TrueHeartWork | Annie Dillard
980
archive,tag,tag-annie-dillard,tag-980,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,select-theme-ver-3.1,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.12,vc_responsive
 

Annie Dillard Tag

Keeping the Faith—Sun in Sagittarius—November 22nd-December 22nd

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder—John O’Donohue

There’s a merry momentum as we turn our attention away from the cynicism and lies of those jaundiced public figures who dominate the news. This month we  switch channels to something lighter, less dissonant less deeply disturbing.

The Sun in exuberant Sagittarius this month scatters star dust and sparkle into the weeks preceding the winter solstice. The essence of Sagittarius contains an ember of optimism and effervescent good cheer, mirrored by sequinned party dresses that glitter in the shop windows, the profusion of seasonal fare that delivers an avalanche of excess and indulgence.

Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter.  Jupiter is associated with the kind of laughter that brings tears to our eyes and softens the hard edges of the world.  This is the month of Thanksgiving.  For counting our blessings.  We invoke the buoyancy and resilience of  Jupiter when we keep the faith, when we look up, when we notice the silver lining in the dark clouds of circumstance.  When we change our perception and quite suddenly,  discover serendipity.

 

Changing our attitude takes practice and repetition. Rick Hanson, a psychologist who focuses on mindfulness reminds us that our brains are biased towards fear and threat and negativity because the brain keeps us safe. Yet our brains are plastic, constructed for growth and adaptation. Practicing pessimist Tim Dowling describes how he learned to be an optimist in a week. He writes, “Optimists have fewer strokes, sleep better and live longer than pessimists. But how do you change our outlook? By embracing your Best Possible Self, keeping a gratitude journaland changing your narrative.”

Research acknowledges what shamans and witches have known for eons. The thoughts and images that flow from the deep ocean of our imagination have real physiological consequences for our bodies. Our brains often can’t distinguish whether we are imagining something or experiencing it in “real time”.   It’s up to us to re-frame our dark nights of suffering and loss, to take our bundle of straw and spin it into gold. Says Gary Zukav, “You cannot, and will not, encounter a circumstance, or a single moment, that does not serve directly and immediately the need of your soul to heal.”

Jupiter is travelling through Sagittarius now, enhancing and expanding our ability to believe in those intangible things we cannot see, to make those brilliantly courageous, self-loving choices that transfigure our energy, redirect the course of our lives. The placement of Jupiter in our birth chart symbolises our potential for optimism, our ability to dare greatly, to take that chance, to keep the faith. This is not the delusional, “gone with the fairies” kind of approach to life that pushes anything “negative” or “bad” in a weirdly cheery and disconnected way. This is about attuning to what is right in the world we see, with that conscious (and often difficult) choice to bring our best self into our relationships and our daily interactions with those we meet, wanting what is good for our communities and our planet. Writes Annie Dillard, “beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.”

From the 12th century the word bileave took on a meaning which was more about holding something dear, having a sense of esteem or trust in something. This subtle nuance speaks eloquently about our personal values, and ultimately, how we wholeheartedly trust and value ourselves. Author Briana Saussy captures the optimism and the faith of Sagittarius in her book, Making Magic: Weaving Together the Everyday and the Extraordinary.

Dream true. Listen to your dreams. Ask a question, seek an answer, be purposeful. Bring an offering. Discern with care who is worth listening to. Go into the wild. Show kindness to strangers. Accept that the journey will take as much time as it takes. Do not rush. Do not dwell. Pay attention. Find the cave. Ford the river. Be willing to wait for what is worthwhile. Sit by the fire. Make it your own. Stay as long as it takes. Lust, love, tell stories. Say thank you. Know your true name. Remember what matters. Live life so that others can remember, too.”

The choreography of our lives is infinitely poetic.  We visit experiences that exile us from our homeland, wash us up on the cold shores of loneliness and suffering. We walk through the morass of despair. Astrology offers a colour wash to our ordinary lives as the planets reflect mirror our experiences. For so many, this year has been a Perfect Storm. A sharp-bladed scythe of setbacks. We may be wrung out, utterly world-weary, driven by the unceasing call of technology, the relentless clocks and calendars of linear time. For so many, the office parties and family gatherings are enfolded in a soul-searing loneliness that coils tightly around gaudy decorations and the repetitive loop of Christmas carols.

Yet, if we sit by the fire, if we are willing to wait for what is worthwhile, we may sense in the silence that envelops us just before the dawn that delicate brush of Hope that carries our bruised heart on the white wings of possibility.

Mars has moved into tenacious Scorpio and Mercury in Scorpio is now moving forward which may mean that plans or projects begin to flow more easily. The New Moon on November 26th brings a bright promise of something that shimmers like tinsel, beckons us with the warm glow of possibility. The Moon magnifies the energy of the Sun in Sagittarius, as she trines Chiron in Aries and makes an edgy quincunx to electrifying Uranus in Taurus. This lunation will quicken our energy, stir those parts of our lives that may be weary of repetitive numbing routine.

Venus begins a new cycle in pragmatic Capricorn on November 26th, accentuating our values, pressing us to firm up our beliefs, to venture to the edge, and to commit to taking the time and the effort to choose a new way of relating to the world.

Neptune stations direct on November 27th inviting us to gaze up at the starry heavens. To be present with ourselves amidst the hurdy-gurdy rub of hurried distraction, the completion of deadlines, the planning for the future. Now we can choose to allow grace and gratitude to wash over us as we savour what has been wonderful about this year.

In this month of Thanksgiving, may we bravely embrace the spirit of Sagittarius, lift up grateful hearts. And be amazed.

I post regularly on Facebook. I will gladly send you these posts featuring more regular astrological updates and the lunations if you prefer to direct your time and energy away from social media.

For private astrology readings please email ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

 

0
0

Grace

grace-2There’s a quickening amidst the hurdy-gurdy rub of holiday preparation, the hurried rush to cross the finishing line of this year gone by. There’s a bright promise of something new that shimmers in the light of the Full Gemini Moon on December 14th.  The last of three Supermoons, she’s perigree, hugging close to the generous curve of the earth’s flank. A minuscule mote of light in the infinite darkness of the cosmos.

For so many, this year has been a Perfect Storm. A sharp-bladed scythe of setbacks. A blow-out of betrayal. For others, a soul-searing loneliness coils tightly around gaudy decorations and the repetitive loop of Christmas carols. We may be  wrung out. Weary amidst the clocks and calendars and linear time. Astrology like the seasons, is cyclical and there is “ a time to every purpose under heaven.”

The Super-moon illuminates and magnifies the energy of the Sun conjunct Saturn in Sagittarius, T-square to Chiron in Pisces. Concealed within the dark dross of  loss and pain, secreted beneath those things that block or thwart us, lies the gold, back-lit now by lunar light.

people-walkingThere’s a subtle theme change on December 19th. Mercury stations retrograde conjunct Pluto (Capricorn, 15 and 16 degrees respectively ) Mars moves into watery Pisces that same day introducing a  subdued tone to the music of the spheres, a deeper, more introspective harmony, if you’re willing to listen. The Solstice on December 22nd heralds the Sun’s ingress into Capricorn marking mid-winter or mid-summer in the seasonal cycle. A pause. A gap. A  hiatus that offers us time for spiritual renewal. The Solstice Libra Moon conjunct Jupiter opposing Uranus offers a liberating vision of exquisite beauty, inner peace and harmony if we are willing to look around us with new eyes and consider, as Judith Lasater suggests, that “we are being called into realization with great urgency and extraordinary beauty, and oftentimes not without difficulty.”

photograph-by-logan-swayzeIn a world currently experiencing a great cycle of break-down and transformation, we do have a choice. Amidst the hurdy-gurdy rub of hurried distraction, the completion of deadlines, the planning for the future, we have an opportunity to pause, breathe out. To choose to remain, even if only for the briefest moment, in that magickal space between the past and the future. To be—in the gap—of now. To find grace amidst the tired, tattered tail-end of the year.

Writes Annie Dillard, “beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.”

This  human journey is a journey of discovery that everything that happens to us can deepen our understanding, open our heart to the new willingness to change our story.

contemplation-mercury-rx-9Author and teacher Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes: “the doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.”

We are birthed with each new cycle, every new experience. Spiritual traditions are the husk that surrounds the fertile seed of forgiveness. Forgiveness like Love and Happiness is a word that has lost its currency and yet there is enormous potency in the mystical act of forgiveness. Estes names four stages of forgiveness:

Foregoing: refusing to dwell on the wounded place in our heart or the dervish thoughts that spin drying in our minds. To “take a vacation from it” to create a space for the healing to begin.

Forbearing: to make the decision not to be hostile, not to succumb to guilt or rage. Practicing instead generosity of spirit as a therapeutic balm over our scar tissue

Forgetting: letting it go, laying it to rest. Making a conscious effort to put it out of our mind.

Forgiving: to let go of any expectations that we are “owed” anything, or that the other person will take responsibility for our pain. We may not like the person, we may not choose to spend much time with the person, but we let go of the need to make them pay or suffer for what they did to us. We thank them for the part they have played in our growth. We become what we don’t forgive, she reminds us.

May you have the Grace to forgive yourself and those who have hurt you so terribly, that you may be released to live the life you have come here for.

May Grace imbue the dying year with the promise of re-birth. May the light of the Sun and the Moon  illuminate your pathway.

trees

The Byrds, Turn, Turn, Turn

Kate Havenik- Grace

 

1
0

Glorious

human crush“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” wrote Annie Dillard. There are times when the silt of our experience clogs up the arteries of joy. When we spend our lives in days devoid of mystery and wonder.

Finding fault with things outside ourselves becomes habitual, a dripping tap that depletes our lives of the glorious rush of joy and wonderment.Our obsession for thrills, shock and catastrophe corrupts our innocence with the corrosive cyanide of cynicism.

The stories we tell ourselves shape our world. We see what we expect to see. Mystics and shamans, artists and poets have known this for centuries.  “Where you look affects how you feel,” says psychologist, author, and developer of brain-based therapy, Dr David Grand, author of “Brainspotting”.

Psychologist, Ken Wilber, suggests that each decision we make, every action we take, requires a construction of boundaries. We can choose and choose again to remain in our relationships or our jobs. We can draw a boundary around what we choose not to choose. We can choose to be grateful and we can choose to be unhappy. We can choose to spend our days trawling through Facebook or watching news which  drowns  or lifts our spirit.

To the alchemists mercurius was the world-creating spirit. And the spirit imprisoned and concealed in matter. So our mind (Mercury) determines the boundaries of world we live in. We may trap ourselves in a world that we have created by our own perception of reality. We may stay stuck in our own creation. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle states that the very act of observing itself affects that which we observe. The way we observe and evaluate our inner and outer landscape will predispose us to notice a sunflower thrusting its face towards the sun or a discarded cigarette butt lying in the gutter. The way we observe and evaluate our inner and outer landscape will predispose us to see the love we have been yearning for in the eyes of our partner. Seeing with the heart requires faith and hope and a willingness to look through and beyond the boundaries that confine us.sunflowers_mariapopova

Pollyanna said, “there is something about everything that you can be glad about, if you keep hunting long enough to find it.” And in the midst of the horror surrounding her family during the German occupation of the Netherlands, Anne Frank wrote in her diary, “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”

So if we can learn to see with soft eyes this world around us. And if we can be patient and self-loving in our hunt, we may seek out the magical, the wondrous, in the ordinary everyday things that gladden our hearts.

Seeing with our hearts is an art that comes naturally to the very young and those fortunate few who “trip the light fantastic”  all through this lifetime. It is an art that must be cultivated with gentleness and diligence in our relationships.

The Magical Child archetype can be constellated more easily by those that notice the dragons swirling in ouroboric circles through diaphanous skeins of cloud than those who consult an app to know that today will bring rain. Faith and hope come so naturally, so easily to the very young and to those courageous enough to allow Hope to fly on white wings. Hope and Love endure in all great works of literature, art and film. And yet, for some, “hope is a tease,” as the Dowager Countess of Grantham of Downton Abbey says to her former lover Prince Kuragin, “designed to prevent us from accepting reality.” Perhaps the magic trick is to balance discernment and intelligent thinking with faith and hope. To make space in the busyness of our lives for unbounded dreams and curious observation. To trust our intuition to guide us into chance encounters and surprising new experiences.

city in cloud

Anna Quindlen writes, “you are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on the bus, or in the car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul. People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s so much easier to write a résumé than to craft a spirit. But a résumé is cold comfort on a winter night, or when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’ve gotten back the chest X ray and it doesn’t look so good, orbirds and full moon when the doctor writes “prognosis, poor”… Look around at the azaleas making fuchsia star bursts in spring; look at a full moon hanging silver in a black sky on a cold night. And realize that life is glorious, and that you have no business taking it for granted.”

So look around. Allow your eyes to soften as you gaze without words into the face of the one you love today. Life is Glorious.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natalie Imbruglia – Glorious

 

 

 

3
0

Pause

Blerta Zabergja“How we spend our days,” wrote Annie Dillard “is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

How did you spend your day yesterday? How will you spend your day today? Will you flutter from window to window in an attempt to escape this featherless flight of busyness? Will you sit at the feet of the false guru blinded by the harsh neon light that hides the darkness of the shadow? Will you be unwilling to think your own thoughts? Unable to find a voice no matter how timid to say: Enough! No more! Will you beat your instincts into cowering submission when they urge you to leave the burning house and run?

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.  How we choose to stay in relationships that blister our hearts. How we remain in situations that diminish us. How we meekly, with heads bowed, enter the company of those who, by the poisoned-tipped arrows of their words and the repetitive bludgeoning of their actions, stunt our potential, crush our spirit, laugh at our heroic struggle to grow and to walk away from what feels toxic. We gorge on empty kilojoules – fast-food media, office gossip, relationship melodrama, vacuous conversations. Blindly we rush about, ravenous ants on the march. Doing so much. Being so productive. We shut out the voice that screams for something more. Dying before we dare live, pressing onwards and upwards, straining towards the punitive demands we expect from ourselves – and inflict upon others.

So how will you spend your day today? Will you mark off the minutes and the hours, corral the daydreams, the hopes, the longings behind an impenetrable fence of shoulds and shouldn’ts?  “What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labour with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order — willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living,” says Annie Dillard. Blerta Zabergja 3

When we focus, concentrate our attention, what are we missing? When we look, what do we not see? When we carve out a walkway in the labyrinth of our life, in a design that fits with our world view, our old conditioning, what do we hack away and trample upon in our urge for perfect symmetry? When we float through the world, attached to the umbilical cord of the iPhone,  blinkered behind dark glasses of our endless to-do lists, are we floating through Life itself?

Small children and animals are our guides and teachers in mindfulness. The way they focus on the little things – a butterfly sitting on a flower, the smell of another dog on the side of a park bench, a bird flying from the foliage of a tree, a glimpse of the ripening moon from behind a dark tangle of cloud. Neale Donald Walsh says that “the degree to which people have evolved is instantly revealed through what they call entertainment and fun…nourishment of the mind is no different from nourishment for the body. What you put in is what you get back. In triplicate.

Blerta Zabergja 2So just for today, let’s rest a while in the pause of a heartbeat, in the warm embers of a love remembered. Let’s  feel what  we have been afraid to feel for so long. Let’s glimpse through the spaces in our busyness the mythic journey we all embark upon as we transform, re-birth, re-image ourselves in our own private lunar cycles of renewal. Let’s observe those small brushstrokes amidst the broad ones. And attune to the sacred cadence of our soul song.

Photographs with acknowledgement and gratitude by Blerta Zabergia

Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo – Pause

 

5
0