Love and Astrology

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Are you in the Providence, RI area? Tomorrow (Feb. 14, 2017), in honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be putting on a workshop focusing on “Love and Astrology.” This will be a FREE, one-hour lunchtime presentation starting at noon at a great local venue called The Empowerment Factory, which is a part of the Hope Artiste Village arts collective.

I’ll be giving an overview on what Astrology is in general, what the major components of an astrological chart are, and how you can start to analyze your own chart. Given the timing, this session will place special emphasis on Venus, the Planet named for the Roman Goddess of Love. As added incentive, there just may be free handouts…and I’ll definitely be offering a special, hefty discount on a chart reading by me to all attendees!

Also, on Wednesday evening – the day after Valentine’s Day – I’ll be hosting a FREE Reiki share at the same space. The event starts at 6:30pm, and will last for approximately 90 minutes. Whether you’re a Reiki veteran or a total newcomer, you’re invited to join us!

Polarity in Astrology

img_6286There are three primary sets of symbols that we work with in Astrology: the Planets, the Signs, and the Houses.

In brief:

The Planets are drives and imperatives within us. The Planets are what we do.

The Signs are like modifiers that color the ways in which the Planetary forces go about their business when we let them work through us. The Signs are how we do what we do.

The Houses are various areas in our lives, like differently themed rooms within a single building. The Houses are where we do what we do.

The Planets are extra tricky in that astrologers can’t seem to agree on which ones equal essential members of the set. Traditionalists stick to the seven visible bodies that we track across the sky: the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. More modern astrologers tend to add in additional bodies, such as the Outer Planets (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) and various Planetoids and Asteroids (Chiron, Ceres, Juno, Pallas, Vesta, Eris, etc.). The Planets also represent a scattering of points within a birth-chart. For these reasons, they don’t easily lend themselves to the kind of polarity analysis I’m about to get into…

The Signs, though, and the Houses, comprise a different story. Each of these two primary sets of astrological symbols does embody a closed group whose members virtually all astrologers do agree on (excepting those minority voices making their case for the inclusion of the so-called “thirteenth Zodiac Sign,” Ophiuchus, which I won’t be addressing here…).

But another interesting trait which separates the Planets on the one hand from the Signs and Houses on the other is the notion that while the Planets show up in a chart as a volley of distinct points, the Signs and Houses both add up in their respective ways so as to form the overall circle of the chart. The Signs combine to make up the outer circumference of the chart’s circle, while the Houses are the sort of “pie slices” into which the chart-circle’s interior is divided.

Taking this reality a step further, it’s possible to then note that each Sign and each House has an opposite number that lies directly across the circle from it: Libra lies opposite Aries…the Eleventh House lies opposite the Fifth.

And here’s the interesting part, which can be used as a tool to help with retention of the meanings of some of these symbols: the opposing pairs of Signs and Houses can each be seen as a distinct axis, the poles of which share a conceptual link. They’re like the two far ends of the same spectrum, or the opposite sides of the same coins.

The following table is admittedly a vast oversimplification, and shouldn’t at all be taken as a substitute for actually studying and living with all of the symbols mentioned…but it can be a tremendously helpful aid in getting more familiar with the symbols involved. And with that being said, here are some ways in which you might see the Signs and the Houses not just as sets of 12 unique personalities, but also as six pairs whose members share some very thematic connections:

Sign

Opposite Sign

Axis Themes

Aries Libra Aries = war / Libra = peace
Taurus Scorpio Taurus = simplicity, serenity / Scorpio = complexity, intensity
Gemini Sagittarius Gemini = gathering evidence / Sagittarius = taking things on faith
Cancer Capricorn Cancer = nurturing, “maternal” / Capricorn = serious, “paternal”
Leo Aquarius Leo = self-focus / Aquarius = societal focus
Virgo Pisces Virgo = earthly service / Pisces = service to the Universe

House

Opposite House

Axis Themes

First Seventh First = “I” / Seventh = “You and I”
Second Eighth Second = one’s own possessions / Eighth = others’ possessions
Third Ninth Third = local focus (the “trees”) / Ninth = global focus (the “forest”)
Fourth Tenth Fourth = private, home / Tenth = public, workplace
Fifth Eleventh Fifth = “I speak alone” / Eleventh = “We speak together”
Sixth Twelfth Sixth = physical maintenance / Twelfth = spiritual maintenance

Be The Change…

people

Mahatma Gandhi said that we should be the change we wish to see in the world.

With that sage advice in mind, I’ve decided that the change I wish to see in the world is less hatred, less closed-mindedness, and less bigotry in all its forms. I’ve been contemplating the chat that the current occupant of the White House had with Billy Bush a few years back – you know, the one in which he boasted about how happy he was to be able to sexually assault women with reckless impunity –  so I’ve been especially focused on misogyny as a toxic mindset (it’s just one of many that we humans employ, but I have to start somewhere…).

I’ve always been left feeling sort of embarrassed and squirmy whenever I encounter the old time-y convention of referring to our entire species as “man” or even “mankind.” It feels to me like a very outmoded and unhelpful way of reinforcing the notion that male humans are somehow inherently more important and valuable than all the other kinds of humans. And every time we adhere to this convention, we’re preserving and feeding that notion in some small but definite way.

I decided to use a Carl Jung title as an example here. And please don’t get me wrong: I love many of Jung’s ideas, and I feel that his work has had lasting importance. I’m a huge proponent of the benefits of looking at existence through a metaphysical lens, and Jung’s work is hugely influential throughout all of modern metaphysics. This was, after all, the man who gifted us with such worthy concepts as archetypes, synchronicity, individuation, the collective unconscious, the psychological “shadow,” the anima and animus…

But take a look at one of Jung’s well-known works, the last one to occupy him before his death in 1961. It’s called Man and His Symbols.

Man.

His symbols.

This is a highly misleading title. Symbols are undeniably a gigantic part of both our inner and outer worlds…but they’re hardly the sole province of the male. And men are hardly the sole component of humankind, or even the sole important component of it. Letting this convention persist in our culture is a backwards-looking move that feeds into the agendas of people who want to keep other people down, even if it seems to be doing that only in small and mostly innocuous ways. The problem is that repression is actually never small or innocuous…especially when you’re the one who’s being repressed…

So I’m suggesting that whenever possible, we try to repair our world by overturning this obsolete convention. I know we can’t retroactively change the title of Jung’s book (even if I did enjoy changing it for the accompanying image) or the million other such references already out there…but moving forward, we can do our best to not rack up any further usages of “man” and “mankind” when what we really mean to say is “humanity.” I guarantee that I’ll be doing my part in this, practicing what I preach.

This is how we shape the world, and how we can be the change we wish to see in it:

People

…and our symbols.

 

A Non-Standard Way of Linking Tarot and Astrology Symbols…

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I was shuffling my deck earlier today, when the three cards shown in the accompanying image all fell out together in the order shown, like three pals making a jailbreak.

One of the first things that might jump out at you from this little cluster is the fact that they’re all Major Arcana cards. This is a bit unusual, and whenever I get a disproportionately large percentage of Majors in a reading, it alerts me to the possibility that big things are afoot. That is, the situation being examined now could be generating significant effects for quite some time to come.

But something else also jumped out at me upon seeing these cards, and this may have only happened because I’ve been doing some concentrated Astrology work of late…

Now, the numbers generally attributed to the Majors aren’t included on those cards in this particular deck…but as you may know, the traditional number assignments for these three cards go like this:

The Magus is Card I (1).

The Hierophant is Card V (5).

The Hermit is Card IX (9).

So cards 1, 5, and 9 rained down from out of my deck. What immediately occurred to me is the fact that in Astrology, the symbols that correspond to the numbers 1, 5, and 9 are all linked to the Element of Fire. That is, the first, fifth, and ninth Signs in the Zodiac sequence (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, respectively) are the three Fire Signs…and the First, Fifth, and Ninth Houses are the three Fire Houses.

If you use the widely-embraced astrological Tarot correspondences devised by the mystical society known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, then you’re pairing The Magus with a Planet (Mercury) that’s most often associated with the Air Element, and you’re coupling The Hierophant and The Hermit with Zodiac Signs that represent the Earth Element (Taurus and Virgo, respectively). But I don’t know that we need to be unwaveringly yoked to the Golden Dawn’s work…

It could be that in a reading such as this one – even when using a deck that includes the Golden Dawn’s astrological attributions right on the faces of the cards! – we’ll still be doing ourselves a favor if we take a look at our own current standing with respect to Fire. In metaphysical thought, the Fire Element is all about the spark of life. It’s about passion, courage, impulse, adventure, and lust in its many forms. These three Major card characters may be asking us to consider whether our own Fire Element requires some stoking at this time so as to be blazing brighter, or if it instead should be taken down a notch or two from present levels.

If you’re completely happy with the Golden Dawn’s work, then this approach might not hold much appeal for you…but the synchronicity of cards 1, 5, and 9 falling out of the deck perfectly in that order is a bit more than I can just ignore! I’ll therefore be spending some time looking at transits moving through the Fire Signs and Fire Houses in my own birth-chart this evening. If you’re at all intrigued by this approach, you might consider doing the same thing with your own chart…

 

Reiki Share and Crystal Wands

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Crystal wands – from L-R: Tiger Iron, Ruby in Zoisite, and Fluorite

Last night, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to lead a Reiki share event at The Empowerment Factory, a non-profit organization working to help the underprivileged in the Providence, RI area. This was the second such share in what we now expect to be a monthly series.

At the beginning of last night’s share, we entered into a sort of group meditation…only instead of the more typical variety of meditation you might expect to encounter at an event like this, everyone indulged me in my desire to experiment with our ability to perceive different varieties of energy. I had brought along the three crystal wands pictured in the accompanying photo, and I wanted to see if any of the group might be sensitive to the different energy-signatures of these three very different substances.

I asked everyone to close their eyes and link hands, and then I picked up the first of the wands. I described its characteristics, and then I asked the group to take note of any changes they might be experiencing in terms of their incoming impressions while I was holding the wand, including any sensations, thoughts, and emotions that might be cropping up.

After a minute or two of focusing on that first wand, I let the group know I was setting it down, and I gave us all a minute to sort of cleanse our energetic palates of the “taste” of the first wand. Next, I repeated the process with the second, and then the third wand.

It was a very interesting exercise! I, myself, am not extraordinarily sensitive to input of this nature, but as it turned out, some of the people in the group are, and they had some very vivid and significant responses to the different wands. Because we were all connected by touch, it had seemed possible to me that this could be a possible outcome, but it was fascinating to see it play out with real feedback from real people!

After the exercise, we held the share itself, and it was a terrific session. We had several newcomers to Reiki joining us, and as always, it was very gratifying to see people coming together with positive and selfless intentions. It was also fun to pass the wands around during the Reiki share to see if anyone could sense greater stimuli through the wands (like the difference between listening to someone’s heartbeat with your unaided ear, and then trying it again with a stethoscope), or if the wands might enhance the ability to channel the Reiki energy outward. Again, some of the attendees got really good results from this technique! Reiki and crystals do tend to play well together…

Our next share is scheduled for the evening of Feb. 15th, and it will again run from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at The Empowerment Factory. Reminders to follow, but if you’ll be in the area, please mark your calendars now, and make plans to join us!

Reiki Events in Providence

I was thrilled to present an Intro to Reiki talk earlier today at The Empowerment Factory, this terrific space here in the Providence area that’s also a very altruistic not-for-profit organization doing its best to help the less advantaged people in the vicinity.

If the video box presented here doesn’t work for you, you can click over to MY FACEBOOK PAGE to see this clip of nearly 20 minutes of the talk that I gave.

I’ll also be hosting a donation-based Reiki share event in the same space tomorrow evening (that’s Wed., Jan. 18) starting at 6:30pm, so if you’ll be in or near Providence, please consider attending! The world has not yet reached the point at which we have too much positivity and healing…

 

Tiwaz on Tuesday…

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As part of my start-the-morning rituals every day, I pull a single Rune.

Some people look at their Sun Sign horoscope over breakfast or coffee. More metaphysically-inclined types will even pull a single Tarot card or consult the I Ching.

I pull a Rune.

They differ in a lot of ways, but the intent behind each of these various methods is pretty much the same: we all want a taste of what the day ahead might hold for us, so we’re asking The Powers That Be.

My Rune for today is Tiwaz.

This is the Runic equivalent of our own letter T, and Tiwaz also refers directly to the Norse God, Tyr.

A fierce War-God, Tyr once knowingly sacrificed his own right hand so that his kinfolk could bind the terrifying Wolf-creature, Fenrir. The Rune is therefore all about such concepts as duty, integrity, resolve, courage, force of will, loyalty, strength, nobility, and sacrifice (especially for the greater good). Tiwaz advises us to take high roads, to be aware of the big picture, and to be impeccable with our word. When this Rune appears, it might be time to channel your inner Tyr…

And here’s another interesting tidbit about this draw: the Old English version of Tyr’s name is Tiw…and a day of the week was named in his honor. Back then, it was called Tiw’s Day. In modern times, we know it as Tuesday…

And as it happens, I’m writing this post on a Tuesday/Tiw’s Day! I have a huge soft spot for synchronicities like this when they happen.

I also like this Rune: it looks like an arrow…in flight…

Interested in Runes? I’m teaching an Intro to Runes class this Friday evening at Ascension NXT in the Providence, RI area. Message me for details if you’re interested!