TrueHeartWork | Ingrid Hoffman
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Author:Ingrid Hoffman

To Begin Again

 

Endings can be unspeakably painful. Like a folding deck of cards, an ending can evoke a long-buried memory of a lacerating loss, open archives of ancient pain.

 A friendship fades, a partnership dissolves, a Lover leaves, a life partner dies. Our default response is to ferret for some kind of logical reason; to dive into a chasm of rejection and abandonment; or find a balm to soothe the seeping wound. For years, we pick at the scabs of these endings, stew in the bitterness of our own bile, our ego waiting for an admission, an explanation, an apology that never comes.

We self-righteously blame the other for committing the savage crime of rupture. For answering their soul’s call to move on. Like a little child sucking her thumb, we latch on the unforgiveable flaws and non-negotiable behaviours, crumbs of comfort. It would never have worked means “I did not have the courage, or I did not love enough to …”

So often, the astrological symbolism in a client’s birth chart suggests that unconsciously it was she or he that felt the call of her soul to break free from the putrefying corpse of a relationship long deceased.  The composite chart, which contains the soul of the relationship itself, with all its fateful twists and turns, may reflect this need to part, or to re-invent the relationship, some time before it actually happens. Relationships, like the orbits of the planets, cycles of nature, have seasons too. Some never survive the cruel frosts of winter. Others thrust new green shoots after vigorous pruning.

 We all have our own narratives about times of endings. One of the great challenges at these times is to look at the stories we tell ourselves with gentleness and compassion. To acknowledge what is, to imagine what might be.  To accept the initiation into a new soul-ful experience, which always comes through a death  in some shape or form.  Perhaps only one of us feels that the relationship has become lifeless. And the heart rending decision to leave must be carried alone. Is this being callous, selfish, or honouring of the relationship and the one we once loved? Out of the seed of Love blossoms Death, so that Love can grow a-new.

Our relationships, our lives, demand courage and endurance. Courage to Hope again. Endurance to gracefully embrace the cycles of life and death. The wisdom to breathe, and embrace a new beginning.

“After all, computers crash, people die, relationships fall apart. The best we can do is breathe and reboot.” Sex and the City

 

 

 

 

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Wild Love

Nothing strips us as soul naked as Wild Love. Nothing shatters suburban lives, unmasks our shadow, nullifies our fear, lifts us on the wings of Angels, as Wild Love.

Provocative choices, profound turning points, soul-directed impulses – when we begin to see everything as energy consciousness, there can be no accidents, no coincidences. No one out there who can keep us in the gilded cage, as it is we who hold the key. We are the heroines of our own story, we write our own scripts. It is we who can dare to go to the ball wearing the glass slippers. We who choose to stay alone, sitting in cold ashes at the hearth. When we dare to love wildly, there are no victims, no-one to blame, just an interconnected web of constantly changing energy, new experiences to deepen and to grow into our Authentic Self.

“Passion is truth’s soul mate,” says Sarah Ban Breathnach, and as I see the tears of joy shimmer in my friend’s Siobhan’s lovely brown eyes, my heart sings. “It’s a meeting of souls,” she says. “This feels so right.” Siobhan lives her own story. Always has. Her life has been a trajectory of passionate, rather than passive, loving. So she soars to her new lover, transfigured, illuminated, true to her wild, authentic self. So she experiences a-new, deepening spiritual growth, another chance to bathe in the dewy-moisture of Love.

So many people say they fear intimacy; they’re commitment-phobic, as if this is some badge of honour.

Fear is the opposite of Love. It constricts, keeps our light dim, and mutes our cry of Joy. To love fiercely, we must overthrow our crusty beliefs about the material world, and answer the call of our soul song.

Cor,  root of the word, courage, means heart in Latin. Do we have the courage to Love ourselves, and another with all our hearts? Do we have the courage to embrace a fierce, instinctual wild love that will change our life, our world, irrevocably? Do we have the courage trust our intuition, the messenger of the soul?

“The way to maintain one’s connection to the wild is to ask yourself what it is that you want. This is the sorting of the seed from the dirt. One of the most important discriminations we can make in this matter is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the choice of mates and lovers. A lover cannot be chosen a la smorgasbord. A lover has to be chosen from soul-craving. To choose just because something mouth-watering stands before you will never satisfy the hunger of the soul-self. And that is what the intuition is for; it is the direct messenger of the soul.” — Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run with the Wolves)

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It must have been love

Sooner or later we encounter the bully boss,conniving colleague, abusive lover, controlling sibling or friend. Our relationships can be fonts of deep joy and growth; mirrors of our dis-owned shadow, as well as sharp shards of glass that make us bleed, and leave.

For five years now, Jenny and Ron have been locked in an abusive relationship. They fling criticism and blame at one another like poison arrows. Their marriage is a battlefield and they, the walking wounded.

It feels familiar on an unconscious level, to repeat family patterns. We glue ourselves firmly into unhappy relationships, because the reptile brain wants to keep things as they are. So an abused child may cling to the abusive parent, a battered wife may open the door that one last time.  In chronic stress, we mistake the familiar for love. We abuse ourselves by not acting in our truth or our integrity. We deceive ourselves – we cannot make it alone, we will not survive financially, we  will fail. Often the more painful a relationship is, the harder it is to walk away, even though it poisons us and stunts our growth.  Instead, we circle each other like snarling tigers, or dim our Light, become invisible.  In our stress response, adrenaline pumps through our bloodstream, devastating our body.

The drama triangle is a much-cited psychological model. Every painful emotional drama in our lives emanates from this triangle, so the theory goes.  Most of us unconsciously choose to re-enact childhood dramas, and replicate a template of neglect, criticism, martyrdom, insecurity and fear – the neurochemistry of pain. So, if you are locked in a power game of attack and defence (two people can play a role in this triangle) you might be playing either one of these roles: Persecutor, Rescuer, or Victim. We all have these inner voices. The Persecutor is the critical parent; the Rescuer is the over-responsible parent, and the Victim is the powerless little child.

Venus, planet signifying our relationships, is in Virgo, with the Sun and the New Moon (August 29th) suggesting that we go within, look at areas in our lives where we are out of integrity. Where do we deceive ourselves, make ourselves right, the other person “wrong”, deny our instincts and the signals from our bodies?  Only we can change the dance of destruction in our homes or offices. We can walk away, or we can choose to begin to learn the steps of a new dance this new Virgo Moon. The counterpoint to Virgo is Pisces, which can hold the energy of Victim, Martyr, and the sacrificial one.  Use the energy of Virgo –  self-containment, essential right mindedness, and purity. She is Goddess, honouring all living things – and Herself. 

Human beings are infinitely complex, mysterious and defy labels. Einstein is often quoted as saying that you cannot solve a problem from the same level of thinking that created it. So as we make a decision to shift from fear-based, battle mentality, to a new expanded awareness, we can today embrace a creative solution that opens up the possibility of respectful, loving relationships.

It must have been love, but it’s over now
It must have been good, but I lost it somehow
It must have been love, but it’s over now
From the moment we touched till the time had run out.  Roxette

 

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Astrology 101, Part 2: The Angles

In Part 1 of the Astrology Primer, we introduced the horoscope as a map of the sky at a particular place and time.  This time we introduce the angles, again using Marilyn Monroe’s chart to illustrate.  The angles are the four “cardinal” points of the horoscope, the celestial North, South, East and West.

The Horizon: where earth and sky meet

If you stand out under the stars for a while, you’ll very soon become aware that the stars of the Zodiac and planets rise, move from east to west and finally set.  Where these bodies rise and set is on the horizon, and its importance in astrology springs from the symbolism of this rising and setting.  In a horoscope, the horizon is shown as a horizontal line across the centre of the wheel with an arrow on the left pointing east.  That’s the Ascendant, and the sign on the ascendant is known as the Rising Sign. The Sun, Moon and ascendant comprise the three most important points in the horoscope and often allow you to get a quick entry into the meaning of a chart.

Let’s use this method to look at Marilyn’s chart again.

  • Leo ascendant: The bright, shining movie star
  • Sun in Gemini: Talkative, humorous, inquisitive
  • Moon in Aquarius: Somewhat cut off from her emotions

The ascendant is interpreted as the face that the person shows the world.  Marilyn was very clearly seen as a queen, her screen presence that of a brightly shining star, as shown by Leo, the lion, rising.  Even today, more than 40 years since her death, she continues to have pop idol status, a level of fame that would satisfy even the most attention-demanding Leo.  Often, of course, the face you show the world is not your true self, but rather a mask you hide behind.  And Marilyn, as we all know, was deeply vulnerable as well.

The Sun stands for the person’s identity – how they shine in the fullness of their being.  Marilyn’s identity is represented by Gemini, associated with versatile, talkative, sociable and inquisitive personalities.  We see this in Marilyn, especially in the comedy film roles she played, but, as we’ll explain a little later in the series, Marilyn found it difficult to fully live up to the true meaning of this Gemini identity.  For Gemini is not about just talking; it’s really about communicating. Not inquisitiveness but really a quest for the other half of the story – the signs that will lead back to the lost Twin. Marilyn tended to lean towards the more negative expression of Gemini: for example, she was notoriously unreliable, often turning up late on set.

Finally, the Moon stands for the emotional, reactive part of the psyche.  Aquarius, however, is an airy, intellectual sign, and a person with a Moon here often has difficulty in accessing their emotions directly or distrusts their own and others’ emotions as irrational or unpredictable.  The Moon also represents the way that mother is viewed; and Marilyn’s mother was far from a stable influence in her child’s life, eventually suffering a nervous breakdown, leaving Marilyn to be declared a ward of state and to grow up in a succession of orphanages and foster homes.

The opposite end of the horizon line is called the Descendant; it’s the setting point for all the planets and signs.  While the ascendant represents the part of ourselves that we most likely display to the world, the descendant is the part of which we are most unconscious.  In many cases, of course, we then project it out onto our partners in relationships and it is in this unconscious sense that the descendant often shows the type of partner we attract into our life.  In Marilyn’s case, her descendant is, like her Moon, in Aquarius, showing the men she attracted – men who were largely incapable of giving her the emotional support she needed. Her first marriage, at the age of sixteen, was arranged to ensure she wouldn’t have to return to an orphanage.  Joe DiMaggio, her second husband, was reputed to have been jealous of the sexual attention she received; they divorced within a year of marrying.  Her third marriage to playwright, Arthur Miller, lasted less than five years, and seemed to provide little emotional support for her.

Together, the ascendant and descendant form the personal axis of the chart, running from who we declare ourselves to be in the eyes of the world to the part of ourselves with which we are least comfortable and tend to project on significant others in our lives.  This axis also divides the chart in two.  Above the axis lies the visible sky at that time and place; from a psychological view, we can be objective about the characteristics represented by the signs and planets lying above the horizon and this part of our psyche is visible to and shared with the world at large.  Anything below this axis is invisible in the sky and is thus hidden, internalised and subjective.  Somebody with a preponderance of planets above the horizon tends to be more influenced by external events and wants to be more out in the world, than somebody whose planets hide below the horizon.  For the latter type, the inner, subjective world is where they live and growth comes through solitude, introspection or meditation.

Next up: The remaining two angles.

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You look Wonderful tonight

“You look wonderful tonight”
“Humph, it’s the candlelight!”
We brush off compliments like bread crumbs, add ice cubes to the warmth of pure Bliss. All the while, diligently saying  our affirmations, making wish lists, journaling, signing up for “Manifest your Soul Mate workshops”. And yet, when we get that great job offer in New York, meet an attractive person in a coffee shop, we flee as if pursued by the hound of the Baskervilles!

Giving is far easier than receiving for most of us. We stay in control. Get that warm fuzzy feeling which says that we are “good”. Imago Relationship theory posits that the people we pick in our relationships mirror the traits of our childhood care-givers.

It is in the eyes of our Lover that our original yearnings are reactivated. We attempt, in adult life, to get what we did not get in childhood from our parents. Through our filters, we see that our partners respond as our parents did and this recreates the original childhood frustration. In his book, Receiving Love, Harville Henricks talks about a “receiving  deficiency” which contains, at its root, a memory of not feeling worthy of being loved. “The desire, which originally was free of conflict, is now contaminated by the caretaker’s rejection.” This might have been subtle, or overt.

“My mother used to say that I was greedy for love. I wanted too much,” my friend Sue shared over a latte at the Waterfront on Sunday. Sue deflects compliments and appreciation like a pro, and when her lover praises her, she sets the bar higher and higher, nothing is ever good enough – she says she doesn’t believe him. “He tells me what he thinks I want to hear.”

So we make an unconscious decision not to ask for anything, as we feel that to want is bad.  Until we dismantle the inner drama from our childhood, we remain deprived – still hungry!

The fear of receiving resonates in the deepest levels of the psyche. To receive is to let life happen, to open to grief and loss, to open to love and delight,” says Jungian analyst, Marion Woodman.

So take some quiet  time today to review your life. Think about those gifts or acts of kindness you received in your past that were valuable to you. Replay the scene like a movie. How old were you? Who gave them to you? How did you feel? Allow yourself to re-experience and savour the good feelings connected to the gift and the giver. Notice your resistance, the voice inside your head. Check in with your body. What comes up for you?

So many of the little gifts we receive each day are engulfed in busyness and self-absorption. Like snow white feathers, they fall onto our path, and so often we hurry on, too hasty to pause, to pick them up.

Open your heart today, and notice these little feathers. The acts of kindness. Your partner brings you a cup of tea, your neighbour waves as you drive to the office, a cashier greets your presence with a warm smile. Attune to a new level of awareness as you experience the softness and abundance of The Universe. Experience the gifts you receive in every cell of your body. Notice acts of kindness and generous behaviour in your partner’s efforts. Encourage the giving so that you can learn that it is safe to receive.

Know that you look wonderful tonight!

 Harry I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and the thing is, I love you.
Sally What?
Harry I love you.
Sally How do you expect me to respond to this?
Harry How about, you love me too.
Sally How about, I’m leaving.

(When Harry met Sally.)

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Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel

Fear can be contagious. Like sex, it sells newspapers. News channel ratings rocket. Do we really have to buy into the collective paranoia?

Three of my closest friends are going through challenging times right now –   ill health, relationship in grid lock, financial fear. Sue called me today, panic permeating her beautiful voice, “What’s this Fifth Night thing I’m reading about? Is Tripoli going to fall? Stock markets going to plummet again?”

Fear multiplies exponentially like germs in Petri dish. Collectively, we seem to swarm like flies to rotting corpse, to things that go “bump in the night”. End of World prophecies abound as 2012 draws nearer… the end of the world as we know it? The “what ifs” that make us strut and fret, worry ourselves literally sick about what might be …

I reminded myself of a quotation from A Course in Miracles, “Only the Mind can create Fear”.  And I thought of all the times in my life when I have scared myself with things that never happened. Terrorized myself in the darkest hours before dawn. Now I know better (mostly!), I do better, and focus on the in-breath and the out-breath, in the  certain knowing that it is only from this moment in time that I create my future.

The symbolism of the astrology at the moment suggests we are, indeed, in the crucible of great change, a death and rebirth cycle. This cycle is a time of break-down, a time of metaphorical, or literal dying, to make way for new birth. In the cycles of Life, nothing truly dies, only changes form. Like the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes, so often the endings in our lives bring new and even more vivifying experiences.

According to Mayan mythology as interpreted by Carl Johan Calleman, on August 19th, we crossed the threshold into the fifth night of the final level of the Tzolk’in, calendar. This fifth night is ruled by Tezcatlipoca, Lord of Darkness, and will bring  destruction, and certainly  change, either in our personal lives, or collectively. The last time we experienced this wave was in 2008, which marked the beginning of the global financial crisis, and the burst of the housing bond bubble. In my own life it was a year of final endings; and a conscious choice to open the door to a new direction for my life journey.

Astrologically, Venus moves into the earthy sign of Virgo today. She is  a celestial signpost that alerts us to be more discerning in our personal lives,  to avoid ingesting “toxins” which  contaminate our psyches. Virgo energy suggests that we get things in order,  clear out the clutter, focus more precisly on what we value in our lives.  On one level this can be as simple as re-organising our email inbox, clearing out the beyond sell-by date food in  our refigerator, decluttering the wardrobe, taking charge of our financial affairs. Changing to a bank that offers better service, better interest rates.

On another level it is about staying in our integrity. Eschewing “junk food” – gossip, toxic relationships, fear-based news stories, all the dramas in your own life or the lives of those around you.  Setting  aside time each day to focus on those things that nourish your spirit. Opening your heart,  embracing changes and challenges in your life with a sense of curiosity and wonder, and an awareness that we are held and supported on a Higher Level.
“Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.”

A Course in Miracles

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Baby, I have been here before

 

Strange, isn’t it, how a frisson of a fragrance, a sliver of a song, can reverberate like the striking of a bell, redolent across the veils of time. Long after my tears have dried, I cannot now listen to Imogen Heap’s haunting voice singing Hallelujah, or Mark Knopfler’s Romeo and Juliet, without connecting instantly to two men I have loved with wondrous, wild abandon.

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah” (Leonard Cohen)

Love.  “A broken Hallelujah”. Or a place to rest in the Heart of God.

Love. One syllable, that has divided kingdoms, fractured families, glorified, bankrupted, enslaved, enraptured, broken open, annihilated, made holy, triumphant with Joy.

Love.  An act of courage and truth that pierces the darkness of separation and time.  

“It’s been seven months now,” says my neighbour, a stoic veteran of several over-40 online dating forays. She has  garnered enough first-and-last dating experiences to hold a dinner table in stunned disbelief. I admire her courage and fortitude; her resolute belief that she will find her Prince if she kisses enough Frogs.

It’s easy to become shut-down, cynical.  To barricade ourselves behind emotional barbed wire. Love hurts, love scars, love wounds and marks… movies, songs, literature, portray Love as the sacrificial Flame that consumes. Passion always means pain. And anyone who has loved and lost will say that it bloody well does.

The day-to-day minutiae of committed relationships seem sawdust after the intoxicating ambrosia of a passionate, heroic love affair.

We have assimilated the belief that True Love is a form of suffering that paradoxically vivifies and “completes” us.  And so, as dangerous, magnificent, desperate and tragic as Love is, we find this an irritable impulse that draws us to the sacrificial flame.  Western culture has no history of romantic Love within the convention of marriage. The concept of romantic love did not even exist until the 12th Century.

Only in Hollywood do the love stories (mostly) have a happy ending. Watch a French movie to find out that life and love are more often messy and always open-ended! Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, Lancelot and Guinevere did not grow old together, or live happily ever after.

Historically marriage was a social, economic, or political construct, usually involving some exchange of Power – land, livestock, jewels and gold. As we evolve spiritually, this old paradigm is just not working any longer – witness around you the age of Disposable Marriage and Broken Hallelujahs.

According to spiritual teacher, Gary Zukov, we have now crossed the threshold to partake of the sacrament of Spiritual Partnership. He writes, “spiritual partnerships have four main requirements—commitment, compassion, courage and conscious communication.”  Gary says a spiritual partnership is a dynamic that can be entered into with just one intention…spiritual growth. “It doesn’t mean you go out and you say, ‘I’m going to create a spiritual partnership,’” he says. “It means that your intention is to become aware and responsible for yourself.”

It requires a heroic heart to nail your colours to the mast of a marriage or committed union.  Setting sail on a spiritual partnership comes at a cost – personal growth and differentiation always does. Your well-polished beliefs, the stories you tell yourself about the world and The Other,  and the “self” you thought you were,  will  transform with a seismic shudder. Being in a conscious partnership is not for the faint-hearted!

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Astrology 101, Part 1: Introduction

You may have wondered after an astrological reading what’s behind the astrologer’s words. Or maybe you just want to learn the basics of astrology. That’s what this series aims to help you with. Each article will cover some area of astrology – just enough to give you a feeling what it’s all about, and sometimes pointing to further details on our website. So, let’s begin…

What is Astrology, anyway?

Simply put, astrology is a method of divination based on what’s occurring in the sky at a particular place and time. While divination is often thought of as another word for “predicting the future” or “fortune-telling”, these thoughts are really only a small part of it. More correctly, divination means entering into a sacred space to conduct a conversation with the divine. That conversation can have many aspects: gaining a different perspective on a situation, foreseeing potential outcomes and negotiating a new approach to a current position are all part of a divination.

Some diviners, of course, whether using astrology, Tarot, the I-Ching or other methods, do focus entirely the aspect of foreseeing the future, but this can be quite dangerous, since it can imply that a future outcome is already determined and that free will does not exist. Here at Velanova, we take the broader view: fate and free will combine to define our future, and the moment of divination that happens in an astrological reading is an opportunity both to understand the present and to negotiate the future.

Most methods of divination, from reading tealeaves to judging a horoscope, use some form of physical object to represent the divine side of the conversation; the role of the diviner is then to interpret and mediate between the divine and the human. The physical representation used by an astrologer is nothing less than the entire sky that overarches a particular time and place. This representation is unique not only in its magnificence, but also in its high predictability over time.

It’s this aspect of time that makes astrology so different to most other forms of divination. A Tarot spread, for example, can show time at a high level – e.g. past, present and future – but it’s only with astrology that one can look at precise moments of time in the past or the future and compare them with the present time. This allows astrology to explore the evolution of a situation better than any other form of divination.

But, really, what is Astrology?

That’s all very well, I hear you say, but come down from the clouds of divination and tell me what astrology really is! How do you “do” it?

The bottom line is that for every place and time that you can imagine, there exists a unique sky above it. In the very early days of astrology, some 4,000 years ago in Babylon, astrologers simply went out and looked up at the sky to divine its meaning. Today, we use a map of the sky (usually computer-generated) called a horoscope as the basis of any reading.

Like any map, the horoscope uses a set of coded symbols to represent the key features of the sky as seen at that time and place. This horoscope is associated with any and every event that occurs there and then – a meeting, a car crash, a birth or a death, a football game or a medical operation – we can look at whatever occurs at that moment and place through the horoscope. A horoscope associated with a beginning (often called a birth or natal chart) is assigned special importance in astrology because it can stand for what was born throughout its life. Throughout this series, we will deal exclusively with the natal charts of people, but it’s interesting to note that anything that was “born” at the same place and time as a person has the same chart, whether it’s a dog, a car or a company, and the chart must be interpreted differently depending on what birth you are looking at. (Note that the word “horoscope” is misused in newspapers and magazines – your horoscope doesn’t change from day to day or month to month; like a pet, it’s for life!)

The other misconception we had better clear up now is this: most modern astrology is not about the stars! So phrases like “star signs” and “what the stars say” are also misleading. Astrology is largely about what moves against the background of the stars, namely the Sun, Moon and planets, as well as the horizon, and uses the stars as a way of tracking that movement. It’s this information and more that’s recorded in a horoscope.

The Structure of the Horoscope

Now, let’s get down to some more detailed stuff – what does a horoscope look like and what are its parts. There are many styles for drawing horoscopes, but here I’m using a style that helps you see all the key parts.

In the accompanying picture, the first thing to notice (after the picture of Marilyn Monroe, whose chart this is) is the circle of the Zodiac around the outside. The signs of the Zodiac divide the great circle (360 degrees) of the sky into 12 equal parts of 30 degrees each. These signs are related to constellations of stars such as Aries, Taurus, Gemini and so on. However, their actual positions in the sky do not align in most systems of astrology today, the reason for which is beyond the scope of this primer.

Inside this circle, a set of symbols represent the Sun, Moon and planets. For ease of use, we will refer simply to “planets” as including the Sun and Moon, but we do actually understand they are different! You can see that each planet is found in a sign of the Zodiac. For example, the Sun (the yellow circle with a dot at the centre) is in Gemini in this chart. Thus, Marilyn’s Sun sign is Gemini. However, she also has a Moon (the grey crescent) sign of Aquarius, a Mercury (the orange symbol or glyph beside the Sun) sign of Gemini again, a Venus (the pink female symbol) sign of Aries, a Mars (the red male symbol) sign of Pisces, and so on. Each of these planet-sign combinations reveals a little bit about her character, which we’ll see as we go on in the series. But, for now, to whet your appetite, here’s how the above four placements are interpreted in a very simple way:

  • Sun and Mercury in Gemini: Talkative, humorous, inquisitive
  • Moon in Aquarius: Somewhat cut off from her emotions
  • Venus in Aries: Flirtatious, sought relationships with powerful men
  • Mars in Pisces: Difficulty in asking for what she wanted

Up Next: More on the structure of the horoscope.

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And so you’re back … from outer space …

An email from an old lover arcs into your sedate suburban life, a flaming comet of passionate destruction. Out-of-the-blue, a familiar face smiles beguilingly, inviting you to be her friend on Facebook, taking you time travelling to that place where it all began. Ghosts from the past, lovers and friends, who once towered like Colossus in our lives, suddenly reappear, ripping at scar tissue, straining against carefully bandaged memories; gifting us with an opportunity to bathe in the elixir of Forgiveness – for them and for ourselves; bringing to our awareness those places within us that still hold the currency of Victim, Vampire, Rescuer, or Redeemer Archetypes.  Reminding us that we are all part of the Matrix.  Interconnected in the Web of Life.

With Mercury in Retrograde effective until August 26th and Mars in the instinctual water sign of Cancer, holder of memories and nostalgia, until September 18th, we will find both Diamonds and Rust in the precious and painful memories of those we once danced with in those sepia-coloured days gone by.

People re-appear in our lives for a purpose. They mirror our Shadow. They invite us to go deep within and heal those places that still weep and haemorrhage from wounds we thought we had healed in hours and years of self-growth work. As long as a wound is not fully healed, it will bleed when someone inadvertently bumps it. Circumstances and experiences, will keep repeating the more we blame others, and ourselves.

 “There are no guilty people, only people that suffer,” says author and personal growth teacher, Lise Bourbeau, “the other person is not responsible for your suffering.”

So when a person re-appears, a swift parabola from the past, we need to go within and connect with our Authentic Self.  Does it feel soft and easy being with them again, or is there a sense of dis-ease and dis-comfort in their presence? What is the Wisdom in the re-union? Perhaps the lesson is forgiveness, in the knowledge that we did the best we could, given what we knew at the time – and so did they.  

Sometimes we stand at a crossroads. It is time to let go, to say goodbye, to gain new experiences, to Love again. Blending our journeys may not be possible, or there may be a high fee to pay the ferryman if we forgo our own Journey and become a passenger, swept along by our partner’s dreams. These times of partings may be painful. They may come early on in our relationships or after many years. And although we may find ourselves surprised when we arrive at the crossroad, there are no accidents. The time has come to be free to plan our own journey, to embrace our own destiny.

Anyone who has loved deeply, has felt  abandoned or rejected, will resonate with the defiant lyrics of Gloria Gaynor’s anthem, “I willsurvive”, or the evocative voice of Joan Baez who finds “Diamonds and Rust” in the precious and painful memories of a relationship past.

Venus (relationships, what we truly value, how we express ourselves in our relationships) now in Leo, (July 28th to August 21st) and the Leo Sun now at his flamboyant zenith, remind us to be magnanimous and also to consider why we are being re-visited by these people from our past. 

If we are anchored in our own secure self-image, we will be in our integrity and be able to allow others to shine brightly; to bless them on their journey, to thank them for gifting us with experiences of love, loss and renewal.

Re-visit the past on U-Tube with Gloria Gaynor, and Joan Baez.

Diamonds and Rust

Words and Music by Joan Baez

I’ll be damned
Here comes your ghost again
But that’s not unusual
It’s just that the moon is full
And you happened to call
And here I sit
Hand on the telephone
Hearing a voice I’d known
A couple of light years ago
Heading straight for a fall

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Crossroads

Should I stay or should I go? The one-hit wonder by punk rockers, The Clash, epitomises the encased in concrete immobility of making a debilitating difficult choice.

Choices crucify our energies, catapult us to the crossroads, and entomb us in that stuck place of indecision.  We can toss a coin, practice EFT, take a walk on the beach, and still the demons of doubt claw and gnaw and wake us in the darkness of the night.

 My Gemini husband and I (a vacillating Libran) both know the torment of indecision; two air-heads, with Mars in water signs. Mars, simplistically, suggests how we express our Masculine Core Essence. Mars is a planet of action, assertion, yang expression, which prefers definitive direction, a mission to accomplish!

Mars moves into the intuitive, water sign of Cancer on August 4th until September 18th. So if we look to the skies we garner the medicine of deeper awareness and authentic (real, truthful) connection with Who we are.

In our intimate relationships and close friendships, how often do we calcify in our assigned roles – the rigid controller, the diffuse compliant (and resentful or subversive) partner? How do our fears hamstring us? Fear of risk taking, fear of failing, fear of success?

The Sacred Masculine Essence is a samurai in times of crisis and of change. In Cancer, the assertive masculine energy of Mars fizzles and steams, yet also displays nurturing qualities of the sensitive, intuitive, open-hearted male.  So, for those of us with Mars in Pisces, Cancer, or Scorpio, taking action when confronted with challenging choices, may be a tipping point into a new awareness and self-empowerment.

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them,” is the much-quoted wisdom of Albert Einstein.

The power of this statement connected at a deeper level for me last night when I remembered a scene, near the denouement of the movie, Casablanca. Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) tells Rick (Humphrey Bogart) that she will never be able to leave him a second time, but begs that he help her husband, Lazlo to escape the Gestapo.   She loves her husband, and is committed to the struggle against the Nazis, but her passion for Rick is tearing her apart …  should she go with Laszlo or stay with Rick… she says she doesn’t know what’s right anymore.  She tearfully tells Rick, “You have to think for both of us.”

There are times in our intimate relationships where we need someone to be courageous enough to make that fearful decision, because we are worn out, weary, and we just don’t know what’s right any more. We ask that they step into their Mars energy, stride forth courageously, assertively. “Think for both of us.” And, as they carry blaze through the impasse, it is we who must then soften, to trust as a little child, that our Lover will lead us safely through the thicket of thorns.

There will come a time, in the dance of Intimacy, when it is we who are required to step into our masculine energy. To hold the trembling hand of our partner …  it is we that must find our way through the labyrinth, decisively and courageously.

This is the sacred dance of yin and yang, masculine and feminine energy, that is the lustrous pearl at the heart of a Spiritual Partnership.

 

 

 

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