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Creating Intention: An Act of Prayer

prayerThe efficacy of prayer has been proven recently in the scientific arena. Dr. Larry Dossey is well-known for his studies demonstrating that prayer has a healing effect even when performed from a distance and without the patient knowing that prayer is occurring. The National Institute for Health Care Research found that out of 158 professional studies, 75% demonstrated that a religious commitment translated into benefits in psychological well-being, overall survival rates, or quality of life for everyone from cancer patients to drug abusers. Research is now being conducted at major universities all over the country to determine the connection between prayer and healing. Is this the intervention of a divine entity? Or is it that when we create an intention we focus our mind to align with the divine within ourselves, thereby harnessing an enormous creative force of manifestation?

It is tempting to relinquish our personal power to the will of the divine and give up our own will in the name of humility. Often there is a deep spiritual experience that results from sublimating one’s personal desires; however, a deep transformational empowerment can result from creating strong intentions for one’s life experiences that brings us closer to fulfilling our soul’s purpose and to becoming the amazing beings that we truly are. In order to do so, it is crucial to honor the divine within ourselves that deserves to live a beautiful and abundant life.

Often we may find ourselves stuck in patterns of negative thought that prevent us from realizing most fully the power of our creative intention. Perhaps we inherited these thought patterns and scripts from our families. Perhaps difficult life experiences have made it difficult for us to believe in our own soul’s beauty and power. Or perhaps we fear that in acknowledging our power to create the life we want, we are bound to fail. No matter what our negative conditioning has been, we have the power at every moment to completely transform our lives by directing our energy and focus for change, healing, and transformation.

When creating an intention or a vision for our life, it is crucial to begin by asking that our goal be answered in a way that harms none and is for the highest good of all. Paramhansa Yogananda has said, “Words are vibrations of thought,” and the words that we utter have a powerful effect on our consciousness. Carefully consider the options that you want to bring into your life. Do not focus on the negative that you would like to release, as this will only energize the negative. Your intentions will be more effective if they are worded in positive, evocative and inspiring language, and in the present tense. You will want to be as specific as possible in your intentions, but leave room for divine intervention and inspiration. Use words such as “exactly the right.” or “the best possible.” Speak the words aloud, and use all of your senses to make your vision real. Hear the sounds, feel the textures, see your life unfold as you desire it to be.

When we align the words that we speak with a clear intention, and we include in that intention the desire to follow the will of our higher self and guidance, we become able to manifest our soul’s purpose and manifest our highest ideals. Behavior patterns that interfere with our purpose become transformed as our entire being fills with the light of the divine will. We become more strongly linked to our soul’s creative intelligence, open to its guidance, and receptive to the many gifts of a life of transformation.

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By | 2013-08-11T06:03:19+00:00 August 11th, 2013|Consciousness, Favorite posts, Inspiration|2 Comments

Chiron is different from anything else in the Universe

Chiron astrology art by James Mesple.  The mythological Chiron was a creature that was half man and half horse, so he is often lumped together with other Centaurs who share those physical attributes.  Astrologers sometimes classify him as an asteroid (his original astronomical classification), and astronomers sometimes describe him as a comet because he exhibits comet-like behavior.  You can read more about Chiron’s classification here in this earlier post.

The Centaurs of Greek mythology were actually tribes of beast-like men who roamed through Thessaly and the Pelopenessian peninsula in ancient times.  Although Chiron was similar in appearance, because he was half horse half man, he was of a different lineage entirely.  His father was Cronos (Saturn) and his mother was the nymph Philyra.  Chiron’s bestial shape was due to Cronos having shapeshifted into a stallion in order to overtake and mate with Philyra, the object of his great desire.   So while Chiron shares a similar imagery to the race of Centaurs, he is completely unrelated.

In the same way, Chiron is very different from the other astronomically classified Centaurs. Most important is the location of his orbit which generally lies between Saturn and Uranus although that orbit is elliptical and peculiar.  Barbara Hand Clow has called Chiron the “Rainbow Bridge” between the personal planets (the visible planets through Saturn) and the transpersonal planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto).  The personal planets represent personality, and the outer planets are transformational forces.  Chiron serves the role of facilitating transformation through the healing of problems in the personality.

In mythology Chiron is often described as the wisest of the Centaurs, but in my mind this is erroneous on many levels.  Since he was not one of the Centaur race, his wisdom is in a category unto itself and unrelated to the Centaurs.  He was fostered by the god Apollo and became a mentor to the ancient Greek heroes and the tutor to Asclepius, god of medicine. He inspires the kind of wisdom that only life experience and conscious understanding of our inner wounds can reveal.

There are not many astrologers who work with the other astronomically classified Centaurs, and we are just beginning to learn what significance they offer to the astrological chart.  Pholus and Nessus seem to be the major Centaurs that are in use at the moment, although with new planetary bodies being discovered every day the landscape of potential symbolism is virtually unlimited.

Still, there is no doubt in my mind that Chiron is a unique key to understanding the challenges that we face today, in the twenty-first century, to grow and evolve beyond the limits of our past and move with greater freedom  into a new and unique future.

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By | 2013-04-30T07:01:06+00:00 April 30th, 2013|Astrology, Favorite posts|9 Comments

Catastrophe and transformation

catastrophe Tower TarotI was browsing around for something when I came across a definition of the word “catastrophe”:

catastrophe (plural catastrophes)
1. Any large and disastrous event of great significance.
2. (insurance) A disaster beyond expectations
3. (narratology) The dramatic event that initiates the resolution of the plot in a tragedy.
4. (mathematics) A type of bifurcation, where a system shifts between two stable states.

As an astrologer, I am always curious about catastrophes in a person’s life, because there is nearly always something of great significance astrologically that provides clues to the nature of this apparent disaster.  I believe that when we are ignoring our lives or unable to face certain truths, the Universe will present us with a catastrophe to get our attention and create the change and transformation that is required.

In order to get there, though, we have to completely suspend our usual ideas of what is good and bad, life and death.  A horrible childhood event can serve as the tool to foster a lifetime of introspection and self-discovery.  A terrible accident can create a lifetime of pain, but also shock us into realizing that a change in our life is needed.  A natural disaster can wipe away a family, but allow us to put our grief to work in helping others.  A terminal illness will end a life, but can bring great richness and transformation to an entire family as well as the patient.

All of these events could be considered catastrophes in definition #1 described above: “a large and disastrous event of great significance.”  And certainly a disaster beyond expectations (#2), because most of us don’t expect to encounter these disasters – they sneak up on us and shock us into an altered state.

#3 is one of the most interesting, and it comes to us from the elements of Greek drama: The dramatic event that initiates the resolution of the plot.  Many of us become stuck in patterns and situations that we know are limiting us but we stay there out of fear or inertia.  A catastrophe can indeed be the dramatic event that initiates a type of resolution.

Catastrophe theory in mathematics is a little more obtuse but it still has an interesting connection to this discussion: “Small changes in certain parameters of a nonlinear system can cause equilibria to appear or disappear, or to change from attracting to repelling and vice versa, leading to large and sudden changes of the behaviour of the system.”  Here again we see the idea that a catastrophe plants the seeds of change.

The Tower card in the Tarot is a significator of this kind of catastrophe.  The Tower card is represented by the planet Pluto which presides over death and rebirth – destruction and regeneration.  In this card we see the Tower of the material world, representing all that we have accomplished, but which rests precariously on a craggy mountain which represents a supremely difficult spiritual challenge.  In order to accomplish the spiritual work, the Tower of materialism must fall.

The crown is falling from the Tower, showing that we must let go of our arrogance and righteousness during this process.  A bolt of lightning (Uranus – sudden and shocking experience) comes out of the blue to destroy all that we have built. In order to escape the destruction, a change of perspective (the people falling upside down from the Tower) is required.

To me, the biggest challenge in life is to face the reality of its tenuousness without fear and with trust in the Universal laws of consciousness and fate.  Astrology helps with this, because it can provide a context within which these supposedly meaningless events occur and offers a framework for understanding.

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By | 2013-04-26T07:11:08+00:00 April 26th, 2013|Fate, Favorite posts, Inspiration|8 Comments

Autism: The astrological connection

autismRecently I did a reading for a woman who was born under the Aquarius Stellium of 1962 who was dealing with neurological issues, something that is not uncommon with people who have a strong Uranian component in their chart, and the modern ruler of Aquarius is Uranus. I have long believed that the autism phenomenon, rather than a disorder to be treated, marks a significant shift in genetic patterning of the human race. The statistics are staggering:  1 in 150 American children are now diagnosed to be somewhere on the autism spectrum. There appear to be many different statistical correlations that suggest connections to possible causes: mercury in vaccines, genetic history of families, and even the self-selection of geeks to other geeks.  All provide reasonable arguments, yet no single cause stands out.  After mercury was removed from vaccines in 1999, he autism rate continued to climb making this a less convincing cause.  There is no doubt that autism spectrum disorders (ADS) are diagnosed more frequently now than in years past, but this increase in diagnosis does not reasonably explain the 800% and more increase in autism rates. I have long felt that there is a Uranian component to the autism spectrum of disorders.  Astrological Uranus rules technology and all things geeky – it is the planet of innovation, of invention, of reason and new ways of thinking.  It is Uranus which opens the doorway to “Eureka” type experiences, that seem to come from nowhere in a blinding flash of insight.  Uranus is not concerned with emotion – it remains detached and focused on order. The astonishing rise of the prevalence of autism since the early 1990s suggests a link to the Uranus-Neptune conjunction that began in 1991 and continued through 1994.  The combination of Uranus to Neptune opened all kinds of doorways and dissolved the boundaries of reason and old paradigms of thinking.  The children that were born during this period carry this archetype within them, and they are a new breed entirely.  It is during this time that the concept of the “Indigo Children” began, as it was apparent that these new children were very different than the generations that preceded them, and it is in these children that we see the dramatic increase in autism rates. But the astrological connection actually goes further and is closely tied to the Saturn/Uranus cycle. Saturn rules order and structure and Uranus is the rebel and radical influence that destroys the status quo, so the cycle of Saturn and Uranus is often found during periods of radical change.  Many of the baby boomers who were active during the cultural upheaval of the 1960s have Saturn squared to Uranus in their charts. Autism was first described in 1910 by Swiss psychiatrist Eugene Bleuler as he was defining symptoms of schizophrenia.  At the time, Saturn in Aries was exactly square to Uranus in Capricorn. The term “autism” was first used in its modern sense in 1943 by a child psychiatrist named Leo Kanner at Johns Hopkins Institute, and one year later by Hans Asperger in Vienna.  During this time Saturn and Uranus had both just entered and conjoined in Gemini, the sign that rules communication and the mental process. Despite this early discovery of the autism phenomenon, it wasn’t until 1985-1987 that the autism rate began to increase dramatically.  During this time, Saturn and Uranus were conjunct in Sagittarius and both planets were opposed by Chiron, the wounded healer, which was in Gemini at the time. Ever since the conjunction of Uranus and Neptune in the early 1990s Uranus and Aquarius has been very active astrologically.  Uranus entered its own sign of Aquarius in 1995, marking the explosion of the technological revolution.  Neptune followed shortly thereafter, entering Aquarius (ruled by Uranus) in 1999 and blurring the boundaries (Neptune) between technology and reality in an explosion of virtual reality software and games such as SimWorld in which participants create an online world of their own. Wired Magazine has a fascinating article about “The Geek Syndrome,” postulating that what we call Aspergers is closely tied to the Geek personality found in Silicon Valley, home to one of the fastest increasing rates of autism spectrum diagnoses, and perhaps due to the self-selection of geeks who marry other geeks which intensifies the geeky qualities in their offspring.  In this article Hans Asperger, one of the first to diagnose the autism phenomenon, writes that one of his subjects: “came to be preoccupied with fantastic inventions, such as spaceships and the like.” Here he added, “one observes how remote from reality autistic interests really are” – a comment he qualified years later, when spaceships were no longer remote or fantastic, by joking that the inventors of spaceships might themselves be autistic. So are these children autistic, or are they a new breed of human with a mind that operates differently?  I have a strong Uranian component in my chart (most astrologers do – Uranus rules astrology and any kind of thinking that breaks free of the “normal” paradigms), and Saturn squares Uranus in my chart as well.  I have long noticed that I exhibit some of the common traits attributed to the autistic spectrum such as a discomfort with being touched.  I also have a memory for phone numbers that puts me in the idiot savant category.  So I was very interested in the “Autism Quotient” test offered by Wired Magazine, and my score was 24 (normal is 16, with autistism beginning at 32). At the current time, Chiron is approaching a conjunction to Neptune in Aquarius, and Jupiter has just entered Aquarius making this an extremely Uranian time (because Uranus rules Aquarius).  We are on the threshold of the Age of Aquarius and I have written often in these pages about the transformation of the human being into what is now being called “transhuman” in the mainstream press. If the autism rate continues to increase beyond the current rate of 1 in 150, we will need to change our thinking about what we are now calling a psychiatric disorder and expand our minds to accommodate the possibility that as humans we are entering a new age where technology and humanity are merging into a new life form.  This possibility is a frightening one for many of us, but it is quite likely that the trend cannot be stopped in which case we would be better off learning to adapt our civilizations to accommodate the new breed of human rather than continue to try to sequester them away from the mainstream.

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By | 2012-09-25T19:04:41+00:00 September 25th, 2012|Favorite posts, Psychology|1 Comment

Saturn and Neptune and the boundaries of compassion

reposted from February 2007

Last night I watched part of a Dog Whisperer episode that I missed about Howie, the (adorable) rescue dog that lived at an animal hospital in Atlanta because he was “unadoptable.” Howie had been terribly abused before his rescue, and while his body had healed he was still terrified and growled whenever anyone new came near him. The ladies who cared for him were very protective of him and did all they could to keep him safe. He lived at the animal hospital for two years before Cesar Millan came to help Howie become adoptable.

When Cesar arrived, he found that Howie had been indoors for two years. Because of his abuse, his foster moms had been afraid to put a leash on him for fear it would bring back memories of the terrible times. They felt he had been through so much, and they just wanted to keep him safe and loved. Cesar always says that dogs live in the moment, and that if we keep living in the past and reinforcing that for them that they will never heal.

Chiron teaches us that our desire to heal others often stems from a wound within ourselves. In the highest form of this “Wounded Healer” archetype, we wait to heal others until we ourselves have been healed. Once we have walked into the fire and shadows of our own wounds and the energy held in the cellular memory has been released, we then experience the empathy to be able to help others heal. However, there is a shadow side to the Wounded Healer in which the wounds of the patient activate the wounds of a healing provider who has not yet fully healed. Jung called this phenomenon “countertransference,” and in this circumstance the patient and healer become locked in a drama from which neither can escape without outside help. This is likely what happened with Howie the rescue dog and the ladies who rescued him.

Those of us (myself included) who rescue animals or who otherwise have rescue fantasies are sensitive souls who have been wounded and who seek to heal ourselves through healing the animals we rescue. This is a Neptunian experience, since Neptune bestows boundless compassion, sensitivity, and an empathy which causes us to experience the suffering of others as if it were our own. While these are beautiful qualities, without the boundaries and discipline of Saturn we become codependent and unable to be effective in either our own healing process or the process of others. Cesar Millan’s famous refrain “rules, boundaries, and limitations” is the Saturn influence that, when combined with the Neptunian empathy, creates a truly effective healer.

I have had to learn this the hard way. With Saturn on one side of my Sun and Neptune on the other, it has taken me a lifetime to learn to balance the two. For years I tried to rescue myself by rescuing others, and finally realized that until the work on myself was closer to completion I would never be able to help anyone else. In the story of Howie, his rescuers were so overcome with grief and compassion at the plight from which he was rescued, they were unable to perform the simplest act that would complete the healing process: put a leash around his neck and take him for a walk. It was evident that Cesar felt compassion for Howie when he gently encouraged Howie to take his first steps outside. But the boundaries that he maintained in not falling into the pool of Howie’s pain helped him to truly heal this dog.

In the same way, those of us with strong Neptunian influences (planets aspecting Neptune or in Pisces and the twelfth house which are ruled by Neptune) need to cultivate the influence of Saturn in order to function effectively in the world. Cesar Millan’s pragmatic approach to dog psychology teaches dog owners this balance, but his lessons are valuable for anyone who lives on Planet Earth.

Here is an update on what happened to Howie.

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By | 2012-04-16T06:28:31+00:00 April 16th, 2012|Favorite posts|6 Comments
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