Moon is a Moon-Pluto conjunction. This is the particular point of that deep summoned transformation. It's also where a sense of solitude or even loneliness can show up. We are being called to identify our tribe as well as define our place of safety.

A curiously strong aspect of this Capricorn Full Moon is that balance point between home and work, inner and outer pursuits. We have the opportunity to choose how we are going to present ourselves and our being to the private and public aspects of our lives.

Think about what is happening in our world today. The G20 meeting recently completed, we found ourselves facing decisions and agreements made without the overarching influence of the current President of the United States. There are actions being discussed in every region of the world that will influence every facet of our future environment ~ natural, political, economic, educational, physical, etc.

This Full Moon, with its polarizing focuses of the Cancer home/internal and the Capricorn work/external, also affords us the chance to connect with others in an entirely new manner.  We can choose to yell and scream and call others out on their 'stuff' ~ whatever that may be ~ while ignoring our own or we can choose a quiet one-on-one chat about our differences.

Drawing people in to conversation grows from the Cancer home quality. Consider the shaming and name-calling and how it shatters the tribe. Drawing people in gets past individual, systemic or privileged identities as well as beyond oppressive, limited and limiting definitions of ourselves and others.

For the past several years, Pluto has been residing in Capricorn, the sign of the Middle World, of established institutions. While it's been digging up the foundations for that entire time, the Cancer Moon makes it personal. The Capricorn Full Moon shines its glaringly bright light on both the large and small aspects of our world and asks us to pay attention to where we would like it to go from here.

What cracks are showing up in your world? In which aspect of the world (personal/private or work/public) are they? How are others influencing or affecting your current sense of the world? How are you affecting or influencing those around you? How do you want to see and experience the world in the future?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Cancer New Moon 2017


Another New Moon ~ Wow. It seems like only a couple of days ago I was writing about the Full Moon. The pages of time keep turning.

Like all new moons, this one is about releasing, letting go, setting the intention for gathering back in. A Cancer New Moon feels like coming home because Cancer is nurturing and protective. Being ruled by the Moon, and currently influencing the New Moon, showers us with a fluctuating emotional current.

Mercury entered Cancer a few days ago. Since Mercury rules the mind and communication, this New Moon is poised to allow us access to more sensitive communications with those around us. We have an awareness not only of our own feelings, but also those of others. Stay mindful during this time of any tendency to overthink an action or situation. With the intense focus on watery Cancer emotions, this could lead to higher anxiety. If that happens, be gentle with yourself. Breathe and relax. Let go. Remember, that's the gift of the New Moon.

Neptune, the planet of compassion, is currently in its shift to retrograde. Neptune inspires dreams, imagination, creativity, psychic openness, and divinity. It connects us to both subtle shifting energy and high spiritual realms through its magic and etheric juiciness. Its creative domain is primarily visual arts, like photography and painting, yet it can also influence movement arts, music and literature. If we allow ourselves openness to to any of these arenas, Neptune and the strong empathy of the Cancer New Moon will work together to bring our gifts forward. This is not a time for us to hide within the hard Crab shell of Cancer.

What emotions tug at you during this New Moon? How are you experiencing 'home'? What creative gifts are coming to the foreground more strongly for you? How are your dreams or imaginings currently influencing you? What are you considering communicating to one or more people you care about? What is holding you back? What might you be overthinking? Where may you be attempting to hide? What do you need in order to show more compassion to yourself?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Solstice 2017






It is summer, it is the solstice
the crowd is
cheering, the crowd is laughing
in detail
permanently, seriously
without thought
~ William Carlos Williams
The crowd at the ball game







Summer days are often seen as days for play, for enjoying the sheer pleasure of being alive. The Summer Solstice is the epitome of that sensation. Long with light, hopeful with warmth and growth, it embraces us with its energy.

William Carlos Williams captures this wonderfully: the crowd is laughing in detail, permanently, seriously, without thought. What great language! I've never thought about laughing in detail. Have you? Laughter is without words and so seems without detail. Yet, on Solstice, in the high energy of sun and celebration, laughter itself becomes the detail, the expression of sheer joy.

Why is the Summer Solstice important? It's been marked by civilizations at least since Stonehenge was built over 5000 years ago. It's one of the four seasonal markers everyone recognizes throughout the year, and one of eight celebrated on the pagan calendar. It's been a marker of the cycles, as well as the passage, of time far longer than any printed calendar or designed timepiece.

Every civilization uncovered and studied by anthropologists shares one thing in common. Some anthropologists refer to it as the search for the Divine. Others simply call it a search for explanations and meaning. Yet each civilization left remnants and reminders of its expression of the Divine and its rites and rituals, generally through icons and images.

It's that continuity that brings Willliams' words to light and life: laughing in detail, permanently, seriously, without thought. No matter the what or how of the celebration, the energy of it seems to be ingrained into us, into our culture, into the fabric of who we are. In the midst of the energies bouncing around in the world today, finding ways to release ourselves from their bondage by reintegrating the ancient laughter is vital.

How will/do you celebrate the Summer Solstice? What is your earliest recall of acknowledging the energy of this day? How have people in your personal lineage celebrated it? in your cultural lineage? in the lineage of your heritage?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Soul Dancing


One recent holy day, in the Christian cycle, was Pentecost. According to that tradition, this was the day the Holy Spirit flowed from on high and danced as fiery tongues upon the followers of Jesus. They claimed a direct experience of the Divine.

Pentecost is a holy day, as with those in many other traditions, that defies logic. We often read, or are even taught, these stories as metaphors, not as actual occurrences. As metaphor, they provide the basis for creed, doctrine and dogma without necessitating actual subjective experience.

No matter the religious or spiritual belief, embodied experience sets one apart. These are uncontrolled and uncontrollable mystical experiences. They are the moments when we touch, and are touched by, the Divine. We all can describe moments akin to these: the joy when we feel the first quickening of a new life; the quiet awe of a glorious sunset; the wonder of a rainbow after a wild storm.

Mystical experiences are like these, yet different. They are deeper, higher, broader, more intense. We can turn away from a sunset and miss the deep wonder of it. We cannot, often dare not, turn away from the Divine when Its touch reaches out toward us. The encounter with the Presence of the Divine without mediator, without outside sanction, is both thrilling and terrifying. We are in unknown territory with only that Ineffable Presence as guide. We have no clear idea what will happen.

And yet.... and yet these moments of intense encounter causes our soul to dance. Whether you believe, as the author of the above quote, that the soul is inside the body or that it is outside the body, it is an animating force. A mystical experience, an encounter with the Holy Other, enlivens that animating force as no other experience can.

I long to live my life, each and every day of it, allowing space for that encounter. Then, when it happens, I know my soul will dance.

How do you experience the Divine? What are your encounters with the Ineffable One like? What makes your soul dance inside your body? Is that a feeling you desire? Why or why not? Do you recall one or more mystical experiences you have had? What brings you the deepest joy? What do you want with/from your encounters with the Divine?