TrueHeartWork | Ingrid Hoffman
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Author:Ingrid Hoffman

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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True Colours

Dido’s raw and deeply evocative lyrics from “See you when you’re 40” surged through my earphones this morning, as I read an email from a dear friend, who lives in Ireland.  “He’s shown his true colours!” she wrote.

Betrayal, disillusionment, heart-break. Motifs I have woven into the warp and weft of my own life story.

People aren’t always what we think they are. And when they aren’t, we feel let down. Disappointed. Misunderstood.  

In love and loss, our lives so often resemble the plaintive lyrics of a Country and Western song.  Time after time, we barricade our fortress hearts, cauterise  haemorrhaging emotions.  Until, one new day, someone new comes along to kiss us awake… and with new hope, new bravado, we dare to love again, to shine brightly in our full aliveness in our True Colours.

Medical intuitive Carolyn Myss says that each one of us, in our life time will experience a betrayal. “One of the main reasons for the on-going trauma of relentless personal suffering is self-betrayal. Betrayal is one of life’s unavoidable experiences.”

I believe that betrayal is a soul contract we have with someone. A very special soul who comes to teach us forgiveness, to show us Who we really are.  A betrayal wound has a putrid odour, and seeps for years, until we are willing to notice the intricate design of the interlocked patterns that imprison us in the chains of our own unconsciousness. Only when we have really enter the quiet sanctury of self- love and forgiveness, can we shed  constricting chains, the straight-jacket of self denial,  to discover that as we joyfully cry “freedom! “ the Old Ways of behaving will not work for us anymore.  The Lovers that lured us into the fragrant arbour of juicy delights in our youth, just do not have the mettle and endurance to hold our attention in mid-life.

“Been there, got the mug and the T-shirt!” my heart-sore friend lamented. “I will not settle for a man encased in cement anymore!   He is not willing to do the self-growth work, or to hold me through mine.  I just don’t want to be with someone who stays is stuck on the hamster wheel!  I guess the gift for me in all of this is, that I have to look once again, at  how I love and value myself.”

And so, the screeching Valkyries swoop down upon us once more, and we realise that we are like wooden actors on the stage, going through Act 1 again. The lines are the same, though the actor might be someone new. We suddenly confront our own shadow in the mirror of the Bitch or Dick-head who let us down. We suddenly realise that the Unforgiven One is Innocent. They have come into our lives at the perfect moment – to show us our True Colours.  It is we who have betrayed ourselves – by distrusting our gut feel.  By settling for the crumbs. By agreeing to do those things that do not feel in our integrity. By ignoring the dream,  the sudden shock that wakes us in the dark of the  night with a strange sense of dis-ease.

Then we begin to observe that  we can run but we cannot hide. We can end relationships, angrily walk out our marriages, and still the odour of our terror and resistance follows us, like the stench of a putrid corpse. We will encounter more men and women encased in concrete – just like us – who will teach us the futility of going through the motions, acting out of our integrity.

Another friend, who has just ended a relationship, shared with me how sex without true intimacy and safety felt tawdry once the novelty of the new body had dissipated.

“It just felt so empty. A parody, ” she said.

Within our physical expression of Love, sex without a deep heart and limbic connection, feels  desperately lonely as we gaze into the granite eyes of our Lover.

In my own life, it was an awakening to find more truth and balance and integration in my own life triggered by the solar eclipse on July 1st. I knew, I had to dig deeper to discover the hidden treasure and refine my spiritual container. To dedicate an hour each day for meditation.

Astrologically, this is a perfect time for  introspection. Mercury, planet of communication and thought, turns  retrograde from August 4th until August 28th.

Use this month of August, to show up for your own spiritual practice.  Journal, pray, meditate, walk in nature.  Consciously become more aware of your inner world.  What wakes you at 2am? Try to see the issues and challenges in your life from a higher perspective, as part of the whole. Look at the people around you. They reflect your own True Colours.

I dedicate Dido’s beautiful song to my beloved friend, and to men and women everywhere, who want Something More…

“See You When You’re 40”

I’ve driven round in circles for three hours
It was bound to happen that I’d end up at yours
I temporarily forgot there’s better days to come
I thought that I would give it just one more chance

Cos’ I want, tonight, what I’ve been waiting for
But I found, tonight, what I’d been warned about

“You think that you are complicated, deep mystery to all
Well it’s taken me a while to see, you’re not so special
All energy no meaning, with a lot of words
So paper thin that one real feeling, could knock you down

And I’ve seen, tonight, what I’d been warned about
I’m gonna leave, tonight, before I change my mind

So see you when your 40, lost and all alone
being comforted by strangers you’ll never need to know
not sad because you lost me
but sad because you thought it was cool to be sad

You think misery will make you stand apart from the crowd
well if you had walked past me today I wouldn’t have picked you out
I wouldn’t have picked you out

Now I’ve seen, tonight, how could I waste my time?
and I’ll be on my way, and I won’t be back
cos I’ve seen, tonight, what I’ve been warned about
your just a boy, not a man, and I’m not coming back. “

Dido.

 

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Hey Hey My My – A girl called Amy

As I walked out into the new day, a double rainbow arched luminously over the soft curve of the waves in the sparkling bay below our home. And as I walked, I thought about Amy Winehouse.  A young woman I never even knew, and yet in her few years of fame and notoriety, she touched my life in some inexplicable way through the power of her intense, soulful voice.

Who was this person whose bright trajectory of fame and scandal imploded so publically? Who was Amy Jade Winehouse, behind the beehive hair, the tangle of  tattoos,  the artificial breasts, the outrageous  young diva, hurriedly hurling through her one wild  life, crying fuck-you all ? A plethora of musings and assumptions, judgements and accolades reverberate in the after-shock of her death.  It’s better to burn out, than to fade away...Like the mythic gods and goddess of ancient lore, she now takes her place in the firmament.  Out of the Blue and into the Black.  

The press have dubbed this constellation of shining bright stars the Tragic 27 Club. Requirement for membership:  Youth. Reactionary behaviour. Exceptional  talent. Extraordinary beauty. Brilliance. Bravado. Hubris and naivety fuelled by an  insatiable thirst for opiates and intoxicants… so that they all tripped the light fandango by the age of 27. Astrologically, this is when the secondary progressed moon makes one full cycle in the birth chart, shortly followed by the Lord of Time, stern Saturn.  This is a new cycle of growth and maturity. We  assimilate the lessons of childhood,  integrate the experiences of the first 27 years of our life time.

These glittering rock star gods and goddess are significant astrologically, and collectively. For one brief, tremulous moment, they capture the zeitgeist. They carry something wild and primal in the Collective that perhaps is too large and too potent to be embodied by one mortal. Their time on this earth is  a brief budding before they ignite and are immortalised, forever young.

Popular “sun sign” astrology, which has very little validity, in my opinion, would describe Amy’s Virgo Sun sign as presenting her with the  attributes of a sensitive, practical, grounded young woman, perhaps someone rather demure, who would prefer to work efficiently behind the scenes and be of service in some way. Amy was and would have been a hard worker, very driven and highly successful, had she grown into her full wisdom and maturity.

I have not been able to verify an exact time for Amy’s birth, but she was born  with a Virgo Sun and a Moon either in late degree Sagittarius or early Capricorn, suggesting that these last four or five years would have been especially intense and often traumatic for a sensitive person like Amy. Her birth chart holds the seed of her creative genius, as well as the numbing shadow of her eventual self-destruction. The siren’s call of alcohol and narcotics grew louder and louder, I imagine, especially from 2007.  My interpretation of her birth chart suggests that the real Amy behind the petulant Diva Mask she wore was soulful, highly intelligent, highly keyed and very fragile. It was perhaps  the self-punishing self talk around being good enough, and her intense sensitivity and nervous energy, that only the numbing oblivion of booze or opiates could quell.  Her Virgo Sun is squared by Neptune, a planet that dissolves boundaries of mundane reality, and also gifts us with enormous creative impetus. There can be great difficulty in creating healthy boundaries and also confusion about a sense of identity along with a yearning to transcend this earthly coil, to seek escape into oblivion. Neptune conjoins her Moon, enveloping her emotional and psychic sensibilities with extraordinary creative talent, yet also a great difficulty in staying grounded and focused. Amy’s Venus and Mars are conjunct, in passionate Leo, amplifying an enormous need to be seen, adored, admired as The Diva. Her fiery energy and  flair for the grand gesture  is counterpoint to the Virgo’s humility and  drive for self expression through work and service. To me, it is her Chiron in Gemini, that really  taps into the pain and wounding of the Collective. It sounds through the  often dark lyrics of her songs, and the heart-rending rise and fall of her beautiful voice. Jupiter and Uranus oppose Chiron, this small planet, a refugee from the Kuyper belt, that symbolises the Wounded Healer Archetype which came into Collective consciousness only in the 70’s.
With this challenging aspect to Jupiter and Uranus,  Chiron symbolises  a deep psycho-emotional wound that doesn’t heal, but which will, in time with conscious awareness, guide us to heal ourselves. Amy’s Chiron wound is around her ability to express herself to others.  Chiron and Mercury in Retrograde in her birth chart suggest that her wound runs painfully deep. The opposition of Chiron to Uranus,  not uncommon in those of us born between 1955 and 1985, has a well-documented tendency to evoke addictive behaviour because of its intense effect on the nervous system. The term, Indigo Child might best describe this wild child, who was too sensitive to survive the rigours of life here on earth. Exploding across the skies like Icarus,  she rests now with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, and Kurt Cobain, who never lived long enough to experience the first return of Saturn. “My greatest fear is probably dying with no one knowing of any contribution I’d ever made to creative music”  Amy Winehouse is reported saying  seven years ago. Her Spirit lives on, gone but not forgotten.

With thanks to Neil Young:

My my, hey hey

Rock and roll is here to stay
It’s better to burn out
Than to fade away
My my, hey hey.

Out of the blue and into the black
They give you this, but you pay for that
And once you’re gone, you can never come back
When you’re out of the blue and into the black.

Neil Young

 

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Say Yes to Love!

It may take a lifetime to learn to Love fearlessly.

Or, you can choose to do it right now, like Alex Lewis.

My romantic Gemini husband, Barry, recounted this deeply moving story to me which he came across on the bbc website. With the Sun’s ingress into the sign of Leo, the focus this month is on matters of the truly passionate, courageous, heart.

This is a tribute to the life of Alex Lewis:
Like so many young men, Alex Lewis played tennis and loved football. He had been feeling a lot of pain in his arm for several months, and guessed it was a probably a pulled muscle. At 17 he was diagnosed with bone cancer, which had already enveloped his lungs.

Despite conventional allopathic intervention – chemotherapy, radiotherapy, an arm painfully replaced with a metal prosthesis, the tumours grew. Alex accepted his inevitable death, and made a decision: the cancer would not define his life.
“It makes you realise just how precious life is. Life is actually amazing, but to make the most of every minute, you do have to look at everything in a positive way,” Alex said.

So, Alex went parachute jumping in New Zealand, riding the dunes in a buggy in Dubai, cliff diving in Cornwell, and died at 22, shortly after marrying Ali, the love of his life.

The well worn old cliché – Life is short has lost its currency. We still postpone adventures, resist even the smallest pleasures. Still we proclaim, “when I have enough money,” or “love will find me when the time is right,” or “when I retire, or the kids have moved out…”
We never really grasp the reality of what Love and Living our lives fully truly mean until we are met by some catastrophic event that shakes us to the core.

Astrologically, the sun, source of our vitality and health, ruler of our heart, moved across the elliptic of the sky into the sign of Leo on July 23rd.
A new cycle of life begins, as one year ends and a new year is celebrated for those who have birthdays between late July and early August. Happy Solar Return to all Leos! And for the rest of us, let’s celebrate Life and Love today!

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
— Mary Oliver

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Welcome to the TrueHeartWork Blog

The sun moved into the sign of Aries today. The start of an atrological new year. And a good day on which to launch our new-look website, complete with blog! We intend to blog regularly, and would love to receive your comments on the posts. With your active participation, we can make this a fun and useful dialogue – rather than just a one-way send from us!

Ingrid and I are thrilled with the new look and hope you like it too. Please explore the site and enjoy the content. If you have questions or discover any bugs, please us the “Contact Us” page.

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Sky Talk, March 2011: All change

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”
Carl Justav Jung

Change is a chthonic force in the cosmos and in our lives here on this earth plane. All change is an opportunity for new growth. It is part of the cycle of Life, the antithesis of stagnation.

This month, the New Moon in Pisces, heralded a month of turbulence in the Middle East, and perhaps on a microcosm, upset and turbulence, in our own lives.

Things escalate on March 12th, when Uranus, the planet associated with the energy of change and freedom, plummets into the fiery sign of Aries, igniting a collective impetus for new growth, as old structures tumble and fall.

In our personal relationships, the tower of self-imposed limitations must tumble, so that we can move forward, unfettered by old paradigms and limiting beliefs about ourselves and about others. The inner saboteur and the inner critic have their place in our psyche, but their voices need now to be silenced as we follow our hearts, our intuition, cast off the self imposed shackles that bind.

The full Moon, on March 19th, brings light to situations, and is a good day to do a ritual, set a new intention.

The Sun ingresses into Aries, on the Equinox, March 21st, to scintillate with the vivifying energy of Uranus in a powerful conjunction. You may feel energised, or restless. Need to break away from some situation you have outgrown.

Uranus transits liberate us from situations and relationships that stultify our growth and sap our courage. Now is the time to set sail, and journey towards new experiences.

A change of season, here in the southern hemisphere, as burnished leaves spiral softly to carpet the ground. The light of the Sun dims, days shorten. So, tune in to Nature’s slower tempo, and connect with your heart space. What feels right, and authentic for you now, at this time in your life. What do you need to shed? Reflect on your life in September 2010 around the spring equinox. This summer season is ending. So harvest the ripe fruits of the summer, and prepare to plant seeds of a new project, a new love, a new way of being in the world.

Autumn is a second spring
When every leaf is a flower.

Albert Camus

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