The Summer Solstice and the Wisdom of Spiritual Action

Summer-Solstice-Spirtuality-2017

From our earthbound perspective, as we watch the Sun on his apparent path around us, he reaches the fullness of his heat during the Summer. Today, actually this morning at 12:25 AM Eastern, the Sun moved into the cardinal sign of Cancer, heralding the Summer Solstice, the height of his annual golden reign over the sky. In the Northern hemisphere there’s no question that we’ve left behind the experience of freshness, newness, and possibility that Spring brings, as we achieve the high point of our journey living life through the fullness of long, hot days.

The word Solstice is derived from the Latin “solstitium”, and means “the sun stands still.” So I like to think of each Solstice, both Summer and Winter, as a moment when we pause, take stock, reflecting on our connection and experience to our own “hero’s journey” which is symbolized by the Sun. In mythology the characters at the center of all hero stories are “solar characters.” In astrology, the symbol for the sun is a circle with a dot at the center, and from a personal perspective the circle represents the perfection of life around you, and the dot is you. Each of us has the Sun somewhere in our birthcharts, meaning that it is our birthright to live as a solar hero, or a golden child – at the center of the perfection of life surrounding us. The path to that experience is called the “hero’s journey” in which we live our life experiences with consciousness, moving ever closer to ourselves as the rightful center of our own lives. For some, this journey might be challenging and fraught with fear, obstacles, and challenges. For others it may be easier… but whichever is your experience, it’s a perfect day to pause and reflect on where you are in your own “hero’s journey.”

What can be helpful in that reflection is to understand the energies available to us in this particular Solstice, which I like to think of as being the “background energy” informing the entire season. This morning’s Summer Solstice astrological chart shows that taking action on our beliefs may be somewhat challenging, but also supported by the Divine – and if we take the challenge we may be rewarded with the wisdom that the task accomplished brings. (Mars in Cancer applying to the square to Jupiter in Libra. Mars in Cancer applying to the trine to Neptune in Pisces.) This energy creates the impetus we need to allow our inner Divine nature to inform and support our quest for wisdom through right, if perhaps challenging, action.

There is also emphasis on analyzing our ideas, and allowing our curiosity to push us into new ways of thinking, and communicating whatever we come up with. Through these new ways of thinking is a potential kernel for healing a wound, or wounds – perhaps wounds around playing the victim, loss, needing redemption, or feeling outside the realm of God/Spirit/Universe/Wholeness. (Mercury conjunct the Sun, both in a square to Chiron.)

With the Mars/Jupiter emphasis, there are other ways that we might see this energy manifesting: pushing beliefs on others, courage of our convictions, the conquering spirit, ambitious aims, the need to travel or “go far,” a pioneering spirit, daredevil actions, righteous vindictiveness, the “means justifies the end” mentality, gambling or taking risks toward an ideal. There are many ways to combine the energy of Mars and Jupiter, but consciously choosing to elevate your actions with optimism and grace is one of the finest, and a good choice to strive toward.

Happy Summer Solstice everyone!

Summer-Solstice-2017

Summer Solstice 2017 – Sun moved into Cancer at 12:25 AM Eastern / Drawn from Atlanta, GA

 

Astrology: We Know We’re One…

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

One thing we can know from studying and appreciating Astrology is that we are all one. We are, each of us no matter where we are, impacted by the same energy at every moment of every day. We are one – and all part of the Divine energy of the Creator.

We are made of stardust and we ARE light. Here are some scientific facts taken from Matthew Fox and his A.W.E. Project:

  • Matter is frozen light and for every molecule of light that is matter there are a billion particles of light that are not matter. This means matter is rare and special – we are light.
  • Sixty percent of the matter of our bodies is made up of hydrogen atoms, which were present in the first years of the fireball, 13 billion years ago.
  • The remaining 40 percent of our bodies is made up of atoms forged in the stars about 5.5 billion years ago.

This means we’re all made from the same material no matter who we are – all part of the star dust of the galaxies.

We breathe in and out together as one at every moment… real time evolution. To me that is profound.

Let’s Talk Relationships: Venus in Pisces = The Art of Loving, For Better or Worse

The Birth of Venus by Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889) Oil on Canvas - Musee d'Orsay, Paris, France

What do you think of when you think of the planet Venus? The morning star? The evening star? She is both at different times of the year. Or do you think of her unusual brightness in the sky – so much brighter than all the other planets, paling only in comparison to the Moon to our eyes. Though perhaps you might think of the Roman Goddess of Love or her Greek counterpart, Aphrodite. They were both revered as Goddesses of fruitfulness, beauty and love.

In astrology, Venus’ symbolism comes from these beauties of old, encompassing the depths of love, relationship, beauty, the arts, harmony and partnership. She is the embodiment of eroticism, grace, devotion and longing… wonderful you say, but what does that mean to me?

On Jan. 14, 2012, the lovely, bright planet moved out of the sign of Aquarius and into the sign of Pisces, where she’ll be biding her time for the next 3 weeks, until Feb. 8, 2012 (Venus stays in each sign about 20 days or so in her ceaseless orbit – so mark your calendar). Because Aquarius and Pisces are such different signs with very little in common, the move from one sign to the other can be very distinctively felt, particularly for those of you with the Sun or other planets in the sign of Pisces, not only because Venus is currently occupying your sign, but because as a Pisces influenced Soul you’re so tuned in. And as of this past Saturday, Venus is energizing not only Pisces but the other 3 mutable signs as well: Gemini, Virgo, and Sagittarius. (To find out where your planets are visit http://www.astro.com and set up free birth chart.)

[Here’s a brief lesson in the Mutable signs (meaning they are adaptable and changeable): there are 4 Mutable signs (out of the 12 total Zodiac signs) and they all form a 90 degree angle to each other – meaning they are “squared.” This angular relationship is very dynamic, tense and challenging requiring some sort of release – when one of the 4 signs is affected, they all are. (The same is true for the other 2 sets of “4’s.” The Cardinals are: Aries, Cancer, Libra & Capricorn. The Fixed signs are: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio & Aquarius. We’ll have reason to talk about them later.)]

But back to how the movement of Venus into Pisces affects you.

Venus is essentially the value we place on experience at the inner level. And in Pisces where she is exalted, Venus expresses the need to relate, to love, to experience beauty through the lens of either transcending or escaping reality. (The idealism of the first several weeks of a new intimate relationship come to mind with all its excitement, sexual perfection, and the bliss of union   – both escapist and transcendent!) If transcendence is our valued path, we align with the archetypes of Jesus, Buddha – all spiritually transcendent teachers.  While Venus is in Pisces, those of us sensitive to it, may also experience a heightened sense of romanticism. We may dream of, long for, whatever we value in the depths of our being… whether that is forbidden love, the desire to help the less fortunate, the ecstasy of  the way music moves us, delight in the expression of Nature all around us, or the bliss of self-expression through poetry, photography, or other form of art. If we’re not particularly artistic, we may find ourselves drawn to and drawn into art in a way we haven’t been for a long time… or ever.

Venus in Pisces is a gentle, loving and very accepting placement for the Goddess of Love and Romanticism. However, if this combination is in a challenging, not-to-be-ignored aspect to a sensitive part of your chart that doesn’t communicate agreeably, the escapist qualities of this placement may come to the fore. Confusion around relating could manifest, leaving us fragile and uncertain of our worth. We could experience either ego-inflation or ego-deflation – depending on how we’re wired. Either way, the desire to escape reality and prop ourselves up with our favorite escape route isn’t uncommon: too much drinking, too much shopping, too much exercise or couch potato-ing, or just the tendency to day dream our time away… you get the picture.

So the beauty of the Goddess of Love meeting Pisces – the sign ruled by Neptune the God of the Sea, is that of unification – the unfolding into the cosmic bliss of creativity and agape – love as revealed in selflessness, love that is spiritual, being wide open to grace. The not-so-beautiful side of this combination, if it doesn’t sit particularly well with you and the energies you were born with, is that of dis-grace… self-sacrifice, disillusion, victimization and lulling the self with (hopefully legal) self-medicating. 

The wonderful thing is that you can choose. Do you want to learn and experience the high road of Universal love, beauty and transcendence, with the desire to either reach out and help your fellow-beings and the possibility to elevate your own spirituality? Or do you want to fall into self-deprecation and escapism, open to the possibility of deception and the willingness to to give up your power to another force. Those are the two extremes and certainly your experience is likely to be somewhere in-between. But when you know the options of the energy at hand, it’s liberating to know what awaits at the extreme end of either fork in the road. 

Venus moved into Pisces on at 12:47 AM ET on Jan.14, 2012 - Aries Wheel

Yes…it’s Retrograde Season, Saturn and Pluto are squared, but here’s something to inspire you!

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I’ve been thinking about the current Saturn/Pluto square, and all these Retrogrades. And just like that, I came across, for the hundredth time in my life, my favorite quote ever. It’s by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, that wonderful German poet, writer, philosopher, dramatist, playwright, and civil servant. (He was a good Virgo, with a Pisces moon – a man of service and discrimination with a soul connected to the pulse of his world. He was born in 1749 and died in 1832 – like us experiencing the turning from one century to the next. He is known as one of most influential writers of all time.)

The quote I love so much, and that presented itself to me today, is this:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

I do realize of course, that Saturn and Pluto are squared, seemingly wreaking havoc on our very foundation; and that Mercury and Mars are Retrograde – and that in just a few days Saturn will be Retrograde as well. All this Retrograde action translates to a time for mental and physical retreat, and a true internal reality check.  This is not the best moment in time to begin anything new.

HOWEVER – there are words and ideas in the quote above that at this time on our journey, the time of Retrogrades and a Saturn/Pluto square, are of utmost importance. Goethe speaks of commitment, the realm of Saturn. He also speaks of hesitancy, drawing back and ineffectiveness – also the realm of Saturn, but from the lower vibration. He tells us that without commitment we can never be fully engaged in our dream! As long as we hesitate, i.e. as long as we act from a place of commitment phobia, our intentions are not clear to the Powers that Be, and therefore cannot gather force beneath and around us, to rally us forward toward our goals. As long as we are wishy-washy, even a little, Providence cannot help us fulfill our dreams, goals, and aspirations.

So take heed of the Retrogrades and ruminate, stand still instead of running forward just for now, and work with Saturn to get the REAL dream in place so that the Pluto purging of whatever is getting in your way or holding you back can work its mysterious magic that will lead to an incredible transformation in your life as you know it! (Think “work toward transformation”.)

This month and through the next several weeks, during this time of introspection, renewal, rehearsal and not so intrepid and forthright action, go inside and figure out what you WILL COMMIT yourself to. Make lists, meditate, visualize, test and rehearse. Be bold and allow your genius to arise from within – and then, when the time to move forward is ripe (you’ll feel it), the magic will happen – the support will show up, the people of like-mind will appear to help, like the shoemakers elves.

Saturn + Pluto = REAL MAGIC, COMMITMENT TO RELEASING WHAT’S USELESS AND DYING, TRANSFORMATION TAKING FORM, DEEP AWARENESS OF YOUR INNER TRUTH

Read the quote from Goethe several times, only say it in the first person (Until I am committed…etc.) until you can recite it without reading it. Allow it to become a part of you. Internalize it and meditate on it. Feel it. And then…when it’s time to move forward…feel your power, be BOLD and do it! Commit with no concept left of turning back.

See? Retrogrades, Saturn and Pluto really can be your friends!

A Feeling for the Whole – an excerpt from Gwen Gordon’s “What Does God Look Like in an Expanding Universe”

The Milky Way Over Ontario by Kerry-Ann Lecky Hepburn

The Milky Way Over Ontario by Kerry-Ann Lecky Hepburn

Sitting in the grass on a moonless, cloudless night I gaze at the arch of the Milky Way, letting the forms of beloved constellations reveal themselves in the wealth of the luminaries. I sink back into a happy sense of my own nothingness before the certainty of the stars. I do not experience terror at this vastness of space-time, but an aspect of immensity that is comforting – all those stars and all the invisible worlds beyond them are necessary for me to come into existence. I am this immensity gazing into itself, born from the fire of its stars and cooled down enough to be able to think, see, and admire. No matter how remote these distant ancestors are, in this moment I know that we would not be without each other. A sense of awe sweeps through me.

Excerpt from “A Feeling for the Whole” from What Does God Look Like in an Expanding Universe by Gwen Gordon.  Click here to read the entire excerpt.

Visit Gwen Gordon’s amazing website at www.gwengordonplay.com.

Classic

writingI’ve been trying to write a post to remind you of this particular energy for two days now. What’s the hold-up? Hmmm. I’d say, at the risk of sounding woo-woo, that it’s Mercury Retrograde. No kidding…I woke up Monday morning, the first morning of Mercury Retrograde, and my phone, internet and TV were all down. There was a problem with Comcast. I made the call to report the outage, and over 3 hours later my service was restored…but only for a little while. I spent the rest of the day trying to work without much luck. Pretty much the same thing happened Tuesday, except the outage came late in the day instead of early. Late afternoon I finally threw in the towel and decided to take my own advice. I stopped pushing…stopped forcing. I decided that a walk with my family was a better idea than watching the “connected” bubble at the bottom of my screen, hoping for a few minutes of work time. I picked up a book that I’ve been wanting to read…and what happened? I became inspired to start reworking a scene of my own book. Not at my computer, not in my office. I was curled up with a notebook and a pen in a comfy chair with my son beside me, my mom happily watching Turner Classics, and my dog at my feet. And all this stuff just started coming up! It was fabulous. I connected with my immediate relationships, relaxed, allowed myself to take a step back and WOW. Inspiration flooded me. So don’t despair my friends. Yes. Mercury is Retrograde…maybe you should be too!