The Root of Grief is Love

Yesterday my grief for my Mother bubbled up again. As the knot in my stomach tightened and the tears fell from my eyes, I waited for the heartache to grip me. But this time, something else did instead. It was a feeling so perfect, so sublime that it suddenly hit me. JOY, her joy! My grief is now more joy than pain! I never would have known that grief could feel so good.

Adieu Saturn!

Today marks the official end of my Saturn Opposition. Saturn moves in 7 year cycles designed to attune us to our authentic selves. His job is to keep us living our truth with INTEGRITY, DISCIPLINE and FOCUS. Every 7 years he hits an angle to our natal Saturn placement offering us the opportunity to shift into AUTHENTICITY. Traditionally Saturn has been cast as the “Greater Malefic”, symbolizing affliction and loss. The astrology that I practice flips that version on its head and casts him as our beloved “Dumbledore”. He is our wise teacher who roots for us and takes the steps necessary to keep us on mission, so that we can experience a meaningful and rewarding life experience. At the age of 44 I have completed 6 Saturn cycles. Each one has pealed another layer of amnesia from my consciousness exposing the purity of my soul expression. I am so grateful for all that I have learned this past year. My life is now on course, I am serving my mission in earnest and I am no longer flailing. I am very grateful for all that it took for me to release the aspects of my life that were not allowing me to live in my truth even though the process was frightening and at times extremely painful. I can no longer pretend that I don’t know who I am, why I am here and what I should be doing with my life. It may have taken me 44 years but I finally “get it”. So THANK YOU beloved Saturn, for your brutal honesty, relentless pressure and laser-beam focus, for transforming my life into the best version yet! Till we meet again I will do my best to stay the course with commitment and wisdom.

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The Spiral Dance

We are almost halfway through Summer. Today I am watching a gentle rain fall from a beautiful grey sky. It’s the first day of Venus retrograde. The dance of Venus has taken her turn inward, something that occurs only once every 18 months. I began feeling her pull a few days ago. I am finding that I have no great desire to talk to people. I am enjoying a sweet banter with myself. This comes after one of the most social weeks of my entire life. Last week I participated in a 7 day “Telepathic Practicum” with LightSong School of 21st Century Shamanism and Energy Medicine with 70 lovely people. I could write an entire book about my experience. It was magical, inspirational, exhausting, cathartic, and familiar. I am filled with deep gratitude for finding my journey aligning with this beautiful community. It’s been a while since I felt at home in a spiritual group. My life has been that of a spiritual seeker. This means I join a lot of churches and groups, learn what I need to learn, become disillusioned, break up with them and move on. I have no regrets about this path. It has led me into some of the most magical and joy filled experiences of my life. I have been baptized at least 5 or 6 times, taken covenants in temples, laid in graveyards at midnight, learned secret handshakes, kneeled in sacred groves, jumped over fire, run for 26.2 miles straight, taken vows of celibacy, tripped on LSD, spoken in tongues, spent the night in jail and sweat myself silly. My spiritual quest has been a long winding path through many cultures, traditions and rituals.  It has been my personal “spiral dance” in the sacred geometric path of becoming myself. I feel honored to have these experiences. Each time I dive in I am fully committed, hands off the rails and in perfect trust with my spirit to take me on another beautiful trip. This time I am diving even deeper into my own wisdom. The Shamanic path is the most exhilarating yet. In this tradition I get to be the master of my beliefs. It is only through my own journeywork that I receive answers to my soul’s questions. No longer am I asked to conform to another long list of rules or pages of dogma. I am moving into a deeper relationships with my spirit allies, learning their language, attuning to their direction. After suffering for so long from depression and anxiety I have finally realized that there is great wisdom in these episodes. My spiritual language is feelings. When I am pulled down under the covers it is a message to slow down, allow myself to rest and most of all, prepare to shift. These episodes come at times when inertia has gotten the better of me and I am no longer tuned into my soul’s mission.

The next major stop on my journey will be a “vision quest”. Next Summer I will spend 5 days and 4 nights in the forest without food or water, supported telepathically from a camp full of the beautiful and loving souls of LightSong. I have a year to prepare to receive the guidance and wisdom this experience will offer me. I have lots of fears (the dark being the biggest) that I will be coming to terms with this year but in my usual way I have jumped in heart first. My intention for this quest is to find my medicine. I know that I am a healer. I have a lot of knowledge about a lot of things. However, I feel as if I am almost finished with a large jigsaw puzzle and all but one piece is in place. I am searching on the floor for that missing piece. I came to this life with a sacred mission that I am determined to carry out and it is my intention to be in full awareness of that mission by the time I complete my vision quest. I am filled with love and gratitude for this opportunity.

 

The Orbit of Venus

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Rage Against the Machine

The last few weeks have been good. I have been feeling a steady, if slow, progress with my astrology practice. A reading here, a reading there, a workshop…it feels like it’s going somewhere. I started the level 2 program at LightSong School of 21st Century Shamanism and Energy Medicine. So far it’s been a very rewarding experience and I have been pushing myself farther then I thought I could go into non-ordinary reality through shamanic journeying. I am truly excited about where this path might lead. However, I feel no attachment to the results at this point, instead I am staying in the perspective of the snake, taking each experience as it comes. And through it all, the planets have been doing their dance in the heavens, moving closer and closer to the very sensitive spot on my chart where my teacher Saturn lies. Perhaps I got cocky, thinking I had transcended the human experience, no longer tossed and turned by the human emotions reacting to this jarring world of pointy edges and unrelenting pressure. I felt that my issues with anxiety and depression were well under control, perhaps even healed for good! But some wounds do not heal. In fact there is even a planet to represent the unhealed wound of our soul. His name is Chiron. I just gave a reading to a client this week about Chiron.

My wound lies in Aries, the sign of the pioneer and the courageous warrior. Aries is large and in charge, always able to hold its own in strength and with unrelenting tenacity. Rules by Mars, Aries is filled with piss and vigor and it needs only its courage to see the job through. With my wound in Aries, I am driven to do things on my own lest I be vulnerable and dependent. My father often reminds me of the time he tried to teach me to tie my shoes and I insisted “I’LL DO IT MYSELF!”. I’ve always had this need to be self-sufficient and completely independent, needing nothing other than what I can create with my own two hands. Any perceived threat to my autonomy sends me into a tailspin. For me this often lies in the area of personal finances. With my natal Saturn in the second house of resources, I am most afflicted by this unhealed wound in the area of financial security. Since retiring from software I have been barely getting by, but I have been making it. It’s been a huge test of faith for me to survive in this state of financial uncertainty but I have been getting through it. I have been sleeping, not feeling much anxiety and while I have had a few days here and there of depression, I have been quite proud of myself for getting through this with a positive attitude. And then yesterday, just as transiting Mars moved into a conjunction with my natal Saturn, it all fell apart. I was given a notice by the city that I have to pay $2400 to fix the uneven sidewalk in front of my home. They say it is in the Portland city code that the homeowners are responsible for such things.

This news hit me like a tornado. Suddenly I was trembling, crying and generally freaking out. I vacillate between despair and fury over this assault on my autonomy by the government. My state of peace and centered calm have blown away in the violent storm of fear and righteous indignation. I want to die. I want to be blown to bits and fade away into the air. I want to cease to exist. My wound is gaping and bleeding. I realize that this sort of financial setback is but a drop in the bucket of what COULD go wrong. On the other side of the world in Nepal and India, thousands have perished and those who made it through the earthquakes are barely surviving. It feels pretty shitty to be having a total breakdown over $2400, but everything is relative as they say. My challenge now is to continue to trust this process of self-discovery. My therapist encouraged me to reframe this event and see it as an adventure into where my soul is taking me. Since declaring to the Universe that I am a healer and not a programmer I am being initiated. The path of the healer is not for the faint of heart. My challenge is to not let this push me back underground. I must continue to let my light shine, believe in my path and press forward with my mission. I won’t let this break me. And yet, that part of me that is wounded is still going to cry out in pain and rage against the machine. Feelings unexpressed become toxic. I’m learning that it is ok to express the feelings boiling inside of me without allowing them to shut me down.

I shall arise again, like the phoenix, ready to take my place in the revolution of the spirit which is taking place on this planet. Even the front line warrior needs to stop to tend their wounds at some point in the battle. And the city has no idea who they are dealing with. You may hear about me soon on the news, occupying my sidewalk. I’ve been known to do such things when my back is up against the wall. When it comes to feeding my kids and fixing a sidewalk, they better be ready for the Momma Bear.

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“Every breath you take, I’ll be watching you”

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Today Mercury, ruler of the mental realm hits 3 degrees Gemini forming an exact opposition to Saturn sitting at 3 degrees Sagittarius. My natal Saturn sits at 3 degrees Gemini with my natal Neptune at 0 degrees Sagittarius. Today is a channel opening day for me! My Saturn opposition has been at work for several months and will continue for several more, however Mercury will only sit in this tender spot for a day. I am trying to think of ways to make the most of this opportunity but I am finding that I am having trouble forming complete thoughts! Mercury rules the thought realm so it seems like it should come easy, however there sits Saturn on the other side, watching every move I make. Natal Neptune, is clouding up the scene while natal Saturn is afraid to move in any one direction, considering his daddy is watching. I keep hoping for the Big Idea to miraculously plant itself in my consciousness, but here I sit, struggling to communicate all the energies swirling through me. What to do?

Perhaps nothing is the order of the day. I shall simply float away, becoming one with the cosmic wind, losing form. The past shall melt away and the future will not exist. There will be no plans or appointments, simply free flowing energy waves, inhabiting the dark places, blasting them with light. Clearing out the residue of history, making the corners round, loosening the bolts of order, I shall shake and shake until the walls come crumbling down around us. I shall return to stardust and spread myself over the galaxy in tiny sparkly particles.

Clearly, Neptune is winning.  Well played Saturn, well played…

 

Down the Snake Hole

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This past weekend I attended a Shamanic Journey workshop at LightSong School of 21st Century Shamanism and Energy Studies. I have had my eye on this school for over a year and the timing was finally perfect for me to take their level 1 class. I was very surprised to find the room full when I arrived. There were over 30 people in attendance. At first I was disappointed because I enjoy a smaller more intimate learning environment but I was also thrilled to find so many interested in Shamanism.

On our first journey we travelled to the Lower World. Our goal on this journey was to meet our power animal. In my recent private journeys I have been accompanied by a fox so I just assumed he would show up to lead me down. However this time, as I dropped into the Lower World through a hole in the ground, I came face to face with a snake. I quickly understood that he was hungry and in order to proceed I would have to feed him. I looked into my hand and there was a small, furry, white mouse. I shuddered. I had no desire to sacrifice the sweet little critter to the big bad snake! It is not in my nature to do such things. The snake told me he had a right to live just as much as my little friend did. I realized that made good sense so I offered up the mouse. As the snake began to swallow the mouse I began to descend into the bowls of the snake. I quickly realized it was best not to squirm but to surrender to the experience. As I relaxed my body, suddenly I was whooshing out into the light. I couldn’t see much and I couldn’t really move. I realized I had just been born. I felt so helpless, not being able to lift my head. I realized I could only see what was right in front of me, much like a snake.

With this realization I was transported to a different state of consciousness. I was suddenly part of a collective, where my thoughts were one with a large mass of other souls. I had no discernible form and become aware that I was part of the primordial soup. We were very excited because this was the moment that we were beginning the process of separation. I was aware that those who sprouted their legs first were beginning to change and little by little the collective consciousness became smaller and smaller. Finally it was my turn to begin my earthly journey and as I took my first breath I was suddenly devoured by a much larger creature. It then occurred to me that during the long process of evolution, those that ventured out first had now become my predators. I realized how what once had been one, was now thoroughly divided. Part of me thought it was unfair that they had such an advantage over me, but soon I realized that although within the physical body their was an illusion of separation, we really were all still one.

With that realization I was transported high into the air. I was now an eagle, soaring through the sky, invincible and all seeing. From this high vantage point I felt true power. I was suddenly at the top of the food chain. I felt immense freedom. Next thing I knew I become a giant. As I made my way across the land I was aware that with every step I took I was trampling living things without much concern. They were so small that I couldn’t really conceptualize my action as violent. A giant has to get from place to place after all! I made the sudden realization that in my human form I am a giant when it comes to the ants that I constantly crush and wipe away without any concern for their lives.

I returned to the Lower World and asked the snake what his message was for me. He told me that in my life right now, I must be the snake, only able to see what is right in front of me, with a very small vantage point. He told me that in order to serve my mission I must not look too far ahead, but take each day as it comes, without plans, without huge commitments and without any clue what is coming next.

As I have reflected on this journey I realize what a huge gift I was given by my snake friend. He taught me a great lesson in perspective and how as humans, we have the gift of being the snake and the eagle. I learned that our separateness is just an illusion. We are all truly one, however, we have decided to experience ourselves as unique, individual entities. I am very honored to be chosen by the snake. Just as a snake sheds its skin, so to have I recently shed my former identity as a software developer with a large and steady paycheck. As I am transitioning into my new place in society as a healer I must let go of my former self and embrace a completely different path. The snake is able to perceive its surrounding through vibration. It must rely on its other senses to survive. I too must learn to sense and perceive what cannot be seen. I am on a quest to learn to see in darkness, to heal and lead others to shed their skins and begin living authentically. However, first I must tend to my own transformation. I must continue to surrender each day to the unknown. I must have faith that I am being led to live in my highest vibration. Some days I struggle and begin to look back at all that I have given up to this quest, however there is a force pulling me forward, not allowing me to linger too long in doubt and fear. As I continue to trust this process, I am finding myself more and more in the Now. I am losing the past, and putting thoughts of tomorrow aside in order to revel in each moment as it comes.

Friction

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I am attempting to write during a Moon/Mercury square. Probably not a great idea. I also have a Moon/Mercury square in my natal chart.  A square is a hard aspect, a challenge. It can cause a state of friction and discomfort. With Mercury, ruler of the mind and communication, in a state of friction with the Moon, ruler of instincts and emotions, there can be a lot of sitting at the keyboard, staring out the window, and not a lot of writing going on. Since this is a good opportunity to reflect and glean insight from my own challenging natal placement I am going to attempt to articulate my state of mind.

My stomach feels nervous, for no apparent reason. It feels like a big pot of worms, wiggling around, causing me to emotionally squirm. There is also a steady stream of adrenaline coursing through my system like a flash flood. It comes in mighty waves, from my chest, out to my fingertips and then down my body to my toes. This is called anxiety. I can’t explain why my fight/flight mechanism seems to have a mind of its own. There is no apparent danger facing me. All is indeed, right in my world and yet this flash flood courses on.

In moments like this I find it difficult to hold on to a positive vibe. I feel as if my chi is a swirling vortex, headed south to the underworld. I generally stay in bed during these episodes, with my head under the covers. But here I sit, staring out the window at the grey skies, holding on to the wise adage, “this too shall pass”.

“I wanna see you be brave”

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From a very early age I felt intense fear of everything. During the day, as the smallest kid on the block I was intimidated by everyone and everything. Nighttime was terror, I felt as if the darkness and quiet in the house were trying to pull me into Hell. I wet the bed till I was nine. I never fully understood my intense fear of the world. “Out there” has felt threatening, and I have never been quite sure how to fit in and just be myself. I have tried to fit in by being a chameleon but as I have gotten older I have retreated to the safety of my home, my crab shell.

However there are times when I feel compelled to do BIG SCARY things. Before I can second guess myself, I’m just doing it, regardless of the consequences. In October of 2011 I felt such a prompting to sit in a park, with a group of people, to take a stand for the 99%. The circle of people pulled me in like a spinning vortex. Before I knew it I sat my ass down next to a woman who seemed to beckon me with her strength. I sat down, put my head on her shoulder and asked, “does this make me a bad Mom?”. She told me it made me a better Mom and I felt the shudders of fear begin to loosen. That night changed me forever. As I was loaded into the paddy wagon with twenty-six other Occupiers I knew that this night would cause a ripple effect in my life that I would be feeling forever. That was no joke. To this day I know that it was that one act of compulsion, of taking a stand, of pure idealism, cloaked in rebellion, that has set me on a course of empowerment and freedom. That night my Aquarian North Node began to sing.

Three and a half years have passed since that night. So much has happened as a result that I could fill a book. There have been extreme highs and extreme lows. This past year, as I began to awaken I have struggled to understand why the compulsions to act come out of nowhere and always come with a backlash of terror. Yesterday I felt a compulsion to create a video chronicling my climb out of the dark over the past eighteen months. I worked on it as if in trance, completing it in under two hours. As soon as it was done I launched it onto the internet.  The next thing I knew I was crumbling in fear. What had I just done? Now everyone would know my darkest moments. I felt shame, embarrassment, and terror. I took a walk to attempt to bring my vibes back to safety. As I walked I focused on my mission:

1. Follow the promptings of your heart

2. Trust the process

3. Be kind

I repeated the steps over and over, and looked into the Sun for strength. I cried, shook, and finally began to come back to center. As I rounded a bend I heard a car coming up behind me. As it passed me, I noticed the license plate read “FREADM”. Giggles of joy bubbled out of my chest. Gratitude overwhelmed me. In that moment I understood my fear and finally, the antidote.

Courage, defined as “strength in the face of pain or grief”.

What I was feeling after I posted that video was the true expression of courage. I felt no fear in making it, only after I had released it did the panic set in. I reflected on my chart, remembering that I have Chiron in Aries. The sign of impulsive, directed action. Chiron, technically a comet,  represents where our soul is wounded. In mythology, Chiron is the “Wounded Healer”. He was named after the centaur in Greek mythology who was a healer and teacher who, ironically, could not heal himself.  I realized suddenly that what I need to heal himself is what Aries needs.

COURAGE!

I finally understood my compulsions and the resulting freak out that follows them. All along, I have been healing myself, not sabotaging myself! WOOOOHOOOO! Look at me Mom, NO HANDS!!!!

Everybody’s been there,
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, just stop holding your tongue

Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

From Brave, by Sara Bareilles

My Ego is an Asshole-Spaz

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When I was in 5th grade a group of girls my age came to my school and performed songs from Annie and The Sound of Music. I was mesmerized. Something deep down inside of me felt inspired for the first time. I felt a magnetic pull to this group. Each night I would pray that somehow, someway I would get to be a part of this group. Finally I had my chance when I found out they were auditioning. I begged my Mom to take me, she did, and a few weeks later I was “kidnapped” at five in the morning by the older girls in the group. We went to Denny’s for breakfast, it was the most thrilling day of my entire life. I felt special for the first time, like I fit in somewhere, like I had found my tribe. This began my love-affair with the stage. There was something about singing and dancing in front of other people that opened my heart chakra, made me feel whole and special. Fast forward 15 years, in my final  year of college, a production of Les Miserables toured our city and held a local audition. Once again I felt a magnetic pull. I sang my heart out for them and they actually liked me! They felt I had enough potential to audition again in New York. My entire world exploded, this was my big moment, what I had been preparing for my entire life. A few months later, fresh out of college with my “survival degree” in History, I headed for the bright lights of Broadway. From there things took a sharp turn. Once in the big city I froze, petrified. Suddenly I had to find a place to live and be able to make rent and payments on my student loan. I found a job quickly as a temp receptionist down town. The hours were 9-5, Monday-Friday. I found security and safety in this job. Soon they hired me on permanently and offered me a salary of $27,000 a year. This was more money than I could comprehend at the time. I had never made more than $8/hour up to this point. My parents were proud of me, I started shopping at The Gap, and I never called the people at Les Miserables. In fact, by the time I left New York when I got married 2 years later, I had only gone on two auditions. I got call backs both times, but was never cast so I called myself a failure and closed that door. Soon I was married, pregnant, pregnant again, divorced and back to a temp job that became permanent where I self taught myself how to program databases. This was the beginning of a twelve year career in software.

That brings me to today, at 6am, wide awake, feeling fear, and not feeling so special.

I went to bed last night on a high, truly feeling invincible and powerful. I may have no viable income at the moment but that didn’t seem to matter last night! I felt like I did when I got the call from Les Miserables, totally on my game! So what is it that happens between midnight and 6am? Whatever that was, holding me back all those years ago, is attempting to sabotage me once again. But this time, instead of letting it stop me in my tracks, I am pulling it out of the dark.

My life’s work may not have been to perform on Broadway, indeed my South Node is in Leo. I have spent many past lifetimes doing just that. Our South Node represents our soul’s past. Leo is the ultimate performer, loves the spotlight, loves to entertain others, yearns for the applause. That pull I felt in 5th grade was more of a memory. I had done that before, many times, I could do it again, and I would be safe in my expertise. However, this time, my compass points towards the opposite of Leo; Aquarius. My North Node is in the sign of the rebel, the non-comformist, the freedom fighter and the outcast. Aquarian energy is concerned with elevating the whole society, with outside the box idealism, conviction and unwavering commitment to growth. It’s tagline is “I know”. Well one thing I know is that my mission in life is to practice astrology, translating as many charts as I can, offering up the tools of self-knowledge to my brothers and sisters. And it is happening! I had my first real astrology job just 3 days ago and it was awesome!

And yet, that ever present fear keeps creeping in at 6am, taunting me to run back to safety.

My ego is an asshole-spaz.

My spirit guides keep telling me to “shhhhhh”. They tell me that this is a lot of waking up that I am doing, a lot of wisdom being dowloaded on a daily basis. It can sometimes be TOO MUCH INFORMATION for my little ego to handle. They say that she is scared of all this change and wanting to hold on to the familiarity of fear and uncertainty. She doesn’t understand that those things are not love, even though they have been her constant companions for 43 years. They tell her to take a deep breath, get out of bed, and begin the slow steady build back to love. They tell me to post about it here because it takes courage to put it all out there, and courage is the antidote to fear. They tell me to take it one step at a time, not looking too far ahead, and certainly not looking backwards. So that is what I am doing, and already the tightness in my chest is loosening. Someday I sure hope that I don’t have to fall back so far each day, and I have faith that will happen.

So “shhhhhhhh” little ego, everything is going to be ok because I love you.