LUNAR ECLIPSE 24° Capricorn
For a long time, I used my smallness to feel like I was making a difference in a world obsessed with ego gratification. I wanted no part of that, and so I carved an identity out of what I thought was humility and rebellion.
Today I know humility isn't staying small but using bigness as a change agent. Nothing wrong with wanting better for yourself, especially if it frees you up to do better things in the world, to show up more generously, and share without fear of lack. I write a lot about scarcity because it's been a driving factor in my life, and I see it driving every dysfunctional system around me. .
It's almost impossible to change a system as old and ingrained as scarcity with mere thinking. Most likely we inherited our beliefs early on and keep them around to feel safe. When we do little things to stay small we assure our survival brain that we're okay. Breaking the pattern of scarcity can bring on discomfort, depression, panic because it's a huge disruption. .
To change a pattern we have to change our actions, one step at a time. Those of us in recovery know this. We didn't get sober by thinking our addictions away. We had to implement an entirely new way of doing life and adopt a new language for it. We had to create a sub-culture where new behavior could thrive and feel accepted. And over time, we experienced a psychic change as the result and then shared our success with others, with no fear of losing what we had because we realized there was enough. We found abundance.
In awakening to our Godselves- the true nature of who we are- we heal the world. Not through egoism, but in acts of self charity and beyond. Sharing resources, support, stories, and recovery... this is how we make a difference.
SOLAR ECLIPSE 10° CANCER
Cancer evokes primitive memory, touching on our truest origin, our most essential nature, our oldest wisdom, our greatest yearning. This eclipse opens the deep well of remembrance around HOME & BELONGING- the feelings, smells, tastes, and sounds of our earliest attachments and those of our ancestors.
We project the ways we learned to love and be loved. Our familial codes, and our experience of security (or lack thereof) seep into our relationships, social contracts and laws. This eclipse can bring profound enlightenment around matters of belonging. It can also magnify where we have yet to accept those rejected or orphaned parts of ourselves and where our boundaries have been violated.
Love is the grand intelligence here, holding the power to heal and restore any wounding from the womb out. But it isn't without challenge. The archetype of the refugee is in the collective forefront right now for a reason. Honor what is dear to you on this darkest night, and consider how both boundaries and inclusivity have a place in the order of things.
Three summers ago I was on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, walking into a gold mirrored building while the sales clerk eyed me with a combination of suspicion and contempt. One look at my shoes, and the jig was up- we both knew I wasn't there to shop. And even if I had pulled out a card and purchased something, it would have been small- a trinket at best- as a girl like me is too practical to spend my rent on a handbag.
Over the course of the week, there were a lot of moments when my lack of status and wealth seemed to stand out, and I had to talk myself off some steep egoic ledges. By the end of the trip I was SO ready to be back home, in the other LA. On that trip I remember feeling most happy sitting on the beach eating fish tacos with a friend. Those tacos were $3 a piece, and there was no special sauce or fancy artisan anything. Just an honest taco. The ocean was in front of me, and in that moment I knew I was winning at life.
If I can love a taco for what it is then I can be loved as my most honest, realest self. And so can you. That doesn't mean you shouldn't have aspirations or dreams, it just means you're already a raging success because you're YOU.
I've tried it all- trading in one identity for another, going from one job to the next, falling in and out of love, geographic solutions, and the quick fixes that don't actually fix- drugs, denial, distraction.
There is a phrase in the Mardi Gras Indian culture that has always called to me. The big chief sings it before going into mock battle with other tribes on the streets of New Orleans. Made cu defio...
It means into the wilderness.
For me it signaled going in, facing my fears and and the things I'd been denying (because those things have a way of catching up anyway). It meant accepting my past and all the disowned parts of myself. Seeing how my trials gave me the spiritual path I now walk and the wisdom I now share.
Knowing that our depth of character and maturity comes from the integration of our experiences is part of this year's Pluto, Saturn, and South Node conjunction.
The health and prosperity of every organism is based on the functioning communication and homeostasis of cells. At at a macro level, our society operates like any other organism and we are the cells of this planetary body.
Imagine you've been given a diagnosis and informed of how critical it is to make changes. That's basically what's happening with Uranus' transit through Taurus in the next 7 years. Taurus rules our physical body, our environment, and our agriculture. It also rules currency and what we place value on (Venus rules Taurus). The shadow of Taurus is greed, scarcity, and an inflexible attitude towards change. Uranus is a change agent. Wherever it travels, expect disruption of the status quo.
By changing our thoughts and behaviors around environmental stewardship, physical mindfulness, and how we value life on this planet, we are part of the healing process. A harmonious human "flora" can withstand the turbulence of deep sea change. The irreversible, necessary and cleansing change that is cresting now.
Today begins the year of Jî Hài, the yin earth pig. If you were born in 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, or 2007 then this is your year. Whatever the focus was in 2007 is where you can expect growth and maturity. It's also worth mentioning that this cycle coincides perfectly with Jupiter's transit through Sagittarius.
Yin pigs are nurturing and resourceful with a knack for helping people grow into their fullest potential. They intuitively understand the value of a thorough process and are known for their slow, steady patience. Jupiter is the planet of expansion and opportunity. This can either create success or excess depending on how consciously we work with the energy.
Codependency is the shadow of the Helper. When we exalt others before ourselves, we create an inner imbalance and disharmony. If you're a yin pig this might be the year you allow others to help nurture your growth, as yin pigs tend to take a back seat in situations that trigger an unconscious fear of success.
This year, the challenge for pig year folks is to become more assertive and embodied. Also, making sustainable investments in personal growth is key to any success. We can't expect to handle power and money responsibly without first establishing an underlying sense of self value and worth. So do you, lil pig. Just. do. you. 🐖
Someone asked what I was looking forward to in 2019, and it totally threw me off. I'm used to being asked what my goals and intentions are, but I've been trained to think that expectations are a loser's gold. "Looking forward to" implies a confidence that things will go as planned. I recently realized that in avoiding expectation, I had also robbed myself of joyful anticipation.
Without anticipation we miss something important- I'm gonna call it the juicy middle. It's a spiritual place, teaching us to cultivate vulnerability. It opens doors for what you didn't consider possible. It let's something else in, whether you call it God, Higher Power, Universe, or Spirit. It's an openness and a humility that is grounded in surrender.
Letting go of old disappointments and opening to that exciting possibility, aka the juicy middle, feels like a risk to my survival brain. And that's it... shifting from surviving to thriving is what I'm most looking forward to 2019.
It's my favorite time of year in New Orleans. Other people might prefer carnival or festival season, but for me it's the pretty lights and cozy gemütlichkeit of winter. In my native Germany, gemütlichkeit is a cultural agreement that translates to friendliness and warmth. Even now I can almost taste the soft baked pretzels, warm mulled cider, and spicy gingerbread hearts that were sold at every corner kiosk during the holidays. I remember lighting candles on the advent's wreath every Sunday at my Oma's house where family and neighbors gathered for the midday meal.
In astrology, the time from Thanksgiving until the Winter Solstice is when the sun moves through the constellation of Sagittarius. According to mythology, Sagittarius was not a centaur but actually a satyr (half man / half goat) who lived on Mount Helicon with the nine Muses. Gifted in the arts and sciences as well as the hunt, Sagittarius was a wild and lusty fellow with little care for manners or authority. Unlike other half beasts, however, he was known to be kind and benevolent towards humans- even taking a few under his wing as students. Apparently the Muses so loved him that they asked their father Zeus (aka Jupiter) to place him among the stars. He is depicted with four legs because of his affinity for horses, and his arrow is aimed at the sky, a symbol of transcendence.
The archetype of Sagittarius perfectly captures the vibe of the season for me... or rather, how I want to feel this time of year. There is so much to be grateful for, yet the holidays can feel far from light. Relationship, health, or financial stress, not to mention shorter days and cold weather can cause depression and feelings of isolation for a lot of folks. It's important to reach out, stay connected, and prioritize self-care. Also, remembering what's going right rather than what's missing can help if you're feeling the blues. While I never endorse spiritual bypassing, a little optimism can go a long way under Jupiter's influence.
Recently Jupiter entered Sagittarius as well which hasn't happened since 2006. Think of where you were 12 years ago around this time. Whatever story was happening then is cycling back around as part of a 12 year continuum. I remember exactly where I was and how the choices I made that year have affected my life in big, SOUL fulfilling ways. Now is the time to envision how to deepen any significant commitments or changes we started at that time.
It bears mentioning that when Jupiter, the planet of expansion and opportunity, travels through its sign of rulership, we get a a double whammy of this expansive energy so pay attention to how you're being summoned to level up. There will be plenty of opportunities to receive divine "downloads" if we're open and receptive. We can also adopt a more Sagittarian attitude by learning a new skill, by spending more time in nature, through travel that expands cultural awareness, and by expanding our tolerance and acceptance of others. Be curious. Take a walk on the wild side, and let yourself roam into uncharted territory. The universe will reward you.
In my spiritual practice, the Winter Solstice is when I reflect on what I've learned and how I've grown over the year. It's also a time to release anything that feels complete, and one simple ritual is to write things down and feed the list to a fire (even a candle will do). Close with a prayer or just a "Thank You" to bless the ending.
This Solstice is extra special because we have a full moon at 0º Cancer with a helpful sextile to Uranus. Our best bet is to stay open-minded and flexible, trust spontaneous bursts of intuition, expect the unexpected, and practice acts of generosity by giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, especially family. With Venus finally out of her retrograde shadow, things are moving along, but in times of big change, the more grounding practices you have the better.
Soon the sun will begin to shine a little longer each day, ever reminding us of the continuous spiral that is life. As always, thank you for allowing me to be of service. Many of my clients don't know about the astrology and tarot coaching aspect of my business, so I hope that by writing this it will serve as a beacon of knowledge that is available for anyone seeking.
Wishing you all the very best this holiday season and good health & prosperity in the coming year.
When I decided to give up alcohol twelve years ago, it wasn't an easy decision. I hadn't lost a job, a relationship or a home because of my drinking. No one was laying down ultimatums or telling me to quit. In fact, my family was really upset when I announced that I stopped drinking and started going to 12 Step meetings. Overly concerned about what other people would think, they regarded my sobriety as more of an embarrassment than a triumph.
No one, at the time, wanted me to call myself an alcoholic. Friends and co-workers all jumped to my defense when I mentioned the word. Don't say you're an alcoholic! We all have those nights.
I knew I had a problem because those nights weren't the exception, they were the rule. Waking up with a hangover had become the norm. If my drinking felt like it was getting too out of control, I would tell myself to reign it in. By burying myself in work, taking on more responsibilities, and focusing on other people's problems, I auto-piloted into controlling behavior instead of getting the help I needed. I could go a week or even a month without drinking. Once I went almost five months, but the minute I picked up the first drink it was like being catapulted back into my addiction with a vengeance. I drank like I had never stopped but with the self righteousness of someone who could stop.
It took a long time to get help simply because no one was willing to admit I had a "real" problem. I was struggling to string more than 2 or 3 sober days together before I finally reached out to one of the only women I knew who didn't drink. I told her that I wanted to stop for a year this time- that I needed to reign it in. She laughed because it all sounded way too familiar. And then she told me where to go for the support and encouragement I needed.
I haven't looked back since. And today I am so thankful for the one dissenting voice that saved my life. It turns out that my liver was able to regenerate in the time I was sober before being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease. This is not a subject that I take lightly. Going to those meetings literally saved my life, in more ways than one.
When asked what an addict looks like, most of us picture someone in the late stages of their disease. This depiction is unrealistic by today's standards, and yet the general consensus is to stick to the story of a person with shaky hands grabbing for the bottle first thing in the morning. And while this is a common scenario, it's far from the only scenario.
I ask myself why a lot... why do we enable a story that perpetuates unnecessary suffering?
For one, there is profit to be made from staying in denial. Stress, disease, and the elusive search for fulfillment make us buy more products, fill more prescriptions, and consume on so many different levels. It's as though we're set up to look for love and empowerment everywhere but where it actually resides, which is inside of us.
I was taught to equate martyrdom with love and intensity with intimacy. I believed that alcohol and a relationship would fix everything about me that felt broken. I call this brokenness my hungry ghost, and I thought exerting more discipline could keep my hungry ghost in check when things spiraled out of control. But for me controlling was actually part of the problem... and therein lies the paradox of addictive thinking.
With all the stigma still floating around, it takes courage to dig a little deeper and admit that our favorite coping skills may actually be hurting us, and that we, gasp, might have a problem with codependence or addiction. Keeping up appearances is one of the biggest obstacles for women when it comes to getting help. We are inundated with messages from a perfection-obsessed, I got this culture. No one wants to admit they are struggling, and yet, so many of us are.
The thing to keep in mind is that when a problem is named for what it is, the solution is easier to access, and the first thing we'll learn about that problem is that we're not alone.
We've been in an eclipse sandwich for several weeks along with six retrograding planets: Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto, and Uranus. That's A LOT of retrograde energy! The last of the eclipses happened on August 11th and Mercury stationed direct on August 19th which officially marked the end of eclipse season.
During heavy retrograde periods like the one we're in, slowing down and cultivating a detached awareness is often more productive than bulldozing through issues or conversely burying our heads in the sand. The goal is to observe and take stock while reserving judgment. (Notice I used the word goal.)
Eclipses are pauses and reboots. They give us an opportunity to acknowledge what's not working anymore. Rather than amputate a behavior, it's important to consider the driving need behind it which almost always comes back to 3 simple things: self-worth, self-care, and a yearning for connection & support. Even though the eclipses are over, we will be working with them for several months to come.
This is an excellent time to look at any patterns, behaviors, relationships, or beliefs that aren't serving you anymore. Sometimes the writing is on the wall and asking straightforward questions can be helpful. During this process, it's important to keep in mind that this isn't a morality check, it's a reality check. Self-judgment is counterproductive in healing.
However you approach this retrograde cycle, remember to hold yourself in a space of compassion and gentleness. But also, be honest. Confront what's uncomfortable. Believe there's a bigger life ahead of you if you can let go of fear and control.
Today as the sun moves from passionate, heart based Leo into practical, service oriented Virgo, place your hand on your heart and say, "I will love myself today by asking the hard questions and then by seeking the help and relief I need." When we heal ourselves, everyone else benefits. A healthier world starts with us.
May you be free of suffering and all the causes of suffering.
When I was a kid, I often had to choose sides. Whether on the playground, the bus, in the girl's bathroom, or at the dinner table I was perpetually caught in the middle of other people's "stuff". It didn't feel good, but I saw no other option than to stay put, squirming in messiness that wasn't mine.
At the time I didn't know how to say "May I be excused while you guys work it out?"
How I coped as an eight year old didn't look much different from how I coped as an adult. Sometimes I picked the side I could most benefit from. Sometimes I worked both sides, arrogantly assuming the voice of reason in an unreasonable dispute. Sometimes I sided with the person who I most needed love and approval from. And sometimes I just dodged bullets, suffering unnecessary casualties.
Sound like every episode of Game of Thrones? Welcome to my codependent life. (Spoiler: it's gotten better!)
I never learned how to consider my own neglected needs in the chaos of other people's drama, let alone express them. Instead I pretended to be okay and dissociated in self-harming ways which progressed as I got older. I settled for a temporary sense of intimacy that being in a triangle gave me. (It wasn't until much later that I learned the difference between intensity and intimacy.) And here's the mustard seed... when the conflict resolved itself and my role became obsolete, I felt very, very alone.
This loneliness followed me into every one of my relationships until I finally started doing the work of identifying, naming, and recovering my core needs.
I'm sharing this intensely personal and vulnerable thing about myself because shadow work has been so valuable in identifying patterns like this and releasing them with non-judgment and compassion. This work isn't about shaming ourselves or anyone else. It's about naming, freeing, and feeding those hungry parts of our spirit that have been malnourished. It's about asking, "How do I take care of myself right now without acting out of emotional scarcity?"
And when you're ready, it's about acknowledging the ways in which your shadow protected you. How certain defects are actually attributes once they've been exposed to the light.
This week Saturn in Capricorn is squaring Mercury in Aries which means we get a chance to set right the ways we communicate from the wound. We get to be warriors of love and loyalty TO OURSELVES by being aware of our shadow behaviors and cultivating kind, loving acceptance. When that happens, great healing is possible for the entire world.
My mantra for the week as I embrace my shadow is "Breathe, tell the truth, ask for help, remember this is all practice, and just show up the best you can."
Carry on witches.
Good read: The Language of Letting Go, Melody Beattie
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