I will be traveling for the next three months and taking a sabbatical from the internet. I will return in May with fresh ideas, experiences, and a wealth of words. Be well, be curious, and follow the pleasure! 

New Moon in Aquarius, January 2014

Tomorrow is the new moon in Aquarius. The Moon, the feminine receptive and yielding energy meets the Sun, the masculine penetrative and giving energy. For a moment, these are united. In alchemy, this is called ‘coniunctio,’ the Inner Marriage. These two principles in us are joined and working together. This is one of the main goals in Tantra.

Aquarius is the sign of group consciousness, “we the group” and offering our individual gifts to the life and well-being of everyone and everything. In Capricorn, the sign before Aquarius, we have developed as far as we can as an individual. Now, we turn our hearts and minds towards our sense of being part of the human, and non-human, family. The symbol of Aquarius is the man/woman who shares the water from his/her jug.

None of Aquarius’ collective concerns are because of duty, or “should.” Aquarius knows that we are all unique, yet equally valuable, and we all have something to contribute. Aquarians are often known for their quirkiness and offbeat behavior, appearance, way of life. The sign of Aquarius is “ruled” by the planet Uranus, which rotates on its side.

Aquarians can be found pursuing anything that is about expanding our sense of who we are so that we know that we are not just a “me.” Me matters, but is a vehicle for “we the ecosystem,” which the healthy functioning of in turn benefits me. These can be consciousness expanding endeavors such as yoga, astrology, open-minded science. Or collective efforts such as feeding the homeless, getting clean water to people in Africa, Habitat for Humanity. Or festivals, such as Burning Man or Rainbow Gathering. Aquarians are innovating and inventive, trying to find better ways to do things, to connect us all and improve life for everyone.

Being an air sign, Aquarius knows that our state of mind and consciousness is just as powerful as any “external action.” The air signs connect and move things from one place to another. Facebook and other social media are Aquarian playgrounds. You get to keep in touch with your grandmother, your boss, the guy from high school, the person you met at Comic Con. You can promote causes, play games, be invited to events. Interact with and be a part of the group.

Are you aware of yourself as a part of an ecosystem?

What unique gifts and talents do you possess that you share with the group (any group)?

How does your individual consciousness (awareness) contribute to the group consciousness?





What turns you on?

When I hear someone say that they want to “change the world,” I wonder who/what/which world they mean. Water? Dogs? The tree over there? The sky?

What world?

If I meet you and you look me in the eye, shake my hand and say “It’s great to meet you, I can’t wait to change you!” it may be our last meeting.

Your attempts to make the world into your own vision are futile. The world is already as you perceive it.

The story of Indra’s net tells us that everything is intimately connected and reflections of each other, as does quantum physics. The lineage of tantra that I study and teach says “As within, so without.”

Tell me what turns you on. Your loves, passions, glories. Tell me what ignites you, what lights you up, makes your pulse race. Tell me where your heart lives.

I’m here to love and celebrate the world. Imperfections and all.

 

Full Moon in Cancer, January 2014

Tomorrow, the full moon is in Cancer. The full moon is the time of the opposition of the Sun and Moon. The solar, outward directed, yang energies (Sun) and the lunar, receptive, reflective, yin energies (Moon) in the sky/in us are in balance and facing one another. Coming into full radiance, full awareness of each other, and in turn, we have the opportunity to become fully aware of what they re-present in us, to us.

The Sun in Capricorn (The Goat) the sign opposite of Cancer (The Crab) shows us how to slowly step by step scale the heights and both discover what we have to share with the world and find our way of sharing it. Trusting our sure-footedness and the next step. Taking our place in the larger community.

In order to do this, we need to come from a steady, stable inner foundation, a nurturing inner community. Cancer, the sign the moon will be in, shows us how family, our “nest,” feelings, and nourishment are necessary for inner steadiness. The sign of the crab, who carries its home with it wherever it goes. Cancer loves to be surrounded by loved ones, food, home and the familiar (from the word “family”,) being contained by the environment. It’s containment is external.

Capricorn has this support available internally to meet the world that isn’t family, that isn’t familiar, is unknown and can be challenging. Leaving the safety of “home” to venture out and test yourself with and against the larger world. The support and containment now comes from within. We can contain/”restrain” ourselves and we contain (nothing is needed from the outside) ourselves.

Are you supporting yourself both internally and externally?

How can you nurture yourself so deeply from within that the “external” world can be met with sure-footedness and steadiness?

Can you find a way to balance your need for your inner feeling life and your need to play your part in the larger community?

Life reveals itself in small surprises.

The Velveteen Rabbit On Becoming Real

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time.” ~ Margery Williams, ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’

                                                         ***

Lately, I’ve been telling anyone and everyone who will listen that 2013 has been the best year of my life. This surprises me. Measured in external goals met, it doesn’t appear that way. I used to be much more focused on art shows, art sold, students taught and mentored. What did I get done?

Being an introvert, I have always attended joyously to the inner journey, but this year was a deeper dive, the deepest ever, and this is the year that I claim that I became real. Well, I always was. This year, I knew that I was real. I came home to me, to my own heart.

I’ve been asked how I’ve “achieved” this inner peace, as if you can gain it like a prize! Life arrived with this gift for me and I took its hand and said yes. 

These are things I know, not believe. Not theoretical concepts or outworn new agey slogans. Harvesting the wisdom from my experiences has led me here. It wasn’t all smooth. However, bumps were made worse by my insistence on white knuckling Life. Sweet relief to let go. I noticed how I was participating in any “problem.” I noticed how it was serving me. I chose to receive all the miracles life serves up constantly.

These all interweave, play off of each other and support each other.

You are one with reality. There is no “out there.” As soon as I knew that, cellularly, energetically, in my blood and bones, my sense of who I am expanded, shifted, has been doing loop de loops. Even those I have difficulty with are me. They are the best teachers! This Life really is one energy and consciousness. It appears that it isn’t. We appear separate. I think that it helps us navigate and learn on this plane. With each other as mirrors, we can allow others to take on roles and we learn who we are faster. “You” can never be separate! With this awareness of this wholeness is not a mushy-gushy woowoo lack of boundaries. With true wholeness comes a deeper solidity and surety of self. Wholeness doesn’t separate out and label opposites. You can be one and One.

I truly believe that Westerners have an addiction to doom and gloom, shame, fear, hard work. I think that these thoughts and frame of reference add to and create more of the same. Seeing “the world” as a problem to be fixed, thinking that we know what’s right for others is violence. Yes, I know darkness exists. I’m almost 50 and have been through all the various experiences that a life can hold. I was a hardcore activist for years. You name it, I’ve activated for it. I finally realized that I was worse off, in my thoughts and stories, than anyone or thing that I was trying to “help” or save. I was in fact, adding to the general angst of the planet. I noticed what was of the most concern for me to “fix out there” and found that within. Yes, I know darkness exists. Night comes. I relax, sleep, let go, dream. I don’t lament that the darkness is here.

Notice your habits around violence towards your own life force. We’re pretty sure that violence exists “out there.” We have laws to stop others from ending the life force of others. What do you do with your own? Do you sleep when you’re tired? Do you eat when you’re hungry? You feel like running? Painting? Speaking? Not speaking? Why aren’t you? Do you trust the little piece of life that is the individual you? Do you trust the way that that energy courses through you and enlivens you? Do you trust its (your) wisdom and intelligence? Can you be present with it (yourself) right now and see where it’s leading you?

Notice your habits around your stories and if they still serve you. Which mostly boil down to: “This shouldn’t be happening,” or “This should be happening.” You are arguing with reality. Painful, right? Do you really think that a fearful you knows better than the great big story/song/dance of Life (which is the real you)? If you genuinely feel called to be involved in activism, teaching, nurturing the world into being, you will serve better by coming from a place of love and an open heart. If you must tell a story, let it be a fun one, like this:

All this is happening for you. You don’t have to do anything. You don’t even have to show up. There is no way to not show up, there is no way to not be participating in Life. The planet spins for you and holds you at the same time, animals and insects are doing what they do, same with plants, cells, minerals. The stars and planets are playing their role perfectly. So is every person. The sun shines on you. The rain falls where and when it needs to. The other day we experienced a solstice. This dancing orb we live on literally knew in its circle around and with the sun that it was time to start turning back the other direction. How incredible is that? Your heart beats, your organs do their thing, you don’t even need to breathe!

YOU ARE BEING BREATHED.

In the story The Velveteen Rabbit, the rabbit became real through the force of the little boy’s love.

For real.

What is this?

I  often hear clients say: I can’t do this; I can’t handle this; this is too much; this is too intense; this is stressful!

“This” usually comes up when a project/phase of life/relationship is getting challenging or frustrating. Leading them into new territory, stretching them in ways that are unfamiliar. When things are getting really juicy.

I get curious. What is this?

“This” is often a scenario that we are painting in our heads. We are jumping into the future both feet first. Our breath shallow, pupils dilated, fight or flight response in full operation. The energy going up, up and up into our head. Spinning our stories. And leaving us disconnected from the ground that is always holding and supporting us.

Taking a breath, or maybe two. Feeling our ass in the chair, feet on the ground. This can slow us down, placing our presence and attention right now. Then, we can get curious and inquire. Explore this potent life energy with our senses and sensual imagination.

Can I feel this in my body? Where? What is the texture of this? Is this moving, or still?

What does this look like? What color is this? Is this large? Is this small?

If could go out with this, what would this wear? Where would we go?

If I could take a bite of this, what would it taste like? Would this be crunchy, smooth, liquid? Would I take a second bite?

Does this have a smell? Does it remind you of anything? Anyone?  

How does this sound? Can this speak? Does this speak the same language as me? Can this sing? Can this play a musical instrument?

Is this a place? Where? Is it near? Far?

What does this want me to know about myself?

Is this all an interesting intellectual exercise? More words to fill ourselves with? No. Asking just one or two of these questions can shed light on something that can seem very dark and contracted or amorphous and mysterious. There is valuable information in the answers that arise. All the answers that we ever need are inside of us. “This” is a part of you. Something that is just at the periphery of your consciousness, wanting to be known and brought to awareness.

Slowing down, being in our bodymind self while gently inquiring, can invite this to be known and deepen the conversation with ourselves.

Artists and other creatives often receive an “aha” for exactly what their project is needing. An impasse in a relationship may be seen as a time to pause, and notice what our heart is calling us to. Obstacles become a jumping off place. And sometimes, comfort is found in knowing that it’s time to just be and be still with “this.”

What is this? You.


Mars, Uranus, Pluto, T-Square, New Moon in Capricorn, December 2013 - Liberating the Power of Desire

The last half of December 2013, we will all be participating in a very dynamic combination of planetary movement. Mars, Uranus and Pluto will be aligning in what is referred to as a “T-square.”

A T-square is a configuration in which two planets are opposite each other and exactly in between them is a third planet.

Mars and Uranus will be the two opposing each other and Pluto will be directly in the middle. On January 1, 2014, as Mars begins to move out of the alignment, the Sun and Moon will be joining Pluto in Capricorn, as the new moon.

Let’s look at each of these individually, and then synthesize them into some possible ways that we can choose to use the available energy in our own lives.

It’s important to remember that planets re-present parts of ourselves to us. They re-mind us of movement and change that are happening within us. As Classical Eastern Tantra says “As within, so without.” The planets do not come from “out there” and “make things happen.” They reflect. They are our mirrors.

Uranus and Pluto have been moving square to each other (90º) for about three years now. These planets are involved in the collective and personal desire and need for liberation and transformation, which can be wonderful and scary and a time of transition to a new reality. We’ve been feeling their very liberating and transformative influence for several years. Historically, Uranus and Pluto signal upheaval and changes in the collective psyche that result in sweeping changes in every realm of life. The last time they were conjunct (right next to each other) was in the 60s. Yes, those kinds of shake ups. Something has become old and outworn, it worked in the past, or it would not have come into being, but now, Life is saying: This no longer works. Time for change!

Uranus is the planet of liberating ideas, the shocking and the new. It often feels “electric.” And strikes like a bolt of lightning. Currently in the sign of Aries, the Ram. The first sign in the cycle of the zodiac. The new energy of spring. Growth and activity everywhere. The Ram charges in head first. Aries loves a challenge. Sometimes, without considering the consequences first. Uranus has been awakening in us a need for us to determine what challenges we want to accept and what we will meet “head on.” The importance of our own individuality.

Pluto brings to the surface what is rotting and no longer serving life. The tearing down of the old to make way for the new. How we use power. Think volcanoes. They destroy what is all around, yet create new ground and bring nutrients and new life to the surface. Currently in the sign of Capricorn, the Mountain Goat. Capricorn “rules” the structures that are meant to support our lives as a group: government, insurance companies, banking. We’ve all seen what isn’t working lately with these. They were initially created to serve and have become self-serving. Pluto is showing us what is rotting and needs to be cleared away.

Mars is the faster moving planet in this trio, which will set it all in motion. Mars is the Warrior. Mars is the capacity in us for fight or flight. To act. Quickly. Now. Mars is “what I want.” Desire. Mars is now in Libra. Libra is the sign of awareness through relating, of equilibrium, fairness and balance. Harmony. It “rules” the American judicial system, whose symbol Lady Justice is blindfolded (to avoid bias) and holds the scales. Mars in Libra could be about actively seeking justice, being a warrior for fairness, for peace. Balancing our desires with another’s.

The New Moon will add to Pluto’s power in Capricorn. The new moon is the yang, masculine part of ourselves (the Sun) aligning with the yin, feminine part (the Moon.) Alchemists and tantrikas call this the Inner Marriage, as these parts of us are united and working together. They are meeting up right at the start of the new year and will be heralding 2014 and finalizing this alignment. In Capricorn, they ask us to join feeling and will to help Pluto use its power do away with and create.

How to put all of this together? These are all assertive energies. There is nothing sleepy, slow or pleasantly drifty here. They will be felt. This is likely to be a very electrical and enervating time. Arriving at the time of traditional winter holidays being observed and celebrated, there could be tension and touchiness. How best to use this energy constructively? Uranus and Pluto are transpersonal, beyond our individual selves to direct or control. They tell us what to do and how to express them. The energy that we have access to through our individual egos is Mars, Sun and Moon. Mars will be the one that we feel we “have to act on.” That’s the nature of Mars.

What’s making you feel alive right now? What do you feel itchy about? What do you want to act on to shake things up and renew? What do you desire? Sometimes we can be afraid of that word. Afraid of our desire. Sure that it will be destructive.

Desire leads us to the heart of ourselves. Life reflects us. What we see that we want “out there” is showing us our own sweet self. Particularly in Libra, the sign of balance, awareness of self through others. The more you can tap into your own desires, your own need for change and action in your own life, the more constructively Uranus and Pluto can act through you.

Ask yourself: What do I desire? How is it connected to the awakenings and changes going on all around me? How do I want to act on that right now?





New Moon in Sagittarius, December 2013

Tomorrow is the new moon in Sagittarius. The Moon, the feminine receptive and yielding energy meets the Sun, the masculine penetrative and giving energy. For a moment, these are united. In alchemy, this is called ‘coniunctio,’ the Inner Marriage. These two principles in us are joined and working together. This is one of the main goals in Tantra.

The sign of Sagittarius comes after the sign of Scorpio. We have shed, we have let go, we have acknowledged the dark. Now we wait for the return of the Sun, the birth of the Sun. What can we call upon in ourselves to wait out the increasingly darker and colder days?

Faith. Belief. Enthusiasm (from Greek “possessed by a god”.) This is the Sagittarius way.

People are lighting candles, colored lights are being put out. To light the way, to help us see into the dark and wait. Trees that keep their green all year are decorated and celebrated to remind us of eternal life. Even when things get dark, the light is there, the light will return. Life continues.

Sagittarius is about sharing wisdom. Wisdom is gathered by harvesting the depth of our experiences. The ancients would have passed on their wisdom at this time of year to the younger generation, both as a teaching about the cycles and seasons (building faith) and as a time to gather around the center light, the fire, and share stories, connecting the tribe.

The Sagittarius centaur aims his arrow towards the horizon, towards tomorrow, towards the future. Sagittarius is a believer. Sagittarius is an expansive, seeking energy. Sagittarius knows “just over there,” something better is on its way.

But, for now we sit with our faith and wait. In the dark.

Are you keeping the faith and believing in a different tomorrow, while tending to the flame of now?

What god is possessing you?

Are you sharing your wisdom?











You feel me?

What would it be like to be fully alive, right here, right now? To taste, touch, feel the world around us, letting it fill us up so fully that the boundary between inner and outer disappears?

Alive through our senses. A deep engagement with the “right now” through our embodied presence and attendance. Being here. Being now. Literally being the moment.

Meeting the moment so fully that we and the moment meld into one.

Our deeply embodied feeling presence as the gateway to “spirit.” Every moment an opportunity.

An opportunity to feel into. To make love to the moment. To make love to all that is. With our presence. With our attendance.

Receiving Life. Right here. Right now.

All it takes is allowing and receiving Life as it shows up.

You don’t need to even breathe. You are breathed. Let that sink in. You are being breathed. Life is that generous. You show up and you are given to. Given life, given love.

To be loved - in our glorious perfection - isn’t this what we really want?

How can you experiment with this right here, right now?