TrueHeartWork | Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Tag

Fiery Heart, Fiery Mind

bucket list 5“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it,” wrote Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Feeling good about ourselves despite our age, the girth of our waist, the wrinkles on our skin and owning the right to be joy-filled, whether we’re single or coupled, is something the self-help movement has focused upon for several decades now. But for most of us in work-addicted societies where our social interaction is through a screen and where we sit for eight or nine hours a day, play and pleasure are something we do by proxy. We fall into a trance of forgetfulness, our butterfly joy caught in the heavy net of seriousness and grown-up responsibility. In the busyness of living out the days and the months and the years we somehow become reactive rather than reflective to the myriad pleasures that life offers.

Play and pleasure trigger nitric oxide, a colourless gas that silently balances all our neurotransmitters and relaxes the blood vessels so that more life giving blood can flow through our bodies. The ageing Dr Christiane Northrup’s latest offering, despite its trite and erroneous title, Goddesses Never Age ( oh yes they do! ) is based partly on her own experience with milestone birthdays and her own experiences of ageism. She warns against pigeonholing ourselves and evaluating people on their chronological age. “There’s a vital life force within each one of us that is ageless. ”

Her new book borrows from the work of Dr Mario Martinez, author of The Mind Body Code  who writes,“Getting older is inevitable, ageing is optional.We don’t have to die with oxygen cannulas stuck up our noses. We should all be aiming for a happy healthy death.”

Martinez studied 400 healthy centenarians and found that they usually died in one of three ways: falling off a horse, havinDen on bikeg sex, or in their sleep. He discovered that healthy centenarians seem to like to live independently, indulge in many rituals of pleasure, they are future orientated and did not want to be around old people. In astrology, Saturn rules the bones and the skin and is associated with ageing. We Botox away the frowns and smiles that we’ve earned in living our life with all its light and shadows while saying glibly, without any deeper reflection, “age is just a number”. Our lives become reactive rather than reflective. So it comes as no surprise now that the Baby Boomers are fixated on healthy ageing and in a Puritan Western culture, learning how to give themselves permission to receive pleasure and to play.

In September last year, Saturn, Lord of Time,  moved into the zone of the zodiac we call Sagittarius, a mutable fire sign ruled by Jupiter (the sky god Zeus in the Greek pantheon) building thematically from the past when Saturn moved through Scorpio …. and anticipating the future when Saturn ingresses into Capricorn in December 2017. Author and astrologer, Melanie Reinhart suggests that this  is a time personally and globally for us to unfreeze the fixed watery emotions (Saturn in Scorpio) and thaw our thoughts and feelings in the warm fire of Sagittarian prophecy.

bucket list 27Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius and is associated with expansion, largesse, optimism and joy. Jupiter bears the title of The Great Benefic. He bestows blessings, “luck” and abundance, if we stay within the bounds of earthly necessity and humility which is Saturn’s realm. Saturn is referred to as the Lord of Karma. So our challenge is now to move between the soulfulness of withdrawal or melancholy (Saturn in Scorpio) into the light of the Sagittarian vision and expansiveness yet still stay grounded and earthed. Our challenge is to stay connected to our own joy and appreciation of life. To embrace the shadows and clouds that obscure our joy. To  honour the solemn soulful moods of darkness or sorrow amidst the superficiality and incessant clamour of a quick-fix “have a nice day” culture. Melancholia was once honoured and even cultivated; it was considered a quality of mind that was very powerful for deep and powerful thought. So Saturn in Sagittarius suggests that over the next two years we must learn to  Be with all our feelings and experiences without trivialising, pathologising or medicating or discarding them in the basement of our psyche.

 

1112-las-luminarias-de-san-anton-bonfire-670Saturn’s journey through this mutable fire sign is epitomised by the image of flame and heat. The feeling of being burnt out or burning or being branded by the labels that our culture pins to our beating hearts: Hollywood Icon, Titan, Superwoman, Shona Rhimes is a sitcom Creator responsible for some 70 hours of television per season. She’s a single mother of three and Work is what defines her. Shona’s best known for her progeny — Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder. By her own admission, she  loves to work.  Or used to. Until she lost the Hum. In her brilliant TED talk,  based on her memoir, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In The Sun and Be Your Own Person  Shona describes the burning of those who fly too close to the Sun and are consumed like moths in the brilliance of the flame of their own relentlessly driven creative genius.

Saturn’s sojourn in Sagittarius reminds us that we are mortals who must replenish ourselves, like the other intelligent creatures that share this earth, with frequent delight and pleasure. “Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair,” wrote Khalil Gibran.

Saturn is about boundaries. About Feeling the Fear and Doing it Anyway, as psychologist Susan Jeffers admonishes us to do. Saturn is the Guardian of the Threshold. We meet Saturn when we acknowledge our limitations. When we  accept the necessity of ageing and death. In his poignant memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, 36 year old neurosurgeon Paul  Kalanithi traverses the road to death and describes the terrain. He writes, “The future, instead of the ladder toward the goals of life, flattens out into a perpetual present.”  

Saturn in fire is not an intellectual type of energy. It is about passion, intcamerauitive understanding. Saturn in Sagittarius may require us to dedicate ourselves to something private and personal and joy-filled, with single-pointed vision. Saturn is a celestial mirror to our high hopes, our expectations, our visions and our faith. Saturn’s symbolism requires that we take stock of our beliefs about the meaning of our life. That we pay attention to our  sponsoring thoughts. That we make space to dedicate  (Latin to consecrate or to make sacred, to proclaim, to set apart, ) time to our joy and delightful Blessing of our human capacity to play.man walking

 

 

Alice Phoebe Lou – Fiery Heart, Fiery Mind

Like the genes in our body the astrological signs are indicators of the direction in which we may choose to travel this life time. We are a microcosm of a magnificent universal macrocosm. Our horoscope shows the exact position of the sun at the time of our birth and points the way, much  like a celestial GPS to find out more about your own birth chart to experience  my next workshop on April 2nd, please write to me: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Heartbeats

mermaid lanterns ... By Victor NizovtsevIntuition, psychic powers, mediumship and spiritual séances are all the province of astrological Neptune.

Long before Rene Descartes announced, cogito, ergo sum I think therefore I am, the irrational mind, the realm of intuition and symbolic thought, was an incendiary to the collective projections of those shadowy parts of our humanness that slumber within us all.

Can we hear the whisper of our Higher Self in the babble and bustle of over-scheduled lives? Do we have the time and inclination to spin straw into gold, or venture outside without iPhones or Sat Navs in search of  our Swans?

Author Anne Lamott suggests, “You get your intuition back when you make space for it, when you stop the chattering of the rational mind. The rational mind doesn’t nourish you. You assume that it gives you the truth, because the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships, but this is not true. Rationality squeezes out much that is rich and juicy and fascinating. Few of us arrive at a place of stillness where we can mine our intuitive knowing through sound bites and status updates.” 

Founder of bio cognitive science and author of The Mind Body Code, Mario Martinez says  “We suffer from Desartesian Anxiety. The split between mind and body. We have to develop transcendental legs.”
imagesCAVUFHD8 In many shamanic traditions as well as in ancient Greece, madness was thought to be a possession by a deity.  What a shaman would call a vision quest or an ecstatic trance might today be termed a psychotic episode.

Mystics and Martyrs, the thousands of intractable virgins who met gruesome deaths today might be labelled “anti-social or borderline, paranoid, or narcissistic” by psychologists who name parts that cannot be named and try to capture souls in butterfly nets made of clinical cases.

For some, intuitive powers are ridiculed, dismissed, or trivialized by those who adorn themselves in the Emperor’s Clothes of personal power.

We don’t have a vocabulary to fully describe the feeling of an intuitive “hit”. Some would say it diffuses the body with a deeper Knowing that feels like a union with the Divine. Our “gut feel” is part of our ancient legacy along with our dexterous prehensile thumb. Our foray into non-ordinary realms of more sophisticated levels of  inner guidance is a quest for inner illumination and here we must enter the medial realm. Here we must find a place we can seek solace from the world and restore our trust in our own intuitive power without the comfort blanket of “proof” or a “sign.”murmuration

Caroline Myss says, “I firmly believe that intuitive or symbolic sight is not a gift but a skill. It is based on self-esteem.”

Those with supernatural powers who practiced the Old Religions seldom died peacefully in their beds. The old knowledge flowed through the generations in shadowy subterranean rivers across bones, through ashes of thousands of bodies consumed in the flames of suspicion and fear. It makes sense that our confidence is shaky.

Myth and fairy tales depict the hero’s journey that usually involves some kind of impossible trial or death defying test. Later fairy tales, sanitized by the industrious Brothers Grimm are colour-washed with  various hues of morality but the message, if somewhat diluted and Disney-fied is still clear:  Pride and vanity, greed and ill manners won’t impress Prince Charming.  Only a pure and generous heart can receive the wisdom and guidance that brings true love and lasting happiness.

Pakayla Biehn woman with blossomsThere is a gossamer veil between the much sought-after “peak experience” lauded by some exponents of transpersonal psychology and the descent into madness or the oblivion of addiction. When is a visionary a lunatic or a guru or a saint? When is mediumship or the ability to traverse the medial realm simply an hysterical personality disorder? When is an intuitive  simply a cunning conman? The danger of course is that Never-Never-Land is a place of perennial pleasure and moral ambiguity.

faery tale

All our experiences are subjective, deeply personal. Our human experience is eloquently reflected in our birth charts. Astrology has a planetary symbol to describe our human experience.  There is a precise and perfect moment of divination. And As above so below. The great astrologer Isabel Hickey once told her students that so many of us ring up our Higher Selves then put down the phone before we can receive an answer.

When we appeal to our intuition ( Higher Self or Wise Man or Woman ) for guidance the answer may come in a dream or  appear while we are walking to work.
swordAlong with our  ability to discern different colours of fruit and berries in the jungle our brains have evolved over the eons to discern, to compartmentalize, to judge and label – good or bad.

Many tarot cards readers and astrologers dread the black and white and the client that sits back in the chair saying, “so will this be good a good year for me?” as if some Celestial Thunderbolt will emerge from a bruised bank of clouds at the stroke of midnight and jump start a stalled relationship, reverse the course of cancer, remove all intractable obstacles towards riding to the ball in a glistening coach drawn by eight white horses.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift,” is the much-quoted comment by Piscean Albert Einstein.

We so generously hand over our power to others, so quickly forget that within the wisdom of our heart and the wise brain of our body, lie a repository of wisdom that had been encoded for centuries.magic

 Deepak Chopra says that “intuition should come in the pure clarity of silence and should guide you into spontaneously making evolutionary choices.” It requires courage and vigilance to sift our own emotional and mental flotsam – diligently and as it comes up to and weave a veil of integrity, whole heartedness and true compassion. This requires us to discern the difference between our own narratives and those voices that have authority over us. The real spiritual journey is ongoing. It requires what Caroline Myss calls becoming more attuned, even though we sometimes have to start all over again but we become more astute and stronger at it.

 And so, if we stay true to our personal code of honour and practice loving kindness to all sentient beings, our intuition will be a beacon to guide us through even the darkest hours of our lives. It is inner sight that we develop as we undertake our heroes’ journey and when our eyes grow dim with age our guiding light will shine brightly as we prepare to say our last goodbyes.

 

 HeThe Little Princere is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye, said The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

 

 

Jose Gonzalez – Heartbeats

 

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The One I love

images954O6GS6This one goes out to the one I love.

As cloyingly sentimental or overtly commercial as this celebration may seem, Valentine’s Day has survived world wars and financial crashes. It has evolved from rumbustious fertility ritual origins enacted by the Romans. Emerged from the gruesome torture and execution of men we now call saints and martyrs. On February 14th in most places on this earth, millions of people will demonstrate through chocolates, music and flowers, their longing to love and be loved.

Romantic love is celebrated in song and literature. It’s a multi-million dollar Bolly-Hollywood illusion that mirrors our collective longing back to us from the silver screen. The glittering grandeur of star-spangled romance leaves us breathless, aching for more. Love lives in the imaginal realm of our soul. It emboldens and ennobles, plucks us out of our literal life into the full-throated drama of our emotion and our fantasy, flings off our inhibitions, invites us to create a-new.

We’re cautioned that Love is an illusion. I believe that like Santa and the Easter Bunny authentic love comes to only those who truly believe. “Illusion” is derived from the Latin, “in ludere,” which is translated as “in play.” And when our world-weary souls expand in joyful play, our lives are graced with “illusions” that may enfold us and protect us from “reality” which may be a mere stand-in for an authentic life.

imagesP8PZ7MQVScientific research purports that love lies in the brain, not the heart; that lust has lodged in our brains since Pleistocene era. That passion can be measured and scanned. The premise is that love shape-shifts from a coat of many colours into a knobbly old cardigan.

There are theories that suggest it is body odour that draws us to our lovers. That when we fall in love it’s more about fertility – and our collective survival.  So men are drawn to fertile women with perfect waist-to-hip ratios. Women will lust after high testosterone men with angular jaws and wide shoulders. That we fall for healthy symmetrical faces unblemished skin and pouting sexually aroused lips. What airless little boxes we would live in if this were true.

Psychoanalysts have their theories too – when we “let fall our hearts” and tumble into Love’s terrain we enter the domain of lunatics. Those in love have a similar profile to those who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, they tell us. Other currently favoured theories suggest we seek to find in our lover what we did not receive in our childhoods. It could be the raise of an eyebrow, his smell, the sound of her voice or the curve of her shoulder. In love we seek the familiar. We nostalgically yearn to reclaim the past … So our adult years are a ceaseless quest to recapture the love and attunement we did not receive from childhood caregivers. So we say we’ve found our soul mate, or met again from a past life. Perhaps we have. There may be a sense of recognition or a soul connection that defies the tick in the box.  Scientists say it is oxytocin, the bonding hormone, that we must honour each wedding anniversary. And this Valentine’s Day, it’s the delicious dopamine drenched cocktail that brings lovers together. So is romantic Love merely a chemical like Prozac? Do we blame dopamine and serotonin for luring us time and time like hapless moths to swoon and die in passion’s flame? It’s the caudate nucleus of the brain that lights us when we fall in love. Or can be something far more mysterious, more nuanced, more subtle? Love opens the windows to those parts of ourselves that may have lain hidden and dusty for decades. It initiates us into the complexities of being human. It anoints us with courage and jealousy. It brings us unexpected endings. It mangles and cracks open our calloused hearts.imagesP1C7LALQ

Love in all its splendid visitations is a Mystery. Can we categorize and quantify and measure Love as our bodies soften and our hearts unfurl in a thousand blossoms? Can we fear that which captivates our soul? Love’s landscape cannot be measured or quantified by the intellect. Its nuances must be imbibed through the heart. Savoured with all the senses. Love cannot be separated from the rich loam of the imagination. And each one of us will experience Love quite differently.

So  expect to be moonstruck by the primrose-coloured light of the full Leo Moon on Valentines’ Day. For those of us who have known even one Great Love this life time… Aren’t we the Lucky Ones?

Rosie Thomas sings enchantingly, the one i loveimagesO0BLJOIQ

 

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