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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This Is It! The Saturn\Pluto Square

The arrival of November reminds me that winter is soon to come, however this fall there is an added chill, and it has nothing to do with the weather. With Saturn leaving Virgo and entering the sign of Libra on Oct. 30th, 2009 the relationship with yourself and your goals will be strongly tested. The shift of Saturn into a new sign has put it in square to Pluto, form the 7th house (Libra) of your truth and relationships to the 10th house (Capricorn) of your goals and career. What you will feel is tension and that time is running out. The truth is that all resistance is present to help you solidify and define your beliefs and your sense of self; what you are feeling now is the gap between where you are and where you want to be, and the pressure to close that gap. The choice is simple: get on the train or get off – believe or don’t believe! The time has passed to ask permission to be who you are; stop waiting for others to acknowledge your talent and what you already know. Stop dividing yourself and focus on you and your dreams, if you do you may just get the rewards and very soon.

Each of us has betrayed ourselves in our own way. We don’t want to offend those we care about; we protect others, but the truth is, we’re protecting ourselves. When you demand more of you for you, you will demand more from others and put up with less disrespect and immaturity. It’s time for those who believe to move ahead and for those who complain and feel like a victim, to dig their hole deeper. The message is: you don’t have to be perfect and you can do more than you think can. As Michael Jackson sang in the new documentary --“This is it”! It’s time to do it, believe it, own it, let go of it, but don’t be neutral -- take a stand.

Dreams that become real, loose their glow because reality is present. Nothing is yours unless you’re willing to fight for it. Libra, the sign hosting Saturn, is all about truth and leadership. It is not easy to stand alone in what you believe and through the force of your convictions attract support. Whenever one tries to separate from the pack, there is always resistance and sometimes even an attack. However, when you believe in what you are doing and show others your faith and strength, then you begin to dissolve the resistance and create support. Saturn will retrograde back into Virgo on April 8, 2010 At this time you may feel as if you’re regressing, or you may just be doing the work that needs to get done, before you actually move forward again on July 23, 2010. So be prepared to stand up for yourself and what you want to happen. Don’t let the forces throw you off-center or derail you from your path. The closer you get to success the more reality challenges your ideals and dreams and the more the world requires of you. People will fight you for the position you want. Whoever believes more in themselves will get the chance to prove their talent.

The Saturn Pluto Square According To Sun Sign

ARIES (March 21 – April 19): If you know who you are and what you want from life then moving forward now won’t be so difficult. If you’re feeling frustrated it’s time to adjust your ideals with reality and know that what you’re letting go of is only the veneer. If you can hold on to the essence and not be afraid to reshape the façade or image that you started with, then you can now make it happen in a new way. Of course it will require a leap of faith, but that’s what you are good at.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The challenge for this earth sign will be to see that being responsible does not limit your freedom or change your beliefs. This only happens when life has to be all or nothing – something you may have found yourself a victim of. When you learn to give just what is needed to make something work and retain something for yourself, then being a success is not a burden, on the contrary, it is your playground.

GEMINI (May 21 – June 21): What part of your life are you not in charge of? If you don’t have a dream then it’s time to get one. You take on too much, divide yourself too thin and then wonder why things don’t move. Narrow your focus; eliminate what distracts you from yourself. Plug the holes in your life and let go of people, projects, and attitudes that get in the way of your success. You won’t regret it, on the contrary, what you will experience is empowerment.

CANCER (June 22- July 22): As the first water sign you seem passive but the truth is, most of the time you’re in control. You may not realize that what you don’t do makes just as much of a statement as what you do. It’s time to come out of hiding and be noticed. You can no longer just wish for your desires and dreams to come true. They need your presence to become a reality – so take the first step and just show up.

LEO (July 23- Aug 22): Pleasing others is over, it’s time to show the world who you really are and to feel the power of being true to yourself. Sure it’s a risk, but do you really care what others think and don’t you want to know who is with you for the right reasons and who isn’t? Faith is gained by stepping into the unknown and realizing how supported you really are. You’re used to doing it all alone; now it’s time to let others help you.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22: Money and finances seen to be at the center of your struggle, but the battle is really about what’s important to you. You have control issues so you are either in total control or you’ve let someone else take over. Either way you’ve got to make adjusts in order to move forward. So do what’s necessary then get back on tract, step up to the plate and take charge of your destiny.

LIBRA (Sept 23- Oct.23): What is your truth and how do you present it to the world? If you’re too invested in approval or validation, if you’re too afraid of standing alone then this will be a challenging time. Sooner or later your path boils down to how much you believe in yourself and what you are doing. So start standing up for you, ask for what you want. Don’t be afraid to impose yourself gracefully on those who can help you.

SCORPIO (Oct 24- Nov 21): Faith is a Scorpio challenge. If you lack confidence and feel the world is against you then you may avoid putting yourself on the line and that would be a mistake. It’s time to act. You’ve can actually do both. Know what to protect and what not to. Don’t protect your talent and your power; if others can’t handle it that’s their problem. Get rid of whatever is holding you back, and bring the bare truth to the table. It’s time to travel light.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22- Dec 21): What you value and who you want to be may require a few changes. You need to support your dreams and goals and not undermine them by your choices and actions. Put your money where your mouth is; give yourself what you need even if it depletes your savings or your time. You’ve got to be the investment now. When you value yourself, you reach higher and the higher up you are the better the perspective and the easier it is to make the best choice.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22- Jan 19) You vs. your career. You want a bigger piece of the pie and you’re about to get it if you can break through your own fears and accept that you deserve it. You have conquered your environment and so now it’s time to adjust your goals. To have it all, you’ve got to ask for more and get the help you need to accomplish your goals.

AQUARIUS (Jan 20- Feb 18): What you believe is what you create. To have what you want you need to stand up for what is yours and claim it from the universe. Don’t accept a maybe or a no. Convince others by showing them you believe in you. The challenge is to put yourself first and know what you want. Your bleeding heart often stops you from doing this. However, once you can focus on you, others will support you and offer help.

PISCES (Feb 19- March 20): Your higher self is calling and the only thing that is holding you back is your need to be in control or the belief that you deserve something wonderful to happen to you. It’s time to have faith that what is yours is yours and no one can take it from you. How you feel about you is the problem, yes it’s time to let go of the pain and wounds from the past. Release it; create a new image of yourself based on the best that you can be. Then step into that image and make your life happen.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tibet: A Journey to Simplicity, Beauty and the Divine

Several months ago I received an invitation to meet a “Living Buddha” in Tibet and I realized a life-long dream of mine was about to come true. This adventure was organized by my dear friend Pearl Lam with whom I have taken several other extraordinary journeys, all of them trips that I could never have navigated on my own. I knew it would be both memorable and difficult; however I had no clue just how challenging getting to our destination would be. The roads were in much worse condition than I could ever have imagined. For hours without relief, we bounced up and down, our heads actually hitting the roof of the car. However, it was the altitude sickness that proved to be the real problem. As we climbed toward 5,000 feet, the headaches grew worse, the nausea increased, and the lack of physical strength took its toll. By the morning of the second day on the road we had lost four of our fellow travelers, and that was half of our group. Weakened and debilitated, they were forced to turn around and go back to civilization.

I was fortunate that my headaches only appeared briefly in the morning and my stomach took the position that it would not give me any trouble if I would just agree not to put anything in it that I didn’t recognize at first glance (not an easy request to fulfill on this kind of trip). And so I said no to dried Yak meat on long rib bones, chicken feet in weird sauces, unidentifiable vegetables and soups with floating colors and objects that I still haven’t recognized or named. And so I just focused on the rice that kept me feeling full and safe. The real nightmare, however, was the famous Yak tea that made most of us weak at the knees as soon as we smelled its aroma. We tried to appear polite as we shook our heads to indicate “no thank you.” This strange but common beverage I believe was enhanced with rancid Yak butter.

The lack of physical nourishment was easily overshadowed by the immense beauty of the land and the purity of its people. In their presence it was easy to reconnect to the basics of life and revisit what it means to be just happy. The lower mountains were like velvet, covered with green undulating grass that fed the plentiful herds of Yaks that roamed everywhere. The owners lived in tents, dressed in splendid shades of purple, fuchsia, and maroon held together with small silver belts, swords and purses often adorned with chunks of turquoise. Their faces were eternally aglow with big, genuine smiles. Their secret, I believe, was their acceptance of the harshness of their lives and the creative genius of nature that offered its prize creations to the simplest of souls. Living among the majesty of nature reminds you every moment of our humanness and from that place the divine within is easily felt. In a land meant for the Gods, life is lived as it was centuries ago, minus the occasional cell phone or motorcycle that now runs with the dogs keeping the herds of Yaks moving and together. It was easy to see how spoiled we all were as we were forced to forego our civilized conveniences and let our spirits lead the way. For no matter how hard we resisted, we could not keep out the stark, lonely beauty that invaded our emotional walls and helped us connect to a place of fear within ourselves – our private sense of lonliness and isolation that is part of everyone’s soul.

The master (he didn’t speak English) was an inspiring example as he sat in the front seat of our SUV, bouncing away without stress or anxiety. I had to pinch myself occasionally at the vision of what was happening -- I was going to a temple in Tibet with a “Living Buddha” right by my side. And what a kind, generous, and innocent divine being he was. When he learned I was an astrologer he asked me a question no one else had ever put quite the same way -- “What are my weaknesses,” he inquired, “so that I may strengthen them and improve myself?” That question made him instantly human to me, but human without the burden of an ego, and so he immediately felt divine. So simple, so real, so committed to becoming a better person so that he may help others cope with their lives. This beautiful soul was chosen at seven years old by a council who was seeking the reincarnation of the last Master. Before a Living Buddha” dies he writes down the date of his rebirth and the name of his future mother and father and then it is up to the council to find him. When they do, he is presented with artifacts from his last life and if he identifies them in some way, he is accepted and schooled to continue his teachings. Our Buddha had only taken charge of his legacy six or seven years ago. The challenge before him is not an easy one, for there is little or no money available to keep his temple in working order. He gives his blessings in a leaky tent, while the buildings are slowly falling apart around him. That is why he came to Shanghai, to raise money, but of course he couldn’t speak of money and so the Gods led him to my friend Pearl’s apartment. Talk about extreme environments; he must have wondered if he had landed on Mars as he looked around at the contemporary Chinese art and unique décor of my friend’s not so humble home. Pearl has vowed to help him and this trip was the first of her ventures to bring awareness of his plight to those who are capable and willing to help in some way. The most immediate crisis they face is the chanting room where the monks must enter and chant for three years, three months, three days and three hours. It is leaking and falling apart; the monks can’t leave and they don’t have the funds to fix it. With winter approaching this is a crisis indeed.

The morning of our trip up the mountain to the temple turned out to be a beautiful day. Apparently the Buddha had asked everyone to pray for good weather so that we might truly enjoy the journey. As we arrived at a tent where the “Living Buddha” would change into a golden robe with a red sash, we encountered a long row of people waiting for a glimpse of their Master. The people had not seen him for three months and so they were anxious for his blessings. The love that was felt that morning was transformational – it flowed from the crowds to the Buddha and back to their hearts. Tears welled up in my eyes for the feeling of pure love is not a common encounter. This moment was experienced over and over again as my horse followed the procession up the mountain to the temple. Hundreds of people had climbed the steep sides of the mountain to greet him on his journey upward. With so much devotion and love, the difficulties of the last two days easily faded into pure joy.

We were the first foreigners to visit the area. They were as curious about us as we were about them. When you tried to communicate with them, their giggles, and smiles where so genuine that they stole your heart. The men hugged each other easily and held hands, no shame in showing feelings of any kind. Apparently the women are once again the workers and foundation of the families. They walked and the men rode the horses; they earned the money for their children and family, and men keep the money they earn for themselves. If their union ends in divorce it is her family that will take care of her and her children. Young couples don’t waste time when they like each other -- they marry immediately. Often this happens after only one conversation or encounter. Our driver, a sexy Scorpio, was getting married to a woman he had met only three times!

I am sure that this journey will continue to work on my spirit for many months and years to come. There is nothing more enlightening than to meet people who are different from you, and yet so very much the same. The experience is that we all share the same desires for love and inspiration; we all seek to share our feelings and happiness with those we care about. It seems that the less you have, the easier this is to accomplish – so who really wins in life – those of us with comfort and money, or those with love and community as a natural part of life? It shouldn’t have to be a choice, but so often luxury clouds our spirit and keeps us from being real. After returning home, what has stayed the strongest in my psyche are two things: the beauty and magnificence of the mountains and nature and the simple power of a warm and loving smile. Beauty and love are truly the gifts of life that keep on giving.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

TURN YOUR LIFE AROUND

Saturn in Virgo (Sept. 2, 2007 -- Oct. 30, 2009)

Everyone at some time in their life has made a negative self-judgment not knowing how truly harmful this process is. If you had critical parents or were raised in an environment where you didn’t fit in, or you just lacked validation and attention, then you have probably judged yourself as not good enough to have the wonderful things in life that others seem to get with ease. Self-judgment serves no one. What it does do is limit you in all your endeavors, instead of teach you about yourself and how to bring the gifts within you out into the world. Yes, each of you has a gift, a reason or purpose for incarnating into this world at this exact time, and if you don’t know how to support yourself with faith and love, you will not reach your full potential. The most harmful results of negative judgment is that it stops your energy from flowing, from moving through you and uniting with the life sustaining universal force that rejuvenates and empowers all those that let it in.

Saturn, master and ruler of your blocks and limitations, entered into the sign of Virgo on Sep 2, 2007 and will leave on Oct 30, 2009. Virgo is the sign of health or the sanctity of your inner temple, it has great organizational skills as well as a heightened sense of service, a need to return something to the world – it represents the give and take of life which leads to balance, represented in the next sign of Libra. Mutable by nature, it constantly changes and adjusts what takes you off-center, and if it gets over-worked because of your extreme nature, then your mind, body and spirit suffers. Remember, your body needs exercise and good food, your mind needs new challenges, complexities or puzzles to solve, and your spirit needs enough faith in itself to overcome the obstacles you will encounter on your journey. Faith is increased by taking risks and learning from the experience in spite of whether you win or loose. Having to confront your demons makes you aware of the importance of a safe and pure inner space – no negative thoughts should live inside. Like a well-made clock, to keep your parts shinning, well-oiled and free of grime and dust, you’ve got to seal off your inner space, you’ve got to have a door that opens and closes when you command it to do so. That means you need to be able to say “yes” and “no”, not to please others, but to create your world your way. It doesn’t matter how big your world becomes on the outside, if you feel good about yourself on the inside. To keep yourself positive, you need to keep out the fears, judgments and problems of others or your inner world will be lost-- it will no longer belong to you and neither will your destiny. You’ve turned it over; you are not in charge, and so why wouldn’t you be depressed and uncertain about who you are and where you are going.

Adjusting the balance between your ability to accept both the light and shadow, your virtue and your anger and pain, is the quest of Saturn in Virgo. The only way balance can be found is by going beyond your apparent limits. If you never push the boundaries of your life and step into the unknown you’ll never know what you are truly capable of achieving. Children know this, they stretch the limits we set for them all the time, and if we fill them with too much fear, they stop trying and hide. Virgo helps you push your limits so that you can know which ones are worthy of your commitment. It makes you face whatever you are avoiding – too idealistic then deal with reality – too practical and hard working, then lets have an encounter with hope and faith. Yes, our experiences in Virgo make us realize the necessity of self-discipline, and how vulnerable we are without it. Virgo does not protect, it tests your preparedness for a world filled with desire, temptation and hard choices and it does this by bringing you face to face with the magical lures of the underworld and the pitfalls of high ideals. Pisces, the opposite sign of Virgo, enticed you to follow your dreams by masking your fears in fantasies and high ideals. Early dreams lifted you up and helped you cope with hardships and struggle. Now, in the passage through Virgo, it’s time to shed those fantasies so that the dream can become real. You must stop and adjust your position in order to move forward. You have a new truth and that truth includes the realization that you need others to be strong; that you can’t take the rest of the journey alone. When you can accept others you see your own aloneness and that can either drop you into greater fear, sending you back into the boundaries that have kept you a prisoner or -- if you can hold that fear and accept it, you can call forth the divine within you and begin to feel your spirit’s connectedness to the spirit in all things. This spiritual awakening is the key to self-love, faith and confidence. Once you experience this, you will never settle for those who want to bring you down or for a love that does not give and receive. And best of all you will begin to attract all the necessary support and opportunities you once thought would never come your way.

If you want to turn your life around stop right now and make a commitment to yourself. Look at your life and see where others are depleting you or where isolation is preventing your growth. You need people you can talk to about real feelings, not just social contacts. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, do trust your instincts and what your gut tells you and start practicing the words “yes” and “no” based on what you want, not on what others want from you. You’ll need a vision as a guide, so think about where you’d like to be a year from now, and keep your focus on it making choices every day in your life in some small way that will bring you closer to that vision and your goals.

As Saturn prepares to leave the sign of Virgo it has a gift for those who have done the work. Yes, it has the magic to flip you from the bottom to the top and yes, it can do the same in reverse. We’ve all watched our financial guru’s topple from their pedestals and are still amazed at how quickly it all happened. Those that are stuck and not growing need to step aside and make room for those that are. So now is a time rich with opportunity, especially for a big leap of faith. So take the risk and accept the offer that is on its way – it’s your chance to turn your life around.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A LEAP OF FAITH REQUIRED

The most wonderful thing about astrology is the insight it gives you into your feelings and events in your life. The world has been going through some great changes for the last year, most of them caused by a planetary configuration we astrologers call Pluto in Capricorn. The sign of Capricorn represents the world you have built through your choices, values, ideals and fears. Your fears and those that you have accepted from society are your boundaries and limitations-- the structure of your life and these boundaries have been moved without your consent. This aspect does not accept a mere make-over, a piece of new furniture or a coat of paint, what is required is a structural change that affects the very foundation you are standing on. You need both the practical and the hopeful to be happy. Too much reality makes life dry and unexciting; too much fantasy keeps you isolated and unable to manifest anything real. And now Pluto enters that reality and shows you where the imbalance in your life and in your community and country lies.

Pluto entered the sign for the first time January 27, 2008. It regressed back into Sagittarius on June 15, 2008 and on November 27, 2008 it reentered Capricorn just in time to announce our new president Barak Obama. And his election was a symbol of the new world order that lies before us. Yes, the world, the way you once knew it is gone. The last time Pluto was in Capricorn the United States entered the world arena as a slave owned nation and America’s entry certainly shook the international arena. That is why I new that Obama would win, it would represent the end of a cycle and our quest for true independency and democracy. So, how does all of this translate into your personal life? It has shifted your position of power within you, and in so doing it has revealed where you are stuck, the part of you that has worked in the past may actually be the part that is bringing you down or causing you trouble. Pluto will be at zero degrees of Capricorn August 6, 2009 for the last time, which means that the new beginning we have all been struggling to build since its first entry into Capricorn last year will finally have some staying power. So now what you put out into the world in regards to effort and work will begin to hold, instead of being uprooted, changed or collapse due to the necessary support and finances.

We have all watched the world obsess over Michael Jackson. Part of this obsession has to do with nostalgia for the past that is quickly disappearing. We are holding on to our old idols as they leave us and make way for the new, and so we raise them even higher so that no one can take them away from us. It is our inner yearning to not let go that keeps us rehashing the past -- one way to not face the now and our uncertain future. So yes, things that symbolize the past will increase in value. Nostalgia is in big time. The changes that are happening around us and within us are frightening, because the markers in our lives have moved and we don’t know how to measure ourselves, where we stand and where we are going, any longer. What is also in now is anything different and that brings me to Sarah Palin. Talk about a perfect environment for an uncommon common person. She does everything different, everything that one would see as political suicide and she gets away with it. I believe it represents just how much we all want change; some of us are not even looking at what that change means as long as it feels different. Stepping down as Governor of Alaska gives her the title of “Renegade.” Now that’s amazing.
With so many new emotions and uncertainty surrounding you what should you do? The answer is to go within and listen to yourself; reconnect to the magic of your own inner voice and let that lead you. As a struggling new nation, that’s all we had to rely on, along with common sense and natural intelligence, a rarity these days. Comfortable times have allowed us to loose touch with ourselves. Whatever is happening to you is happening for a purpose, find that purpose and you will move through the difficulty. Learn the lesson and you won’t feel stuck. Change brings great opportunity and opened unwatched doors, and if you are prepared and ready to make a move, chances are you’ll get the opportunity. Gather together your confidence, talents and faith in yourself and offer that to the world. Isolation is not a good choice now. Rather, put yourself into the stream of life, and learn how to swim with the current as well as express your own individuality as you keep your head afloat. There is an audience that is eager to see something new, something real, something that doesn’t deceive but offers both hope for the future and insight into the present struggle. So take a leap of faith, it is truly the safest path.